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119 Investors Actively Doing Series A Deals Since March 1st daniellemorrill.com
43 points by dmor  2 hours ago   12 comments top 5
richardjordan 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
What amazes me - or at least what really leaps out at me - from this is how high Andreessen Horowitz is relative to the other giants, in the measure "Historical Total Investment in Rounds Participated In", given how recently they were founded.

I know for a lot of entrepreneurs they've become the number one "dream" VC to be funded by in the "if you could pick any VC to fund you who would it be" drinking game.

Great list. Love the work you've been doing on all this stuff recently. It's interesting reading.

ig1 36 minutes ago 2 replies      
The Series A crunch isn't caused by a decrease of Series A rounds, from various studies (from cbinsights and others) Series A investment is actually relatively stable.

What's changed is that you're getting far more companies who have raised money at the seed level. So the percentage of companies getting on follow-on investment at Series A is dropping while the absolute number isn't.

Also doing it over a 30 day period probably isn't long enough to take into account the vagaries of randomness (rounds may happen erratically, there's typically a delay before round gets added to crunchbase, etc.) - probably makes more sense to do it from start of year.

rdl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is a lot more than I would have thought. I wonder who came up with the "Series A Crunch" theory. It really doesn't seem to have hit yet, if ever.
rdipasup 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Purely conjectural, but the Series A crunch that the media likes to sell us on, really really fear-mongering. If you look at the spread of $ to startups, it's on a constant rise. The problem here isn't the "crunch", but rather how information is perceived and understood. The Series A crunch MAY possibly be true on a linear perspective, but falsely on a logarithmic look.
rdipasup 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Awesome. Thank you for the info!
Roger Ebert dies at 70 after battle with cancer suntimes.com
725 points by tptacek  14 hours ago   152 comments top 45
tptacek 14 hours ago 6 replies      
Fitzgerald said "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Ebert seemed to have a knack for thinking all the thoughts simultaneously, and then getting their product onto a page:



One of the truly great Internet writers. My favorite:


(It's not what you think!)

The blog is getting crushed right now but most of this content is in Google's cache.

sho_hn 14 hours ago 3 replies      
While it might be cheap to remember a critic by something as sensationalist as a scorcher - and Ebert was of a higher caliber than to build a career on the entertainment value of them - his review of "Highlander 2" has been a favorite of mine for its good-natured bickering about the gaping holes in the film's logic: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19... Cache: http://web.archive.org/web/20121026130620/http://rogerebert....)

I think what set Ebert apart is that he consistently judged films in the context of their ambitions. An action film was good so long as it had effective action; films purporting to be more cerebral in nature had rather more to answer for. He resisted the ivory tower most other writers with his level of film knowledge would climb.

danso 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Ebert made his name in movie criticism but he was one of my favorite writers, period. I've read him since I was in junior high...it sounds silly now, but the way he would give four stars to what seemed like just a shallow blockbuster action movie but then justify it for doing shallow action wonderfully...that taught me a lot about how to judge things on what they purport to do, rather than just against what you, the writer, prefers.

As good as his four-star reviews were, I still loved reading his 0 to 1 star reviews. He was at great at ripping movies as he was as exalting them.

chaz 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Just two days ago, he announced he was taking a "leave of presence."

  Typically, I write over 200 reviews a year for the Sun-Times that are
carried by Universal Press Syndicate in some 200 newspapers. Last year,
I wrote the most of my career, including 306 movie reviews, a blog post
or two a week, and assorted other articles. I must slow down now, which
is why I'm taking what I like to call "a leave of presence."


3am 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I am maybe a little older than some of the readers here, pushing on the lower end of middle age, ie, I had to memorize phone numbers/rotary phone at home when I was very young, I had a Walkman, MTV had only one station and it played music, etc. Perhaps I could have said Gen-X and saved some time.

Anyway, I remember Siskel and Ebert on television before there was much of an internet to speak of. Now if you look out over the landscape of people who successfully adapted to the new landscape of social media it's predominantly much younger. I think it takes a special kind of mind to reinvent one's self past a certain age, and Ebert did so very well (for whatever reason, George Takei comes to mind, also). But it was brave of him to do so and I think it is ...helpful to all of us that have grown up online that some members of his generation are/were willing to put themselves out of their comfort zones and share their viewpoints and experiences in that way. RIP.

edit: " ...and get up to change the TV channel" of which there were ~10 outside of cable, and some would require rabbit ear contortions. If I could give you more than one upvote I would have :)

parfe 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Ebert wrote an article in 1997 about 2001: A Space Odyssey which changed the way I watch movies. He made me start thinking about why the director and his characters do things rather than caring specifically about what they were doing. His work will stick with me for the rest of my life.


jstalin 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ebert and Siskel did a show on gay cinema back in the early 80's that treated the issue seriously, without snark or contempt. I saw a video of that episode a few years ago and my respect for both men increased dramatically.


jgrahamc 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, fuck.
jellicle 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Ebert was a great film critic, but oddly, no one here seems to be talking about his one gigantic blind spot, which is his enduring and impenetrable belief that video games are not art, could never be art, and have no artistic merit whatsoever. His half-hearted apology - "I still believe this, but I should never have said so." - is in no way a retraction or backdown from that belief.

This is totally wrong. Movies are a subset of video games. Eventually, Ebert's remarks on video games will stand as a laughable monument to a by-gone era.

So. Ebert had the potential to be the first great video game critic, ever. His massive background in movies would have served him well. But he didn't have the fortitude to make the jump.

Who's going to be the first great video game critic ever?

stcredzero 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A lot of young people look at his scathing wit and try with varying degrees to emulate that. His hallmark, and one of the fundamental sources of his scathing wit was his integrity. If you're careful about writing/saying what's true, and if you're doing it because writing/saying what's the truth is your motivation, then you can be great like he was.

If you're just after attention and want to be known as a scathing wit, please sit down, pipe down, and refrain from adding to the noise.

Basically, if you do it, do it because you have something to say.

bobthedino 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
I always loved Ebert's re-appraisal of The Big Lebowski in 2010:

"If a man has a roof over his head, fresh half-and-half for his White Russians, a little weed and his bowling buddies, what more, really, does he need?"


wcfields 14 hours ago 4 replies      

I'll just leave one of my favorite quotes from Ebert about a movie that is actually one of my all time favorite comedy.

"This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels." [1]

- Roger Ebert review of "Freddy Got Fingered"; April 20, 2001

[1] http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20...

publicfig 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is such a shame to hear. He was one of the people who really got me into film (amongst many others I can presume). He'll be missed.

A friend shared an article Ebert wrote in 2011 about death that I absolutely love that I feel is incredibly relevant now. In the article he states “I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear.", which I feel is a beautiful attitude to take. The whole article is worth a read and can be found here:


gpmcadam 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A wonderful (and timely) tribute to Ebert from The Onion:


clicks 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Very sad to hear. I read his reviews, not really to know how a movie was received and whether or not it is worth watching (though you can do that too), but to get a nice summary eloquently discussing the motifs, symbolism, and story line of a movie after actually having watched one. I don't know where I'll get that now.

Two big thumbs down :-(. RIP Ebert.

marquis 14 hours ago 0 replies      
A good conversation right now with his friends on WBEZ, his home NPR.

Great quote from Rick Hogan: when he was writing a review about a movie he loved, "He was writing a love letter to a friend".

zwieback 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Roger Ebert on the mystery of how the rice cooker knows your rice is done:

"How does it know? There are no dials and settings on the Pot. As far as you can tell, there is only a heating element beneath. There doesn't look like room for anything else to hide. How does the Pot know how long to cook the rice? It is a mystery of the Orient. Don't ask questions you don't need the answers to. The point here is to save you some time and money. If you want gourmet cooking, you aren't going to learn about it here."

source: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/11/the_pot_and_how_to_u...

crapshoot101 14 hours ago 1 reply      
From the THR review - part of the reason I liked Ebert - he wasn't fundementally getting his rocks off on being a cynical asshole:

“I am, beneath everything else, a fan. I was fixed in this mode as a young boy and am awed by people who take the risks of performance.”

e40 14 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the truly good humans on the planet. I will miss him.
rubyrescue 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The shear breadth of his career is just astounding, his consistency in reviewing film after film for years. Inspiring for all of us.
buf 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'll see you at the movies" - Roger Ebert's last words. I still remember seeing his TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/roger_ebert_remaking_my_voice.html
stevewillows 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I admire Roger Ebert so much for the way he dealt with his cancer and the problems that resulted from it. Truly someone who took a really bad situation and rose above it.

He will be missed.

leejoramo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I can think of no better way to learn about the art and history of movies than to read through Ebert's Great Film articles. He did such a great job of putting films in context. I loved how his "Great Films" articles always had a good mix of films from the first movies to recent years.


jennyjenjen 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My best memories of Roger Ebert were at the Conference on World Affairs at an event called Cinema Interruptus. The CWA lasted five days and was open to the public. Every single day of the conference, there was a Cinema Interruptus session. On the first session, attendees watched an film in its entirety. Over the next four sessions, the film was stopped - sometimes after a few minutes, sometimes after mere seconds - and Mr Ebert discussed the film with the attendees. Attendees were welcome to make their own comments, too; sometimes it was a hassle as there are people who just enjoy hearing themselves talk. But it was a great memory of mine that Mr. Ebert called one of my observations "astute." I was able to say hi and shake his hand after one of the sessions, and I was certainly impressed at how a person of such extraordinary merit would contribute his time every year to our beloved CWA in Boulder.

He will most definitely be missed.

jfc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing I admired about Roger Ebert was his ability to demonstrate wit without rancor, something very few writers seem able to do.

When I read his letter to Jay Mariotti--in response to Mariotti's less-than-dignified departure from the Sun-Times--I couldn't help but be impressed by Ebert's thoughtfulness. I found myself going back to the letter, sensing that I had overlooked something. I finally realized what it was: the tone of the letter. It was ultimately hopeful!

The conclusion of that letter made it clear that Ebert was no fan of Mariotti's, but it acted as more of a rebuke than an indication of deep disdain.

A rare talent, indeed.

octernion 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy cow, what a loss. One of the few film critics whose reviews I always enjoyed (even if I didn't always agree with him).

And he just wrote about having a leave of presence! I will miss him immensely.

DilipJ 14 hours ago 1 reply      
surprised to read that he was an early investor of Google. I wonder how that came about?
sergiotapia 13 hours ago 0 replies      
His name is synomymous with film reviews. A legend passed away, his reviews will remain in the ether, ready to be read by the generations to come.
brownbat 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been digging through talk show clips with the duo on Youtube. There are some good ones, but really, if you have a similar impulse, save yourself some time. Just watch Red Coat Black Coat's retrospective, a little commentary, but a lot of just clips of their interaction:


Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXk3N8EvnWc&feature=youtu...

mtoddh 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, sad to hear that - ironic that cancer was what got Siskel too back when the two of them were doing reviews together - remember "two thumbs up"?
webwanderings 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I was bowled over by Ebert's fascination with Dark City and I really liked it the first time I watched. However, many years later, I watched it again and it left me bewildered as to why I liked this movie in the first. As much as I like and respect Roger Ebert, I think he was dead wrong on his fascination with this movie. Great movies do not fall off of the imaginative pedestal, only the bad one does.

As a professional movie critic, he earned respect through his craft, but I think world of cinema is better off without any movie critic.

Rest in peace. One of my favorite quote of his:

“I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state.”


markgx 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, he just wrote his "A Leave of Presence" post the other day.
xxpor 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait what? I thought I had just read this morning the cancer had returned. I guess he really pushed on til the very end.
waterlesscloud 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ebert wasn't just America's Foremost Film Critic, though he was that.

He was also America's Foremost Film Lover.

Universal sadness being expressed across the film community today.

zwieback 14 hours ago 0 replies      
He was a national treasure.
yarou 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A sad day indeed. Roger Ebert had the courage to stick to his intellectual integrity, unlike many film critics in this day and age.
afreak 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really sad to see him go. There are very few movie critics out there left who have an objective point of view rather than those who are just doing it because the seat needed to be filled and luxurious tickets were passed to the publisher.

I also will have to say the best portrayal of him was in Jon Lovitz "The Critic", where Siskel and Ebert were having a feud and it was up to Mr. Jay Sherman to reunite them.

Animaniacs did a good portrayal of them too.

hans0l074 14 hours ago 0 replies      
R.I.P Mr.Ebert - I've spent many an idle hour reading his works, many of which, quite frankly, were more entertaining than the movies themselves and opened a whole world of cinema to me.
fudged71 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Ebert for an IAmA interview on reddit in 2010. People still message me thinking that I'm him.
crapshoot101 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Jesus. What a brilliant effing writer, whether you agreed or not, and a fundamentally decent man.
mikec3k 12 hours ago 0 replies      
shill 13 hours ago 0 replies      
mprinz 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I loved his critics. Except those where I had a different opinion.
suyash 14 hours ago 8 replies      
Someone needs to find 100% cure against this deadly disease. So much money is spent on cancer research every year and what are the results..almost zero.
KevinMS 10 hours ago 5 replies      
What can you say about a film reviewer that gives Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3.5 out of 4 stars?


I don't get all this praise I'm reading here. Despite being witty, a national treasure, and whatever, he had one core job to do, and he was terrible at it.

How do I identify what is burning in the server room? serverfault.com
21 points by usea  1 hour ago   12 comments top 6
rdl 37 minutes ago 1 reply      
IR/thermal imaging cameras are SO USEFUL. I had a fire (bathroom fan caught fire due to being 45y old, knocked it down and extinguished it myself, but was worried about extension in the ceiling/duct).

Oakland FD came out and used their IR camera to check the heat from the ceilings nearby. Hilariously they found a hot water pipe (running between bathroom and kitchen) and almost axed the ceiling open (turning $1500 in damage into $3k+), but their captain was smart and figured it out from another angle.

Really tempted to hack an EOS 5Dm3 into an IR camera next. Not so much for fires as night vision, but it would be useful for fires too. I'm not sure how useful an IR camera is at detecting heat, since things which aren't yet on fire are not quite so infrared, though.

I usually use a Fluke IR temp meter when cooking and to find hot wires/etc. in the datacenter, though.

yardie 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
You can tell from the responses who has a real DR plan and who are just winging it. The DR-backed commenters can switch to site B with nary a worry. Everyone else is trying to justify keeping the server room running while something is burning. To them a misplaced backhoe is a bigger problem than you know a server burning.

I love the sanity check part. But really, you're keeping someone on hand to drag your ass out after you pass out while you sniff up toxic fumes.

ck2 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Maybe we need a diy thermal sensor that plugs into an android or iphone device?

Oh wow, it exists:




Costs only $150 to make?

Open-source: https://github.com/RHWorkshop/

iSnow 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
What kind of server room is this which is not equipped with smoke detectors?
hp50g 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Infra red camera!
lotsofcows 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Can of deodorant.
Why Rackspace Is Suing The Most Notorious Patent Troll In America rackspace.com
481 points by grimey27  14 hours ago   79 comments top 22
robomartin 6 hours ago 4 replies      
I've said this here before more than once. The solution is for tech companies to fund a massive entity who's only purpose in life is to mercilessly sue patent trolls. Destroy them. Go after their patents. Invalidate them. Make it so costly to even attempt to enforce a bullshit patent that they will only dare take that step if they have a really good solid patent.

If the top 100 companies in tech donated just ten million dollars a year to this effort you would instantly have a one billion dollar "kill the trolls" fund. If the fund is not fully consumed during the first year it could become three or four billion in five to seven years. How many trolls are going to be willing to go up against any company with that kind of a war chest to protect it?

Small entities would contribute less. The way I see it, in the US alone, this kind of protection is easily worth $50K to $100K per year for a small entity.

Yes, we are at a point where you might have to consider paying a membership fee to a troll protection association that is equivalent to the salary of a full-time employee. Sad.

The US government ought to also provide a sizable chunk of money to this fund as well as tax-exempt status. Say, a billion dollars a year. Considering the economic damage being done this is chump change. Now you have a kill-the-trolls association that, through public and private funding, could end-up with nearly ten billion dollars in five to seven years. Scary enough?

I am not one for government getting involved in private matters, much less blowing money like they did in Solyndra and others. However, this is a government-sponsored monopoly that they crated. You and I did not create this. This mess is 100% on government hands. And, like most things government does, it eventually went off the rails. It's an absolute mess. They have a responsibility to fix it.

The first step is to grant a sizable amount of money to a private entity that will shield entrepreneurs from trolls. They should hand over the money and get out of the way. Consider it reparations for running such a fucked-up patent office. Then they can go off and take ten years to reform the system.

Oh, yes, they should also make the patent invalidation process 100% free. In other words, anyone should be able to file a patent invalidation action and it should be 100% free. Then we could crowd-source patent invalidation runs on all the patents held by trolls. Form crowd-sourced teams that target trolls and file away.

Seriously folks, this is war. And in war you have to have more powerful weapons than your enemy. The enemy has the power of the monopoly they were granted by the US government. What they don't have is unlimited and massive capital. An association of practicing entities --no trolls allowed-- with billions of dollars available to mount a shield and defend members would be massively intimidating.

The association's mission statement should state that all engagements will have, as a goal, the invalidation of the patents in question. In other words, if you screw with us we will go directly to rip those patents out of your hands. No middle ground. No deals. No mercy. Attacking us means you, as the attacker, risk it all and you better have a real patent.

How many trolls are going to risk that? How many will do it after one, two or several are absolutely decimated in court and their patents invalidated.

One more thing. If a non practicing entity has a patent invalidated they are also put through a bankruptcy style procedure whereby a trustee takes a look at what moneys were derived from licensing the invalid patents. The idea is to refund ill-gotten funds to those who paid the fees.

In other words, hit them with a nuke.

EDIT: Also, on the subject of patent invalidation. This should be ripped out of the hands of the government and run just like a trial. I don't know exactly how it works today, but this is what I have in mind: A judge is appointed to oversee the process. A jury of people well-qualified in the patent's subject matter is assembled. Both parties present their case. The jury deliberates and decides. Fast, efficient and 100% in private hands with the blessings of the US government. Rough strokes.

rayiner 13 hours ago 5 replies      
> In actuality, it is a bit more complicated. Our dealings with this particular troll reach back to December 2010 when IP Navigation Group (IP Nav), as agent for a supposedly secret patent owner, now known as Parallel Iron, accused Rackspace of patent infringement. IP Nav told us that they could not divulge the details of their infringement claims " not even the patent numbers or the patent owner " unless we entered into a “forbearance agreement” " basically, an agreement that we would not sue them. IP Nav was worried that as soon as we found out what their patents and claims actually were, Rackspace would sue to invalidate their patents or for a declaration that Rackspace does not infringe. We were unwilling to enter into such a one-sided agreement, so we negotiated a mutual forbearance agreement that required either party to give 30 days' notice before bringing suit.

That's some shady shit right there.

ChuckMcM 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Interesting, patent trolls have reached the level of public relations foil. I think its great that Rackspace is suing these guys but I found the press release made me feel like I do when somebody is trying to impress me with all of the charities they've donated money to. Mutual forbearance agreement? Seriously? Why not sue them right then and there when they foisted that bit of "strategy" on you and charged them with criminal extortion?

My reasoning is like this, either you infringe or you don't. So the patent holder can say "We believe you infringe claims x, y, and z on patents q, r, and s." Or they can't. So if someone tells you infringe but they won't tell you the patent or the claims, and they are threatening to sue anyway, that is a protection racket and actionable under the RICO statutes as far as I can tell.

kevinalexbrown 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Whenever I see several different groups behaving in a manner I find obnoxious, I wonder incentives encourage this kind of behavior, and how those incentives might be reduced.

One such way is countersuit, which Rackspace is doing. If everyone (successfully) countersued, the incentive to be a patent troll would diminish.

There might be other ways. Is there some common property patent trolls depend on that might be penalized or forbidden? I've noticed that patent trolls rarely seem to produce anything. Perhaps some sort of "use it or lose it" clause, in which patent holders have a certain amount of time to effectively license their technology to some degree of effectiveness before they can't enforce infringements.

It works in other areas. For instance, in my home state, many people would love to live in the country extremely cheaply, so there's an incentive to set up dubious Christmas tree farms to get nice tax rates. To combat this, you have a certain number of years to turn a profit, and if you don't, you lose the farm credit.

(here's an example of why they do this: http://www.huntingnet.com/forum/wildlife-management-food-plo...)

codesuela 13 hours ago 1 reply      
It is awesome to see a company put their money where their mouth is, the good will with the dev community they are building with this will easily exceed the costs of fighting a troll in court.
51Cards 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I host at Rackspace. I'm glad (sincerely) that they are using some of my money for things like this. This makes me happy.
rdl 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I was hoping it was Intellectual Ventures.
A1kmm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see a patent troll lose a case, but their breach of contract case seems a bit weak (without seeing the actual contract, since they didn't include 'Exhibit B' in the PDF).

As I understand it:

* Parallel Iron owns IPNav.

* IPNav and Rackspace signed a contract saying that IPNav won't sue Rackspace without giving 30 days notice first.

* Parallel Iron sues Rackspace without giving notice first.

* Rackspace sues Parallel Iron and IPNav for breach of contract.

But IPNav and Parallel Iron are separate legal entities, and so unless Rackspace can argue that they can 'pierce the corporate veil' (which might be difficult if they followed appropriate standards to separate the companies, which I presume lawyer heavy patent trolls would be careful to do) and treat them as the same legal entity, IPNav isn't responsible for Parallel Iron filing the suit, and Parallel Iron isn't subject to the contract entered into by IPNav.

Disclaimer: IANAL

austenallred 13 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be awesome to see this trend continue; I wouldn't mind seeing big companies suing patent trolls for every possible misstep available.
ams6110 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm all in favor of fighting groundless patent infringement claims, but a bit surprised to see so much commentary from Rackspace about a pending legal matter. The normal lawyer response would be "we don't comment on pending litigation."
danielpal 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Can anyone explain if it's possible for this patents to just go from one company to another? Like what's is stopping IP Nav and Parallel Iron from just creating a new corporation and transferring their IP if Rackspace succeeds in this lawsuit?

Seems like they can just start shell companies in order to avoid being counter-sued.

eykanal 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Question for someone who knows something about patent law: does Rackspace have a chance of actually making any money here? Simply based on seeing other stories like this, it seems that all these trolls operate through shell companies, which can simply declare bankruptcy without (1) every paying any actual fees and (2) without hurting the parent. Is that true here as well?
recloop 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The most notorious patent troll in America is Intellectual Ventures. It's just that because of their clout and their team, they don't get called out.
at-fates-hands 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm curious why more smaller and medium sized businesses haven't banded together to form some kind of larger entity to combat these trolls.

There's security in numbers. If I was a patent troll and knew if I was going to sue a company like RackSpace and knew they had 25-50 companies standing behind them with a large pool of legal and financial resources, I'd be more apt to try and find an easier target.

jarmitage 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Where's the petition against patent trolls, America? (Or has this been tried already / would it fail?
gesman 12 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for Rackspace.
yoster 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Patent trolls are useless. These people do not innovate at all. They purchase, or file for useless patents, and turn around and sue everyone for the almighty dollar. There has to be a stop, and I applaud Rackspace!
saraid216 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Somewhat OT, but I'd love to see the term "patent troll" entered as official legal jargon.
ceautery 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the use of "duck test" in this. Just like the notorious Interplay manager decreed for the queen animations in Battle Chess... we should get rid of the duck.
dannowatts 7 hours ago 0 replies      
scream it from the mountains:


ropman76 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a nice legal term for "I hope Rackspace gives them hell"?
kislayverma 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The Story Of A Failed Startup And A Founder Driven To Suicide businessinsider.com
132 points by chaz  8 hours ago   39 comments top 11
hncommenter13 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I didn't know Jody, so I won't comment on him personally.

Speaking as a former investor regarding the financial situation though...never ever ever ever.

Financial controls aren't important just because VCs are greedy: they keep companies alive and keep you out of court (or jail). I've seen situations in which cash didn't quite reconcile to what was expected; in some, the people involved made restitution and were fired. In others, they went to prison. A company with no effective financial control is flying blind and, someday, will run into the mountain in the clouds.

The article identifies some key warning signs.

1. "...not even sharing the company's financial information with his co-founder, Emily Blakeney. Sources admit that was strange in retrospect.
Sources say Sherman was the only person with access to the company's bank account and invoices. Only he knew how much cash Ecomom was using up every month."

In many startups, any payment over $X requires dual signatures for exactly this reason. Also, contract bookkeepers aren't expensive (contract CFOs can be, but they're worth it). A second set of eyes--and hands--on the corporate checkbook is crucial.

Also, why aren't investors aren't looking at the cash position every month? That is the one critical number--the only one with sudden corporate death at stake--for every single Board meeting until the company is solidly and predictably cash flow positive.

2. "'There wasn't ever full disclosure, and that leads me to believe there was a reason he didn't want anyone to have full disclosure,' says a source."

Totally 100% unacceptable. The key execs and the board should be looking at the financials, at least at the bank account/quickbooks level, every month and management should be reviewing them more frequently yet. Especially in a metrics-driven business like e-commerce that requires cash investments for inventory and advertising.

3. "He put the company's inventory on his credit card, a black American Express, which caused him to go into deeper personal debt. He refused to get a corporate card, despite complaining to colleagues when AmEx would call and question company expenses."

A huge red flag. If there is intermingling of corporate and personal finances--whether this extreme or just the CEO's sister's law firm does the legal work--investors and co-founders need to fully understand and ensure it's arms-length. Then they need to disentangle the two right away.

If you own 100% of the company, feel free to run it "out of your back pocket." But with outside shareholders, whether employees or investors, such a practice is indefensible. In my experience, intertwined personal and professional finances is often the tip of the iceberg in terms of accounting shenanigans.

I don't mean to imply that investors should have seen this coming or that Jody set out to do this. But every experienced investor who's been burned this way--and many have--makes financial control issues a topic at the first (and every subsequent) board meeting post-investment until adequate controls are in place.

chris_wot 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so totally conflicted here. I feel so awfully sorry that he committed suicide, and heavens only knows all the complicated reasons behind why he took his own life. From this account, he seems to have been charismatic, but self-delusional.

I only say this because I know someone who seems to be exactly like this. They don't seem to care about being in debt, and they justify themselves for not paying people for their services. They are always positive, but always spinning everything. They don't tell the truth. In short: they are dangerous to be around if you rely on them for any sort of living.

Because I was so badly burned by this particular individual, I'll not be spending any time around those who talk up big and who have a bad track record of paying down debt in a reasonable timeframe. It's as simple as that.

aashaykumar92 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you read this as a story, it's actually really well written--it's a great progression. There may not be one clear, overall thesis, but each section seems to have its own thesis and each is supported quite well. I never knew Jody but from the story, I have two takeaways:

1) Jody was a great person. The reason why I mention this first is to make it clear that the article really strives to show this. And he truly seemed to have a big heart.

2) Always be as open as possible. Many times, we don't want our problems to become others' problems so we hide it. And then it builds and it leads to a large amount of secrecy that could have been avoided. It goes back to the childhood saying we all hear, "No question is a dumb question." This phrase ultimately is saying that you might as well ask a question so that you are not falling behind in knowledge--whether it's academic or not. And please don't assume that I am saying Jody's suicide was purely because he didn't disclose Ecomom's financials; I just believe that if he would have been more open, more help could have been offered--financially and psychologically.

Of course, I gained more takeaways than this but these are the two I thought were most worth sharing.

johnpowell 5 hours ago 4 replies      
If true..

>One childhood friend recalled a time when Sherman committed insurance fraud. He described driving on a highway with Sherman when they were 16. Suddenly, Sherman told his friend to "buckle up." He slammed on the brakes and caused an accident. Later, the friend says, Sherman would collect thousands of dollars from insurance companies for the self-inflicted injuries.

Fuck the dude.

michaelpinto 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think many of us have misconceptions about what drives someone to commit suicide, and thus it becomes a taboo mental health topic which isn't healthy. Often it can be a behavior that could be triggered by anything from drugs to mental disorders, and there's even a feeling that genetics may play a role.

I had a wonderful friend who passed away because of this and the one thing that it taught me was to talk about it. I'd urge everyone reading this to at least read up on the wikipedia page on the topic to educate yourself and get an overview:


wongwf82 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I had no idea Groupon played a role until I reach the middle part of the article.

I too believe building a company should be a marathon and not a 100m sprint. Trying to sprint 100m puts tremendous pressure on self to succeed and could result in suicide. As Dave McClure said, it is a first world problem in those dark days no matter how dark it is. Founders should look to 9-to-5 and build a long-term company.

scottbartell 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Running a startup is fucking hard and fucking stressful. I'm learning that.
adhd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There is little information in this story that has not been reported elsewhere. PandoDaily has done a thorough job of covering the death of Jody and ecomom in a thoughtful and factual manner. Except for a light spattering of additional financial numbers, not much of this is revelatory.

And the section on Guatemala is just trash. It culminates in an unsubstantiated and innuendo-laden tale, with none other than John McAffee as the sole source. Seriously? Please. (FYI the source who confirmed the meeting doesn't count. Anyone who knew Jody at the time would have heard about that.)

To the central point: It is good to talk about the importance of honesty and dealing with the stress of a start-up. By all means, let's open up the conversation again. But articles with such innuendo (no evidence, mind you) -- suggestions of sinister business activities and a Central American fraud scheme -- don't help that conversation. It makes Jody's experience seem distant and unrelatable.

Essentially, I fear that an article like this hurts the open conversation because of how crazy the story sounds. An unusual story allows the listeners to reject the valuable truths therein contained.

The reality was a lot less mythic and far more heart-breaking.

dmor 8 hours ago 3 replies      
It really pisses me off that they are publishing this - the news of Jody's death devastated a lot of people and I don't see what new information is being reported here.

The Guatemala story is hearsay. This makes me so angry.

noahth 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Stopped reading at the speculation that marijuana may have contributed to his suicide. The fuck???
ChrisNorstrom 4 hours ago 6 replies      
Before you downvote please take into consideration that I'm just being realistic. Of course you should seek help and calm your mind back into a logical state. Still about 1 million people commit suicide each year. You and I are not going to change that.

If you're seriously going to kill yourself, please do NOT use a gun or pills or jumping or cutting wrists or arteries. It's bad enough you've chosen to and finalized your decision to end your life you don't need to traumatize your family and friends with a gruesome death. Use an "Exit bag". It's instant, painless, blood-less, non-gruesome, and peaceful.


Created by a right-to-die group Exit International it's a bag that goes over your head with a tube connected to a helium tank you can purchase at a local party store. Fill the bag up completely with helium, pull it over your head and take a deep breath. You'll pass out instantly and leave the earth in just a few minutes. No blood, no suffering, no bullets. It's bad enough you're committing suicide, you don't want family finding you with your brains splattered all over the place, or your body in a bathtub full of blood. Just because you're hurting yourself by ending your life doesn't mean you need to hurt those that love you anymore than you already are. They'll find you tucked away in your bed, peacefully, and for the last time. They'll appreciate that a lot more than finding you in a pool of blood. The one thing they'll have is the knowledge that you just left the earth peacefully and calmly.

Just keeping it real.

10x developer talk is fundamentally misguided andothernoise.blogspot.co.uk
8 points by alexandros  1 hour ago   1 comment top
pif 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"With better code and architecture, maintenance and change become easier"

Simply true!

Australian youth faces 10 years jail for accused Anonymous hacks scmagazine.com.au
24 points by maskofsanity  3 hours ago   23 comments top 6
friendly_chap 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Welcome to the New World Order where they can throw you into prison at will with supposed evidence which truth content can be hard to verify even by experts.

We geeks are especially at risk.
("Look at that github profile, he even has the codes, hacker, hacker! Burn!")

Doesn't it make for a warm feeling in the tummy to know that you can spend the rest of your life being the best
friend of Jammal, sharing a cell and a bed with him, without doing something illegal?

Fortunately we developers are hard asses who are used to murder, rape, and robbery.
Oh wait...

DigitalSea 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"The AFP did not give a timeframe for the attacks but said it did not believe any sensitive personal or financial information was stolen."

Each and every day Australia starts to look more and more like the United States (no offence to those who live in the US). I live in Australia and find it highly alarming that a youth who didn't steal any personal or financial information could be sent away for 10 years, comparatively you could rape someone in Australia and if you plead guilty you would get sentenced to basically the same amount of years.

How does a victimless computer crime which potentially only resulted in a little bit of downtime and wasn't malicious in that information was stolen equate to the same as raping someone? It doesn't add up.

roel_v 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Aaaand... watch the nerd indignation rise in this thread - 'omg they're putting him away for 10 years!'.

Reporters use the maximum statutory sentences to report on yet-to-be-convicted people for maximum headline sensationalism. Very seldom will somebody, especially a first-time offender, actually be sentenced that. For example, in my jurisdiction the maximum statutory sentence for rape is 12 years; yet prison terms of a few years are common. The reasons the maximums are set so high is to allow leeway for the judge for especially egregious cases.

hjay 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really disgusting that there is a huge amount of teenagers who are capable of racking up sentences of 10+ years like these, while adults who commit rape, arson, etc end up with the same sentence.

Sure we see a few cases like this every month or so, but if all the teenagers committing similar acts were actually caught; whether it be of malicious intent or just pure curiosity, the numbers would be staggering. Things really need to change, and the law needs to put more effort into understanding these breaches, along with how easily obtainable this kind of knowledge is on the internet.

aspensmonster 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see the the article has basically no useful information content besides a list of charges. Is there any further context to this?
b0ttler0cket 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow...to think that he would be 27 before he ever got out. I wonder how it's possible for the government to penalize a 17 year old with 10 years of prison. That's the equivalent of a class c felony in the US, which can be applied to sexual assault, arson, and kidnapping.

To think that a computer crime where not even any "sensitive personal or financial information was stolen" can be considered at par with kidnapping is harsh.

Reconstruction Of Visual Images Using Brain Activity Patterns cns.atr.jp
5 points by jcr  46 minutes ago   1 comment top
jcr 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
The submitted link is some of the background work for the recent news
about decoding fMRI signals during dreaming into actual images. A paper
on this work was released today on the journal Science (sciencemag.org)
but I've been unable to find a free copy. Some of the videos in the last
link below are really interesting.





Facebook Home facebook.com
294 points by samuel02  16 hours ago   202 comments top 66
danso 15 hours ago 16 replies      
To echo a complaint that is common when designers show off prototypes/imagined-redesigns...what does all this look like when your friends aren't as attractive/good at photography? I'm talking about the Cover Feed function. In the life stage I am now, I'd say that my Facebook Phone would be showing random baby photos 80% of the time, food photos 10% of the time.

I'm also curious how that feature interacts with what I've observed to be normal FB usage. When I want to post a status, I post a status. When I post photos, it's usually as a batch, not many with captions. I think that's how most people do instagrams too.

So, if you have a home screen feed focused on your newsfeed...how will statuses be "attractive" looking? Using the user's default cover image? But those are extremely horizontal. The only newsfeed entities that contribute beautiful photos with substantial text that are in my newsfeed are companies and brands (OK, and George Takei).

dotBen 15 hours ago 4 replies      
I take issue with the problem statement: "today, phones are built around tasks and apps. To see what's happening with your friends, you pull out your phone and navigate through a series of separate apps."

Firstly, the value to me in owning a smartphone and paying the charges associated with it is ultimately task orientated - from running my business, to getting driving directions, to wanting to play a specific genre of music at the gym. That's actually where the value is in my phone. Maybe I don't fit the demographic, but I don't want those to become second-class citizens over friend communications.

Secondly, it's very hollow to define the problem as 'your friend's activities are spread across multiple apps' when their solution only promotes Facebook activity to the fore.

My FB friend's activity is currently only contained in one app - the FB app. Their solution only removes the checking of multiple apps because those other apps (non-FB social networks, IM networks, etc) are going to be relegated into obscurity and no longer top of mind.

How's that ultimately helpful to my real, technology agnostic, friendships?

bretthopper 15 hours ago 7 replies      
Regardless of your thoughts on the actual Home product, this product page is incredibly well designed and thought out.
wavesounds 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think were all missing the point here, there's now a "facebook phone". For a certain demographic facebook is the most important thing on their phone. It doesn't really matter if home is a huge inovation or not, it only needs to be slightly better then iOS and Android for using facebook and this demo will adopt it.

Facebook is opening up a new market for themselves and with a phone for $99 its very easy for someone to say "mommy I want the facebook phone" and get it.

Soon "facebook phone" will start appearing alongside "iphone", "droid", and "windows phone" as common vernacular. By partnering with att & htc and building on top of android they have now gained access into the cell phone industry with no investment in hardware, cell towers or in creating a new OS, just redesigning a home screen.

Theres a huge potential upside with very little risk involved. Its a good move on facebooks part.

eggbrain 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the biggest thing for me is that my smartphone has always been a "private" thing for me, a place where I can choose to interact with people, or spend hours playing Angry Birds.

With this phone, I'm forced into an environment where I feel like I need to be social all the time, and I feel that might wear on a lot of people.

Sodaware 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The one thing Facebook has taught me is that I'm far too ugly to use social media.
mongol 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok so now they can log every interaction you do on your phone. Look out for new permissions that you need to change the defaults to, or else your friends will see updates such as "Mongol just dialed his friend John". "Mongol is playing Wordfeud". "Mongol has an appointment with his dentist".
lost_name 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Sometimes, I hate being such a cynical person.

I see what appears to be a fine product, which adds a lot of desirable features for communication -- chat heads look especially nice -- but all I can really wonder is what else Facebook might be mining out of my phone usage that the regular Facebook App doesn't do already. Maybe they want to take over SMS messaging on the phone completely and route it through Facebook (centralized chat, it's not even unreasonable), or perhaps automatically upload everything and let you filter expoosed data after the fact (which is too late to trust that it's ever gone). When it comes pre-installed on the phone, they don't even have to ask for permission for everything.

beerglass 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think it really is bad news for Apple... if more such stuff starts coming exclusively on Android, then it is bad for Apple. And very good for Google. (posting this to get some insight, not to initiate ugly debate among Apple/Google fan-boys)
leephillips 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"From the moment you turn it on, you see a steady stream of friends' posts and photos."

Sounds like a self-flagellation device for masochists.

"Upfront notifications and quick access to your essentials mean you'll never miss a moment."

Except for most of what's important, which you will miss unless you put that phone down.

"And you can keep chatting with friends, even when you're using other apps."

Please kill me.

On the page design: I'm not as impressed as many of the commenters here. It's nonresponsive and requires horizontal scrolling.

jordn 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I think what Facebook are going for here makes a lot of sense.

The home screen at the moment is a fork in the road with the choice of dozens of different app paths to take. What they're planning on doing is removing the extra step needed to start interacting with the content.

It's similar to how they changed the original facebook app. Instead of starting by presenting all the options of which part of facebook you wanted to go to (profile/photos/newsfeed/messages etc.) it instead went straight into the news feed.

This presumably could work just as well with the whole phone. Although my concern is that facebook is only a small subset of my sources of interesting information on mobile. It seems highly limiting for it to only show facebook app content. Maybe there's a possible opportunity for a competing, open 'home screen' app to bring it all in.

JumpCrisscross 14 hours ago 1 reply      
In its present form, where I risk my SoHo friends' strip poker party greeting the workplace every time I whip out my phone, Home targets Facebook'a beachhead of college students.

Adding geographic and temporal modality, e.g. enabling Home if I am not at the office and it is not between 9AM and 6PM on a weekday, would broaden its appeal.

skylervm 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for all the great feedback. It's awesome to see how much everyone likes the site.

I was the designer and Nick Kwiatek (http://nkwiatek.com) built it. Elisabeth Carr wrote the content, Peter Jordan and Nate Salciccioli made the videos. It was definitely a team effort and feels great to be able to share it with everyone.

volandovengo 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Just looked at all the videos. I wanted to like this but I'm really unimpressed. I don't understand why anyone would install this.

All my friends seem to be using Facebook less and less and this seems to be another way to lock me into Facebook's ecosystem. While they could easily allow you to contact your friends in all the ways which you normally communicate with them - SMS, Email, Phone, the only thing they integrated in was Facebook messages.

By making this, they are basically saying that people want something in their hand which provides them random information they can swipe to. People want this random info soo sooo much, they we've made it the home screen + doing anything in apps is the exception.

uptown 10 hours ago 2 replies      
What happens to Facebook when the original generation of users have kids and those kids see Facebook as their parent's social network?
Hovertruck 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, it feels like I'm looking at a product page on Apple's website. Pretty.
charleslmunger 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is going to suck. And I think that because Facebook apparently doesn't have any engineers who do "plumbing" - uninteresting work that's necessary.

The core Facebook app still has a software menu button pop up, because they're not targeting a remotely recent build of Android. There is not a single jellybean-style rich notification anywhere to be found. The MediaUploadService doesn't stop itself if media upload is turned off, and it shouldn't even be on because android 4.x broadcasts an intent when a picture is taken anyway.

As we saw in a post about a month ago, monkey patching dalvik is sexy and interesting to work on - the fact that their codebase is so convoluted that they have to is a symptom of sloppy engineering.

tg3 15 hours ago 3 replies      
The greatest benefit of a facebook phone to me has nothing to do with photos, status updates, etc (although I am likely in the minority). Facebook, to me, has become an address book of all of my friends, with contact information that updates itself when it changes.

If facebook replaced my address book with my facebook friends list, and texting and calling to them "just worked", hopefully using facebook-to-facebook over Wifi when available, it would be a great phone.

bsimpson 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I was interested until I heard they'll be putting ads on my lock screen.
uptown 15 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm skeptical that some of what winds up on the FB home screen won't include some form of advertising.
notaddicted 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Given that Facebook listed "Mobile" as a major risk to their future [1], this seems like a proportionate response. It seems like every tech giant wants the be at the top of the heap, to control software that is as close to the user as possible. In this case Google Glass looks pretty smart, you can't get any closer than a quarter inch away from my eyeball.

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2012/05/09/facebook-t...

InfinityX0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook, like Google, has the goal of getting users to use their service more - as they are an advertising platform. Google Glass means people will search more - when they're away from the computer. Google investing in better internet means people will have quicker connections, which means they'll again means they'll be searching more.

Here, by increasing the likelihood people are engaged/interested in Facebook status events, Facebook will drive users back to their core platform, whether it's their core app or the desktop version - where they will, indeed, get more impressions for their advertisers. I doubt they are dumb enough, though, to actually do this through the home screen of our phones.

Systemic33 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Facebook is so obsessed about telling me what my friends do, when i meet them, whats there to talk about? I think we are getting to a point where the digital social networks are ruining the actual social networks; the actual social network is just diluted.
Just my opinion.
ehudla 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Branding suggestion for competitors: "A grownup's Phone" for any phone that does NOT have facebook on your start/home screen.
alaskamiller 15 hours ago 0 replies      
When you can't own the hardware chain the next best thing is creating a virus masquerading as a platform.
ereckers 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Everyone in that video seems to be having fun. Must be good.

The design of the production page is nice though. The video mast is kind of what I've been waiting for for a long time. It's nicely implemented.

tjbiddle 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like their pre-order page (http://www.att.com/facebookhome) is 404ing.

On topic - I personally wouldn't use this. Facebook belongs as an app. More integration is (almost) always nice, but I really don't need a phone dedicated to the social network - I'd prefer to move farther away from it.

acc00 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I could not help but notice one of their Cover feed screenshots showing an advert -- http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/v2/yY/r/fNNR8sV8Y3W.png .

OK, this one I think I get. Why have full-screen standby ads only on Kindle?

hcarvalhoalves 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Next thing you know, your phone homescreen is showing a full-size ad. Clever.
dasil003 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Regardless about how you feel about the actual functionality here, as an entrepreneur you have to be impressed with Facebook's ability to continually ratchet up engagement year after year after year.
throwaway1979 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A variant of this idea was implemented by Motorola on some of their phones (which I used for a few weeks before returning it). I forget what it was called ...motoblur? The concept was pretty neat but it drained battery like nothing else. I wonder what the battery implications of Home are.
daigoba66 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It turns your Android phone into Facebook. I'm amused by the App Launcher description: "Get right to Facebook, Instagram and other essentials". Because the only reason I use technology for social media things...

But to be fair there might be a certain demographic for which this makes sense. And in many ways it's a lot like what Microsoft is trying to do with Windows Phone (but I don't know how successful that is).

The product seems pretty cool even though I'd never use it.

PavlovsCat 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Home? Home is where my heart is. So among other thing, that means it's where facebook isn't.

Ugly on the outside, even more ugly on the inside -- what's not to ignore, until you burn it down?

joosters 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What new privacy holes will this introduce? I wonder if the facebook home will be constantly monitoring your location, recording app usage, grabbing your text messages, etc. Basically, are you surrendering the rest of your phone data to facebook?
canibanoglu 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Ok here's my two cents.

-It does look great. But I'm also curious as to what will happen if my friends are not good photographers. How about when they post pictures of what they have eaten?

-I most likely take my phone out of my pocket more than a hundred times each day, they got that part right. Sometimes I just use the phone screen to check the date and time. Sometimes to check if someone has called me or texted me/mailed me. If I'm the only one who checks his phone's screen in order to learn the time, then this is probably a moot point. If not, it's going to be annoying.

-It's all good and dandy to be connected to my friends all the time but I use my phone for what it was meant for, phoning other people. It's very rare that I take my phone out of my pocket to check up on friends through social media. If I want to check up on people, I call them. If I want to do it over facebook or similar, I use the apps.

-Ads. It's most likely get ugly and annoying, fast.

skywalk 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone notice how the main video on that page is almost exclusively women using the app? Guess that's linking in to the idea others have quoted here about the attractiveness factor of the photos in question.
cadetzero 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Why don't they fix Facebook on android before releasing a new product? It frequently "shooooops" for me - crashes, lags, hogs resources, and otherwise does unexpected things.

I'm very wary to install any software from Facebook on Android.

jechen 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I have my doubts about the launcher and would much rather have Twitter take on the endeavor given I derive much more utility from its network (highlighting stories on my Twitter feed seem a lot more relevant in practice when it comes to things I care about having on my phone's lock screen), but Facebook did one hell of a job with this product landing page. Props to their design team. (Ah! The video header! It's so pretty! And not a single man in sight!)
orangethirty 14 hours ago 0 replies      
What a landing page. Almost makes me want to start using Facebook again. Now, this is the step before Facebook forks android, and builds their own apps store. And then they build their own signature phone, then a tablet, and so on...
Le_SDT 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny how the video contains only women... <sarcasm> like if facebook was the only site most women would go on</sarcasm> :
hoverkraft 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this remind anyone else of the ill conceived Motorola Rokr? http://img.iguor.com/2012/11/112752-apple-ceo-jobs-introduce...
state 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Could someone who is really excited about this talk about their enthusiasm?
film42 14 hours ago 2 replies      
The site says $99, however, upon clicking preorder, we see it costs $450 without a contract. AT&T of course says, "*Requires 2-yr contract with qualifying voice and data plans. Activation fee applies." So this cool little idea just got a whole lot more expensive.

I say wait for the rom to leak, and then dual boot it on a new Nexus 4.

UPDATE: Sorry, I misread, this is just an overlay. Still though, the point still stands.

jjsz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't give >1% of my battery power to an app like this, especially coming from Facebook. Back when I used the Facebook app and Facebook it drained too much of the battery.

Now if feedly launches something like this, where the photos and content come from RSS feeds, you can sign me up for beta testing. You could take over and kill Chameleon, Apex, Go, and Trebuchet easily.

zwieback 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this will exacerbate the problem of people looking at their phones while driving.
joshuasortino 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to point out that this is the first Android phone which didn't emphasize the logos and manufacture. Most Androids have a horrible cluttered physical design, partly because manufactures slap their logo right on the front.
theprodigy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Facebook home won't be disruptive. There is so much more that goes into marketing and selling consumer products.

Home is a good win-win deal for facebook and HTC. Facebook can collect valuable social data from mobile devices and optimize ad delivery for users of that phone. HTC has the ability to use Home as a way to differentiate its phone in a very crowded market where the average consumer sees little differentiation between different smart phones outside of the iphone.

myko 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty neat. I might end up installing it just to avoid using the abomination that is the official Facebook for Android app.
obilgic 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Pre-order link is broken


fotoblur 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Doesn't look like its for anyone over 30.
JSadowski 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I like Android intents and all, but I think Facebook is misguided if their plan is to release a new version of Home every month. The intent preference is only remembered for the same version of the app... that means if they choose to update the version the user will be asked if they want to launch the intent with Facebook Home again ("Just Once" / "Always").
wildster 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Facebook are trying to do to Android what Google is doing with Chrome to the desktop.
songgao 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Despite the fact that I feel weird about Facebook making a phone, I have to say this page is awesome!
nQuo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A few of my own thoughts and observations. Content (from your friends that you see) really is king. http://bit.ly/10CinIx
sunkencity 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wild Palms here we go.
Buzaga 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook is so dull :/
tonycoco 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is going to be so cool when I hang out with my hipster friends.
aurelius83 14 hours ago 0 replies      
So basically, this seems like a widget to me. What am I missing?
donaldguy 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Is anyone here aware of a "chat heads" like chat UI for desktop computing? Seems like there is nothing about the idea that makes it only a good design on mobile platforms.
staircasebug 15 hours ago 2 replies      
How long before the app starts showing ads on your home screen?
machbio 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Lot of False Likes will happen - due to low quality phones..double tap means a like.. it will be the biggest concern for mobile users with facebook home installed
SSilver2k2 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Link to pre-order giving anyone else a 404?
littlemerman 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks awesome.
nokya 11 hours ago 0 replies      
yuvadam 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Did Facebook just jump the shark?
There are no 10x developers, but there are 1/10 ones techfounder.net
126 points by pytrin  8 hours ago   113 comments top 45
nhashem 7 hours ago 2 replies      
"x10 developers" are, in fact, proficient developers, who are experienced with their stack and problem domain.

Well, I'd say this is only true for your typical corporate entity, where their products are basically just web applications that represent a state machine using some sort of database store for persistence (which is... basically everything). By the time the company has achieved some size, there's enough process and bureaucracy and projects mostly consist of what the OP described -- migrating from one framework to another, or some other incremental enhancement that's hardly pushing any sort of business of technology threshold. At previous employers that fit this description, I could have easily been 10x more productive if I didn't have to endure four hour sprint planning meetings or be required by an understaffed QA/DBA/sysadmin team to approve my code before release, all to do completely routine development changes that required no serious problem-solving.

This doesn't mean I'm a 10x developer. It probably means I'm a 1x developer, so a 'true' 10x developer would have been 100x more productive without the aforementioned bureaucratic crap. At these companies that would dogmatically follow Agile and had two week sprints, I might spend four hours, across two days, actually developing -- with the rest of the days filled with various meetings, interviews, waiting for QA/DBA/sysadmins, fucking around, etc. I could easily see how someone could spend only 15 minutes on what took me four hours, and his solutions would likely be more elegant. It doesn't matter -- the limiting factor isn't the development time, or even the development quality. In that environment, there is literally no difference in productive gains between a proficient developer and a 10x developer.

Given a "10x developer" is literally defined by his productivity/quality, if you think they're effectively overhyped/nonexistent, ask yourself this: are you in an environment where a 10x developer could actually demonstrate 10x productivity? At most companies, the answer is no, because a 10x engineer is doing in hours what takes people days, and nobody notices. But in the right environment, the 10x engineer will do in weeks what would take proficient engineers months, or do in months what would take years. They're the people that Steve Yegge calls "Done and Gets Things Smart"[0] or that Rands calls "Free Electrons"[1].

And if you work at a company that can't think in terms of months because it's always concerned about quarterly earnings, then they have no use for 10x developer, and chances are you couldn't even tell if one was even there.

[0] http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/06/done-and-gets-things...

[1] http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2005/03/20/free_electr...

zeteo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
These discussions are worse than useless. People with made-up numbers confront people with unreliable anecdotes. Productivity means, very simply, an average of X widgets per hour. Does such a measure even exist for developers? The discussion can apply to such varied situations as:

- how fast can a developer add new features to a system they built themselves

- how fast can they add features to a system designed by somebody else

- how fast do they fix simple bugs

- how fast do they find horribly complicated bugs

- how fast can they architect a reliable, multithreaded backend

- how fast can they work with program management to design a good UI

etc. etc. etc.

These are often conflicting requirements. People who develop a very elaborate personal coding style will be fast on single projects, but slow to work with other people's code. Those who are methodical and question all assumptions will find hard bugs much sooner, but waste time on simple bugs. Those who can construct elaborate systems in their head often have trouble tweaking hundreds of little CSS details for a single ticket. So I would venture that, for any pair of moderately experienced developers, it's almost always possible to find a pair of tasks such that one of them is twice (or even ten times) as fast as the other. Let's not even bring up how much the incentive structure can vary, even among people in the same department.

The example that the article brings is terribly vague and uninstructive. Is that guy, for his whole life, going to be a "1/10 developer"? We never get an idea why he was slow in the first place. Was he lazy? incompetent? concentrating on his studies instead? not motivated by the incentive structure? risk averse because breaking the system carried harsher personal consequences than developing it excruciatingly slowly? The author doesn't even figure out the roots of the problem in the one case he's familiar with, and purports to give advice to everyone else based on it...

justin_vanw 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, if the author kindof hasn't seen it, I guess I should ignore this stuff:

Boehm, Barry W., and Philip N. Papaccio. 1988. "Understanding and Controlling Software Costs." IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering SE-14, no. 10 (October): 1462-77.

Boehm, Barry, 1981. Software Engineering Economics, Boston, Mass.: Addison Wesley, 1981.

Boehm, Barry, et al, 2000. Software Cost Estimation with Cocomo II, Boston, Mass.: Addison Wesley, 2000.

Boehm, Barry W., T. E. Gray, and T. Seewaldt. 1984. "Prototyping Versus Specifying: A Multiproject Experiment." IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering SE-10, no. 3 (May): 290-303. Also in Jones 1986b.

Card, David N. 1987. "A Software Technology Evaluation Program." Information and Software Technology 29, no. 6 (July/August): 291-300.

Curtis, Bill. 1981. "Substantiating Programmer Variability." Proceedings of the IEEE 69, no. 7: 846.

Curtis, Bill, et al. 1986. "Software Psychology: The Need for an Interdisciplinary Program." Proceedings of the IEEE 74, no. 8: 1092-1106.

DeMarco, Tom, and Timothy Lister. 1985. "Programmer Performance and the Effects of the Workplace." Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Software Engineering. Washington, D.C.: IEEE Computer Society Press, 268-72.

DeMarco, Tom and Timothy Lister, 1999. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 2d Ed. New York: Dorset House, 1999.

Mills, Harlan D. 1983. Software Productivity. Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown.

Sackman, H., W.J. Erikson, and E. E. Grant. 1968. "Exploratory Experimental Studies Comparing Online and Offline Programming Performance." Communications of the ACM 11, no. 1 (January): 3-11.

Sheil, B. A. 1981. “The Psychological Study of Programming,” Computing Surveys, Vol. 13. No. 1, March 1981.

Valett, J., and F. E. McGarry. 1989. "A Summary of Software Measurement Experiences in the Software Engineering Laboratory." Journal of Systems and Software 9, no. 2 (February): 137-48.

(References from http://www.construx.com/10x_Software_Development/Origins_of_...)

ChuckMcM 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I find this a challenging read. If the guy isn't cutting it in the position he is in, then its reasonable to ask him to move on, but I like to believe that everyone can improve, just as I believe not everyone wants to improve.

In my career I've seen developers who were 'average' become way above average after their boss left. This was due to the weird psychological box their manager had managed to get them pinned into.

A friend of mine who is now a VC told me about dogs which were put into a box where anything they did caused the floor to shock them. Eventually they just lay on the floor quivering. This sounds horrible and cruel (and it is) and sadly I've seen managers do the same things to their people. Every time they try to do something they get yelled at, and never with any guidance just a "don't do that again!" sort of shock from the floor. Eventually they can't do anything.

It is hard to rehabilitate those people but it is possible. It takes a bit of patience to get their confidence back up that they can in fact be excellent contributors. But boy is it painful. Both for them and their new manager.

The bottom line for me is that people work at different speeds and different levels. When their tasks are well matched to their strengths they do well. I once characterized two folks I knew as a 'bubble sort' kinda guy and an 'insertion sort' kinda guy. Strangely the bubble sort guy could write code really really quickly, and that was good because he took a long time to arrive at a solid solution. The insertion sort kinda guy worked more slowly and methodically but still got to the solution in about the same amount of time. If you looked at their commit histories you might thing the insertion sort kinda guy was a 1/10th developer but if you look at the milestone delivery rate you'd see he was just as productive as the bubble sort kinda guy. Not a particularly deep insight that people are different I know.

DannyBee 8 hours ago 3 replies      
There is no offer of proof for the claim that there are no 10x developers past claiming "they've not seen it in practice"

I have seen them with my own eyes.
They are in fact, able to do things 10x faster than others.
There are not a huge number of them, but they exist.
At Google, folks like Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat are easily 10x more productive than "the baseline proficient engineer".
Any proficient engineer who has worked with them can tell you the same.

Again, i won't claim there are many of these kinds of folks, but they definitely exist.

(This also doesn't mean 1/10th developers don't exist, and aren't common, but ...)

crazygringo 8 hours ago 1 reply      
For well-defined programming tasks, I could agree that there's a standard "professional" baseline, and that, at most, other developers could be twice as good/fast, at most. (And of course, there are the 1/10 developers too, and even the "negative" developers that do more harm than good.)

But the 10x factor is real. But it comes into play, I think, more for architecture roles, or incredibly key algorithms, etc. It's a whole different beast from "proficient developers, who are experienced with their stack and problem domain."

These are the developers who have the intelligence, experience, and organizational understand to make the kinds of decisions that keep a team or product running smoothly along, as opposed to getting mired in spaghetti code, rewrites, refactoring, etc. And the larger and more complex projects are, the harder this is, and the more valuable it is. And the more of an art it is, than a science.

The idea of 10x developers isn't that a single developer performs simple tasks 10x better/faster, but rather that they bring such insight into complex tasks, that they can wind up achieving 10x as much, possibly for the whole team, because they make other developers more productive as well. Or, they see a well-defined task, and see a different, better way of doing it, that only takes 1/10th the time. But the 10x is the gain they bring to the company -- and sometimes it is far greater than 10x.

orangethirty 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not a 10x programmer. Probably will never be. I do know of programmers who not only are slower in shipping, but are very bad at designing coherent programs and data structures. That's my main observation. It's not that I'm X times better, its that they are X times slower and make poor design choices. Why? My experience has shown that this tends to happen with people who stop keeping up to date and stop learning.

Let's take my current job, for example. I'm working with a Python program designed to interact with 2 other programs. It is a middleman. The input comes in as text files, and the output goes out as text from a SQL query. The two programmers who built the system I'm working with (one from IBM, another from NASA, believe or not) had never heard of XML, or JSON. Every data structure inside the system is handled by reading and slicing around the contents of the text files. Slow, error prone, and tedious. My first step was to clean this up. I now have a small script that takes the input data text file and turns it into JSON. Since this data comes from an outside vendor, I don't get to pick the format (though I'm developing an API to handle this). After cleaning the data and saving it as JSON, I then simply load up the JSON file into memory and go through the program flow without issues. I removed the size of the program to about 25% of its original size. Plus its way, way faster. I also removed a bunch of database queries that simply did nothing. Was even able to add logging to the program.

Anyhow, the crazy part about it is that the actual code was worse. For those who know Python, using global variables for
everything is considered pretty bad form. Here is an example that mimics the code base I inherited:

    #they called lists arrays
an_array = []
def foo(array):
global bar, global hello, global hi
if bar <> 1:
print "something"
array[0] = hi

Yeah. But wait, there's more. There is a web app written in (what else) flat PHP. It handles very critical information, and is plagued with:

    $foo = $_GET['foo'];
sql = "INSERT INTO TABLE.NAME VALUE($foo)"; //not actual SQL

They never clean, or sanitize the data. They don't even check if the GET array is empty.

It is obvious these two programmers stopped learning. They simply fell into what I call a learning slump. Where all new data simply goes out the moment it goes in.

    #Like so
def new_data(data):
return data

#Instead of
def new_data(data):
#process data
#insert data into database

Yet, I don't want to call myself better, because most people here are better than me. Yet this leaves me with quite a strange view of everything. I'm not a great programmer, but I'm not as bad as those guys who worked at some big name place. Where does that leave me? Who knows.

RockyMcNuts 7 hours ago 1 reply      
If you ask me to design a programming language, I'm a 0 and van Rossum and Kernighan and Ritchie are some finite number, so they are infinity-x me.

There are levels where people hit a wall. Some hit it at hello.c, some hit it at writing professional business logic with proper data structures, some hit it at assembly language or programming language design or operating systems.

Anyone in over their head at any level is a 1/10 or a 0.

The superstars of language design, if they had to dive into Java business logic, might be at 2x the productivity of a competent pro...or they might shoot themselves.

But if you create a Python or Linux...what's your productivity compared to that Java programmer? In terms of the market value of those ecosystems, increased efficiency by the developers and users in those ecosystems, it's not 10x, it's gigantic, millions of times the value-add.

The weird thing is, people don't get paid much more when they move from one level to another, unless they start the next Google or get shares/royalties...it's more on a log scale.

georgemcbay 7 hours ago 2 replies      
In my experience there are both. There are certainly a fair number of 1/10ers that manage to progress through seemingly normal career paths as programmers despite not being very good. I've worked with some, and most of you who are also developers probably have as well. But there are also for-real 10xers on top of the baseline. John Carmack, Jeff Dean, Fabrice Bellard, et al. If you define hyper-productive programmers like those guys as your baseline then like 99.9999% of working programmers need to quit in shame.
InclinedPlane 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course there are developers that are vastly more productive and effective than others, this is true of every industry, not just developing. Consider two different developers. One designs and implements a highly useful feature which gives their product a key competitive edge in the market and does so in a way which is elegant, efficient, and robust. The other implements a poorly thought out feature that is a borderline bug even if implemented to spec, takes a long time implementing it, and eventually produces code that is hard to understand and full of defects, sucking up tons of developer time and slowing down development velocity as it soaks up resources every time it needs to be fixed.

The difference is not merely one of a 10x productivity imbalance, it's a huge effectiveness difference on the scale of thousands or even millions of times.

Looking for "10x productivity" developers is a side-show, it's treating software like factory work. Look for developers who can work more effectively. Developers who you can rely on to deliver a product that is absolutely better along every axis than the competition. Developers who won't just pump lines of code into the repo but who will actively work to improve the quality of the code base over time and increase the total development velocity of the company. Developers who will take the time to look at the internal processes and tools that the company uses and seek to improve them when necessary. Developers that will serve as strong mentors to other developers on the team, and improve their quality as well. And too developers who will be looked up to and admired and will serve as a reason for why other developers enjoy working at the company.

rachelbythebay 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Developers is one thing, but how about sysadmin work? I think I've seen it there, too. I looked at the tickets worked by a group of people from June 1 to December 15 of a year far in the past. The counts looked like this:

119 348 353 409 515 559 572 634 722 779 830 1004 1029 1169 1345 1487 2096

That's a total of 13970 tickets closed by 17 techs. If you split it evenly, that's 821 each, or about 5.8%. The lowest tech only handled 0.85% of the load. The highest tech handled 15%! If you use the extremes, that's a 17x difference. It also means the top tech did almost 2.5x the "fair share" load of 5.8%.

Now, to be clear, tickets are not fungible. One ticket may be simple and another might take days to finish. Still, when there's that much of a difference, odds are the person at the top is doing all of them regardless of the complexity. That's the only way to find enough things to do.

agentultra 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm rather tired of this, "developer productivity," rhetoric. It places software developers on a scale that allows micro-managers to perceive people as cogs in a machine. And I don't think that is fair given that we are all capable people. Each one of us will experience times when we are very productive and deeply inspired while other times we will struggle with completing trivial and meaningless tasks. To put ourselves in such absolute figures is disingenuous.
dchichkov 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the author was just plain wrong in his decision assigning that transition task to that developer:

   """ They were just in the middle of a transition from a homebrewed framework into a popular open-source one, which I was intimately familiar with. 

The author should have been transitioning the application to the new PHP framework himself. He is intimately familiar with it (and only it?), after all. And that other guy probably should have been assigned some other task, that he could be efficient at. Or let go.

Instead, it looks like this other guy was assigned a task in which he would be very inefficient, and then micromanaged by newly hired CTO. So no surprise that it ended in that huge time waste.

nnq 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Because nobody wants to be called or to call himself a 1/10 developer! It's goddamn demeaning!

And we're all at different points on the learning curves for different technologies, so we are all "1/10 developers" for some techs! But if you get the "1/10 developer" label for a technology that you end up working with but you've never touched before so you're running in the "learn on the job" mode, some will tend to mindlessly generalize this and you'll end up with a "1/10" label on your head, and you never want that, especially if you're also freelancing or doing independent consulting and your "fame" has financial consequences!. You just label the pro/experienced/uberproductive guys as 10x and leave the others to learn and perfect, it has the same "positive" effect that having a "like" button and not a "dislike" one (or both) has on social networking sites. (Now , having "learn on the job" guys working at 1/10 productivity is horrible for the customer, but this is how it works and how you get paid for learning instead of paying for learning by going to a top notch university and/or crawling through badly paid internships - as wise men said, "paying customers get shafted every now and then", but this is how we keep learning and keep our jobs fun :))

jared314 7 hours ago 0 replies      
All the articles about "10x" developers, "1/10" developers, or "super" developers have not taught me anything about how to improve my skills, or a team's skills. Even the articles that promote the "10,000 hours" or "Just F'ing Do It" mantra feel like proselytizing without practical, or proven, methodologies.
dahart 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There are a small few very gifted people who are prolific coders, and there are a small few very terrible coders who manage to get a job but can't produce decent work.

But FAR more often than spotting either category "in the wild", in my own experience, I have watched poor management turn a productive developer into an unproductive one, or watched circumstance and luck turn someone who's not natually great into a central and productive team member.

I would say, blanket generalization, that at any company that has more than 5-10 developers, team dynamics and management are 10x more important than whether individual programmers are rock stars or duds.

kamaal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure what to make of this post.

I'm a 10x guy when it comes to Java/Python/Perl. And I'm also 1/5 guy when it comes to something like a executing a large C project[Which I'm currently working on in my spare time in the nights, totally apart from my day job]. Actually I was 1/10 guy a while back. I'm now at 1/5. I give it another 6 months while I be the 1x guy. And it will take some years when I will hit 10x mark when it comes to C.

However this 1/10, 1 or 10x metric is bull crap. There a lot of people who work slowly and steadily and then come to speed. There are a lot of people who learn by making mistakes, there are people people who take time figure out things and go at their own speed.

My metric of measuring is how to check how much committed the person is, are they deeply into it, are they serious about it, how much effort do they put in. To they persist on their effort despite problems? If they do, you have a winner. Doesn't matter if he can't understand the C syntax or takes a while.

Its worth while to give such candidate some time. Because sooner or later they turn out of be awesome.

ruswick 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that any model that bifurcates coders based on skill is absurd; but this description was uniquely outrageous. It assumes that skill is binary, and that there is never any room to improve beyond being a competent developer. If the maximum "level" a developer can attain is 1x, than there is no differentiation between competent and amazing coders.

In all honesty, these scales and the terminology which makes reference to them are absurd. There are average developers, there are mediocre developers, and there are excellent developers. People operate within a massive range of skill levels and have both talents and shortcomings. Trying to express ability as a binary determination made against an arbitrary baseline simply doesn't work.

contingencies 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't have your existing coding team involved in the interview process for new people, then you are looking for trouble. The net cause is either your own poor processes and resource allocation (ie. bad hire) or weird internal procedures/standards (overwhelmingly difficult for newcomers to grapple with).

Anyway, '10x your tier of productivity'-style elitism is pointless. People will always either accept new colleagues or get shirty ... there is no objective metric for the infinite range of potential human foibles.

That said, removing someone too early could easily prove a loss ... often people who think differently are a 100x asset. If you can influence an important resource allocation decision with interesting information, then saving both a month's time and the potential alternative productivity for a bunch of fellow developers could easily pay for a hire's first few.

Software's complex, mmkay. Humans are even worse. Chill, we are all flawed creatures :)


superdude 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I guess I don't get it. This Ph.D candidate was recommended by the previous CTO and was the one spearheading the framework transition...and then was fired after 2 weeks? But junior devs at the previous firm were given months to get up to speed?
learc83 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Something seems a bit off about that anecdote to me--exaggerated perhaps?

There's a "highly recommended", "smart", Ph.D candidate developer and he can't do in 6 weeks what the author could do do in 30 minutes, even with the author holding his hand? That's not a 10x difference, that's a 500x difference.

rejschaap 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is interesting, but I feel the author did not get to the meat of the issue yet. He suggest to relabel the 10x to 1x and 1x to 1/10x. Which to me just leads to a discussion about whether the glass is half empty or half full.

I think the interesting question is, why is it that 1x is generally regarded as default while 10xers are regarded as special.

ownagefool 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd in no way claim I'm a 10x developer. Hell I question whether I am a 1x developer, but it's not really as simple as that.

First of all the notion that 10x doesn't exist is sorta crap. This may come across as pretty shocking but I don't dedicate every waking moment to development. There is an expectation from many people that being a developer is a 24/7 job and a lot of kids buy into that. If someone spends 10x the effort of me because they honestly feel their career is more important than the rest of their life, then I wouldn't be suprised if they were considerably more productive.

I like to think effort correlates to intelligence and skill but I guess it isn't that simple either. Many people learn certian things, while I choose to focus on others. In the end we may emerge somewhere in the middle but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Thus whether you're 10x more productive than me depends on the domain of knowledge which we're utilising.

Folks judge productivity differently. Sadly this often comes from a managment perspective which relates directly to the speed the thing they wanted first appears to them as usable. That's fairly logical from their point of view, but we all know it's folly. Personally I live in a world of duracell bunnies coding up a mess without any thought of security of maintainability. More often than not management tend to believe they're more productive but in reality they just make everyones life harder in the long run.

Finally it comes down to motivation. I'm working a crud app for day rates, I'm in no rush. That's not to say I draw it out longer than it should take but I work my hours at a reasonable pace then I go home. Give me an interesting problem and maybe a vested interesting in completing it and I'll work harder and work on it at home. Suddenly I may be that 10x developer you were talking about afterall, though I'm probably not going to spend my entire life like that.

Personally I think it's pretty silly to propagate the myth that people are useless if they aren't as quick as others. Sure the scale is huge, but the real problem is people aren't rewarded based on their value but based on crappy metrics like "market rates". Next up is even if management were willing to reward based on value, it's actually very difficult for them to do in the vast majority of cases.

zeeg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If there are 1/10 developers, there are, in fact 10x developers.

Guys, math and stuff.

In all seriousness, there's a lot of things being done in the productivity and quality spaces to try and mine data to measure things. I recently joined tenXer (.com) which is trying to both drive productivity measurements as well as quality indicators.

We by no means have any answers, but I think things have evolved a lot in the recent years to where bringing real measurements is becoming a possibility.

I think the important thing here is to realize that measuring people is not solely for someone to manage you differently. You can't succeed in something if you don't have a reasonable success metric, and data makes it far easier to capture those.

avenger123 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of this comes down to the company itself.

Let's just put it out there. If you are working for a consulting company (let's just name the big ones - Accenture, IBM Global Services, Fujitsu Consulting, etc..) it is NOT in the best interests of the company for their developers to be a "10x developer" or even a "1x developer".

Usually these companies have set an expectation on how fast development will go. If its big government projects, icebergs might move at a faster pace than development.

Working as an employee or even on contract on some of these projects, you learn pretty quick what the "pace" needs to be. These companies don't make their money by doing the speediest development.

vwinsyee 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm reminded of a paper [1] that "discovered a test which divides programming sheep from non-programming goats." The claim is that there are two distinct populations of people (those who can programming and those who inherently cannot). Each population has its own variance, e.g. as the OP mentions, the best programmer in each population might be 30-40% better than a lower-tier programmer in the same population. But the average programmer in the "can program" population is a magnitude better than the average progammer in the "can't program" population. This seems to closely match what the OP is describing.

[1] http://www.eis.mdx.ac.uk/research/PhDArea/saeed/

Maven911 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I think its important to note that if we didn't have ten fingers and created a decimal numbering system, we probably wouldn't be using the 10x factor
kefeizhou 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You can't give 10x or 1/10 labels without context. If you ask a smart developer to code in a brand new language, he'll look like a 1/10 developer for a while; and an average developer can look like a 10x developer if he's working with technology that he's been using for the past 10 years.
xarien 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Let's say we redefine the definition of a developer to baseline at what's currently stated as 10x. What if the demand for programming far exceeds the supply of 10x devs? Fact: the above sentence isn't actually a hypothetical, it's the current state of the world.

You know what? At the end of the day, it IS harder to teach someone to fish than to fish for them. This is a known fact. This is why developing talent is an investment. You don't just get to reap the rewards from the get go. You invest and hope for a high yield. The person you let go sounded like they had great potential (wrote decent and working code, but just a little slow).

Stop being so damn arrogant.

nimblegorilla 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Having a hard time buying this theory especially given the article's anecdotal evidence. If someone spent 2 weeks trying to program something that took him 30 minutes that is over a 100x improvement.
joeld42 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Why can't both be true? If you actually had some objective measure of programmer skill, wouldn't you expect there to be some kind of bell curve of skilled programmers, with 10x and 0.1x people somewhere at the tails?
khitchdee 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"but the difference between developers who are proficient at what they do will never be a x10 multiplier - it will be closer to a variation of 30-40% in productivity"

If you look at individual productivity you're right, but the effect of the myhthical 10x developer is not just on their own work but on the work of others in the project. You could in some cases get a 10x at the project level. It's the difference between working smarter versus surface level efficiency such as better time management.

Uchikoma 5 hours ago 0 replies      
From my recruiting experience and from asking around others who do programming during recruiting, there are 30% programmers that can't program even simple problems (FizzBuzz, String reverse)
banachtarski 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the difference so long as it remains true that some developers are 10 times better than other developers?
shubhamjain 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't it obvious that people who use dual monitors, take time to set up projects, one step builds, thonl before coding, think about their work be more productive then who don't. What I feel is productivoty isn't magical which a programmer has, it is driven by how much obsessed the programmer is in increasing it ( too much obsession wont be great though ).
anuraj 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Irrespective of languages (verbose vs non verbose), I have found that the rate at which I code on a normal 8 hour day is 500 LOC of medium complexity code including testing effort - and it has not changed for a long time.
bumbledraven 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Are we to suppose that Fabrice Bellard, Steve Wozniak, and John Carmack are merely proficient developers, who are experienced with their stack and problem domain?
bluedino 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It doesn't take much time wasted on Twitter, HN, or chatting up co-workers of the opposite sex to turn into a 1/10x developer
downtoearth 8 hours ago 2 replies      
How to tell whether I'm a 1/10x developer or not? Often it took me 3 months just to get a asp.net web application, as I'm unable to cope with the frequent requirement changes.
vishvananda 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the problem is that the author has normalized his development standard to proficient coders in the tech industry. I used to do enterprise software in the midwest and there are legions of 1/10th developers out there. Its easy move your baseline far away from the average when you are in the echo-chamber of high-tech startups. Compared to the true average developer there are definitely 10x developers.
hurtmyknee 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"You can tell when someone 'gets' it and when someone doesn't."

Can someone explain this in more detail please?

keefe 5 hours ago 0 replies      
if progress in software dev is limited by bottleneck problems that stop progress or slow it to a crawl, then large multipliers in productivity are possible and limited by the scale of the problem...
clubhi 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I think there are 10x developers because the vast majority are 1x.
gcatalfamo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
so what do i have to do to shift from 1/10 to 1x ?
dschleef 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Is a 10x developer the same as a "10 star" developer?
Cleaning House webkit.org
138 points by protomyth  12 hours ago   65 comments top 9
hkmurakami 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Back in 2011, I got my first exposure to WebKit and OSS in general as I was hanging out at my friend's office in downtown MV, 9pm on some random weekday.

I recall him working on submitting a patch (which I think got accepted after a few necessary revisions) to WebKit, and him explaining to me how WebKit is behind both Safari and Chrome, and how even though the companies and its fanboys are grabbing at each others' throats, the developers are happily working together, conversing casually on the mailing list and on twitter. It reminded me of the great sports rivalries, where the fans and media rile up the heat and hatred, but the players themselves remain respectful to their brethren on the other side of the lines.

In the years since, I've been able to help out some OSS projects as a non-coder, and I look back and think that learning about the collaboration behind WebKit certainly nudged me a little bit towards this direction.

It's a bit sad for me to see the Google and Apple teams split in this manner, since it was such a visible and prominent example of how OSS can bridge corporate divides, but I am hopeful that down the line we'll all look back at this moment in history with fondness.

rurounijones 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Unless I am mistaking things* it looks like there is a rather big problem brewing regarding the JS engines in webkit.

Webkit guys want to remove support for V8 (and any JS engine apart from their own JSC engine) due to maintenance and complexity conerns BUT:

* Qt 5.x uses V8 in Qt's Webkit

* Samsung uses V8 (In a unofficial fork of WebkitGTK+ by the looks of it).

* Oracle want to add support for their own JS Engine to webkit.

Resolving this one amicably should be interesting. If you want to use Webkit on windows with anything other than JSC it looks like you might want to start investigating blink in detail.

* I probably am.

ZeroGravitas 11 hours ago 3 replies      
So it seems you'll need to choose Blink+v8 or WebKit+JSC, I had thought WebKit+v8 was relatively common but perhaps its just Google.


ceautery 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I noticed a striking lack of snark in this link and the prior announcement of Blink. Either these are pros who are working in good faith toward their respective ecosystems, or there's bad blood and vitriol all around that goes deep enough to not get expressed right away.

I'm hoping for the former, but human nature being what it is...

cpeterso 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Will Android and Windows become "tier 2" platforms in Apple's WebKit tree? Who, besides Google's Chrome team, cared about WebKit on Windows?
pjscott 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There doesn't have to be a victim. This looks like an amicable fork that gives some quick benefit to all parties involved.
hackernewbie 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Google pumping and dumping. Seems kind of shitty to me. E: I do realise it's a very long term pump. But it has that feel.
fierarul 10 hours ago 1 reply      
They seem really eager to make the forks as hard to merge as possible.
suyash 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Yay...common Safari beat Chrome!
I Bought a Bitcoin nymag.com
82 points by benwoody  9 hours ago   56 comments top 11
downandout 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the issues that the author had with Bitinstant. The API error indicated that the service - allegedly one of the largest and reputable Bitcoin sellers in the US - had a total of $16.48 in its possession at the time and could not deliver his order. His experience is not unique - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=128314.2660

My guess is that the next big Bitcoin implosion story will be about Bitinstant. Something is rotten over there.

guard-of-terra 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It's fun how hard it is for a layperson to buy a Bitcoin in USA.
CCs do not work, you need bank transfer, your funds can be frozen, you have to wait in line, etc, etc.

I live in Russia and it's amazingly easy. First, everyone here owns a virtual money account. It works like this: you put some money into it and then you can pay your bills (especially internet and mobile phone), small purchases over internet and you can donate it to other users of the system. It is denominated in fiat money and that's what you put in. On every corner there is a device with touchscreen that accepts cash.

And that's where it ends: you can buy bitcoins with virtual money at metabank.ru. It probably talks to mtgox, buys some bitcoin there for you and transfers is. There is no trading involved, you buy for whatever the price is. You can actually buy BTC with CC attached to virtual money account, exactly like PayPal works. The catch is 6% fee.

If you want to trade, you go to btc-e. It supports a plenty of ways to move money into and out of the system. Fees are like 2%.

AlexDanger 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is there any evidence of nation states or three letter agencies dipping their toes into Bitcoin? Its seems like a perfect solution for the CIA when they need to move money quickly and discretely to 'difficult' regions or individuals.

I know that Gavin Andresen (unofficial leader of Bitcoin movement) did a talk for the CIA in 2011. But I dont know if their interest was about catching bad guys, using it for themselves or seeking to control/manipulate bitcoin: http://www.bitcointrading.com/pdf/GavinAndresenCIATalk.pdf

So I think an interesting question is whether these same agencies are generating bitcoins or attempting to manipulate the market. The big news recently for Bitcoin is the introduction of ASIC hardware dedicated to mining. An ASIC miner the size of a PC can generate bitcoin hashes 100x faster than a GPU at approximately the same power usage.

ASIC miners have taken a while to hit the market because making an ASIC is hard and expensive for a small company. You can bet they didnt get funding from a brick and mortar bank. There are only a couple of companies with a shippable product.

But surely making this same hardware is a relatively trivial exercise for a nation state, particularly the NSA who run their own fab and would be experts at making silicon tuned for crypto algorithms.


nazgulnarsil 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme in that everyone is counting on someone else to want them.

However this is no different from any currency or monetary commodity with no use value. With bitcoin, the "bag holders" at the end of the scheme have something for their trouble: a global, secure, low fee transaction settlement system. Given that such a network would be quite valuable, there's no reason for it to crash to 0, barring threats of violence. Perhaps speculation value will come out over time, but this is fine.

Mahn 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I keep wondering whether I should be buying bitcoins now, but I have mixed feelings about it. I'm pretty sure its value will continue going up for a while, but I guess I'm still skeptical.
drawkbox 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
I wonder if online gambling and gambling in games would be legal with bitcoins? Or less of a hurdle? This could be a huge boon for bitcoins if so to becoming the web currency/virtual wallet.
31reasons 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Bitcoins are just a right to participate in a digital crypto economy. They don't have any value in themselves. Its like holding passes to a show in the big theater. If the show doesn't start you passes are worthless. If there is any meaningful possibility of a show in the theater, you might get lucky for holding those passes. The main problem is that people who will participate in the show also need to get the passes to actually act out the show but if everyone just keep holding their passes for no good reason, well then there may not be a show.

From many bitcoins forums, people are hoping that its USD rate climb to $1000 or even $1 million, which is pretty ridiculous. People who have thousands of bitcoins, can probably keep holding on to them after selling 50% of them. But people who gonna buy it for more than $100 , they gonna panic at a first sign of decline. I suspect its not that far off.

IheartApplesDix 8 hours ago 1 reply      
~or~ how to bring in new investors to your bubble.
account_taken 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Not sure if Bitcoins are a good investment. All it takes is a western country (say Switzerland) to create an online currency and Bitcoins will sink faster than a Carnival ship.
James_Duval 1 hour ago 0 replies      
These on-topic comments are all well and good, but what we really want to know is what Objectivists think of the government~
michaelochurch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought BitCoin and I liked it
Hope my wallet don't mind it...
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, let's transact tonight
Hey Startups, I'm calling bullshit. You don't understand sales shoestring.com.au
25 points by nreece  5 hours ago   10 comments top 4
redguava 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It turns out that understanding how to make a website handle an influx of visitors is also important.
ValentineC 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Cache version (in case anyone else isn't able to access the site):
nubela 1 hour ago 1 reply      
As a programmer doing sales, this is really informative albeit abit short. Does anyone have a good book to recommend on sales?
grinnick 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the way he adds up the current value of the prospects in his funnel. I think it's a really great way to keep track of how much value each activity you could be doing right now will create so that you can more easily decide what to do next.
A Better To-Do List: The 1-3-5 Rule thedailymuse.com
46 points by acav  7 hours ago   21 comments top 13
jamesrcole 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
On the surface it sounds like an reasonable way to prioritize things -- every day do 1 big thing, 3 medium things, and 5 small tasks -- but why should such a division of your time necessarily reflect your priorities? What if the best use of your time at the present moment was to just focus on the single most important thing (for example)?

(Note, this is just from thinking it through in the abstract, and I know that practical experience with things can show you sides of them that weren't obvious in the abstract. So if anyone does have practical experience with it and can comment, I'd be interested to hear it).

kriro 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My current system is kind of strange but works for me:

- I have a "master view" of sorts in Trello where I keep track of projects/long term stuff in a birds eye view

- I use a notebook (real one non electronic) to keep track of my daily stuff

- In the notebook I write down the stuff todo every day and scribble down 25 minute checkboxes behind each one guestimating the time it takes (this is a leftover from promodoro which I dropped alas I kept some parts that I liked)

- Whenever I start on an item I highlight it with a yellow marker and cross off a checkbox after about 25 minutes...if it takes longer i add extra checkboxes as circles, triangles if it takes even longer (this is to keep track of my self estimation)

- Other than the date and todo items I have a box at the top for each day where I track long term improvement stuff i.e. silly stuff like "got out of bed within 15 minutes of the alarm ringing", "drank 1l+ of water"...I start each day by drawing that box and after a while when those items become automatic they get removed and replaced by other stuff (say "took a 10 minute walk")

I could see adding a layer of 1-3-5 when creating the daily list but it might actually be more like 1-2-3.

d0m 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Only thing I've found that worked for me was emails. Whatever app I want to use, I'll still get 100+ emails everyday. When I don't have that much thing to do, cool todo apps are great.. but anytime there's a real "get shit done urgently" I just fall back to email mode.. so I guessed why not always use email.
xjtian 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I think the rigidity of this system is its biggest drawback, as is the case with most productivity systems. For example, if I have two large projects that I need to get done and I only write down one, the other is going to keep nagging at me in the back of my head while I'm working and distract my focus. If I write both of them down, then I've deviated from the system, which in my experience means that by the end of the week, it'll just devolve into a vanilla to-do list grouped by the 'size' of tasks.

That's mainly why I switched to GTD for all of my to-do lists and projects. Because my inbox holds literally every task or to-do item that pops into my head during the day, I never have that distracting "am I forgetting something?" feeling during the day. I can process and sort my inbox whenever I have free time, and the flexibility in deciding which tasks should be made into projects, next actions, etc... means that the system always fits my schedule no matter how unpredictable or crazy it is, instead of me having to fit my schedule into the system.

antimora 3 hours ago 0 replies      
jkaljundi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Even doing just 1 big thing per day can do miracles: http://blog.weekdone.com/top-10-ways-for-a-productive-week/
shadowrunner 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not a bad idea, but I don't print the templates out. Just use a scrap piece of paper. It'll save money and trees.
donutdan4114 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Inspired me to make http://1-3-5.com/
Y0L0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Brajeshwar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Try this App EisenPower - http://www.eisenpowerapp.com/

Nope, I've nothing to do with the app. I'm just a happy regular user.

pjungwir 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This approach also lets you move the big thing (or hard thing) to a time when you are at your best and have few interruptions. I personally like to do the hard or more unknown bits sooner, and sometimes I even save up the easy stuff for those after-lunch hours when my brain feels mushier.
nshankar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I use a diary to maintain the tasks for any day. If the tasks are not done on that day, very rarely they are done in a single day, I write them on the next day's calendar page.
I also write a small note below the previous page where I get the next thread.
danlopez 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I like what this allows for daily tracking. It makes it really easy to see if you got through everything you wanted to on a daily basis.
Media Queries are a Hack ianstormtaylor.com
190 points by ianstormtaylor  16 hours ago   59 comments top 22
acabal 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been thinking about adding a mobile version to Scribophile lately but reading about the craziness of media queries and browser support is kind of scaring me away.

I think the core of the problem is that CSS was designed to style documents (because the web long ago was more or less a collection of text documents), but as the web evolved, it became necessary to use CSS for styling UIs--an entirely different beast from documents.

This twisting has led to the state we're in now, where CSS creates the problem it tried to solve: updating a style on a medium-complexity web site requires digging through a minefield of complex and interconnected CSS. Yes things like SASS or LESS can help but they're not an ultimate solution, nor are they a web standard, so tying your horse to one of those carts can limit you in the future.

Maybe in CSS5 they can add proper object-oriented syntax and element queries to help increase modularity and reuse and decrease cascading and media query complexity.

russelluresti 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I feel you're approaching the problem in the wrong mindset. You're imagining that you have one module and that's all you ever have. Instead, think of a the CSS module (your .testimonial module) as an interface - a blueprint to implement different types of .testimonial module variations.

The BEM architecture calls these "Modifiers" (http://csswizardry.com/2013/01/mindbemding-getting-your-head...).

When I look at your example, I don't think of a .testimonial object in two different contexts (one vertical in the sidebar of the signup page while one horizontal on the pricing page). Instead, I think of two different variations of the .testimonial object. So while your .testimonial class may define certain global styles, you change what you need by variations like .testimonial.vertical or .testimonial.horizontal (though I wouldn't actually use those names, but you get the idea).

This requires making a decision on when to apply what classes, but that's okay. You shouldn't be trying to abstract away actual UI decision-making to an automated tool or process. You seem to think that settings rules and logic to be executed based on those rules (when x, execute y; when y, execute z; etc.) will mean you always end up with a usable interface. However, this is not the case.

Ultimately, UI is not "write-once, use anywhere", and that's okay.

mgkimsal 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Open question - who is really involved in developing the CSS specs and specific implementations for specific browser? Is it people who would also end up being end users, or people with a more theoretical/academic background?

I ask not to be snarky, but ... I've never really been satisfied with CSS. CSS proponents have shouted me down (figuratively) for being a 'tables' holdout, but it felt to me like we traded super-nested tables with ALIGN and CELLPADDING attributes for box-model hacks and numerous interpretations of the word "may" and "should" from years-old spec docs; it didn't feel like that much of an improvement in many cases.

Do browser makers consult 'regular' web developers before coding in new browser-specific CSS extensions?

mistercow 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems like this would be a great thing to implement "shim-first". Create a solid spec that defines the way it should behave, then write a JS library that makes the spec work in current browsers. Then you have a set up where browsers can implement it natively and only improve performance without changing behavior.
crazygringo 14 hours ago 2 replies      
What I think we're starting to need is a separation between CSS for visual styling (font-size, border-radius, background-color, etc.) and CSS for layout (float, margin-left, etc.).

The first can only be done by CSS in the browser. But the second can be accomplished via CSS, or by JavaScript.

As the web evolves, CSS for layout is increasingly not keeping pace. But it's not unreasonable to think that we could do away with it altogether.

Is there anything preventing someone from creating totally new layout models, based on new formats, that are parsed in JavaScript, and essentially turn everything into div's with position:absolute? And get recalculated upon window resize etc.?

This would completely free us from existing layout limitations of CSS, to do the exact kind of things like element queries, or whatever else we might think of.

I'm just not really sure what the performance implications would be like.

masklinn 14 hours ago 0 replies      
TFAA apparently decided on an eye-grabbing headline rather than one which matched his article. It probably works, but it's sad: his actual thesis is that media queries are insufficient or the wrong tool.

As acabal notes, the core issue is that CSS was originally for styling documents, and media-queries work in that framework: they're about laying out or formatting a document, not a component within the document.

Which is of course the wrong approach if you're creating distributable/reusable components and blocks. Media queries are not a hack and are probably necessary: the final author will use them to lay out his site/page responsively.

But they're not sufficient, because the inner layout of a sub-element is impacted more by the element's size than the viewport's (the sub-element's positioning and size on the other hand are affected by the viewport).

All in all, the article is a good note of a real problem. But its headline stinks for the usual reasons.

rwhitman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is such an excellent point. Media Queries have been bugging the hell out of me lately for a reason I couldn't put my finger on, and I think you just nailed it
jiaaro 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. In retrospect, when we needed general conditionals in CSS, we got just one, very specialized one, and the rest was swept under the rug.

How did I miss that until now?

capisce 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The web should take a cue from QML when it comes to creating self-contained and reusable components: http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-5.0/qtqml/qtqml-documents-defin...
craftedpixelz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think this is currently the main issue still holding RWD back right now.

I blogged about the same issue not long ago: http://pxlz.me/44

ianstormtaylor 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem is that you're triggering the media query off the window's width still, and not the parent element's width. So it runs into the same problem mentioned in the article.
tholex 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Media queries are still necessary to lay out the page you've described. The primary containers of your pages all need to move around based on the size of the top-level container.

If you could only rely on your parent, that would also be problematic - the size of a component would be dependent on its chain of parents. If you were reusing the same component within further containers, say 3 different pages, you might want two to look the same despite a size difference, and element queries don't help you anymore. You just need a .testimonial.compact class, have slitghtly different media targeting, and now you have two types of testimonials that you can use on further pages.

Element queries could also easily create strange loops that cause the threshold to be crossed recursively, if the parent bases its width on the child. This is the case with inline-block elements and the property-which-must-not-be-named.

pkrein 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This all makes more sense in the context of TJ Holowaychuck's new Component package management tool (first link in the article). Component gives a sane structure to building small, modular js+css+html+assets components. https://github.com/component/component
smoyer 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The ability to compile Java to Javascript is only one of GWT's benefits ... the ability to package the associated HTML and CSS into "modules" and later import the modules you need makes web pages the collection of components the author desires.

I can create similar self contained components in JSF and several other languages (frameworks), so I'm wondering if the problem is the author's development technique.

bzalasky 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've encountered one scenario where element queries would be incredibly useful: web app designs that include sidebar navigation that toggles open and collapses. This design pattern makes responsive design a little bit more difficult. The main challenge is that the width of the main content pane changes depending on the state of the sidebar. Your media query to scale down an element or rearrange a layout, often has to default to happening at a greater window width than otherwise necessary (if the sidebar is collapsed), because of the potential for the sidebar being open. There are some gross ways to work around this with JS, but I don't think it's worth it. An element query would make it easy to watch the width of the main content pane, independent of the sidebar pane's state.

If you create an account at Stipple.com and log in, you'll see an example of what I'm talking about (disclosure: I'm an engineer at Stipple).

yuchi 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I had that same idea more than once, to propose a local per-element media query.

In fact the concept itself of querying the whole window to understand the dimension a portion of it will occupy... well it's strange.

At the same time, have you considered the implications of such a structure? A local media query could change the queried properties. Dangerously recursive.

In fact you COULD reach what you want using seamless iframes. I tinkered my head with such an option sometimes.

websitescenes 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Your not using media queries correctly if your having these issues. If you want widgets to be responsive to a parent element then make them fluid. The fluid technique has been around since the beginning and doesn't require media queries. I keep seeing people talking about crazy new units and grid systems, etc, etc. Just learn how to use media queries correctly... Sounds like you are using too many breakpoints. General breakpoints with percentage widths can do anything.
artificialidiot 13 hours ago 0 replies      
So, until we have a full blown prolog interpreter for CSS layout calculation, someone will always complain CSS is not sufficient. What a surprise...

Maybe we should update CSS to include object oriented features too. Then we can have abstract factory methods for our reusable components. Throw in an optional type checker for good measure while we are at it.

Please people, CSS and HTML only ever have had a single layout algorithm. Maybe it is not terribly flexible but it is good for limited width and unlimited unknown height presentation of a single stream of content. If your content genuinely calls for a different layout, please consider using something else other than CSS and HTML.

While I appreciate the endless efforts to workaround and improve the layout capabilities of CSS, may I suggest embracing the limited nature of this stack and design accordingly?

Maybe, if we admit the "content" arrive, is rendered and consumed sequentially, we would relieve ourselves the burden of beating CSS into submission whenever we want to diverge; with the added benefit of making life easier for those who can't see.

You wouldn't shy away from a little bit of challenge of learning something more suitable for you purposes, right?

thatthatis 13 hours ago 1 reply      
While we're complaining about the faults of media queries, allow me to add my largest perturbation with them: As a user, I sometimes want the "full" site when I'm on my phone/tablet.

With media queries, it's essentially impossible to let users choose their format experience.

paul9290 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there any SEO benefit of using media queries over pointing to a subdomain with a separate stylesheet. I.E. m.domain.com ?

Personally, for reviewing Google Analytics I just prefer making my web apps & sites responsive. Though responsive can take quite of bit of time.

ipetepete 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There are some good points made in the article. The responsive or one-for-all approach is still in its infancy. There will be issues, but I see an evolution in this that will ultimately lead to very succinct reusable widgets as described by the OP.

This is definitely one to grow on.

folkelemaitre 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We has a similar issue to solve. One part of our app is comparable to the inbox of an email client (list of messages). We launched a new dashboard view, where people could add all sorts of charts and also lists of messages. We used the same code / css for that, but here as well we wanted to hide / unhide certain things in the message depending on the width of the widget. We finally added some very simple (and highly restrictive) js code to make it happen in some way. Check this gist to see what we did: https://gist.github.com/folke/5314876
Are Bitcoins The Future? priceonomics.com
170 points by patrickod  10 hours ago   157 comments top 16
confluence 4 hours ago 9 replies      
Bitcoins are not the future. But they're a great start.

Bitcoins have two major problems stopping mainstream adoption; excessive volatility that isn't managed and the fact that is a deflationary monetary system, with the latter being a much bigger issue.

Fundamentally a currency needs to move around fungible value. That's it. If it doesn't do that - it's useless.

Bitcoin incentivises hoarding - the opposite of value transmission - and that's the main reason it'll remain as nothing more than a mere speculative currency, like modern day tulips, and why it won't ever become an actual alternative to actual cash.

Now - this isn't a knock against crypto-currencies - which are awesome - it's merely a knock at the fact that monetary supply in the bitcoin system isn't adaptive. Bitcoin needs a central decentralized bank that will help to stabilise the system and inflate (punish hoarders) as the economy grows in fits and starts.

I'm sure that one day in the not too distant future, another crypto-currency will come about that takes all the advantages provided by bitcoin, and combines them with stability/incentives of a nation-backed currency such as the US dollar. When that happens, we can finally end the monopoly held by large financial institutions that so clearly have literally no idea what they are actually doing (see Deutsche bank just recently).

Bitcoins are just the beginning of a whole new financial world, free from restriction, fees and abuse (hopefully :).

But they most certainly are not the end.

tokenadult 10 hours ago 3 replies      
This article covers a lot of interesting ground, and isn't the usual same, old same-old article about Bitcoin. I especially liked the reminders of earlier examples of online currencies.

The conclusion is tentative, and reasonable. Along the way, the author brings up many interesting facts about Bitcoin, about its supporters, and about its critics.

I think it is especially reasonable to assume that Bitcoin exists with the tacit consent of the United States National Security Agency, even if the NSA didn't invent Bitcoin.

AFTER EDIT: Addition of my FAQ-in-progress about Bitcoin for Hacker New. A while ago I wrote that perhaps the greatest contribution the Bitcoin experiment will make to humankind is to teach you and me and our neighbors more about the realities of economics. And later I added that the Bitcoin experiment will also contribute to greater understanding of attack surfaces and online crime. Many of the ideas about how to mine Bitcoins, store Bitcoins, and trade with Bitcoins as a medium of exchange illustrate both the strengths and weaknesses of any other medium of exchange in a world full of human beings. Seeing the discussion of Bitcoins here on Hacker News reminds me of early online discussions in the 1990s of online payment systems such as PayPal, and the arguments beforehand that PayPal wouldn't have to invest a lot of time and effort (as it eventually did) building defenses against theft and fraud. If a weakness in a system is attached to a lot of money, the way to bet is to bet that someone will go looking for that weakness, even if you haven't thought of it.

This prompts a question for all the security-knowledgeable persons who participate here on Hacker News, a question once asked of the inventor of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). How expensive do you think it would be for the United States National Security Agency (or a comparable organization from another national government) to crack a Bitcoin store, given that we know that some Bitcoin caches have already been cracked? And if the organization storing Bitcoin data held personal bank account data too, how attractive a target might it be to thieves?

overgard 9 hours ago 5 replies      
I really like the idea of cryptographic currency, but bitcoin strikes me as a somewhat ill fated v1 of the idea.

Whatever replaces it will needs some sort of more sophisticated measure for keeping the value of a coin from fluctuating wildly; because with the way the currency is wildly deflating right now, I'd be super hesitant to "spend" a bitcoin for fear that it might be worth twice what it is now, while on the other hand, I'm also terribly afraid of buying a bitcoin, because what if they drop back down to earth? Currency only really seems spendable if its value is at least somewhat predictable.

anologwintermut 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Its a nice write up, but it gets many points wrong.

1) Bitcoin is not anonymous. Its pseudonymous since all transactions take place in public between pseudonyms (ECDSA keys). This is a big difference, one that hasn't been examined too well, and what has been written on it is not encouraging[0].

2) Bitcoin is not the first currency to prevent double spending without a third party. That minimally goes back to 2006 and a paper "Compact E-cash"[0] where double spending a coin reveled the user's identity and allowed for prosecution.

The problem Bitcoin actually does solve is you don't have to trust the bank to not devalue your currency.

3) Bitcoin does not solve the Byzantine generals problem. Bitcoin is assumed to be correct if 51% of the computation power is honest. If everyone is equal, this means that bitcoin only requires that the majority of the generals are honest. The Bzyantine generals problem has no solution if even 1/3 of the generals are malicious[2]: this is a rather famous result.

How is this possible? Bitcoin isn't dealing with a fixed n Bzyantine generals, its dealing with a peer to peer system where anyone can join and you need to prevent sock puppet accounts. It's a completely different problem.

[0]F. Reid and M. Harrigan, “An analysis of anonymity in the Bitcoin system,” in Privacy, security, risk and trust (PASSAT), 2011 IEEE Third Internatiojn Conference on Social Computing (SOCIALCOM). IEEE, 2011, pp. 1318"1326.



forgottenpaswrd 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Bitcoin is unknown territory. It draws praise from Silicon Valley fixture Paul Graham and simultaneous dismissal from Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. "

No, No, nO!! There is no Nobel Price in economics, period.

There is a "Nobel MEMORIAL price" made by a central bank to propagate their propaganda as scientific, huge difference.

GigabyteCoin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have titled this much differently. More along the lines of: "A Comprehensive Guide to Bitcoin".

I just found it humorous that they titled the article "Are Bitcoins the future?" and then failed the ask or answer that question anywhere in mini novel they wrote following that title.

aianus 8 hours ago 3 replies      
"If we sum up the amounts accumulated at the 609,270 addresses which only receive and never send any BTC's [bitcoins], we see that they contain 7,019,100 BTC's, which are almost 78% of all existing BTC's. This suggests that 78% of bitcoins are being hoarded, waiting for prices to rise."

While I'm sure many bitcoins are being hoarded, the proof presented means nothing since by default all change is sent to a fresh address. So if I had a 100 bitcoins and bought an iten worth one bitcoin I would now own a new address with 99 bitcoins and no outgoing transactions giving the impression that I had never spent any of my bitcoins.

See: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Change

betterunix 9 hours ago 3 replies      
No, Bitcoin is not the future. Most people need to deal with their nation's currency to pay taxes and settle debts, most businesses need a currency that is at least reasonably stable, and that is not getting into the extremely questionable security of the Bitcoin system itself.
stcredzero 8 hours ago 3 replies      
> Bitcoin is the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without needing a trusted third party.

Really? Just a quick search, and I find: (2007)


Is that the paper Bitcoin is based on? According to Wikipedia, Bitcoin was introduced in 2009.

Also, the price of a 51% attack is not that high:


I've seen a more recent estimate that it would be $20 million to mount such an attack. That's chump change for a power like the US, or even another major industrialized nation. It's about the price of one older fighter jet and a faction of the price of a current one.

aminok 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
No one knows the future. They could be, and that's a pretty amazing prospect.
emin_gun_sirer 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>Bitcoin is the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without needing a trusted third party.

This is false. Karma was a p2p currency that did this in 2004, 5 years before Bitcoin:

artumi-richard 2 hours ago 1 reply      
If bit coins are used to avoid tax, as they could easily be, and that seriously threatens a government's tax take then the government would kill bitcoin. Even if it meant shutting down the internet. If it only mildy threatens the government you might find transactions being slowly split into two, one part in local currency for tax purposes and a second part which is anonymous and digital.

As far as I can tell bitcoin is a neo-conservative wet dream, if it gained mass traction anyway.

veb 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This article makes me ponder about the origins of Bitcoin.

This page claims that it could be a group of people who made it, which seems a bit more likely: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Satoshi_Nakamoto

Does anyone else have any interesting insights into the origin of Bitcoin?

mynameishere 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Every time I see an article about bitcoin I do a ctrl-f on the comments for the word "laundering" and come up empty. At some point, the men in black are going to make an example of someone.

As soon as bitcoin transactions tend to be over 10K, the FBI and Secret Service and IRS are going to be all over it. Do what you want with your banknotes. Just be warned: The dealer on the corner taking dollar bills is much, much, much safer to deal with than any digital currency.

porter 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great write up.
chris_mahan 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Bitcoins are valuable only because people are hoarding it. It's a classic case of bubble. In the end, they're just bits, and that doesn't have much value.
Facebook Home destroys any notion of privacy gigaom.com
162 points by shawndumas  13 hours ago   130 comments top 29
mattmaroon 12 hours ago 5 replies      
This is idiotic. For one, it's no secret which apps are popular. Facebook doesn't need a trojan horse to figure that out, they just need to look at App Annie.

For another, any app with location services permissions can do exactly what he's describing.

Also what does "Android allows Facebook to do whatever it wants on the platform, and that means accessing the hardware as well," mean? Unless you're rolling your own version of Android (is that what's on the HTC First?) that's simply not true. You have access to a few things you don't on iOS but it's not "whatever you want" if you're putting it in the Play app store.

As far as I can tell this is just another third party launcher with the same privacy implications as any app that has GPS permissions.

Nursie 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure why I would allow Facebook on to my phone in the first place, let alone to run the whole show. Their privacy record isn't exactly great and runs contrary to their business model.

I don't trust their app (look at the email address change nonsense), let alone a bigger one, and the page renders just fine in a mobile browser. I also find the whole "ping me when a close friend does or says anything" aspect of the app as I've seen others use it to be a little obsessive and possibly even creepy.

zmmmmm 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I find this line extremely cynical:

> Facebook is going to use all this data " not to improve our lives " but to target better marketing and advertising messages at us

It's entirely possible that better targeted marketing and advertising can "improve" our lives. To state this outcome as a dire dystopian end point is making a huge cynical assumption about the motives of companies and commerce in general. I honestly believe that Facebook (and Google for that matter) actually want to improve our lives. I honestly believe that they think that they can introduce advertising in such a way that it's a win win for both parties, at least for a significant number of people.

That doesn't mean I'm naive about things, or even agree. But to see this assumption - that these companies are out to intentionally make our lives worse - written into editorial reporting as if it's a foregone conclusion, is disappointing.

yalogin 13 hours ago 2 replies      
The article brings up a very good point about FB getting access to a lot more user data on the phone outside of their app since they essentially are replacing the app launcher as well. Google gets access to all this data by owning the OS. FB in that sense made a brilliant play. It kind of corrupts google's data collection as well since all user interaction will be going through the FB Home app now.

Also its kind of naive to expect facebook to respect privacy when all they do is deal with data.

ferongr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Instead of bloggers and "journalists" complaining about a service they do not pay for, they should do the only thing they can. Delete their accounts. I saw the writing on the wall 3 years ago and did it. I was not worse off afterwards.

Passively complaining (while at the same time, ironically, including FB buttons) without taking actual actions does nothing.

arindone 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Some thoughts:

1) this article is based upon hypothetical notions about what Home "may" do, despite it being not even released yet

2) Google has collected user data for ages via Android for Google Now and few complained about privacy issues -- all data from its various accounts are aggregated into one centralized location to target ads more effectively for users. If you're really going to cry about privacy issues you need to be fair here and hold everyone accountable, and not just sites you may not like.

3) The majority of people may not care, frankly -- people optimizes their utility differently.

badgar 11 hours ago 5 replies      
I don't think we should be too surprised with how FB will use the new data. I'm just wondering who Facebook is going to share this data with.

I know a guy who works at one of Facebook's "partner companies" that pays gobs for FB user data. This partner company gets (as far as they can tell) fully-populated user data in Facebook's user dumps - way, way more information than they need or ask for. So the partner company puts this data through arduous preprocessing steps to filter out most of the details before any user data hits real systems. They're scared of the legal liability of holding onto all the personal details they receive don't need but Facebook shares anyway because Facebook genuinely doesn't care as long as they're monetizing.

So yeah, I'm scared of where this new data is going to go. Not what FB uses it for themselves.

VeejayRampay 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Right, cause pre-Home Facebook was so respectful of people's private lives...
Ideka 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow. It's like the, what, fifth time Facebook destroys any notion of privacy?
jfernandez 13 hours ago 3 replies      
"This future is going to happen " and it is too late to debate. However, the problem is that Facebook is going to use all this data " not to improve our lives " but to target better marketing and advertising messages at us."

A little sensationalized? It's most definitely a strong mix of both sides, not everyone at Facebook is "evil". Honestly I think most of us can agree Facebook on average is useful service that has improved our lives. So yes it will probably help target us, the product, better to marketing/advertising.

As more and more promising services get absorbed or shutdown maybe it'll get clearer and clearer that if you dont want your data to be the product itself then we should start paying for the services we care about.

SkittlesNTwix 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I know this doesn't ring true for most people, but I'm actively looking to distance myself from facebook. It doesn't make me "happy" for the most part. It doesn't add to my overall level of fulfillment. Most of my "friends" on fb aren't real friends and often I'm not truly interested in what they're doing. These are all common complaints - nothing new here, but they're all the reason why I'm not interested in incorporating what fb already does, more deeply into my life.
anigbrowl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Get rid of the sharing buttons and tracking cookies on your page and maybe I'll take your argument seriously.
malloreon 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I have an iphone and even if I had an android, I'd never install this app or get an HTC First. I cannot say the same for everyone I'm fb friends with.

Question: if one of my fb friends installs this or buys that phone, will fb have any additional access to MY personal data?

ivankirigin 11 hours ago 1 reply      

  The phone's GPS can send constant information back to the Facebook servers, 
telling it your whereabouts at any time.

I really hope someone can finally make something like Loopt work on smartphones. I can't believe we need to manually check in to see where friends are right now. FindMyFriends on iOS requires your apple password, and much like GameCenter, the social design is horrendous.

Focusing just on the privacy side ignores all the benefits from giving a service more information. Facebook isn't tricking users into this. Users want it.

recloop 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of those posts with a scandalous headline to draw you in, but without anything substantial to back it up. I am quite disappointed that this came from a stalwart of a tech blogger like Om Malik. I can understand this coming from an MG Siegler or an Arrington or from the joke of a blog, Gizmodo.

It hinges on the GPS location, which Apple does, quite publicly with theing like Find my iPhone. Google does that already, and so do every other GPS device on earth. I don't even need to know if you are stationary at one location every night. I can just connect the dots on your end points of your trips and figure it out.

Heck even an app like Yelp can figure my home address, based on my restaurant searches. Facebook already knows much more about us, with or without our permission; just by using the website.

u2328 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's concerning to me, because I'm worried about this social network creep over our phones. Of course, I'm not going to install this crap, but if Facebook Home proves successful for Facebook, will Google move in the same direction? (Yes.) We've already seen Google kill off Google Reader in hopes of driving more traffic to Google Plus.

This is what prevents me from getting too invested in a mobile ecosystem like Android or iOS. I like smartphones, but I want the device to serve me, not Google or Facebook's advertisers.

Havoc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Never trusted FB to begin with. I've got a profile that forwards notifications to my email in case someone needs to contact me. Good luck extracting data from that.
leeoniya 12 hours ago 2 replies      
i will just say that Firefox OS cannot arrive quickly enough.
voxmatt 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the more obvious and immediate threat to privacy is that anyone can see the contents of your facebook stream right on the lock screen; and they can even interact with the contents without unlocking the phone.
nonamegiven 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Ads suck, but the bigger danger is that the uber-profile will be available for subpoena, or the govt might just flip the fuckit bit and take it because they can. Being allowed to run a billion dollar business unmolested by the govt would be a strong incentive, especially for a company not known for privacy advocacy.
gavinlynch 13 hours ago 2 replies      
If this is a problem for you, then don't use it.
arthulia 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Google Now already does all of this. It deduced my address by scraping my emails, and somehow it knows where I work, too. When my airline tickets were emailed to me, it brought up flight tracker information and weather for both arrival and destination cities. Creepy.
joshguthrie 5 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: "I already tell Facebook all it needs to know, but this new thing is gonna destroy all my privacy (like the Timeline did, like the Graph API did, like FBConnect did,...)"
jcomis 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I want to know how permissions will be handled on Facebook Home when preinstalled. Going through the play store, you will more or less see what you are agreeing to (likely, a huge list of everything possible). But preinstalled?
tlrobinson 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So Facebook can now do everything Apple and Google has been able to do for years.
killion 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So previously your private information went to Google/Samsung or HTC or Motorola/Your carrier, now it will go to Facebook/Google/Samsung or HTC or Motorola/Your carrier?
Vinnix 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook has a lot to offer and its design is showing to be top notch. I think based on numbers they are a 'mobile' company, but all this fluff and desire to sandbox them from the others just proves that they aren't competing, but just being thrifty.
edouard1234567 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook "open house"
saintx 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with online privacy, is that people believe it exists.
Jsig - precise & concise javascript signature notation github.com
21 points by jasondenizac  5 hours ago   12 comments top 6
tomp 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I guess this complaint should really be pointed at TypeScript, or even to C#, but also to Jsig...

It's really sad that different languages keep pushing `=>` for "function" type, instead of `->`, which has been the standard mathematical notations for a long time...

stormbrew 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm wary of things like this. They tend to require more cognitive effort than either of the alternatives: strict typing or a purist version of duck typing. That javascript makes either of those difficult or impossible (the former for obvious reasons and the latter because of flexible implicit conversion rules and an inflexible message receiver mechanism) is a failing of javascript that can't really be bandaided over with something optional.

I just think that this is, with even the best intentions, extremely prone to bitrot.

opminion 2 hours ago 2 replies      
TypeScript comes to mind. It's for a different purpose (jsig is meant only for humans) but formal annotations, if successful, will be read by machine.
woah 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. Thanks for doing this.
arcatek 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm actually not really sure that it's more readable than the JSDoc way : /

I think that it's fine for very small projects, but if you want to share your docs, it's better to use an already conventioned syntax, which already solves edge cases (such as deeply nested callbacks).

For reference : http://usejsdoc.org/tags-callback.html

jasondenizac 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have feedback, please open an issue thread or pull request on github
If the Earth were 100 pixels wide distancetomars.com
937 points by oseibonsu  1 day ago   197 comments top 58
brownbat 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'd really like to see a few more markers:

1) 3100 px: Farthest humans have been from Earth (Apollo 13, April '70: 400,171 km)

2) 10 px: Gemini 11, farthest from Earth on non-lunar mission (Sept '66: 1,374.1 km)

3) 3 px: Apogee of ISS (farthest a human has traveled for... a while: 424 km) (I'm probably forgetting something, can't find a good list of spaceflights by distance...)




Taking Earth's diameter as 12,742 km (though it bulges by about 43 km in the center), we're saying that's 100 px. So if my basic algebra is right (no promises) you can convert the above km values to px by dividing by 127.42.

ohazi 1 day ago 8 replies      
Is anyone else a little bothered by the fact that the reported speed was 1/5 the speed of light, yet the flyby necessarily increased to well over the speed of light in order to actually get you to Mars before you got bored and closed the tab? Traveling at the speed of light would have taken 5-20 minutes. Traveling slower than that would have taken even longer...
austenallred 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is the first time I've actually been able to comprehend the perspective of distances so big they don't mean much as a number. Thank you.
shardling 1 day ago 4 replies      
It bothers me a little that they show the motion against a starfield like that -- the stars are so far away that they won't shift perceptibly even on a journey to mars.

I mean, I don't have any better ideas, but given that the whole point is to give an idea of scale I wish they'd come up with something else. :)

codeulike 1 day ago 1 reply      
This simple graphic of the Earth and Moon and the distance between them, to scale, is also pretty thought provoking


edit: just large image:

crazygringo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very rarely have I seen a single idea so perfectly illustrated. Impeccable timing and presentation. Unexpected, every step of the way. Kudos.
maurits 1 day ago 1 reply      
My favourite scale of the universe picture:


pjungwir 1 day ago 3 replies      
Here is a photo of the Earth and Moon, with the to-scale distance between them. It makes a great desktop background:


rkuester 1 day ago 2 replies      
Cool site, but it's "If the Earth were 100 pixels wide, ..."



fusiongyro 1 day ago 3 replies      
What's frustrating is how much better of a candidate Venus would be, if it weren't for its atmosphere. It's closer than Mars and larger too.
vadman 1 day ago 3 replies      
Not sure if it's a bug or a typo, but the "width" (diameter) of the Earth is 12,742 km, not 6,371 (which is the radius).
mark-r 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see the Sun included on the opposite side of the scale. Its diameter is 109 times that of earth, making it 10900 pixels. Would be just as impressive a demonstration.
ErrantX 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh this is fantastic! My father teaches astronomy to kids (he has a mobile planetarium that he takes around schools [1]) and one of the main pain points he has mentioned is communicating a sense of scale to them.

This is elegant because it mixes the concept of "imagine this orange is the earth, mars would be in <nearby town>" within the constraints of a web page.

Kids have difficulty visualising distances in an abstract way - but time is much simpler. And the length of the scroll to Mars really emphasises this.

Great visualisation.

1. http://www.starlincs.co.uk

stcredzero 1 day ago 1 reply      
"At the current state of space technology, it will take at least 240 days to get to Mars"

Uh, no. The person who put this together obviously hasn't read a lot about proposed plans for Mars missions or even understands how transfer orbits work. 150 days is a likely practical limit for today's technology, but it's not a hard limit. Spend a little more fuel, and you could make it 149 days.


S4M 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's nice but his scale is wrong. He states that the Earth is 6371 km large, while in reality, it's twice that, as 6371 km is just the radius of the Earth, and what you really see is its diameter.
CmdrKrool 1 day ago 1 reply      

Unfortunately though, on my regular setup of Firefox on Windows, the background image abruptly 'runs out' shortly after the "You're currently travelling at 70000 pixels/second" message appears, leaving me with a blank white screen. I believe this is due to this browser bug I've just found out about: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=816917

Fine on Chrome though.

DavePaliwoda 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey guys, Dave here, made the site.. Really amazed by how much coverage this thing has got, and really surprised by how poor my maths were. Not surprising given I failed both maths and physics at college. Really happy to be inspiring debate, I've gone over my sums and given it another shot


DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
The few pixels to the low Earth orbit and ISS is gently depressing. When's the last time a human went further than that? 1972?
klenwell 1 day ago 0 replies      
On the way to Mars, there was a flash and the screen went white. I guess I didn't make it.
joeycastillo 1 day ago 2 replies      
One thing that's always gotten to me about this distance is what it means for communication latency. Mars is 20 light-minutes away. If we sent colonists, communication would be a 40-minute round trip. No phone calls home, no way to have a chat with friends or loved ones; at best they could send a message, and wait 40 minutes for a reply. That's far away.
pjungwir 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the scale model of the solar system strewn around the Boston metro area. If you live there, it's pretty fun to visit all the planets. One year the MIT Mystery Hunt had a puzzle related to it.
biot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Using this site, I was able to make the Kessel run in less than 1200 pixels.
VLM 1 day ago 2 replies      
Nicely done. A biology scaled version would be cool. Like if a virus was 100 pixels wide...
triplesec 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Bug Report: I'm afraid this crashed between the Moon and Mars, just as some "you are travelling" text came in on the LHS and then it just went to whitescreen. Firefox 19.0.2 on Win7-64Home. In case you can catch it. (yeah ok so my laptop's not Linux, sue me!)
b_emery 1 day ago 1 reply      
If the Earth radius was 100 pixels, the average depth of the ocean (~4km) would be less than 0.1 pixels. I once had a professor hold up piece of paper and say "this is my scale model of the pacific ocean". Took me a while to realize he wasn't joking.
3327 1 day ago 3 replies      
if I leave it running will I get to mars? just out of curiosity? ( i do have better things to do ).
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brilliant. I never actually reached mars - just the gut wrenching distance to the moon made me realise how amazing the Apollo program was - whatever gets us to Mars ...
Aardwolf 1 day ago 0 replies      
If the Earth were 100 pixels wide, then what we consider "space" is 1 pixel above its surface. One pixel...
devgutt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why not?

  (function () {
var d=1;
setInterval(function () {
'rotate(' + ((d>36) ? d=2 : d++)*10 + 'deg)'})},100);

Please, consider Africa as Asia ;)

solox3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perhaps this is relevant: Opera's rendering glitches mean that we cannot go to Mars with the latest version of Opera on Windows.
rsingla 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see one of these for the other planets in our solar system. Maybe even Pluto!
ygra 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little strange handling of the class attribute in source. I'm fairly sure it also requires an = after it.
leeoniya 1 day ago 1 reply      
related: interactive scale of the universe http://htwins.net/scale2/
brass9 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazing! Despite the factual inaccuracies, it's a wonderful job! Two thumbs up!
vjk2005 1 day ago 0 replies      
Though not as cool as this, I used a similar scrolling idea back in 2011 to visualize a star that was one million times the mass of our sun " http://vjk2005.tumblr.com/post/4497783697/a-star-half-a-mill...
Gravityloss 1 day ago 0 replies      
The starfield should not move anyway, because of parallax. The stars are really far away and the sky looks the same on Mars and Earth.
stuntgoat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd really like to see something like this for the anatomy of a cell! Nice work!
romeonova 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I was hoping to see something new on the way back from Mars. well done though!
ldh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Beautiful, I love it!
chloraphil 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Did anyone else make the return trip and get disappointed there was no "welcome home"?
Unoeufisenough 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mars is pretty far, but 240 days doesn't sound so bad. In the age of explorers, the first human sailors to circumnavigate the earth took 4 years to do it. A handful of them even survived the journey!
dinkumthinkum 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like this. Good job, very creative!
igorgue 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mars is fucking far.
ikkyu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this Bill Nye episode


KerrickStaley 1 day ago 2 replies      
Mars is a desolate, inhospitable rock floating in an immense void. I can't understand why people are captivated by the idea of living there.
angrybeak 18 hours ago 0 replies      
And only 53 pixels wide?
Is it even worth going there?
rplst8 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad he didn't decide to do distancetobrunomars.com
rikacomet 1 day ago 0 replies      
please also mark the Lagrange Points

plus Sun, that would be really cool!!

ckvamme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really cool. Anything that sheds light on how amazingly double awesome the Mars Rover Mission is makes me happy.
mprinz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great stuff! Would be great to see some other planets or facts in there.
broabprobe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Says we wont get to Mars until the 2030s, I think the Mars One project and others would beg to differ...
kyrias 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of the fonts look horrible in FF20/Linux x86-64..
xdenser 1 day ago 1 reply      
it says it is traveling at 1/10 th of light speed. it takes less than minute to get to Mars in pixels, but from other sources I know it takes 13 minutes for radio signal to get to mars. Something does not play here.
crapshoot101 1 day ago 0 replies      
very cool - thank you.
tahoecoder 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You should speed up the rate a bit when going to mars, and just tell the user that the velocity is higher now. It takes up too much of our time, to be honest.
ttrreeww 1 day ago 0 replies      
Should have switched to warp 1.
MacG13r 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very Cool!!
ashwinaj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome. Thumbs up!!
Show HN: How I built a trading signal by scraping Nasdaq for short interest quantopian.com
74 points by fawce  9 hours ago   39 comments top 8
tokenadult 9 hours ago 1 reply      
My comment in the last thread opened with a post from this source:

Past performance does not guarantee future results" is still the operative principle here. Data-mining discovers patterns, but it doesn't lead to deep insight into causes, and markets are perturbed by many events that you don't put into your training algorithm. "The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent" is still important investment advice.

You can never build a trading signal just by scraping historical data, unless you like losing your shirt.

Can you tell I'm reading Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder just now? I'm very sensitive to errors in statistical thinking today.

dkhenry 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I have for two years now been playing around with Algorithmic trading as a hobby and I am amazed by people who think wave riders or simple mathmatical transforms will get them profits in the market. I have found that the best method is still a good mix of modeling and trader input. I don't think a model exists that you can just turn on and have it print you money. So attempts like this to make one of those really are a waste of time. Your systems should be tuned to listen to you and then take what input you have and do what you cannot ( make decision in sub-second windows )
chatmasta 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Can somebody explain to me why, if this really works, you would publish it in a blogpost? Shouldn't you be hunting down investments of $X to turn $1.093X?
ikea_meatballs 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Back testing is a real bitch. I've been building my own app for back testing recently, my specific interest being how published insider buys (SEC Form 4 transactions) affect the prices of stocks in the short near and long term. You can get dividend data and stock splits easily enough from some public feeds. But where do you get a database of ticker changes, bankruptcy events, and spin-offs, especially on the OTC markets? You can't unless you're willing to shell out a lot of money. Back testing properly is probably out of the cost range of the individual investor.

Some examples:

* Lehhman's ticker changes on the way down

* GM going bankrupt and then coming back from the dead!

* Skye International used to trade under SKYY (at 0.35c/share), but now SKYY tracks a cloud SaaS ETF 20.60/share). Think you got a big win using that strategy that including buying SKYY? Think again!

stevewilhelm 6 hours ago 1 reply      
When the broad market is rising by over 10% annually, it is very difficult to come up with a trading strategy that looses money.

For example, buying SPY and holding it for the same period would have outperformed your algorithm.

polskibus 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Serious question: does this meet "Show HN" criteria? I mean I value sharing the algorithm, but I thought that Show HN is reserved for entire projects (ie. sites, saas platforms, etc.), not using ones platform to put up a description of algorithm and some numeric data. I'm not trying to troll, just wanted to know how the community understands "Show HNs"? In this case it can be seen as more of a Quantopian show off (which is interesting service, but had already been showcased) than the algorithm or project itself?
jstauth 3 hours ago 0 replies      
While I'd love to take all the credit (blame?), the reformed academic in my feels compelled to admit that the idea to look for predictive value in stock loan data is not original to me. The finance literature has some fascinating articles on this dating back as far as the late 80s (look for Desai 2002, J of Finance, Asquith 2005 J Fin Econ, or most recently http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1570451).

The intuition behind this signal as a market inefficiency, or 'anomaly' is that the market sees short sellers as informed investors, the so called 'smart money', and there is a herding effect to follow their trades which generates abnormal returns. The same logic can be applied to disclosed insider trades or institutional holdings filings made public via the SEC's EDGAR database.

Fawce's slick implementation of a 'Days to Cover' signal is a great way to highlight the power of aiming new tools like Quantopian at freely available public data stores (which exist expressly to increase market transparency). And sure, it doesn't go the whole way for you on execution details like borrow costs, liquidity etc. but those aspects tend to be unique to each trader.

niggler 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Did anyone actually try this with real money? Does the model include transaction costs and market impact effect?
How Google Analytics Got Started attendly.com
77 points by shandsaker  11 hours ago   5 comments top 3
js2 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I was a sysadmin for a company called Loudcloud that no longer exists, but we ran web site operations for other companies. We used to get pitched by a lot of vendors. It was usually the typical salesman + sales engineer combo and I was always frustrated that vendors often had difficultly answering technical questions about their own product.

But not Urchin. The crew they sent to pitch us deeply knew their shit. That was probably 2001 or so. I am not at all surprised to see how well they've done within Google.

ibudiallo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Google analytics is amazing and is only getting better day by day. I worked with some clients that refused to switch to GA because Adobe's Omniture "had more prestige", those were the words they used.
But at the end I realized it was more of a job security thing.

Beautiful article and inspiring.

PaulMest 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am a heavy user of Google Analytics. Though, I'm curious how long it will maintain its free tier. If GA provides Google with enough data to understand trends in the web to help refine its search and ads algorithms, then it has a shot at being free indefinitely. If not, I wonder if Google would abuse their ubiquity and eliminate the free tier similar to what they did with Google Apps.
PostgreSQL 9.2.4, 9.1.9, 9.0.13 and 8.4.17 released postgresql.org
233 points by edwinvlieg  20 hours ago   99 comments top 12
timdorr 19 hours ago 2 replies      
The commit that fixes it with a few more details: http://git.postgresql.org/gitweb/?p=postgresql.git;a=commitd...

    An oversight in commit e710b65c1c56ca7b91f662c63d37ff2e72862a94 allowed
database names beginning with "-" to be treated as though they were secure
command-line switches; and this switch processing occurs before client
authentication, so that even an unprivileged remote attacker could exploit
the bug, needing only connectivity to the postmaster's port. Assorted
exploits for this are possible, some requiring a valid database login,
some not. The worst known problem is that the "-r" switch can be invoked
to redirect the process's stderr output, so that subsequent error messages
will be appended to any file the server can write. This can for example be
used to corrupt the server's configuration files, so that it will fail when
next restarted. Complete destruction of database tables is also possible.

Fix by keeping the database name extracted from a startup packet fully
separate from command-line switches, as had already been done with the
user name field.

The Postgres project thanks Mitsumasa Kondo for discovering this bug,
Kyotaro Horiguchi for drafting the fix, and Noah Misch for recognizing
the full extent of the danger.

Security: CVE-2013-1899

gingerlime 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"Heroku was given access to updated source code which patched the vulnerability at the same time as other packagers. Because Heroku was especially vulnerable, the PostgreSQL Core Team worked with them both to secure their infrastructure and to use their deployment as a test-bed for the security patches, in order to verify that the security update did not break any application functionality. Heroku has a history both of working closely with community developers, and of testing experimental features in their PostgreSQL service."

I believe all the heroku hosted postgresql servers are externally accessible and there's no way to filter access by IP.

Of course hindsight is always 20:20, but perhaps it's a good idea for heroku to consider adding some basic (optional) firewall layer to allow customers to control who can connect to the hosted db?

Disclaimer: I'm not a heroku customer. I did however consider moving our pg's over to them a little while ago.

edwinvlieg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
More information about the security release can also be found in the special FAQ:


facorreia 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"This update fixes a high-exposure security vulnerability in versions 9.0 and later. All users of the affected versions are strongly urged to apply the update immediately."
joevandyk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorta surprised I don't see people complaining that this release contained other changes besides the security fix.

Lots of folks complained about that (unintended) ActiveRecord change in Rails during the last security update.

simon_kun 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's testament to Canonical that Ubuntu 8.04 LTS still gets security patches backported to 8.3. If you (still) have servers running Hardy, it's 'apt-get upgrade' time: http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-1789-1/
Bootvis 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm not an expert so I'll ask here:

Is there an attack vector if you run PostgreSQL locally, no untrusted users are able to create connection strings and do not allow remote access?

It seems to be no but I prefer to be sure ;)

ipsin 19 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm a little confused about their release strategy. Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

They took their repositories private to secretly develop the bug fix. Then they released the fixed versions along with what seem to be enough details to trigger the bug for anyone who hasn't patched.

Sure the patch contains the same information in source form, but if they'd gone light on details while saying "seriously, go get this", there'd probably be fewer curious vandals trying to delete your database while you're reading HN.

calpaterson 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Ubuntu repos already seem to have the fix
dkulchenko 20 hours ago 3 replies      
So if I have no databases that start with "-", I'm not vulnerable? Didn't quite understand what they meant by that.
instakill 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Should one update the local postgres version? Any write ups on how exactly to go about it?
octo_t 20 hours ago 4 replies      
This is the main vulnerability I presume

> A connection request containing a database name that begins with "-" may be crafted to damage or destroy files within a server's data directory

I just. No words.

PythonMonk " Learn Python in the browser pythonmonk.com
150 points by akshat  16 hours ago   44 comments top 12
gkoberger 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting, however I feel like learning to code in a browser (even if it's JavaScript) doesn't work.

Sure, you may learn how to do a for loop or how variables work. But, you don't learn how to actually use the language. Setting up a development environment, and understanding how everything is connected is much more important.

Let's say you ace everything here, on CodeAcademy, etc. You still can't actually build anything.

(For more on this, see this article from HN a few days ago: http://blog.zackshapiro.com/want-to-learn-to-code-start-here)

phleet 14 hours ago 2 replies      
The first thing I always try on sites like these is stuff like this:

__import__('commands').getstatusoutput('ls /')


__import__('subprocess').call(["ls", "-l"])

which gets blocked by the interpreter somehow with

exceptions.OSError - [Errno 11] Resource temporarily unavailable

I'm curious as to how you managed to do this - I've always been interested in how to sandbox something like this.

xbryanx 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is beautiful and the usability is great. But can anyone recommend some online interactive Python learning that starts at the intermediate level? I need Pai Mei to whip my sorry skills into shape, starting with OOP, sockets, image handling, and maybe data persistence?
r0h4n 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like there is a bug over here http://pythonmonk.com/learning/books/17-python-primer/chapte...

"Evaluates to True when age is 40 and name is "Bob" , which should be fine i think.

aroberge 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Tried the test to define unique. Wrote

   def unique(s):
return list(set(s))

and it gave assertion errors. Nice presentation ... but incorrect Python implementation.

pc86 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Both GitHub and Google signins failed for me and I lost progress in the first section. May just be the work network; I'll try it at home.
cglace 12 hours ago 1 reply      
"Your turn now - go on and change the following code to compute the sum of the numbers 1 through 5."

If you input 15 and submit, it says the answer is correct. Do all online code courses just check for the retured value?

How do these services deal with someone running sum(i for i in xrange(1000000000000000000))?

niels_olson 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really cool. I think the assertions that this learn-in-the-browser thing doesn't work is because folks on HN have seen so many entry-level courses at this point.

More interestingly, can I get transfer credits from Codecademy instead?

azakai 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like it sends each command to run on a server - I'm curious why not execute it in the browser? (There are a few solutions for that?)
mmwanga 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is a great way to get beginners / students coding, but the end product might be what we now know as "bolt-on" engineers.
They put components together and build beautiful functional products, until it breaks and they have no idea what's "under the hood"
smonff 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Very far away from Perl Monks.
pekk 16 hours ago 2 replies      
It is 2013. Why are you teaching Python 2?
Learn Vimscript the Hard Way stevelosh.com
174 points by stevelosh  19 hours ago   31 comments top 10
dewitt 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Good stuff. And I was curious after seeing this if "Learn ... the Hard Way" was a brand that that Zed Shaw had trademarked or otherwise intended to keep exclusive. (Not that there necessarily would have been anything wrong with that, but still curious.)

But to my surprise, Shaw not only isn't proprietary about the brand, it looks like he is going out of his way to help other people appropriate it:


"This is a skeleton LaTeX project that makes it easier to start working on a “Learn X The Hard Way” book. You simply clone this repository, change a few base files, and then you can start writing. It will also come with a small “meta book” that gives you advice for writing and publishing your book."

Very cool. While it seems that Steve Losh didn't use the actual templates above (he picked markdown instead of rst), it's neat that the overall style itself is designed to be reusable.

Best of luck with the new book!

dewitt 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Also, Steve, would you consider using the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 license instead of a homemade license? I believe the CC BY-ND conveys most* of the same things you intended with your license, but it has the advantage of being pre-vetted by layers everywhere and the CC terms are very well understood (thus encouraging reuse in the ways you want, and ostensibly easier to enforce for the things you don't).

See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/

I say "most", because you also included the "so long as you do not charge anything for it" phrase in your license. Personally I'm not convinced that matters much in practice, as who is going to be able to charge for something you are giving away for free (and if they do, it'll be on a small scale, and do you really care?), and it's notoriously difficult to define things like commercial use, but if you feel strongly there's always the Non-Commercial variant: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/


Reference: http://learnvimscriptthehardway.stevelosh.com/license.html

VeejayRampay 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been a vim user for something like 6/7 years now and I absolutely love it, but the editor really shows its age when you realize that its internals can only be fully customized through vimscript (i.e. you can script it using Python/Perl/Ruby but none of them offer the same interface and control that vim's own scripting language, see section 2. on http://items.sjbach.com/97/writing-a-vim-plugin), which is not exactly the best programming language around.

I wish vim would be rewritten from scratch without changing anything but the way you access and modify the guts (and possibly the "windowing" system) so that all the "fancy" plugins like Cmd-T, NerdTree, FuzzyFinder wouldn't look like crap. The maintainability of said plugins would greatly improve too if the scripting language was I don't know, Python, Ruby, Javascript/CSS and whatnot.

eliben 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I must say, Sublime Text 3 with its Python 3.3 scripting is tempting. Vimscript is quite horrible.
burntsushi 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is easily the best material I've seen on Vimscript. Your example plugin for adapting Vim to a new programming language sealed the deal (especially as someone who likes to work with new languages). The book is hopefully headed to the printing press :-)
Evbn 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Title is a bit redundant. Vimscript is the most stupidly hard (as in, cryptic syntax and semantics for no good reason) language this side of Brainfuck.
gvalkov 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Excellent work. Have you considered making this into a Vim reference manual (:help help-writing [1])? This would make a worthy addition to the Vim distribution, imho. I always enjoyed reading through the Vim manuals (especially :help usr_41.txt [2]) on long, unplanned trips.

I'm sorry to say this, but VimL feels like an esoteric language to me. It's not a weird language per se, but it's certainly a single-purpose language (Vim's dsl) and there is something depressing in that. I don't find this to be the case with Emacs and Elisp (a lisp). Historic reasons aside, I think Lua would have made an excellent scripting language for Vim.

Disclosure: Emacs evil-mode user.

[1]: http://code.google.com/p/vim/source/browse/runtime/doc/helph...

[2]: http://vim.googlecode.com/hg-history/default/runtime/doc/usr...

darkchasma 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great, I read the book months ago on github, and have been wanting to throw some cash at you. I highly recommend it!!!
madsravn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Steve,

I love the work you have made with this. I use it as a reference each time I have to make something new.

Also, I like your idea of two-spacing. :)

neduma 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm gonna try this along with 'Practical Vim'. Thanks.
Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project chromium.org
688 points by cramforce  1 day ago   294 comments top 46
macrael 1 day ago 11 replies      
So, I'm pretty sure this is a correct history:

1. Google builds a new process architecture into Chrome as a product differentiator. (It was a major part of Chrome's initial marketing)

2. WebKit 2 is built (mostly by Apple?) to bake the same type of architecture straight into the core framework -- anyone using WebKit can use it and get the same security/stability benefits.[1]

3. Google says that the pain in maintaining their separate, non standard, process architecture is too much of a burden to continue to contribute into WebKit proper, so they must fork.

Why can't Chrome implement WebKit 2? Are there major advantages to Chrome's process model that are not present in WebKit 2? Is there a reason why WebKit 2 cannot be patched to provide those advantages?

This seems like a failure of open source.

[1]: see the first paragraph on http://trac.webkit.org/wiki/WebKit2

cpeterso 1 day ago 8 replies      
The good news is no -blink prefixes! Blink, like Mozilla, will avoid shipping vendor-prefixed features:

  Historically, browsers have relied on vendor prefixes (e.g., -webkit-feature) to 
ship experimental features to web developers. This approach can be harmful to
compatibility because web content comes to rely upon these vendor-prefixed
names. Going forward ... we will instead keep the (unprefixed) feature behind
the “enable experimental web platform features” flag in about:flags until the
feature is ready to be enabled by default.

mythz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Alex Russell has a good analysis about the move:
bmuon 1 day ago 3 replies      
Standing ovation. This is most welcomed news since Opera's move to WebKit to keep the current browser innovation pace.

Coupled with Mozilla's announcement of its partnership with Samsung to move Servo forward this is great news for the future of the web. Hopefully multi-process/multi-threaded rendering engines will address some of our current performance gripes with the DOM and open the gate for even more complex UIs and interactions.

dave1010uk 1 day ago 1 reply      
This paragraph makes me happy:

    From a short-term perspective, monocultures seem good for developer 
productivity. From the long term perspective, however, monocultures
inevitably lead to stagnation. It is our firm belief that more options in
rendering engines will lead to more innovation and a healthier web ecosystem.

From http://www.chromium.org/blink/developer-faq

mikewest 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Chromium team will be running a Hangout tomorrow to answer any questions that pop up. Hit this Moderator page to ask whatever's on your mind: engineering leads Darin Fisher and Eric Seidel, product manager Alex Komoroske, and developer advocate Paul Irish will be more than happy to answer: http://google.com/moderator/#15/e=20ac1d&t=20ac1d.40&...
saddino 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little out of left field here, but if anyone is interested in working on the other multi-process browser (for OS X at least) I've just released Stainless as open source. Stainless was a hack that actually became quite popular while we Mac users waited for Google to release Chrome for our platform. http://stainlessapp.com
gioele 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain this benefit:

> Establish a simpler, stricter tree-gardening system that does not require 2 full time engineers per day


nickporter 1 day ago 3 replies      
Super excited about this! There was a long discussion on the webkit mailing list after google tried to add support for multiple language VMs in webkit. The goal was to have a native Dart VM.


If I remember correctly, the patch was not merged in. I guess now google can do whatever it wants!

ebbv 1 day ago 10 replies      
I can't help but think that forking WebKit is a business based decision since Apple controls WebKit.

This blog post doesn't make an engineering based argument* so I'm left with the business ones. Which sucks.

* - Just vague "we need to innovate faster" boilerplate. Which is what business people say when there's not a solid engineering based reason.


At the bottom of the project page are some engineering reasons:


Each person can judge whether it's worth forking or not.

drivebyacct2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Interesting timing, given the Samsung+Mozilla+Servo news today.
oscargrouch 1 day ago 1 reply      
Chromium have a very agressive innovative agenda, compared to other players.. im sure they will benefit from this move..

They were probably carrying webkit in their own shoulders anyway, cause nobody does so much experiments as chromium team does..

If they have the energy to do it.. thats good news for us :)

danpeddle 7 hours ago 0 replies      
About enabling experimental features via flags - I hope there will be an option buried in there somewhere for curious people to "go nuts" and enable a large slew of functionality in one step, appropriately warned. I can see that being a pain, but much easier than having to go one by one on obscure features with a non-technical audience.

I love seeing what creative devs are doing out on the fringes, and having to dig around in flags every time something new gets added could potentially get pretty annoying. The benefit of vendor prefixes was this - if you were on a latest version, not just dev/canary channel, there was a lot which was turned on by default, even if theoretically it wasn't stable. That was actually quite a good driver of fresh technique and innovation, seeing this straight away, despite the major hassle of bloated CSS.

It's inspirational seeing people who maybe aren't totally technical being able to get their hands on very fresh stuff without having to completely hand hold them on every step required to get it going.

Really, a lot to be said on this topic, but just wanted to mention this as didn't see it discussed yet.

mtgx 1 day ago 3 replies      
So when can we expect Chrome to use Blink?
tambourine_man 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very sad news. This seems more of a political/economical move than a technical one.

Two of the biggest players (and now arch rivals) sharing what's arguably the most strategic piece of code there is, couldn't last very long.

It's a shame though. It was probably the biggest open source success story.

An open source monoculture is not the same as a proprietary monopoly.

jacobr 1 day ago 1 reply      
So what will the new User Agent string be? "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) Blink/537.33 (KHTML; like WebKit; like Safari; like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1438.7"? Hopefully people will finally start using feature detection rather than user agent detection...
Toshio 18 hours ago 0 replies      
A Short Translation from BS to English of Selected Portions of the Google Chrome Blink Developer FAQ:


account_taken 1 day ago 1 reply      
Competition is good. Nobody wants to be left behind by Google, so time for Apple and MS to step it up again.
checker659 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can anyone from the chromium team answer few questions?

1. How does this affect the build system?
2. Will Blink always remain a fork of Webcore, or do you plan on replacing all the bits and pieces from Webcore with your own code?
3. Are we still stuck with the LGPL license?
4. Does this change anything in the spectacularly lacking source documentation / porting guidelines front.
5. You mentioned stripping out a lot. Will this have a significant impact on the size of the codebase?
6. Will the rendering architecture be changed completely? Or, is the render layer hierarchy still intact in blink?


Lightning 1 day ago 3 replies      
Just a few weeks after Opera decided to switch to Webkit. Interesting.
slacka 1 day ago 2 replies      
> "For example, we anticipate that we'll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files"comprising more than 4.5 million lines"

On my 2GB netbook, chrome has gone from my preferred browser to unusable due to the high memory footprint of recent builds. I wonder if this cleanup will help get the memory down to something reasonable like where it was up until Chrome 10 or so.

cpeterso 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought the WebKit monoculture was supposed to be a good thing? ;)
leeoniya 1 day ago 1 reply      
is this a fork of webkit2 with the split process model built in?
Uchikoma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ah, another web rendering engine, some more years with a buggy Selenium alpha driver which doesn't work so people need to do manual tests. Progress!
obilgic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Off topic, How do you clone a project like that big? Git is still trying to receive the objects %1 of 2,200,337
dave1010uk 1 day ago 1 reply      
Will Blink have any direction from non-Google employees, in the same way WebKit has non-Apple reviewers?
xxgreg 1 day ago 1 reply      
These bits from the docs are really interesting. Can anyone here explain them in more detail? (I've also posted them as questions in moderator)

"we'd like to explore even larger ideas like moving the entire Document Object Model (DOM) into JavaScript. This has the potential to make JavaScript DOM access dramatically faster"

"Removing obscure parts of the DOM and make backwards incompatible changes to obscure parts of the DOM that benefit performance or remove complexity."

alan_cx 22 hours ago 0 replies      
jacob019 1 day ago 0 replies      
removing old code feels so good
midko 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can read more about the intended architectural changes at Blink's project page:
ttrreeww 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, finally an attempt to speed up the DOM
meomix 1 day ago 1 reply      
And so begins phase 2 of embrace, extend and extinguish. It's just what large tech companies do now days.
beshrkayali 1 day ago 4 replies      
Does this mean that Chrome for iOS will be revoked out of the AppStore?
Siecje 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why doesn't Google just make its WebCore open source and then merge with Webkit2 and make everything better?

Google doesn't make money off Chrome...

AaronMT 1 day ago 2 replies      
So which Chromium will Opera be based on now?
tantalor 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anybody have a link to their source tree?
programminggeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally, a rendering engine that optimizes performance for the <blink> tag!!!
AshleysBrain 1 day ago 1 reply      
Named after their favourite HTML tag?
speg 1 day ago 0 replies      

  , mall,

rhapsodyv 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow! Chrome will support <Blink> tag! Great! :-P
deadc0de 1 day ago 0 replies      
A Microsoft-worthy move..
supervillain 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well I just killall chrome processes anyway for my desktop to be usable, these multiple and dozens of chrome processes is an absolute nuisance, and it crashes my machine, my desktop, chrome is not even reliable coz it crashes on me everytime. if you want to get pissed bigtime, use chrome.
hiker 1 day ago 1 reply      
oellegaard 1 day ago 3 replies      
I know it might be an unpopular comment, but I really don't like this. I had hoped every browser would eventually use the webkit rendering engine. I have a hard time feeling sorry for those engineers that have to maintain compatibility, when I think of the many frontend engineers that now have to test a different rendering engine :(
Joeri 1 day ago 3 replies      
Google seems on a "replace open with less open" streak, with google reader and caldav shuttering, and now this. The caldav situation especially i cannot conceive as anything but a business decision given that they're keeping it around for those people they like.
Apple's iMessage encryption trips up feds' surveillance cnet.com
202 points by donohoe  20 hours ago   129 comments top 29
ComputerGuru 17 hours ago 3 replies      
It's interesting how easy Apple's iMessage model would lend itself to being a mass-deployed, heavily-used, CA-based asymmetric encryption network.

As I understand iMessage, when you attempt to text a number a background thread fires and checks with Apple's iMessage servers to see whether or not the number is associated with an iMessage account, then returns the end-user account details to your device so it may send a digital message addressed to that user to Apple's iMessage servers.

Replace that digital ID with a public key. Private keys are generated and kept only on your iDevice. iMessage servers are your CA. Each iDevice has a unique public key.

At this point you have a very secure, end-to-end encryption scheme. No warrantless snooping is possible, and even Apple is unaware of your message contents.

Now depending on whether you want your design to be CALEA-compatible or not, Apple can issue a new private key to the government and add it to "your" list of public keys on their CA to allow the government to intercept future messages after they have obtained a warrant. If you think you can go toe-to-toe with the FBI and exempt yourself from CALEA by claiming the design of your infrastructure does not permit for message interception, you can tweak the CA around a bit. Only one public key per user, pass private key symmetrically encrypted with a password only the user knows from one device to the other via a "secure" side channel when adding new iDevice to user's iMessage account or other workaround.

I'm absolutely not a security person, and none of what I say should be taken except as some ramblings that might have some hint of an idea beneath them. I already can think of a dozen weaknesses in this system, this kinda works only if you assume you can trust Apple to play within the rules of the framework they're making, i.e. not to try to intercept your private key, log your keystrokes, automatically add a second public key recipient to your messages, etc. Fact of the matter is, you are at their mercy. tptacek, please be gentle in gutting me.

Edit: Thanks for that link, daniel. It is comforting to know that there is indeed some base level of security. If CALEA-compliance is achieved by adding the fed's public key to a list of destination public keys for a message, that implies you should actually be able to find out whether or not you're being monitored by simply checking for new/unknown/unexpected additions to your list of public keys. Of course, there are other methods of doing this that wouldn't be as easy to detect, e.g. maybe there is an out-of-band request for additional public keys to send to, maybe the fed's public key is already embedded in the device and is being used invisibly every time, etc. etc. etc.

Edit2: For people wondering if syncing of old iMessages between devices means iMessage doesn't work like this, I don't think that's the case. I believe that's done via iCloud (i.e. backup of previously decrypted messages), as when you add a new Apple ID to iMessages on OS X, you don't get the old messages for that account, only new ones. So it's another attack vector, but not inherent weakness in the iMessage design.

nodata 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Dear criminals,

Please use iMessage more, we promise we definitely can't read your messages.

Lots of love,



pedrocr 19 hours ago 4 replies      
If I was the DEA and had a way to break the iMessage encryption, this is exactly the kind of article I'd try to have someone write.
dmix 19 hours ago 1 reply      
> "it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices" even with a court order approved by a federal judge.

And even more importantly, impossible with a warrantless wiretap as well.

This new wide-spread adoption of encryption is law enforcements new enemy.

runjake 18 hours ago 2 replies      
About a year ago, a SA from a certain three-letter agency who was pretty fluent in technology (our conversation largely centered around Bitcoin) mentioned that iMessage is not end-to-end encryption. That, to his understanding, it was client<-->apple<-->client TLS encryption.

I think I might actually side with the tin-foils on this one. In any case, iMessage isn't a (well-)documented protocols implementation, so I wouldn't rely on it for security.

Edit: Public scrutiny seems to back up the SA's claim [1].

1. http://imfreedom.org/wiki/IMessage

A1kmm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Whether or not the software is secure from Apple is a moot point if Apple can, at any point in time, deploy an arbitrary software update that only affects a single device.

I presume Apple has the ability to send a backdoored update to iMessage to any user they want, and probably to obfuscate it well enough to not tip anyone off. Therefore, if DEA can get a warrant requiring Apple to provide technical assistance, Apple has at least one route to get message plaintext.

smoyer 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Smart Jabber users (those who want privacy) exchange public keys, encrypt each message with the recipient's public key and sign each message with their private key. Unless a private key is compromised, the recipient is guaranteed the message came from the sender and that the body is only readable by the recipient.

I've been using keys with both Jabber and e-mail for a long time ... what we really need is the clients to use encryption as their default mode.

smackfu 19 hours ago 1 reply      
This article and the DEA doc is confusing. It seems to mainly be saying that having a warrant to intercept cell communications won't get iMessages because it doesn't go through the cell carrier.

It's implied a bit that it is encrypted end-to-end and that Apple can't get the contents... but it doesn't seem to actually say that anywhere. This comment on StackExchange says the encryption is only from sender to Apple and Apple to recipient, so Apple has the plaintext: http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/18908/the-inner-...

Also, wouldn't the same issues have come up with BBM?

lucian1900 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The sad part is that iMessage's encryption appears to be of dubious quality. Even worse, the protocol is not public, so there's no way to audit it.
archon 19 hours ago 1 reply      
So, if they're caught in other ways than via the surveillance, does that open up criminals using iMessage to further prosecution based on the notion that they used encryption to conceal a crime?
zimbatm 19 hours ago 7 replies      
> They [the DEA] can also send a suspect malware, purchase a so-called zero day vulnerability to gain control of a target device and extract the contents

Made me chuckle. Given that zero day are mostly available in black markets how can they justify to give money to criminals ?

mindcrime 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Good. Isn't that the point of encryption? F%!# the DEA anyway. Now we need to get more people educated on the importance of using strong crypto to protect their private communications.
Zimahl 14 hours ago 0 replies      
We don't want to have a system where you're needlessly imposing burdens on thriving industries or even budding industries

Messaging is superfluous on the internet. Everything has it from Words With Friends to World of Warcraft. I understand that not all messaging systems are encrypted but being required to put in a backdoor for a government agency to spy on messages is a fair amount of work. Would you have to log all messaging too and for how long?

Dylan16807 19 hours ago 2 replies      
All this worry about electronic messaging makes me wonder something. Can they get a warrant/order to intercept your physical mail and read it in transit? I'm wondering if they're actually less able to tap than in the past or if they're just whinging.
fnayr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Why shouldn't I work for the NSA? That's a tough one. But I'll take a shot. Say I'm workin' at the NSA and somebody puts a code on my desk, somethin' no one else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it and I'm real happy with myself cause I did my job well, but maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East and once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels are hiding, fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with get killed.
Now the politicains are sayin' "Oh send in the marines to secure the area, cause they don't give a shit, won't be their kid over there gettin' shot just like it wasn't them when their number got called cause they were all pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southy over there takin' shrapnel in the ass. He comes back to find that the plant he used to work at, got exported to the country he just got back from, and the guy that put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job cause he'll work for 15 cents a day and no bathroom breaks.
Meanwhile, he realises the only reason he was over there in the first place was so that we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price, and ofcourse the oil companies use a little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices, a cute little ancilliary benefit for them, but it ain't helpin' my buddy at 2.50 a gallon. Their takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, of course maybe they even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martini's and fuckin' play slolum with the icebergs. It ain't to long til he hits one, spills the oil, and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic... so now my buddy's out of work, he can't afford to drive, so he's walkin' to the fuckin' job interviews which sucks cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him cronic hemroids and meanwhile, he's starvin' cause everytime he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special their serving is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State....
so what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure fuck it, while Im at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe, and join the National Guard. I could be elected President.
nsxwolf 14 hours ago 0 replies      
So, this article is untrue? Apple has the messages in plaintext on their servers, thus the DEA could in fact subpoena them? I'm getting mixed messages. Consensus?
josho 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Several years ago I worked with a senior tech that had previously worked for the NSA. For his personal private data he secured it using nothing less than 4096 bit encryption.

Due to his confidentiality agreements he couldn't provide specifics about the NSA's capabilities, he only would share his own personal security practices. After that discussion I concluded that if the US Government wanted to know something about you they could find out. Not only by technical means, but by any channel you could likely imagine. These guys are smart, the idiots you hear about in the media are field agents, not the back office folks conducting the real security work.

Since that time I've also assumed that the US has encryption technology that is at least 5 years ahead of public research. Today, I assume that means the US has access to a functional quantum computer and anything using today's encryption standards are left insecure if the right 3 letter agency wants to know.

runn1ng 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the code open for scrutiny? No? Then it's not secure enough for me, sorry.
anologwintermut 18 hours ago 0 replies      
As the end of the article hints,this is highly unlikely to be actually true and more so the result of incompetence on the part of Apple and the DEA. It is most likely more of the we need better law enforcement access to stuff FUD that is used to insert backdoors into systems that actually weaken security even if you trust the government, then an actual problem

Apple appears to act as a certificate authority for IMessage [0]. At the very least Apple could man-in-the-middle any (and scarily) all their traffic. The article implies that they'd have to do this before the first message is ever sent between to parties. Presumably, we'd hope Apple has the ability to re-key the service since phones get stolen and lost, so they can forge that process to insert the bogus key. We'd probably also hope that your key is not shared across all of your devices, so it might(though its not as likely as the rekey protocol) also be possible to add a device as that is "the feds"

Yes, both of these would require active work on Apple/ law enforcement's part to forward the messages to their intended recipient. However, this isn't that much work and 2) for actual wiretaps you typically need someone to monitor the tap so you don't record information not covered by the tap(we see this in The Wire).

Lastly, there is precedent (all be it Canadian) for companies being forced to exploit vulnerabilities in their system. [1]

Also, this ignores the fact that apple has device backups of most people's devices and can probably extract keys from them ( even for the encrypted ones, its likely with a poor password)

[1] http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/11/encrypted-e-mai/

telecuda 11 hours ago 0 replies      
IF a court order (40+ page Title 3) were provided to surveil a criminal suspect, do you believe that Apple/iMessage and VoIP services should be required to respond to law enforcement intercept requests?

If yes, then legal and technical frameworks are needed where service providers outside the traditional telcos can respond. This is the gap that has been widening since the introduction of the smartphone.

It's not a huge problem right now since most criminal communication that police are interested in is still done over traditional voice, SMS, and email (where these providers are already interfaced with law enforcement).

mtgx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet it doesn't even use OTR. You can't just rely on Apple to keep it secure. I do hope Google's upcoming Babel service is at least as secure, but I also hope it uses OTR.
yalogin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The one thing that stands out from that article is that iMessage is the most popular encrypted chat program in history. Is this true? Isn't gchat encrypted as well?
rmrfrmrf 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Boo hoo?
EGreg 16 hours ago 1 reply      
So the government wants to make laws to prevent people from securely talking to each other?
blueprint 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a trap!
joshdick 18 hours ago 7 replies      
So what if DEA can't decrypt it? The real question is: Can the NSA decrypt it?
kunai 17 hours ago 0 replies      
tl;dr, government bureaucrats upset because they can't spy on innocent civilians.
mattbarrie 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Not for long.
shmerl 16 hours ago 0 replies      
OTR is better.
Stop externalising your life jshakespeare.com
294 points by daGrevis  1 day ago   147 comments top 74
calinet6 21 hours ago 4 replies      
The funny thing is, most people I know completely agree with this viewpoint.

"Yep, it's tearing the fabric of society apart alright. It's creating a generation of self-interested media whores."

But wait, aren't you one of them? Didn't you just post a picture of those tacos you made last night?

"Yeah man, they were freaking awesome tacos."

Yes, it's a little narcissistic. Yeah, it's disruptive to your actual in-the-moment experiences. You can go overboard. You can also strike a balance, and it just becomes a thing you do sometimes, it's not going to kill you, it's not going to actually change the fabric of society. It's going to make some people annoying. Sort of like punk rock or emo or neon colors or television. Whatever. We'll adapt.

And it might have positive effects too. I made those tacos last night (heh, yeah, it was me, and I totally posted them to Facebook) because I saw my friend cook some mexican last week (posted to facebook) and it looked good. That friend of mine posts pictures of food she makes all the time, and it inspires me to cook more. We discuss the food, I ask for recipes. This isn't just narcissism"it's interaction. To ignore that positive effect just because you notice a subtle and possibly true behavioral shift is short-sighted.

My humble opinion is that most people are self-aware enough to know the externalization of their lives is detrimental on the large scale. They know enough to put down their phones or iPads for the important moments, or even the routine ones. We're all collectively learning how to make our lives work with this level of interconnected communication"it's a new thing.

I completely agree with the sentiment of this article, but I think most people do. I think people are constantly going to be looking for better solutions to this problem. I don't know if Facebook will find that solution, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: the social network that integrates with life and human behavior the best will be the one that overtakes Facebook (if you're going to try, please bring on a social psychologist in your first 10 employees).

The internet will not always be like this. It's immature, it doesn't fit quite right yet. But it will get better. And if it doesn't, it'll just continue to be slightly annoying. Not the end of the world.

bobwaycott 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Externalizing isn't just pictures. It's words, as well. They are often more powerful than pictures, when in the right hands. I find it a bit amusing that the OP externalized his trip in an article about how people shouldn't externalize--describing not just where he was (Singapore!), but how long he was there (a whole month!), the food (exotic!), sights (there were so many!), and his reasoning, as well (to impress!).

While I agree with some of the intent and observations he made, it carries a strong tone of I just realized I was doing this thing, don't really like the reasons I think I had for doing it, and am going to make excessively broad generalizations about everyone else who does what I perceive to be similar.

The article would have been better to leave out that last bit. You see, there are potentially as many reasons for people [over]sharing as there are people sharing. Since when does taking a picture of/with/in a piece of art require 'bringing a unique interpretation of the artwork to the table'? Who is the author to determine if the pic-taker is sharing a 'hidden gem with their followers'? If I'd visited the Barbican and snapped a pic of the Rain Room to share, it'd be because I thought it was an awesome experience that, while perhaps not hidden to locals, would most certainly be unknown amongst the people I'd share the photos or video with. I enjoy experiencing art, as do many of the people I know. They'd enjoy experiencing the art through a photograph or video.

I have very fond memories of watching hours of videos whenever my grandparents returned from a trip somewhere in the world. I specifically recall being amazed by VHS footage of the pyramids when they returned from Egypt. I was about 10 years old. Those grainy videos changed my life. My way of thinking was forever altered. The world was no longer what I saw around me in the city and desert surrounding Los Angeles. It was huge, incredible, majestic, awe-inspiring--and, more importantly, it was there for ME to experience, investigate, enjoy, and re-share it with others. I began diving into studying the histories, cultures, and languages of parts of the world that captured my interest. I rejected the idea that was so prevalent in my family that America was this awesome Promised Land, better than everyone else in the world, because the US didn't have the incredible things I saw in those home videos and my weekly trips to the library on Saturdays--the Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Taj Mahal, castles, 600-old libraries, multi-thousand-year-old cities ... you get the picture.

I'm so glad my grandparents externalized parts of their life. I'm also really happy when friends do it, because it reminds me of just how much is still out there to experience.

Do I care about last night's tacos? Nah. But I can digest those on the way to seeing the pictures of your trip to Budapest.

crusso 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I started with Usenet and email back in the late 80s. When the Internet boom hit ten years later and everyone's mom had an email account, I spent years agonizing over people who were unable to quote a forwarded reply properly or who couldn't grasp the fact that Bill Gates wasn't going to be paying anyone for the amount of email sent around.

But you know what? Most of those people have learned a decent bit of netiquette. They even know the word "netiquette". They got over the newness of email and the web.

I'm seeing people getting over the extreme narcissism as well. They've tweeted going to the bathroom enough so where it's no longer a thrill. They've posted enough pictures of their meals to facebook or wherever.

I think that most of this behavior is just a phase that will pass.

JDGM 23 hours ago 1 reply      
My parents' generation would share holiday snaps or even host slide show evenings for neighbours after traveling somewhere. I think that photo sharing on Facebook etc. is just the modern version of that and as back then, we have people who find this obnoxious, interpreting it as a form of bragging.

I believe it may be a little bit bragging, but is mostly validation-seeking. Many people just seem to be wired in a way that craves a social response to their behaviour. Call it neediness, insecurity, whatever...I think the kindest thing is to simply identify it as a personality trait.

Back in the slide show days I remember being impressed by the stance my parents took which was to sit back and enjoy the holiday snaps as much as they could, because the person showing them was getting something out of that.

Today, I will act interested in a dream a co-worker wants to tell me, not because I am particularly gripped by how they "were flying, but also not, and everyone's face was Graham from accounts", but because it seems to make them happy to have someone listen. If simply clicking a "like" button or posting a thoughtful comment can give someone warm fuzzies (and we know it does) then I'll do it.

shadowrunner 18 hours ago 2 replies      
My point requires a back story, but I think its worth it:

A few years ago several teenagers loitered everyday outside my apartment window. Sometimes they skateboarded, other times jumped off a wooden ramp with their bikes, but always did they curse and swear.

Especially one kid, who was the ringleader. Every second word was the f-shot. An angry kid.

So one summer evening, as I was trying to get work done but hearing this caustic stream of vulgarity outside my window, I decided to straighten these punks out. I went on my balcony and yelled at them to chill it with the bad language.

They looked at me as if I was an alien, then continued swearing as soon as I left. Louder this time. They swore even more from then on, especially the ringleader kid. He was angry for a kid.

I was getting angry too. Even with my windows closed I could hear the cursing. I was tempted to threaten them, to really let them "have it", but in a rare moment of sanity realized that I can't force them to do anything. I can only change myself and how I respond to them.

So I changed myself, and instead of getting angry, I decided to help them. I started a dog walking business and hired the ringleader to walk the dogs. That way he'd be busy and earn some spending money.

I gave him business cards with his name on it and bus tickets whenever he needed to get somewhere.

Turns out it was his first job ever. I later found out he had behavior problems and had been expelled from High School.

I befriended him and showed him how to go door-to-door to get clients. He didn't have a dad around so I was probably the closest thing to it.

He stopped swearing after that, and so did his friends. I didn't even ask them to.

Unfortunately his unemployed mother was evicted about a year later, and he with her. I haven't seen or heard from him since.

Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

ohwp 23 hours ago 5 replies      
Waiting for the pope: http://i.imgur.com/sNTmp4s.jpg

In my opinion you miss a lot around you when you are constantly staring at the screen of your device.

Two days ago I was sitting at a birthday party. The guy next to me constantly took pictures sending them with Watsapp. I never spoke a word to him because he was busy with his phone all the time.

I'm still not sure what to think about that but I don't think I like the change.

zeteo 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Many people have heard the phrase "conspicuous consumption", but it's only half of Veblen's analysis. It counterpart, "conspicuous leisure", is arguably at least as important. Typical social proof that you're doing well is not just buying a BMW, but also showing that you didn't have to work hard for it. This is communicated most effectively by advertising the time you can afford to spend on non-economic activities: tourism, cooking, amateur photography etc. There are, of course, many other good reasons to engage in these pastimes. But their importance as a means of social display should not be underestimated.
moron4hire 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a big part of why I stopped using Twitter. Of course, every tool has its uses and misuses, and Twitter can be an excellent way of discovering new content from favorite producers, but using it myself turned into a popularity contest.

PG writes about popularity contests in Hackers and Painters, and how geeks prefer doing and learning over winning popularity standing. I didn't read H&P until after I had quit Twitter (and largely quit Facebook. Facebook is nothing more now than "email from my mother"). But that resonates well with me. I found myself tracking trending hash tags and trying to come up with witty, pithy tweets that I could also hashtag in kind. I had specific strategies that I would test and track the retweets and replies. It was kind of sick, looking back at it now.

But looking back at my internet life, it wasn't always like that. If you consider the BBS and web forum to be proto-social networks, this type of behavior (in certain communities) was neither broached nor tolerated. A much greater emphasis on discourse existed. In certain online communities, posting "+1" or "first" (or its more recent analogs "this" or "feels") was a fast track to banning. But those networks had something that Facebook and its ilk lack: administrative moderation, either by a staff of people or by community members with elevated privileges.

They were also geared towards the long form of prose, rather than the pithy-saying style. Twitter still has it's 140 character limit; it is considered the culture of Twitter. Facebook for many people functionally had the same limit as they interfaced with it through MMS. I don't know if they still do now, but at one time Facebook had a character limit on status updates and replies; even if those limits were removed now, the vast majority of Facebook's users are trained towards them now, and we see a new article every week talking about Facebook being unable to attract "new, teenage" users. Similarly, Tumblr's easiest levels of contribution are the reblog and photoshares.

When the discourse is so severely limited, then there can't be a discourse. People will revert to what is easiest: posting things that are not meant to engender discourse. People brag, always have, it's natural. But the signal to noise ratio is much worse now because services like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook make the noise so much easier to create than the signal.

EDIT: sorry, typos, still on my first cup this morning.

tedks 19 hours ago 2 replies      
"you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you're detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people."

Humans are social animals. Everything we do is focused on making ourselves look attractive to other people. People who don't do this are typically not liked by others. The fact that most people do the behaviors the author describes and yet are liked by others seems to indicate that they've succeeded at making themselves look attractive.

Of course, there are plenty of strategies to make yourself look attractive. Some people might dress in mainstream fashion, hoping to pull it off well enough that they can distinguish themselves from all the other people doing it. Others get tattoos and piercings and make themselves unappealing to all but a niche subgroup, within which they have less competition.

I find it hilariously ironic that the author is engaging in the very same behavior (right down to posting the hacker news discussion link in the footer!) as the people they attack. Only humans can do this.

Karunamon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
>But I think our reasons for sharing experiences on social media are more cynical than that. It's not sharing, it's bragging.

No. Stop. You do not speak for every user of social media, or most of them, or even a significant fraction of them.

>We end up with a diminished perception of reality because we're more concerned about choosing a good Instagram filter for our meal than we are about how it tastes.

Does anyone aside from a minority of people who can be described with various adjectives, but I'll settle on "attention whore", actually work this way? I don't. Nobody I know does. Do you?

Balance in all things. This is just another blasted "social media is teh evulz" post dressed in flowery language.

For what it's worth, this is why I think Glass and its descendants will be the next big thing. You remove the friction from sharing, you remove 98% of the author's complaints (and the complaints of those "social media blaarrrgh" types). When sharing becomes as simple as just looking at something and saying a magic word, or nodding your head, or touching your temple, you don't have to throw brain cycles at operating some kind of device, it just happens naturally.

adam-a 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Most "normal" conversations could be cast in this narcissistic light, if you wanted to. People tell each other about the interesting things that happen to them, and not about the mundane, sad, or private things. An awful lot of conversation is about establishing common ground and consists of "Have you seen that film?" "Yeah, I saw it. I liked it, the actor, he was in another film, did you see that?". Back and forth exchanges of, fairly dull information. Of course people get into deeper conversations as they get to know each other, and these are often sparked off by the dull stuff. This happens on Facebook too of course, though often it's privately, and so less visible.

I think the negative reaction from a lot of people is mainly the shock of the new. Like it or not your children will use online networks and sharing as part of their normal social landscape. You can either bemoan them all as unnatural monsters, or realise that these things are inherent to social interaction, and not a problem caused by techcnology.

papa_bear 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's possible you're just thinking too much about it. A lot of people look back on the things they've shared as a way of maintaining a personal photo album. My facebook definitely has a more complete photo history than any one device I own, and it's almost effortless to throw the photos I take up there.

That, and I don't mind seeing the things my friends are doing - it gives me ideas for things I want to do in the future. I used to disdain the "humblebrag" nature of sharing random photos, but I've been getting into a much more "fuck it" attitude recently. It's going okay.

kahawe 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This has for a long time been my only explanation for twitter. All the hash-tag and "centralized communication is awesome" came later. Twitter started out when blogs were popular and people were doing this "externalizing" on their freshly-setup blogs regardless of how little they had to say. The problem was you still needed a computer to access your blogger-or-whatever account since there were hardly any smartphones and even worse, you actually needed to write a little bit even when you just wanted to show off because most successful blogs back then were not one-liners with a pretty picture because all the "cool" kids were writing long entries so you had to too.

Enter twitter. They were the first ones to offer text-message (SMS) to website publishing for free and internationally. This was huge, even for me who giggles at "web 2.0" to this day. This is why it's 140 chars only and this was the main reason it ever got people's attention in the first place, now "everyone" could easily publish all that vital information about their pet's last bowl movement at any given time of the day from everywhere. And even more importantly, they could do all that showing-off in a much more efficient and easy way since it was only 140 characters so they did not have to bother with coming up with some "lorem ipsum" like entry to accompany their showing off. It was being able to show-off without feeling guilty about not writing a long blog entry. Reaping all that sweet peer-approval with hardly any of the work you needed before. twitter quite literally enabled this conspicuous showing-off and made it en vogue. Since all the "cool" kids were showing how great their lives are, so you had to too, right?

And now for something completely (or slightly) different. One of my real-life friends does that showing-off on fb in an even cheaper way that I haven't seen anyone else doing so far and I just find it even more ridiculous and it has become a pet peeve of mine. Without failure the last 30 to 50 posts he made were pictures of some sort of object of more or less conspicuous consumption and as text he would just write the one or two words describing what is on the picture - and then, to somehow add depth and give it more "meaning" without anything actually being there except showing off and to make it look "smarter", he would add a smiley. That's it. So imagine posts like:

"whiskey :-)"

"enchiladas :-)"

"sunset :-)"

"<insert expensive watch> :-)"

"someotherexpensivecrap :-)"

One of these days, the internet curmudgeon in me is going to call him out on it and properly ridicule him for it!

cpressey 23 hours ago 1 reply      
> It's not sharing, it's bragging.

Some would call it "narcissism", which (with an appropriately nuanced meaning) I think is more accurate than "bragging".

I strongly agree with the article. Sharing your experiences with social networking isn't necessarily about needing to get validation from others on your experience in order for the experience to feel complete for you... but for some people, it is. And I have to wonder, the more prevalent social networking becomes, are more and more people going to use it as their image-of-self crutch? And I have to wonder, what does such a society look like after a few decades? It's a bit like Warhol's "15 minutes of fame", except minutes are the wrong unit of measure. Everybody's a 15 milligram celebrity...

prawn 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Each to their own.

I enjoy seeing what my friends and family are up to, including the minutiae that might not otherwise come up in conversation. In participating, I also have an easy history of the things I've done to look back over. My wife loves TimeHop reminding her, via social updates, what she was doing on the same day a year ago. "Remember this?" Cue much reminiscing.

Further to that, all social sharing serves as developing a personal brand and there are social and commercial advantages to that whether all doing it realise or not.

"Paint a picture of it."

I almost laughed at this bit. Why not allow even more time for contemplative thought by first creating inks from scratch, using ingredients relevant to the original experience and naming each combination of colours to evoke just the right memories?

DanielBMarkham 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"It's not sharing, it's bragging..."

Turns out social media is freaking way tricky. If you share bad things, well, people don't want to hear it. If you share happy news, well, people think your life is perfect. So its damned if you do, damned if you don't.

My concern is that instead of young adults being the imperfect people that they are -- forming cliques, being sexist or ageist, and so on -- we're teaching kids how to "fake" having the right attitudes. So yeah, you can be as misogynistic as you want, just don't let it show up on social media.

So the real harm social media does is to ourselves: it teaches us fake friendships,fake conversations, and fake storytelling. This will have lifelong negative consequences for many.

andrewfelix 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This really spoke to me. Perfectly articulated why I am not on Facebook.

"This is the curse of our age. We walk around with the tools to capture extensive data about our surroundings"

Less and less people are actually enjoying and engaging good moments in life and instead trying to construct a frame around said moment that will look good on FB/Twitter.

mark_l_watson 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoy externalizing :-)

My wife and I travel a lot and I like to write a daily diary that I send to family (and friends who "opt-in"). I often include a few pictures. There is often some down time travelling, and journaling experiences makes a long wait for transportation, etc. enjoyable. I enjoy reading my own travel logs years later.

I live in the mountains (Sedona in Central Arizona) and when I go on really long hikes (I am leaving on a 6 hour hike in 45 minutes :-) I always send a picture to my Dad and some remote friends who occasionally travel to Sedona to hike with me.

avenger123 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate where the author is coming from but is this really an issue? I mean, how big a problem is this really?

I would imagine most of us have more important things to do than spend our minutes uploading pictures to social media sites. I guess if you are the attention grabbing kind, it works but within my sphere of colleagues and friends I just don't know anyone that does this. And, yes, I am talking about technical people that understand what Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are.

Maybe I'm a minority but I suspect that probably not.

papaver 10 hours ago 0 replies      
reminds me of the buddhist quote:

"If while we are washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as they were a nuisance, then we are not 'washing the dishes to wash to wash the dishes.' What's more we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes....If we can't washes the dishes, chances are we won't be able to drink our tea either."

i remember going to a gdc after party where they had a burlesque show for entertainment. 75% of the crowd had their phones out recording the event while watching the dancers through their phones. so sad.

there is little more fulfilling than enjoying the present moment. its fun looking into the past and sharing but it comes nowhere near living in the now. weather that is during the act of eating or washing the dishes...

pkorzeniewski 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My thoughts exactly. Let's be honest, most people share stuff on FB/Twitter to show off, they project an idealised picture of their life - photos from parties, trips, concerts and so on with one clear message: "Look at my awesome life!". Who cares? Why is it so important to know everything about everyone, all the time? Why share every bit of your life with hundreds of people you barely know?
ardit33 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Sharing is caring (to a certain degree), if your sharing is not just pure bragging, the I can see only positives on it. E.g. somebody sharing on how good the food is in a new restaurant is genuinely happy about the experience and wants his friends to check out this restaurant too, as they might like it as well. This is good motivation and basic human nature
. Vs somebody that goes in a very expensive restaurant (that everybody knows about) and shares just to brag about it/ show their social status (this might just elicit envy from their friends, another basic human emotion). Delivery style and context are very important in this case.

On the other hand I have friends/ acquaintences that don't share at all and just keep it to themselves. To me this is selfish and just as bad as over sharing. A good friend will share both good and bad news. People that share over selectively, or dont share at all are on the selfish side.

jshakes 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Apologies for the downtime, here's a cached version: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&safe=...
FajitaNachos 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had a facebook account since 2006. I never post anymore. The only reason I haven't completely deleted it, is because it's a decent way to stay in touch with old acquaintances. I don't tweet. I don't check in anywhere. I don't post to instagram. It's just not an appealing to me. Other than close friends/family, people don't really care what you are doing.

Facebook and other social outlets are a way for people to humbly or not-so-humbly brag about what they are doing, and for those people consuming the content to be envious or critical of it.

I enjoy the fact that I can step away from the computer at any moment and not feel the urge to repeatedly check Twitter, Facebook etc.. and just enjoy life. I don't think I'm missing out on anything by not socially sharing my life on the internet.

tunesmith 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A large part of sharing because people want to live vicariously through other people. And sharers know this, and so they help out. That is exactly what it was like for my Europe trip last year - it was a big enough deal to me personally that I wanted to record it as one of the highlights of my life, and I had friends and family that I knew were excited about the trip. So I shared with lots of detail, and they loved it.

I think the sentiment in the article is more one of the side effects when the system gets out of whack magnitude-wise in one direction or another. Perhaps you're (not the poster; anyone) sharing habitually with no intent behind it, or perhaps you're resentful of your friends, or perhaps you haven't challenged yourself recently to go out and do something new or formative.

But when used to share an actual highlight, with people that care about you and are apt to be happy about your highlights, it's a transaction that benefits both sides.

frogpelt 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The Internet is only 20 years young. In Internet years that is ancient but technology and the way people use it always goes through progressions.

Early on, the Internet was largely about research and news.
Then, people realized they could shop online: E-Commerce, dotcom bubble.
Step 3, everyone could have their own little domain, Blogs and personal websites.
Then, the Internet became the place to be entertained, video, music, games.
Now, we can be social and share everything with our network of "friends".

Obviously this is just one guy's synopsis and it's probably out of order in some ways. There has also been lots of overlap during the progression.

It's not that strange that we are where we are. When I was a bit younger many people I knew had personal websites. Then they migrated to blogs. Now they're on facebook and twitter. They'll move on to something else.

The social aspects of the Internet will morph into something else. The fundamentals will stay but the methods and purposes will change.

Nursie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like the author has had some sort of compulsion/addiction to posting pictures on the internet.

Not everyone does that.

jetti 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the College Humor parody of "Photograph" by Nickleback called "Look At This Instagram" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn-dD-QKYN4).

I've seen many comments in this thread from people who believe this is a passing trend, however, I have a hard time believing that. I think that this is going to continue because the oversharing and posting everything is a way for those with low self esteem to make themselves feel better. It's a way for those who feel like they have no control to have some control over what their perceived life is like.

eksith 20 hours ago 0 replies      
All the more reason to hurry up with those ocular implants! Never miss the stream while you record it. ;)

But seriously, the genie is out of the bottle. There's no going back to the pre-sharing days as we've come to notice our memories are fleeting... as are our lives. In essence we're the culmination of our expriences and these days, we're (I think) subconsciously leaving evidence of our existence, just in case everything else of our proof of impact on the world is lost.

I'm not happy that we've completely substituted interraction with persons in favor of the interface, but I don't think leaving behind the sharing culture altogether is the solution. We'll (over)share, as long as the technology exists. I think the only solution is to make it as unobtrusive as possible so as to not miss input of the real world with our own organic senses.

In a strange way, I can see this as the true appeal of Steve Mann's EyeTap or Google Glass. Absorb your surroundings with your synapses and NAND. What your synapses will miss, the NAND will store for decades or more. All the while augmenting your sensory reach.

wallflower 20 hours ago 0 replies      
My social commentary - there is immense peer pressure to do this - especially in the younger communities. A long time ago - we got the 'Jones family update' holiday letter once a year - a push update - now we can get fragments of it in real time...

“You could have this really amazing night, but if you didn't get a picture, it's like it didn't happen,” said Ms. Parr, 22, a senior at Gettysburg, whose friends often order designer outfits from the Rent the Runway Web site because incessant documenting makes wearing anything more than twice taboo. “It's crazy how much pictures consume our lives. Everyone knows how to pose and how to hold your arm and which way is most flattering, and everyone wants the picture taken with their phone.”


basicallydan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally, I agree. I know there are differing opinions but I don't care most of the time what my friends & family are up to in real-time. They'll tell me when I see them. I like to write about things I have done if I have some opinion of it, or if I'm proud of an achievement, but that's about it. People don't necessarily need to know what I'm doing right now if it's nothing particularly special or new.

Conversely, I don't need to necessarily need to know what they are doing all the time. But if they feel the need to share, fine. I just hope that if they read this post, by you, they might critically think about their current behaviour.

mattezell 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I find myself being as guilty as any on this front - constantly thinking that my 'friends' (all ~200 or whatever of them in that list) actually care and need to know that I am eating/drinking/viewing/visiting/riding/doing/etc whatever it is that I am doing...

While I am ashamed to admit, I can recall more than one such instance where I am among friends having a drink, and I decide to check in - then I realize that I have to tag people, then I have to search for location because it didn't correctly pull up, then I have to re-do it all because I accidentally backed all of the way out of the initial post... Then I have to do it all over again to G+.. "Oh, what was that, friend? I wasn't listening completely as I was carrying out the super important ritual of sharing with the world that we are sharing this tasty beverage in this dark downtown pub instead of paying attention to our ongoing conversation about the next great thing in social media and connectivity..."

Is it the end of the world? No. Is it hurting my relationships - so far, I see no indication of that... Is it perhaps a bit annoying to have to repeat yourself a couple of times because you couldn't be heard over the glow of cellphone screens as they were being used to check in on FB? Yeah, just a little bit - but we'll live...

But really... Don't worry... Glass is here, kicking our assimilation into the next higher plane of online existence.. With some future revision, we will be controlling it all via eye movement and facial gesture - and so you will then be relieved, instead of annoyed, to learn that your friend wasn't having a seizure or a severe facial spasm, but instead were just tagging you in a post on Facebook and G+ simultaneously...

The reality is - we wouldn't do it if it weren't fun or providing us something that we (the majority of the collective) were looking for... It scratches an itch - albeit a narcissistic one at times... While I agree with points here and found the post to be an entertaining read, it's not (yet - or likely ever) that big of a deal... It now seems pretty apparent, with the success of MySpace, Facebook, G+ and other such social sites, that we all like it - the person posting about their drink at the pub and the person liking the check-in from their couch... That's the beauty, I guess - it's pretty much an opt-in activity - you either have an account and participate or you don't...

pepperp 18 hours ago 1 reply      
>What were people actually saying by Tweeting about their visit?

They are telling others about their life experiences. It's called communication, we do it in real life all the time, why can't we do it online? If somebody told you what they did on the weekend, do you respond "you are fulfilling your obligation to have to share"?

acjohnson55 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Facebook. Not the company, but the service they created. I get to be myself with my friends, but just remotely. I can name about 20 people who were just acquaintances in "real life" but became good buddies via Facebook. A lot of them are people with whom I have heated online arguments over politics, religion, and economics. But we respect each other for it.

There are definitely people who don't fit into my Facebook paradigm. Those people have their posts demoted. After a small amount of effort configuring my feed, I now get content I mostly actually enjoy from people I mostly actually want to hear from. It's quite nice!

bjhoops1 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Great post. Reminds me of Neil Postman's Technopoly - written just before the advent of the internet. The main premise there was that we live in an age of unprecedented amounts of information, yet our ability to parse that information and filter out the unimportant is diminishing, if anything.

Much as I love the man, I'm glad for Mr. Postman's sake that he has passed away and been spared seeing his most dismal prognostications realized in all their mindless glory.

moultano 11 hours ago 0 replies      
When I share what I'm doing, sharing with my friends is secondary to sharing with myself in the future when I look it up again.
Tsagadai 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The key thing to remember is that you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you're detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people.

But that is the point for many people. Most people aren't doing things to personally enrich themselves, they are doing it for others.

lmm 23 hours ago 1 reply      
>The key thing to remember is that you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you're detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people. Your experience of something, even if similar to the experience of many others, is unique and cannot be reproduced within the constraints of social media. So internalise that experience instead. Think about it. Go home and think about it some more. Write about it in more than 140 characters; on paper even. Paint a picture of it. Talk about it face to face with your friends. Talk about how it made you feel.

I think this is precisely backwards. Social media sharing enhances my experience rather than detracting from it, precisely because it is so artless: I'm not thinking about how to describe where I am or what it looks like, I just check in or send a photo. If I were to follow the advice in the second part of this paragraph, I'd be doing exactly what the first half warns me against: focussing my efforts on how things look to other people.

JulianMorrison 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Like it was so much different when you were staring at the holiday you weren't actually experiencing through the viewfinder of a polaroid camera, back in the day.

Don't blame twitter for this.

sheri 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I also feel its the modern day version of 'keeping up with the jones's'. I have my startup, which I've been working on for the past few years. After being inundated with images of new babies, houses, cars etc, its hard to resist trying to show my life in a better light.
heymishy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with your viewpoint totally - and others may disagree as they have a vested interest in encouraging consumers to share - but it is an trend that is becoming increasingly prevalent. I think your main point is that we are sliding towards the sharing-for-sharing's-sake end of the sharing spectrum rather quickly and perhaps without realising it, and that its something to be conscious of.
polskibus 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah, kill the growth model for most "social" companies. The amount of noise is really counter-productive. I know one can just turn it off, but I don't want to live in society where most don't turn it off and focus on presenting life to others instead on life itself.
phryk 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Just for the record (pun totally intended): I fucking hate it when at a party/rave/concert everybody and their damned mother is standing around recording everything. Especially on the dancefloor. Especially especially if they then are all like "Dude, could you stop moving around, I'm trying to record this!1!!".
snowwrestler 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Look at it from the other perspective: I really like to check Facebook or Twitter and see what my friends and family are doing, what they're enjoying, what they are thinking. By sharing these things, they are also making me happier.
hoytie 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I find that for a lot of people documentation has replaced experience. I watched a performance a week or two ago, and a guy in front of me took photos and videos for 20 minutes straight then abruptly got distracted and walked away. It struck me as precisely the symptom of working to externalize your life so much that you forget to actually experience it.

Thinking in terms of narcissism, distraction, oversharing, externalization, etc, I've realized how scary and absurd the Google Glass marketing is. It's been marketed as something that will let us come back to reality and genuine interpersonal relationships, when it's only going to indulge our tendency towards sharing and distraction even more. I think that in order to market Google Glass effectively they had to make the absurd claim that even easier access to the internet will cure our anxious attachment to it.

hcarvalhoalves 14 hours ago 0 replies      
We post photos of the places we have been to and comment about things we have done for the same reason our ancestors painted their life in the cave's walls:

If we don't leave our mark, it's as if we didn't existed.

methodin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Could be that everyone just wants to feel special and induce envy in their peers. The desire to be great drives a lot of human interactions.
swalberg 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of http://5by5.tv/superhero/8 audio, 4 minutes
meerita 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I prefer my life now than it was before when internet wearing diapers. Before, I had to eat all the drama from everyone I had to meet in any circunstancie, many times, I had to be a listener to really idiots dilemmas or silly issues i really didn't give a shit just because often you can not choose when and whom to talk, well, actually, yes, but that also carries a price: be repudiated because you had decided not to tolerate such interactions.

The offline world can give many joys but also do not forget that it can bring many dilemmas too. And in my experience has shown me that dilemmas abound more rather than the joys.

I interact with people more now than before and this does not keep me from choosing what conversations I get into the offline world. But I preffer this much because people is on their stuff and not bothering each other without reasons.

jorgeleo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried to read the article and I can't, he blames it on the database...

The irony

slant 17 hours ago 0 replies      
When I attempt to curate the capturing of an experience, it is normally for myself later in life to be able to look back on the event. I may share my experiences on occasion, but my efforts in capturing these things are rarely for the sake of others.
rocky1138 19 hours ago 1 reply      
My first thought when reading this is 'hyperbole', as in the writer is giving this subject much more weight than it deserves.

My second thought is to recommend unplugging from the most prolific of tweeters, writers, and facebookers. This way you're not hit with the firehose and anything worthwhile will be distilled up to you by someone who is.

mathnetic 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The author makes a leap here:

>We end up with a diminished perception of reality because we're more concerned about choosing a good Instagram filter for our meal than we are about how it tastes.

I'd like to see some data on the effects of documentation on an experience. You could track things like perceived immersion in and overall rating of an experience with and without an effort to document it.

lorddamien 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I always have this conversation with my girlfriend:
- My point, being her experiencing everything through a small lcd screen, no matter how much pixels or which fancy word like retina is using.
- Her point, she will be able to keep memories as you can forget something, but the picture would be still.

On one side, I do agree I would like to have pictures and videos from my childhood and my experiences as a teenager. Going further, I would really enjoy to have them from my grandparents.
On the other side, we have 2Teras worth of disorganized pictures.

nekgrim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mind-reading tweets sender is the future. And mind-reading instagram with google glasses.

More seriously, balance is everything. Take photos, then put away your phone/camera, and enjoy the view.

alexanderclose 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ricky Van Veen (College Humor, Vimeo) has an interesting talk about this whole online sharing thing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-...

I tend to agree with him, that we share and document the parts of our lives that matter to us, to help create our identity. It's the same way people drive a car that fits or fill their closets with their style of clothing. It's an outward expression of who we believe we are, and how we view the world.

Look at how teenagers use tumblr. They curate content to exactly match themselves.

kislayverma 1 day ago 0 replies      
The key thing to remember is that you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you're detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people.
I wouldn't agree with that fully, because I (and I assume many others) often share stuff because I think it's cool and others might like to check it out. Think of the number of time you have discovered neat stuff because someone shared it.

So if you are sharing compulsively and simply in order to make yourself seem awesome, that's messed up - but it is also the cost of content discovery on an ever expanding internet.

presspot 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, My most responded-to tweet ever was when I had what what was one of the worst days of my life and I tweeted that sentiment: raw, emotional, unfiltered.

This to me is instructive. People respond to your vulnerability and humility. Nobody has an easy life. It's potent to own up to that.

theprodigy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's called humblebragging. Without the millions of people looking to find unique experiences to "humble brag" about Facebook would be very boring and wouldn't be as successful.
madrox 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I still remember how social media revolutionized the tech scene in San Diego, where everyone is spread out and can't mingle that often. Instead of monthly meetups where people kept asking "what have you been doing in the last 4 weeks?" it was "tell more about X you were saying on Twitter." Dialogue became more deep and dynamic.

We can't close Pandora's box. Might as well figure out how to make it work for you.

joyeuse6701 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the point the author makes goes beyond the shallowness of 'he's posting on social media, what hypocrisy, look at his externalization!' I think the take away is that by our society's knee jerk reaction to share a picture or write a short micro-blerb describing an event as it happens, that we actually degrade the moment for ourselves. We cease to be immersed in our own world completely but end up stepping in halfway into the virtual as we prep that filter, or select careful word choice and tag very particular people to reap the benefits of our narcissism.

I think it is important to make the distinction that the act of externalization or sharing of an experience as some have mentioned should not be completely written off. There is a positive way to externalize our experiences, and it requires more effort and thought. As a general rule of thumb I would argue that experiencing something, reflecting on the experience afterword, and presenting it in a meaningful way meant for longevity is the method most preferred. Sometimes we can't wait until after the moment. Sometimes we need to take a picture now, but the filter and the posting can happen later. The insta-thought that you had that you'll forget may need to be jotted down, on the phone, or in a notepad, but it should not require a complete entrance into social media and draw you away from the moment like it currently does.

The best experiences I had in Facebook was not waiting for every single picture to come out and following someone's life as it happened, it was waiting for when that big album from someone's trip was finally uploaded. There, in one stint you could immerse yourself vicariously in the experience that someone had. When a breakup would happen, instead of reading the vacillating short thoughts and daily experiences of someone going from gleeful to miserable, it was always better IMO to read a reflection that someone had after several months of thought and introspection.

There is a proper way to use social media and share, and as we are, aren't using it to it's full potential. Remember when your papers in school had a minimum word limit? The point was that you had to put in effort when you wrote something. Instead, we get a max of 140 characters and the incentive to share NOW without any real foresight into what we post. That should change, I hope it changes.

lesinski 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an outrageously superficial analysis of sharing... It's natural to want to share experiences. This is what we do socially every time someone at work asks "how are you?" or when a friend comes over for a beer. Calling it "robotic" is a huge generalization.
thewarrior 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I cant reach it . Does anyone have a mirror link ?
awjr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
We have a rule. No electronic devices at the dinner table. Ever.

If we're out with friends and our kid is 'bored' then we usually let her play on her tablet. It's the upgrade from crayons and paper when she was young.

melistress 19 hours ago 0 replies      
"It's not real life, of course, because people overwhelmingly post about the good things whereas all the crappy, dull or deep stuff doesn't get mentioned."

I think social media is what you make of it and who you stack your social media accounts with. If you stack them with people who only post how awesome they are, this is what you will get out of it.

My Twitter feed is a rollercoaster. I have people who share their awesome moments and their horrible moments and their thoughts and hopes and dreams and their humour. If you "follow" just anyone just because you want to be popular and have a lot of followers, you ARE going to get a lot of junk and no real content. Rather than "stopping our externalizing" I think that we, as the viewers of our social media feeds, need to take responsibility for the kind of people we choose to have in our feed.

Honestly, trying to tell people what to or not to post is like censorship. Stop burning the books and instead make a choice not to read them. Fill your life with content that makes you happy.

racl101 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you could summarize the entire story with "Stop trying to capture the moment in your smartphone, and start LIVING IN the moment."
scott9s 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I totally agree with the premise, but (there's always a but) attitude and happiness can be manufactured artificially. So, if sharing on twitter/facebook help me to see where ever I am in the here and now in a more positive light. then the fact that I'm sharing is forcing me to look at it positively which then is in turn making the experience more happy and memorable. Hypothetically speaking. There's some assumptions there.
ankitaggarwal 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Just wait, Google Glass is coming soon :)
aiftw 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It's narcissistic to imagine that you matter at all. This "age of the internet" is about bootstrapping the entity that is larger than ourselves. It needs enormous amounts of data to even have a chance at understanding the world. Please keep blogging about what you just ate. Take lots of pictures. Log everything.
antisocial 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Noble Silence:
"Before you speak ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?"



not_cool 3 hours ago 0 replies      
wow, cool blog. Let me share with some friends.
3dptz 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Stop complaining about opt-in social media.
jgeerts 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This post is just plain beautiful.
Meteor 0.6.0: brand new distribution system, app packages, NPM integration meteor.com
89 points by JanLaussmann  14 hours ago   40 comments top 9
jongold 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is good news - the momentum of the Meteor community & of dev efforts is really infectious.

Probably not ready to be building 100 million user services on just yet, but utterly fantastic for quick prototyping & iterating services (which is a large part of what I do day-to-day).

I love Backbone & Ember and all the rest, but as mainly-a-designer/front-end-dev, if I can get away without writing an API in Rails and have everything just work I'll choose that any day.

I've also got this idea of a scale of 'magicness' from 0-10.

- 0 - writing the JS by hand, maybe with jQuery.ajax etc.

- 2 - Backbone - easy to use, easy to debug " just not very magical!

- 5 - Ember & Angular - pretty cool but still enough that the headaches can be off-putting

- 9 - Meteor - always seems to work, never frustrating, so magic that the occasional thing that's tricky to implement is totally worth the rewards.

edit: also, shameless plug - if you're in London and like tech meetups that aren't boring, come to the Meteor meetup. It's fun.

kennu 13 hours ago 6 replies      
Is Meteor winning now? Commit activity of Derby.js (and Racer) seem really low. I already switched once from Meteor to Derby for more flexibility (npm packages, server-side express routes, etc.). But I'm wondering if Meteor now has more momentum.
AlexeyMK 11 hours ago 2 replies      
[Shameless plug:] I'm giving an intro to meteor talk at Stanford tomorrow (Friday) at 5PM, in the Engineering (Huang) basement/hackerspace https://www.facebook.com/events/476872052366365/.

I'm planning to build a real-time multiplayer javascript game from scratch, taking suggestions from the audience as we go. If you've been curious about Meteor and are in the area, come by!

stuffihavemade 13 hours ago 2 replies      
So, does this mean meteorite (http://oortcloud.github.com/meteorite/) is now obsolete?
rglover 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've recently fallen head over heels for Meteor.

When it was first announced, I was fairly intrigued like everyone else and gave it a spin. At the time, I found it difficult to put the pieces together. Now, that's all changed.

Great example: I'm wiring up an accounts system in an app now and excluding styles, it will take about 5-10 minutes to write the auth code. Fully functioning and even ready to support popular third-party services.

The best part: they haven't even hit 1.0.

glesperance 13 hours ago 3 replies      
> We've added file-level JavaScript variable scoping. Variables declared
with `var` at the outermost level of a JavaScript source file are now
private to that file. Remove the `var` to share a value between files.

I think it is convenient to be able to declare global variables like that but perhaps there should be a way to monitor those ; in other words, it would be really convenient to have some form of alert system to notify you when a new global variable is created.

That way, globals created by mistakenly forgetting the 'var' keyword would be easily spotted.

jordanlev 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the release.
Randome side-question... when I visit meteor.com with cookies disabled, there is no content displayed (just the background image) -- is this indicative of meteor.js not functioning without cookies enabled, or is this just specific to how you've built your site?
stesch 12 hours ago 2 replies      
<noscript>This site uses JavaScript. You won't see any content without it.</noscript>
joezhou 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Devshop 2 was awesome, some of the best engineers I've ever met!
       cached 5 April 2013 10:02:01 GMT