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Microsoft Will Soon Bring Back The Start Menu In Windows 8.1 techcrunch.com
88 points by zastrowm  1 hour ago   58 comments top 14
Crito 32 minutes ago 4 replies      
It's always nice to see UI/UX people respond to user input and admit when they are wrong, rather than berate their users for not understanding the product. This sort of humbleness seems to be becoming increasingly rare.

In the past Microsoft has done well for themselves by listening to their business users and prioritizing their concerns about backwards compatibility. I hope this revert represents a natural continuation of that policy.

GrinningFool 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
The problem isn't the start menu. A fullscreen searchable start menu is something people have likely gotten used to - except for a vocal minority.

The problem is the context switching. Some apps full screen (even when they don't make sense or I want them part screen). Some control panel stuff in 'apps' (which requires full screen); some still in the old control panel. Some in both.

Somewhere along the way someone started thinking the whole 'single task at a time [or at most two]' was a Good Thing - but then someone else said that we can't do that, and what we got was the ugly bastard child of both.

I've stopped booting Windows, haven't done so even for gaming in a couple of months now. It's just too annoying at 8.x.

adamwong246 14 minutes ago 5 replies      
Never understood the fixation with the start menu. You start up metro and you are greeted with all those tiles- that is the new Start Menu. Why is that so confusing?
r00fus 37 minutes ago 3 replies      
Good news, but why did it take so long for MS to grok this?

So far every single piece of news since Ballmer's abdication has shown clue.

darrenkopp 24 minutes ago 2 replies      
After using Windows 8 since release, I kind of prefer the current start menu to the old school one, but I guess I'm in the minority.
daigoba66 46 minutes ago 2 replies      
It's interesting how similar it is to some of the concepts from this often linked write-up: http://jaymachalani.com/blog/2013/12/12/fixing-windows-8
tdicola 21 minutes ago 3 replies      
I'm fascinated that they still keep the Building Windows 8 blog up these days. You can go back and read their justifications on why they made the major changes that are now being backed out of win 8, for example start menu: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/11/reflecting-on-... and http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/03/evolving-the-s... I would love to see an analysis of how with so much data and insight they built something people didn't want. Was it all just confirmation bias causing them to see what they wanted in the data?
praseodym 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
The Verge thinks this will be part of Windows 9 instead: http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/2/5574830/windows-9-start-men...
amercade 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why not use windows 7 instead of 8? What can I get from 8.1 that 7 doesn't have? Other than a UI that I don't like very much.
marknutter 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Might as well never change anything, ever. Sigh..
skreech 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
When using a touchscreen on a 13" ultrabook, the Win 8 start menu actually makes a lot of sense.
momentarily 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Metro should have been device-aware (and still, toggleable) from the very beginning.

You can't impose a touch interface on desktop devices any more than you can impose a desktop interface on touch devices. Microsoft tried that, too, with Windows CE. It didn't work so well.

rayiner 43 minutes ago 2 replies      
Microsoft just needs to copy Apple here. Have a desktop, but let Metro apps run in either a window or full screen in another desktop. Voila: integration of Metro and the desktop in a way that doesn't suck.
Microsoft introduces Universal Windows apps wmpoweruser.com
110 points by chris-at  2 hours ago   59 comments top 16
gum_ina_package 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The amazing thing is that you can potentially write all your code in C# and have backend/frontend logic for the web (ASP.NET), Windows, Windows Phone, and even iOS/Android (via Xamarin). Wow.
yulaow 2 hours ago 3 replies      
This is imho the best news ever from microsoft. Now I can target serverside, frontend, windows8 devices and windowsphone all with one language (javascript for me). Not bad at all

update: I have to add other news just announced. With winJS now we can target also xboxone, ios and android deviceAnd also the full framework is opensource under apache license

update2: winJS on github https://github.com/winjs/winjs

emeraldd 1 hour ago 5 replies      
I'm still trying to figure out how/why this makes sense as a goal. Building an application that runs across multiple platforms in congruent spaces makes sense: iOS and Android and Windows Phone. When you move to running the same application across Laptop vs. Phone style platforms, even on modern hardware, you're looking at capabilities and resources that are radically different. I can see wanting to share certain common code, but a library system ala npm, bundler, cpan, etc., would handle that better than sharing a common code base/project. What am I missing?
keithwarren 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think the most significant part of this announcement is how they are dogfooding, Office for 'metro' and for the windows phone are using this Universal targeting.
r00fus 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Beware Apple, Google: Microsoft is starting to get it.
bhauer 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Exciting! This is getting progressively closer to an ideal I call PAO (Personal Application Omnipresence [1]), wherein I use a single set of applications on all my devices. I am very happy to see progress in this direction, but there is still much more to be done in the future.

[1] http://tiamat.tsotech.com/pao

be5invis 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am wondering whether they can make Windows Runtime's GUI avaliable for existing desktop appliacations. There are many professional applications needs a brand new API for user interface.
keithwarren 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This just in...Universal apps run on Xbox one.
amaks 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Haven't looked at the APIs, but are the APIs going to scale between phone, tablet and 30" 4K monitors? It's relatively easy to make the same app to be adaptable between phone and tablet, or even laptop, but to make it look good on 30" 4K monitor is a completely different UX, if full screen. Or in high resolutions the apps run in windowed mode?
svas 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting move in the right direction. I wonder if they'll take it further and let you write iOS and Android apps using Xamarin / Mono?

This would actually provide an easy path for developers to get into the Windows ecosystem while ignoring the whole market share issue. Combine first class integration with an awesome IDE (Visual Studio), and frankly way better tooling than Eclipse this would be a pretty compelling reason for me to use Xamarin, and by extension have a Windows run target for my app.

kenferry 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
So is this Silverlight but for WinRT apps instead of WPF apps?
lnlyplnt 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This seems similar to Google's tablet/phone strategy taken to it's natural extreme. This makes me wonder if google will soon do something similar with the (currently separate) Chrome/Android ecosystem.
jarjoura 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I see this as equivalent to writing one application that targets both iPhone and iPad and even Android with one app targeting tablets and phones. The only really new thing is support for a single application but the design and UI work still needs to be addressed for each screen size.
mamcx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
OK, and where is the code?
frozenport 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm shocked this didn't happen sooner. If you ever wanted to point to a problem with MS vision you can ask yourself why this didn't happen in 2005.
0x006A 51 minutes ago 3 replies      
They must live in quite a bubble if "universal" only includes Microsoft platforms.
Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8.1 with personal assistant Cortana thenextweb.com
114 points by msoliman  3 hours ago   73 comments top 16
JonFish85 1 hour ago 3 replies      
What baffles me is why the hell Microsoft didn't follow Apple's route of controlling their own distribution? Now Windows Mobile users have to figure out when their network is going to distribute the update[1]? That is hideous from a user standpoint.

Microsoft has the money to convince the carriers, and probably a lot of weight as well. Why wouldn't they avoid that nightmare?

Granted I don't have a windows phone so it doesn't affect me, but my brief foray into the Android world frustrated the hell out of me in this regard. With Android it was an extra step: Android released, phone manufacturer needed to build their own version of it, then my carrier needed to decide when I could access it.

When Apple announces an update, I can download it whenever I want it.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/micros...

untog 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Kudos to MS for making their personal assistant extendable by third party apps. Neither Apple nor Google have managed to do that yet.
yati 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am not a WP user, but this makes me want to give it a shot. Microsoft Research has some of the best researchers and some really impressive projects. I'd really love to see more of that research being put to use like Google does. I guess it is starting to happen now.
dangrossman 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Days like this make me sad that I can't have the best of Windows Phone, iOS and Android at the same time. A "Cortana for Android" would be great. Some day perhaps phones will be standardized enough that, like the web, we can develop once and run anywhere without major sacrifices.
facorreia 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Named after the fictional Halo character:


codeulike 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I'd like to be able to talk to my Windows 8.1 PC the same way I can talk to my Android/iOS/Windows Phone. Would be very handy I think.
al2o3cr 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just what I need, a personal assistant named after a Rampant AI. What's next, "New Samsung Galaxy XYZZY Now With GLaDOS Personal Assistant! (neurotoxin emitters sold separately)"? :)
lifeisstillgood 2 hours ago 5 replies      
I am slowly becoming convinced that the next killer app is the personal assistant app. My life is sharded between contact books and voip apps and IM and email that hardly if ever talk to each other or make my life easier.

Its a huge market, but space for a lot of niches.

m_mueller 2 hours ago 1 reply      
- How well can it handle natural language, compared to Siri?

- Can it handle an interaction such as:

-- "Michael, you've got a new message from Paul"

-- "Read it for me"

-- 'Ok, Paul wrote: "Where should we meet today?"'

-- "Answer with "in the Starbucks, at noon as we discussed".

-- 'Ok, here is what I understood: "In the Starbucks, at noon as we discussed". Shall I send it?

-- "yes"

-- "Ok, your reply has been sent.

jareds 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there any information available about the accessibility support in 8.1 yet? I saw that Narrator will be included but no information on weather that will provide full access like iOS and Android offer. If it does I will be picking up a 520 to play with.
bambam12897 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"Microsoft realizes mobile moves faster than the traditional desktop world it is used to, and asking the industry to wait for Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 is simply not an option."

Other than being a bigger number, what radically different changes is the author expecting for Windows Phone 9? It seems like all the fundamentals are there. The changes to the OS at this point are rather incremental

jayeshsalvi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The story writer has entirely lost the connection with Halo.
mastersk3 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Windows Phone 8.1 is the most massive update ever on any platforms to date
cessor 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This might me really nerdy but the name reminds me of the Farscape Episode "DNA Mad Scientist" (1x9 or so). A lab rat with increased intelligence enslaves the original scientific staff, and keeps the original chief scientist as an assistant, called... wait for it... "Cornata".
markbnj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting Harry Potter for the unveiling was quite a coup.
Shutting down Ubuntu One file services canonical.com
199 points by endijs  5 hours ago   153 comments top 41
rkalla 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Did the timelines seem awfully aggressive to anyone? (June 1 service stops, July 31 all data is erased)

For a service that we were suppose to be syncing our lives to, that seems like a really abrupt, customer unfriendly ramp-down.

I would have expected something more like:

  1. April 1 - no new accounts.  2. May 1 - can no longer add files to your existing account.  3. May - Dec - nagged/reminded constantly to pull your files down.  4. Dec 31 - All accounts closed, data "erased"  5. [BONUS] March '15 - Data actually erased to provide a few months of emergency   recovery for the few folks that didn't know and are emailing frantically that   their family photos are up there.

etfb 5 hours ago 6 replies      
That always seemed to me a bandwagon feature, like Microsoft's SkyDrive: they saw DropBox succeeding, they figured it would be easy to emulate, and they learned otherwise when they tried it. The only way this change affects me personally is that it gives me one less thing to go in and switch off when I install a new Ubuntu system, but I'm glad they've got a pragmatic attitude toward the possibility of spreading themselves too thin.
sz4kerto 5 hours ago 6 replies      
"Today we are announcing plans to shut down the Ubuntu One file services. This is a tough decision, particularly when our users rely so heavily on the functionality that Ubuntu One provides"

Ok, so do users really rely so heavily on Ubuntu One? If so, then why do you shut it down? If no, then why do you say they rely on it?

I believe they don't rely on it.

"The Ubuntu One file services will not be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, and the Ubuntu One apps in older versions of Ubuntu and in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores will be updated appropriately. The current services will be unavailable from 1 June 2014; user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted."

1.5 months? Really?

tyleregeto 4 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm one of the heavy users of this. It integrates with all my devices better than other options. Google Still hasn't released a Linux client and the dropbox app has been very flakey for me in Ubuntu.

I've set my phone camera pics auto sync to all my devices. All my music and photos are backed up with Ubuntu One. When I upgrade my OS version, I sync all important files here. When I switched jobs late last year, my music was instantly available at my new office. When I'm working and I need a file on my Windows machine, I just throw it in Ubuntu One and switch keyboards.

I'm disappointed by this, but not surprised. They haven't been doing anything with the product in a long time.

I had hoped that just meant it was a stable product.

yason 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've loved Ubuntu One for years. This is too sad, I would've wanted to have Ubuntu use it automatically for all kinds of things such as home directory backups etc.

Are there any good open-source self-hosted options that I could run on my little box at home? Preferably something that doesn't require a special setup or deployment on a server.

I could imagine there are file-sync solutions that just need an operable SSH account somewhere and merely automate the use of rsync to do the transfers, watching files and taking care of conflicts.

shanemhansen 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I find the second paragraph disappointing, but unsurprising. "Our strategic priority for Ubuntu is making the best converged operating system for phones, tablets, desktops and more." My hope is that the next design fad that out-fads the current "make my 30 inch high-res monitor look like a 3 inch screen" fad will be a step back towards actual usability. Convergence is a usability nightmare.

I'd rant more, but hey this is free software so I'll just switch to another distro.

viva la divergence.

lawl 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Very awesome that they release the code.

I wish all companies would open source code they don't use anymore.

I mean it really doesn't cost anything pushing your old code in a github repo or something.

shrikant 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I was (and still am) honestly baffled that Canonical never went about building and marketing Ubuntu One as a home directory backup service.

Maybe automatically encrypt and backup all text files in the home directory by default, and for free. Restore encrypted backup from Ubuntu One every time a user does a reinstall or upgrade. Charge users if they want to throw in media files or binaries.

dayjah 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We have entered the age of the storage wars....

The price cuts from Google last week were clearly an offensive move in this space. One of the best ways to refine a market is to run it at sustainable loss and watch those that cannot compete die off. Credit to Canonical for failing fast here. I hope they decide to reassess the situation and provide tooling for a BYOCS[1]-esque abstraction. This'll permit users to roll their data from one cloud storage company to another as they all start dropping off.

As a somewhat related aside: where is amazon in the consumer commodity SaaS world? No email, no calendar, no storage (albeit they do provide mp3 storage). Do they just have no interest in providing these user services?

[1] Bring Your Own Cloud Storage

oconnor663 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"we continue to believe in the Ubuntu One file services, the quality of the code, and the user experience, so will release the code as open source software to give others an opportunity to build on this code to create an open source file syncing platform"

"We will calculate the refund amount from todays announcement, even though the service will remain available until 1 June and data available for a further two months."

Very respectable.

paradite 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Considering the fact that Ubuntu breaks sometimes on laptops, a online storage for backing up important files had been a good service for me. Now that it will be down, I have to configure some 3rd party software in order to get the automatic backup process. On a brighter side, I feel the Ubuntu on my laptop is getting more and more stable(no breaking for past few month in fact), so online backup may not seem that necessary now for me.
aswanson 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Funny thing...just yesterday I was just considering opening an account with them and Tarsnap as a dual-strategy backup-of-backup.
tdobson 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Bye Bye UbuntuOne.

You should have been OwnCloud, not a Dropbox wannabe.

Dewie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am trying to install Ubuntu One now. Just to see what happens. It tries to install but then gives a "The application has closed unexpectedly".

Are people who have Ubuntu One installed being notified? I backup with Ubuntu One and haven't got any 'imminent shutdown' messages.

frade33 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is tragic and I am baffled how flawed their argument is.

>Our strategic priority for Ubuntu is making the best converged operating system for phones, tablets, desktops and more

If Ubuntu One wasn't of their strategic priorities, then certainly they didn't have their priorities right.

derekp7 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be better if they partnered with someone like DropBox to provide a migration path? Possibly a transparent migration path? Then convert Ubuntu One to a relabeled version of DropBox.
IgorPartola 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I for one (no pun intended) actually liked Ubuntu One. In the age where the DropBox installer for Ubuntu was funky and running it headless involved downloading a Python script and running it in a screen session Ubuntu One provided a much better experience.

That said, I was never one to pay for DropBox or Ubuntu One because their pricing was just a little too expensive. The free tier got me enough space to share a few random files, and if I needed more than a few GB's, I've got my own infrastructure for that.

macco 1 hour ago 1 reply      
To be honest. Ubuntu One never worked for me. Dropbox is a much better alternative.

What are other alternatives to Ubuntu One? If they are smart, the partner with dropbox.

mariocesar 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is so bad, I deployed my sites using Ubuntu One.

However I'm very grateful they decided to opensource it, at least I have a hope to keep implementing it.

GigabyteCoin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This possibility was the reason I never bothered to even consider Ubuntu One as a file locker.
codva 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I often found that music on their music service was a buck an album cheaper than Amazon.
glutamate 4 hours ago 3 replies      
"Our strategic priority for Ubuntu is making the best converged operating system for phones, tablets, desktops and more"

I guess a server OS is also not a strategic priority. Oh well. What is a good Debian-based server OS that is a bit more up-to-date than Debian (and also a strategic priority for its developer)?

mindstab 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe the NSA came for their files and they don't want to shill on their users but also got one of those security letters so they can't say anything about it. Maybe this is a heroic move for us against the US government and we'll never know. Might explain the hasty timetable too.
jacquesm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
That's about as classy a product shutdown as you could wish for.

Pity this didn't work out financially for Canonical, and too bad for those users that came to rely on it (but this is the issue with pretty much any service that you don't operate yourself).

celerity 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you! Ubuntu One is a buggy, laggy mess and frankly an embarrassment to Canonical. What would be neat is if they made a GUI for BTSync, and sold pre-configured hard drive space for it!
petrel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thank God. It was a pathetic service and it was an adventure to solve the captcha used while creating a new account.
bluedino 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I can see disabling new signups but not shutting the service down and erasing everyone's data - it doesn't bode well for Ubuntu in the enterprise or anywhere else trust and longevity are important.
Dewie 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I set up a daily backup with Ubuntu One just yesterday. Oh well. A USB pendrive should do the trick.
kermit666 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How can I self-host Ubuntu One? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7516047
juanuys 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps they can use their freed-up resources to nudge Google along with the Drive client for Linux:


"Running Linux? Stay tuned - Drive for Linux isn't ready just yet."

levosmetalo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I glad they did this finally. It was getting really annoying not being able to easily disable the thing in stock Ubuntu.
afhsfsfdsss88 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine this service had a low adoption rate and is costing Canonical money at a time when Mark is putting all his eggs in the phone/pc convergence basket.
laxk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What I can use as an alternative for Ubuntu One?
psibi 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I never liked their storage service. On top of that, all the videos files which I stored in their server got lost previously, so I never cared to use their service again. It just showed the filename of the video and displayed it's size as zero bytes. A quick google at that time showed me that other peoples had also lost their files and Ubuntu didn't even send a apology mail for that. (But text files was present.)
Piskvorrr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's good to be periodically reminded that "FREE! FOREVER! CLOUDCLOUDCLOUD!" is hot air.
goshawk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Fair... It was never their core business and never skyrocketed. And I'm a heavily user of the service.

Any other good alternative, maybe FOSS, except Dropbox?

spektom 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Well... this is sad. I used to store my config files like .vimrc, vim/, .screenrc etc. in Ubuntu One.
silveira 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It never worked well with me.
amolgupta 4 hours ago 0 replies      
this is sad. I used ubuntu one services for a while and also cloned the music app code to understand android development once.
pawelkomarnicki 4 hours ago 0 replies      
No biggie
tedchs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh no, Ubuntu is shutting down a service despite "our users rely so heavily on the functionality"... clearly this means we must never trust Ubuntu again!

At least that's what people on HN say every time other companies launch something new.

Crowdfunding campaign for the Novena Open Laptop crowdsupply.com
32 points by kevs  1 hour ago   5 comments top 5
robbiet480 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
For those that didn't instantly recognize the name, this is Bunnie Huang's open laptop he talked about previously [1]

[1] http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?tag=novena

perlpimp 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
this guy is pretty awesome, might be just the hack candy one might like to have if one is into hardware hacking.

TL;DR: here is the video from a conference where bunnie and his friend hacked flash card controller, so you can see the qualities that the laptop will possess.

mitosis 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Love at first sight. The only thing left is deciding whether to buy the desktop or the laptop version.
bmslieght 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
The boards are a little out of my price range at the moment. But definitely wanted to support this project, so I have backed "Buy us a Beer" at $5.
Bluerise 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have been waiting for some time for the crowdfunding campaign.

The FreeScale i.MX6 platform is very versatile. Up to quad core 1.2GHz, SATA, PCIe, Gigabit Ethernet (limited to 480Mbps) and lots of good documentation and driver support.

The only issue is the graphics blob and... in this case the price tag. I hoped I could afford it, but it looks like I can't.

Still, there are lots of other community boards based on the i.MX6 SoC. If you don't need the laptop version or an FPGA, there are much cheaper boards out there.

The Novena Open Laptop really is good work. I hope it'll get funded!

Zed: The Next Phase zedapp.org
189 points by softmodeling  6 hours ago   83 comments top 31
electrograv 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Thanks for posting, and great work so far! Unfortunately, I encountered a few deal-breaker issues with Zed. So here are a few criticisms, if this helps you improve the project (but by no means let this detract from the current success of a great project!):

1. IMO you're using the wrong text matching algorithm for file search. This is pretty critical, considering it's the main interface for opening files.

Zed seems to search for simple text substrings only, whereas both Sublime Text 2 and Xcode look for the longest common subsequence. This is huge, for me at least; in Xcode or ST2 I can type the first few letters of one of my files, followed by a few more letters from different words in it, followed by ".cpp" and it finds the file.

Zed (as is) is completely unusable to me, because my project folder contains many similarly named files (.h, .cpp) as well as a ton of other source files from external libraries/modules with similar sub-words with what I'm searching for which for some reason always show up first and saturate the search results. With Zed there's no way to narrow down to what I'm looking for besides typing in the full name of the file. With ST2 or Xcode this is not a problem due to LCS.

2. This is not your fault necessarily, but it's a big deal to me: Text rendering is slow in Zed (and in every other web-technology-based code editor I've tried, e.g. Light Table).

For example, scrolling is even choppier than Xcode. The primary (if not sole) reason I moved away from Xcode to ST2 was because Xcode's horribly laggy UI was driving me crazy.

This is a bit of a personal rant, but we're living in an age with multi-gigaflop CPUs and multi-terraflop GPUs, yet we have somehow regressed to a point where scrolling (of all things) is laggy? IMO this is absurd, as an industry trend in general. For this reason, I generally dislike the trend to write everything (including local apps) in HTML/CSS/JS. These technologies really weren't designed to support this sort of complex dynamic UI. While it's quite impressive what's possible despite this, the stress of forcibly warping HTML/CSS/JS to accomplish some of these UI feats shows through as horrible inefficiency.

jlongster 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's worth mentioning that Emacs operates on files the exact way you want Zed to work (on your philosophy page). I'm not trying to be one of those "Emacs already does this" guys, but you seem to legitimately think it's a new concept, when most people using Emacs use it like that.

"Like that" being that we don't care if a file is open or closed. If I'm swapping between 2 files a lot, I will just swap buffers, but usually I just navigate straight to whatever file I need and open it. If it's already open, the buffer will come up; otherwise a buffer will be created. ido-mode makes it trivial to query files/buffers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsgPNVIMkIE

(edit: inversely, ido-mode actually saves a history of opened files so if you try to switch to a buffer of a file that isn't open, but you've opened before, it will transparently open it for you and it feels like it was never closed)

Also, same thing with file creation. I'll just navigate to the file I want to create and hit enter.

drdaeman 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Sorry for negativity, but is it really a code editor or yet another notepad clone with syntax highlighting? There are too many of the latter and almost none of the former.

I believe code editor to be called one must be designed to work with the code and provide standard facilities to manipulate upon it. The rest is for particular language support module that'd recognize semantics and do the transformations.

For example, the very core must have option to bind language module-provided semantics data to text fragments, so, say, highlighter (a proper one, not a TextMate-like mess of regexps) would base its work upon knowing not only "syntax regexp says this is a variable" but "semantic analyzer says this is a variable `foo`, and it's also used here and there, too (but not there, it's another scope), if that matters", while remaining generic.

(Edited: minor re-formatting)

tbirdz 4 hours ago 2 replies      
>Cant some random person fork the project and attempt same thing? Yep. Worse, they can fork the project, and create a proprietary version and start selling it.

If you released it under the GPL, then they would not legally be allowed to make a proprietary version and start selling it. Also, the GPL does not prevent you from selling your software: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

habosa 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thanks for making this a Chrome App! This will fill a big gap for me on my Chromebook, especially the ability to edit Dropbox files. You should add Google Drive support as well if possible, since you're already in the Chrome ecosystem.
gcb0 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can't avoid thinking it is a sweet attack vector for being a browser extension... I would probably use it if i have to edit on a chromebook, but then again, i prefer to avoid touching chromebooks even with a 10ft pole.
lauriswtf 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Congrats on launching, this looks like an interesting project.

Sorry if I missed this from the post, but is there any particular reason why Zed is tied to Chrome? Are there any technical benefits?

P.S. I am asking because I am currently involved in a project of similar type - a web based GUI for databases (MySQL, Postgres, MSSQL, Oracle) - Datazenit[0], but we decided against shipping it as a packaged Chrome app, because it would narrow potential user base.

[0] - http://datazenit.com/

P.P.S. Just to let you know - link to your twitter account is broken (https://twitter.com/zed_editor).

bsimpson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
On ChromeOS, I got stuck on the very first screen:

I can either enter a Project or a URL to edit. Typing text in either place does nothing interesting. "Enter" does nothing.

Clicking around, I can't find any way to make a new window. All I want to do is see your editor and start playing with it. I don't even really want to edit a file yet. No obvious way to make any of that happen.

The first window is too small. The note about how to edit remotely requires scrolling, but it isn't obvious that the page needs to be scrolled.

Bootvis 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I read that you're not sure how you will earn an income but basically, you will depend on the generosity of your users. If I might try one tip:

Who are you? What drives you? Tell us a bit about yourself on your website. I think it will help with income.

baby 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
node-webkit is amazing, but is it really suited for an IDE? I don't see how you could launch a node-webkit application as fast as Sublime Text for example.
pekk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There are too many editors named Zed, please get a different name to reduce the confusion (and it can't be Xed)
iElectric2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using it for a few months after 10 years of Vim.

It's very similar to Vim, with proper defaults and JavaScript as approachable language compared to vimscript.

I believe the most innovative thing Zed introduces is hackability. Configuration is basically just another project inside the editor.

Other cool features/defaults are presented on http://zedapp.org/features/

ishansharma 3 hours ago 0 replies      
FYI, BitDefender shows site as infected: http://trafficlight.bitdefender.com/info?url=http%3A//zedapp...

Might want to check it out, I got a bit red alert before I could visit the page.

Edmond 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope it works out for you.

I'll be hesitant about the productivity pitch though...a lot of developers don't truly care about productivity in the way that one would expect. Often what opinionated developers want is something that conforms to their opinions, productivity just becomes a convenient excuse for the choice of a particular tool.

At least as someone who's spent a lot of time pitching productivity to developers I have become skeptical that developers value it as much as one would ordinarily expect. I am the developer of HiveMind (crudzilla.com), a web app platform that literally allows you to get a whole bunch of things done with writing little to no code. I find this pitch simply doesn't fly with a lot of developers :)

The open source pitch for instance is something I am sure will get you some followers, though how big a following is not certain.

Welcome aboard the entrepreneurial train!

tsewlliw 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> Im making Zed my day-time job

I'm super excited for you! Passion & Dedication! Bravo

zimbatm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes ! I get excited because the author lists "Reduce cognitive load" at the editor's first goal. It's not an absolute and easy to measure metric but is worth having having as a first class citizen. Plus he already proves that he's moving in that direction by removing the concept of open/closed files.

For funding: how hard would it be to create a "shared hire" subscription model where participants get a vote into what the author is doing ?

213424355352255 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Biggest issues with Zed:

1) Chrome extension (I understand the stand-alone application is coming)

2) Vim-style modality missing (exact keybinding replication is not necessary, just the principle of remaining on the home row)

3) Excess editor chrome - the top of the editor takes up 2 lines when it could be compacted to 1

crashandburn4 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, first off, love that you've decided to keep it open source (lack of open-source code is what pushed me away from sublime into the arms of my current mistress, emacs), keep up the good work!

Can I digress into a feature suggestion? This is no small one and I don't really know where it lies on a feasibility scale. One thing I'd really like would be the ability to turn whatever text-box I'm writing in into a frame of my current editor (I currently use edit-with-emacs). I looked into writing a chrome-extension (which is the only way I can think of to accomplish it) with ACE editor to do this but I didn't have enough time.

My thoughts are, since you use a web based editor, you can use javascript to replace the input box with a resized frame of your editor, the next requirement is importing your personal user settings from your chrome packaged app into the frame to have it working there (I currently don't know how you'd accomplish this, maybe some integration with google drive which you already have for your notes?).

The main reason I think this would be a useful feature is vim keybindings, I use them for everything and feel less productive editing text without them. Being able to integrate the IDE that I use and am used to into every text box ubiquitously on the web seems like a huge win to me.

Sorry about the digression, it's just I liked the sound of your application and wanted to share the one thing I've been missing online (which is a web-based editor where it's extensible, and can be used on any site, I do realise that there is a big gap between your project and my feature suggestion, just wanted to make it.)

Dewie 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Mac OS X seems to be incredibly widely used by programmers now. Because every time I see a screen shot to illustrate some GUI, it was taken on a Mac. :)
rcarmo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, but needs a few tweaks:

- I simply cannot resize the windows on a Mac using the Accessibility API (I'm using Moom to tile my windows via keyboard bindings, and Zed is invisible to it)- Needs a few more docs on how to set up a theme (I tried three times before I managed to set Solarized on)- As much as it may seem counter its philosophy, I need vim bindings :)

And yes, it's a tad slow. So is LightTable, which is why I am still using vim inside a terminal...

agumonkey 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Zed author's choices. I don't think there's anything new in them per se, but a different combination of small existing principles may breed an interesting culture. Good luck.
MetaCosm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading some of the ideas made me update my .vimrc a bit. The point that buffers versus files is mostly useless now is on point. The rest of the points about minimal UI I already use. Create files same way you find them, sure!
Dorian-Marie 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Amazing, that really close to what I thought Atom was going to be, "just" a webapp.
quchen 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Does "Chrome packed" mean I need to have Chrome installed to run it? Does it run in the browser? Do certain libs suffice to run it?
ebbv 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I really want to suggest rewriting it in native code. A web based editor is a fine side project but if you want it to be a business people pay for, it needs to have native performance.

It's popular to claim that the web is near native performance, but honestly, it's a load of horseshit. Web performance is better than it's ever been but it still has a long way to go before it's anywhere near native.

pyrrhotech 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe his math forgets that we pay 40+% taxes out here in SV :)

Nice job all around. Will check it out

thetwentyone 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I would love to use a chromebook as my main development machine, but the main thing is that I would like to be able to use Git offline. Has anybody moved to a chromebook as their main machine and been able to use version control while not connected to the internet?
Datsundere 2 hours ago 0 replies      
He should also take donations, not just letting people buy the software.
tsax 4 hours ago 0 replies      
At first glance, it appeared to be a Zed Shaw thing to me.
AbhishekBiswal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's nice, simple, usable. But whenever I maximize the app window, it just goes fullscreen. Is it supposed to be like that? Or is it a bug?
zz1 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> Zed currently is only available as a Chrome packaged app

Sorry: this is not the kind of OSS that I want to support. Best of luck, though.

Amazon Fire TV amazon.com
218 points by ndrake  3 hours ago   254 comments top 67
programminggeek 2 hours ago 8 replies      
This is pretty much what Google TV should have been all along, but Google cares too much about web search and not enough about what people actually want to do on a TV - watch shows and play games.

The gaming aspect of this will make it a winner. OUYA's big problem is that it didn't do streaming and was a bit clunky. Amazon has a big game library and just needs controller support.

As a parent, a $100 streaming box and game console that has cheap/free games is very appealing.

As a developer, the economics of game development for such a console is not so great, but maybe IAP would make it worthwhile.

WoodenChair 2 hours ago 7 replies      
I'm really not that impressed. This is just Apple TV for the Amazon eco-system with gaming lopped on. The majority of people don't care about the specs of their set-top box since that really doesn't affect the performance of streaming an HD video in this day and age. So the two differentiating features are:

- Voice Search

- Gaming

Are those enough of a value proposition? Probably not to make converts. I suspect the main buyers will be those who simply have bought into Amazon Instant Video as opposed to iTunes in the past. Let's see what Apple's next revision of Apple TV offers.

eclipxe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Fire TV supports standards like DIAL[1], so app developers can enable multi-screen experiences based on open technologies.[2]

[1] http://www.dial-multiscreen.org/

[2] http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-ne...

swanson 2 hours ago 6 replies      
The side-by-side comparison with Roku/AppleTV actually looks pretty bad for Amazon Fire TV...

Same price, the only differences are that the Fire TV has voice search (don't care), a bunch of technical specs that the layperson doesn't care about, and a bunch of games (don't care). It's missing the checkbox for HBO GO (deal breaker for me personally).

I was expecting something like a monthly subscription for all-you-can-watch access to any TV show on Amazon Instant (not just the free Prime episodes). Kinda bummed because I really like Amazon as a content provider, but I'll be sticking with Roku for now.

declan 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a reasonable answer to Apple TV.

If you have videos on or subscriptions to iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon Prime (as I do), there's no box I'm aware of that will let you watch all three. So you end up using your Apple TV and then Roku or another box -- the Playstation 3 in my living room takes a long time to boot, and a long time to load the Netflix app, draws quite a bit of power, and is overkill for merely watching streaming video. The Amazon Fire TV, assuming it's fast enough, will add another device to my living room cabinet but make it a lot faster to switch to watching Amazon Prime videos.

Ideally Apple would allow Amazon to add Prime Streaming to the Apple TV box, or Roku would get the iTunes library. Then I could have an all-in-one box. But we all know that's not going to happen...

mashmac2 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Amazon FreeTime (coming next month, according to this page) is the most interesting piece for me - customized child safety settings for each child, with monthly subscriptions at $2.99 for children's TV shows.

It seems like Amazon recognized the popularity of streaming services for parents of young kids and is setting this up just for them...

stevenp 2 hours ago 3 replies      
For me, AirPlay is the killer Apple TV feature. Any time a new app comes out for iOS that supports streaming video, I know I'm going to be able to play it on my television. The local content provider apps on the device don't really matter that much to me. I can even stream Amazon Prime video to my Apple TV, so I'm having a hard time seeing why I would want this instead of waiting for the next generation Apple TV.
mkempe 2 hours ago 2 replies      
They're studying the mistakes of others, and paying attention to user reviews of competing products, so they can solve real pain points:

> During its presentation, Amazon said that it has been paying close attention to the complaints of customers who have been using the other companies' devices through Amazonnamely that search is difficult, performance is laggy, and the ecosystems are closedin order to build its own streaming device." [1]

For instance, what they're doing with the child-oriented mode is what I wish Apple had done with the iPad and iPhone, a long time ago.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/04/amazon-reveals-video-...

mmcclure 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I know this is a nitpick...I really do, but for some reason things like this in marketing copy really annoy me:

"Remote with no line of sight required" - not checked for Chromecast. While kind of true since Chromecast doesn't have a dedicated remote, but the devices used to control it absolutely don't require line of site.

mikeryan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
More information about the SDK has also been released here:


tehwebguy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think this will be huge.

It will only take one great game for this thing to pop. With a system that enough users will have in the living room someone is going to put together a fun free-to-play FPS and that will be enough for it to be the clear winner over AppleTV / Chromecast.

Voice search is a big deal if it works the way I think it does. TV is easy, everyone knows how to use one and how to find what they want to watch. Navigating between Netflix, Hulu, Instant, iTunes, Cruncyroll, NBC ... is a pain. Even on my AppleTV navigating Netflix alone is the worst.

theorique 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pretty cool: http://firetv.com
jstalin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I love it, but I don't see that there is an app for non-kindle devices for managing or playing video for the Fire TV. The thing I like about chromecast is the ability to browse and play video from my ipad. But of course chromecast doesn't have amazon prime, so I have to switch to my roku to watch Walking Dead.

If Fire TV has an app to manage it for ipad or android, then it's pretty much the perfect device.

ChuckMcM 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I am kind of surprised the Roku manages to stay independent in all the 'tv' efforts. They have a really nice player and now a nice 'stick' player. Also a pretty easy to use SDK. So why re-build all or much of that for a proprietary box? Any thoughts on that strategy?
drawkbox 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Impressive, they beat Apple TV and Google to the app/game punch. This could be big. Disappointed in Apple doing nothing with TV apps/games, all the while having years of lead time.
bernardom 2 hours ago 3 replies      
So that answers my question of whether my Apple TV would ever get Amazon streaming.
eshvk 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
So I just bought a new TV that has Amazon Prime, Netflix, Voice search integrated into it. I don't play games. Is there any point in me getting this vs getting an Apple TV or a Chromecast? The only thing I would use an Apple TV (all computers in my house are macs) for is to screenshare wirelessly. I believe Chromecast lets me do that for specific apps.
suyash 1 hour ago 2 replies      
landhar 2 hours ago 3 replies      
What I find most exciting is that this finally opens the doors for indie game developers to write games for the big screen.

It is true that Steam was already doing that, but I think the audience of people with a PC plugged to a TV screen in the living room or that owns a Steam box is not as big as what the Fire TV owners might end up being

duked 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I was an early Ouya backer and was really really disappointed I sold it (like 1 month after I received it. This Amazon Fire TV may be what the Ouya was supposed to be, I mean I know it's more seen as a Roku/Apple TV competitor but for me if it runs Android then I can use it as a decent Emulation machine (RetroArch etc... )

I will buy one for sure

pazimzadeh 2 hours ago 4 replies      
What I'm taking away from this is that Fire TV is the same as Roku and Apple TV.

As for the gaming capabilities, it'll be interesting to see if they can compete with Steam Machine.

jggonz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the voice search idea, but I'm still hooked on the Chromecast / HDMI on a stick form factor. I just don't see the point in cables anymore.

The UI looks neat and I'm really impressed with Amazon's search results on my Roku, so this will probably improve on that.

If it wasn't so 'big' and 'expensive', I'd buy one.

bluthru 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
The lady in the photo looks like she's confusing the remote for a candy bar.
Dwolb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Does Amazon see the future?

Content delivery platform for commercials/suggestions + shipping infrastructure to deliver products + drone delivery for last mile = Commercials with immediate product purchase ability.

Amazon can even broadcast a commercial in a geographic area, know the percentage of users who will immediately want the commercial's product, and pre-emptively unleash drones to a geographic location to drop off the product within seconds.

aashaykumar92 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The competitive advantage seems to be in the Voice Search and in the gaming. If the gaming takes off, it'll be hard for anyone to compete. Everyone so far is talking about the Roku and Apple TV as competition, which they are, but what about the Xbox and PS4? Those offer gaming and other streaming services like Netflix too. And it seems as though Amazon is trying to be at the center of all of them.
eclipxe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the FireTV team!
hswolff 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Does this support playing local media? It seems like no, but I couldn't find any explicit answer.
timdierks 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have difficulty envisioning exactly how this market is going to develop. None of the products (AppleTV, Roku, Google, Amazon) are differentiated enough to imagine someone who's pretty happy with their box switching, particularly given various ways you'd get locked into particular features or media (e.g., if the average AppleTV user has bought a bunch of movies from iTunes, they're unlikely to switch to Amazon even if they like the games).

At the price point, you can imagine people owning more than one device to get access to different feature silos, but the huge duplication of features (e.g. every device having Netflix) makes this feel wasteful. Furthermore, I think people quickly run into a limitation on how many HDMI ports their TV has. If you're going to have a cable box and DVD/BluRay player connected, you need to have 3 ports to be able to connect one of these devices at all, and you can't plausibly have more than two. (I don't know how many HDMI ports TVs have in the market, but 2, 3, and 4 seems to cover the consumer space in a very small sampling of Amazon availability.)

If I were building one of these devices, I would include an HDMI switch with pass-through so I don't consume an HDMI port. In the absence of that, it's not clear at all to me what the shape of market adoption looks like.

cavilling_elite 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
No rechargeable remote? Should of had a simple dock on top to charge the remote and another dock purchased with the game pad. No need for batteries.
aresant 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this represents the first device to support Amazon streaming in 1080p - as far as I know Roku etc are still limited to 720p?
badman_ting 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a WD Live TV box that I've enjoyed so far. It has all these streaming services except Amazon Prime, and it will play all my AVI/MP4/MKV files, streaming over DLNA.

This has some sweet features though, the voice search sounds good and the horsepower should allow for an overall nicer experience (speed of booting, menus, graphical effects in apps, etc).

acgourley 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll be curious how good the screen mirroring is. Does anyone know if it's using a direct connection (like miracast) or an indirect over your normal wifi rounter (like apple tv mirroring)?
impostervt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
And I just bought the new Roku Streaming stick...I'll be curious to see how they stack up. Amazon offers a comparison of FireTV to the Roku3, but not the Roku Streaming Stick. And the Stick is just $49.
abdophoto 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I keep thinking to myself "The second Apple puts out an SDK for the Apple TV, it's over"

If you're going to spend $99, you're probably going to wait for Apple or Google. If you want to spend less, you'll just get a Chromecast.

walkon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Do these convex/rounded remotes that this and the Roku have bother anyone else? They seem to slide off the couch easier and if I set it down on a flat surface, it rocks back and forth for several seconds.
dcc1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone know if this will work for nonUSAsians
mrfusion 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is it missing YouTube? Also, if it easy to buy newly released movies like you can with iTunes on the Apple TV?
brandonbica 1 hour ago 0 replies      
To me it looks like the biggest comparison is Apple TV (and Roku which I'm less familiar with). It's just an incremental version of the Apple TV for the Amazon ecosystem and to me that's the biggest disappointment. I would have much preferred that they go in the direction of incremental improvement over the Chromecast which would make this industry much more exciting in my opinion.
johne20 2 hours ago 3 replies      
This device plus antenna input for over-the-air local HD channels combined with simple dvr functionality would be the ultimate cord-cutting device.
Pxtl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How hackable will the android on this thing be? Will you be able to connect bluetooth-based gamepads to it?
matthewaustin 2 hours ago 6 replies      
Prominently showing Game of Thrones content in the images, even though the Fire doesn't support HBO Go? Way to be deceptive, Amazon.
chrisgd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What is everyone using for a DVR? Why doesn't this include some time of recording, storage and pausing capabilities? The DVR provided by the cable companies are laggy and the Tivo one charges a monthly fee for what equates to updating program guides, but not accounting for shows actually running over.
whoisnatelam 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Looks like we can develop for this. If you're an Android developer you should check out all the specs and docs here: http://bit.ly/1pLH83y
thewordis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fire TV lacks iTunes and Google Play. Apple TV lacks Google Play and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Chromecast lacks iTunes and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

And now we have a million and one ways to watch Netflix.

karangoeluw 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems like a really good offering by Amazon. Now we'll just have to see if the competition lowers its prices or no.
barlescabbage 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Not enough differentiation, give us some other channels, live news, or broadcast TV and we'll buy it in a heartbeat. Otherwise your features are surprisingly irrelevant.

This is mostly bad news for Roku, before this, the paradigm was, Apple TV for iTunes, Roku for Amazon. During the holidays there were so many roku photos on amazon, I thought they owned them. I think Amazon will slowly strangle Roku. Amazon probably tried to buy Roku, they declined, so they said, "fine we'll make our on device and crush you" Typical Amazon.

mkempe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've thought for a while that a voice-interface was one of the features Steve Jobs saw as key to "cracking" TV.

Now Amazon has done it. I'm curious about what Apple may announce later this month.

rch 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> enjoy best-selling titles from Mojang, EA, Disney...

Now that's an interesting order of emphasis.

superqd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So is everyone making these now? The only thing Amazon seems to have brought to this is voice command, assuming it has actually been brought.
robogrowth 2 hours ago 0 replies      
$35 and chromecast work for me.. don't see a need for this. Not only that I can just start playing any video and browse to and stream whatever I want via chromecast.
sureshv 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it have a headphone jack on the remote ala the Roku 3? It's probably one of the more useful features on the new Roku box.
theseanstewart 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks really cool but I'll have to wait and see how it compares to the other devices that accomplish the same objectives. I would have liked to see it include gigabit ethernet instead of just 10/100. Interesting that they have a game controller available.

I've been looking for something to replace my Popcorn Hour, but I haven't been able to find anything in this price range that will play MKV files and allow playing movies over USB. Maybe this will be the answer?

jpatel3 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just another Roku, Google TV, Apple TV
totallymike 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interestingly enough, the 'What is Fire TV' video heavily features HBO content (Game of Thrones, Veep, etc), but doesn't support HBO Go?
mistermcgruff 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Not seeing HBO Go. That means no GoT on demand :-(
dgrant 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anyone know if this supports DLNA?
mindslight 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Or simply stick with a Raspberry Pi, which is free of arbitrary manufacturer-imposted restrictions and comfortably off of the locked-down-software induced upgrade treadmill.
chocks 2 hours ago 2 replies      
curious if it'll support YouTube, didn't see on the list.
limejuice 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a Sony BluRay player I bought for $70 which plays Blu Rays, Amazon video, Netflix, etc. Why would I want to pay $99 for this box.
SlashmanX 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Any indication on whether or not it will run XBMC?
blueash 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Any idea how many controllers the system will support?
Edmond 2 hours ago 0 replies      
well if this works as advertised it seems the end of cable could very near.
_superposition_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cant wait to jailbreak this and run xbmc on it.
fjabre 1 hour ago 0 replies      
this is a me too product
UncleChis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Do they try not to mention Youtube? Only in the comparison chart!
keehun 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not good enough. What's the improvement that is worth $100?
-2000 lines of code folklore.org
43 points by chanux  2 hours ago   3 comments top 3
nemo1618 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Though I've never used an Apple product, I adore folklore.org. So many great tales of engineering. When I hear the word "hacker," these people come to mind. A shame they didn't play a larger role in the company's direction (see "Diagnostic Port"[1]).

[1]: http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story...

JoeAltmaier 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
My favorite optimization: replaced 10,000 lines of code that marshaled structures in a Broadcom driver for transmission to the embedded processor, with a single template of ~20 lines.
ejk314 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
There's a quote I saw in a users' forum signature that's stuck with me; "My best code was written with the delete key."
A group of 3,000 citizens is making better forecasts than CIA analysts npr.org
187 points by sizzle  8 hours ago   92 comments top 38
joshuahedlund 5 hours ago 3 replies      
This Economist post[0] addresses some of the many comments about statistical outliers:

> The big surprise has been the support for the unabashedly elitist super-forecaster hypothesis. The top 2% of forecasters in Year 1 showed that there is more than luck at play. If it were just luck, the supers would regress to the mean: yesterdays champs would be todays chumps. But they actually got better. When we randomly assigned supers into elite teams, they blew the lid off IARPAs performance goals. They beat the unweighted average (wisdom-of-overall-crowd) by 65%; beat the best algorithms of four competitor institutions by 35-60%; and beat two prediction markets by 20-35%


lostcolony 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I need to know more. If the questions are all yes/no questions ("Will there be a significant attack on Israeli territory before May 10, 2014?"), and the sample set is large enough, you would -expect- there to be some outliers who mostly got things right, by pure chance. And even outside of that, I want to know what sort of average the CIA agents were batting; if they were hitting just 50%, I would -expect- nearly any sample size to have an outlier who did better.

That is, to borrow the old get rich quick scheme, take a list of 1024 addresses. Send to half of them "Stock X will be higher on (date) than today", and to the other half "Stock X will be lower on (date) than today". Repeat with the set you sent the correct 'predictions' to, and continue repeating until you're down to four people who you've sent the correct prediction to every time. Suggest they sign up for your premium stock tips newsletter.

All you're doing is playing statistics, you're not actually demonstrating any predictive ability.

lostcolony 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Now the fun question; are there any anti-forecasters? People who guess wrong so consistently and powerfully they're as good as super forecasters?
tghw 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Now I'm really confused. The title of this post was originally "So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent ", which is consistent with the title of the article. Now it's been changed to editorialize the content? Isn't that the opposite of HN policies?
babs474 6 hours ago 1 reply      
For a prediction market anyone can join checkout https://scicast.org/

Whats neat about SciCast is you can make predictions based on the assumption of how other questions will turn out.

eg I think that if the price of bitcoin exceeds 1000 by 2015 at least one presidential candidate will accept bitcoin donations. If btc ends up being below 1000 I make no prediction.

jljljl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
They may be good at prediction, but who writes their questions?

It's probably much easier to reach a successful prediction when a lot of the framing has already been done for them. If you take the Ukraine question, for example, there's already a lot of intelligence encapsulated, such as the City and Date when the CIA is expecting a Russian invasion. As a post mentions below, the questions may even be phrased/biased towards the right answer.

I wonder if they would be as good at prediction if they didn't have the resources and intelligence of the CIA providing them with the correct focus, prioritization, and framing.

Robin_Message 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It's totally unclear what they are actually doing.

Are they averaging everyone's answer (wisdom of the crowd)? Are they looking back at who got lucky and declaring them "super forecasters" (and then seeing large regressions to the mean)? Did they have separate periods of testing to try and control for this? Did they have a control group of similar size just flipping coins?

The way this is written it sounds like someone used a Gladwell book as their entire science education.

dang 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A note on the title change:

When the story title is linkbait and there are no good subtitles, we sometimes draw on the first sentence of the story. In this case I used the description under the photo. The key thing is to use only language that's already there.

cottonseed 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Pure speculation: random, untrained and disinterested parties might be better than CIA analysts at making geopolitical predictions because their results aren't politicized. "Are there WMDs in Iraq?"
stefantalpalaru 5 hours ago 1 reply      
False classified information might actually work against the analyst who has access to it.

The same piece of info, if public, will have to stand on its own, without the bias introduced by restricted access / multiple levels of filtering / the attached opinions of people wearing suits.

jmzbond 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Doesn't this article seem to contradict itself? It cites superforecasters' amazing ability, then talks about how better forecasting is the result of averaging the noise from a crowd of diverse opinions...
probablyfiction 6 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing that I really enjoyed about this article was its description of "the wisdom of crowds." Typically that phrase shrouded in marketing bullshit that just boils down to the idea that groups are always smarter than individuals because magic. That idea on its own is really counterintuitive and hard to accept.

It was a good call to talk about the scientific basis for the idea; I wish more places that relied on crowdsourcing would do the same thing.

sailfast 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a big fan / proponent of prediction "markets" or similar otherwise incentivized crowd prediction tools. Happy to see someone execute it within the government while avoiding the terrible branding and public relations faux pas of past "terrorism market" endeavors.

Hopefully this will scale more broadly, continue to improve its incentives, and increase our capability to prepare for future events.

nnq 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Now actually selecting the outliers, the people that, on average, made really good predictions despite access to limited information, and data-mining their features set (psychological traits, information diet, background etc.), THAT would be an interesting study...
damian2000 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Highly recommend this book, which is on the subject ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds
diminoten 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> In other words, there are errors on every side of the mark, but there is a truth at the center that people are responding to, and if you average a large number of predictions together, the errors will end up canceling each other out, and you are left with a more accurate guess.

This just reminds me all too much of the Twitch Plays Pokmon phenomenon that took place last month. The fact that they actually are completing games is, frankly, astounding.

doctorpangloss 2 hours ago 0 replies      
>First, if you want people to get better at making predictions, you need to keep score of how accurate their predictions turn out to be, so they have concrete feedback.

>But also, if you take a large crowd of different people with access to different information and pool their predictions, you will be in much better shape than if you rely on a single very smart person, or even a small group of very smart people."

Both points are clearly true. But it's obvious that the CIA, and probably anything political, has problems "keeping score," not getting more voices.

syncsynchalt 1 hour ago 1 reply      
John Brunner's book "The Shockwave Rider" (1975), which was heavily inspired by Toffler's "Future Shock", had this concept (called a Delphi pool) as a major and successful component of the future society.
nswanberg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great topic for a site that uses some "wisdom of crowds" mechanisms as part of the story and comment ranking. Though HN is different in some significant ways: in the experiment, subjects are asked carefully worded questions and give answers without being shown any information from others, whereas here there are several signals available before voting on a story or comment, like prior vote count and previous comments, which can bias a vote.
joosters 6 hours ago 0 replies      
How does the 'crowd' adjust for bias in sources? e.g. if they are all picking the answers to the surveys based on similar methods, e.g. google searches or from listening to the news, how does the crowd avoid the biases from news sources? You can't just 'average them out' if there are systematic skews.

e.g. just because half of the people are watching (say) CNN and the other half are watching (say) Fox News doesn't magically mean that the average of their opinions will be correct. What if both news sources overplayed the likelihood of terrorist attacks? How would the crowd adjust to this?

Justen 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are the underpinnings of this experiment in line with the idea behind the HyperLogLog story[0] I read about the other day?


njharman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe the founding father's "fear" of the ignorant masses and choice of representative government needs to be reevaluated. Go back to direct actual democracy. But with ranges instead of yes/no. So as to capture "average is true signal".

Maybe first step is chance voting of representatives from yes/no to 1-100 how much you wan this person to win.

joosters 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Doug Stanhope has a good rant about these opinion polls:


kriro 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Most people in the world only have access to public information so if you think most geopolitical events are brought about by "the masses" instead of by some Platoesque elites (which is of course very much debatable) it may well make sense to base your predictions on the data that is available to most players.
canvia 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The formatting of the questions and answers could contribute to a candidate's success as well. Unlikely events could be phrased differently than likely events with the intention of skewing the success rate to the positive.

I would hate for data from this organization to be used for any sort of real decision making process. You might as well hire a psychic.

user24 5 hours ago 1 reply      
That article felt like it ended far too early. I was left with a "is that it?" feeling. Not that I was underwhelmed by the message of the article, but that I couldn't find a message in it. If it had a point beyond "crowdsourcing works", I missed it.
ahi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I went to undergrad with quite a few future CIA analysts. You should not overestimate the average intelligence of CIA analysts. No doubt they have some brilliant people, but you shouldn't be surprised that amateurs with Google News outperform careerists inside a giant bureaucracy.
psikorsky 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Obviously there are some very smart people working in government intelligence agencies, including the CIA, MI6, etc. However, in my experience working in the private intelligence sector, I found that many former government employees lacked creativity and relied too heavily on 'classified sources' and their network. The best analysts were extremely lateral thinkers who used Google and public databases, but would never have passed a government test on account of their quirks.
avaku 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Was the project shut down? (the website is not working, sorry if I haven't missed that in the article)
epeterson19 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"The wisdom of crowds is a very important part of this project, and it's an important driver of accuracy," Tetlock said

This part threw me off. But overall, crowdsourced estimates could be a useful tool, provided everyone is actually trying to guess correctly (ie national pride, monetary reward, etc)

yiedyie 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Crowdsource prophet. This is not new, that happened before with the "peak oil community".
happyhappy 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"In fact, Tetlock and his team have even engineered ways to significantly improve the wisdom of the crowd"

Does anyone know what these methods might be?

lukasm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Same rules apply to other institutions e.g. investment banks and recommendations. Everybody sticks close to the herd.
matznerd 6 hours ago 2 replies      
How does this forecasting market compare to something like Intrade?
speeder 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming you can do that (ie: forecast world events), anyone know how you can use that for your own advantage, beside investing in stocks (even if not necessarily with the stock exchange, OTC or classic VC/angel investing enters this too) or commodities?
logfromblammo 4 hours ago 1 reply      
They started off reasonable. Ask ordinary people to assign probabilities to potential world events that can be verified. The next step is also reasonable. With a large enough crowd, the estimation noise around the "true" probability will cancel out. That's how the crowd mean estimated the ox weight so closely.

But then they turned left onto stupid street. They took the people who, perhaps by chance alone, predicted results closest to the crowd mean, and put them on a "team". What the heck is the point of that? It just reduces the size of the crowd and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of statistics.

Past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

Start with 10000 coins, and flip them all. Keep the ones that land heads. Flip those, and keep the ones that land heads. Repeat until all coins land on tails, or one coin remains as the "champion of heads." What is the probability that when it is flipped again, it comes up heads? Still 50%. It isn't a supercoin. You just managed to select it from a giant group by making it the sole outlier from a series of independent trials.

Though you should probably check to make sure it actually has a tails side, just in case.

GarvielLoken 4 hours ago 0 replies      
thewarrior 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If you have 3000 people predicting the outcomes of events with say a probablity of 0.3 after 6 trials there would be 2 people who got all of them correct and many others who would have a very good record out of pure chance alone.

Unless they publish the detailed numbers we can't be sure of whats going on here.

If some person with access only to normal sources is able to perform so well against people with access to lots of classified sources and information , what are we to conclude ?

Either they are just lucky or the people at the CIA aren't as competent as we think they are.

If we are unwilling to accept any of these theories then we need to know what makes these people good at it. I don't see how just plain simple analysis can beat people at the CIA.

Using Docker with Github and Jenkins for repeatable deployments buddycloud.com
11 points by jaboutboul  49 minutes ago   discuss
Breaking Half of the Telegram Contest thijsalkema.de
50 points by xnyhps  3 hours ago   7 comments top 3
lawl 57 minutes ago 2 replies      
It's incredibly difficult to keep people from using insecure technology.

After the whatsapp facebook aquisition many of my friends looked for something different. So they choose Threema and Telegram. Which are both horrible.

Please guys. Use TextSecure [0].

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

oleganza 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just FYI. While Bitmessage is not a fast option (anti-spam proof-of-work per message may take a couple of minutes), it is a remarkable example of a very secure messaging tool in every aspect. Its design even gives you better privacy than Tor.

More info: https://bitmessage.org

The idea behind Bitmessage is that messages are fully encrypted (including recipient's address) with per-message random DH key derived from recipient's key. Then message is transmitted to everyone in a p2p network. Every node tries to decrypt the message with its key and if it succeeds - that's the message for them. If not, it passes the message to other nodes. Propagation time is quick, but to prevent DoS, each message goes with an expensive one-time proof-of-work proportional to the message size. Another measure is artificial separation of messages and nodes in "streams" so that message is only propagated within a smaller part of the network. As network grows this will not hurt privacy, but will keep amount of data flowing around in check. Bitmessage in principle is like email (that is checked every few minutes, not seconds) rather than real-time chat. But the idea could be brought to real-time chats too if we solve DoS and bandwidth issues in a different way.

pearjuice 32 minutes ago 1 reply      
Please guys, Use AlternativeChatAppNoneofThePeopleIKnowAreOn.

The real problem with all of these oh-so-secure-much-better-alternative-chat-apps is that nobody uses them. What's a communication network when there are no communicators? Just a network.

Unless X or Y gets better traction than WhatsApp, you will just be "that guy" who refuses to use WhatsApp and is instead on some novelty app nobody else uses. Though tinfoil insults are pass, they will bring them back just for you.

Tarsnap price cut daemonology.net
243 points by cperciva  11 hours ago   131 comments top 18
gphilip 4 hours ago 3 replies      
If I wanted to store, say, a 100 GB of photographs (jpeg and raw formats), roughly how much would it cost me per month just for the storage? Let's say I would upload one big archive of photos in the beginning, and then re-archive the photo collection whenever I add significantly more photos to the collection (after a vacation or a birthday).

To go just by the stated pricing of Tarsnap, this would cost me $25 per month for the storage. But then I also see mention of users with terabytes worth of archives who pay less than $10 a month. I read the FAQ entry which explains how this happens, but that does not really tell me whether I can hope for such savings when it comes to photos. Do photo collections (raw/jpeg/both) "shrink" significantly from the deduplication and compression of Tarsnap? I think they don't (and that the savings apply to incremental backups), but it would be great if you could make this clear. Thank you!

samwillis 7 hours ago 6 replies      
The one thing that has put me off Tarsnap until now is, and not to be intentionally morbid, the bus factor [1] of 1. As far as I know its just Colin that runs it. In the unlikely event we need to access our backups, tarsnap is down and Colin is no longer available to maintain it we could be stuffed.

Colin, do you have a contingency plan in place if you are not available?

1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor

edanm 10 hours ago 14 replies      
So, I guess it's about time I start using Tarsnap :)

No, seriously. What do most people use it for? Simply creating a daily backup of their hard drives? Also, are there any business users who use it to backup an entire organisation's systems?

Btw, more on-topic, I'm reminded of this quote, which I love, from Jeff Bezos: "There are two kinds of companies: Those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second."

I've always thought that was a profound sentiment, and I've always wondered if, in the long run, that's the way to make a business survive.

pktgen 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Tarsnap: Our costs just went down, so we're lowering our pricing for customers too!

Comcast: Our costs just went down. Effective immediately, we are adding a new cash management fee to your bill to cover our costs of handling all this new cash.

damian2000 11 hours ago 1 reply      
A link to tarsnap on that page would be a big improvement. http://www.tarsnap.com/
mrfusion 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Would tarsnap do well to become a non-profit?

He could still pay himself a fair salary but he'd avoid any tax liability for the business and I guess he could accept donations too?

I don't know much about it, but if your only goal is a fair salary I've always assumed a non profit business structure would make sense? Can someone more knowledgable chime in?

jrnkntl 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Question about Tarsnap backup strategies and worst case scenarios.

How would one go about making sure that when a server is compromised, the malicious attacker wouldn't be able to delete all the tarsnap archives for that machine? Since the tarsnap.key is stored on the server itself and that's all you need to delete archives as well. Of course, you're already properly effed when an attacker has root access to the machine, but offsite backups should still be safe imho.

That's why on some of my servers I have a 'pull'-backup strategy in place, where a remote server would connect to the machine to be backupped and pull a backup, so in an event of that the server would be compromised no backups could be deleted. Is this something that can be achieved with Tarsnap as well?

switch007 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I love tarsnap. Thank you Colin! :)

  $ tarsnap --print-stats                                       Total size    Compressed size  All archives                               535 GB           233 GB    (unique data)                            1.2 GB           438 MB

_delirium 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have much insight into what's profit-maximizing in this market, but rather than "public utility pricing" (though I can also see that analogy) I think of it as more like classic small-business pricing, especially in markets where developing some kind of reputation for fairness is deemed important by the owner. I can't think of a good representative example, but it's so well established I'm pretty sure I've run across examples in 19th-century American novels of this sort of "fair price with a modest profit" ethos.
crdoconnor 9 hours ago 3 replies      
It's still a fair bit from being the cheapest UNIX backup (that also does client side encryption).

Crashplan, Spideroak and Wuala (for 100GB and under) are a bit cheaper ( http://skeptu.com/tarsnap/100gb ).

It has a nice CLI, however.

johnchristopher 9 hours ago 2 replies      
> This will no doubt annoy my friends Patrick McKenzie and Thomas Ptacek, who for years have been telling me that I should raise Tarsnap's prices. But while Thomas accuses me of running Tarsnap like a public utility rather than a business, and thinks this is a characteristic to be avoided, I see this as a high compliment (...)

That's really nice. I'd rather have fair public utility rather than business for the sake of concentrating money.

I won't think twice about it the day I need to sign-up for tarsnap.That is

sillysaurus3 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a question for Colin.

What's the second-most-critical bug Tarsnap has ever experienced? Just curious.

jf 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Where do I sign up for the Patrick McKenzie surcharge?
nodesocket 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We love tarsnap, easiest and most secure way to offsite our database dumps. No thrills, no beautiful design, just solid software written by cperciva who is a crypto wizard.
luuse 8 hours ago 1 reply      
May be a bit OT but is there any way to create an archive locally and see the size of it before paying to figure out how much space i'd need?

Been looking at tarsnap for a while but never gotten around to actually try it and my quick naive calculations for backing up my ~ makes it sound too expensive for me even though it's probably the best alternative i've seen so far.

atmosx 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for that, using 'tarsnap' on a FreeBSD and a couple of RPi clients, works great! Always nice to get a price cut!

PS. Is there any future plans to make restore a little bit faster? It's been a while since I restored some files, but the process was so slow that I thought there was a connection problem, then I googled and found out that it's okay to be slow :-)

thomasfl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if heroku will cut their prices after the amazon aws price cut?
midas007 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Tarsnap is excellent for mission-critical data.

But for most personal uses, a Glacier-backed variant of tarsnap would be extremely appealing.

Any female engineers in San Diego interested in showing my daughter their work?
150 points by niels_olson  4 hours ago   79 comments top 23
apaprocki 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not in SD, but I'd highly recommend seeing if she's interested in FIRST and also definitely get her hooked on Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show: http://sylviashow.com/

She presented at the first RobotsConf and it was really compelling and could inspire other kids to start building things: http://teamtreehouse.com/library/robotsconf-2013/super-aweso...

chacha102 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hey. I'm in San Diego, Del Mar area. I mentor a FRC FIRST team that is going to be putting on a number of Robotics Camps over the summer. If you interested, send me a message tyler@team3128.org.

Totally get if gymanstics is taking a priority though :). Running and jumping and doing cool tricks is a ton of fun.

KimberlyGrommes 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Can you give a little more information about what you're really hoping your daughter will see and get out of the experience? What type of engineer are you looking for? I'm a software engineer in SD with a 12 year old daughter of my own.
avani 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a computer science postdoc at the Salk Institute. We're having a big public event next Saturday (Walk for Salk) where we're also doing lab tours. Bring your daughter there and I'll give her an extra tour of the computational areas.

(find me at avani@salk.edu)

grinich 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You should reach out to Otherlab. https://otherlab.com/
mellery451 3 hours ago 1 reply      
maybe get in-touch with the SWE chapter at UCSD (http://swe.ucsd.edu/home.html). I'll bet they will have some events or could arrange some informal tours of interesting facilities on campus.
ertemplin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Qualcomm is up in the Mira Mesa area and has a really cool museum of the history of CDMA and cell phones in their headquarters building (Building N). They've got big tubes of chips showing how they have decreased in size over time, a van that they used to demo CDMA to investors 20+ years ago, demo Android devices, a cool Mirasol display, some parts of their truck tracking system, and a bunch of stuff about the history of the company.

You do need to have an employee ID badge to get into the area that the museum is in, but I bet if you called them or know someone who currently works there they could show you around.

Source: I was an intern there last summer. http://www.qualcomm.com/about/buildings/museum

wehadfun 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Would like an update about this. Wondered how I would handle such a request. 12 year old would not have much inspiration watching me fix bugs and read hacker news
raven105x 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hey hey, fellow San Diegan here! I've been seeing the comments about FIRST and it seems like you're not interested due to your little one's scheduling - but if that changes, let me know; my friend teaches FIRST (also saw post from Tyler here)

In the meantime, let me know if you want to grab lunch in SD - it's on me. yreztsov@gmail.com

applecore 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Check out iD Tech Camps. They're all over California, including at UC San Diego.


dnautics 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
There's a program here called "thought stem" which is aimed at children her age and run by some wonderful friends of mine.
kimcoop 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You may also try showing her some Ted talks - lots of really inspiring things to watch there concerning tech, for sure.

It doesn't seem like there's a Girl Develop It chapter in San Diego yet, but a quick Google search shows a few meetup options nearby:

- http://www.meetup.com/Teach-Yourself-Programming-A-Womens-Co...- http://www.meetup.com/IEEE-Women-in-Tech-Meetup/

I bet you could reach out to the group members/founders and they would be more than happy to speak with you and your daughter about tech things! It's really wonderful you're encouraging her passion too, btw. Good luck!

simpsond 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Girl Scouts have various camps focused on STEM. You can search here: http://www.sdgirlscouts.org/camp-descriptions
mintykeen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for you for helping her find her calling! Maybe you can meet someone through this! http://www.meetup.com/Geek-Girl-San-Diego/
robomartin 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Get in touch with your local FIRST robotics team.


I am a mentor for my local team. The program is absolutlely wonderful. It inspires and drives kids at many levels. Mentors run a huge range, from scientists amd engineers to welders, makers and really driven Mom's and Dad's. The common thread, among other things, is to inpire the kids to learn and apply technologyy to solve problems. Highhly recommended.

voicereasonish 2 hours ago 2 replies      

  > she's in love with it  > I can't talk her out of it. I've tried.
Why would you try and talk her out of something she's in love with?

If she "knows some python", is she in love with it? Is she actively learning more on the web?

MarlonPro 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm sending this link to Lynn Langit
cloudwizard 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe HS First requires a lot of programming, the regular FIRST for 9-14 does not require any programming to advance. It is mainly focussed on presentation skills rather than technical skills.
sedds 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's great that you see your daughter's interest in engineering and are encouraging her to pursue this passion.
SloughFeg 4 hours ago 1 reply      
San Diego or South Dakota?
xrange 3 hours ago 7 replies      
Is SD a neighborhood, city, state, country?

South Dakota? Sudan? Santo Domingo? San Diego?

larrys 3 hours ago 4 replies      
"she has 16 hours of gymnastics practice every week, which markedly improves the report from school and now she's in love with it so I can't talk her out of it. I've tried. So spring break would be ideal."

This is going to sound harsh. So, essentially even though you have an available resource (FIRST) since your daughter would rather take gymnastics you are then going to push off this responsibility to a complete stranger and buy them lunch as a thank you? (Recognizing that that person of course will gain some karma by helping you out..) Why not just have your daughter learn a lesson early on about priorities in life?

Gymnastics, nice, leads to ? Inspiration to be an engineer that gives a child career direction leads to...

wonkus 3 hours ago 6 replies      
You sound sexist. Are you sexist? Why female engineers? Are male engineers not up to the challenge of instructing your offspring?
Manhattan: Real-time, multi-tenant distributed database for Twitter scale twitter.com
30 points by jaboutboul  3 hours ago   21 comments top 8
ffk 1 hour ago 1 reply      
From what I understand, Manhattan is based on the ideas from ElephantDB. Unfortunately, development has pretty much stopped on ElephantDB despite the fact a book by Nathan Marz is being written about big data that is dependent on it. http://www.manning.com/marz/

Summingbird (bear with me, I'll tie this in) is also twitter's answer for writing code once and seeing it run on a variety of execution platforms such as hadoop, storm, spark, akka, etc... Not all of these have been built out, but the platform was designed to be a generic framework to support write once execute everywhere.

Summingbird is written to support Manhattan's model as well. The high level idea is to use versioning to determine whether a request is precomputed (batch), computed (realtime) or a hybrid (precomputed + computed). These are expressed as monads with basic functionality present in algebird. One way to bring support to this model to the open source world would be to implement storehaus bindings for elephantdb and to resurrect elephantdb or build a similar service to provide storage similar to Manhattan.

Overall, very early yet promising work in the open source community.

[edit: book is not about elephantdb, but is a critical component. modified wording. Also added link]

swah 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I don't even look at databases before Aphyr verifies it they keep their promises...
caniszczyk 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Corresponding Twitter Engineering blog post:https://blog.twitter.com/2014/manhattan-our-real-time-multi-...
swang 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Article calls Gizzard, "strongly consistent" Gizzard's GitHub page says, "eventually consistent"[1]. What?

[1] https://github.com/twitter/gizzard

iLoch 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting.. The database sounds almost too good to be true. I wonder if they'll open source this. They've done so in the past with projects like Storm, so I'm hopeful.
feelstupid 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone else find the opening statement a little misleading? Yes they originally come from one place, but they are sent from Twitter to the app of your choosing via JSON or similar. Sure there's going to be more than one request for the icon sprite and user avatars, but all from Twitter.

"When you open the Twitter app on your smartphone and all those tweets, links, icons, photos, and videos materialize in front of you, theyre not coming from one place. Theyre coming from thousands of places."

RcouF1uZ4gsC 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Can someone enlighten me as to why 6000 tweets a second is something to make a big deal about? At 140 characters per message that comes out to 840,000 bytes/s < 1 Megabytes per second. In 2014 is a service that can handle 1 Megabytes/s impressive?
haddr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Although I think that the article is interesting, I'm missing some details, like more engineering stuff, rather than high level details.
Affordable, automatic sit-to-stand desk kickstarter.com
96 points by k-mcgrady  1 hour ago   71 comments top 29
reustle 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I talk with a lot of people about getting started with standing desks, and I usually recommend throwing a small cheap table (ikea) on top of your existing desk and getting a drafting chair (tall). This way you don't have to pay for a variable height desk, and you keep it on the cheap side to see if you actually like it. Also, be sure to start slow and stand for maybe an hour or two a day for a few weeks. Then gradually stand more and more.

I've gone into more detail here: http://reustle.io/blog/cant-stand-sitting

ynniv 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Half the price of the competition sounds nice, but they're also using a single motor that has less lifting power and aren't an established name that will necessarily be around in a decade to service your desk... This seems more of a business and marketing play than one of true cost cutting or technical innovation. It would be more impressive to be of equal capability, but less cost.
chromaton 1 hour ago 0 replies      
When I was researching building my own standing desk, the biggest cost seemed to be getting quality actuators with a long throw at a low price.

Compare this to the a similar looking Ikea Galant workstation at $180-$200. You're getting the motor(s), electronics, actuators, and slide bearings for an additional $200 more.

I'm curious as to how they managed to do away with the horizontal stabilizing bar (this is mentioned as a feature in the video). Without something connecting the legs together, it seems like the left and right tracks could potentially get out of alignment and potentially bind as the desk top raises.

My current verdict from my home built sit stand desk is that it's great for a change a couple times a day. What I found, though, is that my hip starts to hurt after an extended period of standing in one place. I'm now trying standing on an EVA foam pad to see if this helps with that problem.

Incidentally, if you're curious as to how I added sit-stand capability to my desk for less than $200, check out my blog post: http://planiverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/building-a-sit-st... .

phpnode 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Looks nice but not really revolutionary, I've had one of these for a year http://www.heightadjustabledesking.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewPr... which looks basically identical and is quite comparably priced.
TeMPOraL 1 hour ago 5 replies      
> The desk can lift up to 225 lbs. Okay, okayit can actually lift more, but lets keep things on the safe side.

255 lbs is 102kg; in other words, if I sit on this desk, I'm getting close to the breaking point. Not good :(.

(INB4: yes, people do occasionally sit on their desks, sometimes without even thinking about it - e.g. when full of joy, or drunk. Also there's a good chance that someone at some point will want to stand on a desk to, say, change a lightbulb. Consider this especially if you're buing desks for a more public place, like e.g. your local Hackerspace.)

troymc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It seems like it would start wiggling side-to-side after a while. Need more triangles! Maybe a strut from lower right to upper left, with an upwards arc in the strut to give legroom?
randomstring 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
In our office we really like the MultiTable.com tables. These were the cheapest high quality tables we could find. Ikea now sells adjustable desks, but the last time I looked they didn't show up on the US version of their site. Ikea prices were comparable to MultiTable. You can buy your table top from MultiTable, or re-use your existing Ikea table tops as we did. Our company was able to negotiate a (modest) bulk discount as well.


Speaking of Ikea. I stared with an Ikea hack as my standing desk. Building a combo coffee table with a book shelf as a keyboard tray, all for about $34. That sat on top of my existing Ikea desk/table. I used that until I was convinced I wanted to stay with the standing desk.

There are two drawback to the Ikea hack solution. 1) they are not readily adjustable. You don't want to stand 100% of the time, certainly not when starting out. 2) they can be very top heavy if you have more than one monitor and a workstation AND a laptop.

The electric motors look cool, but are totally unnecessary. It takes about 10 seconds to crank the table up or down by hand.

What goes unmentioned in most standing desk articles is the need for a really good mat to stand on. Here are the best I've found that are also a reasonable price:


steven2012 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know what the success rate is for Kickstarter projects to actually deliver their products on time? After my absolutely terrible experience with Lockitron (I know they're not a Kickstarter project, but they are similarly funded) and some of the other horror stories I've heard, I just don't have faith that these types of projects for goods deliver on their promises.
doktrin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Looks interesting. I currently have a GeekDesk, but the market could definitely stand to have some competition at lower price points.

That said, Dave Asprey isn't a name that inspires trust. I would be uncomfortable backing a project he plays such a central role in.

rafeed 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I backed this project as an early-bird. I'm not sure why you need 4 memory buttons for the deluxe frame. All I need is one more button (maybe two)! Just let me set the height I want it to be at when I'm standing and sitting. If I'm standing pick the other one, and vice versa.

I have a feeling it will get really annoying to use the two buttons on the regular frame over and over again if you're changing the height of the desk a lot. The desk will probably never be at the same height twice if you're telling it when to stop instead of it automatically stopping at the desired height.

Edit: The main point I'm making is for the $399 price, it'd make a lot more sense to include at least one or two memory buttons if a single person uses the desk.

hacknat 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Is giving us a list of your advisers (read: board) supposed to make me think that this is a truly community backed project? I'm sick of people using Kickstarter for free money and advertising on ideas that could be (and probably have been) readily pitched to investors.

Kickstarter is supposed to be for projects that are interesting, but that traditional investors probably won't touch. A stand-sit desk hardly qualifies, IMO. Obviously people are free to give money to whatever they want, but I, for one, won't throw any money at such ho-hum ideas.

Oh, and a quick google search shows that their price point isn't even that much of an improvement on the existing market.

DontBeADick 1 hour ago 4 replies      
$500!? Plus shipping!? You can make a standing desk with $100 worth of Ikea parts then buy a tall stool/chair for $75 on Amazon. Bam, just beat your "most affordable" sit/stand desk by $325+. Oh, and you can have it next week instead of next year (or later).

I guess I'll start my Kickstarter campaign tonight.

P.S. 45" is not enough height for many of us tall folk, especially in dress shoes with a thick heel.

Shivetya 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Like the idea, pricing is interesting and wholly out of line with common desks. Still I would lean towards a glass top (black bordered glass is what I have now) instead of laminate or bamboo. L-shape would be fun, but I guess you could put two together, perhaps slave the controls?
venomsnake 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It quite small. I don't see how my current 3 monitor setup will fit on it.
sq1020 1 hour ago 2 replies      
At $399, that's still pretty expensive for a desk.
ivankirigin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Two leg standing desks tend to wobble a lot. I'd love to see that specifically called out and demonstrated. Maybe the two legs are wide enough to avoid it.
tylerpachal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Even though I am a software/computer person, I find it refreshing when people come up products/companies that are not software/computer related.
abjr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This one is rather interesting too ... not as fancy, but interesting company anyway:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/499144433/the-cardboard...
matt_heimer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> supports someone 63

Well I'm out.

gales 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Confused over the country specific pledge tiers. Unless KS has changed since I last backed, I thought you could only select a single tier. Therefore, to purchase a standard fame/top from UK, do I just select the $99 UK tier, but pledge $399? (or is it $99 + $399?)
antidaily 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My god, it's practically funded already. And for those saying it's expensive, I paid $1000 for my GeekDesk.
subdane 1 hour ago 0 replies      
An ironing board is a great, cheap way to test if you like a standing desk. Got the tip from a friend who travels a bunch and uses them in hotel rooms.
sschueller 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Why not just get an ikea galant?
suyash 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Guys just wait for 6 months to an year before these desks would be all over Department Stores like OfficeMax, WalMart, IKEA for $99.00 or less.
yannisp 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Woah, their goal was hit in 38 minutes O_O
j10t 1 hour ago 2 replies      
For comfortable standing-height use, people will need to add either a keyboard tray or a monitor riser.
dexcs 1 hour ago 1 reply      
My back tells me to buy one. Nice Project! Wonder if they ship to the EU.
delgaudm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I just use a comfy stool at my standing desk when my feet get tired.
peterchon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
it would be perfect if there was a manual way of doing it.
ipython 2.0.0 ipython.org
216 points by kseistrup  12 hours ago   42 comments top 16
pvnick 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I just woke up and, after seeing this announcement, I know it's going to be a great day. I do statistical research for my university, and I just found ipython notebook a couple weeks ago. I don't remember being so excited about a piece of software since I first installed sublime. Although I've been doing data-heavy software engineering for several years now, this one tool has already completely revolutionalized the way I do day-to-day data mining. Props to everyone involved in this release!

I'm especially excited about the notebook subfolders. Ah, the little things in life.

shoyer 11 hours ago 3 replies      
It took some searching to find the "What's New" page: http://ipython.org/ipython-doc/dev/whatsnew/version2.0.html

    The principal milestones of 2.0 are:    - interactive widgets for the notebook    - directory navigation in the notebook dashboard    - persistent URLs for notebooks    - a new modal user interface in the notebook    - a security model for notebooks

rjtavares 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Can't wait to see what people come up with using the new widgets capabilities. Here's a demo of Excel-like grid editing for Pandas: http://nbviewer.ipython.org/gist/rossant/9463955
nicpottier 10 hours ago 5 replies      
I've always hovered around iPython with a vague sense that it could be used in a really cool way, but have never managed to make the jump to incorporate it into my daily workflow despite some fun experiments.

It is much more clear how those using Python for scientific work would use it, but does anyone have some great examples on how you use it when building apps or other projects?

GeneralMaximus 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Just grabbed it off pip. Turns out a simple `pip install ipython` doesn't pull in all the dependencies for iPython Notebook. To grab all of those as well, run:

  pip install ipython pyzmq jinja2 tornado
And then:

  ipython notebook
should open the web UI in your default browser.

matthiasv 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, IPython will always be a double-edged sword. On the one hand I love what the project brings in terms of scientific exploration and ease of use. On the other hand it is annoyingly hard to integrate the shell into my own application: the API changes way too often and the source is a very complex and tangled mess.
erikcw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a quick heads up -- if you are using Vimium for Chrome or Vimperator on Firefox, make sure to exclude iPython Notebook from the plugin. Otherwise the majority of "Command Mode" keyboard shortcuts won't work.
camus2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats, ipython is an very usefull tool,especially for teaching when one cant afford Mathlab or paid software.It's simple and fun to use. thanks again,cant wait to try that new version.
dgulino 1 hour ago 0 replies      
ipython is something I miss when I use any other language's shell. Amazing Ruby doesn't have something nearly as good (well, there is a hack: http://nbviewer.ipython.org/gist/minrk/4689728)
mineo 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like there's no changelog available (yet), so here's the rst file on GitHub: https://github.com/ipython/ipython/blob/rel-2.0.0/docs/sourc...
plg 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm confused ... is it (declared) stable? or is this a beta?
tdicola 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Weird, I don't see anything on their homepage yet: http://ipython.org/ There is of course a link to the 2.0 version in development--perhaps you just stumbled on the current in development 2.0 bits on pypi?
childoftv 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I really really really want some robust multiuser interactive support...time to try and help...
jimmcslim 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The widget capability in this release might give the interactive side of Mathematica notebooks a run for their money.
rrtwo 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Any idea when will it be available on Anaconda?
marksbrown 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The remapping of shortcuts was mildly annoying, but it looks good.
Why debug mode is not good for production (clear-text password) carbonhire.com
5 points by ziodave  20 minutes ago   2 comments top
josegonzalez 1 minute ago 1 reply      
Did anyone else receive spam from an app called "Sway" and get this page? This happened to three employees where I work and we were all very confused as to why it was referencing people at our company.
How the secret police tracked my childhood bbc.com
145 points by ghosh  4 hours ago   40 comments top 10
hippich 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Modern Belarus (well, it was in 2006 - 2008.) Me and some of my friends and their friends get together to organize some opposition performances or participation in national opposition events. As well as distributing printed gazette. No any kind of extremism or terrorism or whatever "-ism". I was probably the oldest one back then, around 22 yrs, the rest guys and gals were 18-20 yrs. All are students either at community college or getting their bachelors.

I was stopped randomly in car traffic because my car was "reported stolen" just to get every single piece of the car out trying to find "illegal" printed materials. One of these guys in our team also snitched for local police (so they recruited someone, i still don't know whom.) They tapped my cell phone and were able to meet us at place which was mentioned over one single cellphone talk...

My very small business suddenly became in focus of various state agencies, like IRS, fire department, etc. Each was able to find something to fine me for. I closed it.

It got to the point where my mom had "interview" with KGB where they openly told, that if she can't influence my behavior, probably I will never get my masters degree, my sister will never get into college, my mom will likely loose her job.

At some point I was "invited" to talk with local police chef about my "disturbances". At that time I already worked out a way to get out from Belarus for good and told about it to this police guy. He was very satisfied with this response from what I could see...

This was happening 6 years ago and from what I hear, still does. At least they did not prison and torture me, although it is probably more because I never cause too much trouble for them and was dismissed as not very important person to deal with.

yiedyie 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I am a Romanian and I lived through all three systems. Why I say three: I lived 10 years through the worst period of communism, 10 through the savage transition and more than 10 through the crony capitalism.

And although I pay a lot for not leaving with all the waves of brain drain, it deserves all I pay to experience this, all three systems are so similar, the way they sell themselves is different.

At least they had the chance to survey those files and learn from them. Imagine us survey our files at NSA, GCHQ or any other services that gets its targets from linkedin. It will never happen.

cobrausn 3 hours ago 5 replies      
"In a refugee centre in Rome we had been taught that Americans, when they ask "How are you?" don't really expect an answer"

Still true. I responded to someone's 'How are you?' yesterday with an actual status report, and they were taken aback.

draugadrotten 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Will we ever get to read the files that the NSA, GCHQ and the CIA are keeping on us today?
bumbledraven 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
They bought two typewriters, one of which they did not register with the police...

Evil regimes hate anonymous communication.

My father was sentenced to 11 years at the harshest prison of all, Aiud, for "fraudulent crossing of the border, punishable with art. 267 of the penal code".

Evil regimes love to make it a crime to try to leave the living hell they have created. And look how official-sounding the law is. People who uncritically accept the government's position will think, "Well, the man did something fraudulent, after all... surely he deserves some punishment."

willvarfar 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The security services of the eastern bloc were terribly inefficient; just imagine how effective they could be today!
novalis78 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sounds awfully familiar - my dad's story and his experience with the GDR's police state and socialist totalitarianism was quite similar. It's really a chilling account and makes you appreciate every tiny bit of freedom.
ilbe 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope that more people who believe in a "new collaborative economy" for America come across stories like this.
stefantalpalaru 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It still amazes me that the US accepted political refugees from the eastern bloc. Their involvement in Romania was extremely thin. From what I can tell it was just Voice of America propaganda[1] and the unfounded rumor that american saviors are coming any day now.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_America#Law

softatlas 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You need to understand the scope of surveillance, its primitive basis:

    Magical Combat should be differentiated from psychic attack,    with which a large proportion of 'fringe' occultists concern themselves     with, and is largely a product of self-delusion and varying degrees of     megalomania. True magical combat has its own rules and boundaries,     which are known to the skilled, while the trainee must quickly learn     them if trauma is to be avoided. Caught up in a situation which s/he     finds incomprehensible and alien, the trainee only knows confusion     and terror. Stripped of the smug self-assurance of "it can't happen to     me" s/he learns to perceive the environment with clarity, to give attention     to the rhythms and pulses of the world. Truly, Death is a great teacher.     If you can reach forwards and see the moment of your 'death', then that     moment will give you a glimpse of your potential.[0]
Look at this from a naturalistic framework. Jesus, for instance, may have simply been a very eccentric man who behaved linguistically and personally in ways that were revolutionary. He probably induced too many magic mushrooms, or some atypical neurological condition set him extremely intuitively in line with a mystical tradition nevertheless, these are historical implementation details of this Universe. Not uniquely interesting either way you describe it.

Now imagine that these features of a society become more widespread where you have {J1, J2, J3, ...}, then imposters, {I1, I2, I3, ...}, and then of course randoms, {R1, R2, R3, ...}. This is an oversimplified model, but it captures the problem well enough.

Surveillance becomes a psychological management strategy that naturally emerges given the task of ruling out true adepts (altruistics) and delusionists (potentials who cannot manage their own psychic powers).

"Psychic powers" does not amount to some belief in the supernatural. If I mention the word "chair", this will not sit with you as mental residue (surely, contextual and relational analysis apply, but on the whole it will not) but if you take recourse to JL Austin's "How to Do Things With Words" you will certainly need to shake off words like "preapopstaticontinentalism". The first point is that a speaker has produced the word, then it comes that decision procedure of whether or not it has literal meaning. The brain has to do work which is the basis of "psychic forces" (reducible to behaviors of neurological substrata).

[0]: http://www.chaosmatrix.org/library/chaos/texts/apikindx.html

A Lot of Top Journalists Don't Look at Traffic Numbers. Here's Why. hubspot.com
5 points by Kopion  30 minutes ago   discuss
Adam Curtis: Suspicious Minds Why No One Trusts People In Authority bbc.co.uk
5 points by yiedyie  30 minutes ago   1 comment top
yiedyie 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I linked to the entire blog instead of this specific post:http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/SUSPICIOUS-MINDS

Please, can a moderator correct this?Thanks.

One Page R: A Survival Guide to Data Science with R togaware.com
5 points by sytelus  55 minutes ago   discuss
Police arrested Dutch man with Bitcoin mining farm for money laundering translate.google.com
37 points by jeroen94704  5 hours ago   13 comments top 4
adaml_623 2 hours ago 1 reply      
By definition if you obtain any monetary benefit from a criminal act then it is Money Laundering. It encompasses a lot of different possible activities. Tax evasion is a crime but if you take that money and transfer it to an overseas account then that is money laundering.

(posted this same comment in the other HN comment thread about this story)

profquail 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I read an interesting paper not long ago that discussed exactly such a scenario (stealing electricity to mine Bitcoin). The paper is titled, "Bitcoin & Gresham's Law -- The Economic Inevitability of Collapse":


tinbad 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Actually the original title of the article (I speak Dutch) was: Illegal bitcoin producer gets caught (literal translation), then in the first paragraph the article goes on how the guy was 'making' fake bitcoins.

It's also good to know that the newspaper in question is the 'Fox news' of the Netherlands. It's known for sensational, on the edge of fictional journalism. On top of everything they're obviously uneducated on many of the stories they publish.

pyalot2 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Can we lay it off with the aprils fools already?
Haste language haste-lang.org
207 points by kruipen  14 hours ago   68 comments top 17
mattgreenrocks 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm a bit disappointed this is getting so little response here. It's clearly trying to improve the state of the art of web app dev, and in a powerful language, to boot.

Do you really think we're going to be writing raw JS the whole time? The trajectory of computing has always been to build higher levels of abstraction, especially when the implementation technology is kludgy.

skrebbel 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Meta-comment: this is an excellently written landing page. All the comments about the explanation prose you usually see on HN when a language or library is introduced could be rewritten as "Make it more like Haste's landing page".
TheEzEzz 12 hours ago 12 replies      
> In essence, Haste lets you write your client-server web application as a single, type-safe program, rather than two separate programs that just happen to talk to each other over some web API as is traditional.

I've been thinking about this same idea recently and find it very attractive. As programmers we don't explicitly control how our RAM communicates with the CPU; we let the underlying abstractions handle it. Why don't we have similar abstractions for when a client-side program (CPU) needs to access something on the server (RAM)?

Does anyone know of other tools trying to accomplish this? I'm not a Haskeller but am tempted to dive in just for this feature.

thinkpad20 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been thinking for a while about reimplementing a large CoffeeScript (horrible language) project that we have at my work in Haskell, just to see if it could work, how easy it would be, how much smaller it would be, and if I could get the same or better performance out of it without going crazy. One of the demands of the existing software is that it both run in the browser, and server-side. This project is awesome because I could reimplement it in Haskell, and run a binary version on the server, with a JS version in the browser. Very cool! Now if I could only convince my company to switch...

By the way, on the "Try Haste" project, it would be nice to see the generated JS output, as they do on the "Try CoffeeScript" page. Even though it's not really meant to be looked at in javascript, it's informative for those who know a bit about both languages to see what kind of transformations are taking place.

boothead 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Haste is looking more and more awesome! However, we've taken the route of clojurescript/om for building on top of a Haskell web app. cljs just seems a bit more "there" as a compiles to js language. I would have loved to have used something like Haste or Fay, but for right now (taking a deep breath and giving up the type safety) I think the clojurescript eco-system looks the stronger for functional programming in the browser. The browser repl from emacs/lighttable is also a pretty impossible feature to beat!
elwell 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Should really have a link to the great examples: https://github.com/valderman/haste-compiler/tree/master/exam...
octagonal 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't exactly understand why Haste was made into a separate dialect when it "just" has a different stdlib?

> with a different set of standard libraries

Is there a technical reason why it would be ill advised to just make Haste itself into a separate library that can be included into the regular Haskell ecosystem? Doesn't this type of fragmentation cause huge delays in the progress of a language, ultimately?

Hopefully it's obvious that I'm entirely not knowledgeable about these things and that I'd love for someone to explain this to me.

icambron 11 hours ago 4 replies      
My big worry here is debugging. With, say, CoffeeScript, my code translates trivially and it's easy to map my JS back to the source. But it seems like it'd be a lot more complicated here. I'd love to hear the perspective of someone who's used this for real -- was that an issue?
sanxiyn 13 hours ago 0 replies      
http://ocsigen.org/js_of_ocaml/ is a similar project for OCaml.
BadassFractal 13 hours ago 2 replies      
So out of all these options for Haskell (http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/The_JavaScript_Problem), what's currently got the most momentum behind it?
cies 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Haste is a great approach to compile Haskell to JS. But I yet have to play with it...

I did play with an alternative approach Yesod+Fay; where Yesod is the webframework and Fay the compiler of Haskell to JS. This approach is a bit more traditional in sense that the server-side app and the client-side app are separate (with some code shared by both).

I wrote a blog on how to get a Yesod+Fay example app setup on a recent Ubuntu:


With Haste the server-side and client-side code live side-by-side in the same files. I "got it" by reading this code:


For what I understand Haste does client-sever communication over websockets and yields webapps that are full-JS (therefore difficult to do SEO).

I often read the people are afraid of debugging with compiled JS; I must say that since I need a lot less debugging when using when compiling Haskell to JS. So far all my debugging needs are fulfilled with simple print/alert/console.log statements.

Nitramp 7 hours ago 1 reply      

    While a certain increase in code size over hand-rolled Javascript is    unavoidable, an optimized but uncompressed Haste program is normally less than    3x the size of an equivalent hand-written program, making the latency penalty of    using Haste minimal.
A type safe environment is most useful for large(r) applications; you don't really need it for your 200 or 2000 SLOC jQuery script.

But larger applications quickly grow quite a bit, reaching a megabyte or multiple is not uncommon in the land of GMail and similar apps.

Growing your JavaScriot "binary" size by a factor of three might be a problem for such applications. It doesn't sound that much, but the difference between download, parsing, and running 1 MB of JS vs 3 MB of JS is several hundred milliseconds on a very good connection and a beefy desktop machine.

ldubinets 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This is interesting (and exciting). I would love to see an implementation of TodoMVC (http://todomvc.com/) in Haste.
z3phyr 14 hours ago 3 replies      
How is it more useful than Yesod (http://www.yesodweb.com/) and other existing web app frameworks in Haskell?
jamesbritt 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Was the Haste site made with Haste? The top links do nothing when viewing it on my (somewhat older) phone so I'm curious how well sites degrade in different browsers and devices.
mtford 10 hours ago 1 reply      
These layers upon layers just seem painful to me.
BadassFractal 14 hours ago 4 replies      
What exactly is the use-case for this? Can't quite get it from the site.
Share Nothing, Scale Everything engineyard.com
11 points by nslater  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
patrickmay 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
An alternative to the distributed file system suggested in the article is a distributed in-memory data/compute grid.
Fasebook 1 hour ago 0 replies      
share nothing, share everything?
(Google+) Hangout with Vint Cerf. Starts at 2PM EST plus.google.com
6 points by thefreeman  1 hour ago   1 comment top
psbp 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just tuned in to see Leo crying. I guess it was some pretty profound stuff.
Ephemeral Apps schneier.com
40 points by Libertatea  7 hours ago   12 comments top 7
mbesto 4 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the more well known VCs in SV gave a talk two weeks ago and told a story about when he met the founders of SnapChat two years ago. He asked them "So, tell me honestly, are people using this app for anything but sexting?" One of the founder replied "No, there are loads of cats too!" The VC asked "Wait, how do you know there are cats too? Isn't everything deleted?" Needless to say he passed on the investment.
garrettgrimsley 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>Lavabit was a small secure e-mail service, with an encryption system designed so that even the company had no access to users' e-mail.

This isn't exactly accurate, and so the comparison doesn't work.

Lavabit always had the capability to read a users email.[1] Snapchat has, and does, retain Snaps.

If Snapchat instead generated a public/private keypair and used those to sign and encrypt Snaps before they left a user's phone then whether or not Snapchat retained the Snap but hid it from the user would not matter.

There are other issues, like end users recording the Snap. Also, while the central service would not be able to retain the content of your Snap metadata would be available to them.

>We need ephemeral apps, but we need credible assurances from the companies that they are actually secure and credible assurances from the government that they won't be subverted.

Given the current climate, this strikes me as rather foolish. Further, who is to say that the next head of state will not breach the assurances of the last? We should design services so that trusting the operator is a non-issue.

[1] http://www.thoughtcrime.org/blog/lavabit-critique/

pdevr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There will always be people who want privacy, regardless of whether their intention is good or bad. On the other hand, regulators and rulers will always want to know as much as they can.

The privacy seekers will come up with innovations to bypass the existing privacy breaking techniques. They will work for a while, before the regulators clamp down on them.

This will be a cat and mouse game going on forever. On a positive note, some of these innovations have changed the world in a positive way.

mathattack 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Ephemeral apps seem to be ideal for insider trading too. Send an ephemeral message on your mobile phone, and nobody is the wiser. (Banks have tremendously rigours retention policies to keep track of things like this)
higherpurpose 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"Ephemeral" messages, the way Snapchat does it, is useless against surveillance and possibly even other kind of hacking later on if the company is actually saving the content on its servers. Perfect forward secrecy is a much better way to have "ephemeral" conversations, even if the encrypted data remains stored.

Adding self-deletion on top of that just makes it slightly better in case someone wants to decrypt those messages later, even though it should be an almost impossible task.

So if apps want to offer safe conversations for users, they should first implement end to end security and perfect forward secrecy either with OTR or TextSecure's protocol. If they want to add self-deletion on top of that mainly as a marketing feature, that's fine, but it shouldn't be the main priority.

lucastx 6 hours ago 1 reply      
His website has a new design. Nice.
VLM 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"are on the rise"

Yes, on the rise. I see a lot more supposedly private photos from those services on /r/gonewild and 4chan and the like than ever before. Oh wait, perhaps by on "the rise", he meant there are more gullible users incorrectly thinking they're ephemeral, not the actual outcome of a trend of more "ephemeral" messages becoming permanently archived and publicly displayed.

A Revolution in Money nytimes.com
37 points by wallflower  6 hours ago   33 comments top 7
jdimov 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What all of this discussion is severely lacking is an understanding of how money actually works and how it is created. In a modern economy, money is created by commercial banks every time a bank makes a loan.

So the questions in this article are a bit off. E.g.: "What happens when you no longer need a bank to provide capital? Where will people store money in the future?" These questions are off-target, because it's not so much about where people store it, or how it moves around. If you want to replace banks, you will need some other mechanism of money creation on-demand, and I'm not at all convinced that 'bitcoin mining' is the correct kind of answer...

gus_massa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> We are going to have individually issued currencies. We already have corporations issuing currency: frequent-flier miles, although people dont see them as that from a legal perspective.

Imagine that A issue A-coins and send them to B, then B sends the A-coins to C, C send them to D and D sends the A-coins to you. But a few days later you discover that A was a fake account of a scammer, or A goes bankrupt, or A an all his family died in a car accident and he was renting his house, or ... Then the A-coins are worthless and you are screwed.

A few years ago, here in Argentina each province (state) issued its own money, and paid all the public employed with that money. It was technically a bond, but it looked as money and was used like money. The more successful case was the Patacn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patac%C3%B3n_(bond) . But in all the other provinces, after a time it was very difficult to exchange the bond to real money (pesos or dollars) or products, and in that case you get only the 70% of the face value. (Now they have been absorbed.)

I dont trust in the money of the province, and I really will not trust in the money issued by Joe Doe.

bsirkia 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I like that this is at least opening up to the possibility of new, more efficient transaction methods. Marc Andreessen made me think about credit cards differently after hearing him on a Freakonomics podcast:

"And so one way to think about credit card fraud, is credit card fraud is a two-to-three percent drag on the entire economy. Its an artifact of the fact that credit cards were never designed to be used the way that theyre being used today. Credit cards never anticipated online transactions. Credit cards, by the way, the credit card system, never anticipated malware running inside a cash register at Target. In the 1950s that was an inconceivable idea, which is when credit cards were dreamed up.

And so if you have a payment system like Bitcoin where you dont have the credential exchange, and you have no risk of identity fraud, and you have no risk of people being able to run transactions on your credit card after the fact, you can basically eliminate that entire category of fraud"

funkydallas 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"A Revolution in Money" would mean that no third parties do have control over its value. Nowadays we have something like a server based money network.If the server (bank) goes down, everybody is screwed.

Imagine a peer to peer kind of money network. Every member is a bank himself. Getting a credit works like crowd funding. People can invest their money into several projects. Investors get a certain percentage of the profit. This way you avoid the "interest and compound interest" problem.

mbrynard 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The idea of wallets with dozens of digital currencies ties in with another idea which I've been intrigued by recently.

Apart from the payment mechanism functionality, units of cryptocurrency are much like shares in a company.

The Cypherfunks experiment (www.thecypherfunks.com) illustrates this concept: Imagine anybody could own shares in the music industry. To make this possible bands simply accept payment in a specific cryptocurrency (e.g. FUNK). As more people support bands using this form of payment, the value of the cryptocurrency grows and the entire network of bands and their supporters benefits.

burkemw3 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A wallet with a dozen virtual currencies sounds rather hard to make a budget with.
evli 1 hour ago 1 reply      
While I would enjoy living in such a world. Changes like this often take a very long time.

Have you used a self checkout machine lately?

Btrees are the new black me.net.nz
103 points by jjh42  12 hours ago   27 comments top 11
bdg 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Someone should create a library where all your data is stored in a BTree. Think of it! Huge data sets, small data sets, everything scales in this system. And even better, they can create a language-agnostic API to a small server that just stores the btrees for them and gives them back on request. We could call it a database, but that would require we use indexes correctly for once in our lives.
vinkelhake 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Google has an open source implementation of b-trees in C++. You gain performance and memory efficiency (less overhead per element stored). You lose the iterator stability that std::map/std::set guarantees. Other than that the interfaces are pretty much equal.


joe_the_user 11 hours ago 1 reply      

If the hype is to be believed, Cache-oblivious b-trees are an even better match for today's hierarchical memory systems.

Unfortunately, I don't know any simple free/open-source implementation of these.

But here is a "home page" for them: http://supertech.csail.mit.edu/cacheObliviousBTree.html

srean 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Since there has been a resurgence of interest in OCaml on HN, some may be curious to see how a production quality Btree implementation looks like in OCaml. Algebraic data types, make it particularly convenient for these sorts of things. For comparison one may contrast it with an implementation in a language that does not have algebraic types, C++ for example. So glad Rust chose to have them.

Here is a Btree implementation from the mirage project [1] https://github.com/cgreenhalgh/ocaml-btree/blob/master/lib/b...

EDIT: removed link to binary tree after kerneis pointed it out.

[1] http://www.openmirage.org/

beagle3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The original B-Trees as described by Bayer were "intrusive" (like implemented here), in the sense that every node contains keys, values, and pointers.

There are variants such as the B+Tree http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%2B_tree , which stores only keys in nodes and chains blocks - which is more efficient in range scans and less in general retrieval; And the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B*-tree which is more densely packed.

ef47d35620c1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
In C++, std::set and std::map are typically implemented as RB trees. To compare the performance of those to a hash backed container, try std::unordered_set and std::unordered_map.
cheepin 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Interestingly, a red-black tree can be viewed as a BTree [0].

Another case where caching plays a huge role in determining the most efficient data structure (See vector vs list [1]).

[0]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red%E2%80%93black_tree#Analogy_...

[1]: http://baptiste-wicht.com/posts/2012/12/cpp-benchmark-vector...

arneeiri 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of The Ubiquitous B-Tree by Douglas Comer. That article was written in 1978.


csch 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Timo Bingmann presented a fast and robust implementation here https://panthema.net/2007/stx-btree/
briandw 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Under what conditions will a B-tree out perform a hash map? Seems like the hash map was far and away the better choice in his test.
checker659 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What about false sharing?
Working From Home? Here's an Extra Shot of Focus livingsocial.com
100 points by tvalent2  3 hours ago   43 comments top 16
gabemart 3 hours ago 6 replies      
In case people aren't yet sick of me plugging the ambient noise generator I built, here are some sites that block out background noise as a supplement to a good pair of headphones for distraction-free work:




I like working with music on, but I find it very hard to find music that allows me to truly focus, and when I do I quickly get tired of listening to the same tracks over and over. I like ambient noise because it blocks out the world without stealing focus.

I also like this Buddhist chant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG_lNuNUVd4

hbien 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
The company I'm with operates on 3 remotes day per week. It's a terrific balance for me. The on-site days are spent pair programming, sprint demos, meetings, and being social. The remote days are distraction free work.
andyl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Headphones block noise. Headphones are a social signal: "don't interrupt me". Headphones are 'in-the-zone' muscle memory. Headphones are amazing!
iamthepieman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've worked from home for 2 and a half years after working in only office environments in cubicles.

I find one of the hardest to define and most important was work signalling. When I worked in an office there were many signals that got me mentally and physically prepared to do work. These included:

Getting dressed - I have never worked in my underwear from home but I now make a point to put on some nice pants and shoes and fix my hair/wash my face etc.

Driving - Not commuting is a huge time and energy saver but it still gave me some quiet time to prepare for the day. I now either go for a walk in the morning or "get to work" 15 minutes early and read something interesting and tech oriented.

Greeting Coworkers - I still haven't found a good replacement for this. It's hard to catch up on water cooler talk remotely especially since half my team doesn't even use IM. I try to check in with questions from the previous day or a quick status update via email within the first hour of work.

The office - I've moved my office a couple of times and find it's best if the office is a dedicated room, not a nook or a corner of the living room but something with it's own decor and sense of place. I painted my office spring green to be cheery and have some plants and a bookshelf with tech books on it. I put a glass whiteboard up that I use to brainstorm and will point my webcam at it if I'm working with a remote coworker on something that requires it.

When I first started working form home I thought that distractions were my biggest problem but I've since realized that it's not so much getting rid of distractions, but getting INTO work.

derwiki 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is "work from home on a team" different than "work from home bootstrapping by yourself"? The article mentions "While working from the office, its hard to get quality work done every day. Doing it from home is even harder" and at least for me, it's much easier to get quality work done at home. Maybe I'm lucky and have built a distraction free home (no kids, wife, or goats).

The other tips don't seem to be "work from home" specific.

As a side note, I think it's really funny how much importance people put on their coffee ritual. I'm a tea drinker, which must mean I'm just a plebeian ;-)

muriithi 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is procrastination as common in other fields like engineering, accounting, marketing etc when compared to programming?
hawkharris 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice, succinct advice, especially the bit about multi-tasking.

I've always said that multi-tasking is like fixing a flat tire. It's a valuable skill to have, but you should avoid putting yourself in situations that require it.

snarfy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I worked from home for about three years. At one point I had an entirely separate desk and computer for work, adjacent to my personal computer and desk. This is legally required for tax purposes, but it's also the best work/life balance I could find and still maintain focus. If I'm in the work chair on the work computer, I'm working.
untestedcode 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really like his focus script. However, I think he's treating the symptoms and not the problem. Usually, when I can't focus it just means there's something else that's wrong: 1) I didn't get a good night's sleep, 2) my diet wasn't quite right that day (too much sugar perhaps?) or the previous day, or 3) I've been working too long.

Lack of focus is a signal that something is wrong. In terms of being at home versus at the office, I can have the same lack of focus at the office.

markbnj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working from home for close to ten years, and one thing to note is that the challenges are exponentially increased when children enter the picture. When those children become teens, the challenges can be epic. Nothing like a flame-out between two daughters in the kitchen next to your office during a conference call! Throw in a couple of pets, just in case the stress level isn't crippling yet. Fortunately I'm a night-owl, and don't have to attend too many meetings. In terms of producing what I need to produce I can often shift work into the quieter evening and early morning hours. In the end I would still much rather work this way. All of the interruptions of family life still prove somehow less disruptive than the endless "networking" and powerpoint-strewn meetings I used to be dragged into when I worked in an office.
potomak 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd also suggest* using tools such Tomatoes[1] that help you stay focused and manage your working time.

Another suggestion is to try to not work from home at all, find a nice coworking space or a shared office.

[1] http://tomato.es

* I'm the author a proud user of this tool

wglb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
These are all good points. Except for the goat.

When I was working at home and the kids were still young, I had a door to the office that was closed when I was "at work". Family could knock if they needed something.

mherrmann 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Great article. I have been working from home with one remote colleague for two years now. I also use head phones to immerse myself 'in the zone'. I find my mind often wanders when I have to wait for something. Already a 6 sec build often makes me briefly check HN, Facebook or my mail. Another big distraction is my girlfriend. It's not always easy to get her to understand that I'm busy despite being at home. Overall, I'm quite satisfied with My focus though, especially when compared with an office environment. YMMV
1jambox 2 hours ago 1 reply      
When I raised my first round I worked from home most of the time and time boxing was the key. Writing down one or some goals and trying to achieve them in a given period of time.

For me 19 minutes works the best. It doesn't feel like too much ('19 minutes won't kill me') and still you can move mountains in 19 minutes. I don't do breaks inbetween them, I just make like 3-6 in a row and the some break.

Because none of the tools were really perfect I wrote my own, very lean and a not configurable tool:

- 19 minutes fixed

- a crisp & clear ticking sound (WebKit only)

- browser-based, just enter url and the thing starts without the need to press any further button; the page title shows the running time

=> http://revs.co

hhsnopek 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a script that is close to his, except for linux?
wengzilla 3 hours ago 1 reply      
do you really have a pet goat?!
       cached 2 April 2014 19:02:01 GMT