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Paypal.com appears to be unavailable paypal.com
72 points by ivankirigin 2 hours ago   49 comments top 20
9 points by Silhouette 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I suspect we are going to see two major changes over the next few weeks as a direct result of the "cyber-attacks" going on recently.

1. Financial services will re-evaluate the risks of this kind of attack vs. the cost of assigning more resources to guard against it.

2. Governments will finally start taking IT security seriously.

The latter is the more interesting, because while banks are generally reasonably clued up about balancing risks and will simply adjust their current practices, elected representatives who aren't technically inclined will probably be discolouring their underwear over the fall-out if the bad guys really tried to do some damage, given that it is this easy for a few upset people to cripple the world's payment systems.

I suspect that as a reuslt, we can look forward to increasingly draconian penalties being introduced for this sort of action in most jurisdictions, the end of on-line anonymity as it has been known, and ruthless throttling/disconnection of entire ISPs/countries that don't play ball with either of the above. If you thought government reactions to copyright infringement were heavy-handed, I imagine they will look like a nun comforting a child compared to what is coming next.

The sad thing is that better security, robustness, user authentication, etc. should have been built into the Internet by default for years, but the same "Wild West" evolution that was so successful in the early days has also been a poor driver of consolidation now that the Internet isn't just a toy for the military types and the universities any more. Maybe the Powers That Be will finally start taking serious advice about IT from people who know what they're talking about and collectively give the issues the attention they deserve. (I won't hold my breath, though; this could all end in tears, with a mess of ill-informed and poorly-implemented measures that cause all kinds of additional dangers to innocent people without actually fixing the real problem.)

6 points by pigbucket 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you dominate a market, a serious ethical duty devolves upon you to do right by your customers, but Paypal, Visa, and MC, on which donation-supported non-profit orgs like Wikileaks almost entirely depend, have utterly failed to fulfill that duty; in fact they didn't even try. Their actions, arbitrary or spineless, have almost completely choked off funding for Wikileaks. I never imagined ending up saying this, but I'm impressed and grateful that there exists an international, anonymous horde able to begin the process of making companies like this at least minimally answerable for their actions, which no one else seems capable or desirous of doing.
11 points by zefhous 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
And now thanks to this story Hacker News is participating in the DDOS because we all want to see for ourselves if PayPal is responsive...
11 points by il 2 hours ago 1 reply      
https://www.paypal.com/ still works, all they're doing is hammering the front page, any transactions over SSL should still work fine.
5 points by ericz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else keep coming back here because every link on the homepage is light grey because they are visited, but since the site is down it does not show this link as visited. Hehe
6 points by freechoice1 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Paypal is notorious to freeze accounts as they like, and bully people around. They can do this because they know they are big. Now they are starting to force their own political agendas on the world population as well. I've quit my account with them because I want this world to be a better place to live in, than being controlled by a bully who harass people.
4 points by rms 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Payments API is still working.
3 points by bayes 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I fear some naive young US-based Anonymous participants may soon be getting a very rude awakening (if the FBI and Secret Service respond to this by making an example of them).

Edit: downvote me all you like, but you should read the post about what happens when you're busted by the feds (from the hacker crackdown): http://web.textfiles.com/hacking/agentsteal.txt

5 points by ThePinion 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Shutting down the Visa and Mastercard probably didn't change too much, but this for sure will. Think of how much eBay is dependent on PayPal for purchases. This should be an interesting outcome! Even if people don't feel it's morally right, I'm still very impressed by the current "cyber wars" going on. Either way, I don't lose anything. I guess I'm just one of those people that likes to watch the world burn...
2 points by geedee77 1 hour ago 4 replies      
To be perfectly honest, the actions of the 'anonymous' are pretty disgusting and it's bullying. A company provides a useful service to the majority of the on-line world and, just because they do something to protect themselves and their identity (there's a lot of people who dislike wikileaks) then this 'collective' decide to disrupt the whole company.

Bullying was pathetic in high school and is so much worse in the 'grown-up' world, especially when it affects so many normal people.

2 points by thehodge 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Amazon is next?
2 points by martinkallstrom 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"It's not just you! http://paypal.com looks down from here."
1 point by nikster 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's back up. But that sure was impressive. Anyone have a link to uptime statistics?
1 point by koevet 1 hour ago 0 replies      
http://www.paypal.com is down from here (Denmark). Https is responding though. Quite impressive.
1 point by herrherr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What I like most, is that all people click on the link although it says "It's unavailable". Wondering if this has an additional effect on the availability.
6 points by martin_k 2 hours ago 1 reply      
www.paypal.com works for most people.
1 point by vegasbrianc 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
This should help the IT Security industry get a boost and hopefully create more jobs.
3 points by scottkrager 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Yep, just tried to pay a contractor....no dice.
1 point by FirstHopSystems 2 hours ago 0 replies      
DNS issues?. No 301 Redirect from the server.

Just type https://www.paypal.com to go straight to the web page.

1 point by desenu 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
seems like a correct assessment. SSL still works tho.
Mark Zuckerberg Agrees to Give Away Fortune wsj.com
126 points by jakarta 4 hours ago   97 comments top 26
16 points by lionhearted 3 hours ago 5 replies      

I wonder if all these very public proclamations are going to shift people's attitude towards taxes? Most people think of the government as wasteful, inefficient, incompetent, and corrupt to more or less degrees, and I know I'd prefer to see money allocated by smart people like Gates, Buffet, Zuckerberg than by politicians who need to keep constituents happy and win votes.

I committed a while back to giving 10% of my income to charity henceforth, probably for my whole life. I know I've felt much better when I raised money for St. Jude's or Grand Ormond Street children's hospitals than when I wrote a check to the IRS to fund the latest special interest-fueled debacle.

There's a "the evil rich are against us" narrative in movies and stories a lot, but I wonder if the perception will start to change when all the good from these endeavors is realized. I think it's quite likely that smart people allocating resources intelligently will do 10x, 20x, 50x more good with the money than a politician possibly could.

44 points by DevX101 4 hours ago 2 replies      
After someone asked Warren Buffet why he wanted to give away all of his fortune, he replied:

"I want to leave enough money to my children that they can do anything, but no so much that they will do nothing".

13 points by petenixey 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I happen to have just watched a brilliant TED talk on the value of angel investment (not aid) in Africa. The talk underlined how it is capitalism rather than charity that creates wealth.

It would be wonderful to see some of SV's glitterati create more for-profit investment networks (bigger than Kiva, smaller than VC (...YC?)) in other hungry markets.

Kudos to Mark for committing to this. If he applies his product-brilliance to how he goes about it I'm sure he will do wonderful things.

(Alexis this has your name written all over it BTW ;)

12 points by narrator 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I think if Mark wanted to give back to the world he should do what Elon Musk is doing and start high risk businesses that can create widespread beneficial change in the world.
17 points by burgerbrain 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I'd rather see more people following the lead of Elon Musk than Bill Gates. Instead of throwing money at problems that will always exist and producing no real value, Musk is creating high-tech jobs and advancing the state of humanity.
3 points by grandalf 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I think of this as sort of a cop out (on the part of all the people who do it). If you're good at business, then you can have a far bigger impact by creating businesses than by simply giving your money to some charity.

It's ultimately a socially lauded thing to do that divorces the donor from any ultimate responsibility for the amount of "greater good" done with the funds. I think they do it out of fear that they were a lucky, one-hit wonder... and out of low self-esteem or fear of the angry mob.

YC is a great example of a way to use wealth to make a real difference. PG uses his acumen to help a lot more people level up. This multiplies wealth. Spending it on charities simply redistributes it.

It makes me very pessimistic to see that the world's wealthiest people feel the need simply to pledge the money away, and no need to risk total failure by going out on a limb to do something bigger than whatever got them there.

What if Bill Gates tried some long shot idea and it flopped? What if Zuckerberg or Case did? That would take real courage. This pledge nonsense reminds me of the self-satisfied smirks people emit when publicly putting money into the collection basket in a church. Why isn't one of these rich guys going to bat for Wikileaks? (Probably because it feels a lot better to be praised all the time for being such a great person by all the sycophants trying to get you to write a check!)

5 points by markbao 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really great to hear. We need more of this.

I'd pledge if I had any hugely significant sum like the others in the pledge, but alas.

8 points by Jun8 3 hours ago 1 reply      
AFAIK, Jobs has still not committed.
3 points by quizbiz 2 hours ago 2 replies      
How much liquid wealth does Mark actually have? Isn't the vast majority of it purely theoretical based on Facebook equity purchases?
4 points by j4pe 4 hours ago 2 replies      
There is no reason for Facebook to go public anytime in the near future. It will be more and more revenue positive as it refines its advertising model. Zuckerberg's contribution is therefore worth very little at the moment, outside of the tremendous commitment it implies for Mark. At some point, he will probably control huge amounts of wealth and it's bold of him to sign away most of the cash before he ever has control over it.

But wouldn't it be amusing if Facebook were to go the way of preceding social networks, and leave the "world's youngest billionaire" looking a little silly for pledging a fortune that never materialized?

2 points by yason 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If I had billions I would certainly pay great attention to where I would put that money to work in order to create most goodness and wealth out of it. I would be wary of many charities as groups can get as confused from big money as individuals do.
3 points by nhangen 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is from the PDF on the giving pledge website:

"The pledge does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. The pledge asks only that the individual give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes or charitable organizations either before or after their death."

Interesting way to do this. I still don't really understand the need for a pledge of this magnitude, but at least they aren't pooling the money or soliciting for specific causes.

That being said, I still think Zuck is far too young to make such a strong commitment.

1 point by meric 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great; Rather than having government's and or NGO employees who pulls normal salary and aren't experienced in efficiently managing the spending of billions of dollars of development aid and end up harming the recipients, we are now getting the billionaires - people who excel at efficiently investing billions of dollars to reap billions more - to allocate these resources.
1 point by code_duck 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I find it odd how people such as Gates and Zuckerberg obsessively stomp down their competition through any means possible, and then turn around and grandiosely pledge to give away their gains.
1 point by scorpion032 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if you can buy real groceries using facebook stock, yet.
2 points by webXL 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You can give it away while you're alive, or split it between your loved ones and the state when you die. I think it would be more fun giving it away to those most in need rather than enriching those who've already had a pretty good life... and your loved ones, too.
2 points by reneighbor 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I like that it's about thinking how to give responsibly and effectively, pledging early in life so they can put their creativity to good use, as the article says. People who sign are trading ideas and logistical advice, it's like a book club for philanthropy.
1 point by SoftwareMaven 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The big question will be does Zuck's fortune liquify at anywhere near the level that it is now. :)
0 points by nhangen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
With great wealth, comes great power, and with great power, comes the ability to change the world.

Though I loathe the way he's built Facebook, I trust someone like Zuck with several billion more than I trust someone without the ability to earn it. Who is going to be managing this money, and where is it going? Is this just a pledge, with no strings attached?

The article isn't very forthcoming, and neither is the website: givingpledge.org

I don't understand what's happened with Gates, and though I admire his sentiment, I think putting pressure on young entrepreneurs, who already have thousands of voices in their heads, is a wrong move.

Call me callous, but this whole thing seems insane. Mark can do more good with his money by building new technologies than this fund could do manage multiple billions of dollars. It's rare that money on that scale is managed well.

0 points by keiferski 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's certainly commendable to give away a vast fortune, and I don't want to take away from this honorable act in any way.

But I wonder why more ridiculously wealthy entrepreneurs don't, ya know, preneur? Especially in the nonprofit "make a difference space".

A billion dollars to charity is cool. You know what's really cool? A billion dollars towards a celebrity billionaire-spearheaded do-good project. (Or 1 million dollars each towards 1000 projects, etc.)

Maybe I'm missing something, and I'm certainly no billionaire, so I probably am. But if I were a billionaire, I'd be more interested in angel investing (in promising, impactful projects) and my bringing my own ideas to life.

But I digress. Bravo to the billionaires. Really, this is awesome.

1 point by jiganti 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It's commendable for anyone to give away their money, but especially so when it's a guy in his mid-twenties.
0 points by beeeph 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone once said, "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." If you ask me, this just might do it for Zuck. Congrats Man! I hope you find yourself surprised by how many other young entrepreneurs follow suit. But seriously, do yourself a favor, quit renting your little college house and buy yourself a little home while interest rates are still low.
0 points by tomjen3 4 hours ago 6 replies      
Well, this will properly be nice for those who receive those founds, but I have to wonder why he did it. Why get a fortune just to give it away?
1 point by toephu 3 hours ago 1 reply      
zuckerberg doesn't even have $10mil cash, let alone billions.
it's all on paper.
-1 point by RtodaAV 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't.
-2 points by jrockway 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes it okay that he sells my list of friends to advertisers!
Dropbox for Teams dropbox.com
21 points by johns 1 hour ago   7 comments top 5
1 point by zefhous 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is pretty exciting. Great news!

I would love to use this for a number of things I'm involved with, but I am surprised by the package that is offered.

I'm not saying that what they offer (1 year of 350 GB for $800) is not worth the price, but I am disappointed that there isn't a smaller package.

My needs for this kind of thing are more like 10-20GB. The team features are very attractive, but there's no way I am going to sign up for a package that large.

I'm sure Dropbox has put a lot of thought into the decision though. I'm very curious about where they are going with this and if they will ever offer a smaller team account.

Personally I'd love to see a team account somewhere around $10 a month for 10 GB and 5 users. Basically same price as their Pro 50 individual account, but with 5 users and 1/5th of the capacity.

2 points by jeffiel 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Needs to have more admin permissions, like seeing all the shares, restricting sharing outside of the team, enforcing deletion of shares when people are booted, etc. It's a good start though to replacing the old file share box.
1 point by samratjp 17 minutes ago 2 replies      
This reminds of a funny Dropbox joke I read the other day:
'@Stammy: "if a shared folder is larger than my dropbox account's entire size.. what happens?" @jazzychad: "supernova" me: "FTW"'
via http://twitter.com/#!/Stammy/status/12361000170819584

But I do wonder what would happen in that case though? Any Dropbox engineers care to shed some light?

1 point by Imagenuity 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
A lot of businesses can replace their file server(s) with this setup. No backup worries. Can get to it from anywhere. Files are automatically sync'd. The local server is archaic. Server in the cloud!
1 point by thibaut_barrere 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't be surprised to see this becoming their main income at some point (time will tell). Well done!
A virus could increase lithium batteries capacity by 10x fastcompany.com
21 points by phalien 1 hour ago   4 comments top 3
5 points by sliverstorm 22 minutes ago 1 reply      
Perfect timing. I was only just discussing battery technology with some friends, who believe batteries cannot possibly grow to capacities larger than we have today on the basis of 'gee, they haven't grown as fast as other technology in the past 100 years'

No faith in scientists, I tell you.

2 points by redthrowaway 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
The biggest winner of this, should it come to fruition, would seem to be electric vehicles. Electronic devices would surely prosper, but further miniaturization of smartphones doesn't really seem desirable, so it would go towards increased computational power and battery life. EVs, on the other hand, derive a double benefit: By shrinking the battery, you reduce weight, which increases range and efficiency, which reduces the requisite battery size, etc. The end product would be much cheaper and much more efficient. Having an economical EV that could get 1000 miles to a charge for the price of a Civic would be huge.
1 point by jcfrei 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Every now and then there's news about radically improving battery lifetime. I'm skeptical. Wouldn't the organic cell structure of the TMV decay over time?
How I Screwed Up My Google Acquisition codusoperandi.com
386 points by jayro 15 hours ago   96 comments top 25
44 points by grellas 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Prospective acquirers will often pursue potential targets simultaneously and, if they go silent on you, this may have little or nothing to do with whether you followed up diligently or not. In my experience, when an acquiring company wants to move, they know how to do so quickly, at least to engage in sufficient due diligence to see whether they might want to do the deal. Thus, when you do get in a situation where you are getting slow or evasive responses after an initial expression of interest, or where things go silent after an initial set of exchanges, I am not sure there is much you can practically do about it unless you have options to sell to others and use this as a lever to speed the process. You can be as aggressive as you like in such cases but, if the acquirer is simply trying to keep options open, you won't be able to force things absent a credible threat of going elsewhere.

That said, this one may have simply fallen through the cracks owing to the early failures to follow up more aggressively. Only the Google people can know for sure.

5 points by patio11 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a no-holds-barred discussion of the realities of being acquired by s soulless megacorp at Business of Software 2010, by Eric Sink, who sold a product to MS. He had a similar hot cold hot cold reception, and the deal was totally dead twice, prior to it working out. It appears to be the nature of the beast.

If BOS publishes the video of that, I'll post it -- it was one of the most eyeopening talks at the conference for me (and that is saying something, since they were virtually without exception outstanding).

P.S. Google is a soulless megacorp with above average PR.

78 points by joshu 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Another one I learned that pops up in this tale: get on the plane if the meeting is important.
36 points by jlees 14 hours ago 2 replies      
One thing I have learnt since joining Google: everyone inside Google is always infernally busy.

I'm British, so my concepts of bothering people, being a nuisance, and being impolite are already vastly out of skew with the American work culture -- I've had to relearn a lot of that behaviour since coming to the USA and Google.

IMO it's not really specifically a Google thing. I think the lesson to be learned from this post (and as a founder, I'm wincing along with you jayro) is simple: when dealing with a big company, keep yourself in the radar or you'll vanish altogether.

But please don't be too crazy or in your face. I administered Summer of Code for our open source project this year, and one very keen applicant kept IMing me for status updates. Unfortunately, he was based in India, and so this meant my phone buzzing at 3am. Suffice it to say (and for mostly unrelated reasons), he didn't get accepted.

Be sensitive, be fresh, be relevant, be interesting.

16 points by trickjarrett 14 hours ago 5 replies      
A great read about politeness (though it had some negotiating impacts) causing a missed opportunity. I too err on the side of politeness when it comes to business interactions and I've learned that more often than not, when I'm dealing with someone remotely whether it be a colleague or a point of contact, that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I think it was a mistake to let it ride for so long. A few weeks, maybe two months, and I would have called them up and followed up. Even a short email positioning myself as asking more out of curiosity than need for an acquisition, etc.

Anyone else agree? Would you have followed up?

14 points by johnrob 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely a frustrating story to read. That said, two things stand out:

1) Deals fall through. PG et all write about this all the time. It's probably easy to figure why they fail in hindsight, but that doesn't make them any easier to manage in the future.

2) It seems like the main premise of the idea was to get bought by google/yahoo/microsoft. That is a dangerous strategy to employ out of the gates (although back in 2005 there was no hacker news and a whole let less general knowledge about the black art of startups).

17 points by jordanmessina 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Preezo sounds like it was built to be acquired from day one. I think that mindset makes it a lot more difficult to deal with missed opportunities and can really make the entire experience of building a product unenjoyable. This is probably why so many people suggest building something you want instead of what you think others will want; at least you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in the process.
8 points by robk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The "get on a plane" advice is crucial. Product managers lead acquisitions at Google and are the hardest to reach. If you get any interest expressed from them, try to get in person w/ them within a couple weeks max, even if just for coffee. From there, it's helpful to send them a monthly or bi-monthly ping just to keep them abreast of any developments. They might not be ready to acquire now, but it's very helpful to remind them of you when they're ready or thinking of an acquisition

*disclaimer - ex-Google PM

5 points by Maro 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have any relevant experience, but this sounds odd. If the product was good (better than Zenter), than why didn't they acquire Preezo at that later point in time?
2 points by harshaw 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A somewhat similar story: around the same time I was working on Numbler, a collaborative spreadsheet that I launched (unluckily) a couple of months before google spreadsheet went live. Numbler had some cool features that would enable you to see real time changes from other collaborators, see dynamic updates when someone else changed cell formulas, integration with internet data sources, etc.

I got the attention of Google and was flown into NYC for an interview / talk with the spreadsheet team. Similarly, I was also a one man shop since my founder had bailed on me and left for Google 3 months prior! Things went pear shaped when I failed to get through the algorithm gristmill. I had one poor interview with a beaver/rat ringed kid who was eager to demonstrate his intellectual superiority (or so it felt at the time).

The frustrating part is that as an entrepreneur your thoughts are ranging from how to make money/business model to UI design to backend engineering. I was expecting that the googlers would at least show some interest in Numbler - but that wasn't how the meetings were structured. The google PM (Fuzzy was his name) was interested, but seemed hamstrung by the google process. Google never asked me about any of the tricks I used work to build the UI, COMET style networking for responsiveness, etc.

In retrospect, Numbler was an acquisition play and needed a much better strategy and larger vision to succeed. I did end up with a google NYC t-shirt...

3 points by noonespecial 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It also says something about the randomness of the startup scene. You can have just the right product at just the right time and still lose.
1 point by melvinram 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Man, that royally sucks. I can't add too much to the conversation except to say that I hope your AppIgnite system works out to be a nice hit. I heard you on some podcast recently and it sounds pretty neat.
3 points by kenjackson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Jonathan Rochelle repeated wryly and with a smile, "Yes, time to go. Google is here,"

WTF? Is Google the mob or something? Almost seems like the next line should have been, "And I was never seen or heard from again."

3 points by bherms 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the moral here applies to more than just dealing with big companies, but anything in general. Persistence can pay off big time.

Quick example: I interviewed with a company back in August and was told I'd hear from them in a week. I didn't so I began emailing the CEO (who I'd interviewed with) at least once a week for almost three months (never got a yes/no, so I kept "checking in"). Because I kept myself on the radar and kept pursuing it, when something finally opened up, I got the job and was told that they admired my persistence. Don't be afraid of annoying people -- if the answer isn't final yet, keep trying.

3 points by zandorg 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I (a UK developer) just dealt with a company who were interested in my Pretext software, which finds text in images. I rang at 2PM their time when I rang, and when his development committee finally rejected me after a month of waiting, he said "You have written very capable and useful software - however, we want to develop in-house", I was polite and said goodbye, etc.

Everything to gain. Nothing lost but a couple transatlantic phone calls.

2 points by deyan 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems to me that your analysis suffers from a fundamental attribution error (blaming you rather than circumstances). While it is possible that you could have done a few things better (with the help of the ever so omni-potent captain hindsight), my experience is that such deals are complicated and involve a lot of people. So I think it is much more likely that the final outcome was more out of your control than your essay implies.
3 points by waterside81 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I gotta say hearing about things not going one's way is more informative and educational than hearing about when things all go peachy and a founder walks out with $X million. If you only read TC you'd think every startup in the world is cashing in.
5 points by splatcollision 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This has inspired me to send some follow up emails on some leads I've been chasing, thanks!
2 points by newobj 10 hours ago 0 replies      

I know one of the Zenter guys. He is definitely a closer.

2 points by TotlolRon 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think you "screwed" anything. You can't force a relationship, and it is a waste of time to think about the email you didn't send. Had you sent it and got no reply, would you feel better? How about the email they didn't send? Maybe they are the ones who "screwed"?

"Still what could've been. Is better than what could never be at all" -- Tiffany

1 point by elvirs 7 hours ago 0 replies      
considering that Google's acquisitions are about about technology as much as about talent, and the fact that you hired another guy to help you with coding it is possible that they expected a team behind the technology to join them, but were disappointed when learned that you hired outsiders to help with building that technology.
1 point by seltzered 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I would say the problem is that you divulged technical details before getting a written "intent to acquire" from google.

While keeping the line of communication is important, it's also important to ensure it's worth your time.

1 point by sportsTAKES 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I know I've had experiences in life where I look back and say 'what was I thinking?!?'

As difficult as it is, nicely done on recognizing the situation, holding yourself accountable and chalking it up as a lesson learned. No doubt about it, this experience will help you somewhere down the line...

I'm really impressed with your articulate re-cap of the story.

1 point by psnj 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to work at OT when Glazer was there, and I attended a workshop once where he gave a talk. Very impressive guy -- I remember thinking "I want to work for the company that guy's working for!"
0 points by cavilling_elite 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This should also be a lesson about using engineering notebooks and other such legal documents in programming a new product, especially with new ideas such as the DOM manipulation indicated in this blog.
Truly decentralized bittorrent torrentfreak.com
46 points by Rhapso 4 hours ago   11 comments top 4
5 points by StavrosK 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Haven't all clients supported DHT for a while now? It's good to see a client take the extra step and decentralise search as well, though. Hopefully this won't go the way of KaZaA/Limewire/Gnutella, but even if it does, we'll still have private trackers.
2 points by gritzko 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
One big question: did it work for you?
Did you download/watch something?
1 point by tomjen3 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anybody have a more technical description of this? as they say, the devil is in the detail
1 point by dknight 1 hour ago 1 reply      
How is it different from DC++?
Ask HN: How would you deal with DDoS?
17 points by samratjp 42 minutes ago   8 comments top 4
7 points by jacquesm 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
The best way is to have an attack mitigation strategy worked out in advance. Once the traffic is hitting your servers you are very much too late, the best spot to filter it out is as far upstream as you can get. Getting to know your upstream providers and having contact information is probably the single most effective thing you can do in terms of ROI when it comes to dealing with large scale DDoS.

Chances are they already have that big Cisco or Force10 router complete with FPGA based filtering magic.

3 points by catlike 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
One of the most effective answers is not "buy a stinkin' Cisco firewall" but rather "buy a stinkin' Arbor"


If you want to survive large scale DDOS you need equipment that can scrub the incoming unvalidated data in real-time and keep up.

Combining Source Based Remotely Triggered Black Holing (RTBH) with uRPF affords you the ability in a sophisticated network to drop a large amount of undesired traffic (especially if it's from simpler DDOS strategies). If you do in fact have the $$/need for the Arbor then inside of black-holing the traffic you send it to the Arbor and let it scrub the packets.

1 point by brianwillis 34 minutes ago 3 replies      
DDoS attacks aren't aren't technical problems - they're political ones. Political problems need political solutions. Technology isn't the cause of a DDoS attack, just the medium.
0 points by troels 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
ddos is a very broad category of attacks, so there isn't one single solution. What really matters, is that you have some sysadmin type on board who knows his network protocols.
Kickstarting Hubcap: a Socially Aware GitHub Mac App github.com
69 points by sferik 6 hours ago   7 comments top 3
3 points by bkrausz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not just write a twitter API emulator so that GitHub can integrate with Twitter clients? The interface seems mostly the same.
13 points by dustinchilson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Shouldn't the Hubcap icon have 8 spokes? OctoCap
2 points by kondro 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What a great idea and I would donate if Kickstarter used something other than Amazon payments (which is limited to US-users).

I wonder how much 'caching' the application will do and I hope there will be a project/file browser added in the future.

Salesforce Buys Heroku (YC W08) For $212 Million In Cash techcrunch.com
681 points by gspyrou 22 hours ago   186 comments top 48
111 points by hopeless 22 hours ago 5 replies      
This sounds like stellar news for Heroku employees and investors.

I'm not sure how it's going to be good for Heroku customers (like me) in the long-term. There will be the inevitable brain drain over the course of 1-2years when key staff move away as their contract clauses run out and then we'll be left with Heroku being run by SalesForce :(

21 points by plinkplonk 22 hours ago 7 replies      
This is great news for Heroku and YC (congratulations folks!). That said, does anyone have any insights on why exactly SalesForce would buy Heroku? What is the business rationale?

"This is Salesforce's fifth acquisition this year. Earlier purchases include Activa Live, Sitemasher and Jigsaw. Salesforce.com also spent $170 million to fully acquire its Japanese subsidiary, Salesforce Japan."

Anyone see a pattern? I don't, but then I am not that business savvy.

8 points by jacquesm 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I can see EngineYard opening a bottle to celebrate as well, $212M in 'mostly stock' would be landing a big one, to be landing it in cash is very good indeed.

Congratulations to everybody, especially to the people that brokered the deal on Herokus side, very impressive.

In other news, registrars the world over report a large uptick in domain registrations around the twin themes of rails hosting and sushi...

38 points by cuchoperl 22 hours ago 7 replies      
heroku 94%

pg 6% (early 2008)


$3M Series A (mid 2008) Assuming a $2M pre-money:

heroku 37.6%

pg 2.4%

series A 60%


$10M Series B (2010) Assuming a $5M pre-money:

heroku 12.5%

pg 0.8%

series A 20%

series B 66.6%


$212M Exit:

heroku $26.5M

pg $1.7M

series A $42.4

series B $141.3



series A $3M -> $42.4M // 14X in 2.5 years

series B $10M -> $141M // 14X in 1 year

pg $17K -> $1.7M // 100X in 3 years

All the pre-money valuations are guesstimates/fiction.

17 points by pwim 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm happy for Heroku that they got such a great deal, but I have to say I'm disappointed by this. Heroku seemed like they were in a great position to do amazing things. I thought they had a solid revenue model. I had hoped Heroku would be the one doing the acquiring.
17 points by webwright 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow- congrats. Great bunch of founders who totally deserve this. I think this is the biggest YC exit, no?
17 points by pavs 22 hours ago 4 replies      
How did they come up with 212 million valuation? Genuinely interested to know.
14 points by vidar 21 hours ago 4 replies      
This should put a hop in the step of all those Heroku-for-Django startups.
7 points by cubicle67 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone know what this means for Heroku? I love their service and I'd really hate to see it depart from what it is.

I'm really happy for the Heroku guys, but I'm also kind of nervous because I can think of so many ways Salesforce can screw this up.

4 points by wccrawford 22 hours ago 4 replies      
I really hate it when people to give arbitrary numbers to things like 'Cloud 2'.

It's still just cloud computing. 'Cloud 2' doesn't actually -mean- anything. It's not a standard. It's not like you can say something is or isn't Cloud 2 by any objective means.

It's marketing speak, and who exactly is he marketing it to? All developers see right through it and know it doesn't mean anything. All clients only care that their products work. What tech they're built on doesn't mean a thing.

5 points by hristov 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It comes out to about $2000 per ap hosted on Heroku. Pretty good considering most of those aps are probably free. Of course they are hoping for growth, and Heroku has been adding almost a hundred apps per day.
4 points by jacoblyles 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Man, the death of the IPO market and the increasing oligopoly in the tech marketplace is so depressing.
9 points by markbao 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I did not see that coming from Heroku. Congratulations all around!
6 points by mcxx 22 hours ago 0 replies      
If every Heroku employee would get an equal share from the restricted stock, that means ~ $1M in Salesforce shares per employee. Congrats!
9 points by Nrsolis 21 hours ago 4 replies      
I interviewed with Salesforce and I have to tell you that I found their culture a bit ....weird. It's something I couldn't put my finger on but I just had the feeling that they were all in some sort of cult or something.

I didn't get the job. Probably a good thing.

50 points by wouterinho 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Biggest YC exit so far?
33 points by maxer 22 hours ago 2 replies      
pg hit the home run on this one
4 points by papertiger 18 hours ago 6 replies      
I've honestly never understood why startups want to be acquired (besides the monetary gain for individual employees). Doesn't acquisition often destroy or dilute the very successes they've worked so hard to build? (I worked for an acquisitive company that worsened nearly every product/company it acquired.) Why not just focus on making your business better?

Heroku will now be subject to all kinds of pressures and asinine ideas that may not relate to their core offering. As a Heroku user I am concerned and saddened.

Can anyone offer any perspective? I'm puzzled by the acquisition mindset.

3 points by sdizdar 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Very very good news for Heroku employees and investors. I also hope that Amazon will start bidding war.

However, knowing Salesforce (and fact that they have many very very big enemies in this business) I'm concern about future of Heroku offering in the current form. As far as I know, Salesforce is not a hacker company - they remind me a little of Yahoo! (product managers are running the show). And, don't get me wrong, in this case, not being a "hacker company" is a good thing. But, I assume that Heroku will be transformed to be much profitable and target bigger margin businesses.

9 points by balac 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm glad the Heroku guys got a well deserved exit like this. It also makes me more confident to develop on the platform.
6 points by zackattack 20 hours ago 1 reply      
i always thought heroku was the best-designed site i've ever seen
2 points by kunley 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope this will have them a kick to spread into Europe.

For now, as they use only US EC2 regions, it's only possible for many EU-located users to have a prototype or a toy project on Heroku. Believe me, those few routers more and pings > 100ms do make a difference.

3 points by jcapote 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I just hope some business guy doesn't go in there and "rethink" heroku
6 points by Kilimanjaro 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Now database.com makes more sense.
2 points by smoody 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, don't forget about potential future value re: their upcoming node.js support. I suspect that'll be even more popular than their rails service at some point in the not-to-distant future.
3 points by wensing 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Please let the Heroku folks create an interface for Salesforce that doesn't feel like enterprise Java.
1 point by rkwz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the significance of this acquisition? Which companies/competitors (Google, Amazon etc) does it affect?
3 points by js4all 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats. This is huge.

I hope Heroku's Node.JS beta does not suffer from this.

11 points by balakk 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't Heroku use EC2? Would that change?
2 points by spencerfry 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats, guys! We'll see what comes from this.
1 point by kin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not that there is any correlation (Heroku's awesome and those guys are simply great talent) but, RoR start-ups seem to be doing amazing nowadays with Hulu in high eval, Groupon rumored to reject a $5B deal, Twitter with its momentum, and now Heroku.
8 points by m0wfo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
So each Heroku app is valued at about $2000?
2 points by PanMan 22 hours ago 1 reply      
AFAIK Ycombinator invests about 15K for 6%. That 6% would now be 12 million. That's a 800x ROI. Nice :)
2 points by stephth 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not entirely surprised. Heroku's manual-scale model has shown a strong focus to sell to the enterprises. The App Engine's auto-scale model (no expenses if no traffic, but always ready to face peaks) is largely friendlier to individuals on a budget.

I hope these news will help boost projects like appengine-jruby.

1 point by acconrad 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Everyone is happy for Heroku (I'm pretty sure this beats Mint for the canonical "ideal exit" case), and everyone is scared as a customer (I have no idea where I would build and alternatively easy-to-use Rails app that was as cheap).


2 points by datsro 16 hours ago 0 replies      
will this affect the pricing model for small ruby builds (Free)? I hope not. As a designer/developer this service has been beneficial to sell Ruby to my more technical clientele.
1 point by rdl 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great news for everyone in the general cloud infrastructure space too -- expanding the number of viable potential acquirers for startups.
3 points by selvan 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. What does it mean for Engine Yard & its investors...
1 point by gsivil 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a question: how much money YC will earn from that?
2 points by othello 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It's surprising that it comes out of the blue like this. Had there been any rumor of a coming acquisition in the past few weeks?
1 point by sixwing 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad that the Heroku team will continue running the company with some degree of independence. They've done great things for the community, and have amazing vision for the product's trajectory. Congrats, guys!
1 point by epynonymous 7 hours ago 0 replies      
27M USD, 30 employees, this is sweet.
2 points by kondro 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. Didn't expect that. Didn't they just do some more capital raising themselves?
2 points by Jgrubb 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of wellwishers in the Heroku IRC channel this morning...
1 point by SingAlong 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the Heroku guys!

P.S: Now what happens to the free app quota?

1 point by ivankirigin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
fuck yeah!
2 points by chopsueyar 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Good work, Heroku!
1 point by kristofer 16 hours ago 0 replies      
wow. this is surprising. they are RoR honchos.
I always forget the argument order of the `ln -s` command reddit.com
213 points by pepsi_can 13 hours ago   118 comments top 47
40 points by terra_t 13 hours ago 9 replies      
I used to have this problem. Then I realized that if I want to really copy a file, I type

$cp file_from file_to

and that

$ln -s link_from link_to

has a very similar effect to the cp command above. I haven't messed this up ever since.

13 points by frossie 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I've always used complex numbers as a mnemonic: real + imaginary, a + bi (obviously the file is real and the softlink is "imaginary").


11 points by dboyd 12 hours ago replies      
Does anyone know why C calls like 'strcpy' and 'strcat' are the opposite of this?

  strcat(target, source)
strcpy(target, source)

But, in SH...

  cp source target

I feel like these things were developed around the same time, by the same community. I've always wondered if there was a reason for the different perspective.

6 points by muhfuhkuh 10 hours ago 1 reply      
For me, it's always the recursive options in (s)cp and chown/chmod and which one is capital -R which one is lower case -r. Simply vexing.
5 points by hasenj 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the same argument order for mv and cp, also the same for rsync and scp

Hell, it's even the same argument order for git-clone.

Pretty much all command lines use "source destination" order.

Why is 'ln' confusing? Because people think of "linking" in a backwards way, it seems that if you're creating a link from A -> B, A is the source and B is the destination. But that's not the meaning of "source destination" that command lines expect

  mv B A

A is the new B

  cp B A

A is the new B, but B is still there

  ln -s B A

A is the new B, except it's just a link, and yes, B is still there.

B is the source, A is the destination. B is the source of the data, A is the destination for that data; the command will create 'A' (or modify it), that's why it's the destination.

For the link itself, B is the destination, but for the operation of creating the link, B is the source, and that's the meaning that's consistent with all other commands.

4 points by daten 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You can create multiple links with the original names at once with commands like:

  ln -s path1/files* path2/


  ln -s path1/* .

Doing that helped me remember the order because I knew my command could end with a directory as the destination and links would be created there.

Sometimes hardlinks are useful too. You don't always need -s

Edit: Why was this downvoted? I didn't see anyone else mention it until after my post and to me this was an easier way to remember the order than comparing it to "cp".

4 points by enneff 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The way I remember it is "ln -s target [filename]", where filename is an optional argument to override the default, where the default is a link created in the CWD pointing to target. Easy.
7 points by jvdh 12 hours ago 3 replies      
My god, this thing always keeps biting me. It seems so obvious now with that cp-mnemonic. But it makes me wonder, why does everyone do it wrong in the first place?
9 points by newobj 13 hours ago 1 reply      
That's funny, I do too. I always thought it was just me...
3 points by shimon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I just read the -s as "source" even though it really means symbolic.

ln -s source fakename

2 points by phaedrus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In CP/M the order really was "cp to from". So chosen to match the assignment operator in programming.
2 points by seles 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Every comment except this one is just a repeat of the stuff said in the original reddit discussion
1 point by jpr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I use emacs and dired as a condom that shields me from the stupidity that is remembering this kind of trivia.
2 points by Timothee 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The worst part with that kind of mistakes is that you end up never knowing for sure. :)

You start with "ln -s A B" and realize you always make the mistake, so you force yourself to do the opposite of your natural instinct: "ln -s B A". It works until this becomes natural but you still think you always get it wrong, so start doing the opposite of your new natural: "ln -s A B". You'll now be very confused until you force yourself to learn it for good.

This happens to me all the time for various binary things.

2 points by pbhjpbhj 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't we have better shells that give hints on these things?

I'm thinking like an IDE will pop up some help text when you begin typing a function name or a recognised special word. Why doesn't the standard sh (bash for me) give me similar help, as I type "ln" it could give me a pop-up with the possible completions and then as I get to "ln -s" it could remind me with "TARGET [NAME] // will create a file named NAME that is a soft link to TARGET, or use TARGET's name if NAME isn't specified". You get the picture.

In a pure text env the help could appear on the next line highlighted appropriately or could be to the right of the cursor or somesuch.

I'm hoping someone will say $CONSOLE does that already ...? Anyone?

1 point by sidawson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Think about boobs.

Everyone prefers real to fake*

  ln -s real fake

Now you will never forget.

* Yes, I realise this isn't strictly true

2 points by rythie 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I just remind myself that second argument is optional (and it couldn't be the other way around for that to work)
2 points by stretchwithme 12 hours ago 0 replies      
a copy points to the original (for an instant anyway) the same way that a link points to the original:

  cp original copy

ln -s original link

2 points by nene 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, the UNIX ln command is full of trouble.

* The arguments order is just the opposite of common sense. It has taken me years to really remember it, and I still have to think a little every time I use it.

* The default is to create hard link, which you almost never want. And if you do want them, you are probably doing it wrong. Making hard links is just asking for trouble.

I've read that Plan9 has somewhat corrected this whole problem. At least there is no ln command at all. Instead one uses bind, mount, and unmount. Of which bind is most similar to ln -s, but with arguments in reversed order.

3 points by tedunangst 12 hours ago 1 reply      
If you leave off the second argument, you don't need to remember it. Much easier.
4 points by cdonnellytx 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The annoying thing is that the mklink command in Windows uses the opposite order, so you have to do

mklink link_to link_from

EDIT: formatting.

1 point by manvsmachine 12 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who always had that problem, I think it's because I always mentally picture a command as saying "do <action> from <arg0> to <arg1>", ie, "copy this file to that file". But this construct doesn't hold up for linking, so I just have to remember it arbitrarily by remembering cp. function(src, dest) just generally seems to be the unofficial "right way" of ordering things.
3 points by streeter 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I stopped remembering what the order was and just use the `lns` script found here: http://interglacial.com/~sburke/pub/lns.html
2 points by frankus 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think up to the 100th time reading the man page I would forget, until I memorized the following mantra:

    ln -s target link_name

1 point by sibsibsib 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to get this wrong all the time too. Mentally, I'd be thinking "ln -s source destination", where source was the link and destination was what it pointed to. Of course, that's completely backwards. 'man ln' on OSX didn't help either, since they use the terminology 'source_file [target_file]' which just re-inforced my incorrect thinking (target sounds like something that is pointed to, does it not?).

As other people have mentioned, thinking of it in terms of the files created (ala cp) has helped to learn the correct behavior. I think this is a case where some minor change in the documentation might help to avoid the whole problem.

1 point by stevefink 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Ruby's alias_method(new_name, old_name) always gets me also because I'm so used to ln [-s] (src, tgt).
1 point by orangecat 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ditto. I just remember that it's the reverse of tar, but the cp trick is better.
3 points by austintaylor 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone told me 'fact before fiction' a long time ago, and I've never forgotten it.
1 point by endtime 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My mneumonic is "lentil", since it's ln (-s) <T-for-target> <L-for-link>.
1 point by dminor 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I also occasionally forget the -s, and really wish it was the default since I'm almost always creating a symbolic link.
2 points by inanedrivel 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Its like a black hole in my mind. Every single time I screw this up. I've.... just had to learn to live with deleting my first crappy link. :)
1 point by joubert 10 hours ago 0 replies      
think like so: ln -s {source} {target}

(not "from"/"to", which is ambiguous)

1 point by tpinto 11 hours ago 0 replies      
when I noticed that I was messing up when using ln, I started thinking this way:
"write what you already know first, so you have time to think about what you'll write next

"what you already know" being the existing file and the second part being the name of the link to the existing file.

I never got it wrong again.

1 point by Florin_Andrei 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Imagine there's an arrow pointing left between the arguments. You know - "the symlink is pointing to this file".

ln -s file <== symlink

Always remember that. Pointing left. The symlink is pointing at the file.

1 point by its2010already 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My mnemonic for this is to remember that the link name is optional. When you specify only one argument the link name is the base name of the target (in the current working directory). Therefore the link name must be the second argument.
1 point by kaens 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"ln -s something somewhere"
1 point by funksta 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The way I think of it is that the path that exists first (the target file), comes first.

It's kind of a dumb way to think of it, but it seems to work for me.

1 point by joe24pack 7 hours ago 0 replies      
remember real first fake second ...
1 point by fleitz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah it seems backwards to me as well. I always thought it was the only one.
1 point by cgs1019 12 hours ago 0 replies      
My mneumonic is that in "ln" the "n" comes second, and n is for "name" so the name of the symlink comes second. But I still have to think about it every time...
1 point by mattwdelong 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny, I have a similar problem with scp.
1 point by duncanj 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Keepin' it real fake...

ln -s real fake

1 point by dools 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I just think of the "-s" as "source".
1 point by grourk 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A co-worker once told me to remember it like: "I have a (src) that I'd like to call (dst)"
1 point by dclane 6 hours ago 0 replies      
$ ln -s javac javac

Not like that.

1 point by PeterWhittaker 10 hours ago 0 replies      
exist want

from to

source target

1 point by aeurielesn 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I always forget the argument order of the `ln -s` command...

...because I met the `man` command.

Andy Rubin: Google activates 300,000 phones every day cnn.com
33 points by andre3k1 4 hours ago   18 comments top 7
5 points by metachris 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, that's almost 110 million devices per year!
1 point by Xuzz 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Comparing to Apple's 14.1 iPhones million statistic (from the last quarter), it's about twice what Apple last announced.

Math: 14.1 million / (1/4 * 365) days ~= 150,000 phones

1 point by catch23 2 hours ago 0 replies      
number can't be right -- otherwise there'd be more phones activated than phones manufactured.
1 point by tomjen3 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this imply that they are all new phones? By activating, I guess they mean adding gmail to those phones (Android source can be downloaded for free, so that can't be it), but I have two gmail accounts on this one alone.
1 point by eliben 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This articles says that Google is "selling Android..." - does this imply there's direct profit for Google from each one of these activations?
1 point by jackvalentine 4 hours ago 2 replies      
That is a lot of phones. What does it actually mean though? Android is fast becomming the lowest common denominator for a phone OS?
-2 points by cma 4 hours ago 0 replies      
With numbers like that, it is hard to fault Gmail for having a few hiccups lately.
Copyright troll lawsuit blows up in face of Righthaven eff.org
139 points by grellas 11 hours ago   28 comments top 11
40 points by SkyMarshal 9 hours ago 3 replies      
All the more reason to sign up as a regular donor to EFF.org, even if it's just $5/month. If every developer, designer, software engineer, computer scientist, and new media professional who depends on unencumbered knowledge and information for their livelihood did just this small bit, EFF would be even more capable in its defense of intellectual freedom, and better able to prosecute all of these ridiculous patent/copyright trolls back to hell.

For anyone here who hasn't, here's a clickable: http://www.eff.org/


1 point by URSpider94 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love reading the filings in cases like this. It's really amusing to see the kind of two-bit lawyers employed by Righthaven get taken to pieces by some of the finest legal minds in the country.

EFF's strategy is spot-on: turn Righthaven's odds game back onto themselves. Righthaven is betting that they can profit by filing scores of lawsuits, then coercing settlements in just a small fraction of them. If this case plays out in EFF's favor, then just a few contested cases could cost Righthaven all of their profits in defendants' attorney's fees.

22 points by jorgem 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Rule of thumb: Never back down from a bully.
14 points by drndown2007 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm smiling ear to ear about this one. I hope Righthaven gets taken down hard!
2 points by lotusleaf1987 8 hours ago 1 reply      
A New Hope? Now I'm waiting for the Empire to Strike Back....
I kid but seriously, this is great great news. Patent trolls are anti-innovation, impede creators/entrepreneurs, and drive up costs for consumers.
1 point by aditya 2 hours ago 1 reply      
So, wait. Only the lawyers will end up profiting, as usual? (no offense, grellas :-)
3 points by JoachimSchipper 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm all for copyright trolls getting their due, but does anyone know if this kind of thing is enough to seriously hurt their profits?
4 points by bmr 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Grellas, any idea how a "SLAPP-back" suit would fare for any of these defendants?
1 point by athom 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of surprised this hasn't made the top of DU's list. Maybe it did, and got buried under all the WikiLeaks stuff before I could get over there...?
2 points by paradox95 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this story. Kudos to them.
1 point by beeeph 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahhh the joy I get from seeing these weak, greedy copyright trolls beg for mercy from the innocent people they prey on!
Visa.com Now Also Down Under DDoS cnn.com
218 points by thecoffman 12 hours ago   238 comments top 32
61 points by tc 11 hours ago replies      
I'm reminded of the country song whose chorus goes:

"I've got friends in low places."


[1] I agree, as noted by Nathan below, that this isn't helping Wikileaks' reputation any (despite, of course, WL having nothing to do with this). That's the problem with (and sometimes, benefit of) friends in low places -- no one ever accused them of being sophisticated.

[2] A related thought.... The system consisting of [ Person who leaks info + Wikileaks ] seems to be a modern instance of the Robin Hood archetype. Instead of "robbing from the rich to give to the poor," this system takes information from the powerful and gives it to the (relatively) powerless. Just as with Robin Hood, there's room for debate about the moral characteristics of this approach (particularly on the taking side). And just as with every Robin Hood reincarnation, this system is despised by modern aristocrats.

As I believe pg noted in an essay, during the time-setting of Robin Hood, wealth was nearly a zero-sum game. Today, wealth is not zero-sum, but power still is -- making this archetype all the more fitting.

19 points by DanielBMarkham 10 hours ago 9 replies      
So I'm some average merchant, anywhere in the world.

Because of this action, Now I can't make money and support my family.

Aside from your personal feelings, what are the odds I blame Visa, and what are the odds I blame Wikileaks? All of a sudden Visa doesn't work, MasterCard doesn't work, some sites can't be accessed, sometimes the net is slower than it should, etc.

Maybe I'm smoking crack, but from where I sit, the more hackers thrash out over WL, the more ticked millions of people are going to become at both Wikileaks and the hackers involved.

This is a very sad development. People of all opinions need to take an active hand in trying to settle this down as quickly as possible. This is no good for anybody. No good can come from this.

EDIT: If you want to support the idea of leaking to fix governments (and not the massive attack of government nodes through information overload), which I do, then WL needs a standard of conduct: what it will and will not publish. It needs a standard of acceptable behavior: what cyber protests are in line with it's mission and what protests are not.

Without these things, I can't support WL, they're going to lose track of their message and the larger media narrative, and they are going spectacularly shoot themselves and the rest of us in the foot. This is becoming dangerously nihilistic.

47 points by geuis 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Is it wrong to think of this at a very high level, where basically the internet as an system that relies on information to function properly has turned on its immune system?

I know this is a very meta idea, and its extremely easy to break this down to the component entities (Visa corporation, thousands of individuals, etc). But under the meta concept, wouldn't that be like individual t-cells talking to each other?

31 points by chailatte 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Finally something has pissed off enough geeks. I thought the government's lack of respect towards due-process, the systematic breakdown of basic freedom or the massive wealth transfer to the rich via dollar printing/bailout would've done it.

V for Vendetta.

13 points by netcan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What this whole wikileaks payment processing issue has made me aware of is how bottle-necked this whole area is.

A client of mine a couple of years ago selling personal protection equipment (smoke & hazmat masks, mostly). They were based out of Australia and selling globally. Apparently they breached some US advertising restriction with one of their products (disposable hygienic suit) by having the words bird flu in the description.

Simultaneously to contacting (apparently they tried to contact earlier during US work hours), they contacted paypal and had the account shut down entirely. The US was never a major market so they put a big red sign on the product page: "Not for Sale in the USA." Getting paypal back online took weeks. Whatever department shut them down was not concerned with reversing the damage and paypal seemed like they knew which side to stay on.

Basically, paypal (and apparently visa & mastercard) is the on/off switch that various players within the US government can use. It does not take a high level one off phone call. This is an issue.

18 points by pointillistic 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Considering that the Jesus was the original revolutionary and one of his major acts was throwing the money changers out of the Temple, I am stunned about the internalized commercialization of Christmas and the comments that put into question the current protest.

And I am saying this even though I hate DDos viscerally, my business was a victim of such an attack. But I have to say, as long as no one gets killed or injured this is a legitimate form of protest.

5 points by chailatte 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillence coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
8 points by joshfraser 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder how much money Visa and Mastercard have to lose before they regret their decision.

For the attackers, instead of positioning the DDOS attack as revenge, you should give them as an easy-out. Stop blocking wikileaks and we'll stop the DDOS. Since Visa/Mastercard are loosing millions of dollars for each hour they are down, it would turn the issue into a simple business decision and they could change their position without losing face.

11 points by nod 11 hours ago 5 replies      
Is this really an attempt to support free speech with a DDOS? Or is there some sort of meta/irony motivation here?
6 points by cosgroveb 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The attack on MC supposedly took down SecureCode affecting those payments... Seems like Visa's equivalent, Verified by Visa is still up:


4 points by jonknee 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Rumor has it the next target is Authorize.net (I assume not because anything they did but because that's how you actually take down the ability for Visa and MC to function). That would be quite dramatic to say the least.
7 points by goldenthunder 11 hours ago 2 replies      
A co-worker Engineer just went down to get frozen yogurt. They couldn't process his card. Apparently they route transactions through their domain DNS?

Suddenly corporate powers don't seem as strong. It's amazing how vulnerable something man made is.

8 points by 12341sa 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I find outrageous that compagnies like VISA or MASTERCARD take the right to forbid people to do what _THEY_ want with _THEIR OWN_ money.

Please continue the DDOS until they bankrupt.

4 points by hammock 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not surprising to me why the shutdown of Wikileaks donation channels, as opposed to TSA or any of the other civil liberties breaches, triggered such rage.

The answer is simple: People get fucking pissed when they can't spend their money where they want to.

And it holds throughout history.

2 points by morganpyne 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anybody have any details on the the technical side of these attacks and what happens when anon decides to fire all phasers at a target? My impression is of a loose group of individuals herding a diverse range of botnets and attacks which they bring to force on command from an agreed upon leadership (or a target consensus is reached)?

Are they using the latest bunch of 'best-practices' to take down a site? (e.g. slowloris, UDP flooding, DNS or TCP amplification, TCP SYN attacks, whatever is flavour of the month)

With all the fluff and the bluster being written about them I haven't seen a good technical analysis so I'd love to hear any info you might have.

7 points by binaryfinery 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Akamai's stock should be going up.
1 point by futuremint 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I pity the poor sys-admins whose pagers are interrupting their late-night hacking. Visa & MC probably don't care at all (they're swimming in plastic money!), its the front-line guys that are feeling this the most!
1 point by frisco 8 hours ago 0 replies      
CapitalOne account center is down for me; I was trying to log in to access a Visa card. Coincidence? I have no idea why they'd be synchronously connected, but odd timing.
1 point by araneae 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I should point out that Visa itself hasn't actually decided to stop payments to WikiLeak- only Visa Europe, its subsidiary. The people that run Visa.com are only responsible for selling Visa Europe the rights to use the name.
3 points by goldenthunder 11 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a weird subject because it is totally dual sided.

1) It promotes freedom of speech and taking action as a community to promote change.

2) It is completely illegal which goes against the laws and freedoms they are trying to promote.

Right Idea - Wrong Method

2 points by sukuriant 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There are so many active topics on the DDoS's happening today. I now wonder. What happens if Anonymous wins? If, under the pressure, Visa gives and succumbs to their wishes? What happens then?
1 point by llimllib 9 hours ago 0 replies      
They had all day to prepare for this and they failed?

edit: up for me, at least.

1 point by tocomment 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this actually hurt visa? Wouldn't visa.com just Be a showcase type website eg "hey here's what visa is, here are some ringtones you candownload"

I'd imagine all their transaction processing happens elsewhere.

1 point by FirstHopSystems 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like Paypal is down too. Well only the server that redirects you to the secure page.

Just use the full path "http://www.paypal.com or "https://www.paypal.com

We took down Chevron by spray painting over one of the signs at a gas Station. CHEVRON IS DOWN!!!!!

2 points by tkahnoski 11 hours ago 3 replies      
DDoS strikes me as a violent form of protest.

Has anyone started a non-violent protest (offline or digitally) for WikiLeaks?

EDIT: Rethinking my statement on DDoS as violent. I am still interested in knowing if there are other non-DDoS protests surrounding WikiLeaks.

1 point by sdizdar 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Both Visa and MasterCard are down. This just shows how fragile the internet is and how 'easy' is to shut down the entire economy and system.

The point is that coordinated attack by terrorists or plain old criminals can cripple the entire world's economy and there is no easy and effective way to prevent it.

We do need to think about how internet can be re-organized to be 100% distributed system to prevent this of happening again.

3 points by keiferski 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like they're redirecting it to USA.visa.com
0 points by InclinedPlane 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure it's the US government! Or... not.

Turns out that DDoS is a dime a dozen today, they don't necessarily mean anything.

1 point by balac 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You have to think that paypal is also being attacked, in that case I am pretty impressed that they are managing to stay up while mastercard and visa get sunk.
0 points by b1tr0t 10 hours ago 1 reply      
And I haven't even seen any comments on the possibility of this being a smear campaign to tarnish Wikileaks further in the media?

I'm just saying, if you wanted to completely discredit an organization what's the fastest way to go about doing so?

Step 1: Manufacture accusations against it's founder for which there is no defence, where the individual is guilty before a trial even begins. Oh, I don't know, how about accusing a man of a sex crime? (Especially a funny looking foreign one!)

Step 2: Manufacture scary "hackers" who do scary "hacker" things. Hide your children!

Step 3: Let CNN and Fox do what they're paid to do. Spin and spin and spin.

0 points by faragon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Better attack: reduce the credit card usage, and try to pay more with cash. Spread the word.
0 points by toephu 10 hours ago 1 reply      
its up now
11 Best Chrome Web Apps That You Should Try Out Now techsplurge.com
8 points by Deviatore 1 hour ago   1 comment top
4 points by user24 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't like the way Google are, basically, lying about what Chrome is. "You need Google Chrome to install apps". No you don't. Most of them work just fine in any other browser. And for the functionality that isn't present, what's better, writing a fallback for other browsers or locking other browsers out?
Objective-C Memory Management For Lazy People interfacelab.com
27 points by jawngee 4 hours ago   12 comments top 4
1 point by vasi 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think the article vastly overstates its case. Nobody disputes that it's possible to have more-or-less working memory management in ref-counted Objective-C. But it's clearly harder than in a GC language, else it wouldn't need seven pages worth of "simple rules" to explain.

Moreover, the author glosses over many of subtleties of reference-counting. For example, accessors in Java are dead-simple, practically boilerplate. But in Cocoa, what looks like a perfectly reasonable implementation to a newcomer is in fact buggy:

  - setFoo: (id)aFoo {
[foo release];
foo = [aFoo retain];

Look closely, and you'll realize that if foo and aFoo are in fact the same object, it will be freed, and foo will have an invalid pointer assigned to it. Pretty much every Cocoa programmer knows about this, but we shouldn't ahve to.

One of the better Cocoa blogs is written by Mike Ash, and he has quite a few posts that illustrate some of these issues. For example, the first half of http://www.mikeash.com/pyblog/friday-qa-2010-12-03-accessors... talks about whether or not accessors should autorelease their return values, with pros and cons for each option. Later on, the money quote: "If you're using garbage collection, this whole question becomes vastly simpler."

Our author here says that "Cyclic object graphs in Objective-C are not a problem. At all." But another post by Mike Ash illustrates that it can be harder to deal with: http://www.mikeash.com/pyblog/friday-qa-2010-04-30-dealing-w... . A great example:

  _myInstanceVar = [[SomeClass alloc] initWithBlock: ^{
[self doSomething];

Using 'self' within the block captures it in the closure as a reference, and then the closure itself is referred to by the instance variable of 'self'. This cycle is hard for the coder to notice, and will leak.

2 points by chime 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> @property (retain) NSString *title;

Why is he retaining NSString? Shouldn't that be (copy)?

1 point by blub 49 minutes ago 3 replies      
Well, before knowing about Obj-C memory management in detail I thought it was ok. Now that I know the rules it looks painful.

If someone were to write such an article about C, then it would have just one line: if you malloc, then you must free.

If someone were to write such an article about C++, it would be more involved: delete if you new, delete[] if you new[] and then they'd explain auto_ptr and shared_ptr. More complicated that C, but still reasonably easy and you can get automatic memory management.

On the other hand we have Objective-C, where you apparently need at least 11 paragraphs to explain the basics, only to find out that - yes - you still have to call malloc and free only with other names and slightly different behaviour?

1 point by statictype 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This article has some good points for people who are new to Objective-C, but (much like the comments you complained that people were downvoting) the snarkiness and condescension tends to distract from it.

Anyway, thanks for posting it.
FWIW, I'm one of the comments you linked to as being unhelpful.

My Y Combinator Interview Experience and my Startup Postmortem maxlynch.com
46 points by yesimahuman 6 hours ago   12 comments top 5
4 points by rgrieselhuber 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems like a shame to shut it down. I've never heard of your product until now but the site is beautiful and it sounds like a super-useful service.

If your NLP is that good and you could figure out how to sell it for more money, you could potentially take on companies like Meltwater News.

3 points by meterplech 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Wait, did they choose to shut down because they weren't accepted to YC? I haven't applied and can't exactly put myself in their place, but I feel like the most successful people would continue to try to grow their company anyway. Or is there a bigger story here I am missing?

Edit: grammar

2 points by il 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see a fellow UW-Madison alum on HN.

Do you think being based in Wisconsin hurt your chances of success?
I recently moved from Madison to San Francisco, and the difference in the startup scene is tremendous.

1 point by ktsoi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It does sound like an interesting service. I'm sure you'll apply your learnings from GoBuzz into your next venture.
0 points by sundars 3 hours ago 0 replies      
nice to see you pivot as fready. i do think that your idea and implementation has legs (http://sundarsubramanian.com/learning-from-a-y-combinator-in...)
JavaScript is the most popular language on GitHub github.com
54 points by Rauchg 7 hours ago   26 comments top 7
13 points by po 6 hours ago 1 reply      
As other people are saying, this has a lot to do with almost all projects relying somewhat on Javascript.

It also has a lot to do with there being very poor ways of managing dependencies in Javascript. For instance, in python there is pip/pypi and in ruby there are gems. Javascript doesn't yet have that. I don't check in all of my dependent libs into my repo. I do check in the Javascript libs though.

There is npm (http://npmjs.org/) but it requires node and for most people, they don't want to bother. They just manually change the name of the file or directory and check in a new version.

10 points by JeffJenkins 6 hours ago 6 replies      
Sure, but I bet it gets pulled in a lot where projects really aren't JS projects. For example, my python mongoDB library is "25% javascript" but it's all in the generated documentation: https://github.com/jeffjenkins/MongoAlchemy/graphs/languages
5 points by marcuswestin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I viewed http://github.com/languages a couple of hours ago, and ruby was still at #1. Very cool that js is now on top of the hill!

(for the disbelievers: it's really not that hard to fathom, especially considering the recent growth of legitimate JavaScript runtime environments)

Keep rocking the boat JS! We need it

2 points by futuremint 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I would like to point out that popularity has nothing to do with software quality. I've found the > popularity == < library quality.

See Ruby: as it got more popular in the past decade, your chances of any random gem working in a production setup has approached 0.

6 points by drgath 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, lots of hate. I guess I'll be the first to say... Nice work JavaScript. Congrats!
1 point by InnocentB 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A look at https://github.com/languages yields some interesting results. I see VimL there at #10. Is this all just people backing up their personal vim configs, or is there actually anything interesting happening in VimL (seems unlikely)?

Maybe a better question: is GitHub just tracking the number of repositories that contain that language to gauge its popularity? That doesn't seem like the best metric.

1 point by nikcub 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the most popular license is. My anecdotal evidence suggests that the beer licenses have become more popular than the GPL licenses, especially for web projects (MIT, BSD etc.)
Anonymous in The Economist economist.com
111 points by mcantelon 11 hours ago   50 comments top 7
38 points by electromagnetic 10 hours ago replies      
I like the symbolism that Anon has become. Simply put Anon is the anger and frustration of millions (acted on by the few hundred) and is having real effects.

If Anon is taking down Mastercard and Visa, then perhaps our governments will start obeying their own laws instead of trying to manipulate companies into compliance. Or at the very least, our companies might actually question whether obeying the government is in their best interests.

1 point by URSpider94 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
There was an article on New York Times online today as well. It's pretty funny to read how mainstream reporters try to explain Anonymous to their readers whose experience of the Internet begins and ends with email and Facebook. There was no mention of 4chan anywhere in the NYT article (probably for the best).
11 points by mcantelon 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Twitter just suspended @anon_operations. Expect involutary Twitter fast. ;)
4 points by alanh 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Not positive, but I think this is “only” a blog, and not part of the print distribution.
3 points by DanielRibeiro 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The corresponding twitter account has more info. Had actually. They got suspended, but google made us the favor of caching it: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_OP3u3L...
2 points by orblivion 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised. I thought they organize mostly on 4chan, and then go down to IRC channels spontaneously and temporarily, and keep their identities only temporarily. Am I to understand that there are actually people who have a persistent identity? Who are "in charge"?
3 points by JSig 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting magazine to be writing about Anonymous. I sometimes feel that the magazine itself is a LOIC for the global banking system. It's possibly one of many publications (nodes) that publishes (DDOS) anonymous writings that seem to usually endorse the position that the world needs more debt.
A Chrome extension to avoid the Stack Overflow ripoffs google.com
83 points by jlangenauer 10 hours ago   36 comments top 12
20 points by spicyj 8 hours ago 1 reply      
How can we prevent these sites from ranking well in the first place?
4 points by evandavid 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Often times, efreedom ranks higher than StackOverflow, and in some cases SO isn't even on the first page (for some reason the official source 'misses' with my search terms). In those cases, I open up the efreedom link and click through to SO. This seems to be happening more and more.

EDIT: I see that the extension actually redirects to SO. So in a way the presence of those sites when I wouldn't normally see SO results is a good thing. Nice.

9 points by geekfactor 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Sites like these are, in my opinion, the scourge of the internet. There is a lot of talk nowadays about curated search engines displacing machine-generated search engines but I tend to think this goes too far. A search engine that could reliably determine the authoritative source of duplicated content and only include that source would be killer. Seems within the realm of possible... Anyone working on that?
3 points by AndrewO 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It's sites like these that have made me wish I could downvote or mark-as-spam from the search results. Why can't I tell Google that I never want to see results from certain URLs ever again?
4 points by ams6110 7 hours ago 1 reply      
DuckDuckGo does filter some of these sorts of sites. Not sure about these in particular, but I did try searching for "NSFetchedResultsController" there and none of these sites were in the results.
3 points by w1ntermute 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Blacklist can be used to remove any arbitrary site: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/hbodbmhopadphblo...
3 points by duck 7 hours ago 0 replies      
4 points by mkane91301 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait, let me see if I understand this right. Stack Overflow doesn't use AdSense. Other sites scrape Stack Overflow and surround the ripped-off content with ads from AdSense. And you're wondering why Google ranks its customers' sites higher than its non-customers'?
4 points by gte910h 8 hours ago 0 replies      
THANK GOD. I was getting really pissed off while trying to meet a pretty hard deadline yet trying to lookup iOS esoterica.
1 point by thegyppo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I really can't get over how a blatantly spammy website (Adsense plastered over pages) just reorganizing SO content can have such a huge traffic velocity - check this alexa chart: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/efreedom.com
2 points by Semiapies 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Judging by the permissions, it redirects for a whopping three sites. Why not just not click on the links for those sites?
1 point by nhangen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to do this for any site you didn't want to see in the search results? Is it already possible with Google personalized?
Python 3.2 Eases Concurrent Development yahoo.com
7 points by nicola 1 hour ago   2 comments top
3 points by ggchappell 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm a bit confused. This article seems to indicate that Python is moving in the direction of better support for parallelism. Note the line about "in this age of multicore processors" at the end of the first paragraph.

And yet the GIL is still around. It seems to me that something's amiss here.

I looked in "What's New In Python 3.2" [1]. The "Multi-threading" section says the GIL has been improved, and refers to a message on the python-dev list [2] for details. That message says, in the second paragraph:

> There still is a Global Interpreter Lock ... so Python doesn't become really better at extracting computational parallelism out of several cores.

So does the author of this article not understand the difference between parallelism and concurrency (and the related performance issues for multi-core processors)? Or is there some wonderful tidbit of information that I'm missing?

[1] http://docs.python.org/dev/py3k/whatsnew/3.2.html

[2] http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2009-October/093...

A table that should exist in all projects with a database cherouvim.com
125 points by fogus 14 hours ago   47 comments top 14
1 point by jasonkester 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
There's no particular reason to keep a whole table for this, since all you really want to know is what version you're at.

We use a UDF called VersionNumber that returns an integer. When the continuous build processes a new database change script, that function gets modified to increment the value it returns. So you can always call VersionNumber() on any of our databases and know which version you're looking at. The builds actually use it to decide which scripts they need to run to get from where they are to where they need to be.

You already have all the commentary you need in source control and in the change scripts themselves. I don't see a reason to duplicate it in the database as well.

55 points by troels 13 hours ago 4 replies      
It's all true, but please take the lesson from rails and use timestamps rather than sequential id's.
14 points by rmc 12 hours ago 6 replies      
Some frameworks take care of this automatically. Mango has an excellent library called South that does exactly this. It keep tracks of migrations and it can automatically detect nearly all migrations. It's much easier than doing it all by hand.
8 points by tbrownaw 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Another approach I've seen used is to map the hash of your schema to an upgrade script (which would be an empty script for the latest version):

    while(true) {
string current_version = <sha1 of the dictionary table contents>
if (!upgrade_scripts.containsKey(current_version)) {
} else {
string script = upgrade_scripts[current_version]
if (script.empty())

2 points by moe 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd argue that "all projects with a [relational] database [and an ORM]" should rather move to modern tooling instead of writing migrations by hand.

Rails is surprisingly anachronistic here, which probably stems from that awful conceptual separation between model and schema.

Most other platforms have semi-automatic schema evolution that usually works very well (datamapper automigrate, django south, hibernate SchemaUpdate, etc.).

2 points by lsb 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't have enormous amounts of data, one thing I've found helpful on my own projects is to make a hot backup of the database every time the schema changes, as well as make hot backups daily, and then when you check out a version of code you pair it with the latest hot backup.

(This is far easier when using SQLite, which has its own tradeoffs.)

4 points by checoivan 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Another option is to have the schema creation/upgrade as scripts (either hand made or autogenerated ) , then check them into source control.

And resist the temptation of hacking the schema directly in your servers, it ends being a larger effort :)

1 point by fendale 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes yes yes. In my experience in Enterprise Dev teams it seems to be way too common that people just don't version control their DB schema, or use tools to produce schema diffs between dev and prod to product upgrade scripts, all driven by using GUI's to create their tables and then exporting the DDL using a tool (eg TOAD if you are doing Oracle work).

A few years back, I built an installer in Ruby to apply 'plsql modules' to an Oracle database. This was a massive project with > 100 developers at this point and probably heading toward 1M lines of code.

My migrations table worked on modules, so there were a set of migrations per application area, but it was really just an extension of this idea (and I borrowed the idea from Rails too)!

5 points by StavrosK 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh, django-south, how I love you.
1 point by terra_t 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Its generally true, but I've developed systems that go sideways and fork into multiple versions, so the data structures get more complicated.
1 point by BrandonM 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Why manually specify a key as a string instead of using an int auto_increment?
1 point by rezaman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Although the project is still pretty young, liquibase(http://www.liquibase.org/) is a solid opensource project for not only managing schema revisions, but inserting seed data as well as abstracting schema structure from DBMS.

Nathan also does a good job of applying submitted patches quickly.

3 points by smarterchild 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Migrator.NET uses a similar setup for .NET programmers.
1 point by stepancheg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Just use http://bitbucket.org/stepancheg/mysql-diff/ to compare schemas.
Swarmsourcing: Radar Detection kickstarter.com
42 points by T_S_ 8 hours ago   33 comments top 12
5 points by mikeknoop 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a thought. There are already services that attempt to do this, with the exception that they do not automate the reporting: http://www.trapster.com/

Radar detectors are very finicky, and my understanding is that it is difficult to build a reliable one.

Now, my experience is with a specific model (and I think a very very popular one, the Passport 9500), it has an RJ45 connection which plugs into the unit and then the other end plugs into your car cigarette lighter for power. The end which plugs into your car cigarette lighter has a dongle and LED which flashes when radar has been detected (along with a mute button). There is two-way state information transmitted over the line in addition to power.

It would be awesome to build a "man in the middle" device to intercept and interpret the signals from popular device models, then send it's own signal to the iPhone/Android/WP7 phone to share the information.

This has the large benefit of being extremely cheaper to manufacture. Additionally, you're leaving the challenge of building the actual Radar Detection to well established companies who know what they are doing.

Additionally the service could look for patterns in the data. False positives are a huge problem with detectors. When every car is reporting radar 24/7 at this one location, you know it's most likely a false positive. Newer Passport models have this logic built in with GPS.

2 points by tlrobinson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There are several radar/laser networks already.

* Trapster is the most popular one with manual reporting.

* RadarActive hooks up to an actual detector (Valentine One, considered by many to be the best) to automatically report radar/laser detections.

* Some of the high end Passport detectors and possibly others have GPS and trap databases, but not in real time AFAIK. You have to hook it up to a computer to update the database, so it's only useful for fixed traps like red light / speed cameras.

I hope the networks don't get too fragmented, because the real power lies in the network effects. You need a critical mass of users/detectors reporting for it to be useful.

5 points by xxpor 7 hours ago 5 replies      
This idea has been done before, see http://radaractive.com/

It attaches to the Valentine 1 RD, which is already known as one of the best out there. I hope this guy doesn't underestimate the engineering that goes into a quality radar detector these days. Belscort, Valentine, and Whistler spend millions of dollars and have decades of experience in the engineering. The ability to detect quick trigger, but also having the necessary DSP to filter out false signals being so important, I don't know if this will be a viable product anytime soon.

Edit: It appears he's using a Cobra radar detector. They are a complete joke. This is a non starter if that's what he's going with.

If you have an interest in radar detectors in general, I suggest you check out http://radardetector.net. Read some of the comments on there about Cobras.

4 points by iter 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for all the great feedback! I am Ari Krupnik, the guy in the KickStarter video.

My idea is to make and sell devices, and make the software free--as in freedom and as in beer. The business model is that stuff that costs money to make (hardware) costs money to buy. Stuff that users collect (data) I distribute for free. I want to make sure that data that individual users collect is available to users--for any use that they want for it. There are several closed systems on the market. These companies get people to collect data for them--and then lock it up. They create an artificial scarcity of data and try to make money from that scarcity.

I say--let the data flow.


2 points by hartror 5 hours ago 1 reply      
There is some moral ambiguity here, SHOULD this sort of thing be done?

Can one in good conscience build and maintain a service that at it's core is about circumventing laws designed to save lives?

I am not condemning this and there are a lot of arguments you can make justifying it. But in all I would not choose to be involved it its production, just as I wouldn't work for a weapons manufacturer but I don't condemn my friends that do. (I can't say I don't get a little jealous when they talk about the drones they work on).

1 point by natch 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have met this guy several times and can say a few things about him: he is the real deal; he is very good, technically savvy, has been working hard and is developing strong expertise in connecting hardware devices to mobile devices, beginning with iPhone. He has a very good reputation at the Hacker Dojo. I'm betting you are going to hear a lot more about his stuff in the future.
2 points by hartror 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat, though you will want to be careful not to fall foul of the law but they're pretty liberal in the US right now.


1 point by earle 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The bigger problem with this strategy is that almost everyone is moving to Laser based detection systems. Detecting at this point simply becomes a notification post-mortem.

Additionally as mentioned in previous comments, a solid radar based detector (X, K, Ka, and Lidar) is very difficult to make a good one. Valentine1 being one of the best available on the market.

For the laser problem, definitely look at laser interceptor USA. These guys showed up to Radar Roy's competition with a winnebago they couldnt get a reading on.

5 points by dustball 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I know this hacker. He works out of Hacker Dojo in Mountain View (across street from ycombinator). This guy is for real.
1 point by tocomment 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's a really simple idea.

Make radar detectors emit radar when a trap is confirmed.

Use case: Radar detector alerts you to what it thinks is a trap. If it is a trap, you hit a button and it will emit radar for 5 or 10 seconds to warns approaching motorists? The bonus is all existing radar detectors can pick up the signal.

1 point by ck2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Please do not get distracted by your iphone while driving.

Also, what prevents people from purposely sending fake signals?

2 points by Estragon 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Might want to add a bit of a delay before announcing that you've just detected radar. Otherwise, police following site site will know who's reporting them...
250 Free Online Courses from Top Universities openculture.com
68 points by jamesbritt 11 hours ago   1 comment top
5 points by stretchwithme 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome. I plan on listening to some of the more interesting in the car.

Sadly, I see 3 courses on Marxian economics and zero on Austrian economics. Here's one I found on mises.org


Announcing Verve " A Type-Safe OS From Microsoft Singularity Project infoq.com
7 points by yarapavan 2 hours ago   1 comment top
2 points by yarapavan 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting to see that they use Typed Assembly Language (TAL) and Hoare Logic to achieve automation, static verification and type safety thro' C#[which compiles to Assembly language].

Direct Links:

* Research Paper: Safe to the Last Instruction: Automated Verification of a Type-Safe Operating System (http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/122884/pldi117-yang.pdf)

* CodePlex Link: http://singularity.codeplex.com/SourceControl/changeset/chan...

Mozilla's David Mandelin on Crankshaft mozilla.com
34 points by mbrubeck 7 hours ago   6 comments top 2
10 points by InclinedPlane 5 hours ago 2 replies      
You gotta love competition between competent and confident engineers. Instead of criticizing and denigrating the competition's accomplishments Mandelin congratulates and analyzes the V8 team's successes.
3 points by thristian 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm really looking forward to see what Crankshaft does on Mozilla's Kraken benchmark:


Supposedly, Kraken has more long-running, sophisticated algorithms (like 'gaussian blur') that are kinder to TraceMonkey's tracing JIT than V8's traditional JIT; if V8 now has a tracing JIT (or something that works much along the same principles, it could be that Kraken becomes a two-horse race.

MasterCard under DDOS, can't process SecureCode online payments securetrading.com
193 points by gasull 18 hours ago   177 comments top 15
25 points by danilocampos 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Disclaimer: I just finished Accelerando a few days ago (late to the party). I'm hopped up on futurist vision.

First, let's stipulate that 4chan's Anonymous raids are mostly juvenile and often ineffective at doing anything meaningful to their targets.

At the same time: The ability of a community to completely self-organize, without central direction, and instantly execute a publicly-visible plan like this is without precedent in human history.

It stands to reason that as time goes on, larger groups of people will become involved in communities that exhibit 4chan-like cohesion. A larger pool means a higher likelihood of these groups including people with the knowledge and ability to do ever-increasing damage.

The long-term implications are interesting. Into the future, are we talking about the instant formation and dissolution of "terrorist" or "dissident" groups, bound together by transient common interest and gone again within days or hours?
If you're a government or corporation, this is terrifying. You can keep tabs on other governments, and even traditional terrorist cells, which each move at the speed of the usual group dynamics, proportional to their size.

But what the hell do you do about groups you can't predict that are gone before you even figure out what's wrong? Groups that aren't bound together by national identity or other easily quantified affiliations " just ideas, ideals and transient events?

There's something meaningful here that points to how we all get along in the future, in the same vein as the "post-secrecy world" presaged by Wikileaks-style activism enabled by network technologies.

Or maybe I just need a nap.

42 points by tobtoh 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Cyber warfare has always been a staple of sci-fi fiction, but generally between nation states. I can't help but wonder if the reality is that this 'warfare' won't be so much between nation states, but between governments and the public and we're witnessing the start of this with a secretive and paranoid government(s) on one side and a distrusting and increasingly activist 'public' on the other. Corporations are stuck in the middle looking at their bottom line, but pressured from both sides.
14 points by adriand 17 hours ago 1 reply      
It's sort of interesting - maybe even ironic, although I don't know if that adjective is quite applicable - that when a news story comes out that says that a major website is down due to DDOS, the first thing I do - and probably what many others do - is try to go to that website to see if it's still down. That, of course, must make the situation so much worse.
13 points by marknutter 18 hours ago replies      
I think this is setting a very dangerous precedent. Yes, it was lame what Mastercard did to Wikileaks, but it wasn't technically illegal. What Anon is doing to Mastercard, however, is completely illegal and damaging, not only to MC but to its customers too (who are innocent bystanders in this case).
17 points by eli 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm really not a fan of Internet mob justice. I don't see how this attack helps Wikileaks in any way. It's only going to make it harder to find anyone willing to do business with them.
16 points by chrisbolt 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Only SecureCode is affected (the MC equivalent of Verified by Visa), not all MasterCard online payments.
4 points by faragon 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Better attack: reduce the credit card usage, and try to pay more with cash. As both MasterCard and Visa (the ones against Wikileaks) take the gross of its revenue from retail and pay by credit, that could really hurt them... but without doing anything illegal. It's just business: you fuck Wikileaks, I reduce your profit, dear [put your favourite megacorp name here].

Boycott list:

    * Amazon (Amazon stops hosting WikiLeaks website [Reuters, 20101202])
* Tableau Software (Another Falls: Tableau Software Drops Wikileaks Data Visualizations [20101202])
* Everydns.net (WikiLeaks fights to stay online after US company withdraws domain name [guardian.co.uk, 20101203])
* Paypal (WikiLeaks loses PayPal revenue service [cnn.com, 20101205])
* PostFinance (Swiss bank freezes WikiLeaks founder's legal defense fund [rawstory.com, 20101206])
* MasterCard (MasterCard pulls plug on WikiLeaks payments [cnet.com, 20101206]
* Visa (WikiLeaks loses PayPal revenue service [ibnlive.in.com, 20101207])
* Twitter??? (it was or it wasn't censorship?)

10 points by m_eiman 17 hours ago 2 replies      
A better way to show Mastercard that you don't like what they're doing would be to cancel your Mastercard and/or stop accepting MC payments.
5 points by Andrew_Quentin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If Private companies, all in concert, deny a party the ability to publish for whatever reason, is that different from government censorship?

I think not. It is of course if it is only one private company, because the individual has a choice, but if all private companies deny it, then the individual has no choice, thus it is no different than the government itself having denied it.

This that we are seeing, I believe, is the connection between corporations and government in action, the business-government complex if you like. Private companies should not have the right to discriminate based on other's beliefs or opinions.

5 points by andrewingram 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm fairly naive about the specifics of a DDOS, but it's such an obvious vector of attack that I'm surprised it's a major vulnerability.

Could anyone explain what it would take to minimise vulnerability to such attacks? I would have expected the standard load on SecureCode to be pretty high anyway, so I'm surprised that an attack brought it down. I welcome anyone to fix my reasoning :)

1 point by ars 12 hours ago 0 replies      
So basically if you help wikileaks you'll be DDOSd by the (presumably) government. If you cut them off you'll be DDOSd by other parties.

The only solution is to have nothing to do with them. Not exactly an optimum solution - I'd much rather be cut off and constantly find new hosts than have people afraid to have anything at all to do with me.

These attacks are not helping wikileaks.

2 points by user24 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll be interested to see if Mastercard's stock takes a dive as a result of this. Not that I don't expect it to recover quickly of course. But it does make me wonder who first suggested 'operation payback', and what exactly their motives were...
1 point by tshtf 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the perpetrators of this attack realize an attack against e-commerce may attract the attention of federal authorities more than one against a quasi-religious group.
1 point by motters 11 hours ago 0 replies      
As an organisation Wikileaks should distance themselves as far from this sort of activity as possible. If they condone it, or even merely appear to condone it, then their fate is most certainly sealed.
0 points by marknutter 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The really sad part about this is the people who are probably getting most hurt by this are the web developers who maintain mastercard.com; probably a few fellow HNers. I'd hate to be in their shoes right now.
New AWS SDKs for Mobile Development (Android and iOS) aws.typepad.com
26 points by jeffbarr 6 hours ago   1 comment top
3 points by metachris 4 hours ago 0 replies      
These are two great SDK's and I'm looking forward to using them in future projects. Also kudos to Amazon for tackling the problem with AWS credential storage in apps for mobile devices.

It should be noted that this SDK is only for testing and not for deployment, since the two proposed solutions for secure credential management (IAM and session tokens) are not yet released ("Credential Management in Mobile Applications": http://aws.amazon.com/articles/SDKs/Android/4611615499399490)

"Embedding credentials in source code is problematic for software, including mobile applications, because malicious users can de-compile the software or view the source code to retrieve the Secret Access Key."

Say Something Nice About Every Language You've Used darevay.com
18 points by swannodette 4 hours ago   21 comments top 21
1 point by praptak 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Programming language of aunt's calculator: turned a calculator (boring) into something you can program (cool!). Editing was tedious, so it made me figure it out on paper first (good thing!).

ZX Spectrum Basic - at your fingertips mere fractions of a second after powerup. Can your Eclipse do that?

Z80 assembly language - so fast and so powerful. Magic knowledge for gaining infinite lives in games.

Pascal - structured programming and type safety for the win.

C - nothing in your way, the only limit is yourself ;)

C++ - it has classes!

OCaml - the pinnacle of type safety without typing the types (excuse the pun). And its fast.

Java - Has libraries for everything.

Delphi - I think it's still the fastest way for putting together a decent looking windows GUI app.

Python - I couldn't put it better than: http://xkcd.com/353/

Clojure - its constructs for concurrent programming are life changing. And it's a Lisp. With extra readability for the parentheses-challenged. With a very well thought out standard lib.

2 points by edanm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
English - The language I know best, at least in terms of reading/writing. A wonderfully expressive language.

Hebrew - My "mother tongue". Much smaller than English, but it's the language I use every day (in the real world, I mean.)

Spanish - A language I'm learning (pretty good at already). Very lyrical, very fun to speak. Exists in many countries, which certainly helps when travelling the world. Also, having a written language system which is phonetic, i.e. corresponds exactly to how you're speaking, is so much better.

Russian - A language I'm starting to learn. Very difficult. Honestly, it doesn't sound as good as some other languages, but it is very fun to actually speak. Lots of unique sounds that you don't find in other languages, and they're really fun to make.

French - I barely know the language but I've learned a bit, and I'm planning to learn more. Very difficult, but it is a beautiful sounding language.

3 points by geuis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
English: helps me get around, lots of cool curse words.

Japanese: was able to ask for the restroom in Tokyo, and got some cute girls giggling at me

BASIC: got me started in programming

Visual Basic: Let me make some fun desktop apps, like my Special Ed sound board with prank call capabilities. Also taught me I really needed to get back to using Macs.

Real Basic: Let me make some apps on the Mac like I did with Visual Basic. Then made me realize I didn't like using environments like VB and RB anywhere.

html: Got me started in web development.

javascript: Taught me that frameworks are freaking awesome and to love prototypal OO languages.

php: Sorry, I used it for years and it just taught me to orient towards frontend work. Hell, I can't even get a cute girl to giggle with php, so what's the use?

python: Dear Python, I just wanted to let you know how much I love you. You are such a great language. So simple and straightforward, so easy to understand and to get along with. Its like we were made for each other. I get along with you so much better than my old partner, php.

1 point by wazoox 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
French - mother tongue, nuff' said.

English - probably the language I'm reading the most...

Spanish - nice language, I should practice it a bit more. I've put spanish books in my e-reader.

Italian - almost too easy. I probably should learn the grammar, though.

German - I know very little of it, but I manage to read some bits. Funny language.

Latin - nothing beats latin. Particularly Caesar and Horatio.

Greek - I should probably work it a bit, particularly the grammar. I like reading Greek theater aloud (with a terrible accent of course).

BASIC - first programming language I've learnt. I know I've been burnt forever somehow :)

Z80 assembler - Rodney Zacks' book is so great. I liked this language, though primitive is was.

Turbo Pascal - a nightmare, I hated it. It's what I was taught in college, and I hated the homework, but the language actually is quite nice.

C - I never used it enough to be comfortable with it. Someday...

Perl - learnt it almost by accident. Love it. Nothing beats the Swiss army chainsaw.

Visual Basic - used it for 5 months in some troubled circumstances. Wasn't as bad as it could have been.

PHP - I too, did the mistake to start a quick and dirty hack that ended into some 20000 LOC monster. The horror.

HTML, Javascript - know my way through it, but never managed to like it. Unavoidable nowadays, anyway.

1 point by earl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
C++: this got me into computers

Mumps: didn't ruin my life, just a year of it

VB6: wow you could get a lot of pretty productive stuff done quickly

Matlab: This is how math on a computer should be written.

R: Convinced me there is nothing better than a long lived environment with repl which preserves state. In fact, this is how all code should be written. Also demonstrates open source and provide the best software at least in technical niches.

Java: convinced me garbage collection is good and made me a much better typist.

Ruby: wow you can get a lot of work done quickly -- at least in dev time.

Scala: this is what java should be

5 points by schleyfox 3 hours ago 0 replies      
BASIC - Got me started, taught me how to think like a programmer

C++ - Fun in a perverse sort of way, especially when using templates

C - Fast, simple, elegant, perfect

Java - Great keyboarding practice. I touch type because of it

PHP - I don't have to use it anymore

Smalltalk - Huh, so this is basically Inception?

Lisp - Promoted good beard growth.

Erlang - I now have an idea of how to go about building a telecom company

Perl - Because brainfuck was too legible

Python - Show me on the doll where TIMTOWTDI touched you

Ruby - How do you feel about writing psuedocode and then executing it (albeit very slowly)

Assembly - Helped me get into character for an 80s night party

2 points by Dylanlacey 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In Order:
QBasic: Easy to get started and allowed me to write text games for myself

ZZTOOP: You gave the gamers a language to write their own levels. Freaking Schweet.

VB 4: Having controls is kinda nice!

Delphi: I don't remember much. I think I liked... That I was better then anyone else in my highschool class.

Java: Lots of libraries and lots of people in the ecosystem. Plus, I got good at typing.

Motorola Assembler: Hackity Hack! Whoo, LEDS! Made me appreciate higher level constructs, and also gave me a greater understanding of CPUs and how I am really standing on the shoulders of giants.

C: Very powerful access to the OS.

Haskell: Functional Programming hurt my brain but gave me an appreciation for the elegant.

Prolog: I just love the "Define Solution: Get Implementation" nature of Prolog.

Groovy: Having live scripting makes it much easier to do work with JMeter, which is otherwise annoying difficult.

Ruby: Makes things easy, unverbose.

C#: Lots of libraries, more cool language features in every version, the best IDE I've ever used. Not as verbose as Java but just as accepted.

Scala: Woah. SO much fun. I'm really liking how enjoyable and simple it makes solving problems. My new favourite toy.

1 point by kajecounterhack 1 hour ago 0 replies      
PHP. My first language was a web language, not basic or anything like normal people. It just came naturally to me while learning html/css in 6th-7th grade, when I realized I could make online games. It's really fun for people who don't know programming.

Javascript. I can send stuff without refreshing my page using AJAX? Sweet deal.

Java. They teach it in schools, so what the heck. I learned recursion and objects with it!

Ruby. Is. Love. MVC, scaffolding, etc etc was introduced to me through rails. omg why does PHP look ugly all of a sudden?

Perl. I backtracked to learn about CGI. Helped that its syntax had similarities to PHP. Useful tool language for processing stuff especially text.

C++. Whoa I can get programs to run that fast?! Whoa I understand pointers, omp & tbb, and cool low-level stuff!

MIPS. Well, it was useful for learning pipelining.

Python. Useful/sweet language that everyone seems to be all over at least on campuses, but I discovered Ruby first so python was kind of "what's the big deal I can do this in ruby" for me.

Clojure. My first lisp! So weird. Cool? You're supposed to be good at parallel stuff, I can't wait to learn more about you.

2 points by anigbrowl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Basic: I love the 80s

Pascal: Wait, I can create my own types? HOT DAMN

Python: Incredible, no matter how untidy it is it still works

JavaScript: Ditto but faster

Visual Basic: admit it, that was an awesome IDE, especially for 1993

Excel Macro Language: before VB, Excel had macros in cells and you could do weird things with them. I wrote a really nice tax avoidance system in it for a bank once.

C: I don't know why I waited so long to take it up./n Unfriendly string handling offset by beauty of economy./n/n

x86 assembler: My, you're versatile.

56k assembler: Computers are so much more fun when you don't need an operating system

This thread: quite educational actually. I should go back and look at Lua.

1 point by sukuriant 2 hours ago 0 replies      
(started out chronological, then became stream of consciousness)

QBasic. Got me started, simple and easy to learn.

Java. While verbose, your libraries are second to none. You taught me event driven programming and were the vessel for many of my future endeavors

C. Fast, clean, powerful. I enjoy working with you when I can.

C#. A clone of Java! Your libraries are a bit different from Java, but when I got to know you, I found out you're not so bad after all :)

MIPS. There's something empowering about thinking at as low a level as you

Lisp(CLisp,emacslisp). Elegant, clean, brief. You have great power. Some day I need to dust off my parenthesis and try self-modifying code in you.

netlogo. Erm ... well, it was really easy to create complex systems using you!

Prolog. You are the most unique language I've ever worked with, period.

verilog. It was neat working ~that~ low a level!
python. Working with you is like sex. Everything I want to do with you happens so intuitively, I love it.

Google's Go. Your type system is beautiful. I hope to work
with you more in the future.

HTML. you're intuitive and straightforward.

4 points by Elrac 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Lua: Amazing how much you can accomplish in a tiny language that has just one data structure.

Perl: Proof that line noise can be executed.

PHP: A simple language for simple people.

FORTRAN: Accounts of its death are exaggerated.

COBOL: Still the world's biggest code base.

Erlang: When 5 9's just isn't enough.

Haskell: It will make you look leet.

J: Brevity is the soul of wit.

Forth: RPN great is.

6 points by ThePinion 3 hours ago 0 replies      
PHP - Everyone seems to hate you, but you've managed to help me get every job done. You may be a pain in the ass at times, but I love you and I'm sticking by your side.
1 point by rednum 1 hour ago 0 replies      
visual basic - got me to start programming

c++ - umm, made me learn gdb, code formatting and good editor

c - best thing for low level stuff

pascal - easy, painless

ocaml - rewired my brain for thinking functional

common lisp - rewired my brain once again, fun to write

java - this is what c++ should be

python - fun! gets things done

ruby - blocks are fun

bash - cant imagine linux without it

1 point by Aaronontheweb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
C++: taught me life lessons the hard way, but made me a better programmer for it.

C#: Does everything and gets better with age.

Java: Let's face it - making a version of "Snake" using Swing was a hell of a lot easier than doing it with the console.

VB: Thanks for paying for my first car and at least one internship in college

PHP: The best one night stand I ever had.

MIPS Assembly: I never appreciated loops until I had to rebuild one using you.

ML: Thanks for failing out at least two of my classmates during Programming Languages - I didn't like them anyway.

LISP: Just keep adding parentheses...

Perl: I never really understood you, but you gave me my first test of web dev.

1 point by nickik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
php: ah now I really know that html isn't programming
VB: look when I click submit the stuff from the form prints
C: Pointer are awesome spezially when you know how they work and the other people in the class dont :)
C#: Array list rock if your used to C arrays
Dylan: OO done write
Clojure: Wow. FP is much better then OO. Wow. Lisp is as cool as I thought it is. Wow. Concurency made easy :)
1 point by gsivil 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Flirting with languages

BASIC: in an Amstrad CPC6128 for providing lottery pseudo-random numbers for my grandfather. I liked the GOTO. Learning what is a manual

Logo(?): make a square. the word turtle

Pascal: for teaching me that there is a thing called data structure, my first language in college

C: for discovering the archetypal textbook in KR

HTML: simple reminded me of the Basic days

Java: making a window with an active button is not rocket science. What is a class

Matlab: my PhD favorite tool. I was obsessed with its figures

TeX: for giving awesome output. HTML,BASIC experience. addictive

Python: for being my new Matlab the community

Lisp: thanks for surviving, I will stick to you

1 point by gammarator 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Basic: easy enough for me to write silly scripts on the old Apple at the back of the classroom

Pascal: you kept me from falling in love with programming before I declared Physics

Mathematica: your ability to solve symbolic equations is astounding

IDL: you made it easy for me to produce ugly graphics and served as my union card with astronomers

Perl: you helped me get to python so much faster

C: getting good at you encouraged me to learn more about development best practices. basic debugging and version control make me a coding mastermind relative to my peers.

S-Lang: you convinced me of the horrible dangers of Not Invented Here

C++: you've kindly stayed out of code I've needed to do serious work with

Python: you've got so many packages, half of my work is already done. Plus you painlessly taught me some OOP!

5 points by gsivil 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A great conversation starter. Something that I wanted to read about for sometime in HN. Hopefully more HNers will drop a word or more here
2 points by cosgroveb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
COBOL... You paid the bills for awhile.
1 point by madewulf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There is a site for that: http://mytechne.com/

You will also be able to say something nice about your Operating Systems and Text Editors.

2 points by Mithrandir 2 hours ago 0 replies      
HTML: <font size="8">Best markup language <b>ever</b>.</font>
       cached 9 December 2010 09:59:01 GMT