hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    16 Jan 2014 News
home   ask   best   4 years ago   
OpenBSD will shut down if we do not have the funding to keep the lights on marc.info
373 points by openbsddesktop  4 hours ago   178 comments top 26
jxf 3 hours ago 6 replies      
Just to make the call to action a little more direct, the donation link is here:


jdludlow 2 hours ago 8 replies      

  > The OpenBSD project uses a lot of electricity for running the  > development and build machines.  A number of logistical reasons  > prevents us from moving the machines to another location which might  > offer space/power for free, so let's not allow the conversation to go  > that way.
I don't understand this comment. If the choice came down to moving versus shutting down entirely, why is moving an unacceptable answer?

4ad 3 hours ago 4 replies      
PaulRobinson 2 hours ago 8 replies      
So let's deal with the elephant in the room: the OpenBSD project is run by complete and utter jerks. Not just Theo, but he has set the bar quite low when it comes to friendliness and tolerance of questions from younger/less experienced contributors. Linus' rants on the Linux kernel lists are almost cookie cutter copies of Theo's.

There is "opinionated software" and then there is Theo being an intolerable, obnoxious, ego-maniac.

As such many people are going to see this and laugh and think "good riddance", and will be happy to see OpenBSD disappear.

That will only be enhanced by the fact the books are closed, the shortfall on the electric bill is inexplicably $20k, and nobody is prepared to explain the detail.

In essence rudeness + shady accounting practice != open source community that should feel a sense of entitlement from non-core users

It's a shame because the code (especially the crypto code) is really good. Seriously, go read it: I used to love reading the OpenBSD source, but I never contributed anything because Theo was such an absolute jerk.

I hope the guys who work on the crypto stuff at least either keep doing so elsewhere (Free- or Net-), or a new project without the need for $20k in electricity bills spins up to keep going.

orbitur 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I feel like it's useful to point that OpenBSD won't say exactly why the bill is so high, and apparently they don't have open accounting. That bothers me a bit.

Link to relevant reddit comment thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/1vakm9/openbsd_develo...

simias 3 hours ago 5 replies      
As a long time FreeBSD user I wish the BSDs would find a way to "unite" in a way, try to put redundant infrastructures in common.

Right now I feel like linux is slowly eating all the market share, if it continues that way the BSDs will regress back to the lines of Hurd and Plan9.

Competition is always a good thing, even in the OSS world.

fidotron 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As I commented when this appeared here the other day as: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7059581

The fact this was submitted here and disappeared is kind of indicative of their problems.

xradionut 2 hours ago 5 replies      
They could probably kill support and power for some of the "dead silicon" platforms they support. If the CPU hasn't been manufactured in the last decade or two, why support it?
blhack 2 hours ago 1 reply      
They accept bitcoins, here is their donation page, and they're the people that maintain openSSH, the software that I'd bet ALL of us use every day:


cpprototypes 2 hours ago 7 replies      
A little bit off topic, but this reminds me again of how much the web needs an easy payment system (as easy as in-app purchases in mobile). EFF, wikipedia, I often see notices or news of things they're doing and think to myself that I should donate. But I'm usually in the middle of something and stopping everything to take out my wallet, get the CC, fill out a form, etc. is just too disruptive. So I try to remind myself to do it later, but then forget.
justin66 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
I get that a lot of people don't care. I even get that some people have an unrealistic expectation that they should know how every dime of their donation is going to be accounted for, an expectation that must either not extend to their other charitable donations or serve as an indicator that they don't give a lot of money to charities at all.

What I don't get is where people - presumably people involved in information technology - conclude that $20k/year is a lot of money to spend on electricity. What utopia of free electricity for all are these people living in? Can I host a few servers there?

pyvpx 3 hours ago 0 replies      
all I want to say on this (to me, tiresome) topic is: if you or your company (especially if that is one and the same!!!!1) have ever used OpenSSH you should at the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM buy a damn CD. you really ought to donate a solid hundred in your local currency but if you can't, skip a couple pints this month and buy a CD.

if you use CARP or OpenBGPd and have never bought a CD, you need to buy two ;p

brasetvik 2 hours ago 2 replies      
You may not be using OpenBSD, but the same organization is behind OpenSSH.

Imagine being without ssh, then go donate. :)

jlgaddis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I read through some of this thread last night and was about to throw them a few bucks. I don't really consider myself an OpenBSD user although I do have a router here that runs it for pf. Other than that, I haven't touched it in probably a decade.

I'm glad I read through the whole thread because by the time I got to the end of it I had changed my mind. In one e-mail to the list, Theo basically said (in effect) that a donation of $20 wasn't even worth it. (Granted, $20 isn't much in the grand scheme of things but I feel that it reasonable covers my use of OpenBSD.)

There are many people who think that Theo is the worst thing for the Project (because he's such an asshole). OTOH, however, there are many who think that the Project wouldn't exist if it weren't for Theo.

jlgaddis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Although the priority at this point is certainly paying the electric bill, you might also consider taking a look at the "Hardware Wanted" page [0] and seeing if you have anything laying around that one of the developers can use. It's typically not brand new top-of-the-line gear they're looking for so you might be surprised.

[0]: http://openbsd.org/want.html

akulbe 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you use OpenSSH... you benefit from OpenBSD's work, even if you're not an OpenBSD user.

SSH alone, and all the utilities that use it... have made my work/life SOOOOOO much easier. That may sound silly, but when you don't have to search for some 3rd-party utility because what you need is built-in... it makes life easier.

I'm donating.

plainOldText 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not an OpenBSD user, but I like their focus on security. And this could be a positive influence on other platforms. Donated.
openbsddesktop 55 minutes ago 0 replies      

Exploit Mitigation Techniques: an Update After 10 Years (by Theo)http://tech.yandex.com/events/ruBSD/2013/talks/103/

An OpenBSD talk by Michael Lucashttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXPV3vJF99k

bhaile 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thanks for linking it here and would be better if it was linked to an article providing additional details other than electricity costs. Other users have posted the relevant links.

On another note, the readability of the font was a turn off for me. Fortunately, there is an option to view it in plain text. adding &q=raw at the end of the URL.http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=138972987203440&w=2&q=raw

jms703 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What will happen to OpenSSH if OpenBSD can't keep the lights on?
jlgaddis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm excited about buying a cupcake from one of the OpenBSD developers at the bake sale.
kscottz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to see more FOSS projects on GitTip (https://www.gittip.com/). It would seem to me that regular small donations that can be budgeted would be more helpful than just scratching where and when it itches. Giving $1 a week versus $50 at once is so much more convenient. We as the FOSS community need to own up that writing and hosting software isn't free, and most of us as highly paid engineers are in a position to be charitable and help out. My resolution for this year is to give away 1% of my income to the FOSS community and related charities (EFF, Wikipedia, Ada Initiative, PSF, etc). I challenge everyone on HackerNews to do the same. Stop bitching and put your money where your mouth and let's go help make a better world.
jpessa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
what i find interesting (read: suspicious) is how they have seemingly prioritized and budgeted other things ahead of paying for electricity.

when i make budgeting decisions (whether personal or in business), i start with the needs before going to the "nice to haves". for openbsd, i can't help but assume powering their various servers/systems is kiiind of a priority...

so what i want to know is:- the over all budget $ amount for 2014- what was the cost of power in 2013 * how did you get to $20k for 2014?- which priorities are worth funding over power

my suspicion is that there's plenty of room for give and take here.

diestl 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this is a case of OS Darwinism. The fact that it seems to be hanging on by a thread shows most companies are using and contributing to Linux. I have never used OpenBSD so not sure what it overs over Linux as a Unix implementation?
jijji 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The bigger question is who pays $2000/month for electricity for a server?
UTF-8 Everywhere utf8everywhere.org
81 points by angersock  2 hours ago   43 comments top 14
asgard1024 1 hour ago 4 replies      
This may be tangential, but I think that computer languages should have a different type (and literal notation) for human text (strings that may be read by human, may be translated, won't affect program semantics) and for computer string (strings that are strictly defined, not to be translated, and may affect program semantics).

Then we could put all the human language problems into human text type, and leave the simpler computer string type with easier semantics.

In Python, although there are no tools for that, I typically use the following convention: single quotes for computer text and double quotes for human text. I guess you could use byte arrays for computer text as well, but it would be more painful.

Pxtl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was horrified to discover that Microsoft SQL Server's text import/export tools don't even support UTF-8. Like, at all. You can either use their bastardized wrongendian pseudo-UTF-16, or just pick a code-page and go pure 8-bit.
jbk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This resonate so much for me, in VLC.

VLC has a very large number of users on Windows (80% of our users), yet almost none of the dev use Windows to code. Therefore, we use UTF-8 char* everywhere, notably in the core. We use UTF-16 conversions only in the necessary Windows modules, that use Windows APIs. Being sure we were UTF-8 everywhere took a lot of time, tbh...

But the worse are formats like ASF (WMV) or MMS that use UTF-16/UCS-2 (without correctly specifying) them and that we need to support on all other platforms, like OSX or Linux...

jasonjei 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We constantly have to deal with Win32 as a build platform and we write our apps natively for that platform using wchar. I think the main difficulty is that most developers hate adding another library to their stack, and to make matters worse, displaying this text in Windows GUI would require conversion to wchar. That's why I think they are up for a lot of resistance, at least in the Windows world. If the Windows APIs were friendlier to UTF-8, there might be hope. But as it stands right now, using UTF-8 requires the CA2W/CW2A macros, which is just a lot of dancing to keep your strings in UTF-8 which ultimately must be rendered in wchar/UTF-16.

Maybe there might be a shot in getting developers to switch if Windows GUIs/native API would render Unicode text presented in UTF-8. But right now, it's back to encoding/decoding.

optimiz3 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
Most of the post talks about how Windows made a poor design decision in choosing 16bit characters.

No debate there.

However, advocating "just make windows use UTF8" ignores the monumental engineering challenge and legacy back-compat issues.

In Windows most APIs have FunctionA and FunctionW versions, with FunctionA meaning legacy ASCII/ANSI and FunctionW meaning Unicode. You couldn't really fix this without adding a 3rd version that was truly UTF-8 without breaking lots of apps in subtle ways.

Likely it would also only be available to Windows 9 compatible apps if such a feature shipped.

No dev wanting to make money is going to ship software that only targets Windows 9, so the entire ask is tough to sell.

Still no debate on the theoretical merits of UTF-8 though.

randomfool 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"This is what made UTF-8 the favorite choice in the Web world, where English HTML/XML tags are intermixed with any-language text."

Except that Javascript is UTF-16, so no luck with 4 byte chars there.

belluchan 1 hour ago 2 replies      
And software developers, don't forget to implement the 4 byte characters too please. Utter nightmare dealing with MySQL. I believe 4 byte characters still even break github comments.
nabla9 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
UTF-8 is usually good enough in disk.

I would like to have at least two options in memory: utf-8 and vector of displayed characters (there's many combinations in use in existing modern languages with no single-character representations in UTF-<anything>).

elwell 40 minutes ago 2 replies      
I can only imagine what kind of frustration drove someone to make this site.
Dewie 1 hour ago 2 replies      
IT is so Anglophile that programs can become slower if you deviate from ASCII...

But of course being so incredibly anglocentric is not an issue, at least that seems to be the consensus of the participants when I read discussions on the Web where all the people who are discussing it write English with such a proficiency that I can't tell who are and aren't native speakers of the language.

BadassFractal 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Would be lovely if MS Office could export CSV to UTF-8, but nope.
wehadfun 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I admire and appreciate your concern for something that is missunderstood and ignored. However this webpage took way to long to say what is so great about utf 8.
andystanton 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"Even though one can argue that source codes of programs, web pages and XML files, OS file names and other computer-to-computer text interfaces should never have existed, as long as they do exist, text is not only for human readers."

I'm a little confused by this statement. Can someone clarify?

angersock 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What is currently the best way of dealing with UTF-8 strings in a cross-platform manner? It sounds like widechars and std::string just won't cut it.
Today I Briefed Congress on the NSA schneier.com
125 points by edwintorok  1 hour ago   35 comments top 11
bargl 54 minutes ago 3 replies      
On his blog Schneier comments that this meeting was kept small on purpose. I wanted to see who was present at this meeting so I looked up some of their information. Not hard to find, but here you go. I plan on emailing each of them and thanking them for consulting someone the tech industry considers a Security SME.

Rep. Logfren (Democratic)http://lofgren.house.gov/biography/ Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoe_Lofgren

Rep. Sensenbrenner (Republican)http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/biography/ Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Sensenbrenner

Rep. Scott (Democratic)http://www.bobbyscott.house.gov/biography/ Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Scott_%28U.S._politician%...

Rep. Goodlate (Republican)http://goodlatte.house.gov/pages/about-bob Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Goodlatte

Rep Thompson (Democratic)http://mikethompson.house.gov/biography/ Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Thompson_(California_polit...

Rep. Amash (Republican)http://amash.house.gov/about-me/full-biography Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Amash

Edit: Cleaned up one of the links and got rid of a repetitive sentence.

rdl 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
It makes sense that you need TS/SSBI and the correct SAP read-in to be inside a given SCIF belonging to a SAP; otherwise one might leave a recording device or otherwise damage the integrity of the SCIF. Plus, the SCIF would need to be cleared of all sensitive materials before you entered.

Clearing a SCIF, letting someone inside, then recertifying it would probably be the correct choice; It could be done, of course, but it's not cheap. (You can also potentially keep the person under observation the whole time, but given the purported Chuck Norris powers of Bruce Schneier, that seems insufficient.)

vaadu 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is no oversight except on paper.

You can't have oversight unless you have expertise in the area you oversee.

You can't have oversight unless the overseers can impose immediate consequences upon the overseen.

Without these you are nothing but a spectator.

AnimalMuppet 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Imagine that the NSA was only doing legitimate, useful, necessary, highly secret things (humor me here).

Can they brief Congress on what they're doing? All 535 publicity-seeking chatterboxes? No way. That's the same as issuing a press release.

So not telling Congress everything is (in principle) necessary. But who are these representatives Schneier briefed? Are they on the Intelligence Committee? If so, and they still can't get straight answers out of the NSA, that's a big deal. (And maybe the rest of Congress is saying that they don't think that the Intelligence Committee has done an adequate job of oversight.)

ChrisAntaki 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Currently, the Intelligence Committees have special access to top secret information. Every member of Congress should have this.
chippy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What's a "SCIF"?

Edits: my guess: (Secure Communications Internal Facility)

higherpurpose 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The Intelligence committees and the FISA Court need to be overhauled, to start with. Clearly there's not enough/proper oversight of the agency.

I don't know how they do it now, but the Intelligence committees should also brief the rest of Congress at least twice a year, and I think they should be allowed by explicit laws to declassify anything they want in that briefing. No approval from the White House or anyone else needed. They are, after all, the ones that are supposedly in charge with oversight of the intelligence community.

So next time someone like Ron Wyden knows the agency is lying to the public, he should be able to tell the rest of the Congress in the briefing, all by himself (he shouldn't need approval from the rest of the committee), and it should be defined in laws that he's allowed to do that, just so there's no confusion, and no fear of repercussion.

aantix 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
>Of course I'm not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting.

Why wouldn't he?

Helianthus 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It's good to know that we do have some legislators on (essentially) our side, even if their hands are, presently, tied.
clubhi 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
The obvious answer to me seems to have multiple disjoint intelligence committees.
Payments startup WePay pockets $15M, kills direct-to-consumer offering venturebeat.com
37 points by billclerico  1 hour ago   21 comments top 8
gkop 51 minutes ago 3 replies      
The headline is linkbait. They didn't "pocket" anything, just raised $15M.
kaa2102 18 minutes ago 2 replies      
I looked around for a simple pay solution to integrate into my site and chose wepay about a year ago. It was one of the few services where I didn't have to become a "pay API code ninja" to use. I got an email that they will also phase out the easy-to-use buttons.

I want to focus on delivering value to my customers - I'm not trying to become a pay button implementation expert. I'm not very happy about wepay making this move. I think I am going to be switching to stripe.

thatthatis 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
TIL: wepay had a direct to consumer offering.
QuantumGood 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
Used WePay for years. They never fixed several problems with their interface, so now I have followed their link to EventSpot (Constant Contact), but Constant Contact does't even support WePay as a provider. Always feels bleeding edge using WePay.
nhangen 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
I already replied to the team with similar sentiments, but I think this is a great move.

Many of their D2C products competed with the businesses that were using their APIs, so it makes sense to pick a channel and focus on just one side of the equation.

I really like everything about WePay other than the fact that it's limited to the US.

mikespear 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
This actually a very exciting development. As a B2B provider of fundraising software for nonprofits, StayClassy (www.stayclassy.org), we do everything we can to put our customers' brands first. This reduces donor confusion, and ends up helping everyone involved be more successful.

Having WePay sunset their consumer-facing products has a similar effect in that it allows us to transact more money through WePay while reducing potential confusion around which services are responsible for which part of the fundraising process.

The WePay team has always been extremely responsive to questions and feature requests, so I'm excited to see what they do with the added resources and renewed focus on partner services.

rhizome 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
Killing the P2P pay features? Let's do a little detective work..."Other investors include Max Levchin, former chief technology officer of PayPal."
TTPrograms 10 minutes ago 1 reply      
At least among my friends Venmo totally dominates the so-called "direct-to-consumer" payment market. Maybe they just didn't anticipate hitting critical mass in competition.
WebKit.js: Pure JavaScript Port of WebKit github.com
51 points by bpierre  2 hours ago   37 comments top 8
TheMakeA 1 hour ago 10 replies      
I may be the only one excited about this, but I think it's awesome.

I imagine a future where a "web browser" is just a WebGL + Networking + JS API, and you just load in HTML5.js. The benefit of something like this is that it puts the power back in the hands of the people. You don't have to worry about Microsoft ignoring standards, you just load in the HTML5.js that you know works. Want a new feature? Fork HTML5.js on GitHub.

One other benefit that interests me is for games. Games badly need a free, standardized way to do UI. Porting v8 + WebGL is far easier than porting an entire web browser. There's a chance for greater performance too, since frameworks like ChromiumEmbedded typically only provide a memory buffer of the rendered frame, which you then have to copy (back) to vram.

(reposted because the other thread was killed)

rubiquity 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I remember this being an April Fools' Day joke[0] in 2012. Interesting to see it coming alive. I imagine it will be a pretty large file size so it might not be practical for a little bit longer, especially for mobile devices.

0 - http://badassjs.com/post/20294238453/webkit-js-yes-it-has-fi...

talles 1 hour ago 2 replies      
[ insert obligatory Atwood's Law quote here ]
elwell 1 hour ago 1 reply      
All in a 50KB js file.

1. Why?

2. How is this humanly possible?

msoad 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
I remember when Google forked Webkit and started Blink. They had a video explaining why and how. I remember they said they might port DOM to JavaScript if it makes sense. Apparently it doesn't make sense.
javajosh 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Also excited about this: but it's also clearly a very ambitious project that will need a lot of help.
dlubarov 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I wrote a JS port of JavaScriptCore:


sathishmanohar 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Now firefox can run chrome inside firefox, but chrome can't run firefox inside chrome.
Adventures in Wearable Electronics Making a Light-up Dress ofbrooklyn.com
42 points by conesus  2 hours ago   23 comments top 10
phren0logy 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a great reminder that these projects are pretty accessible these days. The hardware is reasonably priced, and the code can either be written (or scavenged) pretty easily.

I don't say that to take away from the hard work and exceptional execution of this project, but rather as a reminder that we should all get off our butts more often and make something. In the end this is stuff that almost anyone with enough motivation can tackle (though perhaps not with the same panache).

jgrahamc 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Love it. I'm adding that to my Better Living Through Microcontrollers Tumblr (http://bltuc.tumblr.com/)

Looking at the code it could probably be a lot shorter if an array was used for the LEDs rather than the separate a, b, c, d, ... variables and lots of repeated code.

lostlogin 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Over here in Auckland, New Zealand, there is a sudden drive for cycling safety. There have been several well publicised cases of cyclists being killed after cases of poor road design, bad driving, bad cycling etc. I can't help but think that lit up cyclists would help this. A quick search shows others are trying stuff, although not in the tight-fitting-top style that most cyclists here wear. http://m.instructables.com/id/turn-signal-biking-jacket/ This is a bit excessive - I think hand signals are enough, and bright lights are to show where the cyclist is. http://www.esthete-cycle.com/en/product/veste-esthete-velo-u... This is a bit of a full on jacket, but appears fairly robust.
jamesbritt 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
The options for wearable computing just keep getting better and better. I'm stoked about a wearable computing hackfest (http://www.hackphx.com) here in Phoenix this weekend at the HeatSync Labs hackerspace.

We'll be playing with Seeed Studio's Xadow platform, including a very nice low-energy Bluetooth attachment.

dx4100 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sweet. I made an LED suit with some Arduino stuff. Check out my approach:


sp332 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This project (and lots of others) have been featured an Adafruit's Google+ page https://plus.google.com/+adafruit/posts and blog https://www.adafruit.com/blog/?main_page=blog
blueblob 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Were the electronics comfortable for her?
gregt590 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Looks great! If you haven't already you should post it to the Maker Pro newsletter at makerpro@makermedia.com.
ohjeez 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I WANT THIS. #fashionablegeek
toiletpaperwtf 1 hour ago 5 replies      
[WARNING] This post contains a number of pictures of a very large woman dancing that may cause nightmares for potential readers.
Get 50 GB of free storage from Box techcrunch.com
40 points by wj  2 hours ago   39 comments top 13
btgeekboy 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
The 250MB/file limit on free accounts is brutal. (It used to be even smaller, something like 100MB, but they relented and increased it somewhat recently.) Even worse, the client doesn't tell you when it's not copying the file because it's too big - it pretends everything is just fine and dandy.
joelrunyon 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I feel like I got 50GB from Box when I signed up like 2 years ago.

I still haven't use it at all. Dropbox, drive & even mega seem to be more seamless :-/

csmattryder 31 minutes ago 2 replies      
I just got 50GB on Google Drive on my new Moto G, I'll use about a tenth of that, at a push.

It's at the point where giving away your product for free is no longer a large-impact sales tactic, wonder how they'll innovate?

kombine 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
cloud.mail.ru offers free 1Tb for life if you register until 20 January. Yes the interface is in Russian(at least for the desktop app) and rough at edges, but still worth spending 5 minutes registering.
philip1209 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Fun fact: If you interview with recruiters at storage companies, they'll often add free space to your personal account.
oneeyedpigeon 28 minutes ago 2 replies      
Shame that a) iOS only b) iOS 6+ only. I wonder what they're doing that couldn't be done with software barely a year old; it must be pretty mind-blowing, world-changing stuff.
gpo 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Box offers WebDAV. 2. Zotero can store files in a WebDAV server.
ereckers 7 minutes ago 1 reply      
Would there be noticeable performance issues if one were to run Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box simultaneously?
chippy 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Storage space is so cheap nowadays. I find it very hard to be enticed by even more free cloud storage. I doubt that offering me more and more would help.

I would be interested in an application that makes agreements with the ISPs that have throttling or download limits so that traffic to and from their servers don't count.

BrownBuffalo 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Dear Tech Crunch staff. Please stop making your videos auto-play in IE and Chrome. Seriously ... 10 videos on one page and they ALL started up, playing. Conform to freegen standards from the W3C. I would have been ok with my IE browser, but it had the same bizzaro world experience in Chrome.
izzydata 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Mediafire also seems to be doing 50gb as well as Mega.

Now they just all need desktop syncing programs with easily accessible public sharing urls and decent traffic bandwidth.

malditojavi 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
A startup which core business is collect in just one place all the free storage provided as marketing growth tactic from other cloud storage startups.
anguster 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
I got 50GB by connecting to my LG phone not too long ago.
Coding Horror: The Magpie Developer (2008) codinghorror.com
39 points by jalan  2 hours ago   18 comments top 11
wwweston 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
If I had to pick a single pain point about front-end development right now, it would be this. The new features in HTML, CSS, and native browser APIs plus the variations and limitations of each browser (plus the special and not particularly settled world of mobile/tablets) is hard enough to keep up with.

But we're now in the stage where there's a dozen frameworks out there, probably classifiable into at least three distinct paradigms, and then we have the languages that target the browser. And I suspect we're a long way from shaking this out into a semi-stable point.

The thing that I like least about this treadmill is that time invested in the ephemeral arcana of a stack/platform is time that isn't invested in skills that will transfer elsewhere and help you become a better general problem solver.

interstitial 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm glad database technology with its deep (and provable) mathematical foundation like SQL is free from these distractions. I mean what if there was this huge push of Object-Relational Databases in the 1990s and 2000s, including XML-native databases? I mean what if there was this massive claim that normalization is just an old man's fetish, and a bunch of geniuses figured out you could store things in memory and flat files like the punch card days? And then they created this huge buzz on hash tables, and key value stores with some magic serialized JSON could be ankle deep in linked key/values stores and scalability and all such things were claimed but seldom proved. And then mathematics of normalization hit them in the face, so they have to invent a new buzz word for normalization while still pretending SQL is an old man's fetish. More acronyms I say!
habosa 1 hour ago 1 reply      
A related notion is the Blub Paradox:http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?BlubParadox

"As long as our hypothetical Blub programmer is looking down the power continuum, he knows he's looking down. Languages less powerful than Blub are obviously less powerful, because they're missing some feature he's used to. But when our hypothetical Blub programmer looks in the other direction, up the power continuum, he doesn't realize he's looking up. What he sees are merely weird languages. He probably considers them about equivalent in power to Blub, but with all this other hairy stuff thrown in as well. Blub is good enough for him, because he thinks in Blub."

I, personally, am very slow to adopt new languages or frameworks for serious projects. Still haven't found anything I can't do with Java and/or Ruby on Rails. I do try to keep up with the news so I'm not totally caught off guard, and I make a point of building toy projects in other languages like Python, Haskell, Scala, Clojure, etc. It's important not to be a Magpie, but also not to get caught up as a Blubber and end up looking for a COBOL to Objective-C cross compiler so you can make an iPhone app.

michaelwww 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Magpie Developer is easy to shoot down, but as this thread [1] makes clears, we usually switch roles in our career. If you're not a Magpie once in awhile, you're not trying new things enough.


RankingMember 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Dear god yes, agreed. For someone still learning the ropes, the absolute torrent of new buzzwords/languages/dbs is really fatiguing.
motter 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I agree with the main conclusion here, but it's a stretch to reduce technology choices to a simple "new or not" dichotomy.

Let's say you're writing a new web service in Java, because it has features aplenty and is also the language your team is most familiar with. You're confident the JVM is a platform you want to build on.

Now you need to:

1. Choose a set of libraries or a framework. Do you go for Spring or Java EE, or for something newer like Play or Dropwizard?

2. Choose a build tool. Maven? Ant? Gradle? Maybe we'll write some scala, so SBT?

3. Choose tools for deployment, config management, etc.

4. A database.

5. And so on.

All of these tools have different trade-offs. There are so many trade-offs that I don't think blog post comparisons (or whatever) cut it. And so you have the "magpies" who try and figure out some of these trade-offs for themselves by experimentation. (That is what, in my opinion, hack days and 20% time are for, not your new production system.)

But don't listen to me, we wrote our new web service in Go ;)

More seriously, it was a major decision and I couldn't possibly write a few hundred words on my blog to justify it. I may write a few thousand, though.

tel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is definitely a reach, but the reason why I like learning math more than CS is because it's been around long enough to inspire confidence that it will continue to be around.

Likewise, this is why I would study something like HoTT--reasonable certainty that the things I'm learning there will form the basis of the final programming language.

I don't mind change, but I dislike putting weight in fashion.

badman_ting 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hell, a lot of us are just now absorbing ideas that came about in the 60s and 70s.

There's good new stuff of course, but a lot of it is redoing an existing idea in a slightly different context, with new and exciting bugs waiting for you to discover them when you'd most prefer not to.

buckbova 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I love shiny new things and will keep on collecting them.

Thanks to this article, I may have found some more. It pointed to the 2007 article, well here's the latest Scott Hanselmans Ultimate Dev Tools:


danso 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
After spending a couple days pitching in on a Wordpress redesign...I'm reminded how lucky I was to have a little magpie in me. PHP was my first web scripting language and I was even able to build web apps from it. Later on, my employer switched to Rails, and I had never even heard of Ruby. But going back to PHP years later, I'm surprised at how much the variety of experience I've had just understanding different patterns makes it easy to go back, and even understand things that I had never understood before in PHP.

I agree that newness is too fetishized, but trying out a fad can be a great way to unexpectedly learn and grow

vitd 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Does anyone else find it odd that the majority of links in his articles are to his own articles?
Nimrod: A New Approach to Metaprogramming infoq.com
22 points by dom96  1 hour ago   12 comments top 5
skrebbel 40 minutes ago 2 replies      
I am very intrigued by Nimrod. The language seems to have goals that overlap with e.g. Rust, but with a bunch of really interesting design decisions (e.g. GC by default, but first class support for manual memory management). Given the amount of force driving Rust (and Rust's PR machine), compared to Nimrod which seems to be really pushed forward by one single person, I'm really impressed by how far Nimrod got.

I really want to start using Nimrod for real work.

idlewan 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I really enjoy the language so far. For me, it's the perfect middleground between C and python: a fast compiled language, and one where you can be as productive as in python.

I also tend to prefer catching errors early, and having a typed language that warns and errors at compile-time is great.

rayiner 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
On a related note, the most principled approach to macros for an infix language I've yet seen is Honu (brought to you by the Racket people): http://www.cs.utah.edu/plt/publications/gpce12-rf.pdf.
M2 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nimrod is a really good general-purpose language with a clear and readable syntax
Look Out, Payments Startup Balanced (YC W11) Is Processing $370M A Year techcrunch.com
18 points by steveklabnik  1 hour ago   6 comments top 3
harrisreynolds 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
The guys at Balanced are doing a great job. I'm using their service for a product I've built to manage gyms [1] and it is working great. This is cool b/c that wasn't the original intention of how their product would be used (i.e. not a marketplace) but it supports our use case well. Also, the ACH API is one of the BIG differentiators of their product when compared to something like Stripe (which is also very cool, but lacks the processing ACH API).

[1] http://www.simplegym.co

kyriakos 1 minute ago 0 replies      
do they have plans for International support ?
steveklabnik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As an example of openness working at Balanced, I was fielding a question from a customer on IRC yesterday[1] about our support for JCB and Diner's Club cards: we support them, but balanced.js said we didn't. While I was talking with some other engineers about this, they just fixed the bug themselves! [2] We both win: we didn't have to drop everything and write the code, and our customer got their fix even faster.

Or when I saw that /r/dogecoin was trying to get Reddit Gifts (a customer of ours) to support Dogecoin. Since we do all feature discussion on GitHub, I was able to get them involved[3]. That one.... wasn't as productive as the bugfix. :)

1: https://botbot.me/freenode/balanced/msg/9808050/

2: https://github.com/balanced/balanced-js/pull/68

3: http://www.reddit.com/r/dogecoin/comments/1t3obk/petition_fo...

Why Real Estate Tech Is So Attractive For Founders ezliu.com
58 points by ezl  2 hours ago   56 comments top 14
beat 1 hour ago 3 replies      
This is a classic case of where the kinds of technical founders that cruise HN shouldn't be trying to invent their own thing, but rather find a boring "business" subject matter expert as a co-founder. There are lots and lots of these things, where businesspeople see a gap that can be solved by tech but don't have the skills to do it.

My advice to all the kids out of college who want to be startup founders - don't try to come up with your own idea, because you don't know enough about business or the world to get a good one (hence the plethora of cheap social knockoffs that will never go anywhere). Instead, go find some older, experienced businessperson who wants to solve a problem in a non-technical space they understand deeply, and work with them. You're much more likely to succeed that way.

crazygringo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The counterargument is that there are so many financially entrenched interests, you'll find you can't make any headway against them.

I can't count the number of tech people I've heard say they want to create a website that will get rid of the horrible broker system of renting apartments in NYC. But that requires convincing landlords to do something different, and so far they have had zero financial incentive to do so, since it's the landlord who uses the broker, but the renter who has to pay the cost of the broker.

So ten years goes by, and still you usually have to go through the ridiculous process of paying brokers.

sputknick 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Buying and selling real estate is up there with the most miserable experiences I have dealt with as an adult. I think there is definitely a lot of room to make a lot of change, improve people's lives significantly, and make a lot of money. But I think it will be much harder than you realize. 1. Regulations: this is a HIGHLY regulated industry. Anything that is regulated doesn't have any motivation to improve, because the regulations artificially keep their margins high. 2. Entrenched parties: Improving the technology behind real estate transactions will but lots of people out of work. Lots of people who will likely find it difficult to match their current salaries in other industries. These people will fight against your technology like Luddites. I wish you all the best and please for the love of God make this work!!!

Edit: spelling

agentultra 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Handling the paperwork in a secure, regulation-friendly way would go a long way to improving the experience of purchasing property.

I was surprised that my realtor, lawyer and mortgage broker all asked me to email sensitive financial information without any encryption and believed that a signature on a piece of paper is better than the cryptographic alternatives available today (which they don't even know about).

Especially with all of the intelligence-community BS that gets involved in the process today! I was flabberghasted that my lawyers office had no idea what an encryption key is. "Oh just email those bank statements over," they'd say. "No thanks," I replied, "I'll hand them to you myself."

And what a pain in the ass. I don't get paid to courier all that paperwork around.

And they have no idea. Think your insurance information is safe? I'd be surprised. These people just email sensitive documents around in the open. It's crazy.

thatthatis 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
#6 -- the value per transaction is enormous.

5th percentile spend per year on an apartment is about $6,000.

95th percentile hobbyist spend per year on photo stuff is probably less than $6,000

lancewiggs 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
At 200Square.co.nz we are using web tools and an enlightened approach to sales to improve the real estate sales process. In short we sell properties, and with much lower costs than all of the old school real estate agencies.

Our key founder combines real estate and Valley backgrounds - as someone mentioned it's really important that we understand the industry we are trying to disrupt.

We have a suite of tools, focus on effective promotion techniques rather than self promoting and wildly expensive newspaper and industry glossies, and sell far more houses per agent than the norm.

We put together a site (watchmystreet.co.nz) that lets people flip the buying search process, but struggle for now accessing what should be openly available data from regional authorities.

Happy to discuss help with expansion or entry into other markets.

michaelochurch 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Residential real estate is decidedly unprestigious, a business that hurts people-- just look at what house prices and rents have done over the past 20 years-- and the major benefit of working in it, as the OP argues, is that it lacks hard technical problems. There will still be hard problems to solve, but they'll be people problems: dealing with incompetent but powerful management companies, blowback from very rich entrenched interests, etc.

Smart competition isn't that scary. I'd rather have smart competitors and learn a lot even if I lose, than work in a world where stupid people have all the power. If you go into the dark recesses of residential real estate, you'll find that it's not smart-people-friendly. Residential RE might be one area where average-to-stupid people have an edge, because they're closer to the animalistic instincts (i.e. the 86th floor being twice as valuable than the functionally equivalent 85th because it's "the top") that drive it.

It might be attractive to business co-founders looking to build something boring and flip it, but it's not going to get class-A technical co-founders.

This space has the lack-of-upside that would cause VCs to deride it as a "lifestyle business", but because of all the un-fun shit that humans throw up when it comes to land and housing (people get really ugly when that stuff is at stake) it wouldn't have the subjective benefits.

secabeen 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The other big win is the amount of money in Real Estate. When most transactions have fees on the order of 6%, there's a lot of money sloshing around to pick up.
mrfusion 1 hour ago 9 replies      
I'd be interested in hearing concrete ideas we can do today. Apartment search just doesn't strike me as a viable new startup. Am I wrong?
mrfusion 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Ok, here's a real estate start up idea I just had. (BTW I'd actually be interested in working on this, so contact me if you're interested in joining forces.)

Use the Oculus Rift to let potential buyers and renters take a virtual tour of properties.

Think how much time is currently wasted driving between properties. And many people probably end up with non-optimal purchases since they can only reasonably visit < 10 properties.

Is there some kind of 3D scanning equipment that would let my potential startup create a virtual environment by walking through a house with it? I guess there might be a technology gap there. Anyone know?

mtmail 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Apartment discovery is already well served. There are a dozen new startups that apply innovative methods to search. http://www.apartmentlist.com/, https://livelovely.com/, http://42floors.com/ come to mind.

Software for estate agents needs to be become more modern though. http://nestio.com/ just rebranded themselves to do that for example.

There's a German property portal (number two in the market) which released an iPad app for estate agents. Property management, contact list, calendar etc. Something like 50 USD/month for the app or $100/month for the hardware&app.Website is in German, but there are screenshots and video http://immonetmanager.de/produkt/

cornellwright 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of the ways I like to think about good start-up ideas is find a business stuck in the '90s and bring it to the '00s using this decade's tech that's already been invented.
rfnslyr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You're missing a closing ")" on p class="pad"
jimnatel 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I would add that with tablets and smart phones, it is now possible to bring your apps on the fields. A few year ago, it was very difficult to bring your computer on a construction site.Some startups (for instance Aproplan http://www.aproplan.com ) are already jumping on these new possibilities.
Coming to an office near you economist.com
31 points by Danieru  2 hours ago   6 comments top 5
iambateman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
While it's true that we'll continue to feel the hurt of job shirts, people have thought that technology would kill the economy for hundreds of years.

Keynes thought people would be working 15 hours per week in 2030.[1] If anything we'll be working 55 hours per week.

Education needs to change, certainly. The economy will move forward, certainly. But there's no reason to freak out. Society has moved through economic change before and we'll find a way through the internet-induced havoc as well.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/sep/01/economics

the_watcher 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
A lot of the automation may be removing jobs that used to be done by humans by doing it for less, but a byproduct of this is the drastic decrease in barriers to entry for starting your own business, especially as services like Shopify specialize in making the efficiency and cost gains accessible to everybody.

In the past, merchants were often those without land who became merchants because it was their best option. Now, basically anyone can become a merchant immediately.

tannerc 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The concern of what advancements in technology mean for web workers has recently blossomed in main circles.

Jeff Croft wrote that being a web designer isn't enough to sustain a career.[1] Jeffrey Zeldman countered that argument with the notion that being an expert in the field is enough to sustain oneself, but only if you can expand on your knowledge with other skills.[2] Andrew Clarke then followed-up on both of those pieces.[3]

It's an interesting time to be involved in tech, especially on the web. What comes next is simply more adaptation, what other choice to we (as workers) have?

1. http://jeffcroft.com/blog/2014/jan/03/web-standards-killed-t...2. http://www.zeldman.com/2014/01/06/its-2014-is-web-design-dea...3. http://stuffandnonsense.co.uk/blog/about/its-2014.-web-desig...

ClementM 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Many of the jobs most at risk are lower down the ladder (logistics, haulage), whereas the skills that are least vulnerable to automation (creativity, managerial expertise) tend to be higher up"

Your job vulnerability, I think, is not only a matter of automation. It also a question of "commoditization". If you become a commodity, meaning that, if* what you do can be well described* your workflow can be well described* the tools you use are becoming standard* there is no real barrier for entering your field.Then, you'll lose very quickly any bargaining power and your 'salary' or 'margin' will decrease.

Technology, as it progresses, tends to commoditize 'producers', whereas usually 'distributors' are less vulnerable.

rayiner 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Education is the solution" always seems to me like punting. Nobody ever explains the mechanics of how education is going to allow a newly-unemployed secretary to train for a new job, or even whether that new job exists at all.

Refrains of "oh we'll adapt to it like we always do" ring hollow as well. It might not be apparent in San Francisco, but large parts of the country haven't really adapted to the loss of manufacturing in the U.S. Good middle class jobs that existed in the 1960's and 1970's haven't been replaced with something equivalent, but rather jobs that are worse + more government support.

When You Get a Job Counteroffer: Should You Stay or Should You Go? smartbear.com
20 points by ohjeez  1 hour ago   28 comments top 15
zeidrich 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I think that an important step is to pre-empt the counter-offer.

When you even start to consider another opportunity, think about why you actually want to move to the new opportunity. Is it that you need more money? Is it that you want to work on a different kind of project? Is it that you need more stimulation?

Then go to your employer, and without bringing up the other opportunity, see if they are willing to make the change that you want. Don't be angry that they haven't already done it for you, until this point you didn't even necessarily know you wanted it, you can't expect them to.

If they accept, then you are in an environment where you're happy, and your employer is probably happy that you are motivated and taking steps to make things happen. If they reject your offer, then pursue the better opportunity.

In that case, if they do give you a counter-offer, it's either going to be less than you need, which makes it easy enough to say no to. Or they will be offering you the same thing you've already asked for and declined to provide, which means they are doing it out of desperation and you can expect they will to an extent resent it if they feel it's something they can't afford, or they will have been actively trying to take advantage of you by denying you fair treatment when you asked for it directly.

I think first decide what it is you need, then give your employer the opportunity to provide what it is you need of their own accord, then accept an offer with another employer who can provide what it is you need. Then you don't have to worry about the counter-offer. You've already gone through it once on your terms.

If you don't make your employer aware that you want a change prior to your resignation, and they would have been willing to offer it to you all along if they knew, you're both in an awkward position. If the counter offer is exactly what you want and you take it, there will be some soreness and a passive-aggressive attitude that will persist. If you ask for what you want and get it prior to saying "Or else I quit" it's much smoother sailing for everyone.

pacaro 31 minutes ago 1 reply      
I previously worked at Microsoft. When I told my boss that I was leaving he asked a very polite question (I don't remember the exact wording) asking whether this was open for negotiation, and I told him no, that I had signed an offer and intended to take it. We moved on to discussing how I would close out my existing work items.

When a friend of mine (also at Microsoft) told his boss that he had a job offer from Google, but wasn't explicit about whether he had accepted it yet, they bent over backwards to try and persuade him to stay offering, among other things, the promotion that he'd been passed over for in the previous two review cycles (so much for no promotion budget), pulling in upper management to spend time with him to persuade him to stay. All this just served to communicate to him how messed up his situation had been, if they can promote you now, why couldn't they before?

As long as you have been clear with your management about your expectations w.r.t. pay/promotion/work etc. then any counteroffer is simply an open display of organizational misanthropy.

w.r.t. Microsoft, one of the unspoken flaws in their review system is/was that by the time a review is delivered to an employee, it is too late to fix anything. If you think you deserved a promotion/bigger bonus/merit increase/whatever it has to wait until the next review cycle (a year) to be corrected (unless your manager is really prepared to fight hard for you and do things out of cyclepossible but hard)

smacktoward 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You should go. Accepting a counteroffer is a no-win situation.

If the counteroffer is amazing, it will poison your relationships with everybody in the company: colleagues will resent you for getting what they will see as a golden ticket when they didn't, and managers will resent you for what they will interpret as mercenary tendencies -- i.e. you're just waiting for someone to come along with an even better offer before you sell them out. So you'll have to work with a bunch of people whose opinion of you has just dropped through the floor.

And if the counteroffer isn't amazing, why would you consider taking it in the first place?

jere 45 minutes ago 4 replies      
>For his part, Hurwitz himself resigned from a job at one point. He turned down a counteroffer from his boss. Six months later, he quit his new job. He got his old job back, in part because of his decision to turn down the counteroffer. The boss told me it was because I hadnt played games and had acted ethically, Hurwitz said.

Wot? His company gave him a counteroffer with the attitude that accepting their offer would be unethical?

auctiontheory 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
The way companies work in real life, having an offer in hand gives your manager more motivation and leverage (to get more money for you) than he has to help an employee who is not seen as "in play." In other words, to improve your situation at a good but not perfect job, you sometimes need to get an external offer. Maybe that's not how it should be, but it's demonstrably how it is.

You have ongoing relationships with people, including your managers and co-workers - don't burn those. But your "relationship" with your employer [company], at least in Silicon Valley, is transactional.

Domenic_S 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Article was a little unfocused, jumping from here to there, but the advice is sound. If you're so unhappy where you are that you're interviewing around, negotiating pay & benefits, etc, then you need to go. Your current place has proven that they are not a right fit -- which could mean as little as that you don't feel comfortable bringing up concerns to your manager.

Any way you slice it, you've shown your hand: you're out the door. A company where it takes a resignation letter to spur them on to pay attention to you is not the right place for you.

darkxanthos 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of my first bosses told me a story of how he responded to the CTO asking him if he were looking for a new job. He said,

"Yeah! Always. How do either of us know what my market value is if I don't? It's only fair."

I thought that was brilliant. No he was never fired and he stayed there quite some time after that. :)

jtbigwoo 1 hour ago 2 replies      
From my experience, an employer should only counter-offer if they're truly desparate. Just like this article says, the employee has already decided to leave once, it's not going to take alot to get them to decided to leave again. In addition, though, counter-offering one employee signals to others that they can route around the usual process for promotions and raises by coming in with an offer of their own.

I worked at a place where they counter-offered two above average (but not great) developers who were working on an important client project. The two accepted the counter-offers, but still left for good in a few months. Everyone else in the office that wanted a raise or promotion now knew what they had to do to get raises: find another job and bluff. It put a big dent in the company culture.

stevehawk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If it's a large organization - get out.

If it's a small organization - stay if you actually like it.

The difference is that small organizations understand people, the risks, the sacrifices, etc, because they're still human. Large organizations only care about their bottom line. They will hire your replacement, probably a junior level person, train him up, replace you, and then do the same thing to him years later when he realizes he hates it for the same reason you do.

Besides, life is about growing and doing new things. Not the same shit forever for a 2.5% raise (if you even get that)

philip1209 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The scary part about this is the change it makes in the dynamic with the original employer - they know that you have once before sought other opportunities and decided to quit. It wasn't a purely economic decision - there had to be a lack of excitement to justify the uprooting of your career.

Perhaps the counteroffer is a guise as they hire somebody to replace you, then you'll be let go as soon as they hire somebody.

The relationship can never be as "warm and fuzzy" as before you tried to quit.

codegeek 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is no "one size fits all" or binary answer to this. It really depends on the individual case. I have seen both (staying vs going) happen to me/family and in either case, it has been good and/or bad.

If you love working at the current place, you have a great relationship with your boss/team and your only issue is money, then a good counter-offer may not be a bad idea. In fact, many times it is the only way to get a raise unfortunately. Consider the alternative. You might be making ok money but you don't like your team/boss/company at all, then do not take the counter offer even if they offer you more. You never know how it will turn out later on.

Nutella4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you ask your current company for higher salary/responsibility/etc and don't get it until you quit to take another offer, you have learned that your current company is reactive and only responds to threats. In other words, your current company is not a good place to work.
mikemikemike 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was in this situation four months ago. Frankly, I interviewed for the new job because it came with an attractive salary, but there had also been recent layoffs at my old job and I was interested in moving on anyway.

In the end, I'm glad I turned down the counteroffer and got out - I do think that my relationships would have been poisoned if I had stayed, and some core issues would not have been fixed. That said - I should not have taken the job I did. Chasing money was a rookie move, and I'm now more unhappy than I was at the previous company.

My advice is to think very realistically, perhaps pessimistically, about what life will be like at the new company. If you're not sure, ask questions. Don't take a new job because you want to get out - take a new job because you want out AND because the new job is freaking amazing. I'm now job hunting all over again, and it sucks.

brechin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Talk to your current employer before seeking, if that's an option. You shouldn't have to seek another job to get a raise/promotion/change from your current employer. In my opinion, seeking or accepting a counter-offer is unprofessional.

Companies should be proactive about keeping their employees engaged, challenged, and relatively happy.

Whatever you do, keep the connections you've made--don't burn bridges. The new opportunity may not be all it's cracked up to be, and it will be nice to have some people to call when you're on the hunt again.

zura 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
You should consider a counter-counter-offer. Actually, any number of counters until they exhaust. Then you choose the better one.
Tcl the misunderstood (2006) antirez.com
77 points by throwaway344  5 hours ago   31 comments top 9
arnsholt 4 hours ago 3 replies      
An interesting corollary to concept 5 (the fact that everything in Tcl is a string) is that this means that Tcl is actually homoiconic. It does it completely differently from Lisp, but still ends up in the same place: code and data have the same representation.
Spooky23 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with the sentiment, but who is actually claiming that TCL is a toy language? Random uninformed people on Reddit opine about all sorts of stuff.

It is an old language with lots of cruft, but it's been used in all sorts of places for something like 25 years. Perhaps people's experiences with the language are colored by using it as a means to customize behavior in some big hairy enterprise app.

aristus 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Back at the beginning of time I worked with Vignette StoryServer, which spun out of aolserver, one of the first "database-backed dynamic website" servers. The scripting language was TCL 7.something.

I never encountered it again, but its elegance always stayed with me. Except for uplevel. Fucking evil.

fuzzix 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> i18n just happens

No it doesn't... unless machine translation is "there" and built into Tcl.

> Every string is internally encoded in utf-8, all the string operations are Unicode-safe, including the regular expression engine. Basically, in Tcl programs, encodings are not a problem - they just work

Really? Perl's Unicode support is pretty much second-to-none, IME, but you still need to know the encoding of your file handles and so on. Once it knows this, Perl will Just Work(TM). How is this handled in Tcl?

ewindisch 4 hours ago 1 reply      
TCL is great at being an embedded language, especially when you want something that looks like a DSL using safe-interpreters. (Basically, these are sandboxed interpreters with access to limited built-ins, plus any methods you might inject into the global namespace)

TCL lends easily shell-like syntax so it is great for adapting your DSL to a REPL and even maps fairly cleanly to REST.

Years ago, I built a REST-like API that had one URI to which one could POST a TCL script. That script in its most basic form would be a series of pipelined API calls. There was even limited transactional support. I saw this important for mobile applications as it would reduce latency.

While the scripts were technically TCL, it was easier for developers than Javascript or Ruby (which we also beta'ed). It didn't look as much like a programming language as it did a series of shell commands.

The biggest problem with the above is that TCL safe interpreter still allow loops and other blocking operations. It means that you need to write a reaper to kill long-running threads / processes.

Combining such techniques with ZeroVM (or even Docker, or both) would be interesting.

j45 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Tcl is certainly not a toy language. I was introduced to it when running an eggdrop bot in the irc days, and I suspect for many of us was one of the first more feature complete languages we had no choice but to learn because we wanted to add custom functionality to our bots.

I haven't kept up with it and enjoyed seeing there's still those who find it productive

plg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A really nice article to get one started! thx

Another topic I would like to see introduced in a similarly friendly way is event loops. At my work I am dealing with some Tcl/Tk code that uses event loops and it's a bit of mental gymnastics to get my head around what gets executed when.

justincormack 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Although antirez made the sane choice of embedding Lua in Redis.
0xdeadbeefbabe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
upvar always eluded me. TCL got heavy use at AOL in aolserver, a project that just switched from CVS to git http://www.aolserver.com/
NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep theguardian.com
40 points by weu  1 hour ago   10 comments top 5
angersock 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
From the slide, a subtitle:

SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit

Oy vey--they don't even care anymore, do they? They're not even trying.

Fuck it, have a friendly octopus:


vermontdevil 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
By now there's pretty much nothing NSA is not doing to collect information from everyone.

Now I wonder if NSA is able to penetrate services like WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc.

elwell 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
Use iMessage instead if you care. I for one welcome our new overlords.
vavoida 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
metacontent (message content) & metadata -> smiley face, slide 2

interesting definition of metacontent

jonhmchan 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good god.
.NET Fiddle adds F# dotnetfiddle.net
84 points by refactormonkey  6 hours ago   34 comments top 7
agentultra 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I found F# to be rather neat. This is a great way to see for yourself.
virtualwhys 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Cool to "see" F# in action.

Like the union types, but not so much the list operations; seems more natural to:

[1;2;3;4] filter isEven sum


List.filter isEven [1;2;3;4] |> List.sum

in Scala it's: List(1,2,3,4) filter isEven sum

Of course I'm not familiar with F# so don't know all of the WIN within (Type Providers, for example, are very impressive, would love to see that on the Scala side of the fence one day).

balsam 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Anybody managed to install F# on Ubuntu? There are recommended steps [0] but they've never worked for me even on a new 13.04 (& later) image on DigitalOcean.

[0] http://fsharp.org/use/linux/

zequel 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Can anyone comment how F# compares to other functional languages? Just curious.
refactormonkey 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Small interruption. Looks like scaling to 2 servers on Azure to handle extra traffic crashed the original one.
JeremyMorgan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm getting my fizz buzz on.
physicslover 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I would like to see an interactive loop to fsi. Seems like you could use websockets for this.
WebGL & CreateJS for Firefox OS mozilla.org
14 points by rnyman  2 hours ago   1 comment top
lucian1900 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yay! That's the clincher for me in deciding on a 2d scene library in browsers.

I like EaselJS's API the most, but only other libraries had a WebGL backend so far.

Markers of Gentrification: Mapping Rent as a Share of Income for Top US Metros kwelia.com
7 points by stathack  54 minutes ago   6 comments top 5
kilroy123 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
All the images on this page aren't loading for me...
lightblade 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another sign of gentrification: I'm seeing all these ad signs that they're buying cheap houses. These ads are getting more and more now. I say this is a sign because there are poor people that wants to move out, and others sees it as opportunity to flip the house for profit.
exelius 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Not sure that these are markers of gentrifying neighborhoods -- just as an example, the big red area on your Austin map next to the University of Texas is largely student housing, and has always been this way: students have little to no income, often have roommates, and the parking policies of the university ensure that many students have few options other than to live near campus.

Likewise, the map of Philadelphia misses most of south Philadelphia, an area that is gentrifying extremely quickly with several hundred million dollar condo developments set to go up in the middle of the ghetto.

Interesting statistics, but I don't know that the conclusions that the authors are trying to draw are valid.

epmatsw 15 minutes ago 1 reply      
These maps don't work in Firefox :(
healthblerd 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Try the links- they work for me.
Obamas Path From Critic to Overseer of Spying nytimes.com
195 points by mjstahl  5 hours ago   145 comments top 26
grandalf 4 hours ago 12 replies      
The headline might as well be a more Onionesque "After gaining power, politician turns out not to actually hold the strongly principled views he expressed while campaigning".

I'd be surprised if Obama holds any of the views he expressed during his campaign. A campaign is a marketing effort intended to install a team of people in power.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of power holders agree that aggressive spying is a good idea. This is closely related to their strong preference for maintaining the status quo across the board. We should not be surprised that Obama did not reverse any of Bush's controversial decisions because they were not actually controversial among those with power or with the potential to gain power.

Generally speaking, when an issue is touted as being highly controversial between the major parties, it consists of 98% solid agreement and 2% hyped up disagreement. The disagreement and the "fray" are part of the choreographed propaganda undertaken by powerful interests to create the illusion of dissent.

nathan_long 3 hours ago 1 reply      
OK: once he got in office, it turned out that watching everyone seemed like a good idea.

But here's the thing: it's unconstitutional. It's illegal.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized".

Meaning: 1) You can't read my email without a warrant and 2) you need specific suspicions of me to get one.

Any interpretation that says the grocery list in my pocket is covered by the fourth amendment, but every electronic communication I make is NOT covered, is insane. "Houses, papers and effects" was the writer's way of saying "everything I can think of belonging to that person." Email and phone metadata and GPS location weren't imagined, but can you seriously say they would have been excluded?

So: balancing security with privacy is a hard thing. It is. But pooping on the constitution isn't a solution.

You want to surveil everything? Say so openly, explain your case, and try to repeal the fourth amendment. We're America: we decide by voting.

Secretly discarding the highest laws of the land is tyrannical, whatever the justification.

mbateman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Everything that's wrong with the current intelligence approach in a sentence: "And he trusts himself to use these powers more than he did the Bush administration."

This completely vindicates Snowden's point about the current system being one of policy instead of law, and of enabling turnkey tyranny.

pixelmonkey 4 hours ago 1 reply      
From the article: "Mr. Obama was acutely aware of the risks of being seen as handcuffing the security agencies. 'Whatever reforms he makes, you can be sure if theres another incident and the odds are there will be in our history therell be someone on CNN within seconds saying if the president hadnt hamstrung the intelligence community, this wouldnt have happened,' Mr. Axelrod said."

And so, the wheel keeps turning...

fit2rule 4 hours ago 2 replies      
What I'd really like to know is what process does the President-elect endure that turns him into an alien lizard from hell?

I mean, seriously .. its like black and white with Obama. Pre-Presidentiality, Obama was real. After-President'ness, he's become some obscure caricature of all other Presidents who came before him..

So is there some sort of secret Presidential chamber that all the past Presidents get to donate their DNA to, which gets injected into The New Guy, to make him into some sort of transformed hybrid clone, or something? I seriously wonder sometimes, if the enemies of the USA haven't realized that the real backdoor to infiltrating America and bringing it to its knees is in the Presidential Training Program that goes on with newly elected victims. It sure seems like the President of the USA gets a new skin, anyway .. I've only been watching for the last 4 Presidents or so ..

wwwtyro 4 hours ago 1 reply      
When you get the package every morning, it puts steel in your spine, said David Plouffe, the presidents longtime adviser.

This strikes me as backwards. Seems that a president with a steely spine would be strong enough to maintain the rights of citizens in the face of such challenges.

equalarrow 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sigh, I guess this is nothing new. Obama's the ultimate (in my mind) say one thing, do another. At least with Bush we knew he was just a bad guy that didn't give a shit for anything other that war, greedy buddies, and a good walk on the ranch.

With Obama, yah, he came in as the 'outsider' (typical of all candidates I suppose) with all these things he would 'Change' (Shepard Fairey anyone?). But alas, it's been one disappointment after another. Net neutrality, spying, real universal healthcare, not going after politicians of the Bush area that blatantly broke all kinds of laws, etc. All a sham.

It's playing out like a sci-fi story where anyone can be an enemy of the state, just choose your own adventure: leaker, no fly list, dissident, downloader, photographer/videographer; the list goes on and one.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as this isn't really a democracy anymore. Every law, decision pretty much has to have some 'but what about business/economy?' question. Excessive lobbying makes sure these decisions/rules will never change short of revolution. The fact that corporations are 'people' and that they have no donation limits anymore, pretty much ends what the founding fathers fought for - we the people.

The message of the 21st century america: get rich. Get above the law and above the fold of the 99%. Go where the rules don't apply to you. Go where you make the rules for everyone else.

Sambdala 4 hours ago 0 replies      
He has more information than he did then. And he trusts himself to use these powers more than he did the Bush administration, said the former Obama aide

Okay, so given the trend of these powers is to increase, and he's not going to be in power after 2016, does he trust the next guy with even more powers, or the guy after that with even more than that?

When civil liberties advocates visited to press him to do more to reverse Mr. Bushs policies, Mr. Obama pushed back. He reminded me that he had a different role to play, that he was commander in chief and that he needed to protect the American people,

The role of President isn't to follow through on the platform you were elected on?

wmeredith 4 hours ago 1 reply      
When you get the package every morning, it puts steel in your spine, said David Plouffe, the presidents longtime adviser. There are people out there every day who are plotting. The notion that we would put down a tool that would protect people here in America is hard to fathom.

That's the whole problem. The NSA spying is being sold as if it stops terrorist attacks. It does not. They have not cited a single incidence.

rfnslyr 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What is honestly the point of even concerning ones self with politics anymore? There has been nobody I've talked to in real life that has their head in the game completely, who knows what they are talking about, myself included.

Nothing is going to change, it's a big boys club, debating it, writing about it, all fruitless.

RyanMcGreal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> At the same time, aides said Mr. Obama was surprised to learn after leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, just how far the surveillance had gone.

If this is meant to be taken at face value, and it's at least plausible given how the US government seems to operate, how can Obama not follow it up with at least a strong commitment to making the American security apparatus more clear and transparent?

pessimizer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>Mr. Obama was told before his inauguration of a supposed plot by Somali extremists to attack the ceremony[...]. Although the report proved unfounded, it reinforced to Mr. Obama the need to detect threats before they materialized. The whole Somali threat injected their team into the realities of national security in a tangible and complicated way[...]

So a non-existent threat was what made Obama decide that the surveillance state was necessary. Great decisionmaking here.

forgottenpaswrd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It is not probably a good idea surround yourself with the people you need to control.

Obama spends most of his time going to eat-dinner with the same rich people that benefit from printing money. The rest of the time it is with the praetorian guard that "protects" him.

Anybody believes he is going to make the same people he surrounds most of the time furious? The same people that put him in charge?

This people are the eyes and ears of the "king of the world". He is living in a bubble.

discardorama 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If this thinking, that "we will do anything to prevent another terrorist attack, including give up our liberties", is acceptable, then why isn't giving up guns acceptable to prevent the next school massacre?
mcone 4 hours ago 2 replies      
What's interesting is that the article suggests that Obama himself did not know extent of the NSA's activities. ("At the same time, aides said Mr. Obama was surprised to learn after leaks by Edward J. Snowden... just how far the surveillance had gone.")

If that's true, it seems to indicate that Obama is not an overseer at all.

Have our worst fears been confirmed? Is the NSA an unstoppable organization that reports to nobody except itself?

supersystem 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just seems like a worse version of http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/12/16/131216fa_fact_...

By the way if your getting most of your updates on this subject from HN, you're most likely out of the loop. Since a lot of the insightful content doesn't make it. IIRC there's even a penalty on this subject on HN.

mildavw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The mere hand-wringing that current leaders are doing over this is so disturbing to me because of where I see it taking the country. It's not hard to imagine, say, Carl Rove or his ilk giving someone at the NSA a wink and a nod that they'll be taken care of if their candidate wins office. The NSA leaks or hands off information that tilts the election their way. Given that collection of all of this data is A-OK, no step in this process is blatantly illegal anymore. If I were Ron Wyden, this is what I'd be saying. "Do you want your representatives picked by the NSA? Because that's the logical path we're going down."

The ability read/listen to all electronic communication without warrants gives the NSA too much power for this not to happen.

eof 3 hours ago 1 reply      
My heart sunk when Obama won the election the first time; not because I wanted McCain to win, or that I had any actual hope that one of the third-parties could win; but because everyone was so happy.

I was in Burlington, VT; about as liberal a town as you will find in the USA; and there was a strong anti-war movement. That anti-war movement bought Obama's promises hook-line-and-sinker and the same people that were out holding signs and going to rallies were canvasing for Obama. There was a march through the streets when the counting was done; people cheered as if we were finally turning a new leaf.

I hope, so deeply, that people will have learned their lesson; that, if some politician you have never heard of suddenly starts getting a ton of press and magically enters your consciousness; he is being tapped by big players to do so. Obama, more than any other public figure in the last twenty years is proof positive that there does indeed exist a shadowy cartel that are fucking with us for power.

If you believe Obama started out pure-at-heart and was 'corrupted' after becoming president; you are naive beyond all comprehension. Remember early, early when Obama was asked about marijuana? One of the easiest, most obvious blatantly fucked up policies our government carries out.. something that every single non-political marginally liberal person is absolutely crystal clear on should be legal for adults: he laughs derisively like it's a terrible idea.

Why? What is it about Obama being so full of hope and change and feel-goody liberalness that makes him laugh at marijuana? Talk to 50 non politician democrats and you will find 49 think it's obvious to legalize marijuana. But talk to 50 politician democrats, and you will find maybe half of them. The higher up you go, the less likely they are to be pro legalization. Why? Because their interests aren't yours.

If you think that there will be ever be a 'main stream' candidate that will represent your interests over the 'shadowy cartel' of government interest and lobbyists, you are sorely mistaken; and we all pay the price.

ck2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Like anyone ever in any kind of law enforcement position:

"it's okay when we do it"

coob 4 hours ago 4 replies      
What is it, do you think, that causes former critics of spying to become 'overseers'? The Presidency is limited to two terms, so it's not like it's being used to weild power. Are there honest intentions related to safety, or is it all about money/lobbying?
socrates1998 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just don't get why people don't believe politicians.

We are lied to all the time by them.

We don't need the US Congress. We don't even need the President in it's current version.

We can vote on legislation ourselves. We can approve a budget ourselves. We can veto stupid and corrupt laws.

We do everything else online, why can't we govern online?

The people in power don't want this to happen, so they convince us they are actually doing something.

lasermike026 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The big lie is that surveillance has to do with nation security. It doesn't. You build a surveillance system to suppress political descent not stop terrorist attacks. Business has big plans and they don't want some republic to vote and screw things up for them. They have world to conquer. Follow the money.
OFailey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Obama is "surprised to find out that people don't trust him".

Barry, that's what happens when you get caught lying almost every time you open your mouth. Clearly your mother didn't teach you much.

rummikub 2 hours ago 0 replies      
His administration's descent on this issue has been disappointing. I mean how is the quote any different than something that would have come out of the previous administration?

There are people out there every day who are plotting. The notion that we would put down a tool that would protect people here in America is hard to fathom.

redknight666 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It is also good for the press, if he is going to do anything is another matter.
Tell HN: Server Status
241 points by kogir  7 hours ago   107 comments top 25
barrkel 6 hours ago 2 replies      
By tolerating the loss of two disks, do you mean raidz2 or do you mean 3-way mirror?

Raidz2 is not fast. In fact, it is slow. Also, it is less reliable than a two way mirror in most configurations, because recovering from a disk loss requires reading the entirety of every other disk, whereas recovering from loss in a mirror requires reading the entirety of one disk. The multiplication of the probabilities don't work out particularly well as you scale up in disk count (even taking into account that raidz2 tolerates a disk failure mid-recovery). And mirroring is much faster, since it can distribute seeks across multiple disks, something raidz2 cannot do. Raidz2 essentially synchronizes the spindles on all disks.

Raidz2 is more or less suitable for archival-style storage where you can't afford the space loss from mirroring. For example, I have an 11 disk raidz2 array in my home NAS, spread across two separate PCIe x8 8-port 6Gbps SAS/SATA cards, and don't usually see read or write speeds for files[1] exceeding 200MB/sec. The drives individually are capable of over 100MB/sec - in a non-raidz2 setup, I'd be potentially seeing over 1GB/sec on reads of large contiguous files.

Personally I'm going to move to multiple 4-disk raid10 vdevs. I can afford the space loss, and the performance characteristics are much better.

[1] Scrub speeds are higher, but not really relevant to FS performance.

whalesalad 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of tuning that can be done on a ZFS setup to improve performance. I'm not a pro, so others will have more feedback and knowledge, but some things off the top of my head to get you started:

Add a flash memory based (SSD) ZIL or L2ARC or both to the box. That'll help improve read/write performance. I believe the ZIL (ZFS intent log) is used to cache during writes, and the L2ARC is used during reads.

You might want to look into disabling atime, so that the pool isn't wasting energy keeping access times on files up to date. Not sure if this is relevant with the architecture of HN or not. This can be done with

    zfs set atime=off srv/ycombinator
Finally, ZFS needs a LOT of memory to be a happy camper. Like 3-5GB of RAM per TB of storage.

I actually think you'll probably have a lot of fun with ZFS tuning, if that's the problem with news.yc. FreeBSD's page is pretty detailed: https://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFSTuningGuide

makmanalp 5 hours ago 4 replies      
The trend I'm noticing is people mentioning that if only HN was moved to <insert-cloud-provider>, problems would go away.

Instead of doing that, they probably dropped a bit more than a thousand dollars on a box, and are probably saving thousands in costs per year. This is money coming out of someone's pocket.

This site is here, and it's a charity, being provided free of cost, to you. Who cares if HN is down for a few hours? Seriously? Has anyone been hurt because of this, yet?

cincinnatus 6 hours ago 15 replies      
I'm sure it has been asked many times before, but I'd love to hear the latest thinking... Why in 2013 is HN still running on bespoke hardware and software? If a startup came to you with this sort of legacy thinking you'd laugh them out of the room.
hartator 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not really related but any update on releasing the HN code again?

[the current release is pretty old: https://github.com/wting/hackernews]

JayNeely 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Being the sysadmin on a site frequented by sysadmins has to be frustrating at times.

Thanks for all you do!

Goladus 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been reading this site regularly for almost 7 years. 6-Jan-2014 is the only downtime I remember, and it was really a very minor inconvenience. Sucks about the data loss though, always hard to own that when doing system administration. Thanks for the explanation.
ishener 6 hours ago 6 replies      
may i ask where are the machines hosted? is that on AWS? if not, why don't you move to a more reliable hosting, like AWS?
conorh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you thought about perhaps open sourcing the server setup scripts for HN? I'd love (and I'm sure many others here) to help with the configuration. Perhaps a github repo for some chef recipies that people could work on given the current servers?
nmc 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for the info!

Out of curiosity, do you have an idea about the source of the corruption problems?

erkkie 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminds me I'm still looking for a (pki?-)encrypted zfs snapshots as a backup service, /wink-wink @anyone

Hoping the box has ECC ram, otherwise zfs, too, can be unreliable (http://research.cs.wisc.edu/adsl/Publications/zfs-corruption...)

rrpadhy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am curious to know the server configuration, architecture and the number of hits it is getting.

If someone does offer a new software architecture, and hosting, would people be open to move hackernews there?

shawn-butler 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Using DTrace to profile zfs:


I'm sure other more experienced DTrace users can offer tips but I remember reading this book and learning a lot. And I believe all the referenced scripts were open source and available.

richardw 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update. No worries, it's just a news message board and no businesses are hurt when it's down. I quite enjoy seeing how these things are solved and I'm sure all will be forgiven if you post a meaty post-mortem.
avifreedman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming the disk footprint is small...

Would recommend a new SSD-based ZFS box (Samsung 840 Pros have been great even for pretty write-intesive load), with raidz3 for protection and zfs send (and/or rsync from hourly/N-minute snapshot for data protection which should eliminate copying FS metadata corruption, as not sure if zfs send will).

Happy to provide and/or host such a box or two if helpful.

rdl 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I still like hardware RAID because it's conceptually simple and nicely isolated. Sometimes horrible things happen to it, though, too.

I didn't realize HN had enough disk storage needs to need more than one drive. I guess you could have 1+2 redundancy or something.

jffry 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the writeup.
0xdeadbeefbabe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Don't worry about it. I visited facebook for the first time in years when hn went down. Is hn on linux using zfs or bsd?
scurvy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why on earth are you not using SSD's? The HN footprint can't be that large. The extra speed and reliability from a pair of SSD's has to far outweigh the costs.
lukasm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How about error page show the last static HN page? Most people just need likns
rincebrain 6 hours ago 1 reply      
ZFS instead of UFS on what, an Illumos derivative, FBSD, or actual Oracle Solaris?
carsonreinke 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe you could provide details on the current configuration and architecture and some suggestions could be made on how to improve. Just a thought.
smalu 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The world would be better place if software could exist without hardware.
waxzce 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, I'm the CEO of http://www.clever-cloud.com/ and I'll be happy to help you on this, ping me on twitter : @waxzce
superice 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Good you posted this, but it came a little late. After the first series of timeouts you could've posted an update so everybody knew what was going on. But hey, thanks for the update, this clears up a lot.
Node.js, MongoDB, and you: an intro in parts mongohq.com
9 points by liz_mongohq  1 hour ago   6 comments top 2
fourstar 29 minutes ago 3 replies      
Mongo is cool, and Mongoose (node ORM-like wrapper) is pretty nice as well, but after using it for a few months on a project I was building I realized that I was duplicating a ton of data. Until mongo solves the issue of joins (something that is better suited to a sql solution), I just had to revert and ended up used node-mysql which is a pretty decent node mysql driver. I was considering using mongo for sessions (with connect-mongo), but ended up going with redis as it's pretty solid solution (and according to some benchmarks, faster).
rubyn00bie 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nice article, quick and easy to get through and... I'm sure actually doing this is much better than when I tried this as both have matured quite a bit but... This article is a nightmare of mine, having to use both Nodejs and MongoDB together.

Why? I still can't get this out of my mind:


Also before anyone gets too serious with a reply, learn to laugh. Humility goes along way! I poke fun at Ruby/Rails all the time.

Eero Saarinen's Bell Labs, Now Devoid of Life metropolismag.com
66 points by andyjohnson0  7 hours ago   39 comments top 12
brudgers 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I never cease to be amazed by how humane high modernist architecture often was. All the interior photos in the article are daylit, even the stairwell. I always have to remind myself not to misread such buildings based on all the poor quality knockoffs driven by the speculative development model.

Bell Labs is not just another glass box in the burbs because Saarinan was not just another bullshitting architect.

chiph 3 hours ago 3 replies      
The Burroughs-Wellcome building in RTP is another Modernist design under threat of being significantly changed by a new owner. It was featured in the 1980's movie "Brainstorm", starring Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken.


tlb 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been there. It was beautifully designed and perfectly suited to its job as headquarters for a telecom monopoly. With everything good and bad that implies. It's sad to see it fall into the hands of suburban mall developers.
jessaustin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of Saarinen's work on the Arch, and I know that great things were accomplished in this building, but it seems to me to indulge in the worst excesses of the International Style. Awe is a nice emotion to experience occasionally, but it eventually becomes oppressive. The "stacks" motif here evokes nothing so much as an early 20th-century prison. We don't see any of the actual office space here, but I expect it's entirely the same cramped warrens I've suffered in other buildings of this style. It's not surprising that the merged company decided to sell this building.
bradleyland 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What a beautiful example of the international style of architecture. Unfortunately, the internal layout seems rigidly adapted for office use. I'm not sure how they'll adapt a five-story office building to mall use without gutting the place. Maybe they'll do some sort of hybrid and convert the first two floors to a mall layout, knocking out walls and putting up glass storefronts, preserving the top three floors for office space.

Fun fact: The architect who designed this building also designed the Gateway Arch in St Louis and the iconic Tulip Chair.

jskonhovd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There are so many cool building in the States that just get abandoned. I hope they find a anchor tenant and save this place. It reminds me of the Sterick Building in Memphis, not architecturally but I just feel sad to see a beautiful place go to waste.
housel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I consulted for Bell Labs as my first job out of grad school, and spent a year (1990-1991) working in this building. I always loved the environment, especially the library and dining area in the atrium. Sad to see it all vacant.
Pxtl 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'll never understand how it makes good economic sense to keep buildings barren. Somebody is paying carrying costs for this thing and extracting zero value.
hkmurakami 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I noticed that the third photo has a couple of people sitting in the hall. Is the photo from back when the building was still inhabited?
mathattack 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I recall another telecom building (owned by AT&T, formerly Ameritech, formerly Illinois Bell) that was designed with resale in mind. It was set up for an easy conversion to a mall, in case they had to sell it.
eternalban 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The original: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_luf7d6TKj01qzvxbko1_1280.j...

(Isn't it a shame Larkin is no more?)

larrydag 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Was this a direct result of the Alcatel and Lucent merger or did this start long before?
Working with Django and Flask on Nitrous.IO realpython.com
7 points by gregman  1 hour ago   discuss
Belgian startup DPTechnics releases OpenWRT module dptechnics.com
61 points by ColinWright  7 hours ago   12 comments top 6
vonmoltke 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Nice! I have about half a dozen projects that could use this.

A question to no company in particular, though this seems to be a good place to ask.

Why are you not taking backorders? I have noticed, across multiple startups and other electronics companies, that the pattern seems to be:

1) Produce $QUANTITY items in the first production run2) Sell out in $RIDICULOUSLY_SHORT_TIME3) Order $QUANTITY * $MULTIPLE while telling potential customers, "We ordered more from the manufacturer, check back later!"

The last step turns getting an item into a sort of lottery. If you take backorders, though, you get a defined backlog to work through. Your customers will definitely get what they want (eventually). Plus, you know what $MULTIPLE should be going forward because you have a defined set of work for the future. I spent the first four years of my career as an EE with an aerospace company, and for us having a backlog was a good thing (as long as we could meet our contractual obligations, of course). Few, if any, hardware startups seem to be embracing this concept.

josephlord 3 hours ago 0 replies      
0.36W 30 dual ethernet - cool.

I think I've just found something to go upstream of my main home router (using the router's USB socket for power). The main home router can become a basic switch/wireless access point.

You could also use something like this as a portable personal firewall/VPN router running off the laptop's USB ports for power.

I was too slow this time though!

slug 4 hours ago 0 replies      
That's pretty nice and using that SoC is very convinient. I got a wr703n for $23 and installed OpenWRT on it (http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr703n) to play around with GPIOs. It comes with 5V 1A USB power supply and case, so price wise it's still better than the DPTechnics module. I also got a $15 HI-LINK HLK-RM04, although installing OpenWRT is trickier (http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/hilink/hlk-rm04).
fest 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A very similar product by Lithuanian company: http://shop.8devices.com/carambola2

It does not come with built-in antenna though, so an external antenna is required.

AlexanderDhoore 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Awesome. These guys are located 20 km away from me! Glad to see something interesting come out of our small country.
thejosh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
30 euro ex shipping with 6 in stock.
Requests for comment: MP4 Video wikimedia.org
33 points by mmcclure  5 hours ago   13 comments top 3
Pxtl 3 hours ago 2 replies      
tl;dr: because iOS.
sheng 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
Why not webm?
mtw 3 hours ago 4 replies      
a bit late, vendors are now working on implementing the next version h.265 (better quality, much smaller size)
Show HN: An Open-Source Data Science Curriculum github.com
104 points by coderjack  10 hours ago   31 comments top 14
the_watcher 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to have a clear list of assumed capabilities (for example, I am familiar with basic programming and have built a few websites, but I haven't taken a math class since senior year of high school, and don't think I remember enough about Calculus to do anything that assumes knowledge of it). Just a simple list of what level math, stats, and programming fluency this starts from would be great.
jlees 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like lists of resources are OK, but with something like data science, which has its own branches and specialities, it would be good to have some kind of stack ranking of topics and information beyond just 'start here'. That way, a reader gets more and more conversant with the different ideas being thrown around.

Also, I don't have a list of these handy, but I've found long annotated notebooks/blog posts of worked data science examples very helpful for refreshing my memory on applied techniques. http://derandomized.com/ is a great example, maybe other HN readers have some favourites we could add.

blakerson 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm biased as a non-technical analyst with an academic history, but I'm concerned that the curriculum doesn't meet the most basic needs.

Quoting the section 'An Academic Shortfall':"Academic credentials are important but not necessary for high-quality data science. The core aptitudes curiosity, intellectual agility, statistical fluency, research stamina, scientific rigor, skeptical nature that distinguish the best data scientists are widely distributed throughout the population."

In my estimation, none of those aptitudes are covered by teaching technical skills like databases, NLP, ML, graphical models, and the other topics this curriculum covers.

The "core aptitudes" generally boil down to asking the correct questions, establishing the correct answers, and correctly defending them. Academia doesn't automatically instill these skills, but it can do a great job of doing so.

Either way, inside or outside the ivory tower, an ace programmer who masters NLP, ML, Hadoop, and everything else could easily still come out without the required core aptitudes, and be thoroughly unprepared to do what data scientists are really expected to do: answer questions.

afaqurk 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The original post for this was what inspired me to create this: http://afaq.dreamhosters.com/free-cs
jimzvz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't been excited about my career in a while but I am getting more and more excited about data science. I have a new desire to learn and to actually finish my masters degree.

Thanks for putting these resources together.

craigching 3 hours ago 0 replies      
On the entry "NLP with Python O'Reilly / Book", note that a second edition might be "in the works." There is an online edition of the work in progress (updating for Python 3 and NLTK 3) available here [1].

[1] -- http://nltk.org/book3/

Beliavsky 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I see many books on Python listed. It's a good language for data analysis and scientific computing, especially with scipy, but there are alternatives, of course. I like Fortran 95, which is available in gcc as gfortran. A relevant book for data scientists would be "Developing Statistical Software in Fortran 95" (2005).
Ajoo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A resource I've found invaluable and that I can't find listed is videolectures.net

Particularly http://videolectures.net/pascal/ has plenty of lectures and tutorials from their summer schools on very relevant topics for machine learning.

hootener 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I do a lot of statistical work, but wouldn't call myself a data scientist. To that end:

> I geared the original curriculum toward Python tools and resources, so I've explicitly marked when resources use other tools to teach conceptual material (like R)

Why did you choose Python over R? Personal preference, a bent toward Python in the online courses you found, or is Python generally considered the de facto language choice for professional data scientists?

I imagine you could tackle these courses with any programming language, but if Python seems to be the way the data science community is going, it would be helpful to know that. Personally, I'm curious because I'm trying to decide if I should pick up Python on the side to supplement the knowledge I already have of R and various other programming languages.

Also, thanks for putting all this together. It's great!

prodev42 5 hours ago 1 reply      
for the first course Intro to Data Science, the only access you will have are the videos. You can't see other resources like homeworks and other stuff. What to do about this?
it_learnses 6 hours ago 0 replies      
thanks. this is a good resource :) I've explored most of these courses on Coursera over the last year before finally deciding to go to grad school. For me, the biggest factor was motivation (in terms of actually doing the assignments and projects), networking, and getting internship opportunities. However, I still am using the coursera lectures as a supplement to my courses and it helps a lot.

Regardless of any path you take, these are very exciting times to be in computing sciences. All the best to everyone and keep upgrading your skills and knowledge :)

emre 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for putting these resources together, this is amazing
Ryel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
YES I support this.
igvadaimon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
that's kinda awkward, but something is wrong with my monitor when I'm on that website.
Good fun with bad crypto intrepidusgroup.com
49 points by lelf  6 hours ago   14 comments top 5
luma 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's not bad crypto, it's an encoding scheme. It's even in the name! Citrix uses this to pass around credentials between disparate systems which might not be part of the same ActiveDirectory forest preventing the use of OS provided ticketing systems. The traffic carrying these credentials are encrypted with SSL, so you shouldn't be able to pull this in cleartext off the wire. It's obviously not a great system, but it does what it's designed to do. Details on abusing this system are available here[1], but they still require getting access to the unencrypted stream which once again will be passed around the network inside an HTTPS connection.

While I'm sure it was an interesting exercise, the author could have saved himself some time and simply Googled the name, there are published scripts and COM objects to deal with this encoding stream such as[2].

[1] http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/520869

[2] http://www.remkoweijnen.nl/blog/2013/03/19/scriptable-citrix...

teddyh 48 minutes ago 0 replies      

    > x = sys.stdin.readline()    > while x:    >         >     x = sys.stdin.readline()
Seeing stuff like that makes me sad. This could be more simply be written as:

    for x in sys.stdin:        

asciimo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This article coincides perfectly with the online Stanford Crypto class that just started up: https://www.coursera.org/course/crypto We just covered the principles of good encryption, and this is a great exercise to witness in that context.
nialo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to try figuring this out myself as an exercise, and therefore haven't read past the introduction of the article.

Does anyone know where I can find either the application in question or some other program that will at least encode this format?

valarauca1 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Firefox returns: (Error code: ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap) via https
Startup Culture Divide: United States and Japan parc.com
26 points by wslh  4 hours ago   27 comments top 6
sanxiyn 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I am a Korean.

I don't think describing one as risk-averse is fair when risk is different. When A and B are given the same risk, and A takes the risk and B doesn't, it is fair to describe B as more risk-averse than A. When A and B are given the different risk, and A takes the risk and B doesn't, it doesn't tell much about B's risk-averseness.

I think it is not that Japanese culture is risk-averse, but that doing startup in Japan is actually more risky. These two are not the same statement.

I also call bullshit on "lack of disruptive ideas". How can one even imagine such thing is true is beyond me.

hkmurakami 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This was one of the better articles on the subject of the entrepreneurship problem in Japan, probably because it is one of the rare cases where the piece was written by someone who personally wet his feet in the scene there (as opposed to journalists or bloggers, who are complete outsiders).

That being said, the discussion is largely a repetition of what we've heard many times before (Though the parts about long sales cycles and the non-entrepreneurial VC was interesting, since these are the only two parts that came from the author's own personal experiences). There's a limit to how much astute insight can be drawn from Japanese Americans (which he must be) like the author or myself, because in the end, we are outsiders and will never be completely immersed or invested in understanding the intricacies of the socio-cultural issues that pervade the scene there.

I've of course thought about these issues in Japan myself, and my current assessment is that the best talent in the country have so much to lose and so little to gain by leaving their larger company posts and creating their own thing. The incentives and rewards are completely different than just 40 years ago, where there was very little to lose by being brash and taking outsized risks, both inside and outside large companies.

jimbokun 1 hour ago 0 replies      
An outstanding anime on the topic of overcoming the culture of risk aversion in Japan is Whisper of the Heart. ( is the Japanese title.)


A teenage girl spends much of her time reading books that interest her and is drawn toward writing fantasy fiction on her own. This runs against the grain of the cultural norm of devoting herself to studying for university entrance exams.

She is inspired by a boy her age devoted to making and playing violins, who goes to Italy for a year to pursue this dream. His family supports and encourages him in this endeavor.

Her parents are understandably worried about her choice to pursue this risky dream, but decide to support her choice in the end.

The movie really drew me in emotionally to what it must be like to choose a more creative path in a society with a strong norm of conformity. It made me think of how the animators must have felt telling this story, as it must have mirrored their own past.

It also makes me wonder how so many creative people have managed to flourish in Japan, and what path they took to arrive there. There is so much creativity in manga, anime, video games, and all the other cultural artifacts of Japan so popular throughout the world.

And what about the Japanese who do manage to successfully start new businesses? How do they manage it?

ilamont 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I agree with sanxiyn's take, especially regarding disruptive ideas. There have been some incredible Japanese inventors, and groups that are willing to take huge risks. The multiple innovations in both the Prius and Wii are two high-profile examples.

Three other points I would like to share come from discussions with Japanese friends over the years:

- For men in certain industries, there is a strong social encouragement of working for large companies for decades, and the expectation at many (but not all) corporations is that once you are hired, you are in for life. The companies make it easy to do so -- I have a friend at a large electronics company who said they took care of housing, relocation, even a company hospital ("hospital" was the term he used, although I suppose it could have been a clinic).

- Entrepreneurs are seen as somehow tricky or ethically lacking. This was expressed to me by middle-aged salarymen at giant multinationals a few years ago, so I don't know if the attitude has changed.

- Large companies have extensive and deep supplier relationships that discourage taking a chance on an upstart.

I'd like to hear the observations of other HNers who are Japanese or have long experience in the country.

avighnay 2 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing that perhaps Americans always miss out or under rate in their own startup culture is the support ecosystem, especially the media

I see that in US, there is a media circle that continually builds itself around entrepreneurs and celebrates local innovation (like how TC began as such an idea), as the old ones grow bigger, younger ones come in and keep even the fringe entrepreneur in the lime light

In addition to the Tech industry you can also see this in the US sports industry. No other country perhaps has made sports such a successful business endeavor as in US. A great part of credit goes to its media.

Another big plus for US startups is 'local adoption', I consider this a huge advantage for all of them. Perhaps you have never felt it as you have never seen the other side of it. For e.g. you can never take it for granted in India, in fact being local startup has a good chance to work against you with customers. The positive news is that there is a sea of change in enterprises here, I have had recently a large corporation go for our product vs that of IBM/SAP. This alone can be a start of good times for Indian startups.

gregt590 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Japan isn't the only country where developing a startup culture is difficult. Many Asian countries have a much more heirarchical culture where simply following what your boss or political leader says to do without question is strongly ingrained. I was part of a team under John Roese at Huawei that was trying to help Huawei learn how to be innovative. Their executive leaders understood the need, but there turned out to be too big a cultural divide across the bulk of the company to get the support and engagement needed, so the effort collapsed after a couple of years and most of us moved on to more productive efforts. It was however a very insightful period in my career since I learned a lot about where China (in general) has advantages over the US and where the US (in particular Silicon Valley) has advantages over China. The willingness to openly share and "give before you get" is definitely some much more common in the US and leads to much more effective collective efforts here. On the other hand I have never seen more effective "manufacturing-like engineering" at scale than I saw at Huawei. In an ironic way we are often able to leverage the power of numbers (i.e crowd sourcing, open source, cross-collaboration, etc) more effectively than the country that has the numbers but not yet the understanding of how to best leverage them.
       cached 16 January 2014 20:02:01 GMT