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Stay Put, Young Man washingtonmonthly.com
28 points by pg  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
ggreer 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
A nitpick on San Jose:

The citys tallest building, Yglesias notes, is a mere twenty-two stories high.

Anyone who lives in San Jose can tell you why this is the case. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose,_California#Arts_and_a...

Because the downtown area is in the flight path to nearby Mineta San Jose International Airport, there is a height limit for buildings in the downtown area, which is under the final approach corridor to the airport. The height limit is dictated by local ordinances, driven by the distance from the runway and a slope defined by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Core downtown buildings are limited to approximately 300 feet (91 m) but can get taller farther from the airport.[80]

The rest of the article did a good job of arguing that housing costs harm migration and contribute to income inequality. But twisting a fact like that makes me suspicious. Hopefully fault lies with Matt Yglesias, not the author.

joyeuse6701 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I had an opportunity recently to move to the Bay for a contract position from a fulltime one in LA. Risk/benefit considerations aside, the cost of living, much of it rent, in the Bay stayed my hand from signing off and changing jobs, and I am someone who could afford to live there, I can easily see why anyone who made as much or less would never move from here to there either.
FlyKly Smart Wheel kickstarter.com
199 points by BerislavLopac  7 hours ago   128 comments top 28
noonespecial 5 hours ago 3 replies      
FlyKly guys: Welcome to HN. I know that a lot of this thread is going to look like we're hating on your product. (Personally I think that if you deliver it with the level of finish you're aiming for, it will be pretty cool). Mostly we're not, this is how we roll. For geeks, we've got x-ray vision when it comes to most new technologies so we see right down to the basic principles (which are almost always simple) right away. These are almost never the most interesting parts of new product releases but will elicit the predictable "pfft, Thomas Edison did it in 1913...". Water off a duck.

What we will do is pour our thoughts like water through your product and ideas. Anything that's not perfectly thought through is going to leak. I hope you'll take the criticism in the (mostly good) spirit in which its offered and use it to build a better product.

buro9 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was going to join everyone else in this thread in bashing elements of the design and product, the specifications, etc. But I won't do that.

Instead I'll do the opposite.

I'll point out upfront, I own 5 bikes, I run one of the largest cycling forums in the world, and I run one of the largest cycling clubs in the UK. I get cycling.

I like it. The FlyKly.

I like it because it allows a rider to keep their existing bike, and yet to retrofit for a really reasonable price an electric motor.

I like it because the vast majority of the weight within the wheel isn't a moving thing, the batteries are fixed.

I like it because the 30 mile range, whilst not suiting my 18 mile commute for a daily charge, actually does suit the vast majority of cyclists that I know who only commute fewer than 10 miles.

I like the 1,000 cycles, which is probably 900 in reality, is actually a few years of use for the average cyclist. Even most cycle commuters don't actually cycle 7 days a week, and those do diligently do so on all work days only do so for 220 > 250 days per year.

It hits all of the sweet spots:

1) Can I keep my existing bicycle?

2) Can I just get the electric bit and not pay to replace all of the other bits I have?

3) Will it just work and be easy to install?

4) Will it help me on my commute?

5) Will it realistically last a couple of years?

6) Is it priced such that I can afford it?

For the majority of cyclists I know, the answer is yes to all of the above.

I think it's got a good chance, which doesn't mean I'll be buying one but then I'm not your average cyclist.

PS: FlyKly, you show several times the use of the wheel on a brakeless fixed-gear bike. That's just for the aesthetics right? Or is the wheel fixed compatible such that you're fine with people skid/skip stopping?

fernly 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You need to differentiate from the long-existing BionX hub motors[0] which do regen braking at user-selectable levels AND allow proper 7, 8 or 9-speed clusters, unlike the single gear your pictures show.

[0] http://www.bionxinternational.com/bionx-international-north-...

Edit: the big differences would be (a) this has the battery integral to the hub, where the BionX uses a separate battery pack; and (b) that this communicates to its controller -- your phone -- wirelessly, where the BionX console[1] connects with a wire.

IMO as owner of a BionX-equipped bike, I'm dubious about whether either difference is a positive one. For (a), the in-hub battery is clearly size-limited, can't be removed from the bike for charging indoors, and would be harder to replace.

As for (b), is it really a good idea to require a smartphone to be attached to your handlebars whenever you ride? That's not an easy environment, it has a lot of vibration as well as exposure to water, dust, and sweat. A minor point, the BionX dedicated controller has an optional thumb operated throttle lever for proportional control when you don't want to pedal, and it's hard to see how that could work with a smartphone.


beloch 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Here's why I like this design.

5 kg is light for a battery/motor module, but it still adds about 50% to the weight of a decent bike. The added thickness also means it's probably not practical to put a multi-gear cassette on it. End result, this will cripple most bikes once the battery runs out. More weight and poor gear ratios = hell for the cyclist. However, most smart-bikes are crippled anyways once they run out of juice.

The great thing is that you can use the same bike for commuting that you use for your sweatier, long-haul weekend trips. All you have to do is swap the original dumb-wheel back in. If you buy a dumb-bike and a smart-wheel you almost get two bikes for the price of one.

Tip for the makers: Stress the ease of hot-swapping that wheel in even more than you are now. This is a major selling point.

P.S. I don't see a quick-release clamp on this sucker in your pictures or video. This is a no-brainier and absolutely needs to be on there.

chintan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Niko (the CEO) is real deal - he used to work across my cubicle at Projective Space in SoHo. He first introduced FlyKly electric bikes in NYC (he did manage to sell a lot in the area). His personal story is full of inspiring entrepreneurial journey! He is now back with smart wheel! Good luck man!
cjensen 7 hours ago 5 replies      
"it can quickly be located and tracked via GPS" but the only radio in it is Bluetooth, so I guess you can track it if you're in the same room...

"36V Lithium" battery, but no spec about how many kWh it stores.

"Top Speed 20mph". Given that it only operates when the human puts in some effort, what does that even mean? I'm guessing this is written down because US Law says if it goes faster than 20, it's no longer a bike.

"In 2011 Niko Klansek introduced the first line of electric bicycles to the USA market." Nope; ebikes have been available in the US for far longer than that.

GAH. There are lots of conversion kits you can buy today. The kickstarter gives no way for you to figure out if this is anything better.

crazygringo 3 hours ago 2 replies      
It doesn't appear to support bicycles with gears. Is that something planned for a future model? Or do gears somehow become unnecessary with electric assist? Could you even retrofit this to a standard cheap 15-gear bike, or is it strictly fixed-gear only?
alan_cx 5 hours ago 3 replies      
KERS for a bicycle. Cool.

Given that old Lotus bike, Im surprised one for the F1 teams hasn't rustled something up. I'd have a chat with one of them and see if they would like to partner up. Especially as they are trying to be all green these days.

Can you harvest from the front wheel too?

shadowmint 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The chances of me sticky-taping my phone to the front of my bike are non-existent.

...but also, won't charging this be a complete pain? I'm just imaging a bicycle sitting next to all the other USB charge devices on my desk. Awkward...

grannyg00se 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"It goes up to 20 mph (25 km/h) for a 30 miles (50 km) range."

The speed conversion is way off. But the distance conversion is pretty good. Wonder why that is.

jessaustin 4 hours ago 1 reply      
IANAMechanicalEngineer, but do we need to worry about additional stress on the left dropout? The forces to which this component is typically subjected are the weight of the system and the tension of the chain. This device would seem to add an additional torque associated with driving the wheel via the pill-shaped peg that slides into the dropout.

This probably wouldn't be an issue for most bikes, but it seems like it's outside the design specs for any existing bike.

farnsworth 6 hours ago 2 replies      
This is less efficient than putting all the batteries and other gear on the frame, right? Spinning all that mass around will take energy. I don't see an advantage unless you expect to swap wheels out often.
mdisraeli 6 hours ago 1 reply      
My wheelchair-using family and friends have been rocking Alber e-motion wheels[1] for some time, and would highly recommend them. Those don't recharge from motion (or as fast), or support bluetooth, but work in a similar way.

[1] http://www.alber.de/en/products/wheelchair-drive/mobility-wh...

hipsterelitist 5 hours ago 0 replies      
These guys made an electric bike/scooter hybrid a few years back that had some buzz here in NYC before release, but just seems to have fizzled. I'd be curious to know what happened.
ginko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Considering the acceleration of the motor is controlled wirelessly, I wonder if you could attack it so it e.g. accelerates uncontrollably.
Zigurd 7 hours ago 4 replies      
It's an interesting idea. But there are some big obstacles:

1. I question the need for a retrofit product. There are many mature e-bike designs on the market. I doubt it would be hard to find an ODM or CM that could sell you a good design off the shelf.

2. Many e-bikes have removable batteries. You can charge them at work. This doesn't look like it could.

3. Maybe the e-bike isn't the sweet spot. Maybe a slightly larger electric scooter is it. Or maybe an even bigger three-wheeler like Toyota has shown.

4. Outside of China, where gas scooters are prohibited in many (all?) cities, e-bike have not caught on (though I see quite a lot of them in Manhattan, still not enough to be mainstream)

bluekite2000 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought electric bikes are illegal in New York??? http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/electric-bikes-...
mistercow 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What I'm not clear here is whether this does regenerative braking, or only charges at home. If it's regenerative, it's awesome and I want it. I've actually wanted to do a DIY regenerative braking project for a bike for a long time (impracticality and net-loss-due-to-added-weight would not really bother me as long as it worked). Somehow, if it's only charged at home, I feel like it's kind of silly, like a way to make biking lazier.

Still, in any case it would be awesome in that it would make biking practical in hilly areas where it is otherwise a horrible mode of transportation.

soperj 7 hours ago 3 replies      
What's to stop someone from just taking the wheel when it's locked? Or removing the wheel and taking the rest of the bike?
r00fus 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Battery life of 1000 cycles? Isn't that a bit low considering it'll only take you about 30mi/50km per charge cycle?

If they had some way of restoring the batteries without replacing/repurchasing the wheel, I'd be less concerned.

towski 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If you don't mind having to position a battery on your bike, for $399 you can already get an electric wheel.


Otherwise I've been using a wheel and battery from http://www.leafmotor.com/hub-motors/16r-electric-hub-motor.h...

If you're more into plugging stuff together yourself. They also offer more wheel sizes, like 700c.

avn2109 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Sweet product. But am I the only one who has noticed that the "locking" feature is an absolute joke? Esp. in NYC, where the most burly bike locks money can buy keep you a mere step ahead of only the least-committed thieves.

Also, can this thing run without a smartphone? If it's raining, you certainly don't want to keep your phone on the bars.

kamjam 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Will this only work with single speed bikes? What about bikes with gears in the front and/or back, they will need to be converted to single speed I presume?
CrankyPants 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Will it come in black? 700c?
susi22 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Will it be waterproof? ipx7? What about vibrations? The housing for a Di2 battery case are enormous compared to the battery it contains.
hendekagon 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Unsprung mass
Miyamoto 5 hours ago 6 replies      
Unless you're disabled, why do people want an electric bicycle? I figured most people cycle because they love cycling and the exercise of it. Including hills. Is this product meant to attract more automobilist?
DanBlake 7 hours ago 4 replies      
This has been done before, not sure why it warrants a kickstarter.

The Copenhagen wheel has been around for around ~5 years and looks identical to this, sans the GPS.


Introducing TogetherJS mozilla.org
207 points by conductor  9 hours ago   58 comments top 9
mikegioia 9 hours ago 8 replies      
This looks great but it seems they have no plans to support Internet Explorer (https://togetherjs.com/docs/#browser-support). That's a shame because most of our users who need this level of support all use IE :/
aroch 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion (before the official announcement) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6415210
hrjet 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What worries me, and I realized this only after trying TogetherJS, is that Websockets don't require a special permission in browsers! So any website with JS enabled is now going to be able to do peer-to-peer? Could this be a can of worms, security-wise?
csantini 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Jesus, how much I waited for this! :O

Literally just deployed, absolutely love it:


One liner copy-paste for community on your website. I can finally talk in real time with my users and understand why the use my website.

mntmn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I am building an actual service using technology like this (but we wrote our own, not TogetherJS). It's cool, but don't forget that this is really a "utility" and it's the mix of factors and features that you build on top of this that make an actual product out of it. I'm currently compiling a (somewhat biased) feature-by-feature comparison on creative realtime collaboration tools. Feel free to comment and suggest more products to compare! https://docs.google.com/a/mnt.mn/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AunvDU...
nadee013 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a really nice :)Firebase added firebase integration[0] to this, I hope that would be really cool.

I'm not there could be an possible integration with Meteor too.

[0] - https://github.com/firebase/togetherjs

newsreader 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Too bad it doesn't support IE10. I was already brainstorming how to implement but will have to wait for something else...
veganarchocap 7 hours ago 0 replies      
That's incredible! Already got it working on a project, just... wow!
ldn_tech_exec1 8 hours ago 2 replies      
There is a 363 point discussion on this 26 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6415210
See Your Folks seeyourfolks.com
343 points by Anon84  13 hours ago   171 comments top 66
spodek 11 hours ago 5 replies      
Effective site, but I hope the people who found it depressing reconsider their response.

The site didn't tell you anything you didn't already know, it only clarified it.

Instead of denying information to keep yourself happy, why not use the information? My 69-year-old mother remarked earlier this year that if she didn't get around to some of her life goals soon she wouldn't be able to.

Did she say that out of depression? No, to live the life she wanted even more. She celebrated her 70th birthday bicycle-touring a wine region in France with my step-father, riding something like one hundred kilometers a day.

We can all do the same in our ways. In my opinion, awareness trumps denial.

cecilpl 12 hours ago 4 replies      
This erroneously uses the life expectancy at birth rather than the life expectancy at <current age> - a common mistake.

If my parents are 80, I don't expect them to die in 1 year just because life expectancy at birth is 81. I expect them to live about another 8 years.

Use a table like http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html

nostromo 12 hours ago 8 replies      
If you are 25 this is how many weeks you have left to live:


sjtgraham 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Damn, my dad had a stroke on Saturday night. Thankfully he got very prompt and first class medical treatment (Thanks NHS. Socialised medicine FTW) so the damage is fortunately very limited. I'm actually on my way to the hospital to see him now.

This is a great reminder to pick up the phone and tell your folks or anyone that matters to you that you love them. Everyone reading this should do that now if they can. You never know when it will be too late and you don't want those regrets.

krmmalik 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Please understand I don't mean to discredit your site in any way and what I'm about to say below is no reflection in your commitment.

But this is a good opportunity for me to make an important point regards a discussion that took place here a few days ago.

You see - This website serves no purpose in the East or Eastern ethnic minorities.

It's not part of our culture to lose contact with our parents. I saw my parents on the weekend, my wife saw hers and we both spoke to our parents today on the phone. We live 3hrs away.

I'm 33 yrs old. I've never not spoken to my parents for more than 14 days ever in my life.

Why am I telling you this?

Because in the last discussion that took place - the rant about culture in India, many commented that people need to get more mature but what they dont realise that its culture holding them back

Your website proves my point.

Context: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6546587

Crake 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really weird reading the comments here. I guess I'm jealous of people who have parents worth seeing.

I haven't seen my mother in well over half a decade, and am much healthier for it.

DanBC 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a cool little website. Both my parents are dead, but I appreciate the thought behind it.

It's interesting that it sticks to a mother and father. A number of families are moving into more complex arrangements - 2 fathers, or 2 mothers, or step parents, or single parents, or etc etc. (I'm not complaining, just commenting.) I guess it shows that people know who they consider to be parents.

madaxe 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Why is 0 not a valid input? I mean, I know it makes it somewhat pointless to even fill in if one never sees ones parents, but either way, 0 is a valid, if sad, answer.
slig 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this open source? Maybe someone should fork and change to something with a different thematic:

"Where do your in-laws live?"

"On average how many times do you see your in-laws a year?"


lucb1e 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What is "(Holland, Europe)" doing behind "Netherlands"? Which, by the way, is The Netherlands. Why are we the only one with an incorrect postfix? Holland are two provinces where the government reside; it's like putting "le-de-France" behind "France". Like all Frenchmen outside of that region, I don't identify as a citizen of Holland at all.
yetanotherphd 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Why is it that when it comes to this issue people feel completely comfortable with telling other people how to live their lives?

Wanting to spend more time with your parent's isn't a moral absolute. It's a social pressure that has proved hardier than going to church or getting married while you are still fertile.

chanux 10 hours ago 1 reply      
chris_mahan 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm going to Japan in 2 months, for 2 weeks, to see my wife's parents in Japan. (I live in Los Angeles.) They are getting up in years and their health is declining so this will probably be the last time we see her dad, and maybe her mom too. The trip will cost $6,000 minimum for the 3 of us to go. My father lives in Texas, and we went this spring. That cost $2,000. Next summer, we may go to France for a couple of weeks to see my mom and a bunch of other relatives. That will cost another $6,000, at least. So, at a minimum, we'll spend at least $14,000 in the space of 15 months to see relatives. Can't do that every year, or even every other year and hope to fund our retirement and my son's college fund.
pdeshpande 13 hours ago 2 replies      
It made me sad because it makes me realize I have no control over the fact that they are growing old.

Instead, what would be nice is if provided information such as: ask your father to go for a prostrate exam, ask your mother to run these other tests, and so on - based on the country, age and perhaps race data (which is not collected right now).

The website is nice and intuitive.

Argorak 11 hours ago 2 replies      
My parents are divorced. I cannot fill this form properly.
hawkharris 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great example of how even the simplest programming projects can inspire people by tapping into emotion and being aware of their audience.
Who828 11 hours ago 2 replies      
They didnt understand me, I wish I had done this in the past, I wish I had someone to guide me towards my interest, I hope I become successful in the future, I hope become a millionaire

Our ambition, our regrets have made us distant from the now and the present. We are not satisfied with it, how can we? We have our own expectations and dreams to achieve in life. So we run from the present, we live like we have a millennia more. We believe that our parents will always be there when we have time.So we dont go meet them on holidays, we rarely talk to them over the phone. When we meet them we are obsessed with our future, never paying attention to their stories. Never really looking into their eyes. After all, Facebook and Twitter is way more interesting then old peoples talk.

And one day you will catch the train (success, fame, money or whatever it is) but you realise that there is no one on the other side, that you are all alone. It feels empty, it feels incomplete. That you have an entire life to go through now.

Dont let that happen, go to their place. Talk to them over the phone (at least once a week). When you meet them, turn off your smartphone. Look at them in the eye and listen to their stories.You will find out that they need you as much as you needed them in the past.

Life is not all about fame and achievements, its about the people (Family, friends, etc). And whatever insignificant time we have on this planet, its better spent together in the present.

beshrkayali 12 hours ago 4 replies      
This is terrible... it makes it horrible for people in difficult situations.
Samuel_Michon 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great, regardless of whether the math is correct. I dont share much on Facebook, but this, this I shared. It may seem sappy to some, but I find it to be a community service.

My situation: Im 33 years old and I live in the same city as my parents do. My mom is 65 years old, my dad is 69 years old. I visit my parents about once a week.

According to this test, I can expect to see my parents another 700 times before they pass. That may look like a large number, for me it is sobering. My dad has heart problems (he had an angioplasty and a stent placed last year, some incidents after, and he had a pace maker installed this year). Im not sure whether I get to see him another 700 times at the rate that I visit him now. I will certainly increase the rate of my visits.

nocman 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing this does not take into account -- seeing your parents in person is not the only interaction that is meaningful. Yes, I agree that seeing them in person is a good thing to do, but for some people that is difficult to do, and very often it is not because of a lack of dilligence on the child's part.

So send your folks a long letter or email. Call them on the phone. There is no need to feel guilty because you can only see them X times a year -- for some that is just a fact of life. Phone calls, emails, letters all have meaning. Letters and emails can be read multiple times (and often are). You want to really show your parents you care? Write one or both of them a poem or a song. If you have no skill in that area, write a long heartfelt letter. I wrote one of those letters to my dad years ago and he kept it forever.

It is good to remember that life is short and to use your time wisely. Remember the things that are important. But personal visits aren't the only way to do something about it.

irollboozers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Great hackathon project :) This is the kind of thing tech can easily do that is much better than social mobile video for dogs.
Jemaclus 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't share this with anyone. Ugh. Now I need to move back across the country...
dmlorenzetti 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Small bit of feedback, in case the devs are reading.

The site is needlessly vague about what it's going to show me. What are "my results", and will they be compelling enough for me to send personal information to somebody I don't know?

Coming to this site cold, with no expectations, I had no desire to enter my parents' ages, to tell you where they live, or to tell you how often I see them.

donohoe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It says I'll see them 6 more times.

Very little I can do to change that.

tghw 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Randall Munroe wrote a python script with actuarial data in it. Give a list of age and sex and it will tell you when deaths would be expected.


0003 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if you could incorporate expectation of years of life left at given age instead of defaulting to state the years lived past their expected life. Does the WHO data have this? For example, see rightmost column here http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/Revised_Tables_2008.pdf .
evanlivingston 12 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the great things about working remotely is the ability to spend time with folks. I moved out to SF to be where the sun shines but recently my father became ill. I'm now spending lots and lots of time in a small town in the Midwest sharing moments with my father, which is the most important thing to me at this moment.
_random_ 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Does spending two weeks together constitute one "seeing"?How many weekly Skype sessions constitute one "seeing"?

Cheer-up folks! It's not like we are all soldiers during First World War.

_lex 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This so so mean. I've got 6 more times left. Now I'm buying ticket home for xmas.
SG- 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Just remember there's a good chance one of your parents will die a lot sooner than you or this site actually estimates.

My dad passed away rather quickly fighting cancer back when I was 25, he only got an extra 2 years after he found out.

utunga 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Realise it was thrown together in a day but didn't especially like 'the feels' I got from being told that I would see my Dad, who has already died, 572 more times before he passes on.
aswath87 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar. Live your dreamshttp://liveconsciously.me/
audiodude 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm depressed I have to see them that many more times....
dlsym 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Great. Now I'm depressed. :-/
jedanbik 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This assumes number_of_parents = 2. This also assumes class.parents() = {female_mother, male_father}. Maybe that's just a little too much heteronormativity for the year 2013?

A more generalized version that produces See Your Folks calculations for people by gender, age, and frequency of visit would be appreciated by folks like me that have complicated family dynamics. Hell, maybe I don't want to see my folks, maybe I just know how often I should see my friend that moved to the EU!

Relevant reading:

Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective -- http://qntm.org/gay

thebiglebrewski 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh my god, this is horrifying
curiouslurker 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I am not sure I appreciate this kind of thing but it is interesting nevertheless. My folks have lived 4.5 years beyond the expected life expectancy for my country! By the way, the app needs to handle this case gracefully: I am a foreigner in the US so I see my folks less than once a year. I tried putting in 1/3 but looks like the lowest number it can handle is 1.
Avalaxy 10 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a (imho) very emotional song about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s5r2spPJ8g

I really love the text, it's so beautiful when you get towards the end.

npras87 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm going to send out good old postcards to my folks every week.And seriously think about making a living, living close by them.

Somebody made http://pigeonpic.com just for this kind of scattered families.

hadem 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This was very depressing.
Jakob 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a comic I really like from Abstruse Goose about the same topic: 936 Little Blops http://abstrusegoose.com/51
ColinWright 7 hours ago 0 replies      
All I get is:

    Oops...something went wrong.

cgrusden 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Loosely based off of the "1,000 marbles" story. If you want to enjoy your life more, read this story and then go buy a jar of marbles :)


Nux 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This web site makes me sad.

A much lesser problem, it doesn't work in Opera Mini, would be nice if it did, many of my friends are using it.

LastZactionHero 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a wasted opportunity for a Kayak.com affiliate bonus...
yodsanklai 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Rather pointless in my opinion.

First they make the wrong assumption that the most we see our parents the happier we are.

In any case, I don't think it makes a big difference for people to see their parents 500 or 700 times before they die. Especially if they don't get along with them, they should see each other as little as possible.

My parents died a while ago and while I miss them, I don't regret that i didn't see them enough.

Pxtl 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who guessed what this was going to be about when I saw the questions?
ldn_tech_exec1 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not trying to be funny, but FaceTime has made a real difference to peoples' lives here
armini 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I love websites like this, they are a constant reminder that you and those around you are not mortals. Others might also like www.aznoe.com its on the same lines as this...
fatbat 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Inspiring. I actually have a shelved project that is somewhat similar but for marriage + life, etc.

I think I will continue that now!

josephjrobison 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Scary and encouraging! Thankfully I'm an hour away, so there's a way to fix that
scottcanoni 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My mom has already passed away. I can't use this site :(
thrillzone 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar to the question "Do you want to know when exactly you are going to die?"

I think I'd prefer not to have checked this out.

Spien 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have to put a number greater then 0... That number (and the statistics they are likely collecting) should even be lower.
Sikul 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Feels bad man.
irishloop 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Ha! Joke's on you, my Mom died this summer.

Oh. Right. :-\

brentm 11 hours ago 0 replies      
That was about the exact opposite of an enjoyable experience.
ronaldsvilcins 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This sh*t makes me really sad...
stoic 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My parents are dead, you insensitive clods
AsymetricCom 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My parents are deeaaaaaaad!
6d0debc071 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I love my parents, but the knowledge that I'll only see them another ninety times... there's only so much hearing them my mother talk about her life or watching my father sit in front of the TV that I can take.

I'd prefer to have 90 days of goodness than 300 days of meh, you know? There's only a certain amount of content you can share in a given relationship.

superpaow 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Morbidly amusing results when you select Ethiopia (or any developing country really) as the country
killertypo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
annnnnnd that was depressing.
ivanbrussik 8 hours ago 0 replies      
ratsimihah 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Truth hurts.
zubieta 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Oracle releases 127 security fixes, 51 for Java alone sophos.com
23 points by teawithcarl  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
jeswin 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was reading this FUD whitepaper just a while back, in which they are saying OSS is unsuitable for enterprises, unscalable, untested, insecure, etc.http://www.oracle.com/us/products/middleware/cloud-app-found...

And then this.

peterhunt 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
Are all of these Java vulnerabilities lately recently introduced or just recently discovered?
Wolfram Alphas New Data about Pokmon wolframalpha.com
121 points by ndrake  8 hours ago   44 comments top 12
_frog 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be extremely cool if they'd expose information such as what moveset each Pokmon has available to them so I could make queries like 'what water type Pokmon that can learn Hydro Pump has the highest Special Attack stat'.
officemonkey 7 hours ago 2 replies      
If only "pikachu versus bulbasaur" suggested the best strategy for each. :-D
NicoJuicy 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Always liked WolframAlpha, this is also awesome.

But what i really like, is to match stuff like protein in bananas vs spinach to know what i'm going to (prefer to) eat soon ^^..

So, thanks!

joshfraser 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The technology behind WolframAlpha is truly incredible. It's likely one of the most unvalued resources of our day.
unknownian 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried Xerneas (new legendary) but it is still in the process of researching. Also, for those who haven't played pokemon in a while, it's much more than just type match-ups, no matter what the anime leads you to think. There is much more strategy involved as it is a somewhat detailed RPG.
ecto 7 hours ago 2 replies      
How would one generate this equation from an image? http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=snorlax+plane+curve
thealphanerd 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the pikachu-like curve
hiddensanctum 2 hours ago 0 replies      
All I have to say is that is awesome
bitemix 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If they did this for League of Legends characters and build calculations, I'd never leave the site.
jseip 2 hours ago 0 replies      
New pickup line: I maintain the Pokemon database for Wolfram Alpha #chicksdignerds #notreally #hopeforIPOmoney
pyrocat 7 hours ago 1 reply      
That's... cool I guess? There are a bunch of other sites that already do this though. Serebii, bulbabedia, veekun, pokemondb .etc
f.lux has been updated to a new version justgetflux.com
527 points by dailo10  19 hours ago   244 comments top 63
heydenberk 18 hours ago 8 replies      
f.lux is one of my favorite pieces of software. It just does what it's supposed to and I hardly even think about it. Being near the 40th parallel, it rarely activates from April to October. At some point in October, as it did a week ago, it naturally and unobtrusively becomes indispensable again.

Something that happens quite frequently is non-technical friends see my laptop at night and ask "why it is orange?". When I temporarily deactivate f.lux, they shrink from the intrusive blue light and need no further explanation.

kseistrup 18 hours ago 8 replies      
And then there's Redshift, which is GPL'ed and has its source code available. Works like a charm on my Linux box.



josefresco 16 hours ago 7 replies      
Hard to run a neat tool like f.lux when you design for the web. Reason being that I need to "see" the web like my clients and their customers do. Same reason I don't run ad-blockers, or many browser add-ons that modify the browsing experience.

I found when using it for personal use, there are times when the time of day, doesn't align with my energy levels and I ended up disabling it enough that it became a nuisance.

jrnkntl 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Heads up: not yet available for Linux and Mac.
sovande 14 hours ago 6 replies      
Being wary of using too much resources in my own programs I'm always a little surprised and disappointed when I see small utility programs like this use resources like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Flux is currently using 118 MB of real memory and 0.1% CPU.

Using otool -L /Applications/Flux.app/Contents/MacOS/Flux you can see an impressive number of frameworks included. I guess inclusion of the webkit framework is the biggest culprit. Why all this is needed to simply dim the light on my screen is beyond me.

That said, Flux is perfect functionality wise and very useful.

T-hawk 16 hours ago 2 replies      
f.lux is great, but I really really really wish it would allow custom control of the timing instead of pegging to sunset. I don't want my screen going red at 4:30 pm in the winter eight or more hours before bed. 10 pm would be about right. f.lux can be manually controlled, but that's much less useful since I'll never remember to turn it back to red at the times I want. "Disable for an hour" is useful once, and really tedious to repeat for six hours.

And in this update: "Movie mode ... lasts 2 hours." Seriously? Why in the world not prompt for a time duration, or use a dropdown or flyout menu for various 30 minute intervals?

molf 17 hours ago 5 replies      
Flux is fantastic. I just wish it were built into iOS too, so I can have something similar on my iPad/iPhone without jailbreaking.
NatW 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome project, thank you!! It would be helpful if the creators listed the latest version number on their site so folks don't need to install it to see if it's e.g: version 23.0 or something else. FYI: the latest version seems to be 23.0 for mac at the moment.
saturdaysaint 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I really wish someone would put f.lux in a TV or receiver. Sure, it's not ideal for critical viewing, but it'd be great for casual tv watching/gaming at night. Anyone found good solutions for that? I tried amber glasses but it's a bit of an awkward solution and somehow doesn't feel as effective as f.lux.

Would lowering the blue light in the TV's picture settings and the brightness accomplish everything f.lux does?

calinet6 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What this page needs is a big "Download" link.
RyanMcGreal 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I start work before 6:00 AM and f.lux is a godsend. I actually feel my body go aahhhh as the sun comes up outside the window and my screen shifts to blue.
ZoFreX 15 hours ago 0 replies      
> A simple schedule for Philips Hue, so you can f.lux your house

This sounds pretty cool! Has anyone who has a Hue tried this yet?

Crake 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone with insomnia AND eye problems, this makes monitors a lot less painful for me. Downloading the new version now!
msutherl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
For people who love f.lux, you may be interested to check out the work of Philippe Rahm: http://philipperahm.com/. He's built a number of spaces that explore how environmental conditions affect you physiologically. Along the lines of f.lux, he has some experiments that use specific qualities of light to affect your circadian rhythm, including an iPhone app and JavaScript library: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-weather.org/id389364795?mt....

This is a great example of where avant-garde art can be an inspiration for mass-market products, though who knows if the f.lux creators were directly or indirectly influenced by Rahm's work. Nevertheless, I believe there's a whole range of products that could come out of this conceptual framework.

BryanB55 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If you use Android, Twilight is also great (same concept but for your smartphone): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.urbandroid...
yock 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Just yesterday I was in the office late and was struggling with the bright monitor in a dimming room. The reminder that this software exists comes at a very nice time of year for those north of the tropics.
aj 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
This update is for Windows only. The update for Mac is due soon.
joelackner 18 hours ago 3 replies      
the alt-pg up/dwn feature to adjust brightness is pretty great. the fact that it rolls back in the morning is pretty clever, i always found myself having to fidget with settings on my monitor.

i wish more devices, like tvs, had flux baked in.

ksrm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The only thing that annoys me about f.lux is the lack of flexibility. Why can I only disable it for one hour? Why are there only two transition speeds - 20s and 60m?
jaxbot 18 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who has used f.lux for the last few years (and more so after I've started classes), any single one of these is a welcome update. Together? I'll take it as a late birthday present.
EnderMB 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember first looking at this, and thinking it was pretty stupid. I downloaded it out of curiousity and ran it on my work machine while doing a few late nights, and I noticed very quickly that my eyes were feeling a lot less tired near the end of a day than they usually were.

Now, I install it on every machine I use, and it's probably saved me a ton of (literal) headaches. I couldn't recommend it enough.

Tichy 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Dumb question: does changing the image on the screen actually change the output of blue light? I was kind of under the impression it was a result of the light source.

For example I think neon light is actually greenish and it is just the human eye that adjusts the colors back to normal. But I don't think one could make neon light behave like another type of light simply by painting it with some color.

StavrosK 16 hours ago 0 replies      
WARNING: If you want to try this for the first time, wait until mid-day. The first transition is quite jarring, but trying it in the day will make it much smoother (to the point where, if you disable it at night, you will quickly curse and re-enable it).
dzhiurgis 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The appearance on my setup if quite hilarious: http://imgur.com/1VrPWNw

The cheap Dell monitors got quite small horizontal visibility angle. Additionally, the USB adapter doesn't seem to be supported.

chli 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Great update !

Now I'm just missing : "automatically disable if Photoshop is running" (I got caught a few times)

GraffitiTim 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you find yourself not able to fall asleep until later than you'd like, I recommend trying the warmer flux setting. I've been using RedScreen + a little script I wrote instead of flux because it gets far redder, and for me works far better.

It looks like flux still only goes down to 2200 on Mac, so I may continue using RedScreen.

kux 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I just tried out the f.lux for Philips Hue feature and it is highly impractical because it arbitrarily adjusts the brightness of all Hue lights in your house...

Disclaimer: I'm the creator of LampShade.io, an Android app for the Hue that has a similar feature (and many others too)

srik 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Note: The update is only for Windows and not OS X.
vutekst 17 hours ago 1 reply      
If you like f.lux, and you use Android devices, you might enjoy Twilight.


rietta 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat. Flux has been one of my favorite tools for years. There have been times that I have had to use its "disable for an hour" function late at night and the sudden brightness change is actually painful. It's easy to forget just how bright monitors are.
teeray 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Can I pay these people yet? This is an awesome piece of software, and they should not have to buy their own beer anymore at the very least.
ezequiel-garzon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this supposed to become a commercial product? I'm confused about their business model, if any. If they don't have one, an open-source approach would be more common. Any ideas?
bdclimber14 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I teach a class at Arizona State University and one of my students asked why my laptop screen was pink. I then proceeded to give the class a 10 minute sales pitch on f.lux and how blue light inhibits melatonin production. It still surprises me what a profound sales channel raving fans can be.
stcredzero 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been wearing orange tinted safety glasses to reduce my exposure to blue light at night. Is there a good option that's more suited to wearing outside the home/hackerspace? Rose colored glasses, of course, but with better peripheral coverage?
akg 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems that the new updated features are not ready for Mac OS yet? I tried updating but have not noticed anything new?
k-mcgrady 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I used to use this but my issue was that I usually watch TV/Movies on my laptop before bed. I had to disable flux to do that which made it kind of pointless for me. During my time using it I never noticed any benefits (probably because, like I said, I turned it off late at night).

Has anyone seen real benefits to using it?

parshap 7 hours ago 1 reply      
> A simple schedule for Philips Hue, so you can f.lux your house

You can pair your Philips Hue bulbs with f.lux! This is awesome! This kind of thing is very helpful for people who sleep odd hours or just have trouble going to sleep and waking up. Has anyone tried this or knows how it works?

driverdan 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm just weird but I previously tried flux for a few days and hated it. I can always tell the colors are wrong and it drives me crazy. At no point did my brain adjust to white being red.

Anyone else have this problem?

oasisbob 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like some of the new features are Windows-only? eg, I can't figure out how to activate darkroom mode on OS X.
asafira 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a heads up: f.lux is a great tool, but remember to turn it off during video games. Your experience with some games can be affected by the temperature of your screen. For me, that was definitely true when playing left4dead2.
taeric 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone ported this or something like it to phones/tablets, yet?
44Aman 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I was interested in using the expanded range, but it needs to access administrator privileges which I can't use on my locked-down work laptop. The normal version is a lifesaver though!
alanh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
iOS devs, please submit radars to Apple for iOS support without jailbreak. (IDGAF whether its native or third-party support for changing the whitepoint, I just dont want my phone to blind me at night.)
Nux 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting application, but it seems to me that it only really works well if you rely on natural light.

I'm in an office with bright neon lights, does it still help?

jarjoura 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh man, this would be perfect if it tied into my Hue lights!
simonebrunozzi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to see an option to specify a different time zone. It would be useful for when I travel, and I'm lazy.
seferphier 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Love f.lux.

A simple program but solves a common problem. My eyes are always shocked when i switch off flux for color intensive work.

JoshMock 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I know an update isn't available for OS X yet, but did anyone else get notified of an upgrade of their OS X version? The most recent OS X version of the Flux.app file says it was created Oct 4, 2013. I'm pretty sure this update has caused my Macbook Air to hang momentarily when trying to put it to sleep. Kind of annoying.
hisham_hm 16 hours ago 0 replies      
For a project designed to reduce eyestrain, a white website with light gray text is pretty hard on the eyes.
latraveler 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My eye fatigue was so bad a month I thought of changing professions. I wouldn't say f.lux has cured it completely but it has helped significantly.
wincent 16 hours ago 0 replies      
"A map to help you find your location"

I hope this isn't the start of feature bloat.

dipth 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if this update is for windows only? I can't seem to find a Mac version of the update.
mathiasben 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Would like to see a feature where the software takes local cloud cover into account and dims with the sun during the day.
snth 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Not updated for Mac yet?
najra 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Might not be what this piece of software was created, but could a similar technique be used for an opposite effect: waking up in the morning? There are morning lights available that send 10.000 lux light, could you get a monitor to do this instead? would it have the same effect as those lights?
codeduck 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I really, really wish flux was compatible with the ipad. Using an ipad at night is a painful experience.
t0mislav 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Very useful software. Willing to donate.
gdonelli 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Where is the download link?
jordanbrown 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If only I could get it back onto my phone... Jailbreak can't come soon enough.
shanac 16 hours ago 0 replies      
So I just downloaded - why can't i figure out where TV mode is...hmmmm
chid 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm kind of curious, why is a restart necessary to extend the range?
lia_memsql 12 hours ago 0 replies      
f.lux for iOS next please!
diminoten 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I hear so much about f.lux, but to me I don't know if the science quite backs it up like everyone says it does. I've found it suffers from the, "They used the word science so it must be good" problem.

Why hasn't anyone done a study on specifically what f.lux attempts to do? Sure, light at night causes people problems sleeping, but does f.lux actually make a difference? Can we quantify that difference in a way that controls for the fanboy (formerly known as placebo) effect?

Mirra 2 hermanmiller.com
58 points by lukashed  6 hours ago   38 comments top 15
terhechte 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
I just bought the Mirra 1 two weeks ago to replace an aging office chair that I'd picked up without much thinking in a furniture store for ~200 Eur. Recently I felt that my back was not feeling that good anymore after longer coding sessions and started looking for an alternative. Being a single indie dev, I didn't want to spend around 1000 Eur for an Aeron but then I stumbled upon a used Mirra in good condition (around 300 Eur) and picket it up. It is an absolutely great chair, way better than my old one. I'm really impressed with the quality of this chair.
clumsysmurf 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Can anyone recommend a good chair for long term sitting which costs under $300 usd? I would like to find something mesh-like; it stays cleaner and breathes nicer than foam cushiony things.

For a while I tried a medicine ball, but noticed towards the end of the day I would be in bad posture. I also found it hard to have it inflated at the right level and be at the right height.

The only thing I could find, which seems to have a cult following, is the "Euro Style" bungee chairs. Something like


They have a bunch, but I only got a chance to try two. The flat bungee is definitely comfortable, regular bungee had too much pressure on my skin.

Anyone else have recommendations for budget mesh all-day office chairs?

Danieru 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a good redesign.

I've had a Mirra for maybe 5 years now, best chair in the house. The only issues I had were the prongs which provide the back skeletal strength broke through the mesh. As the meshing is plastic this meant a sharp pain in one's shoulder blade. The warranty covered the fix and paid for fedex to came to my house with a giant box and ship it for repair. I cannot imagine what it must have cost to ship a full sized chair! Even still I was out a nice chair for a couple weeks. Those few weeks reminded me how much nicer the Mirra was compared to my old staples chair.

This redesign appears to address said structural weakness by spreading the point of contact. It also widens the usage space for positioning your back. In my Mirra 1.0 your body must be dead center else your back will be sitting over a pointy prong. It looks like this 2.0 will have a backing which folds into your back, hugging it so to say.

It also appears they have slimmed the box below the seat. In general the plastic casings are slimmer and less bulky. Also of note it appears the adjustable lip where your knee joints occur has been given a longer radius of rotation. Or atleast it looks longer to compared to my Mirra.

thomasmeeks 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just to toss it out there, because I also drool over awesome chairs (and lament their price tag):

I recently picked up a standing desk (geekdesk). I still love my Steelcase, but the standing desk is a bigger improvement on the work day. This isn't even a close fight. I would not hesitate to drop the cash on a standing desk and buy a cheapo chair if that's what the budget dictated.

YMMV, of course. At least try the Ikea standing desk hack (http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/Ikea-Standing-desk-for-22-dolla...) before you jump.

deanclatworthy 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I guess no chair can help me solve my problem, which is I slump. No matter what chair I sit in, I slump. I've reached the point now where my back is giving me problems, and I only realise I'm slumping in the chair when it begins to hurt.
james33 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I've always wanted a Herman Miller chair, but unfortunately I've never been able to afford one. Some day...
lucisferre 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wen't to test out the HM chairs. I've used both a Mira and have an Aeron chair now, however after trying the Sayl and the Embody I have to say both are significantly better chairs. The Embody being a bit expensive for my taste I'd take the Sayl over the Mira or Aeron after trying them out.
timdorr 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks like a less expensive version of the Embody, which is a good thing. I've got an Embody at home and at work and won't sit in anything else.

I think this will be a good replacement for all those Areons out there. Attractive, cheaper, and likely better quality. It seems like a winner for them.

programminggeek 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I haven't used a Herman Miller chair, so I don't claim to understand why they are popular, but from a purely aesthetic view of the world, that is a very nice looking chair.

Can someone enlighten me as to what the big deal is about Herman Miller chairs?

DenisM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
FWIW, I have the original Mirra and don't like it all that much. The seat is too stiff, and ends up cutting off blood supply in my legs (yes, I know about edge adjustment, no it doesn't help). I'm scheming for s Steelcase Leap now, but only time will tell if it's better for me, of course.
chaffneue 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I work in an office with a bunch of broken Mirras that have all failed by the plastic shearing off near the shoulder mount point. I wonder if they fixed that bug in the refresh - Might even consider picking one up for home. That said, I still find HM's cloth lined chairs (Aerons and Embody) more comfy than the half poly ones.
bjorg 4 hours ago 1 reply      
We had a few Herman Miller chairs in our office and are now switching exclusively to them for our new digs. The reason is that despite having bought our current chairs on eBay, HM upheld their 12 year warranty and fixed any and all issues that we encountered over the past few years. That level of service has made me a convert for life!
keyle 5 hours ago 3 replies      
That is my dream chair... Unfortunately, they cost north of $1000 here in Australia.
trippy_biscuits 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks a bit like the Steelcase Leap. I spend more time in my chair than in my bed. The Leap chair cost more than my bed.
ashika 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Knoll's ReGeneration is the yin to the Mirra 2's yang.
No More Callbacks: 10,000 Actors, 10,000 Threads, 10,000 Spaceships paralleluniverse.co
290 points by pron  15 hours ago   101 comments top 16
ChuckMcM 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Nice exemplar. Back when Java was being created, James Gosling was pretty insistent that concurrency be lightweight and scalable. When I ported it from SunOS 4 so Solaris 2.0 I had to move from the really light weight setjump()/longjmp() threads that he had implemented, into the thread system that Solaris had defined. There was a huge negative impact on performance (as I recall about 15x slower). That sucked because one of the coolest demos at the time had a little world in it where 'Fang' (the Java mascot) lived and a bunch of things in that world were all animated with threads. Looking at the 'fiber' model for threads I think they are much closer to what we should have done in the first place.

The thought was to have a billion threads on a SPARCStation 10 (that is like an old Pentium machine now). We never got close but it was a great goal. Definitely going to have to go back and revisit this topic now. Thanks for the excellent demo to play with!

CookWithMe 14 hours ago 1 reply      
My first thought was "why don't they use Akka"?

> Akka has no true lightweight threads (the actors are actually callbacks)

Would you care to elaborate? I'm not too familiar with the internals of Akka, but they definitely don't use "heavyweight" threads (which I assume are threads that are 1:1 mapped to OS threads).

Also, I didn't get "the actors are actually callbacks". Yes, there may be callbacks involved internally (why not?), but there is a big difference whether I am sending a message to an actor (which may be processed at any time) vs. calling a callback (which is immediately executed on the very same thread that I'm running on).

Sorry if this sounds dismissive, but I'd really like to learn why you choose to implement your own solution, because you've obviously put some time into evaluating what is out there.

jaimefjorge 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Well written, good description and nice demo.

Would love to see more on how this is different to (or better than) Akka. The programming model is actually close to Akka (with actor systems, supervision, receive method, message passing, etc).

The article states that Akka has no true lightweight threads. The guys behind Akka have put it running with 50M messages/second[1] and perfomance vs erlang seems to be good as well [2][3].

Perhaps a benchmark would be great.

Thanks for sharing.

[1] http://letitcrash.com/post/20397701710/50-million-messages-p...

[2] http://uberblo.gs/2011/12/scala-akka-and-erlang-actor-benchm...

[3] http://musings-of-an-erlang-priest.blogspot.pt/2012/07/i-onl... discussing millions of messages is a good signal IMHO).

IgorPartola 14 hours ago 3 replies      
> Writing correct and efficient multi-threaded code is at once necessary and extremely difficult.

I do not agree with this. The original statement he is quoting says "can be very challenging". Yes, if you are designing something very state heavy and your design is somehow flawed or too complex then you can run into issues. However, in most cases threads are no more complex than callbacks, actors, etc. In fact, from what I've seen, concurrent code eventually all converges to some semblance of the actor model anyways.

Where the actors/green threads/etc. really shine is having huge numbers of them. OS threads still have very large overhead compared to lighter weight green threads, so you can spin up many magnitudes more of them than you have CPU cores.

Also, in lots of languages multi-core != concurrent. You can have 10,000 actors using a single core. In fact writing a scheduler that can efficiently distribute actors between different cores is probably where the complexity Doron Rajwan refers to lies.

frozenport 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the approach is interesting but I don't understand how this considered theoretical. 10,000 elements for an N-Body problem is expected.

What I am more confused about is how this considered peak optimization.

Assuming they are utilizing doubles and doing both read and write I get the following computation:

(10000x10x8x2 bytes per second) or 12 Megabits per second vs the theoretical bandwidth of a PCIe of 40 Gbs?

Are they computationally limited and what is their memory access pattern?

newobj 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Title: "...10,000 Threads..."

Post: "...10,000 Fibers..."


Morgawr 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm going to be "that" guy and ask... why actors? Why not agents?

The concept of agents (as defined by Rich Hickey in a lot of his Clojure talks) is all about a globally shared, immutable and persistent state on which you can act upon.

With actors you still need to have the actor handle its own mailbox of requests and then handle them, the actor has to define its behavior.

With agents you don't have to ask for the world to stop to communicate, you can read the current snapshot of the world (aka no request to view the state, no database queries) and send transformation functions on the data of that specific agent, which will be then processed by the agent's thread in an ordered way.

I'd love to see more insight on the choice for this, it's interesting as I am currently working on a similar project.

auvrw 3 hours ago 1 reply      
concurrency --- albeit not at this scale --- is something that that you sometimes have to deal at a low level with when writing android apps. animating custom views, for example, often winds up involving direct use of Runnable s rather than (what i assume are) system-level AsyncTask s. a lot of the die-callbacks-die neatness on the java side of this relies on a coroutine library, but that library doesn't run on android. there is a continuation library that does> http://commons.apache.org/sandbox/commons-javaflow/which could be used to create coroutines and from there user-level threads

... but if we just want some generic kind of concurrency-niceness on a java virtual machine, might it make more sense to use scala rather than write your own lightweight thread library? is the user-space thread implementation really necessary or even helpful if you're abstracting toward actors anyway? do these questions even make sense to anyone?

mpweiher 8 hours ago 0 replies      
And we nowadays have the hardware resources to run this on one CPU per spaceship, at least theoretically:


Needs some interconnect, of course...

ericHosick 13 hours ago 0 replies      
We are working on a fully composable frame and concurrency is done as follows (upper-case = Object, lower-case = property):

AsyncRun ( part SomeObject )

multiple items can run in parallel like this:

AsyncRun ( part SomeObjectA SomeObjectB .. )


AsyncSync ( part AsyncRun ( part SomeObjectA SomeObjectB .. ))

locking a property:

AsyncRun ( part AsyncLock ( lockName = "someName", part = SaveUser ( ... ) ) )

On main thread (for UI/UX):

MainThreadRun ( part SomeObject )

meowface 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this similar to green threads / "greenlets" in Python? They look to be the same concept.
regi 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting. I'm attempting to do pretty much the same thing in C: http://github.com/reginaldl/librinoo
vendakka 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks very nice!

Does this play well with existing JVM threading support? More specifically, if there is a call to a synchronized method inside of a fiber and another JVM thread has entered the monitor, will this block the entire fiber scheduling thread?

The reason I ask is I'd like something that plays well with legacy code.

EGreg 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How does this compare with Grand Central Dispatch on the Mac?
knodi 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not a fan of this approach. I like what Go does with channels and I like what D does with synchronized functions. Its simple and powerful and no magic. Fuck magic.
perlgeek 11 hours ago 2 replies      
>On my 4-core (8 virtual cores) i7 MacBook, with 10,000 spaceships, I get close to 10 simulation cycles per second. [...]

> When running the simulation synchronously, i.e. with a phaser, performance drops to about 8 cycles per second on my development machine.

> Performance we are able to fully exploit the computing power of modern multi-core hardware.

So, 25% faster with 8 cores is "fully exploit the computing power of modern multi-core hardware". WTF?

Calgary man becomes world's most travelled canoe.ca
19 points by victoro  3 hours ago   10 comments top 5
dmoy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Man I really hope this guy is a good writer.
fusiongyro 36 minutes ago 2 replies      
Israeli border control will give you temporary insert pages if you're worried about it affecting your travel to other countries. You just have to ask.
androidb 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a great adventure, too bad there aren't any photos in there. The only source I found was this http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/04/spencer-bown-worlds-... - the last video on page has some real photos with him during his travels, including the one in Somalia (mogadishu).
auctiontheory 1 hour ago 0 replies      
He's been to more places than Tim Cahill!
Search Engine Yandex Launches "Cocaine" To Compete With Google App Engine techcrunch.com
37 points by brentm  5 hours ago   28 comments top 16
aluhut 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure my companys filter will block this only because of the name.
kristopher 4 hours ago 0 replies      

  "Regardless of the name, these cocaine clouds represent a new force in the cloud services market and show the trending acceptance for Linux containers."
Ah, yes, "cocaine clouds."

Demiurge 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Haha, I wonder if the name is just a clever way to get the word out, since yandex is fairly unknown in the west.
dschiptsov 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The degree of reality distortion of the management who choose this brand name is very telling. Moscow, Russia.)

So what, FreeBSD jails based hostings are cool again? But, of course, Docker is much more cool and "innovative".

Geee 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, no. It's open-source system to create your own PaaS like Heroku or Google App Engine. Right? See here: https://github.com/cocaine/cocaine-core
fleitz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It's odd, they don't mention if it's possible to do rails.

Maybe with a couple dollar bills they can make rails happen, doesn't seem to work so far.

dariusm5 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm curious why they chose 'Cocaine' as the name of the project. Naming a project after a substance illegal in most of the world is pretty bold. I'm looking forward to how they market this outside of Russia.
netvarun 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Other than the fact that they are using docker, what I found most interesting was that they are developing support for Racket!
patrickg_zill 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In my experience, although I know only a few Russians, they are not very politically correct. So calling it "Cocaine" is not that surprising.
d0m 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's me or that beta.yandex.com search engine (that I've never heard before) is a complete ripped-off of google? I mean, I know it's a search engine. But in term of UI and design choices, the beta looks very similar.
ninetax 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Couldn't tell by looking around but do you think this could be used to host multi-tenanted environments? How about untrusted code execution?
oinksoft 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Supporting C++ is pretty interesting. Are there comparable hosts providing C++ hosting?
applecore 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the name!
loceng 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Feels like some decision makers are doing cocaine and making them feel perhaps more confident than they should.
auggierose 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"We are running on Cocaine." Seriously? They don't even have the excuse of being French (do you like Coq?).
podviaznikov 5 hours ago 0 replies      
wow, they use docker
Lua support in the NetBSD kernel netbsd.org
70 points by jboynyc  8 hours ago   32 comments top 6
lifeisstillgood 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Holy crapola - they are putting a Lua interpreter in the kernel, and it has access to some limited calls.

This is partly driven by "we need device drivers and no one understands C anymore", partly because it's cool, but mostly because Moores law is still alive and well. They are putting a scripting language in a kernel ! Forget write your app in python / perl / Ruby then optimise in C - the raw power argument is going to overwhelm us all.

I heard a stat the other day - that a greetings card, the kind that plays a silly tune, has more processing power than all computers on the planet in 1960. And we should expect a similar growth in the next 50 years. Even if that's out by two orders of magnitude just let it sink in.

I think we are at a Cambrian explosion period - where the goal is to try out every possible new body shape, as fast as possible and see which ones get the Darwin seal of approval.

New organisation forms are possible, some for the first time in human history, new ways of thinking and communicating - it's stuff like this that makes one realise the water around the frog is getting hotter.

(Still it's worth remembering that most train companies in 19C England failed and the average return for stockholders was 10% - just because the world will change beyond recognition does not mean industry stocks is a great return)

anttiok 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's awesome to see this work finally hit the tree. Now, I cannot say I agree with all of the motivations. For example, I do not believe that prototyping should be done in kernel mode at all, nor do I believe that using Lua will shield from incorrect operation or crashes. However, there is already proof that device drivers can be written in Lua (https://github.com/SnabbCo/snabbswitch), and it's great to see more push in that direction.

After all, why use C if you have a working alternative? We just need real world experiments to see if Lua is a working alternative for the kernel.

vor_ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> Marc Balmer comes across as some sort of Lua zealot. Lua is a great little language but c'mon. He is like a broken record. Why does he want this so badly?

Quoting bullet points from his FOSDEM 2013 slides:

Modifying software written in C is hard for users

Give users the power to modify and extend the system

Let users explore the system in an easy way

"Rapid Application Development" approach to driver/kernel development

Modifying the system behavior

Configuration of kernel subsystems

jarjoura 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this similar to Windows wanting to rebuild their entire userland on top of .NET?
morenoh149 2 hours ago 0 replies      
yay. I was just looking at learning lua to do corona development
Reproducibility Initiative gets $1.3M grant to validate 50 cancer studies scienceexchange.com
190 points by djkn0x  13 hours ago   33 comments top 9
napoleoncomplex 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Reproducibility in science is something that badly needs this push. It's an incredibly difficult "sell" to anyone with funds for research, and I'm extremely happy that they've found capital for it.

The foundations of our scientific knowledge need to be solidified, and from all the science news and developments, this one is the one that makes me by far the most excited for the future of science.

Next on the list, open source repositories for protocols of experiments! Maybe someone surprises me with a link to an existing solution :).

Osmium 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Honestly, I'm impressed $1.3M is enough for 50 studies! Though, of course, verification should be cheaper than the original research since you know exactly what to look for and how to find it.
irollboozers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Science Exchange is leading and pushing ahead with this very important work. They are addressing what the public funders and private industry can't and won't do, but at scale this becomes really powerful. Great stuff.
doctoboggan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I met some of the people behind The Center For Open Science at SciPy this year. They seemed very passionate. I hope the idea of reproducing experiments as a matter of course becomes more common. Maybe in the future to be a reputable scientist you will have had to reproduce many of the current experiments of the time.
gabemart 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know very much about how reproducibility validation works. Is it the case that, if we assume p= ~0.05 and all 50 original studies are perfect, we would expect the first iteration of reproducibility validation to fail for ~2 of the 50 studies?
DaveWalk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested to know which studies they are targeting. Is SciEx testing a key figure from an expansive publication, or the entire methodology from discoveries with few tests? To me, this seems to be a conceptually difficult decision to make...most discoveries do not discuss the number of years (or failed attempts) that goes by before obtaining the quantifiable result.

And where is the peer review in this process? I suppose as soon as something turns up unreproducible we will find out.

dnautics 13 hours ago 0 replies      
this is really phenomenal. Congratulations, SE.
ypandit 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations SciEx !
brianbreslin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
awesome congrats guys!
Intel says get ready for $99 tablets, $299 Haswell notebooks, $349 hybrids zdnet.com
35 points by TheLegace  5 hours ago   66 comments top 10
dangrossman 4 hours ago 10 replies      
The high end of the PC laptop spectrum has been neglected for years. I guess the market is just too small to care about. I have no idea where they're taking their profits if they're pushing down on the low-end prices too.

I've been looking for a new laptop for over 2 years, and nobody's been selling anything worthy of replacing what I'm already using, which was built in 2010. For a few brief months that year, HP made a wonderful MBP clone (magnesium alloy case, 1600x900 14" screen with edge-to-edge glass, SSD, etc). Soon after, that product line turned into the same plastic 1366x768 crap everyone else was selling, and that's been what's filled store shelves ever since. Meanwhile, my 2010 laptop is starting to fall apart, with dead pixels, an overheating GPU and lost battery capacity.

I am looking forward to buying an ASUS UX301 this November to replace it. That's the first and only Ultrabook-class laptop I've seen since 2010 that'll actually be an "upgrade" without buying some thick "gaming" monstrosity. It'll have a Haswell i7-4558U, which comes with the Intel HD 5100 graphics, the first Intel integrated graphics chip to outmatch the 3-year-old Radeon in my current laptop. Plus 8GB RAM, 512GB of RAID-0 SSD, an all metal and glass case and up to 9 hours of battery life. Assuming this PC in that configuration actually makes it to market.

What's amazing to me is that this many months after Haswell parts started showing up in stores, that one ASUS laptop is still the only announced product by any name-brand manufacturer with the i7-4558U/HD 5100 parts. Every other new/"refreshed" laptop that'll be in stores this holiday season will either have an integrated GPU incapable of playing games well on the higher resolution screens they ship with, or give up its thickness and battery life for a discrete GPU.

programminggeek 5 hours ago 5 replies      
This is a bad thing for the industry. Every time someone buys a junky $300 laptop filled with bloatware from HP, Dell, eMachines, etc. they are going to have a mediocre experience at best. Then they buy a $200 tablet from Amazon or Google, a $300 iPad Mini or a $500 iPad that while all of those devices should be less powerful, they deliver a MUCH BETTER end user experience.

HP, Dell, Lenovo need to stop selling the bottom of the barrel hardware with bottom of the barrel Windows experiences. The end business result is they are working really hard to sell a zero margin product only to watch Intel and Microsoft turn a tidy profit.

If HP, Dell, and Lenovo want to stay in the game long term, they need to stop catering to the low end.

moistgorilla 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Plan on buying the Dell venue 8 pro the day it comes out.

-x86? check

-bay trail? check

-long battery? check

-stylus support? check

-high ppi? check

-under $300? check

Perfect notebook replacement. Not a laptop replacement but as a companion device it is perfect.

ge0rg 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wish they stopped forcing touchscreens on their users. I would so buy a Haswell-based follow-up to the Asus Zenbook UX51VZ as a developer machine, but having fingerprints on a glossy display is a showstopper for me.
ChuckMcM 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
This would not be an unheard of tactic for Intel (go for cheap) but it seems ill advised against ARM. I get the 'Quark' but I don't get trying to sell a Haswell CPU at Cortex A9 prices. That seems like it would be jumping the gun. Of course the issues at 14nm may be worse than we thought and Intel needs this for cashflow but still, I'm guessing ZDNet hype.
twotwotwo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The cheapie Bay Trail convertibles seem like, potentially, the much more awesome--lighter, more touch-tastic and fun--revenge of the netbook. The 'problem,' such as it is, is that lots of the target audience already has tablets or faster small laptops, sort of squeezing the convertibles from either side. That and that Win8 can't seem to catch a break.
eliben 3 hours ago 0 replies      
... and I'm just sitting here, finding it horrible that even ZDnet articles make the its --> it's mistake these days :-/
eliben 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Any hope for some of these to be running Ubuntu pre-loaded? Potentially they can be cheaper due to lack of Windows licensing. The only alternative today is Chrome OS (and there are quite a few new ones released already) and Windows 8 (oh the horror
andrewflnr 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A small, light notebook with a good battery for $300 is pushing into impulse buy territory for me, with the condition that it's not an enormous pain to install linux on. I will be watching closely.
dxbydt 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess I wasn't the only one who parsed that as a $299 Haskell notebook ?
How to Avoid Problem Clients nicholasreese.com
63 points by fraXis  8 hours ago   13 comments top 7
dangero 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great article.

I don't agree that you should focus on anything less than the "Give me results" clients. First off, you know what they say is the problem with goals? You'll probably reach them. Meaning, you're setting your ceiling. I've found that if you hand pick your clients, you can make certain that you have clients who focus on results. Most consultants talk about word of mouth as the main way that they get new clients, but I dislike that approach. The reason is that you're letting clients choose you. My best client is a client that I picked and cold called. I knew they were making lots of money and I knew they needed what I was selling. Selling something as a consultant is about specialization. Specialization doesn't necessarily mean that your experience is focused in one area. It means that you can present yourself as an expert in one area.

Here's something counterintuitive that I've found that goes along with this article: Clients who pay the least are usually the most demanding. I used to lower my price when people complained, but I quickly realized that my price was a filter blocking bad clients. Plus accepting a lower price really led to likely bad outcomes because when the going got tough, the voice in the back of my head said, "These guys are paying you less than your other jobs", then I suddenly felt completely unmotivated to work hard for them.

Here's a really good book about consulting that helped me. Not focused on software consulting, but a lot of the concepts are the same:http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Consulting-Alan-Weiss/d...

bane 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't oversell what you can offer. It's amazing how perfectly reasonable customers become "problem clients" when you can't deliver what they bought.
etfb 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm having trouble getting past the fact that this guy was, basically, running a spam business. Email marketing is spam, to a first approximation, and while there are ethical email marketers out there, I don't know enough to be sure that this guy was one of them. Which means I'm getting good advice from someone whose ethics are under a cloud; it colours my view of the whole article.
yogo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I wanted more customers who were focused on results, instead of price.

... and also trust you to provide the right solution. Good clients tend to know what the want at a high level and trust you to take care of the rest. Problem clients tend to micro-manage and are looking more for a robot. Usually those projects are unsuccessful for the same reason telling a heart surgeon how to perform surgery is disastrous.

ballard 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The other point of clients is not that they're inherently good or bad, but that handling them determines the dynamic of the relationship. If a consultant appears eager and willing to do something for nothing, they can't blame the client. Never offer something that would lead to resentment; say "no" instead.

On the otherside, the value of hot to crazy (money to bullshit) has to be there.

kposehn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would add only a single thing to this list: make sure to do your due diligence on potential clients. Look them up and see who they are before you accept work with them.
gesman 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with setting high prices.

Back when i was selling realtime data backup software I was wondering how come the highest priced package pulled the biggest total number of sales. Today I realize i should of set price 10x more and I'd probably sell more.

I also recommend attitude "there are no problematic clients" vs "how to avoid something". Quite often in my experience the "problematic" and complaining client suddenly spent large amount of money on order.

Coding Interview Tips interviewcake.com
258 points by gameguy43  17 hours ago   132 comments top 26
Jemaclus 14 hours ago 7 replies      
Here's where I think I diverge from most people on this topic. My personal view is that I think by the time you bring someone in for an interview, you should already know that they can code, whether that's through code samples they provide or through Github accounts or whatever.

TL;DR; Don't waste your applicants time or your own

## The InterviewInterviewing should have two parts, imo:

* Confirming that I actually wrote the code I sent you and know what it means

* Confirming that you want to sit next to me for the next six months

I can tell you right now that if I take time off my current job to go sit in your office for an interview and you ask me basic questions like "What is MVC?" or "What's the difference between a POST and a GET request?", I'm going to thank you for your time and walk right out.

Why? Because my Github profile, which is featured prominently on my resume, contains examples of both. Half my projects are MVC projects, and many of them use 3rd party APIs (or are even APIs themselves!). The fact that you're asking me basic definitions means you didn't even pay attention to the stuff I sent you, so you're wasting my time and yours. You could have already figured this out ahead of time. Instead, you asked me to take time out of my day (probably during work hours) to ask questions whose answers I've already provided.

(Please note that this only really goes for non-entry-level positions. For entry-level applicants, such as kids fresh out of college, you may not have very many code samples to work with. That's fine. In that case, send some problems for them to work on at home. Hopefully, these are dumbed-down but real-world problems your company has faced in the past.)

## Phone Screen (aka verifying authenticity)

The first thing you should do is take a gander at my Github profile or my code samples. Then you call me up at a prearranged time and ask me questions about that code. Make me prove that I wrote what I said I wrote.

* I noticed you made this combat simulator (www.bitfalls.com/2013/08/autofight-php-job-interview-task-part-1.html). Walk me through your thought process.

* Your code appears to be a custom MVC. Why did you choose to go with a custom one versus say, CodeIgniter or Symfony?

* This project is an API for Nerd Nite scheduling. First of all, what's Nerd Nite and why did you make an API for it? Second, explain how you scraped the data, organized it, and output the results.

The above three questions will give you way more insight into my programming style and thought process than "What is an MVC?". Please. Don't waste my time. As a senior engineer with 7+ years in the field, I shouldn't need to prove the equivalent of my ABCs to you. It should be understood.

I personally would also skip the whole "live coding" thing via Stypi or whatever. Waste of time, imo. You've already got code samples and you can ask me as many questions as you want about it. I shouldn't need to write code in front of you to establish my credentials.

## What about people who lie?

There are people who lie about their resume and their qualifications, but that's exactly why you should tailor your questions to fit the code samples provided. If I don't get excited about that code and I can't eloquently explain why I did what I did or how it works, then maybe I didn't write it after all. It also gives you an insight as to my personality: I clearly took time out of my day to write this code. Why? What prompted me to write an API for Nerd Nite schedules?

The answers to those questions should give you an idea of whether I can actually program or not. Questions like "What is MVC?" can be looked up in a dictionary. Explaining code samples is much more difficult.

## What next?

Once you've established that I wrote the code I said I wrote, then Step 1 of The Interviewing process is mostly done. Now you bring me into the office to determine Step 2 -- am I someone you want sitting next to you for 8+ hours a day for the next six months? Do I fit in with company culture?

You could give me a problem to solve on the spot, but hopefully it's more of a higher level thing rather than a "write code on a whiteboard" thing. The reason I say this is because at this point you should already have seen my code. You should know by now that I can build a class. The question you need to answer now is: given an arbitrary problem, can I solve it or at least come up with a reasonable thought process?

Bonus points if it's relevant to the job. (i.e., if your job never requires you to write binary trees from scratch, don't ask the applicant to do so.)

## Finally

Between the phone screen (technical) and in-person interview (personal), you should have a good idea of whether you want me on your team or not.

Occasionally for small teams, you may decide that you need to know something about time, creativity, independence, and other similar qualities that you can't really get from code samples. If this is the case, then I suggest doing the contract thing, where you give them an assignment on contract. Once the assignment is finished, you hire them or pay them for the work completed (or hopefully both).

I really, really, really despise whiteboard coding. I don't think it's indicative of anything, and I think you will find a lot of false negatives (i.e., rule out good candidates) using the whiteboard method.

A few other thoughts:

* I should meet my potential future boss at the in-person interview

* I should meet at least one of my potential future coworkers

* Be respectful of my time. Most interviews take place during work hours, so I've taken time off work -- and probably lied to my boss about where I'm going! -- to meet with you. The least you can do is not waste my time.

* Be familiar with my resume and code samples. I took the time to write them, you should take the time to read them. It will answer way more questions about my abilities than a 20 minute quiz on technical terms will.

The more informal the in-person interview is, the better. The technical qualifications should already be accepted by the time I walk in the door. At this point, it's a two way street as we figure out whether we want to work together. I'm interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing me.

(Note: These are just my opinions about how I interview others. It hasn't failed me yet. On the other hand, almost every job I've ever interviewed for has completely wasted my time on that front.)

RogerL 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the programming/algorithms questions are probamatic. They by and large depend on seeing some trick. Take the array 1..n one. It's an 'aha' type question. You either see the trick, or not. I saw it after a minute, but rolled my eyes. How does that in any way predict whether I can solve hard problems in production. I give myself pretty high probability of not having that 'aha' moment in an interview; whether I did or did not tells you nothing useful.

Not to mention that this is not exactly an obscure trick. If you've seen it a few times it is trivial to remember the trick and apply it. It's been awhile since I've looked at the 'interview questions exposed' type books or websites, so it didn't leap immediately to mind. Would you really select against me because I haven't read such things?

edit: my phrasing was way to strong and unfriendly. I reworded the first sentence.

beat 15 hours ago 2 replies      
As an interviewer, I'm far more interested in soft skills than hard skills. I just want to know that they can actually program, which I can usually tell by how they talk about accomplishments in the face of some probing detail questions. Good programmers want to take a difficult problem, shoot it, mount its head on the wall like a set of antlers, and brag about it to anyone who will tolerate that. So competence shines through without a lot of tech question grilling.

Soft skills, on the other hand... is this person an asshole? Inflexible and dogmatic? Timid? Boring? That stuff drags down a whole team.

obituary_latte 15 hours ago 1 reply      
-1 for forcing sign in. What if I don't care about saving my progress? What if I'm not a member of any of those services? Answer: 10 second pageview guaranteed to not become a return visiter.
kabdib 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I had an interesting question once: They gave me a whiteboard problem that I'd studied about a week ago.

So I told them. "Look, I did this problem on my own a little while ago." They chuckled and made it harder, which was fine. :-)

dkhenry 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Quick someone show this to college students. Most of his advice is exactly what I am looking for when I give interviews.
sgustard 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As the last round of a 3-hour interview I met the engineering manager whose first question was, "Do you know Perl?" and I said no and he said "Sorry, we need someone who knows Perl" and sent me home. After 3 hours of wasting my time! Not naming names, but Screw you and burn in hell for eternity SAP!
ChikkaChiChi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Any time I've been a part of hiring new talent, I'm looking at three things:

1. How you process information. I'm not going to be impressed if someone at the table says 'Microsoft' and you cringe.2. Can you admit to not knowing everything? You'd be shocked how big of an issue this is.3. Are you willing to adapt? In a smaller team, you have to bend and be willing to take on new challenges.

kevinpet 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't look like there's a whole lot of coding in that coding interview. Apparently the article assumes that "coding interview" involves a whiteboard, rather than a keyboard.

We segment our interviewing into different sections. One person will do a specific functional competency evaluation which consists of writing code in an IDE to see whether you can write code. This portion of the interview is not about analytical thinking skills, people skills, or "tell me about a problem you've solved". It's about writing code. The interviewer is looking to see how many hints you need to get at working code, how well your solution is structured, and getting an overall feel for how you program.

yeukhon 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Please allow googling in an interview. How many people today actually write code without a Google search? I bet 90% of the Google engineers do that and still able to write really brilliant code.
bcjordan 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a really comprehensive list of tips, thanks Parker!

Definitely including this in next week's Coding for Interviews newsletter.

umsm 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The key point from the article: Communicate well.

This is really very true in the corporate world. The better you know how to communicate, the more likely it is that you will succeed in your chosen profession.

Pirate-of-SV 9 hours ago 1 reply      
For http://www.interviewcake.com/question/largest-stack

There's a simple solution that requires no additional space.

Disclaimer: Code is not tested or given the love it deserves.

    Class Item():        def __init__(value):            self.value = value            self.next = None            self.next_largest = None    Class maxStack():        def __init__():            self.top = None            self.largest = None            def push(value):            i = Item(value)            i.next = self.top            self.top = i            if value >= self.largest:                i.next_largest = self.largest                self.largest = i            def pop():            v = self.top.value            if self.largest == self.top:                self.largest = self.largest.next_largest            self.top = self.top.next            return v            def getLargest():            return self.largest

Fede_V 16 hours ago 0 replies      
That was very useful, thanks. All pragmatic, useful advice and no generic bs.

Edit:Annoying that you cannot try practice questions without logging in though.

bcbrown 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> Leave yourself plenty of room. You may need to add code or notes in between lines later. Start at the top of the board and leave a blank line between each line.

That's a good idea I'll adopt. It looks messy when you start trying to shoehorn in a missed line somewhere.

dancecodes 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think if you offer to code in interview its not right and dont resume good Man and company lost cool thinking programmer. In root its going from escape from peoples - such company not need with anybody. They must offer not coding, the must offer work and good things. Programming solve not coding it solve to make effective and easy. Coding in interview is monkey fun.
yixizhang 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice article, but not that good site design. Not to mention the solutions for most of its problem are either flawed or fundamentally not correct.

Author of the site wrote solutions in Python, but obviously he/she doesn't understand Python. Isn't that against what the article suggested?

aidos 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm just glad I work in python mostly and no longer have to deal with off by one errors...
buildit 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice site, could not do the practise questions though since I am not member of any of the social sites needed. Suggeting the option to proceed without the saving feature.
triplesec 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This reads even better as a "how to be a more insightful and incisive thinker and presenter", and anyone who just wants to use this excellent advice for interviews is missing the point!
dhammack 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Just as a heads up, after I finish an interview question neither button works (I'm an expert or review later). Clicking on each doesn't seem to do anything. The only way for me to see additional questions is to head back to the homepage and re-click 'run some practice questions.'
bastiaanus 16 hours ago 6 replies      
I am at the "write a function that reverses a string without creating a new string" question and this is the answer on the site:

  def reverse(str):    left_ptr = 0    right_ptr = len(str) - 1    middle = len(str) / 2    while left_ptr <= middle:        # swap        temp = str[left_ptr]        str[left_ptr] = str[right_ptr]        str[right_ptr]= temp
wouldn't this create an infinite loop? You're never incrementing / decrementing left_ptr or right_ptr.

shawiz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
loblawslawblog 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Also found this book helpful for more practice questions & solutions: http://interviewsolutionsmanual.com/
known 13 hours ago 0 replies      
quiz != interview
zachmokahn 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is aweasome
Potion 0.1 released github.com
52 points by chl  7 hours ago   2 comments top
Argorak 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a nice, but very irrelevant story about potion.

After EuRuKo 2009, we were standing at the gate on the airport of Krakow, close to boarding time. why had just disappeared and so he was the topic for our group and one of us started to lament that he wanted to have a look at potion but it had just disappeared before he could download it.

Suddenly, Matz appeared, waiting for his plane going from the next gate. Matz loves programming languages and he had a copy on his notebook. So there we were, in Krakow, scrambling to find a USB stick in our bags to get a copy of potion while our planes were being boarded.

Some people collect wine, others collect programming languages.

Whos afraid of Jeff Bezos? samgerstenzang.com
73 points by ddfisher  3 hours ago   57 comments top 8
snowwrestler 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a good question: who in technology is afraid of Bezos?

While a lot of technology leaders might admire Bezos for his leadership of Amazon, I wonder how many fear him. Most of what Amazon does, does not compete with technology companies. In the few places they do, they're not a juggernaut.

For example, despite years of effort, the Kindle Fire has not significantly harmed the market share or margin of the iPad. Google and Samsung have done far more damage to Apple. And Amazon's media sales are not much of a threat to Apple: they haven't stolen significant share, and Apple does not try to make money on content anyway.

I think there are a lot of people who do fear Bezos, but they are mostly retailers and hosting companies.

lvs 2 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a lot of overlap between business commentary and sports commentary.
forkandwait 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Reinvest in infrastructure and put quality ahead of everything, including dividends and share price? Wow, what a concept...
area51org 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Not much new here who doesn't already realize this and Heroku does not belong on the list of EC2 competitors, given that they actually host on EC2. There's a big difference between IaaS and PaaS.
altoz 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Marissa Mayer's going to be on this list shortly.
curiouslurker 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I will make the bold claim that within 10 years amazon will fall apart at the seams like a cheap suit in a storm. You cannot run a non profit forever no matter how large your market share is or how obsessed you are about customers.

The culture (from what we can glean from the excerpts of the new book on Bezo's) is also toxic and is unlikely to produce an enduring successful company. Senior execs can't pass gas without Bezos' permission? When he steps down, there is unlikely to be the continuity that produces great enduring companies.

beautybasics 2 hours ago 7 replies      

& Google is far more feature proof company


- Solves easy problems at large scale


- Solves complex problems at large scale

chatman 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Surprisingly, no mention of Washington Post. That keeps him firmly up there in the zone of evil.

> Congratulations, sir

The tone seems like that of a Bozo fanboy.

URX (YC S13) Is A Brilliant Mobile Ad Service That Deeplinks Into Ecommerce Apps techcrunch.com
48 points by jmilinovich  7 hours ago   14 comments top 7
zaroth 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
It sounds like it would depend a lot of 3rd party tracking cookies. But how's that work with Safari in iOS defaulting 3rd party cookies to off?
smoyer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I see a bunch of comments on how useful this is, but I just uninstall applications that have ads that are intrusive. I'd love to get back to the point where I could buy software and pay the developers to make a living. Apparently everyone thinks they need to be Google now (ad supported).
rst 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Looking around the web site, it's a little hard to figure out what their Android story is. On the one hand, their developer info is about only their iOS library, and explicit references to Android elsewhere are ... not prominent. On the other hand, on Android, apps have been able to "claim" URLs for a while now. (The Twitter, YouTube, and Google Maps apps routinely offer to display URLs on the corresponding web sites, if they're present.)
callmeed 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty smart, especially with location-specific apps like HotelTonight. I'm assuming an ad-serving app could pass along my location and then display an ad for a hotel room in that city.

It's stuff like this that Groupon should be doing/looking at if they want to become relevant again.

tlack 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I see why this is super useful, but won't this functionality make more sense at the iOS level, as part of their standard API and with full support in the XCode environment? All apps should be able to deep dive into other apps, with certain rules attached.
goeric 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How would this work if the user didn't already have the app it's deeplinking to? Like if an ad in Pandora took me to a page in Hotel Tonight but I didn't have Hotel Tonight installed, then what?

Also, seems like a feature that could be added to one of the more popular in-app ad services without too much effort.

mikejarema 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any sites which list the deep-linking schemas for popular apps? Or where app developers can share their schema for others to use?
Getting the most out of HAProxy twilio.com
41 points by kevinburke  6 hours ago   7 comments top 4
jtokoph 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another cool HAProxy option is setting up backup/failover backends. So if all of your real backends die or go offline, haproxy can serve a friendly maintenance/downtime page from the failover backend.
falcolas 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Want to know what else is cool about haproxy? The stats unix socket. With it, you can query the existing configuration at whim, and with haproxy 1.4 or greater, you can configure haproxy on the fly.

    show stat -1 4\n    disable server xyz\n
What's not so cool? Disabling a server does nothing to kill off existing connections to that server, and idle timeouts can cause problems if your processes are slow to respond.

With care, though, it's a great component of a HA solution, in addition to a being a great load balancer.

nl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As we convert more and more Twilio tools to a service-oriented architecture, these logs have been invaluable at debugging failures

I'd love to know more about how Twilio does SOA (and no, the linked document doesn't expand on it).

Do they use an ESB or do they rely on individual services connecting directly to each other?

I'm 100% convinced of the ideas behind a service-oriented architecture. I'm less convinced about the need for an ESB, but I'm happy to be talked around.

Experiences/Opinions/War Stories eagerly sought.

zerop 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
where haproxy scores above ngingx..I am curious to know, as we use nginx....
Square Cash square.com
638 points by rjsamson  1 day ago   267 comments top 64
meritt 1 day ago 15 replies      
Seems to work amazingly although I'm a bit concerned about the security. A friend sent me $1. I get an email from square, link to website where I entered my debit #, expiry and postal. It deposited directly to my debit card (I didnt even know you could do that). The deposit already arrived!

"Checking Card Adjustment POS Pin (Credit) $1.00"

So I sent him $1 back (to: my friend, cc: cash@square.com, subject: $1). And it instantly sent it to him. I didn't have to verify my details or anything.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if there was a security blog explaining how they are validating that I indeed sent the email and it wasn't simply spoofed.

Edit - I did this from Gmail which I presume authenticates all of the emails via dkim? I'm guessing this won't work as automatic for other providers?

Edit2 - Just attempted with another friend and had to verify manually. The automatic-authorization appears to only apply when it's between two previously validated parties.

philfreo 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is my favorite type of product. Here's why:

- Take an existing known medium (in this case email) and makes it way more useful.

- They didn't try to build a bunch of new UI for connecting your Facebook so you can find and invite and pay your friends, paying out to your card, etc.

- It magically hides the messiness of an enormously complex problem (fraud, different types of debit cards & banks all over the world) behind a very simple interface.

- Unlike every other P2P payment system, I can actually sign up and receive money (or convince my friend to) using only what's in my pocket (debit card)... not hunting down ACH/wire details.

abalone 23 hours ago 4 replies      
The most stunning part of this is the "free" part.

The Durbin amendment regulates the cost of debit transactions over the Visa/Mastercard network. It's $0.22 + 0.05%.

Mossberg reports that Square is planning to monetize via "premium options" like international transfers. But still, $0.22+ is a lot to lose every time someone uses your mass-market service.

Good thing they raised $341M of VC money.

Who said the dot com days aren't back??

Source: http://allthingsd.com/20131015/the-money-is-in-the-email/

Tomdarkness 1 day ago 5 replies      
This is one area where the US seems to be behind compared to the UK. I am from the UK and that service would look quite poor if it launched over here. We have a system called faster payments service that offers instant (although in some cases up to 2 hours) bank transfers for payments up to 100,000 (can differ between banks). You can use this directly if you share bank account numbers and sort codes but there are also wrappers around FPS like Barclays PingIt that people can register with and use your mobile number instead. There is no fee associated with these services.
redthrowaway 1 day ago 2 replies      
Do Interac email transfers not work in the US? They're pretty much the same thing: send money to an email recipient who then clicks a link to deposit it in their account. I'm surprised that this is big news, and that it seemingly doesn't exist down south.
MBCook 1 day ago 5 replies      
Note that it takes 1-2 days for the deposit. They must be using ACH to do this. The 'free' part is great. Even with Square, I'd be hesitant to enter my debit card number.

Planet Money recently did a great episode all about the US's ACH system and why it works the way it does.


jey 1 day ago 4 replies      
They're obviously taking a loss on this (due to credit card fees) if the recipient gets the full amount sent. So this must be a loss-leader that's building up to something else where they expect to make a ton of money.

That "something" is most likely just "replacing cash and cards", but will be interesting to see how it plays out. It's a bold move regardless.

EDIT: I meant debit card transaction fees, not credit card fees.

rmccue 1 day ago 0 replies      
Note that this isn't available everywhere: https://squareup.com/help/en-us/article/5136-troubleshoot-sq...

(Would have been nice to see this on the actual page rather than hidden in "Troubleshooting")

sahaskatta 1 day ago 5 replies      
Hmm neat, however what benefits do I get using this when it's also built into Gmail and provided directly by Google Wallet?


nly 1 day ago 5 replies      
And composing an email to send someone money is secure how?

What stops someone from spoofing my email address, CC'ing it to cash@square.com, and clearing me out? And if someone does get in to my email account I'm toast?

guiambros 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brilliant solution, but can anyone tell me how they avoid fraud? I just sent money to a friend, and back. It worked fast and flawlessly, as expected. Supposedly money will be posted to my account in 24-48 hours. All good there.

Now, how can they make sure that the email is genuine and wasn't spoofed? Sure, they can check for white-listed domains and SPF records, but still seems fairly weak process. The FAQ [1] doesn't say much either. Human validation is even worse.

It helps that the send receives an email confirmation with the transfer, but you may not check the email before the money is posted. I guess they're pushing the onus of the proof to the receiver -- after all to receive the money you have to have a bank account and a visa/mc debit card.

Whatever the security mechanism, it's a brilliantly simple solution. If it takes off, it'll quickly replace Dwalla and other micropayments.

[1] https://squareup.com/help/en-us/article/5144-square-cash-sec...

gizzlon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like it's US only? ZIP code??

Residents of 48 US states have the ability to send and receive Square Cash. Currently, you'll be limited to receiving Square Cash if you live in the following two states..

tmsh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I was talking to a colleague about how Dwolla implements a similar pay network. I don't know Square's implementation. It varies with different P2P providers. Some create their own 'rails' in the backend (PopMoney, etc.). Some follow the 'clearing firm' / brokerage model of the commodities / equity markets. They have accounts in all major banks with deposit (debit) accounts and simply do an inner-bank transfer on both ends on your (and your recipient's) behalf.

That got me thinking though. It's 2013. The ideal solution is not to be beholden to any centralized authority or group of 'clearing' accounts for routing. The ideal solution is security but flexibility and distributiveness. The ideal solution is a network of trust with similar 'hubs' / 'clearing firms' that one can choose to route through automatically, have all the routing be automated for you via solid protocols.

There is the chance to create clusters of payment routing networks that are more elegant. It would make money movement so much more liquid in our world. And would be a really great thing.

Maybe Square is the beginning of that solution. I hope it gets even more distributed though. It's mostly companies leading the way for this. And good for them. But there's another possibility: something very open, but given the right protocols and architecture, very secure.

There is no incentive to create such an architecture other than the amazing world that it would mean where you could travel to different countries and authenticate seemless money transactions to whoever had a phone or email endpoint (again there would have to be name servers + some sort of money equivalent of SMTP + TLS / chains of trust + distributed clusters of shared 'clearing' bank accounts + routing algorithms to these accounts, etc.).

But that didn't stop Tim Berners-Lee or the early internet folks....

dangoor 1 day ago 1 reply      
It sounds great, but I'm always left wondering what the angle is for free services. Will they make their money off of float? Is it something to do with the way debit cards are charged?
BHSPitMonkey 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems a little scary, to be honest. It's plausible that malware (or even just somebody physically using your phone or computer for a minute) could generate and perhaps send these emails on a user's behalf (and then delete the confirmation and the "sent" copy, depending on the mechanism). If I were ever to use this service, I'd surely use a dedicated email address that's harder for me to casually send mail from.
tiziano88 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a similar gmail feature http://www.google.co.uk/wallet/send-money/
ytadesse 1 day ago 2 replies      
The simplicity of this is amazing.

That being said, I have a question: Here in Canada, I can send an email transfer of funds from my bank account to my contacts by simply logging into my bank online and specifying the email address of the recipient. Does this type of system exist in the US?

cryptoz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I want to learn more! The Help page is a 404 though: https://squareup.com/help/en-ca/topic/139

What banks does this work with?

downandout 1 day ago 1 reply      
I just scoured the site and saw no limits for receiving through square cash. I can't imagine that this is actually the case; does anyone have any idea what the actual policies are?
verelo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Yet another US only payment option. I get it, but at least state it somewhere so people like me don't get excited and then suddenly disappointed.
marcamillion 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone know if this will work with international debit cards?

E.g. if I have an debit card with my account at a Jamaican bank, can someone from the US email me cash and it arrives instantly or is this just a US service? Can't find any details about this on the site.

SeoxyS 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using Square Cash for a few months, and it's worked flawlessly. (A friend used it to send me money, and I jumped on the bandwagon; didn't even realize it was pre-release!) Square is attacking the consumer payment market from all angles, and I think it has the potential to become one of the biggest companies of this bubble!
abcd_f 22 hours ago 1 reply      
This needs an out-of-bound verification for the transfers. At the very least, it should confirm every new recipient - "Did you really mean to send $500 to yahoo@google.cc?"

Seriously, I am all for the simplicity of the system and the flow of the narration, but where the heck is the explanation of how this is not trivially exploitable?

SwaroopH 23 hours ago 0 replies      
A point about spoofed email, Square always seems to ask the sender for a confirmation whether the email was spoofed or not. I tested this by sending it legitimately and through an unauthorized email server.

The only thing that was concerning was when I sent a spoofed email, the receiver was able to know the sender name (cash account name) "ABC is about to send you cash". Very minor but it allows anyone to find out your name provided they know your email address.

usaphp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think thats an awesome idea, in the current world where the cash is not used as often as before and its hard to just send money to your friend or relative without dealing with long forms, swift codes, routing numbers etc...I am just wondering how did they manage to make it free? Any ideas?
kgermino 1 day ago 2 replies      
>Free. Actually Free.

Ok now I'm confused. I realize it's probably a marketing ploy, but how could the fees on this not eat them alive?

enraged_camel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not quite sure how to sign up. When I go to "Account" at the bottom right and enter my email address, it takes me to the purple "how to sign up" section, but it's not clear what to do from there.
chasingtheflow 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I get that this is cool because it doesn't require an app or anything to work. But I just don't see this replacing venmo for me. Albeit venmo requires a bit of set up (so does this) and an app, but once that's in place sending money is quicker and easier and I don't have to remember to cc anyone. Thoughts?
sami36 1 day ago 1 reply      
Free. I bite, What's the catch ? I presume recruit users to use the Wallet app ?
rjsamson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember seeing this talked about a while back and not thinking much of it, but the details look slick. Sending money with no signup required seems pretty awesome.
k-mcgrady 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't see anything on the site but on Google Play it warns the app can't be installed on my Nexus 4 - I take it this is US only?


Looks like it's not even available in all states in the US [1]

[1] https://squareup.com/help/en-us/article/5136-troubleshoot-sq...

mrtimo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had a debit gift card for 10 months with $35 on it. Just used this to send that money to myself. Awesome.

Amazing what you can do with a card number and expiration date. Don't loose your debit cards!

d0m 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't really care about that new feature, but man, I love that background video playing with the animation.. Is there a library to help create that? Seems like it's a <video> with some animation css on top of it?
kin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I currently use Venmo, which ties into Facebook accounts so it's super easy to find people. But Venmo is only free is you tie your checking account.

With this I can tie my debit card (which I guess is the same thing). So, I don't seen any real positive benefit over Venmo IMO. Can anyone else point anything out?

kiddz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm completely taken back by the simplicity of this + that it's free. So many times have I paid a contractor via PayPal as a "friend" to reduce PayPal's fees.

Moreover, why hasn't a bank or credit card company done something like this yet? Amazing how the solution disappears into a cc: address line and unique link in your email.

keyle 1 day ago 0 replies      
I cannot believe this is happening. This is extremely cool...

But didn't we agree that email wasn't a safe protocol?... How long do I have to cancel a transaction? Are they going to honor the fake ones like Visa does?...

jonheller 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love and trust Square, but would be extremely hesitant to trust my debit card anywhere online. Someone going on a charging spree with my credit card doesn't bother me as much as the thought of someone stealing this number and taking the money directly out of my account.
dalys 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just impressed by how the colors of the buttons in the top left corner (when idling at the section with the video background) is synchronized with the color theme of the video background.
charleyma 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Square Cash is definitely some sort of loss-leader, but for what?

Most obvious long-run plan would be for user/debit card acquisition (which has lower interchange rates) to support their bread and butter business (merchant tools) as this would increase their profit margins by reducing processing expenses, especially since Square simply charges a single rate to merchants...

electic 1 day ago 0 replies      
The security here is very very questionable. It is non-existent and that worries me.
Lifesnoozer 17 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a similar thing in Sweden, called Swish (https://www.getswish.se/). But it's a cooperation between banks, and you link it with your phone number, the transfer is instant, you have to identify using something called Bank ID.

Square Cash seems nice, but I prefer the approach of Swish.

mallipeddi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since the emails are not encrypted, anyone in the middle who's capable of scanning this traffic can basically see all the transactions passing by?
abvdasker 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Not talking about the product for a moment. There are a lot of not-so-great "flat design" websites out there, but Square Cash's is one of the best I've seen. I keep seeing these loud sites with full-width graphics and animations on everything. This is how it should be done. And responsive to boot!
unclebucknasty 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to phishing risks noted below, I wonder how many typo squatters will pop up for the cash@square.com cc.
bydpark 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty interesting, but, as everyone said, security sounds like it will be a huge issue.Will there be other methods of verifying a user for email, now that it can be linked to your bank account?
sbirch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think they've done something quite clever by (I infer) getting people to join up when they receive money. Venmo puts up an unnecessary wall by requiring that the payee sign up before they can be paid.
hnriot 9 hours ago 0 replies      
on an aside, what a great website, the background video and colorization all work so well.
zcs 1 day ago 0 replies      
What are they using to do the animations on the demo site?
pranavpiyush 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is simply a user acquisition mechanism for the rest of the Square business. They lose money on every transaction.

Read this: http://www.quora.com/Square-Inc-1/What-are-the-details-behin...

ateevchopra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really liked the idea. Its really good for all the parents who are not so tech savvy and can send money this easily. And its all free ? I don't understand why ? i mean I am not saying that it should be paid of something but being an entrepreneur myself I would love to know how you guys are making money on this.
AustinLin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hands down one of the best interfaces / UX I have ever used. It's about time someone made sending money really simple and free. Can't wait to see how this service matures.
aioprisan 1 day ago 0 replies      
how does the email source verification work? SPF and DKIM checks?any idea how they can credit a debit card? I'm guessing they rolled out their own solution with a few of the biggest US banks, having accounts at each one?
pradn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Echoing the other commenters: this is really great, but I'm a little weirded out because it's free. I'd like for them to be upfront about why it's free, since all the alternatives aren't.
ya 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://d.pr/i/oEmN chrome banned the request.
goeric 1 day ago 0 replies      
Glad they changed it from 50 cents to free. Smart move.

They solve this problem with the least amount of friction.

taigeair 1 day ago 0 replies      
how do they make money with this? BTW I didn't know I could scroll for the longest time! I thought it was an animation.
Romoku 1 day ago 1 reply      
Aren't emails sent in plaintext? What are the security and privacy implications of using this service?
kirk21 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Any idea what mailsystem they use to handle all these mails? Or is it an in-house build system?
magico 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It doesn't accept British Pounds yet :(
abhia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would this still work if someone used a fake email script?
meonkeys 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did Square just kill Dwolla?
tapmap 1 day ago 0 replies      
what about sending cash to an international debit card? Has anyone tried this?
hipaulshi 1 day ago 0 replies      
hmm? isn't Email address fakable?
maerF0x0 1 day ago 1 reply      
NSA will start to deposit the cash you send, its just "Metadata"
Debugging a Live Saturn V zamiang.com
240 points by dblock  18 hours ago   28 comments top 10
Arjuna 12 hours ago 3 replies      
For those that are not familiar, the Saturn V was equipped with 5 (yes, you read that right)... five F-1 rocket engines. Each engine produced an absolutely staggering 1,500,000 pounds of thrust; that's a total of 7,500,000 pounds of thrust!

Can you imagine being tucked into the small, cramped Command Module, sitting on top of this power at lift-off?

The whole thing, the technology, the sound, the people coming together to make it happen... it's soul-stirring.


kabdib 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Signing off on the paperwork and /then/ getting out of there.

So NASA :-)

brudgers 17 hours ago 1 reply      
And that's what is meant by"Steely Eyed Missile Man."
bigiain 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Somehow my occasional entry into the command line on a production server, opening up vi, and snapping a new configuration tweak in place and testing it it doesn't seem quite so brave or adventurous any more
geetee 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing story and many condolences. I hope he was able to personally tell you some of these stories before he passed on.
ljoshua 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome. I wish/don't wish that my debugging was that exciting.
carterac 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The author humbly failed to mention that late last night he accomplished quite an extraordinary just-in-time feat himself:

Today Artsy launched its live auction platform with TWO x TWO, a charity to benefit AIDS research: http://artsy.net/feature/two-x-two

larrydag 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What a great legacy to share. Thanks for sharing.
shospes 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Incredible story, unfortunately debugging is not that exiting any more..
AustinLin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Beautiful story.
Making $114 a day mining Bitcoin in Jakarta techcrunch.com
57 points by ldn_tech_exec1  8 hours ago   38 comments top 10
gibybo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How much did he spend on the 105 GPUs?

From this calculator: http://dustcoin.com/, you need about 60,000 KH/S to make $114 a day (excluding power cost). One of the most efficient $/hashrate GPUs for litecoin mining is the ATI 7950 at about $210 a piece and ~600 KH/s. 105 * 600 KH/s = ~60000 KH/s = ~$114, so it works out. That's $20,000. So if you spend $20,000 you can buy yourself a job that pays $114 a day. It will take 6 months just to break even. Better hope the difficulty hasn't increased enough in that time to make your GPUs irrelevant (hint: it probably will).

Keep in mind that I was very generously excluding the very significant cost of power, the very significant cost of all the motherboards/cpu/ram/power supplies to run those GPUs, and the power and space required to cool them. Realistically we're looking at more like $50k.

>Currently Im making about 60 litecoin per day, he said. Ive kept 95% of the mining profit since April and once the major exchanges start accepting LTC, others will follow, and price is expected to soar. So that 60 LTC could turn into $1,500.

This is absurd. If he thinks 60 LTC will be worth $1,500, he should spend the $20,000 he spent on GPUs on LTC instead. He'd turn $20,000 into $250,000 with no work required (another hint: assuming you can turn $20k into $250k in 6 months with no work as a sure thing is also absurd).

acchow 7 hours ago 8 replies      
FTA:> Electricity in Jakarta, Indonesia costs three cents per kilowatt hour. Thats 30 cents less than power in the US and Europe.

Uh...Power in the US costs 30+ cents/kWh? In which part of the country??

In Ontario, Canada, the price is about 6.7 cents/kWh during the night and peaks at 12.4 cents/kWh in the afternoon.


ryandrake 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds like the only people making money off of bitcoin mining are the manufacturers of these increasingly more powerful ASIC mining hardware. Once one gets developed and released, it's only a matter of time until it costs more in electricity than it's mining. Then, lo and behold, they're ready with an even faster/more energy-efficient one.
dobbsbob 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Article title is wrong, these are Litecoins not Bitcoins.

This might pay off mining 60LTC per day and hoarding them. The guy who started Litecoin now works for Coinbase, which may adopt Litecoin and will no doubt start a gigantic speculation bubble this Indonesian dude can cash out withhttp://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/08/litecoin/

smsm42 6 hours ago 2 replies      
$114 a day is equivalent of $14.25 working 8 hrs/day. I think there are many ways to make $14/hr without investing in expensive equipment (which will also need to be replaced eventually running that hot). Actually, person that is capable of building such thing and keeping it working could probably easily fetch much more than $14/hr.
hhandoko 6 hours ago 0 replies      
$114/day is actually a very good income income in Indonesia. For comparison, fresh grads are paid around $200 - $1000 a month (excl. bonuses) depending on the company (better pay for established, international corp).

The only problem I see is the reliability of the electricity provider itself. There are frequent surges and parts of Jakarta are known to experience regular rolling blackouts.

Dalkore 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
We run BitcoinASICHosting.com to provide mining hardware co-location and management.
gbin 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Indonesia mainly runs on thermal power, it is kind of sad that those crypto currencies indirectly encourage making profits out of cheap labor and the planet itself.

source wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_Ind...

warrenmiller 7 hours ago 2 replies      
'105 GPU system ' it'll be redundant is about a week or two when ASICs hit hard
na85 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is part of the fundamental flaw of bitcoin. It privileges the wealthy who can afford ever-faster and ever-more-expensive computer hardware.
Why Pierre Omidyar decided to join forces with Glenn Greenwald pressthink.org
148 points by uptown  15 hours ago   44 comments top 16
kyro 13 hours ago 3 replies      
With this government shutdown, the very real possibility of default, the incompetency of many in government finally reaching and affecting the American public, the NSA leaks, the company and journalist shakedowns in the name of security, and the lightning speed at which information of all this can now reach the literal hands of millions, we're in an incredibly pivotal period in our society. I fully support Omidyar 150% for wanting to catalyze this change. Whether he may or may not be going about this the perfect way is irrelevant.
CamperBob2 13 hours ago 4 replies      

   Omidyar believes that if independent, ferocious,    investigative journalism isnt brought to the attention    of general audiences it can never have the effect that    actually creates a check on power. Therefore the new    entity  they have a name but theyre not releasing it,    so I will just call it NewCo  will have to serve the       interest of all kinds of news consumers. It cannot be a     niche product. It will have to cover sports, business,    entertainment, technology: everything that users demand.
Can't disagree more with this. The only reason news outlets currently have to cover all of that stuff is that they're still trying to act like the newspapers and TV/radio stations they replaced. When you had only one or two newspapers in town, and only two or three TV channels within range of your rabbit ears, the news business was necessarily a general one. There is no reason at all to impose this model on the Web, and there are a lot of reasons not to.

mcphilip 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So essentially a Huffington Post esque scope of coverage to lure the masses hoping to ultimately redirect their attention to internally produced ProPublica quality investigative journalism?
malandrew 2 hours ago 0 replies      

    By support Omidyar means many things. The first and most     important is really good editors. (Omidyar used the phrase     high standards of editing several times during our     talk.)
By high standards of editing, I hope that the editors' only focus is pushing their writers to create better work and that the editors themselves are 100% shielded from economic pressures and the only consumer they listen to are readers.

The biggest problem with news today is that the customer is the advertiser and this customer has the ear of the editors. The news industry needs the journalistic equivalent of the chinese wall in finance. The news arm should not have contact with the advertising arm except with the presence of counsel (i.e. compliance).

At the end of the day, the 5th estate has a serious conflict of interest just as retail banking and i-banking does, and this conflict of interest likes in the gulf between advertisers and writers/editors.

slg 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I am a little disappointed. I was hoping for something revolutionary, but nothing put forward (at least in this brief description) is anything new. If this is actually a company and not a charity like the article states, how exactly are they going to make this thing earn money? It isn't like no one has tried to create an all encompassing news source or one that has numerous investigative journalists on staff. Do they just think they are good enough to succeed with the exact same strategy that others have used and failed?
presty 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> will have to serve the interest of all kinds of news consumers. It cannot be a niche product. It will have to cover sports, business, entertainment, technology: everything that users demand.

> At the core of Newco will be a different plan for how to build a large news organization. It resembles what I called in an earlier post the personal franchise model in news

Imagine if Kara, Walt & Co join "Newco" when their AllThingsD contract ends...

GuerraEarth 10 hours ago 0 replies      
HuffPo is capable of only biased media coverage. The Guardian is hardly a guardian of anything. The reality is that any sort of journalism, unless highly competitive and forcibly constrained to be accurate, is going to degenerate into agenda and propaganda. And only with Edward Snowden-type whistleblowing will politics be kept at arm's length as regards news reporting. Does anybody remember the shame of the New York Times after 9/11 and how the paper was a microphone for Washington? The old Grey Lady was for a time a very willing and anything goes prostitute. Washington said jump, and the NYTimes somersaulted.
detcader 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Fantastic. (Hopefully it doesn't become a men's club.) Greenwald should bring in Jillian York, onekade, Falguni Sheth, and all the other fantastic journalists trailing behind him.

But what of Democracy Now and Al Jazeera? Are they going to be quasi-competitors in the adversarial journalism game? Greenwald was actually contacted about possible involvement with Al-Jazeera's US TV station but that never went through..

Sagat 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I wish I had enough money to be able to have a measurable impact on the world.
mverwijs 13 hours ago 0 replies      
> You start with individual journalists who have their own reputations, deep subject matter expertise, clear points of view, an independent and outsider spirit, a dedicated online following, and their own way of working.

Interestingly, here in the Netherlands a similar venture was crowd-sourced by a few investigative reporters and personnel:


balabaster 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Hoo-fucking-rah! I hope these guys make traction and get where they're hoping without falling off the rails, I truly do. This was what I hoped for yesterday when the rumours began circulating.
jasonmcalacanis 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's awesome that billionaires are filling in the important gap in investigative journalism.

Interestingly, Jeff Skoll is also doing great work in the "content to make society" better category.

Frontline (see NFL concussion doc) and Propublica (http://www.propublica.org/series/overdose ) are doing AWESOME work in this space as well.

If Pierre invests $25m a year they can run a 100 person newsroom ($150k all in for the top journalists + tech team + sales) for 10 years for the price Bezos paid for WashPost.

chris_mahan 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll sign up for $20/month. Just give me an address where to send the money.
ohashi 14 hours ago 2 replies      
There is a surprising lack of new details here.
billnguyen 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad someone is taking this on. The recent threat to investigative journalism is a real bad indicator to America's future. Hopefully this in conjunction with Aaron Swartz's will really bring some bite back to journalism.

Now if only they can change that apathetic/ignorant attitude that so many of us Americans have...

devx 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think they should consider having it outside of US, or if they think the US Constitution has a good chance of protecting them, then at least have 2 offices (one in US, and one in Brazil), with redundant data between the two. In case one gets shut down, the other can still report the news about what happened.
How To Get Started Contributing To Open Source brandonhilkert.com
19 points by frist45  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
aram 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is pretty much Rails/Ruby related only, and I believe that even though there are points to be taken for other programming languages, people who still haven't contributed to OS and working with, say, PHP will not benefit much.

And have to mention:


This is such a clich ("[doing something] to make the world a better place"), misused everywhere from CVs, random blog posts like this and missions of companies.

Seeing this phrase just downgrades the opinion and value of the source for me.

chatman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
3 [obvious] Ways to Get Started Contributing To "Ruby Projects".
U.S. eavesdropping agency chief, top deputy expected to depart soon reuters.com
53 points by Lost_BiomedE  8 hours ago   11 comments top 4
PeterisP 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We're still not seeing charges for intentional lying under oath to congress. Well, it's not going to happen, but one can still dream of equal treatment under law, no?

I can believe that he's a good man and he did it with good intentions - but it's important for the society to state that actions like THAT are unpatriotic (literally, against one's nation and people) and immoral, unlike whistleblowing.

vermontdevil 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Revolving door strikes again. They probably will join Booz Hamilton or one of these large contracting companies and rake in the money. Same old.
dobbsbob 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Political theatre. New guys will be even worse, and can stall investigations pretending not to know what is happening hoping the calls for inquiry disappear
infocollector 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps replace them with Snowden and let him deal with them?
Surprising Facts About Otzi the Iceman nationalgeographic.com
56 points by Turing_Machine  9 hours ago   23 comments top 5
redstripe 8 hours ago 4 replies      
"The 40-something's list of complaints include... hardened arteries, gallstones..."

Stuff like this makes me wonder how much of current health scares about modern diets (HFCS, glutton, carbs, dairy, GMOs, bad food of the month) should be taken seriously. The narrative presented is often that our bodies aren't suited to modern diets and people used to be a lot more healthy. It's too bad we don't have more long dead guys to fill the research gap.

shmageggy 6 hours ago 2 replies      
> "the Iceman and those 19 share a common ancestor, who may have lived 10,000 to 12,000 years ago," Parson said.

For us hackers and compsci people who are used to thinking about the rates of growth and binary trees, it shouldn't be surprising that the most recent common ancestor of all humans has been estimated to have lived less than 10k years ago. Wikipedia has a nice article on it -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most_recent_common_ancestor

madaxe 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey, I have those abnormalities. Missing M1s, and missing ribs. And I have Austrian ancestry. Damn, if only I could sequence my genome at home.
njharman 7 hours ago 2 replies      
My first thought (before even reading rest of sentence) on the tattoos over pain prone areas was that they were charms, spells, etc. to alleviate the pain. Not acupuncture. rubbing charcoal into lacerations is not how one does acupuncture.
julienchastang 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A couple of decades later this story continues to fascinate me. I wonder if there is a list of scholarly journal articles that have originated from this one discovery. It has to number in the hundreds or beyond.
Jury says Cuban did not commit insider trading miamiherald.com
82 points by edw519  10 hours ago   71 comments top 11
hristov 8 hours ago 2 replies      
He got off because it was ultimately a question of his word against the word some other guy. And the other guy had an axe to grind. And Cuban is very popular in Dallas, being the owner of the local basketball team. So the jury decided there is not enough evidence to indict.

But if I were Cuban I would not complain to loudly about being hounded by the SEC. Fact of the matter is his selling right before the PIPE was announced was very lucky and those type of coincidences rarely happen in real life.

bsims 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In 2007 I was in the midst of uncovering a pump and dump scheme while communicating with the SEC (who were incredibly non-responsive and incompetent).

While trying to learn more about white collar crime, I uncovered a website, sharesleuth.com. The owner was writing stories on stock fraud/white collar crime, and we exchanged a few emails.

A few weeks later I found out Mark Cuban was backing him, and short selling the companies he found to be fraudulent. Cuban was doing this for two reasons: #1 To bring attention to white collar crime and #2 If the SEC wasn't going to shut down the companies, he might as well make money while doing it...inevitably bringing it back to #1. It looks like he was successful in drawing their attention.

A previous Wired article on Sharesleuth: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-10/mf_shares...

X-post from HN thread on the pump and dump I uncovered:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5236372

rosser 8 hours ago 6 replies      
The jury didn't say he "did not commit insider trading"; they said the government didn't prove that he committed insider trading. They didn't say he's innocent of the charges, but that he's not guilty of them.

There's an important difference between the two.

jasonwilk 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Glad to see this is over for Mark. Definitely worth noting he spent far more on his lawyers to win this case than what it would have cost him to just pay the fines and have the SEC get a quick win for bullying.

I think he proved a major point today in how the SEC has no transparency and if not for his money, he wouldn't have had any choice but to lay down for them. It's a broken system.

Good for him!

jordanmessina 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a video of the press conference after the verdict: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F82EHPP3bkM
dreamdu5t 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Insider trading laws should be repealed. People selling shares based on nonpublic information introduces said information to the market more quickly. It's also a victimless act, a willing buyer and a willing seller decide to trade based on the information they know, with shares that were purchased without any agreement to not sell them based on the information the owner knows.

It's just ridiculous that Congress conducts insider trading while other people are persecuted for it.

Insider trading laws are a violation of the first amendment, as restricting what I can communicate to someone else is censorship and abridgement of free speech.

ars 8 hours ago 1 reply      
And people wonder why the government never brought anyone to trial for the recent financial collapse.

I don't know anything about Mark Cuban, but loosing this case will certainly demoralize them. It's really really hard to convict people and they eventually stop trying.

curiouslurker 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Methinks he actually committed insider trading. But when you own the City's popular basketball team, bring home a championship and bankroll citywide celebrations no jury will convict you!
guest0123 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If insider trading is such a big deal to the government, they can start by banning congressmen and congresswomen from having the ability to do so.

For those that don't know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STOCK_Act was passed to prevent insider trading in Congress, but Congressmen have been quietly pushing and scaling back insider trading laws, basically rendering the law useless.

tedunangst 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Guess he gave the NSA whatever they wanted after all.
fireworks10 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait what, this guy is 55?
LightTable 0.5.9 now with some Paredit groups.google.com
43 points by Mariel  8 hours ago   4 comments top
taeric 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I have to confess that the more I learn about emacs, the more I am curious about just what is new in the world of editors/ides. I mean, I understand that the thread model in emacs is supposed to be lacking, but it really seems that the only difference between emacs and so many of the "modern" alternatives, is that emacs is written in elisp, the others are not. Am I missing something more fundamental?
The Two Cultures wikipedia.org
127 points by DanI-S  15 hours ago   74 comments top 18
lkrubner 14 hours ago 7 replies      
Much has been written about this article. For instance:



Such was the intensity of debate that it might be supposed that these were age-old themes: but in fact, the idea of separating academic disciplines into groups known as science and humanities was no older than the 19th century. The term "scientist" was only coined in 1833, and it was not until 1882 that another Rede Lecturer, Matthew Arnold, discussed under the title of "Literature and Science" whether or not a classical education was still relevant in an age of great scientific and technical advance.


There are also many themes in this article that are specific to Britain in the 1950s:


Snow compared Britain unfavourably with the US and USSR, in terms of numbers of young people who remained in education to the age of 18 and above. The British system, he argued, forced children to specialise at an unusually early age, with snobbery dictating that the children would be pushed towards the "traditional culture" and the professions, rather than science and industry.

Arnold was responding with infinitely more courtesy than Leavis to an earlier lecture by T H Huxley, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his rumbustious defence of evolution, who argued that science was as valid an intellectual training as the classics.

It was not a popular opinion. As late as my own childhood in the Sixties, the bright boys were expected to read classics at Oxford, and the less bright steered towards the labs.


I think 2 things are worth remembering about any such debate:

1.) as a civilization becomes more advanced, the people in it tend to become more specialized. If you grew up in 1700, it was perhaps possible to read all of the classics, in literature (Homer) and medicine (Galen) and philosophy (Aristotle) and physics (Aristotle) and math (Euclid). But nowadays it is impossible to study every branch of knowledge to any meaningful depth.

2.) for all of the obvious disadvantages that come with specialization, there are also many advantages (indeed, that is why specialization exists). A modern potter has a fantastic array of choices regarding materials, which did not exist even 50 years ago. A historian today must pick a narrow speciality, as there are now many millions of documents to look through to be considered an expert -- indeed, I have a friend who has specialized in the American Civil War, and he once said "If you have only read 1,000 books about the American Civil War, then you are just an amateur." And in the old days the village blacksmith might have known how to make both a hoe and a horse hoof shoe but a modern mechanic needs to specialize regarding devices (cars? domestic machines? textile plants? telecommunications?) but then also pick a sub-specialty (if a car mechanic, then foreign or domestic? Perhaps a few particular brands).

There is an economic benefit to specialization. I worry that gets forgotten when this debate comes up.

rayiner 14 hours ago 5 replies      
> "Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?"

I'm not convinced that either of these is really important for a general education. I think educators fixate on romantic ideals of what is important to know while ignoring the subject matter that is relevant to ordinary life.

Where I grew up, the required high school curriculum includes a lot about ancient civilizations, creative writing, chemistry and physics, and algebra. It didn't teach how to write a persuasive proposal in a business context, string together a logically-sound argument, or form inferences from empirical data, and taught very little about contemporary politics or recent American or world history. It didn't teach how to mediate an interpersonal conflict at work, delegate a task, or effectively communicate an idea in a presentation.

I lament that I spent so much time "learning" in school and have so little to show for it. I know about different kinds of cloud formations, which extinct native American cultures lived where, the difference between the soil composition in different parts of the country, spectral lines in different gasses, etc. This is trivia.

I see the argument made by Snow as simply lamenting that there is under-emphasis on one particular set of romanticized unnecessary knowledge and over-emphasis on a different set. Most of physics, chemistry, etc, are neither directly relevant to your typical person nor readily digestible as being illustrative of more general principles that are relevant. A core educational curriculum would be better served teaching more fundamental concepts directly: scientific method, statistical methods, data analysis, etc.

3rd3 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Feynman referred to this issue at the end of his second Messenger Lecture:



.. To summarize, I would use the words of Jeans, who said that "the Great Architect seems to be a mathematician". To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature. C.P. Snow talked about two cultures. I really think that those two cultures separate people who have and people who have not had this experience of understanding mathematics well enough to appreciate nature once.

It is too bad that it has to be mathematics, and that mathematics is hard for some people. It is reputed - I do not know if it is true - that when one of the kings was trying to learn geometry from Euclid he complained that it was difficult. And Euclid said, "There is no royal road to geometry". And there is no royal road. Physicists cannot make a conversion to any other language. If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in. She offers her information only in one form; we are not so unhumble as to demand that she change before we pay any attention.

All the intellectual arguments that you can make will not communicate to deaf ears what the experience of music really is. In the same way all the intellectual arguments in the world will not convey an understanding of nature to those of "the other culture". Philosophers may try to teach you by telling you qualitatively about nature. I am trying to describe her. But it is not getting across because it is impossible. Perhaps it is because their horizons are limited in the way that some people are able to imagine that the center of the universe is man...

cstross 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Key point: for decades in the UK, school education forked at age 16 -- the point at which you specialized. Prior to age 16 you'd be studying for exams in 6-10 subjects: originally 'O' (ordinary) levels, then GCSEs. (School leaving age was 16.) If you wanted to continue and eventually go to university, you then went on to study for 2 years for 'A' (advanced) level exams -- roughly equivalent to year 1 or 2 at a US university. (British taught university degrees were typically 3 year courses.) However, this was intensive enough that typically you'd only take 3 or 4 'A' level subjects. This forced early specialization -- dropping either all science or all arts subjects.

(This system ran from the late 1940s through the 1990s, subject to fine-tuning. So, for example, in 1981-83 I was taking four 'A' level subjects: physics, chemistry, biology, and 'general studies' (a vague attempt to shoe-horn the entirety of the liberal arts field into one quarter of the student's time).)

rubidium 15 hours ago 0 replies      
For a PDF version of the lecture, see here: http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/2cultures/Rede-lecture-2...

This is quite a gem. I'm surprised I haven't seen it before.

netcan 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"The number 2 is a very dangerous number: that is why the dialectic is a dangerous process. Attempts to divide anything into two ought to be regarded with much suspicion"
lkozma 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There is also a follow-up "The Two Cultures of Mathematics" by Timothy Gowers. I found it a crystal clear explanation of the differences between the schools of "problem solving" and "theory building" - and particularly of what really motivates "combinatorics".


bchjam 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."


rmk2 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, thankfully that problem will soon be solved in England! The government has enacted a programme that should soon bear fruit, thanks to the introduction of "impact" and weighing publications in a new, innovative, carefully considered and consensual way. Soon, it will be the country of one culture (since only biased pundits would dare to say: the country of no culture), finally correcting the horrible mistakes of the past!
everyone 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally I think something is either rational and evidence based (or at least attempting to be) or it is not. I would posit that this divide seems apparent simply because scientists and humanities people are for some reason grouped together in the same institutions. Imagine if half of CERNS facility was given over to say, cheesemaking, I'm sure a similar dichotomy would be commented upon.
rokhayakebe 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think most of our problems come from the misuse and misunderstanding of two words: debate and dialectic. Western culture DEBATES every effing thing so much so that presidential candidates have a series of publicized DEBATES where they each defend their plan to lead a nation.

If we were instead taught to have DIALECTICS and frankly try and remove the word DEBATE from our dialogues, we could start to solve big problems as the author suggests. However everyone is darn convinced their knowledge is superior.

Of course the irony is that it appears scientists are (in general) more dogmatic then any other group.

revscat 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems to ignore a rather important the a rather important third culture: the free-market capitalist. Why was this not mentioned? It is certainly an important one insofar as western culture is concerned, and has risen to become far more important and influential than the other two.
rch 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

-- http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/

matthewtoast 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Mentioned in this article is "The Third Culture" by John Brockman of Edge.org. That book is worth a read, even nearing 20 years in publication. It introduces the ideas of several fascinating scientists (among them Dan Dennett and Lynn Margulis) whose work manages to transcend the stated "two cultures," bringing science to bear on what were traditionally seen as "humanist" problems and vice-versa. These are thinkers who've taken responsibility for bringing their ideas directly to the public, rather than waiting for writers, journalists and, ahem, "insight pornographers" (if you follow HN) to do it for them. I first read it after obtaining my English degree, and it felt like I'd been shot with a sudden antidote to a haze of intellectual nonsense. I wonder how well it contrasts against the current trend in glossy pop science, which I suspect may be the flip-side of the same coin.
maerF0x0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance for an enjoyable (500pg) way to explore these "two cultures".
ArekDymalski 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Very inspiring. I just wonder if it's just the tone of Wikipedia article or does this lecture really suggests that science > humanities?
peter303 9 hours ago 0 replies      
In my life a see a large assymetry between the cultures. A fiar number of scientists/engineers I know are good in the arts, theater, music etc. I dont se as many humanities types as familar with science. I observed this MIT, Harvar,and Stanford where I have degrees and took courses.
graycat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Snow's Two Cultures was something I loudly cheeredwhen I first read about its points and for yearsafterward.

But now the book and the OP strike me as not wellconsidered.

Net, the 'humanities' have a role much moreimportant than is commonly or easily described. Ittook me a while to understand this point.

Sure, as an insecure a young nerd facing the world,both nature and society, I wanted 'control' of mylife, in particular, 'security', and for thosewanted the power of 'truth' and didn't want tosettle for anything less solid than, say, planegeometry or, in a pinch, mathematical physics. Ofcourse then only some of this could I articulate.

So, something like 'The Song of Hiawatha' with "Bythe shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shiningBig-Sea-Water ..." seemed to me as mostly nonsenseand gibberish and at best maybe something lightlyentertaining but nothing like the 'truth' for thepower I was seeking. And maybe I was correct, butI'm reluctant to return to that poem to be moresure!

Eventually I concluded that (1) there is a lot aboutthe world, where I was trying to get control andsecurity, that was too complicated and subtle formathematics and/or mathematical physics to do me anygood and (2) that part of the world was so importantto my life that, even though I didn't have solidtools to address it, I still had to handle it insome sense.

Maybe 'The Song of Hiawatha' wouldn't help mehandle those complexities, but eventually Idiscovered that some parts of the humanities couldto at least a useful extent.

Generally my central criticism of the humanities wasthat, in strong contrast with mathematics andmathematical physics, and, really, most ofengineering, technology, medical science, medicine,and even law, the humanities (1) did not make clearjust what they were claiming was true and (2) forany claims nearly never provided convincingevidence. While these remain valid criticisms,amazingly in places the humanities can be importantnevertheless.

Still, I was often torqued at the humanities: E.g.,in, say, the English departments, a common claim wasthat English literature had a lot of good knowledgeof people and would help readers understand people.I concluded, and still do, that maybe a little.

Once I discovered the E. Fromm, The Art of Loving,awash in real practical expertise, well consideredand formulated, about people, I concluded that Frommwas a good example of progress on information forunderstanding people. For more on lovespecifically, actually some of the relevant articleson Wikipedia seem quite good -- at least in placesthey have explained some of what I figured out moreor less independently, at enormous cost, and added alot more.

So, it is possible to get some understanding ofpeople, but for this purpose I would mostly setaside English literature as too thin and/or evenmisleading.

For understanding people, I'd say that the mostimportant contribution of English literature tounderstanding people is that some people like Englishliterature.

The crack in my scorn that got me started with thehumanities classical music. A brilliant person oncesaid, "Music doesn't mean anything.". Well, maybe,maybe not, but it still can be useful for someonewanting to understand people or even themselves,amazingly.

Classical music was able to 'reach' me in partbecause there were usually few or no words to takeliterally and, thus, argue with.

Well, it turns out that classical music hassomething of a language, especially about humanemotions. If want to understand people, the biggestchapter is human emotions.

Classical music is an example of a common definitionof art as in the communications, interpretationof human experience, emotion. Well, it can be easyenough to find parts of classical music that arequite effective meeting this definition of art. So,here there is some progress in understanding humans.

One description of much of the media is vicarious,escapist, fantasy, emotional experienceentertainment which sounds next to worthless forthe audience and, maybe, is, but we can reduce thisdescription to vicarious emotional experience and,then, learn about people by feeling their emotions-- and art has a lot of this and, thus, can help aperson understand people.

For some value for the audience, good art issupposed to be universal and, then, often a personin the audience can see where the art is describingthings much as in their life from which that personcan conclude, "I'm not the only one who hasencountered such a thing. That thing is not uniqueto me. Whatever I did to make that thing happen,others did the same, and maybe some of the maincauses are not really from me.".

E.g., a few weeks ago I did a search for a girl Iknew and fell in love with in high school. Yup, theInternet showed me a scan of a high school annualwith her picture as a Homecoming Queen candidate.To me she was always the prettiest human female Iever saw in person or otherwise. Then many of thosedays with her, decades ago, came back to me as ifthey were last week. She was my first love and,apparently, burned into my brain -- I can no moreforget her than I can forget my own name.

Well, we were young: We saw each other for 18months and started when she was just 12 and in theseventh grade and I was 14 and in the ninth grade.

I was a nerd, socially awkward, and not good atunderstanding the emotions of a young woman, and wewere both afraid of rejection. So we were to afraidto communicate clearly and accumulated quite a listof false beliefs about each other that had us makingmistakes in our relationship. At one point, some ofher mistakes got me to draw some seriously wrongconclusions, and I walked away from her. I don'tthink that there was anything seriously wrong, andeverything wrong was based just onmis-communications, My heart was broken, and I laterdiscovered that so was hers.

Then there's Wagner's opera Lohengrin, firstperformed in 1850, about a knight, Lohengrin, of theHoly Grail who marries sweet Elsa. Yes, the Wagner"Bridal Chorus" or "Wedding March" music is fromtheir marriage in that opera. Elsa is misled by anevil witch, makes a mistake, and Lohengrin is forcedto walk away from his new bride.

So, Lohengrin told me that I was not the first guyto walk away from the young woman he loved and thatsuch things go back to at least 1850.

Also, Lohengrin and I made similar mistakes: Weasked too much of the understanding of our women andshould have had arranged a less 'brittle' situation.

Nerd guys: Listen up here and learn.

As good art communicates emotions about the humanexperience, members of the audience can begin tolearn more about other people.

The best art, in the humanities, can be astoundinglyeffective in communicating about humans; we don'twant to be without the results; and technical fieldsare so far no substitutes.

Took me a while to see these points.

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