hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    17 Jul 2011 News
home   ask   best   6 years ago   
Skeleton: A Beautiful Boilerplate for Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Development getskeleton.com
88 points by wslh  3 hours ago   5 comments top 5
SkyMarshal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Skeleton first got my attention a few weeks ago when I noticed Paul Irish had forked it to his Github account.


michaelschade 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've used this a number of times already and it's made rapid deployment of pages a breeze. It's used on my little sandbox site, Rawr: http://rawr.mschade.me/

@dhg (the creator) seems quite nice and responsive to people tweeting him about it as well, which is a definite plus.

artursapek 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's really great to see open-source resources like this emerging all the time, as opposed to the likes of Flash. CSS, HTML5, and JS were all pushed pretty hard at a mobile hackathon I went to today.
trickjarrett 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Am in the process of planning a redesign of a site, looking forward to working with this.
jechen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Can definitely see myself using this with jQuery Mobile. Thanks.
Estimate your English vocabulary size testyourvocab.com
67 points by mike_esspe  3 hours ago   66 comments top 37
srean 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I got around 29 and half thousand. Contrary to the general feeling here, I thought the test over rated me. I am not a native speaker of English and neither do I consider myself fluent or someone very well versed in it. In fact my grammar can be quite poor and sentence constructions unnatural. But if I am really really watching over myself then I am passably correct. Agreed 29K is not stellar but still more than I expected.
Eliezer 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I got 37,300. They claim this is not quite 95th percentile, which I am a tad skeptical accurately represents my vocabulary-size percentile relative to the general population. Perhaps this survey is being forwarded around unusually literate people at the top end, or more than 5% of responders are cheating. Where are the fake words to catch cheaters? I Googled a lot of what I didn't recognize, and everything I checked was real.
natural219 26 minutes ago 2 replies      
19,600. I'm willing to accept this, although I'm not going to lie -- I'm very upset at myself. I'm used to scoring 99th percentile in every standardized test; it's kind of a shock to realize that I'm nowhere near the median of even my age group, let alone the general populace (I'm 20).

That said, I'm currently reading A Dance with Dragons and there are tons of words in this series (A Song of Ice and Fire) that I'm not familiar with. Most of the ones I missed are words I recognize from this series, although since I'm not 100% sure of them, so I left them unchecked.

mortenjorck 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
The psychology of these things is interesting to me. My reflexive reaction was, of course, "I have to know!" and then my immediate counter-reaction was "This is just intellectual phallometry and is ultimately of no consequence to me."

Of course, I very quickly rationalized away the counter-reaction and took the test anyway, and then considered sharing it with my friends. What drives this?

diN0bot 1 hour ago 1 reply      
lots of people here are saying they scored lower than what they expected, and that maybe other people cheated. that could be it, but it could also be that hacker news folks tend to be overconfident. this would match the stereotype of this group being mainly male nerd entreprenuers, which could score worse on things like this but perceive themselves to score much higher (a feeling not a fact backed by studies that i can remember). who knows; just voicing this thought since no one has mentioned it yet.
onan_barbarian 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I scored 38500 - seemed to be a test that would be helped by reading a lot of older fantasy literature, where 'terpsichorean' and 'turpitude' (to give a couple 'terp' examples that spring to mind) are the sort of words that authors like Jack Vance liked to wheel out in order to create a mood.

I'm not sure that the people suggesting that the failure to correlate with the SAT adds much; I don't think the SAT really goes all-out of the more flowery bits of archaic vocabulary in the way that this test did.

My 3rd grade son got 10200, and enjoyed discussing the words he didn't get. I think every 3rd grader should know "mawkish". :-)

lliiffee 1 hour ago 1 reply      
They ought to include some fake but plausible words to correct for cheaters. (Perhaps they do?)
mike_esspe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Their statistic is probably inflated due to linguistic subreddit, where this test originated:


matwood 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I only scored 24k which seems low based on the statistics at the end. I also only selected words that I absolutely knew the definition of, even though some I think I knew based on the root.

Memorizing trivia words is just something that has never interested me. Instead I keep a thesaurus and dictionary handy at all times :)

mdda 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Obvious point : The only people interested in finding out their scores will be the kind of people who think their vocab is something worth competing on. There's no way this is a fair sample across all English-speakers.
mdda 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just as a test, ticking all the boxes scores 45,000 words. Which seems to indicate that they haven't seeded the quiz with fake words to weed out cheaters : Pity, since there was an opportunity to unbias it in at least one dimension. (I also tried deselecting just 1 of a few of the really tough words : Each one caused the score to lower).
techiferous 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's another data point: my score was 25,700, or about the 40th percentile. http://testyourvocab.com/?r=37679

I am surprised that I scored below average because back when I took the SAT I scored 710/800 on the verbal section. Also, when I was a kid I made it to the National Spelling Bee in DC which is hard to do with a limited vocab.

But perhaps when I was a kid I gained the belief that I was good with words and haven't yet updated that belief. Maybe my vocab is declining, especially since I've replaced reading books with reading Hacker News. :)

NnamdiJr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Don't care too much for percentile and age stats at the end.. clearly doesn't represent general pop.

What IS interesting tho, from a language learners perspective, is the vocab size estimation. A metric a lot of us use as a rough benchmark of vocab needed for fluency in a foreign language is 10,000words.
Comparing this with what an educated adult native speaker knows in their own language (using my own truthful score of 24k) is pretty interesting.

Would love to have something like this to quickly gauge my vocab in other languages!

blntechie 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Think I have the lowest score here. 16,400 words. English is not my native language but I speak English daily and I wouldn't say my English is bad. Pretty disappointed with the score and also surprised the median is way way higher than I expected.

Edit: And, also to add, I followed 2 criteria for whether I know the word or not.

1. What's the absolute definition?

2. And can I find the equivalent or meaning of it in my native language? (which is Tamil, an Indian language, if anyone cares.)

codex 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The population is self selecting; I wouldn't trust their percentiles.
Jach 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I got 28,800 http://testyourvocab.com/?r=38317 So apparently I should be 31 instead of almost 21.

I had a phase around 7th through 10th grade where I thought learning lots of vocabulary would make me smarter, especially words others didn't know well. (And so I'd use them in English essays for Extra Points since your grades are often determined by how little sense you make, because if the reader doesn't understand it obviously it's too smart for them!) I also had a general grammar nazi-ism.

Anyway, I think this exchange kind of tipped me over the edge to stop caring. (Of course that's led to forgetting a lot.)

William Faulkner, on Ernest Hemingway: "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

Hemingway: "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use."

Of course, having some background in French and Latin probably helps for inferring a few words.

Mithrandir 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Very interesting. The details on how it works are here: http://testyourvocab.com/details.php

(My result:)

Detrus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
22,700 http://testyourvocab.com/?r=38336

What difference does it make? The site doesn't say what it means in everyday life. I'm guessing if you exclude high achieving SAT vocab nerds, it finds the difference between people who care about the meaning of each word and people who will guess through context because they have no patience for a dictionary. Or people who don't read fancy texts, like the Scarlett Letter for example, after failing to read that I stopped reading books.

martingordon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm almost 26 and I scored 26,500.

Not sure I buy the results though. I would think that the rate of increase would start to decrease quite significantly after high school/college but it appears to stay pretty much linear throughout the data.

fiesycal 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just from getting some friends to do this it seems to me the median score overall and the median score for each age are a bit inflated. Just my thoughts, but I think people aren't being 100% truthful. Although I may just have a poor vocabulary http://testyourvocab.com/?r=36208
hristov 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty interesting, but I do hope they do not try to extract any meaningful statistics based on this. I guarantee you 95% of the people are cheating.
wolfrom 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure if vocabulary size matters once you reach around 25,000 words. The words I didn't know were in part because I've never had any need to know them; if I had run into any of them while reading anything written in the past 80 years, I'd be angry at the author for showing off.

When I was young, I thought that if I wanted to be a writer I should have a huge vocabulary... but now, when choosing words/synonyms I dismiss most options because they're much too obscure.

lostmypw 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
"You will never become proficient in a foreign language by studying vocabulary lists.
Rather, you must hear and speak (or read and write) the language to gain proficiency.
The same is true for learning computer languages."

Coincidentally, I just happened to come across this quote in Peter Norvig's "Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming".

Terretta 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I only checked words that I can use in a sentence: left one blank on the first set, a handful blank on the second set.

42,500 (http://testyourvocab.com/?r=37216)

Apparently the OED has 7 times more words I don't know. That's offal...

schleyfox 1 hour ago 0 replies      
37,700 http://testyourvocab.com/?r=36826 without cheating and not counting ones that I only thought I could puzzle out.

Maybe working on that English Minor is panning out...

shii 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My result[1] isn't too bad but there's still quite a few words I can learn especially at the end. I did cheat a little since I learned a few of the more curious looking ones when this showed up on /b/ 2 nights ago.

[1] http://testyourvocab.com/?r=36123

diN0bot 1 hour ago 1 reply      
anyone know of something like this for other languages, eg german?
mcphilip 1 hour ago 0 replies      
lampoon: verb: Publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule or sarcasm.

I knew lampoon had something to do with criticism, so I checked the box, but I had no idea that the definition specified a public context. Does that mean I didn't know the word?

I suspect a problem with the test is that it's easy to know enough to figure out the gist of a word's definition without having any knowledge of the specificity of the definition, if that makes any sense.

Cyph0n 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to be fairly accurate. Maybe it isn't. My score: http://testyourvocab.com/?r=35822

Edit: I just had a look at the median word count for adults who took the survey. It's around 27,000. I wonder whether that's true or not.. it seems to me that I'm lacking.

burgerbrain 1 hour ago 0 replies      

Clearly my American public school education has served me well. >_<

pacaro 1 hour ago 0 replies      
39,000 I use more of the words on page 2 that I should, I'm probably unbearably obnoxious to be around...
derrida 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was honest and was shocked by my result being in the bottom third! I have an IQ > 125! I think I need to read more.
gibybo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I got 17,200. I'm 22 with a Bachelor's degree and I was pretty surprised with how low I scored. Anyone in a similar category?
gabebw 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Some of these don't look like real words (e.g. splarge, which is definitely something that you could make up). I assume they're real, though.

Anyway, my score: http://testyourvocab.com/?r=36192

Timmy_C 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I think I did really poorly. My score was around 21,000.
slowcpu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am a non-native speaker
zoowar 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a survey in disguise. Anyway, here's my score http://testyourvocab.com/?r=35380
Why My Father Hated India wsj.com
67 points by watchandwait  3 hours ago   20 comments top 5
jkic47 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The article was unexpectedly heart wrenching to read. India takes its very name from the Indus valley that lies in Pakistan, while the most famous example of Islamic architecture is the Taj Mahal in India. It is sad watching the two countries' governments waste time, energy and lives in a conflict that is essentially at a stalemate.
qasar 47 minutes ago 2 replies      
Being a Pakistani (and Punjabi) American myself, I do not agree with some of the views the author puts forward.

First, Pakistanis do define themselves primarily as 'non-Indians'. However, the view that Pakistan has somehow carved out a new identity is the past 60 years is false. 5,000 years of shared heredity, language, customs and political history don't shake off that easily. Even Pakistanis and their relationship to religion is very similar to Indian Hindus and their relationship to Hinduism. Just as there are extremist groups in Pakistan, there are extremist Hindus in India. Pakistani's are more Indian that they want to believe and vice versa - especially if you live in the West where the two groups meld together indistinguishably.

The second point I disagree with is that minorities left only Pakistan (because of communal violence). History shows that there was a reciprocal exodus of Indian Muslims to Pakistan. Communal violence is one of the defining aspects of the sub continent.

Lastly, many of the poets, philosophers and British bureaucrats did predict one thing correctly - being a minority in a Hindu majority India ultimately would have a ruinous effects on Indian Muslims - formerly some of the most educated and economically prosperous citizens of India. South Asian culture is one of rabid communalism and today Indian Muslims are less educated, less wealth and less politically represented than in any part of India's long history.

Sometimes I wonder what impact it would have had on both sides of the border if the new nation had been called "West India".

zmanji 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Has there ever been a case where defining yourself as a negative of something resulted in a success?
vamsee 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting, but not relevant.
programmerx 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I will probably get downvoted but articles like these do not belong on HN.

This is just a propaganda article from the Indians, to make Pakistanis look bad.

Now there will be propaganda articles from the Pakistanis next, to make Indians look bad.

To pass propaganda is very normal for these two third world countries, they have faught 3 wars since independence in the last 60 years and still half the population in both countries live in poverty.

How the Air Conditioner Made Modern America theatlantic.com
23 points by mattraibert  2 hours ago   7 comments top 5
lukeschlather 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
>Minneapolis seems like an odd place for the first home air conditioner, but, hey, if you've got the cash, who's to stop you?

I'm guessing the author hasn't lived in Minnesota. For one thing, the temperature differential is much higher than in Southern States. It may reach 110 degrees F in Phoenix, but it almost never drops below 32 F. In contrast, Minnesota gets temperatures from 0 F to 90 F.

There's also the question of energy use. The Minnesotan winter makes a huge amount of energy (for heating) an absolute need for survival. When you're used to expending all that energy 4-6 months out of the year, using a much smaller amount to stay comfortable when the temperature peaks above 80 F or so is not an incredibly noticeable loss.

When some sort of active climate control is a requirement for life, it's unsurprising that Minnesota did it first - since AC is more a luxury in the Southern states, even though the heat can kill you if you don't have some sort of effective cooling.

gregpilling 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I live in Tucson, Arizona, and I own a few houses built before A/C became common. I have one house (a rental) made of mud adobe, which is essentially mudbricks made into 14" thick walls. It was built in 1919 and has the interesting feature that it takes a few days to change temperature. There is always a week here that it changes from a nice spring to a hot summer and the house takes a long time to make the transition. It also stays cool pretty effectively with only a small window A/C unit. My current residence is a 50 yr old double brick wall house that doesn't do as well, but better than you might think for a house with zero insulation in the walls. Average bill in the summer was $300 before I put solar in this year (3300 ft house).

I definitely agree with the article - this city would look a lot different without A/C. But the mud adobe and high ceilings work surprisingly well. The heat isn't as bad as you might think either - as one of my wife's colleagues remarked "It is a city that you can eat at least one meal a day outside" which means breakfast or dinner in the summer and lunch in the winter.

blantonl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Our family lives in San Antonio, TX where we are obviously dependent on air conditioning during at least 9 months of the year, but we typically keep our temps at about 76-78 degrees. I cannot even imagine keep our place at 72 degrees since the kiddos would complain it is cold and I would receive a $700 electric bill. Yes, electricity is very expensive in Texas.

However, we have a second home in Montana where we spend our summer away from the heat and humidity of South Texas. It has no air conditioning and, some summer days get well into the upper 90's here. It is amazing the techniques we'll employ to keep the place cool during the hot days, and they always keep the place in the 70's. We close certain blinds, open the upper windows and lower windows at night. When it cools off we will allow the cool air to pool in our downstairs areas and then close it off and "save" it. We will alternate between upstairs and downstairs sleeping based on the weather.

Being from New Orleans, I treasure cool air, and being in Montana right now I realize how cool it is. No pun intended :)

techiferous 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've heard that air conditioning had an effect on culture, too. Before A/C, you'd sit out on your porch to cool off and as a consequence get to know your neighbors. After A/C, you'd retreat indoors and live a socially isolated life.
datboi448 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've lived in the two heat extremes in Texas. Dry Dallas and humid Houston. A/C is definitely important but I've always found myself needing to use it less in Dallas. I can open the window in the evening and let the breeze blow into my room and close it before I leave to class in the morning. In Houston A/C is necessary even into the night as the heat in water vapor lingers around.
Veracity 0.9.1 ericsink.com
22 points by dchest  3 hours ago   2 comments top
shii 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Any use this yet and can share experience?

edit: no irc channel found for veracity-scm, does it exist anyone? also, I found the piping method they used to get their PGP key was causing issues with sudo, just wasn't accepting my pass with two sudo statements like that for some reason. It worked when I separated them.

Tristan Walker: two years ago, today. justtristan.com
88 points by sahillavingia  8 hours ago   10 comments top 4
jayzee 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not sure I like people offering to work for free. Nor of founders taking people up on this offer.

Also, I guess this explains why foursquare signs up so many seeming biz dev wins but still does not manage to generate revenue from any of these deals.

carbocation 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Someone with this kind of tenacity seems to be a potentially great "non-technical" cofounder. (Not to be misread as a statement implying that he's a foursquare cofounder.)
neoveller 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't help but imagine how the outcome may have been different had he not name-dropped "Stanford Business School".
quickpost 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> This was before they even had @foursquare.com email addresses (and well before our series A round).

It sounds like it was pretty early on...

Why Social Marketing Doesn't Work timharford.com
31 points by wslh  5 hours ago   10 comments top 7
fleitz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Social media isn't meant for marketing, it's meant for PR.

37Signals doesn't use their blog for marketing they use it for PR and education. This attracts an audience, and once in a while they'll visit SVN on a day they're talking about Highrise and once in a while they'll go see what 37Signals actually does. Even when they launch software like the iPad app it's put in a PR context (we can make a paint prog with ONE color and get lots of sales, you can too!)

If you want to post press releases on your Twitter you will fail, if you want to call out Salesforce as a silly business because of their margins then you will get readers in droves.

If you want to use social media for marketing, buy some ads.

Eliezer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
All traffic to "Methods of Rationality" is driven by word-of-mouth. Maybe the message here is, "Deliberate social marketing doesn't work."
skarayan 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I disagree with just about everything in this article. Social marketing works and it is measurable.

In my experience, the first step is to gain followers or fans. The best way to do this is through targeted advertising. While it is possible to build a follower base without advertising, it is harder. Advertising gives the advantage of speed and targeting.

The second step is to keep providing people with good content, while at the same time, promoting your product. As you provide content, you can measure the number of comments and get a feel for peoples' thoughts. This becomes easy after a while because you become accustomed to your audience and know what they like.

Does this mean that you are going to be able to sell your product? It really depends on your product and the market, just like with anything else.

I would question the product-market fit before I questioned the value in social marketing.

dools 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There is much more to social marketing than "going viral". Even if I can have a conversation with 10 people relatively cheaply and easily, that is still of value. Social marketing is a social exercise, it gives you an immediate proximity to your audience. Just because you're not making a video with a million hits on youtube doesn't mean ur doin it rong, or that it's not having a positive effect on your business.
ams6110 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A better title would drop the "Why" because the "why" is not really answered. Indeed, the message of this piece is that we DON'T understand why some messages spread on social network, only that some do and most don't.
theseanstewart 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have several ecommerce clients that use Twitter and Facebook for social media efforts. Here's an average of their conversion rates: All Traffic Sources (3.34%), Facebook (2.55%), Twitter (0.23%). Average number of twitter followers: 6,280. Traffic from Twitter is pretty much worthless. In fact, they wouldn't even be using it if it wasn't for Google.
schiptsov 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Social media marketing is quite simple. ^_^ If you trying to put advertisement sections in, say, FB to promote your product - you will fail (FB will just earn your money) but if your product is so good, that several members of some thematic community will recommend it - you will get a huge boost.

That is why, for example, some hotels are always crowded with middle-class tourist while same type hotel next corner is empty and selling rooms to whores.

So, don't advertise crappy brand or service on FB - develop your brand or service first, and then customers will promote you on FB themselves.

Does one have to be a genius to do maths? terrytao.wordpress.com
18 points by tokenadult  3 hours ago   discuss
Nginx JSON hacks gabrielweinberg.com
135 points by Kenan  12 hours ago   15 comments top 6
tlrobinson 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure I understand how some of these are being used, specifically whether they're being used safely.

API keys usually exist for preventing abuse. By exposing an authenticated API proxy you're allowing anyone to abuse someone else's API using your key, likely leading to them banning you. At a minimum you should implement your own rate limiting.

Likewise, with a JSONP proxy you're allowing other sites to circumvent the browsers' same origin policy to access that API, which could also lead to abuse. At a minimum you should restrict requests to ones with a recognized HTTP Referer header.

Of course with JSONP you also need to trust that the API isn't doing anything malicious, like injecting cookie or other data-stealing JavaScript instead of valid JSON. It would be a good idea to validate that the response is indeed JSON before passing it back to the clients (actually a properly restricted sanitizing JSONP proxy would be a good idea even if the API already provides JSONP)

So use these techniques cautiously...

riffraff 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Couldn't the last trick be improved? since you have access to params you could possibly use those as in

    location ^~ /ext_api3/ {
echo_before_body $arg_callback //+somehow add "(";
proxy_pass http://api.external.com/;
echo_after_body ');';

cdcarter 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Great article on how to get Nginx to JSONP for you, but I question the idea that setting up a proxy to a paid API with your client key embedded is a good idea... Seems easy to abuse.
olliej 9 hours ago 2 replies      
JSONP has numerous problems, first it's not JSON -- the object literal is created by executing JS, so you're back to square one with validating your input, the second and more significant problem is that if you ever use JSONP to transmit private data then you've essentially lost the cross origin protection of data present in the browser.

Now all an attacker needs to do is get one of your users with an active session to load a page that does <script src="usersprivatedata.jsonp"></script> and they can gather that data.

grourk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If you need to proxy through nginx on your own server to pad some external api's json (to enable jsonp), wouldn't you be able to put that server on your own domain? Obviating the need for cross-domain jsonp?
dreamdu5t 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Use node.js instead!
Hotmail Adds New Feature "My Friend's Been Hacked" tekgoblin.com
65 points by mjurek  8 hours ago   38 comments top 10
drdaeman 7 hours ago 3 replies      
> Hotmail is also working hard to eliminate accounts that have simple passwords such as “12345678″ and “password” by increasing security measures and not allowing simple passwords to be created.

Awesome. Not like I use Hotmail, but... So now if someone's password generator just happen to generate "weak" password not containing, for example, a digit (uh, even `openssl rand -base64 12` provides such outputs from time to time) user'll have to step away from usual password generation scheme and create special password just for hotmail.com.

Please, for the love of sanity, never ever forbid any passwords (except for too short ones, with a reasonable minimal length). Just freak user out so he'll think twice before using possibly weak password. You'll educate users this way instead of frustrating them.

(And never limit maximum length or set of possible characters, except for rare cases where there are technical obstacles requiring to do so - like non-8-bit-safe protocols. If user wants to authenticate with a passpoem, written in runic alphabet " let him have it.)

cdcarter 8 hours ago 6 replies      
The people I know who use hotmail these days all love it. Unfortunately an @hotmail.com email address in my field is just instantly regarded as unprofessional and laughable.
tshtf 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've noticed that Hotmail's spam filtering has improved significantly in the past year or two (I still have an old Hotmail account). It may be 7 years to late to compete with gmail for new customers, but it's nice to see these improvements from Microsoft.
Empedocles99 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
So, they've made it easier for people to launch simple denial of service attacks on hotmail accounts.
citricsquid 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Has anyone ever seen Microsoft confirm a problem with Hotmail itself being "hacked"? I have an account with Hotmail I don't use and haven't done since 2007, I logged in recently to discover it had been sending spam emails. Every single person I know with an active or inactive Hotmail account has the same problem.
planb 8 hours ago 1 reply      
>Hotmail will put the account in recovery mode which will cause a password reset.

This sounds like it could be easily abused. How will the password reset work if the hotmail address is the only one a user has? What will he need to do to reclaim access to his account?

mathrawka 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that this is a great idea, but there will need to be a few things in place to make it secure enough for use.

- Only friends that communicate "a lot" should be able to report it (and not repeatedly).

- If the account's password was compromised, then the attacker will enter the account recovery flow on next login attempt. So the AR flow will need to ensure that the user is not the attacker (SMS and e-mail that are trusted, based on age and usage, is pretty good).

But why not just create a system that will alert the user when a successful login was made from a new device on their account? And include an account lock link in the e-mail, so they can quickly lock their account from anywhere with cell phone access.

funkah 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What if you have a contact who has been hacked and uses Hotmail, but you don't? (This is actually the case for me right now.)
rocktronica 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this a testament to the innovation of the Hotmail team or the non-savvy of its userbase? Honest question.
The Growing Divide Between Silicon Valley And Unemployed America techcrunch.com
141 points by jdp23  13 hours ago   145 comments top 21
grellas 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe something is missing in the Valley and surrounding tech communities and that's a stronger sense of responsibility to make sure that the vast majority of the country isn't left behind by all this cool technology that we're building.

And just how does one build a startup with all that such an effort normally entails while factoring in the need to make sure others aren't "left behind" as that startup pushes on toward a hoped-for success? This issue can't even be discussed in meaningful terms. We all, of course, share in the problems of society and we all do our bit in trying to help with such problems - and who can help but feel for those who are suffering. That is a given for most people. But what then? Do I operate my business so that it doesn't eliminate any competitor in hopes of saving that competitor's jobs for its employees? Do I refrain from introducing disruptive technologies because they might actually disrupt the lives of others? Do I ask my representatives to enact laws granting permanent subsidies to companies such as Border's, Blockbuster, Tower Records, and so many others so that they can continue in business offering products or services that people more and more don't want? Or how about passing an innovation tax to capture the all the profits of the successful tech companies so as to level the playing field? Or how about a law banning all disruptive technologies so that we can all enjoy a world that resembles the one we knew a few decades ago?

The point, I think, is that startups exist on their own terms in a free enterprise system. The goal of a business venture is to succeed in a marketplace, not to ensure that others aren't affected by one's activities. Nor is the goal of a venture to give away what it earns to salvage the prospects of others who are failing. Individuals can do that if they like, and that is an issue of private conscience on what one does with private wealth. But it is not meaningful, in my view, to tell entrepreneurs to run their ventures with the aim of solving social problems as opposed to that of succeeding in a marketplace. When you try to do that, you wind up mixing up the goals of private venturing with those of broader social institutions such as government or those of private charitable impulse. That is why even to pose the question first stated above is to expose this as flawed thinking about the legitimate business concerns of a tech company.

This piece is a variation on the lament expressed in the piece from a few days ago about how Silicon Valley founders and entrepreneurs are (in effect) shallow, self-absorbed types who can't think beyond the next trivial innovation in hopes of gaining a quick-kill exit even as they neglect a slew of problems that beset humanity and are crying out for solutions if only these narrow types just had a larger vision and greater sense of social responsibility (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2760540 - of course, the piece had not put it in those exact terms but I hope I captured its flavor even as I used license in recasting its claims).

I hate to come across as narrow-minded but it really crosses a line to lecture the tech startup world about its moral responsibility as if "it" were a monolithic entity that had responsibilities beyond those that define what a given business venture is supposed to do. At best, this amounts to discussing the important issues in confused terms; at worst, it amounts to an author smugly claiming more refined sensibilities than the mere grubbers upon whom the author is passing a misdirected moral judgment.

matwood 12 hours ago  replies      
The divide isn't between SV and the unemployed, but between the educated and uneducated. From politifact:


For those with less than a high school diploma, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 13.8 percent during July. For those with a high school diploma but no college, the rate was 10.1 percent. For those with some college experience but no college diploma, the rate was 8.3 percent. And for those with an undergraduate degree or better, the rate was 4.5 percent. That's less than one-third of the rate for high-school dropouts -- and it's exactly as Tyson said it was.


These aren't exactly comparable, since BLS does not release seasonally adjusted figures for those with advanced degrees. But we'll provide them anyway. The unadjusted July rate for those with masters' degrees was 4.9 percent. For those with professional degrees, it was 2.0 percent, and for those with doctorates, it was 1.9 percent.

Technology has always disrupted the low end of the workforce. The big difference this time around is just how fast the disruption has occurred. It took years for farm equipment advances to remove the need for farmhands or cars to remove the need for people who do horse shoes. The internet and computers in general have put entire types of work seemingly out of business overnight.

The 'new' economy is one where everyone will need to take control of their careers and constantly be thinking long term. The downside of this sort of economy is that the people who have no ambition will suffer. The upside is that those with ambition have an easier time than ever to try out their ideas and have huge upside potential.

Spyro7 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand the point of this article (or why so many people are up-voting it).

The article says that unemployment is high and then it says:

"Maybe something is missing in the Valley and surrounding tech communities and that's a stronger sense of responsibility to make sure that the vast majority of the country isn't left behind by all this cool technology that we're building."

I'm curious, what should the technology communities do? As far as I can see, by expanding their firms and hiring additional employees these companies are already doing the responsible thing for the national economy.

I realize that TC is not an economic journal, but I think that it is reasonable to expect a slightly more informed discussion of this issue without so much hyperbole.

The currently high unemployment rate is not due to the technology industries growth, and, as a matter of fact, it is the expansion of the technology industry that will likely provide one of the avenues that will assist in dealing with the high unemployment rate.

Just a few references:

- http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2009/03/how_much...

- http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1928261,00....

rorrr 12 hours ago  replies      
It's all about education. We just got lucky that we picked IT when we were young.

My wife always laughs at me when I refuse to take a job, because "it only pays $60 per hour". Her friends and her don't have any high tech education, and $20-30/hr is their ceiling, most of them making less, and at the same time the jobs they do seem so much more boring than creating websites or building apps.

We are truly lucky, guys. Enjoy the ride it while it lasts.

byrneseyeview 11 hours ago 3 replies      
One thing this article is missing is that lots of technology innovation is deflationary. As The Great Stagnation points out, lots of people are substituting $1 plus two hours of Farmville for a movie (and dinner out, and gas to get there). As more forms of entertainment and social status are available to the unemployed, the pressure to get a job lessens. You may not be employee of the month or drive a nice car, but if you have lots of free time you can get a pretty good mount without affecting GDP.

There's an assumption that a growing middle class with an increasing standard of living is the norm. From what I can see, it's been the norm for a pretty short period, in a pretty small part of the world. There are plenty of reasons to think that the New Deal plus the GI Bill plus the Great Moderation was just a weird, aberrant part of human history.

jonkelly 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't realize the full impact of the financial meltdown until we posted on Craigslist for an office manager last month. I received 110 applications in less than 24 hours. 75 were highly qualified and the 14 I interviewed all had deep experience across the disparate functional areas we needed help in. I was stunned at the difference between that experience and our attempts to find more Java developers, where we've heard crickets.
irrelative 12 hours ago 3 replies      
It's certainly true that the job market is going crazy in silicon valley, but the complaints in this article go against some pretty fundamental economic principles - namely that more efficient use of capital results in unemployment.

Disruptive technology often results in unemployment in the short term because it cleans up inefficiencies -- look at the industrial revolution. I think it's fair to say we're richer as a society because we can automate production of goods. Yes, it put a lot of craftsmen out of work, but it was a hugely beneficial change.

And so these days we have itunes putting record stores out of business. And amazon shutting down book stores. There's plenty of nostalgia for these establishments, but the things that have replaced them electronically give us incredibly better selection at less of a cost.

commanda 8 hours ago 0 replies      
At one point, I (naively) thought that by starting a company, I would be helping to alleviate unemployment in the US because I would be creating jobs. Now I realize that the programmers and designers I employ are/will be people who could have their choice of jobs, because I'm only hiring the smartest and most skilled. I'm effectively not altering the unemployment rate by adding jobs for the sector of the population that is in the least need of work.

So, I don't think it's possible for us (people who work at companies whose product is technology) to help create jobs for people without tech skills.

rphlx 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The displaced worker at the bookstore/recordstore becomes a Farmville-loving, unpaid-content-producing, at-home-living, virtual-goods-buying, ad-viewing serf, kept alive by a wealthy technical elite merely to keep the system running. Welcome to The Matrix!
bugsy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The article's analysis is severely flawed, and I suspect intentionally so. It tries to lay the blame on inventors, innovation and technology workers for the unemployment of unskilled workers.

We don't have enough manufacturing jobs in the country not because technology has made it so that everything is made by robots in gleaming factories.

We don't have enough manufacturing jobs in the country because we have zero import tariffs for countries that use slave labor and have no enforced environmental regulations. This is a situation created by globalist bankers, not inventors.

skarayan 12 hours ago 2 replies      
While the overall unemployment number is a good indicator for the economy, it is far from the best indicator. Instead of looking at an overall "jobs count", perhaps we should be looking at how the state of technology (or the job market) is improving the overall efficiency in the economy. After all, our lives improve as technology becomes more efficient.

For example, while Amazon may step on the shoes of the likes of Borders, look at what it is doing for consumers. On a global scale, we should be focusing on improving the lives of people, but at the same time we should continue to promote competition.

The unfortunate consequence of competition is that some people lose out. To rectify this, perhaps we should focus on creating the right types of jobs and promoting constant education. In addition to the unemployment number, I wish we could see some additional metrics.

At a previous job, I was responsible for data management and business intelligence. My team basically looked at the company's numbers and sliced and diced it every way possible. I would love to see some more metrics from the government. I would also love to see some better tools developed by the government to help us visualize the data. (One tool that comes to mind for this sort of stuff is an OLAP cube)

Without going too far away from the point, a simple "unemployment number" isn't enough. Let's look at some more data and see where the problems are. Also, let's make this transparent so that people start talking about the details instead of one number.

daimyoyo 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been seeing this trend first hand. That's why I am learning how to code. The fact is that the jobs that provide a living wage today are based on knowledge. So you can retrain yourself, or you can be left behind.
Vivtek 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Balderdash. There's no responsibility to go slower so people can catch up.

If there's honestly a cultural divide between Silicon Valley and Unemployed America, then there ought to be some serious money to be made on things that help Unemployed America that people in Silicon Valley aren't going to find (which is good news for me, if I can just figure out what those things are). Expect this to be one of the things that ends this recession/depression - but blaming macroeconomic screwups on the only people around not screwing up is not the answer.

rdl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The long-term structural fix is probably that "industrial" value creation (manufacturing, tech R&D, etc.) will be concentrated in a smaller and smaller number of people (essentially, Silicon Valley plus robotic factories), and that everyone else will have some kind of job which is either a service job or an artisan manufacturing job (i.e. if you can have 1k farmers with agritech produce ~1% of the world's industrial corn, you might still want to support small farmers growing heritage/etc. crops which are more labor intensive). A combination of "personal service" services jobs (while automation can reduce headcount in services too, e.g. recorded video lectures, it's a lot less effective than in manufacturing or pure information goods) and intentionally labor intensive manufacturing is a much better alternative than mass unemployment and welfare, or mass unemployment and death.

The funny thing is this world almost ends up like a computer RPG; you can give away mass-produced n00b gear to everyone for free, but then the specialty stuff becomes even higher priced. It's pretty easy to argue that no one in a rich society should starve to death, but it's a lot harder to argue that the poor have a right to purely luxury versions of basic goods.

orofino 13 hours ago 1 reply      
While I understand the 'negatives' the article mentions, it doesn't provide much in the way of helpful insight as the the alternative. Sure people are losing jobs to automation, does that mean we should stop moving forward?
This isn't just isolated to silicon valley or even the tech industry though. My wife is a pharmacist and to get jobs in desirable areas is highly competitive at this time. I'm sure there are other areas where this is true as well.
gdilla 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I transitioned from a tech company to a traditional media company. I consider myself an avg engineer at best. The shit that I can pound out (self taught) like wireframes, flowcharts, product plans, marketing plans, automating data collections, in house wikis, usability reviews, is orders of magnitude more productive than the PR person sitting next to me. And these are the people who have jobs. In otherwords, being skilled, at least techincally, really deserves to be in demand. We can always make things more efficient. That's always going to be in demand.

My advice is to always think about your career a little strategically. Your skills should transcend your company and your vertical. Never give up looking at ways to be better and always be willing to learn. I see very little of that from coworkers. And after a while, those types of employees build up an impedance to being an autodidact, which imho, is career suicide. That's why I love meeting coworkers who are interested in the stuff I do and want to learn. I show them how easy it is to learn new things, and that there's tools that always make your life easier. Then their eyes light up. love that.

RuadhanMc 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps what we need is a radical shake up of our schooling system, but also a re-evaluation or how we raise our kids. Chew on this:

"Nearly 6.2 million students in the United States between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2007 dropped out of high school..."


Yikes. Something stinks. In this day and age unemployment is going to continue to be really high if there are 6.2 or so million students dropping out of high school / university per year.

America (and other western countries) are not creating labor intensive industries anymore (with the exception of wars -- sad, but true), so these drop-outs are going to have real employment troubles for the rest of their 50+ years of life.

Something's gotta give.

tobias3 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's funny that this article appeared simultaneously with this german article: http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/siliconvalley100.html Well... it's in german)

It says that one in ten people goes to the Second Harvest Food Bank for meals. Living costs are very high and that unemployment is increasing in Silicon Valley.

Can somebody tell me what's true?

martinshen 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This article I feel simply explains that advancement in technology could be hurting America. Yes, change can cause damage... but change will happen no matter what.

I think that the current divide is simply a educated/uneducated. Or it could be the market simply rewarding certain professions as they do with investment banking. However, it just so happens that the majority of these jobs are in SV as they do on Wall Street.

Yet, I don't understand the issue the author is laying out. Is he suggesting that San Francisco and the bay area is strictly a wealthy area? Is he implying that SV is so different from other cities employment wise? Has he seem the number of homeless in San Francisco?

dublinclontarf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not liking this bullshit of "were automating all the jobs away" that I've been hearing a lot of lately. People have unlimited wants, so it's just a crock.

This is going to turn into an excuse to put a boot on the Valley's neck.

estrategy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The fact is there is 1000x more VC and angel capital in the Bay Area willing to fund "any idea". This does not exist anywhere else and startup money does not travel.
An incomplete list of HN collaborative Google Docs/Spreadsheets
24 points by thesethings  2 hours ago   4 comments top 2
shii 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for collecting these all, but I must say, what a shitty and needlessly obtuse way to go about it with all these heavy spreadsheets everywhere. Surely there must be a simpler and better way?

They weren't designed to be in tandem or work together at all, but maybe some enterprising hacker can get their name out there by finding a way to use the Docs API to scrape the data from all these and host it on a pretty ajaxified site (like say, hnsheets.com or something) with a MongoDB backend and all the code on Github?

Or maybe just put it up on a wiki somewhere. Are there any other better solutions than these slow-crawling and large spreadsheets on Google Docs that anyone else can offer?

edit: how about metahn.com with subdirs or subdomains of:


for listing of persons and meta info about them, history of work done, availability for contract work, availability for starting a startup, etc


with the different internships and jobs posted every month listed and searchable/ordered by different fields/categories


with the other links and/or editable fronts to the data like the listing of TED talks or just links to the other static documents you mentioned.

There's already a few spread out hn-related sites like hndir.com[1] for students and hnofficehours.com[2] for general help and consultation between HN'ers but maybe there's room for one more.

[1] http://www.hndir.com/

[2] http://hnofficehours.com/

Basic Intro to Python Metaprogramming bitshaq.com
49 points by nuclearsandwich  9 hours ago   4 comments top 4
irahul 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>>> Foo = type("Foo", (FooBase,), {'bar' : 42})

is not equivalent to what the blog post says it is to. FooBase should be defined before running this, and the blog post's equivalent make it look like this statement defines FooBase as well.

iandanforth 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For me this article was written in reverse. For an intro I'd love to have had the 'code smell' example first to establish why I might care and when I might need this, and then dive into an example.
endgame 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Can everyone please stop shoehorning in random xkcd comics where they don't belong?
ciupicri 3 hours ago 0 replies      

You don't have permission to access /2011/07/14/basic-intro-to-python-meta-programming/ on this server.

The Illusions of Psychiatry nybooks.com
27 points by Maci  6 hours ago   8 comments top 6
j_baker 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
One would be hard pressed to find a two-year-old who is not sometimes irritable, a boy in fifth grade who is not sometimes inattentive, or a girl in middle school who is not anxious.

Just like one would be hard pressed to find an adult who is not sometimes full of themselves, sad, or paranoid. Mental illness is usually an exaggeration of some normal behavior. There's a world of difference (albeit a sometimes difficult to see world) between being inattentive at times and not being able to function normally due to not being able to pay attention.

I don't mean to say that everything is fine with psychiatry. I just think this fundamental distrust of it is not good. I personally wouldn't be where I am today without it.

dr_ 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The article is correct in stating that extended psychotherapy may be as helpful as psychopharmacology in treating many conditions but the problem remains is that it is not well reimbursed. That is something the government needs to take a lead on with Medicare and Medicaid payments.

Some of the most egregious examples actually take place with the elderly, many of whom may be diagnosed with a form of dementia and are then placed on "anti-dementia" meds, which are almost useless in their efficacy but neverthless prescribed because there is "no other option"
The other option, really, is to not institutionalize them, offer therapy sessions in a supportive home environment where assistance is available and with easy access to family members. Right now though, the government won't pay for much of this.

diogenescynic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority, the illusion of control and optimism bias. The concept refers to people with borderline or moderate depression, suggesting that while non-depressed people see things in an overly positive light and severely depressed people see things in overly negative light, the mildly discontented grey area in between in fact reflects the most accurate perception of reality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depressive_realism
Alex3917 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone wants to know more about why the subjectiveness of the DSM is problematic, check out Crazy Like Us by Ethan Watters, and then also this Wired article:


I realize this is only a book review and not an attempt to fully explain the issues, but even still the author of this piece doesn't do the best job at actually explaining the various issues. (Albeit it's still a good read.)

atsaloli 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
More quotes from psychiatrists on the subjectiveness and ineffectiveness of the DSM:



Brubeck: A new Python web framework running on mongrel2 brubeck.io
113 points by cfdrake  15 hours ago   42 comments top 10
mbrubeck 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I must say, I did a double-take when I saw the front page of HN today.

I get that it follows the theme of Django and Sinatra. But Brubeck is not a very common name (the musician Dave Brubeck is my second cousin) and I don't normally see the musical Brubecks intrude into "my" domain. :)

po 13 hours ago 2 replies      
OK, now this is interesting. Like twisted or Node.js enabled a new class of web applications, this is offering a lot more than just another Rails/Django clone. I'm happy that there are so many frameworks to choose from based on your personal preferences, but I'm really happy to see a project trying something completely different.

This is the first time j2labs crossed my radar… is this part of a larger project? Anyone in the know want to give the backstory on how this came about?

lhnz 13 hours ago 2 replies      
There are so many different web frameworks available for Python now. How would somebody make the choice over Brubeck, Flask, Bottle, web.py, Django, Pylons, etc... I know somebody will probably say something like "use the best tool for the job" but what is best for what job?

edit; That's just Python frameworks. The situation gets even messier when you start to consider every other languages for web development. Lots of 'hip' technologies I would love to put time into learning but I can't learn them all...

jjm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the little things that count and I like that out of the box bcrypt is being used in auth.py.

I never got around to playing around with Mongrel2 but always wanted to.

I'm a huge Flask fan and will most likely (after looking through some of the source) be using Brubeck from now on on the Py side of things. It covers the basics very well.


Btw, equally impressive is DictShield.

Will you create any special cases for 'modules/extentions' or will continue to keep things agnostic?

tzury 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, I haven't seen such an efficient and clean code / concepts for quite a while.

I must give it a try at the next new web project.

Having built-in support for Tornado templates will make it much easier to transform an existing one in the future.

Thank you j2lab for sharing!

beaumartinez 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Armin Ronacher"author of Flask and Werkzeug"pointed out earlier on Twitter[1] that (for better or for worse) it doesn't support WSGI.

[1] http://twitter.theinfo.org/92202624614539264

cool-RR 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks very promising. I'm getting the impression that it has a better architecture than Django; I think that if and when it will match Django in level of finish, documentation, community, tools, etc., it might become a serious competitor.
davidjairala 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the whole idea, lightweight, fast, smartly designed. Great work.
swah 12 hours ago 1 reply      
How does this compares to Zed's own Tir?
grantjgordon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
How baked is this? Has anyone written any apps on it?
Thomas Jefferson on Patents cdixon.org
73 points by apievangelist  11 hours ago   19 comments top 8
hristov 8 hours ago 3 replies      
It should be noted that Thomas Jefferson's opinion on patents changed and he eventually believed that some patents may provide social benefit if only granted for a limited time.

Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson ended up being the first patent examiner of the United States. The first U.S. patent law said that the secretary of state (Jefferson at the time) was to take a lead role in examining patents. Jefferson was a notoriously difficult examiner and granted very few patents.

For more details: http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/pate...

russell 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Jefferson: "other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices."
flocial 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Another illustration of how far we've strayed from founding principles. Sometimes our system feels like a large software project gone wrong. People keep adding line after line without refactoring or bolting on libraries that conflict with initial design or add a head-spinning array of conditionals that make it unrecognizeable.

We have more tools to search for a better way that is equitable to all. If only we had a majority of politicians that could engage in more intellectual discourse and not legislate between campaigning and serving constituents and corporate interests before the people.

georgieporgie 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Jefferson was also strongly opposed to creating international debt. Great, you say, we wouldn't have our current fiscal crisis. Except that some debt was a necessary step for the United States to become the financial powerhouse it is, based upon international trade. If Jefferson had gotten his way on debt, we'd be a small nation of rather poor farmers, at least until a richer nation invaded.

So, be cautious in quoting the wisdom of the founding fathers. They were by no means infallible, though selective quoting of their vast writing might lead one to believe that they were.

rflrob 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This quote seems to fall victim to the Naturalistic fallacy. That which is natural is not necessarily good, and that which is good is not necessarily natural. Whether or not patents have an overall positive effect is reasonable to debate, just don't say that they're unnatural, and therefore wrong.
va_coder 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought I was reading something written by Richard Stallman.
spottiness 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I couldn't help thinking about software when Jefferson refers to ideas. The thinking power called software...
tobylane 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So what if a founding father had a clearly set out view of how things should be, it's not like anyone cares what the right people think, they just take their view, and use their own ego to get it somewhere. Some of them even like to ignore what was written down.

They purely being the crappy politicians. I had some better way to word this in my head.

I've read articles of about that length from about 20 people of that century, his is the hardest to read, sort of double-speak.

Independent TrueCrypt implementation imported into DragonFly BSD dragonflybsd.org
67 points by there  11 hours ago   4 comments top 4
danieldk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice work, especially given status of the TrueCrypt license, which may not be acceptable for most open source operating systems:


Hopefully, this will provide a good basis for others to bring TrueCrypt support to other BSDs and Linux.

protomyth 10 hours ago 0 replies      
a little more explanation: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.os.dragonfly-bsd.kernel/142...

EDIT: from early point in development

Groxx 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat. The code's even pretty readable. Fantastic news for the OSS crowd, and multiple implementations are critical for robustness's sake - no single point of failure.

/me adds to my ever-growing to-read list

gw 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Really exciting stuff. I kind of missed TrueCrypt when I switched to FreeBSD, because I had a lot of things saved to a TC volume on my network drive. I eventually figured out how to mimic TC volumes using FreeBSD's native geli encryption tool. If anyone is interested in how to do it:


The story of FCopy for the C-64 pagetable.com
68 points by ssp  13 hours ago   20 comments top 7
jerf 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Heh, next time I hear someone talk about how wonderfully optimized all code was back "in the days" and how wasteful we all are now, maybe I'll send them this article, referring to the shipping software on the 1541.
psykotic 11 hours ago 1 reply      
> Back in the 80s, the Commodore C-64 had an intelligent floppy drive, the 1541, i.e. an external unit that had its own CPU and everything.

I remember by the time I got a floppy drive for my C64 it was twice the price of a new C64, $400 vs $200. It was a real luxury item in those days.

Obligatory link to Michael Steil's The Ultimate Commodore 64 Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsRRCnque2E

saundby 10 hours ago 2 replies      
25 minutes to do a copy? I remember it taking about 45 minutes per disk to do a backup copy.

I also remember having to break out the oscilloscope every time I played F-15 Strike Eagle and Psi-5 Trading Company to re-align the disk head. Until a friend gave me cracked copies, which allowed me to simply play the games. (By that time I had purchased two copies of Psi-5, after the first disk refused to recognise itself as a valid copy!)

Worst copy protection I ever encountered, until Lotus 123 came along.

blue1 8 hours ago 0 replies      
now, if only someone could finally reveal to me what "hullabaloo mode" did in Fast Lightning, a disk copy program for the Amiga...
protomyth 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I really think we have lost something since those days since a computer you can program cannot be gotten in the under $200 category.

// I suppose somewhere there is an example, but nothing I've seen in a big box store

polo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember FCopy and its successors (esp. FCopy++) with fondness from my childhood. In those days many heated discussions arose around which copy program was fastest, most accurate, or, ah, most "useful" when it came to "backing up" games :-
ghshephard 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A major takeaway from this story is that among the many innovations we can thank Apple for, one of the largest is finally creating a platform, mechanism, and support framework that allows individual developers the ability to be recompensed for their intellectual creations.

It's also nice to see competition creating variants of it on other platforms as well - so you can get the advantages of both a open platform (Android) and versions of Apple's App Store from Google and Amazon.

A $330,000 home for $16? Texas adverse possession law wfaa.com
89 points by tortilla  14 hours ago   58 comments top 16
_delirium 12 hours ago 2 replies      
At least as it currently stands, this case seems to mostly have to do with difficulties of eviction, especially when the house is in a weird ownership status. He hasn't been living on the land nearly long enough to actually have any real rights through adverse possession (roughly, "squatter's rights"), and could be evicted by the owner at any time. He just seems to think, possibly correctly, that eviction is unlikely for a variety of reasons, and so hopes to stay long enough that adverse possession will become relevant, if he de-facto lives in the house long enough without being evicted.

The main thing that keeps him "legal" in a certain sense is that, due to particularities of Texas law, once he's filed that document, it's a civil dispute over ownership, not a criminal case, so police won't evict him for trespassing unless a court resolves the civil dispute first, and orders eviction. He's betting that nobody is going to get around to pursuing that case, even though they would probably win if they did (since he does not in fact own the property, either de jure or through sufficiently long de-facto possession).

TamDenholm 13 hours ago 3 replies      
"If he wants the house, buy the house like everyone else had to," Lowrie said. "Get the money, buy the house."

My personal opinion is good on the guy, if hes smart enough to find a way to legally obtain a house like this then more power to him. Mrs Lowrie is just pissed she didnt get the same opportunity.

gokhan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"Please tell us about the time you, Kenneth Robinson, most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage."
techsupporter 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
I just did some perusing of the records against this property and my bet is this guy is screwed now that the news media has picked it up. The mortgage company didn't "go out of business." According to deed records, the mortgage is owned by one or more of: Countrywide Home Loans, CWABS Asset-Backed Certificates[...], and ReconTrust Company of Texas. I can't tell what the second entity's full name might be (Denton County's deed image server is down and the name is longer than the data page shows), but the other two are now subsidiaries of Bank of America.

Why does this matter? Bank of America never actually foreclosed, so the original owner[1] is still the owner of record. The original owner can still contest the adverse possession in short order without dealing with the mortgage mess, assuming he cares to do so. In addition, BofA can foreclose and then evict the current occupant.

1 - Not naming the current owner here, but it is a public record.

benmccann 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The TV station was actually helping his cause by running this story since one of the requirements is "open and notorious use of the property." The use of the property must be so visible and apparent that it gives notice to the legal owner that someone may assert claim. The posting of no trespassing signs that they talked about also improves his claim to the home.
trotsky 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Curious that the neighbors would rather have an unmaintained and abandoned property sit vacant and all of the potential associated problems with that rather than occupied by someone who presumably has an interest in keeping it up.
hammock 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Just reading the article and the way his neighbors were complaining on him, I knew he had to be black. And then I watched the video and my hunch was confirmed.
gyom 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing all these neighbors really wished they had gone into the house and squatted. Think about it, they were right there, right close to the big $300,000 bounty, and they just didn't know that it was there for the taking (legally).
city41 13 hours ago 3 replies      
If his plan does succeed and he does end up with the title, won't the taxes on the house be an enormous burden? I wonder what his plan is for that.
tzs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Explanation of Texas adverse possession law: http://www.lonestarlandlaw.com/Adverse.html
thomaslangston 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty happy with the similar "squatter's rights" laws. Abandoned property is generally a drag on a community (e.g. lower property values, danger to children, haven for criminals). If someone is willing to provide upkeep in such a precarious situation for years and the owner doesn't protest, I'd love to see them take possession.
charlieflowers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm laughing at the idiot neighbors. They have no motive to oppose his ownership other than jealousy or exclusivity (snobbishness). It is better for their neighborhood home values that the guy stay there so someone will cut the freaking grass and keep the place clean.
MrBlue 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great example of "hacking":

1) Research a system to find a vulnerability
2) Exploit the vulnerability
3) Profit

Good for him but I think the real challenge will be keeping the house over the next x amount of years until his name is on the title.

dancavallaro11 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Avidavit of adverse possession"?
nolite 13 hours ago 0 replies      
those jealous fucks
sitkack 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You can do this with code as well. Migrate from sourceforge, put an -ng on the name and put it on github.
Terence Tao's General Exam princeton.edu
69 points by kenjackson  13 hours ago   35 comments top 10
shadowmatter 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I did a math minor at UCLA, and he taught the upper-division linear algebra class I took. He didn't like the book, so he decided to write his own lecture notes, which formed a book unto themselves. They're still available online at http://www.math.ucla.edu/~tao/resource/general/115a.3.02f/. If you ever have the itch to learn linear algebra, read them, they're quite excellent.

It was pretty obvious at class and obvious hours he was crazy smart -- but I had no way of knowing he was Fields Medal smart. But unlike other crazy smart professors I've had, he's a very gifted teacher as well. I mostly learned by reading the books and considered the lectures as an ancillary learning aid, but his lectures were very illuminating. I'm glad he now has a blog to teach a wider audience at http://terrytao.wordpress.com/, but unfortunately most of it is beyond what I can understand. If you're a math die-hard, be sure to read that.

tptacek 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Advice: next time you feel an urge to frustration or mockery of non-computer-professionals, pull this up and start reading it from the top.

And this is the general exam.

tokenadult 10 hours ago 1 reply      
You can see notes about the general exams of many other famous people who have studied math at Princeton at the base URL:


I discovered this link years ago and enjoyed reading accounts of math learners about what they knew at the beginning of their graduate studies.

"This page is maintained by Alison Miller," who just happens to be the first United States woman to win a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad.

The report of Kiran Kedlaya


(which will be a familiar name to some readers here) is laugh-out-loud funny.

busyant 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Just an FYI: the General Exam is the qualifying exam used to determine whether a graduate student (usually in his/her 2nd year) can continue on and complete his/her Ph.D. thesis. It's designed to test general knowledge (hence the name) in your field of study and sometimes the depth of your knowledge related to your thesis.

Different schools have different names for the exam. Sometimes it's written, sometimes it's oral...sometimes it's both. Depends on the school and the department.

In many instances, if you fail the exam you are booted from the Ph.D. program and given a "terminal" master's degree.

neworder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I absolutely love the ending:

"After this, they decided to pass me, though they said that my harmonic analysis was far from satisfactory. :("

especially when compared to the Fields Medal citation, where Tao is awarded the medal "for his contributions to partial differential equations, combinatorics, harmonic analysis and additive number theory".

Seems he did learn a bit of harmonic analysis in the meantime.

sramsay 10 hours ago 2 replies      
What's so striking to me, is how similar the exam is (in range, pace, and tone) to the Ph.D. oral exams I took for a doctorate in English (years ago). That same rhythm. The minute you start to set forth an argument, they get you off onto something else. A lot of times, you're groping for the question.

Few people walk away from them feeling like they did well, but later, you have a sense of accomplishment just for having done it at all.

savrajsingh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The Princeton Math Department is where I first learned that I should not take a course with "Advanced" in the title unless I wanted to major in the field. I learned that one the hard way.
raldi 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone provide some context for this? (Besides Terence's Wikipedia page.)
Cyph0n 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I read the whole thing, and it surprisingly turned out to be pretty interesting (even though I didn't understand a thing).

I had to look up who the guy was afterwards though. A smart fellow indeed.

rfurmani 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not that impressive, he performs okay. I hear he spent the first few years mostly playing games, until he finally buckled down and got a thesis out.
Tatas to build world's cheapest home for Euro 500 indiatimes.com
74 points by NonEUCitizen  14 hours ago   40 comments top 15
waivej 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Off topic: I was part of an interesting contest to design a home for $300. http://www.300house.com/blog/2011/06/300-house-open-design-c...

In the end, it behaved as you might expect. The rank changed rapidly in the last hours as people motivated their social networks. Also, designs with the prettiest pictures dominated and several were hopelessly over budget.

On the other hand, there were a number of really interesting designs. It's worthwhile to read through the submissions if you are interested in inexpensive housing.

dav-id 11 hours ago 0 replies      
€500 house sounds like they are monetising the construction of future slums / shanty towns.

The Indian government need to get their act together and not leave it up to the private companies to clean up the mess in India. I have spent time in Delhi and what I have seen is shocking. Private companies run taxi services for their workers because it is so unsafe and the government run services are so unreliable that they are left with no other option.

The major commercial districts are built with private money and thus you see great big modern buildings with dusty and potholed roads without any paths connecting them so stepping outside the campus of these buildings you go from 1st world to 3rd world in a matter of a few steps.

There is more to making someones life livable than simply constructing four walls with a roof and some windows. You need to implement proper sanitation and other fundamental facilities such as appropriate policing and transportation. without these you are just fueling the growth of these slums and the internal migration from the countryside into the cities.

I can see India with an incredible future and rapid growth if simply the corruption and mismanagement is sorted out in the government sector.

jkic47 13 hours ago 1 reply      
And so it starts. A decade or two after opening up the economy, Indian companies have started moving up the value chain, creating solutions to local problems instead of mindlessly building things designed elsewhere. Great to see this happen in my lifetime.
ajays 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The Tata group is probably the only major group in India which prides itself in hardcore engineering. Think of them like the "Google" of India.

Kudos to them for tackling India's problems.

w1ntermute 12 hours ago 5 replies      
As with most things coming out of India, I would take this with a grain of salt. There've been promises of things like a $10 laptop and a $35 tablet in the past. When (if ever) they actually materialized, however, the price was either much higher or the quality/features much lower than promised.

Relatedly, this is a big difference between India and China. In China, when the CPC decides to do something, it happens, no matter how many heads roll in the process. One of India's biggest failures has been its inability to keep up with its promises.

petercooper 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems like this could have significant positive consequences in many regions. Good on them. I don't know how the land would work for many of these homes but I take it India's not as onerous as most of Europe where the price of the land and permissions to build is usually far higher than the cost of the house itself..
dotBen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It's kinda crazy to think that many tents at REI sell for more than $700/300€

eg http://www.rei.com/product/779454/mountain-hardwear-trango-4...

Lost_BiomedE 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have come across some very safe, efficient, and cheap building designs that I would love to build on some land. In the U.S., it is very hard to go through all the paperwork to get it built. If I had someone put a rickety frame in the ground and slap on some drywall, it would be easy as pie to get the paperwork done.

The U.S. building code seems broken from my perspective. Cheap homes are not hard.

BenSS 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have the link handy, but there was another article as a followup to the $500 house saying the whole thing would hurt more than help. The construction, maint, and customizing of the houses were an important part of the local economy even as depressed as it was.
yalogin 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with these projects Tata is taking up is that by tying to gain some press out of these its making these unusable. The cheapest car was advertized as such a lot and so there was a stigma of sorts associated with it. At the end of the day it was not that inexpensive (with added/needed features) but by Nano is now branded as car for the poor and so people are not inclined to buy it.
wtvanhest 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Price of Land = Value of Developed Parcel To User - Cost of Construction - Legal and Government costs - Any other costs during the development or after the development including Time value of money of property taxes.

This equation holds true in the US, and should hold true in India. The reason for US subsidies is that sometimes, the right side of the equation is still negative because the value to the end user is so low (think section 8 where tenants only have $500/month or less to rent housing, feed their family etc.)

Building a $500 house will only be beneficial to people if the right side of the equation has a value less than 0. If the value of the right hand side of the equation is greater than 0 then the land value simply goes up.

CharlieA 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A search for "Euro 500 house" on G.Images returns a bunch of stock photo images of 3 actual 500 Euro notes bent into a house. Something weird (good weird) about realising the same amount of money could potentially house 3 families.

As a side note, does anyone have links to images of what the completed homes look like?

zalthor 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Considering that 40% of Indians earn less than 1.25$ a day, this still is not going to completely solve the problems faced by the "average person" in India. Anyone who can afford this house is probably working in one of the cities where the cost of land would be at least 10 times the cost of the actual house. So who would actually be able to use this?
grandalf 11 hours ago 3 replies      
It's Tata (singular). What a lewd misspelling.
vladoh 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The Tata car is a ridiculous piece of metal that should not be called a car. So I hope the Tata home will be better... Not very optimistic though...
First DIY electronics "show-and-tell" over Google+ hangout adafruit.com
3 points by ptorrone  1 hour ago   discuss
An Introduction to Web Sockets bigbangtechnology.com
26 points by zeroxsys  9 hours ago   5 comments top 3
neoveller 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Is anyone else kind of baffled by the comment about the political risks of web sockets? Why do people waste time with answers like that?
MostAwesomeDude 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't watch the slides, but I wonder if they spend any time discussing how WebSockets don't offer any client security beyond raw TCP sockets.
Mentioning Google+ gets you banned from Facebook ads google.com
114 points by btilly  11 hours ago   20 comments top 9
reso 9 hours ago 3 replies      
PLEASE Note the comments in the previous post on this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2770237


1) Trademarked images are banned from Facebook images, and Google+ is a trademarked image!

2) Considering the volume they deal with, it is very unlikely this case ever got to a human-review. It was more likely caught by an automated system looking for trademarked content.

Its amazing what conclusions people will jump to. A few days ago I saw a status update on G+ claiming Facebook doesn't send email notifications if you mention G+ in your status. I tested it on my own account and discovered it was entirely false.

dasil003 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the stupidest things Facebook has ever done.

Yes it's far stupider than all the privacy gaffes and whatnot, because at least there they were trying to push the envelope and change the world to their advantage.

Trying to censor Google+ is ridiculous given the incredible hype and press it's getting. All it does is make them appear weak.

In this case it's obvious what they should do. Publicly they should ignore Google+, privately they should watch it and see what they can learn.

arkitaip 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This has got to be a variation of the Streisand effect. By not letting this slide by, people start perceiving Facebook of fearing Google+. And why would you fear a competitor if not because you believed the market would respond to their advantage and your detriment. And it that is true, i.e. Facebook doubts itself, why should the users and, more importantly, the customers, i.e. Facebook's advertisers.
vaksel 9 hours ago 0 replies      
crap like this really annoys me.

They disable the entire account over a violation in one campaign. No warnings, nothing.

And you can't even get the account unbanned, since their customer support refuses to even look into the issue.

Adwords is notorious for that too.

Fortunately it's very easy to create a new account to advertise with.

patrickaljord 9 hours ago 0 replies      
And Facebook ads do appear on gmail...
socratees 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Elsewhere, Anonymous gets banned from Google+ because they violated some community standards. Here's the HN discussion link. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2771246
earbitscom 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I think before jumping to conclusions about this it ought to be confirmed that this doesn't actually violate their normal policies. Do they let you promote your Myspace page? Your dating profile? I mean, this person is advertising, "Come over here and be my friend on this website." It's not exactly a quality ad he's running. Can anyone point to equally vain "personal" ads on other platforms that are being allowed?
arihant 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is funny. Compare this to the following:


arkitaip 9 hours ago 1 reply      
You're making it sound as if this guy is trying to recruit users to Google+ when he in fact is trying to get more followers on Google+. As for the analogy, do Apple stores use an advertisement platform where businesses can purchase ads, making it the stores' main source of income? If not, it doesn't seem like a fair analogy.
Code.Google.com now supports git google.com
415 points by pixelbeat  1 day ago   75 comments top 15
cdibona 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'd say a better link is to the issue we marked 'fixed' :


Or to the project creation page:


We hope you like it.

shazow 1 day ago 3 replies      
That's great, but I'm still slowly moving my projects over to Github.

1. I get much more engagement from random developers on Github. On Github, random people will fork and add features, do code reviews and leave comments. All of these things are technically possible on Google Code but nobody does it"probably due to the usability but possibly also a cultural problem. Github has a strong culture of collaboration because they strongly emphasize it in the user's experience.

2. Managing forks and pull requests is easier on Github. I want my life as a maintainer to be as easy as possible.

3. Notifications: For a long time, Google Code notifications simply didn't work for me, at all. I'd randomly stumble on one of my older projects and noticed 5 new issues opened that I didn't know about, I felt like I betrayed my users for 6+ months. Now they seem like they do, but some trust has been lost.

4. Multiple choices of documentation markup on Github is appealing.

5. The code browsing feature on Google Code feels like its own application. When you open a Github project, first thing you see is the code. On Google Code it takes 2 more clicks (that's 1 more click than Bitbucket). Think about what's the most important thing here"the code, and Github got it right.

As far as version control goes, I'm happy with either Git or Mercurial.

cookiecaper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lack of git support is one of the major things that has prevented me from using google code. I'm happy to hear it's resolved. :)
seanmccann 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there really any reasons to use Google Code when GitHub is kicking so much ass?
kpanghmc 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I agree with the sentiment in this thread that developers aren't going to be flocking over from GitHub anytime soon, at the very least this should help keep GitHub motivated (not that they've given us any reason for concern thus far). Competition is a good thing.
flocial 22 hours ago 0 replies      
If they allowed private repos under your google data quota it would be a github killer because UI doesn't matter then and github is overpriced for that unless you throw all your code in one repo.
grandalf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Waiting to get invited to a Google Code drinkup.
riobard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if it supports authentication using SSH public key instead of another password?
zerosanity 1 day ago 2 replies      
Google Code's UI needs a lot of work. I just created a test project to try our git functionality. I closed my browser and went to a meeting. After an hour or so I come back, open my browser, and type in code.google.com. I get a nice page but no links to "my projects" or the like. After searching through links on the page I finally had to give up and had to type in the project URL (http://code.google.com/p/myproject) from memory.
diogoleal 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I like gthub.
MrMan 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I for one really like google code.
muloka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hoorah! This is great news.
keke_ta 19 hours ago 0 replies      
That's awesome.
swasheck 1 day ago 0 replies      
MatthewPhillips 1 day ago 2 replies      
I see it also still supports horrible UI. Pass.
Biz, Ev and Goldman are looking for awesome people to work with them obvious.com
30 points by husein10  11 hours ago   8 comments top 6
dotBen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Unless they're hiring a bajillion people, I'd have thought they would just hire from their own network. In fact, they could probably hire a bajillion good people from their network anyway.

Seems strange.

m0nastic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The note field on the application being limited to 140 characters is a nice touch.
SeoxyS 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So, this is a new incubator?
revorad 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this mean none of the founders are totally focused on Twitter any more?
danvoell 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Are they going to work with developers and then build the same thing in house making the developers product useless :)
shii 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Doing what exactly?
       cached 17 July 2011 06:02:02 GMT