hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    18 Jun 2012 News
home   ask   best   7 years ago   
JavaScript game of Tron:219 bytes github.com
26 points by bhaveshdhupar  56 minutes ago   8 comments top 5
necubi 19 minutes ago 2 replies      
It's unfortunate that they decided to save 2 bytes by using onkeyup instead of onkeydown. That choice makes the game nearly unplayable for me. Compare the version in the demo to the one here: http://micahw.com/tron.html 221 bytes).

In any case, this is really impressive. It's always fun to see the tricks people employ to get these tiny sizes (smaller than this comment!).

cstuder 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
The code documentation part is a quite clever use of a slide tool. Very enlightening.
unimpressive 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
Encountered a bug: When I die, the game keeps counting score as my "dead" player keeps going across land behind the scenes.
dekz 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
You have a typo in the first sentence, 'exercice'. I like your presentation of code walk throughs with slides.
epaga 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Clever stuff, thanks!

typos: "exercice" -> "exercise", "brining" -> "bringing"

Comcast Protests “Shake Down” of Alleged BitTorrent Pirates torrentfreak.com
16 points by cpeterso  41 minutes ago   2 comments top
geuis 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm... confused. I've been under the clear impression for years that Comcast, my service provider, was doing everything in its power to quash bittorrent users. Its been accused of everything from packet shaping to cooperating with the NSA to "spy" on its customers. I've been living under the assumption that at any point my service could be interrupted, slowed, or disconnected because of my occasional torrent use (linux iso's, game of thrones, etc).

While I'm not entirely sure how to take this news, it is certainly food for thought.

It makes sense that Comcast is fighting back primarily for financial reasons, more than trying to protect their customers. The sheer volume of subpoenas must be costing them a lot of money and does nothing to endear us to them.

You Should Downvote Contrarian Anecdotes github.com
15 points by tylerhobbs  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
pseudonym 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
In my experience, some of the best advice I've ever received has been from anecdotes that run counter to the text of an article.

...I kid. It's actually an interesting idea. I don't know about scrapping them entirely, but I think a lot of sites (say, Reddit) could benefit from moving the anecdotes elsewhere. Partially because of this, and partially because anecdotes in any form tend to derail the discussion pretty darn quick.

maigret 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
Or maybe just not upvote? Good argumentation, still can get in the way of why HN is here. It's not just a place to make formal argumentation, but to exchange experiences, or get some opinions from others. In some case the opinion is wished from experts (how can I get funded etc), in others it is about how a product is liked by general users. So please take a piece of salt in applying that ;
Cascading errors caused AWS to go down amazon.com
100 points by Eliseann  5 hours ago   64 comments top 13
eli 5 hours ago 1 reply      
In case your browser doesn't speak RSS:

Service is operating normally: Root cause for June 14 Service Event
June 16, 2012 3:15 AM

We would like to share some detail about the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service event last night when power was lost to some EC2 instances and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes in a single Availability Zone in the US East Region.

At approximately 8:44PM PDT, there was a cable fault in the high voltage Utility power distribution system. Two Utility substations that feed the impacted Availability Zone went offline, causing the entire Availability Zone to fail over to generator power. All EC2 instances and EBS volumes successfully transferred to back-up generator power. At 8:53PM PDT, one of the generators overheated and powered off because of a defective cooling fan. At this point, the EC2 instances and EBS volumes supported by this generator failed over to their secondary back-up power (which is provided by a completely separate power distribution circuit complete with additional generator capacity). Unfortunately, one of the breakers on this particular back-up power distribution circuit was incorrectly configured to open at too low a power threshold and opened when the load transferred to this circuit. After this circuit breaker opened at 8:57PM PDT, the affected instances and volumes were left without primary, back-up, or secondary back-up power. Those customers with affected instances or volumes that were running in multi-Availability Zone configurations avoided meaningful disruption to their applications; however, those affected who were only running in this Availability Zone, had to wait until the power was restored to be fully functional.

The generator fan was fixed and the generator was restarted at 10:19PM PDT. Once power was restored, affected instances and volumes began to recover, with the majority of instances recovering by 10:50PM PDT. For EBS volumes (including boot volumes) that had inflight writes at the time of the power loss, those volumes had the potential to be in an inconsistent state. Rather than return those volumes in a potentially inconsistent state, EBS brings them back online in an impaired state where all I/O on the volume is paused. Customers can then verify the volume is consistent and resume using it. By 1:05AM PDT, over 99% of affected volumes had been returned to customers with a state 'impaired' and paused I/O to the instance.

Separate from the impact to the instances and volumes, the EBS-related EC2 API calls were impaired from 8:57PM PDT until 10:40PM PDT. Specifically, during this time period, mutable EBS calls (e.g. create, delete) were failing. This also affected the ability for customers to launch new EBS-backed EC2 instances. The EC2 and EBS APIs are implemented on multi-Availability Zone replicated datastores. The EBS datastore is used to store metadata for resources such as volumes and snapshots. One of the primary EBS datastores lost power because of the event. The datastore that lost power did not fail cleanly, leaving the system unable to flip the datastore to its replicas in another Availability Zone. To protect against datastore corruption, the system automatically flipped to read-only mode until power was restored to the affected Availability Zone. Once power was restored, we were able to get back into a consistent state and returned the datastore to read-write mode, which enabled the mutable EBS calls to succeed. We will be implementing changes to our replication to ensure that our datastores are not able to get into the state that prevented rapid failover.

Utility power has since been restored and all instances and volumes are now running with full power redundancy. We have also completed an audit of all our back-up power distribution circuits. We found one additional breaker that needed corrective action. We've now validated that all breakers worldwide are properly configured, and are incorporating these configuration checks into our regular testing and audit processes.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to those who were impacted by the event.

jrockway 5 hours ago 3 replies      
The RSS link was quite amusing. My Chrome instance downloaded the RSS file without displaying it. Then I clicked it to open, and it opened Firefox. Firefox showed its file download box, suggesting I open the RSS with Google Chrome.

Deadlock detected.

forgotusername 4 hours ago 4 replies      
In my time at larger companies, DC power seems to be one of the weakest links in the reliability chain. Even planned maintenance often goes wrong ("well we started the generator test and the lights went out, that wasn't supposed to happen. Sorry your racks are dead").

Usually the root cause appears simple - a dead fan, breaker set to the wrong threshold, alarm that didn't trigger, incorrect component picked during design phase, or whatever else that gets the blame - things it would seem to a software guy that good processes could mitigate.

Can any electrical engineers elaborate on why power networks fail (in my experience at least) so frequently? I guess failure modes (e.g. lightning strike) are hard to test, but surely an industry this old has techniques. Is it perhaps a cost issue?

jtchang 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Data Center Operator:

We've lost our main power. No problem though we have a backup generator so we are good!

... 5 minutes later ...

Uhh boss, our backup generator's fan crapped out. But no worries we have a secondary generator just for this kind of scenarion!

...10 minutes later and lights go out...

"Well damn...looks like we configured the breaker wrong. This is not a good day."

jluxenberg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Those customers with affected instances or volumes that were running in multi-Availability Zone configurations avoided meaningful disruption to their applications"

"Meaningful disruption" is a bit of a weasel word; Amazon's own EBS API was down for almost two hours[1] despite being designed to use multiple AZs

[1] "the EBS-related EC2 API calls were impaired from 8:57PM PDT until 10:40PM PDT ... The EC2 and EBS APIs are implemented on multi-Availability Zone replicated datastores"

Guess the moral of the story is, if you require high availability then you must test your system in the face of an availability zone outage.

mleonhard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm running https://www.rootredirect.com/ and http://www.restbackup.com/ in us-east-1, in multiple availability zones. Both sites remained up with no problems.
tysont 1 hour ago 1 reply      
On the plus side, the level of transparency that AWS displays and the detail that they provide seems above and beyond the call of duty. I find it refreshing and I hope that other companies follow suit so that customers can understand the details of operational issues, calibrate expectations appropriately, and make informed decisions.
tzury 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Seems like deploying on two _physical_ regions (or more) is the best and only proven approach.

That could be within the global AWS, or even say, one cluster at AWS and the other at RackSpace/Linode, etc.

mleonhard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The title is incorrect. It should say something more like "Cascading failures cause part of AWS to go down."
damian2000 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this sentence: Those customers with affected instances or volumes that were running in multi-Availability Zone configurations avoided meaningful disruption to their applications; however, those affected who were only running in this Availability Zone, had to wait until the power was restored to be fully functional.

Translation: If you have a redundant (multiple-AZ) installation, then you were ok, if not then your server died.

drags 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Did anyone else run into issues with ELB during the outage? We're multi-AZ and could access unaffected instances directly without a problem, but the load balancer kept claiming they were unhealthy.
anaheim 4 hours ago 4 replies      

Shit happens. Don't use AWS as your only platform, you will get burned sometime. Guaranteed, you will also get burned if you try to host and run your own stuff. How competent you are determines which way you get burned less.

heretohelp 5 hours ago 1 reply      
1 in a (million/billion/trillion) I guess.

That'll make for a great horror story to tell though.

I don't "get" art vice.com
146 points by flaviojuvenal  6 hours ago   102 comments top 33
wpietri 3 hours ago  replies      
I'm not going to deny that there's a lot of crappy art out there. However, this article is such bullshit that I suspect the writer is just trolling.

For those who are nodding along with this article, consider the Obfuscated C contest: http://www.ioccc.org/

That's art. But it's art that most people in the world can't begin to appreciate. You need years of coding experience to really get it. You need context. When hackers sit down and study those works of art, they're not just posing.

A lot of modern art is like that. I look and scratch my head. If I go with a friend who understands the context, they can explain to me the history: movement Z is a reaction to Y, which in turn is a reaction to X. The artist is grappling with themes A and B, and exploring materials C, D, and E.

Many of us can do similar analysis with video games. Look at the Upgrade Complete series, which is a fun set of commentary on games at the same time it's a fun game. Look at the rise of the 8-bit look and sound that harks back to an earlier era. To an outsider, the 8-bit stuff could just seem like shitty graphics, but to many insiders it's awesome and nostalgic and charming. That's art.

Of course, Kongregate and GameStop are both full of shitty games. It'd be easy to write an article like this one, condemning all videos games as crap. But I and many other HN readers are willing to wade through the crap because when you find the gems, they're real works of art. Art requiring context to really understand.

potatolicious 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I never got art until I started doing it myself. The internalization of the creative and technical processes of it are, IMO, crucial to "getting" it.

And like one might expect, I still only really "get" art that has a close enough analog to the work I do. So... sculpture? Right out.

And like others have brought up, art is contextual. One fundamental fallacy I see people make is that all pieces of work need to be conceptually complete and self-contained. A lot of good art can only be appreciated in aggregate.

FWIW, I don't "get" any of the art in the article either, save for the photograph of the woman. It's important to know that for photography geeks, it's often not about the subject, but rather about geometry, tonality, color, and more abstract notions. After all, there's a huge genre of photography dedicated to the everyday and the banal, whose only real claim to anything is beauty in composition and light.

As with all art though, there are territories that are incredibly facile, and therefore tend to be heavy-handed. Pictures of kissing couples, that "ring in a book with the shadow of a heart" thing wedding people use all the time, portraits of the homeless, etc etc. Stuff that's conceptually and technically been done to death, and IMO makes the artist appear more self-absorbed than anything else. Likewise, my gut reaction to the "money against the vagina" shot is "how obvious and ham-fisted", but that's just me. It's a me-too "exploration" of a topic that's been explored to death, without adding anything new to the concept or discourse.

In general, if you want art that you might find personal connection in, look at artists without an ego the size of the moon, and run far, far away from ones that do.

mmaunder 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I knew my wife was the woman for me when we visited the Tate Modern on our first date and both walked out after 30 minutes agreeing that it's all garbage. [and went to Greenwich park and observatory which is awesome]

Art is the ultimate example of social proof at work. Another great one is wine. I live in the Bordeaux winelands and the only difference between Premier Cru wines like Chateau Margaux at $400 a bottle and equally great non-premier cru wines is that everyone believes that Premier Cru is the best.

jerf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The percentage of art qua art that is bullshit pretension simply used as a signalling device for an in-crowd of self-congratulatory people is not 100%.

But it's also not 0%.

Fortunately, I don't need to care. The art qua art crowd are welcome to their signalling parties and occasional strokes of insight, and I'm welcome to think the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was really rather artistic, and by and large we two need not even cross paths to growl and yip at each other like two little teacup poodles viciously defending their turf on the matter of whose definition of art is correct. Viva la freedom.

commieneko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Art is just like any other type of human creative activity. There are various genres of it and no one is going to like everything.

Saying that you don't like something or don't understand something is cool. No one likes or understands everything.

Most art has a narrative behind it and to really understand what the artist is about you do have to know that narrative. Now a lot of older art, or art designed for a purely visual experience can become disassociated from its narrative and still appreciated. Or we can bring a new narrative to it.

This is not a new thing. It's always been that way in art. A lot of old art is appreciated for aspects that would confuse or even outrage its creators. (Also, a lot of old "junk" or popular art is now appreciated when in its day it was considered throwaway and trivial.)

Most people don't really care about the political situation in France in the mid 19th century. At least not the extent that they pick sides. But we can still appreciate Daumier's satiric political prints because we bring a new narrative to it. We can see ourselves and our current situations in it.

A lot of modern art is about art and the whole process of communication, perception, and expression. As such, the narrative can get pretty self referential and abstract. Recursive to a high degree. (I'll admit, after too many iterations, I start to loose interest myself.)

One way to look at a lot of modern art is to understand that it operates a bit like satire, only the without the joke aspect. Though not always. A lot of it is actually pretty funny if you can follow the conceit. Whether this is interesting to you or worth the effort is a personal choice or preference. Another way to look at some modern art is to approach it like jazz. It is artist riffing on themes and ideas that other artists have done. Again, a knowledge of the works being referenced is usually helpful.

No one said liking art was going to be easy.

But don't automatically assume that because someone else likes it, they aren't sincere or are chumps.

Edit: It just occurred to me that possibly the best way to explain art to the Hacker News crowd is to say that art is like hacking. Hacking perception. Hacking expression. Hacking communication. It doesn't have to have a point, though it might. You do it because you can, because you want to, or because you need to. Or, possibly the most fun, because you shouldn't.

planetguy 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Art is simple. It exists to decorate the walls of rich people. It's been that way for thousands of years. I'm not very rich, but I have some art around the place. It's pretty awesome.

The problem is that a lot of these artists don't get art. They are confused about their role in life, and they go round wasting their time making things that rich people wouldn't want on their walls. And that's just pointless and sad.

moocow01 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The art world is where the bleeding edge of culture can be found. Most of the cultural trends that are commonplace today have origins in the art world. The reason why art is hard to understand by pretty much everyone is that it usually disregards practicality in its original form, and then eventually overtime those same ideas are fused with a more practical viewpoint which brings it into the mainstream for the masses.

In some ways you could view it similar to the bleeding edge of scientific discoveries in that similarly many don't initially know what to do with them. Eventually overtime those discoveries are applied and brought to the masses through some form of productization.

mynegation 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Art, especially modern art is very contextual. Warhol's grocery carton sculptures were created during the golden era of advertising and globalization of trade, for example.

Art is also very subjective. Some like simplicity, some like complexity. Some like clarity, some like stories and implicit context. Some like subdued colors, some like saturated hues.

This makes art very complicated. That is why art history exist.

pdeuchler 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I personally believe art's purpose is to create and distribute beauty. By extension, a secondary purpose would be to distribute that beauty to the masses, and to further increase the "net beauty" of the world, if you will.

In no way, shape, or form is "My cunt is wet with fear" beautiful. This is simply an artist trying to be shocking and radical, but without the courage to actually do so in a meaningful way, is simply couching it in "art".

I would argue that much of modern art (not to be confused with abstract art) is simply an excuse for the artists to be ridiculous without reprimand. If you look at the art of da Vinci, or Raphael, or even some modern artists (One could argue John Mayer's skill with a guitar constitutes art) they did not need to be shocking to have an impact- their work stood on its own.*

That, I guess, would be the crux of the matter. All these other comments explaining that we don't get the "context" or that we simply need to "understand the background" are more or less re-iterating the foolishness found in The Emperor's New Clothes. Art is meant to stand alone. The Mona Lisa does not require context to appreciate it's nuance of color, and the skill with which the expression is painted. Andy Warhol's (in?)famous Campbell's Soup Cans can be lauded on their symmetry and juxtaposition of color alone, while incorporating the mundane into the abstract. The Sistine Chapel can be admired simply by the scale and breadth of the murals within, not excluding the skill with which they were painted, or the beautiful imagery. I've even had non-religious friends admire it more than my religious ones.

One cannot simply say that "you don't get it". Beauty does not need "to be got". Beauty is inherent, and all perspective simply does is skew the appreciation of the beauty. I don't have to like Picasso to appreciate it, just as I don't have to like jazz to appreciate the beauty in syncopation.
Even if you do not agree with me, we can all concur that true art will stand the test of time. So I ask you, do you see people talking about this exhibit 20 years from now?

*This is not to say that bodies of work cannot heighten appreciation, or lend further enlightenment upon the individual works, however a broken bridge, a looped video, a sentence set in neon and various pots placed on pedestals does not constitute a cohesive body of work.

mkr-hn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That art seems boring to me. But 2001 was boring to me until I knew what went into the model work for the spaceships. I'm not sure I could appreciate this art if I studied art, but I'd be willing to try. This is what I usually think of when I think art: http://mkr.deviantart.com/favourites/

Maybe the author is going after the wrong kind of art. Not all of it needs a manual.

egypturnash 5 hours ago 1 reply      
PROTIP: not everything you find in a gallery labeled as "art" is necessarily GOOD art.

PROTIP: Your idea of what makes for "good" art may not coincide with someone else's.

I just came home from the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. I hung out and listened to this year's judges talking about their decision process. Some pieces were unanimous decisions, some were the subject of arguments, some went in the show because everyone had a strongly REVOLTED reaction to them. Art's a complicated thing.

philip1209 4 hours ago 0 replies      
From the engineers prospective, I understand the reason for what you are saying.

However, I've always made an effort to exercise the left side of my brain for balance. I played cello for a decade in childhood and toured Europe; currently, I compete in salsa performance (after having been the most lead-footed lame dancer four years ago).

What I've learned is that expressing my creativity allows for introspection. The expression of oneself through music, art, dance, etc. culminates like the completion a programming project, albeit using a different set of skills. While the extrospective nature of art galleries and concerts is exciting as an artist, it more provides a denouement of ones introspection as a project draws to a close.

Making this realization allows you to enjoy galleries and concerts more. It doesn't have to do with what is produced. These expressions of self allow you a direct route into the thoughts and feelings of the artist, and suddenly the question becomes 'why' more so than 'what.'

Heading back to 'hacking,' the most successful engineers, scientists, and programmers I know balanced the technical and the creative, and the latter allowed for approaching a project from a unique perspective.

My comments and arguments may sound abstract, but I do not present them as fact. I just request that you keep an open mind - do not view 'different' as inferior; instead, view it with an open mind.

pnathan 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've seen the bottom piece in person - the city on fire with the two people flinching from it.

It is absolutely fantastic.

I have no such belief that the rest of this 'show' illuminates anything in the human spirit except foulness...

SkyMarshal 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Art is like programming. The objective is to abstract the essence of something, and re-represent that in some other medium.

There are different degrees of that - obviously modern art attempts to represent the essence much more abstractly than, say, impressionism. And some artists accomplish this better than others (in fact only a very few do it really well - the 100x engineer theory applies to artists as well). But as with programming, there is a logic to all of it.

In fact, if you look at the history of Art, the progression appears to be from less abstract to more abstract. Probably because it's harder to do well, and takes time and experience for techniques like Cubism to emerge.

But once you start looking at all art from that framework, it starts making a lot more sense.

anaheim 5 hours ago 2 replies      
PROTIP: Tracey Emin is a Professor at the Royal Academy. It's art that a lot of the art world considers "good art".

This Emin person has gained tons of attention by displays so ridiculous that people thought they must be brilliant since no one had thought of doing something so utterly devoid of talent before.

From the Wikipedia article:

"In 1999 she was a Turner Prize nominee and exhibited My Bed " an installation, consisting of her own unmade dirty bed with used condoms and blood-stained underwear."

And engineers are supposed to be the scruffy, smelly disgusting masses of humanity.

lbotos 4 hours ago 2 replies      
If Glen Coco (The author) never "got" art I'm not sure why he devoted so much of his life to it. I felt like this article was a farce.

I've often contemplated writing a blog post titled "Art analysis for the uninitiated". If you'd be interested please let me know.

Some analysis from an art student:

1st piece with the flowers: This looks to be an homage to still life paintings. Still lifes are about the cycle of life; Birth, Life, and Death. Seems pretty straightforward to me but then again I'm "initiated".

2nd piece with the woman in the desert: I couldn't tell you exactly what the artist was looking to portray but to debunk the "how quickly they'd be skipping over this photo if it was in their mom's holiday snapshots" line, I'd assume that is exactly the point. See Duchamp's Urinal fountain for more along this idea of "things out of traditional context".

the 4th piece (film): Art is either done without reason or with specific reason. The chairs, the screen and the video all have a reason for being the way that they are. It's your choice to interpret this but don't dismiss what the artist is saying because you are scared to "look like a twat".

I can go on and on but I think I've made my point. This has meaning. It may not be valuable to you but then again no one forced you to view this art.

stfu 5 hours ago 1 reply      
In order to comply with Godwin's law I just want to recommend the following article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerate_art
kenrikm 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
I went to design school, I visited Art Basil. Agree++

Seriously, maybe it's because I'm really a hacker that was interested in design but "Art" as in the starving/gallery kind is 99% crap - 1% mind blowing.

joejohnson 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a very old article. He did a follow-up piece last year: http://www.vice.com/read/frieze-fair-trying-to-get-art

It's good to see that the irony of VICE has been largely lost on the HN crowd here as we discuss what makes "good" art. Haha.

cdcarter 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Art is incredibly subjective, but a gallery opening is potentially the worst place to experience art. You are socially obliged to look at each piece, not just scan past the ones you don't think appeal to you (which is easy to do at a museum or online).
dools 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is just Maddox's "I am better than your kids" remixed for 20-something gallery hoppers.
philwelch 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm still not convinced that art hasn't turned into some kind of long con or practical joke that's gone entirely too far.
wissler 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Art is about values. If you don't "get" a particular work of art, it's because the values embodied in it not only do not resonate with your own values, but aren't even part of the universe of values that you think about.

It's not because you don't "get" art as such. Of course you "get" art, so long as it's the kind of art that fits with your worldview.

The kind of art that I think appeals to many scientists and engineers is the kind that exalts the potential of mankind, e.g. the Star Trek universe.

temuze 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi. Amateur writer here. In my opinion, there's no such thing as "getting" art.

Why? There's a lot of differing definitions of art, but the one I like the most is Tolstoy's: art is about creating an emotional connection between the artist and the viewer [1].

Abstract art is made with this minimalist principle in mind - that one does not need to be realistic or even confined within the limitations of conventional artistic styles to develop an emotional connection with a viewer. That is, the viewer doesn't need to "understand" or compare a piece to reality to have an emotion from it.

For the most part, I think that classical art is enjoyed by those without an artistic background because there's at least an appreciation for the time and mastery invested into each piece. However, many people mistakenly believe that this appreciation is "getting" art. After all, you think "wow, that must have taken forever" when you see the Sistine Chapel.

However, that's just one emotion art can give you and it's a mistake to limit art to that. It's this belief that caused pieces that are potted plants on pedestals or red squares on large canvases to be alienating - "dude, I/my five-year-old could have done that!"

So let me put it this way - there's no such thing as "getting" art. Either it made you feel something or it didn't.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_Art%3F

hluska 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't claim to 'get' art, but I absolutely love beauty. Some art is beautiful. Other art sucks. I think the key is to find and appreciate things that you consider beautiful and ignore all the critics, trust fund collectors, and scenesters...
MultiRRomero 1 hour ago 2 replies      
note: if you read one part of this, read the last paragraph.

"I paint objects as I think them not as I see them." - Pablo Picasso
"Art is what you can get away with." - Andy Warhol

I do not buy the "this isn't art, I can do this. art requires skill" train of thought. firstly, if we appreciate skill then we are not appreciating art. we are appreciating a craft. to appreciate art we must appreciate creativity. who's the artist: the engineer or the architect? the engineer has more skill, but i'd say the architect.

Secondly, let's assume that the "art requires skill" argument is correct. hence, a white painting is not art. but then what's the converse. is photorealistic painting (when a painting looks as though it were a photograph) the best art? because it contains the best skill at imitating reality? because I would say Michelangelo or Rembrandt are far superior to any photorealistic painter (try to name one).

Lastly, here's an interesting spin on modern art: it has a greater effect on you than regular art does. You've probably had a lot of conversations about modern art but little about real art. And it has a greater emotional effect on people (generally anger or disdain) than regular art, which usually leads to boredom. After all, I bet there are tons of blog posts on modern art like this one. I doubt there are many on the Old Masters. Modern art challenges us, makes us think more, and make use talk more.

pinchyfingers 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We already know what art is, it's paintings of horses.
zalew 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't "get" Vice's articles.
jblock 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Anything without appropriate context is hard to "get."

Think of how often you have to explain something to someone when they react unfavorably. The problem with the pieces in this collection is that they are lazy. They don't come from a sense of expression; they use shock value to get their effect, and the result is often met with hostility.

I had a similar reaction when I saw a fluorescent light on the wall as a piece in the Met in NYC.

metaphorical 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Most contemporary artists works need to be appreciated as a whole, not as isolated pieces. The author here looks at trees but misses the forest.

Most people look at art as if they are portfolio pieces in dribbble.com. (Hmm, I like this icon, Hmm, I don't like that color). But art does not merely reproduce the beauty of forms, instead, it gives language to the "soul" so that it may speak.

Protip: Keep an open mind.

eduardob 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This thread is great modern art
FlyingSnake 3 hours ago 1 reply      
omarchowdhury 3 hours ago 1 reply      
To get art, you need to see the intention.
List of Unexplained Sounds wikipedia.org
183 points by rsiqueira  10 hours ago   55 comments top 15
toemetoch 8 hours ago 3 replies      
SDR (software-defined radio) enthusiasts also found something they can't identify: whistlers. You can see/hear them in this video:


also briefly addressed here:


edit: not on topic, should have refrained from posting as it's a VLF radio phenomenon and not a sound.

ANH 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I lived in Taos, NM for about a year and never heard the eponymous Hum. Recalling the recent Hacker News item about anechoic chambers, it wouldn't surprise me if it has something to do with how quiet the place is.

On more than one occasion standing outside the house on the mesa outside of town, the utter silence of the place got to me enough that I had to go back inside and talk to somebody. Perhaps my mind would have eventually filled the gap with a hum.

ryanwaggoner 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It's never aliens. It always turns out to be a prank, or ice cracking, or some other boring natural cause. Why can't it be aliens!?
patdennis 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This may be a bit off topic, but when I get into looking at this type of (mysterious, interesting) of Wikipedia article, I usually end up back at my favorite of the category:


maeon3 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is what Jupiter sounds like, (electromagnetically):


ars 7 hours ago 0 replies      
These could be the underwater equivalent of the sound of wind in a cave.

Powered by volcanic emissions instead of wind. Depending on the shape of the orifice and the size/shape of the chamber, it could make any kind of sound.

amir 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting that most of them are detected in 1997 (4 out of 6 specific ones).
dlsym 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Always sounds like http://ia600500.us.archive.org/12/items/ird059/tcp_d1_01_the...

(give it some time...)

and http://www.lostcosmonauts.com/firstman.ra
managed to scare the hell out of me...


I wonder how fear and sounds like these are wired in our brains...

TomGullen 6 hours ago 2 replies      
In large bodies of water, do you not observe oscillating sounds? I can't explain it very well (I forget the official name) but it's like pushing a wave onto another wave at just the right frequency so it creates a huge wave, could the same thing not happen with sounds in water? It might explain the ones that build up and then gradually decrease. I don't know much about this and am probably wrong but it's something I've always wondered.

If you had enough random sounds going off in the water, given enough time some would group up together I imagine to create freak sound waves.

gavingmiller 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I live in Calgary, AB and used to hear something similar to the Hum approximately 4 years ago. At the time I was in a basement suite and would occasionally wake up and would hear a humming noise (unsure if I was waking due to the hum or not.) Eventually, the conclusion that I came to was that because I was "underground" the low frequency of a train yard not far from my house was the cause of the noise.

My wife frequently tells me that I have sensitive ears. And I've had to leave rooms because of feedback in a sound system that no one seems to be able to hear.

adaline 8 hours ago 3 replies      
"The train" gives me the chills
mintplant 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"The Hum" [1] is the most interesting to me, because my dad claims he used to hear the exact same kind of sound -- like a diesel engine starting up -- in the mornings when he lived in an older house with my mother.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hum

anaheim 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember reading a wikipedia article on the Bloop about half a year ago, and none of these other unexplained sounds were on it. Seems like NOAA fanboys dug up and wrote the others.

That being said NOAA fanboys are far more preferable to Apple fanboys. :)

munchor 8 hours ago 1 reply      
At first I was like "Well, animals, obviously", but now I'm not so sure...
hasenj 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't understand this.

What, is there an archive out there that has every recorded sound by every single human being and along with has complete information about the recording, and only these 7 clips are not understood?

You Are the Exception to the Rule zapier.com
142 points by WadeF  12 hours ago   38 comments top 11
apl 12 hours ago 12 replies      
This type of saccharine feel-good prose irritates to no end. No, chances are you're not the exception to the rule of mediocrity; that's just a matter of statistics. Believing so in absence of hard evidence to the contrary is delusional and won't make things better.

Entrepeneurs fail every day. Hundreds, maybe thousands. Don't fall for the cheap words of encouragement.

[ADDENDUM: I still don't trust the "Most coders can't do FizzBuzz" meme that generally accompanies the flowery you're-a-special-snowflake-talk. Applicants maybe, but that doesn't say much. There's tons of decent programmers out there, and 99% of them won't get famous or found a sustainable business.]

nadam 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Just go to donwload.com or Apple's appstore and look at the tens of thousands of applications/apps there. All those programmers who created those applications/apps can do FizzBuzz and more. But only a fraction of them make good money from these applications.
Making good money from a software product is hard. Yes, go for it, but these kind of motivational posts will be a bit irritating after your first failure.
smarx 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I have to say, my startup has struggled with this. We're a two-man shop, and neither of us buys phone apps, pays for virtual goods, clicks on ads, etc. It tends to make us think that other people don't do those things either, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Part of the article's conclusion is, "Get the product in front of your core audience," and I suspect that's the only way for the inexperienced to accurately gauge the value of their product.

follower 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As developers we often have the mistaken belief that "anyone else could do what I can do, would rather do it themselves and won't pay for anyone else to do it for them".

This comes from a mindset that because I can do something, would rather than do it myself and wouldn't pay for someone else to do it for me means that no one else would either.

Just because you can solve a problem yourself, would take the time to do so and wouldn't pay someone else to do it instead doesn't mean the rest of the world thinks like that.

For most people, they can't do what you do and/or wouldn't take the time to do it and/or would rather pay someone else to do it for them. That's the rule to which you're an exception.

tlogan 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Question: is zapier.com profitable?

(I'm asking because if zapier is profitable then blog post has some merit. If not then... oh well)

ilkandi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I met a 50ish solo programmer a few months ago. His application handles an issue for a specific subset of nonprofit org (I'm probably not giving away too much if I say, churches). The app is not web enabled, it's not social, it doesn't run on ios android or mac. From our conversation I inferred he spends hardly any time on marketing it because he doesn't need more users. Yet he makes a comfortable living solely from the licenses, doesn't touch the app for weeks at a time, and adds new features on his own schedule.
ams6110 9 hours ago 0 replies      
if you search around the internet you'll find dozens of products that aren't complicated, but make stacks of Benjamin Franklins for the developers of those products

I think this is particularly true if you can target a point of friction in the sales process, e.g. real-estate. I have had agents tell me that if they think something will make them one extra sale a year they won't even hesitate to spend a couple of hundred dollars on it.

dougws 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is absolutely true. Market validation goes both ways! Don't assume a product is either viable or unviable without confirmation from the intended consumers.
jiakeliu 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think people tend to generalize things. I, for example, have the mentality that if I understand\learn something with little effort, then others can do the same. The truth is, the others usually don't bother to put forth that little effort, which makes me the exception to the rule. For example, I recently made a decent chunk of money by creating a simple WordPress site that was valuable enough for my client...I would've paid a fraction of what my client paid if I was him. So I definitely concur with this post.
patdennis 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As a non-programmer who works in a field that 99% of programmers aren't aware even exists, I would like to point out that there are a lot of simple software programs to be made for specialized purposes in various fields. They don't exist because nobody who can build them knows they're necessary, and the people who need them don't know they're possible.
rekky123 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Show HN: Redis Dashboard github.com
136 points by nkrode  12 hours ago   17 comments top 8
antirez 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Great output, but IMHO the data source should change to be just INFO and not MONITOR: with Redis 2.4 you can't show top-commands. With 2.6 INFO has enough data about this (see INFO commandstats).

About top-keys, no way to show this without MONITOR, but it's not the most important bit of the visualization IMHO.

So very cool but a tool like this should not try to capture the stream of the commands executed by instead rely on what the system can provide as already aggregated stats.

djtriptych 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Worth browsing the code just to see some very well organized source for a tornado+redis+backbone stack, which is pretty popular I think on the real-time web.
vailripper 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks awesome. Anyone know of a similar project for MongoDB?
ya3r 8 hours ago 0 replies      
When I see these things I always wonder, what is the best way to integrate these monitoring stuff into your existing stack.

So server restarts and failures are just okay.

Anyone used similar monitoring utilities in production?

true_religion 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the first one I've seen that uses Python as a backend.

Since Python is all I use in my shop, you've earned yourself my dearest thanks and a new follower.

billrobertson42 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The text for the upper boxes is easy to read on the full sized png, but difficult when scaled when showing in the github page. If the smaller size is the default it could be an issue.

I also think you should make scales for "Used Memory" and "Memory Consumption" the same.

Looks good though.

JOnAgain 10 hours ago 2 replies      
sorry for not just digging through the source, but what are you using for the charts?

Are you storing metric data? or is it all in the browser? (e.g. do you get the full screen you just showed when you first open it up, or is it like a process mon where it's all 0 until you look at it)?

daa 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice! I've been looking for something to give me a better feel for what's going on.
Show HN: EdgeKick, real-time analytics for public Facebook pages edgekick.com
44 points by akane  6 hours ago   24 comments top 10
pork 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
What exactly are you offering here -- a scraping and archival service? I'm presuming you're claiming "real-time" because Facebook page insights are already real-time [1], and you periodically scrape and archive that data [2]?

[1] http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/26/facebook-insights-real-time...
[2] http://graph.facebook.com/waltdisneyworld

the_bear 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems pretty cool, but the main graph at the top doesn't seem like a very helpful way to visualize data. It seems safe to assume that the vast majority of Facebook pages gain likes over time, and the graph has lower and upper bounds that are very close to those of the data which means you'll pretty much always have the same graph on every page. It doesn't really tell me anything.

For example, I just clicked on the first six reports you link to on your landing page, and the graph looks the same for all of them.

Other than that, this looks pretty handy. Thanks.

brntn 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Quick bugfix: It only seems to work if you include the "www." in the URL of the page. Why not just ask for the page-slug instead of the full URL?

EDIT: I can see this being really useful in a "opposition research" sort of way. It would be great to be able to view/compare multiple pages at the same time, and then try to highlight where one is going better than the other.

For pages that you manage, it's really not that useful when compared to the powerful analytics Facebook already provides through the insights tool.

slig 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't see the analytics of my fan page. The error I'm getting is: "We cannot find a Facebook page with this link.".
nedwin 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This is pretty good. What's the game plan with it?
kaka189 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome work, but i guess you are tracking only few top pages. Cannot find back in time analytics even for pages with a couple of million likes.
halayli 1 hour ago 0 replies      
updated every 10 minutes != Real-time
amirmansour 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Great work, but how is this real-time?
jessexoc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be cool if this could overlay charts from different brands.
Pratheeswaran 4 hours ago 2 replies      
love @ first sight :)

btw how did you generate those nice charts?

Haiku OS (BeOS clone) haiku-os.org
77 points by exim  9 hours ago   29 comments top 6
joshuamerrill 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I always liked the BeOS interface"at least, in the context of the early 90s, when its popularity peaked"but I find it pointless to clone a 20+ year-old UI. With Kinect, Leap Motion, and other forms of input, it seems like there's a huge opportunity to get away from the traditional windowed UI that has dominated desktop OSes.

Not to knock Haiku OS"I just feel that if someone is going to create a desktop OS from scratch, it's a chance to do something really different. I see this as a missed opportunity.

reedlaw 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone comment on the code quality in Haiku? From the FAQ it appears most of the code is new and little was carried over from BeOS. Also, will it include the GNU toolchain and standard libraries such as SDL? How difficult will it be to maintain cross-platform applications?
Hominem 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
EternalFury 3 hours ago 9 replies      
There are literally millions of smart hackers out there and only 1 entity has ever managed to put a state-of-the-art UI on top of a Unix core: Apple.

[I will get flamed for speaking that way about Gnome and KDE, but they fall a little short, IMHO. This being said, I don't blame the Gnome or KDE teams for it. I blame the gazillions of distributions that add nothing beside a theme or a background picture to the base packages they get from Ubuntu or Red Hat. At least these Haiku guys seem to be adopting a more ambitious approach.]

Why is that?

I think an awful lot of people take on projects solely to make a name for themselves...or because they truly believe they know better than Linus or some other pundit they happen to despise.

A prophecy: The first entity to put a state-of-the-art UI on top of Linux will have an opportunity to compete with Apple directly.

Hominem 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
ElCabron 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The humankind will be much better of, if you use and improve Linux. On the other hand, I understand your passion.
How I Store My 1's and 0′s: ZFS + Bargain HP Microserver = Joy mocko.org.uk
221 points by mocko  17 hours ago   97 comments top 39
zdw 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I have this same hardware. A few notes:

- For best performance with ZFS, you want a lot of RAM, and this unit will take 8GB of ECC RAM. You want ECC for data integrity in memory, as ZFS does nothing to prevent in-memory data corruption (there's an article on this here [pdf]: http://research.cs.wisc.edu/wind/Publications/zfs-corruption... )

- You probably want a few mirrors, not RAID-Z, if performance is an issue.

- You're better off with FreeBSD or Illumos kerneled distros (which have run ZFS for years, and have it in their mainline kernels), rather than Linux (which never will have ZFS in mainline for licensing reasons), for stability alone.

- You can get an IPMI card for this unit if you want remote manageability.

- There's an internal USB port if you want to boot off of that. It's kind of handy.

kijin 15 hours ago 7 replies      
I've been hearing awesome things about ZFS for years now. Unfortunately, it can never be part of the Linux kernel due to licensing issues, so we're stuck with "your 1's and 0's are being held by a pre-1.0 version of a filesystem invented by a dead company". How far has btrfs come in its support of ZFS-like features? Still need a few more years? I'll be switching as soon as it's marked stable.

I wonder if the performance might be better if a good 16GB USB stick was used for the OS drive instead of an old laptop drive? The OS needs a lot of random access, but doesn't take up much space.

I also wonder why the author went with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS instead of 12.04 LTS, which would give him two more years of peace of mind. It's been a few weeks since 12.04 came out, so it's pretty stable. It does get kernel updates more often that I'd prefer, though, and GNOME 2 is gone.

steve8918 16 hours ago 4 replies      
I used to build my own file servers but 2-3 years ago I bought a ReadyNAS ProBusiness at home and I love it. Granted it cost me about $1500 at the time, but it has made my life so much easier. I'm at the stage of my life where I'd rather pay extra and save time.

It supports almost everything out of the box, and there's very little configuration. It has 6 hot-swappable bays, and it allows for automatic expansion using their proprietary system, X-RAID 2. I currently have 4 500 GB drives, and 2 1 TB drives, and if I want to expand it, I just buy another 1 TB drive and swap out a 500 GB drive.

It also supports streaming protocols, including ReadyDLNA so I can play movies directly off my PS3. It also seamless supports TimeMachine for my Mac laptops. I really do love this thing.

mrb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Agreed, ZFS rocks.

I started using OpenSolaris fileservers at home in 2007. I went through multiple upgrades since ten: 5x500GB, 7x750GB, and currently 7x1.5TB (all raidz).

I am just about to upgrade to my 4th server with 6x3TB in raidz2, which will be running FreeBSD this time.

Due to the sheer number of drives and continuous 24/7 operation, I experienced 4 drive failures over the years. Everytime ZFS has handled the failure gracefully, and I was able to swap the drive and rebuild the array without a hitch.

I take daily rotating snapshots - incredibly useful when you accidentally stuff.

I also run weekly scrubs, which have allowed me to witness 2 or 3 silent data corruptions which were automatically self-healed by ZFS (CKSUM column in zpool status).

I mostly use the file server to share videos & photos via NFS, and to store encrypted backups of my laptop. It has become so useful and practical that I started to use it as an iSCSI server as well to boot some diskless Windows test machines for GPU projects.

All in all, ZFS deserves all the praise you hear.

rryan 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This is almost identical to my backup server except I have 3x2TB drives in a RAID-Z pool. I agree with all the author's "reasons this is awesome" except my #1 reason is data integrity.

ZFS with RAID-Z does block-level checksumming and automatic healing as you access your data. Combine that with a weekly scrub (touches every block so any silent bit flips are healed) and I can do away with my fears that my precious bits are rotting away.

apaprocki 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Serious question.. does no one use SmartOS[1] for this? I wouldn't feel entirely secure running ZFS on Linux when I could just as easily run SmartOS and get the "real" ZFS.

[1] http://smartos.org/

swdunlop 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Love ZFS, hate having to use it in FreeBSD or Illumos, so I like seeing someone successfully using it in Linux even if licensing concerns keep me from doing it. When I saw that he was using "WD Caviar Green" hard drives, though, I cringed.

These "green" hard drives tend to be very aggressive about parking heads and spinning down the platters. While this is fine if a disk is going to sit idle for a long period of time, in cases like an OS partition and memory buffering, these drives start destroying themselves spinning down and cranking up several times a minute.

We had 4 out of 16 fail one week after burn-in in a raidz configuration. We had plenty of hot spares for various reasons of paranoia, and they didn't go all at once, so we recovered and replaced the entire batch with Constellations.

The only positive note was that we are now firmly in love with zpools and zfs.. It made egregious hardware failure a manageable problem.

aes256 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a couple of the HP ProLiant MicroServers, one of which is set up as a NAS server with a RAID-Z array on 5x 2TB drives (running Oracle Solaris 11 Express in order to remain at the cutting edge of ZFS development).

At ~£150 after rebate (was around £120 when I bought mine) the MicroServer is an absolute steal, and ZFS is a dream to administer. Truly a match made in heaven.

joshu 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The last non-server HP products I have purchased have died. A desktop for my mother, a laptop for the inlaws, and a small PC for myself.

I am terrified by the quality of their non high-end server gear.

conradev 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been using FreeNAS, which is a slimmed down version of FreeBSD meant to run off of a USB stick. It has a web interface to set up and manage ZFS, and can take regular ZFS snapshots, among other things. It also includes Netatalk and other software to share the disks over the local network.

I use it as a Time Capsule for my MacBook. Hooked up to gigabit ethernet when docked, backups are a breeze.

ajtaylor 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The ability to add new, differently sized disks with RAID-Z is the killer feature of ZFS. I wonder how Linux ZFS performance & stability compare with the FreeBSD ports? In the past, I've considered using something like FreeNAS for my home storage needs but the ZFS support wasn't ready last time I looked (1+ years ago?).
jamesu 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I grabbed a HP Microserver a few months ago after my old slow NAS died. One of the best purchases i've made this year.

Initially i tried using Ubuntu Server on it, but there were a few problems with it. I also tried Freenas but beyond the basic "share files and use ZFS" it didn't really offer much in the way of customisation.

So Instead i decided to just put Windows Home Server on it, since all i wanted to do was share files, use basic RAID, and run virtual machines for testing with the minimum of fuss. Windows RDC works fantastically out of the box. For VMs i just used Virtualbox. I stuck Freenas in a VM and left it running for Time Machine - perfect.

I also stuck an SSD i had lying around in the optical bay, so i have 4 drives available in the bays dedicated to storing data.

Despite not using Linux or ZFS, i'm quite happy with this current setup.

rapind 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using an unRAID setup (on an old workstation with plenty of bays) for a couple years now and I've been happy so far. No failures yet though so I haven't really put it to the test. The HP microserver definitely looks nice.

I just use it for storage though. No VMs etc. And I'm not overly concerned about access speeds so long as I can play HD video off it (which I can).


X-Istence 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've got a similar setup, but a custom build. 2 IDE hard drives in zmirror, this is my OS install, I am running OpenIndiana (I absolutely love the stability of the OS) and then 5 hard drives in a raidz with a 6th drive sitting in stand by (when i set this up raidz2 wasn't available yet) to automatically take over in case of a failure.

This machine has now been chugging along for a long time. It stores about 4 TB of personal backups (all my machines back up to it over the network), and various other things such as projects, media files, photos. ZFS is rock solid. I've had drives fail, and the backup drive take over without noticing a single thing.

I've got 4 GB of memory in this machine and I can get write speeds over the network of 80 MB/sec using consumer grade drives, and read speeds over the network of around 120 MB/sec (I easily saturate my Gbit network).

I wouldn't store my backup bits on any other file system, I've had failures with various Linux based raids/file systems that were nonrecoverable, I've used UFS in the past from FreeBSD and had data be silently corrupted, end to end checksumming is absolutely fantastic!

trvrprkr 15 hours ago 1 reply      
From the article: "Why not Debian or CentOS? Cool, go that way if you prefer them. But personally I am in luuuuuurve with the Ubuntu ZFS PPA."

With Debian, you can use the PPA as-is. This requires adding that to your /etc/apt/sources.list and manually adding the signing key with apt-key.

Something else the author doesn't directly address is that ZFS on Linux is really only usable on 64-bit systems. Funny things may happen if you use the 32-bit version, such as OOPSing when doing simple things such as ls -a.

I've had nothing but great experiences with running this on my home NAS.

newman314 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have recommendations for similar hardware with 5 or 6 drives?

On a different note, the number of possible distributions is a tad confusing. Can someone recommend (say FreeNAS or Illumos) the distribution with the most up to date support of ZFS along with ongoing updates? I'm primarily looking for something that is hassle free to maintain and update. FreeBSD or Solaris based is okay.

colione 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I have about the same setup, but i built my server from scratch have 62TB and I run FreeBSD 9 (plus SSD for os). OS reliability wise and ZFS maturity FreeBSD > Ubuntu. You'll have virtualisation through virtualbox if you'd like to too.
But I prefer to separate the storage and virtualisation platforms (do one thing etc).
In some ways
BSD is easier and more logical in it's setup and administration, plus you'll have better documentation on the site and higher signal-to-noise ratio in the forums, if you need help.
0x0 8 hours ago 0 replies      
That's interesting, I've got two QNAP TS-419p boxes running Debian on armel. Had no idea that similar, AND x64-64 based hardware was available for much cheaper!
fiatmoney 15 hours ago 1 reply      
As you scale up your storage, I'd recommend you switch away from RAID-Z to a pool of mirrors (essentially RAID10). It becomes easier to add or upgrade pairs of disks with differing capacities (eg, a pair of 1TB, a pair of 2TB...), and in the event of failure you have more than a snowball's chance of being able to rebuild the array before you have another disk go.
filmgirlcw 14 hours ago 0 replies      
We have almost the exact same setup except we use FreeBSD instead of Ubuntu -- mostly because when I setup this server, it was before ZFS support was reliable in Linux.

I can't remember the exact specs on our box, but it was a similar microserver that we've got 4 drives RAIDed in. It started at 1tb per drive but we've since upgraded to 2TB drives.

This replaced a FreeNAS setup that I ran out of the closet in my home office for years when I lived in Atlanta. That server was great but was loud, ran so hot the closet was seriously 20 degrees hotter than the office, and an electricity glutton. When we moved to New York City last year, we decided to consolidate to a small unit for size/heat/power.

Highly reccommended to anyone who needs a media server, general file server and fast-access VM/local enviornment.

ZFS is absolutely the way to go.

gringomorcego 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I've heard that the perormance of linux zfs is terrible, but I think it was a phoronix report...

Also, does anyone know how well dtrace was ported to linux? Last thing I remember reading said it was half-assed

jalada 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Best takeaway for me from this: RAID-Z on Linux is now ready. Good to know!
Havoc 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool. I plan on doing something similar in future. One thing though:

Running the FS off a USB stick is a bad idea. No write leveling so its only a question of time before it bombs out.

dantheta 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a quick note on those HP microservers - I have one, and I'm fond of it, but the e-SATA port doesn't support hotplug and the inbuilt ethernet doesn't support jumbo frames (at least, under versions of Linux that I've tried).

The e-SATA thing probably doesn't matter too much, but for anyone looking to run iSCSI or even higher-throughput NFS, the absence of jumbo frames may be a more important consideration.

cheeseprocedure 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Be extremely cautious when using WD Green drives in a RAID configuration.

They may be quiet/inexpensive, but they also don't ship with Time-Limited Error Recovery enabled (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-Limited_Error_Recovery). This makes it much more likely they'll drop out of an array. Some models can have this option flipped on; some cannot.

drivebyacct2 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. This looks like an incredible deal. After planning to buy a new ultrabook soon, I'm thinking of ditching my monsterous desktop and going back to a laptop + server setup. This looks perfect!

... No international shipping? I'm gonna cry.

guelo 11 hours ago 2 replies      
What surprised me when I first started messing with home file servers was that even with the server plugged into the WiFi router's switch I still couldn't directly play high-resolution video on my laptops. You end up having to try to get some clunky streaming transcoding solution which only works for some file formats and requires a heavy duty CPU.
rcthompson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So, just how stable is ZFS on Linux these days? Anyone else with experience care to share?
res0nat0r 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've got 12TB in my unRAID box which has been working perfect for me for a couple of years now.


cpg 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm biased (I started Amahi), but try the Amahi server http://www.amahi.org

We looked into using ZFS, as there has been some demand for it, but all the licensing and the people around it were hard to deal with (non-responsive, to be precise). I would be cool, though.

ZeWaren 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, being able to send incremental backups of ZFS tanks between systems is IMHO one of the best features of the system.
Also, snapshots are very handy.
cpg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, and BTW, there is also Greyhole, which we integrated in Amahi. It makes a large redundant store out of a JBOD, with replication on multiple selectable spindles, etc. etc. http://greyhole.net
LoneWolf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one having trouble reading the font of the post?
On a 24 inch monitor running at 1920x1080 W7 Chrome its not exactly easy to read.
madrona 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I am looking to replace my Acer Windows Home Server box with something else, so this article is very timely. Thanks for posting it.

Is the HP Microserver the best computer in its class, or are there other good competitors?

gcb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
No redundant power supply?
s800 13 hours ago 0 replies      
nas4free. FreeBSD 9 based fork.
rabiyh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
bobowzki 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Incredibly annoying blue lines...
kba 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Please stop using fonts with serifs for the web. It's a strain on the eye. Great article, though.
A Gray Beard Explores F# graybeardprogrammer.com
38 points by mperkins  7 hours ago   12 comments top 2
kevingadd 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's neat to see how much more expressive F# manages to be compared to C#. One of his examples (passing an operator as an argument to a function) would probably take dozens or hundreds of lines to express in C# because it's just not something that's built into the language.
chubot 6 hours ago 3 replies      
"The avoidance of side-effects is one of the key objectives of functional programming. Advocates of functional programming claim a number of benefits for the absence of side-effects including a greater ease of reading and reasoning about the code and an increased ability to execute parts of a computation in parallel."

You know I'm sympathetic to this line of thinking, but I wished he would have actually used this VM example to back up these statements.

Why is the version without mutable state better? That's not explained at all. I can think of some reasons why it would be worse -- e.g. more memory allocations. For this VM, its semantics are inherently serial, so the concurrency argument doesn't apply.

The Sad State of Diabetes Technology in 2012 hanselman.com
114 points by dennisgorelik  12 hours ago   52 comments top 13
johnnyg 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The CPAP industry is as bad or worse. Here are the drivers I see:

1. FDA -> Medicare -> Private Insurance. They set the reimbursement codes and what each code will pay. On the internet, you throw up a website and the customer decides if your approach has value. With a pay per code system, anything outside of the sanctioned approach is either puts you at legal risk ("you aren't allowed to do this, it is not sanctioned") or financial risk ("thanks for the better way, but it disrupts money flow X in the system, so we're not giving you a reimbursement code").

2. The "Insurance is better" customer bias. The average consumer of healthcare expects to show up, slap their insurance card down and receive treatment. This abstracts them from being the direct payment entity of the services they provide. If you piss off the patient but provide the service to code, then the insurance company will pay. If you please the customer but go outside the payment structure, the insurance will not pay. Businesses get paid.

3. Regulatory and bureaucratic haze. Go to a CPAP trade show some time, it is a different world. No one is focused on improving technology and services for the CPAP user. They want to get together and lobby to prevent reimbursement cuts. They want to make sure the business they run stays good with the new regulations and can survive the next wave of audits. They do not shop machines to find what works for the patients, they have too many other stakeholders to please: referring physicians, insurance payors, what their front lines people have experience setting up. They are an extension of a giant that has far more control and say about their own business than they do. They fight back or buck the trend, they are literally audited out of business or worse.

4. Talent Deficit. There are very few places to innovate and if you find a line and do it, you have to fight the system hating you for doing it on top of the normal startup pains. It takes very special people to want to walk that road with you. For the bigs in the industry, mfgs and large insurance based sellers of equipment, their HR departments are hiring for technical positions based on resume check boxes and history with microsoft. The products they put out are heavily windows, heavily compliant, fearful of making waves with any stake holder. You can't build a better one and win because you won't get paid and don't have a network to leverage. People who could come in and really make bold moves get on the ground, see the reality and leave to do something easier.

ck2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The industry will never let you get off strips because the strips cost a penny or two to make but sell for $1 each.

So they make millions off insurance for the strips at the expense of society and the people who cannot get insurance.

If they ever invented a $100 device that doesn't need strips they would completely destroy the crazy profit they have.

The article didn't mention the Contour USB which is completely digital but of course still needs strips.

MrFoof 8 hours ago 1 reply      
>Now I wait 5 seconds but we still have blood sugar strips with +-20% accuracy

This is the part that still both sickens and baffles me. I had onset at about 20, despite not looking like a typical diabetic (5-foot-8, 140lbs). 11-years ago, my endocrinologist made sure to drill into my head this margin of error, and that the margin of error was highest in situations where I would be hypoglycemic or suffering from an insulin reaction. As a diabetic himself (and for the record, having a diabetic endocrinologist is the best thing you can hope for), he was all too aware and frustrated with the limitations.

Now, a few days ago it was pointed out that the margin of error for test strips in a medical facility is much lower. The one thing I've been waiting for is to get that level of accuracy. If there's one thing I want, it's that. More than anything. I couldn't give a rat's ass about anything else.

Getting that number consistent could've sped up the timeline in which it took to get my blood sugar levels to be consistent. I'm not terribly methodical, but at the end of the day my endocrinologist doesn't complain when my HA1C results are consistently between 6.2 and 6.6, and have been for the past 6 years, despite relying only on subcutaneous injections(1) and continued dietary changes and experimentation. However, I bet I could keep it at 6 on the nose -- while "cheating" a bit more -- if I knew that a reading was nearly dead-nuts on every time.

(1) Not a fan of pumps. My mother was and still is on TPN. After seeing the joys of dealing with infections, I prefer the very rare dermatitis.

pimeys 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I've had Diabetes since I was eleven years old. For the last seventeen years. To be in good health, every day I have to:

* Measure my blood sugar at least six times a day

* Take at least six shots of insulin

* Always think what I eat. How many grams of carbohydrates is in the stuff I put into my mouth.

* I have to be very careful with alcohol. I've once woken up by an emergency crew while having a hangover. Never again. (Weed is much better though.)

* I have lots of small annoyances which require medical care every now and then.

* Influenza is a catastrophe - it will take ages and my blood glucose is not going normal easily.

Try to forget any of these, and bam your general health is at risk. It's not so easy all the time to be fully with your body and take care of yourself.

What I would love is a bloodless way of measuring my glucose, a way to get the results to my iPhone and a way to calculate the amount of carbohydrates I have in front of me. No, a database of different foods is not enough. I have to do it 4-5 times a day, remember.

When you have to do something many times a day for the rest of your life, it should be as easy as possible.

joeconway 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a very well articulated representation of the frustration I feel as a technically minded T1 diabetic. Thank you.
I dream of the day when both my meter and insulin pen transmit data in an open format over bluetooth. It is clear that any steps that can make the monitoring and analysis of diabetic care more transparent to users will genuinely save lives.

For anyone who is disinclined to get a pump, I highly recommend the Bayer Contour USB. I've had it for a week and it is _leagues_ better than anything else I've used. I was so thrilled when I discovered that with it I could simply access my readings as an SQLite DB rather than the hell of trying to communicate with and parse the data from anything from Lifescan over a bloody 3.5mm serial port.

brudgers 10 hours ago 2 replies      
>"I've been diabetic for almost two decades"

I'd say that is more compelling evidence that the state of technology is good. Lack of bluetooth may be somewhat inconvenient, but it is not life threatening...and the lack of bluetooth is less inconvenient than dialysis several times a week.

I'm not unsympathetic toward the author's medical condition, but proprietary interfaces are even part and parcel of devices as successful as the iPhone, and it's hard to see a strong medical case for adding bluetooth to a medical device...sometimes hardwiring is just a better solution for life critical applications.

bdfh42 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Fair point: If you want to disrupt an industry which is entrenched by the legal/regulatory system - you have to find ways around it.

Think education, health, law ...

Any more?

In fact from the list of the oldest professions only the "oldest" is free from regulation (only, for the most part, suffering from prohibition).

crisnoble 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My doctor visit routine goes like this: Nurse asks for my password to login into mymedtronic.com to "download my data" this costs me 20 dollars. Nurse gets access to special healthcare only charts, you know ones that are actually somewhat useful and prints them. My doctor looks at the prints and stuffs them into my file, rubs my feet and tells me to keep up the exercise. That was a 50 dollar foot massage. I don't want to think what that would cost without insurance.
glennos 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep an eye on the guys at mySugr. I've had a few interesting chats where they've told me about the issues you come up against in the medical industry. They're diabetics, they get it and they're working around (and through!) it to make a really usable and useful diabetes app. It's German only at the moment, but check it out at http://www.mysugr.com/.
chrisennis 10 hours ago 1 reply      
As an entrepreneur (and engineer) who has built two healthcare companies, I believe we'll get to a point where the speed at which innovation moves in other sectors will start to take foot in healthcare. But like everything in the space, it takes time. Sometimes too much time.
rlvesco7 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see the Pebble watch serve as a way to view blood sugar levels and send commands to an insulin pump ... at one point I thought about setting up a kick starter project for this, but all the issues with bluetooth seemed daunting. Thank you to Scott for making these issues heard.
jostmey 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have hoped that we would have a gene therapy to treat diabetes at this point in time. But alas, the medical industry has stagnated under the weight of bureaucracy and an overall decline of investment as investors demand the same kinds of ROIs as those seen in the dot-com sector.
Cochise 10 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.echotx.com/symphony-tcgm-system.shtml Wireless cgm and non-invasive. Passing every clinical trial with excellent accuracy too. "Coming soon" though.
Why philosophy is largely ignored by science dcscience.net
59 points by derleth  6 hours ago   64 comments top 17
kevinalexbrown 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I do science. When I was younger, I devoured philosophy treatises, law reviews, and political science books. I still find it fun, but I lost the passion for it. However, I disagree strongly with this article in his characterization of philosophers.

I haven't left philosophy because everyone in it is stupid, as this article seems to suggest. I left philosophy because after all my reading, note-taking, class-discussioning, and debate tournamenting, I never felt like I'd made any progress, and that mattered to me personally. At the end of the day, the questions that were hard to answer were still unsolved, and the gray ethical areas were still gray. This is why I don't do philosophy, and I why I found the science bug. Not because philosophy lacks rigor or reasonable investigators.

In philosophy, real answers are difficult to find and prove, but in math and science, even though every answer brings 10 new questions, you can look back and say: I proved that theorem, I empirically verified the acceleration of the earth.

To quote my favorite xkcd T-shirt "Science, it works, bitches!". Most scientists I know that disregard philosophy do so because science gives them a feeling of getting somewhere, while philosophy, even at its most rigorous, just seems to leave them more confused than when they started. It's more of a personal preference for that kind of investigation than any rejection of the intelligence of a large group of people.

msutherl 5 hours ago 6 replies      
"It may be asked why it is even worth spending time on these remnants of the utterly discredited postmodernist movement."

This is just so ignorant and backward that I have a hard time taking the author of this article seriously. There is no "postmodernist movement". The term refers to a hopelessly large field of practices. Most great so-called "postmodernist" theorists typically have not referred to themselves as such.

If you want to discredit theorists who have been critical of scientific practices, you need to put down the Sokal and actually engage with specific works. You might be surprised to find that many of these "postmodernists" are either trained scientists or actually know what they're talking about. Just a few suggestions if you want to dip your toes in the water:

" Gilles Deleuze wrote powerfully on metaphysics, integrating many incites from mathematics in the 60's and 70's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deleuze#Metaphysics Check out "Difference and Repetition".

" Alain Badiou uses set theory in his ontology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Badiou#Mathematics_as_ont... " I find his ontology lacking though; he should learn something from the failings of set theory in the early 20th century.

" Bruno Latour in a the domain of Science and Technology Studies has written voluminously about scientific and technological practices from a more anthropological point of view: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Latour#Biography

" Isabelle Stengers has written something more along the lines of what's critiqued in this article, a critique of the authority of science in society: http://www.amazon.com/Cosmopolitics-I-Posthumanities-Isabell... " works like this question whether the privileging of science over all other forms of knowledge is good for society. This particular work argues that it is not.

" Mike Cooley argues powerfully that the deskilling of the engineering industry caused by computer-aided design and manufacturing is a travesty: http://www.amazon.com/Architect-Bee-Human-Technology-Relatio...

A general note about so-called "postmodernism". The Wikipedia definition includes the following:

"Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific or objective efforts to explain reality. In essence, it is based on the position that reality is not mirrored in human understanding of it, but is rather constructed as the mind tries to understand its own personal reality."

It's important to understand that "postmodernism" isn't critiquing the effectiveness of science. It is merely claiming that, as it says, reality is not mirrored in human understanding. The models we create to explain observed phenomena are not direct reflections of reality, they are simply characteristically human, linguistic models that correspond to our observations. As Niels Bohr wrote:

"There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature..."

The question is whether our habit of elevating scientific explanation to the 'one true truth' is (1) right and (2) a good thing. Most "postmodernists" argue that other forms of knowledge are perfectly legitimate (for instance, indigenous people who still live tribally lead perfectly happy lives without science) and that the privileging of science over other forms of knowledge is not a unilaterally good thing (for instance, it is reasonable to say there's a decent change that we will extinguish ourselves as a species in the next hundred years thanks to the exploits of scientifically advanced societies).

You may notice that both of those examples are anthropological. This hints at something very important about "postmodernism". When people talk about "postmodernism", they're often talking about "post-structuralism", which is another hopelessly broad category referring to theory that in some way extends "structuralism", which is in turn closely connected to the theories of Claude Lévi-Strauss, the "father of modern anthropology". "Postmodernism" can be seen in this sense to be a kind of anthropologically informed philosophy. Rather than creating theoretically sound abstract models, they look at how those models actually play out "in the field" and draw conclusions. Hence the critique of science: despite the power of scientific explanation, it may not necessarily result in a better society and indeed the evidence shows that it does not.

And one final point, the author is totally wrong to claim that scientists have not been concerned with the philosophy of science. Many early twentieth century scientists " the ones who create the theory of relatively and quantum physics especially " even wrote books on the philosophy of science as well as its role in society. Some examples:

" Schrödinger - "What is Life": http://www.amazon.com/What-Is-Life-Autobiographical-Sketches...

" Herman Weyl ("His overall approach in physics was based on the phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl, specifically Husserl's 1913 Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Erstes Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die reine Phänomenologie"): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Weyl

" Heisenberg - "Physics and Philosophy": http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Philosophy-Revolution-Modern-S...

" David Bohm - "Wholeness and the Implicate Order": http://www.amazon.com/Wholeness-Implicate-Order-David-Bohm/d...

Here's a more modern book from an economist that references Deleuze and other "post-structuralists":

" "The Blank Swan": http://www.amazon.com/The-Blank-Swan-End-Probability/dp/0470...

_delirium 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So, I'm a scientist. And I'm skeptical of the utility of a good portion of philosophy for science. But this is a... really ignorant post. It's not even wrong. Just... incoherent, and clearly unfamiliar with the subject it discusses.

He seems to be attacking something called "philosophy", first of all, but the targets are some kind of randomly thrown set of darts. Some analytic philosophers discussing probability in a way he doesn't like. The famous Sokal hoax, which trolled a French-influenced American social-theory journal (which incidentally lived in literature departments more than philosophy departments, and was intensely disliked by American philosophers). Just some general rambling. Why is this interesting? It feels like something an undergrad would cobble together off Wikipedia, an "understand and then denounce philosophy in 90 minutes" essay.

Does he realize that Alan Sokal, who he seems to like, is actually in favor of philosophy, but is against one particular current in philosophy, which his intervention is intended to diminish? He seems to group Sokal in with both the people Sokal opposes, and the people he supports! How does this make any sense at all? Heck, Sokal likes more philosophers, too: Marx, for example, is on his good list (Sokal is a leftist, fighting something of a civil war in favor of 'Old Left' economics/materialist-focused leftism, against cultural-theory/identity leftism).

bmcleod 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Philosophy of Science is an extremely broad field. And like any academic field it's easy enough to find crazy stuff at the edges.

I do think far more scientists would benefit from a bit more of a look at some of the more established philosophers of the last century. It seems that most gained some knowledge of Popper but nowhere near enough people are really familiar with Kuhn's work(http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thomas-kuhn/). Taking the time to think critically about what you're doing and what it would really take to change your views is critical to actually being open to broad possibilities.

goodside 5 hours ago 1 reply      
By what mechanism did you conclude that random controlled trials are more trustworthy than observational studies? Does that mechanism more closely resemble an observational study or a random controlled trial?
FreakLegion 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Where to start with this one?

I wouldn't expect philosophy of science to be of much practical value to working scientists. Non-scientists, on the other hand, can benefit a great deal from rigorous analysis of the tools, methods and procedures of the sciences, if for no other reason than to dissolve some of the film of invincibility that attaches to them.

Of course there are as many quacks doing philosophy of science as there are doing science proper, so choice of texts is important. You can't condemn all philosophy of science based on a handful of publications (note the selection bias in the article) any more than you can condemn all science based on, say, the MMR vaccine controversy[1].

1. And while we're on the subject of hoaxes, let's just put the whole Sokal affair to bed, shall we? Social Text was an insignificant and unrefereed journal, but even if Sokal had managed to place something in The Philosophical Review, that wouldn't have, as the author put it, "exposed the astonishing intellectual fraud if [sic] postmodernism." Unless the significant number of even more damaging hoaxes perpetrated on science journals have exposed the astonishing intellectual fraud of science?

cwp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So basically, he dismissed philosophy as irrelevant, then happened across some obscure papers by cranks at the margins of philosophic thought, and concluded that he was right all along. Unenlightening.
shalmanese 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Many who choose to use Sokal to highlight their point seem to be unaware that Science has had it's own reverse-Sokal with the Bogdanov affair: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_Affair
b1daly 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
This thread made me think of this New Yorker article on the "Decline Effect" which is describes a tendency for the results of scientific experiments (in particular those based on statistical methods) to weaken as experiments are repeated.

As a person with a generally skeptical/pro science bent it truly shocked me.

It highlights the need for understanding the sociology of science, which has huge impacts on its effectiveness.

reader5000 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Not really sure a guy whose exposure to "philosophy" apparently consists of awareness of a single writer is prepared to weigh in on the legitimacy of a field as old as civilization. But admittedly I haven't done a RCT to confirm this.
dmfdmf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Modern philosophy is largely ignored by science and scientists because it has nothing to offer but endless questions and debates, unresolveable paradoxes and pointless inquiry into the modern day equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Who needs it?

Unfortunately, science needs a rational philosophy now more than ever. Under the influence of Kant and his derivatives like Popper that dominate the modern universities, the fundamentals of science such as identity, causality, knowledge, logic and proof are being undercut and destroyed by the very sciences that use and need these concepts. Tragically, the scientists are distainful of modern philosophy (for good reason) but make the mistake of reject all philosophy, and are thus throwing the baby out with the bath water.

For anyone with a serious interest in these issues I recommend that you read Ayn Rand's "Philosophy: Who Needs It" and her "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". In the former book, her answer is that everyone needs a philosophy because it is the science of fundamentals that apply to everyone and all sciences.

stcredzero 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a meme going around groups aligned with the rationality movement, asserting that there's a hierarchy of worth in academic disciplines. Basically, the hard sciences are worth more, and the harder the science, the more it's worth.

Philosophy is near the bottom of this hierarchy, though some of the products of philosophy are deemed to be valuable. (Basically it's an evaluation of Signal to Noise ratios, more than a declaration of absolute worth across the discipline.)

joelmichael 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Are we to regard Ethics as irrelevant? Logic? Aesthetics? Epistemology? Metaphysics? These are the five branches of philosophy.

I majored in Computer Science and have a minor in Philosophy. I consider philosophy the most important element of my life, and the lives of everyone else, often unknowingly. I see philosophy all the time on Hacker News and elsewhere. What do you call debates over law, for instance? Are those scientific? No, those are philosophy. So much of what humans do is philosophy that to suggest they do not participate in it because they aren't talking in "academic" terms is simply inaccurate.

richardjordan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What an incredibly uninformed comments thread. Firstly to the main post, of course philosophy isn't ignored by science. Science is an offshoot of philosophy and happily so. It's a ridiculous premise not born out by the article itself.

Secondly, it sounds like several commenters have studied little or no philosophy in an academic setting, and as a result are posting garbage comments based on straw men of their own creation.

Is it hard to take on modern philosophers on their own ground? Is the language they use sometimes confusing to the layman? Is that sometimes frustrating? Sure it is. But that's because they have to shortcut a few thousand years of philosophical reasoning to make the points so that we don't end up in the weeds with every discussion. It's no different (as a trained Physicist myself) to the manner modern Physicists talk about our discipline in ways which are confusing to the layman, because we use cutting edge math to short cut a few thousand years of philosophical reasoning to make their point.

Study any subject to the edge of current thinking and you get to incredible levels of specialism because we've been at academia, as a global civilization, for an awfully long time. Not everything can be boiled down to an elevator pitch.

It may be hot to say people don't need to go to university, and further education is meaningless in the context of startups, but it's not meaningless if you actually want to understand the most advanced thought in areas of academic interest. It might not be the best avenue for most people for most career paths, but if you want to discuss philosophy and science (or as it used to be called Natural Philosophy) then it's probably best done with some kind of solid education in those fields.

xenophanes 2 hours ago 1 reply      
So he says at the start he dismissed the best philosopher in the field, Karl Popper, without reading him.

Maybe most scientists ignore Popper's philosophy of science (the only worthwhile one) because they are ignorant and judge which philosophy to read by inaccurate reputation rather than merit.

Though bear in mind, quite a few scientists, big and small, did not ignore Popper and actually liked his ideas and found them helpful. E.g. Richard Feynman, David Deutsch, and Albert Einstein.

chris_wot 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The title is misleading. It really should be "Why postmodernism is largely ignored by science (and mostly everyone else)."
scyscy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Navel gazing.
Introducing Redis Store togo.io
27 points by benarent  7 hours ago   2 comments top
mpd 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd love to know how it handles adding new shards. Migrating redis data from one shard to another has been a major pain point for us in the past, and has caused us to move away from redis for any big data needs we have where growth can't accurately be estimated.
Ghost.py - a webkit web client written in python. jeanphix.me
140 points by aeurielesn  17 hours ago   19 comments top 9
NiekvdMaas 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
In order for this to be usable for a broad range of projects, it must contain:

  * Cookie support (I see this is partially implemented)
* File download support
* Mouse movement API (move to pos X,Y - click)
* NSPlugins support (Flash, etc)

Of the latter ones, I cannot find a reference so I think they are not working yet. Once they are implemented, this is a nice alternative to PhantomJS.

kanzure 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Individuals might also be interested in the reimplemented version of phantomjs in python (pyphantomjs): http://github.com/kanzure/pyphantomjs
RBerenguel 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Good! A few days ago I was playing with mechanize to automate some form filling in wordpress posts (iTunes app details, automatically downloaded and then batch-add as post drafts). Gave up by the lack of AJAX-Javascript, turned instead to the Selenium web driver, which solved the problem in "seconds". I'll have to give Ghost.py a spin :)
clemesha 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Can this be used to suck in streaming Flash video?

There is this streaming camera of the ocean that I check often, but it's Flash and I'd love to check it from my iPhone. Could Ghost.py be used to get the Flash video? (then turn it into images by other means). Thanks.

jc4p 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Can it run inline Javascript as the page is loaded or do I have to explicitly tell it what JS to run? I want to scrape some pages that use JS packers to obfuscate their code so that it's only loaded by real browsers, but if I just use curl all I see is JS that needs to be evaluated before I can get anything useful out of it.
greattypo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone know - how does it handle file downloads?
DaNmarner 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the Python equivalence of phantom.js, which provides a programming interface for testing rendered web pages without the overhead of actually opening up a browser (a la Selenium).
sscheper 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What is a webkit web client?
dlsym 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Giggle at the ghostie! (Ok - and now burn my karma)
Startup University matt-welsh.blogspot.com
7 points by woodrow  2 hours ago   1 comment top
denzil_correa 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Never going to happen. Need to completely disrupt the system.
More transparency into government requests googleblog.blogspot.com
9 points by cleverjake  3 hours ago   1 comment top
krakensden 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a good thing.

From the government removals section in the US:

> We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove a blog because of a post that allegedly defamed a law enforcement official in a personal capacity. We did not comply with this request, which we have categorized in this Report as a defamation request.

We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove 1,400 YouTube videos for alleged harassment. We did not comply with this request. Separately, we received a request from a different local law enforcement agency to remove five user accounts that allegedly contained threatening and/or harassing content. We terminated four of the accounts, which resulted in the removal of approximately 300 videos, but did not remove the remaining account with 54 videos.

> We received a court order to remove 218 search results that linked to allegedly defamatory websites. We removed 25% of the results cited in the request.

> The number of content removal requests we received increased by 103% compared to the previous reporting period.

       cached 18 June 2012 07:02:01 GMT