hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    21 Jan 2014 News
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Rosetta: ESAs sleeping beauty wakes up from deep space hibernation esa.int
207 points by WestCoastJustin  5 hours ago   36 comments top 6
WestCoastJustin 5 hours ago 8 replies      
> Operating on solar energy alone, Rosetta was placed into a deep space slumber in June 2011 as it cruised out to a distance of nearly 800 million km from the warmth of the Sun, beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

Boggles my mind what a group of engineers can do. Make you wonder if our industry's mind share being wasted on web apps and consumer gadgets because of the profit incentive associated? Just seems like an unbelievable symphony of fields all playing in concert, let alone having it all work as expected in production! Probably the most stunning example of this was Curiosity's Landing on Mars (the tethered landing blew me away!) [1].

[1] http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/edl20120809.html

simias 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I couldn't believe that wasn't at the top of the frontpage already. It's an amazing feat of engineering!

Unfortunately it seems the previous submission didn't get a lot of love for some reason: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7091027

Come on people, if something is hacker news worthy it has to be this!

kartikkumar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So exciting! Can't wait for the Philae landing. Going to be a tremendous event in space exploration. My post-doc position is going to be closely tied to Rosetta and future missions to asteroids, so I'm hoping for the best! Interplanetary missions in Europe have taken hits from cuts in funding and various political problems, so this will be a great boost for the industry as a whole.
shalalala 3 hours ago 1 reply      
<3 the 1st contact it sent was, "Hello, World!" Perfect.
jCanvas 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know they type of setup these probes have? Is it running a custom OS on custom hardware or plain old Linux on a x86 processor?
obblekk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow! Anyone know how the hardware interrupt for the timer worked? Was it's design different to guard against false signals triggered by radiation?
AMC movie theater calls FBI to arrest a Google Glass user the-gadgeteer.com
88 points by sounds  55 minutes ago   60 comments top 22
shittyanalogy 24 minutes ago 2 replies      
This isn't really a story about the woes of being a google glass user, it's a story about how people don't know their rights and how to apply them.

This man is lucky that he didn't end up accidentally giving the authorities some tiny piece of information to make his life worse. You should absolutely never talk to the authorities even if you think you have nothing to hide and especially when they're actively trying to pin something on you. It is perfectly legal for them to threaten you with harsher legal penalties, and it is perfectly legal for you to say I need to speak with a lawyer before I make any decisions or say anything. This account is a CLEAR illustration of how they ONLY want you to confess to something and once they don't think they can they no longer care about you in the tiniest bit. It's not about justice, it's about catching people.

Also, don't wear a goddamn camera on your head to the movies. The man must certainly own a pair of regular prescription glasses and was being extremely naive.

freshhawk 29 minutes ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one who's pretty convinced by that story that they were not FBI? It seemed like the fellow who went through this has his doubts as well.

I feel doubly bad for him, that's a horrible experience and also that he was so intimidated that he just sat through all that, didn't get any badge numbers or names or even what organization these people were with, "would have been fine with Im sorry this happened, please accept our apologies" and closing it with: "Again, I wish they would have listened when I told them how to verify I did nothing illegal, or at least apologize afterwards, but hey this is the free country everybody praises. Somewhere else might be even worse."

Everyone isn't going to be one of those "know and exercise your rights" people in the face of authority, but the opposite is very depressing.

ben336 26 minutes ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one who is a bit skeptical of this? Seems incredibly hard to believe, with no hard sources. (Email from Friend of a Friend of a gadget blogger is not where I want to be getting my credible news of law enforcement overreaching)
cletus 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
The lesson here is "Don't talk to the police". This has been posted here many times:


This should be required viewing especially given the quasi-police state the US is turning into and, more importantly, the arbitrariness of prosecutorial discretion.

As soon as they say it's a "voluntary interview", leave. The only thing you should say is "am I free to go?". If you are, go. If not, ask for a lawyer.

Watch the video for why. You can get yourself in trouble and you are basically strictly better off saying nothing.

brandonhsiao 32 minutes ago 1 reply      
Something I keep noticing in all these stories is how the FBI seems to act during these "interrogations." They're like the big bully who runs into the room, barely stops to think, makes a few empty, irrational threats, then leaves the room feeling stupid but refusing to admit it.

It's nothing logical, but it's pretty frustrating that you can't just let them how dumb they are, simply because they have the bigger bureaucratic dicks in the room.

ChristianMarks 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
I have done my bit to put the MPAA and RIAA out of business: I don't watch movies, and I don't listen to music. Google Glass does seem--at least anecdotally--to elicit aggressive behavior. Prudence suggests waiting until the Borg has assimilated the homo sapien malcontents before wearing one.
mgkimsal 22 minutes ago 2 replies      
I've seen bootlegged movies from camcorders in theaters. Those are bad enough. The thought of something recorded from some guy's headmounted camera, with thousands of tiny movements, breathing, twitching, slouching, eating and more makes me wonder who on earth would even think a recording made that way would be valuable.
foobarian 33 minutes ago 3 replies      
Do people still record movies in movie theaters? I'm getting 90s flashbacks here.
philip1209 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why is there no mention of having a prescription medical device taken without consequence? I wonder if, had anything gone south, being deprived of a medical device during questioning could have been used to get evidence thrown out.
asperous 6 minutes ago 1 reply      

In case anyone is wondering, that's the us federal law. Most States have individual laws that change the punishment.

sergiotapia 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
What the fuck USA? These gestapo goons are running amuck harassing innocent citizens.
notdrunkatall 32 minutes ago 1 reply      
Which is more ridiculous: that AMC actually called the FBI, or that the FBI actually respond in this way?

What the fuck is wrong with this country?

choarham 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's easiest to engage with this at the google glass / privacy / media rights gone amok level, but it is most important to face it directly: We are headed towards a very real police state.
thejosh 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
You were wearing a camera on your head.

Guess what would happen..........

streetnigga 42 minutes ago 3 replies      
Yea... Does it have a camera on it? Don't wear it into a theater or other area where filming is prohibited.
darkstar999 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow. What a gross misuse of a federal agency. I can't believe my tax dollars pay for this. What kind of reach does the movie industry have to make this happen?
vacri 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love the blog format. Article about a somewhat distressing abuse of power by authorities, followed by "Other articles that you will enjoy"...
vorg 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
> it may be my mistake for assuming that if I went and watched movies two times wearing Glass with no incident the third time there wont be any incident either

> About an hour into the movie (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit)

The cinema could've been under obligation to more strictly enforce anti-IP-theft measures for that particular movie. It was released on the same day in many countries of the world so opening weekend attendance was important for their revenues. I saw it in mainland China before it opened in the US.

I don't think any extra IP protection measures will help revenues for that particular movie, though. It was the only time I've ever been the only person in a cinema hall in China watching a movie.

MatthewWilkes 25 minutes ago 1 reply      
$600 prescription glasses? WTF? Just get a $30 pair and wear those rather than having a camera taped to the side of your head. This isn't surprising in the slightest.
lettergram 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
Why the FBI and not the local police? I understand that piracy goes through the FBI, but the if you catch someone "in the act" I am sure the police can handle it.
MRSallee 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
You couldn't pay me to watch an entire movie recorded off-screen on some dude's Glass.
bkm 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Have they ever heard of the expression 'the customer is always right'? Well, there he was.. the customer.
OpenBSD receives approximately $100,000 in donations marc.info
35 points by skreuzer  2 hours ago   5 comments top 5
protomyth 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
"We would also like to thank the many smaller donors too numerous to list here for their contributons to the foundation."

If you go to the openbsd.org page, it does list the people who have given directly. I would like to see the foundation continue this tradition[1].

It's good to give first credit to the big donors, but it is kind of sad not to give credit to those paying every month[2]. It made me feel pretty good to get my name on the openbsd site's page and did encourage me to donate more.

1) with the donor's permission

2) reminds me a bit of Revision3's t-shirts sent to donors, but only the lump sum people who actually gave less than the monthly donors

zobzu 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
i like to donate as much as anybody but i'd like to see the exact way the money is spent when i do. Too bad most projects don't document that at all.
sharms 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love to see that Google is on their top donors page every year, it shows their commitment to supporting open source and the tools they have used to build their business on.


skreuzer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They have set a goal of raising $150,000 for 2014 so if you haven't already, please consider donating


stormqloud 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's awesome people came out.

I signed up for the monthly paypal deduction. Many a tech can expense a minor $10-$20 per month subscription for a important project like openbsd.

Intel's "cripple AMD" function (2009) agner.org
265 points by luu  10 hours ago   86 comments top 14
dchichkov 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I've ran into it in practice a few years back, while making WRF (math intensive atmospheric modeling software, I'm maintaining non-commercial soaring prediction site for the bay area) to work on my AMD cluster. Had to patch the executable compiled with the Intel compiler in order to make it work unhindered on AMD's. The patch was just zapping 'Genuine Intel' detection code in the compiled executable... That 'post-linker' patch is available here: http://www.swallowtail.org/naughty-intel.shtml
wmf 9 hours ago 3 replies      

Since then Intel settled the lawsuit by paying $10M and agreeing to add the following disclaimer to their compilers: "Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors..." http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/optimization-notice... http://www.anandtech.com/show/3839/intel-settles-with-the-ft...

sounds 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Article is from 2009 but Agner's CPU optimizations manual is still very useful.


Instructions on how to patch Intel's CPU detection routine to do your bidding is in section 13.7, pp. 132-133.

The 2009 article also has this interesting tidbit: "It is possible to change the CPUID of AMD processors by using the AMD virtualization instructions. I hope that somebody will volunteer to make a program for this purpose. This will make it easy for anybody to check if their benchmark is fair and to improve the performance of software compiled with the Intel compiler on AMD processors."

jrockway 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
If I were AMD, I'd just start calling my processor GenuineIntel. (Or maybe make it user programmable, and then absolve myself of any knowledge of what users are setting it to.) When the judge asks why, I'd say because those are the magic words to make certain binaries run faster, and I wanted to run a viable processor business.

This is not an acceptable use of trademarks.

gcp 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an old article. As far as I know, the settlement that was been reached was entirely laughable and most certainly doesn't remove the "cripple AMD" function. Now Intel just has to notify customers that it may not get optimal performance on other CPUs, and reimburse them the cost of the compiler if they can demonstrate that they mistakenly bought the compiler thinking that wouldn't happen, or something like that.

There is no new info in the linked article regarding the "new" FTC investigation.

TwoBit 9 hours ago 2 replies      
How does the Intel compiler compare to others today? We tried using it for game development years ago and it had too many problems to make it worthwhile (e.g. pathological behavior with some C++ code).
w1ntermute 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Can you spoof AMD CPUs to return "GenuineIntel" instead of "AuthenticAMD"?
agumonkey 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Bothered me when I realized that maybe mainstream reviews (the ones able influence the average mass market buyer) were using binaries very biased in favor of intel.
happycube 9 hours ago 1 reply      
At this point, does intel need that function to make AMD's CPU cores look bad?
coldcode 6 hours ago 0 replies      
When I worked for a game company we used the Intel compiler for a couple of versions but it caused so many issues for people with AMD we switched back to the MS compiler. In the end the performance difference wasn't enough to matter.
raverbashing 8 hours ago 0 replies      
And the question is: how about we stop paying Intel for an unfair product?

I know, their compiler produces the fastest code, but maybe you can get good (enough) results by using libraries and maybe some manual optimization

aeonsky 8 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm still not entirely sure why is Intel forced to do this? Is it only because they advertise that it optimizes equally well for any CPU? If not, then I don't really see why they can force them to provide another AMD-friendly version.
salient 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Intel is one of the least ethical tech companies around. Have they even paid their 1 billion euro fine to the EU Commission yet for trying to force OEMs to not use AMD chips in their products?


bd_at_rivenhill 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This all seems to indicate that the intel compiler emits multiple, cpu-dependant code paths for a given binary, which seems insane to me due to the amount of extra memory that this would require. Am I missing something here?
Interview with Raffi Krikorian on Twitter's Infrastructure infoq.com
25 points by margaretblue  1 hour ago   5 comments top 3
edandersen 31 minutes ago 2 replies      
Flagged - title is editorialized. Correct title is "Interview with Raffi Krikorian on Twitter's Infrastructure".

This actually seems like a disguised recruitment piece, until the last answer where it plainly is. There are little to no actual technical details about their SOA implementation other than handwaving about splitting their monolithic app into services and the benefits it brings. I guess it's just meant to entice developers with stories of the awesome solutions they will get to maintain as a cog in Twitter.

cdr 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Original Castle in the Sky/architecture blog post: https://blog.twitter.com/2013/new-tweets-per-second-record-a...
daigoba66 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I you like this, then you'll also enjoy this presentation: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/scaling-operations-facebo....
Startup failure post-mortems cbinsights.com
20 points by asanwal  2 hours ago   4 comments top 3
asanwal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For those interested in trends & hard data on startup failure, this may be of interest - http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/startup-death-data
baldajan 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
A really nice read and great snippets of each article/blog post. I have read some in the past, and even though I may not always agree on their reason for failure, I can definitely relate to others. At the end of the day, building a startup is hard, and if you're not willing to "pivot" either incrementally or sometimes completely, you will fail.

I truly commend these founders for writing about their failures. It's hard to admit you failed, rather alone letting the world know you dropped the ball. In return, we can learn from them, as to not repeat the mistakes they did, but to make our own mistakes (a bit cliche but true)

At the end of the day:

1) build something people want

2) features != product; features = bloat

3) keep learning, keep moving

The number of times I was about to give up only to realize, "wait a second, I completely missed x" and fixed it, has paid me dividends in the past.

Reflect, correct, and kick ass ;)

jpatokal 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
Nice. If the list was editable, I'd add mine:http://gyrovague.com/2012/12/18/wikitravel-press-seven-lesso...

Interesting how many others have also found "7 lessons" in their failures!

Tijuana Airport Parking, Just Over the Border nytimes.com
29 points by nikunjk  2 hours ago   discuss
Half of taxpayer funded research will soon be available to the public washingtonpost.com
142 points by RougeFemme  8 hours ago   49 comments top 9
sparkie 7 hours ago 5 replies      
When is the taxpayer going to be given the right to use inventions funded with their own money?

It's pretty terrible that some academic can take public money to fund his research, then take out a patent on the result and prevent his financiers from using an 'invention'.

Actually, the most stupid part about the whole thing it is that the government gets some rights to use these publicly-funded patented inventions. (As if the government, not the taxpayer funded it)

tzs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Terrible headline, as almost all taxpayer funded research is already available to the public.

This is about making it more conveniently available. Currently, you might have to go through a paywall for online access, or visit a library for free access. This should make much of it available online at no cost.

Actually, a lot more than most people realize is fairly easily available online (with publisher permission) for cheap via DeepDyve [1], including from publishers that we normally think of as being very expensive.

Here's a page at DeepDyve that lets you browse by subject, journal, or publisher [2], which should give a good idea of what they have available.

Not as nice as open access, of course, but still pretty useful.

[1] http://www.deepdyve.com

[2] http://www.deepdyve.com/browse/

MWil 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope PACER follows suit soon. We are paying under the guise of the government having the burden of being the sole provider when it could very easily be distributively hosted with a verification system built-in. Doesn't eliminate all costs but that's never been the point. The point is to pay for costs that make sense.
kartikkumar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes! Very good news, and it's only the start. We need to keep pushing for more top-quality open access journals, open access to data sets, and open access to scientific software.

I try my best to stick to this myself, and I've open-sourced all my PhD research code for the exact reason that I know that it's non-negotiable, given that public funding has enabled me to pursue something I love and further science as a result.

I'm all for this, and I've even brainstormed ways with a few others in my field of actually trying to put together a community-based, peer-review system that makes use of arxiv.org.

This space NEEDS innovation!

kriro 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately the glass is still half empty.

But good starts are good.

emiliobumachar 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this law allow the government to break copyright owned by the paywalled distributors? Because many of them simply require submitters to transfer all copyrights of the articles to them.
geoka9 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Why only half?
obblekk 7 hours ago 3 replies      
What value do publishers provide? Why don't new companies disrupt the space seeing that physical mediums are long gone?
mindcrime 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Human Knowledge Belongs To The World
Pmarca Tweets as Blog Posts pmarcatweetsasblogposts.tumblr.com
55 points by vnaylon  4 hours ago   11 comments top 8
nlh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is useful, and interesting, and a good read.

My question: Twitter feels like totally the wrong platform for his thoughts. I know, I know, "it is what you make of it", but this feels a bit like a round peg into a square hole.

Why doesn't Marc just publish thoughts on Tumblr / Medium / Facebook / Wordpress / etc?

Just feels like this blog (and thread) is unnecessary....we're now at the point where someone compiles someone else's 140-character tidbits into a cohesive point, and we're all thankful for it. Kinda weird.

waterlesscloud 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is Twitter one of the best run companies ever?

I accept I'm probably wrong, but my feeling is that Twitter is on the wrong course. Not that they won't be successful in the direction that they're heading, just that they won't be nearly as successful as they could have been. It feels to me like they've lost track of their central appeal.

Yeah, I know that's vague and not much to hang onto. I should probably try to figure out what I really mean by it.

patmcguire 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"Rule 613: People either grow into big jobs, or swell into them"

I don't understand this at all.

nrao123 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude - this is so brilliant! Was just going through pmarca's tweets yesterday & was thinking "damn- I wish somebody can convert this into a blog post" .

Thank you!

Let me know if you need help. I can pick a day of the week & help transcribe/collate that days tweets!

kevando 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Love this. Largely cause I started following him right when I joined twitter and thought I was going crazy. Have I been ignoring this guys' tweets all this time or did he really just go from zero to 100?
njohnw 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Also really valuable are his blog posts from 2007/2008. He's since took his blog down but they're archived here: http://blog.jedchristiansen.com/pmarcaarchive/pmarca-archive...
ndreckshage 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
isnt this what storify is for?
morganb180 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome.
Code is not Literature gigamonkeys.com
139 points by antifuchs  8 hours ago   52 comments top 23
ef4 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Asking people what they've read "just for the heck of it" is the wrong question, because code is not linear, so it's extremely ungainly to read without purpose.

But as soon as the skilled code reader has a purpose in mind -- a question to answer -- he or she can rapidly find a meaningful narrative. Put into that context, programmers read code constantly, and the more they read the better they get.

So I don't like the "nobody actually reads code" claim. It's a strawman. When I tell people to read code, it's always in the context of "pick something you want to understand or fix, and read with that purpose in mind." Not "the Linux kernel is like Moby Dick, you should really read it all."

taeric 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Of course, the whole point of "literate programming" is to provide hints and structure for the human reader. This is done not by creating some structure in the code that makes sense to the compiler and a human, but by breaking up a program into pieces that are put together later.

I feel that this is really nothing that a good compiler couldn't do with a higher level language today. However, in doing so I would wind up with a heavily polluted namespace of helper methods and such that really don't help me understand what I was trying to do.

So, in the vein of reading code. I've only read a few sections of "The Stanford Graphbase," as I just got it a couple of weeks ago, but I can already tell this would have been a much better introduction to a few graph algorithms than I had in my undergrad.

Further, all of the "literate" programs I have written have been much easier for me to jump back into. Precisely because I have much of my "decoding" notes. So, code isn't literature, because we don't write it with a narrative for humans in mind. But, there is no real reason we couldn't.

jacobolus 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the author has a somewhat limited definition of literature, though he ultimately comes to the right conclusion that code must be studied, not read. Its true, code is typically less linear than a pulp novel, but other types of literature are also involved, with layered meanings, which must be examined carefully, with reference material handy, and lots of flipping back and forth between sections. For instance, poems, philosophical treatises, historical analyses, and math textbooks must all typically be read this way.
bgilroy26 7 hours ago 0 replies      
>It was just basically the way you solve some kind of an unknown puzzlemake tables and charts and get a little more information here and make a hypothesis. In general when Im reading a technical paper, its the same challenge. Im trying to get into the authors mind, trying to figure out what the concept is. The more you learn to read other peoples stuff, the more able you are to invent your own in the future, it seems to me.

I really enjoyed reading this article, but I would argue with its headline. Based on the author's experience and the example from Donald Knuth, it seems like the best way to read code is to go through it multiple times to the point where you could reimplement it or provide complete documentation for it.

The literary analog for code reading might be a writing a scholarly reader's companion to a book.

You can't write a secondary source for a work of literature by reading it once through like a drugstore thriller or romance. A literary analyst would read the book through completely >3 times and spend hours on certain key passages. They would take extensive notes reconstructing the innerworkings of the characters, the relationships between them, and key themes. Once the work has been comprehensively understood, the scholar can write out in an expository manner what is going on in the piece of literature, the same way that a thoroughly digested piece of software can be rewritten based on the mental model that develops as you read.

Obviously software and novels do not map completely one onto the other. I think the key similarity is that they both can be created with sufficient complexity to require taking multiple passes and following along with the author, building something similar yourself in order to truly understand them.

greenyoda 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"Once Ive completely rewritten the thing I usually understand it pretty well and can even go back to the original and understand it too. I have always felt kind of bad about this approach to code reading but it's the only thing that's ever worked for me."

This strategy may work for small programs, but it doesn't scale to large programs. For example, most people aren't going to have the time to refactor Firefox or the Linux kernel to figure out how they work.

Also, it's hard to tell a lot about a large program just by reading a listing of the source code. Certain things about the code become much more obvious if you step through the running code with a debugger. To extend the author's analogy of a program being a scientific specimen: the code is a living specimen whose behavior can be studied, not just a dead specimen that can be stained and looked at under a microscope.

scott_s 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Every time I have a serious question about how something works in the Linux kernel, I use it as an excuse to do a dive into the code: http://lxr.free-electrons.com/

I still look through other sources, including man pages, books and a lot of googling. But sometimes I just want to see what it is I'm dealing with. I do this with all code bases I deal with. I think it's a good practice to get into.

thangalin 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Why do we still embed natural language descriptions of source code (i.e., the reason why a line of code was written) within the source code to the exclusion of intrinsically linked separate documents?


The potential advantages include:

- More source code and more documentation on the screen(s) at once

- Ability to edit documentation independently of source code (regardless of language?)

- Write documentation and source code in parallel without merge conflicts

- Real-time hyperlinked documentation with superior text formatting

- Quasi-real-time machine translation into different natural languages

- Every line of code can be clearly linked to a task, business requirement, etc.

- Documentation could automatically timestamp when each line of code was written (metrics)

- Dynamic inclusion of architecture diagrams, images to explain relations, call-graph hierarchies, etc.

- Single-source documentation (e.g., tag code snippets for user inclusion in manual[s]).

dschiptsov 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am not English major, but I am pretty sure that the idea of becoming a writer by reading pieces of other people's texts is wrong. This is simply not enough. There is a "second component" in good writing, and it is not just about language usage.

One could read Selinger or Pamuk or Sartre or Hesse, to realize that this second component is much more important, while masters like Nabokov whose speciality is playing with words might show you that wording is also important.)

The transition from reading to writing ones own texts, not imitating or copy pasting is also not clear, and, of course, one never could become a good writer only by excessive reading. Writing and speaking are different cognitive tasks from reading or listening.

So what? Reading of good code is important, it teaches style, how to be brief, concise, precise. But where to find the good code? Well, the recursive list functions in Scheme are worth reading. Some parts of Haskell Prelude are worth reading, some macros of Common Lisp, etc.

The code of "the top writers" are worth reading. Code from PAIP or On Lisp or SICP are obvious examples, while some code, like from Practical CL which is mostly a mechanical translation of OO stuff only adds more confusion.

So, reading "good" code is still the must, the same way that reading Catcher In The Rye or Zen And Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance or Atlas Shrugged is still the must.

But programming is about writing, which means expressing ones own ideas and realizations and understanding, so one must have these in the first place.

In this sense programming is like writing a poetry - it must emerge and form in ones mind before it could be written down. The best poetry is written exactly like this - committed to the paper suddenly as it emerges, without any later changes.

This reflects the process of "emergence" of ideas or profs in a mind of scientists who are continuing to persue a problem for years - suddenly it is here, as if it came from subconscious. It seems that the best code, like these classic Lisp procedures or parts of Prelude has been written this way.

Of course, reading Java is as meaningless as reading graphomans or some lame and lenthy political pamphlet in a third-rate newspaper.)

thebear 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps the most important insight to be gained from this article is Abelson's statement that "a lot of times you crud up a program to make it finally work and do all of the things that you need it to do, so theres a lot of extraneous stuff around there that isnt the core idea." There is an old blog entry by Joel Spolski that elaborates on this phenomenon:


thebear 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I would be interested to know what the OP thinks about stepping through code as opposed to reading it. To me, reading code and stepping through it in a debugger are two complimentary ways of understanding it. I call those the static and the dynamic way of viewing code.
m0nastic 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine getting a bunch of people to sit around and project a cookbook recipe up on a screen.
freshhawk 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a worse metaphor to me, naturalists don't examine specimens in order to learn how to make better animals but that's precisely the reason coders are expected to improve by reading code (although I always assumed that "reading code" meant reading it over and over to get a detailed understanding but apparently that was just me?).

What is the goal of reading literature we're talking about? We're mixing up reading a book for pleasure and gaining a deep understanding of a piece of literature to become a better writer.

Reading a piece of code or a book once is not going to do anything to your skillset as a producer, at least books are specifically written to be read once for pleasure. The equivalent for code would be using a piece of software, not reading the code once.

If you want to be a better writer then you get a deep understanding of a piece of literature, the same applies to code. I have recently read a lot of code, because I was debugging/modifying a library I was using (the Requests lib in Python). It's very nicely written and I did get some good ideas from it, but it was work.

I don't think the metaphor is flawed at all. I think that this was a result of coders thinking that people would get better at writing by reading literature or that this was the point of literature seminars. I guess a lesson in understanding other disciplines at least a little bit before trying to take lessons from them?

pjmorris 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think code is sort of a combination of literature, ToDO and shopping lists, and directions to somebody's house, written from your own perspective. There are recurring themes and characters, but it can get lost in a sea of detail.
famousactress 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"The point of such a presentation is to take a piece of code that the presenter has understood deeply and for them to help the audience understand the core ideas..."

I do get lots of value out of that. My favorite example is Beazley's GIL talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obt-vMVdM8s

yareally 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Code can be literature in specific cases, such as the Shakespeare programming language. It's just a whimsical, esoteric language, like lolcode, but it reads like the Immortal Bard himself was an early adopter of learning to program.

Example of a conditional statement:

  Juliet:    Am I better than you?  Hamlet:    If so, let us proceed to scene III.

amasad 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who also tried to hold code reading groups I agree 100% with the conclusion.

The first code reading session I held, I chose underscore.js and it was a successful code reading session, because -- unlike most libraries and programs -- a functional utility library was a nice linear read with mostly self-contained functions. However, when we got to more complex programs and libraries with more code to handle accidental complexity (e.g. handle browser and DOM inconsistencies, or UNIX fragmentation etc) it was considerably harder to read and the presenter found themselves jumping between different code paths and functions like they were debugging the program.

scottcha 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with the author that code may not be literature. Taken from the opposite line of reasoning there have been movements in the past to make literature more like code. Specifically I thinking of Oulipo (which included Calvino as probably the most famous) on bringing new structures to literature including some generative ones which could be thought of as programming or combinatorics.


n1ghtmare_ 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
Emmm, so there are now "Code reading groups" ? I need to get with the times. Is this a new thing ?
snorkel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Code is not literature because literature only contains the highlights worth knowing where code has to provide the comprehensive instructions for everything to operate.

A good code reader should be like a tour guide, and a good tour guide doesn't visit every single building and street in a neighborhood but rather describes the historical context of the neighborhood and then visits a few interesting places.

0xdeadbeefbabe 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Having just implemented a specification where the spec was less useful than some source, I'd say that literature is not code for sure. And as someone who has read literature, though I wasn't an english major like the author--you know it seems like they encourage english majors to treat writing as a specimen--it seems true that code is not literature either, it doesn't even compare for entertainment value for example.
markm208 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The main problem I see is that code is read left to right, top to bottom (for the most part) but it is rarely, if ever, written that way. The order that decisions are made is almost as important as the decisions themselves. But, we lose almost all of that order or 'context'. Worse, although we can place comments in the code, we cannot attach comments to the evolution of code. Evolutional comments could describe why things are changing in the proper context and make reading code a lot easier.
NAFV_P 5 hours ago 0 replies      
May I bring up that whether or not you read code, you ain't gonna read it literally. Imagine following all jump statements with out fail. That's the machine's job, not yours.
fredgrott 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh my effing hell

This is how I code and read code..damn and I thought I never would see the day where someone finally got it..

Douglas Adams's Mac IIfx vintagemacworld.com
102 points by yankcrime  7 hours ago   22 comments top 9
cstross 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I met Douglas just once, in the summer of 1996. I was in London and I was visiting a friend and former co-worker who, after the startup we'd been in together in Edinburgh collapsed, had moved on to become one of the syadmins at The Digital Village, Douglas's game production house. (At the time they were working on Starship Titanic.) So I dropped round at TDV to say "hi" to my friend C. and a couple of other former acquaintances, and was taken aback when I was ushered into the boardroom, given a cup of tea, introduced to the MD, and then this tall, gawky fellow was wheeled in to shake my hand.

(I was so overawed I couldn't string enough words together to embarrass myself. (So that's okay then.) I only figured out afterwards that they were expanding and looking for new hires, and C. or another acquaintance (the UK internet scene was rather small in the mid-90s) had suggested seeing if I'd bite. As it would have involved moving to London and I'd just bought a flat in Edinburgh and high speed internet meant 56K modem dialup at 3 per hour, the answer was "no, but thanks" ...)

Anyway. Anecdote time:

Back around 1996-8, Apple went through a spot of bother with the Powerbook range -- during the Amelio years, the number of models proliferated and the build quality fell through the floor. In particular, Douglas had been toting around a Powerbook 1600cs or similar, and the blessed thing was exhibiting a tendency to halt and catch fire.

C. got a bit annoyed about this, because Douglas was about to depart on a speaking tour of the US, and C. was responsible for ensuring his laptop worked. And this machine had been sent back for repair about three times, and replaced twice. So he phoned TDV's Apple technical support contact.

"Hello? It's about this Powerbook 1600CS, serial number blah, that we keep sending back. Our CEO needs it fixed, urgently, but every replacement you send us is dead."

"Uh, well, there's a bit of a problem with that model. Send it in and we'll get a working one to you next week, I promise."

"I don't think you understand. Our CEO is about to go on a speaking tour tomorrow."

"Yes, we'll get you a replacement next week --"

"Our CEO is Douglas Adams, one of your company's leading evangelists. Do you want him to spend the next month going up on stage and explaining to everyone why he's carrying a Compaq?"


Three hours later a motorcycle courier turned up with six Powerbooks.

Now that's what I call AppleCare!

Aqueous 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember the IIfx...it had a 68030 with an FPU, which made me jealous because I had a Performa 475 with a 68LC040. The 68LC40 was a deliberately crippled 68040 with no FPU, which made it in some very important ways worse than the 68030, a previous generation processor. This left me with the unfortunate inability to run NetBSD, which I desperately wanted to do as I was just getting into computers at the time and wanted to use an OS that, unlike the friendly classic Mac OS, was closer to bare metal and let me do things like write my own programs ( which I couldn't really do in classic Mac OS because the main development tools were either insanely expensive or had critical features disabled, such as the ability to create new projects. ) So all the IIfx owners were flooding the NetBSD users mailing list with their successful boot-up stories, and I couldn't get beyond the bootloader prompt. I eventually had to take the 68LC040 out and replace it with a 68040 so I could use NetBSD and other powerful software like Infini-D...

We've come a long way. Now I'm running Mac OS and it is BSD. And all i have to do to create a new programming project is type git init in some unsuspecting directory.

gallerytungsten 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This post brought back some memories. Back in the early 90s, I put together a maxed-out IIfx for use at my job at a prepress service bureau. The bare IIfx alone was $11,000, and the complement of 16x 16MB SIMMs, for a then-staggering 256MB of total memory, added another hefty amount. Add in a couple top of the line graphics cards and dual 21" CRTs (the largest generally available at the time) and the whole thing came to some $30,000.

Adjusted for inflation, that's around $50,000. Something to keep in mind for anyone who might complain about the cost of the latest Mac Pro.

Tloewald 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Back in the 90s macs had a serious virus problem. Two of the things apple did to address it were pretty effective most importantly they gave a tiny bit of support/encouragement to John Norstad who wrote Disinfectant -- a very good and free virus checker -- and they put virus checking into all of their Claris-branded software (including Resolve, MacWrite Pro, Filemaker, and so on).

I had a Mac IIfx I got for free from my office (it was six or seven years old at the time) with a radius pivot display. Two once awesome pieces of tech that aged very badly...

colanderman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice. I used to run A/UX [1] on one of these. Could never get networking working though; figured it was a bad Ethernet card or something.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A/UX

CGudapati 4 hours ago 0 replies      
In his autobiography, Stephen Fry mentions about Douglas Adams in a chapter. He mentions how they stayed close to each other and whenever he was free, he used to go to Adams house and "play"(in his own words) with Adams' mac. He wrote that they were the only two people who he knew had macs. He also mentioned that unlike regular users, they hacked away at their macs. They used download some small programs and tried running them till their computers crashed. He also writes about his disdain towards the ibm machines of that time. His autoBio is a wonderful read and he talks about his love for tech a lot.
bensherman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I gave Mr. Adams a 2600 shirt that had been inadvertently printed backwards and he was amused (only a dozen of those existed!). It was after a reading in Charlotte, NC, 20 something years ago. I miss him a lot.
mmastrac 6 hours ago 1 reply      
larrys 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"When switched on for the first time, it was clear that the last user had little understanding of how to store files on the hard disk."

In the early 90's I was helping a high school student (son of a relative) [1] with problems he was having with his Mac Powerbook duo 210 [2].

Noting that he had no files on the desktop or anywhere I said "hmm looks like you don't use this computer much!". To which he replied a bit snottily "You mean I don't use the hard drive. I do use the computer".

[1] He is now a Physician with a high end dermatology practice and several offices. He went to a 7 year MD and undergrad program and graduated first in his class. He always had to appear smarter than the rest as displayed by his comment to me (much older and using computers for quite some time at that point).

[2] http://support.apple.com/kb/sp154

Korean carriers to launch broadband-shaming 300Mbps network this year engadget.com
29 points by bane  3 hours ago   14 comments top 6
chimeracoder 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
On the other hand, South Koreans are required (by law) to use Internet Explorer 8 or earlier for online transactions[0], and they are required to register for many (perhaps all) websites with user-generated content using their unique national ID number (sort of the Korean counterpart to a Social Security number)[1].

This is due to a law passed in the late 90s, in the name of security. Perhaps it once worked, but it clearly doesn't today: http://www.zdnet.com/bank-data-of-20-million-customers-leake...

They have very extensive censorship of websites - not "just" pornographic, but also those that are "subvserive" or "harmful to minors". In combination with the aforementioned "citizen identity number" law, this has been used to suppress political dissent and/or protest.[2]

Much as I wish I could do better than my molasses-esque Time Warner connection at home, I'll savor my freedom in the US to the extent I can.

[0] http://www.zdnet.com/south-koreans-use-internet-explorer-its...

[1] (There are exceptions, and the full realities are a bit more complicated, but it's bad enough that virtually everyone uses some form of Internet Explorer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/due-to-secu...)

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_South_K...

kyle_t 56 minutes ago 2 replies      
After travelling/living in Southeast Asia for 8 months and paying between $5-10/month for LTE speeds that are consistently more reliable and quicker than in the USA it makes me shudder when I get my bill every month for $100+ for two lines. Granted there are differences i.e labor costs and total land area coverage, but on the whole the price difference doesn't make up for it.
benologist 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
11thEarlOfMar 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Yeah, right. What are they going to do with 300Mbps to a smartphone? 4k video? That means that 4k phones are coming soon, too, right?

Right: http://bgr.com/2013/11/06/samsungs-4k-smartphone-displays/

promptcritical 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Must be nice to live in a first world country.
XorNot 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is an iirelevancy. You'll never see this type of speed in the real world, since to do it they're combining 3-channels. Meaning 1 tower, servicing 1 person per antenna sector will manage it, but that'll be it.
Wozniak: Actually, the movie was largely a lie about me plus.google.com
1331 points by jamesbritt  1 day ago   252 comments top 36
Arjuna 14 hours ago 6 replies      
"And when Jobs (in the movie, but really a board does this) denied stock to the early garage team (some not even shown) I'm surprised that they chose not to show me giving about $10M of my own stock to them because it was the right thing. And $10M was a lot in that time."

Nothing more need be said, really. This is the very definition of character and integrity.

Dn_Ab 1 day ago 4 replies      
Sidenote: You can tell Woz is an amazing genuinely good person with no hint of pretension or self importance.

A lot can be discerned about famous personalities by who they choose to follow. For example, you can tell whether the person has little utility for social networks but maybe started out following a scattering of experts relevant to their interests.

Usually though, the personality is using their handful of followed people as an importance signalling factor. Often they will be following somewhere between -5e6 to 10 hugely important to unbelievably hugely important people; people with names like Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Paris Hilton, Bono, Lord Vishnu and Kanye West.

On the other hand we have those like Steve Wozniak - following nearly 5000 people and deigning to reply to someone even the likes of HN commenter OGC is completely unaware of.

That is, in all seriousness, an incredible sign of sustained humility.

sethbannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
If we could all be as gracious and even-keeled and creative as Woz the world would be a better place.
jpmattia 1 day ago 8 replies      
> Woz: And when Jobs (in the movie, but really a board does this) denied stock to the early garage team (some not even shown) I'm surprised that they chose not to show me giving about $10M of my own stock to them because it was the right thing. And $10M was a lot in that time.

I have to say: That speaks volumes. And Woz, if you ever happen to read this: It's still a pile of dough in the year 2014.

rtpg 1 day ago 8 replies      
For those who haven't yet, I'd highly recommend reading "Steve Jobs", the biography by Isaacson. It portrays pretty much all of these events like Woz describes them, and is a very complete portrait of Jobs. Woz' status at HP as referenced isn't really covered, but his actions during the Apple I and II launches are pretty complete.

EDIT: I'd like to point out that this book covers everything, up to Jobs death, and is about Jobs, not Apple. There's obviously a lot about Apple, but a good amount about Pixar ,NeXT, and Jobs' personal life as well. A great biography IMO, but it's not much about technology.

mrtksn 1 day ago 3 replies      
Unlike "The Pirates of Silicon Valley", "Jobs" was painful to watch and it was not only because it was a bad movie but because I've already red the biography by Isaacson.

It felt like somebody was lying to me to things I know that are not that way. It was like a creationist teaching me the evolution theory.

I don't claim that The Pirates of Silicon Valley is completely accurate but but Jobs(movie) was out of line. It's not just that it got many facts wrong or lacked very important events, it felt so wrong on many levels, especially the way characters were portrayed.

tomasien 1 day ago 3 replies      
I hate the "Great Man" theory of history. It misses everything. Hitler was responsible for NAZIsm in Germany lets SO many people off the hook (including people in the US, UK, etc.) and "Jobs made Apple" takes credit away from so many others who not only deserve it, but in aggregate deserve ALL of it.

I'm a Jobs fan in many - but a fan of what he actually did (minus being a douche), not the myth.

dchichkov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't want to spoil iWoz for you, but wanted to mention that his father was pretty cool too. Allowed him to play with the right stuff that enabled him to build great things later in the future. And it is not like he was some kid-genius. It is just that when you have a full scale electronics lab at home, you tend to pick things up, even as a four year old.

As a side note, it is not the electronics lab specifically. It is keeping current with the state-of-the-art yourself, working with state-of-the-art stuff at home and letting your kids to fool around...

chrisweekly 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Woz's comment in full:

Actually, the movie was largely a lie about me. I was an engineer at HP designing the iPhone 5 of the time, their scientific calculators. I had many friends and a good reputation there. I designed things for people all over the country, for fun, all the time too, including the first hotel movie systems and SMPTE time code readers for the commercial video world. Also home pinball games. Among these things, the Apple I was the FIFTH time that something I had created (not built from someone else's schematic) was turned into money by Jobs. My Pong game got him his job at Atari but he never was an engineer or programmer. I was a regular member at the Homebrew Computer Club from day one and Jobs didn't know it existed. He was up in Oregon then. I'd take my designs to the meetings and demonstrate them and I had a big following. I wasn't some guy nobody talked to, although I was shy in social settings. i gave that computer design away for free to help people who were espousing the thoughts about computers changing life in so many regards (communication, education, productivity, etc.). I was inspired by Stanford intellectuals like Jim Warren talking this way at the club. Lee Felsenstein wanted computers to help in things like the antiwar marches he'd orchestrated in Oakland and I was inspired by the fact that these machines could help stop wars. Others in the club had working models of this computer before Jobs knew it existed. He came down one week and I took him to show him the club, not the reverse. He saw it as a businessman. It as I who told Jobs the good things these machines could do for humanity, not the reverse. I begged Steve that we donate the first Apple I to a woman who took computers into elementary schools but he made my buy it and donate it myself.

When I first met Jobs, I had EVERY Dylan album. I was a hardcore fan. I had bootlegs too. Jobs knew a few popular Dylan songs and related to the phrase "when you ain't got nothin' you got nothing to lose." I showed Jobs all my liner notes and lyrics and took him to record stores near San Jose State and Berkeley to buy Dylan bootlegs. I showed him brochures full of Dylan quotes and articles and photos. I brought Jobs into this Dylan world in a big way. I would go to the right post office at midnight, in Oakland, to buy tickets to a Dylan concert and would take Jobs with me. Jobs asked early on in our friendship whether Dylan or the Beatles were better. I had no Beatles album. We both concurred that Dylan was more important because he said important things and thoughtful things. So a Beatles fan was kind of a pop lamb to us. Why would they portray us in the movie as Dylan for Jobs and Beatles for me?

And when Jobs (in the movie, but really a board does this) denied stock to the early garage team (some not even shown) I'm surprised that they chose not to show me giving about $10M of my own stock to them because it was the right thing. And $10M was a lot in that time.

Also, note that the movie showed a time frame in which every computer Jobs developed was a failure. And they had millions of dollars behind them. My Apple ][ was developed on nothing and productized on very little. Yet it was the only revenue and profit source of the company for the first 10 years, well past the point that Jobs had left. The movie made it seem that board members didn't acknowledge Jobs' great work on Macintosh but when sales fall to a few hundred a month and the stock dives to 50% in a short time, someone has to save the company. The proper course was to work every angle possible, engineering and marketing, to make the Macintosh marketable while the Apple ][ still supported us for years. This work was done by Sculley and others and it involved opening the Macintosh up too.

The movie shows Steve's driving of the Macintosh team but not the stuff that most of the team said they'd never again work for him. It doesn't show his disdain and attempts to kill the Apple ][, our revenue source, so that the Macintosh wouldn't have to compete with it. The movie audience would want to see a complete picture and they can often tell when they are being shortchanged.

And ease of computer came to the world more than anything from Jef Raskin, in many ways and long before Jef told us to look into Xerox. Jef was badly portrayed.

And if you think that our investor and equal stock holder and mentor Mike Markkula was Jobs' stooge (and not in control of everything), well, you have been duped.

Jobs mannerisms and phrases are motivational and you need a driver to move things along. But it's also important to have the skills to execute and create products that will be popular enough to sell for more than it costs to make them. Jobs didn't have that success at Apple until the iPod, although OS X deserves the credit too. These sorts of things people would have wanted to see, about Jobs or about Apple, but the movie gives other images of what was behind it all and none add up.

balbaugh 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are new comments from Woz posted today on the original Google+ post's comment thread.


tomelders 1 day ago 2 replies      
I thought Ashton Kutcher was robbed of a career defining performance by a director and a writer who didn't give a shit about anything.
etfb 1 day ago 7 replies      
The ideal name for a movie about Steve Wozniak, given how often he's misrepresented in the whole Jobs/Apple story: Woz/Not Woz.
WalterBright 1 day ago 6 replies      
It makes you wonder how wrong other movie biographies are.
dkrich 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I've seen many movies based on real-life events and have yet to read a review of any that didn't find huge fault with its accuracy. The most notable are probably the Ben Mezrich movies, but most recently I watched Wolf of Wall Street and then subsequently read an editorial by the lead prosecutor calling the movie out as inaccurate and assailing the real life Jordan Belfort.

The lesson in all this is that when you are mass-marketing a story to the public, the truth doesn't sell as well as a greatly altered version of the truth. People want to see a romanticized version of the story, so that is what Hollywood gives them. There shouldn't really be a huge surprise there. If you really want to know what factual events took place in any story, you're probably going to have to do a lot better than a two-hour Hollywood interpretation starring the lead character from Two and a Half Men.

danso 1 day ago 3 replies      
> When I first met Jobs, I had EVERY Dylan album. I was a hardcore fan. I had bootlegs too. Jobs knew a few popular Dylan songs and related to the phrase "when you ain't got nothin' you got nothing to lose." I showed Jobs all my liner notes and lyrics and took him to record stores near San Jose State and Berkeley to buy Dylan bootlegs. I showed him brochures full of Dylan quotes and articles and photos. I brought Jobs into this Dylan world in a big way. I would go to the right post office at midnight, in Oakland, to buy tickets to a Dylan concert and would take Jobs with me. Jobs asked early on in our friendship whether Dylan or the Beatles were better. I had no Beatles album. We both concurred that Dylan was more important because he said important things and thoughtful things. So a Beatles fan was kind of a pop lamb to us. Why would they portray us in the movie as Dylan for Jobs and Beatles for me?

It's sad that besides being underappreciated for engineering feats that are, even today, awe-inspiring, Woz is often thought of as the stereotypical nerd with no interests outside of tech. He was just as passionate about music as Jobs was, and has a great sense of humor besides.

tn13 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What I really liked about Steve Wozniak's writeup is that he says so many things without sounding like "Hey, Jobs was an ass I am the real hero".
laureny 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't seem to be able to get a direct link to Woz's post so I can forward it around, am I missing something or is Google+ even more braindead than I thought?
normloman 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Steve Jobs main talent was taking credit for other people's ideas. The mythology that developed around him in the wake of his death is a testament to his keen credit-stealing skills.
drawkbox 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If the world was filled with Wozs I imagine it would be a wonderful place, far more advanced than we are now. He's a product iterator and inventor at his core, and that core has a big heart. He impacted and took part in making our lives better (I coded my first game on an Apple ][) all the while is humble and helpful.
kevando 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love when people write exactly how they talk.
Ironballs 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Pirates of the Silicon Valley is the movie, not just about Apple, but it involves Microsoft too, and according to Wozniak on several occasions, is quite faithful to true events. At least, a lot more than this new film.
SeanLuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
Astonishing how messed up Google+ is with regard to zooming in ... in Chrome.
piyush_soni 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Has this link gathered the most number of upvotes ever on HN already? :) (How can we find that out? https://news.ycombinator.com/best clearly shows it way above, but I guess it doesn't show the links of 'all times')
jokoon 1 day ago 4 replies      
I want a movie about bill gates
zk00006 20 hours ago 0 replies      
"Woz" movie. It would love to see the story centered around Steve Wozniak. Inspiration for everybody who wants to build something from scratch before business kicks in.
sarreph 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can someone show this to Aaron Sorkin so we can be sure that he does a much better job than Matt Whiteley...

[Not that Sorkin would ever produce anything other than a stellar script, anyway]

brianzelip 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed reading Wozniak's foreword to Phil Lapsley's 'Exploding the Phone' book [0], as well as reading about the time period when Wozniak began college and what they were up to. It's a great book about phone freaking.

[0] http://explodingthephone.com

mark_sz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant interview with Woz (1984) - shows how sharp this man is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RZrv55B6Js
yeukhon 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is probably a better documentary because his friends and co-workers are all in this documentary...


prht 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Woz" would be a better title for a movie than "Jobs" anyway.
prht 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Woz" would be a better title for a movie than "Jobs" anyway
enscr 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you @jamesbritt for posting this comment on HN. I've always wanted to hear the truth from Woz.
stigi 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks Woz for taking the time to comment!
sbhadra 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Woz over Jobs any day!
OGC 1 day ago 1 reply      
Who the fuck is Carms Perez?
Grue3 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A movie is fictionalized version of real events! News at 11!
The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO mattcutts.com
111 points by chaz  8 hours ago   98 comments top 31
austenallred 7 hours ago 3 replies      
This is the difficulty in fighting spam. Google's goal is to determine which sites are the "best," and use, as their measure for doing so, the number of natural (organic) links as a scorecard. And as soon as people realized that's what Google was looking at, they started to mimic the organic links to boost their own ranking.

In a sense, Google is the largest crowdsourced project of all-time. It's a lot like Reddit or HackerNews in that every link is an upvote, but the genius of Google is that each link carries a different weight, and that links are a natural byproduct of using the Internet. In short, the people contributing to the crowdsourced ranking system don't even realize they're doing so most of the time. They're just doing what they like and leaving a byproduct of doing so (links, social signals) that Google can use to tell you which sites people consider valuable.

But that means that once people realize what Google is using to rank, they can mimic those signals, and sway the algorithm in their favor. The problem Google is going to run into is that once spammers can closely (and at times programmatically) mimic what is happening "organically," Google's algorithms cannot tell the difference.

Right now Google's approach seems to be ignoring or highly devaluing portions of the Internet that have been overrun with spam. Article submissions, blog comments, and now apparently guest posting, which sucks for people that do really high quality, organic guest posting; for Google that has to be collateral damage. Spammers will simply move on to the next portion of the Internet, mimicking what Google still uses as a ranking signal. It's an endless battle.

One of the big things I see happening now is entire website hijackings (I've been meaning to email you about that, Matt). I did a quick little report on the search engine results for "Viagra," and 81 of the top 100 are hijacked websites, including a client I have to upgrade to a newer version of Drupal, as the older one has been compromised. I don't know if or how Google will win this battle, but it's far from over. I honestly feel like the new way we gather data to rank websites, and what will be successful in 25 years, will have to be completely unrelated from what Google is doing now, and much harder to manipulate than spreading links all over the Internet.

halcyondaze 7 hours ago 5 replies      
This is just one of the worst things I've ever read on Cutt's blog. Because they can't really distinguish good guest posting from 'passable' guest posting, it's all done?

Got news for you: guest blogging is relevant for many more reasons than Google. In fact, that's probably one of the least important reasons to guest post or guest blog these days. Referral traffic that is more qualified than organic search, audience building, reaching new channels that organic search cannot quite tap, and many more non-SEO oriented reasons are why guest blogging will never really die out in the way that other types of linkbuilding have died out.

You have to love the world's biggest scraper and source of 'duplicate content' (all the scraped info from weather, wikipedia, etc in their sidebar these days) making up the rules of what is and isn't allowed. Extremely hypocritical, but the good news is that relying on Google never was necessary, and is becoming less and less so as time goes on.

beambot 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Spot-on, Matt. I've been getting these requests with increasing frequency for my old robotics blog. My typical response:

I'm exceedingly picky about the topics and quality of articles on Hizook. In fact, of the few guest posts I've done in the past.... I have (1) known the author in person for quite some time, and (2) usually end up spending multiple hours to help edit / mold the final result. I have so little time to curate (even guest posts), that I'd prefer to just pass.

Of course, the difficulty arises if Google's policy is "all guest blogging is bad." There is a lot of perfectly sound justifications for it besides PR: credibility, new audiences, expert opinions, etc. For example, I shouldn't incur PR penalties if I write a (sadly, too rare) robotics piece for IEEE Spectrum.

A few are ruining it for everyone, and balance is hard.

lingben 7 hours ago 2 replies      
so because google's algos can not distinguish between spam and ham, we have to throw out the baby with the bathwater (sorry for mixing metaphors!)

we've already seen how google missed a massive and long running link scheme (rapgenius) and had to do a clumsy temporary manual change to save face... now we're seeing them try to stop guest blogging from being used for spam

well guess what, every tactic that can be used to create good SEO can be used in the wrong hands for 'bad' SEO. you can leave a great insightful comment or you can leave a spammy comment. you can do a great guest blog article which adds tremendous value or you can do a spammy terrible article

google is confessing that they are incapable of telling them apart so they want to destroy the whole thing just so they can go on saying that they still know what they are doing

well, let me reiterate what many already know: the emperor has no clothes!

pgrote 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Once again, Google has no method for weeding things out, so everything gets tossed out.

It would be funny if everyone used nofollow for every link. Google would find itself in a pickle.

morganb180 7 hours ago 1 reply      
His title should really be "The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO" because guest blogging is still relevant for traffic, awareness, thought leadership, reaching new audiences, etc.

So while it may no longer a worthwhile SEO strategy, guest blogging still has some other PR-related upsides to consider.

fear91 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Here comes Google, the Internet police! Do as they want or say goodbye to 80% of search traffic.
applecore 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ironically, with their guidelines, Google is probably responsible for shaping web content more than any other entity or spammy SEO tactic.
rspeer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Along similar lines, if someone offers to translate your website for free, it's not free.

Someone might e-mail you out of the blue with a translation of a website you control. They'll ask you to leave in the links to them as a way of giving them credit. The links are there to give PageRank to a shady SEO organization.

I admit, I came close to falling for this once, when someone offered to translate a documentation page I maintain into Romanian. But I have a friend who speaks Romanian, who read it and pointed out that it was the worst Romanian he had ever seen, and that was enough for me to look into what was really going on.

sixQuarks 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Matt Cutts: (I know you lurk here, so hopefully you answer this)

Will guest posts on high quality sites still count toward link building? I'm talking about well known sites that accept only a fraction of high quality contributors. Thanks

rgj 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Given the fact that a very large part of the web in 2014 consists of user-generated content, it seems like pretty much every hyperlink should be nofollow.

It's pretty much impossible to get good rel=follow links nowadays. My startup has gotten some pretty good and genuine attention on blogs and forums, but almost every link appearing on the internet to my site is nofollow.

This is not how Pagerank was meant to work. Google has learned that it's core algorithm is failing to be able to fight spam. Nofollow was invented in 2005 and it will be useless in 2015, since the entire internet will consist of nofollow links.

joelrunyon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> Okay, Im calling it: if youre using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.

Matt, are you saying guest posting is penalty-worthy or simply "not useful"? It sort of sounds like you're threatening to penalize anyone who is, plans on or has done guest posting. If so, it seems strange that google would retroactively penalize people for a practice that it previously endorsed.

Can you clarify that at all?

mladenkovacevic 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this a response to this?http://nenadseo.com/new-seo/

Now that the cat's out of the bag (and getting some attention), I guess it's sensible for Google to jump out of the "big brand's" pocket. Sounds like they're trying to avoid the interpretation that big brands and Google are scratching each other's back by blaming it all on the practice of guest blogging.

jcc80 8 hours ago 1 reply      
How can this be enforced? Will Google determine when the author meta data is different for a blog and not pass page rank for those posts? Blog owners would just react by making the post under their default account. Isn't the real issue the quality of content, not who's writing it? It just seems odd to hear that Google is going to go after guest posts instead of focusing on the content.
benologist 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Next up made-for-social-media articles, or why we're fed several helpings a day of "Random Startup Anecdote" by companies just looking for backlinks and traffic.
the_watcher 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is too bad. Most of the other SEO-spam tactics (paid links, affiliate networks, etc) were pretty clearly destined to be spam traps and invite Google's wrath. Unfortunately, one of the things I thought was best about content marketing and guest blogging was that it encouraged founders and experts to find where the audience was that would appreciate their product, and create high quality content explaining why it mattered. Many have written about how founders can be tempted to stay in and wait for customers to come to them, but a guest blog could help bridge that gap, as they can stay in while still finding customers, and honing their message (plus the comments to these are often really valuable wells of feedback from people you may not have been able to reach before).

Here's hoping for a happy medium here.

avighnay 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If a blog owner wants to place a small ad (say via guest post) in their blog why should they be penalized when the same blog is not penalized when they place an ad via Google ad network? (Referring to near spam text ad placements in between content that you see in many sites).
Pxtl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I fail to see how Google could work around this kind of thing. I mean, you've got nothing flagging the "guest" post as illegitimate other than the fact that it links to an SEO-target, assuming the SEO emailer is telling the truth when he describes non-spammy unique content.

Likely, that's all they could go on - "Your blog has a dofollow link to this site that we know is super-sketchy and now you've been sullied by the link".

techaddict009 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Can anybody give an advice on how one can gain quality backlinks?

Because competition is so high that to rank on any damn keyword it may take years without link building.

graeme 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this mean that if I do a high quality guest post, I should ask the other site to no follow the link? I have a few guests posts lined up and want to stay on the right side of things.
jfoster 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Something I learnt recently is that what Google makes sound like blackhat and the blackhat practices it actually enforces against are two very different things. I realized that when I noticed that a niche site ranking highest for a particular query was involved in link exchange as well as operating a network of sites that despite being unrelated, pointed toward that one site. Looking into it further, Google has made link exchange sound bad (just like this post makes guest blogging sound bad), but stopped short of ever claiming to penalize it or ruling it out.
instakill 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Google doesn't own the internet so it's unfair that they get to decide whether or not a concept like guest blogging should or shouldn't be allowed.
jayjay1010 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I posted and predicted this today at the same time cutts was writing his post. https://linkaudit.co.uk/blog/predicting-the-beast/
morganb180 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The question becomes: What about links from sites like HuffingtonPost, Forbes, and Medium?
AlexIncdeo 4 hours ago 1 reply      
There are black hat groups owning high PR 6, 7, 8 websites and they're using the sites for SERP manipulation. The high PR websites are legit too.

What would be a solution to this? I just hope it can be stopped.

tk999 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If Google's street view car cannot take picture of house paints in black, you should not painted your house in black.
KingKurtz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Matt, just wondering what your Username on BHW is?
IloveSEO 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Whats your Username On BHW ?
SEOthrowaway 6 hours ago 1 reply      
From doing some SEO, truth is: Googles algorithm is stupid while they have the image of being genius.

This results in two things: Although Google tells you that you should optimize for your clients, if you do that, Google has no clue what the website is about. If you sell paper, a user knows what to do with these - package gifts, wrap books. Googel doesn't unless you put "paper to wrap books" on your site, it doesn't show in peoples search results. A list of mobile phones? Google doesn't know that you try to sell these, your website visitor immediatly does. If you only have brand names and don't use smartphone, if your button is called "add to basket", it does not show your page for "buy smartphone" unless you stick it to your site, a lot of it, but just below the Panda threshold. This is the reason ecommerce sites explain what a "jacket" is on their search result page. No user needs this, but the web is plastered with "hints" for the Google algorithm by legitimate websites, not spammers.Everytime I surf pages, I see this Google hints making websites ugly everywhere.

The other result of Google is so much different from humans in reality: The algo can't determine between legitimate content (e.g. good guest posts) and spam. So there is more and more collateral, websites and blogs that are hit, legitimate business that is lost due to some Penguin update, never to recover - without any bought links.(Go to seo/bigseo Reddit)

Googles algorithm is so much less intelligent as they want you to belief it is with their "just design with the user in mind" to rank on Google. If you do this, you're lost.

PS: The only people that love Google and do not care are spammers. They put up a website, spam it, make money and when hit move on to building the next cheap website.

fkmattcutts 4 hours ago 1 reply      
matt cutts should not be determening what is and what is not quality on the www period. the world needs to get rid of googles influence on the web.
trololololo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What's your BlackHatWorld.com username?
HP promotes Windows 7 PCs smh.com.au
20 points by hiharryhere  2 hours ago   10 comments top 6
atonse 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What's really interesting to me is the trend that all these OEMs just don't fear Microsoft anymore. That coupled with the fact that people are using all kinds of non-MS mobile devices mean that they don't tie their very survival to the whims of Redmond, so they feel emboldened to really try things that would be unheard of in the past.

Things like Linux laptops that they actually promote, and actually acknowledging that Windows 8 is A UI pile of poo publicly, these are all moves they wouldn't have made back in the day when MS was the scary juggernaught and Windows was the only option anyone even considered.

chx 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
Who's surprised? When the Surface / Surface RT line released in 2012 Microsoft had a decade of sales data for their Tablet PCs to prove that traditional Windows applications and touch doesn't mesh. As for Metro apps, the obvious problem is ecosystem size (vs iOS and Android). What Microsoft should have done (and this is not hindsight, that's still their way forward) instead of getting into a battle almost impossible to win is to find a good story of why laptops are still relevant, invent new physical formats which are small to carry but much larger in usage (think Sony Tablet P or the old, old Thinkpad with the butterfly keyboard) and stick to its guns. Ultrabooks are not a bad idea, make them lighter weight but obviously it was not enough. That Google beaten them with the Chromebook in the laptop arena just highlights the absolute ineptitude of MS.
greenyoda 1 hour ago 0 replies      
brudgers 1 hour ago 2 replies      
When was the last time HP made the front page of HN? Probably something about how they should sell their hardware business or spin it off.

But when was the last time they made the front page because of a laptop or other consumer product?

They're only putting Windows 7 on PC's to get their name in the news.

pa5tabear 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've wondered if Microsoft adopts a sort of "golden path" (a la Dune) strategy... intentionally make every other operating system unpopular in order to set the stage for their next version.

You need bad in order to see good.

baldajan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's interesting how HP, a loyal Microsoft partner and OEM, is now selling an old "outdated" OS. I think HP is the first major OEM to do so, and definitely not the last. Microsoft really screwed up with Windows 8 as they made it to complex for the average person, coupled with inconsistent UX. Build something people want, or at least, give people something they want.
I found a 17-year-old file still available for download on Adobes site adobe.com
13 points by restlessdesign  1 hour ago   4 comments top 3
objclxt 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
That's not that old - Apple still has downloads going back to the Apple IIGS, some 21 odd years ago.


DiabloD3 1 minute ago 0 replies      
Its kinda weird that this is the coolest thing I've seen all day.
restlessdesign 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
A cool thing youll notice in these PostScript files: seemingly random number sets. These are actually units of measurement specified in points! 612 x 792 points == 8.5 x 11 inches
Candy Crush Saga creators have trademarked the word candy gamezebo.com
133 points by danso  10 hours ago   66 comments top 26
will_brown 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Lawyer here. I once received a C&D letter for my business, vblood.com, a vampire themed energy drink from a competitor claiming they owned the TM rights to "blood" for beverages. That was a little different they filed the TM in the wrong category and I claimed defense of "descriptive use" how else would a blood themed beverage be described?

However, the Candy Crush Saga creators are even further behind the 8-ball on the TM "Candy" vis-a-vis video games. Why? Hasbro (one of the largest toy makers in the world) filed a TM for "Candy Land" - for interactive video games, in addition to many other TM categories - well before Candy Crush even existed. See: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4809:el5e10...

It would be very difficult to maintain their legal argument (i.e. "Candy Slots" is likely to cause confusion with their TM "Candy") and simultaneously argue that "Candy" does not create likelihood of confusion with "Candy Land".

Advice: See a Lawyer and protect your rights.

Edit: USPTO does not permit a direct link to TMs, and the above link probably errors. https://www.dropbox.com/s/4lzhe7ah9t8fae3/Candyland.pdf

Edit 2: The 1st Dropbox link is a link to a "cancelled" TM, this is the current "Candy Land" TM registration for video games. https://www.dropbox.com/s/ev2wpx9o6bu1grc/candy%20land.pdf

mikeryan 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Think of Apple, for example. Nobody is going to expect the electronics giant to lay claim over the fruit, but if someone were to try to market an electronic device under that name, youd better believe their lawyers would swoop in.

Ironically the reverse happened. Apple always had an uneasy trademark situation with Apple Corps (A holding company owned by the Beatles which owns Apple Records). Apple kept "entering the music business" and having to buy off Apple Corps to keep their mark intact.


DannyBee 2 hours ago 0 replies      
IP lawyer here:

No, they haven't trademarked it.

They've applied for one.

It's been approved for publication in the official gazette.

It is now on step 11 of http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/

This means anyone who wants to object now has 30 days to object to the mark.You can imagine they will, given how broadly they claim this mark (plus the examiner should have objected)

So basically, rather than complain and write articles, now is exactly the right time to file an objection to the mark.

The USPTO site makes this clear:"Approved by the examining attorney for publication but has not yet published for opposition. Although rare, withdrawal of approval prior to publication may occur after final review. The opposition period begins on the date of publication."

If you want the exact status:http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=85842584&caseType=SERIAL_N...

Also note: The basis is that it is based on a foreign filing (which means they also filed somewhere else other than the US)

jxf 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope Crush [0] sues them for trademark infringement and gives them a taste of their own medicine.

[0] http://www.crushsoda.com/

psykotic 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny. Brian Hook developed a game 12 years ago called Candy Cruncher with nearly identical naming, visuals and gameplay: http://www.pyrogon.com/games/candycruncher/

Edit: He just said he successfully filed for the Candy Cruncher trademark in 2002. http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn78164603&docId...

dkulchenko 8 hours ago 0 replies      
They're just asking for one of their lucky cease-and-desist recipients to countersue and strip them of the right to use their own trademark, forcing them to rename their game.

It's happened before. Seems like a risky and stupid decision on their part.

skymt 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a little sympathetic to King here because of the degree to which other developers have ripped off Candy Crush. A couple minutes searching the app store for "candy" turned up five examples ranging from "strongly based on" to "deliberately sowing confusion." One describes itself as a "popular candy 'match 3' game," another even uses the distinctive Candy Crush UI font.

But of course they throw away any sympathy by going after totally unrelated games. Did any player actually think they had downloaded a Candy Crush slot game?

kalleboo 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the old Maxis Sim* series. Could they enforce someone else releasing a game called SimSomething? Or Apple using lowercase i's as prefixes.
pbhjpbhj 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a general principle of prior use as an absolute defence in trademark law - though it wouldn't surprise me to much to find that USA had violated that principle.

Candy is too generic in both the software field and the game field to be a distinctive mark and so shouldn't be granted as a word mark; trademark examiner fail. I mean come on.

http://www.girlgames.com/kittys-candies.html from 2011.

http://www.primarygames.com/puzzles/strategy/candybags/ from 2008.

http://www.cookinggames.com/minas-popping-candies.html from 2011; almost an exact match for Candy Crush from King.com Limited.

"Candy" thus would confuse people as to the origin because of this lack of distinctiveness and widespread prior use in games and in apps.

The dates for these prior uses are from Google and hence can't be relied on but better dates could be acquired. This search took 5 minutes at most.

tharri 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Acording to the USPS, the current status is:

"Approved by the examining attorney for publication but has not yet published for opposition. Although rare, withdrawal of approval prior to publication may occur after final review. The opposition period begins on the date of publication."

A trademark is not registered until at least 30 days after it is first published for opposition. DannyBee is right on. These developers should be thanking the idiot lawyer for sending a C&D, as now they can file opposition claims with the US Trademark office and prevent it from being registered.

mildtrepidation 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Also worth noting: The developer cited mentions at the end of the article that he was informed at some point that he also couldn't use the word "memory." Which, obvious ridiculousness of this whole matter aside, makes me wonder if there's any concise and complete resource one can use to check for potential 'violations' while naming apps (or, really, anything else) to head this off before it becomes a problem...
gonzo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait a minute.

This is a notice of publication. It's not a registration.


Note the priority date of Feb 1, 2013, but the game was released a year earlier.

Something is fishy.

kevinpet 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone with experience in trademarks comment on whether the PTO is supposed to validate the subjective notion of whether the proposed trademark uniquely refers to that company's products, or is registration just to add it to the database so that people can do a trademark search?
codyb 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think things like this just pan out to ludicrous.

Although, really, is it because Candy Crush seems smaller to me than Apple Computers?

Is it because it is so much harder to enter the hardware market than the app store market?

It ends up being incredibly difficult defining the line at which you stop I find when I think about it.

Anyways, I never liked the game much and haven't played it in ages so I deleted it in mock "protest".

I guess I wouldn't mind so much if they trademarked it, then went after people using things that looked like their candy, or games using the name with similar concepts. But the candy casino game?

I assume Apple doesn't keep track of every single trademarking that goes on with every app developer and King must be initiating the requests.

blisterpeanuts 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There are 252 apps in the Android Market with "Candy" in the name (including the Candy Crush set of games, and a few dupes like free/ad and paid).

Likely there are hundreds of comparable apps in Apple's app store but I can't quite fathom how to search from a desktop browser (???).

Sounds like they'll need to sue a lot of people to enforce that trademark. What's next--"blaster"? "nuke"? "Kill"? "Monster"? Pretty soon, if this ridiculous effort succeeds, all the common dictionary words will get locked up in trademarks, just as domain names did 10-15 years earlier.

But somehow I doubt it, and probably it will give them more bad press and headaches than it's worth. I already know that I won't be buying their apps for my family's use.

otsdr 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Title and controversy aside, can anyone read this phrase while keeping a straight face?

Lots of devs are frustrated cause it seems so ridiculous says Benny Hsu, the maker of All Candy Casino Slots Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land.

kartikkumar 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Do these trademarks go international? Isn't King a UK-based company? If they filed for the trademark in the US, do they have separate filings for each country that they want to protect "candy"?

What if you are an app developer outside the jurisdiction of the trademark? Can you just ignore?

Oculus 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Had to do a double take just to make sure I read the title correctly. Still thinking: 'Surely you can't be serious..'
cclogg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A side note: the term "Tower Defense" is already trademarked in case anyone cares lol. Can't use it on the app store :(
yeukhon 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I can understand Apple being a trademark (the one bite apple logo and the capital Apple, Inc) but come on trademark Candy for your game Candy Crush Saga?

This is on HN today: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7089879

/joking: And the article mentions CSP. Maybe we should trademark CSP so we don't get Content-Security-Policy confused with Communicating Sequential Processes (or the other way around).

It's just ridiculous.

siebewarmoesker 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty much the same story as the trademark on "Insta" by Instagram.
ebbv 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is hilarious coming from a developer that simply ripped off Bejeweled with D Grade art and sound assets.
agateau 6 hours ago 0 replies      
While the trademark feels abusive, gamezebo really did not pick the best example: how can one name his game "All Candy Casino Slots Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land" and then pretend he did not try to take advantage of the name of famous games?
coldcode 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Children all over the world will be sad. No more ##### for you.
dyscrete 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This will cost them in the long run.
numanumakid01 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the team! No one deserves this success more.
This startup tells you when companies try your competitors software venturebeat.com
76 points by jonhearty  8 hours ago   35 comments top 13
joelrunyon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> So we can tell their competitors, and they can call those companies, and the sales rep can say: I see youre checking out our competitors solution right now why dont you try ours as well? Thats pure marketing magic.

"Pure marketing magic."

I'm in marketing and I understand why that might be a useful followup, but if you step out of your marketing shoes - I think I would simply find that creepy.

diziet 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder how different this is from what https://builtwith.com is doing?
eli 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Well, assuming your competitors' software is something that would be visible on a public website...
cl8ton 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not sure how accurate this can be if you have everything behind a secure login.

We have clients trying our SaaS software but nothing is on their website to indicate such, its all securely hosted by us via login.

So unless they are sniffing traffic, reading our secure web logs or our potential clients are posting on social media, there is no way they would know.

knes 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't it a bit too late for a sale to be done when the integration is already in place?
boyter 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if there is going to be a market in the future like the current SEO one that is all about masking what technology/products you are using. The idea being to deny your competitors from knowing more about you such as from using this product.
joshschreuder 6 hours ago 2 replies      
So do they scrape a competitor's website every day? Or do they respect the robots.txt?

If so, it seems like this would be extremely easy for a competitor to block, and if not, well it's surely a bit shady?

pbreit 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Would companies start adding Datanyze to their robots.txt and would Datanyze respect that?
snake_plissken 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How are they coalescing the code snippets to look for?
anodari 7 hours ago 2 replies      
By the piechart in venturebeat, I guess it targets e-commerce plataforms and providers.
justinzollars 7 hours ago 0 replies      
yunayoon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Good to know^^
yunayoon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Happy to read.
Tesla Motors Over-the-Air Repairs technologyreview.com
64 points by astaire  7 hours ago   27 comments top 6
TrainedMonkey 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hats off to Tesla, right now they are doing for cars what Apple did for smartphones in 2007. Under closer examination concept is simple - work closer with customers. In Tesla's case this means monitor working parameters of all the cars they sold. This allows them to identify, diagnose, and solve quite a few problems extremely quickly.
brokentone 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This post just a few away (on the front page) from "Cyber attack that sent 750k malicious emails traced to hacked refrigerator"

I suppose the correlation here being that I would be concerned about not only about malicious activities being committed against your car, but someone then turning your car against you or others within its range.

sliverstorm 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I shiver a little bit, picturing a future in which automotive software is released early, released often.
mey 5 hours ago 0 replies      

For this to gain more traction, manufactures are going to have to become better/more diligent about their software development practices.

kyle_t 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Its only a matter of time before over the air car hijacking becomes a real problem. I think I prefer my car not be wirelessly susceptible.
pwelch 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really awesome. Now if only Carriers/Manufactures would update Android phones as quickly.
FBI files on Richard Feynman muckrock.com
43 points by 001sky  6 hours ago   25 comments top 10
PhasmaFelis 2 hours ago 2 replies      
None of the controls on the document viewer are sufficient to see anything but the two-page cover letter. After several minutes of head-scratching, I figured out that you have to click on the tiny, illegible thumbnails under the viewer to see the actual FBI file.

Fantastic UI here.

WestCoastJustin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is the direct PDF link for anyone interested @ http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/366921/responsive-docu...
breck 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting story on pages 207 and 208. Feynman is giving a lecture entitled, "What one scientist thinks of religion", and gets into a debate with the head of the School of Religion at Caltech.

A few interesting quotes including this one:

"No one can be sure of anything. We must frankly admit we don't know. It keeps our minds open...We must think about what the universe means without man. If we can't, it makes us 'the center of the universe...hard to believe.'"

RK 1 hour ago 0 replies      
From page 151:

is so unpredictable that "you cannot determine what his reaction would be in any particular set of circumstances." ____ stated that FEYNMAN was known at Los Alamos as a reactionary, because he was so conservative in his ideas and would not go along with the ideas of many of the people there of the same profession who were much less conservative in thetr thinking than he was. ________ stated he considers FEYNMAN to be a person of good character and completely loyal to the United States.


____ stated that FEYNMAN is not the type to be influenced by people such _______ as he makes up his own mind concerning every problem and a inclined to make a decision although this decision will not be popular with the group with which he is in contact.

Crito 4 hours ago 2 replies      
One of the hazards of extreme paranoia is that occasionally your paranoia will create that which you fear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qian_Xuesen
plantain 3 hours ago 3 replies      
#178: "the applicant's wife was suing him for divorce charging him with 'playing the bongo drums too much and studying physics the rest of the time'"

#184: "a deeply ingrained belief that he had a superior intellect and that he could do no wrong. <redacted> self-centered, opinionated, dogmatic and extremely egotistical. <snip> She said that her personal feeling is that FEYNMAN is without character or acceptable moral fiber."Seems not everyone was a fan of Mr. Feynman.

Multiple references to The Communist Party and statements from anonymous informants within the party around #170. More about the Young People's Socialist League at #245

mojoe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So how does (did) a special inquiry like the one that was performed on Feynman work? It looks like publications were searched and people were interviewed, but does anyone know how those searches were prioritized? I've googled a bit and haven't been able to determine if there's any established procedure that doesn't rely heavily on the discretion of the officials performing the investigation.
r2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For those interested in a summary, here's MuckRock's article on these files: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2012/jun/06/feynman-f...
larrys 4 hours ago 1 reply      
For a site (muckrock) dedicated to transparency I'm wondering why there is no easy way to find out (without apparently signing up) what they charge to make these requests on someone's behalf. [1]

[1] https://www.muckrock.com/accounts/login/?next=/accounts/buy_...

arca_vorago 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Skimmed through it, seems fairly routine given the SOP of the time. What I did find interesting that I was previously unaware about was his association with Oppenheimer and what is blanked out but is likely some sort of communist organization. Followed that rabbit hole and learned that Oppenheimer had his security clearance revoked (which is why here his association is referenced as notable.)
Kids, this is story of How I Met... my VPS hacked corrspt.com
137 points by lelf  11 hours ago   66 comments top 15
zedpm 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd think twice before declaring victory; I don't see any reason to believe that the server is now "clean". If this had happened to me, I'd spin up a new VPS, configure it appropriately, then install my app and migrate any needed data. What I wouldn't do was continue running on an instance that had been exploited and assume I'd successfully cleaned it up.
pwnna 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Ugh. I totally thought that someone met his/her spouse after some his/her VPS was hacked.

Now I'm slightly disappointed. Am I the only one? :\

drdaeman 10 hours ago 4 replies      
And the real issue was (is?) the fact that web application process had write access to a location it was able to execute code from.

It is well-known for decades (at least since PHP got popular, which was in '90s!) that such locations should only be writeable by the user(s) who maintain the code and not anyone else. Sometimes, such setup can't be done on dirt-cheap FTP-only shared hosting services (shrugs), but certainly not on VPSes.

Ignorance is bliss.

joshbaptiste 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Long story short, he was running an instance of JBoss that had a vulnerability that allows an attacker to execute commands as the Jboss user and ended up Bitcoin mining on his VPS. Isn't Jboss one of these bloated enterprisey JVM container frameworks? I would think something like Play/vert.x would suit the likes of a small VPS better.
jliptzin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Based on that pool address the attacker seems to be mining Batcoin, not Bitcoin, which is appears to be an scrypt-based altcoin, far more profitable to CPU mine than Bitcoin. (In case anyone was wondering why an attacker was bothering to mine Bitcoin with a CPU).
belluchan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I pasted a gist of the backdoor script the hacker downloaded onto that server: https://gist.github.com/anonymous/8527149

Original URL is http://pdd-nos.info/.tmp/back.conn.txt

Zirro 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm interested in setting up a Linux-based server at home, but one of the things that have kept me from doing it is security concerns. Are there any server distributions which are very strict in regards to which packages are included/enabled, and configured with as little remote access as possible by default?
xhrpost 10 hours ago 7 replies      
I feel an often overlooked prevention for these semi-random attacks is a change in the SSH default port. I've posted this idea elsewhere and people seem convinced that this is pointless because an attacker can just port-scan your machine. While true, this generally only happens when you are being specifically targeted by an attacker. More random attacks like the one mentioned here are likely just people scanning all the IPv4 space looking for open 22 ports and then testing known exploits. Since I don't run a super-popular site, I'm more likely to be the victim of the second kind of attack. I used to have bad-logins hitting my box on a regular basis, after switching ports for SSH, the log-in attempts went to zero.
chippy 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Always useful to see attack vectors. Nice well written blog post.
this_user 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with old JBoss versions is that their configurations were insecure by default with several potential attack vectors available. If you didn't know about this and just deployed your JBoss out of the box, chances were good you'd get "hacked". Newer versions (>= 7) fortunately solved that issue and are not that easy to take over.
marquis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone running php, move the location from /cgi-bin/php. We've seen a few takeovers with unpatched systems to run miners. Not everyone can take their server down and changing the location according to apache/nginx at least stops the bots from finding you immediately.
nogridbag 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Not loading for me. Here's Google's cached version: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ZbXfxz_...
asdffdsajkl 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Things could have been worse If the attacker found a way to upgrade the privileges of the user running jboss (its a sudoer, but the password is really hard)


agumonkey 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Was the attacker gathering results through remote logrotate communications ?

Reminds me of wordpress attacks, you quickly wish for FS diffs in order to identify any change in your code/data ...

antsam 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope he flattened that VM and reimaged...
Build Git Learn Git kushagragour.in
210 points by chinchang  15 hours ago   32 comments top 19
unwind 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is nice. One pet peeve is that (as far as I know, I'm really not an expert) Git repos don't actually have names. The first thing the article does when implementing them is to give them names, which I thought was a bit jarring.

I actually think the namelessness of the repos is one of the things that are unexpectedly cool about Git.

drrotmos 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A nice concept, but it doesn't really have much to do with Git. It's just another SCM system, and the concepts are just as applicable to e.g. Mercurial as Git. There are enough differences from Git to make it quite incompatible (named repository, incremented commit IDs, single parents et c.).
evmar 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I also attempted to understand git better by implementing it, but my (Haskell, uncompleted, abandonded) implementation was more concerned with getting all the on-disk representations right: http://evan-tech.livejournal.com/254793.html
graywh 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of a talk by Jim Wierich I heard years ago where he pretends to design a new vcs in order to explain how git works.

I'm not sure if a full recording can be found anywhere other than buying it from Pragmatic Programmers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBQJP6D8aGY

jbranchaud 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Tutorial looks awesome. It would be helpful if you would mention from the beginning that you will be implementing in JavaScript before reaching the code snippets.
Crito 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A related good way of learning Git is to check out/checkout the very first commits of git made using git. I found the shear lack of code that a working system could be made of to be enlightening.
grabeh 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I suspect you may already be aware, but if not then here's a related project https://github.com/creationix/js-git.

Lest you misunderstand, I'm not saying you should stop development, I just thought it might be of interest!

jonhmchan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent resource. On Bento, I have so many tutorials and walkthroughs on the basics of Git (it's a very readily accessible teaching opportunity) that it's gotten somewhat unwieldy. In many instances, some of the material is very base, and I've been looking for something more thorough without being too specialized.

This gives an excellent walkthrough of how Git works, but not only that, serves an excellent exercise on JavaScript. Bravo.

joelgrus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great way to understand Git, thanks!
twice 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you, it's a very nice tutorial and I have not thought about this before (concept of trying to implement something you want to learn and get a better understanding of).
talles 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Sweet. Should have take quite some time to format the whole tutorial.
bhaisaab 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Great post by an awesome humble programmer :)

(NB: he's a friend who also happens to be a colleague at work)

together_us 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the idea! This is a really cool way to learn anything, then, for that matter, I guess. Thank you.
esteb_li 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice. Basic reimplementation is always useful to visualize abstract concept like Git. Git can be hard to new comers, as it's not always obvious what commit/branch/push does. Thank you
holoiii 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool. I would like to see other utilities or tools explained in this way.

Keep up the good work!

jheriko 12 hours ago 1 reply      
implementing git is an interesting approach to learning it.

i generally support this kind of stuff - however I think that this starts out implementing a source control solution rather than git in particular and its a shame that it follows git so closely later down the line in that regard (but completely understandable given the aim).

solving the problems for yourself you can get some insight into why git is the way it is (and svn, p4, hg, everyone else...)

xrd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliantly done. Thank you.
vaidik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome work as always chinchang!
pkmishra 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Really cool. I loved it.
Scaling the Operations Organization at Facebook infoq.com
5 points by daigoba66  1 hour ago   discuss
Linux 3.13 kernelnewbies.org
249 points by edwintorok  17 hours ago   41 comments top 10
wtbob 11 hours ago 1 reply      
> http://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.g...

I really, really, really wish that the Linux CSPRNG would quit having its flaws papered over. A fellow submitted a patch to implement the Fortuna CSPRNG years ago, and it wasn't accepted because of a misguided belied in entropy estimation.

I'm not saying that Fortuna is the One True CSPRNGit's notbut any clean design would be preferable to the current Rube Goldberg mechanism. I'm pretty sure that /dev/random as it currently stands is secure enough, but 'pretty sure' isn't very reassuring.

dded 15 hours ago 3 replies      
One significant user-visible feature of 3.13 is nftables:https://lwn.net/Articles/564095/
saosebastiao 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I noticed a couple of commits regarding btrfs. Can anybody summarize them to someone that doesn't know anything about kernels and very little about file systems?
sandGorgon 11 hours ago 1 reply      
3.13 is the first release with full opensource Intel Broadwell drivers - switched off by default though.

So by the time Broadwell actually lands in Q3-Q4, the kernel should have stabilized nicely. Perfect for a cheap Steambox.

bjackman 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Great summaries, thanks! I love when kernel news is made as accessible as this (thanks also to LWN).

Looks like a pretty major release. I only wish I had a rackfull of cutting-edge SSDs to try out the new block layer on!

pshc 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone heard any news on Google's user mode thread[1] kernel syscalls? I was really excited for that when it was announced but haven't heard a peep about it since.


arielweisberg 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Great to see the NUMA balancing in. My question has always been what workloads require NUMA balancing in the first place? If I present the kernel with the same number of threads as cores and keep all data local to a thread would the existing approach of allocating on the NUMA node the thread is running on have been enough?
netcraft 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Do we know what the next LTS kernel release will be and when it is expected?
shimon_e 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Great finally some drivers I've wanted have been merged. http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_3.13-DriversArch
contingencies 13 hours ago 2 replies      
For the block layer update, before anyone gets excited like I did, the paper actually suggests it's not useful to most people at all with current era hardware.

In this paper, we have established that the current design of the Linux block layer does not scale beyond one million IOPS per device. This is sucient for today's SSD, but not for tomorrow's. We proposed a new design for the Linux block layer. This design is based on two levels of queues in order to reduce contention and promote thread locality. Our experiments have shown the superiority of our design and its scalability on multi-socket systems. Our multiqueue designleverages the new capabilities of NVM-Express or high-endPCI-E devices, while still providing the common interfaceand convenience features of the block layer.

Google set to face Intellectual Ventures in landmark patent trial reuters.com
114 points by kjhughes  11 hours ago   45 comments top 7
WildUtah 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The suit in question (11-908 in Delaware federal district court [0]) was filed in October of 2011. It is coming to trial in 2014 and the participants have probably spent well over a million dollars each getting to this point. That alone tells you all you need to know about the chances that a startup company has in getting justice or even just surviving against a garbage patent abuser in court.

Google did not own Motorola when the case was filed and Google is not a named defendant, contrary to the deliberately misleading headline.

The Reuters article doesn't say anything about what the six patents claim or even give their numbers. Those numbers are 7,810,144 (the '144 patent), 6,412,953 (the '953 patent), 7,409,450, 7,120,462, 6,557,054, and 6,658,464.

The Reuters article does mention that the accused devices are older Moto phones and accessories. Newer devices than 2011 are, of course, not in the original complaint and usually are not added at this late stage.

The '144 patent is for a "File Transfer System for Direct Transfer Between Computers" -- describing a subset of SMS or IRC style messaging -- filed in 1997 and repeatedly rejected until the PTO folded under seven continued amended petitions in 2010. There is no limit to the patent amendments an applicant can make and no such thing as a final rejection at the PTO. Applicants are encouraged to reword claims to cover technology invented by others since the original application. [1]

If you'd like to be infuriated about how the patent system abuses software and computer networks, read the linked [0] opinion starting on page 14 where claim construction begins.

The '953 patent was filed in 1998 vaguely describing long established LCD backlighting practice. The '054 patent, "Method and System for Distributing Updates by Presenting Directory of Software Available for User Installation That Is Not Already Installed on User Station," was filed in 2000. The '464 patent, "User Station Software That Controls Transport, Storage, and Presentation of Content from a Remote Source," is like iBooks or Archie and filed in 1994.

The '450 patent, "Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Packet-Centric Wireless Point to Multi-Point (PTMP) Transmission System Architecture," was filed in 1998. It describes the use of any QoS scheme that includes packet inspection over a wireless network.

The '462 patent, "Portable Computing, Communication and Entertainment Device with Central Processor Carried in a Detachable Handset," filed in 1999 describes handheld computers with a docking station. It does not describe how to build such a device, of course, just that one could exist.

[0] Summary judgement motion here explains most of the issues http://www.ded.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions/slr...

[1] http://www.patenthawk.com/blog_docs/2004_Continuations_Lemle...

reuven 9 hours ago 1 reply      
In case anyone missed it, This American Life had two great shows about patent trolls, including Intellectual Ventures:



I always knew that patent trolls were a problem, and that the US patent system had big issues, but these shows made it oh-so-clear just how bad things are.

WalterBright 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Before 1990, people weren't suing each other over software patents. And the software industry did just fine - it was a period of huge innovation and rapid progress. We know what the software development landscape looks like both with and without patents.

It looks much better without.

belgianguy 11 hours ago 3 replies      
It's for cases like these I miss Groklaw. The reporting that we get now usually is either shilling/biased or too low on details to get a clear picture of what went down, as patents and lawyerese usually result in a vague mess most of the time.

I hope Google knocks 'em out, but sadly the US legal system has 'surprised' me a bit too often to feel confident in the outcome.

zeruch 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I won't understate this: I want Google to eviscerate IV's entire reason for existence.
stuart78 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a big test for IV, but I am uncertain that it will individually change the course of affairs for the general patent question. The second This American Life episode cited by Reuven includes a good indication of why. These cases seem often to be examined not on underlying principle, but on the direct evidence. The 'network update' patent from TAL was busted not because the patent itself was found to be ambiguous or over-broad but because its authorship was incorrectly assigned to only one of its 'inventors'. Super narrow and no principle other than "check your application more carefully next time".

In my opinion, this is how it should be. Courts should enforce the law, not change it (excepting the Supreme Court's right to reject the unconstitutional). For that, we need to work through Congress to modernize the definition of patents in respect to software.

These cases play an important role in that process, which is to create a body of guidance on how software patents are being used and how they are being challenged, for statutory reform and/or legal appeal.

[[As is probably obvious, I am not a lawyer, so I apologize for any legal inaccuracies in the above]]

reader5000 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Software patents: taking very broad, simple, and obvious ideas, expressing those ideas in technical language to impress the patent examiners, suing everybody who independently discovers and uses the idea.
Cython 0.20 github.com
122 points by hyperbovine  12 hours ago   14 comments top 10
pajju 10 hours ago 2 replies      
It was version 0.11.1 & 5yrs back, and I was in undergrad college. We used to hack on the cython code all night. :)

I got very Poor Grades that whole term.

And I can't forget those days, we used to hack all night on cython code but missing very important college lectures!

I did not even know how to commit!

But, It was pure thrill. Those were the days, I badly miss today!

And surprisingly I also fixed a very critical bug, that was the very first bug I had fixed in my Life.I started to realize, valuate & appreciate Open source & the reach of OSS!

cython changed my perception about software!

That marked my entry into OSS, and I was writing & optimizing for good code with standards and all the documentation. Until then I couldn't appreciate anything much of OSS.

* I literally danced around after I submitted that bug, and incidentally it got approved and committed too! :D

And it was the very early days of Cython Project <ver 0.11>


And today when I checked Cython Project, I feel awesome within, all around my body; esp the way Cython has grown & is being consumed across!

Power of OSS!

We should be honoring and celebrating every project out there that has done so much to Humanity!

bdarnell 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been playing with Cython recently and I'm really impressed with its compatibility with arbitrary Python code. It's possible to compile all of Tornado with only minor changes (for a ~25% speedup without any type annotations).https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/python-tornado/Kele7...
williamstein 10 hours ago 0 replies      
History: Back in 2008 I read the book http://producingoss.com/ and was at the same time dealing with several forks of http://www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/greg.ewing/python/Pyrex/ for use in my project http://sagemath.org. Inspired by producingoss, I came up with the name "Cython" during a brainstorming session with Tom Boothby, then made a website (cython.org), listed the three leaders of the various Pyrex forks as project leaders (one was my Ph.D. student), and crossed my fingers. It worked.
schmichael 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this project. Fantastic way to write Python bindings for native libs or speed up computationally intensive code without having to write C yourself.
dhon_ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
From https://github.com/cython/cython/blob/master/README.txt:

Cython (http://cython.org) is a language that makes writing C extensions forthe Python language as easy as Python itself. Cython is based on thewell-known Pyrex, but supports more cutting edge functionality andoptimizations.

The Cython language is very close to the Python language, but Cythonadditionally supports calling C functions and declaring C types on variablesand class attributes. This allows the compiler to generate very efficient Ccode from Cython code.

This makes Cython the ideal language for wrapping external C libraries, andfor fast C modules that speed up the execution of Python code.

Schwolop 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For anyone confused by all the Python nomenclature (hint: Cython != CPython!) this article: http://www.toptal.com/python/why-are-there-so-many-pythons was on HN a few days back, and is worth a read.
cbsmith 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You had me at:

> Support for calling C++ template functions.

baq 10 hours ago 0 replies      
i remember cython from the time it was called pyrex. it was already very good then. iirc it was around the time when firefox was called phoenix...

guys, you're way past version 1.0 in most users' minds, might as well consider dropping the 0.

jnazario 9 hours ago 0 replies      
thank you guys!

i use a lot of pyrex/cython to bind to libraries - it's so much faster to code in python. it's been a huge boon. having used swig, hand writing wrappers, and pyrex before i can say i much prefer cython.

thank you for the hard work.

jbeja 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this, thanks to projects like this, is why great libraries as Kivy exists.
How do I keep the passion and energy up after 17 years of writing software? stackexchange.com
36 points by marcopolis  6 hours ago   11 comments top 9
wpietri 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting question!

As somebody in a similar age bracket, the things I do:

Stay healthy. My energy levels are generally great if I am getting plenty of exercise and good sleep. And avoid eating junk, throwing off my sleep schedule, or having big worries.

Do things that matter to me. A few years back I was doing consulting that I got burnt out on. So despite a very lucrative bill rate, I said, "fuck it" and joined a friend in a startup. He had a problem that I really wanted to see solved.

Work with people I like. If I'm going to spend most of my daylight around people, I want to enjoy it. I generally like people, so this one isn't too hard for me.

Serve people I like. If I'm making something for people I care about, this is a big motivator for me. It definitely helps for me to actually meet users, watch user tests, and see stats that demonstrate that what we ship is making a difference.

Minimize my commute. I know that some people don't mind long drives in traffic, but I'm not one of them. I live in SF and have occasionally done gigs down the peninsula; it quickly drains not just my enthusiasm, but my will to live. I want to spend my energy on things that are actually productive, and rush-hour traffic is not one of them.

I look forward to seeing what others say.

plg 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Do something for the fun of it and/or the challenge, or to see "what if", without worrying about whether you can monetize it. This is of course assuming you've paid your bills already ;)
Thiz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
After 20 years of programming ten hours a day I took a two year break. Didn't code a single line all this time. Now Android got my interest picked again and been having fun learning all I can like in good old days. Ten tabs open in StackOverflow looking for answers, another ten tabs in android docs, ten more with samples and widgets, oh boy, that's my kind of coding fun.

So, take a break, do something entirely different, then come back refreshed. There will always be something new to learn waiting for you.

gorbachev 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been around about the same time as the OP. I've had ups and downs, but honestly this is a GREAT time to be a software developer.

I can't remember a time where there has been such a large number of truly interesting technologies around. And there are open source solutions to everything.

You can pretty much pick a new thing every week and you'd be still learning something new next year.

And with the way the job market is these days, you don't have to settle for that boring tech job either. Get out there, get yourself into a job that lets you work with exciting stuff.

jmcdowell 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm still very young compared to the original poster on stackexchange, however a comment in that thread reminded me of something I did myself which filled me with motivation.

"And finally, if you get a chance, help students with things. For example I judge and coach for Imagine Cup (sponsored by Microsoft) but I am sure there are equivalent things in whatever tech field you're in. This is a self-selected group of passionate and innovative young people who are building something they think will change the world and make them rich, and spending some time with them will get you fired up again, I guarantee! My first judging trip left me feeling ten years younger, so now I'm hooked." - Kate Gregory

I helped out at CoderDojo (http://coderdojo.com/) whose primary participants on the days I helped were 10-15. I helped the kids out with programming, learning myself and helping them program quadcopters amongst other things. Seeing the enthusiasm the kids showed and hearing what they were trying to build in their own time was incredibly inspiring. If you can, see if there is a local club teaching kids programming, I'm still only a university student but the club I helped out at were incredibly eager for anyone with coding experience to come in and help out. I can only imagine how happy they would be with someone with that much experience helping out.

zinssmeister 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think a few months or a year (depending on your cash in bank) of traveling/exploring other things aka a sabbatical to recharge the batteries is great.
kamalhussain 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Exercise regularly, eat organic, pray, meditate, attend good conferences, pick up a new domain such as "Internet of things" and create beautiful products that inspire you.
coldcode 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep doing something new. After 32 years, I still love it.
lectrick 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Learn functional programming, then apply those techniques to your language of choice.
Offer HN: Free lunch for your office this week in SF
24 points by jmhamel  2 hours ago   8 comments top 6
_sentient 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Awesome, were we located in SF we would definitely be down.

Just a side note. I'm not sure how much work you've put into the website, but that white text against a light blue background is very hard to read. The form could stand some optimization too, unless this is just a MVP for you guys while you work on the back end/fulfillment side.

jmhamel 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thanks for all the support - just digging in to all of your lovely emails :)
blbraverman 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Hey, seems like a cool idea. I'm Ben from URX (ben at urx dot com). We're in South Park and we'll happily grub down.
esusatyo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I hope you'll scale up to other big cities with very expensive lunches.
hansy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Always down for free food. Email sent.
caffeineninja 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Email sent!
The Life of a Stripe Charge petekeen.net
35 points by axelbouaziz  7 hours ago   22 comments top 3
patcheudor 6 hours ago 2 replies      
"Because your server-side process never knows the real card information, it doesn't fall into PCI compliance scope."

WRONG! The payment code is delivered by a response from the server-side & as such it is in scope for at least PCI section six. As an example, if the JavaScript code or reference comes via an HTTP & not HTTPS request it can be tampered with on the wire & the code replaced with code from the attacker, thus getting in the middle of the transaction. If there's an SQLi or persistent type-2 XSS flaw on the server side an attacker could similarly modify the code there. People need to stop believing that tokenization does anything more than remove the need to protect credit-cards in memory on the server side & pay attention to their security. Since the concept of tokenization hit the scene I'm seeing worse security around card transactions than I ever have before in my reviews. Worse, people convinced that tokenization entirely clears them from PCI responsibility tend to be argumentative & resistant to what I believe to be common sense guidance. Luckily the PCI council has been made aware of these issues and provided some clarification about tokenization:


krat0sprakhar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We're an ecommerce company who have been dealing with the baggage of "1-click buy" that we implemented a year back. To persist the cards we had to build our own infrastructure thereby increasing our PCI exposure. The yearly audits, honestly, are costing us a fortune. I need to make a business case around getting rid of the card related infrastructure and using some third party that provides tokenization-as-a-service. Are there any vendors out there who do that?

After doing this,will my PCI exposure reduce significantly? As long as my customers are entering their CC details over the vendor's secure page and I'm making encrypted API calls to their service on HTTPS pages (like Stripe) do I still need to get PCI Certified?

MarkMc 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why Stripe needs to know my customer's credit card number.

Wouldn't it improve security if my web page encrypted the credit card number using Mastercard's public key before sending it to Stripe?

Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions arstechnica.com
71 points by a_olt  11 hours ago   101 comments top 15
corin_ 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I run some product placement / brand awareness stuff with big YouTube gamers (also for gaming hardware, but not Microsoft), and I discussed this directly with ASA (Advertising Standards Authority in the UK) to ensure we weren't doing anything wrong.

We don't instruct our influences that they cannot be negative about our product not instruct them to be positive. We agree how often the products need to be shown, and include a few other things (link to product in description, etc.)

ASA's guidance was that for this we do not need to disclose anything about paying these influencers. I pointed out that although we don't specifically give them these instructions, the reality is that if one of them was negative we would kill the deal, and therefore were we essentially breaking the rules and just not putting it in writing - they said that no, we were fine until the first time we kill a deal because they said something negative. At that point on we have set a precedent and will need to have all our influencers disclose that they are being paid by us for these videos. But not until then.

Worth noting that our videos are fairly obvious - we generally have a 5 second logo clip that they play, the link in the description goes through what is obviously an adserver (though sometimes via bit.ly) - so we aren't trying hard to hide the fact. Although this was not relevant to ASA's answer to us.

Edit: Worth noting I work in Europe only, nothing in the US. Have also checked in Germany/France where we do the same thing, and there they don't seem to care right now, so no issues.

cheald 10 hours ago 8 replies      
Kinda related, I've been mind-boggled at the amount of product placement Microsoft has been buying in TV shows lately. Everywhere you turn, characters are making a VERY OBVIOUS POINT of using a Surface or something. It's hilarious/awful.
josteink 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Unlike Apple and its team of "insiders" and their "leaks", which coincidentally seems to always be people who get free goods from Apple's marketing department.

This is a complete sham!

Aaronontheweb 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is pretty standard marketing stuff in 2014... If I were running the Xbox marketing department I'd start firing people if they WEREN'T doing this.

There are entire startups whose job it is to set up advertisers and YouTubers with this type of arrangement - look no further than FullScreen, BigFrame, et al...

bpicolo 11 hours ago 1 reply      
That's just standard marketing. Don't know why we need the word "stealth". There are tons of youtube channels with marketing. (See every make-up vlogger ever).
cdash 9 hours ago 2 replies      
It is quite amazing that so many people on here are very ok with astroturfing.
pstack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't we all just assume this is going on? Also, if it's alright to pay major gaming sites and magazines and personalities to talk about your product, why not some knucklehead with a bunch of youtube followers? It's no less sleazy.

The great thing about modern society is that most consumers have evolved enough savvy to be suspect of almost all brand-encounters. Even to the point of alerting to a lot of sure false-positives.

Jehar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There's one key point that I haven't seen discussed here much. If this were a simple case of Microsoft contacting content producers directly and offering these things, then it'd be more acceptable. However, these are partners of Machinima, which has a relationship with YT and advertisers (fox, adotube, cbs, etc) to provide a revenue share to content producers. The fact that Machinima is mandating these terms to the content producers is what makes everything a bit shady, and poses several conflicts of interest for them.
trekky1700 9 hours ago 0 replies      
In related news, comapnies pay for ads on TV and Brad Pitt was paid to drink Pepsi in WWZ. World shocked.
thisisdallas 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I know the gaming world is making a big mess about this but as others have mentioned, it's nothing other than marketing. Doing promotions like this for Machinima partners/affiliates is nothing new. I also don't see how it differs from publishers sending free games to people to review on YouTube.
philfrasty 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The submission headline should be: Marketing: Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions. Nothing special here...
erbo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have long assumed that, whenever someone posts any good mention of any Microsoft product or service, the standard response should be, "How much did Microsoft pay you to say that?"
fleitz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what happens when you cut the PR middlemen out of the equation. OMG the horror MS is directly paying average joes instead of paying PR people.
undoware 9 hours ago 0 replies      
How did the rapgenius pitch to 'affiliates' go?

"That shit will BLOW UP!!!"

Here's hoping they're right. Again.

kordless 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The effects crypto currencies have on this particular type of marketing approach will be interesting, at the very least.
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