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French Court Allows Reverse Engineering of Skype Protocol googleusercontent.com
91 points by p4bl0  3 hours ago   27 comments top 7
tobiasu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The court follows the EC Directive for legal protection of computer programs, specifically Article 6. Every EU country should have laws in place that allow for reverse engineering within certain limits.

See page 4 [PDF]:http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2...

username42 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Sometimes, we can be proud to be french ;-)

For interoperability purpose, "reverse engineering is a legal practice, and that the distribution of software using a protocol found in this way is not illegal"

comex 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder what would have happened in the United States. I think the DMCA probably couldn't be construed to apply to this, but I guess accessing Skype's servers could be considered exceeding authorized access, similar to the 3Taps case (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/207055/#axzz2i...)...
cynwoody 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Reverse engineering of protocols should be as American as the First Amendment!
Systemic33 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Protocols are like languages, in the sense that they aren't the data or protection of data, but provides a structural framework for communicating. Languages are also in itself not information, and not secure, it's only when you apply security that happens.

This can be compared to letting people try reverse engineer some indigenous language in my eyes.

Fuxy 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
Hmm... it seems European law seems to fair a lot better then American law when it comes to attempted abuse by big companies.

I don't know if it's just because the judges are more sane but well done. I think I respect the french slightly more now :)

bifrost 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This makes me laugh, mostly because it will alienate the French govt from the US Govt, but also because its basically anti-IP.
Deep C and C++ (2011) slideshare.net
115 points by kamaal  5 hours ago   62 comments top 20
hacknat 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not so jaded as to think that deep language understanding isn't a useful or good thing, and I'd like to think I have some myself. However, deep language understanding is not what separates the great engineers from the good ones.

In an interview, I would much rather hear a person say something about a statically declared variable with no initialization being poor code to leave behind for the next person than some arcana about the standard.

austinz 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ooh. I remember "Dynamic-C" and its built-in support for coroutines. TI and Microchip had their own quasi-proprietary extensions to C, but I don't think I ever saw anyone go as far as Rabbit did.
nraynaud 1 hour ago 0 replies      
this has nothing to do with understanding but more with memory. What's drowning people in C and even more in C++ is not the logic of the language, but the sheer number of tricky concepts and the pure accumulation of information (it is reflected on the size of the specs).

There is also the fact that very often non-specified behavior, or implementation dependent or everything else that is not cool does not lead to a warning, so the learning is absolutely not reinforced by the compiler. Whereas a warning/error leads to questions that leads to google and some learning; you can be stepping far in the Pampa of undefined behavior for years when someone comes with a superior attitude in your company detects it and calls you a moron in a powerpoint.

And this also leads to very hard to write code sometimes, if you want to do some serious IEEE754 in C/C++ you will basically be pitting the spec of the language against the spec of numerical computation in a ring.

jgreen10 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How far into the presentation do I need to go for someone to mention that the quotes in the printf are not US ASCII and therefore the program would not compile?
raverbashing 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a good discussion of the behind the curtains working of compilers

But I'm very aware of "smart code" and we shouldn't be writing code that relies on the details (especially ones that might change between compilers)

loup-vaillant 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This was good, but

Hermione (I'm sure that's her) rates her C++ knowledge at 4-5, and Stroustrup himself at 7!?

Bullshit. Either they are poorly calibrated, or they are displaying false modesty. Sure, they probably still have plenty to learn about C++, but come on, Hermione is already at the top 97% in terms of language lawyering.

Wanting to be stronger is good. Not realizing you're already quite strong is not so good.

praptak 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
A fun fact about sequence points. C++ has switched from "sequence points" to "sequenced before/sequenced after" relation. And it is not really "all" previous side-effects that are guaranteed to be visible after the sequence point but only those associated with the sequence point.

In 'foo(b++, a++ && (a+b));' the sequence point introduced by the '&&' only makes the 'a' see the effect 'a++' but the 'b' might not see the 'b++' (function args are not sequenced in C nor C++).

chipsy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
People complain loudly about gotchas in JS, but when you look at what C++ programmers have to contend with...
rcfox 3 hours ago 0 replies      
pacaro 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been a C developer (among other things) for about 20 years or so, but I've always described my C++ skills as being "in the C with objects" range, I might have to change that to being "nearly in the C with objects" range.
aidenn0 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Heh, and they didn't even get into the aliasing rules. In embedded software, life would be a lot easier if I could hit every engineer who wants to type-pun without a union in the head with the ISO standard.

For this reason, a lot of compilers have options to not strictly enforce the aliasing rules

[edit]Also C and C++ are both permitted to reorder structs, it's just that they don't because that's the easiest way to follow the standard.

theCricketer 1 hour ago 5 replies      
A college student in CS here. I'm always impressed by people with deep understanding of programming language internals and try to pick up as much about programming language internal workings and compilers as I can. How does one get really good at this? Is it by spending a lot of time programming and building stuff? Is it by reading books/blogs/articles about programming languages? Any recommendations for such resources?
deckiedan 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It is interesting looking at the 'deep' issues of programming languages. This kind of ties in with the "Don't ask me maths questions..." post a few days ago.

There really is a lot more to programming than just algorithms, UI design or syntax.

zvrba 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> Why do professional programmers write code like this?

Because we 1) for some reason or another we _must_ use C or C++, 2) we're coding for a single CPU platform, and 3) we need to get the friggin' job done in this century.

kirab 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I got really annoyed by those stupid and ever-repeating mean comments like "do you want another ice cream?"
yngccc 3 hours ago 3 replies      
The girl forgot to mention exception safety on the class A slide, no hire.
jheriko 1 hour ago 0 replies      
seen this before. whilst its great there are degrees of respect to have for C and C++.

the most productive code i have ever written generally involves me working around the constraints of the language to implement a paradigm which is missing at compile-time, or juggling macros and templates so that i can reduce boilerplate code down to a template with a macro to fill the gaps the template is too featureless to give me (vice versa, the template is there because macros aren't complete enough either).

its good to understand this deep language stuff though because you can understand why C/C++ are limited. for instance the C sequence points limit the compiler in its ability to perform optimisation, as do struct layout rules and many of the other weird and wonderful specifics...

what saddens me most though is that nobody has offered anything to improve C and C++ in these areas which matter most to me... its not even hard. just let the compiler order structs because most programmers don't understand struct layout rules.

its not a good thing that these things are so explicitly specified for the language - its gimping the compilers, which is limiting me. also it results in pointless interview questions about sequence points.. :P

enterx 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great story.

Deep understanding of the language used will make you do a better job.

This reminds me of the story that I've run into once. The junior developer wanted to raise PHP's memory_limit parameter because his code crashed almost every time while writing big file content to the output. He didn't know what output buffering is and that he can turn it off and print the file directly to the output. :D

shurcooL 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Knowledge of the language is a big factor, but it's far from being the only one. How fast one is able to create things is an example of another important factor. There are many more.
glormph 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I only know python well and am looking for another language to learn. C was on the shortlist, but after this, crikey. At least I now know it's not going to be an easy ride.
Hk, The new Heroku Client written in Go github.com
17 points by fyskij  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
neya 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
On a side note, I would like someone with experience here to tell me how you can actually create command line commands. In this case, they seem to use

    hk <insert command here>
I would like to do something like:

   abc <some command>
Basically something like a Rails scaffold generator. How difficult/easy is this? Googling didn't help much..


knocte 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Last time I looked at heroku, I had to install some non-open-source command-line tools to interact with it.

So I'm wondering, is this alternative opensource now?

How does the go build command work? cheney.net
36 points by jonbaer  3 hours ago   1 comment top
easytiger 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was a bit suprised when i returned to go about 6 months ago to find it had the build command. Originally you invoked these directly
An introduction to libuv nikhilm.github.io
21 points by deadwait  1 hour ago   1 comment top
josephg 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've written a couple of C tools directly on top of libuv[1] to play with it. I've got to say, its a great little library. Its basically nodejs's entire cross-platform standard library & event loop exposed to C, without V8 and without npm. It performs well, the code is pretty high quality and the internal documentation is excellent. The external API docs aren't very good though - I found myself reading through nodejs a few times to figure out how I was expected to use some of the functions.

I'm quite curious to see how much performance you lose through libuv compared to using the lower level IO primitives directly (epoll, select and friends). I know redis doesn't use any high level event libraries, but I haven't seen any benchmarks.

[1] https://github.com/josephg/sharedb Caveat: This was an experiment and libuv has probably changed in incompatible ways since I wrote this code)

Complete, Persistent Compromise of Netgear Wireless Routers shadow-file.blogspot.com
133 points by Hoff  9 hours ago   54 comments top 10
zdw 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This, along with bufferbloat [1], is why you run OpenWRT or another similarly modern, fully open source distro on your home routers.

Right now, the best supported devices are ath9k's, so things like the Buffalo WZR-* models are ideal.

The WNDR 4700 model specifically doesn't have good support for 3rd party firmware [2] due to it's use of NAND flash in an unsupported manner, so if you have that model you're kind of sunk at this point.

1. http://www.bufferbloat.net

2. http://wikidevi.com/wiki/Netgear_WNDR4700

Glyptodon 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a WNDR 4700 and I can't replicate as described. However, I've also never trusted the stupid thing since it stores passwords in clear text (or at least is happy to display them in clear text on one of its admin pages).
greglindahl 6 hours ago 2 replies      
One alternative to underpowered routers running OpenWRT or pfsense is to use a beaglebone black as your router. It's got well-supported wifi devices with antennae available, and you're not compromising on clock or ram.
ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 1 reply      
So has anyone used any of the open hardware alternatives, like routerboard.com ? Seems like having the schematics and the firmware would be a reasonable place to be.
uptown 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Exploit doesn't appear to work on a WNDR3700v2. I'm hoping it doesn't, as this has been the only router I've ever liked after years of dealing with complete garbage.
girvo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Question: I have Cable internet here in Aus (100mb/10mb) and I like my connection, but we have to use Telstra's silly modem, and they refused to activate any other one on the network.

So, lets assume I don't trust this AP and Modem to be secure (fair enough assumption in my opinion) -- the best way would be to perhaps build my own Wireless AP running pfsense, on a BeagleBone Black or similar?

    Cable -> Telstra Modem w/out Wireless -> pfsense AP -> Network
Would that be the most secure way to handle that situation?

cbrauchli 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have a Netgear WNDR3700v2 or a WNDR3800, check out Cerowrt [1]. The latest stable build, 3.7.5-2, has been exceptionally stable for me, and fast. I would highly recommend it.

1. http://www.bufferbloat.net/projects/cerowrt

holyjaw 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I like that this was technical and informative, but still talked down to people like me who aren't at all knowledgable with how infosec works. Great read; wish I could find more like it.
jasiek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, this just illustrates how much hardware companies suck at building software.
camkego 7 hours ago 3 replies      
This post, and other recent ones like it, indicate to me the importance of running a port scan and making sure no management abilities are exposed over the WAN side of these devices.Any suggestions on good, fast online port scanners?
Ask HN: Why the Microsoft hate?
467 points by seanmcdirmid  9 hours ago   349 comments top 89
iamshs 8 hours ago 6 replies      
In that particular thread, I was accused of being a shill and an astroturfer by 3 members. All of the accusers had karma greater than 1500, and atleast two of them were on HN since at least 2 years. Why? Because I posted the spec list of the tablet. And I do not have allegiance to any of the tech companies at all, except having used their products one time or another.

MS hate is vicious on here. I remember recoiledsnake [1, 2] alluding to it, and not that particular topic, infact lots of MS topics are bumped off the frontpage while having lots of points. Not on this site, I made a point on neoGAF debunking a point regarding XboxOne related to a technology that I am very much familiar with. I was ambushed by 15-20 people in matter of 10 minutes and banned. One single post, nothing inflammatory. On this site, yes I do see MS hate from lots of members. I do not think I remain enthusiastic in posting on here. Some of the members call themselves veterans and use that status to just point barbs. Disagreements are one thing and can be deliberated in civil manner, but downright unencumbered hate and allegations is another.

[1]- https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=recoiledsnake[2] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5716419

jeswin 6 hours ago 8 replies      
I'll tell you the story of my friend Greg.

Greg has been a believer in Microsoft. He went to all the Tech-Ed conferences, attended every MSDN event he could. Conferences are grand stages that leave an impression. He drank all the cool-aid that was served at these conferences.

Things were really good early on, this was the last decade. The computing scene at that time revolved around Microsoft like the many moons of Jupiter. Greg and his team built products with Silverlight, WPF, .Net, Windows Workflow, Biztalk, Remoting, and the like. Every conference offered something new, something exciting. The apps they built worked great, looked great.

Fast forward to now. Greg is a decent programmer, but he wants a new job badly. The problem is that nobody wants to use all that stuff that he knows. People want to build on standards; apps that work on every device. Not just on Windows and not just on Internet Explorer. Greg still doesn't get it. He hasn't seen much of the world outside Microsoft, and still wonders why people don't want Silverlight. Still tells me how WPF is so much better that anything else out there. And running only on IE, why is that even a problem? Everybody has IE. Poor Greg, tough times.

There may be many issues with Microsoft. But more than anything else, I would fault them for building their entire ecosystem with total disregard for standards, their refusal to work with whatever community existed outside. This probably wasn't intentional, they must have probably believed in what they told their developers. Even though so much has changed since their glory days, there's a part of Microsoft which still refuses to engage.

There was a Steve Jobs interview from the late 90s in which he said, "The problem with Microsoft is that they have absolutely no taste". Jobs wasn't talking about aesthetics; it is true of pretty much everything from Microsoft. From UIs, to development frameworks, to tools, to shells and even APIs. Back then, having "no taste" was totally fine because people communicated far less.

Now we have a whole bunch of people who are stuck using this stuff. And many of them don't really get it yet.

Edit: I just saw that you work for Microsoft, and specifically Microsoft Research. You guys make awesome stuff. The above is mostly about the Windows platform.

pnathan 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Hiya Sean,

So you posted a real classic flamewar topic here... heh. Enjoy the war. But here's my take on Microsoft Corp, since you asked nicely.

You guys don't play nice. You've never played nice, and the fact that you've gotten better lately seems to be more due to the fact that you've lost dominance and have to interop with other operating systems. I'm not really going to provide significant examples, there are lots out there for a quick search. Things like file formats, threading models, frigging slash directions in filenames, deviance in compiler standards. Not to mention that MS had a terrible rep for being aggressive and with bad ethics in the 80s and 90s (leaving aside the F/OSS fight).

Technically, I find MS offerings to still be catching up in automatability to Linux. Still. Not only that, but you have had since the 90s this obnoxious habit of having "moving targets" for your APIs. So learning one API just meant that I'd have to learn a new one to do the same thing in a year.

I've recently had the opportunity to do heavy .NET development, and my opinion is that as a developer whose worked for years in Linux, Microsoft technologies wasted my time comparatively. Everything from Windows 8 out to the shenanagins with IIS to actually get my webapp deployed. I was able to do equivalent work in Ruby on Rails (a language and framework I didn't know) in a fraction of the time I spent fighting C#, MVC API and IIS; this experience was repeated with Caveman and Common Lisp (a framework I didn't know, a language I did). I can not believe how painful it is to develop on Microsoft tooling, and how meekly people accept it as the way it is. I don't like having my time wasted.

I'm not going to say Apple or Google (or Oracle, SAP, etc, etc, etc) is blameless, okay? But I don't really like Microsoft policy and technologies, as a rule of thumb. Note that I really respect your arm of the company - MSR - and think that it does great stuff like F#, Pex, and others. That still doesn't obviate my dislike of MS as a corporation.


georgemcbay 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I (speaking for myself, obviously, not anyone else on HN) don't hate Microsoft. I use Windows! Windows 8 in fact!

For context because I'm sure some people (I do think there is an anti-MS bias here on HN, though not as pronounced as OP thinks it is) may think I'm some stereotypical Microsoft-using rube. I grew up in the 80s, programming first on the C64 (BASIC, 6510 Assembler), then Amiga, then various UNIX systems (SunOS, IRIX, AIX, Ultrix, Solaris, later Linux).

I avoided Windows like crazy until Windows 2000 came out because prior to that release the idea of using an OS where one process could crash the system at any time seemed ridiculous (post my Amiga days), and running NT was only for "enterprises" (at that time). But since I first started using Windows 2000, Windows has always been my "primary" OS, partly for gaming reasons, partly for access to commercial software (currently Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop), and partly because I simply actually just like the look and feel of it.

In the meantime I spent quite a number of years doing Win32 software development (though now I'm mostly doing Android/Java and some embedded stuff with Go) and to this day, Visual Studio is still the programming environment by which all others I use are measured and found wanting. There are some pretty decent other ones, but I still miss the absolute power of the VS debugger (against C, C++ and C#) and everytime I find myself doing printf-debugging because the FOSS tool I'm using doesn't have solid debugging support I cry a little inside.

I also still do a lot of Linux-based programming these days, each Windows system I use has half a dozen or more Linux VMs running on them regularly, but I still prefer Windows as an overall primary desktop. It is fast and extremely stable these days (hell, the GPU driver can crash due to Nvidia bugs and Windows will just restart that mofo and keep going, how cool is that?).

All that said, yes, Microsoft hasn't always acted in the best interests of the overall industry (but neither has any other company near their size, and Microsoft has gotten better over the years while some others I won't name have gotten worse, IMO). Also, I still haven't found any good reason to buy a WinRT device. But my overall impression of Microsoft is pretty positive.

olalonde 8 hours ago 3 replies      
In case you are genuinely wondering, a lot of the hate towards Microsoft stems from their historical hostility towards open standards[0] and open source[1].

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

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

nikatwork 8 hours ago 8 replies      
I started my career working on VB apps, and ASP then ASP.NET websites, using a Windows dev box.

After learning several OSS stacks, I have nothing but contempt for Microsoft technologies. I wouldn't say I hate MS - they are what they are - but I am certainly conditioned to be very suspicious of their offerings. I would never take a job working on a MS stack again, ever.

I currently work for a large enterprise that uses a mix of MS and OSS, and I take every chance I get to swap out the MS tech with OSS. The devs love it and it makes me happy.

martey 8 hours ago 1 reply      
You have not provided any evidence that flagging is the reason that articles about the Nokia Lumia 2520 fell off of the front page. It is entirely possible that they disappeared because not enough people were interested in upvoting marketing information about a tablet running Windows RT.

So is HN basically becoming Slashdot where Microsoft hate occurs by default?

The guidelines for this site suggest that it is bad form to compare HN to other sites, especially when your account is under a year old. They also suggest that users should not complain about downmodding (which you are doing).

I think this would have been a reasonable post if you had found evidence that articles involving Microsoft consumer electronics received more negative comments or flags that articles from other companies. Instead, the post and its comments are just a bunch of unfounded accusations of anti-Microsoft bias.

I would argue that the facts that you assumed that articles about the Lumia disappeared because people were maliciously flagging them, that you posted an extremely positive comment about it [1] without disclosing your Microsoft affiliation, and that you reposted an Engadget article about it [2] just 6 hours after it was originally submitted, and at the same time you were insulting people in the original submission's comments [3] just as troubling.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6590538

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6591911

[3]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6591575

skriticos2 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have to work with their system every day at work. I don't have a choice.

I'd really like to go out of Microsoft's way, but they don't let me. I'd like to look for any workplace and be asked the first day: "which OS / software stack I prefer?" or give me a blank box to set up. But I usually just get a Windows box which I'd choose last (somewhere behind pen and paper).

They do patent extortion (they make more money of Android than Windows Phone).

They don't contribute much back to the world at large. I don't mind proprietary software, but I insist on open interfaces that let software play together. They don't do that. They don't publish essential specifications, don't contribute code to the community much and if you reserve engineer their protocols to provide compatible services, they sue you and extort royalties. And then there are things like OOXML that they forced through ISO.

Companies working together with Microsoft are regularly burned.

They have been repeatedly used very dirty tactics to corner the market and got fined for it.

I don't particularly fancy their software (I'm much more comfortable with Linux systems). Automation of Windows software is horrible and they suffer a bad form of NIH.

This rubs me the wrong way.

Make them an optional thing in my life that I can avoid and I stop having hard feelings for them.

tptacek 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Are you sure about this? If I go to HNSearch, look for Nokia stories, and sort by date, I can't find a comment saying that any of them aren't relevant to HN... which doesn't surprise me because there's no argument under which Nokia wouldn't be relevant to HN.

Can you link to one of these stories that got flagged off the site?

tluyben2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
First of all let me say that of the research I follow, MS research is definitely in my top list. And you personally (with non MSR people like Jonathan Edwards) are among the few who try to help the crap we call programming which I hope you will pursue for a long time. I follow your research and your comments on HN.

On MS (mostly opinion here as most posters in this kind of thread):

I used to love MS in the 80s, because of the MSX [1]; to me that all was very open and nice.

With Windows 3.1 I saw something different; I was used to unix in university by then and Windows 3.1 was so horribly unstable and generally completely worthless that I thought the world had gone mad from buying and using that crap. I used to look in pity on the people sitting behind the very frequently crashing 3.1 (browsing with Netscape on 3.1 was like pulling teeth) machines as I sat behind Solaris which never crashed. Which made MS, to me, the company who releases things into the wild which do not work and they dare to ask money for it. I know they couldn't really help some of that; you could crash 3.1 as easy as DOS, but software under DOS crashed less frequently, wasn't that much of a pain to work with (one open application at a time; good for focusing too :). Matters became worse that, after a while, they had NT and still they were peddling, for money!, that 3.1 abomination on humanity.

With 95 things didn't improve much (at the time it seemed it did and up from 3.1 it did, but in the big scheme of things it still crashed all the time) and by then a solid version of NT was on the market so there was not much excuse for releasing '95. I became aware of their dubious business tactics against small companies and with their partners; as a result of the technical crap they released and their tactics I got 5 sparcstation 5 machines from my old uni for free and installed redhat on my PC.

I try Windows and the eco system ever so often;I have a Lumia; love the hardware, not the OS; many issues I've written about before. I tried to like Windows 7 and 8; 7 is ok, but not more than that and 8 is... weird. I wish they would've just had some balls and just only put Metro all the way with no way to go back. Now it's just, like the Surface; neither meat nor fish; not tablet, not laptop. For a client I had to install the MS-SQL/Sharepoint/Exchange etc stack and write some software on it; I thought I liked it at first, but after a while I got into the quirks which had no documentation and not much online relief.

Basically; I try to like MS their products ever so often because I think their should be competition; I just don't see any competition compared to what I use daily. And stuff like the Android patents still stings; unless they turn that back they haven't changed since the 90s and are still evil.

I don't 'hate' anything though; it's just something they shouldn't do if they want my money.

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

anigbrowl 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree, it's just pack behavior. And no, I don't work for MS, nor have I ever.

Having said that, launching the day before the iPad was bound to invite negative comparison without something really special, notwithstanding the good value proposition of this tablet. What has personally held me back is that Windows RT has nothing in particular for me because it can't run any x86 legacy apps, while surface Pro seems rather expensive.

As with Google & Android, and MS with many previous versions of Windows, this platform is poor for musicians and not great for visual artists. I know creatives are a small market, but they're a very influential one. I don't like Apple or iOS much, but next time I buy a tablet with a view to making music, what other choice do I have?

quaffapint 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm almost afraid to reply to this. It's like the hunt for Communists in the US during the cold war - ah another MS sympathizer.

MS made a lot of mistakes - so did Apple. I was an Apple tech support - it really sucked not having multitasking and dealing with so many OS issues. Now I make a living off the MS stack.

I think MS sticking with RT is a bad move - go with full Windows support. I would still say a Nexus device is probably the best bang for the buck.

In the end it's just an opinion, but you don't need to jump down a company's throat because their not the ones in vogue at the moment.

Mikeb85 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> Why the Microsoft hate?

Because of Microsoft's shady business practices over the years (including Elop killing Nokia's most promising phone OS, Meego, and driving the share price down so MS could scoop it up) and the fact their software is just plain bad.

No one actually wants to use MS Windows. Microsoft ruined/killed some of their most beloved franchises (Age of Empires, Flight Simulator, Combat Flight Simulator). Internet Explorer is a joke.

Not to mention, the ridiculous licencing terms that come with MS software, the high prices, and questionable functionality. If paying for Vista was bad, it was worse that Windows 7 wasn't a free update.

And then there's all the attack ads and FUD Microsoft has spread over the years (especially against Linux), which continues to this day with the 'Scroogled' campaign and attacks on non-Windows phones.

Anyhow, a better question would be who actually likes Microsoft? Even OEMs are jumping ship and desperately searching for alternatives (witness all the Chromebooks coming out now)...

ksec 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. IE 6, Is that not enough to hate them? Anyone who has done any sort of web development during the IE6 era would hate them.

2. The ugliness of Microsoft Office. I dont see each version of M$ office were ever an improvement. While it did generate excitement, it wasn't until someone who actually tired iWork to know how easy it is to do beautiful documents and charts. And to be it wasn't until the Office 2k7 did they start to react ( But they got Ribbon in there which is an even bigger let off ). And although many improvement since then, those days i would remember how i am forced to use office.

To me, i see absolutely no heart and souls in those Microsoft Products. They aren't well thought out, most of the time contradicting or even annoying. Purely in terms of user experience it was very bad.

And M$ was really rich. The Richest company at one point in time. That is not to say people hate the riches. It is merely a point that they have so much money why didn't they go and fix things. Things that should have been done long long time ago. And as the Mac Vs PC ads have put it, they put so much more budget inside marketing then fixing bugs!

Their Business Practice is also a point of hate. Using Windows Monopoly to get rid of competing technology by including something similar of their own. Personally I have no problem with that. Honestly if the product offering from Microsoft were superior then people would use it anyway.BUT THEY WERE NOT.

And there were a lots of other little things there and there that shows they are just a huge pile of mess.

Of coz Credit where credits due. There are amazing things Microsoft did. Microsoft Research for instance, i saw the presentation on real time voice recognition and translation. And many other things from Microsoft Research as well. Xbox 360, from PS3 prospective were quite good ( not great, but good ). And Mouse and Keyboard, that is the only competitor against Logitech in consumer range.

And I dont think People are Pro Apple and therefore Anti M$.

pkteison 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I know it's been too long and it's an unreasonable position to take, but I'm still upset about Stacker.

Add on wasting the purchase of Danger (Sidekicks were amazing), intentionally changing their OS solely to screw with competitors, the terribleness of embrace and extend, and I just can't get excited about anything from Microsoft. Sure, they've behaved better recently, but they've had real competition recently. I stop short of hate, but I'm not excited about their stuff unless it's something as big as the Kinect can drive my car to the moon.

spamizbad 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd like to thank you for offering that "Full Disclosure" - it represents how Microsoft culture has changed over the years (for the better). In earlier times, Microsoft would often encourage its employees to covertly astroturf on its behalf on various internet forums or news groups. This happened on Arstechnica years ago, and involved quite a bit of drama when one of the mods traced the IP of a poster back to Redmond's office after the convert employee was trolling the Linux/OSS forums.
gbog 7 hours ago 1 reply      
> Is it ethical to flag something because the article is related to a company you don't like

I do not think the important topic of Ethics should be brought so low as to help us decide on whether to flag or not a link on HN. Let's replace it by "stupid".

Then yes, it is stupid to flag a post just because it relates to a company we do not like.

However, it is not stupid to dislike Microsoft. You might remember Paul Graham's Microsoft is Dead(1): for people a bit older than 20, Microsoft is a company which was very frightening, a company which did really try to kill Internet, and force all our industry into a nightmarish path where we programmers would all be happy slaves.

Just because they have changed the color of their last make-up will not change this, and I would hope Hackers here and there would actually despise more Microsoft and other similarly dangerous companies.

(1) http://www.paulgraham.com/microsoft.html

sandGorgon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I am personally rooting for Microsoft because, hey, you're the underdog. But the seriously botched up release process of Windows 8.1 brought me back to hate.

I can't download an ISO - I have two computers in my house and I'm in India with 2mbps,30 gb bandwidth (which is not cheap). Seriously, why would you do that?

I could not ask my friends for a CD.

The second problem - I can't do a clean install of 8.1 using a windows 8 key. Because Windows 8.1 is supposed to be "an upgrade from Windows 8, if you have a 8 key". So the only way to clean install 8.1 is to clean install 8 and THEN launch the upgrade installer. Combining with the above issue, Im looking at about 12-15 gb of download to install two computers. All because some sales suit thought it was a bad idea. Again, seriously? Look at how Apple did the Mavericks release - the bar is much higher.

I want to like Microsoft - I really think you guys innovated with Windows Mobile (although Win 8 Metro sucks) , but your business practices soon turns that into hate.

Locke1689 5 hours ago 0 replies      
People in tech, including those on HN, are often prone to hyperbole (myself included).

I've got a bunch of example topics: MS, the NSA, F/OSS, Google & privacy, CISPA, etc.

In each of these cases, there's usually some voices of reason (grellas, anigbrowl, tptacek, masklinn, gruseom, I'm looking at you) and a lot of people who treat the story as life and death.

CISPA is the END of net neutrality. Google is the END of privacy on the internet. F/OSS is about what's RIGHT and what's WRONG and F/OSS is RIGHT and proprietary software is WRONG. MS SecureBoot isn't about addressing a well-studied security problem by Microsoft and the security industry, it's about PUTTING DOWN the Linux desktop. The NSA is the END OF ALL PRIVACY.

I'm not sure what the reason is but people just overreact.

So here's my take on MS. It's a software company. Use their stuff, don't use their stuff: whatever. The days when it was THE software company are over. If we don't ship you a compelling experience, use something else.

shadowmint 1 hour ago 1 reply      
You know those articles on stackoverflow which are marked 'matter of opinion, not constructive'?

yeah. this. That.

(I fully endorse discussion about meaningful topics, but I think it's a bit stupid to have a microsoft vs. not microsoft post push up at the top of HN. Everyone, post your opinion on this topic now, instead of actually talking to each other~)

gadders 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have to say, as someone of 40+ years, a lot of the Microsoft hate seems kind of quaint now.

I definitely remember being anti them when I worked for Lotus, and when they tried to push horrible non-standards on the world.

Now though? I just don't think they're that scarey any more.

forgottenpaswrd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So you work for Microsoft and your wife is from a company that is being bought by Microsoft, so everything in your life is Microsoft.

That's ok, great, you are totally biased in favor of this company.

So you can't understand or respect other people opinions. "hate" is a very strong term for not caring enough, or not caring as much as some family with all members working for the company.

mercurial 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> So is HN basically becoming Slashdot where Microsoft hate occurs by default?

Well. HN has a strong proportion of open-source people, and Microsoft's relationship with the open-source community has been historically poor, in no small part due to ethically-challenged decisions made by Microsoft management. I'd even argue that Microsoft has essentially lost all trust when it comes down to it. Embrace, extend, extinguish, etc. Much as Oracle's brand does not attract the best feelings here.

Though I'll point out that Microsoft Research as a distinct unit produces extremely valuable work, and that many folks talking about the bad quality of Microsoft products haven't touched Windows since the dawn of the century.

> Is it ethical to flag something because the article is related to a company you don't like, even if the source is generally reputable (theverge, engadget, ars)?

No, I wouldn't say that it is.

auctiontheory 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Why the past tense in so many of these posts? Windows and especially Office are still an efficiency and $$ tax on businesses and consumers around the world.

I would guess that 1% of Office sales are for folks who "need" the functionality of (most likely) Excel over what is offered by OpenOffice, Google Docs, etc. All the rest are driven by the effective monopoly of the Office file system "standard."

I am happy to pay for great products, like my MBP, but these aren't great products - even after decades, Word is still a <NSFW> to use.

ksk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
>So is HN basically becoming Slashdot where Microsoft hate occurs by default? Is it ethical to flag something because the article is related to a company you don't like, even if the source is generally reputable (theverge, engadget, ars)?

I've been browsing slashdot practically since it started and if thats your barometer, then the most tech websites are 'Slashdot!'. In my opinion, the vast majority of the anti-ms comments can be safely ignored as they are just trolls looking for attention. Whats interesting is that the trolls that attempt technical arguments are also wrong the vast majority of the time. And if they bring an ideological argument, then they are some kind of open source zealot and bring nothing new to the already dead old open-close source flamewar. (Open-Source won BTW :P)

I know several people at MS.. and MS has great talent as well as some extremely well engineered products. With all that said, MS has done some pretty shitty things in the past. And all of those shitty things have been bouncing around in the internets echo chamber - being twisted into half-truths to complete lies for about 10 years. There is just too much misinformation entrenched in the community for MS to be able to counter that. I don't know if they deserve it but its going to be a long long time before you can expect any kind of fair treatment from average geeks.

xradionut 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's the deal: Despite having some awesome tech and many talented employees, Microsoft as a corporation has a history of shitting on developers, smaller companies and independents. There's a history of threatening OSS, monopoly abuse, abandoning APIs, bad certs, crapware, gross mismanagement, ignoring constructive requests and a very bad case of Not Invented Here. And they do have an history of astro-turfing and aggressive social media promotion.

Disclosure: I've primarily worked as a MS stack developer and admin for over two decades. But I've also used a full spectrum of other technologies over the years, too. I've been agnostic and objective when it come to the industry, but I've eaten enough excuses from Redmond. There's good alternatives, I'm exploring more of them.

underwater 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was disappointed that the Nokia thread was nuked. I was interested to see HN's take on it. Instead it ended with a silly flamewars about astroturfing and we ended up with half a dozen articles about OS X and the iPad on the home page.
smegel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Well...they are pretty evil, which has been fairly well documented over the years. Suing companies for using Linux patents they refuse to disclose? Yep, that is evil.

Oh, and sticking a UI designed for touch-screen tablets on ordinary desktops and laptops is just stoopid. They have become a Blackberry-esque laughing stock as far as making terrible business decisions and missing opportunities.

How does your wife think Nokia would be doing if they had released Android phones instead?

abraxasz 8 hours ago 2 replies      
In my case it's more grudge than hatred. The fact that a company made me pay for VISTA is unforgivable. \joke

More seriously, I've noticed that a large portion (like in 90%) of the CS department and Statistics department in my Uni (US, Ivy) run mac os x, or linux. Is that a general trend elsewhere? I have my own reasons for preferring OSX, and I have a hard time believing that these 90% picked osx or linux just because of a "vogue" or "trend". Genuinely curious here.

shanselman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This article nails it...the Worst Part about Working at Microsoft


It's the number of people who doubt us. We suck, we hate OSS, we are evil, we are incompetent.

Thing is, Microsoft isn't a monolith. It's little startups, small groups and big groups. I went there 5 years ago to do open source and I'm doing it. I can't speak for the other gajillion groups but mine doesn't suck and we work hard doing nice things.

It's tiring be to doubted so consistently.

lessnonymous 7 hours ago 2 replies      
In this thread: People getting confused over what Hacker News is.

We're not the OSDN. In fact we (as a collective group of users) are not related to the open source movement in any way. Why should MS's closed-source viewpoint matter to us? Are we not here to build businesses in the tech space?

Sometimes the right tool to use is made by Microsoft. Sometimes it's open source.

rajivtiru 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm relatively new to HN. It's disappointing but I kind of just accepted the Microsoft hate, as a given(like nick cage on reddit).

Also recently I started to see posts from older HN members who don't like what the community is turning into.

tnuc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There is always hate for the big player.

In early Steve Jobs/Apple meetings their was a lot of hate for IBM. After some time the hate was reserved for Bill Gates/Microsoft. The latest enemy is Google.

chaostheory 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel the dislike of Microsoft stems from two major things:

1) Its history both when it was dominant and even with recent stuff like trying to force always on DRM with xbone. Techies at large just distrust MS. In MS's defense, I feel that both Apple and Google are working their way to the same place, a lot more slowly but surely.

2) The difficulty of developing in Windows while not using the MS stack. Sure, it's gotten a lot better over the years, but it's still not as easy as using OSX or some Linux distro. Even when you do use the Windows stack you get burned, I've known former VB devs as well as .NET devs who were with the Windows 8 transition. Your open source eco-system also really sucks, leading to a lot of unnecessary re-inventions of the wheel, which I don't have to do when using other tech stacks. (Codeplex was really too little and too late.)

I also think the second point is why there's not as much hate for Google and Apple, since their main offerings just work better from the techie perspective.

tacoman 8 hours ago 2 replies      
For me, it's kind of like sports. Why do you hate certain teams?

I'm a 90's linux user so my hate for MS is self explanatory and these days mostly irrational. Recently I found myself working with a group of Microsoft employees and it's tough to "hate" them, their company or the really nice products they flaunt around (Surface, Windows Phones, etc).

There are a lot things that continue to feed my dislike for the company though. It's silly things, like the way they continue to ignore the existence of industry standard protocols (ssh! there is BSD code! just copy it!!).

In day to day dealings with the company I sometimes still get a sense of arrogance and not-invented-here type scenarios that prevent a better solution from being perused.

etler 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Personally, some of the stuff microsoft has been building recently looks really appealing. I want to give some of their stuff a chance, particularly their direction with tablets. I have a convertible tablet and in college used things like onenote and the text recognition it has is simply amazing, better than anything else I've used. I could stash an image on it, then write on top of it, then search it immediately after! So I think microsoft has had a good track record with tablet technology, and I'm definitely interested in trying out the new stuff. I haven't yet, simply because I haven't had a chance to test the new surface pro.
jamespcole2 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think people hate MS, they just don't even think about them. Whenever I am at tech events(usually web related ones) MS isn't openly criticised, they're not even discussed as an option.

I spend about 50% of my time developing .net apps and the other half on linux/web stuff so I'm pretty familiar with the MS tech stack and it always feels very clunky and outdated.

MS hasn't created a really compelling consumer product since the Xbox and they have just totally lost consumer mindshare, they are the slow, clunky old thing you use at work because you have to, not the thing you buy when spending your own money.

In my view the future is(at least in the medium term) Linux on the server and mobile devices, Unix on the laptop/desktop in the form of OSX and maybe MS on the console and Windows running legacy systems and some servers.

I'm not a particular fan of Apple either(I've never purchased any of their products) and only use Linux(Ubuntu) and Windows in a VM but it seems to me consumers just don't care about MS any more and I'm not sure that MS has the skills to change that.

avenger123 4 hours ago 0 replies      
When you get as big and as powerful as Microsoft you could almost see the company as a country. It's akin to America and its export of culture (hollywood, music, tv shows, etc..).

You will find people that embrace it (large majority all over the world) and others who despise it with a passion and still others who are indifferent. There are those that dabble in it once in a while to see what the fuss is all about and those that actively resist it to make sure their culture doesn't get polluted.

I would say for the most part, the HN community is like Quebec in Canada. Largely in love with their own culture and heritage (in this case open source stacks and Linux) with a strong feeling to keep it that away. But, Quebec also knows that English culture and the English language won't go ahead as its too pervasive so they try to do their best to keep it in check. Just as in Quebec, you have people that love the English culture and follow it but not too publicly.

I have noticed HN crowd is likely very SF focused and the biases tend to skew that away.

Well, so much for the analogy but at the end of the day, its part of the territory when you become as big and successful as Microsoft. The same ASK HN would be relevant if the company was changed to Google, Apple, IBM and so forth.

lisper 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I hate Microsoft because they're crooks. They made their money not by creating a better product at a competitive price, but by breaking the law. And then they used the position of power and influence that they had attained by breaking the law not to make the world a better place, but to crush competition and inhibit innovation.

You asked.

jes 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't hate Microsoft, but as an older (54) hacker who was plenty happy on his 11/780 running Mt. Xinu BSD in 1989, I'm still waiting for this whole "Windows" thing to blow over.
cientifico 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Companies should have values and vision.Microsoft have proving for so many years that their only objective is money.

I still remember when they give money to SCO to send us letters to stop using linux, and right now they offer linux servers. If your market sector is not profit for microsoft, you are going to be ignored.

Also, because of microsoft, our goverments spent a lot of our money.

I don't say Microsoft is bad, neither that I hate it. It is just one more.

fnordfnordfnord 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't flag the article, nor would I have, unless I thought there was an active advert-spamming campaign or something. But, to answer your question: They are just so badly behaved as a company. The issues are as old as the hills and have been beaten to death (the Halloween Documents were ca 1998, for example) and were ongoing for many years and even continue to this day (USDOJ antitrust, Java, SCO vs Everything, IE, Word Document formats, interoperability & standards, etc., etc.). So much energy was wasted doing unproductive things to the industry. I'm surprised if any of this is news to anyone.
kbart 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually enjoy this Microsoft bashing. It's like seeing a former school bully, who is now living of benefits and drinking cheap beer. Microsoft totally deserves it after decades of aggression towards FOSS, unfair competition and monopolising PC business. Of course, there are also really good stuff coming from Microsoft, but that's nothing compared to the harm done.
benologist 8 hours ago 2 replies      
If you see a comment you think is ridiculous click "link" and you should be able to flag them. I don't think HNers in general hate MS but this community is pretty biased towards OS X and Linux, it's hard to feign interest in stuff you don't use.

Engadget and The Verge are professional plagiarists, it would be bad for this community to adopt those sites as some kind of standard for tech news, and it's awesome seeing them fail over and over again to get a foothold here.

madmax96 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's because Microsoft used to be such a horrible company. It's debatable whether or not they still are, but that's not the point. I still haven't forgiven them for their tactics that destroyed competitors who often had superior products, and I probably never will. Not only that, but typically speaking, it sucks hacking on Microsoft products. All of Microsoft is also anti-hacker; I can't hack my OS, I can't hack the programs they make, etc. That was probably the mentality of HN when they claimed it wasn't relevant. Since iOS and OS X work well together and OS X is somewhat hackable, it gets more love.
Udo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Obviously I can't speak for other people, but since you asked:

I'm an OS X user, and before that I was a Linux/Unix user. I'm not really familiar with Microsoft products (especially recent ones). When some cool new tech gets announced, I'm interested by default.

I have nothing against hearing about stuff from "foreign ecosystems", on the contrary. I was an active member on Channel 9 back in the Scobleizer days, and I loved hearing about the interesting things you guys had been working on.

I didn't catch the Nokia article today, but chances are it wouldn't have caught my eye even if it had been among the top ten on the front page. First, it's not actually interesting on a technical level. Second, a lot of us here on HN speculated what MS was doing when you positioned that trojan CEO at Nokia, and then of course it turned out to be true. Not that there is anything wrong with it per se, but I don't see how that dishonest-yet-obvious takeover puts MS in a position to offer anything interesting that it couldn't offer before. The Nokia name accomplishes very little in this case.

It's true that there can be some group hate on HN, however I don't see a lot of it projected at MS - at least not beyond the usual background noise. We as a community are way more hostile towards certain programming languages and startups. Sure, every Apple thread, every MS thread, every time something from 37signals comes up, there are disgruntled people. But enough to single out MS hatred specifically? I don't think so. Disinterest is the more likely culprit.

LordHumungous 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As a web developer, I will hate them as long as I have to support IE7-8
Pitarou 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course there's prejudice, but the main reason is that the HN crowd doesn't believe that MS has what it takes to make a dent in the smartphone market. And I'm with the crowd on this one.

Given the strength of the incumbents, Microsoft is going to have to pull off something pretty special to make a dent in the smartphone market. Microsoft played to its strengths by buying Nokia, but that's the only strength Microsoft has in this brave new world of lightweight, portable always-on devices, and its nowhere near enough. The organisation just isn't capable of producing a smartphone consumers will want to own and use.

Take my wife: she's no computer lover, and certainly not a Linux nerd or Mac fanboy. She has to use computers in her day-to-day life, and she finds it stressful and confusing. But she loves her Android Nexus 7. In her mind, the Nexus 7 tablet and her Windows laptop belong in different categories. If I told her someone was trying to merge those categories ("The guys who make Windows and Excel are going to make smartphones. Do you want one?") I know she'd run a mile.

I can understand why we have very different takes on Microsoft. I'm also well aware that Microsoft have solved a whole lot of problems so well that people don't even think about them any more. And I LOVE the awesome work you guys do in MSR. But I don't see enough of that awesome in the products people have to work with every day, and in the smartphone market that's going to hurt!

dec0dedab0de 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Without reading any other comments, I would say that Microsoft does not have any goodwill left. Everyone respects Microsoft research, but it has to be something interesting enough to stand on its own merit to be worth caring about. The flipside is that there are tons of people that really like Apple for some reason, though I suspect that will fade in time.
dscrd 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Many of us lived through the 90s, when Microsoft strongarmed their technically inferior products to the whole PC industry. In fact, they pretty much invented the whole closed-source proprietary software model, and I totally agree with Stallman that it is a horrible invention. And they were rewarded for it handsomely. Then the numerous FUD attacks against many things I like, such as Linux and the open-source community in general.

At least for me, all this has created strong dislike towards that company. It's nothing that cannot be fixed, but not quickly, and I really don't see them trying a lot yet.

Fortunately, the situation these days is much better than in the 90s since now there are real alternatives. What was once hatred is now just suspicion.

shearnie 8 hours ago 5 replies      
My startup friends and I here in Brisbane, Australia talk quite a bit about going to San Fran to "soak up the start-up vibe".

I often joke about having the nerve to set up camp in a coffee shop there and whip out my Surface Pro, fire up visual studio, and sling some C# and see how quickly I'll get hated on.

I do wonder, will that really happen? Honest question.

nonchalance 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I suspect that most people here who hate Microsoft still use products like Excel (for which there is no good competitor :) And maybe that's part of the reason for the hate: for all the problems, there are a few indispensable products that keep us coming back to windows and office and other Microsoft products.
ilaksh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The main reason I hate Microsoft is because of all the time I had to waste getting websites to display correctly in their browser. And the fact that I know they made it incompatible on purpose.
edderly 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Up front, social media is largely about signalling. If X is deemed unpopular amongst 'those in the know', you signal your disapproval and vice versa.

Context matters a lot for Microsoft.

Amongst older people, there are enough casualties of Microsoft's success around to warrant a default hatred for the company and it's values.

However, the saddest indictment is even at the height of their success many people didn't like or even hated using their products (take the parody of Windows/BG in South Park the movie in 1999 as an example if you like).

So I think Microsoft as a deserved reputation for considering the enjoyment of their products as a separate from the success of their business, at least in the mainstream. It's not to say that Microsoft don't do good products, but it's difficult to regain trust which is lost.

DSingularity 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Well I dont hate them. I actually always admired MS. When I was a kid, Windows 3.1 just amazed me.

And I continued to be a fan. But then one day I realized GMail was so much better than hotmail. So much free space! No more deleting! Hotmail refused to change, so I switched over. Then one day I realized that linux was such a great place for me to learn how to program. So I picked it up.

With time I tried other products and, one by one, I realized there were alternatives I prefer to MS's offerings. Today I bought my first Macbook. My first non windows machine. I dont plan on purchasing any more Office licenses. And for the first time in a while, I see no MS products on the horizon for me. Not the XBox One. Not Windows 8 mobile. Not surface pro. Nothing.

Why? I prefer their competitors products. Its not MS hate. They just dont have a single product that exites me. Nothing.

Now if you asked me about Windows 8 UI, I would tell you that I think its an abomination. That might look like MS hate.

If you asked me about the Surface, I would tell you I hate how it tries to do so much and fails to lead in just about anything. If you ask me about IE, I would tell you that I think Firefox and Chrome are better, although the new one seems crisp.

Nothing to do with the brand, all to do with the product.

einhverfr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't hate Microsoft (I used to work at Microsoft Product Support Services). At the same time, I think after watching Microsoft try to break into the consumer smartphone market for the last 14 years, I think there is a point when one wonders if they should just give up. The only people I know using Microsoft phones and tablets are Microsoft employees.
philwelch 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you recall anything of the 1990's? IE 6? Embrace, extend, and extinguish? The Halloween documents? Microsoft's conviction of anticompetitive business practices left unpunished when the Bush administration took over? The decades of terrible products?
ern 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've seen more hate directed against Oracle than Microsoft, and I don't see much hate against products like .NET, C# or Xbox, when they are discussed.

I guess that Microsoft-related topics are not regarded as supremely interesting to most of the startup scene, which still drives this site in many ways. MS aren't high growth, haven't been a startup for decades, and their stack doesn't seem popular with startups. Even if a few people hate Microsoft, I'd characterize the overall tone I've observed on HN regarding Microsoft as largely indifferent.

jheriko 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't understand it personally I hate Apple. :P
umeshunni 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Why should the Nokia tablet deserve to be on the front page any more than the new Sony tablet or a new Acer tablet? Does it have any new technology that makes it stand out (like the 41MP camera in the Nokia 1020)? Does it introduce a new form factor that's unique (like the 0.71" 1lb iPad Air or the trashcan Mac Pro) ?Is it priced uniquely or does it use a new OS or processor that other tablets don't?

Or is it just another 'me too' product? It is.

monokrome 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you can't see how much Microsoft is screwing everyone over, then you're not paying attention. It's that simple.

At least they're transparent about it... Even if by accident.

vondur 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft was/is a horrible company who abused it's monopoly position to crush other companies. They tried to co-opt the internet by having major sites only work in Internet Explorer. Most of the older tech crowd remembers them for this.
Mustafabei 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A majority of power users do not particularly enjoy Microsoft products, and they have their reasons. Those are based on rational decisions i.e. lack of efficiency, support, integrity etc. "Hate" is someting different.

If you think people hate MS, ask them specifically what they do not like. Maybe THEY CAN'T EVEN GET TO SAY WHAT THEY DO NOT LIKE about the product and discomfort grows into hate?

just saying.

drill_sarge 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably also a bit of Nokia hate. They basically axed everything interesting they worked on, missed every innovation (totally not related to Elop) and got bought for really cheap by MS (totally not related to Elop).
informatimago 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I was thinking, the new iPad Air are so expensive, I won't have money left to buy and try a Nokia tablet...
president 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't care about any of the politics but Microsoft has horrible products that have sub-par user experience.
dschiptsov 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Usual reasons: monopoly practices, market manipulations, deceptive sales and marketing technology, crashes and viruses due to low-quality outsourced code, etc.
mrmondo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft has had their day - their time has been and gone. Their software is more bloated than ever and their organisational model is still 'build to sell'.
jayturley 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who has all of 1 karma and that's only because something made me stop lurking, my take is that if enough members of an online community think something is not relevant to that community, then perhaps it isn't.

Specifically regarding MS v. Apple - because of Apple's position in the marketplace and the timing of their product releases, I think it entirely reasonable that discussion of their new tablet trumps discussion of one of the host of new Windows tablets.

FallDead 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I hate Microsoft because I would say that they probably do not utilize you to your full extent or that they must shelve alot of your projects, Microsoft does not appear to be innovating and or utilizing R and D properly, the next thing is just half assing everything they have built. If they could build things like how they built visio my god that company would be in a good place in my mind. Another reason I hate Microsoft is that they are not unix based. I mean like unix solved like 90% of the the OS problems. Like for fucks sake adopt open standards. That is all.
rufugee 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Latest reason...if you run Windows server in a VM cluster you have to buy a OS license for each VM for EACH POTENTIAL VM HOST. Read that again... The vm is only ever running on one host at one time, but you have to license it for every host. BS
ps4fanboy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I always find it really hard to understand this behavior as well, as a self confessed geek I really enjoy using all technology Apple, Google, Microsoft etc. I really dont understand how people can be the cheer squad for a corporate company, because they are all profit driven every single one of them is inherently evil. So we should look at what they all do an have discourse on the actions. To me HN is becoming like the console condition PS4 vs XBOXONE, the companies want you to be like this, any sensible person with critical thinking can see that everything is flawed and innovation is everywhere.

Being a fan or enemy of a company is stupid, you are just playing into consumerism. I hope every tablet company has success because competition is good for me.

metaphorm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft has a reputation problem in the open source community. There are some serious philosophical differences and its unlikely Microsoft can amend its reputation without drastically changing its business practices.
jfe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
i wouldn't say that HN or the open source community in general has shut the doors on microsoft as much as microsoft has shut the doors on the open source community. developers who get into the microsoft bubble never seem to make their way out, and the number of open-source c# projects is limited in comparison to those written in other languages, simply due to their system dependence.
aaron695 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Why do you think it was MS hate rather than just boring as?

Apple has a cult following. As such it also might be boring but it's sometimes interesting to even non cult followers what the cult is up to.

leke 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess the reason is because hackers love open systems. Even companies like google get shit from this place because "the best parts of Android are not open".
twittstrap 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That happened once to http://twittstrap.com. So again, to make it news "twittstrap is buying no kia, spokesman says we can't afforded", ;) have a nice day
anoopelias 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Hate the sin, but not the sinner".

It is important as a community that we keep an open view about the products that we see getting posted here. Microsoft might have made mistakes in the past and had produced lowly products.

But who knows, it is possible that the next best thing in the world may come from one of them - or for that matter, anybody. A prejudiced eye can only have a blurred vision.

Lavinski 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Just so you know there are a few guys out here (I'm one) that do like Microsoft and my Nokia Lumia is going great.
kudu 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Slightly offtopic but related: can someone explain the difference between HN and Slashdot like I'm five?
yuhong 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think a lot of the MS hate is due to what started with Stephen Elop becoming CEO of Nokia that came from MS and ended up with MS acquiring the company.
bra-ket 8 hours ago 3 replies      
jorganisak 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree. Even the biggest Apple fanboys should keep an open mind towards at least reading the reviews of other products. Only competition (even if you deem it inferior competition) can give rise to disruptive technology.
antonpug 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Microsoft makes shitty products that are not well designed or tested. Simple.
jakethehuman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Flags for what type of comments? Did the comment provide constructive feedback? Or did it simply state an opinion with no support to fuel the discussion?

It's -ethical- to flag comments that are false, off-topic, or do not contribute to the discussion; not ones of differing opinion.

merusame 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I for one learned how to code with VBA - Hail MS!
graycat 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll ask a question, serious for me:

Mostly you guys are way ahead of me inknowledge of current software tools, especially on Linux and 'open sourcesoftware' (OSS -- I had to look up thatone!).

But I'm doing a startup the center ofwhich is a Web site. If people likethe site, a huge if, then it could growto be a big thing around the world. DidI mention if people like the site? Peoplemight not like the site. But if they do then I will need to grow a significantserver farm, etc.

So far I'm a solo founder and doing allthe work.

I'm keeping most of the site architectureand software dirt simple. At the core ofsome of the server side software are twoservers that have some software I wroteimplementing some applied math I derived --still, just as computing, the architectureand software are simple.

For various reasons, I decided to standon Microsoft's software. Here is mythinking, and where am I on thin ice?

(1) I can understand that if I hadthe knowledge and/or staff to know some version of Linux and other OSSin detail, then Linux and OSS mightoffer me more power and flexibility.My concern, forever, would be that Iwould be getting in the business of operatingsystems, middle ware, and tools, andthat is definitely not my business.So, I'm eager to leave that work toa vendor that specializes in such things,and for such a vendor all I could seewas Microsoft. So, right, it soundslike I want to pay money for myoperating system, middle ware, tools,etc., and in a sense that is correct.I.e., if something goes wrong, thenI want an 'account executive' to calland ask for help.

(2) Sure, Linux and Unix have a longand powerful background back throughSun, Silicon Graphics, BSD, AT&T, etc.But for my time on x86 I went fromPC/DOS to OS/2 to Windows XP, and along that path, each year, I thoughtthat the OS I was using was likelythe most suitable for me on x86. E.g., instead of PC/DOS or OS/2 onx86, I was not going to buy a Sunor SGI workstation at several timeshigher price.

(3) As of now, as a desktop OS onx86, 32 and/or 64 bit addressing,as far as I can tell, XP and/orWindows 7 look okay with Linuxand OSS without huge advantages.Where am I going wrong here?

(4) There are a lot of developerswriting for Microsoft, and justwhat the 'platform' is is fairlyclear, e.g., the .NET Frameworkof some version 2, 3, 4, 4.5 onWindows XP, 7, or Server. Sothere is some definiteness tothe platform.On Linux I would have to learn aboutthe versions of the different 'distributions'. I don't evenknow what would be involved.

Due to the definiteness and thelarge number of developers, on the Internet itshould be relatively easy toget answer to questionsfor the Windows platform.Is this roughly correct?

(5) My biggest complaint withMicrosoft is the quality ofthe technical writing in theirdocumentation. It looks likethe documentation is fromsome nerds who know the softwarebut have no idea how to explainit to others and writers whoknow spelling, punctuation, anda little more and are highlydiligent but, still, don't knowhow to explain software. Myfear is that bad technical writingis common in computing and thatin the world of Linux and OSSthe situation would be worse.E.g., for serious questions, maybe commonly the solutions is just to read the code. Is this roughlycorrect?

(6) So far I've been pleased withthe reliability of the Microsoftsoftware I've been using --XP SP3, .NET Framework 4, VisualBasic .NET, ASP.NET, ADO.NET,IIS, and SQL Server. And fromsome of the large, busy Web sitesstanding on the Microsoft platform,I suspect that Microsoft will beable, maybe if at times I talk to them one on one,to provide what I need fromthem for my site. Of coursethen I will be using WindowsServer and developing onWindows 7 with XP out'a here.

(7) The Microsoft softwareis from, right, Microsoft, andsince they wrote it and sell it,my understanding is that theysupport it. Actually via someforums, I've already gotten somequite good support for free from someMicrosoft people apparently assigned to give serious answersto serious questions. But it'sbeen a while since I had such a question. But in the future Ianticipate questions, from meand/or my staff (if my site issuccessful enough for me to havestaff), and then I will want theoption of getting high qualitypaid support for serious questions.So, maybe my site is crashing;I don't know why; and I want tocall for serious help. I suspectthat I can get such help fromMicrosoft (even if I have to pay)but am unsure just what the situationis for Linux and OSS where, e.g.,where's the company with accountexecutives?

(8) So far I like the Windows CommonLanguage Runtime (CLR) and .NETFramework and the managed codeof Visual Basic .NET, C#, etc.So far I'm writing justVisual Basic .NET and am quitehappy with it; as far as I cantell C# offers little or nothingmore but has just a differentflavor of syntactic sugar,one related to C and that I don't like.I believe that, compared with C#,Visual Basic .NETis easier to read on the page,is less prone to bugs due to beingmore verbose, and will be easier toteach to new staff.Where am I going wrong?

For the world of Linux and OSS,I don't know what programminglanguage I would usethat I would like as wellas Visual Basic .NET.What would the options be?

(9) From some of what I've seen ofhigh end server farms on the Microsoft platform, the automationof system installation, configuration,monitoring, and management isexcellent, but my view has beenonly from, say, 1000 feet up.If this is so, then I'm impressed.Where am I going wrong?

mustapha 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I should upvote the articles I like more often, instead of just clicking on those with interesting headings.
Ackley 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I try to avoid Arstechnica whenever I can
Russian programmer fights Goldman Sachs and wins one round marketwatch.com
201 points by gkuan  11 hours ago   119 comments top 19
lambda 8 hours ago 3 replies      
If anyone's interested, I found the appeals court ruling finding him not guilty of violating federal law, and leading to his release, on PACER, uploaded to the Internet Archive so you can access it without a paywall via RECAP:


The basic argument hinges on the three counts, related to three laws he was alleged to have broken: the Economic Espionage Act, the National Stolen Property Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse act. The third charge was dismissed by the district court because it rested on the fact that he had either accessed systems he was not authorized to or exceeded authorized access. However, he was authorized to access the source code in question, and what he did with it afterwards has no bearing on whether he exceeded his authorization, so it doesn't fall under the CFAA.

The district court did convict him on the first two counts, but the Appeals Court reversed. Their argument is that the National Stolen Property Act doesn't apply because it applies only to actual physical goods, not mere intangible ideas. Had he photocopied the source and walked out with it, or loaded it onto a thumb drive at the office and taken that with him, it would have counted as stealing a physical good, but merely uploading it to a server and downloading it onto a thumb drive later does not count.

The court further argues that he did not violate the Economic Espionage Act because the clause in question he was prosecuted under specifically requires that the "trade secret ... is related to or included in a product that is produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce". Since Goldman Sachs' HFT trading system entirely proprietary and internal and not produced for or placed in interstate commerce, that particular law does not apply. Apparently Congress specifically intended this restriction, because earlier drafts of the statute had broader language that merely included "proprietary economic information having a value of not less than $100,000". The fact that Goldman Sachs uses the product for interstate commerce is not compelling, it had to itself be produced for or placed in interstate commerce.

That last part is interesting. It implies that if you run proprietary, internal code that is not sold or intended to be sold in the future, you appear to lose federal criminal trade secret protections. It's interesting that they tried to prosecute him on theft, trade secret infringement, and exceeding authorized access, but not copyright infringement. From my reading even unpublished work is subject to copyright.

Neither the original conviction nor the appeals court opinion ever addressed the copyright issue. In order for him to have stolen something, it would have had to be something of value; so why wasn't he further prosecuted for copyright violation? From the documents I read (not all are available on PACER), the copyright question never even came up.

More documents from the case:

Motion to dismiss the original case in district court: https://ia600209.us.archive.org/9/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.35...

Government's response to the motion:http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.nysd.358303/gov...

Affadavit of the investigating officer:http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.nysd.358303/gov...

District court's opinion dismissing the third count but refusing to dismiss the first two:https://ia600209.us.archive.org/9/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.35...

List of files requested in discovery, to demonstrate that what he took was insubstantial and not proprietary: http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.nysd.358303/gov...

A few of the things he had downloaded were their version of the Erlang platform, which is available under the Erlang Public License, a derivative of the Mozilla Public License. So it would be more fruitful to debate the merits of that license, not the GPL.

All of the currently uploaded items in the docket:https://ia600209.us.archive.org/9/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.35...

downandout 11 hours ago 5 replies      
It's very clear that Goldman is trying to punish him for leaving, while sending a message to their other programmers that if they leave, their lives will be ruined. Even if this guy ultimately wins the state trial, he will never get back the years he has spent fighting it. Goldman has already won, and in this case that is appalling.
Mikeb85 10 hours ago 2 replies      
For everyone bringing up the GPL licence, strait from the horse's mouth:

> The GPL does not require you to release your modified version. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.


Distributing the code within a company/organization does NOT constitute 'distribution', and does NOT require you to release your code.

Edit - and in the licence itself - Version 3 of the GPL

> The Program refers to any copyrightable work licensed under this License. Each licensee is addressed as you. Licensees and recipients may be individuals or organizations.And

> To propagate a work means to do anything with it that, without permission, would make you directly or secondarily liable for infringement under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a computer or modifying a private copy. Propagation includes copying, distribution (with or without modification), making available to the public, and in some countries other activities as well.


OldSchool 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This type of story underscores my Icarus-inspired philosophy in business: fly high but not so high that you become an obvious target or otherwise risk getting burned.

I learned relatively early that above some level (that's not even all that high), you'll find that you're dealing primarily with people whose sole purpose in life seems to be to serve their love of money and quest for validation. They are like insects drawn to a light and about as thoughtful.

Suffice to say that when you find that you have to play harder and harder to make up for the stress of your daily work life, it's time to take a look at what you really want and why you're doing what you're doing.

rdtsc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Sergey is a good Erlang programmer.

He is active in on the Erlang mailing list. He wrote a cool C++ to Erlang interface. Here is his Github account:


I am happy for him. He is a great asset to the open source community.

jaryd 11 hours ago 4 replies      
For those that are interested in the backstory: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2013/09/michael-lewis-gol...
patmcguire 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The Michael Lewis article, which is more or less required reading on this: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2013/09/michael-lewis-gol...
oofabz 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Aleynikov has lived in the US for twenty years and owns a house in Chicago. It sounds to me like he is an American programmer, not a Russian programmer. I don't see why his ancestry is relevant.
merraksh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
which time he sent himself, through a so-called "subversion repository," 32 megabytes of source code from Goldmans high-frequency stock-trading system.

I can't help smile at the thought of what non-CS people might mistake a "subversion repository" for.

sanxiyn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me quote from Wikipedia here:

"On 8 September 2005, the Seoul Central District Court ruled that the GPL was not material to a case dealing with trade secrets derived from GPL-licensed work. Defendants argued that since it is impossible to maintain trade secrets while being compliant with GPL and distributing the work, they are not in breach of trade secrets. This argument was considered without ground."

eliteraspberrie 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems Goldman Sachs attempted to commandeer the criminal justice system to retaliate against a former employee, and succeeded in doing so. It is not in the jurisdiction of police to act as arbiters of employment disputes -- that is for the civil court system. Whatever the allegations against Mr. Aleynikov, this I am sure we can all agree on.
shmerl 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is the story covered in more detail: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2013/09/michael-lewis-gol...
rcarrigan87 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The real tragedy is how many brilliant and motivated people end up in finance nowadays and how the industry overall continues to grow into an ever greater portion of the US economy. I'm not belittling the role of finance in an advanced economy. But you would think with the incredible advances we've made in electronic exchanges and the free flow of information on the internet the role of finance would have taken a backseat. Unfortunately, Sergey is just another example (guilty or not) of wasted talent down the financial sink hole.
eddie_the_head 10 hours ago 1 reply      
How is this not double jeopardy?
xerophtye 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Umm.... let me get this straight, GS is required to pay the legal fees because he was an employee at GS? So if the company sues one of its employees, it has to pay for both sides? Really?

PS: If i remember correctly, hadn't Sergey resigned from GS by then? I thought he was just hanging around an extra week or two to train his successors.

ig1 10 hours ago 1 reply      
A lot of the comments here seem to be oblivious to the details of the original indictment:


It pretty explicitly details how the "backup" program he wrote had flags to select what to copy and some of those flags specifically copied GS option pricing code that he had never worked on.

brunooo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Guess the Michael Lewis story (damn, he should write more again) also explains the commits to https://github.com/goldmansachs a few months ago.
poof131 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Question: does anyone know if software patents were declared null and void, would this case still exist? It seems he only took snippets of code and not the entire system for profit. How would this case differ if software was copyrightable but not patentable (i.e. Either you stole the manuscript or you didn't)?
Volpe 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Love the racial inclusion for no reason.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks: The Ars Technica Review arstechnica.com
322 points by cwe  15 hours ago   181 comments top 31
nostromo 13 hours ago 8 replies      
I am super excited to see Apple push Flash out of the browser.



Flash has been in decline since the first iPhone, but is still used to track people with unkillable cookies and to make obnoxious ads. Hopefully those days are now over.

I wish Google and Microsoft would follow suit. Google probably will resist the most due to the entrenched interests of DoubleClick and YouTube.

k2enemy 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Each release I'm as excited (or more) to read Siracusa's review as I am to actually try the new OS. Keep up the good work.
mjn 14 hours ago 6 replies      
The strategy of compressing RAM pages before resorting to swapping them out is a nice addition (discussed on p. 17 of the review). Something similar is in the works for Linux as well: http://lwn.net/Articles/545244/

The other main highlights from my perspective: "App Nap" energy-saving API (p. 13), generally better battery life, even on old hardware (p. 18), & support for offline speech-to-text (p. 23).

digitalsushi 14 hours ago 4 replies      
The singular improvement I have been waiting for is using an airplay device as a second monitor.

I have a macbook pro and I hook in with my thunderbolt->DVI connector to get my big monitor.

I can throw an appletv onto the monitor with an hdmi->DVI connection and finally go cordless! This is an improvement that means something real to me!

pavlov 14 hours ago 5 replies      
Mavericks GM hasn't been too good for my 2011 MacBook Pro. This machine has only 4 GB RAM, and it shows. It's swapping noticeably more than before, and overall everything feels less snappy than on Mountain Lion.

On the other hand, the battery life is definitely better. It's not really worth the performance hit, though...

smackfu 11 hours ago 1 reply      
A blog post from the author, about the review: http://hypercritical.co/2013/10/22/mavericks
Goopplesoft 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Its interesting how Scott Forstall has become the goto name to sully in many of these articles. He pretty much pioneered iOS but one redesign later he's nothing in the shadow of Ive.
nicholassmith 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It's that time again. I'm glad they do paid eBook versions now as I'm not an ars subscriber, but they definitely deserve some money for putting the OS X review together every release. I love reading Siracusa's minor gripes and grumbles, and when he feels something deserves genuine praise.
npalli 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So, I updated to Mavericks. Ran python and it Segfaulted. I think this is the first time I have had python crash like that.

Python 2.7.5 (v2.7.5:ab05e7dd2788, May 13 2013, 13:18:45)

[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5666) (dot 3)] on darwin

Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

>>> a = 1000

>>> a/1000

Segmentation fault: 11

jasonwilk 14 hours ago 3 replies      
IS it just me or is anyone else disappointed that they didn't port over the flat design elements of iOS7 into the OSX Mavericks UI?

I thought that would have looked awesome on my iMac!

snoshy 12 hours ago 3 replies      
For making such a big deal about resolving the multiple desktop and full-screen issues, Mavericks feels a little disappointing. Switching between full-screen windows is still accompanied by the painfully slow animation which still can't be disabled.

Trackpad scroll speed on my 13" MBA is also noticeably slower without significant load on the machine. This seems deliberate, but it's a move in the wrong direction for people that already have the trackpad sensitivity maxed out.

chm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
" Frankly, this entire window is a user-interface disaster. And we haven't even mentioned the checkbox to the right of each label. Can you guess what those do? (No, there's no tooltip when you hover over one.) I'll spoil the surprise. When that box is checked, it means the Tag appears in the Finder sidebar; unchecked means it doesn't."

I think he overlooked the text right on top of the menu, which says "Show these tags in the sidebar:". Pretty obvious to me.

dylandrop 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're going to give us a 24 page whitepaper on a free OS upgrade, at least give a brief intro about your findings... verbiage and metaphor excluded.
Kurtz79 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It has come to that I'm looking forward to John's reviews almost as much as the release itself.

Great reading.

gmisra 14 hours ago 6 replies      
If you know of a shorter, more useful review, or are willing to tl;dr this for non-fanboys, please share.
justin66 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I would love to know if John Siracusa is paid by the word.
malandrew 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Any incompatibilities people have run across yet. I want to figure out if there are any obvious dealbreaking changes before I spend time making a backup and upgrading.
pstuart 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Too bad they didn't bother to upgrade bash. Bash 4 is nice to have on tap.
sarreph 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Kudos to Siracusa for making such an extensively documented review.
PeterWhittaker 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't use iTunes or iBooks or any other Apple media apps. I've only had my Air for a few months, and I do love it so, but....

If Mavericks is free, why does the App Store need a credit card in order for me to download it?

I do not plan on purchasing anything through iTunes. Never say never, sure, but I don't. Ever.

Guess I can't have Mavericks.

Even though it's free.

Kudos, Apple, you've given me my first reason to feel less than happy about a hardware purchase I reveled in.

rambojohnson 12 hours ago 2 replies      
the opening 5 paragraphs into this article was infuriating -- from cats having 9 lives, to self-actualization, the after life -- get to the point already. it's an operating system. a new version is out. talk about it.
exo_duz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The 2nd monitor upgrades and fixes really help out a lot. I think as a developer who works mostly with 2 monitors now working in full screen mode both monitors can be properly used.

Really looking forward to upgrading.

milhous 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Know it's too early, but can anyone comment on Screen Sharing improvements in Mavericks? I regularly access a headless mini and have had to occasionally kill screensharingd for hanging sessions, and/or lose connectivity on occasion for whatever reason. Screen Sharing's been improved with every OS X release, but it's not spectacular.
kunai 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This part:

  > In the years that have passed since then, the Mac has   > indeed been on a steady march toward the functional ideal   > embodied by the iPad, a product that is arguably the   > culmination of Jobs' original vision of personal computing
concerns me quite a bit. We all know Jobs' original vision of personal computing was a tightly locked-down walled garden, and I can't help but think that inching towards this destination is inevitably a change for the worse.

Think about it. With the drop of the non-Retina display MacBook Pros today, no Macs are now officially user-upgradeable.

What was the reason given?

2mm in thickness. Two. Fucking. Millimeters, so you can stare at the edge of your laptop with a hard-on. Oh, and that absurdly high resolution display that you'll need a goddamned loupe to appreciate.

All kernel extensions now must be signed in Mavericks. OS features brought about in Lion still bug me, like the absolutely back-asswards autosave system that uses duplication, and the lack of direct manipulation while scrolling. Also, Gatekeeper is a huge uh-oh.

It's the reason why my MacBook is now sitting in a closet, and why I'm using a 2005 Toshiba Tecra with Debian on it. Amazing how Linux news has gotten so rare these days... but stick an Apple sticker on something and it shoots to the top of the front page. Sad.

dzhiurgis 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone had random logouts when using Expose?Not sure if it's USB DisplayLink adapter, or some weird bug in OS X.It's quite rare, perhaps twice or once a day. Haven't lost important data yet, but I feel it's coming.
anton_gogolev 14 hours ago 0 replies      
John had had a lot of complaints regarding how his Kindle version of a previous review was not available for the iPad [1]. I wonder if this is still a case.

[1]: http://5by5.tv/hypercritical/85

mustapha 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if the password manager / iCloud Keychain / Safari auto-suggest can import passwords from a .pif?
mustapha 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the NSA has root on iCloud.
dpham 13 hours ago 3 replies      
"The 10th major release, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, is named after an awkwardly plural California surfing spot..."

Can't tell if he's joking or not.

lnanek2 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Boy that first page was completely worthless. Maybe there was one useful sentence in there, saying there are new features and bundled apps. Not sure I should bother reading page 2. Ars' latest iPad announcement coverage was awesome, though.
benihana 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It's like the author didn't like all the gray words so he wanted to spruce up the copy with a splash orange everywhere.
Choosing the right data structures mathieularose.com
19 points by jwdunne  3 hours ago   5 comments top 4
dschiptsov 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is CS61A for that, not even a specialized course of algorithms and data-structures.)

Lists, being an "asymmetrical" recursive data structure, have O(1) time for adding an element to its head but O(n) time for sticking an element to its tail, and a search (for membership) would be O(n) in the worst case. Keeping the list pre-sorted would save some time.

In case one needs a quick (close to O(1)) look-up there are hash-tables. It is even funny to see that it comes as a surprise.)

As Brian Harvey explicitly mentioned few times, constant factors doesn't matter, while choosing appropriate data-structure could make a dramatic changes, such as changing form a linear time to near constant.

Another topic is about using non-memoized recursion, like in the classic case of a naive recursive function of computing Fibonacci numbers.

That is another proof that taking a decent introductory CS course (preferably, based on SICP) is the must for any person who for some reason decided to code.

nano_o 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is some very interesting work in the area of "choosing the right data structures".

For example "An introduction to data representation synthesis" (http://theory.stanford.edu/~aiken/publications/papers/cacm13...) presents a technique to do the following:

1) specify what the data structure should do using relational algebra (like for data bases)

2) automatically generate a data structure that is optimized for your specific hardware and workload.

A big advantage is that you can optimize for different hardware and workloads without changing your code.Also, the relational specification is much easier to get right than an optimized implementation.

It has also been extended to concurrent data structures:http://theory.stanford.edu/~hawkinsp/papers/pldi12concurrent...

mercurial 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Short version: if all you need to do is to insert and check for existence (in this case, whether a node has already been explored), use a set, not a list. News at 11.
wfunction 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Data structures 101.
How I made an Android game from scratch in 23 days bigosaur.com
161 points by babuskov  14 hours ago   32 comments top 14
programminggeek 13 hours ago 4 replies      
This is really great. I love any kind of "how it is made" type series and given how difficult it is to promote an app, this is a really good idea.

Has anyone else done this sort of thing to much success?

roryokane 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The Settings screen displays an email address that you can send feedback to, but its not clickable, so rather than memorizing the address and then composing an email, Ill just write my feedback here.

I got stuck on Wave 70 the grow-when-shot boss just wouldnt die. I think it is a bug. At first the boss grew when I shot it, but after a while it didnt change, and always stayed the same size and pinky-purple colored. I kept shooting it for 3 to 5 minutes and it still didnt die, though none of the previous bosses took longer than 40 seconds to defeat. All the while, the boss kept dropping minions, which I was able to kill normally. I could only just see that when I shot the boss, a 10 points indicator floated up from the boss, partially cut off by the top of the screen. Im on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Also, I lost my progress in the game when I tried to change Settings in the middle of the game. This was because of a UI problem. The pause screen has buttons at the bottom for Exit game, Settings, and Continue current game. After continuing to the Settings screen and looking it over, I pressed the bottom-left button with the left-facing arrow. But that turned out to be the Main menu button, which dropped me out of the game completely, making me lose my progress. (Luckily, I didnt mind too much in that game, since I couldnt progress past level 70 anyway.) I see that if I press my phones Back button instead, I can return to the pause screen and then press Resume but there should be an explicit button for this too. I think the best fix for this is to replace the Main menu button with a Back to pause screen button if you got to the Settings screen from a pause screen.

I also noticed that I cant press the Reload button while my other finger is still touching the screen just after shooting a bullet. That is, multitouch doesnt work. It is a little annoying to have to stop shooting completely to reload. But then again, having to reload manually at all is also annoying, and its part of the game, so you could call this behavior a feature, since it makes reloading harder.

Finally, I was a bit confused about the name of your game when I read your blog on my phone, since the Play Store link ends with com.bigosaur.backyardpanic. Maybe its too late now, but it would be less confusing to change your apps package name to com.bigosaur.droneinvaders.

Apart from those problems, your game seems like a fine phone game, with enough gameplay elements to make it interesting. Having to manually reload is not as bad as it could be, since you give feedback that you are out of ammo and have to reload from multiple sources flashing Reload button, missing ammo bar, small Out of Ammo white text, and click-click sound effect. And its impressive that this game was put together in so short a time.

dysoco 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Great work, you have inspired me to go and write some code.

Could you explain a bit further how you structured your game? I'm using LibGDX too but find the Actors, Scenes, etc. a bit confusing, are you using any of these?

How did you learn LibGDX? With the official documentation and wiki, it seems very complete, but not sure if there's a better resource.

Thanks, and I hope you keep making games!

arocks 11 hours ago 1 reply      
A cool idea and very impressive time management (though I am not sure how much time he spent every day). I liked the fact that he spent very little time in polishing the graphics by selecting a simple enough setting and refrained from creating his own music even when he knew how to. Often it is too easy to get sidetracked on such thing when one should be focussing on delivering a great gameplay which the author seems to have rightly done.
jheriko 1 hour ago 0 replies      
this is interesting. the best thing is that next time you can do more faster. :)


original mac version took a week, ported at weekend, polished following week. i did have help on the art side (i.e. almost all of it is not mine) and the audio track was composed by someone else

the thing is though, then once you have a good stock of code to work from. this sort of thing shouldn't even take a week (!)

phaemon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I dunno. Five weeks? I mean, you have the drawings right there, can't you just like...scan them in, or something? That shouldn't take long, right?

(just kidding, great work and a good read!)

mentos 9 hours ago 1 reply      
A few years back I set out to make an angry birds clone called 'Silly Squirrels' just to learn more about how a game is made, I ended up using Box2D and libGDX and made similar progress relatively fast. It was low level enough for me to really appreciate the structure of a game (rendering loops, game logic, art, physics, etc) without having to dig too deeply into any one.

Really great that you documented your progress, I imagine it not only helped inspire others, but also serves as a great refresher if you step away for a few months and come back.

smartician 3 hours ago 1 reply      
libGDX is awesome! Without knowing anything about it, I built a simple Bejeweled Blitz clone (but with a hexagonal playing field) in one weekend. Too bad it's kinda stalled now, making very slow progress, and I don't even know why.

Here is an HTML5 demo with the current state of the game: http://smartician.com/hexathon/

kennu 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm curious about the decision to not use Cocos2d, which would include a nice GUI for quickly designing 2D game scenes (CocosBuilder). Are there any particular downsides to it, or was it just not considered at all?

My own experience with Cocos2d is very positive, but I've only used it for some game prototypes, not full projects. (Cocos2d-html5 on browser and Cocos2d-x/js on native, sharing common JavaScript codebase.)

grannyg00se 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome job. It works....graphics are decent and sound is great.
practicalpants 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks amazing! I've recently undertaken a similar challenge, but I'm afraid that Android is going to be a lot more intensive than iOS since there are so many more device shapes, sizes, etc. to deal with. I'm curious, how did you test and tweak for the great range of Android devices?
nanexcool 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Loved your game, but most of all your blog. Congratulations!
LaSombra 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, very very nice, I loved the blog, very insightful.
tslathrow 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Effort-wise, this is one of the best things I've seen on HN
The Coinbase iOS app has launched coinbase.com
58 points by ninthfrank07  8 hours ago   24 comments top 7
yafujifide 7 hours ago 3 replies      
This is good news, but it's important to remember that the way Coinbase works is for Coinbase to keep the private keys. A Coinbase "wallet" is really more like a Coinbase demand deposit account. That means you are trusting Coinbase to hold on to your bitcoins, thus losing one of the key benefits of bitcoin, which is that you hold your money. A better alternative is the Blockchain.info app, but from my understanding this is not available for un-jailbroken iPhones (please correct me if I'm wrong).
nextstep 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Coinbase already had an app... At least I had one installed from way back. It had the exact same icon and name. It was basically just a list of transactions and you couldn't take any action. Maybe they aren't counting that app. Interestingly, this new app must be using a different bundle if because I now have both Coinbase apps installed next to each other on my phone.
bredren 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This is good news. Congrats to Coinbase guys.

If you are new to Bitcoin apps, you may want to check out Gliph. [1]

The app lets you view your Coinbase, Blockchain.info or BIPS bitcoin wallet and send Bitcoin to people easily.

[1] https://gli.ph/ (I work on Gliph.)

jaekwon 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is it that Apple doesn't allow Bitcoin wallet applications, but does make an exception for Coinbase?
jayfuerstenberg 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm still a novice to Bitcoin but I thought the lure of it was so that there is no way to track/audit money transactions in as far as who was involved.

The top screenshot seems to show such an audit trail. I hope it is stored on the device (never on Coinbase's servers) and only temporarily.

letney 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. This seems like big news in the Bitcoin world to me. This means Apple is giving the green light to Bitcoin related apps in the iTunes store.

I wonder if Apple will start allowing entirely phone-based wallet apps now...

wyager 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For those curious: Yes, there is already a wallet app available on the App Store called "Blockchain". It's a thin client app, which is usually more secure than using Coinbase (which keeps your private keys). It supports sending, receiving, etc. from your phone. The UI is so nice that I prefer using it to all other Bitcoin apps, be they mobile or desktop.
Explicit bootstrapping of pip in Python installations python.org
280 points by oellegaard  21 hours ago   76 comments top 14
shadowmint 19 hours ago 4 replies      
I kinda of like this... but then again I'm kind of wary.

Isn't the standard library the place where packages go to die?

Isn't the reason pip is actually useful because has a nice health release cycle (http://www.pip-installer.org/en/latest/news.html) and isn't frozen into the standard-library ice age of the past?

Won't this make it even harder to build a compliant version of python that runs on mobile devices where you can't install packages (>_> iOS)?

I get that it's convenient, I'm not 100% convinced its a good idea.

Edit: Reading the PEP in detail its now clear that this is not bundling pip with python (see 'Including pip directly in the standard library'). This is bundling a pip installer as part of the standard library. Much better.

babarock 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Vaguely related, this wonderful article by Paul Tagliamonte on how pip coexists with distro package managers (in this case APT): http://notes.pault.ag/debian-python/

Nice reminder that pip is a dev tool and should be used as such. It makes sense to be included in Python.

cjbprime 19 hours ago 4 replies      
This isn't very big news, in that virtualenv already provides pip in each new env, and you should not be using pip outside virtualenv -- unless it's to install virtualenv!
unoti 17 hours ago 1 reply      
For my own education: Python with a good standard packaging system and solid, standard async capabilities would be solidly going after the same areas Node.js has done so well in? If not, why not?
josteink 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not really a pythonist so I'm not 100% aware of the consequences of this, but as someone who deploys Python-based software every now and then, this just seems to make sense to me.

About time really.

oddshocks 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Glorious day! As a person who went to PyCon and experienced first-hand the state of Python packaging, this is excellent news. Good luck to the Python devs in the days to come.
100k 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Python packaging has been a nightmare compared to RubyGems (which is not without its own problems, of course). See for example this rant by a major Python developer: http://lucumr.pocoo.org/2012/6/22/hate-hate-hate-everywhere/

This sounds like a great step forward to me in making Python packages easy to create, install, and uninstall!

jdp 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hopefully it will also bring about some improvements to pip. It's a pretty great tool but with a couple major caveats. The first is that although it supports many forms of package specification, including VCS repositories, it does not report the package spec according to the way that it was installed, but rather according to the package name and version according to its setup.py. Say you install a package from a git commit that fixed a bug in the PyPI 1.0.0 package whose version is still reported as 1.0.0 in setup.py at the commit. Then you freeze the environment to requirements.txt to distribute. It's still reported as package==1.0.0 instead of the git spec, so the next person to install will pull down the broken version from PyPI instead. The other headache is that installing from a requirements file just installs dependencies in the order they're listed, so oftentimes you need to re-organize the output of `pip freeze` to make sure dependencies are installed in the right order, otherwise you can encounter things like unexpected package versions due to other packages making ambiguous dependency specs for dependencies of your own app.
thearn4 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Good to hear. The situation with python packaging has seemed kind of chaotic for awhile. The setuptools/distribute merger will hopefully standardize things from here on out.
kolev 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice... although I don't get why pip is so much behind RubyGems and NPM in terms of package management. pip should merge with virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper as well.
bbernoulli 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I like pip, but it's too bad that it can only install from source. It's quite a hassle sometimes to round up dependencies and build them all on windows (not to mention not everyone has a compiler installed on windows).

easy_install can install from binary installers or eggs. I'd like to see that added to pip.

dave809 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Nifty, always nice to save a little time on future installs
rfv 17 hours ago 0 replies      
arturadib 19 hours ago 5 replies      
Look at the trails Node + NPM have blazed. That's the right move.

Next up: Local package installs.

The way government does tech is outdated and risky washingtonpost.com
147 points by madelfio  15 hours ago   113 comments top 23
leelin 14 hours ago 3 replies      
For the MIT alums out there, I remember a 6.170 exam that had the question: "When is it appropriate to use the waterfall model of development?"

The answer was any time you are developing software for the government! The professor specifically mentioned it in lecture once, so that alone was enough for full credit on the question (other reasonable answers were fine too).

Later I TA'ed the class twice and made sure to eliminate these pure lecture-attendance-check questions.

squidfood 14 hours ago 10 replies      
Federal Gov employee here. Can't speak for a project with this scope, but the procurement middlemen get into everything, far for the worse.

Two years ago our team wanted to buy a small cluster (~300 cores, ~$50K). We talked directly to two good vendors (good recommendations from university partners) and came up with a fine machine and 2 bids for it. Sent recommendations to procurement.

Procurement put it out for bid, and a fly-by-night company undercut the bid by $10K... by noticing that procurement had not specified details of service level (that were in the bids we'd gotten and forwarded). Procurement, once it goes there, is a true black box. No communication, no understanding.

Five months later, we were basically delivered 2 pallets of unassembled parts and no instructions. Believe me, we spent 3-4x as much in labor as the $10K savings to get it working, and it's been plagued with issues that would have been under the onsite service warranties for the better companies.

The biggest irony is: I firmly believe that procurement acts this way not because the government is fundamentally incompetent, but because the Public, and thus Congress, BELIEVES we are incompetent, so puts so many levels of "check" bureaucracy in place that the people who know what they want can't participate directly in getting it.

joe_the_user 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone noted that the government perhaps just shouldn't be in this kind of business to begin with?

Any market based solution website has to be very agile and responsive [edit: to succeed at it's goal] but the government can't be super responsive and in many ways shouldn't be super responsive. The state spends all of our money and enforces mandatory decisions concerning our lives. The state shouldn't have the agile qualities needed to produce the beautifully flexible websites created by the private sector.

In general, I'd claim the state should certainly be smaller but that it shouldn't be less bureaucratic, shouldn't be more like a corporation. Civil service is boring and bureaucratic by design, specifically it was created to combat the "spoils system" that plagued the early American state [1] (though the prize of modern state eclipse what Tammany Hall etc could have imagined). Modern corporations are agile by having a command structure which lets them quickly maximize profits - which is great if we believe the market system benefits everyone when operating properly. But states with the ability to trample the fences of ordinary market shouldn't not be also given the ability to move quickly and agilely to do this. Corporations have no internal limits to their "greed" but we citizens of democratic market capitalism are assuming that's OK, indeed desirable, as long as the corporation face the strong external limit of markets and individual choice.

The current fashion for what could be called "state-enforced private consumption" is sold as giving us the best of all possible worlds but in reality gives us the worst (IE. the reality is the wealth of this society is indeed being vacuum-out by a kind of private-public rent seeker limited by neither the traditional bounds of the democratic state or traditional bounds of the market).

Note: I'm not a conservative rooting against Obamacare. It seems like it was a terrible approach for achieving affordable healthcare but I still would prefer it succeeded that failed because, well, I and many friends need it.

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

crbnw00ts 14 hours ago 3 replies      
That diagram for the "waterfall" approach that they yanked from Wikipedia is a complete straw-man representation. It's nonsense.

Here is the actual, original source for the Waterfall approach, first published in 1970:


If people would just bother to scroll past the first couple of pages, they will notice that the approach already includes some iteration cycles between steps.

In other words, this whole "agile vs. waterfall" debate which has wasted countless hours of human effort is based on a complete misunderstanding of what "waterfall" is in the first place. No one ever seriously proposed a model without iteration. It simply never existed in the first place!

buro9 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The US (and rest of world) should take a leaf out of the UK's recent initiative: GDS (Government Digital Services)


Aside from creating https://www.gov.uk/ which laid down a lot of principles on how to fulfil a government contract (as well as the foundations of what goverment websites should look like and how they should be developed), GDS is also looking at the problem of procurement.

The GDS team essentially are wrestling back from the big contractors the major contracts, breaking the work down into a large number of bitesize contracts and then farming them out to a wide variety of smaller vendors.

So instead of finding a Fujitsu/Siemens JV team, or an IBM Professional Services team, operating a 50m project, the plan is to offer 100 x 250k projects to a large number of smaller suppliers instead. Each project having a clearer purpose that is more able to be fulfilled.

Of course there are obvious overheads in managing so many projects, and of course some of these projects will fail. But... overall the savings will be such that the overheads are cheap, and the failed projects will only have a smaller impact on a major programme initiative than a failure would today.

joeblau 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't going to change until there is a thought process shift for leaders on both the government and contractor side. I worked on a project that fought tooth and nail to create a project using an agile development process and it was one of the best projects I worked on for the government. It was killed due to politics, but the feedback, functionality, UX, and collaboration up to that point were great. Everything else I did was waterfall and we always has the same cycle.

  while (true) {    // Contractor working for a year    Government: This isn't what we wanted!    Contractor: We met all of the requirements... See all of the boxes are checked.    Government: Well we want to change 1,2...n things.    Contractor: Okay, Let's do a follow on contract.    Government: Okay, Here is the money; Go.  }

jarrett 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I would also add that the project had too many cooks in the kitchen, by some accounts. I have heard there were upwards of 50 distinct companies subcontracting on this project.

I work on projects that are probably on par in terms of complexity. We typically only involve a handful of firms. And even then, coordinating them all is a challenge. I can't fathom making the process work with 50+ firms.

Maybe that number was hyperbole. I don't know. But if it's true, I shudder at the thought.

hga 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"A tank is a tank is a tank, pretty much, plus or minus a few bells and whistles."

Geeze, such amazing ignorance. If you're vaguely interested in this sort of thing, and want to learn all the process and engineering reasons the Abrams M-1 became the King of the Killing Zone, get a copy of the book by that name: http://www.amazon.com/King-Killing-Zone-Orr-Kelly/dp/0393026...

Written by someone who initially expected to castigate it due to early (mis)reported teething problems (e.g. the whole "it throws tracks (more than other tanks)" was due to a proving ground's faulty tension meter), he got completely sold on the tank which has since totally proven its worth.

Lots of fun stuff, from their modeling everything with strong constraints like weight (i.e. what bridges can it cross), e.g. they didn't want to provide a heavy M2 .50 BMG but the tankers demanded it. To the successful development team's leader, a grizzled Chrysler car exec who drove them crazy with "that doesn't look good" sorts of complaints.

Which often turned out to be a boon (ignoring that weapons should look good so their users feel good about them, which the M-1 delivers on). Said it was too high in an ugly way, so they figured out how to shave a foot off, which is very important for the European theater (not so good for deserts). Didn't like how the armor skirts didn't extend all the way to the back. So they gave in (I'm sure the modeling said it was only a minor net loss) ... and found that made a critial difference in keeping cruft thrown up by the tracks out of its turbine engine.

Very much an iterative process, in a domain where you truly "bend metal" to get things done.

So take the author's words with a big grain of salt, she's woefully ignorant of a huge domain in which we've been building for a very long time the world's most sophisticated artifacts, and learning how to, and how not to do it ... with stakes no less than national survival. Digital computers used for IT are a very recent development as these things go.

sien 13 hours ago 3 replies      
It's not just the US government that has crazy, weird, inefficient technology. I'd be surprised if every government wasn't like this. The biggest IT failure in the world was the UK's attempt at healthcare computing that cost 12Bn GBP and didn't deliver a functioning system.

I work as a contractor for the Australian government. I personally know of multiple project failures in the 10s of millions of AUD range and a few in the hundreds of millions. These stories don't even make the news.

I've worked at small companies, research institutes, universities and now in government. I've not worked big corporate but have heard that it is similar, although more efficient than government. Size means you get less feedback on what is really useful.

Government fundamentally lacks feedback on what really matters. In the US the department of health cannot be driven out of business by another department that does what is important 10% better. In private industry that discipline and feedback makes things work.

If you build a widget X and it isn't something that people want you go under. That doesn't happen in government. If you build a donkey but it's the donkey they paid for it could be in service for 20 years.

It's hard to see how to make it all better. Perhaps trying to keep components small and having multiple groups build them and select the best might help. Then at least 2+ groups would have to compete to build a better system.

bchjam 14 hours ago 9 replies      
Does anyone else find it ironic that Obama's campaign was a picture of web execution but in his administration it's the opposite?
smurph 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I've had federal employees tell me with a straight face that waterfall development is the only model that works, and that is why 'all of the tech companies use it'. These people have often gone and gotten certifications for stuff like six sigma and CMMI. They will never change their tune. You basically have to wait for all of them to retire. The average government tech worker is so different from the commercial tech worker that they may as well be a different industry all together.
fpp 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a look at what's happening in the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/transformation(fully responsive design pages together with new service backends delivered with Agile / Scrum)

and the teams doing it: http://digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/(they are hiring more than a dozen people in the moment)

saraid216 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So, for everyone who feels that they have anything resembling a better solution, I'd suggest that you go and actually try implementing it at a smaller scale first. Start with your homeowners' association, your neighborhood, or your nearest town. You'll have relatively few people to convince, more access to decision makers and funding sources, and less capable contractors gaming your system.

Get that down, and then get several neighboring communities--again, HOAs, neighborhoods, or towns--and get them to adopt your ideas as well. With that amount of variation, you've got a strong base from which you can convince a major city, or a county, to adopt your ideas: after all, many of their constituents are already on it and can endorse it.

This isn't meaningfully different from founding a startup taking on governments as clients.

moron4hire 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem is not necessarily Waterfall, it's people's unimaginative approach to it. I've done plenty of projects for clients that wanted a Waterfall methodology, and I did it by writing the documentation and the prototyping code at the same time. In other words, Agile fits inside Waterfall. The requirements gathering phase in Waterfall projects is so incredibly long that you can definitely afford to make a prototype or 5. And you win huge points with your client when you're done with the requirements phase and get to say that development will take "only two months".

You have to treat prototyping as part of the requirements gather process. Then, when requirements phase is done, you have to treat "development" as really "testing". Because, for the types of clients that are going to insist on a Waterfall project, the final testing is really only a cursory user acceptance testing and they really don't have the skills necessary to determine if you've met their requirements or not.

coolrhymes 13 hours ago 0 replies      
ex-cgi contractor here and I am not surprised. they did the Massachusetts health care system that cost over millions of dollars and didn't deliver on the first day.The government had to shell out even more to keep it running bcoz Gov. Patrick didn't want that to fail on his watch.

The way they work is purely in water-fall project management mode. Project managers are gods and spend insane amount of time on ms-office calculating hours per each task that are 2 years out. then they bring CGI indian sub-par programmers on L1 to save on costs. Technology is least of their concerns since its about shipping code. Also blame shouldn't be just on CGI, the government is at fault as well. Simple request for information would take about 4 biz days to get it. everything is slow and the Gov IT staff has no clue on how to scale.Anyway, when I heard CGI won this project, I knew it would fail.

jamii 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that the UK seems to be getting around this by doing stuff in-house. So now we have the open government license (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licen...) and government websites that take pull requests for content.
interstitial 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know why websites can't run on magic and fairies. The rest of the government does.
samspot 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I have respect for people who are doing waterfall and admit to it. In my personal sphere I see far too many people talking agile all day while actually running waterfall projects. It seems like people think agile means "waterfall, but skip most of the upfront planning".
Systemic33 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe US should look to the number of successful websites launched in European governments and public sectors. There were obviously a lot of failures along the way, but that is what you learn from. And if US can skip some failures, thats maybe a few billions not lost. Worth looking into.
xarien 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Coming from a 6+ year stint in a defense contracting, I can safely say that the issue with this approach happens well before the testing. The problem more often than not occurs at the requirements level.
danso 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If this is the software that's developed for millions of public users, imagine the software developed for in-house use, where the users are too few and too unsavvy to see how the software could be better (this is the case with most businesses, not just government)...this applies to basic information processing and to software interfaces for our sophisticated weapon systems.

And even the software for info systems can have dangerous consequences. Does anyone remember the underwear bomber, who almost brought down a plane and caused a nice surge of invasive security measures afterwards? His own father exposed him, but the State Dept's visa system failed to find the terrorist because someone misspelled his name when entering it into the system


Think about it...the State Dept has been dealing with foreign terrorists well before 9/11, whose names are easily misspelled by Westerners...there's not even a consistent way to spell Osama bin Laden, depending on you interpret he phonetics. And yet no one thought that a fuzzy spellcheck would be useful, apparently. And a whole bunch of people almost died because of it (and the security apparatus greatly increased)

ethanazir 14 hours ago 0 replies      
the DoD does not know what it wants ahead of time; they are in a tight feedback loop with contractors.
mh_yam 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh really, ya think?
Pure CSS3 dancing Bender liveweave.com
203 points by syswsi  8 hours ago   59 comments top 28
liamondrop 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Not to detract from the creativity here, but the id attribute specifies its element's unique identifier[1]. Strictly speaking, this should never happen:

  <div id="b7">    <div id="b71">      <div id="b71">        <div id="b71">          <div id="b71">            ...
[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/WD-html51-20130528/dom.html#the-id...

apaprocki 7 hours ago 3 replies      
This is nuts -- but sadly dancing Bender is not too practical. (Unless the dancing trend catches on and GitHub releases the dancing Octocat to production...)

For more practical CSS madness, I'd recommend Ana Tudor's creations[1]. She had a cool talk at CSSConf.eu about the math behind building some of her CSS creations.[2]

[1]: http://codepen.io/thebabydino/public/

[2]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9HeWBH_kvg

lubujackson 6 hours ago 2 replies      
How does.. I don't even...

Is there some tool they used to make this? Because my human brain can't imagine how this came to exist.

digitailor 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I love when people see the potential to use HTML structure as a makeshift DAG. Similarly, once the DOM got fully grokked in the mid-2000s, it was if the web changed overnight. From flat documents to a flexible graph. And to do this without JS? We're talking no actual imperative code here, just dead structure and presentation markup.

This is one of the first CSS animations I've seen that works flawlessly for me, at least on the iPhone. I also noticed the non-unique ID attrs as is noted below, but let's be real. With that amount of CSS to conceive of and write, would you really glance twice at the twenty lines of HTML you're using as a fly-by-night DAG? For a non-commercial passion project? The creator of this was in the ZONE!

The pure insanity makes me grin and long for the pre-teen days where there was time for this. All the ANSI art, the HyperCard stacks, the strange games made using dirt-cheap language implementations. Sigh, but a nice sigh. Also makes me damn grateful for open source and standards.

J_Darnley 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I call bullshit on the "pure css" part. Nothing works if you have javascript turned off.
null_ptr 6 hours ago 7 replies      
The legs slide horizontally off Bender's ass on Firefox 24 on Linux :-( Nevertheless, great work!
lele0108 6 hours ago 5 replies      
dreen 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
After a while the legs and to some degree arms go out of sync with the rest http://i.imgur.com/EMGqXA3.png
Tyrant505 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For those of you who are bound to ask the point, this is pure hacking. You are given a technology and you produce a result, sometimes for the fun of it! Thanks for this! I learned a bit.
blt 6 hours ago 2 replies      
It seems like we should be seeing heavy duty graphical editors that output CSS3 animations. Any tools exist yet?
ck2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe this show is off the air. Again. Forever. :-(

Anyways, I hope ad people don't catch on to how CSS is a bit harder to block than JS.

arbutus 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really neat. I'm really interested in seeing how all these new fancy CSS3/HTML5 features shape the evolution of casual online games. Back in the day it was either static images, like the Neopets sort of thing (which are still pretty common with young kids I think - Webkinz is a cash cow and that site looks straight out of my childhood), or slow awful Flash games that usually didn't have any data persistence. Even if this Bender example is kind of hacky as other comments are indicating, the possibilities still seem pretty limitless.
sown 6 hours ago 1 reply      

I've gotten into CSS3 and JS recently but I'm not sure how this works.

Can someone explain to this old C dog the principles of how it works, though? I thought this would require JS to work?

I apologize in advance for being out of touch. :(

larkinrichards 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Try zooming in your web browser for a ghostly -- some might say spooky -- disembodied bender.

Just in time for halloween.

pvnick 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Impressive! Great job.
BinaryBullet 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately Bandcamp's embed doesn't seem to be working in Firefox/liveweave for me, but here's a theme song added:


kaoD 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Several <div>s with the same id... heresy!
pouzy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This must be what CSS3 has been invented for. I can die in peace now.
northband 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks awesome while listening to Another Brick In The Wall Pt.2
yngccc 5 hours ago 0 replies      
ciriarte 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Lovely, congratulations. This kind of thing inspires me to learn more and more!
smaili 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hacker's equivalent of animated gif :
mustapha 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Always find myself stunned by the capabilities of CSS.
mattkrea 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What people can do in CSS3 blows my mind. I love this!
AtTheLast 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ha. This is great!
deadsnake 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Guess CSS is basically a Turing complete language.
browserspot 6 hours ago 0 replies      
holy mother of god! this is absolutely awesome!
xer0x 6 hours ago 0 replies      
USB Implementers Forum Says No to Open Source hackaday.com
282 points by p4bl0  21 hours ago   94 comments top 10
jrockway 21 hours ago 6 replies      
Why not just pick a VID and start using it? USB is so well understood at this point that there is no need for anyone to play ball with an "official" organization.

(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.)

wiml 18 hours ago 0 replies      
According to TFA, Openmoko/FIC is already giving out PIDs from their VID space to any FOSS projects who ask.

IIRC they're not the first, either. And there've also been organizations freely allocating unique ethernet addresses out of their OUI space.

The amount of trouble they receive from the USBIF/IEEE/whoever seems to vary a lot from case to case, though. I expect it depends on which individual person the situation comes to the attention of. In some cases the USBIF or IEEE has actually revoked the VID/OUI assignment, leaving everyone who tried to play by the rules effectively squatting on an unassigned ID anyway.

Some ancient history: https://forum.sparkfun.com/viewtopic.php?t=931

mncolinlee 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not use this cease and desist letter to file a RICO Act claim against them?

If they can't responsibly offer their product without revoking it for simply using it as intended, they are racketeers. The Open Source community has not broken any legal agreements in simply publicizing the idea of a shared VID. The USB Forum are completely in the wrong for their behavior.

Aardwolf 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure I fully understand the article. What does the following mean?

"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?

ck2 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Just do what all the $1 Chinese USB devices on ebay do - clone an existing VID
CamperBob2 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It looks like not enough people know that you can license individual PIDs from MCS Electronics:


MCS is in Holland, where both their jurisdiction and the fact that they licensed their VID from USB-IF a long time ago make it impossible to enforce the prohibition against reselling PIDs. For EU 10 each, it's worth it just to kick sand in the face of the asshats at USB-IF.

natch 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Who are the members of the forum? Can they be replaced?
tlarkworthy 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand.

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?

piqufoh 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hopefully such a bullish and short sighted stance as this is just the thing to get some publicity and traction to boot these idiots out, or at least kick the money grubbing Luddites out and replace them with someone with some common sense. Grah

Where can I donate to Arachnid Labs?

happywolf 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I presume there is a segment of VID that is marked as 'local' or 'for test purpose only'? Just like IP has local addresses for intranet/testing.

Also, if an open source is popular enough to the point a unique VID is needed for proper driver support, I will say this project will easily get fundings to go commercial (just like RedHat).

How to lose $172,222 a second for 45 minutes pythonsweetness.tumblr.com
565 points by _wmd  1 day ago   226 comments top 26
jpatokal 1 day ago 5 replies      
Just another reminder of how systems that you'd think are rock solid often aren't.

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!

adambratt 1 day ago 3 replies      
The week after this we had a trader in our office who had a meeting at Knight on the morning it happened.

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.

scrrr 1 day ago 8 replies      
High Frequency Trading seems so abstract. There's no value created, it seems. It's like something in between imperfect systems, scraping off the margin created by that imperfection. It's fascinating, and interesting from an algorithmic point of view (like a computer game), but at the same time I don't feel sympathy for this company going out of business.
manishsharan 1 day ago 4 replies      
Don't humans also make similar large scale mistakes? Merill Lynch's infamous London whale comes to mind. Also. I could be wrong but aren't most of derivatives a zero sum game: don't I have to lose money on my puts for you to make money on your calls ? Didn't so many people lose money on securities because they misunderstood their exposure ?

The Knight computer error was spectacular and catastrophic but us humans have a longer track record of making catastrophic financial decisions in the market.

malbs 1 day ago 3 replies      
Just one of the risks of automation, and a good reminder why human monitoring is necessary.

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.

protomyth 18 hours ago 1 reply      
"During the deployment of the new code, however, one of Knights technicians did not copy the new code to one of the eight SMARS computer servers. Knight did not have a second technician review this deployment and no one at Knight realized that the Power Peg code had not been removed from the eighth server, nor the new RLP code added. Knight had no written procedures that required such a review."

That is just painful to read. How many times do we hear a company couldn't figure out how to migrate code properly? Do any software engineering programs teach proper code migration?

Next time a manager questions money spent on integration or system testing, hand them a printout of this SEC document and explain how much the problem can cost.

fiatmoney 1 day ago 5 replies      
"The best part is the fine: $12m, despite the resulting audit also revealing that the system was systematically sending naked shorts."

Cool - all you have to do to get away with financial crimes is create a system with no protections against breaking the law.

sirsar 1 day ago 6 replies      
I'm shocked they didn't have a killswitch or automated stop-loss of some kind. A script that says "We just lost $5M in a few minutes; maybe there's a problem." Or, a guy paid minimum wage to watch the balance, with a button on his desk. $172,222 is a lot of minimum-wage years.
vincie 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would love to hear from an ex-Knight tech. Wouldn't be surprised if they wrote something along the lines of: "Management just wanted this thing in ASAP!", or perhaps "Tests weren't part of the kpi's". I may sound biased against non-techs, but I have seen this time and time again. Testing is a barrier to quick deployment, and "How much money are we losing while doing all that stoopid testing?".
at-fates-hands 20 hours ago 0 replies      
>>>What kind of cowboy shop doesnt even have monitoring to ensure a cluster is running a consistent software release!?

I think you'd be surprised at what happens in large companies. I went through four, count em' four major releases with a company and each time the failure was on load balancing and not testing the capacity of the servers we had prior to release.

Even after the second release was an unmitigated disaster, the CTO said we needed more time to do load testing and making sure the servers were configured to handle traffic spikes to the sites we were working on. It happened again, TWICE after he said we needed to do this.

You would think something as basic as load testing would be at the top of the list of "to do's" for a major release, but it wasn't. It wasn't even close.

yogo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember when Knight was in the news regarding this but never the technical details about what took place. It's scary stuff especially given the money on the line, and it makes a good case study for devops. I understand the temptation to re-use a field but normally I'm for using new values in those fields.
OSButler 1 day ago 0 replies      
The title reminds me of hosting clients, who would complain about losing thousands of dollars per minute when their $10/month website was experiencing downtime.
mgav 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Very interesting, though I was happy to see Knight Capital take the huge loss, since they were such complete scumbags who stole hundreds of millions of dollars by backing away from trades* during the dotcom boom and bust.

*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

Narkov 1 day ago 4 replies      
Out of interest, what would have been the outcome for Knight if their positions had caused them to be winners? $12m fine, keep the spoils and "carry on" ?
sitkack 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Dead code takes down another system. A perfect storm of failures that they made themselves. My gut feeling is that most trading firms could suffer a similar loss. Having worked for a 3rd party accounting management firm that kept logs for smaller traders I really realized how borked the whole system is. 60s era pen and paper stuff moving at the speed of light.

> Sadly, the primary cause was found to be a piece of software which had been retained from the previous launchers systems and which was not required during the flight of Ariane 5.


mischanix 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well, this makes me 1000x more scared of working in a DevOps role.
pallandt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, this could have been prevented at so many 'checkpoints' that it reads like an almost cautionary, fake anecdote rather than a real story.
avty 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone made $172,222 a second for 45 minutes on the opposite side of these trades.
zipfle 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The original report is remarkably well-written. It's nice when you get someone with the domain knowledge to understand an issue and also the language skill to explain it clearly.
telephonetemp 1 day ago 3 replies      
I assumed they had redundant servers with consensus algorithms in place in finance but apparently they don't. Would it be impractical?
dror 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is there any benefit to the market as a whole to have these high speed transactions trying to game the system?

Seems like as a rule, they're likely to cause instability, and I have a hard time seeing any benefits in them.

tantalor 1 day ago 2 replies      
That explains how the deprecated "Power Peg" model was activated, but why was that model so flawed?
Houshalter 1 day ago 3 replies      
They fined them for losing money? What?
shtylman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hindsight is 20/20
meepmorp 1 day ago 2 replies      
Powder Keg is a distinctly un-reassuring name for finance related functionality.
drill_sarge 1 day ago 2 replies      
I still find just the fact scary that at this moment automated systems are shoving billions of fake money back and forth around the world.
Builders of Obama's health website saw red flags miamiherald.com
12 points by daegloe  4 hours ago   7 comments top 2
whalesalad 3 hours ago 5 replies      
If this guy is such a rockstar at cleaning up the mess other people leave behind, why is he not leading these projects from the beginning? Or, since he is only one person, training and mentoring a staff of people who can manage the various projects in a similar fashion?

I feel like this is unfortunately just a typical response to a big issue like this ... "oh shit we've got a crisis, let's give everyone a hero." I think we can all agree that it'd be nice to have a full team of heroes leading all of the projects mentioned, instead of calling one in after millions of dollars have been spent on a failed system. Measure twice, cut once.

Actually let's take it one step further, fuck all of these bloated and inefficient contracting organizations and the layer-cake of bureaucracy that has been established to glue them together with government projects.

We have a strong national military... what's to stop us from having a strong national development team? I'm 100%-for private industry and letting private companies bid and fight to build the best product for the job ... but time and time again the end product we're left with is total garbage. Maybe the contractors are managed poorly, maybe the people writing the proposals have not a fucking clue in the world of what they are asking for, maybe the developers are careless and put out shitty work. Either way, a TON of time and money is wasted. It's an embarrassment.

We need an elite squad of hackers and designers building out the services for our nation. One that's both carefully chosen as well as fully responsible and 100% transparent for the things that they create.

Hell, it creates STEM jobs.

ck2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
But everyone decided they just wanted a paycheck anyway.
Bitcoin breaks $200 coinbase.com
140 points by conductr  16 hours ago   170 comments top 21
nazgulnarsil 13 hours ago 6 replies      
Who wants to talk about china?Over the last few days the volume of transactions on btcchina has doubled. Gov run chinese media outlets have been surprisingly positive about btc. What is going on? One of the potential uses of btc is capital flight, and that is something that china has been incredibly strict about with their capital controls. Why aren't they clamping down?

edit: some commentary from someone in china familiar with the baidu subsidiary announcement: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=315380.0

csomar 15 hours ago 4 replies      
If anything to like about Bitcoin is that it has proved that almost everyone else is wrong.

* SilkRoad shutting down? Bitcoin is doomed.

* Mt.gox is not paying in time or at all? Bitcoin doesn't work.

* Asics? There will be a flood of new coins.

And yet Bitcoin value continue to raise. If history repeats itself, we should see 1 Bitcoin levels at around $2,000.

I think Bitcoin is an interesting phenomena to watch. Being too solid for the quakes that it got, means it's going to stay for a longer period.

I'll be just watching, meanwhile.

Permit 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't wait to see all the amateur investors wishing for an opportunity to short Bitcoin like we saw in Jan/February when it hit $60.00.


jnbiche 16 hours ago 6 replies      
The fact that the Gox gap is closing makes me suspect that a lot of this rise is coming from new money. I'm guessing few new Bitcoin purchasers are buying through Mt. Gox, which is driving the price up on other exchanges, and closing the gap due to Gox's illiquidity.
sliverstorm 12 hours ago 2 replies      
For once my general laziness looks like it is paying off. Mined a couple bitcoins years and years ago, and was too lazy to sell them at the time.
Datsundere 12 hours ago 6 replies      
I tried to buy bitcoins when they were $60. I look for sites that would sell me bitcoins for USD. It was so hard and the ways to buy them were so damn complicated. I had to sign up for a 3rd party site to import bitcoin to mtgox. The 3rd party site needed me to upload my personal identity information to verify my bank account. I was ready to do that as well, except they said it'd take 10+ days to verify. Also someone explain to me how that is anonymous when they have all my information if I had uploaded my driver's license and my bank account information.

I got frustrated and just stopped looking to buy bitcoins. I was aware of irc channels too but I just don't trust them.And then there was money gram, what the actual fuck, the fees were so high.I could buy them, if I send my money to an account in a foreign bank in japan. Such bullshit. And this fluctuating price isn't very impressive either.

lectrick 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I came here to bitch that the inflated MtGox price doesn't count... Then I realized that is the non-MtGox price...

So it's officially a bubble? sigh

Fuzzwah 16 hours ago 4 replies      
All those new ASIC miners coming online?

The difficulty jump over the last month is intense: http://bitcoindifficulty.com

edit: This is a pretty good quick wrap up of what I think is going on here: http://chralash.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/the-new-pseudo-bubb...

MarcusBrutus 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Bitcoin is fiat, it's not backed by anything of real value and doesn't have a government or a strong (and I mean national-government-kind strong) player behind it that is willing to devote actual resources to prop it up (which is what all other fiat monies have and which is why they usually stay around for a century or so, after that they either become obsolete or their value greatly diminishes due to inflation). It has all of the Aristotelian properties of money (durable, portable, fungible), and some extra ones too, except intrinsic value. So it's not money according to Aristotle. When a better system comes along (and it would be trivially easy for that to eventuate, imagine, e.g. China or a major corporation or - even better - an industry association offering an altcoin backed by gold, agricultural land, shares, face time with celebrities, mentoring time - hey these are good ones! etc.), the value of bitcoins will go to zero as everybody will want the new, better altcoin that has at least some intrinsic value. The same death spiral cannot happen in the case of government-backed fiats when a new fiat is introduced, for a number of reasons. Bitcoin is inertia-backed fiat. I'll take the government-backed variety any time.
theklub 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm afraid that when bitcoin becomes more mainstream there is going to be serious amounts of fraud and scamming.
dllthomas 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been wondering whether people benefiting from bitcoin stability (silk road?) mightn't have been manipulating exchange rates. This seems to be weak evidence in support of that (though I still wouldn't say it seems likely).
ksrm 12 hours ago 2 replies      
So is there a good exchange for UK people that doesn't require ridiculous amounts of identification like mt.gox?
simplemath 16 hours ago 1 reply      
See you again at $1000 to talk about the bubble.
stokedmartin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't get why the rate has risen? What factors have triggered the demand? Also[1], stated that there is a while before corporations will start adopting it.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6589067

yvishyar 15 hours ago 0 replies      
the price is up because the miners cannot sell at prices lower than this as the mining difficulty has gone up immensely...same as gold...if you have to do sophisticated digging then you will do it only when the price of digging is less than the price of gold...it will only go up more if the mining difficulty continues at the same pace
swswsw 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a chart on coinbase.com. Interesting, for a while, coinbase prices seem to be following with bitstamp price. but at this moment, it seems to be closer to mt. gox price.

At the very moment, I see mt. gox and coinbase price at $202. And bitstamp price at $194.

immad 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Back down to $195.
brenfrow 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I just sold all of my bitcoins. Here's to hoping the bubble burst.
rdmcfee 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder why the coinbase prices are inflated to almost the GOX price. Are there market makers and scalp traders driving up the coinbase prices now? From my experience coinbase doesn't have the withdrawal issues like gox
gesman 15 hours ago 2 replies      
US default now-or-later squabble certainly fueled bitcoin.

It is becoming de-facto plan B for big players.

salamandratech 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This dashboard is very nice to see what's happening in the bitcoin world, in real time : http://realtimebitcoin.info/
Scientists find gold growing on trees in Australia cnn.com
32 points by gwomble  7 hours ago   13 comments top 6
iamshs 6 hours ago 0 replies      

The study is remarkable in the sense that they for the first time proved a definite link that eucalyptus trees in fact imbibe gold ore from the earth, and theorized the mechanism behind it.

pom 5 hours ago 2 replies      
TFA is an example of how to improve the quality of about any newspaper or magazine article: ignore the first and last sentence (or at worst paragraph.) Here, they both repeat that money does grow on tree, where the rest of the article describes how the gold is not grown by the tree, but extracted from the soil, thus contradicting the moronic introduction and conclusion.
femto 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Further to the article, and before you chop down trees to obtain the gold, the concentrations of gold mentioned equate to 500 trees containing enough gold to make a wedding ring [1]. Also links to CSIRO's media release [2] and the paper [3].

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-23/an-gold-found-in-gum-t...

[2] http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/Gilding-the-gum-tree-scien...

[3] http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131022/ncomms3614/full/nco...

fblp 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Video of the researchers explaining how this happens and how the gold can be detected: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-23/an-gold-found-in-gum-t...
yeukhon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. One theory is some people will literally just chop down a tree and if how much gold they could extract from it.
sjg007 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"See Dad... money does grow on trees!"
iPad Air arstechnica.com
152 points by druidsbane  15 hours ago   239 comments top 31
ek 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I really, really dislike how much hate there is in this thread. I feel like someone always ends up making similar comments every time there's a new launch from Apple/Microsoft/Google/whomever, and there is never any change. Do you guys get psyched about anything?

On the one end we have "Oh man, iPad air only has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash, how stupid" and on the other end we have "iPad hasn't cured cancer yet; would have expected more from Apple under Steve Jobs."

Has it occurred to people to like, take a step back for a moment and think about how amazing it is that we as a society have advanced to the point where we can even have something like iPad? The iPad, and devices like it, have done so much to enrich so many people's lives, and isn't that what we're about in this community? We're all trying to make people's lives better with computers, and Apple is as much a part of this mission as any of the people on this site.

Maybe it's easy to get karma by ranting and raving, especially on a site like this where controversy drives more upvotes than downvotes simply because more people have upvote-only privileges. But I want us to be better than this; I don't want this to be the norm for discussion in this community.

jmduke 15 hours ago 8 replies      
One of the more interesting aspects of this is that they're keeping the iPad 2 at $399 (compared to the Air's $499). I can't imagine the value proposition for a new iPad 2 is at all attractive at that price point (I bought mine used for ~$250 last summer.)
suresk 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I find it slightly odd that Apple goes into a decent amount of technical detail on the processor in the iPad - calling out the number of registers and transistors - but still doesn't ever disclose how much RAM is in the thing. This is especially vexing, as my biggest complaint with my current iPad is that it doesn't have enough of it.
radicalbyte 15 hours ago 8 replies      
Lighter. Faster. More magical.


Disappointing. What happened to doing something revolutionary? Where is the the text input? Apple are driving by creatives. When can I write my book on my Apple tablet?

And what's with the 16gb model. As they said, it has been almost 4 years now. And the 16gb model persists.

Osiris 15 hours ago 9 replies      
Can someone explain to me the obsession with "thinner"? This model is 2mm thinner and it's touted as taking "years of work". Lighter, I understand. Thin is a good goal, but 2mm is pretty pointless when you're just going to put a 5-10mm thick cover/case on it anyway.
phaus 15 hours ago 5 replies      
So their new commercial for the iPad focuses on the fact that so many people use it for productivity, so why can't Apple create a decent, first-party pressure sensitive stylus, so we don't have to deal with expensive, clunky, third-party solutions.
bsimpson 15 hours ago 5 replies      
No TouchID? Surprised they'd introduce a new feature on their premium phone and not include it on the (currently) premium iPads, especially since the other 5s hardware (motion coprocessor, 64-bit architecture) has been carried over.

I would have thought they'd want to build a basic foundation for the future, e.g. "all devices better than the 5s include 64 bit, motion, and TouchID". When you vary on a feature (like TouchID), you discourage people from building cutting-edge experiences that require it.

untog 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Okay. Looks good.

Recently, Apple seems big on iteration and small on innovation. Miniaturising an existing product is definitely a good iteration, but when I see Microsoft experimenting with touch covers and the like, I do wish Apple would try one or two new things again.

6ren 15 hours ago 2 replies      
How can the iPad 5 have x2 the graphics power over the iPad 4, when the iPad 5 has the same A7 as the iPhone 5S - rather than an A7X, as they've done previously.

Have they just stopped using the A7X style name? Have they just x2 the GPU frequency? (seems implausible, but it's Rogue, which is apparently extremely efficient, and maybe could handle x2 frequency?).

edited above for clarity

BTW: The anandtech iPhone 5S review (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/7) noted that the A7's rogue G6430 is more powerful than was utilized in the iPhone 5S:

  At 200MHz that would give the A7 twice the peak theoretical performance of the GPU  in the iPhone 5. And from what Ive heard, the G6430 is clocked much higher than  that.
If 200MHz is correct, I bet the iPad 5 just doubled the GPU frequency to 400MHz.

avenger123 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Where is the mac mini update?

This is really what I want to see. An updated mac mini with Haswell would be really nice.

I hope they just update it even if it didn't make it to the main announcements.

phaus 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I know that not everyone uses a keyboard case, but I am saddened by the fact that the new one is too small to support a usable keyboard case.

When I purchased a Clamcase Pro, I started using my iPad for pretty much everything, from term papers to code. While it was still pretty small, I could comfortably type about 90wpm on it, which is only about 10-15 less than I normally type.

For everyone else, this looks like pretty good upgrade.

alexeisadeski3 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Why does Apple depart from the series numbers with the iPad?

New iPad, now iPad Air... seems silly?

ChuckMcM 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting, not sure if its enough to make be upgrade but still. Weirdly when the 'ipad air' moniker leaked I figured they were going to a do an iOS version of the Macbook Air to capture the 'appliance laptop' market that the Chromebook and Surface 2 are gunning for.

The graphics and cpu boosts are nice (and nice that they are accompanied by a run time boost) but what about the camera? What about the sensors? Looking forward to the full appraisal post event.

4ad 15 hours ago 1 reply      
> Sadly, one thing it doesn't appear to haveat least, not yetis a gold casing.

Can't tell if sarcasm or not.

ashray5 8 hours ago 0 replies      
" I can't imagine the value proposition for a new iPad 2 is at all attractive at that price point.. "

Its interesting how most people here assume that the world at large makes same choices as themselves. Consider iPhone pricing: Apple has been selling previous years models for $100 less than the latest version, yet they sold millions of outdated iPhones even in the US.

Not everyone wants the latest gadget or cares about the greatest tech specs as long as they can extract the desired utility at the least possible price. There are laggards in the adoption curve who are more price sensitive than the early adopters.

I'm a victim of this fallacy myself. I used to wonder who on the earth is clicking on those ads displayed next to Google search, why don't everyone just install AdBlock on their browsers? Yet Google raked in billions of dollars as people clicked on those ads that I considered spam.

Touche 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Article has little info, is this just a rebranding of the "big iPad" line?
vinkelhake 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks nice. I'll be ordering one (my daughter accidentally destroyed our old iPad2).

The only thing that bugs me is that they're still able to charge crazy money for more internal storage. $100 for going from 16 to 32GB, seriously?

vsampath 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple is going for even higher margins, and it will still sell well since who doesn't want a lighter iPad?

* SoC: A5X was 165mm^2. A6X was 123mm^2. A7 is only 102mm^2 with a 64-bit memory interface instead of 128-bit. They can do PoP memory too for even smaller PCB area. So much cheaper.* WiFi/LTE: same chips probably used on iPhone 5c, 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Simpler inventory and buy in even higher quantities.* Screen: same screen as all previous retina generations likely.* Battery: much smaller since the GPU is more efficient. More cost savings.

tocomment 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what the airplane game they're showing here is? http://images.apple.com/ipad-air/features/images/performance...

I'd like to get it.

javindo 14 hours ago 7 replies      
With all due respect, I really hope HN doesn't end up turning into an Apple fanatic site as was the case on certain tech blogs a few years ago.

Also 2mm thinner warrants the "Air" title? I seriously think Apple are parodying themselves sometimes...

Disclaimer: I am not any sort of "fanboy", I own an iPad and an android phone because they seem to be most suitable for me in those areas, I just feel as though HN is getting a bit caught up in the "hype" of Apple today.

marcusestes 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting that it's also getting the new M7 motion co-processor. It's good to see the market for always-on motion sensor computing increasing.
tenpoundhammer 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Revolution and innovation don't happy everyday, that's what makes them special and amazing. Expecting one company to be revolutionary and innovative once a year is expecting too much, once every ten years is probably expecting too much. Good incremental steps is not only expected, it's probably all that's possible.

Most people go through their entire life without thinking up something innovative, much less making it.

auctiontheory 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there really enough here to persuade a current iPad owner to upgrade? Not for me. Apple's really going to have to push developers to crank out resource-intensive apps.
druidsbane 15 hours ago 0 replies      
1lb! finally a reasonable weight for the full size iPad, I was worried they'd lower it back to the same weight as the iPad 2 rather than make a dramatic change like this.
lukifer 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The performance and weight are exciting, but does anyone else prefer the old thick bezel? I always loved that about the original iPad design, that there was seldom any concern about accidental touches and where to put your thumb(s).
avenger123 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know how Apple does it. I want one of these.
mjmsmith 14 hours ago 2 replies      
From Apple's tech specs, the only differences I can see between the Retina Mini and the Air is the weight and size of the screen (the resolution is the same). So the extra $100 is for bigger heavier pixels?
xdd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I really hope Apple can make these products: iMac Air, iPad Pro & Macbook air Retina.

Sent from iphone air pro.

yeukhon 15 hours ago 2 replies      
> Apple says is 8 times faster and has 72 times better graphics performance than the old processor.

I am always amused by this.

gkhnarik 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple keeps disappointing me
pearjuice 14 hours ago 3 replies      
At this point they are not even trying anymore. They put up the same tactic as with the iPhone 5C (marginally cheaper, definitely worse device than the top line just to make the step to the high-end device seem more reasonable and will be taken faster whilst getting rid of their old iPad supply), made everything a bit thinner, did some software updates and upgraded the hardware components.

So, enjoy your time waiting for the NEW IPAD AIR 2014, TWICE AS LIGHT, NOW WITH FINGER PRINT SCANNER. RETINA MACBOOK AIR 2014. You can say anything you want, but this is nothing new. Gimmicks, I tell you. Which is absolutely fine if it weren't for Apple to market this stuff as revolutionary, insane new concepts beating the competition at every point. They are basically scamming customers and they don't even care as long as they get an Apple logo with it.

To those Apple zealots down voting me: do you really need to suppress criticism this bad? Maybe it is because you are in denial or something? Feel bad, because it hurts to know you are being scammed?

How to Tango with Django: A Python Django Tutorial tangowithdjango.com
212 points by pajju  21 hours ago   52 comments top 16
leephillips 19 hours ago 3 replies      
This looks like it might eventually become a useful resource, as there is nothing else out there with its particular approach and combination of topics, and it seems fundamentally sound.

However, I wouldn't recommend trying to learn from it in its current form, unless you already know a lot.

Just skimming over it, I found that it was teeming with grammatical errors and typos, with entire sentences garbled to the point where I couldn't tell what the authors had intended to say. I saw syntax errors in the code samples, which means that they weren't all verified to run as printed. Again, not a real problem except for beginners, but beginners are the target audience.

Finally, there is some utility to the concept of prerequisite that the authors seem to avoid.

This book tries to teach the beginner everything that he might need to know, from what "ls" does in the shell to how to use git and set up virtual environments. Maybe it is practical to go from never having seen the command line to deploying working, secure Django projects just by using a (cleaned up version of) this book, but doesn't it make more sense to learn things in a more solid progression of stages? It's OK to expect the student to already know some basics, and build on those. You don't find a tutorial on arithmetic in a book about topology.

rmrfrmrf 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Question for Rails and Django users: is there a site that gives definitive best practices for both? I've actually been thinking about building a thrown-together site for just that purpose.

I've tried to get into both Rails and Django twice now (I'm a PHP guy usually), but every time I seem to get going, I get bogged down by StackOverflow after StackOverflow that have seemingly contradictory information or offer a third party solution rather than solving the problem within the framework.

In Rails, for example, Rails is easy enough, until you're dealing with RVM * , Passenger * , and installing correct dev versions of database drivers.

In Django, you deal with South migrations when you want to update your database schemas, virtualenv * , virtualenvwrapper * ; in fact, I've heard that one of the criticisms of Django is that, in order to get to production quality, you essentially have to switch out every component of it with a third party.

* The starred apps don't technically have anything to do with the framework; they're more utilities for managing multiple framework instances. Still, you're likely to find tutorials that use them as a de facto standard, which only adds to noob confusion.

I've started reading Michael Hartl's Rails tutorial, which seems promising. I found that the highly-recommended "Two Scoops of Django" book was a little too narrative for me (just tell me what to do, dammit!); there's definitely a need for more Django tutorials than just the Django website's basic one -- kudos to the author for that.

mladenkovacevic 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This would've been immensely useful when starting out.

Official tutorials and docs don't cover nearly all of the accepted standard practices. As a relative outsider it seems a lot of this Django/Python knowledge is taken for granted by the tightly knit community of the skillful developers who interact with each other and exchange various tips, while a beginner who is not really embedded in the community misses out on all that and picks it up only when it's widely enough used that it hits the blogs and podcasts in bits and pieces.

BenderV 19 hours ago 2 replies      
For people starting with Web Framework or new to Python, I would suggest starting with a lightweight framework, such as Flask or Pylons.

I used to struggle with Django, so I started to look into Flask, and I really feel like I finally understood what I was doing.

Flask tuto : http://flask.pocoo.org/

amarsahinovic 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Django screencasts for the interested:



hawkharris 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently started to learn Ruby on Rails. I like the language and the framework, but I also appreciate the simplicity and power of Python.

Which framework should I focus on if my priorities are professional development and ease of workflow? I realize this is a hard question to answer, but I'm interested in hearing different perspectives.

kmfrk 20 hours ago 1 reply      
You should probably not use django-registration for user auth as referred to in the guide, since it's been abandoned at this point: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6278464.
lahwf 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Another awesome resource for Django Screencasts is Neckbeard Republic.


Siecje 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Good Tutorial. I like how you are building a website and adding features.

So far I have made it to the Ajax page.

Why don't you use render in your views, and url tags with the name in urls.py?

Also there is a lot of typos. Is the site open source?

brabram 17 hours ago 0 replies      
From a quick overview I really like your approach: you start by a hello world directly (then template, then models) instead of doing this strange approach of the django official tutorial that starts with model then admin interface then show an hello world at part 3. I also really like the presence of exercices.

Quick comment: here, you are teaching render_to_response http://www.tangowithdjango.com/book/chapters/templates_stati... while you should be using render instead https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.5/topics/http/shortcuts/... which is simplier than render_to_reponse (where you have to use the horrible context_instance=RequestContext(request) to be able to do certain things in the template which confuse a lot people).

Thanks for this contribution to the django community!

htaunay 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Another great resource is http://gettingstartedwithdjango.com/
orenbarzilai 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Another recommended resource for learning Django: http://www.djangobook.com/en/2.0/index.html
STRiDEX 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks good! The part I chose to jump to was deployment as there's a million ways to do it and I've been looking for a best practices. Was a little saddened to see you chose PythonAnywhere not because the service is bad, but because it has a limited use case.
erokar 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks impressive. I'm a Ruby guy, but I would probably start with this if I was getting into Python/Django.
n1ghtm4n 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for putting so much work into this, but it's not Python 3!
djd606 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic! Congrats and keep up the good work! Will there be an ebook version available any time in the future? Thanks again.
Data Visualization and D3.js Newsletter - Issue 49 dashingd3js.com
44 points by sebg  10 hours ago   5 comments top 4
onion2k 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in using d3, check out dc.js ... http://nickqizhu.github.io/dc.js/ ... it's d3 with crossfilter.js added. Really useful for linking interactive charts together - filter on one applies the filter to all. And it's damn fast.
maxwin 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I need to do some charts and other customized data visualizations on ipad. Is using webview with D3.js a good option for the ipad ? Any suggestions?
Zaheer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I just found out about this so I hope others find it useful but...

Google Fusion Tables is amazing when it comes to visualizing, storing, and manipulating data:http://www.google.com/drive/apps.html#fusiontables

It's like Google Spreadsheets on steroids.

capkutay 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to use this opportunity to vent my frustrations using cubism.js. I love d3 and I love the idea of cubism. But doing a real-time cubism vis with custom data sources was a painful task. Not sure if it would be less painful than doing real-time horizon charts or sparklines myself.
Lets get serious about ES6 generator functions facebook.github.io
95 points by jamesgpearce  14 hours ago   37 comments top 4
eldude 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Good stuff. This will come in handy if node.js 0.12 takes much longer.

Watching the use of generators in JavaScript and especially node.js is going to be very exciting over the coming years. We're excited at LinkedIn because we write a lot of node.js, and control flow is always being discussed: step, async, stepup, promises, and async generators look to solve a lot of that.

Also, checkout the AGen formal spec[1] for asynchronous generators. Raynos and I put it together recently to encourage interoperability between async generator solutions, and we're both using it in personal projects.[2]

[1] https://github.com/AsynchronousGenerators/agen-spec

[2] https://github.com/Raynos/gens

jessep 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you! This is so exciting. I've been wanting to try things like go style concurrency (http://swannodette.github.io/2013/08/24/es6-generators-and-c...) in the browser, and this seems like it will help us get there. Granted, haven't tried it yet, and really understand nothing about any of this, but ... Anyway, hooray :)
shtylman 13 hours ago 1 reply      
You should make a browserify transform (https://github.com/substack/node-browserify) so that it can easily be put into a pipeline to convert generator code to es5 code. Folks using browserify will be able to use it very easily.
bnjmn 14 hours ago 12 replies      
Primary author here. Ask me anything!
A Haskell kernel for IPython github.com
189 points by lelf  22 hours ago   29 comments top 10
PieSquared 17 hours ago 5 replies      
Author here - didn't expect this to end up on Hacker News, given the niche interest :) Happy to answer any questions you guys have.

(And if anyone has an interest in contributing, please get in touch!)

codemac 18 hours ago 1 reply      
It's like org-mode, but without all the emacs! :)

I actually was just discussing with coworkers how I wish tools around org-mode could actually create an "editable" final state that didn't require emacs. I've been introducing iPython as a way around this, but I've been disappointed with forcing everyone into using python for our analysis work.

Only one of my coworkers really uses emacs, and so sharing perf data and analysis quickly has mostly become iPython.

This gives me hope!

StefanKarpinski 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great to see. The IPython project has grown to be much more than just a collection of nice interactive interfaces to Python. It is a well-designed JSON-based protocol between interactive interfaces and execution kernels which can execute any language, not just Python. The fact that you can do things like IHaskell and IJulia is a testament to how well the IPython team has designed the protocol.

The best part about this project is that it stands to reduce much of the duplicated / wasted effort that goes into recreating the same interface functionality for every single programming language. This is already allowing Julia (and now Haskell) to reap the benefits of the amazing browser UI work that's gone into the IPython Notebook all for the very low cost of implementing a rather simple ZMQ message server.

darkxanthos 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see something like this but as a magic method for iPython Notebooks.

Using those you can integrate bash, R, Ruby, SQL, etc. into the same notebook and pass data between them all.

EDIT: Here's a link to most known magic extensions: https://github.com/ipython/ipython/wiki/Extensions-Index

arocks 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is exciting and has a valid use case. The other day we were explaining Python list comprehensions which was heavily inspired by Haskell's list comprehensions. But it was no where as concise or expressive as Haskell.

In many cases Haskell is very concise and it helps to have an option on the interactive interpreter to enter a Haskell one-liner to prototype a solution.

616c 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow such great Haskell stuff comin to this site these days.

Haskell on IPython? HELL YES. I am definitely taking my Haskell education more seriously this week.

robrenaud 15 hours ago 0 replies      
IPython really needs a new name.

It's too successful/cross language to just be associated with Python. The guide to learning Julia actually encourages using IPython Julia.

houshuang 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Very cool. Agree about the rebranding of IPython, but I'm sure that'll come as the community matures.

IHaskell specific: As a beginning Haskell learner, is there a simple graphing framework that can make graphs shown inline in IPython (of course bindings to D3 etc to make web native graphs would be awesome, but even just images are fine) ... I'm currently learning maths/stats by implementing basic functions and experimenting with them in R, Julia, possibly Haskell etc. Being able to easily do simple graphs is crucial.

Ixiaus 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is rad and I had no idea IPython was flexible enough that you could do this. Installing immediately!
hyperion2010 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I use ipython for all my (mostly scientific) python interpreter needs and have been looking for a functional programming language to learn. Between all the recent posts on haskell and now this, I think I know which one it will be.
$2,999 Mac Pro to go on sale in December arstechnica.com
118 points by ddinh  16 hours ago   182 comments top 23
MattRogish 15 hours ago 15 replies      
Mac Pro: 7 teraflops for a few thousand.

Cray X1 in 2004 5.9 teraflops[1] for only ~$40M USD[extrapolating from 2].

Mind boggling what to expect 10 years from now.


hdevalence 15 hours ago 7 replies      
The design of the Mac Pro is certainly attractive, but since the only way to add on to it is through Thunderbolt, it seems a bit counterproductive. The sleek black tube isn't so sleek when you need to have a bunch of external drives sitting on your desk.
acomjean 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Quote:Dave Girard noted in his "Critical look at the new Mac Pro" that the machine has "a truly epic lack of expandability."

I totally agree.

As someone with a macpro1.1 I'm clearly looking elsewhere at this point. I take a lot of still photos and frankly I'm filling up 2 TB drives. Plus having a heavy bulky machine you can put a cable bike lock through makes it much less likely to be stolen..

The design is interesting though. I'm sure its crazy fast.

Just odd that you'll need an expansion chassis for more drive space.

Plus hdmi for external monitor support? Is every DVI monitor going to need an adapter?

Arjuna 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Another Mac Pro configuration [1]:

Available in December at $3,999

6-Core and Dual GPU

3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor

16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory

Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each

256GB PCIe-based flash storage

[1] http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/mac-pro

baldfat 15 hours ago 6 replies      
I need to be upfront with my bias, I hate everything Apple. I also built and ran my own digital studio (Not Pro Tools).

This lack of expandability for the Mac Pro is like the criticisms of the Chinese worker conditions, not Apple's fault.

1) This is industry wide, look at Intel with the soldered cpu in the next generation.

2) This is what Apple users want, a simple "just works" for most.

3) Any production Machine has a million things connected to it. So the fact that you have to plug in a million wires into the thing is a mute point.

This is cheaper than I thought it would be. I still think anyone basing their video or audio off of Apple is insane since they have continued to show that they are more than willing to put pro users on the back burner for what 3 years and need I tell you the Final Cut Pro fiasco?

beedogs 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That's awfully expensive for something with zero internal expandability that looks like a tiny wastebasket.
apendleton 14 hours ago 0 replies      
FYI for others looking for more specifics, there's now a specs page up (separate from the store):


And there is, indeed, a 12-core configuration option listed.

l33tbro 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Enjoy the specs while they're hot, as I doubt they'll update for another 3 or 4 years.
glitch 15 hours ago 1 reply      
For those looking for expansion:

(qty. 2) x8 + (qty. 1) x4 PCIe 2.0 w/ Optional built in drivebay for up to four (4) 2.5" SSD or SAS/SATA drives: http://www.magma.com/expressbox-3t

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/PCIe_Chassis/Merc... See also http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/ for other devices.)


mtct 16 hours ago 1 reply      
More I look at it and less I like it.

The design is weird and certainly not elegant.

Try to imagine it with 5 cables that come out from the "back" (a cylinder don't have a real back).

smcl 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Random selection of USD prices for the base model from different Apple online stores, for the curious:

$4,053 in UK

$4,010 in Czech Republic

$3,880 in Australia

$4,257 in New Zealand

$4,300 in Sweden

So to US-based guys intending to buy one: hope you spend your ~$1k on something nice :)

Steko 15 hours ago 0 replies      
7 terraflops in 11 pounds; looks like it would fit many carry ons or a decent sized backpack. Good luck explaining what it is to TSA though.
ChikkaChiChi 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The Mac Pro would be awesome...if it were the Thunderbolt dock to a meat and potatoes box I could store out of the way and expand whenever I saw fit.

If you want to innovate, give me a way to separate the things I need to use my computer FROM my computer.

KVFinn 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Disappointed in the GPU configuration. I would much prefer a single fast GPU like a D700 (same hardware as 7970, R9 280X) over two slower GPUs like the D300 (R9 270x) in the lower configurations.

And even the high end options -- the D700 is the pro version of a GPU currently retailing for only 300 dollars. Nvidia has the Geforce 780 and AMD has the R290x at twice that cost. Reportedly the GPUs are downclocked as well.

thinkpad20 15 hours ago 1 reply      
As sweet as this design looks, I can only imagine what the same amount of cash could buy you for a DIY Linux box. Of course, the available software is not the same...

That said I'm a big fan of Macs; I own several. Great computers and the OS is stunning... so who knows.

Anm 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Capable of driving three 4k video signals. Amazing. Why can't the new Mac Book Pro drive just one?
ScottWhigham 15 hours ago 3 replies      
As the owner of a recording studio (VO, music work), I'd say that it disappoints me that I'm expected to pay $3000 for a top of the line video editing machine. I wish they'd found a way to make a $2000 or $2500 musician/studio version that didn't have three 4k displays + two GPUs...
smegel 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How much Mac software can take advantage of 2 gpus for processing, rather than 8 or more cores? I have a dual socket Mac at work with 12 cores total, not sure this would feel like an upgrade.
hglaser 14 hours ago 4 replies      
So what's the future of the MacBook Air at this point?

Does the Retina MacBook Pro just keep getting thinner until the Air is obsolete? Is there some fundamental technical reason they can't keep iterating the Air thinner and put a Retina display on it? Or a business reason why that's not a priority?

nsxwolf 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone know: Is the 4-core version faster than the 6-core version for single threaded operations?
checker659 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Hmm.. I wonder if it's going to be the end of December or the beginning.
otikik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
My MBA is doing everything I need it too, for a fraction of that cost. So I'll totally skip this one.
Don't Start a Company to Be Your Own Boss matthewgoldman.com
59 points by derstang  12 hours ago   36 comments top 20
princess3000 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The word boss has a pretty specific connotation and your clients and customers aren't that. Yes, if you work for yourself you're responsible for delivering work to your customers and they have some control over you due to that but it's incredibly different from the relationship between a salaried employee and his singular supervisor.
jayfuerstenberg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
What people don't always remember is that having a single boss means having a single person in charge of your fate.

Having 10,000 bosses/direct customers dilutes that power greatly. Individually, none of them have any power over you. Only as a unified movement can they amass the power of that single boss.

There is every type of boss out there in world and I don't mean to say they are all to be feared, hated. But the power dynamic mentioned above IS there, and your boss knows it.

dagw 53 minutes ago 1 reply      
I love having bosses. They deal with customers, go to meetings, handle negotiations, make sure deals get done and basically do everything else needed to leave me free to solve problems and hack. Why would I want to give all that up?
general_failure 11 hours ago 1 reply      
There is actually a lot to be had to start your own compnay and not to have a silly boss. I have and am doing exactly this for several years now.

Being your own boss means:I get credit when credit is due.I get to choose my customers.I get to choose people I work with.I get to influence the product in any way that makes sense.I work with tools and in places that work best for me.

And so much more.

I think its all word play and its hard to ha e debate with what's been said in the post. I agree with post but disagree with ttiitle and conclusion

bambax 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have investors, and I don't have employees, so I don't know about that. But I have clients, and they're not my boss, or my bosses, at all.

They ask for stuff, they wait for me to tell them what's possible and when it can be delivered, they're interested/engaged in the process, and they're happy to get the product in the end; they say thank you; they pay the bills I send them.

They don't tell me to sit here or there and do this or that.

gregpilling 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I had a franchise that I got in 1990. I remember when I called a mentor/friend in the business the first time that I got the flu. I asked him "How do I or who do I call in sick to?" . My mentor's response was - "just contact everyone you were going to do business with today", which was about 60 people. An impossible task. I went to work sick.

Not the best job situation, but the reality if you are a sole operator.

j_baker 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I get what the OP is getting at, but I still think being able to be your own boss is a good reason to start a company. The investor/founder relationship isn't the same as a boss/employee relationship. You get to choose how you interact with an investor ahead of time. For instance, you should have already thought through and set up the conditions under which you can get fired so that the investor has to live with those rules. When you have a boss, you're interacting with them on their terms.
route66 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't want to go too recursive, but have you ever worked for a boss who became one because he/she did not want to have one?

Remarkable features I found were: Trouble delegating work (it's out of their hands), don't want to be hampered by decisions made in the group, resorting to "because I don't want it" where factual arguments are asked for.

For your energy, attitude and stamina it seems better anyway to have a positive drive ("I do because I want...") and not being steered by avoidance.

bencollier49 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In general this is terrifyingly true, although this depends largely upon which business you're in. A market trader doesn't feel this in the same way that the boss of a graphic design studio might.
zipfle 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm considering stopping my day job to work as a contractor. My goal isn't to avoid stupid grunt work--I just hope that being entirely responsible for my upkeep and well-being will make the stupid grunt work seem more urgent and important. When I see posts like this (especially when, as in this case, the author claims to like his situation), something about them seems a bit condescending. It sounds like he's saying that if you don't like having a boss you're not cut out for running a business. When I look at successful small business people, though, they all seem like the ones who don't like being bossed around. They work crazy hard for their clients, yes, they make big sacrifices, yes, but they're not motivated by the kind of petty dread that the pointy-haired boss types engender.
jpwagner 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Being your own boss is great...

...if YOU are good at being a boss!

If you allow your employees (ie YOU) to slack, then that's not being a good boss.

steveplace 9 hours ago 0 replies      
>Second, you have your employees. They may technically work for you, but lets be honest, you work for them.

If that happens to you, I'd highly recommend reading "Work the System" and "Emyth Revisted." Yes, it's self-help porn but it works.

7Figures2Commas 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There is only one legitimate reason to start a company: you have identified a business opportunity that you believe is worth pursuing.

If your primary interest is control (over your schedule, your work environment, the type of work you take on, etc.), consider freelancing.

einhverfr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the article has a point and yet misses the point. If you start a company and don't have investors that can fire you, it is true you still don't work for yourself but for your clients, employees, etc.

Nonetheless there is a huge difference in that the ability to terminate a relationship with a boss is possible from either side, without you losing your position in your company. It's wonderful being able to tell a client that if they are going to micromanage you, they can take a hike.

cryptoglyph 5 hours ago 1 reply      
He makes some excellent pointsthat self-employed or start-up CEOs do have many stakeholders.

That said, the second sentence in this statement is false:

"First, if you have investors, you are working for them. They are providing the capital for your business and you have a fiduciary responsibility to return their investment with profit."

Yes, you have a responsibility to investors to do everything reasonable to give them a return on investment, but the type of investment may or may not create a fiduciary relationship. And it's important not to be glib about what fiduciary duties actually are and when they arise.

tchock23 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I found the order of the bosses in the post to be interesting: Investors -> Employees -> Customers.

Not sure if that was on purpose, but I would have put it in the opposite order if the subtext of the article was how to successfully be your own boss...

davemel37 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You should read The Emyth, he talks about this very issue, and how you can still pull it off.
brandonhsiao 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The key difference is choice. If any of the things the author mentioned control me, it's because I allow them to. Whereas it might even be partly accurate to say that the definition of having a boss is that don't have that choice.
theprodigy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with the overall premise of the blog.

But for many, I believe "being your own boss" is just another way to say you want more control of your destiny and want to capture more up side of your hard work.

vargalas 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Start a strtup in case you want to make business, to have fun. Investors are not your bosses. Their goal is the same: make your company perform better. Don't be afraid of them :
Google announces uProxy engadget.com
195 points by Anon84  1 day ago   145 comments top 31
draugadrotten 23 hours ago 7 replies      
> "If someone from a country with limited internet access installs uProxy, they can get a friend from the US to authorize them to surf the open web using their connection. "

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.

shazow 23 hours ago 1 reply      
While we're speculating about trust and such, the video mentions that it's a browser extension which connects to a trusted peer and uses the peer as a proxy. This leads me to believe that,

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.

cromwellian 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The article has reached a new low in bullshit, knee-jerk, commentary. No one bothers to read the FAQ, or the technical information on how it works. Oh no, just hit "Reply", put on the tin-foil hat, and get going. Yeah, vote this down. I'm frustrated at the quality of HN posters recently.
vsviridov 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
So now you also expose your confidants? So if you are targeted they automatically get on the list? Why inconvenience the secret service with doing tedious network analysis to flush out your peers - uProxy might (they are not very specific about the security of peers) disclose that automatically...
StavrosK 21 hours ago 3 replies      
From a cursory reading, 70% of the comments in here are people who came straight to this page to say "I don't trust Google/why wouldn't they do <something else>/Google will just shut this down".

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?

nakedrobot2 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Nice! So I can use uProxy to access the Google Play store to buy a Nexus phone? ("Sorry, not available in your country")

Thanks Google :-)

runn1ng 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Can I look at the source code ?

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.

gbrindisi 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorry Google, I can't really trust you anymore.
tombrossman 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Fast forward a year, HN headline: "Google shutting down uProxy".

It looks interesting and I'm sure some number of people will find it useful while it lasts.

knob 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I wouldn't trust Google with this.

Fuck no.

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.

awakeasleep 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. If they added an option to be an intermediate proxy for traffic you were unconnected with, could they turn this thing into a global tor with authorized exit nodes?
mostafah 23 hours ago 1 reply      
It will be very interesting for us living in Iran. We have a lot of friends abroad.
xr09 21 hours ago 2 replies      
So Google helps building a proxy for by passing their own censorship, Bravo Google, Bravo. (I'm being ironic of course)

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".

saljam 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds good. But how is it better than just installing Tor?
iSnow 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Slackers rejoice! No way to block you from surfing porn at work anymore :)
tete 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Okay, sorry I didn't read the source code yet, but don't pretty much all the standard block-censorschip-circumvention approaches work here? They don't mention anything that makes it a tool for actively circumventing censorship like... well, all the tools that exist today and have been analyzed throughly.
r0h1n 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Another "free" Google service that blinds lay people from objectively considering the cost vs. benefits of online privacy/anonymity (since "free" tends to make us act irrationally). Instead, consider paying the equivalent of a cup or two of coffee and buy yourself a real VPN subscription. Even if you must get yourself a free VPN, consider someone other than Google, a company that already has so much data on your digital lives.
jsilence 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't they simply run Tor end nodes in each of their server farms all over the world. That would actually help. But that would not make any mainstream news, would it?


wil421 21 hours ago 1 reply      
So is this kinda of like Tor but without the anonymity and only one peer to connect to?
lispm 21 hours ago 0 replies      
So US government employees could install it to read Snowden's documents?

Then the NSA gets a list of those who do?

guidopallemans 23 hours ago 2 replies      
why should I trust google for an application that would enhance my internet privacy?
jjoe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is going to be a nightmare if you verify and process transactions online. How do you now know whether someone who purchased a product is really really on Comcast from SoCal and not someone who's exploited a hole in uProxy?
ScottWhigham 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm interested to see if their AdWords/AdSense algos will detect uProxy and choose not to serve ads to its users. Right now, the US/UK/Canada are huge markets for Google AdWords/AdSense but most US-based companies do not have their ads shown in Latvia/Iran/Russia (just to randomly pick some faraway countries). There's a good reason - if I own a restaurant in Dallas, for example, I want people searching for "best dallas steak restaurant" to see my ad. If that starts getting shown worldwide, the CTR will plummet which would not be good for Google.
venomsnake 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a better idea - bring the cost of project loon balloons really low (order of magnitude below the price of the rockets needed to shoot them) and just flood the censoring country sky with them.

The country will either have to bankrupt itself or open its internet.

caiob 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Hulu, Pandora and other US-only internet services now available. Brought to you by Google.
lotsofcows 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Good timing as nyud.net seems to have stopped working.
gohwell 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What about corporate firewalls?
X4 18 hours ago 1 reply      
If a dissident hacks into a government site or does something else like speaking out his opinion, will I get arrested for them, when I live in a neighbour country? Or even get arrested for their actions on hacking stuff? I mean the US and Europe both ban hacking and penalize it with more jail time than rape and in some cases even murder.
fbeans 19 hours ago 0 replies      
How is this new? I can create a proxy server now, and I can share it with a friend and they can use my internet connection. They can do the same.

This is new because, It's likely easier to use, and it's all done in the browser.

The technology is certainly not new though...

Apache with mod_proxy,nginx,squid,ssh,

just to name a few of the many ways to do this...

Further to this, one doesn't need a browser plugin to do this, firefox for example already has configurable options to connect to proxy servers.

How to get rid of old stuff, sell it for more, and use Amazon as cheap storage benguild.com
487 points by benguild  1 day ago   137 comments top 26
8ig8 1 day ago 19 replies      
I wish I could ship everything in my attic to Amazon and they would photograph, catalog and store the stuff privately.

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.)

murtza 1 day ago 2 replies      
Interesting idea. I looked up Amazon's storage fees [1]: $0.45 per cubic foot per month from January to September; $0.60 per cubic foot per month from October to December.

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."

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=2...

vinhboy 1 day ago 1 reply      
One thing that should be emphasized for anyone who has not use FBA before: The cost of shipping something to an amazon warehouse is REALLY cheap if you use their provided shipping service. I would say it's about 1/3 of the actual cost of shipping it yourself.
simonw 1 day ago 3 replies      
How do books work? Can you just bung a bunch of old textbooks in a box and ship it to them? Do you have to package them separately at all, or put stickers on them, or do you literally just stick them in a box?

Are there any mobile apps for scanning barcodes on books and automatically building your Amazon catalog?

binarysolo 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just remember guys: useful for small footprint, high value line items that are mass-produced. (Conversely, not so useful for old items with low resale like clothes, or craft one-off items, or big things like furniture.)

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. :)

tnuc 1 day ago 1 reply      
An article that is short on details and has no fewer that 8(eight) affiliate links to Amazon.

I am lost for words.

edandersen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is the link to Amazon Fufillment without the referral tags:


stretchwithme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Best thing is to not let things sit around after you stop using them. The chances that someone else can use them just keeps dropping.

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.

CalRobert 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately Amazon flagged my account as fraudulent, I can only assume because a previous tenant in my apartment evidently ripped people off. We received their mail for some time and most if it seemed shady. It's been a year but I cannot sell. There is no appeal, and no recourse. I've had an account with Amazon for more than half my life (something like 12 years) but no dice.

Too bad, because this sounds handy. Kind of wish they had even a halfway decent competitor, though.

kerpal 1 day ago 0 replies      
I never actually tried their warehouse fulfillment service but I swear by Amazon for selling used gadgets. Amazon gets a lot of traffic from consumers making it a great way to sell something quickly. I remember listing an used Android phone that was maybe two year old technology at that point. I went to list it and within a few hours someone snagged it at like $90. The only other route I've ever tried is Craigslist, which has worked out pretty well too. Asking for the same price you can usually have someone pick up the item locally and get every cent you are asking for if you're reasonable. I always price things about 20% more than I think I will sell through CL.
kreek 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article got one thing wrong; "eBay's fees can be kind of a rip off" should be "eBay's fees ARE a huge rip off". That combined with the removal of negative feedback for buyers is why you should try Amazon rather than sell as an individual on eBay.
res0nat0r 1 day ago 1 reply      
One thing mentioned about the cables: Do you have to create entries online under your FBA account for every item you ship, or can they figure that out for you? I have tons of cables and other things I'd like to sell that is in good condition, but me spending hours upon hours looking up every model of cable / cheap item I have isn't worth my time.
MWil 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is hilarious to me because I sold three things today on Amazon and thought on the drive back from UPS, this should be getting more press how easy this is.

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.

chavesn 1 day ago 1 reply      
The OP suggested that it's a bad option for phones. But Amazon offers something else for higher-end items that worked great for me,"Amazon Trade-in" (http://www.amazon.com/Trade-In/).

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.

nikolak 1 day ago 2 replies      
So technically, I could buy items cheaply on ebay or similar sites, ship them to amazon warehouse and sell it there for profit and also have them handle pretty much everything from selling to customer support?

Or am I missing something and this wouldn't work?

blueblob 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do they have heated garages for my car? :-)
hsitz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thanks to benguild for the blog article. I had seen used books in Amazon price lists as shipped by Amazon and qualifying for free supersaver shipping, but I'd never gotten around to finding out how this "fulfillment by Amazon" worked.

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?

csense 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting. They do need to advertise this better because I had no idea this service existed.
mikeweiss 19 hours ago 0 replies      
From experience, if you want to sell something that is used and is in poor condition, don't sell it on amazon... when people buy things used through Amazon they expect it to be Like New, even if thats not what the description says.

My simple tips for selling online:New/Like New -> AmazonUsed/poor/missing things -> Ebay

thekevan 1 day ago 0 replies      
The top comment is someone wishing this was a totally different service which ends up in people either mentioning other startups which do something like that but not quite the same, or what it is like to store things in SF.
Apocryphon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love the idea and sentiment. The pale font of the page's text, less so.
lchitnis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reposting on Facebook. This is great. I've always wanted to do this on Amazon but found I had this great inertia in finding out just how to go about doing it. It seemed like a big hassle, but it really isn't. This article simplified it.
gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazon needs to open new fullfillment facility to handle stuff in my basement + garage :)
argumentum 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazon S3: Simple Stuff Storage
locacorten 1 day ago 1 reply      
Coding is dead.

When the top news on HN is how to make $5 selling used computer cables on Amazon, you know coding is dead.

Grug 1 day ago 0 replies      
       cached 23 October 2013 10:02:01 GMT