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Microsoft takes .NET open source and cross-platform
2057 points by ethomson  16 hours ago   739 comments top 143
jpgvm 16 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm a hardcore *nix guy but boy do I love me some C#. Up until now it's been the best language I have worked with but the worst platform due to it's lack of 'nice things' that we just expect from languages/ecosystems these days.

Where 'nice things' is defined as being open-source, having open-source ecosystem of developer tools etc.

This isn't so much the beginning (as good stuff has been happening for a couple of years now) but it's a huge step.

Thankyou Microsoft.

jacquesm 15 hours ago 10 replies      
It's funny how Nadella has moved the needle more for developers in 9 months than Ballmer did in the last decade or so, and all that without running around like a madman too. Pretty good. I'll never switch back to MS for what they've done in the past but it is nice to see them try hard to become a nicer player in the software eco-system.

Google and Apple need some other party to keep them sharp, it might as well be MS.

WorldWideWayne 16 hours ago 4 replies      
The key points seem to be:

"Available Wednesday, Visual Studio Community 2013 is a free, fully featured edition of Visual Studio including full extensibility."

So, it sounds like this will replace the Express edition and let you install extensions like you can in the Pro version.

"Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015: build for any device -Built from the ground up with support for iOS, Android and Windows, Visual Studio 2015 Preview makes it easier for developers to build applications and services for any device, on any platform."

It almost sounds like you're going to be able to run VS2015 on different platforms, but I doubt it. Maybe you'll run the web version of VS2015 to develop from Mac/Linux?

"To further support cross-platform mobile development with .NET, as part of their strategic partnership, Microsoft and Xamarin announced a new streamlined experience for installing Xamarin from Visual Studio, as well as announced the addition of Visual Studio support to its free offering Xamarin Starter Edition available later in the year. "

This is very interesting - .NET is going fully cross platform but they haven't bought Xamarin...are they planning on competing while keeping their frenemies close or something else?

JeremyMorgan 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I feel like the last couple years I've been cheerleading for MS and telling people how much they've changed, how open things are becoming, and how awesome the development experience is. It's fallen on deaf ears or met with resistance, but today's announcements are really gonna drive the point home. Developers need to start looking more seriously at C#/.Net.

The Scotts (Hanselman/Guthrie), Miguel De Icaza and so many others have worked tirelessly on this, and we (.Net Developers) owe them a ton of gratitude for helping to make sure this ecosystem doesn't wither on the vine.

danabramov 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I know it's silly but I'm tearing up. I grew upwith .NET but neglected it for years because of moving to OS X, iOS and web dev. I played for some time with Xamarin and I'm so happy this is where MS is going. <3 Scott & Miguel, I'm sure they both had a lot to do with it.
_stephan 15 hours ago 1 reply      
According to Scott Hanselman they are also open sourcing their new RyuJIT and even the GC. Incredible!




alkonaut 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been working with .NET for 11 years since 1.0beta (On the same application, i.e. have been continously pushing a massive codebase through every released version of the framework yet!), so to me this so huge. It has felt like I would have to go do Javascript, or go back to java, if I wanted to leave the .NET ecosystem or do something radically different. Not anymore. Feels like not just Windows-based server (asp.net) and desktop (WPF/WinForms) apps are .NET based in the future, but a good chunk of what today is Node.js, Java, Objective-C and so on will be .NET, and hopefully F#, in the future.

If you want a high-level lang runtime with good IDE support, you can just use .NET now. You know, unless you want Ask toolbar.

eyeareque 16 hours ago 5 replies      
If you would have shown me this headline 15 years ago I would have thought it was an onion article. Who would have thought they would have come this far?
pjc50 15 hours ago 4 replies      
The politics of this are interesting, and IMO related to the decline of the PC as a platform. Suddenly Microsoft is the outsider crying for "openness" and "freedom" while hammering on the gates of the Google/Apple ecosystem.

For Microsoft, it's less bad if everyone switches to an uncontrolled platform than if they switch to a platform locked in by a competitor. The embrace/extend/extinguish logic works the other way when Apple are driving it. (They've done fairly well at killing off Flash, and Silverlight never stood a chance in this environment)

Someone1234 16 hours ago 9 replies      
It will be interesting to see how this will work in practice.

C# will port over just fine. But the .Net libraries? System.Windows has little to nothing in it, and right now using things like System.IO.* on Linux and Mac is just asking for trouble.

What are they going to do, hack in System.IO.* Linux support after the fact? Or just add Linux.IO.* which is even more of a hack. In either case you're going to get very messy very fast.

The .Net libraries absolutely could have been designed with cross platform in mind, for example if they put the IO libraries in System.Windows.* and several of the other Windows-specific APIs.

As it stands the .Net framework/libraries are very Windows locked. So much so you'd almost have to scrap them and start over to make it more platform agnostic.

sytelus 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's Github repo: https://github.com/dotnet. Wow, these things are being released under MIT licence - who would have thought .Net would be more "free-er" than Java?

In other news:

* Visual Studio 2015 and ASP.NET 5 will support gulp, grunt, bower and npm for front end developers.

* OmniSharp is a family of Open Source projects, each with one goal - To enable great .NET development in YOUR editor of choice - http://www.omnisharp.net/.

FlyingSnake 16 hours ago 4 replies      
This is epic. Peter Thiel was right about creative Monopoly.

The new Microsoft under Satya Nadella has totally changed the direction of Microsoft in just a few months. They had one of the best and rock solid development platforms and research division, and loyal customers. The new Azure cloud (Online + On Premise) along with the opening of .Net will change the playing field.

I'm sure this is a great new for us developers. The change to work on one of the best runtimes, on a platform of our choice and on one of the best programming environments.

Great job Microsoft!

SwellJoe 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Microsoft only acts right when they're losing. It took the loss of dominance on the web to begin to produce a standards-compliant, modern browser. Silverlight never really took off because it had such limited OS support. And, now that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt they can't win the mobile device market (and are even losing some of the laptop market to Chromebooks, and Android hybrid devices), they'll grudgingly open up their developer tools and support other platforms.

I am, of course, happy to see it. But, let's not get too excited about what good Open Source citizens Microsoft have become. Let's let their actions going forward determine that.

agarden 16 hours ago 0 replies      
According to the announcement on visualstudio.com about the Community Edition, it isn't just for students and open source developers. Basically, only enterprises or companies with more than five developers need to pay.
tasnimreza 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It is really a big news, I'm a .Net guy over couple of years. When i started with .Net i thought why i have to buy everything for development ? Now the day have changed and we found Microsoft in the open source community race. Thank you Microsoft.

Visual Studio is awesome, specially debugging when it is in Symbol server debugging.

Though i hate the thing 'Not Responding' and your OS is freeze. When your solution growing with 50+ project, it took 4-5min to open and by any chance if you click the solution it will hang.

jordanilchev 15 hours ago 0 replies      
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2014/Nov-12.html here is what Miguel of Xamarin has to say
MrBra 1 hour ago 1 reply      
.NET newbie here. Could someone explain me if thanks to this it is currently possible to write GUI multiplatform apps?
plq 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I see so much emotion in this thread. Yes, I was there to witness what M$FT (ha! take that Mr. Gates!) did around the dawn of this millenium as well, but we had all felt that the times they were a-changin' when Slashdot retired the Bill-the-evil-Borg image already. It's just Microsoft refused to adapt until now, which e.g. made them miss The Mobile in its entirety.

So, Microsoft is finally adapting. But what are they actually doing? Why did Microsoft finally decided to make .Net cross-platform? What's in it for them?

Look at what's in this shiny new package: They've open-sourced just the core runtime. They are not open-sourcing Visual Studio. Or WPF. Or SQL Server. Or Active Directory. Or Office.

There's one thing the Linux ecosystem is pretty good at: Scaling, both up and down. There are technical reasons for that, but none could possibly be an issue for a software powerhouse the size of Microsoft. There are also commercial reasons for that, most important being: You just can't beat free.

So that's what Microsoft is finally moving against -- Dear startup founder who is afraid that licensing costs will eat him/her alive while his/her "Growth Hacking" strategy is working, dear embedded programmer whose tiny IoT device that just can't cope with the whole Windows mumbo-jumbo, welcome to the Microsoft platform -- You can now safely run your C# on these free platforms as well.

So, Microsoft is finally back in the game. They even seem to be playing nice. But the question in everyone's mind is: For how long?

cwyers 16 hours ago 1 reply      
"To further support cross-platform mobile development with .NET, as part of their strategic partnership, Microsoft and Xamarin announced a new streamlined experience for installing Xamarin from Visual Studio, as well as announced the addition of Visual Studio support to its free offering Xamarin Starter Edition available later in the year."

Well that should make a lot of people around here happy.

Animats 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this an abandonware move? Does it mean .NET is on the way out, and Microsoft's way forward is something else? A year or two ago, Microsoft was talking about the future of application development being Javascript/HTML/CSS.
perlgeek 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is huge.

A few months ago, we decided to write a big new software component at $work, basically a service layer that is going to accumulate lots of business logic. We discussed several programming languages, and thought that a statically typed language might be a good fit (we mostly did perl and python so far). C# was dismissed pretty quickly, because .Net was closed source, and Mono had the reputation of being a bit second rate (possibly not well-founded, but also hard to debunk for somebody not in the community).

I mentioned that Roslyn was also open source, but it was hard to convince anybody when the "main" implementation was still closed source (and we're very much an open + linux shop).

If this had come a year earlier, we might have picked C#. Maybe there'll be another project here in a few years...

tdicola 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Great news, but I think people need to realize this is really just Microsoft pledging to merge and support what Mono has already been doing. You won't magically be able to take a WPF app and run it on your Mac. You will however be able to write a server app or maybe simple command line tool that runs on Mac & Linux. It's great news to see Microsoft acknowledging and supporting Mono, but there isn't a magic switch that will flip and everything suddenly works on every platform.
lawl 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Can anyone clarify for me, does this include WPF?I remember I wanted to run a few apps off github on linux and they used WPF, which mono doesn't support.

Otherwise mono seemed to run pretty much everything i threw at it. Can someone with .NET experience clarify for me what this will enable that mono doesn't (yet)?

In other words, if .net will continue to be riddled with windows only API's I'm not really interested.

The article seemed to mostly focus on the server side of things, but I'm not really sure if they can pull many devs over to writing application servers on .net. It will be hard competing against Java there.

fsloth 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Hot toes in springwater! I had figured out that since .Net was proprietary I really should ween myself away from the sweet, sweet F# and learn some clojure but it seems Microsoft has stumped on my plans for self improvement. Immutable by default, algebraic datastructures with pattern matching to boot, great concurrency story and now actually open with permissive licence. Mind. Blown.
_stephan 16 hours ago 1 reply      
"We are open sourcing the RiyuJit and the .NET GC and making them both cross-platform."

That's incredible!

FreakyT 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope this positively affects projects using outdated versions of Mono, like Unity. I'd love to see them move to a more up-to-date version of .NET, and I wonder if this could enable them to do that.
colbyh 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft people correct me if I'm wrong - but this feels like a decision Ballmer never would have let pass?

This feels huge to me as someone that has always been on *nix variants but that has been told the .Net environment is amazing as long as you're willing to pay/work on Windows. I still probably won't switch over to C# or F# any time soon but it's good to know I could actually work on a WinMo app if needed.

mnglkhn2 15 hours ago 1 reply      
At the moment .NET is making great inroads into all mobile platforms (mainly due to Xamarin's iOS and Android platforms). The one area where Microsoft needs to push more i son the server side: to be able to develop ASP.NET apps and push them to Linux servers. You can do it now but not as smooth and stable as it should be. When this happens, then the circle is complete: you can write both client and server code in C#/F# from within Visual Studio.

Quite a powerful combo at that point!

_random_ 16 hours ago 3 replies      
2015 is going to be a year of Microsoft.
mnkypete 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really a great move. C# is an awesome language and deserves to have a future on Mac & Linux. Microsoft is changing for sure.
korobool 14 hours ago 0 replies      
C# is the most modern, and one of the best languages we have in the market. Linux is the best platform. Hope to see them truly together. Thank you MS guys for the contributing into world industry.
reitanqild 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Now, with a patent promise amd a MIT license, any chance that android could build on .Net going forward?

That would take more than a few non public meetings betweenn G and MS I guess but possibly better than having to tiptoe around Oracle in the long run?

stplsd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So that does that means for linux developers like me, who want to start dabble in .NET ecosystem. Where MONO stand in this?
sytelus 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I seriously hope this pushes out Java closer to graveyard of forgotten languages. Java had been rotting for a long time without significant progress compared to modern languages including C#. It's only advantage had been that it was cross platform. Now it's owned by lawyers-driven Oracle which is as worse as things can get. Also I really want to stop worry about having my mom install crapware like Ask toolbar and say No to Update Java every single day.
tomp 16 hours ago 6 replies      
I want to believe this, but I just don't. .NET is so much more than just the core libraries. There will be a long time until it's on the same level as Java. I hope Microsoft proves me wrong, of course (C# is an awesome language, F# is not bad either), but I will believe this when I see a distribution of Visual Studio running both on Mac/Linux and on Windows (i.e. the same executable, same as Java).
jayvanguard 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Never in Microsoft's history have they ever followed through on a promise of multi-platform support for their infrastructure. They've tried multiple times but they always end up bailing on it or half-assing it to death.

I wouldn't believe them this time either.

elchief 14 hours ago 1 reply      
"Oh, shit", said Oracle.
dschiptsov 13 hours ago 0 replies      
First we have to see it as a standard Debian package.

Then we have to look at its memory usage, GC pauses, locking issues.

It is much easier to say than to port correctly a large, very complex code-base to an alien platform. (Mono has been written from scratch, if I recall correctly).

skittles 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is going to be a huge boost to ClojureCLR, IronPython, and F#. I think F# especially is going to take off in popularity now that its best VM target is going to run on Linux and Mac.
jot 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Could work on this have started before Steve Ballmer left? Maybe he took my 2007 email to him more seriously that his response let on:


wilsonfiifi 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is such a bitter sweet announcement for me! I had just made up my mind to stop language hopping and settle/focus on Python and Go for backend development. But now C#, my first love, has come back to whisper sweet nothings in my ear!

Still this is great news and kudos to Microsoft for taking this bold step in the right direction.

codeshaman 15 hours ago 7 replies      
Good move, but (too) late.

The move is designed to attract iOS and Android Devs to .NET.

But let's see:

As an iOS developer, I've invested years in learning Objective-C and Cocoa, UIKit, etc. Now I'm starting with Swift.I'm sure a lot of iOS devs feel this way. Besides, if I can't use it from OSX, then I'm out.

Why should I forget everything and learn C#/.NET ? If I want a write-once-run-everywhere thing, then I could go for one of the miriad Javascript or HTML5 cross-platform frameworks or C++ with Qt, JUCE or the likes.

Same thought pattern applies for Android/Java - why would a seasoned Android/Java developer want to learn a whole new framework and programming language ?

Is C#/.NET so much better than Java/Android or ObjC/Swift that it mandates switching to it ?

giancarlostoro 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I really wish they'd make Visual Studio run on other platforms as well... I suppose they'll work on making Office run on Linux next, or at least a full version of Office that's entirely web enabled would be nice too.
untog 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. But I really, really wish Microsoft would buy Xamarin. I know it sounds counter-productive - they're doing great work on their own - but the subscription costs associated with Xamarin hold it back. MS would have every motivation to release it for free to try to corner the app development market.
diltonm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't think I'd ever see this happen. Java is my bread and butter but this could be a game changer.

Edit: It probably won't be for me but just saying who knows, some developers might prefer C# over Java on Linux and Mac. Too bad Microsoft is 13 years to late for me on this. They had my interest when I was beta testing Visual Studio .NET 2002 but by 2005 when I saw how far Java had come and got a taste of the power and Cadillac nature of Eclipse; it would be tough to turn back now.

NicoJuicy 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Being a fan of Android and Microsoft for years... I truelly hope that Google would discuss about changing from Java to C#... They don't have to change to c#, but this would be a win for both of them (Microsoft and Google) and a huge loss for Oracle/Apple.
AndrewDucker 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is massive. I love the C# language, and hopefully this will lead to wider adoption, and usage on more architectures/operating systems.
omarish 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Link to source code: https://github.com/microsoft
Someone 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Great news, but something else drew my attention: the related stories. I got, among others:

"Microsoft Announces Windows 2000 Certification For Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers"

"Microsoft and Samsung Reveal Windows Powered Pocket PC For GSM/GPRS Networks"

"Microsoft Office 97 Family of Applications Honored With Industry Awards"

"Microsoft Invests in General Magic"

"Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Beta Download Demand Overwhelming"

Ignoring the time machine aspects, I wonder what made their algorithm come up with these stories. They mention "Microsoft" and "Net", but that is about it.

Illniyar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What happens to mono now?

Also its great to have an engineer at the helm of microsoft again.

blt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy shit, now I don't feel like I wasted so much time learning C# and .NET.
delhanty 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know whether the full-server side .NET stack open sourcing includes C++/CLI?

My experience has been that .NET interop with C++ code bases using C++/CLI was much smoother than with PInvoke. It would be if that were cross-platform too.

archagon 16 hours ago 7 replies      
Does this mean that Mono will no longer be necessary for cross-platform C# use?
rocky1138 4 hours ago 1 reply      
All this reads like great stuff, and as a developer I applaud the work. But, I haven't read anywhere how they intend to make money off this stuff. How does going open source and cross-platform make them money?
rjsamson 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow - I have to say I'm impressed. I wonder how extensive the cross platform support is, and what sort of work has gone into targeting iOS? What does this mean for Xamarin and Mono?
f055 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, writing in C# for Mac, that's almost like heaven.
laveur 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if this builds for anything but Windows yet?
simonmales 16 hours ago 5 replies      
No mention of which license they are using?
jxm262 9 hours ago 1 reply      

     Developers can get started with Visual Studio Community 2013 here.
<<link is not working>>http://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-com...

I think they meant here?http://www.visualstudio.com/news/vs2013-community-vs

logn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat. Maybe eventually they'll open source the OS too, but .NET is probably more significant.

I wanted some more specifics regarding licenses and found this page helpful: http://www.dotnetfoundation.org/projects

Hopefully one day they'll support the entire Java runtime so that I can deploy Java apps to the JRE or .NET.

dkopi 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Together with the Visual Studio Community announcement https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8595855, this is great news.

I've always missed the power of visual studio when programming for open source platforms. This can change things a lot.

Rapzid 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic! I've been waiting for the .net train to pull all the way into the OSS station(as a Linux engineer) :) I wonder if .Net native will also be open sourced.
anta40 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"the full server-side .NET stack and expanding .NET to run on the Linux and Mac OS platforms"

so that means I can write GUI-based desktop apps for Linux in C#, right?

cool :D

NicoJuicy 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Considering Scott is probably watching this.. What do you think about the near future about running vNext projects on a simple Raspberry Pi (= low-end configurations).
codegeek 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Loving this. Recently started working on a project with my brother who loves MS .NET stack and I have no experience in it. I was really skeptic due to the reputation MS has of being closed source and license heavy. I could not have chosen a better time hopefully!!
jnem 15 hours ago 1 reply      
This completely caught me by suprise. Will .NET see a comeback now? Or is it too little too late? In any event, this is a huge move for Microsoft who has historically avoided open source(ive always thought of yhem as the anti-open-source company).
MrBra 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be a great moment to restart the Iron Ruby project http://ironruby.net/
zmmmmm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For a long time I have held off on embracing .NET even though it offers certain advantages over the JVM ecosystem because it was clearly a Windows-first, everything else second ecosystem. If this changes that then I might for the first time in a long time take a second look at it.
joelthelion 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really big news. I'm not sure why Microsoft is doing it, though? Seems like a great way to completely kill Windows in the server market.
radioact1ve 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Faith in C# restored. Amazing.
kelvin0 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Read the article, looking for the download link to the open sourced code. Is is bundled with the VS2015 preview (4.4GB iso)? If not, were and how can we access the code?
presty 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty cool. Java (the platform) is finally getting a much needed competitor and alternative. And a VM that was built from scratch to support multiple languages.

The next decade will be interesting.

talltofu 16 hours ago 2 replies      
What happens to Xamarin business model now?
jangid 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft had designed .NET to be independent of platforms. But the strategy advices they got were mostly wrong; so they did not release it for other platforms. Open Source alternatives existed (Mono) but due to unavailability of committed support enterprises did not endorse it. Now there is very little hope that the *NIX users will now use .NET languages.

It was a great platform though. I was impressed by the it when I first went to Teched in year 2002.

claystu 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally! One of the major players has finally decided to really push cross-platform.

Looks like it's time to finally learn F#

hrasyid 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Good news :)

For Microsoft though, doesn't this mean (ironically) loss of business, because many people will no longer have a reason to run Windows?

buf 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Excellent job, Microsoft.
none_for_me_thx 14 hours ago 0 replies      
curveship 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I started as an open source programmer. Then I got a job as a .NET programmer. Now I'm an open source programmer again.

Feels good :)

KedarMhaswade 10 hours ago 0 replies      
In general, open sourcing is helpful decision (it's also a practical business decision in several cases)! And the possibility of running C# on *nix really creates opportunities in a way that contributors grow. It's a win-win.
AdventureJason 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft's CVP Soma Somasegar will be answering questions about today's announcements on TechCrunch article -- in comments -- at 2:30pm Eastern today.


AdventureJason 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft's CVP Soma Somasegar will be answering questions about today's announcements on TechCrunch article -- in comments -- at 2:30pm Eastern today.


sauere 16 hours ago 0 replies      
scotty79 12 hours ago 1 reply      
They faked being kind of opensource so many times that I'll believe it when I'll see it.
tdsamardzhiev 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad the new CEO isn't stuck in the 1980s! Props to Microsoft. I hope it isn't too late for them.
aespinoza 13 hours ago 0 replies      
These are different articles, they might related to the same news, but very different takes. This one comes from the founder of Mono.
elliotec 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally. Do you think this will significantly hurt the virtual machine industry?
silveira 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Any guarantees about patents? Can using and extending .Net will cause in the future claims of software patents violations?
foolinaround 7 hours ago 0 replies      
How does this impact the future growth and adoption of mono as an alternative open-source platform?
bkeroack 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Next up (hopefully): Windows core subsystems (basically everything minus the GUI shell, a la Darwin)
sorpaas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you Microsoft!
anonyfox 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Great. Now release visual studio "native" for OS X and I'd have a look at it. Having to run an emulated windows just to fiddle around in a fairly heavyweight IDE sucks.

As nice as C#/F# is, the real fun comes from the powerful IDE. And I just don't do windows anymore, except for occasional gaming (and this only until I finally buy the new retina iMac and throw the last PC at home away).

MagicWishMonkey 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know if this means an OSX/Linux version of Visual Studio might one day be possible?
Tiktaalik 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Potentially great news for Unity game developers. Unity uses an ancient version of Mono that doesn't support all sorts of sensible things. Maybe now some future version of Unity will have a more cutting edge .NET library.
MangoDiesel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It will be interesting to see how this works out, and how many resources are put behind it. If it does allow developers to choose to work on Linux/Mac for .NET development, it will put a lot of pressure on Windows to create a great product.
datashovel 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations Microsoft. Welcome to 2014! :) Although I will say, since it took so long I would still expect the community to be somewhat skeptical / cynical, and / or slow to adopt / buy in.
venomsnake 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I welcome it. And still think it is 10 years too late. 2.0 was a blast and provided higher quality of life and speed of contemporary JAVA. If they had made it multiplatform back then the world would have been different.
alediaferia 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a huge amount of tech resource. Don't know if it will actually bring to something working on the other platforms, but for sure it will help projects like Mono which deserved a little help.
Immortalin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Good strategy Microsoft!
chenster 13 hours ago 1 reply      
what does iOS developer get out of it? What's the implications for iOS & Mac developers? It would be nice that I can finally develop iOS and Mac apps using C# and .NET coming from a seasoned .NET developers to iOS developer. But doesn't Mono can just do that already? Besides Apple will never approve apps not written in Swift or Object-C (exclude PhoneGap).
enlightenedfool 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Does nvidia NSight now work with VS community edition? They say VS community is fully extensible edition.
sciurus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
jacquesm 15 hours ago 1 reply      
michaelvkpdx 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Oregon legalized marijuana on Tuesday. Microsoft open sources .NET today. They say miracles come in 3. What's next?
edpichler 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Good to us, and good to Microsoft.

Great news, but this platform should be born as Open Source since the beginning. Anyway, before late than never.

yarrel 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Will this wipe out Mono?

Please say yes.

grandalf 14 hours ago 1 reply      
After recently using Microsoft's online tools (OWA, web-based office, etc.) and the IOS version of OWA, I'm shocked at how bad the UX has become.

Recently, there was a bug that makes the IOS OWS client replace its standard icons with emoji. It's been over 90 days and the bug is still not fixed.

There have recently been a lot of bold decisions at Microsoft. If anything can turn around a dying company it's this kind of approach.

Slackwise 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If only this included a revival of IronRuby.

And, moonshot, but giving IronRuby/IronPython as much prominence as PowerShell.

programminggeek 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. It doesn't in any way cheapen or lessen the .NET business at all, if anything more things will be built on .NET which will lead to higher sales of things like Azure, which for a lot of non .NET devs has almost 0 mindshare.

I've never heard a Ruby or PHP developer list Azure as a potential deploy target. That is a real problem for Microsoft, even though Azure can do a lot of the same things AWS or Google's cloud does.

Smart move Microsoft.

yohanatan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I see this as a last ditch attempt by Microsoft to stay semi-relevant. Of course this was the great promise of .NET to begin with, but it seems rather late to exercise the option now (some 15 years or so after .NET was created)-- a very desperate move by a dying empire.
bmurphy1976 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I just want to add my $.02. It's about fucking time. They should have done this 15 years ago.
FiveTimesTheFun 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What a day :)
pjmlp 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Also as part of the announcement clang will get some Visual Studio love!
tn13 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not so much enthu about the open source part but more fascinated by the fact that it is cross platform.
vastinfest 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone somewhere is spinning at mach 1 in his grave..
penguindev 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So when are they going to stop suing android for having the nerve to try to interoperate with their shit FAT filesystem?
bonsai80 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's like slashdot on april fools day!
noobermin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm curious what this means for mono, then.
SEJeff 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I do wonder what this means for the mono project
biafra 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The way I see it, I still need a Windows machine to run VS. I will consider their platform when I can develop for it on MacOSX.
cyber1 13 hours ago 0 replies      

Thankyou Microsoft.

api 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. The new Microsoft indeed.

If there are any MS people in this thread: I would pay for Visual Studio for Mac and Linux if I could also use its GUI designers on those platforms. If I could write a GUI front-end in C# and design it with VS and ship it for Windows, Mac, Linux, and possibly others, then I'd definitely pay money for that.

Right now we've got Qt, Java, and possibly HTML5+node-webkit for that, and none of those are anywhere near as good as MS's GUI tooling and IDE.

skykooler 16 hours ago 3 replies      
What does this mean for ReactOS?
derengel 15 hours ago 2 replies      
If the support for osx and linux depends on xamarin, the future of .NET on those platforms is very dubious.
notastartup 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess it's now easier to create cross platform desktop apps using Visual Studio 2015? Does this mean I can finally make iOS apps on Windows? I'm downloading the 2015 preview to try it out.
fit2rule 15 hours ago 1 reply      
This demonstrates the importance of documentation in the framework wars. What could Microsoft possibly gain from open-sourcing .NET? They already have a few thousand great developers working on their jeweled prize, designed to lure developers to the brand as resolutely, and immutably, as possible.

.NET going open source is Microsoft admitting that, despite its best efforts, developers still want to know whats going on behind the curtain, whether the mirror really works, and just what kind of smoke is being blown up their ass in the effort to capture their minds and bind them to the brand.

aarongray 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple decades late to the party, but surprising nonetheless. ^_^
bosky101 14 hours ago 1 reply      

    '...show me the code.'

jbob2000 15 hours ago 3 replies      
aka "We're actually facing competition from open source now, so we're going to listen to what people have been saying for years. Love us?"
everydaypanos 7 hours ago 0 replies      
iamjustasking 15 hours ago 0 replies      
iamjustasking 15 hours ago 1 reply      
iamjustasking 15 hours ago 0 replies      
jbverschoor 14 hours ago 0 replies      
But it was already opensource more than 10 years ago.I remember compiling the ms .NET runtime on FreeBSD.
maerF0x0 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hacker news karma jackpot! ~200 karma to 1800 in one link.
robodale 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, fuck me and call me Shirley...this is awesome news.
anthony_barker 13 hours ago 0 replies      
MSFT Pls fix ODF before you claim to be open!


iamjustasking 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Self advertising by ms... What a surprise!
gjvc 16 hours ago 0 replies      

True to form, the links to github are broken.

fapjacks 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Too little, too late. At the end of the day, you're still being forced to pay a company to use their shitty software. Once you lose developers, you lose the race.
tosseraccount 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I've reverted to WIN32 because users can run a single file, bare bones EXE without the Permission Police blocking you.

Too often users aren't allowed to install programs.A simple program that can run on anything since XP is a good solution around Microsoft's sandbox strategy and DLL hell and install programs are big problems.

With wine you can even run your simple EXE on Linux and Mac.Native x86 means you run faster than these virtual machine based solutions.

Lisp in Small Pieces: Book and Code
28 points by dkarapetyan  2 hours ago   5 comments top 3
mahmud 49 minutes ago 1 reply      

I know this is a long stretch, but if any of you bought a used copy of LiSP from someone in Virginia, USA, please can you check if your copy has a telephone number hand written on inside of the right cover? It's the only contact I had to my step-father and I have not heard from him since. We haven't been in touch since my mother's passing.

caisah 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
"This is an excellent book on Lisp implementation. You'll get a lot out of it, whether you are interested in writing compilers and interpreters (for Lisp or any language) or whether you just want to see how Lisp works. It is the modern day successor to Allen's "Anatomy of Lisp"."Peter Norvig
macmac 53 minutes ago 1 reply      
The title appears to indicate that the book would be available for download (free), but this does not appear to be the case. Am I overinterpreting or missing something?
F# 4.0 Preview
37 points by noblethrasher  1 hour ago   1 comment top
galago 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
It would be useful if someone knowledgeable and critical could explain clearly the use of this language. The marketing blather doesn't give me much. I'm not a software engineer, so this just seems like a bunch of syntax wankery. I'm probably wrong, I'm just looking for a brief explanation as to why.
Philae has landed
1056 points by talltofu  15 hours ago   256 comments top 26
kartikkumar 15 hours ago 8 replies      
Absolutely stunning feat of engineering. My bosses are on the drill team for Philae and were amongst the nervy faces being beamed all over the world. Great example of what European nations can do when politics don't get in the way. ExoMars [1] and Bepi-Colombo [2] are perfect examples of the inverse.

Look forward to the first pictures from the surface. I'm at the Division on Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting [3] in Tucson at the moment, and there are already incredible results being presented based on data acquired by Rosetta. Stay tuned for a whole lot more!

[1] http://exploration.esa.int/mars/46048-programme-overview

[2] http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/BepiColombo_...

[3] http://aas.org/meetings/dps46

bd 13 hours ago 0 replies      
First images from Philae's ROLIS camera:


1) 3km above comet:


2) Few seconds before landing:


3) First surface image?


4) Possibly a new image from the descent?


Edit: no, here is the source (Rosetta's NavCam from yesterday):



Rosetta Lander Imaging System (ROLIS)


sktrdie 15 hours ago 2 replies      

  More analysis of @Philae2014 telemetry   indicates harpoons did not fire as 1st thought
Ouch, seems like it didn't land? https://twitter.com/esaoperations/status/532575061543485440

edit - the landing is confirmed, however the harpoons did not fire: https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta/status/532579871202238464

bsaul 15 hours ago 9 replies      
Anyone knows where i could find some info about the software stack this kind of probes are being built with ? Languages, programming methods, patching methods,os, runtime, etc.

I'm really curious to know how different it is from the web or enterprise development worlds.

the_rosentotter 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Coverage of this has been very confusing.

The ESA live feed at most times show people in some kind of control room staring at screens. There is no apparent way to see any highlights, unless I want to try scrolling back and forth through the hour-long video stream.

At any given time, various forum threads seem to have more information than the ESA site, which seems to communicate mostly through either lighthearted tweets, one-line headlines, or general background articles.

All I want is a simple timeline of events, constantly updated with latest news and images. Instead we have forum threads where you have to dig through comments to find out what is the newest info.

ajuc 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I listen to the solutions they invented to hibernate the probe safely - to save on the electricity they had to hibernate it, but then it could have change orientation relative to sun, and wouldn't have enough energy to wake up.

So they disabled the orientation system to save energy, but first they made the probe rotate quickly to stabilise it like a gyroscope.

That's stuff from sci-fi books / Mc Gyver movie :)

talltofu 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Live streaming of the event here http://news.yahoo.com/video/abc-news-plus-special-report-220...

Thanks @brianpgordon - Check out this gif of the orbital maneuvers required for Rosetta to reach its destination:https://i.imgur.com/TUkKuhf.gif

Live twitter feed of ESA https://twitter.com/esaoperations

It looks like @Philae2014 made a fairly gentle touch down on #67P based on amount of landing gear damping #CometLanding

spdy 15 hours ago 2 replies      
For anyone who wants to see how they got there


pretty mind blowing for me to plan ahead 10 years

k-mcgrady 15 hours ago 17 replies      
Amazing job! This might be a silly question but are their any ideas as to the actual real world benefits we could see from this? The director-general of the ESA said "This is a big step for human civilisation" so I presume there is some idea of what they expect to gain from this mission?

Edit: Thanks for all the replies! I'm at work now but will take a look at them this evening.

Killah911 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It is just me or has the story evolved into something a bit less jubilant in the course of the last two hours. It's an amazing feat, but this stuff is always a huge gamble.

As someone's who's worked on a few spacecraft project I feel really bad for the team(s) (recently worked on one which didn't go so well, years of work down the tube). Even if it didn't go perfectly I hope they're commended for the work they've done so far & the landing they achieved.

humanfromearth 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend this video that explains how Philae works:


shitlord 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Think of all the nice desktop backgrounds I'm going to have.

I am wondering what this will mean for humanity. Do you guys think the insights we gain from Philae will be as impactful as the ones from other space missions?

neiled 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Seeing their faces on the live feed when it landed was amazing. It must be so exciting.
anExcitedBeast 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Science is amazing. I'm glad to be living in a period where I get to be around for stuff like this.
jnem 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Total non-sequitor but...I'm surprised no one else has yet made the observation that Philae Lander put together is philaender, or philander. Juvenile post of the day award anybody?
FlyingSnake 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an incredible day for science and Humanity. ESA, CNSA, ISRO, SpaceX etc have done a great job so far to carry forward the legacy of NASA and ROSCOSMOS to new levels.

Still can't believe ESA planned and landed a robot on a comet. Bravo!

adregan 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Hope this isn't a dumb question, but how does Philae stay put? If the gravity strong enough to keep it on the surface? Also, as the comet nears the sun and parts of the comet start flying off, is there a threat of Philae getting swept along with it?
rabino 15 hours ago 2 replies      
we just landed a friggin' robot into a friggin' commet

mind blowing

ommunist 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is huge. In both technical and political ways. And bringing all the details into live online event is twice as huge. I just watched the guy reporting the unsuccessful initial anchoring of the probe, and I felt so happy that I could see this. Incredible. By the way the lander software runs on Harris RTX2010 processors -- the US contribution.
pbhjpbhj 11 hours ago 1 reply      
ITT downvoting to invisibility because you disagree with someone honestly held and cogently expressed opinions.

Silencing diverse opinions is quite possibly the worst facet of HN.

rodolphoarruda 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"Philae has made the first, historic landing on a comet, after descending from its mothership"

To me, no other statement could be more impacting. Earth is finally sending motherships to space. feeling mind-boggled

jmccreery 14 hours ago 0 replies      
No announcement yet, but just now in the ESA webcast of the control room everyone stopped, gathered around a guy that I assume is the team lead, and are now going home. I have a bad feeling about this.
jarmitage 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Three.js version of the comet http://cabbi.bo/rosetta/
Sven7 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Big congrats to all involved! What an achievement!
Gravityloss 15 hours ago 2 replies      
"where were you when Philae landed?"
india_congrats 15 hours ago 7 replies      
Congratulations Europe. But why don't we hear people saying that the EU should focus on their poverty first and would be better off putting this money into getting the Greece, Spain, and Italy economies in order?
Android 5.0 Lollipop reviewed
103 points by jonathansizz  5 hours ago   38 comments top 12
buro9 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Received the calendar app this morning, it is a major step-backwards.

What was once a killer app, a core productivity tool, has given way to an almost unusable interface.

It is now really hard to perform some tasks.

For example, I am a heavy calendar user and I have something in the calendar almost every day. It is now extremely difficult to answer the question: When is a three hour window free in the next month or two?

That used to be a single glance at the month view which communicated to me full day events, part-of-day events, and for the latter which part of the day and how long the event took. A single glance at month view could answer it and I could move forward backwards to glance at the next/prev month.

Old: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kiic7fdrmu65172/2014-11-13%2006.56... October 2014 in the old v4.4 Calendar app)

To achieve it now, I'd need to use the 5 day view, and for each 5 day segment to scroll up and down as even on my Moto X (2014) I cannot view more than half of the working day.

New: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pgqbhnc1ifp02a9/2014-11-13%2006.56... October 2014 in the new v5 Calendar app)

Gone is the ability to use Calendar on the phone as the core way to organise your life, it is essentially now unusable on the phone for anything other than a near-term agenda/itinerary.

All of the new Gmail/Inbox to Calendar features? Dead to me, all of my accounts are Google Hosted accounts and none of the Google Now, Gmail, or Inbox integrations with Calendar work on Google Hosted accounts.

clay_to_n 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good review. I really love Material, and would place it above iOS 8's design guidelines after using and developing apps for both.

However, there are some inconsistencies - besides the Calendar app heavily described here, the Contacts app on my Nexus 7 has some weird design choices.

Firstly, when viewing a contact, there is no back button in the top left - you need to use the system back button, or drag the card down. Secondly, when adding a new contact, the checkmark button is in the top left, and to discard you need to go to the top right overflow settings button, and choose discard changes (the only option in the overflow). Completely counterintuitive (top left for Create, top right for discard), and the opposite of the Gmail app's Compose window (which uses the standard layout).

click170 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Just a quick skim through, lots of neat features but it doesn't look like there's a lot of privacy-oriented ones, which is rather disappointing.

I was really hoping they would bring back whatever API made it possible for things like AppOps Launcher to allow you to prevent other apps from accessing things like your contacts, account listing, or location. I was hoping that when they took it away it was because it was intended for release in a future version, but we've yet to see it since.

bane 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Pure conjecture, but at some point, Android is basically just going to be the Kernel and a distribution medium. Everything else will come from the Play store, the GUI, device drivers, the fonts, the apps, the clock, core APIs, the runtime, everything and the OS will simply move to rolling partial updates. Version x simply won't be meaningful anymore and the kernel can stay static for years and years.

This is a great future that honestly wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the fragmentation and slow update issue that carriers and device manufacturers created. It's like trying to grab toothpaste once it's out of the tube. The harder you squeeze, it simply finds another crack in your hand to go out of.

Material is also fantastic, almost joyful to use. It almost nails the flat-with-a-dash-of-skeu that Microsoft and Apple have both missed. There's still a few too flat bits here and there, but it's a great place to be.

m_mueller 1 hour ago 4 replies      
As an iOS user since the 3GS, I have to say this is the first time I find Android to look significantly better and more usable than iOS, which IMO has regressed since iOS 7.

How is the situation with backups and restores nowadays? If I'd have to redo all my settings when switching from an Android to another Android phone in 2016, I'd be pretty sad. I'd even be willing to restrict myself to Nexus devices if that makes a difference.

Oh, also, are there any good Nexus phones with dual simcards? That would be a major reason for me to switch over.

rezistik 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"Android 5.0 Lollipop is at least the biggest update since Android 4.0"

Isn't that how versioning works generally?

Kiro 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
How is the lag? Still a lot of stuttering everywhere?
ot 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This paragraph made me smile:

> Since Dalvik only compiled at runtime, the compiled code was never written to disk. [...] This would lead to a lot of disk thrashing [...] Since ART is already compiled, the compiled code can be paged out to disk

(emphasis mine)

It's funny that we still call disk any slower, non-volatile memory (and it's even funnier to imagine an Android phone with an actual disk).

BorisMelnik 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is an extremely thorough review. Tough to say anything negative. Huge fan of Google Material design and have been using a lot of it for my native app designs, and my users have frigging loved it. Also transferring a lot of this into desktop (web) design as well and getting lots of great feedback.
clhodapp 1 hour ago 1 reply      
In my opinion, the level of stretching and radially-wiping animations in material design is completely at odds with Google's claim that the central metaphor is paper/cards. While I like most of their redesigned applications rather a lot, even if I try to force myself to see them as sheets of paper, I cannot, as the widgets actually behave almost nothing like paper.
felixrieseberg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am one of those people who always felt that Android didn't look nearly as good as it was feature-loaded. Feeling that I could always do pretty much anything with a powerful Android phone, I'm happy to see Google taking a serious big swing at design.
dav43 2 hours ago 3 replies      
just my 2 cents, but my biggest grips are still no universal search, ala spotlight; and privacy controls for each app, for each function. If they fixed those i'd switch.

(and no, i don't want to have to download other apps, tweak this and that to achieve the desired outcome. It should be standard)

Samples for using LLVM and Clang as a library
34 points by nkurz  3 hours ago   1 comment top
zwischenzug 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
In terms of building LLVM and clang, I wrote this ShutIt module a while back when trying to learn it myself:


Idea that intestinal bacteria affect mental health gains ground
46 points by whyenot  3 hours ago   8 comments top 3
jhulla 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It seems there are people who are DIY fecal transplants in the hopes of addressing various maladies and illnesses.


hliyan 1 hour ago 1 reply      
More importantly, article also mentions that Caesarean births, due to non-exposure to maternal vaginal microbes, might result in lifelong mental health changes.
nashequilibrium 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Anybody here has done first hand experiments on themselves care to comment?
Screeps the world's first MMO sandbox strategy game for programmers
68 points by numo16  5 hours ago   32 comments top 15
jrometty 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I support this wholeheartedly. I have wanted to mix my love for starcraft/AOEII with coding, and no games have done it to my satisfaction.

Here are some other ones that didn't quite hook me.


christiangenco 52 minutes ago 1 reply      
Ahh yes! I've been waiting for something like this since getting hooked on Starcraft and wishing I could dip into the worker's AI so it would run away if getting attacked - would save so much brain CPU and make the game much more high level (as it stands, Starcraft is really just a game about being able to split your attention on a series of rote tasks while still keeping your reaction time higher than the other player).

I'm tremendously excited for this.

Also: if you don't launch with coffeescipt, I'll be adding a browser plugin to enable it.

curiousHacker 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This would be an amazing way to indulge my programming fascination while also honoring my financial commitment to stick with efforts that could make a direct $MM impact on P&L. Wait, I can program and do that? Where do I sign up?

Hi, devs! Feature request: that you can play the game without having to enter code; that you can actually point and drag and click. I hope that "You can master basics without knowing JavaScript" means that there is a traditional RTS style mousey interface

jamesaguilar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It will be interesting to see how it works. The biggest issue I can foresee is that a program doesn't have a limit on how much it can manage, given the computation time. If one AI is even a little better than the next best, it could quickly dominate the entire field without some limitations on growth. Something like warcraft 3's upkeep system would be good for ensuring that the game doesn't become boring even if one player is clearly better than the rest.
jmckib 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Awesome, this looks like it might be more fun than codecombat, which didn't hold my interest for long. I hope coffeescript gets added in eventually.
nicklovescode 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Would love additional info on gameplay. Is it RTS style where you see all your creeps and start coding on the spot? Or is it you write a more general algorithm and see how everything goes?
thaumaturgy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice choice of music for the video. :-)

This looks great. Will there be a pre-launch documentation release? If I were going to mess around with it, it'd be nice to be able to think about it for a day or two.

curiousHacker 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
artchiv: I would paypal you $20 to have early access to the API docs.
WildUtah 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I miss Ants from ants.aichallenge.org. That was a game.
dmak 3 hours ago 1 reply      
And history was changed forever, this was the beginning of a new era where wars between countries were fought over Screeps.
joshu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Something I have wanted for quite a while.
Slix 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks really interesting. Will this be instant access, or will there be some sort of invite phase?
bennetthi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Really cool idea.
corv 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't wait to try this!
mproud 2 hours ago 1 reply      
You can tell its a strategy game created by [only] programmers the graphics look like absolute ass.
Sometimes Kill -9 Isn't Enough
62 points by tylertreat  8 hours ago   10 comments top 8
rdtsc 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Was going to make a pun on the title "... because uninterruptable sleep is a bitch", but it doesn't talk about that.

Going back to the topic there are great points there. Remember discovering "tc qdisc" and playing with it. Really nice tool.

But another thing to learn perhaps, is to try to avoid the gray zone by going to either the "black zone" = dead, or "white zone" = working fine. That is, if a node/process/VM/disk start showing signs of failure above a threshold, something else should kill/disable it or restart it.

Think of it as trying to go to stable known states. "Machine is up, running, serving data, etc", "Machine is taken offline". If you can try to avoid in-between "gray states" -- "Some processes are working, some are not", "swap is full and running out of memory, oomkiller is going to town, some some services kinda work" and so on. There are just too many degrees of freedom and it is hard to test against all of them. Obviously somethings like network issues cannot be fixed with a simple restart so those have to be tested.

artursapek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Comcast" is pretty hilarious. https://github.com/tylertreat/Comcast
zorbo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This focuses mostly on simulating unreliabable networking. Is there a tool, perhaps some LD_PRELOAD wrapper, that can simulate unreliable everything? I'm talking memory errors, disks going away, fake high I/O load, etc?

I once wrote a library for python that injected itself into the main modules (os, sys, etc) and generated random failures all over the place. It worked very well for writing reliable applications, but it only worked for pure python code. I don't own the code, so I can't open source it unfortunately.

ReidZB 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you'd like to simulate network crappiness on OS X, you can use the Network Link Conditioner from Apple themselves: http://nshipster.com/network-link-conditioner/

I was very impressed with its feature-set (for what it is). On our team, we use it to see how our iOS app will react to severe network problems (via testing in the simulator, mostly, though it's also available on iOS devices themselves as explained in the above article).

GuiA 3 hours ago 0 replies      
noonespecial 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Brings back horrible memories of writing tc scripts to simulate VSAT and rural dsl back in the bad old days. We bundled them up on a Soekris box and called it the "DSLow" (as in DSL-oh) box.
tlarkworthy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I recognise those commands ...


I am still trying to work out how I not knobble my DB connection when trying to simulate client errors on a single dev machine.

mu_killnine 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I find this article offensive ;
Two Microsofts
109 points by bobbles  8 hours ago   32 comments top 8
Spearchucker 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure I entirely agree with this. Office on iOS and Android is (in my opinion) geared at being able to read and maybe edit Office documents. While these apps can certainly create Office documents, they're not really suited to it. One would ideally do that using a laptop or PC. And that then simply makes mobile a way of further entrenching Office - people who use it at work can now use it on their devices. People who use it at work and on the road are (again, my opinion) more likely to use it at home. Win for Microsoft.

On the devices side? Sure, Surface and Lumia are nowhere near as successful as the iPhone, iPad and Android. That was Microsoft coming late to the party. But come to the party they must. Before Windows Phone shareholders screamed for an iPhone competitor from Microsoft. After Windows Phone shareholders screamed for an iPad competitor from Microsoft. Windows Phone is good, and has some loyal fans. Windows 8 didn't do much for Surface, or Microsoft. Surface hardware is however also good, but new.

Ultimately the devices strategy strikes me as being sound - it's a platform to showcase the services side of Microsoft, and in time may be profitable to a point where the critics are satisfied.

ha292 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else think that MS folks are just plain and simple desperate and are trying new things ?

I think it is entirely feasible that they haven't really thought through what they are doing. It feels that they are simply streamlining and opening up without an end game in mind.

Aloha 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the guys enterprise map is off - while the future might be the cloud, the current is still firmly rooted in windows desktop, windows server, active directory and exchange.
mbillie1 6 hours ago 5 replies      
> I dont think any company should have both horizontal (i.e. services) and vertical (i.e. devices) businesses.

I find it curious that Microsoft is the target of this criticism, and I am further curious what the author thinks about Apple.

vcjohnson 6 hours ago 0 replies      
>he problem, though, is that not only could this limitation manifest itself as incremental annoyance

Eh I'd hazard a guess that the vast majority of mobile office users don't need unlimited cloud storage (especially with 15GB free anyway) or advanced editing capabilities. Both of those features would be well served in an enterprise environment, but there are Office 365 Enterprise subscriptions for that. Maybe no dropbox integration is an annoyance, but I question whether that would be enough to push out existing office users.

cwyers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"The line of demarcation, though, is not services and devices, but rather enterprise and consumer."

They didn't keep this a secret, man.

georgemcbay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"by releasing most of the functionality of Office for free, Microsoft is giving up on the iPad as a growth driver for Office 365, but it seems like they cant quite wean themselves of incremental income from Office diehards. The problem, though, is that not only could this limitation manifest itself as incremental annoyance, it also limits the defensive utility of this move (members-only)."

This paragraph stuck me as funny as it is decrying Microsoft upselling premium subscriber only features for Office 365 and then it ends on a link that is a "members only" upsell to a $10 a month subscription feature for this blog.

Ha, ha. wut.

bretthellman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
More like the opposite. They should be more tightly integrated.
Typewriters are back, and we have Edward Snowden to thank
54 points by doctorshady  6 hours ago   36 comments top 8
tincholio 3 minutes ago 1 reply      
> Vinyl is one of the most notable technologies to have achieved a noticeable revival, not only for its retro value but also for its superior sound quality.

After this, I have trouble taking the rest of the article seriously...

johnchristopher 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've always liked that paragraph from W. Gibson's `Virtual Light`

> The offices the girl rode between were electronically conterminousin effect, a single desktop, the map of distances obliterated by the seamless and instantaneous nature of communication. Yet this very seamlessness, which had rendered physical mail an expensive novelty, might as easily be viewed as porosity, and as such created the need for the service the girl provided. Physically transporting bits of information about a grid that consisted of little else, she provided a degree of absolute security in the fluid universe of data. With your memo in the girls bag, you knew precisely where it was; otherwise, your memo was nowhere, perhaps everywhere, in that instant of transit.

joezydeco 4 hours ago 4 replies      
"Earlier this year, German politician Patrick Sensburg announced that Germanys government officials might start using typewriters, as they are seen as being an unhackable technology."

Yeah, about that...



Unless they're going back to mechanical ones.

eksith 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The laughter was nearly deafening when this product was introduced http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/password-minder-the-b...

I wonder whether its time has finally come.

Edit: It's worth noting that each typewriter is unique and will leave a telltale signature subject to identification https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typewriter#Forensic_examinatio...

Of course, modern printers aren't immune to this and many models incorporate identifiers by the manufacturers to aid forensic investigation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printer_steganography

bane 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Good, because the spy agencies of the world have an even deeper library of techniques to handle espionage off of typewriters than off of computers.
jMyles 3 hours ago 1 reply      
These seems completely unfounded. Even without the research to which other commenters have linked, it just seems plainly obvious that typewriters are vulnerable to all sorts of attack.

Is open source software and reasonably security practice really that bad? I mean I know it's bad, but is it abandon-common-sense-and-just-grasp-at-straws bad?

tuke 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of how Neal Stephenson in The Diamond Age taught us that a culture might control the copying of information by utilizing mechanical type to print newspapers, where each printing shows the grain of the type and is hard to simulate.
freshflowers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's disheartening how few people in this thread have actually read the article instead of reacting to the linkbait headline.

God forbid we shouldn't worship new technology as always better.

Why You Should Charge from Day One
19 points by robn_fastmail  3 hours ago   4 comments top 2
jcr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Rob, I spotted this on the download page:

>"During this 15-year journey they were acquired, but subsequentlybought the company back a few years later and are now wholly owned bythe staff."

Non-small tech companies owned by staff are pretty rare. Have you everwritten anything about the experience? Does it work well? Is itstructured like a co-op or similar?

(sorry for the barrage of questions, but I've always wondered aboutthis)

100k 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If I ever start another company, I am definitely going to do this. The burden of supporting only paying customers is so much lower, and you can really focus on what's important to them.
Son of Stuxnet
145 points by jbegley  10 hours ago   11 comments top 5
tptacek 8 hours ago 2 replies      
An interesting aspect of this story that points the direction the Internet will probably take in reinforcing trust relationships:

The idea that a major government malware contracting effort was required to pop a particular Hungarian CA (presumably for deniability reasons) tells you something. The USG virtually undoubtedly controls several RSA keys that can be used to sign arbitrary SSL/TLS certificates. Why didn't they just use one of those?

I assume it's because they're expensive, and every time you use them, you risk burning the CA they're associated with: the major browser and OS vendors will excise your root keys, or attach constraints to their use.

Kim Zetter, for understandable narrative reasons, uses Gmail as an example of the kind of site that a CA-hijacker could compromise. But Gmail is the dumbest possible site to target with a traceable compromised CA key, because it's key identities are pinned in Firefox and Chrome; if the key indicated over the wire disagrees with the browser binary, the browser flips out.

This is why HPKP, TACK, and similar pinning/continuity/attestation frameworks are such a good idea. Over the medium term, they allow the users of the Internet to surveil SSL/TLS keys and detect compromised CAs.

jaryd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"The only catch was, he couldnt tell anyone what he was doing. Bartos company depended on the trust of customers, and if word got out that the company had been hacked, they could lose clients."

It's unfortunate that still today the attitude is "cover it up" rather than disclosure. I would hope that any company that I entrust with my data would be forthright about breaches so that I, as a customer, would have the opportunity to take whatever precautions were necessary given the details of the breach.

npkarnik 8 hours ago 3 replies      
A lot of tech related journalism gets (fairly) maligned. This is truly amazing writing, and I highly recommend reading the whole book, even if you know most of the story.
toufka 9 hours ago 0 replies      
>...the victim was NetLock[1], a certificate authority in Hungary... The logs showed that the attackers had signed into one of the command servers in Germany in November 2009, two years before Duqu was discovered.

Professionals stealing certificates since at least 2009.

[1] https://www.netlock.hu/USEREN/

AgentME 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So who owned the command servers that the virus reported to? Were they innocent servers that had been hacked?
Aurora - New MySQL-Compatible Database Engine
268 points by ak217  14 hours ago   100 comments top 16
bcantrill 12 hours ago 6 replies      
(Disclaimer: I work for an AWS competitor.)

To me, there is a very interesting contrast to be had between this announcement and Microsoft's announcement: it feels like Microsoft is discovering the business value of being open at the same time that Amazon is living in the time warp of proprietary everything. Has Microsoft internalized that open source is (or can be) a differentiator in the cloud? Amazon is clearly still oblivious to it -- and it will be very interesting to see if this service generates fear of vendor lock-in...

jasondc 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the problem AWS is seeing is how they are being commoditized (e.g. you can just run your database on the cheapest hosting provider), so profits will move towards 0. They will need to add more services like this (Aurora, DynamoDB, etc.) to ensure AWS isn't a commodity (and you can't just easily switch to DigitalOcean).
andr 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading between the lines, it sounds like they've rewritten InnoDB's storage layer and made it multi-server aware w/ consensus.
sciurus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
More product details: http://aws.amazon.com/rds/aurora/details

and Frequently Asked Questions: http://aws.amazon.com/rds/aurora/faqs/

AaronFriel 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Ouch. This pricing is pretty rough for SaaS sold on the premise of cloud scalability.

At $200/month for the entry level, their lowest price is many times what the cheapest geo-replicated "SQL engine as a service" from Google or Microsoft is. I'm not sure how the performance differs, but I am guessing theirs are no slouches.

Microsoft offers "SQL Database" geo-replicated for as low as $15/mo., and it scales up from there. Not sure about performance, but it would be apples to oranges (MySQL versus SQL Server) and difficult to compare. I wonder what the TPC numbers are, but apparently the TPC organization doesn't allow publishing that yet.

Google offers "Google Cloud SQL", also geo-replicated, and their cheapest pricing is between $10 and $18 dollars a month.

i_have_to_speak 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is beginning to feel like how it was when Intel was competing with AMD -- evolutionary improvements at first, which just kept on coming, increasing in size and impact, until AMD just faded out of the high-perf server market.
LeonD 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Is a relational workload that requires four-nines-plus availability like Amazon is touting really something an organization would be willing to run in the cloud? Especially since that category includes a lot of personally identifiable data that legally can't be trusted to a third party. Wonder what kind of use cases they're aiming for.
frozenport 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Does this introduce more latency compared to running a LAMPs stack on EC2 or does it target larger databases? My database is about 300 megabytes.
state_machine 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Aurora" is already the name of a cloud infrastructure management product, an open-souce apache project no less: http://aurora.incubator.apache.org/

Using an existing name for a product in a similar space is just confusing and hurts everyone.

slik33 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Why mysql? Why not postgres engine?
donmaq 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm interested in transaction support for e-commerce. Magento users can experience significant performance issues on MySQL, and the upper tier are always interested in more RDBMS performance, eg via NewSQL solutions.

So what can Aurora do for that workload? Do the support multi-table transactions and referential integrity across all 3 Availability Zones? Similarly, they mentioned Durability targets; what's their targets for Consistency (ie ACID).

zippergz 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Has anyone been able to find specific pricing on this? All of the language I've seen about it has been vague. One of the things that's kept me from using RDS for toy projects is that it basically amounts to running another instance on top of what I already have. For a "real" project, that's a drop in the bucket, but for toys and prototypes, it can be a significant chunk of the cost (so I usually end up just running my own db on the same instance as the web server for those projects).
loco77 14 hours ago 3 replies      
4 times faster than MySQL on the same platform, how did they pull that off?
dschiptsov 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So, this is a Xen VPS (Amazon uses Xen as far as I remeber) with a MySQL 5.6 database, with a custom storage engine that stores data in some Dynamo-based storage. Any code could access it via MySQL protocol (bindings to libmysqlclient.so). Fine.
skj 14 hours ago 3 replies      
oh neat, AWS following GCP instead of the other way around.
himanshuy 13 hours ago 2 replies      
What is the use of a cloud relational database service? I thought everybody is going for Document Based databases.
The Invention of Sliced Bread
54 points by ryan_j_naughton  9 hours ago   8 comments top 3
camillomiller 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just to add some perspective from the outside world (I.e. Not America).In Italy sliced bread never really took over common bread. Yes we make toasts, and yes, we have sliced bread, but that's usually some industrial, over-processed bread loaf that you'll never find fresh at a bakery.

Here in Germany, were I live now, it's a mix. Common bread everywhere, but you can slice your own loaf at the supermarket with a terrific automated spring-loaded circular saw machine that's very cool to operate.

I just want to point out that "the best thing since sliced bread" is a sentence culturally linked to the U.S. conception of bread. I point that out because I had conversation with American friends in the past who were surprised by the non-universality of this sentence (as often happens with other cultural references).

whoopdedo 4 hours ago 3 replies      
First, that is one of the sloppiest colorized photos I've ever seen.

Now on to the article. Though I had heard bits and pieces of lore behind the invention, this is the first complete history. I'm surprise that he went about building the large-scale automated machine first, rather than evolving it from simpler devices. That the development was delayed and almost lost for good serves as a warning more than his success is an inspiration, I think. But he was persistent which I suppose is the single most important quality an innovator can have.

Not to mention a sense of humor. "Mac-Roh Sales & Manufacturing". And then he ended up selling his business to "Micro-Westco".

I once asked my grand-father "What was the best thing before sliced bread?" Without hesitation he said, "Indoor plumbing."

thomasjudge 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a parallel read, also interesting


Introducing the Photon
273 points by loisaidasam  14 hours ago   80 comments top 27
fragmede 13 hours ago 4 replies      
As a wifi -> GPIO board, this seems to be similar to the Electric Imp, but better since it doesn't use their misguided SD card form-factor or their blink-up nonsense. They also have a web-based ide, as well as a downloadable ide. I've not tried either of those out, but the downloadable IDE (though no Linux support) means I can use the same version control tools (ie git) to manage it, which is a huge win over Electric Imp's web-only IDE.

$20 for the Spark is an interesting price point as it's cheaper than most of the Arduino wifi shields, which you still need to connect to an Arduino. It's also the same price (in many places) as a USB wifi dongle, which you need, in order to connect up a Raspberry Pi.

While this things is drastically less powerful than a Raspberry Pi, in projects where the Raspberry Pi is a simple Wifi -> GPIO board this seems perfect, especially since there's a already a mobile app.


I wonder if the current title, 'Spark: Introducing the $19 Photon', is as it was submitted. But either way, it's a terrible title. What's a Photon, and why is it being $19 newsworthy?

bjustin 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I read the whole page and still am not sure what this is. Is it similar to an Arduino with on board WiFi?
cheapsteak 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Suggestion - put in some social sharing meta tags. It literally takes two minutes.Here's a quickie to make it semi presentable on facebook

```<meta property="og:title" content="Introducing the Photon IoT Toolkit"><meta property="og:image" content="https://s3.amazonaws.com/spark-website/photon-hero.jpg"><meta property="og:site_name" content="Spark"><meta property="og:description" content="A $19 postage stamp-sized hackable Wi-Fi module for interacting with physical things.">```

Also, $59.04 to ship to Canada? And why does it cost twice as much to ship to Canada than to France?

song 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried to preorder one for a project I have in mind, saw that shipping to France is around $30... With the size of the package, they definitely could be cheaper.

It's a bit annoying living in Europe and having to pay a tax on shipping whenever something interesting comes out.

EDIT: Just after typing this comment I tried again and now I have the option to ship it to France for $10. There seems to be a bug somewhere on their checkout form.

danielsiders 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems dangerously close to SparkFun (https://sparkfun.com) trademark and space. I had to look hard to figure out it wasn't a sparkfun product.
toddmatthews 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is similar to the Electric Imp in that you have to connect via their cloud service (you can not just make requests directly to any web endpoint). While this might be cheap, and great for prototyping, I dont want to build on top of something that locks me into your cloud service. They get you to buy a cheap piece (pricepoint) of hardware, but then you have to pay them to connect.

I'd rather use an RaspberryPi or Arduino Yun. While more expensive up front, they allow you to connect to any service you would like.

chillacy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Preordered. I bought a spark core and now I'm a huge fan. I have other arduinos, some teensy 3.0s, and avr chips, but the nice thing about having internet in embedded projects is:

1. No more xbee

2. Replaces other hardware components, for instance no need for an RTC when you can just get the time from the internet

Their app for connecting to the network never worked for me but it had a serial fallback so that was fine.

LukeB_UK 11 hours ago 1 reply      
$20 is a great price. I was going to get one until I found out that shipping would be another $10 on top.

Edit: I'm in the UK.

smilekzs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Preordered. I actually develop bare-metal on STM32Fx so this is a no-brainer. It might be tempting to see this as a device locked to the cloud, but really it isn't -- if you're put up with their firmware just plug in your favorite JTag debugger and flash your own.
teraflop 13 hours ago 1 reply      
That countdown showing the number of remaining orders with free shipping is a stroke of marketing genius. It certainly worked on me.
bbcbasic 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The site is too marketing-y. How about some technical specs? What battery do I need to run it? What voltage? Can I switch mains voltage? Etc.
canadaj 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I just pre-ordered! This looks fantastic for what I'm trying to do; reading temperatures of barbecues and smokers via wifi. I already have a working prototype using a Raspberry Pi, but of course I needed to add a USB wifi dongle and a sturdy case, as well as a beefy power supply to keep it all going. This will drastically reduce my overhead!

I can't wait!

aselzer 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems like a version of the Tessel[0]that isn't as overpriced[1].

[0] https://tessel.io/

[1] https://shop.trycelery.com/page/tec

jkaljundi 10 hours ago 1 reply      
OT: What's the best similar thing with Bluetooth connectivity nowadays?
bradfa 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's open source hardware for the example board design but not for the microcontroller and Broadcom wifi chip portion which seems to live within the square RF can which shows the "USI" logo.

I believe the wifi chip used is the same as in the Electric Imp.

philihp 13 hours ago 0 replies      
$20 is right at the impulse-buy level, too! Good job! Time to read about what I just preordered.
felixrieseberg 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks really, really interesting. It also seems like they're thinking a lot about tooling, which I appreciate - there's a lot of stuff out there right now, I assume the true differentiator will be in the tooling.

On that note, there's a weird "don't go back" loop at https://www.spark.io/signup.

dmritard96 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Spark seems very cool, but I think what worries me as a product builder is any gaurentees that the cloud service will be around in a couple years. Certainly not suggesting that it won't be, just that if I build a product with this, I will want my own version of the cloud as an open source project that I can license or something.
cmsmith 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Based on these specs:


this appears to be a complete upgrade * from the Spark Core, correct? So waiting 5 months will get you a better product at half the price?

* it appears to be missing the option for external flash storage, but that's not a big deal as they've upgraded the built in storage.

jeiden 13 hours ago 4 replies      
So proud to be part of the team!
sparticvs 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're curious how the SmartConfig protocol works, see: http://depletionregion.blogspot.com/2013/10/cc3000-smart-con...
pimlottc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
That picture needs some context for scale. My first impression was that it had a normal USB port and was much larger.
habosa 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ordered one, $20 is very much in the impulse range.

I hope I'm not missing something: is this a smaller, better, cheaper version of the Core? If so, does the Core only exist until the Photon starts shipping?

mahyarm 12 hours ago 1 reply      
So why would I choose this over a $20 Raspberry Pi?
roehst 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I know nothing about IOT.

Is this revolutionary? It does look awesome.

fchollet 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought this was going to be about the Spark big data framework.
brandoaire 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's an Wiring-compatible dev board with built in Wi-Fi and free Cloud service.
ArrayFire, a general-purpose GPU library, goes open source
157 points by pavanky  11 hours ago   34 comments top 7
melonakos 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Hello everyone! I am a co-founder of ArrayFire. Since this is a startup-oriented board, I thought readers of this thread might be interested in how we arrived at this decision to open source from a business perspective, http://notonlyluck.com/2014/07/31/the-decision-to-open-sourc...

For technical questions, @pavanky is on here :-)

EvanMiller 8 hours ago 2 replies      
For some context, ArrayFire is a product of AccelerEyes, which began life selling a GPU booster for Matlab (a product called Jacket).

This and today's .NET announcement shows how hard it is to sell proprietary developer tools. I had considered using ArrayFire for some of my own commercial work, but in the end decided to roll my own OpenCL code in order to have better control. If you require cutting-edge performance (which is the reason you'd consider ArrayFire in the first place), there's just too much risk involved if the vendor doesn't get details like memory access order right on complex matrix problems. Open-sourcing reduces that risk quite a bit; if this decision had been made 3 years ago, I would have given the product a closer look.

From a business perspective, open-sourcing will murder their margins so they're basically gambling on their ability to jump-start volume. I think the product is in a tough position because most of the action these is going towards "Big Data," where data doesn't fit on a single machine -- let alone a GPU -- or towards heavy number-crunching, where hand-rolled kernels will outperform generic array libraries. They might have luck serving as a kind of backend to NumPy, but then they're two steps removed from the customer so it'll be hard building a relationship that leads to a sale.

As a side note, it seems odd to me that "native CPU" is a target distinct from OpenCL, which already runs on both CPUs and GPUs. I understand that kernels written for GPUs sometimes need to be rewritten for CPUs to take advantage of the different computation and memory architecture, but since their native CPU target isn't vectorized or multi-threaded, it seems like any further effort should be spent adapting the OpenCL kernels for CPU platforms rather than reinventing the wheel with a distinct C or assembler target.

I admire the general goal of making GPU processing more accessible, but it's a problem with a lot of nuance and requires a significant amount of customer education. GPUs are sort of like quantum computers in the limited sense that they're totally awesome at some tasks and totally suck at other tasks, and you need a solid grounding in the theory to distinguish the two sets of cases. Open-sourcing should at least help with the education angle, since ArrayFire now represents a respectable percentage of publicly viewable OpenCL code. (The open-source scene for OpenCL is pretty depressing right now.) In any case, good luck out there.

pavanky 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Hello everyone! I am one of the developers. I am more than happy to answer any questions.
pmalynin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting project for sure. When I was working on machine learning project this summer I decided to use the GPU to do a lot of computation on a smallish dataset (100 MiB) with 250k records and the alogirthm was O(n^2) and at some points even O(n^3). I tried to use existing solutions (ViennaCL, etc) but alas nothing seemed to work fast or at all. In the end learning CUDA turned out to be quite easy and profiling with Nvidia's tools is very nice and for most problems it seems rolling your own solution is often the best as they can be so ridiculously optimized (100% bandwidth utilization on 33% thread occupancy
ubasu 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a curious onlooker - don't mean to criticize. A lot of this seems to be recreating stuff that Fortran 95/2003 does natively, but I guess this is for C/C++ people?
Kai__ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the title on their website a typo, or some in-joke I don't get?

"Real speedups for you code!"

bhouston 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The issue is that ArrayFire is competing against CUDA and it is free since NVIDIA makes money from selling the GPUs it runs on.
Introducing Visual Studios Emulator for Android
255 points by AaronFriel  15 hours ago   88 comments top 13
felixrieseberg 13 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a great time to reiterate that startups receive Microsoft's software for free, obviously including all versions of Visual Studio.

Check out BizSpark.com or get in touch with me if you happen to be a YC company (felix.rieseberg@microsoft.com).

wvenable 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I've only slightly dabbled in Android development: installing the SDK, IDE, build a "hello world", and run in an emulator. I've done a bit of old-school mobile development (Symbian, WinMobile) and I was very surprised how poor the emulation experience was for Android.

It looks like Microsoft might have a better Android emulation workflow than Google. What strange times!

terrence_giggy 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Visual Studio had always been what I perceive to be the most polished work environment (IDE) i've used. Despite that I have moved away from Microsoft and into Linux based environments over the past couple years. The thought of working out of Visual Studio for all of my Android, Node.js and .NET projects is very tempting.

I however didn't see any mention for Maven / Gradle support, and my latest VS is 2012. Anyone here with some insight into dependency management outside of NuGet?

Sometimes I have nightmares of updating Newtonsoft.Json (https://www.nuget.org/packages/Newtonsoft.Json/) and chasing down all of the version conflicts for the next several days.

cek 13 hours ago 0 replies      
When we built the WP7 emulator (not really an emulator because that implies cpu emulation) we chose to make it x86 based, using virtual machine tech. We could do this and get great performance because all 3rd party apps used managed CLR code and thus were processor independent.

Later the WP8 emulator was actually fully based on Hyper-v and this is too...meaning it is "just" a vm running x86 android, which explains why it's so fast.

RachelF 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Right now it is x86 Android only, not ARM, which is the vast majority of Android devices:

"You need to recompile your code for x86. If you have parts of your code that can only be compiled for ARM, or you depend on 3rd-party libraries for which you do not have an x86 version, your code will not run on our emulator at this point."

wasyl 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what kind of development for Android does VS offer? I guess it's not java, and I'm not familiar with options
kayman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Its great news, but I think it will take some time before the developers that grew up thinking of MSoft as a closed shop will slowly change their minds.A few "wow" open source releases will really help shift this mindset.
kozikow 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How does it compare to Genymotion? It would be much more interesting comparison than stock emulator.
untog 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks fantastic - Google's emulator offering has always been so poor that I turned to Genymotion. The only shame is that we won't see the same for iOS, given that the simulator requires OS X.
giancarlostoro 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great, the main thing really keeping me from Android development is the Emulators. I'm going to try this out. I love Visual Studio, never thought I'd get to do Android development on it, I wish Visual Studio for Ubuntu / Mac would come next though, but this is good enough for me!
maresca 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Such amazingly convenient timing. I just picked up my droid app I paused on working on. Definitely going to give this a shot. Thanks for posting!

Microsoft is so hot right now!

dested 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is incredible, perfect for xamarin or phonegag. Cant wait to use it
Dorian-Marie 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great time to reiterate that startups receive Microsoft's software for free, obviously it's a trap and you should not be hooked to Microsoft technology if you want to iterate quickly.
Music that upsets expectations is what makes your gray matter sing
118 points by dnetesn  11 hours ago   14 comments top 7
carapace 7 hours ago 4 replies      
An early cybernetic device interacted with musicians as part of a live ensemble. The machine detected novelty in the sounds it was hearing and would grow "bored" if the musicians' improvisations did not keep up. People who played with it interesting experiences. (I can dig up a reference to this if anyone's interested..)
quadrangle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Now this is music theory! There was this heated discussion back here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8472157

Well, that notation-jargon is still not real theory, and this stuff from the nautil.us link here is. This is the stuff to understand if you want to understand music.

mazelife 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Good article and actually having audio to illustrate the things the author talks about is helpful. For people interested in diving into this concept more deeply, there's a whole theoretical/analytical approach around musical expectation that was developed back in the 90s by Eugene Narmour: The Implication-Realization model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implication-Realization). Interestingly enough, it looks like the predictive power of the model holds up pretty well when tested in the real world: http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/~w3psygs/SchellenbergCognition.p...

I've been out of the music theory game for a while, so I don't know if anyone's doing much with the I-R model anymore, but it's a fascinating approach to music analysis.

gre 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favorite jazz pieces is Happy Madness off a Jobim compilation album. The whole piece tries to get you to hear a specific note, and then tricks you with a different one.


Encosia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the bit about Chopin leading listeners on for the satisfying note/chord in this Benjamin Zander talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passio...
JoelHobson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Although the 'Nokia Ringtone' was attributed correctly to Tarrega in a footnote, its title was never mentioned. The piece is called 'Gran Vals'.
radicalzebra 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool post! I think as technologists seeking to build tools for music creation, browsing, etc. there are some high level points to take from Professor Berger's article. As we deploy machine learning to match listeners and songs, we're often blindly satisfying expectations, when the entire essence of musical experience seems wrapped up in upsetting expectations.
The Future of NoSQL
30 points by gk1  7 hours ago   16 comments top 4
chad_walters 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"After extensive experience working with Bigtable and other eventually consistent systems..."

This is not accurate -- Bigtable is not eventually consistent. The scope of transactions supported by a system is a different set of considerations from the level of consistency it provides. Bigtable is consistent but only allows for transactionality at the row level.

Optimistic concurrency control is nothing new and Percolator layered transactions on top of Bigtable years back. Furthermore, TrueTime -- allowing for comparatively low-latency update across a globally distributed set of DCs -- is the real innovation in Spanner, not the use of optimistic concurrency control.

Honestly, I am not sure what this article is trying to claim, except perhaps that per-node performance has been improved. AFAICT, most of this is due to the fact that RAM is cheaper than it was, SSDs have reached commoditization, and networks in the DC are faster than they used to be.

haney 2 hours ago 0 replies      
While I understand the initial appeal of schemaless databases in my experience the schema is the best living documentation of the shape of the data. It becomes really handy to decouple this from the application layer when you start having multiple clients connecting to the database (transactional vs analytics workloads). I've also had my fair share of seemingly non deterministic behavior when working well tested code hits old data that you forgot was in a slightly different format.
postmeta 2 hours ago 2 replies      
NoSQL always seemed like a misnomer, should be SomeSQL, postgresql can do the same kinda ops and usually faster than your average NoSQL db:http://www.enterprisedb.com/nosql-for-enterprise
letstryagain 4 hours ago 4 replies      
> Schema-less design allows data to be modeled more flexibly than in relational databases, which lock the developer into a single schema at any given point in operations.

Implying that schemaless design is a GOOD thing

A wandering mind is an unhappy mind (2010) [pdf]
8 points by sorpaas  2 hours ago   1 comment top
camillomiller 1 minute ago 0 replies      
In one word: Yoga.
AWS CodeDeploy
196 points by helper  14 hours ago   43 comments top 12
STRML 11 hours ago 6 replies      
While this looks nice, part of me can't help but be annoyed by yet another deployment option on AWS. We now have CloudFormation, Elastic Beanstalk (which can take many forms, including Docker), CodeDeploy, and Opsworks.

I can imagine how, for a new user, it's utterly baffling which of these options is the best for the longterm, with the least friction. I use OpsWorks quite a bit but have found it very challenging, and the feedback cycle when attempting to develop new cookbooks is excruciatingly slow.

All I want, personally, is a system that uses a set of interchangeable scripts that represent dependencies, so my server configs can live in version control. It doesn't even need to run on multiple OSs (which seems to be a central tenet of Chef). It just needs to deploy/rollback with zero downtime, and ideally autoscale as quickly as possible. Is this it? Is there any way to know without spending weeks fleshing out how it works?

ryanfitz 13 hours ago 5 replies      
I've only briefly read over the documentation, but this service seems to not follow deployment best practices that aws and others such as netflix have been talking about for years. Specifically the pattern of pre-baking an ami with your current version of the app you are deploying and any other needed software completely installed on the ami and then having an autoscale group be able to boot that ami up in a few seconds and start working. This greatly helps with scaling up, doing rolling upgrades and also very easy rollbacks.

The CodeDeploy service seems to operate by you manually launching base ec2 instance with a code deploy agent and then this agent will checkout your git code on the live instance, run any provisioning steps and then if things break somehow rollback all that work, still on the live instance.

I'm sure this is still a big improvement to companies who are manually sshing into servers and running deployments by hand, but as someone who pre-bakes ami's and does rolling upgrades with autoscaling groups this service seems like a step backwards.

kabell 12 hours ago 0 replies      
BTW, we now integrate with this from CircleCI: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8597439

There's some discussion in that post of how it compares to pre-baking, etc. Of course there are trade-offs either way. CodeDeploy does require that your are careful with your lifecycle scripts to make deployments as atomic as possible. At least they provide a good selection of default lifecycle events for you to take advantage of.

bkeroack 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's an open source tool that does something very similar (and you aren't vendor-locked into AWS):


caiob 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As a beginner I have a hard time understanding all these services that Amazon provides. I know I should probably be using them, but I don't know which one.
marbemac 13 hours ago 0 replies      
How does this compare to Deis? Does it serve the same use case, albeit locked into AWS?

Discussion on Deis from yesterday:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8591209

deverton 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks a lot like Marathon [1] though without some of the resource abstractions that Mesos [2] provides underneath.

1. https://mesosphere.github.io/marathon/2. https://mesos.apache.org/

samstokes 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This could be a big deal in terms of raising the bar for deployment practices.

Right now "nobody ever got fired for" setting up deployment via rsync and some ad-hoc shell scripts. That works for a single host, although it's not great for reproducibility. But as soon as you go to multiple hosts you need some degree of orchestration, monitoring, and integration with your load balancer to avoid downtime.

CodeDeploy offers those benefits, so if it turns out to be even slightly good, it could become the "nobody ever got fired for" choice, for any non-trivial app running on AWS.

djhworld 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Is this going to integrate with Docker? Would make a great orchestration platform
bmajz 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting. Between Elastic Beanstalk, OpsWorks, and now CodeDeploy it seems like AWS is taking over every production developer workflow from the hobbyist on up.
demircancelebi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I am having a hard time to understand how CodeDeploy will change my current deployment workflow (which consists of git aws.push basically). Can someone here enlighten me?
danielhunt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Region Unsupported

CodeDeploy is not available in EU (Ireland). Please select another region.

Supported Regions

US East (N. Virginia)US West (Oregon)

What an Uncensored Letter to M.L.K. Reveals
389 points by rooster8  9 hours ago   175 comments top 24
declan 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Much of this was known before, including the FBI's anonymous letter attempting to provoke a suicide. As others said elsewhere in this thread, documents came out during the Church Committee. I wrote this 15 years ago when I worked at Time:

      The FBI's campaign to destroy Dr. Martin Luther      King began in December 1963, soon after the      famous civil rights March on Washington. It      started with an extensive -- and illegal -- electronic      surveillance of King that probed into every corner      of his personal life.       Two weeks after the march, the same week King      appeared on the cover of Time magazine as "Man      of the Year," FBI agents inserted a microphone in      King's bedroom. ("They had to dig deep in the      garbage to come up with that one," FBI director J.      Edgar Hoover said of the Time cover story.) Hoover      wiretapped King's phone and fed the information to      the Defense Department and to friendly      newspapermen.       When King travelled to Europe to receive the      Nobel Peace Prize, Hoover tried to derail meetings      between King and foreign officials, including the      Pope. Hoover even sent King an anonymous      letter, using information gathered through illegal      surveillance, to encourage the depressed civil      rights leader to commit suicide.       "The actions taken against Dr. King are      indefensible. They represent a sad episode in the      dark history of covert actions directed against      law-abiding citizens by a law enforcement      agency," a Senate committee concluded in 1976.    []      History reveals that time and again, the FBI,      the military and other law enforcement      organizations have ignored the law and spied on      Americans illegally, without court authorization.      Government agencies have subjected hundreds of      thousands of law-abiding Americans to unjust      surveillance, illegal wiretaps and warrantless      searches. Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King      Jr., feminists, gay rights leaders and Catholic      priests were spied on. The FBI used secret files      and hidden microphones to blackmail the      Kennedy brothers, sway the Supreme Court and      influence presidential elections. 

comrade1 8 hours ago 4 replies      
This was in the 1960s. Imagine the projects being conceived now for targeting individuals and population subsets to change opinion, mood, etc. using things like social media, targeted communications, etc.

The US then and now was totalitarian and authoritarian. Some of you, especially here on hn, may not fall into those mind-sets but it doesn't matter - you've lost - you're barely scraping by, working 60 to 80 hours a week and you have no time to change your environment. Meanwhile the political class is able to work full-time on perpetuating their power while taking away yours. You have no power, no rights, because they have been chiseled away the last 30 years by the authoritarians.

I've said this before and I'm always downvoted but I don't care. Just leave. Go to Berlin, or London (not much better though), Switzerland, or anywhere else. Even if you go to someplace like the UK that isn't much better than the u.s. you will at least no longer be contributing to a government spending 10X to 100X of any other country on arguably evil pursuits. Take your wealth-creation skills to somewhere else where you won't be contributing to your our demise.

I know that many of you will discount this one event as a one-off - MLK was certainly special. But it's only a one-off because it was the start of this sort of campaign against someone that can bring change.

Mikeb85 8 hours ago 8 replies      
It continually amazes me that Americans can perpetuate the myth that their government is a democratic, moral force in the world given everything they have done, and are still doing...
mynameishere 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Eventually we'll know what's in his file:

The FBI spied on Martin Luther King Jr. in an unsuccessful effort to prove he had ties to Communist organizations. In 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy granted an FBI request to surreptitiously record King and his associates by tapping their phones and placing hidden microphones in their homes, hotel rooms and offices. A 1977 court order sealed transcripts of the surveillance tapes for 50 years.


...some people think he made extensive use of prostitutes, but I expect the FBI would have pulled an "Eliot Spitzer" on him had that been the case. Still, there's something there or they wouldn't be covering it up to protect his saintly image.

samirmenon 9 hours ago 3 replies      
The New York Times actually broke the story.


zabuni 8 hours ago 13 replies      
Rather. Hackers political values, as stated in the jargon file, have politics:

"Formerly vaguely liberal-moderate, more recently moderate-to-neoconservative (hackers too were affected by the collapse of socialism). There is a strong libertarian contingent which rejects conventional left-right politics entirely. The only safe generalization is that hackers tend to be rather anti-authoritarian; thus, both paleoconservatism and hard leftism are rare. Hackers are far more likely than most non-hackers to either (a) be aggressively apolitical or (b) entertain peculiar or idiosyncratic political ideas and actually try to live by them day-to-day."

Mapping this to any political ideology would be difficult.

alukima 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I spent an obsessive night searching through documents via online 'reading rooms'. I don't have the links anymore but theres mounds of documentation showing intelligence agencies doing shady shit like this to try to break up civil rights groups. Fun look ups are 'blank panthers', 'san francisco', 'socialist', any black leader.

San Francisco seems like a broad term but there's so much interesting stuff, they were watching school teachers in the 60s and 70s and trying to create distrust within communities that were too left leaning.


scintill76 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The unredacted version is really interesting historically, but I don't think it reveals much more about the lengths the FBI went to. I believe it was already well-known and believed that King was being sexually blackmailed specifically. The redacted portions all seem to deal with that exact nature of the blackmailing.

The redaction reveals more about what the FBI wouldn't do: how at least one person was reluctant to release public documentation proving that's what the FBI did.

rglover 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Something that's always confused me about the world and people as a whole. Why are so many people hell bent on implementing some "moral standard" that everyone needs to follow? Honestly?

There's this bizarre projection of the individual and his/her motivations onto every living being that fails to make any logical sense.

Is there any psychological premise for why we feel the need to dictate the behavior of others such that they perfectly mirror how we behave (or in many cases, wish to)?

There appears to be a tipping point where someone agrees with a certain set of values and as opposed to stopping at enforcing those values on themselves (reasonable), they go absolutely nuts trying to push it onto everyone else.

A sort of: how dare you.

johnny99 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Snopes has a good explainer largely debunking one of the nastier pieces of misinformation circulating about MLK, which touches on FBI surveillance of him:


wyager 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Let this serve as a demonstration that government agencies actually can be comically evil.

A lot of people dismiss accusations against government agencies or fail to consider hypothetical legal abuse scenarios because "the government would never do that". Yes, the government would ever do that.

neue 8 hours ago 1 reply      
When was the letter written? What marked the significance of '34 days later'?
rooster8 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The URL was changed to the NY Times article that originally broke the story, but this post originally linked to an EFF interpretation of the article:

FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance


jack-r-abbit 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If this hadn't been labeled "suicide letter" I never would have read into it that the writer wanted King to kill himself. "You know what to do" is actually pretty vague. Do what? Come clean about his affairs? Leave the country? Quit being a pain in the ass for the government? Quit working on civil rights?
sopooneo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Do we have a guess as to why they wanted him dead? Was it that those in power believed the rise of African American citizens would disrupt the power structure and their position in it? Or was it purely racist, with the powerful just believing it was wrong for black people to have equal rights?
josho 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This puts in context why privacy is so important. If for some reason you were to become a leader of a movement and the NSA had swept up every digital bit about you for the last 30 years then they could potentially have a goldmine of information to soil your name and put the movement into disarray.
codezero 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow the redacted parts read like modern day news article comment sections. I wonder, was it meant to look like it was sent from a crazy person, but to include specific facts to scare MLK, or is this aligned with the typical kinds of personality attacks done by people at the time?
dangayle 8 hours ago 0 replies      
How hard would it be to create a fake internet paper trail containing pornography, chat rooms, etc., as is mentioned in the article? It seems that would be relatively trivial for a sufficiently motivated state actor to perpetrate.
opendais 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Tbh, this is what scares me about tech illiterate juries. Many of these cases hang on key pieces of evidence that are literally the FBI's word against the defendants.
jqm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
To me, the most ironic part of the whole situation is Hoover's private behavior...

That aside, there is very little doubt in my mind Hoover was a bad man. The sad part is, many people eventually are bad given the chance and they never even know it. This is why impartial rules and transparency are important.

This may not be a common sentiment, but I look forward to the day when we are governed by machines rather than monkeys. I mean... the constitution, the rules of state and religion, they are algorithms no? Designed to remove as much as possible the corruptible human element from the equation? So why not take this concept a level further?That's my thinking.

Eventually there will always be another Hoover. But the next one might have better tools. But I think the human race can build a better system based on principals of efficiency, impartiality and beneficence. And maybe after a bit more waste, abuse and needless suffering caused by greed (that is the bottom line with the people who run the Hoovers of the world no?) it will.

pitt1980 5 hours ago 0 replies      
maybe we should compare some of these misdeeds to the misdeeds of the various communist governments that inspired those misdeeds
baxterross 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The government does more harm than good
daveloyall 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there any indication that the modern FBI et al would use a strategy like this?

OMG STOP THE PRESSES I figured out the men's rights thing!

diminoten 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I find myself afraid to criticize this submission, because I don't feel an honest discourse about this submission can take place on Hacker News.

That should sadden you, as it saddens me.

DJI Systems Introduces Inspire 1 Drone
31 points by gorans  5 hours ago   17 comments top 5
3327 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow so many sick features... No wonder they haven't been picking up the customer service lines, or wait DJI customer service policy is simply not to reply. Never mind...

The product looks insane. Price point too.. Similar systems today cost 30K.

The problem with DJI is the generic firmware. I am still running old firmware because of all the crashes and complaints they have dramatically reduced performance / angle of attack, etc with each release.

salimmadjd 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand their consumer segments. Who is this product targeted for?

For amateurs, it's rather expensive compared to the other DJI options out there. Especially if you already have a GoPro.

If you're a pro, you probably opt for something more customizable. You want a camera that you can get a great footage out and there is a nice and commonly understood post-processing and grading option available and not use some propriety camera.

So I think real pros would spend a bit more and attach their existing camera (GH4, Canon 5D III, etc.) system that they are familiar with to a large drone or if they want a smaller drone they'll go with the LX100 or some one of many Sony offering (if they don't need 4K)

dperfect 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks very impressive!

I'm waiting to see some more real-world feedback as the Inspire 1 gets into the hands of more people. I can see myself seriously considering purchasing one... even without a very specific need at the moment (I consider myself more of a photo/video hobbyist than anything). Still, a part of me feels like there must be some kind of dealbreaker/issue that just hasn't come to light yet. I wonder how the camera compares to other options in the price range - not just in specs, but in actual image quality, dynamic range, color reproduction, etc.

The one thing that would make me more confident in buying one (other than a better reputation for DJI's support) would be some kind of statement (either from DJI or from customers' experience) of compatibility with GoPro.

Also, is anyone else annoyed that they don't stop the background video when you click to view the product video? Even on a new Macbook Pro, I get choppy video with both of them competing for resources. Even if it did play smoothly on my hardware, the background video is very distracting when you're watching the product video in a lightbox. Of course, clicking the YouTube link and watching in another tab worked better, but still..

sytelus 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This looks amazing however $2800 price tag is way up there for all but real or may be semi-professionals. It can fly to almost 15,000 feet which is just amazing considering that's where private small plane airspace is. In other words, you no longer have to rent a plane or helicopter to get that cool aerial shot of New York's Center Park or SF's Golden Gate bridge. Flight time is 18 mins which is also slightly higher.

It would have been nicer if they had clear "follow me" feature. Even better would be one-touch pre-programmed flight pattern. I can imagine myself sitting on a summit of a hike or ski resort or beach and doing one-touch pre-programmed cinematic flight path to get that super-cool gimble stabilized video that makes a circle around me.

zobzu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I dont like DJI too much but i've to admit the design and integrated features are getting pretty good.
Revisiting Alice ML
28 points by kinetik  5 hours ago   1 comment top
srean 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great news.

I have an increasingly strong feeling that ML is experiencing a second coming, well probably the first if one looks at mainstream only.

Nowadays I sense a distinct change in the narrative around it. Just about an year ago a response akin to, "WTF is OCaml, SML. Uggh! such ugly syntax. Why isnt it more dead already, nobody needs it for web development LOL. Let me write some Node callbacks" were not that rare. Now it is met with a lot more genuine curiosity and I think that is just fantastic. I am a little cynical about the reasons behind this emerging popularity: "Apple endorsed it, now it makes me look cool" and some misplaced notion that may be they discovered pattern matching and algebraic datatypes. I dont mind any of that as long as some of the good ideas find their way into the main stream. This is already happening.

Let it be time for year of the ML.

A blog post elaborating on the difference between C(oncurrent)ML and AliceML would be great to have.

Baron is a Bitcoin payment processor that anyone can deploy
59 points by adrianmacneil  8 hours ago   12 comments top 6
jianshi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm the CEO of Slickage. This was released a few months ago and I'm personally sorry for the downtime of demo. I hope people like it!
wtogami 1 hour ago 0 replies      
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=309785.0BitcoinTalk.org includes Baron in its security bounty program because it intends on using it within its own infrastructure. If you find a way to break it you can earn some serious money.
kleer001 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see a review of this code
dscrd 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Javascript as a language for handling serious amounts of money? I don't know...
wmf 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this use extended public keys?
agorabinary 7 hours ago 0 replies      
live demo 502
Why scraping and ecommerce are a perfect fit
107 points by sradu  11 hours ago   44 comments top 13
firloop 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interesting. So, it seems like you aren't respecting robots.txt. I picked Old Navy, as it was on your supported stores page [0], and went to their robots.txt [1]

    User-agent: *    Disallow: /buy/    Disallow: /checkout/
So, do you have permission to violate robots.txt, as I'm sure there is some automated interaction with checkout/purchasing pages? Or I am I missing something about how TwoTap works? Scraping is one thing, but accessing when the management of the website prohibits it seems like a big no no.

[0] : https://twotap.com/supported-stores/

[1]: http://oldnavy.gap.com/robots.txt

tommccabe 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks like I'm at one of the retailers you crawl. Recently, our site was getting hit with a web crawler that was following links incorrectly. I black listed several IP addresses from accessing the site and now I wonder if it was this!

Does your crawler obey robots.txt rules?

monksy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why you're pro-scrapping. ( I did write a blog post on this, and I believe that I posted it to HN before: http://theexceptioncatcher.com/blog/2012/07/how-to-get-rid-o... )

But, wouldn't it be more beneficial to get websites to open up an API to you, communicate to them to do so, or even offer consulting services to build an API?

I know that there are a few cart/store offerings out there. it seems to me that they would have an API.

Magneto: http://www.magentocommerce.com/api/soap/checkout/checkout.ht...

OpenCart Propretary API: http://opencart-api.com/

Prestashop API: http://doc.prestashop.com/display/PS14/Using+the+REST+webser...

josephjrobison 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm confused about the legality of scraping. Is it completely open, or are there some restrictions on scraping any site without explicit permission?
lloyddobbler 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've worked with two shopping search engines, and interestingly, scraping sites was one of the things they did to build up their inventory as well. The big difference being, they simply organized the products into a searchable format, then sent traffic to the ecommerce site and let them handle the checkout . What you're doing is arguably more complex.

(They also prioritized the feeds that were sent to them directly by retailers above the scraped items feeds - thus prioritizing paid listings, similar to the Google SERPs - so a different business model entirely.)

That being said, a very cool concept - and agreed that, given the relatively-small number of ecommerce platforms out there, scraping then erving them up seems pretty scalable. Interested to see how it goes.

grandalf 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The hard part is not scraping, it's returns. For many kinds of online products, the return rate is over 40%. The shopper must be completely aware of how to contact the merchant of record and how to return the product.

Also, if you are scraping a large retailer you are effectively required to be PCI DSS level 1 compliant, which takes a bit of extra effort.

coupdejarnac 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I built a CJ scraper for a deals website that is now defunct. What a pain it was to maintain. All the different retailers dump their data into CJ in different ways. I might just put it on github if anyone's interested. Python + chromedriver + beautifulsoup + mechanize
blaze33 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I tried the demo with a Lego castle priced 99 and got a grand total of more than $10k...

FYI, Lego showed me the French version of their website as it's where I live. You seems to only offer shipping in the US though that's not clear reading your website. Still very interesting.

Product URL: http://shop.lego.com/fr-FR/Le-ch%C3%A2teau-fort-70404?fromLi...

Screenshot: http://imgur.com/mlr8Q2e

dchuk 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone go into a bit more detail about how the affiliate commissions work here? From what I have read, I would feed my affiliate link through TwoTap and you would then handle the cookie and conversion and everything?

If I was using URLs gathered from a Commission Junction datafeed, is this basically a plug and play solution? Or do I need to process those URLs?

Do you have a backend stats dashboard? Or would I still rely on CJ for that data?

quaffapint 7 hours ago 1 reply      
So you guys are scraping all the product information for a retailer and keeping it up to date? Or is it all live, you fetch it when that particular url is called? Where do you get the list of retailers to scrape?
Animats 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is sort of what Google Shopping was before it went all-ads.
dmritard96 10 hours ago 1 reply      
How many proxy nodes do you have?
notastartup 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't get it. Is this just a middle man between all the retail websites and the publishers? Sort of like what Google is doing with the product search and also giving comissions on the items sold?
Chinese hack U.S. Weather systems, satellite network
117 points by cryptoz  14 hours ago   61 comments top 15
swframe 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't know who is really doing this or what the impact will be but let's pretend for a moment that the chinese government is responsible. They are largely funding our government. We need each other.

I wonder if a serious problem with the world is due to secrets that allow some to have power over others. For example, a company with a patent on a drug that costs $80K has power over those who will die without it. If you can't afford it, have you seriously harmed the company if you violate the patent to manufacture it in a 3rd world country for people who could never pay for the drug. When is human life more important that a company's right to a patent (or information)?

The chinese have a serious problem in the form of several hundred million people who need to be moved out of poverty. To help them get there they seem to be mining a precious resource: information in 1st world countries. Is this different (or worse) than 1st world countries mining precious resources in the 3rd world?

What is the net result? China will use this information to make itself wealthy enough to buy more of our goods? China will acquire the ability to make our goods cheaper than we can make them and force us to work harder?

I'm not saying "stealing" is "right" but it seems to be an important way all 1st world countries became richer. The notion of "right" is suspect given that history is written by the winner.

minimax 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The United States maintains two civil and one military program to provide meteorological imagery and data from spacecraft in polar and geostationary orbits around the Earth. The civil programs are managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the military program is managed by the Department of Defense. The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) is a unit of NOAA and is responsible for operating the civilian weather satellites (GOES and POES), distributing the satellite data and imagery, archiving the data, and planning for future systems. NESDIS also controls the Department of Defense constellation of polar orbiting weather satellites called Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), which is similar to the civilian POES program.


Due to the classified nature of the DMSP imagery and other data products, the DMSP downlink data is encrypted, and thus the direct readout system is not available to nonmilitary users.

That all comes from this cool-as-hell PDF about how to build a GOES/POES ground receiving station. Anyways the most obvious target here is probably the DMSP products, rather than, say, a Bruckheimer-esque plot to disrupt NOAA satellite imagery during the height of the Atlantic hurricane season.


roylez 10 hours ago 2 replies      
As a Chinese I would prefer to believe our government is behind this. Do you know Beijing (or even the whole country) has a serious smog issue which was first uncovered by American embassy in Beijing? The incident makes the government lose their trust in public, and for quite some time people only want to trust forecast from NOAA in stead of Beijing. If Chinese government hacked NOAA, it would be out of their intention to contain domestic reactions. Actually, our government has greater problems at home than abroad.
Someone1234 12 hours ago 7 replies      
I always appreciate how the US are able to pin every network compromise directly back to China. And not just China but the Chinese government in particular.

Almost like VPNs, proxies, TOR, compromised machines, botnets, or similar do not exist in this arena and that a reverse DNS lookup will tell them 1337.mss.gov.cn.

When the US talk about cybersecurity/"cyber wars" in general they're talking about something more akin to a Hollywood movie than anything you see on the ground on either side of the "fight."

I'm extremely sceptical every time they claim Chinese responsibility. I am sceptical not because China wouldn't have the skills or motivation to do so (they do/would) but because they jump to these conclusions unrealistically quickly and if their adversary covered their tracks even modestly pointing fingers like that would be quite hard (e.g. send it through Russia).

crimzonrayne 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only person who's mind really wanted to read this as "Chinese hack U.S. Weather Control Systems"
cryptoz 13 hours ago 4 replies      
The article does not discuss much the motivation they might have had for this hack, aside from the fact they're probably looking for gaps in general US systems. But I'm very curious about the economics of hacking another nation's weather service; China could give itself significant (and creepy) economic advantages my MITMing the data from the satellites. I wonder if they're considering things like this?

Edit: Also, if they just wanted weather data, they should've signed up for http://pressurenet.io ;)

ajmurmann 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I never will understand how this spying stuff always is allowed to happen. I know every government does is, but I find it unbelievably dishonest. What kind of relationship is that? I would intuitively see any spying as an act of war, especially if supposedly friendly countries do it.
japaget 7 hours ago 0 replies      
See also this article on the impact this hack had on weather forecasts: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/...
healthisevil 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What about American cyber attacks on countries around the world ?
DanielBMarkham 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know who this Wolf guy is, but he's absolutely right: if we are in the government, and we have a breach, and we're working on it, we have an obligation to fess up. (Unless there's some kind of counter-intelligence operations underway)

We can all sit back in our comfy chairs and debate whether it really is China or not, whether various networks are secure or not, or how much various agencies can store (and the dangers associated with them storing things). But we can only do that if we have recent and valid information about what's going on. Good public policy decisions depend on an informed electorate. This kind of situation is not the place to be covering up your mistakes.

gesman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
At least now they have an excuse for the reasons of poor weather prediction in spite of huge budget.
coldcode 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Yet another org too embarrassed to tell people they've been hacked, or more likely that they failed to do security at all.
thecoolkid 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Up Next:NSA hackers hack into US Weather systemsarctic cyclone bomb a threat to national securityintercepted Doppler effects
ommunist 13 hours ago 1 reply      
But it was too late. Philae has landed to the comet.
Zikes 12 hours ago 3 replies      

Is it just me, or is this apparently the reaction every time a US government or military system gets hacked by China?

"Yep, we got hacked again. But we're just going to do our best to minimize the damage and pretend it never happened. No meaningful action will be taken against the perpetrators."

Dolphin The Rise of HLE Audio
103 points by vrmachado  17 hours ago   19 comments top 4
aikah 18 minutes ago 1 reply      
Does Dolphin use JIT like PPSSPP? I have a crappy 2008 Macbook,and PSP games run incredibly well on it. I understand the Gamecube has more powerfull specs,but even on my PC Dolphin games were quite slow 2/3 years ago. I need to try running MSG 1 again to check the progress.
archagon 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I recently tried running Dolphin on my Macbook after a long hiatus, and was shocked to discover that my games were now running at a buttery 60fps. What's more, there are practically no glitches to be seen or heard anymore. When I last tried booting up my games about a year ago, all I could get was about 45fps at 1x resolution. Now I can have my Wii games with me wherever I go. It's stunning how quickly the Dolphin team is jumping over these technical hurdles. I find it almost impossible to visualize how a bunch of young, eager amateurs (at the time) took an insanely complicated black box and created an almost perfect software version of it!
miander 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing writeup as always. The quality of Dolphin's blog posts is really impressive. Now I want to go play some Wind Waker.
Animats 11 hours ago 4 replies      
All this is about fixing a bug in some emulator for an 2001-vintage video game console.
       cached 13 November 2014 08:02:01 GMT