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Mangalyaan, Indias First Mars Mission nextbigwhat.com
189 points by jayadevan  5 hours ago   61 comments top 22
kamaal 2 hours ago 5 replies      
Those people claiming ISRO does it at a shoe string budget, because they reuse yes they do. But we are talking of a factor of more 10 here.

Let me put facts on ground. Go and visit any ISRO campus in India. See the kind of offices they work in, they kind of food canteens they eat lunch at, they kind of buses they travel in and take a look at how much they are paid. I assure you will be shocked. In fact shocked will be a mild statement to make. These people work on ordinary steel tables, with fans over their heads. Eat the 15 rupee rice-curry meal and travel in 20 year old buses. Well forget all that. Take a look at pictures of ISRO available over the internet, they look like to be taken in some one's garage than a space research organization.

Your average MacOS/iOS app development start up has better working conditions and infrastructure than any ISRO office in India. I'm not talking just about the work place infrastructure. Even the working gear, stuff like computers etc.

For the salaries and the net compensation ISRO offers no ambitious well qualified youth in India would be willing to work there- I'm even surprised they have even gotten this far. Note, you are comparing a salary for something like 20K per month with a salary of something like 100K a month Google offers. You get peanuts for building the most important pieces of technology in the history of mankind, compared to building websites for sharing cat pictures.

This is working on shoe string budgets to its very extreme. I hope these people get better funding in the future.

And yeah for those people too worked up about spending some 100th decimal rounding error of India's budget on a mars project. That is doing far more benefit to India's reputation, than a yet-another-scam-infested scheme.

pavs 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Every time India space programs discussion comes out a group of people will bring up India's poverty and other problem that should be fixed instead of investing on space program.

I used to be one of those guys (I am from Bangladesh), then I looked at the actual cost of this space program and realized that its not a lot of money (~$70 Million) even by India's standard. For example, in india's domestic cricket tournament (IPL) one of their franchise was sold for $370 million.

I also don't buy the wholesale "you shouldn't do x, unless y is achieved/fixed" argument. It might apply to some instances, for example india defense budget is about $46 billion, a big portion of it could have been certainly spent to alleviate the living condition of poor Indians in general. But most of the problem in India and other south-east asian countries are corruption and inefficiencies, not (always) lack of funds.

discardorama 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Every single time India does something in Space, the bigots come out from the woodwork: but India is so poor! Let them solve poverty/hunger/education/water/toilets/ice-cream first, and then worry about space.

When JFK pledged to put a man on the moon in 1961, the US did not even have the Civil Rights Act[1]. Millions of blacks lived in poverty, and were denied basic rights. Schools were segregated. In large areas of the South, blacks were denied the right to vote. There were lynchings. People were being killed just for demanding the right to vote. And Vietnam War was picking up steam.

And you know what? The US still said that getting a man on the moon amidst all this was a worthwhile goal.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

paraschopra 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's live webcast from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DcSDOkDvyQ
swatkat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a nice FAQ by Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society:


swatkat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
T+150 secs. PSLV Stage-1 separated. PS-2 lit.

T+260 secs. PS-2 separated. PS-3 lit.

PS-3 burn out. PSLV enters a long coasting of 28 minutes, after which 4th stage will be triggered.

T + 32 minutes. Coasting almost done. Stage 4 ignition in few moments. Altitude is a bit higher due to over-performance.

PS-4 started. 4th stage performance normal. Yay!!

T+44 minutes. PS-4 cutoff. Spacecraft separation success :) Spacecraft successfully placed in elliptical orbit around Earth. 300 day long journey begins now.


swatkat 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Report: India PSLV successfully launches MOM en route to Mars


swatkat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
ISRO stream is up: needs Windows Media Player).
yogrish 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks JD. Good coverage on Mangalyan. For many Indians who are criticizing this Mission saying that the money would be better spent on toilets or teachers, this is an eye opener: Why Explore space http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/why-explore-space-a...
niyazpk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The website seems to be a bit slow, probably because of some traffic spike?

JD, I see that you are using wordpress. If you haven't already installed any caching plugin, please do: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Optimization/Caching

gopalv 3 hours ago 1 reply      
tambrahmrage (well, India's oatmeal) covers mangalyaan


_anshulk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Live youtube broadcast here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DcSDOkDvyQ
Continuous 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I watched the lift off

Good launch and good start. All 3 stages complete. It's in space in a matter of seconds. Need another 45 mins to declare launch success and 10 months to reach mars!

knightsamar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you cannot get the DD and ISRO sites, you can catch the live stream at http://www.livestream.com/spaceflightnow
hislaziness 4 hours ago 2 replies      
ved_a 1 hour ago 0 replies      
salilpa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
India is making baby but firm steps in space exploration. wishing that ISRO has a success with this mission.
anupshinde 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just had a thought - Outsourcing Space Exploration - makes sense?
jayadevan 3 hours ago 3 replies      
One would imagine that scientists believe less in rituals. ISRO scientists pray at the Thirupathi temple before every mission.
ananth99 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for sharing. :
terranstyler 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I suppose the mass of 1337 kg increases the PR effect of the tax payer funded show?
Show HN: No YC interview, but here's my application penflip.com
55 points by guynamedloren  2 hours ago   37 comments top 18
guynamedloren 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Thank you for the support, HN. I appreciate it.

To be clear, I have no intention of quitting. I started working on this project without even thinking about YC as a possibility, driven only by excitement and the desire to see it exist. In fact, I wasn't going to apply to YC at all, but changed my mind at the last minute.

Against my better judgement, this little idea has turned into a full time, 18hrs-a-day-7-days-a-week project (with the occasional burnout day), and I plan to keep working on it is successful or I run out of money.


selmnoo 1 hour ago 1 reply      

    > [ http://www.lorenburton.com/ ]    > [...] I posted the site to HN and dropped a "share on twitter" button on     > the bottom of the page, racking up tens of thousands of hits and hundreds     > of tweets. I was in touch with Joe Gebbia (thanks pg!!) within hours, who     > expedited the interview process, and I flew to SF the next morning. Though     > I didn't get the job [...]
Wait, what?! You made http://www.lorenburton.com ... and then didn't get a job at AirBNB? Goodness gracious. The job was for some frontend stuff, right? You seem pretty good at making frontend stuff, I can't imagine why you didn't get it.

pytrin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's an overall strong application, but it's missing a few key components - namely, you're a single founder, and you're a bit early in terms of product and traction. That might've been enough to get in a few years ago, but competition and standards have gone up with each new batch (the single founder thing might've still held you back).

You'll probably have a better chance getting in the next batch, if your product continues to mature and you have more traction by then. If you're interested, I wrote about my experiences reviewing about 300 applications for a different accelerator, 500startups - might be useful http://www.techfounder.net/2013/08/22/after-reviewing-300-st...

iamshs 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I like the project a lot.

Why do you think there was no YC interview? Any retrospection?Was it due to you being the only founder? How strict is the video time limit? The video sounds not really geared for YC but for general audience. Also, did you have a friend go through the application? A lot of it sounds like bragging, which is not bad at all but can be abrasive after a bit.

I like the project a lot, and may you reach heights with it.

phyalow 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I wouldnt have thought the market was huge for this. You mention "Textbooks" - most commercial publishing companies would already have internal version control software, you mention essays? Most students would just use google docs. Where is the target market? It's neither casual nor a power tool. Thats probably why your pitch failed, their is adequate substitute products already in the market place.
ronilan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The application in the application. Upvoted for meta :)
justhw 1 hour ago 0 replies      
PanMan 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Thanks for sharing this, interesting. However, why don't you mention Google Docs and Dropbox as competitors? Google docs already does this, and Dropbox seems to be clearly heading this way.
uxwtf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Seems like collaborative editing is not hot.

No YC interview neither, and somehow related:


intelliot 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
Penflip is similar to a project I'm working on. We should talk.
PMan74 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I can't remember where I saw it before but ever since then any instance grates on me: describing your product in terms of other product. - GitHub for writers- Facebook for Pearl Divers- LinkedIn for Horse Whisperers- Twitter for Ornithologists

Merits of the idea aside it really turns me off, smacks of a lack of creativity, a lazy route to explaining your product benefits.

Very superficial I know, it may be just me.

karlhwhite 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Awesome product! Don't give up hope, I can really see it doing well. One of those links I click and instantly see the appeal and benefits! Great job!
tjosten 1 hour ago 0 replies      
BTW: I really like the clean design.
rmena123 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I think one founder is an automatic no at the amount of applications they have now, even if they say it maybe ok. I'd just check off all applications with one person and not have to worry about them.
brickcap 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Really like the editor of the penflip.
salilpa 2 hours ago 0 replies      
don't lose heart. YC is not the end of the road for you. keep on trying.
sheikhimran01 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an Great idea man! I would like meet up and get to know more about your project.
rmena123 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What's up with the n/a on your application?
Bjarne Stroustrup Discusses C++ electronicdesign.com
33 points by DmitryNovikov  2 hours ago   25 comments top 4
nkurz 14 minutes ago 3 replies      
Stroustrup says:

  The real novelty here is the return statement: Note that  I return a potentially huge vector by value. In C++98,  that would typically cause the copy of all elements of  res, potentially many thousands of elements. That would  be a serious performance bug. In C++11, vector has a  move constructor, so that rather than copying elements,  the representation of res (merely three pointers) is  stolen for use in the caller and an empty vector is left  behind. After all, we are just about to return from   find_all() and wont be able to use res again. Thus,  returning a vector by value costs at most six word  assignments independently of the number of elements.  Move constructors is a simple facility available to every  programmer and used by all standard-library containers  implemented as handles. This allows us to return large  objects from a function without messing around with  memory management (explicitly) using pointers and  free store.  
Are most C++ programmers excited by this? Is the idea that people should start writing code depending on this behind the scenes behaviour, or that we now have a way to speed up poorly written code? It feels like an awful lot of effort to avoid returning a pointer. And if I were actually worried about the performance, I wouldn't feel comfortable just hoping it happened. Is there any confirmation by the compiler that it handled this in the way the programmer wanted?

fhd2 1 hour ago 5 replies      
I'm sort of a C++/Stroustrup fan I guess, but this confused me:

> C isnt simpler for C-style programming than C++ is [...]

Is Stroustrup really arguing that C is not simpler than C++? How can it not be simpler? C++ is essentially C with a ton of features added on top.

azov 19 minutes ago 2 replies      
For the sake of balance, here is Yossi Kreinin's list of things that are wrong with C++: http://yosefk.com/c++fqa/defective.html
stephen_g 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I know what he means about teaching - I do a lot of systems (embedded) stuff, and love (well written) C++, but the course I did on it at Uni was awful. If that had been my only exposure to C++, I never would have wanted to touch it again!
Introducing Google Helpouts googleblog.blogspot.com
84 points by hiroaki  4 hours ago   71 comments top 29
cromwellian 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Reader derangement syndrome strikes again. Summarizing the thread, if you're are an early adopter of anything, you run the risk it won't be here in a year. That's what we tolerate in the tech arena, start ups throwing lots of good and dumb ideas at the wall to see what sticks, evolution in action. How many people who built their business on Facebook's F8 platform went belly up due to changes?

Google is a company that is constantly experimenting with new products and services. Yes, some of them will fail. That's the cost of innovation. It's really sad we've forgotten that. Failure is an acceptable risk to move forward. If you're risk averse, leave the opportunity to others to jump in and place their bets if Helpouts is a winning platform for them.

anon1385 2 hours ago 1 reply      
>Today, were announcing Helpoutsa new way to get and give help over live video.

I'm confused, hasn't this existed for months? Here is an earlier HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6248771

xb95 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This would help with the times I've just wanted to ask someone "so, does this shirt actually go with these pants, or am I totally crazy?"

All joking aside, this could be interesting. It makes me think of that service that existed for a while where you could ask a question of a topic area, and it would send an IM to people and ask them to answer it. I forget what it was called, but I used it for a little while.

The payment/HIPAA compliance aspect are pretty interesting, too. I would easily throw $50 at a 10 minute consult with a doctor instead of having to make an appointment and haul myself in to the local clinic. Particularly if said doctor could then fax a prescription for something completely boring but still not OTC to my local pharmacy.

ancarda 3 hours ago 3 replies      
My initial reaction is "cool, but I won't use it as it'll be shutdown soon enough". I wonder if enough people avoid new Google products due to shutdown fears so it leads to a product ultimately being shutdown due to neglect.

A bit of a vicious cycle.

dingaling 4 hours ago 2 replies      
An interesting new avenue for Google, where the results and satisfaction are entirely subjective, according to perception of the customer.

With search results or Gmail they can hand-wave away dis-satisfaction my saying the 99th percentile are happy, but this is one-on-one. I can see the Money Back Guarantee being quite a support burden.

But why are Google doing this? It's not really "organizing the World's information" because it keeps knowledge compartmentalised in the 'experts'.

rurounijones 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This could be a great way to monetize skills.

Youtube channel with tutorials, how-to's etc. to build up your credibility.

Google Helpouts to help people directly when they want to go beyond the tutorials or get that little extra.

sachitgupta 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Remarkably similar to sites like https://clarity.fm/home and https://www.popexpert.com/
robinwarren 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For anyone interested in a tech specific version of this there is a site http://anyfu.com/ I'm a fan but not associated).

I believe this model for connecting people for very brief engagements over the internet is an interesting one. With the educational model being pushed by companies like Coursera I could see something like this becoming popular for access to tutors or even peers studying the same subject. For quick help solving a problem there is obviously a problem of getting to sufficient scale in a 2-sided market place. Perhaps google will achieve that. I suppose the risk is becoming the yahoo answers or the expersexchange of the space.

saiko-chriskun 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one that doesn't understand all the google hate? (about discontinuing a few of their products
nodata 3 hours ago 1 reply      
So this is a solution to the "problem" of people looking up how to do something on youtube, now you can ask an expert and get detailed two-way feedback.
jsonne 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that Google seems to be moving into the freelance space. I wonder if they're going to stay in the limited fashion, or expand to go after Odesk etc.
7Figures2Commas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting product. As others have pointed out, there are a number of similar services, many of them vertically-focused.

Google says it's starting small, but Helpouts is already quite broad. Covering lots of subjects won't be such a problem if Google leverages search and YouTube to promote relevant providers, but I'm not sure it will.

yanivs 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks good but just not something that fits Google's DNA. A smaller & hungrier startup could have been a better place for this kind of marketplace
adamzerner 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This feels like "online tutoring to me". And as far as tutoring goes, I feel like most of the time it's better to automate it. Like using treehouse instead of getting a programming tutor.

I could see some situations where it'd be useful though.

- If you have a quick question and are really frustrated and are willing to pay.

- Sometimes you care a lot or have a lot of money, and are willing to get a tutor.

- Some things (like doctor appointments) might be better served online than in person.

kmfrk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Makes perfect sense to piggyback on the success of DIY/how-to guides on YouTube, but that said, I have idea whether it's going to catch on.

Clearly Google should try this out either way.

panabee 3 hours ago 0 replies      
wonder if this will get integrated into google search results as a way to help users with subjective questions not well addressed by google search ... e.g., search for "best way to bake a cake" and see as an option the ability to chat with an expert live.
banachtarski 3 hours ago 3 replies      
My kneejerk reaction is to wonder when this will go the way of Google Wave and Google Reader.
swansw 3 hours ago 2 replies      
At this point I don't even know what will convince me that stuff like this that Google releases isn't yet another dead-in-a-year product. We've seen a number of great service being killed just in the past few months alone. What makes this any different?

My only advice to kids is: don't make this something you depend on. Remember if you aren't paying for it, you're the product, and Google could care less about you and your silly needs when it comes time for some Spring Cleaning.

atmosx 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain to me what's the difference between this and a skype/FaceTime session? Because I am confused.
fourstar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's almost as if Google answers has been somewhat resurrected. Definitely keeping an eye on this.
javadi82 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My take on this is that Google is using Helpouts to figure out - what are the queries people cannot use Google for.
ivanbrussik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
interesting, we'll see if consumers pick this up. I personally just think it is somehow another way to funnel people into G+.

Sidenote: 71 indexed pages site:helpouts.google.com thusfar.

ilaksh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this uses WebRTC. Or regardless maybe I should make a clone using WebRTC.
bdcravens 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Feels less Odesk, more Clarity.fm to me
jmotion 2 hours ago 1 reply      
So what technologies is this using for streaming etc..
fit2rule 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations Google, you just re-invented IRC.
amaks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is obviously a Google's version of Mechanical Turk
mostelato 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Skype used to have something like this in 2006-ish...
salilpa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this some way of popularizing hangouts?
The Monster Truck Madness 2 site is unchanged from 1998 microsoft.com
293 points by shrikant  11 hours ago   191 comments top 58
Arubis 9 hours ago 4 replies      
An HTML file virtually unchanged in fifteen years still renders cleanly in a modern browser. Backwards compatibility across open standards is a wonderful thing.
mmcconnell1618 10 hours ago 8 replies      
The System Requirements brought back memories:

* Multimedia PC with a Pentium 133 or higher processor

* Microsoft Windows 95 operating system or Windows NT Workstation operating system version 4.0 with Service Pack 3

* 16 MB of RAM; 32MB recommended

* 30 MB of available hard-disk space; 110 MB recommended

* Quad-speed CD-ROM drive; 6x recommended

* Super VGA, 16-bit color monitor

* Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device; joystick or race car controller recommended

* Audio board with speakers or headphones

cocoflunchy 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Motocross Madness 2 is also still up: http://www.microsoft.com/games/motocross2/

And this list wouldn't be complete without Midtown Madness (1?) http://www.microsoft.com/games/midtown/

[edit] I'm sure you can find a bunch of others by browsing through the wayback machine (http://web.archive.org/web/19980214201021/http://microsoft.c...), like http://www.microsoft.com/games/outwars/

csomar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Try refreshing the page and you'll get a different sound-track. Made me curious about the implementation.

Interestingly, they are using a custom random function

   today=new Date();   jran=today.getTime();   var number=5;   var random_number=1;   var bgsnd="/games/random/bgsnd.wav";   var images="/games/random/intro.JPG";   var sizes=" width=602 height=228";   function randomizeNumber()   {   ia=9301;   ic=49297;   im=233280;   jran = (jran*ia+ic) % im;   random_number=Math.ceil( (jran/(im*1.0)) *number);   if (random_number==1){  bgsnd="audio/intro/yeeha.wav";}   if (random_number==2){  bgsnd="audio/intro/crash_10.wav";}   if (random_number==3){  bgsnd="audio/intro/heybuddy.wav";}   if (random_number==4){      bgsnd="audio/intro/lovethatmud.wav";}   if (random_number==5){   bgsnd="audio/intro/webintro.wav";}    }
And then they run it when the page opens

          randomizeNumber();          document.open();  if (version == "n3" || version == "n4"){  document.write("<embed src="+bgsnd+" autostart=true hidden=true></embed>");}  if (version == "e3" || version == "e4"){  document.write("<bgsound src="+bgsnd+">");}  document.close();

Titanous 9 hours ago 1 reply      

    $ curl -sI http://www.microsoft.com/games/monster/default.htm | grep Last-Modified    Last-Modified: Tue, 23 May 2006 17:19:11 GMT

aatish 10 hours ago 4 replies      
I see your monster truck madness website, and I raise you the Space Jam website, unchanged since 1996 http://www2.warnerbros.com/spacejam/movie/jam.htm
DigitalSea 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Nostalgia overload. I absolutely loved this game back in the day. Surprised to see you can still even download the demo of the game even. I'm guessing this was one of those sites Microsoft forgot about. Look at those system requirements, back when PC power was still measured in megahertz and ram was still referred to in megabytes, crazy.
8ig8 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure why, but the '.htm' extension always felt dirty to me. Still does.
dlinder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Hahaha, cpyright.htm

8 + 3 ftw!

_pmf_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The original Monster Truck Madness, along with the original Motocross Madness (with dedicated motion sensitive Microsoft Sidewinder controller), were probably the games I played the most.
malkia 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked on the port to pc of this game - http://web.archive.org/web/20020325194655/http://mgspc.com/ - the mgspc.com still is owned by Microsoft, and at some point the redirection worked... Sadly it's gone ;(
sunwooz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Why were we so fascinated by black backgrounds back in the 90's? I know I was guilty of it.
stormbrew 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Really a shame it didn't have an Under Construction[1] gif.

[1] http://www.animatedgif.net/underconstruction/caution1_e0.gif

noonespecial 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahh lan gaming over fiddly IPX networks. Fun on a bun.

Maybe after MTM some doom2 or even some quake for those with Voodoo Rush cards?

rocky1138 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Xbox unveiled at the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show."
Pinatubo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The website from my favorite late night show in college is still up. Last updated 1999:


izietto 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Monster Truck Madness 1 was a masterpiece, I remember it clearly! Never tried the 2 though
Intermernet 4 hours ago 0 replies      
But... there's an add in the top bar for "Links 2001"! Surely this dates the page beyond 1998?
bashinator 9 hours ago 1 reply      
One of my favorite '90s-style sites: http://www.basscentral.com/
TheTechBox 10 hours ago 5 replies      
I used to love this game. Wonder why they keep these sites up? I mean looking at the domain it's hardly buried deep within the MS site...
uses 7 hours ago 0 replies      
None of the linked reviews [0] are still up, and all but one of the review sites themselves are gone.


ww520 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It renders surprisingly fast. It reminds me of running XP on modern hardware. Old software just runs so much faster on new hardware than new software.
ericgoldberg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. I have 3 new SMS tones now. (See: http://www.microsoft.com/games/monster/downloads.htm )
hornbaker 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The Buy link is broken.
guiomie 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is that Steve Ballmer talking when you load the site ?
eksith 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I was wearing headphones (just finished listening to a song) and the "Yeehaw!" made me jump out of my seat.
jakestl 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It installs if you set it to Windows 95 compatibility mode. The game runs too if you tweak the graphics settings.

For being a 15 year old game I'm surprised at the amount of features it has (instant replay, view from other trucks, etc.)

jamescraft34 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow am I a code nerd or what. Just viewed source and was excited and overwhelmed with nostalgia. Look at all those <td>'s!

<blink>Post more old site links!</blink> Actually that would be a fun thread to create...

dualogy 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Oooh the memories. I was 16 and getting into HTML, but had to time-share the PC with my lil bro who loved playing this. Hence, I hated this game :D
mixmastamyk 7 hours ago 0 replies      
... and I've been waiting for Monster Truck Madness 3 for almost as long. :D

Loved playing that game with my coworkers, and always raced as SnakeBite. Go Army Armstrong.

rimo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this, I forgot what the web once was.
novascorpio 5 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favorite throwback sites that's still up is https://www.kfc.com/. 2006 isn't that old, but it's still hilarious.
petersimones 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I remember buying the steering wheel for Midtown Madness, which was larger than many desktop monitors today and required a near-bolting to your desk, and feeling like I was on the cutting edge of gaming.
Nicholas_C 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there anyway I can still play this on a modern computer? I did a quick Google check and nothing came up. This was my favorite game as a child.
l33tbro 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I take it you found this on after checking out the new Wayback Machine?
kurtko 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's another classic ... even 2006 looks so dated today: http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060703/multimedia/50_science...
capex 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The newsreel tries to complete the nostalgia, 'Xbox unveiled at the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show'.
bbarn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait.. shouldn't there be six MSDN/windows forum redirects ending in a page that says this page doesn't exist anymore?
anyfoo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Simply put, these are the best web styles I've seen on a PC!" -- anyfoo
mikelbring 8 hours ago 0 replies      
More responsive than most sites today.
danso 8 hours ago 0 replies      
AFAIK, the original homepage for "Black Hawk Down", which was a long-form serial newspaper story before it became a book and a movie, still looks as I remember it back in 1997:


Back then, it was one of the most sophisticated news and multimedia packages. It still is today.

pkboy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
granttimmerman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Lol, the whole website is inside a <font> tag.
statenjason 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sound still works
elijahmurray 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Just keep refreshing for nonstop, entertainment. Boy, makes me want to buy! [audio]
RafiqM 9 hours ago 1 reply      
That "Yeehaw" terrified me.
mwc 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Simply put, these are the best racing graphics I've seen on a PC!"
hariharasudhan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it still work on IE?
dupa99 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There were no Math.random back then ?
gcatalfamo 10 hours ago 1 reply      
AsymetricCom 8 hours ago 0 replies      
How do you report?
rappuccino 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So I found out this actually installs and runs on my XP box.
niix 6 hours ago 0 replies      
jebblue 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The past two weeks there have been at least one and usually two or more Microsoft related articles. This is even more annoying than the drivel posted by the NY Times.
Prices Reduced for EC2's M3 Instances aws.typepad.com
15 points by jeffbarr  1 hour ago   discuss
Ever Been Rejected? You Gotta Read About Jia's 100 Days of Rejection mtv.com
12 points by francinemathews  1 hour ago   3 comments top 3
pfisch 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the psychological effects of doing something like this are.
contextual 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
The game Jia based his 100 Days of Rejection Therapy on is here: http://rejectiontherapy.com
Media for Thinking the Unthinkable worrydream.com
353 points by espeed  14 hours ago   61 comments top 23
6ren 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Counterpoint: he notes our techniques are based on writing, but it goes deeper: our symbolic writing (including mathematical notation) is based on speech, for which we have dedicated linguistic structures in our brains, much as we have a visual center. It is deep-seated, and many have argued fundamentally entwined with sapience. Thus, even if it's not theoretically the best way, it might be the best way for us. But I'm going to argue it is the theoretically best way:

Linguistic descriptions have a key advantage over pictorial in that they represent or reference rather than show. This enables them to be compact, and omit unnecessary detail. (Of course, showing rather than telling is a strength of visual representation).

Yes, you can have a hierarchy of visual systems, and zoom-in or hide. But a fundamental problem here I think is in choosing the hierarchy - that is, the way the system is modularized.

Different modularizations of the same system are often appropriate for different uses of that system, or for considering different aspects of it. For even a slightly complex system, there are a huge number of different modularizations possible, and not all of them are useful. Often, you'll start with a poor one, and eventually have insights moving you towards the ideal one. (Of course, sometimes the "right" modularization is obvious, especially for well-known families of problems).

All this is very difficult. My point is that it is easier to switch modularities linguistically than pictorially, by changing your concepts. Without the right modularity, it's difficult to pictorially show just the aspects of interest instead of the whole picture. In contrast, one can linguistically omit detail by referencing it (implicitly, as a separate module).

Maybe it's possible to do this visually, though I suspect it thereby would have become linguistic!

[Though the above is a counterpoint, I'm very impressed with the talk. He's working both ends of abstraction, with concrete working software demonstrating cool useful practical techniques that, while not universal, would be helpful in many domains; and also framing it within, and using it to illustrate, the deep universal and philosophical idea of unthinkable thoughts. BTW e.g. uncomputable numbers.]

systemtrigger 7 hours ago 0 replies      

"Evolution, so far, may possibly have blocked us from being able to think in some directions; there could be unthinkable thoughts."

Which prompts today's startup idea:

1. Use Silk Road imitators to send hallucinogens to Amazon Mechanical Turk workers

2. Ask workers to solve impossible problems

3. Pass responses into machine learning algorithm

4. Gain godlike insight

5. Rescue humanity from self-destruction

dmazin 13 hours ago 0 replies      
How inspiring it is that Bret Victor diligently designs the presentation of his content: to me this is one of the reasons he's apart from others, where often even a great design thinker simply leaves a talk or slides or an essay to be presented however it will, like a philosopher who sets aside her inquisitive attitude in real life.
spion 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm always torn whenever I see a Bret Victor talk.

On one hand, I agree with almost everything he says in the talk, amazed by the prototype tools he presents, the concepts he discovered to make those tools usable. And I can see that in each talk he has some new insights to present, deeper connections, better and more general creations - and thats really exciting.

On the other hand, his attitude that he doesn't plan to turn the tools into products, that they're just prototypes, that he expects someone else to come and create actual products - that rubs me the wrong way.

The thing is, we've found excellent collaboration platforms exactly for these kind of prototypish things that we don't plan to make a product of yet we would like other people to toy around with the general idea. The most recent incarnation is GitHub.

So why not publish some of these prototypes? Its not about the code, its about forming a community that will build upon those ideas. Its about kick-starting the construction, setting it in motion. As far as I can see, that is what Victor is hoping for - people taking these ideas close to their hearts and building them in reality.

Is the idea not ready yet? Not exactly polished enough or general enough to be published? The visualization drawing / exploration tool looks like an awesome start to me...

I don't understand.

Edit: Oh wait. https://github.com/damelang/nile contains the presented Nile viewer. Nevermind.

seivan 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Bret Scares me. He makes feel inadequate on so many levels. Am I alone on this? I don't care for most 'successful' startup people and others, but Bret in particular - is amazing.
anigbrowl 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This got posted to HN twice in April and died with only a few points and no comments. glad to see it's finally finding an audience here.
l33tbro 12 hours ago 0 replies      
IMO - Abstraction is almost a prerequisite for creating anything interesting or innovative.

Meaning: my best ideas always come from playing in non-traditional representational systems within a certain medium. Particularly drawing. I find sketching/scribbling/drawing things generates ideas that I could not have thought of by just writing/brainstorming. You may even be able to apply it to the example of how software development models have jumped paradigms into mainstream business management (eg, agile teams). Bret's onto something here.

mbrock 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think one major reason why Victor's talks are so appreciated is that he shows a deep and serious engagement with humanism, tapping into the same vein as Christopher Alexander, Alan Kay, Jef Raskins, Seymour Papert, and others.
mrottenkolber 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Didn't know about this. Blew me away. The editor looks really awesome. What is the software called?

I am somewhat intrigued by the idea to represent arbitrary systems. I wonder where you might hit a wall within the editor, and how you can extend the editor to be able to visualize what might be possible to vizualize now. Like Emacs paired with these capabilities?

richardv 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't have enough time to watch the entire video, just watch the "Linked representations" which starts at 24 minutes (4 minutes long).

It's on a 2D graphing library but his visualizations are incredible.

rhinoe 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The scientific paper isn't designed for people who need explanation/visualisation of a logarithmic curve. People who read that paper should be able to quickly decipher what the authors have written their writing is consistent with normal mathematical instruction.

The electrical drawing would be obvious to anyone who is used to working with them.

There are obvious places where this would work dissemination of material is always useful in many different forms. But this is NOT an answer to a question that is being asked. Rather, it is an alternative form of dissemination to an alternative audience.

anfedorov 13 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm a big fan of Bret Victor's thinking, but this part struck me as indicative of the criticisms he'll receive:

"here, they are discussing some relationships: the regular latice, L grows linearly with n, we see L growing linearly with n, and we see C is staying constant. In the random network, L grows logarithmically, and we see L growing logarithmically, we see C going as a reciprocal relationship. When we read the word "logarithmic", we don't need to reconstruct that relationship in our head, you can just see it"

Does the average reader of Nature need to be shown a graph of what a linear, constant, logarithmic, and inverse relationship looks like? I don't think so.

That said, I imagine there are highly terse and technical ideas that cannot be simply represented in the current mediums of publication and which could benefit greatly using a presentation using an interactive widgets, making more complex ideas more easily communicable.

jgamman 10 hours ago 0 replies      
i know you all hate on mathematica but isn't this what the CDF computable document format is all about? text, systems modelling and dynamic movement all in the one language/system? (NB i'm not a mathematica user but have always wanted an excuse to get into it)
dirkk0 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Bret Victor is awesome. Check out his website - when I first discovered it, I spent hours there, reading even his poems.

ALBATROSS gave me the chills.

jdmitch 12 hours ago 1 reply      
>This page is an attempt to "explode" a demo-driven talk into a skimmable, browsable, gistable form, where individual ideas can be quickly referenced later.

This reminds me of another tool, Korsakow[0], which attempts to do a similar thing in a different way with documentary material, by presenting it in "shortest narrative units" or SNUs that relate to each other. It is one of a number of "interactive documentary" tools (like Mozilla's Popcorn [1] to some extent) but I wonder if it could be repurposed to "explode" a talk in a slightly more digestible way that could be reproduced by those of us who don't have Bret Victor's skillz.

[0] www.korsakow.org

[1] www.popcornjs.org

lstamour 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Powerpoint (or Visio, OneNote, VS) will eventually evolve this way. My prediction? We'll see lots of bad examples for 10+ years once software for this takes off, until people actually write up what better ways exist through documenting the good stuff. Oh and geeks will use Latex-style power tools that no one else can figure out :) Perhaps I'm talking about the web once alternative layouts and HTML5 component libraries start taking off... Maybe we'll see the return of Quartz Composer someday. When Apple actually takes non-linear programming seriously.
MarcusBrutus 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I 'm not convinced. Such a "media" for thinking the unthinkable already exists. It's called "written language" plus maybe a drawing here or there. Has been used for millennia and once internalized by a mind willing to spend the effort to parse it has never failed to convey the unthinkable, the sublime or the transcendent.
SnowProblem 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I knew the name sounded familiar. Bret Victor also gave a great talk called Inventing on Principle (http://vimeo.com/36579366).
pasiaj 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Is anyone else having trouble with the video on Vimeo?
flyrain 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Where can I get the tool he showed? Did he publish it?
tsopi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This will for sure speed up research. Thinking all the extensions of this technology is impossible... or is it? ;)
AnaRizaMae 9 hours ago 0 replies      
gd9 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Haven't watched the whole thing, but scrolling down and reading his closing makes me not want to watch it. He complicates the simple procedure "Completing the Square" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Completing_the_square). Take half of the b coefficient, square it, and add it to both sides gives x^2 + 10x + 25 = 64 or the completed square (x+5)^2 = 64 or x+5 = 8 or x=3.
On Game Development silvrback.com
73 points by akbiggs  6 hours ago   36 comments top 15
Macsenour 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I made games for 30+ years and I had this exact question about year 4. I was sitting at home, writing some 6502 I think, and my cousin called. She had to call to tell me about a Commodore 64 game she bought from FisherPrice. She started to describe it to me, an educational game where you controlled a penguin who dropped letters down a chute to form words. I had to interrupt her to explain, I had written that game.

She had no idea I was the author and designer.

She spent the next 45 minutes telling me how it was the only game she and her daughter played together. She told me that her daughter was motivated to read, and became an avid reader, after playing my game.

I never felt more rewarded, or that I was doing the right thing with my life so mach as during that conversation.

Somehow I think it fair to add that the last game I was the producer for, involved pushing over a port-o-potty, putting wheels on it and then pushing it down a hill and off a cliff to see how far it would go. Don't laugh, Potty Racers went to #1 in the App Store...

null_ptr 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't forget the stress relief video games can give. Society managed to make even sheltered 1st world lives stressful thanks to unrealistic expectations imposed on a personal and professional level. We're all apes though, despite all that's expected of us. And these apes love to wonder about their world and explore its every corner. Video games satiate this desire somewhat - and that will do, on a fucking Monday night after a long, frustrating day at work.
DanielRibeiro 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Jonathan Blow (Braid and Indie Fund) recently gave an amazing presentation on the evolution of Television, and he made an interesting parallel to the evolution of games: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AxFzf...
cgag 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I think I'd put games in the same category as music and painting and novels and all the other pleasures that make us human.

What are we solving all those other problems for if not to make more time for things like games?

doctorpangloss 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fortunately it's been rare that someone has condescended to me that games are pointless, cruel, evil or mere diversions in general. Games bring joy. Although the same could probably be said of pornography, and yet porno isn't getting any more mainstream of an art form

Just being entertaining, I think, doesn't legitimize games.

Surely earning lots of money has something to do with gaming as a legitimate full-time culture-making pursuit. A coworker taught a General Assembly class whose attention immediately rose when he pointed out that Clash of Clans earns more than $1 million a day selling virtual goods. But I don't think the creative folks behind that game are necessarily proud of its making moneyI know I'm not exactly proud of making a slots game. And I don't think casinosthe highest revenue game in townare all that respected.

Being a growth industry probably doesn't legitimize games either, it seems.

The challenge though: that's why I make games. I think it's bigger than breadth & depth of computer science. In one scientist's words, a game developer rewires people's brains without reading any scientific literature. Little could be as thrilling. And I know I look at guys like Brian Reynolds and Will Wright as inspirationsmart cultural observers whose technical wizardry turned into real social commentary.

reissbaker 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be a drab, depressing existence to live out your slightly longer life on a planet where everyone was a doctor and no one a novelist. Kudos for making beautiful experiences.
chipsy 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I investigated the "why make games" question recently:


phektus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I see game developers, especially those one-man indie efforts, to be modern reincarnations of renaissance artist-cum-technologists. At their core is the artist that longs to explore unknown world through manipulation of certain mediums that may or may not lead to useful applications. I see the author as somebody that takes pride in seeing his work affect people's daily lives. An artist might not even care if anybody understands his work or if anybody cares about it at all.
10098 6 hours ago 3 replies      
While it's true that games don't necessarily have the same impact on people's lives as other, more "important" work, for me, making a game or studying how a game works is such a fun process that it's worth doing anyway.

I spent some time trying to make games in my high school years (NeHe's tutorials helped me a lot)and trying to understand how other games work (I remember the sense of achievement when I managed to switch textures in some crappy FPS game).

Today I deeply regret that I didn't put enough effort to study this field properly... I like my current gig, but I will always look at real game developers with a sense of envy.

dirkk0 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to drop this link, which was posted to HN before without any reaction:http://hitboxteam.com/designing-game-narrative

Especially after the impact that Minecraft has, my impression is that creating games is your best bet to create new ways of story telling and user interactions. My feeling is that we didn't even scratch the surface of what is possible.

splitforce 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice post Alex, thanks for that.

A lot of people forget how important two particular industries have been in terms of pushing the envelope when it comes to computer processing and Internet bandwidth technology: Pornography and gaming.

While porn and games are certainly among the more hedonistic (and certainly less virtuous) of products, because people care so much about them is in large part the reason why we have more powerful CPU/GPUs - for example - or faster connection speeds. (I guess you can thank U.S. military investments for some of this stuff as well.)

My point is, gaming is important. Like, really important. It might not have the direct impact on African schoolchildren that Kiva or Doctors Without Borders does, but one could argue that those organizations would not be able to leverage the technology that they rely on so much if others hand't paved the way. Keep doin' the good work, son! ;-)

otikik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Also, think of all the potential Hitlers that will be just playing your games instead of doing anything mischievous. The more time you make those people waste, the better.
bladedtoys 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Why write them? Because games are play which is the most vital activity humans, indeed mammals, engage in. Without it, not only would I not have this very alphabet I'm writing in (which descends from drawings), but I and everyone reading this would still be sitting in a bush very practically gathering as many berries as we can to survive.

And as the gaming population becomes older, gaming will account for a larger and larger percent of human play.

kayoone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Games are entertainment, leisure time, fun and ignite creativity. If your game can provide that to people, its probably doing alot more good to them than many of the "life-changing" social apps out there.

Apart from that it poses many interesting technical challenges and will make your a better programmer.

CmonDev 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Is what I am doing actually important?" - well it beats Facebook in terms of usefulness.
Adobe confirms stolen passwords were encrypted, not hashed csoonline.com
96 points by monsterix  7 hours ago   82 comments top 16
neya 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't know about the passwords, but my card was successfully stolen[1] and a malicious transaction was initiated from another country. I know this was because of Adobe for sure because I (co-incidentally) used a brand new, fresh, unique e-mail address just for Adobe, and that email was released recently in the dump that the hackers provided.

Luckily the malicious transaction was declined by my bank and they blocked the card for me and they told me that someone had compromised my card details and issued me with a replacement card free of charge.

I only keep posting this in every thread[1][2] about Adobe because I genuinely want other Adobe customers to understand the gravity of the situation and disable their compromised credit card and get it replaced by a new one as soon as possible.


jordanthoms 5 hours ago 5 replies      
To play devil's advocate here, isn't this actually more secure than something like MD5 or SHA1 without stretch factors or multiple invocations, assuming that the key was not also stolen?

My reasoning is, that in order for an attacker to get the passwords out of this dump, they have to break the 3DES encryption. Brute forcing the key is, as I understand it, still very difficult, and without it they can't get any of the passwords. If someone did find the key however, they'd have instant access to all of the passwords no matter how complex.

On the other hand, if the passwords had been protected using an unsuitable hash algorithm, the highly efficient GPU-based crackers would be able to find millions of people's passwords very quickly, using the sophisticated dictionaries and mangling techniques that are around now. Even quite complex passwords can often be found in this way, since the GPU crackers have got so fast they can try billions of combinations - e.g. even things like "!)@(#*$&%^Test123" can be cracked. [1] [2]. Although, extremely long and complex passwords should be safe.

Obviously, I'm not advocating we all switch to 3DES for our password storage, and the huge risk here is that the key was also stolen - but I'm wondering if my reasoning is actually right here, and that people without extremely strong passwords are better off with this leak than if it'd been MD5.

[1] - http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/05/how-crackers-make-mi...

[2] - http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/how-the-bible-and-yo...

tptacek 5 hours ago 3 replies      
the top options being bcrypt, scrypt, PBKDF2, or SHA-2

Thanks, CSO Magazine!

nightcracker 10 minutes ago 1 reply      
"Adobe says that they've followed best practices for password storage and protection for more than a year now, as their authentication systems were upgraded to use SHA-256, with salt, to protect customer passwords."

Absolute bullshit! SHA-256 with salt is totally inadequate for password storage, they should use a PBKDF like scrypt.

001sky 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Adobe says that they've followed best practices for password storage and protection for more than a year now...

13 generations of photoshop

...and they're just getting around to this after CS6?

pasbesoin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As a small aside about Adobe security practices, I needed customer support from them the other year (its own horror story). As part of this, customer support insisted on setting up an Adobe account, although I'd purchased the product through a third party vendor and not directly from Adobe (as it turns out, thank goodness!).

When looking up that account information, I saw the note I made as to the original password they gave that account that they set up: "123456". I had changed it away from that; I suspect a significant number of their users might not have.

Glad that account contained only a name and ZIP code / town.

AND the serial number. If someone consumed a spare slot on the serial number, I shudder to think of how many hours on the phone with Adobe support it might take to get that slot freed up.

ssafejava 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So, if Adobe engineers eventually realized that they needed to upgrade their password security, and they had access to the passwords in their DB (they used 3DES, and they had the key) - why did they not immediately decrypt and hash all passwords?
moloch 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The leaked passwords were different lengths, of course they weren't hashed.
gopalv 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Xkcd said it best, this is going to make the best cross-word puzzle ever with the password hints and hashes :)


"Weather vane sword" and "sexy earlobes" indeed.

fleitz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
3DES in ECB mode... great job guys. Really really well done.
mayneack 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone got a link to where one might check for the presence of their own email in this list?
discardorama 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Adobe, once again. The gift that keeps on giving.After inflicting Flash on the Internet for 15 years, now this. Has any other company caused as much grief on the Internet as Adobe?
nudetayne 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Anytime I register anywhere, I do the following:

1. Use a new or willing-to-be-spammed email address.2. Use a new phrase-based password.

I write all of this information down on pieces of paper that I keep at my desk. I have a lot of scribbled up paper at this point.

kevinxucs 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What's worse, see http://xkcd.com/1286/

They use a technique similar to ECB, which results in completely linear cipher text blocks.

xxchan 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Remind me, what year is this again?
mikkelewis 6 hours ago 1 reply      
All my passwords are different and this still pisses me off.
Use a Google Spreadsheet as your JSON backend coderwall.com
165 points by bitsweet  12 hours ago   52 comments top 21
nirvanatikku 11 hours ago 4 replies      
..FWIW, for those of you who haven't been enlightened with the power that Google Apps Script[1] offers yet, be sure to check it out: http://script.google.com. Layered on top of Spreadsheets, this pair takes prototyping to a whole new level.

[1] https://developers.google.com/apps-script/

donohoe 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We use Google Spreadsheets for our sites Version history page. Makes it easy to maintain an up-to-date list of all the changes we push out.

Its pretty easy to setup your own:



espeed 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We use a Google Spreadsheet as the DB for the TinkerPop Book preview sign up form (http://www.tinkerpopbook.com), however, we used the old-style Google Docs Form (https://spreadsheets.google.com/formResponse), which allows anyone to add an entry to the spreadsheet while protecting against anyone from edititing existing entries.

This postContactToGoogle function gets around the cross-domain issue: http://www.tinkerpopbook.com/js/script.js -- props to the base22 team for the tip (https://wiki.base22.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=7294200...).

Unfortunately the option for creating the old-style Google Form is not directly available since Google switched everything over to Google Drive (if anyone knows how to access it please let me know) so I cloned/copied an existing old-style form for future use.

minikomi 7 hours ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, sheets also has publish as CSV which is super useful for, say, building d3 graphs (d3 consumes csv like a champ).

I'm using it a lot lately as I have to create static sites with a bunch of different translations. I have the translators edit a set template, which is aggregated into a single sheet. Then, a (racket.. could be python or anything) script reads from the published csv and outputs all the translated pages. Super useful.

justincormack 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes I have done this. Google make it particularly difficult to get the URL of the spreadsheet. And that od6? Thats if you have multiple tabs, they have random identifiers. Its almost impossible to work out what they will be. Its like they are on the web but not of the web.

But it is an easy interface for unskilled users to add data to say a graph on a website, have done that for clients and they have been very happy.

surreal 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Good for prototyping, thanks. I'd be wary of using this in a live system though: relying on Google's public APIs/services is risky enough (Checkout is one example, Reader, etc) let alone an undocumented feature like this which could change/disappear suddenly.

Edit: it has been pointed out that the criticism of their documented/public APIs may be unjustified. The issue here is that this particular feature is undocumented

yahelc 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Tabletop is a great JS library for dealing with this:


noiv 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm, I would think thrice, before I go his path again. Thought it was a clever idea to use the mixture of easy to maintain spreadsheets, the cron service and JSON to feed huge satellite images into a tiling service (zoom.it) and let Google autonomously update and serve the list of daily mosaics as JSON.

I got used to daily time out messages, but waiting 1 min for a (cached!) 10 kb JSON list is far too much. However, organizing and correcting data using an online spreadsheet saves a lot of time and is kinda fun.

tgasson 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great for prototypes but there's an edge case that breaks it's usefulness in live sites.

Sometimes google will make already logged in users reauthenticate. It will redirect to the authentication page and you'll get a bunch of HTML rather than json returned, and the user won't know why it's not working.

nicolsc 12 hours ago 1 reply      
We've been using Google Spreadsheets as part of our "CMS" in our latest website redesign.

We're relying on schema.org normalization: no more item.gsx$stuff everywhere + switching or mixing data providers is effortless.


mqzaidi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You can also use the Google query language to do more with the API - see http://qzaidi.github.io/2013/10/05/quranjs/
tburch 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great way of putting a UI on top of JSON! I created http://jsonblob.com/ to accomplish the same thing, but a spreadsheet is much more familiar than a JSON editor.
lennel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I played with this in 2008, works nicely. I remember running into a 42k row limit with a single spreadsheet.
stu_k 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote a small library a while ago to use Google spreadsheets like this: https://github.com/Stuk/gooss although it appears some better, more maintained ones have appeared in the mean time).

You can see it working at http://stuartk.com/bundle/ (data from https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar35F5WUAjXedDY... )

This is combined with with Google forms to allow people to submit new data, and the publish to RSS feature, although the content of the RSS feed isn't very pretty.

Q_the_Novice 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have once used Google Spreadsheets as a database for a bookmarking app: https://github.com/qawemlilo/Bookmarks. What I did different was that I published my spreadsheet as a CSV doc and then used YQL to convert is to JSONP.
collyw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wonderful. "Excel as a database" more or less.
fatihacet 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It's nice tip. However IMO, it would be better to use services like Firebase.
dota168 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Logical Increments PC Parts Guide


has been doing this to present their data.

el_shayan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned it the hard way: if an API is not official it is likely to break.
chrisweekly 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Clever hack, for prototypes.
Avoiding Heart Disease harjtaggar.com
180 points by kul  13 hours ago   121 comments top 37
carbocation 9 hours ago 3 replies      
How to avoid heart disease:

(0) Be female. Don't be born with heart defects. Don't be old. Don't have Marfan or Loeys-Dietz syndromes. (All of the unfair/can't modify factors will get lumped into recommendation #0.)

(1) Don't use tobacco or cocaine, and don't drink too much alcohol.

(2) Don't get exposed to radiation or chemotherapy.

(3) Don't have diabetes.

(4) Don't have high blood pressure.

(5) Have low levels of LDL and triglycerides.

(6) Don't eat too much. This is tightly related to #3 and #4, and reasonably related to #5.

(7) Have extremely low levels of LDL and triglycerides throughout your entire life. Having low LDL throughout your entire life reduces your risk of heart disease, even moreso than you would expect based on the LDL value alone. It seems that lifelong exposure to low LDL is more valuable than just late-life exposure to low LDL. [a]

Most of the genetic variants that we can currently interpret when accounting for risk (as opposed to the innumerable ones which we cannot yet interpret) fall into lipoprotein-related pathways. It will be interesting to learn about ones that do not, yet still confer meaningful cardiovascular risk. I don't think that we have a mechanistic explanation yet for the risk conferred by variants in the 9p21 locus, for example. [b]

I'm reasonably certain that your HDL is not particularly important (except as a poor proxy for your socioeconomic status, perhaps).[c] And omega-3 fatty acids have no visible effect when examined in the rigorous way in which we examine any other new drug. [d]

a = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20579540

b = http://circgenetics.ahajournals.org/content/6/2/224.long

c = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607825

d = http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1205409

tansey 11 hours ago 7 replies      
I tend to think of doctors as mechanics. Often when something breaks on my car, the explanation is "it's an old car, that happens eventually." And when they talk about it after fixing it, it's usually "Toyota's a good brand. Take care of it and you'll get another 100k miles from that engine." If I took my car to my mechanic with nothing wrong and asked what I should be doing to make sure the transmission lasts as long as possible, they will give me some generic intuitive advice, but they have no real insight because they are not in the business of maximizing the lifetime of healthy cars.

Doctors are kind of the same way. They see patients who have problems and need them fixed. If you walk into a doctor's office and say your family has a history of heart disease and you're concerned, they'll run a standard diagnostic to see if there is a problem. If there isn't, they'll give you generic advice. Outside of that, they are not really likely to have much insight into how to prevent heart disease in your specific case. Maybe you'll get lucky and the doctor will have recently read a relevant paper.

This seems to me like a problem that you're better off having answered by a medical researcher rather than a physician in the trenches. Researchers are the ones who are taking the long view on outcomes in patients. Keeping with the same analogy, you're probably better off talking to a mechanical engineer at a car company about maximizing the life of your currently healthy transmission.

Also, I generally see this as a problem that will be best addressed by machine learning researchers collaborating with medical researchers. Then again, I'm an ML PhD student working on health applications, so I'm biased. :)

7Figures2Commas 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> Generic advice to eat well and exercise is not as effective as having a specific number you're trying to improve on e.g. lowering your ApoB count.

I'm not so sure this is a wise approach.

I won't say that numbers aren't important, but it's worth noting that in many cases, doctors still don't know what particular measurements actually mean in practical terms because cause versus correlation is so hard to figure out in complex systems like the human body.

As an example: the general consensus has been that "good" cholesterol (HDL) has a protective effect and that those with lower HDL levels are at risk. You can have an LDL of under 150, low triglycerides and your cholesterol ratios can be stellar, but if your absolute HDL number is low, there's a good chance your doctor will talk to you and, at a minimum, recommend ways that you might be able to bring your HDL level up.

One common approach of doing this has been to use niacin, yet a 2011 clinical trial involving the use of niacin in an attempt to increase HDL levels in a high-risk population failed to produce the hoped-for risk reduction despite the fact that the niacin did increase HDL levels[1]. A larger, more recent study had a very similar outcome[2].

One logical possibility is that the HDL level reflects some other underlying factor which controls for risk and doesn't itself have the ability to influence risk. If this is the case, a higher HDL number may confer little to no protection unless it is the product of some other natural process.

[1] http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2011/nhlbi-26.htm

[2] http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/0...

JPKab 12 hours ago 0 replies      
My father is in the hospital about to have a quadruple bypass. He has been a vegan for 15 years and is on his 2nd heart attack. The "animal fats cause heart disease" stuff has brainwashed him into thinking that his carb rich vegan diet is good for him. It's not (which isn't to say that if he did a GOOD vegan diet he wouldn't be much healthier).

I think this article is very insightful. One very good indicator (although not as good as the details the author got tested) is a person's HDL to triglyceride ratio. High levels of HDL are good, and low triglycerides are good, since its currently thought that higher triglyceride levels are linked to the small, dense LDL particles that work their way into artery walls.

bdesimone 12 hours ago 2 replies      
> Am I missing other major downsides to taking a more proactive approach to managing my own health? Are there other things I should consider looking at to get a complete picture of my health?

A potential downside is the tendency is to shift from being proactive about your health to diagnosing (or worse -- treating) yourself based on independent research. I get that it's tempting to fire up google scholar, pubmed, uptodate etc to get a better understanding of what's going on -- just don't go the next step and start diagnosing and treating yourself.

See a specialist. See a domain specialist if you can. Get another opinion. Ask questions and air your concerns. If your doctor doesn't adequately answer your questions and concerns, see another doctor. Your greatest asset -- and the one you should be focused on-- is the ability to get multiple opinions from people who have trained for decades on a topic.

It seems like you need to see a new doctor -- not order your own tests.

shanev 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Its great to see other tech people educate themselves about health and help break the stereotypes of the ramen eating, soda drinking nerd. This story reads almost like what happened to my dad last year. He complained of shortness of breath and went to see a cardiologist. He got an angioplasty done, which showed severe calcification of the arteries. The doctor advised him to have a quadruple bypass the very next day. I flew in from San Francisco to be with my dad in the hospital.

After my dads surgery, I decided to get more involved in his health. As someone whos been following a Paleo lifestyle for over 4 years now, I stayed in NJ for 3 months and nursed my dad back to health. I cooked every one his meals for those 3 months. His fasting blood sugar fell from a borderline diabetic value of 121 to a more normal 92. He lost considerable visceral fat around his waist and was looking better than he has in maybe 20 years. All of his blood markers improved.

Good health is both easy and hard. The easy approach is to understand that modern industrialized food is harmful and try to emulate a diet from yesteryear, like Paleo, or your ancestral cultural diet. The flip side of the coin is to dig into science, as you have done, and understand the intriciacies of various blood markers like cholesterol, the difference between small and large particle size, Ha1bc, the various types of short chain fatty acids, figuring out that fat is not a villain, learning the dangerous of low fat foods, etc. Ive been studying this stuff independently for 4 years, including learning enough biochemistry to get through medical research papers. Everything I have read so far points to a Paleo-type diet being optimal. As an engineer Im taking the latter approach as I need to prove things to myself before taking it for face value. But for the layman, its not really that hard.

Something is wrong in this world when Tom Hanks, with access to the best doctors in the world, announces that he has type 2 diabetes, when I was able to reverse it in my dad in 3 months through diet alone.

I use DirectLabs for my blood work. Crappy site, but very happy with the turnaround time.

melling 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Number one leading cause of death: Heart Disease.


What's scary is that we really don't know much about it. I heard Randell Schwartz (of Perl fame) talk about how the modern carb diet is killing people. He lost 60 pounds by monitoring his carb intake.


7402 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This New Yorker cartoon shows in humor the limits of attempting to optimize your health.


Of course it's important care about your health and do what you can, but given the large error bars on our knowledge and the randomness of life in general, I think that it's worth thinking about how much time and effort should be spent on it. There is a correct amount of effort, I'm just not sure that monitoring these additional numbers is worth it; it may be adding more noise than signal to the problem of living a fulfilled, healthy, and happy life.

dr_ 10 hours ago 0 replies      
His doctor is correct. Even the lab work obtained - ApoB and CRP - was just a picture in a moment in time. You are not going to be checking these levels on a daily basis, or monthly, at least not until there's an easier way to measure things without having to get stuck with a needle all the time.Stress is considered a risk factor, but how do you plan on measuring stress? And maybe not with respect to heart disease specifically, but today a study was released suggesting loneliness was as much a health risk as drinking and smoking 15 cigs a day - but how does one measure the extent of loneliness?

A good diet is important, and there's enough information out there to determine what a good diet is. I believe weighing yourself daily is real helpful. And regular exercise - a combination or aerobic and anaerobic. There's enough data to indicate that these interventions, combined, are effective in reducing risk.

And, on a less preventive note, truth be told, if someone in their mid 50's is complaining of SOB and has a family history heart disease, most doctors, in the US at least, are going to do more extensive testing.

albertsun 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It's possible that genetic factors count for more than everything else for certain people.

The family history profiled here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/health/seeking-clues-to-a-... sounds extremely similar.

wonnage 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I worked for WellnessFX (mentioned in the article) in the past and definitely recommend their service. The stuff they test for is not a part of standard (e.g yearly physical) blood work and you'd have to convince your doctor to give you the tests (intimidating, expensive). Granted, this is because the larger medical establishment either doesn't think they're necessary, or has yet to come to a consensus on their interpretation.

Personally, given the recent wave of news debunking low-fat/high-carb diets, I'm inclined to take the health research from the past couple of decades with a grain of salt.

kayoone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am pretty late to this but i wanted to raise an important point.

Dont overanalyze yourself. Since passing out about a year ago because of an infection and not drinking/eating anything that morning i have some serious anxiety issues that affect my life in a bad way. I started to monitor my heart, my blood pressure, my pulse and freaked out whenever something was slightly off. I went to numerous doctors and cardiologists, nobody could find anything of relevance, no risk factors at all. I still worry.

With time it got better but there is a reason we dont usually think about bad things to happen or us or even death, because it affects our psychology in a bad way.

I am not saying do not care for this, but also trust the doctors. The advice of eating healthy, exercising regularly and stop overanalyzing yourself is the right approach and will lower your general risk considerably. Of course go and check your blood once a year but overall there is only so much you can do.

In the end theres many,many risks in life that you cant really pre proactive about because we also dont really know the human body yet. If you get into this you will find hundreds of people suggesting different things, you will learn about all kinds of diseases you shouldnt really worry about in the back of your head because it will bring your quality of life down in the end.

I myself am not very good at what i suggest here, but i wish i was.

smewpy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was 28 years old, found I had high blood pressure. Over next 7 years I took BP meds but also lost weight and worked out. Doctors ran tests but never found a root cause - it was just high for no assignable reason and I was told to take meds. At 34 years old, was in best shape of my life, except still taking BP meds. That year, I stopped taking the meds, but monitored BP every few months. It was borderline high but not crazy.

So this year, I turned 38, off the BP meds more than 3 years now. Then, last month while in China with my family, I had a full blown stroke. Result was lost 2cm of my left brain directly in the region that controls speech and right arm & hand motor skills. Spent 8 days in a Chinese hospital.

For about one week, I talked like a stone cold drunk and my right arm was useless. I thought I might be that way forever. Luckily, after two months, I'm basically fully functionally recovered. Bottom line is the path from a risk indicator like high blood pressure to a stroke or heart attack can be fairly short. Now, at 38 I know I must make some radical change if I'm going to live to 70, no less not be a paralyzed half brain dead invalid.

I'm certainly interested in quantified self tech now. The problem is everyone that needs a doctor to take an intense personal interest in their long term health cannot possibly find a doctor to do so, for any number of reasons. Opportunity is to empower the individual non-medial experts to easily monitor their own health and risk factors over time. Will likely be moving into product development in this space myself.

warmfuzzykitten 10 hours ago 0 replies      
And now he's a hypochondriac.

Fact is, eat well and exercise is better advice than checking a bunch of numbers of unproven value for preventing heart disease.

Doctor's don't know how to prevent heart disease, but at least one knows how to reverse heart disease. His advice is a little more extensive: eat well (mostly vegetarian), exercise, meditate, have social support and don't smoke. But it does not involve, in any way, tracking your blood test results. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Ornish

dirtyaura 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"Numbers are constantly fluctuating, monitor them too frequently and you'll get stressed. This is actually a direct quote from my doctor. In my opinion it's still not a reason to ignore the numbers."

I'm firmly on the camp that one should measure more - not less - if numbers are fluctuating to reduce worry and stress. Frequent samples, but examining weekly/monthly aggregate trends is the way to go. We just need great tools for visualization.

memracom 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Joel Fuhrman http://www.drfuhrman.com/ is one of a number of medical doctors who promote a coordinated attack on the causes of bad health like heart disease, rather than relying on reducing one or two indicators. Neal Barnard is another such doctor http://www.nealbarnard.org/

In North America, both of these doctors have shows on PBS a couple of times a year, in the weekday evenings and they generally run as part of a series of similar shows by other medical doctors.

The two named above have done a significant amount of research into the programs that they suggest, and they publish widely and openly and tell you what research they are looking at and why they recommend certain actions.

rdl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not come to Thailand and drop a few hundred dollars on comprehensive imaging studies, like I'm doing this week?
replicatorblog 12 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a fascinating story. My company makes biosensors for people to track blood sugar, and our tech has applications to cardiac markers. We've always wanted to sell a kit for home testing, but the market size of willing testers doesn't justify the investment. If a story like yours led some researcher to conduct a study it could lead to a cascade that ultimately puts tools into your hands. Thanks for sharing.
oceanic 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Catalyst, an excellent science program on the ABC [1], Australia's national broadcaster, has just had a two-part episode called "The Heart of the Matter", about the science (or lack of it) behind the cholesterol theory.

The researcher Dr Maryanne Demasi[2], herself a research pathologist, has spent three years gathering data, interviewing researchers, scientists and doctors on both sides of the argument, and the show has caused major ripples throughout the medical profession in Australia [3].

The two episodes are on YouTube in full [4] [5] and the transcripts are on the ABC website [6] [7].

For anyone interested in this topic, these shows are HIGHLY recommended.

[1] http://www.abc.net.au

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/team/maryannedemasi.htm?site=...

[3] http://www.6minutes.com.au/news/latest-news/expert-takes-aim...

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDVf-00w5gk

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAKaM330xzg

[6] http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3876219.htm

[7] http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3881441.htm

aantix 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this treat protocol from a dr. on a heart forum :

"I use EBT calcium imaging to identify who needs treatment and serial EBT calcium measurements to document adequacy of treatment. I use low dose statin or bile salt sequestrate plus ASA, high dose fish oil derived omega-3 plus frequently add nicotinic acid. In addition I screen for sub clinical insulin resistance, sleep apnea and encourage daily flossing and dental hygiene, regular mild exercise, and lots of fruit and veggies. The calcium score helps motivate compliance and the result is the near elimination of heart attacks and ischemic strokes."http://www.theheart.org/article/1269619.do

whyleyc 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting writeup - I've been thinking a lot about this recently, as a member of my family is dealing with an ongoing illness which is poorly understood.

I would love for them to be able to monitor their own vital signs more closely (via wearable tech), but even that when done in isolation is not necessarily going to help - for me the real breakthrough will come when we aggregate this data. Imagine being able to use machine learning to detect patterns across groups of people that can help pinpoint specific triggers for disease and illness.

gambiting 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"and it's hard to see the insurance companies being willing to foot the bill for tests that aren't deemed necessary"

This statement. In a country with a national health care(like mine) this does not happen. If the doctor thinks you need a test, it gets done.

seancoleman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I can really empathize with Harj. I have a paternal history of high cholesterol, my grandfather recently having bypass surgery. Using WellnessFX I discovered that I have an extremely high Apo B level, nearly twice the upper limit of the low-risk range. Thinking my first test was an anomaly, I was retested over the course of several months with consistent results of less than 3% variation.

Using this data, I've modified my diet and am seeking medical advice to reduce to a normal range. My cholesterol levels are all normal. I eat healthy (a seemingly subjective measure) and exercise regularly. My doctor said I am in perfect health at my recent annual physical.

I'm privileged to be able to afford private blood testing. Apo B data is within everyone's grasp, yet it seems so under-utilized.

avifreedman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Planning to manage one's own health is probably best.

I would love to be a customer of a competent company that managed body scans and the process of looking for deltas using humans assisted by software every N years.


Common medical wisdom now is that doing proactive body scans (usually just the trunk), even just MRI (so no radiation) is bad because it drives the expense and uncertainty of investigating every bump and shadow. And many of the tests will come back inconclusive. I understand that argument but it seems the way to deal with that is to focus not as much on scan #1 but scan deltas.

My anecodtal (IANAD) evidence is that in more than 5 cases of cancer in friends and families, a cancer diagnosis was delayed for many months from onset of symptoms and a few Oncologists have told me that they agree that for most of those cancers, that latency could have been improved if a baseline scan had been available of the organs/bones/nodes in question.

Not every patient would be a good candidate for such a service but the same is true for 23andme.

aaron695 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> I've been wondering though why didn't I have this level of discussion with my doctor?

1. For starters doctors are good but not super people. The amount of time you can allocate yourself can mean you win via quantity over quality.

2. Tragedy of the commons. Tests that might help you don't necessarily help society. Tying up a machine that helps people with cancer hurts society but might have a benefit to yourself. What you want is different to what your doctor wants.

3. Doctors are not specialists. I read a quote(Unknown how truth) doctors only have 24 hours of dietary training and should not be giving out dietary advice. But given they often see people incapable of helping themselves or going to a specialist they give out advice anyway.

mtdewcmu 6 hours ago 0 replies      
My feeling is that the state of scientific knowledge is pretty weak on how to prevent a heart attack that's still 20 years away. Doctors should not overstate what is known scientifically, otherwise they are probably telling you things that are not true.
a8da6b0c91d 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Fred Kummerow seems like a credible authority on the subject of heart disease:

"My findings indicate fried foods, powdered egg yolk, excess vegetable oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and cigarette smoke as the greatest culprits in heart disease."http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/full/10.2217/clp.13.34

tessierashpool 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have heart disease. if I hadn't followed the advice of Dr. Joel Fuhrman (drfuhrman.com) I'd already be dead. I don't have time to get into it here, but conventional cardiology is essentially malpractice in my opinion. if you have heart disease, or you know someone who does, please check out Dr. Fuhrman's work.
cj 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> [3] I looked into how I'd get these tests ordered myself and found these options: [...] Directlabs: A dated looking website but offering the option of a la carte tests. Total cost for these three tests: $205

I'll vouch for directlabs. I was very happy with their "Comprehensive Wellness Profile". Their website looks slightly sketchy, but their service is fast and cheap.

WizzleKake 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> Generic advice to eat well and exercise is not as effective as having a specific number you're trying to improve on e.g. lowering your ApoB count.

What. No. If you need to work on a number, why don't you try improving the number of minutes you spend doing cardiovascular exercise per week?

phormula 11 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing I have recently become aware of, after my doctor ordered a test, is checking for mutations in the MTHFR gene. It's an enzyme which deals with how we process folate into its active form and is important in many pathways

Supposedly the C677T mutation increases your risk for heart disease. There is also another one, A1298C that is very common but no consensus on how it may effect health. I also matters whether you you have one or two copies of the mutations.

Some recommend supplementing with methylated B vitamins to offset the any negative health effects, but I'm still soaking this in and am not sure what the consensus is it yet.

mmuelly 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Avoid heart disease - die of cancer! Honestly, I would take the massive coronary event any day over the slow, miserable death that cancer involves.
aedocw 11 hours ago 0 replies      
For those interested in getting a much more comprehensive look at their blood, along with a consultation from a doctor to help you better understand the connections, check out http://www.wellnessfx.com/

(I haven't tried it out myself yet, but I'm planning to next year - I'm in no way affiliated with them, but definitely seems like a great idea)

njonsson 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I had an elevated Lp(a) level and was able to reduce it dramatically by taking niacin, under the supervision of my cardiologist. YMMV?
simplexion 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." ~Michael Pollan
LizVerano 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This make sense.
perlpimp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Tim Ferris has an excellent write up on 4 hour body. Part of it is to do extensive bloodwork & other tests that go far beyond what most doctors do - with them you can get a clearer picture. Talking to doctor with those in hand might give a clearer picture to you and your doctor.

Not sure if those are available in India, but my cousin did follow through those tests(in estonia) and has lost 50lbs - now healthier than ever. Has something to do with kinds of blood indicated what kind of diet you suppose to be on, vegeterian, paleo or whatever.my 2c.

Rackspace launches Performance Cloud Servers rackspace.com
25 points by ropiku  4 hours ago   18 comments top 6
sschueller 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I used Rackspace back in 2000 for my first startup after our existing hosting solution could not take the load.

This was a huge mistake!

Rackspace canceled our contract without warning and without the ability to get our data. Their customer care was extremely rude and completely incompetent. I will never ever host anything again with Rackspace.

Luckily we had external backups and were able to purchase our own hardware and install it in a local Boston data center.

csmuk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't poke them with a 20' long stick.

When we spoke to their rep about data security and access in the UK they made no guarantees about our stuff being secure from meddling by their own staff or external agencies. They literally told us that we'd be better off elsewhere and refused to comment further.

we're in a position where we have UK data protection to consider and shipping data out of the EEA is illegal for us. Obviously this is still a problem if someone takes it.

In the end we ended up with a wholly UK owned DC and company.

oijaf888 2 hours ago 2 replies      
http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/servers/pricing/ (scroll down a bit) has the pricing, they start at $0.68/hr for 15GB of ram, 40gb ssd system disk, 150gb ssd data disk and 4 vcpus. Significantly cheaper (however with lower specs) than the cheapest Amazon offering with an SSD ($3.10/hr I believe).
markwillis82 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Having used rackspace for the past 5 years, I'm happy to see some more performance machines in the cloud.

We have quite a CPU intensive infrastructure so will be benchmarking the new performance servers against themselves to see if it is still cheaper to scale out then scale up.

ilaksh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
How much do they cost? Seems like this is a response to Digital Ocean.

I wonder how long until Rack space and the rest provide a Docker container service.

kamakazizuru 2 hours ago 1 reply      
wouldn't touch rackspace with a stick. We tried them for 6 months - particularly because we weren't price sensitive and wanted the "fanatic service" they promised. The service however is terrible bordering on non-existant. Digital Ocean or Linode on the other hand - price + service I'm happy with!
Lavabit's Dark Mail Initiative kickstarter.com
168 points by p4bl0  13 hours ago   70 comments top 18
moxie 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I think it's important that we separate our support for Ladar's legal problems from our support from his technical decisions.

I think we should support Ladar as a person for bravely deciding not to comply with the government's request, but that we should be extremely critical of the technical decisions that lead to his ability to have complied.

LavaBit was a service offering "secure" email using a mechanism known to be insecure, which unnecessarily put a lot of users at risk. It seems injudicious to fund its redeployment, and even a little bit strange to fund the same person to develop something new.

shazow 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Video summary:

- Lavabit + Silent Circle are starting a non-profit called the Dark Mail Alliance.

- Planning to release an open source protocol for end-to-end encrypted email, along with some open source implementations. Expecting feedback from the community to drive the direction.

- Sketch of the protocol: Mail body/details is saved encrypted on some server somewhere. Encrypted XMPP message containing URI describing where to retrieve the message is sent to the recipients. Recipient clients figure out how to fetch it and decrypt it.

- The protocol is based heavily on Silent Circle's protocol. Functional proof of concept already exists.

- There will be several modes of security, default being the most secure, but allowing the user to explicitly scale down on a case-by-case basis (e.g. to abide by regulations and corporate policies).

- Sounds like it's backwards-compatible with SMTP, perhaps through gateways. It'll be explicitly marked as insecure.

- Ladar's goal is to transition Lavabit from a services company into a software company, using the free/open source business model and offer support services around it.

- The protocol will be using "new elliptic curve cryptography we [Silent Circle] developed." They're expecting the encryption methods will change over time.

conroy 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm disappointed with this Kickstarter campaign. One 23 minute video and almost no text explaining the project. The video isn't even made for Kickstarter, it's just the announcement video from Inbox Love. How do they expect to get almost $200,000 in donations with a campaign that looks like it was put together in 10 minutes?

I want Darkmail to succeed (and I don't mind the name like many here), but I have serious questions about the protocol and the community, no one which have been answered.

tnorthcutt 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This Kickstarter campaign reads like a What Not to Do If You Want Your Kickstarter Campaign to Get Funded.

23 minute video that isn't specifically created for the Kickstarter campaign? Check.

Very little explanatory text? Check.

Reward levels at different price points with identical rewards? Check.

Basic spelling errors (their != they're)? Check.

Campaign started by someone with a dog as their profile pic? Check.

I hope this project succeeds. I don't think this Kickstarter campaign will, though.

adamnemecek 12 hours ago 4 replies      
It's been said before but the name seriously needs to change if the initiative wants to get any sort of support from the general public. It's only slightly better than say "pedomail".
conorgil145 10 hours ago 2 replies      
They point out that existing email leaks a lot of metadata, but I do not see any proposal to fix that in the new protocol. How would you hide/encrypt/otherwise protect the list of recipients? Someone somewhere has to know where to deliver the message, especially if you will continue to use human readable/memorable email addresses as we currently know them today.

You could have the server know the addresses to forward the message and then forget them. However, then the server knows this information at some point and it could be sniffed/recorded along the way.

Does anyone know any more details about the specifics of the protocol? How would you minimize metadata leakage if you were implementing such a protocol? I am not sure it is possible to guarantee the recipient list won't be leaked.

DigitalSea 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, $196,000? That's a lot of cash for cleaning up source code and releasing it, isn't it? My understanding is that the code is merely being modified to work in other environments, right? Finding great talent costs money and time, but surely finding great developers who support Ladar and his quest to release an open source email service wouldn't be that hard? I don't know C that well, but I'd volunteer my time to make the project a success.

Something about that almost 200k figure they're asking for doesn't feel right. Am I missing something here?

asdfs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat, but they really need to repeat what's said in the video in the text. Currently it's not amenable to obtaining a quick understanding.
mr_spothawk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
: Whiney warning :I wish they'd put a bit more work into this kickstarter, rather than just dropping a terd on my doorstep. I'm really interested in this protocol, but I can't help but feel like there's a lot of entitlement evident in the lackadaisical approach. : end whine :
logn 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I like this project:


Mithrandir 10 hours ago 0 replies      
friendcomputer 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I can't find any information on the "newly developed dark mail protocol." Is this public anywhere? I need more information before I know if I want to donate to support it.
gesman 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Yet another communication system that offers better encryption" is not going to solve fundamental problem. Even if it is named "dark".

The communication system that conceals the very act of communication will.

The best way to conceal anything is to make others think that it never existed.

Pissing off enemies with stronger encryption will just get more people hurt and hunted for.

hadem 12 hours ago 1 reply      
What is keeping this service from getting shut down as well?
jgrowl 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Donated. Good luck to Ladar.
dram 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the name didapper mail. A fun sounding duck inspired protocol.
nullz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"sell the sizzle not the steak"
mars 11 hours ago 0 replies      
MacKenzie Bezos Writes Amazon Review for Jeff Bezos Biography amazon.com
3 points by singular  20 minutes ago   discuss
Wayback machine gets a facelift, new features archive.org
189 points by anigbrowl  15 hours ago   69 comments top 13
memset 13 hours ago 1 reply      
In case anyone doesn't remember the old design, here is a link: https://web.archive.org/web/20131016082142/http://archive.or...
jakobe 13 hours ago 8 replies      
Oh how I wish the wayback machine would ignore robots.txt... So many websites lost to history because some rookie webmaster put some misguided commands into the file without thinking about the consequences (eg. block all crawlers except google
axefrog 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Glad to see they finally got an API, however I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't return the oldest archived date for a site, only the newest. I often need to check how long ago a site was originally archived. The API would have been very helpful for that, but the closest they provide is an option to query whether or not it was archived on a specific date, which is nowhere near as helpful.
cypher543 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I love the Wayback Machine (and all of Archive.org, really). I recently used it to reminisce about some old VRML-based chat communities that I frequented about 10 years ago. It had a record for every single of them.
memracom 9 hours ago 0 replies      
They still won't let you look at pages if some domainer has aquired the domain and installed a robots.txt that disallows crawling.

They really should look at the date on the robots.txt and only apply it to pages retrieved while it is in effect.

Show us the pages from before the robots.txt became so restrictive!

slacka 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The new "Save Page Now" feature is great, but there is still no way to add full sites to crawl. For example, I added:http://www.cgw.com/Publications/CGW.aspx

But it would take hours or days to add every article from every issue.

vbuterin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They accept donations, and they even take Bitcoin: https://archive.org/donate/index.php

Be sure to send them some!

derwiki 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I just launched a similar service called https://www.DailySiteSnap.com that screenshots, emails, and archives a specified web site on a daily basis. My use case is to be able to look back at any one day and see what my site looks like, since Archive.org doesn't refresh my page as often as I update it.

Disclaimer: I'm really not trying to over-market myself, but I figured readers of this thread might be interested in my project. Happy to take down this post if it's read as too spammy.

granttimmerman 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Now I have a real reason to search the Wayback machine on the Wayback machine!Then: https://web.archive.org/web/20131024095443/https://archive.o...Now: https://web.archive.org/web/20131029213051/https://archive.o...
danso 14 hours ago 6 replies      
The "Save Page Now" feature looks great. Hopefully this cures Wikipedia of its increasing link-rot.

Also, the Supreme Court will be happy: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/us/politics/in-supreme-cou...

powertower 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Disregarding whatever the rules are about this in the TOS, is there a good way to download/scrape your old archived website?
agumonkey 14 hours ago 0 replies      
On a purely aesthetic side, the new input form does clash with the old menu. The ~carousel seems a bit "cpu consuming", maybe a simpler tile grid as in Windows Phone 8. That said I love the service, and the frontend is probably not the most important part of their system.
fmitchell0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
they need to fire their plastic surgeon if a font update and spacing is what is considered a facelift.
Get Shit Done: The Worst Startup Culture whatspinksthinks.com
333 points by hunckler  20 hours ago   183 comments top 52
jaegerpicker 19 hours ago 7 replies      
Dear God this was my life at a past employer. The biggest issue is that Get Shit Done usually turns to Get Shit Done exactly how I want even though I won't tell you what it is because I'm "Getting Shit Done!". I know better now. If I see that at an interview now, I'll run, not walk, run away. People bitch about how hard it is to find good developers and yet hire talented developers but put them in shitty positions. Then bitch about them not being good enough. It's like buying a sports car and putting shitty watered down gas in it and complaining about how the car doesn't perform like it should.
gorbachev 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I have a different definition of get shit done than this blog post describes.

To me getting shit done means actually getting your work done. It means you don't read Hacker News all day long (oops) and send cute cat pictures to the entire office every hour. It doesn't mean you take every possible shortcut and hacky workaround to save a few hours of implementation time.

However, sometimes (and ONLY sometimes) that's what you are going to have to do. Just make sure you fix it later. If you do that all the time, it's going to blow up on your hands sooner or later (or on the hands of the poor schmuck they hire to work on it long after you're gone).

I work for a startup getting pressured by several BIG competitors that have all the advantages (client base, billions in the bank, established brand names, etc.), so we're under a tremendous pressure to "get shit done". There have been times (actually, I think only one time) when the right call was to get shit done in the wrong way of the phrase. We fixed it later. The core of the solution was solid, though.

We've also been unlucky to hire people who do NOT get shit done. It's like they have some sort of perpetual procrastination engine built in their brains. No amount of planning or iterating worked. Shit just wasn't getting done in any way, poorly or excellently. If you can't decide what approach to take, just pick ONE and move forward. Chances are you'll learn something along the way to validate or invalidate your approach, and you can then adjust.

gjm11 19 hours ago 3 replies      
If your only goal is to get shit done, then too much of what you get done will be shit.
freshhawk 15 hours ago 1 reply      
In my experience GSD is just an excuse to avoid the organization and planning work that's not particularly interesting compared to banging out some code.

I've seen a lot of startups just failing utterly because their primary philosophy is this one, and it tells them that it's ok to skip the hard/boring parts of your duties.

On the plus side those who are thinking through their experiments and still failing fast but intelligently choosing what they are trying rather than just skipping the planning and hammering out some code can really out-compete their GSD'ing competition. I have some good friends doing exactly this and doing it very consciously right now (just yesterday I told them they should call it Hammock Driven Biz Dez since we are all Rich Hickey fans). It is working very well, and that's measured in revenue.

smacktoward 19 hours ago 6 replies      
Is this an actual thing? Are there really people out there who think running around yelling "Get Shit Done!" constitutes actual project management?

We are doomed.

JumpCrisscross 18 hours ago 1 reply      
"Everyone has the potential to be productive or unproductive. There arent people who are A players and C players. Just people who are performing at an A level and at a C level."

But some people will go from 0 to A faster and with less assistance than others within the scope of a specific set of tasks for which they have innate talent or relateable experience.

Further, if the skill set demanded is fungible it is cheaper to buy talent than build it in-house. Firing a C to hire an A is better business than hiring a C and expending time and energy to increase the probability of them converting to an A at some unknown point in the future provided that there is a ready supply of As (or Bs) on the market. With regards to entry and mid-level programming positions, that appears to be the case.

UK-AL 19 hours ago 3 replies      
The whole start-up culture encourages this behaviour. The current fire fast trend, rather than trying find the root cause for example.

Firing someone can completely mess up someones career, but people are being told to fire someone on a whim, if they're not right fit(I mean that could be anything). Turn it around, and put yourself in their shoes.

Spooky23 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's like anything else, if taken to an extreme, you can make anything bad.

The inspiration of "get shit done" are the bureaucratic nightmare environments where the mundane and irrelevant are debated for weeks, months or years, and many people make careers out of coming up with excuses why things cannot, should not, or will not get done.

Some not-so-good managers with poor leadership ability turn this into a power trip. I'll tell people to "shut up and get shit done" when I sit through a meeting that's nothing about debating things that aren't important, or just travelling down rabbit holes with no way out. And I don't deliver that message in an offensive or nasty way.

anonymous 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Kind of offtopic, but it really grinds my gears when a site is perfectly functional without javascript, but then it has a noscript element blocking you from reading it. I know how to hide the noscript element. Even if it's not a noscript element, I know how to delete it from the DOM tree. Why would a site writer purposefully block people with js disabled from viewing their site? It's not like you can accidentally disable js in a browser, if it's off, it's off because I went out of my way to turn it off. And I can hide your opaque fullpage div just fine.
phamilton 17 hours ago 0 replies      
GSD for us is less of a management tactic and more of a trait we find in engineers. Some engineers spend too much time in the design phase, planning out features nobody is going to use. GSD is about finding the fastest route to a solution. The quality of the solution is orthogonal to GSD. Bad GSD results in spaghetti code. Good GSD means providing the minimal solution without painting ourselves into a corner. It means a clean interface and set of behavioral tests with perhaps a hackish library implementation that can be pushed to production. Building out that hack vs taking the time to "do it right" can mean 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars of revenue. Sure it builds up a bit of tech debt (which we resource immediately), but that's often well worth it.
speg 17 hours ago 1 reply      
We just got a bunch of "startup vitamins" at our new office. My "favourite" is "Fuck it. Ship it."

Hmm, this doesn't pass tests? You didn't run the tests? It breaks something else? Fuck it, ship it. So now when support comes and asks why everything is broken, I just point to the sign.

steven777400 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll put in a plug for Roy Osherove's "Notes to a Software Team Leader" which discusses some of these issues and how to deal with them. It especially deals with how to handle "overload" and the feeling of falling behind and the decreased productivity that can bring a team.
cwilson 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The only way this "strategy" works is if a few things are already happening:

1. Communication is already really good

2. You have a basic plan in place, milestones laid out, and because of #1 being good you're ready to handle anything that doesn't go to plan (because things definitely won't)

3. If you have a plan in place you better have discovered some hint of product-market-fit (figured out who your customers are, what pain point they have, and how you think you can solve it) that the plan is based around

If you have those things in line, there isn't anything wrong with "get shit done!" (which I really take to mean less meetings, less screwing around over-planning, etc). This mentality or strategy backfires when you are missing a few items from my list, or you have bad managers / founders who don't understand the importance of the list.

bluedino 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I think the author is missing one of the points of 'get shit done', which is instead of debating whether you should use Go/PHP/node, just fucking do it. Instead of agonizing over a design choice, just make the damn thing and tweak it later. Don't over-engineer things.
chetanahuja 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I was thinking of writing a longer comment but I have to get back to getting shit done.
ChikkaChiChi 18 hours ago 3 replies      
If you are taking your management cues from a slogan on a wall, you're probably dealing with shitty management.
lectrick 19 hours ago 5 replies      
It's already down (it's the database... why does it always gotta be the database... sigh. Actually, it's probably a blog post so why is it even hitting the database to begin with instead of being served from cache?)

I guess someone didn't prioritize "getting shit done" haha

api 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I said this a while back in another thread, but it's actually more on-topic here:

One of the worst things about tech culture is that it's full of socially awkward people who have learned a neat low-effort hack for getting around their poor social skills: be an asshole.

Being an asshole is easy. It requires no actual effort spent in learning the intricacies of human social interaction or human nature. It requires no effort spent getting "outside your own head," trying to connect with other people, investing in forming genuine bonds or understanding the motivation of others. All you have to do is learn to at least feign confidence, to be superficially charming, and to throw your weight around.

The tricks of the asshole trade are status symbols, name dropping, rank-pulling, appeals to credentials (I went to Stanford so I am better than you), fast talking, claiming you have "no time" for anyone who doesn't kowtow to your superior assholery, etc.

Like many low-effort hacks it "works" in the sense that it creates a superficial sense of social proficiency and permits the user to navigate meatspace. Sometimes you can even get things done. But it's a cheap trick and it doesn't scale forward either in size, scope, or time.

jayhuang 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I couldn't help but feel that this was a blog post that I've been meaning to write for a while.

This, mixed with "beer culture", and measuring productivity based on hours sitting in the office as opposed to features produced/bugs fixed. Complete disregard for security vulnerabilities that may put our users at risk because "we don't have time for that shit", issues of "you are not 100% committed" when you leave on time one day because your mother is terribly sick. Stalking your LinkedIn then making a huge fuss about it when it clearly hasn't been updated in a long time, adding the fact that you have a website to not "100% committed", etc.

Guess it's time to finally go write that blog post.

martincmartin 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Tripadvisor's slogan is "Speed Wins," which seems like it would translate into "rarely pay down technical debt." It's always put me off of working there.
brianbarker 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to say "Get Shit Done" to my team, but for a different reason. That company I was at then is (still) so bogged down in meetings, changes, planning, etc that nobody ever had more than a few minutes to code without hours of interruptions.

So, different scenario but I get the post's point.

analog31 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The fallacy of "just" should be added to the standard lists of logical fallacies. "Just do X" assertions are problematic in a number of ways:

1. "Just" carries a hidden assumption, that the thing is simple and straightforward.

2. It's awkward to respond without tacitly accepting the burden of proof for why you can't do the thing.

Xyik 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't really a problem with startups but people in general. The average person just isn't very empathetic, and especially so when you you're focused and stressed out working around the clock during a startups early stages of life. Also: if you were a CEO or manager what incentive is there to try and dig deeper into why someone is unhappy with their job? Most of the time, its not fixable, and interviews are there to help filter out individuals who aren't a good fit both on a technical and personal scale. Now, if all of your employees are unhappy thats a different problem.
dschiptsov 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, yeah, stick to your Eclipse and get shit done - exactly a Java sweatshop paradigm.

Now this Java shit is about to hit the fan.

dmitrygr 14 hours ago 0 replies      
These sorts of generalizations do not end well. For example, if you really think that "There arent people who are A players and C players. Just people who are performing at an A level and at a C level." then fire your entire recruiting department and hire anyone who walks in through the door. After all, there are no bad people, only those who perform badly right? So if those strangers who walk in do not do well, it is the fault of your environment and management, right?
shadowOfShadow 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What are you working on? / The shit.How much longer? / Not much. Almost done.Is it hot? / It IS shit.Is it tight? / It's DONE.Awesome. Can I blog about it? / Yeah... you're the CEO.Later...Hey - this is a pile of shit! / It IS done.

You're a cog in someone else's machine. You are a means to an end - which is some form of naive auto-fellating bullshit. Shut up and get the shit done. Someone wants to disrupt the treehouse club!

Treat me mean. I need the money.

Maybe they should A/B the color of their log in finding the A players.

vinceguidry 10 hours ago 0 replies      
No, there are definitely C players. People who, if you give them all the advantages in the world, will still be completely unable to perform at the expected level. It's perfectly possible for an A player to perform at a C level, but not the other way around.
RougeFemme 18 hours ago 0 replies      
As the manager/co-founder, helping with tools, coping mechanisms, etc. is often not enough. When an employee has shit falling off of his/her plate, he often needs help prioritization. Managers/co-founders often assume everyone knows the priorities of projects and that's often not the case. If the manager's or company's priorities have shifted, that needs to be communicated to everyone. If you have a meeting scheduled with some big-wig tomorrowand I'm providing data for that meeting, I need to know; otherwise you may not get your S until it's too late. But, by God, I'm GSD!!
wil421 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad I didnt take my first offer out of school. This was exactly what that company was about. I knew classmates who took the jobs but left before 6 months.

They were paying 15-20% more for some positions, now I know why. Their motto was hire and fire, most managers were with them for less than 1.5 years and promoted because they were most senior after about year.

Mikeb85 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I think GSD is most appropriate for the earliest stages of a startup (ie. few to no employees), where you really do need to just get a working product.

Obviously middle managers screaming this mantra at paid employees is silly...

mirozoo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Great post, David! You especially nailed it with the paragraph about disciplined routines and productive habits. In retrospect, we'd wasted more than 10 years in our company by just getting shit done. Our solution to this problem was to keep a simple "logbook" to regularly record and reflect our achievements and experiences in a team context. (We released a public version of our internal logbook tool called "teamspir.it" a couple of months ago.) I must admit that it was damn hard to convince all of our team members that it is really important to write regularly. Even today most of the people I talk about this habit ask "Why the hell should I do that? I know what I've done, no need to write it down...". There are several good approaches for answers to this question in your post!
ghobs91 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I won't call what we're in a "bubble", but the culture seems to be going in the direction of mass producing startups, and this is the result. I see many startups popping up that seem to be creating a product just for the sake of creating a product, with no real long term goals.

Some VCs seem to be encouraging it, throwing millions at redundant social network apps that do things like "Gamify brushing your teeth!".

The tech industry has an immense ability to "make the world suck less" as Alexis Ohanian puts it, and it's important that we focus on that.

PMan74 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> There arent people who are A players and C players. Just people who are performing at an A level and at a C level.

That sounds very nice, like something Barney the Dinosaur would say. People who consistently perform at C level are C players. Maybe they would be A players doing something different but that's not much use to you.

davidspinks 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Sorry about the server issues.

Cached version: http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?&d=760352947104&mkt=en-US&set...

badman_ting 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree in that "Get shit done" shouldn't be a culture but a goal. It should be a reminder that, after all your pontificating about monads or whatever, nobody but you cares about that shit and you need to produce things that they do care about.
colingrussing 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Get Shit Done" is completely different than the other ideas lumped in here, ie "ship something", "fail often" etc. Many people may mistakenly apply these concepts in such a way, but it is not inherent.
jenskanis 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The assumption made in this article is that startups with the "get shit done" mantra only say to "get shit done" when you're not performing. I feel like the entire article is based on a bad assumption..
danso 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm nervous to think that "get shit done" is likely the current mantra of Healthcare.gov, as contractors are scrambling to fix an untested spaghetti-codebase before Thanksgiving....
alinspired 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What's your experience with larger multi-layer structures, as if someone up the chain is pushing GSD, there is less opportunity to fix this downstream, leaving people to constant stress.
djmollusk 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Kind of depends on how you interpret it. Many developers over think and feature creep. When I see Get Shit Done I'm thinking about doing what needs to be done now instead of working on solutions to problems that haven't happened yet.
cmac2992 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you interpret "get shit done" different than I do. Not trying to put words in your mouth, but I think you interpret as get this product out ASAP. I think of it as take responsibility for yourself, if you need a break, take a break. Whatever you need to do to "get shit done", do it.
mnbvcxza 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Can anyone compare a GSD culture to a ROWE culture? I haven't seen 'ROWE' lately.
shitgoose 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"what a good manager does is help this person identify the things that are causing them to be unproductive.

Theyll help them develop new habits and encourage them in their efforts to adopt them.

Theyll force them to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Theyll work together to build new systems that will help them be successful.

Shit, at the very least theyll recommend a good self help book."

Are you serious??? With all due respect, if you are not capable of developing new habits, stepping back and looking at bigger picture or (sigh) reading a good self help book on your own without someone holding your hand, then you have a problem. Wake up my friend and GET SHIT DONE!

peacewise 10 hours ago 0 replies      
So I wonder, what is the percentage of YC companies that match this profile?
davidspinks 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Site should be performing better now. W3edge helped with caching. Thanks for reading.
300bps 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Another site reporting "Error establishing a database connection". For anyone posting blog entries telling people that they are doing things wrong, it really destroys your credibility when you can't set up a server that continues to function with a moderate amount of traffic.



twanlass 19 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for a static jekyll blog :)
mufumbo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
great post david!
tsopi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"Does this situation feel familiar?"

cough... YES!

untilHellbanned 16 hours ago 0 replies      
the powerful people know better...they get other people to get their shit done
mrwnmonm 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Error establishing a database connection
jheriko 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't read this. Maybe you should get shit done... like a working website _
Show HN: Real-time file sharing site volafile.io
190 points by chmod775  16 hours ago   94 comments top 49
dpiers 15 hours ago 2 replies      
The 12-hour lifespan of content links is interesting; it prevents indexing or hot-linking content on the site. Even if the RIAA/MPAA/etc. set up bots watching the room and issuing takedowns for infringing files, the time allowed to comply with a DMCA takedown is greater than the lifespan of a file on the service.

In other words: this should be fun, until they get sued out of existence.

spindritf 15 hours ago 0 replies      
> Announcement: Because of the high traffic we are seeing right now, the radio might take a long time to load or not work at all.

Hacker News killed the radio star.

Very cool idea. With a little faster chat (there's currently quite a delay between saying something and seeing it displayed) I can see it catching on. Hang out, share files, listen to the music together.

dexen 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Auto-assignment of nicknames seems a particularly nifty feature -- a warm welcome for first-time users.

Overall seems a well-balanced crossover of IRC and message board. (Almost) Everything Google Wave wanted to be, but never had a chance to become.

How do I rent a private channel for company-wide use? ;-)

justhw 16 hours ago 2 replies      
For those at work, there's quite a bit of stuff not tagged nsfw. Tread with care.
hornbaker 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The HN room is full. You can discover other rooms here: http://volafile.io/discover
aperture 14 hours ago 1 reply      
There seems to be a twitter account here for it:https://twitter.com/volafile

Also, in chat I found https://github.com/binlain/volafile-bugs for solutions to fixing the site. However, I cannot vouch that is an official bug report location.

Considering this issue (nfsw): https://github.com/binlain/volafile-bugs/issues/5

I find this website a little amusing, but also creative. I think it's quite exciting overall! Good luck!

pla3rhat3r 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, a chat room AND the ability to share NSFW pics? What could go wrong!?!
meritt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting proof of concept although I personally prefer hipchat for a the "chatroom with group file sharing" benefit.

The ephemeral nature of the downloads is really interesting though. I've seen a number of sites starting to target that niche (http://dissipateapp.com/ for file sharing specifically with "self-destructing" files) but mostly aimed at just messaging (like Snapchat or Frankly).

Why risk putting your important documents on a site where it's only a matter of time before it's compromised? Most of the time once your recipient has the file it's safe to remove from the cloud.

vxNsr 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is basically IRC with file sharing... and everyone is ignoring the filesharing part because it's full of porn. So basically you created a html5 IRC clone, very cool.

Just wondering: What are your plans for this? And Does this have any IRC-like commands?

skizm 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Haha, just logged in to see this: "PaulGraham: APPLY TO YC SO I CAN MAKE SOME MONEY FROM THIS" and also "PaulGraham: THIS IS THE NEXT FACEBOOK".
mikegioia 16 hours ago 0 replies      
You did a great job with this. I got a couple 502s viewing files but it works really well so far.
Raphmedia 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's very nice for what's going on right now. I mean, a big internet orgy. However, the lack of private rooms pretty much kills it for me.

Otherwise, it would have been perfect to use at work.

ww520 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the bandwidth cost for this kind of app? I'm always afraid a popular rampup would incur a huge bandwidth bill for sites like this.
Vekz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the old school Napster. I think it could use an AV scanner on upload. Also a preview mode for images and documents and videos would be cool too.
gmjoe 16 hours ago 1 reply      
There's always something kind of magical about real-time sites -- like the Internet is a little less lonely, and there are real people out there.

Very cool!

kclay 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Nice concept, looks like 4chan may have gotten a hold of this one.
jaggs 14 hours ago 1 reply      
"The room is full. Please try again later."

You're gonna need a bigger boat.

codingdave 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Real-time file sharing on a site that seems to have already become a real-time UI to 4chan....

Let me think about this. No, no I don't trust my virus protection enough to open anything here.

rebel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this idea and I think this has the potential to be really amazing. I could see myself using it socially as well as a sort of remote office. The ability to have music autoplay (? it appears anyway, doesn't seem to be working for me right now) seems very interesting. I think you're really onto something with this. My main concern would be privacy before I started using this on any type of regular basis though. If you can solve that, or even really just make a self-hosted version, I'd be all over it.
Fundlab 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is there an upload limit? Is it possible to share a 5gb file?
pmelendez 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I find very interesting how a lot of people is sharing their resume, suddenly all the HN traffic (potential employers included) are reading random resumes.

I don't know if that would be effective at all but it is very interesting.

pearjuice 13 hours ago 0 replies      
>paul graham dancing with bill gates 1999.jpg

That escalated quickly.

keypusher 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The spam right now is out of control, but it might die off in a few days. You should consider using http://wiki.xkcd.com/irc/XKCD-SIGNAL mode for your chat.
jffry 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds really cool, but socket.io.js is throwing "Unexpected response code: 502" when attempting to make a websockets connection.

I'll have to try again later, I suppose.

ahoy 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw this a few weeks ago, very cool project you're working on. I love the proto-web feeling it has. All the best!
Geee 15 hours ago 1 reply      
This thing will explode. Get ready to monetize or shut it down :) Easy thing you could do is rate limit transfers by default and offer higher bandwidth with a small bitcoin payment.
Chromozon 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Might be desired behavior, but holding CRTL while clicking on a link in Firefox opens the link in a new tab, but it does not keep you on the main page. It's a bit annoying to click on a file and have to switch back to the homepage tab to get something else.
jameshsi 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting concept for sure. What's the tech behind this?
ElongatedTowel 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You count how many lines in the chat one has missed, but if you come back to the tab there is no indication where you left off. Might be useful.
bolder88 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of lag for a few people in a chatroom. Looks fun apart from that though.
desouzt 15 hours ago 1 reply      
It never ceases to amaze me how immature people can be when unleashed with this type of product!
gcv 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep it classy, Internet. Keep it classy.
toomuchtodo 15 hours ago 2 replies      
You should probably block EXE files for the safety of your users.
diaz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice and cool.

Just one thing, I like to open links in a new background tab, so I just CTRL + click or just middle click with the mouse, the first option is not working the last one is fine.

devinmontgomery 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like I reached out and touched the face of the Internet. This is very very cool.
dgouldin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd hoped this was something like Napster built on WebRTC data channel. No such luck.
Globz 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome project! I love the feel and the sharing mechanics!
volker48 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Trolls... Trolls everywhere.
Skovy 16 hours ago 1 reply      
So basically this is a porn site... It needs moderation badly!
shahar2k 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this kind of platform possible with WebRTC? (where the files are hosted on the users' computers instead of requiring your own servers?)
wehadfun 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad it dose not automatically show the images.
bigd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
AWESOMEI'm already addicted
scottydelta 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I just saw some sick stuff there which can't be unseen. :'(
dec0dedab0de 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe some kind of AV scanning as files are uploaded.
hippich 16 hours ago 1 reply      
asdad 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the source for this available somewhere?
scottydelta 16 hours ago 0 replies      
music piracy is the biggest issue you will face.
jayt92 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool site.
Da_Capo 16 hours ago 1 reply      
How are you handling piracy on the site? Surely that must be an issue. I see some torrents are being uploaded.
In CSS, px is not an angular measurement and it is not non-linear omnicognate.wordpress.com
317 points by jipumarino  20 hours ago   87 comments top 10
jahewson 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This article makes some good points but it's missing a bit of history. The reference pixel is defined at 96dpi because that's how Windows treated the screen in the days before high-dpi support. Mac OS treated the screen as 72dpi in the pre-retina days but most early websites were built to look correct on Windows. That's why MS Office fonts look too small on the Mac to this day: 26% too small to be precise.

This explains why CSS uses a human-eye based definition of the reference pixel: to escape from the Windows and Mac OS idea of the having a "logical dpi" which differs from the screen's actual, physical dpi. Indeed, Windows and Mac OS can not agree on what an "inch" is!

Go ahead and open up Word and Pages on the Mac and create a 12pt font - see the difference! This is the mess that the CSS reference pixel fixes.

rahul286 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
We spent time juggling between em and px before but from few months we are using "rem" unit.

It works nicely as we are also using font-icons everywhere.

See: http://snook.ca/archives/html_and_css/font-size-with-rem

twelvechairs 19 hours ago 2 replies      
whilst the detachment of 'px' and screen pixels is a no brainer in the modern world with its proliferation of pixel densities and viewing distances on different devices, the CSS standard could probably do a better job of explaining this.
ivanhoe 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't really understand why is it such a big deal how browsers internally define the size of pixels, do they use dpi or angles (it would be more correct to say trigonometry)? It is an interesting fact that I've never before really gave a thought, but complete irrelevant to anyone but guys building the browser rendering engines. And still now you have people calling for new "better" units and what not? Why? What am I missing?
kickingvegas 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Here we go again. IMHO, we need a new unit to unambiguously describe angular measure. But also we need to start demanding resolution independent units that map to real world measurements as well.


darkhorn 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Can we abandon these inches and miles please?!
Kiro 19 hours ago 3 replies      
So should you just use em for everything?
Hellenion 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The reason the standards don't speak of 2D euclidean geometry is because they (Very sensibly, IMO) left room for yet unknown devices that might not fit that description but still are able to conform.
JacobIrwin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Key takeaway: "1px is always equal to 0.75pt."
jmillikin 19 hours ago 6 replies      
This response is taking issue with the words used, rather than the underlying claim of the original article. In fact, this response contains a whole section and a diagram which are effectively supporting evidence for the original!

The most important thing to take away from the original is that the css unit "px" has no relationship to the actual size of a pixel on the screen, and all the physical units (inch, cm, pt) are defined in terms of the csspixel. So marking a button as "width: 1cm" will almost never render something over 1cm of the screen geometry.

Incidentally, this is why designers like device models with only a few geometries, such as the iPhone. They can do the math themselves to work out how many iphone-pixels are in a cm, and write their styles accordingly.

Sold just got acquired by Dropbox and closed their company usesold.com
82 points by alexeichemenda  10 hours ago   67 comments top 20
chrisacky 9 hours ago 10 replies      
The opening line follows the boilerplate trend of acquisition posts. Being acqui-hired is not something that you should be celebrating with your users... PERIOD. (On a side note, I'm genuinely happy for you all. Getting paid isn't a negative. It's a huge opportunity, but don't patronise your users).

"Yey us. :D We're super excited to announce we got acquired. High-five... too slow... Now go f* yourselves."

It's incredibly condescending to assume that any of your users share your happiness and are apart of this experience...

"Were really excited..."

You use "we" so many times as if your users are apart of your acqui-hire, yet only mention "you" (your users who made this possible) in the closing statement.

Be honest and graceful, but asking your users for a high five on the way out isn't the way to do it.

PS. I hate posting negative comments. I'm a Brit, and like to be polite all the time....

EDIT: Call me out on this if you think I'm wrong. Other people who have read it think I'm just reading into it way too much. I tend to agree that I'm particular, and it could easily be chalked down to me being overly zealous to criticize another successful acqui-hire. :)

itafroma 9 hours ago 2 replies      
As someone unfamiliar with Sold, I really appreciated the "What was Sold?" section: I rarely, if ever, see that on shutdown/acquisition placeholder pages and always wished more companies would do that.
zimbatm 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is how this letter reads to me:

Woohoo, we got acquired.

Thanks a lot for bringing our valuation up buy trusting us. We started $service to solve a problem that matters to you. Because of that we're joining $totally_unrelated_product.

Thanks for all the fish.

pinaceae 8 hours ago 0 replies      
funny, in the old school economy this would be a failure.

oh crap, i couldn't run my company, the business i have built. i have failed my employees, my vision, my customers. all for naught, i got swallowed and now i am an employee.

but in web/tech bubble? hooray, i flipped this shit for cash. so long suckas.

PhasmaFelis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Build popular service, attract loyal user base, sell popular service to bigger company so they can gut it and screw your users; business as usual in the startup world, judging by 5 years of HN and Slashdot.

Every time I suggest this might not be a cool thing, people tell me I just don't understand the business model, or something. Same thing yesterday when Microsoft announced they were ripping out Skype's API. It's weird.

zedpm 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Can anyone comment on the motivation for Dropbox to acquire a company that apparently helped people sell things? Is Dropbox interested in working in that domain or are they just picking up devs for their own product?
7Figures2Commas 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that a company named "Sold" sold itself when it got the chance.

Maybe more startups should choose M&A-friendly names. Acquired.io, which is available for registration, is a sure winner.

reustle 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I get a google products vibe from these sorts of acquisitions. Don't get too comfortable with that little startup! It could disappear tomorrow...
jordanthoms 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a bit of a shame, Sold seemed like a good idea - I have some stuff I'd like to get rid of, but don't want to spend much time setting up the listing etc.

I didn't actually use them because they hadn't branched out into the product category (PC Hardware) that I would have used them for.

vdaniuk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
First post I've read on HN today and here are the summarized talking points of commenters:

1. Oh noes, they are celebrating their acquisition with users. That jerks!

2. Small startups are like Google products -- prone to be discontinued or acquired and closed. Beware!

3. They failed their users and their business model is a failure. Failue!

4. "What is sold?", "meh", "puns".

I love HN technical discussions but startup or business threads? So much negativity... Thats enogh HN for me for today.

Congratulations to Sold team!

Technologix 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really don't get why Dropbox has acquired during the past two years Snapjoy, Mailbox, Endorse and Sold. Their product didn't change at all...
Kenan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's the submission (and accompanying discussion) that introduced Sold to HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5801340
muratmutlu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like another one for http://ourincrediblejourney.tumblr.com/
DigitalJack 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I used it once and liked it. But they came across as dorky snobs in there marketing.
t0 9 hours ago 0 replies      
So they were acquihired?
renownedmedia 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess you could say they were...

(puts on sunglasses)


lukenyc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey Sold team... do you have any lessons learned to share with the community?
kehers 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sold sold. Nice pun :)
gtallen1187 8 hours ago 1 reply      
i'm really interested to see what dropbox plans on doing by acquiring a service like this. Any ideas?
jackhulsom 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats !
Valgrind Release 3.9.0 valgrind.org
121 points by conductor  14 hours ago   24 comments top 5
WalterBright 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Valgrind is a truly awesome product. It has saved me countless hours tracking down weird memory corruption errors.
FooBarWidget 12 hours ago 5 replies      
OS X 10.8 supported... 1 year after 10.8 is released, a few weeks after 10.9 is released. :(I'm not blaming the authors. The OS X kernel is a moving target. But this does make Valgrind rather useless on OS X. Every time I want to use Valgrind I'm forced to use Linux.
chengiz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> Helgrind: False errors resulting from the use of statically initialised mutexes and condition variables have been removed. False errors resulting from the use of pthread_cond_waits that timeout, have been removed.

Awesome. There was no good way to write suppressions for those. I'm glad this got done.

izietto 12 hours ago 2 replies      
can someone suggest me a good tutorial for Valgrind? Thank you
X-Istence 10 hours ago 1 reply      
No FreeBSD support mentioned :-(
Javascript RAR reader github.com
17 points by nilgradisnik  4 hours ago   7 comments top 4
thristian 2 hours ago 2 replies      
That's interesting. So far as I know, the only documentation of the RAR compression algorithm is the official UnRAR tool, which (among other things) restricts you from using it to create a RAR-writer. There's also the GPL'd "unrar" based on UnRAR 2 (which doesn't handle modern RAR 3.x archives), and the GPL'd "unar". Given that this is under the MIT licence, it can't be derived from any of those other tool, so I guess it must be a from-scratch reimplementation.

Well done!

: http://www.rarlab.com/rar/unrarsrc-5.0.12.tar.gz: http://unarchiver.c3.cx/commandline

tdj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It would be good to note that this implementation doesn't actually support de-compression (as is also noted in the to-do list).

It is able to read headers and other metadata, as well as unpack files, but only if they're stored without compression: https://github.com/43081j/rar.js/blob/master/dist/rar.js#L54...

If I understand RAR, it actually uses a embedded virtual machine to specify the compression algorithm. That would have been the fun part.

goggles99 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is this just a POC to prove that JavaScript can be fast? This is a serious question. I am having a difficult time thinking of practical uses for this.
newsmaster 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice. Client side JS is getting more and more powerful. I've been playing with a JS gif compiler lately and I'm amazed it's even possible.
We're going to send out invitations to YC interviews close to midnight
159 points by pg  9 hours ago   96 comments top 58
pg 5 hours ago 7 replies      
While you're waiting, will you guys please remind yourselves that it's not the end of the world if you don't get invited to interviews? Drew Houston didn't get invited the first time he applied. And a good thing too, because the idea he applied with was not Dropbox, and if he'd used YC to launch that, he would probably never have started working on Dropbox.
jermaink 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello everyone, I just want to shout out to those who cross their fingers in front of the screens, hoping for an invitation or being afraid of a rejection. While I'm writing this, I have to say that I didn't apply (this year), but have been in touch with a few YC teams in the last years.

Everyone who goes through the application process knows what time it takes and what it's worth. Especially worth, because it enables you to reflect on many points and it forces you to make a point. If you are at an early stage working on your product and still iterate lots of ideas you exactly know how challenging that can be. Even recording a 1-min video can be very challenging, if the founders are not at the same time at the same place or have totally different risk aversions. Just ask yourself how much time you invested into the last point and how that could equal in lines of code for your product.

At different points in time, I lived with a few other YC applicant companies under one roof and could pretty well observe how each handled the application process and feedback. The most important take-away was that those teams were invited and accepted, who did not care very much about the outcome, while the others studied HN and the application chronologies like monks the Genesis and Levitikus. One team even developed a pathological detail in collecting recommendations from YC alumni, while other teams could tell you the number and names of teams within the last four badges. Unfortunately, the rather too-well informed teams had in common that they struggled to break down their idea into a single sentence.

YC is not about rejection, it's rather about selection. There is no inversion of this argument, so don't think you're not good enough. It's rather like the Matrix, selecting their Neo-teams with some mixture of likelihood and gut feeling. Just imagine the amount of applications they receive and the short time that allows them to go through it. There are so many small details and factors that flow into a decision that it would take days to summarize them. If you go only through traction and team behind your product, there might be a good chance to find a weak spot already.

Without any doubt, Y Combinator is a great way to start a company. In this regard, the book title "launch pad" might be just right. Its just as great as getting into a top university, because you get social proof and a valuable network in many ways (especially the internal startup economy and experience exchange has its benefits). 3, 2, 1 lift off. But at the same point, being at YC might be no self-fulfilling prophecy, even if someone could easily calculate the valuation effects (on paper). Also, getting into YC should not be for the sake of getting into YC. If you really believe into yourself and your idea, you have to make it without a program like this - like all the successful entrepreneurs did before accelerators even existed. Even if there was a launch pad, they still needed to work on their rocket too. Today, you even have a big advantage: YC and its alumni offer so much for free. Not only HN but all the input on the website, blogs, alumni advice, startup school etc. From my experience, the network is not a closed fortress but a very open community with people that care much more about your own ideas than your credentials and affiliations. It's an open university where you can access many resources that might be helpful as long as you dont read them like the truth and the only truth. Now I don't want to put my head above the parapet and speculate too much, but at the core of YC might be a socratic method, which is about finding truth within the dialogue. Literally, dialogue means the exchange (dia) of reason (logos), where reason means anything between rational, valid and practical. Partners challenge your ideas and approaches and as a result of dialogue, both of you are likely to find something useful to take-away. The advantage of this is that while your best friends are rather likely to tell you lots of things that sounds good to you but are not necessarily the truth, YC might be brutally honest in sending you reasonable signals.

To come to a point: If you don't make it into YC, my advice is to take care about four things:

1. Find people (friends and customers) who give you honest signals and that let you know when you're running into the wrong direction.

2. PG essays are like the encyclicals of the YC community and they have great points. But be sure to read between the lines and to find your personal take-away, your reason.

3. Do not study how to apply successfully or how to hack the process. This is no GMAT or a gumball machine. Try to find out how YC helped the companies who started here, struggled after demo day or came up with a new idea. Maybe, you can emulate some of these things and benefit from information.

4. If you have problems making decisions like continuing on an idea or not as a result of not being accepted - throw a coin into the air and decide for head or tail with each one decision. The outcome that you desire while the coin still twists in the air is what you should do.

Surely, these methods don't replace an office hour but they at least enable you to improve your experience.

Good luck and march on!

saihan-tal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Rejection letter arrived when I was writing a letter to a customer and when the first actual transaction took place on this 3 weeks old platform. Ugh. Honestly the latter didn't make me feel better, though I didn't quite expect a miracle, because expecting a miracle often indicates the short of preparation. This is be a 4-star strenuous hiking trail, we are a beginner level; next time we'll be real fit. Congratulations to all got the interview and good luck! Virtual toast to everybody who received the same letter, c u soon again on HN.
NamTaf 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck, everyone! Remember me when you're rich beyond your wildest dreams!
saihan-tal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it too early to propose a Google Hangout like thing between teams got rejection letters? So we could share some ideas and encourage to take further marching/pivoting. Up vote?
PabloOsinaga 7 hours ago 1 reply      
But you did decide to fund "less" startups when you had some scaling issues. Does this mean you said "no" to startups that you would've said "yes" to if you had scaled well?

It looks like the increase in quality of startups is an independent factor to your ability to accept all of the really good ones.

Does this mean that you will need to figure out how to scale more aggressively or start rejecting more and more good startups?

netpenthe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
how rejection letter feels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePQcRspK5z8
mathrawka 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, it sounds like you have something that is doing well and you should be able to manage without YC!
Tarang 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just got my rejection message. At least its worded very thoughtfully it makes it a bit easier.
zekenie 9 hours ago 1 reply      
What about rejection emails? Same time?
sashaeslami 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Technocrats don't pray often, but......
saihan-tal 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck to everybody. Let's get more productive in the waiting hrs. May the force be with you.
jtcchan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Letter's are coming out - just got my rejection letter. Grrr.. back to work.
bustamove4 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Just got back from "I didn't get to Round 2-Comfort Food trip to Rite Aid for best ice cream ever- Thrifty brand mint chocolate-chip," and they definitely stop serving ice cream well before midnight, so logically, a second trip is out of the question, which means I will haavve to get an interview. ;) Good luck All and when in doubt - Rite Aid's Thrifty ice cream :)
powerpoetry 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Any other non-profit applicants out there? Would love to connect with other non-profit tech folks regardless of YC outcomes :)
Mimino 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Strange. It looks like noone even clicked on the video or demo link in our application. Does this happen a lot?
pgrote 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck to those that are waiting!
anamecheverri 3 hours ago 0 replies      
just got my rejection letter :-(
smaili 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update!

Good luck to all who applied!

brothe2000 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I am just happy that we have an opportunity to apply for something like this. Filling out the app was a good exercise in focusing my idea.
gemstone 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm full of excitement and hope
gemstone 5 hours ago 0 replies      
PG How many applications did you recieve ?
rladson 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I rarely get nervous, but this time around I am. Good luck to everyone!
dzink 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So, who is building up your startups while you're waiting for an interview? Back to work, YC candidates! ;)
clola 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The kind of euphoria that could be on the way?...


johiya 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Thanks for the update. I was wondering what's happening to the results. It's 10:15am on 5th Nov already in India.
motocycle 3 hours ago 1 reply      
maybe it's good that it's not easy to go get alcohol at this time of the night (3am east coast)
maikoo811 3 hours ago 2 replies      
got invitation! now booking flight from tokyo.
gemstone 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank You everybody at Y combinator For giving us a platform to do great things
blak3r 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Love having extra justification for staying up way past 3am EST tonight :)
asadlionpk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November..."
mknappen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update!
colingrussing 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Thanks for the update, I had already become despondent, but am now reinvigorated!
roryreiff 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for keeping us informed - excited to see the results!
clola 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks...We too are in a different time zone. No sleep until 3am :)
cscade2012 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update. Good luck everyone!
aut0n0m3 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for the info.
ravshan707 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck, everyone!
conorpp 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Fingers crossed
StyleSage 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Time to watch some BSG reruns.
bepitulaz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll be wait and pray :D
calvinapp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck everyone!
thirdknife 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck everyone!
andrescala 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice! We'll be waiting!
fatoki09 4 hours ago 0 replies      
this is beautiful. thanks pg.
aglevy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck to everyone.
hariharasudhan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Fingers Crossed!
FYI 7 hours ago 0 replies      

Thanks pg.

michaelZejoop 3 hours ago 0 replies      
rejection letter
talibro 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking forward)
kuntsevich 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Shivering inside :)
thilton1984 8 hours ago 0 replies      
That's awesome!
imd23 9 hours ago 0 replies      
jaggill 7 hours ago 0 replies      
iamtechaddict 7 hours ago 0 replies      
gailees 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hell yeah :)
UmohPeter 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We will be waiting...
aryatoufanian 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Even in the dark, brain sees its own bodys movement vanderbilt.edu
25 points by d4vlx  6 hours ago   7 comments top 5
kghose 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've seen this doing the rounds, and I'm a bit surprised by the publicity it's getting. The interpretation of the results is fanciful. The results merely show that a person's report of an event will be biased by their expectations. This can be done with anything. There are more rigorous studies of "efference copy" which are actual signals that are sent out to different parts of the brain indicating that a movement is about to be made. Such efference copies are important for actions involving timing where the proprioceptive feedback from the limbs would arrive too late to be useful (so some brain regions get a predictive signal that allows them to plan further action in time).
techtalsky 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought there was a word for this: proprioception. The fact that this could bleed into visual perception does not seem surprising. Your brain has a sense of your body's position in space.
cmsimike 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A few years ago, I took a tour of this underground cavern in Northern California. About 50 stories (this may be incorrect) underground with absolutely no natural light coming in.

The tour guide took us to the deepest part, turned of all the lights and told us that this was what being in absolute darkness was like. The tour guide also told us to wave our hands in front of our faces. I thought I saw my own hand in front of me and before I had a chance to comment about that, the tour guide mentioned how if you think you see your hand, you're not.

Glad I came across this. Really helps shine some light (I'm sorry) on what I saw.

nitrogen 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've noticed this effect (based on the title) when I close my eyes in a very dark room. I can sometimes "see" a very faint silhouette of my arms, and sometimes the object they're holding, roughly where they should be if the lights were on, slightly darker than the eigengrau[0]. I've wondered whether part of my brain is generating an "expectance mask" (my made up term) in my visual system.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eigengrau

blowski 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't get the difference between 'seeing' my hand, and looking in the direction of where I know my hand to be.
Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable arxiv.org
182 points by arh68  19 hours ago   76 comments top 22
cs702 18 hours ago 3 replies      
The authors argue that if a "selfish" mining pool of size above a certain threshold keeps newly discovered blocks secret, this pool will be able to build a private block chain that is temporarily longer than the public one, frequently enough to make the selfish strategy more profitable than the honest one (by revealing longer private chains just before the public one catches up), so in theory more and more rational miners will join the selfish pool, which will therefore quickly grow to control a majority of all nodes.

In theory. There are many complex and subtle issues that must be thoroughly analyzed before passing judgment on this paper. For example, what if other miners, instead of joining the selfish pool, decide to create their own competing selfish pools? Also, as nullc points out elsewhere on this thread[1] and the Bitcoin Forum[2], peering between miners is already so extensive that temporarily keeping blocks secret could be much costlier than assumed by the authors of the paper.

The Bitcoin community must go through this paper in detail, but IF the authors' logic and math prove correct, this could be a real vulnerability.


[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6669735

[2] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=324413.msg3476697#ms...


Edits: moved paragraphs around and added sentence about and footnotes pointing to nullc's thoughts.

michael_nielsen 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The key idea is very simple and is very clearly explained on pages 6-7:

"When the public branch is longer than the private branch, the selfish mining pool is behind the public branch. Because of the power differential between the selfish miners and the others, the chances of the selfish miners mining on their own private branch and overtaking the main branch are small. Consequently, the selfish miner pool simply adopts the main branch whenever its private branch falls behind. As others find new blocks and publish them, the pool updates and mines at the current public head."

"When the selfish miner pool finds a block, it is in an advantageous position with a single block lead on the public branch on which the honest miners operate. Instead of naively publishing this private block and notifying the rest of the miners of the newly discovered block, selfish miners keep this block private to the pool. There are two outcomes possible at this point: either the honest miners discover a new block on the public branch, nullifying the pool's lead, or else the pool mines a second block and extends its lead on the honest miners."

"In the first scenario where the honest nodes succeed in finding a block on the public branch, nullifying the selfish pool's lead, the pool immediately publishes its private branch (of length 1). This yields a toss-up where either branch may win. The selfish miners unanimously adopt and extend the previously private branch, while the honest miners will choose to mine on either branch, depending on the propagation of the notifications. If the selfish pool manages to mine a subsequent block ahead of the honest miners that did not adopt the pool's recently revealed block, it publishes immediately to enjoy the revenue of both the first and the second blocks of its branch. If the honest miners mine a block after the pool's revealed block, the pool enjoys the revenue of its block, while the others get the revenue from their block. Finally, if the honest miners mine a block after their own block, they enjoy the revenue of their two blocks while the pool gets nothing."

"In the second scenario, where the selfish pool succeeds in finding a second block, it develops a comfortable lead of two blocks that allow it with some cushion against discoveries by the honest miners. Once the pool reaches this point, it continues to mine at the head of its private branch. It publishes one block from its private branch for every block the others find. Since the selfish pool is a minority, its lead will eventually reduce to a single block with high probability. At this point, the honest miners are too close, so the pool publishes its private branch. Since the private branch is longer than the public branch by one block, it is adopted by all miners as the main branch, and the pool enjoys the revenue of all its blocks. This brings the system back to a state where there is just a single branch until the pool bifurcates it again."

nullc 17 hours ago 2 replies      
My (Greg Maxwell, a developer of the Bitcoin reference client) preliminary look at it is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=324413.msg3476697#ms...

In short, the new thing here is the assumption that the attacker uses a network positional advantage to eliminate the loss associated with delaying blocks.

I am not fond of their proposed solution, since it creates a size advantage for large miners (of sizes which have already existed) in all cases, even without the network attack.

I'd rather initially focus on strengthening the network against the formation of the positional advantage in the short term. (There is already some belief that there is extensive peering between miners making the attack ineffective, but its impossible to know if its adequate, so there is no harm in in strengthening that some.)

JumpCrisscross 17 hours ago 3 replies      
"We propose a simple, backwards-compatible change to the Bitcoin protocol to address this problem and raise the threshold. Specically, when a miner learns of competing branches of the same length, it should propagate all of them, and choose which one to mine on uniformly at random."

Former algorithmic trader here. This solution does not appear to be incentive-compatible.

Suppose there are two branches, 0 and 0'. Miner receives 0 first. The probability of mining a block is proportional to the time spent mining. Miner thus (a) starts mining 0 immediately upon notification and (b) has a greater probability of finding a block on 0 than 0'. It is thus in Miner's interest for 0 to become the blockchain versus 0'. Since other miners are following a similar logic, it is in the miner's interest to propagate 0 over 0'.

Randomly selecting which branch to mine is rational only if (i) both branches arrive at the same time and (ii) there is no information about which branch other miners are showing preference towards.

racbart 18 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a summary of my understanding of their method after a very quick scan of their docs:

They assume working as a malicious/selfish pool having less than 50% of hash rate, but still a significant portion of the total hash rate. All other miners that are not part of the selfish pool are called honest miners.

When selfish pool finds a block, they don't advertise it but continue mining their forked, private blockchain. They have an advantage of one block over the public blockchain now. Of course they have no chance of building longer blockchain in the long term, as they have less than 50% of hashing power and the public blockchain will always get longer after some number of blocks. But what they count on is this:

Scenario 1: honest miners discover a block and the public blockchain gets the same length as the selfish blockchain. They immediately publish their block as soon as they discover someone else discovered a block. They hope to create a race condition and a public blockchain fork - so that some hones miners will get the honest block, but some of honest miners will get their selfish block and start mining using it as a base. Having some of the honest miners on their side they have a chance that their fork will get longer and the honest fork will be declined by the network.

Scenario 2: selfish pool is lucky and discovers another block, giving their blockchain two blocks advantage over the public blockchain. They continue mining and they publish one block for every block discovered by the honest miners. This creates race condition with some of the honest miners on their side, but they still have some blocks found and not published. They publish all their remaining blocks as soon as their advantage decreases to one block. The network chooses their branch as it's longer and they get all the reward coins from their secretly mined chain.

Now, I know nothing about blocks discovery/notification mechanisms over the network and how fast it works, so an important question to someone knowledgeable is if this is a probable scenario that their block published only after some competing block has been found and published has still a chance to get to some significant number of honest miners first so that they start mining over their block - as this is required for their strategy to work.

If the above is viable, then this strategy of course requires some significant hash rate share, but I remember that even having 10% of total hash rate, the probability that you will mine couple of blocks in a row is quite high - and that's all you need to create situations when you have two-three blocks advantage over the public blockchain.

sktrdie 15 hours ago 1 reply      
For people that don't get it. The idea is simple. If you're a pool with 25% hashing power you can sort of make this happen. What you do is that you mine like a regular pool. In fact it's not a dishonest pool but it's called selfish because it acts like a normal pool. Say you find a block, which happens like any other pool. Instead of publishing it, you keep it private. This is the key.

Now with enough tries it will happen that you find two blocks in a row - again happens all the time with pools. But what you do is that you wait until the other pools find theirs. Once they find the block (you already found it remember?), or they've wasted many cycles finding it, you publish yours that you've found already.

By doing this you kind of selectively publish the blocks you find, wasting other pools cycles and sort of giving you a heads start for the next block search. It's all actually about building a pool that selectively publishes blocks so that it can get you a heads start for the next mining cycle. Miners will likely join this selfish pool because they'll have a heads start and not feel as though their hashing power is going to waste since it's constantly being invalidated by the selfish pool (by publishing blocks at specific times).

The paper assumes there's only one selfish pool. I presume that if a selfish pool arises, there will also be a variety of other selfish pools arising at the same time. If all pools are acting this way, then there's really no incentive for miners to go to any specific pool (avoiding centralization). So it will just be like regular mining again.

sanxiyn 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Discussion on Bitcoin Reddit (including comments from Bitcoin developers): http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1puk1a/arxiv_paper_...
axefrog 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I find the very idea of doing anything that would undermine the Bitcoin network to be self defeating and therefore highly unlikely. Miners have a vested interest in high prices, and seeing as doing anything which undermines the network would cause a loss of faith in Bitcoin and cause the price to drop precipitously, I can't imagine the mining community would be particularly interested.
rwallace 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Doesn't sound right to me.

The proposed selfish mining strategy in a nutshell is: when you find a block, keep it secret in the hope of finding a second one that will give you the leverage to start messing around. If someone else finds a block before you find your second, go ahead and publish.

Since by hypothesis you have a minority of the total computing power, usually someone else will find a block before you find your second.

But by the time you become aware of this, at least some other miners are also aware of it, whereas no others are yet aware of your block. With the 'first wins' tiebreaker, usually that means your block gets lost. So most of the time you lose out. So on average, selfish mining loses, at least as long as your computing power is small compared to the network total.

Is there something I'm missing?

rheide 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't see this posing a serious threat to Bitcoin. If I understand this correctly the idea relies on mining a block and keeping it secret so that the selfish miners can start mining on the next coin. But they can't change the properties of the network. They'll have to respect Bitcoin's difficulty calculation, since if they try to change that, the main Bitcoin network will reject their chain. Plus, they'll need tons and tons of hashing power to stay ahead of the network.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but even if you've got future blocks precomputed for weeks in advance, all it takes is someone else finding the current block by chance to completely invalidate your private chain?

betterunix 19 hours ago 1 reply      
What would help is formalizing the Bitcoin security requirements, so that we do not need to apply ad-hoc fixes when this happens.
codeulike 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The key idea behind this strategy, called Selsh Mining, is for a pool to keep its discovered blocks private, thereby intentionally forking the chain. The honest nodes continue to mine on the public chain, while the pool mines on its own private branch. If the pool discovers more blocks, it develops a longer lead on the public chain, and continues to keep these new blocks private. When the public branch approaches the pool's private branch in length, the selsh miners reveal blocks from their private chain to the public.

I don't see how this will work in practice. If you're keep discovered blocks private, how are you taking part in bitcoin as a whole? You're just sitting on private info about transactions that may as well be made-up.

nextstep 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Can anyone read the paper? I don't understand how a minority group of colluding miners could privately mine a longest fork of the blockchain. Wouldn't this take more than 50% hashing power?
ColinDabritz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a lot of discussion of the propagation of publishing blocks and reacting to the publication of a competing block. In this strategy, the 'selfish' pool could take a probabilistic approach, and simply hold on to their private block for "a while" based on the probability of someone else providing the competing block (obviously still publishing instantly if a competing block is found).

This means they still get some advantage, in a time lead over the general network, but they balance out some of the costs and risks of waiting. They will get their lucky block-ahead of the network less often, but perhaps it is a better strategy. Fascinating stuff.

emin-gun-sirer 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm one of the co-authors on this paper. Those of you looking for a tl;dr can check out this blog post (http://hackingdistributed.com/2013/11/04/bitcoin-is-broken/) on the attack and its implications.
asperous 8 hours ago 0 replies      
PDF source didn't work for me, here is a more direct link:


tlrobinson 17 hours ago 1 reply      
In Bitcoin's (admittedly short) history we've seen miners voluntarily switching away from more profitable mining pools because those pools were approaching a majority share of the network.

I have a hard time seeing a majority of miners sabotage themselves like this, but preemptive solutions are definitely worth looking at.

IgorPartola 18 hours ago 2 replies      
On a somewhat unrelated note, I'd love to have something like Heroku for mining. Basically, you sell me computing units at some USD rate, and I get BTC as the computing units mine. If I am lucky, the payout in USD-equivalent BTC is larger than my payment to you. Way easier than the DIY mining rigs, so charging a nice premium wouldn't be unacceptable.
atiffany 16 hours ago 0 replies      
How can we be guaranteed the people responsible for approving Bitcoin's pull requests are responsible and unselfish?

In theory, what is the worst thing that could happen if a "selfish" version of Bitcoin was released?

Tloewald 14 hours ago 1 reply      
So, what are the chances the NSA doesn't already effectively own Bitcoin?
0xdeadbeefbabe 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This paper fails to take into account that bitcoin miners are virtuous unlike their fiat currency capitalist counterparts.
runn1ng 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If everyone adopts this strategy, everyone will be mining their own private blocks and there will be no more confirmed blocks, ever.
Apple Opening Arizona Plant With 2,000 Workers to Make Parts bloomberg.com
44 points by dcg  9 hours ago   27 comments top 5
vidarh 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article contents and headline disagree with each other. The article contents says that the facility will create 2000 jobs in various fields in Arizona. But towards the end,Arizona's governor is quoted as saying the facility will create at least 700 jobs, as well as "1,300 construction and associated positions in the state", with no word on how many of those positions are temporary jobs related to the construction of the facility itself.
pmorici 7 hours ago 7 replies      
So do the economics actually favor moving some manufacturing back to the US now or is this a token measure just attractive enough because of the right amount of tax incentives mixed with the intangible benefits like good PR?

Whenever I read these "Apple is bring manufacturing back to the US" stories all I can think of is the famous exchange between Steve Jobs and the President where Jobs supposedly said flat out, "those jobs aren't coming back" [0] Granted Apply has been known to make definitive statements like that only to do a 180 not long after.

[0] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and...?

logn 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder what the tax incentives to Apple were. A local story [1] reported: "Apple could qualify for several different state tax credits. An offer from the Arizona Commerce Authority is currently on the table but hasn't been finalized, senior vice president Nicole McTheny said."

I don't like tax incentives for big businesses to locate to a particular state. I see why they happen, as each state is put in a position to outbid the others and businesses are compelled to take free money. We should outlaw this practice with federal law and stop taking money from the middle-class to benefit the rich, under threats of having no jobs.

[1] http://www.petaluma360.com/article/20131104/WIRE/131109835/1...

lstamour 7 hours ago 2 replies      
So what do we think they're manufacturing with sapphire? Watch faces or 4K touch screens? Perhaps gearing up for an extra-secret (no manufacturing leaks) iPhone 6?
timhargis 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I grew up in Mesa and it's nice to see this happen here. Phoenix isn't a large tech hub and by Apple putting this plant in Mesa, this will help put it on the map (on a smaller scale)
Long Before Trees Overtook the Land, Earth Was Covered by Giant Mushrooms smithsonianmag.com
154 points by wozniacki  17 hours ago   44 comments top 23
ChuckMcM 16 hours ago 4 replies      
What an interesting idea, I can't help but visualize Zangermarsh[1] :-) Interesting question about what it might gain evolutionarily by being tall, perhaps more moisture exposure but as others have pointed out fungal mats get that by just being wide and covering a lot of area. Of course if you were competing with a fungal mat being tall might be one strategy.

[1] Its a World of Warcraft zone

ISL 15 hours ago 1 reply      
retrogradeorbit 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually reading the article, came across:

"So science is messy, and despite more than a century of digging, we still dont really know, for sure, what these huge spires that dominated the ancient Earth really were."

So despite the link-bait title, we still don't know and they may not be giant mushrooms.

rz2k 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This discussion has a pretty amazing number of references to fantasy or science fiction worlds. I count eight so far.

* WoW - Zangermarsh

* Elder Scrolls - Vvardenfell

* StarCraft - Mutalisks

* Smurfs

* Mario Brothers

* Jules Verne - Journey to the Center of the Earth

* Miyazaki - Nausicaa and the Valley of the Winds

* Paul Stamet - Mycelium Running

pachydermic 16 hours ago 0 replies      
That's awesome. It must have been a giant mushroom, because that's the coolest possible outcome. It's like I'm in Vvardenfell all over again...
Symmetry 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what those fungus lived on? This was in the era before fungus could metabolize cellulose. Maybe, unlike modern fungus, they just grew bit by bit? The fact that dead wood couldn't easily be digested is part of the reason the Earth's O2 level was so high back in the day, and why you could get coal or oil deposits even without anoxic conditions.

EDIT: All interesting information above from friends who know way more about the subject than me, who I told about the article. Any mistakes are probably mine.

patrickg_zill 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Am I just a huge anime nerd, or did anyone else immediately think of the early Miyazaki film "Nausicaa and the Valley of the Winds"?
jostmey 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Why is it assumed that these mushrooms would grow straight and tall? Trees grow tall to maximize their exposure to their primary energy source, which is of course light. But why would a mushroom need to grow really tall. Don't they obtain all their energy from the land?
FrankenPC 14 hours ago 2 replies      
So... Jules Verne was right about YET ANOTHER thing? RE: Ancient giant mushrooms dotting the shore of the prehistoric coast in Journey to the Center of the Earth.
opinali 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Smurfs were real, and normal size! It's the mushrooms that were big enough to carve houses inside.
redwood 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As these broke down and broke down other things around them, they probably created soil (as funguses still help to do) which enabled more advanced plant life to thrive. Love it
triplesec 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget the huge Oregon Fungus, an Armillaria ostoyae which is the world's largest organism http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but...
bayesianhorse 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Giant living spires? Better watch out for mutalisks then ...
basyt 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
har har morrowind har har...
mcv 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool! I've often imagined alien worlds that had nothing resembling plants or animals, and they invariably ended up with giant fungi. Turns out many of the craziest life forms we can imagine have already existed on Earth.
huhalu 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting. Could fungi photosynthesize? I thought not. Unless the earth was covered as a marshland, it would be unlikely mushrooms covered earth. It is likely they are popular around coastal area.
rickyconnolly 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude in article pic looks like he's an expert on mushrooms
NN88 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess now might be a good time to mention John Marco Allegro's theories on the amanita muscaria and its role influencing major religions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Allegro
muloka 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I first heard about this in Paul Stamet's book Mycelium Running.

Its too bad they include this period of Earth's history more prominently in high school.

Apocryphon 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Makes one wonder if the pipes in Super Mario Bros. led to not where- but when?
krrishd 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The first thing that came to mind: Minecraft.
ChrisArchitect 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a mushroom,It's a fungus,And they're growing all around usand among us
ffrryuu 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Back then, gravity was a lot less, so soft bodies can grow huge. Now they can't.
What's new in Unicode 7.0? babelstone.blogspot.co.uk
68 points by conductor  12 hours ago   27 comments top 6
brownbat 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The current dispute between Marshallese and Latvian is a phenomenal example of the sort of puzzles here.

Apparently the Marshallese require some characters to display with cedillas, and Latvian has characters traditionally named "(some letter) WITH CEDILLA" even though they are displayed with commas... so if you just say "LETTER WITH CEDILLA" it's now not clear whether you mean cedilla or comma, and correcting it would break Latvian.


Not sure how they do this work without going slowly insane.

pilsetnieks 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Isn't Linear A a little bit of an overkill? I mean, if we at least knew what it meant, maybe then, but now?
acqq 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I see one character that will be hugely successful now that it's standardized: 1f595
jayfuerstenberg 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Surprising that it took this long to introduce the middle finger as a standard character.

Emails will never be the same again.

etfb 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Still no Klingon? Quvatlh!
xrt 9 hours ago 2 replies      
They lost me when they went to 21 bits.
Show HN: Backtick A console for bookmarklets and scripts backtick.io
78 points by JoelBesada  13 hours ago   25 comments top 13
MrOrelliOReilly 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I seriously love this and am already making some commands for personal use :)

However is there currently a way to pass parameters to a command? Right now I'm using window.prompt() to get user input. It'd be nice if I could enter something like 'mycommand:parameter1,parameter2'. Maybe an excuse to fork the repo...

Great work though!

EDIT I had only been using the extension on backtick.io before, but when I use it on other pages the console does not appear. This appears to be a problem with the CSS - when I inspect element on the page I can see that the HTML has rendered. By default opacity is set to 0 on the #console div - setting it to 1 fixes the problem.

lox 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried creating an "Add to Pinboard" backtick command:


The script works fine in Chrome's console, but fails as a backtick script.

Aside from that, icons served from http show mixed content warnings on https pages. Would be good to require icons are either data uris or https.

k3n 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Compatibility and UX qualms aside, this is a really fun little project.

It'd be fun to bake something like this into your app even, which I'm sure you've considered, but it'd make a nice little poweruser/admin tool, especially for those who prefer keyboard over mouse. For instance, I'm picturing Github with their command-bar backing it.

xbryanx 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a nice idea and the design is elegant. However, I already use Vimium's "b" key command for this, and it comes with so many other features too.
wesley 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Any chance of this coming to Safari too?
lightyrs 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is phenomenal but I feel a lot of people are not understanding its purpose. Perhaps you could better explain what it's really for.
jimmcslim 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm finding that it swallows the first keystroke after `. So `fontBomb results in ontBomb appearing in the popup.

Windows; Chrome 30.0.1599.101

ps4fanboy 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought this was for bookmark searching, that would have been far more useful.
splatzone 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Fantastic. I would never have thought of that. Great execution.

Is there a repository of bookmarklets that this could hook into?

sushi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. Quite possibly one of the best solutions I have seen so far to manage bookmarklets.
krrishd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
for some reason,the only site that backtick is working for me on is the backtick site itself.
elwell 7 hours ago 0 replies      
upvote for fontBomb!
abimaelmartell 11 hours ago 1 reply      
not working on spanish iMac keyboard...
Lenovo pursued BlackBerry bid, but Ottawa rejected idea theglobeandmail.com
25 points by hdevalence  7 hours ago   9 comments top 4
fidotron 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If only they'd have such concerns about a US company acquiring them . . .

Blocking any potential Chinese purchase out of hand is a fantastic way to devalue the company given the way the hardware industry has been moving. There must be smarter ways to handle this.

terhechte 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Why aren't Google, Microsoft or Apple interested in Buying BlackBerry? Blackberry should have quite some patents in the mobile space, no? It is sad if companies are bought just for that, but I'm wondering why the big players are not interested in it.
justincormack 1 hour ago 0 replies      
National security is better served by it going bust?
Merrrrs 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe Lenovo could buy BlackBerry and make ThinkPad type phones. how sick would that be?
       cached 5 November 2013 11:02:01 GMT