hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    23 Jun 2016 News
home   ask   best   2 years ago   
1
Google Fiber agrees to acquire Webpass webpass.net
101 points by dweekly  1 hour ago   22 comments top 6
1
kevenwang0531 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hopefully this will speed up Fiber's rollout in San Francisco. I remember Google's announcement regarding Fiber in SF a few months back. This acquisition is a no-brainer for both companies!
2
tekklloneer 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
While I worry about large carriers absorbing small ones, this could be an excellent big step in real competition for bay area internet access.
3
aquilaFiera 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you listen, you can hear the sound San Francisco rental managers rejoicing they can advertise they have Google Fiber.
4
jordanthoms 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
Wow, unexpected. I used Webpass when I was in SF and was very happy with the quality of their service, so them getting more capital to expand is a great development.
5
gkop 27 minutes ago 1 reply      
Webpass has only been doing fiber for 10 months [0], as far as I know the bulk of their customers in SF are on fixed wireless. I'm discouraged by this announcement - now it seems there's zero chance of widespread Google Fiber in SF.

[0] https://webpass.net/blog/fiber-is-here

6
cardigan 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
So will Webpass be faster now?
2
How Google Is Remaking Itself for Machine Learning First backchannel.com
106 points by steven  4 hours ago   43 comments top 12
1
arbre 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't believe in "everyone should work on machine learning". I worked on several deep learning models but I don't really like it. It is a very different job than software engineering in my opinion. ML is more about gathering data and tuning the models as opposed to building stuff. I have spend months working on models and barely wrote any code. It is more efficient to have ML experts focus on the modeling and software engineers use the model.

I do believe however that some experience is needed to understand what is possible and best benefit from existing tools or to be able to communicate with machine learning engineers about your needs.

2
yomly 48 minutes ago 2 replies      
Articles like this for me tend to vindicate Google's notorious hiring processes.

While it is true that for most people will not need to be able to whiteboard a binary tree inversion in their day to day, it seems like they expect their engineers to be able to throw themselves at any problem they're given and require them to be able to pivot in skillset quickly, and have an appreciation of all the developments going on around them so they can apply anything novel ideas developed internally to what they are currently working on.

In those cases, hiring based on sound knowledge of CS fundamentals seems like a good bet...

60k engineers is a pretty terrifying number though.

3
matt_wulfeck 2 hours ago 1 reply      
And my anecdotal experience is that it's working extremely well. Take the Google Photos app that does automatic image recognition and tagging. The other day I was looking for a picture we took of our cat the first night we brought him home. I remembered we left him with a blanket in the bathroom but couldn't remember much else.

"kitten bathroom 2013"

And there was a picture of the cat sitting in the tub on a blanket. Simply amazing.

4
xenihn 2 hours ago 6 replies      
Anyone happen to have a suggested self-teaching path for Machine Learning? I.e. books and courses. I know that Andrew Ng's course is a great resource, but I know that I'm not ready to start it yet. I'm actually way behind on the mathematical pre-requisites, so recommendations for that would be greatly appreciated as well. I've never taken a statistics course, and never received any formal education for mathematics past trig. I know that I'm looking at a good 6 months to a year just to get caught up on the math alone.
5
nborwankar 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Bit of a self-plug here - LearnDataScience http://learnds.com has been well received as a starting point for newcomers. It's a set of Jupyter notebooks with a lot of hand holding. Git repo has data sets included so you can clone and go. All Python.
6
z92 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a good change from "social first" from a few years back. Google was never a social company to start with. Remember Orkut?

AI is google's leverage. It should explore on that path.

7
jdeisenberg 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article says that Mr. Giannandrea is no longer head of the machine learning division; out of curiosity, who has taken that position? It's not clear from the article.
8
xg15 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I was kind of surprised this article hooks with that relatively small "Ninja" workshop. My impression so far was that Google more or less created the whole machine Learning movement (out of necessity from their two core field, search and ads/analytics) and is employing several authorities of the field.

After Google Now, DeepDream and all the self driving car hype, reading about that workshop being the start of the big transformation seems strange.

9
DrNuke 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure where it is going at all: evolutionary leaps often come from outliers and sometimes from serendipity. What about this reinforced confirmation bias?
10
glx1441 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Peter Domingos? Really? Did they mean Pedro?

Sigh. Another instance of pop science getting most everything wrong (and I haven't even bothered to write anything about the technical content in the article).

11
entee 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a really great idea, especially when done right. The difficulty with machine learning and AI is understanding the pitfalls inherent in selecting data and training systems. You can fool yourself pretty easily into thinking you've got something that works when you really don't. That said it sounds like they're doing things well, I have no doubt this will have a positive impact in demystifying the "magic" of ML/AI and making all those Google products I use better!
12
StevePerkins 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Great article, but I can't help but CRINGE at the "ninja" references. I think that's already played out within the industry... and although pop-tech writers tend to lag a few years behind, it will sound extremely dated in the mainstream within a few years.
3
In Newly Created Life-Form, a Major Mystery quantamagazine.org
456 points by DiabloD3  10 hours ago   123 comments top 18
1
davnn 9 hours ago 14 replies      
TL;DR: Venter and his collaborators originally set out to design a stripped-down genome based on what scientists knew about biology....With the right tools finally in hand, the researchers designed a set of genetic blueprints for their minimal cell and then tried to build them. Yet not one design worked,"...So the team took a different and more labor-intensive tack, replacing the design approach with trial and error. They disrupted M. mycoides genes, determining which were essential for the bacteria to survive....Venter is careful to avoid calling syn3.0 a universal minimal cell. If he had done the same set of experiments with a different microbe, he points out, he would have ended up with a different set of genes....In fact, theres no single set of genes that all living things need in order to exist....They found that not a single gene is shared across all of life. There are different ways to have a core set of instructions,...Venters minimal cell is a product not just of its environment, but of the entirety of the history of life on Earth....He and others are trying to make more basic life-forms that are representative of these earlier stages of evolution....Some scientists say that this type of bottom-up approach is necessary in order to truly understand lifes essence. If we are ever to understand even the simplest living organism, we have to be able to design and synthesize one from scratch,...We are still far from this goal.

As @sixQuarks has already written, finding the minimal amount of genes when there are 175 unknown ones and you don't know anything about their dependencies and relationships seems to be pretty much impossible.

> In fact, theres no single set of genes that all living things need in order to exist. ... They found that not a single gene is shared across all of life.

That's the most interesting point to me, I deeply believed that organisms share the same basic set of genes.

2
no_flags 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Interesting work, but it reminds me of the famous "Could a biologist fix a radio?" paper [1]. The paper imagines biologists trying to determine what parts of a radio are essential using a similar trial and error technique. As you can imagine, this technique would lead to many erroneous conclusions, especially when paired with the "publish or perish" and "gold rush" mentalities so prevalent in academia. It makes you wonder if we are trying to understand biological systems with a fundamentally wrong approach.

[1] https://www.cmu.edu/biolphys/deserno/pdf/can_a_biologist_fix...

3
sixQuarks 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm afraid it's not the individual genes themselves that are important to life, but a specific combination of those genes. Further complicating the problem is that we have no idea how many genes comprise an "essential group". Is it a combination of 2 genes? 3, 5, 10?

When you're talking about 175 unknown genes, the combination of all of these is a huge number. It's like finding a needle in a haystack the size of the solar system.

I don't think this brute force approach is going to work, we need a different way to figure this out, but I'm confident that once figured out, it will seem simple looking back on it.

4
daemonk 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder how they removed the genes? I am not an expert in microbiology. I work with mainly eukaryotes, but I am guessing intergenic distances are not a huge factor here? What about spatial arrangement of the genes? Did they generally leave that alone?

Genes are not independent functional modules. Their placement and arrangement on the genome matters. Did they only mess with coding features (genes)? Or did they also mess with other genomic features? Or do such things just not matter with bacteria?

5
kazinator 8 hours ago 1 reply      
That's like forking someone's program, but not understanding two thirds of the code. (What's the big deal? It happens!)

If you take someone's 4000-5000 line program and whittle it down to 473 lines which are still somehow useful, "newly created" doesn't apply in full honesty, let alone if you don't know what a third of those lines do.

6
sevenless 10 hours ago 6 replies      
I find it fascinating we still don't really know how life works. I have a hunch we are going to find the large scale 3D structure of the chromosome is a big deal, and these genes regulate it. There aren't many good tools to study chromosome structure and it's quite possible there's a whole layer of information we've missed so far.
7
darawk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great. This is the proper engineering approach to understanding life. Whittle it down to the minimal reproducing test-case, and poke it with a stick until you understand what all the parts do.

This is just excellent science. It seems like it should be very easy to get these unknown genes to reveal their function now. Very exciting times.

8
fauigerzigerk 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Forgive my complete ignorance, but how do they even count genes? Given a very long string of base pairs, how is it possible to know where one gene ends and the next one begins? Do genes overlap?
9
haberman 6 hours ago 2 replies      
How much information is 473 genes? How many bytes does this represent, in a compact but "raw" encoding? What about if you compressed it with gzip?

Also what are the raw/compressed sizes for a human genome?

I have wondered this for a long time but never seem to find a concrete answer.

10
meursault334 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Article summary and Article http://www.cba.mit.edu/docs/papers/16.04.minimal.pdf

edit: appears to be the full article (scroll down past summary)

11
misiti3780 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone else here read Nick Lane's new book - The Vital Question - I just finished it and this article really seems like a continuation of some of his theories he talks about.

I found about the book from HN, and have since bought every single other book by him, almost done with Life Ascending now, which is also amazing

12
otto_ortega 7 hours ago 2 replies      
"The function of 79 genes is a complete mystery.'We don't know what they provide or why they are essential for life maybe they are doing something more subtle, something obviously not appreciated yet in biology' "

It is the activation key God puts on each living being... Ain't gonna work without it. =P

13
callesgg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If the cell had a log it would be filled to the brink with warnings and errors :)

Thinking if it like:Just remove files from the OS until it wont start :)

14
LionessLover 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The actual study can be accessed for free on "The Pirate-Bay of Science publications" Sci-Hub:

http://science.sciencemag.org.sci-hub.cc/content/351/6280/aa...

About Sci-Hub: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sci-Hub

15
coldcode 9 hours ago 2 replies      
If I were a biology/biochem/genetics/etc type of student today this is exactly what I would love to work on. Perhaps someday we will actually understand how life works. That's both exciting and incredibly scary.
16
drabiega 7 hours ago 1 reply      
My take-away: Work like this is somewhat akin to attempting to determine the specification of Intercal through reverse engineering given a working program and a compiler.
17
phieromnimon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So it's like a unikernel of life?
18
peter303 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Four months old news.I will Dr Venter in Aspen Saturday.
4
Mozilla Awards $385,000 to Open Source Projects mozilla.org
108 points by nandaja  5 hours ago   30 comments top 10
1
luso_brazilian 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The full list:

> Tor: 152k

> Tails (secure-by-default live operating system): 77k

> Caddy (HTTP/2 web server that uses HTTPS automatically and by default via Lets Encrypt): 50k

> Mio (asynchronous I/O library written in Rust): 30k

> DNSSEC/DANE Chain Stapling (standardizing and implementing a new TLS extension): 25k

> Godot Engine: (high-performance multi-platform game engine which can deploy to HTML5): 20k

> PeARS (lightweight, distributed web search engine): 15,5k

> NVDA (open source screen reader): 15k

I agree with the highlight given the open source screen reader. Accessibility is very important and unfortunately very neglected, mostly because (IMO) the tools to properly test can be very expensive or incompatible.

2
piotrjurkiewicz 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
It is nice to see that all projects goals seems to be reasonable in this round.

Unlike than in the previous one:

> Buildbot: $15,000. Their award will be used to remove the term slave from all documentation, APIs and tests, and also to make improvements so Buildbot works better in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2015/12/10/mozilla-open-source...

3
squiguy7 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm impressed that MIO is getting funding. It will be great to have a safe library to create event-driven apps in Rust.
4
piotrkubisa 3 hours ago 1 reply      
That's awesome news, NVDA and Caddy awarded for contributors work. I hope, in future there will be more companies donating money to attractive open-software projects.
5
ndiscussion 2 hours ago 6 replies      
TOR and MOSS are both extremely deserving recipients, but I'd say Mozilla is borderline unethical with their spending.

Of the millions (yes millions) of dollars they've received, little seems to have gone toward Firefox development.

Mozilla received over $121 million in 2010 from corporate sponsors. This is the same Mozilla that placed ADS in their new tab views. Really, they placed Paid Ads on the new tab screen. What were those for again?

I do understand that Mozilla's mission is to improve the web. Donating to these causes certainly helps with that. But I'm still troubled that they put ads (with aggregate user tracking) into their core product.

6
Perceptes 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What do security folks think of the DNSSEC/DANE award? This isn't substantiated, but my understanding was that those technologies were considering kind of a joke by the security community.
7
christophilus 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd never heard of PeARS. I was just discussing this very idea with a friend of mine. I'd love to see a decentralized web, but search seems like a really tricky problem in that space. This is a clever solution.
8
AdmiralAsshat 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see Caddy getting some dough.
9
arthursilva 4 hours ago 1 reply      
30K for mio, that's a bold move!
10
dave2000 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That's great. Now if I could just read www.theonion.com on Firefox for Android without it crashing every time, that would be sweet.
5
JavaScript Performance Updates in Microsoft Edge and Chakra windows.com
52 points by hellojs  3 hours ago   6 comments top 3
1
formula1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Im really happy microsoft is investing such energy, pride and desire in their web browser. Its almost a fairy tale, a company infamously creating their own standards, lagging way behind and creating whole new browsers to go along with the real product (operating system) into the bleeding edge of speed and hopefully standards.

That being said, I still wonder whats behind it. Whether its so artists and proffessionals view microsoft as a standard, so that more servers run on chakra) or an attempt to gain control of market share so they can also be a part of the info selling market. Regardless, Im happy they are on board

2
netcraft 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I havent heard anything more about node being ported to use chakra - I think they were targeting a pr by summer, is that still happening? Would love to see some of this performance competition on the server side as well.

Edit: looks like the pr ran into some opposition but im not sure what the final status is, ill have to read it again later when im not on mobile. https://github.com/nodejs/node/pull/4765

3
themihai 1 hour ago 0 replies      
JavaScript is so '90! Let's see some WebAssembly benchmarks! XD
6
New Life Found That Lives Off Electricity quantamagazine.org
334 points by aethertap  11 hours ago   38 comments top 10
1
devindotcom 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If I'm not mistaken it's not like just-now new, but of course still fascinating and relatively new. Just from a quick search:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25894-meet-the-electr...

2
AncoraImparo 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Can we get an experiment done immediately to see if they will survive off of the electricity inside a vacuum?
3
Zenst 9 hours ago 1 reply      
If these microbes eat hydrogen then would they not equally be present and more common upon say a rusty electrode as more hydrogen produced via chemical reactions with the water.

So I wonder if we have yet to find there niche environment

4
jostmey 8 hours ago 2 replies      
So what if life hasn't evolved yet to feed off of our power lines, but the potential for it to happen is there?
5
zanalyzer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
my breakfast this morning basically consisted of electrons
6
ericfrederich 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't remember much from my biology class but I seem to remember nearly all life utilizes some ATP cycle. Plants get it from the sun, animals from food, etc. I'm curious to know if this electic life is still ATP based and just utilizes free electrons to create it.
7
ikeboy 10 hours ago 3 replies      
A recent episode of Limitless (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5146006/) had this as a subplot.
8
jhoni365 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Layman here...Is it possible life could likely live in the emptiness space as well then?
9
mpnagle 6 hours ago 1 reply      
pika pika
10
manaskarekar 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Another item to add to the list of things/ideas explored by Star Trek before being discovered/invented.

A somewhat related and interesting read: http://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/blog/index.cfm?postid=792...

7
Lenin was a mushroom wikipedia.org
490 points by Smaug123  13 hours ago   146 comments top 36
1
ProfChronos 12 hours ago 6 replies      
While reading the wikipedia article, I couldn't help thinking about two things: - the Big Lebowski scene when Walter jumps on the Dude's attempt to quote Lenin and mixes Lenin with Lennon- one thing I recently read about natural language processing [1]: "NLP began in the 1950s as the intersection of artificial intelligence and linguistics. (...)Early simplistic approaches, for example, word-for-word Russian-to-English machine translation,2 were defeated by homographsidentically spelled words with multiple meaningsand metaphor, leading to the apocryphal story of the Biblical, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak being translated to the vodka is agreeable, but the meat is spoiled.[1]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168328/
2
mendelk 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This is great :)

On a related note, someone posted a question to r/newzealand if it was true that having a vegetable garden is illegal in NZ[0]. The entire subreddit then spontaneously decided that indeed it was.

The deadpan was so well done, that it had lots of people actually confused, if not convinced!

r/OutOfTheLoop post "outing" the hoax: https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/4ovxb1/is_the...

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/newzealand/comments/2nem47/can_you_...

3
quantumhobbit 13 hours ago 9 replies      
"one of the top regional functionaries stated that "Lenin could not have been a mushroom" because "a mammal can not be a plant.""

I love the the logic here. As though "Lenin was a bottle nose dolphin" would have been more plausible. Also did the Soviets have the same taxonomy as the west, meaning mushrooms would be fungi and not plants?

4
pierrec 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The US today isn't in much of a different boat. Granted, a human being a mushroom is quite an extreme one, but I'm sure a well-crafted documentary reaching a wide enough audience could still have a deplorable impact. Here's a 2013 poll on conspiracy theories:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/04/conspiracy-t...

I was in high school when one of the "moon landings were a hoax" documentaries made the rounds. A significant portion of my class was instantly converted by the documentary. I lost a little of my faith in humanity at that time, though much of it was quickly recovered thanks to an excellent math teacher who paid attention to his students, found out about the phenomenon, and dedicated half of a class to thoroughly debunking it.

5
maheart 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Haha, hilarious, thanks for sharing.

I had to see this for myself.

Source:

Video, part1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2cs8QLnxlU

Video, part2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExXDxpBFFR0

The "revelation" occurs at 2m36s: https://youtu.be/ExXDxpBFFR0?t=156

6
vizzah 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, I watched it on TV when I was 14 years old and shortly after USSR break up, obviously having no experience of mockumentaries before, having seen Lenin in the mausoleum few years earlier.. all that stuff was really mind blowing, even though it was hard to believe and raised mock suspicions - I remember I questioned my parents about it =)
7
radiorental 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Let us not forget the exceptional spaghetti harvest of 1957https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVo_wkxH9dU

Thanks, in part, to an unusual lull in population numbers of the notorious Spaghetti Weevil.

8
Artlav 12 hours ago 2 replies      
And this was just the first in the long line of hoaxes that included the world's largest pyramid (Ponzi?) scheme and legal homeopatics, which filled the faith vacuum left followed the dissolution of the union.

People had no clue that a TV can lie about "X happened" (rather than "X didn't happen"), what else you can do with money besides earn, buy and sell, and so on.

It was such a rich scam market.

10
Graham24 12 hours ago 2 replies      
That's up there with the great spaghetti tree hoax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVo_wkxH9dU

"The last two weeks of March are an anxious time for the spaghetti farmer..."

11
dkaigorodov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It was a very important step for people of USSR to understand that TV != truth. The movie was to the very point. Quite an important topic for USSR with an absolutely absurd statement just forces people to think and rely on their own judgement only. And it simple to do in this case.

Now people not just was given a freedom to think. Now it is a must. To think and to have OWN opinion.

12
sonthonax 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The artist/prankster, Sergey Kuryokhin was also a fabulous pianist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IvUgRylquA

And quite possibly one of the greatest artists of 90s Russia.

13
Gravityloss 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Gullibility research is an established area, as these things are important for selling products and getting people voted to office.

For example, things people believe about the EU will affect their vote on Brexit tomorrow. Here's an egregious example of a widely circulated totally false myth:

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/cabbage.asp

14
moopling 13 hours ago 0 replies      
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h2cs8QLnxlU

Is in Russian but has English subtitles

15
alanh 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A Parasite from Outer Space: How Sergei Kurekhin Proved That Lenin Was a Mushroom Author(s): Alexei YurchakSource: Slavic Review, Vol. 70, No. 2 (SUMMER 2011), pp. 307-333Published by:Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5612/slavicreview.70.2.0307 .

On Sci-Hub:http://www.jstor.org.sci-hub.bz/stable/10.5612/slavicreview....

16
StavrosK 13 hours ago 7 replies      
Does anyone know the argument chain? I'm curious how someone made this outlandish claim sound plausible.
17
MBCook 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never heard of that before, pretty cool.

But now I've got the idea of trying to write lyrics for "Lenin Was A Mushroom" (to the tune of Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog) stuck in my head, but I can't because I have too much work to do today.

18
vittore 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"What I want to say here is that Lenin was not only a mushroom , but also a radio wave" (C)
19
avdicius 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think many people believed it. Actually it was more of a satire than a hoax. A mockery of the BS wave that befell on gullible and unprepared audience upon Perestroika.
20
100ideas 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's one of the articles (JSTOR) referenced on the en Wikipedia page:

A Parasite from Outer Space:: How Sergei Kurekhin Proved That Lenin Was a MushroomAlexei YurchakSlavic ReviewVol. 70, No. 2 (SUMMER 2011), pp. 307-333

http://libgen.io/scimag/get.php?doi=10.5612/slavicreview.70....

21
Finnucane 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I for one believe that a person can turn into a mushroom: I have seen it on the TV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqaslCGn-6w

22
aluhut 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Great to see Carlos Castaneda in this. The ultimate Troll and still good enough for New-Age ideologies.
23
davesque 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I love how that official chose to correct the people: Don't worry everyone. Just remember that "a mammal cannot be a plant" and everything's going to be okay.
24
botfly 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone ever classified forms of gullibility before? For example, is there a name for the form of gullibility that will make otherwise smart people believe ridiculous things if it reinforces their belief that they are smarter than everyone else?
25
dghughes 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Now it's "Well I saw someone Facebook say that ... "taken as 100% truth.
26
justaaron 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah the "Lenin Grib" story- tv announcers taken too seriously apparently...
27
narrator 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I read the headline and thought he was kept in the dark and fed excrement by Stalin.
28
tn13 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am amused but not surprised and there this nothing unique about Russian people either.

Many times survival in society vastly depends on believing absurdity because cost to sticking to obvious truth could mean death. That is why women in Saudi Arabia were Hijab and take beating from husband even though for any sensible human being it should sound ridiculously stupid.

Americans are no different either. One has to only look at the irrational fear of guns, terrorists or Muslims that schools or media promotes on regular basis and sometimes well supported by laws too.

To give an example, one of my friends bought a simple bow and arrow to his kids who practiced in a safe environment of his backyard. The bow itself was not very powerful and the arrows did not have any harmful tips. So one day cops showed up on his door and claimed that the neighbor had complained.

The cops told the guy that a "Bow and arrow" is considered a "Gun" in California. A gun can be fired only in a range as per the law and what his kids just did was "discharging a firearm in an harmful manner". This is a felony that required them to arrest the father and send him to jail. What father had done was completely common sense thing. The law was absurd. The cops were gracious to let him go but later the father told me that if tomorrow anyone tells him that it is a felony to make barbecue in your backyard without FDA approval I might as well believe it.

29
tobymather 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I wrote my dissertation on this
30
golergka 11 hours ago 0 replies      
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_CSKSshWg

Here's the 55min version I've found - I think it's the longest one available on youtube.

Random phrases that I just had to translate to illustrate the whole tone of the video:

"Do you know that Quran allows jews to eat mushrooms only one day a week - on saturday?"

"So you would think that this is an ordinary small mushroom... Although really, it is a huge, spherical, energy-intensive, cosmological matter, spreading it's dome into open astral space. -- So where does it grow? -- Excellent question. The thing is, it grows nowhere. I reaches out and finds a human - see, it's mushrooms who are picking humans, not humans picking mushrooms."

"We are looking at a mushroom culture - not really a culture, but a geodynamic, geopolitic sphere of the mushroom world - as a certain telescopic object"

"A great group of mushroom geneticists work in the Nuclear Physics Institute."

"So, it's been said that mushrooms look like flaccid phalluses, so I thought that they carry within them a manly spirit - or corrupted manly spirit, actually, since they're flaccid."

31
muterad_murilax 12 hours ago 1 reply      
And yet his embalmed body was there all along for everyone to see.
32
FuturePromise 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It reminds me of the Yip Harburg song:

 Napoleon's a pastry Bismarck is a herring Alexander's a crme de cacao mixed with rum And Herbie Hoover is a vacuum Columbus is a circle and a day off Pershing is a square, what a pay-off Julius Caesar is just a salad on a shelf So, little brother, get wise to yourself Life's a bowl and it's full of cherry pits Play it big and it throws you for a loop That's the way with fate, comes today, we're great Comes tomorrow, we're tomato soup
(See http://genius.com/Lena-horne-napoleon-lyrics )

33
hodder 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's another clue for you all,The Walrus is Paul.
34
avodonosov 10 hours ago 1 reply      
That's a well-known fact (as well as that Putin is a krab)
35
alva 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably not a fungi to be around at least
36
Atwood 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In communist Russ Golden Teacher B+'s YOU!
8
Lamborghini Is Forging Ahead with Forged Carbon Fiber caranddriver.com
12 points by dmmalam  2 hours ago   4 comments top
1
arcanus 15 minutes ago 3 replies      
Has Lamborghini ever made a car that had actual technical merit as a racecar?

I'm general, supercars are vastly overpriced for what you get. You can easily crush most for a fraction of the price with a dedicated track car. But simultaneously, no supercars are remotely practical on the road, and in fact are not even fun to drive on the street because of speed limits.

Some supercars have been a good investment, such as the Mclaren F1, but the majority depreciate immediately.

I don't really see the point.

9
Close Encounters of the Java Memory Model Kind shipilev.net
20 points by signa11  2 hours ago   discuss
10
Where have all the iOS games gone? minotaurproject.co.uk
189 points by chadaustin  4 hours ago   108 comments top 22
1
fnayr 4 hours ago 10 replies      
I hear this myth perpetuated incessantly. (That there's no more middle ground in the app store, only the Clash of Clans and Candy Crushes and the rest with no downloads). People paint the picture that it's the top 0.1% and everyone else with an unsustainable business.

The truth is there's plenty of us in the middle still. My two person iOS dev studio has pulled in 6 figures a year for the past 4 years. The problem is not that there's no middle ground, it's that the everyone used to get guaranteed downloads, and with the removal of new releases and the never ending flood of apps, 90% of apps will get just about zero downloads after launch nowadays.

But there's still plenty of room for small studios like us who know their target audience and what works on the app store to make a sustainable business. So I'd say top 0.1% for the insane successes that can support hundreds of employees, but for a small studio, just getting in the top 5% can work.

If you're curious about numbers, check thinkgaming.com, to see that the top 200 grossing game is still pulling ~$10K a day on iPhone in the US alone. When you add all countries, tablets, and Android devices, you start to see you don't need a top 10 or even top 100 grossing app to make some serious cash.

So while it has gotten a lot tougher in the app store and it's increasingly difficult for newcomers with no experience to hit it big, there's still very much a thriving middle ground between the insane successes and the utter failures. I suspect that it's not well known is due to the fact that those in similar positions to us don't want to dish out the valuable knowledge they've acquired through years of experience that could only increase the competition.

2
billyjobob 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel it's worth pointing out this isn't just some blog by any old indie development studio. This is a blog by Jeff Minter. The man practically invented home computer gaming. I was buying his games with my allowance 35 years ago, because they were great. And I still buy them today, because they are still great. If Jeff Minter can't make the App Store work then no-one can. (Although he probably could have done if he had been willing to make crappy games with in app purchase rather than make good games. )
3
buserror 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Weird, I was a die hard mac developer (since 1984), and I immediately stopped when iOS came out with the app store. Like, stopped /dead/.

The reason I could be a Mac Developer was the small pond; There wasn't a LOT of work, but there was enough for good people, and it paid well. On balance I /never/ developed anything for windows, because of the 'tree vs forest' problem : Even if you are REALLY fantastically good, there are so many people on the market that you can't possibly stand out.

And that's why I never even wrote a single iOS app, even tho i was a wiz at ObjC and OSX (Imagine a Classic MacOS dev thrown together with a UNIX wiz, and that's me); it was guaranteed to bring in the 'forest' to OSX as well, and make any 'edge' more or less pointless.

Also, from what I've seen, if anyone comes out with a nice app/game, there's a dozen or more group of people who will throw their dev team at copying it immediately, diluting any hope of revenue. It's these guys business model after all, you just can't win, and it's not like you can defend your IP anyway.

So, 2016, I wonder what took people so long to realize it was all doomed but for a tiny fraction of apps.

4
eirikref 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As a user who frequently opened the AppStore just to browse, discover new apps, and who used to buy a lot, I've just stopped opening the AppStore over the last three-four years. Browsing and discovery has become too hard for me, and I feel like they're pushing games too hard.

I used to buy a lot of games as well, but often I was just in the mood to look for some neat applications. If I could somehow filter out all games and just browse apps across all categories, I might still browse the AppStore regularly and still buy apps (including games, when I'm in the mood for that). The end result now is that they've lost a customer who used to buy new apps every week.

5
jarjoura 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
How is it that Sony PS4/Vita stores can sell these same indie games for $20 a pop? Sony pushes these games hard and gives every one of them a fair amount of free marketing. They also celebrate their game developers by writing about them on their blogs and press-releases.

The Apple App store in its current iteration is just mentally exhausting. Everytime I open it up I'm presented with a new grid of app icons and no context to why I should care.

To further detriment, Apple has trained the market to stay away from 3rd party curation of iOS apps in any kind of useful way. So we're left only with a gateway of lists. That's nice, but not worth my time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but ultimately an indie game has limited replay value because they're just so small in scope, but they're usually a lot of fun. So a one time upfront payment to enjoy for a few weeks is a great business strategy I think.

Edit: Not to sound like I'm bashing Apple here, as I don't think the Google Play store does it any better.

6
eludwig 4 hours ago 4 replies      
The amazing thing to me is that at WWDC, Tim Cook (I think that's who announced it) seemed genuinely thrilled that there are over 2,000,000 apps for iOS. So sad and useless. You could hear the barely contained horror of the assembled developers. iOS has become a victim of its own success.

I guess the market will eventually sort it out, but when? 2030?

7
retromario 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Yeah it's a challenging market.

Just to add another data point, we're small indie (games) developer, we spent over a year on our first title with very little marketing budget and these are our sales figures from our launch: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/YacineSalmi/20160519/273030/E...

In short, decent sales but not enough to recoup our costs. Still, we never expected that we would hit gold on the first try. I think to be as sustainable on iOS you either have a successful niche product or a collection of product, with each release building a further revenue stream.

8
diziet 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It's often hard for indie developers without marketing budgets, but in the same vein the whole gaming market on iOS is doing tremendously well. Here's a high level snapshot of iPhone earning by country, month by month:

https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/993499/16283312/2...

The industry grew a lot - surely driven by the most successful titles, but also for the longer tail of developers. More of the total revenue and earnings are captured by the top 100 publishers -- but still, even compared to 2012 or 2013, the 10000th biggest app is earning more due to the opening of all the new territories.

The game earning model moved from a hits based model, where you launch with lots of hype and reviews and generate a lot of earnings in the initial months to a model where long playing loyal players stick with the game over many months & years and monetize via longer term in app purchases. It's not possible to bring back 2010. We need to be ok with that and learn to engage users over longer timelines.

9
highCs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Aside some interesting comments here I find very true, my theory is that you should treat your game has a startup product: customers will not come, you have to chase them. And get them talk to their friends about your game. Just launching a game and making some marketing wont work. You need: feedback loop + word of mouth + growth.
10
mmanfrin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There are only so many combinations of the words [Lord|War|Clan|Battle|Fight|Clash|Of|Reign|King].
11
kmiroslav 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
You know the situation is bleak when even the legendary Jeff "llama" Minter says he can't make money on the app store.
12
joeblau 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a game that I made over a 4 day period on iOS and Android. It's not brining in much revenue, but it was a cool challenge. My game isn't really that great, but I haven't touched it in over a year as well as there is no motivation to keep working on it. Once too many bugs start showing up, I'll probably pull it from all 3 app stores.
13
jpeg_hero 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Apple needs to move the "standard price" from 0.99 one time download -> 0.99 per year

Delete app to unsubscribe

Remove 0.99 one time pricing

$5.00 minimum one time download price

14
ajeet_dhaliwal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Same reason I stopped making games for iOS years ago. I too did truly enjoy making them though. I created original games and the effort all outside working hours overnight and weekends did at least teach me skills I still utilize today.
15
projectramo 3 hours ago 6 replies      
Wait a second:

" the first non-iOS game I did after spending two years on iOS, released on a Sony handheld that many describe as being obscure, generated literally thousands of times more income for us than two years and ten games on iOS with its potential billions of users."

What was the platform? I wonder if there is a strategy to be carved out making games for Windows 10, Linux mobile, etc.

16
ccvannorman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
One iOS game I enjoyed and recently rediscovered is GeoDefense. I highly recommend it (at $3.99 I think) and it is definitely a middle-ground app. I estimate they made between 500K - 5M lifetime sales over 4 years with both games.
17
bolasanibk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The site seems to be down.

Link to the Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-8QtKz9...

18
triptych 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Toucharcade is a great site / resource to find and learn about iOS games.
19
mucker 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The platform cratered with the dominance of pay to win games and the "freemium" model. This allowed the store to be cluttered with junk. I can't shop there, because I'm not sure what I am buying.
20
melling 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw this article yesterday about how more and more apps have become abandoned:

https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/21/the-apple-app-store-gravey...

The App Store will keep growing but it won't be good if half the apps are abandoned.

21
profeta 2 hours ago 0 replies      
history will look back on this iphone era we are living as the second dark age.
22
golergka 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Apple, goddamn. You had a potential major gaming platform on your hands but almost 10 years later, we're stuck with $5-10 CPIs and store that doesn't even try to do anything with the long tail. Just open up Steam sometimes if you wonder how it should've been done.
11
Art and taste in the age of the Internet newyorker.com
25 points by miraj  4 hours ago   1 comment top
1
firasd 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting. This article and the book it reviews are expansive in their investigation of the determinants of taste, but Ive been thinking over the last few years that aesthetics are probably more socially determined than Id thought. Does that mean everyone in the same house will have the same tastes? Not necessarily. But it does mean what you judge as good or bad will be connected, probably inseparably, to some social groups understanding (your people.)

If you connect tastes to groups of people rather than to preferences in the characteristics of something, it follows that taste will have trends (as people have generations), that will tastes differ from one city to another, etc., which is what we observe.

12
A Stark Nuclear Warning nybooks.com
28 points by jseliger  2 hours ago   7 comments top 3
1
rrggrr 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
Despite three major armed conflicts fought between nuclear powers by proxy, none thankfully have resulted in nuclear war. Deterrence works. What doesn't work, and a flaw that is growing exponentially with nuclear proliferation is failures in design, command and control. The incredible and incredibly frightening book "Command and Control" (see link at bottom), highlights several near catastrophic misses in the US nuclear arsenal. Now multiply by all nuclear states, the risks of accident are terrifying. The world would do well to open source safeguards so that even rogue states (eg. North Korea) can benefit from control and process that mitigate risk of unintended nuclear detonation.

https://www.amazon.com/Command-Control-Damascus-Accident-Ill...

2
my_first_acct 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is a review of the book "My Journey at the Nuclear Brink", by William Perry, US Secretary of Defense in the the Clinton administration. The reviewer is Jerry Brown, Governor of California.
3
f_allwein 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I agree that the nuclear threat may be bigger today than in cold war times. More nations now have nuclear weapons and the possibility that one will be used one day is > 0.

When I grew up in Germany in the 80s, there was a real sense that nuclear war could start any time. Unfortunately, we haven't used the short widow of opportunity after the cold war to get rid of all nuclear weapons. Now I wonder what, if anything, can happen to convince us as a species to get rid of them.

13
Restoring YC's Xerox Alto, day 1: Power supplies and disk interface righto.com
98 points by kens  8 hours ago   19 comments top 7
1
tdicola 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure it was mentioned in the last thread on this computer but if anyone wants to actually use a real Alto and many other vintage computers check out the Living Computer Museum in Seattle: http://www.livingcomputermuseum.org/ They have an Alto you can walk right up to and start hacking on--when I last saw it it was running a pretty fun billiards game (worked well on its vertical monitor). There are tons of other vintage computers you can use, including even giant mainframes in a cold room like an IBM System 360, PDP-10, VAX systems, and a lot more.
2
walrus01 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As cool as restoring the power supplies in their original condition is, it might be a lot easier at least temporarily to replace them with modern 5V and 12V units. Also a great deal less damage risk to the electronics on the PCBs which is what's truly rare and irreplaceable. Then you can repair and test the 'old' power supplies at your leisure and put them back into use if full authenticity is required.
3
GrumpyYoungMan 7 hours ago 5 replies      
I find it interesting that they only had to replace three capacitors in one power supply. Don't electrolytic capacitors (the most commonly used type) have a limited lifespan because of electrolyte evaporation? Naively, I would have expected that every single capacitor in the system would need to be replaced.
4
brudgers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Disk drive problems with an old computer reminded me of this discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11376711
5
tcdent 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Thoroughly enjoying following this. Please keep the videos and articles coming.
6
xhrpost 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, I actually have a platter disc that looks similar but just has a permanent opening in the side, it doesn't pop up on top like this one.
7
endlessvoid94 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't wait to see an original version of smalltalk running on this!
14
Typography for User Interfaces viljamis.com
21 points by samsolomon  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
oofabz 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's funny how the article praises large x-height and low-contrast strokes, yet it is written in Garamond, a font with small x-height and high-contrast strokes.

Personally I like small x-height and high-contrast strokes, so I find the article very readable. But I think fonts with these features require higher-DPI displays. Consider Computer Modern, which is beautiful on paper but unreadable at low resolution.

I wonder if the studies mentioned in the article took this into account. Were they testing readability on low-res screens, paper, or what? Would you get different results if you changed the medium?

2
kazinator 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
I noticed this page's text is rendered with nice fi and ffi ligatures. Yet, they are individual characters. How do you coax that out of a browser? I see the CSS references a bunch of .woff files.
15
The VoltAir Project google.github.io
52 points by nodivbyzero  6 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
Jyaif 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Additional context:Latest commit 88bc3c8 on Jul 16, 2014
2
pjmlp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I would rather see the Fun Propulsion Labs make SceneKit and SpriteKit like tooling from Android than the pile of random libraries that they have placed in their Github.

One watches WWDC and Build game related talks, they talk about how to make games on their platforms. One watches Google IO and it is all about Play Store and Firebase integration.

3
Yeri 2 hours ago 0 replies      
app last updated in 2014. This seems pretty old?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.fpl...

4
chowes 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one that read the FAQ half-expecting to see some crowdsourced data mining / AI training piece along with this? Perhaps because it was released by Google and had the word "project" in the title.
16
More awful IoT stuff mjg59.dreamwidth.org
336 points by edward  15 hours ago   216 comments top 24
1
CaptSpify 9 hours ago 14 replies      
I just blogged about this yesterday. In short:

> The line in the sand for me is: network vs cloud-based systems. I want things to be network connected, but I want it for my own network only. I want to be able to control my coffee pot, but only from home. If I choose to expose this over the internet, great! It's up to me to make sure it's secure. I don't want anyone making that decision for me.

I also want it to be upgradeable, and hackable. I'm willing to pay a lot of money for standalone quality devices, but nobody is supplying!

2
diggan 11 hours ago 6 replies      
So there is a great amount of lists, blogposts and information about awful/bad IoT things, but if someone like me want to have a list about IoT things that are actually secure and well-working, where would I find that?
3
Klathmon 12 hours ago 3 replies      
>It's running Linux and includes Busybox and dnsmasq, so plenty of GPLed code. I emailed the manufacturer asking for a copy and got told that they wouldn't give it to me, which is unsurprising but still disappointing.

Has the GPL really lost it's power that much? I mean not responding to inquiries is one thing, but outright saying no?

4
apozem 11 hours ago 1 reply      
> Eventually I plugged my phone into my laptop and ran adb logcat, and the Android debug logs told me that the app was trying to modify a network that it hadn't created. Apparently this isn't permitted as of Android 6, but the app was handling this denial by just trying again. I deleted the network from the system settings, restarted the app, and this time the app created the network record and could modify it. It still didn't work, but that's because it let me give it a 5GHz network and it only has a 2.4GHz radio, so one reset later and I finally had it online.

Madness. And people wonder why there's so much skepticism about IoT being adopted by non-techies.

5
bedhead 12 hours ago 2 replies      
@internetofshit is a great follow and pretty quickly illustrates just how absurd the IoT rush has become. Solutions in search of problems.
6
alexmingoia 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The principal reason devices need to be connected is so that business can hold your devices ransom and charge you money to use them.

Turn on lights with a phone? No need for Internet.

Open doors with a fingerprint? No need for Internet.

An auto-adjusting energy-saving thermostat? No need for Internet.

A fridge that knows the milk is low? No need for Internet.

Charge people money to use their toaster? You need the Internet for that.

7
Feneric 12 hours ago 2 replies      
IoT devices can be fine, but there are lots of companies involved in it that don't know what they're doing and would be better off staying out of the market. I always advice friends / family to look for upgrading capabilities, ability to do useful work when not connected to the Internet proper, user control (do you own this device or effectively borrow it per licensing etc.?), and other similar things before purchasing any IoT device. Some IoT devices are great, but some are abysmal.
8
m12k 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel that the people who are now talking about IoT are the same people who were totally into 'semantic web' back in the day. And it's pretty much the same kind of story: "Wouldn't it be neat if all these systems could interoperate?" and again the answer is "Yes, but not neat enough justify the cost and hassle of actually making it happen".
9
SEJeff 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug to a 100% OSS IoT / home automation system I contribute to that agrees. Everything IoT should be fully open source and not rely on cloud connections:

https://home-assistant.io/blog/2016/04/05/your-hub-should-be...

10
stcredzero 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The short version: they introduced terrible vulnerabilities on your network, they violated the GPL and they were also just bad at being...

Overall: the hardware seems fine, the software is shoddy and the security is terrible

This article begins and ends with two great tl;dr for IoT. There is value in this. Just look at the prevailing cluelessness, and be much better than that to stand out from the pack. In fact, how about applying that formula to the next nascent big thing that comes along?

11
jsondata 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I also mentioned this in a recent blog post: https://www.jsondata.io/blog/2016/iot-needs-a-cloud/

> Right now, the cloud - especially for IoT - isn't a healthy ecosystem. Your shiny new smart thermostat might as well be dialing into AOL on a dedicated landline. And unlike public services, these proprietary service providers lack long-term guarantees of service availability.

> What we need is a push for openness and interoperability in the cloud, and that will only happen if consumers demand it. The service providers are incentivized to do just the opposite.

12
almostarockstar 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Sounds like there is a strong need for a standard OS build for IoT devices.

I'm not expert in the area, but I would imagine a standard API could be implemented to handle the vast majority of use cases. Connecting to an app securely, turning things on and off, basic scheduling.

13
Serow225 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Alright so this is mostly OT, but I figured people who are into IoT might be able to help; does anyone know of a setup that would easily let me control a remote AC outlet by plugging a sensor into an existing hard-switched AC outlet? I'd rather not deal with installing a hub and programming scenes etc. Thanks!
14
steven2012 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The stuff from wirelesstags.net are generally very good. I have a bunch of sensors and their Reed sensors for detecting opening and closing of doors are very good. I hook it up with ifttt and turn on my Hue lights when I open and close my doors. Clearly not ground breaking stuff but useful.

The Hue lights are great but expensive. The Hue switch made things a lot more useful as well. I'm waiting for them to come out with a compatible light switch so I can control my recessed lights the same way as my light bulbs.

What they need to work on is a better outdoor camera with motion detection that doesn't get triggered by shadows or wind moving a tree branch. I've tried almost every solution and none is acceptable.

15
nkg 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I enjoy reading this kind of article about lousy security, because I say to myself "Wow, that was lousy!" and laugh. BUT I still don't know how I could avoid this. I genuinely ask: could anyone share with me the "2016 Guide of the best pratices for securing an API/ a web app"?
16
coldpie 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone still need convincing? Don't buy anything that connects to the Internet that isn't built and maintained by a major software company. Even then, be careful. Duh.
17
ufmace 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Hold on - it sounds like this thing is running Android. Has reference to connecting with ADB, apks, and Android versions. But it's also running a SSH server and OpenWRT? What's going on there, is it running 2 different OSes for some reason, or did they somehow merge Android and OpenWRT?
18
manyxcxi 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Funny timing... I just bought an LG LFXS30776S refrigerator and the first thing I noticed was that all of a sudden I had a new WiFi broadcast. Turns out that according to tech support there's no way to shut this off.
19
FussyZeus 11 hours ago 2 replies      
There's so much potential in the market for proper, well made IoT devices that would bring around the hardcore skeptics like myself. I mean really well made products, properly encrypted with well made API endpoints that come with good apps for the uninitiated -AND- the ability to be scripted and automated by the techies. (You can do both, there's no reason why you can't and I don't understand why everyone refuses to). Oh, and not having them phone home to who-knows-where-istan around Australia, or at the very least, having the ability to TURN THAT OFF.

Seriously why have NO companies come forward with products like this. I'd buy a house worth if someone did.

20
jussaskin 12 hours ago 1 reply      
IoT is all about unsecured devices generally?
21
DrNuke 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Just offload your entire IoT project to a big firm / provider instead of cherrypicking devices?
22
mschuster91 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like regulation agencies to mandate, as a condition of market entry, for each and every electronic product:

1) Full firmware source code and required toolchains/sign keys/... be submitted to the national libraries, to be kept for secure archival until the device is officially unsupported by the manufacturer.

2) For networked products, the full source code must be either published, or licensed institutes must perform a security check.

3) There must be provisions in place to ensure timely reactions in case of security issues. If the manufacturer does not respond to security issues, national libraries have the right to release the source code.

4) Required tools, service manuals, datasheets etc. must be submitted to the national libraries.

This should basically kill off GPL-abusing companies, as well as ensure serviceability, even for discarded products.

23
dimino 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Sorry, but what does he mean by "infringing on my copyright"?

Is he the author of one of the libraries it uses?

24
peterwwillis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone ever bought a consumer network appliance that didn't have shitty security?
17
German government agrees to ban fracking indefinitely reuters.com
136 points by ck2  6 hours ago   54 comments top 7
1
slapshot 5 hours ago 2 replies      
For context, in 2013 Germany was producing around 50,000 barrels per day. [1] Germany is a huge net importer and a very minor producer.

The US state of Wyoming produces more than 200,000 barrels per day. [2]

The US as a whole produces more than 7,400,000 barrels per day. [3]

[1] http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=de&product=oil...[2] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=M...[3] http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=us&product=oil...

2
exabrial 2 hours ago 3 replies      
So much misinformation around fracking; incredubly sad the people that want it banned dont understand impermeable layers, sand injection, and salt water disposal.

You will always need crude oil, not for burning, but for the synthetics, plastics, and materials of the future in our electric cars. Fracking in the USA has allowed us to use our own ethically sourced resources, rather than fueling wars in the middle east.

3
rm_-rf_slash 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This is rather surprising, and also not. On one hand, it makes sense that a European (see: Rich and believes in climate change) country wouldn't want to frack under their own soil (I'm not against fracking but I am also happy it is banned here in New York) but fracking can certainly be done safely effectively if the right regulations are in place and enforced.

The only reason we see so many bad cases of fracking effects like earthquakes and so on is because the states that allow fracking also don't bother to regulate it. So it's just a matter of extra cost and engineering, which can decrease that relative cost over time.

Besides, if anyone can engineer themselves out of a problem, it's the Germans.

4
grb423 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Alex Epstien, who is widely despised, has written, in _The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels_ that to withhold cheap abundant energy, and the technology it enables, from the world's emerging populations is immoral and fundamentally anti-human. Supported by people who think this Earth would be a much better place if Man never set his filthy foot upon it.
5
iLoch 5 hours ago 7 replies      
I was shocked to learn water used in fracking is permanently "gone". Seems like an absolutely atrocious abuse of a resource we have a fundamental dependence on.
6
ndesaulniers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Indefinite until regime change. Never say never.
7
pinaceae 4 hours ago 1 reply      
That is NOT what the German media is reporting:

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/fracking-was-steht...

It is a compromise, not a ban. Certain tests will be allowed, until those are concluded there will be a moratorium (halt) on full-scale commercial fracking.

What's with the BS being reported about Germany lately? First the misreporting on the electric vehicles, now this.

19
The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet nytimes.com
50 points by dctoedt  4 hours ago   29 comments top 9
1
nradov 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Even after the completion of the Panama Canal expansion, many larger ships still won't bother to use it because they can't fit under the Bayonne Bridge to reach the major ports near New York. The bridge was supposed to be raised but work has been delayed due to engineering errors and bad weather.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/as-expanded-panama-canal-prepare...

2
TheBiv 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, what an incredible way to view content!

From the awesome drone videos detailing exactly what I'm looking at, to the great writing and the animations throughout; this was awesome!

3
gwern 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> Internal arguments soon gave way to bigger problems. There would be work stoppages, porous concrete, a risk of earthquakes and at least $3.4 billion in disputed costs: more than the budget for the entire project.

For a megaproject, 2x overrun is downright wonderful.

4
Animats 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, crap, they botched the concrete in the new locks. That's going to be hard to fix.

The concrete in the original locks is a century old and showing no problems. That's a major achievement in general, and in an application where concrete is exposed to salt water, very impressive. Check out almost any seawall or pier that's more than a few decades old.

Sad. When this project was first announced, the Panama Canal Authority insisted they were going to get the concrete right. They didn't.

5
winslow 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Time was another issue. The contract called for the work to be completed in 1,883 days so that the opening would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the canals 1914 inauguration."

Boy do I love arbitrary deadlines!

6
disbelief 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
Wow I had no idea this canal was such a disaster in the making, and the article didn't even mention the canal the Chinese are building in Nicaragua which would significantly shorten shipping routes compared to Panama.
8
mrfusion 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Why does it look like the tankers have to wait around a long time before going through?
9
joering2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Instead of Hyperloop, Musk should have invented underwater canal system.

I mean, ain't the ocean floor the inviting highway? with minor to none obstacles? Design multiple tubes inside each other (to compensate high pressure) and suspend it at 100m deep water level with computer-regulated height and start rolling cargo by using pressure pushing it from one end to the other.

(I'm aware its bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea!)

20
E-Waste Empire theverge.com
13 points by Tomte  3 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
nitwit005 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This vaguely condemns sending scrap metals abroad with "were safety standards are lax in comparison.", but it makes sense to do so. Having them mine and smelt new ore is hardly a desirable outcome, either from a safety or environmental standpoint.

And surprisingly, it can actually be cheaper to send scrap to China than a US smelter because of the imbalance of trade. The ships would be mostly empty on the return tip if not for scrap materials being sent back. Circle of life.

2
baybal2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I began my career in a company called Yamin in Singapore that had a refurbished electronics business.

At first, I was shocked that Americans can throw away 1 year old and even half year old goods in the dumpster. In 2.5, years time I managed to make enought money of my commission selling refurbished cellphones to Russia through Alibaba to move to Canada and enrol into college.

3
cesarbs 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That last picture made me cringe thinking of all the toxic material that person must be coming in contact with.
4
waterphone 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
I hope component level circuit board repair continues to grow in popularity and accessibility. Damage and failure which cause devices to be thrown away can often be fixed by a skilled person with specialized microsoldering equipment.

But electronics manufacturers in general seem to be opposed to this idea, preferring that people dispose of products after a few years and buy something new, and often taking measures to actively discourage people from fixing their devices. Not only is this anti-consumer, it further promotes e-waste.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPjp41qeXe1o_lp1US9TpWAhttps://www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngrouphttp://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-to-fix-everything

21
Eve Developer Diary, March Part 1: UI incidentalcomplexity.com
45 points by dahjelle  5 hours ago   34 comments top 5
1
cmontella 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi everyone, Corey here from Eve. We've been in the trenches for a while, so I've been working to document a backlog of progress.

A lot has changed even in the ~3 months since the work in this post occurred, so it's not reflective of where we are now. But I'll stick around here to answer any questions relevant to this post or Eve in general.

Edit: I wasn't anticipating this would be on HN today, but it is, so here is part 2 with the rest of the story: http://incidentalcomplexity.com/2016/06/22/mar2/

2
danso 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I was a little confused with the two posts when read together...I get that the GUI isn't yet complete, so I don't think I'm meant to understand what the grid demo is showing or how it connects to the backend...but in the second section, a lot of attention is given to the REPL...is one of the foreseen use cases that users will be entering data via REPL?
3
rocky1138 4 hours ago 3 replies      
What is Eve?
4
zubairq 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Its great to see the regular updates om Eve now. I hope these posts get enough exposure as they used to get when Chris Granger posted them to hacker news himself
5
teej 4 hours ago 4 replies      
For those confused like myself, this is about Eve, an excel-like development environment from the person who brought you LightTable. This is not about Eve Online.
22
Relativistic-microwave theory of ball lightning nature.com
136 points by fitzwatermellow  11 hours ago   20 comments top 10
1
chmike 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The theory of Prof. Aguste Meessen published well before Wu's article in Nature already explains ball lightning as a plasma bubble [1]. It is surprizing that Wu didn't reference this work in its introductory review.

In its most simple form the thin layer of the bubble is a plasma made of electrons oscillating radially. Like soap bubbles, a plasma bubble may have multiple ecapsulated bubbles.

A plasma ball is a dynamic system at an equilibrum using ions like ozone as energy source. The plasma ball will follow ions gradient. It explains why lightning balls may follow complex path like circling in a room and suddently going through a cheminey or a key hole.

He explains why plasma balls can traverse windows which are electrical and chemical reaction insulators.

This theory is now ready to be tested experimentally.

[1] http://www.meessen.net/AMeessen/BL-Theory.pdf

2
mangeletti 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I witnessed what I think was ball lightning in my front yard as a kid, here in South Florida where lightning storms are a +thrice weekly event.

What happened was that lightning struck the ground at the edge of our yard while we were waiting at the front door for the rain to slow (so we could get to the car). I jerked my head to the right because of course the sound and flash scared the heck out of me, and right as I looked there was what looked like a glowing ball of electricity, the size of a beach ball, just above the ground, for what seemed like a few seconds.

3
rubidium 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the reference 6 of the spectrum recording of ball lightning from 2012: http://physics.aps.org/articles/v7/5

Impressive that the model has "passed all the tests" for an acceptable theory of the origin of ball lightning.

4
breck 8 hours ago 1 reply      
nit: would be helpful if the abstract or introduction gave numbers on how frequently ball lightning occurs, instead of just saying "rare". Is it 1 in 1,000 rare or 1 in a billion rare?

From some Googling, there are 8M lightning strikes per day on earth, so say about 3.5B strikes per year. Let's say 3% of those strikes are in populated areas. So ~250,000 lightning strikes per day in populated areas. In the past 5 years, that is ~500M lightning strikes in populated areas. Let's say that there's at least one person or video camera filming the sky during 20% of those strikes.

Given we only have 1 video of marginal quality of ball lightning, that makes 1 in a 100M strikes a reasonable guess. But that also makes me think it really could just be 0 and eye witness accounts are just some visual misperception.

5
davesque 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not an expert but it seems neat that their model apparently explains many known properties of the phenomenon.
6
Aelinsaar 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds a bit like the process that is believed to lead to terrestrial gamma ray bursts in the upper atmosphere, I believe.
7
InclinedPlane 2 hours ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: Under the right conditions the step leader of a lightning strike can have a small bunch of electrons out in front of the rest of the tip, and the extremely strong electrostatic forces at play can then accelerate that bunch ahead of the tip to relativistic velocities. The bunch then hits the ground and releases an intensely strong (hundreds of gigawatts) coherent microwave radiation pulse. Also under the right conditions this microwave pulse can get trapped as a standing wave inside of a plasma bubble which it maintains through its own energy, lasting for several seconds. Scientists should be able to test this theory and create ball lightning artificially if they can build microwave devices in the 100 GW range.
8
cmenge 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I read "lightsabers are totally possible". Where can I preorder?
9
senthil_rajasek 9 hours ago 1 reply      
disappointed that there is no mention of Terminator.
10
PaulHoule 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My summary is that if I see a ball lightning coming, I'm going to run.
23
Learn React.js in a weekend nodecasts.io
39 points by jon_kuperman  2 hours ago   21 comments top 4
1
a13n 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't recommend learning Redux the first weekend you learn React. This would be akin to learning about Relativity the first weekend you learn Mechanics. I actually think it's detrimental to suggest beginners learn Redux alongside React because it unnecessarily steepens the learning curve.

Not that Redux is too complicated (it actually has a super simple API). Redux is a (fantastic!) tool you should use once your project is at a large enough scale that you need it. You can go a long way in vanilla React before you feel the pains that Redux (or Relay) solves. The React part of my current codebase is over 25k LoC and I still don't feel the need to throw Redux into the mix.

Take a peep at http://djcordhose.github.io/hh-react-conf-2016/redux-vs-rela...

If you're just starting out then first spend several weeks/months in vanilla React. Unless you need to learn Redux to work on a bigger codebase at a new job or something...

Qualification: I used to work on React Native at Facebook.

2
dopeboy 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Question for people who learn by video rather than text based guides - why do you find it more effective?

I have trouble following someone else's pace in a video (or audio for that matter). I also like to be able to copy and paste code into my editor. Navigation to particular sub sections is easier too.

3
payne92 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this all paid content?
4
hit8run 2 hours ago 6 replies      
How about: RTFM https://facebook.github.io/react/docs/getting-started.html

I don't get the react hype anyways. Writing inline HTML in JavaScript seems so weird to me (JSX).

24
Investors and their incentives aaronkharris.com
70 points by taylorwc  8 hours ago   21 comments top 11
1
kapilkale 5 hours ago 0 replies      
(disclosure: I work for AngelList)

Much-needed article. Worth adding some color on AngelList syndicate incentives:

Syndicate leads are compensated by earning carried interest on the additional capital that follows them. [1] [2] [3]

Carry creates leverage for syndicate leads. Which is cool because syndicate leads have a bigger stake in a company's success, and often want to help the company more.

This also means a lead may want to invite as many investors as possible in order to get more $ into their syndicate and create more leverage. If left unchecked, this would create conflicts with a founder's interest in privacy.

Part of AngelList's job is to ensure lead behavior doesn't conflict with a founder's interests. Here's some of what we do:

* 80% of syndicate deals in the last 4 months were private (invite-only).

* AngelList has tools to block specific users / competitors from seeing information about a deal.

* Probably the most interesting tidbit: AngelList is undergoing a professionalization of capital. Most syndicate deals have fewer than 20 investors participating, and much of the capital is institutional. These investors are vetted by AngelList and act more like LPs in in a VC fund (for example, most institutional investors on AngelList have signed confidentiality agreements)

If you've got ideas or questions about syndicates, feel free to ask below or email me at kapil@angel.co

-

[1] Some syndicates (both on and off AngelList) do charge 0% carry, but they're uncommon.

[2] Leads earn carry deal-by-deal vs. on a portfolio basis, where gains net out losses. This creates a different set of incentives, but IMO doesn't impact founders much. (http://avc.com/2016/02/fund-level-vs-deal-by-deal-carry/)

[3] Currently no management fees on AngelList.

2
tptacek 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't have a whole lot to say about investor incentives because I've been a bootstrapper for ~13 years now, but this (useful!) piece is missing one bit of incentive that my experience suggests is pretty important.

For corporate investment, either direct or through investor arms, an important incentive some companies might have is to constrain your M&A options down the road. Between information rights, potential board control, investment terms themselves, or simple signaling, taking investment dollars from a giant company might make it difficult to do deals with that company's competitors. I feel like that's something that happened to a pretty big startup I worked for before.

3
projectramo 6 hours ago 3 replies      
You might want to add the best kind of "investor" to the mix: a really large, patient and interested customer. They might understand they are underwriting 1.0 with a large check and work with you closely on tailoring the system.

Their incentive is to get the service to themselves as quickly as possible hitting all their required features.

The downside is that they may insist on over-fitting the solution to their particular needs.

4
rbcgerard 7 hours ago 1 reply      
One piece that should be be included is the time horizons of these investors - I.e. Hedge funds with <3yr holding periods (probably less than that) at one end of the spectrum and sovereign wealth funds and endowments at the other with essentially 20+ year time horizons...
5
toufka 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Government grants usually have pretty direct and explicit incentives that really have no connection with 'helping the government'. With many of the SBIR grants (NSF, NIH, etc.) the incentive is to either 'create jobs' or 'spur innovation' (read: produce patents).
6
bing_dai 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic list!

I would also add "yourself / your own saving" as a source of investment.

Pros:

- Non-dilutive

- No loss of control

- Quick to close the deal

- Putting in one's own money sends a strong signal to your investors and employees that you are committed to the company

- The investor's incentive is perfectly aligned with the entrepreneur :)

Cons:

- Risky

7
mbesto 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So which one is YC? A seed investor, an accelerator or a VC firm?

> Notably absent in this years list are Y Combinator and RockHealthboth programs now classify themselves as seed funds rather than accelerators, and asked us to respect their evolution into a new model.

https://techcrunch.com/2015/03/17/these-are-the-top-20-us-ac...

8
brudgers 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It might be worth adding something about traditional private equity investors given the difference in the methods that may be used to create returns and the way this [mis]aligns with the startup model.
9
jaxomlotus 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is an amazing list.

I get that this might fall under the crowd-funding category, but you also might want to add debt vehicles, including crowd-based advanced ordering platforms like kickstarter.

There's no equity exchange, but then again that's true of the government grants as well.

10
lowglow 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to get people's opinions on how Baqqer can integrate some traditional funding / sponsorship / support on the resources we're getting to makers, inventors, and developers.

We already have crowdfunding options for both individuals and projects, pre-orders for products, but are now considering how to offer even more through larger funding options for people and startups -- specifically thinking about how we can merge these two models that makes sense for the community.

11
reasonattlm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems to miss a very important incentive, which is to change the world in a specific way.

For example there is a growing informal network of angels and VCs associated with the SENS Research Foundation / Methuselah Foundation community and the so-far handful of companies that are emerging from the past years of research funding into treating aging by repairing its root causes. The goal here is as much to produce specific new capabilities in medical science and get them to the clinic as it is to make money. In many cases these investors have the view that the only use for making money is to funnel it back into growing this research and development community.

There are analogous groups in other spaces.

This is an important motivation because it lets you look further than just for-profit funding. If I were launching a fund today, I'd try to set it up as 90% for-profit, 10% non-profit investment, with the latter going to nudge promising research across the line into startup viability. With the right connections in the research community, a group that is split between scientists, advocates, and funding sources can be meaningful minority owners in the creation of an entire new field by shepherding the research and seed funding the startups. Modern day early stage life science research, and proving mouse studies, are so cheap in comparison to later development for the clinic that this is a great investment model.

One reason most people don't do this is that they don't understand how to understand the spaces they invest in at the level of research and seeding new companies, and finding things that are a year or two away from viability, and could be pushed across the line with a little money and coordination, and the people who do understand that typically have little interest in investment. It is very hard to gather the necessary knowledge and will in one room.

25
Progress Towards 100% HTTPS, June 2016 letsencrypt.org
184 points by dankohn1  8 hours ago   86 comments top 12
1
rogerbinns 6 hours ago 6 replies      
I keep hoping they will help address non-Internet TLS. For example if you run a HTPC, fridge, printer, device controller or anything similar on your LAN and want to talk to it over the same LAN using TLS. Getting a workable cert is currently not possible: for example the LAN names aren't going to be unique.

Plex did solve this in conjunction with a certificate authority, but that solution only works for them. The general approach could work for others if someone like letsencrypt led the effort. https://blog.filippo.io/how-plex-is-doing-https-for-all-its-...

2
5ilv3r 6 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm still bitter about this chain of trust model. The fact that I have to get some other party to tell my users that they can trust me just seems wrong. They trust me because of personal history, not because some banner says they should.

Browsers and OS vendors shipping CAs seems to be the root of the problem, in my mind. Those should be distributed by the service providers, who are the actual trustworthy entities in the user's minds.

3
cdolan92 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is great, I use LetsEncrypt for my company. however, the graph is a little misleading. Lets look closer:

LetsEncrypt is almost built upon the idea of frequently (and automatically) re-issuing your certificate(s). The graph's line shows what appears to be an accumulated sum of certificates issued by day.

If every 90 days most certificate(s) expire, of course the graph will look like that!

Whats most interesting to me is the steps up in the graph. It appears that the steps in the graph roughly occur on 70-90 day intervals.

Impressive growth for a great mission/service, but I wanted to point out the mechanics behind the graph. Hopefully others can offer some alternative perspectives!

edit: Grammar, illogical sentence structure.

4
criddell 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Just at the entire world is going HTTPS, my faith in the system is seriously waning. When Symantec bought Blue Coat, it made me start to think about how fragile this is. How long before Symantec gets an NSL demanding an appliance that can mint bogus certs on the fly for dropbox.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, etc...?

How effective is something like certificate pinning against fraudulent certs?

5
Abundnce10 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Lets Encrypt has issued more than 5 million certificates in total since we launched to the general public on December 3, 2015. Approximately 3.8 million of those are active, meaning unexpired and unrevoked. Our active certificates cover more than 7 million unique domains.

How can you cover 7 million unique domains if you've only issued 5 million certificates?

6
zzzcpan 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Is it still problematic to issue lots of certs for lots of subdomains? I mean, still no wildcard certs and crazy rate limits, that disallow issuing 1000s of certs per day for user-generated subdomains?
7
simbalion 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is extremely exciting. I've been supporting these folks since the beta. It's great for offering free SSL to clients.
8
g8oz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Blackberry 10 browser refuses to recognize Lets Encrypt certs :(
9
yeukhon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My understanding is for intranet, you could use Let's Encrypt. For example, if I own .foo.com, and i want my intranet to be .internal.foo.com I need to make *.internal.foo.com in the DNS in order to verify I own .internal.foo.com, correct? But then doesn't that expose my 'internal' network? Hope there is a different way to solve this problem.
10
arca_vorago 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any alternative to ssl and tls out there? Sshttp anyone?
11
projectramo 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Is there any work being done on being able to easily switch out standards?

That way when https is found to lack some feature, we can easily upgrade to httpz almost immediately?

12
Animats 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I see this as security theater. Most web pages don't need to be encrypted. Anything with a form should be, but if you're just viewing static content, there's little point. Yes, it obscures what content you're viewing, slightly. An observer often could figure that out from the file length.

Encrypting everything increases the demand for low-rent SSL certs. Anything below OV (Organization Validated) is junk, and if money is involved, an EV (Extended Validation) cert should be used. Trying to encrypt everything leads to messes such as Cloudflare's MITM certs which name hundreds of unrelated domains. This is a step backwards.

26
Why Great Entrepreneurs Are Older Than You Think (2014) forbes.com
49 points by plessthanpt05  8 hours ago   13 comments top 4
1
Mendenhall 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Knowing how to play the hand you are delt is important. If you are young play to those strengths if older play to those. I find you can succeed at any age, but I do find with age certain experiences etc can come into play that you just didnt have earlier.

I find I am better at almost every area of business than I was 10 years ago for a number of reasons.

Learn and put what you learned to use, doesnt matter if you are young or old.

2
DelaneyM 2 hours ago 0 replies      
20-somethings start companies which serve 20-something customers (Facebook, Snapchat, etc).

30-somethings start companies which serve 30-something customers, or enterprise customers of the type they've worked at (where purchasing decisions are made by 30-something directors).

There are exceptions to those rules, but they're pretty consistent.

What's important is that entrepreneurs be consistently visible across age/race/gender/class/origin/etc demographics, so all markets are best served.

3
jamesroseman 7 hours ago 6 replies      
For what it's worth, I'm a 20-something working in the industry while my peers are off starting start-ups.

I agree with the article, at least as far as technical knowledge goes. Some friends of mine who I graduated with are starting an Instagram for music app called Cymbal in Brooklyn, and I talk to them somewhat frequently about what's going on tech-wise. They're seed-funded and have runway for the next while, and have produced a really quality app. Whether or not they'll succeed, I don't know, but I know the quality of their work isn't in question.

My takeaway from conversations with their back-end engineer is that he's getting a lot of experience building an infrastructure from the group up that's taking a lot of traffic, learning what to do and what not to do by things failing. He's developing the "right way to do things". By contrast, my time at Twitter as a backend/fullstack engineer has taught me a lot about what that infrastructure looks like when it's mature, and I've learned the Twitter-approved "right way to do things". We're both learning what scalable robust infrastructure looks like, but while he gets the benefit of familiarity with every part of the stack and learning first hand what works and why, I get a huge jump in general knowledge with less details.

Which is arguably better? We'll only know for certain when I start my own startup in a few years, but my gut feeling is that the skills I'm gaining here by perusing scaled-up systems that face hundred of millions of requests every day will serve me more. I've learned so much about good ways to build things in just my past few months that have already radically changed how I face my own personal projects, that I can't imagine sticking with code I wrote before I had this knowledge.

I know the article is more about industry experience as applied to creating a network of peers and the business side of things, but I'm confident it extends to the technical side as well.

Thoughts?

4
dredmorbius 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Splash page and won't open as an article in Pocket.
27
Tales of Three Cities nybooks.com
4 points by tintinnabula  1 hour ago   discuss
28
Lon.gs: A URL shortener in C lon.gs
81 points by efnor  3 hours ago   66 comments top 25
1
colemickens 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is anyone suffering from lack of URL shorteners? Or does anyone really care what their URL shortener is implemented in? Is there even any way that the application code contributes to the request time more meaningfully than the persistence mechanism used?

Cool hacks are cool I guess but from the sounds of it, the C code is a bit scary. If you had to build this, why not build it in Rust? At least it wouldn't be so terrifying from a security standpoint and you'd still get whatever performance is supposedly needed.

2
pslam 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Looking at the coding patterns used in the C source, I am utterly horrified this is running live on a public facing website.

I can see at least one buffer overrun dependent on database contents, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's public-facing vulnerabilities in this thing, but I don't want to spend another 5 minutes looking.

3
tptacek 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The C code in the "framework" this thing uses is pretty scary; grep for MAX_BUFFER_SIZE, malloc, strcpy, &c. The header parsing in particular.
4
didip 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I respect the desire to work on low level language like C. Programmers should not be afraid of it.

But that said, building a proper HTTP stack is not trivial.

If you want to use C language, then why not create Nginx module?

Nginx already solved the hard problems:

* HTTP parser

* Distribute work via event loop on multiple workers

* Useful load balancing strategies (not as great as HAProxy, but i am satisfied with it)

* Serious effort in dealing with CVE

* Widely used and battle tested

Here's a fine guide on how to write Nginx module in C:http://www.evanmiller.org/nginx-modules-guide.html

5
alternize 2 hours ago 0 replies      
hum. I tried to short "http://lon.gs" and then short the result again, now it redirects indefinitely... http://lon.gs/ack
6
kornish 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems a bit buggy. I shortened "http://hello.com", it returned "lon.gs/akm", and I visited the shortened URL only to be redirected to https://codeandoando.com/integracion-continua-con-drone/.
7
BrainInAJar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like the perfect way to turn URL's in to root shells on the hosting server
8
ryan-c 2 hours ago 0 replies      
From https://www.reddit.com/r/C_Programming/comments/4p5ung/longs...

 $ curl -i http://lon.gs/abf HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently Location: foo X-Evil-Header: evilvalue
there were also examples of XSS and data URIs.

(they claim to have fixed this elsewhere in the thread, but I guess some of the "evil" URLs still work)

9
mwcampbell 2 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm surprised there's still any interest in standalone URL shorteners. Didn't Twitter make them obsolete when it implemented its own?
10
nodesocket 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems great and performant, but not productized. Seems like things are hard-coded in the c code. For example...

What are the api endpoints? docs? Can you view a list of all shortened urls? Can you delete shortened urls?

Can you change the base domain of lon.gs?

11
chadscira 3 hours ago 1 reply      
CloudFlare is a perfect companion for something like this because you can hard cache the redirects on their edges. I have a few services that run off tiny boxes, and just leverage CloudFlare free edge caching.
12
nine_k 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's look at this project as a cautionary tale.
13
andrew3726 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Website seems down (connection refused).Did you use any network library (aside from native, I mean)?
14
616c 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps I am the only one, but is anyone interested in the opposite direction, static site generator like CLI app to do short linking?

YOURLS was popular for a while, and I tried it, but I was concerned with running a not very popular PHP app even on shared hosting. At least Wordpress gets decent attention. I was worried of people compromising my own YOURLS instance against me.

http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list.php?vendor_id=1...

15
theseoafs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If there are any aspiring crackers looking to bring down their first site, this one should be easier than the average
16
vmarsy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
the URL creation and the browsing of a short URL definitely works fast, I guess this being on the front page is a cheap way to verify if the C10k claims are true!
17
efficax 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why would you write something like this in C anymore? If you really need it to have a tiny memory footprint, write it in rust. If you need it to be fast, but can handle a runtime taking care of memory management, write it in go. C is just asking for trouble anymore.
18
knicholes 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wasn't there something posted recently about urls that are too short are too easily guessed and that it's good to make sure that these short urls are longer?
19
ryanf323 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This does not handle Microsoft office URL pre-fetching...and is written in C...
20
nxzero 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Shortened a URL, but service doesn't appear to redirect:http://lon.gs/akt

EDIT: Very strange, the redirect now goes to a URL I didn't enter... (http://www.sadfasdfasfdasdfsadfasd.com)

21
ryanlm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I consider the fact that it is written in C a feature.
22
ratsimihah 2 hours ago 0 replies      
this made my URL longer :/ lon.gs/ae9
23
cmdrfred 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems pretty responsive.
24
nxzero 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Oddly, was hoping this was a way to turn URLs into long URLs; 2,083 characters if you want to support all the web clients.
25
logicallee 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is broken.

Here's the short url of http://news.ycombinator.com --> lon.gs/amk

Going to lon.gs/amk redirects me to an overstock.com address for a specific product.

The site doesn't appear to have been hacked, at least there's no affiliate link in the URL I was sent to. It just appears the site is broken.

29
InMobi Settles FTC Charges for Tracking Consumer Locations without Permission ftc.gov
27 points by walterbell  5 hours ago   17 comments top 4
1
rosser 5 hours ago 2 replies      
So, let's see, a $950k penalty for illegally tracking "hundreds of millions" of consumers' locations works out to ... ($.0095, $.00095)/consumer.

I'll bet InMobi really feels chastised now! Thanks, FTC; you sure showed them!

2
jackmaney 5 hours ago 3 replies      
> InMobi was subject to a $4 million civil penalty, which was lowered to $950,000 "based on the company's financial condition," the FTC said in a statement issued Wednesday, without elaborating.

Why should the penalty be reduced based upon InMobi's finances? If the fine bankrupts them, all the better!

Edit: Honestly, I don't know why companies can't be fined based upon a percentage of revenue taken over, say, the past year. A fine of 10% yearly revenue would actually make these bastards sit up and pay attention.

3
sctb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We updated the submission link from http://www.infodocket.com/2016/06/22/privacy-ftc-says-mobile..., which just quoted the FTC's press release.
4
epoxyhockey 4 hours ago 3 replies      
[...] InMobi collected nearby basic service set identification addresses, which act as unique serial numbers for wireless access points. The company [...] then fed each BSSID into a "geocorder" database to infer the phone user's latitude and longitude

The author of this article might need a new technical advisor.

30
Espressif Releases ESP8285 hackaday.com
74 points by IgorPartola  9 hours ago   14 comments top 6
1
ithkuil 7 hours ago 1 reply      
To anybody interested in ESP8266 and JavaScript, shameless plug: https://github.com/cesanta/mongoose-iot

It can also be used as a replacement SDK for C development. In addition to the stock ESP8266 SDK it offers a filesystem, configuration infrastructure, async networking library (using the github.com/cesanta/mongoose networking library), OTA update support, coredumps, easy to use toolchain based on docker, improved (faster) flashing tool. And you can also enable the JavaScript scripting engine and script your firmware.

We're also supporting other platforms such as the cc3200 so it will enable you to easily change the target; some platforms are good for prototyping, some are better for production; often it's impossible to choose wisely at the beginning so it's nice to not require a full rewrite of your logic.

2
rdslw 8 hours ago 2 replies      
To anybody interested in ESP8266 and micopython:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/214379695/micropython-o...

This resulted recently in this: https://github.com/micropython/micropython/releases/tag/v1.8...

From a humble yet proud backer :)

3
dtornabene 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There was an exceptional talk at Thotcon this year on the ESP8266. Amazing work, and clearly a great deal of it, at one point the speaker casually noted that a table of information was not publicly available leaving unsaid what had obviously been months of tedious reversing. Its a shame there are no videos of the talk.
4
klagermkii 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I see the datasheet mentions WiFi Direct and WPS which I remember at some point wasn't possible with the ESP8266. Does this mean that it can be controlled directly by an Android phone with WiFi P2P?
5
IgorPartola 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Side note: PlatformIO (http://platformio.org/) is awesome and is how I program these chips.
6
minsight 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I had thought that this might be an announcement about the availability of the ESP32. It is not. It's clickbait about an ESP8266-like chip with some onboard flash memory.
       cached 23 June 2016 01:02:02 GMT