hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    26 Aug 2012 News
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TPP treaty (ACTA all over) provisions leaked. boingboing.net
47 points by rst  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
Sniffnoy 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Please link directly to the article, rather than to boingboing's link to the article: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/08/tpp-creates-liabilitie...
piffey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They'll never give up. Better patch the meatspace bug and write a software workaround.
Where the f*** is my Ari Gold? (On recruiters in the software business) youell.com
40 points by softbuilder  3 hours ago   23 comments top 13
arjunnarayan 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Robin Hanson covered this a few weeks ago. I fact, it's probably worth having an agent _just_ to negotiate your salary given that a 10% increase is not out of the realm of normal negotiations. Not to mention all the other effects of having an agent like signaling, networking, having someone to guide you through career development, etc. this is an industry ripe for creation, but I don't know how to go about doing it: you'd have to start with a bunch of smart developers, and the ideal way to do that seems to be for me to become a top recognized developer, and then transition into starting an agency once I've developed the reputation... Anyone have a good history of how agencies began in Hollywood?


edanm 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Aren't companies the "agents" of programmers?

If you're a talented developer, but with no marketing or other such skills, you join a company. For the sake of argument, let's call it a Software Consultancy. Then the consultancy finds you Gigs (i.e. takes on projects and puts you on them), and you get money.

Companies, in fact, solve another problem that acting doesn't have - namely, actors are hired alone. Software, on the other hand, is much, much more likely to be built by a team. And having a team brings you all sorts of other difficulties that customers can't deal with:

* You need a team that works well together

* You need proper management of the team

* You need proper processes in place for building the software

* In some cases, even access to equipment is an issue

In short, an agent that can represent a single developer is not the right "level of abstraction" for most clients.

edoloughlin 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to learn from this article. The author spends three paragraphs setting up an analogy and the the next 17 paragraphs explaining why that analogy is broken.
nhebb 2 hours ago 1 reply      
In Hollywood there are only a handful of studios. In sports, there are only a handful of pro teams. In software, there are too many companies for an agent to develop a relationship with or tout your services to in the same manner. And the best programmers don't need an agent.
ethank 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
The real Ari is on our board of directors. It doesn't help recruiting. Telling and believing a great story and treating your culture and team as its own product does.
greghinch 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been contracting for a couple years now and I haven't had to pay anyone commission to find me work. We're much more akin to contractor who work on people's houses than actors: referrals are everything. If you've done more than a few contract jobs of any significance and you aren't getting referrals, you might want to take a look at the work you are producing or the attitude you are presenting and figure out what is wrong.
mikescar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Old article is old. In the 4 years since this article was written, nothing much has changed.

You don't have an Ari Gold because the economics of software recruitment are different from that of the fictionalized A-list acting crowd. See other comments on the quickly apparent disparities between the two economies.

There's more than enough work available in 2012 if you know your stuff. And you can get it easily as a direct relationship with a company. Just ask. They won't want to give you a full recruiters fee but might be cool with meeting you part of the way on what they save.

ChuckMcM 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It is a good question, I've always wondered why engineering types didn't develop a similar system to the one in LA for actors. Perhaps its the long term nature of software (3 - 5 years to get the product out) or support after the release.

Consider other agencies, like professional sports teams, can you put together 12 engineers who can win you the superbowl of engineering (what ever that would be)? Perhaps there is a disruption opportunity here.

walrus 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Of course there some exceptions â€" programmers who are known mostly for their work. These are almost exclusively in the free software field though, like Linux Torvalds or RMS.

Linus really is known for his work, huh?

eric_bullington 1 hour ago 1 reply      
All it would take for this to start is a few highly-motivated salesperson/agent types to team up with a handful of highly-desirable engineer types. And let's face it, it will probably need to be the agent types to make the first move. Surely there's a few guys (or gals) like that reading HN right now.
learc83 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Authors have agents as well, and writing may be more analogous to software than acting.

Also the vast majority of authors are paid less (usually much less) than the average software developer.

djs070 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"if you've got 5 years of experience with C++, you are the same as anyone else who has five years of experience with C++"

I would agree that your "5 years" is equally as meaningless as anyone else's generic 5 years. On the other hand, I would like to think that a quick look at your GitHub profile could make a huge distinction between you and another programmer.

robbiemitchell 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Blockbuster actor salary > developer salary

10-15% means a lot more in one place than the other.

That's why the Ari Golds aren't scrambling to get you (or any other dev) on their rosters.

Buzz Aldrin's Official Statement on the Passing of Neil Armstrong buzzaldrin.com
22 points by neurotech1  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
chaosmachine 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
Site's overloaded at the moment, here's the text:

I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, and space exploration companion, Neil Armstrong today. As Neil, Mike Collins and I trained together for our historic Apollo 11 Mission, we understood the many technical challenges we faced, as well as the importance and profound implications of this historic journey. We will now always be connected as the crew of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, yet for the many millions who witnessed that remarkable achievement for humankind, we were not alone.

Whenever I look at the moon I am reminded of that precious moment, over four decades ago, when Neil and I stood on the desolate, barren, yet beautiful, Sea of Tranquility, looking back at our brilliant blue planet Earth suspended in the darkness of space, I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by many millions of others from around the world in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a historic moment in human history.

I had truly hoped that on July 20th, 2019, Neil, Mike and I would be standing together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing, as we also anticipated the continued expansion of humanity into space, that our small mission helped make possible. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit.

On behalf of the Aldrin family, we extend our deepest condolences to Carol and the entire Armstrong family. I will miss my friend Neil as I know our fellow citizens and people around world will miss this foremost aviation and space pioneer.

May he Rest in Peace, and may his vision for our human destiny in space be his legacy.


apokusin 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
He mentions "we are not alone" twice. Clearly he's telling us that there are aliens on the moon.
Statement from the Family of Neil A. Armstrong spaceref.com
151 points by ColinWright  11 hours ago   10 comments top 2
ColinWright 11 hours ago 3 replies      
HN will be full of reports of Armstrong's passing. Here is how his family has asked he be remembered:

    For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil,
we have a simple request. Honor his example of service,
accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk
outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down
at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.

mcantelon 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Now we never know the truth about the moon landing.
Flat lens offers a perfect image harvard.edu
79 points by co_pl_te  6 hours ago   16 comments top 8
sbierwagen 5 hours ago 3 replies      

  Operating at telecom wavelengths (i.e., the range commonly used in fiber-optic 
communications), the new device is completely scalable, from near-infrared to
terahertz wavelengths, and simple to manufacture.

Ho ho, very clever use of words there. Terahertz is far-far infrared, (1mm to .1mm (1,000,000-100,000nm) wavelength) while NIR is around 1,000nm. Visible light is 740-380nm.

To the best of my knowledge, (this isn't my field) nobody has ever made a visible-light metamaterial. The antennas are too small. There's no real physical reason we can't make red-light metamaterials, the problem is just fabrication. (A parallel can be drawn here between metamaterials, desktop nanofactories, and fusion reactors)

Additionally, it would be tricky to make a panchromatic metamaterial lens: metamaterials are tuned very precisely to one frequency, (color) constrained by the physical size of the antennas, and they can't transmit any others.

cs702 6 hours ago 1 reply      
As an amateur photographer with a small collection of DSLR and MILC camera lenses at home, I'm quite excited by this: "In the future we can potentially replace all the bulk components in the majority of optical systems with just flat surfaces." In other words, this will allow large-sensor cameras to get a lot smaller and thinner.

Edit: WRONG! As sbierwagen points out[1], even though the press release states that the technology is "completely scalable" [to different wavelenghts of light], it actually works only with wavelengths greater than that of visible light. Too bad :-(

sbierwagen: Thanks for the clarification.

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4433970

co_pl_te 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi, sbierwagen.

This is certainly beyond my field of expertise, but I don't see how the inability of this new lens to focus in the range of visible light detracts from the main point of it being a distortion-free lens whose "focusing power approaches the ultimate physical limit set by the laws of diffraction."

Although I agree that the press release makes it appear as if this will have direct implications on imaging in the lay sense (this isn't going to make a future iPhone the perfect camera), there are certainly applications of such technology that aren't consumer-focused and don't require visible light that stand to benefit from this research.

As blacksmythe notes, the lens created is not your stereotypical refractive lens, but is more along the lines of a Fresnel lens or zone plate. I'd be interested in hearing more about the differences between the two, especially with regard to the limitations of each. Would anyone who read the write up in Nano Letters or has a better understanding care to
comment more on the implications?

I agree the press release is a tad sensationalistic and possibly (intentionally) misleading â€" but what do you expect from a press release? Although the findings presented may not be as earth-shattering as a mass-produceable visible-light metamaterial, I still think it's a noteworthy development that shouldn't be dismissed so easily.

blacksmythe 5 hours ago 0 replies      
From the summary article, it looks like they have made a Fresnel lens, which can also be quite flat but works over a limited wavelength range of light.

In order to achieve broadband operation, the phase change vs wavelength of the metamaterial needs to approximate a large delay. If a large delay is not feasible to implement, this summary is overstating the importance of this result compared to prior technology.

JoshTko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Couldn't you just put one of these lenses in front of every single CCD subpixel to create a flat lens?
th0ma5 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone play with a pinhole on a CCD or CMOS sensor, or otherwise "no" lens? For a non-lens-distorted picture?
wamatt 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
One word: Cellphones
mrich 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a myopic geek I am looking forward to ultra flat glasses :)
Jury in Apple v. Samsung Goofed, Damages Reduced; What's Wrong With this Picture groklaw.net
181 points by GICodeWarrior  13 hours ago   111 comments top 14
VanL 10 hours ago 5 replies      
What people who have not been in court don't realize is that Apple won on the narrative. Find the good guy, find the bad guy, and the bad guy will almost always be found to "lose."

Many times, patent cases are argued like someone was trespassing: This idea is my property, and you started using it. What Apple did well in this trial is that it portrayed Samsung as a cheaterâ€"someone who looked over Apple's shoulder and copied down its answers. This portrayal obviously resonated with the jury leading to the overwhelming win.

Is that right? No, not really, especially for technical issues. Frankly, the most astounding part of this decision was that Samsung's standard-essential patents were not considered infringed. I fully expect Samsung to file (and win) a JNOV (a judgment notwithstanding the verdict) on that issue. But overall, I doubt this verdict will be overturned as a whole.

doktrin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hogan holds patents, so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier.

...we debated that first patent -- what was prior art -- because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple.

"In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."

This, as well as other accounts on groklaw, give the distinct impression that this jury was very much led by the foreman - both procedurally and intellectually. The latter being a little worrisome.

Additionally, the mention that they glossed over their debate on prior art because it was slowing them down is disturbing.

I suppose since they had, according to this juror, essentially made up their minds on day 2 - there was no need to get bogged down in these pesky details.

algolicious 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the best critiques so far of the decision.

There are two sides to this trial. On the one side is the emotional appeal: Samsung copied Apple, and documents detail the extent to which Samsung imitated the iPhone. On the other side are the various technical ways in which Apple claimed that Samsung copied them. But just as Apple engineers slaved for years over the technical details of the iPhone, it is incredibly important for the future of mobile innovation that all of the technical parts of the trial are correctly decided. If the jury finds no infringement but finds that infringement was induced, this indicates that technical mistakes were made. But in particular, I wonder if the jury was so swayed by the emotional appeal that sufficient attention was paid to the substantial prior art demonstrated regarding capacitive touch screen phones and multitouch displays.

sriramk 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I was surprised by the resumes of the people on the jury given the flack they've received from the tech press. These were some very qualified people, much more so than the tech press that criticized them.


eevilspock 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Samsung's own words:

The verdict form in this complex case necessarily spans 20 pages and requires unanimous answers to more than 500 discrete questions across 5 different legal disciplines. (Dtk. No. 1890.) The likelihood of an inconsistent verdict is a possibility despite the jury's best efforts.


Groklaw even linked to the source of the above quote: http://www.groklaw.net/pdf3/ApplevSamsung-1927.pdf

Seems like a classic case of confirmation bias, by both Groklaw as well as a bunch of people here.

YooLi 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Even if the jury took a month and asked 1000 questions, the losing side or those who align with the losing side would find something, no matter how minute, to question the decision.
eridius 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why everybody keeps saying that a win for Apple is a blow for innovation. Samsung didn't innovate. They flat-out copied. Seems to me that allowing blatant copying like this is what will suppress innovation, because why bother spending 5 years and a lot of effort/money designing something awesome if someone else can come along and clone your product in 3 months?
esolyt 11 hours ago 2 replies      
"In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."


jedbrown 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What do others think of Hogan's patent?


It strikes me as just recording video and doing the standard things that people do with digital video.

jongraehl 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The tl;dr jury: decided all 700 questions in 21 hours (time to read aloud all 108 pages, sure, but to understand and reach consensus?)

From the groklaw article:

> If it would take a lawyer three days to make sure he understood the terms in the form, how did the jury not need the time to do the same? There were 700 questions, remember, and one thing is plain, that the jury didn't take the time to avoid inconsistencies

> Had they read the full jury instructions, all 109 pages, they would have read that damages are not supposed to punish, merely to compensate for losses.

keithpeter 8 hours ago 1 reply      
UK comment: members of the jury giving interviews that include descriptions of their deliberations. I find this system amazing.


hermannj314 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the quality of work you get when you pay $20 a day.

The lawyers for both sides are making more per hour than the entire jury per day. What kind of performance do they expect?

simplexion 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Stop supporting a particular company. The Appletards are worse but you all need to quit it. Apple copied the LG Prada when they made the iPhone and good on them. They helped move mobile devices forward and I now have a huge choice of amazing portable entertainment devices.
This lawsuit is moronic.
larrydavid 10 hours ago 3 replies      
That site is such a massive eyesore, to the point where I struggle to have any motivation to read past the first paragraph.

Colors, typography, the massive line-lengths. It's a wall of text. Just an all-round horrible design.

Why I Love Recruiters simonsarris.com
30 points by simonsarris  5 hours ago   23 comments top 15
zwischenzug 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
I couldn't disagree with this more.

Recruiters are almost exclusively focussed on one thing alone: making commission. They're not necessarily bad people, but they are not interested in how polite you are, how long your response email is, or anything else than the information they require.

Sending long-winded emails thanking them for their time and interest is _wasting their time_.

If I want to reply, the first line gives them the info they need. "Not looking for a job", and the rest gives other information if the opp looked good.

If you want to try and build up a relationship to get out of where you are, then fine. But they are interested in placing you, nothing more. Anything else they're generally faking.

It's how the game works. We geeks have a hard time getting this, because we're essentially honest.

charlieok 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I was in semi-searching mode. I had a very long commute I was unhappy with, and had every intention of putting some time and effort into finding the perfect situation. Something close to home. Something matching exactly the type of problems I wanted to solve. Using exactly the tools and technologies I wanted to work with. However, there was always another project I wanted to finish first, or another topic to bring myself current on before finding the right match and interviewing.

Meanwhile, I was getting emails from recruiters. I was pretty good about replying because you never know where an opportunity might come from and because it feels better (for me) to just reply before archiving that message out of my inbox.

One of those out-of-the blue recruiters ended up working out. What was an hour long drive is now a 5 minute bike ride. I hadn't valued this nearly so highly when I took that far-away job as I do now. See for example:


So anyway, for me this was a clear case of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. An opportunity for an immediate improvement landed in my lap that I otherwise might not have found out about, or might have put off. I can't be too upset about that.

hansef 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why more tech recruiters don't ruthlessly specialize and laser-focus on building a deep understanding of a particular niche when matching candidates and employers.

I'm CTO of a web and mobile development shop with about 20 employees. Finding good frontend developers is REALLY hard - to be a great frontend guy these days, working on modern web apps, you need to have strong engineering chops, with knowledge of the html5 apis, css3 and serious JS experience, including an understanding of memory and performance management in large frontend-heavy apps; ideally have worked on a couple of medium size apps with 5-7 person teams; probably have at least some exposure to the current JS framework scene; ideally (for our stack) have experience with preprocessors like sass or stylus and coffeescript; have good design sense and the ability to work in a collaborative feedback loop with a designer, etc etc. It's a really cross-functional role. There's a lot more people who "know HTML and CSS" but have never worked on serious apps, or have solid JS chops but can't produce design with reasonable fidelity to save their lives.

A relationship with a recruiter who understood this "candidate profile" and could bring me people who would be a good fit, not just resumes with "HTML", "CSS", "Javascript" and "5 years of experience" on them, would be worth its weight in gold.

gregable 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I work for big tech company. I reply to recruiters that I'm having too much of a great time where I'm at (true), but they seem like an effective tech recruiter and would they be interested in joining [big tech company]?

Most say no, though one did toy with the idea but it didn't happen. The no's seem to get a kick out of the unique response though.

jakejake 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I always just tell recruiters that I'm not looking at the moment but please keep me on their list. Who knows when a startup fails or company downsizes and you're looking for a new gig.
chris_wot 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Ha ha! I love the responses! Friendly, but at the same time politely telling them to do better research. They really can't complain :-)
shyn3 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I had a recruiter provide me with an interview. I was thinking about a job at that point. They were getting somewhat near $40 an hour and I was getting almost half.

The people I talked to were floored by the idea. It's not what you know it's who you know.

If the recruiter hadn't got me an interview at $25 an hour then I would be earning $0 for that period of time. I would have never found that job or got to know the company.

Once I got in that organization I could easily work with HR to buy me out of the recruiter's contract and negotiate a better salary for myself, considering the company wanted me.

The recruiter and me will probably do business again after my contract. I get a new salary after an initial test phase for the company. They get one time fee or recurring income.

Everyone has to eat. Recruiters have to make contacts. They have to pay salaries. They have expenses. I don't get why people are floored when they take a large portion of your salary. Most people don't have an influential network that can land them interviews. If you can then this doesn't apply to you.

If you are a I.T. recruiter in Toronto feel free to provide me with awesome interviews at $40 hour while you are making $100. I won't mind I promise.

jfb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I do this as well when approached by a recruiter who has obviously read my resumé. I always am grateful, and polite, and usually try to set them up with someone in my network (after checking with that person first, naturally). I haven't worked with a recruiter in maybe ten years, but I find that, you know, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and I've accumulated the contact info of a bunch of classy recruiters if I ever need help.
stanmancan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Simon you are now an honorary Canadian!
toomuchcoffee 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Talk about unrequitted empathy.
brackin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I met a delightful recruiter earlier at an event, they understood the startup ecosystem, don't cold call and only caters to startups and with applicants that fit in the startup atmosphere. More recruiters should look at people like her as an example.
AYBABTME 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I prefer your way, it's much more fun to write this kind of message!
clivestaples 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This is great and refreshing to hear. I treat recruiters with respect because: a.) I've been down-and-out before and consider myself blessed to be in demand, b.) their job seems pretty tough, and c.) it would be really arrogant to complain about someone offering me work.
veemjeem 3 hours ago 1 reply      
hm, blog is hammered, anyone have a cached copy?
nhari 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of being nice to those who have to deal with people 24/7.

+1 for Sartori Bellavitano, it's amazing

The fall of Angry Birds treysmithblog.com
261 points by bootload  16 hours ago   167 comments top 41
cletus 14 hours ago  replies      
I don't dispute the OP's argument. It just makes me sad.

One of the things I really used my iPad for a lot is games. The distribution mechanism and purchasing system are super-simple. You could (and can) get high-quality games for a low price. I see I've spent 100+ hours playing Bejeweled 3 alone.

Yet the trend has clearly gone towards in-app purchases. I tried some golf game (Tiger Woods something?) and it was constant nagging for in-app purchases. That got deleted in about 2 minutes.

Then there are the "social games", which to me is really an abuse of the word "game", since they are nothing more (IMHO) than exercises in feeding addiction and inducing compulsive behaviour. There is no element of skill. It's simply who can purchase the most. And I've tried a bunch (spending no real $$$) to see (I'm a sucker for world-building games and there's a dearth of those, sadly).

The second category (normal games with in-app purchases) create the wrong incentives. Whereas Angry Birds originally spread because it was a hugely fun game, the game developer is incentivized to make you fork over more money, typically at the expense of the game itself.

It saddens me that Angry Birds has gone the in-app purchase route too.

Sadly the genie is out of the bottle. Any sensible game developer will go this route. Add to this the "social" layer being foisted on users and it's really looking like dark days ahead for gaming.

MrFoof 15 hours ago 2 replies      
People wonder where video game arcades went after the console market started to really gain traction in the early to mid 1990s (and really got rolling with the Playstation 2). Outside of Japan, they largely went away, but now they're back: on your mobile device.

We've gone right back to feeding tokens (in-game credits) because now you can distribute the equivalent of an single-game arcade cabinet -- a game that is designed to optimally take in cash at a given rate -- to every mobile device. A good analogue would be to make a beat-em up arcade cabinet that let you start out for nothing, but when you inevitably get KO'd, you have to feed it a few tokens for the privilege of continuing before the 15 second countdown elapses and you have to start from the beginning.

Timothee 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I dislike free-to-play games because they tend to distort the gameplay towards paying additional in-game credits. It also feels a bit like printers: you get the printer for cheap but pay a lot on inks. Here they lure people in with a well-designed free game that lives on in-app purchases (IAP).

That being said, the revenues discussed in this post are crazy.

On a side-note, I wish the App Store allowed to filter out by apps that have or not IAP. I really don't mind paying for apps and games but sometimes there will be a cool free game available. Nowadays most games are free but with many IAP. If I see a high-ranked free game I tend to turn around when I see it has IAP because I know the gameplay will be around buying more stuff.

On a second side-note, I wouldn't mind the fall of Angry Birds. IMO, the game has received a disproportionate amount of success and the merchandising all over the place has been ridiculous (e.g. a "Angry Birds" Roku box? That makes no sense). The game is ok but not very original or entertaining (again, IMO) but the milking of the brand has been the worst part of it.

rjsamson 16 hours ago 6 replies      
"Last year I held a special webinar that was invite only and everyone had to sign an NDA before attending. On this webinar I explained the current state of the mobile game industry and my plans to dominate as an independent developer."

For me, that quote about sums up the rest of the article. Too much arrogance in there for me.

swombat 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Forget about whether IAPs are bad. Did nobody pick up on this?

> In the last month, this single game generated over $12,000,000 on iOS alone. They have not ported the game to Android yet.

> If this is the case and it holds ranking for the rest of the year, then this single game is worth $109,500,000 PER YEAR on the low side.

Holy fucking shit. $100m a year of high-margin sales for a single iOS games?

World of Warcraft makes, last time I calculated it, roundabout these amounts, and WoW is one of the most financially successful games ever and requires masses of investment in infrastructure, new content, community management, developers, and so on - so big it swallowed Blizzard whole for a while.

If a silly, simple, stupid looking iOS game can make $100m a year of almost raw profit, this is... well, just mind-blowing, really.

robryan 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Personally I get put off a bit by free to play. I expect to have the game pushing ads at me non stop or trying to get me to purchase things in game. Where as I associate a quality paid game to be clean and just giving me the game without all those other distractions.

Granted I am sure there are some decent free to pay titles, just the mental impression I get before trying new games, based on past experience.

jere 14 hours ago 1 reply      
>Phase 1 of app store monetization was Premium games (.99 titles)

I have no doubt this is how it works, but I never thought I would see the day when something that costs a dollar is considered premium.

casca 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Trey bases his assessment on Apple's published "Top grossing" list. This is potentially problematic as it's not clear over what time period this is based or what other metrics Apple uses to put apps into this list. Apple, like the publishers would like to encourage people to spend more over time than just download free apps so they're incentivized to encourage the implication that in-app is the way to go.

Perhaps Angry Birds is dropping on the pay charts because people are finally bored of the franchise? How many years and different ways will people pay to shoot slightly different pigs with birds?

crazygringo 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the whole reason IAP is winning...

is because trial periods aren't being done? Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to make Angry Birds free, have only the first 20 levels be playable, then pay $9.99 for the remaining 80 levels? (I'm making these numbers up BTW.)

Obviously IAP makes a lot of sense for Farmville-style games that are all about "objects", but when tacked onto Angry Birds Space, or most games really, it feels like the company is just trying to take advantage of you.

Why don't we see any "free trials" like this in the App Store? Is it against Apple TOS or something? Or have studies shown it just doesn't work? (And I don't mean the free "lite" versions of games -- those are annoying because you lose all your progress and have to start the full version from zero.)

CmdrKrool 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny thing I've found myself doing recently, when I'm hooked in to one of these horrible, grindy, submarine IAP games which I should know better than to keep loading up but hey I'm only human. Since my iPad is jailbroken I just SSH in, find the game directory and more often than not find my stats sitting there in a simple .plist file (maybe a binary plist, but then you just use the appropriate editor), make myself an in-game millionaire, load it back up and enjoy the game at max power for a few minutes before turning it off and never thinking about it again, a 'weight' lifted off my shoulders. It shocks me, how when the grind is suddenly removed, my interest in such a game that minutes before I had been feverishly, morosely addicted to, /completely evaporates/.

It's funny how me doing this is quite comparable to piracy, but - rightly or wrongly - I feel almost no guilt about doing this because by the time I've got to this point I've lost all respect for the game anyway.

It's ironic how Apple's locking down of the device is enough for most developers not to bother obfuscating their game save files so that if you have taken the trouble just for that jailbreak step, you're unlikely to meet much further resistance.

And finally when I do run into a game which has apparently taken cursory defensive steps such that my crude hackery only succeeds in stuffing everything up and losing whatever progress I did have, this too turns out to be funny. As I have no impulse to start playing from the beginning again, I breathe that very same sigh of relief, and forget all about it. Win-win.

colinshark 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Free to play might ruin games.

Games are supposed to be fun. In a free-to-play game, the game designer's goal shifts from fun to incremental revenue collection. I think it's an abusive dynamic between the game designer and the player. If free-to-play becomes the norm, we might wonder why games are not as fun anymore, without being able to put a finger on it.

TWAndrews 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I hate, hate, hate games that use in-app purchases as a significant part of game play (and removing grinding qualifies, imo), to the point that I look to see what the top in-app purchase are and won't download games which let you buy in-game currency.
mdkess 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I really don't like free to play games, as they're implemented now. The current strategy is simply "pay to progress" rather than to unlock more functionality. I was playing this game called Tiny Tower, and in it, you could pay to finish building a room. If you paid for the room, you ... had another room. You could then pay for another room. The dynamic of the game didn't change, things just moved along.

Even without this, because so few people pay anything, the dynamic of the in app purchases is skewed so that you have to spend a ton of money to get anything out of your purchases (people willing to pay are willing to pay a lot, apparently). So people like me, willing to spend $5-$10 on a fun phone game but not $50, are sort of left behind.

jader201 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Re: "The fall of Angry Birds", this article should be titled "The fall of paid games, the rise of IAPs".

Angry Birds, as a franchise, is doing anything but falling. Just look around the next time you go to a Walmart or Target. Angry Birds lunch boxes. Angry Birds Halloween costumes. And yes, Angry Birds Cheese Nips[1], which my kids are consuming even as we speak.

And it's only inevitable that Rovio is or will be working on an Angry Birds game that takes advantage of IAPs over an up front charge.


petercooper 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There are some interesting insights in here, but I think it's a bit like talking about the "fall" of Harry Potter or the "fall" of Star Wars. People get bored of particular entertainment franchises and icons and move on to the next thing. While there's undoubtedly more to milk from Angry Birds (especially if iOS devices get new innovations they can lean on), they'd better be working on new franchises that could be even bigger.
gingerlime 15 hours ago 6 replies      
Is it just me or did the game market become much more sinister than it used to be? It's all about getting people effectively addicted to make more money out of them. Give them a taste for free, once they're hooked, start cashing in on those poor addicts.
dasil003 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a feeling that everything he's saying is true, and it makes me very sad.
kylec 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There really should be a Game Store separate from the App Store. Currently, if you're not looking for a game, pages like "Top Grossing Apps" are completely useless in the App Store.
ynniv 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Free to play is the modern coin-op. Sure, it can ruin a game - anything can. Executed properly you'll find a mechanic of variable pricing based on a customer's interest in your product. If someone cares more, they (can) pay more. Who could ask for a better pricing model?
m_myers 13 hours ago 0 replies      
An interesting variation on F2P is the one used by World Golf Tour [1], which I've been playing a bit recently.

Instead of forcing users to pay real money to get better equipment, it has another means of earning credits: viewing advertisements. That means that a) I don't feel like I'm actually spending money (except opportunity cost), and b) they can show pretty well-targeted ads to users who are requesting to see them. I don't know the financial details, but I'd guess they can sell for a pretty decent rate. And you have to view quite a lot of them to get as many credits as you could have bought outright for $10.

As an added bonus to them, relying on ads means I have to disable AdBlock for their entire website.

[1]: http://wgt.com

georgemcbay 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Free to Play is certainly popular now, but I'd be shocked if it were still popular in a year. It is exactly the sort of model that IME works while it is semi-novel but creates a model fatigue in customers that results in eventual backlash of even those who accept it at first. So, he's right, but F2P model will also eventually "fall".
webwright 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you'd like to see the fall over time, here's a graph:

The blue line is the overall grossing rank over time.

tsantero 15 hours ago 1 reply      
>> A very small percentage of people buy stuff in games. Of this small percentage you have people who will spend a LOT. These are your die hard fans. I know, because I am one of them and won't bat an eye spending $50 in a game I like.

I would love to analyze the in-game purchase data across multiple free-to-play games on multiple platforms (e.g. facebook, app store, etc) in order to see the distribution of user spending habits. While I'm sure there are power users who spend magnitudes more than the average, I'm skeptical that they're the main driver of revenue. What I'd like to see is the average % of users who make in-game purchases, the average in-game purchase over time, frequency of purchases and what % of total revenue the average represents.

Unfortunately, I don't think Zynga et al will be releasing this data publicly anytime soon.

stcredzero 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> A very small percentage of people buy stuff in games. Of this small percentage you have people who will spend a LOT. These are your die hard fans. I know, because I am one of them and won't bat an eye spending $50 in a game I like.

Data? Citation? I'm genuinely curious. Is this now the common wisdom for indy games?

Retric 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with FTP games is they miss a huge segment of the market. I have spent thousands on games, but less than 20$ on free to play games because I dislike the gameplay compromises needed to support FTP. That said, the app store funnels things towards FTP games but a subscription based game-play is probably a better long term money maker.
Xcelerate 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I am absolutely baffled that in-app purchases are so popular. For me, I would rather pay a one time fee for an excellent game than be "nagged" to move myself ahead in the game. I play Tetris occasionally on Facebook, and I get so annoyed with the constant spam for extra coins, dollars, armor, line speed upgrades, etc. I'd rather pay $40 and get the game in pristine finished form.

I don't know what to make of it, really. I'm usually decent at predicting what will be popular, but this time I completely missed the boat.

It really makes me kind of sad. I remember when I was little I would get a game like Zelda for GameBoy for $30. That game obviously had tons of work put into it and gave me endless hours of enjoyment. Games for phones seem to lack this kind of depth.

beggi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this wave of Free-to-play games with incessant requests to gamers to buy in-app coins and whatever might lead to a wave of expensive (like $30-$60, similar to the desktop market) up-front games that will have a promise of no in-app purchases. I know I'm at least, and I suspect a lot others, are yearning for the old days of Sim City and Sim Tower where you didn't have to pay extra for specific buildings.
egb 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm curious why people seemed to love and/or idolize Team Fortress 2 going free to play, but there seems to be a negative vibe surrounding it for mobile gaming...

One of many mentions on their 12x revenue increase from F2P:

Zenst 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Saw a friend of mine the other say, he had a angry birds teeshirt on. He has never played it ever in his life nor even knew it was a game, just liked the teeshirt. I showed him the game, involving the killing of birds and pigs and he was not phased in any way but still likes his teeshirt.

Apart from that any old death of Tetris type article were you change the title to angry birds will be relevant in such matters of simple fun games and there lifespan.

anovikov 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see any failure there. They have relatively few installs, but near top revenue, meaning: nearly everyone have already installed their stuff, and stuck with it, and spend a lot there. They just turned into an established business, maybe no longer a 'startup'. Falling growth rate is inevitable if you have already conquired the world.
habosa 15 hours ago 1 reply      
$12,000,000 a month? Holy shit. I had no idea the ceiling was that high. I made a free to play Android game that took me 6 weeks and made about $10 total... I guess I need to give this another shot.
timmaah 15 hours ago 0 replies      
They are making up for it in merchandise.

I have been touring the US this summer and have been amazed by the number of people wearing Angry Birds shirts. Even grown men. Walmart has huge Angry Birds signs right next to established brands like Levi and Nike.

digitalengineer 13 hours ago 0 replies      
How will this effect Google's Mobile Advertising Strategy? As the numbers show for almost all free Apps, the In-App-Ad's are being replaced by In-App-Purchasing...
ckayatek 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I see minecraft pocket edition on that list as well and it is neither a $0.99 game or a free to play. I think this is evidence that people are willing to pay for a well-made product. For me this article is simply a rehash of Zynga's whale strategy and we know how manipulative and frankly evil that is.
ww520 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Curious about the credit management mechanism. For the unused credits (coins), can the users ask for refund? Or they expire after some time, just like the cell phone purchased minutes.
andr3w321 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It makes sense that the free apps are making more when you think about it. They're getting the most money out of each customer. Every customer is not worth 99 cents. Some are worth a LOT more. Just like when you go overseas and the locals have on cheap price for locals and a much higher price for the rich foreigners.

There have to be other ways of achieving the same end goal however without the constant nagging. Has anyone tried a game where people pay by the hour for instance? First hour free?

drue 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If I wasn't living it I would believe this to be The Onion or something out of 1984.
podperson 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope the trend proves to be short lived, and suspect it will be.
dark_element 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting fact on how desperate people can get to be better at games. The lack of in app/game purchases in MMOs created a whole industry called "Gold farming" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_farming
mkale 10 hours ago 0 replies      
IAP games are like going to the arcade and paying some small amount per play, rather than buying the game upfront and getting to play as much as you want.
J0415 15 hours ago 1 reply      
OT, but in CSR Racing and many "pay to avoid waiting" games, there's actually a bug where if you move forward the time on your device, the game thinks the time has passed and gives you the free gas.
Shell script Mac Apps mathiasbynens.be
31 points by snihalani  5 hours ago   3 comments top 3
zdw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For basic GUI interaction, there's also cocoaDialog:


jmdeldin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This seems more cumbersome than opening AppleScript Editor, writing the following, and saving the script as an app.

  do shell script "my script"

Despite being an obnoxious language, AppleScript is pretty handy for distributing shell scripts onto non-technical users' machines.

cleverjake 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Neil Armstrong's first steps on the lunar surface nasa.gov
93 points by stevewilhelm  11 hours ago   13 comments top 6
ajays 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a dumb question: who took the video, if Neil Armstrong was the first person on moon? The video looks like it's taken from the side; and unless they had cameras in the legs of the lander, how was the video taken?
wbhart 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hilariously, the link is inaccessible from QLD rail's free wifi, in Australia. Apparently the link (nasa.gov) contains pornography, illegal content, peer-to-peer or hacking, etc. People who make these woeful, idiotic filters that filter out harmless content should be embarrassed! (It also blocks the "Your brain can be hacked" technorati link. Odd that HN itself passes muster!)
commieneko 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I was 9 years old when this happened. Watched it live on TV. It's hard to describe the feeling of what things were like then. The world stopped and looked, for just a moment. The Vietnam war was in full swing, the cold war kept cold, politics continued as usual. But for the first time in human history, you could look up at the moon in the sky and think, "We've been there."
jaredsohn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Apparently NASA wrote over the only high quality video of the first moon landing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1200161/Apoll...

With recent talk of video/images from Mars, I'm wondering what is the highest quality that we have for the moon. (The above link includes a high quality photo for Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon and doesn't talk about other moon missions.)

Kilimanjaro 10 hours ago 2 replies      
What would you do if you were the first man to step on the moon?

What would be your first reaction? Your first five minutes?

Everybody would react different, no matter how much training you have.

I would have looked around in awe, frozen, thinking what the hell am I doing here? Admiring the desolation, comparing that image with the moon of cheese from childhood memories. Nobody would have taken that moment from me. The moon, the soil I just stepped on. The vastness. I'd take a look at the sky and reach for the stars, then the earth. Contemplating. Fuck nasa, I'd say. Just admiring such a wonderful view. My heart beating a million times, in slow motion.

That would be me.

freiheit 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Transcript, videos, pictures, discussion of all the little details, etc here: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a11/a11.step....
Using Linux vs. Knowing Linux pinehead.tv
17 points by pinehead  4 hours ago   2 comments top
teilo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This article confuses learning Linux with learning network architecture from layer 7 on down. The bulk of the internet, and every service on it runs on Linux for reasons that are fairly obvious to anyone here. But there is nothing special about Linux other than its ubiquity, meaning there is nothing fundamentally "Linux" about the internet, nor about the application stack of the typical web service, nor the underlying protocols upon which they are built.

"Knowing" Linux does not mean you "know" the internet, nor vice versa.

How Long Do You Want to Live? nytimes.com
54 points by rosser  5 hours ago   58 comments top 18
mattmaroon 56 minutes ago 2 replies      
"This surge comes mostly from improved hygiene and nutrition, but also from new discoveries and interventions: everything from antibiotics and heart bypass surgery to cancer drugs that target and neutralize the impact of specific genetic mutations."

No. This is a common misperception that's easily debunked with two minutes of Googling and I'm shocked to see this in an NYT article. The change is almost entirely due to reduction in infant mortality.


reasonattlm 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Well, that's another data point to suggest that we remain a culture of suicidal, negligent barbarians - quick to accept the suffering and death of billions, and happy to condemn our future selves to the same.


Any present horror is accepted, indeed mandated, by the ape inside - conform, conform, it cries, so hungry to belong and be inside the visible peer group that this instinct overrides any rational consideration of what it actually means to age to death, and just how much might be done to prevent that from happening in this age of biotechnology.

lathamcity 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This is something that my friends and I talk about often, and it's a subject of particular interest for me. In particular, here are some of the things that I find to be obstacles to the idea of living forever, or at least for a tremendously extended period of time:

-Population growth. Right now it's pretty well established that three generations will be in the world at any given time, with around 25-30 years between each generation. If we were to live to 150 (much less 750), suddenly that's five or six generations instead of three, potentially doubling the world's population, and that's assuming that people still follow the custom of having an average number of children between the ages of 25-35 and then stopping.

-On that note, if we are given the capability to remain sexually active for hundreds of years, then one person will be capable of multiplying into far more new people, rapidly increasing population growth. If we are not given that capability, then we'd all end up miserable as the period of our lives in which we have sexually fulfilling relationships becomes small.

-If we conquer diseases with such efficiency, then the tragedy of random, accidental deaths becomes greatly more pronounced. People may die from heart disease and cancer at a far reduced or nonexistent rate, but people will still die from car crashes, drug-related violence and suicide at the same rate they do now. Those deaths will become a lot more significant and difficult to handle, and we as a society will become either super-anxious and paranoid about the possibility of losing our lives or either perpetually in mourning (as our lives become longer we will have more connections and friendships and familial relationships, so we'll have more people whose deaths will affect us) or somehow immune or numb to the pain as a coping mechanism. The idea of war will become far more barbaric as suddenly instead of taking 60 years and a family away from a young man, you're taking hundreds of years and whatever else he could have done in that time.

-Any disease we are unable to cure with the potential to permanently affect people will instantly become far more terrifying. Non-fatal sexually transmitted diseases, loss of limbs or appendages, and debilitating mental diseases will be far, far more damaging given the greater lifespan that they will affect.

-Medical care will still, presumably, be as expensive and challenging as ever; however, we will have more people who need it and more reasons that those people need it. Most of these reasons will probably be expensive - for instance, if cancer treatment ends up being very very expensive, everybody will still want it - so our society is going to have to find some way to handle that. In a best-case scenario, most of the money we made would end up going to medical care, and we would never retire. The proportion would probably be far from that though, with 99% of people being unable to feasibly afford to maintain their own lives. Furthermore, we would need far, far more doctors, and therefore we would have to develop even more incentives for people to take that path in life and stay on it for as long as possible.

-Concepts that we have now (some of which I mentioned tangentially above) that are based on the idea of a 70-90 year lifespan and that we rely on will no longer exist. These include the eventual death of all dictators/tyrants, fairly consistent sizes in the nuclear and extended families, the age-based progression of opportunities and decisions, life sentences for crimes, marriage (would you want to keep the same spouse for 500 years?), retirement, etc.

That's what I think, anyway.

joe_the_user 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I suspect that when you ask someone a question about something that is far outside their range of experiences, exactly how you frame that question is going to make a big difference in determining their answer.

"Would you like to live 500 year with the body of a twenty year old?" might give different results from "if the technology existed to avoid aging, would you use it?" and both might give different results than this poll.

melling 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't this kind of a stupid question? If age were truly just a number, I don't think people would bother asking it.

If you looked and felt like you were 30 at 130, would you say to yourself, I've lived long enough? You could have several careers. For example, you might decide to be a writer or do research that takes decades when you are 80.

How much imagination does it take to want to live for centuries? I just bought a Wacom drawing tablet today. I can't draw a straight line. I think I'll need a decade just to learn how to draw.

sown 3 hours ago 2 replies      
From my own experiences and thoughts on this, I think part of the problem is that this would give people unpresented amounts of freedom in defining their own life. I can barely figure out what to do with my one pathetic life span, with only a couple or few decades of productivity if I do things right (and by all accounts I am not doing it right; I can barely summon the strength now).

What would it mean to have several or perhaps an infinite amount of time and freedom to figure out what to do with as many lives as you want?

I think most people can't handle that responsibility at this stage in human history so people kind of reject the question.

gojomo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We are the 99%! What do we want? To die! When do we want it? After 80-150 years of life, but no more!

We've had enough life and we're not going to take it anymore! #occupyCemetaries

bloaf 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
I remember this webcomic whenever the subject of longevity comes up:


Specifically the quote "Hey, since we live for millions of years, let's go make some staggeringly beautiful art that can only be created by synthesizing thousands of years of experience, hopes, fears, triumphs and failures into one transcendental expression of life!"

I think the problem with the question as posed by the author is that he offers no "very long but finite" life span. Most people reject (correctly, I think) the possibility of living forever; "living forever" is actually code for "living until some accident kills you" or "living until society breaks down to the point where your life-extension technology is irrelevant." Moreover, people may realize that there may come a time at which they have accomplished everything they want to do. If you live forever, however, you would be forced to carry on living with no goal in life. Could you endure 10 years of life without a purpose? 100 years? In other words, people may ultimately want to die even though they are healthy. An "infinite" lifespan raises the possibility that you might just kill yourself at some point.

A better set of numbers might have been 100 years, 1000 years, 10,000 years, etc.

nyan_sandwich 3 hours ago 2 replies      
First reaction: What kind of stupid question is that? I want to live as long as possible.

Having read the article: less than 1% share my view. Yikes.

I think for most people, questions like this are what I'd call a "philosophy landmine"; say certain things and it causes people to stop thinking and repeat some standard cultural tropes or go spinning off into faux-philosophy-land.

Kind of depressing.

meric 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Most older people seem to be less likely to adapt to changes to society. E.g. Elderly people are less likely to take up new technology. Perhaps it might be related to the fact that babies' brains form new connections at a much faster rate than a thirty year old's whose brain form new connections at a much faster rate than an eighty year old's?

If you've played with machine learning, many machine learning algorithms are able to "learn" quickly initially but later on, it can less quickly adapt to changes. (Someone more knowledgeable may correct me here).

Consider the possibility that old people can have young bodies forever, but their brain / world view / whatever will not fundamentally change from when they were teenagers. i.e old people will continue to think outdated ideas and use outdated technologies, and not die. Whenever we talk about the establishment, congressmen thinking in outdated ways, these are the exact same people! Unless we can find a way to keep the brain young without continually causing amnesia, people with control over society to its detriment will continue living, forever.

Do you want to be a 250 year old who thinks that the world is wrong and you are right, that the old ways are best, while everyone else tries to convince you to move on?

I'd like to live as a 22 year old forever, but unfortunately that is not possible without freezing time (or resetting my brain using version control every birthday).

jseims 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm torn by the prospect of a technological solution to aging.

On one hand, I certainly don't want to get old and die -- at least, not on nature's time table.

On the other hand, if no one else got old and dies, we'll quickly become an over populated, stagnant society. From a more "objective" perspective, there's something beautiful about life because it's so temporary.

jostmey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Death is so scary because so little of our conscience self is passed onto the next generation. All of our experiences, memories, and feelings cease to exist. Only a fraction of our heritage is passed onto the next generation. That is all that survives of our mind.

Compare this to our genetic code. Approximately half of our genetic code is passed down in each offspring. Death only partially erases our genetic makeup, and so no one is scared of their genes being lost when they die.

Death is scary because we have no means to pass on our memories and experiences to the next generation. It is as if we were meant to be scared of death, so that we fight against it.

fingerprinter 3 hours ago 0 replies      
People have already said this, but to reinforce: what a dumb question. The surrounding context is more important than the actual question. Very few would choose to live to any age if it required massive medical intervention, and very few would ever choose to die if they were happy, healthy and general content.
padobson 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Even if I asked them to imagine that a pill had been invented to slow aging down by one-half, allowing a person who is, say, 60 years old to have the body of a 30-year-old, only about 10 percent of audiences switched to favoring a life span of 150 years.

Bring it on. If you can double my lifespan, I can do twice as much good.

njharman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For however long I am able to move under my own power. Whether that's legs, arms->wheelchair or mind->computer->mech I'm good.
stfu 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Less than 1 percent embraced the idea that people might avoid death altogether.

Actually wasn't Kurzweil promoting the idea of a downloadable brain? Is this just wishful thinking or is there actually any hope for that?

This would be somewhat an acceptable alternative, i.e. to live forever as a digital element. Otherwise I guess by best try is still with the cryonic guys.

bloaf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure that much of our improvement in life expectancy over the past century is due to the reduction in infant mortality.


marshallp 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
really interesting comment about life extension on reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/yswxw/what_techn...
Stanford Biologist and Computer Scientist Discover the 'Anternet' stanford.edu
73 points by stollercyrus  10 hours ago   19 comments top 8
waiwai933 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> "Ants have discovered an algorithm that we know well, and they've been doing it for millions of years," Prabhakar said.

Isn't it more like we discovered an algorithm that they know well, considering that they came up with it first?

xi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The original paper, which is quite informative and easy to read: http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fj...
ChuckMcM 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Fun result. It reminds me of the stories Dr. Feynman would tell about what he learned by watching ants.
orthecreedence 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the real amazing thing is that the protocols for the internet took brilliant people years to figure out. Ants do it as one self-organizing body, anarchically.

I've always been fascinated by the collective intelligence of an ant colony. This drives it home even more.

sabalaba 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool photo by Steve Jurvetson of DFJ.
nviarnes 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Very cool. Does anybody here know how the forager traffic is actually regulated? Is it centrally managed by the queen, or is there some sort of chemical signal that individual ants can produce to spread the word?
eclecnant 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Dr. Anteater and Aunt Hillary [0] probably knew this all along.

[0]: http://themindi.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/chapter-11-prelude-an...

freepipi 5 hours ago 0 replies      
each ant is a router?
Show & Thank HN: my friday night project turns into a venture postcongress.io
69 points by scottmotte  12 hours ago   43 comments top 20
bcardarella 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I created a very similar app a year and a half ago: mailcongress.org


It's since come down. Here are some things you need to consider

1.) Progressives won't respond well to this. I have some experience here, I spent a year working at the Democratic National Committee in DC on their Labs team. My observation is that unless you're "a name" in the progressive tech sector or have a name attached to the product it is going to be difficult getting notice. I actually respect the Republicans on how they adopt technology: throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. I can cite examples of this if people are interested.

2.) Since 911 Snail mail can take weeks to arrive. Everything that is sent to the Hill in DC is sent out for anthrax screening. It is very difficult to send reactionary issue snail mail unless it is hand delivered.

3.) The best way to get your rep's attention is to send mail, email, or call about a very specific issue. If you say "Support gay rights!" you'll most likely get a very well printed form response letter a few weeks later. If you say "I am one of your constituents and I want you to support SR 1992 up for vote in two weeks" this goes much further. Reps want to know that you are a vote and how you want them to vote on specific bills.

4.) Most hill staffers will actually ignore snail mail that doesn't have a postage stamp (the ones that the post office will put on the letter to mark its origin) from their district or state (for senators). Again, they really only care about votes. If you can't vote for him/her then you don't matter nearly as much as someone that can.

5.) I originally designed MailCongress because I saw a Communicating With Congress report when I was at the DNC. I cannot find the link now but this report comes out every 4 years (right after each mid-term). It represents the previous 4 years after publication of data on how congress responds to different forms of communication. The report I saw came out in 2006 which means it covered 2002 - 2006. At the time Email was way down around 30% efficacy and snail mail was up to 85% effective. I released MailCongress right before the 111th Congress left at the end of 2010. The next report came out that represented 2006 - 2010 and things changed a lot. Email went up to mid-70s efficacy and snail mail dropped to mid-70s. For the 4 years prior to 2010 email was just as effective at communicating with congress as snail mail. The report said the reasons for the swing was most likely because of the major turn over on the hill in 2006. When many new congress people come in they bring a new generation of hill staffers, younger, and more tech-savy. We had another major turn over in 2010. Which means more shift. I wouldn't be able to tell you what the numbers are but my guess is that email exceeds snail mail by now. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the next report's number were very skewed once you take Twitter and Facebook into consideration.

I applaud the effort, I really hope it works. Unfortunately you're fighting a lot of factors here. Your pricing is much better than mine (I was charging $1 per-piece and also would notify the senders when their letters should have arrived so they could follow up with phone calls). You should consider how the printing is going to scale if you get serious about this. I actually built out of mail queue backed by Redis. Scalability testing showed I could print 1000 letters per hour. Which is really not that many if it were to take off, any crazy issue that comes up (and they always do) can be an opportunity to get people to use this. The usage patterns in politics are very spiky so you need to be ready for immediate scale.

TL:DR; I once built something similar, best of luck! :)

scottmotte 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Last friday night I hacked together FJunkMail.com and the following day posted it up on Hacker News - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4402220.

The response from the Hacker News community was really encouraging. I want to thank you all for that. I especially want to thank ChuckMcM for his idea to turn it into a way to send a postcard to your congressperson (and his helpful feedback over an email thread), and prasincs for his additional re-enforcement of that idea.

From all that I built https://postcongress.io over the course of this past week. And already it is turning into a venture. A colleague of mine recommended I contact advocacy groups. I've started doing so and have some strong leads and a meeting on Monday.

So, thank you HN.

And there is still tweaks to be done so I'd appreciate any feedback.

joering2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
+1, BUT here is what I want to see:

I want an App that lets me join a "ring of awared" and execute an action, leveraging the power of Web 2.0/Social.

Very simple example: recently you had something called SOPA being pushed through. You would go to the App and create a thread "call representative X and tell him you are against SOPA". You put Rep name, phone number, and click "submit the project". Then everyone that feels compelled to participate, joins the "ring". Then simple algorithm puts everyone that joined into a chain: now A is calling rep. Once A finished his call, A press the button "done" and focus is switched to B that is notified via email/inapp notification/ etc that it is his time to call. If he wont do it in 10 minute timeframe, system moves forward to C, D, E ... n.

Sorry, but nowadays I think its the only way to get some traction. If rep staff memorize those $1.99 postcards, they will be simply throwing them without even reading, which is the same as clicking "trash" in your gmail judging just by subject/sender.

If you wont get the ICE/DHS ceasing your domain and servers due to "domestic terrorism", this could go viral and grow big. Perhaps then, overloaded with phonecalls from people that care about their future and future of their children, those in charge would start to care.

zackzackzack 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Some comments:

Good turn around time.

Try putting black edges around your title text. Right now, they are just blending in with the background. The political background is a neat idea. Designing for it dynamically will be hard though. Set up A/B testing and test the various backgrounds you have, as well as backgrounds from subtlepatterns.com (just in case).

Rotate the bottom info bar so that it is horizontal instead of vertical. Nobody cares about the IO name I don't think. At this point the total message should be simple: "Send a postcard to your congressperson, PERIOD".

Use javascript to encode the message and congressperson into the url. Backbone has a way to do this. That way people can tweet out "Send THIS GUY a piece of your mind. I did! Here's my message! postcongress.com?senator='Dick Durbin'&message='Bro, come on. Taxes?'"

Not enough social buttons. Seriously, you need more buttons. Tweets and likes from political active people will garner attention from like minds.

Why don't I see any adwords from you here yet?
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=mail+your+congressman no sacarsm intended, mostly this link was shorter).

Change the font that the message naturally displays with. Times New Roman doesn't look right to me. Also, include a picture of a real, finished card on the site.

Good luck!

TimPC 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Your business model may eventually morph into an advocacy site. Have a bunch of campaigns running with postcard size messages and a pay to send mode. Let users sign-up with data to verify their riding and send to appropriate representatives. Lower cost as much as you can by being able to bulk send. Try and figure out what your best services and business model will be. Building a user-based site with social network plug-ins to drive viral growth will probably be key. Enable posting about sending the post-card and an in-site functionality to track campaigns and whether you inspire others is probably a promising way to go after end users.
codesuela 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Slightly OT but I just wanted to point out that this stands in strong contrast to the "Why I now, unfortunately, hate Hacker News.." post and that's great.
Other than that: congrats OP!
mintplant 6 hours ago 1 reply      
May I suggest merging the postcard display with the input interface? It was the first thing that drew my intention, and I actually tried to click on it to start typing a message.

Other than that, looks like a pretty neat concept. I like the emerging trend of producing physical output from digital actions.

5vforest 10 hours ago 3 replies      
This is cool, but others with more experience in the field have already figured out how to best deliver messages to congress.

See the "How it works" section: http://heritageaction.com/grow/using-popvox-email-congress/

> Unlike electronic mail, which is both free to send and easy to ignore, receiving a postcard sends its own message. It says to the congressperson, "I feel strongly enough about
this to go to the expense of sending an actual card."

No. A postcard will never make it to the congressperson. It will be read by a staffer and most likely tossed unless it expresses support or opposition for a current issue or bill, in which case it will be tallied and then tossed in the garbage.

ChuckMcM 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Clearly I think this is an excellent idea. Very nicely done Scott! I expect this will have a long an prosperous life.
throwaway1979 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool project!

Are you printing/writing out the postcards yourself? Or are you automating/outsourcing it?

LiveTheDream 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks nice! Congratulations on moving forward with your project rather than letting it languish.

Quick feedback: there's a typo in "sign, sealed, delivered"; should be "signed" rather than "sign".

tocomment 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great idea!

One thing I'd suggest is to send a random assortment of postcards and don't includ your logo or company info anywhere on it. Ie make it look like it actually came from a citizen.

Otherwise congress people will just think they're form letters and throw them out.

slurgfest 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Great idea. Can you make it possible to put carriage returns in the message?

I guess the idea with advocacy groups is that they can subsidize the cost of postcards and get a bulk rate?

klausjensen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Please write more about how you actually fulfill orders. How do you print, send to printer, is part of the process manual, break down cost etc.

Great idea, love it. :)

bcks 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic. I can imagine small advocacy organizations wanting to use this for their members with a custom issue graphic. For instance, if Amnesty International wanted its members to write on behalf of a prisoner of conscience they could use a photo of that individual on the back of the card.

Otherwise, are you willing to share some of the details about the fulfillment side of things? How did you find a printer? How are they receiving the orders?

adambratt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of something I did back in jan this year. I made a twitter account called SopaSoap and had a huge following.

We were going to allow people to send "SOPA" soap for $8 to their congressman with the tag line "Vote no on SOPA and help keep congress clean".

Then SOPA got tabled. Luckily it was right before I setup the website and place the order with a soap manufacturer I was working with.

pizza 11 hours ago 0 replies      
3JPLW 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the front of the postcard like? It'd be awesome if I could choose from a few different designs... or even upload my own image!

Great idea!

ayla 9 hours ago 0 replies      
i would like to know if this is handwritten or printed? handwritten would be a lot more effective, print looks like spam mail.
thisone 10 hours ago 0 replies      
just a comment about the background, though others have been made.

In chrome, at least, the background starts loading in, then goes white, then loads in again. It's a bit odd.

Have you thought of saving the image progressive or interlaced? Don't know what the common knowledge is on this at the moment, but watching an image that big and busy load in slowly from top to bottom takes time away from getting to the actual point of the site.

LIFE on the Moon (1969) books.google.com
51 points by mikecane  11 hours ago   15 comments top 9
raganwald 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I read this as a boy. I'm moved to tears. I'm sorry, that isn't much of a productive comment, but I really have no words for what it feels like to have grown up with that as an example of what mankind could really do.
rwmj 10 hours ago 3 replies      
That's definitely worth reading for the adverts, and for the dramatic irony of the leader about Nixon withdrawing support for the war in Vietnam.
bstar77 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought Panasonic's Full page Ad on 16D (big yellow ad) was pretty touching. Who does that now-a-days?
ghshephard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Just took 30 minutes of my time. I actually _felt_ like I was reading about our landing on the moon.

(note: Even though it wasn't the point - this is first time I've read a magazine from (virtual) cover to cover in several years. The advertisements and discussion of prince charles possible wife were fascinating.)

spitfire 4 hours ago 0 replies      
That issue has the worlds best VW ad. Look for it.
alpine 8 hours ago 1 reply      
"It's ugly but it gets you there."

Who says a German's PR company doesn't have a sense of humour?

mynameishere 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's ugly, but it gets you there.

Brillo offers you the moon. Free.

That didn't take long.

ofca 9 hours ago 0 replies      
feels like reading Life issue 43 years from now, not 43 years ago...
grantatarde2011 6 hours ago 0 replies      
its good book.
I can't make this stuff up plus.google.com
247 points by vibrunazo  11 hours ago   154 comments top 33
bpatrianakos 8 hours ago  replies      
Even if this is a true story, it isn't the lawsuit that made people think this. What makes people think that Apple products and Samsung products are the same is the fact that Samsung intentionally ripped them off to get exactly that. Apple did not do this. Samsung did and the lawsuit was so they could stop it. If this story is true, which it kind of sounds like it isn't, then the only reason people are being vocal about it is because of the news. They're now comparing the two side by side and saying "hey, they look the same so they must be like the same thing". Up until about two months ago I was dirt poor (as in I only ate once a day, if that) and my experience with Apple products has been then you definitely get what you pay for in a good way which is why I have bought so many despite my door poor-ness. Samsung making their products look like Apple's was meant so people like me (minus the tech savviness) would buy them thinking they'll get the same thing. You really don't.

But I digress. This post has it wrong. What he supposedly overheard in a Starbucks wasn't caused by the Apple v. Samsung ruling but was a direct result of what Samsung had been trying to do all along.

othermaciej 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I am skeptical that this is actually a true story and not a parable. The alleged regular people consumer statements do not ring true.
forgottenpaswrd 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This man is clearly lying. So awkward and artificial that is clearly fabricated, like a geek joke prepared and rationalized but void and dead of humor.

Imagine a teenage that could not differentiate between and iPod and some other thing "that is the same".

Yeah, because normal people know how to install a VM, do a grep and an ssh....but they could not differentiate from a computer witch battery last 3 hours instead of 8, or weights double, or is made in real aluminum(and not plastic with metallic paint) or it is actually cheaper than the competence.

This man is wet dreaming.

lutusp 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Samsung's iPad is the same as Apple's iPad, and I paid how much for the Apple one? Honey, I told you they were a ripoff"

Maybe now, but if Samsung has to pay a billion-dollar fine, the prices will be more comparable -- assuming that Samsung isn't also ordered to stop building machines so much like Apple's.

The sense of the article is that the lawsuit outcome favors Samsung -- that Apple is outing Samsung's units as being similar to Apple's but less money. This only works if Samsung's business isn't crippled by fines and cease-and-desist orders.

tedunangst 9 hours ago 8 replies      
Here's what's going to happen. These people will buy a Samsung device. And they will hate it. And then they will learn to never buy anything but Apple. Apple has, for a short bump in near term revenue, earned themselves a lot of lifetime customers.
edanm 7 hours ago 2 replies      
So a while ago, I had this thought: "It's pretty obvious that the casual user will buy iPhones and not Galaxies. After all, Apple works very hard to make iPhones perfect for the casual user, and all of the goodiness that comes from having a more open phone is meaningless for the casual user".

A little later, as more and more people I knew gravitated towards the Galaxies, I realized the flaw in this thinking - the average user doesn't know that the iPhone is geared towards him/her, and is a much better fit for someone who doesn't want to tinker with their phone. Only techies know this.

The average user wants to buy a phone that they can put apps on. As far as they're concerned, the iPhone and the Galaxy is the same product, only with a vastly different price structure.

waterside81 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A few commenters here are not sure if this is real or not. I thought it was quite plainly put out as a tongue-in-cheek commentary in the form of an anecdote on the ridiculousness (according to the author) of this whole patent situation. "If Samsung copied Apple, why would we buy Apple? Just buy the cheap knock-off" is what he's angling at.
saturdaysaint 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I am extremely skeptical that a lawsuit that few people are even aware of will have any effect on either company's brand image. A lot of Apple's products could be called "iconic" - people with little interest in technology differentiate between an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 4. I'd be surprised if anyone could tell a Samsung from an HTC. A lawsuit isn't going to change that.
espeed 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What perfect PR for Samsung. It reminds me of the story where a company hired actors for a PR stunt where they used pre-launch devices in public to create buzz for the product. Who was that?

EDIT: Maybe it was Samsung I'm thinking of. Evidently they have done stuff like that before (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110325/12360313633/samsun...). Netflix has done this too (http://www.avclub.com/articles/netflix-apologizes-for-hiring...).

jdq 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Everything about the story reads like it was fabricated.
Steko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm mystified that an anecdote that's very likely fabricated and is filled with misinformation is one of the highest rated pieces here.

I'd say people who upvote before they read are part of the problem but I'm more concerned that many people did read and still upvoted it.

dimitar 9 hours ago 1 reply      
A more probable headline - Apple consumers are wondering what they are paying for.

Not really news, and I doubt its going to affect sales for now. Eventually they'll have to reinvent themselves if they want to stay cool, though. (Like Sony Walkman failed to do so as a brand)

prostoalex 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Costumers are people in charge of costumes, right? I can't imagine Apple would have that many.
psychotik 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Well, all this story tells me is that the folks who frequent Starbucks aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.
greenwalls 8 hours ago 2 replies      
A Pro-Google Android Zealot writes a story on Google Plus about people switching from Apple to Samsung due to a patent lawsuit and you all believe it? I guess there really is a sucker born every minute.

Check Apple's earnings later to see who was right.

victorbstan 9 hours ago 5 replies      
This is a perfect example of judging a book by the cover. So these folks look at the device and think that the hardware is what makes it. Problem is, either you realize that it's about the software and you care what iOS and the Apple ecosystem gives you, or you're just an average Joe PC user who can't tell the difference between a good coffee and Starbucks, I mean between Windows and Mac. Regular people, with very little ability to discern the average from the good, the half finished from the polished, won't care. But maybe they do. Maybe once they experience a iPad or iPhone and then switch to Android, maybe they will realized there is a difference. I think this is what Apple is betting on. But then again, some wont. And some Samsung/Android fanatics are going to revel in these cases, just like the PC fanatics revel in talking about how amazing Windows is, and how much software they have access to. I still can't understand how these people think, and how they judge quality, I think for some people, mediocre is good enough. Obviously, I have my own particular way of judging things, and I wouldn't confuse an iPad with a Samsung device.
AllenKids 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the author make this stuff up.

Also after a few months it tricks me into G+ again, nope, still no value for me.

gtirloni 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What Apple has done is essentially throw all the hard work of its own marketing department out the window. Marketing works hard so consumers will pay more for what they perceive is a better product. Even if it's not.

Now Apple has called attention to how similar Samsung products are and people ARE going to make this connection no matter what.

Even if Apple gets an injunction, do you think customers will still be willing to pay that premium over Apple products? They will at least start questioning their choices.

In this consumerist society we might as well see riots and protests so Apple lowers the prices or the govt cancels the injunctions.

morpher 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I find this (apparently fake) story interesting for the reaction that it created. I found it surprising (disturbing?) that anyone (even a fictional character) would equate losing a lawsuit for patent infringement with having an identical product. I was even for surprised reading through to comments on g+ to see how many were simply along the lines of "haha stoopid iPeons". As if they are dumb for having purchased an iProduct in the first place instead of the obviously identical but cheaper product from Samsung. Wat? I don't doubt the authors conjecture that some customers may have this odd reaction to the lawsuit, but why do so many people seem to think that it is a natural reaction to have?
pedalpete 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I take back the comment here http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4432744,

apparently this is exactly what Gigaom was referring to earlier today. I didn't think people would care, but apparently they do, don't understand, and Apple is paying the price.

What would have happened had Samsung won??

stesch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Sure. They buy a Samsung notebook and try to install Mac OS X on it. That will be fun!
stock_toaster 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a case of assumed "difference regret", where people (esp those who don't know much about the products they are choosing from) think they didn't get the best deal.
delllapssuck 9 hours ago 2 replies      

For Apple, it's all about controlling the minds of consumers. And controlling their access to information about the devices.

For Samsung, it's less about that and more about plain old lack of interoperability: proprietary plugs, crappy Windows proprietary "install" software that was written hastily, and other little annoyances, stuff that will only work with Samsung. Like every other Asian manufacturer for as long as I can remember. (But at least companies like Samsung make SSD's and other components that can be used in any device. They keep companies like Apple afloat. Can Apple make its own components? Not as cost-effectively as Samsung.)

The result is always the same: the consumer overpays for these cheap electronics and gets next to zero customer service. It's "take it or leave it".

Showing a random Starbucks customer OSX in a virtual machine? Priceless.

If they only knew what their iPhones, iPads, "iOS" and "OSX" were really made of. They might never care. But they do care about overpaying.

chris24 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This story reminds me of that recent Mac genius ad with the sketchy computer salesman.
chmars 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Google+ asks for my Google account password. Is there an alternate URL for this text?
enos_feedler 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Tim Cook specifically stated the reason they took action is in alignment with Apple's values, with innovation being the big one. Looking at the products Apple cranks out I don't think anyone can deny they value innovation (even if it means stealing along the way). They used the existing system in the best way they could in alignment with their core values, despite the fact it might confuse the customer, they lose sales etc, etc. Good for Apple.
lines 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 costs $100 less than the latest iPad, and the same as the iPad 2. May I assume that "Samsung's iPad" in this case was actually a seven inch model, and a blatantly unfair comparison?

edit: not to mention that the value of OS X is part of tw cost of MacBooks; running it in a VM on another OS is common, but unfair to portray to random people as a legitimate action as evidence that Apple is ripping peons off.

dakimov 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you cannot tell the difference between an iPhone and a Samsung, you should better buy yourself a Huawei.
EternalFury 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Good one, nonsense.
adamgb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Self-fulfilling prophecies are a bitch.
logn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Sweet ironic justice.
anuraj 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Z3UX 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sorry for my honest comment but this just proves what some people over the world thinks: Americans are dumb! =X
A Linux dev who helped thousands needs help to fight cancer linuxlock.blogspot.it
411 points by FiloSottile  1 day ago   122 comments top 39
tytso 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The title of the article is not accurate. He is not a Linux developer; for those who don't know who he is, Ken is the founder of the Helios project, which is a non-profit which refurbishes old computers and distributes them to children whose families can't afford computers.

So for someone who has paid things forward, he certainly deserves help. See the following article from his hometown newspaper in Austin, Texas for more about the good works that he has done:


Update: Thomas Knight reports that they have raised the necessary $50,000. It looks like the Indiegogo campaign is still open, and there's a note than any excess that isn't needed for his medical expenses (if all goes well the $50k should be enough) will go to Reglue, his non-profit which helps children to get access to computers.

eric_bullington 1 day ago 7 replies      
I just donated $50. And as much as I agree with the sentiments on this page about my country's lacking health care system (and have always voted with this in mind), I hope we can come together to focus on the problem at hand, which is raising money for a fellow dev in his time of greatest need.
I assume the Indiegogo account cannot be suspended as easily as Paypal, so I made the donation through Indiegogo despite the slightly higher service fee.

EDIT: Here's the link for the Indiegogo campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/helios

mbreese 1 day ago 3 replies      
As an update: http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2012/08/it-started-with-hopele...

While he still needs money, they did find a doctor to perform the surgery. But don't let that stop you from donating, if you're able.

He also answered a question that I had: he's a veteran, so he should qualify for VA medical assistance. According to his post above, the VA system moves too slow to stop his rapidly spreading cancer.

glesica 1 day ago 1 reply      
Donated $50. I realize we're trying not to rant about the healthcare system too much, so all I will say is that this is exactly why the system is a problem. What's the point of all our technology and "progress" if we still don't provide reasonable care to all?
taknight 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blown away.

I'm simply blown away, as day after day the outpouring of support for Ken grows. When I put my blog post together, my hope was to help a good friend with a new monitor, and the rest was kindof a pipe dream.

Now, 8 days and almost $40,000 later, I'm at a loss for words.

Thank you to everyone who has donated, commented, passed it on, or done anything else to help us out. Both Ken and I are speechless.

Thank you.

tzs 1 day ago 3 replies      
SSI disability payments should not count against Medicare income limits.

The United States fucking sucks sometimes.

gambiting 1 day ago 1 reply      
Say whatever you like about EU, but I can't think of any country here that would not help this man, or let him die simply because he can't afford surgery. In the worst possible case he would still have the surgery done straight away ,but he would have to pay afterwards,not before - he might end up in debt because of that,but better than being dead for sure.

Anyway, donated some money, really wish he gets all the help he needs.

DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really hope paypal don't freeze the account for 180 days while they investigate.
shirro 1 day ago 0 replies      
It isn't like a health safety net even has to be all that expensive. A good mixed system looks after the poorest people and everyone else is encouraged (with tax penalties etc) to have private health insurance. In a wealthy country hardly anyone should be poor or unemployed anyway so the costs aren't that great. The US is a triumph of ideology over common sense.
carbocation 1 day ago 0 replies      
He needs to get himself admitted to a major academic medical center, possibly via the ED.
sharms 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hackernews has been very kind to me through the years, glad I can send a few dollars to return the favor
tzaman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Of all the crap we throw money at, I see absolutely no reason not to help this man out. Donated.
callmesocialist 1 day ago 1 reply      
I still question the lack of healthcare in a developed nation.
rplnt 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sorry to be so ignorant when it comes to linux core (perhaps?) developers, but the entire blog post didn't mention his name nor his wife signed it with hers so I could at least assume who he is.
eculver 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Donated $40.

Two days ago, there was a post on HN announcing Watsi, essentially a Kickstarter for healthcare (Sorry if I'm discrediting it's overall value in any way, it's a great idea: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424081). Most of us in the Western world aren't the target audience for Watsi, but this seems appropriate. Can we not make this happen and see a cohesive case to be made for those asking questions about cause and background?

johnrob 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I donated $30 (thought I'd add more social proof while I'm here).
chadr 1 day ago 0 replies      
taknight 13 hours ago 0 replies      
We have closed donations coming directly through PayPal. Thank you to everyone who has been so generous. The IndieGoGo campaign will remain open for another day or so, but we can't keep taking donations when we've now clearly met our goal.

The $50,000 we collected in 10 days will more than cover all of Ken's medical expenses as he continues through his difficult cancer treatment. Thank you to everyone who helped out, you are all wonderful people. :)


FiloSottile 1 day ago 1 reply      
Indiegogo campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/helios (RE-EDIT: IndieGoGo takes 9% fee but PayPal is known for account freezing, the choice is up to you
ixacto 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would gladly pay 5% more income tax to be on par with Canada as far as rates go, if the USA got single-payer healthcare.
marquis 1 day ago 1 reply      
I just donated via Paypal given the comments about the 9% vs Paypal fees. However it got me thinking from reading the indiegogo site:

"The cost just to book the OR for Ken's surgery is $50,000, and that doesn't include the surgery itself, nor any post-op medical expenses."

What is the total cost of expenses, or is that unknown? Knowing how much is needed would possibly help raise more funds.

jfb 1 day ago 0 replies      
$50. Nobody should be in this situation. The US system is appalling.
simcop2387 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You are all lovely people. <3
barking 1 day ago 1 reply      
America does seem to be a country where it's devil take the hindmost but people who live here in Europe find plenty to complain about in our systems too.
sidcool 1 day ago 1 reply      
My donations went to "DragonWing Software", I hope that's correct.
bstar77 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm happy to see these kickstarter clones popping up for medical causes. I'm much more apt to donate when I can better see where my money is going (and hope I don't get scammed in the process).
raheemm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just donated $35.
sidcool 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ok, I trust Hacker News and I am donating whatever I am capable of.
antihero 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy fuck is your healthcare system stupid.
hhimanshu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I donated $10, I wish him better health and good luck
bunsenhoneydew 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just donated through paypal. Hopefully the account will hold up ok.

Geeks with heart. You're a lovely bunch HN peeps...

Wishing Diane and Ken all the best.

gozman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Set aside the debates on healthcare, the awful reality of this man have to raise funds to keep him alive, or any other political rhetoric.

Most of us, even the most starving bootstrapper of the bunch, has enough change in his/her pocket to make an impact on a real human life.

Let's not brag about what we donated, or how much, or if we donated at all. But please everyone, let's reach out for someone who needs us like every good human should.

roma1n 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Donated. Now what about fixing your health care system, Uncle Sam?
two1eight 3 hours ago 0 replies      
donated $40. Get well soon.
bobdvb 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't know the man, a little sad that we have to support the screwed up US medical system, but I've given money because I have it and he doesn't.
bjm1 1 day ago 0 replies      
donated $100, hope he gets better.
masmullin 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Donated. Get well Ken.
tylerc230 1 day ago 0 replies      
iamanet 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Donated $50. Get well Ken.
Career.fork() - How To Thrive As A Freelance Developer leanpub.com
98 points by hekker  15 hours ago   51 comments top 13
jaggederest 12 hours ago 5 replies      
My question about books like this is always 'If you are doing so well at what you're writing a book about, why are you wasting the time writing a book about it?'

Surely you don't expect that your time spent writing a book is going to pay out at $300 an hour, or whatever your consulting rates are.

ricardobeat 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Pay-what-you-want with a high minimum price gives me conflicted feelings. What I read is "this book costs $11.99, but you can give me more money if you want!".
bdunn 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Steve, this is great! As somebody who's a week or two away from releasing a book on pricing for freelancers (http://doubleyourfreelancingrate.com) I'd love to compare notes sometime.

Buying now. I'm especially interested in the "Oiling the wheels" section.

antihero 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Can we get it free then pay you back double once the advice starts to work? Call it an investment...
ilaksh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The hard part is finding good clients who have lots of money. How do you do that?
edanm 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems like a very interesting book. How relevant is it for people starting consulting businesses, i.e. not solo freelancers but rather freelance companies?

I'm talking about questions like: how to allocate the different people to different tasks, how/when to hire employees, hiring on-site employees vs. hiring freelancers who work from home (potentially form elance or similar), etc. Does this book get into any of these topics at all?

joss82 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Why link to an ad for a book instead of an article that would add value, and maybe point to the book at the end?
neurostimulant 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just bought it. As a new full time freelancer, I really appreciate your effort to take time and write this book. Thanks.
wodow 14 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks good. But it wasn't clear to me that the author is talking about the UK (primarily? exclusively) without reading a fair amount of the page.
moystard 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone own this book? I am actually thinking of going the Freelance way and am looking for a good overview of the outcomes and challenges. I feel a bit lost with all the various information that I have read on the Internet, so am looking for something I can trust and that reflect the reality of freelancing well.
andr3w321 12 hours ago 0 replies      
No free chapter?
jqueryin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Where's the coupon code for HN :) I'd suggest doing this and then having a link to your PayPal if we feel it was worth more.
richo 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Object.fork ? is there any environment in which that even attempts to make sense?

Fork is a system call.

Inside Larry Ellison's Insane Plan to Turn America's Cup Into a TV Spectacle wired.com
47 points by lnguyen  11 hours ago   13 comments top 7
nirvana 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great news, as sailing is a wonderful sport, and the TV coverage of it in the past has often been hard to find, quite inconsistent and very poorly done.

I don't know why WIRED is increasingly becoming such a snotty, hostile and tabloid publication. I guess it's cool to hate on Ellison for putting money into a wonderful sport.

While we can't afford these huge multi-million dollar boats, we can have much of the same excitement in our own lives racing $20,000-$30,000 boats. And you don't even need a boat-- since crews tend to be 5-7 people owners are often looking for crew!

Good coverage of the Americas Cup will hopefully help bring more people into the sport of racing.

lancewiggs 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The sailing in the Olympics used much of the technology mentioned, including painting virtual lines on the water. The article feels overwrought, but the racing will be amazing. The new big Team NZ yacht is just near me here in Auckland, and feels like a tethered wild beast ready to be unleashed. Watch out for the rise of fixed wing sails, possibly transforming the yachting industry.
tedunangst 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It takes an active imagination to see sailing as a spectator sport

Don't let that stop you from writing 5000 words about it. This reeks of "pick someone to hate, find a reason to hate them, write it up".

marquis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Yachting is a fascinating sport: it's extremely technical as well as exhilarating and team-building. I've had the pleasure of being in the tech area during some races where the GPS equipment is managed, stressful stuff! If you're near a body of water and have some time to take some sailing lessons before the cup next year, I guarantee you'll get hooked on many levels (it's also great exercise).
jfb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw some of this at the ballpark this afternoon. It was pretty nifty, and the boats are unbelievable. Helped that it was gorgeous out.
Groxx 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Doing it for (American) football made it much easier for me to follow along. I suspect the same will be true for yachting. Personally, I love it.
suyash 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't wait, best time to be in SF and work for Oracle!
Neutron Drive - A code editor for Google Drive and Chrome neutron-drive.appspot.com
70 points by cyberpanther  15 hours ago   17 comments top 7
SquareWheel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Looks really good. I had high hopes for Bespin, but I haven't heard anything about that in some time, so I suppose I'll start watching this project instead.

I know it's based heavily on GDocs, but my workflow is based around Dropbox. Maybe something could be rigged up there.

TeMPOraL 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Won't replace Emacs for me for a simple reason - even if this editor supported rebinding keyboard shortcuts, the platform - Chrome - won't allow to bind some key combinations, like CTRL+n. It's a failure of the platform, not the editor; web version of Emacs (featured on HN some time ago) is also unusable on this browser.
agravier 13 hours ago 1 reply      
It might be a nice app but it requires permission to perform R/W operations when I'm not using the application. Why do you need those permissions?
skybrian 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What does "Google Drive revision control" mean in this case?
d23 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have examples of good use cases for this? I personally can't imagine why it would be more useful than my full IDE, though I'm eager to hear how others might use it.
manaskarekar 14 hours ago 1 reply      
If I understand correctly, this naturally handles concurrent multiple users the way a normal Google document would?

Looks very cool!

jamesmeador 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You can leverage App Engine's Channel API for some minimal collaboration techniques.
Windows 8 productivity: Who moved my cheese? Oh, there it is. hanselman.com
162 points by nigelsampson  21 hours ago   147 comments top 28
makmanalp 14 hours ago 2 replies      
> There's a bunch of folks who have said that you have to "swipe up" or "slide away" from the Login or Lock screen to log in. Some websites have even suggested you disable the lock screen. That is stupid and wrong cough NBCNews cough and you shouldn't turn off the lock screen. Just press any key. Or just start typing. Or click the mouse. Or ANYTHING. You don't have to "swipe up" to log in just click or press anything.

What happened to affordances? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance

All these people aren't stupid. They're coming up with these crazy ideas because they don't know what else to do.

One task of good design is to make it obvious what I can do and how I can do it. No one likes to discover, 3 months later, that you could do a 3 finger pinch with a middle finger wiggle gesture to do what you wanted. I shouldn't have to sit there and try all the combos of what I can do.

jader201 18 hours ago 16 replies      
> Here's another crazy idea for shutting down your PC or Laptop - Press the Power Button.

You can thank Windows for this. Back in the day when we went from DOS to Windows, this notion of a "proper shutdown" was introduced, and God forbid you press the power button, or bad things would happen.

I'm not positive Windows was the first to do this, but I think it's safe to say it was the one that started this habit for most people.

And now, it has became so engraved in our brain that it's nearly impossible to un-train. I to this day never use the power button on any device to shut it down out of uncertainty that I don't know what will happen[1] if I do.


makecheck 15 hours ago 5 replies      
It's good to see an article that focuses on more than the usual changes people obsess about in Windows 8.

These "not bad" changes in Windows 8 also underscore a recurring problem with software: people are forced to choose between "take the good and the bad" or "nothing", they can't just take the "good". Software updates are too big and bundled when the reality is that a lot of components could sensibly be upgraded by themselves.

Changes in Task Manager for instance could have been folded into any version of Windows to date, and if a few programmers had access to the right source code I'm sure they could have added this at least to XP. Yet they can't, and Microsoft won't, and users of any version other than 8 are kept from a perfectly sensible improvement.

Rather than charging $200 for an "upgrade", sometimes I think it would make a lot more sense if you could pay Microsoft $10 for the "new system utilities package" (which would update your Windows XP Task Manager alone, and whatever else falls into that category). In other words, don't restrict access to the truly useful upgrades just because no one wants Metro.

ck2 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Windows 8 is the Digg of OS. Complete redesign for no purpose at all.

And the fact they HAD a start menu interface until the final release (it was in the beta/candidates) is just a bigger insult.

W8 is actually usable once you add back in the start menu and have it go immediately to the desktop via a 3rd party program. Why microsoft didn't allow that option when they original did, is clear demonstration of them being obstinant.

Once again the lesson is - if you must change your product:

     1. change it gradually
2. give an option for the old way

nhebb 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm an avid Win+{Key} user, so I won't have problem adapting. My family, though ... I'm not so sure.

I'm a Windows developer, and I confess that I haven't tried Windows 8 yet. I'm usually eager to try new OS's and learn new things, but this time I'm not. I think it's a sense of dread about having to spent several hours learning an environment that just seems tedious.

corporalagumbo 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice to see someone thinking constructively about W8. Too many people have just been nit-picking, and I think failing to see what W8 represents: a radical first-step in a long-overdue next step in the evolution of computer UIs. People like us should be applauding Microsoft for their audacity, not obsessing over the details. Change is always complicated. W8 is just one step, one which Microsoft will continue to evolve. People complained when DOS was being replaced by Windows right?

It had to happen eventually. Windows 7 and OS X 10.8 are really nothing more than highly-polished iterations of the basic WIMP GUI. Apple has done nice work with iOS but seems loathe to rethink OS X beyond tossing in a few multitouch gestures. Enough has changed in computing technology, from processor power to network connectivity to interface technologies to the whole suite of activities people use computers for, that WIMP is really starting to show its age. And even more will change over the next 20 years - we should prepare ourselves for departures even more radical than W8. The WIMP desktop isn't the pinnacle for UI evolution. At least, let's hope it isn't! It is pretty clunky.

Microsoft, now in the weaker position to Apple, is the company to usher in that shift. We should be glad we have a Microsoft in 2012.

cs702 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Quoting from the article: "It's initially confusing but I have been using it every day all day since it was released and have got myself productive again." In other words, it's just like learning to use a different OS!
Axsuul 17 hours ago 2 replies      
The overall feeling of Windows has changed dramatically with 7 and now 8. Before it felt like a very enterprise and cold operating system. Now, it actually feels refreshing, futuristic, and dare I say hip? Great job to the Windows team for this amazing feat.

As for Windows 8 itself, I feel like the Task Manager alone is something worth upgrading for.

jpxxx 13 hours ago 2 replies      
As someone who is spent the last 20 years of my life on a computer for a minimum of 10 hours a day, I can confirm that Windows 8 stumped me for 5 to 10 minutes while I tried to figure out how to invoke the login screen.

While I am so thrilled that this power user enjoyed his experience, mine was infuriating for the first two hours and made me feel stupid. Those with dramatically less patience and investment in personal computing will probably feel the same way.

nileshk 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I love seeing useful keyboard shortcuts being added. I've always used various Window key shortcuts whenever I use Windows. I even use the context menu key. But I wish the Window key was more like the Cmd key in OS X. That is, I wish it was a modifier key that can be used in key combinations, and ideally have it be the primary modifier.

When you have 3 different modifier keys, this increases the number of key combinations exponentially vs 2. So take for example a cross platform IDE that is keyboard shortcut friendly, with lots of actions you can assign to keyboard shortcuts, like Eclipse. In the Windows version you only have shortcuts that can be a combination of Ctrl and Alt plus another key. With OS X (and Linux), you can have any combination of Ctrl, Alt, and Command plus another key, giving many more possibilities. I miss the lack of context menu key support in OS X, though.

As a UNIX/Emacs user, a side benefit of having Command as the primary modifier key in OS X, used for many of the typical actions, is that typical OS X keyboard shortcuts don't generally get in the way of UNIX/Emacs keyboard shortcuts, which use Ctrl and Alt as modifiers exclusively. I can use Emacs keyboard shortcuts right alongside OS X keyboard shortcuts in the same application (I'm accustomed to both; for example, I might paste with either Cmd-V or Ctrl-Y, depending on whether my right hand is on the home row or not). But I don't expect that most Windows users would benefit from that particular aspect. However, I think having an extra modifier key, available to applications, would benefit a good portion of Windows users.

hdivider 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been using Windows 8 for months (always upgrading to the latest version), and don't have any problems whatsoever. In fact, I'm certain the thing actually runs way faster than Win7.

This is because I've basically got everything configured like Windows 7 (I don't really use the Start screen), but the Win+(key) combination is what makes the difference.

Take a typical almost-every-day activity for instance: checking the weather report. On Win7 (unless you had things specially configured for this event), you'd have to go online via a browser, find a suitable website, and wait for results - quite possibly having to physically type in your location if the site couldn't get it automatically.

On Windows 8, I just press Windows + (the letters w e a) and the search instantly finds the Weather app - I've got it open in less than 0.3 seconds, and the app itself fetches the data in just a few seconds. This kind of stuff works straight out of the box, and wasn't possible on Win7. It shows that even desktop-only users like me can make at least >some< good use of the RT apps.

podperson 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Good article -- more constructive than whining -- but none of this seems easy to learn (or remember) which is probably the problem.
pbz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a classic example of solving the vendor's problem rather than the user's problem. A unified UI is scratching MS's itch. They have a problem with tablets eating away at their pie so they sacrifice usability because they don't want to have to write two different OSes, or rather two experiences. They already tried this when they brought the mouse to a phone, now they do the reverse.
jfb 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm always surprised at how many of my non-techie friends struggle with keyboard shortcuts; it seems to be deeply counterintuitive to me, some of the contortions that people go through because, cognitively, they wont or can't devote space to the shortcuts. I have a sneaking suspicion that the sort of fearful respect with which they treat computers is the norm. Anything that makes using a computer simpler is IMHO a good thing; if it increases the utility f computers for the 99% at the cost of messing with the expectations of the 1%, well that seems like a reasonable trade off to make.
TazeTSchnitzel 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the new Windows 8 Task Manager. It actually works as you would expect!
Negitivefrags 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I really love the improvements in Windows 8 that have been made to the standard desktop applications.

It's just a shame that they bolted on Metro and then force feed it to you by making it your start menu. The metro interface is truly unintuitive. I feel more at home on in OS X than I do in Metro, and I hate OS X.

sharms 16 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who primarily runs Ubuntu Linux and Mountain Lion, the interfaces and screenshots in the article definitely look pretty neat. I haven't had a chance to install Windows 8, and I definitely don't like the ideas about restricting the platform more. However, from an interface perspective, am I alone in thinking that it could be a positive change? (Maybe I am jaded from going through the Ubuntu Gnome -> Unity transition)
lawdawg 16 hours ago 2 replies      
When I see this image from the article:


I have to ask myself, how can anyone think this:
1. Looks good.
2. Is ideal usage of screen real estate.

And even this:


Now you have a bunch of icons without text labels, how do you know what does what? Obviously the 3rd party apps are clear if you use them, but the main Windows apps aren't clear. For example, what is that purple icon next to the blue clouds? (And what are the blue clouds? Weather? or is the Sun weather?)

lmm 20 hours ago 1 reply      
So I guess windows 8 is fine for super-experts who know all the shortcuts, as well as for the completely new. But I expect both categories make up quite a small proportion of the userbase.
EpaL 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Just installed Win 8 in Parallels on an rMBP and I have to be honest, I don't hate it as much as when I tried the preview release in a window on an iMac.

Some of the tips in this article are great and the more you dig, the more you find they actually HAVE improved a lot of things in the 'old' OS as well (this seems to get ignored/glossed over in alot of reviews, especially the negative ones).

So far, Metro/Win8 is just a toy without touch. I honestly can't see myself getting much work done here but it seems to keep out of the way enough.

Ultimately (for me), would I use Windows at all unless I had to for work? And would I replace OS X 10.8 with Win8 as my primary OS? Quite simply: hell no. You'll have to pry this rMBP out of my cold dead hands (not just because Retina is such a game changer visually - I still MUCH prefer the speed, power, efficiency, apps and overall experience of OS X. It's no competition IMO).

Whether Win8 is a winner on touch devices like Surface, time will tell. Metro/Win8 is nice enough but there are next to zero apps for it. I'm also still not convinced having the 'old desktop' on a tablet really is what people are going to want. Obviously it's a stopgap until Win8 takes off but is it really much of a selling point? Anyone who has done RDP or Citrix from an iPad can get an idea of what it's like (I've used it enough times to know): It's OK in a pinch, but shoot me if I had to use it to actually get serious work done.

Microsoft have definitely thrown a Hail Mary here, not long to find out if it will work...

hhudolet 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I really didn't like idea of mixing metro with normal desktop style of work. Now, after two weeks of using it on work and at home, I can just say that it works great - metro doesn't interfere with desktop apps, I'm using them like i did on win7, and win8 is better with regular desktop style of work in every way!

Startup/shutdown speed is also totally awesome, even I basically don't power off my computer, never.
So, now, when there's no much metro style apps, win8 as desktop OS works great, and in about one year when Store fills up, it'll be even better.

Other things I really like that are much improved over win7: HyperV inside OS, ISO Mount, multi-monitor support (taskbar, wallpapers), cloud integration, copy/delete/move dialogs with speed graph, task manager.

mavis 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Hadn't heard about Hyper-V support getting added. Goodbye VirtualBox.
DodgyEggplant 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Something weird or hard to catch in those screenshots. Can't put the finger where though
simplexion 17 hours ago 3 replies      
If you pander to people who are scared of change you will move forward so slowly you might as well stop. I feel that Microsoft haven't pushed hard enough for change.
I'm tired of all the people complaining about change. I love Unity on Ubuntu. It took a little getting used to but it didn't stop my computer from being functional. I could do everything I could before just in a slightly different way.
Change is awesome and all you bitches need to stop tripping on some old bullshit.
Bill_Dimm 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I haven't used Win8, so maybe I'm completely off-base here, but from the article it sounds like removal of the Start Menu has made it difficult to do a lot of things without either typing in commands or memorizing special key combinations (see, for example, the section called "Run Power User or Administrative Tools - WinKey+X is EVERYTHING").

So, how does anyone get anything done using Win8 on a tablet that doesn't have a keyboard?

peacebeuntoyou 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank God I'm using Linux now - and a tiling window manager...

I have been too long on the MS side. That's my only regret.

ehosca 15 hours ago 2 replies      
windows 8 is particularly bad on a 30 inch monitor when running its native metro apps in full screen with no ability to re-size anything.

this may work great for a 10 inch tablet screen but its a serious problem for any modern professional workstation/content creation setup.

i also had issues (explorer freezing) with my external USB3 drive even for simple things like copying files back and forth.
it seems like with each iteration of Windows the basic file copy operation gets slower and slower. all this on hardware that's current. (win7 experience score 7.9)

i'd rather be focused on making cheese instead of figuring out who moved it where.

BasDirks 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Once in a while I will throw out a useless and nonconstructive comment:

Isn't it super cute to see these windows "power-users" at work? Pretending that their new OS is for anything other than their grandma checking their email? And look at all you "hackers" congratulating Microsoft for an improvement on the dumbest series of operating systems (per dollar spent on it) of the last two decades. Awww, the intellectual poverty is really adorable.

Your Brain Can Be Hacked technorati.com
47 points by iProject  14 hours ago   11 comments top 3
Groxx 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The paper's title is "On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces". Given that, yeah, I can see how you could get a LOT of information out of someone without them realizing it. If e.g. you're playing a game, and the surroundings occasionally reflect something you've seen, that's information that such an interface could detect. Maybe a NPC has a disorder that runs in your family, and you react to it more strongly than others - insurance companies would probably love to know it.

All of which is to say, if you assume the worst, and brain-computer interfaces become ubiquitous, yes, I can see there being a serious potential for you to leak things you don't want to leak, just by being exposed to something similar. Done on a grand enough scale, the possibilities could be terrifying.

bluedanieru 13 hours ago 3 replies      
"...via brute force methods."

Seriously, this registers barely above a lie detector for me. They have to just guess my password and then, when they get it right, they'll record a different brainwave pattern? Sounds simple enough. Okay, my passwords typically consist of several words with some numbers thrown in. I wager we can go through 40 trials each minute for 16 hours each day. How many millions of years do you have?

bgalbraith 12 hours ago 0 replies      
OK, sensationalistic headlines aside, this is what is actually going on.

Using EEG, you can look for something called a P300 Event Related Potential (ERP). This is a positive deflection from the baseline activity in the brain signals approximately 300 milliseconds after an anticipated event occurs. Note two key facts about this:

1) P300 actually varies by person; it can appear sooner or much later than 300 ms and have different amplitudes. Because of this, a training phase is required to train the classifier.

2) The P300 happens when an event happens the subject is anticipating or recognizes, so they have to be primed in some sense. For instance, the researchers asked subjects to think of an imaginary PIN, then flashed single digits at them one at a time and tried to infer what the first digit of the PIN was by that. Because they were thinking of, say, 1234, when 1 flashed on the screen, a P300 may have been generated.

What the researchers did was interesting, in that they made the case for potential malware in a consumer BCI game. Their accuracy rates weren't that great, however. This is a far far cry from nefarious agents pulling secret info from your brain.

Mayer Declares That It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time at Yahoo allthingsd.com
46 points by ashishbharthi  12 hours ago   39 comments top 13
ghshephard 11 hours ago 2 replies      
One element of the memo I was happy to see, was the dogfooding of Yahoo! Mail/Calendar, as in, people at Yahoo! will start using it rather than Microsoft Exchange. Sometimes I think powerful personalities at Yahoo! IT, with a bit too much money and people working for them, have caused a not insignificant amount of the downfall at Yahoo! by treating the company like it was a financial firm, or the Department of Defense, instead of a digital media destination. The Blackberry was an awesome communication devices from 1999-2005, but, 2008/2009+ (and certainly not 2012) is not the appropriate smartphone for a company that wants to be using the same system as their "digital media savvy" customers.

Those two steps will tell me if Mayer, a supposedly "technology" focussed CEO will be able to go head-head with Yahoo! IT. (It should say something that I even have to suggest the CEO of the company needs to go "head-head" with the IT organization)

Hominem 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Some of this reminds that small things can have large repercussions on morale. There is a passage in The Illuminatus Trilogy that describes an act of culture jamming where a sign reading "no smoking" is replaced by a sign that says "no spitting" in an upscale department store. The customers and employees begin the resent the management, after all why would the management assume they would spit on the floor of an upscale department store.
pdeuchler 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Meta: Is it just me, or is tech journalism becoming exponentially more vapid every day?
mgkimsal 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Wondered why they were calling her "Sweet Mayer". The title was "Sweet! Mayer... "
rocky1138 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Asking people for their thoughts is a great way to get only as much real feedback as people think they're allowed to say without being at risk for losing their jobs.

A real question would be "What do you have to do against company policy in order to get your job done?"

michaelhoffman 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain the parking barrier and turnstile changes for me in more detail? I don't get it.
catfish 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As a long long time user of Yahoo services like Mail, and Groups, I have a ton of ideas that I wish I could offer. But, alas I am not an employee, just an old fart coder dog and business owner. After 32+ years in the biz what could I possibly know?
jhermsmeyer 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Honestly one of the more impenetrable articles I've read lately. Just not very clear or well written. I'm not even entirely sure there is anything news worthy here. Just some dire need on Swisher's part to make a connection between PB and J and the famous peanut butter memo. That's not enough to justify an article.
blantonl 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Did Yahoo never internally adopt Yahoo Mail and Calendar? if so, that would be analogous to Google using Lotus Notes internally.
Toshio 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I've said it before and I'll say this again: Kara Swisher needs to openly admit she has a serious grudge against Yahoo.
smartician 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm becoming cynical, but reading memos like this makes me resent the cubicle world of Corporate America more and more. How about Hawaiian Shirt Friday? Can you change corporate culture by removing turnstiles and parking barriers?
andrewflnr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
How did this not happen before? Was it not obvious to previous CEOs that this level of bureaucracy was a problem?
exyahoo 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems like a lot of rearranging the deck chairs. Hopefully the real work of significantly restructuring the company is happening behind the scenes where allthingsd can't see.
Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine evernote.com
273 points by zachh  1 day ago   137 comments top 37
king_magic 1 day ago 7 replies      
I think this is really quite neat. I used to be a heavy user of Evernote, but I found it difficult to reconcile my handwritten notes (90% of my notes at work) with what I'd have in Evernote. As a result, I stopped using Evernote. I always hoped I'd be able to find a good way to record my notes digitally (e.g., iPad + stylus), but at the end of the day, taking notes with pen & paper always wins for me.

This could very well bring me back to Evernote. Not sure if it's worth $24+, but if it works, maybe... I do take an awful lot of handwritten notes, and I'd love to digitize them easily.

bradgessler 1 day ago 1 reply      
So far, my experience with Evernote has been watching them make Skitch almost unusable. The app always forgets my Skitch credentials, keeps displaying the startup screen even when I check "Do not show this to me again", and tries to force me into an Evernote account. At one point they changed Skitch to display 10 different things I could do after an upload. They made it a real mess.

I assume Evernote's products are overly complicated, but I'd like to know if they just botched the Skitch acquisition. Does anybody have any insight into this?

vtail 1 day ago 1 reply      
Now, for those of us interested in startups - what a perfect example of great product development:

- Address existing need that few other products addresses

- Helps generating new customers by removing some of the barriers - "I like to create my notes with a pen on a paper"

- Involves non-trivial blend of hardware and software

- Involves non-trivial business partnership

- Serves as a test-bed for bringing the solution to more people by refining unskewing algorithms

- etc. etc.

Well executed, Evernote!

stcredzero 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is the world crying out for a fast e-ink small form-factor tablet that just saves everything as digital ink. (Then build-up from there.) Simply recording time (and optionally location) associated with each page would make the device awesome. Add the ability to interface with a web app for better processing, as Evernote does, and you'd take over the world.
cjoh 1 day ago 7 replies      
As an author, it's depressing to see empty books -- stickers and all -- selling for twice as much as full ones.
yock 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, but how far is this from just using standard/college/quad ruled paper in the first place? Requiring special paper automatically limits the feature's utility. Once their "limited edition" notebooks sell out this feature immediately begins the countdown to uselessness.
reaganing 1 day ago 4 replies      
Not really a fan of Moleskine's notebooks, but this is interesting.

But, Evernote's Page Camera feature that was added to the iOS app does seem to work just fine with other paper (I tested Field Notes w/ graph paper). It's just 'optimized' for the paper in these notebooks, whatever that means.

tcc2161 1 day ago 0 replies      
This should be ideal for someone like me, but unfortunately I can't see myself using it. I have a shelf full of Moleskins (began buying them in 2005) and I was a premium Evernote user from 2009-2011. But I canceled my Evernote subscription because I never used the software - I really dislike their UI. The only thing that could bring me back to them is a UI redesign, to make it seem less like an email application and more like a file-sorting system, which is what it's supposed to be.

And the idea of taking pics of my notebook pages with my phone is too clunky.

However, I'll grant that this is why this doesn't work * for me * and express envy for those for whom it does work for, since "on paper" all of this seems like a great idea. Having notebook pages scanned and sortable would be wonderful.

fsniper 1 day ago 1 reply      
How is this different from taking notes on any physical paper and take a photo of it? My Galaxy SII camera takes real good pictures of papers. They are readable, good focused and sharp.

I just see a marketing partnering stunt here?? Am I missing something?

kamaal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great, except that Moleskine notebooks are very costly here in India.

Generally in ranges of hundreds of rupees.


andrewcamel 1 day ago 0 replies      
The feature I would really like to see would be a printed title Box in the moleskin notebook, which would allow me to title my written work and then pass that title into Evernote when it's scanned. You could obviously also extrapolate this feature out to tags or other pieces of metadata to be stored in the digital Evernote document.

Just to clarify: this would really be made for those who have awful handwriting (like me), so only a small part of your page would need to be written carefully and eventually digitized to be searchable.

azar1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not that interested in the Moleskine, but the smart stickers are an amazing idea. A great mesh of the real world and digital.
sourc3 1 day ago 0 replies      
As much as I wanted to use digital notes in meetings, I still take joy in using the beautifully designed moleskine notebooks with a Cross pen. However, indexing and search is always a problem. If Evernote can fix this for me I will be a lifetime paid user of Evernote!

In my opinion this is a good glimpse of digital and analog life working in harmony instead of dictating you have to live with either one.

Great job! Ordering mine now :)

orjan 1 day ago 7 replies      
"we designed a special dotted paper pattern" - this sounds very much like what Anoto[1] does.
[1] http://www.anoto.com/the-technology-1.aspx
enraged_camel 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but I find the idea of taking pictures of moleskine pages really, really clunky. I have done that in the past to take photos of book/magazine pages, and in my experience the picture almost always comes out low quality - a combination of blur, contrast, the curvature of the page and flash reflecting off the paper makes it very difficult to read later. I can only imagine what types of problems these factors will cause for Evernote's hand-writing recognition program. After all, software can optimize image quality only so much.
darkmethod 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't even look through all the functionality before I made my purchase (#182).

I use Evernote for nearly everything I do. Task lists, projects, ideas, goals. Evernote saves me one of my most precious resources: time. I've worked Evernote into my daily workflow for getting things done.

And I have a stack of Moleskines I've used for reminders, sketches, random thoughts that I scratch down in a hurry throughout my day.

This is the perfect product for my everyday use. Looking forward to when they arrive (they will ship in October). I just wonder if I bought enough of them.

ajanuary 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know much about unskewing, but presumably the dotted lines mean you know how each dot should be placed relative to each other dot. With plain lines you'd have to do some guesswork based on how wavey the line is etc.
antihero 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there any reason they can't do this with the Android app, too? Or does it already have this functionality?
ckrailo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sigh. Looks like Big Commerce (the store Evernote is using) stores passwords in plain-text or at least a reversible hash. They emailed me my password. :\
graeme 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've never gotten into Evernote, but have wanted to for a long time. I've bought these as a way of forcing myself to finally sit down and learn how to use it.

Does anyone know of a good intro guide to Evernote?

mumrah 1 day ago 2 replies      
Stickers are a neat idea, but why not just some special drawn symbol? Would be way cool if you could define your own.
k-mcgrady 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great. I love Evernote and use it daily but I also prefer writing some things in notebooks (and I use Moleskine ones). I could definitely see myself using it. It depend on how the $ price works out in GBP compared to regular Moleskine notebooks which are about £9.
iamben 1 day ago 4 replies      
Gutted this isn't on Android. Why are so many people still launching apps/competitions/products for iOS only? I could understand it a few years back, but doing it today just cuts your market in half.
samstave 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm addicted to moleskine notebooks - I have many, I'll certainly be getting this one as well!
dholowiski 1 day ago 0 replies      
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. Oh wait, IOS Only? Never mind.
Mordio 18 hours ago 1 reply      
It's awkward that I can't vote and therefore save stories anymore. So I have to comment even if I don't have anything useful to say. Can't be the goal of Hacker News, can it?
shawnjan8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting. And the new app seems great. No more different modes for reading and editing! Hopefully they release an update for Android as well...
altxwally 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are a couple of note books (CamiApp, Shotnote) that have appeared in Japan that are quite similar. I found the design pretty good, though I stopped using them.. I think mainly because I switched form Evernote to org-mode.
jfb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I never "got" Evernote, but this is trés cool.
reubenswartz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Almost enough to make me go back to Moleskine (love the notebooks, but not being able to easily digitize was a problem.)
islon 1 day ago 2 replies      
Very neat. The only concern I have is to remember take a photo of all the pages and which page I already took a photo.
marginalboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great work, Evernote! That's pretty darn cool :-)
BallinBige 1 day ago 0 replies      
the shills will eat this up
awayand 1 day ago 0 replies      
i hate evernote
Neputys 1 day ago 1 reply      
Big -1 to Moleskine. Such a brand and partnering with some tech whatever.
Keyframe 1 day ago 2 replies      
Only a fool would buy $25+ notebook. I'd rather play lottery.
rjv 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the hipster in your life...
       cached 26 August 2012 07:02:01 GMT