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Skype's Crazy Regex Easter Egg nyaruka.com
90 points by nicpottier 3 hours ago   19 comments top 9
9 points by gmac 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I was sceptical about this, but it works.

I also noticed recently that, in a somewhat shell-like way, you can press the up arrow to edit your previous message at will (but perhaps this is common knowledge).

6 points by tmachinecharmer 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Valentines day special

guy> I love you darling!

girl> GO 2 HELL!!

guy> s/love/hate

guy> s/darling/bitch

6 points by EGreg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So how do I write the literal version now? I still want it for humorous effect.
1 point by kilian 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Doesn't work in the linux version :( Skype, can we have an update with new functionality? (the interface is fine!)
4 points by lemonad 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That feature has been around since 2008, iirc.
1 point by kayoone 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
1 point by s0urceror 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I've always wanted to implement this in my IRC client, but been too lazy, it's nice to see it implemented in some form of chat client, although it's a bit lacking. Is the change visible for all participants?
1 point by sygma 2 hours ago 1 reply      
You can also right click on a reply and click "edit message" [1] " tested on Skype for OS X.

[1]: http://cl.ly/4Z1R

1 point by stuaxo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool so whats the regex to erase all the previous comments?
Programming languages are being deleted from Wikipedia reddit.com
270 points by budu 8 hours ago   170 comments top 29
92 points by jacques_chester 7 hours ago replies      
Here's the main offender:


One of his arguments is that these languages are often only mentioned in conference proceedings.

How you get to be a PhD student in computer science without realising that conference proceedings are the leading distribution mechanism for knowledge in the CS research world is a mystery.

I may only be a humble honours student, but the central importance of conferences over journals has been drummed into me over and over by my professors.

34 points by Udo 6 hours ago 3 replies      
The implication of deletionism as a philosophy is that readers cannot be trusted to make up their own minds about the merits of an article even if it contains positive and negative feedback markers.

The whole deletionism fiasco at Wikipedia is ultimately a software and UI failure. Misguided people who in most cases could never write a good article (or even improve an existing one) themselves are running amok because the system is re-enforcing the belief that their only talent, destroying information, is also a valid form of contribution. It is no statistical accident that rampant wiki deletionism is even more intense in ..."strict" countries such as Germany.

At the same time it is important to note that a lot of articles have serious shortcomings and are in need of improvement. While deleting them is in my opinion unforgivable as long as they contain useful information, I believe Wikipedia could profit from a more modern approach to article rating and validation. If substandard articles were allowed to continue existing albeit with low ratings and missing validation tags, Wikipedia as a process could focus more on improvement as opposed to gleeful pruning. If they concentrated on more constructive measures and included better ways of gathering user feedback for quality control, they could also provide former deletionist users with a UI option that simply prevents them from ever having to see an article that is below a certain quality threshold. Everybody would win.

As it stands today, Wikipedia increasingly fails at its stated mission of being a repository for the world's knowledge. Sadly, I don't believe it is possible to change Wikipedia in any way, ever. Someday, someone will have to come along and fork it.

17 points by jedsmith 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't remember who said it, but I read something recently which I thought was amusing and not serious (paraphrasing):

> All that donation money, and they still can't afford enough hard drive space to avoid deletionism.

The guy allegedly doing the flagging has responded on his user page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Christopher_Monsanto

Edit: The quoted comment was in jest, and too many missed this, so I'll reinforce that by adding 'and not serious'.

13 points by tibbon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
In reading about this I came across a few things that I honestly wasn't aware of for Wikipedia, which made me feel these deletionists are even more silly than I prior thought



The Notability guidelines often both me really, as they are a somewhat silly set of 'rules' in many ways and not everything fits into a nice and tidy system. For example, Christopher M seems to feel that his understanding of the requirements if that all languages must be cited in well published and cited academic papers and there is no other way around it. That's just silly. There could be new and growing languages that are of importance, or older ones that were important at the time, but that there weren't papers for and aren't being actively used. Do they each have a purpose and for the people who is researching things via the Wikipedia important? Yes. They are.

I feel that there is more to be lost by most deletionist activity than there is to be gained. The risk evaluation here almost always (except in cases of spam and self edits, which are frequent) should lean on the side of having more information available, not less.

15 points by gojomo 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a reference knowledge-base to complement Wikipedia that will loosen the 'notability' requirement in favor of 'true and useful'. Otherwise, it will share the same licensing and a wiki-centric edit model.

The project codename is 'Infinithree' ('∞³'), and I'm discussing it pre-launch at http://infinithree.org and (Twitter/Identica) @infinithree.

33 points by seancron 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The thing that makes Wikipedia useful in my opinion is not the notable topics I can lookup somewhere else. It's these long tail articles about esoteric programming languages and non-mainstream topics.
29 points by protomyth 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I tend to contribute money to certain projects. I won't give to Wikipedia because they treat conference proceedings with less respect than an episode of Gossip Girls.
7 points by jeswin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Nemerle has 209,000 results on Google, and the first few pages are stacked with relevant, well-written articles. How is this not notable?

I played with this language a few years back and thought it had great promise(when C# was much less capable). I have read the exact Wikipedia page you deleted, and it got me to write some code in Nemerle.

* Btw, this might get some publicity for Nemerle (and the other languages).

8 points by Jun8 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahh, time for another Wikipedia deletionist pie fight! On the one side, elitist editors who are so saddened by even a single unnecessary HD spin that they want to clean clutter. On the other side, fans of (supposedly) esoteric knowledge.

The narrator of Foucault's Pendulum, when he decides to be freelance researcher, says that his main principle will be that all information is equal, nothing is more precious than the other.

31 points by awj 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure what the solution is, but something seriously needs to be done about the requirements Wikipedia has in place. Especially when applied to open source software, the notability requirement, combined with the definition of reliable sources, make invalid assumptions about the common media for discourse.
6 points by nerfhammer 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The solution to this problem that mollifies wikipedia admin culture is to make these pages into sub-pages of huge articles. E.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_in_The_Simpsons .

This is a lot less useful way of doing things but it flies almost completely outside the deletionist radar. There is little cultural dance pertaining to the the concept of notability for mentioning something in a list, and no bureaucratic pseudo-procedure for a deletionist to wield against such practice.

7 points by tokenadult 7 hours ago 2 replies      
All anyone needs to do about this is find reliable sources to improve the articles that are being nominated for deletion. Really. If some wikipedian who knows about published, reliable sources about each of the languages simply adds some source citations to the articles, all will be well.
3 points by grav1tas 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If the problem is pollution of the main lists of programming language articles by entries that Mr. Monsanto considers to be inappropriate for listing...wouldn't an appropriate compromise be removing them from these programming languages lists? This seems like a shortcoming in Wikipedia's policies? This way the data is preserved, but not related to the main search spaces. If you look a language up on Google, it will still be there because it will be indexed.

Otherwise, Mr. Monsanto has every right to push his agenda on Wikipedia insofar as it is within the bounds of legal play on the site. Attacking his character gets nobody anywhere, and probably adds credence to whatever he's doing. If you're really concerned about deletions of your favorite PL articles, sit on them. If a request for removal/deletion (I don't know the wiki-jargon) pops up, just dump all over it. Even better, improve the articles. He can't get something deleted that's not mediocre. Agents like Mr. Monsanto will actually improve the quality of your average article one way or the other. I'm impressed that somebody would bother reading so many articles and post meta-data about them....especially on a topic that so few people engage in.

It's curious that pages that don't meet Mr. Monsanto's criterion of having been cited in a 'top-tier' publication. There are so many articles on Wikipedia that do not have ties to anything real. Is it really fair to hold PL topics to academic-level standards? What if somebody considers PL an art, or something other than semantics and formalisms? This does happen, and people who create new languages from languages that aren't considered much in the PL community might actually fall into these categories.

I think Mr. Monsanto would do well to spell out his criteria for what isn't desirable in precise and formal terms.

5 points by w1ntermute 7 hours ago 2 replies      
It's about time someone created a anti-deletionist (inclusionist?) Wikipedia overlay that keeps copies of pages that have been deleted. Perhaps some kind of framing, while ugly, could be used to keep server load to a minimum while allowing people to access all of Wikipedia through that overlay site.
2 points by burgerbrain 4 hours ago 0 replies      
While reading Nemerle's deletion discussion page, I can't help but notice what seems to me to be some degree of racism on the part of the deletion advocates, particularly Christopher Monsanto. Where the many sources in English, instead of Polish and Russian, I can't help but think that perhaps they would not have been dismissed out of hand. RSDN.ru being dismissed as a "mere tutorial"? Ugh! Read it yourself and make up your own mind though.


3 points by tty 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I find it funny that the guy hasn't made a single contribution to Wikipedia. All his edits either directly remove content or nominate it for deletion. Apparently besides the dislike for programming languages, he also hates it when certain scientists have "Dr." next to their names on their Wikipedia articles.



>Raj Reddy ‎ (dr. is so unnecessary)

>Randy Pausch ‎ (dr is unnecessary)

>Benjamin C. Pierce ‎ (Don't need dr.)

and so on

1 point by rbanffy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So, what languages were deleted? How much disk space was reclaimed by the deletion? How much bandwidth will that spare?

If someone thinks the language is not notable, there is a discussion page attached to the main article where such things can be expressed. The obscurity of the language can also be communicated in the article itself. While lots of us can be pretty sure Nemerle will have no lasting impact in the field, they can be wrong.

4 points by udoprog 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The notability requirements do not sufficiently cover "expert" subjects like PLs. Chris mentioned this himself, yet used it as a justification for these articles, this is known as Doublethink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink) and clearly indicates a second agenda.

Not anyone can invent a programming language, it's not comparable to your pet rock band. Chris, you clearly displayed that you are not capable of handling this subject satisfactory and you've displayed arrogance in response to peoples distress.

Simply put - marking the articles for deletion was rash, and in the larger sense unjustified.

4 points by mukyu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting people to rally around anything that someone is trying to have deleted is a sure-fire way to get it deleted, protected from recreation, and basically never coming back. It is like some kind of 'defend the hive' kind of reaction.
7 points by Uchikoma 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wikipedia is about power and the kick you get out of it.
3 points by drallison 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I certainly oppose deleting programming languages, obscure or not, from wikipedia. I went to the site to try to register a complaint but could not find a way to do that. It seems that meta-comments are not really handled well withing the wikipedia framework. Or did I just miss the right link.
2 points by cyrus_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Programming languages are like Pokemon. Only a few of them are strictly notable in isolation (Pikachu). But there are hundreds of others that small communities are interested in, and the metavalue of having all of them described on Wikipedia is high.

I don't understand what the cost is. Why don't you make a list of "notable" programming languages so that people who want to browse around can skip the less influential / new ones like Nemerle. But to delete hundreds of languages (and if you apply these rules, you need to delete hundreds of languages, you've missed lots of them) is a travesty.

1 point by Tichy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a time when I didn't understand the need for Wikipedia, as I figured every kind of information would just be retrievable with Google (or another search engine).

Now Google and Wikipedia are failing at the same time. Bad.

4 points by carsongross 5 hours ago 1 reply      
@chrismonsanto has this thread (and the reddit thread) caused you to reevaluate what we, the programming community, consider 'notable'?

The easy reaction would be to focus on the flamers, harden your heart and drive ahead. The wise man, here, stops and thinks for a bit.

Restore Nemerle.

2 points by ilitirit 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Information on these type of languages is exactly what I expect to find in an encyclopaedia.
1 point by tommorris 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Nemerle article is up for deletion review (DRV), and there is at least one admin supporting overturning the decision:


1 point by mrphoebs 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Though, I can see Christoper's Point of view, I wonder about the cost-benefit of this kind a cleanup would be. The main reason seems to be to unclutter the listing of topics in wikipedia. How many people navigate Wikipedia through lists, isn't search more often used? In which case the central argument behind deleting factual information would be more costly than beneficial(even though it doesn't live up to wikipedia' notability standard).

BTW, Why the hostility? and the mob mentality. I thought he articulated his arguments clearly and quite well without malice.

1 point by EGreg 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe there are specific requirements for something to be considered "notable" on wikipedia. Simply fulfill those requirements for each language page and you're good, no?


1 point by petegrif 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is absolutely appalling.
Christopher Monsanto gives up trying to delete PL articles wikipedia.org
97 points by bendmorris 5 hours ago   53 comments top 14
30 points by Osmose 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Trying to delete stories? He nominated them for an open discussion to be decided by an admin. But that doesn't sound nearly as malicious. There are valid criticisms about the AfD process, but most people are blaming Chris as if he just walked by and deleted the articles on his own.

I fear that this issue has become less about fixing broken Wikipedia policies that encourage people like Chris to delete articles, and more about "teaching him a lesson".

The amount of ad hominem attacks in the original story is much higher than anything I'd expect from HN. And, considering HN is self-policed in a lot of ways, I think the issue needs to be pointed out.

23 points by ramanujan 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The first public victory of inclusionism over deletionism. Perhaps it is not too late for Wikipedia. If only similar mobs could mete out rough internet justice to the top ten most notorious deletionists, casual contributors may once again walk the hallways of Wikipedia.

[only partially tongue-in-cheek here...]

47 points by mfukar 4 hours ago 0 replies      

  If anyone thought what I was doing was wrong, they could have just sent me a friendly message and I would have politely discussed the issue.

I guess he missed all the subtle indicators people left all over the place saying "Christopher, we are upset".

27 points by chris_j 4 hours ago 3 replies      
"Here's a challenge, then, for the internet: instead of spamming my Wikipedia talk page (which I don't really care about), why don't you work on fixing WP's notability guideline for programming languages?"

Amen to that. Others have said it many times before and it is still true: Wikipedia's notability guidelines would benefit from being fixed. It's rather annoying to note that what this guy was doing was within the letter of the law but yet seemed so wrong. There is no way that the likes of Factor or Clean should be deleted from Wikipedia so the question becomes how can the guidelines be changed so that they don't allow it to happen.

8 points by burgerbrain 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The damage is already done. "I'm sorry (but I was still right!)" is the kind of apology I would expect to hear from a child. If you're sorry, then make it right and undo the harm that you did. Otherwise, just shut-up, you're not sincere.
1 point by davidhollander 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
>Since the internet seems to care more about keeping these articles than I care about deleting them, I'll stop.

That's how these things work Chris.

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." -John Gilmore 1993

26 points by shekmalhen 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Even after this "reversal", I'm not sure he understands why people were angry about his AfDs.
4 points by j_baker 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Has this page been changed since it was posted? Perhaps I'm missing it, but I don't see anything that indicates that he's giving up.
2 points by latch 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Not unexpected, but whenever something like this happens, to me the real tragedy is the level of animosity and vitriol shown by the "victims".
6 points by teyc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Right... notability guidelines are broken, but he doesn't mind following it to the letter.
1 point by Charuru 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This problem is hardy unique to this instance alone, or even to wikipedia alone. This is a question faced by All publications, that of target audience and market. Obviously on a tech forum like HN we're more likely to be interested in langs like factor. But imagine a journalist looking through langs to report on computer sci or a teenager looking for something new to study... It would be a waste of time.

Problem with wikipedia is that it does not have a target audience defined clearly enough to answer these questions easily. And as with many sites, except for the specific use case it was designrped for, it's not useful. For eacmple could a student learn any calculus from the calculus page?

We should stop trying force wikipedia to be the ideal resource for everything, as it's clearly impossible. There are better mediums for that.

5 points by chmike 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Pruning knowledge is a dangerous process.
4 points by yzhengyu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Notability is broken, since it is usually subjective and wielded mercilessly as an axe by the Wikipedia mafia to cull material which they deem as not notable. Inclusive? Haha, don't make me laugh.
-2 points by yaix 3 hours ago 1 reply      
He very correctly points out that people should simply fix the Wikipedia rules then. In an open system, once you start ignoring the rules, everybody will want their exceptions and you end up in chaos. Anyone remember the Wikipedia from ten years ago? Today, it aims to have a good standard regarding its content, that is only possible with rules. So just update the rules and everything is fine. More importantly, it will still be fine ten years from now, when nobody remembers this incident anymore.
Show HN: My useless but fun laser eyes web app laserey.es
23 points by kilian 1 hour ago   16 comments top 12
4 points by kilian 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Background here: http://kilianvalkhof.com/2011/web/laserey-es-draw-lasers-fro...

Basically, it's a fun little project for me to try out a whole bunch of new stuff, including the file API, the drag-and-drop-api, openCV and Canvas. It works best in Firefox, and otherwise in chrome (though performance on mac is abysmally slow)

Let me know what you think, and please set a laserified photo as your Facebook profile picture :)

4 points by fookyong 1 hour ago 1 reply      
this is great! mine is my new facebook profile photo :) I smell a viral hit...

updated: also, definitely make an iphone app for this!

1 point by zalew 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
awesome! :D

I must say the same as I did on another project here today - it needs linking to the result. then it'll spread viral (I will share for sure :D)

2 points by guynamedloren 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Very, very cool! Here's the viral touch you're missing: a gallery, or at least photo sharing. When I hit the tweet button at the bottom, it should allow others to see the photo I just laser-eyesed (laserized, ha, get it?) and encourage to laser-eyes one of their own. Let's see it happen :)
1 point by tom_ilsinszki 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
My 2 cents...

I'd put the "Login with facebook to post pictures to Facebook!" box under or next to the picture.

Also keeping it hidden and making it appear after the laser has been placed, might also be a good idea.

4 points by phatbyte 1 hour ago 0 replies      
At first like I was like "what the..", but then I was "whoo hoo, my eyez haz lazer" :P
1 point by andrewnez 27 minutes ago 1 reply      
Using safari 5 it says "INSUFFICIENT TECHNOLOGY. USE ANOTHER BROWSER" but didn't tell me which browsers are supported, which was confusing, what tech is safari missing?
1 point by lurchpop 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
haha cool! I love it.

Hey, i didn't notice the Facebook connect thing. You should center it above the pic.

Also, you could load the profile pic by default to save the user a step.

It would be cool to allow me to pick from a list of my friends and give'em laserey.es.

...and throw an ad on there, dude!!

1 point by fezzl 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would suggest allowing different colors for the laser.
1 point by alienreborn 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Fun app, thanks! :)
but for some reason when I tried to save the image, it crashed my chrome and the second time I am able to save it but still it slowed down chrome.
1 point by jbpr 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love it. Could we have the ability to pick where the eyes are if the app doesn't find them automagically?
1 point by mrphoebs 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cool, just tested with an image of superman.(redundant?)
London Stock Exchange in historic Linux go-live computerworlduk.com
31 points by DMPenfold2008 2 hours ago   discuss
Facebook client on a SIM, works on any GSM handset theregister.co.uk
11 points by bensummers 1 hour ago   2 comments top
1 point by stcredzero 13 minutes ago 1 reply      
Someone needs to put a Diaspora client on such a SIM for a Diaspora mod protected by Blowfish encryption. If a volunteer group could do this, we could DHL a bunch of them to the next people's revolt hot spot.
Python 3 Wall of Shame python3wos.appspot.com
15 points by iamelgringo 1 hour ago   3 comments top 3
9 points by yuvadam 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's admit it.

Once Django is Py3K-ready, all other projects will follow suit.

1 point by JonnieCache 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
The equivalent for Ruby 1.9 is here:


And there's a version that shows rails3 compatibility amongst other things here:


1 point by alifaziz 1 minute ago 0 replies      
You don't need to name it as Wall of Shame.
HD 555 to HD 595 mod (or: how Sennheiser cripples cheaper headphones) mikebeauchamp.com
322 points by ryanf 13 hours ago   155 comments top 33
70 points by apl 12 hours ago replies      
I understand that this raises eyebrows, but it's hardly fraud.

Do people actually think that retail price is a function of production/R&D cost? It's not, never has been. Dropbox charges 20$ for something that consumes marginally more ressources and incurs identical R&D costs when compared to the 10$ product. Chip manufacturers do this all the time. Discounts for electronics and groceries are fully artificial.

A much more realistic model is price as whatever the market can bear. I sincerely doubt that there is a moral obligation to set price points in any other way.

[This may be relevant: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckie...]

73 points by defen 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How long until we get a DMCA-like law preventing these kinds of blog posts? He'd be guilty of trafficking in technology which aids in the circumvention of profit-enhancing business practices.
3 points by jasonkester 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I see a lot of people reacting to this the wrong way.

Rather than getting angry at the company for segmenting its market, why not enjoy the fact that you can buy their top-of-the-line product for a fraction of the price? Rather than raise a stink and force them to do something about it, why not stay relatively quiet about it and let those of us in the know profit from it?

I'm still upset that Baush and Lomb got raked over the coals so publicly for packaging the exact same lenses as monthly, weekly, and daily wear at different prices. I would have been perfectly happy to wear my "daily" lenses for a month each, thus saving several hundred dollars a year. Instead, a witch hunt was raised and they were forced to actually develop a flimsy contact lens to sell cheaply.

It's a good thing, and now you know about it. Try not to ruin it for the rest of us.

6 points by latch 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I understand people defending the practice, but this nonetheless offends me. For me, it isn't about the 555 owners getting a crippled product, but that the 595 owners are paying a huge markup.

People are talking about market behavior and what not, but I don't feel like Sennheiser is behaving in good faith here. They are intentionally relying on opaque information (this is obviously news to almost everyone), and making price the only way consumers have to reliably differentiate between the products (you can't even test drive the products to tell). Also, with respect to the "luxury" part of the discussion, they are competing against themselves, the branding and "Sennheiser" name you get with the 595 or 555 is the same.

I've been considering getting 800's, I'm a huge Sennheiser fan. I think this has put me off though (even knowing that everyone else probably does the same thing).

2 points by TimothyBurgess 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You know what the most depressing thing about this article is for me? I no longer have the option of being an audiophile. :(

I toured professionally as a drummer with a tech metal band and played with a click track every night. I used Ultimate Ears (high-quality earbuds) with ProTools through a rack amp. I had guitar tracks going behind the click track (metronome) for reference and let's put it this way... the reference guitar tracks had to be louder than the actual live amplifiers/PA and the click track had to be even louder than that. On a scale of 1 to 10, relative to the loudness of the vast majority of electronic music players (computers/mp3 players/phones/etc.)... I'd say my click track was at least 17. It hurts my ears just thinking about it now... constant TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK for 30 (sometimes 45) minutes every night for weeks at a time! I don't wish that upon my worst enemy.

If it was another style of music there's no doubt I could have had it turned down to a fraction of what it was... but it was tech metal so it was always loud and heavy and all over the place. Most of the time I'm playing upwards of 300 bpm and the tempo and time signatures were always changing so the click track was necessary. I remember I tried turning it down a few times and it didn't work out so well haha... Bye bye hearing! I miss you.

8 points by daeken 12 hours ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, I picked up a pair of HD595s back in early 2007 for $150, refurbed. They're still in absolutely perfect quality (despite more abuse than you can imagine) and by far the best headphones I've ever owned. Worth every cent, no questions asked.
17 points by sfphotoarts 11 hours ago 3 replies      
This article is good for Sennheiser, I just ordered a pair of the 555's from Amazon for $85
5 points by ck2 11 hours ago 8 replies      
I've got a better hack for you.

Buy a $20 pair of Koss KTXPRO1 http://amazon.com/dp/B00007056H

Read the reviews. They sound almost as good as $200 headphones.

I own a couple of Sennheiser, and I prefer the Koss unless I need closed cans for some reason.

5 points by georgecmu 10 hours ago 2 replies      
A related pricing quirk that I found interesting.

HD 555 MSRP in the States is $170, and you can buy it for $85 on amazon.com[1]. Right across the border, the MSRP is 200 CAD (202.5 USD) and you could get it for 180 CAD on amazon.ca[2]. In other words, the discounted price in Canada is higher than the nominal price in the States, which in turn is almost twice what consumers actually pay for these headphones.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD555-Professional-Headphon...
[2] http://www.amazon.ca/Sennheiser-Open-Hi-Fi-Stereo-Headphone/...

3 points by gojomo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Years ago, I recall reading (almost certainly on Usenet) a parable which involved a king who needed some bricks, but the cost of getting them could only be recouped by creating some artificial distinction between 'gold' and common bricks, to sell some at a low-price/high-volume and others at high-price/low-volume. In a contrived manner, it neatly illustrated the case that some arrangements that offend one's intuition are actually the best way to get certain things everyone wants financed.

Would love to find a link; it's stumped all my search attempts (including at Google Groups) ever since.

5 points by strlen 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Sounds similar to IBM's practice of inserting 'nops' into software of the AS-400s on otherwise identical hardware to create price gradations.
3 points by georgieporgie 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not an audiophile, because audiophiles are the homeopathic suckers of the audio world. I do, however, like high-quality sound.

If you want a good over-the-ear headphone, the Sony MDR-V6 is quite nice. They sound decent, are built a tank, and have been in continuous production since the mid 80's. They're $90 on Amazon.

If you want in-ear, get Etymotic ER-4's. They're the only headphone I've ever found that can compete with my NHT 2.5i speakers. They should be available around $200.

2 points by jrockway 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So the plastic bag that supposedly contains the driver is labeled, "System with resonator left side". Is "System" what they call the driver?

I'm interested in seeing what Sennheiser's justification for this is. It seems odd to piss off buyers of high-end products, because they're the ones that do the research. You can't just go to Target and buy some HD5*5 cans; you have to order them from an audiophile-y place (or Amazon).

(The processor manufacturers make their price structure clear. They make the good ones, part of it is broken, so they turn off the broken part and sell it to you as a lower-end model. And if there is no demand for the fully-working ones, and they don't have enough broken ones to meet the demand for them, they just cripple the good ones. But like unscrewing the headphone and taking out foam, you can just change the multiplier and enjoy the increased performance. So why complain unless you already bought the high-end product?)

8 points by iwwr 13 hours ago replies      
Intel, AMD and Nvidia are also notorious for these kinds of practices.
1 point by krakensden 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's pricing like this that leads people to just buy the cheapest offering available, without doing any research. If you already know you will be taken for a ride, why not just pay the least amount possible for the 'privilege'?
3 points by deltaqueue 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The blog post doesn't mention all of the aesthetic differences--which, at the current Amazon price point, could justify the price difference for some--so I thought I would mention the others here:

-the headband is leather
-cans have a Sennheiser logo on them
-cans have a chrome ring around them
-comes with a nifty headphone stand / mount

disclosure: I own some 555's, and will be trying this mod at the office on Monday.

8 points by foresterh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
On Amazon, the headphones are closer in price... $85 for the HD555 and $150 for the HD595. Still paying $65 for one less piece of foam.
2 points by xal 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Great bargain. Additionally, the HD-555 can be had for about 100 on eBay. I've been buying my Sennheisers there for years, always the 570 model but that's a bit dated now.
4 points by Goonbaggins 9 hours ago 0 replies      
While this is really neat, the 595s also feature some nicer padding on the headband. Probably not enough for the price difference, but I just wanted to note that the piece of foam is not the only difference between the two.
1 point by cypherpunks01 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I just did this, and performed a very rough A/B test with one earpiece modded, while leaving the foam on the other. The bass (on a bass-heavy song) was very noticeably more muted on the stock earpiece, sounding almost completely dead compared to the one without the foam. Needless to say, I quickly removed the other, and now they sound better than ever. Highly recommended!
3 points by aforty 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I just performed the mod. Was really easy and I hear an audible difference (even to my untrained, non-audiophile ears).

For the record, the practice does not offend me. This has been done for ages. R&D costs for creating the HD595's were no doubt great and to recoup some money they created a cheaper, crippled version. With headphones you aren't paying for the parts but for the engineering.

6 points by m3mb3r 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant. Brought my HD-555 alive.
4 points by ent 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In case anyone is interested, I just did this mod for my hd555s and can confirm that it does seem to make the sound clearer although I can't really make a good comparison for obvious reasons.
1 point by sudonim 7 hours ago 1 reply      
If only there were a mod to add an Apple headphone connector and a Zalman microphone to the sennheiser 555, that would be an amazing VOIP headset for the Mac.
1 point by omarqureshi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Having tried this mod out about a year ago - there is a definite increase in sound quality.

However, it does turn your headphones into the most annoying things ever for people who are in the same room as you as they too can hear, quite loudly and clearly.

1 point by edge17 5 hours ago 0 replies      
looks like you can just pay $150 bucks for HD 595 on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD595-High-Grade-Premiere-H...
2 points by darkmethod 8 hours ago 0 replies      
As for the mod itself. I just tried it on my 555 and I noticed only a subtle difference. As odd as it may be, I think I prefer the foam.

As for Sennheiser's strategy to cripple the product line to handle a different marketing segment; it reminded me of a Steve Blank's post.

2 points by teyc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually, this is an article that'll make Steve Blank proud. His SuperMac cards were all the same, but tuned slower for the cheaper versions.
2 points by ramchip 9 hours ago 1 reply      
According to Amazon, the HD595 is actually heavier by 10g than the HD555. Is the headband different?
0 points by juiceandjuice 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Sennheiser is a company I've always tried to steer clear of because of this. There's a lot of companies that take advantage of their branding (i.e. M-Audio, Monster cable, etc) to jack up the prices on mediocre hardware.

Once stuff hits guitar center and best buy, you're probably going to be getting ripped off somewhere. You can buy better quality Mogami mic cable from a pro-audio supplier than you can from Guitar Center for half the cost. The audiophile world (along with the "guitar aficionado") is a very strange place.

1 point by Semiapies 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe I'm just cheap, but $200 for the cheaper headphones sounds ridiculous to begin with, and well into "anyone paying that much probably deserves it" territory.
1 point by spiralganglion 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The added piece of foam has to cost them something. So, really, the "broken" headphones should be more expensive, right?

In any case, my friends and I have long held the belief that "If you can't open it, you don't really own it". If my toaster breaks, you can be sure I'll open it up and try to fix it before I think of buying a new one.

Though before anyone thinks of flaming, I'm ok with my iPad. I can make an exception for this type of tech!

1 point by levigross 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Man that is one expensive piece of foam.
Nokia admits it rejected Android; eyes "billions" in revenue from WP7 deal mobilebusinessbriefing.com
19 points by adolfoabegg 2 hours ago   14 comments top 6
5 points by credo 1 hour ago 2 replies      
>>"A decision to swing to Android would have tilted the mobile ecosystem in the direction of a duopoly, but we wanted to create a challenger," he said.

It looks like he didn't explain why they wanted to create a "challenger".

imo having three dominant players is better than having two dominant players. However, it would have been great to get Elop's thoughts on what benefits Nokia would get from creating a "challenger" and why a "duopoly" was not good for Nokia.

4 points by Toucan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Nokia was unable to give a firm timeframe on when its first WP7 phone would appear but it is hopeful for a launch before year end."

I find this very telling. As far as I can tell, Google made the first public announcement of the Open Handset Alliance in November 2007 and HTC released the first handset in October 2008.

Nokia and Microsoft who should both have more experience and resources specific to the mobile industry than HTC and Google did in 2007 are "hopeful" to even meet this timescale, let alone beat it.

In a year, Nokia will have even further to catch up. I'll admit I may be underestimating the difficulty of getting a new device to market, but it seems to indicate an aversion to risk-taking which may set Nokia even further back than they need to be.

2 points by Tichy 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
They did it out of the goodness of their hearts, because it is better for the world if there isn't a duopoly? Yeah right...
3 points by chris_j 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's not entirely clear what Elop means by "value transfer". My initial reading was that Microsoft would just be writing a big fat cheque to Nokia in exchange for Nokia using WP7. It sounds like it's actually something slightly more subtle but I wonder what it will boil down to.
1 point by jeffb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"he also talked up the significant “value transfer” in financial terms that would come Nokia's way as a result of reduced operating expenses and new revenue streams such as access to Microsoft's search and advertising capabilities."

Wouldn't these two "value transfers" have occurred with Google? Nokia's operating expenses might have been reduced even further if they'd gone with Android (free) instead of WP7 (which they are paying to use). Wouldn't Nokia have gained access to Google's search and advertising capabilities if they'd gone with Android?

I don't know if Google or Microsoft is better for Nokia, but this article doesn't make it sound like Elop had any convincing reasons for his decision. It sounds like Nokia agreed to give Microsoft money (WP7 fees), but they haven't actually agreed on anything concrete that Microsoft will give Nokia yet?

1 point by nazgulnarsil 1 hour ago 1 reply      
three viable ecosystems is better for consumers than two. it also forces more competition to be dev friendly since apps are a large part of each player's strategy.
Lemmings is 20 years old today scottishgames.net
4 points by sambeau 19 minutes ago   1 comment top
1 point by benwerd 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I miss Lemmings. Is there a version that'll run on today's PCs? Without using Dosbox, that is.
Inside the DNA of the Facebook Mafia techcrunch.com
80 points by bpeters 8 hours ago   13 comments top 8
10 points by wallflower 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> But unlike companies like Google and Amazon who rigorously hired based on college degrees, GPAs and standardized test scores, Facebook and the companies that have spun out of it have hewed toward sheer, raw, hacker-like genius.

One of the best articles I've read by Sarah Lacy (I wish she would write more big picture stuff like this) and it's on TechCrunch! It would be a very interesting visualization to build a Silicon Valley family tree from Fairchild Semiconductor to HP to Xerox PARC to present day. Maybe that is one of the reasons Silicon Valley can't be duplicated - and is one of the most unique business locations on the planet - everyone is virtual cousins or 2nd cousins with everyone else. All in the (extended) family.

6 points by kenjackson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Instead, many of these companies take a cue from the way Facebook rolled out with a deliberate controlled pacing that allowed it to scale as it went from just Harvard, to include Ivy League schools, high schools, work places, and eventually the world.

Did Facebook really have controlled pacing or did the product actually just start out as a niche product and grow? I thought the latter. The difference being did Zuck actually have even a blurry plan of its growth?

6 points by jdp23 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Great article. Should be required reading for people trying to understand the Valley boys club. I particularly like how just like the original mafia, all the groups she discusses are all male!
4 points by j_baker 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm pleasantly surprised by this article. I expected it to be another "Facebook clubs baby seals" article (which is what I've learned to expect from techcrunch), but it was a great insight into Silicon Valley culture.
7 points by Charuru 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Alright, Techcrunch is sometimes journalism.
1 point by alecco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
3 points by bpeters 5 hours ago 0 replies      
>Most companies put an implicit value on size for the sake of size, and doing any cheap viral game in the book to get there, even if it means a low percentage of users ever engage with your app or return to your site again.

These "Mafioso" Startups are playing the right game. Leverage slow growth and focus on maximizing value per consumer, rather than maximizing the number of consumers.

A good point made in the article, that could have been overlooked.

6 points by Dramatize 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It's funny that the comments are about the quality of the writing and not the content of the article.
Wikipedia's Notability Requirements And The Slash sheddingbikes.com
89 points by invisiblefunnel 5 hours ago   110 comments top 16
25 points by neilk 3 hours ago replies      
Thanks, Zed. A typically balanced, well-researched and well-thought-out solution to a complex problem. I especially liked the part where you blamed all of Wikipedia for the actions of a single user.

I wish you had considered the route of getting involved instead. There are just some basic, fundamental things that would help fix this. A modification to the notability rules would require a lot less effort than your other proposals. The notability rules work pretty well for kicking out useless chaff like pages about high school garage bands that have never played a show. But they do privilege old-school publishing and broadcasting, so particularly ephemeral creations like new programming languages may fare very poorly against the notability criteria. But this strikes me as fixable.

Programmers can help too. We don't even have the capability, for instance, for people to be emailed when their favorite page is up for deletion. We don't have a lot of means for casual involvement; everything depends on logging into Wikipedia regularly. This is part of why battles in Wikipedia tend to be won by the most, shall we say, persistent.

I work for the Wikimedia Foundation, as a programmer. In general our resources are stretched pretty thin, and there's really only been two years so far of a budget that's even remotely in line with the size and impact of the site (thanks to your contributions). In a lot of ways we're still playing catchup with an explosive period of growth that happened around 2006-2007, using technology that's getting a bit venerable.

But the issue of deletionism and the general community demeanor is a problem that is occupying more and more of our attention. If it matters to you then contact me. I can definitely tell you there are lots and LOTS of ways to help out.

Actually you could even get PAID to fix this problem. Want a job working here? We have lots of open technical positions. http://bit.ly/WikimediaJobs

The one thing I can't guarantee is that it will satisfy your need to rage. The truth is, almost everyone in the Wiki community is acting in good faith. What they need are a) your input as a knowledgeable person about how policies need to change, and b) your technical and design skills, to create systems that avoid these communication breakdowns, and guide volunteers to be more effective.

23 points by erikpukinskis 5 hours ago 2 replies      
You can literally read these requirements as "some big mega corp my grandma might encounter has mentioned it."

This is spot on. I had to engage in a battle on Wikipedia to keep the page up for dream hampton. Not everyone knows who she is, but she was the editor for The Source at one time, and ghost wrote Jay-Z's autobiography, among other things.

What I ran into is that Wikipedia basically demands that you get published in these megacorp publications that are basically all run by rich white people, and mostly men. So being written about in black publications, which tend to be more magazines and online publications, and less Library of Congress kind of stuff, doesn't cut it according to Wikipedia's notability "guidelines". If the white editors don't recognize the publication names, they don't "count".

The fact is, if she had been editor of Rolling Stone, I don't think there would've been a problem.

There were other factors too... being an editor and ghostwriter means she's more behind the scenes, and less likely to get outright exposure in the press. But that, too, is a requirement that I think turns Wikipedia into an amplifier of power, rather than a distributor of one.

I'm not sure if there was some outright racism going on too. I mean, she was mentioned in the New York Times and people were still calling for her page removal. At that point things start to get a little murky for me. But the situation was fishy for sure.

14 points by mquander 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Let's put aside the insanely weird idea that one person has the ability to derail the creation of information unilaterally, without a vote, and without any oversight to focus on the real problem...

Jesus, does Zed Shaw live on another planet? I've never edited a Wikipedia article in my life and even I know that when an article is nominated for deletion, there's a big hullabaloo where everyone votes and argues about it before it's actually deleted.


It's sort of impossible to say that the Esoteric programming languages page should not have a description of every "notnotable" programming language.

I do not think "impossible" means what you think it means.

9 points by ugh 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The notability requirements do not exist for a technical reason. That's entirely wrong. Maintainability is the reason. The space is not limited but the time of people working on those articles. The goal is for Wikipedia to only have articles of a high quality, the more articles there are the harder that gets.

I'm not trying to defend the notability rules (I think that they are quite often pretty stupid), I'm only saying that it is completely and utterly wrong to claim that Wikipedia's notability rules exist for a technical reason.

12 points by JanezStupar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This year I donated 50€ for the worthy cause of Wikipedia. One of my arguing points was that there is a lot of obscure information I am sometimes looking for that there is no reference of - except for Wikipedia.

Jimbo put your dog on a leash, or next year, when your bambi eyed face gazes into me from my monitor, I will send a turd in a bag instead of a donation.

Does anyone know what address I could/should send my complaint to for maximum impact?

3 points by donaldc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Notability requirements for an article to exist at all is the wrong approach.

Instead, wikipedia should allow most any article to be added, but have one or more groups that "certify" articles as notable. People who want to avoid all the non-notable clutter can then elect a view of wikipedia that only includes articles certified by the group (or groups) they choose, while non-notable articles can still be viewed by those who choose to view them, and can have the breathing room to in some cases evolve into notable articles.

3 points by redthrowaway 2 hours ago 2 replies      
That's just... wrong. Come on, Zed, at least do your homework. Chris isn't deleting the pages, nor is he acting as some sort of sole determinant of noteworthiness. He's simply proposing them for deletion through the Articles for Deletion process. Also, Wikipedia handles sub-pages just fine. Most active editors have a number of sub-pages on their userpage, and many articles have sub-pages as well where people will store drafts while working on a revision. Your information is wrong, and your tone is insulting. Cut it out, man.
3 points by bambax 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems the notability requirements really serve Wikipedia's own notability. It can't say "we'll take our list of topics from Encyclopedia Britannica" but it's what it would like to do.

In the beginnings it actually made sense, too, since it would never have took off if every page was about Joe Schmo's cat.

But now that Wikipedia is probably more famous and more well known than any other "real world" encyclopedia, such "respectability hacks" are unneeded and should be repelled.

4 points by idonthack 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wikipedia deletionism has nothing to do with the lack of paths. Organization is handled by mediawiki's category feature. Name collisions are avoided and similar names collected on disambiguation pages.

"Plan A" is not a new idea, it's exactly what happens to other categories with lots of items that don't deserve their own page.

"Plan B" won't work because part of deletionist policy is to ignore sources published by self-publishing outfits, because "anybody can publish there".

"Plan C" won't solve a goddamn thing. Good luck with "Plan D".

Quit asking for features that already exist.

2 points by Tichy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The donations thing just made me wonder if it could work to have donations per page. That is, you could kind of adopt an article (and get a banner on that article announcing you are the sponsor, perhaps).

Immediate problem would of course be advertising, which would not be desired.

It's just that if I donate now, I feel as if I am supportive of their deletionist policies, which I am not.

2 points by owyn 4 hours ago 5 replies      
You could always create an esoteric languages wiki of your own if you were all fired up about it (I work at wikia, and that's the service we provide, we have 170,000 wikis on various subjects, using the same software! Founded by the same guy!)

But that's not really the point here. It's just because it's wikipedia that everyone gets all weird about it. The information is out there, I don't see why it's so important that every esoteric project have a wikipedia.org page. It's not supposed to be a compendium of ALL human knowledge, it's an encyclopedia of generally useful knowledge. There has to be SOME criteria for excluding stuff. There's already a problem with wikipedia containing way too many pages about nerd topics and not enough information about the rest of the world.

4 points by baddox 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the key here is that Wikipedia's notability requirements really only apply to people, publications, and events. For some things, for example the article on esoteric programming languages, it doesn't really make sense to talk about notability.
2 points by nazgulnarsil 3 hours ago 0 replies      
puts on conspiracy cap

wikipedia was a huge threat to traditional information sources, but now something has to come from one of those traditional sources to be considered legitimate info. problem solved.

1 point by mukyu 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Plan A doesn't work. It is actually easier to delete things from pages than deleting pages themselves. If you edit war over it you will lose.

Plan B does not work. Wikipedia guidelines do not consider self-published sources as 'reliable' and things published by Lulu are considered self-published. Wikipedia does not consider itself a reliable source either. It is also not going to disappear in a puff of logic like God in hhgttg, no matter how witty you think it is.

Plan C has not worked in the years of people deleting things that appeal to far broader audiences than esoteric programming languages. They are still around. How well do you think this will work?

Plan D is something many people have done. In a way, Wikia is a giant example of it. In other cases they go to wikinfo or create their own wiki.

This post is exactly like 100s of others that someone writes whenever Wikipedia deletes (or even tries to delete) something that they care about. The ground is well-tread and it brings nothing new or interesting to the table. The internet does not need another blog post where someone spends an hour in isolation writing about it.

On an irrelevant note, mediawiki does support subpages (the slashes), but articles cannot have them as article titles may contain slashes. This has absolutely nothing to do with Wikipedia's notation of notability and the reasons people try to get rid of non-notable content.

1 point by starpilot 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wikipedia has not [sic] problem paying for storage

What do the near-constant donation drives cover then?

0 points by carussell 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Plan B ¶Put out a yearly publication on Lulu.com … This publication is then a legit secondary source by a real publisher…

Uh... nope.

Hey, I have an idea! Let's publish suggestions like this to a blog and purport for it to be sound, so then it can be picked up by quacks who have an agenda to push in a bunch of completely unrelated situations. (Think vaccine scare pushers or those looking for self-promotion, who already exist in abundance on Wikipedia). Yeah! Let's all eschew with stuff like a "nuanced understanding".

Whether you are for or against this instance of deletionism, Shaw's plan B here wouldn't successfully legitimize anything of any subject matter, and that's a good thing.

The Scariest Company in Tech rvqs.wordpress.com
83 points by dequantified 9 hours ago   35 comments top 16
22 points by SandB0x 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Just as in Mike Elgan's analysis of Nokia, it doesn't look like Samsung have any idea how to create a sensible range of products. There are 18 touch screen phones available in the UK (out of 75 phones in total):


If I were King of Samsung, this would be cut down to around three models. The model names would be consistent, recognisable, and the names would not be discarded when the phones are updated. This way, when my Samsung Galaxy Pro is due for a replacement, I can go and ask for the latest generation Samsung Galaxy Pro. No need to spend ages trying to figure out which of the vast selection is supposed to be the flagship, or which is the budget model. The laptop situation is even worse. What's scary is how nobody but Apple seem to have figured this out.

16 points by nl 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A vertically integrated manufacturer does not necessarily mean their costs will be dramatically lower than the competition.

For example, Apple doesn't do any manufacture themselves, and yet they have costs so much lower than the competition that they are able to define entire new markets in the time it takes for their competition to develop cost-competitive supplies.

This has happened three times now, firstly with the original iPods (Apple pre-signed huge contracts for those tiny hard drives, proved the market, and when competitors wanted in they had to wait for new sources to come online), the iPod touch (Apple pre-ordered a huge proportion of the worlds flash memory supply) and finally, most recently with the iPad.

Ever wonder why it's taken a year for anyone to build a 9"/10" iPad competitor? It's because no one can get capacitative touch screen in sufficient quantities. Even Samsung (which owns the factory!) had to make do with 7" screens.

Now, finally new factories are beginning to come online, which means that competitors can release their products. The problem for them is that Apple locked in much lower prices (because of their bigger purchasing power), which makes it hard to compete on price. This applies to Samsung as much as to anyone - they can't afford to drop Apple as a customer, but the capital costs of building a new factory means it costs them more to supply themselves (selling in smaller volume) than it does to supply Apple.

12 points by jdub 8 hours ago 6 replies      
There is one area in which Samsung is lacking: software. Unlike Apple or RIM, they are entirely dependent on Android. [...] That, however, could change completely if Samsung dominates the Android market like I think it will.

Want to be even more scared?



5 points by erikpukinskis 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The OP's argument rests on the notion that Samsung could somehow make phones so compelling that they take over 80% of the market. I don't think they can do that on price alone. Their price advantage over LG, HTC, etc could be what... 10%? They need more of an advantage than that to have Microsoft-level dominance.

And even though they have the price advantage over the other "premium" vendors, they are fighting a war on two fronts. The ultra cheap vendors can undercut even Samsung by doing things like using super cheap plastic, having batteries that stop working after 6 months, dead pixels, and a software team of like 2 people who just maintain a couple drivers and slap some shitty graphics and free apps on top of stock Android.

So Samsung's playground is a sizeable but bounded slice in the middle: people who don't care about having the BEST phone, and want it to be really cheap, but not cheap cheap. Cheap, but on-brand.

Microsoft had no real competition. No one else was really licensing an OS for commodity hardware. Apple, IBM, Sun et all were all selling their OS on their own hardware.

Samsung is beset on all sides by competition, and they only hold one of the Aces (supply chain).

6 points by neworbit 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I would find this more plausible if my Samsung Android devices were

a) regularly updated with Android tech as opposed to seemingly lagging the rest of the industry

b) supported worth a hill of beans instead of getting a "uhhhh we don't support that in the US market" when asking about AT&T

c) a good demonstration of Android capabilities in the first place.

Samsung makes decent phones. Nothing spectacular. The GPS in the Galaxy class phones draws endless complaints about bugginess. The builds deployed on AT&T are mediocre. Their Kies desktop software is bloated, slow, and unreliable - it's frequently the case that disconnecting and reconnecting the phone/tablet fails to recognize it (and in turn it doesn't work with a number of US SKUs, thanks to AT&T).

Sorry gang. There's the potential there to be great. But it's quite a leap from there to dominance. Nokia has had plenty of potential and in the past a pretty dominant position too, but I think the shellacking they took the last few days here on HN is entirely deserved and demonstrative of "you have to nail all facets of the user experience."

3 points by nika 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it would be wise, as this article does, to not think about the phone market in terms of platforms (iOS, Android, RIM & WebOS) but in terms of manufacturers (Apple, HTC, Nokia, Samsung, etc.)

If you look at it in those terms, there are two manufacturers that are vertically integrated- Apple and Samsung.

Samsung is weak on software, and software is the critical component of this age (more important than flash, RAM or SoCs). Meanwhile, Apple is a design house, and doesn't have manufacturing capability of its own.

So, one question is whether owning your own plants will be critical or not.

Consider this possibility- it is like the Windows market, only instead of it being a licensed OS, it is Apple, and Apple devices, but HTC et. al. become contract manufacturers for Apple. The margins may not be any better than competing in the commodity phone market, but the R&D and marketing costs are a lot less, and so they may be more profitable.

I'm sure this goes against their DNA, but unless FoxConn can expand enough to cover the demand (for Apple and for everybody else) I can see the commoditization happening at the manufacturing level, rather than the device level, as it did in the PC market.

Samsung has had a decade to replicate the iPod, or to build a video game system. I don't know if they will be able to build the expertise or find the mojo that Apple has on software.

I don't think Apple is going to start building plants nor will they build expertise in lithography, etc.

But I think that while software is easy to commoditize (eg: Android) a quality software experience is much harder. Meanwhile, it is cheaper to be a contract manufacturer for a %5 margin than it is to try and compete with your own products.

So, Apple could be the new Microsoft, and Samsung could be the new Apple-- if software is what matters. The reverse could occur if lithography expertise is what ends up mattering.

4 points by phamilton 9 hours ago 0 replies      
One interesting competitor to Samsung is Vizio. While they only really have a presence in Home theater equipment, I find them to be very interesting. They are a completely new player. In a lot of ways they are similar to Hyundai. Hyundai essentially had no name brand or history to sell it's products. So they built the best car they could and sold it at a great price. The Hyundai Genesis was born. Now Hyundai is becoming more and more popular and is getting the credit they deserve. Vizio is similar. As a new player, it seems they just decided to make great products at affordable prices. In doing so, they have managed to keep up with huge companies like Sony and Samsung.

I would like to see a company like that enter the mobile market. Someone who makes a product that speaks for itself.

1 point by Create 2 hours ago 0 replies      
you are talking of the Samsung Linux Platform [this is not Bada nor Android ], to be launched in 2011. It uses 2.6.32-es Linux, X Window System, Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), GTK keretrendszer, Gstreamer etc.

Applications are C/C++ UI is GTK/EFL. Has multitasking and Debian package management.



now let us wonder about the non-goog customers of canonical, with Unity, the need to ditch X11, ditch Gnome3 …fresh release of GTK3.

2 points by TimothyBurgess 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope Samsung sticks with hardware... they should stay far, far away from software.

I (sadly) still use a Samsung Instinct and the OS is of their own design. If you've ever used Samsung's Instinct you'd know it's absolutely terrible and slow. I can't remember the last time I typed something - and I don't even type fast - and it wasn't at least a couple of seconds behind my fingers... pretty annoying when the touch screen won't calibrate and you make at least one typo every other word!

The only upside to the phone is the relative ease of "unlocking" it for use as a 4G modem.

2 points by sudonim 9 hours ago 0 replies      
If samsung operates their business units independently, and don't play favorites, then Apple can easily have the purchasing power with Samsung Displays the Samsung Phones has. However, if samsung plays a slightly dirtier game, then they risk losing Apple as a customer and can't sustain a competitive advantage in displays. Nobody buys an Apple phone for the Samsung memory or display. Likewise, no one will stop buying those items if Apple switches to a different vendor.
2 points by rsingel 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Samsung forks Android. Google refuses to license Google Android software to it. Goodbye Market, Gmail, Nav, etc.

Sorry, just don't see that happening.

Oh, and HTC's phones are so much better quality than the Samsung phones.

1 point by jallmann 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think Samsung cares about software. They are primarily a manufacturing concern, and their lineup of branded phones and devices is just a way to eke out more value from that existing capacity.

Could be that manufacturing capacity is slack, or they need a technology demonstration for design firms that otherwise aren't moving quickly enough ("Hey, we have all this stuff, let's make something cool out of it!").

That'd explain why they were one of the first Android tablets out there, especially with Android not really being tablet-ready. That kind of risk could break a firm that had to outsource manufacturing. But Samsung already had all the hardware pieces; they just had to drop in the software.

2 points by ashbrahma 8 hours ago 1 reply      

From link "Apple Inc. (AAPL 356.85, +2.31, +0.65%) is expected to purchase components used for its handheld devices from Samsung Electronics Co. worth about $7.8 billion this year, the Korea Economic Daily reported Monday, citing industry sources.

The paper also said that Samsung will supply Apple with liquid crystal displays, mobile application processors and NAND flash memory chips used for the U.S. company's iPhones and iPads.

If the contract pushes through, Apple will become Samsung's largest customer, the paper added."

2 points by genieyclo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's interesting the author doesn't mention Bada http://www.bada.com , Samsung's new OS for mobile that's designed to be an "open" competitor to the other mobile OSes out there.

I tried signing up to be a developer about a year ago when they first announced it and I had a under-powered feature phone (Samsung Behold I), yet was discouraged by the fees and other associated things to even sign up...

After reading the Wikipedia page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bada_%28operating_system%29#Cri...
...I'm glad I saw the light and bought an iPhone.

2 points by astrange 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I find myself completely unable to tell if the comments on this post are spam or not. Except for that one with the poorly thought out flame about Apple, which seems real enough.
-4 points by patrickgzill 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a first post, on a dead-stock Wordpress.com installation.

Why should I bother to read about your views on Samsung when:

1. you show neither data nor other facts on which to base your opinion

2. you don't disclose anything about yourself?

For all I know you could be a Samsung employee trying to increase the value of his stock benefits.

"Move" " a simpler programming language as a subset of JavaScript github.com
19 points by tonyskn 4 hours ago   14 comments top 9
13 points by tomstuart 3 hours ago 1 reply      

  Move is a subset of JavaScript [...] The following three examples are all valid Move code while the last one is also valid JavaScript code

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

4 points by Maro 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I don't think Javascript being too complicated is a real world problem.
5 points by olalonde 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Now the question is, does it meet HN's notability requirements?
2 points by igorw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> In JavaScript, there are two different ways to define a function: using the function expression and the function declaration statement, the latter having subtle restrictions. Move only has function expressions.

Except using named functions will also make your stack traces useful. Because function names tell you more than line numbers.

2 points by Andi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Functions return the result of the last expression -> Better use CoffeeScript - it's > 1.0 - it will save you even more work.
2 points by Ezku 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A subset? Doesn't seem so. Also doesn't seem to have anything on CoffeeScript.
1 point by Charuru 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What about coffeescript.
1 point by davidk0101 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really cool. I really like his take on lambda being ^.
-1 point by jamesrom 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 1) Add some shortcuts to JavaScript

Step 2) Make it marginally more expressive

Step 3) ???

Step 4) Profit

I know I belong in computer science, but sometimes I wonder. carolynworks.com
52 points by Mystitat 8 hours ago   37 comments top 16
1 point by davidhollander 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
> What, don't you guys do this constantly in your spare time?

I'd like to point out that English has no official 2nd person plural and "you guys" is basically a genderless colloquialism equivalent of the Southern "you all\y'all" or perhaps "you's" in the Midwest.

Arguably the linguistic origin IS sexist, the point is its part of an English dialect and a much broader debate. What perhaps was a Midwesternism has been misinterpreted as a CompSciism.


31 points by jerf 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Think about how many students were in your freshman level courses. Now think about how many students are in your senior level courses. Add a fudge factor for the larger dispersion in senior level courses if you like, but don't forget seniors are also taking more of the courses per semester as well.

The size difference is basically the number of people who dropped out. A few may have dropped college altogether but many have migrated to another major, because they too doubted they were in the right major until they felt they had to take action. (Or in some cases had it forced on them by failing grades.) This is not a unique experience.

Presumably this is posted here because of the gender issue raised in the post, but given how non-unique this experience is I don't see that the gender angle adds anything. Scratch a few sentences out and any number of juniors could post this. This is not "woman doubt", it's just doubt, and the doubt does not admit of "woman solutions", it's just the same "finish the degree" solution everyone else has. I take the time to say this because I actually think adding the gender idea into this is a little cognitively dangerous; incorrect identification of the problem leads to incorrect identification of the solutions. (As every engineer comes to learn instinctively after a few years under their belt.) Those who are certain they are in the right major are the unusual ones, regardless of gender and from what I saw in college, pretty much regardless of major.

19 points by jedsmith 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This betrays a bit of a self-confidence issue on the part of the author, as does http://blog.carolynworks.com/?p=537 more revealingly). It also plays like a specific issue trying to be painted into a gender issue, which it really isn't.

> “Who knows what lexical analysis is? No one? What, don't you guys do this constantly in your spare time? All right, I'll show you …”

If I may, I believe that the professor was connecting lexical analysis with what humans do on a second-by-second basis -- that is, parsing and interpreting speech from other human beings. Your brain is lexing all of the time, and I believe that's what the professor might have meant -- that was the first thing I thought, anyway. I'd drop a class like a bad habit if the professor quipped about me knowing something before he taught me (I'm not paying for self-study, pal).

6 points by strlen 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As jerf has pointed out, this is Impostor Syndrome. It is present in men as well. Ironically, the better programmer I've become, the stronger it has gotten. The thing is, while scary, it's perfectly normal. The only advise I can offer is just to ignore it. So what if it is true and you "don't belong" or you're a bad programmer: so what? It's still something that you enjoy and can make a career, a rare luxury for most in this world.

If you're worried about that the programming world implies less balance, consider this: the big advantage of programming is that you can get a job that coincides with your passion. That means, meetings and other bs aside, a significant chunk of your work is what you'd consider leisure time devoted to one of your hobbies. It means you actually have more time to pursue non programming hobbies.

That said, you should consider programming a bit outside of work and class. It's very easy to lose focus of what is the general industry trend when you're focused on your specific job. It can be as short as an hour a few evenings a week and a few hours on the weekends. It doesn't need to be anything "cool", it should be something you get a kick out of building that you don't get a chance to do at work: it's perfectly fine to re-invent the wheel, learn a language that isn't used in industry, write a software to facilitate a non programming hobby e.g., I love classics of literature, so I once built a "beautifier" for Project Gutenberg works that would convert them to LaTeX and type set them.

The fact that you love programming should be enough of a reason to continue doing it. Especially if you're skilled in areas outside of programming, you won't have any issue staying employed. Since you have less ego and arrogance, you'll be able to learn more from others, opening fields that are often close to people who are convinced they can't be taught anything about programming in a university setting.


If you really are an impostor, that's likely a much more rare and valuable skill than being a programmer!

22 points by cyrus_ 6 hours ago 1 reply      
In any competitive field, from computer science to ballet, there are those who practice for hours and hours per day.

The author does not want to be a competitive computer scientist, and is happy being a casual one -- skilled enough to make a 40 hour-per-week living with it, to be sure, but not obsessed enough to advance the field itself. She made a great choice going to a liberal arts school.

When she compares herself to students at engineering schools, or references a study of students at CMU, home to some of the top computer science students in the world, she is doing herself a terrible disservice. She sounds a bit like a casual runner upset by the fact that Usain Bolt exists.

Elite computer scientists, like elite athletes, live in a different world. If you want to join that world, the rules are pretty gender-neutral -- work 80 hour weeks, write great software, publish papers, dream in code (or math, really). If you don't want to do that, you aren't a lesser person. Just don't compare yourself to those who do make that choice.

31 points by alain94040 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This has nothing to do with women in tech. It has to do with specialization vs. generalist.

The image of the ultimate hacker assumes a specialist. 100% focused on their expertise. It could lead to a great coder. but a company will also need someone with a decent technical background who can also relate to the end-user for instance, or align more than one sentence when a customer calls. That would be more a generalist.

It's ok not to want to be a domain expert.

4 points by SamReidHughes 8 hours ago 2 replies      
In programming most of the variance in ability is explained by intelligence and not effort. You can take, for example, some non-CS student, teach them programming by saying "look, here's how you do it", and if they're the right student, they'll instantly be better than 90% of CS students. (And if they're not, they won't be. Oh well.) A lot of nerdlingtons who "know" programming and argue about Java going into their freshman year end up doing poorly.

So I would recommend taking it easy. It makes sense to do what you're interested in, and much of that is not night programming, then so be it.

9 points by KevinMS 6 hours ago 2 replies      
computer science != programming

Why does this very basic fact elude so many?

5 points by OncomingStorm 6 hours ago 1 reply      
If the author of this blog post reads this then if I may, I have a few comments, and everyone else should take note as-well ;)

"When they talk about how they live to program and never leave the lab"


I LOVE programming, however I also LOVE playing with my 2-year old, playing poker with the fella's, practicing origami, watching movies, working on my (admittedly horrible) art skills.

I know exactly where you are coming from when you say that you are worried about your programming skills not being 'up to snuff' but trust me, it is a small price to pay for having a life that is fun and enjoyable. It's these people skills and life skills that will make you more-rounded, and I'll be frank when I say that the more-rounded you are, the more likely you are to have fun, and the more you have fun the more it will show. And the more it shows you enjoy life, the more people/bosses/hiring managers will want to hire you to work around them.

It isn't always the technical skills, most of the time it's the soft skills that make a difference. So practice your knitting, and definitely practice the Japanese. And next time you are asked about what you have as a hobby, be honest. It will impress.

1 point by praptak 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I might add some different perspective to that. I was (and to a degree still am) one of those guys who went home from the lab to spend some more time on programming for fun.

Besides the obvious non-IT-related downsides (made me obviously less social), it also has some IT-related downsides. Even on the purely technical career path (programmer->senior programmer->tech leader->architect->???) the more you advance the more you need the skills and knowledge outside the IT field, even if it's only to keep a lunch conversation with those weird non-technical people who decide about IT spending :)

My point is that even if you consider this only in the context of your career in IT, spending your time outside programming might be quite a good investment.

6 points by freerobby 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why you are portraying concentrated education vs liberal arts education as a women's issue. I'm a male who also earned a CS degree at a liberal arts school, and I had similar struggles in trying to balance my technical workload alongside literature and politics.
3 points by swecker 6 hours ago 0 replies      
At the beginning of this article I was reminded of Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters."
If women tend to have broader interests, leaning towards the arts, than I would say that those that also lean towards coding would have the largest potential as innovative hackers. Although that's not the same issue as fitting in with a cs crowd... just my thoughts.
2 points by abalashov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would concur with other posters in saying that this is not a gender-specific problem at all.
1 point by rick_2047 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is just opposite of what I am thinking. I am doing too much of EE. I think about some application or the other in my spare time, draw mechanisms for robotics while I am doodling and while in class I follow my own curriculum as the one taught at my university it too slow. I am actually looking for a hobby which would take me away from the abstractions of EE and put me to a much concrete ground. Just cannot find any. Suggestions?
1 point by gommm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems to me that most people on HN are programers with rather broad interest.. So I don't think the programer who only lives to code is the majority, although it might seem this way during graduate school
1 point by sabalaba 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I know I belong and sometimes I wonder don't seem to belong together here. We all have busy chores to do and things that we know that we NEED to do, but what you're studying, working on and 'doing' with your life should be something that you absolutely LOVE. I love coming up with ideas that solve hard problems, I love coding and I love staring into the dark abyss known as the global market economy and asking, "What do you want?".

If you have difficulty staring at yourself in the mirror and saying "I love what I do every day", then you should seriously reconsider what you're doing.

Ask HN: Please Review FavoriteThing.Me
8 points by dshipper 45 minutes ago   14 comments top 5
1 point by markbao 13 minutes ago 2 replies      
> Combined we have released 7 fully featured web apps over the past 30 days, but we haven't gotten as much traction as we have hoped.

Been there, done that.

> We saw an opportunity to create a site similar to threewords.me


Nice work. You definitely need to work on the design a lot. At the moment, it looks a bit gaudy. "My favorite thing about you is" hint text is good leading (I didn't think of that). You NEED for someone to be able to create their own profile immediately after they post something. Currently the user flow is: new visitor "> post comment "> "okay, what now?" "> close page. Get your viral coefficient >0 and ask them to sign up for a profile right after they submit something.

More of my signups on threewords.me were through the new visitor "> interaction "> signup viral flow (viral coefficient >0) rather than the go to homepage "> get convinced to sign up for the site "> get account flow.

Good luck on the site, and the homework :p. I'm about to get back to mine. Cheers.

1 point by senko 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
> Combined we have released 7 fully featured web apps over the past 30 days, but we haven't gotten as much traction as we have hoped.

It seems to me like you're focusing too much on the tech part of things (building it) to the expense of "business" part (spreading the word). I'm a technical guy too and have similar problem with my projects - I enjoy building them, but I'm poor at actually reaching the potential users.

So my advice (which I'm trying to follow myself, too :) is for the next 30 days, don't build any more projects, instead focus on marketing the ones you've already built.

2 points by scrrr 17 minutes ago 2 replies      
This is cute but neither solves a problem of any sort, nor does it give any satisfaction to comment there, nor do most people feel the need to fish for compliments like that. (That's all just in my opinion of course.
1 point by davidw 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
How does it make money?
1 point by dshipper 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
I pay my wife to do my laundry cnn.com
24 points by jwwest 5 hours ago   17 comments top 4
7 points by benwerd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very appropriate day to post this.

In my house, I do most of the cooking, the dishes and the laundry. (The latter is because, being one of these work-at-home laptop-bound types, I'm at home a lot.) My girlfriend tends to vacuum and tidy more. But none of this is because we've established an internal market in our home and relationship. Between the two of us, we do what's right for each other, and it just works out.

This applies just as well to startup co-founders as it does to marriages. You want to find someone whose best interests you want to act in, and who will act in yours. Life's too short to be negotiating about who's going to wash the dishes, or who's going to pick up the mail. When you're emotionally invested in a person, an organization, a project or a cause, you'll do the right thing for it. And that's the kind of person you want to be in any kind of relationship with.

11 points by Charuru 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Must not be Asian. My friends give their wives all their money.
2 points by thematt 2 hours ago 4 replies      
This seems foolish from a purely financial standpoint. Often times interest rates are tiered and you can get significantly higher rates with the more money you have in a single account.

They should combine them. They could keep pretending they have separate accounts and just write checks for what they owe, just have it come out of a single savings account.

1 point by dshankar 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is where companies like Laundry Locker in SF really help out.
EFF Finds Evidence Of Over 40,000 Intelligence Violations By The FBI techdirt.com
148 points by DanielRibeiro 15 hours ago   17 comments top 5
11 points by jdp23 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a reminder: the House is voting on Patriot Act renewal Monday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. Please call your representative! There are plenty of other ways you can help too.

Get FISA Right's action alert: http://bit.ly/feb13aa

EFF: https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=Us...

6 points by GHFigs 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The "40,000" figure isn't any less made up than it was two weeks ago: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2159444
5 points by drivebyacct2 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The number was 40,000 4-5 years ago when I was debating this case in policy debate in highschool. I fought against it then, and no one gave a shit. Doesn't surprise me that it has continued to occur.
3 points by aantthony 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What a surprise.
Why Non-engineers Think Engineers Are Better Off Joining Startups dbasch.posterous.com
168 points by diego 17 hours ago   70 comments top 11
21 points by wallflower 16 hours ago replies      
We've done polls here on HN before of where people work. A significant percentage of the HN community work for companies that are not startups.

Sometimes even just reading on HN about people who are succeeding (or persisting) with their side projects or about successful startup founders or failed startup founders is enough to release the tension (momentarily) - to jump from a certain 9 to 5 reality to very real world of a real start-up.

The ability to leave your job at 5pm is very much a benefit, one that 99% of startups will never offer.

That being said, you will never become wealthy[1] without ownership of something that produces income. That will almost never happen at a BigCo. My mom had multiple patents - for which she got a nice lucite paperweight [2]

[1] My definition of wealthy == How long you can maintain your current, preferred lifestyle without working. This means building a semi-passive/semi-active income from your own products. Binging on consulting income isn't the same. Yes, you can adjust your preferred lifestyle to meet median cash flows.

[2] Example from the "Corporate & IP Recognition Company" (LOL)


20 points by mgkimsal 17 hours ago 2 replies      
"and then build a crappy, I-hope-nobody-sees-this-code prototype."

And it'll end up being 'production' code because "we already have it and they already paid for it!". And the crappier it is, the longer it will remain in production and the harder everyone will fight against rebuilding it to be not crappy.

16 points by samt 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Good times are better for working at startups for one reason - switching costs are lower. When you know that if $employer runs out of cash but you can find another job in a week, there's very little risk involved as a startup engineer.

That said, as an engineer being a startup "employee" is a sucker's game. You'll never get enough equity or intangibles to compensate for the risk/effort/opportunity cost.

14 points by zeemonkee 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The argument seems to be BigCorp vs. startup. You can also work in a relatively sane, small-to medium sized stable business.
12 points by jswiente 16 hours ago 3 replies      
"You will have stability. If you are hired by Oracle or Google [...] chances are you'll be able to work on this specific problem for long enough to accomplish something."

Large companies change all the time. Departments are merged, strategies are changed and projects are stopped constantly. I think this point isn't valid.

1 point by sanj 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The "why" question wasn't answered in the actual article.

It was a reasonable debunking of a deplorable TC article, but I was really interested in the difference in mindset.

1 point by ashr 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I have no idea if there is a specific non-engineer that this post is talking about. The author of the referenced techcrunch article Bindu Reddy is certainly not a non-engineer : http://www.crunchbase.com/person/bindu-reddy

It also seems to me that this post is criticizing two sentences out of the entire article (http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/13/engineers-startups/)
without properly understanding them with rest of the context. All this article is saying is that due to the market warming up, now is a good time for engineers to work at a start up.

That said, I agree with the point that dbasch is trying to make even though I don't think that they needed to be presented as a 'rebuttal'.

2 points by hackerbysea 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have to say I'm a bit surprised by the sentiment favoring working at big companies among the majority of comments here.

One possible explanation:
1) Statistically, most engineers work for big companies.
2) By human nature, people tend to stick to their current jobs, most likely a big company job.

Here is a related thread at Quora:

3 points by pestaa 16 hours ago 2 replies      
The sad thing is, most engineers are constantly in information-gathering mode, putting them in the front of the hype.

Any logical being would play with the idea of financial freedom. And it is unlikely in a "regular job."

2 points by lylanm 15 hours ago 1 reply      
"it would never cross my mind to make a blanket statement that all engineers should work at startups" --> I completely agree. In fact, such blanket statements about almost any kind of advice is often naive.
1 point by jeanhsu 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Totally agree with a lot of the points you brought up. There are pluses to working at large companies, and many people are happy there. I left Google to work for myself and then joined a startup, and couldn't be happier. Wrote a response as well and included your post: http://www.jeanhsu.com/?p=247
Google Axis googleaxis.com
40 points by jeffmiller 8 hours ago   17 comments top 11
39 points by jaysonelliot 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, at least it proves that bad UX on the Web isn't entirely the fault of Flash.
15 points by jeswin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If this isn't done by Google, I don't think it is fair to use their brand. I wouldn't be surprised if Google sends a take down notice.
7 points by marcusbooster 6 hours ago 0 replies      
mr doob did this originally as a chrome experiment: http://mrdoob.com/projects/chromeexperiments/google_sphere/
3 points by swombat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow, DHTML! I hadn't seen this in 10 years at least!
5 points by statictype 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't get it. Is this a demo of Chrome's capabilities?
Or something more than that?
2 points by esonica 5 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a link on this page to http://www.googledemolition.com/ also, which looks like another project waiting for a takedown notice..
1 point by Pahalial 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Kind of cool, but mostly ow. The last thing our eyes need is to move around even less within the scope of a computer screen. I'm going to stick to image searches that are less likely to aggravate my mild myopia.
2 points by barista 5 hours ago 0 replies      
And the point of this is????
1 point by westy92 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting. Could either be very cool or very aggravating, depending on your perspective. :P
1 point by audyyy 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This would be more fun if I could use it with my NES gun
-4 points by knowsnothing613 8 hours ago 0 replies      
it'd be better on kinect.

Microsoft should buy this company:


They claim to turn any surface into a touch screen. Combine that with kinect's technology, and microsoft has a revolutionary UX that could beat apple & google in the mobile, local, and web space.

Nerd Fort nerdfort.com
182 points by mrphoebs 18 hours ago   77 comments top 27
11 points by JonnieCache 14 hours ago 4 replies      
There's something like this in Brighton on the south coast of the UK called The Skiff.

Membership is £165/$264 a month. However this is the top rate, you can pay £25 a month for 'mates' membership, which means you aren't guaranteed a desk, but you can go there and find a place to sit wherever the hell you want, 2 days a week. It's an odd pricing structure but it must work for them because from what I've heard it's always busy.


Never been there myself. We just have our own little office.

They host some sort of hacker drop-in-centre called "Build Brighton" down there at night time apparently, which I've been meaning to check out. Apparently they made a MIDI exercise bike once...


10 points by jasonkester 13 hours ago 8 replies      
I registered geekbeach.org (no site there) a few years back with the hope of one day doing this same thing in some random tropical setting.

I wonder how many people (aside from me of course) would be happy to know about a spot on Nusa Lembongan with guaranteed fast internet, reliable power, a nice slice of white sand and a really nice reef break just outside the lagoon.

Would anybody here take the effort to weasel a working holiday to such a place? Any SV startups that would pick up the whole shop and set up on the beach for a month or so?

It's been raining here in the North of England for six months straight. If I get enough love for the idea here, I might just have to book a flight and start scouting locations.

7 points by tptacek 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Price is about 20% higher than the per-person cost of our first office in Chicago's Monadnock building, but our office didn't have the amenities. Is this roughly what co-working spaces cost nationwide?
4 points by jollyjerry 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I saw the link to Office and Company in Pasadena. The rates are a bit steep for me at $325/month. I've also been to Blank Spaces in Santa Monica. Are there any folks out near Caltech that be interested in sharing a space or just working together? I usually work at home now and I wouldn't want to do co-working everyday of the week; I find I focus better outside an office environment. But I think spending a day or 2 every week with fellow developers and designers sounds fun and interesting. Ping me if you like the idea of part-time coworking.
44 points by aeden 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Any photos?
8 points by travisjeffery 17 hours ago 0 replies      
You need to link to some photos.
2 points by Legion 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm moving from California (where I work mostly in-office) to Austin (where I will continue to work the same job, but 100% remote), and I have been looking for things like this in the Austin area.
6 points by pktm 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not looking to appear picky, but please break out the contact info & the address. Right now, prospects are required to thoroughly read the text, even if they're sold and want to sign up right away.


2 points by whalesalad 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice! Something finally exists for those of us in So Cal!
4 points by younata 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I need more information on the zombie apocalypse survivability.

Until I know that it's safer than my bomb shelter, I am not leaving.

1 point by code_duck 8 hours ago 0 replies      
That is so what I'm looking for.

I've been thinking of renting out an office just so I have somewhere to go to and work in a daily routine.

Working at home all the time is not as grand as some people might think it would be.

2 points by apinstein 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice branding and story, I like it. I think from a lot of co-working sites it's not clear what the vibe will be. Good luck!
1 point by mkramlich 11 hours ago 0 replies      
cool idea. fortunatley in some places you can get an entire private office with door for about double that. more space & quiet, less "co-" so not sure if clearly better or worse
1 point by mk 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty cool as there isn't much like this in the SFV. It would be nice if there were some photos so we could see what it looks like. I've been to co-loft in Santa Monica a couple times and am hoping this is similar. It would be nice if they hosted some meet-ups like co-loft does as it would be a much closer place to nerd out for people that live closer to SFV.
1 point by rfugger 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice coworking space in Vancouver:


1 point by pvilchez 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a couple of coworking places in the Golden Triangle in Ontario that come to mind:

- http://treehaus.ca in Kitchener, I think they've been around a while;

- http://threefortynine.com, a new space starting up in Guelph

3 points by nhangen 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Two words: Awesome design.
1 point by mrphoebs 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi guys, Im not associated with nerd fort,so Im not able to provide any photos. Posted the link because I thought it would be useful to other hackers (and liked the design as well).
2 points by pero 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar concept with 2 locations in Toronto:


2 points by skullsplitter 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Im looking for Nerd Fort Oakland
1 point by MonkoftheFunk 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this similar?
Or is this for more mature startups?
1 point by whackedspinach 13 hours ago 0 replies      
How does coworking work? Is that someplace where you could leave your desktop, or do people just bring laptops in?
1 point by risico 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish there were more options like this, and not just in US. Even if you are a freelance or a one man startup, working alone isn't always as good as it sounds.
1 point by robotkad 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The logo is by one of my fave internet artists - http://goopymart.com/
1 point by jvandonsel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the name and logo.
1 point by phatbyte 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Photos please...
Stuxnet is now on GitHub github.com
221 points by steipete 20 hours ago   63 comments top 10
19 points by rst 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Decompiler output; product of the HBGary/Anonymous dump. The most interesting thing here is probably the emails from HBGary folks about StuxNet in the accompanying blog post[1]. (For public purposes, the CEO wants everyone to know, they know nothing about it, but Aaron Barr was talking about it with various people anyway.)

Unfortunately, the decompiler output doesn't convey much as it stands, unless you like sorting through pages and pages of

    local199 = local191;
local203 = local191 + 0x6f02418d;
local3 = proc2(0x10021238, param1, param2, param9, param5); /* Warning: also results in local190 */
local208 = local3;
local209 = local190;
local211 = local203;

That being one of the more interesting sections; there are stretches with dozens of lines in a row of the form "localfoo = localbar".

It does seem to suggest, at least, that this dump didn't have the actual source.

[1] http://crowdleaks.org/hbgary-wanted-to-suppress-stuxnet-rese...

26 points by dmix 18 hours ago 3 replies      
For those curious, a Microsoft employee broke down each of the exploits that Stuxnet used at a conference recently: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOwMW6agpTI
4 points by NateLawson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is not Hex-rays output. It is much better than this. This is boomerang, which is a free decompiler that hasn't been maintained much lately. You'll note that not much has been updated on their page since 2006.


This github project is pretty much useless for those who want to learn about Stuxnet. Better to load the binary into IDA Freeware instead.

Stuxnet does appear to be an unusually large project (base classes, ungainly modular structure) for malware. This reinforces what I said earlier about its lack of stealth for the payload.


It does not appear to be sophisticated in any way except for its payload, which some evidence seems to claim was carefully constructed (e.g., with a PLC testbed). The "embarrassing" fact I was referring to in the above post is that its lack of stealth revealed its payload to the world, and no competent intelligence agency has that goal if the purpose of the worm itself is to do some damage.

Perhaps the worm is a way to draw the heat off the real deployment method. Or it is industrial sabotage gone awry. There is still not enough evidence to come to any conclusions on it, except this is not what an eleet cyberweapon would look like if you were to find one.

1 point by Tenchi 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like the fuss this "recent discovery" makes all around the web when this article here: http://ma2moun.com/blog/2010/09/stuxnet-source-code-samples/
is FOUR MONTHS OLD, and contains the exact same code output than the github "source code" (The second screenshot has the exact same content as 016169EBEBF1CEC2AAD6C7F0D0EE9026.c)
22 points by forgotusername 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Title insults the intelligence of HN readers, that's obviously nothing more than minimally annotated Hex Rays decompiler output.

There is nothing new to see here. A quick Google search for "stuxnet.zip" reveals other samples, undamaged by some PR whoring idiot running it through IDA.

2 points by scotth 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Man oh man. That would take a long time to figure out. Is this really the best a C decompiler can do?
6 points by levigross 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if anyone is going to send a DMCA takedown to github.....
5 points by wslh 17 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the license? :-)
-4 points by dustinchilson 18 hours ago 1 reply      
So I see GoTos in that code. I hope that was the decompiler not the author because thats just sacrilege.
-4 points by yuvadam 19 hours ago 3 replies      
This decompiled output shows a very nice example where C can really be no more than "glorified assembly". (Anyone help me with proper attribution for the quote?)
Dual Uprisings Show Potent New Threats to Arab States nytimes.com
22 points by tokenadult 6 hours ago   16 comments top 4
13 points by tokenadult 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This article includes astounding details about how Arab democracy movement activists used new technologies to organize their movement internationally. It also mentions little-known connections to writers and movements in other, non-Arab countries. The phenomena described could sweep the world.
3 points by zalew 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Mr. Obama ended the call, the official said, with these words: “I respect my elders. And you have been in politics for a very long time, Mr. President. But there are moments in history when just because things were the same way in the past doesn't mean they will be that way in the future.”

I can't recall a single dictator in the modern history of the world which would fall down without US interference. People's engagement and activism is hard to undervalue and for sure the revolution is in their hands, but when I came across lots of such comments http://i.imgur.com/7u8xk.png I was really disappointed how people tend to easily forget history.

1 point by mkramlich 4 hours ago 3 replies      
One thing I noticed about the recent Egyptian events that few have mentioned. Folks in Egypt gather in Tahir Square and protest for almost 3 weeks, Mubarak still in power. Obama administration on Thursday then basically gives an ultimatum to the senior Egyptian military leadership, and bang, the next day Mubarak has "resigned".

Lesson: huge props to the Egyptian people. But also give credit to the US administration. They didn't have to do what they did. Also, the follow-in issue being that probably the biggest reason why we had such strong leverage over Egypt was the billions in military aid we give them annually. To a government run by a dictator. Leverage is good, but backing dictators is bad in the long run, despite short term benefits.

1 point by mkramlich 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hopefully the events in Egypt will serve as a model for people in all the other Middle East, Arab and Muslim dictatorships. If they don't want a foreign country or coalition to come in and topple their regime then, well, they need to do something domestically to make it happen. Otherwise it's hard to whine. Pick your poison.
Peter Norvig: The machine age nypost.com
71 points by pitdesi 12 hours ago   36 comments top 8
14 points by Smerity 10 hours ago 2 replies      
In this AI/machine learning is compared to the space race and the fight against cancer - I like the comparison considering I work in the field ;) Unfortunately though I think AI and machine learning has the fundamental problem of rolling improvement...

Think back a hundred years to a time before the internet, long distance telephones, common air travel and so on. To people from a hundred years ago we'd be the most outlandish science fiction story ever told.

I consider the same thing whilst watching science fiction films - in reality they wouldn't be amazed that they can reach Mars in a half hour. They'd instead be complaining about the in-flight entertainment or the turbulence caused by navigating asteroid fields.

AI has the same problem. People can now (naively) communicate with each other even though they share no common language. Texts and documents can be re-written in real time to be legible in another language. Credit card fraud and spam emails are handled transparently by systems trained on hundreds or thousands of hours of cumulative knowledge. No-one sees these things. No-one respects these things.

Human kind judges itself from the position it currently stands, not from where it began. For this reason alone incremental improvements will never really be considered milestones of achievement.

17 points by Luyt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A link to the 'print version' of the page: the whole article on one page without the incredible clutter and cruft that the New York Post splashes all over its site:


1 point by mtrn 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
3 points by wooby 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The episode "The Thinking Machine" of the Nova miniseries "The Machine That Changed the World" is my favorite introduction to the history of AI up until around AI winter.

The episode, along with four others, are available here: http://waxy.org/2008/06/the_machine_that_changed_the_world_t...

3 points by Jun8 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Learning turned out to be more important than knowing." This seemingly simple sentence, to me, sums up the article, i.e. the data driven approach as opposed to model-driven ones.
13 points by mthomas 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps offtopic, but I find it odd that there is an opinion piece by Peter Norvig in the NY Post.
2 points by l0nwlf 11 hours ago 2 replies      
``One of the biggest issues in AI is determining what the question is really asking i.e. translating a “natural language” query into something machine can understand and find the appropriate answer.'' - so True.
1 point by bmh100 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is an excellent article for raising awareness of AI. However, I disagree with its conclusion that we will always relate to AI as tools, pets, advisers, etc.

When we ask whether machines can think, I believe it is a question of volition and self-direction. Does the machine have an open-ended goal and is self aware? Can it alter its own programming to change its own methods, its own knowledge, and its own goals? If the answer to these two is "yes," then I believe we will consider the machine to be thinking.

What are the implications? If machines gain those capacities, as well as the ability to compute emotions, then what separates them from us? If you agree that humanity is fundamentally a function of our minds, then, if machines can compute in fundamentally equivalent ways, they become "human." What evidence is there that this is forever impossible?

Ask HN: Which of your start up mistakes has taught you the most?
26 points by jmartin 3 hours ago   18 comments top 14
4 points by Maro 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I made many mistakes, the common pattern in all mistakes was WISHFUL THINKING. I think a really good businessman operates without ANY wishful thinking. I came to the conclusion that a good business plan (which by the way should be typed up and hung on the wall so that it is explicit) contains no more than one "wishful" part. VC money might allow for more, I don't know.

Anyways, for me it was:

* not doing customer development at the very beginning

* concentrating on technology instead of customers

* not taking into account market forces

* not taking into account my economic environment (Eastern Europe != California), reading too many SV blogs

* not starting the company when I was younger (started at 27, should have started at 25)

I think not concentrating on customers is a common mistake, which could be avoided if for example the book "Four steps to Epiphany" would come up more often, and people would read it before spending 6 months writing code =)



I actually think reading lists like this is not that helpful, at least it wasn't for me. A technical person doens't even know what customer development is. What's technology, it's different in different contexts. What are market forces in your segment, you probably don't even know when you're starting out.

I would recommend to talk to a friend who has started a business and has experienced the realities. I have been on the advice-giving end of such a conversation a couple of days ago, and it was shocking to see my mistakes (mostly wishful thinking and lack of ecomomic realities) repeated in my good friends line of thinking. I spent a whole night (8 hours) telling him my insights, it was pretty shocking for him, several times he walked out and then came back, but I was only telling him what I learned the last 2 years. In the end it was a good deal for him.

7 points by jarin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
* Not having multiple clients lined up (in Round 1 of my company I made this mistake and had to get a "real job" for a while).

* Not starting early and having to pull all-nighters as deadlines approached.

* Not communicating with clients on a daily basis (this also helps to keep you from procrastinating).

* Not starting on your crazy side ideas/weekend projects as soon as possible. The longer they sit on your to-do list, the more they'll bug you but also the less likely they'll get done. If you at least get them to a prototype stage, you won't feel like you missed out even if you decide not to finish them.

1 point by buro9 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Listen to your customers.

I was doing stuff I found interesting even though it wasn't what my customers were asking for, and in doing so I've left a lot of money on the table.

This is being corrected now, my users have been screaming for me to add advertising for a while (strange, huh) and I'd been against it because I didn't think it was important and because I thought I had more pressing things to do (adding new features).

But in the area I'm in (highly loyal niche community) most of the users are involved in cottage industries of their own and want the advertising to not only help ensure the sustainability of the community but also to give their products exposure and a springboard. Likewise users of the site have been asking for adverts so that they have a kind of slow beacon showing what new stuff has emerged that they might've missed in the ebb and flow of fast moving conversation.

So the lesson I've learned is to quit holding an anti-advert bias and to listen to the users more. They really want adverts and they really want to give me money, and I should really let them do the latter ASAP.

Another one would be to make larger pivots faster.

I started the company to own the pet project and to use that to fund what I feel are larger more complex things. However, the pet project has £3k revenue per month with almost no effort (maybe a couple of hours per week), clearly it's the one with traction and I should be behind that 100% instead of mostly ignoring it. There's so much I could still do with the pet project and haven't been doing because I've been researching more complex things... this is dumb of me in the short term as I could be building the pet project into the main entity and sustaining a proper income from it.

Both of these lessons lead to the same thing: Quit being blind about your realities. Stubbornness to only do the things you want to do, without listening to your users and customers, may be stopping you from actually do what you can do.

3 points by jorangreef 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Not building for myself.

2. Not addressing a universal consumer market.

3. Extrapolating too far and pivoting unnecessarily.

4. Not focusing on the bare minimum of features.

5. Not keeping things simple.

6. Not having a big "Fordian" vision (read Ford's autobiography).

7. Not getting prospective customers to cover development cost.

8. Focusing too much on "talking about culture" rather than culture itself which is values plus action.

9. Not pushing employees enough.

10. Not insisting on timeliness (being "before time" not "on time") or outcomes enough.

11. Worrying.

12. Not working a fixed 8 hours a day (max 40 hours per week).

13. Not exercising consistently.

Needless to say in spite of these, the outcome so far has been good, but if I were to advise someone, I would mention the above.

5 points by mbesto 1 hour ago 0 replies      
* Build for your customer, not for yourself.

* Make one thing very good, ignore trying to do hundreds of features at launch.

3 points by endlessvoid94 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You absolutely, 100% cannot get angry at your users. If they misuse your product, it's your fault. If they don't understand something, it's your fault.
3 points by homecoded 1 hour ago 0 replies      
* working with an investor who wants to do all of your customer relations for you

-> This leads to a situation where you see customers asking questions in a forum and you (as a developer) are not allowed to answer because this is what the investor's support team is supposed to do. Thus, answering will be slow and of low quality. This builds a bad reputation. I will never do that again.

3 points by olalonde 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not carefully choosing co-founder.
1 point by psg 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
* Not Launching Early. It's wishful thinking that your initial product is perfect. I read somewhere that if you're not embarrassed by your initial product, then you waited too long to launch.

Note I'm not talking about a "marketing launch", but a launch where your product gets in front of early adopters.

1 point by JarekS2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If I would start over I would do the following:

* have at least 10 customers willing to buy my service when it's done. During the time of development they would commit to spend time with me validating my product hypothesis.

* prepare spec for a _REAL_ mvp.

* clearly _describe_ problem that I'm trying to solve. (now I know that it takes multiple iterations to achieve this - most importantly discussing the problem with your future customers)

5 points by bluethunder 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Never waste time pursuing Indian VC's.
0 points by swombat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All of them. If you learn only from one mistake, you've failed. Most likely in your first few businesses you will make numerous mistakes.
1 point by zyfo 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Not making sure my and my co-founders ambition and goals was aligned.
3 points by junkfruit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
start market validation exercise early on
StartupBus community is about to explode karolis.info
19 points by ideaburner1 5 hours ago   8 comments top 5
7 points by idlewords 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I took this literally (maybe a Speed kind of scenario?) and got super excited.
2 points by regularfry 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't read a sentence ending in "...is about to explode" without being put in mind of a low-rent press release from an idea-free MBA's idea of a startup.

Not that I think that's what this is, it's just an unfortunate turn of phrase.

3 points by dustineichler 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Call me old school, but this is called college. I already lived through this once. Although good times, I don't like smelling like week old laundry.
1 point by fleitz 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If anyone wants an invite I've still got two.
2 points by bemmu 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Getting motion sick just imagining it
Japanese satellite discovers two huge holes in sun's magnetic field news.com.au
18 points by keyle 5 hours ago   discuss
Royalty-free MPEG video codec to up the ante for Google's WebM/VP8 fosspatents.blogspot.com
3 points by FlorianMueller 1 hour ago   discuss
Yes, The Khan Academy is the Future of Education singularityhub.com
153 points by kkleiner 18 hours ago   68 comments top 14
18 points by solipsist 18 hours ago replies      
I haven't exactly been as amazed by the Khan Academy as everyone else has. After watching a few videos, I decided that we need to focus more on the material that we are teaching - rather than the methods we go about doing it. They will obviously go hand by hand, but in my opinion the material that we are teaching is our biggest weakness and therefore needs the most reform.

A video that everyone should take the time to watch is Conrad Wolfram's TED talk on teaching students with computers (http://www.ted.com/talks/conrad_wolfram_teaching_kids_real_m...). While we may use computers now to enhance the learning methods, we haven't taken advantage of the content/knowledge computers have and can supply for us. The majority of what is taught in grades K-12 in science and math could be done by a computer in almost no time with increased accuracy. Why wouldn't we take advantage of that?

The gist of Wolfram's talk is that we are teaching students mechanics (which computers can do more efficiently) when we should be teaching them the higher orders of thinking and problem solving.

Against popular belief, concepts can be understood without learning the nitty-gritty mechanics. One could solve a quadratic word problem without solving the quadratic equation themselves, and still understand the problem just as well. Think about it: do you need to learn how the engine of a car works before you can drive it?

While all of this is not entirely relevant to the article, I humbly believe that the future of education should be and will be (if everything goes right) orders of magnitudes higher in efficiency as students will spend more time learning the right material. I'm not sure how much the Khan Academy will play a role in that...

27 points by mey 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The Khan Academy is A Future of Education.

Talented educators (non-traditional and traditional) and technology are going to keep coming together in new and interesting ways. There will be lots of failures, but Khan Academy will not be the only success. The article doesn't mention things like MIT's effort in this field that predate Khan's efforts etc.

7 points by ilamont 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, the Khan Academy IS the Future of Education."


There are no guarantees, of course.

Maybe, then, it's time to pull back on the hype machine for Khan Academy. I've used it before, and it's wonderful as a student aid, but it basically boils down to free instructional videos. It's a great help, but it's hardly the revolution that the headline makes it out to be.

5 points by dwc 16 hours ago 5 replies      
As an autodidact interested in exploring more mathematics, of course I learned about Khan Academy. One look and I was impressed, but that didn't last long. Though the videos are well done all around, there's no clear curriculum to follow. Or if there is a curriculum, it's not obvious. Instead, I have a bazillion videos to choose from. Which videos depend on knowledge in other videos, and which ones can be done in parallel? No idea.

Education's past is a series of textbooks (plus supplemental info and exercises), providing a clear path to learning. Khan Academy, such as it now stands, is a video analog of textbook chapters as discrete units all in an unorganized pile. Until more is done in the neglected areas, Khan Academy will remain an extremely valuable resource, but not a curriculum. Even if/when these missing bits are done this will only be the future of delivery of fairly traditional materials.

The real future of education is a computerized personal tutor that provides individual assessment, guidance, alternate explanations where comprehension lacks, encouragement to pursue natural ability and enthusiasm, etc. That's pretty ambitious, but not at all inconceivable. We're close enough to being able to achieve it that we should hold up this ideal goal so we know the right direction as we build the pieces.

3 points by jamesjyu 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I really can't express how inspirational Khan is. The way he is able to break down difficult concepts into bite sized chunks is amazing.

It was really inevitable that someone with his abilities would change the way education is delivered by using tools like YouTube. Of course, his teaching style may not be for everyone, but the mere fact that the Khan Academy exists, and is free, gives me great hope for humanity.

4 points by mkramlich 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Always bet on talent. Talent is rare and the main bottleneck in most human enterprises. Salman Khan is a great talent with a very rare combo of qualities.
2 points by andresmh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have not RTFA but equating content delivery with education seems risky. Yes, Khan Academy videos are engaging and often better than getting content from books, but education is much more than content. Education is also about building, creating, interacting, sharing.
1 point by nerfhammer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Khan Academy has poked a hole in my heart that needs to be filled: A computer science curriculum
1 point by rick_2047 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Khan Academy takes in external videos (other wise making something functional with google sites is fine with me but wouldn't get nearly as much traction). I have 10min long videos explaining Digital electronics basics. My tech went one step backwards from khan, I just used pen-paper and one webcame. :) Looking into getting my videos reviewed by them, otherwise my deadline would be.... April 1st. (just thought that up now, but people say its good to have a deadline).
1 point by pixcavator 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I am afraid they lack the background to pull off "the future of education", certainly not on the college level. Sorry for being harsh.
1 point by patrickod 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The one thing the Khan academy and other such resources is the inspiration, personal engagement, guidance and other things that teachers and tutors do. Granted for some people these things have little bearing on their learning I think that for the majority of students they can make all the difference. No doubt people here have found their interest in a subject at school or college diminished due to a bad teacher or vice-versa
1 point by theklub 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The Future of Education is going to be game oriented, getting kids to watch boring videos will be very hard.
1 point by asdkl234890 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Lets hope so. While higher education in itself is valuable, the prices most often being asked for it are not exactly worth paying.
1 point by badwetter 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Education should be a basic human right!
       cached 14 February 2011 11:59:01 GMT