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1
AOL Exposed: A Former AOL Employee Speaks Out thefastertimes.com
146 points by dreambird  3 hours ago   48 comments top 16
1
aresant 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"AOL paid us as “independent contractors,"

AOL is treading a fine, fine line there.

The IRS defines an independent contractor as:

"The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done."

This is a notoriously ambiguous definition but with AOL's rigorous guidelines, deadlines, and instructions it sure seems like this isn't an "independent" work force.

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=179115,00....

2
ChuckFrank 58 minutes ago 2 replies      
Creating content online is NOT a viable business model. Recent history is littered with new content creators, and they've failed. The viable business model is either to host other content - YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, GrooveShark, Earbits, etc - Or to create content that is agnostic as to their use - Hollywood Studios, NY Publishers, Music Labels. - So either AOL should transition to a creator, or transition to a online host. It can't expect to have a viable future by creating content for online only. This is true of AOL and any other business model that tries this. JustinTV - Hosts, ESPN - Hosts, The WKUK - Creators, Monty Python - Creators. So please, once and for all, let's stop imagining these Online Studios, or these Online Magazine, or even worse, these Ipad Magazines. Instead think Vice. They've got music, magazines, tv, movies, and they don't care where you see it. http://www.vbs.tv/ - http://www.viceland.com/ . Just a bunch of Canadians that thought that they could rewrite the magazine business model by giving away their magazines for free. And look where that's taken them. So to recap. Make your choice, either host or create, and abide by their distinct rules.
3
SemanticFog 2 hours ago 3 replies      
There's nothing unique to AOL here. When I first got out of college, I interviewed at local newspapers up and down the east coast. Entry level jobs had awful pay, about $15K/yr, but it was a chance to break in to the business.

One grizzled editor chain smoked cigarettes through our interview (you could do that in the office back then). He listened to me describe why I wanted to write. Then he leaned back, blew a cloud of smoke, and told me:

"You kid come into this business thinking you're going to make a difference. Pretty soon you find out, you're just filling the space around the ads."

He was right, actually. So I got into high tech instead, and have been doing startups ever since. Not sure I always make a difference, but at least I'm trying, instead of just filling space...

4
dpapathanasiou 1 hour ago 2 replies      
“Do you guys even CARE what I write? Does it make any difference if it's good or bad?” I said.

“Not really,” was the reply.

If he had any programming background, he missed a golden opportunity to write a markov text generator which would have let him meet his deadlines without the stress.

5
kylelibra 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe this is an idealistic thought, but I think this trend of writing SEO laden garbage is what will finally make quality journalism behind paywalls work. People will eventually be driven to pay for decent content, unable to put up with irrelevant half baked articles churned out at breakneck pace.
6
spaghetti 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Just an aside: would have been awesome if the writer created an article generating program. He could feed the program a few key words (perhaps just the name of the TV show). The program could scrape or be manually fed some information from Google trends. Then add some scraping of data from existing articles. Use a markov chain to keep the content fresh and you're good to go! I'm just thinking of the sentence generation via markov chain from Programming Pearls and the hilarious auto-generated computer science papers that were submitted and accepted by some journal.
7
IgorPartola 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The OP talks about how in the age where there are more readers than ever, writers are undervalued. What the OP fails to mention is the quality of readers and writers. A reader who consumes 100,000 pages worth of Facebook statuses is not really much of a reader. Historically, reading was used as a means to communicate ideas. Think Machiavelli, Aristotle, Nietzsche. Now it is used for communicating a much larger scope of information: "Lady Gaga Pantless in Paris". You cannot compare a writer that writes the Illiad and a writer that writes TV Show reviews of shows they've never seen. They are not the same category.
8
MatthewPhillips 2 hours ago 3 replies      
This just makes me think: why in the world would any one want to become a writer these days? There isn't much money in it, unless you get lucky and hit it big. I understanding having a passion, but this is one passion that should be relegated to hobby time. Am I wrong on this? I'm just not seeing the economic viability of writing sentences and having people (whether readers or advertisers) paying you proportionate to the amount of work you put in.
9
kylelibra 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Alec Baldwin was the celebrity in question referenced in the article in case you're wondering.
10
mohsen 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
did any body start to lose respect for this guys about half way through the article?

I suppose we all need money, but there is a limit, by god, there is a limit.

11
heyrhett 2 hours ago 0 replies      
AOL's plan to "beat the internet" with a content farm isn't working out so well yet?
12
ck2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not just AOL, broadcast media, like mainstream news channels seem to work that way too as far as buzzwords and what topics to cover.

Like you'd never know the US was in three wars or about to default on the deficit the past couple of weeks. Only PBS was mostly immune and BBC World.

13
afterburner 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
Side note: Lady Gaga is pantless everywhere. So, a good and safe choice of words.
14
mihar 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a sad sad story. I love reading great content and I never had problems paying for great content.

I've been a subscriber to paid magazines/papers and I'll continue to be one to digital ones.

But I guess my kind is rare and of course the majority always wins.

15
nemik 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
:( Those poor old regular words. RIP.
16
Hisoka 2 hours ago 0 replies      
AOL has a responsibility to its shareholders first and foremost. Making employees write about stuff they don't know about is not exactly slave labor... if they don't like it, then just quit, it's that simple.
2
Jedberg leaves reddit reddit.com
150 points by kacy  4 hours ago   49 comments top 10
1
blhack 4 hours ago 3 replies      
IMHO, this is a major, major loss for reddit. Jedberg, I know you read HN -- you were a hugely important part of that community; any time there was about to be a user revolt, it seemed like a red-lettered Jedberg would pop up in the thread to calm everybody down.

I don't think you were technically a community manager (were you?) but you did a damn good job at it anyway.

2
kacy 4 hours ago 2 replies      
He was employee number one and I think the last remaining link to the founding team (not sure). I've got a lot of respect for him, especially after meeting him in person when I toured the office earlier this year. His commute was over 2 hours each day, and he had to deal with all the scaling issues with amazon almost single-handedly, not to mention the Saturday nights that were devoted to keeping the site up.

I wish you the best, dude. Hopefully you'll join hipmunk! :-)

3
eggbrain 3 hours ago 6 replies      
The biggest question I have is: why are so many people leaving Reddit?

Over the past few months, the site has grown continuously yet the people that have been the driving force of the site seem to be leaving just as the site is hitting its peak. What has changed?

4
starnix17 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What are the odds he ends up at Hipmunk?

It's not mentioned at all in the post, but it seems like a lot of ex-reddit employees end up there.

5
staunch 3 hours ago 1 reply      
From someone that spent years sysadmining very high traffic systems: Well done sir. Well done.

Been using Reddit since launch. Somewhat nervous that the new people running Reddit will get overrun by the corporate overlords now that they see the "hockey stick" traffic charts.

I can see some bean counter doing the math:

  Slap 4 teeth whitening ads on every page
= 4 ad impressions
* 1.2 billion page views
= 4.8 billion ad impressions
* $0.30 - $0.50 eCPM
= $17 - $28 million/year.

6
wccrawford 3 hours ago 0 replies      
While I'm not nearly so famous as he is, and the job wasn't either, I know how he feels... I had the same routine as him. Check things all day from the time you wake until you go to sleep, and when you do sleep, fear that you'll be woken up by a problem.

And I know what a relief it was when it was gone. It really does feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

7
Hovertruck 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, I just watched him give a presentation on reddit architecture at Velocity yesterday. Shame to see him go.
8
fragsworth 4 hours ago 1 reply      
4 years, I wonder if his shares just fully vested and he's been waiting for it.
9
ivanbernat 4 hours ago 1 reply      
A guy with so much knowledge about running such a huge site probably has hundreds of job offers. Best of luck Jedberg, wish you all the best!
10
sidcool 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Jedber will be missed.
3
Facebook PR: Tonight We Dine In Hell techcrunch.com
22 points by parth16  59 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
1
knowtheory 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow. Techcrunch defended journalistic integrity, and i actually believe them. They're right, this is a problem, and it's being highlighted in the correct manner.

The other broader issue that has to be dealt with is that this is the face of the new media landscape. Where do you think journalists and writers have left to go in the collapse of the news media? PR flacks often times have journalism degrees, and the only people left paying for flacks are big corporates and their pr departments.

2
bsiemon 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
It seems like this is a war whose outcome rest solely in the minds of the readers.
5
JavaScript mp3 decoder allows Firefox to play mp3 without flash jsmad.org
277 points by phoboslab  7 hours ago   77 comments top 16
1
RyanMcGreal 6 hours ago 2 replies      
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, feature requests must be the next-sincerest. With that out of the way, I'd love to see:

* Standard playback widgets: volume, position slider, etc.

* A way to link songs, e.g. http://jsmad.org/play/114578

Fantastic work!

2
kellysutton 6 hours ago 2 replies      
As a wise Keanu Reeves once said, "Woah."

Is there any upper limit you've found with bitrates, etc.? Also, what was the most difficult part in building this?

3
sandGorgon 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Doesnt work for me (no audio): Chrome 12 on Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit
Youtube is playing fine.

Here's the Chrome debugger log:http://pastebin.com/MwqfD1K5

4
nddrylliog 7 hours ago 4 replies      
jsmad lead developer here, shoot if you have any questions!
5
nddrylliog 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Firefox 4.0+ AND Chrome 13.0+ are supported.

However, Web Audio API doesn't seem enabled in Chrome 13 by default, just go to 'audio:flags', check "Web Audio", then click the "restart browser" button and it should work.

6
chops 6 hours ago 2 replies      
If the site isn't loading for you (I was getting nginx errors for a bit before it finally loaded for me), here's the github repo: https://github.com/nddrylliog/jsmad
7
mise 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome! But...

I'm not a JS guy. I can't contextualise this. How does this compare to HTML5 browser-based audio playing? Will this be a new way to make an audio button? Or does it go much deeper than that for JS apps?

8
skue 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm curious whether you came up with the logo after the fact, or whether you named it after the mag?

I've been surprised at how blatantly some recent open source projects reference pop culture in ways that are just begging for a takedown order - cool.io is another. I suppose it may be worth it if you're primarily focused on getting noticed in the short term (perhaps to get investment or a good job offer), but long term it seems to guarantee that the project will need to go through a rename with all the confusion that entails.

Edit: Forgot to say the technology really is amazing.

9
scythe 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Can this be made to work in Opera?
10
pistoriusp 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Would have been great if it worked on mobile Safari!
11
evanrmurphy 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Hmm... 502 Bad Gateway. Can't wait to see this!
12
netnichols 6 hours ago 2 replies      
It'd be neat to have a overview of the different 'modules' in play and what they do (either in the README or a separate wiki page). Great stuff!
13
jensnockert 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, and by the way. Please join #jsmad on freenode (IRC) if you want to help us make the library awesome!
14
tocomment 3 hours ago 2 replies      
How does this work? I didn't think JavaScript could read a file on a byte level.
15
aolnerd 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks to all contributed to this clever hack. MP3 on all browsers, without flash, is a really worthy goal.

But I'm hearing sputtering, myself. Are you guys going to carry this to a production-capable system?

16
bartl 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Does nothing on Firefox 3.6.x
6
LulzSec: Why we do what we do pastebin.com
232 points by ssclafani  6 hours ago   156 comments top 27
1
trotsky 4 hours ago 4 replies      
OK, so for the remaining 3 people out there who were pathologically not paying attention, computer hacking is easy. The state of computer security is poor. Lulzsec deserves a medal and a chest to pin it on for breaking this news to all of the people who don't have a facebook account, have never been on irc, didn't see the movie wargames, don't know anyone who plays world of warcraft, has never read the new york times, has never heard of china and has never heard anyone utter the word "stuxnet".

For the rest of us, it's pretty tedious.

There's another situation that fits the general parameters of what they describe. Almost no one is protected against it. Being a gunshot victim.

At least in the US, pretty much anyone can get their hands on a handgun either legally or illegally. Almost anyone can use one with a bare minimum of instruction. And almost no one is protected - if you pick a name out of a hat of all america, pretty much any possible outcome will be dead easy to track down, stalk, find the right opportunity and shoot dead. And a vanishingly small numbers of shooters make an announcement about the whole incident on the Internet.

But, all that said, if you go around shooting people for no real reason and bragging about it you're assuredly a psycopathic asshole.

2
crux 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
When are the internet tough guys of the world going to tighten up their prose? This third-rate Patrick Bateman routine is so fucking old at this point. There is no easier way to mark yourself as a barely socialized child barely capable of any critical thought than to try out that ridiculous, outdated, unconvincing pose at being this cynical, wise, best-informed übermensch above all morals. It's not a good look.
3
scythe 6 hours ago 5 replies      
>People who can make things work better within this rectangle have power over others; the whitehats who charge $10,000 for something we could teach you how to do over the course of a weekend, providing you aren't mentally disabled.

This is a common complaint among blackhats: they see whitehats as being in the game for the money and taking advantage of the unenlightened as much as they [the blackhats] themselves do.

I don't really know what to make of it.

4
dgabriel 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Adorable. They're bullies and proud of it. It's one thing to call out security exploits, and quite another to take great joy in causing others pain.
5
noonespecial 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Why we do what we do: We're 15, unsupervised, and behaving badly.

Do they really need a manifesto?

6
migrantgeek 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I agree with showing how poorly secured websites are and how easily our information is distributed even when we think it's private.

What I don't agree with is their use of DDoS attacks against sites like cia.gov.

DDoS attacks are pointless. All they point out is how a site has limited resources for dealing with so many concurrent connections.

Sites should deploy onto an infrastructure they feel is adequate to deal with the expected load plus some additional room for growth and spikes.

I'm sure the cia.gov doesn't get hit very hard on a normal day so they didn't go crazy on infrastructure which is understandable. A DDoS proves nothing and prevents people from accessing data.

If you're going to hack, please wear a white or grey hat.

7
saulrh 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Might want to change the title to something like "LulzSec actually had a point after all." They do, too, an even better one than I expected. Not only are they making a point about how terrible security is ("Do you think every hacker announces everything they've hacked?"), but they've also called out the internet on its generally abysmal attention span. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd had this written on day zero.
8
bh42222 5 hours ago 4 replies      
And I just realized what it is about LuLzSec that's bothered me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but now I realize deep down they are nihilists.

That's a damn shame.

What seemed most admirable about Anonymous is that as much as they were also in it for lulz and pure chaos, underneath there seemed to be a kind of idealism. Idealism is seductive, nihilism is off-putting.

9
edw 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Raise your hand if you're hesitant to write what's on your mind for fear of receiving some special attention from Anonymous, LulzSec, and friends.
10
diminoten 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This smells to me like a hastily conjured rationalization for a series of attention-seeking acts wrought by a small group of disenfranchised industry workers who have something to say, but they're just not articulate enough to voice it so they blow shit up instead.
11
SSHisForWienies 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Any wall can be broken, but it doesnt mean that anyone who breaks a wall is a hero. What wonders me more why did China infiltrate the group ?
12
oliveoil 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This thing must be fake. I thought they were doing it for the lulz.
13
Djehngo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Initially I thought the disclosure argument they made was weak (we hack stuff because when we announce it similar companies will be more careful) because unless they cause enough trouble to make security an immediate priority for a given non-targeted company, then it's unlikely that they will overcome that company's inertia.

However I realised that I have become significantly more careful with password reuse now because there are no companies I absolutely trust to keep my information from leaking out.

14
doyoulikeworms 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Their campaign is about reaching out, eliciting a response, and then reveling in the emotional connection they've created with another anonymous soul across this tangled mass of copper and silicon.

In other words, for the lulz.

15
Bertil 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why is this text the first one from Anonymous et al. that doesn't move me, at all? They sound odd, using a “we” to include all ‘digital natives' while I never heard anyone under 25 use “we” before; they mention (two girlfriend's) faces on MSN, but I never heard of a webcam on MSN; I never heard of anyone actually enjoying a show call it “we want our shot of entertainment”.
16
_emice 4 hours ago 0 replies      
From what I've been reading the attacks were not sophisticated, mainly using SQL injection. Many here on HN understand that kind of threat but it seems lots of companies and important services don't. Is it possible that the attention shone on these simple/trivial hacks will cause those less security conscious admins to get rid of that low hanging fruit?

If so, it should help reduce the impact of a broad, simultaneous attack across many sites from much more dangerous foes. I am not saying it is right, but it may be more effective than the legislation our congress comes up with to protect us, with fewer nasty side effects.

17
jjm 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How do we enforce that these companies (such as banks) utilize proper security protocol (within reason of course)?

Some would say, "With your wallet!". But what happens when it's your wallet that gets stolen (electronically)?

What do you think?

18
MatthewPhillips 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a question: if all they were doing was manipulating URLs (and I know they've moved beyond that) would they be doing anything illegal?
19
hnsmurf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is classic psychopathic behavior. Instead of torturing people physically to see them squirm they're doing it digitally, but the same lack of empathy is there.
20
Wickk 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This just reeks of arrogance
21
madmaze 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think we have found the LulzSec hacker manifesto.
22
tobylane 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"This is the lulz lizard era"

Yes it is. What the fuck is it? Nightowl would be more believable, and true.

23
scilro 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They need to bring in someone who can write without seeming like a 12 year old who grew up on 4chan.
24
chmike 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems so fishy. Perfect timing considering the last 24 months events. I think it was unavoidable and we'll have to face it and get ready for the consequences.
25
adamdecaf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> "suggests...our actions are causing clowns with pens to write new rules for you. But what if we just hadn't released anything? What if we were silent? That would mean we would be secretly inside FBI affiliates right now, inside PBS, inside Sony... watching... abusing..."

Isn't that happening right now and by the people with pens?

26
yters 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey, if people really want a secure internet I believe the government would be more than willing to lock it down for us.

That's all that's going to happen as kids like Assange and Lulzsec keep up with their criminal shenanigans. Governments are going to say, "Enough is enough!" and lock it down like in China.

27
shareme 6 hours ago 3 replies      
They seem somewhat clueless..

If the NSA can partner with ISPs to scan internet traffic for phishing, viruses, etc ...the obvious next step is Lulzsec mentions or member mentions...in IRC, email, etc..

There is no such thing as hiding when attacking the internet, sooner or later you become the bitch

7
US Senators ignore unintended consequences of criminalizing embedding videos techdirt.com
62 points by RyanMcGreal  3 hours ago   29 comments top 10
1
DanielBMarkham 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or are we reaching the point where every other day there's a major news story about the security state and the continued criminalizing of civil matters? You could almost devote a website to it. Lots of new material.

What it looks like is that we've reached the point with the legal system that the trick is to make huge swaths of behavior illegal, then selectively enforce the law. This is basically like having no law at all, only instead of a central ruler we distribute it out to thousands of various prosecutors (and their associated political parties.)

I don't want to be all "the sky is falling" but heck if I can see where we can continue like this for a lot longer.

2
ahamlett 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I just called John Cornyn's Washington office at 202-224-2934 and talked to an aide about S. 978 because I live in Texas.

He explained a few details of the bill to me like how it only applies when the economic value of the public video streaming is above $2500. I asked if this would include a blogger who makes more than $2500 from ads on his blog and he said yes. Then I gave an example of a blogger embedding a YouTube video which is copyrighted in a blog post, even if the blogger removes the video after finding out it is copyrighted, to which he just said "OK, I will notify John Cornyn".

I tried my best to express my concern that millions of people including myself could be charged with a felony if this bill gets passed, but I don't think my effort will work. I don't think the people passing this bill, like my Texas senator John Cornyn, can see the dangers in making it illegal to embed videos. Maybe they just don't care because they don't use the internet the same way younger / technology efficient people use it?

3
gallerytungsten 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Authoritarianism + Campaign Contributions make for a lousy cocktail.
4
kwantam 2 hours ago 1 reply      
John Cornyn is an unmitigated disaster. It's unfortunate that the TX Democratic party has a tenth of a snowball's chance in hell of ousting him.

This is yet another reason we need term limits. Career politicians and bureaucrats are massive facilitators of regulatory capture.

5
jcromartie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
US Senators ignore the unintended consequences of criminalizing everything.
6
narrator 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
The unintended consequences are often the point of the law. By being "unintended", the crafters of the law creates a small intellectual barrier to understanding the ramifications of the law that perhaps half the population fail to overcome. This is enough to get just about anything through without considerable widespread public opposition.
7
lr 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just one more way the feds can go after a group of people they don't like. It is like all of the mobsters getting charged with tax evasion instead of their actual (if any...) crimes. The same will hold true in the future: XYZ leader of ABC "radical" environmental group was put in jail because...he/she had a parody video mocking Exxon on their website.
8
OwlHuntr 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is getting ridiculous. So it looks like eventually the internet will be colonized and taken over by the government soon enough. Where is our next frontier for freedom of speech, open data, and endless cat videos? The internet is supposed to be free and unhinged.
9
iwwr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
One man's unintended consequence is another man's tool in the power-(ab)using chest. What makes you think the effects are unintended?
10
migrantgeek 2 hours ago 3 replies      
"potentially putting people in jail for embedding YouTube videos or just putting up YouTube lip synching videos. "

Sounds like FUD

If you read the amendment here http://thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.978:

It updates this http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/718/usc_sec_18_00002319---...

Which references this http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_0...

which then says the following

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180"day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

Basically, if you don't profit from it, you're cool so YouTube is safe.

8
Pi explained wikimedia.org
36 points by shawndumas  2 hours ago   9 comments top 6
1
m_myers 41 minutes ago 2 replies      
Next question: Is it possible for a piece of string to be pi units long? How do transcendental numbers translate to the real world?
2
hugh3 1 hour ago 1 reply      
While I doubt this would actually explain pi to anyone who didn't already understand it, it is nonetheless kinda neat.
3
ctdonath 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How about some animations relating that to calculation of pi via assorted algorithms? esp. the "pick a digit" one?
4
tokenadult 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
"The Amazing Number π" by Peter Borwein,

http://www.nieuwarchief.nl/serie5/deel01/sep2000/pdf/borwein...

one of the leading researchers on π, has a history of investigation of the number and formulas for calculating π to increasingly accurate place-value approximations.

A very interesting secondary school textbook in English from Kerala, India

http://www.education.kerala.gov.in/englishmedium/mathseng/te...

shows the same visual representation of π on the number in section 3.1 of chapter 3.

5
benatkin 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another diagram that gets the number for pi wrong: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=452917
6
evanrmurphy 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
A picture is worth a thousand words

An animation is worth a thousand incantations

9
Netflix sued for lack of captions on streaming videos gigaom.com
34 points by benwerd  2 hours ago   33 comments top 10
1
dodo53 2 hours ago 3 replies      
>According to the lawsuit, the ADA requires that all “places of entertainment” provide “full and equal enjoyment” for people with disabilities.

I'm sure it's lost in translation from legalese, but that seems like a really broad requirement. How can you claim full and equal enjoyment of deaf people at a nightclub say?
Googled the act and tried to read it (http://www.ada.gov/statute.html) but I can't parse it.

Edit: removed the bit where I said surely captions aren't hard - article links to netflix saying it is (http://gigaom.com/video/why-netflix-doesnt-offer-subtitles-o...)

2
illumin8 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I hate to see lawsuits like this, but unfortunately it is the only way to get captions on the majority of content. TV would not have captions if it weren't for the brave fight of some deaf activists.

I never really appreciated captions much, but my wife does not speak English as her first language, and not having captions on a movie sometimes means she will be bored and unable to enjoy it with me.

3
mirkules 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Netflix shows intent with plans to expand to 80% by end of year. What's the problem? Is having a lawsuit really going to make that happen more quickly?
4
xbryanx 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
They are a bit cheesy in visual style, but these videos http://www.ada.gov/videogallery.htm communicate a lot of great information about what is required by the federal Americans with Disabilities act, signed by George H.W. Bush in 1990.
5
robrenaud 18 minutes ago 1 reply      
It seems like captions are something that could so easily be crowd sourced.

How many times does each video on Netflix get watched? More than 1000? If just 1/1000 watchers is willing to transcribe the video, it's done. Hell, even starting bootstrapping the initial transcription with a speech recognition system would probably go a pretty long way.

You just need some clean UI and an easy way to have Wikipedia style edit logs/discussion pages.

6
iloktr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
So, am I allowed to sue Netflix if I can't afford to be a subscriber? What if I only like a genre of movies that isn't available on Netflix? I understand the need to have subtitles and in an ideal world, everything would come with them, but this seems a bit too much.
7
pchristensen 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Stream (at least one movie) on the Netflix iPad app gave me captions. I was really shocked to see it but pleased.

I think it was "Sabah" if anyone is checking.

8
defen 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sort of off-topic, but can someone explain the theoretical basis behind class action lawsuits, as applied to this instance? The article says "The Netflix lawsuit was filed on behalf of the 36 million Americans that are either deaf or hard of hearing." Is that just a turn of phrase, or can someone really file a lawsuit on your behalf without your consent? (I'm assuming they didn't contact all these people for permission ahead of time). Is there some central registry of which Americans are deaf/hard of hearing? Will they be paid out from the proceeds if NAD wins?
9
malkia 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
Since our son was born, we had to turn down the volume of the TV and rely on the captions. Too bad sometimes even pre-recorded cable movie would not have them (SHO or Starz I think). Or broken captions (It could be our digital box, that's doing the rendering of the captions). I'm missing every 1 out of 10 captions while watching prerecorded Game Of Thrones on HBO.
10
fabiandesimone 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to understand why is so difficult for Netflix to add captions when sites like http://www.cuevana.tv have had subs for quite some time now.
10
iOS 5 finally brings Nitro JavaScript speed to home screen Web apps arstechnica.com
32 points by shawndumas  2 hours ago   9 comments top 5
1
atacrawl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Anyone else notice that the slug in the URL doesn't contain the word "finally?" I guess the original headline wasn't snarky or sexy enough.
2
ryanisinallofus 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
I guess it's time for me to start giving Apple the benefit of the doubt a little more often.
3
rufo 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
I haven't checked yet, but I'm hoping they've done something with multitasking and home-screen web apps; right now web apps reload from scratch every time you re-enter them, which makes for a pretty terrible user experience compared to native.
4
voxmatt 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Well, there goes the conspiracy theory that Apple was doing this to handicap web based apps.
5
sunsu 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I was hoping this would also apply to UIWebView in third party apps, but no suck luck. Would have been a great improvement for apps built with Sencha + PhoneGap.
11
Eben Moglen: The alternate net we need, and how we can build it ourselves youtube.com
34 points by zoowar  3 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
tzs 1 hour ago 2 replies      
After he claimed that Apple is sponsoring LLVM/clang solely to undermine freedom, and said “The human race has a susceptibility to harm, but Mr. Zuckerberg has attained an unenviable record. He has done more harm to the human race than anybody else his age", I have a hard time taking Moglen seriously.
2
atakan_gurkan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
He is talking about the plans and especially the motivation for the Freedom Box project:

http://freedomboxfoundation.org/

3
technomancy 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
The irony of this not being viewable in WebM is pretty thick.
12
An Open Letter To LulzSec pastebin.com
49 points by peterwwillis  2 hours ago   23 comments top 10
1
benihana 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Read the last sentence. This was a pretty good troll - I know I found myself agreeing with him, nodding my head a bit. Then I saw the last sentence and had to laugh at myself for falling for it.
2
Barnabas 52 minutes ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this is jedburg of reddit. I only say because he said "reigned" in his goodbye post today, and this pastebin said "reigned" too, when they both meant "reined". Also the writing is very similar. Similar number of sentences (48 vs. 54) and words per sentence (15 vs. 12) too. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, or it's a glitch in the matrix.
3
yuvadam 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I was expecting a rickroll there at the end... Fresh prince - close enough.
4
mosjeff 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
"If you want a truly righteous hack..."

I was so hoping for a "you should score one of those Gibsons."

5
BasDirks 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Some of their recent hacks were _not_ kiddie stuff. I don't think they will be very impressed by this letter.

Also: I wouldn't bet on them being autistic nolifers, which is what the author of this letter seems to be suggesting, you'd probably be surprised.

6
Shenglong 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I mistaken, or is he making the "get a life" argument, classic of seventh graders?
7
andypants 1 hour ago 1 reply      
All that 'lulzspeak' in there sounds like an old guy trying to be 'hip' when talking to younger people.
8
Bud 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This guy lost me when he said, "I know it sounds pretty faggy".

Not really interested in someone who's supposedly lecturing LulzSec from a position of vastly greater maturity and life experience, but still hasn't outgrown 12-year-old homophobe-speak. At all.

9
Karhan 2 hours ago 2 replies      
'It's not what you do it's who you are'?

I would like to politely disagree.

10
matmann2001 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Spoken like a true troll...
13
Pregel - distributed graph processing | DDI michaelnielsen.org
16 points by mblakele  2 hours ago   discuss
14
For $185k Brands Can (soon) Apply For Their Own TLD reuters.com
11 points by Urgo  1 hour ago   14 comments top 8
1
joshklein 37 minutes ago 1 reply      
From the perspective of brands, this may be a big deal. $185k is a drop in the bucket, and large organizations with marketing budgets held in different divisions often have very different infrastructure (sometimes because those divisions are separate companies that have been acquired, have a separate P&L, etc). New product launches have to deal with domain availability and possible trademark squatters. Some brands have different websites for different segments of their audience. Some brands launch websites just to support a specific marketing effort, such as cause marketing or event support.

This is absolutely a head-scratcher for small orgs, but is pretty convenient (a convenience easily worth $185k) for the big brands. I think their example of .apple is a silly one. A better example might be P&G, J&J, Pfizer, The Pepsi Company, etc.

2
staunch 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Seems like such a bad idea and ICANN seems to be far more motivated by revenue than they should be.

The ICANN CEO is getting around $1 million/year in compensation.

I bet there is a line of smart internet people willing to run ICANN who are far more altruistic.

3
smiler 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think companies will just register these and re-direct to their .com

More and more adverts as well are now carrying facebook URLs rather than traditional URLs, so it will be interesting to see how marketing departments respond to this and what they do.

4
evanrmurphy 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have trouble seeing why maps.google is such a meaningful step from maps.google.com.

Less to type... Maybe non-technical users who never understood why the hell everything ended with ".com" will be more comfortable.

Reminds me of when the W3C decided we should be able to do <header> instead of <div id="header">.

5
nostromo 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
With the governments everywhere (even in the US) taking over domain names, I wonder if an NGO (like the EFF) could operate a truly free and open TLD? (.free has a nice ring to it.)
6
dstein 31 minutes ago 1 reply      
Hopefully this implodes the absurdity that is .com squatting.
7
alphadog 1 hour ago 1 reply      
scratches head

This is news to me. Perhaps the author of the post has gotten some basic facts wrong?

8
callmeed 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
.yc ?
15
India's $35 tablet ready to ship penn-olson.com
82 points by namank  6 hours ago   27 comments top 14
1
sandGorgon 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Here comes the relevance from an earlier discussion of mine http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2623722 - "Nobody in India uses computers in Indian languages".

This tablet can revolutionize rural education, especially since the Indian govt mandates rural connectivity as a pre-requisite to handing out telecom wireless licenses. But you cannot teach village kids in English - especially, if in a few years they have to go and read the land records, inheritance documents, local newspapers which are in regional vernacular.

But the system is running Android - guess what is the top request on the Android bug list? (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list?sort=-stars)
Arabic language support.

Same problem as Indic fonts. Same problem on all Linuxes.

2
mnazim 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I live in India and here are my thoughts:

It's not about the price or how cool it is. First things first, it is a nifty achievement that 'can haz' the potential. BUT is cheap hardware really the most important thing here? No. Here is why.

It is not based on any pedagogical concept at all.
Anything targeted at the students in primary schools must be based on some kind of sound pedagogical framework. From software to the user experience.

Slapping a stock Andriod OS on a cheap tablet is not going to solve the problems of the primary school system in India. Prerecorded video lectures can never work for school classrooms where teacher-student interactivity is indispensable.
Let's stop singing praises of our "Great" "Innovation" for a moment and really think about it for a second. Do primary students really want to listen to someone blabbing on for an hour through a video? NO. It does not work like that. If it worked like that, best schools would have replaced their teachers with tubes and boomboxes.

Where is the content delivery infrastructure?
I run a small web application development company in the heart of a capital city of a state and heck, internet connectivity gives us headaches every once in a while. You can imagine the scenario in the remotest parts of the country. And how much does internet cost here - $100 for a 4Mbps connection with 35GB/month data limit and it is the home plan not the commercial plan.
With so much costly connectivity and abysmal infrastructure, how will the content be delivered.

Involved costs are exorbitant.
As others have already pointed out, the costs involved are not a trivial amount. Not only the tablet but the delivery network and other necessary infrastructure. Can the state governments bear the such costs. No.

Technology is nice; Its not the silver bullet.
Let me say this once for all. 99% of Indian school(or college level) teachers are bullshit. They don't know anything about teaching or the subject matter they are "teaching". I did not know this when I went to school. But now I am 28 and I have 9 cousins between the age 7 - 16 in some of the top schools in my city. And what their teachers teach them is bullshit. Example: I found out one of my 5th grade cousin does not know what a number line is. Despite being a part of his maths curriculum, the teacher just skipped over it. So, advice to the government and education departments: FIX THE DAMN SCHOOL FIRST.
Finally look at what Indian teachers are teaching in schools http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FViBJg6X_24 even if you do not understand Hindi you will still pick a lot of things.

There are bigger problems than "lack of a cheap tablet".
Children are dying because of malnutrition. Farmers are committing suicides. What Indian government does not want anyone to know is that:

- 65 tribal children died of malnutrition in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

- 125 farmers committed suicide because huge debts in Deccan states.

- Indian security forces butchered 110 peaceful protesters in Kashmir.

during the same period when India was busy spending 150 million USD on Commonwealth games.

http://southasia.oneworld.net/todaysheadlines/children-dying...

Finally, in my very very humble and personal opinion, all this tablet is ever going to achieve is become another toy in the closets of children from middle to upper middle class families.

PS: Does anyone recall India's own custom built, secure OS? Anyone?

3
rb2k_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally get really annoyed at those "will ship in x days" announcements. It's almost impossible to tell when those are marketing vs actual facts.

I believe it when I can buy it on Amazon/eBay/... and it gets delivered within a week.

4
mortenjorck 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Hardware is the most obvious part of the equation, and it's amazing to see that part nearing solved.

The less obvious, but no less important part, however, is software. What will these things run? Twitter apps, tip calculators, weather widgets, and Angry Birds Rio aren't going to help kids learn to read, build an understanding of the world around them, and ultimately create value in society. I'm sure you can come up with a handful of "educational" apps from the Android Marketplace, but for these to really be valuable in schools, they're going to need professionally-developed, curriculum-integrated software, and teachers are going to need to be trained in using it to its potential.

Having a $50/$35/$10 tablet sets the stage for great things, but that's all it does. It enables real advances in education, but it won't make those advances by itself.

5
wccrawford 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Revised to $50, per the article.

But still, at $50, it's quite a nice toy. And if it encourages -anyone- to read, it's doing a good thing.

6
Zakuzaa 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Assuming India has 250 Million students who could make use of such a device. If every one of them is given this tablet:

250 Million * $35 (will probably be even lesser when produced in such a massive quantity) = ~9 Billion USD

Add distribution and other chores.. takes it to ~10 Billion USD.

To add some perspective, India's infamous 2G scam is 5 times bigger than that.

[Edit]: Costs could go even lower if the device is ad supported, like kindle.

7
r00fus 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok, so what happened to the simputer? Apparently the project is considered a failure after releasing only thousands of the devices.

Tack onto that the failure of XO/OLPC, and you have all these successive efforts to get cheap computing devices in the hands of children, hoping like magic, the device will herald a transformation of education in rural villages.

Will an android tablet succeed where the others failed? Unless we know why the other projects failed, I don't see why this one would succeed.

8
abhaga 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't understand. The $49 price point has been achieved under govt subsidy. How is that a technology innovation? They can subsidize it down to any price they want. Wasn't the deal to actually develop a tablet which costs $35 to build/sale?
9
jim_h 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's hard to tell how the performance will be. In the video any actual footage of the device in use was sped up.

As others have said, I'll believe it when I see it.

10
statictype 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Impressive. What corners had to be cut in order to keep the cost down to such a level.
11
raganwald 5 hours ago 0 replies      
To paraphrase a line from Stuart Brand's amazing book The Media Lab: "Hardware wants to be free."
12
pitdesi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/Indias_35_tablet_Saksha... this article indicates that they will ship 10,000 units to IIT Rajasthan late this month, but 90k more units will be available over the next several months... but why? There are only a few hundred students there.

I'll believe it when I see it.

13
pitchups 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If it is even half as good as the video demo, it will be a huge success IMHO.
14
ditojim 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Android FTW!
16
The Clock in the Mountain kk.org
119 points by michael_nielsen  8 hours ago   20 comments top 10
1
te_platt 5 hours ago 3 replies      
A much more interesting read than I was expecting. My first reaction after a few sentences was "What a waste of time and effort." Then just spending a few minutes thinking about what around me is more than a few years old kind of got to me. What around me is more than 100, 1000, 10000 years old? Where I live in Salt Lake there are hardly any human made structures older than 100 years, and none more than 160. The oldest building I've been to personally was in London, on the order of 1000 years old. It's humbling to think about how short of a span that is in human history. Almost disturbing to think about what I will do or make that will last 100, 1000, or 10000 years.

In 100 years I hope to have grandchildren who knew me still living.

In 1000 years it's a stretch that there will still be an accurate note of my existence.

In 10000 there may not even be a myth about the existence of any of us here.

2
michael_nielsen 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I also recommend Stewart Brand's book about the (then-hypothetical) Clock: http://www.amazon.com/Clock-Long-Now-Stewart-Brand/dp/produc...

In the book, Brand argues that: (1) it's very difficult to have a general conversation about the 10,000 year future without descending into vapid generalities; but (2) with a concrete engineering goal like building a clock, it's possible to have much more focused and interesting discussions.

The Long Now seminar series is also excellent: http://longnow.org/seminars/

3
jdludlow 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I went in search of "what happens if vandals try to destroy the thing?" and ended up reading Bruce Sterling from 2000 touching on that issue and many others.

http://blog.longnow.org/2008/08/03/bruce-sterlings-sharp-war...

4
wpietri 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Those interested should stop by the Long Now's offices in San Francisco's Fort Mason area. They have various pieces and prototypes there, as well as fun things from their other projects. It's first on my list of great places for nerds to visit in San Francisco:

http://www.quora.com/Which-places-should-a-technophile-visit...

5
chernevik 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anyone seeking an intelligent speculation of how such clocks might work in human society should read Stephenson's "Anathem". Outstanding, if challenging stuff.
6
colson04 6 hours ago 1 reply      
What an inspiring undertaking. I hope to visit the project when it is complete as it is only a few hours drive from where I live.

Favorite picture in the article: Stuart Brand standing in front of the 8-foot replica wearing what can only be described as a Tibetan Monk's robe / Snuggie hybrid. He looks like an old, very comfortable wizard.

7
ColinWright 6 hours ago 1 reply      
A meta comment - this is unreadable on my mobile. The nav bar or something keeps insisting on overlaying itself on the page, and I'm screwed. Most annoying.

Web developers have known for a long time that they need to deal with a plethora of browsers, and now mobile as well. I don't underestimate the difficulty, but please keep the mobile user in mind, and if you screw them, at least be aware you're doing it.

8
JacobAldridge 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I was reminded of Doc from The Power of One. No spoilers- just a strong recommendation that you read this book.
9
ctdonath 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Consider what wild theories may be concocted when knowledge of it is lost then rediscovered (a la "aliens built the pyramids!").
10
Splines 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's fascinating that someone can construct something so long-lasting. It synchronizes itself to noon and powers itself using thermal energy. Amazing.
17
A short (and slightly biased) history of collaborative editing emonk.net
16 points by raganwald  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
Rauchg 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
The statement you're trying to refute remains true. There's no application on the Mac that has an implementation of Operational Transformations (OT) nearly as powerful as the Google Docs / Google Wave OT.

SubEthaEdit (while incredibly impressive and producer of a big technical feat at the time), is a _plain text_ collaborative editor.

Similarly, but higher up the scale, is Etherpad, which has the concepts of annotations for rich text.

On Google Docs and Google Wave, I can collaborate on rich text of arbitrary markup. For example, I can import any Word document and collaborate on it in real time. This is not a huge challenge from just the convergence / intention preservation algorithms perspective, but because they run on a browser. Wave went to the extent of normalizing the HTML representation of the `contenteditable` divs across all browsers to enable converging document results. Google Docs ditched `contenteditable` and rewrote an editor on top of plain HTML, with range selection logic and caret simulation built from scratch.

The fact that software like iWork Pages / MS Word[1] don't offer similar functionality (even with native, hand-made rendering engines and no browser support challenges) in 2011 speaks of Google's clear superiority in the office suite cloud offerings, which is the point the original article was trying to make.

[1] There's a plugin for Word http://www.codoxware.com/ that enables OT written by one of the most well-known OT researchers, who spoke at Google in '08 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84zqbXUQIHc)

2
younata 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's amazing how much awesome tech can be traced directly back to Xerox PARC.
19
Translation technology may let humans speak with dolphins digitaltrends.com
74 points by davidw  7 hours ago   49 comments top 11
1
VladRussian 2 hours ago 2 replies      
every small step toward recognizing intelligence of others is a great leap for humanity. I think before human species is able to move any further in its development, the first step it must to make is to step out of the "i'm the top of the God's creation" closet.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/20/132650631/new-language-discove... :

---------------

So he devised a test. He had four (human) volunteers walk through a prairie dog village, and he dressed all the humans exactly the same " except for their shirts. Each volunteer walked through the community four times: once in a blue shirt, once in a yellow, once in green and once in gray.

He found, to his delight, that the calls broke down into groups based on the color of the volunteer's shirt. "I was astounded," says Slobodchikoff. But what astounded him even more, was that further analysis revealed that the calls also clustered based on other characteristics, like the height of the human. "Essentially they were saying, 'Here comes the tall human in the blue,' versus, 'Here comes the short human in the yellow,' " says Slobodchikoff.

Amazingly, it doesn't stop there. Slobodchikoff's next move was to see if prairie dogs could differentiate between abstract shapes. So he and his students built two wooden towers on each side of a prairie dog village. They then made cardboard cutouts of circles, squares and triangles and ran them out along a wire strung between the two towers, so the shapes sort of floated through the village about three feet from the ground. And the prairie dogs, Slobodchikoff found, were able to tell the difference between the triangle and the circle, but, alas, they made no mention of the difference between the square and the circle.

---------------------

I wonder how aliens analyze our intelligence:

- sent round blue flying saucer - a lot of buzz

- sent stick-looking device http://abcnews.go.com/International/ufo-china-closes-airport... - a lot of the same buzz.

Conclusion: probably the humans can't distinguish the abstract shapes.

2
hvs 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"May" in this case meaning "we haven't actually done any testing yet." Can't anyone wait until they have tested their theory before having an article written about it? This title could just as easily have been "Humans are going to record and play different sounds to dolphins with the hope that something happens."
3
Alex3917 2 hours ago 0 replies      
How can you write an article about talking with dolphins without linking to at least one John C. Lilly interview?

http://www.futurehi.net/docs/Here_To_Alternity.html

http://www.erowid.org/culture/characters/lilly_john/lilly_jo...

4
pasbesoin 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Did anyone see the recently circulating video of the cat on the dock interacting with dolphins. Including repeated and extended nuzzling and no signs of aggression.

I immediate thought that, in part, the dolphins might be attracted by, intrigued by the cat's probably purring, sensing it through their jaws. But there seems to be a patience and curiosity there that speaks to significantly more than mere "animal instinct".

We already communicate with dolphins, and experiments have shown that they can understand the syntax and semantics of request/command structures (the same communication elements in different orders ('sentence structures', so to speak) have different meanings).

What will they say when we finally understand them? "Took you long enough."

5
lars 6 hours ago 4 replies      
From a machine learning perspective this doesn't seem like such a daunting task. We have pretty good speech recognition for human language (plus acceptable speech synthesis). Assuming dolphins have a smaller vocabulary than humans, speech recognition of dolphins should strictly speaking be a simpler problem (although it would be significantly harder to record the training data).
6
yannski 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So finally David Brin could be premonitory, cf http://www.davidbrin.com/upliftbooks.htm
7
siiily 2 hours ago 1 reply      
That's good news for dolphins, they must be willing to read news.ycombinator.com, first thing they can do is
create their own version of fb.
8
siiily 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As dolphins hearing or seeing system is 3D their mind is very different from ours. Before trying to communicate we should be able to imagine what kind of society we could construct with this 3D sensor system.
9
dolvlo 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Somehow, this made me think of the Baby Translator from the Simpsons
10
AshleysBrain 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Do dolphins have anything interesting to say?
11
adavies42 3 hours ago 0 replies      
that's one down. next up: world hunger, then the warrior robot race.
20
What if cucumber and jQuery had a baby? github.com
38 points by tswicegood  5 hours ago   15 comments top 6
1
3am 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm in QA - what niche does this fill for you?

The reason that I ask is that usually DSLs and other user acceptance tools exist to allow non-programmers to design tests. That is why cucumber's Gherkin is not in a Ruby syntax, and why robot and FitNesse use html tables. And further, they generally operate at an integration level, which is why the have hooks in for like Selenium frequently.

I think the project is cool, but I do wonder where you see it fitting in. A way to make jsunit tests more readable and cleaner?

EDIT: Let me add that I love it whenever QA topics make it to HN. I know QA is usually a post-seed funding activity, and that's a shame (in my biased opinion).

2
blhack 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're as confused as I am, "cucumber", in this case, is referring to a testing framework for ruby, not a vegetable.

https://github.com/cucumber/cucumber/wiki/

a side note: am I just totally out of touch with things? "Fructose", "Cucumber", "Coffeescript", "V8"?

3
seliopou 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Nice idea, but what does this actually do for you? If you translate the first example to straight jQuery, it's shorter, and you don't need to know about 'whenever' to figure out what's going on. And even if you were familiar with 'whenever', you'd have to look at three different places to understand what the code is _actually_ doing.

What's cool, I think, is the chaining of predicates. That's useful in general, and should be a totally different library.

4
MostAwesomeDude 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This burns my eyes almost as badly as Fructose. Fructose, if you're not aware of it, is a C# application that translates Ruby to PHP. (http://www.fructoselang.org/)
5
jsavimbi 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a political complaint about the lack of semi colons in the script and its subsequent breakage in minification. Otherwise, I like it.

From a QA perspective, it's been my experience that no matter how much you simplify the DSL for the business user, it's always a pain to get them up and running and if you have a TDD point of view, you'll be much more successful, especially when engaging in a project that is very DOM-manipulation heavy.

6
anodari 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Someone knows if there is a relationship between this or BDD and a rule engine used by expert systems?
21
Apple's iCloud Icon Uses The Golden Ratio stam-design-stam.blogspot.com
102 points by p0ppe  9 hours ago   21 comments top 8
1
smarterchild 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple's design reputation is so established at this point that, if they hadn't used the Golden Ratio, I suspect there would be articles titled "Why does Apple's iCloud Icon deliberately ignore the Golden Ratio?"
2
napierzaza 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I get the impression that designers just use the golden ratio as a very quick way to choose different sizes for objects and layouts. It's really not that interesting.
3
jarek-foksa 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As far as I know there is no scientific evidence which would prove that people prefer artworks that are aligned to golden ratio proportions. In other words - golden ratio is pure pseudoscience when used in context of design: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/pseudo/fibonacc.htm
4
joakin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The interesting stuff its the images, unless you know japanese of course.

Here is the google translate:
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&h...

5
nextparadigms 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It may use the golden ration, but I don't find the iCloud logo that nice or that memorable.
6
dermatthias 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice find, but for me that's just basic design principles applied to an icon design. The golden ratio isn't really something that's new or anything...
7
smackfu 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the ratio between the two 1.6 circles?
8
jmjerlecki 5 hours ago 1 reply      
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/16/icloud-logo-infused-with...

BS is called in the comments section of this article

22
Ultra KSM: transparent full-system memory deduplication for Linux google.com
29 points by api  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
hapless 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Important notes:

- RHEL 5 and derivatives include ksm right out of the box. There's a script out there to make use of it: ksmd.

- ksm breaks up transparent huge pages whenever a smaller page is found inside of a huge page. (In other words, you can enable transparent huge pages and ksmd at the same time, but ksmd is likely to negate the benefits of hugepages. )

- ksm is freaking dynamite -- it cut memory usage on my personal virtualization host by a third.

2
wmf 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The improved hash function might be a problem; IIRC KSM doesn't use hashing because of VMware's patent.
23
Everybody thinks SQL joins are slow-is it because MySQL doesn't have hash joins? use-the-index-luke.com
36 points by fatalmind  5 hours ago   21 comments top 6
1
jbellis 4 hours ago 2 replies      
No, the author has misunderstood "joins are slow." (Edit: not the post author, but the HN submitter. This reaction made more sense before the submission title was changed.)

The point is that joins are slow _when you scale past one machine_ because the data you are joining will be on different nodes.

(Yes, I'm familiar with pk-based sharding or entity groups, or even more sophisticated partitioning like volt's. None of these can always always be made to fit your data; I'm talking about the general case here.)

2
russell 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently had a similar problem. Users wanted to export a highly normalized structure to a csv file for munging in a spreadsheet. They were limited to 200 rows, because a thousand rows would bring everything to its knees. My first cut was to move from Hibernate to pure SQL, but if I tried 1000 rows it went away for a long time. I dont know how long because I killed it after 15 minutes. The real killers seemed to be lef outer joins.

I then split the query into several temporary tables. The first table contained all the rows that I was interested in. The other tables replaced the left outer joins and nasty beasts like group concatenates and queries that turned aggregate results into separate fields. The temp tables were used to update the first table. Runtime went from a significant part of an hour to under 5 seconds.

3
hoop 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Based on the majority (since the title is going for "everybody") of people who drop into #mysql on any given day to ask about slow queries, I'd argue that the majority of people who thinks MySQL joins are slow still don't have proper indexes and are still using their un-tuned, distro-provided my.cnf
4
AlisdairO 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's worth mentioning that MySQL (iirc) does support sort-merge joins, which aren't mentioned by this article. So it's not a case of (index) nested loops joins or nothing. While hash joins are usually significantly faster than sort-merge, they have a variety of similar characteristics, and don't suffer from the mash-the-b-tree issue that index nested loops do. Overall this makes me doubt that the lack of hash joins is the fundamental reason some people think joins are slow.
5
mrspandex 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Not directly related, but this is a great site to peruse. Great code examples and a great perspective on database performance.
6
chopsueyar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the answer in the domain name?
25
Greenspan Says Greece Default ‘Almost Certain,' May Trigger U.S. Recession bloomberg.com
28 points by diogenescynic  2 hours ago   11 comments top 5
1
c2 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Seems a little high on the fear mongering and a little light on the details.

I fail to see how a Greece debt restructuring would negatively impact the US economy except to cause a little more fear on wall street.

Also - anyone else notice that the only people who seem to give praise to Greenspan are his ex-colleagues in the central bank?

2
kreek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Almost certain. "Euro rises versus dollar as Greek debt fears ease"... http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/06/17/general-dollar_852...
3
bugsy 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
US problems have nothing to do with Greece. What an absurd scapegoat from Greenspan, the incompetent loser that got us into this mess.
4
Roboprog 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The irony of Greenspan worrying about Federal debt when he was pushing to NOT pay it off a decade ago -- tax cuts solved that.

And setting interest rates below inflation really killed off the idea of anybody saving money (cash) in the bank only to watch it evaporate. Cursed Fed. Printing money like mad does help generate inflation, though, which helps keep labor costs (our pay) down by effectively handing workers a little pay cut every year.

5
mkr-hn 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Why does the article mention Greenspan's age?
26
DNSSEC authenticated HTTPS in Chrome imperialviolet.org
6 points by dchest  1 hour ago   4 comments top
1
zoowar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
27
Andrew Ng: Machine Learning in Robotics youtube.com
50 points by helwr  7 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
colincsl 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is a more in-depth presentation he gave on the same subject at a Google Tech Talk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmNOAtZIgIk
(April 11, 2011)

2
hamner 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Great non-technical overview. What early-stage startups are working on these types of problems?
29
Spotify Finally Coming to U.S. in July macobserver.com
15 points by davethenerd  3 hours ago   14 comments top 4
1
joblessjunkie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How is Spotify different from Rhapsody, which has been offering subscription streaming in the US for almost a decade?
2
Toddward 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I kind of wonder about the relevance of Spotify in the current market - with locker offerings from Google and Amazon (and forthcoming from Apple), it seems like the need for services like Spotify (for me, at least) is dwindling.

Spotify was a great idea before the emergence of music lockers - if I wanted access to music on the go, I could use a streaming service. But now that I can use a locker service to stream my own music library, I'm far less likely to pay for a Spotify subscription.

Case in point - I would have instantly sprung for a Spotify subscription two or three years ago had it been available in the States, but now that I'm using Google Music (albeit for free for now), there is no incentive for me to switch to Spotify as anything more than a semi-casual user.

3
helipad 2 hours ago 2 replies      
After a hiatus I fired up Spotify here in the UK today. It's awful.

The software works just fine and the number of songs is commendable, but there are audio ads every couple of songs, intrusive display ads and free users only get 10 hours a month of listening.

Sure, you get what you pay for, but it's certainly a much, much worse experience than I had remembered it.

4
anonymoushn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, I'll finally be able to search their library so I can know whether I'm missing anything.
30
Conway's Game of Life in SQL sybase.com
13 points by gaius  3 hours ago   1 comment top
1
zitterbewegung 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So this version of SQL is turing complete?
       cached 17 June 2011 22:02:01 GMT