hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    13 Feb 2014 News
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Ron paul launches snowden clemency petition reason.com
64 points by ghosh  43 minutes ago   10 comments top 3
staunch 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I'm unreserved in my support for Snowden getting a blanket pardon. He should literally get a medal. He's the American of the decade as far as I'm concerned.
WizzleKake 8 minutes ago 5 replies      
Is Ron Paul taken seriously in the American mainstream media?

Honest/serious question.

alexeisadeski3 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great to see the Democrats out in front on this one!
Plan 9 released under GPLv2 berkeley.edu
172 points by mischief6  3 hours ago   71 comments top 11
4ad 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Title is misleading. Plan 9 was, and continue to be LPL. The Labs just made a special arrangement with these guys from Berkeley for them to distribute Plan 9 under dual-licensing terms. They in turn integrate Plan 9 bits into their GPL operating system (akaros).

Plan 9 as distributed by the labs continues to be LPL (not GPL and not dual licensed).

TallGuyShort 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Referring to Plan 9's previous license, the Lucent Public License, Wikipedia says:

'The clause in particular that causes it to be incompatible with the GNU GPL is "This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of New York and the intellectual property laws of the United States of America."'

cbaleanu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They also added Plan 9 to a github repository[0]

[0] https://github.com/brho/plan9

hrkristian 2 hours ago 3 replies      
From the Wikipedia article:

>Consequently, sharing the device across the network can be accomplished by mounting the corresponding directory tree to the target machine.

Does this mean Plan 9 natively supports sharing any device managed by the kernel over a network connection?

davexunit 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Great news, but they really should have picked GPLv3+ or GPLv2+.
etrain 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The project responsible for getting the license changed is doing some awesome work in the manycore lightweight OS space - http://akaros.cs.berkeley.edu/akaros-web/news.php
dhfjgkrgjg 3 hours ago 6 replies      
This is a big shame. They are already familiar with the BSD license, so why the GPL?
Dauntless 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain in plain talk what Plan 9 is and does? Thanks...
brickcap 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who thought this referred to the movie plan 9 from outer space?
pjmlp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great news.
z3phyr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
PLAN 9 uses its own standard of C
React, JSX, and CoffeeScript neugierig.org
48 points by bslatkin  2 hours ago   29 comments top 10
tel 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Another trick I like is to import the React functions you want all at once

    {div, ol, li} = React.DOM # global exports    div null,      ol null,        for result, index in @results          {a, span} = React.DOM # local exports          key = doSomeLookup( result, index )          href = otherLookup( key )          li {key}, [span(null, "Hello "), a({href}, "world")]

davemo 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you'd like to use React + JSX + CoffeeScript I built a little workflow [1] using Gulp that works pretty nicely; it takes advantage of the backtick character in coffeescript compilation to let you do cool things [2].

[1] - https://github.com/davemo/react-battleplanner/blob/battlepla...

[2] - https://github.com/davemo/react-battleplanner/blob/battlepla...

MarkPNeyer 1 hour ago 4 replies      
having html inlined in your js code is ugly. so is mashing strings toether.

a friend at twilio pointed me to a library called JUP


it lets you express html as json. i don't understand why this isn't more popular.

[ "div", { class : "a-class" }, [ "span", "you can use all of your json tools to edit the DOM" ]]

so awesome!

arasmussen 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I'm torn. Syntax-wise, I find that many programming languages are similar enough that moving from one to another is pretty straightforward. Even Objective-C makes some kind of sense to a Java/PHP/Python/etc programmer.

But CoffeeScript doesn't feel this way to me, which makes me want to stay far away. Yet so many smart people are building cool things with it, which makes me wonder if I just need to suck it up and get familiar with this new syntax.

jashkenas 1 hour ago 1 reply      
For an interesting bit of prior art, check out Reactive.coffee an MIT project that implements a reactive HTML DSL in CoffeeScript:


... note that it's not related to Facebook's React just shares the name, and some similarities in surface area.

Bahamut 1 hour ago 2 replies      
"It also breaks a rule that I've never cared for, where your templates are supposed to be separate from your code."

This is not a "rule" that I came upon - I figured out how crappy having your templates tied to your JS makes working with quickly on my own. It is an absolutely ugly pattern.

cordite 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Wow, that is really concise!

ClojureScript also has a nice react kind-of-thing (now named reagent), though all the parenthesis makes it more noisy.

andyl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Great post. I also use plain React (no JSX) with CoffeeScript. I've used Ember, Backbone, Angular, but for me React/CoffeeScript is by far the most productive.
Gonzih 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was working with CoffeeScript for last ~2 years, nowadays I kinda prefer to use plain old javascript with underscore library. No coffeescript, just got tired of constant mental mapping between two languages.
jbeja 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Learning Reactjs the last couple weeks really got me excited. I love the philosophy about writing highly decoupled peaces to build a bigger one. Also i discover that usin with coffeescript make the syntax very declarative, it look like Kivy language.
Making Remote Work Work opennews.org
94 points by staringmonkey  4 hours ago   55 comments top 19
sneak 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Create another local user account on your computer for being at work. Change the desktop background to big work logos. Don't configure your personal instant messenger accounts and whatnot. Set up the email client to only check the "work" account so you don't fall down personal email item rabbit holes. Configure the WasteNoTime Safari extension appropriately (more strictly than your personal account's config, with sites like reddit, facebook, HN, etc on unconditional block).

Added benefits:

* easy default correct ssh key use (~/.ssh/id_rsa in work account is not my personal key)

* different browser cookie jar

* different dropbox/gdrive login

* different bookmarks

* different shell history

* faster homedir backups (my personal account has ~300GB of aperture in its homedir, my work account is <10GB)

* privilege separation (both my personal and work accounts are unprivileged, so unless there's local priv escalation being used, rogue user-priv software in one can't steal keys/data from the other)

Then, finally, disable fast user switching. (You should do this anyway, as having it turned on enables a Firewire/Thunderbolt DMA memory-dumping attack that can steal your FileVault2 keys while your screen is locked.) This means that you have to consciously choose to "leave work" by logging out and then logging in to your personal account you use to browse reddit/HN/etc.

This is the single biggest productivity gain I found for enforcing the "I am at work now" discipline. (Being able to use a non-personal dropbox account for work stuff is almost worth the price of admission itself.)

johnvschmitt 1 hour ago 1 reply      

He touched on this, but I want to let you know, after 4 years working from home, how important this is.

The environment gives you unconscious cues on how to behave. If you goof off (surf the web, stream, eat, play, etc) where you work, you are "poisoning" that environment, & make it very hard to focus on work next time there.

After "poisoning" several places in my house, I've setup a workbench in the garage, & ONLY work there. Meaning, if I'm working there & need a break, I LEAVE that environment, so as to keep it clean. Then, when I return to the environment, it's easier to focus & get things done.

randlet 3 hours ago 4 replies      
"If your office has a phone system that uses short extensions internally, have your IT department set one up to redirect to your cell phone. That way you can tell your coworkers to dial 5555, instead of your whole number."

Fantastic tip! Super simple but I really think this idea will make you feel more available to your co-workers.

rjzzleep 3 hours ago 2 replies      
since i spend a lot of time in the console i have a few very simple aliases, for the following and some other time zones i use frequently.

    cst='TZ=CST6CDT date'    est='TZ=EST date'    berlin='TZ=''Europe/Berlin'' date'
then i can just convert times and needed.

    berlin -d '4:00pm EST'

dba7dba 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I used to be on the other end of the remote working, meaning I was often the guy that had to go to make sure projector/phone was working etc. Since I was IT, it was part of my job. But it get pretty annoying. I can't imagine how annoying it would be for non-IT guy who keeps getting called in to do it.

So if you are a remote worker and you end up using someone else's body often for remote meeting set up, please don't forget to send a little thank you gift, like $10 amazon card every once in a while. Don't forget, everyone else is already jealous/upset that YOU get to work from home and enjoy all the benefits while someone else is stuck in office and on top of that has to act as your virtual hands/feet.

zrail 3 hours ago 4 replies      
This is all super valuable advice. The biggest thing that I've learned from working 100% remote for the last six months (which is also in the article) is to have a space that is just for work.

Another thing that I've learned is to be crystal clear on when your normal working hours are, especially if the bulk of your team is in a different time zone. Don't be inflexible, of course, but establish normal working hours and stick to them.

malaporte 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Remote worker here, I agree with most things he said.

I work with an on-site team, and I'm the only remote worker in that group. We use a permanent Hangout that I can keep opened in the background, in order to hear what's going on at the office. With the press of a button I can 'upgrade' it to a full two way video chat. I'm using an old battered laptop sitting on a stand, along with a good quality microphone and a webcam I can pan remotely (pretty fun). Here's a picture: http://imgur.com/OD4V9Z4

When it's open it feels a lot like if I'm sitting there. I can take part of informal conversations, etc. It's pretty great... although it does sound creepy when I describe it.

Still my coworkers are totally OK with that, and honestly once you get used to it it's fine. I'd see and hear the same things if I was physically there. And since I'm in a different timezone, I still get to work all morning mostly uninterrupted.

Also, we have similar setups in a few conference rooms, so it's always extra easy go gather people for quick talks.

I'm curious to know if other people are using something similar.

btipling 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thank you for the kind comments about floobits, seeing comments like that really means a lot to us. All of us work remotely too, so your blog has some good tips. We use IRC for chat and Shush, a Mac OS X push to talk app has also been very good for communicating. Let me know if you do run into any trouble or have questions.
yawz 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
For the ones who require some extra motivation to remain disciplined, you can use a tool like SelfControl (http://selfcontrolapp.com/) to keep you away from casual browsing.

Also, FWIW, I find Pomodoro's time slicing technique pretty productive (there are many apps that support it - I'm using PomodoroApp on Mac (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pomodoroapp/id705103149?mt=1...). I usually go with 25min + 5min cycles. (If only all meetings fit in that 25 mins I'd be the happiest man on Earth).

wdaher 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
For pair programming or other remote collaboration stuff, I've been really happy with Screenhero (screenhero.com).

[Disclaimer: I've invested in them -- but I legitimately do also use it regularly for this sort of thing.]

jewel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Instead of a headphone switch, you can enable and disable "Auto-mute" automatically, at least in linux:

    amixer sset 'Auto-Mute Mode' Disabled
This lets you switch between headphone and speaker mode with a keyboard shortcut or from the command-line. If even that is too much effort, I use my webcam to detect my headphone presence automatically: http://stevenjewel.com/2013/11/detecting-headphone-use/

yawz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Any remote-working developer who's pair-programming? I'd love to hear about your experiences?

I know there's been a few attempts at creating remote pair-programming tools but I'm not familiar with any particularly successful one.

king_magic 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I completely disagree with blanket statements like "You should be pair programming". Ugh.
mbillie1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
One of those rare "making x work" articles that was actually filled with awesome, actionable tips. I really enjoyed this and will be passing it around at work, thanks.
jj00 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been doing remote work for going on 8 years now. All solid advice, but I think the general theme I've gone by is to always be open to trying new ideas.

I've come full-circle on a number of things: I started with 4 clocks on my wall (laziness/batteries), tried to write my own desktop widget (client turned them off), then websites (too many tabs), and now an old iTouch (setup today).

chermanowicz 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good article, and commentators below have some good suggestions. I'm curious what tools the HN community uses to make their lives easier?

Project Management? Chat/IM? Task & Calendars? etc.

smackfu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interesting, we don't really use video chat at all. We use one-to-one text chat, an IRC room, and conference calls. Seems to work so far.
eweise 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. "you should be pair programming". Terrible advice. Isn't effective in the office. Tons worse when remote.
pasbesoin 3 hours ago 2 replies      
A bit OT, but personally I've never found the need for a multi-zone clock or clocks. It's just a few offset quantities to remember, and the math is fairly instantaneous. Although it does get a bit hinky when shifts to and from daylight savings time don't align across differing regions.
Bitcoin transaction malleability: looking at the bytes righto.com
55 points by guan  3 hours ago   36 comments top 4
patio11 2 hours ago 7 replies      
I tried to explain the issue with change on Twitter earlier and got a few Bitcoin advocates hot under the collar, but here it is:

Say you receive 10 Bitcoin as, I don't know, your salary. You then spend 0.01 Bitcoin on a sandwitch, leaving you with 9.99 in change. Because you cannot safely spend change until after the sandwitch transaction is fixed in the block chain, this freezes your 9.99 remaining Bitcoin for about an hour. They're still yours, you just can't spend them.

If you hypothetically try to spend one after 10 minutes (maybe you need to, I don't know, pay rent or do something people routinely do with actual money), you have two options:

1) If your counterparty is on the ball, they'll say "Nope, you don't have a single Bitcoin to your name right now." (You know you do, but he can't prove it, as 100% of your Bitcoin are currently in flight rather than being in accounts demonstrably under your control.)

2) If your counterparty is not on the ball, two outcomes:

a) If your sandwich transaction is mutated and the mutated version makes it onto the block chain first, or if it is mutated and the mutated version loses the race to be confirmed but the confirmation of your original transaction happens on a block that doesn't end up in the block chain due to reorganization [+], then your rent payment fails. Your counterparty will discover later that they don't have the money that they expected, even if they watched you send it.

b) If everything goes right, your transaction succeeds, and your counterparty does not realize that you just paid your rent with the Bitcoin equivalent of "The check's in the mail! Honest!" This continues happily until the check is, well, not in the mail.

Bitcoin is currently undergoing active attack, causing many transactions by people who don't understand the inner workings of the system to fail. This attack is capable of disrupting (a portion of) transactions worldwide on Bitcoin for about a few tens or hundred dollars a day in botnet renting cost and could be coded by a CS102 student, if you told them where to look and what to do.

[+] "What?" Glad you asked. See, the fundamental theory of Bitcoin is that miners throw immense amounts of hashing power to create "blocks" in a sequence. Each block references the last block. Each block also encodes transactions. However, everyone is racing to discover the N+1 block after N is released, so there can actually be multiple N+1 blocks. Only one of them will eventually win. (Bitcoin breaks ties based on height, so if N+1 #1 gets another block concatenated to it before N+1 #2, then it is much more likely to be the block which actually matters. #2 vanishes from consensus history, along with all of the transactions inside of it. That normally isn't a problem if you just rebroadcast your transaction, but if N+1 #2 had "your" transaction and #1 won with the mutated version of your transaction, then the transaction which you actually made is suddenly, retroactively, different from the one you think you made.)

The reason everyone keeps talking about "roughly an hour" is because blocks happen at plus or minus every ten minutes, and after N+6 blocks, it is vanishingly unlikely that a transaction in block N will be removed from history by block N being replaced by a totally new chain. You could, for lower risk transactions, count it as "Probably good enough!" after N+2, as long as you're OK with occasionally having your transactions retroactively vanish.

codeflo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This post explains the how very well. Now I wonder about the why.

Why is there extra data that's part of the transaction hash, but not part of the cryptographic signature? (This fact seems to be the source of the problem.)

This is probably not by accident, so what does this design accomplish? Why isn't every bit of the transaction signed?

scottcanoni 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Two questions:

1. Do the attackers (users who abuse this), modify all transactions they see or do they target those transactions that only involve their wallet?

2. Even given the relative ease an attacker would have with modifying a transaction, that transaction still needs to be accepted by the majority otherwise their modification is ignored. So given 2 transactions for the same bitcoin transfer, I would guess that 50% of the time their transaction is accepted. I guess that the attacker could modify the transaction, for example, 4 times and then it's an 80% chance that one of their modification is accepted (4 out of 5). Do I have that right?

This was a good article, I enjoyed it's breakdown with examples.

ChristianMarks 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Interesting. I have been "receiving" .00001 BTC from an address beginning with 1Enjoy (1Enjoy1C4bYBr3tN4sMKxvvJDqG8NkdR4Z). This has been ongoing since Feb 10. Another .00001 BTC unconfirmed showed up from another address starting with 1Sochi...
Why Stack Overflow in Portuguese? stackoverflow.com
80 points by jaydles  1 hour ago   94 comments top 30
soneca 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
"Its almost impossible to feel like part of a community if youre not highly proficient in the language. Even non-native speakers who are fluent enough to read posts in their second or third languages often arent comfortable enough to write in them."

Wow, this is true! I am brazilian and you have no idea how much effort I put in writing every single comment here on HN. And the longer de comment is, the more stupid mistakes I make; e.g., i usually write "no" instead of "know" or vice-versa, just because in my brazilian mind they sound exactly the same. And at my most voted comment ever I wrote "maked" instead of "made". No one mentioned (?) it, but I still feel the shame.

I think it is a great move by SO, lots and lots of developers I meet here (i am not one) don't speak fluent english. Our basic education is very poor (in every aspect, including english language there). If we want a world where everyone can learn to code/develop early in life, this sure come in hand in Brazil, where there is a huge just-got-out-of-poverty youth that didn't learn english at all, but could easily learn to code.

Congrats SO!

edit: I noticed I just wrote "de" instead of "the". Stupidest mistake I often make. Again, just because in my mind they sound exactly the same - and "de" is a word (of) in portuguese. Gosh, I make this mistake for so long, I should have learned already.

te_platt 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I have strongly mixed feelings on this. When I was a kid my family moved to Brazil for a couple of years and I learned Portuguese. When I was about 20 I moved to Chile and learned Spanish. Speaking the language of the culture you are in is hugely important - and not very easy.

So on the one hand if the culture of programming is in English (is it?) then I would strongly encourage anyone wanting to program to learn English. On the other hand, helping inject a programming environment into another language seems a worthy goal as well. On balance it seems like stackoverflow is doing the right thing.

oscargrouch 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
People barely now this, but theres a social inclusion aspect by creating the portuguese version of StackOverflow.

In Brazil, at least, only the kids of wealthy families have access to private english courses..

In regular school its just too weak to make a difference.. and of course there are the self-taughts.. a minority..

So, there are a very good social inclusion aspect in all of this.. make the rookie programmers start with the portuguese version.. then maybe they will just hit the english with time.. imposing a language barrier is a sort of elitism that will create a virtual barrier that doesnt do good to anyone..

I dont know why people rant about it, since all the good content is already in english language..

Allow even more people to enter into the technology world is a good thing.. let them learn english later, when theres a need..

rdtsc 55 minutes ago 4 replies      
Programming specific I think is easier in English.

I speak 3 languages and understand 4. Talking about programming, computer science and technology in non-Engish is awkward. It either is necessary to just use English terms anyway for every other noun or struggle with awkward translation of them.

Things like kernel, doubly linked list, hash table, binary tree, greedy algorithm, they are all invented in English and when translating them to other languages, they have a translation but it just sounds very awkward.

So you can have 2 people talking and one uses all translated terminology one uses the "native" equivalent. And yeah if both happen to speak English they'll understand what they mean, but if they don't then they might as well speak different languages. But if they already speak English and it is a public forum, might as well try to speak English.

Anyway that is just my perspective.

drdaeman 1 hour ago 4 replies      
> We do want as much centralization as possible

Yup, totally centralized. Spent half an hour figuring out where my question should go (StackOverflow vs Programming vs ServerFault vs SuperUser vs Ubuntu vs Unix-and-Linux). Ended up not asking the question at all.

Shall they open some foreign embassies, I guess users'll spend 10 minutes more deciding in which language should they ask (i.e. whenever they prefer native language or bigger community) or duplicate the question.

dmunoz 1 hour ago 8 replies      
> Without Googling, name any famous developer from Japan. Or China. Or Russia.

Many Ruby developers won't have a problem with this.

eknkc 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
They are spreading thin.

It used to be StackOverflow, I'd go search for something and ask if the search would yield nothing. Now they have a thousand sites and I don't know which one to look at, or ask questions on.

BoppreH 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
Unintended consequence #1: duplicated questions.


Corollary: answer "arbitrage" (translating existing answers for duplicated questions).

rogerthis 1 minute ago 0 replies      
Recent research in four universities in Brasilia (federal capital) area has shown that 50% of students are functional illiterates.

As I said before, we g(b)razilians can't write or understand or own mother tongue, imagine doing it with English.

blah32497 25 minutes ago 1 reply      
Maybe this is a dumb question, but why not just use Google translate? (or some equivalent)

If you don't know any English and you were to auto-translate your question. I think the vast majority of the time you'd get the answer you're looking for. You don't even need the result to be very grammatically correct or to sound natural. Most of the time you just need to get the gist of it and get a code snippet.

It'd be helpful if there was a translation scheme that was targeted towards the programming field so keywords were translated appropriately (so like, whatever the Portuguese equivalent of 'namespace' would translate accurately to 'namespace' etc. etc.). I feel like creating of map of terms would be relatively easy.

In the grad scheme of things I really really hope knowledge is consolidated in English. It's the lingua franca of the world, and it's also one of the most expressive languages. I spend some time working in Japan, and they had so much knowledge squirreled away from the world b/c they were effectively too lazy to learn English. (they're large enough, and advanced enough that they can afford to maintain trade journals and online technical communities in Japanese)

frade33 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Adoption of English language is one of the major reasons, why 3rd world countries like our, India and Pakistan are thriving in IT. I feel sad for nations, who are stubborn in their adoption of English language, merely out of political reasons. Even from a political perspective, this is sad, because you can't convey your point of view to others.

Oh and by the way, India is 2nd and Pakistan is 3rd largest country by number of English language Speakers, 1st of course is USA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-sp...

Moreover, Do I need to name key Google and Microsoft Employees, who were born and bred in India too. :)

yeukhon 55 minutes ago 1 reply      
I am an immigrant from China and I came to the States after finishing sixth grade so I can still read and write in Chinese. Perfectly excellent. The advantage of that is I can utilize more resources that are only available in Chinese. You'd surprise how often Chinese programmers leave useful code snippets or tips in Chinese. So knowing a foreign language can definitely help.

While I agree having a non-English version helps growing the community (as pointed out in the article it could help a young girl to get started), but I am worrying about fragmentation. Also, SO tends to be pretty strict about the way a post is written - so a little girl who is making a post will either be closed or forced to edit. I don't know - it is as if I want people to take the hard route because it can benefit them in the long run.

I really have a mixed feelings about this too.

Side note:

That probably limits the list of potential candidates to Mandarin, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian...

Hmmm it's Chinese since people write in Chinese characters. Mandarin is a dialectic.

6cxs2hd6 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
> 10% of the worlds programmers are in China

> 1.4% of our visits come from China

> Only 4.8% of our visits come from China, Japan and Korea combined

> So, if the data tell us that were getting roughly 80% less activity from Asia than we should in the absence of language constraints, why does it feel so obvious that all serious programmers speak English?

That data says it's less. It doesn't say the reason why is language constraints.

p.s. With or without this data, sure, it's obviously false that "all serious programmers speak English", and obviously true that some more people will participate using their native language.

RomanPushkin 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
This post will not be complete without mentioning Claude Piron http://dotsub.com/view/54b18453-7176-44ef-b686-952b239975f9
AndyKelley 1 hour ago 2 replies      
So why start a duplicate place for knowledge? Seems much simpler to integrate a translation system into the canonical English database. Existing entries can be translated into other languages and then improved upon. Hell, you could automate the entire first step and then crowd source the improvements.
davidcollantes 59 minutes ago 2 replies      
A really bad idea. Now a really good answer or tip that would otherwise be on the 'regular' stackoverflow (albeit in broken English) will remain, unknown, on a 'pt.overflow.' That is one drawback. Another drawback, an English only stackoverflow helps a Portuguese speaking person to learn another language that is, now, more universal. Yet another, it fractures an otherwise more unified community.

My mother tongue is Spanish, yet I have no issues with an English only stackoverflow, at all.

x0054 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
Most Russian programmers I know speak enough English to get by in most situations. I can't speak for other countries though.
ishener 1 hour ago 2 replies      
instead of starting a brand new stack overflow in another language they should think of some way of letting people translate questions & answers and earn karma for that. this way, like wikipedia, you can always go from one language to another for the translation
Argorak 1 hour ago 0 replies      
With a few friends, i've been running a ruby bulletin board in german and found that there is a definite need for localized assistance.

While quite a few people can read english docs okay, it is far harder to ask proper questions and interact with people. There is always need for clarification. Assistance is far easier without a language barrier.

dsr_ 1 hour ago 1 reply      
When I tell someone I work at Stack Exchange, my absolute favorite response is:

    I basically learned to code from posts I found on Stack Overflow

While I've never had anyone tell me that, I don't think I'd be happy to hear that in an interview.

mathattack 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like it. I wish there was a reference to Orkut worked in there. That social network thrived for a long time purely because a couple Brazilian open source celebs latched on to it.
jowiar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It would be pretty sweet if they have some process of linking duplicate questions between the two, or if bilingual folks could ask questions in multiple languages. Translating questions and/or answers could be as valuable as answering questions.
lucian1900 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
As a non-native English speaker, I have pretty strong feelings about English in engineering in general: everyone should just learn English.

I see it as a remarkably good thing that engineering (and to some extent science) has standardised so much on English and I can only hope that all other walks of life will as well.

It would be so nice if everyone on earth spoke excellent English.

tsm 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is one of the few situations where I side strongly with ESR: http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#skills4
berdon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Was anyone else expecting the post to detail their plan to "translate" non-english Stack Exchange sites to English to continue content centralization?
gesman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
printf ("Ol, mundo!");
fauria 1 hour ago 7 replies      
> Without Googling, name any famous developer from Japan. Or China. Or Russia.

Yukihiro Matsumoto. Rasmus Lerdorf. Guido van Rossum.

angersock 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's one:

Because any language other than English is brainfucked in string support.

There, I said it.

moron4hire 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is great, and I think multilingualism is something we should encourage amongst dedicated developers. I mean, it's not like we don't already have to learn a variety of languages already.

I personally get a kick out of communicating with people in other languages. It almost seems like a super power.

DyslexicAtheist 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Secure your rsync shares steve.org.uk
49 points by stevekemp  3 hours ago   36 comments top 8
UnoriginalGuy 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
What is interesting is that the rsync daemon is not something typically enabled by default, you have to go in and manually turn it on, and if you don't alter the configuration to add users and passwords, it simply won't allow login at all.

So someone has gone out of their way to set up insecure rsync daemons.

I wonder if all of these open rsync daemons is due to a poorly configured appliances like a NAS or some other "turn-key" vendor supplied kit. But even then it is a strange thing to enable insecurely...

gketuma 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently bought a lenovo ix2 NAS and was having some issues setting up rsync. Decided to go to their forums and found out that they turn on rsync by default and unsecure. So if you have this device connected to your network with default settings (which I presume many people will do), anyone on the internet can see your backups. Here is the comment from one person who made the discovery and according to him, he can scan and see peoples backups. http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Iomega-Network-Storage/Security-...
ars 1 hour ago 2 replies      
When installing a new machine one of the first things you should do is run

  netstat -tnlp | grep -v 127.0.0 | grep -v ::1:
Then uninstall or reconfigure anything that is listening remotely.

__david__ 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Part of me thinks the best way to bring attention to this is to make your search engine and publish it.

I don't see how this exposes liability for youis Google liable when people leave their printer's/router's/fax's/whatever's web configuration interfaces on the public internet with no password? I don't believe they are, and I've seen a number of Google searches in the past on the Hacker News front page linking to pages and pages of them.

However, like Google, you probably want to have a quick way for people to remove their site from the index once they've discovered and secured it.

I, for one, would love to see a search engine of public rsync servers.

jonalmeida 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Consider writing a post on how one can go about different ways to secure their rsync shares.

I'd like to set one up, but I know close to nothing of how it works.

mpchlets 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh it's people like you that ruin security through obscurity :P
uslic001 2 hours ago 2 replies      
What is best way to secure rsync shares?
api 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Google searches for things like "inurl:PAYROLL.XLS" are always good for a hoot.
AngularJS Form builder github.com
12 points by manpreetrules  58 minutes ago   1 comment top
aram 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pretty cool! I was thinking to create the same thing to make building forms less tedious. I usually switch to Jade whenever I have too much HTML to type out.

Question: Why linking to a cloned repo? The fork is 0 commits behind the master, so nothing is changed from the source.

Link to the source repo:


Why I'm Done With Social Media Buttons solomon.io
26 points by jenniferDewalt  2 hours ago   7 comments top 6
eknkc 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Last month, we had 50,943 facebook likes, 23,935 twitter tweets and 820 G+ shares via that plugins on our website.

For Facebook, it is around 5% of all likes our articles collected. Not bad actually.

bencollier49 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I disagree with this strongly. In instances when I've had content from my site go viral, Twitter and Facebook shares via buttons on the content have definitely had an impact.
minimaxir 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's also possible to make your own social media buttons if you're concerned about the privacy/performance impact. I've done that for my own site and it's worked well so far. (although theoretically the tradeoff is that it leads to less sharing conversions)
Houshalter 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Social media buttons are annoying and useless as well as a major privacy concern. Block them with adblock and the filter "Fanboy's Annoyance List" which can be found on this page: https://easylist.adblockplus.org/en/
dudus 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wish I could +1 this post.
adventured 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are there any stats on the number of users that click buttons vs manually sharing the same link? Are we at a point in the maturity of social networks and user adoption, where it's no longer worth the annoyance trade-off (ie users will mostly share what they want to anyway, regardless of buttons)? I'd be pretty happy if I never used another social media button in a project.
Part 2: Lessons learned tuning TCP and Nginx in EC2 chartbeat.com
6 points by jlintz  10 minutes ago   discuss
Technical Details Behind a 400Gbps NTP Amplification DDoS Attack cloudflare.com
150 points by jgrahamc  7 hours ago   57 comments top 14
spindritf 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Somewhat ironically, the large French hosting provider OVH was one of the largest sources of our attack and also a victim of a large scale NTP amplification attack around the same time.

And their own semi-official ntp server supports monlist with a hefty response

    $ ntpdc -c monlist ntp0.ovh.net    remote address          port local address      count m ver rstr avgint  lstint    ===============================================================================    10.x.x.246             123      515 3 2      0     12       0    10.x.x.248             123      396 3 2      0      7       0    10.x.x.245             123      104 3 2      0     10       0    212-x-x-101.rev.pon   123   178326 3 4      0      0       0    sw.178.x.x.248-n5.f   123       12 3 2      0     12       0    proxy.ovh.net          46863   252113 3 3      0      0       0    v1.ovh.net             50733     2443 3 3      0      0       0    a2.ovh.net             44965  3394192 3 3      0      0       0    cross.rfid.ovh.net     33352    11823 3 3      0      0       0    10.x.x.176             123     1865 3 2      0      4       0    gw6.ovh.net              123     1476 3 4      0      3       0    sw.5.x.x.248-n5.fr   123      361 3 2      0      2       0    b6.ovh.net             40862     1095 3 3      0      4       0    10.x.x.245             123      164 3 2      0      6       0    10.x.x.211            123   314567 3 2      0      4       0    .    .    .

bhauer 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Great write-up and very helpful for those of us who, despite doing so for years, remain amateurs at running our own servers. I am among those who think the Internet would be better as a whole if more people did in fact run serversserver software would gradually become easier for us amateurs to install and run without leaving it in a state that is open to nefarious exploits. But for the time being, I appreciate it when experts take the time to explain simple counter-measures as you have done. Thank you!

As far as I am aware, I am not responsible for any Internet-facing NTP servers (I certainly never set one up willingly), but it's good to have this in the back of my mind now in the off-chance that I ever do set one up.

I did have one of my Windows machines used for DNS amplification. I wrote about the incident [1] at my blog because I had been a bit surprised that it was not sufficient to simply disable recursion. That much had seemed like common sense, and I thought I had been so clever and thorough in turning it off. But later I found attackers were leveraging my server's willingness to provide a list of root DNS servers in response, even with recursion disabled. I ended up deleting the list of root servers and the problem went away. (Though, to be clear, I never ran the incident by any DNS experts, so I may have misdiagnosed the whole thing.)

I don't know what else I don't know about amplification attacks, so reports such as yours are helpful for people like myself who find it fun to run our own servers, but don't consider it an area of expertise.

[1] http://tiamat.tsotech.com/dns-amplification

aidos 5 hours ago 3 replies      
As far as I can tell these attacks always rely on amplification using IP Spoofing. I take it there's no way of mitigating that in a lower layer without adding some leaky abstraction or general overhead to the network? So, for example, (speaking as someone who knows nothing about these things) you could add some sort of handshake along the lines of:

    ntp server sees request from (spoofed by attacker)    ntp server goes to to check that they really sent the request (sort of ack type thing) comes back to say that it's an uninitiated request    ntp server discards similar future requests for some time
Obviously that would require more toing and froing, along with more white / black list tracking etc. Then again, can't all machines have sensible defaults in their firewalls to stop them from participating in such attacks?

Is this not an issue for TCP?

EDIT: I'm assuming it's because UDP doesn't do any checking / acknowledge stuff by default?

yread 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Details on the SNMP amplification


tinco 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is offtopic, but this post was deleted some time ago, and now it's back, it was submitted by jgrahamc then also.

What happened to it? Did the algorithm snip it, but did jgrahamc undelete it somehow, or a mod? Just curious about the way those things work, not complaining.

JulianMorrison 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder, is QUIC vulnerable?

UDP? []

Amplification? []

Spoofable? [?]

voltagex_ 6 hours ago 3 replies      

FWIW, if you install the ntp package and do ntpdc -n -c monlist localhost you'll get a response but I haven't checked if it's configured by default to reject non-LAN requests.

powertower 6 hours ago 3 replies      
> it returns a list of up to the last 600 IP addresses that last accessed the NTP server

It just gives up that data to anyone that asks? Seems like a huge privacy issue.

Imaging Apache or Nginx giving up the last 600 IPs it served and maybe the URLs they went to.

edit: there is always the occasionally open Apache /server-status handler that leaks this type of data.

mturmon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
OT, but: Tasteful choice of album cover art for the pic at the top.
junto 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm not much of a network guy, but is it possible for Cloudflare to just redirect that DDOS traffic back to the NTP server that sent it?

This would have two benefits. Firstly the owner of the insecure NTP server is going to get a nasty message to fix their damn server, and secondly, the insecure NTP server gets taken out of the attack and becomes useless to the attacker.

As a visual reference, it would be a bit like in Star Wars when Mace Windu fights Palpatine on Coruscant [1]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk4AiCnMqpg#t=2m35s

Eventually these server provider who have left their servers wide open will get the message when there NTP servers no longer respond?

1. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Showdown_on_Coruscant

rahimnathwani 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Is the response to MONLIST also sent as UDP? If so, why does CloudFlare even accept those packets to IP addresses used for web hosting? Shouldn't all legitimate traffic be TCP on ports 80 and 443?
petermonsson 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This is probably a stupid question, why can't tier 1 providers (whom I suppose there are relatively few of and who I would expect to incorporate best practices) just decide to kill any NTP monlist UDP that ever crosses any of their NPUs?

Why would that not solve a large part of the problem?

Thank you in advance.

poobrains 6 hours ago 5 replies      
How do you test a server for this attack? I want to make sure my servers don't participate.
TA-bye 2 hours ago 0 replies      
All NTP seriousness aside, this new "record-breaking" DDoS attack was only possible because CloudFlare -- after the Spamhaus attack -- upgraded and expanded their network endpoints all over the world. When the next attack hits and they have again upgraded their connections with 100Gb/s combined, they'll be able to say that there was again a new record, this time it was 500Gb/s.
Group Matchmaking Startup The Dating Ring (YC W14) Launches In San Francisco techcrunch.com
31 points by laurenkay  3 hours ago   14 comments top 5
vj44 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What's the difference between The Dating Ring and Grouper?The article suggests a more "personalized" match making, but it seems to me that both use a combination of human input & some algorithms.
hiphopyo 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are all these new age dating sites / apps really that much better than Craigslist?
MyNameIsMK 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Have you even built the product yet? All I see are a few embed forms and zero information or screenshots on the product...
enewc 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I doubt this will succeed. The pricing is enough to turn away most potential users and the remaining users won't generate enough income to sustain the company, especially if they meet everyone in person.
angersock 2 hours ago 5 replies      
Would anybody be interested in a dating site for makers/programmers?

Like, you work on solving a small or fun problem together while chatting?


I've had several "dates" I've gone on that have devolved into business rather quickly, and I know several friends that have gone to hackathons expecting to hack and instead have to deal with romantic advances (not unexpected, but still distracting).

It'd be nice to explicitly set content-type ahead of time so everyone knows what to expect.

Rust on Computer Language Benchmarks Game debian.org
24 points by oscargrouch  1 hour ago   20 comments top 4
tomp 50 minutes ago 2 replies      
It's ridiculous and sad that they would include Rust, after banning LuaJIT a few years ago, citing "too much maintenance effort" (even though LuaJIT benchmarks were significantly more complete that Rust's)
hangonhn 11 minutes ago 2 replies      
Anyone else a bit shocked by how well Javascript on V8 performs? I might need to rethink my assumptions but it actually runs faster than Python 3 according to this.
Scaevolus 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
Why don't any of the Rust benchmarks have their source code on the site?
Rickasaurus 1 hour ago 3 replies      
What's the deal with pidigits? Losing out bad to PHP here even.
Why Python Runs Slow, Part 1: Data Structures lukauskas.co.uk
135 points by Sauliusl  8 hours ago   104 comments top 20
jnbiche 6 hours ago 5 replies      
If you're using Python for performance-critical applications, simple use of the integrated ctypes module (uses libffi in background) can make a world of difference. There's a modest performance overhead, but basically you're getting near C performance with proper use of ctypes.

Coincidentally, one of the usual examples given in the ctypes howto is a Point structure, just like in this post. It's simple:

  from ctypes import *  class Point(Structure):      _fields_ = [("x", c_int), ("y", c_int)]
Then you can use the Point class the same way you'd use a regular Python class:

  p = Point(3, 4)  p.x == 3  p.y == 4
Really, taking a half-day to learn how to use ctypes effectively can make a world of difference to your performance-critical Python code, when you need to stop and think about data structures. Actually, if you already know C, it's less than a half-day to learn... just an hour or so to read the basic documentation:


If you plan to write an entire application using ctypes, it'd be worth looking at Cython, which is another incredible project. But for just one or two data structures in a program, ctypes is perfect.

And best of all, ctypes is included in any regular Python distribution -- no need to install Cython or any additional software. Just run your Pythons script like you normally do.

EDIT: I was just demonstrating how to get an easy-speed up using ctypes, which is included in the Python standard library. To be clear, you would usually use this type of data structure in ctypes along with a function from a C shared library.

Furthermore, if you're serious about optimizations, and you can permit additional dependencies, you should absolutely look at cython and/or numpy, both of which are much faster than ctypes, although they do bring along additional complexity. Other commenters are also pointing out cffi, which I've never used but also bears consideration.

munificent 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What I find interesting here is that Python (and most other dynamically-typed languages) treat instances of classes as arbitrary bags of properties, with the negative performance implications of that, even though that feature is rarely used.

I'd love to have the time to examine codebases and get real data, but my strong hunch is that in Python and Ruby, most of the time every instance of a class has the exact same set of fields and methods. These languages pay a large performance penalty for all field accesses, to enable a rare use case.

JavaScript VMs (and maybe Ruby >=1.9?) don't pay the perf cost because they do very advanced optimizations ("hidden classes" in V8 et. al.) to handle this. But then they pay the cost of the complexity of implementing that optimization.

I'm working on a little dynamically-typed scripting language[1] and one design decision I made was to make the set of fields in an object statically-determinable. Like Ruby, it uses a distinct syntax for fields, so we can tell just by parsing the full set a class uses.

My implementation is less than 5k lines of not-very-advanced C code, and it runs the DeltaBlue[2] benchmark about three times faster than CPython.

People think you need static types for efficiency, but I've found you can get quite far just having static shape. You can still be fully dynamically-dispatched and dynamically type your variables, but locking down the fields and methods of an object simplifies a lot of things. You lose some metaprogramming flexibility, but I'm interesting in seeing how much of a trade-off that really is in practice.

[1] https://github.com/munificent/wren[2] https://github.com/munificent/wren/blob/master/benchmark/del...

crntaylor 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The part that really surprised me was this:

  We only had 23 years of Python interpreter development,  how would things look like when Python is 42, like C?
C, which I always think of as an ancient venerable systems language, is less than twice as old as Python, which I think of as a hot new kid on the block.

In thirty years, when my career will probably be drawing to a close, Python will be 53 years old and C will be 72 years old. Barely any difference at all.

jzwinck 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There's no silver bullet, but NumPy comes pretty close sometimes. Here's an example where I achieved a 300x speedup with regular old CPython: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17529342/need-help-vector...

The trick is often to somehow get Python to hand the "real work" off to something implemented in C, Fortran, C++, etc. That's pretty easy for a lot of numerical and scientific applications thanks to NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, PIL, and more. Lots of libraries are exposed to Python, and you can expose more either by compiling bindings (see Boost.Python) or using ctypes. If you do this well, nobody will notice the speed difference, yet your code will still look like Python.

And sometimes your performance problem is not Python's fault at all, such as this lovely performance bug: https://github.com/paramiko/paramiko/issues/175 - a 5-10x speedup can be had simply by tweaking one parameter that is no fault of CPython or the GIL or anything else (in fact, Go had basically the same bug).

What I'm getting at here is that performance is not just one thing, and the GIL is a real and worthy spectre but hardly matters for most applications where Python is relevant. Your Python is slow for the same reason that your Bash and your C and your Javascript and your VBA are slow: you haven't profiled enough, you haven't thought long and hard with empirical results in front of you about where your program is spending its time, your program is improperly factored and doing work in the wrong order, or perhaps you should just throw some hardware at it!

alephnil 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It is of cause possible to write a faster Python, as PyPy proves, but some of the design choices in Python does make it hard to optimize. This is not inherently a problem with dynamic languages as the development of Julia proves. In Julia it is easy to write programs that is in the same ballpark as C efficiency wise, while still feeling very dynamic and having a REPL. Pythons problem is that both the interpreter and the language is quite old, and existed before modern JIT technology was developed, so that was not considered when designing the language and the interpreter.

That said, Python emphasis on fast development as opposed to fast running code is very often the right tradeoff, and is why it is so popular.

erbdex 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"My experience in working on Graphite has reaffirmed a belief of mine that scalability has very little to do with low-level performance but instead is a product of overall design. I have run into many bottlenecks along the way but each time I look for improvements in design rather than speed-ups in performance. I have been asked many times why I wrote Graphite in Python rather than Java or C++, and my response is always that I have yet to come across a true need for the performance that another language could offer. In [Knu74], Donald Knuth famously said that premature optimization is the root of all evil. As long as we assume that our code will continue to evolve in non-trivial ways then all optimization6 is in some sense premature.

For example, when I first wrote whisper I was convinced that it would have to be rewritten in C for speed and that my Python implementation would only serve as a prototype. If I weren't under a time-crunch I very well may have skipped the Python implementation entirely. It turns out however that I/O is a bottleneck so much earlier than CPU that the lesser efficiency of Python hardly matters at all in practice."

-- Chris Davis, ex Google, Graphite creator

joshmaker 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Who would use a dictionary for a point? If it's a 2D grid, you are only going to have two axes and by convention x-axis is always first, and y-axis is always second. Perfect use case for a tuple.

   point = (0, 0)

unwind 6 hours ago 3 replies      
The article was kind of interesting, it's always good to talk about why things are slow, since that might help highlight what you can do about it (short of switching away from Python, that is).

I was abit annoyed about the benchmarks part; there was no C-based benchmark for comparison, it was not clear how many points were being processed which made the exact time kind of pointless. Also, C and C++ are not the same which the author seems to think.

kashif 7 hours ago 6 replies      
The pythonic way of creating a Point like data structure is not

  point = {'x': 0, 'y': 0}
but instead, this

  Point = namedtuple('Point', ['x', 'y'], verbose=True)
The resulting class, I believe to be more performant than using a dictionary - but I haven't actually measured this.

jaimebuelta 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The sentence "Python run slow" is a little misleading. While is true that does more stuff than other languages (C, for example) for similar operations, it is also true that in the majority of cases, the relevant time consuming parts of execution are in other areas, like waiting for I/O, etc.

In most of the cases, a program done in Python (or Ruby, or JavaScript) is not slower than a program done in C or even assembly. Sure, for some cases, it may be necessary to take care of rough cases, but I think that just saying "Python is slow" is not very fortunate...

arocks 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Rather than using a better data structure from the start (class vis-a-vis dictionaries), why not move to a better Python implementation (PyPy vis-a-vis CPython)? When I need a data structure, I look for one that is a natural fit to the problem. Perhaps everything is implemented as a hash table in a certain language (not taking names here :)) but would I replace every data structure with a hash table for efficiency? That would be Premature Optimisation.

I would recommend to code in idiomatic Python as much as possible (in this case, use a tuple for Point). Primarily because it is easy for other fellow programmers and your future self to understand. Performance optimisations are best done by the compiler for a reason, it is usually a one-way path that affects readability.

martinp 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Wouldn't a regular tuple be the most pythonic (and possibly most efficient) way to represent a point?

I think that's what most image libraries do (at least Pillow).

analog31 6 hours ago 5 replies      
For my casual use, Python has been fast enough that I can be pretty carefree about how I program. But I had one shocking experience when I ported a program with a fair amount of math over to a Raspberry Pi, and it practically ground to a halt. That was a disappointment. It won't drive me away from Python, but it means I've got some learning to do on how to better optimize Python code.
tgb 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This should be bringing up the classic array-of-structures versus structure-of-arrays debate instead of what was mentioned. If only NumPy were standard Python and so we could have an easy, standard answer that is usually fast enough.
mumrah 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't want to mess with ctypes, this sounds like a straightforward use case for namedtuple.
rtpg 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised that Python's interpreter tech isn't advanced enough to try and JIT some of this away. Python could probably learn a lot from various JS interpreter advances.
yeukhon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
if you ever watch Robert's talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULdDuwf48kM you will find that different version of Python can have different run time for the same code.
minimax 5 hours ago 0 replies      

    std::hash_set<std::string, int> point;    point[x] = x    point[y] = y
This is a very interesting implementation of a set...

rplnt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yet another case of someone (the blog engine?) being too smart and replacing " with and in code.
wcummings 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't a tuple be more appropriate than a class?
Instead of a card, make your valentine a website brace.io
31 points by colevscode  3 hours ago   23 comments top 14
penguindev 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
I made my wife a blog / marketing page for her business a few weeks ago as her 'early' valentines day present. The domain name was $13 or so, and using s3 (it's a static generated site) is basically free for how small it is. I decided not to pay 0.50/month for route53 apex support - www. is fine. No SSL.

I'm a backend programmer, but it was fun to learn bootstrap 3 and put something together, and run it through google pagespeed :-). It was a good week of effort, along with helping her learn markdown.

hawkharris 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a tradition of making my girlfriend a Web app every Valentine's Day and other holidays. She's a GAS analyst, so I try to incorporate location - based features.

This year I got her three locked wooden boxes with numbers written on them. The numbers represent the miles she has to travel to unlock them using a companion app called MapStreak (www.mapstreak.com).

Making apps for people close to you is a great way to explore new technology without all the pressures or time commitment of starting a full - fledged side project.

oinksoft 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a fun thing to do. A couple years ago on Valentine's Day I learned a little Canvas to make this for my wife: http://oinksoft.com/valentines-day/
pnathan 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've done the website thing before. I am sufficiently bad at UI that it's always come off corny.

So, I made my wife an app this year. I thought it'd be something other people might appreciate, so I polished it into a product and am selling it:


llamataboot 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Automatic reload not working and getting a lot of "Internal server error. Server unreachable." messages. Maybe getting hit too hard at the moment?
dsschnau 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cute idea, and a very cute way to promote your business. I'd never heard of brace.io and here I am using it!
jensenbox 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
I know it is cheap but really - what am I paying for?
codva 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I did this back in the 90s, when we had to actually know HTML to make a website valentine. You kids have it so easy today ;)
hawkharris 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My phone's auto correct changed GIS to GAS...
tobyjsullivan 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks fun but wouldn't work for me. Dropbox issues apparently. Rate limiting maybe?
mxbc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is well well done! The instructions say the page should refresh. Should it refresh automatically or did I miss read (I had to refresh to make any changes appear)?
angersock 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought revenge porn was frowned upon?
aerialcombat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
did this about 15 years ago
yoshgoodman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Thanks man
"Strong" stack protection for GCC lwn.net
8 points by robrenaud  54 minutes ago   1 comment top
d0 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Isn't this the same as what the OpenBSD guys added to their GCC fork? I think it was called ProPolice.
TokuMX 1.4 released: Major improvements to MongoDB sharding and replication tokutek.com
8 points by zardosht  1 hour ago   5 comments top 3
aaronblohowiak 18 minutes ago 1 reply      
Why doesn't 10gen buy them?
ddorian43 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Now they only need to set the sharding rethinkdb-style and they win.
jontobs 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great Stuff! Compression and document level locking are awesome! New features = GRAVY!
The Noteblock Roses will wither, but the Blockchain is forever thenoteblock.com
22 points by zaptheimpaler  3 hours ago   17 comments top 5
DanAndersen 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what happens when someone adds copyright-infringing material into the blockchain. Seems like governments would be all too ready to consider all Bitcoin users to be pirates, and they tend to be less understanding of the concept of something being unremovable from the Internet.
schmichael 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this just needless blockchain spam? Seems like the blockchain is getting huge enough without spammy messaging transactions like these.
chrisBob 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As I understand it there is no fee for a 1BTC transfer. Is there anything stopping me from sending 1BTC back and forth between two wallets, as a means of recording permanent messages?
TrainedMonkey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I like how they judge contributions by amount of money people send. Growth hacking right thing.
jonpaul 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks cool! How are you actually embedding messages into the blockchain?
Scala-js v0.3 released github.com
51 points by iamtechaddict  5 hours ago   10 comments top 2
saryant 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Scala-JS has been making very fast progress lately, the 0.1 release wasn't that long ago. I'm excited to see where it goes and I think there's room for some very cool integrations with Play.
brandonbloom 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The title mentions Futures & Promises, but the link is directly to the GitHub project without any further information about those concurrency constructs.

I'm curious if they managed to implement the blocking operations of Future [1], such as the "result" method. And, if so, did they accomplish that using the same Continuation Passing Style transform that Scala's Delimited Continuations [2] plugin uses, or some other means?

[1]: http://www.scala-lang.org/files/archive/nightly/docs/library...

[2]: http://www.scala-lang.org/api/current/index.html#scala.util....

Comcast Acquiring Time Warner Cable In All Stock Deal Worth $45.2 Billion wsj.com
380 points by ssclafani  16 hours ago   282 comments top 61
suprgeek 16 hours ago 13 replies      
If this merger goes thru, (and the AnitTrust people would have to be really asleep at the wheel for that) two things are certain:

1) Americans can expect some of the worst Cable price gouging they have ever seen

2) NetFlix, Amazon Prime et al will become really popular as a result of all the customers saying "FU ComcastWarner"

kevinalexbrown 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Does it strike anyone else as curious that the two largest cable/internet providers merge, and it doesn't matter because they already don't compete? It might be a sign that something's odd if the premise is that there's no competition between identical products to harm in the first place.
fiatmoney 16 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be insane to let this go through. They're both effectively monopolists in most markets they serve; allowing them to combine just allows them to exert more political influence to make sure they keep their monopoly and high profit margins. Their core business is very much a low-value-added, rent-seeking concern, which doesn't benefit from economies of scale except for in as much as they can increase their market power by reducing competition - a fundamentally zero-sum game.

Political influence is a major and underexplored negative externality of monopolies.

mikeryan 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Non WSJ Paywall article


This is crazy I don't see how this can get past any sort of anti-trust. Particularly with Comcast's stake in NBC. Comcast would own both the content and distribution of too large a chunk of the broadcast industry.

chimeracoder 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I can't wait until we finally get around to relegating broadband providers as common carriers.

At the very least, we need a broadband version of Glass-Steagall, which forces ISPs, cable companies, and content providers to be separate entities.

The current situation is laughably awful for consumers. I can't imagine a single informed customer actually supporting the status quo.

kjhughes 6 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're wondering how this could possibly go through, see another WSJ article on the topic: "Comcast, Time Warner Deal to Spark Regulatory Debate, Outcome Uncertain"


Summary: On the one hand, there are the obvious consumer concernsabout the impact on pricing and service if the two largest cablecompanies were to merge. Besides Justice Department and FederalCommunications Commission review, Congress will likely seek hearingswhere they can be seen being involved in such a high profile matter.On the other hand, Comcast successfully practiced completing the 2009acquisition of NBCUniversal from GE by agreeing to a wide array ofcommitments with the Justice Department, FCC, and state attorneygenerals.

Article concludes that the acquisition may well go through: "This isthe first major merger review under new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, whoonce served as the cable industry's top lobbyist. Mr. Wheelersuggested in 2011 the Commission should have allowed AT&T to buyT-Mobile in exchange for agreeing to a new slate ofregulations. Lawyers and analysts in Washington believe Comcast couldsimilarly secure the Commission's approval by expanding its existingregulatory commitments."

famousactress 16 hours ago 3 replies      
As a TWC customer I've been long certain based on conversations with others that I have the second worst cable company in the country. So my reaction to this announcement is approximately "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK."
iandanforth 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I was proud of the DOJ Antitrust division when they objected to the ATT/T-Mobile merger. I can only hope they do the same here.
ritchiea 16 hours ago 5 replies      
Who benefits from large corporate mergers like this? What does an all stock deal mean at that kind of magnitude?

It certainly feels like little else than a handshake deal to create a monopoly.

mindslight 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is yet another reminder to check out your local DSL options, like Sonic.net and Megapath. Hopefully the ones in your area haven't gone out of business yet from everyone getting duped into "faster" cable.
zacinbusiness 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I hate TWC with a great and fiery passion. I literally shake when I think about the company. And from my understanding, most Comcast subscribers feel the same way about their service. This sort of thing makes me angry, not because I think the monopoly will be worse than it currently is. But because these mega-companies have so much power and influence that they can make their own laws. A free and open internet simply doesn't stand a chance against that much money. Because all of the protests will happen online. And if I'm ComWarner and I see a site protesting me what am I going to do? I'm going to ban hammer them. And if the public complains about it the I'll slip some judges a few mil each to get them to interpret the law in my favor. And that's the simple fact: America is one of the most corrupt countries. If not the most corrupt. Because our law makers at every level are in the pockets of billionaires.
adamio 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"All Amazon hosted websites have been blacked out from Comcast Warner Cable while we undergo contract negotiations. Thanks for your patience, here's a free Video on Demand for the inconvenience"
mjbraun 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In the past, I haven't seen much about how the "last feet" problem will be addressed in dense metropolitan areas. In multi-unit dwellings, often the wiring is still owned by the provider. So, even if you were to run fiber (municipal or otherwise) right up to the doorstep of a building, you wouldn't be able to cheaply run drops to every unit. In my previous readings, the laws in my area at least allow for provider "abandonment" or a buyout of the wiring, but I doubt those would help very much. I'd be interested in hearing if folks have seen otherwise, however.
blazespin 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The point is not to merge. The point is to use this as a negotiating point with the FTC. Ask for the sun, and end up with the moon.
dangayle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Please don't let this happen. I hate Comcast and I hate it even more that it's really the only cable option where I live. I'd hate for that to be the case for everyone everywhere.
b3b0p 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have access to Time Warner or Comcast. I currently have Cox and I have never had Time Warner or Comcast my entire life. I have only read online from sites like Hacker News or Ars Technica in the comments about how bad it is.

Could someone enlighten us with some points of how this possibly could benefit consumers?

Will they have more capital to build out fiber networks like Google has been doing to compete with that? If this goes through how much control can be put in place by the regulators to make sure pricing is not increased, they don't throttle or block out certain content providers such as Netflix?

Even though they server different markets it seems insane that this gets approved from the knowledge I have.

ben1040 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting timing, considering Charter's been preparing a hostile takeover attempt and was trying to push for a shakeup on TWC's board:


gremlinsinc 15 hours ago 2 replies      
With this announcement we as a community REALLY need to get behind Net Neutrality as much as we did w/ SOPA -- Companies like Google, Netflix, et al - should block all access to their sites from D.C. IP addresses as a protest to show them what 'Throttling' feels like.
mynoseknows 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not like you ever have any choice with a cable provider anyway, the way it works is a cable company gets in bed with the local government and that's who gets to provide you with cable service.

I must be one of the lucky ones because I've had Comcast for over 10 years and the quality of service (customer service and cable/internet) has always been great. Pricing could be better but if you call they're always willing to give me promotional pricing deals, and there's always satellite TV and/or internet, DSL, or cellular.

joeshaw 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I really, really want the regulators to stop this, but most people only have the choice of a single cable provider anyway. Where in the US do Comcast and Time Warner compete head-to-head? It feels as though they have divided up the country similarly to how the baby bells were after AT&T was broken up in 1984.
yeukhon 15 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing I find stupid is franchise. In NYC Comcast, TWC, Verzion and RCN get franchises. Sometimes living a block away from where one used to live means a different provider and you are locked. TWC isn't so badly in the last 2-3 years after the major pool expanison and relatively stable, but in the end, why the hell is FiOS still not available to me when they promised they would have it complete by now?
mayneack 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, Comcast and TWC were already go to examples of the problems of monopolies.
richforrester 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Dear HN: I'm not too familiar with the situation over there, and have what might be a dumb question.

Are there any companies that will benefit from this because they're already on their way to roll out their own lines? I'm thinking about things like Google Fiber, companies that are providing their own network to deliver internet over.

founder4fun 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Google please buy Verizon FIOs and all other fiber ISPs! Building out your own ISP is going to take decades.

A national Google Fiber is needed more then ever with this potential merger and Net Neutrality being struck down.

natural219 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I would welcome this merger. Give them 3 months, and let them demonstrate why the telecom monopoly is bad for business, consumers, and America.
spikels 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We should be taking these guy's monopolies away. Competition is the key to not only good value (i.e. low price/value) but also economic fairness.

Ever notice how many of the biggest fortunes were built on top of government granted monopolies of some form, such as exclusive licenses, highly regulated industries, copyrights, trademarks and/or patents? Just look at the list of the world richest people:

1. Carlos Slim - telecom monopolies

2. Bill Gates - software copyrights

3. Amancio Ortega - clothing trademarks (brands)

4. Warren Buffet - highly regulated businesses

5. Larry Ellison - software copyrights

6 and 7 - Kock Brothers - highly regulated businesses


alexqgb 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This is either good news or bad news for municipal ISPs. Good news in that you could hardly ask for a better catalyst. Bad news in that Comcast will have even more motivation to murder the entire concept in its sleep.
martindale 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There is absolutely no way the FTC will allow this.
acd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Since Time Warner was rumored to be the partner of AppleTV TV content, ponders how this deal affects that. Was it a plan to stop that Apple deal to happen or will they benefit from that?

Ponders if this will pass the antitrust authorithy

tomasien 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this a PR move? Do they like paying lawyers? Leverage against the FTC? I mean, this is never going to happen.... right?
madmax96 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I might be mistaken, but I don't think that Comcast and Time-Warner compete in the same market, so the anti-trust people can't complain.

I feel bad for those poor Time-Warner customers, though.

pirateking 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Is anyone here familiar with the costs (regulatory and financial) associated with direct backbone fiber access?
tn13 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Cable and Internet suck in American The Land of Free. I have TV Box from comcast which I have not switched on for year because it is absolute shit. It plays may be 10-15 channels and for any good channel I need to shell in so much money.

I am 100% sure that someone like Google will shark behind these people and drive them out of business.

fennecfoxen 16 hours ago 0 replies      
As others have mentioned, it's not clear that this would increase the market concentration in any way that matters, because it's not clear that Comcast and Time Warner meaningfully compete with each other. How many households can choose between one or the other?

Is there another way in which they will materially reduce consumer choice and gain new pricing powers? (Some people have said Net Neutrality and putting the pressure on Netflix, which is Interesting; it's not clear the extent to which third parties like this are covered by said Act.)

delucain 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Will this really matter in the long run? I mean don't most cable companies have a local monopoly anyway? I don't think there are many Comcast subscribers who can switch to TWC. I know there's still a diversity of offerings across the market that will change, but that seems a minor thing compared to the fact that most broadband users don't have a choice who they get their broadband from anyway.
adventured 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Classic peak of the market bozo move. Comcast is massively overpaying for a dying business that will be valued at 1/3 this price in three to five years. I'd mark this equivalent to the HP / Compaq deal, and the AOL / Time Warner deal (in which Time Warner allowed a soon-to-implode dial-up player to eat them).

TWC has a mere $1b in cash, and negative $22.8b in net tangible assets. Comcast shareholders just bought a massive black hole.

benmorris 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This really stinks. Just suffered through a transition to TWc from insightbb. Haven't been happy with the way twc operates. I can't imagine one mega cable company.
einrealist 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This might be an opportunity for the antitrust agencies, to force Comcast to open up their network to the competition like Netflix. I would not be so pessimistic about the deal.
fiatmoney 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe no one has yet even trolled the possibility that allowing this merger would be payoff for both companies' loyal service to the NSA.
PaybackTony 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I'm seeing some people here upset with the possibly deal because service already sucks (for both companies).

If that's how you feel, then this deal is good. One large company can be taken down much easier than two large companies. Just one less competitor Google Fiber (and other up-and-comers) have to deal with.

The part that irks me is that Comcast will own everything from the content, network all the way down to the subscribers. It just doesn't feel right that one company has that much power.

But then again, as a business owner, controlling your own destiny is your utopia.

malkia 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I must talk to all my libertarian friends now. I need to get explanation what free market means when right now my only options for network would be one ISP.
mgkimsal 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Aren't there antitrust laws to protect against this exact sort of thing?
joelthelion 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Great news for internet access quality in the US! /s
shmerl 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Less competition, higher prices and worse service for those who will be unlucky enough to be in the area where there is no choice but to use these cable ISPs...
ulfw 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Americans sure love their monopolies.
knodi 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, comcast is a monopoly in this current state, after this it would be a super monopoly.
izzydata 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Still waiting for google fiber that is under construction 5 miles from my house. "Supposedly".
relik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Now, instead of spitting on TWC vans, I'll get to spit on Comcast vans.
cenhyperion 16 hours ago 1 reply      
How could this not be considered a monopoly over the majority of the US?
squintychino 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, if you thought internet plans and prices suck now...Stay Tuned.
mroby 16 hours ago 1 reply      
They need a login to read the post? That's ridiculous.
pgrote 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, boy. Charter wanted them, badly.
maceo 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The resulting Comcast would have 75% of the US cable market, if this goes through.
roozbeh18 15 hours ago 0 replies      
who submits wsj articles no one can read...
hydralist 14 hours ago 0 replies      
please google isp, destroy this new super-fool
antsam 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, the new AT&T.
logicallee 10 hours ago 0 replies      
How is this legal?
pasbesoin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The Obama Administration had better prod some serious anti-trust consideration on this -- not to mention Congress.

The NBC deal a couple of years ago, and now this?

Meantime, my Crapcast service contains consistently more crap (as opposed to quality), for consistently more money.

Step by step, this country is flushing itself down the tubes. Ha... bit of an unintended pun, there. Fitting.

chaosmonkey 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Well now we wait for things to get worse!
samgranieri 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is bad
lgama 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Prepare the Vaselin.
Writing an MMO with Web Actors paralleluniverse.co
31 points by pron  3 hours ago   16 comments top 3
stcredzero 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm currently writing an MMO.



I am intrigued by actor models, but I can't get my head around what that would mean in terms of architecture. A game loop is easy to understand, especially for functional programming. You just make the world at tick n+1 a function of the world at tick n.

For one thing, this makes server load easy to evaluate. It's just a percentage of simulation tick duration spent in calculation. How would I evaluate that in the actor model?

peregrine 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The demo barely works at all, with sub 100 players, hits won't register, flying is jerky.

I get thats is only a demo but its not a very convincing one :/

danso 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Ha! I clicked on this expecting it to be how to make a story-driven MMO game in which the actors are all non-union/guild actors making a living off of webepisodes. Considering that even guild actors get paid beans for what they are used to in commercial/tv/film work, I was interested in what cost-savings might have been actually attained. But the actual material of the OP is even more interesting :)
Male, female or custom? Facebook adds options for users to self-identify usnews.com
71 points by Kopion  1 hour ago   63 comments top 21
wpietri 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Sweet. Like they say in the article, this won't matter for a lot of people, but for those who use it, it matters a great deal.

I have one friend who changed gender and it really opened my eyes to how poorly a societally mandated absolute gender binary serves some people. And the extent to which that gender binary is actively enforced by society. I just never noticed before, because I fit reasonably well into one of the available boxes.

chimeracoder 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
> "It's impossible to deny the biological reality that humanity is divided into two halves - male and female"

Actually, it's pretty easy. Even on a biological/genetic level, the lines can get rather blurry.

There are people with male genitalia who have two X chromosomes, people with female genitalia who have a Y chromosome, and a bunch of other variations.

Trufa 1 hour ago 3 replies      
> Those petitioning for the change insist that there are an infinite number of genders, but just saying it doesn't make it so.

Funny that HE says that, since disregarding your moral stand point on a non cisgender person, the reality, observational and scientific, is that sex is much more complicated than male and female. What we do with that may be up for discussion, but I find ironic how he's trying to deny this reality, basically, by just saying so.

hermannj314 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
Everyone seems proud of themselves for realizing that both sex and gender do not divide into two nice halves. I guess I have just taken it as a given that is how the world is.

Nevertheless, Facebook is still predicated on the the worst false dichotomy of all time: someone is either my friend or they are not my friend.

Do we need an entire generation of friendism movement to raise awareness the world is full of colleagues, acquaintances, etc. I know this doesn't matter for a lot of people, but for those of us with nonconforming relationships, being forced to choose a binary option as friend or not friend is disheartening.

It is the reason I quit Facebook.

daturkel 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Unexpected but long overdue. It's a feature which means a lot to those that want it and has zero effect on those who don't. Glad to see the change.
jaimebuelta 1 hour ago 1 reply      
As I have a lot of friends in Facebook that I assume do not share the same language preferences than me (they are from around the world), this feature had made think about how hard internationalisation can be... I'm pretty sure than translating all the possible options, plus pronouns, etc, will be an interesting problem ;-)

PD: I've checked and the option is only available so far to users using US English interface, so not a problem currently. I can imagine it will be at some point.

nfoz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd rather they just remove the box altogether.

But I'd also rather we just do away with the concept of gender. Sex is a thing, and is also non-binary. But "concept of gender" is something strange altogether.

devindotcom 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's the announcement on Facebook:


Solid step in the right direction.

Also, this is an area of sexual politics that is generally not well understood by the majority of people being that the majority are not gay, trans, or otherwise off the traditional dipolar gender and sexual attration axis. I don't know about you, but I prefer not to comment on things I don't understand so as not to put my foot in my mouth or inadvertently cause real offense.

waterlesscloud 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Putting on the mercenary hat for a moment, I wonder how this affects advertising targeting...
regleo 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Reg: But you can't have babies.

Stan: Don't you oppress me.

Reg: Where's the fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?

Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.


k-mcgrady 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Good to see them do this but I'd have preferred if they'd come up with 3-5 different ways to describe gender that we could use across the web. Have 50 different customisable options is a pain to implement for everyone. Maybe I'm wrong though - can someone with more knowledge on this tell me whether that many options is really necessary?
qeorge 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Way to go, Facebook.
paulnechifor 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Damn, this doesn't work for me yet. I wanted to identify as a "just this nice uber trans-trans-awesome-guy".
chiph 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
When I worked at Peopleclick (HR applicant tracking software), we didn't go quite this far, but we had 7 gender options: Male, Female, M-F Trans, F-M Trans, Neuter, Other, and Declined To Identify. Which was pretty progressive for 14+ years ago.
cllns 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is awesome!

Diaspora did this a few years ago too (more or less) http://www.sarahmei.com/blog/2010/11/26/disalienation/

vezzy-fnord 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Sincere question: Why would a transgendered person specifically want to identify as a "trans ___" as demonstrated in the screenshot? Wouldn't they simply want to identify as their preferred gender (male, female, neutral, etc.)?

I'd understand the importance of explicitly using trans as a distinction when, for example, speaking to a medical professional or discussing a social issue, but on a public profile?

yetanotherphd 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is great, but we can take this a lot further. Submit pull requests to fix gender-binary assumptions in open source software.

If an engineer refuses to accept your PR, they are an insensitive asshole, and deserve the public criticism and dismissal from their job that will inevitably follow.

cinquemb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they will expose it on the public graph api?

This will make it really interesting to better infer parts of some peoples personalities with the rest of the data people want to share on facebook, and serving ads to demographics who are going to want to click on your ads because it conforms to their views.

Well played from a data-mining perspective.

megaframe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wanted to put "Meat Popsicle" but they have pre-defined "custom" tags
snaky 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
>50 different terms people can use to identify their gender


Havoc 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
Custom...jedi. Your move FB.
Show HN: Fiddlewax fiddlewax.com
67 points by akumpf  7 hours ago   49 comments top 21
crazygringo 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I know I'm in the minority, but I went to buy and download it after the awesome video, only to discover it requires iOS 7.0. :(

iOS 6 is still at 13% usage, and is basically staying there (until iOS 8 comes out, presumably). It would be really nice if you could support just one operating system version back.

fidotron 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Very interesting. I was ready to hate it, but the walkthrough video was actually really good too.

My only real point would be to try to bring the user sound feature in earlier, since some of the built in sounds are a little disappointing, and that might put people off before they realise you can record your own. That might be resolvable by adding some effect dials too.

As an Android person it annoys me to think you probably couldn't do something like this so well on Android, as the highly variable touch input and audio latencies would kill it.

scrumper 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Congrats on shipping an interesting app. I really like the name too. You've joined a fairly small group of apps which seem to make good use of the touch interface for creating music in novel ways. I'll be checking Fiddlewax out tonight.

BTW I released my more traditional iPad synth[1] a couple of years back and all the cries here for MIDI support take me right back :)

[1] http://omnivoresoft.com/

54mf 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As an avid iPad music hobbyist, this is really cool. Reminds me a bit of Polychord (http://polychordapp.com/), but Polychord's UI is a bit awkward and the app is incredibly crash-prone. Looks like Fiddlewax has significantly more to offer in regards to melody exploration, which is exactly what I'm looking for. Bought and downloaded.

As if you haven't heard this enough already, throw my vote for MIDI support on the pile. I use iPad synths like Animoog and Sunrizer for writing songs, and being able to combine Fiddlewax's tools with Animoog's sound would be glorious.

PabloOsinaga 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Really liked the app!

Couple of feedback points:

1: it'd be nice if the instrument sounds were much better - they sound too synthetic to me.

2: I had a really hard time using the 'fretless' UI - i.e., everything I did sounded horrible (see my recording below). Maybe you can snap-to-note if I am close-by the actual note?

Here is the 4 tracks recording with BandHub: http://getbandhub.com/s/52fce1e87fa2ce0443000002

jack-r-abbit 3 hours ago 1 reply      
App looks cool once I found the walk through. I almost gave up before I had any idea what it was. I think one mistake people make with Show HN posts is that they don't link to the right page to actually show it. I would have linked straight to the walk through and not the landing page for news. Good job. Not for me though since I don't do Apple.
notdarkyet 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For an audio app, I would really try and get a better microphone for the voice over and the demo audio. It would definitely help sell it.

Also, midi output would be a great feature.

akumpf 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This has been a 3-month venture so far. Would really appreciate any feedback/thoughts.

Video walkthrough here if you're interested:https://vimeo.com/86297286


steamer25 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks fun. I especially think the multi-touch portamento/"analog" function looks really expressive.

Another thing that could be cool is a mode that finds the most efficient note changes/inversions between chords. E.g., from C to Em, you can keep the E and G and drop the C down a half-step to B.

chrissnell 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How about adding a feature to campfire mode where your app listens on the microphone to determine the chord or dominant note being played and highlights that on your display?
donutdan4114 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a music guy, just came to say congratulations on getting a product out the door, and I hope it's a success. Looks like it provides a lot of cool functionality. Changing the sound when the user vibrates their finger over a cord is cool, not sure if other apps do that, seems pretty unique.

It would be cool to see a demo of like, 5 professional musicians playing a song using only this app.

Good luck!

frik 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, I thought about almost the same app idea yesterday (the first 2 and last screen). It would be useful find a good "music texture". We live in a small world.

Nice work. Is there a special reason that it is iOS7 only? (no iOS6?)

holychiz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
just downloaded and fuzz around a little. Can't replace my guitar but good enough to accompany some impromptu singing. Now when I travel, I'll always have a handy instrument. Does what it said. Recommended.

@akumpf: guitar & electric guitar sounds too synthesize, not sure if it's even appropriate to label as such. I know it's tough but if you guys can tighten up on the guitar sounds and add strummings patterns, eg. Jam with Chrome type, that'd be awesome. Great job on your debut version.

beaker52 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Android version please.
coherentpony 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks cool.

Might I suggest switching from a 3 column layout to a 2 column layout? 3 columns looks a bit squished.

MattBearman 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Can this act as a MIDI Controller?
midgetjones 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks really cool.

I'm not sure if introducing inversions in the more advanced mode works for me: without a piano keyboard in front of you the concept wouldn't make much sense to a beginner. So the basic mode sounds kind of jarring as you jump around first inversions, I think I expected to hear a bass note and then the triad being the closest inversion to the root chord.

Just nitpicking though, congratulations on building this :)

Void_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks like an amazing educational tool for music. Of course, I would feel silly "Oh you play piano? That's cool. I play my iPad here."
pawelkomarnicki 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry to admit it, but before I clicked "play" link on your homepage I had no clue whatsoever what is this page about, there were some weird news about like everything... You could make it clear that it's some kind of musical app right away...
astalwick 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Very cool. I can see how this really would make it a lot easier to learn chords and chord progressions.

Actually, this is probably a great 'prototyping' app, too. I'm not sure I'd use this app directly in a track, but I could see myself toying around with this until I got something that sounded interesting, and then jumping over to a real synth to record.

Anyway, very nice! Congrats on the launch!

michaelmior 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks really cool! Hope you're planning on an Android version :)
Could This Baker Solve the Gluten Mystery? motherjones.com
5 points by rosser  21 minutes ago   discuss
The Facebook Comment That Ruined a Life dallasobserver.com
220 points by jborden13  13 hours ago   255 comments top 37
nopassrecover 11 hours ago 5 replies      
> Until that point, his only brush with the law was a temporary restraining order two years earlier.

> "He started threatening me, saying that he would kill me. ... I told the school officers, [and] they started watching him really closely. He would say that he would shoot up the school."

So I'll start by playing Devil's Advocate very briefly. It's interesting how facts can be shaped with different language ("his only brush with the law"): it appears the restraining order from two years prior related to similar threats to those alleged in the Facebook comments (although in a remarkably different context).

Now that notwithstanding, it seems there are many glaring issues, both ethical and legal, with the way this has been handled.

Based on a screenshot of a Facebook comment without context or verification from Facebook an 18 year-old was detained for months without trial, including his 19th birthday, and offered a plea bargain of 8 years jail (!). An unaffordable bail of $500k was set, and if not for media attention, pro bono counsel, and a generous anonymous donor he would still be detained. During his detention he was repeatedly sexually assaulted, withheld legal counsel, and coerced to confess with false promises of freedom. After media focus an offer of 10 years (!) probation was put forward.

On a technical note, the original warrant included false testimony (matching of the Facebook profile picture to a driver's licence when the accused did not have a licence) and the indictment misquoted the original Facebook comment.

How does anyone think this is reasonable?

D9u 10 hours ago 2 replies      

  The Comal County District Attorney's Office did not intend for Carter to suffer what happened next,   Flanary says, but it was reasonably foreseeable: He was sexually assaulted.
The fact that prisoners are commonly subject to sexual assault, and that this consequence is trotted out as an acceptable deterrent to crime, illustrates just how uncivilized the US prison-industrial-complex is in this, the year 2014.Failure to protect vulnerable and, or, weaker inmates from other inmates shows negligence on the part of the government. This is completely unacceptable as it constitutes cruel & unusual punishment, and is yet another blatant disregard for the rights of We the People.

Then there's the fact that the context of the offensive speech was excluded from evidence.


billyjobob 11 hours ago 11 replies      
Wow, I didn't realise US police were that bad. After reading this I don't think I could ever feel safe enough to visit the US. Sounds like you'd have a better chance of getting justice in an African dictatorship where at least the dont-rape-me bribe would be affordable. Tourists really should be warned about this, because it's not the image the US tourist boards present to us at all.
janj 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This country has its fair share of over zealous prosecutors and out of control cops. We need a way to track these events to the individual to make it easier to identify patterns. When deputy Erik Gelhaus shot and killed an innocent 13 year old boy here in Santa Rosa I tried to find out if he had a history of violent interactions with the public. That's when I realized no one seemed to be tracking these events. There should be a service where I can look up the prosecutors in this case and see if they have a history of this type of behavior. I should be able to look up any cop and find their history of violent interactions with the public if there is one. How can we trust these people with power if we can't hold them accountable?
spacemanmatt 11 hours ago 2 replies      

Austin resident here. There is very little right about this case.

He was joking, and his original post included indications of this. Prosecutors intentionally misrepresented and truncated his comments to mislead the Grand Jury.

The arrest warrant issued claimed they found him by driver's license records but he has never had a Texas driver's license.

They failed to protect him, an 18 year old kid, in jail. He has been sexually assaulted.

The state maintains their case against him at this point only to blunt his eventual lawsuit against them.

girvo 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Every single person who is complicit in the mental and physical (he was raped in prison, people -- and the fact that some believe that prison rape is part of the punishment need their effing head checked) trauma should be fired. Disgusting.

The fact that they don't even have the context of what was said, and yet they're still trying to hit him with a felony is beyond ludicrous. I'm honestly awestruck that a prosecutor could think that this is a trophy they want to earn.

Funnily enough, situations like this (and the various ethical issues) are the reason I decided to leave my law degree. I can't reconcile my own morals and ethics with the reality of the justice system.

MojoJolo 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is disturbing. They arrest the guy and sentenced to ten years in jail with just a screenshot of a Facebook comment as a starting evidence. It's kinda puzzling to me why didn't they manage to check the whole thread? I think it's simple enough and contacting Facebook for it is not needed.

What's the topic of the thread? We don't know.

Edit: Let's also not disregard the fact that the screenshot can be all made up. They can't find the thread. Maybe it was edited, or created through Photoshop. I think it's fairly easy.

JeffL 2 hours ago 0 replies      
They tricked him into admitting that he wrote the FB post by telling him that they'd let him go if he just admitted it. Another example of "Don't talk to cops!"
sheetjs 11 hours ago 5 replies      
Out of curiosity: if someone hacked this kid's account and posted those comments, and if the legal system is considering the Facebook comments to be his words, what recourse does he have? How does he demonstrate that the speech wasn't his?
richardlblair 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
tl;dr Don't say really fucked up shit on the internet...
hmsimha 11 hours ago 1 reply      
While they're at it why not arrest every musician, poet, and writer who ever penned dark or violent writing.
dirktheman 11 hours ago 8 replies      
I think anyone agrees that this whole situation has been blown out of proportion on a massive scale. But threatening to shoot up a school, in the light of recent events... really? What if he actually DID shoot up a school, and afterwards people discovered that authorities WERE warned?

People need to realize that what you post on the internet can be interpreted different than what you actually meant. Besides, threatening with an act of terrorism is never funny, and always a bad idea. My El Al (Israeli airline) flight was delayed once because some prankster thought it was funny to say 'I have a bomb' to the flight attendant while boarding. He was thrown in jail and had to pay for delaying the flight.

In this case, the punishment doesn't fit the crime. I do wish people would think twice before making threats as a joke, though.

wavesounds 4 hours ago 1 reply      
So let me get this straight. You can anonymously send police a picture of text next to someone's name and have that person arrested?!
StavrosK 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Is he charged with anything? I only saw a reference to a "terrorist threat", what kind of fucked up country is one that gets you ten years in jail for joking about committing a crime? Don't you actually have to commit the crime to go to prison, usually?
basicallydan 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm almost afraid to have a Facebook account if they are taken this seriously by authorities. If someone got a hold of my account and posted horrible things, I'd be devastated.
sliverstorm 2 hours ago 1 reply      
When officers searched Carter's home, Flanary says, they did not find the hallmarks of a lunatic.

"They found no guns in his house,"

Huh. Guns = hallmark of a lunatic?

pgsandstrom 12 hours ago 2 replies      
> When a person writing under the profile name "Hannah Love" responded with "i hope you [burn] in hell you fucking prick,"

Actually the comment was "i hope you fucking bring in hell you fucking prick". That is a pretty significant difference.

Fizzadar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Although he's an idiot for posting such comments, the way the US police and district attorney's have behaved is unbelievable. This guy is clearly innocent but they seem hellbent on getting a prosecution. I see cases such as this much more often on HN recently and it feels as if the entire US justice system is totally fucked up and completely missing the real targets: the criminals.
31reasons 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Moral of the story: Not using Facebook is worth at least 10 years of your life and $500k.
bromagosa 9 hours ago 1 reply      

  Flanary believes it's paramount that if someone is  criminally charged on the basis of his words, a jury needs  to see all the words.
Wait, but shouldn't the case be that noone can be charged on the basis of his words?

nebulous1 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> Carter's comments were part of a duel between dorks, and may have had something to do with a game with strong dork appeal called League of Legends.

I actually laughed out loud at this. Is the Dallas Observer a rag or does the word 'dork' seem less ridiculous to people from Texas or the US?

stefantalpalaru 8 hours ago 0 replies      
All this because of an image that looks like a screenshot? Wait 'till 4chan gets a wind of this...
Ryel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm actually kind of surprised by the reaction here on HN.

I thought most of you would come to conclusion that this kid did have serious problems and did make a big mistake.

He needed a slap on the wrist (that's an idiom, don't report me to the police) and a lot of community service.

ryanatkn 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure why this article doesn't include a seemingly important detail, but it was widely reported that Justin ended his comments with "LOL" and "JK". Mens rea indeed.
w_t_payne 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The law has to be applied uniformly. If we prosecute one individual for a particular act, we have to prosecute all individuals who perform such acts. We clearly have, as a society, the means to make this happen, so then, why don't we? It seems that we are abandoning the principles that guide the rule of law here.
blueskin_ 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Welcome to the police state.
jcutrell 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A few years ago, I spent a night in in Fulton County jail.

The purpose, in my opinion, was fairly ridiculous. I'll tell a reasonably brief version of the story.

I moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech for my masters. One late night, I was driving and took a right on a red light that had a "no right on red sign" accidentally.

Don't forget to check for no right on red signs.

No traffic was around and luckily no one was endangered, but I did receive a ticket (clearly the Atl police had set up a trap of sorts). Should have paid attention, but no big deal.

So the court date is approaching, and so is my first day of classes. In the rush of getting ready for the start of the semester, I forgot my court date.

Don't forget your court date.

The next day, in a panic, I call the courthouse to pay my ticket and any applicable late fees. I assumed that a late fee would cover the infraction and we'd all be on our way.

I paid the ticket. I paid the late fee. I forgot about the incident altogether.

Fast forward a few months, I was driving on campus on my way to class, early enough to get a coffee (yes!). I get pulled over for not having my seatbelt on.

Don't forget your seatbelt.

The officer took a few minutes and came back to ask me if I had anyone who could pick up my car. Of course I'm thinking, "Do I have a flat tire or something?", and he lets me know he's going to have to arrest me and take me to jail.

So I was put in handcuffs, on campus, and taken to Fulton County Jail, where I was fully booked into a holding cell. I could not call anyone to come post bail, because your "one call" was only allowed to be a local call, and you had to know the number by heart. I couldn't post the bail myself via card, of course. So, I spent 36 hours there. My parents even paid my bail, but somehow the bail didn't take effect (even though others arrested after me got out on bail).

Strangest 36 hours of my life, by far.

All of my clothes and belongings were taken, as is protocol. Not a single guard seemed to have any sense of regard for me (or any other person being held), uniformly ignoring simple requests like "can I have some water?" and "what time is it?". I was in a common holding room with about 10 others for most of the first day, until they did our physicals and booked us all into overnight cells. I was woken up to a yelling guard at 3AM to eat "breakfast." Everyone who had been arrested the day before was chained together (as in, chains around my waist) and taken to a prison court to see a judge via a camera mounted on a TV. The judge essentially looked at my case and released me, and a few hours later I was finally let out.

Turns out, when you forget a court date, your license gets suspended. For me, that meant I had to have someone take me to Alabama to have it unsuspended.

tl;dr; The crazy part of the justice system is, once the ball gets rolling and protocol is instantiated, your lost time is chalked up to collateral damage and "due process." Your sense of safety, clarity, and rights are removed, even in minuscule clerical cases like mine. I can't even begin to imagine the ridiculous feeling of being in jail and sexually assaulted for months, much less years, over something slightly more egregious than a suspended license.

P.S. My arrest was completely expunged from my record, but you can still find my mugshot online. My dad laughs at it every time he sees it.

auggierose 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's just say the US is a really fucked up place.
DanBC 11 hours ago 6 replies      
For the people who think that this kind of direct threat needs a punishment: what would be suitable?
vonnik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
classic overprosecution a la aaron schwartz. when the wheels of justice start to grind, someone inevitably gets crushed. i think hugo said that...
wisienkas 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I Think it is frightening how illogical and incompetent USA work for justice, instead they ruin lives of innocent people, even robbing them of the freedom to speak. They just turned down their own culture once again, like all the censure they apparently love.
chris-martin 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This headline is sickening. Comal County criminal prosecutors ruined this man's life.
jheriko 6 hours ago 0 replies      
is there any evidence in this case which should be admissable in a court of law? i might eb exaggerating - i mean i think they got the right guy, but i see nothing here which is a good enough quality of 'evidence' for legal purposes, and i am not even a lawyer...

day to day knowledge of law suffices to throw this out. :/

cinskiy 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Well nobody today thinks twice about posting something on the internet, especially youth, and while they should, it's still OK, because it's the way social messaging and posting works, and everybody else should be more or less OK with that too.

10 years for trolling is way over the top, just fine him already and let him go.

izzydata 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good old fashion thought crimes.
johnny635 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Time to ban Facebook.
mcv 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Don't make threats if you don't intend to follow up on them.

Also, from his lawyer: "They didn't find pentagrams and candles. He wasn't listening to Judas Priest."

WTF does that have to do with anything? Do only Judas Priest fans shoot up kindergartens? Is there something wrong with liking pentagrams and candles? I think that lawyer is the real creep here, and that kind of defense deserves to be ineffective.

In any case, if you threaten to shoot up a kindergarten, of course the police is going to look into you. Imagine the outrage if they got a tip like that, ignored it, and then the guy shot up a kindergarten? They have no option but to detain him, and the lack of candles in his home is utterly irrelevant to that.

And of course they then need to gather complete evidence, which includes the facebook conversation, details of his past, his mental health, etc. And maybe they messed up there. They clearly messed up some other stuff, in particular the jail where someone can get sexually molested, and the fact that they conned him out of a lawyer. The article does list a number of worrying aspects of US law enforcement injustice that seems way too common lately. But that doesn't change the fact that if you make a death threat, you should expect to get arrested.

Dug.js A JSONP to HTML Script rog.ie
129 points by ekpyrotic  10 hours ago   15 comments top 6
Sir_Cmpwn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is a great solution for existing APIs, but I want to mention that if you're designing a new API, you should opt for CORS instead of JSONP. This allows people to do straight-up XHR requests on your domain, with a whitelist of methods, headers, whatever.


drtse4 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Clean, concise, no dependencies, straightforward to use, what's not to like.
hbi99 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Templating solutions such as Mustache and Handlebars falls short when the need to add intelligence to the template. In such cases, the template needs to extended with helper functions, which leads to scattered templating.

Another way to implement smart templates is to use XSLT, which is both standardized as well as longtime proven. XSLT is used commonly used with XML but with DefiantJS, it's trivial to transform JSON structures with XSL (additionally, it's possible to search JSON structures with XPath queries using this lib; http://defiantjs.com/#xpath_evaluator).

jpdlla 7 hours ago 0 replies      
NKCSS 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Fun little project :)
Distributed Neural Networks with GPUs in the AWS Cloud netflix.com
35 points by srajbr  5 hours ago   14 comments top 7
Houshalter 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Is this really a good idea? I thought neural networks didn't do as well as other methods outside of image classification and problems like it. Many of the advancements in Deep Learning were learning to extract features from unlabeled data. I assume all of Netflix's data is labelled.

EDIT: The deaded comment below me makes a good point, but they still have labels in the sense of what everyone watched and for how long.

Also the new title is terrible. Oh I guess it's a different article now???

waterlesscloud 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Netflix tech blog goes into more detail about running deep learning on Amazon's cloud servers.


danso 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Sadly, the Recommendation Engine is only of limited use...and I hate to be one of those naysayers as I understand the economics and contractual issues here...the movies that Netflix thinks I would really enjoy and are available for streaming and I haven't seen (I watch a lot of movies but am by no means prolific) goes downhill after a couple dozen.

It used to be that on the iPad, at least two bottom rows were dedicated to "New Releases" and "Recently Added"...sometimes neither of those rows seem to show up, and so I find myself logging into the web client just to see those listings, and -- I assume this is why they aren't as spotlighted in the iPad app anymore -- there's generally not much new to see. While I like House of Cards, I think Netflix would appeal to me much better if it spent that money on 200 - 300 good recent releases, or holding steady on to some of the great classics (there used to be more Akira Kurosawa and Woody Allen movies on Instant).

luser 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish Netflix would just give me a list of genres I could browse through and stop with the oh-my-so-clever recommendation engine. Maybe I want to stretch my viewing habits... how am I going to see what is on offer if it is always filtered through what I chosen before?
frosted_moose 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The best possible side-effect from this? That we finally figure out a universal theory of film production and consumption. The social scientific/cultural sociological significance of this is quite lovely.
nctalaviya 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Really a good news. Looking something like this
dhfjgkrgjg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What is it's first recommendation? Add more DRM into the web standards? Subvert the open web further?
We made something. We use it. We love it. Apple rejected it huemanapp.com
336 points by meirish  17 hours ago   269 comments top 88
crazygringo 15 hours ago 14 replies      
First of all, that sounds like a really cool idea for an app. I want it.

But secondly, of all the app rejection stories I've ever heard... this one is the easiest to fix. Just add some more features, who cares, and resubmit it.

Ideas: annotate/categorize the things that are making you happy/unhappy. Maybe have categories/icons for them. (Friends, party, loneliness, exercise, ate well, ate bad, had sex, no sex, fought, made up, my team won, etc. -- there really aren't that many fundamental things.) Then also produce charts showing how your happiness correlates with those items.

Heck, you might even be able to produce an amazing academic paper or two with the dataset you produce. Or at least some really cool and fascinating blog entries from the data.

(Personally, I'd rather rate my happiness on a 1-10 scale rather than compare with yesterday, and also maybe be asked 3-4 times a day. Maybe features let you pick those.)

RyanMcGreal 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like one of those moments when Tim Bray's 2002 sharecropper post applies:

"What it comes down to is this: if you want to develop software, you can build for the Web and/or Unix and/or OSS platforms; or alternatively, you can be a sharecropper."


asdfologist 16 hours ago 12 replies      
With all their patent trolling and absurd tyrannical control over the app store, I have no idea why so many tech-saavy people still love Apple.
matt_heimer 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm going to go in the opposite direction of everybody here and tell you your app sucks (based on what you say about it) and Apple was right. Look at it this way - A developer creates an app that ask a daily question (maybe with a reminder) and then plots the answers on a graph. That developer then release 1,000 versions of that app to the app store by simply changing the question. That app should have been a general purpose app that lets you define your own questions/frequency/etc. All you've got right now is a question, that when asked daily creates some interesting data. You need to built an app around that. You have some actual features outlined in your roadmap, why not implement at least some of those and resubmit? Oh, and I went looking for feature listings, videos, philosophy, etc, or anything about your app on your website and I got nothing. The entire website about your app is a landing page and one page that is complaining about your rejection. If your app is currently so simple that it didn't even need a single webpage maybe Apple was right....
mcv 11 hours ago 2 replies      
So how's the Android version doing? Please tell me there is one. Because complaining about the walled garden and then ignoring the larger and more open platform, that's rather silly.
vellum 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like you need to add a duck. Just keep adding features till they accept it. Example: simple form that lets you take a picture of yourself, type a note about your mood, and share it on Twitter or Facebook, as well as link to the graph.


ern 13 hours ago 1 reply      
When my son was 2, I found a free iPad app called "My Colours". It was a grid of 12 colors. When a color block was touched, a synthesized female voice read out the name of the color.

For my son, at least, it worked very well, much better than fancier (and often garish) apps, and he was even able to identify "turquoise" because of the app. When I had to reinstall my iPad, I found it was missing from the App Store. Fortunately, I found a backup copy.

I strongly suspect that the colors app was pulled for having been "too simple". If that was the case, it would seem that Apple seems to prefer bells and whistles to functionality.

micheljansen 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Unrelated to the article itself, but a friendly tip for the Hueman guys: the lack of margins on this page made it very hard to read. Not everyone browses full-screen on their 27" iMac. On any window under 1100px, the content runs into the margin on the left, which could easily be avoided with some padding:http://cl.ly/image/2V0A021M1t0S
x0054 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I would suggest to add a function so you can add a personal note to each day, and sell it as a mood tracker / diary. First, it would be useful to keep track of why you were feeling bad or good on a given day by maybe a making a small not on what happen. Plus, then apple would not be able to reject it, as it would be a diary app with a graph. There are a ton of diary apps on iOS, and this one would even have a graph. Let them argue that's not novel and feature reach :)
csense 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is why Apple is inferior to Android. You spend resources to develop something, and it's a crapshoot whether or not it gets accepted or stays accepted.

I can understand ordinary customers being wow'ed by Apple marketing, but why don't developers jump ship en masse at the way Apple treats them? It's not like there isn't an alternative.

Gracana 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So far few people have addressed Apple's argument. Does this app provide valuable utility? Does it enable people to do something they couldn't do before or in a way they couldn't do it before?

There are already many mood trackers, just search the app store. This is certainly not anything new. The one thing that makes this one different from the others is that it seems to have no extra features. But that can't be their design vision, because they plan to add a social aspect and more views and editing functions. So what's special about this app in the way it stands right now?

allworknoplay 16 hours ago 3 replies      
It's a common enough rejection; I've gotten it before and know other people who have too. You can respond to them and clarify why this set of functionality is right, that it's a new app and will have features added in the future, etc. Worked for me, anyway.
JoeAltmaier 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A walled garden can be used to guard against bugs, viruses, spam. But when its used to curate according to somebody's idea of taste or usefulness, that's arrogance. Let the market decide.

Absolute power corrupts.

Amygaz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I honestly don't what is the big deal. It sounds like this is not a full blown rejection, it is more like a "Oh, nice idea! We could use that. Why don't you revise it a bit and resubmit":> We encourage you to review your app concept and evaluate whether you can incorporate additional content and features to provide a more robust user experience.

And it also sounds like you were already aware of what is missing:> The next couple planned releases on our roadmap will heavily rely on native iOS functions and code to include things like tagging, additional graph views and scrubbing, ability to add media.

It think it will be a great app. I hope you get over the "rejection" notice and keep working on it. All the best for your resubmission.

jheriko 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"If it's just using webviews, why does this need to be an app?"


there is no actual reason this couldn't be a cross platform 'web app'. it would be better that way. why do you want the app on the appstore exactly?

the list of reasons given are of debateable merit the last one is probably the best, and suggests a fix. develop the app a bit further so you can justify it not being a web page...

also, why are you storing data on the user's phone? will you be using icloud or some web service to preserve it across devices? is it just cache?

stefan_kendall 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I fought the same fucking battle. Just keep appealing and cross your fingers you find a reviewer who isn't a dipshit.
bad_user 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder - when an app rejection with a good idea happens based on it being "too simple" (and many great ideas are simple to implement), what if competition picks up the idea, adds more bloat, gets approved and steals the original's thunder, shouldn't Apple be held responsible and pay for damages?

There's probably no chance of that happening, because it's their app store, they can do whatever they want and so on. But this kind of deal is exactly why some companies feel like protecting their "intellectual property" with patents. Because the distribution networks are not open, except for the web and even if your execution is perfect, there's no guarantee you'll be the first to market, because shit like this happens. And then we've got people praising app stores, because their grandma can now feel safe, though to me optimizing for grandmas doesn't make much sense.

I view the app store model as a regression. It is useful, but only when it's optional. Android is still allowing installs from third-party sources, even though you have to click a checkbox to enable the capability, but due to current trends and seeing Android's evolution, I don't have many hopes for this feature surviving in the long run. In the end, the web is still the most open distribution platform and these big companies are trying to fix that.

k-mcgrady 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It doesn't sound like you've tried appealing the ruling. This sounds like the sort of thing that would get through on appeal once you've explained why it can't have more features.
RamiK 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really your typical regulatory committee keeping up appearance and hitting their quota:

Regardless of quality or compliance with the rules, Apple's App Store review staff needs to reject a given number of admission a week. Otherwise, they're out of a job.

Think about end-of-the-day traffic tickets or city's planning and zoning... Here's a classic explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apdi885ZdBA Or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Food_and_Drug...

josefresco 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"we consider simplicity to be uncomplicated - not limited in features and functionality"

I cannot believe this is an official position for a company like Apple (or any company for that matter).

My advice would be to move away from native and towards the web, as opposed to baking in useless features or planning new features that rely on native capabilities.

chrisBob 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You even state that

> The next couple planned releases on our roadmap will heavily rely on native iOS functions and code to include things like tagging, additional graph views and scrubbing, ability to add media. etc... And by eventually letting people combine their data, you will be able to see how their relative happiness aligns to other users, a neighborhood and even the world.

It sounds like you think it needs more features too. I understand wanting to release as soon as possible but this might be a good chance to add the other features YOU want.

mattyohe 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Why appeal to us? Appeal to Apple, through this channel: https://developer.apple.com/appstore/contact/?topic=appeal
Grue3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The whole concept needs work. You compare each day to the previous one, but the app doesn't know by how much. Which leads to ludicrous results when applied to real life situations. For example you got fired, or your girlfriend left you, or your friend/relative died. What a terrible day! But then over the course of several days you slowly get over it, so your mood rises up until you reach the original level. But what does the graph show? That you're feeling much better after the traumatic event! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, eh? The model is just plain wrong.
blueskin_ 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Should have gone with Android.

I really want this app, and now they are having to spend time getting it accepted by apple, it's just going to delay an Android version.

lnanek2 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So they had a submission screen and a probably blank graph. It's pretty easy to go back and add a tutorial with colorful graphics and an example graph, a few help pages describing the idea and concept, etc.. Honestly they should have just added some more filler pages rather than writing this blog entry, both are about as tough.
mrharrison 15 hours ago 1 reply      
In all fairness, I'm confused about what the app does. What do the colors represent? What is the y axis? etc.. Could insert a legend and some labels to make it more clear. But I could be wrong and the screenshots don't accurately depict the app. Also the Hueman ID is a bit clinical/sterile and I would say doesn't represent a good user experience, because it doesn't provide me with anything useful only a question mark. But again, this is from just seeing the screenshots. Look forward to downloading the app! Neat idea!
WickyNilliams 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea of this. Not only is the historic data interesting, I suspect just taking time to reflect on your days would likely improve happiness in an of itself (e.g. if you know anyone who is doing one of those 100 happy days challenge).

However, the arguments against the web are a bit flimsy IMO. Data on the web is ephemeral only if you put it in an ephemeral store. Put it in localStorage! It's highly unlikely you'd exceed some quota (usually 10mb) with the kind of data you're storing, plus user's are offered chance to expand quota usually.

Or if you want something that goes above and beyond that (or what you have with a "native app") you could integrate with Dropbox's datastore API [0] and have data available on any machines I choose to use.

[0] https://www.dropbox.com/developers/datastore/docs/js

jimejim 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming you haven't already, just respond to them with a well-reasoned argument why they should let it through as-is. It occasionally works.

I've done it before when they tried to reject my company's app because we were using a webview in one section and they felt it should be native. We were doing a bunch of other stuff behind the scenes though and I told them it would be cost-prohibitive to redo that whole section right then. They let it through.

captainmuon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it cost anything to submit an app (apart from the initial dev account)? Otherwise you could just submit it again, and hope that it gets a different reviewer. Reviews seem to be a bit arbitrary sometimes.
doodyhead 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The times when I'm unhappy, I often have no idea of the cause.

Why not add some optional questions that would drive more useful reporting if answered:

# Are you in a relationship? For how long?

# Do you have a job? Rate your performance 1-10

# Are you exercising? How often?

# Are you happy with your weight? What is your weight?

# Rate the healthiness of your diet.

# How well are you sleeping? How many hours?

There are so many more useful data points you could collect. If they're optional, and maybe hidden unless you enable them, it won't do much to over-complicate the app.

It would then be super useful for those who suffer from depression or other psychiatric illnesses, and problem solved re app store.

danbmil99 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Fuck Apple. I mean really.
petercooper 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Add a flashlight or fart button to it. "Needs more flashlight" should be the "needs more cowbell" of our age.
smackfu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Considering how much crapware is on the Appstore, it's hard to believe Apple even reviews stuff anymore. You see rejections like this, and you wonder why those same rules weren't applied to basically everything that comes up in a search.
RTigger 5 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was younger and struggling with issues, I did exactly this - plot my happiness on a graph. It was one of the few things that helped me get through a day, seeing that there are ebbs and flows, and for every low point there's likely a high point coming up.

This app needs to be published.

theon144 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So... could this by any chance mean an Android port? Pretty please? :)
pazimzadeh 16 hours ago 1 reply      
By Apple's logic the app Everyday should not have been accepted:http://everyday-app.com/
yock 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there some technical limitation to making this a web app?
ChristianMarks 7 hours ago 0 replies      
At least they could plot their feelings of rejection on the app Apple rejected.
DanBC 9 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a shame. Mood trackers are a useful tool to help tackle some mental health problems. Tacking on a bunch of stuff to get it into the app store feels sub-optimal. My current mood tracker has some features that I really don't like. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/moodometer/id404137652?mt=8

When did "do one thing and do it well" become something to avoid?

_pmf_ 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> We encourage you to review your app concept and evaluate whether you can incorporate additional content and features to provide a more robust user experience.

Easy - just add the ability to issue fart sounds, which has always been enough quality for Apple users.

desireco42 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This pleadings with Apple make me wanna throw up. I can't make myself even read how great you are and it is not fair. The only thing not fair is you submitting it to Apple.

50 hues of gray is what this is.

loceng 5 hours ago 0 replies      
An app like Flappy Birds will pass, but this won't? sigh

Reason makes me feel like they don't want you competing with an area they're going to go into.

Steko 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like the cheapest way to get noticed in the App Store is for your app to get rejected.
hobolobo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A bit off-topic but is there a name for the tone of the copy on this? It reads like the current tranche of MS/Apple advertising speak. Would cult-like be going too far?
nicholassmith 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The article was interesting, but it's more interesting seeing that Apple is Hacker News favourite whipping boy now.
archagon 15 hours ago 2 replies      
"Apple sucks" and "use Android" aren't really productive responses to an article like this. Consider taking your quips to a site like Reddit.
xur17 16 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder if it was partially rejected due to the use of 'webviews'.
trekky1700 15 hours ago 1 reply      
That's odd, I reject Apple for the same reason.

I joke of course, but Apple builds monopolies they have tight control over, sue for anything and basically tell everyone who doesn't like it to screw off (and they can because they have the monopoly). As much as I like their design and hardware, as far as corporate entities go, they're kind of a jerk.

stevewilhelm 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Apple is curating a ten billion dollar marketplace [1].

Apple will error on the side of maintaining the overall quality of the entire Application selection, even if it means many very worthwhile applications are rejected.

I sympathize with huemanapp's developers, but they must realize they are competing for "virtual shelf space." I say to them; keep plugging away and good luck.

[1] https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2014/01/07App-Store-Sales-T...

avaku 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A similar app was recently in the top chart in "productivity" section.

It's called feeltracker, and it has historical graphs:https://www.feeltracker.com

jarsj 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Just wondering if you appealed and what was the response ?
oneofthose 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems to be a great idea. I really like everything about it, I would love to use it (even though I don't own smartphone). Too bad Apple did reject it. One sentence that made me quite happy in this article is:

"Hueman is free and anonymous, and to create that seamless experience, it needs to store data on your phone. If it was a web page on mobile safari, that data is more ephemeral."

If the Hueman developers read this: have you considered something like unhosted [0] for your application? It should be easy enough to implement.

[0] https://unhosted.org/

tostada 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How is a once a day mood tracker app not useful? Look at the apps currently in the App Store... how is this any less useful than a flashlight or any other single function application?

Fuck Apple.

cyphunk 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I realise many are in the mood to dump all over apple but... really, if apple or anyone treats their app store as a store-front, it's not hard to understand how the store manager might find this application to be just adding noise.

if you think all apps should be allowed no matter what, then you are right to be bothered by their rejection of this app. if you think any store manager has some reason to filter apps, then you cant really complain.

willcodeforfoo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I had an idea like this once: http://lifemetric.com/

I always wanted to make an app for it, but it looks like yours is pretty nice. Just add some more features and Apple will probably accept it.

bentrengrove 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been there, had an app I used daily in my job. I valued it for how fast it got me the information I needed (aviation weather) without features that I didn't need getting in the way. A few friends thought it looked useful so I put it on the store and got the same rejection. I added a couple of features that nobody uses (saving weather for later viewing) and got it through. I always suspected it was that I wanted to charge Tier 3 for it and they didn't think that was justified.
m0dest 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Not everything can be as deep as Flappy Bird.
analog31 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I've published apps that were simpler than "Hello World" for iOS, if this is any indication:


hengheng 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Make it live on the web. Better yet, make it live on a device. Two buttons, button presses are valid only once a day, LED confirmation, USB read-out. Make the case beautiful, done. Standard AAA Battery will live for years, data can be written to flash.
bjm1904 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Given the app consists of two web views and a bit of background code I'm not surprised. Perhaps if they'd utilised the GUI elements Apple provides to give a native experience it would actually warrant being an app.

tbh this seems like it would be better implemented as a HTML5 mobile site that utilises the new local storage APIs. You can still promote web apps through App Store, and it seems like a more obvious route to me.

archenemy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, well, reject Apple yourself and put it into the Play Store.

I use a Macbook Air and multiple idevices. I don't develop mobile (yet). I'm sorry, but I find all these 'daddy Apple rejected my app' posts a bit tiring.

lucian1900 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Your mistake was making an iOS app. Experiments must be done on a platform that allows users to install apps themselves, like Android.
smrtinsert 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Waiting for the Android version.
OoTLink 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The ironic thing is that Apple is asking you to do something very Un-Apple. I imagine if you loaded the app up with "Share this with your friends!" kind of junk, they'd accept it.
ejain 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Best thing that could have happened to you, given all the attention you're getting now? :-)
achalkley 14 hours ago 0 replies      
greatsuccess 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Its called android
derFunk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate people sharing their stories about Apple's rejection motivations. This helps other developers to avoid doing the same "mistakes". But, isn't it against the TOS we agree on when joining the Apple Dev Program, to talk about rejection reasons and even cite the feedback mails? I was under this impression, can't say that I would be sad if I'm wrong.
kysol 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Been there, had that response. I got the same rejection last year and basically stopped fine tuning my app as I refused to add stuff that it didn't need.
Fasebook 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not surprised since this is pretty similar to what all communication hubs are trying to do (for obvious marketing reasons). You are serious competition and they have the power to sweep you under a rug.
alaskamiller 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked for a mobile apps platform that cobbled together webkitviews and formed it into a mobile app. Quite often it was rejected because it's really just various RSS feeds.

Apple didn't reject you because they thought it was simple. They rejected you because you built it too simply.

At least toss in some Origami flips and folds.

ahunt09 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe not related, but is it possible that Apple does not want this app to exist because parts of it could be considered prior art for it's patent application?: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/126980-apple-seeks-to-scan-y...
avighnay 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyways it is not wise to pour frustration on rejection publicly. Especially in this case, as there seems to have been no conversation or further appeal.
ptr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Skimmed the article and the comments, thought the app seemed like a cool idea. It was when the App Store couldn't find any results for 'Hueman' that it struck me; the whole point of the article! Ha. Damn it.
NicoJuicy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Just put it on Android. It looks great though!
OoTLink 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It also reminds me of that episode of King of the Hill where Hank and his family join another church and they keep getting calls asking how satisfied they are on a scale of 1-10 XD
jamesxwatkins 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great. I hope it eventually makes the app store. I would 100% use this.
philthesong 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I put down a sketch pad and collection view for memo taking app. It didn't get rejected.
durbin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Forget Apple, make an Android app.
kevind23 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You should get it working on Android -- but only so I can use it. In all seriousness, it looks like a great app, I'd keep appealing it.
glenntnorton 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Send it to the bloggers that be as "The app Apple doesn't want you to see" and use it to your advantage.
squintychino 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This just in - grass has rejected itself for being too green.This is the core feature of Apple products - their simplicity.
razorshine 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Just release it on android
ps4fanboy 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple keeps chipping away at that good will.
finalight 13 hours ago 0 replies      
you can port it over to android then
ryeguy_24 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Tap to flap.
sc90 11 hours ago 0 replies      
iWatch territory.
antidaily 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me be the first to reject this website for being "too shitty".
Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear hemingwayapp.com
892 points by jmngomes  1 day ago   312 comments top 121
jawns 1 day ago 16 replies      
You know what's fun? Pasting in text from Ernest Hemingway and seeing what he did wrong.

But seriously, this is a nice, simple way to point out some general rules of thumb for improving writing, although I would love for it to be less proscriptive. Not every long sentence is a bad sentence, not every passive-voice sentence is a bad sentence, and not every adverb is a bad adverb.

Oh, and by the way, the copy editor in me can't help but notice that an app that's intended to help you improve your writing tells you to "Aim for 2 or less" adverbs, rather than "Aim for 2 or fewer."

acqq 1 day ago 9 replies      
I believe the logic behind HemingwayApp is misguided:

Hemingway the writer actually wrote long sentences and they were actually important in his writing.

Passive is also important in good writing.

You can't use machine metrics to force "good writing" you can only enforce mediocrity and the following some random rules "because the rules have to be followed."

Likewise, I as a writer of the software would absolutely hate to run some program to tell me "this function has more than 10 lines" or whatever. If I wrote 500 lines function it doesn't mean it shouldn't be that long: there are examples where exactly such functions are still necessary and good. Such automatic evaluations are for managers who probably don't understand what they enforce. Pointy-haired bosses, if you will.

So I see HemingwayApp as the pointy-haired-editor app.

(Edit: Improving the text based on the human input, thanks Agathos!)

buzzcut 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is built on so many bad assumptions. At best the "rules" it's trying to enforce are training-wheel rules, the sorts of rules given to novice writers to help them avoid flabby, purple writing.

But the assumption that short sentences are better than long sentences, or that simple sentences are better than complex sentences is just wrong. There are all kinds of reasons why you might use one type of sentence over the other or vary them for effect. You might be concerned about rhythm, or you might be attempting to establish a certain tone, distance, closeness, formality, or lack of.

We have this weird cultural obsession with the clarity, brevity, and simpleness of writing. Jacques Barzun even wrote a writing manual called Simple and Direct, as if these are the only virtues to be found in writing.

But I think you want as many tools as possible to achieve the effects you want. There is a huge rich tradition here, that we've largely lost, a tradition that teaches about hypotactic and paratactic sentences, that teaches about periodic and loose sentences, that teaches how to make left and right branching sentences, that teaches subordination, that teaches rhetorical devices, and that advocates (at times) longer, more complex sentences for richer and denser writing.

Thankfully there are a number of books out (some of them) recently that seem to be fighting back against the austerity view of writing.

They include, if you're interested:- Brooks Landon, Building Great Sentences- Stanley Fish, How to Write a Sentence- Virginia Tufte, Artful Sentences, Syntax as Style- Richard Lanham, Analyzing Prose

I'd just add, there is nothing wrong with being simple and clear. There is nothing wrong with cutting out needless or weak adverbs. But there is something wrong with worshiping the austerity style as, at all times, the best and the only way to go. There are lots and lots of reasons and occasions to deviate from it, but the style orthodoxy these days is the one assumed by that (admittedly cool) website.

nswanberg 1 day ago 4 replies      
Paul Graham's writing seems simple and direct to me, so I wondered how the website would treat one of his essays. Here are the suggestions from the third paragraph of http://www.paulgraham.com/essay.html:

"The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively (only) about English literature. (Sentence hard to read) Certainly (Adverb) schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes (Forms, makes up) a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens. (Sentence very hard to read).

This is given a "readability" score of grade 14, which I suppose means it can only be deciphered by college sophomores or above.

I wondered how it would read after being rewritten to achieve a perfect score in the site, so I took a stab at it:

"In school students write essays about English literature. But real essays can be about many more things. Schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. All over the country students are not writing about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees. They are not writing about the role of color in fashion. They are not writing about what makes a good dessert. They are writing about symbolism in Dickens."

The result brings me straight back to my days of taking standardized tests, where the test had a snippet of some essay, and was followed by questions on the topic. There was information in those snippets, but very little tone. It could be a bad attempt at my part, but while the information remains in my version, the tone is gone--I can no longer smell the air of Cambridge in that writing.

jonnathanson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm going to love using this. I write for a living, so I write a maddening volume of output per week. While I don't absolve myself of the need to edit everything, I'm working against the law of large numbers. Some stupid errors, or bad stylistic habits, are going to slip through the net every week.

I've been jonesing for a real-time style editor for years. Autocorrect is fine and dandy (and often wrong, but that's another story). But most autocorrect systems limit themselves to spelling and grammar. Hemingway selects for readability. That's very cool and very useful.

That said, I'm probably not going to copy & paste everything I write into the Hemingway editing environment. I'd love plug-ins and APIs for Word, Google Docs, etc. If you make these, I will use them, and I will bug the living shit out of every writer I know to do the same.

normloman 1 day ago 2 replies      
Professional writer here.

Writing well takes years of practice. If you already write well, you won't need this program. You'll know the rules and the right times to break them.

But if you can't put in the time and effort to become a great writer, just using this program can improve your writing a lot.

munificent 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think people are reading a bit too much into the name, and into the feedback the app gives. I don't think it's "get rid of all the pastels and your writing will be like Heminway's", nor do I even think "get rid of all the warnings" is what it's trying to do.

It is useful for a writer to throw some text at it and see what you can learn. More feedback is almost always better for writers. The trick, is always, is having the judgement to incorporate intelligently.

For example, I stumbled onto a book about procedural content generation in games[1]. As a writer, game programmer, and dedicated fan of roguelikes, if this book were any farther up my alley, it would be banging against the back fence.

But, ugh, when I tried to read it, I just gave up after a few paragraphs. It's not gibberish, but it's almost physically painful to wring the actual information out of it.

And, indeed, when I throw some of those paragraphs at this app, I see:

    Paragraphs: 1    Sentences: 31    Words: 833    Characters: 4196    11 of 31 sentences are hard to read.    11 of 31 sentences are very hard to read.    10 adverbs. Aim for 0 or less.    10 words or phrases can be simpler.    13 uses of passive voice. Aim for 6 or less.
If the authors took a bit of advice from this app, they'd end up with a better book. That sounds like a win to me.

[1]: http://pcgbook.com/

pistle 1 day ago 3 replies      
For presenting utilize as a wasteful term, I want to tearfully hug everyone involved in this.

Please kill 'utilize.' We should reach out to stakeholders and incentivize the sunsetting of the leveraging of the word 'utilize' from all slide decks.

Slide decks - the (not) new version of the tri-fold foam presentation board. It's the clear binder of our age.

lhnz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well, this is great.

But it's missing something.

If I'm to learn how to write clearer, I will need to use this more often.

Could they create an API and a chrome addon?

Ubiquity is the killer feature of any communication tool.

RyanMcGreal 6 hours ago 0 replies      

Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear.

Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors. If you see a yellow highlight, shorten the sentence or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering logic. Try editing this sentence to remove the red.

Adverbs are blue. Get rid of them and pick verbs with force instead.

You can use a shorter word in place of a purple one. Mouse over it for hints.

Phrases in green show passive voice.

Paste in something you're working on and edit away. Or, click the Write button to compose something new.

kablamo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Excellent app! This is the writing style my high school composition teacher drilled into my head. Everything I write now is influenced by her.

I also try to write my code using this style. In fact, code and documentation and email should be:

1. As short as possible: Less words mean less stuff to maintain and comprehend.

2. Simple: The goal in business is to communicate well. Not to impress. And if I haven't communicated clearly, maintaining that code is going to be hard for the next person who has to read it.

agentultra 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the hackers, I use write-good-mode in emacs to catch passive voice (which is based on some simple shell scripts[0]). I've heard good things about diction-mode, grammar-mode and artbollocks-mode. And of course flyspell.

I find emacs very pleasing for writing text. I also use org-mode and it's LaTeX exporter extensively for publishing.

Now if only it could integrate with text-fields in my browser...

[0] http://matt.might.net/articles/shell-scripts-for-passive-voi...

egh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All you need to know about this idiocy is that it rates actual writer's work (including Hemingway) as bad:


Don't use this. Just don't.

jaimebuelta 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like the idea of the app, but I'm not totally sure this kind of "review" will be very useful.

The problem is that, in some cases, you need complex sentences , passive voice or adverbs. And that means that a perfectly fine article won't be pristine. I had a similar problem when facing syntax correctors that show a lot of warnings. Yes, they help you make less mistakes, but they also give falso positives, which can be distracting. I want to clean up and get to zero errors, after all.

So, this can reduce your writing to be "too conformant".

Man, writing is hard :_(

vkb 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is a very beautiful and logical interface, but it's the wrong approach, because it's a very developer-centric approach to writing.

The problem with writing is you can't loop through it and find whether each sentence passes or throws an exception. A written work needs to be evaluated as a cohesive whole. That's what "bold and clear" writing means to me: a written piece of work that stands on its own and says what it means.

Computers are not smart enough yet to understand why "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta." is a complete, perfect paragraph. It doesn't have a verb and it looks like Lola is misspelled multiple times, so it doesn't pass the subset of grammar rules set up in the backend. But the meaning, the essence of the paragraph is clear.

Writing may someday be able to be governed by algorithms, but not yet. I ran the second paragraph of David Copperfield through Hemingway [1], and it gave me too many adverbs, a misspelling of the British neighbourhood, and the use of passive voice. This is understandable, as Charles Dickens was a verbose writer who got paid by the word. And yet, it doesn't detract from the fact that he is one of the most-loved in the English cannon.

We can't measure good literature yet, because there is no straightforward formula, and although this is an interesting attempt, it can't teach good writing better than a human.

For a better, and still technical, approach to understanding how and why sentences and paragraphs work with us or against us, it's better to read Strunk and White, and even better to read "How Fiction Works" by James Wood.

If there is a way to incorporate at least those two books into conditional statements, I would be excited to see it.

[1] http://imgur.com/k9hsHfj

Duhck 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love this, and I love your test for the desktop version.

One suggestion, make the price a slider from $0->$100 and instead of asking "Would you pay $5 for a desktop version of Hemingway? It would add the ability to save and open text files." ask "Please suggest a price for the desktop version"

This will give you a better idea of the true value of the application to people without being suggestive.

Awesome idea and implementation!

CalRobert 1 day ago 1 reply      
This saddens me. I appreciate clear writing as much as anyone, but are we not denuding our language if we attempt to describe everything using short sentences and a small lexicon? I hate reading James Fenimore Cooper as much as the next person (including, notably, Twain), but surely there is a place for complex ideas expressed with a rich vocabulary and nuanced structure.
glibgil 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I edit, your app should give me a unique url that is chained to the original. I can't send someone a link to what I have edited. How did I do?

Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear.

Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors. If you see a yellow highlight, shorten the sentence or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is dense and complicated. Your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic. Try editing that sentence to remove the red.

Adverbs show in helpful blue. Get rid of them and pick verbs with force instead.

You can use a shorter word in place of a purple one. Mouse over it for hints.

Phrases marked in green show a passive voice.

Paste in something you're working on and edit away. Or, click the Write button to compose something new.

adam_b_long 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey guys, my name is Adam Long and my brother and I created Hemingway a few months ago!

Loving the comments here. As many of you pointed out, rules are meant to be broken. Our goal was to fix a simple problem: when you're looking at your own writing for too long, you start missing the simple, obvious errors.

You can follow me on Twitter @Adam_B_Long if you're interested in chatting about Hemingway with me.

bergie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome! I think it would be great if editors could help users to not only format their contents, but also to write better.

Another idea in sort of similar direction is doing automated link suggestions: http://bergie.iki.fi/blog/automated-linking/

pathdependent 1 day ago 2 replies      
I like this app. However, most of my work Latex based. If you had something like this for Sublime Text, I would buy it.
yock 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love it.

One thing though, I don't want another text editor. This is a feature, not an app, and I want this to integrate into my existing workflow. I don't know if that is a web service for integration with popular editors, integration with things like Editorially, or something else, but I really don't want to open yet another app to edit things.

k-mcgrady 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like this. I pasted in some text from a blog post I'm working on. All the edits it suggested made the post much better. I was worried that through the suggestions it might take the personality out of a persons writing, but because not all the suggestions are explicit (e..g change this word to this word) that might be avoided.
wpietri 1 day ago 0 replies      
Neat! I just pasted in a chapter from a book I may or may not be writing. It's a useful experience. It definitely pointed out some things that could be better.

However, it's wrong a lot of the time. I'd encourage you to add a little explanatory note for people less confident in their writing. Something about how no computer is a substitute, they should make the final decisions, etc. It'd also be great to have a feature where I could bless particular sentences. Good editors make useful suggestions, but they also know to let marginal things go if the author disagrees.

Also, two minor bugs: any paragraph after multiple blank lines gets entirely highlighted in red. And you shouldn't capture the control-tab keystroke and convert it into a tab character. Every time I try to leave that window, I end up mangling my text.

RogerL 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the concept people are reaching for is the idea of false positives and negatives. Yes, if you have a bad sentence there is a good chance it will highlight it. But, perhaps not (false positive). Similarly, it will flag many perfectly fine sentences not pitched to 7 graders (false negatives).

Here is text I more or less randomly chose from MOMA's site. Almost all of it is graded as "very hard to read".

Where is the cutting edge of the motion picture? Discover it first at MoMA. Building upon the Museum's long tradition of exploring cinematic experimentation, Modern Mondays is a showcase for innovation on screen. Engage with contemporary filmmakers and moving image artists, and rediscover landmark works that changed the way we experience film and media.

Any edit I make to that paragraph that makes the app happy seems to diminish the text.

In contrast, my first paragraph is graded better than the MOMA text, yet I think it is worse. The one thing it did complain about were the adverbs 'similarly' and 'perfectly'. The former is required to draw the comparison; the second is perhaps redundant, but I am emphasizing to make a point - redundancy is as much a tool in writing as it is a crutch or error.

I'm not saying the app is useless, just take the output with a huge grain of salt. Heck, if I paste text from Hemingway it is a sea of red and yellow.

Camillo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought it was a problem that 50%* of college freshmen read below a 10th grade level, but apparently the problem was with college graduates writing above it.

(*: number made up because I can't be bothered to look it up.)

hluska 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like products like this, though English is a notorious pain in the ass to try and write, so I thought I'd try it out.

In good news, this app does a good job of handling complex sequences. Consider the sentence:

The quick, brown fox ran out of the clump of trees, saw us, got scared, and promptly ran back into hiding.

When I typed that, I expected it to turn red, but it didn't. Great job!

However, there is a problem with identifying adverbs. Consider the sentence, "He is a burly man." In this case, though burly ends with -ly (like adverbs), it is an adjective.

Blahah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Neat. Along the same lines for emacs people, there's writemode-good (https://github.com/bnbeckwith/writegood-mode), and for Sublime Text there's Writing Style (https://sublime.wbond.net/packages/Writing%20Style).

Also, heads up that the site layout is not responsive: viewing at ~800px width places buttons all over the left side of the screen in an ugly way.

csense 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I hated Hemingway in high school. His writing style is really mediocre. When reading A Farewell to Arms, if it wasn't for the fact that it was a professionally published and bound book, I would have thought it was an amateur attempt at fiction writing from one of my high school classmates -- and one of the weaker writers at that.

I couldn't stomach his writing style for an entire novel, so I ended up not finishing the book.

I would like to see someone make a similar website to guide you toward writing in the style of Charles Dickens.

pvsnp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome if a "weasel words" highlighter or filter were to be added too. I have found that just removing some of these words from writing tends to have significant improvement in the clarity of writing. http://matt.might.net/articles/shell-scripts-for-passive-voi...
splitbrain 1 day ago 2 replies      
The source of this would be useful to integrate such features in other apps (like editors). An API might do as well at least for online tools like blogs. As a standalone site it's too much hassle to integrate it into your daily workflow I think.
davidw 1 day ago 0 replies      
I tried it out on a few articles from PG and the Economist. It turns out complex sentences are common in their writing. I don't mind, or should I say that it is not minded?
kriro 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if you could get a negative score by pasting some translated Kant :P

Pretty cool, might use it as a quick checkup tool, would pay the 5$. Any word on what happens to the pasted text? I can't find any terms of use.

Could be really useful if you could change the rating rules. I'd like to adapt it to academic texts for example. There's some use beyond style as well since you could automatically check for superlatives (or adjectives in general) and the like that are generally not wanted and some other typical constructs that should be avoided.

Tycho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hemingway's writing is incredible, IMO. And the theoretical reasons he had for writing in that style are very convincing.

However it leaves one massive problem. If this is the 'one true way' or writing fiction, so to speak, then nobody else can really embrace it because they'll be dismissed as Hemingway wannabes.

philmcc 1 day ago 0 replies      
My advice: on the "would you pay $5 for a desktop version", after the yes, offer to save their email for when it's ready. I probably (adverb) would've given it to you.

I'm not sure that I'll remember to come back and look for it.

Wistar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like and use Writer's Diet which seems quite similar and has been around for a few years.


happy4crazy 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you'd like to read a deep investigation into writing styles, let me suggest Clear and Simple as the Truth[0]. Steven Pinker discusses the book in a fun talk on communicating science[1].

[0] http://classicprose.com/[1] http://video.mit.edu/watch/communicating-science-and-technol...

Mz 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a question about the app itself:

I grew up in a bilingual home. My mom is a German immigrant who spoke no English when she met my American father. So in spite of having a good education and getting high praise for the content I produce, I find that I often write in "Germish." I need help with spelling, punctuation and grammar. The technical aspect of my writing is shockingly only fair to middlin' at best, sigh.

Spelling help is not hard to find but punctuation and grammar help is hard to find. So how helpful is it with that stuff? Because it looks like it focuses on tone or something, not basic grammar per se?


mbillie1 23 hours ago 0 replies      
"Why do we drive on the parkway, but fetishize an impossible and ridiculous masculinity on the Hemingway?"
dasmithii 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This could be the future of stylistic education in literature. If a tool existed to generate rules for this editor to follow, aspiring students could practice the writing styles of famous authors.

Of course, serious writers shouldn't model themselves after others. More specific areas would be the focus. Narrower subjects like technical writing might be promising, since they aren't particularly dependent on individuality in style.

MichaelTieso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ohhh. Well done! Already sending this to a bunch of writers in my group. This would be killer as a WordPress plugin.
beloch 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love this as a plugin for emacs or notepad++.
cjg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I think very few people would actually like using a desktop version, because it breaks your workflow.

Anyone who is prepared to hand over money for something like this ideally wants it integrated into their current writing environment, be that Word, LibreOffice, Scrivener, Dark Room or whatever.

Plugins are the way to commercialise this (if that's at all possible).

jhonovich 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found this quite useful. I could see myself using it regularly as a Chrome extension similarly to how I use grammarly lite currently.
Trindaz 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This might help bloggers write copy, but it's definitely not good for writers. The first paragraph of Chapter 1 of Robert Hughes' Shock of the New has these stats according to Hemingway:

5 of 12 sentences are hard to read.2 of 12 sentences are very hard to read.2 adverbs (he should be aiming for "0 or less").0 words or phrases could be simpler*

*this "could be simpler" feature might be a bit ambitious. If you're confident in telling me that the entire text is essentially too complicated, it seems contradictory that at the same time none of it could be made more simple.

dllthomas 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to the unfair maligning of the passive, I note that the following (simplified from a line in http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2922) is not marked as passive despite being so:

"This example will go unidentified as passive if you trust bad grammar-checking programs."

The problem is never the passive per se - it's unclear writing, period. Sometimes that involves passive voice.

hoggle 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I often really like long sentences, also when reading. This constant trend towards conformance is one of the more annoying trends of our times.
kelmop 1 day ago 2 replies      
sehugg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Forgive me if I'm being dense, but are there any feature differences from the grammar checkers available in word processors since the 90s? (besides being on the web, I mean)
captainchaos 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really nice. I said I'd by $5 for a desktop version but I'd pay $10 for a Chrome extension that could work on selected text or (even better) the Gmail compose text box.
gtirloni 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks interesting. As an wannabe writer, I was checking the AP Stylebook but the price is prohibitive right now.


aytekin 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the best product names I have seen in a long time!

- People who are interested in being a (good) writer get excited when they hear the name. The name suggests they might write well like Hemingway.

- The name is already familiar and impossible to forget.

- It creates a lot of controversy and discussion as seen in this thread!

hafabnew 1 day ago 1 reply      

From their JS:

  readinglvl = getReadingLevel(paragraphs, sentences, words, chars);  [..]  function getReadingLevel (p, s, w, c) {      var r = Math.round((4.75 * (c / w)) + (0.5 * (w / s)) - 21.43);      return r;  }
So it's a slightly modified http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_Readability_Index uses 4.75 instead of 4.71 .

aneisf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm reminded of a story[1] I heard on NPR the other day. Researchers have drawn correlations between writing style and the eventual onset of Alzheimer's. Apparently nuns who had a habit of writing verbose, idea-dense sentences were less likely to develop Alzheimer's later on.

[1]: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1272118...

christiangenco 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in love with this. I wish it was a plugin for Ghost[1].

1. https://ghost.org/

NeoWang 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I opened Chrome Dev Tools and start violating some rules, but see no network traffic to the server. Is this purely implemented with js? With dictionaries loaded initially?
magicroundabout 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems pretty useful as a tool for spotting the kind of linguistic howlers that tumble out on first draft. I can see this sort of thing becoming more valuable when more advanced Natural Language Programming APIs become available. It would be cool to see an attempt to encode Orwell's rules from Politics and the English language:

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. (https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm)

I find it quite surprising that detection of cliches and needless multiple-negatives are not common features of word processing software.

aymeric 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is great.

I struggle with correcting my use of passive voice and I wish there were suggestions.

For example, how would you rephrase this? "put some headphones on to reduce the odds of being interrupted by someone."

im3w1l 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I made a small greasemonkey script for google drive integration :). It adds a button to the documents toolbar.http://pastebin.com/cw1hHcC5
aresant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Several years ago at conversion voodoo we studied the impact on conversion of writing at an 8th grade reading level which is about the average American.

It, of course, improved conversion and it turns out there is already quite a bit of algorithmic work on the topic to help tune your ad copy.

So I am a believer in the hypothesis that simplicity and clarity, in marketing anyways, is a worthwhile pursuit.

I am going to test this Hemingway along the same lines - take some longer form copy, run it through and test output.

(1) http://www.conversionvoodoo.com/blog/2010/04/increasing-site...

imdsm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Found a bug: type in "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" and watch the highlighting break.
tlack 17 hours ago 0 replies      
What a great and simple idea. Make it an API, please, and don't forget the history function so I can see how text evolves over time.
kyleburton 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is very cool.

I'd pay $ (5ish) for a couple of other ways to use this:

* a bookmarklet that allowed me to select text on my blog or on one of my github pages and analyze it* emacs integration* a command line tool that worked like ispell/aspell to help analyze things I've already written

sanj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this could help with comments: http://xkcd.com/481/
fnordfnordfnord 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This should be a plugin that replaces the standard spelling/grammar checker in word processing software.
Houshalter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pasting "best" HN comments in I get:

Grade 10,Grade 6,Grade 11,Grade 14,Grade 14,

And copy and pasting the whole page gets me Grade 9 (and some serious bugs (http://i.imgur.com/U6sK1mM.png?1) which I think may have crashed my browser.)

"New" HN comments:

Grade 12,Grade 7,Grade 7,Grade 5,Grade 7,

And the whole page is Grade 8

My own comments apparently have a lot of unreadable sentences but they aren't that bad. (this comment is Grade 3! Yay.)

vipworld 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Top scores in readability with these dramatic, bold, and above all, clear adjustments:

"Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear.

Hemingway shits on your long sentences. Fuck complexity.

Smack an adverb with blue. Get rid of them and pick verbs with force instead.

You can insert a shorter word in place of a purple one. Mouse over it for hints.

The passive voice sucks."

piyush_soni 20 hours ago 1 reply      
That's good and helpful, but I don't know why it would suggest me to replace "All of" to "All" in this simple sentence below: "All of you please stand up. "

Any answers by English experts?

throwaway344 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel this would be more interesting as a bookmarkelet to parse web pages. Like the Simple English Wikipedia but everywhere on every page.
BHSPitMonkey 23 hours ago 0 replies      
You should add a warning class for possible misspellings, too. It would be nice to not need to use a separate spell checker.
km3k 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see this as a firefox extension.
valvoja 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the app and I think the easy to remember name suits it well, even if Hemingway might turn in his grave. It's a promising start, but I'm not sure if I'd continue to use it unless I could start tracking improvements in my writing.

I would love to see a bit more of the hard data behind the rankings. For example, I just tested a blog article I wrote 5 minutes ago against an article written by a proper journo on PandoDaily and I scored higher. Does that make me a better writer? I hope not.

In all seriousness, the idea has a lot of potential and you could certainly find a few nice ways to compare yourself different writing styles of famous authors Hemingway or someone else.

im3w1l 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Bug report: If I mark the text in the textbox and drag and drop it in the box, the dragged text is displayed on top of the text already there. It looks very bad.
adregan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Who will make the Faulkner? It highlights your sentence red if it doesn't go for at least a page and a half.
enemtin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dear whoever made Hemingway: Can you please make a Wordpress plugin?

I would love you forever.

Yours in gratitude,

dataking 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool! I wish it would come with an API to integrate into text editors (Sublime Text, Emacs, Vim, etc.)

Shameless plug: Some time ago I authored a Sublime Text (2/3) plug-in that highlights use of passive voice and "weazel words" (i.e., words to use sparingly and words). To install from Package Control, just search for "Writing Style" :)

taternuts 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems pretty cool - though the display could use some work (I don't know if this is just me, on Chrome). It's overlapping in a lot of places, the buttons seem a bit wonky, and the spacing is weird (http://i.imgur.com/bNqI9MD.png
baddox 1 day ago 0 replies      
The funny thing is, I found the yellow and red sentences in their description to be sufficiently bold and clear.
bobzimuta 18 hours ago 0 replies      

I'd like to propose the bobzimuta constant: The first 40% of any HN comments on a page can be skipped since they will likely only be pedantic circle-jerking.

seancoleman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm tempted to reply to long, low signal/noise ratio emails with this.
mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
YES!!!! As someone who loves writing but wasn't an english major, this rocks!!! Thank you.
cdonnellytx 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Interestingly it marks the infamous Zero Wing intro as grade 3 or 4, but considers the "correct" translation to be Grade 6 and complains about the "all of" they use.


EDIT: Forgot HN isn't Markdown.

cell303 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great for writing scientific articles, manuals, tutorials, text books and the like. I'll start using it right now :)

However, as far as literature is concerned, I'd not be using it. The title is misleading in that respect. Something along the lines "simple", "clean", "focused" writing would be better.

BTW: I have to paste some page-sized sentences from Thomas Pynchon in there.

rbonvall 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apparently the sentence "my telly is red" has an adverb and uses passive voice :P
squirejons 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The coder opened his IDE. The IDE was on the screen of his monitor. The IDE was colorful in the dimly lit room. The coder opened his can of Red Bull. He drank once from it and put it down. Then he placed his fingers on the keyboard and began coding. It was PHP code, and it was good. He typed into the night and early morning. He got up and went to bed. He felt good. He did not think about the woman that night because he was tired. That was good, too.
imranq 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great, I can definitely see myself using this for long texts. What about having modes for different historical authors: Austin, Dostoevsky, Woolf. Who said that Hemingway was the golden standard?

Although I have to admit Hemingway's famous short short story (though possibly not his) gives me chills

"for sale, baby shoes, never worn"

mpeg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd definitely pay for a Chrome addon or desktop version of this.
OoTheNigerian 1 day ago 0 replies      

I am wondering if it may be better and/or more profitable to license the Hemingway algorithm to be used in the dozens of writing applications via a Chrome/browser app initially I would suppose (starting with Google Docs up to Poetica, Penflip, Draft etc.)

The value proposition I assume is the suggestions and recommendation. Focusing on that instead of customer acquisition/user interface design for another writing app may be more rewarding.

Great job all the same.

stevewilhelm 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Would pay $5 for a Sublime Text Plug-in version.
rodolphoarruda 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm using this tool to review the English versions of my resums. It's been a very interesting experience so far.
moron4hire 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is nothing wrong with the passive voice.
melipone 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It does not work for technical papers but if I am struggling with forming a sentence, I'll certainly keep it in mind.
moondowner 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you make a desktop version (that works offline as well), I'm totally buying it.
andralamoosia 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an interesting idea, and kudos to the founders for the start, enmity to passive voice notwithstanding. Good writing is hard. Things that help are welcome. And good for them for trying. It does seem a bit rough, still, though . . .

I wrote a book chapter recently -- as a last minute favor for a friend, and gratis. I did my best to make the words sing -- the subject's a yawner for most people, and I had to entertain myself while writing the thing. In addition to sly references to whatever caught my fancy that day, I quite deliberately used contractions all through. More music in 'em I reckoned and they scanned better. Some genius editor sent a markup back all de-contracted and I had to spend a day adding them back in. Cursing.

It is really, really hard to write well precisely because so much depends on context. It's true in professional writing too -- you have to keep your audience in mind. True that adjectives are less persuasive, usually, than facts stated slyly, but see how those sibilants sounds aloud? Maybe it's my taste and not yours, but maybe that's the point of a hemmingwayapp -- you could always joyceify it or send it throughout iambify.com and set it to my wild irish rose.

I'm sure Stanislaw Lem's great piece the Electronic Bard has been posted in the past but for those who don't know it and want the last word on wordsmithing machina, check it -- goo.gl/zZD0pX . Warning -- don't read this while drinking anything or you will risk snorting soda pop out your nose.

the_unknown 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is quite the fun tool. I know web apps are all the rage but really would love to see this implemented as an MS Word plugin - I'd be far more likely to use it on an ongoing basis if it were integrated directly into my editor of choice.
bhartzer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is great. I now have a tool to put all my writing through before I finish an article. Very cool.
colig 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like it. Is the grade level calculated with Fleisch-Kincaid?

$5 is a reasonable price (to me) for a minimal text editor with this feature, though I would prefer something meatier and more expensive along the likes of Scrivener.

gaussdiditfirst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea, I can think of many ways this sort of app could be extended to improve sentence structure via a number of other heuristics you might find mentioned in a grammar book.
cwaniak 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now what you need to do is to automate this process. User pastes the text and there is a magic auto-fix button that will shorten the sentences, make everything more readable, etc. And then charge per 24hrs the button is enabled.
auganov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love the concept.I'd pay monthly if it did more complex analysis. But not at this stage.
YPetrov 1 day ago 0 replies      
It'd be interesting to paste a typical cover letter in the app and see how much crap one has to write nowadays to get to the interview stage. :)
Fasebook 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, I would $20+ dollars for a desktop version, that didn't suck at what this is supposed to be doing.
mjhea0 1 day ago 0 replies      
love this. contact me if you're interested in adding this to a markdown app. :)

michael [at] mherman [dot] org

heraclitus23 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any famous writer's style should stand for a "filter" that anyone can apply to a text. I'm waiting for the Instagram for text editors.
gregf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would love to have something like this as a vim plugin.
ARothfusz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like a good tool to help with documentation, where long complex sentences can lead readers astray, and passive voice hides important information.
LeicaLatte 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I will make a chuck palahniuk app someday.
rnprdk 1 day ago 1 reply      
A fun contrast to this would be kottke.org's "Growing Sentences with David Foster Wallace" from a while back: http://kottke.org/09/03/growing-sentences-with-david-foster-...

Also: I haven't read a whole lot of Hemingway, but when I did read him, I always thought he was much more versatile a writer than made out to be.

wsinks 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another question - do we know who made this app? I'm curious as to the security of their servers.
nomadcoop 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would love an API to this so I can integrate it into Storytella, the writing app I'm working on.
preemrust 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nicely done. It would be nice if they can licence the idea to the makers of other simple writing apps.
DanielBMarkham 1 day ago 2 replies      
Thanks for posting this! I've been struggling to write my first novel, and I'm interested to see how I score with this.

Of course, when you're writing, many times you break the rules. At times grammatically incorrect dialog, for instance, scans better. You might leave a subject off a sentence, make the reader hunt around for it. You might make some sentences difficult in order to contrast them with freely-flowing sentences in the space afterwards. You might create long, difficult-to-read sentences punctuated with short declarative ones.

Wonder how this tool is going to know any of that?

ahussain 1 day ago 0 replies      
I pasted in some David Foster Wallace text and it exploded.
zsiciarz 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish for a H.P. Lovecraft app like that.
randomflavor 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Can I plug this into gmail?
maknz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Public API, please!
higherpurpose 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can we see this as a Wordpress plugin, too? Or a Chrome extension for Wordpress (the way Grammar.ly works for example).
Kumquat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please make one for ee cummings now.
BenjaminN 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love this!
I_am_Doge 20 hours ago 1 reply      

so app

such writing

better than mcirosoft word

FeinKrepp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Show HN: Wagtail, our new Django CMS
130 points by tomd  6 hours ago   78 comments top 27
waterside81 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I did the whole vagrant setup demo thing - this CMS looks unbelievably nice. Kudos to the design team. Stock Django admin (even with Grappelli) is kinda ugly now.

Like others mentioned, a live demo is definitely preferable - not many will go through the vagrant setup.

Also there's a bug when trying to view a sample page:

'embed_filters' is not a valid tag library

But good stuff otherwise!

ereckers 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
After watching your marketing video I now know why I don't get much done. You guys work fast.
rikkus 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So, were you hired to make a site for the RCA and decided to build a CMS first? I'm interested in how this came about.
yaph 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The first thing I look for on a marketing site for a CMS is the link to the demo, which isn't there.

Generally, I think demo videos don't fill this void and this one does a particularly bad job, unless maybe played at half speed.

Apart from that, Wagtail looks very interesting and I'll take the time and install the demo app. Thumbs up for choosing Postgres and integrating CoffeeScript and LESS.

jordn 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats on open sourcing this. It looks great! I'm very pleased to see a Django app where the design hasn't come as an afterthought.

I'm just about to test it out but I have a question how easy is it to to integrate this into an existing project?

slater 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Really nice. One question:

One feature I always wanted implemented in whatever CMS I was using was the ability to enter, say, a comma-delimited list of page titles, select the parent page and template to use, and have the CMS generate those pages in one go, instead of having the content editors hit the "New page" button fifty times.

I used to work for a large medical company, and they're departments always had special requirements, with lists of sub-pages to create for their department. Three hours later (it was a Java-applet-based CMS :( ), I was just about done with creating their pages.

gizzlon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone got a working dockerfile for the demo? Took a stab at it, but it doesn't work :(



SEJeff 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Would you gents (upstream wagtail guys) be interested if I took a shot at integrating pelican into this? I'd like a static blog and semi dynamic site and <3 django.
Ricapar 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Quick tip on the video: I felt it moved a little too quickly. I tried keeping up with the text, and it seemed to get pulled away from me as I was about 2/3rds through each time. At the end I was slightly dizzy :/
dangayle 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the hard work. We need more CMSs in Python!
andybak 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any developer docs? How extensible is it? How we do integrate 3rd party apps into the wagtail admin?
antihero 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What's API support like? IE if I wanted to create a search widget that uses JSON. Have you considered something like Django REST Framework?
felipebueno 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, this is really beautiful. Just in time for my next project: a tiny ERP to manage my sister's bakery.

Thanks for open sourcing this. :)

acd 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Very nice! Thanks for the good work! Will check it out.

Feedback: I hope for some good documentation like a starter tutorial and video screencast so more people can understand your CMS and use it.

yen223 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Python 2 or 3?
humanfromearth 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks great. One thing that I find not so good is: There are no tests.

It would be hard to convince anyone to contribute without some unit tests.

Cynddl 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems really good! Are you planning to compare it with other CMS (especially Django-CMS)? I would like to see its performances (with or without varnish).

Would you like to add OAuth support or other auth mechanisms like CAS? =) I didn't find documentation for the "WAGTAIL_PASSWORD_MANAGEMENT_ENABLED" option.

djm_ 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice presentation on the marketing side.

Is there a live demo anywhere or plans for one? In particular to try out the admin functionality.

adamlj 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Does it support handling multiple sites? If not, do you have any plans for adding multi site feature?
ewebbuddy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks really nice.. I can't wait to pull and try it out. Just out of curiosity: Is the marketing site also built using Wagtail??
leo_santagada 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Does it support content in two languages?
bencollier49 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Brilliant name! Good work chaps!
guptankur 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is npm listed as dependency ? Just curious. Congrats on this, it looks awesome.
jlafon 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks interesting, but I can't take it seriously. From what I can tell, you haven't written any tests at all.
abhimskywalker 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just tested out the demo site on local machine. The admin pages look gorgeous!!!Great work!
dandigangi 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Frameworks on frameworks on frameworks.
       cached 13 February 2014 20:02:01 GMT