hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    24 Feb 2013 News
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TOML, Tom's Own Markup Language github.com
60 points by charlieok  1 hour ago   51 comments top 14
tzury 41 minutes ago 2 replies      

    Because we need a decent human readable format 
that maps to a hash and the YAML spec is like
600 pages long and gives me rage. No, JSON
doesn't count. You know why.

I do not know why, And would love if one can explain me?

Other than comments, I see not difference between both.

Also, that human readable is not an accurate, as it should be hacker readable, you know, IT folks are the only target audience of those files.

name = "Tom Preston-Werner"
organization = "GitHub"
bio = "GitHub Cofounder & CEO\nLikes tater tots and beer."
dob = 1979-05-27T07:32:00Z # First class dates? Why not?

"owner": {
"name": "Tom Preston-Werner",
"organization": "GitHub",
"bio": "GitHub Cofounder & CEO\nLikes tater tots and beer.",
"dob": "1979-05-27T07:32:00Z"

LeafStorm 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I note that, like many erstwhile specs, TOML does not document the escape sequences accepted in strings. Nor does it exhaustively specify integer formats and float formats - rather ironic for a spec that advertises "TOML is designed to be unambiguous and as simple as possible."

The limitation on array types seemed fairly arbitrary at first glance, but after thinking it over I realized it aided compatibility with languages that do not support homogeneous arrays. Though as far as the types go, I would add boolean and perhaps non-quoted strings for single-word values.

Now that the technical criticism is out of the way, holy crap this guy is arrogant.

networked 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've always been a fan of the .INI syntax but the lack of a standard (which I think Microsoft should have championed) made the format hard to use consistently. There have been attempts at standardization [1] but, alas, they never spread widely enough. In light of the above, I'm glad to see an INI-derived format with a real spec -- not necessarily because it might replace JSON but because it might replace INI.

Speaking of INI, for the longest time the killer app for INI files for me was persistent data storage in batch scripts (.bat/.cmd files in Windows 9x/NT). Using a command line utility like [2] or a similar program from IBM that sadly wasn't legally redistributable you were able to achieve persistence with minimum effort, which would otherwise be difficult to program in batch. I even wrote a portable clone of inifile.exe for MS-DOS and Linux to be able reuse my scripts more easily. TOML would sure benefit from the same.

[1] http://www.cloanto.com/specs/ini/

[2] http://www.horstmuc.de/wbat32.htm#inifile

jeremymcanally 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Ruby parser here: https://gist.github.com/jm/5022483 Please fork and improve. :)
benatkin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It isn't a markup language. I'd like to correct this mistake that was started by YAML. :/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markup_language Using the bacronym "YAML Ain't Markup Language" only helped it grow, making more people confused as to what a Markup Language is.)

I like it, though. More grepable than JSON or YAML, with the way it handles nested keys using dot notation.

dkersten 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Urg. Off topic, but I dislike this perl/ruby tendency of calling hash tables hashes. When I see the word hash, I always think of a value (ie a hash code) and not a data structure. Why couldn't they call it a hash map, hash table, map, table, dictionary etc like all the other languages...?
rogerbinns 49 minutes ago 2 replies      
What is wrong with JSON? Everything already supports it.

JSON has two drawbacks: a lack of comments (although you could add "#" keys in relevant places) and no binary support (arbitrary conventions include base64) but this doesn't support binary anyway.

fruchtose 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
> There should only be one way to do anything.


> There are two ways to make keys.

I guess I haven't had enough whiskey yet.

mostly_harmless 56 minutes ago 4 replies      
I'll be the first to ask: whats wrong with JSON?
slurgfest 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
It seems to me that YAML does this better already (with parsers which are already high-quality).

If we want simplicity, then why not make sure it is a subset of YAML?

eksith 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Can't wait to see the end result.

This reminds me of a new project I'm working on called Leewh. It's based on Wheel and kinda has the same overall function, but I needed something to get my project rolling quickly and using .ini and JSON syntax separately felt... well... too square, I guess.

I figured I'll come up with something more well rounded.

Comkid 57 minutes ago 3 replies      
Would this be considered legal?

  [ [1,2], ["a", "b"] ]

namuol 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't want to be a naysayer, but what's wrong with something like CSON (CoffeeScript Object Notation)?
nixgeek 58 minutes ago 1 reply      
Another parser for Ruby is hiding over here: https://github.com/parkr/tock
Ask HN: A patent troll is targeting my transit app
84 points by barumrho  2 hours ago   17 comments top 9
niggler 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Have you contacted "Arctic Surf Designs", the people behind TTCfetch? I don't know their situation, but at the pricepoint I imagine they are using an API as well. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ttcfetch/id444836893?mt=8

I'd venture to guess that they also received a notice ...

nickheer 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am not a lawyer (contact one!), but your choices will be to either settle ($$$) or fight it ($$$$). A quick Google search tells me that these guys have sued quite a few people over this, and you might be able to put together some sort of class-action suit with the other licensees.

Contact a lawyer.

tomasien 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
Email me: tommy@shockoe.com
Doing something now that could easily be hurt by this. God patent trolls suck, they're making me really nervous.
jdelgado 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.

Firstly, don't let them strong arm you - most patent trolls blast complaints like this to many parties at once and hope a percent of them cave without the need for court.

If this did go to court, I strongly doubt you would be found guilty of infringing on these patents. Based on your statement, it sounds like you simply made an app that converts third party API data to a UI, which wouldn't come close to either patents as they are related to the actual process of tracking vehicles, which the API provider partakes in, not you.

I would simply contact them and let them know that you don't track them yourself, you use another company. Most lawyers don't understand software, so they might be assuming you are tracking vehicles on your own. If they continue to press you past that, you might be forced to take it to court.

Best of luck and please keep us informed.

monochromatic 26 minutes ago 3 replies      
You need to call an attorney. Any other advice you get here is bad advice.
speg 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks like they tried something against the GTTA and the case was dismissed: http://www.ippractice.ca/file-browser/?fileno=T-108-10

... but IANAL so I'm not even sure if I'm reading that right.

Theory5 1 hour ago 1 reply      
A quick glance at the patents informs me that patent #1 (CA 2283239) does not have anything to do with your app. Patent #2 (CA 2363556) MAY be applicable to your app, but its doubtful. As I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV), You will want to contact a legal representative. But it appears to me that you are dealing with a patent troll. Good Luck!
padseeker 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I thought there was no software patents in Canada? Or is this not a software patent issue?
HipsterNews - DesignerNews theme for HackerNews chrome.google.com
35 points by cwhitaker01  2 hours ago   31 comments top 16
SeoxyS 1 hour ago 1 reply      
My Hacker News looks like this:


I'm using a custom stylesheet, which you can find here:



I forked this from something somebody posted here a while ago, but I cannot remember it. If anybody knows the source, I'd be more than happy to throw a comment in there for credit.

i386 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
mmilo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I put this together over a couple of evenings so it's still a work in progress. I'll try and address any feedback you guys have so I appreciate you taking the time to share it with me.

- Only in Chrome for now as their extensions framework seemed the easiest to get up and running with. Happy to add others if there's actual demand for it.

- Clicking on the HN logo should take you to the HN root and not the YC root. I'll have to look into why this is occurring. In the interim try updating your extension, it should be v.0.3

- Will address the button hiding issue ASAP * this is now fixed

KaoruAoiShiho 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I like this one more.



  Commenting is not broken
No eye attracting solid blocks of color taking attention away from the text.
Works better with zoomed in.

kellysutton 11 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is cool. Thanks for putting this together!
mmilo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hey folks, apologies for the commenting issue. I have updated and resolved this now. You can update your extension to 0.4 in the extension manager and comments should work now.
hunvreus 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Pretty incomplete at this stage: lots of broken layouts, parts of the original HN theme showing up in odd places. Nice stuff though, I definitely found the Designer News' design to be interesting. However, after using this theme I feel like the current design provides a pretty nice density that I've grown accustomed to.
mwilcox 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Off-topic but this is the first I've heard of DesignerNews. Anyone have an invite? There's no way to apply for one on the site.
ivzar 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
I believe in the potential of this, keep up the great work, and I look forward to updates :
panacea 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Only works in Chrome? Do not want.
andrewmunsell 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It looks ok, but the HN logo goes to the main YCombinator page and not the main news page... And you can't comment at all because the button gets hidden when you try and click on it.
weslly 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The downvoting icon is wrong: http://cl.ly/image/111r3V1A0W0r
arthurquerou 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It's really good, the only thing about it is the fact that the points are not displayed near the username.
Thanks a lot for this extension ;)
elclanrs 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I like it but it doesn't let me comment when clicking "add comment", I had to uninstall.
zethus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hurray for no confusing icons w/o alt-text like DN has!
sauravt 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is it open source ?
Mininet: Emulating a network on your laptop github.com
78 points by xtacy  6 hours ago   17 comments top 9
jtchang 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this based on FreeBSD's dummynet? I use to use that a long time ago and it was really cool.

I was kind of sad when Linux didn't really have anything close to it.

DoubleCluster 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Very very interesting. I had somehow not heard about OpenFlow before, which looks very promising (software + hardware based implementations), and network simulation is the easiest way to learn about all the tech. How does Mininet compare to GNS3?

Also, could you run virtualization software like Dynamips inside Mininet?

LukeShu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
GNS3 is another tool for emulating a network. It is a graphical tool where you draw network diagrams, and nodes are emulated with Qemu/VirtualBox , Dynamips (Cisco hardware), or another emulator.
dkhenry 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Another cool project that Mininet uses to do some heavy lifting is this.


thomasreggi 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I read some documentation and I don't think I entirely get the whole "emulate a network" thing. What can be done with that? What exactly is a network? What this project makes me think of is as if one would replace the internet with another substitute internet or intranet, but I don't think thats the case. Something that it makes me think of is the idea of downloading a website with something like sitesucker and then changing your host file so that you can browse the internet via saved pages on your computer. But I don't think that this Mininet project has anything to do with that. I'm interested in trying to "get-it" if anyone has a clearer more non-obscure definition of what this project entails.
orofino 4 hours ago 0 replies      
bellbind 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to be a good tool for teaching networking. Back in school we used to do that with VDN (which is still maintained http://opale.u-clermont1.fr/vdn/wiki/doku.php).
jimeister 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used this for classes at Stanford. We used it in conjunction with EC2 and it was very handy for creating specific topologies that could be accessed from anywhere.
mihaifm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
how does this work under the hood? in particular, how are the hosts emulated? by separate processes?
Parallel.js: A javascript library for parallel computing github.com
25 points by adambom  3 hours ago   8 comments top 3
niggler 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Should add a web worker polyfill like http://code.google.com/p/fakeworker-js/source/browse/src/jav... to the live demos ...
itsnotvalid 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this compatible with non-worker-ready browsers?
coditor 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there anything you can't build with javascript?
Two years of Guile 2.0 gnu.org
14 points by gnosis  2 hours ago   discuss
Saturn's North Pole Is A Hexagon, And No One Knows Why nasa.gov
90 points by PhearTheCeal  8 hours ago   15 comments top 10
lkrubner 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Reseachers were able to model this in the lab:


gavanwoolery 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I can posit a theory:

A hexagon is a boundary shape with the least energy. What you are really probably seeing is a circle that has pushed outwards against another set of forces and reached equilibrium (differing temperatures, gasses, who knows what). I have been playing with voronoi diagrams and diffusion limited aggregation recently , and it is amazing some of the structures that will emerge when a system reaches equilibrium. It is possible that certain forces have aligned with their peak energies in the form of a regular polyhedra, which happens all over nature on large and small scales.

ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a number of fluid dynamic studies that show 'angled' flow, generally around mixed densities and viscositys coming into contact with each other. That said, its a cool effect.

If it were science fiction there would be a giant hexagonal shaped structure under the clouds on the pole. Waiting ...

jere 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>It turned out that the rate of ring rotation changed the shape of the pattern from a circle to just about anything, including ovals, triangles, squares and various polygons.

Wow. Imagine if it were a square on Saturn. I think that would provide more fodder for sci fi writers than the hexagon.

bdunbar 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's God's own hex nut.

Don't take it off! Saturn will fall off and go wobbling around the Solar System.

espadrine 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The website has an awkwardly placed link.

The link mentions "Saturn's South Pole … with its rotating vortex" with a link to another post from the website with a picture of the vortex, but the description is that of "the north pole of Saturn… [a] vortex of strange and complex swirling clouds" encompassed in a hexagon.

Do we have pictures of the south pole?

jimmahoney 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the 1986 novel Saturnalia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia_(Callin_novel) - in which the aliens who leave calling cards in the moons of Saturn are called "hexies" because they use so many 6's in their messages.
krapp 6 hours ago 1 reply      
But they won't be so smug when the rest of the hive is completed....
How To Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestsellers List forbes.com
77 points by 1337biz  7 hours ago   32 comments top 16
joshkaufman 6 hours ago 4 replies      
The only thing current bestseller lists measure is unit sales volume over a one week period. That's it.

I'm a full-time non-fiction author, and I work with a large publisher. "Bestsellers," particularly NYT bestsellers, get huge amounts of display placement in retail distribution. If you make the list, you get additional in-store display and sell many more copies, so most publishers want you to do everything you can to make it happen.

If the author is (or wants to be) a speaker, hitting the list is even more appealing: it's a permanent high-value social signal that will increase demand for speaking engagements, as well as support a sizable fee increase.

Each weekly bestseller list has a fixed number of slots, and many authors are able and willing to buy their way onto the list. The lists don't want to be gamed, so they've developed countermeasures (like tracking national sales distribution), which really only creates demand for order laundering services like ResultSource. The number of authors willing to game the list makes it much harder to hit the list if you're not willing to use the same tactics.

Anti-gaming measures increase the demand for laundering services. If you run a big conference or company, want to give attendees/clients/employees a copy of the book, and you want to make sure your book orders count for the list, guess what: you need to hire a laundering service. If you don't, you probably won't hit the list. If you do, you probably will. (This isn't hypothetical: I've seen it happen many times, both for books that have hit the list, and those that haven't.)

The worst part about the whole game is that, if you intend to hit the list, it affects every decision you make about the book: topic, positioning, title, cover, and content. I think many non-fiction authors, in their efforts to make the list, end up making their books less useful.

That's why this topic hits home for me: I've made a conscious decision not to pursue the lists. Instead, I'm going to focus all of my attention on creating useful, valuable books that are interesting to read, then make sure the right readers know they exist. If one of my books hits the list eventually, that'll be nice, but it's not the point.

I know why I'm doing what I'm doing, but damn, the siren song of the NYT list is still strong. Every few weeks, I have to remind myself that bending over backwards to maximize sales over a one week period isn't the point.

It's working so far: my first book is more popular today than it was when it came out 2+ years ago. My second book comes out in June, and readers are already excited. I'm happy, satisfied with my career, and looking forward to continuing to write books.

Success as an author has absolutely nothing to do with bestseller lists.

davidw 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It'd be very interesting to get the scoop on what books are promoted this way. I find a lot of business books to be very much on the "fluffy" side of things. Even good ones that present a unique idea often take a long time to say something that could have easily been state in 10 pages or less.
wereHamster 6 hours ago 3 replies      
With all the digital tools we use to read books (Kindle et al), wouldn't it be possible to track people who have actually read the book? People who have looked and spent at least a minute looking at >90% of the pages in the book? Throw in a bit cryptography and account tracking and it should be much more accurate than just tracking purchases.
diziet 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently had a discussion with a friend about a similar situation -- incentivized downloads in the App Store to reach high rankings. There is a continuum of advertising tactics, from directly buying downloads, to buying placement inside apps that give some benefit for installing an app, to advertising an app in as many places as possible where a lot of users would see it.

They all start with the same input (money) and end up with the same result (more apps installed, higher chart position), just they go about it via different means. Where should the line be drawn?

GHFigs 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Be sure to check out the companion article: "How To Get Forbes and The Wall Street Journal to Advertise Your Book Marketing Consultancy"


shill 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Only suckers fall for PR trickery.

Now I'm going to check out this Tony Hsieh book and website. Seems interesting.

suyash 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Same can be said for gaming Amazon Top Seller ratings, I believe there was a post couple of days about about how to game Amazon, can someone attach the link?
coditor 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's no different in the iphone/android app businesses. There are many companies that promise to push you up to #1. We tested one and it worked for 3 days, but it's useless for most apps. They pay or give freebies to people in Asian or African countries to download your app and try it once. For $10,000 it worked like a charm, we went from 100th+ to 1st in the category in one day. Three days later we started dropping and in a few more it was back to the usual. It's a really crummy way to get real customers but I know other people pay on a regular basis to stay in the top 10 just so they keep visible. We won't do that again since the customers aren't real but it was an eye-opener. There are more sophisticated companies that can create the same buzz with better customers but they all cost a lot more $. You can game anything if you are willing to spend the cash.
salemh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
From 2007, Tim Ferris breaks down his own campaign to reach the NY Times Best Seller list:

He is extremely good at self-promotion, and the critics he has over the internet (well founded or not), can still dissect/use some good bits he puts out.

abat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
From the article, it sounds like this gaming the system is more common for niche areas like advice and less so with the main fiction list.

Besides niches being easier to manipulate, the economics are different. An advice author is often trying to use a book as a self-promotional tool (eg Tim Ferris and Tony Hsieh) so they can afford to spend more money, but a literary writer is actually trying to make money from selling books. That's not to say there's not value in paying to get to the top of fiction for better visibility or that it also doesn't happen.

mathattack 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Intuitively I knew that scam existed. I appreciate getting the number. It's hard to monetize 210K, but for a vanity project by a CEO, why not?
kunaalarya 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It's crazy how similar this is for App of the Day's for apps to get to the top of the app store.
aheilbut 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What's amazing is how few copies it takes to get onto the list.
rokhayakebe 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Black hat SEO for the real world.
jhonovich 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Doesn't Tim Ferris use a similar tactic for his books? Buy 100 copies get X, Y and Z from him...
stephp 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Ugh. I've heard the bestsellers list is nothing but jumping through hoops and hacking loopholes anymore.

Danielle Laporte's book, The Fire Starter Sessions, sold more than many of the "bestsellers" at the time, but because the majority were sold online, she lost out on the ability to call it what it was. It's gross.

Python On Wheels pythononwheels.org
15 points by pajju  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
spect21 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I remember this framework being discussed on HN about 1/2 a year ago.. it did not get the best welcome :P


bdcravens 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Name sounds very similar to ColdFusion on Wheels (though as pointed out in referenced previous article, seems to have no connection)


F# end to end colinbul.wordpress.com
62 points by gebe  8 hours ago   28 comments top 9
MichaelGG 6 hours ago 2 replies      
F# is fantastic, and the team behind it is super solid, having delivered generics for the CLR.

What this post leaves out is some of the tooling you lose when you move to F#. For what I assume are political reasons, F# keeps being marketed as a niche "scientific" product, when in reality, pretty much any C# code is better off being written in F#, even if you aren't writing idiomatic F#. I did one small test where I rewrote a C# program in non-idiomatic F#, and it required 1/20th the type annotations. C#'s just verbose - why use it?

Even WebSharper requires a "C# web site" to actually get Visual Studio to kick up IIS and make things run. There's no real C# code, but so much in the .NET/VS environment assumes C# (or VB).

In fact the worst times I've had with F# were due to other libraries depending on how the C# compiler is implemented, and failing when reflection/expression trees didn't look exactly the same. Fortunately the major use case (LINQ) seems to have been addressed quite solidly with F# 3.0.

icey 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a lot to love about F# (type providers are especially sweet, for example). I'd like use it more, but the challenge seems to be more about getting C# devs to embrace functional development. Which I suppose is the challenge of functional languages everywhere...
ditoa 6 hours ago 0 replies      
F# is a very interesting language and one of the best things to come from Microsoft in a long time.

It could be a very very good thing for MS in the next decade if they invest in it properly (which they seem to be doing).

Interesting times.

sbrother 5 hours ago 4 replies      
This is really exciting. I do about 50% of my commercial development work in VB .NET (the other 50% in Python), and I hate hate HATE working in VB. Convincing the suits to go with Python would be near impossible -- too many processes rely on .NET -- but this seems like it could a be a great compromise. Sane, fast, modern language but with the full power of .NET libraries.

Can anyone recommend a good resource for learning F# for the .NET developer? I don't need an intro to functional programming (I have a pretty functional style in python and I've messed around with Haskell) but just a well paced intro to the syntax and standard library.

rjzzleep 1 hour ago 0 replies      
the way my coworker put it, if ml and python had a baby, and microsoft stole that baby, that would be f#.

i don't like websharper. what is wrong with people wanting to write their clientside in f#? anyway that's why i was looking at how the iis stack works, so i can write my own framework.

there is an - in my opinion - pretty nice f# mvc template (not that i'm a big fan of mvc) available here: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/3d2bf938-fc9e-...

it's also ironic that when Donna Malayeri talks about F# the first thing she talks about is how verbose c# is compared to f#

dzderic 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone have any experience with F# (and Mono in general) under Linux? How's the library support?

It seems like it should be a good fit for the stuff we normally do (log processing/munging), but I don't know how well it'll work outside of Windows.

tkellogg 6 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite part - they use type providers to work with xaml code. They're moving IDE features closer to the compiler.
opminion 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's like building Python projects with SCons.
east2west 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been eying F# for bioinformatics work for a year, but a dearth of bioinformatics library, difficulty linking existing libraries, and flaky tools on Linus have held me back. Right now I am stuck with Python and R, which are good languages with plenty of good libraries, but I want to branch out into functional languages. It also does not help that I don't know C# and am disinclined to learn it.
Keep your wireframes free of distracting Lorem Ipsum github.com
83 points by jpadilla_  9 hours ago   33 comments top 13
greenyoda 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Judging by the examples, the script fonts appear to have been designed to have realistic characteristics such as uppercase letters and a variety of heights in lowercase letters. But what catches the eye is that none of the characters have descenders (the part of the letter that descends below the baseline of the text, like the bottom of a lowercase "j"). This would make it appear that there's more white space between the lines than required, and detracts from the otherwise realistic shape of the text.
arkitaip 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Better use actual copy which will allow you to discover the boundaries of your design, e.g. margins, text size, text width, etc.
huhtenberg 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You forgot the blurred version - redacted-quora.ttf
newishuser 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The use of Lorem Ipsum is to have a place holder for your typography. With this you're replacing your typography with unrelated glyphs. This is going to make your mock-ups less relevant and is going to be harder to explain to your clients.

Also the block font looks extremely heavy, would skew the hierarchy of the page and be pretty distracting.

mmanfrin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
When I did web design, one of my favorite questions I'd occasionally get from a client was 'Why is my website in latin?'
justjimmy 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Personally, I find the concept of lorem ipsum or blocked out letters redundant - unless there is indication of what would be there.

The most basic wireframes will be just boxes everywhere and I label the boxes, say 'Pricing Plan Feature'.

Next iteration, would be wireframe still but all the copy need to be clear and thought out ie: the tag line would be 'Pricing Plan Feature' with a sentence below it like 'Our Plan fits any budget, from $5/month to $100/month' and be in that wireframe.

When people wireframe with lorem ipsum/line blocks, giving no indication of what would/is there, it can create assumptions and confusion - for your team mates/clients. If you say it's just for layout, then just use boxes with labels - anything else is just distraction.

When I get the copy after the wireframe, it can be frustation to get handed an essay and try to fit it in a space designed for a paragraph.

Always design around the content/copy, even at the wireframe stage. Knowing the exact (or close to it) copy/content the better - allowing you to gauge the layout and spacing more accurately.

endianswap 8 hours ago 2 replies      
What exactly is distracting about Lorem Ipsum? I've never found it distracting, and I've always found it super useful for mocking up layouts that have responsive designs to see how the text moves around.
prolways 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I can see the clients (and these are the same ones who get confused by Lorem Ipsum) complaining that the "font is unreadable".
senorerik 8 hours ago 1 reply      
A large portion of web design is the use of typography, making this largely counterproductive.
micheljansen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice, this looks much better than BLOKK.
stephp 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmmm... yeah, I agree with some of the other sentiments here.

I personally don't find Lorem Ipsum distracting, and like others have said, think it would be quicker and easier to troubleshoot design issues using real copy. (The no descenders thing especially gets to me.)

If Lorem Ipsum is genuinely distracting to other people, though, then to each his own! Glad there's options out there for everyone.

HunterV 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Coming from a designer that has worked a lot on magazine/newspaper design this is absolutely helpful. I don't know how many times I've seen Lorem Ipsum be glanced over and almost make it into the final print. This is great!
aed 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Kind of funny considering that the whole point of Lorem Ipsum was to get rid of the distraction of actual content in the first place.
How To Write A Calculator in 70 Python Lines erezsh.com
45 points by gklein  7 hours ago   24 comments top 6
ivan_ah 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Very cool.

Thanks for the cool post. I am not sure I got the difference between the LL and LR parser. Is what you have above an LR parser?

Also, why did you choose to represent both + and - as "ADD" tokens (and * and / as "MUL") is this to enforce evaluation priority? It would be interesting to see if you can add or ^ as an exponent for this calculator.

Maybe you intended this post strictly as as an educational post, but I think doing parsing right (and from first principles) is a really cool thing to have. Check out how khan-exercises framework uses to parse math expressions into an AST:

abecedarius 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nicely done!

I think a precedence parser could be even shorter, though I don't seem to have one handy in Python. Pratt parsing is similar, though: https://github.com/darius/sketchbook/blob/master/parsing/pra... And here's precedence parsing in C: http://wry.me/~darius/hacks/dcalc.c I learned this method from Dave Gillespie, author of Gnu Calc.)

Finally, using a small parsing library very similar to the scheme in this post: https://github.com/darius/peglet/blob/master/examples/infix....

philfreo 6 hours ago 6 replies      
How to Write a Calculator in 1 Python Line

    print input()

> 25*4-50
> 50

andrewcooke 5 hours ago 0 replies      
this reminded me of something similar i did (i'm afraid my recursive decent parser is probably more opaque) - differentiating numerical expressions in python. http://www.acooke.org/cute/Differenti0.html
piqufoh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This article seems rather un-Zen

>>> import this

... though rules are made to be broken

gusgordon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if there's a way to add algebraic equation solving to this, or something like it, easily.
ZTE Open, the company's first Firefox OS phone, gets a spec sheet at MWC engadget.com
3 points by Garbage  23 minutes ago   discuss
Fullproof - A javascript fulltext search engine library kornr.net
71 points by d0ugal  3 hours ago   15 comments top 4
lignuist 2 hours ago 2 replies      
What is the motivation? Adding search functionality to sites that have no dynamic backend?

How would I build an index? Are tools included for that, or is it just reading an index? Is it building the index each time the page is loaded, or in advance, or is both possible?

While the slides explain, what a search engine is, they seem not really to explain, how I can use this particular search engine, which is a pitty, since this looks like a cool project.

This is the project page, but I cannot find such information there as well:

rorrr 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
A bit off topic. I FUCKING HATE this new 3D navigation shit that some websites started doing. It's slow, it jumps through pages sometimes, it's absolutely not clear where you are.
steeve 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice idea, but how do you get around storing and retrieving large amounts of data?
t0 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Forget fulltext search, I'd like to know how he pulled off that 3d cube scrolling! *Found it: http://lab.hakim.se/reveal-js
TeamViewer authentication protocol accuvantlabs.com
11 points by alter8  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
pilif 1 hour ago 0 replies      
When you set up Teamviewer to be running constantly in the background, you are strongly encouraged by the UI to use a real password.

The 4 digit passwords are used for temporary sessions for giving a remote party temporary access to the machine.

In the position of the person giving support and thus needing access, I'm already very happy when I finally get my mother to launch the Teamviewer application (finding an icon on the desktop can be so hard). I don't need her to spell out a real password for me and if she was to chose one of her own it would not be much safer than what Teamviewer generates by default.

Support sessions like that last a maximum of 30 minutes, after which she closes the application (as encouraged by the UI). I really think that the short-lived nature of connections with a weak password somewhat mitigates some of the complaints in the article.

meztez 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget that once you're in, you still have to login into the actual machine. I'm willing to live with that probability.
Play by your own rules. medium.com
3 points by pytrin  29 minutes ago   discuss
How do the state-of-the-art pathfinding algorithms for changing graphs differ? stackexchange.com
45 points by llambda  7 hours ago   4 comments top 4
Schwolop 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This was pretty much my PhD thesis topic. The summary no one wants to hear is that all the incremental algorithms for changing graphs suffer the same problem, and no one talks about it.

They are all optimised for changes near the start of the search. The better ones are optimised for changes anywhere on or beyond the 'search perimeter' (the perimeter of the region consisting of nodes whose cost-to-goal has been calculated). They all suffer catastrophic slow down when costs change near the goal region, because the incremental update requires changing almost all the saved information. Due to the overhead of extra calculations and storage, this can be slower than throwing away all the saved state and starting again from scratch.

What to do about this is a much more interesting question, and inadequately explored in my opinion.

rdtsc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
While on this topic (not sure if this is the same problem fundamentally, it might be). Imagine a crowded market full of AI agents. They all want to walk to their destination and trying not to bump into each other.

In the naive case for N actors, each would run A* on each AI frame update rate F (which might not correspond to the main frame rate) so that's NxF runs of A* runs per second.

It might not be that bad except that since some of the obstacles are moving (other agents) and there is a need to predict other agent's movement based on a some approximate constant speed and direction.

csom 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Data structures called "distance oracles" handle such problems. However, most research results are for static graphs only.

If the graphs are grids (as in the cstheory.stackexchange.com question) they are planar and some dynamic data structures exist (unclear whether the constants are small enough for the application in question):

Exact shortest paths:

Jittat Fakcharoenphol, Satish Rao: Planar graphs, negative weight edges, shortest paths, and near linear time. J. Comput. Syst. Sci. 72(5): 868-889 (2006)

Approximate shortest paths:

Philip N. Klein, Sairam Subramanian: A Fully Dynamic Approximation Scheme for Shortest Paths in Planar Graphs. Algorithmica 22(3): 235-249 (1998)

Ittai Abraham, Shiri Chechik, Cyril Gavoille: Fully dynamic approximate distance oracles for planar graphs via forbidden-set distance labels. STOC 2012: 1199-1218

revelation 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like another case of where the constant factors of these super-smart algorithms will end up nullifying any benefit you get, even producing worse performance.
A user is trying to steal from us and I don't mind plusbryan.com
98 points by plusbryan  11 hours ago   74 comments top 14
loopdoend 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
The naysayers have probably never dealt with real, persistent credit card fraud. I have. I think this is a beautiful idea that will do a lot of good for us.

I run a B2B SaaS company that attracts its fair share of fraud. If we simply string these bad actors along instead of banning them outright I think we would see a decrease in fraud attempts.

Of course this would only be a manual thing. The vast majority of our customers come from sales channels and not through the web or search referrals. This will work great for us as we already have a manual account approval process. Instead of banning them, we'll hellban them.

mooism2 11 hours ago 5 replies      
If HN incorrectly hellbans someone... they piss someone off.

If a retailer incorrectly hellbans a customer, that is, they tell the customer that their card will be charged, and that the goods they ordered will arrive in the post, but without the intention of doing either of those things, owing to a genuine mistaken belief that the customer is engaging in credit card fraud, but lying nonetheless... are they leaving themselves open to legal action from the customer? From regulators? I'd expect the bad PR alone to be a worse hit for a retailer than a bulletin board.

nitrogen 11 hours ago 8 replies      
Though it may be effective, from a moral standpoint I find hellbanning to be as evil as the name would imply. To a lot of people, finding out that you've been ostracized and nobody told you would be extremely psychologically damaging. This applies more to discussion forums, of course, than online purchases.
huhtenberg 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> A user is trying to steal from us and I don't mind

Of course, you mind. You hellban them for crissake.

Catchy title though :)

GhotiFish 10 hours ago 3 replies      
So I moused over this weird little black dot. It changed shape with the words "Don't move" next to it.

1 second later it seems I'd given this blog the equivalent of a thumbs up.

wtf? Dear plusbryan. -one kudo. THEN -another kudo for having a stupid system. In fact, -two.

carbocation 10 hours ago 1 reply      
So you extend the offer. The user accepts the offer. The user believes they have shown consideration by paying for the item, and they expect you to fulfill the agreement that they believe has been created. Your messaging may even support this.

If you have anything less than 100% specificity with your fraud detection algorithm, don't you risk running into trouble because of violation of a contract (or something similar, IANAL)?

kcbanner 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm wondering if there is anything legally wrong with falsely saying that a certain transaction went through when it actually didn't.
joedev 11 hours ago 2 replies      
How do you know when a user is using stolen credit cards?
phil 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Totally unrelated: does anybody want a gift box? I've got several thousand.
4lun 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It's an interesting idea, but what if it's an error on your part and not the user?

There's no real channel for reverting the hellban once issued since you've pretty much permanently assumed the user is malicious and can't be trusted.

A few cases I could think:

- User loses card and cancels it, but finds it again and uses it without realising.

- A single piece of information the user has provided is wrong, but the user repeatedly resubmits without realising. Eventually you hellban them, but they're actually a legitimate customer who made a mistake, but now you can never have them as a customer and might be feeding false positives to them and ignoring their calls for support after they fail to receive the product.

In the end, it doesn't seem like you're saving yourself (you mention Walmart as the one that usually suffers) and from my point of view you're shooting yourselves in the foot, as you could accidentally hellban a legitimate customer which could result in a bad reputation.

nraynaud 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You're really forbidden to do any false positive with that, or you are good for a PR nightmare.
Moreover applying some kind of sanction without any of the traditional justice procedural safegards makes me slightly uneasy.
kirillzubovsky 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the sporting aspect of this trick. Well done!
ferentchak 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Fun times. Do you track the cards that a specific individual uses? That way if you feel like turning that information over to the Lone Ranger they will have a method of tying all those incidents together.
VoltageSpike 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Devious. Underhanded. Evil.

I like it!

Upside is that it slows down the thief. Downside is that it will cause legitimate users to rain hellish social comments down on your head.

Firefox Will Soon Block Third-Party Cookies slashdot.org
98 points by PhearTheCeal  5 hours ago   114 comments top 12
NelsonMinar 4 hours ago 5 replies      
I blocked third party cookies in Chrome for awhile and finally gave up. It broke a surprising number of things, particularly Disqus embeds. Also the Instapaper bookmarklet although I admit that's a nerdy special case. Hopefully Firefox will have a way to let the user enable the few places where third party cookies are desired. That's a hard user interaction to get right.

(Disqus apparently now works without third party cookies: http://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/466235-enabl...)

chewxy 4 hours ago 11 replies      
I don't really like this. I work in the advertising industry and retargeting is honestly one of the most exciting things to come out.

Sure there are ways of cookieless retargeting, but it is a hassle. I mean, everyone's heard of Samy's Evercookie right? Then there are TCP stack signatures, and other companies like a few European DSPs that use cookieless tracking to track a person (IMO it's quite easy to use a GET pixel to actually capture a person's TCP stack).

You can use 3rd party cookies for good and evil. For example, for my personal project, Fork the Cookbook (http://forkthecookbook.com) I'm working on using pixel drops to track how many people fork recipes from embedded recipes (how else would one measure success of an idea). Most analytics softwares like Google Analytics uses 3rd party cookies.

I'm not too sure about evil uses of 3rd party cookies. I do not consider retargeting to be evil. Other stuff like tracking browsing history can be done but it is extremely inefficient, and does not really return much for the amount of time and effort invested into it.

What about PII you ask? Start with drop sites, where people willingly submit their personally identifiable information, and then it's up to the DMPs to actually correlate the data, which can then be used as ad targeting information. As far as I can tell, even with the big hoohaa over companies like Rapleaf, the truth of the matter is that it's very very inefficient so far.

Privacy is simple IMO. Don't submit your information to websites that ask for anything more than what is needed. Banning third party cookies is like using a cannon to shoot a mosquito.

jacquesm 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Excellent. Now we need to block third party javascript and then we have a chance at a more secure web. After all, any third party javascript could be done by an underwater call between the server and the provider of the service.
JoshTriplett 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't actually think this policy will have the desired effect of improving privacy and similar.

While I do think advertisers and analytics abuse third-party cookies, they also have a dozen other things they can switch to that the browser provides fewer facilities to control: http://samy.pl/evercookie/

Meanwhile, any legitimate services that rely on third-party cookies would have little choice but to switch to whatever mechanism the advertisers switch to, to remain functional.

robmil 4 hours ago 3 replies      
For those about to bemoan the breaking of things like Google Analytics: this patch only blocks third party cookies from domains that the user has never visited before. Since 99% of your visitors will have visited google.com, your Analytics should continue to function even after this update.
dangrossman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Firefox Abandons Standards, Will Soon Stop Honoring HTTP Specification, Throwing Away Valid Headers It Doesn't Like". Admittedly, I'm biased.
cft 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I cannot fully rationalize it, but I intuitively feel that this "holier than thee" Mozialla's approach will ultimately contribute to Firefox's demise.
dfgonzalez 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't like this, beyond the discussion if 3rd party cookies are good or bad, these measures are always for the worst.

Not long ago IE set DoNotTrack by default. What happened? Every single company that respected the user decision for DoNotTrack, stopped doing so since it wasn't the user, but a browser the one who decided that.

Long story short: All the effort done with DoNotTrack was wasted.

With this story, cookie tracking is far from perfection. It might be great for ad companies, might me useful for retailers and might be creepy for some users, but IMO is the safest way there's to date to keep the equilibrium. There are choices to be protected from cookie tracking and there's plenty of information.

lubos 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think third-party cookies are such a big deal. It won't stop retargeting (workarounds are possible) so what is it really solving?
Dylan16807 4 hours ago 1 reply      

Uh oh. Any site that you visit even once can give you a cookie and suddenly become immune to third-party blocking.

taf2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
this is short cited. we don't even know or can imagine the type of interesting applications we are eliminating by saying no to third party cookies. I remember building a reservation widget that loaded via an iframe on a third party domain. Perhaps we would want to maintain some of the reservation history on the users browser (e.g. third party cookie). I believe this would still work, but as we continue to focus only on the use case of advertising and blocking re-marketing ads... we should remember there are other legit use cases for third party cookies.
sokrates 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I have had third-party cookies disabled in Chrome for a long time now, and I rarely experienced any issues with embeds (Disqus being the noteworthy exception).
While Idespise third-party tracking embeds in general, they have gained significant traction on the web (the worst offender is of course Facebook). Since many people think site owners cannot be blamed for that (I think they can), blocking third-party cookies to me is the next best thing for the end user. Also, it's just intuitive to me; when I visit a shop, and I identify myself to the clerk, why should I automatically identify to all bystanders in the shop?
FPGA x86 Processor code.google.com
57 points by Cieplak  9 hours ago   31 comments top 14
ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome. One of the running bets I've had is how many chapters of Hennesy [1] you can implement in an FPGA. Early on it was hard to do more than basic RISC architectures, the 6502 Etc. Then you could do the Z80 which was a good cisc variant that had some excellent code tests. The 8086 and 68000 make for good follow on targets. At some point we should be able to do a VAX, its sort of a local maximum of CISCyness.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Architecture-Quantitative-App...

raverbashing 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Good luck, this is very, very hard


Having tested an x86 processor from a 3rd party manufacturer (not the big ones, and not even the 2nd league)

- Bios. Including ACPI stuff. So Windows XP would boot, with linux some would boot, some would work but with instabilities, some would not boot

- Minor incompatibilities and every nook and cranny of the x86 spec.

- Drivers for everything your board does different

- The x86 (legacy) infrastructure. Not sure how much you need to boot and make Windows work for example. It may get nasty. A20? Chained interrupt handlers? DMA controllers?

daeken 8 hours ago 4 replies      
My god, the ability to use this for tracing code makes me more excited than anything I've seen in a while. The debugging facilities on x86 are, well, limited to the point of being damn near useless. I may spend some time hacking solid trace functionality into this, if it ends up being an open core.
neurotech1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Actively developing a x86 FPGA project isn't easy. The ML403 boards originally sold for $495 each. Most SoC/Processor development requires large FPGAs and the boards cost even more.
gbraad 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of the implementation is based on Zet http://zet.aluzina.org/index.php/Zet_processor and cpu86 http://www.ht-lab.com/freecores/cpu8086/cpu86.html as mentioned in the project description. The Zet implementation can already run several DOS games on a pretty low-end FPGA board like the DE1, but only does the older 16-bit instructions.

Not sure what he tries to accomplish, but it seems like a small system based on a CPU, memory, VGA controller(? not seen) and a 16550 UART and a lot of tests to proof correct implementation?

codepopacy 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Timestamps on the source code repo seem to date this to July 2009.
revelation 7 hours ago 0 replies      
That seems insane. Even decoding X86 is insanely complicated.
zwegner 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, besides being from 2009, this looks very very incomplete, there's almost no real functional code, just a multiplier, divider, and a simple ram module (and not sure if any of those work properly...). So all in all, not too exciting, unfortunately.
photorized 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I recognize Norton Commander in the first photo. Good times.
derleth 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What kind of clock rate could this achieve? As fast as a historic 8086?
jbangert 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! Maybe one day we can extend it to more modern members of the x86 family (286,386) that introduced more opcodes (hence producing the complicated ISA encoding that x86 has) and operating modes (unreal mode, protected mode, SMM, ...
hmottestad 8 hours ago 3 replies      
EE? Extended Essay at the IB?

That's only supposed to be 4000 words. A project like this could turn into a book.

aerlinger 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, that's a lot of connections to manage. Do you have any problems with memory or IO constraints on the Xilinx?
shawnee_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The first thing that I think of when I see this is bitcoin mining! Maybe could give the Jalapeño / Butterfly Labs guys a run for their ... satoshis.
Temporary Tattoos Could Make Electronic Telepathy, Telekinesis Possible txchnologist.com
22 points by mgillett  5 hours ago   3 comments top 2
elssar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds similar to the OC Tattoos in Peter F. Hamiltons Commonwealth Saga - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Saga#Man-machine_s...

Science fiction becoming reality, :D

brownbat 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The content is blocked without javascript.

I know this is off topic, but I really wish the web didn't make me choose between opening a vector for malware and reading raw text content that shouldn't require javascript at all.

Front-End CSS Frameworks github.com
73 points by afshinmeh  11 hours ago   42 comments top 18
happypeter 1 hour ago 1 reply      
After 6 month joy and pain, I finally give up using Bootstrap.

It's very obvious that smart people are using BS to build cool site like khanacademy, it's well designed, and it's one of the best CSS framework you can find. But...

But for a CSS beginner like me, it's a bit too magical, I wasted a lot of time debugging, I wished I could conquer the complexity, so I tried for 6 months, and now I give up with regret.

Bootstrap(or maybe I should say CSS frameworks) is slowing down my development for the past 6 month or so, if you are a front-end newbie, be warned!

jsnk 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I wish I could see the description of each frameworks without the hoverover. That's rather unnecessary.
niggler 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What does "Free" mean in the context of licenses? Looking at a few of those it appears that some don't actually specify, which is dangerous:

"Because I did not explicitly indicate a license, I declared an implicit copyright without explaining how others could use my code. Since the code is unlicensed, I could theoretically assert copyright at any time and demand that people stop using my code."


dleskov 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
Preprocessor information is absolutely necessary.

High-level, vague descriptions are not.

Instead, I'd have some indicators of maturity, complexity and such - year introduced, version number, lines of code, documentation quality (okay, the last one is subjective.)

Actively developed/maintained or not?

Author name?

petewailes 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm throwing in:

Frameless - http://framelessgrid.com/ and

OpenDAWS - http://wail.es/opendaws/ disclosure - mine)

Different way of thinking about grids

lhm 10 hours ago 2 replies      
there's also Susy, which builds on sass and compass: http://susy.oddbird.net/
rjd 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome thanks for this. Only thing I could recommend would be an extra column for any processor :
rsilk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Great list. I really appreciate the graphic used to distinguish platform support (responsive vs not). Much easier on the eyes than a written list of supported screen sizes for each framework.

Would it also be useful to list the underlying language used for each framework (plain CSS, LESS, Stylus, etc) in case you plan on customizing?

carlsednaoui 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I would definitely add http://roots.cx/ to the list.
Narretz 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool. The grid could give a little more information, though, like last version, if widgets are included and other stuff I can't think of. You could also make the column headers sortable; useful if the list gets longer.
leeoniya 10 hours ago 2 replies      
mhr_online 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice Work Man ;) it's better when using current version + languages & technologies behind them (with icon i mean) By the way: (Damet Garm :D)
aydoubleyou 8 hours ago 1 reply      
http://cssgrid.net/ is a pretty good responsive framework as well.
tommccabe 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Should add more context. What makes each one the best?
chenster 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So which one do you use?
hackin247 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter bootstrap is the shizzle!
Idered 9 hours ago 1 reply      
no inuit.css, no upvote :)
ads1018 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The Great Shift in Japanese Pop Culture (2011) neojaponisme.com
84 points by tty  11 hours ago   30 comments top 3
MichaelGG 7 hours ago 5 replies      
Wow, what a fantastic set of articles. Some interesting things for me:

- Apparently low/middle class consumers in Japan would put themselves into debt to buy luxury brands like Gucci. I'm not sure if this is meant general debt like we see in the US with credit cards, or if it mean specific financing for those items. (I met a guy in Central America that was making payments on a jean jacket.)

- If I read correctly, the lower income pressure is making things that are marginally cheaper, like fake beer, actually take off. I would assume this is because of the generally high cost of products in Japan? Whereas in other countries, even with lower income, you don't resort to fake beer... maybe I misunderstood though.

- As of the article's time, the Internet doesn't have any really influential outlets in Japan, and print media dominates for legitimacy and doesn't put much content online. I know myself and other folks that don't read any print media, so it seems odd that the Internet didn't penetrate quickly in Japan.

- The squeeze on the markets means fringe groups now "dominate". That is, "normal" folks cut back on their consumption, but fringe groups are defined by such consumption. So the normal purchasing is gone, leaving just the fringe, leading to groups like AKB48 being #1, when in reality they have niche appeal.

It closes pointing out that this fringe popularity taking over means Japan's cultural exports are growing weaker, and like technology, might be disrupted by Korea. Since the article was written, I think SNSD has grown in popularity, and Gangnam Style certainly brought K-pop into the highlight.

It'll be interesting to see if Korea can successfully export other cultural stuff that Japan has done well with, like video games and anime. (From my brief and irrelevant exposure, it seems Korea is very insular and does not do well exporting culture, although the kpop thing might be changing that. For example, all Korean sites seem to require you to login with your Korean national ID.)

anigbrowl 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Font woes aside, this is an extremely interesting series on economic adjustment; in many ways, Japan provides a leading indicator for changes in American and European economies.
jere 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I hate to be that guy, but when I'm viewing the font on this site at default size, the cross of every "t" is twice as thick as everything else and it's extremely distracting. It looks fine if I increase the font size and slightly better in IE for some reason.
Airbnb May Hire Former Square Exec Rabois as COO wsj.com
13 points by dwynings  4 hours ago   discuss
       cached 24 February 2013 05:02:01 GMT