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TPP could thwart computer security research and tinkering slate.com
106 points by walterbell  4 hours ago   15 comments top 9
userbinator 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This article brings to mind a noteworthy sentence from one of my favourite short stories:


In 2047, Frank was in prison, not for pirate reading, but for possessing a debugger.

The more reality seems to inch toward the society of that story, the more I'm convinced that we should choose the side of freedom, even if it means giving up a little temporary security (to paraphase that famous quote.)

walterbell 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The TPP vote may be delayed to reduce US election-time scrutiny. It would be better for democracy if the TPP were placed under the spotlight of US primary elections in early 2016, instead of a stealthy vote after the new president is elected in November, http://www.citizen.org/documents/tpp-vote-calendar-october-2... & http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/257065-white-hous...

... aides in both parties believe the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will not be brought to the floor before the 2016 elections ... Waiting until the lame-duck session could allow members to take a tough vote on the free-trade deal without electoral consequences.

The text could be public soon, http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-trade/2015/10/pro-...

TPP countries could release the final text of the agreement as soon as next Tuesday the day after elections in Canada where the trade deal has proven to be a politically charged issue ... The AFL-CIO, meanwhile, is demanding the immediate release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership text ... "Creating a level playing field for American workers includes equal access to information, and the only way to ensure that is to ensure that all Americans have equal access to the text not in 30 days, after the public relations spin has been spun, but right now."

ljk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of a comment another user posted

> But we need to take this seriously. I don't want to live in a world where Google, Facebook, IBM, HP, Twitter, Microsoft, EMC, Cisco, Snapchat, etc., decide what content I can consume, what programs I can run, etc. And I doubt most of you do either.

Full comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10397034

seems like the trend is to make the devices we use as closed and locked up as possible...

zobzu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Always the same though. This one might be too big to pass right now but they'll keep trying until something passes. Then something more, then more, then more.

It always works, until people start killing each other - literally - then it resets, and the loop of history starts again.

twsted 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I liked this concise definition of TPP n the article:

"it is little more than a daisy chain of corporate favors in the guise of removing trade barriers"

kartan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is another step towards "the citizens are evil companies and governments are good" philosophy. There is no moral nor economic reasons to go that way (btw is the other way around). Only greed and stupidity can explain the current political trend.
faragon 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
In my opinion moves to global unification are unavoidable. Free trade also makes the world richer and better. Against the TPP there are justified complaints, that must be addressed (e.g. individual freedom), and others that are plain anti-capitalist propaganda.

One world, with freedom and abundance for all.

wiz21c 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ineterstingly all of the people who used Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. products actually gave those companies enough power to build up such a deal... We're collectively responsible :-(
z3t4 2 hours ago 2 replies      
So who would buy electronics that would destroy itself if you analyzed certain software?
Red Hat is buying Ansible venturebeat.com
152 points by dlapiduz  5 hours ago   46 comments top 12
leg100 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This clearly is much more about Tower, consultancy, etc, than their main product, but their yaml encoded language is an abomination; masquerading as 'declarative' and easy to read, yet piling on loops and conditional statements and an unintuitive inheritance tree of global and local variables.
Schiphol 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I found this sentence funny "Representatives of Red Hat and Ansible did not immediately respond to requests for comment". I take it to mean: "we wanted to run the story as quickly as possible; still it would have been nice to get superquick comments by RH or Ansible; tough luck, though."
nzoschke 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Ansible is best of breed. But didn't Red Hat hear? Immutable infrastructure is the future!


devit 33 minutes ago 3 replies      
Every time I use some "configuration management" tool I wonder whether it's really better than just using shell.

Basically you lose a lot of time searching the web for how to do things that you already know how to do in shell, but the benefits are not so clear.

xorcist 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting! Ansible is great technology. Not as mature as Puppet or Chef, but it's getting there. However Red Hat is currently heavily pushing (what I understand to be) their own fork of Puppet inside Satellite 6. So quite a few RHEL customers in the process of rolling out the latest Satellite is probably going to want to hedge their investment in it. Perhaps there is some Red Hatter here who could comment?
ptio 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Ansible creator, founder and CTO Michael DeHaan previously worked at Red Hat where he helped build Cobbler.
srvg 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Wondering if RH will let Tower become Open Source.
poooogles 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This does make me wonder how it'll impact their eventual move to Python3. They've been hesitant to move due to a lot of their customer base being on RHEL5/CentOS5, I can't imagine that this move will help matters.
geerlingguy 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Supposedly a > $100mm deal. Both companies are already headquartered in N.C., and Ansible has a ton of momentum in the RHEL and OpenStack arenas, so it would make sense to pull the project into the fold.

One thing I wonder is how much the project's priorities would shift away from (if at all) anything non-RHEL-centric.

carlsborg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats mpdehaan2. Good to see good engineering getting rewarded. Testament to a great project you conceived and started.
pdeva1 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Wonder what caused such a high valuation. They definitely didnt seem to have enough revenues to justify it.
mianos 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If ansible is worth 100 what is saltstack worth?
The most disruptive technology of the last century was home appliances washingtonpost.com
27 points by davidiach  2 hours ago   16 comments top 7
jasode 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
Hans Rosling presented a similar topic at TED (2010):


On the other hand, we may overestimate the disruption of home appliances because of how history played out. Today, many poor villagers choose to spend what little money they have on a cellphone instead of a washing machine. They continue to wash clothes by hand and hang them to dry but they absolutely need the cellphone to tell them what price their crops will sell for at the market.

TorKlingberg 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
What is strange to me is how the invention of home appliances seems to have stopped. The refrigerator, washing machine, vacuum and dishwasher all made huge changes to everyday life. But since the microwave oven, there has been nothing major. We are still spending many hours on household work. Are the remaining chores just to difficult to automate?
amelius 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
So many technological improvements, and we are still working 40+ hours per week...
qrendel 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's incidental (for me) that this article should be posted today. Only two days ago, in a philosophy class on environmental ethics, I was told by the professor that my answer to a discussion prompt on "ecofeminism," which cited the development of the washing machine as facilitating the women's rights movement, would be disagreed with by feminists and that it reflected my worldview that it was women's "essential role in life to do laundry." The counterargument was that World War 2 had been responsible for women entering the workforce and not household electrical appliances. My rebuttal that this may not explain global demographic data from developing countries has thus far gone unanswered.

Apologies for the personal anecdote, but needless to say I'm still a bit offended at having been called a bigot. Particularly when Ana Swanson, a "reporter for Wonkblog specializing in business, economics, data visualization and China" would probably not have been similarly told that by writing this article she believes housework is women's essential role in life. It seems some would require extensive quantitative evidence for this claim to avoid stepping on any toes, though, and I wonder if Hans Rosling, Ha-Joon Chang, Max Roser and the others making it have quantified to what extent appliances were an influence compared to other factors.

dbuxton 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see a study of these tech adoption trends and their effect in an even shorter timescale like in post-Soviet countries.

In Russia even a few years ago, all my friends' parents would obsessively pickle the hell out of whatever they could grow. My impression is now that that tradition has almost disappeared among the younger generations.

varjag 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
One big non-appliance thing here is the proliferation of mobile phones. Am pretty sure months of my productive life have been saved simply by excluding waiting around on people and not making unnecessary trips.
JDDunn9 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
Chapter 4 of "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" echoed this point titled, "The Washing Machine has Changed the World More than the Internet Has". In addition to talking about how revolutionary household appliances have been, he also mentioned how economists have consistently failed to measure much economic value in the Internet.
Be Suspicious of Online Movie Ratings fivethirtyeight.com
159 points by thehoff  7 hours ago   112 comments top 30
bostik 4 hours ago 7 replies      
Oh wow, that's rich. Quoting from the article:

Sites like Rotten Tomatoes that aggregate movie reviews into one overall rating are being blamed for poor opening weekends.

The best part is that the quote above even provides a link to the reference they are using for the made statement.[0] In effect, the studios are complaining that news of the films' crappiness are spreading too fast.

Let that sink in. The studios confess that their productions are so awful they couldn't be used even for guano. It's almost as if the availability of reviews was the reason for such bad box office performance - not the dubious quality of the object being reviewed.

When a bunch of reviews can undo the effects of a massive, weeks or months long marketing push, I'd say it's time to rethink your product strategy.

0: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/summer-box-office-how-...

downandout 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
While I generally agree with the sentiment of this article, Rotten Tomatoes and its ilk have problems of their own. Virtually every small-budget independent film on the site winds up with a very high rating, likely thanks to the big-budget hating, pretentious film critics whose ratings it compiles and summarizes. Likely for the same reason, some larger budget films that receive high scores from audiences receive low scores for professional critics.

In short, it's impossible to trust RT's ratings of independent films, as they just can't all be that good, or its ratings of big budget films, as they can't all be that bad. If a movie looks good to you, go see it - whether or not RT tells you to.

abruzzi 5 hours ago 5 replies      
I never trust any online reviews, especially aggregate reviews, because I have never found any to hew remotely closely to my taste (the best example is on RT, the worst movie I've seen in the last two decades is rated 95% fresh).

The only approach I've found that works is to pick a professional reviewer that is marginally close to my taste, read a lot of their reviews, so I know where I tend to agree and where I disagree with the reviewer, then build a mental translation, so when I would see Roger Ebert trash a David Lynch movie, I could discount it because I know Ebert's antipathy to Lynch in not something I share.

raspasov 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Rotten tomatoes usually matches my personal tastes pretty well. Their Critics Consensus summaries are pretty blunt and entertaining sometimes. Here's the one for Fantastic Four (2015). "Dull" is my favorite part.

"Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great."

mangeletti 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The author might be mistaken. I think there's a pretty chance this is simply a demographical difference between the sites' visitors, and I'm pretty disappointed this wasn't brought up early on.

Rotten Tomatoes is a hipstometer (if you don't believe me, look at the artsy film festival movies that rank highest there, or read some of the pedantic reviews). Fandango is what a lot of the RT fans would call a "low brow" venue. More Hollywood-ish (huge budget, unrealistic, etc.) movies (transformers, 2012, The Fast & The Furious, etc.) rank well on fandango, but not on Rotten Tomatoes. The really great movies rank well on both (e.g., Captain Philips, Life of Pi, etc.).

It's always been this way. I use a specific formula of Fandango, iTunes and Rotten Tomatoes scores to decide on a movie. If Fandango ranks it 4-5 stars and Rotten Tomatoes ranks it 50-70%, it's usually really good. If the rank is lower on Fandango and higher on Rotten Tomatoes, it's usually a bit too artsy and pretentious for me (I go watch a movie to be entertained, not to stoke my ego).

ripberge 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Having done a little bit of work on stuff like this for Fandango a long time ago I learned a little bit about their view of customers from their marketing folks.

Their average customer is a person that sees all the big blockbuster movies. They are not discerning about what they see and they are not critical viewers.

Comparing these people's reviews to the professionals on Rotten Tomatoes is a little silly. As mentioned, Fandango has no motive to reduce the ratings, the more "must see" movies there are, the more money they make.

edit having read more of this article now, I see the issue with Fandango's rounding. Pretty lame.

aleem 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> if you ask people about a movie after theyve paid $15 for it and devoted a couple of hours of their life to it, maybe theyll have a more favorable opinion of the work. Maybe the profoundly rightward shift in Fandangos bell curve is just a moviegoers version of Stockholm syndrome.

This is called the Endowment Effect[1]. I suspect it happens when you spend a considerable amount of time picking the "right" movie.

Admitting to yourself that you made the wrong pick is harder than consoling yourself that it wasn't so bad after all.

Often times the bias will manifest itself in the subtlest of ways--for example a survey of "How would you rate the movie you picked?" versus "How would you rate the movie?" can skew ratings positively in the case of the former.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect

SyneRyder 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Maybe of interest to some here is MovieLens[1], a research project from University of Minnesota that makes personalised movie recommendations based on your own ratings. You can dive behind the scenes and switch between different algorithms, compare its predicted score against the average review score, and there's a page with statistics on your own ratings. (Preferred genres, ratings curve, ratio of mainstream to obscure movies, etc.)

After rating 250+ movies on there myself, my own ratings demonstrate the same right-skew graph curve that IMDB and Fandango has in the article.

[1] https://movielens.org

intopieces 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm wary of any website that offers reviews for things they are also trying to sell, like those online systems for buying games (Playstation Network comes to mind). Why would a profit-driven enterprise allow anything to create a negative impression for the user? Amazon seems okay because they have such a wide variety of items: They're getting paid either way.
bhaumik 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Note: Rotten Tomatoes is a property of Warner Bros, whose box office revenue was signficantly affected by the ratings last summer.
mindcrime 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I've never seen much point in caring about movie ratings. I find very little correlation between my own perception of a movie and the ratings; whether from "professional" critics, or the generic crowd-sourced ones. I just watch stuff that sounds interesting to me. Sure, you hit some stinkers here and there, but I find that acceptable.
pmcpinto 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I usually don't trust on online movie ratings. The only platform that have some ratings similar with my tastes is Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com
guelo 6 hours ago 4 replies      
What is the deal with IMDB's ratings? It feels like over time all movies end up rated around a 7.
mtarnovan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I generally use this settings when looking for a movie on movieo.me: http://imgur.com/X4xsXaX. When I'm extra bored, lazy or uninspired and just want some mindless entertainment, I might filter by movies with decent (70+) IMDB ratings, and allow lower RT and Metacritic scores, although I have regretted this a number of times.
cm2187 3 hours ago 2 replies      
What would be interesting is to follow the evolution of big blockbusters on imdb through time. Perhaps I am confused but I think I spotted a pattern where around their release date they have very good ratings and then they trend toward very different ratings. Which feels like the ratings are manipulated during the marketing period.
greggman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I look at RT but I take it with a grain of salt. I've seen many 95%+ movies that I didn't like. My tastes might be different than the mainstream or the critics and I can be picky but, there's also the issue that the number on RT is the percent of people that didn't hate the movie.

So, you can get 100% if everyone thought the movie was just ok but no one thought it sucked. All the reviews could be just mildly positive rather than glowing.

OSButler 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I usually only check ratings & reviews after watching a movie, just to see what other people think about it.

Seeing how easy it is to game such online ranking systems and how tastes can differ, not only on a personal level but also on the current mood, I simply don't trust the scores without having been able to make up my own opinion.

The same goes for any other aggregate "review" site, e.g. restaurant reviews. Those are even worse for restaurant owners, since a bad review can stick around, even if you used its mentioned points to improve your service.

At least movies don't usually change over time (Star Wars being one of the few exceptions), but it's still annoying to get caught up in a hype only to be bitterly disappointed, or the other way around, finally watching a movie after hearing so many bad things about it and then thoroughly enjoying it, making you wish you had seen it on the large screen instead.

...and not to forget paid social marketing, especially when it's not being disclosed.

Sukotto 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I really like the hobby(?) project http://www.phi-phenomenon.org/ which attempts to create a definitive weighted-aggregate of movie rankings using:

 many different types of lists to measure film quality ... polls of the general public, of academics, of critics, and of filmmakers. Some of these polls ask respondents to list their favorite films. Others ask respondents to rate a large number of films. There are single author lists by critics, academics, and filmmakers. There are lists that focus on how films are rated by video guides or on how many awards the films received. Some lists try to call attention to obscure films. Others stick to the obvious choices. Some attempt to measure film quality directly. Others include factors such as the historical importance of the film. The use of different types of lists and the statistical methods used help to minimize the effect of factors other than quality in order to create a purer measure of a film's greatness. It is not perfect, but it is closer to perfect than any other method is.

qznc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It might just be sample bias. While users of Rotten Tomatoes are more serious and critical movie watchers, Fandango users are probably more casual movie goers who can enjoy any movie. If I'm out on a date and want to have some fun, I don't care that much about the quality of a movie. Some stupid action flick like Transformers is fine.
graeme 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I've noticed a trend with IMDB reviews:

* The rating will be very high around release time, then drop a point or two after a few weeks * The top 1-2 reviews will be 9-10 star. After that will follow a large number of reviews saying the movie was terrible.

I first noticed this with movies that I disliked, and couldn't believe their high imdb rating. For example, I loathed American Hustle, and it had that same pattern.

That movie was around 8.4 when first out, and had a ten star review on top. (I've now noticed the ten star review is gone.)

mehrzad 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The 4.1 to 4 and a half star rounding up issue happens on the play store too, I think. Surprised no one brought it up.
vidoc 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm even more cautious about yelp ratings!
jbpetersen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It always surprises me that most rating sites don't even take the basic step of normalizing their ratings to a more even distribution.
grecy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone that reads /r/movies semi-regularly would have seen this happening a lot.

The posts there are so blatantly advertising it's insulting, though it seems the mods are in on it, they have no interest in changing anything.

Steko 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Noticed while using Fandango's app that the user scores are basically worthless shill scores often around 1.5 stars higher than they should be. They do give the metacritic rating if you click through or for coming soon though.
raykaye47 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I had no idea Fandango was owned by NBC. I will never buy tickets there now
platz 6 hours ago 1 reply      
InclinedPlane 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Reviews in general are crap for several reasons.

One is just pure statistics and design. The typical "average" review score is a mean. And a mean tends to bias towards higher scores, especially when the floor isn't zero. Consider Amazon reviews, for example, which is a 1 to 5 star system. Amazon has half-star increments for the average rating, so you'd think that leaves a lot of dynamic range for reviews, but in practice only the very highest averages are worth considering, everything else is a crap shoot. Consider something that is near universally considered bad by reviewers, it takes 3 1-star reviews for every 5-star review to bring the average down to a 2-star. A 2:1 min:max ratings ratio leads to the same average, and a 1:1 ratio leads to 3-stars. A 1:2 ratio (where 1/3 of all customers have an awful experience) results in around a 4-star average. So you have a situation where a 1-star average means something is universally horrid, and 2 through 4 stars are just variations of awfulness, with only 4.5 stars and above meaning that more than 3/4 of reviewers had a good experience.

Obviously the better metric would be a median, or something similar, but that would lower the average ratings and lead to fewer purchases, most likely.

The other big problem, especially with media, is that the ratings are from self-selected groups. In many cases, especially media, the only people who are going to go out of their way to experience something are folks who are going to be predisposed to liking it, while most other people stay away and thus won't even rate it.

All of which is beside the elephant in the room, which is the fact that in art there's no such thing as an objective universal scale of quality. You absolutely cannot place movies, books, television, or games on a linear number line of "quality" and have those numbers be consistent and sensible. The best that you can hope for is a general sense of whether a lot of people like something or not and the intensity of that like, beyond that you need to actually dig into what people are saying, and who, deciding if it's worth the risk to watch/read/etc. and then deciding for yourself how you feel about it.

makeitsuckless 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Of all the ratings, IMDB are the most useless of all. Especially for quality movies that have gathered enough of a reputation to be watched by the masses of tv or netflex, who then proceed to rate them low for being "boring".

Pretty much all of those converge on a rating of around 6.2, including some great classics, whilst lots of Hollywood lightweight entertainment has 7+ ratings.

The only good cinema to escape this faith are black & white and non-English speaking movies, because the unwashed masses of IMDB avoid those.

a8da6b0c91d 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The think to do is find a few reviewers who resonate with you and keep tabs on them. I mostly just see what Armond White tells me to see.
Stanford, Michael Bloomberg Now Back Every Y Combinator Startup wsj.com
83 points by cryptoz  6 hours ago   22 comments top 5
Animats 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Stanford is really an investment fund that runs a school on the side for the tax break. This started in 1991, when Stanford spun off their endowment management as the Stanford Management Company.[1] SMC's headquarters was on Sand Hill Road, across from all the VCs. This ended up putting Stanford into venture capital in a big way.

This was new. Before that, universities tended to put their endowments into passive investments - real estate, stocks, and bonds. Investing in startups worked out very well for Stanford. Stanford had pre-IPO stock in Cisco, Yahoo, Google... They have money in various VC funds. Buying into YCombinator is consistent with that investing approach.

As SMC became more powerful, executives from SMC started moving into positions in the university itself. SMC moved its HQ onto the main campus. Not clear where this will end; we'll have to see who replaces Henessey as president.

[1] http://www.smc.stanford.edu/

beambot 4 hours ago 2 replies      
You know what would be really awesome / disruptive / game-changing? If YC funded the program via crowdfunding (eg. JOBS Act) monies so that normal peons (sorry, "non accredited investors") could realize gains from a fund of early startups while effectively locking out all these institutional investors.

This would be a real coup for people who believe in Basic or Guaranteed Minimum Income [1], like Sama.

[1] http://blog.samaltman.com/technology-and-wealth-inequality

gameshot911 4 hours ago 9 replies      
>Each startup that goes through the three-month program now receives$120,000 in cash $20,000 from Y Combinator, plus $100,000 from the outside investors in exchange for 7% equity in their company.

$120k for 7% in a company!? Is that really a favorable term to startups? There's no way I would ever, EVER sell 7% of my company for a such a small sum. Who would sell out their passion for such a pittance?

It's very possible I'm missing something here, because my impression is that YC truly tries to act as a partner with founders. I just can't see giving a go at a startup - with all that entails - for an idea I believe is worth only $1.7M (even at the nascent stage).

cmsmith 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks, I'll forward this the next time they ask for money. A shotgun approach to investing other people's money in tech startups is fine, but drawing down the $__B endowment in 2008-2009 to avoid salary freezes was too risky.
georgeglue1 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if YC's seed investment being LP money changes the incentives/advice on the part of the partners. (?)
Braess' paradox: adding a new road to a city can slow down traffic wikipedia.org
60 points by Thorondor  5 hours ago   42 comments top 12
Asbostos 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Taken to the extreme, if you made such a dense network of roads that it was effectively just one giant paved surface, then I think it's obvious that it'd be inefficient since everyone is barging through trying to go in their own straight line and getting in each other's way. In that case, adding barriers and one-way lanes would intuitively speed up people's journeys. So perhaps Braess's paradox is only unintuitive for simple cases that are very close to our existing road networks.
milkers 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
That reminds me another notion from The Mythical Man-Month; Brooks's law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
Leszek 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I once saw a particularly interesting physical manifestation of this paradox (performed I believe by Chris Bishop), where a weight was suspended from two partially elastic ropes, both attached to the ceiling. These two suspending ropes were connected in the middle by another rope. The weight was analogous to the destination, and the ropes were the roads, with the total duration of the route being analogous to the distance of the weight from the ceiling. When we removed the central road (by cutting the connecting rope), the weight paradoxically went up instead of down.

I wish I had a video of this demonstration, it really hammered in the point (for me) that this is a real phenomenon and not just mathematical trickery or electrical weirdness.

matthj 5 hours ago 6 replies      
Networked traffic routing apps like Waze ought to nullify the Braess' paradox; if everyone used Waze, new roads would always have a positive marginal impact.
ocfnash 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Brian Hayes wrote a nice article about this a few months ago in American Scientist [1] and also wrote a little JS demo to tinker with linked from here [2].

1. http://www.americanscientist.org/libraries/documents/2015617...

2. http://bit-player.org/2015/traffic-jams-in-javascript

personjerry 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone who wants to try this might consider playing or watching a video of the Cities: Skylines game. It's said to be a pretty good "traffic planner" simulation.
Tinyyy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My understanding of this is that you have a highway and a road (with a low speed limit). The highway gets congested if many people use it so theyll all move slower. If everyone takes the highway, itll still be faster than the road, so everyone chooses to take the highway. On the other hand, if everyone spends half their time on the highway and the other half on the road, all of them will be able to travel faster (But there is no incentive to do so).

At Nash equilibrium, the highway is over-utilised while the road is under-utilised. So stripped to the core, this is an example of tragedy of the commons where if every single individual works for their sole interest, they will all lose out and yet nobody has an incentive to make a change.

jasonjei 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember reading a piece by WIRED that discussed this phenomenon in Southern California: http://www.wired.com/2014/06/wuwt-traffic-induced-demand/ "Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse"
abhgh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I learnt this as a part of a course I was doing on social networks. This was under the game theory module. Pretty interesting stuff.
rumcajz 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any examples of this happening when a new internet link is added?
Theodores 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Why does everything have to have a new 'paradox' when perfectly good physics exists already:


It is not as if cars are equipped with some superior intelligence when compared to electrons in a circuit, the behaviour is identical and the normal laws of physics apply.

biggestbob 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is paradox? Seem obvious to me. If person can explain, thank you.
To save on weight, a detour to the moon is the best route to Mars mit.edu
100 points by jimsojim  8 hours ago   46 comments top 16
p4bl0 1 minute ago 0 replies      
If you have one hour if front of you, I highly recommend this documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcTZvNLL0-w

In it they explain how it would be feasible to be on Mars in ten years with current technology and not so much additional fundings.

Ankaios 5 hours ago 3 replies      

 This is completely against the established common wisdom of how to go to Mars, which is a straight shot to Mars, carry everything with you, de Weck says. The idea of taking a detour into the lunar system its very unintuitive."
and later...

 Assuming you can extract these resources, what do you do with it? Almost nobody has looked at that question.
Give me a break. People discuss this sort of approach all the time. They don't necessarily publish their conclusions, though.

Nexialist 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
You can already produce fuel on Mars itself using the Sabatier Reaction with technology available today, you have to bring along a little hydrogen but that's not too big of a deal.

Refueling on the moon requires an (almost pointless) web of infrastructure that balloons the cost of a mission, and more importantly, increases the time to carry out the mission.

Each US administration has a habit of cancelling the more ambitious NASA/JPL projects of the previous one, so if we really want to go to mars, it has to be a mission doable in as short a time span as possible, such as proposed by Zubrin's Mars Direct plan.

sandworm101 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone writing these papers have any appreciation for the difficulties of producing liquid H2 appropriate for use in manned rockets? This is some seriously tricky stuff. Turning water into liquid H2 is one thing, making it out of dirty moon-frost is another. A little impurity here and there and your rocket engine becomes a bomb.
LoSboccacc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Can't find paper but I wonder if he'd taken into account near future technologies, like orbital construction (look at the IIS, that was 'built' in orbit) and fully reusable rockets.

Anyway I do believe we need to establish a resource operation on moon just because debugging a resource operation on mars as our first space colony would be all too risky.

chucksmash 6 hours ago 0 replies      
From the article:

> To see whether fuel resources and infrastructure in space would benefit manned missions to Mars, Ishimatsu developed a network flow model to explore various routes to Mars ranging from a direct carry-along flight to a series of refueling pit stops along the way. The objective of the model was to minimize the mass that would be launched from Earth, even when including the mass of a fuel-producing plant, and spares that would need to be pre-deployed.

Johnny555 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This point is key:

"assuming the availability of resources and fuel-generating infrastructure on the moon"

Sure, if the moon is a gas station, then stopping there to fuel up on the way to mars makes sense. But it's making a big leap of faith that refueling infrastructure and raw materials can be reasonably built on the moon.

golergka 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I've done that in KSP, seems to be working.
rl3 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Seeing as the title could be a bit misleading, I'm glad the article clarifies:

>Ishimatsu says the research demonstrates the importance of establishing a resource-producing infrastructure in space. He emphasizes that such infrastructure may not be necessary for a first trip to Mars. But a resource network in space would enable humans to make the journey repeatedly in a sustainable way.

In other words if we want to get to Mars ASAP, setting up lunar mining and refueling infrastructure probably isn't the fastest way to go about that, even if it is more mass efficient.

Sir_Cmpwn 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Another issue with this would be that a Mars vehicle would probably be big, and to a large extent designed to never land on anything. Getting it down to the Moon safely and back out again would be very complicated. The solution is to do a fuel run with a smaller craft that can disengage from the main craft several times, but then you're doing several landings and takeoffs and that's going to shoot the risk WAY up.

I think that we would be wise to invest in a space elevator on the Moon. We can't support one on Earth with currently understood technology, but the Moon is different and it could be done with modern materials. A plan of this sort would seriously reduce the cost of lunar development and increase the viability of the plan in the article.

greglindahl 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Another way to "save on weight" is to use the lowest-cost launch from Earth, and rendezvous in orbit. We're going to know what the risk and cost of reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy is long before we'd start building this lunar base. A 75% reduction in SpaceX's already low launch rates would be a big savings.

We even have experience launching fuel to ISS on the Russian and European unmanned supply ships.

yCloser 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet the author just installed Kerbal Space Program...
roflchoppa 6 hours ago 2 replies      
if you remove mass from the moon for fuel, does that not effect the orbit of the moon, and with that the tides?
Armisael16 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Obviously getting a chance to refuel en route is huge for saving dv - the rocket equation is a harsh mistress. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that it isn't more efficient to move the fuel for lunar orbit to LEO.
greesil 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh wat no slingshot?
foota 5 hours ago 0 replies      
But what about the mass depletion to the moon! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon_Is_a_Harsh_Mistress)
"Memory foam" approach to unsupervised learning arxiv.org
22 points by bpolania  4 hours ago   5 comments top 2
webmaven 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
An implementation to play with would be very nice...
dsfsdfd 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Yay, someone with the sophistication required is working on this! As I've been thinking for a few years, intelligence is more about absorbing pattern from the world than it is about the deliberate process of constructing pattern from scratch within the system. It's is better to create a space where the pattern of the world can live, subject to some measure of objective utility, than it is to deduce some pattern from scratch using that same objective function.

God I would love to work in this field.

Theranos Dials Back Lab Tests at FDAs Behest google.com
86 points by raspasov  7 hours ago   52 comments top 12
learc83 5 hours ago 6 replies      
Everything I've heard about this company is just weird. A biotech company started by a 19 year old Stanford dropout. She didn't even finish her second year in college, so she never made it past the intro courses.

I can understand a 19 year old starting a software company, but this is more like a 19 year old starting a semiconductor fab. Someone just gave a her millions of dollars and a decade to run what was basically an r&d lab with almost no relevant experience?

Then the company's board is composed of 2 former Secretaries of State, a former Secretary of Defense, 2 former Senators, a retired admiral, and a retired general. They only have one currently licensed physician (who also happens to be one of the former Senators), and no current CEOs [1].

[1]. http://fortune.com/2015/10/15/theranos-board-leadership/

msravi 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Very smart. And very deceitful.

WSJ called them out for fraudulently gaming proficiency testing:

> The two types of equipment gave different results when testing for vitamin D, two thyroid hormones and prostate cancer. The gap suggested to some employees that the Edison results were off, according to the internal emails and people familiar with the findings.

> Former employees say Mr. Balwani ordered lab personnel to stop using Edison machines on any of the proficiency-testing samples and report only the results from instruments bought from other companies.

> The former employees say they did what they were told but were concerned that the instructions violated federal rules, which state that a lab must handle proficiency testing samplesin the same manner as it tests patient specimens and by using the laboratorys routine methods.

And they were very very careful and deceitful in their response:

> The sources relied on in the article today were never in a position to understand Theranos technology and know nothing about the processes currently employed by the company.

They were extremely careful in using the word "currently" - admitting obliquely that they'd changed their processes while making it seem that the employees didn't know what they were talking about. In reality, it appears that the former employees (and WSJ) rightly called them out for fraud, and somewhere along the way they "pivoted" to using standard techniques instead of the Edison snake-oil.

hkmurakami 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Previous discussion on very related article (yesterday)


"Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled With Its Blood-Test Technology"

smt88 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm very confused by this company and uBeam. Is it really possible that both companies could raise so much money without an astounding breakthrough to demonstrate to investors?

Or do investors really have enough cash that they can blow a few million on companies that, if successful, should be worth many tens of billions?

specialp 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I have commented on this in the past, but I have worked in the lab industry. It is very highly regulated, and what is happening now is exactly what should have been expected. The bottom line in the lab industry is you can market yourself however you want, claim whatever tech, but it is completely worthless unless you can get it FDA approved which is not easy.

Suddenly a company that looks like a Kickstarter page has the valuation of companies like Quest Diagnositics. A problem here and in some investment circles is that people think every industry is ripe for disruption from some whiz kid but it is not always true. The lab industry is very competitive, and HMOs drive the margins down a lot.

artnep 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Check out Theranos on Glassdoor starting on page 4.The insider scoop seems to be that it's a horror show.
raspasov 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I am very curious if someone who's familiar with medical devices and different kinds of tests can explain the details of all of this.
etep 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for linking this through google.
danso 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, it's as if the WSJ anticipated that Theranos was going to respond with "the WSJ's reporting is a bunch of lies; we're passing the FDA's gold standard of quality", and so purposely held back the revelation that an "inspection was triggered by concerns the agency had about data Theranos had voluntarily submitted to the FDA" for a second-day piece.

I understand PR is an exceptionally hard game when you want to be a revolutionary company, but Holmes's response so far has been shameful. Theranos's first public response last night was a tweet [1] to John McCain, Joe Biden, and Arianna Huffington linking to a puff piece of bullet points and unlabeled line charts. On Kramer's show, besides focusing on touting the relationship to the FDA, she avoided answering the most basic questions that required stating actual numbers or facts [2]. And instead of doing a point-by-point response against the WSJ's claims [3], Theranos chooses to throw a bunch of impressive sounding numbers -- ("more than 1,000 pages of statements and documents"...because volume of printed paper is in itself evidence?) in the same vague way that it has been bragging about its purportedly revolutionary technology while refusing to even name the third-parties that they claim to have audited them, even to friendly journalists [4].

It's sad, it really does sound like she hit on a worthy-billion dollar idea. And she's put in the time and energy into it for many years to see it through. But I hate the way the way her company's official response has been to kick up a cloud of meaningless data in such a way to obfuscate true accountability, hoping that most people will think "Well medicine is above my head, there's probably just no way to test their genius inventions!"...good for the WSJ for actually putting some time and thought into examining the claims while many of its respectable peers have been publishing puff pieces, even as recent as this week [5] (yes, I know the NYT's style section is not the same as its investigative team, but it doesn't seem likely the NYT had an active investigation into Theranos).

[1] https://twitter.com/theranos/status/654547567426928641

[2] http://www.inc.com/kimberly-weisul/elizabeth-holmes-refutes-...

[3] https://theranos.com/news/posts/statement-from-theranos

[4] http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/15/blood-simpler

[5] http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/12/t-magazine/eli...

NN88 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just want to SEE something. And they have nothing.
rokhayakebe 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Isn't this only a small part of the Theranos offering? As I understood their biggest advantage is they can run many tests from one (or a few) blood drops.
pinaceae 5 hours ago 2 replies      
i wonder if there will be an overall impact on VCs branching into non-software areas. the software-is-eating-the-world kool aid might have gotten to some heads. "disrupting" social media or ads is one thing - health, energy, etc is a whole other ballgame. being of some sort of libertarian anti-gov mindset might also create a blindspot for gov regulation and agencies. uber can skirt the rules, but you don't fuck around with the FDA.
Aphrodisiacs, Elixirs, and Dr. Brodums Restorative Nervous Cordial mimimatthews.com
7 points by Avawelles  1 hour ago   discuss
Hacking Servo for Noobs github.com
12 points by ash  2 hours ago   discuss
Sleep is just the same as ever, say scientists theguardian.com
25 points by chrismealy  5 hours ago   8 comments top 5
mikekchar 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
It is interesting that they suggest that a room that progressively gets colder through the night might help you sleep better. I'm currently living in a fairly warm part of Japan and we have no heat in the house (or air conditioning). I definitely sleep better here than I do when I'm in Canada or the UK.

There are probably many other factors (for example, I sleep on the floor in Japan and use a "pillow" that is really just a sack of grain -- it might sound strange, but it is so much nicer than the overly soft trappings of western bedrooms IMHO). I had never really considered temperature as being a factor, though.

_delirium 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a little more detail in this article imo: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/10/the-many-...

Including the question I was wondering about: do the authors think the historians who have argued medieval Europeans had segmented sleep were therefore wrong, and humans have never slept like that? The answer seems to be "no", but here the explanation gets to be what sounds, to me at least, plausible but a bit speculative,

[The historian Roger] Ekirch combed through centuries of Western literature and documents to show that Europeans used to sleep in two segments, separated by an hour or two of wakefulness. [Author of the present study Jerome] Siegel doesnt dispute Ekirchs analysis; he just thinks that the old two-block pattern was preceded by an even older single-block one. The two-sleep pattern was probably due to humans migrating so far from the equator that they had long dark periods, he says. The long nights caused this pathological sleep pattern and the advent of electric lights and heating restored the primal one.

zobzu 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems pretty random as usual.

There's an easy test that applies to yourself only though. Go to a place without tv/internet/books (electricity is fine) for a week, where you exercise outdoors and spend time with people.

I always end up sleeping 2-3h more (from 6h regularly to 9h!), wake up earlier, and sleep earlier - and in fact, feel better.

Most of the rest is just the stress inducing work/city life most of us zombies "have" to go through.

zafka 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Scientists say" Or perhaps "one researcher says" I found it interesting that his study was done on people living as they did millenia ago, but they were ok wearing fitbits. Tht other big question that pops up in my mind is" What about siesta?
Six Degrees of Francis Bacon cmu.edu
10 points by Schiphol  2 hours ago   7 comments top 4
walterbell 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A further step in this direction would be a git-style dependency graph of influential books, showing how authors were inspired by each other to "fork" and improve ideas.
bshimmin 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm actually a little shocked that they don't at all mention Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in this, which surely must have been at least in part the inspiration for it. (The Oracle of Bacon - http://oracleofbacon.org/ - still cheerfully works after, oh, a decade and a half or so.)
bunkydoo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It would be kind of neat to extend semantic search and social graphing to older works - really neat to see how different minds' work interweaves throughout history.
Schiphol 2 hours ago 1 reply      
And a video tour here http://www.sixdegreesoffrancisbacon.com/

Prediction: the next big thing in fan wikis will be a similar 6 of, say, Frodo Baggins.

Open Source Photography Workflow rileybrandt.com
154 points by macco  12 hours ago   32 comments top 9
vvanders 9 hours ago 6 replies      
That first line is telling. It took him years to find a workflow that met his needs.

It's probably not a popular opion here but there are some things that are worth paying for. When it comes to working with 500+ photos from a shoot you can pry lightroom from my cold dead hands.

green7ea 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have the same workflow as he does and recently upgraded it by using the experimental GIMP 2.9 branch. It supports 16 and 32 bit colour channels and better interpolation which enables the use of GIMP as a RAW editor (which I find easier than darktable). If there are tech savvy photographers out there, I recommend taking the extra time to compile GIMP.
mpnordland 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Also look at gphoto2 for setting up your camera, on my camera, gphoto2 can do some pretty cool things like set the date and time (much better than doing it on the camera) and even take photos. When I went more professional I switched from Shotwell to using Rapid Photo Downloader and I created some scripts around sxiv (https://github.com/muennich/sxiv) that lets me pick out which shots I want and then I run then through darktable. I haven't gotten color management yet, just not in my (college student) budget.
unknownzero 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If nothing else that was a great pitch for the class at the end. It was actually informative and I felt pretty confident that I could get something out of the course by the time that I got to the end and saw it. A+
sohkamyung 4 hours ago 0 replies      
lwn.net has a number of articles covering photography with Open Source software.

Doing a generic search via DuckDuckGo [ https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Alwn.net+photography ] shows a number of articles which may be of interest.

glenda 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, gphoto2 is great for interacting with cameras using the command line. I will typically use it to import/backup all the images directly from a camera but it has so many more features. I believe darktable uses it behind the scenes, but it is extremely powerful on its own.

Another good command line program is dcraw, especially for batch developing RAW photos. These two programs probably make up more than half of my photography workflow.

tefo-mohapi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this. Looking to uninstall windows and move to Ubuntu on my laptop, this comes in handy
GutenYe 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The Open Source Community should really join forces together to create an unified-killer app for it.
contingencies 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Darktable, which I've been using for at least three years now, is certainly a reasonable lightroom replacement. Its initially rough edges have been mostly well rounded now, and some of the more hard-line decisions from the developers (like "no file delete functionality at all") have been sensibly slackened.

Some things I think are still missing from open source photography workflow: adequate support Linux from high-end printer manufacturers (eg. I have a Canon Pixma Pro 1 and I basically have to use it through a shitty Windows VM), and better front-ends for lens distortion calculators.

Mixing Khoisan Knowledge with Drone Technology iafrikan.com
23 points by tefo-mohapi  5 hours ago   10 comments top
executesorder66 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I find it incredible that, having never seen aerial photography before, after a bit of practice, they can easily recognize and distinguish different animals in 10x10 blobs of pixels.
The Galaxy That Got Too Big nautil.us
54 points by DarkContinent  8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
imperialdrive 3 hours ago 0 replies      
All this information collected from such a distance with technology, science, and ingenuity from the last hundred years. Even if we have only a hundred or so left, there is plenty of awesomeness that can happen in that time. Good stuff.
fuzzythinker 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The porn industry is in a bind wired.com
82 points by nkurz  11 hours ago   112 comments top 13
mindcrime 8 hours ago 9 replies      
Forget about the porn for a minute gang... this is, to me, the key insight in the story:

 VR and its cousin, augmented reality, are controlled by the big corporations. Facebook owns the Oculus Rift. Microsoft built the Hololens. Google does Google Glass. These will treat porn at least like Android treats pornor maybe even like Glass treated porn when OConnell unveiled his app. In other words, they wont allow it through official channels and maybe not at all.
And it isn't even just about VR... the point is, we, collectively, are losing control of our use of computing and technology.

Remember the early 80's, when anybody could buy a handful of 8086 processors, a Phoenix or Award BIOS, some cases, etc., and start pumping out IBM compatible PCs? That was pretty amazing, and arguably led to amazing things. How about the way you could take your PC and install ANY operating system on it: DOS, Xenix, Solaris x86, Windows, OS/2, BeOS, BSD Unix, various flavors of Linux, etc. Great opportunity for invention and creation there...

and now? When was the last time you installed a new OS on your smartphone? Your game console? Your VR device? Your smart watch? Etc?

Yeah... thought so.

Look, I'm not saying anything terribly new here, and I don't claim to be. Cory Doctorow said it all better, and before:


But we need to take this seriously. I don't want to live in a world where Google, Facebook, IBM, HP, Twitter, Microsoft, EMC, Cisco, Snapchat, etc., decide what content I can consume, what programs I can run, etc. And I doubt most of you do either.

rickdale 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Back in the day, when porn was in the big online bubble state, sites would offer over $.50/click to their site. When I first started (ab)using that system, the sites immediately bumped it to $.25/click and then $.10/click, and now I think its like $.000034/click, or basically nothing. They would also give you additional money for actual sign ups, and had a bonus day on every month where you made a significant amount more for sign ups.

Ultimately I think I cashed in like $7000 when I was 12 before shit hit the fan and the company my buddy and I were using sent him a check that bounced. It was tough explaining it to our parents, but ultimately everyone knew about alladvantage and we would always say it was something similar to that. We also cashed in on alladvantage, I think it was $20/month just to have the thing on for a few hours.


rdancer 8 hours ago 4 replies      
The fine article talks about the losers of the trade war. The winners are OK. If you look where the money is, it's with MindGeek (formerly known as Manwin), a company that has through the years bought bought most of the tube/cam sites, owns Brazzers and other content producers.

For sure, tired unattractive content won't make it. But then you have the true artists of fucking, like James Deen, Pierre Woodman, and those guys working at Czech AV. They seem to be doing quite well.

The innovation in porn, from what I've seen (hehe), is on the personal level, when a performer interacts regularly with viewers through social networks. To successfully provide illusion of intimacy or a relationship is the next frontier in porn, in my humble opinion.

jenmcewen 11 hours ago 4 replies      
I was just about to share this. That's my company (and me in 2 of the pictures). Thanks for sharing it.
trhway 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
>The first fiction ever published on a printing press was an erotic tale. And from there: super 8 film, Polaroid, home video, digital, video on demand

what do you think these figurines were 20000 years ago? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_figurines

"Most of them have small heads, wide hips, and legs that taper to a point. Various figurines exaggerate the abdomen, hips, breasts, thighs, or vulva. In contrast, arms and feet are often absent, and the head is usually small and faceless."

yarou 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Wired really has dropped in quality, publishing articles that state the obvious and do little to advance critical thought.

Perhaps it is a sign of the times that the lack of original content has led to content-mill-esque pieces that aren't the least bit provactive or controversial.

DiabloD3 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Okay, so, silly question time: why can't we just have a Paetron for porn actors and actresses? Cut out all of the middle men, pay them directly?
sandworm101 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Never trust articles about porn. I've never seen one that represented more than a myopic view. It's a very diverse industry.

I hope that Kink implodes. That side of the industry started as an almost joke. Bush, pre-911 Bush, talked about going after violent porn. So a couple producers got together and said: "Well, lets give them a target." They had first amendment lawyers primed for battle. Then 9/11, and the feds never showed up. Fast forwards a decade or so, and the violent porn meant to trigger a freedom of speech battle is practically mainstream. Kink.com is now a giant and customers are leaving for content that even Kink wouldn't touch. The old hats are aghast at the beast they've unleashed.

I've got clients that come to me when employees are caught downloading things they shouldn't. I'm the guy that has to go through this material and figure out whether anything is illegal, whether we have to bring in the cops. It isn't fun.

(But i did once practically fall out of my chair at a client meeting when I was introduced as "the external expert on child porn". I was in fact the guy there to explain that the material wasn't such. The employee was fired, but the police were not involved.)

J_Darnley 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"salaries somewhere in the low six figures" I'm so sorry! At least when the porn industry collapses I will have my stash of torrented porn to rely on. In other news: walled garden are bad for everyone.
Axsuul 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It was interesting to see this post on the front page a minute ago and then get pushed to the third page just now. Is this type of content discouraged from being discussed here?
fiatmoney 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem is that with the legalization & wide dissemination of free pornography, the "market" in terms of dedicated commercial potential shrank from anyone with a passing case of onanism to the population of hard-core addicts. Just about all new development is dedicated to better serving that demographic. Sadly for the porn industry in aggregate, that demographic has a very limited total pool of money.
wodenokoto 8 hours ago 1 reply      
While the little guys aren't making bank anymore, what about the big guys?

It's my impression that the pornhub network is quite healthy, financially.

nickysielicki 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> Anyone can download them. You can. Your kids can. Thats just not a place we want to go.

Steve Jobs was such a piece of work. As if browsers don't exist.

The portable cloud karan.org
26 points by quicksilver03  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
rwmj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As well as building this brilliant proper portable cloud, Karanbir also helped me to choose parts for my rather cheaper non-portable caseless alternative:


togusa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I thought this was why things like the big end ThinkPad W-series exists?

I still run 3-4 VMs at the same time on my ancient X201 on Hyper-V.

Unmanned aircraft flies in UK civil airspace nats.aero
14 points by maxbaines  4 hours ago   5 comments top 3
mninm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was a little disappointed that article was about a pilot flying a plane from the ground and not about a plane that flew itself.

Having a human in the loop does bring to mind some fun possibilities though. Imagine one pilot managing several planes at once only interceding at times too out of the norm for the autopilot. Or perhaps imagine a network of Uber pilots all over the world managing planes in their spare time (1).

Either way unmanned aircraft certainly would have made Castaway a much different movie (2).

(1) Whimsy not position.

(2) Two hours of a camera-shot of an empty beach.

peteretep 2 hours ago 1 reply      

 > unmanned air freight
There are some pretty interesting possibilities there. I wonder what percentage of price the pilots in the air adds to current costs.

rampage24life 1 hour ago 1 reply      
seems pretty easy to build, not many obstacles are in the sky. surprised this was a break through at all...

this just feels like a video game basically. all i need to do is bring out my xbox controls and i can do exactly the same thing in my video games.

US drone rules hamper firms hoping machines can take over dangerous jobs theguardian.com
11 points by danboarder  4 hours ago   2 comments top
danboarder 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
Beyond the mining applications mentioned in the article, I can see aerial or tethered robots working on highrise building construction, washing windows on existing structures, or examining and treating specific plants rather than "cropdusting" entire fields in agriculture.

A fresh era of technology transformation is underway and robot drone applications are already creating an economic ecosystem of tech companies and new jobs for operators, while replacing some dangerous jobs in the process.

The FAA is late to form rules for commercial UAVs based on Sec 333 that Congress has already passed in 2012 (the FAA rules were supposed to be complete one year after to enable commercial UAVs [1]. Perhaps we need congress to pass more direct regulations that allow for expanded commercial use, while leaving hobbyists and tinkerers free to experiment and build new things. I'm a member of the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) and the biggest concern among members is the ongoing erosion of our right to fly (although hobby craft are supposed to be exempt from FAA rulemaking per Sec 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 [1]) as the FAA has recently lumped any "non-hobby" RC planes, quadcopters, and sUAV "drones" all in the same bucket of full-scale manned-aircraft.[2] This would include tiny handheld lightweight drones to larger craft up to 55lbs.

[1] http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Sec_331_336_UAS.pdf and http://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/section_333/

[2] http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2015/02/15/dotfaa-an...

Uncoiling the spiral: Maths and hallucinations (2009) maths.org
9 points by davvid  4 hours ago   discuss
MIPS in Space: Inside NASAs New Horizons Mission to Pluto imgtec.com
4 points by alexvoica  2 hours ago   discuss
Fossil find suggests humans spread to Asia long before they got to Europe theconversation.com
12 points by curtis  4 hours ago   1 comment top
dang 3 hours ago 0 replies      
An African money-transfer firm with big ambitions economist.com
3 points by edward  3 hours ago   1 comment top
aianus 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
The commission to send $100 to Somalia from the UK is 7.5% according to their website.

Imagine working your ass off on a construction site in London to send money to your family in Somalia and realizing that one out of every 13 dollars you earn is being pocketed by these middlemen.

There's nothing to admire here.

The Stanford Endowment Experiment ai-cio.com
7 points by akg_67  4 hours ago   1 comment top
ucaetano 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow, what's the deal with this chart?http://www.ai-cio.com/uploadedImages/ai5000/channel/PEOPLE/C...

The columns on the right makes no sense, Stanford's 9.9% is much bigger than Yale's 10%, Harvard's 8.9% is roughly the same size as Yale's 10%.

Kinda hard to take anything serious in that article when the author can't even draw a chart.

Researchers Find Impossible to Trace Spyware in 32 Countries vice.com
56 points by geezsundries  12 hours ago   7 comments top 3
mintplant 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Title is somewhat misleading: "impossible to trace" refers to FinFisher's marketing claims for the spyware they sell, which security researches have found to be not so true after all. The way the title is worded, one would assume the discovery being reported is a new unknown and "impossible to trace" spyware infecting computers around the world.
nickpsecurity 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What a BS title. Not even reading it tonight for that. Someone tell the writer to come back when he or she is writing on one whose cloaking and obfuscation techniques deserve the claim.
crishoj 3 hours ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: Proxied FinFisher boxes serve up google.com when opened in a browser. Actual IP address revealed by entering the query "what's my ip".
Cycles in stationary states of VDHT routing algorithms newtolife.net
3 points by realcr  2 hours ago   discuss
Page Weight Matters (2012) chriszacharias.com
512 points by shubhamjain  17 hours ago   144 comments top 26
nostrademons 15 hours ago 4 replies      
When I joined Google in 2009, we were on the tail-end of a latency optimization kick that Larry had started in 2007. At the time, we had a budget of 20K gzipped for the entire search results page. I remember working on the visual redesign of 2010, where we had increased the page weight from 16K to 19K and there was much handwringing at the higher levels about how we were going to blow our entire latency budget on one change.

We did some crazy stuff to squeeze everything in. We would literally count bytes on every change - one engineer wrote a tool that would run against your changelist demo server and output the difference in gzipped size of it. We used 'for(var i=0,e;e=arr[i++];) { ... }' as our default foreach loop because it was one character shorter than explicitly incrementing the loop counter. All HTML tags that could be left unterminated were, and all attributes that could be unquoted were. CSS classnames were manually named with 1-3 character abbreviations, with a dictionary elsewhere, to save on bytesize. I ran an experiment to see if we could use JQuery on the SRP (everything was done in raw vanilla JS), and the results were that it doubled the byte size and latency of the SRP, so that was a complete non-starter. At one point I had to do a CSS transition on an element that didn't exist in the HTML, because it was too heavy and so we had to pull it over via AJAX, so I had to do all sorts of crazy contortions to predict the height and position of revealed elements before the code for them actually existed on the client.

A lot of these convolutions should've been done by compiler, and indeed, a lot were moved to one when we got an HTML-aware templating language. But it gave me a real appreciation for how to write tight, efficient code under constraints - real engineering, not just slapping libraries together.

Alas, when I left the SRP was about 350K, which is atrocious. It looks like it's since been whittled down under 100K, but I still sometimes yearn for the era when Google loaded instantaneously.

dpweb 17 hours ago 9 replies      
If you have an engineering mind and care about such things - you care about complexity. Even if you don't - user experience matters to everyone.

Have you ever seen something completely insane and everyone around doesn't seem to recognize how awful it really is. That is the web of today. 60-80 requests? 1MB+ single pages?

Your functionality, I don't care if its Facebook - does not need that much. It is not necessary. When broadband came on the scene, everyone started to ignore it, just like GBs of memory made people forget about conservation.

The fact that there isn't a daily drumbeat about how bloated, how needlessly complex, how ridicuous most of the world's web appliactions of today really are - baffles me.

jonahx 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a fascinating example of Simpson's Paradox:


It also reminds me of the phenomenon, in customer service, whereby an increase in complaints can sometimes indicate success -- it means the product has gone from bad enough to be unnoticeable to good enough to be engaged with.

lnanek2 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty funny story considering YouTube is back to unusable on slow connections. They used to buffer the full video, so you could load up a page, let it sit until the video buffers, then watch it eventually, maybe after reading your social news sites. Nowadays the buffering feature has been removed and you'll just come back, hit play, get a second or two of video, then it has nothing again for a long time.

Feels bad for the engineer who spent all that time reducing the size and finding out it made YouTube much more usable across the globe. Amusingly, disabling buffering was probably some penny wise pound foolish way to save bandwidth.

motoboi 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Coming from a low bandwidth, high latency part of the world, I can't confirm this enough.

Today, I have 2 mbit and can use Netflix or Youtube just fine, but mere 4 years ago, I had 600k and, boy, that was hard. Hard as in loading youtube URL and go for a coffee.


In case Duolingo developers are listening, please test your site on high latency and very low bandwidth scenarios. I just love your site, but lessons behave too strangely when internet is bad here.

Splines 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're on Windows you can use the Network Emulator for Windows Toolkit (NEWT): http://blogs.technet.com/b/juanand/archive/2010/03/05/standa...

I've used it to emulate what it's like on a high-latency or high-loss network. Relatively easy tool to use.

teach 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Comments from the last time this was posted: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4957992
SandB0x 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It is insane. One of my favourites is the "about.me" site, which is meant to be a simple online business card. Picking a random page from https://about.me/people/featured, you get a page weighing over 3MB!


mbrock 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Everyone's sometimes on spotty WiFi or foreign expensive 3G. I'm more inclined to trust fast-loading sites and apps.

I wonder what would happen if for example iOS decided to visually indicate page weight, kind of like how you can see which apps use the most energy.

gketuma 17 hours ago 4 replies      
As a web dev I always have this in mind but the challenge is convincing your client who wants a video background. Maybe we need a media query that detects internet speed.
misterbwong 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this phenomenon getting worse now that responsive design is in vogue? We've collectively decided to shoehorn a website designed for the connectivity and speed of a desktop browser into a lower powered device with slower/spotty connectivity.

Genuinely curious: Why is this better than a mobile-friendly site designed specifically with the constraints of a mobile device in mind?

bsimpson 17 hours ago 4 replies      
Thought certainly an interesting anecdote, I don't understand how a video streaming site like YouTube would be useful in a market where a 100K download takes 2+ minutes. You'd have to open a page, walk away for an hour, and hope everything was OK when you got back.
jjzieve 14 hours ago 1 reply      
For some reason this whole problem reminds me of early game developers dealing with small amounts of RAM. Which clearly isn't a problem today. So would it be fair to say we should focus on increasing bandwidth to most of the world. I'm not saying page weight doesn't matter, but if you're just trying to get something off the ground maybe you shouldn't worry about it so much. I mean, why worry about users with poor bandwidth, if you don't even have users? If you already have a growing user base, then by all means refactor, reduce the footprint. But if you don't, code the damn bloated thing first.
paulirish 11 hours ago 0 replies      
More than page weight, this article demonstrates that averages are dangerous, especially for performance metrics. All key metrics should be plotted in 50/90/95/99 percentiles, and for latency-sensitive ones, geographic breakouts can often reveal a serious delta from the mean.
andrewstuart2 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Page weight may matter, but I think amortized page weight matters most. It's like the marshmallow experiment for the web. If you can make one request at 10x the size, but it's only made 1/100th as often (presumably spans multiple pages) then as long as people come back enough to justify that initial extra cost, you've effectively decreased to 1/10th again.

That's why I think AJAX, web manifest [1], indexedDB, localStorage, etc. need to be leveraged much more. Imagine most of your app loading without making a single request, except for the latest front page JSON, or the latest . You have a bunch already in indexedDB so you just ask the server "hey, what's new after ID X or timestamp T?"

So your two minutes just became a couple milliseconds (or whatever your disk latency happens to be), and the data loads shortly thereafter, assuming there's not much new data to send back. And if you don't need any new resources, you only had to make a single request.

[1] https://github.com/w3c/manifest

nicolethenerd 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see this again - I've told this story to many of my web dev students. :-)
userbinator 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a bit tangential, but how did we get from "size" to "weight"? It seems a bit of an odd phrasing to me. With the exception of ESL mistakes, I don't know of anyone or any software which refers to "file weight", for example.
hyperion2010 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Heh, I've been using flask tempting to make some html forms for exploring large datasets. Turns out when you have 6000 terms that show up in 6 different UI elements putting those in as raw html results in a 13mb file that compresses down to 520kb. Pretty awful use case for forms. I'm pretty prejudiced against JavaScript, but having seen this I now deeply appreciate being able to send something other than raw html.
cr4zy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend turning on page throttling in the Chrome Dev Tools sometime. You'll be amazed at even how slow even 4G seems.
csense 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I remember visiting microprose.com with my 14.4k modem in the mid-90s and being mad that they used so many images I had to wait for about 5-10 minutes or so. I couldn't effectively read it at home and usually ended up reading it at the library.

foxbarrington 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If it takes two minutes to load a 100kb page, does it take twenty minutes to watch a 1MB video? Over three hours to watch a 10MB video?
beatpanda 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I went to work for a company that makes a travel product used by people in almost every country in the world, after trying to use it in southeastern Europe. I told them their page weight was killing the experience, and wanted to join the front end team to fix it.

After 6 months of banging my head against a wall, I realized the reason we weren't fixing page weight was because our product managers didn't care about the experience of users in poorer countries, because they didn't have any money to spend anyway. Even though we had lots of users in those countries, and even though we made a big show of how you could use this app to travel anywhere in the world.

If there's a lesson there, its that as long as cold economic calculations drive product decisions, this stuff isn't going to get any better.

ninjakeyboard 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If it took two minutes to load the framing page, how would they be able to stream the video?
drikerf 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Great point and very important in times when bundling howmany? js dependencies for client apps.
chadwittman 15 hours ago 1 reply      
sirtastic 17 hours ago 1 reply      
WOW! Faster load times and lighter code makes for a better user experience? (mindblown)
Hacking for Security, and Getting Paid for It bits.blogs.nytimes.com
6 points by BobbyVsTheDevil  3 hours ago   discuss
       cached 16 October 2015 10:02:04 GMT