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Emacs maintainer steps down gnu.org
102 points by zeveb  1 hour ago   12 comments top 6
1
nanny 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
Note: this happened almost a month ago now.

See these threads for the discussion on the new head maintainer:

https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2015-09/msg01...

https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2015-10/threa...

2
unknownzero 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
I would encourage anyone who clicks the link to read through the thread. Pretty heartwarming to see the goodbyes, a definite mid-day boost :)
3
jwr 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
Stefan's stewardship resulted in a much-improved Emacs. He did a very good job.
4
davidw 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've been using Emacs for 20 years, I realized. If you think about all the different things that come and go so quickly in this field, that's a pretty amazing run.

Thanks Stefan!

5
laurentoget 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good to know there are people stepping down off of open source project leadership roles without throwing a tantrum!
6
seigel 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Heading over to vi? :)
Flux is the new WndProc bitquabit.com
229 points by gecko  3 hours ago   62 comments top 12
1
Todd 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I've also observed this similarity. The msg is like the actionType, the wParam and/or lParam are like the polymorphic objects that you pass with your action.

The dispatcher is also not the most efficient model, where every store is registered to listen to every event. This is a bit like multiple windows on an event loop. The difference is that in Windows, messages are almost always targeted to a particular window's handle (hwnd). This doesn't make sense in Flux, since it's more of an observer pattern. The logic of interpreting the meaning of an action is left to each store, which is really just a cache.

The biggest problem I have with Flux relates to this polymophism. I use TypeScript where possible and this is the one place where it always breaks down. I understand the appeal of JS objects but the only way to ensure your Flux based system is stable is to have lots of unit tests around your actions and stores.

Redux is a more straightforward take on caching. I can also use type annotations on the reducers and associated store structure, so this helps ensure structural consistency. It also solves the isomorphism problem of server side rendering because each request can get its own state. There is no out of the box solution for this with Flux, since stores are singletons by default.

Minor nit: stores are just caches with observers. I'm not sure why they weren't just called caches.

2
pducks32 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
See I think Flux is too low-level. I think it's too hard to reason about from the top level. Not that the architecture is inherently badpeople are using it a tonbut that things get out of hand way to fast. Regardless I can't wait to see web development in a year!
3
unoti 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The big idea from old school windows that is shared with Flux is the idea of little views that render themselves and manage their own state. In Windows we called those Controls or Window Classes. It is a good idea, and one worthy of preserving.
4
jowiar 1 hour ago 2 replies      
As someone who has written several things with Flux and Flux-esque architecture, I see it as a step in the middle, rather than where things are ending. It's not a large step from Flux (Stores update themselves in response to actions) to Redux (Model the entire application as reducers on a sequence of Actions) to RxJS Observables.

What's shared in there is the idea that unidirectional data flow is a whole lot easier to reason about, model, and simulate than 2-way data flow. Everything else is semantics.

5
dustingetz 2 hours ago 5 replies      
The author does not understand React :(

> React by itself doesnt actually solve how to propagate changes

It does actually - you update the state, then React propogates the changes for you through it's props mechanism. Flux is an extra layer of indirection over state changes if you need it: https://twitter.com/floydophone/status/649786438330945536 edit: I regret my tone here, there is clearly ongoing work in this area and no widely accepted best practice yet)

Flux is not message passing, React components do not redraw themselves, React components do not pass messages to each other, Flux only superficially looks like winapi because of the switch statement in that particular example.

React provides the view as a function of state. winapi is nothing like that.

React is a giant step towards functional programming. winapi is definitely nothing like that.

edit: Windows -> winapi

6
estefan 2 hours ago 3 replies      
...and so for those of us who aren't Windows developers, what learnings can we apply to flux to make it better?
7
jxm262 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This was an awesome read. We use React and Flux daily at work so I'm going to share this with coworkers. I'm a little confused on what the author's concern is though.

> Ive just feltwell, weird. Something seemed off

Is there anything substantively wrong with the flux pattern or drawbacks?

8
amelius 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Stated more simply, React is just like "rebooting" your computer after you have changed the config files. It is, in this respect, quite ancient technology, except that the framework hits the "reset" button for you.
9
arijun 3 hours ago 0 replies      
10
iMark 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've only looked into iOS programming a little, but is this not similar to how views are handled there too?
11
whatever_dude 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The writer really likes the word "idempotent".
12
jsprogrammer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
And Node is essentially the Windows message loop [0].

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

The world needs at least 600M new jobs in the next decade for young people bloomberg.com
74 points by cryoshon  1 hour ago   134 comments top 21
1
downandout 32 minutes ago 3 replies      
Most of the comments here focus on how people aren't trying hard enough to get jobs. This article indicates that the jobs don't exist and that the problem is likely to get far worse. You can try as hard as you want to get a job - if no one is hiring, you aren't going to get one.

The reality is that as time goes on, the world's needs can and will be met by fewer and fewer people. This should be a good thing, but it won't work under most existing economic systems. Our entire economy has to change to accomodate the new reality that a significant percentage of the population will be unemployed.

2
jonathanjaeger 1 hour ago 13 replies      
Disclaimer: This is purely anecdotal, and not backed by any data.

I'm in my mid-twenties and just recently started interviewing people for the team I work on. It's amazing how little effort many seemingly qualified people put in to secure an entry-level job. Whether it be hustle to learn more about a business, the specifics about the company you might work at, or finding someone to give a second set of eyes on a cover letter or resume, most people really drop the ball. If job prospects are grim, you'd at least hope people would put in more effort.

3
maresca 1 hour ago 6 replies      
Student loan debt surpassed credit card and auto loan debt in the US last year. Many college grads graduate with large sums of debt and can't find relevant jobs. Since student loan debt isn't forgivable, it'll be interesting to see the effect of this over the next decade. I have a hunch that the next big market crash will be caused by student loan debt.
4
NoGravitas 1 hour ago 4 replies      
> The world needs at least 600 million new jobs in the next decade for young people

Or, perhaps, the world needs to stop coupling basic human needs for subsistence and dignity to wage labour, and find some better way of doing things.

5
fensterblick 1 hour ago 1 reply      
As the article highlights, the Arab revolutions were led by the youth. I wonder what, if anything, will happen in the USA when the current generation, saddled by seemingly insurmountable college debt, comes to the realization that it cannot find stable work or afford decent housing.

I truly believe that moment will be an earthquake for the current political environment; what we characterize Republicans and Democrats today will dramatically change (just like it did after the Civil War and also the Civil Rights movement).

6
sosuke 1 hour ago 3 replies      
What qualifies as an adult anymore?

 people 15 to 29 years old are at least twice as likely as adults to be unemployed
30 is adulthood in their interpretation of the data.

7
Kinnard 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Once we no longer need to work we can occupy ourselves with love, learning, passion and play!
8
morgante 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
> people 15 to 29 years old are at least twice as likely as adults to be unemployed.

Today I learned that 28-year-olds aren't adults.

9
greengarstudios 1 minute ago 1 reply      
Start a startup and create your own job?
10
oconnor663 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
The world has confronted this problem every decade since the beginning of time. Is there any reason to believe This Time Is Different?
11
fredgrott 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
The reality is with $31 Billion in mobile app sales and rising those jobs will come from small businesses building mobile apps as we have 1 TBytes of free data to organize into mobile services every year that our current programming languages cannot self learn how to organize.

Yes there will still net jobs loss as tech progress eliminates them..the new job is your small business you set-up

12
mwhuang2 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
Extra schooling only delays reality and leads to more debt. What really matters is simple supply and demand - whether people have the skills that others are willing to pay for.
13
theworstshill 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
As difficult as it would be to find money for it - I would propose a one time entrepreneurship grant to all college graduates equal to an average yearly salary in the profession (this is an approximation and experts should figure out what variables should adjust for best amount). That would allow several things to happen:1. New graduates with a strong drive for entrepreneurship can start working on their ideas right away and do not have to spent several years working for corporations, picking up anti-patterns.2. New graduates who are unable to find professional work can have a cushion while they search, and can potentially become lesser partners to people in the first category.

Jobs and careers are created by businesses, so the more small-medium size businesses there are, places that are still flexible in their mindset - the more work there will be.

14
forrestthewoods 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Central Asia and South-East Europe are lumped together? Ouch! That feels like a rather stinging critique of the European Union.
15
geff82 1 hour ago 2 replies      
It is grim with the exception when you live in Germany or Switzerland.
16
ausjke 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't know how this is going to work, I actually think the root-cause of mid-east crisis is more related to youth-jobless.

Young people without job will lead to bad things, in the meantime the technology/AI/robotic-factory is making more people "unneeded", will it either be a utopia-coming-true or a revolution?

17
sogen 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is this a plain in the open "ideology injection in the brain" from above (the rich) to deter emigration to better countries?
18
tdsamardzhiev 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Better think positive, guys - it's only going to get worse as you get older ;
19
dba7dba 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
We should be honest and talk about just not creating more jobs BUT having LESS babies.
20
peterwwillis 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Job hack: open volunteer trade schools in impoverished urban areas and fund it with both government and private money and give tax incentives to those that fund them or volunteer to work there. This could be anything from computer jobs to specialized manufacturing (Foxconn-esque).

Not only could this provide us with a 'cheap labor' manufacturing workforce that corporations love, tech jobs that could be done remotely would also be easy to train for, and thus our country's very limited transportation options wouldn't be such a barrier to getting work. Areas of high crime or gang violence could begin to get kids off the streets and into a stable job.

21
AnimalMuppet 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I recently saw an article (don't recall where, but I think it was based on a World Bank report) that indicated that the fraction of the population aged 18-65 had peaked in 2012. That was part of the problem - more people were of working age. But demographically, that's going to be less and less true as we move forward; perhaps that will soften the conclusions of this article.
Twitter announces layoffs sec.gov
424 points by uptown  6 hours ago   286 comments top 61
1
dang 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This was discussed pre-announcement at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10364197.
2
Sidnicious 4 hours ago 12 replies      
> Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight.

I tried rewriting his email to live up to this promise:

- - -

Team,

We're cutting our workforce to strengthen Twitter as a company.

The team has been deciding how to best streamline Twitter, Vine, and Periscope to put their focus on the projects which will have the greatest impact. Moments, which we launched last week, is a great beginning. It's a peek into the future of how people will see what's going on in the world.

We plan to cut up to 336 people. This was a tough decision, and we'll offer each person a generous exit package and help finding a new job. Product and Engineering are going to make the most changes. Engineering will be smaller but remain the biggest percentage of the organization, and other departments will be cut in parallel.

This isn't easy. We'll honor those who we're losing with our service to all the people who use Twitter. We'll do it with a more purpose-built team. Thank you all for your trust and understanding here. As always, please reach out to me directly with any ideas or questions.

Jack

3
celticninja 5 hours ago 11 replies      
> The world needs a strong Twitter

Really? Does it? I think Twitter needs a strong Twitter, shareholders need a strong Twitter even Twitter employees need it. However the world is, at best, ambivalent about Twitter, if it disappeared tomorrow a replacement would spring up within a few weeks if the world really needed a way to shotgun their messages into the ether.

4
ghshephard 4 hours ago 4 replies      
The number, 336, is roughly 10% of their employees - which is pretty much exactly the number that Jack Welch recommended turning over each year to improve the work force.

I often wonder whether these "layoffs" aren't actually layoffs, but simply performance based assessments. It's not like Twitter is shutting down an entire office, or abandoning some technology, and letting everyone associated with that office/technology go - presumably they are being selective on other factors as to who they let go - and I'm guessing that performance is likely a key factor.

If, over the next year, twitter doesn't hire back that 10%, or hires employees in different technologies/positions (I.E. Web developers instead of thick client developers, sales people instead of developers, etc...) - then this is a layoff. But, if headcount returns to the same number, in roughly the same job areas, then this is just a performance based annual rank/yank process.

5
sbisker 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd like to ask that we please don't flood this comment section with offers of employment.

Everyone at Twitter knows everyone else here is hiring. You can't live in SF for 30 minutes without knowing that (literally - it's on all the billboards).

Have you ever been laid off before, suddenly and without notice? It hurts like no one's business (think months of therapy hurt, not an hour of complaining on Twitter hurt). People need time to think through what happened. Then talk it out with friends. Then discuss with their families and figure out where rent will come from. All the while, internalizing what the hell actually just happened (Was it politics? Performance? Or just bad luck?) and deciding what to do next.

To try to shortcut that process is at best insensitive, and at worst predatory. Be there for people as a colleague and a friend in a time of need, and they will repay you in kind.

If you just got laid off from Twitter, I won't offer you a job - but you are welcome to a beer at any time.

6
uptown 3 hours ago 3 replies      
"we plan to part ways with up to 336 people from across the company. We are doing this with the utmost respect for each and every person."

Bart might disagree:

https://twitter.com/bartt/status/653946266938818561

7
acaloiar 5 hours ago 7 replies      
> Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight.

Well, since you said it that way, I should assume that what comes next will not sound like a steamy pile of meandering corporate speak, right?

> The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong. The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact.

A roadmap focused on high-impact experiences. Got it. I hope your firings go really well, Bob.

8
danso 5 hours ago 2 replies      
> The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact. We launched the first of these experiences last week with Moments, a great beginning, and a bold peek into the future of how people will see what's going on in the world.

That Moments is mentioned so high up in the email isn't particularly reassuring...since it means they haven't launched many other initiatives of note recently. Moments as a feature is extremely disappointing given the years of interesting discoveries that Twitter has yielded algorithmically via its, well, "Discover" tab. What's on Moments looks like a half-baked newspaper front page except when you click on an item, you go to tweets about that item instead of a full story.

I don't want to pile on the project as it is new...but it should've been given more thought and design time given how much prominence "Moments" has on the interface (it is one of four main icons on the menubar)...Nearly all of the stories are hours old...e.g. "Wave of terror attacks hits Jerusalem" and "Playboy covers up"..."FedEx truck splits in two", granted, is news to me...but not something that makes Twitter unique to me.

There's so much more potential in the Trends section...OK, maybe Twitter wants to filter out potentially visually NSFW topics like #NoBraDay...but things like #MH17 and #VMworld and #ILoveYouAboutAsMuchAs...just show me an automated feed of tweets by reputable sources (rather than spambots or random kids) so I can understand why these topics are suddenly trending without having to click through the trends tag and sort through a overwhelming timeline.

edit: that said, I like all the other products...besides core Twitter, Vine and Periscope are standouts (at least, as a consumer)...I just think that "Moments" isn't worth putting into the spotlight, unless there is literally nothing else to be proud of publicly.

9
ngoel36 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This truly sucks - I'm sorry to hear that. If you're one of the unlucky engineers that caught up in all this - reach out to the email address in my profile. We're hiring tons of awesome engineers at Uber, and if that's not the right fit for you I can help get you connected to other SF companies as well.
10
GuiA 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> Let's take this time to express our gratitude to all of those who are leaving us.

Gratitude in the form of not telling employees that they were laid off, and letting them find out when they try to check their email in the morning? [0]

Fuck that noise.

[0] https://twitter.com/bartt/status/653946266938818561 + exact same thing happened to a good friend of mine who didn't tweet about it + hearing reports of it happening to others

11
ChrisLTD 6 hours ago 4 replies      
"The world needs a strong Twitter, and this is another step to get there."

Let's not get carried away here. Twitter is great. I use it too much of the day. But the world hardly needs Twitter.

12
MattBearman 6 hours ago 5 replies      

 "Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight."
Three paragraphs later...

 "So we have made an extremely tough decision: we plan to part ways with up to 336 people from across the company."
Edit: My bad, I should have been clearer in what I meant. There isn't really any corporate speak, but I wouldn't call 3 paragraphs of fluff 'giving it to you straight'

13
antirez 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight.

+

> We will honor them by doing our best to serve all the people that use Twitter.

SYNTAX ERROR

14
mrweasel 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a little surprised that they're only firing 336 people. Unless this is just the first round of layoffs and more will follow once products and management has been streamlined/trimmed whatever you want to call it.
15
Wintamute 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Slightly OT, but honestly I think the world really doesn't need Twitter. If you view the evolution of the internet as a phenomenon fundamentally linked to the emergence of a global cultural consensus, or even consciousness, then to reduce a sizable fraction of its bandwidth to 140 chars, vicious echochambers and a communication mechanism custom designed to bump people's thoughts out-of-context for the purposes of ridicule then Twitter should be viewed as harmful. I hope some of these coming changes directly address the harm current Twitter does to the quality of human communication on the net.
16
josefresco 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The "moments" feature will be a failure. They're essentially building an editorial model on top of Twitter - something they (as the platform creators) shouldn't be worried with.

The decentralized model of Twitter's content creation is an asset. If you group those into a more traditional top down model, you lose the uniqueness and power of the Twitter platform.

17
xmpir 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Why is this email on sec.gov?
18
chipgap98 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There seems to be a large disconnect in this thread between what is actually corporate speak and avoiding being blunt and insensitive
19
jackgavigan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, the stock's up 4.35% today.

That's roughly $2.7m per fired employee!

20
lfender6445 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If anyone who's part of the layoff is looking for the opportunity to work from home (ruby + javascript), let me know -- me [at] gmail.com
21
petercooper 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"[..] Engineering will move [..] faster with a smaller [..] team [..] we [will] part ways with [..] 336 people. [..] with the utmost respect [..] the world needs a strong Twitter, and this is another step to get there."

Or basically, Twitter is weaker with you in it.

22
piratebroadcast 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder what this means for the Boston twitter offices (Crashlytics and Bluefin Labs) - No mention of them, whereas Vine and Periscope are.
23
Kristine1975 4 hours ago 1 reply      
TL;DR: We're making some changes to the company. We're firing the 336 of you we don't need anymore. Thanks for your work.

Everything else is fluff. But I guess they have to sugar-coat it a bit with "utmost respect" and "tough decision".

24
swalsh 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If you're impacted, know ruby, want to make healthcare better, and are open to a position in Boston let me know! email in profile.
25
vegancap 6 hours ago 4 replies      
What's the reason for this e-mail being housed on a .gov TLD?
26
jjzieve 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I feel like this could spark a massive bubble pop. I mean if investors have lost confidence in a company with one of the largest user-bases in the world, what does that say about all the startups that are valued so high and will likely never make a dime, unless they're bought out.
27
ape4 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess the message was a bit too long for a tweet.
28
leothekim 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"up to 336" -- that's a very specific number, suggesting this was somewhat surgical. Most other leadership types are of the "any manager worth her salt should be able to cut 10% of her staff, so do it". Layoffs are never easy, but it sounds like Jack is doing his best make the right cuts and take care of affected.
29
spikels 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Revenue per employee is an interesting performance metric although not usually applied to growth companies. Twitter's was growing fast relative to other big public tech firms but still much lower than most.

http://www.businessinsider.com/revenue-per-employee-charts-a...

30
kenko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"We are moving forward with a restructuring of our workforce so we can put our company on a stronger path to grow. Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight."

Riddled with corporate speak like ... the very first sentence.

31
cdelsolar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Message me if you've been impacted and want to join us at Leftronic!
32
RyanMcGreal 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight.

[...]

> we plan to part ways with up to 336 people from across the company

Nothing says "give it to you straight" like using "part ways" to mean "you no longer have a job".

33
oldmanjay 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The sheer vulture-like behavior of recruiters around this event is a sight to behold! Truly recruiting is the occupation for the shameless.
34
mobileexpert 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What about Twitter's none-core products? GNIP and Fabric (crashlytics and Answers)
35
ducuboy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Focused on what exactly?

> We launched the first of these experiences last week with Moments, a great beginning, and a bold peek into the future of how people will see what's going on in the world.

Wonder what's next, because with Moments it feels like they still have no idea what to do with this platform. It would be such a pity to turn Twitter into TV-like manually curated breaking news channels.

36
perlpimp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
not sure how related it is, but a few days ago twitter demanded to change my password, after I changed it - they locked my account demanding that I would provide a phone number to tie to the account, yet none of the numbers I provided do work.

May I supposed they'll be even more focused on collection of various marketing data from their users given how little leverage they have over user's personal lives?

37
ausjke 3 hours ago 1 reply      
How many employees does it have? I recall it's about 4000 or so, so this is like a 10% cut?

It's better to do a big axe once instead of slicing it gradually, will this be it?

Been there done that, and it sucks.

38
cubano 5 hours ago 2 replies      
On the bright side, Twitter will only fire 140 people at a time, giving the others time to prepare.
39
ThomPete 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wait why did the subject change?

Isn't the correct headline the subject line of the email?

40
jhwhite 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm a little self centered but this line:

> We will honor them by doing our best to serve all the people that use Twitter.

seems a little pep talky to me for the people left.

I feel saying this would have been better:

> We will honor them with the utmost respect for each and every person. Twitter will go to great lengths to take care of each individual by providing generous exit packages and help finding a new job.

41
grandalf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
When 80% of the promotional mail in my inbox is from Twitter trying to drive engagement, something is going badly.
42
fjordames 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Oh god. My roommate was literally offered a position at their Boulder office last week. I wonder how systemic cuts will be?
43
moron4hire 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Can someone explain to me how these places figure out that it's engineering's fault for failing to figure out how to monetize passive aggression, 140 characters at a time?

I mean, if I were asking myself "why did we fail to achieve our expected growth potential", am I going to blame the people who did what I told them to do, or am I going to blame what I told them to do?

Well, clearly, if I'm an MBA, I'll blame the stupid proles.

44
sjg007 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It would have been better if it was a total of 124 characters.
45
DrNuke 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Tbh twitter is pretty good professionally, if you follow the right people / organisations in your field and write accordingly. Much better than spammy Linkedin too.
46
grandalf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great for the startup ecosystem because likely many of the engineers are very talented.
47
smaili 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone who's part of the layoff is around SF and is looking for a new opportunity, let me know -- me [at] smaili.org
48
curiousjorge 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a feeling that Twitter is one of the uniocorns to go next year.

He's approaching this as a simple restructure & pray with engineering teams when in fact the problem is a much more serious problem, there's a loss of confidence in Twitter from investors.

I guess cutting when investors feel like it's due is a good way to appear like you are making changes when in fact the problem with Twitter is much more deep rooted and a fundamental flaw.

1) Investors realize twitter is horrible for monetization

2) Investors are out of patience or trust

3) Twitter scrambles to find a sustainable revenue source.

4) Twitter cuts off Hootsuite and launches competing business

5) Twitter's massive botnets disappear revealing only a small number of it's userbase is active sparking SEC involvement.

49
coderjames 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A more focused Twitter is much needed if the company ever hopes to become profitable, and not just remain a money pit.
50
jacques_chester 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the engineers will be in a good position.

The rest, I'm not as sure.

51
whatok 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Any info on whether this is just to appease shareholders or actual redundancies?
52
vishalzone2002 3 hours ago 1 reply      
any idea what is 336 as a percentage of their tech workforce?
53
mirap 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually, this is really well written.
54
santialbo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yesterday TWTR went down almost 7%.
55
mahouse 5 hours ago 0 replies      
>We launched the first of these experiences last week with Moments, a great beginning, and a bold peek into the future of how people will see what's going on in the world.

I am terrified about the future of Twitter.

56
moron4hire 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's what "giving it straight" really looks like, while also having a chance to save face:

 Everyone, As part of a restructuring of our workforce, we must layoff 336 people from across the company. This is an extremely difficult decision. We believe this is a necessary step to put our company on a stronger path towards growth. The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong. With the utmost respect for each and every person, Twitter will go to great lengths to take care of each individual by providing generous exit packages and help finding a new job. The roadmap is a plan to change how we work, and what we need to do that work. Product and Engineering will make the most significant structural changes to reflect our plan ahead, focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact. We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel. Let's take this time to express our gratitude to all of those who are leaving us. We will honor them by doing our best to serve all the people that use Twitter. We do so with a more purpose-built team, which we'll continue to build strength into over time, as we are now enabled to reinvest in our most impactful priorities. As always, please reach out to me directly with any ideas or questions. Jack
Notice I left out Moments, because I think it's in really poor form to mention efforts made before the layoff, with those 336 people, as being a part of this new roadmap that includes laying off those 336 people. Really, really poor move.

57
nanoojaboo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Dear Mr Jack, please do not cut my job. I have a wife and two kids and a big mortgage. Thank you, NanooJaboo
58
smonff 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok Jack... Look at what happens to guys like you in France.

https://www.rt.com/business/317705-air-france-job-cuts/

59
ComputerGuru 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, these aren't proofread by anyone?

> The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter,

"to produce streamlined roadmap" Really?

60
signaler 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a hobbyist coding small projects like Twitter in my spare time, I feel their pain and have consistently had to re-adjust the code base, and the amount of project contributors. This is observable on the micro-scale, and I would loathe to think how this plays out on the scale of Twitter, where unbridled and unchecked scale was allowed to take over the company, causing them to lose focus.

Twitter is essentially one big DevOps success story / failure after another, and I have faith they can start to focus again. One motif / question I have seen in every pundit's post about Twitter as a company is why the market (up until now perhaps) has not decided Twitter's faith? If it really is the case that Twitter is a big data company, then how come 90% (random estimate) of their users are fembots / fake accounts?

61
smonff 3 hours ago 0 replies      
IT world need a better class consciousness. The class struggle isn't something from the past. Twitter is one of the biggest company of the net economy, and it actually can fire 336 employees because "the world needs a strong Twitter". How a big company like this one can be authorized to fire people this way? Who employee are gonna react? Are they gonna fight?

Ok, we are not working at the mine, we are working on servers and data, and concept and communication tools, comfortably sitten in white offices, but these company makes a huge amount of money with our work and then will throw employees like garbage? Noooo, this is not acceptable. Jack, do you think that people will take your generous exit package and feel fine: no, some will experiment some difficulties to find a new job, some will divorce, some will be obliged to sell what they build to survive, some will get depression because of unemployment, some might even commit suicide. The price to pay for this can't be equal to your exit packages.

There is a serious problem here. And we are not organized at all to fight this. But workers could unite again. After all organizing a servers strike is not that hard. I wonder why it don't happen.

Workers of the world, unite!

Auto-Generating Clickbait with Recurrent Neural Networks larseidnes.com
134 points by lars  4 hours ago   27 comments top 14
1
thenomad 3 hours ago 2 replies      
If I could feed this an article and have it generate headlines based on the text of that article (and they were any good), there is a solid chance I would pay real money for that service.

Headlines are an absolute pain, and as the article says, they're decidedly unoriginal most of the time. I can't see an obvious reason that an AI would be much worse at creating them as a human.

2
clickok 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice! I've wanted to do something like this for awhile, too, but haven't had the time yet.

What's interesting to me, from a research point of view, is the degree of nuance the network uncovers for the clickbait.We all know that <person> is going to be doing <intriguing action>, but for each person these actions are slightly different. The sentence completions for "Barack Obama Says..." are mainly politics related while "Kim Kardashian Says..." involve Kim commenting on herself.

So it might not really understand what it's saying, but it captures the fact those two people will tend to produce different headlines.

Neat Idea: what if we tried the same thing with headlines from the New York Times (or maybe a basket of newspapers)?We would likely find that the Clickbait RNN's vision of Obama is a lot different from the Newspaper RNN's Obama.Teasing apart the differences would likely give you a lot more insight into how the two readerships view the president than any number polls would.

3
ChuckMcM 2 hours ago 1 reply      
https://xkcd.com/1283/

I really find RNNs to be pretty cool. When they are combined with a natural human tendency to see patterns they are hilarious. So perhaps we need to update our million monkeys hypothesis to a million RNNs with typewriters coming up with all the works of Shakespeare.

4
mikkom 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
What I'm surprised most is that the headlines seem not to be much better than your average markov chain output
5
hilti 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting blog post, but site is down.How much traffic do You get from HN?
6
OhHeyItsE 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is simply brilliant.

(Ranking algorithm baked into a stored procedure notwithstanding. [ducks])

7
chipgap98 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Tips From Two And A Half Men : Getting Real" is great. Some of the generate titles are incredible
8
neikos 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I am not sure how much I would give credit to the idea that the neural network 'gets' anything as it is written in the article.

> Yet, the network knows that the Romney Camp criticizing the president is a plausible headline.

I am pretty certain that the network does not know any of this and instead just happens to be understood by us as making sense.

9
andrewtbham 2 hours ago 1 reply      
tldr; guy uses rnn lstm to create link bait site.

hopes crowd sourcing will filter out non-sense.

http://clickotron.com/

10
kidgorgeous 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Great tutorial. Been looking to do something like this for a while. Bookmarked!
11
smpetrey 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this one is my favorite:

Life Is About Or Still Didnt Know Me

12
joshdance 2 hours ago 1 reply      
500 Internal Server Error on the site where you could upvote em.
13
imaginenore 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
Getting this error:

 Error: 500 Internal Server Error Sorry, the requested URL 'http://clickotron.com/' caused an error: Internal Server Error Exception: IOError(24, 'Too many open files') Traceback: Traceback (most recent call last): File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 862, in _handle return route.call(**args) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 1732, in wrapper rv = callback(*a, **ka) File "server.py", line 69, in index return template('index', left_articles=left_articles, right_articles=right_articles) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 3595, in template return TEMPLATES[tplid].render(kwargs) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 3399, in render self.execute(stdout, env) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 3386, in execute eval(self.co, env) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 189, in __get__ value = obj.__dict__[self.func.__name__] = self.func(obj) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 3344, in co return compile(self.code, self.filename or '<string>', 'exec') File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 189, in __get__ value = obj.__dict__[self.func.__name__] = self.func(obj) File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bottle.py", line 3350, in code with open(self.filename, 'rb') as f: IOError: [Errno 24] Too many open files: '/home/ubuntu/clickotron/views/index.tpl'

14
VLM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This was an enjoyable article. There is an obvious extension which is to mturk the results and feed the mturk data back into the net. Just give the turkers 5 headlines and ask them which they would click first, repeat a hundred times per a thousand turkers or whatever.

Years ago I considered applying for DoD grant money to implement something reminiscent of all this for military propaganda. That went approximately nowhere, not even past the first steps. Someone else should try this (insert obvious famous news network joke here, although I was serious about the proposal). To save time I'll point out I never got beyond the earliest steps because there is a vaguely infinite pool of clickbaitable English speakers on the turk, but the pool of bilingual Arabic (or whatever) speakers with good taste in pro-usa propaganda is extremely small, so the tech side was easy to scale but the mandatory human side simply couldn't scale enough to make the output realistically anything but a joke.

Down the Rabbit Hole of the Ol' Reddit Switcharoo reddit.com
43 points by curtis  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
myth_buster 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Apparently the guy who started it edited his post to point to his analysis.

https://np.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/ia0ij/watching_fellows...

2
jegutman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very cool. I remember back at Caltech when Adam D'Angelo wasn't a Quora founder and was just a hacker dude he made buddy zoo and it had these awesome social graphs. I think this was ported into the early version of facebook and didn't really end up doing that much because the graphs were very simple. Now that social networks have an older audience with a more complex social graph I think this type of stuff could be really useful (especially if you could create FB or other groups from it).
Annotated version of the paper that led to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics fermatslibrary.com
20 points by cronaldo  1 hour ago   1 comment top
1
antimuon 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting I did not know that this paper had been mentioned for the 2002 Physics Nobel too.- 2002: "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos"- 2015: "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass"

ref: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/

Laser Razor suspended by Kickstarter bbc.com
157 points by aram  5 hours ago   82 comments top 22
1
beloch 1 hour ago 0 replies      
To those looking for more concrete info on how this razor is supposed to work, here's the patent for it:

http://www.google.com/patents/US9017322

As far as I can tell, the idea is to use evanescent coupling to transfer light into hair follicles. There's no free space laser beam, just an optical fiber that you drag across your face. They also claim that chromophores (color bearing molecules) in hair can be severed at relatively low powers with a mixture of several specific frequencies of light.

So, what this product needs in order to work is a fiber that's durable enough to survive being dragged across skin while having very little cladding so as to allow evanescent coupling. That could be very hard to do, so the heads on these laser razors may wear out after a few shaves just like a metal razor. Second, they need to pack a high power multi-wavelength laser source and the power reserve to run it into a very tiny handle. Again, this is probably going to be pretty tricky.

There's nothing here that looks outright impossible to me. Just very, very tricky.

2
DannoHung 3 hours ago 6 replies      
The thing that is weird about this case is that one of the principals, Morgan Gustavsson, is actually the dude who invented the real laser hair removal that is used in clinics and has been involved in dermatology since.

I don't know if he was actually involved in this project or not, but that was the one thing that made me think that this maybe wasn't 100% a scam?

Anyway, the implication they make in their pitch isn't that it's an open laser, but that it is a laser confined to a fiberoptic wire which leaks into the hair when pressed against it. Gustavsson has published some papers on this a few years ago in which he refers to the concept as a TRASER.

Of course, if this really is such a revolutionary advance, why go to Kickstarter to bring it to market? Why not traditional investors. Gotta be easier to get funding for a significant manufacturing outlay, right? Just to not have to sell a piece of the company? To justify that there is a market?

I personally don't have the background to make any judgments about this and I definitely don't understand the article he published, but I just thought it didn't completely fail the smell test.

3
dogma1138 4 hours ago 5 replies      
It's sad that people thought it was real, forget about lasers and stuff it's basic common sense.

A AAA battery doesn't store enough power to drive a laser capable of burning hair for any reasonable amount of time.

When the laser isn't interrupted by the hair it has to go some where which means that heat is produced, if it can get something hot enough to burn the hair off it would get hot enough that you won't be able to hold it yet alone put it to your face.

There's no way you would ever could get the laser beam close enough to the skin for a smooth shave without burning your skin off.

And most importantly burnt hair smells like shit....

P.S.I assume that most people know at least 1 person that did laser hair removal, they should know it's a very painful and long process and it works only on dark hairs so again using this to shave anything but a fairly dark beard would never work.

4
Sephr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> Backers received an email from Kickstarter saying the Laser Razor was "in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards".

Interesting. Was this a recent policy change? Control VR never showed any working prototypes either, and their campaign was allowed (this was in 2014). Their demonstration video was later revealed to be using another company's significantly more expensive product ($10k+ vs the $600 pledge price), with zero modifications. They never demonstrated any prototypes of the product they were claiming to develop themselves, yet the campaign went through and now they have everyone's money (>$400k) without delivering.

5
aram 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Since we all check the comments first, here are some links:

KickStarter project page (suspended):

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skarp/the-skarp-laser-r...

IndieGoGo project page (they re-posted the project there after being suspended):

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-skarp-laser-razor-21s...

Demonstration video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOLwNJ7TXWA

6
MattGrommes 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As soon as I saw that Kickstarter kicked them off I was wondering how long it would take for them to get onto Indiegogo. Then, of course I see it only took 4 hours.

If you're unaware, Indiegogo has shown that they're more than willing to be the platform of choice for scammers and nonsense products.

7
hoopism 5 hours ago 0 replies      
hackaday.com had a good writeup that was skeptical of this.

http://hackaday.com/2015/10/01/ask-hackaday-i-love-the-smell...

They have generally been good at writing up some of the more sketchy kickstarts.

8
vicbrooker 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Their prototype reminds me of concept car designs that look great but don't have enough internal space for an engine. You'd maybe fit a AAA battery in the handle but I haven't even seen a torch that works without more juice.

Also, I was kind of suspicious when I noticed that more than half of the team have beards.

9
joshdance 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I really want a Kickstarter review site, where people can post projects. Since non-backers cannot post comments there is no way to let people know that 'this project is probably not going to work'. Snopes for Kickstarter?
10
ortusdux 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In light of the recent actions of the Washington State Attorney General, it takes balls to try and pull a scam like this. The AG ruled against the people behind a kickstarter campaign for a card game when they did not ship rewards for two years. The original campaign raised 25k and the judgement was for 56k. The ruling was on behalf of 31 residents out of 810 backers. The company is slowly shipping units and it looks like the AG is backing off.

But this whole thing brings up many interesting questions. The fine was 1k per WA resident + reimbursement + legal fees. Knowing that the AG has your back if things go south should undoubtedly embolden WA residents, which may lead to a higher percentage of backers coming from that state, which in turn would mean a higher fine if things fall through. I honestly was going to have my sister, a WA state resident, back this for me for my birthday, if it survived to the last day of funding.

Links:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-makes-crowdfunde...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/213177064/asylum-playin...

11
ibmthrowaway271 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Do not look into razor with remaining eye?
12
blakecallens 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If Indiegogo doesn't suspend them too, it could be a real watershed moment for them. It'll brand them as the place to go for scam products.
13
RUG3Y 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Don't worry, it'll be ready by spring." lol
14
Paul_S 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of that hologram device scam - bleen. It was so funny I couldn't tell if it was a scam or a parody trying to make fun of crowdfunding. Unfortunately it was flexible funding so people lost their money and whatever you think no one deserves to be scammed.
15
wlesieutre 4 hours ago 0 replies      

 "They have been incredibly helpful and they believe in the Skarp Razor as much as we do," the firm said of Indiegogo.
is a very polite way of saying "Yeah, we don't believe in our own product either"

16
BinaryIdiot 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How can you prove to potential buyers that you're able to produce the product you're selling them if you can't create a prototype demonstrating that it works?

Let's say we take everything at face value and believe 100% they can do this and that it is not a scam. If there is no prototype it's still possible that it could not work as it's unproven.

17
thehodge 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> The Skarp razor is powered by a small laser which cuts through hair for an incredibly close shave without irritating or damaging the skin.

I would read that as them seeing that the laser is cutting the skin but that could be easily be intentionally misleading marketing speak

18
happywolf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything that heats a hair to the point it burns off, no matter what the heat source is, will give out a bad smell. Good luck if one has thick beard, and no, I am not convinced this will work cleanly.
19
aet 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A fool and his money, be soone at debate: which after with sorow, repents him to late.
20
jlebrech 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What made me skeptical of this is that it looked like too much of a polished system, you'd expect it to look more like a braun shaver than a gillette fusion, with more battery space. The AA battery was also a dead giveaway.
21
funkaster 1 hour ago 0 replies      
lol... what I found funny and somewhat ironic is that most of the people in the video seem to wear a beard? (or lack of shaving) Maybe they're waiting until they can get their hands in an actual working prototype :P
22
ipsin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The name "Skarp" -- possibly in conjunction with "Kickstarter" -- immediately made me think of "scarper", i.e. the process of fleeing, ideally with the big bag of crowdfunding money.
Google Login and Firebase CLI 2.0.0 firebase.com
48 points by chrisseldo  2 hours ago   1 comment top
1
mslate 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think the bigger news is Firebase's announcement of acquiring Divshot today:

https://www.firebase.com/blog/2015-10-13-divshot-joins-fireb...

Cond Nast Buys Pitchfork Media nytimes.com
65 points by uptown  3 hours ago   53 comments top 11
1
6stringmerc 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Okay, so the reason for the sale according to Pitchfork is to grow. I know that's a popular reason, and often cited around here. But...why?

To put a music style analogy out, once a band reaches profitability, it's not customary to go adding 2-3 new members. Side projects, maybe, but it's not like this kind of thing.

I just hope the publication continues its high quality.

2
sharkweek 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I have always been really impressed with Pitchfork's longevity - been a regular reader since the early 00s and I still check the reviews every day for a new song or album to listen to.

One of their most impressive features I thought was their 'Cover Story' articles, definitely worth a peek:

http://pitchfork.com/features/cover-story/

As everyone was tripping out over The NYT's Snow Fall (great piece, certainly), Pitchfork was at the time releasing similar articles with relative frequency. I never felt these got as much credit as they deserve.

3
JonnieCache 2 hours ago 5 replies      
For a taste of the archetypical pitchfork style, read any of their radiohead reviews:

http://pitchfork.com/artists/3512-radiohead/

The classic is the Kid A one: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/6656-kid-a/

Boomkat is a close second, but at least theyre trying to sell the records: https://twitter.com/boomkat_ebooks

4
jmduke 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been reading Pitchfork for around six years now. Even though it has its share of questionable reviews and scores, its always proven an excellent bellwether for new music and introduced me to most of my favorite albums. In the age of dozens of music blogs and streaming venues, there's something refreshingly simple about their five reviews a day format; I know they've been experimenting with other content approaches (like the late Dissolve), but Ryan seems to understand the core appeal of the site pretty well.

I hope they continue to put out good reviews of great music. As long as they do that, I'll be happy.

5
rrego 2 hours ago 2 replies      
There was an excellent (paywalled) article on N+1 about pitchfork. It really is separate from other sites (Lack of comments, 100 different possible ratings [0.0 to 10.0)], extreme "hipster" snottiness).

The website really has, and continues to shape "alternative/indie" music tastes. It is probably the biggest indicator, and perhaps driver, of an alternative album's commercial success. Sites like these regardless of their merit (which is really low IMO), are indispensable in the saturated music market.

6
craigching 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a bit concerned about pitchfork's quality going forward, hopefully it can stay good enough. I like pitchfork for alt pop music, but for ambient music nothing beats headphonecommute:

http://reviews.headphonecommute.com/

Anyone have other good music review sites?

7
tptacek 3 hours ago 3 replies      
It brings a very passionate audience of millennial males into our roster, he said.

Oof.

8
draw_down 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The way people talk about Pitchfork is so aggressively cliched, same here as anywhere else. The hipster-bashing is so, so dated. And hipsters haven't even liked Pitchfork in almost 10 years.
9
ebbv 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't even like Pitchfork that much (while I have learned about some artists from them, largely their tastes don't align with mine), but this makes me sad. Conde Nast buys everything. I can't really blame Conde Nast for this entirely, the owners who choose to sell out are really to blame. It's unfortunate. But I can't say I'd choose any differently if presented with such a large pay day.

I'm disappointed because since the Conde Nast takeover of Ars Technica, it has gone steeply down hill. I imagine the fans of Pitchfork will go through a similar experience over the next few years.

10
pla3rhat3r 2 hours ago 0 replies      
First Pandora buys Ticketfly and now Conde Nast buys Pitchfork? My new prediction is that Spotify will be acquired by Proctor and Gamble.
11
whatok 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is Pitchfork still cool with hipsters?
Nobodys Talking About Nanotech Anymore time.com
96 points by ThomPete  5 hours ago   68 comments top 20
1
kanzure 4 hours ago 6 replies      
One of the startups that fizzled out was Nanorex, which is where Nanoengineer was made. Thankfully they were open to releasing the source code and version control repository when they decided to shutdown. The results of that are here: https://github.com/kanzure/nanoengineer

I think everyone is stuck wondering how to make the tooltips from the tooltips paper: http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/papers2/nanotech/Optimal%20tooltip%2...

All of that was motivated by goals of making nanofactories like shown in this eye candy video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEYN18d7gHg

Because positional, precise molecular manufacturing still doesn't exist, I have been increasingly interested in using DNA synthesis (using phosphoramidite chemistry) to combinatorially build proteins that lock together in pre-defined shape based on ligand-specific binding affinities between the blocks. The Nanosystems book left out a lot of biology that can be hijacked to help out goals like these.

Long-term we might be able to coerce enzymes into creating molecular machines anyway: https://groups.google.com/group/enzymaticsynthesis

2
88e282102ae2e5b 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
I went back to school to get into "nanotech". Then I quickly realized it's been around for 3.5 billion years, and promptly switched into biology.
3
ThomPete 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As always Amaras law comes to mind:

"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Amara

4
swalsh 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Thus is the natural course of the hype curve:http://na1.www.gartner.com/imagesrv/newsroom/images/HC_ET_20...
5
fluidcruft 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I feel the term "nanotech" is meaningless. Everyone piled into the term and it has became too broad an umbrella and includes what one would usually describe as "materials science", "biochemistry" and "molecular biology" among others. "Data science" feels like another similar, ultimately meaningless umbrella term.
6
twsted 3 hours ago 4 replies      
"Nanotechnology never had its Facebook."

"And while Facebook, like the most celebrated of Silicon Valleys startups, went from idea to ubiquitous product in less than a decade, most nanotechnology applications taking much longer to find a market."

Does anyone, even here on HN, think that it is really absurd to make these comparisons? Comparing Facebook with an advanced technology? Come on.

7
shas3 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The only technology that has consistently grown at an exponential rate of doubling each year is IC/computing. It is utterly unreasonable to expect other sciences and technologies to exhibit similar growth. There doesn't exist a Facebook for nanotech because nanotech doesn't grow and scale like computational resources.

Now, if you consider nanotech as a new term for some or all of the traditional fields of materials science and pharmaceuticals, then it is bullshit to claim that the hype died out. The traditional materials science companies soldier on and continue to grow at very impressive rates (stocks returning an annual 10-30%): P&G, Dow, Du Pont, 3M, etc.

The barrier for entry for startups is too high. Forget about building a manufacturing line, running a manufacturing line for a couple of days can cost in the order of millions of dollars. It is hardly a thing that one can do in one's parents' basement or garage. That is how most materials science-y and pharma companies have all been in the business for 50-100 years or more. Naturally, the successful companies in this area will be rather few in number.

8
Animats 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Nanotechnology" was originally about building "assemblers" to move atoms around and build structures at the atomic level. Then the name was take over for surface chemistry technologies, and then it was used to describe finely divided powders. Hence the declining interest in the term.
9
escherize 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I just finished "The Forever Peace", a book in-part about with the economic implications of nanotech. Using nano-forges, machines that take raw materials like carbon as input and can turn them in to diamonds, America is able to gain an extremely huge foothold.

I found it extremely interesting, and finished it in 2 days.

10
vinceguidry 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm tempted to say, thank god, now that all the idiots are out of the way the real science can get funded, tested, and refined. But that offers up a question, does a whole lot of popular buzz really help out a field, or does it usually just turn out to be noise? Is there a measurable "actual progress" delta during times of increased popular attention and is it positive?
11
hyperion2010 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yet everyone is talking about biotech. What are proteins if not nanomachines that we actually have the tools to make?
12
Tepix 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I've read a lot about graphene recently (including claimed breakthroughs [1] by IBM and Graphene 3D Lab regarding the cheap production of carbon nanotubes). Perhaps some of this tech just requires more patience to fulfil its promises?

[1]http://3dprint.com/98086/graphene-3d-lab-patent/

http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-claims-breakthrough-on-carb...

13
varelse 4 hours ago 1 reply      
s/Nanotech/Big Data/s/Big Data/Machine Learning/s/Machine Learning/Deep Learning/s/Deep Learning/???/
14
norea-armozel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Nanotechnology couldn't come to fruition since nano-fabrication at this point in time just doesn't exist in an effective form. Having to manually assemble a complex nanomachine one molecule at a time isn't viable. Until there's a way found to make the machines assemble themselves from the simplest possible unit then we're going to be stuck with just nanomaterials which is great IMO. Nanodust has many uses and we're discovering many dangers (health hazards) now.
15
transfire 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Awaiting molecular 3D printing.
16
oldmanjay 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Time demographic likes patient explanations, but I like quick analogies, so in that vein; do people talk excitedly about all this air we breathe?
17
waiquoo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
as someone who just finished a doctorate on nanotech and is looking for a job in nanotech, this is incredibly disheartening
18
api 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Nanotech "assemblers" are coming in a sense, but they got the scale wrong. They're called 3d printers and they operate at the macro scale, but they are not really any less disruptive.

As far as true nanotech goes, we've had it for about 4.5 billion years. It's called biology. You are basically made of nano-assemblers holding hands. Genetically engineered biology and "wet artificial life" are engineerable nanotech, but if you want to see Turing-complete universal assemblers in action right now go plant a tree.

In other words, I sort of think nanotechnology is a useless neologism for biology and bioengineering and I doubt that anything other than carbon-based systems are going to do much better than biology... and those are basically synthetic biology.

19
venomsnake 4 hours ago 1 reply      
With the average size of the transistors in the teens of nanometers - nanotech is here.
20
reasonattlm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Nanodot still exists; worth reading if you want a view of what is going on these days.

http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/

Complete LiDAR Scan of England Publicly Available environmentagency.blog.gov.uk
260 points by alibarber  9 hours ago   49 comments top 20
1
hanoz 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I took a look at this after it was mentioned on Hacker News two weeks ago and ended up building this map of all the DSM 1m data:

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map

I've been quite fascinated to discover how many mysterious lumps and bumps are to be found all over the country, often with no apparent explanation in aerial photo maps, and to my great surprise I find myself cultivating an interest in armchair archaeology. I've stumbled across a few features which on further research have turned out to be sites of note, a couple of which were only discovered in recent years, which is quite exciting. Next mission is to discover something completely unknown. In fact I could do with some help interpreting some features if anyone here has any experience in this area.

Here's a couple of well known sites:

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=SU1224642189 Stonehenge)

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=SU1025569962 Avebury)

A few of my 'discoveries':

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=ST5895844810 (Medieval and Iron Age/Roman field systems near Croscombe, Somerset)

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=NY7217242430 (Potential henge near Alston, Cumbria)

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=SX1025261066 (Roman Fort near Restormel Castle, Cornwall)

A couple of things I'm not sure about:

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=ST4580543091

https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=TL2327777126

2
Doctor_Fegg 7 hours ago 0 replies      
People have been experimenting with using this to contribute to OpenStreetMap for a couple of weeks now. Here's one writeup: http://chris-osm.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/extracting-building-...
3
praseodym 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a similar dataset available for The Netherlands. A potree point cloud visualisation can be seen at http://ahn2.pointclouds.nl/.
4
JorgeGT 7 hours ago 1 reply      
An almost complete LiDAR scan of Spain is also publicly available. I wrote about it here and included a few samples: http://wechoosethemoon.es/2015/09/05/lidar-espana-3D/

Sadly it is in Spanish but I hope available areas and pictures of expected results are clear enough! LiDAR data is provided as 2 Km x 2 Km squares of RGB-colored points in *.laz format. If someone is interested I can translate into English or point to the sources.

5
wielebny 7 hours ago 0 replies      
LIDAR scans of Poland are available publicly from some time: http://geoportal.gov.pl/dane/numeryczne-modele-wysokosciowe
6
Tepix 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. I love that they mention Minecraft as one of the use cases:

"LIDAR data some surprising uses:"

"Computer games: Minecraft players have requested our LIDAR data to help them build virtual worlds: the data could be useful to anyone creating realistic 3D worlds."

7
Animats 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Do they have "first and last" LIDAR data, or just one value per point? It's common to capture the distance to both the first and the last reflection. This often indicates the top of vegetation and the ground level. With that, you can easily identify trees, brush, and crops.
8
cwal37 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in LiDAR data from the United states, you should have a look at this wikipedia page and its corresponding links[0]. Most states have some kind of data freely available from the most recent survey, although it's neither uniform or always clear in terms of how to access it. The structure of the program allowed individual states to tackle their won territory differently in both surveying and data dissemination, so there's no easy and official central repo as far as I understand.

I was in grad school at Indiana and working at the geological survey while they were finalizing some of the state's pieces of this, and it was really fascinating to see some of the early products some of the people in the geography and geology departments were producing. I mucked around a bit with it myself, but never really produced anything useful. I can speak to finding the data fairly easy to acquire and quite comprehensive at the time, uncertain if that's changed, but might be a decent starting point[1].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Lidar_Dataset_(United...

[1] http://gis.iu.edu/datasetInfo/statewide/in_2011.php

9
deskamess 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Any idea about the cost of doing a LIDAR scan for a region? Lets say you have 1200 square km (assume rectangular area). How much would that cost?
10
joosters 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone recommend any 3d viewing programs for this data? This is all new to me but I'd love to try experimenting with it. The download zipfiles contain .asc files
11
vanous 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know of publicly available LIDAR data for the Czech Republic?
12
NickHaflinger 7 hours ago 1 reply      
'All 11 terabytes of our LIDAR data (thats roughly equivalent to 2,750,000 MP3 songs)' or a stack of paper 513 kilometers high :
13
dougbinks 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Format of the data is listed as Arc/Info ASCII Grid (AAIGrid) which is an ASCII Esri grid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esri_grid.
14
bsykora 5 hours ago 0 replies      
LIDAR is also being used at NASA to measure atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

http://decadal.gsfc.nasa.gov/ascends.html

[PDF]http://esto.nasa.gov/conferences/estf2011/presentations/Absh...

15
JonnieCache 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Hell yes! This will be useful in my long term aim of procedurally generating rolling english hills for video game purposes...

EDIT: with the resolution of this thing, maybe I won't need to generate them, maybe I can just set the game in the real england...

16
scuba7183 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Awesome! Does anyone know if similar resources for the US are available?

Edit: possibly https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/LIDARStill looking for more

17
groth 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone know how burial mounds/roman roads are found? Would love to see that reproduced for the non-academic world.
18
chatman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This will be great as a base layer in OSM!
19
tibbon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Could do some neat things with drone piloting with this.
20
alphapapa 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I was hoping to find some explanation of how they capture the data. I'm guessing it's from aircraft? It'd be interesting to read about how they stitch together and correct the data captured from a moving platform like that. And I wonder how long it takes to capture the whole country.
Lorentz forces and cheating at the Pinewood Derby ch00ftech.com
75 points by mafuyu  4 hours ago   18 comments top 7
1
jaredhansen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever seen on HN. It's just ... fun.

I remember doing PWD with my dad when I was a kid, shaving #2 pencil cores to get graphite for the axles, making a batmobile one year, and generally doing things that probably had no influence on making the car faster, but that involved a lot of Time In The Shop Experimenting. PWD is the kind of thing that makes hackers out of impressionable youngsters.

2
NoGravitas 1 hour ago 2 replies      
When I was in Cub Scouts (30 years ago), the rules for Pinewood Derby were (at least as I understood them), fairly strict. You had to use the stock wheels and axles, and carve the car out of the provided block of wood, but you could weight the car any way you liked, up to the specified weight limit.

Given these constraints, there was one optimal design that would always win: essentially, a skateboard about 1cm thick, weighted exactly up to the limit with cast lead, with the bottom of the skateboard waxed. Everyone knew that was the optimal design, but it looked boring, and its performance was completely predictable, so almost no one used it. But every year, there was one kid who (or whose father) cared more about winning than about having a cool PWD car...

3
Aardwolf 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
As a European, the first time I heard about Pinewood Derby was in a South Park episode, where it went faster than light (I also learned about "Spelling Bee" from South Park btw!). This article certainly reminded of that... including the 3-phase drawings that look like flux capacitors and the mention of time travel :
4
strictnein 3 hours ago 2 replies      
My son just joined the boy scouts (or Tiger Cubs or whatever it's called when they're in the 1st grade). I need to review this for... uhmm.. research purposes.
5
ChuckMcM 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That was a lot of fun! A long time ago I designed an electromagnetic "coil gun" for BBs (.177 cal steel balls) as an exercise in electromagnetic fields. While it was mostly worked out in the 19th century it often felt to me like messing with more primitive forces than just charge and magnetic fields.
7
matthuggins 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Mirror? The site is down.
Intelligence Augmentation and the Myth of the Golden Lost Age codinginparadise.org
5 points by jf  32 minutes ago   discuss
Capsule Shield: A Docker Alternative for the JVM paralleluniverse.co
81 points by pron  5 hours ago   21 comments top 8
1
mitchellh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
[Disclaimer: Bias as I work for HashiCorp]

We designed Nomad[1], our scheduler, with this in mind. Nomad has the concept of "task drivers" and one of those task drivers is "java." A task driver provides isolation using things like cgroups automatically, without you having to containerize your application. This makes sense for applications that are already _mostly_ "containers" (in the abstract sense): Java JARs, statically linked binaries, VMs, etc.

If you compile a fat JAR you can schedule it directly with Nomad, and Nomad will handle the isolation and resource constraints. Pretty nifty!

And, I noticed Capsule talks about OSv. Nomad can also deploy "VMs" natively on top of Qemu so you can deploy that as well.

The coolest thing perhaps is that you can mix and match this stuff: you can deploy JARs alongside containers alongside VMs and Nomad handles the binpacking and resource constraints for you. And this is why I bring up this plug for us.

[1]: https://nomadproject.io/docs/drivers/index.html

2
reitanqild 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile others use JavaEE. Supported by multiple vendors and multiple open source options, easy to use, well-tested and battle-hardened.

Oh: and it has a secret feature - pragmatic and friendly developers.

3
curun1r 1 hour ago 1 reply      
For me, this misses the point of Docker.

These days, production and dev environments are extremely heterogenous. We're already running a database written in C, a messaging queue written in a JVM language and a front-end API written in Node and all while serving our static assets from a generic web server. And we're starting to explore Go and Rust for more specialized components. Docker allows me to abstract away all the platform-specific issues and treat all my infrastructure components as if they're homogenous. Docker compose can bring up my entire dev stack. Docker swarm or any of the other orchestration services (ECS, Kubernetes, Nomad, Fleet, etc) can manage my entire production deployment.

A JVM-specific option is really a step backwards. Using that, I'd now have to go back to treating my JVM components differently from everything else. The whole point of Docker, for me, is that none of my diverse infrastructure components needs special consideration.

4
vardump 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think it's a step backwards if platform specific containers like Capsule pick up. Nodeck and Gontainer next?

It's more productive to develop general containers that solve issues with logging etc. for all platforms, not for just one.

5
necubi 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I've spent some time in the past few weeks trying to rebuild a bunch of uberjars as capsules, and have found it not suitable for production server use. The main promise for me is that rather than shipping 100M+ uberjars, we can ship just our code (~5MB) and have the capsule download its dependencies on startup. This sounds pretty nice in theory: your boxes can cache your dependencies (and transitive dependencies) and new deploys only need to update the new stuff (generally just your code).

But there are a bunch of ways capsule makes this difficult, particularly in the context of a mono-repo with a bunch of internal libraries. Capsule lacks a real transitive dependency management system, so you're stuck bypassing it entirely and having your build system compute the complete graph of transitive dependencies and write it in the jar manifest.

Even worse, on every start up capsule will open all the jars that have already been cached to validate checksums, which can take many minutes if you have a lot of dependencies.

The idea is really solid. I just wish the implementation were better.

6
ABS 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
you kinda lost me at this:

"Docker images are big and contain full-blown operating systems as they are meant to run arbitrary applications"

because it's exactly how you are not supposed to use docker, you are supposed to include only what you need and you most definitely do not need a full operating system inside a container that runs on a full operating system.

back to Java: our base java docker images are around 70MB, see this to see how, I'm not involved in it: https://github.com/delitescere/docker-zulu

Yes, still bigger than the uberjar but that's the not point

7
gmarx 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you really need just a JVM and a Kernel? You must need a filesystem too. How do you connect to a database?
8
ZenoArrow 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> "BONUS: Capsule OSv"

That could be something decent. I'd be interested to know what performance benefits you get from using Capsule to manage OSv. Does anyone have a JVM-based Docker app they could use for comparison?

Show HN: CPU simulator in 60 lines of code github.com
39 points by wkoszek  3 hours ago   17 comments top 5
1
mungoman2 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Very nice! Shows that it's possible to do something concise while still remain readability and educational value.

My mind was absolutely blown when I first realized that the function of a CPU is pretty much to read tokens from a stream and perform an action for each. - no magic!

2
canacrypto 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
He could have saved another 10 lines by dropping the braces around the if statements :P
3
hobbyist 1 hour ago 3 replies      
There are no cmp, branch instructions. How is this turing complete?
4
oleks 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks quite elegant :-) You should probably use else-if instead of ifs though, otherwise it is (immediately) complicated to e.g. count the number of instructions you execute.
5
scottmwinters 2 hours ago 0 replies      
neat project. I like it.
Pragmatic app pricing marco.org
35 points by ingve  2 hours ago   12 comments top 5
1
boulos 50 minutes ago 3 replies      
Marco says "Im not doing anything that other developers cant do" a few times in this post, and sadly I think it's disingenuous.

I believe Marco got at least a couple million dollars from the ~$1B sale of Tumblr (dilution, not clear how much he started with, etc.). That's actually a lot of padding, and means that he can get by for a year or so to try out this free + patronage model. Someone that needs an income, doesn't have that luxury.

2
dave1619 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks like we've got some interesting thoughts from Marco.

Seems like he regrets keeping Instapaper a paid app and not making it free to go after marketshare and take on Pocket. He seems to conclude he "lost" against Pocket, and now doesn't want to make the same mistake with Overcast.

I personally don't think the patronage model will go very far. I think he's doing more to make the full app free and gain marketshare, and any money made by "donations" is just bonus. If he can grow his marketshare and get a lot of users, then it looks like he's going to try to raise funds. So, this business model makes sense for now... at least until he's able to raise outside funds.

Overall, Marco seems to be insinuating that the podcast market is bigger than people think, and VC money is going to enter the space; thus, he wants to prepare for that and maximize the potential for his app and the possibility to raise funds and go really big.

It does seem that when VC funds enter a market it presents a challenge to existing indie developers who are making a living with a paid app. The VC-funded company will provide a great app (usually) for free, since they don't need a monetization stream right away. They usually are aiming to build a big audience and then monetize later.

Indie developers are then faced with a decision. How do they compete with VC funded companies? They likely are going to have to either make their app free and go head-to-head with these VC funded companies (and maybe raise money themselves to do so). Or they can narrow their scope and become more niche apps appealing to a more limited audience with high-end (hard-to-copy) features that might not appeal to the masses but to the minority who might pay.

But overall, Marco's blog post does bring up the challenges indie developers face when VC funded companies enter their space.

Would love to hear more thoughts on this.

3
falicon 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Gotta respect Marco for all the success he's had with Tumblr, InstaPaper, (briefly) Peace, and of course Overcast so far...but I kinda feel like he is worried about the wrong thing/people here.

Who cares if other devs. or companies don't like his business model? Does that affect his users or potential customers in any real way? I don't think so.

Also - the patron model is super interesting and I'm excited to see people continue to play with and test it...but I'm not sold that it's a sustainable solution either.

The question to me is: Do people care enough to pay for podcasts? And for those that do, in their mind are they actually paying for the content or the experience/environment? What pain is this specific app itself actually fixing or removing compared to my alternatives?

Marco has proven he's amazing at building experiences and environments people love...and I think he can continue to do very well down that path...but without owning/controlling/providing the content or the 'talent' on the client side he'll never break out of being just one of the middle-men in that part of the ecosystem (and thereby evaluated and paid by users as such).

4
jmartinpetersen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It seems the complaining competitors are betting on keeping content delivery mechanisms from being commoditized. History shows that it is a risky bet.
5
lindig 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The article's premise is that Big Money is rushing into podcasts but without giving details what that is. Maybe this is bad for Overcast and other clients, but it could mean that popular podcasts can make more money. Marco is definitely invested in that side of the equation, too, but doesn't talk about in this article.
Rich versus King: The Entrepreneur's Dilemma (2006) [pdf] hbs.edu
43 points by rokhayakebe  4 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
ChuckMcM 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Everyone likes rules of thumb, here's mine the probability that you are in a bubble correlates with the ratio of opportunistic investors to craftsman investors.

 "opportunisitc entrepreneurs" P(bubble) = ----------------------------- "craftsman entrepreneurs"
Or more precisely craftsman(people?) entrepreneurs are more driven to change the world and have a "purer" motive for what they do, opportunistic entrepreneurs simply grow the number of startups similar to the ones started by the craftspeople.

2
mattty 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you find this interesting, Wasserman expanded his thesis into a book[0], an academic study of startups. Highly recommended.

[0]: http://www.amazon.com/The-Founders-Dilemmas-Anticipating-Ent...

3
applecore 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course, the most common outcome is Neither Rich Nor King.
4
Matt_Mickiewicz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The book is great - highly recommend it.
Could Li-Fi be the new Wi-Fi? [video] bbc.com
7 points by pavornyoh  1 hour ago   7 comments top 2
1
LightMachine 16 minutes ago 3 replies      
I think it doesn't make sense for it not to be. It seems like a very good way to transfer data with almost no drawback given a decent setup. I don't understand why that isn't used more often.
2
IshKebab 13 minutes ago 1 reply      
No.
Struct Iteration Through Abuse of the C Preprocessor natecraun.net
40 points by ncraun  4 hours ago   14 comments top 6
1
asteadman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I just finished doing something similar. The use of x-macros is definitely a little cleaner / canonical than my approach, which instead "recurses" through a VA_MACRO. For an excellent guide on recursion in macros, see this article on how to abuse the C pre-processor: https://github.com/pfultz2/Cloak/wiki/C-Preprocessor-tricks,....

In the end I end up defining structs like this:SERIALIZER_STRUCT( structname, int8_t, field1, int16_t, field2, ... );

Initializing them like this:structname instance = {.field1 = 1, .field2=2};

and serializing them like this:SERIALIZER_SERIALIZE( structname, &instance, bigbuff_ptr );

As for just using a packed structure, there are definitely caveats with some compilers (ie: compilers for embedded systems may not handle various edge-cases for misaligned access, particularly when dereferencing pointers to structs.)

2
evmar 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Taking a step back: what you're trying to accomplish is code generation -- a program that generates code. From that perspective, why would you choose to write that program using the C preprocessor, when there are so many other nice languages around?
3
Kristine1975 4 hours ago 0 replies      
That (define macros, include file that uses them) is fairly vanilla usage of the C preprocessor. Abuse is something like this: https://github.com/rofl0r/chaos-pp and https://github.com/rofl0r/order-pp
4
luckydude 2 hours ago 1 reply      
While it is true that compilers pad for alignment it is pretty easy to avoid that, at least in my experience.

So an easier approach, but more fragile, is just to define the struct, count up how big you think itshould be and then do an

assert(sizeof(struct foo) == FOO_SIZE);

If that assert doesn't pop then you can just do

write(fd, &foo, FOO_SIZE);

I know that is a lot less elegant but it works and isn't doing the translation back and forth.

If you don't like that you might consider using Sun's RPC marshalling code that is (used to be?)part of Linux.

5
kevingadd 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You can do some interesting things using __COUNTER__ to make code using this less ugly. And if you're willing to use a small amount of C++ templates, you can make it possible to resolve all the iteration/member info at compile time to eliminate runtime overhead.

I did both of these things for Grim Fandango for vertex/uniform buffers, so that the game could use buffers without caring about whether it was using OpenGL or console APIs - but it's not open source :-(

Even if you don't need something like this under normal circumstances, consider whether it could let you identify mistakes in debug builds, or avoid errors when writing your serialization code.

6
Mellowcandle 1 hour ago 0 replies      
why not using packed structure compiler feature?
Playboy to Drop Nudity as Internet Fills Demand nytimes.com
121 points by stanleydrew  3 hours ago   57 comments top 19
1
pratyushag 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
Playboy should relaunch itself as a women empowerment magazine. There is a strong sense of empowerment for women to pose nude and playboy helped bring about this revolution (or can take some claim for it). We don't need another Vice but we do need a magazine that interviewed the likes of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, to do interviews on women leaders. It should be remembered that Christie Hefner has probably directed the company for a lot of its history and was instrumental in its development. In many ways, playboy is not inherently sexist or undermining women (do we consider a nude men's magazine to undermine men? no so the argument carries itself quite well I think).
2
masterponomo 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
For boys growing up in the 60's and 70's, a lot of time and effort was spent trying to get hold of a Playboy or even just a few pages. Imagine a whole neighborhood of boys playing "ditch 'em" (a wide-ranging and violent version of hide 'n' go seek) wherein the "seekers" would while away the countdown time by gathering at one player's house to peruse his dad's magazine collection--and manage to put it back EXACTLY as it was found lest the treasure trove be locked away. Imagine a middle school music class where an ancient radiator vent in the back of the room was known as a reliable drop point for a stash of pictures, necessarily folded and ripped from being alternately jammed into and removed from the hiding place. Oh well, what we were looking for (and so much more) is blase now. Times do change.
3
jusben1369 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This is the key part to me: "The company now makes most of its money from licensing its ubiquitous brand and logo across the world 40 percent of that business is in China even though the magazine is not available there" The actual magazine is kind of like Apple Desktop products. It's a direct link to their heritage and the original reason people were drawn in but it's not where the real money is made anymore so changes are fairly trivial to the overall business.
4
lvspiff 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Recently Playboy turned more into an outlet of Photoshop skills than actual tasteful photography it seemed like. It has been and hopefully continues to remain a source for reporting and interviews that are intriguing and somewhat hard hitting due to the uncensored nature. If it turns into yet another Maxim however its going to continue to stall. Playboy does have a place in the magazine world and its good to hear Heff is open to letting it evolve.
5
Animats 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's surprising that Playboy, as a print magazine, is still around.

The main competitor, Penthouse, is owned by Andrew Conru, the guy who did Adult FriendFinder. He's probably the most successful spammer, after beating California's anti-spam law in 2002.[1] Conru tried to buy Playboy a few years ago, but Hefner wouldn't sell.[2]

[1] http://www.dmnews.com/news/california-spam-case-appealed-to-...[2] http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/penthouse-owner-mak...

6
fricken4 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Back in the 90s when the print industry was still a thing my canned statement for whenever I passed a magazine rack was that Playboy should really start covering up the nipples so it can sit on the front of the magazine rack and compete with Frat-boy mags like Maxim, Loaded, and FHM. Playboy had great content and a great culture built up of esteemed contributors, it's a shame legacy pride kept them from making it to the next generation. I'm skeptical there's much left to salvage at this stage.
7
AndrewKemendo 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Vice is what playboy should have turned into 10 years ago.
8
tyre 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is about more than nudity becoming ubiquitous. Playboy's brand now relies much more on branded goods than pornography.

Quartz has a decent overview here: http://qz.com/522672/china-not-online-porn-is-why-playboy-is...

9
brento 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Youre now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so its just pass at this juncture.

Just my personal opinion but this is a very sad truth about our society and how easy it is to see porn.

10
_delirium 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This bit is interesting, if the claimed causation is true:

In August of last year, its website dispensed with nudity. As a result, Playboy executives said, the average age of its reader dropped from 47 to just over 30, and its web traffic jumped to about 16 million from about four million unique users per month.

11
kin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I subscribe to Playboy. Among all my magazines while their issues do have the occasional great article, the issues are just really thin and other magazines more often have better reads. What they do have is a brand. Getting rid of nudity may increase subscriptions which may increase ad space, but they're also getting rid of the main reason people many subscribe to Playboy. We'll just have wait and see if they can execute and deliver on what their brand demands of them. Pretty big gamble IMO.
12
BurningFrog 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"We only publish it for the articles."
13
jerf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A good chunk of the relationship between 20th and 21st centuries captured in one headline. Beautiful.
14
werber 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
I really thought that when they inevitably changed their "featured content" it was going to be including naked men, like a grown up (and less hipster) version of Ryan McGinley's work.
15
mickgiles 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I only read it for the articles anyway
16
xlm1717 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Soon Playboy will see that, no, nobody was getting Playboy for the articles.
17
joelx 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Playboy produces well written articles now, but will their business model survive removing their original reason for existing?
18
shade23 2 hours ago 0 replies      
And for the first time I see something on HN after i saw it on Facebook.
19
tiatia 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Playboy is done mostly by women. I assume it is hard to think the whole day about "What do men want?"

It was more Photoshop than photos. They published naked pictures of Merge Simpson. I mean, really?

This is how it can be done different:

[NSFW] https://www.amypink.com/de/

MH17 Report bbc.co.uk
163 points by nns  6 hours ago   86 comments top 10
1
nns 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Video Reconstruction:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDiLEyT9spI

At the 10.30 mark you can see the missile impact on the plane.

3
danielvf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
4
rogeryu 4 hours ago 6 replies      
It's incredible that 61 airlines flew over that area during those days. That day alone, 160 airplanes flew over East Ukraine before MH17 was hit. Even if it's safe to fly at 10k height, what happens if you have problems with your plane, like a failing engine? Next time I fly I'm going to check over which countries we fly.
5
bonkabonka 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Aviation Herald has a very good writeup: http://avherald.com/h?article=47770f9d/010&opt=0
6
escapologybb 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Can anyone break down how they knew that the missile exploded within a one square metre volume of air, just above and to the front of the plane please?

Do they do it just from the pattern of debris, or do they use other methods as well. I think I got that they can use the microphones in the cockpit to work out the direction the missile fragments came from, but not quite sure on the details.

Thanks in advance!

7
pms 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It was all known thanks to Bellingcat since at least 1 year.
8
ed_blackburn 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I anticipate lot of bluster. The perpetrators perhaps being named but ultimately nothing happening. A lot of nations do not recognise courts higher than their own sovereignty so will not extradite. Especially if they deem the charge to be politically motivated. Right or wrong. Russia will contest this report, and any other.

Basically someone messed up with a borrowed bit of heavy kit and a tragedy ensued. There will be no justice for them or their families. Poor bastards, can only hope the report is accurate and any suffering was brief.

9
curiousjorge 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The entire world except Russia knew Russia is responsible but when you are the second guy with the most nukes, you get away with impunity.

Just the idea of having one or others thinking you have more than one nuke is enough to allow others to look the other way and let you do whatever gay shit that you do

10
SuddsMcDuff 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I find it really fascinating that they've gone to such lengths to literally recreate a large portion of the plane from the wreckage in order to better understand what happened.

I can't help but think though, why weren't similar measures taken with Flight 93 (Pennsylvania, 2001-09-11) or Flight 77 (Pentagon, 2001-09-11)? I don't wish to allude to any of the many conspiracy theories, but I do find it interesting to see how a "real" crash investigation is done, as opposed to what we've been told about 9-11.

Thresholds of Violence: How School Shootings Spread newyorker.com
39 points by e40  4 hours ago   28 comments top 8
1
tunesmith 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I sort of wish the article had gone further, it seems there is plenty of room to research and discuss other examples where negative behaviors became contagious or normalized, and were perhaps later arrested or where that segment of society "grew out of it" in some sense, and what efforts or policies were put in place to encourage that shift.

It sucks that the subject is so difficult to talk about (in that it can politically go off the rails so quickly). There's not going to be one sufficient cause, that if addressed, will eliminate these outcomes. But if there's a contributory cause, that if addressed, will reduce this kind of violence... that's a lot of lives saved. And the bit about so many kids being influenced by Harris (to varying degrees) is pretty convincing.

I wonder if refusing to name the shooters is counter-productive. Makes them more forbidden and romantic and attractive to learn about.

2
DanBC 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This article describes a bunch of events where people obtain weapons, plan an attack, and carry out an attack with the intent to kill others, but end up shooting fewer than 4 people. These are not, but probably should be, counted as mass shootings.

There have been 294 mass shootings this year - where a mass shooting is 4 people shot in one incident.

> But compare him to a post-Columbine shooter like Darion Aguilar, the nineteen-year-old who last year killed two people in a skate shop in a Maryland shopping mall before killing himself.

> Aaron Ybarra walked onto the campus of Seattle Pacific University and shot three people, one fatally.

294 mass shootings is fucking horrific. And the number of events where someone planned to kill other people but somehow didn't is much larger.

3
mc32 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a hard one to figure out, gladwell is also at a loss. It's not like postal worker violent outburst which seems to have been mostly an organizational issue, addressed and corrected, for the most part.

This is also not tied to guns, here Ladue was making explosives from everyday items, and guns were more contributor than central.

It's a strange cultural thing, not really greater culture but subculture with perhaps greater culture associations. I can't even say it's like something else, because there isn't something like this phenomenon, except maybe Isis, but even there there is active leadership leding impressionable youngsters into a violent morass. Here it's guys in prison who provide the model.

4
savanaly 3 hours ago 1 reply      
My impression after reading it all is that there may be some merit to the riot theory of escalating school shootings, but that LaDue is an outlier that doesn't fit into that theory.

Gladwell is attempting to draw a parallel between the "hundredth rioter" who would only riot if everyone and their mother was already doing so, and LaDue, who is a mild mannered and non-malevolent hobbyist in mass murder.

But an autist who is obsessed with the concept of riots in general and goes about rioting with a clinical and scientific detachment devoid of emotion fits nowhere in the social theory of rioting which Gladwell is trying to bring in.

5
monochromatic 4 hours ago 4 replies      
> The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. Its worse. Its that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.

Contemplate, maybe. But to actually carry them out, they most definitely do need to be disturbed.

6
rrauenza 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The author states that "School shootings are a modern phenomenon. There were scattered instances of gunmen or bombers attacking schools in the years before Barry Loukaitis, but they were lower profile." ...but that seems like a weak argument since "lower profile" can be arbitrary.

I went searching for the bombing I'd heard of in the 1800's, and found this -- 1927, so might not be the one I was thinking of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

But also accidentally found this which lists quite a few, (although some are just 1 on 1 violence): http://southernoklahoma.com/schoolshootings/

...how much is the escalation (perception and cause) due to the 24 hours news cycle?

7
NoMoreNicksLeft 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
> Was John LaDues deviance counterfeit? He told Cranbrook that he would have gone ahead with his plan had he not been stopped, and she believed him. The second of the psychologists to examine him, James Gilbertson, also felt that LaDues threat was real: his obsessive preparation had created a powerful momentum toward action.

It's strange that we believe the teenage boy would do what he claims when it's violence.

Would they so readily believe him if he told them he was going to be a rock star? Or an NFL wide receiver?

8
peterwwillis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
School shootings are memes, plain and simple. You don't have to be a certain kind of person to disseminate a meme. You just need to want to perpetuate the meme, for whatever reason you choose. The fact that the meme is there and you identify with it is often reason enough.
Debugging a Memory Leak on Heroku codeship.com
34 points by schneems  4 hours ago   5 comments top
1
schneems 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wrote the article, ask me memory questions.
All the UML you need to know bsu.edu
154 points by CaRDiaK  10 hours ago   97 comments top 18
1
m_fayer 8 hours ago 8 replies      
My first real-world job in the industry was in a large-ish shop that worked as follows:

Create a full-detail schematic of the system in version-controlled UML.

At some point, "deploy" the UML by printing it into a 4 cm-thick binder of paper, then distribute these binders to the head architects.

Iterate on the UML until the architects are happy. (The architects spent many years trying to auto-generate code from the UML diagrams and have the results "fleshed out" by lowest-bidder consultants, though this never really worked. Their stated goal was to no longer have to write any code in house, but rather nothing but UML.)

Begin implementing the system in house with auto-generated code from the binder-of-UML as a baseline, after the lowest-bidder consultants had failed.

Quickly get into big fights between the coders-on-the-ground and management when it was found that the UML diagrams contained major architectural flaws and the UML-phase would not, actually, account for 80% of the project's duration and budget. Needless to say, more than half of the projects failed entirely.

This experience nearly made me leave the industry, before I discovered that there was plenty of software being written in a saner way. This was more than a decade ago, but to this day, just seeing UML diagrams turns my stomach.

2
putzdown 4 hours ago 0 replies      
No, all the UML you need to know is this: (1) draw and label a box for each class; (2) draw an arrow from one class to another to show dependency; (3) draw a different kind of arrow from one class to another to show inheritance; (4) [bonus material, for super-geniuses like you] use regex-style symbols * , +, 1 and suchlike to mark the ends of dependency arrows in order to indicate when you have one-to-one or one-to-many relationships and so forth.

There. My 20+ years of experience in software architecture in various fields from games to networking tells me that you now know enough to work out the classes and their relationships in a large software system.

Don't fuss around with "aggregation" or "composition" or whatever. Don't spell out functions (though occasionally I'll jot one below a line to remind myself what the salient feature of the dependency is). And by no means write the class properties, their types, or their access specifiers (public, protected...)this is way too much detail. A UML diagram is useful in modeling broad object relationships in a system. If you want to work out what properties a class should have, write the damn class. Any software developer worth his salt can figure out the code from a high-level diagram; don't write the code for him. Or do, but then don't call it an architectural diagram.

I know there's a whole culture of software development where architects design code but don't dirty their hands with writing it, then hand it off to underlings who type it up for them, and so on down some kind of techno-bureaucracy Great Chain of Being. Rubbish. Code architecture is a thing and some kind of diagramming is helpful, but UML as such is the sort of busywork and IRS-style hierarchism that marks bloated government jobs, not real productivity or real teamwork.

Give UML a miss and use something very, very simple.

3
cjg 8 hours ago 14 replies      
I've generally found UML to be a complete waste of time.

I'd rather outline the major components of a system by drawing (on real paper) simple boxes and lines, or write the code that implements the system.

Not sure what code-as-picture achieves - it's generally has worse tooling (less editable, less versionable, etc.) and tends to be used by 'architects' who don't write code, only for that UML to be essentially ignored by the coders on the ground.

4
jasode 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Diagrams/notation I've found useful:

++ E-R (entity-relationship) diagrams. I find it easier to look at boxses for each table follow the lines signifying relationships to other boxes. The "crows feet" can signify 1-to-many. The diagram is easier than reading a sequential list of SQL CREATE TABLE statements and making a mental note of "FOREIGN KEY" strings and mentally backtracking to the parent table.

++ swim lanes to show how the "state" of a system is supposed to change with "time". This can succinctly show how data "flows" without having to actually run a program and watch variables in a debugger to manually recreate the "swim lane" in your head.

++ truth tables to summarize combinations of valid/invalid business rules and associated side effects. A grid is easier than parsing a long (and often nested) list of if/then/else/switch statements.

As for UML, the notation never seems to be that succinct or helpful to me. On the surface level, it seems that UML (for code) should have the same return-on-investment as E-R (for db tables) but it doesn't in my experience.

I also wonder if there is a cultural component to UML usage. It doesn't seem like tech companies (such as Microsoft/Google/Amazon/Ubisoft/etc) internally use UML as a prerequisite step for building systems. On the other hand, I could see more UML usage at non-tech companies (such as banks/manufacturing/government) building line-of-business CRUD apps. Grady Booch (Booch & UML notation) did consulting about software methodology at non-tech companies so that may have been a factor.

5
edpichler 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Plot twist: this article doesn't have all the UML you need to know, it's just the class diagram.

Particularly, for my personal projects, I use the Use Cases diagram to map the requirements and the features my application will have, associated with my prototypes. Other diagrams, like Class diagram, usually I use just to map the Domain before develop the persistence. This is how all my projects start, even if I am working alone. It is good to me and it's part of my creative process.

6
skrebbel 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The complete overapplication of UML for many years gave UML an undeservedly bad name. The top comments in this thread are testament to that: many programmers are simply all too happy to go "haha! UML! that's for enterprise losers in suits who prefer paper over working code!"

Thing is, the core elements of UML are very useful in communicating a design or an idea. Class diagrams are a great way to discuss an OO-ish codebase in front of a whiteboard (or any data model, really). When you do that, it really helps when everybody knows that an arrow in static UML diagram types means "dependency" and not "the data flows from here to there".

Similarly, I still haven't seen a better way to visualise state than with a UML state chart.

It's also very nice if you can draw a UML object diagram that people understand (looks like a class diagram, except you basically draw a hypothetical runtime situation of instantiated classes and you underline the object identifier names). This works best when people understand that the picture on the left is a class diagram (design time) and the one on the right is an object diagram (runtime example) of the same classes. This is not complicated stuff, but it doesn't really work as well when half the team thinks UML is for losers.

Now, bear with me, I'll be the first to agree, UML is a bloated piece of shit. Package diagrams, wtf, who needs that? Use case diagrams that show which use cases are specified, instead of how the use cases go - seriously? Activity diagrams so you can draw a 5-line method on an entire sheet of paper, big fucking what the hell were you guys thinking?? Why do I even know what this stuff is? What a waste of time - even the decent diagram types have 60% bullshit syntax and only 40% useful stuff. And message sequence charts are nice enough for protocols but impossible to draw right.

But to dismiss UML just because some enterprise architects went a little overboard in 2002 is a bit like dismissing all of OOP because 15-level inheritance hierarchies used to be hip.

I wish we could agree on a tiny subset of UML that actually makes sense, and all learn that. This post makes a good start for class diagrams, although IMO even the ball-and-socket notation is overblown nonsense from a time long gone. Maybe we should do this, and give it a separate name.

On a mildly related note, one thing I like about OOP is that you can draw pictures of it easily. Does anyone here know of a good way to visualize functional code structure? You can draw a dependency chart of modules of functions but that only gets you so far.

7
jmartinpetersen 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Key quote: "Keep in mind that UML is a communication tool, and you can omit details that are not necessary for expressing your message."
8
crocal 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
All the UML I need to know? Frankly? Nothing. I am surprised people would still consider this thing useful.
9
mark_l_watson 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Too bad he skipped sequence diagrams, saying that he had already covered them in class.

Years ago I co-authored a book on UML, but the only UML diagrams that I still use are sequence diagrams which I think are great for explaining interactions between objects or separate services.

10
omellet 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This should have linked to a blank page.
11
lisper 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Graphical representations are useful for representing spatial relationships because then you can take advantage of the inverse-GPU in the human visual cortex to do a lot of computation for you. But software doesn't have spatial relationships because it doesn't exist in space. So trying to represent software concepts graphically is generally doomed to fail. There are a few exceptions, like code indentation, but there's a reason that flowcharts aren't used much any more.
12
makecheck 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just think of UML as the C++ of diagrams: it is sometimes the best way to produce the result that you need but you have to choose a sane subset.
13
vortico 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Yup, even if you never write OOP code, this is a somewhat common language you will encounter between colleagues, so it is worth knowing exactly what is on this page.
14
agentgt 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm just curious and I'm not trying to be snide but is there any spec that OMG has produced that people actually like and use still? (they are also makers of CORBA)

I live in the Boston rt128 area and I pass OMG's building all the time and I just have no idea how they are still in business (they are near Trip Advisors new complete awesome building).

I wonder how many massive companies continuously donate to OMG and do not realize it.

15
saiki 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Personally I use quite a lot sketch like UML and find it very helpful for clarifying complex environments or ideas that are not clear yet. Most of the time sketches are just boxes, circles and lines, but those communicates and clarifies the problem for others very well. I don't use lot of time when sketching, system can be described graphically very quickly, just to get the idea out or it usually goes too detailed. We have also built a tool that helps sketching systems with remote teammates (https://sketchboard.me).
16
cubano 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never figured out how to use UML abstractions to fix client and/or user production bugs, or met anyone else who could, so who the hell has the time?
17
CrLf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The general feeling about UML is that it's overkill for most projects and actively harmful when used to generate code. On the other hand, most agree that parts of UML are useful as communication tools.

However, UML was designed as a standard, near-UML is not UML. Ergo, UML is useless.

I feel better already.

18
DanielBMarkham 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I love UML. UML is overused. More people need to know UML. The less UML you do, the better.

I believe all of these statements to be true.

I had a contract many years ago with a large insurer. Their development process basically consisted of drawing really complex UML diagrams, then hitting the Big Red Button and having the modeling tool generate 40,000 lines of framework code. The chief architect explained to me that really the only work required was just a tiny bit of business logic in the appropriate places.

Fortunately I was not part of the main dev team, which for some strange reason (at least in the lead architect's mind) had the damnedest time with this system. My job was to create an internal permissions system. Given app X, user Y, and action Z, was the action allowed or not.

I looked at the problem for a while, and no matter how I thought about it, to me I had three lookup tables and one method. Boom, I'm done.

The lead architect wanted me to still draw a diagram with one class, push the button, and get the 40,000 lines of code. For some reason, this did not appeal to me.

Took me about 3 weeks to convince him that really 20 lines or so of code was all we needed. I still had to draw the diagram, though.

That's the horror story -- one among dozens I have. But on the flip side, I've been with teams that interviewed the customer while sketching out a domain model. Since we all understood UML, a quick and lightweight sketch using the appropriate notation got agreement on a ton of detail just taking 30 minutes or so. That would have been very difficult using a conversation or word processor. Sketching without some common lightweight understanding could have led to rookie errors.

There is nothing in this world better for getting quick technical agreement on complex problems than group sketching using lightweight UML. The trick is sticking to the absolute minimum.

The Unseen Theft of America's Literary History lithub.com
47 points by joe5150  6 hours ago   12 comments top 3
1
werber 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It seems almost as egregious that the items in the collection weren't digitized and made public.
2
oldmanjay 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Pragmatically, I can't consider a bunch of personal letters a treasure in any sense but the personally emotional, and I can't consider the fact that I will never see things I would have never seen a disaster.

The hyperbolic language indicates a strong emotional attachment, but it somewhat ironically compelled me to not care, and stop reading.

3
dzdt 4 hours ago 0 replies      
From the title, I expected an article on how ever-extending copyrights are denying the public the right to enjoy out-of-print works.
That self-appendectomy southpolestation.com
84 points by jimsojim  9 hours ago   8 comments top 4
1
ComputerGuru 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A list and description of the "top ten self-surgeries:"

http://listverse.com/2008/12/09/top-10-incredible-self-surge...

Dr Rogozov's figures in at #4 by their accounting, but I would stick him at #1 as he's the only one to finish the job himself and make a complete recovery without outside medical intervention.

2
petercooper 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Related to this sort of thing, Jerri Nielsen - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerri_Nielsen - was a doctor wintering over at the South Pole who had to operate on and treat her own cancer back in 1999. I listened to her associated book, Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole, several months ago and it was an absolutely fascinating account not only of the medical work involved but also what it's really like to live at the South Pole for several months in close quarters with other people. I think a lot of people here would enjoy it.
3
Mz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Deborah Sampson was actually mentioned in the Top 10 Men Who Were Really Women list as a notable omission. In 1782 Deborah Sampson was enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army. Going by the name of Robert Shutleff she was strong and tall enough to look like a man and it was thought she didnt have to shave because she was a very young man. When her unit was sent to West Point, New York she was wounded in a battle nearby. She was taken to a hospital to be treated but snuck out so that she would not be discovered to be a woman. She operated on herself and removed one of the musket balls out of her thigh with a penknife and sewing needle. When she recovered from her wound she went back to her regiment. The next time Sampson was wounded her doctor found out she was a woman and in 1783 he arranged for her to be discharged from the Continental Army.

My youngest son keeps saying that we can't know how many women secretly served in the military as men because, by definition, if they succeeded in hiding their gender, we record them as men

4
anotherLevel 6 hours ago 1 reply      
That guy operates on another level.
Neuroscientists use maps of peoples brains to predict reasoning ability wired.com
58 points by klunger  7 hours ago   21 comments top 9
1
Nav_Panel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd like to direct curious readers to my favorite story by Isaac Asimov, called "Profession": http://www.inf.ufpr.br/renato/profession.html

It deals with pretty much exactly this topic -- in the story, peoples' professions are determined by brain scans (as in the study), and the requisite professional knowledge is then loaded via a similar device (which seems much further off). The story explores some of the ethical/societal implications of being "exceptional" in terms of brain structure. It's an incredible piece of fiction, and it has stuck with me over years and years even when the appeal of stories like "The Last Question" have somewhat worn off for me.

2
mrdrozdov 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wouldn't consider a measurement of a brain's mapping any different than the measurement of a person's height. Someone taller probably has a better chance of being a good basketball player, but there are plenty of basketball players who are excellent and not of exceptional height.

The article makes it seem as though there are absolute measurements being made of certain elements in the brain, but it's almost more than certain to be pattern matching or machine learning that is being done. You find some people that are good at doing X and have them take a test. Then you take new people, have them perform the same test, and if their scans are similar to the scans of the initial people, then you say these new people are pre-disposed to do X well.

3
klunger 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how future research will be affected by this. Say every child gets their connectome mapped when they start school to get placed in the best type of learning environment for them (auditory, visual etc.). Presumably, within the data of that same scan, there will also be information about whether that kid is violent etc. This will simply not be part of the analysis for learning environment matching. But, the information will be there as soon as the research to figure out what types of connectome patterns indicate a pre-disposition to X is peer reviewed and published.

So, do we choose not to conduct research on certain subjects so that this process can be safely used for more benign purposes? Or, do we have really strict rules about what types of analyses can be done with a given scan? With attending rules about deleting scan data after it has been analysed for the intended purpose? Or something else entirely?

4
jbandela1 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Great xkcd addressing this issuehttp://xkcd.com/1588/
5
plg 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
did they do their due diligence in preventing overfitting? I suppose I should read the paper and see for myself
6
johnchristopher 6 hours ago 1 reply      
tldr;

Its not wrong to say there are weird ethical implications to this, Finn says, but were still a long way from doing this with enough accuracy to apply in the real world. Neuroscience will be waiting for its sorting hat for a while yet.

7
anortons 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"Some brains are better than others at certain things, simply because of the way theyre wired. And now, scientists are closer to being able to determine precisely which brains those are, and how they got that way ... Intelligence research is relatively young."

No, it's not. The Eugenic movement started the quest for the "better" brain nearly a century and a half ago, and we all know how that turned out...

8
SilasX 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One step closer to physically realizing Newcomb's problem?
9
ilaksh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
But brains form new connections all the time, and some activities result in lots of new connections. So this isn't a static thing that is enitirely inherited.
New York City's Remotest Spot newyorker.com
37 points by joe5150  6 hours ago   20 comments top 4
1
andyv133 5 hours ago 6 replies      
Their metric for determining remoteness is really lacking in my opinion, it doesn't jive at all with what I think many people would consider a remote location. Something along the lines of population density would tend to give a more meaningful idea of remoteness than straight line to the nearest road.
2
rayiner 5 hours ago 1 reply      
tl'dr: New Yorker sees a deer a quarter-mile off the road and concludes he's in the wilderness.
3
Tepix 5 hours ago 2 replies      
In the US, 31 out of 33 visited states had audible human noises in their most remote spots. I wonder what the result would be for Canada's ten provinces and three territories...
4
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