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Django 1.5 release candidate available djangoproject.com
46 points by jacobian  52 minutes ago   13 comments top
rednukleus 40 minutes ago 5 replies      
Great! Does anyone have an estimate of when full Python 3 support is expected?
Read your Hacker News in Tile Style microsoft.com
27 points by queryly  34 minutes ago   15 comments top 7
chappi42 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
US $ 1.49 to access Hacker News content through an app?!

This should be open source and free.

rednukleus 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks great from the screenshot, I'll have to try this out later. The description doesn't state whether you can comment, post or vote from the app - I take it that's not possible?
kefs 13 minutes ago 1 reply      
Why does the 'App Website' link take me to a prelaunch/landing page for something completely different?
SilasX 9 minutes ago 2 replies      
I thought paid advertisements on this site didn't allow a comment section?

Besides, I thought the whole point of the crappy site design was so that it would scare of people who either need eye can't or can't configure a browser to make it look different.

sageikosa 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Will it work with Windows 9?
negrit 6 minutes ago 1 reply      
i'd love to app a Chrome app like this one.
rikacomet 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
I hope it is not buggy, but nice one!
The USPTO Would Like to Partner with the Software Community groklaw.net
51 points by roqetman  1 hour ago   24 comments top 8
jandrewrogers 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are (at least) three valid perspectives on the patent situation within the software community but part of the reason so little constructive progress is made is that many people with strong opinions will often flat-out deny or reject the validity of the other perspectives because it is outside their experience.

Three perspectives of which most people ignore one or more:

- Computer technology is over-run with frivolous, vague, stupid, conflicting, and contradictory patents. Any pretense of quality control by the USPTO was lost in the 1990s. This imposes a non-trivial cost on the entire ecosystem and a complete absence of quality control is arguably worse than no patents at all.

- R&D into new computer algorithms is a non-trivial investment, frequently requiring years and millions of dollars. There is a tendency among programmers to discount the level of effort required to develop a new computer algorithm that materially extends the state-of-the-art even though most could not develop such algorithms themselves and have never been involved in such R&D. Organizations that make this investment do so looking for a return.

- Academia is already facing difficulties in computer science because much of the state-of-the-art research is being done by private companies. Much of this research is being treated as trade secrets because (ironically) patents offer flimsy practical protection. As a consequence, there are a number of areas in computer science where the leading academic papers are literally a good half decade behind the state-of-the-art that is buried in NDAs. Lack of publication means that a lot of smart people are wasting time duplicating work. Patents were originally invented precisely to avoid this outcome. One of the reasons that I stopped reading academic computer science in some areas that interest me is that I see computer science under NDA that is much more sophisticated, which is a shame.

Any practical policy will need to take into consideration all of these perspectives. It is not as convenient and simple as "all software patents are evil!" or "software patents FTW!" but it more closely reflects the real tradeoffs.

powertower 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
"The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." -- John Carmack
rayiner 1 hour ago 6 replies      
Groklaw's editorializing has gone way downhill since the SCO days. E.g.

"I know the USPTO doesn't want to hear that software and patents totally need to get a divorce, but since most software developers believe that, maybe somebody should at least mention it to them, if only as a future topic for discussion. Most developers I know believe software is unpatentable subject matter."

Ask software developers who work in defense, aerospace, medical devices, telecommunications, video/audio processing, and other capital-intensive, R&D-intensive fields. I think you'll get a rather different answer. Indeed, as Google is finding out with the Motorola acquisition and the resulting patent situation, software engineering culture is far from uniform on this issue. The guys who write software that implements radio waveforms don't have the same views on patents as the guys who write software to optimize ad display, or for that matter the guys who write the search engines. Ironically, Google's PageRank is the subject of several patents, and Stanford's interest in the IP netted them $335 million in Google shares when they exclusively licensed it back to Google.

Although, I think this sort of round-table is a pretty good forum for figuring out more about the consensus view of software engineers...

powertower 23 minutes ago 2 replies      
Software patents are here to stay. Don't fight a battle you can't win, the Patent Office is not going to throw away the billions of dollars they make on this... But you can make it so they get to keep their revenues, but we get to add rules that help invalidate patents, or limits how much the troll gets.
prodigal_erik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Disappointing that the first topic is writing style, not whether an invention would be trivially recreated by anyone who might need it and so shouldn't be claimed.
gwillen 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, I suspect they will not get nearly a proportionate amount of input saying 'software patents delenda est', because the people who feel that way also know that the USPTO is not likely to take their input seriously.
wissler 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't sanction the insanity. It would be better that the situation become so dire and painful that the populace wakes up than that software developers actually help make the software patent system appear as if it is reasonable and can "work" in the long run.
JohnFromBuffalo 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry but I can't come, because you are not opensource enough for me. It's not you. It's me.
Scala 2.10 now available scala-lang.org
115 points by lanna  4 hours ago   43 comments top 5
necubi 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Since the main thread here is a gripe about compilation speed, here's something more constructive. I've been working with 2.10 for a few months now, and there's a lot that's really exciting.

The biggest addition is macro support, which allows compile-time metaprogramming and code generation. This brings the ability to write very dynamic-looking code that is in fact completely type-safe. These capabilities have been used to great effect by Slick (a new database library based on ScalaQuery), ScalaMock, and others. Right now the tooling support for writing macros is a bit weak, but I expect it to improve now that 2.10 has been released.

There's a lot else to like here, with built-in futures and promises from Akka, string interpolation, reflection, and a bunch of speed improvements and bug fixes.

It's great work by the Scala team, and an exciting start to a new year!

dkhenry 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The inclusion of Akka Actors and Futures is _huge_. It really puts Scala in a great place to do massively concurrent programs. I still think I will be pulling in Akka to use their clustering, but of programs that don't require some of the remoting capabilities I can scratch a few lines of my SBT config.
benmccann 3 hours ago 15 replies      
They still haven't fixed the compilation speed unfortunately. All these other features are useless when anything written in the language compiles so slowly that it's barely usable.
jahitr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder when they are going to add a fully async SQL query kit.
anthonyskipper 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone have a working Brew update URL?
Disney announces Wreck-It Ralph will arrive for download before DVD, Blu-ray engadget.com
28 points by signa11  1 hour ago   3 comments top
FreeKill 37 minutes ago 1 reply      
I've noticed some other movies doing the same, for example Looper (great sci-fi movie btw) was on Google Play roughly a week or so before it was on DVD.

Now if only they would offer them DRM free, then we'd be getting somewhere...

Caffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific Northwest nationalgeographic.com
35 points by MaysonL  1 hour ago   16 comments top 8
frozenport 53 minutes ago 3 replies      
I don't think the story is about caffeination, but rather caffeine as a marker of human waste. 45 nanograms per liter doesn't sound like a lot, especially when considering the short half life of caffeine.
rhplus 48 minutes ago 3 replies      
I'm curious to know where the highest density of Starbucks is in the world. My obvious guess is downtown Seattle or maybe Manhattan or central London. I'd love to see someone compute the metric, perhaps the highest number of Starbucks within a specific square mile or maybe the specific location on earth which has the most Starbucks within say 1 mile.


kqr2 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
A lot of drugs can be detected in water, e.g. prozac:


7rurl 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
Where is the proof that these elevated caffeine levels in the water are from humans? Couldn't there be some naturally occurring source of ocean caffeine? Caffeine producing sea weed, for example.

Also the "high" level they measured was 45 nanograms per liter of water, which is 0.000001 parts per million. The molecular weight of caffeine is 10 times that of water which means there is one caffeine molecule for ever 10 trillion water molecules. Seems pretty insignificant to me.

nickhalfasleep 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Without coffee, Washington state would be uninhabitable. I suppose leach fields and other sorts of chemical filters could prevent this and other chemical plumes. Moreover, I for one would be happy if I could retain my caffeine longer.
cpdean 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Soon: Caffeinated-Sushi snobs
sabat 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
In other news, this is not a headline from The Onion.
driverdan 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is from almost 6 months ago.
Free SVG and PNG Icons Easily Customizable For Games game-icons.net
82 points by Hirvesh  4 hours ago   20 comments top 9
EwanG 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
These are always fun, but don't address the need that many game developers (ok, at least "I") have - the need for detailed backgrounds - preferably ones that can mesh well with each other. That can really help set the "world" for the player, and while a developer can often do their own sprite artwork, backgrounds tend to be an art to themselves.

I usually end up going to either one of my 3D tools or my photographs, and then playing with filters in Photoshop to get an artistic look that isn't too jarring.

rplnt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Some other icon sets (probably appeared on HN before, don't know where I got them from):


user interface:
https://www.gosquared.com/resources/165-vector-icons and

neovive 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice set and great organization; reminds me a lot of The Noun Project. It would be great to see some more examples of other games/projects using these icons.
viggity 2 hours ago 1 reply      
neovive 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I downloaded a few random icons in SVG format and noticed that Inkscape opens them exactly as they appear on the website, but Illustrator CS 6 does not maintain the proper stroke width.
Hirvesh 4 hours ago 1 reply      
[Check out http://www.functionn.in for more web resources to keep you functionn.in']

Game Icons is a massive icon pack containing a mighty 950+ icons which can be used for games or applications. The icons are categorized in various categories such as Animal, Weapon, Fire , Food, Action, Liquid, Symbol, Skull, Plant, Body, Heart, Tool, Arrow, Sea, Stone, Eye, Machine, Sword, Face, Chemical and more.

Dozens of new icons are added weekly and if you need a specific icon, you can even send a request by email. The icons are available in SVG and PNG formats, which can all be downloaded at once from the website.

License: CC 3.0 License

socialist_coder 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Would it be difficult to offer an additional PNG download zip that has the icons in white with a transparent background?
laserDinosaur 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using this site for a while now. Good to see it getting a bit more attention.
negrit 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally use icones.pro, they have over 200 000 icones, and the quality is good.

(I don't own/operate this website)

Rant: Backbone, Angular, Meteor, Derby github.com
31 points by lefnire  1 hour ago   13 comments top 7
bejar37 34 minutes ago 2 replies      
Recently decided to use Backbone as a JSMVC Framework on my team. Although I looked at Ember and Angular, which obviously both have many more features than backbone out of the box, We chose to use Backbone because it seems to have such a large and vibrant community behind it - seems like angular and ember are both lacking in this respect.

However, as our Backbone application grew in complexity, we noticed that Backbone is so bare in terms of functionalities that we had to build our own half-baked framework on top of
it to make up for the gaps.

I think the Backbone project needs to make Backbone's intentional feature sparseness clear. I've come to realize that backbone is more of a library which provides a basis to make a client-side framework rather than a something that can be used standalone by app developers.

If I could go back and change our original choice, I definitely would have gone with one of the Backbone-derived frameworks (chaplin, marionette) or just gone with something more fully-featured like angular. While backbone is beautiful and elegant for small projects, it just doesn't provide much convenience as a stand-alone library for larger applications.

jtchang 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Try knockout. I wrote a quick intro to it a few days ago:


I personally don't like backbone that much. I don't know why so many people love the damn thing. It is hard to understand and not even that great.

sergiotapia 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
We use Backbone at my place of work but Angular.js looks sooooo clean, it makes me wish it would have come out sooner so I could have pushed for Angular.js.
aioprisan 1 hour ago 1 reply      
actually, Meteor is not like Derby. For one, you don't need to deal with callbacks when data is changed. Meteor can automatically figure out what data sources are bound to certain containers in the template being rendered and when you make a change in the database, the data is pushed to all the clients. Here are some good details on the differences: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3842525. Also, Meteor now has a REST package built-in https://github.com/crazytoad/meteor-collectionapi and additional modules that you can install, like https://github.com/tmeasday/meteor-router
idan 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Same post, easier on the eyes (particularly on mobile): http://gist.io/4454814
dotborg 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
all of them will become obsolete once ecmascript.next kicks in
lefnire 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Cached at https://gist.github.com/4454814 if down (my Drupal server has been miserable lately and I'm currently migrating to DocPad)
Windows 7/8, Linux, OS X Full Disk Encryption FireWire Exploit breaknenter.org
10 points by jefe78  34 minutes ago   3 comments top 3
bjustin 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
As the site says, OS X is mostly safe by default. DMA is disabled when a machine is locked or the user is not logged in[1], in OS X 10.7.2+.

[1] https://support.apple.com/kb/HT5002

(missed the note about this on the page the first time through, but I'm leaving this for others who may have missed it)

bdash 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
As the article notes, OS X is only vulnerable to this issue when the machine is unlocked as DMA access via FireWire is disabled while it is locked. If your machine is left unattended and unlocked then anyone with the ability to plug in a FireWire device could already cause you grief.
jlgreco 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks like a standard DMA attack. This problem has been known about forever, though I guess now people will stop thinking of it as an obscure hypothetical attack?
Mega Man 2 (NES) password algorithm and code github.com
128 points by kpshek  6 hours ago   44 comments top 10
binarymax 5 hours ago 4 replies      
There is an amazing port of Mega Man 2 for iOS. It autosaves however, so there is no way to enter the code. I play it all the time. My record for beating it is under 20 minutes on normal. Greatest NES game of all time, and also the greatest 8-bit music. I still get the airman theme stuck in my head sometimes.
T-hawk 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Many NES games have had their password systems cracked:

Mega Man 3: http://www.mmhp.net/Passwords/MM3/

Metroid: http://www.gdward.plus.com/site/flash/metroid/

Kid Icarus: http://www.geocities.ws/passgens/pages/Kid_Icarus.htm

Castlevania III: http://castlevaniadungeon.net/forums/index.php?topic=4659.0

Google for pretty much any popular NES game + "password generator" and you'll find something.

mratzloff 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this stuff. Fun project.

Some day I need to get around to releasing the X-wing save game editor I wrote... in JavaScript. (So it can run directly on GitHub.)

w1ntermute 4 hours ago 2 replies      
When I got a Super Famicom from Super Potato in Akihabara, I got a copy of Rockman 7 (known as Mega Man 7 in the English localization) too, and that was my first time playing a game that old. It was so weird seeing the password system, rather than saving in-game. They used a 4x4 (or 5x5?) grid of faces of characters from the game. I wonder why they didn't just use a text password - perhaps because it removed the need for localization.

Another game I got, The Legend of Zelda: The Triforce of the Gods (known as A Link to the Past in the West), had a great in-game save system. It seems like there should have been enough storage for that with Rockman 7 too.

Edit: my bad, 7, not X7.

Gmo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Kudos for recreating the algorithm ... Too bad there is no details if it is by inspecting the assembly code or by external observation ...

Now ... if someone could do the same with the name of the worlds in the original Populous ...

danso 5 hours ago 1 reply      
While MM2's password system seems pretty straightforward, I've always been fascinated with how other games managed to track state with a 10-24 letter password. Metroid, for example...IIRC, didn't the game also keep track of your current health, besides the progress you made in the game? I guess that state could be encapsulated in just a few of those letters. And the state of progress would be pretty easy to do (A = Kraid beaten, B = Ridley beaten, and so forth) as each individual "scene" resetted its state as soon as you left it.
Raz0rblade 3 hours ago 2 replies      
He licensed his code, which is kinda strange since he took the algorithm from another program which he didn't owns.
I wonder the real legal status of his code and license
jheriko 6 hours ago 4 replies      
This is quite interesting... I wonder if anyone 'cracked' it when it was new... :)
QuantumGuy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Anybody think implementing the Mega Man in browser would be a cool side project?
markost 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone else noticed that the music playing during the MM2 password screen is remarkably similar to the end of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer"?
Erlang OTP Tutorial For Beginners bot.co.za
14 points by signa11  1 hour ago   5 comments top 3
ericmoritz 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
"OTP in Action" is an excellent book for learning OTP.

The following reading will take you a long way with Erlang:

Learn you some Erlang

OTP In Action

On Erlang, State and Crashes http://jlouisramblings.blogspot.com/2010/11/on-erlang-state-...

"Making reliable distributed systems in the presence of software errors" http://www.erlang.org/download/armstrong_thesis_2003.pdf

The last two links are "Erlang propaganda" describing the hows and whys of Erlang.

oinksoft 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Those interested in this topic may find http://learnyousomeerlang.com/what-is-otp#the-common-process... of interest. It has similar aims but doesn't take detours for rebar, emacs and such (things you don't need for Erlang/OTP).
plainOldText 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm very happy to see more OTP tutorials as of lately. I believe OTP can be one of the most powerful tools in an Erlanger's arsenal.
Felix - a fast scripting language felix-lang.org
73 points by nmcfarl  5 hours ago   34 comments top 15
haberman 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The web page rubs me the wrong way. How can you claim to be the fastest anything without a single benchmark? How can you claim to be a "scripting language" when you're statically-typed and compile to C++? What does "scripting language" even mean then? How can you say things like "it will be a bit slow the first time but subsequent runs will load much faster than any VM." Any VM? Are you really "much faster" than:

  $ time lua empty.lua 

real 0m0.005s
user 0m0.002s
sys 0m0.002s

$ time ./luajit empty.lua

real 0m0.005s
user 0m0.001s
sys 0m0.002s

Maybe there's cool stuff going on here but I can't get past being annoyed at these over-hyped claims.

srean 5 hours ago 1 reply      
@nmcfarl thanks for resubmitting with a different url. I find the home page a bit baity but the tutorial page http://felix-lang.org/web/tutorial.fdoc is great.

Depending on how you look, it is C++ speed OCaML, or perhaps more correctly C++ in a fully type-inferred (unfortunately, nowadays almost everything gets called type-inferred. Hence the added qualification "fully"), ML like language.

It does whole program optimization. It uses a mix of lazy and eager evaluation strategies for speed.

I believe it can generate Python modules too, thanks to how well it interacts with C. The details have to be gleaned from the mailing list though.

raphinou 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've kept an eye on felix-lang the last several months, and the project seems to be progressing continuously.

I'm curious though: has it been used in production? I'd be very interested in reading real use stories, with up and down sides!

Also, how is the community doing, and what about contributors? Do both groups grow?

TylerE 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Why do language designers continue to insist on semi-colon terminated lines?
watmough 1 hour ago 1 reply      
They are smoking crack if they think anyone will use a scripting language that doesn't have a functioning REPL.

My goto-languages for quick development are Perl 5, Clojure and Javascript.

All 3 are adequately fast for real tasks. All are cross-platform, and all 3 support a REPL that allows doing real work interactively.

These conditions are the absolute minimum to be viable as a scripting or sketch/prototyping language.

mrcharles 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll stick with Lua. I wouldn't give up the dynamic aspects of a language like Lua just for a bit more speed. LuaJIT is more than enough, and if you are doing the hard number crunching that makes speed an issue there's a good chance it's not trivially harder just to write it in C++ to begin with.
andrewflnr 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like the array type syntax: an array of five ints is intintintintint === int^5, instead of something like int[5]. Lots of interesting little ideas.
nmcfarl 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is interesting, but the home page is the most coherent and readable on the site. Better resources look to be:

The Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/243958412369802/

And google group:

jheriko 3 hours ago 0 replies      
See fridgescript (http://code.google.com/p/fridgescript/) - because you are going through C/C++ it is faster in its domain (x87 floating point work) if given good clean code. Its not big or clever - just that C/C++ kills its performance a little with restrictions like struct layout rules and standard library math functions being rubbish... (note the compiler uses almost no optimisation strategies and the language is very specific and almost useless though)

That being said, I like the idea very much, I just object to the claim of fastest and the value the claim implies. Beating C is very easy if you know some very basic things about the restrictions placed on it by standards... :)

d0m 2 hours ago 0 replies      
At first glance, it seems fairly complex. For instance, 4 different kinds of variables, 3 different kinds of function. But I guess that's understandable if it compiles to C++ and is looking to be highly efficient.
Toshio 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Love at first sight, but the build script is broken.


PuerkitoBio 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks very interesting, well done to whoever did this. After an admittedly quick and superficial glance at the tutorial, I'm not fan of chapter 6 though. Why so many ways to write calls? With no idiomatic syntax, it means I have to know all these variations if I hope to understand Felix code (since it is ok for anyone to choose whichever style).
hipjiveguy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
how does this compare with haXe (haxe.org)?

I see that it's billed as a "C++ code generator" and as a "scripting engine".... Does it generate C++ code that I could use without Felix afterwards?

mitchi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Which high level optimisations are we talking about?
asimjalis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Out of curiosity: How did you generate the slides?
Minimal wireframing tool - for free wireframe.cc
268 points by usaphp  12 hours ago   44 comments top 32
duopixel 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really cool! One suggestion: visual editors are probably the only place where I don't mind my backspace button being binded to the delete action. I tried deleting something with backspace and ended up back here without warning, and my (useless) work was lost. I can imagine this causing a lot of frustration in a real work setting.
troels 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool idea to let the user mark an area before selecting widget, rather than the reverse, which is more or less the standard way. It works well.

I would suggest that you save state in local-storage and/or hook into the onunload event, to prevent people from accidentally abandoning a sketch.

faramarz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How do I export the jpeg/png? If I can't share my wireframe, what good is my work really. I guess I can capture the screen..
romeonova 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Trying to figure out how to edit text that you placed. Any pointers?
laurentoget 3 hours ago 1 reply      
i can see how this would be useful for requirement gathering or informal high level design, but if I cannot export it to a format which i can version control and/or access programatically it remains a toy.

now if i could have an open source version of it....

dan1234 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Very nice but I'd love to see the ability to snap stencils to a grid as I had trouble lining them up.
rustc 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Very very well done.

I wonder if there's anything comparable open source version? I'd like to hack on it a bit.

d0m 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Great interface, so simple.. With all honestly, I think it's by far my favorite UX interface to create wireframes. It's intuitive and gets the shit done very fast. Congrats!
kevincennis 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy global namespace pollution, Batman!

I do like the app, though.

thomseddon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant, really really like it!

Would be good if you could "lock" the screen size as it's annoying when you try and start/resize boxes to full width as your cursor changes to an arrow to resize the screen..

epaga 10 hours ago 0 replies      
An excellent example of an MVP the way it should be - minimal, yes, but definitely useful and providing great value. Bookmarked. Thanks!
Shank 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Woah, I love how simple the editor is. I'm not sure how quickly it'd replace something like a notebook for in-depth prototyping, but it's definitely a nice tool for basic layouts.

I see you can save to the website, but is there a way you can output it as an image or something and download it?

aidos 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Really really nice. I don't do a lot of wireframing so I'm not sure what it's missing that's essential but it's definitely the easiest tool I've used. Well done!
stefanve 10 hours ago 0 replies      
very nice UI, I really like the idea of marking an area and than choose what type it is. seems to be great for a tablet UI as well. For an opensource off-line tool may I suggest pencil project. I'm currently using it for my work.
sprobertson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad it doesn't have those silly wavy I-can't-draw-for-shit lines. Also the interaction is very intuitive, and it's great that you can dive right in. Great tool overall. I'll be bookmarking it.
sergiotapia 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Tried to add a box within a box and I can only move the box when my mouse is inside the bounds of the rectangle. I wish I could add boxes within boxes.
WickyNilliams 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks good, works well.

Would love to see some kind of "snap to grid" type feature for easy alignment. Bonus points if the grid dimensions are user definable :)

aviswanathan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I might be alone here, but I've found that it's much easier to put together a high-fidelity PSD that details every intricacy of a site or app before writing a line of code. So, I end up spending more time designing the app/site than actually coding (which I think is the way it should be). Nevertheless, this project is really cool; been playing around with it for half an hour already.
alagappanr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Really amazing tool. For someone who very occasionally does some small wireframe designs which do not need a full blown wireframe software, this website would be an instant help. Thanks!
JEVLON 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice work. I have an unfinished project that is similar to this. It's neat that you have made it so the shape is chosen after drawing. Consider either not changing the cursor to a pointer, or remove the space between the buttons.
joe_hoyle 9 hours ago 0 replies      
THis is really nice! Not sure if this is intended, but the annotations show underneath the other elements, I expected the annotation dotted background to appear above everything else
lrock 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That´s neat. but why wireframing when you also could make it real by using http://salon.io/
flexie 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice! I like the demo - How did you make it?
OrdojanAndrius 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, I've been looking for something like this for so long. Thanks to whoever made this.
thepumpkin1979 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is definitely minimal and yet useful. I started looking for a toolbar, but there is no need for a toolbar. Slick!
saym 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have an odd infatuation with favicons. I must say your's is the coolest I've ever seen. Awesome attention to detail.
mattquiros 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't open the website right now. I wonder if it's getting too much traffic and isn't optimized for it yet?
vojant 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Bookmarked. Great example of MVP.
joshontheweb 11 hours ago 0 replies      
pretty awesome. great ui.
joaomoreno 7 hours ago 0 replies      
joewee 12 hours ago 0 replies      
pretty cool.
olsn 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it.
How blind people use Instagram [video] kottke.org
96 points by Charlesmigli  7 hours ago   27 comments top 12
bluetidepro 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> "Why am I holding the thing up to my face like I can look through the thing is beyond me..." hehehe I chuckled as his joke here.

I think this is really awesome. It seems so rare to see these types of fun and inviting (and what I would call) success stories around the web, when it comes to accessibility.

Hopefully more videos like this surface so that other developers/designers see why it's worth going the extra mile with accessibility! And that doing so, means all types of users can use your app, even people you thought never would!

ja27 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
We've gotten a bit of feedback from blind (and non-blind but "low vision") users of our educational apps. We even got requests for better Voiceover support for an app that we thought was so visual that someone with impaired vision wouldn't get any use out of it. Turns out that there are a lot of vision-impaired parents that like to use apps with their normal-vision children. That's something that hadn't occurred to us.
jimray 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great story and inspiring and hits all the right "feel good" buttons.


Isn't the story really "how blind people use the accessibility features of iOS"? Accessibility, specifically Voice Over, is a core component of iOS and pretty straightforward for developers to implement. The new Flickr app, for instance, seems to offer many of the same accessibility features shown in the video, though their implementation could use a little work. The Instagram guys should be commended for adding the accessibility hooks but, really, that's all they did. That's a day's worth of work.

Can anyone speak to how Instagram works for the blind on an Android device?

AUmrysh 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've become more and more interested over the years in computer usability for the blind and vision impaired. I still feel like there's a lot of room to improve these things.

Being able to navigate a web page and interact with it just seems like it would be so much more difficult without the ability to see it.

newishuser 2 hours ago 1 reply      
His YouTube channel is very entertaining.


Tommy has a great sense of humor and explains some interesting aspects of being blind since birth like:

Color: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59YN8_lg6-U&list=PL832E5...

Cooking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umiOuVA7PEc&list=PL832E5...

Using an ATM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzah0A6IC5o&list=PL832E5...

jasonkostempski 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Are there any examples of accessibility features that actually make usage more efficient? Not for Instagram, I mean in general.
frozenport 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Does he have a bookcase in the background?
pella 2 hours ago 0 replies      
original Link: http://blindfilmcritic.com/archives/2689

+ 2 more videos:

How Blind People Use The iPhone 4S " Twitter & YouTube Apps

How Blind People Use The iPhone 4S " Facebook App

alpb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Are we know of any famous Instagram users making use of this great feature due to their condition? I'd love to follow someone who cannot see but take pictures.
nycacorp 2 hours ago 0 replies      
well as a visually impaired Web user, with almost every tech device out there and working for a Content Delivery Network. I can say that more Webmasters need to take accessibility and responsive design into consideration when designing and creating their sites. Not everything can be for SEO and usability purposes.
jheriko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
lol. i initially read this as, how to blind people, use Instagram.
aw3c2 5 hours ago 3 replies      
"Blogspam" (blame the submitter, not the blog) for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1e7ZCKQfMA

tl;dw: iOS has a mode for vision impaired users where buttons are spoken when touched and a double touch activates them. The instagram app supports that. The video is fun, though it reeks of "viral" ad.

Apple did offer to buy Waze, but Waze politely declined thenextweb.com
26 points by derpenxyne  3 hours ago   20 comments top 6
jessedhillon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I stopped using Waze after December of 2011. They have these powerups that they put all over the virtual road, and you hear a crunching noise as your phone character drives over and eats them. Well, in December they felt it was very important that you know that Waze was going to be dropping Santa hats as well, so they placed a popup blocking the entire screen, which (due to a bug I suppose) could not be dismissed. I nearly missed a flight because I was running late and badly needed directions to LAX, but instead Waze pnly wanted to give me news about Santa hats. Finally I pulled over and pulled up LAX on IOS maps.

Prior to that, I used it for probably a year and raved about it to everyone. But annoying things like this crept in and destroyed my enthusiasm. For example, there was an option to have Waze prioritize driving over powerups when computing routes -- who wants that!? And the brevity/frequency settings for the voiceover directions were wanting -- either hear a command three times before you have to turn, or hear a slightly shorter command three times, or get no audible direction.

What occurred to me in December was that these guys were spending a lot of time on gamification when there were core UI/UX issues which needed addressing. Fundamentally, you're taking someone who has to get somewhere (in a hurry, perhaps) and making them play a very lame game.

But they've raised ~$70M so they have a long time to get it right.

Edit: at this time I didn't know how to kill running apps on IOS. I had just gotten my iPhone a month earlier.

debacle 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> While Waze has an impressive user base (20 million at last count and said to be nearing 30 million), the company has still not found a way to adequately monetize its product, or build a scalable business model to profit from.

How many more times do we get to watch this story play out?

ynniv 36 minutes ago 3 replies      
In what world does a company with no monetization strategy turn down a $500M acquisition? Who do they think is going to pay more for them, Yahoo!?
gkoberger 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Interesting. This doesn't seem like a good fit for me: Apple really just needs better data, yet the accuracy is even worse for Waze than Apple's maps. Plus, most of their product would probably never make it into iOS -- I can't see Apple letting users report police locations, messaging other cars or collecting items.

(Side note: just last month, Apple was reportedly in talks with FourSquare: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732490720457818...)

ramses0 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Apple fails at social-interaction. They have no feedback loops, no community involvement. Compare to google where the community-feedback loop is almost a part of the product culture.

Waze has social integration (facebook), realtime community reporting (speed), realtime community hazard reports (object on road), community map editing (tweak routes, add roads).

I can't believe that Apple is so good at making "beautiful" things but so bad at community engagement (gamecenter, ping, maps, *.mac, etc).


paulhauggis 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I used Waze for awhile. The problem I have with it is that it's just not as accurate as the alternatives. Not only would it get streets wrong, but sometimes lead me in the wrong direction.

I got tired of this and switched over to Google maps (ios version). It's much better.

Launch This Year Is a Step-by-Step Guide for Building Your Mobile App lifehacker.com
17 points by Fletch137  2 hours ago   discuss
An iPhone lover's confession: I switched to the Nexus 4 24100.net
268 points by bering  10 hours ago   244 comments top 29
w0utert 9 hours ago 11 replies      
I agree with what the article says about sharing data between applications, this really is one of the biggest pain points of iOS right now. Fortunately, it looks like Apple will finally address this in the future, iOS 6 already has infrastructure in place to allow for remote view controllers that (in theory) should allow any application to register itself to handle certain data and events. Right now seems to be only used privately, for example to launch the mail application from other applications, but my guess is that iOS 7 will add public API's for other applications to do the same. Whether this means you can change default applications like Maps etc. I don't know, but the way Apple handled the (lack of) public-transit directions in Apple Maps suggests they are starting to be more flexible about default application handlers.

That said, I wasn't really impressed by any of the other points the article makes. It starts out by saying 'Android on the Nexus 4 is better in almost every aspect', but besides the sharing thing it doesn't make a case for anything else. Some half-hearted observation that 'sometimes it even appears like rendering is smoother on the Nexus 4' and 'not all Android applications look like crap anymore' and that's about it. Oh and of course you can 'customize everything' and here you have 4 examples of the most ugly homescreens I have ever seen on a mobile phone.

Hardly a clear-cut case of 'better in almost every aspect'. Looks like it's more a matter of preference than an objective evaluation on which of the 2 platforms is 'better'.

pagliara 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting. I too am an iPhone lover who recently picked up a Nexus 4 to get into Android development. This is my first experience with Android, so I didn't realize that the Nexus 4 Android experience might be different than your typical Android smartphone.

I was very impressed with the overall experience. If I wasn't so used to iOS, I could easily see myself using Android on a Nexus 4. But in the end, I walked away with the opposite impression; I saw no compelling reason to switch to Android and have decided iOS is still the mobile OS for me. Unlike the author, I do not really consider myself a power user. The customizability of Android is really enticing, but at the end of the day I find myself preferring the design/philosophy of iOS. But it really just comes down to personal preference.

After using an iPhone for so long, I became annoyed at the small design/interface differences present in the Nexus 4 (e.g. no physical home button). At times I found it difficult to use the Nexus 4 because of it's greater width. The iPhone width is optimal for my hand size and pocket size. Also, in my opinion as an app developer, the iOS app ecosystem still seems a lot stronger than Android. Browsing the Play Store was a little boring to me. Yes, most popular apps have both iOS and Android versions, but many developers still target iOS first and Android second. Until there's a reason for that to change I think iOS still has the edge in "killer" apps.

That being said, I agree that there are a lot of nice things in Android that I would love to see implemented in iOS.

fossuser 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting - I switched from android to the iPhone 5 recently (after having the N1, NS and Galaxy Nexus). I thought this was the first iPhone that finally had the necessary hardware (LTE being required after the galaxy).

The main things I miss are better google voice integration on the nexus phones (the ability to use the web interface for texting is something I can't give up). I also used to not pay for texting this way and could actually afford to have a smart phone because of it since Tmobile has a $30 no contract 100min/unlimited data plan for unsubsidized phones.

I also needed some sort of google talk app which I finally found with the $5 version of the verbs app. A bunch of people I communicate with are on android and use google chat instead of facebook chat or imessage.

The current iPhone does some things much better. The biggest thing is battery life which is at least twice as good as any nexus phone I've used (probably even more). The difference in battery is really incredible. The new native Facebook iOS app is also great to use. The iPhone hardware is also subjectively much nicer, it both looks and feels a lot better to me - makes me wish Google had partnered with Nokia.

Really though they're both pretty equivalent at the point.

Edit: Almost forgot, the critical feature of android was turn by turn navigation which apple finally came out with in iOS6. Now that google's released their maps app as well the core differences that mattered are gone.

adrinavarro 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Unlike most people commenting here, I got a sub-200$ Android (Huawei G300). I got it a few days ago through Amazon just to try something new, and it's way better than I expected it to be.

I first had an iPhone when it came out, then moved to a BlackBerry (weird, I know), and now I'm considering staying with Android, at least for daily use. I still have to stick to the BlackBerry as it's the only phone on the market that provides international roaming at affordable prices, very good battery life (+replaceable, I have my own arsenal and can go for weeks travelling without charging the phone) and a very good keyboard, which is good when you spend your time writing awkwardly long emails.

Android, since ICS, seems to be mature enough for most users. It's snappy (its multitasking, background apps and toggles mean you can do things faster than in an iPhone), does good resource managing and has a very good integration across the whole system. And, as some people have said, it's no longer ugly!

sami36 9 hours ago 3 replies      
& I switched from an iPhone 4S to a Galaxy Nexus & back to an iPhone 5 , couldn't be happier. These posts are pointless. Whatever device works for you. All of these platforms have strengths & weaknesses. You can make equally cogent cases for the upcoming Blackberry 10 or Windows Phone 8. The First iPhone was a significant leap in mobile computing, since then, the way I see it, it's been mostly polish. Google & MSFT caught up to the competition, RIMM retooled. The more competition the merrier.

Google Now is amazing. iOS fluidity still has no equal. Google play automatic app updates are convenient. iOS apps polish is extraordinary. Windows Phone tiles are fantastic. BB contact integration is a thing of beauty...etc.

niklas_a 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Can only agree with OP. I gave up my iPhone 4 for a Galaxy Nexus this summer and have never looked back.

I think Google can still work on the default look, but I find Android to be very "clean" and quick to work with. Android feels much more like a real operating system. iOS is so restricted and there are many work tasks that I cannot do (e.g. mailing a dropbox file to someone).

Google Now is also amazingly good. And the fact that mail search actually works is a "small" bonus :P

Samsung has also implemented some cool features in the SGS3, like that the screen stays on as long as you look at it. They are just much worse at marketing it. Can you imagine how much Apple would have hyped a similar feature?

mmahemoff 7 hours ago 2 replies      
"Solving the inconsistencies grouped around the back button"

Android's back button used to be incredibly inconsistent and hard to predict, but now there's a fairly well established standard for this, which is supported by the API (http://developer.android.com/design/patterns/navigation.html).

There was even a full-length Google IO session on it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwGHJJYBs0Q).

It doesn't mean all apps follow the standard, especially those naievely ported from iOS. Even some Google apps don't always meet expectations. But the convention is mostly there now and just needs more adoption.

zaidf 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Apple is increasingly making me look stupid, something I couldn't imagine happening when the iPhone first came out.

Few days ago I saw a friend of mine unlock her phone using facial recognition. I was amazed. She was surprised at my amazement. I feel lots of iPhone users have similar moments when they see their friends with android use "magical" looking features the iPhone is slow to adopt.

mattquiros 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Been an Android user for a year (Galaxy Tab 8.9) and was going to get an iPhone 5 last Christmas just to try out a different device. I changed my mind and am getting a Nexus 4 instead. I was able to use one of our test iPhones at work for a primary phone and here are just 3 things I don't like about iOS:

1. Toggling settings can be difficult. In Android, you have a pull-up/pull-down menu right from the home screen where you can just turn things on/off, like Bluetooth, sounds, WiFi, etc. In iOS, you go to the Settings app and scroll through the text labels and go through one or two more screens before achieving the same thing. And this, despite Apple's marketed UI simplicity.

2. The thing can't even send files over Bluetooth. How is that not possible in 2013?

3. Boring old homescreen from way back 2007, which displays an amalgamation of all the apps installed on my phone, not the apps I use the most.

Of course, whichever phone you end up buying is nothing more than a personal preference. However, I just think that saying Android is better than iOS has become more of a fact than an opinion these days.

lucian1900 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> While Android still doesn't give you bouncing lists and scroll views

Is that something people like so much? Whenever I've used an iOS device, it annoyed me. I much prefer the highlight in Android.

obituary_latte 7 hours ago 3 replies      
What are people's experience dealing with the migration of music from iOS to android? As an iOS user with an itch to checkout android again (had one of the first HTC "google phones"), this is one of my bigger concerns.
laacz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Backgraound. Happy iPhone user since 2008 (available in our country then). In december they gave me to try out Nexus 4 (unavailable in our country).

As a device Nexus 4 itself is not much better than previous - Galaxy Nexus. Display itself is much worse on Nexus 4 than it was on Galaxy Nexus.

After giving back Nexus 4 I thougth I'd try out living with Galaxy Nexus, which until now was my phone in the drawer. And, actually, though I was an iphonee for 4 years, Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.2.1 is an awesome device.

Back button is something you miss dramatically on iphone after a detour to androidland. Sharing feature, Google Now, tiny things. I do not give a damn about configurability. There is a lot of stuff that I'd welcome into android world from ios, but other than that - I'm satisfied.

Such migration would be unthinkable a year ago. 4.2.x, though not that much different from 4.1.x, is mature.

zemanel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Have a Macbook Pro for a couple of years.

I had an Iphone 3 once i liked it very much. Now i have a lowly ZTE Aqua with Android 4.0.3 and i'm very satisfied. Tried an Iphone 5 at a store and Ipad's and found the UI, boring.

In my opinion, Apple's "chromed" UI is getting old and would really love something more fresh, either on iOS and OSX.

morphyn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using my Nexus 4 for one week now and I obviously love it. I think the feature that impressed me the most is the 'gesture typing', which compensates for my apparent inability to type correctly on a virtual keyboard. And it works surprisingly well in French too.
stonekeeper09 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Having owned an iPhone 3, 3GS, 4 and a Galaxy S2, the Nexus 4 is by far the best smartphone I've owned.
jolohaga 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
This confirms everything I will ever know and believe.
finspin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The website went down. Here is the cached version of the article: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:www.241...
Cl4rity 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's my opinion that you can't make the assertion that the Nexus 4 is faster than the iPhone 5 by feel. Some people feel like their cars or motorcycles perform better after an oil change and a car wash, but it's psychological. Otherwise, I guess the rest of the article is interesting because it just proves that these "Why I switched" articles are never going to die for whatever reason.

In 2008: "Why I switched from BlackBerry to iPhone"
In 2009: "Why I switched from iPhone to give webOS a shot"
In 2010: "Why I switched to Windows Phone from iOS"
In 2011: "Why I switched to Android from iPhone"
In 2012: "Why I switched from X to X because it doesn't even matter anymore"

I get that it gives perspective on the differences between platforms and devices, but these pieces can only be so narrow because it's only one person's perspective.

stevewilhelm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I manage my media assets (music, podcasts, video, photos, apps) across several devices (phones, ipods, tables, and laptop) using iTunes.

Can anyone speak to how well switching one iPhone to a Nexus would work in this type of senario?

sidcool 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought a total of 3 Nexus 4 phones for myself and my friends. All are pleased and so am I.
bertomartin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just making the case for investing in Apple on seeking alpha (an investing site). I've seen few people switched to the iPhone and even I was tempted with the release of the iPhone 5. To be honest, I haven't played with an android phone that matches it hardware wise. The lack of nexus 4 devices in the store really hurts google as there's no way one can just walk in a store and 'test' it out, like one can do with the iPhone. You have to make do with youtube unboxing videos, which are good, but leaves much to be desired. FWIW, I'm now seeing the value of iPhone's especially for people already in the eco-system. I could have never seen this before
jamesjguthrie 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I went the other direction recently, from Galaxy S2 with 4.2.1 Jelly Bean to iPhone 3GS with jailbroken iOS 6.0.1.

The iPhone feels great in my hands because it's so small and the battery seems to be lasting for ages. I don't even feel like it's that old because it still has the latest OS and apps.

I'm enjoying the iPhone for now but I think it's mainly due to getting bored with the Galaxy. The Galaxy is due an upgrade in November and I think at that point I'll get a Nexus.

asc76 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm really curious about Android as I've been an avid Apple iPhone user since iPhone first came out. Part of me wants to switch as I love what Google is doing, but I'm hesitant as I'm so entrenched in the Apple ecosystem.
kolleykibber 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The Samsung S3 / Nexus 4 comparison is interesting. I just sold a Nexus 4 and bought an S3. I do prefer stock android, but no sd card, fragility issues and the unremovable battery were a deal breaker for me.
SeripisChad 6 hours ago 1 reply      
GROUP TEXT MESSAGES drive me crazy on android (complete rubbish), iOS has nice user experience for this. If there was one thing I wish google would fix ASAP its this.
TeeWEE 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Any mirror? Its down here.
fpgeek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazingly, innovation is where the OEM skins we normally deplore really shine. Yeah, a lot of their experiments don't work out, but some do and it pushes Android forward.

Looking at 4.2, for instance, at least lockscreen widgets, wireless display and gesture typing (usually via licensed Swype) were anticipated by OEM skins.

so898 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Tried so hard to get a Nexus 4.
I am using iPhone 5 now.
edward322 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Bad News Installous iOS Crack Store Has Been Shutdown


Nuclear weapon statistics using monoids, groups, and vector spaces in Haskell izbicki.me
41 points by jackpirate  5 hours ago   10 comments top 2
dschiptsov 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is it more precise, uses less resources, runs faster than if done with R or Octave?

What are the benefits, if any?

jheriko 3 hours ago 5 replies      
all this proves to me is that Haskell can make even the simplest of tasks difficult to understand or follow. perhaps i miss the point... :/
Blekko Launches Izik, A Tablet-Optimized Search App techcrunch.com
24 points by answerly  3 hours ago   10 comments top 3
orangethirty 2 hours ago 1 reply      
You guys crack me up. This is a wonderful app. The bar has been raised. But, I do have toput on my tinfoil hat. Why?

Izic = Issac.


Nuuton = Newton.

Are you guys stalking me?I'm sure you are not. And this is something entirely different from what I'm doing. But it would be neat because Ive never had a stalker. ;)

Still, let me tell you that visual search is a trend that everyone should be paying attention to. Touch devices are changing the way people browse the web. Text links are being seen as less favorable than image links. Why? I think the connection comes from the icons used to launch apps. People now sort of see link images as icons instead of just images thta link somewhere. So, in the future, you might see search becoming more about a lost of website icons with a small description under it (if any).

Congrats to Chuck, Greg, and the gang at Blekko. This is very nice. You make me want to learn Perl and apply.

staunch 37 minutes ago 1 reply      
Someone leaked the names of their next few peoducts: Syzrup, Chkklo, Snopl, Crkol, Pawpl
beagle3 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Izik (pronounced "Itsik") is also a common Israeli nickname for "Yitzhak" (the hebrew origin for the English name Isaac; literally meaning "will laugh", and you can read the bible to figure out why).

But I guess you guys were going for "I seek"? (as in "ICQ" which was short for "I seek you"?)

Anyway, congrats! Looks great!

Pay attention to power law distributions jackealtman.com
38 points by jackaltman  5 hours ago   17 comments top 5
bede 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I agree with the point of you are making, but feel the need to question your use of the term 'wonder drug' when describing accutane, also known as isotretinoin. HN readers should know that isotretinoin is a profoundly dangerous chemotherapy drug which was only by coincidence discovered to cure acne. The side effects of isotretinoin can be permanent [1] to the extent that the drug's inventor Hoffman-La Roche stopped selling it in 2009 because it was losing so many lawsuits. Yet the FDA (and all the rest) refuses to withdraw this drug from market. It is a modern pharmaceutical scandal which is still in progress.

If a woman becomes pregnant while taking isotretinoin, her children WILL have birth defects. The drug also causes depression in far more cases than Roche's data suggest. The side effects are as diverse as they are serious " there exist entire forums dedicated to sufferers of this drug's permanent adverse effects.

This drug cures acne like nothing else we know. However, the same poorly understood mechanism that enables it to dry out one's skin also systematically dries one's joints of the hyaluronic acid that is so necessary for their lubrication. Since ceasing my treatment four months ago after researching causes for the cartilage damage in my right kneecap, I have been transformed from a healthy and sport-playing science undergraduate to finding even typing this message uncomfortable because of pains in my fingers. So much that I have taken for granted as a 21 year old has been taken away from me by this drug, and I'm not alone in this. I don't like to overdramatise things, and my situation should improve to some extent given time, but taking this drug is the worst decision I have ever made, and the young, impressionable people who are all-too-readily prescribed this drug must be made more aware of its risks.

Remarkably effective acne cure, yes. Wonderdrug, absolutely not. Calling it one is just disrespectful to those who have killed themselves [2] and whose lives it has damaged [3].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotretinoin#Permanent_side_eff...

[2] http://rense.com/general32/scu.htm

[3] http://jacquelinefox.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/ibs-sufferers-...

noelwelsh 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Hmmmm... I think the post is a bit fast and loose. I recall reading one study of happiness that concluded small purchases/investments were best because one some gets used to new things. Can't find a link right now, unfortunately.

Power laws have become a kind of popular science meme, but I don't think they are as common or powerful an explanatory tool as some would like I to believe. Or perhaps I've just been reading too much of Cosima Shalizi's blog.

ryah 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A recent article in nytimes discussed research that estimates the cost of some government regulations on businesses. It's done by first noticing that company size follows a power-law distribution and then measuring deviations. I wonder if you were able to get enough data on investment returns if you would find any interesting deviations?


asimjalis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The hard part is figuring out which 1% of our investments will yield 99% of our returns.
mfrisbie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Both Steven Johnson's "Where Good Ideas Come From" and Steven Pinker's "Better Angels of our Nature" have fantastic discussions on many other occurrences of power law distributions.
Janitor Monkey - Keeping the Cloud Tidy and Clean netflix.com
23 points by Pr0  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
pinko 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm slightly surprised they didn't use a "Trashcan" model where the data is moved elsewhere before being deleted, so in the event that a critical service is brought down by the deletion of a piece of data no one realized it needed, it can be restored.

Maybe they just assume any good service worth its salt must have proper (out-of-band) backups for that kind of event, since Janitor Monkey deletion is basically equivalent to any other kind of data loss.

purephase 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is very cool. Thanks for sharing, and thanks to Netflix for opening up resources like this.

Edit: If only Amazon would offer something similar...

TYLT Partners With Tagstand On Trio Of NFC-Enabled Products techcrunch.com
3 points by kul  3 minutes ago   discuss
Life and Career Lessons " 2012 codercowboy.com
42 points by codercowboy  6 hours ago   8 comments top 5
michaelochurch 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Usually, these "about my year" posts are filler, but this was some excellent stuff. Thanks for sharing it. That takes courage.

I'm not advocating ladder climbers, I'm not advocating jerks being jerks for the sake of jerktitude, I'm just saying, they have a place, and when you find the right asshole, they're going to deliver and kick ass while doing it. The delicious irony will be, 5 years from now when your midsize is larger than midsize, the asshole who everyone hates will be the only executive of the lot who arguably deserves his merit badge title. Think on that.

Yup. I call this the "DFA Light". DFA = Done Fucking Around. http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/flow-ownershi... DFA usually means that in 6 months, you'll either be running something or fired.

On open-plan offices:

What you describe isn't open plan. Open plan is this horrible bullpen where everyone's visible and no one has personal space. It sucks. http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/no-idiot-disc...

What you want is for people to have laptops, and have private offices for people who need them, and open/communal spaces. I worked at a think-tank that had 3:00 tea (with board games that occasionally went till 7:00) and it was brilliant. Let people choose whether they work in the open or in private. Work space is not to be skimped on. 150 SF per person of private and 150 SF of communal. It pays for itself, because typical open plan offices reduce productivity by 50-80%. This hybrid-plan is something Google does extremely well (although it's technically cubicle-based, anyone who wants privacy can take an office).

On getting fired: there are good fires and bad fires. I won't share my "number" but its nonzero on both sides (being fired and participating in firing) and I've seen good and bad.

A good fire is when they treat it as a no-fault lack-of-fit, come up with a reasonable severance (depending on their finances, this could be zero for a cash-strapped startup, or ~6 months for a rich corporation) and a positive reference. Then it's just a breakup: good people break up with each other all the time. A bad fire is when they cold-fire you and refuse to support your career recovery needs.

For me, it's really about references. I don't need a severance, but if you don't agree on a good reference I will do everything in my power to fuck up your reputation. No or bad reference => war.

arscan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this post. I expected a fluff lunchtime read here; a quick bulleted list of platitudes that you see over and over again this time of the year. But it really was a very well told, personal and clearly authentic story of your year and the hard-learned lessons you learned along the way. It reminds me of the power of a story. I think we tend to jump right to the TL;DR these days, but in a rush to condense everything into concise take-aways, we lose something along the way.

>> ...stick with me, this'll be worth it.

Glad I did, and I definitely think it was.

I don't have much to add regarding the actual content. Some of these lessons I've learned as well (salespeople are surprisingly great, right?), some I haven't. I just felt like this post deserved more praise than a simple upvote.

codex 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What's great about this post is that it's a win/win: the author gets a lot of value out of simply crystalizing his thoughts on paper, and readers share that benefit.

I'd encourage everyone to write as much as they can (especially periodic reflections), as writing something like this probably gives you 10x the value of reading it.

seanoliver 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is why I read Hacker News. Every now and then you find something so candid and real that it makes you sit back for a moment afterward and really consider the decisions you're making and the things you're focused on.

Thanks for sharing.

gz5 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great essay, much better than the usual year-in-review.

Re: telecommute and resultant lack of face time, highly recommend non-purposeful video/audio calls - video ping me just to chat.

Took me 5+ years of being a remote worker to learn the value of those - they sub to some degree for the random hallway/kitchen type conversations of the office. Very different experience from the audio/video of the normal remote meetings, and helpful in making up for the lack of face time.

Keeping Safari a secret donmelton.com
195 points by ryannielsen  14 hours ago   75 comments top 12
duopixel 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I distinctly remember how the web dev world (myself included) groaned at the prospect of supporting another rendering engine. Gecko was clearly the best browser at the time, and the choice of KHTML seemed bizarre, to say the least.

Even the intention of Apple building it's own web browser seemed weird, Apple had failed at a previous homebrewed browser (Cyberdog), why not just build on top of what Mozilla had already done?

I remember Apple stating that Konqueror's code was much more leaner, faster and modern. I've always wondered if the birth of Safari was an early sign that Apple was interested in developing the pieces missing for an internet device. Safari seemed like a godsend foresight from Apple when they released the iPhone, but I can't help wonder if it was planned this way all along.

smackfu 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This blog is revealing more interesting tidbits from inside Apple than the official biographer of Steve Jobs. How sad is that?
zalew 13 hours ago 2 replies      
TLDR: for whatever reasons it was a very top-secret project, so they spoofed the user agent, the end.
sxp 12 hours ago 3 replies      
>Back around 1990, some forward-thinking IT person secured for Apple an entire Class A network of IP addresses.

I found that fact to be the most interesting part of the article. The list of other Class A holders is also interesting: http://www.aturtschi.com/whois/neta1.html

georgemcbay 13 hours ago 3 replies      
"Which explains why the Safari user agent string has so much extra information in it, e.g. KHTML, like Gecko " the names of other browser engines."

Wasn't Safari/WebKit largely based on KHTML in the beginning? This doesn't say it wasn't, but seems to imply that there was a separation of the two that was more complete than it really was.

I realize the OP is in a better position than I to know exactly what the reasoning here was, but it seems like reporting yourself as KHTML when you are largely based on the KHTML rendering engine would just be a sensible and practical thing to do outside of all this cloak and dagger stuff.

(Granted, I doubt there were very many websites, if any at all, that gave a rat's ass about special cases for KHTML compatibility).

mbreckon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Don, would you be willing to share a bit in future posts about how you grew the team, how you organised yourselves and how that changed over the course of the project? Also, what thought process did you go through in the decision of how much to include in V1.0 vs leave to later releases? As a team lead/product manager I'm always interested in hearing other people's experiences, and your experience and writing style put you in a better place than many to do that. It is the thought processes and the dynamics of interacting with others in an organisation that make software development stories interesting.
laurent123456 13 hours ago 2 replies      
> We couldn't ship with the real Safari user agent string disabled, but we came up with the next best thing " automatically enabling it after a certain date.

Does that mean that if you set the date of your computer back before 2003, the user agent will become Internet Explorer?

cpeterso 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If they were worried about server admins correlating Apple's IP addresses with a new User-Agent string, the team could have VPN'd to a non-Apple network to access the web.
nsp 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know why Apple stopped doing this(or stopped doing it as thoroughly)? With the possible exception of the original, sites have consistently reported visits from iOS/iPhone:iPad user agents (and claimed that the ip originated within apple) well before launch.
Recent example: http://thenextweb.com/apple/2013/01/01/developers-begin-seei...
jiggy2011 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I wonder if it would be possible to start a rumour by having a number of people spoof their user-agent string?

Sure , they wouldn't route back to an Apple IP address but then who's to say Apple doesn't browse via proxy/vpn somewhere?

JohnFromBuffalo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This still makes me think that Ninjas work at Apple. How other can they evade such a public part of the interwebs? http://www.askaninja.com/ I guess.
Raz0rblade 10 hours ago 1 reply      
must have been easier to use an ip filter and base the identifier on ip... duh..
America's Real Criminal Element: Lead motherjones.com
208 points by LiveTheDream  14 hours ago   89 comments top 19
rayiner 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Fun fact: the banning of leaded gasoline was one of the biggest regulatory successes in history, and went a long way to validate the model.

The use of leaded gasoline was a classic market failure. It saved a small number of companies a relatively small amount of money, but was on the net a huge negative for the overall economic because it basically pumped lead directly into the bloodstream of children through their lungs, making them dumber. It didn't really make anybody sick, though, and the ultimate impact was both difficult to quantify and valuate as well as impossible to trace to any particular manufacturers leaded gasoline in any individual case.

The effect of the regulation was direct. As the phaseout was implemented between the 70's to the 90's, culminating in the outright ban of leaded gasoline in the 90's, the blood lead levels in the American population dropped from 16 micrograms per deciliter in 1976 to to 3 micrograms per deciliter in 1991. This drop corresponded to the avoidance of a several point drop in IQ among children (one study found a 3.9 point drop as lead levels in children were increased from 2.4 ugrams/deciliter to 10 ugrams/deciliter).[1]

The regulation ended up costing the auto/gasoline industry billions of dollars to retool. However, researchers estimated that the avoided cost from dropping blood lead levels was $17.2 billion annually per 1 ugram/deciliter reduction.[2]

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257652/

[2] http://www.unep.org/transport/pcfv/pdf/brochurelead.pdf

etherael 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting case, the formatting of the article is a little foreshadowing of where my research into this led me. The scenario with the state taking credit for the decline in crime based on their policing rather than as is very convincingly demonstrated, lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning has been a well known and understood phenomenon for a very long period of time, people understood even at the time of the discovery of leaded petrol that it was liable to lead to health issues of the exact kind outlined in the article. It was hardly some huge mystery that was only discovered in the last decade or so, more like rigorously suppressed well known facts that under active examination by government organisations were simply swept under the rug.



Clearly, G.M. switched gears sometime in 1923 or 1924. When controversy broke out about the public health impacts of leaded gasoline in 1924, Midgley and Kettering told the media, fellow scientists and the government that no alternatives existed. “So far as science knows at the present time,” Midgley told a meeting of scientists, “tetraethyl lead is the only material available which can bring about these [antiknock] results, which are of vital importance to the continued economic use by the general public of all automotive equipment, and unless a grave and inescapable hazard exists in the manufacture of tetraethyl lead, its abandonment cannot be justified.”110 And at a Public Health Service conference on leaded gasoline in 1925, Kettering said: “We could produce certain [antiknock] results and with the higher gravity gasolines, the aromatic series of compounds, alcohols, etc… [to] get the high compression without the knock, but in the great volume of fuel of the paraffin series [petroleum] we could not do that.”111 Even though experts like Alice Hamilton of Harvard University insisted that alternatives to leaded gasoline were available,112 the Public Health Service allowed leaded gasoline to remain on the market in 1926. (Leaded gasoline was banned in 1986 in the US for the same public health concerns that had been expressed 60 years earlier).

The government of the time was well aware of the risks and did practically nothing to stop the negative effects. There were several competing options available, but the politically best connected corporations who basically guided government policy in this area used their leverage to suppress knowledge and use of these options.

They even prepared for the possibility that the government would actually take effective regulatory action against them despite their attempts to push them in the other direction;

Interestingly, Kettering and Midgley came up with another fuel called “Synthol” in the summer of 1925, at a time when the fate of leaded gasoline was in doubt. Synthol was made from alcohol, benzene and a metallic additive " either tetraethyl lead or iron carbonyl. Used in combination with a new high compression engine much smaller than ordinary engines, Synthol would “revolutionize transportation.”113 When Ethyl leaded gasoline was permitted to return to the market in 1926, Kettering and Midgley dropped the Synthol idea.

Of course, They had no need. The state was not only plain old negligent in the addressing of this threat, they used their power to suppress dissent by legal and regulatory channels;

By the mid-1930s, the alliance between General Motors, DuPont Corp. and Standard Oil to produce Ethyl leaded gasoline succeeded beyond all expectations: 90 percent of all gasoline contained lead. Public health crusaders who found this troubling still spoke out in political forums, but competitors were not allowed to criticize leaded gasoline in the commercial marketplace. In a restraining order forbidding such criticism, the Federal Trade Commission said Ethyl gasoline “is entirely safe to the health of [motorists] and to the public in general when used as a motor fuel, and is not a narcotic in its effect, a poisonous dope, or dangerous to the life or health of a customer, purchaser, user or the general public.”114

Direct comparison between leaded gasoline and alcohol blends proved so controversial in the 1920s and 1930s that government studies were kept quiet or not published. For instance, a Commerce Department report dated May 15, 1925 detailed dozens of instances of alcohol fuel use worldwide.115 The report was printed only five days before the Surgeon General's hearing on Ethyl leaded gasoline. Yet it was never mentioned in the news media of the time, or in extensive bibliographies on alcohol fuel by Iowa State University researchers compiled in the 1930s. Another instance of a “buried” government report was that of USDA and Navy engine tests, conducted at the engineering experiment station in Annapolis. Researchers found that Ethyl leaded gasoline and 20 percent ethyl alcohol blends in gasoline were almost exactly equivalent in terms of brake horsepower and useful compression ratios. The 1933 report was never published.116

Couple their state shepherding with typical shady commercial practices that are eerie early echoes of the windows OEM contract preferences microsoft has frequently been accused of engaging in;

Also in the 1930s, as Ethyl's marketing power grew, the company began to enforce what it considered to be “business ethics” on the market. Ethyl refused to grant dealer contracts to certain gasoline wholesalers, and often provided no formal explanation for their actions. The exclusion of “unethical” businessmen was especially aimed at those who cut prices, but it was a means of excluding from the entire fuel market any wholesaler who adopted practices which the oil industry disliked. Since wholesalers had to carry a wide range of products to survive, and since advertising had created enormous consumer demand for Ethyl, to be denied an Ethyl contract was in effect to be forced out of business. Most wholesalers could not or would not tell the Federal Bureau of Investigation why Ethyl would consider them unethical, but at least one wholesaler, the Earl Coryell company of Lincoln, Nebraska, blended ethyl alcohol about the same time that it could not get an Ethyl license.158 Pressure to stick with Ethyl leaded gasoline exclusively rather than try alcohol fuel blends would have been quite strong with this enforcement mechanism at the oil industry's disposal, but it is difficult to estimate how many gasoline dealers wanted to use alcohol instead of lead. In 1940 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an anti-trust verdict against Ethyl, 159 but by then, the Midwestern alcohol fuel movement had disintegrated.

And note the result of the belated slap on the wrist to ethyl being basically similar to the result of the MS / Netscape antitrust trial, it was so far after the action had already played out in the marketplace as to be basically meaningless.

Damage done.

That people here swallow this without doing further research and parrot the state as white knight line is somewhat disappointing. If anything on close analysis, this shows exactly the opposite and is just another data point on an extremely long line of evidence indicating that the state and its politics are capable of very little other than taking credit, and they don't let a little thing like being on the wrong side of the argument to begin with get in their way doing so.

rsuttongee 12 hours ago 0 replies      
One scary fact is that one chemist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Midgley,_Jr.) is largely responsible for the development of both Tetra-Ethyl-Lead and CFCs. Scary to think that the things you're working on can have such huge unintended negative side effects.
tokenadult 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a variety of really interesting comments here. Thanks for the pointers to other sources on history and economics besides the interesting magazine article submitted here. Having read the comment threads, I just wanted to respond to a couple of statements about Thomas Midgley, Jr., the chemist who had much to do with developing tetraethyl lead as a gasoline additive and later Freon as a refrigerant. The accusation made against him in those comments is that he was accountable for untold human suffering around the world because of his inventions. But let's remember that during the twentieth century mortality and morbidity from all causes declined throughout the world, and that in the developed world, life expectancy at all ages has been increasing throughout my half-century lifetime to date.


Technological progress is all about trade-offs. The trade-off that is beneficial and affordable in one decade may be supplanted by a trade-off that is more affordable and less incidentally harmful in a later decade. Improved transportation by motor vehicle doubtless had many side effects that were beneficial to human health, as did more efficient refrigeration and air-conditioning. On the available evidence, it is at least as likely that Midgley's work was net beneficial for humankind over the course of our parents' lifetimes and our lifetimes as it is that he caused net harm to humankind. We can't rerun history to be sure. Meanwhile, as we discover more about physics, chemistry, human physiology, and also economics and public policy, we can aim to make the best regulatory trade-offs we can in this decade. It's enough to be rational today and to try to improve the living environment for humankind according to our best understanding today. So far progress in improving human health in general has been remarkably steady worldwide for more than a century.


greendestiny 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm tempted to repeat the oft said correlation is not causation. But really I have never thought that captures the problem I have with studies like this. Of course correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

What I really find to be problematic is a small time series of data of a facet of a human behaviour across a population is probably going to correlate extremely well to many other time series across the same population. Or even other populations. How unusual should we find the correlation?

What we might be seeing is nothing more than the average rate of change in a population to legislative changes. If it even shows that. If you take two time series that rise and then fall and overlay them on their peak I suspect most graphs look as convincing as the one presented.

don_draper 10 hours ago 3 replies      
He says his article is not partisan and I believe it is not meant to be, but there are political lessons to be learned. The market left alone doesn't always pick the best product, leading to the best outcome for society. Devout readers of Ayn Rand should take heed.
sc68cal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I posted this yesterday, the only difference is this is the "print" version.


czzarr 10 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr version: http://tldr.io/tldrs/50e6993885d8d1617b000a23/americas-real-...

There is now enough statistical proof that lead is the prominent cause of crime.
Crime rates and lead concentrations are extremely well correlated everywhere: the more lead in the environment, the more crimes will occur.
Furthermore, it is scientifically proven that lead has a very negative impact on the brain, killing gray matter and impairing neuronal communication.
Unfortunately, this theory hasn't been taken seriously by the government yet because it doesn't serve any political agenda.

jwess 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's scary to think that the transition to unleaded aviation fuel, or avgas, only began a couple years ago, and is scheduled for 2018 [0].

Currently, Avgas, which is different than jet fuel in that it's mainly used by private single-engine planes (ICE instead of turbine), can still contain up to 2.12 grams of lead per gallon [1]. Surprisingly, this 2.12 grams of lead/gal is termed 100LL, for 100-octane "low-lead". Up until the 1970's avgas could contain up to 4 grams of lead per gallon.

I believe that lead exposure caused by the widespread use of avgas is a serious public health concern. Unfortunately most private plane owners are strongly against it due to the higher price of unleaded fuel. I really hope that the EPA succeeds in meeting their deadline.

[0] http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/avgas/
[1] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-04-28/html/2010-9603.ht...

ars 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The Romans used to use lead acetate, i.e. sugar of lead as a sweetener.

I wonder how much of history can be explained by this use of lead.

ww520 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Didn't the rise of violent video games contribute to the decline of the youth violence? People were venting their frustration and excessive energy in video games instead of on the street, leading to less violence in real life.
cateye 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't the article really miss medical evidence like the influence of lead on the brains, neurons, MRI scans and experiments with animals and stuff?
hcarvalhoalves 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Another common source of Pb during the same time frame is tobacco.
tibbon 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Alternative title: Heavy Metal Causes Crime :)
STRML 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The great blog Damn Interesting did a post about this about 5 years back. It's a great read. In fact I just read it yesterday and was very surprised to see the MotherJones article today.


They tell a great story and reveal some interesting facts about Ethyl's creator, Thomas Midgley, who very unfortunately was also responsible for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The collective amount of economic and social damage this single man is responsible for is staggering. It would certainly be fun to total it up and compare to various wars, natural disasters, etc.

knowaveragejoe 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I view the drop in crime as the result of a perfect storm of many factors, and perhaps this is another one.

The explosion of media and the Internet occurred around the same time, so it's hard to say what caused it.

locusm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there will be similar stories about CSG mining in 30 years from now...
gnoway 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Something no one has pointed out yet:


The data is about 18 months old. I was only surprised that it was so few countries, I expected most of Africa to be represented.

anigbrowl 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Mother Jones would have you believe that this is some great new breakthrough, but every paint shop or home center I've been in within the last 10 years, as well as many DIY product packages/instruction sheets has prominent warnings about the dangers of lead and information on how to safely mitigate it. Maybe it's just because I live in California, but you'd have to put your head under a rock to remain unaware of the dangers of lead in the home. There is good correlation between environmental lead and criminality, but it's not an open-and-shut case - this is one among several factors criminologists consider to be contributory factors.
The ARM vs x86 Wars Have Begun: Power Analysis of Atom, Krait, and Cortex A15 anandtech.com
59 points by lispython  6 hours ago   40 comments top 8
ChuckMcM 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a fascinating article both in what it says, and what it doesn't say. If the future is really low powered SoC's then Intel is in a world of hurt. The reason for that is that if Intel can only match power/performance of ARM in their chips, then its a toss up for the manufacturer in terms of user visible impact on which to use, and that makes cost and/or differentiation the next selector in the 'whose do we buy' tree.

If Intel has to go to the mat on price it really kills their business model. One of the amazing things about Intel over the last 20 years has been that their part sells for up to 30% of the total cost of all parts of the system. And what that means is that if you get the CPU for half as much you save 15% on your total parts cost. That is huge savings. But if Intel has to cut their margins to get sales, they lose a lot of R&D dollars and their legendary advantage in Fabrication is suddenly underfunded. That is a huge problem for them. Intel has to win this fight or they will have to radically change the way they have structured their business.

The second part is differentiation. Intel just doesn't license the x86 architecture any more, they got out of that when competitors were out executing them in architecture design. What that means is that you really can't add an instruction if you're an Apple or a Cisco or what not to your CPU to make your particular use of the part more efficient. But with ARM you can. If you are an instruction set licensee you can make internal changes and keep the compatibility high. Apple just demonstrated with the A5x that this was something they were willing to do. There is no relationship with Intel where that sort of option would be possible.

So if Intel can only match ARM on its performance and power curves, they lose. They have to be either 50% faster at the same power levels on the same workload, or 50% more efficient at the same performance. +/- 10% or so isn't going to cut it when they are commanding a huge chunk of the parts cost.

trotsky 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You'll notice that Intel isn't coming to Anandtech and offering to break open a bunch of android phones and comparing them with the atom android port.

On windows Intel is benefitting from a kernel and compiler that's spent 15 years being optimized for their isa. I am sure qualcomm worked very hard with microsoft getting RT out the door but I would wager that there is a lot more room left for optimization of krait on windows rt than there is for atom on windows 8.

Intel and Acer also have a lot of experience optimizing for the hard separation between the platform code and the os which typically involves a lot of cheating / second guessing. I'm pretty sure microsoft requires their arm platforms to support the traditional x86 style platform interfaces like uefi and acpi. Arm SOC manufacturers gave traditionally benefitted from being able to do deep integration into the OS and exploit tons of manufacturer specific optimizations. I highly doubt qualcomm enjoyed the same freedom with the NT kernel.

So while it's impressive to see atom operating with much better gating than it traditionally has had, I suspect that if you did the comparison on neutral ground using gcc on linux and let all the manufacturers do as much optimizing as they wanted you'd see the arm systems improving their performance per watt significantly. Meanwhile the atom would be lucky to just tread water.

kevingadd 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The graphs in this article border on unreadable. I don't know why you'd post graphs like that unsmoothed unless your goal was for your readers to ignore them completely.

The claims he makes about power consumption certainly seem interesting, but I don't really feel like I can take them without a grain of salt given how hard it is to read a lot of the graphs he's drawing conclusions from.

The general trend of Atom finishing benchmarks earlier without drawing much more power is pretty interesting, at least. I never would have guessed that Atom would be a winner here - it has such a bad reputation.

sami36 5 hours ago 3 replies      
There is no war to be had until Intel seriously considers operating on much lower margins. Their problem is not just idle power & heat dissipation, their real problem is cost/ unit. Whatever Intel does going forward, their fat days are over.
vondur 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe that one overlooked fact is the ability of a company to purchase a license to design an ARM processors for their own particular usage scenarios as Apple has done. I believe this gives ARM a distinct advantage vs. Intel. With Intel you have to wait until they release a processor and then you have to integrate into your design. I think the ARM way of doing licensing will be a boon for them.
yk 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think Intel is in an interesting business position. Just when AMD is getting into serious trouble, raising possible anti trust issues, ARM steps up. However ARM has actually the inferior architecture (for desktop/ modern tablet use).[1] So they can avoid anti trust issues by pointing to a competitor, who simply does not threaten Intels core revenue generators ( Desktops, Notebook [2]).

[1] I belive they still use in order architecture. And certainly no one but Intel has a 22nm fin fet process running.
[2] I am actually not as sure about servers.

macavity23 4 hours ago 4 replies      
A question for iOS devs out there: how tied to ARM is iOS Objective-C programming?

I ask because Android already supports Atom-based devices, and presumably Win8RT apps are easy to recompile for Intel - so it seems likely that it would be straightforward for any of the players in the mobile space to switch architectures on fairly short notice.

dman 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Anand does an exceptional job of acting as a proxy for Intel's marketing department.
       cached 4 January 2013 20:02:01 GMT