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Open source software for developing world hospitals hospitalrun.io
108 points by daleharvey  2 hours ago   26 comments top 10
radoslawc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That reminded me about story my friend told me some time ago. He's IT specialist in hospital, they were having some problems with x-ray machine with server based on windows XP and thin clients as viewing stations. Eventually it was replaced with debian based workstations and haven't look back ever since. After this he told me about interesting case with it, there was patient complaining about middle foot pains, on previous setup x-ray photos showed nothing, after switching to debian workstations they were using aeskulap dicom viever (http://aeskulap.nongnu.org/index.html) which had more adjustments for viewing those files, like hue, saturation, color and so on, so after opening those photos with aeskulap and fiddling a bit with parameters it clearly showed that patient has broken bone in foot but in unweighted position it was almost invisible line on black and white default viewer.
Maarten88 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a great initiative, I logged in the beta and tried a few things, which mostly worked, although somewhat slow. Probably a lot of hospital administrators active now :-)

What surprised me most is that the UI does not seem to be mobile responsive, and does not work well on smartphones. I would have guessed that in developing countries mobile use would be hugely important?

mathnode 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Imagine if this got better than systems that are on offer when this requirement goes out to tender for the NHS institutes in the UK?

So long as it doesn't do over night batching, it's already decades ahead. I wish I was joking.

martijn_himself 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is great. I recently had to create a prototype application for a charity with offices in a developing country and this would have been a perfect fit. I don't have access to GitHub at the moment but I wonder how far along their implementation of the 'off-line first' sync mechanism is, this is a non-trivial thing to implement.

I had a quick look at the demo and it looks like the development is in the early stages- a bit of (hopefully constructive) feedback: I think they (you?) may be trying to attempt to do (and cover) too many clinical disciplines at the same time- maybe implement individual modules (like patient registration) and test them in all (old!) browsers in more detail before moving on to the next. Also think long and hard about how you implement your data model (clinical indicators e.g. blood pressure often have a context and are temporal values, how do you model these?). This is a great effort and has lots of potential.

EDIT: also, the name seems to suggest to me like there is a run on hospitals- but that may be a personal thing.

DadFoundMy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
At quick glance this seems to be fantastic! Software like this is what brings out the great nature of open source. This project reminds me of the eye tracking system that gained popularity a few weeks ago.

EDIT: Here's a link to the referred to project https://github.com/OptiKey/OptiKey/wiki

daleharvey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Quite proud to see PouchDB being used for things like this, it looks like pretty much a perfect use case.
pjmlp 1 hour ago 2 replies      
While this is a good idea, how are the health compliance requirements enforced?
mavhc 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks like it's way more open source than the two "open source" school MIS systems I looked at, one had no code available, the other an old version dumped on github, but not linked from their main page until you signed up.
Coxa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just after a first glance this looks really interesting! Brilliant idea.
hienchu 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why is it so similar to codio.com homepage?
Car turns driver in for hit-and-run wpbf.com
59 points by anigbrowl  3 hours ago   14 comments top 6
djsumdog 15 minutes ago 1 reply      
You know how to reduce drunk driving? Invest in public transportation.

Poor people won't be able to afford self driving cars for quite some time. The US is a country where it's very difficult to live without a car, except in certain major cities.

I'm not excusing this woman's behaviour. She lacks major responsibility. But the world is full of irresponsible people, and building good public infrastructure helps in so many ways that there's no excuse not to build it.

Carrok 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Best line of the article:

> It was later discovered that Bernstein had been involved in another accident prior to the one with Preston and was fleeing from that incident.

So this hit and run was just the result of fleeing from a different hit and run.

> She said she had not been drinking and didn't know why her vehicle had called for help.


Shivetya 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
Well with self driving cars coming, will they be able to determine if they should let you take control? The technology to monitor eye movement is there and being able sense alcohol on your breath would not be that hard to pull off just by it sampling.

Listened to the whole 911 and the patience of the operator was just great.

"Sorry Mr. Peters, I cannot allow you take control of the car at this time, continued attempts to do so will result in total shutdown or notification of the authorities"

ableal 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Featuring auto-playing video advertising from "a personal injury lawyer" yakking, with hand in pocket, in front of "IF YOUR NOT HURT" slides ...
x5n1 1 hour ago 2 replies      
if a self-driving car hit someone, and then called the cops on the driver. now that would be something out of a good sci-fi novel.
dang 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Response to EFF complaint about student data privacy googleforeducation.blogspot.com
70 points by bluehex  3 hours ago   24 comments top 8
a_bonobo 3 hours ago 3 replies      

> There are no ads in these Core Services, and student data in these services is not used for advertising purposes.

This isn't in the original EFF complaint, EFF specifically says (at least in the press release [1]) that Google doesn't advertise:


>This allows Google to track, store on its servers, and data mine for non-advertising purposes

Google then says:

>In addition, our systems compile data aggregated from millions of users of Chrome Sync and, after completely removing information about individual users, we use this data to holistically improve the services we provide. For example if data shows that millions of people are visiting a webpage that is broken, that site would be moved lower in the search results. This is not connected to any specific person nor is it used to analyze student behaviors.

Which is exactly what the EFF's complaint is about!


>Googles practices fly in the face of commitments made when it signed the Student Privacy Pledge, a legally enforceable document whereby companies promise to refrain from collecting, using, or sharing students personal information except when needed for legitimate educational purposes or if parents provide permission.

so imho Google just confirms what the EFF said

[1] https://www.eff.org/press/releases/google-deceptively-tracks...

sveme 2 hours ago 1 reply      
When Google starts to state that the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) agrees with their policies, you know that something's amiss. Looking at fpf.org, they present themselves as a Thinktank, but it's probably more honest to describe them as industry lobbyists.

(i) Pages like https://fpf.org/issues/ad-tracking/ don't present a critical and balanced view on ad tracking but put forward the view of ad companies.

(ii) A random quote from the page on big data: "In Big Data: Catalyst for a Privacy Change, Joseph Jerome discusses the rise of big data and the role of privacy in both the Fourth Amendment and consumer contexts, and argues that the future of privacy will have the be built upon a foundation of trust." The future of privacy needs to be built on a foundation of trust? Well, you can state that, but it indicates that you're not an independent thinktank but try to advance policies that are beneficial to your supporters

(iii) Supporters (https://fpf.org/about/supporters/) all big shots, but also including Facebook, ComScore, ad companies and so on.

So take it with a grain of salt that the Forum for the Future of Privacy states that Google has done nothing wrong.

danieldk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Besides not addressing the points that EFF raised, one of my serious problems with Google Apps (as a user) is data leakage across services and accounts.

Some examples:

- Google Hangouts is one of the covered apps. But to be actually useful (e.g. if you want to share images), you had to turn on Google+. Images end up in Google+ photo albums, which are not covered by the Google Apps agreement and the data can be mined for advertising purposes.

- Google Drive is also covered, which means that data on Drive is not mined for ads. However, in a realistic work environment, you have to share files outside your organisation. If you share a file and someone ends up opening it on a non-Apps Google account, your document has been leaked to an ad-mined Drive account.

- When Google Photos was introduced, suddenly all my Drive photos were there as well. Google Photos is not covered, which means that the photos can be mined for ads. Luckily, this problem seems to have been resolved.

- Google Mail is covered by the terms of apps. But if I go to Google Plus, people I communicated with via e-mail are suggested as circle additions. Since Google Plus is not covered by the Apps terms, why does data from e-mail end up there?

My impression is that (perhaps driven by the consumer apps) data isolation is a real problem within Google and there is a certain amount of data shared between apps that are covered by the Google Apps terms and those that aren't. This seriously undermines my trust in Google Apps and its suitability for business/education.

Of course, I could switch off every Google service in Apps outside what is covered. But then you need two Google accounts, which is really inconvenient.

mirkules 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is EFF's full complaint: https://www.eff.org/files/2015/12/01/ftccomplaint-googlefore...

Basically, it boils down to:

- Google is violating the student privacy pledge by logging non-educational material a student user sees, by having sync turned on by default, and by allowing administrators to turn on sync if it is off

- Student Privacy Pledge is enforcable by the FTC due to previous precedent

- EFF wants FTC to open an investigation into Google's practices, and, if found in violation, to stop the offending practices and delete already-collected personal data.

It seems fairly straghtforward to me.

DadFoundMy 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I am an American high school senior and can say confidently that most American students are screwed over pretty extensively when it comes to the software they are forced to use.

I have several classes that require the use of proprietary software such as Google classroom, Microsoft silver light, and Adobe flash. On top of that I cannot even remember the last time I was given a document that wasn't a .docx.

It would be one thing if these tools were optional, but they are strictly required and students' grades do suffer if they choose to opt out of using them. In previous years I simply followed along in my windows VM, but after getting accepted to the university of my choice I've had enough. I have alerted all of my teachers I will not be using Google classroom, or complete any assignment that requires the use of flash, silver light, or any other proprietary software. Has my grade suffered? Sure, but now that I am securely in the school of my choice I could not care less.

em3rgent0rdr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
protip: install a full linux distro on your chromebook, and then use non-google end-to-end encrypted services such as firefox sync or owncloud for dealing with private data.
yeukhon 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here is a strawman, because I want to challenge the other parallel universe.

Let's say this whole pledge thing didn't exist and the only thing that GAFE promise is no ads. Now let's supposed Google is collecting and anonymizing usage data, like most sofwares do, is that a big deal? Since 99% of the people won't read the ToS and most people assume some level of usage data will be collected, what would be people's stand on that?

I think, Google's stand on the current issue is that they disagree their intent violate the pledge. They would argue data collection is anonymized, and like most software out there (Chrome, FireFox, etc) these are telemetry (and all sorts) collected. For Google the collection is for regular development purpose. Perhaps they will argue that they did not do a good job at making a "disable me" option, and that they didn't make that clear to their customers. I supposed EFF just doesn't trust Google handling the data in the first place, since Google can lie about not logging the individual user name in some server's log file.

Oletros 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes, I don't understand EFF actions
Meal frequency and timing in health and disease (2014) pnas.org
23 points by tomaskazemekas  2 hours ago   7 comments top 5
austinjp 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
This appears to be the mobile version:


acchow 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
A related posted earlier this year also about meal timing:


Interestingly, "Time-restricted feeding is effective against high-fat, high-fructose, and high-sucrose diets"

tomaskazemekas 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
One of the authors of the article is Michael Mosley, the author of 5:2 diet. http://thefastdiet.co.uk/
BenderV 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"The requested page could not be found."
richmarr 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
For anyone having issues seeing the content on mobile, the abstract is this:

"Although major research efforts have focused on how specific components of foodstuffs affect health, relatively little is known about a more fundamental aspect of diet, the frequency and circadian timing of meals, and potential benefits of intermittent periods with no or very low energy intakes. The most common eating pattern in modern societies, three meals plus snacks every day, is abnormal from an evolutionary perspective. Emerging findings from studies of animal models and human subjects suggest that intermittent energy restriction periods of as little as 16 h can improve health indicators and counteract disease processes. The mechanisms involve a metabolic shift to fat metabolism and ketone production, and stimulation of adaptive cellular stress responses that prevent and repair molecular damage. As data on the optimal frequency and timing of meals crystalizes, it will be critical to develop strategies to incorporate those eating patterns into health care policy and practice, and the lifestyles of the population."

Holometer rules out first theory of space-time correlations symmetrymagazine.org
85 points by jonbaer  7 hours ago   25 comments top 10
danbruc 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Probably biased by the physicist I mostly listen to because they have a lot of lectures and talks online, Leonard Susskind and Nima Arkani-Hamed.

The idea that space is quantized is pretty unlikely to be true because of relativity, i.e. because of length contraction the size of those space quanta depends on the motion of the observer. So if you find those space quanta have a specific size in your reference frame I can just go to a reference frame moving relative to yours and I will see length contracted space quanta and we will therefore disagree on their size.

It is actually believed that neither space nor time are fundamental but that they emerge from something more fundamental because spacetime, relativity and quantum physics taken together are not really compatible, see for example "Space-time is doomed. What replaces it?" [1]. Susskind explores the idea that entanglement is what holds space together under the name "ER = EPR" [2].

[1] http://www.cornell.edu/video/nima-arkani-hamed-spacetime-is-...

[2] https://youtube.com/watch?v=OBPpRqxY8Uw

qrendel 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> If the universe were similarly segmented, then there would be a limit to the amount of information space-time could contain.

I thought there is a limit to the amount of information spacetime can contain: the Bekenstein bound[1], and its variations[2]. Though it's related to the surface area bounding the region, and not the volume enclosed itself. For a spherical cubic cm, about 10^66 bits, iirc.

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

[2] http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Bekenstein_bound

Estragon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good to see someone getting some press for a negative result.
shmerl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> If the universe were similarly segmented, then there would be a limit to the amount of information space-time could contain.

Not really, if those "pixels" are a countable set. Is still wouldn't be continuous, but it could hold any information. Symbolic elements ("pixels", letters etc.) actually are basis of information, so it kind of implies a discrete space when information is involved.

jonbaer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The first time I learned about this project was from the BBC Documentary on Reality (excellent BTW) ... here is the holometer segment ... https://youtu.be/DbqB0--Td28?t=2346
Kinnard 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This pairs very well with Stephen Wolfram's recent piece on the true nature of space-time: a network


Published acoincidentally on the 100th anniversary of Einstein's original General Relativity Paper.

yCloser 2 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: background-color: #e45950
barrystaes 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Reading how sensitive this equipment can measure short duration displacements, and the distance the laser beams travel.. I wonder if - and how - they would adjust this for the drift due to the earth rotating. (and its speed is not even constant)
iopq 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have not reached for the Inspect Element faster than seeing this abomination. Who thought that an all red webpage might be difficult on the eyes?
powertower 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The results seem to disproves both:

1. A quantum foam space-time.

2. A networked/graphed space-time in which the nodes can have plank-scale (or larger) movements and re-arrangements.

But I'm not sure if this experiment disproves a space-time of fixed-position nodes which have additional properties (such as a field of scalars / vectors / spinors / etc).

To test the above I think measuring the smallest possible change-of-angle that a laser can make off a reflective surface (compounded X times) would do well. If the arrangement is as above, rotating the reflective surface by the smallest amount will affect the produced angle in a non-linear way (compared to larger amounts).

Jury Duty medium.com
237 points by eropple  9 hours ago   121 comments top 15
RyanZAG 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As a non American, the USA justice system honestly sounds like the worst possible system for justice imaginable. I don't think I could design a worse system if I tried. Do you all just keep the system because it keeps so many people employed following the pointless bureaucracy of it all?

The people making the decisions have no training in law at all, yet they have to decide if the law was broken. They get a brief spoken explanation of the law, but only after they have been given the testimony. Why would you not have someone trained in the law decide if the law was broken? Why would you not allow the jury to interrogate the witnesses when they must bear the responsibility of the decision? The idea seems to be that random people off the street will somehow be more willing to consider all angles and if they disagree, you get another random sampling and try again. Try enough times and eventually you'll get a bunch of people who are annoyed enough by being forced into jury duty to just agree so they can go home. Real justice right there.

You might say that the jury system allows for a justice even if the judge is compromised. But obviously it doesn't - the judge controls what information can be fed to the jury and the jury must make the decision based off that evidence. If the judge is biased, the jury will be forced into a particular decision anyway. Why not just have the judge do their job and have an appeals system and punishments on the judge for bad decisions? And yes, that system works fine. See the current Oscar Pistorius trial for a working system (imo).

ketralnis 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I sat on a civil jury trial between a boilermaker in the Navy that had been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, and a company that made asbestos insulation.

Neither side could actually put the man and the company or its insulation in the same room at any point in the past. Lots and lots of companies made this type of insulation. (In an "accidental" outbust from one of the attorneys that we were instructed to ignore, we learned that he was in fact suing most of them.) The Navy kept meticulous records about where he had worked, and both the Navy and the company did the same about work orders and where the insulation had been installed. The best evidence the man had was "I saw their truck in the parking lot once".

This type of civil trial only required a 9/12 majority and the other jurors really only saw this as a chance to stick it to the company. "Of course this man should be repaid for the damage done to him!" Any sort of nuance like, "okay sure but should this company be the one to pay it?" was totally lost. He's hurt, so somebody should pay up. That was it. That was their justice. The jury instructions like the actual claims to damages were totally ignored.

I sure hope I never have a jury deciding my fate.

YorkianTones 5 hours ago 5 replies      
"Edith looks up from a game of solitaire and casually mentions that she actually thinks the murder was committed by the accomplice, who was never found and is not on trial. But since the defendants lawyer did such a poor job exonerating him, she concludes, shes going to deliver a guilty verdict. My jaw drops. No one questions her obviously flawed reasoning, because shes on their side."

This, for me, was the most terrifying bit in the article. To convict a man of murder, and to send him to life in prison or perhaps to his own death, when you think he's innocent? It shocks me what people are capable of sometimes. But this article doesn't shock me, because I know what people are capable of. Kudos to the author for sticking to his moral compass in the face of adversity.

piker 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This article is an interesting narrative depicting the exact sort of nuance that the term "reasonable doubt" is intended to elicit once criminal prosecution reaches jury deliberation. As others have noted, this seems a somewhat comfortable result, albeit at a human cost. Justice delayed/served.

The author touches on it, but another interesting aspect of the criminal justice system is the funding, politics and police practices that motivate the prosecution of minor crimes that never see a court room. Many unnamed players in this story had vested financial and political interests in particular outcomes. In this case, the stakes were large enough that the jurors lost sleep and distressed over the details. One wonders if softening the charges to lesser charges would have weakened his resolve.

It's poetic that at trial, the defendant, the witnesses, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the judge and the jury cannot lie. Police, however, are trained to do so during investigations as a best practice in pursuit of justice. That fact probably contributed to the author's initial distrust in the system, sewing the seeds of this mistrial.

noonespecial 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

It takes a lot more courage to let a possibly guilty person go free than to convict a possibly innocent one.

Always show up for jury duty if you can.

rayiner 7 hours ago 3 replies      
> In the end, only two men of color make it to the jury, and I am one of them. The other is Latino. There are two Latina women, one African-American woman, and one Asian woman. The remaining six jurors are white.

Thats basically the racial composition of the U.S. Indeed, people of color are over-represented in that jury.

amateur_soclgst 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Wait so this article is basically him saying that the system worked?

That's the impression that I got. Even disregarding his early learnings towards high-school level leftist protest and mistrust of the government, doesn't his careful consideration of the case show the reasons why we use a jury system? Even if the 'mob' e.g. the other jurors decide that a person is guilty, one or two reasonable arguments can decide otherwise.

It seems to me that everything worked out as it should. I wouldn't feel bad if I was the author. (oh and he'll be back in court, serving a case in most states only gives you a 3-5 year reprieve from jury duty)

fengwick3 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Despite the other negative comments, I actually find this a vicarious account of the judicial system - a poignant reminder that behind any democratic system lies humans.
shiro 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"I imagine what an inverse 12 Angry Men would be like, starting with 11 jurors ready to acquit and Henry Fonda as the only one willing to convict. "

There's a Japanese film, 12 Tender Japaneses, which is exactly that---at the beginning everybody casually votes to acquit except one who insists more discussion. It's of course an homage to Reginald Rose, but it also depicts very well how typical Japanese people behave when they face to make a decision. (And there's a twist in plot so it's not just a reverse of 12 Angry Men, anyway).

thwyperson 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Not quite jury duty but this story did strike a chord.

I'm someone who strongly believes, in theory anyway, in the presumption of innocence and that everyone is entitled to a strong defense. A prosecutor should have to earn a conviction. However I also feel strongly that perpetrators of some crimes, upon conviction, should face harsh punishments.

Earlier this week, we got a message from a defense attorney inquiring about our services to assist with a criminal case. There were no other details left, so we googled the attorney and found that this attorney is involved in a very high-profile criminal case defending someone accused of an extremely heinous crime. It's a Law and Order-type crime, and it happens to be in one of the category crimes that I find to be particularly egregious.

I'm torn. The part of me that believes in the right to a strong defense wants to assist, not necessarily because I support the defendant, but because the prosecutor shouldn't be a rubber stamp. The other part is wondering what happens if I help defendant get off and he hurts someone else.

We left a message with the attorney asking for more detail and haven't heard back. It may be that the attorney found someone else, decided our field won't help, or maybe just can't afford us. But if we do hear back, if we are able to assist, and if the attorney does want to retain us, I don't know how we'll respond.

I hope I have the courage to say yes. But I don't know that I do.

(throwaway account to mask my normal HN identity).

MaysonL 4 hours ago 0 replies      
And of course, even though this jury didn't convict the defendant, seemingly correctly (at least from the author's perspective), it's entirely possible for the prosecutor to move for a retrial, and this time keep all the black men off the jury, and get a conviction. Or if the defendant isn't out on bail, or maybe even if he is, to convince him to take a plea bargain to second degree murder, or manslaughter.
cgm616 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's interesting to look at if this article is fiction or non-fiction. It is certainly amazing writing with a strong message, but seems to be so strange to be non-fiction.

Then again, I knew about some of this from the excellent Illustrated Guide to Criminal Justice, so I wasn't totally surprised.

In the end, does it even matter if it happened?

peteretep 5 hours ago 1 reply      

 > as concerned as he was by the possibility of a false > conviction without also being concerned by the > possibility of a false acquittal.
Isn't that a natural consequence of innocent until proven guilty?

powera 7 hours ago 5 replies      
This guy seems like a terrible, terrible juror. Bragging about violating the rules, annoyed because the judge is called "your honor", implying that a jury with 6/12 people white is somehow a sign of massive racial bias?

What is supposed to be redeeming about this article? I'm not reading it all unless there's something somebody says is worth reading.

EDIT: It gets more readable in the jury section, but I still don't get what if anything this guy is trying to say, other than simply "it's like The Breakfast Club".

powertower 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A couple of things stand out for me here -

> Perhaps this was the time to mention that having witnessed the murders of Eric Garner and Walter Scott on video made personal experience unnecessary.

Eric Garner said "I can't breathe" 11 times.

Any person that has experienced a chokehold, knows that if you can't breath, you can't move air in and out of your lungs and throat, you can't say anything, not even "I can't breathe" 1 time. Certainly not 11 times - unless it was a purely stationary-type hold.

Also, chokeholds which result in death leave physical damage, that was not present in the autopsy (no damage to the windpipe or neckbones).

Eric Garner was not "murdered", he died in the ambulance from the situation exacerbating his health complications.

Anyone who thinks he was literally "murdered" is racially motivated to see it as such, not based on facts nor common-sense, the later which the author brings up multiple times.

Second, as this is written anonymously and rolls a "white-jury" racial narrative from the start to the end, you have to consider that 9 out of the last 10 racial incidences (of the national news proportion) ended up being hoaxes done to validate someones need for there to be racism where there was none. At some point you get tired of the lies. And there is absolutely nothing in this story that allows the reader to verify it.

Self hosted C breakdown achacompilers.blogspot.com
37 points by andrewchambers  4 hours ago   6 comments top 2
userbinator 1 hour ago 2 replies      
It's always great to see more people writing their own compilers - a "proof by example" that compilers do not have to be magical and mysterious special software that only few experts can write. The theory may be deep, but in practice getting a basic working compiler doesn't require all that much.

I notice you're using a recursive-descent parser, which I think is a good idea because it can actually reduce complexity over one made with parser-generators; in fact it's simple enough that even beginners who have just grasped recursion should be able to understand and write one. Once you have a basic parser that can evaluate arithmetic expressions, extending that to generating AST nodes and parse a (mostly) simple language like C is not so difficult. If I remember correctly, at least one college has an expression evaluator as a first-year CS assignment related to recursion. It's interesting that one of the sections of K&R, on reading and writing C declarations, even contains a simple parser for them --- I'm not aware of any introductory books for other languages which contain small pieces of their implementation.

That said, you can use the "precedence climbing" technique[1] to collapse many of the recursive functions for most of the expression operators into one function with a succinct loop and a table, making your parser even simpler and faster. C4[2] is an example of this technique but with a series of if-else in the body of the function instead of a table, and I think is worth some careful study just for its mindblowingly awesome ridiculous simplicity.

[1] https://www.engr.mun.ca/~theo/Misc/exp_parsing.htm#climbing

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8558822

hbbio 10 minutes ago 1 reply      
Thanks for providing the links that compare your for loop parser to existing implementations, it's interesting:

- Gcc is unreadable;

- Clang is "advanced", but not readable;

- yours and tcc are clean... But you know it's always a risk to compare yourself to Fabrice Bellard :)

Entering Public Beta letsencrypt.org
1127 points by sinak  16 hours ago   176 comments top 33
kubaw 15 hours ago 4 replies      
You may also want to try alternative client from https://github.com/kuba/simp_le. It can be easily dropped into crontab and renew certificates when necessary.

Disclaimer: I'm the author of simp_le and developer of the official client :)

diafygi 16 hours ago 8 replies      
FYI, if you don't want to install anything to try it out, you can use https://gethttpsforfree.com which is a browser-based ACME client. It doesn't ask for private keys, so you don't need to trust it.
pfg 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Happy to see this project hit public beta! I've deployed Let's Encrypt on a couple of side projects during the last month or so, and my experience has been mostly positive.

The official client still needs some work, especially in terms of auto-configuration on apache, nginx and others, but it's getting there. Some say it's become a bit bloated, which is true to a certain degree, but probably necessary to achieve the goals they have set for it.

Luckily, Let's Encrypt is based on an open specification (ACME) and it's really easy to implement a custom client. There are already more than 10 client implementations out there[1], all created with different goals in mind - anything from a Ruby gem to a simple scripts to get your own CSR signed. If you're not running your typical LAMP or LEMP stack, and don't want to run the official client which is more of a certificate manager requiring root access, that's definitely something to look into.

Note that if Windows XP support is relevant for your use-case, you might want to hold off. There's currently a problem with how XP deals with name constraints, which means any application using Windows XP's SSL API (I believe it's called schannel?) won't work - for example Internet Explorer and Chrome. This might get fixed in the future[2]. Hopefully, that's not relevant to you. :)

[1]: https://community.letsencrypt.org/t/list-of-client-implement...[2]: https://github.com/letsencrypt/letsencrypt/issues/1660

mholt 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's a Go client that has no dependencies and runs everywhere: https://github.com/xenolf/lego
barosl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
For those concerned with the official client requiring `sudo`: there are already many alternative clients that are compatible with the Let's Encrypt server, mine included.[1]

I made my own client because I wanted to know what's exactly going on during the certificate issue process. I tried to make the code as simple as possible, so take a look if you have time![2] It's a simple single file script.

[1] https://github.com/barosl/letsencrypt-simple

[2] https://github.com/barosl/letsencrypt-simple/blob/master/let...

davexunit 16 hours ago 3 replies      
The official lets-encrypt client has an extremely large dependency graph, and using the client requires server downtime since it takes over port 80. Can either of these things be improved?
hlandau 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm the nth author of an ACME (Let's Encrypt) client. It's a single-binary Go client which you can build and upload to your server. It's designed to work like "make"; you tell it what hostnames you want certificates for, and it tries to satisfy those requirements.It can install a cronjob automatically for autorenewal, and the authorization process doesn't require downtime.


denisu 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I have seen many howtos recommending to add a monthly cronjob for the certificate renewal on the first day of the month at 12am (0 0 1 * * or @monthly). It is probably better to renew the certificate on a random day/time (30 4 5 * *) to prevent excessive load on their servers.
sinak 16 hours ago 1 reply      
EFF's post on the beta, including details on the roadmap: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/12/lets-encrypt-enters-pu...
binwiederhier 10 hours ago 1 reply      
In case anyone is looking for an actual cronjob example. This works wonderfully:

 #!/bin/bash cd /srv/cert/domain.xyz simp_le -d domain.xyz:/srv/www/domain.xyz/html \ -f key.pem -f cert.pem -f fullchain.pem \ && service apache2 reload
And in the crontab:

 43 1 * * * /srv/bin/cert-renew || true
EDIT: This is using the simp_le client (https://github.com/kuba/simp_le), not the official client. But this one is wayy easier to use.

EDIT 2: Guide here: https://blog.philippheckel.com/2015/12/04/lets-encrypt-5-min...

SwellJoe 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is among the most exciting things going on in the web world, for me. It's a pretty dramatic change that now every website can be encrypted, by default, and in a secure(ish) fashion (it doesn't really do much for proving identity, but SSL has been broken for that for years anyway).

I suspect integrating this has been the most requested feature for Virtualmin for the past several months (and we're about to roll it out, probably next week). For whatever reason, SSL is just always intimidating for people...even when it's been almost entirely automated, the back and forth between the CA and the server and dealing with private keys is a deal-breaker for a lot of non-technical users, so many of our users who are new to web server management have problems with SSL. It follows close behind DNS in terms of how much confusion it causes.

Anyway, I love that Mozilla and others took the initiative to pull this together, and used their not insignificant clout to push it to completion.

grizzles 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Java: I made a cron friendly script to convert the letsencrypt keys to JKS format. https://github.com/ericbets/letsconvert
SCHiM 12 hours ago 2 replies      
How does lets encrypt handle possible phising domains?

Even if there's zero mitigation I think the benefits will outweigh the downsides, but I wonder if there's anything that stops a criminal from registering a domain that is very similar to, say, that of a bank?

I know from experience (ethical hack) that the traditional authorities won't easily let you register 'suspicious' names like: <bank>-<name>.com where the original domain is <bankname>.com. Or something like that.

Savagedlight 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're using FreeBSD and NGINX you may like the guide I wrote the other day. :) http://savagedlight.me/2015/11/24/lets-encrypt-on-a-freebsd-...

PS: I also made a cron-callable script which checks the expirity time of the cert before telling letsencrypt to renew. It checks if the cert was renewed afterwards, and echos to stderr if renewal didn't take.

stevebmark 6 hours ago 1 reply      
PSA: don't use ReadTheDocs for your documentation. Turns good projects sour with a nasty UI, poor features, and horrible SEO.
esher 14 hours ago 1 reply      
everyone interested in conspiracy, please read the comments over here: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/11/a_new_free_ca... when bruce schneier wrote about let's encrypt.
AndyKelley 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it work without port 80? Many home ISPs block port 80 which would prevent homes from being able to use the service.
sleepychu 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Any word on *.mydomain.tld certs from letsencrypt? That's the only thing stopping me from installing it today.
nodesocket 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyway to get a wildcard SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt? Mine is coming up for renewal soon.
scoot 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Dumb question time: Why would idenTrust, part of whose business is selling SSL certificates, cross-sign for Lets Encrypt, whose business is giving them away for free?
mei0Iesh 15 hours ago 1 reply      
They keep trying to push the idea that letsencrypt should be ran as root. If you disagree with that, I ran it as a normal user using:

 letsencrypt -t --work-dir /tmp --logs-dir /tmp \ certonly --webroot /www/public -d example.com
Except on my system the letsencrypt command did not work. It failed with an "Operation not permitted". So I edited the webroot.py file, and commented out line 108 that said:

 # Remove execution bit (not needed for this file) os.chmod(path, filemode & ~stat.S_IEXEC)
It ran fine without root, sudo, or su.

Then I added this to nginx.conf:

 listen 443 ssl http2; ssl_certificate /usr/local/etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem ssl_certificate_key /usr/local/etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
It gets an A+ on ssllabs.com, and it works fine in the browser. When I click the lock it says "Let's Encrypt".

r1ch 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Problems with a reverse proxy?

"There were too many requests of a given type :: Error creating new registration :: Too many registrations from this IP"

First time trying to sign up and only for a single domain.

tokenizerrr 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if their server supports DNS validation yet?
xrstf 12 hours ago 0 replies      
For those already using Let's Encrypt since the closed beta: Do not forget to remove the `agree-dev-preview` flags, as newer client version do seem to throw up if it's still set. I had `agree-dev-preview = True` in a config file and got an error about True being an invalid value.
mei0Iesh 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Now that it's public, and I verified it works...


awqrre 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you use this on a shared host and avoid the certificate installation fee?
jstalin 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Hoping for automation for Nginx...
slavik81 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm having trouble finding where it specifies what permissions I need to use Let's Encrypt. Can I get a certificate for my subdomain even if I don't control the full domain?
nulltype 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Does renewing a certificate require completing a challenge, or is that only for the initial certificate?
FPSDavid 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Can't wait to start using this on nginx.
SunDwarf 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Works flawlessly on my site. SSLLabs recognises the cert. Super easy to setup.
wereHamster 14 hours ago 0 replies      
How do I use it with Google Cloud HTTP Load Balancer?
pjbrunet 15 hours ago 7 replies      
"We want to see HTTPS become the default."

Sounds fine for shopping, online banking, user authorizations. But for every website? If I'm a blogger/publisher or have a brochure type of website, I don't see point of the extra overhead.

Update: Thanks to those who answered my question. You pointed out some things I hadn't considered. Blocking the injection of invisible trackers and javascripts and ads, if that's what this is about for websites without user logins, then it would help to explicitly spell that out in marketing communications to promote adoption of this technology. The free speech angle argument is not as compelling to me though, but that's just my opinion.

The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work ucdavis.edu
206 points by cscheid  12 hours ago   69 comments top 12
pcl 12 hours ago 1 reply      
From the abstract:

Cryptography rearranges power: it configures who can do what, from what.

I'd argue that the reverse is really the issue that needs more attention. Online systems that do not provide strong cryptography rearrange power, as compared to their offline equivalents.

It was not feasible to scan all phone calls for keywords in 1970, since that required effort from humans to do the patching and listening. The power dynamic changed when our industry brought those calls into a centralized, trivially-storable clear-text format. Encrypting the conversations is simply a partial return to the status quo of a few decades ago.

AdmiralAsshat 12 hours ago 10 replies      
They lead one to ask if our inability to effectively address mass surveillance constitutes a failure of our field. I believe that it does. I call for a community-wide effort to develop more effective means to resist mass surveillance.

What's funny is that you could talk to any number of law enforcement officials who believe that the moral failing is on the cryptography community for not providing a "backdoor" into encrypted communications. Or to restate, "Please, Apple, think of the children!"

Morality is, unfortunately, subjective. Part of the argument is in convincing your opponent that your morality is superior to theirs. Or, perhaps, that their stance violates their own sense of morality.

pdkl95 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> This makes cryptography an inherently political tool.

It always was.

Many developers like to stay out of politics. Concentrating on difficult technical problems is hard enough; adding in politics is therefor adding in unnecessary complexity. As the wonderful Tom Lehrer put it in his song "Wernher Von Braun"[1],

 Don't say that he's hypocritical, Say rather that he's apolitical. "once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.
The problem with this is similar to the problem of abstaining from the vote: it's absolutely not a neutral position. Choosing to abstain from politics in general, like those that choose to abstain from the vote, is de facto a vote for the status quo and majority rule.

Not only is cryptography an inherently political tool, almost all software is political.

Software does not exist in a vacuum; the entire point of most software is that it has an impact on business, society, and the world. With the discovery of the General Purpose Computer, this impact can be very large.

It's easy to see why cryptography disrupts existing power structures. It should be similarly easy to see how software already overturned the traditional power structures in places like the stock market, manufacturing, and retail.

So please, consider what impact your software might have when you are writing it, or if someone already has a goal in mind. Maybe, in some cases, it's better to walk away. It;'s a hard question, but the answer is not to say "I'm staying out of politics". To quote Quinn Norton and Eleanor Saitta from their talk[2] at 30c3, there is "no neutral ground in a burning world".

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ9HrZq7Ro#t=16

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWg2qEEa9CE

tptacek 2 days ago 1 reply      
For anyone here who doesn't know who the author is, Phil Rogaway is one of the most important academic cryptographers; he's responsible for OAEP, PSS, OCB, UMAC, FPE, and the constructions behind XTS, the universal standard for disk encryption.

The meat of the paper is in Sections 2 (where the unintended power dynamics of some modern academic crypto research projects is discussed) and 4 (where he provides suggestions for important practical projects academic cryptographers should tackle). Sections 1 and 3 are written for an audience of academics who might be less familiar with the political implications of crypto than the typical HN reader.

Essentially, Rogaway is trying to convince mathematicians to embrace the practical and political impact of their work.

Colin Percival gets a nice mention towards the end of the paper. I'd be over the moon if I were him. Congrats, Colin!

dang 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Posted a few days ago at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10655418, but got so little discussion that we won't treat it as a dupe but have instead merged the threads.
zby 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Cyber-security in general is political. This guy is a cryptographer - so it is natural that he formulated this for his own area - but it is too narrow.

Hackers are now routinely the foot soldiers of the cyber-war of everyone against everyone - we need to think more about our own rules instead of following orders.

PhaseMage 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I completely agree that Cryptography researchers should evaluate their work against their moral values. I feel the same thing about pretty much all engineering... I've been focusing on trying to design moral networking protocols.
bryanhm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Here we have what I think is a display of an intelligent mind specialized in one area, funded by a state institution, and weak at resolving moral conflicts. Computer scientists (and any self-respecting scientists) HAVE to separate their ethics from the interests of state institutions. Phrases in the paper resembling something like "where the cryptographer has a duty to serve the public and keep their self-interest in check" indicate this. I've read a paper recently on designing systems to have security exceptions for law enforcement and calling them "exception requirements" or something to that effect. This is the sort of thing a good study of ethics can help to resolve.
moyix 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is an important message to consider, and not just for cryptography. Everyone can benefit from thinking about the moral and social consequences of what problems they choose to work on, who they do them for, and what values the institutions they contract with hold.
kluck 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It is the responsibility of the inventor to think ahead as far as possible about how an invention may do good and/or harm.
NHQ 9 hours ago 0 replies      
sneak 11 hours ago 2 replies      
So I guess we have a moralimperative to fork Chrome to actually enforce cert pinning even against locally-installed roots, then?
Swift is Open Source swift.org
1658 points by psuter  19 hours ago   400 comments top 92
ruddct 19 hours ago 3 replies      
A lot of folks to thank at Apple right now, can't wait until all of this propagates so we can take a look at what's new in Swift 3. Two thoughts:

- VERY happy to see the open sourcing of much of the Foundation libraries (which includes strings, dates, networking primitives, concurrency/task queues, I/O, etc). It'll provide a very strong start and make working with Swift immediately productive.

- Holy crap, there's a package manager. This has been sorely needed since about day one of Swift development, glad to see that it's been a priority as part of the effort to open source!

nikon 18 hours ago 6 replies      
jdub 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Apache 2.0 License + Runtime Library Exception + copyright owned by the contributor (i.e. no assignment or CLA) + good community structure and documentation + code of conduct... well done, Apple!
practicalswift 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Happy to see that my collection of Swift compiler crashes (see https://github.com/practicalswift/swift-compiler-crashes) has been part of the official Swift repo since September 2014: https://github.com/apple/swift/commit/e5ca8be1a090335d401cd1... :-)

A previous HN thread about the swift-compiler-crashes project: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9020206

bamazizi 17 hours ago 1 reply      
The programming language eco system is really improving rapidly and efficiently. It seemed the developer's toolkit was limited by the languages created 20+ years ago but within the last few years we're seeing a renaissance in developer toolkits as well as development philosophies.

Languages like Go, Rust, and now Swift are not only great from almost every aspect over the last generation languages like C, C++, Java, but a lot noobs or scripting language developers are also converting to more low level languages. So the barrier to pick up a lower level language and become productive in it has really diminished.

Go has had a head start and introduced minimal simplicity. It's a great/powerful language and almost everybody can pick it up quickly within a few days. I wouldn't listen to people who dismiss the language for its lack of "features" and have never written more than "hello world" in it.

Swift is "important" because of Apple & iOS. It has a much steeper learning curve than Go and naturally it takes a few weeks of dedication to get comfortable with it. However, once you overcome the introductory challenge then you'll start to appreciate the language and its capabilities.

Already the job market for both languages are really high with higher than average salaries. So learning/mastering both Go and Swift is the best decision you can make.

justplay 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I still remember max howel tweet[1] in which he publicly said that we was rejected by Google. Looking at his linkedin profile[2] , he was later hired by Apple in August 2015. Now he is biggest[3] contributed to Swift package manager. It is good to see that the person who has lot of experience in handing Apple and package system is handing this stuff. I guess, things happens for good.

[1] https://twitter.com/mxcl/status/608682016205344768

[2] https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxhowell

[3] https://github.com/apple/swift-package-manager/graphs/contri...

dangjc 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Super excited! I will totally be exploring Swift for quantitative work. Julia has been great so far, but a lack of good IDE tooling is making a large codebase difficult to navigate and keep clean. Python has even less type safety than Julia. Swift has a REPL! Go doesn't, and its lack of generics makes writing most algorithms very limited (there isn't even a matrix 32 library, just 64 bit). Java has horrible native interfacing. C# is pretty anemic on Linux. C++ has too many gotchas, slow compile, to feel productive. Bonus: Swift libs will probably be very easy to deploy on both Android and ios.
alblue 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Fantastic news that Swift is now open-source, though it came about 4 hours too late for my GotoBerlin presentation on Swift 2 Under the Hood (on SpeakerDeck at https://speakerdeck.com/alblue/swift-2-under-the-hood-gotobe... if you're interested)

I've also open-sourced the SIL Inspector that I demonstrated (https://github.com/alblue/SILInspector) and written up a post on InfoQ covering the important points of this release


ihuman 19 hours ago 3 replies      
It looks like Apple is also releasing an official package manager for swift.[1] I wonder how that will effect Cocoapods.

[1] https://swift.org/package-manager

iheart2code 18 hours ago 3 replies      
It's great to see them follow through with this. I remember when Steve Jobs went on stage and said that FaceTime would be an open standard. Haven't seen that happen yet.
mojuba 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Just re-stating the obvious, but it's also interesting how GitHub has become the default go-to of repos for everyone, like Google is for - well - googling. Kudos to both GiHub and git, you are simply awesome.
glenntzke 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I find the number of typo PRs to be amusing. Makes me wonder if there's a mass effort to slog through commented code just to jump into the contributor list.

Correct spelling is certainly good, but the interesting phenomenon is getting a PR merged in a high-profile project - however slight the change - as a badge of cool.


mwcampbell 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting that they rewrote the Foundation library in Swift for the open-source release rather than open-sourcing the ObjC one and bringing along the ObjC runtime. I wonder if this means they still believe the ObjC runtime and Foundation library are still worth keeping proprietary, or just that this is a step toward phasing out ObjC.
ricksplat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As a sometime Apple developer I do welcome this. Hopefully it will legitimise some of the grey (non-official) toolchains and support the development of tools and community that much of the rest of the software development world enjoys, and people won't be tied solely to Apple's own dev tools.

Does anybody else think it's a little strange though? To have open source tools solely to target a closed platform? I haven't used Swift myself but from what I've seen it seems to be something like Javascript with libraries for iOS, perhaps with a few semantic adjustments. Would that be a fair assessment?

I can't imagine it being used for much else beyond developing for iOS devices. Perhaps Macs. So while it's free as in "beer", but could it truly be said to be free as in "speech" in any substantial fashion?

hokkos 17 hours ago 4 replies      
What kind of trolling is that ?

>I think we should use GPL v3 instead.


insulanian 15 hours ago 1 reply      
With open-sourcing C# and Swift, the era of major closed source programming languages is now officially over.
makecheck 11 hours ago 1 reply      
There's one thing I can't understand about Apple's approach, and that is their pathnames.

As good as Swift is, putting it by default in asinine paths like "/Library/Developer/Toolchains/swift-latest.xctoolchain/usr/bin" doesn't help anybody (and a ton of stuff in OS X is like this).

A more Unixy way to do this would be /opt/swift-3.0/bin, where /opt/swift is a symlink to /opt/swift-3.0. Even Apple used to limit the path insanity to merely /Developer/usr/bin. Not sure what happened...

mingodad 19 hours ago 3 replies      
Testing the binaries on ubuntu decompressed to to $HOME/swift and trying to execute swift:

Welcome to Swift version 2.2-dev (LLVM 46be9ff861, Clang 4deb154edc, Swift 778f82939c). Type :help for assistance.

 1> help
opening import file for module 'SwiftShims': No such file or directory

I could not find any mention to environment variables that could be used to override default locations, like SWIFT_LIBRARY_PATH or something like it.

inglor 18 hours ago 6 replies      
Am I the only one who finds it odd that while pushing two high level but performant languages (Objective-C and Swift) Apple wrote their Swift compiler in C++?
sebastiank123 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Great news! Coding in Swift is fantastic and I would love to see it coming to more platforms, maybe even on servers. It could become a serious Javascript competitor due to its elegant syntax, the type safety and speed.
iheart2code 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The more I think about this, the more I wonder how existing third-party libraries will respond. Similar to Android and Java, I'd imagine we'll start seeing "vanilla" Swift libraries crop up that only use public/standard libraries and can work on iOS/OS X apps as well as open source projects.
renownedmedia 17 hours ago 0 replies      

It's not just you! http://swift.org looks down from here.

blumomo 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I would love to see Swift for Android programing. I'm already using Kotlin, a language very close to Swift, for programming our Android apps. But I find Swift niftier than Kotlin.
cbeach 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Such good news. I've bet my career on Scala, but Swift is sufficiently similar in style that it will be an easy transition.

A language to write native (not VM-based) apps for the desktop, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, CarPlay and Apple TV is becoming very compelling indeed.

athenot 19 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder if Apple is positionning it as a competitor to Google's Go? They are hinting at a usage beyond just iOS and OS X.
SXX 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Hope it's will have brighter future outside Apple ecosystem. It's nice to have more tools for server-side development, but wish it's will be better on desktop than ObjC / Cocoa / GNUstep was.
kenbellows 16 hours ago 1 reply      
So does this mean we might finally get officially supported iOS development on Windows and/or Linux soon?
Ingon 18 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the biggest things for me is that now I can draw upon the knowledge and knowhow of the people making Swift itself. Coming from Java, I'm used to reading the sources of all the things and now I can finally do it. So exciting, congrats to everyone involved!
KevinMS 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Somebody compare and contrast swift for backend development with golang, node, etc. Google is giving me nothing useful.
sbarre 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Must be brand new because the Github links on the site don't work (assuming they haven't made the repos public yet).
imranismail 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Been learning Elixir for the past few months and it's been a fun experience learning a functional language and OTP.

This might just be the thing to cross the "native" on my language learning checklist.

BuckRogers 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats to Chris Lattner and the others at Apple who were promoting this! I've been watching Swift develop from the initial announcement because it would be a bit like C#. A great backend language that gives you first-class access on one of the most popular platforms.
connorshea 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Swift Package Manager? It looks like Apple has developed their own version CocoaPods for Swift? Interesting.
cromwellian 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is pretty awesome. If all of the platform dependencies could be abstracted away, this could form the core of yet another cross-mobile-platform development framework, but with better performance and richer tooling.

I think it really depends on how much control Apple intends to exercise over the IP. Could someone fork it and use it to create a mobile platform that would be free from legal harassment if it competed with the iPhone?

dubcanada 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The site is barely even indexed by Google yet, and the github repo is not even done. I don't think it's ready yet.
cdnsteve 19 hours ago 3 replies      
How is developing on iOS these days? Swift seems like such nice a nice language.
zmanian 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Wonders about the state of Swift on Linux? Was expecting this to be timed with the open source announcement.
sinatra 19 hours ago 2 replies      
This is good news (hoping the github link etc will start working in a day or two)! One side effect of swift being open sourced is that more developers will start looking at it for server side development. However, I personally think that Swift will continue to have strong reliance on Apple (esp considering that most external Swift developers will come from iOS development). So, till I see Apple showing interest in Swift getting used on server side, I'll not use it there.
i_don_t_know 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Very nice that you can debug functions in the repl and set breakpoints:


I don't know any other repl that can do that. I know you can debug in (some) lisps and smalltalk, but I don't know if you can set breakpoints too. Still a nice and welcome feature.

return_0e 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The Swift port for Linux seems to only support x86-64 for now. https://swift.org/blog/swift-linux-port/ I would like to see how swift could run on Linux ARM devices (Raspberry Pi 2/Beagleboard/etc) and other platforms; given that the runtime is already on iOS devices. Kudos to Apple for open-sourcing Swift.
justplay 19 hours ago 1 reply      
giancarlostoro 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm hoping to see builds for other distros and Windows as well. I'm curious what GUI applications would be like for Swift on Linux. I hope we see a great new platform for development with Swift :)
crudbug 17 hours ago 3 replies      
What was the design decision that required function declaration to be :

func hello(name: String) -> String { }

rather than,

func hello(name: String) : String { }

Scarbutt 18 hours ago 2 replies      
A Golang killer?
espadrine 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Linux support is hinted at in examples:

 #if os(Linux) import Glibc #else import Darwin.C #endif

talles 19 hours ago 1 reply      
atmosx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's WAY too slow to load and most pages time-out for me... I understand the hug of death coming from HN and twitter and reddit (and God where from) but this is Apple-backed right?!
pjmlp 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations on the efforts done by whole involved to make it open source.

But I wonder if it will fare better than Objective-C outside Apple eco-systems without the tools and OS libraries...

peterle 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Initial commit was made 4,5 ago...Is it normal it takes so long for a language to become Open Source?

commit 18844bc65229786b96b89a9fc7739c0fc897905e

Author: Chris Lattner <clattner@apple.com>

AuthorDate: Sat Jul 17 23:50:59 2010 +0000

Commit: Chris Lattner <clattner@apple.com>

CommitDate: Sat Jul 17 23:50:59 2010 +0000

 initial swift test

lassejansen 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, the compiler seems to be implemented in C++.
golergka 19 hours ago 4 replies      

This organization has no public repositories.

phatbyte 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this! I got say, that I've been a fan of Swift since the day Apple announced it. It's a such a beautiful language, with so many new paradigms implemented, safe and easy to learn.

I really hope this boosts the widespread of Swift. I'd love to use it for back-end dev for instance.

AlphaSite 17 hours ago 1 reply      
There is one more very interesting project under the swift umbrella: https://github.com/apple/swift-corelibs-libdispatch so now swift should have a useful approach to concurrency.
trymas 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice, I am excited.

And probably I am more excited not about the open-sourcing of it, but that there will be a package manager [0].

[0] https://swift.org/package-manager/#conceptual-overview

praseodym 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Happily surprised by the fact that they merged 16 pull requests since the repo got open sourced :)
codingvelocity 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Now that swift is opensource i'm looking forward to some better tools being released for it. Right now xcodes support of swift is pretty lacking. No refactoring, and compile errors are fairly ambiguous sometimes.

Since this has linux support i wonder if xcode or something similar will be ported to linux.

ehPReth 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's an archive.is mirror of the swift.org index page: https://archive.is/L0J97
eccstartup 1 hour ago 0 replies      
therockhead 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Any news regarding Swifts ability to interoperate with CPP, like Objective C++?
theflagbug 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Shameless self-promotion: Here is a great way to learn Swift on your phone: http://swifty-app.com/
truncate 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it just me or is anyone else getting 404 for binary download (Ubuntu).
SXX 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. Less than 30 minutes pass and site already loading with huge delay.
piratebroadcast 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe now we can add a way to get a random value from an array like array,sample in Ruby. Lots of work currently to do such a simple thing in Swift.
pbreit 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Would anyone use Swift if it wasn't necessary for iOS?
sandis 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Repositories starting to go public now on Github - https://github.com/apple
altonzheng 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, seems like Apple is following the steps of Microsoft now!
lsm 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Be patient guys. Good things come to those who wait.
symlinkk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Hopefully we'll see it on more platforms now!
jeremy_wiebe 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Brutal to see all the comment spam on the pull requests.
jug 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, Swift.org is getting hammered right now.
be5invis 16 hours ago 1 reply      
So let's guess, will Microsoft create a Windows-supporting fork, just like Redis?
tornilloo 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I couldn't git with

git clone git@github.com:apple/swift.git swift

but you can use:

git clone https://...../apple/.... swift

and the same for the remaining libraries.

merb 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What means "swift is memory safe"? does it use a GC?
billybilly1920 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Can this do GUI programming on Lin/Win? Or Are there usable gui libraries for doing cross platform development like QT?
anjanb 8 hours ago 1 reply      
anyone knows about a port to windows x64 environment ?
ssutch3 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Metal is just a graphics API (OpenGL) and not specific to Swift at all.
mxx 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it worth learning Swift? (eg. on Linux)
avitzurel 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Not loading for me. Anyone experiencing the same issue?
mnml_ 19 hours ago 0 replies      
404 On the github repo
dbrannan 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Can we get Adobe to open source the flash player plugin as well? Can anyone think of a reason Adobe continues to refuse?
melling 15 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're new to Swift, I maintain a list of blogs, etc about Swift. I just past 2500 urls:


It can be viewed daily or weekly, if you're only interest in recent blogs:



Finally, all the data is on Github:


singularity2001 18 hours ago 2 replies      
@OP: Please change title to "Swift will be Open Source soon" until the git repositories become actually available.
mozil 9 hours ago 0 replies      
cannot download snapshot now
sdegutis 19 hours ago 2 replies      
They're releasing the source code to libdispatch? I thought that was one of Apple's trade secrets, and more applicable than just Swift apps since it's a C lib?
Twisell 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I see this as an hilarious welcome joke from the community : https://github.com/apple/swift/pull/17

Its developer's way to say FIRST

alia20 16 hours ago 0 replies      
999999999999999 wl
agp2572 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Now all we need is a transpiler that converts Swift to Javascript.
tornilloo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't work in x86, ubuntu 15.10,bash: /home/user/Descargas/swift-2.2-SNAPSHOT-2015-12-01-b-ubuntu15.10/usr/bin/swift: no puede ejecutar el archivo binario: Formato de ejecutable incorrecto

Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU T4500 @ 2.30GHz 2

artursapek 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Ouch, I guess this leaked? Who is the OP?
envy2 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting that this domain is registered at GoDaddy via DomainsByProxy, and hosted on a SoftLayer IP block.

WebKit.org, for instance, is registered with CSC Corporate Domains the same as apple.com, and is hosted on an Apple-owned IP block.

Perhaps a (further) indication this isn't ready for prime time yet?

jorgecastillo 19 hours ago 2 replies      
At first I was like 'AWESOME', than I was like 'oh fuck, not ready yet'. I am not upvoting this, until there is a GitHub repository that I can clone!
The DNA of a London Underground Station londonreconnections.com
17 points by alexbilbie  3 hours ago   6 comments top 3
RLN 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Those pictures really looked a lot like the newer stations such as Canada Water to me. All concrete, glass and cold lighting. Undoubtedly they work and are functional but we end up with these cold, cavernous halls which serve just to get you out of them as quickly as possible. The Underground I love is the one that feels a bit lived in and isn't clinically perfect. I like that different stations can bring different eras and have a completely different feel to them. Such as Tottenham Court Road [1] with its lovely mosaics. Now it's just a bit more bland. All over the Underground is a lot of history and design that was probably never meant to last over 100 years [2] but it did. I don't think these new designs are going to be pretty in 100 years.

Maybe I'm harking for a design philosophy that never really existed. And I like the old District line trains so what do I know!

[1] http://now-here-this.timeout.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/...

[2] http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dILlxEDvx20/UkwfeIhKOyI/AAAAAAAAAu...

bostik 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The design document can be found at http://content.tfl.gov.uk/station-design-idiom-2.pdf link lifted from first comment in the article).

I find it disturbing that the first major item is "capacity", but then the design parts do not even care to note how the given idiom will work towards that end. Discoverability helps, by making it less likely for individuals to get lost and thus take up valuable commuter real estate, but without sufficient peak throughput it makes very little difference.

Not to mention that if station design does not accommodate for need to widen the tunnels in the future, they are not really aiming for future-proof. The only good measure for capacity is how many commuters can be moved through, and there is an upper bound to how many trains per platform you can fit in an hour. Once that limit is reached, the only way to further increase capacity is to get more people in per train. Hence: make trains longer (and extend platforms), or make them wider (which requires to expand the tunnels).

As for personal taste... I like Canada Water station. It's utilitarian, can sustain a lot of commuter traffic going both ways and doesn't even look that ugly. Sure, it has a weird bottleneck on the street level because all commuters need to take a long circular route to reach the escalators but all parts within the station are spacious and wide.

Not to say that the station couldn't look nicer, of course...

druml 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Not a relevant comment for the article, but when I saw the title I was expecting a DNA sequencing experiment.
Read a good dance lately? dancenotation.org
21 points by Tomte  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
ipince 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Awesome, I didn't know such notation existed.

I dance and teach (Cuban) salsa, and I've been wanting to write down a "repertoire" of moves that I know and teach, to give it some structure. Here the system I'm inclined to use:

The space of patterns/figures you can do in salsa is really not very big. You can break each figure into a sequence of positions at which to be on beats 1, 3, 5, and 7 (I guess you can choose higher or lower granularity, but I think this level of granularity is just right for most people). Then, in my mind, a figure is merely a directed path through a graph where each node is a "known" position (~20?). Assuming you know how to get from one arbitrary position to another one (safe assumption for anyone in an intermediate level), then you can just read and write any figure you want.

I think this kind of structure would allow students to learn much much faster (and is basically the method I used to improve my own skill very quickly, except I used a spreadsheet instead of graph). You'll realize that most of the new stuff you learn is simply:

- composite paths made out of other paths you already knew.

- existing paths where you take detours and do something else in the middle. Those detours always start at a node, so now you can use the detour in any other path that goes through that node.

- new ways of getting from one node to another. Similarly, now you can apply this new knowledge to any move that utilizes that node, not just the move that you're learning at the time.

Where I also think this shines is in developing the dancer's (esp. leader's) creativity, which I think is one of the hardest part for most people (technical stuff is easy, creative stuff is hard!). Having such paths laid out makes it really easy for someone to mix and match, and to create potentially endless combinations by simply choosing a different path forward once you get into a known shared position.

And for fun, I'm sure you could just draw out a random path and see if you can make it work into something that looks reasonably good :)

leni536 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I found how it handles turns: http://labanlab.osu.edu/Turnfolder/turns_expframe.html

I couldn't find notations for partner dances, however designing notations for contacts shouldn't be difficult. Notations for lead and follow more so.

Rcon: a lightweight resource virtualization tool for Linux processes github.com
50 points by matsumotory  8 hours ago   8 comments top 5
geoka9 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Shameless plug: I needed to run multiple instances of a binary while limiting the memory footprint (memory + swap) for each instance, so I wrote a launcher that achieves this by placing the process in its own cgroup.

May be useful as a "production" example of libcgroup usage.


tinco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Besides that this is a very cool little tool I think it's also notable for being written in MRuby. MRuby is a dialect or Ruby designed for embedded devices, but can be used for system tools as well. The biggest difference is that MRuby is compiled, so you end up with a static binary like this project.

The language is still the dynamic dispatching dream that is Ruby, so it might not be the fastest language, but it is a nice alternative for Go for system tools.

wyldfire 6 hours ago 1 reply      
My knee jerk was to assume that this was a reinvention of cgexec.

You had me at "limiting already running process to cpu 30%".

My poor laptop has never loved a feature so much as this.

, Matsumoto-san.

nl 4 hours ago 0 replies      
trev_b 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks Mats! I've been looking for something like this for a while.
Pure4J: Compile-Time Functional Purity and Immutability for the Java Language github.com
7 points by bobm_kite9  1 hour ago   discuss
Office Papermaking System That Turns Waste Paper into New Paper epson.com
106 points by e19293001  13 hours ago   27 comments top 9
sandworm101 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"...this essential tool is also produced from a limited resource."

Noop. Paper comes from trees. Trees are not a limited resource. They grow again. A well-managed forest will provide forever. Looking at the complexity of this machine, the plastics and metal used, and its probable energy consumption, I doubt it is any more environmentally friendly than new or traditional recycled paper.

I also cannot see this thing recycling forever. It adds chemicals, binders, to the new paper. Subsequent generations will be more and more binder and less and less paper. So the process will need an intake of new paper at one end, and a disposal of used paper waste at the other. And now instead of relatively harmless paper ready for recycling, that waste is toxic sludge of binders and fragrances.

biot 11 hours ago 1 reply      
My first thought was to question the energy efficiency of this kind of system. However, it's interesting from the angle of secure document destruction: the system is essentially a high security shredder with a side effect of spitting out "new" paper.
cgm616 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems very useful for schools, who both need lots of paper (still even now) and who need it only for a short time.

Schools have the space and resources for such a machine, and they could potentially save lots of money and paper that otherwise goes into the trash at home. It all depends on the costs of the system.

Animats 11 hours ago 7 replies      
That's an impressive achievement. But how many offices use substantial amounts of paper entirely internally any more?

The big problem with paper recycling is that the fibers get shorter on each pass, resulting in weaker paper. Going closed-cycle on paper is going to make that problem worse. It's not like aluminum, where you can go round and round forever without deterioration. Now if the system can take junk mail as a feedstock, it will be more useful.

grhmc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahh, the cycle of bureaucracy[0].

[0]: https://i.imgur.com/tIFidJt.gif

mthoms 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Knowing Epson, the catch is probably along the lines of "requires consumable cartridges that cost as much as the machine itself".

I'm only half-joking.

Asbostos 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's hard to imagine that this machine could be cheaper to own and operate than just buying new paper. If it's not then it's just a show-off item for Epson that nobody will actually use.

However, if it is cheaper, that might be a game changer! Maybe it does it by eliminating the collection and sorting costs from traditional recycling.

fuzzythinker 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Without water, even assuming people don't mix in colored papers, won't the recycled papers get darker and darker? Maybe the fibers are so small that it just throws away the dark ones.
alexmntn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This machine is not going to help the most common use of paper in the offices these days as the monitor stands and height elevators for the tables.
Hot code reloading with Erlang medium.com
19 points by kansi  3 hours ago   1 comment top
Fuddh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Attended a talk by one of the creators of Erlang a couple of weeks ago. Very passionate about achieving maximum uptime for applications written in his language. This is one of the features that makes that possible... Fascinating stuff.
Zoltan Istvan, presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party theverge.com
13 points by fezz  4 hours ago   5 comments top 2
stoolpigeon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
His name had me very, very confused. Wikipedia says his full name is Zoltan Istvan Gyurko. That makes a lot more sense. I don't think there's an English common name that is the equivalent of Zoltn (It comes from the word sultan), Istvn is Steven. So if we just pick another common English name, calling him Zoltan Istvan is a lot like someone having the name Robert Steven. Gyurk on the other hand is a normal Hungarian family name.
reasonattlm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Zoltan Istvan is a character, and an outspoken transhumanist in a time when it is becoming perhaps a trifle unfashionable to refer to oneself as a transhumanist. Of course we are all transhumanists together here, reading this post while hoping and planning for a future in which fundamental limits of the human condition will be overcome through technological progress. Istvan has been publishing and speaking relentlessly on the topic of transhumanism for years now, and of late has settled upon the forthcoming presidential race as one of the few opportunities for an activist to make use of the US political system to promote a cause. In Europe starting single issue parties is a viable approach, but not in the US. So Istvan is touring, attracting attention, and giving interviews.

Here is something to consider: in the matter of changing the world, is it better to fund research into the technological progress you desire or is it better to fund publicity efforts for that same technological progress? I suspect that both are needed, striking some sort of balance between (a) science that is within striking distance but effectively invisible to the world and large funding sources, which has been the state for SENS rejuvenation research for quite some time, and (b) advocacy that is so far ahead of technological plausibility that the snake-oil salesmen sneak in and corrupt an entire generation with their nonsense, which is the story of the last quarter of the last century with respect to progress towards the treatment of aging. An argument for the "fund research" side is that meaningful progress in science tends to generate its own news. An argument for the "more publicity efforts" side is that there are plenty of historical examples of important scientific progress languishing at the verge of completion for a lifetime or longer. Personally, I'm in favor of funding the research at this time, and one of my main reasons for that is that early stage research has become very cheap over the course of the modern biotechnology revolution, while publicity remains stubbornly expensive. Yes, it is far easier to send your message out into the world, but there is now such a sea of content that making yourself heard is harder than ever.

Father of Robotics Joseph F. Engelberger Dies at Age 90 robotics.org
5 points by mcspecter  2 hours ago   discuss
Show HN: Demo of Wiki and Forum coded in C under 80k ronsor.gq
41 points by ronsor  7 hours ago   39 comments top 11
danieltillett 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I really think we should stop being so mean to the submitter. Sure the code might have problems and the whole approach might not be advisable, but I am sure they have learned a lot from doing this. Ronsor congratulations for actually shipping.
pavement 6 hours ago 2 replies      

 <script type="text/javascript">alert('you guys better watch out for dat XSS and XSRF bidness');</script>
Oh god, this shit is sooooo not secure.

erikb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Now that more than enough people complained about security etc. I also want to add that a modern wiki doesn't really work with their own grammar anymore. Consider changing to markdown, restructuredText, MediaWiki, or Atlassian style (last not really suggested but better than nothing).
hardwaresofton 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not trying to be snarky, but if the goal was to show why you shouldn't do something like this, you've succeeded.

Would you consider rewriting something like this in rust or go, and doing a comparison? I think you would have found things to combat XSS in either of those languages (safe templating), would be interested to see the differences... And if any of those languages deliver on their promise to be safer than C

zepolen 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Server stopped working after doing this:


unboxed_type 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
It is interesting from performance and low resource consumption point of view. Great work! I wonder if someone would like to do the same in assembly language for even more crazy experiment -
ronsor 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I'll upload the source code tomorrow...

Edit: Its also running on my 4mb flash openwrt router, and has NO dependencies

dbpokorny 7 hours ago 2 replies      
What are your thoughts re: adding memory protection to C? (in other words: add a distinction between "pointer bytes" and "raw data bytes" and some rules regarding pointer assignment, arithmetic, and dereferencing that serve to treat the pointer bytes as protected memory of a "3rd space" that sits between kernel space and user space; thereby ensuring that a program can only obtain a pointer to either a stack location (with restrictions) or heap location that points to a byte in an allocated segment of memory?)
zepolen 6 hours ago 0 replies      

seems that cgi-bin is also writable, can't make the file executable though


krapp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks interesting. Unfortunately, judging from the comments here, it's also more or less useless. I really look forward to seeing the source code, though, but the hard part is the part that seems not yet done - which is the security.

I mean, what even is the point of sending me a file with a txt extension if you're not sending text headers?

latenightcoding 4 hours ago 0 replies      
In for the source code
Germany May Offer Model for Reining in Fossil Fuel Use nytimes.com
3 points by prostoalex  1 hour ago   discuss
How to be like Steve Ballmer medium.com
678 points by drb311  18 hours ago   160 comments top 33
bigdipper 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Let me add some color to the speculation here, I worked under Ballmer for sometime leading a product.

Ballmer was a math genius, he was also a spreadsheet whiz and knew as much as a CFO did at anytime. His memory was that of a thousand elephants, and could recite forecasts, actuals and numbers for multiple years in one go.

Microsoft played in the enterprise space, and Ballmer was a marketing genius when it came to enterprise positioning. I credit him with driving the attach revenue concept within the enterprise. Companies that bought Windows, bought office, bought Exchange server, bough maintenance and more.

Even more, he was a relationship marketing genius. He had a photographic memory and remembered names of people he would meet once and recall entire conversations after months/years. And this was globally, he took the company global in a very aggressive way.

He rewarded people, both Bill and Steve weren't stingy about doling out stock - unlike Jobs. This kept a strong talent pool of A players at Microsoft.

He had a strong penchant for the enterprise and where he started faltering was when the Internet started maturing and consumer experiences started converging with the enterprise.

Nevertheless, this man took Microsoft from $15B to $70B in revenue and you can't belittle that.

loeber 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Something rarely mentioned: Ballmer could've been a first-rate mathematician. He graduated magna cum laude with an AB in math, and beat Bill Gates on the Putnam exam, finishing well within the top 100 contestants that year.
brudgers 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Ballmer was the "business guy" at the startup that created the greatest ever amount of money for its founders and employees by holding off an IPO and raising a minimal amount of outside investment. The amount of equity he and Gates retained allowed Microsoft to take a long term rather than a quarter by quarter Wall Street driven approach for about twenty years following the IPO.

If Microsoft is currently undergoing a renaissance, it may be because Ballmer got the supertanker turned onto the right heading. Unlike the much beloved Sun, Microsoft is still around and its works are trending toward the right side of history while Sun's legacy is increasingly sliding into the pale of Oracle.

MichaelGlass 16 hours ago 1 reply      
"Heres somebody wholl wear their mediocrity with such energy, with such boundless enthusiasm and unbridled passion, that nobody else even tries to compete.Youre not Steve Jobs. Youre mediocre, like me. Youre reading shabby online articles about how to be like somebody else. Do you think Steve Jobs did that?"

A+ Be all the Balmer u can be. Balmer forever and ever.

SonicSoul 15 hours ago 2 replies      
fun read but i'm not convinced about the advice. I'm sure Balmer is a smart guy and lucked out by joining MS as #30 (is it really so unlucky to be #30 at MS?). He was also outspoken, loud, and perhaps had some leadership qualities lacked by other nerds at that moment. And now it's easy to pick him apart and "be more like Balmer" but I doubt mirroring his annoying personality will get you far.

Next time you give a presentation, repeat the same key word or phrase at least 5 times. Preferably 10.

i think Balmer succeeded despite this behavior, not because of it.

When you sense a gap thats closing push yourself in with full energy. Love the party, get into it, then make it your own

the "make it your own" is almost like saying "tell a funny touching story that everyone will love".

Imagine you areor bethe tallest person in the room. (Create situations where youre standing and theyre sitting?)

this reminds me of the NLP craze back in the day, i.e. micro behaviors that are subconsciously making you more attractive / easy to relate to / superior etc. Dubious at best.

* not to dismiss micro behaviors completely. There are numerous TED talks about body language that present convincing evidence that it works. I think they are especially applicable if you're the kind of person that tries to occupy least space and remain un-seen in meetings. For an average person I just think this is a minor tweak, not the big change standing between you and tres commas club.

allenbrunson 17 hours ago 2 replies      
i was prepared to snark. i don't like steve ballmer, i don't want to be like him. i don't like what he stands for. i can't think of one positive thing about the guy, other than perhaps his loyalty. but this article has a bunch of interesting insights nonetheless, delivered in a funny way.
volandovengo 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Despite his public perception, he's incredibly intelligent. He has an IQ of 150.

His strategy of being a fast follower worked great for Microsoft when it had crappy competitors - it was ill equipped to deal with good ones like Apple and Google.

someear 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude has passion. Worked at Microsoft for a few years, and even though I didn't agree with many of his decisions...he does what he loves, and loves it so much, that it passes on to others as well. We need more of that everywhere, in every aspect of life, not just business.
hoodoof 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Ballmer was there since the earliest days of Microsoft. Only a fool would somehow think he just came along for the ride.

Gates chose to give him a large slice of equity because he saw that he wanted something that Ballmer had and as far as I can tell that worked out extremely well.

I won't argue that Steve Ballmer was the technical creative genius that Microsoft needed but to suggest that in some way he stumbled in and rode the gravy train, well I don't buy that.

The new generation probably have little concept of how absolutely and totally Microsoft dominated the computer industry, in a way that no company does now (nope, not even Apple dominates today anything like the way Microsoft dominated in the 80's and 90's). It was Microsoft's world in a very real way. There were two men behind that complete domination - Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. The cynical (and there are many) might say "well it's Ballmer that lost that domination", but I wonder if such ongoing utter domination was even possible in the greatly expanded industry post WWW, regardless of who the leader was.

Steve Ballmer is more than worthy of admiration, if you were smart you'd try to learn from him rather than portraying him as a buffoon sidekick to Bill Gates. To evaluate him in this way just displays ignorance.

I think Gates brought on Ballmer as the business partner he needed, not the business partner he started with (Paul Allen). I'm not knocking Paul Allen but Bill Gates felt he needed Ballmer as his partner and as far as I could tell Ballmer and Gates were a powerful team, not Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

And when compared with Steve Jobs, it's worth remembering that Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates comprehensively beat, pounded and dominated Steve Jobs' Apple until "Steve's return". Apple was on the brink of going out of business when Steve returned and stayed in business because Gates and Ballmer provided Apple with $150M to stay in business - a wise move at the time because Microsoft was in trouble with the justice department and needed to ensure that there were companies still in existence that could even vaguely be argued to be valid competitors to Microsoft.

Many, many entrepreneurs tried and failed to get the better of Gates and Ballmer until eventually a perception formed that you were an idiot if you tried to compete with them. VC's wouldn't invest in anything that was even seen as potentially an area that Microsoft might be interested in being involved with. Ballmer is one of the most formidable and, in his time, feared businessmen ever.

Ballmer is one of the greatest business people of all time even if he doesn't have the romantic and charismatic story of Jobs or Gates.

Respect is due.

kareemm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The one thing Ballmer did right was double down when he saw a huge, once in a lifetime opportunity.

Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger say that without their top 20 performing stocks, they'd be also-rans. Which really goes to show that when you find a great opportunity in life, you should go at it as hard as you can.

exelius 17 hours ago 6 replies      
So Ballmer is the ultimate PHB?

This is a great way to build a career, but if you look at his track record at Microsoft, I'm not sure Ballmer is the guy we want to be emulating. He was hard-headed, amazingly risk-averse when it came to Microsoft's core platforms, and was not a great manager (he was unable to control a lot of the culture problems that plagued Microsoft in the early 2000s).

It's fine to make bold moves that fail, but Ballmer's failed moves weren't really all that bold. They were big, but not incredibly bold, and were often doubling down on a failing business inside Microsoft.

rthomas6 16 hours ago 1 reply      
You know, in the same vein... Salieri was a pretty decent composer. He got some fame and recognition. Maybe it's not so bad to be a Salieri and not Mozart, because he's still a hell of a lot better than most.
CurtMonash 13 hours ago 0 replies      
IIRC, Ballmer at one point went double or nothing, margining his stock to double his position. That explains half of his stake right there.

That's when he was worth $100 or $200 million, not long after the IPO.

Jim Treybig of Tandem Computers did something similar when he lost half his stock in a divorce.

NickHaflinger 9 hours ago 1 reply      
'SteveB went on the road to see the top weeklies, industry analysts and business press this week to give our systems strategy. The meetings included demos of Windows 3.1 (pen and multimedia included), Windows NT, OS/2 2.0 including a performance comparison to Windows and a bad app that corrupted other applications and crashed the system. It was a very valuable trip and needs to be repeated by other MS executives throughout the next month so we hit all the publications and analysts.'

'The demos of OS/2 were excellent. Crashing the system had the intended effect to FUD OS/2 2.0. People paid attention to this demo and were often surprised to our favor. Steve positioned it as -- OS/2 is not "bad" but that from a performance and "robustness" standpoint, it is NOT better than Windows'.


"I have written a PM app that hangs the system (sometimes quite graphically)."


pcunite 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The photo of Gates and Ballmer is from this article, online here:


m52go 16 hours ago 0 replies      
> Go to the mirror and practice these faces.

Great piece. This article is worth a click for that lead image alone. I really wonder what the context was for such an expression.

srameshc 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have passed this article anywhere else if not for Hacker News. This is a great insight and great way to work on your personality.
talles 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I thought the article was serious until I reached the "Steve Ballmer mission pack". Author can't be serious.
x0 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You forgot "do a line of coke before giving a presentation"
l33tbro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Charlie Rose interview is a pretty decent insight into the man. Certainly shuts up the armchair quaterbacks here with 20:20 hindsight calling him an idiot for certain career moves.


rogerbinns 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It all comes down to sales being easier to measure than other parts like development. Something like "doubling revenue" can be reasonably objectively measured. Trying to do the same thing for a developer is way too hard: double X? halve X? where X is lines of code, bugs, hours of attendance, appraisal scores, or other measurements don't remotely cut it, and are easy to game. (Revenue can also be gamed to some degree, but people/companies parting with cash is a higher hurdle.)

That let him make a measurable deal with Gates & Allen. A new developer as employee #30 doesn't have anything comparable.

CurtMonash 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyhow -- Steve had all the personality at the Windows 1.0 launch. Well, Steve and John Dvorak. Mike Maples and Jon Shirley, however, seemed like bigger deals in the company than Steve a while each.

Steve is basically a great salesman. He's both a huge extrovert and a great listener. He's delusional enough to completely believe, yet well smarter than other similarly delusional people. I presume he has all the sales process mechanics mastered too, but I don't actually know that for a fact.

keepitsurreal 16 hours ago 0 replies      

Am I doing this right?

ape4 12 hours ago 2 replies      
from wikipedia: In 2007, Ballmer said "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."[55]
umaguma 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Did Ballmer ever do any programming?

If not, why?

Did he just have no curiosity or interest?

Sounds like he had far more capacity for maths than Jobs.

kozukumi 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My personal opinion of Ballmer is that he was/is brilliant but he failed to prioritise in the right areas during the mid 2000s. He did well with investing in Azure and cloud tech but he was an idiot for letting Sinofsky run Windows into the ground with Windows 8.
rajacombinator 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This just shows that terminal net worth is not that important.
0mbre 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So introvert vs extrovert?
MattBearman 17 hours ago 1 reply      
visakanv 16 hours ago 1 reply      
> i was prepared to snark

I don't know why but this just got me laughing so hard. I'm thinking about one of those infomercials. "They laughed at me when I sat at the piano... but when I started to play!"

It's like the Hacker News slogan or manifesto or something. HACKER NEWS: WE'RE PREPARED TO SNARK.

cookiecaper 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome article.
rbanffy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
jheriko 16 hours ago 5 replies      
its a shame this is a joke.

you really could learn better from ballmer than from jobs imo.

i'd much rather be successful for the like ballmer than jobs. cult following is creepy, and recieving kudos even when you do nothing makes it easy to lose perspective.

jobs was great at what he did, but massively overrated thanks to the excellent work of the apple marketting guys. those guys are absolutely amazing at what they do. its a shame they don't get more credit.

A CTOs Startup Journey in Beijing Zhongguancun Science Park medium.com
11 points by obicho  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
jzwinck 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> the only downside of doing it in Beijing is that youd have to tolerate the bad weather and air pollution

That is certainly a huge downside, but isn't another one the fact that you seem to be stuck "fast following," building everything on top of services which the author admits are "clones" of popular ones from outside China?

I suppose it depends what the author's business is. I didn't catch that from the article.

duiker101 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That was a very interesting read. Anyone has the same experience as a dev how hard would it be to relocate there? Also, the article mentions that tech talent is scarce, does this influences salaries in a good way?
OpenPrescribing: England's medication prescription data openprescribing.net
42 points by napoleoncomplex  9 hours ago   6 comments top 2
DanBC 6 hours ago 2 replies      
This is amazing.

I do some work around suicide prevention.

Having access to this data means I can ask why so much co-proxamol (a medication that has no evidence of effectiveness, but which is also very dangerous) is being prescribed in Gloucestershire.

tomjhill 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I searched for the medicines I get from my GP and it turns out I'm the only one getting them. You can see the blips in the graph from zero when I got the prescriptions!
Ballmer Chides Microsoft Over Cloud Revenue Disclosures bloomberg.com
41 points by boulos  9 hours ago   33 comments top 7
sandstrom 2 hours ago 1 reply      
A recent report by Ericsson[1] showed that 20% of current Windows Phone users want to stay within the platform for their next phone. Compared to ~80% on Android and iOS.

That plus the small market share (~1-2%) makes it look pretty bleak (which is sad, I would have preferred more competition between mobile operating systems, e.g. with Firefox OS and Windows in the mix too).

[1] http://www.ericsson.com/mobility-report

DigitalSea 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I never thought I would see the day when I agree with something that Steve Ballmer said. But he has a point. The problem is no developer has an incentive to write a universal application that runs on all aforementioned platforms. Developers will always write apps for platforms where it makes sense. Windows has a large share of the desktop market so it is a no brainer. But why would a developer care about their app working on a phone platform with limited market share?

I think Windows Phone is brilliant. Well-made devices and a great operating system, but the lack of apps makes it very unattractive to the general masses. Support for Android apps without needing to be redeveloped is a no-brainer in my opinion. No developer will see the value in converting an Android app over to Windows. It has to support Android apps out-of-the-box without the developer needing to do anything or no tool, no matter how great or smart it is will make developers change their tune, even if it is easy to do so.

At present there is no motivation for developers to develop for Windows Phone and no incentive for customers who adopt the platform. This is very much a chicken and egg problem, one I don't think they will ever solve for as long as they don't support Android apps.

brudgers 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In fairness, when Ballmer was CEO, he and Gates controlled enough shares that Microsoft could pretty much ignore Wall Street analysts' quarterly noise. Or to put it another way, when someone said "I think Microsoft should do X", Ballmer could say, "Microsoft doesn't care what you think." Nadella doesn't have that luxury.
melted 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The idea about Android apps is stillborn. I don't know why they pursued it in the first place. There's no way Google will allow Play Store on such a contraption, nor will they allow Google services to be run (which means, for instance, no Maps or Youtube access). As a result you get an OS that can't fully participate in the Android ecosystem. Epic fail.
kayman 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Satya wants to woo windows developers by letting them write one code base that runs on multiple platforms.

Ballmers prefers Windows phones that run Android Apps.

I wonder which is a better strategy.

imron 7 hours ago 2 replies      
> That wont work, Ballmer commented

I seem to recall he said something similar about the iPhone

loktarogar 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Backseat driver Ballmer
Umberto's Echoes the-tls.co.uk
41 points by samclemens  9 hours ago   5 comments top
powera 3 hours ago 2 replies      
First off, a reminder that Umberto Eco is an Italian author. (as I'm sure most of the commenters here are familiar with The Name of the Rose or Foucault's Pendulum in English)

Based on this (and a few other) reviews, I'm not entirely sure how this book is supposed to be different from Foucault's Pendulum.

EasyEngine Managing High Traffic Sites Made Easy easyengine.io
4 points by nikolay  2 hours ago   discuss
The search for a faster CRC32 fastmail.com
85 points by alfiedotwtf  14 hours ago   46 comments top 9
vidarh 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love how the linked Twoskip PDF presentation [1] lists as one of the features:

"Easy to rewrite in other languages (e.g. Perl!)"

[1] http://opera.brong.fastmail.fm.user.fm/talks/twoskip/twoskip...

minimax 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I read more about the slice-by-N algorithms because they sounded really interesting. The way they work is by using a set of lookup tables that are 4k to 16k in size (larger lookup table for larger N). The reason they are fast is because the lookup tables fit within the L1 cache on modern CPUs. So when you do 100M rounds of CRC32 it is super fast because the table is always cache hot, but I don't think this result is informative if you just want to occasionally do a CRC in between doing other types of work (especially for small buffer sizes). You will have to wait as the lookup tables are brought up through the cache heirarchy _and_ you are potentially evicting other useful data from the cache at the same time. Presumably PCLMULQDQ does not have this drawback.
mockery 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> cloudflare is amazing until the input buffer gets under 80 bytes. That's the point where it stops using the optimised implementation and falls back to the regular zlib implementation (slice-by-4). I'm not sure why (no explanatory comments I could find), but it's a showstopper for our uses.

Why on earth is this a showstopper?

aidenn0 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder if some other hash might be faster (e.g. fletcher 16).
hackcasual 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> Next, we have to get our optimisation settings right. We compile Cyrus with no optimisations and full debugging because it makes it really easy to work with crash dumps.

Wait, so are these results without letting the compiler optimize?

jszymborski 14 hours ago 5 replies      
why not rip out CRC32 and put in xxhash?
ape4 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Hope they contribute the change back to Cyrus.
melted 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Modern Intel CPUs have an instruction specifically to compute CRC. This instruction is easily consumed through a C++ intrinsic, literally in one line of code. You can't do any better than that, no matter what you use.
revelation 10 hours ago 1 reply      
If they have CRC accounting for 10% of CPU, they must be using these checksums a lot. At some point I'd imagine the false error rate simply due to bit flips and other random errors on the path from database through CRC function will outlast whatever value you are getting from the constant rechecks.

Also, literature suggests a throughput of 2.67 bytes per cycle for the CRC32 instruction, a three fold improvement over best in class non-HW routines. I'm quite sure it would be worth it to reconvert previous checksums if you can do so in a way that minimizes downtime (think TrueCrypt doing a transparent initial encryption; not encrypting when theres IO load).

Malcolm Gladwell Explains Himself (2013) esquire.co.uk
4 points by bootload  2 hours ago   1 comment top
qvikr 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
wow.. that article reads exactly the way you'd expect Gladwell to write. Guess we have a heir now!
My Life as a Robot wired.com
89 points by ohjeez  14 hours ago   29 comments top 9
blisterpeanuts 12 hours ago 2 replies      
What a charming article. It brought a smile to my face at the end of a long day.

My team is too decentralized, spread all over the world, for a robot to make sense, but I almost wish this weren't the case because it would be so fun. So many opportunities for jokes, pranks, and as Emily put it, joy.

Eventually these devices will need to have mifi or 4G, to get around the wifi dead zone issue though if there's no 4G either, you're in trouble. I suppose the robot could be instructed to automatically turn around and retrace its steps until it has signal again.

Also, of course, they'll need arms. It would be so useful to point at things on the white board, tap an elevator button, knock on a door, etc. Operating a heavy door might be a bridge too far, for now.

But eventually, we may have a "Surrogate (The Movie)" situation where human lookalikes are wandering around everywhere, and we'll be jacked in with 3-D goggles, noise canceling headphones, and smart gloves that provide resistance.

This may actually be the Next Big Thing. Where can we invest?

jklinger410 10 hours ago 4 replies      
There's so much passive-aggressive quipping in this article it makes me feel like it must be terrible to work for WIRED. I mean, the last office I worked in was kind of the same way...

Is every office like that?


Okay, now I'm just creeped out?

>A coworker in San Francisco is logging into her, which normally would upset me, but Im so nervous I dont care that another being enters her.

Half of this article is this woman seriously personifying her "robot" (robot or ipad on wheels?). Creepy.

NumberCruncher 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It remembers me of the HumancentiPad. Pick something what should not exist by nature (a robot for remote workers) and put an iPad on the top of it. I mean if I want to see a movie but I want to stay at home I dont send a robot with an iPad on the top of it to the cinema but I connect my laptop to my TV and streem something.

[edit] Maybe I should send a robot to the cinema and write an article about it. And start a protest movement because my robot cant access the cinema and thats why I am discriminated. And write an article about it.

fenomas 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For anyone wanting to see this explored further, William Gibson's latest The Peripheral deals heavily with the idea of people going places via telepresence.
tux 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Haha very cool! Reminds me of "Serge HouseBot" from Caprica.


thescriptkiddie 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand these things at all. They're a hilarious toy, but they seem like a complete waste of time regarding their intended purpose. For example, when she says not to sneak up behind someone you're trying to talk to - why not just send them a message? Or the robot in the conference room - have they not heard of speakerphones?
facepalm 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I sometimes ponder a bot-rental startup. Like if you want to attend a conference somewhere, you could rent a robot for the occasion.
kevin_thibedeau 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like it needs more ground clearance. Surely someone at Wired can hack on some thicker tires.
moron4hire 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I think this is where VR will eventually settle in for the majority of people. In a way, smartphones gave us the ability to communicate with anyone in the world, for practically free, from anywhere in the world. With no barrier, we just started doing it. VR is going to do the same thing for face-to-face communication.

Sure, there is Skype and Face Time and whatnot, but they aren't the same. You get stuck looking back and forth between the camera and the screen. The camera angles are weird and the receiving user is at the mercy of the person they're talking to as to what they're going to look at. Ironically, I've felt more personally engaged, more like I'm talking to a real person, having conversations in VR with robot-shaped avatars than I've ever had with human faces in Skype.

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