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FastMail staff purchase the business from Opera fastmail.fm
124 points by robmueller  4 hours ago   45 comments top 9
beagle3 3 hours ago 2 replies      
If anyone at Opera is reading this:

Please open source Carakan and Presto - don't let them rot, and us hackers have what to learn with them (and potentially do with them). GPL is fine, and may let you still monetize it.

(And ... it's not like it's giving you any advantage - you've switched away from both)

nly 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This is more interesting for what it means for Opera than for what it means to Fastmail. First they abandon their browser engine, now a top-notch webmail offering. What do Opera even offer these days that you can't get elsewhere? What 'long term vision' is Rob speaking of?
D9u 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been a Fastmail user for years, ever since I realized that their web UI was compatible with my Windows Mobile Phone. (pre iPhone era)

Here we are now, and the rest of the net has caught up to mobile access, mostly. Though my initial reasons for using Fastmail have become moot points, I'll continue to use my Fastmail accounts with fond memories and hope for improved resistance to governments' exceeding their mandates.

coffeecheque 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of Fastmail, and I'm tentatively excited about this announcement.

Missing CardDAV/CalDav sync ability is sorely missing, so it's good to see the developers talking about it.

I'd also like to see (and would pay for) options where the data is located in other countries, away from the United States. It's really symbolic, but also practical: I'd like my data closer to where I live.

frenger 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Please please make this an excuse for a move away from hosting in the USA. A claim to respect privacy necessitates that.
unknownian 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Does that mean myopera mail is being shuttered? I hope not. It was like a free version of fastmail.
jimmcslim 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Have been a paying customer of Fastmail.fm since early 2003. It just works and I hope it continues to for many years to come!
throwawayyyz 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I love Fastmail and have been a paid user for many years now, but I hate the new AJAXy interface, in particular the infinite scroll as currently implemented. Slow, annoying, and makes it difficult to reach old emails.
breakupapp 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I use Opera just to maintain separate cookies haha.
Switch to HTTPS Now, For Free konklone.com
420 points by rodrigocoelho  10 hours ago   164 comments top 34
jakobe 10 hours ago 6 replies      
I just recently enabled SSL on my business website. It was anything but simple.

First of all, I had to get a dedicated server, because a bunch of other sites were running on the same server, and the hosting company doesn't offer additional IP addresses.

Then I wanted to get an SSL certificate. I picked Comodo, because they seemed to offer the cheapest full business validation certificate, but then accidentally bought a domain only certificate because their marketing was so confusing. Their friendly customer service walked me through a complicated process for changing my order.

To get the certificate issued, it took me a week to collect the documents they requested. I had to make sure my business was listed in the yellow pages, so they could send me an automatic phone call for verifying my number.

After every step in the process, they told me to log into their online management area, which was offline from time to time.

I had to confirm my email address by clicking a link about a dozen times. Half of the emails were missing the confirmation link.

Twice I got an email telling me my order will soon be processed, and nothing happened for two days. I had to open tickets in some online support area or send them emails to get them to continue processing.

All in all it took me a month to get SSL working. Now I understand why so many sites do not use HTTPS.

espeed 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Make sure you do not use compression with SSL.

Using compression with SSL could make your site vulnerable to the CRIME and BREACH attacks. See...

SSL Gone in 30 Seconds - A BREACH Beyond CRIME [video]:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIKIXQNFplY&hd=1

BREACH Attack (HTTP Compression):http://breachattack.com, http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/39925/breach-a-n...

CRIME Attack (SSL/TLS/SPDY Compression): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRIME_(security_exploit), http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/19911/crime-how-...

huhtenberg 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Oh, the sweet irony -

> SSLs not perfect, but we need to make surveillance as expensive as possible

immediately followed by -

> And hey, bonus: more complete referrer information in Google Analytics

Make up your mind already. Are you against the surveillance or for it? You can't really sit with one ass on two chairs.

(edit) Point being is that if you are pulling the anti-surveillance card, then you shouldn't really be siphoning off your visitors data to Google.

mrb 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Summary: obtain a certificate from StartSSL. They provide free certificates as long as it is for an individual, not a company's website. Their process to get a cert is a little more difficult that the competition, but konklone.com provides a nice step-by-step guide.
jlongster 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One gotcha that these kinds of tutorials don't mention is that if your site might be blacklisted if google doesn't say it's been 100% clear of trojans for the past 90 days. I hit this on my domain when I accidentally had an .exe file in my static files. I've had to wait 3 months until I can get the certificate.


kemayo 10 hours ago 2 replies      
It is sort of worth noting that it's only free if you have a dedicated IP address. If you just have a cheap hosting plan somewhere, you'll need to pay them for said dedicated IP before you can set up SSL, generally.

I mean, we're not talking a huge amount of money. Webfaction is $5/month [1]. Still!

[1]: https://www.webfaction.com/features

ewolf 10 hours ago 7 replies      
Are there any downsides to these free certs? Do they work in all browsers; is there anything that could be better security-wise?

If not, than this is exactly what we need to establish HTTPS as the new standard.

handsomeransoms 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Fun fact about Startcom (providers of StartSSL): they were the only certificate authority that the "Comodohacker" responsible for breaching Comodo, Diginotar, and others, was unable to hack. [1]

[1] http://www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/how-startcom...

kijin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't have a dedicated IP for each domain, and if you need to support clients who can't use SNI (IE on Windows XP, Android 2.x, etc.), here's a simple solution:

Use a different port number.

https://example-domain.com:12345/ is a completely different website from https://another-domain-on-same-ip:32412/.

No need for a dedicated IP address. No need for wildcard certs, SNI, or any of that fancy stuff. Sure, it's ugly. But it works with every browser (even IE6), and it's not like anybody is actually going to type that into an address bar. You'll be redirecting your HTTP website to your HTTPS website anyway, aren't you?

You can only have two of the following three: (1) shared IP, (2) pretty URLs, and (3) legacy client support. Choose which two you want to have.

zmmmmm 7 hours ago 5 replies      
Do people trust StartCom? Just curious ... I always wondered why you have all these very expensive cert providers who charge a lot for SSL certs, and then this mysterious company with ties to Israel is handing them out for free?

I know it's pure paranoia, but this would seem to be an excellent way to compromise a lot of SSL traffic if you were into that, and the Israelis are pretty famous for all kinds of spying activity that makes PRISM look tame. Just curious what others think about this?

yeukhon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
StartSSL has some complains in the past. See this (paid user, but why would they provide a free SSL ...?)http://danconnor.com/post/50f65364a0fd5fd1f7000001/avoid_sta...
Abundnce10 3 hours ago 0 replies      
And hey, bonus: more complete referrer information in Google Analytics for people visiting from sites already using HTTPS (like Hacker News)

If I enable SSL on my website do you think I will be able to get the referring keyword from Google? Now that Google is making all searches secure about 80% of the searches show up as 'Keyword Unavailable'. http://searchengineland.com/post-prism-google-secure-searche...

Sami_Lehtinen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Because certs are so easy to get, it's better to use fingerprint identification for sites, to make sure it's right one. That's what I've been doing for ages, with https, and smtps. I'll be blogging about it soon.
jlgaddis 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that in addition to using it for your web site, you can also use this same certificate for e-mail, assuming you run your own mail server.

Long story short: I recently moved my e-mail from Google Apps to a machine under my control. As part of that project, I "redeemed" an unused SSL certificate I had purchased a while back for Postfix and Dovecot.

(While I paid for mine, you can use a self-signed one and most MTAs won't complain or refuse to deliver mail, if memory serves.)

dendory 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is kind of glossing over the point. We all know SSL is good and should be used everywhere. But the simple fact is that to have a fully capable SSL server you need two things: A certificate and a unique IP. There are firms now offering free certificates, but not everyone has the choice to select them. And IP certainly aren't free on most hosts. Sure there are always solutions, like moving to a self hosted model and so on, but it is a significant inconvenience for most.
dimension7 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Excellent guide but unfortunately StartSSL does not support all top-level domains. I went through the trouble of registering with StartSSL, they even issued a client certificate for my email account at .tk domain, but they refuse to issue SSL server certificates for any .tk domain.

Even though this is a perfectly legitimate top-level domain (yes I paid for a real .tk domain, and I fully control the DNS settings just as any other domain it is not a free web-based redirect domain, which the Tokelau NIC also offers), StartSSL does not let you choose it when requesting a certificate. They have a drop-down of supported TLDs, but .tk is nowhere to be found (and you cannot edit the HTML to submit this domain anyways, it will be rejected by the server). Initially this appeared to be a simple omission, but investigating further revealed it was an intentional decision to not allow issuance of SSL certs to .tk due to "abuse".

Quite annoying to have purchased an apparently legitimate domain, only to discover it is considered "second-class" by certain online services. Now I am faced with a decision to buy another new domain at a more reputable TLD, switch all my servers and services over, or find another SSL issuer which supports .tk. CACert appears promising, also issuing certs for free, but sadly they are not widely accepted by browser vendors. A paid SSL authority would likely issue a cert for .tk, but at this point I'm inclined to not use SSL at all, or stick with my own self-signed certs (I mainly use my server for personal services, so wide accessibility is not a major concern, but having a "real" trusted cert would be nice).

Does anyone else have any experience with acquiring SSL certs for less popular TLDs? I picked .tk because a short and easily recognizable domain was available, got in before many of the better names were snatched up as in .com, etc, but perhaps giving in and buying a longer domain name at a popular TLD is worth it if it means StartSSL and other services will consider it more trustworthy.

Zoepfli 10 hours ago 4 replies      
In the switch to https everywhere, we have barely started. For every HN and wikipedia with https there are 20 websites without (and whether the ones that do https do really secure https is yet another question).

Somebody should go through the top 10k websites and make a list, then repeat every few months.

wtn 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I was under the impression the private key for authentication to the StartSSL site was generated in the browser with the keygen tag, not on the server
grinnick 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I used this guide to help switch a site to HTTPS just last week. Very useful and super simple.

On issue I did run into (not relevant to the article but anyway) was that Heroku charges $20/month to use SSL on a custom domain.

conductor 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> As you can see, StartSSL will believe you own the domain if you control webmaster@, postmaster@, or hostmaster@ with the domain name

I see a potential vuln here for free e-mail services. If one manages to register one of those addresses he can create a trusted certificate and use it for MITM.

ck2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget to enable ssl stapling which is now available in both nginx and apache and supported in firefox 25 and newest Chrome.
derstang 9 hours ago 1 reply      
For another point of view...free is what you get http://danconnor.com/post/50f65364a0fd5fd1f7000001/avoid_sta...
AhtiK 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> And hey, bonus: more complete referrer information in Google Analytics

It's interesting, I did switch to HTTPS for all my sites but Google Search still did not reveal search keywords to Google Analytics from users logged in at Google. If that's what was referred as "referrer information".

Did anyone get lucky with getting 100% of google search keywords after switching to SSL?

imaginator 9 hours ago 0 replies      
StartSSL offer a great service.

If you'd rather use the Java Keytool to manage your certs, I wrote up this guide on making it work with StartSSL. https://buddycloud.org/wiki/buddycloud_SSL_setup

Should just be a copy paste, wait, paste, export job.

autoreverse 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Globe SSL https://globessl.com/ has domain validated certs at $24 per 3 years.

I've been using these since 2011 (starting with one year certs before switching to 3 years later) with no problems.

cpeterso 8 hours ago 1 reply      
You can also get free SSL certificates from LOLroot CA!


tootie 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Using HTTPS everywhere doesn't really help much. It doesn't help at all if the surveillers either have your cert or access to decrypted traffic inside the firewall. Any PII being sent over the wire should most definitely be encrypted, but encrypting my access to a news site isn't really hiding anything. The requested URL still need to be unencrypted, you'd just be encrypting content that is already availble unencrypted.
chc 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Just going to throw out that if you use a Cloudflare business plan, you can just tick a couple of boxes and get SSL for free.
nilved 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't strictly related to this post, but I've always thought that the idea of paying a fee for SSL certificates was a bad one. Time spent buying and setting up an SSL certificate would be better spent making your site available as a Tor hidden service.
chris_mahan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
When it's harder to get SSL working than to install debian stable on a machine, I'd say SSL is too hard.
valtron 8 hours ago 2 replies      
As I understand it, (correct me if I'm wrong), https has two parts:

1. Encryption: protects from eavesdropping (e.g. your internet provider can't see what you're communicating)

2. Authentication: protects from MITM (e.g. someone changing the data en-route)

For full security you need both; but #2 is much more complicated than #1 because it needs a trusted third party, certificates, etc. It's effectively a barrier to having everyone use encryption.

Why isn't it possible to opt for only #1? It should be as simple as adding "Encrypt +All" to your apache settings.

hcarvalhoalves 9 hours ago 3 replies      
If browsers got fixed to not freak out on self-signed certificates, this wouldn't even be an issue, HTTPS could be a default.
mcv 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it irony that Safari considers his $0 certificate unsafe, or did he simply get what he paid for?
iancarroll 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If you host with SingleHop, they allow generation of unlimited SSL certificates. [1]

[1] Ex: https://ianthedeveloper.com

VLC 2.1.0 videolan.org
156 points by jbk  7 hours ago   79 comments top 18
jbk 7 hours ago 13 replies      
So, this is our new major release, and I'm going to share some stuff that should fit better the audience here on HN, and that are not part of the main announcement :)

First, this is a release that fixes some important architecture mistakes we've done in 2.0.x branch of VLC. I'm notably speaking of the lag in reactivity, notably on volume change (that was shared on the mpv thread) and seeking, but also some grave video settings propagation. I wish we could have fixed and shipped that earlier, but we couldn't (long release cycle).

Then, this is the first official release of libVLC that is LGPL for most of what you need as a developer, including the right modules. SDKs for Win32/64, MacOSX, iOS and Android are getting ready.

If you are a web developer, our VLC plugin now supports Windowless, to fill the gap between Flash and HTML5 (it should work on IE6,7,8 without too much work).

If you are on Mac OS, the interface is finally polished after the major changes of 2.0.0 :)

Finally, we decided, as a community that we will accelerate the major release cycle of VLC. The fact that we needed 1,5 year to get the fix to some critical audio core and video settings issues out is way too much. We will move towards a 6-months schedule with LTS.

Sure, there are other very good players on each platform, but we are doing our best so that you can play everything everywhere for free, using open source technologies :)

rafski 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I really don't like the idea of the Playlist-driven interface forcing itself in front. I have no use for Playlist, why do I have to see it, ever?

Even when I launch a file from Finder, I get a split-second blink of the Playlist. And when the clip stops, I see Playlist instead of the starting screen and can't drag and drop to play files to it anymore.

When I disable the Playlist by pressing its button on the interface, the expanding transition of the window when opening a file is oddly jumpy hopefully an easy fix in future releases (I'm on OSX 10.8.5). Playlist still appears at times.

The standalone Controller module from the interface I miss it, any chance of it ever returning?

Back to the two years old VLC 1.1.12 for me, it was much better thought-out interface-wise (Playlist is just a functionality, not the driving feature and Controller is still there) and it still plays every file I need it to.

I will of course keep checking for updates.

shitlord 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I am running VLC 2.0.8 on windows, and when I check for updates, it says I am up to date. Am I on a different release channel? Anyway, I switched to VLC 2.1.0.
616c 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I remember when I first moved to Linux, six or seven some odd years ago for the first time, and I researched a good media player. I went, unlike others with mplayer, with VLC. It was one of the first projects that made me think "how are proprietary software companies not embarrassed to compete with this, it is SO much better!"

Thank you guys. You are true FOSS heroes.

ucha 5 hours ago 0 replies      

We finally have H264 hardware decoding on Mac. That's the single largest missing feature that prevented me from completely switching to VLC. I used to open H264 videos with QuickTime.

Good job guys!

BoppreH 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You can now see the total playlist time and the startup time seems to have been almost eliminated.

It's great to see significant improvements to the software you use everyday.

ksec 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have always tempted, and wanted to use VLC. But i have always been sticking to MPC and its derivative. Currently I am using MPC-BE.

The reason is rather simple. VLC on Windows is just plain ugly. You could tell this is a Linux software ported to Windows. It doesn't even need to complex and fancy. Take a look at MPC-BE, plain simple and stylish.

And it isn't all just about the looks. The settings, menu placement, icons, etc.

I really wish something could be done about it.

i386 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone like the Mac OS X interface? I've been tempted to hack on it to make it nicer.
alan_cx 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Been using VLC for as long as I can remember, but recently I have had loads of audio/video sync problems with VLC. Really annoying since I don't want to use any other media player, and I've had to. Will this release do better?
w4rh4wk5 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Apparently shuffle is still not working as intended... Man this issue must be around for ages now.

This problem makes VLC useless as my default music player :'(

devx 7 hours ago 1 reply      
When is the VP9 support coming?
sandieman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Clicked hoping for airplay or chromecast support. Maybe next time :)
jimmcslim 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The streaming and transcoding capabilities of VLC appear awesome but are hard to get to the bottom of. I tried to use VLC to convert a h264 stream coming out of an IP camera (Foscam) into either a live FLV stream or an iPhone compatible HTTP stream; it seems like it is POSSIBLE but actually knowing which sequence of magic whispers to utter is the challenge :-)
AsymetricCom 6 hours ago 2 replies      
* New port to iOS, from iOS 5 to 7, on all iPads and iPhones after 3GS.

Is there any way to actually get VLC on iOS anymore?

rgovind 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for making this software. I have been trying to add a RSS-ticker and stream my video for a month...using ffmpeg. Even after posting on ffmpeg user gropus, I got no useful responses.

It took me 5 min to do the same using VLC.

iliiilliili 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I've recently switched to Media Player Classic for watchign movies. I tried not to, because VLC works on Linux, but MPC's video quality is simply superior, when you put the two side-by-side you can see a difference...


so when I'm watching a movie, I will switch to Windows and play it on MPC. For everything else VLC is fine. Annoying, I've tried filters and other fixes, but nothing worked.

nijiko 4 hours ago 0 replies      
ivarious 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>For Anime Fans

>New 6.1 downmixer to 5.1 and Stereo from MKV/Flac 6.1.

>Correct YUV->RGB color matrix in the OpenGL shaders.

I like how they put a separate entry for pirates.

SteamMachines steampowered.com
443 points by cheald  14 hours ago   252 comments top 39
breckinloggins 13 hours ago 16 replies      
I'm excited about where Valve is going with this, of course, but to be honest I'm concerned about controllers the most. Buying a good controller for a PC is not hard, but it's not simple either. Picture yourself as a "living room console guy" getting into PC gaming. You'd like to use a controller for a certain game.


- You can use your XBox360, PS3 controller, or WiiMote, but that's not obvious. You'll need to do some research to figure out that you CAN do it as well as HOW to do it. Again, the steps aren't particularly complicated (especially for the XBox wired controller), but remember who we're targeting, here. If you don't know much about this stuff, you might be worried you'll break something or won't be able to hook your controller back to your console.

- If this doesn't occur to you or you'd rather not use your console controllers, you might be tempted to buy one of those gaming controllers you see at Radio Shack, Best Buy, or somewhere online. Chances are high that the controller you bought will be quite shitty in comparison to your console controllers. You'll notice everything from drifting inputs to cheap buttons to just plain uncomfortable hand feel. You'll convince yourself that you just picked wrongly, so you do some more research. You eventually come upon something pretty good, but it's expensive and it's STILL not your XBox 360 controller.

- If you get past all this (whether that's finding a good 3rd party controller or reusing your console controller), you're still not QUITE sure how each new PC game will react with a controller. Sure, maybe the mappings make sense, but you worry that you'll come upon something that requires an action the developers forgot to map to a controller button. Or maybe it'll just feel wrong because the controls for your particular game were clearly designed to work best for the physical characteristics of a mouse and keyboard. You know with enough tweaking this won't be a problem, but it still bothers you that you have to tweak anything in the first place.

Nothing I've outlined above is a problem for advanced gamers, but if something like a Steam Machine is ever going to take over the living room, it has to be a natural plug n' play experience with respect to input devices. And I mean natural for your mom or uncle, not for you.

Luckily it sounds like Valve will be addressing this head-on; I am more excited about what they have to say about this than about what the specs of any particular Steam Machine might be or what the beta might look like.

simias 13 hours ago 6 replies      
Sooo, it's what everybody's expected, except we don't know anything more about it. Frustrating.

Also, only 300 boxes for beta? That seems a little small.

EDIT: actually the latest answer in the FAQ is interesting:

"Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?"

"If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."

Something new on the input device front? Oculus Rift?

Valve sure is good at hyping things.

programminggeek 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is almost a non-annoucement. They've basically said they were doing this for the last year. The only news is a sign up process for early steam boxes.
Florin_Andrei 12 hours ago 4 replies      
As a parent, if these things don't come with time-based parental controls, that would reduce their appeal A LOT. Windows, for all its warts, is great this way. The Windows-based PC in the living room, running Steam, has time-based parental controls configured at the OS level. This works great for everyone involved, reduces effort and contention. Also, kids do really well on fixed timetables.

I've opened a discussion thread in the Steam Universe forum, on this very topic.


snotrockets 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Look at the beta eligibility list: they require the would be participants to get a leg in the steam community facilities, and try playing in living room mode.

That would give a huge crowd an incentive to try Steam the way Valve is hoping it'd be used in the future. So they give 300 boxes, but get thousands of people trying their console-like services.

Evil geniuses, those Valvers are.

Pxtl 13 hours ago 2 replies      
> Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?

> If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.

This excites me. Valve's bread-and-butter, as a gamedev company and not a game reseller, uses a pointing device. FPS games and Dota are both genres that do far better with a mouse.

Obviously, supporting gamepads will get the vast ocean of console-like games into the living room just fine. But for games originally designed for a mouse, a gamepad is a pretty sub-par experience. Do they have some new control device planned? Please? Pretty-please?

shadowmint 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a tiny bit concerned.

    Can I download the OS to try it out?    You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.
Open source os. Hardware partners for devices. Sound familiar? >_> android.

So, when I buy a samsung steambox it's going to come with its own BallsWiz UI customization as they try to differentiate isnt it?

julius 13 hours ago 3 replies      
They want SteamOS to restructure the console market like Android did with the mobile market.

They give PC makers a great new customizable way to enter the livingroom-computer market. With their gaming shop built in.

This is great for gamers. In a few years any SteamMachine for 300$ will easily outperform PS4/XBone. And have way way more games. And all AAA games (all PC releases).

venomsnake 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If there was ever a good case for eyebrow dismissal it is that.

This is non announcement. They didn't tell anything. Except some weird beta test on unspecified hardware.

cptno 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The two real revelations here are:

>Can I download the OS to try it out?

>>You will be able to download it (including the source code,[...]) but not yet.


>Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?

>>If you want. [...] Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.

wcchandler 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It'll be interesting to hear if AMD's announcement today has anything to do with this.


usearegex 13 hours ago 1 reply      
"Can I download the OS to try it out?You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that)"

So it will be open source...

4lun 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."

Sounds like the next announcement is likely to be a controller then

z3phyr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Android chose Java as its programming language of choice. What kind of APIs and programming language will SteamBox use? What is the probability that it will be C++ (C++11)?
djhworld 13 hours ago 0 replies      
From the sounds of it they're producing multiple different machines.

I can imagine it being like this

1) Top of the range high spec machine running SteamOS (500-600)2) Medium spec machine running SteamOS (250-400)3) Basic machine running SteamOS that's designed for people who just want to stream games from their Desktop PC into their living room (60-120)

devindotcom 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Why on earth have they not called the hardware "Steam Engine" instead of these strange other names?
incision 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Marketing in the guise of a beta/prototype program. Google seems to have been pretty successful doing with Glass and I'm sure there were prior examples.

In any case, I'm pretty much guaranteed to buy the finished product. What little gaming I've done for the past 4 years or so has been almost exclusively via Steam.

dombili 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So, according to the last answer, the 3rd announcement will probably be about a gamepad or an input device of sorts. That's a bummer. I know it was very unlikely, but HL3 announcement would have made me so happy. I'm still hopeful though, since it's been confirmed that Source 2 is in the works. Valve usually shows off their new engine with a new HL game.
arianvanp 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This cought my eye:> Can I download the OS to try it out?You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.

Wondering if that'd include their entire product in source code? probably not, aye?

CraigJPerry 12 hours ago 2 replies      
>> Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven't already)

Are there any HN groups on Steam? If I try to create a group named Hacker News, it's already in use. If I try to find it, no results found :-)

mikevm 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm rather skeptical about their in-home streaming option. In a world where games are buying LCDs to minimize input lag, what kind of a performance are they expecting from streaming a game over LAN?

I'm interested in knowing how this streaming is going to work. Is this similar to VNC?

glazskunrukitis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
At first I thought this will have to do something with steam powered machines[1]

[1] http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/steam_washingto...

Fuzzwah 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So the only thing I learned from this is that its not a SteamBox, it is a SteamMachine.
dkhenry 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Touche 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Lessons learned:

1) Hardware is hard.

2) Apparently deadlines are important above all else, even if you have nothing to announce/release.

shurcooL 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I am most curious about "Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."
Steko 12 hours ago 1 reply      
2014 Oculus Rift expected to ship widely demoed and lauded next generation experience.

Nov 2013 Sony and MS start shipping new consoles.

Oct 2013 Apple likely to announce and immediately ship $129=$199 A7X based console killer.

Sep 2013 Valve announces beta opt in for SteamMachine with zero details on product.

msie 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I wish they would follow Apple's lead and tightly control the hardware. It would make it easier for devs to test and consumers to make a choice. Apple's wildly successful with their iPhone business model. Please try to avoid the fragmentation issues with Android. Windows already owns the home PC market, why go after it?
Tichy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Great picture, those machines remind me of the turrets from portal 2
TullamoreDude 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Now they need a pusher, to get SteamMachines and SteamOs on the market. Half Life 3 confirmed?
bwilliams 13 hours ago 5 replies      
That doesn't seem like a large enough beta and it really only targets PC gamers. I would think that they would want to be trying to capture console gamer share rather than existing PC gamers.
Dirlewanger 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Que numerous random friend requests for the next couple days from a lot of people...
piinbinary 13 hours ago 1 reply      
> The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming

Does that mean streaming from another computer (presumably running Windows) in your house?

sodafountan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
what MS-Dos was to PCs in the 80's or what Android was to Smartphones more recently is exactly what Steam OS will be to home consoles in the present. I have faith that Valve will dominate the next generation of interactive entertainment, if of course they don't mess anything up.
ludoo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Bah, I thought the link was about real steam machines, who cares about a game platform...
nej 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm very excited about this. Go Valve!
ivarious 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I want to praise the name choice. "Machine" is very catchy.
oddshocks 12 hours ago 0 replies      
GG Windows
bastards 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not trying to be a downer, but I think this is going to be a huge flop.

Gaming appliances need to be focused at the gaming market, which Sony and MS own like the U.S. and USSR in the mid to late 20th century. Nintendo messed up with the Wii U and probably won't recover, and everything else is secondary, for now. I even think Apple's move into the TV gaming market will be mostly a bust, but I could be wrong, because the casual game market is strong.

I've personally not bought a single game from Steam. I know they are big, but I just don't have time for it. I'm not the target market though.

At 16, Ganesh got a job in Qatar. Two months later he was dead theguardian.com
109 points by anu_gupta  6 hours ago   56 comments top 12
joonix 4 hours ago 2 replies      
See my post in the other thread about living in Qatar.

The exit visa is a system that legally enables indentured servitude. Any country that has this system (pretty much just Islamic mideast countries) should be shunned by the US and the UN (won't happen of course given the US has a couple of bases in Qatar and BP has a huge investment there).

aptwebapps 2 hours ago 0 replies      
From another article on the topic by The Guardian [1]

The British engineering company Halcrow, part of the CH2M Hill group, is a lead consultant on the Lusail project responsible for "infrastructure design and construction supervision". CH2M Hill was recently appointed the official programme management consultant to the supreme committee. It says it has a "zero tolerance policy for the use of forced labour and other human trafficking practices".

Halcrow said: "Our supervision role of specific construction packages ensures adherence to site contract regulation for health, safety and environment. The terms of employment of a contractor's labour force is not under our direct purview."

So they've got a zero tolerance policy, unless you're talking about the actions of their contractors which is just, like, totally out of their control, man.

1. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars...

dm8 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Lot of Indians also work in these countries due to poverty reasons. I feel privileged to be born in a relatively wealthy and educated family in India. If it was not the case may be I would have one of the migrant workers like them.

If these countries have oil money in abundance then why don't they give good working conditions and pay more money. Few million dollars will hardly going to move needle for them. I smell corruption.

bsullivan01 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If CIA wanted Qatar's Royal family gone, they'd ship 50,000 AKs, pick a few leaders from each ethnic group and Viva La Revolucion! Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks
dm8 2 hours ago 0 replies      
On a side note, is there anyway we can donate money to his family. ~ $1500 with 36% interest is lot of money for his poor Nepalese family and I doubt they will be able to repay that debt. I guess they will have to work rest of their life just to repay money.

I'd be up for donating some money to their family. How do I do it?

anigbrowl 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is heartbreaking, but I'm having a hard time seeing the HN angle, except that there was another thread on the same subject earlier today. I suggest this is more suitable fare for Reddit.
ballard 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This story make me sad for the human species, it sounds criminal.

On the upside, with tech of course:

Is there any existing app for labor conditions reporting?

If potential employees had a slight opportunity to easily research conditions, they might choose another company with a better record. This would have the potential to drive disreputable shops out of business and promote those that care a bit more about basic human rights. It would be a daunting education and development task, but one that would be meaningful.

neel980 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Seems to be the case across the surrounding region


dajohnson89 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Why is this not front-page news of mainstream media? (I know why, it's because it's not profitable). But where is the outrage? Why is fighting back restricted to a few NGOs and some back office of the Nepalese government?
camus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There will be no justice for that kid. Nobody will be held accountable.
enupten 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Yes, this is awful, but what more can you expect from the Middle East? On a more political note, did Al Jazeera, report on this ?
nikatwork 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Any free market advocates or Randians care to try and fit this terrible situation into their worldview?
Say Hello to Rick Ross esquire.com
102 points by kitcar  7 hours ago   54 comments top 17
nikatwork 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> Back in the day, Ross would offer the same deal with crack cocaine to start you out, he'd give you $100 worth for free and you could sell it for $300.

So - he was a pioneer of the freemium model then.

bonemachine 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Meet Gary Webb, the Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist who committed suicide in the wake of the public tar-and-feathering (and financial impoverishment) he endured as his reward for bringing Ross and his exploits to the attention of our great nation:


aaronbrethorst 5 hours ago 1 reply      
To be clear, this is 'Freeway' Ricky Ross, not Rick Ross the rapper (who actually faced a lawsuit from the real Ross over the use of his name).


westicle 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty fascinating that this guy's life story was essentially stolen by the rapper Rick Ross, who has made a very healthy career out of the persona.

Just an example of lyrics seemingly directly drawn from the life of Freeway Rick Ross:


mschuster91 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Stuff like the Webb episode or the sting drug deal set up by the DEA is class A food for conspiracy theoretics all over the world.

Enticing someone to do a drug deal should be illegal.

jmtame 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I mean, don't quit your day job or anything but if this type of thing interests you, check out Rick Ross and some other major drug dealers in this documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxRVhgbVN9o
derwiki 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"How to make money selling drugs" also has a bit on Rick Ross: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276962/
bluedino 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I have a theory that cocaine, and later crack cocaine, were really the downfall of the United States from the late 70's to late 80's. It wasn't Reagonmics, it wasn't the Japanese. All the white collar (and a lot of the blue collar) guys were all doing powder cocaine, and all of the rest of the blue collar workers and the unemployed were all doing crack. Crime got worse, business got worse...
wavesounds 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My friend met this guy and told me all about this a few months ago and I totally thought she just bought some random dudes BS ... but wow was I wrong. This should be a movie.
dmn757 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't read the article yet, but some further reading/listening for those interested:

-'Freeway' Rick Ross on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast:http://vimeo.com/41214597#t=123

-Rick Ross, the rapper, was actually a correctional officer before his rap career took off:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Ross#Correctional_officer_...http://i.imgur.com/r2hYgO0.jpg

icpmacdo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
the stuff you should know podcast just did a episode on crack and talked a lot about Freeway Ricky


420365247 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, he has a large part where he describes his role with us officials to smuggle coke into the usa.
mbrutsch 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I just want to know where to get the t-shirts.
smallegan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
He clearly has the entrepreneurial hustle.
contingencies 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1980s crack epidemic? How about just epidemic. Coke is virtually free in some parts of Los Angeles.
iliiilliili 4 hours ago 0 replies      
He explains his story in one of the best drug documentaries I've seen: ``How to Make Money by Selling Drugs'' (don't let the title fool you).

I watched it on YouTube, if it's available in your country, please do too.


o0-0o 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Neither Rick Ross should be glorified. In fact, it might be fun to watch them fight to the death during the halftime of the superbowl...
Google in 1998 google.com
56 points by dana0550  5 hours ago   35 comments top 18
dm8 3 hours ago 1 reply      
They were so confident about their search results that they were giving links to their competitors' websites at the bottom of their page
tokenadult 3 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, following the link here comes up as my default set-up for iGoogle, the home page skin that Google will deprecate in another month or so.

I have used Google since the beginning. I was amused, when I updated my personal website at the beginning of this year, to discover that most of the pages on my site still had a paragraph specifically recommending Google, as if most people had never heard of it. That's how enthusiastic I was about Google when I first discovered it. (I discovered Google when it was still Backrub, but examining which search engine spiders visited my site.)

rhplus 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I assume that the top "Google RN" link refers to "RealNames", which was a cross between AOL keywords and an alternate domain name system. It surprising to see that there, because canonical registries (i.e. Yahoo, RealNames) are kinda the antithesis of what Google was pioneering at the time (i.e. PageRank).



badclient 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Give me an ajax-less google search over what we have now any day.
avolcano 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Authentic markup full of <font> and <b> tags, too!
josteink 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
Apart from the cheesy look of the logo, that actually looks much better, nicer and cleaner than the monstrosity they are serving today.

It gives the user a very good, immediate overview of the results without bad, distracting UI noise all over the place. Sometimes less is definitely more.

Not that it bothers me much though, I've long switch to duckduckgo. They are actually innovating at this search-engine game, much unlike Google.

randlet 4 hours ago 1 reply      
1998: "Showing results 1-10 of approximately 234,000 for google; Search took 0.06 seconds"

2013: "About 709,000,000 results (0.38 seconds) "

My how we've grown!

jebblue 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Before Google I used Dogpile, brother recommended it, before that I had to craft some clever searches in Alta Vista. Google rocks.
quink 4 hours ago 0 replies      
http://web.archive.org/web/19980505193923/http://www.altavis... is wrong.

Try this instead: http://web.archive.org/web/19980505193939/http://www.altavis...

GoogleScout wasn't around until 1999: http://googlepress.blogspot.com.au/1999/09/googles-new-googl...

Also, I think 'Cached' used to be called 'View old version', having done some research.

runn1ng 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Doesn't work on mobile.


Sami_Lehtinen 1 hour ago 2 replies      
What about Webcrawler and Alta Vista, Lycos and HotBot etc. Did you even use Webcrawler? I'm sure that everyone remembers at least Alta Vista.
Raphael 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Try your query on: AltaVista Excite HotBot Infoseek Lycos Deja Yahoo! Amazon Open Directory eGroups
joeblau 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Biggest thing I noticed is that there aren't any ads.
t0 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if they kept the data so we can search as if it was 1998.
ivanbrussik 4 hours ago 1 reply      
looks like google.stanford.edu is still live, but not what it used to be either :/


dana0550 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an easter egg for their 15th birthday tomorrow.
LukeWalsh 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing how all of the subtle changes make it look like a kid's toy.
bastards 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This was not long after I gave up on webcrawler and altavista. I miss the picture of the spider or web, or whatever.

You know, despite it being around almost forever (I think they tried removing it once, right?), I've never really used "I'm feeling lucky". I just never feel that way when I'm using Google, I guess.

What I would have written dcurt.is
49 points by bradgessler  4 hours ago   30 comments top 14
bigiain 3 hours ago 3 replies      
'and every fucking thing I think about, I also think, How could I fit that into a tweet that lots of people would favorite or retweet?'

That, as I see it, is the problem not twitter or 140char limits or any of the other stuff Dustin raises, it's the desire for external validation (and I can't help but imagine him furiously clicking reload on his own blog post to see how fast his Kudos score is climbing)

My takeaway/advice is - try to recognise when you're being manipulated by gamification techniques and choose to be aware of them and ignore/resist them when it's in your better interest.

Does anybody _really_ think Picasso would have painted iPad trifles for immediate social media validation, instead of starting and completeing Garon la pipe? I _seriously_ doubt that - from Wikipedia: "At the time of his death many of his paintings were in his possession, as he had kept off the art market what he did not need to sell. In addition, Picasso had a considerable collection of the work of other famous artists, some his contemporaries, such as Henri Matisse, with whom he had exchanged works."

Picasso _didn't_ paint for the twitterati - he painted for Picasso. Dustin should write for Dustin - not for Twitter. He's allowing himself to become distracted from achieving what he wants at achieve. That's not Twitters fault. Procrastinators gonna procrastinate (he said hypocritically while wasting time on HN)

evmar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Much like television, smoking, or facebook, it's pretty easy for me to look at these products, look at what the users get out of them, and make the conscious decision not to use them. That isn't to say it's easy to quit smoking, but it's been pretty easy for me to never start smoking because I know what sort of personality I have.

(When writing comments like these I always think of this article:http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-constantly-mention... . Sorry if I've done that.)

md224 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"And yet I see no solution to this problem."

Dustin's problem is similar in some respects to an addiction (which he alludes to), so perhaps the solution is treating it as such; forcing moderation on himself, or even complete detachment (the cold turkey approach). Of course, being involved in technology means Dustin is essentially an alcoholic working at a brewery, so disengagement may be especially difficult. But to throw up your hands and claim there's no way out strikes me as a bit defeatist. If you feel a technology is negatively impacting your thought patterns, perhaps you could find a way to use that technology less.

rwallace 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I see a solution to the problem. Delete your twitter account, now. It's hard to sustain willpower indefinitely but easy to use it in a burst long enough to delete an account.
breadbox 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've stopped cooking for myself because TV dinners are so easy. But most TV dinners aren't great. But because they're so convenient, they have killed my desire to cook. And yet I see no solution to this problem."

Keep looking.

uptown 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"And yet I see no solution to this problem."

The solution is to not solely crave affirmation from others. Be comfortable with yourself, and try to live a life that enriches yourself, and those around you. If the parts of that that you share happen to enrich those you come in contact with, great ... but the internet-celebrity that Twitter and other social-platforms encourages (how many followers, how many retweets, how many favorites, how many likes, etc.) is fleeting at-best.

smacktoward 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I tend to agree with this. So much so that I made a more in-depth version of the same argument on my own blog earlier this year: http://jasonlefkowitz.net/2013/02/i-kind-of-hate-twitter/

I think the biggest contributor to the feelings Dustin is talking about is the way Twitter's design puts scorekeeping mechanisms front and center. Follower count is a scorekeeping mechanism -- if I have more followers than you, I'm "better" at Twitter than you are. Retweets are a scorekeeping mechanism -- if I get retweeted a lot, I'm better than you are. And so forth. Scorekeeping mechanisms are problematic because when you make them public, put them right up in the user's face, they turn the application into a video game. People see a connection between some actions and an increase in their "score," and that drives them to repeat the same behaviors.

Which is sort of what Dustin's getting at with the comparison to addiction, I think; Twitter is addictive in the same way that, say, Farmville is addictive. It's a Skinner box (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning_chamber) rather than a medium designed to facilitate discussion.

tripngroove 2 hours ago 0 replies      
John Mayer speaking at Berklee College of Music had this to say on the subject:

> The tweets are getting shorter, but the songs are still 4 minutes long. Youre coming up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still 4 minutes longI realized about a year ago that I couldnt have a complete thought anymore. And I was a tweetaholic. I had four million twitter followers, and I was always writing on it. And I stopped using twitter as an outlet and I started using twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldnt write a song.


Sukotto 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just came here after reading this (highly relevant) ZenPencils of Marc Maron's "Social Media Generation".

Very impactful one-two punch seeing both of these back to back.


sengstrom 3 hours ago 5 replies      
I don't do twitter, but I have wondered what it would be to write or read a longer work composed within the limits of 140 character chunks - parceled out over time. It is not so much the size limitation on tweets as it is the disconnect between them that causes the dissolution of bigger ideas.
kylehardgrave 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"And yet I see no solution to this problem. I will forever be a slave to 140-characters..."

I'm having a hard time sympathizing with this.

It's not Twitter that "instantly takes complex ideas out of my brain, over-simplifies them, and ships them off to random people." It's ME. Twitter is just a medium the solution is to care about those complex thoughts enough to see them through.

Not to say that the instant gratification of tweeting does not exist, or is easy to fight it's a struggle, and something to be mindful of. But the battle is already lost when, as this article does, you shift all the blame to the service instead of looking inward.

wunderlust 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Woe is me...Twitter has stunted my creativity. Give me a break.
InclinedPlane 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"I sit on the couch watching whatever is on TV. It's not very entertaining but it's something to do, and after a while you get used to it. And yet I see no solution to this problem."

What are we, automatons? Farm animals?

This isn't rocket science, if you want to stop being a hack then stop being a hack. You have a brain, you have a developed intellect, if you have sufficient introspection to realize you're doing something you don't want to be doing then maybe try not doing that thing. I have a hard time believing that twitter is more addictive than alcohol or heroin or even television.

Nothing's forcing you to be a hack other than your own vanity. And there's nothing intrinsically superior to being addicted to seeking bite-sized chunks of personal validation through twitter than there is in seeking feelings of comfort, camaraderie, and friendship through television viewership. Yet if someone wrote about the perils of being a couch potato and the difficulty of stopping we'd just laugh at them and move on.

Goopplesoft 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Tweets provide a lot of efficiency. "Tweets aren't great because the compress otherwise complex ideas". A decent summary of your essay and tweet-able. Point made in 5 seconds of reading. Yes you don't get the full emersion but thats exactly why both mediums still exist. The tweet saves time and consequently gets a wider audience.
SSL/TLS Deployment Best Practices v1.3 ssllabs.com
104 points by ivanr  9 hours ago   14 comments top 5
dguido 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Reproducing an earlier comment I made on Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/netsec/comments/1mn2nk/ssltls_deploy...):

If you want the short version for Apache, Nginx and OpenSSL: http://blog.ivanristic.com/2013/08/configuring-apache-nginx-...


For those who don't give a shit if Windows XP / IE can establish an SSL connection with you, here's a cipher string without RC4.


More details, including the configurations for SSL/TLS protocol versions, can be found at the link above.

casca 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Ivan has consistently provided excellent resources for configuring SSL. The docs and analyzer have made it so much easier to get people to take the steps to fix their SSL setup.

He also has a book that is coming out and will presumably be excellent, but you can get the OpenSSL Cookbook now for free: https://www.feistyduck.com/books/bulletproof-ssl-tls-and-pki...

(Not affiliated with Ivan or the book, just a fan)

erichurkman 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Qualys SSL Labs also has a great online tool that allows you to quickly analyze your configuration changes [1]. Highly recommended and a great resource if you're just setting up your SSL certificate, too, to make sure you have it set correctly.

[1] https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=news.ycombina...

devicenull 7 hours ago 3 replies      
> TLS v1.2 should be your main protocol. This version is superior because it offers important features thatare unavailable in earlier protocol versions. If your server platform (or any intermediary device) doesnot support TLS v1.2, make plans to upgrade at an accelerated pace. If your service providers do notsupport TLS v1.2, require that they upgrade.

Too bad CentOS is still stuck on TLS 1.0 and apparently will be for quite some time.

oleganza 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Surprisingly easy and quick read for such topic. Recommend.
H.R.2818 - Surveillance State Repeal Act congress.gov
51 points by thex86  1 hour ago   7 comments top 6
zaroth 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Stunningly interesting exceptions and, if I'm reading this right, not necessarily an improvement:

"Repeals the USA PATRIOT Act ... except with respect to ... the acquisition of intelligence information concerning an entity not substantially composed of U.S. persons that is engaged in the international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"Requires orders ... to direct ... any person or entity mustfurnish all information, facilities, or technical assistance necessary to accomplish such surveillance

- in a manner to protect its secrecy and produce a minimum of interference with the services

- that such carrier, landlord, custodian, or other person is providing the target of such surveillance

- (thereby retaining the ability to conduct surveillance on such targets regardless of the type of communications methods or devices being used by the subject of the surveillance)."

ChuckMcM 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
All the negative waves [1] :-) This is primarily a bill where some folks can vote for it, feeling confident it won't pass, and get re-elected by "trying to shut down those rogue intelligence agencies." But it can also get people elected, just like the tea partiers got elected on the fear of government over spending, liberals can get elected on the fear of government oversight. Mixing up the opinions in congress is always a good thing in my opinion.

[1] Yes a Kelly's Heroes reference.

sillysaurus2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Repeals the USA PATRIOT Act

Okay, so there's effectively zero chance that this bill will ever pass.

The PATRIOT act was a power grab, and governments don't willingly give up power. The only way this would pass is if the members of congress were in danger of not getting reelected if it didn't.

greenyoda 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This bill was introduced by Rep. Rush Holt, a Democrat from New Jersey (12th District). Here's a statement from him on surveillance issues:


na85 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Something tells me this won't pass.
frank_boyd 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
A couple of laws will never be enough to stop the NSA's antics (including probably also the CIA's and FBI's).

It's out of control, anything short of "desperate" measures will not correct the issue.

Lanyrd: From idea to exit the story of our startup natbat.net
255 points by simonw  15 hours ago   28 comments top 14
simonw 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Natalie put a lot of work in to this (and we're suposed to be on holiday!). There's lots of great stuff in here - not just about the overall startup experience, but also advice on talking to press, raising money and building out the company.
javajosh 9 hours ago 1 reply      
>Over time he completely re-architected the app to have a UI that is driven entirely from the server and doesnt need to go through the various app stores to release changes.

So I'm reading this and wondering: this differs from a webapp how exactly?

jcampbell1 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, thanks for putting this together. I really liked seeing the image of the press pack. It seems like a excellent example of what to do.
nswanberg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"An immensely useful lesson to learn is how to correlate all the conflicting advice and apply it to your own situation."

This appears to be the single most important way to get use from YCombinator (or from reading Hacker News). Even if it seems obvious, keeping this advice in mind also helps to avoid posting indignant comments on other startup advice threads.

Toenex 13 hours ago 0 replies      
As a Brit working in a UK start-up it really is great to hear fellow Brits making it happen. Well done, you are spreading a little hope.
Samuel_Michon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading this brought back a memory for me too, even if just as a bystander. I was lucky to be able to attend dConstruct 2010, it was the most wonderful design conference Ive been to so far. All the presentations, by the likes of Merlin Mann, John Gruber, and David McCandless, were very inspiring.

It was a one day event and all the talks were held in the same space. At one point, the guys from Lanyrd came on stage and explained how the site worked. They asked all the attendees to tweet to @lanyrd and write that they are attending dConstruct. That way, everyone got automatically added on the Lanyrd site as attendees, with profile and everything. It was an impressive demo.

Until now, I didnt know that was the event when Lanyrd officially launched, it come across to me like theyd been polishing the app for ages.

julianpye 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a wonderful and inspiring story. Congrats to you both!
govind201 15 hours ago 1 reply      
That was refreshing. Congratulations on the journey and the exit Lanyrd!
ludicast 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats, a very sweet story. My wife is not interested in tech (though she has a very strong science background...) but working together would be a lot of fun (and stress).
johns 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Great post, thanks for taking the time to write it up.

I'm curious how the discussions got started with Eventbrite. Were you discussing another kind of partnership first? How close were your existing contacts?

jjoe 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations! Has the sum been disclosed?


danvoell 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Good Story! Your next startup should be one in which someone can easily add text on top of photos in their blog, and then allow readers to easily share those (nuggets of wisdom) photos on Social Media with the click of a button.
reillyse 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't help but notice from the "one click deploy" part that you are still using Jenkins!

Check out circleci.com you can do some really neat stuff around testing and deploying and it's a whole lot less painful.

Kiro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> One-click deploys

How is this typically achieved?

Intel proves once and for all that PCs are not coming back semiaccurate.com
105 points by angersock  6 hours ago   94 comments top 30
bhauer 4 hours ago 7 replies      
My own thoughts on the negligence and indolence of the PC industry are full of rage. But this guy makes my rants seem a little tame. I love it!

I believe I have an unpopular opinion about desktop PCs. The conventional thinking is that desktop computing is boring because a modern PC does everything it is intended to do just fine. That may be true, but the problem is that the industry is not interested in establishing new usage patternsnew things the PC should do.

At the end of last year, I started a series of rants about how modern technology sucks [1] with particular emphasis on the frustrating stagnation of desktop computing and the bothersome way every new portable computing device wants to be a center of attention.

I was pleasantly surprised that the author of the linked article hits the target squarely when he lists off what PCs need. The first item: better displays. He may be speaking more about laptops (and they are deserving of the shame), but allow me to rant a bit about my preferred computing mediumdesktops.

The stagnation of desktop displays is, and has been for a decade, the crucial failure of desktop computing. Display stagnation is the limitation that allows all other limitations to be tolerated. It is the barrier that leads the overwhelming majority of users (and even pundits!) who tolerate mediocrity to declare everything elsefrom processors, to memory and GPUsas "good enough." I absolutely seethe when I hear any technology declared good enough (at least without a very compelling argument).

Desktop displays, and by extension, desktop computing is so far from good enough that it should be self-evident to anyone who observes users interacting with tablets or mobile phones(!) while seated at a desktop PC. Everything that is wrong with modern computing can be summarized in that single all too common scene:

1. Desktop displays are not pleasant to look at. They are too small. They are too dark. They are too low-fidelity. And they often have annoying bezels down the middle of your view because we routinely compensate for their mediocrity by using more of them, side-by-side.

2. The performance of desktop computers is neglected because "how hard is it to run a browser and Microsoft Office?" This leads to lethargy in updating desktop PCs, both by IT and by users ("I don't want the hassle"). In 2013, I suspect many corporate PCs in fact feel slower than a modern tablet or even mobile phone.

3. Desktop operating systems are actively attempting to move away from (or at least marginalize) their strong suits of personal applications and input devices tailored for precision and all-day usage.

4. Desktop computers--and more accurately personal home networks--have lost their role as the central computing hub for individuals by a misguided means of gaining application omnipresence: what I call "the plain cloud." This is because none in the desktop industry (Microsoft most notably) are working to make personal networks appreciably manageable by laypeople.

5. Mobile phones and tablets are often free of IT shackles and therefore enjoy more R&D (more money to be made).

Desktop displays stopped moving forward in capability in 2001, and in large part regressed (as the article points out) since then. Had they continued to move forward--had the living room's poisonous moniker of "HD" spared computer monitors its wrath--I believe we would have breathtaking desktop displays by now. In that alternate universe, my desktop is equipped with a 50+" display with at least 12,000 horizontal pixels.

Desktop computing needs to leverage immersion (without nausea; VR goggles need not apply, yet). Large form-factor super-high-definition displays would bring all manner of new technology needs with them:

1. Gesture controls.

2. Ultra high-bandwidth wired networking (win for wired network folks) to move super high definition files.

3. Ultra high-capacity storage.

4. Extremely fast processors and GPUs to deal with a much greater visual pipeline.

Such a computing environment is a trojan horse for today's tablets: it turns tablets into subservient devices as seen in science fiction films such as Avatar. The tablet is just a view on your application, allowing you to take your work away from the main work space briefly until you return. I say trojan horse, but that's not quite right because I actually want this subservient kind of tablet very much. I do not want a tablet that is a first-class computing device in its own right (even less do I want a phone to be a first-class computing device). I only want one first-class computing device in my life, running singular instances of applications for me and me only, and I want all my devices to be subservient to that singular application host.

For the time being, that should be the desktop PC. In the long haul, it could be any application host (a local compute server, a compute server I lease from someone else, or maybe even a portable device as envisioned by Ubuntu's phone). But for now, the desktop should re-assert its rightful role as a chief computing environment, making all other devices mobile views.

[1] http://tiamat.tsotech.com/technology-sucks

breckinloggins 6 hours ago 7 replies      
It's a rant, so I'm not going to critique this post too much, but I'd like to call this out:

    [...] Intel is desperately trying to figure out what to    do to combat the phones and tablets that are eating them    alive from the ankles up. It is pretty obvious that the    company both doesnt understand what the problem is and     is actively shutting out all voices that explain it    to them.
I don't think this is true. Intel certainly understands the market and where it's headed. However they are committed to x86/64. What Intel is doing in my view is taking a series of huge but calculated risks. They seem to be betting that:

- Laptops will stick around and have Intel Inside for quite a while. The market may be boring, but it will be there for years. Corporate America helps.

- Servers won't be switching to ARM any time soon (I'd argue this is the riskiest bet).

- The desktop and enthusiast/gamer PC market will be around for a while, and also won't be switching to ARM any time soon.

So all of these "shoe-ins" buy them time, and I believe they think that in time they can pull off the biggest risk of all:

- Intel is betting that the biggest differentiating factor is and will be performance per watt. They are willing to gamble that they will eventually eclipse ARM cores in this area. In their view, if they have an x86/64 core that trounces competing ARM architectures in ppw then phone, tablet, and set top manufacturers won't have a problem putting those chips in their devices.

Granted, I'm not saying I think Intel is 100% correct or that they'll succeed with their long term bets; I just don't think they are as clueless as this rant makes them out to be.

No doubt about it, though, UltraBooks DO suck.

EDIT: I'm going to revise my statement on UltraBooks. Not all of them suck. In particular, the Lenovo Yoga is fantastic.

bane 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What's actually happening is that the PC market is basically saturated with machines that pretty much do whatever anybody asks of them.

The market has pretty much plateaued. Pretty much everybody has a PC at home and work. Most households already have multiple computers. Heck, I know entirely non-technical powerwasher/gutter cleaner guys who have 2 or 3 computers. In fact, I don't know a single person older than 10 years old who doesn't have at least one Personal Computer of some kind.

Any commodity off-the-shelf PC will pretty much do whatever you ask of it (at least for most consumers). I used to replace my computer every year or two just so I could run modern software. I haven't felt compelled to do so for the last 6 years and even then I'm 50/50 on doing it. The rMBP my work issued to me is fantastic for virtualization, but unbelievable overkill for everything else I do (mostly email, word and web).

There's just not much of a reason to buy more machines outside of regular replacement rates due to failure and total obsolescence and new humans buying them as they get old enough.

It's not that PCs aren't coming back, it's that the constant growth in the market has plateaued.

Everybody was hoping China, India and Africa would explode 3/5s of the world's humanity moved into the middle-class and needed computers, but the growth has been far slower than was hoped and these first time computer buyers won't really be constantly upgrading like previous markets did -- the market characteristics are such that it won't be a simple repeat of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.

Smartphones and Tablets are an entirely new segment and still growing (though showing some signs of flattening out as well). That's why they're exciting, because those markets are still building out and upgrading. But there are signs that those segments are flattening as well.

Tablets and phones are awesome, but they're definitely not a replacement for a general purpose PC. Even my mother and father, who're quite the luddites, regularly needs capabilities that don't work well on a tablet -- like doing taxes. Even if those things were magically fixed and working awesomely tomorrow, they'd still want a bigger screen than a tablet afford.

PCs aren't going anywhere, it's just that the market has to shift to sustaining the market not growing it (which is infinitely more expensive, meaning loads more money sloshing around in the secondary markets). This is fundamentally the problem that both Intel and Microsoft are dealing with. Apple escaped it largely because they created new segments to grow into.

Heck, the one new market segment that PC makers did manage to get into, netbooks, they managed to screw up so bad that the entire segment was dead within just a few years. (If you think of where netbooks needed to go as a segment, the Surface Pro would probably be a reasonable outcome, except that market is totally hosed now and Microsoft has to rebuild it).

zedpm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
>...change tact

Ugh. Change tack[1], which is a sailing reference[2]. As for the actual content, I feel this analysis lacks nuance. Mobile is booming, of course, but the PC is not dead, nor will it be dead five years from now. There are a hundred use cases for which a desktop or laptop is the only practical solution. Fantasize all you want about businesses abandoning real machines for iPads; reality begs to differ.

[1] http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/change+tack[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tack_(sailing)

kayoone 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
What do users want and ask for vocally? Screens that arent garbage quality, resolutions that are not worse than mainstream laptops from 2007, SSD instead of error prone and driver dependent hybrid garbage, an OS that isnt grating to the user, decent Wi-Fi, good build quality, and a decent price.

Do they really ? Imo most consumer couldnt care less about any of that, its a tech savy minority that wants higher quality screens and SSDs. Thats exactly the reason why we are seeing zero innovation in the PC monitor space, because the market doesnt really care. It cares for price most importantly which leads to popularity of low res screens and slow HDDs in the first place.

pmelendez 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Oh well... This rant has little sense and a lot of angriness. The phrase "The PC is over and PC sucks" appears several times with little explanation other than citing the grow of other markets. The true is there is no replacement for the PC and it doesn't seem to have a serious replacement any time soon.

People can't make movies, edit images properly, use a compiler, debug, use a nontrivial spreadsheet,etc in phones or tablets. Until that doesn't change the desktop PC won't die. They might not been as popular as before nor have the same upgrade cycle as before, they might had lost relevance as a growing market, but they are far from dead.

taspeotis 6 hours ago 3 replies      
> During this time Windows 8 came out and PC sales dropped 15% in the first full quarter after launch.

I don't think it's all Windows 8's fault. The average desktop PC is just too powerful.

I've been using Visual Studio 2010/2012/2013 with an i3 and an SSD for years now and I rarely run against any sort of performance bottleneck.

To compare what sort of performance requirements I have: in the project that I work on I have a solution with 28 projects that takes about 50 seconds to build from a clean build. Visual Studio takes care of incrementally building the projects during normal development, so usually I'm looking at ~5 seconds to build then launch the debugger.

I have absolutely no need to upgrade. No need = no sale.

I'm using Windows 8 as my operating system. It takes one step forward and one step backwards. I'm looking forward to Windows 8.1 but there's nothing so seriously wrong with Windows 8 that I need 8.1.

When I'm sitting in front of my PC and using Visual Studio, I'm not thinking "I wish this was actually a docked tablet". I have an iPad for mobility.

PC sales are probably undergoing a bit of a course correction as people who are satisfied with tablets buy tablets instead of PCs. But I suspect PCs will be around for a long time to come and, until that day, there's nothing for them to "[come] back" from.

alexchamberlain 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Argh, PCs never died. I am reading this on a PC in an office full of PCs. I can't develop code for other people's PCs on a tablet - I couldn't develop code for a tablet on a tablet, it would be horrible. I need a PC.
kayoone 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I dont really buy his arguments. I think the Surface2 is a good example of where the PC and Windows 8 is headed. For most people such a tablet with the option to use it as a desktop pc trough a docking station is all the computing they need. The Surface2 seems to do this job very well and with Haswell finally has decent performance and battery life.

In 5-10 years, i am pretty sure that the real desktop PCs will be for professionals only, while most consumers are using some mobile tablet/laptop hybrids.

gph 5 hours ago 2 replies      
>The basic PC experience sucks

As opposed to what... tablets? Or are you suggesting we leap forward to Computer Terminals right out of the Hitchhiker's Guide.

I couldn't read much further than that. Really bad article.

exodust 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The fact that tablet devices and phones have entered the market, reducing the need to do everything on a PC, doesn't spell the end of PCs. It just means they aren't the only go-to computer anymore, which is a good thing for everyone.

A rock solid PC in the home connected to a nice big monitor and other useful peripheral devices, is a good thing to have. Be it a compact PC, laptop or desktop, Windows or something else.

"Post PC" is a stupid agenda-driven term. We live in a "post horse and cart" world, but the PC has no inherent limitations preventing it from evolving. If you bother to look, there's currently more enclosures, cases, and interesting "desktop" configuration variety for PCs than ever before, cheaper than ever before.

In short, the article sucks.

pasbesoin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well, I am currently shopping for some used ThinkPad T60's and T61's because I cannot stand the shite keyboards (and also, not infrequently, displays) that have taken over current designs.

This doesn't really speak to market trends, I guess, but making your products physically unpleasant to use probably isn't helping your cause.

I should delete this comment as a pointless rant... but, I'm shopping for 7 year old laptops, dammit. I want to type quickly and pain-free, and also have some vertical context without eyestrain.

AsymetricCom 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Coming back? Where did they go? When did they arrive? I don't think there was ever a time where the PC enjoyed significant market saturation. If anything, the PC "bubble" is deflating back down to normal levels.

It may be popular and "obvious" to accept that Intel and Microsoft own the PC market and decide where it goes, but the reality is that the market makes the demands and Intel either meets them or they don't. I think this is clear when AMD pushed 64 bit first and Intel adopted it. This is also illustrated with the fact that PC sales have declined along with the stagnation of Moore's Law. That last point seems counter-intuitive but it shows that Intel can't force a market if it doesn't deliver.

Now both CPUs and GPUs are "as fast as they're going to be" for some time now. For some reason, next gen GPUs are joining the theoretical ranks of "Moore's Law is more threat to economics and security than fruit of civilization," giving us 10% yoy speed improvements but doubling up on security and management overhead, added coupling, APIs for compilers only, dedicating more silicon to hypervisors and management that should go to the programmer and his compiler.

IT has become a completely dysfunctional market at the macroscale. The demand doesn't know what they want or how to shop for it, and the supply is to scared to deliver anything new.

At the micro-level, those who know what they want are still taking it one step at a time with their own feet, to their own drummer, but the mess that is the macro-market is just destroying knowledge and value like a wildfire. However, those few programmers who know what the Internet should look like, instead of one that's built to be profitable for thing manufactures, aren't able to keep up with the complete mess big software is doing to the collective wisdom of the netizens and the internet infrastructure, both physical and social.

rayiner 5 hours ago 0 replies      
PCs are dead, but Intel will be fine. Bay Trail will be the beginning of the end for ARM as Intel brings its massive lead in fab technology to bear on the mobile market.

You heard it here first.

TheLegace 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think people are really underestimating where things like perception computing are going. Something Intel is also invested in.

But maybe people start looking at which jobs require using a computer to get essential work done vs. not needing one and therefore not using it. If people really think that entire generations of people are not going to need computers to do work are seriously mistaken, especially in BRIC/developing countries. I don't think the question really is are PC dying, the question should what the hell can I do with the ~$1000 machine other than look at cat pictures. We can thank Microsoft mostly for that. Seriously I think people really underestimate how turned off the entire industry is from Windows 8, especially when they need to upgrade the only reasonable choice is Apple.

Remember Apple is the only company that is actually increasing sales to laptops(MBA models). Clearly there is a market it's just not being served by current parties.

nly 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This 'the PC is dead' nonsense will come full circle eventually. Phones and tablets are PCs, we just haven't yet got to point where we can satisfactorily dock them with a full desktop accessory set.

I personally see a scenario where everyone has a nice big LCD screen, full sized QWERTY, and probably still a mouse, in their study at home but carry their 'beige box' in their pocket. Just 5-10 years out imho. Unfortunately I think Windows is still positioned best to make this happen.

Bahamut 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm on the complete opposite boat - I think the laptop experience generally sucks still. Battery life only recently got improved to a great point in the past few years, but performance is still generally lacking.

Meanwhile a great desktop lasts longer than ever, is cheaper than ever, and does everything extremely fast. I have a 5 year old desktop that outperforms a lot of laptops out there, including my new Macbook Air & my work laptop (not even a month old), and that desktop pales compared to my half year old desktop (which costs maybe $200 more than the 13" cheapest Macbook Air).

I think part of the shift in the market is due to the great state desktops have become as long lasting devices (& thus declining sales), and some of the improvements on more mobile devices - I'm highly skeptical of any call that the desktop is going away anytime soon though, because the mobile experience is still seriously lacking in the sweet spot of performance, battery life, weight, and price.

uslic001 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Total Apple fanboy rant. The latest Ultrabooks are superior to the Macbook Air IMO. They are faster with better battery life and cost less. I prefer Windows 8 and 8.1 over Mac OS X ML and over IOS 7. I will never buy another iPad or iPhone ( I have an I iPad 3 and iPhone 5 atm) as I prefer the flexibility of my Ultrabook and Android phones have leapfrogged iPhones in almost all aspects.
PhasmaFelis 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"Then comes the hardware, you know the part Intel does. It sucks too. Why? Because for the last 5 or so generations it doesnt actually do anything noticeably better for the user. Sure the CPU performance goes up 10% or so every generation, battery life gets better at a slightly faster pace, and graphics improving extra-linearly but that is irrelevant if you arent benchmarking."

In a sane world, this would be a feature, not a bug. PCs are now mature enough that you can buy a decent machine and expect that it will not be hopelessly outdated in two years. This is a good thing.

The problem is that hardware and software manufacturers have a mutually beneficial relationship whereby new software just won't function without that extra 10% hardware capacity you get from a new computer. Even if it's a word processor or a not-terribly-impressive game. (Remember "DirectX 10 requires the power of Vista", which requires a much faster computer that XP?)

And the other problem is that doofuses like the article writer have been so thoroughly gulled by the planned-obsolence treadmill that they actually think that's how it's supposed to be, and throw tantrums if this year's hardware isn't at least 10 times shinier and more sparkly than last year's.

mentat 5 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who didn't make it to IDF, it felt dead. There was very little attendance in most sessions and the expo floor was also pretty much empty. They actually moved food into demo areas so it looked like there was buzz. I'm pretty sure the "outside of Intel" attendee count was remarkably low.
Mikeb85 4 hours ago 0 replies      
PCs are not coming back in the sense that they won't see growth like they used to, but at the same time they're not going away. To be fair, most people don't actually need a PC. My wife uses a Nexus 7 as her main computing device, and loves it (she prefers it to a PC).

As an aside, Chrome OS devices are gaining alot of traction... Probably because they're more than adequate for most people's needs as is, and developers can always switch on development mode for a full set of Linux-y features...

ehutch79 6 hours ago 1 reply      
oh man, I know all the people at work using solidworks are going to be pissed that they have to start using it on an ipad now...

seriously though, can someone break down the article, i'm having a tough time figuring out what it's trying to say.

silveira 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I just bought a overpriced ultrabook with Windows 8 (Microsoft tax). The Windows 8 experience is indeed terrible for touch screen. Seems like someone made an amateur touch screen mod for Windows 7. The product isn't ready. I can fell the Steve Ballmer signature in this product.

I just wanted a PC because I tough it would be easier to install a traditional Linux on it, but UEFI. Oh the humanity, UEFI is the most disgraceful scam the industry ever did. How they could be so wicked?

I don't want to live in a world that the only good option is a monopoly of Apple machines and software but the PC industry is not even trying.

ivanbrussik 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't feel like the title matches the content of this piece. I thought it was going to primarily be about how users are shifting away from PCs (which it did touch on).

But really it was just an angry rant about chips not getting better, even though Intel makes the best chip on the market.

U mad bro?

mmohsenazimi 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Steve Jobs said PCs are trucks of our time. Companies make trucks, some people use trucks but not everyone needs a truck.

I hope this trend do not lead to slowness in PC innovation.

shearnie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think PCs are dying. I think computing consumption is increasing so desktop productivity looks like it is declining.

I think when a dock for tablets or phone finally happens for consumers, they'll just get it. Desktop mode is not intended for using your fat fingers on a touch screen. "Metro" mode is for that. Windows 8 is all about for when you get off the bus in consumption tablet mode and dock into your desk and your dual monitor with keyboard and mouse lights up and you go into productivity mode.

frozenport 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Its not sucking if its only meeting 95 out of 100 of your requirements. My desktop can do everything my iPod can do, with difference. There is a very select group of tasks, ie eBook or drawing surface, that the table excels at but these are not shared by desktops. They are two different products with one offering a miniaturized and inferior version of the former.

2. Users see laptops that run faster on desktop relevant applications: games, spreadsheets and programs like Adobe CS and MATLAB. The rest don't count as they arent' motivation to buy a desktop.

pvdm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Last time I looked MacBooks are x86.
general_failure 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see how Intel can fix the windows/software problem.

Just try out http://html5dev-software.intel.com and judge yourself what Intel can do in software.

bigphishy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
wewll... at least the website domain name is pretty accurate.
AMD Introduces "Mantle" API Initiative hardwarezone.com.sg
72 points by jobstijl  8 hours ago   37 comments top 11
Jare 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A few relevant notes from AMD's Twitter at @AMDRadeon:

- Collaboration between AMD and DICE/EA

- The Frostbite engine, used in Battlefield 4, "will use "Mantle" low-level API instead of DX11 on compatible Radeon GPUs."

- "Mantle enables 9x more draw calls per second than any other APIs by reducing CPU overhead - works with all GCN GPUs!"

asdfs 7 hours ago 2 replies      
According to http://www.techspot.com/news/54134-amd-launches-mantle-api-t...: "We've been told at the GPU14 Tech Day event that the Mantle API is open, so theoretically Nvidia could purpose the technology in their GPUs."

How feasible that is in reality is of course up for question. And I doubt that nVidia would be willing to implement an AMD-controlled API.

Jaecen 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This sounds like 3Dfx and Glide all over again. I do not miss those days.
azinman2 3 hours ago 1 reply      

- No more drivers second guessing you.

- Speed


- OpenGL/DirectX Drivers actually re-write the code stream and fix existing bugs from developers for specific game/versions. This is useful for the ecosystem because AMD/NVIDIA know more about 3D than most devs and how to be performant.

- It also really means NVIDIA will do the same if this catches on and now there will need to be at least two different supported implementations for anyone going down this route (prob amd + nvidia + {opengl, dx}). Changing out the 3d driver to be pluggable in a backend-agnostic way will be extremely hard/annoying to code around.

zokier 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how they are planning to do forward/backward compatibility? If Mantle catches on, will it constraint HW development due its low-level nature?
ahomescu1 6 hours ago 3 replies      
My first thought when I saw the slides, especially the "cross-platform part", was "yay, no more DirectX!!!". This might mean that we're finally going to have AAA games on Linux too (DirectX was a big obstacle to that).
BuckRogers 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the huge benefit with the console wins to AMD that Carmack spoke about at Quakecon this year. Sounds like thanks to the new consoles, this will put AMD in the driver's seat. Everyone else will be stuck on DX or OGL. If NV/Intel implements Mantle it may well require a hardware change, since AMD defines this API going forward.
devx 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Two years old article basically talking about this:


mihai_ionic 7 hours ago 0 replies      
VOD of the announcement is available here: http://www.livestream.com/amdlivestream/video?clipId=pla_334....

Mantle information starts at 02:26:40.

oofabz 8 hours ago 8 replies      
This is not for performance. OpenGL has very low overhead, and already allows you to "directly tap into the hardware" and "fully exploit the capabilities of modern GPUs".

AMD wants people to write code that will not run on Nvidia and Intel hardware. Nvidia has been doing the same thing for years with CUDA.

One-electron universe wikipedia.org
154 points by agentzebra  12 hours ago   81 comments top 16
Steuard 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Physics professor here. As others have said, this is a really cute idea in physics that touches on some neat properties of the universe (like fundamentally identical particles, conservation of lepton number, and the effects of time reversal on particle properties), but:

1. It's more akin to philosophy than to science: this suggestion either has no testable consequences (or if it does, its predictions look obviously false: see below).

2. In all of our observations of the universe there seem to be many more electrons than anti-electrons, but this concept would seem to imply that the number should be exactly equal. You can try to get around that, but anything you do is a stretch.[1]

3. The formalism of quantum field theory naturally includes plenty of situations where electrons and anti-electrons form "closed loops" in time. (The classic example is a something like a photon giving rise to a virtual e-/e+ pair that immediately annihilates back into a photon, but they can get a lot more complicated.) Those closed loops would not be connected to the hypothesized "one electron" bouncing back and forth through all of time, so this idea would fail to explain why they also look identical to the rest.

So in my book, the beauty of this idea lies entirely in the fact that it could be suggested at all. It doesn't actually match reality, but it does give some striking intuition about how particle physics works.

[1] You could suggest that there is some other (unobservably distant?) region of the universe where antimatter dominates, but there's absolutely no evidence to support that suggestion. As another idea, the quote in the link suggests that "maybe the extra anti-electrons are hiding in the protons or something". But anything of the sort would seem to eliminate the whole point of saying "it's all one electron" (which always has the same properties, etc.).

51Cards 11 hours ago 3 replies      
If that's the case then I have to talk to my electric company about charging me over and over for the same re-used electron.
unclebucknasty 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, this could explain the EPR Paradox[1]:

It is one thing to say that physical measurement of the first particle's momentum affects uncertainty in its own position, but to say that measuring the first particle's momentum affects the uncertainty in the position of the other is another thing altogether. Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen asked how can the second particle "know" to have precisely defined momentum but uncertain position? Since this implies that one particle is communicating with the other instantaneously across space, i.e. faster than light, this is the "paradox".[2]

The answer: It's the same electron being measured! No more paradox.

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

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox#Einstein.27s_opposi...

ISL 11 hours ago 2 replies      
If you enjoyed that notion, you'll probably like this one too:


colanderman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget, this explains pair production too! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_production) Pair production nuclei are just the places the electron decided to make a U-turn :)
znowi 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
I suspect if this idea was not coming from Wheeler/Feynman, it would be readily dismissed as a crackpot theory :)
ck2 11 hours ago 4 replies      
That makes no sense to me, I mean what about particle colliders that bash together electrons to get subatomic particles.

That would mean you are colliding the sole electron with itself?

What about electrons on the opposite sides of a planet or even universe, they are violating the speed of light without any gain in mass if it's a single entity.

How about when an electron falls into a blackhole, why aren't all the other "copies" affected by the dramatic space-time shift of such an event?

gesman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's the best explanation of it from Bashar:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNxnE8nXFo4

Search google for "bashar prime radiant"

GuiA 11 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems like it would be a major discovery if proven true.

Unlike many similar theories though, the people behind this have enough scientific credentials to make it maybe plausible?

So why is the article so short? Has there been any additional research?

mr12 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This idea is very, very old.I first read about it in the book Stalking the Wild Pendulum.


Raphmedia 11 hours ago 1 reply      
That's SCARY.

Imagine if someone or something were to destroy this electron?

Imagine, if we had split the electron instead and then BAM, no more space and time.

teilo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Maybe they are hidden in the protons or something." Priceless.
ultramundane828 12 hours ago 1 reply      
That reads more like a bad, wordy, science joke than an actual hypothesis to me.
drjesusphd 11 hours ago 1 reply      
If this were true, there would be much more antimatter in the universe than is currently observed.

The idea is that since positrons can be viewed as electrons moving backwards in time, it may be the same electron weaving its way to the future and past countless times. But that would imply that the number of electrons in the universe = the number of positrons.

a3voices 11 hours ago 1 reply      
If this electron can travel faster than the speed of light, maybe other things can too.
avty 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The Electric Universe Theory is also extremely intriguing.
Move over Bootstrap and Foundation, welcome Semantic UI coderwall.com
75 points by bitsweet  9 hours ago   38 comments top 17
ealexhudson 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting definition of "semantic". In terms of the code, I'd take <button> over <div> every day of the week. Similarly lists, <nav>, and all that other lovely html5 stuff.

I really don't like stuff like <div class="right floated text"> - specifying the layout with class like that is pretty gruesome.

But then, I suppose "semantic" has a different meaning for this project than the one that I'm used to in the HTML/CSS/etc. world...

dntrkv 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't see any benefit to using this framework to Bootstrap. The author lists the following pros and cons:


- Published under the incredibly permissive MIT License (sure, I don't know enough about the different licenses to comment on this)

- Very well documented (bootstrap is very well documented, and has a huge community behind it)

- Seems to be easier to learn/use (that's subjective, but I think bootstrap is plenty easy to use)

- Has a Grid layout (yes... who doesn't use a grid layout?)

- Uses LESS (so does bootstrap)

- A very nice implementation of buttons, modals, & progress bars (again, subjective, but bootstrap has a great, and simple, button and modal implementation, haven't used the progress bars. also, <button class="btn"> is much better than <div class="button">, especially if you're going for semantics)

- Uses an Icon font for many of it's features (k, sure)

- Has some very useful extras such as the inverted class (so does bootstrap)

- Open to community contribution (so is bootstrap)


- No image slider (bootstrap has this)

- No thumbnail classes (bootstrap also has this)

- No visibility classes (bootstrap has this)

- No SASS (does have LESS) (not really a con but ok)

- Not at a release >1.0

I'm not trying to dis the framework (I haven't use it), but the author is claiming that it is somehow superior to bootstrap and foundation and does not present any evidence supporting this claim.

bluetidepro 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks pretty promising. I'm also very happy that they used LESS instead of SASS for their CSS pre-processing. I'm excited to see where this project goes.
hannibalhorn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the Bootstrap v3 changes, like using class="glyphicon glyphicon-..." vs. just "icon-..." are things that seem inferior from a pure HTML standpoint, but were motivated by performance differences, especially on mobile devices. There's some hard learned lessons in the existing frameworks that shouldn't be thrown away lightly. (In static site it may just be a search & replace to change, but in a single page app such things could be much more complicated to change after the fact...)
ChikkaChiChi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Will this fill the void of CSS frameworks for rapid WebApp development?

Bootstrap is fine, but even in Responsive mode it is not made for developing sound application interfaces on the mobile form factors. The grid adjusts, but the elements do not do a good job of resizing for touch over mouse use.

RatchetUI (http://maker.github.io/ratchet/) seems to be the best hat in the ring currently (one of the lead devs is one of the guys from Bootstrap and another is from Zurb); but the commitment to project leads me to believe even the founders aren't sure what they want out of it.

film42 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The future:

    $ create "Website that has a homepage with a picture of dogs and a picture of me. Oh, and a little blog with a twitter feed. Make it look cute, idk, like pink and blue, but not bold, but that washed out water color that's in right now."    ---> Making...    ---> Looking for pictures of puppies...    ---> Writing several blog posts for you...    ---> Created! http://my-website-blah-blah.tld
I will miss the control.

ryansan 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I find it interesting the author of this is so earnest about getting an image slider. I can't remember where I saw it, but it made it to the front page of HN... it was a single-purpose site demonstrating that sliders/carousels are lazy answers to information hierarchy challenges. I agree, although I've been guilty of using sliders in the past. However, I'm trying to make amends and try to come up with design solutions that don't require a carousel or slider.

I don't have any research to back up that sliders are detrimental if not just ineffective. But I do see how they can be just convenient...and not in a good way. The fast food of design? Tastes good at first but doesn't really sustain?

russelluresti 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not horrible. The architecture is pretty decent, and it seems a lot of thought went into categorizing the different aspects of the library. I, especially, like how each item is broken down into types, groups, states, and variation.

The UI makes some interesting choices, but I'm sure this could be skinned with a bit of elbow grease.

I'd say my only real complaint is the validation on forms - it seems specifically inefficient to declare an object in JS and pass in each form field and set it's rule as "empty". I would consider utilizing a data attribute and doing something like data-validate="empty". You could even accept a list of them with something like "data-validate="empty email" etc. The only downside would be figuring out a way to still accept custom messages - something like data-message="Please enter your first name." would be fine for one validation check, but passing in a multiple messages for multiple validation rules would get ugly fast.

gojomo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
CCs 5 hours ago 0 replies      
potch 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Bootstrap trades initial learning curve for huge expressibility. The column 'hieroglyphics' allow responsive behavior and column size to be declared in a single token. Semantic UI looks great, but the mud flinging tastes sour.
dfischer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm all for semantics.

http://betterfrontend.com/ is what I started a while ago but haven't been able to put time into.

This is not a semantic framework. Just because the class names are more defined, they're still the same classes for the same purpose.

A CSS framework that uses classes for decoration will never be a semantic framework.

In order to achieve true semantics you have to have a complete separation of presentation from markup.

Nonetheless, I like this framework, specifically the UI modules that are in place. We need a standardized set of modules like rating, and so on. Good job.

ris 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I love how they call it "Semantic"UI and then go and use an icon font.
beat 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting, but I wonder how well it will do? Bootstrap is already very widespread and benefits from network effects. Foundation is a nice alternative to Bootstrap that appeals to people looking for such (I'm a Foundation user myself). But a third framework? Can it get traction?
jedireza 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There is absolutely no hyperbole found in the title of this article, promise.
qntmfred 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Stopped reading at 'boasts support for modals'
caiob 4 hours ago 1 reply      
why LESS over SASS... again?!
FBI vexsome filer list muckrock.com
103 points by aw3c2  11 hours ago   48 comments top 8
BWStearns 8 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr -- While many frequent filers are legit book-writers/journalists/legit-folks-who-I-honestly-wish-well, sometimes they're essentially spammers, so I can see why some offices might keep a list of those who are to be bottom of piled because of their patterns (although nowhere I ever worked did, god I wish we did).

As someone who once in the past had to handle (an ungodly amount of) FOIA requests, should there be a list? I don't know, primarily because I don't know what the utility is. That said, some opinions derived from experiences:

1) Some people are serial filers. They haven't bothered to do the research up front to ask relevant questions and after a bit when you see their names you know that when you read the next paragraph it's going to be asking about a) things you know you cannot disclose (not for some BS reason but because of things that actually should remain secret), b) aliens (no we don't have them), c) blatant evidence of government conspiracy, generally of the NWO sort (duh and or hello? Project BlueBeam doesn't keep paper records!).

2) There were also frequent filers where the requestor isn't a crackpot, a FOIA spammer, or asking for something they know in advance could not be provided. These were generally authors. We always got these people what we could and even though my shop didn't keep a list me and the other poor souls stuck on FOIA duty knew them by name. This meant that we basically knew what they wanted when they filed which helped us get them their stuff faster with less overhead. (N.B. this did not stop us from cursing them for their curiosity and the resultant carpal tunnel).

morisy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
In case anyone is interested, a user has an open request out for an updated copy of this list:


Or register yourself and see what you can dig up ;)


bengrunfeld 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The FBI's preference for total secrecy, in complete contrast to the law, is a very scary fact indeed. There are many things that I love about living in America - you get to be at the pinnacle of tech development, you can make a good wage, but all that is starting to pale in comparison to the Government's agenda for KGB-like activities. The USA used to be the champion of civil rights. Now it uses that image to perpetrate abuses of public freedoms that would impress the NKVD.
ianstallings 10 hours ago 3 replies      
They have one name on the list that is noted as (Gawker Media). This should be interesting to watch. Grabs some popcorn

Part of me thinks this is more about getting their fees than spying on anyone. Uncle Sam never misses a dime.

jack-r-abbit 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Kind of funny how a lot of people are all bent out of shape about surveillance, privacy and what not. But then this guy published a list that the FBI has of people who have requested a lot of docs... and he included their full names. I don't think it is unreasonable at all that the FBI keeps a list of people who are making a lot of FOIA requests. That is their data to track if they want to. But I do think it is irresponsible for the guy to publish all those names.
Tzunamitom 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess that answers the age old question, "who will watch the watchers watching the watchers?".The FBI.
astrodust 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Do they keep a list of people who FOIA the FOIA list?

I bet that makes you doubly suspicious.

DannyBee 8 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the people on the list multiple times, Mark Zaid, is probably one of the few people you'd want defending you if one of these agencies came after you.
Stanford engineers build computer using carbon nanotube technology phys.org
52 points by jonbaer  8 hours ago   14 comments top 4
ColinWright 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Each report has its own take on the topic - here are a few other HN submissions:


  First computer made of nanotubes unveiled  (bbc.co.uk)

  Processor made from carbon nanotubes runs multitasking OS  (arstechnica.com)

  First computer made from carbon nanotubes debuts  (ieee.org)

  Researchers Build a Working Carbon Nanotube Computer  (nytimes.com)

  World's first carbon nanochip computer, comparable to 4004  (technologyreview.com)

  Breakthrough in Carbon Nantotube Computing Could 'Save' Moore's Law  (pcmag.com)

  First Computer Made From Carbon Nanotubes Debuts  (ieee.org)
A few currently have any comments, a few have an upvote or two.

moocowduckquack 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The method for getting rid of the metal ones is stunningly simple. Presumably you could use the same trick to blow stuff like encryption keys or specific finite state machines into the actual chip.
joe_the_user 6 hours ago 3 replies      

Over the last forty years, a Moore's Law of processor speed, transistors per chip, information storage and I assume other things has operated [1].

Moore's Law of processor speed has definitely broken down in the last ten years and I assume that this research is attempting to address this fundamental limitation. I believe Moore's Law of transistors per chip is still here but that without increasing speed, this tendency is nowhere as useful (we don't want a whole lot of slow cores, we want a few fast cores).

Moore's Law of data storage is still here but it's also not as useful without a similar exponential increase in system data throughput [2].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throughput

Nanomedicine 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The just add certain amount of CNT transistors together. There is nothing worth for nature...I think a paper of Graphene transistors "computer" will publish on nature recently....
Pakistan quake island off Gwadar 'emits flammable gas' bbc.co.uk
79 points by anigbrowl  10 hours ago   37 comments top 14
Stratoscope 10 hours ago 5 replies      
> "There were dead fish on the surface. And on one side we could hear the hissing sound of the escaping gas," Mr Baloch said.

> Though they couldn't smell methane, they did put a match to the fissures from where the gas was oozing, and set it on fire.

> "We put the fire out in the end, but it was quite a hassle. Not even the water could kill it, unless one poured buckets over it."

Yes, this is what I always do when I encounter dead fish and an unknown source of hissing gas: light it with a match.

"Move fast and break things!"

greenyoda 10 hours ago 2 replies      
"Though they couldn't smell methane, they did put a match to the fissures from where the gas was oozing, and set it on fire."

You can't smell methane - it's an odorless gas. The methane you use for cooking ("natural gas") has an odor added to it artificially for safety.

khalidmbajwa 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I am from Pakistan, and this damn island is all everyone is talking about. My facebook feed is flooded with people planning to go visit the island :P. Personally, i dont see what all the fuss is about. Might just be the rise of planet of the apes people :P
andrewtbham 9 hours ago 2 replies      
"Buy land, they're not making it anymore." - Mark Twain

Another real estate clich proven wrong ;-)

anigbrowl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Daily Mail, as usual, has the best photo coverage: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2431913/Massi...

Also, I really wish HN mods would not reflexively rewrite headlines. The news here was the remarkably sudden appearance of a decent-sized island, the fact that it emits flammable gas is distinctly beside the point.

United857 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Wonder if they could create Pakistan's version of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_to_Hell
brandoncor 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I really wonder what it looked like as it happened - if it was instantaneous or if it was gradual, was there a cloud of steam, etc.
NovemberWest 9 hours ago 1 reply      
From a different article about the island: When a devastating earthquake struck the remote Awaran district in Pakistan's Baluchistan province on Tuesday, it killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless, as the government struggles to rescue those who need help.

IIRC, Pakistan is demographically a very young country, with overall low education levels and a lot of challenges. I will voice my hope that this oddity somehow brings them more help with the aftermath of the quake than they might otherwise be likely to get.

lifeisstillgood 9 hours ago 1 reply      
could any seismologists / other geographers go into some more detail: pockets of inflammable gas are stored under 200m of seafloor, seismic activity heats them up and they rise the whole seabed to the ocean surface. and then drift down again?

I can't say its making a lot of sense. what is the inflammable gas? not methane presumably. I guess it's some form of honeycombed rock with lots of little pockets, presumably lava that has rolled over seabed, so not really "attached". I mean how does it all work?

(and that's the driver for all science in a nutshell)

presidentender 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Who owns it?
vacri 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The island is made of politicians?
pmorici 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This happens in the US too near fracking sites. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/
silly19328 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Coincidentally, I know some people who emit flammable gas after eating too much Pakistani food.
What's the Most Concave State in the U.S.? Using R to Solve a Geography Puzzle rapgenius.com
159 points by lil_tee  16 hours ago   52 comments top 10
joshuahedlund 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Fun stuff, especially if you're a U.S. geography nerd (states with the largest coastlines, states that border the most states, all that good but mostly arbitrary stuff)

Pedantic, I'm sure, but from the title before I clicked on it I was trying to think of the state whose shape might independently be considered the most concave (though that may be much harder to define). This version of concavity depends largely on the shapes of the states around it (e.g. if Nevada split into 6 horizontal states, suddenly California would be the winner).

NoodleIncident 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Aaaaannnd now I'm playing FTL again. Lining up those 5-room beam strikes is just too much fun!

On topic, though, this is pretty cool. Rivers and coastlines seem to be the best way to get appropriately jagged borders. It's interesting to look at states across the map from east to west and see the shapes get simpler and more geometric over time.

sengstrom 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It is an odd definition of concave. It would make more sense to me to require that the line joining two points on the state's border does not cross in and out of the original state when determining the number of other states it crosses... This doesn't really capture concave as a geometric concept either but more aligned with the idea that it is a local property.
epi8 15 hours ago 6 replies      
Any idea whether this depends on the projection used to get the map in the first place? I mean, the "straight lines" are really curves that lie in the boundary of the Earth's surface, unless I'm missing something major.
joshdance 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty cool. But why is this posted on RapGenius?
tpurves 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have thought concave meant in the Z dimension. Find the state with the highest elevations on any two sides with the lowest relative elevations in between.
grendal 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Cancavity has a simple definition, its measure is: area of the region divided by the area of its convex hull. Most concave is value nearest to zero. You can't just make up definitions.
benyami 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminded me that I want to finish reading the book 'How the States Got Their Shapes.' http://amzn.to/16zBxBo There are some crazy reasons some states have their strange borders.
cpcallen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It appears that the author makes a mistake in his attempts to simplify the problem, because although he is correct that he only needs to look at points on the edges, he goes on to suggest that he is looking only at corners of the polygon, and not at any of the (infinite number of) points between the corners.
warinsidehere 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this a clever way of recruiting data engineers?
Show HN: Drawingboard.js leimi.github.io
208 points by Leimi  18 hours ago   58 comments top 32
emhart 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Just noticed this comment in the code:

*droppable: true or false (false by default). If true, dropping an image on the canvas will include it and allow you to draw on it

That's awesome! I was thinking that this would make a great coloring book, and being able to just drop lineart into the back of a canvas and have your kid go to town is awesome. Really nice work, Leimi!

fchollet 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I made something similar for a webapp of mine (demo at http://www.wysp.ws/practice/course/1057894/ -- it's meant for painting so the functionality is a bit different, you control opacity)

A difficulty I had was to make the lines smooth whereas the cursor positions are not sampled very fast by the browser. I'm curious as to what your approach was, since everything seems perfectly smooth. I'll be reading your code...

ollerac 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the slickest implementation of a sketching app I've seen. The API is nice and the controls are self-explanatory. I've been working on a drawing app for the past few months (journeyship.com) and I'm considering replacing the main canvas with a sketching pad like this one.

For those of you who are curious about other projects out there that offer similar functionality, take a look at these:





ernestipark 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice! Leimi - you should check out my project xBoard: https://github.com/eipark/xboard. It is somewhat similar, but focuses more on making the drawing canvas 'video'-like with a scrubber and recording functions. You should fork or pull pieces from it if you'd like that sort of functionality.
ezl 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any sort of smoothing going on? the rendered curve looks really slick and super nice.

I had some trouble with making signatures look nice on a library I used (mouse drawn signatures looked really choppy and jagged) so I had to do a little work to make it smooth itself out.


lukeholder 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks great. Would be interesting to add to blogging software to allow a quick sketch to be added to a post.

How would you go about persisting the canvas? json encoded output?

keyle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
.be is Belgian, not French ;)
jonas_b 18 hours ago 6 replies      
I don't have my phone with me right now. Can anybody confirm if this works on iOS? I'm asking because I'm looking for an HTML5 drawing script which works on mobile browsers.
Daiz 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Seems to perform quite well, though the fill tool is a bit useless thanks to the antialiasing on the lines that can't be turned off. Considering the simple approach of this, I'd either remove the AA (or make it togglable) or get rid of the fill tool.


    h1 { font-family: Comic Sans MS; }

GrinningFool 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The drawing board logo is a pretty fun easter egg-type-thing.
nekopa 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I did comment to say that it works well on iPad, but I would like to add that there are some interesting 'features' when using 2 fingers: they don't work at the same time,but on one board, it's almost like an etchasketch where one finger takes over from where the other left off, on another board it draws between the the fingers, and yet another board the draw point switches between where each finger is. Looks like fun to explore later...
Fauntleroy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This doesn't keep track of my cursor when I'm outside the boundary of the canvas. Are you listening to mousemove on the canvas element? If so, you might want to move that to the window or document, so you can keep track of the user's mouse even when its not moving in the canvas.
digitalsushi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a nice app. Is there a way to allow multiple people to work together on the same whiteboard?
larrydag 17 hours ago 1 reply      
First thing I thought of with this was creating a mobile app that would be a cloud based instant note taking tool. Preferably used with a stylus.
davexunit 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If I just click with the brush tool, only a semi-circle appears on the canvas. I would expect it to place a full circle.
KenoFischer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a Wacom tablet that I routinely use for sketches. The only problem I always have is that most applications have trouble recognizing the eraser tip. I think Wacom has some sort of web plugin that comes with the driver when you install the table. Any chance of adding that style of tablet input?
debacle 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the simplicity and configurability. Excellent job.
cbhl 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I just wanted to say that I was pleasantly surprised that this works so well with Chrome on my Android phone.
hansc 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Remark: The download results in an extension-less format. Which format is it?
domid 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice Leimi! Great API. If anyone is looking for a similar but hosted solution, give vinci.io a try. You can turn off any tools you don't need and leave the drawing tools enabled.
splatcollision 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Really really nice, thanks for releasing. Anybody tried it with Zepto yet instead of jQuery?
saltyknuckles 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Are we really bringing back OekakiBBS? I'm totally ok with this.
vvvVVVvvv 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Had quite a laugh at enlargeYourContainer.

Any plan to release a way to export the drawing in a json object (or any other data structure) ?

Props to you anyway.

jhonnycano 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome a tool like this, but with collaboration enabled (multiples drawers in different machines) !!
talles 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Simple and working just as fine. Well done.
therealunreal 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This would be great in etherpad lite!
websitescenes 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Sweet! I am building an app that can use this to take a customer signature. The app will be using a tablet and stylus to make sales on the floor. Been debating a feature like this.
scriptstar 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Works perfectly in HTC Desire S. Thanks.
goshx 6 hours ago 0 replies      
the real world example using it is priceless.
Beltiras 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This + WebRTC == win.
jpmatz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
And even working smoothly on touch devices, well done!
evenstood 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, nice sharing, I hope I try your JS script right know !
The shittiest project I ever worked on plover.com
463 points by m0nastic  1 day ago   176 comments top 36
redact207 1 day ago 7 replies      
Although it's a fun read, it's a classic example of diving into coding without giving a project it's due diligence. There's nothing that's derailed my projects more consistently when I started out as not understanding the user's needs. They'll never tell you what they want, only what they don't want after you deliver something.

I think that's the key difference to an experienced dev/BA. One who can actually sit with the stakeholders and build the system on paper and go through each of the problems as the diagrams connect. What you end up with is the stated requirements (tip) and the unstated assumptions (iceberg).

These types of projects are easily spotted as they're often called "quick" or "easy", which in layman's means no one's really thought about it yet.

kamaal 1 day ago 1 reply      
For those who don't know about the author of this post. His name is Mark Jason Dominus, the author of one the most awesome programming book that one can ever read.

Higher Order Perl, is available for free download. If you read it you will see some amazing insights into programming techniques most people would have never heard of encountered in MegaCorp jobs. You will also grow a great appreciation for Perl in general and understand how it can be an amazing language of choice for a wide variety of problems.

fusiongyro 1 day ago 5 replies      
> In 1995 I quit my regular job as senior web engineer

You had the job title "senior web engineer" when the web was 4 years old. That's pretty cool.

LargeWu 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds about right.

I worked at Prudential about 10 years ago, as a FTE. Our small division mainly ran on a bunch of custom Access reporting applications. It wasn't quite cutting it, because Access, so it was decided that we would build a portal on the company's intranet. The only problem was that we, as accidental web developers, were not allowed to run development web servers on our dev machines, because they were locked down by corporate. We had to use an extra PC that, by some miracle, had IIS, and develop against that remotely. Good times.

angrow 1 day ago 0 replies      
>Prudential didn't need an affiliate locator application. They needed a static HTML page that told people to call the number.

They needed a competitor.

paulhauggis 1 day ago 3 replies      
The shittiest project I ever worked on was a php project that was converted from another language (I don't remember which one). This doesn't sound bad, except they used software to automatically convert it. The PHP code had no comments, minimal white space, and the variables were all hex. My job was to fix bugs.

I worked there for about a week before I quit in frustration.

narag 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised nobody, not even the author, has said that the program was useful anyway. But instead of publishing it in the web, it should have been used by the toll-free number operators.
nekopa 1 day ago 4 replies      
I never cease to be amazed that the more things change, the more they stay the same. If you removed the dates from this story, you'd be hard pressed to fix when this happened.

(Except the static HTML idea is a bit of a give away, no web developer would ever dare suggest a static page in our brave new world of Web X.0)

the_cat_kittles 1 day ago 1 reply      
The title reminds me of the shittiest software job/project I ever worked on- short and sweet: Got hired off craigslist. It was all php. Their main competitor was "the spreadsheet". Worked directly next to a cold caller that repeated the same phrase over and over again, fake laugh and all. They were all from the same church group and tried to convert me multiple times. Paid minimum wage.

In addition to being funny in retrospect, it was a good lesson to me to learn that no matter how shitty your current situation, you can always improve it.

Sami_Lehtinen 15 hours ago 0 replies      
That's not bad at all, it's sounds more like business as usual. I think it's my regular workday. Btw. Did the customer require extensive documentation, escrow, you to fix their data when they can't get it done (like invalid post area codes linked to wrong addresses, fixing post number / city information based on post area code) etc or looking it up based on street adress or so. Been there, done that. Did you spend several weeks in meetings where they can't decide how their stuff works, and you'll just keep wondering if they'll ever decide what they actually want etc. Of course they're going to completely change that week later etc. They don't have a clue how things should technically work, or even what the actuall business process is. Because they have bought an integration, everything must just automatically work, right? We need to know what females in age range 20-25 have bought during last month. Err, but we don't record customer age or sex? Well, but our management team needs that information. It's sure alarm sign, that they want to know how much "this" project will cost, but nobody really knows what "this" is. Also it's needs to be completed by end of the month. I have declined so many projects, and clearly told customers why I'm not going to do anything for them at all. Unless they accept it as "agile" project, with unlimited budget. Then I'll promise them that I'll personally see that it gets done, but it's going to be expensive. - 15 years of ERP/POS/BI/CRM integration programming & consulting.
kabisote 1 day ago 2 replies      
> These days I would handle this easily; after the first or second iteration I would explain the situation: I had based my estimate on certain expectations of how much work would be required; I had not expected to clean up dirty data in eight different formats; they had the choice of delivering clean data in the same format as before, renegotiating the fee, or finding someone else to do the project.

Great advice for dealing with issues we did not consider in our estimate.

Had he charged hourly instead of a fixed price, would this project have been less shitty?

Edit: Fixed grammar. Thanks b0z0. :)

tobiasbischoff 1 day ago 1 reply      
One of the best examples of consultant failure i've ever seen. Clearly an example for

- not enough questions asked- not listened to the customer

Do not ever start building something or proposing a solution if you don't understand the customers problem deeply enough.

dsugarman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sure this is the very tough first lesson any new consultant with limited experience would learn. The summary is that the specs are incredibly important, they should be expensive to produce and they should protect you and your client.
ibudiallo 1 day ago 0 replies      
This gave me a good laugh, i didn't know what to expect. Just today i had to deal with something at a similar level.
wil421 18 hours ago 1 reply      
"In 1995 I quit my regular job as senior web engineer for Time-Warner and became a consultant developing interactive content for the World-Wide Web, which was still a pretty new thing at the time."

I am confused the person stated that they were a senior web engineer but quit to work on a new thing the WWW. How can you be a senior web engineer for something brand new?

Just nitpicking...

scriptstar 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The shittiest project that I worked is just finished where we are not allowed to write any test cases cause we don't have time. I just can't believe that I finished fairly big project without writing a single test case. I hate my company, my role and managers, sales people who negotiate tight deadlines. Over all don't work for any consulting companies out there. They care less of the code quality. They just want money and no ethics.

My next job will be a product based company.

n00b101 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is how life insurance companies operate on a daily basis. OP had a pretty shitty deal but he should count his lucky stars that he didn't have to interact with actuaries, who would have multiplied the same problems ten-fold.
seivan 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Most shitty software is not because of the engineers, but management. Not putting value on good coded and tests.
taude 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The shittiest project? Hmm...if he got paid, not sure I'd classify it as such. A waste of time because of business getting in the way of potential efficiency that they perceived they wanted? Yes.

Also, let's not forget that this was 1995 and most big businesses weren't really fully aware of the potential of the internet and the disruption on standard business models that was going to ensue...

jetti 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fascinating! As somebody who is starting to do freelance work a story like this is not only an interesting read but provides insight on what to avoid and when to speak up as I start freelancing.
donquichotte 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I am working on quite a tedious project right now. It involves 10 years old, quite extensive, Visual Basic 6 programs. No source control was used. In our company it is practice to hire interns for 3-month periods to work on production software. A mix of programming styles can be found in this project. Some functions return 0 when they fail. Others return 1. Or -1. Or False. Or "False". I love it!
kemofo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If that's the shittiest project you ever worked on then you're a lucky guy. User's will use a software project for all sorts of political purposes that have nothing to do with you and it does nothing but f up the process.
epa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Consider the price you paid to learn a key life lesson which will pay for itself multiple times over. If you learn from the situation, you have not failed.
gcb0 1 day ago 2 replies      
The reason the fee was there was to pay for the 0800 thing.

Some executive rightly saw that paying you to render that useless would free them of that service and the need for the fee (which i bet was not turning a profit)

But, since big companies run on cargo cult... that happened.

cbp 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is why:

1. You should spend more time designing (away from the computer) so that you find a _problem_ and then come up with a reasonable solution. Instead of putting together a list of features. (see Rich Hickey's talk "Hammock-driven development").

2. Think of the sum you're going to charge for your consulting and then multiply it by 4 and charge that because you have to take risk and other factors into account.

sfbsfbsfb 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I can highly recommend Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.He covers all these issues and many others. Self awareness is critical to success. If you are inexperienced you need to be able to recognize/acknowledge your inexperience. Then read everything available on the subject and interview every expert you can identify. Clint Eastwood said it best, "A man's got to know his limitations". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrFV5r8cs0
adamconroy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sounds like poor contract negotiation more than anything. Fixed quotes are very tricky things to navigate. I simply don't go there. If the client insists then I try to negotiate a fixed budget, then when the budget us running dry they can extend the budget or reduce scope. If they don't agree to that I walk.
mjd 1 day ago 5 replies      
cheshire137 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This got infinitely more readable when I loaded it into Pocket and let Pocket do its formatting on it. Adjustable font size and a more reasonable line width...
yitchelle 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Great http://thedailywtf.com/ material.
misterdai 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting read. However, I helped build a web based system for the management of a bowel cancer screening programme. Considering what would be sent back on the testkits and processed into the system... it's the shittiest project I've ever worked on, but not for the same reasons :P
elwinmurton 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone once told me: The client know what he wants, but not what he needs. Success is discovering that before the project ends.

Great post!

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
The punch line here is great, but even if the specs necessitated something more than a static page, then it'd still be a hard job.

If the most critical part of a data heavy project is speccing it out, I'd say the next most important part is the data munging process...and sadly, both of these things are the most overlooked.

hclee 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I could see why development service team always want to get more and more information about a project. Open it more, then you get better return. Fun reading.
digitalmaster 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Without a pollyfill to support older browsers this is merely a peak into the future.
iamjealous 17 hours ago 0 replies      
wow! I am jealous. If that is the shittiest project he ever worked on, he really has not too much to complain about.

Add to this that this was back in 1995. Companies had no clue what the internet was nor what they wanted to do with it, so this kind of clueless behaviour what the customer wanted was pretty much standard for most companies up to at least 1998 - 1999.

The guy has either been tremendously lucky, or he has not worked in too many different projects / companies for the last 18 years....

The Surface 2 penny-arcade.com
69 points by kposehn  9 hours ago   40 comments top 5
breckinloggins 6 hours ago 7 replies      
I've often wondered why Apple doesn't have an "iPad Pro" that includes a Wacom or Wacom-like stylus system. I know that Apple is very much "no stylus" and I'm positive that was the right move for most uses, but there seems to be an obvious market here for creative types that need a real stylus (as in tip angle detection, pressure sensitivity, on-stylus buttons, etc).
RyJones 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been happy with my Surface Pro; the two changes I'm most looking forward to are the docking station and Haswell. The extra pixel density is a nice-to-have, but being able to pop it in and out of a docking station is killer. There are some other minor things I'd like addressed (the impossible-to-use microSD slot, for one. The always lost stylus is another), but I'll rebuy and probably hand the Surface Pro on to the kids.
KeyBoardG 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The new docking station and ability to drive high resolution displays is a lot more important than sites are recognizing. We can finally truly have 1 machine for everything on the go and docked at work or at home. No doubt it'll likely be more of a pleasure perhaps in a Surface Pro 3 that would be lighter and even more powerful.

I don't really see the current crop of convertible laptop/tablets as solving this problem due to low perf and the fact that I'd never be able to code all day on those cramped keyboards.

Relys 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I did a bit of research on tablets and hybrids recently since my fiance needed a new machine. I ended up buying her a Sony Xperia Tablet Z (Andriod) since there really wasn't any good Windows hybrids on the market except for the Surface Pro. However, the battery life for the first generation was terrible and Surface RT isn't a smart investment because of the OS [place bet]dead in the next few years cough[/end bet].

However, I personally want a compact machine with the full Windows 8 experience so I've been waiting for the Surface Pro 2.

If this thing has an all day battery life it will be an instant sale for me.

SimianLogic2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a Fujitsu Lifebook P1510 running Windows XP back in 2006... a 9" convertible tablet with a capacitive stylus. It's still my favorite machine that I've owned, and felt like the future (sitting on a couch, browsing the net & playing games).

It saddened me greatly that Microsoft forbade anything under 10" for Vista & Win7. The Surface Pro is the first Windows machine I've actually desired since then -- the only thing that held me back was the 4gb cap on RAM. I already pre-ordered an 8gb model and can't wait to play with it.

What happened to Google Alerts? gwern.net
121 points by gwern  15 hours ago   31 comments top 13
PaulHoule 13 hours ago 2 replies      
One thing that I hope people don't miss is that the problem "Google Alerts" solves is an information retrieval problem that is still unsolved (at least in the open literature ;-)

Conventional search ranking algorithms give you some score from 1 to 0 and the only meaning of the score is that a document with a higher number is more likely to be relevant than a lower number. The results usually are good at the top and they gradually get worse as you go down. You stop either when you're satisfied or when it feels like a waste of time.

Suppose, however, you wanted to search scientific papers or news articles about a topic and see the results ordered in time. All of a sudden the junky documents that were hidden are visible; the results are embarrassing even for world-class search engines.

You might say, "let's filter out documents that have a score less than, say, 0.8".

It doesn't work, at least not very well. You run into two problems. Search engines that crush TREC search evaluations have worse than 70% precision when the score approaches 1. Also, you'll see plenty of cases that are obviously a direct hit and the score is 0.5.

The difficulty of the problem is one thing, but the academic approaches people have taken in IR are another part of the problem. The methods used for most TREC evaluations are designed NOT to give search engines credit for "knowing what they know", because to score well on "knowing what you know" you need to do a super job on easy queries and recognizing they are easy queries, and if you don't do that, how well you do on hard queries won't shine through.

Another one is the whole idea that you need to normalize scores from 0 to 1. You don't. A while back I developed a topic similarity scoring system that just counted the number of common traits things have in common, rather than using a dot product or K-L divergence or anything like that. It turned out when the score was 40 you knew the results had to be good because 40 pieces of evidence is a lot of evidence. If you had 4 pieces of evidence, it was clear things that were iffy. I might have gotten "better" results in some sense with a more complex algorithm, but the scores from the simple count were meaningful -- from my point of view, the better algorithms are stupider because they are erasing their knowledge about their own confidence.

It's also a big problem in machine learning: often you use the SVM or Bayes or a neural network and you get some score and if you say the score is greater than some threshold and it is in the class otherwise it isn't. Because these algorithms almost always get the wrong idea about the prior distribution, you often make a "failing" machine learning algo very useful if you do logistic regression on the output and use that to convert the output into a probability score.

Anyhow, if you want to learn about this and stop making 'stupid' intelligent systems, stop what you're doing and read the issue of the IBM Systems journal about IBM Watson because that's what Watson is all about -- it converts all of the signals it gets into comparable probability estimates, and then uses decision theories to take actions that maximize it's utility function. (i.e. "business value")

dangrossman 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Alerts pretty much only alerts me of news stories. Unless it would show up in Google News, new links never make it to my e-mail.

For example, a customer posted a nice video review of Improvely on YouTube today which I can find through Google limiting the date range to today with the "Search Tools" button. No e-mail from Google, despite the alert set up for the brand name.

On the other hand, I have one set up for "Surface Pro" and get daily e-mails when the big tech blogs mention it. Smaller blogs and forums, which are no doubt talking about Surface often too, never show up in those alerts. The e-mails even say "News" up top [1].

A few years ago, every mention would trigger an alert. Something did change. 3rd-party apps like Mention [2] alert me more often.

1: http://i.imgur.com/XeXDUG4.png

2: https://en.mention.net/

stiff 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Great article, case studies of skilled hackers solving real problems like this one are so rare, wish we had more of this. Only comparable thing I can think of at the moment are Peter Norvig essays:



If anyone can recommend similar things, I won't mind :)

kungfooey 14 hours ago 2 replies      
He mentions that they dropped the RSS functionality, but this is not the case at all. If you edit one of your existing alerts, you can change it to a feed.

Ref: http://www.google.com/alerts/manage

kmf 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Worth mentioning that gwern writes some of my favorite things on the web, and the wealth of information on his site is worth spending time pouring through. Always nice to see new stuff from him.
bashevis 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Like others have said, Google alerts only notifies you of news articles.

My company http://www.Alertification.com takes a more general approach and alerts you when something on any public website changes. For example, you'll get an email or text message when an Amazon price drop occurs, when a college class opens up, or even when concert tickets go on sale.

TORIG-TG 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I've setup a bunch of Google Alerts within the past few weeks, and most of them have not been triggering when relevant (and very public) content is published.
dmsinger 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I still receive the same alerts I did a few months ago, but now I receive more. Far more, to the point where some have become useless.

I had alerts like:"This" -"Not that" -site:notnews.com

The filters stopped working for me. I removed and re-added the alerts. Now I'm pounded with results. They were amazingly effective before.

I can't say I'm surprised, I don't see much of a business model in it, but I was surprised that it randomly happened to all of my alerts and I haven't seem a word about a change.

sanxiyn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Today I learned about Change Point Analysis. Thanks!
hownottowrite 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Google Trends appears to be next. They changed the interface under "Explore". Few featured and works poorly on tablets.
anxiousest 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The data seems a bit dated. RSS functionality for example had since been restored: http://searchengineland.com/google-quietly-brings-back-rss-f...
ivanbrussik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
today I got a Google alert for a Twitter account I created 8 months ago.
calebgilbert 13 hours ago 1 reply      
looks for a tl;dr version...
How people screw up on their product demos ryanleask.wordpress.com
12 points by rmason  4 hours ago   2 comments top 2
slantyyz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Having spent some years in business intelligence, point #9 especially hits home.

Just about everyone I know who has delivered a canned Cognos demo has done that exact drill down example.

shailesh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Good list. To complement this article, I highly recommend "Demoing Software for Fun & Profit" by Dave Winer. There are pretty good tips in it.


Create an algorithm to distinguish dogs from cats kaggle.com
122 points by willis77  15 hours ago   70 comments top 19
apu 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The sample images are of two types: images which are mostly of the subject (cat or dog), and images which have a cat or dog in them, but are not necessarily focused on them.

In computer vision, these two types of images are traditionally handled separately. First, a detector for a class (like "dog" or "cat") is run across the image at all locations and multiple scales to find where the things are. Once you have the locations, then an image classification algorithm is run for each detection window to either confirm it, or to give you more information about the object.

The latter often takes the form of giving more fine-grained category information, such as what species of dog/cat it is. Both leafsnap [1] and dogsnap [2] take the form of this type of program; i.e., they both assume that you've captured a single subject, roughly centered in the photo window, and that you already know that it's a plant/dog.

Sometimes you don't have to run a detector even if the object is not the focus of the image, if the context/setting can narrow down the answer for you. For example, if you were deciding between dogs and airplanes, it would be pretty unlikely to see a dog on a runway or a plane in a living room, so just by classifying the entire image, you can do reasonably well. That's not the case here, as dogs and cats will, for the most part, appear in pretty similar environments.

So if I were attacking this problem, I'd first see how many images were of the non-focused type. If not many, I'd basically ignore them and focus on building a classification system. Note also that if you're constrained to make a hard choice between only two classes, that's a much easier problem than a more open-ended "what is this?"

As many have pointed out, deep learning approaches seem to be the current state of the art on classification tasks such as these. But deep learning requires a lot of training data to be effective. A procedure I've been hearing many people use to great success is to use the Imagenet [3] hierarchy and images to train a deep learning classifier (i.e., as if you were going to compete in the Imagenet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge [4]). Then use the trained network, chop off the last stage (which makes the final prediction), and replace it with an SVM trained on your specific training data. In this way, you'd be using the network only as a feature extractor.

I'm happy to try and answer other questions.

[1] http://leafsnap.com or see my project page for more details on how it works: http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~neeraj/projects/leafsnap/

[2] https://itunes.apple.com/app/dogsnap/id532468586?mt=8

[3] http://www.image-net.org/

[4] http://www.image-net.org/challenges/LSVRC/2013/index

chris_mahan 13 hours ago 3 replies      
All it needs is a robot that says: "Come Here Boy, Come! That's a good doggie."

If the animal comes, it's a dog. If it continues without looking at you, it's a cat.

GotAnyMegadeth 15 hours ago 5 replies      
When we can get computers to tell the difference between animals accurately we can make a real life pokedex app. I can't wait.

EDIT: If anyone one thinks we can start working on this now, I'm game.

dvt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I think that if I were to do this, I would use facial landmark recognition (using something like a Haar classifier). Haar-like features have been used to aid in (human) facial recognition since 2001 to great success[0]. And recently, people have been thinking about using similar methods for animal tracking[1].

If one could locate the face in the test set, she could also presumably find some landmarks of interest: eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Considering that dogs typically have longer snouts, cats have pointier ears, etc, this data could be used to differentiate between a dog and a cat. There would be difficulty dealing with awkward angles and bad lighting though.

[0] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=

[1] http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~troppel/internal/sparc/TourBot/To...

joe_the_user 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Hey Cool challenge dude, any relation to AI? Didn't think so..."


"You too could solve this problem, a get a Phd and joined that overcrowded labor market"

Just consider that if you have M categories and you have N Phd students who can each four years to create one clever algorithms to distinguish category i from category j, then you need M(M-1) Phd students for a complete classification system - which when you consider many, many categories there are in human knowledge, works out to being more than can even be pumped out by excess student loans today and exponentially more than can find tenured positions.

IE, once you'd add to the "deep but not wide" algorithms of computer vision, And twenty years ago, we might have believed this adding-to would lead to something broad and general but it's been twenty years and the trend is becoming clear.



jskonhovd 14 hours ago 0 replies      
They provided the test data for this project. I believe they know it can be broken.
bayesianhorse 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Easy: Put videos of the animal on youtube and http://www.cuteoverload.com and count the upvotes.

To quote @BigDataBorat (Twitter): 90% of data is unstructure. Furthering analysis reveal that 60% of unstructure data is cat video.

yaddayadda 12 hours ago 1 reply      
While it isn't specific to dogs and cats, nor open source or publicly available, doesn't Google already have this ability?- https://encrypted.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=dogs&tbs=imgo...- https://encrypted.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=cats&tbs=imgo...

edit: I'm sure some of theirs is from metadata, but I thought I read a while back that they were doing some graphical identification also.

dllthomas 15 hours ago 0 replies      
What would it say about hyenas?
brainless 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I understand Kaggle wants someone to make an algorithm to "identify the entity", but if used as an alternative to CAPTCHA, is it not possible to defeat this HIP (Human Interactive Proof) by reading the image and the classification data from the same Petfinder.com and just do image matching?

It may take some time to match from 3 million images, but doable right? Or am I missing something here?

silveira 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A captcha of 8 characters has a space of ~26^8 (~208 billions) possible combinations in a brute force attack. To divide a set of 12 images between dogs and cats has a space of 2^12 (4096) possible combinations in a brute force attack.
phogster 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone else compete on these types of sites? Are they worth it?
cwoods 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I would have expected that putting this through a machine learning algorithm( or one of the face recognition ones) trained with a very huge dataset might improve the odds.
moe_ 15 hours ago 1 reply      
jlengrand 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Too bad it's just for swag. I'd have given it a shot :D
robodale 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a cat. I know it's a cat, because she bites me when I don't let her outside, when I let her back inside, when I brush her, when I don't brush her, etc, etc.
ameoba 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Clever way to crowdsource your spambot's CAPTCHA breaking routines.
wojzaremba 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I can bet for $1000 that winning team is going to use Convolutional neural networks. Anyone willing to bet (I can bet also for smaller amount if you prefer)?
segmondy 15 hours ago 6 replies      
So narrow and so useless. What exactly are dogs? Almost all cats look the same and are almost the same size. But dogs? Dogs vary greatly in size, and looks. some of what we have accepted as dogs today, if you take them back to the past before TV/Computers, people back then won't recognize them as dogs, because of the looks or size. They would have to hear it back and behave like a dog to classify it as such. if all they had was a picture, they mgiht very well refuse and reject say pugs as dogs. so an algorithm to distinguish dogs from cats without context (behaviour, sound) will be more difficult.
iOS 7 Tech Talks apple.com
91 points by dcope  12 hours ago   25 comments top 9
bulte-rs 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just signed up for the Berlin event; would be my first time at an Apple event so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

For people who have attended a previous event: How long before the actual events did you get your invite?

dmishe 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Best part: "Well be posting videos of the sessions shortly after the last event"
ceejayoz 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I went to one of these in Toronto a few years back and it was great.

Pity there isn't a web track like they had back then.

GuiA 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, I applied for mine. Is it free? Seems like it. That's a pretty cool move from Apple (yeah yeah, of course it's in their benefit, but still).
joeblau 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I just applied to the SF one. It would be great if I could get into one of these. It would be my first in person Apple event.
georgechen 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems like a great supplement for folks couldn't get to go to WWDC because it was sold out.... WWDC on Tour basically....
rabc 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So Paulo session last time in iOS 5 was great and really crowded. Too bad we're out this time :(
chadwickthebold 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Is it just me or do those icons look like they were drawn by a 5-year-old with a crayon?
BigBalli 5 hours ago 0 replies      
nice, just signed up.last time I attended was in Rome.
Patent troll Lodsys demands $5,000 from Martha Stewart. That was a bad idea gigaom.com
58 points by tmoretti  3 hours ago   10 comments top 8
paulsutter 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
The solution to patent trolls is a simple change to the law: patents should only be used to recover actual damages to an existing business from infringers, not force licensing fees.

That way patents could only be asserted against direct competitors that copied your design. Since patent trolls have no real business they'd have no actual damages.

dangero 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
This article lacks substance. Martha Stewart may not have it in for patent trolls at all. It may be that she's a big target and her council has advised her to make an example out of any patent trolls that approach her. This could also mean that she has lawyers that are interested in racking up big bills.
a3n 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Well that's awkward. Lodsys is owned by Nathan Myhrvold' Intellectual Ventures. Nathan Myhrvold has been a guest on Martha Stewart's show.



lnanek2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Haha, yeah, in the app industry this is referred to as the welcome package. Most people aren't allowed to talk about it due to the terms. Good to see someone actually try to fight it.
greenyoda 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting that Martha Stewart is suing Lodsys in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin:

"On information and belief, Mr. Small [CEO of Lodsys] conducts Lodsyss business from an office located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, within this jurisdictional district. Accordingly, on information and belief, Lodsyss primary place of business and/or headquarters is located within this judicial district."

Maybe that court will be more reasonable than the one in Texas where the patent trolls like to file their suits?

cloudwalking 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
How does Martha Stewart have the motivation and resources that Apple doesn't? I'm skeptical.
djrogers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That lady's done time - you don't mess with a lady that's done time...
bastards 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd never mess with Martha Stewart.
Myst Online: Uru Live Again mystonline.com
179 points by evolve2k  18 hours ago   76 comments top 16
Intermernet 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm, looks like account sign-up doesn't use SSL, and includes the ability to include your password in the confirmation email.

Probably worth being careful with password choice if you're going to sign-up to this. Don't use one of your existing ones!

Other than that, I'm so glad to see Myst back!

sp332 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Since 3D content is relatively difficult to make, Andrew Plotkin is making a platform called Seltani that lets people write their multiplayer Myst-universe puzzles in text format. http://dev.seltani.net/ Edit: perhaps more informative wiki page http://seltani.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page
arianvanp 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The Myst series are probably one of the games that bring back so many memories. When my brother and I heard they were turning URU into an MMO we were pretty excited, but also scared that there wouldn't be a big enough user base. We were right, and the project 'died' . Then I told him they'd probably open-source it, and there we are!

I'm gonna play the MYST series again. Any programmer/hacker will love these series. they're a real classic brain cracker, and worth the play. You will get pulled into the myst worlds as if it are your own. it's so immerssive!

joshdance 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just thinking about Myst after having read this article yesterday - http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9713372/looking-back-gam...
chenster 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I didn't see anything about Mac support. http://mystonline.com/en/play/ Am I missing anything??
darkxanthos 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I loved Uru and I'm curious to try this. What is different this time? This plus the article yesterday tells me something big is being prepped.

EDIT: typo

sigre 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like the code for the site is also open source: http://www.openuru.org/pages/Development.php
m_mueller 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I was a big Riven fan but I never tried URU so far - this seems like a great chance doing that. Could someone sum up what the multiplayer experience is like? I could never really imagine how this works. Are there puzzles that you solve together, something like in Portal 2?
davexunit 16 hours ago 2 replies      
So, from what I read, the client uses an open source license, but the server is proprietary? I hope they will eventually go the extra mile and liberate the server too.
nols 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Did you get to this through the Grantland article on Digg? Here's the link if anyone else is interested, it's a nice look back at Myst.


Industrial 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is this even being posted? URU has been in this state for far more than a year now. Hardly news.
sandGorgon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Please take my money and somebody give me an Android game please. There are no complex haptic interactions - this is perfect for the mobile !!!
viame 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I remember playing this 13 years ago, what a game. I might have to find an old Windows machine to play this again :>
mhax 17 hours ago 0 replies      
anyone try running this with WINE?
jeroneemou 12 hours ago 0 replies      
hmm, im on gmail, and i dont get the activation email, sad :/
jlebrech 17 hours ago 1 reply      
this + photosynth
Motorbike helmet with navigation livemap.info
55 points by devy  10 hours ago   41 comments top 10
mikestew 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This would great and worth consideration if helmets weren't disposable items. Obviously a crash will cause a write-off (and good luck convincing insurance your helmet was $2000). But helmets get stinky, they get dropped, they get exposed to UV. A five year replacement cycle is recommended by the Snell Foundation. [1] Okay, so $400/year; some folks will part with that. You'll cry real tears if you drop it hard enough to crack that carbon fiber shell.

Then there's fit. Some people have a Shoei head, some an Arai head (helmet brands). For $2000, that sucker better not cause hot spots on my noggin.

Replacement shields? Shields are consumables, IMO. And I want a dark one for sunny days, a light one for when I'm out after dark. I want a new one when the original gets scratched up.

I like the idea, but a cool HUD is just one thing to consider when buying a helmet, and not high on my personal list if I'm wearing the thing up to twelve hours a day.

[1] http://www.smf.org/helmetfaq#aWhyReplace

KyleBrandt 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Safety gear is great and I wear a lot of it when I ride, but on a motorcycle you really depend on avoiding accidents -- The gear only helps so much compared to a car. It is sort of like picking the fast and nimble vehicle in a videogame instead of the tank -- except you actually die or get hurt.

Therefore distractions are perhaps the biggest safety concern (in particular here in south Florida, everyone is out to get me :-) ). I could see the view that maybe not worrying about navigating is actually less of distraction, but for me I don't think that would be the case. Every second I would spend looking at the HUD is a second I'm not:

  * Looking for someone making a left hand turn right in front me  * Noticing who is texting while driving  * Noticing stuff on the road that could result in a loss of traction  * Watching Cars with stuff that might fall off in front of me  * Observing people that look like they might run a light  * Focusing on good control of the bike  * Planning Escape Routes  * etc....
In short, accident avoidance in the long run takes constant focus (and unfortunately, a bit of luck too).

aray 8 hours ago 0 replies      
As a rider, I'm worried about what happens to the electronics, projector (+ lens/ bulb), reflectors, and screen in case of an accident. If the helmet deforms, will those shatter, possibly scattering shards around while my head is bouncing in there?

I would absolutely love this, but I'd wait to see what the actual crash tests look like before risking my head to one.

Edit: thinking about this more, I'm even more worried trusting my safety to a company that has never even made a helmet before. I'd be much more confident if they had approached older helmet manufacturers and worked in conjunction to get these new features into something thats confidently safe.

The focus on battery life, charging, UI and menu systems also makes me wary -- there's almost nothing about safety in the presentation, except for the material ('carbon fiber'), and nothing at all on crash testing.

I would not risk my head to this.

ChuckMcM 10 hours ago 4 replies      
I would worry about this obscuring vision at a bad time.
Zhenya 9 hours ago 3 replies      
It's not SNELL certified, most serious riders won't consider it.
flatfilefan 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I ride motorbike for about a year now. In the beginning having a navigation hints voice over bluetooth was the only way. Now when I'm confident driving I can just use the navi mounted on the handlebar. Just have to look at it now and then.So I think all time on navigation on the visor is a bit too much. If they would find a way of keeping just an arrow most of the time and only show a map when needed ...
001sky 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The key question here is the ergonomics. It takes time to adjust you focus near-far and you can't just stick a GPS on your shield and make it work. It is distracting and dangerous. Cockpit HUDs have different spatial relationships with your eyes.
lyndonh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Projectors tend to put out a lot of heat. I would worry that my head would get hot wearing it. I would also be concerned about the weight.

While HUDs are cool; there is a reason that most major automobile manufacturers haven't put them in a car yet and the reason is not to do with new technology because HUDs have been around for a long time. The reason is that anything that goes between you and the windshield will obstruct your view. Any coating that is required to reflect the light from the projector to your eyes will interfere with light from the road even with the projector turned off. You have one fatal crash wearing this helmet and the insurance companies will make mincemeat out of this company. I'm guessing that $2000 doesn't include much for the company to put towards an insurance premium.

Also, no integrated cameras ? Rear facing camera ?

presty 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Saw their booth at TC Disrupt. Looked pretty cool. Wanted to try, but no one was available.
infinotize 9 hours ago 2 replies      
At the cost involved it might be worth retro-fitting a Google Glass instead of a proprietary helmet and unproven navigation system (motorcyclists are picky about helmets).
Apple Uses Bluetooth LE To Enable Apple TV Touch To Set Up Via iOS 7Devices techcrunch.com
41 points by swamp40  9 hours ago   25 comments top 6
swamp40 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been wondering recently if iBeacon is the first showing of a 2 year long plan to crush NFC and take over POS payments, or whether Apple released iBeacon just for better Passbook functionality, and then the world anointed it as the NFC killer and all-hail-the-new-king - and now Apple is scrambling to come up with a comprehensive plan to do what people think iBeacon was meant to do.

(They've delayed any detailed specifications for weeks now.)

Doesn't matter to me. Anything that finally gets Bluetooth LE on a roll is fine with me. It has awesome potential.

benologist 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Direct link instead of AOL's rewriting of AOL's summary of it -


sjtgraham 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think this is "iBeacons". This sounds like the MultipeerConnectivity framework, which uses both WiFi and Bluetooth and is agnostic as to which interface is used.
baddox 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Why would actually tapping your phone onto the Apple TV be required? I thought iBeacons had a range of several meters.
gms 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Can't the same thing be done using regular Bluetooth?
robbiet480 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Great, this sounds like Apple is going to compete with NFC.... you know, a real standard. Like FaceTime, oh wait, like iMessage, oh wait, like AirDrop, oh wait.
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