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Welcome to the Sharing Economy nytimes.com
57 points by pg  2 hours ago   39 comments top 16
nlh 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love love love AirBNB. I host w/ my apartment in NYC and it's enabled me to travel around the world this year and still have a home base when I need it. I've used AirBNB a lot in those travels.

BUT (there's always a 'but' isn't there). I'm skeptical. On two fronts:

First, it's becoming increasingly difficult to make reservations as a guest in a nice place unless you're planning 4-6 months ahead of time. Some people have the luxury of doing that, many do not. I've just taken reservations for both Xmas and New Year's eve at my place in NYC and it's barely the end of July.

As a guest, this irks me. I spent 3 weeks in London recently, booked the trip about a month in advance, and tried to no avail to find a place on AirBNB -- nada. All the nice places had been snapped up months ago, and the ones that were left were either shady brokers or absolute crap (it makes sense -- I wanted a 3 week booking. If a nice place had even a 1-day booking in that window, the whole place was unavailable). I ended up booking on HomeAway or FlipKey or one of their competitors.

Second, I feel in some sense, the tide is turning the other way on the regulation front. I've been lucky with my place in NYC in that I'm in an AirBNB-friendly building and I've had extremely good luck in getting terrific guests. But the regulatory environment is not AirBNB-friendly and it's getting less so. Several people who used to host in NYC have stopped doing so for fear (irrational or otherwise) of running afoul of the law.

I tried to host w/ my apartment in SF and within 72 hours of posting the listing, I received a very strongly-worded C&D letter from the building's management company staff attorney. They had someone in the office who constantly scanned for listings on AirBNB and came down hard and fast. Others have reported similar stories from HOAs and management companies.

So of course I want nothing but the best for AirBNB - I've a happy customer on both sides. But I don't think it's such a slam dunk as many seem to think it is...

jtchang 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There is going to be a head on collision between current government regulations and this rise of social sharing. Airbnb vs the entrenched hotel industry. Uber vs the taxi commissions.

I, for one, welcome it. It's time the market voiced their opinion over how much value these groups provide.

For example, take internet. Right now everyone can get cable/dsl but in many contracts it is against their terms to share it. I understand why because a lot of their #s are based around utilization. But I still feel in some way taken advantage of.

graeme 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If you think Airbnb is big now, just wait.

I'm 27. Most people I know have not stayed in an Airbnb rental, or considered becoming hosts. They haven't heard of it, or they're reluctant to stay with a stranger.

Eventually, positive word of mouth will convince them to try. They just have to like it once and they'll do it again.

Friedman tried to paint Airbnb as massive, but all I can think about it how tiny it still is compared to the global hotel industry.

You may say that for use case X, a hotel would be better. Fine. But I'd estimate 80% of the market hasn't tried Airbnb, and X% of them will switch once they do.

kevinalexbrown 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
Most remarkable to me is that their success required so few conceptual shifts (but important ones). Time-shares and couchsurfing and vacation rentals already existed. I'll try to remember this the next time I think something's 'obviously' been tried before.

It also seems like there was a large shift in (or discovery of) the willingness of individuals to participate in the way that makes sharing work. I suspect that many other innovations will be primarily social ones enabled by the internet (the watsi model?), and that these will be just as powerful as, say, graphene or spacex.

salimmadjd 1 hour ago 1 reply      
OH NO! Tom Freedman just invented the Sharing Economy. Be hold for 1000 pages plus book and endless pontifications on virtues of "What I call the Sharing Economy" on the Charlie Rose and other shows.
trevorstarick 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I recently co-founded a startup (http://outpost.travel) that aggregates the 'sharing economy'. So far we've had a great response to it from investors and users. It's been a crazy experience going from idea to MVP to where we are today and I get exactly what they mean when they say to keep an eye on startups/sites like Airbnb/Vayable. Almost all our users hadn't known about Airbnb before we introduced them to the whole P2P travel experience and quite a few then booked experiences, rideshares and place rentals using us. The one think that I am concerned about is that quite a few federal/state tourism agencies are now banning P2P travel as theres no taxes being made and it takes away from bigger chains such as Hilton and Holiday Inn.
minor_nitwit 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sharing Houses is just time shares taken to the logical internet extreme.

What are some other sharing ideas that are out there?

I think women's fashion could benefit from something like this, sharing shoes - dresses, gowns etc. Think of all the money that is spent on weddings, proms, etc.

For the typical man, power tools and machinery. The one guy in town with the Bridgeport will make out like a bandit.

Neighbours let each other borrow sugar or borrow an egg. - There's definitely a location aspect involved in all of this. Vacations are different because you're specifically going to some place far away. Maybe otherwise, you shouldn't focus on a single type of item, and simply connect the nearby community with a focus on sharing any and everything.

thejteam 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't really like the term "sharing" applied to airbnb and the like. More like renting out excess capacity, which businesses have been doing since the concept of business first came into being.
muzz 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Hasn't the sharing economy already reached the tipping point?

The ideas in the piece clearly aren't new for most of us on HackerNews, but I would contend they're not really new for many in the general public either.

There have been many mainstream news stories about the sharing economy. And even battles in big cities (SF, NY) over regulation. I would've guessed that this was already on many people's radar.

brownbat 33 minutes ago 2 replies      
What's the airbnb equivalent for renting a drill/lawnmower/weed whacker/snowblower from a neighbor?
namenotrequired 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of https://peerby.com/ which is also definitely part of this.
Dewie 53 minutes ago 0 replies      

I like the idea of something like this, with a local non-monetary exchange currency.

msandford 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Groupon is not sustainable. I'll buy that it's locust-like. But Airbnb, ZipCar, and others are sustainable. They're not locust like. He does nothing to put the two together.
jjsz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The sharing economy is also known as the collaborative consumption based economy, a directory of websites I found a while a go: http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/directory/.
dano414 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great concept, but in Marin county I would get a huge finefor doing this. My neighbors would turn on me in a second.
andyidsinga 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
i read the title as "welcome to the sharding economy" - oops - but still, looking fwd to reading that post somewhere.
Hacker News Folks Get Long Overdue Thanks linuxlock.blogspot.sg
427 points by reactor  10 hours ago   96 comments top 17
mixmax 6 hours ago 4 replies      
While this is a great and heartbreaking story that makes me proud to be an active member of HN it's also a symptom of the totally broken US healthcare system.

From wikipedia:

The United States life expectancy of 78.4 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990, ranks it 50th among 221 nations, and 27th out of the 34 industrialized OECD countries, down from 20th in 1990. Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States had the highest or near-highest prevalence of infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, homicides, and disability. Together, such issues place the U.S. at the bottom of the list for life expectancy. On average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost four fewer years than those in the top-ranked country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.9%), than any other nation in 2011. The Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States last in the quality of health care among similar countries, and notes U.S. care costs the most.


nwenzel 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Great story of compassion and triumph. So... How do we make it scale?

Is it mandatory insurance? Insurance doesn't make everything affordable, but it probably wild have been helpful. Though maybe the co-pay would have been $50k.

Universal tax-payer funded insurance? The term "tax payer" is interesting because politicians and pundits forget that we're all tax payers in one form or another. Granted some pay more, some are net consumers of govt services. But tax payers mean us, and those with more earned income more than those with less. I think the main difference between taxes and donation is choice.

Single-payer or government provided healthcare? Pretty sure that no one would identify the government as the picture perfect example of efficiency. Plus, putting elected officials or their appointees in charge of handing out goods and services doesnt seem to be sustainable. Not that putting profit seeking entities in charge has yielded the ideal result.

Making drug providers, healthcare providers and everyone else in that supply chain non-profit? Profit has enormous motivational powers. Not always for good. But it is pretty amazing what can be accomplished by organizations setup to create wealth.

Big Data? Sorry, I couldn't resist. Well, lets use that as a proxy for innovation. It would seem that greater opportunity for innovation would help. Lower barriers to trying new drugs, procedures, diet, treatments would allow for potentially lower cost solutions to be created.

Separating health care from your job? Of your insurer only needs you to be healthy until you find a new job, there's not much in incentive for long-term healthcare and preventative screenings to identify tumors and other problems before they become an expensive problem. Though that would seem to be an arguement in favor of a single payer system.

Sorry, I don't have an answer. Hopefully, great stories like the OP continue. But if we don't make it scale then we haven't really done all we possibly can do.

jaggederest 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The real thanks goes to the oncologists. I'm pretty sure they would have shrugged off the monetary losses to save a life.
twstws 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is truly a wonderful story. But it makes you wonder how many others in a similar situation weren't so fortunate.

I lived in the US for two years, and I never understood the aversion to government healthcare. The Canadian system is far from perfect, and I know there are failures. But it's still a lot better than soliciting for online charity on a case by case basis.

I'm impressed and humbled that it worked in this case. Just a little disturbed that it was necessary at all.

foobarbazqux 8 hours ago 1 reply      
It's great that people here helped him out and that a life was saved, but it's also sad that some US citizens - in this case a veteran - have to beg for healthcare.
wozniacki 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Often the least mentioned and discussed approach to solving the healthcare morass is the customer driver model of healthcare.

David Goldhill is the author of Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father--and How We Can Fix It

He advocates restricting the insurance system gradually and phasing out eventually, to increase accountability and vastly improve delivery standards.

His father was afflicted by a series of hospital infections that compounded his condition and eventually killed him.

When admitted in hospitals, he was thrice subjected to medical procedures that were meant for other people.

This Atlantic article is eminently readable.

How American Health Care Killed My Father





p4bl0 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This story makes me glad to live in France and have such a good healthcare system.
relaunched 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember when this story was first posted. It's not often in life that someone gets a happy ending. It's a moment we can all revel in.
mathattack 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow - that a tear jerker that's hard to respond to. Glad to hear he is well!
barking 8 hours ago 0 replies      
HN : 1 USA health system : 0
dmak 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I honestly thought this was going to be a SEO success story when I saw the white hat vs black hat picture.
zhemao 9 hours ago 1 reply      
What's with all the extra periods in the title?
sgt 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Well done to HN. You cared.
kenshiro_o 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I am very happy for you! It's amazing what a community can do when its focus is directed towards a single goal.
gojomo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Any link to the original thread?
WasimBhai 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I have often wondered given the kind of cost involved in good health care in USA, along with college fees, why don't more Americans move to Europe for health care and education where it is probably free most of the time?

P.S.: I am from Pakistan.

denzil_correa 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Feels good to be part of such a community.
How Did Dropbox Scale To 175M Users? A Former Engineer Details The Early Days techcrunch.com
29 points by harryzhang  2 hours ago   8 comments top 3
bdon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
From the comments, a link to Rajiv's technical writeup:


which covers some of the points in the TC article.

finkin1 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here's a link to the actual talk: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/35654239
cldr 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I think "replace the hard drive" is a terrible way to say it, since a hard drive (or SSD or SD or whatever) is exactly what you need to be able to use Dropbox.
The Locust Economy ribbonfarm.com
21 points by nashequilibrium  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
YokoZar 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
While I understand the author's point comparing a wave of groupon-only customers as a swarm of locusts moving from deal to deal, I don't agree with lumping AirBNB in there. If a business is offering a groupon at a loss on the hope of spurring future customers, the deal-hunters can act like locusts by breaking that hope, causing a net loss of value.

AirBNB, by contrast, is creating new supply, and that supply is in turn only being sold to AirBNB users. As an AirBNB host, it would be very good for me if I was constantly full of people making one day stays and then disappearing forever.

Similarly, if the businesses offering groupons were still profiting from them at the margins even without assumptions of repeat business, then these "locusts" wouldn't be taking value away either.

pshc 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow. This post is a journey. I haven't digested it enough yet, but I'm loving the trip!

EDIT: found http://www.ribbonfarm.com/for-new-readers/. Onto the Kindle you go.

CSS Zen Garden relaunched csszengarden.com
89 points by jmduke  5 hours ago   22 comments top 14
danso 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome...I can't remember the last time I've visited this site...but I can't remember a resource on CSS that I ever read before this one...

Even though it's "just CSS"...I think CSS Zen Garden, and other sites like it, were absolutely critical to my web development career. Not because I specialized in web design, but because it demonstrated that CSS was cool...and not just some other syntax to learn (which, when you're new to web development, can be quite intimidating).

Zen Garden inspired me to learn CSS...and it wasn't the CSS itself that was important, but the concept that CSS is based on: separation of presentation and content...something that is very hard to grok until you just do it...Zen Garden's fantastic demos encouraged me to try it out, even if I could never match the site's artistry.

And if I had never gotten the concept of separation down...I don't think I would be a web developer today. I think the maintenance of even a simple personal website built on inline HTML would've driven me to quit web development long ago...

That said, in my career (which admittedly hasn't been focused on design), I've never been in a situation where a client has wanted to redesign the site and to do so was just a task of rewriting the CSS sheets, no matter how well-written the HTML templates were. Redesigns almost always go hand-in-hand with addition of new features, technology, and content...the architectural ideal that CSS Zen Garden strives for is a great one, but it doesn't seem to occur often in professional work.

MattJ100 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm sure I'm not alone - this site really inspired me to first get into web design and development. Great to see it alive and contributions as imaginative as ever.
adrianhoward 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Kind of odd to remember era when CSS Zen Garden launched - when you had to convince people that CSS was a good idea, and when IE leading the way
lucisferre 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Good thing Dave never got that Pizza he asked for: https://twitter.com/mezzoblue/status/210779736652251138
Tycho 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that some of the designs look very contemporary but only use CSS 1 and 2. Suggests the change in web design is driven more by fashion (or maybe hardware) than by rendering technology.

On the subject of CSS, I've often thought it would be great if somebody made a sort of 'CSS koans.' Like each koan would be a little puzzle where you manipulate the box model etc. to get the desired physical layout.

ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome, that site has launched a lot of careers and made the web a better place overall I think.
plg 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm a curmudgeon but to me the vast majority of these examples are outright painful to the eye, they remind me of myspace pages and the like. Can anyone really imagine spending any significant amount of time reading / exploring a website that is based on one of these designs? The exception is the main landing page, I like that one.
vfl0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Currently used to designing websites, when I found out about this in class I was so excited. The only problem I found was that I wasn't sure what theme to make it as most of them follow a certain style but I guess that's down to myself.

Some fantastic designs produced by it though.

conroy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As a young web developer, I had been using tables and frames to organize my layout. CSS Zen Garden taught me to separate style and content. I credit this site for making me a better web developer.
pacomerh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
CSS Zen Garden was so useful when I started. It was the first time I saw that you could separate markup and style. I impressed my boss by telling him that we could just build one functional site and have different skins and we could save money.
omegote 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So nice, some weeks ago there were some news about CSS Zen Garden's birthday. Now knowing it's been relaunched is great.

BTW, here's the design I sent... 8 years ago o_O


Jitle 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am so happy CZG has been relaunched and updated.

This site was my inspiration for a senior project in an independent study class on web design where I surprised and completely redesigned my teacher's website while only changing the CSS file, and the original site was not designed well - at all.

stigi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh wow. Good to have CSSZG back. How could I forget about you... \o/
beauxespirits 1 hour ago 0 replies      
this is the site that inspired me to get into code~! love this site and glad they revamped it.
Why Canada Has No Big Tech Companies contentdj.com
12 points by liquimoon  1 hour ago   22 comments top 6
foobarqux 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you eliminate mining, energy and banking Canada has essentially no internationally relevant big companies whatsoever. RIM and Bombardier are the only ones I see on the TSX 60 and the former is in its death throes. The future looks grim for Canadians.


rogerbinns 32 minutes ago 1 reply      
One thing that is rarely stated is a California law that things you do on your own equipment and time belong to you, not your employer. (Conflicts of interest aside.)

This let people experiment on the side, which sometimes failed, but sometimes discovered something useful. It takes some of the risk out of startups in the very early stages. By contrast my employer in the UK at the time claimed that anything I invented while employed by them (eg new cat food) would be owned by them, no matter how unrelated and no employer equipment used.

vinceguidry 37 minutes ago 2 replies      
I don't live there, so maybe I'm missing something, but is Silicon Valley really something to glamorize and try to replicate? I always thought that technology is supposed to be distributed rather than centralized. Centralizing something allows you to exploit economies of scale, but also invites parasites in to free-ride. And the Valley does seem to attract a lot of parasites.
zinssmeister 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why Canada Has No Big ____ Companies would be a more interesting article/video. The biggest Canadian company seems to have an annual revenue of "just" 50 million. On the list of largest Companies, Canada is not even present: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_companies_by_re... I am not trying to bash Canada, but compared to others in the global arena, Canada isn't really known to be a player with large corporations.
jeffblake 50 minutes ago 2 replies      
Yeah I'm an American who went to school here in Vancouver, started a company, doing well, but probably moving myself and the company back to the States soon as it's very difficult to get a VISA. The new startup VISA only applies to companies that are fundraising.
surferbayarea 1 hour ago 4 replies      
canada has serious issues. I wanted to go for a conference there + meet a few startups. Turns out you need 2 months to get a tourist/business visa!
Just released a major update for my site. What do you guys think? regex101.com
101 points by Lindrian  7 hours ago   40 comments top 22
mef 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hopefully not to distract too much from the valuable utility of this tool, but in case anyone else feels that the site design seemed uncomfortably similar to http://rubular.com/ e.g. the three colors in the welcome box are identical), the site author mentions that regex101 is inspired by rubular in the about page http://regex101.com/about/:

I would also like to thank the creator of rubular for inspiring me to create my own service with extended features. I have from rubular recreated the regex quick-reference table (with some slight modification). The same goes for the welcome popup used on the index page. If there is any concern, feel free to send me an email and I will address the issue immediately.

Lindrian 7 hours ago 0 replies      

I have recently released a new update for regex101 where I pretty much recoded everything; the entire explaination and colorizer engine. They are still not perfect, and I'm not fully satisfied with the code, but its way way better than it was before. I will probably remake it when I get more time on my hands.

A list of all that has been fixed would take too long to write up, but I have added some of the things I have most commonly been asked:

- Changeable delimiters

- Alternating color matches

- Bigger editor

- Wider and more accurate explanations

- Samples on how to use regex (automatically generated)

I am planning on adding more flavors in the future, so you can do live testing and validation of java, javascript, python and perl style regular expressions. I am also trying to create my own debugger (much like the one in regexbuddy). Once again, this will have to be when I get more time on my hands. Currently the only support is for PCRE which is achieved through PHP.

Until then I ask you guys to please tell me what you think of the current features, suggest new ones and please report any bugs you might encounter :).

If you want to help me out with the website, send me a message!

Thanks in advance!

ChuckMcM 5 hours ago 1 reply      
One interesting way to differentiate would be to allow drop downs for different regex engines. So one for perl, one for python, etc.
pgroves 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I like it.

How do you enter a tab character in the test string without losing focus of the text field?

When I start typing the regex, the cheatsheet gets pushed below the visible part of the page as the "explanation" section expands itself. It would be nice if the cheat sheet remained next to the regex field as I typed in the regex.

wasd 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure if Rubular[1] or your site came first but the design is very similar.

[1] http://rubular.com/

martin-adams 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There are two things I need when it comes to regex:

1. The ability to escape a string when searching using vi:http://www.0x11.net/regex/escaper.py

2. Lots of regex examples with a description of how they work.

abecedarius 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Bug report: I entered hi+ and it parses it like (hi)+ instead of like h(i+) (I mean with noncapturing parentheses).
shurcooL 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just trying to find this site via google yesterday, and I could not. I'll be sure to bookmark it this time (surprised I haven't already, or maybe I have but couldn't find the bookmark either).

Thanks for making it!

Edit: I did bookmark it, it was just so long ago that it ended up being overshadowed.

fosk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in an alternative solution, I personally always use http://regexpal.com/

It's a similar concept, except that the matching is highlighted in the same input field of your target value.

msoad 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I would like to see regex mapped in url so I have the option to send a regex to someone in this website. It doesn't have to be server side URL mapping. Just push the regex to location hash and let JavaScript parse it back.
cgcardona 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Regular Expressions are perhaps my weakest point with regards to programming.

I realize that they are just little sub-dialects that I need to learn the rules of but I've never had a project which required me to take the time to write extensive regular expressions.

On the rare occasion that I do need to use a regular expression I find tools like this to be invaluable.

This tool looks particularly nice.

Community Forum section, online quiz, even IRC placed right within the page!

My favorite feature is definitely the ability to share a regular expression you've created via a link.

Nice work! (also I just followed https://twitter.com/regex101)

darrellsilver 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great! I love tools that help you understand tough concepts in a simple, no setup way. We'll definitely include this in our curricula at http://www.thinkful.com/

Would love to talk about other ways to work together as well drop me a line: darrell@thinkful.com

soahc 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks good, I'm impressed it handles the rfc822 regex fairly well too :)


bryanh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Excellent job. Wonderful tool. Do you have plans to monetize? (ebook ALA Learn Regex the Hard Way, a mac desktop tool, editor plugins, etc...
yalue 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I would encourage anybody interested to try out the site's quiz. It starts out easily enough but eventually becomes extremely challenging.

I also really like the community submitted regexes. But, on that note, what's to prevent someone from submitting all of the quiz solutions to the 'community'? Are the submissions occasionally moderated?

I have appreciated this website for a while now. For those who don't know, Lindrian is also often active on #regex on freenode IRC, which is a great place to get feedback on regexes. (Or to just be told many times not to use regexes to parse HTML.)

kailuowang 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Definitely the best regex test (and/or learn) website I have visited so far, period.
pallandt 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I like it, especially this section http://regex101.com/community/ with commonly used regular expressions submitted by other users. Being able to vote a solution is also nice. Well done overall!
chr1 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty nice, though would be better to use CodeMirror or Ace instead of textareas.
omegote 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be great to know a little bit about the internals of the "explanation engine".
jacobgreenleaf 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There is an inconsistency in naming: you call it "flags" at the top but "options" at the bottom. I think you should also say "Regular expression quick reference" rather than "Regex quick reference" for the same consistency since you use "regular expressions" everywhere else.
zamalek 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Now you have 102 problems :). Good work, looks like something I would actually use.
st3fan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sucks on mobile. Needs a responsive design.
DeviceJS is Javascript for the Physical World devicejs.org
8 points by sebg  54 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
pallandt 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
We've ufortunately DDoSed the site.

From Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:mr8RddZ...

This is not available yet, and appears it will only run after the developing company, WigWag, completes their Kickstarter campaign and start shipping products.

The nice thing though is that besides being able to run on their proprietary device, it will also run on Raspberry Pi.

sebg 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
"DeviceJS is a JavaScript based development platform for reacting to sensors and controlling devices. Its built on top of Googles V8 JavaScript engine, Node.js and a real-time JSON database."

Fascinating. JavaScript really is slowly becoming the lingua franca of everything.

iPhone 6: An edgy concept behance.net
85 points by jason_shah  6 hours ago   65 comments top 23
geuis 42 minutes ago 3 replies      
Folks, stop bitching and complaining about this or that idea being good/bad/impractical etc, etc. It's a designer's demo portfolio work.


Designers do this stuff because they have ideas about how devices and interfaces can change and they explore those ideas. It doesn't seem to me that Johnny is making claims about inside information. He's using his visual talents to create mockups of what might be possible in the future.

The medium is different, but the process isn't any different than sci-fi writers setting stories in the future or me making UI wireframes for an application. It's just ways of exploring what could be done.

The last point is to realize that this is most likely just personal portfolio work. Some of us have github profiles and others have PSD's. Just think about the exposure Johnny is getting out of this and how it might get him more work in the future. That's the best reason for him to make this.

rayiner 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I don't understand the point of these mockups unless they have an actual prototype. It's easy to hand-wave about how great a product will be that can't be built. The borderless glass is probably a non-starter because of chipping. And why would you make an aluminum/carbon fiber composite? Aluminum and carbon fiber both serve the same purpose in a composite structure. You'd use something like a metal-matrix aluminum composite instead, set in resin.
jasonwatkinspdx 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why so many designers attempt to push the limits of material science while clearly being almost entirely ignorant of it. For example, carbon fiber composites do bend. You can make springs out of them. Also, if you could figure out how to manufacture graphene at a scale large enough to use them on iphone screens you'd probably win the Nobel.
gaze 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Why do designers pull numbers out of their ass to make a concept sound more appealing? "Dual quad core processor!" yeah, well my concept has dual octocore processors and my concept will be liquid cooled! I mean phase change cooled!
AndrewDucker 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm reminded of the Samsung prototype on the left here:http://www.mobilephones.com/news/samsung-reveal-flexible-pho...

where the screen comes round the edge of the surface. Pretty, and a lot more likely to be in production this decade.

mynameisvlad 2 hours ago 4 replies      
That Magsafe Lightning concept would never work. Not only is there not enough space to fit powerful enough magnets, not only is the Lightning connector 8-pin, but one of the only reasons MagSafe even works is that laptops are strong enough to still be in the same place if tugged slightly. Your phone will now not only be tugged along with the cord, but will then disconnect more easily and fly across the room.
jrockway 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I love the idea of wrapping the display around the side of the phone and having touch sensors to detect when you're holding your phone. I have this problem where I'm holding the phone with one hand and trying to press something with my thumb. It doesn't register as a touch because part of my hand is contacting the front of the screen, causing my action to be interpreted as some sort of two-finger gesture. With accurate information about where my hand is, this would be easy to fix.

One question: why not a 1920x1080 screen? The Galaxy S4 already has that resolution.

tomphoolery 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! Very well made, I hope someone from Apple HR is watching...
b1daly 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Here's an idea. Make a phone with a case that is strong enough to withstand the drops that inevitably happen! Putting so much effort into cool looking things that have to be covered by dorky cases is an illustration of the irrational at the heart of tech fetishes.
conradfr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
And then you put a cover / bumper ...
LaSombra 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I fail to comprehend this kind of fetish
dlsym 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Won't happen.
jodrellblank 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
With that design of touch sensors on the edge, it would open it up to support being used as a chording keyboard in the style of the classic DataEgg - http://xaphoon.com/dataegg/DataEggNewShape.jpg
stfsbrb 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The icons in those home screen mockups look a heck of a lot better than the real ones:


joeblau 2 hours ago 4 replies      
The design looks amazing, even though most people will probably have the device covered up with a phone cover. Also retina 2 sounds like i would need 3 versions of every image in my app which is getting to be a bit much.
MrFoof 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Would the aluminum + carbon fiber be a weave of aluminum mixed in with the carbon weave (similar to Pagani's carbotanium for the Huayra's body panels), or an aluminum galvanization process on the surface of the carbon fiber (similar to the galvanized carbon fiber in the Porsche 918 Spyder)?
mtgx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Not very original

2) Not going to happen

cldr 2 hours ago 2 replies      
> The only way to create a true edge-to-edge display is to remove the edge all together.

And moisture is the essence of wetness.

OrsenPike 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not gonna lie, I would buy that in a heartbeat.
lumens 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Everything about this design, from the edge to edge glass, to the Lightening + Magsafe connector is super appealing, but it's too much of a jump for Apple. Their design style is much slower and more iterative than this.

Arguably the biggest hardware leap so far was the 3gs -> 4, and that was limited to an aesthetic re-envisioning, a camera improvement, screen resolution upgrade, and processor bump.

This design showcases improvements that Apple would likely spread out over 3 generations: everything listed for their biggest leap above, plus new input mechanisms, new connector, significantly less heft, and waterproofing (!!).

Don't get me wrong -- I'd buy this in an instant, but it looks more like iPhone 8, than 6.

brentm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that design looks amazing. I like the concept of MagSafe connector but the world would shit a brick if they changed it again that quickly.
sadrobot 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How long until apple's lawyers shut this down for using their trademarks all over the place without permission?
jamesmccann 1 hour ago 1 reply      
96GB drive? Seems fishy to me.
Ubuntu forums hacked ubuntuforums.org
42 points by reinhardt  4 hours ago   30 comments top 7
GuiA 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
>The passwords are not stored in plain text. However, if you were using the same password as your Ubuntu Forums one on another service (such as email), you are strongly encouraged to change the password on the other service ASAP.

Translation: the passwords were stored using dumb MD5/SHA1. Seriously, it's 2013, why can't 99% of the web get their act together when it comes to password hashing?

spindritf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's an opportunity to finally kill it off and stop polluting google results.
wldlyinaccurate 1 hour ago 1 reply      
vBulletin is (and always has been) terribly insecure. Only way to beef up security is to lock down admin panels, e.g. IP-restrict them.
nnwa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That'd be the admin panel on their vbulletin installation which has been publicly facing for more than a year.
amccloud 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So far they are handling this better than Apple.
keithpeter 4 hours ago 5 replies      
ubuntuforums.org timing out as of now but are we sure this is a malicious attack and not simply downtime?

If it is an attack, it just means a time bandit for the admins I suppose...

lvs 2 hours ago 2 replies      
aren't ubuntu forums based on http://moinmo.in?
Reading the Ruby Source to Understand Rails Idiosyncrasies pivotallabs.com
34 points by cmdrcoriander  4 hours ago   19 comments top 6
danso 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, I learned about the cover? Method, so that's a big plus for a typical Saturday...but I'm confused as to why include? for ranges doesn't just act as an alias for cover?

I can't think of a Range that is not meant to be continuous...I would test out some cases right now if my computer weren't grinding away at a database insertion process...

edit: OK, tried it out....as I suspected, Ranges that consists of Strings will have different behavior:

    [16] pry(main)> ('aa'..'zz').include?('c')    => false    [17] pry(main)> ('aa'..'zz').cover?('c')    => true    [18] pry(main)> ('aa'..'zz').include?('cc')    => true    [19] pry(main)> ('aa'..'zz').cover?('cc')    => true    [20] pry(main)> ('aa'..'zz').cover?('cccccc')

RyanZAG 4 hours ago 5 replies      
If there's only one thing I've learnt from trying different languages out: the less magic, the better.
norswap 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I was going to write that this was a failing of the Ruby documentation. But actually, it's pretty well documented if you take the time to read it (http://ruby-doc.org/core-2.0/Range.html).

There's absolutely no need to go hitchhiking in the C source in this case.

zhoutong 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if looking up the source is really necessary. I did some tests with Rails console just now. It seems that Ruby and Rails are handling the case quite logically.

"3.days.ago" at least by default is a TimeWithZone object in Rails.

  3.days.ago.class   => ActiveSupport::TimeWithZone
And then the way Ruby iterates Range is through the "succ" method. So even this will give you a wall of errors:

Sending "succ" to a TimeWithZone object will print a warning because the method is deprecated. So basically a warning will show for every second in the range.

Calling .include? should be equivalent to .to_a.include? in effect.

Denzel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, first of all, you aren't reading the Ruby source to understand Rails' idiosyncrasies, you're reading the Ruby source to understand Ruby's idiosyncrasies applied to Rails.

Secondly, this article is far more verbose than necessary when compared to the succinct 5-paragraph explanation provided by David Flanagan in "The Ruby Programming Language" p. 69-70 [1]

It's great that you took a chance to dive into the source of Ruby. Nonetheless, it's times like these when I wish people would understand that the best way to learn a programming language is by example AND by documentation (whether official docs or books). Those that ONLY learn by example fail to understand or unlock the true power of a language until it's too late.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Programming-Language-David-Flanag...

ahawkins 4 hours ago 1 reply      
One uses a loop and one doesn't? Not sure if there's so much to get out of this post.
Video lectures of mathematics courses available online for free mathoverflow.net
48 points by llambda  5 hours ago   7 comments top 4
conroy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Instead of just watching lectures, I'd suggest taking one of the many available math courses:

Coursera (23 courses) https://www.coursera.org/courses?orderby=upcoming&lngs=en&ca...

Udacity (5 courses) https://www.udacity.com/courses

edX (10 courses) https://www.edx.org/course-list/allschools/math/allcourses

MaxGabriel 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is anyone else taking Coursera's currently running Linear Algebra with Python course? I'd never studied linear algebra much before, so its hard for me to evaluate it.
CamperBob2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
dbpokorny, your comment is [dead], might want to email the admins about that.
lovelace_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For more recreational math, I tend to watch Numberphile:https://www.youtube.com/user/numberphile

There's also a more-recently launched Computerphile, which has some interesting vids, as well: https://www.youtube.com/user/Computerphile

The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements theatlantic.com
151 points by swombat  9 hours ago   127 comments top 29
droithomme 6 hours ago 5 replies      
The cited article contains phrasing that is designed to be misleading. It says for example, "Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives. Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamin supplements. " This makes a direct comparison between people taking any vitamins at all to studies showing that very specific vitamins, under very specific and unusual circumstances such as megadosing and certain preexisting conditions, can cause problems. Well even water can cause problems when megadosed, and yet the fact that most people drink water daily is not relevant to that.

Also, the author of this article, Paul Offit, is has serious credibility and corruption problems beyond writing articles designed to mislead people.

He has previously claimed that it is perfectly safe for children to take "10,000 vaccines at once" (and originally he claimed 100,000 but reduced it when it was questioned). Even understanding the benefits of vaccines, there are trade offs with them and it is certainly not safe to take 10,000 at once. Offit holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair which is funded by Merck. He also sold the right to his future royalties of a vaccine he developed for $182 million, of which he received around $46 million for a rotavirus vaccine. This was interesting since he had previously pushed this vaccine during his job at the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which was a serious conflict of interest that ended up making him quite rich.

Here is an interesting investigative report into Offit's conflicts of interest and hiding of financial relationships.


MikeCapone 7 hours ago 3 replies      
The article at first seems to be talking abou "vitamins" in general but then goes into great detail about megadosing on vitamin C and trials with vitamin E.

Doesn't seem like that's quite the same thing.

Personally, I take omega 3, vitamin D (gelcaps, it's fat-soluble), and kelp (for iodine) daily. That article doesn't say much about those.

dkarl 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The article treats the belief in supplements entirely as a case of well-nourished people pursuing quack fixes, ignoring scientifically credible practices such as food fortification using iodine and folic acid, the widely-known connection between vitamin C and scurvy, the use of iron supplements to treat anemia, and the historical experience with real malnutrition. The article makes it sound like a ludicrous idea that snuck into the public consciousness via the senility of Linus Pauling in the late 1960s, but vitamin supplementation makes much more sense as an attempt to continue applying a historically successful formula of improving human health by identifying previously unrecognized dietary deficiencies and correcting them.

Also, the ending of the article destroys its credibility. The author is no less an intellectual hack than the people he writes about.

ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 2 replies      
And this is why science sucks. And I mean that in a supportive way. It can tell us that the answer we want to believe is not the correct answer. Unfortunately it takes a very strong individual to accept that when what they want to believe is the belief that is wrong.

My personal experience is that older folks (>65) get stuck more firmly than younger folks. It is especially sad when someone you care about deeply believes so strongly in a reality that exists only for them.

rsync 1 hour ago 0 replies      
No mention yet of Nick Lane and his (wonderful) books:

- Oxygen- Power, Sex, Suicide

If you want a fascinating, very readable, well laid out argument against the entire notion of antioxidant supplementation (as well as a fascinating, technical but not too technical, pop-sci read) these are it.

tl;dr: Ingested antioxidants have no way to target the specific area in mitochondria where the damage would take place, and even if they did, it would probably be negative because free radicals are an essential cell signaling mechanism that aids in weeding out damaged cells.

michaelfeathers 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember seeing a doctor speaking in a news story about how we overuse vitamins and supplements, most of which simply pass through our bodies.

He said "Americans have the most expensive urine in the world."

Bjoern 7 hours ago 8 replies      
I don't get this.

Focus on a healthy, balanced diet and make sure you include enough variety focusing on plenty of colorful vegetables, fruits and nuts. Exercise regularly and take good care of your body getting enough sleep and enough sunshine.

Is that not enough?

ValentineC 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how Ray Kurzweil is faring with his 150 supplements a day?


jotm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
OK, let's get one thing straight: vitamins and supplements ARE USEFUL.

The article seems to focus on them as cures - which they are not. Saying that a vitamin is a cure for anything is like saying a loaf of bread is a cure.

Vitamins are fuel - the more intense activities you do, the more you use them.

IF you have a good diet, you don't need multivitamins/supplements. But if you have a homogenous diet (eat the same thing every day and nothing else), then vitamins and supplements are much more useful than harmful.

Moreover, no matter what diet you have, if you do bodybuilding or intensive physical or mental exertion, vitamins and minerals from supplements are almost a must.

It's like using normal fuel vs jet fuel - no matter how good your bioreactor (stomach) is, it just cannot extract all the vitamins and minerals you need for that kind of exertion.

Most bodybuilders know that a dose of pure protein powder is much more effective for muscle building than any amount of meat or cheese. Same goes for glutamine and other supplements, and of course vitamins.

The article also focuses on megadoses - well, no s#@t, a megadose of anything is bad for you. 3 grams of vitamin C per day is batshit insane in my book - 500-1000mg is more than enough.

But don't just take what I said at face value. Like Einstein said, don't trust everything you read on the Internet - check with several different sources, read some research abstracts before making up your mind and storing ANY information as true in your brain.

continuations 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There's also study showing vitamin supplementation reduces cancer risks:


oblique63 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Not directly about the article, but for anyone interested in finding out what actual research has to say about any supplement you might be interested in, http://examine.com/ is a great resource to explore for that.
roin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Benefits or risks of vitamins is one of the most confusing medical topics to assess for an average consumer. After hearing about benefits of vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, etc., only to later read that some doctors say it's going to kill you, I had decided to ditch them altogether.

But a year ago there was a large, randomized, double-blind study (not something most of these studies can claim) that measured a regular dose multivitamin, not huge megadose supplements that tend to focus on one or two compounds. The result showed 8% fewer cancers. The subjects were all men and were all doctors, so one could infer that they were much healthier than average. I've been taking a simple multivitamin since. I wouldn't be shocked to learn in ten years that I'm doing the wrong thing, but this is the most convincing study I've seen in any direction.


vermontdevil 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's amazing that vitamin supplement market is not regulated at all thanks to Orrin Hatch. So many unsupportable claims out there among the products for sale that it makes me dizzy.

This market is truly caveat emptor.

zw123456 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I realize that a personal testament is anecdotal, but about 10 years ago I stopped taking vitamins and instead just focused on a balanced diet. I feel better and it costs less. There are legitimate reasons for some people to take vitamins, but if you can do it with a better diet, I think you are better off. If you are taking vitamins, try not taking them and instead work on your diet and see what you think. I think somethings are difficult to prove scientifically and instead you have to do what works for you.
terhechte 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder if you get the same kind of negative effects when you eat too many fruits. I tend to eat a lot of fruits throughout the day.
sandGorgon 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There is an even more interesting (damning?) article - "Dont Take Your Vitamins".http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/dont-take-y...

Two years later the same journal published another study on vitamin supplements. In it, 18,000 people who were at an increased risk of lung cancer because of asbestos exposure or smoking received a combination of vitamin A and beta carotene, or a placebo. Investigators stopped the study when they found that the risk of death from lung cancer for those who took the vitamins was 46 percent higher.

a8da6b0c91d 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Magnesium and iodine deficiencies are probably widespread and it's not really possible to address these through modern food. Well over half the population is measurably magnesium deficient. The problem is soil depletion and modern water purification. The case for a lot of vitamins is weak, but I think it's pretty strong for various minerals. I add mineral drops to my drinking water, just in case.
codyb 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The imbalance makes sense (too many antioxidants, or too much of a vitamin, etc). I also always wondered if people who took vitamins were less likely to eat healthy as well. Or perhaps even if they do eat healthy then by eating healthy they're creating an imbalance. I wonder if you could take very small doses and eat poor;y and do okay? It seems not.
ladzoppelin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you take any kind of daily drug for anything then you will probably need some sort of supplement to counteract the deficiencies the drug is creating. If you have electronic devices , like a smartphone, then a melatonin deficiency is created and supplementation of melatonin can be a great benefit.
lingben 7 hours ago 0 replies      
the only supplement which has been shown to have a net positive impact on health in long term studies is vitamin D3 - and its not even a 'vitamin' but a secosteroidal hormone
pallandt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Misleading title. Sometimes it would do you really good to take certain kind of vitamin(s). However, the 'supplement' class doesn't include just vitamins. It seems articles that attempt to debunk 'myths' are getting quite popular, in disfavor of real science/research. This one is mostly one-sided and doesn't show much effort at all in at least gathering some counter-arguments. Also, metastudies such as the ones enumerated in this piece can sometimes be flawed by the very methodology they were constructed. Journalistic sensationalism.
jjindev 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My gut feel, based on a BS Chem and then casual reading, has been that the occasional vitamin is best. Keep a bottle in the cupboard, take a one when you feel like it (no more than once a week). Replace the bottle when it expires.

Chances are you don't need it, and I think the body is really good at snatching up things it needs when that pill rolls by.

(I worried about the kidney/etc burden of daily excess, but the idea that daily excess could spur excess in the form of cancer does not surprise.)

kolev 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Most people buy crappy vitamins and supplements at Target, Costco, etc. There are many forms of Vitamin E, for example, and 99.9% of people just take one of the 8. This is just an example. It's a similar situation with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid vs Folate, etc. I usually ignore those as it's similar to read studies about beef when those are done with antibiotic and hormone rich meats and if you eat pasture-raised, organic beef - it has a different quality and nutritional profile. All these studies aim to scare people away from preventive medicine and send you back into the drug-dispensing MDs. Yes, you don't need supplements if you eat a healthy, traditional diet, but even organic foods don't have the same quality and properties as those freshly grown, picked, etc. Supplements are an insurance and people need to very, very carefully select theirs as there are tons of scammers in the field! Just got a mailer from Walmart and it's 2/3rds ads of supplements! Same with Costco!
lightyrs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This guy is a pharmaceuticals shill of course he denounces his competitors.
FrankenPC 6 hours ago 2 replies      
If supplementation did nothing, we wouldn't be dosing up with tons of anti-depressants (neuro-transmitter modulation supplements). I agree about isolates, or what people traditionally call vitamins. But for genetic deficiencies for neurological problems, supplements can be awesome. Personally, I take 5-HTP, GABA and NAC daily and really feel the difference. See for yourself. Keep in mind therapeutic doses of supplements can be rather large. You need Dr. supervision to make sure you aren't damaging your liver/kidneys.
Osmium 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember reading somewhere that due to how the vitamins are compressed into tablet form, you actually absorb very little of them anyway. But I can't verify this, because I can't find a citation right now...
adventured 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm amazed at the confusion in regards to what's deduced from the consumption of vegetables and similarly healthy foods (and using that to push vitamins).

It's every bit as important, in my opinion, to not eat killer foods, as it is to eat vegetables. That is, a neutral effect alone would be enough to show dramatic health improvements. This is where the pro vitamin arguments went wrong from day one.

Water isn't a miracle elixir that cures cancer. Strip out all high fructose corn syrup and sugar from all American beverages, and the equivalent conclusion would be to suggest that water cures obesity, diabetes and cancer (when in fact the absence of sugar and HFCS is what's doing the trick).

Also, telling me that people took vitamins without showing me their specific day to day diets and exercise routines, is absurdity to put it very mildly. Dietary input and exercise is radically more important than the vitamins in the health outcomes.

spydum 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Could the higher incidence of cancers be that the supplements were actually helping the cancer cells grow and be healthier than they otherwise would be?
When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? smithsonianmag.com
100 points by pguzmang  8 hours ago   40 comments top 5
ChuckMcM 6 hours ago 2 replies      
One practical aspect of the same clothes until age 6 is that kids grow so fast you need to re-use clothes. In the 18th and 19th century when having clothes made was much more expensive, and the number of children a family had was high, the re-use would have been essential. Any parent today who has had two kids of one sex and then the third comes along of the other sex finds they have a bunch of boxes of things that they don't want to use.

We sought to keep our baby clothes especially and up to about age 3 clothes as neutral as possible for that reason.

ams6110 7 hours ago 6 replies      
Never heard that dresses were gender-neutral for small children in the 19th century. Seems I've seen plenty of old photographs that show boys wearing traditionally "masculine" clothing, though commonly with short pants, transitioning to long pants during adolescence.
Dewie 4 hours ago 3 replies      
It is interesting that some social conservatives (or maybe just non-liberals?) care about consciously enforcing gender roles through clothing. This would seem to imply that they are similar in their beliefs with feminists when it comes to the nature/nurture question: that gender is enforced through culture. But this is usually thought of as a very liberal idea (or whatever I should call it).

Pink as an effeminate color has always seemed kind of arbitrary to me. I just can't see how a color would have a specific gender.

Zelphyr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Now I'm not colorblind but I do know the girl in that first picture isn't wearing pink and OHMYGODTHATSABOY...
TazeTSchnitzel 4 hours ago 3 replies      
It would be nice to return to the times of gender-neutral clothing, and perhaps keep it that way until the child expresses a preference. After all, genitals don't determine gender, they determine sex.
Build your own private, encrypted, open-source Dropbox clone github.com
98 points by Tho85  9 hours ago   41 comments top 14
sehrope 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice guide. One nitpick:

> Add a user for our project and give him a decent password:

Better off not giving the encbox user a password at all and only allow SSH key based login. You can already login to the primary/root account and sudo/su to setup the encbox user and copy SSH keys.

pavs 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I am using Owncloud, super easy to install[1]. I have a non-us/eu vps storage solution, despite reading others having problem with it, its working great for me.

[1] http://www.slashgeek.net/2013/05/16/host-your-own-dropbox-li...

jlgaddis 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> $ cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh encbox@your.vps.com "mkdir ~/.ssh; cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"

    $ ssh-copy-id encbox@your.vps.com
Much easier, IMO.

chakalakasp 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know why this doesn't end up in every thread, but Synology's inexpensive NAS systems have a "be your own cloud" feature built in, with corresponding iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux (I think) and android apps. All in a little box you can keep in your house.
tokenizerrr 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't reuse the keys, just generate a different key on each client and add them all to authorized_keys
mikevm 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd never heard of Backupsy before, looks very cool!

What is special about their VPS offering that makes it so cheap? I mean, from what I can see for an extra $2/month they let you host websites and install anything you want (except torrents, TOR or anything illegal).

I've been wanting to have an affordable VPS solution so I could be host my own stuff, and have the freedom to experiment with various development tools, and this might be a decent deal.

Bjoern 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How does this solution measure up to hosting your own Owncloud or alike? Any upsides / downsides? I'm wondering because many non-technical people need a dead simple solution for this if you want to substitute Dropbox.
Osmium 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks cool, but of course you can also use encfs directly with Dropbox or, if you prefer a graphical interface, Boxcryptor[1] have a fork of encfs specifically for cloud storage along with some platform-specific apps.

[1] https://www.boxcryptor.com

mikevm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A few notes on Backupsy from their website:

>Will you backup my Backup VPS?

> Unfortunately, no. Even though we use a RAID protected setup, there is still a slight chance of data loss due to RAID controller failure. For extreme redundancy you can order 2 backup VPS in different nodes and we can mirror them for you ("Configure it for me" addon should be purchased).

VuongN 6 hours ago 0 replies      
One question: how do you share files securely with others? Have you check out our company's free products, http://ncryptedcloud.com? We secure your data before it goes into Dropbox, allow securely sharing and many more features for FREE to all our consumer users! We only charge for things like auditing beyond certain amount of times, single sign-on integrations, enterprise stuff etc. All we want to do is secure this whole cloud mess.
brymaster 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This should be taken a step further and have a UI and web control panel just like the real dropbox.
emerika 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Are people looking at bitTorrent Sync? (http://labs.bittorrent.com/experiments/sync.html) I'm uing it on a laptop, a server and my android devices. It works great. Seemless.
luisehk 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder if this is really usable like Dropbox. I tried owncloud which is supposed to be the more stable alternative but it kept replacing new files with old ones, sync took ages and security was weak. I really want to support this kind of projects but they hold me from being productive, which I really need right now.
highball-it 8 hours ago 2 replies      
You have to trust the VPS provider.
Apple Acquires Nigerian Tech Entrepreneur's Startup HopStop cp-africa.com
59 points by jkuria  7 hours ago   17 comments top 8
norswap 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought it was an Nigerian startup, but it's just that the entrepreneur is Nigerian. Somehow that feels less newsworthy.
yulaow 2 hours ago 0 replies      
... and Immediately Drops Windows Phone Support


jkuria 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: For more stories like these check out http://AfriTech.com
skc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Bittersweet for me. I love hearing good news in the tech space out of Africa. Yay!. But then as a Windows Phone fan, I see that with this announcement they've promptly canned their support for the platform. Boo!
kennywinker 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Good! Transit directions coming to Apple Maps. That's great news for bus-takers everywhere.
scrnzilla 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Very proud to hear this. Now the world can hear good news about Nigeria beyond internet scams
seivan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Nigeria could probably use more Engineers and less MBA's. I just hope it doesn't twists the local populations mind into thinking that MBA degrees are useful.
Contad: SVG + CSS3 craziness freeger.com
6 points by AaronO  1 hour ago   7 comments top 7
mynameisvlad 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't understand how the number of people who viewed this yesterday goes up. Shouldn't that be a fixed metric? If it's just a demo, maybe some better number to demo would be better.
pallandt 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Quite funny. I attempted to load this in Chrome and I still get 'This site is running only on the world's best browser' with a link to download, ironically, Chrome.
snarkyturtle 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pretty amazing and perfect execution. Runs perfectly in OSX Chrome.
bwy 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Agree with comments above- doesn't even run in my Chrome, Ubuntu 12.04
sinkasapa 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Runs horribly on the world's real best browser.
rrival 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Echoes of gabocorp.
antonwinter 1 hour ago 0 replies      
super cool design and website. only one gripe. it took over a minute to load. not many people will wait.
Malcolm Gladwell's Reponse to the Culturalism Post askakorean.blogspot.com
41 points by curtis  5 hours ago   33 comments top 9
tokenadult 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The response by Malcolm Gladwell is very thoughtful. The key point is that when the airline company Korean Air (which had already had to change its name after an earlier pilot error disaster) went into problem-solving mode, the airline itself identified changing cockpit communication culture as a step in solving its pilot error crash problem. Whatever else you can say about an airline company owned and based in Korea, you wouldn't expect it to have an inherent prejudice against Korean culture.

It was thoughtful of the blog author to quote Gladwell's reply in full (as it appears he did). Gladwell is easy enough to misunderstand that I have had occasion to mention this on Hacker News before. Gladwell is a professional writer, and he does quite a lot of research on unfamiliar subjects that promise to include interesting story angles. In the subjects that I research for my own writing, I have more often than not discovered that Gladwell does a better than average job of finding and citing good sources. He originates few new scientific hypotheses himself, but he writes interesting and thought-provoking stories about leading scientists in disciplines facing tough problems. Any reader of a Malcolm Gladwell book (as I know, from being a reader of the book Outliers ) can check the sources, and decide from there what other sources to check and what other ideas to play with. Gladwell doesn't purport to write textbooks, but I give him a lot of credit for finding interesting scholarly sources that haven't had enough attention in the popular literature. He is equaled by very few authors as a story-teller who can tie ideas together in a thought-provoking assembly.

Gladwell has said in an interview by a journalist that he writes to try out ideas:


"Q: Do you worry that you extrapolate too much from too little?

"A: No. It's better to err on the side of over-extrapolation. These books are playful in the sense that they regard ideas as things to experiment with. I'm happy if somebody reads my books and reaches a conclusion that is different from mine, as long as the ideas in the book cause them to think. You have to be willing to put pressure on theories, to push the envelope. That's the fun part, the exciting part. If you are writing an intellectual adventure story, why play it safe? I'm not out to convert people. I want to inspire and provoke them."

ShabbyDoo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Gladwell notes how military culture differs from civilian culture in Korea. Surely, differences of similar magnitudes exist in the US.

I wonder how the US military has changed culturally over the past few decades. As an outsider, I have presumed that the purpose of degrading training programs, continual demonstrations of the power of officers (parade reviews, etc.), and required social proof of the officers' power and authority (stand and salute upon the officer entering a room) all were designed to avoid argument, hesitation, or doubt when an officer tells his soldiers in battle to charge forth toward an enemy firing upon them. To win an infantry battle, such obedience probably is necessary. Imagine if only a small fraction of the soldiers were willing to advance -- they would likely be much worse off than if all the soldiers advanced at once.

However, this nearly blind obedience surely comes at a price. Can a junior guy tell an officer that he is unsure of a drone target's validity? It strikes me that a modern military operation is much more like a large scale construction project or perhaps software development than traditional trench warfare. In these civilian endeavors, the price of hesitation to consider alternative opinions likely is low compared to the cost of being wrong. Has the military changed?

jamesaguilar 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not a huge Gladwell fan, but it is always a pleasure to read a considered and respectful reply that shows a depth of research, no matter who the reply is coming from or going to. I only wish I was an expert at everything so I could actually judge whether Gladwell is right or wrong.
bjourne 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Eh, I think Gladwell has a point here. "Captain, Guam condition is no good." doesn't count as "speaking up" when a situation is potentially life-threatening. Then you say something like "This approach is very dangerous, I think we should try something else."
jplewicke 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I would like to see his response to this article by Phillip Greenspun that argues that the real reason why American airlines have a better track record than Korean ones is that American pilots have roughly 30 times more hours in the air by the time they become a pilot at a major airline: http://philip.greenspun.com/flying/foreign-airline-safety .

It sounds like Malcolm Gladwell's publisher never bothered to fact check the piece with an actual airline pilot before publishing.

Avshalom 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't really have a dog in this fight but as a response "Lots of people thought Koreans make terrible pilots" sort of ignores the fact that racism kinda by definition involves a widely held systematic bias.
robotcookies 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I think Gladwell makes some good points and that cultural factors can play a role in these things.

But I can't help but wonder if these same cultural factors can go both ways and maybe we're obsessively focusing on just one effect. For example, it might be that deference to hierarchy and older people leads to children taking responsibility and care of their parents in old age more. It might even be that the elderly in these places live longer and more happier lives as a result and that this outweighs the (still tragic but rare) plane accident.

It reminds me a bit of the terrorism situation in the US. We obsess over these things which are relatively rare and spend great effort to eliminate. But what are we losing in the process?

marrusl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
After I read:


I was no longer able to take Malcolm Gladwell seriously on _any_ subject.

npguy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Gladwell also needs to learn a few things from the Indian parent -


Neutrino shape-shift points to new physics newscientist.com
10 points by jonbaer  2 hours ago   discuss
MPAA Demands Source Code of isoHunts Failing Piracy Filter torrentfreak.com
46 points by Lightning  7 hours ago   24 comments top 6
kristopolous 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This page fails to load phenomenally in a number of browsers (might be because the disqus comments are baked into the page load), here's the copy:

The major hollywood movie studios have filed a motion for contempt against the popular torrent site isoHunt, arguing that a court-ordered piracy filter is not working properly. The MPAA informs the court that isoHunt has deliberately engineered the filter to ensure that it is ineffective and wants the site to turn over its source code to prove their claims. In addition, the MPAA wants millions of dollars in compensation for the damages the studios have suffered through the isoHunt site.

isohuntAlmost three years ago the U.S. District Court of California ordered BitTorrent search engine isoHunt to start filtering its search results.

The injunction was the result of isoHunts protracted court battle with the MPAA that began back in 2006. The Court ordered the owner of isoHunt to censor the sites search engine based on a list of thousands of keywords provided by the MPAA, or cease its operations entirely in the U.S.

isoHunt implemented the filter for U.S. visitors which allowed it to remain online, but at the same time owner Gary Fung took his case to the Court of Appeals. Through the appeal, isoHunt hoped to reverse the permanent injunction, but this didnt come to pass.

With the appeal concluded the movie studios are now asking for a summary judgment, hoping that the court awards them compensation for the many pirated movies that were downloaded via the isoHunt site. In addition, the MPAA has filed a motion for contempt claiming that the current keyword filter on the isoHunt Lite site is not doing its job.

The Isohunt Lite filtering problems are too serious and consistent to be mere matters of innocent mistake or unavoidable filtering leakage as Defendants have variously claimed, the MPAA tells the court, suggesting that isoHunt is making these mistakes intentionally to keep up its profits.

The record to date supports the inference that Defendants have deliberately engineered the filter to ensure that it is ineffective in preventing access to Plaintiffs copyrighted works. As the Court found, because Defendants profit from infringement, they have a powerful economic incentive to continue providing users with access to Plaintiffs popular movies and television programs.

Backed up by screenshots, the MPAA cites several examples of popular movies whose titles are on the ban list, but are still available thought the site.

One work on Plaintiffs title list is the popular film Zero Dark Thirty for which Plaintiffs provided Defendants the movie title, release date and media type. Yet, the movie is available to any Isohunt Lite user who looks for it. Typing the term Zero Dark Thirty into Isohunt Lites search box returns innumerable dot torrent files for the movie.MPAAs screenshot of isoHunt


The movie studios argue that nearly all movies are still accessible through the site, which would mean that isoHunt is not in compliance with the injunction. While isoHunt has claimed that these are mere mistakes, the MPAA believes that it supports their motion for contempt.

These are not isolated instances. Virtually every movie Plaintiffs looked for using Isohunt Lite returned innumerable dot torrent files for Plaintiffs copyrighted works. Defendants so-called filter does not even appear to block access to dot torrent files that match a movies exact title, MPAA writes.

Facially, such a filter is wholly ineffective and cannot be the basis of compliance with an injunction that enjoins Defendants from hosting, indexing, linking to, or otherwise providing access to any Dot-torrent or similar files that correspond, point or lead to any of the Copyrighted Works.

The MPAA asks the court to order isoHunt to hand over all filter-related source code and databases, so the movie studios can show that the filtering failures are not innocent mistakes or mere unavoidable leakage.

TorrentFreak asked isoHunt owner Gary Fung for a comment on the allegations put forward by the MPAA, but he chose not to respond at this time.

It is clear that the MPAA is not letting the isoHunt case rest just yet. In addition to the motion for contempt there is also a motion for summary judgment pending. The movie studios are currently in the process of calculating the damages they have suffered as a result of isoHunts operations, which is expected to be in the millions.

The MPAA previously won a $110 million judgment against the TorrentSpy site, and its expected the damages claimed against isoHunt will be in the same range, or perhaps even higher.

MWil 4 hours ago 3 replies      
In the legal world, this is why something called "specific performance" is rarely ever enforced by the court. Say I hire someone to build me a house and they fail to do so for whatever reason. Should the court really be in charge of babysitting and making sure this party builds me the house I ordered in exactly the way I ordered it? Probably not.

This filter was a bad idea from the beginning. If someone had ordered my business to do something like this, I would have said "You build a working filter without any help from me and you can order me to install it if it is compatible, but you can't order me to build a working filter because that's indentured servitude"

jrockway 2 hours ago 5 replies      
How exactly did the courts get into the business of censoring websites, anyway? Is it not isoHunt's first amendment right to tell people where to get pirated movies from?

Follow-up question: how come the Usenet providers are not caught in this dragnet?

tjtrapp 4 hours ago 3 replies      
It's funny to me that the MPAA has the time and resources for a code review on 3rd party code but still has yet to build an app that allows me to pay for streaming their content.
tracker1 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Maybe IsoHunt should demand a $10 million bond be posted against the release of their very proprietary and important intellectual property?
codewiz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Death in China Stirs Anger Over Urban Rule Enforcers nytimes.com
19 points by danso  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
danso 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In the recent HN discussion about whether the Department of Homeland Security should be abolished...some commenters wondered why that would be any improvement compared to moving its components into other existing Departments...bureaucratic details aside, I think one thing that DHS has going against it is its paramilitary nature that is not quite military, not quite FBI, and sometimes literally, just some guy with a badge feeling you up at the airport...and that is why some people think it's more reasonable to just do away with the DHS, even if its components are preserved (and keep the same authority and deadly force to enforce laws and security)

It's that lack of "real" authority that makes DHS seem less desirable than its parts being moved into "real" departments.

In other words...think of your reaction when a police officer has a gun in your face telling you to place your hands slowly where he can see them...and a mall cop who is bellowing at you to put your hands in the air "or else". The former situation is materially less pleasant, but you may psychologically be OK with it because "the cop is doing his job and cops put their lives on the line, and also, he has the power of the Law behind him, and, Law & Order is a great show"...whereas with the mall cop, your life is never in danger and yet you have contempt with someone trying to assert authority in his small pathetic world.

With DHS (in some people's opinion), and seemingly, these Chinese rule enforcers, you could have the worst of both worlds...a poorly trained government official who oversteps his very limited authority and yet has the ability to ruin your life, legally.

ferdo 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> This is in fact a metaphor for todays China, where the state is seizing property everywhere through a variety of means, Mr. Li wrote. Businessmen lose their enterprises and are thrown into prison; an anonymous vendor loses his watermelons. Sometimes its the urban management officers that seize the property. Sometimes its the court, or the bank, or the unpredictable policies.

Not much different from the US, iow.

Aireal: Interactive Tactile Experiences in Free Air disneyresearch.com
4 points by pain_perdu  55 minutes ago   discuss
How Forensic Linguistics Identified J.K. Rowling nationalgeographic.com
99 points by ahmadss  11 hours ago   49 comments top 14
junto 11 hours ago 5 replies      
Correction: Rowling was 'outed' by her lawyer's wife's friend.


If I was the law firm, I'd fire the lawyer.

GigabyteCoin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"I called both of them yesterday and learned not only how the Rowling investigation worked, but about the fascinating world of forensic linguistics."


From my experience (gleaned from dutifully reading every Bitcoin-related article I can get my hands on) I am very wary of reading about any topic which the author admits to just having learnt about yesterday.

The majority of the time, unfortunately, English majors aren't the best at understanding technology.

praptak 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Automatic transformation of text to evade these methods seems feasible (google translate back and forth might be the crude first attempt.) Obviously there might exist more refined methods of identification. In case of a book it is probably hard not to ruin it this way but reviews, posts and such do not require such high standards.
3minus1 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The analysis of word length is interesting. English has a lot of long, multi-syllabic Latin based words, and also a lot of short Germanic based words. I wonder the extent to which a higher percentage of long words indicates a preference for the Latin and vice versa.
gtani 7 hours ago 0 replies      

this is a tough thing to google for. Terms I used a few weeks ago

- stylometry

- authorship attribution/verification

- grammatical analysis, plagiarism detection

hnha 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Way too much terms like "proof", "fact", "confirmation", "definitely" later on. Isn't something like this always with a lot of assumption and always with a bias from the samples? Everyone could happen to be writing like someone else. There is nothing that definitively makes writing different between people like a fingerprint (which, as I understand it, is biologically highly random).

Analysing sites like HN to see indicators(!) for sockpuppets or generally correlation of likelihood between accounts' writing styles would rock!

waterlesscloud 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty cool. Interesting too, since Rowling is probably the most imitated author in the world at the moment. I guess not by published authors, though.
cliveowen 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Is that really a website that uses a normally sized font and doesn't drown me with ads?

Nah, I must be dreaming.

Nycto 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Something similar could probably be done with code (if it hasn't been done already). I suppose auto-formatting and checkstyles might mute some things, but I imagine you could still get a read from things like variable names, class names, function length, etc.
fortepianissimo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
All of the statistical analyses sound to be fairly easy to beat.

Say you want to pretend to be another author: first build a language model of the target author, then use the model to single out sentences of high perplexity from your writing. Then, have the model "rewrite" your sentences by replacing your words with synonyms of higher n-gram probabilities according to the model. Similar things can be done to fool the character n-gram analyses, or analyses above words (e.g., parses).

MarkMc 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm curious about the ethics of this. Why is it OK to 'out' someone as the author of a book, but it's not OK to 'out' someone as gay?
alxbrun 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't buy this 'outed' story one second.

This is either marketing or fear of public reception of her non-Potter book (imagine the pressure she must have). Either way, this is crap.

brownbat 4 hours ago 0 replies      
s/b "How Forensic Linguistics Confirmed a Leak about Rowling"
mnglkhn2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
At the same time we can think of the whole thing as a smart marketing plot.
DNS: The Good Parts petekeen.net
81 points by zrail  10 hours ago   34 comments top 4
citricsquid 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> Almost always you'll want to redirect a bare domain like iskettlemanstillopen.com to www.iskettlemanstillopen.com. Registrars like Namecheap and DNSimple call this a URL Redirect. In Namecheap you would set up a URL Redirect like this:

Coincidentally yesterday I snapped and decided that no longer was I happy using a URL forwarding service that requires configuration or running a web server that redirects old domains, so I built http://cnamer.com/.

    subdomain.source.com. CNAME google.com.cnamer.com.
That will redirect source.com to google.com.

    cnamer.samryan.co.uk. CNAME minotar.net-opts-query.true-querystring.avatar-querystring.citricsquid.cnamer.com.
That redirects http://cnamer.samryan.co.uk to minotar.net/avatar/citricsquid

The code powering it sucks at the moment and I intend on adding the ability to use TXT records to set the redirect but it /works/ for now.

mcmatterson 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Minor error in this post: 'IN' doesn't refer to the answer's inclusion in the given DNS type -- it's a short form of Internet, and is meant to denote the address family being returned (the field is called 'CLASS' in DNS-speak). Other options include Hesiod and Chaos (as well as a number of reserved / private values)


subsection1h 2 hours ago 0 replies      

    Almost always you'll want to redirect a bare domain like iskettlemanstillopen.com    to www.iskettlemanstillopen.com. Registrars like Namecheap and DNSimple    call this a URL Redirect.
I won't redirect a root domain using a URL redirect because DNSimple's URL redirects can't redirect over SSL.[1] I use an ALIAS record[2] to point the root domain to the subdomain and I use Rack Canonical Host[3] for redirects.

[1] http://support.dnsimple.com/articles/url-redirect-ssl

[2] http://support.dnsimple.com/articles/alias-record

[3] https://github.com/tylerhunt/rack-canonical-host

breck 8 hours ago 4 replies      
The architecture of DNS is pretty solid, but the encodings are unnecessarily complex. That complexity has a huge, hidden opportunity cost.

If anyone wants to help, I'm pretty confident a Space based encoding would greatly improve DNS:


The curious case of the fall in crime economist.com
25 points by pg  6 hours ago   9 comments top 7
gnosis 1 hour ago 1 reply      
There was a very interesting article[1] recently about the epidemiological link between leaded gasoline and crime.

[1] - http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-li...

ChuckMcM 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
In the area of bank robberies, one wonders if it has become so easy to rob a bank using re-created ATM cards or stolen credit cards that its simply not worth driving up and taking money out of them. Besides you can rob a bank in New York from Lithuania, talk about your easy getaway!
revelation 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Of course, at the same time, prisons are overcrowded, the media tells us the world is becoming more dangerous every second and local police need SWAT teams and assault rifles to protect them from the rise in crime.
rayiner 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
While crime rates are at their lowest since the 1970's, it should be noted that most cities are a lot smaller than they were in 1970. Chicago is down 650,000, Philadelphia is down 400,000, etc.
dark_void 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's not forget about the legalization and destigmatization of birth control and abortion. Unwanted children born to poor and desperate mothers led equally desperate liveas and often ended up in prison.

Also the awareness of the hazards of lead, such as in lead paint and gasoline. A study showed the stunningly high lead levels in the blood of the prison population.

temphn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
An alternate hypothesis by Stephen Thomas of Harvard Medical School is that medicine has been getting so good that many crimes that would have been murders in a previous era are becoming attempted murders.


  Despite the proliferation of increasingly dangerous weapons   and the very large increase in rates of serious criminal   assault, since 1960, the lethality of such assault in the   United States has dropped dramatically. This paradox has   barely been studied and needs to be examined using national   time-series data. Starting from the basic view that   homicides are aggravated assaults with the outcome of the   victims death, we assembled evidence from national data   sources to show that the principal explanation of the   downward trend in lethality involves parallel developments   in medical technology and related medical support services   that have suppressed the homicide rate compared to what it   would be had such progress not been made. We argue that   research into the causes and deterrability of  homicide would benefit from a lethality perspective that   focuses on serious assaults, only a small proportion of   which end in death.
As for whether governments should focus on prevention rather than punishment, it can also be argued that incarceration does indeed prevent recidivism during the period of incarceration.

blerp 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I suspect this is due to the wide availability of very inexpensive entertainment: game consoles, cheap flatpanels, internet, and smartphones. Who wants to cause mischief whenever you can sit on the couch, surf the web, play call of duty on a 50" screen, and eat a pizza that cost $5? The US should have dropped xboxes on Iraq instead of bombs, and infiltrated the country with Walmarts, Starbucks, and McDonalds. The youth would have come around quick, our capitalist overlords would have made $$$ while saving lives and expanded their loving grip on humanity. Just saying.
A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold nytimes.com
20 points by smd4  6 hours ago   13 comments top 2
guard-of-terra 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Could not figure out what is going on from reading the page one, can somebody explain using simple terms?
temphn 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The only way that Goldman could possibly make more money by artificially delaying shipments would be because of a market-distorting regulation. And sure enough, here it is:

  industry rules require that all that metal cannot simply   sit in a warehouse forever. At least 3,000 tons of that   metal must be moved out each day. 
Without looking I'd bet this is some kind of "anti-hoarding" provision, probably intended to prevent single manufacturers from cornering the market. As is typical, it caused exactly the opposite of the desired consequence.

Moreover, said rule means (among other things) that no manufacturer can hold a strategic reserve of aluminum for unexpected spikes in demand without playing the games that Goldman is playing. Naturally, the response of the New York Times is that we need more such rules and regulations, that next time we'll anticipate their consequences, that the only failing is that they haven't been "strict" enough.

But the "stricter" the rule, the more that little guys get hit with it while Goldman uses teams of lawyers to define and then exploit a safe harbor.[1] In this sense, Goldman and the NYT are in cahoots: "strict" regulations directly benefit big companies.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_harbor_(law)

  A safe harbor is a provision of a statute or a regulation   that reduces or eliminates a party's liability under the   law, on the condition that the party performed its actions   in good faith or in compliance with defined standards.   Legislators may include safe-harbor provisions to protect   legitimate or excusable violations, or to incentivize the   adoption of desirable practices.

Bill Gates on the future of education and programming gigaom.com
41 points by wx196  9 hours ago   26 comments top 5
zanny 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Now this is completely hive mind, unnecessary, off topic, and not really related to the OP, but:

> I frankly dont see that much of a downside.

I think Windows taking over the world from 1995 to 2008 has absurdly destroyed lot of hacker interest in computing devices. I'm talking about those born around 93 - 96 that grew up during complete Microsoft dominance. There is no (good) terminal, until recently the development environments and toolchains were behind paywalls or not included, and terrible habits like "reformat when something breaks" emerged because of how undocumented and malignant a lot of DOS / NT's behavior acted. By raising a generation on closed platforms, they completely avoid realizing the inherent mutability of internal systems in these devices, and I think this promoted a huge amount of the computer illiteracy we see rampant today. Microsoft did give people what they wanted - brainless easy computing that takes no thought and was effectively consumable and disposable - but at the cost of a lot of engineering potential if they had distributed a tinker-able sandbox rather than a black box. Rather than be knowledgable about the workings of their devices (which are more and more taking over their lives) they are dependent on them but know nothing about them besides how to smack the keyboard or tap the facebook button.

Bill has done a lot of good in education outside this, but the undercurrents of the Microsoft takeover of consumer electronics for 2 decades will have lasting negative implications on computing for probably an entire generation. We don't know what the alternative might have been, but I know from my peers (I'm 21) there is an absurd amount of illiteracy and apathy to these devices because they were raised on Microsoft products and expect it to work or just replace it, rather than hack it to fix it. This doesn't even start on how the majority of web devs seem to be 25 - 40 explicitly because they grew up on netscape, telnet, etc and not IE. I see a firm line right around where XP came out when the entire browser space collapsed into IE where anyone currently 15 - 20 I know had a significant drop in web tech interest as a result.

> Anybody who thinks getting rid of [patent law] would be better I can tell you, thats crazy, Gates said. My view is its working very well.

Patents seem to still work (due to their short duration), so I'm not arguing patents, but copyright has destroyed a supermajority (I see estimates in the ballpark of 95%) of media and content created for the last hundred years because it all died and all copies were lost while still outside the public domain. There is a reason all modern media takes its roots from 16th - 19th century media - that is the only place you can reference without landing in a lawsuit minefield.

However, I see no reason at all why all this nonsense can't be abolished and culturally we could move towards a systemic crowdfunding approach where people propose ideas, everyone invests in the creation of their ideas, and the result is inherently public domain. The creator eats, the public benefits from any idea someone may have, and we don't end up with a huge fraction of culture and innovation lost under a rug of time.

I love Bill Gates for the good he does with his money, but I'm not going to blindly agree with him just because hes a genius or because hes rich and popular. I think Microsoft had a lot of systemic societal damage, and that IP law is completely out of control and unnecessary in this day and age.

Arun2009 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I think what we need today are competent generalists - super-teachers if you will - who have deep (i.e., at least post-graduate level) proficiency in what are currently considered separate fields such as Physics, Philosophy, Mathematics or Biology. There's a goldmine of new breakthroughs waiting to happen at the intersection of disparate areas of knowledge. Generalist teachers/professors at the first/second year university levels can help the next generation be more adept at recognizing the connections between fields of study. Currently unfortunately you are not recognized at higher-rungs of academia unless you super-specialize and churn out papers. We really need to acknowledge generalization as well, even when it happens at the cost of any original contributions.
zdw 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> "A skeptic might say thats like robbing from the not-so-rich to give to the poor."

More like 'indoctrinating 90% of the population in one sphere to demand the substandard, then profiting massively, then flailing around wildly with charitable work to try to cover your shame"

aristidb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Kind of funny that Bill Gates would have reverted his position on patents. (But maybe Gigaom is misquoting there, maybe he is referring to "intellectual property" in general.)
zargath 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Man and the Lion Puzzle: Pursuit and Evasion Game Theory mindyourdecisions.com
26 points by strategy  7 hours ago   9 comments top 8
Strilanc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that it's assumed the man and the lion are points with no width. The lion doesn't have to get close to win, it has to be in the exact same position. This is mentioned near the end of the post (should be at the start).

If the lion only had to get close, it would clearly win by just continuously running directly towards the target. The curve it traced would cover less distance whenever the target was forced to turn, and so the lion can get arbitrarily close (assuming things like an instantaneous reaction time).

The important detail, that allows the man to escape when the positions must match exactly, is that the lion's tracing-smaller-curve advantage goes down as it gets closer. It has to match the turns being made by the man more and more exactly in order to not lose ground. Work out the result, and the corresponding infinite sequence fails to converge.

tzs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Another nice pursuit problem is the Homocidal Chauffeur problem. Pedestrian (slow but highly maneuverable) vs car (fast but limited maneuverability).

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

gizmo686 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This solution seems like it has the man 'orbit' the lion, the same way that a planet travels perpendicular to the sun. The lions strategy is also running in a straight line to where the man is going to be, similar to how the sun accelerates to where the planet is.

There are a few obvious differences. The first being, in orbits, we (intuitively) use a time interval of 0. More importantly, in orbits, the sun is accelerating to the planets current position, not moving towards it. Formally speaking, I cannot see the connection between the stragety presented in the article and orbits, but intuitivly I feel like there is one.

greatzebu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually enjoy math problems that are motivated by some interesting real scenario like a man evading a lion, but in this case I don't think it works very well. You end up concluding that the man can evade the lion, but the solution only works if the man and the lion have zero volume and you don't mind getting arbitrarily close to the lion. So the math ends up being very much at odds with the physical scenario that's ostensibly motivating it. And this solution doesn't say anything about the possible existence of a solution that maintains a finite distance between the man and the lion, so you're left wondering whether or not a real solution might still exist. Still a neat technique, but the motivating scenario doesn't work for me.
wikkiwa 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There's actually a pretty fascinating branch of game theory devoted to these kinds of problems.

Differential game theory poses these situations as optimal control problems, with evaders and pursuers each having a separate control and opposite objective functions.


ultrafilter 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The man's escape strategy described in the post was discovered in 1952 by Besicovitch. It has a kind of discontinuity because, quoting the post, "There are 2 perpendicular paths. Choose the one closest to the center, or if the two paths are equally close, then either one is fine." In simple terms, the man will eventually make a wrong turn (with probability 1) unless he can instantaneously measure distances with perfect accuracy.

Surprisingly, for every continuous man strategy, there is a continuous lion strategy that can catch the man by time T where T is the disc radius divided by the lion's speed.

Restricting to continuous strategies in some other lion-man games actually leads to other paradoxes such as both lion and man having a "winning" strategy. The shallow resolution of the paradox is that two such winning strategy cannot actually be played against each other.


The deeper resolution is that even continuous strategies can be unphysical if they allow for information to travel at infinite speed (e.g., if the man is modelled as knowing the lion's current speed and velocity, special relativity notwithstanding). I'm not aware a proof in the literature, but presumably continuity of strategies plus an information speed limit will avoid the above paradoxes. (Continuous-time game theory is still very immature compared to discrete-time game theory.)

robotcookies 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I didn't (couldn't) go through all the math, but it would seem to me that the lion would get closer and closer to the man on each turn, while never touching (assuming points without width). Kind of like the graph where the line approaches zero without every reaching it.
eru 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty nice post. I hope to be able to follow all the math tomorrow.
How to Farm Insects at Home modernfarmer.com
39 points by DanI-S  9 hours ago   33 comments top 7
ChuckMcM 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As my wife pointed out to me, reading this over my shoulder, it was always used in the context of her refusing to eat something she didn't like, as in "In some parts of the world they eat bugs!"

That said, in San Francisco the grasshopper tacos were banned [1] even though people did like them and people back in Oxaca apparently suffer no ill effects from eating them.

So given that good marketing (grasshopper tacos) can overcome western sensitivities, it offers the possibility that farming bugs for human consumption can in fact be a worthwhile endeavor.

[1] http://boingboing.net/2011/06/09/grasshopper-tacos-ba.html

icey 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I looked into selling insects as food last year. There's definitely a market for it, but I'm not sure what would stop a well-established existing insect farm from getting into the business the moment it looks viable and crushing everyone as they're already equipped for huge amounts of production, shipping and handling.

There were some disappointed people when I ran my test and they tried to buy crickets or mealworms just to find out I didn't actually have any.

Ultimately I decided not to mess with it because I'm not very excited by eating insects myself. I've tried a few things (crickets and mealworms) and while they didn't taste bad, they didn't taste like much of anything... I foresaw the eating of many insects in order to make it succeed and it's pretty tough to get excited about :)

ams6110 7 hours ago 1 reply      
a minimal initial investment in a cricket colony could absolutely feed a family of four

I've tried to raise crickets to feed a pet bearded dragon. I followed all the guidelines, but generally could never even keep them alive let alone get them to reproduce. I don't think this is quite as easy as it's made to sound.

It's odd because you see crickets everywhere in the wild, they must be pretty hardy, but I utterly failed trying to "farm" them.

dm2 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe crickets and mealworms would be a good diet for prisoners but I'd personally rather eat rice and beans if I was on a limited income.

Maybe have these farms available for very poor countries?

I just don't see the desire to eat crickets and worms.

And forget about a social life or dating once they find out you raise and eat crickets and worms, doesn't matter how good you are at explaining the concept.

Am I missing something?

callmeed 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I live a mile from Hotlix and the kids & I often incorporate one of their bug products when we play card/board games ("loser eats a chocolate covered cricket").

If anyone wants to try something let me know. The store has blemished items cheap and I could mail some out this week.

thejteam 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Convenient. I just finished reading "How to Eat Fried Worms" to the kids.

Off to find some nice night-crawlers...

wiradikusuma 6 hours ago 3 replies      
How do you convince a person like me who thinks it's gross to eat insects? Esp. Out of fear they (or the parasites they bring) might "become alive and crawl up to your brain or start a colony inside your bowel".
Which Universities Produce the Most Successful Startup Founders? minimaxir.com
32 points by minimaxir  7 hours ago   21 comments top 13
mindcrime 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who doesn't find this terribly interesting, due to thinking that "funding != success"? Raising money is a step on the path to success (and potentially an optional one at that), so a chart of "which universities graduates raised the most money" doesn't strike me as terribly valuable.

Of course, I imagine it would be a lot harder (and maybe more subjective) to come up with a different metric for success, since not all startups wind up publicly traded (and therefore required to report their financials) and some are acquired in deals where the terms aren't reported, etc.

Anyway, even if we use funding as the metric of success, what are we supposed to do with the data from this analysis? Is it supposed to suggest where one should choose to go to school, or to suggest that other schools should try to mirror aspects of the schools listed, or what?

andrewchoi 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I feel like the statistics are misleading with respect to the total pool that you're drawing out of. Of course, if you have a school like UC Berkeley that has 25k undergrads, you're going to have more funding than a school like Princeton with 5k undergrads. Per-capita stats would be nice to see.

Also, maybe schools with MBA programs might need to be compared separately. Princeton doesn't have one, and seems to lack somewhat in terms of on campus non-technical founders.

zalzane 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Correlation does not imply causation.

While this article may portray the trend as "universities that produce successful startup founders", it's very possible that it may actually be something like "prestigious universities attract people that come from well connected families who have an easier time creating a successful startup".

I have very little faith in higher educational institutions' ability to actually educate and prepare people like potential startup founders for the real world. This trend of successful startup founders coming out of prestigious universities makes a lot more sense when you consider that high-end unis tend to attract people from affluent, well connected backgrounds.

This isn't to say that rich kids have an easier time creating startups. Rather, I think that affluent families typically become affluent through the ability to form business connections with people, and the ability to form a vast contact network. Through parental influence, these attributes are passed to the children who go on to attend prestigious universities, and eventually create a business for themselves.


mjn 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Carnegie Mellon and Princeton, which had a relatively low number of funded founders and a relatively low number of total capital raised, instead have a significantly higher amount of average first funding. UCLA also placed. Perhaps the students from these three universities tend to have more ambitious startup ideas?

The field of endeavor may have more to do with it than ambition. Pittsburgh startups are disproportionately in biotech, for example, which tends to be capital-intensive.

djcapelis 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This basically tells us that the people investors fund are most likely to get funded. It tells us nothing about their success.

Cargo cult success metrics are bad for everyone.

cocoflunchy 4 hours ago 1 reply      

    Its worth noting that Tel Aviv University, an Israeli university,     ties Duke University at 21 and unfortunately just missed making the chart.
Why not leave Duke out or put TAU in? It did not 'unfortunately miss making the chart', you decided to leave it out of the chart.

And today I learned that Stanford ant MIT were not part of the Ivy League ;)

edit: typo

cuttooth 3 hours ago 0 replies      
People who go to Ivy League schools typically have wealthier parents and/or families who can fund their education. Subsequently this can likely carry over to their receiving support while they start a new company, not to mention the connections gained from attending such prestigious schools.

Granted that this does not apply to every case and there are true bootstrapping stories out there, but the fact of the matter is that wealth generates wealth and capitalism is the trademark of the startup industry. It has very little to do with the actual education in the end.

danhak 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Figures should be normalized based on size of graduating class.
jcfrei 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Since when does the amount of venture capital raised equal the success of a startup? A much more interesting statistic would have been which founders are still running their business after let's say three years.
woah 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Mods, please change title to "Which Universities Produce the Most Funded Startup Founders", as the current title is misleading as to the content of the article.
edwardy20 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Another interesting question: what degrees do startup founders hold?
minimaxir 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You're correct. There are 30 UCLA matches. I'll update the graphs accordingly.

Edit: done!

wellboy 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Normally I would have expected Danielle Morrill here, but good job anyway ;)
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