hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Aug 2015 News
home   ask   best   4 years ago   
Relay Technical Preview facebook.github.io
220 points by cpojer  2 hours ago   53 comments top 11
chadly 1 minute ago 0 replies      
How does this compare with Flux? Is it intended to be used with Flux or instead of Flux?
AlwaysBCoding 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm totally cool with Facebook mining my data if their open source keeps up this pace. GraphQL + Relay are total game changers for structuring web + mobile applications. Code bases get cleaner and more reliable. Less data gets sent over the wire. Other cool libraries are going to be built on top of Relay (I'm pretty excited to see what can be done now with ClojureScript components in .cljc files).

This is so awesome. Much love to everyone at Facebook that has made this possible. With React, React Native, Rebound, GraphQL, Relay etc... You're saving us all from drowning in complexity when buiding web/mobile apps and I love it. Keep fighting the good fight.

picardo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is very exciting. Facebook's commitment to open source never ceases to impress me. They could keep this technology to themselves and have light years or we'd only read it in academic papers, like Google has done with its core technologies, and someone else would have to reverse engineer them. But Facebook gives the entire code base. No other large company I know of has such a strong commitment to open source.
stevebmark 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm really excited about this! While working on an "isomorphic" app, data fetching gets incredibly complicated. There are many edge cases. For example, when rendering on the server, you have to block all renders until all data fetching is complete. But on the client, you can show the view with a "loading" indicator, as in not block. But you only need to fetch data for that route on the client if it hasn't been fetched on the server...the rabbit hole is full of wheels you don't want to reinvent.

I'm hoping Relay solves the data fetch problem in a way that makes isomorphic applications much cleaner.

TheAceOfHearts 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The release commit is really the best:https://www.dropbox.com/s/9gx377scddhxo95/Screenshot%202015-...

All I can say now is: Got RELAY

knite 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
I've skimmed the Relay and GraphQL repos, but I can't for the life of me figure out which database backends are supported. Can I put this in front of Postgres? Redis? How do I stand this up in front of an existing DB?
_mikz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Have you seen the actual code of the mutations?


It is ... massive!

jmcatani 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
The major advantage of Relay/GraphQL seems to be if you have one monolithic data model for your entire codebase. You are in effect, binding your views directly to your backend. This is great if you are a company like Facebook with a single graph holding all data.

Sadly working as a consultant, using Relay as prescribed offers little use for me as I port from client to client with widely different data models. I am interested in maybe using Relay in parent React components to keep logical separation between my models and views.

zkhalique 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
Wow, looks like what we've been doing for the last 4 years is very similar to the design of Facebook's tools they've been open sourcing. That is some serious validation for our architecture!

(For anyone who's interested here was our design:http://platform.qbix.com/guide/tools, http://platform.qbix.com/guide/messages)

polskibus 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Can someone explain to me how are they using all JS (node incl server-side rendering) stack in a company that is known for using PHP on the backend ?

Do they have a specific PHP-to-Node bridge on the server side? If they write isomorphic code, either they are writing apps completely separate from PHP or they have some kind of integration (Node-in-PHP?) running?

I would be grateful for hints, I'm looking into working more with FB tech but I can't do Node on the server right now. Knowing how their architecture looks like with PHP/Hack on the backend would really help.

platz 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Seems like it has some similarites to OData.

BreezeJS is a stand-alone data library for SPAs which takes care of managing the lifecycle of data objects; querying, fetching, caching is all taken care of. Queries use OData by default

Why Not Insider Trade on Every Company? bloombergview.com
79 points by dsri  1 hour ago   14 comments top 3
nostromo 44 minutes ago 4 replies      
It's actually still possible to perform a specific type of legal insider trading.

Example: you are an executive at E Corp and the company will announce its acquisition in two months. You had previously set up planned trades to sell x number of shares each month before then. Because the acquisition is at a premium on the current price, you will make much less money if you go forward with your trades before the announcement. So, what do you do? You cancel the trades.

Was this insider trading according to the SEC? Surprisingly, no! Even though you're profiting from insider information, the SEC rules are such that for insider trading to occur, you actually need a trade.


Martha Stewart did exactly this before her company was acquired earlier this year:


tokenadult 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think I will end up upvoting every share of this Bloomberg View columnist's columns here on Hacker News. The author, Matt Levine, thinks like a hacker in the best sense, by pushing ideas to their extremes and seeing what the consequences might be. He adopts a humorous tone, but his columns are full of food for thought.


random_rr 1 hour ago 3 replies      
The tone of this article was really, like, interrupted by a prolific use of "likes."

I wish it were so simple to hand-wave all security risks. Mr. Levine's ability to find a MySQL tutorial was quite impressive, but his dismissal of very real security concerns is childish. It's like saying cars are known to crash, so quit crashing cars. It's so, like, simple!

Thor A Project to Hammer Out a Royalty Free Video Codec cisco.com
276 points by TD-Linux  5 hours ago   97 comments top 21
jngreenlee 4 hours ago 3 replies      
"We also hired patent lawyers and consultants familiar with this technology area. We created a new codec development process which would allow us to work through the long list of patents in this space, and continually evolve our codec to work around or avoid those patents. Our efforts are far from complete, but we felt it was time to open this up to the world."

This burden is becoming far too great, when this is the cost necessary to achieve innovation.

halosghost 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Actually, I'm still rooting for Daala (from Xiph.org, the same folks that did so well with Opus). It's still a long ways away from being finished, but their work is awesome and I've been following it for a while now!

Either way, having another effort competing to make a great format is not a problem. Here's hoping it goes well!

Animats 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The MP4 patent situation needs another close look. MP4, which was first standardized in 1998, ought to come out of patent soon, if it hasn't already. There are a few remaining patents in the MPEG-LA package, but they're mostly for stuff you don't need on the Internet, such as interlaced video, font loading, error tolerance for broadcast, and VRML. This hasn't been looked at hard since 2011[1] and it's time for a new look. Some of the key patents related to motion compensation expired last April.[2]

It looks like the last patent on MP3 audio decoding expires next month.

[1] http://www.osnews.com/story/24954/US_Patent_Expiration_for_M...[2] http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/MPEG_patent_lists#MPEG-1_Au...

ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 1 reply      
<sarcasm mode>No wonder Big Media hates tech, they are trying to take all their money away.</sarcasm mode>

I think this is a great effort, and if you'll recall Google went and attempted to do the same thing with VP8, but found that people could file patents faster than they could release code[1]. I would certainly support a 'restraint of trade' argument, and a novelty argument which implies (although I know its impossible to currently litigate this way) that if someone else (skilled in the art) could come up with the same answer (invention) given the requirements, then the idea isn't really novel, it is simply "how someone skilled in the art would do it." I've watched as the courts stayed away from that theory, probably because it could easily be abused.

[1] Conspiracy theory or not, the MPEG-LA guys kept popping up additional patent threats once the VP8 code was released.

russtrotter 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Wasn't Ogg Theora created under just the same principles? I'm not smart enough in all things codec to know how it stacks up technically, but best I can tell, it's unencumbered.


fndrplayer13 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Why not throw the weight behind VP9? edit: I actually am curious, this isn't a question pointed at the validity of Thor. I just really want to see a great, open-source standard emerge and see people get behind it.
Ono-Sendai 58 minutes ago 1 reply      
What I would like to see is a video codec that has a library implementation for reading and writing video in that format, that is cross-platform and relatively easy to build, like libjpeg or libpng does for images.I have tried to build VP9 on windows and it was a tedious and ultimately unfruitful process.

I don't really care about the compression ratios achieved, or speed of compression/decompression.

Something like motion JPEG would be good, if it was actually a proper standard (AFAICT it isn't).

yabun 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
There really needs to be a change to patent law around independent derivation of a concept. At very least we need to look into generalised thicket busting laws. The current situation is fundamentally unscalable.
JustSomeNobody 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I am sure that some entity holds a broad enough patent that all your bases will belong to a Texas court.
JoshTriplett 3 hours ago 2 replies      
> Googles proprietary VP9 codec

That's an odd choice of phrase; it's unfortunate that a press release chooses to disparage alternatives without explanation.

bobajeff 4 hours ago 2 replies      
So... this is a separate project from Daala which Cisco also works on. Is there a story here?
donpdonp 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Didn't we already go through this with VP8/VP9/WebM?
electriclove 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why not simply work with the VP9 project rather than starting a new effort? Per Wikipedia: "VP9 is an open and royalty free[3] video coding format being developed by Google."
dharma1 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems to me the success will depend on the quality and whether chip manufacturers will embrace this for hardware encoding/decoding. Right now looks to me like h265 is the winning horse
datashovel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There should be efforts outside of large corporations dedicated to building these standards. Because in general even when large corporations promise free / open-source licensing they really only mean non-commercial licensing or "open with caveats". So they pretty much own the commercial rights.

I want open-source to subsidize a small team of engineers to create a completely open standard where no single entity owns it and everyone is free to branch / fork it.

yjm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
i wonder how many orders of magnitude slower this one will be compared to x264. vp8/9 was like 9x slower last time i checked
s9w 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems like fantastic news after the HEVC patent disaster.

Has anyone tested this or has more information on the performance/quality vs other codecs?

jsprogrammer 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it common to characterize BSD licensed software as proprietary? As in, 'Googles proprietary VP9 codec'?
Navarr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
josu 4 hours ago 1 reply      
codebeaker 4 hours ago 3 replies      
The magic of the Kalman filter, in pictures bzarg.com
74 points by tbabb  5 hours ago   6 comments top 3
jefvader 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
"In other words, the new best estimate is a prediction made from previous best estimate, plus a correction for known external influences.

And the new uncertainty is predicted from the old uncertainty, with some additional uncertainty from the environment."

Crystal clear - great article, thanks!

I also recommend Ramsey Faragher's lecture notes on teaching the Kalman Filter:http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rmf25/papers/Understanding%20the%20...

hebdo 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Kind of similar to the Viterbi algorithm, except that Kalman is on-line, while Viterbi works on the entire observed sequence at once, after it is fully known.
papaf 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This appears to be a really nice writeup. However, at the end:

For nonlinear systems, we use the extended Kalman filter, which works by simply linearizing the predictions and measurements about their mean.

I would recommend looking at an Unscented Kalman filter:


which sucks a lot less.

RethinkDB 2.1 is out: high availability rethinkdb.com
163 points by coffeemug  4 hours ago   63 comments top 12
williamstein 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is soooo awesome. I started rewriting SageMathCloud to use RethinkDB when I learned in May about your plans to support high availability. I've been rewriting everything, doing tests (building from sources, then using the beta you kindly provided), and finally after months of work, I'm ready to release the new version of SageMathCloud last night, but RethinkDB 2.1 isn't out yet. So I'm torn about whether to go with 2.1beta and cross my fingers, or just wait, or what. And this! Thank you so much. RethinkDB is, for my use, the first database I've ever actually really loved (and React.js+flux the first web framework). Here's my client code in case anybody is curious: https://github.com/sagemathinc/smc/blob/rethinkdb/salvus/ret...
coffeemug 4 hours ago 9 replies      
Slava @ RethinkDB here.

I'll be around all day to answer questions about the release (along with a few other engineers on our team).

We're very excited about this release -- it makes the lives of RethinkDB users dramatically better because they won't have to wake up anymore in the middle of the night in case of most hardware failures :) It also took over a year to build and test, and has been one of the most challenging engineering problems we ever had to solve.

chadlung 22 minutes ago 1 reply      
Very cool, thanks for all the hard work that went into this. Will the docs [1][2] be updated at some point to reflect the Python 3.4.x asyncio support? Right now just Tornado is documented.

[1] http://rethinkdb.com/docs/async-connections/[2] http://www.rethinkdb.com/api/python/set_loop_type/

uberneo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This looks awesome .. great job guys .. Just a question on licenses . Server is "GNU Affero General Public License v3.0" and drivers are "Apache License v2.0." , so in simple english does it means that can i use make commercial products with backend as RethinkDB? these things always confuses me so apologies if i ask something stupid here ..
juijasmem 16 minutes ago 2 replies      
Can I ask please why you don't provide ready to use, fine tunned amazon images? This is preventing me to use it now as I cannot find reliable configuration or information. Also the current image is out of date. Thanks
wilsonfiifi 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Great news! Keep up the good work. It's getting harder and harder to justify not using rethinkdb in production :-)

...Doesn't seem available on homebrew yet though.

akbar501 4 hours ago 1 reply      
@coffeemug, do you have an ETA on when performance benchmarks will be released?
kureikain 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally, we can convince our management to start to use it.All of the beautiful of ReQL, then addhing high availability What else I can expect more.
mateuszf 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As a heavy Heroku user - I'm wondering - is there some hosted RethinkDB solution?
Spiritus 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I couldn't really find any good docs on how to use the various async Python drivers...? All I found was some references to Tornado under `set_loop_type`.

Also, very much looking forward to trying this out!

EugeneOZ 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Comics is awesome.
shockzzz 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Thunderstrike 2: Mac firmware worm details trmm.net
84 points by georgyo  3 hours ago   21 comments top 5
thudson 2 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: Xeno Kovah, Corey Kallenberg and I ported several previously disclosed vulnerabilities from Windows UEFI systems to Apple's EFI firmware. Using the 2014 Darth Venamis ("Dark Jedi") vulnerability we were able to unlock the motherboard boot flash, write our proof of concept to it, then scan the bus for PCIe Option ROMs and copy the worm to them as well. This allowed it to spread to other systems via shared Thunderbolt devices, possibly across air-gap security perimeters or via evil-maid attacks.

Like the original Thunderstrike vulnerability presented at CCC last year[0], firmware passwords and FileVault encryption don't prevent infection, reinstalling OSX won't remove it and it changes the RSA keys in the ROM so that Apple's firmware update routines can't remove it either. The only way to remove it is with a hardware in-system programming device connected to the SPI flash chip.

This is a transcript of our hour long presentation at DefCon 23 / Blackhat 2015 last week, which is why it is too long to read... Here is a shorter overview[1] and a demo video[2].

0: https://trmm.net/Thunderstrike_31c3

1: https://trmm.net/Thunderstrike_2

2: https://trmm.net/Thunderstrike2_demo

beagle3 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Off topic, but highly recommended: Trammell Hudson's other projects[0]. The most famous of which is Magic Lantern, an alternative firmware for Canon DSLRs which makes them infinitely more useful for movie making (and a little more useful for stills); but other projects are also worth looking at.

[0] https://trmm.net/

a2tech 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Apparently having a programmable operating system that allows reading/writing to RAM and system devices and that is rarely updated running under your own operating system allows easy exploitation, who would have guessed?

System integrators shouldn't be trusted to write software. If you've ever installed software from your various BIOS manufacturers you surely know that

Svenstaro 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Why do exploits tend to have such ridiculously good names recently?
PhantomGremlin 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
How much we still dont know about Watergate and the Nixon Administration jstor.org
47 points by lermontov  3 hours ago   10 comments top 7
snake_plissken 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you are up to it and want to go from Watergate day 0 to the end, in a completely linear fashion and with excruciatingly detailed day by day coverage of events, get a copy of "Watergate: Chronology of a Crisis". It's an anthology of the daily reporting by Congressional Quarterly, which was a sort of daily newspaper about the goings on about Congress.

It is a fascinating read. Watergate is one of those things that you think you understand and then, after reading in depth about it, you realize how complex the whole thing was. From the amount of people involved to the campaign finance part to the lengths Nixon's administration went in trying to combat what they perceived as threats to the nation. It's something that is often forgotten, but many of the limits regarding campaign finance and executive power we have (had) today stem from the aftermath of Watergate.

An interesting outcome I experienced after reading the aforementioned anthology was the feel I got for Nixon as a person. I found myself almost admiring him. Say what you will about his methods, and they were dubious at best, the guy was dedicated to his principles.

drblast 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anyone who would argue that restrictions on government power aren't important, that surveillance isn't an issue, and you don't have to worry if you have nothing to hide should review the events described here.

Even if someone isn't abusing a particular right now, odds are very good that someone will come along who will. It's much better that the power doesn't exist in the first place.

danielweber 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
How secure was that deletion of the tape? Has anyone taken 21st century technology and tried to recover what was on it?
grandalf 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Likely the reason this stuff is still classified at all is because it casts doubt on the legitimacy or appropriate conduct of the US Government.

This seems to me to be an entirely inappropriate reason for something to remain classified decades after it occurred.

walshemj 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was intrigued the editor of the Washington post was a drinking buddy of Mother aka James Angelton and had been expelled from France
DanielBMarkham 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
As somebody who is interested in history, the Nixon administration has always fascinated me. The man was probably one of the most complex and dark people to become president. Because of Watergate, his administration is also probably the one that is most opened-up to the public (and to the historic record)

But before folks pile on to the guy (and he was widely hated), some things to keep in mind:

1) As far as taping conversations go, Nixon did nothing new. It's known that he simply carried on the tradition that LBJ, JFK, and Eisenhower before him did. Whatever happened to all of those tapes?

2) Before we go praising the Pentagon, I've read reports (I apologize for not being able to source them) that the Pentagon bugged civilian leadership. They almost certainly keep extensive dossiers on Congressional members and anybody in their civilian chain of command. Good luck getting eyes on any of that.

3) Nixon's problem was that he got caught doing something bad enough that crossed a political line. Lots of folks felt that he did nothing that others didn't do or try to do. Things like using the IRS for political hit jobs are perennials in DC. Using spies on reporters? Please. I can go back as far as Jefferson and show presidents using and attacking the press as they saw fit.

As the author points out, what concerns me a tremendous amount is the amount of information we don't know about all these other administrations -- up to and including our current one. With wholesale data collection underway against the American public, I would be astonished if 100 years from now it isn't widely known how many folks suffered invisibly from things far worse than Nixon ever did. The fall of Nixon was a harbinger of leaving an age of corrupt, small, overtly powerful presidents and entering an age of pervasive, huge, subtly powerful presidents. (Or rather, the system itself, which controls or is controlled by various presidents depending on their skills and staff capabilities)

If I'm still learning what Nixon did, 40 years later, what chance in hell do I have as a voter to make decisions about the value of any current or recent president? The office is so controlled by the political/governmental system and what we can know or not is so constrained, he might as well be anonymous.

idlewords 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Windows 10 IoT Core for Raspberry Pi 2 windows.com
176 points by vyrotek  6 hours ago   102 comments top 19
tigeba 6 hours ago 6 replies      
When they released this a couple of months ago I was pretty excited to try it out. I think the barrier to installation is a bit high. First install Windows 10, then custom install of VS, install IoT Templates, then about 30 more steps before you get the image to flash on your SD. How about a link to the image I can blast on the SD and kick the tires without a couple hours of downloading and installing prerequisites?
stillsut 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The AirHockey Demo seems like a complete rip-off of a Spanish maker's product, which he has been promoting: https://github.com/JJulio/AHRobot

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think some credit is due

escobar 6 hours ago 2 replies      
There's a heading that reads:

> Developers, Developers, Developers

I've always cracked up whenever I see Ballmer's developers video, so I was pretty happy that Microsoft's IoT team has a sense of humor and was able to get that approved (if they had to)

reference if you haven't seen the original Ballmer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhh_GeBPOhs

joezydeco 6 hours ago 3 replies      
A robotic hockey table doesn't seem very IoT to me.

I'm a little confused as to what Windows brings to the table for embedded devices at this point, especially screenless ones.

doomspork 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Next on the list of bad IoT ideas, we port Flash to the Raspberry Pi.
MiguelHudnandez 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For anyone wondering what IoT stands for, it's "Internet of Things."
joeyspn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Sincerely I prefer to run ubuntu. Last week I installed Ubuntu Server 14.04 in my Pi 2 and it works like a charm. Totally recommended...


Ubuntu Snappy Core (also marketed for IoT)... mmm not so much great. IMO still few community and howtos for building your snappy apps (even Raspbian is better)

typon 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Does it come with the same privacy issues as its older sister?
intrasight 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I just don't get why they would put up a barrier to entry by requiring Windows 10 - at least I can't think of any technical rationale.
jchrisa 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in the middle of writing my first C# app, targeting the Intel IoT Gateway (all with MonoDevelop on Ubuntu.) How things come full circle...
rcarmo 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm curious as to the mention of a "Web Control" and how long we have to wait until we can use DirectX for graphics, seeing as I've been trying to use Pis for digital signage[1] for a while with varying results (we've since started using cheap Android boxes with great results, but I wish I had more choices).

[1]: https://github.com/sapo/digital-signage-client

pen2l 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Sorry, silly question: can one use this Win10 R-pi as a "real computer"? (more to the point: I want to run labview programs on this r-pi, because of its small size/cost -- give/receive triggers various home automation equipment etc., I'm wondering if that'll be possible with this)
jpablo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seeing that they just added Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support I find ironic that Windows has the disadvantage on drivers and Linux has the upper hand.
jbb555 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this run win32 applications?
VLM 4 hours ago 0 replies      
License? Seems hard to find online. Not looking for anything unusual for the existing raspi community, just what do I have to do to make a project on it then distribute a bootable sdcard image to users around the world for free. I'm guessing its a total non-starter but if I were surprised by it being BSD/GPL that would be interesting.

The hardware compatibility part of the release notes look like a bad linux install from 1995, which is pretty funny.

lhaussknecht 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Sad that they showed a node example. What about asp.net on .net core?
revelation 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is the Internet of Things now a Raspberry Pi 2?! A quad-core 900MHz CPU with a whopping 1GiB of RAM and a dedicated GPU?

So, for how long can you run a RPi 2 from a CR2032 cell or an AAA battery? A minute or two on full bore? Because that's the kind of energy budget people are generally talking about when they mean internet of things.

The RPi2 is a fully-featured media center, not a door lock or light switch or power sensor.

I guess the problem for Microsoft with the whole IoT thing is simply that they will never have Windows there, the devices you actually use for IoT measure their RAM in KiB. And, frankly, operating systems are very far down the on list of things we need to make IoT a reality.

mtgx 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Supporting a proprietary platform on Raspberry Pi kind of defeats the point of the openness on which Raspberry Pi was built, no?
MrZongle2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hand-Coded Assembly Beats Intrinsics in Speed and Simplicity danluu.com
60 points by ingve  6 hours ago   16 comments top 4
Aardwolf 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
Even more ideally you wouldn't need intrinsics. You'd just say what you want, with all constraits. E.g. I have two integers, this is their signedness, this is the range of expected inputs, this is the probability of the inputs, and this is what I want with them, nothing more... now you compiler figure it out.

Now the compiler too often generates suboptimal code because it has to take edge cases that it doesn't know don't matter here into account.

And then you have only those limited not actually well specified operators of C (something as simple as "+" is not fully specified on signed integers), so you can tell even less well what you actually want to the compiler... You can't even do a simple overflow check without bordering on undefined behaviour that allows compilers to do whatever they want.

If you could tell better what you want, the compiler could better choose the perfect CPU instructions for it.

So imho, a programmer shouldn't choose the CPU instruction as that doesn't allow portability, but the programmer should have the ability to specify things better than C now allows :)

mschuster91 2 hours ago 4 replies      
One thing that has always interested me, how is backwards compatibility done for older CPU instruction set?

Like the new VFMADD* instructions. So if I wanted to write a binary which supports post-2013 CPUs as well as previous ones, my way of doing this would be:

1) have a huge array of function pointers for every function that could use said instructions

2) in main() check if the CPU supports the instructions, if yes: populate array with fast functions, if not, populate with backwards-compatible functions.

Naturally this comes with a performance hit at every call as at least one (or two, if you fill the arrays at compiletime, and in main just switch the array pointer) indirections. Is this really how stuff gets done?

corysama 2 hours ago 2 replies      
danluu knows much more about the subject matter than me. Meanwhile...

If I take the main.cpp from http://www.strchr.com/media/crc32_popcnt.zip that he comparing and paste it into a new, default, VC2010 project. Then compile it as a Release build, then the mixed disassembly for the inner loop of POPCNT_HardwareSubbuN() looks like

 cnt += __popcnt(*(DWORD*)buf) + __popcnt(*(DWORD*)(buf + sizeof(DWORD) )) + __popcnt(*(DWORD*)(buf + sizeof(DWORD) * 2 )) + __popcnt(*(DWORD*)(buf + sizeof(DWORD) * 3 )); 00E71BE0 popcnt ebx,dword ptr [edx+8] 00E71BE5 popcnt esi,dword ptr [edx+0Ch] 00E71BEA add esi,ebx 00E71BEC popcnt ebx,dword ptr [edx+4] 00E71BF1 add esi,ebx 00E71BF3 popcnt ebx,dword ptr [edx] 00E71BF7 add eax,ebx 00E71BF9 add eax,esi buf += sizeof(DWORD) * 4; 00E71BFB add edx,10h 00E71BFE dec ecx 00E71BFF jne POPCNT_HardwareUnrolled+50h (0E71BE0h) 
which looks to me to be as good or better than his inline asm

 00000001000013c3 popcntq %r10, %r10 00000001000013c8 addq %r10, %rcx 00000001000013cb popcntq %r11, %r11 00000001000013d0 addq %r11, %r9 00000001000013d3 popcntq %r14, %r14 00000001000013d8 addq %r14, %r8 00000001000013db popcntq %rbx, %rbx
And does not have the odd

 000000010000133e movl %ecx, %r10d 0000000100001341 movl %edx, %r11d 0000000100001344 movl %eax, %r14d 0000000100001347 movl %r8d, %ebx
He was complaining about.

Maybe there's some compiler issue about arrays that makes using "int cnt[4];" as the accumulator induce the seemingly extraneous movls?

haberman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Building the Next New York Times Recommendation Engine open.blogs.nytimes.com
39 points by jprob  3 hours ago   4 comments top 2
ersii 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
I think it'd be great if you'd have this kind of information in your help section later on, for anxious people like me who are very wary of even having a recommendation engine at a news paper. I was actually on my way to sign up for a subscription after reading "A Renegade Trawler, Hunted for 10,000 Miles by Vigilantes" by Ian Urbina - but held back for the moment to give it more thought.

That said, I guess I could see a point in it maybe retaining users / subscribers if it's good enough. (I'd still appreciated it a lot more if this functionality could be turned off for users who request it though).

bcaine 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fun read. Topic modeling can be fascinating to work with.

Curious how they measured performance of their model, and whether they found a "best" number of topics for LDA where their model stopped getting much benefit by having more topics.

I'd imagine increased number of topics would have some interesting side effects where it would create too narrow of recommendations.

DigitalOcean Teams Up with Bitnami, Install Over 100 Web Apps with a Few Clicks techcrunch.com
139 points by mitchwainer  6 hours ago   43 comments top 11
steeples 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Wordpress is awful on DO and many things can and do break. Trust me, I've been developing with Wordpress for over a decade, and WP on a VPS is a whole different kettle of fish. Whether it's hardening the VPS to avoid a DDOS, or auto-patching Ubuntu when OpenSSL gets another vulnerability. It's quite mightmarish. DO is good for things like Gitlab and VPNs and things like that, but good luck trying to get something bulletproof and high availability. It's a devops nightmare. It can be achieved, but it takes some time...
jsamuel 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Though ServerPilot focuses more on ongoing server management (e.g. updates, control panel, monitoring, support) for DigitalOcean servers rather than one-click installers, there is now a one-click WordPress installer.


manishsharan 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I like Bitnami and I am a big fan. However, when deploying Jboss, Glassfish and Tomcat application servers from Bitnami onto AWS, I have found that you need to configure the application server specs based on the specs of your host EC2 -- I ended up creating custom images for each type of EC2 in my inventory for these application servers.
res0nat0r 5 hours ago 3 replies      
sytse 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Bitnami images for GitLab are impossible to upgrade automatically and are a worse experience than our Omnibus packages. I hope Bitnami addresses this soon.
frik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Aren't those the guys who took over XAMPP? (portable dev LAMP for various OS incl Windows)
tobbyb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
jtwebman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I will stick to building the machines myself. These just seem dangerous. If I am going to use these I should just host on HostGator.
melling 4 hours ago 5 replies      
How's Wordpress on Digital Ocean? Will the $10 plan work well as a starter site?
stoic 4 hours ago 0 replies      
hey, looks a bit like quickinstall at hostgator
chm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't see the Bitnami apps when I try to create a droplet. Where do I find them?

Edit: It seems I need to register on Bitnami's website.

Death Threats Against Co-Workers Defeat Employee Disability Discrimination Claim casetext.com
33 points by lutesfuentes  1 hour ago   5 comments top 4
sago 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
It seems a little question-begging that this was ruled on in terms of job competency. I think it clearer to make the point made in the article: the rights of a disabled worker to receive reasonable accommodation does not trump the right of other employees to a safe work environment.

In this case claiming that the ability to 'handle' stress is a core part of the required employment competency, seems to beg the question: why is that not something worthy of support and accommodation? What standards for stress coping can be put forward in advance? Does the employer ever advertise with this as a requirement? Do the judgements of the medical professionals about appropriate accommodation not carry enough weight?

Whereas if it was ruled on in terms of the risk and safe work environment, seems a slam dunk case.

The article suggested other cases had drawn that line, I wonder why this one went the more tendentious route.

mikecmpbll 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
This would be more of a story if the ruling went the other way. Someone threatens to kill people at work and loses his job, no shit. Imagine working with that person after you've had quite a specific and calculated death threat from that individual, completely impossible.

Some situations are just unfortunate, but that doesn't mean they're unjust.

daveloyall 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Better title, from the text of the article: Expressed Homicidal Ideation in Workplace Bars ADA Discrimination Claim.
crpatino 53 minutes ago 1 reply      
Ubuntu One file syncing code Open Sourced ubuntu.com
198 points by progval  8 hours ago   62 comments top 10
rocky1138 6 hours ago 6 replies      
An active FOSS alternative to this is Syncthing. https://github.com/syncthing
mariocesar 7 hours ago 0 replies      
One year ago I said it will be awesome if they did, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8347760 It is AWESOME :)
stevegood 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As a person who does not always want or need to install another VCS tool (Bazaar) I have created a cloned copy on Github (I'm sure others have done so as well but they haven't posted here yet from what I could find). Enjoy! https://github.com/stevegood/filesync-server
flowerpot 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Neat. I really liked Ubuntu One. However, if they seek to receive contributions I think GitHub would give them more exposure than launchpad, from what I can tell the history is not preserved (probably with good reasons) so the switch from bazaar would not have been painful.
nisa 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So could this evolve into a better owncloud server? I don't think AGPL is a problem for the majority of owncloud usecases. It looks it's based on Python & Postgres - maybe it has better performance than owncloud?
flurpitude 5 hours ago 0 replies      
That's good news, but in my experience Ubuntu One file sync never worked very well. Maybe someone can improve it now we have the code.

It's also worth noting that this is a centralized, server-based file sync, unlike the peer-to-peer Syncthing and BTSync. It's more like Dropbox.

emsy 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know why they didn't open source it in the first place? Couldn't find anything in the article.
IgorPartola 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This is exciting. Alternatives currently are things like Dropbox (proprietary and somewhat pricy) and TorrentSync (proprietary). I look forward to firing this thing up on my own server and have a private remote file storage. I do currently run a NAS but without a VPN connection home it's not as useful.
amelius 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Any chance of seeing any docs covering this? For example, addressing the overall architecture?
sandworm101 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How We Beat C++ STL Binary Search realm.io
54 points by timanglade  5 hours ago   19 comments top 8
mmozeiko 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For 8192 elements I also get result that their search function is faster than STL. But 8192 elements is tiny size of array where to search, for larger array I get opposite - STL is faster. Here is output for 8 * 1024 * 1024 elements (~8.4million).

gcc 5.2.0 on Windows x64 (i5-3210M)

 stl : 881 miliseconds version 1: 880 miliseconds version 2: 1607 miliseconds version 3: 1260 miliseconds version 4: 1271 miliseconds
gcc 5.2.0 on Linux x86_64 (i7-4770S)

 stl : 629.231 miliseconds version 1: 629.436 miliseconds version 2: 897.143 miliseconds version 3: 862.827 miliseconds version 4: 863.22 miliseconds
clang 3.6.2 on Linux armv7h (CuBox-i, Cortex-A9)

 stl : 3380.29 miliseconds version 1: 3428.9 miliseconds version 2: 3433.65 miliseconds version 3: 3391.86 miliseconds version 4: 3376.91 miliseconds
Oh, and Visual Studio doesn't have "/O3" argument they say they are using for cl.exe.

Noughmad 1 hour ago 3 replies      
There is no mention of the fact that the STL implementation is very generic, it only assumes operator++ and operator* on the iteration, and operator< on the value.

The "optimized" versions here all make more assumptions on the iterator, starting from operator+(int) in Version 1, so it no longer works on iterators with just "forward_iterator_tag". Further versions even restrict vector sizes (albeit to a very high number) and assign -1 to an unsigned integer (size_t). So this is something you can use in your project if you need the performance, but can't put it into GCC.

blt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Loosely related: STL binary search suffers from the same weakness as several other comparator-based STL algorithms for certain classes of expensive comparators: https://www.reddit.com/r/cpp/comments/36sqtq/more_efficient_...
elitheeli 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you take version 4, stop the first while loop once the size is at most 32, and then do linear search from there, it's faster (on my machine). For example, version 4 is 102ms and this tweak puts it at 83ms. (On clang x64.)
myle 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Isn't version 2 wrong, because

 size_t probe = (low + high) / 2;
may overflow?

usefulcat 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
Because binary search on a sorted array is nearly always faster than std::map due to cache effects.
twoodfin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Great link.

The most educational bit for me was the careful structuring and eventual elimination of the if/else to shake out a conditional move rather than an unpredictable branch.

Modern optimizers and CPU scheduling engines are so powerful, a lot of received wisdom on how to code for speed is outdated; manual loop unrolling, for example, is rarely very beneficial. It's nice to see that there's still some room for craftsmanship in the most critical of paths. Structuring loops for autovectorization is another useful habit to get into.

CJefferson 1 hour ago 1 reply      
One of the problems with the extreme complexity of submitting code to GCC, and FSF projects in general, (having to complete copyright assignments, which are very slowly handled) is that this is unfortunately unlikely to end up in libstdc++ (although I would be happy to see it there).
Old graph paper leancrew.com
66 points by ingve  11 hours ago   31 comments top 16
oasisbob 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another fun type of graph paper is composed of triangles in a hexagonal grid, commonly used for making isometric drawings:


For those of you looking to improve your by-hand visual communication skills, a cool old book is _Thinking with a Pencil_ . I picked up a copy a few months ago, and have been enjoying working through the exercises as I find time (which also includes isometric techniques):


lfowles 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My favorite kind of graph paper is engineering paper. The grid is printed on the back, so when scanned it isn't visible.

What it looks like in person: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Engineer...

What it looks like scanned: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_wP_s3WyQd4A/S-s4B-sm4oI/AAAAAAAAAe...

ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 2 replies      
All my notebooks are graph paper. I wanted to use them for composition but my teachers complained. I explained quite correctly that with graph paper you had lines for text and bonus you could draw diagrams as well. How cool was that?

Apparently not cool enough, and one English teacher insisted on "wide rule" composition notebooks, it made me ill to write in it.

One of these days I'll buy enough Eureka Lab notebooks in a single order to have them customize them beyond the simple lab/engineering moniker. :-)

jofer 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As far as the triangular grid goes, it's not common, but is very useful when you need it.

Ternary diagrams are probably the main use for it. They're particularly common in the geosciences as many classification schemes and solid-solution phase diagrams are defined in terms of a mixture of three components.

I used it through most of undergrad to make ternary diagrams by hand (and had to remember and draw in various classification schemes off the top of my head).

It's hard to find, so I would guess that professors are still handing out badly photocopied versions of an ancient sheet of triangular graph paper. (Sure it would be easy to create a nice blank ternplot with grids in $plotting_package_of_choice, but what's the fun in that??)

Florin_Andrei 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I was a fan of analytic geometry back in high school. It illuminates so many mathematical and physical facts and propositions. It also enables you to take a brute force approach to solving seemingly impossible problems - just graph the thing and see where the curves intersect.

Then at some point I discovered computers and realized the true magnitude and capabilities of numerical methods.

Anyway, plotting graphs, that will always be fun.

foz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This was the paper I loved for drawing Dungeons and Dragons maps in the late 70s. I loved how a #2 pencil looked on the faded blue grid. The paper has a distinctive smell, it's just delicious.
smpetrey 3 hours ago 1 reply      
ICYI: Downloadable Graph Papershttp://www.printablepaper.net/
dmourati 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I count 10 graph paper notebooks at arms length as I type this. I use the wonderful Japanese Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks and a fountain pen. People think I'm nuts, maybe I am but the combination brings me great joy.


lbaskin 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Graph paper is still commonly required for math class in Israel (at least in elementary school). (E.g., supplies list for 2015-16 school year (word doc) http://www.yigalalon.org.il/uploadfiles/igalalon/%D7%A8%D7%A...).
robinhoodexe 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I recall using a lin-log and log-log graph paper when I was 16 or so.

I suspect we HAD to use them because the school had some leftovers. We drew graphs on them for like 20 mins and then did it on the computer (GeoGebra I think).

blackbeard 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have log paper and lab notebooks stashed away in case of armageddon or something. I like paper still, a lot.
liotier 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"Specialty graph paper" - wow... I had never suspected there was anything but the square grid - and I'm old enough to have used it in my teenage years !
rootbear 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I found various types of old graph paper in my father's desk when I cleaned it out. I've kept most of it. He's an EE and a ham radio operator, so he had lots of things to graph.
chipuni 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I dating myself to say that at my right hand is a pad of graph paper? I take my notes on it; it's wonderful to have both horizontal and vertical guides.
Gracana 3 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was a kid, my sister and I drew "pixel art" on graph paper. I bet we would have had a lot of fun with the isometric grid.
kraig911 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone notice their handwriting speed and clarity goes up when writing on graph paper?
Tell HN: Kevin will comment on more Show HNs this Friday
54 points by dang  2 hours ago   12 comments top 6
vlad 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Maybe I should mention Rate My App, my video channel to provide feedback for Show HN projects. I didn't know Kevin was going to provide feedback, but I hope I can add value, too.

For credentials, I used to have my own app before Y Combinator started and I did everything myself -- programming, marketing, and customer service -- like many of you are.


Just reply to this comment and I'll try provide a 2-5 minute video overview of everyone's product. I wanted to have a daily show but the goal right now is quality over quantity.

Link: http://ratemyapp.com

derekp7 35 minutes ago 1 reply      
Question: Does this include mostly startup / monetizable projects, or could it include new open source projects also? I've been trying to figure out when some of my projects are ready for wider promotion, and even how to promote an open source project (without feeling "spammy", and since it is open source [no income potential], taking out web ads isn't really appropriate).
will_brown 1 hour ago 0 replies      
>we're excited to see it become a thing.

This would be fantastic for the community. Obviously more startups/side projects are rejected from incubators/accelerators/hackathons/VCs than accepted...and none of them get feedback. It is very noble for a YC partner to use their time in this fashion to directly help the community.

vonklaus 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Have you guys considered sharding out the feed into discrete "subreddit" type sections. That way posts would go to the db as "Show" instead of {post: "Show HN: somethong"}. I think thT would be a nice feature but understand why it might get resistance. Thanks.
thomasfromcdnjs 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Edit: Will post on Friday =D
The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia for Pay theatlantic.com
46 points by ohjeez  6 hours ago   19 comments top 3
hackuser 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure I can define why I still use Wikipedia. The information is not dependable, and I never know when I'm reading nonsense. But I do use it at times.

If I need accurate information from an encylopedia, I now use Britannica.com (Encyopedia Britannica); it's informative, well-regarded, serious, and succinct. Coverage isn't as broad, of course. I'm not sure how the paywall works but a lot of content is free; I don't have a subscription and generally it's not a problem. Highly recommended.

rm_-rf_slash 2 hours ago 5 replies      
While it seems there is little we can do to prevent the influence of money in our politics, truly democratic spaces like Wikipedia remain an important place for knowledge to be shared and verified. If we allow centralized sources of trust to become bought, sold, and politicized, then we risk fracturing into an Internet dark age, where your source of information is a function of your world view. What if instead of one Wikipedia, there was a pseudo version for people who strictly believe in creationism, or a version imposed on residents of Turkey that actively omits and reports to the government any complaints about the prime minister or references to the Armenian Genocide?
lordnacho 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This probably happens quite a lot. Not every subject in Wikipedia will have a vigilant editor.

There was an article about ships owned by a major commodities trader dumping poison in the ocean, and they got their PR company to edit the article. I'm quite confident this is actually true because someone (inside) alerted me to the guy's name used to edit Wikipedia, and then showed me the PR company's people page.

Hard to see what can be done about this though. If someone is being paid, they have a lot more time to cleverly word their story. In some cases legitimately, in others not.

GitHub's Atom Switches from the Open Code of Conduct to the Contributor Convent github.com
44 points by pauloday  1 hour ago   24 comments top 12
pauloday 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
> We are committed to making participation in this project a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of level of experience, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or nationality.

It seems like you don't need a laundry list of things that are not ok to harass people about unless certain types of harassment are OK. For example "differences of opinion" is not on the list. Is it ok to harass someone who disagrees with me?. I doubt that's the intention, and that's probably covered by the rest of the covenant, but if that's the case why do they need to list out all the things it's not OK to harass people about? It just seems needlessly complicated and ripe for causing further drama.

tzs 27 minutes ago 2 replies      
This looks like a good move to me. The text of the CC only has one potential problem area that I see:

 This code of conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community.
The potential problem here is what does it mean to be "representing the project or its community"?

For example, suppose on my personal website I include a link to my resume, and on that resume I list my work on the project. Suppose also on my personal website I have have a blog, and on that blog I post an article containing sexualized language or imagery.

Am I in violation of the CC?

The use of sexualized language or imagery is one of the specific examples given in the CC of a violation.

I would say that, based on current common usage of English, stating on a site unrelated to the project, as part of biographical information (such as a resume) that I contribute to the project would NOT be "representing the project or its community", and so would be outside the scope of the CC.

djur 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Open Code of Conduct is just too long and specific. To me, it feels like an attempt to preemptively head off 'rules lawyer' casuistry by ensuring that everything that could be a cause for ejecting someone from a community is explicitly listed. In my experience, this just provides a much larger surface of attack -- and the OCoC seems to be suffering from exactly that now.

The Contributor Covenant's approach seems to be to make a clear statement of intent, and relying on the community to apply it correctly. It doesn't specifically ban, say, offering a backrub, but the necessary and appropriate response to someone saying "ha, but there's no rule against repeatedly offering a stranger backrubs, IS there?" isn't to draft a new rule, it's to show them the door.

iza 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
I definitely prefer the wording of the Contributor Code of Conduct over the Open Code of Conduct. I don't really see the point though. Everything listed is just common sense, and there is still a catch-all clause open to interpretation.
tvanantwerp 59 minutes ago 4 replies      
There appears to be a lot of drama around both the Open Code of Conduct and the Contributor Convent. I'm not at all familiar with either--is there anyone who is who could share the disagreements going on around both documents?
protomyth 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
"This code of conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community."

What exactly constitutes "representing the project or its community"?

throwaway54984 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's sad that programming is starting to mean more and more politics.
Zikes 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Title should be "Covenant" not "Convent".
josteink 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Actual pull request here: https://github.com/atom/atom/pull/8312

Related HN post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10043356

Edit: looking at the discussion in general and this article by ESR[1] in particular, I'm surprised they didn't just drop this COC nonsense entirely instead of adopting a new "flawed" one.

[1] https://archive.is/6F9Yr

pauloday 1 hour ago 0 replies      
xn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
LyndsySimon 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
Crafting Icons elischiff.com
61 points by bpolania  5 hours ago   26 comments top 5
thaddeusmt 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's like watching magic. Granted the effect is enhanced by the accelerated speed of the videos, but, wow. I wonder how long it takes to learn Illustrator/Sketch/etc well enough to be able to create art like this (e.g. watching the tire tread get put on the taxi - what voodoo was that?).
ahmacleod 4 hours ago 2 replies      
These are all beautiful illustrations, but they don't feel iconic to me. Granted, there is a spectrum when it comes to detail, but isn't the purpose of an icon to distill an idea to its visual essence?
mayoff 4 hours ago 3 replies      
"The art of icon design is steadily being lost with each passing year."[citation needed]
some1else 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What a clever title. I would even go as far as calling it icon rendering.

A good icon, just like a good logo, causes a small visual play in the back of one's mind. For that to happen, a lot of design time is spent in exploration, sketching perceptual cons, cross-pollenations and optimizations.

I respect Eli, but I'd hate to see this part of icon design survive, while genuine creativity vanes.

Rexxar 3 hours ago 2 replies      
A little meta comment: It would be nice if HN remove automatically tracking informations from links (Here "?utm_campaign=iOS ...")
A Little Kelp from My Friends luckypeach.com
7 points by tintinnabula  2 hours ago   discuss
Gene Therapy Makes Near-Blind Patients See by Strengthening Neural Connections dddmag.com
70 points by forloop  12 hours ago   8 comments top 4
ilurk 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Excuse my naive questions, but this left me very curious.

Have we reached a phase where the difficult part is finding the genes responsible for X? With the delivery being now boilerplate code (CRISPR?).

What exactly are the limitations of gene therapy?

How does aging fit into the picture? For example, if grey hairs are the result of cell aging/damaging, will we be able to reverse/restore it?

cryoshon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I work in gene therapy; expect a lot of headlines like this in the coming years. We're just getting started with solving the easy-to-fix problems and disorders right now, but they're falling quickly.

Soon it'll be possible to seriously talk about improving working functionality via gene therapy-- I'd expect simple musculoskeletal augmentation first.

DiversityRules 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Does the strengthening of neural connections only work with people with that specific gene? Could this be extended to other cortical visual disorders, such as amblyopia?
WalterBright 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a very exciting development. I had been reading recently that gene therapy had been nearly completely written off as unworkable (in regards to cystic fibrosis).
High quality entropy with nothing up its sleeves bitbabbler.org
11 points by chei0aiV  4 hours ago   3 comments top 3
tptacek 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
You don't need a hardware RNG. If you're running a modern Linux distro, you can safely just pull as much randomness out of /dev/urandom as your heart desires.
mindslight 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
They seem to be saying the right things, but there's no schematic? How is anyone supposed to evaluate and discuss whether their design fulfills their criteria?
daveloyall 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know how to evaluate the fitness of hardware RNGs.

But, I really like their website. It's full of words. Thousands of them. Carefully chosen words.

The Philosopher of Surveillance firstlook.org
43 points by stefantalpalaru  8 hours ago   8 comments top 4
GeorgeOrr 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The "Socrates" of this article believes he's safer if his entire life is monitored rather than just part. So much wrong with this.

1 - What about no surveillance until there is a reasonable suspicion confirmed by an impartial Judge (see 4th Amendment to the Constitution for details)?

2 - Ok, he feels safer with Big Brother looking after him ... but apparently that justifies in his mind that everyone should be watched since he prefers it for himself. Is that narcissism or just sloppy thinking?

3 - One of the many dangers of this sort of surveillance is the bizarre notion that we are the data collected. There is NO level of surveillance that equates to the actual knowledge of the self (sorry Google, NSA, etc.). Think about it for yourself - is there any data set large enough that it would capture without misunderstanding who you are? Now remember that the rest of the 7 billion people on this planet have just as rich lives (inner and outer) as you.

On that last point, keep in mind the so called "targeted" ads that Google uses. Or the movie/book suggestions from sites that use them. Now imagine such bizarre misunderstandings leading our NSA big brothers to act. Not a pretty picture.

Larger and more haystacks aren't the solution. Realizing that humans aren't stacks of data is.

wcummings 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So how long until someone deanonymizes "Socrates"?
drjesusphd 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it:

Does anyone else find it deeply suspicious that Wall Street (and investment bankers in general) remain mum about this? We're talking about a group which is one of the most powerful in the world, has tremendous influence over government, and has the most to lose by invasive NSA surveillance.

huac 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thought this would be about Palantir, the surveillance company with a philosophy PhD CEO.
Nine Charged in Insider Trading Case Tied to Hackers nytimes.com
49 points by jackgavigan  5 hours ago   26 comments top 5
tptacek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Two more great links:

The, like, inimitable Matt Levine (I know, right?):


The SEC complaint, which is chock full o' details:


chollida1 4 hours ago 5 replies      
The worst part about this is that I've heard they wouldn't have been captured if they didn't get greedy and increase the size of their trades and continue to reuse the same trading accounts.

Allegedly they were hacking into news services and reading news before it was publicly released, which means their investing time frame was measured in hours and minutes.

This makes it much easier for the SEC to find this type of behavior as these types of trades, especially in the options markets stand out, when done at large sizes.

The SEC takes alot of grief, some well earned, but you should assume that when a stock moves, they'll run an automated scan of every trade that profited from that in the days/hours leading up to that move and over time they'll cross reference those trades to watch for accounts that continue to do this over time when they have reason to suspect illegal activity.

Think of it like athletes blood samples being held for years after competition. They won't test all the samples held but they have the data there to look back on if they find a reason to.

nosuchthing 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Might not be the same group, but never heard whatever happened to the "faster than light speed" trade (OP article didn't mention this incident):http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/24/tr...
dev1n 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I still don't understand the difference between insider trading and HFT firms that get data before other firms.
natch 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Understanding ARM Assembly, Part 1 msdn.com
72 points by ingve  6 hours ago   14 comments top 7
snvzz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this, while Raspberry Pi specific:


is a better intro to arm asm.

cesarb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe this link came from today's Raymond Chen's blog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2015/08/11/10634...

He has just finished a 10-part series on IA-64, and probably posted that to provide some contrast.

joosters 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Perhaps I'm jumping ahead of the series here, but one of the unique (I think?) features of ARM is that all the various conditionals listed (NE, EQ, LT etc) can be applied to just about any instruction, and not just a branch. So, you could have an instruction sequence like:

 SUBS R1,R2,R3 ADDEQ R4,R4,#1
whereas in other instruction sets you'd have to branch over the 'ADD' instruction if the previous comparison was non-zero.

(Not sure if this applies to ARM thumb style instructions or not; my ARM experience is very out of date!)

mhd 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
One thing I remember when RiscOS was still a bit of a thing was that a lot of its users praised ARM assembly. That, plus the short burst of 68k ASM when the Palm Pilot came out, was probably the last "big" hobbyist surge of assembly that I can think of right now.
shepardrtc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This series ends abruptly at Part 2. The author said there would be a Part 3, but I couldn't find anything.

In any case, if you want another overview article on ARM Assembly, try this: http://www.coranac.com/tonc/text/asm.htm

If you want a tutorial: http://thinkingeek.com/2013/01/09/arm-assembler-raspberry-pi...

And finally, this is a pretty good book if you've never looked at Assembly before and you've got a RPi or RPi emulator: http://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Assembly-Language-RASPBIAN-B...

wyc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in picking apart a small self-contained project, I wrote a simple IRC bot in ARM for GNU/Linux a while ago:


There are instructions to run/debug it on an x86_64 machine via qemu.

stephengillie 6 hours ago 3 replies      
> As you can see here the SIMD (NEON) extension adds 16 128 bit registers (q0-q15) onto the floating point registers. So if you reference Q0 it is the same as referencing D0-D1 or S0-S1-S2-S3.

Is this how SIMD is usually implemented in hardware? Have a set of circuitry that pushes one command to multiple registers?

Rebar and the Alvord Lake Bridge (2013) 99percentinvisible.org
14 points by stevewilhelm  6 hours ago   2 comments top
dugditches 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
The biggest issue is the bridge decks.

Epoxy rebar is a gaff. Any knicks or marks damage the coating.

Stainless steel is gaining speed but is very expensive.

And recently Carbon Fibre bar has been entering the market.

Clojure to MiniZinc (clojure2minizinc) github.com
9 points by brudgers  4 hours ago   discuss
Making Sense of Misery: The Dialect Notebooks of a Teenage Breton Farm Servant manyheadedmonster.wordpress.com
33 points by benbreen  7 hours ago   1 comment top
jnbiche 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Regarding the Gallo word "ennuyail", which the writer describes as being often translated as "boredom", I'm surprised he doesn't reach for the French cognate "ennuis", which is often translated as "troubles". Indeed, the word "troubles" seems to fit Virginie Desgranges' situation very well, and is probably what she had in mind when she used that term in her native Gallo.
Lawrence Lessig wants to run for president in an unconventional way washingtonpost.com
374 points by nkassis  6 hours ago   156 comments top 30
rayiner 6 hours ago 7 replies      
Some of his ideas are great (particularly trying to take on gerrymandering), but I think on the money issue he's nearsighted.

> He launched Mayday PAC to much fanfare in the spring of 2014, billing it as the "super PAC to end super PACs." But it failed to play a decisive role in any race that year.

As Lessig found out, money by itself cannot buy power. Money is a means for magnifying the impact of forces that are already in play.

Consider, for example, climate change. During the last debate of the last Presidential election, Barak Obama was falling over himself to be more pro-coal than Mitt Romney. Was it because he hoped to court the coal-industry lobbyists and turn their firehose of political spending in his direction? There wasn't a chance in hell of that happening, and he knew it. He did it to court the voters in central and southern Illinois whose livelihoods are dependent on the coal industry there. We're a sprawling suburban nation addicted to cheap gasoline. Energy companies would have tremendous power even if they didn't spend a penny lobbying.

The same is true for banking and finance. People complain about fancy financial instruments, but at the end of the day main street businesses are utterly dependent on payroll loans, consumers are dependent on credit cards, and everyone wants to get a fat adjustable-rate mortgage so they can buy a big suburban house. Do you think banks need to spend any money lobbying to sway politicians in their favor?

And I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that money being a factor in politics isn't as bad as it seems. At least when money can influence politics, the noveau-riche can upset the old guard. Consider the auto industry. Traditional carmakers don't need to spend money to buy political power--the fact that they employ hundreds of thousands of middle-class workers guarantees that. But as traditional cars decline, and the Teslas and Googles of the world remake the industry, it's probably a good thing that those companies can use money to overcome the inertia and political mindshare of existing car companies.

njharman 5 hours ago 4 replies      
"Lessig said he would serve as president only as long as it takes to pass a package of government reforms"

Well that will take longer than two terms. Congress doesn't even play along with the people who are incahoots in rigging the system. It's beyond ridiculous to believe they will play along with their own destruction.

ipsin 5 hours ago 1 reply      


I will be surprised if he doesn't reach his $1M goal, and much more surprised if anything substantive comes of the effort.

The "launch and resign" plan smells bad -- it seems like a hack to avoid having a complete platform, implying that the government will lack a leader during that interval, and using that as motivation to pass the act seems like a bad idea. It also raises the question of who the real VP would be.

cryoshon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hm, hopefully he won't act as a spoiler for Bernie. A Sanders-Lessig ticket would look pretty good if Bernie can't get Warren. Bit early in the game for that chatter, though.

Lessig still isn't a household name, so I think it's far too late for him to participate in this election cycle as a real candidate. That being said, he's also imperfect as a candidate for a few reasons. Lessig is really good at presentations and speaking eloquently, but he still doesn't quite rile people up in the way that is needed for his kind of insurgent campaign (against who, exactly?). Lessig also doesn't have the cash to get noticed nationwide. He's setting goals to raise a million, whereas Hillary is planning a billion dollar campaign, and the Republicans are likely planning a several billion dollar campaign for whoever they pick.

Also, an elephant in the room: the issues Lessig is running on (campaign finance reform, voting reform, ending gerrymandering) are not actually non-partisan in the way that he is trying to market them. Everyone (everyone!) knows that campaign finance reform, gerrymandering, and voter reform are the left's issues.

Why? Because the right in the USA needs voter exclusion and balkanization(via the false issue of voter fraud aimed at poor populations) in order to win elections. Campaign finance reform is similar; big money influences both sides heavily, but they favor the right for their business-friendly disposition. Big money favoring the right wing means that prospective candidates from the left are also vetted against how business friendly they are, pulling the mainstream left wing toward the right wing, assuming that candidates act rationally and take the money for grabs.

This series of behaviors ultimately results in the far-right wing business cartel promoters that currently comprise Congress. Claiming that Lessig isn't some kind of far-left (for the US) candidate is a tad disingenuous, even if he actually believes it. A popular and well-moneyed Lessig would be a huge threat to big money's influence on politics, to be sure-- in the way that Sanders is currently.

lvs 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This may sadly pull some critical primary voters from Sanders, who stands in an ideologically similar area, assuming Lessig picks up any steam at all.
ekianjo 6 hours ago 5 replies      
> "We have this fantasy politics right now where people are talking about all the wonderful things theyre going to do while we know these things cant happen inside the rigged system.

Followed by:

> Lessig said he would serve as president only as long as it takes to pass a package of government reforms and then resign the office and turn the reins over to his vice president. He said he would pick a vice president "who is really, clearly, strongly identified with the ideals of the Democratic Party right now,"

So, wait. You don't want the "System", yet your Vice President is basically a member of the Democratic Party which is part of the precisely bi-party, rigged System right now ?

Makes a lot of sense if you want to perpetuate the said rigged System.

JayHost 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I made 500 phone calls for Mayday last year on their behalf.

This is not Win / Lose or Patriots vs Seahawks.

This is forcing the most important issue to be confronted on the big stage.


ZoeZoeBee 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be nice if the article articulated his ideas for change, other than just overturning the Citizens United decision. For decades the public who haven't been lulled to sleep have clamored for Campaign Finance Reform, increased Limits On Lobbyist, and Transparency.

What did we get. Citizens United, lobbyists writing 10,000 page laws riddled with loopholes, and Bills and Administrations which do the exact opposite of what they say.

tlb 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"I will be leader just long enough to institute the necessary reforms" has led to lifelong dictatorships in other countries. Lessig doesn't seem the dictator type, but that particular promise should scare students of history.
jedberg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Most people don't care enough to care about or understand how important campaign finance is, so it's unlikely he'd even win the nomination, but hopefully he can get enough support to at least get into the debate and bring the issue to a wider audience.
elihu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm having trouble imagining any outcome other than drawing votes away from Sanders. Even if he were to win the primary and the general election, congress is very unlikely to budge.

> "Even if she did say exactly the right things, I dont think its credible that she could achieve it because she and the same thing with Bernie would be coming to office with a mandate thats divided among five or six different issues," Lessig said. "The plausibility of creating the kind of mandate necessary to take on the most powerful forces inside of Washington is zero. This is what led me to recognize that we have to find a different way of doing this.

I don't agree with this logic, that "policital capitol" is split among multiple mandates, and that having more mandates makes you less likely to achieve any of them. Having a position on many issues just means that more voters have a reason to vote for (or against) you. Many of those positions are expected of someone running for office under a certain party, and not stating a clear policy preference doesn't usually win you votes from the other party, it loses you votes from your own party.

I think Lessig's efforts are better spent continuing to advocate for an article V convention and influencing congressional elections via the Mayday PAC.

arxpoetica 6 hours ago 2 replies      
What if one likes the ideas (possibly?), but isn't a Democrat?

Makes it difficult when one doesn't like the VP.

kevinpet 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I guess we've now discovered our generation's Ralph Nader.
nkurz 5 hours ago 3 replies      
What't the advantage of Lessig's win-reform-resign approach rather than convincing a more electable candidate to commit to the same reform? If there is enough public support for Lessig to win the election, presumably there would be enough support for another candidate with more outside support (such as his designated successor) to win with the same platform.

The main reason I can see is that Lessig himself views his promise of reform to be more reliable than any another candidate's promise. True or not, I think it would be difficult to convince the general electorate that he should be trusted more than any other candidate.

pbreit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If it wasn't so frowned upon for Electoral College electors to "change" their vote, wouldn't that enable more "third party" runs (which would be "a good thing")?

I'd actually like to see Trump or Lessig run but people are so worried about a like-minded candidate leading to their party's loss.

drivingmenuts 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a interesting idea, but hopelessly doomed. A viable candidate needs to articulate on many issues, as The President doesn't have the luxury of only focusing on a single issue. There's a whole cabinet full of people who run departments that he needs to have potential policies to put in place.

As a potential spoiler candidate, it might work by forcing more attention to campaign financing reform, but it's hard to take him seriously beyond that.

drjesusphd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is interesting, but I have a hard time seeing how being a transparent office holder (through voter referendums) would work for the office of POTUS. I can see it working well as a legislator and would prefer a system where one of the houses of Congress is direct referendum.

I think it would be far more interesting to completely "vacate" the office and do nothing, without formally resigning. The point being that elected officials have far less power than people think. I think the executive would function largely the same without a president or vice.

kuni-toko-tachi 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem isn't money in politics, the problem is government. Nearly all taxes that don't fund a very limited set of government functions should be completely eliminated.

Your tax money is what gives politicians power. Leftists want more government, more taxes, and centralization of power into the hands of even fewer politicians and yet are puzzled - dumbfounded even - why things are "working". Bernie Sanders is a Hugo Chavez, a fool.

Apocryphon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Would Lessig be an ideal "hackers' candidate"? Hypothetically, would he pardon Snowden and go after the NSA?
fractal618 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Registered Independent voter here, he's got my vote.
toyg 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Depressing. The whole project basically ensures he won't be elected (who wants to vote for a President who will not rule?), he's just looking for some quick exposure.

It would have been more intellectually honest to do what Jeremy Corbyn has done in the UK: running wholeheartedly, albeit assuming he won't be elected, just to inject a range of ideas in the debate.

joe5150 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Lessig said he would serve as president only as long as it takes to pass a package of government reforms"

So in other words four years, eight if he gets re-elected.

Awfully roundabout way of saying that....

alwaysdoit 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish he would just run conventionally.
pbreit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
smacktoward 4 hours ago 1 reply      
gweinberg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
He lost me at Sanders.
MrZongle2 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Nothing against Lessig, but he has about as much chance of becoming President as I do, and I'm not even forming an exploratory committee.

The American electorate has been conditioned to vote for Team Red or Team Blue, and within those increasingly-similar teams their preferred standard-bearers will be chosen by a consensus of large donors in a series of luncheons and closed-door meetings, primaries be damned. It's not so much a sinister New World Order conspiracy as it is a general desire by the elite to influence future governance to secure their wealth.

If this weren't the case, then Sanders' standing wouldn't be so noteworthy, and O'Malley wouldn't be concerned about his party's nebulous debate schedule. Likewise, we wouldn't be hearing as much about Jeb Bush.

I'm not saying that third-party disruption can't take place, but the time to be forming exploratory committees was months and months ago, if not years. The 2016 Presidential race is well underway, and Lessig hasn't even stepped up to the starting line.

PythonicAlpha 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For those, that do not yet know "Lesterland", should get to know it:

http://lesterland.lessig.org/(there is a great video talk of Lessig on the page)

BTW: Lessig is great!

wahsd 5 hours ago 1 reply      
       cached 11 August 2015 22:02:02 GMT