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1
Skype backdoor confirmation randombit.net
141 points by austengary  4 hours ago   50 comments top 13
1
UnoriginalGuy 3 hours ago 8 replies      
This is totally nit-picky, but strange use of the word "backdoor." When I read "backdoor" I was expecting to read about some malware-like functionality within the Skype client itself, but instead this is just telling us that Microsoft can read content after it is sent to them via the client and decrypted.

I would prefer Microsoft stopped scanning/reading my conversations, and I agree that what they're doing (e.g. accessing URLs) is a problem (and arguably illegal, given the recent case about someone accessing insecured AT&T URLs and going to jail).

Just think the original title could have been more clear.

2
nr0mx 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the company currently running ads positioning itself as a company that holds privacy dear.

"At Microsoft, we take our responsibilities for protecting your privacy very seriously. Its a priority across all our businesses, and an area where we continue to work closely with others throughout academia, government and industry."

http://blogs.windows.com/ie/b/ie/archive/2013/04/22/consumer...

"Your Privacy is Our Priority""The lines between public and private may never be perfect, but at Microsoft we are going to keep on trying, because your privacy is our priority."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt51MWll1oY

3
oelmekki 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't be surprised it this was intended to help bing discover deep web. If it's the case, combine that with the ability on bing to do "ip:<ip>" searches, and you have a formidable tool for forensics.
4
buster 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Very strange article. It only re-does what all other news sources already stated.. plus, i think that commonly a backdoor is understood as something in the software itself that let's someone get access from the outside, which doesn't appear to be the case.

Plus, to think that skype would be exempt from the governments claim to get access to all communications and messaging data is very simple-minded. The guy does realize that today governments can access all his mails, right? SSL/TLS or not.

5
ksk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Have people checked if the client itself sends the URLs separately via some webservice (as opposed to MS being able to decrypt the IM) ?
6
alfaomega 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
>How far does this go? Do people need to worryabout microsoft IIS web servers with SSL, exchange servers?You do have to wonder if apple backdoored their IM client, below the OTR, orsilent circle, or the OS - I mean how far does this go? Jon Callas said notapple, that wouldnt be cool, and apple aims for coolness for users; maybe heshould dig a little more.

What? Why bring Apple into this?

>Now are they just hoovering up the skype IMs via the new microsoft centralserver architecture having back doored skype client to no longer haveend2end encrption (and feedind them through echelon or whatever) or is thisthe client that is reading your IMs and sending selected things to themothership.

Skype claims the changes were unrelated, not sure if believable but they have some details on them here.

http://blogs.skype.com/2012/07/26/what-does-skypes-architect...

More interesting details here. http://www.zdnet.com/no-microsoft-and-skype-are-not-playing-...

>btw their HEAD request was completely ineffective per the weak excusemicrosoft offered in the article at top my php contained a meta-refreshwhich the head wont see as its in the html body

Yes, but if the links are spreading fast, you can expect more scrutiny. I think they're trying avoid situations like the below.

"New Skype malware spreading at 2,000 clicks per hour to mine Bitcoins" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5502028

Interesting comments on that article, including someone calling for Ballmer to be jailed because he allows malware links on Skype. How can they detect and stop malware with OTR?

7
rbanffy 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
What if someone passes an internal (poorly designed) Microsoft REST API that damages something when HEAD is called?
8
maaaats 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is misleading, it's not a backdoor. At least not my definition of backdoor. Anyways, if you need secrecy, don't use a service like this.

I have read people speculating if it's for spam/malware protection. They screen the urls to see if it's a redirect to known malware.

9
X4 1 hour ago 0 replies      

    * Can you please recommend a cross-platform alternative?
I only know of Gnome-Empathy/KDE-Telepathy and Pidgin that utilize XMPP's voice and video features.

I've found this: http://octro.com/octrotalk.php which lacks a linux client, but appears to be solid and has a web-client too.

10
quackerhacker 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't be surprised. While I can see 2 sides to this argument (it was discussed earlier here on HN, link below), we shouldn't be too surprised by what some companies do to "optimize," their products. Microsoft autocrawling http(s) links could be either for obtaining new bing search results (and it could make that result relative to your conversation), or it could be for security to screen links.

I don't know, but I agree that if you have a secret conversation, take steps like PGP to keep it secret. Big Brother is ALWAYS listening :: usually a good preventative security motivation ;)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5721006

11
westoque 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I guess it's time for Google Hangouts to shine.
12
Havoc 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Could someone help me understand why the password changed from "bar" to "yeahright"? Or is that just a mistake on the authors side?
13
RandallBrown 3 hours ago 2 replies      
That article was nonsensical. English probably isn't their first language, but I have no idea what they're saying.
2
Dear Class of 13: Youve been scammed marketwatch.com
19 points by DanielBMarkham  1 hour ago   5 comments top 3
1
cstross 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
You won't get that free education at Cambridge any more; it'll set you back 9000 in tuition fees every year, because successive British governments deliberately copied the US system.

It is to weep ...

2
Vivtek 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
As the parent of a college freshman, let me say that this is one significant reason we've relocated to Budapest. (Not that this would be a help to most, as our daughter is bilingual in Hungarian.)
3
irrationalidiom 17 minutes ago 1 reply      
Australia is similar in the regard, except the Federal government covers part of the full course cost, the rest being covered by a CPI indexed loan (HECS) which needs to be paid back once employment income exceeds $38k per year (taken from tax refunds -- we have tax deducted every payday).

That said, a typical university student will accumulate $9000 a year of HECS debt.

And yet Universities continue to cry poor, cutting student services and teaching staff, despite increased revenues from full fee paying international students over the past decade.

I'm perplexed as to why this is.

Edit: Just found this: http://www.nteu.org.au/library/view/id/3828 --RMIT University spent $8.2 million on 19 "senior executive and council members".That's ~$431k a head, or according to the Union "125 HEW 6 academic staff."

3
Google App Engine finally supports PHP venturebeat.com
25 points by SmeelBe  2 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
RyanZAG 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't see this getting that much traction. Most existing PHP code is heavily dedicated to the use of SQL, and if you don't use the key-value datastore you give up a lot of the scaling advantages of appengine.

Secondly, PHP devs and sites are used to very affordable hosting options, and GAE is horribly overpriced for the computing power you get.

Thirdly, Google doesn't really seem to care about customers of their AppEngine platform. App Engine Java routinely routes clients to new VMs that are not finished starting up, giving clients 5-15 sec delays on page loads. Google's response to this was to give a lecture at I/O 2013 on how to hard code configurations into your java code [1]. Basically, if you thought Heroku did a poor job of load balancing, Google App Engine takes the cake for terrible load balancing.

I really don't know who Google is trying to target with GAE - they seem to be trying to cater to bloggers, small startups, and enterprise all at once. This pretty much just gives everyone the worst of all worlds with bloggers getting a system that is very complex, small startups getting excessive costs as soon as any processing is involved, and enterprise getting a system that will likely fall out from under them in 5-10 years time.

[1] https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!topic...

2
flixic 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
They seem to twist the facts ever so slightly.

PHP is not "most popular computing language on the planet", it's the most popular web coding language; C is the most popular "computing" language, whatever that means.

And in linked article they make it seem that PhoneGap apps are more native than they are, "built-in PhoneGap integration so developers can publish native app packages to the various app stores".

Not factually wrong, but not very clear truth either.

3
markdown 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like this just for the fact that it means GAE is here to stay.

They're going hard on App Engine, and I'll take that as a win even for python-heads like me.

4
Sacha Chua: "How to Learn Emacs: A Hand-drawn One-pager for Beginners" sachachua.com
59 points by alexott  4 hours ago   39 comments top 9
1
benjaminwootton 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As I've moved to more polyglot programming (Java, Javascript, Node, Ruby) I've made a concerted effort to get back to Emacs after starting out there 10 years ago.

Using the same environment for all of my coding together with the tightly has been a massive increase in productivity for me. I've literally never been producing more on my side projects mainly due to this choice.

The reduced friction of using the same IDE on all of my different devices means that I can hit flow much faster, with the same shortcut keys, the same workflows, the same tools etc at my disposal regardless of what I'm building.

I prefer Emacs to VI mainly due to the tight shell integration. I'll always have a shell open where I'll be testing my code and running curl etc, keeping the feedback loop much tighter than it ever was in any IDE.

Picking up Emacs or VI is definetly worth the initial pain if you program in multiple languages.

2
masklinn 31 minutes ago 2 replies      
> If you're a developer or sysad... learn VIM

I really don't understand this mindset. You don't want to install Emacs on a server? Fine, install mg, it'll do 90% of what I need. If you whine about a 170k binary when a modern vi is 2MB I'll throttle you with a CAT5 cable.

3
throwaway1980 2 hours ago 8 replies      
I used to think the split between vim and emacs users was roughly 50/50, but reading posts here it seems more like 90/10. Why is it that people here prefer vim to emacs? I'm not asking why is vim better than emacs, but what is it about HN that means more vim users. Certainly in free software circles emacs is equally popular. Is it just a cultural thing where people tend to stick with what they first learned and what their coworkers are using?
4
drothlis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great "learn the terms" section. So many tutorials come with a hugeup-front wall of text explaining every possible term you could ever comeacross, when all you want is to get to the useful stuff!

The approach I took in my own guide to learning Emacs[1] was to mentionthose terms (like "C-x", "buffer", "frame", etc.) as if the readeralready knew them, but hyperlinked to a glossary.

The most important part of Sacha's diagram is the bottom left corner:"Learn how to learn more". Every Emacs expert will tell you about"C-h k" and "C-h f" etc, but few novices actually understand how muchyou should be using those self-documenting features. My guide focuseson this, for those with the patience to work through it. :-)

[1] http://david.rothlis.net/emacs/howtolearn.html

5
astrobe_ 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
Nice. However, I object to the "edit .emacs" part. I found out that most of the things that were in my .emacs could be set via M-x customize. I don't see the point of editing the configuration file instead of using the configuration interface, in particular when one addresses new users.
6
terhechte 2 hours ago 6 replies      
I love vim but for some tasks (Clojure, Scala) it seems emacs is the better option, so I've recently tried to switch over to emacs + evil for these tasks. However: While my MacVim (and terminal vim) looks quite beautiful these days, due to all these splendid plugins and color themes (powerline etc) that I installed, I have to say that emacs looks awful. I did search Github for nice Emacs configs that make it look more pleasant (just using Solarized doesn't cut it for me) but I couldn't find any.

Does anyone have tips for nice emacs configurations that make it look a lot more beautiful?

Edit: My current vim looks like this (opened random old files)http://appventure.me/vim.png

7
phektus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been using emacs for a couple of years now as my main editor, but I haven't gone past the 'casual' mode of usage - I haven't tinkered with the config file except for copy pasting stuff and never did try to create my own macros. I should try to incorporate that into my workflow very soon.

On a related note, Sacha's blog has been in my reading list since delving into 'serious' development mode six years ago. It also influenced me to try out emacs resulting to my love affair with it right now.

8
blumentopf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"M-x replace-string RET"

Try M-% instead.

9
lowglow 2 hours ago 0 replies      
@Techendo also has a how-to by Tim Jarratt on How-to Emacs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d_uf_Ddj-8
5
How do GameShark/GameGenie codes work? stackexchange.com
61 points by dhruvbhatia  5 hours ago   8 comments top 6
1
kanzure 5 hours ago 2 replies      
GameShark is how I first stumbled on to the internet. I was looking up "the codes". I was really upset when GameShark's UBB instance went dark. Years later, I returned to look at some favorites and found that I could easily use all these programming skills I've developed to directly hack games.

https://github.com/kanzure/pokecrystal

So things like "beat the Elite Four 16,383 times" turn out to be definitely false. Also "mash A to increase the chances of catching" is also unfortunately wrong.

But at least you can just directly look at the WRAM file to see where actual values are stored:

https://github.com/kanzure/pokecrystal/blob/master/wram.asm

These can easily be converted into the old school GB/GBC gameshark codes by prepending 01, then a two-digit hex value , then a little indian (reverse) two-byte address.

So if you wanted to hack level 80 with a GameShark code you would look up and find this:

    PartyMon1Level: ; dcfe        ds 1 ; just one byte
to come up with:

    0150FEDC
(0x50 because 0x50 == 80)

The GameShark was a really educational device. At first I didn't know what I was looking at, but then I realized it was giving me memory dumps and byte/address search tools. And then for some reason all of the subsequent devices after N64/GBC were just terrible, and I couldn't get an address searcher without a modchip?? No clue.

2
davbryn 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
I pretty much discovered programming by messing around with my Action Replay as a chid. I was probably 12 years old and my family were poor so we didn't have a computer. My big brother had a Dreamcast and this could be hooked up to our phone line (56K) to get online. I was allowed to do this one hour per week, on a Saturday if I'd been behaved that week. It was terrible: it locked up my mum's phone line so it was a strict hour, and it used to take forever to connect, so I'd get maybe 30 mins to try and load codejunkies.com and post my weekly discoveries to the forum. This was tricky as I had to type using the dreamcast controller and I wrote all my codes out on pen and paper (I had a whole book of my notes).

I remember one weekend I got to use the main TV and plugged in the dreamcast. Found the codejunkies forum and there were a bunch of people doing things that I had been doing. Some random names, I remember Dr Ian, FoxDie, SubDrag, Krusha... there were a load of people with strange names doing exactly the same things I'd been doing in the back room during the week.

I posted some of the codes I had figured out, nothing major at first: Adding a timer to any Goldeneye level, modifying the character's head/body. I checked back a week later and some of these 'big names' had commented on my codes! I was ecstatic :)

I looked forward to my weekly hour online and I used all my time on Action Replay/Gameshark sites. I even wrote a tutorial on N64 hacking (using a Dreamcast controller, it sucked).

I got to the stage where I could look at the Memory Editor on a page of Goldeneye and know exactly what part of code/data it was. I knew after a while that 3F80 somehow related to a default value, and if I made it larger things in the game would usually grow. I would change a value like this and them run around for ages until I saw something bigger. Didn't always work, but once it did I would look at the memory address for the 3F80 and do a search for that address.

This (I thought at the time) would be the place that knows about the object, so I would read the hexdump and follow anything that looked like an address in the editor, modifying the value at that address and seeing what it would change.

Somehow this ended up working out well (I had never used a computer for anything but Word an Excel at this stage) and I found I could replace objects, change their sizes, colour, physics... I could replace them with objects that were no longer in the game (suitcases in Goldeneye etc).

It was fun!

Once I was comfortable with it I started looking for the big prizes. Things I would see on my weekly journey to the forums that people wanted. Connery Bond was a big one. There were rumours that you could play as the other bonds.

So I figured I would find him. I figured that since you pause the game in Goldeneye and see the arm + watch, Connery would have a white arm. So I took some time tracking the seconds hand on the watch and travelled up the memory addresses until I found a value that was near a 3F80. I switched it, paused the game and had a white suit!! Amazing!

I ended up quite with an intimate knowledge of the Goldeneye hex dumps. I found a weird level that I could load, providing I emptied it of objects and props. So I found a way to stop the game from loading anything other than level data and I could briefly see a strange silver ramp level with blue skies, but I would fall and die immediately. I later discovered that this was the Citadel level and some other clever guys managed to make it playable :)

The thing that ended for me though, was my biggest hack ever...

I read a cheat book (I collected N64 magazine) that said Banjo and Kazooie had many more cheats than released while lying on my bed. I figured that I knew a couple of the codes (you entered them in a floor of a sandcastle, but it was basically a keyboard), so if I entered a code and did a memory dump after each letter I could home in on the counter that was checking them.

So I hit take a mem dump, hit a letter, mem dump search for values greater than lat and repeat.

Found it.

Then I search for the memory address at that pointer and find something pointing at it. Repeating this I find a whole bunch of crappy values with 00 between them.

Deciding that these were the codes, but encrypted (:-|) I wrote them all down on paper, all 60ish and took them to the front room. From the codes that were released I could figure out the majority of the letters: A was 65, E was 69 etc so I went through filling those out. I gave my mum and dad a few pages each and (love them) they sat there and filled out the missing letters.

An hour later I had every code for that game in my lap :)

I waited a few days for internet access and used the entire hour typing them into an email that I sent to Official Nintendo Magazine, GamesMaster and N64 magazine (my favourite).

Next week I checked online and Nintendo Magazine got back to me asking where I found the codes. They later published a full cheat book with them (without credit) and credited me for a really crap cheat in the main magazine. I didn't care - they sent me WWF No Mercy for free (big deal for a poor kid) and my name was in a magazine!

I was walking home a few weeks later and saw N64 Magazine in the newsagents. Cover had Banjo and Kazooie on it - NEW CHEATS REVEALED: GET THE ICE KEY AND MORE...

Holy shit!

I couldn't afford it but I ran in and flicked through the pages to look for my name. This was epic!

Except it wasn't. Turned out some other hackers had found the codes at the same time and they had their name in my favourite magazine. I was gutted.

Two weeks later my parents couldn't afford the phone line and my brother sold his Dreamcast.

It was a fun time, and looking back at it now wit a computer science degree I can't help but smile.

I only wish I knew what ASCII was before me and my parents used frequency analysis to crack it haha!

3
djhworld 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is cool.

I'm currently writing an emulator for the gameboy (as an educational exercise) and I can definitely understand how this would work

4
sordina 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The wikipedia article for GameShark is pretty lean. I'm sure someone experienced in this subject could contribute a great deal of information.
5
hdra 4 hours ago 0 replies      
ahh,,, good ol' cheating... trying to cheat in computer games was how i got into programming. it all began with simple memory editing, then learned c++ to write some trainers, then got into disassembler and play around more.

one of the good thing growing up without a game console i guess,,

6
quackerhacker 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool explanation...it's like a physical mitm attack (lol).

Ahhh the good ol' days when games were physically held and you had to blow the *ish out of them to make em' work.

6
Copyright of pulsar image (famous Joy Division album) adamcap.com
49 points by bravura  6 hours ago   11 comments top 8
1
Luyt 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
I once wrote a program in BASIC (on my C64) which would make such a display (it's straightforward). I lost that program, but recreated a lookalike in Python:

                        --                   --                     ---                       ---   ------------------                             -------------                       --------------------------          -------------   ------------------     -------------   -------            ----   -              -------           -              --------   -    -                    -------   -----------          -      --------                   -----                   -----       -       ---------           --------    -        -               --------   --------     -------          -----------            -------      ----------             -------        -----------   ---               -     --       -------            --------                    -    --         --     -                   -   --          -        -   ----------------  --           -          ------------------                  ---            -            -   ---------------              -              ----------------                               -                -                       -----------------         --   --------------------      ------     ------     ------------           ------           -      --         ------   --------            -----       ----             -----------                -------  -       --   -------          ------        -       -       -    -------   -------            --       -         --         -----------                    --        -            -   -----------------        --              -------------------                           -      -----      --                         --     --     --      --   -----------------------------         --      --------------    -----------               -           -----------   -                        --              -        ----------                          --                 --                        --                     --   ---------------------                         --------------
heuh... it looks a bit horrible in ASCII art ;-)

    import random    import math    canvh = 40    canvw = 60    tracecount = 16    canvas = [[' ' for col in xrange(canvw)] for row in xrange(canvh)]    def randomtrace():        sigma = random.uniform(4, 20)        mu = random.gauss(canvw/2, canvw/20)        k = canvw / (sigma * math.sqrt(2*math.pi))        s = -1.0 / (2 * sigma * sigma)        amp = 2.0        tr = [amp * k * math.exp(s * (x - mu)*(x - mu)) for x in xrange(canvw)]        # TODO: Random permutations, or Perlin noise.        return tr    for t in range(tracecount):        if t == 0 or t == tracecount - 1:             continue        y = t * canvh / tracecount        trace = randomtrace()        for x, t in enumerate(trace):            t = int(t)            top = y - t            if top >= 0:                canvas[top][x] = '-'            for i in range(t):                top += 1                if top >= 0:                    canvas[top][x] = ' '    for row in canvas:        line = "".join(row)        print "  ", line

2
laumars 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That was a long blog which essentially would have been pretty common knowledge for most Joy Division fans and/or people interested in astrophysics. And because of that I think the author missed out on raising a bigger and more interesting discussion: (I'll quote one of the comments on his site as that phrases is things rather well)

Interesting, but the article misses the point in all kinds of ways. It was common knowledge (at least, to those familiar with Joy Division and Saville's work) that the image itself was appropriated from an original that was in the public domain. The interesting point here is not copyright, but the way in which an image can come to represent a concept such that it gains new meaning. When the intended audience sees this, they think, "Joy Division", not "pulsar". Hence, when you copy the image by way of Saville, you are appropriating the association that he has established. So, this isn't about stealing images, it's about riding on the coat-tails of a talented designer who managed to create a strong brand.

A proper understanding of what's going on here makes this sentiment: "If you ever want to use the image for your own personal benefit, just make sure its clear you have no connection with Joy Division, Peter Saville, etc" pretty shiesty.

3
adsr 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I have always thought that image was from a Fairlight waveform display.

http://machinesdontcare.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/fairligh...http://myblogitsfullofstars.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/fl2x...

4
stuartd 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was in MOMA in Glasgow a few years ago - back when it used to have cool stuff - and there was an installation in the basement, part of which was a running turntable with the needle stuck in the locked groove at the end. The record was - of course - Unknown Pleasures, and in a pleasing symmetry I was wearing my T-Shirt with the pulsar image on it.
5
DanBC 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So, now the author has a rough idea about the copyright status of the image. I want to know if the record companies agree.

I'd love to see the t-shirt produced, and the reaction from the record companies.

6
raverbashing 2 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing I can't understand from this image

Apparently it was done with some sort of oscillograph.

So how come the peaks hide the drawings behind it?

Ok, thinking about this, if the drawing is done all at the same time, (like a signal FFT from the 60's) then the lower drawing device hits the upper drawing device (if the signal is bigger) hence making both trace the same thing.

7
nhebb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I would have guessed it was a mountain range from an LoTR map, e.g. http://www.lord-of-the-rings.org/collections/maps/map6%5B1%5...
8
glomph 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
No one on here has access to nature.com? It seems like my university stopped paying for it, otherwise I would have checked.
7
NixOS - Declarative configuration OS nixos.org
165 points by wamatt  12 hours ago   51 comments top 14
1
binarycrusader 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the ideas seen in NixOS can also be seen in the Image Packaging System (Atomic Upgrades, Reliable Upgrades) project: https://java.net/projects/ips/pages/Home

Disclaimer: I'm also one of the IPS authors, so I agree with some of NixOS' ideas :-)

2
foohbarbaz 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a move in the right direction:

===On NixOS, you do not need to be root to install software. In addition to the system-wide profile (set of installed packages), all user have their own profile in which they can install packages. Nix allows multiple versions of a package to coexist, so different users can have different versions of the same package installed in their respective profiles. If two users install the same version of a package, only one copy will be built or downloaded, and Nixs security model ensures that this is secure. Users cannot install setuid binaries.===

Requirement to be administrator to install software is the root of all evils in managing OS.

As far as keeping everything in a special location (/nix or whatever), this reminds me SCO OpenServer 5: they had all the files somewhere in /var; /bin, /sbin and everything else were just symlinks. It did not work all that well.

3
noonespecial 7 hours ago 1 reply      
We seem to be heading for a future where every application is run in a virtualized OS, configured and launched on demand.
4
laurentoget 9 hours ago 0 replies      
http://audio-video.gnu.org/video/ghm2009/ghm2009-dolstra-lar...

this talk by Eelco is a good introduction for hacker types. And the motivation is at the beginning of the talk.

5
ztzg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
For those with a penchant for parentheses, there is also GNU Guix, which just had a second alpha release:

http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-guix/2013-05/msg00034....

It shares concepts and some bits with NixOS, but replaces the configuration language with Guile, an implementation of Scheme.

6
yowmamasita 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This "Multi-user package management" is a really neat feature, I wonder if there are other distro's having that.
7
GigabyteCoin 8 hours ago 3 replies      
After playing around with Arch for the last few weeks, this is incredibly interesting to myself.

Does anybody have any experience/testaments to post about this OS?

8
topbanana 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not a Linux expert, but it seems some dependency issues won't be resolved by this e.g. Glibc conflicts. Or would it?
9
oakaz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
That's exactly what the Linux community needs: abstractions made for people who want to save time.
10
qznc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Rhe Red Hat/Fedora package manager yum also provides a rollback mechanidm. No user installation, though.
11
subprotocol 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting, sounds like puppet/chef at the OS level.
12
durbatuluk 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried this distro 2 times since I heard of this rootless package administration. I give up because of poor documentation in both situations.I would love to see this approach in arch or gentoo (without the butthurt of slots)
13
denysonique 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting, how is it different from Gentoo Linux?
14
mbell 9 hours ago 3 replies      
What linux needs is another package manager...
8
Bright Explosion on the Moon nasa.gov
237 points by ColinWright  16 hours ago   53 comments top 12
1
motoford 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I saw this once. It was quite a few years back, through my 8" dob in my front yard. I saw a flash and couldn't imagine what it could have been except an impact.

After some research online that night I began to doubt myself, most people concluded it was too rare and would not be visible.

The next day I saw someone asking in a newsgroup about the mysterious flash he had seen the night before while observing the moon through his telescope. Again, the general consensus was that he couldn't have seen an impact, it was too rare and would not be visible.

I checked with him and we both saw the flash at the same time.

I also saw a satellite transit the moon once with that same telescope, it was so cool.

And to think I don't even pull it out anymore. Sad....

2
pydanny 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Just wanted to say that I helped build this site. It's 2009/2010-era Django site built on feincms with a PostgreSQL backend.

Originally it was a Plone site but after a year we realized it was too hard to meet the deadlines of NASA VIPs. So we moved it to Django. Also, myself and the other developers have NEVER been happy with the flash on the front page. :P

3
rkaplan 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I found the footnote particularly interesting:

"The Moon has no oxygen atmosphere, so how can something explode? Lunar meteors don't require oxygen or combustion to make themselves visible. They hit the ground with so much kinetic energy that even a pebble can make a crater several feet wide. The flash of light comes not from combustion but rather from the thermal glow of molten rock and hot vapors at the impact site."

4
fractallyte 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Back in 1982, I saw a very bright flash on the Moon - naked eye! It was early Sunday morning (5.22 am) on July 18th.

To this day, I'm not sure what caused it, and I've always eagerly followed up on any reports of 'transient Lunar phenomena', or, as in this instance, 'bright explosions'.

I once spoke to Patrick Moore about it, with a full description (I remember him asking if it was summer time - yes, it was). He was similarly intrigued, and promised to look into it, but I never managed to follow up...

5
scottshea 15 hours ago 2 replies      
And that ladies and gentlemen is why having an atmosphere is a very good thing.
6
WA 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In the video on the website:

  Date: US date format  Weight: metric  Size: metric  Speed: imperial  Explosion: metric
Consistency is key.

7
chiph 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the guidance about how deep you have to bury a moon base to be safe just got revised.

Cosmic rays? Nope - it's the meteors you really have to watch out for.

8
Zimahl 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Can someone explain to me why this would be bright? I understand that this should send up a fair amount of ejecta but wouldn't most of the light be just from a reflection of the sun off of the particles?

If so, this isn't much of an explosion - it's just the most significant impact we've seen so far. I guess explosion is more interesting to the every-man.

9
lifeisstillgood 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The Moon - it's like have BatWings of steel to protect us from evil.
10
WalterBright 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Soon, there will be Brights everywhere!
11
yutyut 14 hours ago 2 replies      
It's remarkable to me that someone peering up at the moon right when this struck could have noticed the flash.
12
alexmcroberts 14 hours ago 1 reply      
oh gawd, transformers has started...
9
Reddits Pitch deck to Advertisers slideshare.net
120 points by muratmutlu  11 hours ago   75 comments top 20
1
jcampbell1 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I buy a decent about of ads ($xxK) for my own bootstrapped company, and Reddit offers communities that are ideal for us. However, as a Reddit user, I am completely terrified of running ads on Reddit. The problem with Reddit is that the users are taste makers of the internet, thus if they respond negatively to your marketing, you will be irrevocably fucked. If reddit users get tired of seeing your ad, then god help you because they will probably "1 star" you on the whole damn internet.

I like Reddit, and I wish they had a way to do some sort of sponsorship. If I advertise on Reddit, it damn sure better come across as me supporting the site, not me annoying their users.

2
Maxious 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Slide 10 "Take over a subreddit" is interesting. "Lets you include brand messaging, customised layouts and background colors".

I wonder how r/HailCorporate (a subreddit that outs PR companies that spam and manipulate reddit) would feel about their layout being changed.

3
salimmadjd 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing but please clean the URL so it that doesn't credit a different site for referral URL (?ref=http://www.digiday.com/platforms/reddits-pitch-to-advertiser...)

http://www.slideshare.net/MikeCole1/reddit-secret-planforwor...

4
iuguy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We looked into Reddit a while back for advertising. The two main problems we encountered were that much of reddit is the wrong sort of traffic - people that don't convert, people that expect something for nothing and get upset (and vocal) when it doesn't happen and so on.

In order to run a successful campaign on reddit it seems you need to engage with the community in the subreddits you're targeting, but engaging with that community can be done without advertising, so the benefit of advertising is somewhat diminished.

5
kybernetyk 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Do they offer advertising for international advertisers yet? Because last time I checked you absolutely needed a US credit card. (I'm from Germany.)
6
zipop 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I wish it wasn't the case but sadly reddit does not deliver for advertisers. Any good pitch deck would include testimonials and case studies. Those ads on slide 8 with thousands of comments are run many, many months if not longer to collect all those comments. The comments I've received on my Reddit ads are a litany of haters. Why advertise to people not willing to support their advertisers and spend money? Not in every case but I have to believe by and large this is true. I will say for their pitch deck, they are representing their cat loving constituent well. So there's that.
7
staunch 10 hours ago 3 replies      
They're playing up the subreddits, but the truth is that there are very few truly popular subreddits (that aren't default ones or NSFW). If they could just figure out how to grow a bunch more subreddits they could make so much more money.

Plus, it'd make the site a whole lot better for users if the site's traffic was spread out across more interesting topics.

8
Ologn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The main thing I advertise is my Android apps. When I advertise on places like Google or Twitter, I can target only people using an Android device. I can then further fine tune it to people who are searching for certain words (Google) or who are searching/tweeting certain words (Twitter).

Reddit does not have this type of targeting by platform. I'm not sure why that is. It would probably take me about 24 hours to write an MVP script that would serve a different ad dependent on platforms. I would certainly at least try them out if they allowed targeting by platform like the major advertising networks do. And if I tried them out and I seemed to be getting a decent ROI, why wouldn't I keep using them?

9
thenomad 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The biggest problem with Reddit advertising currently is the pricing. Even if you're advertising on a large subreddit - the only way to target your ads, really - it tends to work out rather expensive for what you're getting. Obviously some people are making it work, and it's probably cheaper on the really large subreddits.

The reason for this is their odd "pay per day" system, which has a $30 minimum.

However, they're moving to a CPM system soon, I'm told, which will make Reddit a very interesting ad opportunity.

10
frakkingcylons 9 hours ago 2 replies      
It's too bad there isn't more substance in the slides. At this point, Reddit's current system of advertising works well for few other than those posting Amazon links with affiliate tags and a link-bait title. If you're going to even think of advertising on Reddit, it works best when you advertise on highly-relevant subreddits with either at least 50K subscribers or one with a very tight-knit community (like many of the city subreddits). Be straightforward and don't use much marketing fluff in the title otherwise you can expect to get some negative comments from hypercritical Redditors.
11
rscale 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is far more effective than the collateral I saw from them 2 or 3 years ago. Glad to see they're making a more serious attempt to monetize.

I don't quite understand the constraints on the branded subreddits. That seems like it could be effective if done carefully and disastrous if done bluntly.

12
zacmartin 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I work in a media agency and would love to sell in Reddit to my clients but if you've ever tried to use it as an advertiser it's an extremely poor offering. Sadly, this sales deck does nothing to change my perception.
13
QuantumGood 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Front Page of the Internet" is used as a frequent source by many profitable blogs. Reddit could just start their own, using itself as a source like so many others do.
14
searchergss 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Expected more from the Reddit deck than that. But, hey, that's an unreasonable expectation?
15
cm2012 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have noticed that for many new ads (not mine) you cant avoid cynical anti corporate comments.
16
getglue 9 hours ago 3 replies      
The problem with Reddit Ads is the average Reddit user leaves your site within the first couple of seconds.
17
archagon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Uh, do the slides shrink with every click for anyone else?
18
bowmessage 11 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm not quite sure the kitten with lightning coming out of its eyes is going to appeal to the major brand owners...
19
rpgmaker 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So can people now stop saying that twitter+facebook killed digg?
20
efesak 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah but still ignoring international customers.
10
AngularJS Cheat Sheet cheatography.com
64 points by olalonde  7 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
garysweaver 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great to have stuff like this! If Dean is reading, one suggestion might be to add the version(s) of AngularJS it is describing at the top rather than just the last modified date at the bottom of the doc.
2
lukifer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is incredibly useful. Thanks!
3
FrejNorling 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks! Very useful.
11
Show HN: HTMLify - Turn code snippets into HTML, for tech bloggers htmlify.net
17 points by Nurdok  2 hours ago   14 comments top 5
1
arb99 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Was expecting full html markup with colours etc like in most IDEs. maybe add that as a optional feature? http://qbnz.com/highlighter/ or similar library might help there.

This seems like a slightly extended htmlentities(nl2br($input)) (if done in php). handy in those times you need stuff converted so it'll output the same way as what you are pasting in.

2
oakaz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
no colors?

I would just prefer to wrap my code with <pre></pre> instead of using a whitespace generator which makes pain in the ass to make modifications on the code.

3
borplk 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
Does it just wrap your code in pre and code tags or am I missing something?
4
Perrydu 1 hour ago 2 replies      
If you write blog posts in markdown, it's useless.
5
kranner 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Great, but I'd like to see a preview of the output on that page.
12
Would you use PhoneGap again? grobmeier.de
10 points by grobmeier  2 hours ago   9 comments top 6
1
peteforde 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Irony: the author's blog renders poorly on mobile Safari, due to unfortunate floating interface elements.
2
smanuel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using PhoneGap and I'll use it again.

Yes, a PhoneGap app may never run as smoothly as a native app but I'm not ready to sacrifice the advantages that PhoneGap approach brings:

- Using HTML/JS/CSS for all platforms- I can strip all PhoneGap related calls from my app and have a mobile web app (which can run as a full screen web app)

And there're various tips and tricks to help you achieve almost native experience with PG (http://coenraets.org/blog/2013/05/top-10-performance-techniq...).

Imagine doing this in:- ObjectiveC for iOS- Java for Andriod- C# for WP- HTML/JS/CSS for having a mobile web app

Sacrificing some performance suddenly starts making sense.

3
kayoone 1 hour ago 2 replies      
instead of relying on HTML5 as your base tech stack for mobile apps i am much more a fan of approaches like xamarin (http://xamarin.com/)

Basically you write the core of your app in C# and then use the bindings to the native SDKs of iOS, Android, WP to build real native UIs on top of it. Its a bit more work and you need to learn C# (which is awesome) but imo its an optimal compromise between speed of development/maintainability and the resulting user experience.

4
Egregore 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
The best experience in developing cross platform games I had with Haxe+Nme, the aproach works and the speed is native. Also it's free and open source.
5
bdfh42 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yes - I ran a trial a while back to see just how difficult it would be to get a common HTML/CSS/JavaScript set to work across iOS and Android browser variants for a non trivial graphical app. [It was quite difficult - much simpler to write 2 variants - but that was why I ran the trial]. Using PhoneGap the trial app is doing well as a free download in the Google Play Store and the Apple AppStore.
6
mackon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That's why Titanium rocks - one cross-platform codebase in JS, native UI controls, no interface lags.
13
Contactless 'charging errors' at Marks and Spencer bbc.co.uk
20 points by makomk  4 hours ago   24 comments top 4
1
onemorepassword 4 hours ago 6 replies      
The utter lack of control on the part of the customer, having neither an approval step nor the ability to switch the card off seems to me to be a fundamental flaw in this payment method.

This system was pretty much designed to be abused.

2
femto 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps a microwave oven can fry the input stage to the radio receiver, which presumably has an antenna hanging off it and so is more susceptible to damage, whilst leaving the rest of the chip intact? Anyone tried this?
3
octatone2 3 hours ago 2 replies      
So with a contactless card a thief simply has to have the card - there's no chance a teller will check for matching signatures (not that most tellers do this in the US, though I have noticed in Germany tellers are more likely to). Who wanted these?
4
tomdeakin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
From the commentary on the news today, it seems that people inadvertently held another card (maybe in a wallet) too close to the reader whilst trying to use Chip and Pin with another card.
14
Clojure Debugging: Emacs, nREPL, and Ritz ianeslick.com
60 points by llambda  9 hours ago   1 comment top
1
mark_l_watson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great write up. I use IntelliJ for most of my Clojure dev work, but I do like nREPL and I am using Ian's setup notes to improve my setup. BTW, I started using Clojure years ago because of Ian's influence - that is what I used on his projects. I used to be firmly in the Common Lisp camp (and used to use Ian's Elephant CLOS database wrapper) but I have mostly stopped using Common Lisp and Scheme in favor of Clojure.
15
CSRF Tool homakov.blogspot.ru
3 points by homakov  35 minutes ago   discuss
16
MacBook Air supplies dwindle ahead of WWDC, Intel CPU refresh arstechnica.com
18 points by Libertatea  4 hours ago   15 comments top 5
1
cstross 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
A month ago, I idly looked up BTO prices on store.apple.com/uk/ (I'm British) as part of my annual "I wonder where the sweet spot's moved to" check.

13" Retina Probook with 2.5GHz i7 processor, 8Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD, costs ~ 1650.

13" Airbook with 2.0GHz i7 processor, 8Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD, costs ~ 1600.

So for an extra 50, you can go from the Airbook to the 13" Retina Probook. You gain a vastly better display and 20% faster CPU, in return for a 300 gram weight penalty.

My reading of this is that the 13" rMBP has massively eroded the value proposition of the high-end 13" Airbook. So either the 13" Airbook price is going to have to come down significantly, or the spec is going to have to rise, or both. (Something like a 2.5GHz Haswell CPU and a 50-100 price cut would begin to make it appealing again.)

2
lukifer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If they do this, the GPU will be bundled as part of the LCD. It's the Apple Way. (I'll be disappointed too.)
3
cpswan 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I can live without Retina.I can live within 512GB SSD.But I really need 16GB RAM... fingers crossed.

Haswell demos at IDF last year were pretty awesome, so I think longer battery life at the same travel weight (and better overall performance) is pretty much a given.

4
Keyframe 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm still good with my mid-2011 model, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 13"... Old adage of updating Macs every 3 years still holds I guess.
5
ameen 3 hours ago 3 replies      
While it's no surprise that a new MacBook Air might be around the corner, Apple could still better itself - Retina for Air, higher reliable/capacity SSDs, Longer battery life, etc.

I wonder if OS X itself would be tweaked a bit to facilitate enhanced power efficiency. An Air with long(er) battery life + Retina + decent crunching power could potentially threaten the "Ultrabook" segment.

17
Cards Against Humanity has made more than $12 million chicagogrid.com
252 points by lenkendall  20 hours ago   151 comments top 22
1
fsckin 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I gave CAH (and expansion packs) as stocking stuffers for xmas and they were extremely well received.

What they say on the tin is true -- you feel like a horrible person when you play the game, which is extremely cathartic.

Hell, they even did a pay what you want for a small package of Christmas themed cards and pretty sure they pulled a 70k profit from that maneuver, despite ~25% percent paying $0.

Their average credit card fee was $0.43 per transaction. Ouch!

http://www.cardsagainsthumanity.com/holidaystats/

2
nbashaw 17 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the founders says the article's financial speculation is "wildly incorrect"

https://twitter.com/MaxTemkin/status/335124440469876737

3
Cyranix 16 hours ago 2 replies      
If you manage to get a copy of Apples to Apples, Disney Edition (not sure if that's the real title) then you can play the mashup I was exposed to several weeks ago: Cards Against Disney. Everyone has a hand with cards from both games; a prompt is drawn from one game and answered with cards from the other game, alternating each turn. Much silliness ensues.
4
replicatorblog 18 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not often discussed, but 20% of Kickstarter's top 20 projects are board games. The Pebble and Ouya skew the average, but D&D style games with little plastic figurines clean up with multiple games clearing $2MM or more.

http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2013/05/15415-ranked-31-mill...

5
mhartl 17 hours ago 3 replies      
The success of Cards Against Humanity is evidence of massive demand, and yet all they have protecting them is their brandunlike, say, craigslist, whose unwillingness to innovate is legendary but whose business benefits from massive network effects. As a result, the (apparent) apathy of the Cards Against Humanity founders offers an opportunity: copy their basic idea, for which they have no protection, and structure your new venture as a real business with full-time efforts devoted to growing sales. You could even one-up them by dropping the non-commercial clause in the Creative Commons license, allowing potential partners to profit and thereby grow your brand further.

The Cards Against Humanity guys are leaving money on the table. Who's going to pick it up?

6
evan_ 19 hours ago 9 replies      
Is this just Apples to Apples except all the cards are Family Guy jokes?
7
obviouslygreen 19 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome, but not creating a corporate structure at all and just letting who does and gets what go organically is a really bad idea. It's nice that it's worked for them so far, but if they continue to succeed -- and I hope they do, I love what they've done -- they're very likely to find out that money does matter and does change things.
8
mdisraeli 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I was first introduced to this as Thousand White Cards Against Humanity, wherein instead of drawing from the deck or playing a card, you could take a blank and write in a new card. Compared to that, the boxed version just seems crass and unimaginative.

On the other hand, I'm normally the one to introduce groups to Apples To Apples. Those who claim this more tame version of the concept isn't fun are missing the real joy - how a limited set of choices forces surreality, playing for the person, and twisted readings of the cards.

Of course, if you're playing any of these as straight-up "this one wins", you are missing the incredible joy of "hamburgers smell, but only the bad ones are fragrant. Hilter probably was fragrant, but I doubt anyone lived to tell the tale. My birthday, however, boy was that fragrant...". The verdict slow-descriptive-reveal as the judge is the real art, and where you learn the most about people

9
gsibble 18 hours ago 6 replies      
I love CaH but I do have to say that the founders are full of themselves. I and several other friends/entrepreneurs have reached out to them regarding ideas to build associated products that would help build their brand. Even companion apps and such since their content is under Creative Commons. Every single one of us was sent back extremely rude and vile replies. This article just reeks of more narcissism.

It's a real shame too. It will go out of style in a year or two and, gasp, maybe these people will have to get real jobs or start a real company! Assholes.

10
mikeurbanski 18 hours ago 2 replies      
We're doing the same thing. Our team is located in NYC, London, and Aurora, IL.

We launched our little meta-board gaming company at http://susd.pretend-money.com a little over 1.5 months ago. And we're already profitable!

We made a conscious decision to forego taking money from advertisers/investors, and even dodged a pre-launch acquihire offer, in an attempt to create something that's 100% our vision (unless YC wanted to fund us.) Our plan is to grow slowly, keep up the quality, and use the money that we're making from the show/blog/podcast to fund even more ambitious community/tech projects.

AND!

Board Games are Big Business!

Board/card/traditional gaming (whatever you want to call it) has been exploding in America over the last 10 years or so. It taps into that primal need for people to sit around together and ACTUALLY interact with each other.

We're in a bit of a "Golden Age of Board Gaming". Quinns gave a hilarious talk on the subject: http://susd.pretend-money.com/videos/v/board-game-golden-age...

11
jamieb 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Says wikipedia: The Onion AV Club interview calls the game "a sort of Apples To Apples for the crass and jaded."

i.e. perfect for parents =)

12
not_that_noob 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The less travelled path - figuring out how to do it with fewer people so you can stay in control. Kudos to them for thinking for themselves.

Quote: 'And its dawning on them that theyre doing something impressive. Were doing a lot of stuff that no one has done before, Hantoot reflects. I do think were sort of proof that if you streamlined your business enough, you could do a big thing with a few people.'

13
ghempton 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps this is the perfect time to shamelessly self-promote a side project: https://deckepic.com is a Facebook-driven dynamic CAH card generator.
14
michaelhoffman 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that they blank out the MICR routing number at the bottom or the check but leave enough information elsewhere in the check to trivially figure it out.
15
Kiro 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't understand what's so good about this game. What am I missing? I don't find the example cards funny at all.
16
mnicole 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is super janky (sorry if anyone here made it), but there's an online version here -- http://pyz.socialgamer.net/game.jsp
17
smmnyc 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The $12 million figure isn't confirmed. Just the author speculating based on reported sales figures and "made" doesn't account for the cost of producing the game.
18
mrbill 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I've given away 10-12 complete CAH sets to friends. Not a single person has said "oh that game is boring", and more than one of them has come back later and told me it was their favorite birthday/Christmas present, etc.

It's also a great way to judge if you'll get along with someone.

19
goloxc 18 hours ago 0 replies      
ever talked with open-mic stand-ups about why some jokes are funny?

love it when a business professor analyzes why something like this game is so successful

20
tedchs 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Online Cards Against Humanity quote generator: http://scriptagainsthumanity.appspot.com/
21
michaelochurch 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Whatever replaces VC-istan and generates the next wave of great businesses is going to be built by guys like this.

Also, it'll probably happen in the Midwest. Chicago, Austin, Madison, and Minneapolis are among the cities to watch.

22
benatkin 19 hours ago 4 replies      
How does that compare to the amount of money Minecraft has made?
18
Ask HN: What's 'Due Diligence' when vetting co-founders?
18 points by cdvonstinkpot  2 hours ago   8 comments top 8
1
ericabiz 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can quickly tell you why you've had 0 luck finding a co-founder.

My background: I am both a web hosting industry veteran, with a successful high-end hosting company under my belt (see http://www.erica.biz/2009/the-end-of-an-era/ for my story)...and my current co-founder and I also did a presentation at SXSW this year on "How to Find the Perfect Co-Founder."

You've made 2 classic mistakes here:

1) You haven't started building the business without your co-founder.

There is absolutely 0 reason why you need a developer co-founder to build what is essentially a high-end hosting company. Put up a WordPress site, set up a Stripe account, collect payment (3 months in advance for new customers will help you buy the server) and you're in business. This is EXACTLY what I did when I started my hosting company. There are many options available to lease high-end hardware (I'm not talking about leasing hosting; I'm talking about leasing the hardware and colocating it) and there's no reason for you to not build and prove out this business.

2) You are looking for a co-founder and not a particular skill set. When my co-founder of my current startup and I met in June 2010, I wasn't looking for a co-founder; I was looking for a developer. We worked together for several months and I paid him to develop the site and back-end for our customers. We signed our first customers and only then did I offer him a co-founder position with equity. But I paid him the entire time.

Can't afford to pay someone? See my first piece of advice. You don't need anyone else. When I built my hosting company in 2001, I had just started to learn how to write code. I taught myself PHP, wrote my own shopping cart, set up an integration with Payflow Link (now owned by Paypal), and I was in business. You need to do the same thing here.

The bottom line is that no one wants equity in an idea. You have to prove the model. Things like WordPress themes and Stripe make it easy to do so, so anyone even remotely technical who doesn't do that doesn't appear to be serious about the business. (I'm not making a judgment call here, but that is the perception when you don't even have a simple website with products for sale and a checkout process before looking for a co-founder.)

On top of that, the hosting industry is exceedingly difficult (I've written about it on my blog at http://erica.biz extensively) and you're really going to have to prove that you have something awesome and different to succeed in that business.

Think you've got it? Here's the challenge: Get a site up with a checkout process in the next 24 hours. When the first order comes in, put that server on a credit card and deliver to the customer. Then repeat 100x more in the next 6-12 months. You may find you don't need a co-founder, or you may find your business idea was wrong. Either way, you won't be banging your head against the wall saying things like "I can't move forward without a co-founder!"--you will have taken control of your business and moved forward to prove the idea with the skills you have right now.

2
ryanSrich 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Honestly I find it awkward and unnatural to search for a co-founder. It's comparable to searching for a wife. Well...you kind of need a girlfriend first. Put another way, hire a web developer, which honestly it doesn't even look like you need yet, grow a relationship with that person(s) and work them into a co-founding position if the opportunity presents itself. From reading the info you've posted I'm really confused as to why you need a co-founding web developer so bad that you've yet to put anything on the web. That may be deterring people away.
3
vicbrooker 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
'I don't want to partner up with the wrong person.'

This runs both ways. You need to prove to all your potential cofounders that you're the right person to partner with too. They will want to know that you're qualified and interested

Do your ads explain exactly what skills you bring to the startup? Can you show any validation? Have you already found people who would be willing to pay for your idea once it's built?

You haven't mentioned exactly what your idea is (and keep in mind it will probably/definitely change as your startup grows) but if it's possible to start finding customers with a solution that requires little or no technology then absolutely do that. In other words, try to find a way to run it yourself.

This will either prove your idea has merit, and will make it easier built a team around, or it will let you weed out any gaps in your business model until it does. It's better to find problems before everything is complicated by having two personalities to manage.

4
bdfh42 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Clearly you will want to validate their skill set - this may mean acting like an employer about to recruit a new employee before offering to partner.

You might also need to check that their history will not be a problem when you come to raise finance. Are they an undischarged bankrupt for instance (in the UK - are they disqualified from acting as a company director).

Then it is all down to - can you work with this person? Plus, is this person likely to represent the business well in their selected role?

5
abeh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've thought about this lately, and think that a trial period would be best, with both parties clear that it is a trial period for each other.
6
jabbernotty 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Be sure to ask those that have at one point communicated with you, why they lost interest.
7
ExpiredLink 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Your business model may not viable.
8
pk13 1 hour ago 0 replies      
But I know the act of finding a good co-founder is akin to marriage

would you marry someone who responded to an ad on some website?

19
Kevin Rose interviews Elon Musk [video] foundation.bz
54 points by beniaminmincu  9 hours ago   9 comments top 5
1
undershirt 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I've heard him say this in multiple interviews, so here it is for posterity. He shares these principles:

1. Seek out negative feedback. Ask your friends NOT to tell you what they like about your product, but rather what they don't like. Underweight positive feedback, and overweight the negative.

2. Reason from first principles rather than by analogy. It's easier to compare a situation or a problem to something similar to it and be satisfied by the analogy. It's much harder to actually think and reason about it logically as you would a physics problem.

2
kiba 8 hours ago 1 reply      
For those who needs transcript for the video:

http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/foundation-20-elon-musk-2...

Also, don't forget to check out the rest of the site for more Elon Musk transcripts.

3
dandrews 9 hours ago 0 replies      
4
vidyesh 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a lot more going in at Foundationhttp://www.googleventures.com/foundation
5
tagabek 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This particular interview is actually quite old (not that it isn't still incredibly fascinating). The Foundation series has been going on for a long while, and Kevin has created 30 interviews with outstanding people.

If you have some time to spare, each interview is worth a watch: http://foundation.bz/

20
Tumblr May Reject Yahoos $1.1B Acquisition Offer For Being Too Low techcrunch.com
38 points by fjw  8 hours ago   28 comments top 17
1
neya 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Here's my perspective as a hardcore tumblr user -

Tumblr is a good example of an 'uncontrolled platform'. What started as a beautiful blogging platform, has now turned into a junkyard of cat memes, 'blurr-photo-in-the-background' quotes and animated GIF thumbnails of movie snapshots and softcore pornography. Of course your feed depends on what/who you subscribe to..but due to the nature of Tumblr's platform, even the best blogs sometimes reblog either of the junk above, which makes the platform very painful to use. Sometimes, it takes upto 5 whole minutes to load the entire dashboard. Also tumblr has a terrible UX implementation site-wide (Example - if you want to enable the ability of your followers to answer your post, it's title should end with a question mark, after which a tiny checkbox will pop-up from no-where which you can then click to enable answers.)

In my opinion, $1.1 Billion is a really good deal for a trashcan full of 99% animated cat GIFs and 1% decent content. Rejecting it could be a bad idea as far as I know. Yes Instagram was over-valued, but hey, atleast it didn't come with animated cat GIF's.

2
pg 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Surely twould be more efficient just to tell Yahoo rather than trying to bounce the message off us.
3
daeken 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> Tumblr feels that Yahoos $1.1 billion offer as too low and view it as only a first offer

And then later in the paragraph:

> sources say the company only has a few months of cash runway left.

This must be a joke. If you have a few months of cash runway left, $1.1B is more than enough. Seriously. There is no circumstance when this isn't true, unless you have massive non-cash assets on hand.

Yes, I'm aware that they could go raise more money and try to hold out for more, but let's be serious here: they make (effectively) no money and they're being offered well over a billion dollars. Billion -- with a 'B'. This sort of public posturing is just obnoxious.

4
nashequilibrium 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I see a lot of people talking about Tumblr's userbase rather than the quality and potential profitibility of this userbase. As someone who has worked in brand management at P&G, i do not see any major consumer brand who's personality fits with lol cats and porn, therefore which major brand are you going to find to put ads next to that crap. Secondly lets take a look at the demographics and LSM's, tumblr is mainly made up of teenagers, you need to look at your ad spend relative to the quality of the demographic.

Start a successful extreme sports website and you will find brands like redbull that's brand fits in with your message, start a music sight and you will find a brand like pepsi that fits in well. Tumblr is all over the place, i have no idea how do you control the message? This website was built to just be cool and over the last six yrs they never tried to tie their identity to the type of revenue model they were anticipating. The reason for this is because they did not think of monetization at all. If you started a magazine back in the day, you would choose your segment and also tie in the magazines identity with the type of ad revenue you want to generate like a house & home magazine, you have home depot etc. This is not a billion dollar company. I am rooting for Marissa but her social media profile is starting to look bigger than her bite.

I will also add that Tumblr did try their had at curated content a few months back but decided to scrap the idea. This shows that they understand the need for more quality consistent content but are unable to execute. Flipboard has totally taken them to school on this front by allowing people to create personal magazines and you find a better quality experience. They need to learn some stuff from Flipboard even though it is not 100% comparing apples to apples.

5
antr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If I were a Yahoo shareholder, even at a $1.1bn price tag, I would vote against the acquisition.

> Tumblr has no real revenue, let alone profit, making it a value dilutive acquisition for Yahoo.

> The acquisition price is artificially being inflated by investors who are trying to squeeze Yahoo, who is trying to "turnaround" its profitable business. The $1.1.bn price is already "too high" for Tumblr's true underlying value.

> Yahoo has no track-record of successfully acquiring, integrating and generating value from such acquisitions. Broadcast.com ($5.7bn), GeoCities ($3.6bn), Inktomi ($235m), Overture ($1.6bn), del.icio.us ($20m), Flickr ($?m), and the list goes on.

I feel sorry for Yahoo's retail investors. I guess "greed is good" when it comes to startup acquisitions.

6
jval 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In response to some of the critics:

For a good user-generated content comparable, YouTube wasn't profitable until around 2010-2011[1], 7 years after its founding. It is, of course, very profitable now and looks like one of the best acquisitions ever made in the internet space. Google only had to fork out $1.65Bn in an all-stock transaction for a company which would now be worth many, many times that (some numbers would say over $50Bn [assuming $5Bn income at a conservative 10x P/E],[2] I would say many times more).

Revenue is, of course, a massive lagging indicator in the software industry. I think anyone who sees Tumblr as being overvalued greatly underestimates the sheer size of their user-generated content library, especially because most popular externally-facing Tumblr sites have custom URLs which hide the true size of the network. Most regular internet users will visit Tumblr many times throughout the day without noticing it. You have to remember that its Alexa rank has been climbing non stop over the last few years, and it is now at 19 in the US with a steady pageviews/user count (which not even Facebook can claim).[3]

[1] http://www.reelseo.com/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-claims-youtub...

[2] http://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analyst-color/13/05/...

[3] http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/tumblr.com

7
pg_bot 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Has there ever been an acquisition similar to Tumblr (company that has existed for 5+ years that hasn't found a profitable business model) which has contributed positively to the acquirer's net income? Is there any chance that this cannot turn out to be a boondoggle, because that seems to be the consensus among the commenters on HN.
8
Trezoid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Tumblr is, globally, in the top 50 websites by traffic, and in certain major cities it's in the top 20. Yeah, it's mostly full of cats, angst and porn, but the user base is both large and dedicated.
9
fmavituna 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yahoo should offer more, this can be the best investment since their Geocities acquisition.
10
kmfrk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If they end up buying them, I'd gladly contribute some money or computation power towards archiving the site. I have way too many bookmarks, likes, and other things tied to the service.
11
negamax 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yahoo, please walk away when there's still time.
12
ameen 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It's probably to spark interest among other suitors as well. $1.1B cash offer isn't "Too Low" as TC makes it out to be.
13
rukshn 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using tumblr as my blog platform for nearly 4 years because it allows easy mobile posting and via emails which makes my posting easy. Yahoo buying tumblr will ruin tumblr for sure like yahoo has done go the past with Flickr and Delicious. Yahoo need to innovate and make things happen rather than buying everything just because they have money. Just imagine what would have happened to Facebook if Yahoo bought it back then. Yahoo is like the uncool kid who used to buy the lunch of cool kids so he can sit with them
14
benologist 3 hours ago 0 replies      
AOL felt their pageviews for this were "Too Low".
15
msutherl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The beginning of the end of Tumblr is nigh. About time! What's next?
16
rorrr2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Tumblr's revenue in 2012 was $13M and negative profits (they are actually losing money).

They "expect" $100M revenue and $60M profits in 2013.

Even if their expectations work, whoever offered them $1.1B is a complete idiot.

17
donretag 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Remember Yelp?
21
Fast median search: an ANSI C implementation free.fr
42 points by objectivefs  8 hours ago   9 comments top 2
1
jallmann 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been using a variation of quickselect to find median rows of a matrix at certain columns.

There's a problem with quickselect: while it will find the median, it doesn't properly pivot the median around itself if the median occurs multiple times. So you could end up with the median sprinkled around both sides, which may or may not be a problem (it was for me).

One way to solve this is to take a second pass over the data to pivot -- which is essentially the core of QS where you nibble from both ends and swap low/high values.

Another nice property of QS is that it'll be approximately sorted, with values generally growing closer to the median towards the middle. This helps if you need to do repeated sub-selections on the partitions.

2
andrewcooke 5 hours ago 2 replies      
maybe this is included and i missed it, but it's asymptotically faster to maintain a sorted tree of values plus a list of pointers to nodes in order added. if you store "number of values to right" in each tree node then finding the next median (moving the window one position) is O(log w) and total cost for whole array is O(n log w) iirc.

this is used to median filter images in the IRAF package. i don't know if the approach is published anywhere (it's pretty obvious once the idea of keeping points within the window in a sorted tree "clicks"), but frank valdes did test it against other approaches.

the main drawbacks are that the overhead/constant is pretty high, so you need fairly large datasets (more exactly, large windows) for it to be a win, and implementation in old fortran is a pain...

22
Capacitor plague wikipedia.org
112 points by llambda  14 hours ago   57 comments top 20
1
ghshephard 14 hours ago 6 replies      
This singlehandedly resulted in a company I was associated with not going public [March, 2010], when we had to take millions of dollars in write downs associated with our devices (which had some of these flakey capacitors) failing in greater than expected rates. I don't think it's an exaggeration to suggest that this problem materially changed my life, and altered the careers of many of those who were in our Manufacturing and QA departments (for the worse)

I also spent the better part of 2003-2005 replacing Dell Optiplex GX270s that had failed motherboards - bulging capacitors - almost 50% of our desktops were turned over.

Plague barely captures how bad it was.

[Edit: Apparently "Plague" was the word being used back in 2005 as well: http://news.cnet.com/PCs-plagued-by-bad-capacitors/2100-1041...]

2
w1ntermute 12 hours ago 3 replies      
OT: is this a recently added Wikipedia feature?:

> On 18 May 2013, Capacitor plague was linked from Hacker News, a high-traffic website.[0]

Does anyone know the rationale behind adding this? It doesn't seem like they're auto-locking/semilocking the article to prevent inappropriate edits when an article is linked to from a high-traffic site.

0: http://i.imgur.com/LWwRQXF.png

3
aeturnum 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I always use this incident as an example whenever corporate espionage comes up. When you talk about security procedures, there can be a lot of eye rolling about how serious it is, but it can be pretty damn serious.
4
hcarvalhoalves 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Most motherboards and PSUs from this period had these faulty capacitors. I had a computer going bad because of this twice, once in the motherboard (Asus), then the PSU (Thermaltake). Luckily I learned about this and replaced the caps my self, but fixing electronics isn't the norm.

Think about all the electronic junk piled up because of this espionage slip. All the hidden costs and environmental impact caused. I'm sure even software faults could be attributed to that (at least the famous BSODs giving Windows a bad rep, I'm sure). Something impossible to calculate.

5
rdl 14 hours ago 3 replies      
A similarly annoying thing are whiskers from early lead-free/RoHS solder :(
6
rocky1138 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is this the same problem that affects first-gen Xboxes?

http://www.jaguarsector.com/index.php?showtopic=33652&hl...

7
Tomdarkness 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Was there any legal action in relation to this? If I bought capacitors from a company and used them in manufacturing my products only to find I have to replace large amounts of said product because I was supplied with faulty capacitors then I'd be looking for some compensation from the company I got the capacitors from.
8
pyoung 13 hours ago 4 replies      
This is crazy, are there any comprehensive lists of devices that were affected by this? I am a little curious to see what devices, of many that have failed, may have been affected by this. Not that it would really change anything at this point.
9
droithomme 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had several devices blow up or catch fire because of bad capacitors in recent years. These were not very old devices. I'm surprised there haven't been more serious consequences than what has been reported.
10
revelation 13 hours ago 5 replies      
This seems to refer to a specific "bug", a bad electrolyte, but doesn't this eventually happen to all electrolytic capacitors?
11
emiliobumachar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I was once able to fix a failing motherboard by cutting out the "bulging top" capacitors and soldering new ones of the same spec on the parts of their legs that remained on the board.

That was after almost ruining it by attempting to actually unsolder the original caps from the board. Those things are soldered hard! I tried to apply too much force, slipped, and made a big scratch on the board with the soldering iron. Didn't go through the varnish though.

12
beachstartup 8 hours ago 0 replies      
i had an original apple airport (UFO style) that blew a cap. this happened my freshman year of college, which was 01/02. wow. memories.

https://www.google.com/search?q=apple+airport+ufo&safe=o...

to apple's credit, they replaced it without cost. seems like they sent me a refurbed unit with "good" caps.

13
px1999 6 hours ago 0 replies      
In 2006(ish?), I worked for a subcontractor doing hardware swaps on Dell machines, and these capacitors single handedly accounted for maybe half of all repairs that we had to do during the time (and that's against even trivial and common stuff like laptop keyboards breaking). It really doesn't surprise me that it cost Dell $400M+ to fix these systems - it had the sort of impact that could definitely destroy smaller companies outright.
14
sleepydog 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I got pretty good a soldering around this time. Scored a free "broken" monitor and spent about 75 cents for new capacitors :)
15
baddox 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I completely forgot about this, but in high school I did IT for my small school district, and I definitely remember having to replace a huge number of motherboards due to failed capacitors around that time. I think they were all HP computers, and at the time I just assumed it was one bad run from HP's factories, but it must have been this.
16
uslic001 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally had two motherboards with this problems and one monitor. I also had 3 graphic cards. Only two of the graphic cards were still under warranty so I had to eat the cost of most of these premature failures. We also had numerous Dell computers at work fail but they were all out of warranty by the time they failed. Knock on wood but my last item failed in 2011 (graphic card) so hopefully this is over.
17
elliott34 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If this happens to your Samsung LCD TV, it is a pretty fun project to fix yourself! the only thing you need to is to order to the parts, youtube, and a soldering iron.
18
mrbill 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Yep, had an iMac G5 with this problem. Apple shipped me an entire replacement system board assembly. Later they started having people take them into Apple Stores for the repair.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/62059256

19
sqqqrly 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I still have a Compac 450 workstation that probably would blow up if I turned it on. Got it from BBN when I worked there. Many of the others back then died this death. The thing is a tank! Which is mostly the reason I still have it.
20
jhawkinson 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm really unconvinced that this continues to be a current problem, and the Wikipedia article is definitely not clear on this. If there are recent examples of this that are clearly documented, it would be great to see some good hard data or sourcing, either here or perhaps the Wikipedia article's talk page.
23
Creating Shazam in Java redcode.nl
263 points by freefrag  1 day ago   40 comments top 20
1
willvarfar 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Update: I posted a link to some source code that implements the Shazam algorithm:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5724442

About the patent lawsuit thing:

As I understand it, Shazam sold their patent to Landmark Digital Services, which are a part of BMI the record label. They kept an exclusive license to make Shazam-like software for phones.

You can imagine BMI wanting it to make money from how a service such as Youtube fingerprints and detects copyright infringement...

And it was this BMI company that were trying to get this blog post explaining the patented algorithm removed from the internet.

One post from the BMI lawyers to Roy in the Netherlands was particularly broad bullying:

> Mr. Van Rijn,

> The two example patent numbers that I sent you are U.S. patents, but each of these patents has also been filed as patent applications in the Netherlands. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, your blogpost may be viewed internationally. As a result, you may contribute to someone infringing our patents in any part of the world.

> While we trust your good intentions, yes, we would like you to refrain from releasing the code at all and to remove the blogpost explaining the algorithm.

> Thank you for your understanding.

> Best regards,

> Darren

> P. Briggs

> Vice President &

> Chief Technical Officer

> Landmark Digital Services, LLC

Roy gave a great talk at Devox about this: http://www.redcode.nl/blog/2012/03/devoxx-2011-talk-freely-a...

I think I heard that Shazam recently got the patent back. I speculate BMI found no-one to license their fingerprinting tech for copyright infringement.

2
ww520 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is very cool. Minimum clear implementation of the algorithm that replicates the effect of Shazam. It's refreshing to see a blog with actual code sample got voted up instead of all the press releases.
3
bmohlenhoff 22 hours ago 4 replies      
After using Shazam, I was kind of hoping there was more to it than just a time windowed frequency domain peak-pick algorithm. The algorithm itself is pretty basic from a signal processing perspective, but I think the key insight here was that the results are unique enough to store off and compare other samples against at some later point in time.
4
devingoldfish 20 hours ago 0 replies      
For those interested in more about the algorithm, one of the guys who created Shazam released a whitepaper on it. http://www.ee.columbia.edu/~dpwe/papers/Wang03-shazam.pdf
5
dsirijus 23 hours ago 1 reply      
So, the patent infringement story ended up with "Good luck."?
6
raverbashing 23 hours ago 1 reply      
This is interesting

I wonder how the work is split between client/server in (actual) Shazam. (I suppose only the key points are sent to the server, but I may be wrong - Siri for example sends the server a compressed audio file of the recorded sound)

7
johnx123-up 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Can someone please compare it to other fingerprinting approaches http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_fingerprint ?
8
genevoronkov 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I mirrored this implementation a while ago since the full source isn't available. It was not nearly as successful as the blogger portrays. For example, if I used a high quality wav mono file to create a fingerprint it would have a hard time identifying a track that is an mp3. It seems the maximums actually get shifted and merged from compression. In other words there's a reason shazam uses entropy based anchor points to help it pick hashing values.
9
ilanco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they would have bothered you if you had named the post: "Creating Google Ears in Java"
10
coob 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good article, title should have [2010] in it.
11
zerr 21 hours ago 1 reply      
From where Shazam gets its content - fingerprint database?

I mean, did they bought/rent mp3's?

13
jordan_clark 20 hours ago 1 reply      
One possible way to solve the legal troubles is to just remove any references to the product name 'Shazam'. You could title the blog post "Algorithm in Java that identifies music similar to other commercial products" (too long.. but use your imagination)
14
_smaugh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
First time I used Shazam, was so amazed. Had to download the original paper, still couldn't understand well enough how it worked, in order to code it. now lets get to work on it.

Great article, thank you

15
zayd 12 hours ago 0 replies      
We had a 'build your own Shazam' as a lab for Berkeley's Intro. Signals & Systems class this semester. Super cool to see it working and quite an interesting application of Signals & Systems
16
chuable 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What ever happened to the "patent infringement" issue?
18
rhapsodyv 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there any code changes that you can make to not conflict with the patent?
19
vitorarins 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Who made that article could have said what external libraries did (s)he use.
20
tygv5ug 20 hours ago 0 replies      
For the first time I'm surprised that one of the first comments isn't "why was it written in Java, bla, bla bla". Those were getting really annoying.
24
Yahoo Board to Meet Sunday to Consider $1.1B, All-Cash Deal for Tumblr allthingsd.com
108 points by ssclafani  12 hours ago   97 comments top 16
1
citricsquid 12 hours ago 5 replies      
If the deal goes through Yahoo would now own the Tumblr audience, so Yahoo would have a product with a young audience, the audience Marissa Mayer wants for Yahoo, however, how would they move that audience over to other Yahoo products?

An acquisition of Tumblr seems very much like the acquisition of reddit by Advance Publications. They both have huge audiences that are passionate and growing fast but have great difficulty monetising their audiences effectively and are providing no real value to the parent company (other than the potential for the sites to become profitable). If Yahoo bought Tumblr how would they ever convert the audience into Yahoo users?

I guess it comes down to: what value is there to any company in "owning" an audience if that audience has no interest in becoming the audience of the parent and will actively resist it? People would get very angry if AP started pushing their ownership of reddit onto reddit users, having Wired articles automatically frontpaged, things like that would drive everyone away, how will Yahoo avoid that?

2
ghshephard 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Well, looking forward to the next Accidental Tech Podcast - should be very interesting to get Marco Arment's perspective on this. First Instapaper, now Tumblr.

I wonder which will be a bigger deal for Marco...

[Edit - I also wonder whether he had an inkling that these conversations were taking place. He has been discussing his tumblr roots a bit more than usual recently, including his undocumented podcast easteregg that he built into tumblr, and the fact that the tumblr source code was open source, but not public, which allowed Marco to use it for future endeavors...

Edit 2: And this little hint from his Blog on May 11th.

"I ended up joining Davidville instead, for less money, because David would let me work on a brand new Mac with any keyboard I wanted and more than three feet of desk space. A few months later, we started Tumblr. Turned out to be the right move. "

]

3
minikomi 11 hours ago 3 replies      
With tumblr as a curation hub and Flickr as a pool of images, maybe yahoo will next aquire a video pool (Vimeo?), a sound / music pool (soundcloud?) ... Having a small network of creative sites each with their own communities, tied by a single hub would be pretty cool.
4
hcarvalhoalves 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Isn't something really weird going on in the world when you can sell a company with almost no revenue (let alone profit) and no obvious business model in the horizon for $ 1.1B, or is it just me?
5
nwh 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Even Archive Team won't be able to save Tumblr.
6
Apocryphon 11 hours ago 1 reply      
If this goes through, it may be amusing to see Yahoo doing better in the social space than Google (is with G+). Tumblr seems like a very wild, organic community that is its own social network. If Yahoo treats it the way Conde Nast has with reddit, it could turn out to be quite the boon for them.
7
hkmurakami 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder why they're deciding to offer an All-Cash offer rather than some part of the offer being in Stock. Yahoo's stock has done well lately and should be fairly attractive to Tumblr investors and management. Given the size of the potential acquisition, there aren't that many alternative suitors, so Yahoo should have pretty good leverage here, especially since Tumblr has gotten heat over the last few years regarding their lack of a business model.

Maybe Yahoo is afraid that offering say ~$400MM in stock would dilute the existing shares and irritate existing shareholders?

8
sdoowpilihp 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Yahoo needs a company like this to address two major issues. First, they lack a social offering. Second, they need to draw in more users, and I imagine Yahoo is hoping to bring over a large user base to their other products via integration with their ecosystem. If Yahoo does acquire tumbler, it will be interesting to see how they choose to integrate it (if they do at all).
9
phowat 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Curiously, they had this tumblr clone called Yahoo! Meme ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo!_Meme ). Which, IIRC, was developed by Yahoo Brazil and I guess marketed mostly in the south american market. I guess it didn't get anywhere since they killed it in May 2012.
10
UVB-76 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't Tumblr an IP nightmare, and wouldn't Yahoo taking ownership make it a giant target for litigation?
11
jasonlingx 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh no... time to move off tumblr...
12
jordanthoms 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The next Flickr? Hopefully they can keep innovating after an acquisition...
13
dm8 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Tumblr is a media company at the core. So it should work out well for Yahoo.
14
robryan 12 hours ago 2 replies      
If this does happen it will be very interesting to see Tumblr's progress over the next year. Will give insight into whether Yahoo has turned the corner or whether it is the same Yahoo we have seen in the past 5 years.
15
PedroBatista 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Too much soap opera style info for someone who is "considering" an $1.1B deal.

It seems a bit odd, and everybody knows how these Hollywood style "romances" tend to end..

16
adventured 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Yahoo really needed a product to fill in that Geocities gap.
25
The theory of relativity in words of four letters or less muppetlabs.com
199 points by gjm11  21 hours ago   118 comments top 24
1
nlh 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting read and I like the concept, but I think the 4-letter rule added an arbitrary constraint that didn't necessarily make it easier to read or understand.

If the idea was "explain relativity simply" then it could have been done better -- word complexity (ie "reading level") is a better measure than outright word length.

If the idea was simply to see if it could be done with 4-letter words, well, mission accomplished :)

2
shardling 20 hours ago 7 replies      
>Say you woke up one day and your bed was gone. Your room, too. Gone. It's all gone. You wake up in an inky void. Not even a star. Okay, yes, it's a dumb idea, but just go with it. Now say you want to know if you move or not. Are you held fast in one spot? Or do you, say, list off to the left some? What I want to ask you is: Can you find out? Hell no. You can see that, sure. You don't need me to tell you. To move, you have to move to or away from ... well, from what? You'd have to say that you don't even get to use a word like "move" when you are the only body in that void.

This is not as self-evident as the author believes.

1. Having taught a great many college level physics students, they have trouble grasping this.

2. More importantly, there's a reason people pursued the theory of the aether for so long -- you have to actually do the fucking experiments to show that there's no absolute reference frame you could be said to be moving in. Thinking that you can deduce physical facts about the universe a priori is the opposite of science.

e: Suddenly remembered a Feynman bit from Lectures where he talks about exactly the attitude of treating this is somehow obvious: http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=207...

3
dpritchett 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The Up-Goer Five Text Editor is a pretty great resource with similar constraints: "Can you describe a topic using only the thousand most common English words?"

The results in their Hall of Fame are fascinating. It's inspired by the xkcd linked elsewhere in this thread.

http://splasho.com/upgoer5/halloffame.php

4
darxius 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I found that four letters added some ambiguity and some uneeded complexity. Maybe 5 or even 6 letters?

Still, this is a great intro to relativity and it was a fun read. Also a cool literary feat.

5
wbhart 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Age restricted as inappropriate by UK filters, presumably because it contains "four letter words". Great one O2. Nothing like restricting access by our kids to educational material.
6
haliax 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is phenomenal, does anyone have sources of more physics concepts explained simply?

Scott Aaronson's Quantum Physics is one: http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec9.html

7
biot 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Now who can describe the theory of relativity in only four words?

Similar to this: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html

8
jneal 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is cool. I felt I had to keep my note the same. A very neat idea I'd say. Wish it was more easy to read. Very cool!
9
maeon3 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This article is exactly what I needed, I've been trying to understand the unification of Gravity, Inertia and Centrifugal force for years now, couldn't fathom it, now I can.

The best I can describe it is: "Matter is like water through a drain", I wrote a post with my consolation of how the three can be seen as one:

http://sentientmachine.blogspot.com/2013/05/matter-is-like-w...

10
carlob 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of 'Gdel's Second Incompleteness Theorem Explained in Words of One Syllable'

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4197284

11
boburhedRAGTOP 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I know I'm dumb, but can someone explain this part?

"Dana sees each rock at the same time, but Bert sees one rock and then sees the next rock."

How would anyone's movement, or lack of it, affect their perception of whether the rocks landed at the same time or not?

12
GhotiFish 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I made a word cloud of this

I removed "and", "you", "the", "that", "a", and "to" as those were just a bit TOO big.

http://i.imgur.com/77V6OvQ.png

13
wfn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I've stumbled upon Brian's website before and have enjoyed many a writeup, including this one.

I recall particularly enjoying `A Monovocalic Sonnet on Dante's "Inferno"` (http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/txt/infirni.html) - the essence/joy being in the Notes section: http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/txt/infirni-notes.html - it's so random and intense - a true hacker spirit I say :)

14
Jun8 20 hours ago 0 replies      
"Make things as simple as possible, but not any simpler" - Einstein. His own book from Dover is an excellent way to get started.
15
Mz 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the story behind "The Cat in the Hat."

"In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Accordingly, William Ellsworth Spaulding, the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin who later became its Chairman, compiled a list of 348 words he felt were important for first-graders to recognize and asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. [33] Spaulding challenged Geisel to "bring back a book children can't put down." [34] Nine months later, Geisel, using 236 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. It retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel's earlier works, but because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers."

From: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss

16
pjdorrell 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Any one of us can work out x by x plus y by y plus z by z less c by t by t where x and y and z and t are each part of how to get from one "here and now" to a 2nd "here and now". I can try to tell you what c is or we can just say that it is one (i.e. c by t by t is just t by t). And the math that we do will work out the same if I work it out from what I see or if you work it out from what you see, even if I do not move at the same rate as you.
17
jvdh 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking at the page full of short words, the whole text just looks very weird, strange and sometimes just distracting.I never knew that I looked over the page so much as I was reading.
18
prawn 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if something like this might be useful if added to Wikipedia's Simple English version of the Theory of Relativity page? That page seems a bit underdone right now.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

19
d0m 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd prefer "The theory of relativity explained to four years old".. the "four letters or less", although funny, makes it harder to grasp IMHO.
20
Avshalom 19 hours ago 0 replies      
As an explanation it's only mediocre, but it was a lovely poetic read. It felt on the verge of lyrical the entire time.
21
trebor 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I found the article hard to read because of the word length. It created a strange, artificial rhythm to the text that drove me to distraction.
22
elliptic 18 hours ago 0 replies      
There's an amusing though mean-spirited article of Paul Samuelson's purporting to debunk the use of the Kelly Criterion - [url]www-stat.wharton.upenn.edu/~steele/Courses/434F2005/Context/Kelly%20Resources/Samuelson1979.pdf[/url] (pdf). All the words are one syllable. I find the title rather poetic - "Why we should not make mean log of wealth big though years to act are long".
23
pieguy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There are many interesting pages on this site. The brainfk and Intercal resources are a fun read, also the tiny executables. The Tile World downloads are a bit out-of-date though.
24
whatgoodisaroad 19 hours ago 3 replies      
Am I being pedantic? That really should be four letters or fewer.
26
Meta: The Most Advanced Augmented Reality Interface kickstarter.com
107 points by bensandcastle  16 hours ago   78 comments top 23
1
modeless 15 hours ago 5 replies      
The videos there are misleading. The level of quality shown is nowhere near what that hardware can achieve. For example, in the "video from the lab", virtual objects are shown occluding someone's hands. That is not possible with the display technology they're using. Your real experience with the device will not be anything like the videos shown. The display will be more like a ghostly, low resolution overlay, with significant latency.

The sad thing is that the hardware actually looks pretty neat. This device should be cool enough that a realistic demo could easily sell it without misleading people. I hope Kickstarter starts cracking down on projects using pie-in-the-sky concept videos to raise expectations that they can't possibly deliver on.

2
blhack 15 hours ago 7 replies      
I think this stuff is cool, but I think it is going to be held back by a romantic attachment to "real".

Why not use something like the occulus rift? Instead of projecting new objects over the top of existing ones; replace the users field of vision completely.

I'd love that.

One of the guys in our hackerspace (plug: heatsync labs, Phoenix AZ) got an occulus, and we've been talking about how cool it would be to build a "virtual office" of sorts. Sit down with an occulus and some noise cancelling headphones, and have an infinitely large workspace.

2 monitors? or 1000 monitors; it doesn't matter because your entire field of vision (or your entire environment) is being rendered for you.

--

I think people are very attached to the idea of your eyes seeing the "real" world instead of a re-displayed one. I understand that, but I think that ideology is going to hold AR back for a while.

3
clicks 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting to note that Meta is in fact YC-funded: http://allthingsd.com/20130517/meta-wants-to-become-the-next...
4
z-e-r-o 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This technique, as it is shown, is not going to be possible for at least the next 5 years. They either know it and are making a huge fake marketing campaign (for a possible Google acquisition) or haven't realized it yet will have a really hard moment when they realize it.

Couple of components which are not going to work:

1. A see-through glass with Field of View as shown in the video just doesn't exist today. The model they are going to use are more like a tiny TV-screen floating in your view and not even close to the visualization they created.

2. Real time 3D gesture recognition from point cloud data on ARM (+ overhead for applications + games all in low latency)

3. Real time 3D environment reconstruction from moving point cloud data (requires something like quad-core i7 + 32 GB RAM + desktop-class GPU processing)

They want to achieve it on an ARM running from tiny batteries!!!

+ On top of this would come the whole application / game experience, something they seem to be concentrating on, instead of getting the basics right.

4. Then there is latency, which is just not going to be solved for the next 5 but more probably 10 years, just read Michael Abrash blog about the reality of Augmented Reality glasses (http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/).

To be clear, I'm not saying that they won't be able to make what they promise, I'm saying that not even Google or anyone will nearly be able to achieve it for at least 5 years, and everyone knows this who is even a little bit into augmented reality.

So personally I find the Kickstarter campaign to be a fake campaign and it is just bending the rules of Kickstarter which requires a real-world hardware prototype. So they made a glued together prototype with a fake visualization, with the whole campaign built around the video.

Nonetheless, the campaign has a chance of being a massive hit, because every sci-fi fan is dreaming about it for decades and is willing to back it if he has the funds. In that case, it might have a chance of the biggest Kickstarter failures of all time. The best case for them would be a quick Google acquisition and integration into the Glass team.

5
needle0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I own an Epson Moverio, which the Meta 1 glasses appear to be based on. I have a small bit of firsthand experience with hacking on it to do ARish things.

* The Moverio consists of two parts, the glasses and the control box. The two connect via a seemingly proprietary connector. The control box runs Android 2.2, archaic by today's standards. USB host mode was introduced in Android 3.1, so there would be no straightforward way to feed the depth camera's information into the control box.

* Unity3D, which Meta's software stack claims to be using, does run on the control box once you output your Unity project to an Android application. For the app to run, I had to tweak the build settings to support both ARMv6 and ARMv7 (The app failed to start when built for ARMv7 only). This was doable in Unity 3.5.x. However, Unity 4 removes support for ARMv6.

So I'm full of question marks:

* Did the Meta team somehow obtain/reverse-engineer the specifications for the Moverio glasses' connector, plug it into a more powerful device, and ditch the control box?

* Did the Meta team replace the Moverio control box's OS with a more modern version?

* Is Meta 1 stuck with the older Unity 3.5.x?

* Or am I doing it wrong, and is it indeed possible to run Unity 4-built apps on the Moverio control box?

Also, other have mentioned but the field of view is disappointingly small with this device - just a small window in in the middle of your view.

Overall, confused.

6
silverlight 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or is there very little "real software" being shown here? Everything in the video was just "artist's interpretations" of what it "could look like", no?
7
shadowmint 12 hours ago 0 replies      
To be fair, they do have a real-video below the pitch video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o...) which is much more honest and realistic look at what's being developed.

This is actually pretty exciting tech, but it's going to be absolutely nothing like what they have to show in the pitch video.

8
BasDirks 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, what completely uninspiring consumerist bullshit. "Hacker's, this one's for you". Right.
9
Pxtl 15 hours ago 1 reply      
What I'm not seeing is anything about positioning. I don't see the usual white balls for the camera (or colored ones as used in Sony's Move). So is it relying entirely on the 3D camera and dead reckoning with accelerometers to figure out where the user is? Because that stuff inevitably fails the moment you start walking around the room.

I'm mostly thinking about ARQuake and the like, where the AR objects are walking around the room or hallways rather than being confined to a table in front of you.

10
kybernetyk 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm rather skeptic. No real-life videos, only unrealistic concepts. The bold "there's nothing like this being build" statements and then they use off the shelf components.

Sounds like a great recipe for disappointment. They should have at least posted a real-life video (or a realistic rendition).

11
dakrisht 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it. But they're shooting for the stars here. I'm not sure they'll be able to achieve the quality shown in the video (done with nice Hollywood VFX) in real-life. Like others mentioned, latency might be an issue, but generally the augmented 3D interaction (i.e. spreading a pool apart in an architectural setting) will be difficult to reproduce as-shown. Misleading videos. Kickstarter is like the Wild West these days.
12
daeken 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Totally just backed this. I haven't been so excited about a piece of tech in ages. This is truly a game-changer if it works anywhere near as well as they're showing.
13
cracker_jacks 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a little bit skeptical of some of the artist renderings here. Being a researcher in the computer vision field, rendering accurately onto arbitrary surfaces simply is nowhere near this precise. It requires an extraordinary amount of scene understanding. Factors like shape, surface normals, illumination, reflectance, etc. all need to be separated. These properties are extremely entangled together and state of the art methods require a great deal of computational power to do significantly worse than what's being shown here.
14
slashedzero 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't the camera just Intel's 3D gesture cam? It also has an SDK that integrates very well with unity. http://software.intel.com/en-us/vcsource/tools/perceptual-co...

The first screen shot from the second video shows exactly what their gesture tracking looks like. When doing the perceptual challenge, this was mainly the stuff we were thinking of as applications for the hardware, funny to see someone now taking it and simply mounting it on glasses.

15
DanBC 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Showing a pixel-art 3d bike is a good idea. It's going to appeal to the Minecraft crowd.

Give me something like this that I can run through my MC worlds on and I'm paying.

16
aaronblohowiak 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Meta II: a revolutionary meta circular compiler, circa 1967
17
DanBC 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love a 3D interface to HN.

Upvoted, busy, threads float nearer me.

Flame-fests shrink back from me.

18
ryderm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Meron (founder) came to my computer vision class the other day to talk to us about Meta. He took the same class at my uni and has since hired some professors. Seemed like a great guy and a great product. I hope this takes off and isn't eaten by Google.
19
justncase80 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Consider me skeptical. I predict the camera will not have low enough latency to ever make this device usable.
20
petermelias 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Backed. If they can deliver on this the value of the application potential is completely worth the relatively low up front risk.
21
timfrietas 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Does Google Glass have stereo cameras? The specs suggest no:

https://support.google.com/glass/answer/3064128?hl=en

I have to feel v2 will, given the possibilities of applications as demoed here.

22
namelesstrash01 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Okay. Yet another hardware Kickstarter with egregious claims? No, thanks.
23
bleachtree 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Can't wait until this vision is a reality.
27
Inside the seedy underworld of spammers and phishers mailgun.com
83 points by twakefield  14 hours ago   44 comments top 9
1
petermelias 13 hours ago 6 replies      
Spammer transcripts are priceless.

Another way to fight spammers, would be to quietly shut off sending for their account, while still providing simulated email data to their dashboard, reporting successful sends, opens etc... That way, they would think they are still sending out spam and it would take them a while to realize that they had been cut off, slowing the cycle of them doubling their efforts.

2
coin 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Unrelated to the content, but why do sites like this go out of their way to disable pinch zoom for mobile devices?
3
n3rdy 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Since when is a botnet a collection of free email accounts?

Since when has a spammers return on investment been low?

Since when have spammers only used hijacked "legitimate" business domains instead of just using some wildcard email domain setup?

Its not enough that he posts his strategies online to make it easier for his adversaries to learn from, but this guy doesn't even sound like he grasps the fundamentals of what is supposed to be his profession?

4
smtddr 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I like how the spammers always explode in anger at the end.
5
raylu 14 hours ago 2 replies      
"Its a game of cat-and-mouse that we didnt ask to play, but we can hunt when we need to."

As an ESP, isn't that pretty much the game you chose to play, both as the cat and the mouse?

6
codezero 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised the customer support even had discussions with these people when they were so clearly violating the terms. I guess these are picked out of lots of similar discussions with well meaning, grammar and spelling deficient customers :)
7
unethical_ban 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Why are they always foreign? y cant they type normally lol
8
namespace 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Is data about spammers made available publicly at Mailgun for example to Spamhaus?
9
lix 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting
28
Show HN: My seven minute workout timer evening project 7-min.com
696 points by lgsilver  1 day ago   150 comments top 88
1
simonsarris 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is wonderful.

Can you make a way to skip sections?

Living in a house built in 1840, jumping jacks are out of the question...

(Also if you click rapidly on the 3/2/1 countdown you can kind of skip things, because the app goes to all madness.)

2
danso 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is awesome. Just yesterday I was doing a 7-minute workout in my room, just because I was waiting for dinner to finish heating up.

The main problem is that the standard timer app on iOS only acts as a stopwatch...so the final ten seconds of each interval, I'm watching the clock so that I can hit "Lap" and move on...this is awkward when I'm also wearing headphones to listen to music.

What would be ideal for me is to have a simple timer that would alert me when the interval was done and automatically move on to the next one....like a repeating event on a calendar. I'm sure there's an app for that but I just didn't feel like downloading a bunch and doing trial and error.

One more twist: I can't do all the exercises in the 7-min workout (as made famous in the NYT)...jumping jacks would annoy the shit out of the people below me. So I make up my own. A timer that would allow me to set up my own sequence would be fabulous.

Anyway, this is just a longwinded way of saying that there's a need for a niche app here, and it would definitely be a fun coding project...I'm glad someone else thought of it first :)

3
d0m 1 day ago 0 replies      
OK, fine for this time, but tomorrow, you do it instead of procrastinating and creating a web page about it : )
4
baby 1 day ago 1 reply      
You made hundreds of hackers move their ass for 7 minutes today. That is a huge accomplishment.
5
freditup 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ha ha, I decided to try the 7-min workout last night for the heck of it and I basically wanted something exactly like this. Nice job, it does its purpose perfectly.

One small suggestion: Perhaps a louder audio cue for transitions between exercises in case you aren't looking at the screen.

6
skennedy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Works on mobile devices which is perfect when on the go. Give me a pause button so the timer doesn't go before I'm ready or make the clicking sound. Then I'll be at the site every day.
7
lgsilver 1 day ago 5 replies      
Thanks again to everyone. I'm going to keep the webapp completely open and free as long as anyone is using it, and I'll definitely open up the code once I clean it a bit. If anyone would like to port it to IOS, I'd be happy to chat. lgsilver (at) gmail.com -- Lindsay
8
jrvarela56 1 day ago 7 replies      
Great idea, you could make a pretty cool app out of this: let people create routines by letting them associate pictures with exercise names and amount of seconds.

They could then create workouts by creating a list of exercises and rest periods and play their routing with the timer you created.

Does this exist? I want one.

9
nthitz 1 day ago 2 replies      
It seemed like most of the comments when the article was on HN were saying that this is not a very good workout... Having said that, cool site, looks great!
10
eyko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for doing this. I will use!
11
chadcf 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute workout timer. Then you're in trouble, huh?
12
alexshye 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very cool! You got me off my butt and moving for 7 minutes and it was a great work break.

A few notes for you and others:

1) There are a few that switch sides/legs and I would handle them differently. For the lunges and step-ups, I think alternating sides is good. For the side planks, I think it would be useful to give the other side a whole segment. Splitting it in half wouldn't be much of a workout.

2) This is awesome because for the most part, you can modulate the workout however you want. In fact, keeping a log of the number of pushups/situps/high knees/etc would be cool because people could see progress. This might be a nice extension for the site!

3) It may be good to balance things out as far as muscle groups go. Pushups are repeated multiple times, as are squat related exercises. It is important to balance these out with the muscles that oppose these exercises.

4) Even better (at least for me) would be to have a series for desk workers that open up your body. We spend so much time crouched forward that a series of exercises to counteract this would be awesome.

Thanks and I hope you keep building on this!

13
mcgwiz 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice job.

I don't want to presume anything. Did you purposefully shorten the workout from that described in the ACSM article? It indicated 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off. (Your total duration variable should be 480--don't ask me how they added that up to "7 minutes"!) This has lead to some confusion in the comments here. And, although their intervals are somewhat arbitrary, and asserting this routine is "scientific" is debatable to begin with, it would be more accurate.

Again, great job.

14
BornInTheUSSR 1 day ago 1 reply      
this is great, just what I was looking for after I read the article - for those confused by what this is http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-mi...
15
bgray 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see the rest screen contain information about the next exercise. This would give time to prepare.
16
pjacobson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: We built a workout app for iOS (PumpUp) that makes it easy to build a personalized workout routine for home, the gym, or on-the-go. You can customize things like equipment, goals, muscles, etc. Check it out if you're interested! (https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/pumpup-workout-coach/id57307...)
17
donniefitz2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Okay, this is good. The only problem is that I'm out of excuses to actually not use it.
18
bzink 1 day ago 0 replies      
I emailed a link to your 7 min workout timer to my girlfriend. This was her response. Nice job.

"THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!

That's. The. Most. Ingenious. Thing. Ever.

Now, I just have to bring my phone with me. Woohoo!

When I play it on the computer it ticks down, my phones doesn't so I'll have to pay attention to it, which could be tricky, but that's sweet. Thanks!"

19
looki 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I do wonder, what number of 7 minute workouts per week is appropriate? I'm clueless, really - I've heard that you should not work out more than once in two days, and to me it does make sense to apply this rule here, since it advertizes itself as full workout. But yeah, I'm not really sure - it would be great if someone could elaborate. PS The site is great - simple but very useful.
20
vishaldpatel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love it! The suspense is fantastic - it forces me to concentrate on the current exercise and not worry about whats coming up next. Really great! I hope you will add more exercises, more compound exercises, lots of body weight exercises, from beginner to advanced, logins, tracking.. etc.. etc.. all while keeping the core simplicity of it all intact! =)
21
lgsilver 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi everyone. I made some updates today based on your awesome feedback:

1.) You can now change the length of the workout 2.) Sounds now work (as well as they can) in IOS 3.) Changed duration of the breaks to 10 seconds no matter how long the workout 4.) Added a sound-effect to tell you to switch on exercises that need it 5.) Made some UI tweaks to improve the look

Thanks for making my week.

22
coherentpony 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it would be clearer if the counter was not behind the person.
23
neeharc 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks awesome. I'm going to start using it from tomorrow. I'd love to see more intervals like 10 min, 15 min, 20 min.
24
xanadohnt 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is really great! I was telling my fianc about this workout just today. I read the NYT article but it was very sparse on details. Where can I find more info? About the research, more details about the workout itself (for example, during intervals is it full-on 100% all the effort I can muster, how many reps am I aiming for, is it done every day), etc?

Thanks for this. I'll give it a try in about an hour!

25
freefrancisco 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I love it, thank you! I just tried it now. I have one suggestion, at the end when it's time for side plank, it is not clear when you should switch sides. I thought I would rest, and then the timer would tell me to do the other side, but at this time the timer was done. It would be better if the timer indicated when to switch sides, or had two segments, one for each side. Other than that, it was perfect!
26
lgsilver 1 day ago 0 replies      
You guys rock. Thanks for the comments. Setting workout lengths is actually already built-in, just have to add it to the UI (after work).
27
rexreed 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great! Although I'm not quite sure the pace of the tasks. For example, for push ups, is it down on one beat and up on the next or one complete pushup per beat?
28
zhs 1 day ago 1 reply      
So funny, I just started designing something similar a few days ago, here is a shot of the dashboard http://dribbble.com/shots/1067433-Flat-Workout/attachments/1...
29
zeroexzeroone 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It would also be pretty sweet to have the ability to move exercises around. I tend to throw in pull-ups and other stuff at the end (with things around the house). Possibly even creating custom 7-min workouts that fit the guidelines of upper/lower/upper/lower, etc.

EDIT: but this is an awesome thing, regardless

30
krsgoss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great work! I tried the workout for the first time after a run this afternoon... it kicked my butt! As I was following along on the ipad I was thinking a simple app would be perfect for this. Love the implementation and visuals!
31
sharmanaetor 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bug Report: Clicking the initial countdown clock 2-3 times messes up the entire timer.
32
Alterlife 1 day ago 3 replies      
I didn't know what a wall sit was, so I looked it up ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_sit ).

According to wkiipedia, it's safety is disputed: might be injure someone with bad knees... something to keep in mind.

33
tsumnia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice work, just tried it out.

One suggestion would be to add a Switch pop-up if you run into exercises like Side Plank.

34
Otiel 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You should specify a different tone for the last 3 "bips". We can't be looking the screen 100 percent of the time, so a different "bip" to indicate that the end of the current countdown would be a good addition imo.
35
kschults 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice job! Little bit of feedback:

1. The images don't update until after the first tick of the new exercise. It would be nice if the updated when the rest screen changes to the new exercise screen with the timer and the text.

2. It would be cool if for exercises like the side plank (I think that's the only one in this set), where you hold something on each side, it gave you a halfway warning to tell you that it's time to turn over.

3. The rest period at the end isn't really necessary.

36
readme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome project.

I will be using it. Although I have to second others.. It'd be nice to choose my exercises.

37
poissonpie 18 hours ago 0 replies      
nice work on the site......cheeky bit of self promotion for my iphone tabata timer app https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tabata-hiit-timer/id44160046...
38
duaneb 1 day ago 0 replies      
One nitpick, I think the social aspects should disappear after 15 seconds of no events.
39
MarlonPro 1 day ago 0 replies      
why routine start at 26 sec mark and rest at 8 sec? Some don't want it but I really like to anticipate what's next, like in this app http://7minworkoutapp.com/
40
Casseres 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm using a slow Internet connection, so I notice when transitioning to a new workout, it shows the old workout picture for a second or two before the new workout picture loads. Perhaps you can load it during the rest period and just have it hidden?

P.S.: Great job! And great website idea!

41
stigi 1 day ago 0 replies      
42
victormier 1 day ago 0 replies      
To all programmers, please: get out of your room and run outside for a while. Taking a breath of fresh air feels much better than sweating in a closed space.
43
harshhpareek 1 day ago 0 replies      
On Chrome on Win8, the background is white, but Firefox and on Dolphin browser on my Nexus 10, the background is black. You probably meant to keep a black background (eg. Workout timer on the start page is invisible on my chrome)
44
daninfpj 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I was going to make an app for this. You beat me to it, and it's pretty good, no reason for me to bother now.
45
bdcs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your facebook link is broken, it is (https://www.facebook.com/lindo) and should be (https://www.facebook.com/Lindo). Notice the capitalized 'L'
46
pacomerh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Short exercise routines are a hit in today's world of busy people. I love this thanks. Still feel sad that we have to opt for these things in order to get our asses up.
47
kumar_navneet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many people involve themselves in weight training and cardio exercises because of which they miss out on ground exercises. I am sure this app will help them a lot.
48
RRRA 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome!What would be nice is a choice to confirm between exercises so you can hit spacebar to continue and a multiplier for the speed of the tick.I'm not sure I can do 1 push up/sec for half a minute as a first training session. :P
49
dooq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great! Bookmarked!

Feature request: a nice sound when each section is finished. Sometimes I'm not looking at the screen while doing the exercise, so a sound marking the section changes would be nice.

50
guest 1 day ago 0 replies      
This has pretty pictures. I built a command line version:for i in `seq 16`; do echo -ne '\007' && sleep 30 && echo -ne '\007' && sleep 1 && echo -ne '\007' && sleep 10; done
51
KMBredt 1 day ago 0 replies      
After the 1st excercise it starts at 7 seconds rest and then 26 seconds for the next excercises (Chrome/Win).

I also wonder why the images or better the whole site isn't responsive? I would also add a link to one of the sources.

52
daveelkan 1 day ago 0 replies      
If it had the amusingly dramatic music and crazy horn between sets like this video the I would definitely use it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRni0ctIeFE
53
jonthepirate 1 day ago 0 replies      
I forwarded this program to my coworker when I saw it on HN yesterday. Now, I'm going to forward him this link... he refuses to go to the gym because he's too busy so hopefully this will help him kickstart some fitness in his life.
54
enormace 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm wrecked! Should be called the 1 minute work out :-) Nice idea and love the way you implemented it with the simple graphics on top of the countdown. The dots idea is also cool. Well done!
55
404error 1 day ago 0 replies      
Once you are comfortable doing this routine I would highly recommend the Insanity Workout.
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mansigandhi 1 day ago 4 replies      
Just curious, why 7 minutes?
57
devias 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Thank you!!

The last two should be repeated twice though (one for each arm)

58
miamidesign 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm looking forward to trying this out, most of the exercises mentioned in the Times article are of great benefit.
59
OriginalAT 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really do hate you right now. But I do actually see great value in this. Thanks for making this!
60
netforay 1 day ago 0 replies      
From last 3 days I was thinking about this only. Instead I thought of doing it as Android App. Cool.
61
trgraglia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty similar to the Android app 'Relaxed Abs'. Awesome job!
62
jordank 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would love to make the URL bar disappear in mobile Safari. Love the idea, I will do this workout now.
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wastedbrains 1 day ago 0 replies      
setting custom times would be nice I like to do 30 seconds with 10 seconds rest
64
adjohn 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great, thanks! I'd like to hear a ding or some audio notification at the end of each section.
65
thisisandyok 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was actually thinking about doing a project like this earlier today. Thanks for saving me the effort
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BhavdeepSethi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is a link to do all these exercises properly: http://lifehacker.com/these-12-videos-show-the-proper-form-f...
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film42 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love this, thank you so much!
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anandpdoshi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was wondering who is going to make this first. Salute to you :D
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lee94josh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh man if I could customize this, it would be perfect. Very well done though.
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randall 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love it! Yay!
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photorized 1 day ago 0 replies      
Simple and elegant.
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ga2arch 1 day ago 1 reply      
i don't get the excitement for this 7 minutes workout, can't you just go in the gym for 1 hour 3 times a week and do some squats ?

aside from this the site looks good, simple and to the point, props for it.

73
andreros 1 day ago 0 replies      
My only complaint is that it doesn't tick on my phone.
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vemprala 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is splendid, something I was looking for. You could now concentrate for a better UI/phone app. A suggestion, You can also look for customizing/substituting workouts for the exact duration.
75
xweb 1 day ago 0 replies      
That is beautiful! Love the art design.
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mcg2124 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is GREAT. Any way that it could be purchased for download? I am headed to the Congo and won't have internet. Thanks!
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indubitably 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty Javascript.
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hexaust 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it!
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whattheken 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. Good job!
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foltz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you so much!
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lakeeffect 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks, good work.
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orolo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really good!
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bradnickel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great work!
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pressurefree 1 day ago 0 replies      
excellent.
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jvuonger 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Does the job, keep it simple!
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Iuz 1 day ago 0 replies      
god bless you
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toddmatthews 1 day ago 0 replies      
thank you
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nbmm 1 day ago 5 replies      
How is this useful? Do you stand and exercise in front of your computer or tablet computer?
29
Show HN: WhitePad - iPhone-sized whiteboard - our first physical product indiegogo.com
18 points by dusker  6 hours ago   15 comments top 5
1
prawn 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like the idea, but I think I'd find more use for pads printed with an iPhone outline. It'd save having to photograph and then clean each time with WhitePad?
2
natejenkins 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I can see the usefulness of being able to hold your mock-up in your hand, but doesn't the WhitePad rotate when you try to draw on it? Would be nice to have a very thin non-slip pad on the back of it. It also would be very nice to be able to draw, but that has nothing to do with your product.
3
vitovito 6 hours ago 3 replies      
iPhone-shaped paper notepads were C&D'd by Apple years ago. Is this produced under license from Apple? If not, isn't it awfully risky for anyone to contribute to the campaign when Apple could C&D you at any time?

http://ask.metafilter.com/165665/Is-there-anything-I-can-do-...

4
geoffpado 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Backed it immediately (grabbed the second one). Hope you guys reach your goal, this looks totally awesome.
5
quackerhacker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool! At first I thought it was a joke until I saw the intended purpose for devs/designers....I'd buy one, just imagine I would really need a fine tip whiteboard marker.
30
Annoucing "The Art Of The Con" And Retiring From Tech Conferences zedshaw.com
18 points by oracuk  2 hours ago   1 comment top
1
chris_wot 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Who is Steve Holden, and what did he do?

Also, what is BubbleConf, and why haven't the disinvited Zed Shaw? Curious.

       cached 18 May 2013 13:02:01 GMT