(Whoever gets "officially" issued that VID is going to whine when they notice it's already being used for hobbyist purposes anyway, which means that the technique of just picking one will guarantee uniqueness.)
"Since other USB device vendors such as Microchip and FTDI give away USB PIDs for free"
Does that actually mean, they give them for free? If so, how can they do that? Why does VTM allow them to do it? And what is the actual problem at all if you can get them for free?
I use lots of hobby stuff with USB ports. I have to lookup the vendor ID to make it read write in linux by default.
Presumably getting a proper ID makes this pain point go away from consumers somehow?
What's the gain I don't understand it?
In effect, they would also be sending all their sensitive, potentially illegal traffic to be read and copied by the american NSA agency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%2...
People proxying illegal traffic through the USA would immediately be "on file" in the US registered as dissidents, criminals, and potential spies vulnerable to blackmail from US agencies.
I can see CIA looking at how their propaganda are affecting foreign nations by seeing who reads it from where. Foreign nations could even see proxying subversive traffic through the USA as being a worse crime than the subversive traffic itself.
Think twice about using this.
1. Since it's a normal browser extension, the source will be readable and verifiable.
2. It probably uses WebRTC.
It seems Google merely plays an incubator role here for the authors. Either way, I don't see much trust issues that other comments are complaining about.
Looking forward to trying this out when it's released.
Thanks Google :-)
Can we stop with the kneejerk reactions? This is a p2p browser extension, doesn't run through Google, wasn't developed by Google, the only involvement Google had was maybe fund it.
Are we going to be getting these comments any time Google is mentioned from now on?
It looks interesting and I'm sure some number of people will find it useful while it lasts.
The source code will be released by the Universityof Washington under the Apache 2 license afterthe trusted tester phase is completed .
This is the important part.
This is what I get any time I try to download anything from Google Code or Android sdk or even read something hosted on GAE.
I'm in Cuba but the same should be for Iran and others "bad boys".
Why don't they help develop the Tor plugin?
Why don't the open up a whole bunch of Tor nodes?
Wait... scratch that last one.
This is just bad.
The country will either have to bankrupt itself or open its internet.
Then the NSA gets a list of those who do?
None of the other titans are challenging Amazon. They can't because Amazon's Earnings Per Share are...
-0.23. Negative 0.23.
Investors often lump AMZN with GOOG and the like but GOOG's EPS is 33.59. TGT? 4.26. Walmart is 5.07.No other company with a market cap (100+Bn) as large as AMZN is allowed to get away with negative EPS. The only one that comes close is Vodafone, with a tiny positive EPS (0.13).
It's important to note that if any other company spent until their EPS was negative, investors would flip.Amazon is playing with razor thin margins while trying to scale up a platform to end all platoforms that we might someday use for everything without thinking about it. If successful, on that day/year/eon dollar bills might as well be printed with Jeff Bezos' face on them.
Amazon won't be using UPS and Fedex trucks on that day. They'll be using Amazon trucks. You'll know that era when you see it, I think.
If you're Walmart or Target its hard to justify trying to do something similar at this point, the stock could take a major dive from such a risk. They're at the "Ask-questions" phase, and the questions are always "What's the profit?" because these are publicly traded companies. Amazon has been playing it risky since the get-go.Bezos is in for a very long gamble, and that frustrates the hell out of some investors, but its lofty enough to still attract investment dollars while in the "build-first" stage. Hopefully they can pull it off for a few more years before the stock market shifts to asking questions.
So Amazon gets to play the long game that other companies are literally disallowed from playing because investors that have seen profits want more. Amazon gets to do something bold that would cause the mother of all stock dives in any other 100+Bn company. They get a free pass because Bezos is convincing and for Amazon its sort-of-always-been-this-way. Walmart/Target/Etc do not have either of those luxuries - the incredible (or believable) visionary and being a company that's still in burn (build) mode.
1. Control. Absolute control over a huge chunk of worldwide B2B and B2C transactions is extremely valuable per se, in political and commercial terms. It's power that can be leveraged in a number of ways which are not necessarily reflected in the balance sheet. Bezos just bought the most influential newspaper in US political circles; this guy knows a thing or two about setting the agenda.
2. There is corporate profit and personal profit. Amazon employees are themselves turning quite a bit of personal profit. Does that make Amazon a No-Profit ? That's debatable. As someone else mentioned, pure profit is easy to tax, while "operating expenses" and share dealing can be shuffled around.
3. Industrialism. Many XIX-century industrialists saw their companies as agents of change as well as sources of profits. Amazon is pushing the envelop in commercial infrastructure (fully-automated warehouses, software-enhanced packaging, customer-seller variable relationships, etc etc) as well as creating whole new markets (AWS). As long as they don't start bleeding money, they're running a self-sustained engine of change, which is an achievement in itself.
The second side, then, is what I see this all as evidence of. Disclaimer, I know fuck all about the subtleties of running large businesses, but when you step back and look at the what they're doing at a high level, expanding facilities, exploring new markets, new products, during what is as the article stated an investment boom time and where maintaining a certain level of revenue might be a "somewhat safe bet", it makes sense to me that you would use this time to make more bets. Risk becomes more acceptable when you're not living dollar to dollar; the box of nails anecdote, simple as it is, spoke buckets to me. (maybe I'm overreading.) At the risk of showing extreme naivete, I would LOVE to for once believe that a company is simply using all of its financial resources to continually try to provide optimal and novel services. Shipping goes up in price; that's how the market works when you add more services without anyone funding em, the cash has to come from somewhere. I guess my hope is that the shipping is only raising due to their trying to provide new services, and that there will still be sufficient competition that amazon hasn't killed off to prevent this from going out of hand; and that it was just as I said above, a way to fund growth and try to balance for changing economic times, and not a sign of the impinging amazon monopolypse.
Oops, suddenly essay, and now I'm late for work...
It's incredibly convenient, I often buy stuff from mobile and it'll be on my doorstep in two days. It's literally magic and I love it.
I can't even begin to comprehend the levels of logistical wizardry it takes to make all of that happen.
I'm inclined to think Amazon knows exactly what they're doing here.
Amazon isn't losing money, it's operating at break-even to maximize growth. That should be obvious to anyone paying attention. They're growing AWS like crazy. They're expanding into new markets and services. And they're expanding into different countries. They're turning into a remarkably diversified company with both high-volume/low-margin and high-margin businesses.
If Amazon were a value stock distributing their profits in the form of dividends then their lack of profit would be a big deal, but it's a growth stock, and their tradeoff of profit in favor of growth is actually welcomed by the market, as evidenced by the stock price.
but what happens once profits are needed? or is amazon the largest NPO on earth?
Hopefully the manufacturers will have the sense to move towards a slightly more sane connector to use in everything. I think the fear that it has to be backwards compatible is less prevalent now than it used to be (micro USB has completely replaced mini USB in most situations). I'm looking forward to sane relatively high power DC connections everywhere.
Save us all the wasted power and effort converting AC to DC in most electronics.
I just hope we don't go overboard removing AC. Some thing are just simpler using AC.
In my previous life working with telcos, I once tried to teach a particularly huge customer how to use CVS how to manage configurations across a 10+ machine cluster of machines. They didn't see any value in it, so they stuck to their good old process of SSHing into each machine individually, "cp config.xml config.xml.20131022", and then editing the configs by hand. Didn't take too long until a typo in a chmod command took down the whole thing (= the node couldn't take down a network interface anymore, so failover stopped working), and they spent several weeks flying in people from all over the planet to debug it... and they still didn't learn their lesson!
He said he saw the whole dev team just power off and go home at 11am, followed quickly by the rest of the employees. At that point, there was nothing they could do.
The craziest thing is that it went on for so long. No one caught it until their own traders so it come across Bloomberg and CNBC. They actually thought it was a rival HFT and tried to play against it.
The only people that came out of this ahead were aggressive algos on the other side and a few smart individual traders. A lot of retail guys had stop losses blown through that normally would never have been hit. After trading was halted they set the cap at 20% loss for rolling back trades. So if you lost 19% of your position in that short period of craziness, tough luck.
The Knight computer error was spectacular and catastrophic but us humans have a longer track record of making catastrophic financial decisions in the market.
Having said that, we deployed a system that was mostly automated, with the human operator to oversee investments and if any out-of-the-ordinary transactions (based on experience) were taking place, to shut it down. She happily sat there approving the recommendations even though the recommendations were absolutely outside of anything we'd ever generated in the past, and bled accounts dry in one evening, so sometimes even with a human observing you're still boned.
Cool - all you have to do to get away with financial crimes is create a system with no protections against breaking the law.
*Backing away is when a market maker makes a firm offer to buy or sell shares, receives an order to execute that transaction (which they are ethically and legally obligated to do) and instead cancels the trade so they can trade those shares at a more favorable price (capturing enormous unethical profits in fast-moving markets while regulators did virtually nothing to enforce the rules in a meaningful way)
Learn more: http://bit.ly/1ddUzWP
Seems like as a rule, they're likely to cause instability, and I have a hard time seeing any benefits in them.
I wasn't surprised when Microsoft did it (they never had much design sense), but it was a surprise to see it in iOS.
And I thought this is a new way of collaborative ("Team") template creation. :)
Test it with Inspect Element: http://www.html5admin.com/demo/ and http://getbootstrap.com/css/
Server-side & client side interactions, validations, cascading events, descriptive forms, etc. Given two or three slightly sophisticated m2m models you get stuck either to re-write from scratch or re-invent your own.
Tinsey nitpick in UI http://www.html5admin.com/demo/ui.html , spacing between the input fields in "Inline form" could help, but that's definitely an easy fix.
Sliders do not work in firefox, they are missing the handles.
The switches or very difficult to understand whats active. However I guess that's a common issue with switches like these.
Some other things seem broken for me too. The html5 date picker "Works on every HTML5 device" doesn't work along with the colour picker.
I do like that ink filepicker though. Not seen that before, very useful.
Personally I would go for something on wrapbootstrap eg: https://wrapbootstrap.com/theme/ace-responsive-admin-templat...
I started a similar company, Shopobot. We launched, raised, got good press. Things looked great!
Shortly after we watched as Decide and Priceonomics launched.
After months of beating our head against the wall, we came to the conclusion that we weren't competing against Decide and Priceonomics. We were competing against Amazon.
Everyone we talked to loved the idea. But we found their praise didn't turn into clicks. We'd ask them why, and they'd always say, "oh, I just went to Amazon."
One day our lead dev was telling me about a recent purchase and I asked him if he used our site to find a good price. "No, I just used Amazon. I have Prime." That's when I knew we were fucked. Competing against Amazon without a really really strong value prop is not easy.
We've long since pivoted, Decide shut down, and now Priceonomics is perhaps pivoting. I think CamelCamelCamel is still at it! After all the VC money flushed out, the bootstrapper is still standing. :)
This reminds me, I have a long blog post to finish about how comparison shopping and price guides are difficult to pull off.
First, the traffic from our blog was dwarfing the traffic (and engagement) on our price guide. We originally started our blog just to get links to drive SEO to our price guide. But, it turns out we love blogging so we really put our hearts into it.
Second, we started getting a lot more revenue from helping companies acquire and structure data than we were making from the price guide. All those blog posts we write were we crawl the web and do analysis based on the data? That was testing this out. We'll be writing more about that soon, so stay tuned.
The result is that we decided to focus on helping businesses get data and writing about data via our blog. About a month ago we started depreciating the consumer price guide.
Happy to answer any questions!
Now I realize the guys behind priceonomics might read this I hope they take it well. I liked their early blog posts, those were interesting!
This homepage makes me concerned that the original business plan is not working out. It feels like they are resorting, or pivoting, to a classical product recommendation site. I hope this is not the case. Maybe I just hit a bad combination of randomized A/B tests.
Sometime this year or last, these guys probably looked at their traffic growth and realized this existing model was never going to cut it. Their sole strategy is search engine traffic and their pages were not ranking.
Unfortunately I know them mostly from their blog and not their product.
A few month ago, we launched Pricify http://pricify.com and this is our first iteration. Basically, you can use a simple bookmarklet to add products to pricify from any online store, once the product drops in price the system sends you an email or facebook notification, if at any point the product hits it all time lowest price it sends you a separate email as well.
Last week we had a guy who bought a car as a result of the price drop he noticed and contact us to thank us. This has provided us further confidence of its use.
We've learnt so much already and are adding what our users are asking for. Ultimately, we want to build something that solved a problem for us in the hope that it solves the problem for others, so far we have been seeing promising results.
We want to get into the content, blogging from a SEO perspective, but we've had very limited bandwidth trying to focus on the main functionality itself being completely bootstrapped!
Early days, but would love any advice on whats already being learnt from the others out here.
(Disclosure: I work for the company behind this website)
edit: and im not saying that having a blog is bad, but to completely hide the main functionality of the site just doesnt make any sense.
How to compose a successful critical commentary: 1. Attempt to re-express your target's position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: "Thanks, I wish I'd thought of putting it that way." 2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement). 3. Mention anything you have learned from your target. 4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
I read the book "Getting To Yes" by Roger Patton. It's highly recommend and considered to be the manual on negotiation. And the main point of advice from it was: Be Nice. Argument and negotiation aren't supposed to be about who is louder or more aggressive. Calmly laying out points that are backed up by facts works better every time.
Online arguments tend to be low stakes affairs. I can understand why so many hn discussions devolve into personal attacks and accusations. I can only hope that people behave differently in person. The best way to win an argument is to turn it into a niceness contest where everybody walks away feeling better for the experience.
I think we've kind of moved to a post-fact society in this sense. Every position has it's own set of miscellaneous facts that seem to support it, and those facts are typically unverifiable, or at least certainly unverified. Factual debate seems to quickly descend into partisanship. I've come to believe that it's far more interesting and useful to debate principles instead.
My experience suggests that if you do that, the other party will never stop disagreeing with you no matter how far up the chain you go. Many, many, many arguments never happened in my mind, while having happened quite heatedly in the other person's, because of this.
There was another phenomenon which might be related: a person would start telling me about a problem of theirs (I used to think it was weird for people I barely knew to do this, but I've come to suspect that people just like venting about problems they're experiencing), I'd rephrase it to be sure I understood what they were saying, and they would say something along the lines of "thanks, that was really helpful" and go away happy.
Carnegie, Dale (2010-09-30). How To Win Friends And Influence People (Kindle Locations 1972-1977). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Monty Montgomery is among my hero developers for nearly two decades now, building Xiph, Ogg, Vorbis, Theora, and the like.
Mozilla and Monty sounds like a wonderful match for creating free open source codecs, and bringing them to everyone.
Congratulations to Mozilla and Monty!
This is great news!
Youtube delivers huge part of the "relevant" video material in Internet. And Google has their own video codec. Would they include Mozilla's codec into their browser (and smartphones) instead and start encoding videos in their own service with Mozilla's codec? Quite unlikely. At least the article doesn't mention anything about DRM, so would it be enough for Netflix?
And while we're talking about mobile, I'm sure that SoC decoding support will take not 2015 to arrive, rather than 2016 - give or take a couple more years because some patent troll will always dig up some dirt.
Relevant XKCD: http://xkcd.com/927/
Then for some kind of low annual fee I could ship things in and out as needed.
This service would include pre-scheduled shipments of holiday decoration.
The problem I have is that I forget what is in my attic. On a few occasions I've purchased something only to find out I already own one. It was just buried in the attic and I forgot about it. If I try to buy something on Amazon, this service would remind me that I already own it and ship it to me.
Besides the attic stuff, I also have small random, rarely-used things that I know I'll need in the future, but don't know where to store them so I'll find them in the future.
Someone once suggested that I just keep a running list of items near the attic door. I tried it, but didn't keep up with it.
It would be nice to set some kind of expiration of my stuff as well. If I don't request an item from Amazon Attic in 18 months, it can be sold. Maybe that's a way to offset my fees.
Another idea... This could have a social aspect (what doesn't these days!?). I could give select friends access to my personal Amazon Attic catalog and they can borrow something, again for a low shipping fee. Amazon will send them a friendly email to return it and then charge them eventually if they don't.
(YC, here I come.)
If you are using this as a long-term storage solution you have to be careful because Amazon charges, "A semi-annual Long-Term Storage Fee of $22.50 per cubic foot will be applied to any Units that have been stored in an Amazon fulfillment center for one year or longer...Each seller may maintain a single Unit of each ASIN in its inventory, which will be exempted from the semi-annual Long-Term Storage Fee."
Are there any mobile apps for scanning barcodes on books and automatically building your Amazon catalog?
When your object of question hits a low-enough dollar value that your opportunity cost for making a buck off it exceeds your time value, why not donate it to a Goodwill instead. :)
I am lost for words.
And you can't use the space it takes up, which is probably the most expensive thing about old stuff. If you pay $2000 a month for 1000 square feet, every square foot costs you $24 bucks a year. An old PC taking up 3 square feet for 5 years costs you $360.
And, sure, it probably was going to be empty space. But we do need empty space, just as we need white space. All the clutter has a psychic cost.
Too bad, because this sounds handy. Kind of wish they had even a halfway decent competitor, though.
You start by finding your product in the store, and they give you prices for different condition levels. You pick a level, checkout, ship your items for free, and await receipt and review. If accepted as the condition you picked, you get an Amazon gift card for the amount. They might even upgrade your items to a higher condition.
If not accepted, your items are returned, free of charge. The only risk is the waste of time.
A month ago, I traded in two nearly-3-year-old iPhone 4's. I listed them as "Good". Both were accepted and one was upgraded to "Like New" for $20 more. I got $380 total, which I was extremely happy with.
I sold a laptop though which is the only item I'm worried about being returned. Luckily I listed it as not having a battery and not having a hdd so it's already listed as not in working condition.
Or am I missing something and this wouldn't work?
I looked at the info on Amazon's website and I still have a couple questions.
(1) Amazon charges a fee of something like $0.42 per pound when shipping. Is this just for supersaver shipments? Or does it also apply when Amazon collects from the customer for standard or expedited shipping?
(2) I see Amazon charges fees for storage and shipping, but I don't see where they take any percentage of the sale. Am I missing something?
When the top news on HN is how to make $5 selling used computer cables on Amazon, you know coding is dead.
We've been around for a few years now, but weren't expecting to see our name pop up on HN just yet. Of course, now that it's here, if anyone has any questions about what we do, feel free to ask and I'll get back to you asap.
If you're looking for a direct link, it's at the bottom of the OP, or: https://www.currencyfair.com
But the exchange rate is better than what I'd usually get at my bank and the transfer from Germany to Ireland is free too.
2) Options on the right "Show Original"
3) Copy the URL that goes like: http://content.fade.li/selcouth/... to a new tab
4) Save image as
For added fun, somebody please go and register unfade.li, if you forward a mail there, it OCR scans the image and sends you back the text.
P.S. sending email as images is one of the most stupid ideas that seems to keep cropping up. It's not in any way making it impossible to get at the email, but it just makes it extremely inconvenient to reply inline, or for differently abled people to read your mail.
> Your email's content is encrypted using banking-grade algorithms (256 AES) and securely stored on our servers.
> No traces.
> We were also growing tired of news about privacy issues and claims of government reading our emails behind our backs it all seemed very Orwellian
It feels like you're kind of suggesting these things are actually secure.
Upon opening, the content 'fades-out' and fade.li assure us that they delete the content from their systems.
/me tries with disposable account
Aha, it renders the mail content as images. A bunch of basic HTML with the GIFs inline, I used wget to pull them down but the metadata is corrupted. I'll poke at them...
Aha2: animated GIF. Frame-by-frame 'writing' of the e-mail, then blanking-out. Presumably they delete the GIF from their server when it has been served once.
Here's one ( safe for work! )
First rule of piracy people, if you can read, see or hear it then you can copy it.
EDIT: Looking through their privacy statement:
"Hence messages are to be sent at the risk of the user. Information such as messages, time, date, name of the receiver and sender are also logged by us.We also collect and use aggregated or de-identified information."
IANAL but that looks to me that they are storing messages?
The common complaint that it is impossible to self destruct data is obvious to most people. If it is technically impossible to make something un-shareable then the only thing you have left is social convention.
"Hey, could you resend that? I opened it and then had to switch to another tab for a few seconds, but when I got back the message was already 90% gone"
Also I am supposed to trust (yet) another third party who hasn't got a neck in the game to keep my privacy?
Sorry I don't get it.
Anyone else find the landing page a little bit overwhelming for such a small app? All the pictures of people having a great time seem a little over the top?
I made a few sketches myself as part of a larger project I'm working on (a year without cameras): http://crafture.me/post/64711241777/startup-school-2013
For those of you who want a bit more context, here are two sets of notes from this weekend:
There is some overlap between the two but also some differences so I'd suggest reading both.
[Disclaimer: I produced the first set - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6578780]
I think the theme that stands out for me personally from all of these notes is: Find something you can work on almost non-stop, expect to fail a lot (because you will), learn and adapt, keep trying.
Thanks for the great work Greg!
Big fan of sketch notes myself so I'll definitely be forking that repo.
Moving forward, I'd recommend working very hard on unifying your featureset and API so it's consistent across all the versions.
Point being, why would I choose this over a library which is hand-tailored to fit the idioms of the specific language its written for? What advantage does one get by forcing a relatively standard REST API across different languages?
: https://github.com/Mashape/unirest-net/blob/master/unirest-n...: https://gist.github.com/jcdickinson/4dd0125d7c5af9d4878f
Not mine mine, it should be obvious. I'm not Kenneth Reitz.
In all seriousness, would be interested to hear about differences/benefits...
As aroman said, some languages have nice built-in capabilities but some...just don't (PHP, I'm looking at you!). I love having this unified API which is very intuitive (especially when coming back to PHP after...7 years).
Keep up the good work!
That being said, I've been looking for a NotWorking replacement, and this might be it. Either this or I write my own once and for all.
Will give it a go!Also; https://github.com/Mashape/unirest-obj-c/pull/8
Unirest::post "http://httpbin.org/post", ...
Unirest.post "http://httpbin.org/post", ...
But I like it! In all seriousness this is neat and I like the idea of ubiquitous library syntax, especially for new programmers (which there are a LOT of these days!). The API is reasonably simple and it's nice to have one less thing to look up when experimenting with a new language.
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, false);
The review article by Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter, "The Validity and Utility of Selection Models in Personnel Psychology: Practical and Theoretical Implications of 85 Years of Research Findings," Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 124, No. 2, 262-274 sums up, current to 1998, a meta-analysis of much of the huge peer-reviewed professional literature on the industrial and organizational psychology devoted to business hiring procedures. There are many kinds of hiring criteria, such as in-person interviews, telephone interviews, resume reviews for job experience, checks for academic credentials, personality tests, and so on. There is much published study research on how job applicants perform after they are hired in a wide variety of occupations.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: If you are hiring for any kind of job in the United States, with its legal rules about hiring, prefer a work-sample test as your hiring procedure. If you are hiring in most other parts of the world, use a work-sample test in combination with a general mental ability test.
The overall summary of the industrial psychology research in reliable secondary sources is that two kinds of job screening procedures work reasonably well. One is a general mental ability (GMA) test (an IQ-like test, such as the Wonderlic personnel screening test). Another is a work-sample test, where the applicant does an actual task or group of tasks like what the applicant will do on the job if hired. (But the calculated validity of each of the two best kinds of procedures, standing alone, is only 0.54 for work sample tests and 0.51 for general mental ability tests.) Each of these kinds of tests has about the same validity in screening applicants for jobs, with the general mental ability test better predicting success for applicants who will be trained into a new job. Neither is perfect (both miss some good performers on the job, and select some bad performers on the job), but both are better than any other single-factor hiring procedure that has been tested in rigorous research, across a wide variety of occupations. So if you are hiring for your company, it's a good idea to think about how to build a work-sample test into all of your hiring processes.
Because of a Supreme Court decision in the United States (the decision does not apply in other countries, which have different statutes about employment), it is legally risky to give job applicants general mental ability tests such as a straight-up IQ test (as was commonplace in my parents' generation) as a routine part of hiring procedures. The Griggs v. Duke Power, 401 U.S. 424 (1971) case interpreted a federal statute about employment discrimination and held that a general intelligence test used in hiring that could have a "disparate impact" on applicants of some protected classes must "bear a demonstrable relationship to successful performance of the jobs for which it was used." In other words, a company that wants to use a test like the Wonderlic, or like the SAT, or like the current WAIS or Stanford-Binet IQ tests, in a hiring procedure had best conduct a specific validation study of the test related to performance on the job in question. Some companies do the validation study, and use IQ-like tests in hiring. Other companies use IQ-like tests in hiring and hope that no one sues (which is not what I would advise any company). Note that a brain-teaser-type test used in a hiring procedure could be challenged as illegal if it can be shown to have disparate impact on some job applicants. A company defending a brain-teaser test for hiring would have to defend it by showing it is supported by a validation study demonstrating that the test is related to successful performance on the job. Such validation studies can be quite expensive. (Companies outside the United States are regulated by different laws. One other big difference between the United States and other countries is the relative ease with which workers may be fired in the United States, allowing companies to correct hiring mistakes by terminating the employment of the workers they hired mistakenly. The more legal protections a worker has from being fired, the more reluctant companies will be about hiring in the first place.)
The social background to the legal environment in the United States is explained in various books about hiring procedures, and some of the social background appears to be changing in the most recent few decades, with the prospect for further changes.
Previous discussion on HN pointed out that the Schmidt & Hunter (1998) article showed that multi-factor procedures work better than single-factor procedures, a summary of that article we can find in the current professional literature, for example "Reasons for being selective when choosing personnel selection procedures" (2010) by Cornelius J. Knig, Ute-Christine Klehe, Matthias Berchtold, and Martin Kleinmann:
"Choosing personnel selection procedures could be so simple: Grab your copy of Schmidt and Hunter (1998) and read their Table 1 (again). This should remind you to use a general mental ability (GMA) test in combination with an integrity test, a structured interview, a work sample test, and/or a conscientiousness measure."
But the 2010 article notes, looking at actual practice of companies around the world, "However, this idea does not seem to capture what is actually happening in organizations, as practitioners worldwide often use procedures with low predictive validity and regularly ignore procedures that are more valid (e.g., Di Milia, 2004; Lievens & De Paepe, 2004; Ryan, McFarland, Baron, & Page, 1999; Scholarios & Lockyer, 1999; Schuler, Hell, Trapmann, Schaar, & Boramir, 2007; Taylor, Keelty, & McDonnell, 2002). For example, the highly valid work sample tests are hardly used in the US, and the potentially rather useless procedure of graphology (Dean, 1992; Neter & Ben-Shakhar, 1989) is applied somewhere between occasionally and often in France (Ryan et al., 1999). In Germany, the use of GMA tests is reported to be low and to be decreasing (i.e., only 30% of the companies surveyed by Schuler et al., 2007, now use them)."
Before the interview, I ask them to write some code to access an HTTP endpoint that contains exchange rate data (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY etc.) in XML and to parse and load said data into a relational database. Then to build a very simple HTML form based front-end that lets you input a currency and convert it into another currency.
I ask them to send me either a link to a repository (Git, SVN etc.) or a zipball/tarball. If the job specifies a particular language, then I obviously expect it to be in that language. If not, so long as it isn't in something crazy like Brainfuck, they have free range.
If the code works and is basically sane, that goes a long way to get them shortlisted.
During the interview, I'll pull the code they sent up on a projector and ask them to self-review it. If they can figure out things that need improving in their code, that weighs heavily in their favour. Usually this is things like comments/documentation, tests, improving the structure or reusability. If it's really good, I'll throw a hypothetical idea for refactoring at them and see how they think.
The reason this works is that, despite Hacker News/Paul Graham dogma to the contrary, "smartness" isn't the only thing that matters in programmers. It's actually fairly low down the list. When hiring programmers, I want people who are actually able to do the daily practical job of writing code, modest and self-critical enough to spot their own mistakes, and socially capable to actually communicate their decisions and mistakes to the people they work with.
I interviewed a guy who was intellectually very smart and understood a lot about CS theory. I asked him why the PHP code he sent me didn't have any comments. "I don't believe in comments because they slow the PHP interpreter down." Sorry, he can be smarter than Einstein but I ain't letting him near production code.
One example I use is getting the candidate to write crud, list, and search controller actions for a simple category data structure. Given a basic category data model (e.g. Name, Parent), the candidate starts with the crud actions.
Crud actions aren't meant to be difficult to solve and serve as a basic screener to verify the candidate has working knowledge of the basics. The only edge case I look for the candidate to ask about is if orphaning child nodes is allowed (I.e updating parent node, deleting a node with children)
List action(s) start getting more interesting since recursion comes into play. A basic implementation of an action that can load the tree given an arbitrary category as a starting point is expected. If the candidate has some prior experience, a discussion of what performance concerns they may have with loading the category tree is a follow up question. The tree loading algorithm is then expected to be revised to handle an optional max depth parameter. An edge case I look to be considered is how to signify in the action response that a category has one or more child nodes that weren't loaded due to a depth restriction.
The search action implementation has a degree of difficulty scaled to the candidates experience level. All candidates have to write an action that returns a collection of categories matching a search string. Those with previous experience are asked about a paging solution. Senior level candidates are asked to return matching categories in a format that indicates all ancestors ( for instance: "Category 1 -> Category 1.1 -> Category 1.1.1" result for search string "1.1.1")
For an added degree of difficulty, candidates can be asked to recommend data model tweaks and algorithms supporting tree versioning requirements necessary to allow for loading the category tree's state at a given point in time.
The candidate's performance to this exercise seems to give some insight into their level of experience and ability to implement algorithms from a common real world example without having to ask much trivia or logic problems.
1) I think a lot of start-ups want to hire "smart" people. Because they expect the new person to eventually wear many hats. Objective-C, Java, Android, CSS, server side concurrency, monitoring. An we've all seen Hunter and Schmidt reference that tokenadult usually posts when talk about interviewing comes around and it does seem that a general mental ability test (like an IQ test) combined with a work samples seem to predict future performance of that employee. Well except that one can't just straight up give IQ test to job applicants (there is a court case about that). So we are left with a job sample (which many forget to give, as is the point of the author). But instead many focus on the GMA and create proxies for it -- cute little puzzles about blenders, round manhole covers, and other such silly things.
2) Those interviewing don't know the technical stuff and are afraid you'd out-bullshit them. "How does an Ajax request work" well if the interviewer themselves doesn't quite know the details the might not be able to evaluate it properly. They could have it written down but well, some technical questions have many different levels of depth that a candidate might descent to. So a quick written answer to the question might seem wrong but it is really because the candidate is more advanced. So puzzles seems to be a generic and "easier" to handle.
This problem was addressed nicely in this functional pearl by Jeremy Gibbons, et al.: http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/jeremy.gibbons/publications/rationals... . As interesting as the result is, however, it's a pretty well-made point that research-level ideas from the programming languages community are not really software engineering interview material in the vast majority of cases.
This is yet another example of "rockstar developer"-itis, wherein startups are given to believe that they need the best of the best when in fact they do not. This particular example is entirely egregious because they asked her about something that requires enumerating the rationals when what they really wanted was an iOS code monkey. Then they fired her, based on their own shoddy interview.
If you really want to know if someone has the capacity to pull their weight as an engineer, ask them about what they've built. Even if they are fresh out of college, the best engineers will have projects they can talk about and explain. Ask how they approached/solved specific problems. Ask what they're most proud of building. Ask what was most frustrating.
Those are the kind of questions that will provide insight into a person's problem solving capabilities and offer a decent picture of what they're capable of doing.
Certainly, asking only math questions is stupid as well, people should know at least a little about the stuff they're supposed to work with, but teaching an actual language to a smart person eager to learn is a breeze compared to teaching problem solving to someone who memorized the reference manual.
Interviewer: "How can we optimize the character replacement in a string such that we use no extra memory?" Me: "We do this and that and this. But, should we consider what situations we would need this optimization?" Interviewer: "What? Why?"
I can now use this as a filter as I interview organizations. Optimizing algorithms by creating your own core data structure classes (instead of using the built-in ones) is great in certain circumstances, but an absolute waste of time in many others. And if you're not going to ask me about those times when making those improvements is important, then you're not asking questions for a programmer -- you're asking them for a theoretician who can recall syntax.
It's poor practice, and I've seen it everywhere.
This would test programmers ability to learn a new language.
I believe this is deeply valuable. For some roles, I would much prefer to hire someone who can quickly see the value of breadth-first search from both ends.
If he/she doesn't happen to know the syntax of Ruby, or Java, etc. it's less important to me.
Probably because the only person who doesn't lose from this is the interviewer: they get to have fun. Honestly, when you spend all day buried in code, it's fun to play with puzzles for a change.
Perhaps it's time we started optimizing interviews for hiring success rather than interviewer happiness.
Being a developer is 80% Google and 20% actual coding knowledge. We are hackers at the end of the day, not miniature Einstein's with encyclopaedias for brains.
I just don't have the experience or tools or interest for them.
And yet, somehow, in 20 years of business geekery I've never come across a problem I can't solve.
Maybe when writing Tetris for J2ME I would have saved myself 10 minutes googling if I'd had the experience to realise that right angle based matrix translations don't require fp maths and maybe when writing financial indicators, I'd have saved myself half a day if I hadn't had to look up integrals but this sort of stuff is definitely in the minority as far as my experience goes.
In most cases an applicant must be able to read English (to google some code to copy-paste and occasionally search through documentation) and able to install and run Eclipse.
The real problem with hiring is that a HR middleman is ignorant and can't tell a good code form a restaurant menu. So he must give a very few simple exercises from common text-books with known answers.
The even bigger problem is that almost no one needs coders, everyone wants programmers which is a complete different set of analytical and engineering skills.
Coding is just a process of translation of a ready-made by someone else, poorly understood (if at all) specifications into a spaghetti [Java] code by calling poorly understood methods of ready-made classes, coded by someone else.
Programming is a process of understanding and describing reality (in terms of design documents, protocol specifications, and then, least importantly, source code in a several languages).
The criteria of success for a coder, btw, is when it just compiles (unit-tests? what unit-tests?) by the industry-strength most advanced compiler of the most sophisticated industry standard static-typing language (static typing is a guarantee from stupid errors, everyone knows) which is even verified to run correctly on the most advanced VM which incorporates millions of man-hours of optimizations, unless.. Never mind.
Success of a programmer is when it, like nginx or Plan9 or OpenBSD, is good-enough.)
The position I was filling is a part-time position for a CS major, sort of like an internship. I devote time to develop his/her skills, s/he would get real-world experience, and a little money to help with cost of living. If everything works out, a position could open up for full employment.
I had a pretty good idea what I was looking for. Someone that had good grasp on theory but had no experience coding. Preferably enrolled in Uni. I had 5 applicants but the only candidate I interviewed is enrolled in Math-CS.
I basically tried to gauge if he had deep interests and asked him to code a bit, solve a simple control (find me the article with the highest hitcount from the day a week ago, gave him 10 minutes).
He failed the coding test but I made the hire regardless. Reason why was 2 things out of the 4 hours we spent together: When I asked him who he considered the father of CS he rattled off von Neuman, Djikstra and Knuth. Yeah, you can make that argument I suppose, but he knew who the influential people were. The other thing was: even if he failed the coding test he failed it by not reading the code examples quite right, he was using my code to try to help himself solve the problem. I'm sure he'll work out.
We as a field should employ internships a lot more than we do, get the college kids and undergrads working on real-world problems a lot more than we do.
For example: "This database contains 100,000 problems with standardized parameters. The problem definition is defined in the file spec.txt which you can grab from our code repository. Write the code to solve these problems efficiently, passing each solution to a remote service via POSTing to a REST API, the documentation for which you can find here. Bonus points for parallel execution. Feel free to use any editor/IDE and reference online documentation, Stack Overflow, etc. that you want. If anything's not clear or you need a hand with something, just ask as you would if you were an employee already. Ready to get started?"
The great thing is that once you've identified a candidate, you can do remote screen sharing and have them write code before they even have to come into the office. I've interviewed a fair number of remote people this way and it's excellent for weeding out the people who can talk the talk but can't program worth a damn. And it limits bias because you don't care about much beyond their communication ability plus their technical ability.
OK, so there is a difference between computer science and programming. that's why there are two different stack-exchanges:
it's actually really fucking INCREDIBLE that
* you can know tons of CS without being able to build a decent app* you can a decent facebook clone without having any idea how it works
I feel really bad for Emma. I was a math major, but app developers won't even look at me b/c I'm not a full-stack whatever. So now I'm a Data Scientist at an advertising firm in Puerto Rico.
If a startup asks you to solve math puzzles, it's possible that the work you will be doing heavily involves the creative use of math or information analysis. (This is more broadly valuable than many people recognize.)
Also, it's also possible that that particular startup doesn't know how to effectively interview.
It doesn't sensationalisticly mean all Startups (capitalization yours) don't know how to effectively interview.
Also, rather than focus on your ability to learn, I would humbly recommend you reconsider the basic nature of employment. An interview should be considered a two-way conversation. You're not selling yourself as a slave, you're entering into a mutually-beneficial, private, voluntary arrangement. Thus, even someone who goes into an interview willing to accept anything and everything they offer could be expected to ask simply, "And what exactly will I be doing?" But better yet, grill them about every nitty-gritty detail you can think of. Although some insecure interviewers may be taken aback (I'm guilty of asserting the interviewer was wrong on more than one occasion, both times still receiving an offer), I for one am impressed when a candidate demonstrates a sharp, critical and skeptical mind in this way.
I like to ask "what will I be working on in the next 6 months" that way you don't rock up and than the second day they through you in the deep end of building a iPhone app.
Granted, startups only have a vague idea of what they will be programming with short periods but it helps.
Also ask "what will be my performance indicators". If they don't include "being able to very quickly learn new technologies" its hardly your fault.
+ knowledge - generally mastery of math/CS concepts and can be thought of as the potential
+ application skills - modeling a real world problem into a theoretical, computable, and (ultimately) programmable form
+ execution skills - implementation (coding) of a solution including the ability to utilize requisite tools/technologies such programming languages, DBs, OS, and so on
That said, hiring process should cover each of these areas and programmers should work on all these as well.
Because of this I've pretty much given up on hiring graduates based on their technical skills so instead I'm looking for someone smart, who gets that they've got a lot to learn, who is interested in technology and can get on with the other people in the team.
I don't think asking people math questions per se is a great idea, but if you've studied a maths degree it's a good way of working out if you're smart and if you were paying any attention at all during university.
(Incidentally this may be different in other countries (I'm in the UK) or in a company where you're able to attract the very best who have picked up really solid skills, but for most organisations that's not the case as most graduates spent more of their own time in the bar than coding.)
The likelihood of failure of a startup approaches 100%, so you should optimize for likelihood of survival, not for IQ.
If you're not a startup, then the top ranked comment applies. But it doesn't really otherwise.
The irony is that, in an effort to hire the "smartest" people, they leave out the wisest. Which is arguably more useful.
That aside, one must have a way to measure the abilities of a candidate -- and asking the same set of questions to many people allows you to compare the answers as apples to apples.
I generally don't restrict my people from asking any particular question, but I will ask them to consider what a failed answer really means for the specific job (questions are generally adjusted then).
As an aside, some questions of mine that aren't specifically about coding:
* do you code outside of work (a love of coding translates to good coders)
* send me a link to some code you've written that you are proud of (let see what you got)
* tell me about a problem you had where your solution wasn't correct (how have you dealt with failure).
- After a first non-technical call, we ask the candidate to create a very small project based on our SDK. We send him the documentation and a very small sample. He can almost use every tools he wants to create that small project and, of course, we do not set any deadlines. It allows us to see how the candidate architecture his applications and it gives us a project to discuss during the following call.- If all goes well, we invite the candidate on site to present our code/project and eventually brainstorm together. So that both parties can see if they can work together and the candidate has an insight about how we work, how our code looks like.
Clearly, it's far from perfect and we are often considering changing it. Imagine if every company where you are applying would ask you to create an app from scratch with their SDK? We may lose some candidates, but at least we hire only people that fit the company's culture.
I tend to hate the interviews that ask me to solve math and logic brainteasers because I don't see the value in them regarding my knowledge of programming.
I would (and have) asked if the interviewer or organization has any evidence to show that interview puzzle performance (or shit like Myers-Brigg) predicts job performance. No? Not surprising. Google did look into it and found no relationship. (http://www.businessinsider.com/how-google-hires-2013-6)
Programmer interviews are so crazy and sometimes sadistic that I catalogued some of the more common interview patterns:
Anyone who supports math puzzles (or whatever else) in an interview would have to argue that their perception of the candidates performance offers a clear enough data point that it doesn't dilute other information available to them. Given Google's study finding data otherwise, they certainly have the burden of proof.
Yet, I have never had the balls to pursue it professionally. I build stuff and usually never launch it. I have learned several times over that marketing is not my strong suit.
That said, I'd actually like to work for a startup. Hit me up if anyone wants to talk.
But this one talks about getting inadvertent benefit of being good in Maths to get selected for programming, and suffering the consequences later on.
Also, it highlights the importance of what is mostly taken for granted and thought of as mundane stuff, of programming - the idiosyncrasies, jargon, and best practices of various languages and OS environs.
Programming isn't difficult and you don't need to know complex maths or be able to solve mind bending puzzles to be a great developer.
I could learn heroku/RoR/whatever other technology but news things are always coming out and some people keep up with it so easily. I'm not sure being a dev is right for me if I take so long to understand such basic stuff. But I love coding and algos! I write python scripts to do all my homework... and then run them in codecademy labs because doing it in unix makes me so confused.
If anyone has had the same problem please let me know how you got over this hurdle. Thanks.
background; sophomore, cs major, cornell
I really understand that a startup with scarce resource would like to do its best shot. However as discussed long ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2385424), it is really frustrating that asking math puzzles are assumed as the best way to hire the best for the job.
Or I might ask them to describe how an event loop works.. or what the I/O path between their program and the disk looks like in as much detail as they can.
Someone that loves the field is going to have a decent idea about these things even if they never had to build one before.
caveat: these examples are very system level but you can substitute them with appropriate web, financial etc domain specific knowledge.
The reason is smart people can figure out git, or databases, or objective-c, or whatever, in a fairly short amount of time.
For example, my co-founder learned objective C off free online video tutorials and built an iOS app (talking an app with serious firepower and back-end transaction logic) from start to end by himself in less than 3 weeks.
That's why we're not as concerned about what you know right now as what it's possible for you to learn in 3 more week.
I was asked, as part of my application, to take a programming quiz. The quiz consisted of a graph theory problem. I did pretty poorly on it, given that I have no real knowledge of graph theory.
Had they asked me a question about statistics (or something similarly related to data analysis), I think I would have actually been able to answer, or at least been at a point where my programming knowledge- not my math knowledge- was what was holding me back.
Not long ago, Facebook made that 4.74 degrees of separation on its networks. Meaning a maximum of only 4.74 persons are necessary to connect any two random persons on the network.
You can also find an article on Wikipedia about the "Kevin Bacon" reference.
Check out the last technical interview task that I got```Objective:Write a program that prints out a multiplication table of the first 10 prime numbers.The program must run from the command line and print to screen one table.
Notes: - DO NOT use a library method for Prime (write your own)- Use Tests. TDD/BDD- IMPRESS US.```
I mean I can impress you but how will this correlate with production code?
This is like solving your submarine problem. Jeese.
Stop asking this fine young lady math puzzles to determine her programming abilities. She is good at solving your seemingly pointless math puzzle, because she was practicing problem-solving since she was ten. But she is not anywhere near as good at programming, yet - which caused her problems at the actual jobs she had to do after she was hired.
Isn't XY years of records in the same field of interest working for a successful companies a good sign that I can code?!
Ask me theory - pay me to code.
E.g. if somebody hire John Carmack (ID Software), nobody will let him do some math test or ask him trivial programming questions.
But you are not John Carmack ;-)
It is like in every other job: if you are not a rockstar you are nobody.
If the Minitel launched in the eighties, how could have this article been written in the fifties?
Seriously, are Americans still fighting commies? What is this sick obsession with "the gobment"? Today we know we need both the private market and the government to build an economy that is both prosperous and beneficial to the people. Could you cut this fifties crap already?
And this wasn't a case of the "free market" winning again. This was just America winning again. And given that the US median income is steadily dropping while in France it's steadily rising, I don't know if there's much to be proud of.
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
And for information, Free is not the largest ISP in France, Orange is.
The free market gets to win after sufficient government handouts gets something up and running. Then private businesses can swoop in and take the networks (or in this case, the concept) and claim that they won.
If your mother gives you a lollipop, you didn't win an epic battle for the lollipop. Just saying...
Xavier Niel is launching a tuition-free developer school:
The FT also recently had lunch with him:
Online dating has just started going mainstream in America. The Minitel might explain a cultural difference or two between the French and the rest of the world...
 There was zero credit to government persons, which I kinda feel lacking.. Someone was thinking here.
If I collect two months of electronic trash from the local garbage-collector, I'm fairly sure I could reconstruct a miniTel'ish network, or 10, in short order.
Perhaps I should stop thinking about it on HN and just go do it, but see .. this is just another reason why the French are great!
The fall of these old technologies leave behind a somewhat somber mood in me. Kind of like the decline of UUCP.
Internet killed the milking cow, and everyone wondered how Yellow Pages could survive when they couldn't charge per minute anymore...
I still remember the billboards, 3615 ULLA, funny memories. We still use the "3615" number as jokes with friends.
"This page has been locked by Wikipedia in response to deceptive practices paid for by Engulf and Devour to circumvent our community standards and mislead readers."
If you want this to stop, you have to give the clients a disincentive. That will drive the good clients out and these firms will be left with erectile dysfunction flim-flam as their market.
People who want to help Wikipedia improve as unpaid volunteers have a number of channels for doing that. One thing that would help Wikipedia's goal of better content quality is adding more reliable sources to articles. I try to help that process by compiling source lists in user space that any Wikipedian can use for updating articles. It's a long slog to fight the rot on Wikipedia. Reading Wikipedia takes a sharp eye for propaganda and advertising in disguise.
I hope every single one of their spurious sockpuppet accounts get deleted.
OUR AFFILIATES MAKE BIG MONEY.
Just leave us your name.
Or worse, if Wikipedia's trustworthiness is tarnished beyond repair. I remember when I was in high school 5 or 6 years back Wikipedia was kind of seen as a joke by my peers. Now it's taken as near fact. Although I think skepticism of anything read on the Internet or elsewhere is healthy, I would hate to see it revert to the first state because of greedy "PR" firms.
How well did average wikipedians deal with the editors and their clients? Was anyone turned into a useful editor? Or were more people left frustrated and baffled by the WP process?
That said, I can see why e.g. Microsoft, the East India Trading Company and BMW should be recognized in an encyclopedia. And there are examples of products (lines) that could/should be mentioned in a vast online encyclopedia as well (e.g. Windows, BMW 3 series) because they influenced industries/trends/zeitgeist and/or lifes.
But why, for the love of god, should every consultancy, contractor, forrester and his second cousin have an entry on this site?
Oh Jesus Christ, common now we're a community of entrepreneurs & hackers, someone just create a new startup that's wikipedia for people.
PeoplePedia.com is taken but here, but I've got http://www.infopag.es so it's perfect for something like InfoPag.es/ChrisNorstrom.
If someone wants to join in reply to this comment. So basically I'm envisioning a wiki for people. However, there's 2 routes I can go down:
a) Anyone can create a page on a person and anyone can edit and add onto or delete content from that page. (lots of growth, but lots of potential for abuse)
b) People must register to create a page on themselves, anyone can edit that page and add onto or delete content but the registered owner must approve the edits.
Which sounds better?
In both, with my existing old build of Java, I got a placeholder image like this:
Clicking it took me to the update page. Exactly what you want. There was an option in the top-left corner to forcibly load it, which is fine - updating is the right move.
Once I updated and uninstalled the old JRE, in Firefox 24 the applet I was trying loaded silently without any confirmation. It was not blacklisted.
In Firefox Nightly, once Java is updated, I see this placeholder where the applet would have been:
Clicking the placeholder opens a prompt asking if I want to allow the plugin once or allow it always on this site. Very straightforward.
Other than the fact that modern Java 7 is not blocked by default in Firefox 24 for me (maybe they didn't roll that out yet?), everything works fine here, and I don't see any catastrophic UI mistakes, developer/enterprise-hostile design, or attempts at destroying the web.
You can still easily run Java applets in Firefox 24 and beyond, you just need to click the red lego block in the upper left corner and allow it. 
It's much less strict than in Chrome (on OS X), where Java doesn't run at all anymore.
However, it is about time - I've heard online banking developers talk crap both about BankID and the underlying online banking infrastructure in the country, and security holes due to Java exploits are rampant. The banks have paid the bill for this until now, but it causes massive inconvenience for...every Norwegian who uses an online banking service. (Every adult Norwegian, more or less).
I upgraded to the latest Java r45 and it still didn't work. Then I noticed a blinking red thing in the address bar where the security lock icon goes. I clicked that and it gave me an option to enable Java for the VPN connection site permanently.
Seemed easy enough to fix. I only had to click that icon once, and it's been working smoothly since.
ScreenLeap has a good start: http://www.screenleap.com/troubleshooting-java
The advice they give varies based on the detected browser and OS (as it must) but it's somewhat out of date, and isn't intended for a general audience.
The applets on my educational site are signed JARs (a wasted expense, it seems), and they are explicitly run within the sandbox, but every few months it gets harder and harder for students and their parents to get Java to run.
And now in Firefox my interactive components have just become scary-looking blocks of DO-NOT-ENTER signs and warnings that are totally unwarranted for my site. If you work up the courage to click through the browser's warnings, then of course you get round 2, the warnings that the plugin itself pops up.
I dearly wish to see some of the details on the evil that's being done with Java applets, and if all of these aggressive measures are actually doing anything to stop real risks, or if the main effect is to kill sites like mine.
These do not seem to be actions based on data anymore.
That said, it's a solution for the current problem and should really be applied to all plugins - I'm not sure why java is singled out here, many of the other browser plugins are just as bad. Java has likely the most widely publicized security vulnerabilities, yet I can guarantee you that many many 0-days are traded daily for practically every single other browser plugin as well.
- How can the Mozilla team can think they can get away with this ?This behavior is all but neutral from firefox!
- So I have to drop my software that I programmed in 7 years ?I went 4 days ago in the developper forum to discuss about this :
---------------------------------Me: "A red no entry sign" is too radical for recent java player I think.My users give me a phone call to tell me "No way I will accept to install your software with this red warning"... Even the people who know me, tell me they got so scared they have really hesitated to accept java. Now I do understand at a time when java had urgent security issue this scary red-message was necessary. But I really wish that Firefox checks the java version installed ... and give a less-scary-warning-sign or a "go !" if the user has a recent java version (like the latest on java 1.7 update 30).
Benjamin Smedberg (chef of this idiot change): "We fundamentally disagree about the risks of the Java plugin. We believe the Java plugin is unsafe, and we want to present that to our users".
-- Is there a boss at Mozilla ? someone who cares about developpers.And yea Benjamin, you know, java is open source by the way.Fuck you idiot !Thierry
But, given Flash's similar reputation (not to mention it being prone to crash), why not mark Flash as unsafe as well?
All the heavy-handedness is going to do is force Firefox out of corporate IT environments where many internal websites rely on Java.
Marking a current version as unsafe, even when there are no known exploits is simply ridiculous. I'd love to see the reaction of Mozilla if Microsoft decided to mark all Firefox releases as unsafe, and give a big security warning whenever you installed FF.
Especially if the UI for unblocking it in FF is as obtuse as the discussion implies..
- How can the Mozilla team can think they can get away with this ?This behavior is all but neutral from firefox ?
- So I have to drop my software that I programmed in 7 years ?Benjamin Smedberg (the guy at mozilla who made this shit) is an extremist.I went 4 days ago in the developper forum to discuss about this :
Benjamin Smedberg: "We fundamentally disagree about the risks of the Java plugin. We believe the Java plugin is unsafe, and we want to present that to our users".
It looks like interesting technology, but I need a more concrete example.
Determinism, OTOH, sounds interesting at least on paper. Is there any experience from tests with real applications in real world scenarios?
The original headline is preserved, and clarified by the editorial clarification in square brackets. It would be great for HN to adopt this as a solution to the modified headline problem, with the provisio that editorial comment must only be used for the purposes of clarification.
Basically, you can't do much that is interesting unless a computer system ultimately resolves, or is imputed by law to resolve, to a specific natural person.
(EDIT: People are missing the point. What you call it is immaterial. All the handwaving aside, these "autonomous systems" including the ones described by the author are legally not autonomous. It is not possible under the law to construct such a thing. You may claim that it is "autonomous" but no government will recognize that claim as suggesting legal independence from a natural person. True AI would make this weird but we do not have AI today and the underlying fact still remains.)
The economy would eventually transform into a landscape of owner-less providers of economic value, perfectly "efficient" in the capitalistic sense. That might even happen sooner than fully decentralized governments.
In good times people want more money - a discussion on what they should want is irrelevant, lets stick to the facts - and in bad times people want to protect what they have (aggressively so). Now consider that what makes times good vs bad is not determined by money - it's determined and prolonged by some other shock like an asset misvaluation, the destruction of a massive crop, or some combination of external factors underlying the real or nominal non-money thing.
Let's say it's a rice crop. Those dependent on rice freak out, and push all their money into safe assets, those dependent on those dependent on rice do the same. The chain reaction continues until all the economy's money is tied up in safe assets, not being spent, and everyone is sat at home waiting for it to blow over. If policymakers do not intervene correctly at this point, this situation will become a depression, and much misery will ensue.
So what do we do? We make safe assets more expensive to lower the risk/reward ratio for commercial activities: we make bank holdings very unrewarding (lower interest rates), we devalue the money in circulation and provide liquidity in one move (print money), and government invests in big infrastructure (liquidity, jobs, momentum, signalling etc). All of this is designed to keep things moving and ward off a depression. And it works - this is why we abandoned the gold standard.
So given that Bitcoin means nothing to rice, or most other external factors, and not to the rigidities that exacerbate recessions - how exactly do we deal with this in the described autonomous utopia?
I very much agree that the regulators of currency leave a tremendous amount to be desired, but unfortunately this appears to be one of very few economic problems where decentralisation is not the answer.
Of Bitcoin in particular it says
this corporation has revenues, expenditures and profits. However... no one owns this entity, it owns itself ...it provides a payment protocol and employs miners to maintain that protocol. The employs are rewarded with stock that is split at most into 21 million units
I think Bitcoin is able to be distributed and autonomous by its nature, and that any future autonomous corporations will similarly need to be autonomous by nature. Thus, while allowing for the kinds of payments and receipts an autonomous corporation will require, I don't think Bitcoin is the only thing such a corporation will need, nor the most important.
Instead, it will be innovative solutions that by their nature require decentralisation and autonomy that eventuate in this 'next generation of corporations'. Bitcoin will be an important model going forward; I'm really looking forward to solutions to other problems that surely will be inspired by it in the coming years.
* Person comes up with a business model.* Person automates it as much as possible, eventually automating all of it.* Person ends up being in a car accident.
There's no reason why the AI he wrote shouldn't be able to keep "living" (aka paying its bills) for a while, if the idea was of the right sort.
When they ask how the humans went extinct, the answer will be; gradually and then suddenly.
Still, keeping a private key safe for a distributed corporation will be a challenge. One attack I can think of - set up a fake hosting company that claims to offer cheap hosting, wait for the corporation to move some of its agents there, then bam, you've got the private key. That kind of thing might be difficult to pull off, but if any of these corporations controlled significant assets, then the amount of resources an attacker would be prepared to expend would be very high.
I suppose it suggests a mechanism where spending resources requires the cooperation of a number of agents that must be contracted with different hosting companies, and perhaps a period of warm up, where for the first x months, an agent might do useful things but would not be given power to control money.
Given the fact that 98% of BTC belong to 2% of portfolios and there's a way stronger anonymity compared to fiat currency (you all know who Bernanke is and where his power comes from) and early adopters can drive easily the market up or down. Personally I believe that's the main reason BTC didn't fall after SR bust. Because, what most believe is not controlled is TOTALLY controlled (big players didn't opt out).
That said I can see how BTC is useful and has awesome qualities, especially for people who understand technicalities of a digital currency and how money works.
However, BTC is a hoarding system. Much like gold and nothing like fiat. BTC is not inflationary, by design. Inflation is the first quality a fiat currency must have, in order make people willing to spend.
I am deeply interested in the subject and would love to discuss the topic and brainstorm some possible implementations with like minded people on Freenode (#bitcoin-agent).
"""Gold can be thought of as the first real autonomous corporation although you probably dont see it that way. Think about it it provides a payment protocol and employs traders to maintain that protocol.
The idea is the same this corporation has revenues, expenditures and profits. However, once again, no one owns this entity, it owns itself."""
only way to deal with those corporations will be through Bitcoin (thats right, they wont, or rather cant, accept fiat like US Dollar)
1. It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a corporation without money 2. So far it's been impossible to receive money online anonymously
3. Corporations can't be anonymous
If the whole premise of its autonomy rests solely on it's ability to engage in metered economic exchanges by way of some kind of bitcoin-style protocol, then an "autonomous corporation" MUST, by definition, persist on a distributed global network of continously available computers. So, if this entity has that dependency, then who's providing the hosting?
He who opts in on hosting the protocol, carries a say in the fate of the entity, thus this is no more "autonomous" than any other body of distributed human decision making. Whether it be voting, the purchase of publicly traded shares, or the organization of a bond to fund a bridge to nowhere.
It comes down to this: In order to mine bitcoins, or rather, add value to the system, you have to be constantly connected tothe internet. You can't mine a bitcoin in isolation. You can't power up a stand-alone, air-gapped machine, and mine bitcoins and expect them to have value when you connect it to the internet.
If you can't mine your own bitcoins in a vacuum, then very obviously, this requires you to interact with the world at large, over public networks. Those other systems must be available and complicit in such activities. That certainly doesn't fit my definition of "autonomous" in the sense of some massive force-of-nature style artificial intelligence boogey man. These systems need to be switched on, activated and tended to by someone. Someone will eventually want to extract value from these economic crypto-currencies.
So, here we are, coming back to the drone/remote control debate. Is a drone really "autonomous" when there's a pilot manning a set of remote controls from a bunker? Similarly, is this truly an "autonomous" corporation, when there are people deploying agents onto client hosts and services onto servers, all with the goal of gaining wealth? However you want to encapsulate the skill sets involved, that still requires expertise, and human intervention in my book, and certainly doesn't sound autonomous at all, to me.
Autonomy is a relative term. Whose autonomy are we talking about, here? And autonomy from "what" precisely?
It's more likely that such an autonomous corporation would provide a cloud service. The protocol could be designed like bitcoin to reject hosts that don't meet certain criteria (such as latency or security). With Homomorphic encryption techniques being advanced these types of clouds could even be somewhat secure.
i mean, mining in this case will be work.. and the amount of work would say how much payment that work diserve..
but how to calculate work in a generic manner without being too linear.. like hours/work.. i mean.. pay for creativity, ideas, less tangible things..
and about other investments. how they would be decided?this requires a good amount of algorithms..
Distributed systems are hard.
But it's cool we got to see so many first flights this year!
Here is some detail on why it is so quiet
Any aerospace engineers in the house?
On plus side, if they work, more power to them. On the downside, sounds like a maintenance / reliability nightmare in the making.
[EDIT] May be of use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geared_turbofan
LCD user interface!Fly by wire!Carbon composite wings!Geared turbofan!
We are talking about more than 20 years old technology here. We (in our company) programmed cockpit LCD like 12 years ago or so...
That isn't to say there isn't a market for this kind of thing, but if there was really a market Bombardier could have done it properly, even via the stock market. Too much Canadian business is built around exploiting whatever the government is chucking around that week rather than being sustainable.