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Firefox OS devices officially launch mozilla.org
110 points by rnyman  2 hours ago   57 comments top 12
slacka 2 hours ago 7 replies      
All the previews I've read say that Firefox OS needs high-end hardware to deliver a responsive UI.

"Its unresponsive screen makes typing a laborious process requiring painstaking precision. Every action from swiping to tapping onscreen controls takes a beat until you see results, so using the phone for a prolonged period steals minutes of your time. Lag carries into the camera, which is slow to launch, snap, and reset."[1]

For $90, I would rather have a refurbished iPhone 3GS. A 3GS has 16GB of internal storage vs this phones 512MB and runs Apple's latest iOS 6. With native performance you get a silky smooth experience from the homescreen to apps even on budget hardware.

[1] http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57591716-94/firefox-os-phon...

anon1385 2 hours ago 4 replies      
>customized phone experience based on your needs

Can you disable Javascript?

marban 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Releasing only low-budget hardware is probably not the best strategy to break into the existing market. That is, phones like these are doomed to be used by people who aren't even aware of what kind of OS the phone uses as long as it's labeled smartphone and comes with a cheap plan and a facebook app.
jwarren 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I know that Mozilla aren't on the same realm of level of revenue as Apple or Google, and that they can't spend a fortune on marketing.

However, that must've been one of the least inspiring product demo videos I've ever watched. It does nothing on selling me on the virtues of the phone, just running through some extraordinarily anonymous features. I realise it's extremely affordable, but that hardware looks like it does almost nothing well. While I want to develop mobile apps, I don't particularly want to develop for this device, despite the HTML/CSS/JS support fitting neatly in my skillset.

The app store is probably the most curious thing, but that's hidden away and quickly glossed over.

If this starts reaching developing nations, with mobile internet etc, then I could see the benefit, and that's something that I'd love to engage with. At the moment it just seems like a weird brand exercise.

dombili 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Maybe this is me being delusional, but Geeksphone's models were running much more smoother than this (this being the Alcatel phone in the demo). I think the OS is fine and it'd work nicely on a good hardware, but it just needs time. It's gotta be hard to sell a phone that's cheap and has a good hardware. But I'm hopeful and rooting for Mozilla to pull this off.
bsaul 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The war with Tizen only get started. Yet, it's funny how those two OS will end up being almost 100% compatible (at least for webapps), and so in the end, it won't really matter which one you'll be using.Maybe this will start a new trend of "web phones", and will push android towards becoming more of a "chrome os".
juandopazo 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised by the early launch. I've been using a Geeksphone Peak as my primary phone for a couple of weeks and FirefoxOS is far from ready. There are bugs, missing features, apps that won't do basic things... Here I was thinking FirefoxOS needed an extra year of development and they're already launching devices!
panacea 2 hours ago 1 reply      
That demo video made my teeth hurt. Like going back in time to before the first iPhone was released.
menubar 13 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm in the "You-get-what-you-pay-for" school.

Besides being the phone all others are compared against, iPhone is standardized to fit a variety of 3rd party components; lenses, camera mounts, car mounts, etc.

Dependability is another aspect that should not be neglected to save a few $. If it's something you depend upon every day, you don't want to be disappointed when it matters most.

I guess a free Firefox OS phone would be great for homeless or families too poor to afford a decent phone.

andrewcooke 1 hour ago 0 replies      
telefonica chile: you work with alcatel; if you released that here on pay-as-you-go then i'd buy one in a heartbeat...
frozenport 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am always confused by the race to the bottom approach in electronics. These are device that people will spent hundreds of hours on, what is $60 dollars of savings stretched over the course of a 2 year contract?

I understand that in developing nations like Ethiopia or India this might be significant but in Spain?

pjmlp 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Following WebOS footsteps...
Metadata doesn't matter? Six months of phone meta-data, visualised zeit.de
136 points by danielhunt  3 hours ago   26 comments top 10
drpancake 1 hour ago 1 reply      
You can infer some amazing things from simple metadata. I spent six months in an R&D team at a large mobile telco, with the task of trying to infer as much as possible from anonymous customer data just like this.

Figuring out where you live and work, to a reasonable accuracy, is quite easy; you simply look at where the most outgoing calls/SMS originate from at certain hours of the day over an extended period.

We built up our own social graph. You treat calls and text messages as directed edges and phone numbers as nodes. These were fascinating to look at.

You can even try to guess when someone gets off a plane. When a plane lands you'll suddenly see lots of incoming undelivered text messages as people turn their phones back on. If a node was last seen in a far away cell, but then reappears in this group, you can cross-correlate with arrival times and make a reasonable guess.

grey-area 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What a remarkable visualisation - this is a clear demonstration of just how intrusive these metadata records can be. If they're not controlled by law, they should be.
mtgx 1 hour ago 1 reply      
And that's just from the phone metadata. Imagine how much more they can do with all your online info from all the services you're using, all the blogs you're commenting on, and so on.

The same person being talked about above wrote this article in NYTimes yesterday:


lazyjones 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Let's not forget that combined metadata from millions of people allow much greater detail than this (who you meet, talk to regularly, share interests with, are likely to run into ...).
rayiner 1 hour ago 4 replies      
The argument isn't that meta-data can't be used to get a lot of information about someone. The argument is that in the U.S., meta-data isn't protected information. Call meta-data is not your information, but information the telephone company keeps about you. In the U.S., the 4th amendment does not protect those sorts of records: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_v._Maryland. Your cell phone, which you use voluntarily, gives the phone company tremendous information about you, and under U.S. law nothing keeps the government from getting that information from the phone company.

Does call meta-data give the government a lot of information? Yes. Does it give the government too much information? Quite possibly. But arguing shrilly about how collecting call meta-data is "illegal" is counter-productive. Maybe it should be illegal, but you can't start the process of making it so by proceeding from an incorrect premise. And you can't dismiss the goal of making it illegal, by arguing that the government is already ignoring the law, with reference to activity where the government is clearly attempting to stay within the law, even if it is pushing the boundaries as much as it can.

blackdogie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Malte Spitz (the guy who's data you see) is a German Green Party politician and did a TED presentation in 2012 http://www.ted.com/talks/malte_spitz_your_phone_company_is_w...
binarymax 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know if these work as advertised? http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw=cell+phone+signal+block&...

I rarely receive calls on my mobile - and only really carry one just in case I need to make a call.

qwerta 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What do you thing that graph databases with trillions of connections are used for? The real fun will start after someone leaks couple of terabytes of tracking data.
moreentropy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm afraid the actual definition of "meta-data" is up to interpretation in the context of IP communication.

What if the NSA considers not only IP source & destination as "metadata" but also anything down to the application layer that is not strictly content? Like the HTTP GET line or HTTP headers.

mikecane 32 minutes ago 1 reply      
Given the remarkable intel that can be gathered, I'm surprised the NSA/CIA/FBI aren't giving away smartphones to targets as anonymous presents or under the pretense of winning a contest.
Ask HN: Who is hiring? (July 2013)
41 points by whoishiring  18 minutes ago   9 comments top 9
sethbannon 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Amicus (YC S12)is hiring Javascripters and Rubyists in NYC.

- We helped win marriage equality: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/the-soci...

- We're well funded: http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/13/amicus/

- We work on interesting problems, for example: Open source projects, including our own in house, soon to be open sourced, real time Model View Presenter javascript framework with bi-directional data binding

More details at http://jobs.amicushq.com/ or shoot an email with your github profile and why you might be a good fit to jobs+july@amicushq.com

Ovid 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hanover, Germany. Work Permit/Blue Card and Relocation Assistance Provided.

Several positions available:

- Two strong Perl developers with testing, refactoring, and "Modern Perl" experience.

- A DevOps person. As DevOps, not only will you be responsible for keeping their systems up and running, youll also have the ability to shape the operations management product all your colleagues are using. You will be there working with the dev team to help them build the right ops management system.

- A front-end developer with a keen eye towards Web site design and implementation. Expert with HTML/CSS/Javascript (jQuery). Also, either knows Perl or isn't afraid to learn it.

We're recruiting for a company in Hanover, Germany. They're stable, profitable and they've been in business for years. Hanover is a beautiful, bike-friendly, mid-sized town in the north of Germany. The cost of living is low and the quality of life is high. It's a green-friendly town and hosts one of the largest Oktoberfests in the world. While we're listing "desired" skills, keep in mind that the company is happy to be flexible on most of this so long as you can convince them that you can help improve their systems.

See http://www.allaroundtheworld.fr/vacancies.html for more information (we don't yet have the front-end developer position listed). You can email us at jobs@allaroundtheworld.fr. Please include:

Your name, your timezone (helpful when scheduling interviews!), your CV, where you heard about us and why you want to live in Germany!

Ovid 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Amsterdam, Netherlands. Work permit and relocation assistance provided.

We want developers who like to have fun and socialize outside of work, but care about their jobs, too. We're looking for UX designers, front-end and back-end developers.

UX designer: use Photoshop, Gimp, or whatever makes your socks roll up and down and you know how to make Web and/or mobile applications work for customers. Knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS also needed.

Front-end developer: you can make Web sites do exactly what you want them to do, regardless of the browser or operating system the web site is running on. Knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS required.

Back-end developers: you know what it takes to power the back-end of large web sites. You understand scalability issues and can explain the difference between an inner and outer join. You know what O(log N) is and why it's important. Your programming language history isn't important because you're good enough to learn a new language if needed.

All positions: not looking for rock stars. Looking for competent technical talent who are willing to move to Europe (unless you're already here). We have many expats working here and we'll even help pay for Dutch lessons, if you want them.

We also like people who understand business because you'll be expected to make many of your own decisions without having to ask permission from management for every little thing that you do. You will have the power to get stuff done, work with a great bunch of people and be able to spend your five weeks of vacation time cruising across Europe and discovering why Amsterdam is such a beautiful city.

For more information, see http://www.allaroundtheworld.fr/vacancies.html

Send email to jobs at allaroundtheworld.fr. Please include:

Your name, your timezone (helpful when scheduling interviews!), your CV, where you heard about us and why you want to live in Amsterdam!

twog 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Banyan (http://banyan.co) is seeking a Full Stack Rubyist to join our team. We're looking for a versatile engineer who wants to join the team to take on a wide range of technical challenges. We are based in Chattanooga, TN, but you can be anywhere.


* You thrive in a fast paced startup environment, and hate micromanagement.

* You can quickly pick up new technology and effectively apply it.

* You love dealing with multiple programming languages, web services, analytics, databases etc and connecting them all together.

* You feel right at home in a full stack environment.

* You enjoy doing something that nobody else has done before.

Nice to haves:

* You have a MS/PhD & have published research during your time in academia.

* You are comfortable with a variety of languages and consider yourself a generalist.

* You value user-experience & user-interface design, even if you cant design yourself.

* You are comfortable with HTML5 (Haml), CSS (Sass), and JS (Backbone).

* You have a deep understanding of Git & other Version control systems.

Why you should work with us:

* A chance to revolutionize science.

* Competitive salary & benefits in a well-funded, early stage startup.

* Close-knit engineering team who loves pair-programming, agile development, and code review.

* We re-invest in our employees and focus on personal and team development.

* Transparency and honesty. Within the company, everything is open to discussion.

Salary is dependent on experience & ability. We will pay for relocation if you're interested. Compensation package included. To apply contact toni (at) banyan.co, or tweet me @twogiraffes

jack7890 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
SeatGeek -- New York, NY -- Full Time

We're a search engine for tickets and live events. Think "Kayak for sports/music/theater tickets."

Frontend Developer -- A big focus on Javascript, HTML/CSS, and crafting (but not visually designing) user experiences and interfaces. Details here: http://seatgeek.com/jobs/ui_developer/

Web Engineer -- We're looking for someone who loves building web apps. Everything else (professional experience, where in the stack you fit, the languages you've used) is up for debate. Details here: http://seatgeek.com/jobs/web_engineer/

probst 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Kaiserslautern Germany, Software Engineer at Aircloak - REMOTE

My name is Sebastian, and I am the CTO at Aircloak.Aircloak is a young and well-funded startup working on privacy preserving data processing and analytics. We are a spinout from the German Max-Planck Institute for Software System research institute, where we also currently have our offices.

Our technology allows us to process highly private streams of data and only ever make fully anonymous data available to our customers. One of the features that make our system unique is that no one, including operators, customers, and ourselves, ever has access to the sensitive raw data. This property holds true even after we update the software running on the machines processing the sensitive data!

You should:

    - be intelligent    - have a good sense of humour    - be an amazing programmer    - wish to change the world
Our system spans many machines and services, with major components written in Erlang and Java, in addition to components written in C, C# and ruby. Knowledge of functional programming is a plus. Experience with web development is not going to hurt either.

We are:

    - recent University of Cambridge graduates     - one director at the Max-Planck Institute
The work environment is highly international and diverse, and we would like to keep it that way.We are looking to hire two more full time engineers. You can either work on site with us in our offices in Kaiserslautern, Germany, or, for the right candidate, remote. We offer good and stable salary, generous equity and great facilities.

We hope to hear from you. Please email us at jobs@aircloak.com if you have any questions!

You can find more on our website: http://www.aircloak.com/join.html

rubyrescue 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Inaka is hiring iOS and Android devs in Atlanta, GA (and Buenos Aires, Argentina). We build very popular mobile apps for funded startups and media brands.I'm setting up an Atlanta office and we're looking for our first development hire in the US. If you like mobile apps, wouldn't mind the idea of travel to Latin America (or North America if you're in Argentina), email me - chad@inaka.net.
grrrando 6 minutes ago 0 replies      


Brooklyn / NYC / Philadelphia

Looking for: Lead/senior Rails engineer, Senior front-end developer (JavaScript at an expert level).

RT+P is a full-service ad shop based in Philadelphia, PA. We're seeking smart people who are interested in building apps that help people reach their goals. Agency experience is not required.

Brooklyn positions: We operate a small development outpost in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn office is small - currently just myself. You'll be working directly with me, but also be a part of a larger, but still small, organization of creative people. Some travel (mainly to Philadelphia, once every couple weeks) will be expected but will be fully covered.

Please contact me at interactivejobs@redtettemer.com

bootstraponline 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Boston, MA. Senior QA Engineer Automation

This role participates in a new enterprise-wide software quality assurance function that will drive SQA automation and promote the adoption and sharing of best practices across multiple business units that are engaged in software development.


The successful candidate will work with business units to create automation and promote the sharing and adoption of best practices. To accomplish this, the Engineer will engage in a variety of functions:

- Participate in tool selection and create an automated test framework.

- Build automated (and some manual) tests for web and mobile solutions (iOS, Android, Windows).

- Develop and execute detailed test cases and automated test scripts.

- Establish automated functional and regression testing procedures.

- Create automated performance testing plans and test scenarios.

- Assist in defining Quality Assurance policies and process improvements.

- Train and mentor QA team members in automated testing and best practices.

Experience & Expertise

- Minimum three years quality assurance experience with web and mobile technologies / platforms.

- Strong experience with automation tools, preferably Selenium WebDriver, Ruby, Appium, Node.js, and other open-source tools. Focus on coding rather than record/playback.

- Knowledge of QA Procedures and Methodology, and Agile / SDLC.

- Performance testing experience is strongly preferred.

- Excellent analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills.

- Ability to set priorities and multi-task in a fast-paced environment.

- Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills; and

- Ability to successfully work independently and in a team environment, build peer-to-peer relationships; typically work with several departments in the organization.

Location: Boston, MA

About Aquent: For 20+ years Aquent has led the way in transforming how companies find and utilize marketing and creative talent to execute their brand strategies. Aquents pioneering approach to staffing and services has helped thousands of companies -- including two-thirds of the Fortune 500 and 90 of the Fortune 100 -- build their internal marketing and communications capabilities. Today Aquent has 45 offices across the globe and is headquartered in Boston, Mass.

How to apply

Email your resume to nkotsifas@aquent.com


Germany's Greens say Snowden should get safe haven in Europe yahoo.com
117 points by NonEUCitizen  4 hours ago   38 comments top 13
anon1385 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure the protection of the German state is something the US will care about:

Khalid El-Masri (born June 29, 1963) is a German citizen who was mistakenly abducted by the Macedonian Police, and handed-over to the U.S. CIA, whose officers interrogated, sodomized and tortured him. While in CIA hands, he was flown to Afghanistan, where he was held in a black site, interrogated, beaten, strip-searched and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, tantamount to torture. After El-Masri held hunger strikes, and was detained for four months in the "Salt Pit", the CIA finally admitted his arrest and torture were a mistake and released him.


mtgx 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"Trittin said that in response to the latest revelations, the EU should suspend exchanging banking and flight data with the United States."

I wasn't aware the US actually "exchanges" any passenger data with the EU. I thought it's just EU giving them the data. So he probably means "EU needs to stop giving data to US".

Usually, these deals are one-sided, in that they only serve US.

nolok 2 hours ago 0 replies      
French's Green party made the same request during the night (asking to grant him asylum in France)


rumcajz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes. Exactly. This is the least we can do in the Europe. There are at least 3 reasons to do so:

1. This way we can signal we mean it with the democracy thing.2. We can prevent random despot to claim moral superiority to EU because of granting the asylum.3. EU is relatively safe from US revenge, unlike smaller countries.

lispm 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
It would be great, but in reality Snowden would not be safe in Germany. We still have tens of thousands US military personel (the US central commands for Europe and Africa are here) and lots of US intelligence agencies active here. The US were also using Germany to transfer their secret prisoners to the torture prisons in East Europe.


fnordfnordfnord 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
>Seibert (Merkel's representative) brushed aside a suggestion by the opposition Greens that the EU should provide a safe haven for Snowden.

Merkel isn't on board yet.

ramblerman 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm actually suprised Russia,Ecuador, and Iceland were the only viable candidates mentioned for Snowden.

Although not a certainty I would imagine Belgium, France, and Germany would be good candidates also.

bartman 1 hour ago 3 replies      
When they say "Germany's third largest party" it's important to know that they only hold about 11% of the seats of the German Parliament (Bundestag) right now and are unlikely to affect matters in this case.
simfoo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Please, whenever you read something about German politicians these days, keep in mind that there's an election this fall...
Uchikoma 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not here in Berlin please, I don't want Reaper strikes here. Thanks.
bayesianhorse 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
That's the exception. Also I really doubt that it is harder to extract Snowden out of Ecuador than out of Germany...
Lapsa 2 hours ago 0 replies      
i don't mind him putting tent in my garden too. would get bit cold when autumn hits though.
How to build (and how not to build) a secure remember me feature troyhunt.com
25 points by troyhunt  1 hour ago   discuss
Show HN: Chicken chicken chicken: chicken chicken programming language torso.me
71 points by torso  3 hours ago   40 comments top 20
pwg 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Except that the name "chicken" is already taken:

google search: "chicken programming language" returns:

#1 Chicken (scheme implementation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_%28scheme_implementatio...

#2 CHICKEN Scheme http://www.call-cc.org/

bnegreve 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Error messages are very clear and understandable which is definitely a plus. For example:

    Error on line 1: expected 'chicken'

arbuge 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Chicken! Chicken chicken?

//Chicken chicken chicken

chicken (chicken = 0; chicken++; chicken = chicken/0){


brudgers 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Great prototype. To scale, you will need to implement egg.
skriticos2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I love how even the JS implementation contains almost only the word chicken repeatedly.
delinka 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
"BBQ: Chars the topmost group of chickens into the corresponding ASCII code. ASCII stands for American Standard Chicken for Information Interchange."

Dude thought of everything...

perfunctory 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The paper actually reminds some blog posts about Ruby or Smalltalk. Just replace the word chicken with the word object.
cpdean 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm waiting for the buffalo buffalo port.
girvo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The source code, combined with my utter lack of sleep in the last 24 hours, caused me to giggle uncontrollably.
DanWaterworth 2 hours ago 0 replies      
When can we expect an LLVM backend?
ricardobeat 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Chicken chicken chickens, chicken? Chicken.
trumbitta2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome if someone would implement the Hodor programming language, next.
dodgrile 2 hours ago 1 reply      
the word 'chicken' has now lost all meaning.
Cthulhu_ 2 hours ago 1 reply      
ars 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if he became a vegetarian after managing to write this.

And I bet he has chicken dreams.

Schiphol 2 hours ago 0 replies      
cool :) But isn't the EOL character a second meaningful symbol in your language?
isawczuk 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Write compiler in chicken lang and call it egg.

Then you will solve unsolved puzzle what was first compiler or programming language. or if you will: chicken or egg.

ashishb4u 2 hours ago 1 reply      
can someone elaborate the cat program?
razorsese 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That documentation
Playing dirty - how my competitors bought my appstore reviews neotokyo.vg
56 points by adambenayoun  4 hours ago   35 comments top 12
kybernetyk 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
If one wants to see an app store where review spam is out of control one should take look at Apple's Mac App Store - because in this store you still can review applications that you obtained through redeeming a promo code.

Examples (need the Mac App Store app to see the reviews):

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icd-any-musics-to-cd/id61667... mostly reviews by accounts who only review apps by this one developer)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audio-studio-pro/id598189439... (mass upvoting of fake reviews, downvoting of real reviews)

Ironically through a bug in the App Store the only apps that display any 'stars' in search results are said spammer apps that can gather unusual many reviews in a short time frame. (In a slow category like music getting even 5 ratings/reviews takes weeks. Suspicious apps usually get more than 5 ratings in one day.)

Then there's the trick to register your app as a handler for all possible 3 letter file extensions. (Perform a search for 'extension:fzx' or for any other nonsense 3 letter extension in the Mac App Store). Which hijacks OS X' built in "couldn't find app to handle somefile.fzx. do you want to search the app store?" and drives a lot of traffic to said apps - without being any helpful to the user in handling said file. One such app is:


That app topped overall grossing charts for weeks until the ratings got so bad that even the dullest user won't download it.

The Mac App Store currently is a spammed mess and it really throws a bad light at the OS X software ecosystem and Apple's platform.

supercoder 3 hours ago 3 replies      
This stuff has been happening since day one on the store, so dont take it too hard.

Two reviews is very minor but clearly just the Glide dev making a few accounts and downloading and then reviewing. But yeah, they're not very clever about it.

Just mark / report the reviews as inappropriate and put the reason for 'Suspect written by competitor' or something to that effect and they're usually removed pretty quickly.

kingofspain 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Something similar happened to an app I built. The direct competitor in the web world (they had no app of their own) posted a 1-star review using his real name no less, mere hours after launch. This was followed shortly afterwards by 2 more with very similar wording. No luck in getting them removed and we just had to live with it, though it no doubt hurt a little that our first 3 reviews were all 'This is app is crap lol'.
willvarfar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why can anyone rate an app? Why can't it be that you have to have used the app to be allowed to rate it, and the ratings weighed by your time in the app, your rating history, your rating history's stddev or collaborative filtering, etc?
stack0v3erfl0w 3 hours ago 0 replies      
lucian1900 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Why would they be so stupid as to rate both apps with the same account?
rootlocus 2 hours ago 3 replies      
http://www.neotokyo.vg/ "The domain has expired 15887 days ago on 01 January 1970 and is pending renewal or deletion."

Am I missing something?

johnjlocke 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's sad that anyone associated with Glide didn't talk whoever greenlighted this out of this terrible idea. If your app is good, then let it succeed on its own merit. Not only will you get caught doing stuff like this, but it makes you look like an asshole to the rest of the dev community trying to hack the App Store reviews.
akirareiko 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I am the author of this post and if anyone have a question I am more than happy to answer it.
hnha 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how many reviews are posted per day in the Apple/Google app stores.
quchen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The site seems to be down (o-tone domain expired since Unix epoch) for me. I'm assuming that's a temporary error?
roel_v 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Let's classify this under 'No shit, Sherlock'. This happened on shareware BBS'es in the 1980's - nowadays it's about real money, so the incentives are only stronger.
Learn java in Minutes learnxinyminutes.com
37 points by Ashuu  2 hours ago   28 comments top 16
krelian 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think we are getting into spam territory with this site.
Proleps 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
All these Learn x in y minutes are really good cheat sheets. They are also pretty nice to check out before you start on a longer tutorial.
kriro 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It should be obvious to anyone that you won't learn JAVA by simply looking over this.

The point is that for learning it is very important to

1) Get a basic overview of terminology and a general feel for the domain (traditionally you pick up three or so books on the topic, browse through them and note similar/repeatet patterns on a very high level)...then you can break down the learning into subcomponents

2) Find a way to get started and just do it

Creating your own checklists, flash cards, high level presentation on the topic are great starting points and usually step 0 before practice, practice, practice.

This looks like an excellent first step for anyone that wants to start with JAVA.

hmottestad 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This looks like a great cheatsheet for those doing into to programming at uni (in java). Quick place to check on syntax without having to open a book, browse through slides or googling and ending up on a page from 1990 about how to make good coffee.
nnq 1 hour ago 1 reply      
looking forward for a Javascript version :) ...it would be serious fun to read, knowing all the horrible language gotchas that will soon byte a beginner that starts coding Js after reading only such a guide.
nns 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A lot of libraries these days come with a Docco[1] annotated code and examples [2]. This looks very similar, but could make use of Docco.

[1]http://jashkenas.github.io/docco/[2] http://documentcloud.github.io/underscore/docs/underscore.ht...

mavroprovato 53 minutes ago 1 reply      

  // Import all "sub-packages"  import java.lang.Math.*;
Nope, you don't import all subpackages with this, you import all the static methods defined in the java.lang.Math class

yati 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would really like to see a "Learn C++ in minutes" post.
avargas 2 hours ago 6 replies      
I can't seem to understand if people really do think they can learn a language in X minutes. It takes countless hours of writing code in a specific language to learn it, and many months of writing on it to call yourself a good programmer in that language, or expert. </rant>
kodeater 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you are learning that's a good source. They never said that this would make you become an expert. thumbs up. If you already know the basics just don't read it. But everybody one day was a noob.
thewarrior 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The faster you learn something the faster you forget it.
benburton 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The class name should really be upper camel case...
huherto 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Convert integer to string...

  "" + 123;

antonmaju 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Peter Norvig said otherwise http://norvig.com/21-days.html
drmr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
.. and then forget it in seconds.
chunkylover53 1 hour ago 0 replies      
you learn it and forget it.
"Disable Javascript" option removed in Firefox 23 mozilla.org
333 points by joallard  10 hours ago   283 comments top 47
gkoberger 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Here's a very relevant blog post by Alex Limi of Mozilla: http://limi.net/checkboxes-that-kill/

Most sites these days that arent just displaying content will fail in interesting & mysterious ways if you dont have JavaScript enabled. For the general population, Firefox will appear broken.

And yes, I know that some people have reasons (privacy, web development) to turn off JavaScript. There are many add-ons that can help with thisbut its not something that we should ship to hundreds of millions of users.

(EDIT: this is the relevant quote, but worth reading the whole article)

Osmose 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's the bug where the option was removed: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=851702

Limi's blog post "Checkboxes that kill your product" is cited in the bug as a good explanation of the motivation behind this: http://limi.net/checkboxes-that-kill/

The option has been added to the DevTools for developers who find it useful: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=864249

And of course addons like NoScript or js-switch are available if you still want this in your UI: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/noscript/ and https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/js-switch/

kijin 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I supppose too many people accidentally disabled Javascript in recent months while trying to disable Java. As long as there's an about:config option that does the same thing, I don't think it's a bad move to remove that option from view.

I will, however, miss the "Advanced" button next to the "Enable JavaScript" checkbox (if that button is going to go away, too, which the article isn't clear about). I use those Advanced options all the time to prevent websites from messing with my neatly tiled windows and trying to prevent me from using the right mouse button. Here in South Korea, the majority of blogs and forums have right-click protection enabled (and refuse to display any content if you disable Javascript altogether) due to ridiculous defaults in popular platforms, and every other website feels like they have the right to go full-screen. Firefox is the only thing that makes this stupid trend bearable. I guess I'll have to go and check whether NoScript has a similar option.

sergiotapia 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I like this! The option is still there for power users (who most likely _know_ why they want to disable Javascript) and normal users can't accidentally disable it. Win-win!
gnosis 9 hours ago 3 replies      
A few months ago, I switched to using w3m inside emacs as my primary browser.

w3m is not capable of handling Javascript at all. And you know what, for 90% of the websites I visit, it doesn't matter. They function fine and look fine without Javascript. And if w3m could manage to make most websites look fine without Javascript, so could Firefox -- if its developers cared.

As for non-technical users -- they're probably not going to be opening Firefox's Preferences dialog in the first place. And if they do, they probably aren't going to start randomly checking and unchecking stuff to see what it does. That's something an adventurous geek might try, but certainly not your typical non-technical user.

If Firefox developers wanted to additionally protect the average user from this dangerous button, they could have simply stuck it in the Advanced tab of the Preferences dialog, or added a scary warning about being doubly sure that the user knows what he's doing (like they do with about:config).

That said, I'm happy to use NoScript for this functionality anyway, as it's far more flexible than a blanket "turn off Javascript everywhere with no exceptions" button.

camus 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I exclusively surf with javascript disabled by default. I only turn javascript on on websites that i trust or the site has to give a good reason to do so. i wont turn on javascript to display your crappy jquery menu or slideshow.

So many pages are totally broken without javascript. You dont need javascript to have a good layout, a complexe menu or display images. Yet some "professional" sites dont even work without javascript on, All you see is a blank page.

And by the way, there is a tag called noscript , but it seems webdesigners that only think about demonstrating their "html5" talents dont know their basics.

Javascript is the new flash. Stupid cheesy animations , heavy pages , memory leaks that kill your browser, javascript intros that you cant skip ,broken parallax scrolling , slow scrollbars so it feels like you are on ipad , it will be worse than flash when designers start abusing Adobe Edge on all their websites.

So long firefox...

bad_user 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Firefox is the most customizable browser available. It's about time they cleaned-up their Preferences panel and leave that stuff for extensions to tackle.

I personally never disabled Javascript from the Preferences panel because I never find anything in that panel. To disable Javascript, I use the Web Developer toolbar, which is much more convenient, although not convenient enough - since one might want to enable/disable Javascript automatically on a domain basis, which is why this should be best handled by extensions that are free to innovate the UI.

And while we are at it, I wish Firefox would add a search box in that Preferences panel. Its usefulness has been demonstrated in Chrome's Settings and Windows' Control Panel.

Also, Firefox rocks and I'm so happy to see it improve.

aaron695 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> This destroys a non-technical user's grasp of the differences between static HTML and programatically manipulated HTML.

I think this line says it all.

Non-technical user don't even know what HTML is, the concept they'd ever "grasp of the differences between static HTML and programatically manipulated HTML"? Do these people live in the real world?

kondro 9 hours ago 10 replies      
I can't remember the last time I wrote an application that didn't rely on Javascript for even parts of its basic functionality.

I simply don't understand why you would want to browse the web without JS enabled and the average user definitely would never turn it off except in error, causing them to think the browser is broken.

Every single common-use browser on the Internet supports Javascript, there is no reason to assume it is not there as a developer.

BoyWizard 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> This destroys a non-technical user's grasp of the differences between static HTML and programatically manipulated HTML. It hides the setting amidst hundreds of other obscure settings, and does not emphasize the extremely powerful tool that JavaScript is, and the fact that it is optional.

Most 'non-technical users' don't have a clue about HTML, Javascipt, static features, etc. To them the internet consists of Facebook, Google and Youtube.

Arguably users who want to disable Javascript could be classified as 'technical', at least enough to be able to Google either a) how to do it from within Firefox, or b) install a plugin such as NoScript to do it for them.

philbo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The following rant is somewhat tangential but, as a front-end developer that takes pride in progressively enhancing websites I work on, I think this is a shame for a different reason.

So many times when speaking to employers/product owners about progressive enhancement of JavaScript components, the answer I get back is along the lines of "we don't care about that" or "we don't have the time". Sometimes in conversations with other developers too. I think this change will contribute to an increase in that attitude.

Progressively enhancing a website enables you to still deliver a whizz-bang, fancy-pants UI but ensure that it degrades to a sane text document when viewed in, say, lynx [1]. And it doesn't mean doubling the development time of every feature, which I often hear cited as an argument against. Often it can involve providing a very cut-down equivalent that takes relatively little time to build.

Should we care about people that turn off JavaScript or use a non-JavaScript browser enough to write code for them? Given that the web is an open, standards-based platform, I think we should.

[1] http://lynx.browser.org/

CyberDroiD 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Javascript is not required to read articles on the web. It's optional. That's why "Reader" mode is so handy, just show me the article so I can read it. Sometimes I don't like waiting for my browser to struggle with poorly written JS.

It sounds like a classic noobie mistake... "Why are users able to turn off Javascript?" "No idea." "Remove the feature!"

If anyone says Javascript is not optional, they are trying to sell you something: probably web apps!

PavlovsCat 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Okay, since Opera seems to have gone the way of the dodo: Is there a browser for power users? I mean, good luck to Firefox and Chrome, but considering I rarely use flashy websites, I really would rather use something that only works with half the sites, but has the experimentation and hunger for ideas for the sake of ideas more than for the sake of market share these so sorely lack.
ck2 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is unnecessary panic/upset.

It's only being removed from the UI

The backend ability is still there.

Extensions like no-script and yes-script (I prefer) will still function.

bdcravens 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it just me, or do most of the commenters here seem to believe that it's no longer possible to disable JavaScript, as opposed to it simply being removed from the UI?
alister 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, how times change. The smart advice was to never use Javascript. (Years ago pg even wrote, "I would not even use Javascript, if I were you. Most of the Javascript I see on the Web isn't necessary, and much of it breaks." ) Javascript has gone from horribly flaky -> occasionally useful -> necessary -> mandatory.
rocky1138 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
The title isn't entirely accurate: it's been moved not removed.
ilaksh 9 hours ago 3 replies      
One aspect of this that I haven't heard people get into very much: the idea that a lot of people have, including (probably) most developers at Mozilla and many web developers such as myself, is for the web platform to be a ubiquitous way to deploy applications.

The idea is that JavaScript allows a relatively safe way to do that in a sandboxed environment (the browser) that is available on almost every computer.

The developers who really want the web to just be a bunch of static HTML are actually inhibiting that vision of a web platform. Because if disabling JavaScript were to become popular, that takes away that capability of web browsers to run applications. The conversation would go from something like "we can use JavaScript and this application will run for anyone who has a new version of Firefox, Chrome, or IE10/11, or Safari" to "we can deploy our application to the latest browsers, but we will have to first present a screen asking users to enable JavaScript on our site" or something along those lines. It goes from being a ubiquitous cross-platform solution to one that will only run for people who like JavaScript.

JavaScript in the browser is by far the best option we have now and in the foreseeable future for easily deploying applications across different types of operating systems and even devices.

Its amazing to me how many people don't appreciate that goal or really take it into account.

protomyth 1 hour ago 0 replies      
At this point, I'm fine with disabling options if the program is sufficiently scriptable / programmable to allow someone to write a plugin to duplicate the "turn off" behavior. For browsers, we seem to be in a plugin replaces options universe. If a browser plugin cannot duplicate the behavior, then the browser needs to be changed to allow it or the option needs to stay.
Shank 9 hours ago 1 reply      
There was a talk (or podcast?) that discussed how cluttered with vestigial options Firefox and other browsers are. One of the examples was JS - if you turn it off entirely it makes the entire web seemingly broken. As long as the option is there for power users, this is the kind of thing that removing will probably cause less headaches for people in the long term.
overgard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that checkbox hung around as long as it did. I imagine only maybe .001% of browser users actually really cared enough to turn that off, and if they did, they were probably already running something like NoScript since toggling it in the preferences all the time is way too blunt an instrument anyway.
marco-fiset 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
The thing is that non-expert users generally leave javascript on, because they don't even know what it is, let alone disabling it.
gcb0 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Didn't gnome3 taught us a valuable lesson on dumbing things down on the expectation that users are dumb/can't read?
grannyg00se 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The bug was resolved as invalid with no explanation. I hope that by the time this makes it to regular release the transition is handled better.
dangayle 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I commented on this elsewhere, but to all the people who assume that developers can just build websites and assume that JS is enabled, please Google "Section 508".

FWIW, I don't think we should avoid educating users. Pandering to the dumbest common denominator only makes dumb things in the long run.

DigitalSea 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It makes sense to me. You can't even do Internet banking these days without needing Javascript enabled and to disable it you'll always have the plethora of addons that allow you to disable Javascript anyway. I think this is a welcome removal from Firefox, it's 2013 not 1925, Javascript is everywhere.
leoc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Look on the bright side. At least we'll never, ever have to hear about the Principle of Least Power again from Mozilla/HTML5 advocates lionising the "Open Web" against smartphone apps, Native Client or what have you.
Fuxy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Well JS can be disabled with the help of plugins however I find it ominous that you have to be an expert user/programmer to disabled javascript.

There are a lot of websites out there that use javascript for less than reputable purposes so not being able to disable it when you know you might run into them is insecure.

Like say using tor where having JS enabled is like asking to be tracked.

I know disabling JS is not an option on the modern web but then ship with something like noscript instead don't just leave users exposed.

This is not a feature that can just be removed it needs to be replaced instead.

philliphaydon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
WOOOOHOOOO Best knews I've heard for Firefox! Now if only every other browser would do it.
dmiladinov 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As long as you can still disable JS via about:config or NoScript, this is hardly worrisome.
holalala 9 hours ago 0 replies      
disabling javascript is the most effective method against XSS, so it's really bad choice to not be able to do it simply.not that firefox would be that security-minded in other areas regarding to javascript (XSS + form autofill without SecureLogin addon = fun & profit for hackers
srikarg 10 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a good move to make considering the numerous JavaScript-dependent web applications present today!
Ankaios 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If Firefox's developers are worried about people not understanding why a page doesn't work, another potential solution would be to provide users with some feedback. For instance, if Javascript is disabled but present in a page, perhaps show a (simplified?) small debugger box showing the next lines of Javascript which would have been executed and some sort of an obvious Run / Play button to start the script.

I'd prefer if browsers treated the Web as less of a black box, and if they erred more toward helping users understand the world they are exploring.

pschastain 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't stand engineers who assume that they know better than those who use their products. Not just hiding the ability to easily disable javascript, but RE-ENABLING IT AGAIST THE USERS EXPRESSED DESIRE via an update - seriously, your head is so far up your ass you'd have to shit twice just to see daylight.
frontsideair 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised no one has posted this xkcd strip yet.


dewiz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
many web sites don't work without cookies either, specifically the authentication.

if the functionality of "modern" sites is the only rationale, it is simply a wrong decision by Mozilla.

aerolite 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Stop disabling Javascript, you Luddite. The entire web depends on it.
saejox 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There are more people who disable JS unintentionally than those who do it intentionally.

This is a good move. Option still exists in about:config.

holalala 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like the reason behind the move is that preferences UI has become incomprehensible ... which actually doesn't have anything to do with javascript.Perhaps a move towards Eclipse-like preferences would be a wiser choice?
crististm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
That spencer guy really sounds like a smartass; I mean, we're too stupid to be around him and not seeing the light that shines through his ass; vent off
wooptoo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
About time. JS is an integral part of the web experience.
ID_10T 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a Firefox user, I feel like most of the people complaining are Chrome users just looking to pick a fight.

Hey, Chrome folks, Firefox has this great thing called NoScript. I realize Chrome doesn't have that, so you have to manually disable/enable JavaScript. We just use NoScript, as we have for years, which does a lot more. Firefox users don't rely on the "Disable JavaScript" option, nor ever did.

This is a nonissue, but continue to make it more than it is.

ID_10T 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This will obviously receive a lot of hate from the tech community.

Fortunately they are the 1%. For everyone else in the world, this is a welcomed change. Most people don't even know what JavaScript is.

swiftin 10 hours ago 7 replies      
Why is taking away features "in" now?
sampk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Classic Brendan Eich.
SmokyBorbon 9 hours ago 0 replies      


Dynamic Languages are Unmaintainable williamedwardscoder.tumblr.com
13 points by mpweiher  1 hour ago   21 comments top 4
m0th87 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
I use dynamically typed languages maybe 90% of the time, and completely agree. But here's the thing: for most projects - including ones in production - it doesn't matter because the app won't be large enough to not completely fit in a mental model.

If the app starts getting too large, then by all means rewrite it in a statically typed language. If you're getting to that point, a rewrite is probably warranted anyways; regardless of the language you choose, first versions are usually awkwardly structured and difficult to maintain anyways since features evolve faster than architecture.

lhnz 6 minutes ago 1 reply      
>> And here is that insidious problem; all your unit tests have frozen the interaction of your components. They have copied the API of your components and distributed it all over your test code base.

This is what I hate about the unit-test everything approach. There seems to be a class of developers recently that believe that robustness is more important than anything else.

Often speed bumps in changing API contracts is a higher price to pay than the kind of bugs which unit testing uncovers.

There are lots of things which are good in small quantities and very bad in large quantities [0].

Form does not follow function, form is interdependent with function. Better to be able to iterate quickly, spot a couple of bugs with sparse unit tests and completely rewrite your small components if they no longer fit the bill.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis

lbarrow 28 minutes ago 4 replies      
I use a strongly, statically typed functional language. Because my code has no mutable state, the type system of the program proves the program correct. So I don't have to write any tests at all and maintenance is easy.
PaulHoule 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The argument between dynamic and static languages has gone one for years and there's been no conclusive answer that one is better than the other.

People have written 500kloc C++ systems and they've written 500kloc of TCL.

Startup Investing Trends paulgraham.com
292 points by anateus  14 hours ago   124 comments top 31
hooande 12 hours ago 6 replies      
The current venture capital model is all about social dynamics. Almost everything that VCs do is intended to remind founders that they are the supplicants asking for money, and the VCs are the wealthy financial professionals who are the gatekeepers of their social class.

If you've ever been to a major VCs office you'll know exactly what I mean. The decor is all marble and old money. It's designed to let visitors know that the VCs are rich, powerful and important, more so than the founder who is coming to seek capital. It's not that the VCs are bad people, trying to manipulate founders with psychological mind games. It's that this is the way things were done for most of the 20th century and most VC firms are still playing by the old rules.

Most of the things that pg complained about specifically fall into this category of social dynamic reinforcement. Why do VCs make raising money into a ridiculously drawn out process of months of email after email? Because only the powerful side of the negotiation can do that. Those who are serious about getting a deal done answer the phone when it rings. The boss can afford to wait until they have time on their schedule.

Why do VCs compel founders to accept more investment money than they might need? Again, it's a power thing. When you go to the bank and ask for a loan they don't convince you to take $5MM more than you asked for. This is because bank loans have become a commodity and they need your business as much as you need their money. VCs are fighting commoditization with everything they have. They like a system that makes them much more important than the other side.

The kind of VC that pg said would get "all the best deals" is one that valued founder's time as much as their time. That placed the founders financial needs on the same level of their financial needs. Well, what VC wants to play that game? It's smarter to preserve a system that you are firmly at the top of than it is to lower standards to get more deal flow. Right now the Sequoia brand is worth it's weight in platinum, which means that they get to dictate terms entirely. It will be a long time before they change the way that they do business in order to cater to the needs of any given founder.

I'm not saying that VCs are malicious or evil. They are generally very intelligent, capable and good people. It's just that they are they are caught up in an antiquated system that places too much value on social status and position. Most VCs worked their lives to get there, they aren't going to give it up even if it's the right thing to do.

I think the real question is: Why doesn't Paul Graham start this mythical founders first VC firm? People trust him with money and he's proven that he can put common sense over his ego. He has the respect of the community and as he said himself, if he followed his own advice he could get all the best deals.

jacques_chester 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> One thing we can say for sure is that there will be a lot more startups. The monolithic, hierarchical companies of the mid 20th century are being replaced by networks of smaller companies. This process is not just something happening now in Silicon Valley. It started decades ago, and it's happening as far afield as the car industry. It has a long way to run.

I think this is predicted in part by Coase's theory of the firm.

As the transactional cost of coordinating between firms falls, the size of a firm necessary to sustain complex projects and processes shrinks.

For example, it used to be that getting computing done meant leasing mainframe time. IBM wouldn't deal with small-fry, just too much work for too little return. So to get started, you needed mondo capital.

Later, provisioning a server meant some faxes, phonecalls and maybe some emails; followed by sending some staff to a data centre to meet a shipment from the manufacturer and install it. This meant that you needed several actual people in the company to do this. Usually the founders and a few other people, on a weekend.

These days? I type a command. My computer talks to a remote computer and they set up any amount of computing that I need.

Now I need to jump in here and point out that it's not simply sticker cost. It's the full transactional cost -- cost of search, cost of integration, cost of coordination etc etc -- that is falling on many fundamental inputs to software development.

The other thing that predicts the fall in firm size is the increasing productivity of developers. One of the principal ways to improve the productivity of labour is to use capital, and the past decade has seen an accumulation of capital that is stunning in its breadth and scope.

For example, a decade ago, Rails didn't exist outside of 37signals. Neither did the vast ecosystem of tools that has grown up around it. Collectively these represent amazing amounts of capital that any individual can access and apply.

7Figures2Commas 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't disagree with all of PG's points, but I always find it intriguing that in discussions of the current startup landscape and the future of startup investing, there's almost never any mention of the impact of the easy money policies of the major central banks over the past several years.

Cheap money on an unprecedented scale has affected just about every asset class, including VC, so to discuss the future of startup investing without even considering the extraordinary monetary policies we've seen implemented since 2008 is interesting to say the least.

jfarmer 13 hours ago 2 replies      
"I think one of the biggest unexploited opportunities in startup investing right now is angel-sized investments made quickly. Few investors understand the cost that raising money from them imposes on startups."

Oh lord yes.

Having been through the fundraising process a few times, it's hard to describe the sheer relief when you find an investor willing to give a quick yes or no. The best I can describe it is like the feeling of getting a Christmas present you really, really wanted but didn't think to ask for.

SV Angel and a16z are two of the best I've ever interacted with in this regard. It's clear both firms deeply respect entrepreneurs' time.

JumpCrisscross 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"If there were a reputable investor who invested $100k on good terms and promised to decide yes or no within 24 hours, they'd get access to almost all the best deals, because every good startup would approach them first. It would be up to them to pick, because every bad startup would approach them first too, but at least they'd see everything."

Sounds like a classic intermediation problem.

The classic intermediation solution is a market maker who defaults to funding any start-up that meets pre-posted requirements. The intention would be to off-load the illiquid stake as soon as possible. The thesis is that liquidity conditions are restraining venture capital flows more than any shortage of risk capital. The plan may still achieve escape velocity if net transaction efficiencies outweigh the information asymmetry costs, i.e. the "6 weeks" liberated from fund-raising enhances valuations fast enough to make up for the duds accepted in the name of speediness. ROFRs and other anti-transfer mechanisms diminish the appeal of this idea.

kapilkale 13 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing I suspect will change for VCs is the 2/20 model.

Because the cost of building a startup is going down, and assuming the opportunity lies in early stage investments, VCs are going to have to make more early stage investments than they are now.

VC operating expenses are covered by a 2% management fee levied on assets under management. This incentivizes VCs to create megafunds so that they can have proportionally mega salaries.

Seed stage investments come at a totally different operating cost.

Seed-stage investing is pretty hard with a megafund because they are so expensive operationally. VCs would much rather write a 50M check in a growth round for 33% of a company than a 100 $500K checks for 5% of each company. They might have to talk to 20 companies for the growth rounds to make 1 investment, but they'd probably have to talk to thousands to make the 100 investments in seed rounds. That means they need a bigger staff and that 2% model won't work.

In fact, I've heard VCs say that the only reason they write small checks in seed rounds is so that they have a strong relationship with the founders and pro-rata rights if the company happens to blow up.

I suspect that VC salaries will go down like crazy, and they'll be forced to rely on carry for the funds earnings. Which is probably a good direction for VCs to go.

Chris Dixon outlined the problem here too: http://cdixon.org/2009/08/26/the-other-problem-with-venture-...

bryanh 13 hours ago 0 replies      

    Right now, VCs often knowingly invest too much money at the series A     stage. They do it because they feel they need to get a big chunk of     each series A company to compensate for the opportunity cost of the     board seat it consumes. Which means when there is a lot of competition     for a deal, the number that moves is the valuation (and thus amount     invested) rather than the percentage of the company being sold. Which     means, especially in the case of more promising startups, that series     A investors often make companies take more money than they want.
Seems like this is a plausible explanation of what happened to Color (http://www.crunchbase.com/company/color-labs)?

Also, I rather enjoyed reading:

    Which means the first VC to break ranks and start to do series A    rounds for as much equity as founders want to sell (and with no    "option pool" that comes only from the founders' shares) stands to    reap huge benefits.
As I always thought the big, required option pool that so heavily diluted founders/early employees was a bit out there. Seems much more sane to practice JIT dilution.

jbapple 13 hours ago 2 replies      
"[5] This trend is one of the main causes of the increase in economic inequality in the US since the mid twentieth century. The person who would in 1950 have been the general manager of the x division of Megacorp is now the founder of the x company, and owns significant equity in it."

What economic evidence is there to support this claim about the causes of economic inequality?

adventured 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"If there were a reputable investor who invested $100k on good terms and promised to decide yes or no within 24 hours, they'd get access to almost all the best deals, because every good startup would approach them first"

Mark Cuban does that, and you can email him at will. I've dealt with him and his team, he's extremely fast in deciding (an email or two), and his team is extraordinarily easy to work with. Cuban also doesn't care where you're located. The only catch is that he has to be personally interested, generally speaking, in what you're doing.

However I don't think Cuban gets access to all the best deals. Being located in San Francisco or Silicon Valley is clearly a substantial benefit to having access to a lot of the best new startups. I think location will continue to matter in that regard.

natural219 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm more skeptical. That there will be "more good startups" seems more like a wish than a prediction. Why will there be more good startups? Based off of what evidence?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing, I just wonder why he thinks so. That there will be more startups in general seems obvious, but "good" startups seem to be increasingly more elusive, at least to me.

dave1619 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like PG is advocating the following to VCs:

1. Don't grow pessimistic over the growing number of startups because there will be a growing number of great founders. If you focus on finding them, you can make more money than before.

2. To find them, you need a competitive advantage which could be doing what founders want/need: smaller Series A rounds and quick decisions.

He's practically daring the VC community to see who will step up.

netcan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"The monolithic, hierarchical companies of the mid 20th century are being replaced by networks of smaller companies."

"There might be 10x or even 50x more good founders out there. As more of them go ahead and start startups, those 15 big hits a year could easily become 50 or even 100."

I wonder how those two things work together. The first predicts a world with more, but smaller businesses. The second seems to predict no change in the threshold for success. If the future really does allocate a larger portion of the pie to medium seized companies (say, 100 - 500 employees to take an arbitrary definition of 'medium'), isn't that definition of success and associated financing model problematic? There isn't much of a market for medium sized tech companies that have moved past rapid growth. Without that market, VCs can't get their money back.

The essay talks about opportunities for more risk tolerant investors at the bottom of the pyramid (earlier stage, smaller investments). That seems to cover the idea of more, cheaper, riskier startups. But, the other idea about a higher resolution economy implies (I think) a need for smaller lower risk investments too.

jseliger 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There are still a lot of people who'd make great founders who never end up starting a company. You can see that from how randomly some of the most successful startups got started. So many of the biggest startups almost didn't happen that there must be a lot of equally good startups that actually didn't happen.

This is also true of a lot of writers; I wrote some about it here (http://jseliger.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/links-the-time-for-...), and will quote from Tim Parkss Does Money Make Us Write Better?:

When they are starting out writers rarely make anything at all for what they do. I wrote seven novels over a period of six years before one was accepted for publication. Rejected by some twenty publishers that seventh eventually earned me an advance of 1,000 for world rights. Evidently, I wasnt working for money. What then? Pleasure? I dont think so; I remember I was on the point of giving up when that book was accepted. Id had enough. However much I enjoyed trying to get the world into words, the rejections were disheartening; and the writing habit was keeping me from a proper career elsewhere.

John Barth and William Goldman almost quit too and have written about it. How many anonymous but important artists got within a hair of success but couldn't make it over that line, who, instead of being artists who "almost didn't happen," didn't happen? The Internet is enabling a much more direct way of judging artists, much as it does startups, and I'm struck by the comparisons between artists and startup founders that run throughout pg's essays.

earbitscom 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Oh man. This may be my favorite startup quote in all of history. "Investors make more money as founders' bitches than their bosses."
sdoowpilihp 13 hours ago 2 replies      
The article was a good read. Through out the article though, I couldn't help but feel that Paul Graham wants to change how startups are invested in, specifically the 24 hour turnaround on investment decisions and the A round change, and framed it as "I see x as a trend that is developing". It makes me wonder if a sufficiently influential person in a given industry claims to see a trend that is closely tied to human behavior, could that trend become a reality?
newnewnew 13 hours ago 6 replies      
And this is all bad, bad, bad news for recruiting. These companies will all be fighting over the same talent pool that is growing only slowly.
csomar 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Right now the limiting factor on the number of big hits is the number of sufficiently good founders starting companies, and that number can and will increase.

I do share this opinion. Creating value has no limits. You can create as much value and wealth as you can.

kevingibbon 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It will be interesting to see if VCs take Pauls advice. Recently a lot of VCs have been offering value add services like design expertise and recruiting. I hope they also include quick decisions and less dilution.

Why does it take some VCs so long to make a decision? Ron Conway makes a decision to fund a founder within 10min of meeting them.

rdl 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If investors don't do the option pool shuffle, don't have mandatory minimum amounts to invest, don't waste everyone's time, and don't dick around for control provisions (board seats, etc.), I wonder if that ceases to be a "Series A" and is just followup very large seed rounds. i.e. does calling it a "Series A" when in fact it has terms closer to seed make it more or less likely to happen?

Doing two seed rounds (maybe one for $1-2mm, and a later one for $5-10mm) seems like an easier way for this to "just happen without conscious thought" than redefining A rounds themselves.

I've certainly heard of people raising <$500k early on genuine seed terms, and then $5mm+ on "seed rounds" which are essentially Series A minus control. Then you end up with crazy $100mm Series A rounds happening later.

utnick 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting article

As an outsider, it was surprising to me that seed investors don't have access to a company's revenue numbers. I would think there would be some kind of quarterly report that goes to all investors.

jpdoctor 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll add a major forward-looking issue: The Federal Reserve has been issuing free money, and that party is over.

It won't affect the next A or B rounds, but exits in about 3-5 years are going to dry up much like they did the last time the Fed tightened.

quackerhacker 10 hours ago 0 replies      
there's a third: start your own company

I'm going play the role of semantics really quick. I like how PG differentiates between a startup and a company. What I've learned while coding, and dealing with Angels are the differences in stages...so I'll share my definitions (with dev examples)

  1. Idea: just a concept, like an app  2. Project: the investment (usually time) we as entrepreneurs put in, like coding an app  3. Startup: just launched/deployed and ready to improvise as you grow, now your in the App Store and are out of beta  4. Business: your in the black, or at least have a projected growth rate of being there (u made angry birds)
I see why the startup stage is the greatest risk/reward investment, because in my eyes, it's like you just turned on the engine, everyone hears the growl, but you haven't spun the wheels yet.

brudgers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A pyramid is a lousy model. It fights gravity. A better model with a similar shape is a funnel. With seives. Gravity does most of the sorting, though sometimes the apparatus needs a shake to keep things flowing.

YC doesn't select stones to set on top of other stones. It filters a stream. It amplifies what makes it past the interviews. It reduces friction to help companies keep moving.

There's less statefullness than in pyramid construction. HN is a scouting network, not a quarry. The process doesn't chisel companies to the desired batter. It develops talent and sells it on. Like Ajax.

A pyramid is an anti-pattern for disruption.

mathattack 13 hours ago 2 replies      
"When I graduated from college in 1986, there were essentially two options: get a job or go to grad school. Now there's a third: start your own company."

This is an important observation. 20 years ago, the smartest people went to large companies. Now it's a question of "Join someone else's startup or start my own?" The alternative of career paths at large companies no longer exist. It isn't just social acceptance and lower cost of entry, it's that the alternative is long gone.

yarou 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't find the trends to be too surprising. After the major bubbles of the dotcom era and the 2008 financial crisis (I wasn't alive for the LBO bubble), a lot of energy is focused in creative pursuits, rather than those simply engaging in wealth transfer. Bootstrapping will become easier as time goes on, with the advent of b2d/open-source toolkits, as well as the perpetual cost-savings of Platform-As-A-Service providers such as Heroku and AppEngine.
wilfra 11 hours ago 1 reply      
"investors make more money as founders' bitches than their bosses."

Hall of Fame quote right there.

CleanedStar 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"This trend is one of the main causes of the increase in economic inequality in the US since the mid twentieth century. The person who would in 1950 have been the general manager of the x division of Megacorp is now the founder of the x company, and owns significant equity in it."

Boy, is this a load of bollocks. I guess the 20th century war against socialism ("the means of production in the hands of those who work it") and worker's organizations and parties doesn't come much into play into these analyses. Up to the bickering a few months ago in Wisconsin with Walker - although we're so far down the road, that example isn't very useful as a specific case.

Yes, the entrepreneurial middle manager starting his own business, this is the source of income inequality! Meanwhile, half the Forbes 400 inherited their way onto the list. Where's the plucky entrepreneur in that equation? Even "self-made" people like Warren Buffett had a congressman father and a grandfather with a chain of stores. Not exactly a guy pulling himself up by his bootstraps.

I mean, the fact that this speech was made to investors is a signal. Not the tone, but the fact that it's investors who are the ones who sit and hear these things. The programmer in the trenches, working 50-60 hours a week creating wealth is not a part of these decisions on production.

There's a good documentary called "Born Rich" that is on Youtube right now. I would recommend people watch it. This is who the money goes to, not the plucky, hard-working entrepreneur. Blogs are filled with stories of angels and VCs backstabbing founders. As is HN. And the founders usually get the best deal in the company, far better than schlub programmers. Even hackers of the caliber of Jamie Zawinski have attested to this.

This idea of income inequality happening because some hard-working founder gets all of the money is a complete farce. Propaganda even.

If we want to really get into a discussion of this - just who are the "limited partners" the VCs are raising money from, and where did they get their money? We always see a fresh-faced Mark Zuckerberg or Drew Houston, or a Paul Graham or even a Ron Conway, or John Doerr or Michael Moritz. But who are the limited partners they're raising money from? Who is calling the shots on how money gets spent?

captiva12 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It makes sense to invest in a company where the founders want to control the ownership. That really means the strongly believe in what they are doing. And other thing they should look in for founders is Perseverance.
Eduard 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm curious about the n algorithm, and what n stands for with respect to batch size.
lnsignificant 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish someone would redesign Paul's site. I always think I click the wrong link when I initially land on it.
garry 13 hours ago 2 replies      
You're new here, so I thought I'd let you know: Hacker News is about actual conversation and debate, and not a contest on who can be most negative or contrary. There's not enough to be learned from that, and we might as well not have that conversation at all.

It's not enough to say something is bullshit. Why is it? What part? How do you know?

First Firefox OS phone comes out in Spain for 69 euro (incl 30 euro credit) cnet.com
19 points by janjongboom  2 hours ago   15 comments top 6
leke 17 minutes ago 1 reply      
Folks, If you have a developer's version, will you be able to migrate away and flash a public version of the OS on the developer phone?
mtgx 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I bought this phone a year and a half ago with pretty identical specs, for the same price:


That leads me to believe the phone itself is actually cheaper than that now(in mid-2013), but they preferred to make it more expensive and give credit instead. Still it seems good value with the credit.

I wonder if it really works better than Android at that level. Google is also rumored to make Android 5.0 a lot more optimized for such phones.

DanBC 27 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'd buy one of these. Especially if I can debrand it easily.

Any news when they're coming to the UK?

quackerhacker 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Given the atmosphere with the PRISM fall out, I would imagine Firefox's OS would be welcomed by the public and promoted by privacy advocates.

I'm really excited about Firefox's mobile OS. I was really hoping that the Ubuntu's Mobile OS was going to pick up steam, but it looks like that may not come to fruition.

ippisl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The dynamic app search , which lets you runs apps on the cloud without needing to install them is an interesting feature.

I heard about something similar for android which runs apps in the cloud , anybody knows how it's called?

mokkol 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have the low-end geeksphone with Firefox OS. Even thought it is an alpha but I think it is really too light for a smartphone. UI isnt that responsive and it freezes quite often. This should be better with mid-end phones in my opinion. But than again, awesome price for a smart phone.
Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking freelancer? (July 2013)
12 points by whoishiring  18 minutes ago   4 comments top 4
glenscott1 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
SEEKING WORK - Norwich, UK and remote

I have 12 years professional experience building sites and applications with open source technologies. I am reliable, and get stuff done.

PHP, Perl | Laravel, CodeIgniter | MySQL, MongoDB

I often utilise Test Driven Development, and strive to produce clean, maintainable code.

More backend focused than front-end, but have good experience of working with standards-compliant HTML, CSS, JS as well as JQuery and D3.


Available for part-time projects -- approximately 3 days a week.

You can e-mail me at glen@glenscott.co.uk

eggmonster 5 minutes ago 0 replies      

Mobile apps! iPhone! iPad! Android!

I was (and still am) a web developer but now I'm trying to build up my mobile portfolio and get things rolling in that direction. To that end, I am offering complete design & development of iOS or Android apps from $2000.

I say 'from' as it does depend on how mightily complex your app will be. We can also work out what can be done for the price if budget is an issue, though.

I put together a little site that explains things a bit more here:


Either email me through that or my contact info is my profile. Thank!

maxhn 7 minutes ago 0 replies      

Marketing Consultant. I will move your conversion rate up.

What I can do for you: email marketing, landing page marketing (includes copy, wire-framing for variations, design/html), a/b testing (landing pages, emails, ads), setup campaign for blog give-aways, PR mentions and/or affiliates.

Other activities may be included, but depends on what you currently have and/or approve based on my recommendations.

Work can be as one-time project or ongoing monthly partnership (starting at $1,800 USD, min. 3 months commitment).

Work is tracked using a monthly KPI sheet to watch over conversion rate plus related metrics.

* Short on-site gigs (only in Europe) available, depending on contract.

Email in profile.

timmillwood 10 minutes ago 0 replies      

Hey! I'm looking to take on new projects, mainly interested in Ruby (Sinatra & Rails)


tim [at] millwoodonline.co.uk

Say Yes to JavaScript pocoo.org
11 points by ch0wn  1 hour ago   11 comments top 7
dendory 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I personally run JavaScript turned off by default, but I'm still ok with Mozilla's decision. I use NoSxript which provides the right functionality to do this, and anyone can download the add on. Completely disabling JavaScript for all sites breaks a ton of stuff and very, very few users would want to do that, hence no point in having it in the UI.
jiggy2011 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
Ideally I would like to enable Javascript for web applications but disable it for web sites.

I see very few convincing reasons to start running code in order to display a text article or video, apart from better ad tracking.

qwerta 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
Author argues that blocking by blacklist is better than blocking everything. But most people use whitelist, Chrome has native support for it.
navs 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Instead of having a global disable JavaScript and cookies flag we should instead invest more into things like tightly tuned browser extensions that intelligently remove obnoxious JavaScript from specific pages.

Now is there a way to disable modal/lightboxes with advertising offers or links to social media networks? I find that incredibly annoying.

mpweiher 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I find JS to be a good negative filter for sites that are large (in KB), slow and have annoying/weird UI. Just like Flash.

I wish people would make good HTML/Web Apps instead of trying to (badly) imitate desktop apps. To me, that means being lean and embracing the transactional style (see 3270).

ganarajpr 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
That is probably the wrong way to think about it. Its like saying "Well, we shouldnt be using motor cars because thats puts Horse carriages out of business". Or something to that effect.

We are moving towards a world where js is ubiquitous. Its everywhere..already. If web-crawlers dont support js completely ( looking at you google! ) then we should force them to (by creating more js based apps thats outside the crawlability of google ). If screen readers dont read js ( they should and thats why we have ARIA ), they will eventually. At the end of the day, as long as you are trying to adapt to them ( which is backward ) they will never move. Start moving swiftly and they will have to adapt to you.

anon1385 1 hour ago 1 reply      
>JavaScript is quickly becoming a huge part of modern web applications.

But what if I'm not interested in 'web applications' and I just want to read web sites? Apparently Firefox isn't designed with that task in mind anymore.

TCP simultaneous open and peer to peer networking rachelbythebay.com
53 points by jonchang  6 hours ago   27 comments top 14
latitude 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This works and it works reasonably well.

I had used simultaneous-open TCP punching as a fallback for UDP punching when I was doing [0] and it did help in 10-20% of cases when (a fairly elaborate version of) UDP punching failed. That's on a scale of several hundred thousand mediated connections per day.

One caveat though is that it requires implementing a bot-like functionality in the clients, meaning that a mediating server should be able to tell a client - "create a socket, bind it to this ip:port, wait, wait... connect to that ip:port". Obviously, this is an ideal platform for DDoS attacks if someone ever manages to re-point clients to a rogue mediation server. So, yeah, it works well, but there are some not so obvious trade-offs.

[0] http://swapped.cc/hamachi

eridius 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Because nobody has linked it yet, the referenced XKCD is http://xkcd.com/949/
dfc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
TCP/IP Illustrated Vol. 1, Stevens, pg: 250-252
mixedbit 5 hours ago 2 replies      
As the author notes, for such hack to have any chances of working reliably a third party is needed to synchronize connection setup. But a third party with a public IP could also forward an encrypted TCP connection between two machines that do not have public IP addresses. Such approach does not require any hacks and gives a strong guarantee that the third party can not snoop the connection.

The only thing that the third party learns is that there is a connection, but the proposes solution also has this drawback.

phlo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
STUN[1] does a very similar thing, including some trickery to get through all kinds of plastic boxes messing with your packets.

AeroFS[2] is another, interesting approach. It's basically a dropbox clone where all data remains on the user's computer. Transfers are encrypted with TLS and tunneled through the company's servers.

Another interesting thing might be Opera Unite[3]. It's an in-browser web server that can be souped up using various extensions like photo sharing, games or chat. As far as I know its NAT traversal is somewhat limited, though.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Session_Traversal_Utilities_for...[2] https://aerofs.com/[3] http://unite.opera.com/applications/

gcb0 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Why not just adopt ipv6 and connect to the box directly and intuitively when all ipv4 nat boxes in the middle die?
PurplePanda 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is exactly what one of those UDP "weird hole punching tricks" does. Except of course without connections, it not being TCP. nat-traverse (http://m19s28.dyndns.org/iblech/nat-traverse/) works this way as I understand it.
AndreasFrom 1 hour ago 0 replies      
BitTorrent Sync [1] can help with the explicit file sharing problem from the xkcd. Too bad it's not open source.

[1]: http://labs.bittorrent.com/experiments/sync.html

czzarr 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
what was the title of the book you read?
wtracy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this the sort of technology that P2P systems like BitTorrent use? I've never understood how BT works in setups that block incoming connections.
chacham15 5 hours ago 0 replies      
From my understanding a NAT is going to remap an internal port to a different external port and upon receiving a RST will delete the mapping. Is this not correct?

Also, doesnt connection reversal solve this problem? (Connection reversal: have A connect to intermediary S. have B connect to intermediary S. S sends A B's info and vice versa. A connects to B before closing connection with S.) This also does not require S to forward data, only connection information. Am I missing something there?

ricardobeat 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this called "NAT punching", and generally used by games and other sw to establish peer-to-peer connections?
maffydub 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised this works... or at least works reliably. I understood many simple firewalls just blocked inbound SYNs (without performing any kind of IP address lookup). This would obviously prevent this mechanism from working. Is this not (or no longer) the case?
CSS Loaders and Spinners codepen.io
39 points by 5vforest  5 hours ago   16 comments top 8
danboarder 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Do they come with a "Skip Intro..." button?

In all seriousness, they are beautiful but raise the concern that we are back to the days of Flash-style loaders before users get to see content.

davidjgraph 4 hours ago 2 replies      
As they said about Geocities in retrospect, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

None of these grab and say "I'm a busy waiting spinner". Let's not re-invent trivial things that are the way they are for a reason, I think EthanEtienne has the right idea, working on getting rid of them is the real innovation, not changing the way they look.

jafaku 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
Website doesn't work on Firefox 22, Ubuntu 12.04, with Javascript enabled.
ZeroGravitas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I see a thin white outline of the boxes used to animate these when the background is dark, on Firefox/Ubuntu.

It's not visible in the previews, but is when you click through.

NKCSS 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks nice, but there seems to be a bug, that after a few seconds, one of the spinners does something it shouldn't do which affects all loaded spinners. The top-left (red bg with 3 white balls) is one of the only ones that still does a part (but now different) animation :)
TeeWEE 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cool but doesnt work cross browser, so dont use them in your production systems.
dvirsky 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Years ago, in the early days of Ajax, I made a spinner for a web app, and contributed it to some guy's collection. I'm not even a designer and it's badly made and a bit wobbly, but I've seen it since so many times, in so many websites and collections, it's funny. This collection has some variation of it, too, I think. hehe. But it has ones that are a LOT nicer. (this is my spinner BTW http://www.ajaxload.info/cache/FF/FF/FF/00/00/00/20-0.gif . I can always tell by the way it's misaligned and wobbling)
EthanEtienne 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Really nice looking, I actually like Marco Barra's one (not as a spinner though).

Whenever you see a spinner or loading icon, you failed in UX design. Most of these feel slow and just plain wrong, they are pretty though, and the CSS is pretty awesome.

Use content progression instead of these damn spinners or loaders. Game dev's learned this a long time ago.

- my worthless 2c rant

PuTTY Tray goeswhere.com
35 points by gprasanth  5 hours ago   29 comments top 18
pathy 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Alternatives to PuTTY linked in the thread so far:






Which one is the best? I currently use Putty Tray, for no real reason except that someone linked it to me awhile back and it is, imo, better than vanilla PuTTY. But how does it compare to the alternatives?

Edit: added more!

linker3000 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It's probably a great app - but PLEASE datestamp update release notes announcement etc so I know the age of what I'm reading and whether I'm seeing a development/change history stretching over 3 months or 3 years etc.
josteink 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally I prefer FuTTY which includes a decent mish-mash of patches and modifications.


Supports all kind of terminals, like telnet, ssh, adb, cygterm, etc. Supports clickable links. Good unicode/wide-char support.

twodayslate 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using this for a while. It is just like normal putty except it can launch/minimize to the tray. That's the only thing I needed so it was perfect for me. I haven't tried any of the other forks listed here and have had no reason not too.
swatkat 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Putty Connection Manager, which has a pretty good tabbed interface.


mmsimanga 3 hours ago 1 reply      
These days I use MobaXterm for SSH and SFTPhttp://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/ MobaXterm is an excellent program and that has way more features than I actually use.
gprasanth 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Whoa! there seem to be a lot of forks for the original PuTTY.

I never used anything else other than this and putty itself.

Perhaps there should be a wiki page for "Comparision of PuTTY Forks" on wikipedia.

samuel337 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
With some of these alternatives that wrap the PuTTY executable, it is worth pointing out that if you provide the wrapper with the password to login with (as opposed to typing it in the PuTTY console window), it will probably just pass the password to PuTTY as a command line argument. This means that the password will be visible in plain text to any other process running as you or any elevated user/process (unlike on Linux, I don't think you can view detailed information about another user's processes, like the full command line, without elevation).

I have verified this with SuperPuTTY - just launch a session by entering the credentials in the toolbar then use the following PowerShell command to see it -

  get-wmiobject win32_process -filter "name like 'putty.exe'" | select commandline
Alternatively, fire up Process Explorer from live.sysinternals.com.

mcx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I recommend mputty if you are looking for something with tabs/window splitting: http://ttyplus.com/multi-tabbed-putty/
nodata 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Comparison to SuperPuTTY? https://code.google.com/p/superputty/
sneak 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you're not going to own a mac (to run MacOS), why on Earth would you run Windows?!
q_revert 4 hours ago 0 replies      
just in case there's anyone who hasn't seen it before, Xming[0] combined with {putty,kitty,alternative} allows you to `ssh -X host`

[0] http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming/

freeman478 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I am using mRemoteNG (http://www.mremoteng.org/).

What's great is that in one tabbed interface I can do VNC / RDP and SSH connections.

A321 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How does it compare to Kitty [0]?

[0] http://kitty.9bis.net/

phyalow 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Putty - may aswell install cygwin then a X11 windowing manager!
ozh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
rob22 3 hours ago 0 replies      
superputty is quite good compare than other putty .
CoderPad coderpad.io
44 points by Ashuu  6 hours ago   33 comments top 12
akanet 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Cool, it's nice to see one of my projects make the rounds again. CoderPad has gone from frustrating "I can't believe no one's built this yet, interviews are so annoying" to a thing actual people are paying me for, and I have HN to thank for a lot of that early traffic.

If anyone here has any questions about CoderPad, please feel to ask here, or if it looks like this topic's dropping off the frontpage, I'm always available at me@vincentwoo.com.

xianshou 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks wonderful, and far better than just copying the code from a hackpad into ideone. Unfortunately, the real thief of time here is the phone screen itself - although what would have gone on an online collaborative editor now goes in a REPL, the interviewer still has to shepherd the 8 of 10 candidates who can't write Fibonacci. And out of generosity or fear of giving offense, they'll likely sit through it all.

(Which is the beginning of a fascinating discussion about choosing between the Scylla of wasted eng time and the Charybdis of a rigid, non-adaptive auto-screening, but that's for another comment.)

As far as the env itself goes, though, props++.

mmorett 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Going out on a limb here, but I'll assume this is for Ruby only? Nothing in the landing page suggests this works for other languages.

I like the implementation, but if folks didn't like the NSA spying on them, they might not like this. This is wiretapping on steroids. I'm assuming the interviewer watches every keystroke. Creepy. I'm sure authors, well spoken and in full command of the English language, would get annoyed at someone staring at them to see if they can write a novel.

Tech interviewing is broken, but all solutions historically point to trying to watch a person code. I don't think that's the solution. When folks realistically work on multiple tech stacks with multiple frameworks and multiple languages, what is to be gained by zeroing in (deeply) on only one aspect of it.

This explains the need for a tech interview "study guide" posted earlier in the day. You're working on stuff contextually needed for your current job, but you'll be tested on stuff you don't use daily/monthly/yearly? That's insane.

_delirium 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I was wondering how all this could work in a browser, and to my surprise it appears there's a pretty well-developed project that has a bunch of language interpreters working in the browser via Emscripten (discovered via viewing coderpad.io's source): http://replit.github.io/jsrepl/

It appears to have been developed by/for http://repl.it/, which is education- rather than interview-oriented.

zachlatta 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Neat website! One quick thing - the Ruby 1.8.7 REPL on the homepage was a bit of a turn-off because that Ruby version was recently discontinued. I'm not sure if any newer versions of Ruby have been compiled down to Javascript yet though.
wldlyinaccurate 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really great. A friend and I were going to start building something like this, mostly because we were like "why the hell does something like this not exist already"?
wasd 3 hours ago 1 reply      
For further discussion, check this previous posting:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5707525

Glad to see you took some of my copy write advice from last time :)

If you don't mind me asking, how many users do you have?

jmickey 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently used http://thereq.com/ for a similar purpose. Features I liked:

  * I can set interview questions in various languages  * Candidate can write code right away, I can see everything he/she writes  * Code can be executed to see the result right away  * This even works for SQL, they have a sample schema the candidate can manipulate  * They have a fairly large library of questions you can just add to your interviews  * It's completely free as far as I can tell
No affiliation with the site, but it was very useful for me.

tobiasbischoff 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome what you can pull off in SaaS. $200 Bucks a month and still no unlimited use.
FreshCode 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Would be nice if I could try out all the languages in the local session, just to drop any remaining objections.
C1D 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems great and something like I would use but the only problem is that it doesn't work on my ipad and I use my ipad, allot.
ID_10T 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice site, but please capitalize the first word of each bullet point. It looks unprofessional.


Drugs and the Meaning of Life (2011) samharris.org
257 points by rosser  17 hours ago   217 comments top 19
JumpCrisscross 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I recommend David Nutt's Drugs Without the Hot Air [1] on the subject. Nutt, a British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist, headed up the U.K.'s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (a British DEA/FDA hybrid). He was canned when he suggested that alcohol may be more damaging than many controlled substances.

Amongst the goodies from the book are this chart [2], which plots dependence risk against toxicologists' ratings of physical harm for various psychoactive substances. Nutt memorably compared the "20 drugs considered in the ISCDs 2010 report, ranked by overall harm" with their legal Class and "found a correlation of 0.04 which means that there was effectively no relationship at all."

Also: "Francis Crick, who discovered the double helix structure of DNA with James Watson, and Kary Mullis, who invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), had both taken [LSD], and attributed some of their understanding and insights to it."

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Drugs-Without-Hot-David-Nutt/dp/190686... Drugs Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs by David Nutt

[2] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Rational_...

easy_rider 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think the problem with drugs in society today can definitely be largely attributed to governments setting the bar to "dangerous, addictive and illegal" and smart people have to move down from there and educate themselves.Alexander Shulgin who synthesized and researched around 150 phenethylamines and tryptamines said it pretty well:

"had been brought about by a fraction of a gram of a white solid, but that in no way whatsoever could it be argued that these memories had been contained within the white solid ... I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can catalyze its availability."

He is also responsible for introducing MDMA and later 2CB to psychiatrists. Even recreational drug users are now using "Shulgin trials" and overall I feel a lot of my peers try to educate themselves, but unfortunately are often misinformed.

You can actually only a good idea on how to use certain drugs responsible if you are aware of at least the most important biochemical functions such as P450 liver enzyme, MAOis and especially the monoamine transport system. You need to be aware of for example drug interactions with SSRI's and serotonin releasing agents.For example:grapefruit juice is a weak MAOI inhibitor and can potentate the effect of certain drugs. Stronger MAOIs could pose lethal danger.St Johns Wort also has a lot of interactions as it works as a SSRI, and sold over the counter as a supplement here. It is found in trials to be as effective as benzo's in cases of anxiety.

Mostly, psychedelics are looked down upon by society, while we feed our kids methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, l-amphetamine, lithium, a whole scala of benzodiazepene's, tryptans, and antipsychotics.Hey people, they work on exactly the same neurons... dummies.Maybe we should start banning essential and non essential amino acids, and antioxidants. OR maybe we should start educating about proper their benefit of preventing drug induced neurotoxicity as a neuroprotective agent and as replenishment of used up GABA, serotonin, dopamine etc.

I'm 26, live in the Netherlands, using mushrooms a dozen times from my 15th-18th, never touching anything else except for smoking weed and alcohol, I found it mind-opening, I really felt reborn after I experienced an ego-death and my mind melted into nothingness. It was like this feeling of bliss and comfort and letting-go, there is nothing that ever compared to it. I would say the occasional binge drinking we did at parties en masse would be considered a lot more harmful by doctors, but guess which one got the ban?I would consider my drug using peers often cautious, seemingly educated but often ill-informed, which I perceive to be due to the 'evil' bias that is often noted.They now know about the good and bad effects of certain drugs, but not HOW they work. If they would have this information more readily educated they could be made aware of responsible use and harm reduction, and then make their own choices.

Parents could also be able to make their own choices of putting their kids on synthetic cocaine or amphetamines. Hey weed worked for me, and it is frowned down upon.Also L-Theanine+caffene (i.e. tea, but it doesn't contain a lot of theanine per cup) is proven to be really effective in focus, and relaxation. It lowers blood pressure, ups dopamine, and therefor it works great in treating anxiety.St Johns Wort is also proven to be as effective as benzo's in treating depression.L-Tyrosine is a precursor to dopa as well, and replenishes the neurons. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin/melatonin.I'm often upset with people taking melatonin and ruining their chemical balance. Let your brain synthesize it for you please.. or it will stop doing it altogether!

Xcelerate 14 hours ago 7 replies      
I find it odd that the author of the article assumes his daughter is going to try drugs one day. Personally, I never have, and never plan to (23 years old). In fact, there's plenty of people I know who don't even drink -- not because of any moral or legal reason, but simply because they aren't interested in it. To clarify, I don't care what things other people try (I encourage everyone to make their own decisions), but it strikes me as odd that he just assumes she's going to go ahead and try all sorts of things.

I get the impression that people who have tried drugs before are incredulous that there exist people who are simply apathetic about the whole experience.

hristov 13 hours ago 11 replies      
It is really annoying that drugs proponents ignore the obvious negative effects of drugs. Pretending that LSD is harmless is utter utter bulshit. There are so many cases of serious mental problems including permanent insanity caused by psychadelics. And of course there are also the thousands of people that are not exactly insane but have their brains pretty much fried and are just not very good for anything useful anymore. I get to meet a lot of those in LA.

To mention one of the more recent fruits of psychedelics -- the guy that shot that US congresswoman in the head fried his brain on mushrooms.

Yeah the drug war is horrible but people that promote dangerous drugs and lie about their safety are almost as bad. A convenient lie is a very dangerous thing. Because if people want to believe something they are much more likely to believe it. So I bet this disgusting essay will cause a bunch of kids to try LSD and a percentage of them will be completely fucked because of it.

There are a few writers that have tried drugs and are completely honest about them, but they are very few. It is very hard for a drug user to be honest about drugs. I would recommend Philip K Dick. If anyone wants to try hard drugs, please read "A scanner darkly", and then read a Philip K Dick biography to see that he knew what he was talking about.

ignostic 14 hours ago 2 replies      
>"Some are illegal; some are stigmatized; some are dangerousthough, perversely, these sets only partially intersect"

I'd say stigmatization and legalization tend to correlate well, but sadly neither law nor cultural attitude have much to do with actual danger.


LSD remains a Schedule 1 drug, even though it's about as dangerous as caffeine.

>"...if I knew my daughter would eventually develop a fondness for methamphetamine or crack cocaine, I might never sleep again. But if she does not try a psychedelic like psilocybin or LSD at least once in her adult life, I will worry that she may have missed one of the most important rites of passage a human being can experience."

I couldn't agree more; reading the statement above made me want to stand up and cheer.

josscrowcroft 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading other comments here: don't get hung up on his opening gambit: "Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness.". That's just an introductory point.

I recommend reading the whole article, which is a beautiful balance of science and spirit, while being totally upfront and honest about the risks involved, even to the spiritually 'serious'.

As for me - psychedelics changed everything, but I stayed the same (or maybe everything stayed the same, but sad parts of me continue to be stripped away).

They continue to burn what is not real, as long as the heart is directed squarely at Truth and the mind is kept sharp and open. The trend is towards greater compassion, deeper love and surrender, coming more fully into the wholeness of being!

_yosefk 15 hours ago 3 replies      
"Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues."

We study and work for the purpose of altering the bits representing our bank account balances. Is that equivalent to hacking the bank and altering the bits directly?

We make friendships "to feel emotions like love". To what degree is it sane to misrepresent yourself and otherwise deceive people to make them your "friends"?

There's a contest for the shortest program printing itself to the screen. Is opening the file with the source code and copying the code to the screen really as good an entry as any other?

Any sane person and even most varieties of the insane person realize that the signal you're receiving is a means to infer that something is happening out there, not an end in itself.

This is not to say that there should or should not be a War on Drugs (which, since I'm not an American citizen, is really none of my business.)

tunesmith 15 hours ago 2 replies      
The same complaint he makes about "drugs" can also be applied to terms like "legalization" and "regulation" and "prohibition". People react to the terms without coming to a common understanding of what the terms mean, and the conversation doesn't evolve.

For instance, one person can be anti-legalization, and another pro-legalization, and have an argument without realizing that they are both against prison sentences for non-violent crimes against the self. Also, for one person legalization might mean that every substance is openly available, whereas for another it might mean openly available in a highly regulated form, whereas for another it might mean that you have to have a license to ingest, or even an approach like Portugal's where you can still be apprehended(!) and made to appear before a panel even though it's without risk of a prison sentence.

I also think there's a lack of respect for our own proven cognitive biases, and our interconnected societies. I know several medical social workers that have first-hand experience with the negative impact that drug users have on our communities even if the users are technically only ingesting products into their own bodies, aren't dealing, and aren't negatively impacting immediate family members. People might think they are making responsible independent choices when they put some of these substances into their bodies, but that doesn't mean they're always correct - and the burden of these choices can then be put on the shoulders of larger society.

aestetix 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of amazed nobody has mentioned MAPS yet (http://www.maps.org).

Psychedelics are a tool like any other. There is no such thing as "safe" use, which is why organizations like MAPS, DanceSafe, Erowid, etc all encourage the phrase "drug harm reduction." I have personally witnessed LSD destroy someone's life, and yet I have witnessed the same with alcohol (and am happy we have AA) and tobacco (cancer). The key, as with anything, is moderation and education.

That said, there has been a long trend of disinformation in the US, that has permeated all over the world. As a starting point, if people want to learn more about the crusade against cannabis (marijuana), check out Hank Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_J._Anslinger). For a more recent example, take a look at Rep Jared Polis questioning DEA Administrator Leonhart about why some drugs are illegal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFgrB2Wmh5s.

With regards to scientific inquiry into measuring the effects of these drugs, thanks to the efforts of Roland Griffith at Johns Hopkins (and others), we're beginning to overturn 40 years of prohibition with studies into the effects of psilocybin (shrooms) and MDMA (ecstacy) for end of life experience and PTSD therapy.

Some links to that research:http://www.maps.org/research/mdma/http://www.maps.org/research/psilo-lsd/

If this interests you and you ask "why hasn't this been done before?", I recommend searching for interviews with Rick Doblin, PhD (founder of MAPS) where he explains his long battle with the DEA, and how they eventually turned to the FDA, which focuses more on the science than the politics.

So yes, it is fair to say that there hasn't been much scientific research done into this, but to no fault of the scientists. I look forward to the next few years as the results of these studies come out and the US hopefully begins to permit these substances to be used in therapy.

CamperBob2 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. From the article:

  On my first trip to Nepal, I took a   rowboat out on Phewa Lake in Pokhara,   which offers a stunning view of the   Annapurna range. It was early morning,   and I was alone. As the sun rose over   the water, I ingested 400 micrograms   of LSD
I can't imagine what it must be like to be someone who would do something like that. I just... can't. Is that a sign of good judgment, or of cowardice?

lettergram 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally, I feel more gratified after working hard and increasing my ability/achievements than doing drugs.. Perhaps I haven't done the right drugs (though I've done my fair share)? I've never had something happens where the world suddenly made sense, nor have I felt some spiritual connection with the cosmos or my soul. I feel that the one true way to understand myself and the world is to live in it unaltered.
cristianpascu 15 hours ago 5 replies      
"Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness."

I very much respect Sam Harris for taking the consciousness problem seriously. It poses a real problem to (his) atheism, and he, obviously, rejects the substance dualism, which would logically lead to a religious view on us.

However, without a conscious soul, meaning itself loses meaning. What's the ontological support for meaning to rise on?

One thing that is little known about Christianity (as an example) of the first millenium is its fierce fight with illusions, hallucinations and misleading spiritual experiences. Contrary to popular beliefs that religious spiritual experiences are quickly taken for granted for their emotional gratification, this was really not the case. Spiritual experiences were not looked after. They were not provoked. On the contrary. Great care was taken as to discern real experiences from illusory or, worse, misleading ones. The same goes with miracles.

Discernment, the ability to discern over what's real or not, was the most important virtue. Something that modern Christianity, in many areas, has lost. And with it, its credibility.

casual_slacker 14 hours ago 0 replies      
LSD makes very smart people get hung up on trying to pull logic out of strange old metaphors. I always felt it was a stimulant for the mechanism in our brain that makes new connections. Metaphors represent connections that are kept around because our culture gives value to vague non-conclusions.
StandardFuture 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't think people are fully reading this article looking at the top comment...

>There is nothing that one can experience on a drug that is not, at some level, an expression of the brains potential. Hence, whatever one has experienced after ingesting a drug like LSD is likely to have been experienced, by someone, somewhere, without it.

>I cannot account for why my adventures with psychedelics were uniformly pleasant until they werentbut when the doors to hell finally opened, they appear to have been left permanently ajar.

It is quite obvious this guy is someone who has well experimented with psychedelics and is actually urging people to avoid them if their approach is based on falsifiable reasoning e.g. 'opening their eyes to true reality/life' or some unscientific bullshit like that.

And WTF is all this commenting about how alcohol should be considered SO bad for a healthy society. Wine and beer in moderation is actually perfectly healthy. It is the lack of control for moderate consumption that creates a weakened human/society. However, this lack of self-control can appear in numerous other areas (food, internet, TV, work, etc.).

andrewcooke 13 hours ago 4 replies      
i would like to try lsd, but i don't know of a safe, reliable, legal way of doing so. it just occurred to me that perhaps someone here might?
hkhanna 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This man's writing is such a pleasure to read.
philthesong 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't find that taking a drug is any different than eating food or drinking water. You get hungry, so you eat and gain energy and feel fullness on your stomach, which leads you to drowsiness. Of course, conventionally, taking drugs(like smoking weed or taking MDMA) is done for different reasons than just survival.
makeset 16 hours ago 6 replies      
I'd never mess with mind-altering drugs. You don't tweak a Ferrari.

EDIT: Guys, relax. It was a joke. You think anyone goes and calls their own mind a Ferrari seriously? Jeez.

ajackrabbit 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Every human generates DMT, every night.
Omni: The "Oculus Rift" of 3D Treadmills kickstarter.com
138 points by mikeknoop  14 hours ago   93 comments top 20
mikeknoop 13 hours ago 2 replies      
The "aha" moment for me, as an outsider to this industry, is using a special shoe to reduce friction and increase lateral stability versus only focusing on developing a 3D treadmill itself.
rickdale 13 hours ago 3 replies      
On the omni website it says, "Order on Kickstarter", but isn't kickstarter trying to remind people that it isn't necessarily a store? And so if you order one on kickstarter is it a guarantee that you will get one or is there a chance that it won't happen?
nknighthb 12 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a great solution to the problem, and I'm really excited about it.

But there's one very important catch: The "special shoes" are not an option for people with unusual orthotics requirements (e.g. me), because they're not going to be able to make shoes suitable for everybody.

They have to create soles that can be strapped on to our existing shoes.

TillE 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm really looking forward to the next generation of consumer gaming VR once all the kinks have been worked out.

With any luck, the problems and shortcomings of the Oculus Rift and the Omni will be solved within a couple years, and we'll be able to buy a fully usable VR rig for something like $1500 (glasses, treadmill, handheld controller). And we'll have games designed specifically for it.

JD557 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder how running/jumping feels, since there are a lot of games where your character running/jumping skills are far better yours in real life.

From the "Oculus Rift" demos I've seen, it seems people already feel weird by the character height, so I guess it might feel a little awkward to run twice as fast as expected.

Nevertheless, it sure beats being sitted.

ollysb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm dying to see what effect something like this will have on the obesity crisis. We could end up with a super fit generation of game players.
lucian1900 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it just me that can't see the videos? On Chrome with Ghostery disabled, I can play it and hear the sound, but the image remains a black screen.
angersock 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a nifty product, and a surprisingly elegant and low-tech solution to the problem of how to allow free movement while in VR.

I had beers a week or two ago with the project founder (really friendly guy!) and he's looking for software developers to help create an awesome SDK. Get in touch with him if you're interested--it's a really cool project!

eugenesia 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems that the grooves pointing towards the centre of the platform make for an unnatural walking gait. At the start of a step, the foot will move inwards towards the line of travel. As the foot crosses the torso, it will move outwards again.

Whereas in a natural gait, each foot moves parallel to the line of travel.

See 2:10 of the video for how the shoes fit into the grooves using plunger pins, and how they move on the platform.

X4 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Supplementary: The 3D Printed Occulus Rift killer.


daemonk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Omni + Oculus + kinect + horror game = shit a brick. I for one can't wait.
zw123456 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I think there may also be a market for it in health clubs as well, they are constantly looking for new gizmos to entice new members in. Also, I see people at the gym try to do lateral movement on the treadmill by going sideways on it so I think people are looking for more than the boring 1D experience of a simple treadmill.
oftenwrong 13 hours ago 2 replies      
With regard to the Omni as a way to exercise, I wonder how it stacks up to actual running/walking since the user does not actually have to propel his or her own weight.
mdigi 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I would love to hear a medical professional opinion on contusion probability with extensive use of this thing.

Also they didn't show if it's comfortable to run backwards - a critical move in any first person game.

kybernetikos 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks fun, but seems a bit gimmicky to me. Why would you use something that is extra physical effort to use and makes you worse at gaming? I presume people will only really play games against other people using these, which means that the community will be very small.

On the other hand, I could imagine these or something like these making the gym more fun as a fitness thing rather than a gaming thing.

jacques_chester 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I see that X, the Y of Z is still going strong as an elevator pitch.

What's wrong with "Omni: a 3D Treadmill"?

mililani 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Ugh. This will eventually destroy my knees or hips someday. It's bad enough that I go running an hour every other day. I just can't imagine doing that for 6 to 8 hours. Although, I think this will be awesome for out of shape people who love games. Might be the thing we need to goad these people into shape!
nitkartindia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you integrate it with Google Streetmaps, I think I will be able to go jogging in a different street every day for the rest of my life. Woah!
imchillyb 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Great device! I can't wait to try one out.
tseabrooks 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Watch the first couple of videos.. It's pretty clever and cool. Doesn't look like it'll be fat friendly. All that aside, let's pretend like we're responsible adults for a second. The video, especially the end of the first, sort've makes me think this might be the "line". People have talked about violence in video games, and realism, and for the most part I don't think there is any real issue today, it's all malarkey. Something like this, however, changes the game. It's suddenly a very different experience when you have the VR goggles on and the VR running board and you gun down civilians in CoD, or kill XYZ in random FPS.

tl;dr. Does the omni + oculus rift increase realism enough that violent games require extra caution?

Mozilla and Partners Prepare to Launch First Firefox OS Smartphones mozilla.org
8 points by padenot  2 hours ago   1 comment top
Mordor 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Gonna hold off until they're NSA certified lol
Memory access pattern matters filipekberg.se
3 points by fekberg  45 minutes ago   discuss
A Simple Rule to Eliminate Useless Meetings linkedin.com
38 points by alexmr  8 hours ago   18 comments top 8
bane 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've found that the person running a meeting really defines the success/utility of a meeting.

Some bad practices I've learned from:

a) Instead of making a simple decision, plan a meeting, at that meeting plan other meetings.

This Dilbert pointy haired boss-style really happened at a very large corporation I once worked at. I actually thought it was a joke the first few times it happened. Ultimately the simple decision was never made, and the endless meetings delayed oversight because the logic was that the decision could come out of just one more meeting. It had the awesome side-effect of making the manager look incredibly busy. At the end of my first 9 months there, the sum total output of a 5 man team came to a 5 page checklist in Excel.

Finally, and long overdue, that manager was "realigned". I was put in charge of the team and after an initial kickoff where I assigned appropriate people their tasks, we produced the desired deliverable in 90 days and not a single structured meeting after that...just a few ad hoc get-togethers to check status and align priorities. 7 Years later, that deliverable is still used as the gold standard.

b) Be disorganized.

If you think pointless meetings are a drag, wait until you end up sitting through week after week of unfocused, disorganized, confusing meetings without clear recaps, minutes, actions or other useful output.

A pointless meeting is like being frozen to death, the inaction of it all slowly kills you by sapping your strength. A disorganized meeting generates lots and lots of heat and motion but kills you just as sure as getting lit on fire would. The result is the same, nothing gets accomplished, it's just a matter of how you wish to die.

I've had the displeasure of working for/with a few people, usually at smaller companies (50-200 people) for some reason (and usually run over a bad speakerphone as well), who run the most consistently disorganized meetings I've ever encountered: bouncing around the agenda, veering off down irrelevant rabbit holes, no collecting and summarizing of what just happened, no clear actions, things that sound like actions but aren't, no follow up on previous actions etc.

Fix this by:

- Make a loose agenda

- as you work through the agenda, stay on topic and don't veer, but be willing to adjust a little as needed

- if you end up veering a little, it's okay, but bring the ship back to center and recap quickly, or set the issue aside for an "offline conversation" or another, more focused meeting just for that topic (if it's big enough)

- recap each agenda item before moving to the next one, issue out actions immediately

- take meeting notes and send out a recap to all hands, the hour you spend typing it up will save dozens of hours trying to fix bad memory screw ups instead

- put the actions in the meeting notes!

- use the previous meeting's actions as the framework for this meeting's agenda. Open actions need to be brought up again, this time with a note that it's a repeat x number of times. The more times it repeats, the higher up in priority it goes. If it doesn't move up in priority, it's probably not real anyway and shouldn't have been an action to start with

- if you use some kind of work tracking system, file the open actions and assign them immediately after the meeting. Budget time to do this around the meeting.

- Running a meeting is a responsibility not a privilege.

c) Run a meeting like it's a military exercise.

Too many times, at all sizes of organizations, I've run into people who think it's a matter of life or death that meeting run precisely on schedule. I think this is a B-school technique because it always seems to be MBAs who do this. For example, Each agenda item shall take no more than 10 minutes of meeting time, or an hour meeting shall go no longer than one hour, no matter the issues brought up - reschedule the next meeting to take up the issues later. This is dangerous and stupid.

Sometimes during meetings, new critical issues pop up, those need to be triaged, actions to remedy need to be discussed and assigned then and there. I've even seen critical deadlines missed because the meeting was going overtime, the deadline was a couple days later, a critical issue popped up and the meeting was closed due to time till the next week. Stupid stupid stupid.

The problem still needs to be addressed, but now people are going to do it off-channel, uncoordinated and disorganized with unreliable outcome and no control over the situation, management of expectations, clear communication to stakeholders etc.

Worse yet, if the person running the meeting has an honest obligation that forces the meeting to close early, that's one thing, but if they're just closing it down because it's hit its 1 hour mark, people see this and view the meeting manager as disingenuous and weird and end up confused about priorities in the organization. It ends up undermining that person.

The best meetings I've seen basically follow a loose template as jacques indicates here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5968926

I'd add that issues that look too big for the current meeting should be sidebarred into another meeting with just the key people involved. It usually is just a two person phone call in reality not a full blown meeting.

The meeting notes and rapidly assigned actions really are the critical bits, the "product" of a meeting. The notes inform and remind, follow ups can usually be solved with 10 minute ad-hoc face to face meetings.

In a different milieu, I've also liked the daily developer roundup in the morning over coffee. The meeting manager just goes around the table and asks each person what they're working on, what they've accomplished since yesterday and what they have in their queue. These are usually 15 minute informal get togethers, but help set the daily agenda. Other can pop in and offer help, or have help asked of them in this environment and the manager unit and reset daily priorities if they need to to ensure project coordination.

I think for small startups (under 15 people), this actually works really well in general, not just with the developers. It lets people understand cross department issues and helps them coordinate across developer/rest of the company boundaries very easily. It even works well with remote and distributed teams. I don't think these need to be dailies, but maybe once every week or two. I've seen startups completely turn around just by adding a weekly all-hands roundup. (it also hilights people who aren't pulling their weight really quickly since they'll have nothing/little to report)

Once the company grows a little bigger, you want to start dropping the all-hands aspect in favor of maybe just the department head and a deputy and maybe a senior. Over 20 people I've found these get unwieldy and boring as unrelated departments talk about their work past each other.

jacques_chester 7 hours ago 3 replies      
It's fascinating how much of this is a reinvention of classic meeting technique.

"Define the objective of the meeting" --> Have an agenda.

"Identify who is driving" --> Have a Chairman (Chairwoman, Chairperson, Facilitator, whatever).

"Assign someone to take notes" --> Have a Secretary.

"Summarize key action items, deliverables and points of accountability" --> Publish minutes of the meeting.

I used to be involved in student politics. Mastery of meeting procedure is a tactical weapon in that sphere, but even when they are being abused, Rules of Order are effective at keeping ... order.

Having an agenda and attentive chairmanship go together. The role of the Chair is to ensure that the meeting proceeds according to the rules and doesn't stray from the agenda. This often means not contributing.

A key reason to stick to the agenda no matter what is given in Tom DeMarco's amusing novel The Deadline. If you don't stick to the agenda but still make binding decisions, then everyone has to attend every meeting to guard against the possibility that a decision affecting them will be made in their absence.

If there is an ironclad guarantee that agenda will be followed come hell or high water, then only folk who are required at a meeting will show up. That saves a lot of time and breeds a lot of confidence.

To learn more, you can join Toastmasters or The Penguin Club. You might also join a political party, a professional society, a union, community groups like Rotary, Apex, Lions and so on. There are many good books on meeting procedure, they're worth reading to get the basics down.

This guide is brief, but gives you a taste of classical meeting technique works, in the context of incorporated associations:


edent 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I use a meeting ticker sometimes - one like this: http://tobytripp.github.io/meeting-ticker/

Set a low ball hourly rate - so 50 (depending on where you are and who you're with) so that people suspect the meeting actually costs more.

When it comes to the end of the meeting, you say "Did this meeting produce 376.42 worth of value for the company?"

If the answer is "yes" - you're doing something right.If the answer is "no" - hold a meeting to discuss how to become more productive in meetings.

drewcoo 4 hours ago 1 reply      
tldr: There are many kinds of meetings. This article doesn't even really cover the work involved in the kinds of meetings it's covering.

There are different reasons to have a meeting. This kind is the "present shit" kind of meeting. In that case, you can pretty much just email the material out and skip the meeting. Everyone gets an hour of their lives back. Win!

Or is this actually about the "get buy-in" meeting? Maybe. In that case, you lobby every person who will be in the meeting beforehand so that you know you'll get them all to consensus. And set aside time in the meeting for a Festivus-style "airing of the grievances". Make sure everyone is heard and then make sure everyone sees that they all agree with whatever decision is being made. Win!

If anyone actually starts arguing about semantics or other people's positions, the meeting is fucked. Adjourn, rethink, and try again after some legwork or with a different approach. Don't even bother with the "I want to show my anger to the group and nobody else matters" stuff in a meeting. That wastes everyone's time and makes everyone angry. Also, if it's your meeting everyone will remember that you let it go into a tailspin.

There are other kinds of meetings, too. Like the aspirational presentation followed by the call to action (great with an actual example of the thing in action at the company already), for example. This article doesn't seem to be about those, so I'll hold my tongue.

Meetings should be as short and engaging as possible, letting everyone make/save face and getting them all in line. Most of the work involved is before the meeting ever happens. Get the result you want by knowing how everyone will act/react in the meeting and setting the whole thing in motion before everyone's sitting at the table.

jaggederest 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like how this rule doesn't do anything at all to 'eliminate useless meetings'.

Somehow reading the presentation beforehand makes the meeting more relevant? Most meetings I've been to on a regular basis were pointless not because there was a presentation, but because there were more than 2-4 people in the room.

jmspring 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Before addressing eliminating meetings based on content and goal, how about looking at the structure of the organization and management teams (in startups) that require useless meetings?

One startup I was an early engineer for had a management team that developed a need to have daily all hands yet still planned on weekends in the schedule. It wasn't obvious at the start, but it crept up over time.

Miss an arbitrary deadline? Meeting. Someone in management forgot to tie their shoe? Meeting.

Sometimes there are just some people that require meetings to justify themselves.

This particular startup eventually had an ok exit (sub 4x multiple) with only four of the original twenty people still there. One of the main needy meeting culprits was not one of them.

qznc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Two suggestions from my experience with links to my blog for more extensive descriptions.

Send out a questionnaire before to discover hidden assumptions. http://beza1e1.tuxen.de/articles/questionnaire_meeting.html

Use Etherpad to rewrite the agenda into a protocol live and cooperatively. http://beza1e1.tuxen.de/articles/meeting.html

ttrx 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked at a multinational bank just last year and all these new efficiency procedures are lightyears away. I think in large companies, management philosophies really will need to start at the C-level executives in order to ever be implemented.
Objective-C Lessons from Go mackross.net
21 points by mackross  4 hours ago   6 comments top 2
objclxt 3 hours ago 4 replies      
> So, the next time youre about to make a subclass. Think hard and ask yourself what would Go do.

I enjoy using both languages (Objective-C by day, Go by night), but I'm not sure this advice is necessarily something I would follow.

Because at the root of it all, Go is procedural and Objective-C is object-oriented. But the word "procedural" (or "imperative") isn't mentioned once in this blog post...it seems as if maybe the author missed something here? For example:

>In Go, composition of existing classes is trivial

...classes simply don't exist in Go. Composition of interfaces, yes, not classes. And maybe that's me being picky, but I think it's a really important distinction. One of the reasons I think the author found taking this further "incredibly difficult" is that the two methodologies are very different and perhaps shouldn't mix.

Maybe other people will have differing views, but I honestly don't know whether it is worth trying to impose a procedural viewpoint onto a overtly object orientated language (or vice versa). So to throw this open: am I missing something here?

tomlu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All well and good, but keep in mind there's a fair bit of boilerplate to this way of composing classes and you don't get any type checking when you use dynamic forwarding.
Algorithms Course Materials uiuc.edu
142 points by afshinmeh  16 hours ago   10 comments top 7
graycat 11 hours ago 1 reply      
For computer science course notes availableon the Internet, these seem to be relativelywell written. It looks like there needs to bea lot of thanks to at least D. Knuth's TeXand some graphics packages and maybe alsoLaTeX.

Cute: By the time computing got powerful enoughso that everyone could have TeX, LaTeX, andsomething to write the output to PDF to createKnuth's "beautiful books", computing alsoenabled the Internet and wide use of PDF sothat the days of tree killer "books" arenearly over!

Reading through the book quickly and mostlyjust looking at the topics, he has a lotthere. E.g., he includes some on thefast Fourier transform (FFT).

So, there is a question about selection ofcontent: Of course the FFT is a darnedcute, powerful, and valuable algorithm(actually, it is awash in closely relatedbut still significantly differentversions -- can find more than one whole bookdescribing a collection of just some of the more popular versions).And to some extent can look at that algorithmas a source of how to do an algorithm andalso as an application of some somewhat moregeneral techniques in algorithms. But treatingthe FFT as mostly just an algorithm is a bit of a strain: Why? Because as soon as theoriginal Cooley-Tukey paper came out in the1960s (yes, with some ideas that to one extentor another had been published before goingback decades or so), there was a big splashin military sonar, radar, and more. We'retalking a huge splash. It bought me anice high end Camaro!. I used to drive homegoing south on Route 29 just south of theJHU/APL in Howard County, Maryland and goingup one particular hill try to get to100 MPH in second gear in the Turbo 400automatic transmission! Nice car!

So, with the FFT could do a wide rangeof digital filtering. It also got usedin X-ray crystalography. At least fora while, Texas Instruments was goingto make a 'radio' receiver that wouldhave no local oscillator circuit and,instead, would feed the antenna signaldirectly to a very sensitive, very fast, high resolution analog-digitalconverter and then run that digitaloutput through the FFT as the means of'tuning' to particular frequencies.Then, of course, could 'listen' toseveral different frequencies at once,do spread spectrum tricks, etc. Big splash.

But what's in the OP on the FFT is essentially just the algorithm.That's a little like making cakebatter but leaving out the cake,icing, soaking with syrup withKirschwasser, whipped cream, coffee, etc.! Really, the FFT mostly belongs in an electronicengineering course in signalprocessing.

Then the book does quite a lotwith some discrete optimization.There is a whole stream of such workgoing back to Ford and Fulkerson,the Hungarian method,algorithms of Dijkstra and Bellman,applications of the network simplexalgorithm, etc. So, there is maximum matching,minimum spanning tree, shortestpaths, maximum network flows,least cost network flows, etc.

There is some question about teachingthis material, especially ascomputer science: Really, originally the material was mostlyoptimization in operations research.I know, operations research is nearlya dead field, and optimization isnot far behind. So, just why shouldcomputer science raise these topicsfrom the dead?

One old reason for studying these topics was,at first glance, some of those problemslook like would need an exponentialalgorithm that enumerated all combinations to get an optimalsolution yet there are algorithmsthat are worst case polynomialor average case polynomial. So,these problems and the associatedalgorithms are a stake in the groundof combinatorial optimization problemsthat do have polynomial solutions.So, maybe from this stake in theground, we can get some guidancein our search to resolve P versus NP.Maybe. And, yes, there are someselected applications, maybe toIP routing! Still, dragging allUI CS students through this materialseems a bit questionable.

Then the book also does the simplex algorithmof linear programming. Okay, it'san algorithm, but really it's the core technique in optimizationin operations research and is notreally discrete. His treatment looksgood for being so short, but, again,there is some question about callingsimplex part of computer science anddragging all UI CS undergraduatesthrough it. Besides, the UIoperations research, applied math,or math departments could charge the UI CS department withacademic theft! So, next, UI CSwill be teaching calculus? Linearalgebra? Art history?

Yes, in each case, the course is teachingan algorithm, but not all of theones it is teaching are really of thesame kind as quicksort, heap sort,merge sort, AVL trees, red-black trees,extendible hashing, perfect hashing,etc. The difference in "kind"?When you've studied, learned, programmed,timed, and used quicksort and thoughtabout how it does well with virtualmemory locality of reference, divideand conquer, recursion, and an opportunityto exploit multi-core processors,then you are done with it. But forthe FFT, simplex, matroids(which it also touches on),are just getting a peak intowhat in each case is often awhole book or a whole shelf ofbooks and significant part ofa whole field, e.g., electronicengineering, operations research,combinatorial optimization research,etc. Sounds like a way to keep someUI CS undergraduates really busyand sober and doing homework seven nights a week!

timsally 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is Jeff Erickson's free textbook (really a set of detailed lecture notes) on Algorithms, a course that Jeff teaches at UIUC and routinely wins teaching awards for. Definitely worth your time. Jeff is working on a similar set of notes for Computational Topology: http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/~jeffe/teaching/comptop/schedule.html. These are not as developed yet. He's also written an interesting piece about getting into a graduate school with low grades: http://3dpancakes.typepad.com/ernie/2005/03/re_phd_with_low.....
Ntrails 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Describe and analyze an algorithm that determines, given a legal arrangement of standard pieces on a standard chess board, which player will win at chess from the given starting position if both players play perfectly"

Ok, but [Hint: There is a one-line solution!]

Am I missing something obvious like "it's always a draw"?

johnohara 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Concise, elegantly simple, and precisely measured for student consumption over one semester (16-17 weeks).

Masterfully hidden from view are the edits, re-edits, discussions, Tex/Latex tutorials, file conversions, hand-written notes, lecture preps, student questions and a hundred other details that end in an 814 page treatise for humans to enjoy via that "other thing" they did at UIUC.

Well done Jeff Erickson, et.al.

whackedspinach 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I am so excited to take this class. JeffE, from all accounts, is an amazing professor.
jgh 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic, thanks for this link!
thejacenxpress 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Coursera is starting an Algorithm course July 1st if anyone wants to join: https://www.coursera.org/course/algo
On the freedom to speak lessig.tumblr.com
125 points by espeed  17 hours ago   60 comments top 7
kevinpet 16 hours ago 5 replies      
This is a good example of why I don't have the enthusiasm most of this community has for Lessig. His single issue lately is money in politics, to the extent that he seems to be blind to anything else.

The criticism which he linked to primarily pointed out that he was speaking well of a company that exists primarily to enable the surveillance state. My reading of the mention of contributions to politicians in the last paragraph was to point out that this company is contributing to people who Lessig almost certainly does not agree with politically.

But Lessig's response is entirely focussed on not being tainted by any contributions.

He seems to get it what the root of the criticism is: " The essence of the criticism is that Palantir is a bad company, or that it has done bad things, or that it has been funded by bad people."

But his response is "I am completely in favor of questions being raised of anyone like me (meaning people trying to push a particular public policy) about whether mentioning a company or their product is done in exchange for money."

No one ever raised this question. It's not a suspicion. I think what we'd like to know from Lessig is:

1. Do you think it's okay to engage in wholesale spying on Americans, as long as it's subject to what you consider the appropriate oversight?

2. If you don't like spying, are you speaking well of Palantir because you don't think they are involved in it, or are you just interested in the one aspect of their technology and not trying to promote the company as a whole?

rayiner 16 hours ago 5 replies      
The whole Lessig/Palantir issue is so illustrative of the tech community's bizarre insistence on ideological purity on political issues, and consequently illustrative of why tech as an industry has so little political influence despite having money and people.
javajosh 16 hours ago 5 replies      
What a remarkable response. Lessig reacts to the substance, rather than the emotion of the criticism, making distinctions that need to be made, and answers the criticisms in language that's easy to understand.

He'd make a great lawyer.

jaekwon 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Lessig (or something) is deleting my comment on Disqus. Here it is:


The the government's claims of transparency and audibility of the NSA's PRISM program is analogous (if not directly related) to the claims of Palantir's. Search for "immutable auditing" below:


But even with such an audit trail to the core, it is known that it isn't sufficient:


I wager that for any given system that touts immutable audibility, there is a way to hack around it. Privacy through automated means is impossible. At best it is a kind of DRM that the NSA can easily work around secretly if it wanted it. What we should be advocating instead is Perfect Forward Secrecy in our internet architecture, and the dismantling of PRISM and related data centers.

Prof Lessig, in your book "Code", you are using the issue of copyright to condone the current direction of the surveillance state and offering red herrings as "balancing" compromises. Such a balance is impossible in the face of concentrated storage of (even encrypted) storage data by intelligence agencies. As long as the NSA can tap the wires and record information in vast databases for cold storage, we are absolutely in risk.

More technical discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5966942

P.S., FTFY: "I have not, AND would not ever, accept money from Palantir..."

jtchang 16 hours ago 4 replies      
What type of technology would allow us to be absolutely certain that a piece of information was only used for an explicit purpose?

My first thought was a chain of custody with public/private key encryption for viewing the information. Perhaps file systems that record access?

dram 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like great news for Glenn Greenwald. Can we see the audit trail for Team Themis and understand more about how Palantir was contracted to be paid $3.6MM for malicious datamining to attack a US journalist?
aortega 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I have the sensation that palantir and prism must be related in some way.
Why to use Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus share links and not buttons garron.me
91 points by g-garron  14 hours ago   55 comments top 28
ChrisNorstrom 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use WidgetBlock for chrome and since then sites have been blazing fast. I mean it really helps to not have all those stupid share widgets load. It does however break all the share buttons.

So using links instead of the widget codes is better for your site (performance wise), privacy wise, and it degrades gracefully when people like me use Widget Blockers.

qxcv 12 hours ago 2 replies      
If you still like the idea of buttons, but don't want to give up using the vendor-supplied buttons themselves, you can use the "two clicks for more privacy" jQuery plugin[0], which only loads the actual button when the user enables it by clicking a greyed-out placeholder.

[0] http://panzi.github.io/SocialSharePrivacy/

grey-area 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've recently done this on some client sites - it's far neater than including several sets of js each loading their own support libraries etc. The main reason for doing it was speed (each button makes several requests for js and assets), but it does also obviate serving multiple third-party js files, and protects your users from tracking by Facebook etc. which some of them won't be keen on. It's a shame that FB, Google etc insist on hosted js - a nicer solution would just be a link around one dynamically generated image showing the user the same information, though I guess that could still be used for limited tracking by IP.

After trialling the standard js we decided to forgo the dynamic buttons for speed, security and the privacy of our users and use locally hosted images of the buttons or logos with a simple link to the social site. For the readers it's very similar experience, but a much faster solution.

packetslave 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have an opinion on the core of the article, but this bit at the end is not the best advice from a user experience standpoint.

"And I am seriously thinking into serve my own copy of Twitter Bootstrap scripts instead of serving them from the Google Network."

The point of using a CDN for common js/css is to serve it as close to your users as possible as well as increase the change that they already have it in their browser cache. Hosting it yourself just means your users have to make more round-trips to wherever in the world your server lives.

BTW, Google Hosted Libraries doesn't currently include Twitter Bootstrap. You're using NetDNA's BootstrapCDN.

MJR 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Facebook has stated that the sharer.php is deprecated. https://developers.facebook.com/bugs/252983554810810/

It appears to have an unclear lifespan. While it has been fully replaced by the Feed Dialog, it's still working now and is used all over the internet. I can see the case where it won't see any further development or features, but it's a tough call whether or not to incorporate the deprecated method or accept possible risks of the current methods - Like button or Feed Dialog.

nhebb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great write-up with a simple solution - one that I recently realized that I needed.

I put the AddThis button block on some of my article pages at the beginning of May. I was getting less click-throughs to my product page, so I started looking into possible causes. The Site Speed reports in Google Analytics showed that my page load times had increased 2-3x. I profiled some of the slower pages and found that the AddThis external call stack can be pretty deep. After removing them, everything's nice and speedy again, and click-throughs are back up to normal levels.

jstsch 13 hours ago 2 replies      
We've been using the same method for quote some time now. Not just for privacy purposes, but also performance-wise all these scripts and iframes are a bit much. Demo and code at http://simpleshare.schuttelaar.nl/
yogsototh 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I made a similar article recently. I provide a complete block which you could copy/paste on your website directly. It uses javascript to create the right link using the current url.


dfc 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems like a great time to plug RequestPolicy:

"ReuestPolicy is a Firefox extension that improves the privacy and security of your browsing by giving you control over when cross-site requests are allowed by webpages you visit."[1]

It is even better if you pair it with NoScript.[2] Whenever I toy with the idea of switching to Chrome I am always end up sticking with iceweasel because of the lack of equivalent RP+NS functionality in Chrome. If you are currently using ghostery I highly suggest you switch to RP+NS.

[1] https://www.requestpolicy.com/index.html

[2] http://noscript.net/

chanux 8 hours ago 0 replies      
minimaxir 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Another note: you can create realistic share buttons by fetching the Like counts via JavaScript.

I run that on my own website and it works well.

sage_joch 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It occurred to me yesterday how powerful Twitter must be. They must have a good portion of most peoples' web histories, which could sell for a lot in certain markets. This is all just wild speculation, but I also wonder if they made a data-sharing deal with CNN, given CNN's constant Twitter promotion over the years.
dougbarrett 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Those networks can still track user habits by clicking the URL. In one acorn, they will know they came from your site, any user agent information, screen size (via JS on the social network site), if they are logged in they will associate them going to your site even if they decide not to share the URL.

The only thing they aren't seeing is additional analytic data they're missing out by not having there JS installed on your site, but its still enough data that they can use on there end for targeting advertisements which is what they are using this data for.

austenallred 12 hours ago 0 replies      
In other words it's not buttons in and if themselves that should be avoided (according to the author) but pulling in the widgets from FB, Twitter and G+. You can host the same buttons on your end (really just a picture with a link)
dotmanish 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"and thus giving them the possibility to track your visitors"

This is an understatement. There's no reason for them not to do it - it's fodder for them.

quackerhacker 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually agree with this article...from an optimization standpoint. Whenever I've had to integrate paypal, youtube, or even coinbase...I always add the images to my static sprite sheet (to reduce http requests), and will serve a post href link...instead of button code suggested.

Even before the whole tracking was exposed, I always hated paypal's 1px blank gif that is integrated in their button code.

dotmanish 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This applies to usage of Google Fonts as well, isn't it? Similarly, Adobe gets the hold of site visitors via use.typekit.com
jdangu 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The discussion is also relevant for sharing widgets (addthis and friends). If anyone is interested, I wrote about their behavior and how to circumvent them: http://www.j-ro.me/nixing-the-dataholic-sharing-widgets.html
bhashkarsharma 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love how security expert Bruce Schneier (https://www.schneier.com) has implemented it. This also gives you an ability to see how popular an article is (based on the sharing numbers) if you want, which is another purpose these widgets serve.
proexploit 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Your Facebook button says "Like", but it's a share. There's no liking involved.
quackerhacker 13 hours ago 2 replies      
In regards to not tracking users...integrating a http request to Google for JQuery, is still tracking users.

I always find this ironic about these articles don't track your users, or prism is watching, let's use mailvelope, some of these pages that is promoting privacy, integrates google analytics, have a share button, or some type of off server request.

acqq 13 hours ago 1 reply      
An implementation that uses image maps without scripts:


ereckers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This is about the way I see it these days. Pulling 2, 3, up to 5 outside scripts via sharing widgets is just too much. Much snappier to skip and just link out as the example shows.
idupree 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The links to Facebook/Twitter/etc. should best be HTTPS, I think.
hackerchic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree and have been replacing share buttons with an icon an link also
hartator 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A small typo in the title: Javascript and not java script.
untog 10 hours ago 1 reply      
...and find your click rates plummet.

Which is fine if you're OK with that cost. But a lot of users aren't going to notice those links, let alone select them, copy them and paste them.

If I already have to copy and paste a link, why not the actual page URL?

A Eulogy For AltaVista, The Google Of Its Time searchengineland.com
90 points by gregosaur  16 hours ago   48 comments top 13
xedarius 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I remember sitting around my friends house and he showed me AltaVista, I think previously I had been using Yahoo. He said have a go, so I typed some stuff into the box and then it listed a bunch of stuff, "cool eh?", my friend said.

"Well kind of", I replied, but none of the things it returned are what I'm looking for.

Oh no, that's not how it works, he explained. You have then find your actual results somewhere on the 2nd or 3rd page. Or narrow the results with a curious combinations of + and -.

If only I had connected the dots perhaps I would have written Google myself.

rsync 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I miss altavista every single day.

Every time I search for a collection of terms, and then click the links, and page-search for one of those terms, and it's not in the page.

Google wastes my time like this 3-4 times per day.

PommeDeTerre 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe licensing issues would prevent it, or make it difficult or costly to do, but I think it would be superb if at least some of the source code powering AltaVista were to be released under a liberal open source license. This is especially true if it's no longer a feasible product.

The code from the Digital era, for instance, would be quite a contribution to the Internet community, even if just for the sake of preserving historically-important software.

ChuckMcM 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with Danny it is a sad sendoff for what was such a transformative technology. DEC never did understand open anything, and the Internet was always more of threat to them than a way to move forward.
joshuak 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I remember when google came out I didn't quite understand what was different, and hated the fact that I couldn't use operators such as +-(). The feeling lucky button further reinforced the feeling that google was a dumbed down interface for the masses that wasn't for professionals. Took me a bit to realize that the results where better then AltaVista regardless of the reduced sculptability.

EDIT: haha now it's been so long I've even forgotten the operators. They where the boolean operators AND, OR, NOT etc. spelled out, and other very useful sculpting tools.


_delirium 10 hours ago 1 reply      
babelfish.altavista.com was also the translate.google.com of its time
henrikschroder 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember the domain switch, and how previously the guy who actually had altavista.com used to have a little box on his personal website telling people looking for that other altavista search thing to go over here...
Zigurd 14 hours ago 2 replies      
It must be depressing sometimes to think of things like AltaVista that Yahoo had run into the ground under leadership that apparently didn't understand the assets they owned.

When AltaVista first appeared, I had used Lexis quite a bit, and had built my own inverted index for law forms. I thought "Wow, you can do that to Web pages!"

But it is even more depressing to keeping dragging the corpse of AltaVista around. Time to let go.

whiddershins 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember teaching a friend how to research a topic by sitting her down in front of the computer, and showing her how to search all 5 major engines instead of just one, thereby getting a number of perspectives on the topic.

This article makes me seriously nostalgic.

dm8 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe people like Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat who became instrumental in Google's success came from DEC. I'm sure they brought lot of talented folks from DEC that paved what Google's search dominance.
INTPenis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember the dark side, astalavista. My entry into the world of exploratory computing. ;)
felixfurtak 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If my memory serves me AltaVista had good newsgroup support too. It was even possible to manually uudecode binary files from the search results.
jmboling 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sadly, google was just easier to type.
Misinformation on NSA programs includes statements by senior U.S. officials washingtonpost.com
99 points by molecule  9 hours ago   18 comments top 6
mtgx 6 hours ago 1 reply      
As I said at almost every article where the "NSA officials" were defending the programs in some way - Do not trust them! They can't be trusted.

We need a real external investigation done into this (and even that needs to be done by very credible people), and then we'll see how it all goes. You can't be naive enough to trust anything the NSA or the administration is saying now.

Amadou 7 hours ago 5 replies      
I think it says a lot that the defense of these programs relies on what amounts to the redefinition of words, sometimes redefinitions with practically the opposite meaning - like how "collect" has been changed to mean access already collected data.

If they can't defend the programs with straightforward language it means they simply aren't being straightforward with us.

belorn 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I would place some part of blame on the journalists for not asking specific enough questions. All the discussion around "direct access" was a typical example where more precise questions would say more than hundred pages of discussion.

For example, do Google allow NSA to run computer code on google's servers? More specific, do NSA supply database queries when demanding data? Do NSA ever provide Google with tracking code like JS or links to NSA webbugs (1px imgs) that Google later put in targeted ads? Do Google ever provide physical (or remote) access to servers, hard drives (like backups) or network devices to NSA?

Either of those would to me be equivalent with "direct access", while I can perfectly see how Google would not define it as such.

dantheman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's unfortunate that the rule of law bifurcating in this country - swat teams and militaristic police for us common folk and the ability to lie to congress, etc not being punished for the rulers. Hopefully a committee will be started to investigate these crimes and people will involved will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
seclorum 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope that in the future states of the Earth, they teach disinformation and doublespeak detection/eradication techniques to the teenagers of the tomorrow. It sure would help to know thats going to happen..
Mordor 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> I assume most people are acting in good faith

He's talking about himself of course, the NSA is premised upon the exact opposite.

       cached 1 July 2013 13:02:01 GMT