hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    20 Sep 2012 News
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Thanks Mr. Jobs, But it Seems I Can Use a Linux Laptop Now hypergeometric.com
26 points by gpapilion  1 hour ago   20 comments top 9
blrgeek 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. What's the battery life like?

2. Are all devices supported with drivers - Bluetooth, 3D, graphics, sleep/wake, 802.11n, webcam, internal mike, ...

3. Does it do instant sleep/wake like a Mac - 100s of times without crashing/rebooting?

4. How does it handle external displays? Plug and play like a Mac? Does it handle display rotate? The internal display is only 1366x768 ?

5. Does it detect a headphone and switch from speaker to headphone automatically (speaker driver?)

6. How's the trackpad compare to a Macbook Pro?

7. How's the keyboard compare to a Macbook Pro?

Asking because I moved from Linux->OSX a long time ago, and I wouldn't mind switching back if the hardware is right and more importantly the Linux drivers work well.

ars 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why are people voting up this article? There is nothing interesting in it. I'm genuinely curious about what people are finding interesting here.
bravura 17 minutes ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: I've been using Mac for ten years. "Two days ago I got my Dell XPS 13 as part of a Dell beta progam called project Sputnik." After two days of use, I haven't run into any serious roadblocks, so I'm not using Mac anymore.

a) Is writing this blog post a requirement of the Sputnik program?

b) Regardless of the answer to a), how do I get into the Sputnik program?

fingerprinter 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
I have a Lenovo x220 running Ubuntu 12.04. Aesthetics of the machine aside, it is the best setup I've ever used for a development machine. Ubuntu is by far (we're talking leaps and bounds) better than OSX for dev work and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the keyboard on the x220.

I don't have a XPS 13, but I can see any reasonable machine loaded with Ubuntu being a developers dream. Honestly, any machine loaded with Ubuntu these days would be more than reasonable for a most anyone.

PS. Did I say I love the keyboard on the x220? Because I do.

cloudwalking 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
70% terminal, 30% browser. Sounds like he needs a Chromebook.
ifmw 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm glad to hear sleep and hibernate are improving on Linux laptops and I really hope more manufacturers will follow suit with their own initiatives like this.

However, will any portable laptop get 7 hours of battery life on Linux with wifi on like the 13" Macbook Airs do?

digitalengineer 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
This sums it up pretty nicely:
"Ubuntu sucks but not on my Dell XPS 13, now I can -finally- ditch my Mac"
induscreep 30 minutes ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain to me what exactly is wrong with the OS X terminal?
mangler 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
This posted by Dell or something?! What's with the over-excitement?
Github redesigns Profiles github.com
89 points by obilgic  4 hours ago   39 comments top 16
damncabbage 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It looks very nice, but there's a couple of things that bug me:

- Now "owning" a repo seems even more important. Regularly commit to someone else's repo? Not evident unless you go digging for it.

- The timeline bar-graph used to show blue for your own commits and grey for other people's. Now it either looks like you did all the work (your own repo), or someone else did it (forked repos).

Even if these two don't matter to you personally, I fear it'll help drive behaviour you see a lot in the Ruby community where, unless it's a huge project like Rails, people start their own versions in the hope of getting it popular and recognised. There's little status to be gotten from tinkering on "someone else's" repo.

(Think social startups except with code libraries.)

craigc 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I am not crazy about the new design. It actually feels less designed to me.

Particularly I don't like that the activity is now hidden on profile pages. I often like to look at people's activity, and it bothers me that it is an extra click away every time now.

I miss the blue to distinguish your own commits from commits by other users.

Information that used to be available right on top such as organizations, and people the user is following are now harder to find or below the fold (on my macbook air 11").

Also now that the filters on top have more emphasis (All, Public, Private, etc) I think they should remove ones that are not useful. For example I don't have any private repos or mirrors so I feel like there shouldn't be links to empty pages, but this is a minor detail.

On top of that I think the page itself has a bit too much white space. It feels a bit plain to me.

machrider 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I still can't write a blurb about myself. I'd really like to see that, since (for a lot of people) Github is starting to be the geek resume.
llimllib 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's weird that it doesn't distinguish between your commits and others'.

I have one forked repo that I forked to fix a line in their docs, and it looks to all the world like I spent a time of time on it.

bretthopper 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Check your dashboard/News Feed. Also featuring a new design right now.
pooriaazimi 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Extremely poor scroll performance, it has to re-draw everything every time I scroll. OS X 10.8.1, Safari 6.0, 15" 2009 MacBook Pro.

The design is nice, though.

Harkins 3 hours ago 1 reply      
...how about some privacy controls? I'd really prefer not to advertise which users and projects I'm following or starring. Now I have Facebook trying to own and broadcast my personal life and GitHub trying to own and broadcast my professional one. Ugh.
obilgic 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Since they have not posted anything about it yet, this might again be an accidental release of the branch.

I wonder how many of these accidental deploys they have on a regular basis which we don't notice.

tjholowaychuk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I get the whole big icon small icon thing for the feeds, and it looks great when they're in sequence with others of the same size, but when it's mixed it looks really bad IMHO. I'm no design pro so I dont know what a good solution would be but it throws things off
caseorganic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why do great websites always feel compelled to redesign? Digg, Stumbleupon, Facebook etc. It is very unsettling. The equivalent of someone coming into you home when you're not there and changing the entire floorplan, then expecting you to be elated when you come back at night, instead of confused and disoriented when all of the cupboards seem larger than they appear.
DigitalSea 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Github are absolutely killing it right now. Seems like everyday there's a new HN submission about a cool new Github feature or redesigned aspect. The new profile design is nice, but seems more emphasis has been placed on users who own repos as opposed to contributing to other repos.

Still needs a space to add in a brief bio though considering Github is considered to be the new age developer resume.

mpd 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish they would spend resources on being as fast as they used to be. Pushing and pulling has become slower and slower over the past couple of years.
bdesimone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a facebook in my github.
hcarvalhoalves 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I was surprised when I saw it too... not even a blog post about it?

It looks nice though.

saiko-chriskun 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
what's with all the negativity :P. the new design is waay better. I'm surprised they haven't updated it 'till now.
barlog 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty, not nonsense :^)
Will android app aplly too?
iOS 6 Breaks the App Store pixiteapps.com
178 points by Mazer23  6 hours ago   90 comments top 29
sumukh1 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This is awesome news (though it's been known for a while) for the top publishers who have: large download numbers, good AppStore SEO, and good screenshots.

While I think that this is bad on whole for developers/discovery as we knew it, it might just help users. Most of the time, users are either window shopping or looking for a very specific product.

Window Shoppers: "I want a photo editing app", chances are you are going to look at the first result and scroll down and see if a icon stands out. With the new model, you see the screenshots too. Could save time over, tapping into an app, tapping into reviews, and then tapping back twice. This means that the icon is downplayed in sales and the first screenshot has become extremely important.

Very Specific Product: "I'm looking for Gmail" It's quicker to just get the first result and confirm that it's actually what you are looking for. This however means that Apple has to be really confident in their search results (which aren't as great as they can be).

Net effect for developers:
1. App Store SEO is important. (It always was, but now I think developers will start to see it now in their app sales)

2. Your copy on the sales page should also grab users attention.

3. Your first screenshot is very important. Your screenshots should be good. (Link: http://mobile.tutsplus.com/tutorials/mobile-design-tutorials...)

4. Also note, categories have been removed from the app tab bar.

5. Ratings seem to matter a lot for the search algorithm but not for Featured apps

6. This is the "Chomp" update, and Chomp has been known to get content from Blogs and various sources, so you should be mentioned off the App Store too.

7. Facebook Likes also help since those are displayed.

Here's a cheat sheet that seemed useful: http://www.apptamin.com/ASO_Cheat_Sheet-v2.pdf

bpatrianakos 5 hours ago  replies      
Nothing is broken and no one is "doing it wrong". It's not broken, it's just inconvenient for you. This sucks for app developers with bad app store SEO and lackluster icons, app designs, and screenshots of said designs. Many apps at the bottom of the stack will be neglected. This is a good thing. I'm about to release an app into the app store for the first time and I'm happy about it.

This will raise the bar for developers. It'll force them to do better app store SEO and it'll force the, to pay attention to design. Ugly apps aren't always necessarily bad but more ugly apps are bad than ugly apps that are good. This isn't Android. On iOS, users tend to judge an app by its icon and screenshots and they use pretty apps more than they open ugly ones. I didn't make the rules, I just play by them. Developers should be welcoming competition and with so many crap apps out there today it's probably better for good app developers to work on getting their rankings higher while the crap app makers languish at the end of the results.

While its bad for developers it's great for buyers. Guess what? There are far more buyers than developers on the app store. You may argue that if developers leave then iOS will die. Not so. Again, iOS users are a different animal. They can live with just a few big name apps from the major players. Android users tend to like lots of apps from indie devs and iOS users do too but if push came to shove they'd just keep their Angry Birds, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp and go on with their day. Screenshots are very important in the buying process and putting them front and center like this.

As developers we tend to think we're the center of the universe. We place far too much importance on our role than is deserved. Witness the outrage over Twitter's API. While developers were screaming about revolt the users barely noticed and kept tweeting away. Meanwhile Twitter pretty much gave us the finger because they know we'll be back because they have the users. Developers are like parents in a way. We raise a platform then the platform rebels. We threaten to cut them off but by that point the platform is all grown up and doesn't need our help anymore. iOS won't be hurt by developers leaving. If developers leave over not being found in search results then by definition they're leaving because no one's using the app. Who's going to miss an app that never gets used?

grey-area 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
While I disagree with the linkbait hyperbole of the article title, Apple have taken a misstep here. What they should have done is allowed the user to flip between a list view of results or a card view when introducing this new view type, rather than just replacing the list.

Re searches I'd expect a simple search for picasa to return apps with picasa in the name before other apps, no matter how popular they are.

The frustration I have with the App Store is that it doesn't
have enough control over subcategories and filtering so it's hard to filter results or browse effectively as the categories offered are so broad.

robomartin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, app store searching and browsing through either an iPhone, iPad or even iTunes has been, to be kind, far less than desirable from day one.

The same is true of iBooks.

Apple has crappy search technology and even crappier implementations.

furyofantares 3 hours ago 2 replies      
If you view the details of at least half of the apps in your search results up to the one you eventually buy, this change means it takes less effort to find the app you want to buy, and you get more information in the process.

If I buy the sixth app in the search results and only care to review two of the earlier ones, the old method was 5 touches before the one I'm buying is in front of my face, while the new method is 5 swipes, and with the new method I get more information about the three I previously rejected based on icon/name alone.

I'm pretty sure my own experience is that the item I am looking for is usually in the top 3 results, and I pretty much always review the top 3 results, so this feels like it will make it significantly easier for me to get to the apps I want to buy.

I'll have to try it out to know, though. One thing I lose here if the 3rd app is the one I want is the confidence that the one I really want isn't somewhere in 4-10. It will take some usage to know if the new design is better for me or not.

jpdoctor 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Could the message be any more clear? Stop putting Apple in your critical path. They hold all the cards and you hold none.
omarqazi 5 hours ago 1 reply      
When searching for apps, do you guys usually immediately jump through the whole list? This is something I never do.

However, I will look at apps one at a time and decide which one is best. On iOS 5 this meant clicking on each list item one by one, waiting (forever) for the app page to load, and eventually picking one. Allowing me to browse through apps one at a time and see all the information I need without ever leaving the screen seems like it would encourage discovery, not hurt it. I can even download the app right from the search screen AND I don't get thrown out of the App Store when I start the download so I can just download all the apps I want to try at once. This seems like a huge win to me.

Do other people browse the App Store differently?

clarky07 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you could be right to a point for people that have quality apps that are already ranking, but I think this is going to make fewer total apps seen and therefore make it even harder for new apps to gain traction. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid any app outside the top 5 search results will have sales go to 0.
JumpCrisscross 4 hours ago 1 reply      
>"No offense to the makers of “Picasa HD Lite”, which ranks #1 in a search for “picasa,” but Web Albums' 5-star average from 483 ratings should be ranked higher than a 2.5-star average from 30 ratings."

No, if I search for X I want to get X, not a better rated app in the same category as X. If I search for "photo album" or something to that tune this argument would be valid.

ghshephard 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've purchased about $1000 worth of applications on the iPhone/iPad in the last 4+ years, about 350 or so in total. 95%+ of the time I chose the very first app in the list. I don't recall the last time I was looking for an App that I didn't know the name of - but perhaps others use the App store differently.

Of course, this is negative for publishers who are trying to leverage the search field with "like names" and, for those publishers who get business from people searching for random apps in a particular category.

But, in general, this is good for people like me - who heard about a great new app by name on a podcast, and just want to try it out - having the extra data around the screenshot is useful.

jsz0 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Pre-iOS6 I would often go through and tap on each search result to look at the screenshots, assuming I didn't already know exactly what I was looking for, so this saves me a couple extra steps there. If I know exactly what I am looking for the search suggestions allow me to go directly to it. The one thing I do not like about the iOS6 App Store is the amount of horizontal scrolling on the iPhone. Not enough space for that to work well.
jeffpalmer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw the new style search directly after I upgraded to iOS 6. I just opened the app store again after reading this post and now I am getting search results in the old list style. I wonder if Apple decided to switch back? Screenshot: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wl7w37pwuti87en/2012-09-19%2021.08...
mtgx 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Sounds like Apple's algorithm for the App Store is pretty horrible and primitive. I wonder if most of the success stories came mainly from the fact that Apple was picking them for their feature lists.
alecst 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The number one search for "picasa" should be Picasa.
apphero 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Since the App Store search algorithm update in June, my apps have seen a 60% drop in sales. Before the search changes, two of my apps steadily made me around $40k a year for three years.

The drop in sales concerned me so I paid for external advertising and marketing. It did not help.

One of my apps was featured by Apple twice. Now when you search for it by its exact name, some free spam app shows up above my app.

I am expecting another huge sale decline starting this month thanks to the new iOS6 App Store.

I'm not sure how anyone can see this change as being rational. This change is as bad for customers as it is for developers.

As for me, I had a good run on the App Store. But the world is not ending. It's just time to look into other income streams.

ouriel 4 hours ago 1 reply      
the very first assumption of this post is fragile "Although Apple doesn't make these numbers public, I bet most people search instead of browse through the App Store categories to find the apps they're looking for"
1. This is really far from certain. actually the reality is that most apps who get massive downloads from the app store got featured or from the top charts when they reach the top 1. I never heard a developer who had massive growth because he was "searched"
2. The App store has been redesigned mostly for visual discovery and not search. Explaining the streams, big stickers, card browsing

If you want to be discovered in massive volume in the app store the only way is to get promoted or top ranked

The other cases are edge cases and frankly do not justify complaining about how such results are displayed.


phil 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm concerned about this.

App store search has had a heavy bias towards the top 4-5 results. This will only make that bias stronger.

jojopotato 5 hours ago 1 reply      
On a side note, could you imagine Google changing their search results to this kind of layout? I think it would probably trigger a ton of lawsuits.
biftek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just searched for "picasa" on my (iOS 6) iPad. First two hits were apps that actually had picasa in the name, (the ones he mentions) followed by his apps.

What exactly his he whining about?

Search for a competing app and his doesn't come up first?
Does he also complain to google (irony) about his page ranking?
Why is this on the front page, let alone #1?

seangransee 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It's unlikely that Apple will fix this any time soon. I can't think of a single time when Apple gave one of their pre-loaded apps an overhaul except when releasing the next major version of iOS.
ojbyrne 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm looking at it on an iPad that I just upgraded, and it doesn't look like that. I can see 4 full products, and the top of two more in 2 vertical columns.
firat 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree that iOS 6 layout is ridiculous and far from usable.

However, if you are building an app for Picasa, it better have "Picasa" in its name. The results are probably sorted by relevance (whatever that might be) and not only by ratings.

induscreep 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the new App Store layout. One of the first thing I look for in an app is how intrusive the ads are - and looking at the screenshots shows me exactly that. This new layout is perfect for this app search strategy.
Jarshwah 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Came expecting news that the app store would not launch in iOS 6. Title is definitely more provocative than it needed to be.
brevityness 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The App Store crashes on my iPod Touch 4th gen whenever I conduct a search. I can barely flip past the first app before it crashes altogether.
bradsmithinc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hacker News broke your blog.
caycep 4 hours ago 0 replies      
isn't this the layout of that app store discovery startup they bought a while back? chomp or something like that?
binaryorganic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
And HN broke this article
acknickulous 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's basically as bad as Nintendo's eShop on the 3DS now.
Show HN: After a couple of months playing with the Reddit API, I built this... flipmeme.com
11 points by emilioolivares  52 minutes ago   11 comments top 5
intellegacy 19 minutes ago 1 reply      
I really like the design. It looks great.
Just one issue. The "Next" and "Previous" buttons are inconveniently placed. They should be placed near the picture. I recommend putting them on the sides of the picture, in the center, similar to how facebook does it.
verroq 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
Right arrow key doesn't do anything on Firefox. Sometimes the image is blank and only shows when you press back. Keep clicking next and it'll say "error loading page"

If you spam the "next image", weird things happen. i.e. clicking on change channels will redirect back to the current image.

>You're seeing this error because you have DEBUG = True in your Django settings file. Change that to False, and Django will display a standard 404 page.

saiko-chriskun 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Really well designed and nicely done :D. My only comment about it is that every time I reload the site, it shows me the same images in the same order. Need to randomize it up a little bit.
nisdec 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm getting an error when I'm on http://www.flipmeme.com/image/XWkG2 and clicking next:
"Error loading page"
emilioolivares 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just went live a couple of minutes ago so it has practically no links. Still in beta! Your feedback is very much appreciated!
Amazon's colorful new towers will put a bold stamp on Seattle's skyline geekwire.com
6 points by eccobay  29 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
sukuriant 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was about to come on here and call those colors absolutely awful, especially since the monitor I was looking at them on was the most color-accurate monitor I have; but ... then I remembered I have Flux turned on on my screens. I turned it off; and ...

... it's not so bad, I'll admit.

rayiner 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is so much better than the suburban office park crap that plagues the tech industry. Beautiful.
Iran designing its own version of the Internet washingtonpost.com
30 points by kevinburke  3 hours ago   24 comments top 11
mindstab 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The internet is (obviously) one of the best examples of the network effect.

Sure you can technically wall of a subset of it and live on your own, but why would any sane person want to? I mean I get it, they want to limit access to non ideologically compatible ideas, which is most of everything.

But then that severely limits the utility of their new internet. Right now the economy is coasting pretty heavily on oil exports. If unlike say Qatar, they don't invest massively in more long term sustainable economic growth (which tends to require education, hence Qatar's massive education boom) then in a bit they are going to be pretty screwed. And cutting off this access to information is just so short sighted.

It's like blinding yourself because right now you can afford the servants to take care of all your needs. Long term, when you run out of money, you might wish you had eyes so you could earn some new money.

jim_kaiser 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is obviously not going to solve the problem of cyber attacks. As I remember, even the stuxnet attack on their nuclear reactor was ultimately caused by transmission through a pen drive into an isolated network. No reason, the same cannot be achieved even if they isolate the country's network. More entry points as I see it.
hughesey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Internet is Iran is already quite unique, thanks to the strict Government controlled filters in place.

There was a recent study testing the top 100 websites in each of Alexa's site categories. It tested if each was available in Iran using the Iran Firewall Test (http://viewdns.info/iranfirewall/).

The result? Approximately 27% of sites we tested were blocked. Categories such as adult sites saw much higher rates.

The research piece is here for anyone interested:

dmix 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The modern Berlin wall.
angersock 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how willing they'd be to host dissident content for first-world nations. I wonder how cooperative the Iranian cybercommand or equivalent would be with US DMCA takedowns.
jon6 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a network engineer but is this all that difficult to do? I imagine if you control the AS (autonomous system) then you can control all routes into and out of the country, so they can easily block anything out of the country unless it comes from some known IP (like the computers of the elite class).
joelrunyon 3 hours ago 2 replies      
How much of this is them "isolating" themselves and how much is it simply in response to the fact that they're cut off from doing commerce with much of the U.S. (and other countries?) due to trade sanctions, etc?

serious question I would like to know the answer to

jfasi 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or wouldn't it be fairly trivial for a troublesome country to just point a satellite at Iran and give citizens access that way?
Sharma 3 hours ago 2 replies      
World is trying to get connected in every possible manner and here are some, want to isolate and have their own world.
zingahgud 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh man, that headline made me laugh.
evanlong 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So Iran is making their own "AOL"? perhaps they'll call it "IOL". Hopefully, they'll mail CDs to their citizens with FREE 1000 hours of internet time.
Signs Your Employees Think You Suck as a Manager thedailymuse.com
10 points by nlow  1 hour ago   8 comments top 5
klochner 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
This reads like satire - it's a list of instructions for incompetent managers to preserve power.
jacques_chester 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Missing from the list: they quit and go elsewhere.
sandmansandine 52 minutes ago 2 replies      
In my experience if your employees (me) show these signs we don't think you suck we know you suck.

Why don't we keep you in the loop? Well, you're not technically competent enough to understand the problem so I go straight to the devs on whatever issue I'm dealing with, explaining it to you is a waste of my time. This also leads into why we ignore you; you don't understand the issue, you can't fix it, you're effectively useless except for marking out schedules and having slightly higher authority than I do.

To be honest I don't understand why this is on HN. Since when did these simple, short, and obvious posts become amazing and worth reading?

Your employees probably think you suck as a manager because you do.

rbellio 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
An analogy I try to keep in mind is that often as a manager you are in charge of manning the rudder and steering the ship in the right direction. Typically, you get a great seat on the boat and the laborious job of motility is left to someone else. Without a team of people dipping their oars into the water, though, you're just adrift.

Managers often lose sight that their job should be the least selfish role in the organization and that their job is really determined by the success or failure of those they manage. Your job is to facilitate your employees, not handle them. Your job is to nurture their talents and help them with their faults. The greatest success a manager can have is helping someone live up to their potential.

w00kie 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
more importantly, how do you get your sucky manager to read that article without being too obvious?
Making Progress on Star Trek Physics kickstarter.com
5 points by waterlesscloud  22 minutes ago   discuss
Want to Block Common Passwords? Sorry, That is Patented xato.net
52 points by m8urn  4 hours ago   23 comments top 8
utopkara 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Re: IBM patents,
IBM has an interesting, and quite unique strategy regarding IP. About 20-25% of IBM patents are software patents, and IBM uses this patent portfolio to protect open source projects, especially Linux (http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/opinions/7034/1). Also, IBM historically abandons a large portion of its issued patents (http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2012/03/ibms-patent-abandonm...), and the abandoned patents become prior art, protecting everybody.
Lasher 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Not to be melodramatic, but as someone still in a day job this whole patent mess seriously does discourage me from taking the leap and risking everything to try to invent something meaningful only to get hit with a patent troll lawsuit just as we start to find our feet.
ahi 4 hours ago 3 replies      
IANAL, but foreknowledge of patent infringement can triple damage liability right? So is just having the headline of this story on the front page of HN enough to cause problems for the entire HN community?
JohnsonB 2 hours ago 1 reply      
How could there not be prior art for this? I know that patents are more specific than the title of the patent, but if the patent isn't general enough to cover prior cases of blocking common passwords, then the patent doesn't even protect anything for the patent's authors. If it is general, then it is surely an invalid patent, even by US patent office standards. Very confusing.
ryanhuff 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Its not the concept of blocking passwords that is patented, but specific approaches to block common passwords is.
redact207 3 hours ago 1 reply      
These frivolous software patents are actually a blessing in disguise and will ultimately be their own undoing. As more and more "patents" are filed and trolls do their best to sue people into compensation, the media song & dance will get stronger and policy makers will sit up and take note. Then it's just a matter of time until blanket reforms are made.
danielnicollet 3 hours ago 0 replies      
time to reform the patent review process. there is so much energy wasted fighting patent trolls. furthermore, this produces nothing, it just leaches on the wealth creation efforts of others.
gonzo 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Passwords are dead. Film at 11.
Is Freemium the Emperor's New Clothes? kachingle.com
8 points by lkrubner  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
joelrunyon 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm glad you note Evernote as an exception. That's a great example of an app that's:

1) Ridiculously Useful

2) No Comparable Competition

3) Has A Tie-In Factor That Makes Any Power User EVENTUALLY Pay (and be more than happy to).

benologist 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
You attribute the WSJ writup to Sarah Silverman heh.
Show HN: Simple BitTorrent Magnet Link search moviemagnet.net
9 points by cantbecool  1 hour ago   5 comments top
arnaud13 49 minutes ago 2 replies      
http://movies.io/ ? Sounds familiar?
Minimum Viable Movie: How I Made a Feature-Length Film for $0 kadavy.net
66 points by kadavy  6 hours ago   13 comments top 4
anigbrowl 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I have about a decade of experience in low- and no-budget filmmaking, including 9 feature films and too many shorts to count. Technology is a wonderful thing, as is the fact that people are willing to pitch in and led equipment, talent, and locations for nothing. But...

a) if you work this way (with actors doubling up as crew and so on), then you say goodbye to QA. Although there are clear improvements from project to project the quality is...not good. I don't want to go through a laundry list of critcisms. But I suggest ditching the DV camera, getting a DSLR, and learning to shoot at 24p with a 1/50 shutter speed. The cost and time savings of not using DV tapes alone will cover the food bill for your shoot.

b) "I raised $2,000 using Kickstarter." That's a very small budget, but it's a hell of a lot bigger than $0, no? This sort of bait-and-switch marketing technique only works if you have a commercial release. Your budget is part of your marketing plan, and you can only use this trick once. OK, so the point is that the filmmaker did it with $0 of his own cash. There's a thin line between creatively financing your project on a shoestring, and coming off as a freeloader.

c) "If this is what I did with $2,000 imagine what I could do with $2,000,000." Production companies in Hollywood hear this pitch approximately weekly. The response (among themselves, not to you) is 'I'm perfectly capable of wasting my own money.' What you need to focus on now is leveraging the achievements so far into a $20,000 budget (enough to pay a minimum wage to a small crew and cast), and having a plan to generate a similar amount of revenue. That will open doors to larger things.

steffes 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Really refreshing to see how people use their resources in another industry. I'm glad to hear that he got inspiration from the hacker community at SXSW.I haven't watched the movie yet, but I have it bookmarked for this weekend.
kephra 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I have not seen this movie (yet) - But there is an other film that was made on a shoestring budget (ca$5000) called Donkey.


This film has the feeling and quality of early Quentin Tarantino films, and a plot that is much better than 90% of major US films.

finkin1 5 hours ago 2 replies      
There's a great indie film making community in Fairfield, IA. Have you ever been there? http://theskyisfree.com is an example of something out of Fairfield - also made on basically 0 budget.
Barman backup and recovery manager for PostgreSQL pgbarman.org
7 points by pie  56 minutes ago   1 comment top
pie 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
While looking beyond a pg_dump-style approach to backup/recovery, I was considering https://github.com/heroku/WAL-E and discovered Barman. It's also open source, and looks like a strong contender.
How to confuse a moral compass: Survey 'magic trick' causes attitude reversal nature.com
38 points by tokenadult  4 hours ago   17 comments top 6
jacques_chester 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is different from the classic phenomenon explored in Yes, Prime Minister[1].

It's not that they manipulated the questions in advance -- it's that they reversed the meaning of the questions after the respondent had answered them. Even under these conditions, the majority of respondents were then prepared to support the position which they had, ostensibly, only a few minutes ago opposed and vice versa.


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

001sky 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
“I don't feel we have exposed people or fooled them,” says Hall. “Rather this shows something otherwise very difficult to show, [which is] how open and flexible people can actually be.”

--There is a "social" reversal stigma, likely at play here.[1] In isolation witout time constraint, check to confirm result.


[1] "Participants were then asked to [read aloud] three of the statements, including the two that had been altered, and discuss their responses."

richardjordan 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I am not sure the conclusions are particularly revelatory. The political system in the US appears to rely on using tribal association - Democrat/Republican, Conservative/Liberal - to get people to group themselves (by branding each tribe) then the political class just inserts whatever policies suit their goals and the masses fill in the blanks of justification. From the last decade alone there are countless examples of Bush policies opposed by D voters and supported by R voters yet when the same policies are enacted by the Obama administration people take the opposite positions. We all know it happens and see it every day.
pyre 3 hours ago 0 replies      
1. How many people might notice, but think that the mistake was theirs, and even argue for the opposite of their position in order to save face?

2. How many of these people hold staunch views on the questions asked? E.g. would this have the same effect on a extremist skinhead as it would on the average college student?

bonyt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good take on surveys and leading questions
thowar2 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I think this experiment does more to show the ineffectiveness of surveys than it does to imply that the subjects are fools.
Problems with Skitch 2.0 evernote.com
20 points by lancewiggs  3 hours ago   8 comments top 6
veidr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, those are some seriously annoyed users Evernote has there. As noted in the thread, the old version is still available (for now at least) at:


I've never used Skitch, but have heard raves from so many people that I've been planning to take a look at it; based on the feedback in this thread, though, I made sure to snag the old version.

btipling 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
What are some decent Skitch alternatives, something that lets you easily write and draw on the screen shots? Preferably I'd like to share via Dropbox. I already pay them so I don't see why I want to pay for Evernote too.
patrickod 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Skitch has been in constant decline since Evernote became involved. There was a period of months where it was rendered totally unusable for me because it would crash when you tried to upload to a custom SFTP server (my only use for sharing images). I bought Skitch with the hopes that it would at least continue working as it was but I have been thoroughly disappointed.
lukeholder 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
ftp/sftp upload was the most distinguishing feature of skitch. All these cloud snipping apps like droplr.com and getcloudapp.com all pretty nice, but have no custom upload location (linked to their own cloud) and no annotation ability.
aytekin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sounds like they have done the classic rewrite mistake.

"When you throw away code and start from scratch, you are throwing away all that knowledge. All those collected bug fixes. Years of programming work."

caseorganic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Another example of a lie an acquiring company gives when they acquire a great product. I use Skitch 10-15 times a day and won't update.
Petition Google for iOS Maps change.org
6 points by jasondayton  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
meiji 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pretty sure Google have already announced they'll release an iOS version of maps. That said it can't come soon enough. I've no idea how they've defined POIs on Apple's maps but they need to go back to the drawing board. Where I live there's a pedestrian zone which Apple say has a gas station in it. Worse is the gas station they say is in the middle of a heavily wooded park (neither of these are there obviously). Whilst I appreciate things can't be perfect, this is so far from perfect and has been since beta phases that I just think Apple is continuing their beta testing using all of us as testers.

The Google Maps app can't come soon enough; I'm only glad that I have TomTom and my car's built-in navigation to fall back on because I have no faith in the software Apple built.

sanatgersappa 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't you be petitioning Apple instead? They're the ones who took it away.
Kaspersky researcher cracks Flame malware password networkworld.com
93 points by headShrinker  9 hours ago   46 comments top 8
WestCoastJustin 8 hours ago 1 reply      
PDF report by symantec of how the C&C was configured and how it works: http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/secur...

Full Analysis of Flame's Command & Control servers by Kaspersky Lab Expert

luu 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Do people still think this was created by the NSA? It seems extraordinarily unlikely that they would use such a weak password, one that you would expect to fall to a rules based engine. The only way I could even imagine that happening is as a bit of misdirection, and there must surely be misdirection you can do that doesn't compromise your security.
xal 9 hours ago 6 replies      
> The hash - 27934e96d90d06818674b98bec7230fa - was resolved to the plain text password 900gage!@# by Bestuzhev.

What? How did they crack this if brute force failed? That's scary as hell.

Steko 7 hours ago 2 replies      
So I guess this was a previously cracked MD5 hash, 6th result below:


{restricted date to before a few days ago}

drivebyacct2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I right in reading the Symantec C&C report and seeing that the servers were on Linux machines? Were the hiding the activity from themselves in case they were compromised? I assumed that they were infecting machines and using them as servers. Was there a linux vulnerability too?
madsravn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Breaking a password and then forcing access to the server - isn't that illegal regardless of who does it?
YZF 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How much anonymity does this scheme buy you? If the server is discovered presumably traffic can be traced back to its operators, no?
superuser2 4 hours ago 1 reply      
How did Kaspersky get the hash?
Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century hbr.org
144 points by rmorrison  12 hours ago   63 comments top 14
dude_abides 11 hours ago 8 replies      
Interestingly, just yesterday, I found out that Linkedin Friend Suggest uses, among other things, co-logins from same IP address as a signal. On my test account that I created at work, it eerily showed me all my co-workers in the Friend Suggest list. Later, as soon as I logged in from home, it added my wife to my Friend Suggest list.

I wonder if one of the goals of a good Data Scientist is also to be not too accurate, lest the product create an eerie feeling among users! (remember the Target pregnant girl incident?!)

gaius 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Heh, I wonder if back in the 60s, HBR said Business Analyst or Statistician were the sexy jobs of the 20th century.

Because that's all a "data scientist" is... but without the experience to realize there's already a job title for what they do.

tryitnow 9 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a recommendation I give to people who are writing their online personals ad: If you're sexy, there's no reason to say that you're sexy.

I think the same applies here.

A data scientist is a fancy way of saying a "statistician who can code (should be required in stats programs now anyhow) and who can communicate effectively"

carlsednaoui 12 hours ago 1 reply      
For those that prefer to read the article in one single page: http://hbr.org/2012/10/data-scientist-the-sexiest-job-of-the...
jwoah12 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the fact that this was posted a half hour after this:
hcarvalhoalves 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's keep reinventing job titles to pretend they are new and sexy.

- Business Analyst: Data Scientist
- Systems Analyst: Growth Hacker
- Public Relations: Social Media Evangelist

What else?

bearmf 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I remember reading at least 10 articles with nearly the same content during the year. Why are authors so eager to convince everyone of big data's sexiness? Results should speak for themselves. So far Linkedin's Friend Suggest is one of the biggest success stories.
jboggan 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I've found that a lot of companies are looking for data scientists but many of them have very different ideas of what that means. This makes for some interesting interviews.

I recently moved to SF and am currently interviewing for data science positions - particularly ones involving social networks and applied graph theory - so drop me a line if you know anyone who is dealing with that problem space.

suyash 8 hours ago 1 reply      
ASK HN? : I'm little confused, can someone please shed some light into this so we can all get a clearer picture. What is the difference between Data Scientist vs Big Data Expert vs Analytics Engineer (Statistics, metrics etc) vs Hadoop Architect vs Machine Learning Expert ? Thanks a lot HN people!
elchief 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I teach data mining at a top grad school, and am a data scientist at a startup.

I got one call from a recruiter who thought I was in a different city. Ain't so sexy from where I'm sitting.

philip1209 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Question for HN: I'm graduating this Spring with majors in Systems Engineering and Physics, and I want to work as a data scientist, preferably at a startup. What can I do to position myself for such a job? If any of you work in the field and are willing to provide some 1-on-1 advice, please shoot me an email - mail@philipithomas.com
mmcdan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The Insight Data Science fellows program looks awesome, but it is disappointing that only phd candidates and post-docs can apply. There is some irony with the fact that the cover of their brochure uses the facebook friendship visualization done by Paul Butler, who was an undergraduate intern at facebook when he made it.
bitwize 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry, I don't think data science is going to topple the quadfecta of sexiness: porn star, rock star, sports star, and movie star.
nachteilig 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I know I should be excited for the positive innovations data science will bring us, but am I alone in mostly still finding it creepy?
John Carmack on Static Code Analysis altdevblogaday.com
235 points by niyazpk  17 hours ago   106 comments top 21
pnathan 15 hours ago 7 replies      
A couple things:

- Competitors with Coverity are CodeSonar[1] and Klocwork[2]. I've not seen Klocwork output, but CodeSonar and Coverity are in the same area of quality, with differing strengths. I can not recommend static analysis highly enough if you have a C/C++/Java/C# database. It's very expensive (well into five figures according to Carmack), but how expensive is a bug? What if you have your entire codebase checked daily for bugs? Consider the effect on your quality culture. :-)

- The fact that you are paying "well into five figures" for a tool that essentially covers up design deficiencies in your language should start sounding alarm bells in your head. The proposition more or less goes, "To have reliable C++ code in certain areas, you need a static analyzer; to gain that same advantage in Haskell costs you nothing more than GHC". Of course Haskell doesn't have certain C/C++ capabilities; but it's worth meditating on for your next application, particularly if bugs are more important than performance. N.b- I don't know the ML family enough to say one way or the other in this regard. :-)

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

[2] http://www.klocwork.com

stcredzero 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> We had a period where one of the projects accidentally got the static analysis option turned off for a few months, and when I noticed and re-enabled it, there were piles of new errors that had been introduced in the interim. Similarly, programmers working just on the PC or PS3 would check in faulty code and not realize it until they got a “broken 360 build” email report. These were demonstrations that the normal development operations were continuously producing these classes of errors, and /analyze was effectively shielding us from a lot of them.

Something which corroborates this: When penetration testers break into systems, they're often using new 0-day exploits. Think about that. Most of today's software development practice produces such a steady stream of low-level bugs, that penetration testers can assume that they're there!

> Trying to retrofit a substantial codebase to be clean at maximum levels in PC-Lint is probably futile. I did some “green field” programming where I slavishly made every picky lint comment go away, but it is more of an adjustment than most experienced C/C++ programmers are going to want to make. I still need to spend some time trying to determine the right set of warnings to enable to let us get the most benefit from PC-Lint.

This could be encouraged using game dynamics. Have a mechanism where a programmer can mark parts of the codebase "green-field." A programmer's "green-field score" consists of the number of lines of green-field code (or statements, whichever lousy metric you want) that he's successfully compiled with no warnings whatsoever. Combine this with random sampling code walkthroughs, which has many benefits but will also catch boilerplate, auto-generated, or copy-paste programming by a "Wally" who's trying to "write himself a new minivan."

js2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
(2011) Original HN discussion http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3388290
gaius 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Microsoft feels that game quality on the 360 impacts them more than application quality on Windows does. :-)

Many a true word spoken in jest!

santaragolabs 15 hours ago 2 replies      
So I've dealt with dozens of Fortune-100 companies implementing and using static code analysis tools. They can and will help but in general I feel that these tools are not much more than the code-equivalent of the syntax- and grammar- checker in your word processing software.

I've been doing manual code reviews for a living now (mostly security related) for roughly 3 years now and while I get assisted from time to time by code analysis tools I still find heaps of bugs not caught by any of the tools mentioned by Carmack. The biggest issue for a development shop is to properly integrate these tools and to not overwhelm developers with too much false positives.

I've had cases where a developer got a 1500 page PDF spit out by one of these static analysis tools. After spending two weeks going through everything the developer ended up with 50 pages of actual bugs; the rest were describing false positives. Then I got on-site and I still logged dozens and dozens of security-related bugs that the static analysis tools failed to find.

Edit: also consider that one even needs a SAT solver to even do proper C-style preprocessor dependency checking. A lot of these code analysis tools are being run on debug builds only and then there when the release build is being made these tools are not being run meaning they fail to catch a lot of issues. It's insanely hard to write proper code analysis tools and static source code analysis tools which do not integrate with the compilation process I wouldn't trust at all.

Nowadays with clang there are very nice possibilities for someone to write your own simple checks and integrate them into the build process. But even clang doesn't expose everything about the preprocessor that you might want to have from a static code analysis perspective.

zwieback 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The article mirrors my recent experience 100%. We've got a Coverity license and I've started using it recently. Luckily, our code base is relatively small, it's straight C and embedded (no mallocs, no OS). Even in this extremely simple environment it's shocking how many errors Coverity can ferret out.

The false-positives are a problem and the general advice to get started is to initially ignore all existing bugs and focus on avoiding adding new bugs. Then, when you get the hang of writing code that passes the checks you go back and look for the worst of the older bugs, etc.

cpeterso 13 hours ago 1 reply      
FindBugs [1] is a great code analysis tool for Java. It's free, open source, and supports plugins for writing your own checks. The FindBugs site reports an interesting story from a Google test day:

"Google held a global "fixit" day using UMD's FindBugs static analysis tool for finding coding mistakes in Java software. More than 700 engineers ran FindBugs from dozens of offices.

Engineers have already submitted changes that made more than 1,100 of the 3,800 issues go away. Engineers filed more than 1,700 bug reports, of which 600 have already been marked as fixed. Work continues on addressing the issues raised by the fixit, and on supporting the integration of FindBugs into the software development process at Google."

[1] http://findbugs.sourceforge.net/

hsmyers 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Having used PC-Lint almost all the way back to it's origins, I can testify to just how scary it is to run this on your code. Code you wrote as well as code written by teammates. In self defense, you HAVE to spend time tuning the system in terms of warnings and errors---otherwise you drown in a sea of depressing information. I liked John's comment about attempting 'green field' coding. It is a tremendously valuable process given the time. Great article, definite thumbs up.
egonschiele 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been wanting something like this for Ruby for some time now. Since it's dynamically typed and ridiculously easy to monkey-patch, Ruby is a much harder challenge than C++. The two best efforts I
have found are Diamondback Ruby (http://www.cs.umd.edu/projects/PL/druby/) and Laser (http://carboni.ca/projects/p/laser)...but they mostly try to add static type-checking to Ruby code. After
looking at these I implemented a contracts library for Ruby (https://github.com/egonSchiele/contracts.ruby) to get myself some better dynamic checking. The next step is to use the annotations
for the contracts library to do better static code analysis. One thing I'm working on is generating tests automatically based on the contract annotations. But I've got a long way to go : ( If anyone
knows about other projects that are working on static analysis for Ruby I'd be very interested in hearing about them!
quaunaut 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a web developer interested in diving into graphics programming sometime in the next year, but this made me stop and wonder:

> If you aren't deeply frightened about all the additional issues raised by concurrency, you aren't thinking about it hard enough.

Why exactly is that?

nfriedly 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny timing, I just got jslint turned back on in our build today! (well, jsHint now due to the 'for(var i=0...' failing even with -vars enabled, but I digress...).

Another dev and I spent literally the entire day fixing issues - and we had jslint running on every checkin until a few months ago!

But, it was worth it. It feels great to know that those bugs won't happen again without a failing build :)

estebank 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a great article by an insightful individual.

If you haven't read it, do so.

You can read further discussion on this 270 days old article at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3388290

FredBrach 8 hours ago 4 replies      
There have been plenty of hugely successful and highly regarded titles that were filled with bugs and crashed a lot

I think it's false, and a huge mistake. There is rare cases, but not plenty. Video games (I mean video games for core gamers) are products that demand first and above all quality to be successful. There is rather plenty of common games with a huge quality which become hits (Kingdom Rush for example or Starcraft which was finally kind of common in its time). One of the rules in the delovepment process at Blizzard is that they ship a game when it has less than 100 known bugs. Also, I would add that, it seems that, ID software did not make a successful games since Doom. Quake wasn't a commercial success, Quake2, Quake3, Doom3 and Rage neither (that's why ID software has been bought for only $100M). After all, ID Software lost one of its core value co-founder a long time ago (John Romero) who was responsible of the gameplay of ID's games...

Quality in video games are everything, that's really my opinion. It's also really an edge for every indy developper which want to start a company in this sector, cases are countless.

mrich 13 hours ago 0 replies      
For C/C++, also try just compiling with clang. It has great diagnostics. Also it has the static analyer whose C++ support just improved greatly in trunk.
jaimefjorge 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This article is one of the reason I created my tool: http://www.qamine.com

Qamine integrates directly with github and is designed to be used by small and medium companies that cannot afford those expensive tools.

dexen 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Dear Lazyweb,

the `Controler' part of my main codebase consists of interwoven PHP and MySQL. Is there static analysis tool that understands both, one in relation to the other?

rabidsnail 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone tried running their commits through CRM114, marking removals in bugfix commits as "bad"?
Flow 12 hours ago 1 reply      
How good is the code analysis in IntelliJ compared to these tools?
seanalltogether 15 hours ago 1 reply      
It's too bad he didn't post any samples, I'd love to see what kind of common mistakes he caught so I can avoid them myself.
Havoc 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty sure I've read this exact thing ~1 year ago.
speg 16 hours ago 11 replies      
Any recommendations for tools in web development? I use JS Lint, but what about server side languages?
LinkedIn referrals to Facebook pages up 1000% while Twitter's plummet thenextweb.com
78 points by jeffwidman  9 hours ago   21 comments top 9
WiseWeasel 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This was one move by Twitter that I still can't wrap my head around. That was some prime real-estate Twitter had on LinkedIn, advertising the service in a way that few paid placements could match. It's not like I'm going to go to LinkedIn to follow anyone's Twitter activity on a regular basis; it's just publicity for the Twitter feed's existence and substance, so I know to follow them in a real Twitter client.
eblume 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is twitter imploding? What's going on there? Maybe their costs were much higher than we thought 'per tweet'?
JoshTriplett 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The day Twitter broke this, I just wrote an ifttt recipe to replace it: https://ifttt.com/recipes/42950
sitharus 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I still can't understand Twitter's strategy. The sharing of content is what made it popular, isolating "their" content will drive it to celebrity watchers.

I guess advertisers understand publish/subscribe better than social interaction.

Spooky23 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to get a ton of positive feedback from material that I shared on LinkedIn via Twitter.

Guess what I do now? Skip the Twitter middleman.

ZenJosh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm still not entirely sure where Twitter is trying to go with the 'new direction'. I trust they have a cunning and well-reasoned plan, but honestly it feels a lot like getting bored playing a game of Civilization - You kill all your citizens, destroy all your infrastructure, give your money to the Romans, then declare war on everyone.
001sky 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Twitter's disruptive potential is arguably greater than its cash-flow potential. Strategy shift to the latter might be net-negative from an buyer's perspective. They are also at risk of killing brand value, which is tied to the perception that twitter is a universal-fabric-of-the-intenet service. Once Isolated, they don't seem so scary to incumbents or valuable etc.
taylorbuley 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Soft anecdotes like these are interesting, but it's not a good idea to draw hard conclusions from them.
jeffwidman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The question in my head about this data:

Is the spike because LinkedIn traffic actually spiked, or was it just getting misattributed as Twitter traffic?

California launches online voter registration arstechnica.com
59 points by headShrinker  8 hours ago   25 comments top 9
thesash 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Direct link to registration website:

It works surprisingly well. Crazy that this is new.

whalesalad 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm super impressed by this. I'm grateful that government websites are finally starting to shape up. I'm on a break from California in good ol' Virginia right now and have been eager to register to vote. I just finished the registration in about 5 minutes, luckily I know all of the things it requested by memory. WOOT!

Now I won't have any regrets about voting down the road when i'm at some backyard BBQ talking about the president. I'm looking forward to voting in this upcoming election.

inetsee 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I find it interesting (but not surprising) that California is making an effort to make voter registration easier, while many states (mostly Southern) continue to try to put obstacles in the way of many people (mostly African-American, or poor, or both) being able to register to vote.
r00fus 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This absolutely rules. I just re-registered (due to having moved) and it's quite straightforward, and you can request a permanent vote-by-mail ballot (most secure way to vote).

For those paranoid about "online voting" - this is nothing of the sort, it simply updates the county voting registry with your details, they do a human effort to match it up with your existing info.

Now if only the swing states had this in-place, it could enfranchise millions of folks who can't/don't have the time to register or don't realize they might have missed the registration deadline.

Mithrandir 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Note: If the DMV doesn't have your signature on file, you have to print out the application and send it in.
cutie 5 hours ago 0 replies      
About f'ing time... it's 2012. This year is also the first year you could file online CA tax returns without a middleman (or at least the first I noticed). When is the IRS gonna get off its butt?
bicknergseng 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I must have done something wrong. I filled everything out and it had me print a form that I'm supposed to mail to my registrar in order to register... which of course is registering via mail and not online.
enraged_camel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's hoping for online voting soon, as well.
jimbobob 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great. Just registered and the process took about 15 minutes.
How better location data could mean more-targeted mobile ads gigaom.com
3 points by eccobay  28 minutes ago   discuss
If I Were Google, I Wouldn't Release A Native iOS 6 Maps App For Six Months techcrunch.com
55 points by ryandvm  3 hours ago   78 comments top 23
robomartin 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Just throw an old 3GS or 4 in your pocket and use Google Maps by creating a private WiFi hot-spot with your iPhone 5.

Wait a minute. The iPhone 5 doesn't do that. Hey, but it's longer, thinner and faster. What else do you want?

It almost reminds me of Microsoft Word. Once MS Word got to the point where it did pretty much everything the majority of users wanted it to do there really was not reason to upgrade. As my own example, the only reason I upgraded some of our systems to Office 2007 was because we needed 64 bit systems for Finite Element Analysis and Office 2003 wouldn't go there.

I know that they'll sell a lot of iPhone 5's, but I really think that they are starting to loose the magic. I, for one, don't really care about thinner or lighter beyond the 4S. A little larger, maybe, but there are so many things that the next generation iPhones could or should be doing that I can't imagine why Apple would pull resources into trying to out-map Google.

3D fly-over map views? Really? How much money did they waste on that crap?

It's almost like Siri. It's a big smelly, smoldering pile of crap. I don't know of anyone that actually uses it. And it sure as hell doesn't work one bit like the TV ads. What a waste.

veidr 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The iOS 6 maps subsystem is the worst OS component regression Apple has shipped since Open Transport 1.0.

It is really bad, and if navigating a city is one of your key phone usage scenarios, this change makes Apple's arch-rival's devices significantly more attractive than they otherwise would be.

I carry around both the latest Apple phone and the latest Google phone, and this is one area where the Google phone was already significantly superior, even before this fairly astonishing regression in iOS 6. Now the gap is much wider.

Google could (mostly) fix that for Apple by releasing a Google maps app, but why should they?

vosper 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Mapping is, for me, the single greatest boon of smartphones. Nothing else is appreciated in a pinch like a good map or routing - I could do away with everything else.

For Apple to cripple such a fantastic feature and leave themselves at the mercy of their arch-rival - whom they've been energetically suing - is baffling.

ardit33 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am surprised Samsung didn't pounce on this opportunity in their marketing materials.

Instead they are propping features like "Palm Picture Capture", "Tilt to Mute", and other dumb things that nobody really cares about.

Things like this is what differentiates great companies, from ones that just doen't get it.
Users don't care about useless feature list, they care about end experience.

bobbles 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure that 95% of iOS users don't even know that it WAS Google maps. All they know is the maps on their phone suddenly don't have as much information as they used to. (and hey that new flyover thing looks cool)

I don't really see holding out on a release being beneficial to Google, in fact quite the opposite.

Now people will have an app called 'Google Maps' that will be the one they know and love, and might even get them to consider 'hey, maybe i should check out those Google phones as well'.

I'm personally going to hold out on iOS6 for a little while longer while some of the issues get explained or ironed out.

Irfaan 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"If I were Google, I wouldn't launch a native Maps app for iOS 6 for at least six months, [...]"

If I were in Google's shoes, I wouldn't be launching a native Maps app. Period.

It's not like Maps is driving vast amounts of search revenue for Google. And with the degraded functionality of Apple's own Maps app, Google's Map app has become a reason for a buyer to consider switching to a Google-blessed Android phone.

And I say this as a long-time iPhone user - Maps was an important application for me. Now that it's become less functional, I'm going to actively look at Android and WP.

swang 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone who says, "just use the mobile web version!" has never actually used the Google Maps app (what do I even call this now?)

Not being able to visually see bus routes (without clicking on another link) and the directions, and then also compare them to walking times is a big feature missing in the mobile web version. It also suffers from a large "below the fold" problem where on my iPhone 4S I cannot see the directions because the inputs for the start and end location take up so much space. It took me a while before I realized that Google had already loaded my directions.

The only upside to mobile is having access to bike routes.

mladenkovacevic 2 hours ago 3 replies      
This is exactly the OPPOSITE of why I'm intrigued and impressed by Google as a company. They just want people to have access to their services. They are not about authoritative control over who gets access and locking their users in a walled garden. Android is wonderful and Google's done a great job of integrating their services with it.. but why shouldn't iOS users have at least some of the same benefits (if Apple allows them of course)
dannyr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I remember tech pundits years ago saying that Android needs a killer app. I guess Android finally has one. It's Google Maps.
bdreadz 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's not mentioned here yet. In safari or chrome on iOS going to maps.google.com works pretty darn well. Except for showing me what direction I'm currently facing it is pretty darn close.

So if the new app is giving you that much trouble or you need that little bit more of information that google provided you. Just open it up.

headShrinker 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know why in the 5 years of the maps app it was never updated? Is it possible Google didn't want to maintain the app on iOS? We are assuming Apple had some control over whether the Google app stayed on iOS but the contract was up, and it's possible Google didn't want to renew. After all, Google has a web based app that works on iOS... Maybe that's all Google wants to give.
minikomi 2 hours ago 3 replies      
iOS6 maps simply does not work in Tokyo. Here's a comparison my friend posted.. Tokyo Station doesn't exist at all, and the level of details is woeful.


neop 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Many people here seem to be reading this as "Apple is stupid for switching to their own map app". But I think reading it as "Google is smart for forcing Apple to switch to an inferior map app" is a more realistic situation.
TallboyOne 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Christ guys, I count 5 misspellings of 'loose' and 'lose' in this thread. It's NOT that hard.
epoxyhockey 2 hours ago 5 replies      
My bet is that the end users aren't even going to notice. I switched my website maps from Google to OSM/Leaflet and absolutely no one noticed or cared enough to email me about it.

Disclaimer: I didn't use OSM's default/ugly color palette.
Disclaimer #2: I have used iOS 6 maps, and the most visible change (other than the color palette) is that subway markers are clickable and that Yelp is more tightly integrated into the pin details.

steve8918 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I would pay a lot of money for a native Google Maps app. It's the single most used feature for me on my phone.

The only feature I want is the ability to download maps to the phone. Going to another country and not having maps is debilitating. I spent $300 by not realizing how much data I would download, and download a map while in the middle of one of the Great Lakes in Canada. Being able to download maps while at a wifi connection for the city that I'm in is crucial.

mjcohenw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Apple believes that their map app will eventually become as good as Google's.

Also, by doing this, Apple denies Google the information about what locations Apple's users are looking for and makes this available to only Apple.

jser 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The lack of including public transit routing was a huge miss -- the "Designed in California", everyone has a car confused the decision making.

I've found the Embark transit applications to be a great alternative (at least for Chicago). It doesn't make up for other missing features like Street View, but you'd be surprised how many users did not even know those features existed.

hcarvalhoalves 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Really? Although the maps show less information, I found the navigation feature much more usable now. For me, it's the most useful feature since I don't have a car with GPS and TomTom's app is pricey. Now I have it built-in.

For finding other stuff I can always use other apps or Google Maps mobile, which is very decent too.

kevinsd 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If I were Apple, I would had been very pissed off with Google's inferior Maps app for iOS than its Android one. If Maps is so core to a smartphone's overall experience, perhaps it is better to break it from a competitor's control sooner than later.
rdl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This clearly makes commercial sense for Google in the short/medium term, but fails "don't be evil".

I got screwed by iOS 6 Beta's lack of transit directions in NYC this summer; I had no reason to expect a serious feature regression, and I'm amazed this made it to release. It might be a Cupertino vs SF thing, but really, even a car owning Bay Area tech person is going to use the subway when visiting NYC or some other cities, so even Apple employees though have prioritized it.

Gustomaximus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Has anyone used Ovi maps in iOS? I used to prefer Ovi Maps to Google Maps for navigation type usage back when I used both a E71 and Android handset.

I wonder if Nokia has any ambition take advantage of the current situation?

PhuFighter 2 hours ago 2 replies      
heh. Google can't release a Maps app - mostly because that would be duplicating a service that Apple already provides, and apple hates competition !
Why Google Should Customize your Gmail Login Page to Prevent Phishing ethanheilman.tumblr.com
20 points by EthanHeilman  4 hours ago   9 comments top 6
sirclueless 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There are several reasons not to do this:

1. Unless Google can roll this out in a short timeframe to all their properties with 100% reliability, it's basically useless. If half of their login screens don't have it, there's no way for a consumer to tell the difference between a hacked site and a legitimate malfunction (such as a cleared cache, or fresh computer installation). Luckily, Google's web logins are already centralized, but people also log into Chrome, their Android devices, etc.

2. You can never remove the customization. You better be sure you want to support custom images forever, because you are committing to a promise: your customers' login screens will look exactly the same from now on. The only way to migrate away from it is to bite the bullet and deal with a ton of people who think that their browser or Google has been hacked because it's missing their custom picture.

That's too much commitment to a stopgap measure for a password form that Google wants to obsolete anyways. They'd rather have you authenticate to your browser or via a device anyways, long term.

k3n 3 hours ago 1 reply      
They already have all of this for GAFYD (Google Apps For Your Domain) users, which has a free version that I've been using for ~5 years:


You can set a custom image and apply some simple style tweaks to the sign-in box on the login page. Here's mine:


DanBlake 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The time honored solution to this is not how you propose- Its called double-stepping and its annoying from a UI perspective.

Step 1:
Enter your username and click "go"

Step 2: you are presented with a image you have chosen before- If the image matches, you enter your password and click continue

USBank.com does this, try it by typing in a random name, like cstevens - Notice how it doesnt accept a user + pass on the same screen

hamoid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"3. This is really the tricky part as an attacker can wipe browser cookies at will."

No need for an attacker, I do wipe them at will. Every time I close the browser.

drivebyacct2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What about machines with multiple Gmail users? Counting on user data when the user is logged out seems like a major problem right off the bat. (But how is a hacker going to clear your cookies remotely?)
purplelobster 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There have been studies showing that users don't notice the absence of cues like this.
       cached 20 September 2012 07:02:01 GMT