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"Why don't you sell Triple Town for 99 cents and make tons of money?" plus.google.com
154 points by mmastrac  5 hours ago   46 comments top 15
nicpottier 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a pretty good take on what being a small indie dev is like. I've been through that exact cycle, of building a portfolio of games, having some big hits fund growing the company, then taking on bigger projects before the inevitable collapse. In our case that collapse actually came from our primary platform disappearing (thank MS for buying Danger) and our failure to pivot well enough into the new hyper competitive iOS market.

So I totally hear his rationale from a game developer's point of view, I really do. But though I'm a developer, I'm also a customer, and I just can't swallow the coin model for games.

I've played Triple Town and thought it was pretty cute, and yes, I'd probably pay 99c for it, maybe even up to $2.99. But I'm not signing up to a lifetime of paying coins to continue playing it long term.

One fundamental issue is that by design, coin based games are going to be 'gamed' to encourage the use of coins, and fundamentally I don't want to participate in a game dynamic where I'm paying for game experimentation with real dollars. It is like me playing a game of chess and having the constant option to drop $20 to buy another queen. Sure it isn't absolutely necessary to win, but it sure helps. Having that dynamic in games just turns me off.

Now I understand the problem of running a sustainable business all too well, having had my own game company go under, but I don't believe this is the solution. I'm not sure what the right one is, and on that front I applaud them for experimenting, but as a customer I personally reject it.

Dove 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I checked out Triple Town, curious what sort of game someone looking for both strong ties with players and recurring revenue would produce. What I found was a game with a single $4 purchase that unlocked everything. That definitely suits me as a player, but I don't see how it constitutes recurring revenue. It looks and feels like an option to just buy the game. If it turns out not to be, I'll feel betrayed.

Am I misunderstanding the model here? Is the 'recurring' aspect supposed to be from players as a group--a certain percent converting on a monthly basis, without publicity events? Is what clearly looks like a 'purchase game' to me not intended as such? Will I sit down to play some evening only to find a warped experience that's grindy and lame without an infusion of coins? Or is all this talk of free to play really about fully functional trials--asking me for $4 after I'm sure I like the game rather than $1 on a hope? (Something which seems sensible, but I don't see how it would help with a boom/bust cycle.)

Dove 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not so sure. As a player, I was initially excited about free-to-play games. I viewed them as a rebirth of shareware, a try-before-you-buy sort of thing. But having played a few, and having had a few games I bought go that direction, I'm not nearly so enthusiastic now. They almost always suck, or turn out to suck after they add in-game purchases. Even the games I would have held up as shining examples of "doing it right" sucked six months later.

These days I'm wary of games that advertise free to play. As if that were something I, as a player, wanted. I see it less as a try-it-we're-sure-you'll-like-it and more of a we-won't-tell-you-what-it-costs and we-can-get-you-hooked-and-you-won't-care-it's-not-fun and maybe a little we'll-keep-changing-it-so-you-keep-needing-to-pay.

There's such strong pressure to have purchases affect gameplay, too. I've seen any number of nice games start out promising that would never happen, and then . . . it happened. I mean, remember when they introduced hats in TF2? Said they'd never, never, never affect gameplay? We know how that went.

So I don't know. For me as a player, that sort of game has an uphill battle to earn my trust. Even if it's awesome now, the pressures are just such that it probably won't be in six months. Not the sort of thing I want to build my cherished family entertainment memories around.

There's also the rather-disturbing phenomenon of a small percentage of people spending an outlandish amount of money on these games. Sure, some of them might be enthusiastic fans, but that seems unlikely to me. Free-to-play games are just . . . not that kind of game. It seems more likely that they're folks with poor judgement, or who are even mentally ill. I don't know, but it doesn't sit well with me.

I'm not a successful indie game publisher or anything, so I don't have a proposed alternative. But I do think I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I'd expect the view to become more prevalent as players gain experience with the model. Free-to-play might be dominant now, but I wouldn't bet on it staying that way.

Negitivefrags 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think that free to play is necessarily the answer. And I say this as a developer of a free to play game.

The key, I think, is in two things.

The first is having more control over your ability to distribute the product in the long term, and cheaply. The retail model meant that old games didn't have any opportunity to continue to get sales. Digital distribution means that old games continue to be available, and they can continue to make quite a lot of money.

The ability to distribute titles yourself means that you don't need to do a big hit all-on-day-one launch to make a sustainable living.

The second thing is the ability for some players to pay more money than others. The free to play model is great at this, but it isn't the only way I think that this can happen.

We have the ability for someone to pay $1000 to become a "Diamond" supporter which gives someone the ability to design a unique item (with guidance from us for balance reasons). They do not get given a copy, it's an item that is now available for the entire player base and enriches the game by providing more content for the players.

This kind of piecemeal support for specific purposes is an interesting area that I think could grow in the future.

The overall message I guess is getting away from the need for a big launch then slump, and moving to something that grows and is sustainable for the long term.

ghshephard 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This article has to be one of the most honest, rational, and clear eyed review of what it takes to be successful, long term (10+ years), as an independent game developer. While 4-6% of the talented game developers might be able to be successful playing the hit-game increasingly backloaded with more expensive collateral, the other 95%+ would be well advised to read Daniel Cook's article. And then read it again.
willvarfar 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Lovely, insightful article.

Tiny nitpick; I think his characterisation of Minecraft is missing the cult aspect:

> (And before you say 'Minecraft', let's give it another decade. :-).

And immediately after:

> Imagine free-to-play games as practiced by a private company that makes games with long term retention for passionate players in a tightly knit community.

Now simply snip the very first part of the first sentence:

> > Imagine <snip> a private company that makes games with long term retention for passionate players in a tightly knit community.

.... that's Mojang, right?

Revisor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Let's have a look at the immoral gameplay checklist:

Timed energy: Check

Triple Town is free to play forever. Eventually, you will run out of moves, but they replenish for free if you wait a while, and you can also buy more moves with free coins that you earn in-game.

Incentivized ads in-game: Check (wrong for both the player and the advertiser)

Update: we've added a 2-minute mode that you can play free, forever, as much as you want, by watching advertisements in between play sessions.

This is the real price of the game:

If you want to eliminate the move counter altogether, there is a one-time fee for lifetime unlimited moves.

Sorry to be blunt, but make a game with real value - not a casual puzzle game with a limited move energy - and the players will buy it.

For some nice mobile packaged games see Avernum and Avadon, Silversword, Mission Europa or The World Ends With You and Ghost Trick.

jaggederest 2 hours ago 0 replies      
At some level you have an average revenue per user.

If you charge up front some reasonable multiplier of the net present value of that average revenue per user, what is the difference if it's spread out over 10 years or immediate?

I guess my point with that is that as a user, I see free to play in general as being somewhat duplicitous. If it has a price tag on it, I can buy it or not. Even DLC, bad as it may be, has that sort of thing going on. But 'free to play' really means 'I won't tell you how much this will cost you up front'.

The bottom line is that your game has to be really good to make money, because there are so many games out there and many people want to make games, going so far as to spend large amounts of their free time doing it.

Competing with 'free labor' is hard to do. There's no silver bullet, and no business model magic will change that.

It's the same as being a rock star musician, or a professional athlete.

fishtoaster 4 hours ago 0 replies      
To nitpick just a little, didn't Blizzard have significant success producing packaged hits for over a decade before WoW?
anigbrowl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On a wholly irrelevant side note, Daniel Cook looks like my identical twin. I didn't make the connection with Triple Town and got a nasty fright when I clicked on the link.
gokhan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For a well thought free-to-play model generating tons of money, I would nominate World of Tanks, a MMO PC game.
mvzink 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised Guild Wars (especially 2) hasn't been brought up. I don't know about a game like Triple Town, but ArenaNet's sort of hybrid model seems promising: up front fee for a great, complete game, and more opportunities with the "coin model" (gems). They also have e-sports going for them, which is one of many things that encourages the long term relationship that Daniel mentions.
pom 4 hours ago 2 replies      
His points are well taken, but as I player I refuse to participate in this business model. On the other, I would buy this game for more than one dollar, because it looks like it's worth more than that. Too bad.
pcl 4 hours ago 2 replies      
So... what's the business model? Do his games have ads in them? Upsells? Something else? "Free-to-play" doesn't sound like a compelling long-term standalone strategy, given my (non-gamer) assumptions about that term.
mtgx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
And people said developers would not make money on OUYA since it only allows the free-to-play model, when in fact these type of games have been topping the charts in grossing income for a while.
100,000 stars chromeexperiments.com
532 points by davex  16 hours ago   85 comments top 39
equalarrow 13 hours ago 6 replies      
WOW, that is amazing. I'm always blown away by stuff like this, where you can actually get a sense of how small we all are and how distant even the closest neighbor stars are.

I just close my eyes for a minute and think (or try to), what would it be like for those people that are finally able to reach, say, Vega (I know it's not the closest). Sure, this is not a big deal in sci-fi, but for reality, it's pretty mind blowing. This is 100% why I seriously want to live for a few hundred years: to have an opportunity to see the first time we actually go to the nearest star.

In the meantime, I guess this will have to suffice.

I also love this image that is not interactive like this, but still mind blowing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Earths_Location_in_the_Uni...

shanelja 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is without a doubt one of the coolest and most beautiful webgl experiments I have seen in the last few years, it actually struck a real chord with me - music, lighting, effects, the zoom and the sheer beauty of it.

For those people unlucky enough to not be able to load this app (it took me quite a while) here is a particularly fantastic image I took (without asking or any right to, of course) - http://shanearmstrong.co.uk/content/cdn/the_beauty_of_the_co... - I apologize for any slow load times.

mey 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Warning: Scientific accuracy is not guaranteed. Please do not use this visualization for interstellar navigation.
ajross 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Amusingly for a "Chrome Experiment" it refuses to run on my chrome (Chrome 23 on Fedora 17 with Ivy Bridge graphics).

Firefox on the same machine works flawlessly.

juanre 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For those of you interested in the topic, the best publicly available database I've found is http://www.astronexus.com/node/34, and The Book for astronomical computation is Astronomical Algorithms, by Jean Meeus, http://www.willbell.com/math/mc1.HTM

(Shameless plug: I used both to implement the Common Lisp sky renderization engine for my startup, http://greaterskies.com, that makes pretty personalized posters out of thousands of stars)

rogerbinns 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is a great Youtube video showing the sizes of objects starting with the moon and working its way up to the largest known star. (Our Sun is a rounding error at that point!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEheh1BH34Q - if youtube refuses to play because of audio try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKTu6B4Rgek

Here is another one showing an animation of asteroids discovered in our solar system from 1980 to 2011. It starts off pretty tame, and by the end gets scary! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONUSP23cmAE

roundfounder 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
a. this is so beautiful and well done... what we've come to expect of Chrome Experiments.

b. If you haven't already, Toggle the spectral index... so sick

secondForty 13 hours ago 1 reply      

Could someone explain how this is built or give an overview of how it works? In the 'about' page http://www.chromeexperiments.com/detail/100000-stars/ it says WebGL and CSS3D, but I'm wondering how they fit together and what does what.

Is there a better way to view the source than just 'view source' in chrome?

I know a number of programming languages and I'd like to learn more about how this project works. [Saw the link to book on graphic programming in other comments below http://www.arcsynthesis.org/gltut/index.html, but how to "take apart and study" this project? ] Kudos to anyone who can point me in the right direction. Thanks!

scrumper 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It's like the galaxy map in Frontier Elite II was, in my imagination.
gerhardi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there are clusters where distance between neighbouring stars are much less than with Sun and Proxima Centauri. Would these locations provide better opportunities for space faring civilizations to reach other star systems?
mratzloff 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is incredible, and with all the positional, magnitude, and spectral information publicly available, anyone could do it.

I would really love to see a search box that would allow me to jump to a specific star.

ynniv 14 hours ago 2 replies      
On my MBP scrolling is backwards (swipe up moves closer), and mouse motion controls the camera offset angle. It's easy to write the code this way, but awkward and surprising during use. It's better to pretend that the hand manipulates the model, with a swipe up pushing it away and a swipe right turning the model counterclockwise around the vertical axis of the view.
TheAmazingIdiot 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Who made that music? And do they make more from where that came from?
Osmium 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Eventually crashed Safari on my rMBP, but this seems to be a trend, so possibly Safari's fault (and would explain why WebGL is not enabled by default).

In any case, great visualisation. Would be a perfect use for a 3D monitor.

TeMPOraL 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the way they made the stars - from close a sun actually looks like a pile of hot, glowing, boiling gas, and not like cold orange sphere you can see pretty much everywhere else.
Detrus 14 hours ago 1 reply      
MBP Chrome here, I see maybe 50 closest stars. When I zoom out, the stars in galaxy are just transparent squares. Doesn't look like http://shanearmstrong.co.uk/content/cdn/the_beauty_of_the_co... or http://www.chromeexperiments.com/detail/100000-stars/img/ahZ...
malbs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing interesting to add except it was an enjoyable way to start the day, thanks. Always good to have something remind you how insignificant you are! The music was great too

edit: loaded it in chrome instead, even better (should have been obvious given it's located on chromeexperiments.com)

esusatyo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
As cool as this is, if you have an iPad check out Star Walk. It's really really cool, and if you hold your iPad up to the sky it'd show you what the sky would look like if there isn't any pollutions.
swang 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I am on rMBP and it hardlocked Chrome after I navigated towards the sun and clicked the information button about the sun. Worked fine until then, really cool.
epsylon 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Absolutely amazing. By the way, it also works on Firefox. (Though performance isn't... stellar)
hayksaakian 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Aaaaaaaaaand chrome mobile fails once again. What's the point of chrome mobile if it's never updated? The stock aosp browser has seen more updates than Google's own browser. The only feature of this god damn browser is idiocy. /rage
Roybatty 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have my first child coming in a couple weeks and this is the type of stuff that I'm going to love showing she or he.


TomGullen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
That is incredible, wasn't expecting much.
tnash 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Was I the only one really hoping for "Reticulating Splines"?
chucknelson 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is great. Reminds me of Mass Effect and its presentation of planets and their descriptions. At least this stuff is real! :)
comex 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what EVE Online's map ought to look like. :)

Works fine in Safari.

Jarihd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
wow, awesome visualization.

I always wondered how scientist determine the position of earth in our galaxy and the center of the galaxy. can somebody throw some light on this ???

codyromano 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Small typo: should be "farthest man-made object" instead of "furthest." Otherwise, awesome job.
dennish00a 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I need to learn 3D graphics for some of my scientific projects. Specifically, I want to rotate clouds of points just as shown here. I have no idea where to start with doing this, however. Can somebody point me to a good tutorial or other resource in 3D graphics?
ronyeh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Beautiful. Someone needs to make a turn-based strategy game out of this visualization.
mamu95 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If your interested in simulating the physics of the universe checkout Universe Sandbox
xvolter 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. Now to figure out how to make this my desktop background...
tluyben2 13 hours ago 0 replies      
What was this optimized with? Closure?
pardner 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a small world after all.
suyash 15 hours ago 2 replies      
that is very cool. How was the glow crated using CSS3 for the Sun?
sonabinu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thumbs up!!!!
tydok 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"There's a lot of space out there to get lost in."
astrobiased 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! The only issue is that the visualization makes it look like we are in a cluster of stars. That is not correct. We're part of the diffuse field star population in the Milky Way.
jpxxx 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Unfortunately, it looks wonky as hell on Chrome for Mac.


Glitch Is Closing glitch.com
163 points by pretz  10 hours ago   73 comments top 27
jashkenas 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a bit beside the point, but I'd like to note how refreshing it is to read an honest shutting-down-and-wrapping-up post from a startup that had big dreams. It's all too easy to mistake bluster for confidence, and end up writing a shutdown note that claims some kind of hollow victory.

The true feelings of the Glitch team aren't being hidden here, and although it's sad, I think folks appreciate it a great deal.

trotsky 7 hours ago 3 replies      
We are offering refunds for all purchases made since November 1st, 2011 (a little over a year ago) and will immediately begin refunding all payments which can be refunded automatically through our payments processors (which will be nearly all of those made in the last 50 or so days). We will then move on to manual refunds for older payments. This will take some time to wrap up since there is not always a simple way to process the payments â€" credit cards expire or are cancelled, PayPal accounts are closed, etc. â€" and we may need to collect additional information from you in order to process your refund.

such an unusual and oddly endearing gesture. i am sure there is some kind of story behind it, but it's kind of beautiful in this industry full of people who first decide they want to make money and then decide what to build.

guiambros 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a gorgeous game, and I'm heartbroken that they're shutting down. I was part of the very first wave of beta testers when they first launched. Even though I didn't spend much time, I remember being shocked by their attention to details. Every little thing was nicely planned, designed and implemented.

But, aside from the intrinsic beauty, the truth is that there was no reason for you to keep coming back. It didn't have the same evil addictive psychology of Zynga's games ("Your crops are dying! Your friend Samantha just moved to a farm next door. Spam your friends - or buy some credits - so you can level up faster."). No intricate action + social interactivity like WoW. No puzzle challenges like Limbo, or adventure-style like Monkey Island (true, neither was multiplayer). No fast paced action like War of Tanks/War of Warplanes..

In the end it was just a cute massive multiplayer social game. Maybe the cutest ever. But this doesn't seem enough to attract a loyal audience - other than maybe a few other game geeks, artists and designers.

This reminds me of the Steve Blank's (the original author behind the lean startup movement) stories. Do you really need to implement a full game, with that many details, with that many layers, with so many features, just to realize that your users aren't coming back in the first place? Can't you put your mom/sister/son to play for a few months, and just see how many times they keep coming back (when you're not looking)? Can't you probably get to the same conclusions with, say, 10% of the effort? If you do this early enough, you'll still have the other 90% of runway to make corrections and explore different options (or, hell, pivot to totally different business model if you discovered your boat isn't going anywhere).

Of course hindsight is a bitch. It's always so much easier to explain what happened, that to forecast the future...

But Glitch repeated some of the same mistakes that others have done in the past. Case in point: the excellent paper "Lessons from Habitat" (http://www.fudco.com/chip/lessons.html), about the experimental project created by Lucasfilm in the late 80's. The entire paper is a great read, but one part that strikes me as relevant to this discussion is:

While we find much of the work presently being done on elaborate interface technologies -- DataGloves, head-mounted displays, special-purpose rendering engines, and so on -- both exciting and promising, the almost mystical euphoria that currently seems to surround all this hardware is, in our opinion, both excessive and somewhat misplaced. We can't help having a nagging sense that it's all a bit of a distraction from the really pressing issues. At the core of our vision is the idea that cyberspace is necessarily a multiple-participant environment. It seems to us that the things that are important to the inhabitants of such an environment are the capabilities available to them, the characteristics of the other people they encounter there, and the ways these various participants can affect one another. Beyond a foundation set of communications capabilities, the details of the technology used to present this environment to its participants, while sexy and interesting, are of relatively peripheral concern.

Keep in mind the entire project ran on Commodore64, and two decades ago a 1200bps connection was leading edge. But even though gamers today have much higher expectations in terms of quality than ever before, the core principle is still the same: success of a massive multiplayer game is defined not by its level of peripheral sophistication (be it design, cuteness, or head mounted displays), but by the social experience and characteristics of how people can interact with each other.

(btw, 20+ years and we still don't have head-mounted displays. No, Google Glass doesn't count)

Another issue was channel distribution. It's really challenging to succeed with a web-only game, especially when you're not anchored Facebook. And if on top of that you're using Flash, you'll be missing out all those of 2-3 minutes mini-slots of "free time" that people have every day on their mobile devices (waiting for the train, the bus, bathroom, elevator, etc). And Glitch almost never sent emails. So they were expecting people to bookmark the site and keep coming back. Yeah, right...

Anyway, in the end of the day the Glitch team deserves a lot of praise for accomplishing what they did. It's a gorgeous project, and I can just hope that their work will inspire future designers and game developers, and hopefully parts of the code gets open sourced.

dgreensp 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I played Glitch for a couple hours once and it's pretty obvious to me why it didn't work.

After all the pre-launch hype about changing the face of gaming forever, the game was dreadfully boring -- you basically walk around and click on things. I described it to a friend as "FarmVille where you don't get your own farm." Sure, there was a lot of art; I think I had my pick of several dozen hairstyles and encountered hundreds of types of objects. They must have drawn thousands of art assets.

There is no lesson to take away here except that games live or die on their mechanics and depth. Zynga has shown us exactly how far you can go with pretty, social games that give you just enough little dopamine kicks to keep the window open.

siaukia 8 hours ago 6 replies      
This saddens me on some aspects:

1. As a fellow game developer that published a game (and didn't hit the jackpot). (We're a small startup at the time launching our little game and it didn't go well at all after a 2 hard-working year, about the same time when Glitch launched).

2. It's the Flickr's founding dream to create this, and if you read the backstory of Flickr, you'll notice that the founder initially wanted to create this startup before Flickr, but found out it is not feasbible, and took out a main component from the game (sharing photo) and built Flickr. And so now, the founder has sold her company to Yahoo!, and decided to use every penny to make her dream come true, and it appears reality hits where it hurts the most, and the game didn't fly. I tried the game, it's really polished, but it just didn't have the target market pool as big as Zynga in Facebook. Really sad its under-appreciated.

3. There is an unseen s*load amount of hard work placed in Glitch, but it just all went boom to their face.

What is the problem? Does this mean hard work != successful? Or did they not have enough marketing budget to make Glitch fly?

mikeleeorg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I would love to know what was on their product roadmap. I can't imagine what I've seen in their game was all they aspired to be. I know the high-level aspirations included:

building and developing, learning new skills, collaborating or competing with everyone else in one enormous, ever-changing, persistent world.

But I'd love to hear how they had planned on actually doing that. Was there going to be Minecraft/Second Life-style building of structures and worlds? Was there going to be contests and competitions? Was the core of the gaming experience going to be mainly on learning new skills?

And if all technical and financial roadblocks were removed, would their vision have made for a truly compelling game? Or was their vision doomed from the start?

fernly 7 hours ago 4 replies      
About a year ago I somehow got an invite to the beta and played maybe 20 or 30 hours, on and off, over several weeks. The whimsy and quirkiness of the design elements were always impressive. And it was commendable that they were building a family-friendly, kid-safe game that could still be appreciated by adults. But somehow it just didn't hook me and I stopped going back.

In hindsight it reminds me of my experience with Second Life: once you've got the basic ideas, and toured some of the more creative or amusing islands, what is there to do? At least in 2L you could build something that would remain in the world. In Glitch there were endless skill-building exercises that had meaning only in the game world. The only payoff for building a skill was to be able to learn some more skills.

Meanwhile millions are obsessively playing Minecraft, whose design could not be farther from Glitch in every way.

ericz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A startup with a webpage offering employees for hire as opposed to hiring employees? http://www.glitch.com/hire-a-genius/ What a strange sight.
peteforde 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I am really sad to read this. I have been an occasional Glitch player since early betas and I've always been impressed at the civility of the players and the seemingly endless creativity of the game itself.

It's beautiful in the way few things imagine that they could be.

Khurrum 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks cute - like something that deserves to stick around. Although the game didn't seem all that interesting.

What they probably need is better feedback on how to make it more engaging, and some way to port their work out of Flash... which could be doable with some ingenuity.

jpatokal 7 hours ago 5 replies      
This bit I don't quite get:

Why don't you give the game away or make it open source or let player volunteers run it?

Glitch looks simple, but it is not. [...] It takes a full-time team of competent engineers & technical operations personnel just to keep the game open. Even if there was a competent team that was willing to work on it full time for free, it would take months to train them. Even then, the cost of hosting the servers would be prohibitively expensive.

That explains why making it free or open-sourcing wouldn't save the current game world, but why not open-source it anyway? Then somebody can give it another shot, with a smaller, limited world, and see if it gains any traction the second time around.

klrr 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Release the source and let the community continue?
ximeng 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I got this today from playnice.ly, another startup that's going away:


ghshephard 8 hours ago 0 replies      
That's really sad. I have a friend who plays it every day - and found it adorable. I spend about 40-50 hours in it, and was really impressed with the characterization, polish, and originality.
minikomi 6 hours ago 2 replies      
If my memory serves correctly, that's where Keita Takahashi[1] was currently stationed. Wonder what he'll do next?

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

abhiv 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The idea of a game company that's venture-backed before shipping anything seems odd to me.

The startup world in general is moving toward a hits-driven model, but a game company whose product is only used for entertainment takes this to an extreme. A game like Glitch doesn't solve any problem, and it's not even a generalized tool like Twitter where the problems it enables solving become apparent later. It's simply a game, that will live or die based on how well it entertains people. It's very hard for me to understand how investors evaluate an idea like this before anything has shipped. (Of course, Stuart Butterfield probably raised money based on past success alone.)

It doesn't even seem like the company had plans to build a portfolio of games like a Zynga or EA. So they raised a bunch of money before they had even a glimmer of product-market fit, hired a bunch of people, and then figured out that their game wasn't good enough.

The only strategy that seems to work in the game business is to be a low-budget, low-profile indie developer for a few years till you have a portfolio of titles that you've developed yourself or for a publisher, then raise financing (debt or equity) to develop a larger project on your own steam. Raising money from the start for a single high-profile, whimsical product seems destined to fail.

Of course, hindsight being 20/20 and all that.

rrbrambley 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Bummer. For anyone with a hiring budget, hire these people: http://www.glitch.com/hire-a-genius/
icefox 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Now that the main page is just a gravestone, what is glitch?
erikpukinskis 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Bummer for Stewart Butterfield. But maybe third time's the charm!

This does seem to count as a vote against Big Production Up Front. I have to wonder if they had started smaller, used a more "Lean" strategy, got a product to market quicker, and started working on revenue, if they would've A) discovered the "insurmountable" problems sooner, B) had some revenue to play with, and C) been in a position to pivot when the shit hit the fan.

rglover 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Bummer. I was always impressed with both the UI of Glitch as well as the game art. For those that don't know, their original designer was Daniel Burka (ex Digg and later Milk and Google). Here's a great talk that references Glitch and building the experience for an app:


Best of luck to the TinySpeck team. Brilliant stuff.

desireco42 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think talents of the team that build Glitch will be released to build something better. Now they have more experience and better feel for what people are looking for.
Pkeod 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the concept and I also liked the changes and direction it was going. Sad to see it go. :(

>Why don't you give the game away or make it open source or let player volunteers run it?

So will it be lost forever in the ether? Please, Glitch owners, preserve it in some meaningful way.

jbrowning 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Truly a sad end to a great game. The Glitch player community had some of the most friendly people that I've ever met and I had a great time both playing the game and developing against their API[1]. I think what really killed their momentum was pulling the game back into private beta[2]. Quite a few players left after that and the game obviously never recovered.

[1] http://rubygems.org/gems/snafu
[2] http://www.glitch.com/blog/2011/11/30/the-big-unlaunching/

pdknsk 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not familiar with Glitch, other than knowing that the creator of Katamari Damacy worked there.

He made a post introducing the Vancouver staff on his blog.


They should put this on their resume. Picture taken, and drawn, by Keita Takahashi.

stevewillows 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Brent, one of the illustrators, has a nice handcraft line in Vancouver called Kukubee. If I ever need an illustrator, he's who I'll go to (if he'll take the work!) :)
bazookaBen 7 hours ago 0 replies      
MMOs are difficult. It's a pretty daring endeavor, considering that Tiny Speck raised $5m in 2009 for just this one game.
malandrew 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What is going to happen to all the IP?
CyanogenMod domain situation has been resolved cyanogenmod.org
148 points by jonah  9 hours ago   13 comments top 5
drivebyacct2 7 hours ago 2 replies      
There is so much wrong with the other guy's story [1] that it's hard to even know where to begin.

1. No mention of the 10K extortion attempt.

2. No mention of the "big deal" (fraud) perpetrated by impersonating Steve and or the CM team to negotiate deals that netted the guy (a guesstimated) $8K.

3. The Registrar changing the NSs of a locked domain is either baloney, or a good reason to never use that registrar again. That would make it impossible to do a zero downtime domain xfer.

4. Even on twitter his story was inconsistent or half full of him lashing out at people.

I've been told that the team is not pursuing anything, though PayPal, N2A and... what was the other big one... all have been contacted and told what happened (see #2).

Were there ever "the days" when people would say "I'm sorry" without caveats or excuses and mean it 100%? At best, he apologizes to anyone he "offended". I guess he offended my sense of decency, and offended my sensibilities given how to handle cases where you screwed up. Between his Twitter and this "summary", I would say the shovel is still in his hands. I wonder if he paused for breath or realized how big the hole was.

[1] https://plus.google.com/116028512018932696380/posts/4gDX3Hyg...

krosaen 7 hours ago 2 replies      
apparently from the guy who managed the domain:


frost_knight 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The CyanogenMod team has shown some amazing gentlemanly honor, mixed with a worthy dash of can-do pragmatism, and I hoist a glass o' the pure in their direction.
tjbiddle 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Fantastic to hear that this was resolved so quickly. I'm never left unimpressed by what a simple blog post and it's audience can accomplish.
jff 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The comments on that post are horrible.
CyanogenMod.com hijacked. Transition to CyanogenMod.org cyanogenmod.org
352 points by saket123  14 hours ago   100 comments top 21
blhack 14 hours ago 4 replies      
The title was NOT sensationalist, and the change here is a loss of information. They aren't "transitioning" to a .org, their domain was stolen. the .com shouldn't be trusted at this point, as it has apparently been taken over by some rogue former-team-member.

edit: thanks to the mod that fixed it :)

lambda 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, this thread is pretty interesting, in which you can see the owner of the .com domain convincing someone to donate $500 a month to what they thought was the cyanogenmod team: https://store.n2acards.com/helpdesk/viewticket/moderator/cod...

And in the thread, he mentions that Swappa is doing the same thing, $500 a month plus $10 per device sold, though there's no way to verify if that's true. Swappa claims to donate $5 per device sold to Cyanogenmod, though who knows if that's been going to the actual project or this joker. http://swappa.com/cyanogenmod

That's some pretty serious fraud there, if this is true.

thechut 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is everyone complaining about the title? Yes its a bit sensationalist but all of this is detracting from the actual story here.

While it's true that cyanogenmod.com going down may not serve a functional problem to most people but it is a pretty sad story. I have used Cyanogen on a couple phones and all my Android devices use the Clockwork recovery, which is an incredible tool. I don't know the specifics but I don't think anybody on the Cyanogen team was receiving money for their work. Granted, there are premium versions in the Play Store, but certainly nobody is getting rich of Cyanogen or clockwork.

The fact that somebody is screwing them over just to make a couple bucks seems pretty terrible to me. These guys do this for fun and for the good of the community (not to mention for the good of Google), so my heart really goes out to them. I hope you get everything sorted out and get everything back up.

There is a PayPal donation form at the bottom of their site. I have donated in the past when they have asked and I'm sure I will this time if they make an appeal to pay for legal fees.

Again, so sad to see this happen to such a great group of devs.

cookiecaper 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is pretty scary now that CM has started to do OTA updates again. What server is that mechanism checking and trusting? Is there any cryptographic verification for update packages? Whose keys are used (the keys of the bad dude?)?
streptomycin 14 hours ago 3 replies      
And the .org domain is already #1 in the Google search results for CyanogenMod.
cookiecaper 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Cyanogenmod devs need to get PGP keys and start using cryptographic signatures like now. The guy never would have been able to impersonate in the first place if they were doing this, and now it's even more important that the @cyanogenmod.com domain is directing to a different mail server.
bronson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems a nice idea, buying the CM.com domain and donating it to the project. Wonder if this sleazeball had a change of heart, or was he planning on embezzling referral traffic the whole time?
VMG 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Why are large parts of the android custom ROM community unprofessional and immature?

I always shiver a little if I have to dive into xda-forums, but this takes it to the next level. Puts all the actual hard working developers in a bad light.

philp 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anybody know how this "rogue" webmaster took undue advantage of the CyanogenMod brand? The Facebook post states something about referral deals with community sites. Any idea what that would mean in practical terms?

Just curious.

nacs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems the guy who stole the domain is trying to undo his damage and possibly hand the domain back (likely due to the negative attention this is bringing him). He posted this to his Twitter account a few minutes ago:

"we've already had this conversation. The DNS was changed in preparation to hand the domain back to Steve. You all jumped the gun."

"DNS propagation can take 72 hours. The domain was transferred about an hour ago. It was transferred to another UK registrar."
- https://twitter.com/MrADeveci/status/268881716876300288

UPDATE: Seems he really has handed the domain back now?:

gte910h 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know what this is, but as the guy asked for money for the domains, which he didn't own, I'd think about asking the police to look into this being extortion.
polyvisual 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Phew, my first instinct when reading the start of that post was that some rogue code had been committed.

Note: it's a shame most of the comments here are about the title of this post.

SafeSituation 13 hours ago 1 reply      
As of right now (4:34 EST) cyanogenmod.com redirects to cyanogenmod.org
pla3rhat3r 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I had this happen to me when I started a music blog in 2008. Some trust fund brat decided he would hijack the site and I was forced to basically start over. It was painful but 3 years later I'm glad I did. I was able to rebuild and now have a better site with a better team in place. It'll take time but these guys will recover too. Integrity always wins!
mkup 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Domains are real estate of the internet. Losing domain control is like losing your house or land.
trhtrsh 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems similar to the MacPorts vs DarwinPorts domain name issue:

But in that case, no domain was transferred, it was just confusing from the start.

Jeraimee 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Can we get a title change here. This title is not only wrong but just worded to grab attention.
rapsac 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this would be a good time for Anonymous to step in and wipe this guy off the map.
moens 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Ideas will be stolen. I know this is a hotly debated topic, and I agree with the raw idea != actionable idea, yadda^3.

I cannot emphasize enough to developers and to startups: all war is about money, all business is about money. When you get to the point that you are making money, you are in business... and all business is war (imo). If you go in thinking like that (not freaked paranoia, but strategic defensive development), you will avoid a lot of this trauma.

I feel for you guys, I've been there.

lambda 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Title is sensationalist. Should be something like "Transition to Cyanogenmod.org"; Cyanogenmod is not offline, just cyanogenmod.com

Google already give you cyanogenmod.org when you search for cyanogenmod. Was this always their preferred domain, or is Google just that quick to update?

Post on cyanogenmod.org for those who prefer not to use Facebook: http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/psa-transition-to-cyanogenmo...

For the sake of posterity, the original title was "Cyanogenmod taken offline by developer", and the link was to the same story, but posted on Facebook.

eykanal 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm mixed on whether this is a good way to handle reporting something like this to the public. On the one hand, they didn't release the guy's name, which is completely and entirely appropriate, and I commend them for doing so. On the other hand, giving so many detailsâ€"many of which are not relevant to the public, and probably were not intended for the publicâ€"gives this PSA somewhat of a "well, screw you too" vibe.

I think a simpler "we've been betrayed by an insider with access to everything, here's how we're fixing it, and yes, we're pursuing legal methods for dealing with this" would have been better. Leave out the gory details about who's hurt and whatnot. This is business. Still, this is better than half of the other "we've been betrayed" posts I've seen.

Melinda Gates at Stanford: "All lives have equal value" minming.net
30 points by lominming  4 hours ago   41 comments top 12
confluence 1 hour ago 7 replies      
All lives don't have equal value (please note: I mean financial/economic value as I believe the term "moral/intrinsic" value to be so vague and undefined as to be completely useless as a thought model or reasoning tool - I understand what Melinda means).

This is empirically correct - a poor person in Africa is worth less than a rich American - by definition of earning capacity, consuming capacity, life expectancy and investment in their quality of life.

Please note: This does not mean the American is better than the African - it's merely an accident of birth.

Now here's the point I'm going to make.

Keeping people alive has exponential value - irrelevant of current value (e.g. African vs. American). What is the cost of keeping a poor African alive? I'm going to say for ~90% of the population it'll be around $1-4K a year. Now this is relatively expensive - however you must remember, this African will go on to consume and work all their lives, have kids who themselves will have kids and so forth - a combinatorial explosion of development and production making us all the richer.

Think of it like this: We are all descendant from a group of ~2000 people from Central Africa ~250,000 years ago. They produced ~7 billion people over the course of a few hundred thousand years - that's some seriously insane value generation right there. Imagine if we did the same with the ~7 billion we have now - we could be the ~2000 of the next millennium.

Each life you save today means hundreds or even thousands in the future - it's like an exponential investment. This is why we should protect poor people - apart from fuzzy moralistic reasons. It is a financially sound investment.

Each poor person will be an eventual consumer and producer - we must maximise their ability to do so - and that is why we must fundamentally help them. It also feels good.

This is what I find so toxic about the entire Republican/private health care in America debate. You invest millions over the course of people's lives to keep them alive (schools/roads/bridges/cheap loans/national security/etc.) and all of a sudden, if they get sick, you're happy that they metaphorically shoot themselves in the head because of their sickness (bankruptcy/can't afford/die etc.). Hence, you must also be happy when this kills the ability of their families to consume, produce and reproduce by an order of magnitude for the foreseeable future. We must keep people alive not merely because it's a good investment in aggregate, and not merely because it is the correct thing to do, but also because it's financially nonsensical to do otherwise - especially in a first world country. People are expensive, they take huge amounts of resources to bring up, and they have a high ROI - we should protect these investments for the sake of protecting our collective future.

Secondly, pushing birth control doesn't do jack to population growth. The vast majority of variance in development/population rates between countries is explained by GDP per capita. Or as Karan Singh, a former minister of population in India once stated:

> Development is the best contraceptive.

-- Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic-economic_paradox


Just to reiterate - I am not saying that one human is better than another in any sense of fundamental long-term value. I merely state that current value of any one human is grossly unequal due to path-dependent birth (born in America vs. Afghanistan) - however I mean to strongly imprint upon you that that the current value of a human doesn't matter in the long term - because humans in aggregate are worth the same over many generations because:

> In the long run we are all dead.

-- John Maynard Keynes

What matters is how we ensure the survival of a vibrant next generation, regardless of race, creed or birth.

pserwylo 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
I agree with the sentiment about all lives being equal.

That is why I enjoyed challenging myself to think about it purely from an economic perspective one day. We were on the plane, and the guy next to us was studying "humanitarian economics". It is somewhat related to the issues that the gates foundation has to think about when distributing their funds.

There was some curious dilemmas you need to face, and most of them seem to be faced by removing yourself somewhat from the moral aspect, and thinking purely about assigning a monetary value to them. The bit that I remember was thinking about the financial value of a human life, as determined by its remaining potential. What this means is [0]:

- Small babies: haven't invested much time and effort into developing them, so they are not worth as much.

- Teenagers: Have spent considerable amount of time getting them ready to contribute to society.

- Older people: Although there has been a lot of effort invested in them, and they have contributed a lot to society, there is only so much more "potential" left.

Another interesting thing about this approach, is that in a funny way, it mimics the sentiment of Belinda's statement of all lives being equal. This is because (equally aged) people from Africa and Australia have the same monetary value according to this.

[0] - Please don't hate me! I' actually quite a nice person, I just found this interesting :) It's not how I normally think about people.

batgaijin 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
I hate the Gates foundation.

You know what would help those kids a lot more than your medicine? Copies of all existing textbooks in an electronic format and access to all of our patents.

When the polio vaccine was created the inventor refused to get a patent for it, saying no one has the right to own it just like no one has the right to own the sun.

I just find it very hard to support the Gates foundation when I believe that it is playing by the rules to make the founders look and feel good instead of actually challenging laws and cultural assumptions, which it truly should.

jl6 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is no such thing as intrinsic value, whether economic value or moral value, whether of goods or of people. Value is subjectively assigned by people, according to the push and pull of their own internal motivations.

So it is meaningless to talk about value without asking: valued by who?

Some people (say, my family) are hugely more "valuable" to me than others.

oboizt 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree that travel can definitely open our eyes to various conditions outside our own culture.

However, the cost of travelling often could be put directly towards donations. There are so many opportunities to serve close to home in our own communities that often get overlooked because that kind of volunteering doesn't sound as glamorous as building schools in Africa.

johncoltrane 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All lives should have equal value, maybe.
stuaxo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow, and a crazy trolling biblical comment on it already, saying that people in the third world must deserve what they get because their idle ... amazing.
scotty79 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd rather say:

  Life l1, l2; # initialises by default to unique value
l1 > l2; # false
l1 < l2; # false
l1 == l2; # false

Calling lives equal means that any life is replaceble by any other and you can allow for someone to die to save someone else without any trouble.

jobigoud 2 hours ago 0 replies      
At first I thought this would be a case for veganism.
jonah 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Except that she's in favor of population control...
berito 1 hour ago 0 replies      
No lives have different values. Bin Laden != Paul Graham
meaty 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Until a profit is to be made...

Yes that's a jab at capitalism and commercial healthcare.

Android Rises to 90% of Smartphone Market in China techinasia.com
45 points by Reltair  5 hours ago   26 comments top 6
scottchin 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have insight into any of the following questions?

1. Which Chinese Android App marketplaces are the most popular? In other words, if I wanted to target Chinese Android users, which app stores should I focus on submitting my app to?

2. Are there any barriers to submitting to such app stores for north american developers? Specifically related to getting paid.

3. Which Android mobile ad networks are best (cpm/cpc) for China?

Would love to hear any personal experiences working with China's Android Market!

mtgx 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I think it's the people saying that Android is not the Windows of smartphones that will be considered crazy at this point (unlike before when it was the one saying it who who were considered that).
meaty 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what the total marketshare that corresponds to is? From what I've read, smartphones are still in a niche in china and they primarily use dumbphones and featurephones.
alpb 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Interesting that almost none of these devices are shipped with Google Account integration. What does Google get out of this huge market share?
aphexairlines 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Where does Analysys International get those stats? Are those the same numbers that Alibaba, Taobao, Google, Amazon, etc are seeing in China?
linpythio 3 hours ago 3 replies      
The android phones chinese bought are very cheap(500yuan to 2,000yuan),and they like free app.They can't afford iphones-5,000yuan(it will be stolen).
More in the series of bizarre UEFI bugs dreamwidth.org
32 points by gbraad  4 hours ago   12 comments top 6
luu 3 hours ago 3 replies      
This happens everywhere, unfortunately. I work for that other x86 CPU vendor that isn't Intel or AMD. Even though there are CPUID feature flags that identify which features a processor implements, many developers determine compatibility from the vendor ID. If we're lucky, we'll be treated as some generic 386 and we'll get to run some horribly unoptimized code [1]. In many cases, the driver, platform, or OS will error out and die [2].

[1] http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2008/07/atom-nano-review/6/. Scroll down to the third graph, if you want the tl;dr.

[2] http://code.google.com/p/nativeclient/issues/detail?id=2508. I don't post that because it's a particularly egregious example. Even though I don't think the reply makes sense, it's actually more reasonable than most responses. It just happens to be public, because the exchange happened on a public bug tracker.

It's fairly easy to fix this sort of thing with a patch, à la Raymond Chen [3], but, for legal reasons, we can't just hand out patches to every program that incorrectly determines features from the vendor string. It often takes over a year to convince a vendor to issue a patch for its driver or OS, even when we have a benign patch we're using in lab to work around the issue, so we can do compatibility testing (we test pretty much everything) [4]. That's if we're lucky enough to get a vendor that wants to fix it; we often just get the runaround indefinitely. I can recall one case when no printer driver from a certain manufacturer would install on a machine with one of our CPUs, even though that same vendor was selling multiple models that used our CPU.

[3] http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2012/11/13/10367...

[4] I haven't done lab debug for a while, but the last bug I can recall hearing about was a case where, if you had two webcams recording and playing back to the screen while watching a Blu-ray DVD and running an obscure benchmark from the 90s that wasn't even used in the 90s, the machine would hang approximately once every three days. I don't know where we find the mandmen who come up with these tests.

The funny thing is, we had a feature in our part that we suspected was buggy, and disabling that feature caused the fail to go away (or at least occur incredibly infrequently), but you can't ship a part unless you're really absolutely sure it's not going to hang on real customers, so someone had to track down to the root cause and capture it simulation. Just because disabling that feature meant the bug didn't show up didn't mean that feature was the cause. It could have been that disabling the feature just changed the conditions so that bug became less likely, and only popped up once a year, or maybe needed five webcams to expose, or who knows what? IIRC, it took someone two months to find the exact issue.

pserwylo 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Matthew gave an awesome talk on UEFI at linux.conf.au 2012 [0]. A thoroughly entertaining and informative talk on issues including secure boot, but also other issues with UEFI. It even got voted one of the best four talks at the conference, so he did the talk again at the end of the conference. This was great because I missed it the first time.

My favourite quote from the talk was:

"Files contain code, [and] code, as we all know, contains bugs. Always. So from this we can conclude that UEFI contains bugs. This shouldn't surprise anyone, other than the Linux kernel which obviously contains no bugs at all ever." [1].

[0] - www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2aq5M3Q76U (Keep in mind this was in January, when there was still a lot of uncertainty about the UEFI Secure Boot/Linux situation).

[1] - http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/australia/untested-buggy-ue...

belorn 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
So what is the problem they are trying to solve by looking at the boot entry description?

If you want to detect malware, I dont think looking up the boot entry description will do it. Malware do not say "I am a malware, press me to be infected!". It is however a excellent way to prevent competition between operative systems.

brfox 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This same exact thing happened to me earlier this week when installing a Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 LTS 64 bit on a new Lenovo ThinkCentre box. The only thing I could do was go into the bios and switch it to Legacy instead of UEFI and then reinstall Ubuntu. Then it worked fine.

See more evidence of this:


yew 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You see this sort of thing in traditional BIOS systems all the time. Especially ACPI stuff. And when someone tries to fix it they usually just make it worse. There's a reason so many Linux kernel installations are configured to advertise themselves as '!Linux'.
anonymous 1 hour ago 1 reply      
So the fix is to write "Windows Boot Manager" as the descriptive string on affected models. Would that be a problem?
Mocl: Common Lisp for iPhone/iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms wukix.com
18 points by lispm  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
migfromparis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome.how big do you think is the market ?
codewright 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The announcement speaks as if web applications in Common Lisp was itself a solved problem.

The community surrounding that isn't exactly vibrant.

An example from an attempt to find a viable/nice Common Lisp templating library for making web apps (a problem for me before, I hate CL-WHO. Vile.)


Hrm. Yes. Hrm. Seems promising, exceeeept...


The Google Group for it has...disappeared?


Yay, code!

That hasn't been touched since 2008!

CL-WHO, which I think is the most popular way to solve this problem hasn't been touched in 2 to 7 months, depending on how you measure it.

See here:


The Ningle web framework for Clack, found here: https://github.com/fukamachi/ningle

Not been touched in 4-8 months.

Caveman (clack framework): https://github.com/fukamachi/caveman/ 4-8 months.

HTML-TEMPLATE hasn't been touched since Tue, 02 Dec 2008.

The most popular web server for CL, Hunchentoot hasn't been touched (based on the darcs repo anyway) since Tue, 24 Aug 2010.

Take a look for yourself: http://common-lisp.net/~loliveira/ediware/

The Common Lisp community is moribund at best.

I would PREFER to use Common Lisp over, say, Clojure or Python however the fact is that there just aren't enough people using it or maintaining web development software for it to overcome the time expenditure trade-offs.

So, can we drop the triumphant tone as it concerns CL? Even Paul Graham tells most people to just use Clojure.

Asynchronous Processing in Web Apps, Part 1: A Database Is Not a Queue gomiso.com
12 points by nesquena  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
aidos 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nice clear introduction.

You can write a simple Async DB system without running into deadlocks. Deadlocks tend to occur when you have 2 processes trying to lock 2 different resources in differing orders. Not a case you'll run into here.

Also, you could do something like (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it should be safe):

  update queue set owner = '1_time_use_rand_key' where owner is null order by id limit 1;

Not that I'm advocating this, you should definitely use a proper system to manage these types of tasks! :)

kamakazizuru 1 hour ago 1 reply      
great post! this is what I wish I had as a starting point when I was learning how to get web apps to do work smarter rather than diving straight into celery documentation cause someone told me that would be the way to go!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Have we always eaten them? bbc.co.uk
37 points by gadders  6 hours ago   19 comments top 8
jandrewrogers 4 hours ago 2 replies      
One of the things that has always fascinated me is how much of our culture is a modern affectation rather than being some deep pattern of human behavior. You don't even have to go back a few hundred years; there are things Americans perceive as having been that way forever that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century. Most of our eating and sleeping habits have been shaped by the Industrial Revolution.

Regarding the article, I've experimented with a lot of different eating schedules and structures over the years, largely out of idle curiosity to see if it makes a difference. To be perfectly honest, I can't eat three meals a day. My typical day is eating something very light in the late morning, though I skip it a few days a week, and an early-ish dinner. I've kind of arrived there randomly but it suits me. I don't have time in the middle of the day for a Roman-style big lunch even if I wanted to have one.

A big difference between historical eating patterns and now was the lack of massive quantities of refined carbohydrates and sugars in the diet a couple centuries ago. The insulin response to many foods common in modern diets encourages repeated meals. The fact that my diet is typically quite low in refined carbohydrates probably makes it easier for me to eat only one significant meal per day.

fingerprinter 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I've seen more and more research on the benefits of fasting and skipping breakfast. I've actually not eaten breakfast in over 3 years and I have to say, I actually prefer not eating it. It took some time to adapt, but once I did, I actually felt better.

I've found it easier to maintain my weight, actually put on muscle (combined with other dietary changes needed to add muscle) and also increased my concentration and focus.

What do I do? I have a couple big glasses of water, a cup of coffee or two with heavy cream or butter and that is it until lunch. If I'm not trying to put on muscle I generally eat very low carb and that further gives me more focus and concentration.

Basically, my n=1 experience is quite good and I recommend others experiment with it.

ok_craig 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of a similar BBC article, The myth of the eight-hour sleep.
shimon_e 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Jews have codified three meals a day as part of the celebration of religious days (e.g. the sabbath) since the beginning of their religion. Going to the extreme of staying someone who does not prepare for three meals has no portion in the afterlife. At the same time they were critical of gluttony.

It amazes me how people can selectively present facts to appear intelligent. There was more to the ancient world than just the Romans and Greeks. So even if they didn't eat 3 meals a day I'm pretty sure there were plenty of ancient civilisations that did.

ghshephard 4 hours ago 0 replies      
General McChrystal, was a big proponent of a single meal a day. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/09/25/mcchrystal-...
enqk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Well my farmer grand father, born in Europe in 1914 would eat four meals.

First a light breakfast very early, with a soup. Then around 10 a meat-based light meal after some hard work. Then at 13 lunch, and finally a dinner.

oboizt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
After seeing a friend do the one-meal-a-day routine, I'm pretty convinced to try it out myself. He's very healthy, active and alert. He gets sufficient calories and nutrition and he can pretty much eat whatever he wants (within reason) for his one meal. I've heard him explain several times about how he feels his brain actually functions better this way when his body isn't trying to constantly digest food all day long.
cmdswitch 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Air: Have we always breathed it? News at 11.
Airbnb launches Neighborhoods thenextweb.com
13 points by matteodepalo  3 hours ago   1 comment top
micheljansen 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I just checked some of the London neighbourhoods I am familiar with and I have to say that the information is surprisingly accurate. It seems more like an honest guide than a marketing leaflet. For Whitechapel, for example (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/locations/london/whitechapel-brick-...), it accurately shows some of the gritty bits, as well as the hidden gems.

It seems to be mostly written by the community as well. Another step towards AirBnb's vision of making traveling more intimate. I am really curious to see this from a traveler's point of view!

Brian Harvey: Why SICP matters berkeley.edu
183 points by gnosis  16 hours ago   39 comments top 20
fdr 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I am one of Brian Harvey's student progeny. I still consider the SICP as my favorite computer science book, and in retrospect CS61A one of my favorite and most important courses. There is something amazing about a course that takes one from "square can be defined as (define (square x) (* x x))" to writing an interpreter, and be something a mere mortal can work through in a few months. And that's just chapter one to four out of six in SICP, if memory serves.

I like Python, and use it in industry. Ruby, Go, and C also. In the past, I wrote Common Lisp professionally as well. I do not pine for Scheme or CL, although both had some of their own unique charm. Nevertheless, I think Brian's sentiments about Scheme's clarity in stripping away what can seem to be the 'magic' in programming while maintaining an absolutely rigorous representation that can actually be executed are spot-on. There will be plenty of time in practical work to reintroduce some magic to make practical tasks easier, but there is but a precious few years -- or indeed, just a semester -- to examine the structure of abstraction at its very core.

chimeracoder 14 hours ago 1 reply      
> What MIT decided was to move from a curriculum organized around topics (programming paradigms, then circuits, then signal processing, then architecture) to a curriculum organized around applications (let's build and program a robot; let's build and program a cell phone).

While this is offered as an excuse for switching away from SICP, I don't like this either.

Programming paradigms are the perfect introduction to programming. First, it naturally teaches you one of the most fundamental concepts in computer science (abstraction) by example; with the SICP approach, you learn about abstractions by constructing your own idioms for abstractions within a programming paradigm!

Second, applications become easier and easier to develop the more one learns to break out of a single paradigm and borrow ideas and tools from each as needed - otherwise, it's easy to get stuck in a rut and miss a simple but elegant solution to the problem at hand. Being able to cross-pollinate features or ideas idiomatic in one language to another gives you a Leatherman instead of an x-acto knife.

Having a fundamental grasp of programming paradigms makes programming languages feel like a second skin, rather than an obstacle sitting between the brain and the binary output.

dschiptsov 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I just finished watching MIT 6.00SC for the hell of it. It was really sad experience.

Of course, prof. Guttag is really a big-shot and seems like no one could say anything, but I cannot even properly describe how much worse it was than CS61A by Brian Harvey.

It is not just Python, it is ugly Python, boring Python, without any hint of elegance it could be. No list-set-dict comprehensions, which is what makes Python interesting, very few slicing examples and one or two use of yield.

I must say that usage of classes was reasonable - only when there were even a small advantage to structure the code this way, but it is just boring stuff.

Each lecture of CS61 keeps you alert and awake, and curious, time passes unnoticed, and you almost feel how a new connections growing in your brain,) while in 6.00CS you're forcing yourself to to stay alert, almost yawning.

So, if one is engaged in self-education just do CS61A and old 6.001 classic videos. After you can skim trough all those mainstream Python-based courses very quickly with great ease. I can do 4-5 lectures per day.)

stiff 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are already well versed in SICP you might be interested in the advanced follow-up class to SICP from Prof. Gerald Sussman:


jrajav 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Gist.io: http://gist.io/4076068

Edit: Uh, why downvote? Not complaining, just curious; I have done this before for plaintext articles and will do it again, but only if it's welcome.

bazzargh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"Courses that teach those languages spend at least half their time just on learning the notation."

Spot on. This describes exactly my experience of my Pascal-based course back in 1986 - and it was way more than half. I didn't come across SICP until 10 years later, and it was a revelation, I didn't realise how much more productive an introductory course could be.

fomojola 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome point about just how language agnostic the course was: the key idea that every programming language has 3 components (primitives, one or more means of combination and one or more means of abstraction) and once you figure those out you can do the same things in just about any other language is really not highlighted enough. Still haven't seen any other programming courses that point that out: getting bogged down in syntax trivia seems to be the pattern of the day.
ww520 7 hours ago 0 replies      
SICP has wonderful materials to touch on so many important and elegant concepts in CS that it should be taught to any serious CS students. It's not about the language Scheme itself but all the underlying CS ideas. You might be able to learn those concepts here and there from time to time. SICP ties them in one comprehensive course.

My experience with SICP is a case of after the fact. I've learned and wrote LISP codes long before touching SICP. The learning process was reading existing source codes and going through reference materials. It's not until I went through SICP that suddenly all these concepts and ideas became so clear.

wangg 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"In my experience, relatively few students appreciate how much they're learning in my course while they're in it."

How true! I hated CS61A when I was in it, and I thought nothing was practical and everything was a trivial example. Sorry Brian! I failed to grasp the depth of all the 'trivial' examples. I never appreciated the complexities of the class until I started being a TA for it, and I never truly loved the class until I lectured it.

Notes, homeworks, etc, available here: http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61a/su10/

rohern 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Brian Harvey was a wonderful, wonderful teacher. Most of what I have learned in CS since has been more-or-less an addendum to his version of CS61A. The world just doesn't make hackers (and teachers) like that enough.
sanxiyn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this still true?

"The language in which you'll spend most of your working life hasn't been invented yet, so we can't teach it to you. Instead we have to give you the skills you need to learn new languages as they appear."

lukegru 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was turned onto the SICP lectures[1] though people talking about them on HN, and I was just floored by them. They still give me goosebumps when I watch them. It's like watching a video of someone completely in their element and at the top of their game, like the lecture equivalent of the 2007 Wimbledon Finals or something.

And of course, the book is awesome too. And it rewards repeat readings.

[1] http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-comput...

spartango 14 hours ago 0 replies      
My high-school CS teacher structured his course around SICP--he worked with Brian Harvey to build the curriculum--and looking back I can definitely see the power of this approach.

I agree whole-heartedly with what he's said in this piece and hope that others can continue to reap the value of SICP. It's made me a clearer thinker and better programmer.

One might say that SICP is unique in as much as it transcends coding as an act of "slinging code at a screen", pushing readers to think carefully about the nature and design of their programs. That's only a sliver of what it does, but it's ever so easy to miss that as a beginning programmer.

Yeah, it definitely takes discipline to get through, but it's quite rewarding.

Roybatty 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We need to start discussing about OO in general. We have a generation (or two,three in internet time) that think that OO is the epitomy of software engineering. We have Haskell, Ocaml, and others that can do better
createuniverses 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't help feeling that this attempt to render a previously excellent course more commercially viable by making it more superficially appealing for students is directly linked to this story: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4785246

If everything is always forced to justify itself commercially, then everything will implode into a hideous, hollow caricature of itself. Everything becomes a flashy excercise in deceit and con artistry if it wants to survive. Quality and substance can never hope to win against marketing.

agumonkey 14 hours ago 0 replies      
While on the coursera online scala irc chan we discussed other material, SICP came with sentences like 'rumors made me read it'. This book lives by itself.
ramkalari 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The best cs book by a mile. One can't help but fall in love with programming after reading SICP. I'm now reading Peter Norvig's Paradigms of AI Programming. It's another classic.
I've also listened to video lectures of Brian Harvey. I think his own twists to SICP such as starting the course with functions on words instead of numbers are invaluable too.
rustc 15 hours ago 7 replies      
As someone who hasn't been able to get enough motivation to read past the first few pages of SICP, I _really_ wish someone made a TryRuby.org like thing using SICP.


amirreza 12 hours ago 1 reply      
i start reading SICP a week ago, and let me tell you, its like i am actually re-learning programming with this book! SICP is amazing.
Roybatty 7 hours ago 0 replies      
am i wrong in thinking in the Common Lisp thinking that data and methods don't belong together? In production environments we at least have extensions methods in c#, but man i still love generic functions in CL style. Why am i wrong?
Performance: Chrome beats IE10 crossbrowserbook.com
6 points by dherken  1 hour ago   7 comments top 5
pgsandstrom 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yeah, misleading title. But it really surprised me that IE10 wins the Sunspider test. I guess all the IE-bashing has lowered my expectations of IE way too far. It is a wonderful thing for the internet that IE10 isn't completely worthless.
shin_lao 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
The title is misleading.

The OP tests the browser in three benchmarks, two of them are performance related , one being written by Google, and Chrome beats IE10 in that one (IE10 being the fastest in the other).

Additionally the conclusion makes me think that the OP has a bias toward Chrome.

I nevertheless think that Chrome is faster, however I am annoyed by all this IE bashing.

bdfh42 45 minutes ago 1 reply      
It does not matter which is fastest as long as both continue to make performance improvements where possible. We now have great performance from JavaScript (a key technology) in all modern browsers - which is the good news.
ygra 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
And Kraken gives Firefox an edge while IE 10 leads Robohornet.

Frankly, it's all about what the benchmark tests and in what way. All browser vendors optimise along some benchmark and that's what they are good at.

The bottom line is that pretty much all of them are fast enough to do most of the things you're doing with them.

migfromparis 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Did someone doubt about that really?
CodeWars: the Hacker Society where devs compete CodeWa.rs
75 points by exolxe  11 hours ago   50 comments top 22
codewright 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm signed up, answered all the questions. I'm on the leaderboard or w/e.

I love code koans.

I want more.

Feed me.

ninetax 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Ah, I just have to say I loved that I could just start doing them. No sign up, no email or anything, you just gave them to me. Wonderful.
ninetax 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Hey here's an idea: Let people create their own challenges and let them assign some point values to them (if the person is a high scorer, maybe let them give the challenge higher points). Then other people can try to solve it and vote on user created challenges. Get the ecosystem going! What do you think?
charonn0 10 hours ago 3 replies      
It looks like only Javascript devs are welcome. :\
mck- 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Surprised nobody mentioned Interview Street. It has a lot of difficult challenges that you can solve in your own favourite language (supports 15).

That Leaderboard is dominated by China, perhaps you guys shouldn't be battling each other ;)

nathan_f77 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh man, being number 13 makes me really want to get another 300 points to be in the top 10... This is pretty cool, I want some more!
cjstewart88 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice, I had fun doing the intro questions, good luck with this. Keep it simple, don't try and pack to much into the app.
hellcow 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish I could see the whole leader-board or how points were allocated so I could improve my score. Otherwise, very nice job.
emeraldd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The code editor could use some work. It was very awkward to use, especially in my phone's browser. Otherwise, MORE PUZZLES!
255martyn 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I want more points. WHY???
daguar 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Not to troll, but this seems quite close to Codecademy and HackerRank, without much of those sites' additional benefits.
boatmeme 9 hours ago 0 replies      
That was fun! Hope to see more soon.
tjbiddle 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Very awesome. I'm assuming the majority of points are gained via GitHub - Curious what your algorithm for that is. I can see you working with CodeAcademy possibly. Looking forward to seeing more.
billyjobob 6 hours ago 0 replies      
the first challenge that came up asked me to fix a JavaScript program. however, the logic of the program was fine; it merely contained a syntax error that was obvious if you know the peculiarities of JavaScript syntax but hard to spot if you don't. that's not the sort of challenge I want to solve.
janoulle 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Nicely done. Reminds me of codingbat.com (solve the questions there in java or python).
schme 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Call me easy to engage, but I really liked all the +100's next to the buttons.
silentific 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed this, looking forward to more.
pspeter3 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting, what's the long term goal?
lexandstuff 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it.
j95tin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks great!
-- Justin
michaelrbock 8 hours ago 0 replies      
djisjke 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this for real? Wow, I'm sure a lot of rock star coders will hang there.
Show HN: HoRNDIS - an Android USB tethering driver for Mac OS X joshuawise.com
65 points by jwise0  11 hours ago   25 comments top 11
dkulchenko 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been waiting for this for a very long time; works perfectly. Thanks!
ZoFreX 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Tangentially related - if anyone is using native wifi tethering on their Android with their Mac and having issues, try tethering over Bluetooth instead - I found it to be much more reliable.
gwillen 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a beta tester, and probably the only person who has run this on 10.6, so if you have 10.6-related problems let me know.
Nate75Sanders 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Serious question...not trying to be snarky...

Why would anyone use anything but FoxFi?


EDIT: I suppose FoxFi doesn't work on some phones + using both radios at the same time might run down the battery quicker.

shadowmint 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Cool project; I was kind of hoping when I saw the title it was a way to emulate USB over MTP, and not have to use the absolutely rubbish Android File Transfer application... but alas, not the case. Oh well.
sandGorgon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There is an alternative if you have the android sdk running on your laptop.

Use adb to forward a port from your machine to your Android device. Run a SOCKS proxy app on your Android.


I use a similar method for transferring media, since mtp doesn't work very well on Linux.

I wonder why did Google decide to implement mtp as the protocol of choice. I know why MSC was not ideal anymore, but it already has working tcp over usb. That can be used to implement so many different things like file sync, tethering, etc.

shardling 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Folk give Linux flack for it's driver problems, but I've noticed OSX does have it's own issues. :)

I'll be looking forward to testing this out, since it'll be more convenient than wireless tethering in some circumstances.

rob-olmos 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Thanks for this! However, I'm unable to get this working, let me know if you'd rather I post this as a github issue:

MacBook Pro 13" with 10.7.5
Droid Razr with Android 4.0.4
Verizon with mobile hotspot and I believe I had tethering working on a Windows laptop before.

I have installed HoRNDIS and rebooted (tried install/reboot again just to be sure)
Plugged in my phone via USB
Enabled USB tethering and it says tethering error
There are no changes in the Network preferences on the Mac

Saw it wasn't loaded so I manually loaded it:

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/HoRNDIS.kext

Tried to tether again and noticed these errors in kernel.log:

  Nov 14 19:05:28 Robs-MacBook-Pro kernel[0]: 0        1 AppleUSBCDCACMData: start - Find CDC driver for ACM data interface failed
Nov 14 19:05:28 Robs-MacBook-Pro kernel[0]: 0 1 AppleUSBCDCECMData: start - Find CDC driver for ECM data interface failed

DanBC 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks really good.

What would be awesome is some kind of reverse tethering - use my computer's Internet from my phone connected to the computer over USB.

seanalltogether 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, I've always wondered if having to set up a WAP on the device to route traffic through caused more delays then a straight tether.
mocko 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you from the bottom of my battery. I have wanted usb tethering to work on my mac for a long time.
Skype vulnerability allowing hijacking of an account if you know just the email pixus-ru.blogspot.ru
345 points by jtraub  1 day ago   116 comments top 20
dchest 1 day ago 7 replies      
In August I received an email from Skype thanking me for registering an account. But I already had an account, I didn't register this one. After comparing the new account name with part of my email, I came to the conclusion that someone mistyped their email address, and registered an account on my address. I contacted their live support, here's the conversation:

    George A: Hello! Welcome to Skype Live Support! My name is George. How
may I help you?

me: Recently I have received an email welcoming me to Skype (not
phishing, I verified). The problem is that I didn't create the account
mentioned in the email. The account name was "[NEW SKYPE ACCOUNT]" and
my email is [MY EMAIL 1], so I think that user mistyped his email
address, and then Skype sent a welcome message to me. Doesn't skype
verifies email addresses before sending a welcome message?

George A: I understand that you are concerned about your email address
being used to setup a Skype account, I'll be happy to help you with
that. May I please have your Skype Name?


George A: I would also need the email address, please.

me: [MY EMAIL 1]. let me check that this address in on my Skype
account... ok, my email on file in Skype is [MY EMAIL 2]. and a few
other too, all mine :)

George A: Well, I see that there is only Skype Name registered under
that email address, the Skype Name is [NEW SKYPE ACCOUNT]

me: Yes, for my account ([MY SKYPE ACCOUNT]) the primary email is [MY
EMAIL 2], but other emails on profile are [MY EMAIL 1], [MY EMAIL 2],

George A: May I please ask you to confirm which Skype Name that you do
not authorize?

me: Does Skype sends verification message before assigning the email
to account? The Skype name which I didn't create is [NEW SKYPE

George A: May I also have the email address that was used?

me: [MY EMAIL 1]

George A: Well, I would need to send you a confirmation to that email
address. I would kindle need you to reply back to that email.

me: Please do

George A: Then, we will be able to delete that Skype Name for you.

me: thank you

George A: You are most welcomed, please expect me email within 10
minutes. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

me: Could you tell me if email accounts that are registered with Skype
are being verified by sending a message to them? If so, maybe there's
bug in your system?

George A: We send a welcome email to the registered email address
whenever a new account is set up using that email.

me: OK, that's what I received. And then you also send other emails
with offers to the same account. So, basically, anyone can create an
account for any email. Why don't you verify emails?

George A: Please understand that all of us here at Skype take our
customers' privacy and confidentiality very seriously

me: OK. Thank you.

George A: You are most welcomed. It's been a pleasure speaking with
you today. Thank you for contacting Skype Live Support, have a great
day. We value your feedback. Please be aware that we will ask you a
few questions after closing the chat window about your experience with
us today. Once you are ready please click on the "Exit" button.

me: I suggest adding a link to Welcome email that says "I didn't
create this account". Bye!

Realizing that there's nothing this support person can do about this, I sent email to their "security" people. I received no reply.

And now this failure to verify emails leads to the linked vulnerability. Nice.

jere 18 hours ago 1 reply      
By the way, Skype's registration page has inexplicable password rules.

aaaaa1 - strength: medium

aaaaa12345 - strength: poor

=aStu!et$aQ@212345 - strength: poor

timf 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Microsoft reports they have disabled password resets during the investigation: http://heartbeat.skype.com/2012/11/security_issue.html
lucian1900 1 day ago 7 replies      
It's even worse! Their website is so broken you can't change your password (new password fields are disabled) and you can't set a new email address as primary (the "make primary" button only appears when the new email address field is empty). Also, if you first add a new email address, save, then set it to primary, it disappears. Wtf.

I see no recourse other than closing my account, if that's still possible. [edit] No, not even that is possible.

kokoge 1 day ago 3 replies      
OP at http://habrahabr.ru/post/158545/ russian) says that he reported this vulnerability about 3 month ago.
The lack of any reaction is unbelievable.

Hint: you can change your email to something like user+skype@gmail.com to avoid registration of new email address.

timf 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Skype reports this has been resolved: http://heartbeat.skype.com/2012/11/security_issue.html

Early this morning we were notified of user concerns surrounding the security
of the password reset feature on our website. This issue affected some users
where multiple Skype accounts were registered to the same email address. We
suspended the password reset feature temporarily this morning as a precaution
and have made updates to the password reset process today so that it is now
working properly. We are reaching out to a small number of users who may
have been impacted to assist as necessary. Skype is committed to providing a
safe and secure communications experience to our users and we apologize
for the inconvenience.

mtgx 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can't even delete your Skype account if you want to. You can only change some of the information:


ivan_krechetov 1 day ago 1 reply      
I confirm. Just tested on Win7, Skype

The notification about the password reset token does appear in the Skype client, but no reset code is shown at first. Then I've pressed Ctrl+F5 on the home screen, skipped the Facebook thing, and here they are!


On OSX doesn't work, though. The password token notification doesn't come.

scrrr 23 hours ago 0 replies      
And they said I'm crazy to create an extra email address just for Skype back then..
gingerlime 1 day ago 4 replies      
I think it's a good practice to always use unique, unpredictable email addresses when signing for online services.

1. Most people use the same or similar password, so once one account gets hacked, the attacker is probably able to use many other accounts on different services with the same email address/password combo.

2. It's easier to spot services that spam, or that leak your email address (I became aware of a leak of email addresses on Box... luckily it was only emails that got leaked, at least according to Box support).

3. It's easier to block spam, once a service misbehaves or gives away the email.

I wrote a little more about using it as a "passwordless password manager" at http://blog.gingerlime.com/2011/passwordless-password-manage...

update: (if blog post is too long...) this does not mean setting up hundreds of different email accounts. On most services like hotmail, google and yahoo you can simply append some unique string to your email address, e.g. john+f820938422@gmail.com. Making this unpredictable is important however, so appending +facebook and +twitter is not helping much though...

frontsideair 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think as a precaution, you can change your Gmail address, using the + operator. In case you didn't know, you can receive emails sent to yourusername+anystring@gmail.com
sondh 1 day ago 1 reply      
After successfully exploited this on my own account, tried again with my SO's account and https://login.skype.com/account/password-reset-request has been blocked. Pretty good emergency reaction.

It should be noted that after my account password is changed, I tried to login with the old password, the Windows Skype app told me the username and password combination is wrong but it still let me logged in. This may be a different bug in caching?

Hope we can get a postmortem report out of this...

danso 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Any idea the period of time this bug has been present? I remember the login process being inconsistent (especially among the iOS apps) when I signed up four years ago, but I attributed it to me just being unfamiliar with the service.
davidwparker 21 hours ago 11 replies      
I'm genuinely curious- what's keeping people on Skype?
There are better alternatives out there now (Google+ Hangouts, for example). Will this push any of you Skype users over?
davedx 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks like they've fixed it now. https://twitter.com/Skype
jtraub 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Password recovery form was disabled and as of now the vulnerability can not be exploited. See announcement http://community.skype.com/t5/Security-Privacy-Trust-and/Pas...
boingy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Not quite as bad but it is also possible to get a user's IP address just by sending them a friend request. This has been known about and exploited for months, possibly over a year. It's meant that high profile users of Skype on sites like youtube or twitch.tv have to keep their skype private and/or connect to it specifically with a proxy to avoid getting DDOSed
andybak 1 day ago 0 replies      
Didn't work for me on the Mac version of the Skype client. Will retry on Win7.
fromITroom 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Forgot password no longer working, seems like they switched the function for now. Step in right direction.
leke 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice work MicroSoft.
Starbucks acquires Teavana for $620 Million wsj.com
86 points by saadmalik01  13 hours ago   52 comments top 13
acgourley 12 hours ago 5 replies      
Teavana always had me torn. They found a sustainable formula for popularizing tea. That's good!

But they are very expensive and their sales staff sell on commission which I find uncomfortable.

I find myself in the position where I'm glad they exist but I never recommend anyone to actually go there.

dotBen 11 hours ago 5 replies      
As an aside, I'm very confident Starbucks will acquire Blue Bottle Coffee in the next 18 months-2 years.

By raising venture funding they are signaling they are looking for some kind of shareholder return/exit. The quality of the coffee, plus the "no-laptops" approach to their official cafes would make a great "luxury"/"high-end" marque and differentiator for Starbucks in markets where they are already saturated or want to attract greater wallet spend (SF, NY, etc).

Look at what they did with Seattle's Best but the opposite end.

cypherpunks01 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've always used and liked http://adagio.com for tea - they have a really simple and easy-to-use site.
amckenna 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have loved Teavana ever since they opened a store in the mall near me. I hope they start using the teas that Teavana has to beef up the selection in Starbucks stores. Tazo is decent but the variety is lacking and they miss out on the complexities of flavor and aroma that specialty teas have.

I will be a happy customer when I can go get a Himalayan young black tea with the same ease I can get a bag of Colombian dark roast beans.

deveac 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Weird. Or really, the exact opposite of weird.

There is a Teavana in a mall near me. I've enjoyed their teas, and bought bags to brew at home, as well as a rather nice iron kettle.

Every time I walk in there I say to myself "This place is like the Starbucks of Tea."

I like premium Tea from Teavana much more than Starbuck's coffee though. As I should for the prices they charge...

eekfuh 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Non-techie in me: Maybe this will make Starbucks actually have good tea... or at least more variety. (Teavana is more smelly tea than tasty tea
ryangripp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet these guys (http://www.argotea.com/) had something to do with Starbucks decision to gobble up another tea company.
TechNewb 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Starbucks currently boils their tea, maybe this ignorant act will stop now??? It is why I try and not go to Starbucks for tea.
gadders 7 hours ago 3 replies      
For Americans that use Teavana, are you drinking this tea the English way with milk, or iced?

I remember when I first went to America as a 21 year old (I had a job door-to-door selling) and Americans, being the hospitable souls that they are, would frequently offer me tea. Unfortunately, it was the cold variety :-(

mmwanga 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Afternoon hot tea is considered normal in other countries and it's a very strange concept in America. Hope this changes that...
supersaiyan 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand why people buy teas from these places (teavana, teopia,etc), there all over priced, sub par tasting teas, The best teas are found in small outlet stores (chinese, indian, thai, etc); it's like going to East Side Mario for a taste of italy.
mredbord 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They're doing in-home coffee, merch, etc. and now a big chain of pure retail locations. Starbucks is really starting to open up alternative revenue streams. Good for them.
Announcing Range Retrievals for Amazon Glacier pastebin.com
3 points by pieter  1 hour ago   discuss
Why Mark Cuban is wrong about Facebook pagelever.com
74 points by patrickod  13 hours ago   59 comments top 18
corin_ 12 hours ago 3 replies      
$3 CPM is far more expensive that generic Facebook adverts (known for being very cheap in terms of CPM), and it's a fairly typical price for digital advertising. Obviously it depends on the industry, the audience, etc. etc. but $3 is fairly common.

The reason it feels like such a terrible deal here is that you aren't paying $3 CPM to reach a new audience, you are paying $3 CPM to reach your audience. Sure, Facebook can argue "it's the most targeted audience possible, they're Mavericks fans!" but the counter to that is "of course they are, it's my brand that put this audience together".

Brands use Facebook because it's far more user-friendly than trying to collect your fans together on your own website, and therefore it's a better solution - easier for your fans means more will do it, so you have more people to market to. However the comparison is that they're people who have chosen to subscribe to you, and therefore the pricing comparison is not to digital advertising, but to writing to fans on a website, or a blog, or through email newsletters. This is why it feels like, and arguably is, a rip off.

As to the argument that it's needed from a user's point of view and that Facebook happens to be able to monetise to help their users (e.g. jeffwidman's comment: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4785852) I'm not really sure. It's probably a valid point. I'm not a Facebook user myself (but my marketing work occasionally covers Facebook), my personal feeling is that if I follow a brand it's because I want to see their updates. All of their updates. In my head, it's the same as signing up to a newsletter, or subscribing to an RSS feed, just through a convenient third party. But as I don't do it myself, I'm happy to consider myself wrong, or in the minority, maybe if I was an active user following many brands that I care about I would find that getting 100% of their messages would ruin my Facebook experience.

loceng 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Fact Check: The fans on the Facebook pages were driven there by the page owner, likely through other marketing channels such as TV. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship, though Facebook is trying to take advantage of that relationship now. Companies and people are mobile on the internet. They can drive people wherever they want. Mark Cuban's action is a huge signal. As I said in another reply somewhere, Facebook is essentially providing a newsletter service with pages (plus some other stuff). Oh, and Facebook also has ads on these pages.. Something better will come that doesn't abuse the relationship.
vertr 10 hours ago 1 reply      
So an entrepreneur who is building a business based on facebook marketing is defending facebook. No bias there at all.
Ensorceled 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually, as a user I'm annoyed by this as well. When I like a page it's usually because I'm interested in what they have to say.

I really want is control of that myself. Default me to everything and I'll "show less from this page" or unlike if they are spamming me.

Some companies and organizations are using Facebook to communicate with me and Facebook is deciding what I'll see or not see.

THAT is Cuban's real problem. You can't reach all of your audience without coughing up a fairly large amount of money because Facebook has decided not everybody wants to see your message.

the_economist 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Businesses run based on numbers. If a Facebook ad converts at a profitable ROI, then many businesses will buy the ads no matter how poorly they have been treated.

Users are different. If they feel slighted, they will disappear. Facebook is right to focus on the user experience at the expense of antagonizing advertisers.

Whether Facebook could have implemented this without pissing off so many people, now that is a different story.

camus 12 hours ago 2 replies      
What the author of the article fails to understand is nothing lasts forever on the internet.

Facebook can become insignificant 1 year from now just because a new service propose better features at a lower price, or just because people get bored...

People used to have email accounts at yahoo , yet , people now prefer gmail because it is easier to use and is less "spammy".

People used to have myspace accounts , and guess what, moved to facebook...

But it's also true that nothing's free on the internet. Twitter is not free , neither is facebook , and as a business they need to generate revenue.

jeffwidman 12 hours ago 0 replies      
We live in an attention economy, and Facebook is simply the arbiter of it. If Facebook let all fan pages reach all their fans, it'd be a sub-optimal user experience.

The fact that they have turned protecting against the tragedy of the commons into a monetization model may not make brands happy, but it makes users happy.

zipop 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Mark Cuban, you can afford $0.003 per fan to increase Mavs home game attendance. C'mon son!"

Telling people what they can afford is not a very well thought out argument.

zachlipton 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I simply don't get why brands view Facebook subscribers as being opted in to 100% of their constant barrage of spam. Facebook pages have never worked like an email subscription list, and that fact should be obvious to anyone with any knowledge of the platform.

Someone might follow your brand on Twitter, but if he doesn't check his feed for a while, he doesn't see your marketing-speak unless he goes looking for it. Unlike Twitter, Facebook actually tries to be intelligent and show you the stories you care about instead of defaulting to chronological order only. Since, shocker of shockers, people generally prefer to engage with their fellow human beings as compared to these quirky entities we call "brands," the stories you care about are more likely to involve an old friend getting married or your buddy's weekend pics than whatever inspirational message your social medial engagement intern shat out this hour.

Basically, Facebook is treating brands a lot like people: not all their friends see all their content in their newsfeeds, but some do, and higher engagement and closer connections make it more likely that someone will see your stuff. Brands, naturally, don't want to play by the same rules as us mere mortals and want all of their "content" displayed prominently in their subscribers' newsfeeds. In other words, it's Citizens United v. FEC all over again, except no one is actually limiting corporate speech here, just asking brands to pay rather small amounts if they want more reach and distribution than the rules allow.

To sum it all up for Mark Cuban: the mere fact that someone has liked the Mavs on Facebook does not mean that she wants to hear whatever your marketing interns come up with every couple of hours. The obnoxious guy who talks about himself all the time doesn't automatically get a free megaphone to beam his messages into the minds of everybody he's engaged with. I realize that you, Mr. Cuban, have made a career out of being precisely that guy, and that people do walk around hanging on your every word, but us normal people and normal brands have to pay for our promotion, and it's unreasonable to think otherwise.

davidwparker 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm curious as to why more brands don't just use 'groups' instead?

I'm in a couple of groups that are basically companies and I get all their status updates as well as the ability to turn on or off notifications for them (one I keep on because I really like the company).

fjabre 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh goody. I love to rip on the social network.

AOL, Friendster, Myspace, now FB.. They never monetize because the model can't support itself properly or at least it won't make a trillion dollars like one might expect to with a billion users. If they really wanted to monetize they should just go the linkedin route and charge $1/month for it. If you're not willing to pay that much for FB then what's the service really worth to you?

$38 -> $22 - Need I say more? Zuckerberg reminds me of that guy Steve (Edward Norton) in the Italian job. Clever as he might be - he's just got no imagination.

zachlipton 6 hours ago 0 replies      
er, he's responding to Mark Cuban's public statements. If Person X says A, it's not exactly unreasonable to write an article titled "Why Person X is wrong about A," even if you have a business that involves A. Like Cuban, the author of the blog post clearly has a point of view on the subject, and we can all evaluate their competing arguments.

I think I would probably talk to my mother before writing a blog post publicly disagreeing with her, but I just don't see what's so insulting about disagreeing with Mark Cuban's own public statements.

magnusr 12 hours ago 2 replies      
"As of November 13th, MySpace has approximately 3.8 Monthly Active Users." Sounds about right.
rguillebert 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"MySpace has approximately 3.8 Monthly Active Users", you might be underestimating this :D
thomasknoll 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think both positions (Mark's & brendanib) are oversimplifying (and hyping) the issue. End of the day, what matters are the relationships formed between people and brands. And like all advertising, paying to get in front of people is how the game works. If you'd rather pay money to initiate those conversations, then pay for them If you want to be engaging enough to draw people into those conversations, then invest in that.
andrewhillman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
When you're used to paying nothing anything more is hardly seen as a bargin. This is the core issue. It will just take time before brands get used to paying for what they once got for free.
joeblau 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Awww man, I thought this article was going to be about Mark Cuban's comments on the Facebook IPO.
ryangripp 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Just read this:
"Understanding Like-gate"
CodernityDB â€" pure Python, NoSQL, fast database codernity.com
174 points by amarsahinovic  21 hours ago   46 comments top 13
mmcnickle 18 hours ago 2 replies      
A cursory glance through the code revealed a bug: https://bitbucket.org/codernity/codernitydb/issue/1/_rev-not...
AaronBBrown 20 hours ago 8 replies      
"CodernityDB pure python, NoSQL, fast database"

Is the fact that it is written in "pure Python" really the most important thing to reenforce after the name of the product itself?

Why would I use this over established products like Riak, Redis, MongoDB, etc?

knightni 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Since these questions will inevitably come up:

  - You fsync yourself to ensure durability.  I can't see at a glance 
what fsync settings are used for the speed tests.
- It's not transactional, although single operations are atomic.
- Indexes operate on a single-writer, multiple reader basis.
- No traditional joins, although you can of course write
a procedural function that joins for you.

dbecker 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be helpful to add "How is this different from other NoSQL databases" to the FAQ.
shuzchen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've registered ##codernitydb in freenode and will idle in there, if anybody is interested in forming a community in irc
tintor 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the difference between DatabaseThreadSafe and DatabaseSuperThreadSafe?


louischatriot 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, but I'd like to see how this compares to other NoSQL such as MongoDB.
francesca 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like a speedy solution for inserts but I'm curious about reads

"Indexes tries to reuse as much space as possible, because metadata size is fixed, during every write operation, if index finds metadata marked as removed or so, it reuses it - writes new data into that place."

I'm curious how this is implemented.

ucee054 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In case, like me, you like SQL:
gldnspud 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to check this out this morning, but the page is unreadable using Safari on an iPhone. The table of contents stays floating above the body text, and takes up almost the whole screen.
hoodoof 14 hours ago 0 replies      
No Python 3 = no thanks
lehgo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
python ehh
mattbasta 19 hours ago 3 replies      
The only thing that turns me off to a product more than a poor website is poor English in the documentation. If English isn't your primary language, PLEASE get someone that speaks it fluently to either write your docs, translate your docs, or edit what you've written.
Lyft, SideCar, and Uber all slapped with $20K fines from CA regulator arstechnica.com
73 points by co_pl_te  11 hours ago   63 comments top 11
ajays 4 hours ago 5 replies      
The deck is stacked against Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. You have to realize that the taxi industry is a government-cab collaboration, with the customer getting fleeced. It is not as simple as "government grants license to cab operator, cab operator runs his cab and makes money". No. The government takes a cut from the daily action too. Use a credit card in the cab? The government takes a cut. Want to rent your medallion to someone else? The government takes a cut.

Right now, the financial impact of these outfits is minimal. But when they seriously start impacting government revenues, expect the lawmakers to come out swinging. They'll tag-team with the taxi union(s) and make life hell for the Sidecars, Ubers and Lyfts of the world.

eridius 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The lawsuit against Uber seems to me like nothing more than taxi drivers upset that their monopoly is being threatened. As the article said, all the Uber drivers are already licensed, and there's no explanation as to why Uber is "unfair".
eli 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a customer not a lawyer, but Uber certainly feels like a "provider" to me. It's not like they are just a referral service. They dispatch a driver of their choice, they process the payment, and they pay the driver.

And while I think Uber is an awesome service, it's not totally unreasonable for the state to insist that if you are acting as a taxi, you need to have proof of insurance beyond what's required for a normal driver.

smsm42 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It just reeks of special interests protecting their turf. Of course when you are operating in highly regulated environment and have a well-oiled connections with local politicians it is annoying when somebody new comes around and tries to take part of your customer share. However for me as a consumer it is annoying that government yet again tries to take away my choice under the guise of protecting me from imaginary threats - and instead ends up protecting me from better service and lower prices. I don't need this kind of protection.
dreamdu5t 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Another example of government regulation keeping us safe from evil taxi drivers.

Thank God regulations like this exist to make sure that everybody pays their protection money.

Anyone who disagrees clearly hates poor people and taxi drivers... or something.

colevscode 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The few uber drivers I've talked to love the service. One driver told me that, with uber, he can often find a nearby fare in minutes. He said that the combination of flags, the dispatcher, and über means the meter is always running.

It's pretty clear to me that the folks that are suffering from über are the taxi dispatch companies. These companies lease out the cars for a daily fee, like 150 bucks per day. The driver can do whatever he wants as long as he pays that daily fee. The cab company pays insurance because they own the cabs. Cab drivers are essentially independent contractors. They start making money after they've covered the cab cost for the day.

So why should the cab companies care if a driver is using über? From what I've heard, when a dispatcher has a good order, like for a trip across town on a slow day, they'll ask for a cut. In other words the cab companies are supplementing their taxi rental service with a cut of the fares they dispatch. And as a cab driver, if you want to get good orders you have to stay on the dispatchers good side.

Über changes the balance of power. As more people use über, the drivers have to rely on the dispatchers less, and the tit-for-tat system is deflated. I think this class action suit is an attempt to retain the status quo by cab companies. Über shouldn't be responsible for insurance until they start owning their own cabs. If the cab companies have their way, both the drivers and passengers will suffer.

usaar333 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting how Uber is lumped in with Lyft and SideCar. Uber drivers at least have (towncar) licenses. I haven't figured out yet how Lyft/SideCar are anything more than illegal taxi services that rename "fare" "donation".
tvladeck 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I really like Lyft. I use it when I need a taxi and it works very well.

Although I do agree that a world where these types of "collaborative consumption" services (like AirBNB) are essentially unregulated (or at least more open to competition) is much better, it is true that a number of industries are regulated, and incumbents that have been "playing by the rules" were promised a protected business environment. And it's not like they didn't have to give anything up in that trade - a taxi medallion in NYC is worth a lot of money - they have been exchanged for over a million dollars.

So the question is: how do we transition to the better world without being unfair to the "stranded capital"?

pfortuny 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
This was clearly going to happen. News at eleven. Not that I agree with the fine, but it was really deemed to happen.
jasonhancock 8 hours ago 1 reply      
In practice these behave exactly like a taxi service. I don't think it matters much who owns the cars. No one would argue that a cab company from, say, LA, should be able to just bring a portion of its fleet to SF and start picking up passengers without complying with the laws that govern taxis here. If these start-ups affect the market in essentially the same way, we and they all know they are trying to enter a market with rules in a way that does not abide by them
crazy1van 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is outrageous that the taxi companies are just lobbying for laws that protect their business at the expense of other businesses!

Ok, now please pass a law saying internet providers can't limit how much data I can send each month nor prioritize one type of traffic over another. After all, that is hurting internet businesses!

Early sketches from web designers layervault.tumblr.com
83 points by kellysutton  14 hours ago   21 comments top 7
amix 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think sketching is only useful for designers. Before I solve complex coding problems I usually have a block where I can scribbled and sketch solutions. This method makes it much easier to brainstorm and think than using something rigid like a text editor (at least for me).
sgdesign 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Very nice sketches. But I want to point out that if you don't sketch you shouldn't feel like you're "doing it wrong".

Sketching is not a required step. Starting straight in Photoshop (or even in the browser) are both valid methods too.

msurguy 12 hours ago 1 reply      
jameshsi 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd love to see more sketches just to see how much detail a designer puts into a sketch on average, and how that varies across different areas of design. It's nice to see barebone sketches like Maykel's and Ian's. Even after reading bill buxton's book on sketching, i still catch myself trying to refine sketches just so they look nice even after an idea is explored.

Thanks for compiling these, looking forward to see more!

flexxaeon 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I suck at design and I think omitting the sketch step is part of the reason why.

Dick Tracy poster is great.

jon_kuperman 14 hours ago 0 replies      
These are really cool. I like seeing start and finish pictures from cool projects.
ChrisArchitect 7 hours ago 0 replies      
love seeing intial sketches alongside finished products. I should use my notebook or dot grid book or whatever more often but alot of my designs have their very first iteration on POST-ITS. Could start a tumblr for initial post-it sketches hehe.
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