hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    19 Nov 2015 News
home   ask   best   2 years ago   
EU clamps down on Bitcoin, anonymous payments to curb terrorism funding reuters.com
54 points by ghosh  1 hour ago   39 comments top 17
Sealy 46 minutes ago 3 replies      
Good timing. Yesterday, the UK Treasury released an official document stating that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have the lowest risk and lowest likelihood of money laundering amongst the areas of finance they studied. Guess who came first, Banks. Good job HSBC! You have laundered more money ever then the entire cryptocurrency industry is worth... 10x over


HM Treasury link to the National Risk Assessment carried out by the Home Office:https://www.scribd.com/doc/290214176/UK-NRA-October-2015-Fin...

mootothemax 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Given how extremely traceable bitcoin payments are, I'm pretty surprised that they're not trying to get Bad People to use Bitcoin, whether publicly or behind-the-scenes.

I mean, in a way, maybe this is what this story is all about: a great big advertisement saying "Come use this completely anonymous payment system," with a sly nudge and a wink because bitcoin's nothing of the sort.

Just imagine: a plot is discovered, payment details made via bitcoin stumbled upon - and now you have a long list of every transaction those people have ever made using Bitcoin!

(for the inevitable bitcoin cult members wanting to chime in about "tumbling" or "fog" services, aka bitcoin money launderers, 1. they're still traceable and 2. there's not enough money going through them to successfully launder a four-digit amount, let alone anything greater.)

DamnYuppie 52 minutes ago 2 replies      
I didn't see in this article where they actually gave a valid reason for the crack down. Is there evidence that the funds for these attacks, or any others, originated from bitcoins?

The initial reaction of my inner knee-jerk skeptic says this is another example of those in power, this time banksters, not letting a good crisis go to waste.

joshstrange 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
sigh this /feels/ like it's in the same vein as "ban encryption". As in "we have no proof this is happening but the Paris attacks give us a window where we can push through whatever BS we want and silence any critics with 'Do you want this to happen again?'"
tlrobinson 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
So is this a case of "never let a serious crisis go to waste", or "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this"?
gtpasqual 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
EU should be focusing on the funders, but social repercussions would be negative towards certain groups.

I mean, if the payment process was the problem, they should ban money.

dtech 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
It looks to me more like this was something that was already planned and now they're using the Paris attacks as an excuse. Bitcoin is a lot less anonymous than cash, since everyone can follow who pays what to whom, and it's often possible to tie a wallet to an identity.
tomp 22 minutes ago 2 replies      
Will they also clamp down on Transferwise?

The fallacy here is, Bitcoin doesn't actually move money. It can only move ownership of money. If I want to finance terrorism, there must already be someone with e.g. $1M where I want it (in Islamic State), so that I can trade 3000 BTC with him/her.

tsmarsh 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Then ban cash. Either we're for anonymous currency or we're not.
tdkl 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cui bono ? [1]

Private banks run the western governments. There are people who own the banks. [2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cui_bono[2] http://www.scionofzion.com/federalreserve.htm

teekert 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Saudis use Bitcoin? Within the EU?
tankenmate 43 minutes ago 4 replies      
More importantly than their intent, exactly how do they expect to enforce this new "policy"? It seems to me to be as enforceable as banning individual to individual cash transactions. Good luck with that.
nickysielicki 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Down with terrorism! Woo hoo! Take that ISIS!
jmnicolas 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Before they had the "pedonazis", now they have the terrorists to justify whatever they want to ban.

Since the terrorists used cars for their attacks (there was even mention of a Volkswagen Polo involvement) I propose we ban cars for our collective safety.

I wonder, did the terrorists ever used cash, a debit or credit card ? Maybe we should ban this too then.

logingone 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
Tinkering around the edges. Why don't they clamp down on religion?
guard-of-terra 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
What can we do to counter this and teach them a lesson so this does not happen again?

Where is our community long term planning?

They (people that nobody voted for doing what they do) are engaged in this unrightful activity without no punishment in sight. This is wrong.

vdaniuk 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
So it goes. Terror attacks provide opportunities for special interest groups to advance their agenda while public is frightened and irrational. Makes you think about the implicit beneficiaries of terrorism, doesn't it?
Berlin public transport in real time vbb.de
224 points by fdellavedova  4 hours ago   95 comments top 40
DangerousPie 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like they are just interpolating the location between two stations using the expected arrival times. If no expected arrival times are available, they simply simulate the location to match the planned arrival times. So this is not really "live".

> VBB-Livekarte zeigt berechnete Positionen der Fahrzeuge zwischen zwei Stationen; falls kein Live-Fahrplan vorhanden, dann Position gem geplanten Fahrzeiten

trymas 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Real time public transport in Vilnius: http://stops.lt/vilnius/#vilnius/map/en

Select this icon: http://stops.lt/vilnius/_images/vehicles.gif, on the right, to show vehicles as bubbles.

It is real time from GPS transmitters inside the vehicles.

benten10 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cool idea for the hackers out there:

Use public transport data from all the sources below, overlap them on Google aerial view, change the dots to 'top view' images of buses, and let the users follow buses in 'real time' across 'real life' map. It'll be like a real-time satellite imagery!

Also: keep the directions in mind. This one (posted downthread) shows where the buses are pointed too. http://traintimes.org.uk/map/london-buses/#41

Link me if someone decides/has done this. I might be able to contribute

jejones3141 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Neat. In Pittsburgh, I think all the buses now have GPS and report their location. There's an app that displays the locations of buses on the routes you select.

Alas, I've seen several cases in which the bus's labeling is in error, with the driver calling out the correct route to people at bus stops. Sadly that doesn't affect the reported route or correct what the app displays.

dearmrpres 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a similar tool for the whole world created by a german student a few years ago - http://tracker.geops.de - albeit without RT data for berlin because apparently they dont have access to it. But they do have RT data for the netherlands.
gevz 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Open-source platform that provide real-time info for Atlanta, Puget Sound, Tampa, York, or New York City. http://onebusaway.org/
ddfreyne 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This appears to use the theoretical schedule, rather than real-time information. I live next to a busy tram line, and what I see through the window does not match what the site shows.
sccxy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
deanclatworthy 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Helsinki has one for their trams, subway and ferries:http://live.mattersoft.fi/hsl/Default.aspx?lang=en

I really wish there was this service for buses. Quite often the digital displays saying when the bus will arrive are inaccurate, as are the actual timetables printed on the bus stop (when there is traffic etc.)

pranavrc 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wrote a client-side library for this: http://onloop.net/transithttp://onloop.net/chennairailmap

All the transport maps at that time I knew about, like Swisstrains (http://maps.vasile.ch/transit-sbb/), worked off webservers, so that was the motivation behind writing a purely client-side app.

rplnt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's one for Brno (Czech Republic) and surrounding areas (South Moravia region): http://iris.bmhd.cz/

You can enable/disable different types of vehicles: trams, trolleybuses, city buses, regional buses, regional trains, ships (in that order).

No ships today, as the season ended last month).

teamhappy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm glad they use OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps. Well done.
abetusk 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I created a real time map for Boston: http://bostontraintrack.com .

It uses live data but it doesn't interpolate position. It updates about every 15-20s or so. Source is available (and FOSS) [1].

[1] https://github.com/abetusk/bostontraintrack

aylons 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
So Paulo: http://tracker.geops.ch/?z=13&s=1&x=-5192138.9629&y=-2699539...

Small blue points are buses, larger circles are on rails (subway and trains).

antr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A keynote worth watching regarding transport visualisation: http://www.architecture.io/talks/till-nagel-unfolding-the-ci...
jacko0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Real time London Transport Visualization. Available on GitHub too.


ViziCities is the first project to visualise the entire London Underground network in 3D using accurate station depths. Not only that, we also visualise real, live trains moving along the 3D network.

ff7c11 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Was glad to see them using OpenStreetMap.
agumonkey 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Not bad, but I just two trains collide into a building. A bit frightening at first.
sawwit 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A live map that loads in 2 seconds on my machine is Internet done right. Well done.
eddd 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I missing something, or these updates are just estimates? I could see any periodical http requests, long running call or web sockets open.
DCoder 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Vilnius, Lithuania: http://stops.lt/vilnius/#vilnius/map/en click "Show vehicles").
mineo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The same thing exists for regional and inter city trains in germany that the Deutsche Bahn is responsible for: http://www.apps-bahn.de/bin/livemap/query-livemap.exe/dn?L=v...
graffitici 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Now I'm even more glad I moved to Berlin from NYC..!
orthur_b 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Also public transport in Saint Petersburg http://transport.orgp.spb.ru/Portal/transport/main;jsessioni...
EiZei 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Obligatory "my city has one too!"-post for Helsinki:http://live.mattersoft.fi/hsl/
gpvos 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Curiously, when you zoom out, you can scroll as far east as the Polish/Byelorussian border, but in west/south direction you can barely see all of former East Germany.
sashazykov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.map.gortransperm.ru/ - Perm, Russia. You need to select a route and click "show vehicles" button to see it. ( annotated screenshot http://i.imgur.com/g0OGJsG.png
eloy 4 hours ago 4 replies      
The URL:

> http://fahrinfo.vbb.de/bin/help.exe

Who would run this on a webserver?

kevindeasis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is one for SF: https://www.sflivebus.com/
supermatt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I was watching 2 S-Bahn approaching each other towards the centre of where the map loads. Creeping ever closer, then BAM! only one visible and stationary for the past minute. Should I call the emergency services? ;)

Looks awesome by the way, I wish this were more common. In the UK, many similar projects were shut down over IP issues.

gpvos 2 hours ago 1 reply      
LoSboccacc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
this could be used to make the most incredible 'scotland yard' mmowiw
rtpg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
does anyone know the Tokyo one? pretty impressive how many trains are going through some stations there...
TeMPOraL 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's awesome. The good side of data collecting :).
haser_au 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome
silvestrov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Try check all checkboxes and zoom out 2 steps. It's a huge number of buses.
dannytip 4 hours ago 1 reply      
We so need this in the UK
merlingore 4 hours ago 6 replies      
Isn't this a security concern?
kidsil 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is crazy interesting
zwarag 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Comcast injects JavaScript into webpages to show copyright notices to customers github.com
421 points by Jarred  9 hours ago   214 comments top 46
JustTim 54 minutes ago 3 replies      
Comcast is on my list today for a different reason. We have Comcast Business Class service at one of our FL locations.

Tuesday we could not access VNC nor our remote database services from that location. All port 80 traffic was fine. I had one of the staff call, wait on hold for an hours.

Just as I suspected Comcast had implemented port blocking on a high priced business account. It took the guy a second to release it. It put our company down for two to three hours.

Also the speed of Comcast service drops to 15-20% of advertised from 2:30 to 5 PM when kids arrive home from school.

Once the contract is up we are moving the service to someone who understands "business class"

rtl49 7 hours ago 2 replies      
What is there to say? This is an incredibly obnoxious theft of attention. Comcast has perfected the art of harassing its customers with unwelcome noise for what must be marginal profit. I know someone with a Comcast cable box whose channel menu forces the viewer to pass over a banner advertisement after every fourth channel. This combined with the horrible rubbery buttons on the remote means that to browse through twenty channel titles takes perhaps as many seconds. Add to this "actionable" banner advertisements displayed over the content and seemingly endless commercial "breaks" and I find it essentially unusable. On top of it all, I understand that people pay over a thousand dollars a year for this service. Comcast's flagrant disregard for customer satisfaction, or even their basic human dignity, is a striking testament to the failure of regulators to ensure adequate competition in this space.
api_or_ipa 8 hours ago 2 replies      
HTTPS Everywhere can't happen too soon.

This is abusive. Imagine if anyone else had access to pus you notifications by intercepting your communications. Imagine Uncle Sam interrupting your calls announcing you haven't submitted your tax returns yet. Because that's basically what's happening here.

Jach 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The header and people's reactions makes it seem Comcast will just do this on a whim as if it's inspecting the page you visit and deciding on the page to display the warning or not. If you read the screenshot, it's just a notice that someone filed a complaint against your IP, and Comcast is alerting you via email, maybe phone, maybe even a letter, and now your web browser. One might argue whether it's better they redirect you to a Comcast Message Page on their own domain one time. One might argue that this is a "feature" on the level of Comcast DNS servers that "helpfully" forward your bad domains to a search engine instead of giving a proper server not found response.

Don't want to receive these messages from Comcast? Don't seed your torrents.

golemotron 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I think this is actually illegal. If you own the copyright for your content and they inject into it, they are creating a derived work without your permission.
thejaredhooper 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
> {zIndex: 999999}

Something so simple as this CSS property shows you the intent behind the code. They're basically saying "screw every bit of content on this page."

samdroid 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The `checkBrowser` function says it is from brainjar.com and used under their terms of service. On the brainjar.com terms of service, it seems to say the code is licensed under the GPLv2+.

Doesn't this make the Comcast script now under the GPL - since GPL code can only be included in compatibly licensed products. Or is Comcast violating the GPL?

wmt 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Always using VPN has really made using Internet a lot nicer place, I can use any Wifi without any fears, don't have to care about ISPs doing funny things with my traffic, and if I get country blocked content I can just quickly route my traffic to another exit node.

Of course then the VPN provider is the single point of failure, but if it's trustworthy enough only folks with proper court orders should have access to my traffic. And it's an extra ten bucks per month or so.

mbesto 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> Click the button below to confirm you received this Copyright Alert and to close it.

> <button>Close this message</button>

Ahhhh, enterprise IT and corporate counsel synergy at it's finest.

shade23 6 hours ago 1 reply      
They apparently started small, But this has been happening for more than a year now[1],[2]?I wonder if there have been any repercussions yet :


guelo 7 hours ago 3 replies      
You don't have to use Comcast. I sacrificed Comcast's speed and went with a local, privacy conscious DSL provider and I couldn't be happier. I'm getting about 6mbps with dual bonded phone lines. It's kind of pricey at $80 but it's worth it knowing I'm dealing with an honest business. In most areas there are alternatives and DSL is available everywhere, it's worth it even if it's a lot slower for the peace of mind. As long as you don't trade in one evil giant corp for another like AT&T or Verizon.
poizan42 7 hours ago 0 replies      
How does this go along with ISPs being classified as common carriers? Are they actually allowed to modify the data they are carrying?
austerity 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I wonder what's in it for them? Sending an email should be enough to comply with DMCA. Are they paid by some copyright groups or just being a pushover?
mavrc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
CableOne does this for lots of different stuff. If you're over your bandwidth cap, if you haven't paid your bill yet...

Come to think of it, we have had a rocky relationship, they and I.

chris-at 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't Comcast be violating the copyright of every site it injects this code into?
thoughtexpt 7 hours ago 1 reply      
From what domain does comcast.js originate? Does the injection still work if we block connections to the IP for that domain?
chrisBob 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If I serve a page with a no-derivative license can I sue Comcast for the license violation? There must be a good way to legally stop this.
KhalilK 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Same was done during the Tunisian revolution only to inject keyloggers.
closetnerd 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This shouldn't be possible with https enabled website right? Or am I missing something?
zackboe 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Cox Communications also injects js to display downtime messages and data usage alerts when nearing the upper limits of their now enforced data caps. Their response to a FCC complaint was essentially "it's convenient for our users"
magoon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This means Comcast is assembling the packets up to the application layer for deep inspection and injection, which slows down receipt of the packets because it must receive the full payload before processing, reassembling, and transmitting.
supernintendo 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Out of curiosity, I wanted to know what the maximum z-index is. The CSS 2.1 spec doesn't present this information, but it turns out to be 2147483647 (the maximum value for a 32-bit integer).

Now what does that z-index say about the JavaScript developer who chose it? "Fuck it, 999999 is enough." Man, what a tool.

hippo8 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Sorry for the silly question. Is it possible to have an internet without ISPs?
jand 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to me, as if they also do some magic to intercept requests to the currently visited page. They use a relative path url (SYS_URL) to poll for a state and to send the acknowledgement (functions checkBulletin() and sendAck()). From my understanding that would be a request to the current domain/visited page, right?

So they just intercept their 'own' magic url, but it bothers me somehow.

Can anybody confirm this? My uptime is far beyond reasonable.

akerro 3 hours ago 0 replies      
headingtext2: '<strong>AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMCAST</strong>'


gargravarr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If there was ever a reason for HTTPS to be default on every site, this is it
chrisan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Anyone know how to reproduce this? I'm on Comcast Xfinity and I can't find it on any HTTP page I visit.
atthegate 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I was hit with this a couple of months ago. A one-line Chrome extension handled it fairly well...

> document.getElementById('comcast_content').remove();

k_vi 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This might not be relevant to the topic(I don't use Comcast), but Im curious how web elements are forced to be overlay consistently across all websites, doesn't the existing css properties on the page affect the behaviour of the injected scripts?
rubyfan 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
And then we all started using Tor.
mikeryan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
They've done similar before


Back then it was to alert folks who were hitting bandwidth quotas and you could make the argument they were trying to help but this one, ugh.

Cymen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there an example of this in action Jarred? I'm on a Comcast connection right now (DSL was too slow). Looks like it has been happening for a while -- from 2013:


Blog post: http://blog.ryankearney.com/2013/01/comcast-caught-intercept...

So also used when you near the monthly traffic cap (if your area has active caps).

andyjohnson0 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't live in the US, but what are the countermeasures for exploits like this? Is there a local proxy that can strip this and similar js out, and would it be simple enough for non-expert users to deploy?
userbinator 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Emailing is not enough? I wonder who came up with this idea.
yAnonymous 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They're causing damage to the sites where this is injected. Couldn't the owners sue them?
tzmudzin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
... and now Comcast will sue for posting this very code to Github. I am sure it is copyrighted...

And it does not matter that they pushed it down the throat of their paying customers...

I am a big fan of rules & regulations, but in cases like these I'm afraid as a society we play stupid games (... and win stupid prizes...)

grantk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's my 2c, this code is shit.
jupp0r 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Even more reason to drive opportunistic encryption.
wmf 7 hours ago 6 replies      
The root of this problem is that there is no "control channel" (or whatever you want to call it) from an ISP to its customers. Email doesn't work because ISPs don't always have the customer's address and email can get spam filtered. Paper mail is expensive and may not be read. Until someone defines and implements a protocol for this, ISPs are going to keep inventing weird kludges. I wonder if Hotspot 2.0 can be adapted for wired networks.
grantk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's My 2c, this code is shit.
lrsh2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder why none of these programmers who do such webpages not visit HN? Are they in a different planet :-(
anonymfus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How it is not network neutrality violation?
mahouse 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem is not that Comcast does it, the problem is that the US government allows them to do it
Zekio 6 hours ago 1 reply      
would the Https Everywhere plugin prevent this?
kensign 6 hours ago 0 replies      
such total shit
jsatk 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Chuck Forsberg has died author of Zmodem anewtradition.com
94 points by jacquesm  4 hours ago   30 comments top 12
dmd 2 hours ago 2 replies      
My teenage impression of the Kermit and Zmodem protocols, written in the mid 90s:

heres my impression of how kermit works

client: here is byte number 1server: i have received byte number 1. the checksum was 3.client: i agree that the checksum was 3. server: ok, were done with byte number 1. client: I agree, were done with byte number 1. client: heres byte number 2. server: you know, its not easy being green

now zmodem zmodem goes something like this:

client: Im gonna send you about 200k now, and youre gonna bend over and take it server: thank you sir! ( ) server: ok, got 200k, checksum was 523client: DID I ASK YOUR FUCKING OPINION?server: NO SIR! SORRY SIR!

vidarh 4 hours ago 1 reply      
One of my first contract development jobs came in '96 when a research group in Norway was going to do a demo of their autonomous underwater mapping submersible for some US navy brass. Problem was the tiny tracking boat that was following the submersible on the surface to receive the data (via an accoustic link..) would not hold everyone who was going to be in attendance, so they needed a way to stream the data from the tracking boat to a US navy ship to display it on some Sun workstation there.

For some reason they'd decided the best option was GSM data. 9600bps should be fine - the mapping data feed was about 2400bps. Problem of course was both of these ships would be out in a fjord, far from any cells, and in motion.

So I ended up writing a little proxy that they'd connect to and feed data that'd do automatic redialling and then layered a variant of the zmodem protocol on top of that to handle re-sending of data, and tuned it for specifics of the app to minimize delays in catching up to the live feed.

I'd used zmodem a lot in my BBS days before, but that was the last time.

cubano 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Oh this is truly sad news.

I first started my online journey with a 300bps Hayes modem and an original 4.77mhz IBM PC, connecting with a service called The Source in 1981. I soon moved on to Compuserve and then, of course, BBSs.

The first protocol I remember using was not Zmodem, but Xmodem, which as I recall, had a really nasty habit of losing its place in the middle of a 2 hour download, forcing you to start completely over.

Remember, Compuserve costed $5/hr(!), so these disconnect/restarts were not only really annoying but quite expensive.

Zmodem solved this problem very nicely...it was smart enough to restart downloads at the point of disconnect, and because of this, Chuck was a hero of my youth.

Rest wel...NO CARRIER...

jacquesm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In the pre-internet-for-everybody days (and even quite a while afterwards) zmodem and other file transfer protocols were pretty much the only way short of mailing floppy discs to get a file from one place to another, and there wasn't a terminal package or a BBS system that did not support it. Even today plenty of terminal programs will happily respond to the download initiation sequence.
pilif 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Back in 2005 we had a really bad issue with ZModem to a barcode terminal over an USB2Serial adaptor and Chuck helped us as a consultant.

I've just dug out the old emails we've exchanged back in the day and I remember how great it felt when after only two days, he solved the problem we've been working on for weeks.

I was so happy to finally see our problem go away.

sphildreth 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
What an awesome obituary.
huhtenberg 3 hours ago 2 replies      
ZModem and a ZyXEL was all you needed to BBS like a boss even on the crappiest phone lines. Golden times :)
rmason 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I attended several BBSCon which was a BBS conference sponsored by BoardWatch magazine. It later morphed into ISPCon.

Chuck Forsberg was a featured speaker from the beginning at BBSCon. Here's audio of him talking with Ward Christensen, inventor of XModem as well as CBBS which was the world's first BBS.


BBSCon was a small and intimate conference and I got to meet Chuck, John Dvorak and Peter Tattam who were all heroes of mine.

magoon 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Brings back memories. I used the official Omen Technology software externally on my BBS because it was better than the software's built-in implementation.

Omen also had a terminal client that was equally as cumbersome to use, but quite powerful. I used it for a few months until the richness of Terminate pulled me back.

voltagex_ 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I tinker with embedded hardware in my spare time, basically anything I can get serial out on. It seems like I could learn a lot from zmodem - but where do I start?
ath0 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Posting to +1 only because of my username for the last 25 years. Godspeed.
Using OpenStreetMap and GraphHopper to visit every pub in Dublin graphhopper.com
54 points by rmc  4 hours ago   11 comments top 4
anjc 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
27 days eh...? Temptation rising...
karussell 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Peter the author of GraphHopper here, let me know if you have any questions
SlashmanX 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I think 'every pub' is a bit of a stretch, I've seen a good few missing just from a quick glance at the map.

Apart from that, I do love these type of projects. People who see a story of a guy following something manual (a book) and thinking "Hmmm, I wonder if I could make something to help with that/do that for me"

gloves 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You could just miss out Temple Bar too, unless you want tourist traps galore.
Unikernels, meet Docker unikernel.org
32 points by amirmc  2 hours ago   10 comments top 2
amirmc 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
We'll be releasing the code sometime tomorrow afternoon. We need a bit of extra time to clear out the unused code, make a readme, and also get some rest. :)

I'll add a link to the blog post when it's live.

anonymousDan 59 minutes ago 3 replies      
I think rump kernels are definitely the future. It will be interesting to see if any of the other *nixes attempt to reorganize their kernels a la NetBSD to make them potentially useable as rump kernels.
Obesity Paradox: Overweight patients with some chronic conditions fare better qz.com
11 points by Amorymeltzer  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
ucaetano 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article seems to mix "thin" and "normal weight" all the time, being just poorly written. Including underweight people and normal people in the "thin" category is a major mistake.

Also, this quote is troubling:"That people at higher weights are going to be OK."

Not only NOTHING in the article supports that, almost every single piece or research shows the opposite: that in general, people at higher weights have much higher mortality rates. The article just shows that, when some chronic diseases are present, overweight people seem to fare better than non-overweight (which I take includes underweight people).

Even if they fare better under certain very specific conditions, in general they fare quite worse. Source:http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/questions/ask-th...

Zarkonnen 8 minutes ago 1 reply      
AFAIK a plausible thesis for why overweight is correlated with better health is that the extra fat means greater energy stores in times of crisis. Basically, if you're thin and you get sick or injured, your body doesn't have the resources to heal itself effectively.
Biohackers Creating Open-Source Insulin popsci.com
122 points by pavornyoh  7 hours ago   42 comments top 14
replicatorblog 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I worked in diabetes for a decade so thought I'd chime in. This is an admirable project with very low prospects of making a difference in the lives of people with diabetes. I don't doubt this group will be able to show "success" in the form of simple clinical results.

I have the highest doubts that they'd have the resources to do the broad-based clinical trials required to go to market.

Look up "Eroom's Law" which is "Moore's Law" spelled backwards: http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v11/n3/fig_tab/nrd3681_F1....

Basically, the increases in pharma regulation means it takes longer and gets more expensive to create a new drug each year.

This is a cool science project, but the reporting around it is sensational and not helpful to the millions of people with diabetes who have their cranks yanked regularly about miracle cures, cost-saving fantasies, etc.

To address some raised in sub-threads:

+ You can get extraordinarily cheap drugs in India, the rest of the developing world, and in parts of Europe. The "greedy" drug companies adjust pricing to what local markets can bear. So instead of letting poor people die en masse they mark the drugs down and pass the cost onto the developed world. Fair trade IMO.

+ The reason there are so few generic insulins is that they are hard to make consistently enough to please the FDA and European regulators. Companies like Teva and Perrigo are multi-billion dollar manufacturers of generic drugs who would love to get get into this game, but as noted, biosimilar drugs, especially ones as powerful as insulins, are a lot harder to copy than aspirin.

snewk 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Member of the project here;

Since we have already met our target $ for phase I, we opened up a stretch goal to fund phase II.

We are in the early stages of establishing the protocols for cutting and folding the proinsulin into its final, active form, and are looking into purification methods sufficient for research and potential pharmaceutical use.

Meeting stretch goals will help us purchase the reagents and equipment necessary to execute these protocols.

cant_kant 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is an price from an Indian site"Actrapid Insulin, Neutral 40IU x 1mL10mlActrapid VIAL145.00 " http://www.drugsupdate.com/brand/showavailablebrands/830/1

That is $2.19 according to xe.com and is a branded version made by Novo Nordisk. So if you use 40 units a day, it would be less than $7 a month.

Greater regulation, higher wages and higher occupational health and safety standards keep the price higher in the US.

mdup 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I remember reading in another HN thread about insulins (too lazy to search it right now) that plenty of prototype insulins have been developed, but most of them could cause nasty diseases, notably cancer. Hence only a low number of well-tested commercial insulins have been pushed to the market. Does someone knowledgeable have more info about those "good" vs. "bad" insulins?
cant_kant 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Kevin Riggs, an instructor in medicine at Johns Hopkins University who co-authored an article about generic insulin earlier this year, doesn't think that Open Insulin will be enough to bring a generic insulin drug to the market:

I don't think the major hurdle is that the companies don't know how to make insulin, because that part is reasonably straightforward, he says. The real hurdles are getting the drug approved by the FDA (and since insulin is a biologic drug, it requires a lot more original data than an application for a small-molecule generic would), and then upfront manufacturing costs (because making a biologic drug is different, so it requires different equipment). "

jacquesm 6 hours ago 1 reply      
That's on first glance a really nice project and goal but $12K to create a generic insulin is not going to cut it.

That will barely get you a kitchen, not a laboratory that will produce something that will pass FDA approval after you spend a very large multiple of that on tests.

kgwgk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> Since there are no generic versions available in the United States, insulin is very expensive

I don't know if that might qualify as very expensive but one can get one month worth of insulin for $50.


ff7c11 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Not going to happen."Biohacking" is 100% hype. 0% science.On insulin specifically: http://blog.indysci.org/insulin-is-hard-but-not-impossible/
fabian2k 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My impression is that the production of biological drugs (as opposed to small molecules) is simply more expensive on a large scale. There isn't as much potential to save costs as with small molecule generic drugs.

This seems to be a small-scale expression and optimization, and I'd guess that this is not the expensive part of developing a generic insulin. Large-scale manufacturing and making sure you're producing the correct molecule reliable, and then demonstrating that to the FDA are probably orders of magnitude more expensive.

eveningcoffee 5 hours ago 1 reply      
United States, insulin is very expensivethat cost was likely a large proportion of the $176 billion in medical expenditures incurred by diabetes patients in 2012 alone.

Well, the report itself says:

prescription medications to treat complications of diabetes (18%)

So this is up to $31.68 billion in 2012. I will assume for simplification that all of it goes for insulin.

There are about 20 million patients in US (according to http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/). So this puts us into $100-150 in a month range for the insulin.

unknown_apostle 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand this. So just one question: if it's that simple, why hasn't the market done it yet?
ZLeviathan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
guys, please tweet or share this news to your friends.
ZLeviathan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
truly remarkable only if it's real...
New Research Finds That Algorithms Are Better Than Humans at Hiring bloomberg.com
33 points by T-A  4 hours ago   25 comments top 9
gtpasqual 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
At first, I thought about this very negatively.

Then, I remembered how awful and idiotic most of my HR managers were. The parameters they used to select people were all based on their own biased upper-class background.

Now, an algorithm, if well-written, could grasp many other parameters that would be much more relevant. Innate and applicable abilities an HR manager would never consider.

lordnacho 1 hour ago 2 replies      
We should expect machines to be better than humans when there's a bunch of standardised, static, objective criteria, eg number of calls made and such. It's like looking at sports, where it's also quite clear that Messi and Ronaldo are in a league of their own. Any kind of personal hunch is likely to be either wrong, or something that data could quantify more precisely.

The thing is performance is often subjective, and it's often not possible to tell how a team will change from adding a member. (In football you can at least try to look at national/club team differences, or stats that changed after a player changed clubs). When people change jobs, they often change roles, and the firms they are joining have different positions in the market, and different aims.

JulianMorrison 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"...better than humans at hiring replaceable drone-serfs in an inhumane, inhuman industry which burns people out like they were incandescent bulbs", for sure.
ucaetano 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very relevante snippet:

"Looking across 15 companies and more than 300,000 hires in low-skill service-sector jobs, such as data entry and call center work, NBER researchers compared the tenure of employees who had been hired based on the algorithmic recommendations of a job test with that of people who'd been picked by a human."

The headlines are far too general and deceptive. It's like saying "computer are better than humans at playing games" because computer bet humans in chess.

jokoon 2 hours ago 1 reply      
How do you define a better employee though ? I mean employers might want to hire people they like, not people who are better at their job. Skill can also be subjective. Sometimes it's about having a good relationship inside a company.

I'm all for hiring people based on their skill, experience and potential, but don't think employers will want to let algorithm do the job of HR. Many hires are based on social contact and first impression, and I don't think anyone want to change that idea of a company being a group of people getting along.

Being able to hire whoever you want is am important liberty. If people were letting algorithms do the job, they might not like it. I guess it's part of the "machine will decide for us" debate.

Anyway, I'm unemployed, so by no mean I could be against change of any sort.

sudeepj 3 hours ago 3 replies      
The thing with algorithms in such use-cases is that once people know the algorithm (even partially), they will start gaming it. E.g. Google's ranking algorithm and there are companies who do SEO.
riskneural 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmmm. Are the best hiring managers attracted to such jobs? I would not enjoy interviewing so many people.
guard-of-terra 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Of course computers are better than humans when they both have same amount of rigid standardized data.

The elephant in the room is: when you do in-person interview, human captures much more data than computer will ever know. We make dives into candidate's background and skills. Dives that you can't put into data model.

Of course that doesn't matter much for low-skill jobs.

NIH to retire all research chimpanzees nature.com
33 points by sethbannon  4 hours ago   6 comments top 3
adamc 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
Finally! I think it was obvious decades ago that this was ethically wrong, but we were blinded by the benefits to us.
vinay427 1 hour ago 0 replies      
About time. I was watching a CBC documentary on a sanctuary in Louisiana and the US was clearly criticized as an outlier in this respect. The chimpanzees are treated terribly with no regard given for their livelihood. Nothing should have to go through that in my opinion. This policy is a few decades late but better late than never.
krisdol 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Florida is about to get a lot more crowded
Web login using SSH github.com
13 points by levosmetalo  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
jamescun 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
I've had this idea before, nice to see it implemented. The reason I've never pursued it as I'm not quite sure what the actual user experience or benefit over traditional 2FA systems is.
mbrock 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sweet. You can fetch keys from GitHub by username without authenticating, so that could be a convenient way to avoid having to paste keys.
Elsevier Says Content-Mining Research Papers 'Could Be Considered' Stealing techdirt.com
83 points by walterbell  6 hours ago   28 comments top 12
linhchi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Now they want to define "meta-research" as stealing, too. I can't imagine how would someone buy that.

Knowledge is something you cannot capture, that's why they have to try to "protect" the symbols. And they can go this far with that deed.

Why activists can read and handle degrading words from rich publishers (theft, stealing..), but ignorants cannot read the argument of activists? This is far too confusing to me.


(I think publishers are feeling threatened as the free culture grows)

edit: the speaker explains copyright maths (a special kind of maths used by media lobby experts), very enjoyable :D


gamesbrainiac 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think Elsevier is resorting to things like this because it is incapable of capitalizing on their current assets and infrastructure in a constructive manner.

Consider the fact that Elsevier locks up millions of dollars in public funded research behind their paywall, and then you'll see the irony of what they claim.

EngineerBetter 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Is this why they bought Mendeley, a document-management start-up who did a lot of data mining on academic papers, including terabytes of Elsevier's?

Hint: probably. I used to work there.

diakritikal 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think I probably consider tax payer funded research being locked up behind a corporate paywall "stealing", so yeah they can go jump in a loch...
scotty79 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't theft a crime? Isn't publicly accusing someone of a crime he did not commit a slander? Should all content-mining researches sue Elsevier for slander? I don't see why not.
MrPatan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They are on the way out. Yes, they'll take a shit on the carpet before leaving, but they are on the way out.
bigiain 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In related news - "Elsevier considers citing research papers to be stealing".


claudius 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I dont quite see the issue here. Elseviers terms of service for subscriptions very likely explicitly ban bulk downloading. As such, they have every right to expect subscribers not to bulk download and further every right to ban specific subscribers (i.e. university libraries) if they violate those ToS. Nothing new, nothing exciting.

If you want to be able to freely access and bulk download the papers published by your peers, maybe you should make sure that those peers publish in journals that allow such downloads. Maybe you yourself should also only publish in journals that allow these downloads. Possibly, you could even run your own preprint server where everyone can submit their texts and which then can be made available in bulk to interested parties.

Breaking contracts you (or a person acting on your behalf) agreed to doesnt help at all in the long run boycotting those who only offer contracts you dont like until they either change or go away is a much more viable, ethically acceptable and generally more enjoyable alternative.

And hey, if your method to detect fraud is successful, market pressure alone might be enough: after all, who wants to submit to a shady journal which doesnt have its articles automatically checked for large-scale fraud regularly? Surely, only fraudsters

dropit_sphere 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fortunately, we all trust Elsevier implicitly as moral arbiters.
davelnewton 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Elsevier says a lot of things.
squat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The American Physical Society recently blocked my IP and contacted my university after I downloaded about 30 papers within one hour (manually, while researching an unfamiliar topic). My department's IT team called me and asked me to shut down my mass download bot :D. APS staff were very friendly and lifted all restricitons after I contacted them though.
versteegen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The title is link-bait. That really isn't what Elsevier is saying here. They are complaining that this researcher broke the terms for the university's subscription. On their website they state: [0]

"""Further, we're looking at how we ensure that researchers know what they can and cannot do with content, or where to go for further information, without giving the impression that we are claiming ownership over non-copyrightable facts and data."""

Regarding this case, (IANAL) it seems to be that if their APIs worked properly, then Elsevier is completely in the right (especially in the UK) in demanding that papers only be accessed through the API. If they don't work, as the researcher alleges, then would I agree that's he's in the right.

A couple weeks ago I was reading all about Elsevier's APIs for downloading papers [1]. If you're at an institution that has access to ScienceDirect or Scopus then it seems you can easily get a key that gives you full access to everything, including papers in XML instead of PDF if you want (eg. a mathml-like for equations, paragraphs, figures, tables all marked up). However Elsevier make it very difficult to find the actual terms and conditions for text mining on their website, despite numerous pages which run you in circles. They are here [4].

To summarise them (again, IANAL): non-commercial research use only. You can't share the raw text mining output except with other people belonging to your institution/subscriber, although you could allow indirect access through e.g. a website. You can also distribute short snippets from the text with a copyright notice. You can keep the downloaded data until your API key expires, which happens if you stop using it or your institution stops subscribing.

I also found it strange that Elsevier forbid redistributing the abstracts of papers [3], considering that they are publicly accessible.

It would be fantastic if publishers couldn't restrict the use of the information in the articles they published, even for commercial use. Anything that any human learns from a copyrighted work can normally be used without restriction, why wouldn't the same apply to machine learning? However I assume that when you sign an agreement providing access to data (e.g. subscribe to Scopus) that you can sign away that sort of right (e.g. NDAs). The Hague Declaration [2] is a great initiative in this direction but unfortunately it's only petitioning for the rights of researchers.

[0] https://www.elsevier.com/connect/how-does-elseviers-text-min...

[1] http://dev.elsevier.com/

[2] https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/45456

[3] http://dev.elsevier.com/policy.html

[4] https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/102234/...

DEC's No Output Division Memo (1982) [pdf] computerhistory.org
44 points by zhte415  5 hours ago   17 comments top 7
OliverJones 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Late 1980s joke: "How many people work at DEC?" "About a quarter of them."

Pay increases were a percentage of each group's payroll. Several groups had CTs (corporate turkeys). These were highly compensated people with a dotted line relationship to Dr. Bell's No Output Division. The deal was, they could work on NOD projects to their hearts' content, but they should not expect raises. That allowed the raise budget to be spent on the other folks.

For a while they had a policy that poor performers had their performance reviews delayed. This meant that you couldn't tell if it was you yourself who was incompetent, or your manager. (Incompetent managers often were late doing performance reviews for their people.)

Now all that's left is the Digital Credit Union. It's sad; they had many great people and some great products.

TravelTechGuy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That reminds me of a discussion we had when I was working for * (one of the large tech companies in Silicon Valley): The conclusion arrived at was that if a freak meteor would hit our campus and take out just middle management, the rest of the company could come in tomorrow - hold a mandatory memorial service - and go on with their work, with higher productivity.
A_Beer_Clinked 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice find.Relatedly I found this brief history of DEC:From: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Digital_Equipment_Corp.asp...

>There was virtually no organizational structure during Digitals early years because Olsen was committed to creating an environment much like the research labs at MIT. A temporary position as liaison between MIT and IBM in 1959 convinced Olsen that the hierarchy at companies like IBM did not allow for creativity and the flow of ideas.

Sound familiar to anyone here?

cafard 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting and amusing, but pointless task forces aren't what ruined DEC.
spacecowboy_lon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Its not excessively hard to make people redundant especially in the USA I don't see the issue that DEC management have here.
radoslawc 4 hours ago 2 replies      
NOD should be by default in every big company
versteegen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Judging by the complete lack of information on Google beyond copies of this memo, I would guess that the idea was never taken up.
A Zero Day Brokers Price List wired.com
22 points by pthreads  2 hours ago   5 comments top 2
roel_v 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So finding a way to sneak an obfuscated bug into a library used by Webkit now yields 500k? Opens the door for a whole new class of 'open source monetization strategies'. Seems like it starts to make sense to pay people to infiltrate core dev groups of infrastructure libraries.
kpcyrd 1 hour ago 2 replies      
So they know about vulnerabilities in all those products and keep them private for profit?

Good thing the secret services have no access to those exploits. Fun times we live in.

Edit: /s was omitted as an exercise for the reader.

Zero taxes for startups in Albania digjitale.com
40 points by dcustodio  5 hours ago   28 comments top 9
Gys 2 hours ago 3 replies      
To pay taxes there has to be a profit first. The concept of a startup in general is complete focus on fast growth: every penny earned, borrowed, received is invested and therefore no profit is made. So most startups will not pay taxes anyway, wherever they are.

I think a well developed tech culture and VC companies for example are more important.

csomar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Tunisia also has no tax until you reach a certain threshold. I also guess no taxman will be interested in you until you reach some threshold. Taxes aside, there are many other things to consider if you want to run an Internet company.

- Internet connection.

- Internet and Digital Laws.

- Banking Options.

- Administrative complications.

- Accounting and Legal infrastructure.

- Office space, living costs, labor work-force...

winter_blue 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Startups and small businesses in the United States organized as "S corporations" also pay zero taxes, and the qualification rules are a lot more permissive.

To be a United States S corp the rules are:

1) Number of shareholders <= 100

2) All shareholders are humans and U.S. residents

3) There is only one class of stock

For more, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S_corporation

danieltillett 4 hours ago 1 reply      
How did they manage to get the Albanian Mafia to agree to a tax rate of zero?
DominikR 27 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's good that Albania tries to diversify its narrow economy of organ and sex trafficking.
gozo 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Not that anyone would actually want to have a company in Albania, unless they had to. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Gibraltar, Malta etc. are good options in Europe.
imaginenore 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A few US state have zero corporate taxes:


And a few states have zero personal income tax:


mahouse 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Put your startup in H.
jdimov10 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If your revenues are less than 38K Euro, no matter where in the world you are, you're not a start-up - you're a mom & pop shop that likely isn't going anywhere, in terms of growth.

Which is still a great incentive for those business owners, but the title is misleading. This isn't about start-ups.

Mathematical mysteries: How unilluminating maths.org
7 points by todayiamme  1 hour ago   discuss
Researchers Study Motivations of Open-Source Programmers phys.org
21 points by cargoshortsrule  4 hours ago   10 comments top 6
kevindeasis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
From my experience, which is purely anecdotal some open source programmers love giving back to the community. Some of them have motivation rooting from them learning programming through open-source materials and feedback. Thus, wanting to give back to the community.

Some people enjoy it, and can get benefits from it, such as gaining experience and reference for a person's portfolio. There have been some people who have been getting more job offers from open-source repositories than their online job application.

Companies and programmers actually benefit from open source compared to closed-source, look at this dicussion [1]


jimhefferon 2 hours ago 1 reply      
None of these "researchers" would ever wonder why a person would spend time playing in a string quartet when they could, economically, be making money behind the counter at Arby's. The idea that doing the work is rewarding never occurs, apparently.
zamalek 1 hour ago 1 reply      
We've known the answer for some time: mastery. It's the same reason we play sports, instruments and other "unproductive" pastimes - we desire to get good at something and enjoy demonstrating that expertise.
nmrm2 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
The researchers focused exclusively on developers in the R language ecosystem, and as far as I can tell they scope the claims in their paper to only the R ecosystem. For whatever reason, the headline and lede instead emphasize a piece of pure speculation toward the end of the paper (generalizing to other open source communities) rather than the actual substance of the paper (exclusivley focused on the R ecosystem, and not even claiming that their results fully generalize even to all R developers, let alone all OSS developers).

Here's why I think this work doesn't generalize: Academics and people who don't primarily identify as software engineers are over-represented in the R community, when compared against other open source projects. I think the set of answers you'd get from e.g., the developers of more traditional types of open source projects (editors, compilers, databases, games, OSes, frameworks/libraries, etc.) are fundamentally different.

While I'm on my soap box, the other mistake that researchers who study open source developers often make is focusing on very successful open source projects, and then implicitly or explicitly generalizing those results to the huge hoard of open source developers. (Implicit generalization goes something like this: Intro: there are so many open source developers -- understanding their motivation is important! -- Actual study: let's look at the motivation of contributors to the top 1% of projects -- Conclusion: we think these results generalize to other projects. Note that the authors of this study avoid this pattern, but the journalist doesn't.) But of course, the motivations of the vast majority of OSS developers are going to be fundamentally different from those developers who have built extremely successful and high-profile systems.

Overall, I think this is a really nice and interesting paper about the R ecosystem. I just wish the journalist had chosen a different headline and lede.

saurik 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"Safari cannot open the page because too many redirects occurred." :(
Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician, to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom wvgazettemail.com
33 points by ColinWright  5 hours ago   1 comment top
Amorymeltzer 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>"Early on, when they said they wanted the capsule to come down at a certain place, they were trying to compute when it should start. I said, 'Let me do it. You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I'll do it backwards and tell you when to take off.' That was my forte."

>By 1962, when John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, NASA was relying more on computers.

>"You could do much more, much faster on computer," Johnson said. "But when they went to computers, they called over and said, 'tell her to check and see if the computer trajectory they had calculated was correct.' So I checked it and it was correct."

This lady is fantastic and it's about time she gets this - absolutely deserved.

My Home-Built TTL Computer Processor cpuville.com
43 points by ch  6 hours ago   23 comments top 5
jacquesm 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, a webring widget at the bottom. That's been a while.
sspiff 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of the Duo Adept[1], a full TTL computer with video output, keyboard input and a homebrew operating system. All built by a teenager in his spare time.

1: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qYvr0b8jqbg

avian 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is another home-built CPU made from 74HC (TTL-compatible CMOS) integrated circuits:


The author gave a talk about it in our local hackerspace back in 2009. Fascinating stuff.


oneweekwonder 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is something I still have on my bucket list. I remember as a kid looking at the electronics catalogue eyeing the z80 chip thinking to myself "I'm gonna build a gameboy!!1" because my friend had a gameboy and I wanted to join in on the pokemon fun!
ckaygusu 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I was also thinking of constructing a CPU in this fashion using the ideas from Mill CPU folks.

I will probably never have enough time to go through this, which is sad.

Did Facebook Just Build a Kickstarter Competitor? techcrunch.com
46 points by devhxinc  5 hours ago   17 comments top 7
kevindeasis 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is not a Kickstarter competitor if it only serves non-profits. But, it does not mean they will not be a competitor in the future. Look at Paul Graham's tactics section about 'Want to start a startup' [4].


paublyrne 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I find headlines that ask a question very grating.
mistagiggles 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this could be abused horribly, the campaign and payment information appearing inline with facebook content may make a fraudulent page appear far more legitimate than they are.
lagudragu 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not entirely sure with the outcome of this possible evolution in crowdfunding, should it be succesfull. The crowdfunding business would get more saturated with 1000's of copycat / flavor of the month crowdfund setups or any random flavor of the month "i need money for XYZ, please fund me" crowdfund page. In addition, as the article states, the possibility of scams would rise as well on such a massive platform. I do get that facebook is a great platform on which to introduce your product on, but in the long run shifting the crowdfunding platform to facebook would harm the quality of innovation.
eridal 2 hours ago 3 replies      
The .gif shows that fb already knows your CC number.

I'm curious about how many people have given fb such information? None of the people I know have done that.

try_catch_throw 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Moving forward it could transform into a Patreon competitor, and it would make sense to do that. Since social networks help creative personnel capture a lot of eyeballs, they might aswell help them raise funds.
gondo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
just a small observation: it is interesting that they use vimeo instead of facebook video player on newsroom.fb.com specifically in this case here http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/11/introducing-new-tools-fo...
How Astronomers Found the Oldest Stars in Our Galaxy theatlantic.com
4 points by srikar  1 hour ago   discuss
Exploring the WSJ's Pulitzer-Winning Medicare Investigation with SQL padjo.org
7 points by danso  2 hours ago   discuss
A DEC PDP-8 Emulator in Java Running Lisp timgorton.com
8 points by apsec112  2 hours ago   1 comment top
apsec112 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This site doesn't mention it, but the original PDP-8 Lisp interpreter (which this is a tweaked version of) fits in under 3 kB of RAM. That's pretty darn impressive, IMO.
Notes on Food Delivery from the DoorDash Driver of the Month medium.com
20 points by deoates  3 hours ago   6 comments top 3
seanwilson 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Entertaining article!

"I realized its the same reason DoorDash can afford to pay me $12 per delivery, not including tip"

How do they make a profit if delivery costs them that much?

noelwelsh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very well written. Surprising (or perhaps not) that the author preferred the system that involved less thinking. Not everyone is chasing self actualisation, or perhaps this is a job to fund other activities.
jroitgrund 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't get why using moped share makes him faster.
Dealing With Dementia Among Aging Criminals (2012) nytimes.com
4 points by DanBC  1 hour ago   discuss
Show HN: Kifi for Teams Knowledge sharing and collaboration for teams kifi.com
18 points by atto  2 hours ago   4 comments top 2
endymi0n 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Seems more like a glorified link list to me than a "knowledge sharing" tool. Such a pity, I'd be really interested in someone tackling the IMHO much harder topic of real persistent knowledge sharing (wikis, knowledge bases) - which suffers from constant abandonment, irrelevancy and still the need for everyone for good documentation.
atto 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Kifi is a knowledge management tool. Think social bookmarking, with lots more added. We index every page you keep, giving free full-text searching across all your content, integrated straight into Google with our Chrome and Firefox extensions.

Today we're launching our teams feature, letting you easily save, collaborate, and search content with a group of people. I'd love feedback and suggestions. It's completely changed bookmarking for me, and hope it can help others be more productive as well. Both the personal and teams product are free. If you want to check out the upgraded teams features, use code HACKERNEWS for $150 in credit.

Visual Studio Code is now open source visualstudio.com
1276 points by BruceM  22 hours ago   359 comments top 66
smortaz 20 hours ago 10 replies      
We've been asked this by a few people, so I figured this is a good place to respond:

Will PTVS (Python Tools for Visual Studio) come to VSCode?

The answer is YES! This will be a major focus next year. Expect full intellisense, debugging, profiling, pkg mgmt, unit test, virtual env, multiple interpreter, Jupyter, etc. support.

Disc: Python/R/Jupyter team lead


kup0 19 hours ago 7 replies      
I wasn't sure what to expect from VSC, especially going into it I was worried that it would just be a MS-branded, bloated version of an already-slow Atom.

My expectations were completely wrong, though. VSC is not bloated or slow. It's well-made. There aren't really any negative MS-flavored conventions as far as I can tell. This isn't MS Office (which I guess has its place but has gone off the deep end, IMHO). It looks like it's on a path towards becoming a pretty powerful tool, more than just a text editor, and more than just a clone of Atom.

The MS branding will unfortunately keep people away that like to judge books by their cover. But that says more about their own problems and unwillingness than it does about MS.

I don't understand why we have to throw ourselves into brand "camps" and defend them to the death. It's dumb. I like Linux, I use an assortment of operating systems depending on my needs, and I don't see any reason why a decent effort/product can't be appreciated, no matter what company produces it.

avivo 19 hours ago 2 replies      
FYI, it seems that Visual Studio sends a lot of data about your usage back to Microsoft.

"This includes information about how you use the products and services, such as the features you use, the web pages you visit, and the search terms you enter." (among other things such as name & device identifiers https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/dn948229)

You can disable this...but it requires you to re-disable it on every product update. https://code.visualstudio.com/Docs/supporting/FAQ#_how-to-di...

Is this now standard practice?

stoolpigeon 21 hours ago 8 replies      
I really hate how MS names things. Microsoft SQL Server, or as most people call it SQL Server. I read the title to this post as Visual Studio code is now open-source - but it's not. The product some genius called Visual Studio Code has been opened.

I'm really surprised Windows isn't called Microsoft Operating System, or Operating System for short.

micah_chatt 21 hours ago 4 replies      
I actually visited the VS Code team at Microsoft a few weeks ago for a product-research day where they brought in developers from small teams from around the US. I had heard that this was the plan, and I'm excited to see that it has since happened. They showed some compelling features (still not-yet released) that I think would bring this well-beyond a simple Atom competitor. Once they bring the debugging and linting features to other languages (Python, Ruby, Go), I think this won't just be seen in the same category as Atom.
mkaziz 22 hours ago 6 replies      
VSC has revolutionized how I code on Linux. Thank you, Microsoft!
hasenj 21 hours ago 3 replies      
The name of the "VS Code" product makes the title a little mis-leading. I thought the code for "Visual Studio" was open sourced. Turns out it's just this stripped down editor called "Visual Studio Code".
joeyaiello 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Shameless self-plug: we also released (and open-sourced) a significantly more powerful PowerShell plugin for VS Code today[1][2] as well as a set of .NET and JSON APIs, the PowerShell Editor Services[3], that sits behind it. We welcome contributions and feedback, and feel free to hit up the developer David Wilson, @daviwil, or me, @joeyaiello.

[1] http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powershell/archive/2015/11/17/announ...

[2] https://github.com/PowerShell/vscode-powershell

[3] http://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShellEditorServices

JL2010 21 hours ago 11 replies      
Has anyone spent a lot of time with VS Code? I tried it a while back when it was first announced and have not found a reason to re-visit it yet. At the time it felt like a sublime-text alternative instead of an IDE (was it always positioned to be just an editor?) Always great to see more options though.
mikestew 20 hours ago 5 replies      
No modal/vim mode? (The Googles indicate "no".) I want to love you, Visual Studio Code, but that's a deal-breaker. Looks like the plug-in system is up, so maybe it'll come down the road.

Though it's probably my color-blind eyes, but I couldn't find a stock dark theme that worked for me (first time I've had that out-of-the-box problem).

So between not being able to read the text on the screen that well, and an input model that doesn't fit well with what I'm used to, I guess I'll come back in six months. :-)

EDIT: and no Java syntax highlighting? I understand that it's a beta/WIP, but really? ObjC seems to work okay.

ogig 14 hours ago 1 reply      
>TIME-SENSITIVE SOFTWARE. The software will stop running on 31/12/2016 (day/month/year). You will not receive any other notice. You may not be able to access data used with the software when it stops running.

What does this mean. Should I expect a working VCS instead of this one in 2017?

Is not a condition I like in the terms of my main tool.

bluejekyll 20 hours ago 2 replies      
This is pretty amazing from the company that was trying to kill Linux just a few years ago and is now adopting that mentality for developing and delivering software.

While I don't want to be negative; this and other recent moves by MS, seem to be an effort to lighten the overladen ship that is the MS super-tanker. Will moves like this prevent them from sinking? Personally, I switched away from MS products in 1996 and have never looked back, and this does make me wonder...

tapoxi 21 hours ago 6 replies      
As an Atom user that's only dabbled with VS Code when it was announced, what are its advantages? Last time I tried Code it seemed like a fork of Atom with Microsoft branding.
skdd8 15 hours ago 0 replies      
That's cool!

However, anyone read the privacy policy?


devy 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Unsurprisingly, Visual Studio Code is mostly (62% at the moment) written in TypeScript!
giancarlostoro 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The only thing I wish VS Code had is "Compiling" out of the box. I know you guys want to make an amazing experience for each language, but one of my favorite editors is Geany because no matter the language or platform when I hit build / compile it usually just works. Hoping now that it's gone open source we will see minor changes like compiling / building cross platform at least. Other than that it's a great editor, definitely simple enough and wonderful to work with.
tonyarkles 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool! I've been using it a bit on the days where I have to do stuff on Windows, mostly for hacking on C++ code and playing with GL shaders (the code is cross-platform with CMake, so I don't really need Visual Studio).

I've had a few ideas about little things to add to it, and having it open source makes that a possibility!

guiomie 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using VSC for a few months now for side projects and I really like it. I've ditched notpad++ for it without any regrets. I'm not a fan of using my full blown VS2015 either for nodejs/web projects. Glad to see support for nodejs debugging this will be useful.
Matthias247 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As there seem to be some of the involved developers hanging around here:

Thank you and great job on this!

VS Code is from my perspective the most responsive web-based editor. The extension story looks sane and well-designed (+1 for things like async completions wich are e.g. missing in Sublime and pluggable debuggers!). And getting this delivered as open source software is just great!

datashovel 20 hours ago 4 replies      
What I find quite odd is Microsoft rarely seems to show up on front page of HN, then all of a sudden in concert all of the top links on front page are Microsoft related.

It's not that they're not doing good things to help fix their culture, but I find it almost annoying. It seems almost impossible to me that all this promotion is not coming from them directly..

AngeloAnolin 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I hope this move paves the way so that VSCode will now have the Code Collapse feature which has been requested tremendously.


ziahamza 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The project has come a long way,since the early days of the Monaco code editor. Really happy seeing it finally come to the open!! :D
MrBra 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Want support for Ruby and/or Rails? Go cast your votes here http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studi...
astral303 20 hours ago 0 replies      
How does this compare to Brackets? http://brackets.io Anyone has experience?
arlevi 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm praying that a vim mode will be released for VS Code soon. Visual Studio's VsVim is excellent, and a VSC plugin of equal capabilities would convince me to adopt VS Code for typescript development. Fingers crossed!
MattSteelblade 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Really happy to hear that. I've been using it over Sublime.
bdcravens 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Met with a couple of folks from the SQL Server team at RubyConf. They really just blended in - they weren't even wearing Microsoft shirts or anything. The seemed genuinely concerned about the cross-platform story, and went so far as recommending a "competing" product for SQL Server tooling on OSX.
gagege 21 hours ago 0 replies      
They broadcasted the open-sourcing live on Channel 9. They sure know how to get programming nerds excited. :)
yy77 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A good editor does not need to be open source to have a good eco-system based on plugins (like sublime).The MIT license seems to be friendly who would fork to make a more specific editor for some special language/purpose.
spankalee 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how VSC works with node APIs?

One thing I really dislike about Atom is it's complete reliance on and lack of abstraction over the node APIs, making it nearly impossible to port to run hosted (which really confuses me, as I'd think that Github would love to have a great online editor integrated right into repos).

If VSC only uses async APIs, it might be easier to get running in a browser.

Also, Atom's security model is very weak. Extensions have direct access to node APIs (as do iframes! but that's an Electron issue). Sandboxing extensions would be a huge deal for me.

scscsc 18 hours ago 1 reply      
For those who are, like me, ignorant: VS Code is a source code editor...

I find it funny that nowhere on the official page (code.visualstudio.com) does it say that it's an editor.

mrec 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Slightly bizarre that the requirements[1] imply that it supports OS X and Linux but not Windows 7. I understand that they're under the cosh to get people to upgrade, but still.

[1] https://code.visualstudio.com/Docs/supporting/requirements

sebringj 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Why did MS fork atom.io again? Why didn't they do Facebook-style and just add modules that supported their stuff like how react ecosystem is now supported? Atom was slow but is picking up speed now and would be nice if it was simply aligned.
bigger_cheese 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I usually use a minGW environment when I have to use a Windows box - which gives me GDB, GCC, ld etc. I've found it can be really frustrating to set up properly. I really miss Emacs. This sounds like it could be missing piece. How is its support for C/C++ ?
darkhorn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Why they are doing this? I mean why they are open sourceing? They have open sourced .NET and for example they have support for Cordova.
continuational 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Feels like a nicely responsive and down-to-earth editor. It'd be great with a color scheme that emphasized your own variables and fields. It's not that helpful to draw attention to constants, keywords and arbitrary non-reserved identifiers like `document`.
SneakerXZ 19 hours ago 2 replies      
How is the support for C#? Does it support debugging web apps on Mac OS X? Is there any basic refactoring for it?
ConAntonakos 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I love this new Microsoft.
bpicolo 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Does it support fuzzy matching filenames yet? That was one big missing feature for me
vesrah 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it, but the themes section of the marketplace should probably have previews.
VOYD 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Good, maybe now I can get code-folding.
niceume 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I just looked at Github, and most of the source is written by Typescript.I wonder what kind of GUI framework they are using? This application is cross platform. How do they make it??
m90 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The only feature that still keeps me from using it is that the debugger won't work when the app to debug is running inside a docker container.

Does anyone know if this will be ever be possible?

joshfraser 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I liked Visual Studio when I used it for a university mandated project years ago. If Microsoft had open sourced this a decade ago, I might actually be using it today.
tasnimreza 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Good to know! Microsoft moving towards OpenSource community, early i didn't see much. I've been using it since 2009. They did massive improvements.
forrestthewoods 21 hours ago 0 replies      
How does this compare to Atom? I've not kept up with either very well. I still just use Sublime.
thewhitetulip 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Never thought I'd run Visual Studio on my linux machine!!! Thank you Microsoft!
stevebmark 17 hours ago 4 replies      
Visual Studio Code does not yet support JSX, nor properly supports ES6, so it's currently unusable to modern Javascript devs. Which is a shame, because it has a lot of potential! I'll be watching this closely to see when it becomes usable in my workflow.
jcdietrich 19 hours ago 1 reply      
But does it have vi bindings?
ogezi 18 hours ago 0 replies      
VS code is more or less just a 'pretty' text editor.
cheez 20 hours ago 0 replies      
VSC is possibly the new Emacs and JavaScript is the new Lisp.

Eh, could be worse.

deathtrader666 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My Python colleagues would still rather stay with PyCharm..
lab 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems like an Atom fork. And the amount of people who are hardcore Linux user but have yet to find a better IDE than vsc on this thread.
tkinom 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Feel the Force, Open Source!!!
werny 20 hours ago 0 replies      
after the update I can no longer format xml files using alt+shift+f
sabujp 20 hours ago 3 replies      
was expecting msft open sourced the compiler, linker, msbuild, etc
BenJava 18 hours ago 0 replies      
ravipatil123 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice One
sgreeran 15 hours ago 0 replies      
what about visual basic for dos?
tkinom 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Welcome to the dark side.

Feel the power of the Empire.

Linux - I am your father!


aidenn0 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Is it me, or is that a Macintosh screenshot of the github page?
orenbarzilai 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice move MS. Too bad it ~10 years too late
jaruche 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Who cares, VS Code is nothing more than a fancy text editor. Not and IDE.
frik 21 hours ago 4 replies      
The good: The Monaco editor component that Microsoft paid a lot of money is now under MIT license. (bought the company from Switzerland)

The bad: they refactored it to TypeScript (from Javascript)

The ugly: the sole existence of TypeScript and some ES6 syntax is the monaco editor project and Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio Code is a fork of it.

usaphp 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's funny how on the intro video [1] on the Visual Studio Code homepage [2], the presenter is using apple macbook right in front of the Microsoft logo in the background :)

[1] - http://imgur.com/Nc82DB5[2] - https://code.visualstudio.com/

tosseraccount 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Don't a lot of advanced folks avoid reliance on "visual paint" style programming?

Do folks like Linus and John Carmack crank up Eclipse and use wizards?

[ EDIT: I've obviously offended some Visual programming fans. I apologize. ]

MCU based PicoLisp machines for sale mail-archive.com
59 points by lelf  9 hours ago   1 comment top
jacobush 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think the PicoLisp language and virtual machine do not get the attention they deserve.
ARMageddon: Last-Level Cache Attacks on Mobile Devices arxiv.org
23 points by ingve  6 hours ago   discuss
       cached 19 November 2015 14:02:05 GMT