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The Unsuitability of English (2015) chronicle.com
53 points by r721  1 hour ago   55 comments top 14
HelloMcFly 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Language is a tool to facilitate information exchange. It doesn't matter how "superior" one language is to another for any given reason, if a language provides limited opportunity to exchange information then it is not valuable. The incentives to learn English exist because the value of exchanging information in English is strong in the present-day sociopolitical context, and the malleability of the language played a large role in making that so as cultures and languages blended together in early day America. When translation becomes effortless and/or integrated into society in a near seamless fashion, the distinguishing value of information exchange in the spoken word will be diminished. I have no speculation on the long-term prospects of the written word.

This is a good time to say that I'm not an expert, just a speculating Internet guy who has read (and listened to) relevant information from time to time. If anyone finds this kind of conversation interesting I highly recommend checking out The Great Courses "Language A to Z" audiobook / audio lecture series. It's incredibly fascinating.

dasil003 1 hour ago 4 replies      
This immediately reminds me of the lamentations around "Worse is Better" and how technically superior languages and standards tend not to win in the marketplace.

Why hasn't Esperanto caught on? Because no one speaks it, and the ones who do don't have the influence to push it into the mainstream. English overtook French for the banal reason that more people saw more individual benefit of learning it over a long period of time. A lot of westerners like to think Chinese could never become the next lingua franca because it's so much harder to learn, but that is little defense if the economic incentives to learn it are there.

awaworht 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
>Japanese uses two different syllabaries (one symbol per syllable) plus a selection of about a thousand Chinese characters sprinkled in amongst them

A bit of a nitpick, but this isn't really accurate. The Jouyou kanji[1] contain 2,136 Chinese characters that all Japanese people must learn in school. In addition, the Jinmeiyou kanji[2] (used for names) contains an additional 843 Chinese characters. And it's not uncommon for speakers of Japanese to know many more. There are more than 50,000 Chinese characters listed in the daikanwajiten[3] with Japanese pronunciation (most are not used in either Chinese or Japanese). In fact, the number of Chinese characters used in Japanese has increased with the use of computer input[4].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jy_kanji[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinmeiy_kanji[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dai_Kan-Wa_Jiten[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_amnesia#Changing_way...

danieltillett 1 hour ago 5 replies      
The thing English has going for it (other than it is my native language) is it very easy to speak badly. With a minimal grasp of it you can get across what you are trying to say.

I do agree about the insanity of English's spelling. Spelling reform is one of my lost causes that I think could be fixed by technology [1].

1. http://www.cutspel.com

rvense 1 hour ago 6 replies      
This is utter rubbish. Nobody learns to speak any language as an adult without an accent. That has nothing to do with phonological complexity, that's just how we're wired. Spanish may be easy to describe on a blackboard, but don't tell me that people who learn Spanish as a second language later on don't have accents.

And languages don't succeed because of linguistics, they succeed because of politics. As someone whose native language is being replaced by it, I know that English is a perfect example of this.

tokenadult 46 minutes ago 2 replies      
This article from 23 November 2015 was followed up by a 3 December 2015 article by the same author (professor of linguistics Geoffrey Pullum) titled "English and Its Undeserved Good Luck," previously discussed on Hacker News.[1] The author is a renowned and very influential scholar of the English language, co-editor of the most authoritative grammar of the English language, the The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Alas, although Pullum is a very astute scholar of language (linguist), he is not a polyglot (learner of other languages) to any particular degree, and many of his points about the defects of English as a world language are unconvincing to any of us who know many different human languages. I know a variety of languages from several different language families (as disclosed in my Hacker News user profile), and I think the key point is that English is easy enough to learn, useful enough to learn, and geographically widespread enough to challenge the advantages proposed for any other language as a world language, including Chinese (which I speak well enough to have worked as a translator and interpreter and teacher of Chinese).

There is a whole website about why Esperanto never caught on as a world language (focused mostly on its linguistic features) by a writer who has considerably more acquaintance with formal linguistics and with a variety of world languages than the inventor of Esperanto ever had.[2]

[1] original article:


HN discussion thread:


[2] "Learn Not to Speak Esperanto" by Justin Rye


danjayh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As a native English speaker who has never learned another language beyond high school Spanish, I often feel sympathy for the plight of those who are forced to learn English later in life. I see many native English speakers with a tenuous grasp on the language, and from that and anecdotal evidence I know that it's a hard language. I remember how difficult Spanish, ostensibly an 'easy' language, was for me to learn. I'm glad I'm not in a position where I need to learn English late in life, and I'm sorry for what we've done to you, world :).
atemerev 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
English is bad, but not as bad as, say, French with its diphthongs and half letters silent. Or Hungarian with its 18 cases (lucky English speakers don't even know what a case is). Or Danish, which is totally and utterly unpronounceable.

The best European language is, of course, Italian.

twelvechairs 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of the major reasons english has succeeded is because it adapts (ie it doesnt have fixed rules). This means it is inclusive and future-proof. Imagine if you couldnt name your website with a short term because it looks like it is spelled incorrectly.
qb45 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of certain quote attributed to Bjarne Stroustrup.

My personal pet peeve is when you concatenate two words to end up with something sounding completely different, say infiniteinfinite. Just doesn't make sense at all.

gardano 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
I cannot help but remember "The Ketchup Song (Aserej) [0], whose lyrics are more or less a bastardisation of "Rapper's Delight" in Spanish. [1] Such a joyful embracing of purposeful misinterpretation of lyrics purportedly in English!

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0PisGe66mY

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ketchup_Song_(Aserej)

switch007 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Where Spanish has just five vowels (si, se, la, lo, tu), nicely spaced out through the acoustic spectrum, the English vowel system is a nightmare of more than 20 distinct vowels, diphthongs, and triphthongs.

That almost reads as if the author does not believe Spanish has diphthongs...? Anyone who thinks that should spend some more time in the "aula".

> Even before we get to grammar, then, and the roughly 200 irregular verbs of our misbegotten language...

Only 200!? That's amazing.

esaym 1 hour ago 1 reply      
English is great. Sure it is probably one of the harder languages to learn for the non native speaker. But one thing is for sure, it is taking over the world. And that has a great advantage. Even to the point where the fundamental Baptist will proclaim Genesis 11:1-9 can even apply to today in that the "whole earth was of one language, and of one speech" and thus inviting God's judgment upon us.

And for me? I like it. It's like Perl. You don't have to be skilled wizard just to use it and hack something together that will work and get the meaning through, even if it is dirty.

erdojo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Trolls will say anything these days to get attention.

If reality is up, someone will claim down is better. If something is cool, someone will say it sucks.

I don't expect that English will become the global default language, but I do expect it will/is be a common backup.

Why? Trade agreements over the last 40 years have dramatically increased global business collaborations. American companies took the early initiative - not just in one market but many.

Smart foreigners knew early on that learning English was a way to make money, to work more easily with these companies who were investing mega bucks. English's pervasiveness had nothing to do with its suitability or superiority or any academic reasoning. It was a side effect.

AI generated music to improve focus, relaxation and sleep brain.fm
36 points by jasbrainfm  1 hour ago   10 comments top 7
bonoboTP 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
I like the way the music sounds but I'm very skeptical of the science and the AI behind it.
vinchuco 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you open all of them in different tabs, do you become good at everything?
jalopy 42 minutes ago 2 replies      
Curious about the tech/science behind this. Is it mostly binaural beats?
shinefuller 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
>17 subject were tested to measure effects of a Brain.fm focus session
jtmarmon 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
been using this for months and enjoying it a lot while hacking. i definitely get into flow more quickly and stay in it more easily
Kpourdeilami 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have been using this for a couple of months to stay focused while I'm coding and it is very effective.
whelp 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Mozart's music sounds like AI generated. Not sure about the focus/relax/sleep parts though.
How undefined signed overflow enables optimizations in GCC kristerw.blogspot.com
39 points by ot  2 hours ago   25 comments top 7
pak 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wasn't there substantial controversy over gcc optimizing away certain code that tried to check for integer overflows?

Check out this infamous thread: https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=30475 ...it gets pretty nasty!

The takeaway is that although overflow is technically undefined, a lot of security-related code was naively implemented by checking for overflows occurring in the most typical way (wraparound), and this check began to be removed by this sort of optimization. This made some pragmatically minded security folks quite angry, because although such behavior is technically undefined by the spec, it was the most widely used method of defending against overflows, and recognizing that such code was already everywhere in the wild they feared all the vulnerabilities that would be introduced by gcc dropping branches for i > i + proposed_increment.

ssalazar 23 minutes ago 3 replies      
Right off the bat-

> Signed integers are not allowed to wrap in C and C++

What? This is...not true.

 $ cat > test.c #include <stdio.h> #include <limits.h> int main() { int i = INT_MAX; printf("%i\n%i\n", i, i+1); } $ cc test.c $ ./a.out 2147483647 -2147483648
Im not an expert on these matters, but I suspect signed integers are not defined as wrapping and in fact not defined as doing anything particular in under/overflow situations, though in one common convention, two's complement integer arithmetic, they often do. The optimizations rely on the fact that the programmer can't depend on any specific overflow or underflow behavior.

EDIT: I see- a different reading of the post than my original take would suggest that the author is saying, you as a C/C++ programmer are "not allowed" to compile code that would cause under/overflow. The compiler assumes that you are following this rule, enabling these optimizations.

barrkel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is a list of optimization patterns; it's not an analysis of how much actual code gets sped up, and it doesn't consider the accommodations that would be made in the alternative universe: where defined signed overflow is the default, and there are other tools for when this impacts performance too much.

The question is if the alternative universe is better than this one, where you have to work harder to protect against unwanted overflow - and especially the compiler eliminating your efforts to test whether it occurred or not.

quotemstr 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
So compilers use a tricky and unintuitive corner of the C standard as a half-assed substitute for doing real program-wide bounds analysis.
nullc 1 hour ago 2 replies      
It doesn't say that much about the loop optimizations--

The cases where I've seen the largest gains come from loops where analysis shows that the loop runs, say, exactly 8 times or forever (due to overflow). Knowing it runs 8 times exactly lets the loop get unrolled, which then lets vectorization work... and then some inner loop runs more than 3x faster.

brianberns 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I wonder how often actual code uses these patterns. Is there anyone who would write (-x)/(-y) instead of x/y?

Also, some of these patterns claim to eliminate something, but they actually just move it around. For example, -(x/y) -> (-x)/y doesn't eliminate negation, so it's not clear to me that the latter form is faster than the former.

Kenji 1 hour ago 4 replies      
So, does that mean we should use unsigned integers whenever possible, such that we have defined overflows and still benefit from optimizations?
Yahoo Said to Start Approaching Possible Bidders Soon As Monday bloomberg.com
45 points by bmnews  1 hour ago   7 comments top 3
ChuckFrank 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Can Yahoo get its money back from its current CEO? Or did they really pay someone to run this ship aground?

At the time when they were looking, I wrote Jerry an open letter about what I thought could be done. Sure I'm a nobody, but none of the ideas were even, through the chances of good business, implemented. Instead there was a fancy rebranding, and a targeting of women's lifestyle channels. And now this.

I'm glad we have a competitive economy, or else I could imagine Yahoo becoming the service that sucked, but that everyone still used.

robryan 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder if it makes any sense for Alibaba to buy Yahoo. Primarily buying back the shares but could also refocus yahoo more around ecommerce.
assocguilt 18 minutes ago 3 replies      
Greed - there's no reason why Yahoo! cannot operate as a smaller but profitable business - it's never going to be the industry leader it once was but the fact it's still around after all these years is impressive in its own right - a new CEO needs to come onboard and give the company the respect it deserves by cutting a lot of staff, products and services and focus on a smaller set of services that drive a smaller profit.
PeerTweet Decentralized feeds using BitTorrent's DHT network github.com
174 points by sktrdie  7 hours ago   46 comments top 14
levemi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> PeerTweet

Since it's not actually using Twitter and you're not turning into a little bird to share a song can we call writing short messages something other than "tweets"? You might also run into trademark issues with Twitter, but that doesn't bother me as much as grown adults referring to general status updates and conversating as "tweeting", especially when Twitter isn't even involved. We just like need to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

autoreleasepool 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I think it's clear that, in light of what's been going on, we need a more diverse ecosystem of P2P networks in order to protect the integrity of our private communications. So I support any effort to experiment in this area
flashman 19 minutes ago 1 reply      
Call me cynical but a decentralized alternative to Twitter (or the domain name system for that matter) won't work unless:

a) there's a mechanism for brands to get their associated nickname, and

b) spammers can't create millions of accounts, or doing so is worthless.

Even BitTorrent only really works because central authorities (torrent sites) confer some level of authority on the contents of particular torrents.

metasean 5 hours ago 0 replies      
PuercoPop 3 hours ago 1 reply      

A more mature similar open source implementation of the same idea.

lisowski 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very Cool! I've been thinking a lot about decentralized social networks and the value that they could bring. With companies I love like Soundcloud so far in the red, it is only time until they go under or change fundamentally. I think this idea of decentralized feeds fits very well with the current state of music, many different artists, collectives, and labels that basically only exist on the internet. If anyone wants to explore the idea with me I am very open to it!
jimktrains2 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> "d": <unsigned int of minutes passed from epoch until when item was created>,

I know it's a simple /60, but why change from the more-or-less standard seconds from epoch? To try to squeeze more time out of a 32bit unsigned integer? Since there is no discussion of what size this integer is, I'm expecting you're just defaulting to the json standard, which would support a 53-bit signed integer, iirc.

patrickaljord 5 hours ago 2 replies      
One of the top feature of twitter is search, trending topics, easy discoverability etc. In other words, all the goodness brought by centralization (which also comes with all the bad which is censorship, no open/free data etc). The first one to crack this thing (offer both great search and discoverability) and decentralization will win the internet. But it just seems super hard, people tend to concentrate and group no matter how decentralize they start, same thing is happening with bitcoin right now. Not saying it is impossible, but not coming in the near future I think. I sure hope I could be proven wrong though.
rakoo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> "a": <utf8 http url of an image to render as your avatar>,

HTTP, again ? Ah, if only there was a decentralized way to exchange content without the need for any central authority, all while being sure of the authenticity.

nyan4 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the threat model here? Is the potential adversary able to do MITM?

- The DHT does not anonymize the poster ipaddr, the post contents, posting time and other metadata

- same for the reader ipaddr, what was reading, and when

yazriel 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this create a new DHT entry per tweet or per user ?

I think the DHT itself can quickly become overloaded/slow - DHT does impose some b/w overhead for each node

ilostmykeys 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For security: this should be combined with something like CertCoin. HTTPS is Evil 8)
Humjob 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Super cool idea - I'll try this out today.
reitanqild 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting, wanted to install and try until I read npm.

I do not feel very dumb, but dealing with node takes more energy than I think I have right now.

So summarized: still very interested but won't try unless someone explain how to like node.js.

The Legend of Verdun newstatesman.com
83 points by wormold  5 hours ago   26 comments top 9
crikli 2 hours ago 6 replies      
If you've not listened to Dan Carlin's 6-part series on the Great War, take the time to do so. The "whys" and "hows" of World War I are much harder to get your head around than WWII...it's just much less linear. Not only does he do an excellent job of making the mechanics of the war understandable, he draws the element of humanity into stark relief by interspersing explanations of troop movements with first hand accounts of the suffering and carnage men sustained.

Episode IV focuses on Verdun and can be listened to as a stand alone episode but the rest of the series is very much worth the time.http://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-53-bluepri...

achamayou 4 hours ago 1 reply      
An important reason why the fight was so bitter over seemingly small amounts of land that this article (and others) seem to miss is that a relatively limited area of northern France amounted to over half of the country's industrial production. Coal and steel in particular, critical to the war effort were overwhelmingly produced there.

Any incremental part of this region lost to the Germans wasn't just a symbolic loss of ground or a moral defeat, it meant a real long term resource loss which could tilt the balance of the war in Germany's favour. In comparison, the allies were largely unable to strike Germany's industrial centers. It's quite easy to depict all senior commanders of the time as inflexible and stubborn (some of them were, to various extents anyway), but there's more to it than that.

Defence in depth just wasn't an option, and mechanised war was a fiction anyway. With the benefit of hindsight, and ignoring the industrial value of the North, it's easy to jump to simple but wrong conclusions about why the war was fought that way.

Edit: Link to English source illustrating my point http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/raw_materia...

cm2187 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Petain was not the only reason why French officers started sparing men. The early French officers were professional army men, who cultivated the tradition of charging the enemy directly, a suicidal exercise at the age of machine guns. But they not only forced their men to do so, they charged the enemy themselves too. As a result most of them died in the first year of the conflict. They were then replaced with drafted civilians who didn't share this chivalrous conception of war.

The other main reason is that as the men hardened with experience, not only were they reluctant to participate in a mass suicide, but French officers started to be increasingly killed by "friendly fire", which somewhat tempered their strategy.

kleiba 35 minutes ago 2 replies      
I found the use of the word "legend" a bit confusing. Since I'm not a native speaker, I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary [1], but still, none of the meaning seem to be applicable here:

1. A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.

2. The story of a saints life.

3. An extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.

4. An inscription, especially on a coin or medal.

5. A caption.

6. The wording on a map or diagram explaining the symbols used

My initial association was along the lines of 1., and so I was afraid to read an article doubtful of historical consent -- but that was not the case. Neither was the article about a singled-out person which could give rise to 3. The last three definitions clearly refer to a different kind of legend altogether.

Could someone with a better intuition please explain how the title of this article is meant to be understood? and since 3. refers to a single person).

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/legend

jstalin 3 hours ago 3 replies      
If anyone has an opportunity to visit the Verdun area, please do. It's surreal. The landscape is still scarred by the war. It feels like you're on the moon. Craters, pieces of metal still sticking out of the ground, bunkers... undoubtedly wherever you are walking there are probably soldiers buried beneath you.
bdavisx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A good movie about the insanity of the trench warfare and some of the French commanders of WWI is Paths of Glory - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paths_of_Glory.
chiph 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is a Youtube series called The Great War where they are performing news casts as if the events had just happened (only 100 years later).

The size of the armies was huge and the loss of life was astounding. Which is what you get when attrition is the common strategy employed.


At this point the US is just getting upset over 128 citizens being killed on the RMS Lusitania when it was sunk during a period of unrestricted submarine warfare. Our entry into the war as an Associated Power won't take place until 6 April 1917.

fabrice_d 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who read French, Le Monde just published and interesting piece about Verdun at http://www.lemonde.fr/histoire/visuel/2016/02/21/verdun-c-et...
akkartik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool to see Verdun's centenary commemorated by its greatest historian 50 years after he wrote The Price of Glory.


Uber ruled illegal in Taiwan thenewslens.com
120 points by dheera  8 hours ago   98 comments top 11
temp 7 hours ago 6 replies      
Just to clarify, they're banned from offering Uber service until they register as a Taxi service.

>There are also cases in which legal loopholes have allowed the company to continue its operations. For example, Uber plans to purchase commercial licenses for its drivers in Germany, where ride-sharing services are banned from operating without taxi licenses.

It's similar in the country I'm currently in - Uber works as a Taxi service and Uber drivers have Taxi licenses. Altho I would not call this a "loophole" as this is the route Uber should have taken from the get go in those places where they don't allow those without Taxi licenses to operate Taxi services.

chatmasta 6 hours ago 6 replies      
When I was in Taipei, the cab system was 100 times better than uber and had none of the problems of the cab system in the US. If uber's main value proposition is superiority to taxis, then it makes no sense for it to try to take over in a city where the taxis are perfectly fine.

Honestly, the same is true in NYC. I rarely call an uber because it's just easier to get one of the hundreds of yellow cabs than it is to stand on the street like an idiot looking for the Toyota Prius with the right license plate.

Since uber arrived, all the issues I had with cabs seem to have disappeared. The fares are lower, drivers accept credit cards, and don't talk on their cellphone to their buddy in India. Uber put the pressure on cabs and it worked. I see no need to use uber.

sherbondy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As a side note, do any native Mandarin speakers have a good understanding of why app is usually spelled and pronounced as if it were an acronym (A.P.P.) instead of an abbreviation? Have been wondering about this for months, and the Quora thread on it is a little unsatisfactory: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-Chinese-people-in-China-pr...
matthewrudy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I work at GoGoVan in Hong Kong.

We operate in 5 countries in Asia offering van hire and delivery services.

But in Taiwan we've had regulatory issues, so we only operate a scooter delivery service.

Its a similar issue to Uber. We'd need to have a license and a minimum size fleet of vehicles to do it.


newsignup 6 hours ago 2 replies      
> The Business Insider reports, some countries and regions have completely banned the service, finding it illegal under national or state laws. These places include Japan, Thailand, Nevada in the United States and Karnataka in India.

Not in Karnataka, India - I and everyone uses it everyday.

audreyt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Uber and Airbnb participated in the vTaiwan e-deliberation process, with quite different results https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbdvvStfWT0&list=PLdwQWxpS51... explains the crowd-policymaking process in 14 minutes.
ilamont 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There are a few local factors that change the dynamics of app-based ride services in Taiwan. They include a solid public transportation infrastructure in Taipei, widespread scooter use (I estimate at least 20% of the population owns or has access to scooters), and relatively low-cost taxi rates.

On the last point, a 45-minute cab ride from eastern Taipei to the international airport cost NT$1200, or about $36, and if you call a private limo service by phone it's NT$1000 for a big van, probably less for a car. By comparison, rates from Boston' airport are about $60 for a 30 minute ride and $40 for an Uber.

FWIW, I found Uber cars to be somewhat rare in Taipei and nonexistent in Chiayi, a smaller city in the south that I visited earlier this month. That could be the crackdown mentioned in the article, but I suspect the demand isn't sufficient owing to the factors mentioned earlier.

jheriko 6 hours ago 0 replies      
isn't uber already on shaky legal footing nearly everywhere anyway?
aabajian 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Can someone enlighten me about the history of the taxi industry? I have a medical background and I know that HIPAA came to be because insurance companies were taking advantage of patients with known conditions. There were other reasons, of course, but horror stories of patient's protected health information being sold to the media and insurance companies prompted the legislation.

I have a hard time understanding how regulating personal transit is a governmental matter. A taxi driver may overcharge me a significant amount, and then there are instances of physical confrontation, but these are both rare and a risk that is inherent in accepting a ride with another person. It seems to me that the benefit to society (less pollution, traffic, easier commute, automotive scrap waste, etc) outweighs these risks.

nstj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Huge fines

> According to the Highway Act, Uber has been fined NT$100,000 (approximately US$3,070) to NT$150,000 (approximately US$4,605). Uber drivers have been fined NT$50,000 (approximately US$1,535).

talloaktrees 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Taiwan's rule of law is mostly about connections, money and shady backroom deals (sure, most countries are like this, but it's a matter of degree). I'm sure this has come about because of taxi companies being unhappy rather than any proper legal reasoning.
Novice pilot skills improved via expert-pilot brainwave patterns kurzweilai.net
22 points by rayascott  2 hours ago   8 comments top 7
cjhveal 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd have liked to have seen two control groups. One group which received the "mock brain stimulation" and another which received no brain stimulation. It may be the case that playing noise into someone's brain has a detrimental effect on performance which is less prevalent when the stimulus roughly corresponds to the activity of a healthy brain.

If you drop a heavy weight onto someone's foot, they're likely to perform better on tests of mental acuity than if you were to drop a heavy weight onto their head. That doesn't necessarily mean that dropping the weight on their foot improved their performance, just that it was less harmful.

Unless I'm missing something, the poor experimental design coupled with the small sample size makes me very skeptical of the results. I'd love to see another experiment with more conclusive findings either way.

eloff 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not a study with a sample size of 32, including the control group. I remain super skeptical that the statistically significant result actually implies a real result (and the smaller the study, the lower the chances.)
ilostmykeys 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
The novices performed 33% better could be totally like a cognitive placebo effect OR MORE LIKELY the fact that they had to do it ONE MORE TIME LOL... I am either missing something really big or this is a draft of an April 1st joke released early
jdimov9 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder what else they picked up...
bitwize 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"I know kung fu."

"Show me."

lifeisstillgood 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That is without a doubt the freakiest thing I have read this week.

(Tl:dr - they recorded trans-cranial currents in motor and working memory areas of experts landing a plane and replayed that or a control into novice pilots heads. The novices perfeomed 33% better.)

3327 1 hour ago 1 reply      
sounds too good to be true.
'WarGames' and Cybersecurity's Debt to a Hollywood Hack nytimes.com
46 points by thucydides  4 hours ago   10 comments top 6
alanfalcon 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Recently re-watched this movie thanks to Ready Player One: so great to see plausible hacking in a movie (as much as I enjoy Hackers for the entertainment value) - I love this behind the scenes snippet about the movie and its real world impact!
harel 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
This movie launched my love to computers and I owe my career to it. I was in awe how broderick got to hack all computers, have the adventure and get the girl. Perfect, I'll have some of that please. I still want to thank him one day.
molecule 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another case involving a movie influencing Reagan, US policy and related to nuclear weapons is The Day After:

> President Ronald Reagan watched the film several days before its screening, on November 5, 1983. He wrote in his diary that the film was "very effective and left me greatly depressed," and that it changed his mind on the prevailing policy on a "nuclear war". The film was also screened for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A government advisor who attended the screening, a friend of Meyer's, told him "If you wanted to draw blood, you did it. Those guys sat there like they were turned to stone." Four years later, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed and in Reagan's memoirs he drew a direct line from the film to the signing.


sjclemmy 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"Do you want to play a game?"

Me and my friends used to quote that to each other back in the 80s.

I loved that movie.

TheBlight 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If it weren't for this film I don't think I would've really bothered much with computers.
jamespitts 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The screenwriters meeting with Willis Ware at RAND reminds me of how Steve Jobs would call up various S.V. legends in his youth.

It pays off to make that call!

Reverse engineering android from binary to source dmitry.gr
50 points by dmitrygr  4 hours ago   6 comments top 3
danjayh 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
This article is fascinating, and having done board bringup work, I understand the challenges that the author faced. He did absolutely top-notch work. Getting a board that does nothing, has no debugger, no output of any kind going is really hard. However, to me the most important quote in the story is this:

> As per the GPL (under which the Linux kernel is licensed), the manufacturer had to have provided a written offer of sources. Needless to say that a random chinese company (SmartQ, currently owned by Huami) does not care even a little about this sort of thing. I checked theit site every which way I could, and found no sources. Emaling them produced no reply, of course. Of course, why would it? I tried to find some people on LinkedIn who might help, but I was told in no uncertain terms to go away.

With increasing amounts of SW development moving to low-cost countries, this sort of attitude may well eventually destroy the availability of the 'free' software that these manufacturers rely on (besides hurting the GPL + homebrew firmware communities).

mfincham 1 hour ago 2 replies      
What I'm interested in is running Debian and X on the watch... any pointers?
mrlambchop 1 hour ago 0 replies      
dimity - nice hack :)

I'd argue that the most critical piece of work is power management for the watch. Did this magically port over or does the system just run at full whack?



Fixing the Internet for Real Time Applications, Part II riotgames.com
19 points by rayascott  2 hours ago   4 comments top 3
plq 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
How is this "fixing the internet"? This is just good old network optimization. And a local one, not "internet-wide" by any means! Colossal undertaking, sure, kudos to Riot team for pulling it off. But... I don't see what makes this different.
eloff 16 minutes ago 1 reply      
The big cloud providers also do similar kinds of things to bring down latency on their networks, but I wonder how effective they are? I've never seen latency comparisons between cloud providers - but there must be differences. None of them seem to use latency as a selling point either. I'd add latency to one of the criteria when choosing between providers if there were a way to compare them. I'm not talking about their latency to me or any arbitrary point, but their latency to internet users in the US in general. Like 50% of users within 80ms RTT. Also packet-loss rates would be nice to know.
BWStearns 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there's a long-term goal here of becoming the AWS for gaming and other realtime network needs.

About to go back and read Part I so please forgive if that's covered in the first part.

Whats Next in Computing? medium.com
111 points by MichaelAO  7 hours ago   59 comments top 15
ianamartin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
whenever I see a headline of the formula, "What's next in X" I immediately think to myself, "probably not what this article thinks it is."

That said, yeah, some of the handwriting is on the wall. I think IoT will be the next big hit, not because people want it or will use any of it, but because that's all anyone is going to be selling. Samsung, LG, GE, et al. aren't going to give us a choice.

It won't be a big dramatic change like self-driving cars. It will be a slow trickle of toaster fridges that we don't notice until we are out trying to replace a washing machine one day and can't find one without a self-ironing board attached that wants to connect to our bed to know when to wake up the coffee pot that makes your egg-white substitute omelet and makes sure your shirt is wrinkle free at exactly the moment your shower dries you off and combs your hair.

And while all of us nerds are busy disabling all that crap so we can just clean some underwear, Wall Street will be declaring that IoT is here and winning! What they won't mention is that it's winning because there's nothing else left to buy.

Animats 2 hours ago 5 replies      
Coming up next:

- If your job involves sitting at a desk, and your inputs and outputs come in via phone or display, expect to be automated.

- Automatic driving.

- AIs which sell. These will be annoying but effective.

- Big Brother will be much more effective.

- Within ten years, an AI running some investment will fire a CEO.

Probably not important:

- Virtual reality. Other than for games, it won't be big.

- Internet of Things for the home. Home remote control is a niche product. It's been available since the 1980s and never got much traction.

Not yet:

- Robots for routine unstructured tasks. Still a hard problem, from both a hardware, software, and cost perspective.

- Nanotechnology (excluding surface chemistry stuff)

ronnier 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
What if there's an upper limit on what can be created and what if we are mostly there. What if we never really progress much beyond where we are other than gradually getting faster, longer battery life, and more storage. Games and movies and TV shows are now mostly sequels and rehashed versions. A 2006 car vs a 2016... Basically the same.
eva1984 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think people need to pay more attention to the current AI status. It is rapidly maturing and offering surprises every year. Most of the progress didn't make to the news, as AlphaGo level, but it is going to have bigger impact to our lives, even our jobs.


jedberg 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the author is right about cars being next. There is a lot of work by a lot of people in this area, and one of them is going to get it very right (my personal bet is on Tesla or Apple).
bholdr 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Post hoc ergo propter hoc" (Latin)
Geee 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the general trend is that computers start to understand and be aware of physical world, rather than just numbers entried by humans. And not just understand, but manipulate, which means that you can go to forest and run forest.foreach(tree => { if(tree.length > 5) cut() }) I.e the world becomes computable (or rather manipulatable).
dfischer 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Something that has been on my mind lately is are we near the end of viable startups in apps? I mean this in a multi-platform approach not just mobile. But for apps in general I am starting to feel what's possible has been done and we are nearing a point where the big guys are already doing it and you might as well just join FANG instead of building something on your own.

Maybe I'm getting jaded though.

There are always new niches coming out... And there are reinvented cycles. Like how many big dating apps have been there since the 90s? Quite a bit actually. Can there really be another dating app in current internet app standards between desktop and mobile? Probably not.

Maybe the next dating app will be in VR and AR. In fact I guarantee it.

But I'm feeling that we are getting tapped out on app ideas before the next flood.

Makes me a little sad because I'm more entrepreneurial than anything and not feeling many problems to solve lately. Maybe it's just me. Anyone else feel similar?

AndrewKemendo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I am biased as an AR developer, but I think Chris underplays the impact of AR as a computing and communications platform.

AI - and eventually AGI - is an application of computation. It's revolutionary and I think will transform everything but it's not a computing platform. That is, AI itself doesn't have an interface, so it still needs a platform to run on. AR and eventually BCI and wetware are the platforms for interfacing with it.

Cars aren't a computing platform either - they will certainly utilize and be transformed by new waves of computation capabilities, but cars aren't a replacement for a personal computer.

Same with Drones and IOT. I think wearables will fall to AR as well - or rather integrate with it as a peripheral.

So when asking what is next for computing, in the context of the evolution of interface/platform from Mainframe to Micro computer to Smartphone, AR is unquestionably "next" as a platform.

kordless 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I wrote a hypothesis [1] on the cause and effect of the cycles Chris mentions. With those assumptions about the separation of user and their data in mind, I make the following near term technology predictions:

- a swing back to private cloud will be kicked off by container/microkernel technologies, starting the largest cycle we've seen to date in terms of growth and value

- public cloud computing growth will slow slightly and will have to refocus on lower privacy needs use-cases (or die trying)

- IoT and cloud computing will start to merge as a market, where the compute resources of your IoT devices are used to operate on the data other IoT devices nearby

- cryptocurrencies and the blockchain will finally find a home in securing the processes behind cloud provisioning of what was known previously as SaaS software

- cryptocurrency deployments make open source project's revenue models sustainable

- open source hardware, including circuitry, becomes ubiquitously available via physical printing processes, which then drives the IoT and cloud computing markets even higher.

- the digital nomad lifestyle explodes as a result of the changes to the open source model

- startups and the VC culture in Silicon Valley will be forced to retool their financial strategies and software business models for accessing decentralized markets

- a meltdown of global financial markets will be the only thing which enables bringing positive, decentralized change to those financial markets.

As John Chambers, chairman of Cicso said a few years back, "You're going to see a brutal, brutal consolidation of the IT industry". Better buckle up.

[1] https://medium.com/@kordless/an-ecology-of-cloud-1cedfa326b8...

BTW, there is only one thing that will make me stop coming to HN and participating in the community, and that's when I see people's opinions on something downvoted. Downvote if you must, but keep in mind it's a game of blame if the post you are downvoting is someone's opinion or view on something, which itself is blameless.

fizixer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The scene is from Terminator 2 (1992) not The Terminator (1984).
amatic 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Plastic analog neural networks. Here is a bit : www.billpct.org
ocdtrekkie 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I suspect we will finally reach the point where enough is enough on proprietary cloud, and we'll start to see decentralization taking a strong forefront again.

A lot of big companies are driving this AI talk, but by and large it helps them more than it helps the rest of us.

Sven7 4 hours ago 0 replies      
DARPA's SyNAPSE and then the self powered brain of an ant. That's computing. Everything else could find place on what's next in consumerist garbage.
DrNuke 3 hours ago 0 replies      
All front-end everywhere without programming imho.
State of the Haskell Ecosystem February 2016 haskellforall.com
53 points by stefans  2 hours ago   24 comments top 6
fiatjaf 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I've tried many times to learn Haskell. The problem is always with setting up a compiler, getting packages, setting environment, not getting a ton of gigabytes of duplicated packages, getting useful vim support etc.
mark_l_watson 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think that I own 7 Haskell books, and there are good parts in all of them. A few of them are great. Why all the love and strong recommendation for a new unpublished book?

I use Emacs, IntelliJ, and TextMate for Haskell. I love all three.

I thought the best part of this article was the coverage of libraries because I find myself to be uncertain of selecting the most appropriate ones. I use a small subset of Haskell but that works for me.

rifung 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> The rating of the "Educational" section still remains "Immature" until this book is out of Early Access and finally released, but once the book is out I will finally mark Haskell as having "Mature" educational resources.

I haven't read the book myself, but is the book really so good that we can go from "Immature" to "Mature" with the release of just one book? I find that to be a bit strange considering Haskell is a very complicated language; I have a hard time believing a single book (that is beginner friendly no less) could really explain everything there is to know about Haskell.

dexwiz 2 hours ago 8 replies      
Can someone explain to me why Haskell will ever be viable as a fullstack language? I have done a few toy projects in Haskell, and it has taught me some great functional programming concepts that I now apply to other languages. But, purely functional programming seems to work 90% the time, but the other 10% is so negative it invalidates the rest.

Edit for clarification:Full Stack would be app server up. So runs a server (some sort of process/thread/worker management), server scripting is in the same language (can auth, process requests, interact with a DB, etc), and build the view (simple JSON/blob response, build html, etc). I exclude client side form this, since most of the X for client-side projects end up transpiling into JS.

steveklabnik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really, really enjoy these posts. Figuring out what an ecosystem even has and it's quality can be daunting for those considering a language, and gives experienced community members and idea of what to improve.
melling 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It sounds like tooling has improved but it's still the biggest hurdle for beginners:

"Improving IDE support is the single easiest way to lower the entry barrier to newcomers."

CoeLux: Artificial Sunlight Thats Real Enough to Trick Your Camera and Brain petapixel.com
14 points by trefn  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
infectoid 1 minute ago 0 replies      
The article is a year old. Does anyone know where the tech is actually at now?

I was expecting this to be slightly more common by now.

cordite 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
For those that work in office buildings and may be far away or do not have immediate access to Windows while working, would this be a good investment for companies to make?

The sun availability does seem to affect my daily energy and motivation.

LG G5 modular phone: Hi-Fi DAC, battery slide out, connection interface engadget.com
125 points by danielconde  6 hours ago   93 comments top 17
danjayh 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting phone, horrible article. Typical of the modern Engadget, the article is light on facts and heavy on superlatives. For instance, I had to head over to some random Android website (androidHeadlines) to find out that yes, it does have Micro SD card support, and that it has 32GB of built-in storage (pathetic, Engadget). I do really like the idea of extensive expandability, but I wish it could be standardized somehow (admittedly difficult in a mobile form factor). I think this would encourage the creation of interesting devices by interesting startups, which is something that would probably get everybody here excited.

If you want a decent article by a respectable pub, check out the Ars version (linked below). It has all of the technical info that Engadget missed, minus the comments on how 'fantastic' the device feels.


jfrumar 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm so glad LG are sticking with a switchable battery - it's a must have feature for me. Lots of people have forgotten what it's like to grab a wall-charged battery, slip it in and run out the door with 100% power in a few seconds. Tethering your phone to the wall sucks. Clunky portable battery packs are the worst. I hope this phone sells well, it has my support.
noobie 4 hours ago 8 replies      

It really bugs me when consumers ask for more features regardless of their feasibility, here we have a great phone with changebale batteries and yet we ask for it to be still on while we swap the batteries! Hasn't it occurred to us that maybe it's technically difficult to add in a supercap. Just be thankful. This is like constentaly asking for phones with more RAM and processing power, I am really glad Moore's law has come to end, maybe now consumers will be faced with the harsh truth that it is not simple to keep on creating more powerful devices for them to watch cat videos on.

mmastrac 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This might give people a taste for what really modular devices like Ara can offer, but the fact that it doesn't do battery swaps without powering down is going to make it far less interesting to people. An internal battery to give you 30-60s in an emergency hibernate mode would have been game-changing.

Kudos to LG for actually taking this step though. With luck this will whet the appetite for phones that are truly modular (and show manufacturers that there is a market for swappable parts).

SwellJoe 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
I want a better ADC, even more than I want a better DAC (though both would be best). I'd like a high quality recording device for the field...a phone or tablet would be perfect, but there's no good way, that I know of, to get the signal into the device at high quality.
laacz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Modularity comes with a price in form of wasted space. Nevertheless, this is something completely fresh from a major smartphone vendor. And it is done with their flagship phone. That's the spirit.
kyriakos 5 hours ago 3 replies      
It appears that LG is the only company to dare offer real innovation on its flagship models. I don't know how well this model will do but it seems it's not just a faster rehash of last year's model.
voltagex_ 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the bootloader will be unlockable. I've been spoiled by Nexus devices for years and I remember how much work the Galaxy S3 I briefly owned was.

What's LG's track record like with releasing sources? Nexus devices don't count.

acd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think its good of LG to design a phone that is good for the environment in the sense that users can swap the battery and upgrade the storage instead of having to buy a whole new phone when those run out of capacity.

Global warming dictates that we as consumers not only our politicians are responsible for the future we create. If manufacturers can help make devices that last longer Im going to choose such a device the next time I buy a phone.

I think its bold of LG to think differently and stick out of the crowd of similar phones.Like that you can upgrade the storage capacity via MicroSD cards.

darklajid 4 hours ago 2 replies      
My "is it worth even thinking about a particular device" litmus test is "can it run CM". Unfortunately that's impossible to tell for future devices, most of the time.
throwaway41597 2 hours ago 2 replies      
- Replaceable battery is always good

- Proper camera handle and better DAC too, but not as mutually exclusive modules

What I want is:

- A robust and replaceable bumper that integrates with the design (i.e. isn't ugly). The phone should not be designed as if the user isn't going to slap an ugly case on it.

- A hole for a wrist strap so I don't worry I'm gonna drop my phone. All cameras have one, but now that phones are taking over, none have it.

- An unlocked bootloader that doesn't void your warranty. Or even better lets you set the signing key on first use (a sort of Trust On First Use that the user is the owner).

agumonkey 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Random note, I recently used an old Nexus S as a mp3 player. I was surprised by the sound texture of crappy mp3 over my 10$ panasonic earclips... I started to wonder if the hardware wasn't responsible. According to some people it embeds a Wolfson DAC (of Wolfson DAC fame ~_~). It does makes a significant difference.
sandGorgon 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Really really wish LG was making the Nexus this time around. But it seems that HTC is doing it using a fairly meh design of the M10.
sunilkumarc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Any hints on the price yet?
jkot 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Internal battery is only 2,800mAh :-(
mattmcknight 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure why they would cripple it with just 32GB of internal storage. Too much Android stuff refuses to run from, or store data on, the SDCard.
Welcome to the Python Engineering blog microsoft.com
102 points by tanlermin  3 hours ago   37 comments top 4
smortaz 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hi, team lead here. Very Happy to see this on HN.

If there are any requests for the team pls feel free to voice them. Smiles, frowns, ...

Anything from making pkg installation easier to cross platform dev tools.


antod 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Side note about the author: Steve Dower from MS has also been helping out core Python development. He's done great work on improving how Python gets built, maintained, packaged etc on Windows.

Although I'm not a Windows user, it has been great to see the progress made in that area recently.

levemi 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I recently started doing more development on Windows and coming from os x and linux it's a bit weird to use `py` instead of `python` but other than that it's pretty straight forward.

I also want to mention that I'm loving all the recent attention for python on HN. It's a great language, 2 or 3, and has many great use cases and has a great ecosystem.

sdegutis 2 hours ago 13 replies      
> Python is obviously a big part of data science these days

Off topic, but why is that? I mean, Python doesn't seem any more suitable to "data science" than Ruby or Lua or Clojure or any number of other similar languages. So why do I keep hearing that Python is super popular with scientists?

The Black Standard for binary clocks (2007) romanblack.com
33 points by tzs  4 hours ago   15 comments top 9
Animats 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Could be worse. Swatch tried "Swatch beats" in 1999.[1] A day is divided into 1000 parts. There are no time zones. The zero meridian is at Swatch HQ in Switzerland. (They could have used UTC, but no. "Beats" are UTC+1.)

Swatch sold watches with this, but not very many of them.[2]

[1] http://www.swatch.com/en_us/internet-time[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Internet_Time

yanowitz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
A web page devoted to the usability of an object whose main reason for existence was its uber-nerd signaling via poor UX. There's something both amazingly abstruse and disarmingly charming about the whole endeavor.
legulere 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I always wonder why no binary clock works with fractions. So the first minute pixel would show you in which half of the hour you are, the second in which of the both quarters of the hour. The rest 4 would show you which of the fifteen minutes in the quarter it is. That way you can see pretty fast around what time it is.
theophrastus 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I remain unconvinced that a bleary single-eyed glimpse of this display while on one's side in the dark wee-hours would inform me of the current time better than " 3:14"
amelius 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why not add a rule that says that only one led may change upon the change of a digit. See e.g. gray codes.
Avshalom 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I feel like for the sake of standardization we should start with a more easily constructed shape like an equilateral or reuleaux triangle. Otherwise I like the cut of his jib.
GundersenM 2 hours ago 1 reply      
No support for a 24 hour clock?
devishard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This made me laugh. We definitely don't need a standard for this, but at least it's harmlessly useless. :)
sbierwagen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, but has anyone actually built the shaped-segment one?
The blessing and curse of people who never forget bbc.com
15 points by pmcpinto  2 hours ago   5 comments top 4
kartan 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have a friend that has a very good memory and it is kind of a problem for him.

He can recall all character, places names, etc. from books he read years ago, while I cannot recall even the plot.

But when it comes to bad situations in the past he also recalls them vividly. So he has a hard time forgetting abut old deeds. Sometimes he is rambling about a problem he had with a guy he worked with 5 years ago, or even about something that happened more than 10 years ago.

> It is like having these open wounds they are just a part of you, he says.

I understand that it is this way for him, but it is sad that some what trivial memories get in his path to be happy. And I don't know how to help him.

plq 15 minutes ago 1 reply      
I remember the Jill Price case. Turned out she was obsessively going over all her memories, non-stop, all the time. So hers was a normal brain, just trained very well to retain memories by unending repetition.

I just skimmed the article, but findings seem no different -- only more people are found to have this condition, and it actually has a sciencey name now: HSAM.

I wonder why BBC is running a story about this again?

ChuckMcM 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this is nuanced at all. I seem to recall every plot twist, gizmo, and character in Science Fiction that I read, it takes any joy out of re-reading that book because I already know it front to back, but other books on the fringes, like fantasy or the harry potter series? I can re-read those enjoyably.
mchahn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have always assumed these were some kind of scam but I looked up Jim McGaugh in wikipedia and his credentials are well established. It's truly hard to believe.
Show HN: Jolteon Babel/Electron/React/Browserify/Sass application stack github.com
7 points by vulpino  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
ecesena 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nice - I do a lot of 2-4h small projects and every month I waste time upgrading my boilerplate. I'll test this, but I love the concept.

Feature requests:- react-router- optionally, bootstrap- easy to build & push on github (e.g., default configure with /#/ urls

rememberlenny 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
This looks like a nice OSx app as webapp development stack.
Number of species on Earth estimated at 8.7M (2011) nature.com
25 points by lifeisstillgood  5 hours ago   6 comments top 3
IshKebab 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Counting species is like measuring coastlines.
hyperion2010 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Title is misleading. To quote the article "There are 8.7 million eukaryotic species on our planet give or take 1.3 million." 8.7M is way too low for a total species count that includes bacteria much less archaea.
osrec 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Interesting that Hindu scriptures (the Bhagavat Puran specifically) mentioned 84 lakh (8.4 million) species. An eerily accurate estimate!
Kemal: Fast, simple web framework for Crystal kemalcr.com
29 points by sdogruyol  3 hours ago   7 comments top 5
vortico 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I like how Websockets is built in and considered as a primary feature. I use it more often than REST endpoints these days in my applications.
jalopy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very cool stuff - love to see the power and expressiveness of Ruby in a much faster form. Frameworks like this help make the ecosystem more legitimate.
jballanc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice to see benchmarks reported using a modern, reliable benchmarking tool. Impressive numbers too!
gorkemyurt 1 hour ago 1 reply      
jtmarmon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
looks nice and awesome benchmarks...checkout the memory comparison in node vs kemal: http://kemalcr.com/docs/websockets/

Crystal (Kemal) CPU 1.85 Memory 11.2 MB

Node.js (ws) CPU 38.95 Memory 906.3 MB


The Apple letter to customers couldn't happen under proposed UK law privacyinternational.org
420 points by J-dawg  10 hours ago   91 comments top 12
ikeboy 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The court order was public. Apple didn't reveal anything not already known. This article seems unaware of that fact.

Also, there's NSLs in the US as well.

geographomics 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The purpose of the non-disclosure sections of this law is to prevent the suspect being wiretapped (or similar) knowing that they're being wiretapped.

It's not exactly very useful if someone under active investigation finds out that they're being watched, and changes their communications behaviour as a result.

In this case, it wouldn't need to be applied as the suspect is dead.

DanBC 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There's some useful, informed, discussion in the UK Crypto mailing list.


cmurf 6 hours ago 2 replies      
If only it were so easy to use party affiliation to identify adversaries on this topic.

Those in favor of government power to compel Apple to commission software, laws to weaken encryption or safeguards such as rate limiting, and spending public funds to aid closed research to crack encryption have one thing in common. They are statists. They believe in the absolute authority of the state.

Guess again if you think it's a dysfunction of government when parties disagree. Extra scrutiny is required when they agree.

kevinprince 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably gone amiss in this whole thing. Apple technically could post this letter under the proposed legislation because they are not a "telecommunications provider" which is a specific term in UK law referring to those companies who provide telecoms services usually mobile operators, BT etc.

Apple is not a licensed telecoms provider as they would never of been able to provide iMessage in the UK as it lacks any ability for real-time intercept a requirement on telecoms providers.

formatkid 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any precedents where the UK has placed a gag order on a foreign company, and successfully extradited and imprisoned a CEO for violating said gag order?
iofj 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is already the case. Wiretapping orders in Europe can come from a large number of organisations, including any police force, interpol, a few UN departments, some branches of the EU itself, ... there is no judicial review. The wiretap orders do not mention a court case, there is no way to appeal them, and telling anyone about any order, even in general terms, is punishable by jail time (for the person who does it, not the person responsible for them. In other words, technically if you're an engineer at a telco and you tell your boss why you're spending hours without telling anyone anything, technically that's 2 years). There's no appeal, no information about a court case linked (because there may not even be a linked court case, e.g. when a kid I knew ran away I know the police tapped her phone to find her. There never was anything more than an investigation). And of course, the government is under no obligation to even pay for the time spent doing the wiretap, nor does it pay for the equipment and upgrades needed to make them happen (for instance cisco's "lawful intercept" licences, which run in the thousands of euros per device, alcatell, lucent, etc. have similar stuff).

The one positive is that it's a huge mess, and many police departments have no idea how to use these laws. But I find it hard to believe that there aren't a few police departments that are actually capable and using these rules for personal gain.

kintamanimatt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't this close to the essence of NSA letters, that have in-built-in gag orders?
fit2rule 10 hours ago 7 replies      
The more the UK slips down the hole of tyranny and fascism, the more despondent I become - even though I'm not a UK citizen.

The reason is, I just don't know of any way that the British people can claw their way back up out of this hole - their tyrannical government seems to be 10 steps ahead of every effort to reign it in.

So I feel like I'm witnessing, helplessly, the decline of the UK as a power, and as a nation of free peoples, and the despair comes from knowing that as time goes on, the likelihood of non-violent solutions to the oppression of the British people are ever-more unlikely.

mtgx 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You know what this would lead to in the UK? The spy agencies would gag companies to even tell their customers they got hacked, if it happens to be because of a vulnerability they created for the spy agencies.

So people will continue to have their accounts hacked more and more and everyone will keep quiet about it.

Smircio- 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I can't believe the USA is being shown up by UK on the topic of government corruption. We gotta step up our game. Time to vote Trump.
lifeisstillgood 9 hours ago 1 reply      
We (and our governments) need to recognise that there is no such thing as secrecy anymore, just as there is no privacy anymore.

So just as we as individuals need to adjust to a world where our love affairs are known to our telcos and smartphones before our spouses, we need to require our governments to adjust to an open-by-default world where most of what they want to keep secret is just out there.

this is the idea that a city watched over by CCTV is a police state if only the police can view the cameras.

If everyone can view the cameras it's a free but different society

Register Allocation by Graph Coloring (2003) lighterra.com
20 points by creolabs  5 hours ago   discuss
Security without Identification (1985) [pdf] ru.nl
9 points by raldu  2 hours ago   1 comment top
smag 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
This makes a lot of sense to me. Why don't we use this system? The main risk I see is that an individual might lose both the "computer card" (today it'd be your mobile phone) and the backup version of the look up table of pseudonyms and service providers / partners. Another question: if a bank needs to report interest or capital gains to the taxing authorities, would they report using a unique pseudonymous identity? If that's so, then how would the taxing authority know from whom to collect the tax?
Dave Needle and the Story of the Amiga Computer [video] youtube.com
46 points by velmu  8 hours ago   12 comments top 7
tasty_freeze 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I interviewed at 3DO and one of the people I interviewed with was Needle. I recall hearing that the guy only wore t-shirts, and never wore one twice.

At the time I thought that the only way that could happen is if he had a network of friends who supplied him with a steady stream of shirts. It was hard to imagine a person spending the time and money if they had to do it all themselves.

frik 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just read about the 3DO console (that he also co-invented) and how 3DO (VC funded company) had troubles 17 years ago in "The Internet Bubble" book (1999).

Sad to see this picture https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Dave_Nee... and read about his dead, RIP!

"[...] And this high-stakes competition never rests. Just within this last year [1998], two huge anti-Microsoft deals came down when two pairs of Kleiner Perkins portfolio companies dramatically combined - AOL with Netscape and At Home with Excite. The goal in these two Kleiner Perkins partner-orchestrated moves was clearly to consolidate forces in the Internet portal space and keep Microsoft MSN online service to distant competitor. In such efforts to seek advantage over Microsoft and dominate the Internet industry, Kleiner Perkins, whether intentionally or not, has been a huge contributer to the inflation of the Internet Bubble. [...]" (from the book mentioned above on page 71, dated 1999) I think, we can all be grateful that MSN (a CompuServe and AOL alike competitor on steroids) lost and the open World Wide Web won. Coming back the Amiga video, not always the better tech wins.

sgt 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems the wiki article has been updated with the news https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Needle
mariuolo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
How sad. He didn't look that old, does anyone know what happened to him?
dang 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We merged https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11144751, which announces his death, into this one, which has a nice interview (and also was posted earlier).
sgt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a cheerful and friendly guy. RIP.
gbraad 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The joy of covering video games for 25 years venturebeat.com
16 points by jalea  3 hours ago   discuss
Linkerd: Twitter-Style Operability for Microservices buoyant.io
115 points by samkone  11 hours ago   34 comments top 8
eikenberry 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a good step forward for Finagle as it eliminates the anti-pattern of encapsulating the communications functionality into a library. This inevitably turns any collection of services into a distributed monolith, killing the loose coupling that is the point.
lobster_johnson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
[Edit: Apparently this is language-agnostic, which wasn't clear from the blog post, so please ignore the complaints below. Will leave them here rather than deleting.]

I loved the pitch, but then I discovered that this is Scala only, which was disappointing.

Sure, if your entire organization runs on the JVM (like Twitter presumably does), then something like this is going to be fine. But many/most organizations use multiple languages, for various reasons. At my company we are currently looking into replacing our current microservie RPC (JSON over HTTP) with something better, and we do need to support Ruby, Go and Node.js, as well as plain HTTP from browsers.

The only viable cross-platform RPC technologies right now are gRPC and Thrift, both of which are rather heavy-handed (lots of IDL + code generation + client/server setup code), and neither of which solve the really hard problems (discoverability, load balancing, fault tolerance, etc.). It's also doubtful that gRPC is really in a usable state yet. Thrift is by far the most mature solution in this space.

Maybe we'll be able to take some inspiration from this project when building our upcoming solution, whatever it will be.

brown9-2 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The "sidecar" proxy model reminds me a lot of https://github.com/airbnb/synapse
sulam 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is actually closer to Google-Style operability than it is to Twitter-Style operability. :) Twitter doesn't have an equivalent of GSLB (software load balancer), which is essentially what this is.
hboon 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Totally unrelated: the effect/animation when you hover over the avatars (Safari) at https://buoyant.io/#team is really weird. Not sure if it's intentional.
lobster_johnson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like the support protocols right now are HTTP, Thrift (framed transport) and something called Mux. Is this intended to be pluggable?
djtriptych 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"It can be done, but it takes years of thought and work to make everything work well in practice."

Really wish they expressed the cost in man-years. It's a few calendar years, and thousands of man-years.

yeukhon 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Suppose I designed something from scratch at former company, and then I decided to reimplement the same project after leaving the company (and perhaps turn that into an open source project), with mostly new code, but similar concept, would that be considered copyright infringement?
New Databases Offer Insights into the Lives of Escaped Slaves nytimes.com
4 points by benbreen  1 hour ago   discuss
Bot that uses deep neural networks to generate plausible definitions of words lexiconjure.tumblr.com
67 points by Houshalter  10 hours ago   25 comments top 11
taliesinb 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
neobayesian: n. a small round beetle which is cultivated for its foliage and feeding on trees. Genus Neobaeya, family Characidae. mid 19th century: from modern Latin Neobayea (from Greek neobaea blood vessels) + -AN.

What delightfully deranged nonsense!

ojno: n. (pl. ojnos) 1 a small piece of metal with a long glazed stem and a pointed snout, used for making soft fabrics.

It's like funhouse mirror Borges.

_jomo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
ycombinator: n. a person who is designed to deceive or show hostility to acceptable situations.

Best possible outcome.


yoo1I 6 hours ago 2 replies      
That's actually one of my favorite party games: Get out a volume of an encyclopedia ( I know, right!), find a word whose meaning is likely unknown to the circle of people eagerly sitting around the room with a scrap of paper and a pencil, announce it, and have everyone make up fake definitions of the word. Mix them in a hat along with your copied down correct definition, read them aloud and then everyone votes on the most likely to be correct. The person who collects the most votes wins.

So glad this tedious procedure finally got automated! Well... almost, we still need the bots to vote for the most plausible one.

skybrian 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder if there might be a way to generate a dictionary definition based on a word2vec vector? It would be cool to generate a word that's halfway between two other words, or to complete an analogy.
Houshalter 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It responds to tweets at: https://twitter.com/lexiconjure

The code is available here: https://github.com/rossgoodwin/lexiconjure/

maaarghk 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
I absolutely love this. Something about it really appeals to my sense of humour on top of being impressed with the technical aspect of it.
dnautics 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This one is deep in the uncanny valley. The definitions feel like an ml trained thing trying too hard, lack the spark of just-so humor. I'll take "felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature" over this any day.
pbnjay 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome! Can I get one that goes the other way? I give you a definition and you give me a plausible but invalid word...
pmarreck 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This actually doesn't seem that accurate...
sigmar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
would be cool to use this to derive definitions of slang
logicallee 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The first definition seemed promising:



>a city in SW Russia, on the River Danube; pop. 123,600

>(est. 2002).

No reason I wouldn't accept it. In particular the Danube flows through Russia (edit: apparently not, but Russia borders it and is mentioned in the Danube article). Why not. The name seems Russian enough to my ears (don't speak it) and the population given is small enough that I wouldn't have heard of it (if it had said 10 million that would be a give-away). Pass with flying colors to someone not great at Geography. Probably NOT a pass to someone who knows Geography well, as the Danube does not flow through Russia. 10/10 for me.

But it drops off immediately:



>n. [mass noun] a disease caused by a strong feeling of blurred and deceptive movements of the teeth.


>mid 19th century: from INO- one + Greek meros marriage.

The whole definition is completely non-sensical, this is a 0/10. It doesn't make sense for a disease to be "caused by a feeling" (feelings aren't ever listed as causes of disease, but rather as symptoms) and the feeling of blurred "vision" might maybe make sense if someone isn't reading carefully, but blurred, and deceptive, movement of teeth doesn't even pass the least attentive reading. The fact that it's listed as a mass noun is okay (lots of diseases are), but the etymology isn't even trying: INO- doesn't mean one in any medical language (everyone knows it's mono, or maybe uni-), ino- isn't even in the word onomierren, meros isn't Greek for marriage , and even if it were, what the hell wuould "one marriage" have to do with a disease caused by the movement of teeth. This is a 0/10.

The next one:



>n. a person who delivers a clapted book, especially a computer file or television programme or a program.

since I don't know what a clapted book is, it sound plausible until the repetition "or television program or a program", neither of which sounds like something one would deliver. If it just said "a person who delivers a clapted book" I might find it plausible. 5/10.



>n. a person who fengles or shares a fengue.

10/10. I don't know what a fengle is but this seems perfectly plausible to me.



>n. [BIOLOGY] a plant or animal that is extremely hard or wide, as in a small or more liquid or gland.


>early 18th century: from Latin ambistratus, from ambi- money + stare to stand.

Again this is completely non-sensical. Ambistrate sure sounds like a word, specifically a verb, but it is then listed as a noun. Well okay. A plant OR animal? Weird. That is extremely hard OR wide? Okay. And then it just drops off to complete random garbage "as in a small or more liquid or gland." You can't even parse that grammatically. It's just random words.

The etymology sucks, ambi- doesn't mean money (ambiguous? ambivalent? ambidextrous? etc), stare sounds okay to me.

This is like a 1/10.



>n. [BIOLOGY] a plant or animal that foresees or is produced by a foreperson.


>forepiscitic adj. forepiscity n.

seems completely improbable, firstly for a plant to be able to foresee, this word (foresee) would have to have some meaning I don't know - and secondly, the definition says that a foreperson can produce such a plant. This is garbage, 1/10.



>n. [mass noun] a Japanese colour like that of salad colour.


>Italian, literally salted pepper, from Latin salus salt.

again all over the place. we don't talk of "salad colors", and if it's a japanese color (which salakala sounds like it could be) why is it given an Italian etymology. Completely implausible, 1/10.



>n. a small round board on a plane figure with a slightly unstable joint.


>late 18th century: from Latin, born.

I guess the definition could sort-of make sense, but born in Latin is something around natus (nativity scene) or something with nasc- like "nascent", or reNaissance (rebirth), or that sort of thing. This quanspor crap doesn't share a single syllable.

Like 5/10 due to the technical jointmaking definition being nearly plausible to me.

In sum, I would say this program does an extremely poor job of deep learning. Since Greek and Latin stems are in many ways predictable (after all, lots of new words have been coined with them) it should do a much better job of etymology and word construction. Then, too, it doesn't derive meanings that are plausible from existing words and definitions. Instead it kind of seems to just dump words together.

As a deep learning project I would say this shows very poor results. It's not even shallow learning. I would be easy to trick by mentioning things like "a flying insect of the genus __something i don't know__ native to __some place___". I would also be extremely easy to trick via medical and other technical invented terms - as long as the invention isn't something completely implausible like a disease caused by a feeling of blurred and deceptive movement of teeth. Why can't it say it's caused by .... something that ever comes after the term "caused by"?

interesting project, but very poor showing IMHO.

Samsungs Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge theverge.com
76 points by devhxinc  4 hours ago   69 comments top 17
kozukumi 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks great but no way am I going to go back to Samsung now I have a Nexus 6P. In the past the Nexus phones have always been kinda "nice but not great" but the 6P is easily one of best phones you can buy. The camera is top-notch, the screen is stunning, performance is awesome and battery life is incredible. And stock Android is bliss. I can't really fault it :)
SmallBets 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Still happy with my S3 and feel I'm not missing any key features. The more generations go on you realize just how incremental the phone upgrades have gotten for quite some time now.
tshtf 4 hours ago 3 replies      
The hardware quality of Samsung's flagship products has always been excellent. However the software issues make the price ridiculous.

Good luck getting rapid Android updates for your carrier-modified Samsung Galaxy S7. I'm stuck with a T-Mobile Note 4 with 5.1.1.

AndrewKemendo 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The most important feature of my S5 is the fact that it's waterproof - glad they carried that over to the S7. My kids like to throw stuff in the toilet, including any phone that is not actively being held, or splash on them from the bath, so it has saved me many many times already.

That's what sets it apart from the Apple devices for me as a daily device and I'm surprised more phones don't do that - but apparently consumers don't care that much.

tetraodonpuffer 3 hours ago 1 reply      
nice to see that sd cards are supported again as well as waterproofing, now if they could figure out a way to removable battery with the same form-factor (because if they had a plastic back they'd be crucified in the press, despite the fact that a plastic back is just as good IMHO) it would be amazing
Geee 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Urgo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been a Samsung supporter for a long time. I've had the note 2, 3, 4, and now 5. I really do love the Note 5 but I'm really mad at Samsung for creating another generation with no removable battery. I maxed out the storage in the Note5 when I got it since it also wasn't removable and I've never had issues with that.

However, the battery life which was pretty decent at the beginning is now horrible. At home, on wifi, I'm lucky to make it 12 hours with minimal usage before needing to charge. On previous notes about half a year in I swap the battery with a replacement and get full life again. Can't on the Note 5 and looks like the S7 series is going to be the same :/ Really poor choice Samsung.

I see why they're doing they're not making the battery removable though. They're pushing portable chargers.....

lqdc13 4 hours ago 3 replies      
> Perhaps the most significant change this year comes in the S7s new 12-megapixel camera. Its lower resolution than last years 16-megapixel shooter, but Samsung says its larger pixels let in 56 percent more light than before for better low light images.


dharma1 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Was hoping positional VR with stereo cameras was here as hinted by Carmack, oh well, maybe it's in the next Samsung phone (Note 6)
mataug 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Good luck getting monthly security patches on this.
megablast 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thicker device, less megapixels on the camera, a risky move for Samsung.

And this is more a S6s than a new device.

neals 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I do love the screen of the Samsung S-line. Not the size, but the actual display, the colors and brightness is why I keep coming back to it.

Any other phone with comparable screens?

qznc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There is nothing about the Virtual Reality deal with Facebook? Is Facebook a non-removal builtin app with the S7?
jaxondu 3 hours ago 6 replies      
Samsung and LG both introduce their annual flagship smartphone so early in the year. Doesn't it give Apple plenty of time to counter them spec wise if any? Just curious, if you're Apple competitor, what's the pros and cons of launching your flagship before and after Apple's launch?
awqrre 3 hours ago 0 replies      
nice, microSD is back
gcb0 4 hours ago 0 replies      
wow, this is more like a paid infomercial than a wired article about apple products.
emilsedgh 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I few months ago I lost my 3 years old HTC One, so I had to get a new phone.

For the first time I decided to get an iPhone. So I got a 6s.

Worst mobile phone I've ever had.

The battery life is terrible. Now I understand why people have 'Power banks' with them all the time.

The phone also dies with 40% battery! I turn it on, it shows a splash screen meaning low battery, turns on, shows 40% battery, then dies after a moment again.Funny thing is that I try restarting it several times and at some point it starts working for hours (which means it actually does have 40% battery and its not a calibration issue).

The user interface (which it was supposed to shine at) is just bad. I can never find items I'm looking for.I had to read an article to find out how I'm supposed to turn on the Hotspot feature (And it actually seemed like editing xorg file!)

Viber/Skype start ringing and I cannot respond immediately, as the ringing dialog doesnt even show up until I do to the application.

ios has only a few keyboard layouts and misses my language (Farsi) and I have to rely on third party keyboards to type and third party keyboards are so unstable. Sometimes the keyboard just doesnt show up until I close/open the application.

My GPRS just started working when I inserted the SIM card to my HTC phone. On ios? I had to configure it manually! Again, felt like Linux +10 years ago!

I know this is totally off-topic to this thread but I had to say this rant. iPhone is only a fashion item. Its nowhere as usable as Android.

If you want a phone that just works do yourself a favor and give a decent flagship Android phone a try. You'd be surprised.

(And I'm not a fanboy of Google/Android, I wish we had a FOSS OS with an open ecosystem, but Android just works, unlike ios)

       cached 21 February 2016 23:02:03 GMT