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ViaCycle (YC S12) Is A Zipcar For Bikes, Coming To San Francisco Soon techcrunch.com
103 points by koji  2 hours ago   81 comments top 22
jellicle 1 hour ago  replies      
I love the idea, but it's doomed to failure.

I live in a city with a bike-sharing system. It's deeply unprofitable and exists only at the sufferance of the city government. There are a number of flaws. Number 1 is that people who ride bikes don't rent them, they own them. For $100 anyone can purchase a bicycle that will last indefinitely and be available 24/7/365. Number 2 is that people vandalize the shit out of bicycles. Seats will be stolen, tires slashed, bicycles thrown in the river, cables cut. You're free to go after this sort of bicycle since it has no owner - no one is going to come storming out of a nearby store and kick your ass. Crackheads will steal a bicycle seat and try to sell it for $5 to get a hit of crack - I have watched them do it. We live in a world where people are routinely electrocuted trying to steal copper from live power wires and blown up stealing gasoline from pipelines. Those bikes might as well have a sign on them saying "steal me". If even ONE of the components can be removed and sold for a few dollars...



Combining high cost of bicycles, ongoing cost to repair/replace/corral wayward bicycles, and low cost of the alternative (owning a bicycle), there is just no chance that this can be a successful business. You will recall people talking about the future of electricity, as being "too cheap to meter". Well, electricity never made it that far, but time on a bicycle did. Bicycle-time is too cheap to meter.

(There may be some future for the company selling to cities or other large entities which intend to subsidize all the costs associated, but it can never be successful as a stand-alone business.)

crazygringo 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
How are they going to deal with the fact that demand is not geographically distributed/balanced?

E.g. everyone wants to ride towards downtown in the morning, so there are no bikes left elsewhere, and there isn't enough space downtown to hold all the bikes. And only 2/3 of the morning people want to ride back in the evening, because they're doing other things in the evening.

IIRC, some European cities have whole trucks that carry bikes between neighborhoods throughout the day to solve this problem. But that only works if you have big concentrated bike-parking stations. You can't do this if bikes are parked all over the place on the street.

It would be really interesting if this service would pay you to ride bikes in the opposite direction of demand. But I can't imagine that would be economical. There just aren't enough people to bike from downtown to the suburbs in the morning, plus you're going to have to pay for them all to get back downtown afterwards!

jhuckestein 2 hours ago 2 replies      
In Germany we have a system like this called call-a-bike (it's run by the german railway!). It works surprisingly well. You're allowed to leave the bikes wherever you want and if they are left unused for a while a truck will come and move them back to a central location.

I really like what via cycle has done with the SMS unlocking. Back when I was in Germany, almost three years ago now (!), you had to call a service line to find/unlock a bike. Late at night there were usually wait times and it was especially difficult to manage the entire process if you were a little tipsy.

There's similar systems in many other European countries. I hear great things about a system in France called velib (I think).

Edit: I forgot to mention, the German bikes also have a second seat on the back. I'm not sure from the picture if this is also true for viaCycle but it's definitely one of the best features. Here's a picture http://www.pedelecforum.de/forum/imgcache/5382.png*

graeme 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting. I'm in Montreal, the birthplace of Bixi, which runs the London bike share program, and the upcoming NYC program as well as many others. Works fairly well, but apart from the cost the docking stations cost the city parking revenue.

One major administrative cost is moving bikes around. People tend to take them downtown during the day, and out of the town at night. Even if you don't need docks, you still have to move bikes.

gojomo 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
Clearly, the time is almost right for my 'next wave' collaborative consumption startups:

UnterCab: the Uber for pedicabs and piggyback-rides

SmallBearings: the RelayRides for rollerskates & skateboards

Hoparound: that seldom-used pogostick doesn't have to be gathering dust anymore

physcab 1 hour ago 2 replies      
ViaCycle should sell its locking system then anyone with an unused bike can participate in the program!
carlob 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love bikes. I love the idea. I've loved living in Paris where a similar system was in place (Vélib').

However I think this is a textbook example of the shortcomings of capitalism: while it is great for everyone to live in a city where you can use such a bike, there is no way in hell this will pay for itself.

JCDecaux operates the Vélib' system and was estimated to get the equivalent of 2000 euros per bike per year in advertising concessions from Paris' municipality [1] and still not to make a profit.

As pointed out by others there are very high running costs and I believe the only viable way to pay for this is through taxes. I also believe taxes are the only just way to pay for it, because everyone benefits from living in a city with more bikes and less cars not only the users.

Again, I'd love to be proven wrong and see SF become a greener city through this, but I'm a bit skeptical.

[1] in French http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vélib%27#Viabilit.C3.A9

rsbrown 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yo, ViaCycle team: stop what you're doing right now and get an email signup form deployed to your homepage ASAP.

I saw the headline, read the article, got excited, landed on the homepage, looked for San Francisco on the list of programs... then left the site, disappointed. You won't get a lot of opportunities to capture customers like the one you just got (and lost) with me.

Use mailchimp or something similar and you can fill this deficiency in a few minutes.

makmanalp 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We got this in Boston / Cambridge / Somerville: http://www.thehubway.com/
kurtvarner 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Their pricing structure seems super confusing. There's two full paragraphs talking about it.
koenigdavidmj 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Puget Sound Bike Share ( http://pugetsoundbikeshare.org/ ) is in the early planning stages of getting something similar set up in Seattle.
jasonlotito 2 hours ago 0 replies      
First thing I thought of is Bixi up in Montreal (and in Toronto, London, and Ottawa).
maartenscholl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Concerning the design of the bikes, I think there is still room for improvement. The designers can look at the design of the Public Transportation Bike ("OV-Fiets") in the Netherlands[1] which was a major success in a country where there already were more bikes than people before it's introduction.

For a bike that is available 24 you would want a bicycle lamp on the front with a dynamo instead of just reflectors. This is a safety concern because reflectors have proven to be unreliable to signal other road users.

The bike doesn't have any mudguards but I suspect the weather in SF allows that :).

The carrier on the back wheel doesn't look that sturdy and there is a large gap in the middle. A front rack to place heavier cargo on could be a benefit.

What about bright colors so the bike stands out?


mmahemoff 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"In addition, there is also an upfront cost of about $1,000 to $1,500 for every bike."

A recent article from the Economist says London's bikes cost
average price is £14,460/bike each, subsidised by government and advertising. Companies like ViaCycle will hopefully drop the price of these schemes.

avree 1 hour ago 1 reply      
There's a company doing this peer-to-peer (like Getaround, but for bikes) called Spinlister. https://www.spinlister.com/
chollida1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Good luck

We have this type of system( Bixi) in Toronto. When I first heard of it I kind-of sneered at it. I wasn't sure who would actually use this system.

But it's pretty popular. Not sure if it makes any money though.

codegeek 1 hour ago 1 reply      
About time. In the US, we seriously need more emphasis on bikes and encouraging people to use them for shorter commutes. We either have to drive or walk (mostly). I once met a european lady (from Amsterdam I think) who would not stop talking about how behind the US in terms of bike culture, hardly any bike lanes on roads etc.
extraio 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm wondering what happens when someone gets hit by a car and complains that the bike didn't include a helmet.

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea in every way, shape, and form - but I have serious questions about the legal safety issues.

maccam94 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We just got a similar system in Boston: http://www.thehubway.com/
dougzor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This reminds me some of WeBike: http://webikedoyou.com/

Regardless, glad to see some fellow Yellow Jackets doing well! Good luck guys!

parsnips 2 hours ago 1 reply      
How do they tackle the stolen/abandoned/damaged bike problems that plague every community bike program?
manaskarekar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they considered calling themselves iCycle.
Sexual Harassment at DefCon (and Other Hacker Cons) schneier.com
87 points by selenamarie  2 hours ago   68 comments top 18
powrtoch 57 minutes ago 3 replies      
I wasn't sure what to think of the red/yellow cards when I first heard about them, but the suggestion that it should be bystanders them giving out is awesome. Everything we know about human psychology suggests that a disapproving peer group is a strong behavioral deterrent.
blhack 30 minutes ago 2 replies      
It sounds like a lot of this stuff happens at bars during events, not at the events themselves.

How common is this behavior at bars in general, independent from a hacker con?

Also: some of the girls that I know who are hackers are offended at the idea of red/yellow cards. The implication there seems to be that they're helpless, and need somebody to swoop in and save them.

That, at least to some of my girl friends, is utter bullshit, and is blatantly sexist against women.


And to be completely honest, the red/yellow card thing has already become a flirtatious joke among people.

phillmv 1 hour ago 2 replies      
>Like the man who drunkenly tried to lick my shoulder tattoo. Like the man who grabbed my hips while I was waiting for a drink at the EFF party. Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff (...) Or lastly, the man who, without prompting, interrupted my conversation and asked me if I'd like to come back to his room for a "private pillowfight party."

Ugh! Words fail me.

danielweber 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Nerds (and I say this as one) have problems dismissing their anti-social members, because nerds have been dismissed from other social circles, and hated it. They don't want to be the bully. And so real asshole behavior is allowed to continue far longer than it ought to.

The computer security industry has its own special problems. There is a very significant segment of the population that has "do whatever you can get away with" as their mantra and have built up significant antibodies against any criticism thanks to a large crowd of enablers.

Who was the last person who was shunned from the community for his behavior and/or actions?

brianjyee 1 hour ago  replies      
Not specific to hacker culture, but I always felt there was a bit of a double standard when it comes to alpha male behavior. Women are attracted to aggressive men. Women like men who take charge. Women like men who are the initiators. Now obviously there is a line that crosses over into sexual harassment, but the fact is that men who behave aggressively are the ones who succeed in sexual pursuits most often. It's almost as if when the girl is attracted to the guy, it's flirting, but when she isn't, it's creepy/sexual harassment. I wish it weren't like this because I, personally, am not very aggressive.

I'm not trying to defend the behavior described in the article, I'm just saying that men act like that because it works.

13rules 1 minute ago 0 replies      
All of this could be avoided if guys would just follow the advice in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBVuAGFcGKY

1. Be Handsome
2. Be Attractive
3. Don't Be Unattractive

packetslave 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Science-fiction author (and SFWA president) John Scalzi covers this kind of thing pretty well in the context of sci-fi/comics/anime conventions (where creepy asshats are also an ongoing problem). Seems equally applicable here:


Cowen 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think there is a real disconnect between what hackers think of their community and what it actually is.

We often claim to be one of the purest of meritocracies, since our primary interactions only allow us to interact with each other's work and emails/posts, but clearly we aren't quite as capable of this meritocracy as is commonly stated. I wonder how much differently these women are treated online as opposed to in person when interacting with the same people.

If the yellow-red card system does catch on, I would prefer to see the green card avoided. I don't know if it really adds anything to the system, and I worry that it would detract from people understanding what they did wrong. "I got a green card, but also a yellow card. I'm still good to women though, that second chick was just a crazy bitch." It seems like it gives people a way to justify their bad deeds with other good deeds.

However people attempt to do it, it would be lovely to see this kind of behavior weeded out, as it provides both a point of hypocrisy and isolation that benefits no one.

jasonlotito 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Honest question: As an observer, when should I feel comfortable interjecting? Things like "if the afflicted party looks uncomfortable" seems rather vague, and just because I am offended doesn't mean the person receiving it is offended (I've known this to be the case). I'm honestly interested in knowing the best way to gauge when I should act without insulting people that are offended. I'm referring to the non-obvious cases, of course. Unwanted groping is fairly obvious, for example. However, agressive flirting without a clear sign?
unreal37 57 minutes ago 3 replies      
Are there problems that actually occur AT the defcon conference? Sounds like most of the anecdotes are from parties, where alcohol is a factor. Is defcon a conference or a party?
fein 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
DefCon or 5 million college bars across the country?

You could have replaced those two terms and ended up with the same article. Perhaps the problem isn't just a nerd demographic issue.

stcredzero 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
DefCon should follow the advice of the characters from Bizet's Carmen:

    Quand il s'agit de tromperie,
de duperie,
de volerie,
il est toujours bon, sur ma foi,
d'avoir les femmes avec soi.
Et sans elles,
mes toutes belles,
on ne fait jamais rien de bien!

In its day, it was probably a bit of socially accepted misogyny, but I think we can re-contextualize it here. If one engaging in strip club antics has no women as friends or colleagues, one should ask if the bacchanal is just a form of overcompensation.

EDIT: That is overcompensation for a lonely sausage-fest life. This is why gay engineer's lives are better than yours:


glenntzke 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
I strongly agree with the need for professionalism and social etiquete in all public and professional situations and I'm glad that is a running theme as of late and that sexual harrasment is being targeted. I think that the cards idea is absurd, though; awarding immature behavior a red card and rewarding 'good behavior' in any way - as opposed to simply treating adults like adults - is itself innapropriate.

I think the correct way to deal with harrasment is those who partake are either simply banned from the con or dealt with more severely depending on the conduct, and those who behave simply continue enjoying the benefits of conferencing with like-minded individuals of all genders and backgrounds.

kropson 55 minutes ago 1 reply      
Sexual Harassment is a problem, but I am not convinced that a card system is the way to solve it. If a woman is being a jerk at a conference does that mean I can card her? I was just reading of a top official (a women)in the US government who is accused of sexual harassment of her subordinates. Any sort of rules that favor one sex over another will be used to do just that. I am a big fan of codes of conduct at conferences. If someone violates them (be male or female) they are tossed out, period.
sp332 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion on the article he's talking about: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4326647
andy_herbert 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
No excuses here, but who would have thought that male hormones and alcohol would lead to such behavior.
nookiemonster 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
idiots. Most of the fucks who pull this shit are no-value skiddies.
bejar37 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
How an app with 200,000 downloads led to developer homelessness penny-arcade.com
35 points by PixelRobot  1 hour ago   29 comments top 17
alanfalcon 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Such a confused and poorly written article. The developers aren't homeless because they had 200,000 downloads... They're homeless despite 200,000 downloads because they're game developers and not salespeople and so didn't even consider that they have to actually make the sale! Apple and Google and Amazon provide the big parking lot where people show up and have money in-hand, but if you give away the goods and never ask for the money, of course you'll end up broke. I'm glad to see that the developers have taken some steps to change the situation, but from what can be gleaned from the article, it sounds like they're not really handling the situation well.
Zimahl 18 minutes ago 1 reply      
While this is a sad story, I'm finding it hard to feel sorry for them. This is a prime example of excellent execution but poor marketing.

First, I've never heard of this game an it looks pretty awesome. My wife and I loved The Incredible Machine and this seems like a great derivation on that.

Second, it's iPad only so you are missing out on a ton of iPhone sales. I've bought stuff on my iPhone which I didn't on my iPad. It would be great if it sync'd between the two.

Third, .67%?! You've made some poor design choices if you can't get more people to upgrade that that. Sounds like you gave away the buffet and not just a taste test.

From the article author:
I had downloaded the game based on the positive word of mouth, and had already enjoyed what felt like a wide amount of content without paying anything.
I wasn't even aware there was anything to pay for to unlock ...
I learned I could buy the game .. I went looking for that option .. took me a few minutes to figure out how to pay ...

This plug on Penny Arcade should give them a significant bump in revenue. Tycho and Gabe could talk up toilet bowl cleaner and the PA audience would go out and buy it in an instant.

tomku 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sounds like they wanted to get the sales figures of the addictive IAP-dependent top-selling games, but without any of the actual psychology behind it. Doesn't work like that. The reason those other games were in the top 25 weren't just because they had IAPs - nearly every mobile game has IAPs nowadays, whether they're initially free or not. It was because they struck the "right" balance between entertaining and manipulative.

In particular, most of the games/apps I've tried that use that "upgrade from free via in-app purchase" model make it annoyingly easy to upgrade. They remind you when you finish a level. They remind you when you start the app, and when you go back to the main menu. They have buttons for full-version features that just pop up a "Sorry, you need to upgrade to do that, click here to do so!" dialog. They beat you over the head with the idea of upgrading until you submit, and going by the sales figures, it seems to work. That's how they make conversions, and if you're going to leave that out you're probably better off pursuing a different style of monetization.

credo 25 minutes ago 3 replies      
At first, 200,000 downloads sounded impressive, getting into the top apps lists is also impressive, but the problem is outlined in the second paragraph.

>>Gasketball was released for free, with a one-time in-app purchase that unlocks the rest of the game offered for $2.99. The conversion rate to the paid version of the game sits at 0.67%.

It seems like they should figure out why the conversion rate is low (e.g. perhaps the free version offers too much functionality for free, perhaps the free version quality is poor and users aren't motivated to pay more etc...)

fijal 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm seriously sick with people complaining that the software they gave away for free didn't make them any money. Maybe we need a better business model for people who make other people's life better, but hey, at the point you make the decision to give away stuff for free, please don't complain.

DISCLAIMER: I'm making Open Source software and I can (sometimes) make a living out of it. I'm trying not to complain too much though

coryl 25 minutes ago 2 replies      
1) Don't spend two years working on your iPad game before you ship it. Far too long a cycle.

2) As an indie dev, you're suppose to attack the easiest, lowest hanging fruit to build your income base. After you're past a point, you can take on ambitious long-term projects. Otherwise you are always depending on a "hit" title.

tarice 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
It sounds like a major reason they've had such terrible conversion rates to the paid version is that nobody could figure out how to actually buy the game.

Remember: When people want to give you money, make it as easy as possible.

Hopefully they get some better conversion after their update:
"There was an update available for the game, and after applying it, an “unlock the full game” message was added under the main logo."

larrik 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
1) Depending on writing games for your income is foolish. Very few people make real money from games.

2) In-App Purchases come in 2 flavors: The kind that are permanent, and the kind that aren't. Apple doesn't tell you which one you are buying, which means that I just don't buy any, generally.

3) The few times I experimented with IAPs, my conversion rates were also total crap.

S_A_P 18 minutes ago 1 reply      
I personally am pretty turned off to in app purchases. Most games are only getting worse. I cannot count the number of times that I have been approached by my 5 year old asking for me to "type in my name so I can have _______" while playing angry birds, jetpack joyride, or where's my water.

The problem is that he doesn't realize that there is real money tied to that. To him, I just enter my iTunes password and the level/swag/etc that he wants magically appears. Most of these games are geared towards kids, and they may or may not understand this. IAP is a great way to disappoint children!!!

nevinera 21 minutes ago 2 replies      
This smacked of RIAA logic. It doesn't matter what your conversion rate is when your game is free - non-converts don't cost you money.
jonny_eh 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think it's important for stories like this to get out there to contrast with big successes like Super Meat Boy and Fez (which were featured in the awesome movie "Indie Game: The Movie").
mbenjaminsmith 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm currently building a game company so I sympathize with these guys, but it sounds like most of this is self inflicted.

1. Development cycle is way too long. You have to move much faster in mobile, especially for a casual game.

2. Assume financial failure for each game. Doesn't sound very encouraging but you should never count on income from a new title, especially if you're trying out new ways of monetizing.

3. Keep a cushion. If you need to take some time off to contract then do it. Running out of cash isn't an option.

4. Don't leave customer acquisition to chance. It sounds like their customer acquisition strategy was based solely on app store visibility (and hope).

Irene 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Marketing tweaks could make a difference, but it would not make the developer rich. As one recent article states: "Almost no apps cover their development costs and software services only make money in "extremely unusual" cases."
smartician 1 minute ago 0 replies      
So their first game sold for $2.99 up front and earned them $20k-$40k for two years. I would call that successful. Then, for their second game, instead of sticking to what works, they made the decision to switch to a freemium model, and made the mistake of making the "free" mode too good, and neglected to advertise in-game that there even is a premium version to unlock. Many lessons to be learned here, but rather stunning that they weren't able to fix this much earlier, before becoming homeless.
AznHisoka 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
These guys are homeless? I'm willing to shell $1000 to buy ownership of the entire game :)

But it sounds like they focused too little on making money. You can't give everything away for free. Give people a taste of the good stuff, but make them pay for the rest.

rokhayakebe 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Change the game name, Change the action names, Change the colors (nothing else), Put the new thing on the appstore, Report results.
Shoomz 37 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's an interesting article and I love how they're approaching app sales. There are some successes out there that are doing well with this sales model (the most recent download I've had like this is Outwitters: http://onemanleft.com/). It is hard to see where the app sales ecosystem is going though (and if consumers will really dictate this path).
Jsmn, a minimalistic JSON parser in C bitbucket.org
42 points by jasonmoo  2 hours ago   21 comments top 8
udp 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
The code is certainly very short, but what about \u escape sequences in strings, parsing different representations of numbers, etc.? Since those things are part of the JSON standard, you're not a JSON parser if you just leave them to the application to handle.

Since this skimps out on half of the work, it won't even be able to tell you with certainty what's valid JSON and what isn't.

(disclaimer: I also wrote a popular ANSI C JSON parser)

Xion 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is not a JSON parser, it's a tokenizer. From a parser I'd expect at least acknowledgement of the basic key-value association.

It doesn't say that it's not useful. It's just that for anything non-trivial, you'd need to supplement this library with quite a bit of your own code, e.g. a stack for tracking nesting levels.

alisdair 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
I wrote some simple jsmn examples, since it doesn't ship with any: https://github.com/alisdair/jsmn-example/

And then I wrote about writing the examples: http://alisdair.mcdiarmid.org/2012/08/14/jsmn-example.html

duaneb 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
It fails to parse basic unicode escapes - not a JSON parser.
benatkin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Direct link to the source: https://bitbucket.org/zserge/jsmn/src/1caee52d37e3/jsmn.c

This looks good to me. It isn't going to be the fastest or the shortest (no we aren't golfing) but it's simple and easy to understand.

nwjsmith 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks good. For those of us shopping around, what advantages does Jsmn have over yajl?
gilgad13 1 hour ago 2 replies      
If we're golfing:


Appears to work the same way, though it doesn't bubble back type information.

(Also, the `goto * go[ * cur];` trick was pretty crazy the first time I saw it)

rmk 1 hour ago 1 reply      
How is this different from jansson? I have used jansson in the past, and it has served me very well.
Git-annex assistant: Like DropBox, but with your own cloud kickstarter.com
122 points by urza  5 hours ago   37 comments top 11
sciurus 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Joey blogs his progress on git-annex assistant in detail at http://git-annex.branchable.com/design/assistant/blog/

Here's a post from his personal blog that hints at how he can afford to work on this project for a year on only $20,000- http://joeyh.name/blog/entry/notes_for_a_caretaker/

tomku 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Very cool, but I suspect that making it user-friendly and slick will end up being much more difficult than implementing the actual functionality was.

Edit: I have another question/concern, does the implementation in Haskell mean that the end product will have a runtime dependency on GHC or the Haskell Platform?

rlpb 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd love to hear Joey's answer on this question: why Haskell?
Johngibb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds similar in practice (not implementation) to AeroFS [1] which is a peer to peer syncing service. Just make one of your peers something cloud-based and reliable.

Very interesting space!

[1] https://www.aerofs.com/

timtadh 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't look closely at the kickstarter page but I use gitdocs[1] which is basically works like dropbox but syncs to a git repository. It works ok for my (light) usage.

[1] https://github.com/bazaarlabs/gitdocs

[edit] It looks like git-annex solves the large binary blob problem with git (which I don't think gitdocs does) so maybe they could be integrated?

dt7 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems quite similar to SparkleShare: http://sparkleshare.org/

Edit: Oops, SparkleShare is mentioned on the page. Looks like this will work better with larger files. He does mention that SparkleShare is a GUI and not 'just a folder', although in my experience it is 'just a folder', like Dropbox.

jt2190 2 hours ago 1 reply      
At first glance, OwnCloud seems to be similar:


(That said, git-annex assistant looks very cool.)

omgmog 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems to do what Sparkleshare does, except Sparkleshare uses Github - http://sparkleshare.org/
rjzzleep 4 hours ago 3 replies      
i'm not sure if git is the right thing to choose to version big binary files.
BruceIV 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe this is really juvenile, but does the logo look like a bladder to anyone else?
The first Django site to run on Python 3 myks.org
226 points by mYk  7 hours ago   41 comments top 12
mYk 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Since the showcase is low on information, here's a summary of the current status:

- the porting strategy is explained here: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/topics/python3/

- the porting work happens in the master branch; commits related to the Python 3 port are usually prefixed by [py3]: https://github.com/django/django/commits/master

- the test suite doesn't pass yet, but the hardest part is done: http://ci.djangoproject.com/job/Django%20Python3/

- most of the work happened over the last three weeks, and 5 or 6 core developers are contributing significantly

arocks 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Not only a major boost for Python 3 adoption but also a reference for how Unicode handling [1] can be successfully ported from Python 2.x libraries.

They seem to be on schedule as well, which is brilliant [2].

[1]: http://wiki.python.org/moin/PortingDjangoTo3k
[2]: https://www.djangoproject.com/weblog/2012/mar/13/py3k/

gitarr 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Well, the authors of frameworks and libraries still on Python 2 and without having concrete upgrade plans will have to either do something soon or others will take their space.

Python 3 is here, now.

SiVal 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
What is the estimated release date of Django 1.5?
redsymbol 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Heck yeah! My startup uses python heavily, and it's ALL Python3 except for the public-facing website... which is currently Django1.4+Python2.7. As recently as six weeks ago, I tried porting it over, and had to abandon the effort... as soon as this gets stable enough, you can bet we'll make the switch.
tocomment 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Relatedly, what's the correct way to install Python 3 on a Linux server (debian based) so I can try this? while keeping Python 2.x.

The last time I tried doing that I ended up in some weird quagmire with the LD_LIBRARY_PATH being messed up. There must be a standard way to install it?

marcusbartli 4 hours ago 2 replies      
So glad to see python 3 being adopted more and more by major web frameworks. This might be the wrong place to ask, but have there been any updates on python 3's wsgi or flask support? I've been out of the loop.
tocomment 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know how they decided on that porting strategy? Why not move to Python three and run 3to2 for backwards compatibility?
antihero 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Awesome, good to see this move forward. However, what is the django ecosystem support like?
crimsoncoder 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We are a django shop and I have been concerned about the transition to python 3 for our projects as well as the community in general. Even though I don't think this the end all for a migration, it is a really promising sign. Nice to see this transition starting to occur in the django world.
sho_hn 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Best thing I've seen all day.

(Go ahead and downvote me, this comment has absolutely value, yet despite knowing that I'm so happy I still feel compelled to post it. :)

charliesome 6 hours ago 0 replies      
nice to see django take python 3 seriously
GCC switches from C to C++ gnu.org
74 points by Xyzodiac  4 hours ago   44 comments top 6
parfe 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
>>we'd have to get used to using auto_ptr

>auto_ptr is broken. We should use shared_ptr instead

It has begun!

One of the most enjoyable parts of C++ is the arguing over which parts the language should be allowed.

twoodfin 2 hours ago 2 replies      
A useful discussion of the conversion and its motivation in the GCC Wiki:


arturadib 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"What would Linus do?"
duaneb 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow, I honestly never thought I'd see the day.
kingmanaz 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It will be interesting to see the OpenBSD project's response to this.
reacweb 2 hours ago 5 replies      
build change to require a C++ compiler is a no go.

One of the reasons to install gcc on a machine is the absence of a descent C++ compiler. 20 years ago, the C compiler of Sun was completely broken and we were happy to have gcc.

Interviews with Y Combinator partners: Garry Tan tapin.tv
43 points by tylermenezes  3 hours ago   8 comments top 3
juanbyrge 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
This site looks like shit on mobile. And it requires flash, do I can't watch it on my IPod touch.
abcd_f 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'd be very curious to look at Garry's work.

I know two other devs who developed seriously impressive design skills over the years and they both have an inclination toward specific design style - clean and simple, but nuanced. They design as they code, basically, so it'd be nice to have another sample point to validate the conjecture.

jhuckestein 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The sad robot has notified the admins :(
Oracle proposes Java GPU support java.net
42 points by Mitt  3 hours ago   11 comments top 4
pspeter3 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a great addition and could make games like Minecraft run way better across machines
mey 1 hour ago 1 reply      
While things like http://lwjgl.org/ are great.

It would be fantastic for multiple reasons for this to be part of the JVM. Would make packaging code that uses the GPU simpler for cross system releases.

Could bring more desktop/game projects to Java.

kator 2 hours ago 2 replies      
How is this different then:


Discussed here a couple days ago?


bane 3 hours ago 0 replies      
MPEG claims its new standard H.265 halves video bandwidth with no quality loss itwire.com
117 points by Suraj-Sun  6 hours ago   96 comments top 16
pwthornton 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This technology could be used to cut down on files sizes, to raise video quality and to up resolution. A few thoughts:

1. 1080p streaming video from Apple, Netflix and others looks pretty good, but it suffers from more compression artifacts when compared to Blu-ray. It simply doesn't look as good. With a more efficient compression technology, streaming video could have similar file sizes to today's H.264 video but look more like Blu-ray.

2. I already own a laptop that does above 1080p video. When Apple release a Retina iMac or Thunderbolt display it will be around 5k. Other manufactures will be there too. 4k or so TVs and projectors are on their way. Streaming technology makes a lot more sense than a new physical format for higher resolution video. In order to realistically deliver 4k video (or 5k video like The Hobbit is being shot in) over IP, we would need better compression than H.264

3. Files sizes could be cut down, allowing people to consume more video without going over their caps. This would also allow mobile devices to store more high quality video content for on the go.

The best case scenario would be that we get a combo of all three. 4k-5k video content is still a bit way for home use, but when it does come. H.265 sounds like the way to go.

In the next few years, this technology could be used to cut down on file sizes some, while also upping the quality of video. This is what we saw with Apple's 1080p video which uses high profile H.264 video, whereas Apple's 720p video is main profile H.264. Yes, the 1080p videos are bigger, but not by much.

gmartres 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I participate in the GSoC and my project is an HEVC decoder for libav: https://github.com/smarter/libav/tree/hevc the decoder is contained in the libavcodec/hevc* files). It currently only decodes I-frames and doesn't include the in-loop filters.

Reference encoder: http://hevc.kw.bbc.co.uk/trac

Samples: ftp://ftp.kw.bbc.co.uk/hevc/hm-8.0-anchors/bitstreams/

Latest draft of the spec: http://phenix.it-sudparis.eu/jct/doc_end_user/current_docume...

mark-r 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Half the bandwidth with no quality loss is a pretty bold claim. Bold enough to be unbelievable - it's not like the existing codecs are doing a horrible job. Data rates are easily measurable, so I'd guess that "no quality loss" is an exaggeration. Anybody have any data on this?
sp332 5 hours ago 2 replies      
There are some details on the actual compression techniques here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding#Fe... although at first glance I don't see anything especially different from H.264 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Features

eta: For historical and comparative purposes, here's DarkShikari's evaluation of an early prototype of an encoder. http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/360

peterwwillis 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Sweet! Half the bandwidth, double the copyright infringement.

I still remember the days when downloading movies was only practical because someone had compressed them down to two 150-megabyte videos. When I got my first 'high quality' 580-megabyte copy of The Matrix, I was thrilled.

Encoding used to be an art form. Now people just use whatever codec they want with default settings to get that 50GB Blu-ray movie down to a couple gigabytes and call it a day.

VMG 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Assuming this is true across the board and not only for some edge cases, will this actually mean that video files get smaller? It seems to me that this is a case of Jevons paradox[1] where increased efficiency leads to higher consumption. Example: x264 led to 720p encoded videos with higher file size rather smaller files with lower resolution video content.


shmerl 4 hours ago 3 replies      
They surely plan to lock the industry into their new closed codec for another long time, since patents on H.264 will eventually expire. Will anyone come out with improved open codecs to counter that for the sake of open Web?
MikeCapone 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
I find this very exciting. I hope that video streaming sites like Twitch.tv will adopt it rapidly, as it would be particularly good for esports and other game-streaming applications where a detailed picture makes a bigger difference than with "realistic/film" videos.
colinshark 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm pretty libertarian, but for things like standards and formats, I really think the government should be stepping in and taking control. Standards, formats, and basic internet access are the new "roads" of the modern world. Commerce can flourish when we aren't fighting over them.

Even for something R&D heavy like video codecs. How much money are we dumping into the NSA right now? Use some of that.

ck2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So it's doing it with half the minimum block size and looking far forward (and backward) in the stream.

The cpu requirements must be intense. If they cannot do it with hardware accelerated video drivers for current hardware, it sounds like it will tie up multiple cores?

Maybe they like the idea of making everyone rebuy hardware.

podperson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The benefit will probably go first to someone like Apple or Google who can both supply streaming content and control the software (and ideally hardware) on devices (I imagine for low-powered devices you'll want hardware decoding, so this will prevent Apple from, say, adding support to existing AppleTVs).

I guess we can all complain when the iPhone 5 doesn't support it.

brittohalloran 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If it's really that much better they should give themselves more credit than .001
Jabbles 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This claim is pretty accurate. Since the standard isn't finalised yet it will be a while before the hardware is developed to make it widely used in mobile devices, as it's improbable that a software encoder could be made that uses little power.
mistercow 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm, still no overlapping blocks, apparently. Do other people find block artifacts less distracting than I do, and that's why nobody's trying to fix it for image and video compression?
jpdoctor 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm assuming it's proprietary like the other MPEGs - Any word on how problematic the licensing will be?
MattSayar 4 hours ago 3 replies      
>...by 2015, [video] is predicted to account for 90 percent of all network traffic.

So with this new standard, are they hoping to cut that down to 45%?

Flash Player exits Android bbc.com
100 points by equilibrium  6 hours ago   44 comments top 9
avar 6 hours ago 4 replies      
I continue to be amazed at the effort Adobe is going to to make their own platform irrelevant. They claim to want to focus on "premium copy-protected video" but do they really think that only targeting that to desktop systems when mobile adoption is skyrocketing is a good move?
andybak 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's the thing.

It initially seemed like a good thing for Android to support Flash but as time as gone on it's become apparent that the end result is a lot of sites produced a premium iOS experience and sub-par Flash based one for Android. Whether this flawed experience was due to limitations in the platform or lack of effort on behalf of the service I wouldn't like to say but it happened either way.

Hopefully now with Flash unequivocally end-of-life'd (on mobile at the very least) we might see Android devices being served the same experience as iOS devices.

chimi 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Flash still works on my HP TouchPad, but it's not that good. Video almost always lags the audio which makes them awful to watch and Video playback is the only think that matters with flash anymore and it fails at that so, I really see no purpose for it. I wish all the sites would just adopt native video.
omaranto 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Honestly, I don't think I would have even noticed my tablet didn't have Flash. I don't have Flash on my Linux laptop (I use Chromium there) and haven't missed it --its nothing ideological: if I ever need Flash I'll install it right away. On the Windows netbooks we do have Flash but only because there we use Chrome instead of Chromium and it comes with Flash. I don't think I actually use it for anything other than playing video games with my son, which is not very often (his favorite games now are puzzle apps he plays on an iPod Touch, not that he plays those that much either).

(Off topic: now that I mentioned it all, it felt like we have a lot of hardware, but then I realized altogether I payed less than the cost of a high end laptop for it.)

lmm 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The BBC could solve its android problems in a microsecond if it wanted to - just have it play the same unencrypted stream that they give to iDevices.
Newky 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a huge issue for me that I recently faced when I bought a google nexus. Flash cannot be found in the jellybean market, and the only way to get flash working is to install it through apk and use a developemental firefox build. Even at that, the quality is blurry.

I know flash is dying but unfortunately a number of sites (mostly video sites) which I frequent regularly have not made a full (if any) conversion meaning there is a whole sector of the internet that is not accessible from my tablet.

As I bought it as a media consuming device, I expected less of a harsh cut from Adobe and Google.

nicholassmith 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Flash is always going to have a place on the desktop, but as a developer having to make a choice between Flash & HTML5 or just HTML5 is going to be pretty simple for a big chunk of purposes.

Lets hope Adobe focus on HTML5 tools.

mathieuh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Android users get screwed over with the iPlayer app. Not everyone wants to install Flash (and now no one can even if they want to), yet for some reason they feel need to serve the video in a different way to the perfectly fine iOS stream.
rjzzleep 5 hours ago 0 replies      
well nice going google, first effectively kill or setback html5 video by torpedoing everyone with their anti h264 campaign and then get f*ed up the bum by them.

(here's a guy who 2 years ago said that flash is effectively dead long live html5 video)

pps. i won't really miss flash. but i do miss the time where every site had h264 vids up

Andreessen-backed virtual workforce MobileWorks (YCS11) does 1M tasks in year 1 techcrunch.com
36 points by anandkulkarni  3 hours ago   10 comments top 6
physcab 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm impressed with the accuracy of MobileWorks over mechanical Turk (or pure MT- not sure if MW just filters workers heavily). I tried a receipt transcription task where I fed the same instructions and same photo to both services. Out of the box, MW was 100% while MT was about 90% for the same cost.
pbreit 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like seeing all of these companies like MobileWorks, Exec, Uber, et al that are solving problems that are very challenging but in more of an operational way than technical (although technology obviously plays a large role).
kurtvarner 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Where do they hire their workforce from? Are they overseas or American workers?

[edit] The main reason I was asking this, was I find it really surprising that you're able to hire skilled/educated workers at an outsourcing rate. It's even more surprising that you're finding them organically through press. I'd imagine most TechCrunch readers are over qualified for that kind of work. Kudos to you for making it happen though.

dm8 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've worked with everyone on their founding team at Cal and they are all amazing! Kudos to MW team :
prayag 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We are also launching a new and improved API today. https://www.mobileworks.com/developers/
zio99 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anand, congrats on the milestone!
Mars Rover Curiosity Survives 'Brain Surgery,' Set for 1st Drive space.com
40 points by CWuestefeld  4 hours ago   14 comments top 4
DanielBMarkham 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It's interesting to put this in technology we all know.

So it takes them four days to release?

Not bad, considering the ftp is over 40 million miles and at 160 bps. Too bad they couldn't set up a CI server.

AllTheThings 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one visualizing a Lisp REPL into the rover right now?
CodeCube 2 hours ago 1 reply      
most of the comments on that page are reprehensible
mkoryak 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I initially thought that the upgrade was needed because they released a new version as the rover was en-route to mars. That would make sense, but the article says that the upgrade was made to switch the rover from landing mode to driving mode. Why wouldn't they just send a 256mb flash drive along with that 2M pixel camera to upgrade the rover when it got there?
SmartAsset (YC S12) Raises Money to Disrupt Financial Advice techcrunch.com
26 points by mcarvin  3 hours ago   15 comments top 7
chimi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The original title is, "Y Combinator-Backed Financial Decision Making Startup SmartAsset Raises $900K" which is better, because they aren't disrupting anything. If the title hadn't had 'disrupt' in it, I'd have been less likely to roll my eyes.
aresant 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Brilliant service, quick suggestion - the database that matches IP-to-City that you're using to auto-fill "Your Location" on the "taxesintro" page and others is inaccurate.

Got my city wrong by ~15 miles.

Interesting because it was IDENTICALLY inaccurate to a project I was working on a few weeks ago, we upgraded to http://www.maxmind.com/app/city and that got it dialed in, imagine it would for you too (or if you're using their DB already, pay for the upgrade - we do once a quarter).

casca 1 hour ago 1 reply      
How is this different to the many other services that tell you how much house you can get for your money? A pretty UI and being YC-backed does not a "disruptor" make.
nickadams 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not to be confused with SmartWater: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/dynamic/press_center/site...

I know, I'm trolling. Sorry. But it's too similar. They should tweak it.

Moving on... for the most part it seems, big financial decisions like this are usually summed up as: "It depends." It's just hard to make reasonable recommendations since the answer is so dependent on each individual's situation.

For home buying decisions specifically, once you get beyond rent vs. buy calculations for X zip code, and into personal spending habits and discipline, work situations, family history, future plans, market trends, investment history and ability, and just general personal behavior, I can imagine it getting very tricky. (Not to mention how do you trust the information provided by the user without a personal relationship with that person or a decent history? Is it pulled from some source? Or are you just asking them?)

I'm curious to see how they handle that.

If they can give actual advice tailored to the individual based on all that supporting data, they have something. But if in the end it's just vague recommendations (essentially, "it depends") then it's just more of the same.

Not to mention the privacy challenges that would come with gathering all that data required to make solid recommendations.

Anyway, and interesting service worth keeping an eye on for sure. Tough nut to crack, but if they do it, they'll stand out.

codegeek 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I love what these guys are attempting. Home buying is a combination of many factors and anyone that can master the art of helping with this process will surely be an important player in the market. Good luck with this.
tolos 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I had no idea closing costs were so high (~6%). Guess I'll be waiting to buy a house for a little longer than I thought.
rodly 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing the author of this HN post is an employee at SmartAsset. Sensationalism only works on stupid people (read: for a long duration).
SMS Inbox Zero - get there with SendHub sendhub.com
6 points by ashrust  31 minutes ago   discuss
R.I.P. Harry Harrison, creator of the Stainless Steel Rat io9.com
90 points by uladzislau  6 hours ago   14 comments top 12
invalidOrTaken 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Rest In Peace indeed. I loved these.

Great computer scientists aside, does anyone enjoy as much acclaim from hackers as classic (which can mean whatever you want it to mean) science fiction authors? Society owes a lot to hackers and is starting to reward them with stock options and IPO's, but I wonder if it realizes how much of a debt hackers owe to SF authors.

m0nty 2 hours ago 0 replies      
podperson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry to hear it, but he at least had a good innings.

Odd that one of my favorite of his satirical novels, _Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers_ (a spoof of E. E. Doc Smith's books, the _Skylark_ series in particular) didn't get mentioned. _Bill the Galactic Hero_ is a spoof of military SF, _Starship Troopers_ in particular.

The Stainless Steel Rat books would make good material for movies.

nodata 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Harry Harrison's novel "Make Room! Make Room!" was the basis for the 1973 science fiction movie Soylent Green.
DavidAdams 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Harry Harrison was the first author I was really obsessed with. By the time I was 16, I'd read his entire body of work. I haven't read anything that he's written in the past 15 years or so. I suppose I ought to find one of his newer novels as a way to commemorate him. Any recommendations?
Uhhrrr 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've just been re-reading the first one. Action-packed, full of fantastical gizmos, and with just the right amount of snottiness. And yes, as is mentioned elsewhere, a very hackerish attitude towards life, especially on the social engineering front.
chris_wot 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh what? I loved these novels! I found them thrilling yet hilarious. Some of his other work was very provocative, a great SF author!
itmag 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My favorite Slippery Jim quote:

We must be as stealthy as rats in the wainscoting of their society. It was easier in the old days, of course, and society had more rats when the rules were looser, just as old wooden buildings have more rats than concrete buildings. But there are rats in the building now as well. Now that society is all ferrocrete and stainless steel there are fewer gaps in the joints. It takes a very smart rat indeed to find these openings. Only a stainless steel rat can be at home in this environment.

This, to me, describes the attitude of hustlers and hackers perfectly (albeit a bit metaphorically).

gadders 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Boo. I first came across these in the 2000AD versions, and then read the novels after.


SeanDav 3 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favourite SF authors. His Deathworld series is what got me started in SF in the first place.
MattSayar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, I remember reading his books non-stop. The cover image for this news story is actually the first Harry Harrison book I read, "The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted."

I hope somebody picks up the rights to turn these into movies.

generalcalm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, very sad to hear this... The Stainless Steel Rat books were a great love of mine in school. Harrison is a great SF writer!
How I Learned to Program in 23 Years jeffmatthewsmith.tumblr.com
11 points by jeffpersonified  1 hour ago   7 comments top 2
fein 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
I've read the article about 4 times now, and I still have no idea what the point of the title was.

You didn't learn to program in 23 years or 10 weeks. I'm an employed CS grad, and I still don't "know" how to program. Don't mistake this as an "I'm a graduate that can't code" statement, but instead "You (should)never stop learning, and therefore can never concretely know how to program".

Likewise, if you know you like to code, then why didn't you start already? Is this just supposed to be a "look at me, I'm in dev bootcamp for ruby!" attention call? I'm confused.

wmat 1 hour ago 2 replies      
"building beautiful, meaningful things. Things that people want."

Just because people want what you've built does not necessarily make it meaningful. Meaning is a very subjective, personal thing, based on your core values. What person x finds meaningful and is willing to pay for, person y may think is meaningless. So ask yourself whether you want to build something meaningful to you, based on your core values or do you just want to build the next hot game/app/whatever, and get rich. There's nothing wrong with the latter, but be honest with yourself.

Single Element MacBook Pro with CSS codepen.io
200 points by michaelkscott  12 hours ago   53 comments top 20
aidos 9 hours ago 0 replies      
If you add .macbook {zoom:4;} you can see how the detail is done. Basically you use lots of box-shadows to give you elements to glue together. The details on the front are not actually solid lines, but a collection of circles side by side.

That's when you realise this technique is a bit flawed - you can't actually scale the element and keep the detail, you'd be better off with an image. Not to take anything away from it though. It's good work.

javajosh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool, and I'm glad that someone is demonstrating a way to use CSS3 to create graphics in a way that doesn't require extra markup. One of the biggest problems with CSS3 is that, in a twist of irony, it's image composition power entices developers into adding markup to hang the CSS off of. This ends up complicating the markup merely to generate an image, which is a mistake.

This technique, on the other hand, using the :before and :after selectors shows the right way to use CSS3 image composition, if you choose to do it. This example should be shouted from the hilltops to all front-end web devs.

aba_sababa 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
And now we've got a Macbook Air!


maqr 6 hours ago 1 reply      
There really should be a warning on all these demos, something like: "Don't actually draw with css in the wild, you'll break the web."
zbowling 9 hours ago 2 replies      

one line difference and you have the non-glossy screen version.

wickeand000 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here is the comparison between different web browsers. Note that the image does not even load in IE8, so it is not included.


joshuahedlund 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Impressive. While I'm generally familiar with CSS I haven't delved into the icon logo stuff yet. I'm toying with the idea of trying to create JS/CSS-based country/state maps with customizable mouseover/onclick functionality, since there aren't really any good free versions available (that I've found). This kind of stuff inspires me that it might be possible, though I have no idea how hard it would be to create geographically-shaped elements.
al_james 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. There have been many of these "Look what I can do in CSS" articles lately, and frankly, they are normally quite boring. However this is the first time I have ever gone "wow". Very impressive. Quite useless really, but good work.
peter_l_downs 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool. Not sure why I'd ever need this, but it's impressive that it can be done. Congratulations on making something awesome.
MattBearman 10 hours ago 2 replies      
While undoubtedly impressive, I think using css :before and :after kind of defeats the point of 'single element'
andrewfelix 7 hours ago 3 replies      
It's been well established that you can achieve just about any icon purely with CSS. Why is this getting so many upvotes?
blt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow, this markup language that provides shapes, positions, colors, gradients, and transparency can be used to create images!
lunarscape 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Chrome-only? Doesn't appear to work in Firefox nightly.

Edit: Somehow my fault. Works with new profile in FF14. Curiously doesn't work in my standard profile in Aurora or Nightly even with plugins disabled.

kondro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like it's probably even smaller than the equivalent SVG would be. Wish I had a use for it.
paulocal 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
added the macbook pro logo to top it off. hope you dont mind :D
phaemon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice!

text-align: center;
line-height: 100px;

to the .macbook css, so you can add text to the screen ;)

mparlane 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone else think the front is too wide for that perspective? My only criticism.
antidaily 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Pfft, thats not a retina display.
cjdentra 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool. Nice work.
irunbackwards 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you a wizard?
Abuse of Youtube's copyright infringement claim process for doxxing purposes owningyourshit.blogspot.ca
105 points by iProject  7 hours ago   42 comments top 11
girlvinyl 6 hours ago 3 replies      
That is not how the DMCA works. All she has to do to file a counter claim is submit contact information of someone authorized to act on behalf of the works submitted, be that an attorney, friend or other business agent (the only requirement is a US address). Do you think Britney Spears puts her personal phone number on RIAA take down requests? The RIAA doesn't even own the copyrights they get taken down themselves, they're acting on behalf of the copyright owner.

Also, if you're a site owner or content owner, you need to go right now to http://copyright.gov/onlinesp/ and register as a designated agent for content and notifications. Get ahead of this before it becomes a problem. It's $35.

knowtheory 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Regardless of the truth of this woman's specific claims... This seems like the point at which youtube has to make decisions about who their automated takedown system actually serves.

Reddit's CEO refers to Reddit as akin to a city-state and himself as mayor. Youtube has essentially the same problems in governance. They have to juggle a host of competing interests ranging from free speech rights, to copyright infringement, to the right to privacy. It has constituents large and small, individual users on up to multimillion dollar companies. Their constituents are not aligned on a host of issues, and this is clearly one of them.

So we know whose side the federal government is on, the question is, whose side is Youtube on?

0x0 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting technique, and I see how the behaviour of the opponents can be annoying. But the lawsuit threat is ridiculous. Is youtube required to provide free anonymous video hosting to this person? Perhaps she should ask for her money back instead.
drucken 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As far as I understand, Youtube operates the following copyright tools [1],

A. Content owners: Copyright Infringement Notification (modelled on US DMCA takedown).

- content owners fill out a form with specific pre-stated legalese expressions for specific content.

- contact: email address is preferred, no specific contact information is mandated.

- user content blocked, replaced with claim statement and Strike received on account.

B. Content owners: Copyright Verification Programme.

- this seems to be an expedited and broader version of the CIN tool for mass content removal.

- need to identify agents for your ownership. Identity process unknown.

- user content blocked, replaced with claim statement and Strike received on account.

C. Content owners: Content ID (nothing whatsoever to do with US DMCA).

- an automated or semi-automated process to flag content according to any of a number of policies that content owners decide.

- this includes deciding what is or is not "Fair Use"...

- unlike the CIN and CVP processes, accounts of matching content are not issued Strikes, which would ultimately close the account if sufficient number received, but the content is blocked.

D. Content owners: Retractions.

- process that requires specific content identification, and content owner name as signature from original claimant account.

- removes claims and restrictions of CIN and CVP. Unclear how, if at all, it interacts with Content ID.

E. Users: Copyright Counter-Notifications.

- form that, among other things, requires full address information that is always relayed to original claimant.

- note. copyright laws of user's country of residence are irrelevant. The form of allowable counter-notification is based on the "location" [2] of the original claimant.

- Youtube "may then reinstate the material in question at our discretion".

In this case, the two claimants likely used the CIN which will result in Strikes without action by the user with Copyright Counter-Notifications.

In short and in my opinion, it is clear that this process is highly asymmetrical and prone to abuse - in this case as a form of harassment, if as claimed the user had zero infringing content in her videos.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/t/copyright_owners

[2] Ambiguous if whether that could refer to jurisdiction of any of the registered agents under the CVP, for example.

drcube 2 hours ago 1 reply      
You have a blog, post your videos there. Stay off of Youtube, because it has shitty policies like this. Easy peasy.

Don't complain when people or companies abuse the control you voluntarily gave them over your content and creations. Take that control back, and own your shit.

peterwwillis 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish I could care about this, but the 'doxx' and lulz and generally childish writing make me assume this is another case of internet entitlement issues.
chris_wot 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps they should refer to 17 USC § 512 (f). She can sue for misrepresentation. Frankly, I'm surprised that nobody has! I'm sure if she wanted she could extract a lot of money. It would sure stop frivilous takedown requests, too!
lubujackson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
YouTube's policy is beyond broken and is clearly being abused at this point. On the other hand, it a free site giving you unlimited hosting bandwidth for video. I don't think you get to sue the hell out of them for having internal policies you don't like - feel free to host your videos on your own server.
__alexs 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Transfer the ownership to EFF and put their info on the form?
at-fates-hands 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The easy solution to this is to simply delete your account - and not engage in this little game, and then move your videos to Vimeo or some other video hosting site.
porsupah 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The posting implies that the RL information required to make a counterclaim will be supplied to the party making the complaint.

Is this indeed how YouTube's process works? If so, it certainly would seem to be problematic. A proxy, such as a shell company, or simply a friend, would seem to be plausible alternatives.

Distributed Systems with ZeroMQ dzone.com
46 points by jpro  4 hours ago   6 comments top 2
jandrewrogers 3 hours ago 2 replies      
To make a distinction that the article does not (but should), ZeroMQ is a network transport abstraction layer. It is not useful for many distributed systems despite the title for the same reason. For non-trivial distributed systems, behaviors that are correct for network transport use cases that are built into ZeroMQ are pathological for distributed system use cases.

In the specific case of ZeroMQ, there is a deep underlying assumption that logical queues are fundamentally independent things. As a corollary, scheduling what work is done on which queues is of no consequence as long as the contract of the individual queues is upheld.

For any non-trivial distributed system, the above assumption is not true. Correct and scalable scheduling of operations is a function of the current status of all logical queues visible to a process. The processing priority of one queue is dependent on the current status of all other queues, which can change from operation to operation. Distributed systems are cooperatively scheduled and much of the self-balancing behavior of good distributed system designs come from this adaptive scheduling behavior. Unfortunately, systems like ZeroMQ intentionally hide and encapsulate all of the properties of the network transport that would be used to inform the scheduling of operations over a set of logical queues. And if you assume logical queues are fundamentally independent from a scheduling perspective then that is a good design.

ZeroMQ is a good for moving bits over a network but it is often not a correct choice for distributed systems.

KenCochrane 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you like this, you should check out ZeroRPC, it handles a lot of the boilerplate code you would need to write by hand.

- http://zerorpc.dotcloud.com
- https://github.com/dotcloud/zerorpc-python

Humble Indie Bundle for Android 3 humblebundle.com
5 points by c-oreills  14 minutes ago   discuss
Why Facebook comments is a bad idea for your site techfounder.net
75 points by pytrin  6 hours ago   69 comments top 21
alttag 3 hours ago 6 replies      
I don't particularly like the trend of sites offloading their commenting mechanisms to Twitter, Facebook, DISQUS, etc. If it's Facebook, I'll never see it, due to browser plugins. Twitter is often too short for a good conversation, but if you do use it, run a script to import/display related tweets instead of making me click. I'm not a fan of DISQUS either, partly because I use Ghostery. (Alhough, it's good that the new version has a quick "enable once and reload" feature.)

If the purpose of your site is to generate discussion, include a discussion mechanism. If you like the clean look and don't want comments, expect less feedback.

Sending users elsewhere, or requiring extra clicks to see the conversation means less engagement. Maybe that's what some want, and use it as an effort to separate wheat and chaff ... but frankly, that's what moderation is for.

JumpCrisscross 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorely needed: "Why generalising from specific anecdotes is a bad idea for your life".

Have sites that enabled Fb commenting experienced a decrease in viewership? Commenting? Quality of comments? How does this vary based on the audience in question?

Some of these questions have academic answers, some don't. The proper way to figure this out is by by experimenting. Not affirming diktats from your personal beliefs.

DanielBMarkham 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a bunch of sites, and I've experimented with various options. (Example of one site with FB comments on: http://www.hn-books.com/Books/Slaughterhouse-Five.htm ) I've also tried LiveFyre comments and a few other systems.

If there's a benefit to FB commenting by providing more engagement, I'm not seeing it. I love the LiveFyre system, but I'm not seeing a lot of engagement there, either.

My opinion is that any little thing you do to make commenting harder by even a tiny amount has a huge impact on participation. To make matters worse, you're giving up sometimes valuable feedback and participation content to Facebook, which just monetizes it instead of you.

Maybe there's a way to make it pay off. If so, I'd like to hear it.

brudgers 4 hours ago 1 reply      
IMO, a Facebook account shouldn't be a prerequisite for any action on the internet other than using Facebook.
jonknee 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I have Facebook resources blocked (thanks Facebook Disconnect!) so I won't ever know if your site has Facebook comments. Even if I saw them I would never comment using Facebook, the same as never using it to log-into a third party service. No need to give FB the opportunity to once again change their rules and share stuff I'd rather they not.
franze 4 hours ago 2 replies      
i did some simple number crunching some time ago (> 8 months ago) on some clients sites and on a few private and friendly (which gave me access to their data) web-properties. it wasn't a big sample (6 sites all in all) but well, it's the data i had. outcome:

using fb comments - on average over all sites - always increase the valid comments you will get - and compared to old wordpress-standard-installations, decreases spam (the difference was between "a lot of spam" and "nothing")

i did not apply a quality metric, but reading over the (valid, not spam) comments i could not determine a (subjective) trend in either (good / stupid) direction.

yeah, i'm not a big fan of fb comments either, but well, if your blogs goal is to get comments (for whatever reason) then i would advise for the fb comment plugin.

and: it would be cool if you prove me wrong (with data).

i think this is a good time as any to quote Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape: "If we have data, let's look at data. If all we have are opinions, let's go with mine."

mikeleeorg 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Here's a slightly different perspective.

I'm part of a group blog with an active community, and we've experimented with various commenting systems. Our problem hasn't been getting user engagement, it's getting quality engagement. The nature of our blog (a cultural blog) unfortunately invites a lot of trollish and abusive comments.

We've experimented with our blogging platform's native comment system, Disqus, LiveFyre, and Facebook. Right now, we've got Facebook Comments active. The number of abusive comments seems to have decreased, as have the number of good comments (most probably because of the barriers of using Facebook). So the jury is still out on which is best for us.

Looking at TechCrunch's comments, it doesn't look like Facebook Comments has helped their quality level that much - though it's much better than Disqus.

So I'd advise understanding your audience before deciding which comment system is best for your site. Each system has its pros & cons. You just have to determine if the cons are worth the pros for you.

alpb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am using DISQUS (version 2012) for a while on my personal blog and I am very pleased. I get more comments than the times I installed FB Comments, I get more traction and people actually share through DISQUS star button.

Here's a blog post I wrote about switching to DISQUS http://ahmetalpbalkan.com/blog/disqus-addressed-my-concerns-...

shell0x 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it's a bad practice to outsource data like comments in general. I prefer keeping controll over the comments. This way the commenters don't get monitored/analyzed by Facebook or another US company, which is important, especially as a European. Maybe Facebook don't like what the commenter wrote on your site and just censor the comment and you won't even realize it. Comments should stay on decentral places, which is important to avoid attacks against the freedom of speech.
thatusertwo 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Facebook comments are also bad for your viewers who don't have Facebook... Me for example.
AznHisoka 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It's also bad SEO-wise. User generated content can help you with long tail rankings
derwiki 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We use the Facebook comment widget on almost all the pages on Causes.com. Two quick comments:

- When we run a corporate brand community (such as causes.com/att), our clients LOVE the number of and types of comments that people leave on the page. We've all been impressed with the quality of the comments as well.

- Grammar filter (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/commen...): adds punctuation (e.g. periods at the end of sentences), trims extra whitespace, expands slang words (e.g. plz becomes please), adds a space after punctuation (e.g. Hi,Cat would become Hi, Cat), and fix common grammar mistakes (e.g. convert ‘dont' to ‘don't'). tl;dr Comments that look good encourage more good comments.

Facebook comments are obviously not a one-size-fits-all solution, but we've been able to use it pretty well.

gdilla 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I think one advantage of FB comments is that it supposedly cuts down on trolls, spam, and stupid arguments.
e12e 2 hours ago 1 reply      
On a related note: Does the site get a full copy of the comments? Can you do your own search, translate interesting discussions, go back years after facebook have changed their api, or cancelled your dev account, and read over an interesting discussion?

Anyone have experience with disqus in this regard?

Personally, if I enable comments on a site, it is because I hope the comments will form a constructive part of the content of that site. I wouldn't want half my content to disappear on account of a policy change or bankruptcy that is entirely separate from whatever it is I am doing myself.

I've been toying with the idea of hacking together a system that allows replying/commenting via email (effectively auto generating a mailing-list for every post or something to that effect) -- and allowing the comment interface to effectively become a limited webmail gateway to that list.

jack-r-abbit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have never used the Facebook Comment piece of a site for one reason: I don't want all the people reading THAT site to have a link right to my Facebook page. Under normal circumstances, the chances of some random stranger getting to me Facebook page are pretty slim. But if I comment on some article with Facebook, my real name is right there with a link to my page. The last thing I need it for some nut job to take issue with something I said and follow that link.
bluetidepro 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Title: "Why Facebook Comments Is A Bad Idea For Your Site"
In the article: "Perhaps in some contexts it makes sense"

Parts of the post sound very contradicting to your actually post title.

Regardless, to answer your third bullet, yes the author can setup Facebook comments to give him/her notifications that you did leave a comment. Granted, I guess there is no UI to let you know that the author was notified, but most blogs (not using Facebook comments) don't have a UI for that either.

I personally like Disqus comment system on blogs because it gives you the option to comment in various ways. It's a win-win-win!

mandeepj 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's optional to share your comment on your news feed so I don't know why author is hating FB comments.
lucian303 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It alienates those of us without a facebook account.
markkat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a FB account, but never comment with it.

I don't want my every interaction on the web connected.

I am getting tired of the social web.

jofo25 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think for an article or blog post, yea Facebook isn't that appropriate but most other places I find it useful for the pure fact that I can't really be bothered to make an account for every site I visit.
trueneverland 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I really hate any commenting system that requires me to register. I don't want to have dozens of accounts just because of all these various systems for commenting.
The best approach for software development craftedsw.blogspot.co.uk
57 points by sandromancuso  6 hours ago   30 comments top 10
chimi 5 hours ago 3 replies      

  > The bad news is that there is no best approach 
> to software development.

The article is mostly rants about all the current "best practices" everything from NASA strategies to TDD, DDD, lean, agile, etc. He thinks you should avoid dogma and be pragmatic.

llimllib 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> My main criticism here is about how the vast majority of developers react to all these things. It is not just because someone, somewhere wrote a book, recorded a video or gave a talk in a conference about something that it will make that thing right, in all contexts.

The vast majority of developers probably don't care much at all about development methodologies. The author notices the vocal minority and mistakes it for the majority.

yorak 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think one reason why dogmatic advocating is so prevalent is that introduction of new processes and methodology to a team or organization requires considerable push. You have to overcome huge amounts of resistance from the people the changes concern, even if your role in the organization allows you to make the decisions. Strong opinions of your chosen approach make it possible to overcome obstacles.

If all developers would be "inquisitive, curious and pragmatic" you could probably rationalize the decisions and carry the necessary actions without evangelism. Unfortunately the world is sometimes awfully imperfect.

gklitt 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is particularly timely given the recent success of the Mars rover landing, which is a good reminder that having a ton of meetings and spec-ing something out robustly in advance is still a valid approach in some contexts.
jseims 1 hour ago 0 replies      
To add an opinion: the most important factor in a team's productivity isn't the process, it's the quality of the developers.
bitdiffusion 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What I took away from reading this article is that because the umbrella of "software development" is so wide; everything from a static html page for your local charity up to curiosity/ mars rover - it's not practical to define a single set of methodologies, tools and techniques that will work, be pragmatic or make sense for all situations.

Do what you think is best for whatever it is you're building :)

mythz 4 hours ago 2 replies      

Seen too many devs pursuing the perfect 1-size-fits-all holy grail architecture, only to leave a pile of over-abstracted technical debt in their wake.

Quite simply, if you can't understand why and when a particular pattern or methodology is effective, you can't take advantage of it and shouldn't be using it.

An experienced programmer is confident in all his choices and able to pick the best tool for any particular situation. Blindly subscribing to religions or Cargo cults just clouds your judgement and leads you to falsely believe that you wield the only hammer that gets all jobs done.

nsxwolf 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Write some damn code

2. Release the damn code to QA

3. When QA finds a bug, write a damn test

4. Fix the damn code until the damn test passes

5. Release the damn fix to QA

k_bx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What's cool about this article is that I've put a lot articles to read later about :) Thanks.
rjzzleep 5 hours ago 3 replies      
best approach for software development: trial and error
Normalize.css v1.0.0 github.com
136 points by necolas  10 hours ago   28 comments top 8
VMG 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm kind of suspicious of these kinds of things. Especially the "subtle improvements" can have unintended effects.

Can I really just include without worrying about it?

espeed 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For more on Normalize.css, see "About Normalize" (http://nicolasgallagher.com/about-normalize-css/), esp "Normalize vs Reset".
aidos 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks nice - will have to try it out later to see how it behaves. It's good to see a detailed breakdown and justification for each of the rules instead of a blanket styling dumped in with no thought.

I'm working on a project at the moment that has div {float:left} in the reset and it makes me weep.

joshfraser 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm torn on this. There's a lot of code in here that most sites will never need. I hate bloat, especially on the frontend which is responsible for 90% of site speed. On the other hand, using this as your starting point for a new project will probably save you a fair amount of time. Perhaps start with this then rip out the stuff you don't end up using?
TazeTSchnitzel 7 hours ago 3 replies      
They make textarea display in sans-serif?[0]

No thanks. rows and cols should mean something :(

[0] https://github.com/necolas/normalize.css/blob/master/normali...

branola 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this something one could use as an alternative to "HTML5 Boilerplate" or does it serve a different purpose?
kondro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks pretty good. Need to back-port a couple of my projects to use a reset like this because the slight variations between Chrome/Firefox/IE are starting to get on my nerves. Now just have to find some time for such a low-priority backlog item.
madmikey 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Well, for beginners, this will kill the basic idea to remember necessary things,
But hey.. good job!
MySQL vs PostgreSQL wikivs.com
5 points by llambda  31 minutes ago   1 comment top
ken 1 minute ago 0 replies      
Looks like the fragment ID was added to escape duplication detection.

Previous discussion: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=328257

Samsung's Bada OS growing faster than Windows Phone techradar.com
50 points by phreeza  6 hours ago   35 comments top 10
barista 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
That's just some misinformation. Bada grew from 1.9 -> 2.7 percent in 1 year. Microsoft's total share (including the old windows mobile grew from 1.6 -> 2.7 percent in the same time. How's then Bada growing faster? http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/14/gartner-global-mobile-sales...
lrei 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Comparing Bada to WP is apples to oranges. Bada is not a smartphone OS and many (most?) Bada handsets are sold at a fraction of the price of any WP handset. Symbian is a better comparison for Bada and it probably still dwarfs it in terms of market share.

As for App devs, native development for Bada is a massive headache that bears no comparison to WP, iOS or even android. From SDK bugs to Store bugs. And even when using web technologies (phonegap or pure web app), their webkit based browser isn't up to Safari/Chrome standards. Plus the low end devices have (had?) slow processors which make a lot of the fancier CSS stuff unusable.

On top of that, how many people will even know and use the bada app store?

Oh and nowhere in that mini-article is it mentioned that Bada will probably-maybe be replaced by another OS, Tizen.

ewood 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Microsoft should scrap Windows Phone and buy into a joint venture with Samsung - Bada Bing!
ailon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Samsung is the biggest cellphone maker in the world and they put Bada on a lot of their phones and 95% of the owners of these phones don't know what Bada is. This makes total sense numberwise, but doesn't say anything about Bada's popularity. It's totally like Symbian was the biggest "smartphone" OS just a couple of years ago, just because Nokia was the biggest cellphone maker. Guess how many Nokia owners knew the word Symbian back then?
numo16 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Microsoft would probably sell more of them if there were some decent phones on carriers besides AT&T. Last time I got a new phone, I wanted to go Windows Phone 7, but I'm sure as hell not switching to AT&T from Verizon for it.
fmystic 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Equally valid headline: "Windows Phone and Android are the only mobile operating systems with year over year growth" http://www.asymco.com/2012/08/15/american-exceptionalism/
jetti 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yet, despite the fast growth, I'm still having problems finding a Bada phone in the States. None of the major carriers seem to sell them. I've been looking for one for about a year now and it just seems that I would have to buy it directly from Samsung and not get a discount on my new plan discount. If Samsung could start entering the US market, I'm sure they would easily pass Windows Phone in sales.
Metrop0218 3 hours ago 0 replies      
No one knows what Bada is, it's just because Samsung is huge.
fribblerz 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Yet they scraped it and moved on to Tizen[1]. While it's good that Tizen is linux based and open source, abandoning a perfectly good os(Bada)just in 2 years might not go well with it's app developers. They(devs) might think twice before developing for tizen now.
Although Samsung seems to be planning to make bada open, I doubt it will get the same traction now.
needle0 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Wonder whether Bada manages to avoid what Japan's carrier-owned MOAP and KCP platforms had become- once dominant in its home country, yet never managing to break outside and rapidly losing out to platforms that did attain global adoption.
Write LaTeX - browser-based collaborative editor writelatex.com
79 points by nkoren  8 hours ago   41 comments top 16
beck5 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Creator of http://www.sharelatex.com here. LaTeX collaboration and environment setup is a big problem, online collaborative environments are going to become more popular. The more of them out there the better so good luck to jdleesmiller and writeLaTeX.

writeLaTeX has a nice split view which I have not implemented yet. The rate of update from collaborators seems to be relatively slow (compared to sharelatex). I would be interested in knowing the architecture behind the scenes.

dddejan 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cool. Don't know what's the end game for the project, but it would be awesome if this was open source and I could install it on my own server.
brettcvz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a perfect use for filepicker.io

It's self-promoting, but actually it'd be really nice to be able to open files from dropbox/github and save the pdf's when their done. Then I could actually get work done on my chromebook

bmuon 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The preview is nice, but I have more faith in http://sharelatex.com/ reaching a complete and usable product.
friggeri 6 hours ago 3 replies      
After using LaTeX for the past ~8 years one thing I have noticed is that instant preview is not adapted at all: LaTeX compilation is simply too slow. I prefer compiling when I want to see how things turn out after making a bunch of changes rather than having the compiler throw out a bunch of errors " and breaking my workflow " just because for some reason it decided it should recompile while I was in the middle of writing a macro.

Another minor quibble I have with these kind of services is that they often only support [pdf]latex, I'd like to be able to use [xe|lua]tex (after having a taste of fontspec/unimath I simply can't go back).

Other than that, great project!

brianto2010 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a huge stretch, but will there be any support for noweb?

Whenever I use LaTeX, it's usually for math/physics/stat homework where either computation or graphs are involved. It would be lovely if I could somehow inject (for example)

x <- -5:5
y <- (x - 2)^2 - 5

plot(x, y)

into the page and have a graph show up.

Kartificial 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I am currently writing my master thesis in the almighty LaTeX, and when is was looking for an editor I also considered these online alternatives like this one.

The most important feature I came across is multiple files usage. My current editor (TexStudio) has a neat feature where I use my 'main' document as some sort of a container. I put the document header (with the packages and everything) in there and for every chapter I use a different file. This lets me work on a chapter in a seperate file which does not get me lost in a 1 huge file when looking up stuff in the content.

It also shows a tree of your document structure per chapter/section/subsection/subsubsection so you can navigate easily through the document. This might be a useful feature for this online alternative.

Also, compiling from one of the chapter files actually compiles the entire document, which is nice (because otherwise it'll complain that is has no document structure, packages, etc).

denzil_correa 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The "Preview" is a killer feature. You need to make it more responsive though - currently (probably due to server load) there's a lot of lag. However, if you want to develop this into a full fledged project it should "just work" without waiting for some time for the preview to load. This includes the errors which you load in the Tex editor too. Both the instant error and preview features are great but you've somehow got to make it scale.
emiliobumachar 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Very good! Configuring a LaTex environment in a new computer was a pain for me. This took that pain away.

But I still can't type in Portuguese, with 'áàãç' (without escaping and coding everything). That would be a killer feature for me.

firepoet 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Love this app! I find myself writing a lot of LaTeX documents lately, and can see a lot of potential. I would love to see things like templates, user accounts, and/or even integration with Google Docs! Being able to upload and download stuff to my Google Drive would be killer...
legomaster 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who used to write a lot of LaTeX documents, this just isn't up to snuff yet. It's slow (which they can fix) but what would make it really helpful is hints in LaTeX commands and support for packages. I haven't tried any complex documents yet, hopefully a full 200 page doc with biblo and index would render correctly as well. It's cool though, I hope it does end up working well.
jdleesmiller 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi, I'm the author of writeLaTeX.

Sorry if you get slow previews -- I am bringing some extra capacity online now...

theaeolist 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice! I particularly liked the low-overhead sharing via unique URLs. No accounts, no signup.

I also thought the delay in the preview (whether intended or not) was a nice touch, preventing syntax errors being issued while typing is in progress.

I can see myself using this regularly.

jghrng 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool, I just found out it works for beamer, too. Having instant preview for presentations is great, as I often find myself moving figures around all the time.

Great work!

dsirijus 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Preview doesn't work for me on latest stable Chrome and Win 7.
lorenzfx 5 hours ago 1 reply      
while this is awesome, I can't imagine anyone in my research group trusting a not submitted paper to a site like this. For on-site usage I hacked together a similar site in minutes when etherpad-lite came out ( you can try it out at http://brutus.lostpackets.de/ethertex/ethertex.py ) , but sadly I lack the time to make it really usable.
Kim Dotcom claims to have evidence Joe Biden ordered the shutdown of Megaupload torrentfreak.com
26 points by veesahni  1 hour ago   9 comments top 3
TylerE 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Can we get some neutral coverage on this guy once in a while? Why always torrentfreak?
ari_elle 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
the interesting thing about megaupload as i understand it is, that even though they are protected by the digital millenium copyright act, there was something different in their service. they try to prove that they were knowing that copyright infringement did take place?

so as i understand megaupload, there were many many links pointing to the same failes, as they wanted to minimze same uploads, meaning that they got takedown notices for links rather than content. in a nutshell: they removed links instead of content afaik, and there they differ from rapidshare and others... can somebody help me out if this is the case? (i never used megaupload but as i understand it that was there working model)

logn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
First Waco, then Megaupload.
       cached 15 August 2012 19:02:02 GMT