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Mozilla and Samsung Collaborate on Next Generation Web Browser Engine [Servo] mozilla.org
84 points by dave1010uk  55 minutes ago   28 comments top 10
mtgx 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
To people wondering why Samsung would join this, I think Samsung is a big believer in the HSA Foundation [1] for heterogeneous computing, and they were one of the first partners in this along with AMD and ARM.

Samsung seems to believe in having the best performing devices and components, so it's not that surprising that they want to be at the forefront of the heterogeneous computing movement.

They also probably see themselves as a competitor against Intel, with both the ARM ISA that they support and the foundry that they own. In the next few years there will be a battle between HSA and Intel's Phi co-processor idea, and I think Samsung is one of the many who wants HSA to succeed (using computing power from all sorts of processors vs using only CPU's for everything).


surrealize 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
Servo is a "high-risk research project"[1], so I've been wondering what would happen if it doesn't pan out. Rust would still be interesting even without Servo, but would mozilla still invest in Rust if they stopped working on Servo?

So it's nice to see some non-mozilla involvement and momentum in Rust/Servo. Maybe that means that an investment in learning/using Rust is that much less risky :)

[1] http://www.mail-archive.com/dev-servo@lists.mozilla.org/msg0...

ksec 15 minutes ago 1 reply      
I am actually surprise this pieces was written by Brendan, given the way Mozilla has been moving lately with asm.js, PDF.js and Shumway which is like Flash.js; It wouldn't be surprise if their Next Goal were to built the Entire ( or Most of ) Browser with Javascript.

I am surprised that Samsung decide to help. Which basically reads to me as relationship with Google is going pretty bad or they are simply hedging their bet.

It was only earlier today I posted that Yahoo should also have a few engineers helping Mozilla to develop Servo.

And i really really hope Servo is licensed like Rust, Dual MIT + Apache 2.0

paddy_m 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is really exciting. I'm glad to see rust being used for serious apps. This is actually the first new browser engine that I know of being written in the past 10 years.

Good for Mozilla for attempting hard problems in innovative ways.

dave1010uk 45 minutes ago 2 replies      
While this mentions Android, I think the biggest winners in this could be Mozilla and Samsung's own mobile OS's: Firefox OS and Tizen respectively. I'm hoping that if they're collaborating on Servo then the 2 platforms will hopefully become fairly interoperable (in terms of app portability).

Some further details about Servo and Rust can be found here: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/research/projects/

MatthewPhillips 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
This will be a big win for faster web apps. DOM performance is the biggest blocker to having a smooth experience in the browser nowadays, not JavaScript speed.
pjmlp 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nice to see Rust gaining traction.

We need to have more safe alternatives for systems programming.

leeoniya 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
Samsung is really making good use of the hacker community. They hired Cyanogenmod lead dev last year to collab on Android, too.
msutherl 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's awesome that language design is being promoted as a significant part of this project. Good design from the ground up.
_pmf_ 19 minutes ago 1 reply      
What's in this madness for Samsung?
Teenager Who Reads News Online? According to DoJ, You May [Soon] Be a Criminal eff.org
80 points by sp332  1 hour ago   23 comments top 6
speeder 41 minutes ago 4 replies      
How I love crazy interactions between laws and the unintended consequences.

And laws related to children are seemly really prone to that, like the prohibitions in taking photos of naked minors, that had three important results in my view:

One, allow stupid cases, like ones that DO happened in the US, where for example a 15 year old girl was prosecuted for giving photos of herself to her boyfriend (also a minor).

Two, makes illegal to take photos of some real crimes, for example if you take a photo of a guy raping a minor girl in a park and hand to the police, you can still be prosecuted for taking the photo.

Three, meddles with human sexuality in ways that few people understand, although many people now believes that people below 18 are incapable of having sex with responsability, I refuse to believe that my mother (met my father when she was 15, they are still married) or my grandmother (married my grandfather when she was 14, they are still married and VERY happy) were some sort of stupid children that did not knew what they were doing.

superuser2 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
Minors cannot enter into binding contracts, so the parts of the terms of service that specify a code of conduct, waive liability, etc. are not enforceable. Minors are legally toxic because of this, and no self-interested American business would ever knowingly interact with a minor online.

Conveniently ignored in all the stories about teenage whiz-kids who make money off internet businesses is that they are invariably committing federal felonies. There is not a single payment processor that doesn't require its users to be 18. Apple's developer program also requires its users to be 18. So does AdSense. These services also require users to input a birthday, so the minors using them needn't worry about "hacking" charges - they've committed fraud.

Obviously we need to fix the legal situation that makes this necessary, but that's why. (And because my parents follow rules, I wasn't allowed to do anything vaguely entrepreneurial on the internet until I turned 18).

gambiting 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am still waiting for a day when Americans are finally going to realize that it's long past the point when they should be completely fed up with this shit and don't accept it anymore. Breaching ToS a criminal offence? Is this land of the free, or the land of the corporations again?
dreamdu5t 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Which court case decided that browsing a website is a form of contractual agreement with whatever happens to be posted?
quarterto 35 minutes ago 1 reply      
The word "soon" does not appear anywhere in the article. The original title is "Are You A Teenager Who Reads News Online? According to the Justice Department, You May Be a Criminal".
solox3 43 minutes ago 2 replies      
That protection act is one thing, these terms of service is another. Why would sites like Popular Mechanics impose an age limit?
Rust 0.6 Released mozilla.org
46 points by metajack  1 hour ago   8 comments top 4
shared4you 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion just 3 days back: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5468896

[This was for RC though]

film42 29 minutes ago 2 replies      
Call me a noob, but I have never been properly introduced to Rust. Does anyone know of a good article or walk through with pros, cons, and examples?
pjmlp 32 minutes ago 0 replies      

Time to upgrade.

Just as a side note, I am looking forward to the day I won't need to recompile LLVM as well.

ksec 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Slightly Off Topic: Wasn't Rust suppose to be the codename or working name of the languages. Or Has Mozilla decide to simply use Rust as its official name?
The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency medium.com
66 points by ldayley  1 hour ago   47 comments top 14
cs702 54 minutes ago 3 replies      
Many currencies in existence are now riskier and less stable than Bitcoin.

Yes, it's true. As of right now, there are 182 official currencies worldwide[1], most of which you've never heard of in your life, and many of which have total market capitalization lower than Bitcoin.[2] Others are subject to extreme sociopolitical, economic, or military-conflict risks. Would you rather own bitcoins, which are traded globally, or, say, Libyan dinars, North Korean wons, Syrian pounds, etc.?

Even the US dollar and euro, supposedly bastions of stability, have seen their exchange rate jump from US$0.80 per euro in 2002 to US$1.60 in 2008 (100% jump), only to drop back down to US$1.20 in 2010 (25% drop), then jump to US$1.45 in 2011 (20% jump), only to drop back down to around US$1.29 today.[3]

If Bitcoin survives the horrific economic crises in countries like Spain, Greece, and Cyprus, and the even more horrific military conflicts in countries like Syria and Sudan, it will continue gaining credibility as the currency of last resort -- the global digital commodity that will survive even if your country or economy goes to hell.


Edit: changed "most currencies in existence" to "many currencies in existence," which is what I actually intended to write.


PS. I posted this on the other thread linking to the same article: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5486100


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

[2] http://reason.com/24-7/2013/04/01/at-1b-bitcoin-holds-more-v...

[3] https://www.google.com/finance?chdnp=1&chdd=1&chds=1...

paul 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
The shape of the graph proves it's a bubble? I don't own any bitcoins, but this kind of silly fud makes me think I should buy some...
ontoillogical 1 hour ago 5 replies      
> And in any event, bitcoin is never going to work as a global payments system. Not only does it suffer from having a slow-growing money supply and a metastasizing transactions file which has to live on every user's computer, it also encourages destructive computer hacking. The way that the money supply grows, in the bitcoin system, is by people harnessing the power of hundreds or thousands of computers to solve very complicated mathematical tasks, earning bitcoins for doing so along the way. And the easiest and cheapest way of doing that is to do so illegally, by stealth: set up a “botnet” of hacked computers to do your bidding for you. The incentives, here, are very bad indeed.

I'm not an expert, but I thought that these days you basically need specialized hardware/GPUs and a traditional botnet isn't going to get you that far. Am I right?

skore 35 minutes ago 2 replies      
There are a couple of core points that this article seems to get completely wrong about bitcoin. I'm certainly no expert, but quotes like:

> the perfect digital currency: they're frictionless, anonymous[...]

seem to suggest that the author has read a lot about bitcoin (by other authors), but not investigated that deeply. (As for the content: It's bogus mainly because they're at best pseudo-anonymous, or rather: Actual anonymous payment via bitcoin takes a lot of effort to conceal. And it may only be frictionless for now - looking at the way transaction fees develop in the future is one of the most exciting concepts about it, to me.)

> Inflation is bad, but deflation is worse. [...] People hoard their cash, and spend it only begrudgingly, on absolute necessities.

I see how that is very different from the way capitalism works at the moment. But, conceptually, would it really be that bad?

I think an economy that builds on people buying loads of crap they don't need is at least comparatively bad. We certainly seem to have a problem with using more than we need from the planet.

> And they certainly don't spend it on hiring people " no matter how productive their employees might be, they'd still be better off just holding on to that money and not paying anybody anything.

Again, wouldn't the result just be that you only hire people who create more value than deflation? And wouldn't "nobody paying anybody anything" eventually cause inflation?

Finally, a lot of the arguments employed seem rather shoddy.

This is the argument against being your own bank:

> In Hollywood, if you show someone counting out huge sums of cash, that's an easy way for the director to say that he's a criminal.

This is the argument trying to discredit bitcoins principle of mistrust:

> Bitcoin, in that sense, is anti democratic. It's based on mistrust rather than trust, it refuses to take any responsibility onto itself " indeed, it doesn't even have a self to take responsibility onto.

So far so half-good...

It's nihilistic[...].

Nope, does not follow.

> I do have hope that in the future, someone, somewhere, is going to learn from bitcoin's mistakes, and build a better system.

The author seems to suggest that this is his conclusion, but I thought that was the main idea in bitcoin itself. That it's artificial limit is a rather clear "we will have to come up with something better by then". Not as a "we will never need more bitcoins than this many".

I may be wrong here, but didn't Satoshi set up bitcoin precisely to be a testing ground? Beta Software? The author seems to be a little too occupied putting words in his mouth to actually read the concepts. Instead, he claims that Satoshi wants bitcoin "to be the perfectly anonymous payment mechanism for a digital world". I don't think that's true.

josscrowcroft 1 hour ago 7 replies      
> "A few days ago, the value of all the bitcoins in the world blew past $1 billion for the first time ever"

Can somebody help me understand something? Might be very basic, and perhaps I should understand this already, but...

How is it possible for the "value of all the bitcoins in the world" to be anything, in truth?

I understand that this comes from saying "1 BTC is selling on average for $X USD, and there are X Bitcoins in circulation, therefore the total market size is $1BN"

But... knowing that they are not underwritten or backed, surely they're only "worth" what somebody will pay for them. Nobody would pay $1BN for all of them, because that would render them all worthless.

Even if 10% of them were sold in one day, surely the value would drop precipitously, therefore slashing the total "value" of all the bitcoins to maybe half or a tenth of its current estimation.

So I ask again, how can the "value of all the bitcoins in the world" be any figure, let alone $1BN?

tlrobinson 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
"But trusting someone else to look after your coins requires the very trust that bitcoin was designed to circumvent."

Bitcoin is decentralized and doesn't rely on trusted parties, but that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't rely on trusted parties if you choose.

I fully expect most people will use a Bitcoin bank/wallet service/whatever, the problem is most of them are amateurs right now. It turns out these are essentially banks, and need bank level security.

walru 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Regardless of what I think about Bitcoin's longterm significance in the world. I feel this spike in Bitcoins's price might just be Russian mobsters making their money back after the Cyprus nonsense. The timing between the two events is just too convenient and this whole run-up smells like a classic pump and dump from my dot-com trading days.
mrharrison 45 minutes ago 1 reply      
"The first is just that it's a bubble, and any chart which looks like the one at the top of this post is bound to end in tears at some point."

Wow very scientific, over time any hockey stick can look like a bump in the road.

trusche 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Banks and central banks are given an important job to do, are regulated and scrutinized, and can be held responsible for their actions.

If only.

arithma 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's enumerate the grand possibilities filtered by an increasing bitcoin value versus dollars (without predicting small-time-scale changes):
- Bitcoins will grow to a peak and then decrease to a much smaller value

- Bitcoins will continue to increase and then plateau to their real market value (which later on, in hindsight, everyone will claim has always been very rational.) This will make them take a share in between the available global currencies, and then everyone will continue life normally.

- Bitcoins will be continue to increase in value such that no one can ignore them anymore. This will effectively destroy the old notion of currency and push economy into a totally new realm.

I really hope it's at least the second option. I am not sure I want the last option to be true, since I haven't invested in Bitcoins enough yet.

On the speculative side:
The way I see it is, Bitcoin is currently feeding on an open field of existing wealth. It hasn't even started to be used as a currency of exchange, as many have said. When that starts happening on a wider scale, there's really nothing that will stop Bitcoin from eating the whole market of currencies, and becoming the defacto coin of exchange (except the ridiculous large spans of time that are required for verification).

drcode 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here, bitcoin haters, I've created a template for your comment for you to use to get started:

> Something something "Tulips" something.

Noughmad 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The big graph on top looks nice, but it really annoys the physicist in me. There should at least be another in logarithmic scale, so we can actually see how the value is rising.
Shinkei 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
"rather than burying $1,000 under a black volcanic rock in a dry stone wall next to an old oak tree"

Shawshank Redemption.

avaku 18 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to short bitcoin?
Iain (M) Banks has terminal cancer littlebrown.co.uk
248 points by AndrewDucker  5 hours ago   180 comments top 44
venus 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is horrible news. We are all poorer today, all of us. Banks is an inspiration to all who read him - of what could be, what can be, what is to be.

Cancer has claimed a terrible toll in my life. Three in my immediate family and counting, the countdown very fast for one of them. And now it seems to have turned its unwelcome gaze to my intellectual treasures. I hate this disease, I despise it so much it's hard to express.

I'd say it's my hatred of cancer that drives me to want to achieve riches, via a startup, so I can pour money into its vanquishing. It was hatred that made me agree to be a member of "the 300", as useless as that has turned out to be. And it's the knowledge and memory of those lifeless bodies on hospital sheets, cold before their time, that forces me onwards, reminds me that that capricious finger of death could swivel my way at any time.

Banks, you are a titan. You inspired me, you inspired others. You'll never be forgotten, and god willing maybe you'll inspire a few to take revenge on your blind, callous killer.

lifeisstillgood 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This is sad news, and there is really nothing to add to his own words.

I just want to highlight two things, firstly his support for the NHS, which despite every newspaper and politician gunning for it still usually manages to deliver top quality care.

Secondly, can we leave off the cryogenic stuff ? The guy is dying, and pretending it will just be a pause is insulting all round. This was a touching and accepting note written by a skilled hand - and he is not blathering on about the next life. Please leave it be

reasonattlm 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Another person that might be cryopreserved [1], but probably won't be, much like the 150,000 who passed in the last day or so [2]. Many sorts of terminal case can actually lead to better quality cryopreservation under present legal restrictions [3], in comparison to the drawn out and uncertain end of aging, precisely because they are more rapid and certain in time.

(Or might be plastinated [4] in the alternate history thread in which people actually got up and started to do something about death in the late 1930s [5], when the chemical industry started to be up to the task of building a mass plastination concern).

If you've made no preparations but still have $200,000 or so sitting around, then the certainty of oblivion is still your choice, even at the last minute. (Most people who are cryopreserved fund it through life insurance taken out decades earlier). No judgement on that choice is offered, as the right to vanish is a good right, just judgement on the fact that while other options do exist, they might be far more available for everyone and better thought of were the world just a little bit different.

[1] http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2002/11/cryonics.php

[2] http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2002/12/death-is-an-outra...

[3] http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/02/to-die-in-order-t...

[4] http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2009/04/plastinate-everyo...

[5] http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/05/when-did-we-becom...

swombat 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I am very upset about that... In my opinion he's the best living science fiction author... but not for long, I guess... :-(

I've read most of his books (all of his SF books). The Culture is an amazing universe, but the rest of his works are also outstanding.

anu_gupta 4 hours ago 2 replies      
By a large margin my favourite author. The Wasp Factory was the first novel of his I read and it was great, but Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games utterly blew my mind.
csmattryder 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Appears the site is down (deleted?)

The BBC have a news article on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-22015175

kitsune_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My uncle died from a brain tumor two weeks ago. This week my aunt will have one of her lungs removed because of lung cancer. Last year my friend's wife had to have both of her breasts removed. And now one of my favorite authors will probably die to this shit. What a vile disease.
soapdog 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have all his SF novels. I think he is the most original and refreshing author I've seen in the past decade. I always looked forward for those thrilling weeks after he released a new book. It was one of the best parts of a year for me. Mr Banks inspired me to dream about the future and what wonderful culture we could become. Even though I never met him, I will really miss him for I cherished his writings and opinions. One thing I won't do is forget him because his work is the kind that ressurects genres and is timeless.
arethuza 3 hours ago 1 reply      
According to Ian Rankin: "Typical of Iain to propose marriage to his partner Adele with the words 'Will you do me the honour of becoming my widow?"

Makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time, like so much of his work.

engtech 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm very sorry to hear this.

The first Banks book I read was in a palliative care room while my mom was dying of cancer.

locopati 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This news puts his last two novels, Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata, in an interesting light, the former being about virtual hells and the latter being about a species transcending[1].

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

DanBC 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is sad news. He's an awesome author, and many people will miss his great writing. 'Wasp Factory' was an amazing book.

He mentions his sore back. That's important! Most lower back pain is nothing serious, but rarely it's a sign of significant illness. He also mentions that he initially thought the pain was related to his work on a book. That's relevant for an industry where people tend to spend many hour sitting at a desk typing code. We talk about better ergonomics -nicer chairs, standing desks- but sometimes the wider health is missed.

satori99 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This may of interest to anyone who is unfamiliar with his SciFi writing:


Originally posted to rec.arts.sf.written on 10 Aug 1994.

modernerd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
http://friends.banksophilia.com for a personal statement and guestbook.
melling 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Very sad, of course. He's only 59. I've gotta admit that I'm also a bit angry. The war on cancer is 40 years old and we are still so far away from solving the problem(s).


The first commercial microprocessor was released in the same year:


Solutions? Ideas? The list in my mind is starting to get painfully long:

Randy Pausch (47), Steve Jobs (56), Ian M Banks ...

stefantalpalaru 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Terrible news. If you're not familiar with Iain's work you owe it to yourself to drop everything and start reading the Culture series[1] right now.

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

richardjordan 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
Let's raise a toast to the launching of the GCU Fuck Cancer.
phreeza 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My favorite science fiction author, got sucked in by Matter, then quickly proceeded to read all Culture books. Use of Weapons is my favorite, has the perfect mix between the dark character and the utopian Culture space opera.
zerovox 4 hours ago 0 replies      
His site seems to be down. His statement can be found on his publishers website: http://www.littlebrown.co.uk/a-personal-statment-iain-banks....
podperson 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Iain [M] Banks is the writer whose books I most look forward to reading.

Fuck cancer.

Mc_Big_G 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is there really no preventative tests we can take periodically to discover these things before they get out of control? I have the feeling that future generations are going to ask WTF we were thinking.
Wintamute 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There isn't nearly enough wantonly optimistic sci-fi about. Banks does it so well. This is sad. His vision of the Culture reminds us what we're all struggling for.
Nursie 4 hours ago 0 replies      

Amazing author. I want to live in the Culture. And I want to read new books by him forever, this is not allowed.

3amOpsGuy 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I never read any of the "M" banks books but i read a few of his regular ones when i was a teenager.

I remember thinking at the time, the wasp factory was a book i'd not forget, yet i can only vaguely recall the plot and some events! Espedair Street on the other hand i can recall pretty much everything. It's funny what you remember.

nicholassmith 4 hours ago 1 reply      
He's a titan of British literature, I've loved his work for a number of years. What a legacy to leave behind.
viraptor 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It was a great surprise for me to see him at the book signing event a couple of months ago in Bristol. Not a deep and mysterious person I imagined him to be after reading the books - just a great, happy guy who shared some thoughts about his imagination. He could really make the whole room laugh.
jvzr 4 hours ago 2 replies      
FWIW, I've ordered the first three novels of the Culture series. I didn't know of Iain Banks until today and his terrible news.

I just wish he'll live the most playful last months of his life with his soon-to-be wife. We cannot wish for anything less.

madaxe 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Damn. It's always the good guys :(
LatvjuAvs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
People still struggling to accept life.

Man grow out of this world, created awesome books, then he changed to something else. World as it is, is because he is.

geuis 4 hours ago 8 replies      
He shouldn't just accept this. There has to be something to be tried. With his notoriety, the option to try some experimental new treatment should at least be considered.
ritonlajoie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm actually just starting reading a book from him. The first I'm reading from him. That's sad.
abrookewood 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish to god this news had arrived 2 days ago on April 1st :(

Ian (M) Banks is amazing and will be sorely missed.

I can't believe there won't be any more Culture novels.

nemof 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like the site is down, for privacy or some other reason. Here's a statement from Banks:


jeffheard 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Two of my favorite authors now... Three if you count that some people consider K.J. Parker to be a pseudonym of Iain (M) Banks.

My two favorites of his I think will always be Use of Weapons and Look to Windward. Coincidentally, I just started re-reading Excession last night.

chris_wot 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems to have been pulled, because I'm getting a page not found...
apcherry 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sad news indeed.

In keeping with his macabre sense of humour I hope he has a suitable Culture Ship names for the coffin. Dwindling Gravitas (VFP)?

sort3d 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What can we as a community do for him?
ed_blackburn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Gutted, incredible author. Am going to miss my Culture novels dripping through every few years. :-(
roy_s 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is anyone else also getting a 404...
edem 4 hours ago 0 replies      
stffndtz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
404 :/
rookieljw 4 hours ago 0 replies      
khafra 2 hours ago 5 replies      
I would; death sucks. At the very least, people should always be able to choose to live for another day.
Show HN: StoryWorth makes it easy to record family stories (YC W11) allthingsd.com
23 points by nickbaum  40 minutes ago   1 comment top
akharris 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Been using storyworth with my dad for the last few months. Learning new things about him is awesome, and he definitely wouldn't be interested if this were just a mobile sorta thing. Keep it up!
Asm.js: The JavaScript Compile Target ejohn.org
24 points by dave1010uk  41 minutes ago   11 comments top 4
theycallmemorty 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
In theory, would it be possible to take an ActiveX or NPAPI plugin and compile it down to asm.js-compatible javascript?
jcampbell1 4 minutes ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know how hard it would be to port an h264 decoder to asm.js? If it worked, it could be used to shim h264 support into Firefox.
dave1010uk 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
John Resig's blog posts never fail to impress.

The bit comparingAsm.js to Google's Native Client is interesting.

niggler 26 minutes ago 3 replies      
Wow, Mozilla is making a really big marketing push for asm.js.
R 3.0.0 Released r-project.org
48 points by surajgupta  2 hours ago   6 comments top 4
jph98 1 hour ago 1 reply      
iSnow 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Congrats, R is probably the most interesting language I tried in some time :)

And I really do dig the '95 retro chic of the site.

surajgupta 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's source code for the release on GitHub: https://github.com/SurajGupta/r-source

The R team maintains an SVN repo, but I prefer browsing source on GitHub

georgeg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
And I wished the R main website would get a face-lift as well :)
Show HN: HN Store hnstore.co
108 points by raimonds  3 hours ago   39 comments top 10
famousactress 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Neat! I'm surprised to see no affiliate links. Seems like an obvious way to cover expenses.
captn3m0 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice execution. I really like it. Especially that you decided to do both "all time", and "Recent mentions"
firesofmay 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
So clean and well made!
Thumbs up
josephb 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks great, I like how plain and simple it is.

It would be interesting to include some other data, like top wikipedia links etc.

Also the right hand column can sometimes feel a bit disconnected from the left when there is a long line of text in the left column.

Maybe some shading across both columns under the header text would help?

Keep iterating!

tucson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good idea.

I'd be interested in the same for web apps / web services.

negrit 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This is actually a good idea you should also add filters (like "Only books from paul Graham on Amazon") and a search box.

And for the UI... well hackernews style I guess.

_chrismccreadie 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is fantastic. One thought - once you have some data on the top 20 (say over 3 months) you could keep track of items that regularly come up in HN discussions. Show them as popular or regularly mentioned.
cheeaun 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think your email address points to the wrong domain? s/com/co
GhotiFish 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Watch out, if it gains traction, it will be gamed.
tzaman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What is it?
The ISP CMA Communications is injecting ads into their users HTTP traffic zmhenkel.blogspot.com
43 points by cramerica  2 hours ago   11 comments top 6
pdeuchler 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
Immediately cancel your account and switch. If you are forced to use them as an ISP due to municipal/geographical regions complain to your city manager.

The only way to slap these companies back into line is with your wallet. If you can't do that then a couple complaints to the city manager can go a lot farther than you think, especially in smaller areas where there isn't a lot of support staff in city hall.

johnvschmitt 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
This was inevitable.

That's why I bought Google stock after they got into Android, as Android makes it possible for Google to now step in & protect against the MITTM attacks by ISP's blocking their ads. The OS gets the final word before it displays content to the user & it can detect & block these.

Now, they just have to deploy the fix to Android...

_conehead 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
I posted about this on reddit a few weeks ago[0]. Someone in the thread said they had contacted the Better Business Bureau, but I'm not sure what their process is or how far it's gotten.

There has also been a short email thread in which their official response is this:

> Mr. [redacted],

> CMA is in the process of trying to find ways to drive income from our internet service in new ways. These new ways would allow us to expand our service offering and maintain the cost of the current residential and business internet services.

> We've been testing a new service which allows us to overlay / insert some local advertisement on certain web pages. A company called Route 66 is our partner. Right now, you're barraged with a lot of internet advertising, popups, etc… This has become part of the internet experience. At the core, we're simply trying to better customize some of this experience. And possibly give you access to highly relevant local advertising.

> Having said that, I've recently become a little more familiar with what some of these ads look like and how they operate. I will concede that I'm not sure they strike the perfect balance between being information and non-invasive. Like I mentioned, we're involved in a test and the feedback we're getting from the test is helping us to refine and improve how (or if) we'll continue here.
So I'm stopping short of saying that we'll be ceasing this type of internet advertising experiment. But I do want you to know that your feedback has resulted in the beginning of a pretty intense internal dialogue.

> Thanks for your feedback.

> [redacted]

> CMA Communications

It's absolute insanity and a major breach of trust that they'd inject their own content into webpages I visit. I'm permanently using a remote VPN for all outgoing traffic through CMA.

[0]: Didn't know exactly where the post belonged, so I put it in /r/self: http://www.reddit.com/r/self/comments/19zhl6/my_isp_is_injec...

cramerica 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They go as far as even replacing existing ads with their own, this seems criminal, especially when they are directly impacting google/microsoft/apple by removing their ads and replacing them with their own.
degenerate 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
A picture speaks a thousand words here; the author did a great job supplying plentiful screenshots to emphasize how wrong this practice is. I read about this in the past but wasn't too moved until I scrolled through all those screenshots and thought, wow, this is not good for ad publishers OR brands OR anybody. This is only good for the greedy ISP.
richardwhiuk 51 minutes ago 4 replies      
HTTPS everywhere would solve this, and the Comcast Javascript injection - I wonder how many more people will deploy things like this before that happens?
FreedomCP private beta: SaaS control panel for Python & PHP apps on Ubuntu freedomcp.com
20 points by kluikens  1 hour ago   4 comments top 3
bubba1356 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ok just spun up a test server with digitalcloud on the beta, very easy to set up.
One thing I'd like to know more about is security/hardening on a vanilla install.

I'd happily move a live site over to test if I know what's been done under the hood as part of the install.

Either way I see this doing well.

ssazesh 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks awesome!
farabove 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Open source?
Pithy.js - An internal DSL for generating HTML in JavaScript github.com
22 points by sdogruyol  1 hour ago   8 comments top 5
crabasa 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
It is worth noting that the OP is calling this tool pithy (terse, meaningful). In an application I'm working on [1] I have several lines of jQuery and string concatenation to build some simple content.

It's probably overkill to use a full-blown client-side templating engine, but my current code leaves much to be desired. I think pithy.js might be a great fit.

[1] https://github.com/crabasa/seattlehacks/blob/gh-pages/calend...

muxxa 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Almost identical functionality appears as part of MochiKit, and I've found it very useful for quick and clean DOM creation:


Zelphyr 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why is everyone so afraid of HTML that they insist on starting projects like this? I've seen them come and go for 15+ years now and they're never useful. Even less so in the case of using JS to generate HTML because that makes the browser actually work harder.

This isn't a knock against OP or the project creator (if they're not one and the same) because projects like these can be useful exercises. But I would never use something like this in production and I would hope nobody else would either.

grimtrigger 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Awesome! Would be useful if there were callbacks for binding events after the node has been created.
dropdownmenu 58 minutes ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool project, but I feel kind of dirty having js and html being so tightly bound to each other. Do you have a specific use case where pithy would perform faster or be more cleanly implemented than standard templates?
Announcing New Lower Request Pricing for Amazon S3 amazon.com
117 points by cperciva  5 hours ago   25 comments top 6
cperciva 5 hours ago 1 reply      
One interesting item of trivia here: The per-request pricing has remained fixed since it was first introduced, on June 1st, 2007. When S3 launched, it billed based on storage and bandwidth usage alone, at $0.15/GB-month of storage and $0.20/GB of bandwidth.

In what must be one of the greatest "oh crap" moments of AWS history, what Amazon designed as an object store very quickly started to be used as backing storage for virtual disks when EC2 launched in August 2006: Since EC2 at that point had only ephemeral disks (EBS arrived two years later) people created virtual disks with each block -- often 4 kB sectors -- being stored as an S3 object. To make matters worse, since bandwidth between EC2 and S3 was free, you could do as much I/O as your network could handle, yet pay only for the storage.

Before Amazon changed their pricing to introduce the per-request fees, I knew people who were making upwards of 50 million S3 requests per day -- mostly PUTs -- while paying only a few dollars a month. The introduction of per-request fees quickly extinguished that usage case, by pushing the cost upwards by a factor of a thousand... a fact which I'm sure Amazon was very happy about, given that they had presumably been losing lots of money trying to service all the tiny operations effectively for free.

Matsta 4 hours ago 4 replies      
What I don't get is now Rackspace Cloud files (with the Akamai CDN) is pretty much the same price as s3, and you don't have to pay for GET, PUT etc. requests at all.

I think Akamai's CDN is still faster then Amazon's (especially here in New Zealand), and is one flat rate rather then Amazon's rate which increases outside of US/Europe.

Also Rackspace's control panel is much easier to use then Amazon's (In general I don't like the AWS panel, it's takes a while to get the hang of it, especially teaching a newbie is a nightmare) I can't say much about the API, but I'm guessing Amazon win's that as it is the standard.

PanMan 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder if this will mean cloudfront pricing will come down as well. Suddenly it's a lot cheaper to host your assets on S3, without putting cloudfront in front of it.
mokash 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Recently started hosting my Jekyll blog on S3 with CloudFront and it's already costing me more or less nothing. I love how they're constantly lowering the prices of their services.
veesahni 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I like that Amazon is sharing the benefits of their massive scale with their customers. Though, by keeping their margins slim, they'll make it increasingly harder for smaller vendors to compete.
programminggeek 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Amazon continues to make S3 maybe my favorite of all of their services.
Show HN: EssenceApp.com - Daily digest of your Twitter VIPs essenceapp.com
21 points by gdonelli  1 hour ago   21 comments top 10
mtrimpe 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks pretty cool. You probably want to at least show me what I will receive in my email before making me actually verify my email address though.

What I would really want though is a twitter client that will condense all the missed tweets since the last time I checked my feed (for which my close friends would be an important factor.)

You should probably also consider doing that for multiple platforms, which would give you something similar to Flipboard rather than yet-another-client-at-the-mercy-of-Twitter's-whims.

jenius 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you just make a twitter list containing only your VIPs and check that when you want to find out? If I'm not mistaken, all this service does is email you the contents of a twitter list once a day...?
michelleclsun 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What I found from using this product in the past few weeks is that it helped me re-engage with the people I missed their tweets, either by replying or clicking through the links.

Twitter also has the dailiy / weekly digest functions, but it's organized by most popular tweets (https://twitter.com/settings/notifications). Sometimes I just want to know what my cousin back home or an ex-colleague tweeted about, which is useful for.

One thing I'd like to see is to make more than one list, or be able to set email digest for some of my existing lists.

marknutter 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Or you could just only follow the people you are actually interested in.
gdonelli 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
The server is starting to be sluggish to get the gist of the product you may want to take a look at the video I put together:


sciencerobot 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
I expected this to automatically determine my VIPs from my favorite, retweets and interactions. Making me select the people I want to add as VIPs isn't that much more beneficial than just having a Twitter list.
amitm 1 hour ago 1 reply      
We built something like this a little while ago that does the same thing for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: http://followbot.me/
gdonelli 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I build this service so I could be better in touch with my closest friends.

I wanted to eliminate some of the noise of Twitter and focus on people I care the most.

Please let me know what you think about it, I hope you like it

superpier 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Great Job! Have you ever thought to have a similar filter for Facebook? Keep going and good luck!
jimwalsh 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Nice work, and seems useful. Good luck!
Tecfidera's Price corante.com
42 points by mhb  3 hours ago   33 comments top 8
rurounijones 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Off-topic: For anyone interested the guy who wrote this post also has a hilarious section of his blog called "Things I won't work with" http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/things_i_wont_work_with... which documents various insanely dangerous chemicals along with very humourous descriptions of their history, usage, what crazy people tried do do with them and in what ways they have killed people.

You do not need to be a chemist to appreciate it.

ebbv 2 hours ago 6 replies      
The blog post seems to frame the issue as:

"Should this company be allowed to make massive profits off of their investment in clinical trials?"

Any reasonable person would say "Sure they are allowed to make a profit off of that." I don't think there's going to be much objection to that question.

But that's not the real issue, and I think if the author is honest he knows that. The real issue is:

"Should MS patients, many of whom are poor, be forced to pay $50k/year for medication to help with their condition."

The answer to that is obviously no. Now you can say that the insurance company will take care of it, but that's presuming people have insurance and that the insurance company isn't going to dump them, they're not going to have a deductible they can't afford, etc.

When it comes to medicine, ethics have a larger role to play than say, home decor.

Anyone who doesn't acknowledge that is being disingenuous.

mauvehaus 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a bit off-topic, but if you enjoyed his writing on this, I would also recommend perusing the category "Things I won't Work With"[1], but maybe only if you have the afternoon free. It's a hilarious compendium of chemicals that are simply too unpleasant to work with for his tastes. For values of unpleasant including explosive, smelly, corrosive, or some combination thereof.

I'm not a chemist, but his tellings of not just how things could go terribly wrong once you have the substance, but the myriad ways it can wrong merely trying to make the substance had me in stitches for the better part of an afternoon.

Then again, I was always the one setting stuff on fire, breaking glassware, or trying the reaction with more reagents in high school chem lab, so maybe it only appeals to me...

[1] http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/things_i_wont_work_with...

Alex3917 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why not just buy it for research use? You can buy a year's supply for $22 bucks online that's at least 99 pure. Then for an extra couple hundreds bucks you can just put it in a mass spectrometer to make sure that none of the impurities are going to be dangerous.
ctdonath 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Punchline of old joke:

Hitting engine with hammer - $1

Knowing where to hit engine with hammer - $9999

nonamegiven 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting comment from the article's comment thread, from Janne. A patent is for the commercialization of an idea. Anyone is free to implement any patent for personal use, as long as you don't sell it. If the use of this common chemical, and its transformation, is understood well enough for this to become a home brew possibility, then people could do exactly that. Not that this is possible or advisable for most drugs, but this particular drug may be one.
lifeisstillgood 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is interesting - as 3d printers mature, and as home brew drug manufacture improves how the hell will pharma companies be able to enforce this - I mean at some stage soon we can download a recipie for aspirin, why not dimethyl fumarate?

To be honest because the DEA will drive such printers underground, which with 54,000 reasons to go underground is an amazingly bad idea

If you are interested in recreational drug legalisation this is the industry to support - something will change

andrewcooke 2 hours ago 0 replies      
that's also a similar price to other MS drugs (eg beta-interferon).

my understanding is that none of these (existing and new MS drugs) is a 100% applicable fix. they all are effective on only a subset of patients, and they all have different side-effects (which is still good news as it improves the chance that any one patient will find something that works (the subset of affected patients changes with the drug) and is not harmful).

also, fwiw, the govt here in chile pays 80% of the cost. i don't know if that means it can also negotiate a lower price, but i would suspect so.

and does this also suggest help for other auto-immune diseases (lupus etc)?

[update:] also, talking more about the economics - the market is probably very inflexible. existing patients with a drug that "works" (and these only work in some statistical sense - they reduce the chance of outbreaks) is not going to want to switch, because (1) there's a large chance that you'll start having outbreaks again and (2) often they take months to become effective.

so the main pressure in lowering prices has to come from either large purchasers (national health systems, insurers) or from new patients. for new patients i guess that oral delivery (i think?) is a big win over injections. that is something people will pay for.

Why bitcoin's rise is nothing to celebrate reuters.com
46 points by ldayley  1 hour ago   40 comments top 18
cs702 56 minutes ago 3 replies      
Many currencies in existence are now riskier and less stable than Bitcoin.

Yes, it's true. As of right now, there are 182 official currencies worldwide[1], most of which you've never heard of in your life, and many of which have total market capitalization lower than Bitcoin.[2] Others are subject to extreme sociopolitical, economic, or military-conflict risks. Would you rather own bitcoins, which are traded globally, or, say, Libyan dinars, North Korean wons, Syrian pounds, etc.?

Even the US dollar and euro, supposedly bastions of stability, have seen their exchange rate jump from US$0.80 per euro in 2002 to US$1.60 in 2008 (100% jump), only to drop back down to US$1.20 in 2010 (25% drop), then jump to US$1.45 in 2011 (20% jump), only to drop back down to around US$1.29 today.[3]

If Bitcoin survives the horrific economic crises in countries like Spain, Greece, and Cyprus, and the even more horrific military conflicts in countries like Syria and Sudan, it will continue gaining credibility as the currency of last resort -- the global digital commodity that will survive even if your country or economy goes to hell.


Edit: changed "most currencies in existence" to "many currencies in existence," which is what I actually intended to write.


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

[2] http://reason.com/24-7/2013/04/01/at-1b-bitcoin-holds-more-v...

[3] https://www.google.com/finance?chdnp=1&chdd=1&chds=1...

dfxm12 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Bitcoin, in that sense, is anti democratic. It's based on mistrust rather than trust, it refuses to take any responsibility onto itself " indeed, it doesn't even have a self to take responsibility onto. It's nihilistic.

This is an interesting bit of rhetoric, but I don't follow the logic here. The author contends that banks are built on trust and Bitcoins are built on mistrust.

Don't the pages of legislation and regulation prove that we don't trust banks? What about what's happened in Cyprus recently?

Also, isn't the p2p model of Bitcoin the very crux of trust?

I agree Bitcoin has been volatile, but it isn't based on mistrust.

kmfrk 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm not a fan of Bitcoin, but I think we're probably in for a deluge of #slatepitches linkbaiting us with coarse verdicts for or against Bitcoins for the next number of weeks and months.

Maybe we'll have to take some measures against these clogging the frontpage of HN.

I really liked The New Yorker's article on Bitcoin, which also served excellently to explain its history, purpose, and method: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/the-f....

gesman 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Bitcoin's rise is a consequence of raising mistrust of people in monetary policies of their banks and their governments.

Watching your money frozen or being used to pay off for government's failures is no fun.

Hence - the result.

rlpb 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The article uses bank and bank deposits as an example of trust, and presumes that because Bitcoins lack these, it is based on mistrust.

But this is a false analogy. Bitcoins are analogous to cash, not to banks. Those involved in Bitcoin expect Bitcoin banks to spring up.

Those who are trading on Mt Gox are already trusting Mt Gox with their Bitcoin.

xradionut 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think that Bitcoins are a sign of mistrust that people have in corrupt banks and governments.
raldi 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Imagine a sucker who took out a loan in bitcoins a few weeks ago " she'd never be able to pay it back today

...unless her income is also paid in Bitcoins.

mtgx 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why hasn't anyone made a currency that is similar to Bitcoin with the only difference that it can grow infinitely, with an inflation of roughly 2% per year?

It would also need to have the same difficulty increases of Bitcoin, to account for future mining technology, other if the difficulty stays too low, someone with some breakthrough hardware could generate and "print" a lot of new units.

Expez 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin's role the world economy is unlikely to be as a replacement for all other currencies. This is partly because of the properties of the currency inself--a modest inflation is good for the economy--and partly because governments/unions are not wont to give up complete control over their currency.

Instead I suspect Bitcoins will be used as a medium to ease transactions. At present it's both hard, time consuming and expensive to move money around (banks profit on the exchange rates, VISA taking 2.5% cut out of credit card transactions, paypal taking a cut etc etc).

The author is quite right that the incredible surge in price isn't good in terms of bringing about widespread adoption for Bitcions, but the rise in price is also inevitable. If Bitcoins are to be used as a transactional medium, then the value of bitcoins have to reflect some percentage (not all transactions will be in bitcoins!) of the amount of money in transit. At present the entire bitcoin economy is worth about $1.5B. I have no idea what say the value of say 1% of all the transactions in world which are taking place at the present moment is, but I suspect it is a great deal more than $1.5B.

TomGullen 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Imagine a sucker who took out a loan in bitcoins a few weeks ago " she'd never be able to pay it back today. That's a pretty good sign that bitcoins don't work as a currency.

Is this a fundamental flaw that's always going to plague Bitcoin? Or is it just a growing pain whilst the currency grows and stabilises?

jstalin 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I expect to see more and more attacks on the concept of bitcoin because it exposes the flaws in modern fractional reserve banking and fiat currency issued by central banks.
dj-wonk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The article says "That's by design: bitcoins were created to be the most fungible commodity the world had ever seen". Could someone please share a citation for that?

I understand that both currencies and commodities are undifferentiated and so are more easily traded, so I can see similarities.

But, from a common usage perspective, as well as from an economic viewpoint, a commodity is defined as a good, having value in itself. So the above claim seems rather misguided. Am I missing something?

taariqlewis 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
If for every news article, the price of BTC rises, then trading in Bitcoin simply for appreciation may not be such a bad idea...at least for the short term trader. Ain't nothing wrong with a little press-driven price action.
luckystarr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm still not sure what to think about this whole development.

It looks and feels like a bubble about to burst.

On the other hand it feels different because there is vested interest in owning bitcoins that differs from owning "regular" money, i.e. relative obscurity of spenders identity, etc.

cinquemb 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Come on everyone, we cannot possibly work together in any meaningful societal capacity without having upmost trust and faith in banks and our respective governments.


powatom 58 minutes ago 1 reply      
I've thought a similar thing about Bitcoin before - it seems like this is the 'goldrush' era - people are grabbing as many Bitcoins as they can before they become too scarce. Assuming there is no sudden drop-off in interest, will we not eventually see a new digital currency, acting as a representation / guarantee of future value? The currency itself has no worth, merely the idea that it can be traded at some point for something WITH worth (i.e an individual Bitcoin).

It's like trading in gold rather than money, and all this current rush is going to do is force an eventual emulation of real-world banking systems.

steven2012 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm willing to bet that once the dust settles on this a year from now, some sort of huge Wall Street-esque conspiracy or fraud will be exposed that propelled the price up so insanely, and then all crypto-currencies will be at risk. All other bubbles we've seen in the last 15 years have been frauds, be it the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble, etc. This is no different, and reeks of fraudulent behavior.
johnminter 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
The real key to any currency is it acceptance. When paper currency was first developed, it became widely accepted because the issuing government declared that it would be accepted as payment for taxes. Given the ubiquity of taxes, I understand the acceptance. What I don't understand is on what basis one can conclude that the acceptance of bitcoin will continue.
Rust 0.6 released github.com
13 points by epenn  1 hour ago   1 comment top
Perl and Perl Module Administration in the Modern Era speakerdeck.com
26 points by draegtun  2 hours ago   9 comments top
zdw 1 hour ago 8 replies      
This is stupid. The entire reason that people have issues with multiple versions of software is that they had to "roll their own" and don't bother to update it, thus they hit incompatibilities and need some sort of "bundling" utility like this.

If you're running any form of Unix, it's very likely that you already have a package management system. It's also likely that system has more features, and is better designed from a management and consistency perspective than any one of CPAN and it's descendants (gem, cabal, etc.).

A much better solution - either make your own packages, or use a tool like FPM (https://github.com/jordansissel/fpm) to make native packages, then deploy the result as you would any other package.

I hope for an era when running CPAN or gem interacts with the package manager, building a real OS-level package and installing/deploying it, rather than the current "you need to run this script incantation on every production machine, oh, and you need the whole toolchain too" idiocy.

Build-your-own-Dropbox service AeroFS (YC S10) now open to the masses arstechnica.com
7 points by jakek  18 minutes ago   discuss
Archaeologists discover 'Gate to Hell' abc.net.au
60 points by i386  3 hours ago   18 comments top 7
JPKab 1 hour ago 1 reply      
And to think I thought they had known where Oracle's headquarters were all along.
davidjohnstone 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"…destroyed by the early Christians in 6AD" " there's something wrong with that statement.

Edit: according to http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/gate-to-hell-f..., it was in the 6th century AD.

MrJagil 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I really wish articles like these would include photos, the referenced writings or at least the coordinates.
morsch 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another amazing place in the running for the title Gate to Hell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_to_Hell
speeder 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anyone else here is wishing you had time to pack up some breathing gear and cross the gate to see what is inside?
Toenex 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
Nothing new, there are loads of them all over the UK. For locations just see here http://www.entrances2hell.co.uk/.
orangethirty 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone have the coordinates to the site?
Canceling bulk sent invitations on Linkedin the easy way brunosouza.info
12 points by brunomvsouza  1 hour ago   5 comments top 4
gergles 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn's customer service has a tool that will remove all of these for you and remove them from the recipient inboxes (on the service, obviously it can't remove the email copies) as well, should this happen to anyone else. It was mentioned in the aftermath of the Matt Haughey LinkedIn situation.
od2m 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sendgrid strikes again! (they send email for LinkedIn)
inokon 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is great.

But even though I withdraw my invite, the invitation still sits in their inbox so when a month from now that person gets to it they get confused. My wish is that Linked in exposed the list that they are mailing. Do I really want the random guy from Craigslist joining my network. I'm surprised there isn't a larger outcry to their traps.

webwanderings 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to opt out from receiving such emails, for those who are not on Linkdin to begin with?
Keep Control of Your Start-up Forever inc.com
8 points by taytus  42 minutes ago   1 comment top
momchenr 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Make hockey stick growth a reality." Wow, great advice. I almost forgot to do that one.
New Hybrid Memory Cube spec to boost DRAM bandwidth by 15X computerworld.com
21 points by jcr  2 hours ago   5 comments top 2
voidlogic 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
Bandwidth improvements are always fantastic, but I wish they would have mentioned if this new technology has any effect on latency.
tocomment 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Wouldn't this have heat dissapation issues?
Douglas R. Hofstadter has a new book? amazon.com
21 points by yarapavan  2 hours ago   10 comments top 6
chubot 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hm, so back in 2000 I met a girl at Stanford whose senior thesis was based on the idea that metaphor is the core of all thought.

I remember giving the counterexample of a mathematical formula. In what way is e^i*pi = -1 a metaphor for anything? What role does analogy play in this idea?

Looking back, I am open to the fact that mathematicians use analogy to come up with their ideas (but perhaps not metaphor, which seems essentially literary) Mathematics is funny because it is presented in "reverse", i.e. not the way it was derived.

Anyway I will have to read it, although I am slightly skeptical of ideas that try to explain "everything". In retrospect Taleb's Antifragile had some of that flavor, although I thought it was very good.

EDIT: I think it's probably accurate to say that the brain is fundamentally an association machine. Analogies are a form of association, but not all associations are analogies. This very post is a great example of an association (not an analogy), because when I read "analogy is the core of all thought" it made me think of the disputed "metaphor is the core of all thought" idea I heard a long time ago.

Jun8 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great news! Even when it's overwrought and opinionated, Hofstadter's writing is never boring, Le Ton Beau de Marot is, I think, one of the best books on translation. There isn't too much (English) information on Emmanuel Sander (other than his homepage: http://paragraphe.crac.free.fr/articles.php?lng=en&pg=79, Google seriously needs a semantic clustering algorithm for results, btw, had to laboriously sift through results for Emmanuel Sanders).

Looking at the excerpt at Amazon, I learned that (i) Hofstadter married again (see them dancing here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeB-wu7aV0w) recently, which is totally irrelevant to the book, but was interesting to me since I was much moved from his heartfelt sorrow after his wife's death so eloquently expressed in Le Ton beau and (ii) there's a figure of speech called zeugma that I've never heard before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeugma), mentioned on pg. 5.

dribnet 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
A great read by Hofstadter on Analogy as the Core of Cognition is here: http://prelectur.stanford.edu/lecturers/hofstadter/analogy.h...

I'm a big fan of Hofstadter and his emphasis on analogy. George Lakoff has and others from cognative semantics provide strongly supporting views from linguistics.

Recent excitement over Deep Learning is also providing new support for these views on analogy. This isn't immediately obvious until realizing that analogy is not necessarily an active process more likely a passive result of how thoughts and memories are encoded and stored. I'm curious as to whether Hofstadter will make say as much in this book - I would imagine so as he was long ago excited by earlier similar ML approaches (Sparse Distributed Memory).

dsr_ 1 hour ago 2 replies      
July 1994: Amazon.com sells first book, "Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought" -- at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=iro...

That's pretty cool right there.

themgt 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
The idea that analogy underpins all thought is also argued by Ian McGilchrist in his book Master and His Emissary, which I'd highly recommend to people interested in the sort of epic philosophical undertaking GEB was: http://www.iainmcgilchrist.com/The_Master_and_his_Emissary_b...
gwern 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sounds like he's getting back to his research; which is good, since maybe it won't be as maudlin and self-indulgent as _I Am A Strange Loop_ was.
This Professor only has a PhD degree hku.hk
159 points by formatjam  10 hours ago   67 comments top 25
buro9 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I have an MSc in Computer Science but lack a BSc or A-levels.

I was homeless and sleeping rough when my peers were in secondary education, I was living in squats and hitch-hiking around the UK when they were in university.

Being self-taught, I applied for the MSc after 15 years experience as it was a source of personal anxiety for me to lead large technical projects in which almost every other person was highly educated (MSc or PhD) and those that were not had a BSc. I felt a constant career vertigo in my position, due to not feeling sure in my abilities.

During the MSc I struggled with revision technique and exam skills, having never sat any before. But where I was weak at exams I frequently scored above 95% for coursework, research projects and coding tests.

Mostly I felt that the MSc taught me the language with which to communicate and argue the things I already knew.

When I completed the MSc I reflected that I would've been more competent at a PhD than the MSc. But I didn't know in advance how I would fare at the MSc and that a PhD might interest me. Mostly I was just 'checking boxes' to improve confidence in my existing work, but I found myself very seriously debating whether I wanted to pursue a PhD when I got to the end of the MSc. I really enjoyed the research work in the MSc.

derrida 8 hours ago 2 replies      
As did Wittgenstein http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wittgenstein who was an engineering drop out and wrote the Tractatus whilst a WW1 PoW in Italy, only to be given a PhD as an afterthought by Russell. I have known of an academic in a teaching and research position at a major university who did not complete high-school & was hired based on the merit of their published papers.

These are of course the very small minority to the general rule.

There are also cases of it working the other-way: PhDs that have made a lifelong contribution to their field without an academic post. Paul Erd's comes to mind... the most prolific mathematician of all time (by number of published papers) was a vagabond. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erdos

(Interesting fact: both Wittgenstein and Erd's were disciples of the thought of Frank P. Ramsey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_P._Ramsey I am finding it hard to discover which degrees, if any, he had.)

noelwelsh 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I know a few cases of researchers who don't have PhDs, but I've never seen this before.

Probably the best known researcher in CS who doesn't hold a PhD is Simon Peyton Jones. He is very well known in the field of programming languages and one of the main implementors of the main Haskell implementation GHC. I think he might have started a PhD in the last few years, but he was appointed a professor at Glasgow without one.

moron4hire 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Shock! Horror! Gasp! You mean someone can be accomplished in academics without following the Standard Academic Track That Is Designed By Our Benevolent Government And Their Patriotic Comrades In University To Provide Thou With A Most Efficient And Complete Education?!
CurtMonash 8 hours ago 0 replies      
When I visited grad schools junior year (1975), I was told I did not need an undergraduate degree. Armed with that knowledge, I held firm in my negotiations about undergrad requirements, and the Dean of the Honors Program later thanked me for bothering to graduate.

When I did get to grad school, a couple of professors didn't have PhDs. One was my eventual thesis advisor, which was awkward in that he didn't really seem to empathize with certain stresses I was going through. ;)


Specifics on that include:

Undergrad -- Ohio State

Grad -- Harvard, mathematics

Adviser -- Andy Gleason; I realized he didn't have a PhD in that pre-web era only after I saw his bio for the presidency of the American Mathematical Association

argumentum 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The number theorist, Ramanujan, had only one Cambridge degree, "B.A. by Research", which was later renamed as "PhD". It was awarded after he had published important work with two of the greatest English mathematicians, Hardy and Littlewood.

If you delve into history, there are innumerable examples of achievement through non-traditional channels. Lincoln didn't have a law degree, for example. In the 20th century, auto-didacticism (teaching yourself) became less common .. here's hoping that that trend is reversed in the 21st.

pud 5 hours ago 2 replies      
In some states, including California, you can practice law without having any type of law degree -- as long as you pass the Bar Exam.

I've always been tempted to study & take it.

drucken 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a feeling that this was more common in the past.

Except, 1993 is not that long ago and University of Durham is one of the best universities in the UK, especially in his chosen subject. There is no way he could have got into that university on a PhD programme without passing rigorous academic tests.

Oh, and he did it all with English to a high level.

So, indeed, that is quite (art of British understatement) impressive!

celerity 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a math Ph.D. student, and one of my professors went straight to Princeton after 3 years of college without his degree. He impressed a Princeton professor enough to have him offer a position there, which he could apparently do. My professor took the offer, not only because it was fantastic in its own right, but also because he only took math courses as an undergrad, and getting his bachelor's degree would have meant taking a year of humanities -- a nightmare!

This isn't that strange. A lot of universities are private institutions, so they can accept whom they please.

curiousdannii 7 hours ago 0 replies      
PhD by Publication isn't uncommon. I know a number of people who have worked as researchers in NGOs. After a decade of that it can take just a few months to tidy up the work you have already done, submit it to a university, and be awarded the qualification.
broken_symlink 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Barry Mazur, a professor at Harvard, only has a PhD from Princeton. He attended MIT for undergrad and just never graduated.
ximeng 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Google cache:


Impressive to get the equivalent of an MSc while working in a butcher shop.

malcolmmcc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I get that this reads funny, but I think it's fairly clear what he means...like, reworded it might say:

"I essentially have a BSc and MSc, through self-studying, but the only degree I got from an academic institution was my PhD."

arbuge 3 hours ago 0 replies      
More power to him. He's pretty straightforward about it and probably has unique perspectives on life which the other faculty are lacking. I might have enjoyed my own PhD work more if I had been one of his graduate students instead.
ekurutepe 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The former german education minister Annette Schavan(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_Schavan) also had only a PhD-Degree, which was taken back last year due to plagiarism, leaving her with no academic degrees whatsoever.
edgar_di 7 hours ago 0 replies      
now you made me feel bad.
I have the wall decorated with a Bsc. in engineering, a graduate diploma, and Masters degree in IT
and no Job!.
a Degree Is Worthless, you get a piece of paper after spending 4+ or more years of your life; Collaborate!.
rdipasup 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think we're definitely in a wave of education bubble. Soon enough, paper degrees wouldn't matter. Udemy, Udacity, etc may look like 'for fun' type of schools, but I'm sure they'll democratize institution heavy traditional schools.
Hitchhiker 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Loved the " only " part.
wwosik 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I believe that, for once, formally you don't need MA/MSc to get a PhD.

Another example could be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Banach

MaysonL 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Then there's Ed Fredkin, who joined MIT as a full professor with no degree.
m2mapps 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not quite the same, but a few years ago I met an HCI professor who had started his career as a male nurse and had worked his way up through the academic system.
oellegaard 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe I should stop my BsC studies, it might be easier to go directly for the PhD :D
saadazzz 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel like such a loser reading this...
ForFreedom 6 hours ago 0 replies      
His numbers are there, did somebody call him?
sauravt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
JackDB Heroku Plugin - Explore Your Databases In Your Browser github.com
24 points by sehrope  3 hours ago   16 comments top 7
benologist 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
This looks really nice but the plan structure is very weird.

Why do I need to know or care how many concurrent connections my querying or administration requires? Is this to stop people having more than one tab open? Why can't you just use connection pooling and probably not exceed more than 2 or 3 regardless?

The tiny limits on returned rows means many tasks are going to made tedious, simple stuff like pulling out every name/email subscribed to a mailing list is going to take multiple queries even on the pro plan.

programminggeek 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It took me a few clicks to figure out what JackDB is.

With all the new datastores out there, ending your project with DB seems to imply it's yet another database, then you go to your homepage and I have to click the about button to even figure out what the product might be.

Also, I kind of hate the tagline "make a lasting connection with your data". Given that your homepage only shows that and 2 buttons, it seems that you really want me to "make a lasting connection with my data" more than figure out what your product is. Why would someone even click the "Try JackDB Now" button if they don't know what it is or does?

http://www.jackdb.com/home.html is a much better page and maybe it should be your hope page. It certainly explains your product better.

On a side note, I'm not sure that there is a market willing to pay $12 or $29 a month for a web based database client, but I can see the basic appeal. Best of luck!

ozataman 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Believe it or not (given we live in the age of gmail and the cloud), the big issue for me is trust. How am I supposed to provide login information on mission critical databases, get the convenience of using a cloud-based product AND sleep well at night?
sehrope 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi founder here - Hopefully the github page does a decent job explaining how it all works. If not, I can answer any questions you guys have.
skram 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is great. Any plans to support nosql datastores like couch and mongo? These datastores could really use an exploratory interface like JackDB.
zht 2 hours ago 1 reply      
so in other words, a prettier looking phpMyAdmin
abeh 2 hours ago 2 replies      
this looks great. since i switched to postgres from mysql, i was missing something like sequel pro. i tried induction, but it is buggy. will be trying this out shortly!
A Pop Star With Zero Experience: How To Hack The Music Industry In Under 8 Weeks hackthesystem.com
87 points by playhard  6 hours ago   49 comments top 20
mootothemax 5 hours ago 3 replies      
A more down-to-earth guide, and an absolutely fantastic read at that, is The KLF's "The Manual - How To Have A Number One The Easy Way" by the KLF:


It's a bit dated, given that they wrote it in the 80s, but it contains some absolute gems:

Stock, Aitkin and Waterman, however, are kings of writing chorus lyrics that go straight to the emotional heart of the 7" single buying girls in this country. Their most successful records will kick into the chorus with a line which encapsulates the entire emotional meaning of the song. This will obviously be used as the title. As soon as Rick Astley hit the first line of the chorus on his debut single it was all over - the Number One position was guaranteed:

"I'm never going to give you up"

It says it all. It's what every girl in the land whatever her age wants to hear her dream man tell her. Then to follow that line with:

"I'm never gonna let you down I'm never going to fool around or upset you"


As soon as they had those lyrics written they must have known they could have taken out a block booking on the Number One slot. Then within the next twelve months to have written the chorus:

"I should be so lucky Luck, lucky, lucky I should be so lucky in love"

brendoncrawford 1 minute ago 0 replies      
Just what the world needed: More talentless hacks teaching the world how to more efficiently spread bad art.

It really is a shame that time invested into areas having nothing to do with the music is rewarded over the music itself. This seems to select out the good artists who are actually doing something interesting.

venus 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Well that's all very good, well done etc, but now what?

This guy, through a combination of youthful good looks, utter lack of shame, and sheer hustle has managed to get himself onto the british top 10. But he can't sustain it and the song itself is utter crap; he never set out to make good music, after all.

So what's the point?

The author mentions Tim Ferriss and I see the parallels. Ferriss also "hacked" his way into the Chinese Kung Fu champion's position, by unconventional use of the rules, in a paper achievement lacking any real accomplishment or respect. To his credit, Tim followed up by writing several books of actual value, and never confused hacking a competition with actually being a kung-fu master.

Like Ferriss's win, this is a stunt, a conversation starter, a prelude. It's AirBNB's Cheeri-O's, or whatever they were called. A cool anecdote to talk about - and kudos to him, genuinely, and AirBNB, and Ferriss. But it's not a real achievement in and of itself, not one that I particularly care about, anyway. At the end of the day, you still have to make AirBNB.

So now what?

citricsquid 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The One Direction Youtube channel the article links to has ~95,000,000 views, that channel is the one that only contains interviews and tour diaries, their actual music channel has almost 1.5 BILLION video views (http://www.youtube.com/user/onedirectionvevo). He doesn't even come close to the exposure of One Direction, their channel is ~18 months old and his >5 years, and 1D's real channel is 15x the size in 1/3rd of the time.
k2xl 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What utter BS of a guide. As a musician for many years, I can tell you that he would not have a number 1 hit if he didn't have hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers. If this guy didn't have the YouTube subscribers, he would of sold to his family and friends and that's probably it.

The music industry is a popularity contest. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of artists who produce high quality songs but don't have a huge fan base preexisting on a social network.

Getting a big hit is the same as getting a big hit in the startup world. Unless you have a prexisting connection/PR marketing presence, the success is mostly driven by luck and brutal hard work.

What grinds my gears in the music world (and startup world) is when people who have success think it has something to do with their product/song being more unique or better than the next guys. 9 out of 10 times it is due to some competitive advantage the artist/founder had over others.

nakedrobot2 5 hours ago 4 replies      
STOP using "HACK" !

I'm putting this word in the list of vomit-inducing words and phrases like "synergize", "leverage", "circle back", "win-win", etc.

aw3c2 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Vague mumbo jumbo including the sentence "I had recorded songs before with other producers (...)" as a not-so-zero experience indicator. The guys has a well frequented Youtube channel for 5 years. And he does not even get into that pre-benefit.

Skip, you are not missing anything in this "let's drop the word 'hack'" fluff piece.

k-mcgrady 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Something not mentioned in the article which I think is important to note is that the song "dropped to number 112 the following week, setting a record for the biggest drop in UK Singles Chart history, falling 108 places". It seems like he used his online fan base to push the single that one week and it gained zero traction with the general public once it got there.


josscrowcroft 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I posted this link out on Facebook and somebody asked "Have you listened to his music?"

I hadn't.

The horror, the horror... if this is "the future of music", then we're in for a rough ride.

Still, if even half"decent musicians can take something away from the publicity stunt and hustle a bit, then we might make some progress... maybe.

TamDenholm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I think one of the best points here is that you should exploit loopholes for your own advantage. Alex did this by allowing multiple song versions to be purchased so he could compound the sales that meant he didnt need as many people to buy his song. Tim Ferriss did it when he became a kickboxing champion by shoving his opponents outside the ring and essentially winning on a technicality.

Sure, these kind of things may be considered unethical and if a new guy came into my industry and rose to the top very quickly by exploiting a loophole after i've devoted years of my life to do it the right way, i'd be properly pissed off. But this option can act as a springboard into turning your ambition into real success.

I once heard a story, no idea if its true or not, of a guy that bought a chain of retail sports stores. He didnt have any real money, but managed to structure the deal to pay a small deposit and pay the remainder over time. What he did to raise the initial deposit was get a series of personal loans, house, friends and family, etc. He then bought the business by paying the deposit, then immediately sold off all existing stock as quickly as he could in sales and wholesale lots, giving the business a massive cash injection and revenue spike. That allowed him to pay off all his personal loans and pay the remainder of the money to the seller. He then got long term lines of credit from suppliers based on the long term good history the business already had, restocked and resumed normal operation, over time paying down the lines of credit and keeping the business on the good track it was already on.

My point being, is that you should always look for your competitive advantage.

JonnieCache 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So strange that what was once a tactic of cynical industry players is now the modus operandi of young artists themselves. Where is there room for compensated self-expression in this brave new world of content creation I wonder?
hoi 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure he wouldn't have 'hacked' the system if he hadn't already had 650K youtube followers that took him 5 years to grow.
momchenr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Be strong on YouTube." Great Advice. Also, advice for pediatricians: "Be good with kids." Love it when advice is so general that it's insulting.
darkxanthos 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't believe this guy was for real before reading the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Day

I guess even I'm still too much of a perfectionist. Inspiring.

alan_cx 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This reads like brick layer decides to build own wall.

Am I wrong?

petercooper 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Get ready for the book: The 4-Bar Rockstar
unkoman 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm an Alex Day fan and don't really understand the negativity in the comments here. He makes music I like and spread it in an unconventional way. That's about it.

Not a hack, but just a different way to go about it.

jdmitch 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder how many of the purchases were "revenge" - it seems to be that most years there is an aggressive social media campaign for anyone BUT the latest X-factor star. I know in 2011 there was definitely a big push for anything but the JLS/One-direction single to be #1
yowmamasita 3 hours ago 1 reply      
>Net result: the sales doubled.

Doubled? How? Vague. I think he's attributing his success to the wrong things.

Moot 1.0 launches with embeddable forums and commenting without IFRAMEs moot.it
4 points by tipiirai  19 minutes ago   discuss
Comcast injecting JS github.com
408 points by brokentone  18 hours ago   244 comments top 51
STRML 17 hours ago 8 replies      
This code is beyond awful - it fails to display, makes endless AJAX requests, and more; here are a few fun tidbits:

1. The code is not encapsulated in an IIFE, so it clobbers any global variables (like 'image_url') in the page, breaking any scripts relying on those variables.

2. The code spends an inordinate time checking if you're running Netscape Navigator 6.

3. Strangely, they include a whole bunch of code allowing the message to be dragged around the window (which is nice) but they don't allow it to be closed. Of course, it closes itself after making a single AJAX request into a black hole, so there's that. Bugs piled on top of each other make this entire message mostly harmless, if it weren't for the variable clobbering & bandwidth usage (see the next item...)

4. Upon load, checkBulletin() is immediately invoked. This does an AJAX call to '/e8f6b078-0f35-11de-85c5-efc5ef23aa1f/aupm/notify.do?dispatch=checkBulletin'. I assume this is to check if the bulletin has changed, to see if there are new messages, or maybe to check if the user has acknowledged the message yet. Unfortunately:

* This URL is relative, which means it will never actually reach its intended target (instead filling your web logs with this request)

* Upon xmlhttp.readystate=4 (request finished, successful or not, so this will change to 4 even on a 404 error), the comcast message is hidden. This means that the entire 'bandwidth exceeded' message will actually be hidden as soon as this request completes, which may be in <500ms, giving the user absolutely no time to see or acknowledge it.

* The author makes an attempt to not continue sending AJAX requests to this URL after a successful attempt, but botches it, so this request is actually sent indefinitely, every 5000ms, while every any page is open. This means every single tab on your system is popping AJAX requests every 5 seconds for the whole month that your account is nearing its quota. This likely brings you over quota pretty quickly if you leave your computer on all day.

That's right, this code causes every page served on your system to pop an AJAX request to the wrong URL every 5 seconds, as long as the tabs are open.

We can sit and argue all day whether or not it's ethical to display messages by injecting code into the DOM, but it is certainly unethical to write such awful javascript that clobbers global variables and drives up bandwidth costs by making AJAX requests to the wrong url every 5 seconds until the cows come home. Whoever wrote this script should be fired.

EDIT: Similarly, back in the dialup days, some ISPs would inject ads into their content. One way this was stopped was to argue that it was not legal for the ISP to charge you for data, then artificially inflate the size of that data by injecting ads. This script is doing just the same in a measurable way by causing these AJAX requests to be run every 5 seconds on every tab in your system.

DanielBMarkham 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Wonder how the folks back at Comcast HQ would feel if the rest of the internet started adding messages to their web browsing telling them this kind of thing is unsatisfactory? Hey, this content injection game is a game that we all can play.

This is the old "windows alert" nonsense. Everybody and their brother that touched the windows system thought the user would want a popup when their program did something. So the user experience was/is full of annoying popups, warnings, and information messages. Log onto a heavily-customized windows machine that hasn't been used in a month or two and it's like visiting Los Vegas. Good luck trying to get anything done.

Comcast. All kinds of other internet providers manage to communicate these things to their subscribers without this nonsense. Take a hint.

RKearney 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought this code looked familiar!

Here's my writeup on it for whoever is interested


brokentone 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm getting a lot of requests on our servers for "/e8f6b078-0f35-11de-85c5-efc5ef23aa1f/aupm/notify.do" so I can confirm this is in production. I can also confirm they suck at JS.
tokenadult 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Ladies and gentlemen, this is why if you are hiring a programmer, you always ask for a work-sample test before making the hiring decision final.


Yes, the code sample suggests someone clueless about programming in general, even more than being clueless about the particular language of this program. So on what basis was the coder hired?

dangrossman 18 hours ago 2 replies      
So if you were proxying some other protocol over port 80, Comcast might just inject some JavaScript into the stream and corrupt your data?

I don't even like the thought that they're running some kind of hardware that makes this possible. They're sending packets impersonating a web server you actually want to talk to, pretending to be part of a response you requested?

bigiain 12 hours ago 0 replies      
So, If I'm reading their javascript right, we all need to put a file on every website we can at "/e8f6b078-0f35-11de-85c5-efc5ef23aa1f/aupm/notify.do" with the text "43a1028c-7d11-11de-b687-1f15c5ad6a13" in it, and any unfortunate comcast user in their bandwidth-cap-limited areas will have Comcast's stupid alert box stay on.

For example: http://iainchalmers.org/e8f6b078-0f35-11de-85c5-efc5ef23aa1f...


sbarre 18 hours ago 3 replies      
This is nothing new..

Rogers has been doing this for years in Canada already..

They use it to notify subscribers when they are approaching their bandwidth quota (75%) and then again when they hit 100%. You actually have to click a "I understand" button to have it not show up over and over.

yellowbkpk 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Has anyone other than OP actually seen this in the wild? None of the systems I know about on Comcast here in Chicago have had HTTP manipulated at all today. Maybe they're not doing it here because the 250GB bandwidth cap is "temporarily suspended"?
pmorici 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Comcast is such an incompetent company. I tried to sign up for service once and they charged me ten bucks to ship me two coax cables yet I was never able to get my service activated because I mistakenly thought my place was hooked up to cable when it wasn't and when I tried to call to correct this and schedule an installation I kept getting put on hold for a half hour before being given a message saying there was an error with their phone system and to call back. I mean seriously wtf.
mrb 16 hours ago 3 replies      
This is just one more reason for using HTTPS everywhere. Doing so prevents ISPs from intercepting and rewriting HTTP traffic.

Shame on you, Comcast.

api 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Major web sites should sue for theft of service. They are modifying someone else's copyrighted content to steal their advertising revenue.

Also: https everywhere, now.

jacques_chester 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd be interested in hearing from a lawyer whether this would constitute interception of or tampering with telecommunications. In a lot of places that's highly illegal except for installation/maintenance/repair, law enforcement or where it's been invited and approved.
brokentone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
edit: I'm OP, not the content author. I serve a media website, which is where I noticed and from where my concern stems. Comcast users should also be concerned about this.

Just scanned my logs more fully and have serious concerns.
As people have noted, this really does make requests every 5 seconds. My 404 page is currently 18KB, which means these users (who are being warned about their bandwidth) are being forced by their ISP to download extra web traffic from the site they're sitting on. For me that number is 1/3MB / minute and I'm seing users who sit around a very long time.

Also, this isn't restricted to the two metros Tuscon and Nashville people have mentioned. Here is a sample of hits I'm seeing (removing final octet from IP/hostname):

West Monroe, LA

Provo, UT

Tuscon, AZ

Miami, FL

New York, NY

Washington, DC

Fresno, CA

Minneapolis, MN

So what do we do about this?

wyck 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be nice if there was an easier way to find out ISP injections for the layperson who can't really use wireshark/proxy and data comparisons, or for technical people that just don't have the time.

This project had potential ( it detected torrent traffic shaping) but it seems to no longer be under dev.

Also this is a good read and contains comcast traffic shaping info: https://www.eff.org/wp/detecting-packet-injection

ps. Who cares about the shit JavaScript, this discussion should be about detecting packet injection and shaping.

metageek 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Isn't JS injection a copyright violation, since it creates a derived work? Or has that idea been shot down before?
markdown 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the js my ISP (VodafoneFJ) injects into all web pages: https://gist.github.com/mark-up/5297830

It basically optimizes images and replaces all image alt text with text saying to hit CTRL+R to load full-versions of images.

I know that VodafoneUK and VodafoneAU do the same.

On the bright side, at least they respect the no-transform cache-control header directive.

krichman 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is felony computer tampering on a worse level than accessing a URL that is accidentally public but nobody will be fined or imprisoned for it.
awj 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Has this been confirmed to still be happening? The guys blog post[1] states that this was on Nov 20th 2012. Anyone currently using a comcast account want to put down their pitchfork for a second and help verify this?

[1] http://blog.ryankearney.com/2013/01/comcast-caught-intercept...

fiatmoney 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If visiting a public URL is "accessing a protected computer without authorization" if the owner didn't mean to make it public, I would suppose that hacking my communications with a website in order to inject code into my web browser should be too.
aswanson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The hilarious thing about this is comcasts ridiculously buzz worded job ads for engineers. It's like they just cut and pasted everything any manager read in a blog or magazine and pasted it to dice: http://www.dice.com/jobsearch/servlet/JobSearch?op=302&d...
fosap 18 hours ago 0 replies      
And this is why you should just encrypt everything (even Hacker News) with ssl and install ssl-everywhere.
jms703 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Comcast does this for good reason.


Yes, the javascript is crappy, but no reason for their customers to be outraged. I don't know any other ISP that is helping out with the botnet problem.

tonyb 16 hours ago 3 replies      
This is probably part of their "Web Notifcation System". They have a published RFC talking about how it works (RFC6108).

Using that system they can selectively notify customers. Like if they detect your system is infected with a virus. Or warn you your service will be discontinued if you don't pay your bill.


kevinburke 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not only that but it appears people are using Comcast as a DOS proxy http://blog.ryankearney.com/2013/01/comcast-caught-intercept...
jstalin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Another reason to use an SSH tunnel or VPN for all traffic, combined with HTTPS Everywhere.
nthitz 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Better hope you aren't naming any of your javascript variables similarly..
jdavid 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is either a bad april fools joke, or it might be related one of the following:

* ISP - 'six strikes' of content abuse


* EBS - Emergency Broadcast System



mweinbergPK 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Non-quality of code question, and sorry I haven't been able to parse this from the comments so far. Am I reading this correctly to mean that Comcast's method of alerting customers that they are close to their cap drives them closer to their cap?
Merrack 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Cox is doing something very similar. It's somewhat disconcerting to see JS like this ending up in pages, especially since they didn't get the URL right and a future version of this script could conceivably allow someone to serve malicious content to every Comcast subscriber, injected directly into your page.
iguana 18 hours ago 0 replies      
They're also violating this patent:


Which I can tell you for certain that they don't own. Bastards.

_conehead 14 hours ago 0 replies      
My ISP does something similar, but it's meant to inject ads: one ad that scrolls in from the bottom every two-three minutes (for ten seconds or so, and that can't be dismissed), as well as another ad that covers up ads that other websites serve up.[0]

I've now resorted to using a remote VPN for all of my traffic.

[0]: A reddit post in which I discuss it: http://www.reddit.com/r/self/comments/19zhl6/my_isp_is_injec...

jakub_g 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I live in France and I'm a customer of Orange. I was really surprised to see on my mobile, on Facebook (m.facebook.com - I've noticed it only there, but perhaps there are more pages like that) they're injecting a HTML with "Return to Orange World" link in the footer directing to orange.fr. Not sure if anything more though - I have a plain old mobile with Opera Mini.

I'm curious if they have some deal with FB to do it.

brianjyee 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Comcast is an awful awful awful company. Yet I pay them over $100/month. I hate them with a passion. I've never experienced worse customer service. If I could pay double the price with a different company for internet/cable, I would do it in an instant but I unfortunately have no other options.
gcr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The easiest way to combat this is to use SSL. You should be doing that on your website anyway.

Another effective way of combatting this is to detect what's happening and add a "This ad was sponsored by Comcast:" message.

I can sort of see the intent behind this. I just wish they'd tell their customers about their service usage out-of-band, like sending them a text message or an email.

One part of me realized "OMG they're going to track which websites I visit by looking at the HTTP Referer!" But then I quickly realised that as my ISP, they already have access to that information anyway...

readme 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Um, is this something that is always injected? I have comcast and I don't see it in any pages.

I'm guessing this is their clever way of reminding you to pay the bill when you're late?

Pay your bill or they'll stuff ugly JavaScript in your browser, you've been warned!

hunvreus 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Something that we're used to see in China (China Telecom is regularly pissing me off with injected ads), but that I would not expect to see in the US. Though I seem to remember seeing such kind of practice once in San Francisco.

What are the legal recourses you have with regards to this type of forced advertisement?

DigitalSea 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of the worse Javascript I have ever laid my eyes upon. Polluting the global namespace, checks for Netscape Navigator 6... It burns my eyes reading this. Did they actually hire a programmer who wrote this?
antihero 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Another reason to use SSL everywhere.
philip1209 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is why I run an always-on VPN
shuzchen 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure Comcast aren't the only ones doing this. I had mobipcs for a while (when I just got new house, had to wait for DLS to get installed) and they injected js that tracked your browsing and replaced certain ads it found (as well as caused various errors because it wasn't written properly). I wouldn't be surprised if other companies did the same.
miles_matthias 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad I'm not on Comcast anymore. Terrible customer service combined with anti-customer practices like this, in addition to the lowest cost/service value on the planet and I'm glad to be done.

We switched to CenturyLink and we're really happy. I'm regularly getting 35-40 Mbps for half the price of 6 Mbps on Comcast. It is a little unnerving to know that 40 is literally the limit of their DSL technology though.

minimaxir 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, does the Detect Browser script actually work for browsers made after 2001? I'd hope that Comcast's customers aren't using Netscape 6...
audiodude 16 hours ago 0 replies      
They're probably just desperate because for some strange reason, people don't seem to be getting the alerts sent to their @comcast.net email addresses...
mikeryan 18 hours ago 9 replies      
I'm torn.

This seems bad, but the warning (exceeding your bandwidth quota) seems valuable. I can't think of another, better way to message this.

vetrom 14 hours ago 1 reply      
To add to the old news litany: Saw this on Vodafone over in Germany a few years back.
To add to the security litany: SSL. EVERYWHERE. Firesheep ends up useful again :)

That said, this was probably only noticed as quickly as it was due to its stupidity and intrusiveness.

IMO what should be championed for is good decentralized end-to-end security, something like opportunistic IPSEC / anonymous SSL everywhere by default.

Sure, there are holes in it you can fly planes through, but it's a world better than it being cost effective for whoever to inject and MITM everything.

I'm not even going to touch on the pros/cons of over-subscription and business models which rely on it. (IMO most do, at least implicitly, and I'm not sure how to normalize analysis of that.)

gohwell 3 hours ago 0 replies      
brainjar! My go to resource for DIV positioning back in 1999.
intr1nsic 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So this sucks, but its not as bad as many are making it out to be. In a previous role, I was forced to deploy an appliance that did this exact same thing. Its not a man in the middle, or traffic intercept with forged responses.

Most of the time these appliances act as a 'cache' device. They will sit some where in the network ( inline, out of band, or as a WCCP device ) that will answer common router cache lookups.

In the case of WCCP, User behind cable modem X requests www.google.com ( HTTP Non Secure Traffic ONLY! ) and the router asks the appliance, "Hey, do you have a cache record for this request from this user behind modem X?". At this point, the appliance will do a DHCP Lease Query for that IP and get Option 82 from the lease record. Most of the time this is the mac address of the Modem. Then it takes this Mac address and either looks up in an internal database or an external one to check if this user has a message 'waiting', IE: Over allotted bandwidth, billing note, spam or just BS. If there is a message waiting, the appliance will tell the router, "YUP, i've got it. Let me send back this small .JS response". From my experience, this small JS ( Even if it is horribly written ) will be returned to the user with some code in it that does another request to the website originally requested in a frame of some sort. Request is made again, but this time the "message" waiting for the user has already been delivered, so the initial process returns "Nope, nothing for that user" and the content originally requested is loaded upon the 2nd round trip. Its still your PC with a fake original response. I won't pretend to know how Comcast or Rogers does this, but I know one Vendor I have used did it this way. I fought it till I was told to put it in production or find other employment. It sucks, but if done correctly on HTTP Non Secure traffic only in a manner that is described above, I think its a better idea than products like procera or sandvine do which IS MITM forged responses. Hope this helps explain a little better what maybe going on in this situation.

IheartApplesDix 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Mobile carriers do this too. I see the exact same feature being provided on my Sprint line.
tantalor 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Where is the Chrome extension to block this?
mschuster91 18 hours ago 5 replies      
OMG LOL. Have they never heard about jQuery? Christ, they could have made the code so much more elegant.
       cached 3 April 2013 16:02:01 GMT