hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    4 Sep 2016 News
home   ask   best   10 months ago   
Selfmade Skype client based on reversing original client github.com
54 points by EvgeniyZh  1 ago   13 comments top 6
mrwizrd 3 ago 0 replies      
For more context and commentary:


andwur 46 ago 2 replies      
I haven't spent much time browsing through the source but the code quality and security is pretty dismal so far. Not to mention the confusing project structure.

Magic numbers, ... and strings, all over the place [0].Memory leak galore (debug code?) [1].Probably buffer overflows all over the place, here's one I noticed [2]. I suspect others given the proliferation of opaque pointers and memcpy usage.

[0] https://github.com/skypeopensource/skypeopensource2/blob/mas...

[1] https://github.com/skypeopensource/skypeopensource2/blob/mas...

[2] https://github.com/skypeopensource/skypeopensource2/blob/mas...

elitistphoenix 7 ago 0 replies      
Downloading before M$ lawyers get to it
bdcravens 1 ago 2 replies      
"Commercial license also avaiable (sic) on request."


marcv81 1 ago 1 reply      
IANAL but author should doublr check to stay clear of trademark infringements.
mariuolo 1 ago 0 replies      

Any code commonalities with the pidgin skypeweb plugin?

FLAC Support in Firefox 51 mozilla.org
137 points by kawera  4 ago   57 comments top 8
niftich 3 ago 2 replies      

I wonder why this took so long. The assumption that no sane site would want to stream in lossless when lossy codecs were starting to be really good (and obviously much smaller)? Lack of expertise, manpower? Priorities? [1][2] Does every FF feature has to be 'parity-chrome'?

It's even more interesting that Chrome also sat on this for ~5 years [3] and are just now about to release it also.

Like the Firefox thread insinuates, will pundits credit TIDAL for lighting the fire under browser vendors to support lossless streaming? No such link appears to exist, aside from TIDAL already streaming to Chrome using NaCl [4], but when we look back in 10 years and see both of the major browser vendors adding FLAC support now as opposed to any other time in the previous 5 years, what will people think?

[1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=514365[2] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=586568[3] https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=93887[4] https://support.tidal.com/hc/en-us/articles/202654692-HiFi-O...

mdf 2 ago 2 replies      
Fifteen years after the initial release of FLAC have there been any significant developments in the lossless compression of audio since then?

I know theres FLIF[1] for lossless image compression and Zstandard[2] for general purpose lossless compression that have recently hit the Hacker News front page. Are their adopted techniques not suitable for audio?

[1] http://flif.info/

[2] https://code.facebook.com/posts/1658392934479273/smaller-and...

stesch 15 ago 2 replies      
I've never encountered this format. It was never relevant for me. I know about it but that's all.

Meanwhile there are other formats that seem to be more important. What about WebP?

At work we are currently developing a kiosk system based on a big ass touch screen in UHD running in Google Chrome. I suggested switching to WebP for the pictures and it is saving a lot of bandwidth compared to JPEG.

shmerl 3 ago 2 replies      
What is the point in this exactly? FLAC is useful for selling lossless audio, so you'd be able to re-encode it into any other codec when needed. But to play something on-line (which browser support implies), you can as well use lossy codec like Opus at transparent bitrate, and save the traffic in the process.

That said, it surely doesn't hurt to have that support in the browser, I just don't see it being very useful.

moogly 3 ago 1 reply      
Meanwhile, the ChromeOS release of Chromium has had support for FLAC for a long time, but it's still feature gated on mainline Chrome.

4 year old issue: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=93887

adamnemecek 3 ago 3 replies      
I never understood why flac isn't more widely supported.
devongovett 2 ago 0 replies      
For other browsers, you can use flac.js: http://github.com/audiocogs/flac.js.
sova 3 ago 0 replies      
How to Tell a Mother Her Child Is Dead nytimes.com
461 points by niyazpk  10 ago   123 comments top 24
alasdair_ 8 ago 17 replies      
My twenty one year old daughter died two months ago. A young policeman came to my door. It was the first time he had to do the job mentioned in the article and he did it very well.

I have very little memory of those first few hours. I now know what it is to be insane. I was so disconnected from reality that people have told me that I had long conversations with them that I have zero recollection of. The only thing I clearly remember was telling the officer that I had a gun upstairs and that if he didn't take it, I was going to murder the man responsible for her death within the hour. It was the most matter of fact confession of planning a murder imaginable.

After a couple of hours, I saw a Facebook post of hers and lost it, the insane calm left me and I bawled my eyes out.

It's her birthday tomorrow. I miss her so, so much.

Anyway, the point of this post: my daughter died of an overdose. She was at a party, a man gave her powdered pure fentanyl claiming it was cocaine. I have no idea why. She snorted some and overdosed soon after.

All I want to happen is that someone somewhere reads about what happened to my daughter and reminds their kids that without proper testing kits, they have no idea what the fuck they are taking. Drugs may not be bad, but some people certainly are.

jrapdx3 9 ago 1 reply      
A subject I understand more than I can put into words. It's a duty I have had. A 17 year girl died of an overdose. It was my responsibility to tell the mother, father, pastor, brothers, sister. They were there all night in the tiny, chilly waiting room, after notified their comatose child was brought in.

Some kind of party had been going on when mom and dad were out for the evening. The young woman and assorted friends doing drugs. She passed out, it was hours before anyone thought to check out how she was.

I called in all the docs there were to call. We tried every trick there was known to try. Then heart rate fell to zero. All the effort came to nothing. Everyone was quiet, mumbled their sorrow, and slipped out the private staff access door. That is everyone but me.

That morning was about the hardest I ever faced, even in the decades since. Sure others have died on my watch, one cause or another. But that time was different. I knew I had to say it, give the worst possible news, the unnecessary death of a child, to grieving parents. I truly did not know how such a thing can be said, what phrasing is best, what stings the least?

I don't know how, but summoning the courage I walked out to where they were sitting. I was nearly in a trance, not only from lack of sleep, but stunned by the magnitude of what I had to speak. And I said what happened, the child passed away, never awakened despite the heroic efforts of so many healers sweating all at once.

I sat there for a moment, no more to say, listened to the mournful sobs. Though I felt a failure, more than anything I had no comfort to provide. They didn't find fault, they were not angry that we could not do more.

Seriously, a moment too stark, too profound to ever forget nor would I want to relinquish it. No repeat is necessary, the lesson deeply embedded, the value of life, the meaning of words, the merit of a healer's human voice, these are all worth keeping.

Jamesbeam 8 ago 3 replies      
I've been a private military contractor for more than thirty years. Some of the companies I was working for had very impersonal procedures to handle deaths.I offered a few times to personally inform the family / next of kin for the guys that were working with me directly but that request was always denied because it was not "cost efficient".

So I always did the trip on my own.

The loss hit them like a truck every time, I have a few memories that make me wake up in the middle of the night three days a week but the look on a mother's face when you tell her that her son is dead is something you will never forget as long as you live.

Still, I am glad I went to see every family of everyone I lost in all those years. There was crying and screaming and tears and a lot of blaming, I even got slapped a few times but I always told them I'll be in a hotel nearby for the next days and if they want to talk they can call me any time of the day.

Some never called but after a day or two most invited me back to their home or came by and we had a few long talks over the next days until I had to go.

I've been in touch with most of those families over the years and I heard a lot of times that it gave them peace to know that I was there when their son / brother / husband / grandson died and that I came by personally to try to comfort them before they got "the letter".

I wish everyone that you will never come into this situation because it's almost as hard and unfair to be the messenger as it is to be the recipient of that message.

bennettfeely 10 ago 1 reply      
I just want to say the style of the article and it's direct, terse language really captures the gravity of the situation and seriousness of the subject.

Very sad, but very well written.

helloworld 10 ago 1 reply      
Security is already outside the room and when they hear the first loud noise they will know to come in. No, you will not have to tell them. They know about the family room in the emergency department in summer in North Philadelphia.

What a heartbreaking essay. And how tragic that death by gun violence is apparently routine in North Philadelphia.

emptybits 7 ago 1 reply      
When I occasionally start to think my work in technology is overly important or that the woes of my startup projects are unbearably heavy, I'm glad I can be humbled by something like this. This doctor has responsibilities and gravity I will never know. Great article and great doctor. Wow.
hopfog 1 ago 0 replies      
One of my best friends died of an overdose a few years ago. His mother was informed in a horrible way.

The police called her and told her that her son had overdosed and was on the way to the hospital. In the middle of the call they all of a sudden say "actually, he's dead!" like it was nothing special. His mother of course screamed out loud, which made the police upset (they said "hey, it's not my fault" or something like that, I don't remember exactly).

I normally have great respect for the police but I think this was handled catastrophically. They showed very little sympathy.

CapitalistCartr 9 ago 0 replies      
I had to tell that to my own mother. It was 5 years ago this week. There are no good ways. There are no good outcomes. This is a good article about how bad it is.
drauh 8 ago 0 replies      
For some context, here is a map of poverty in Philly:


The hospital is in census tract 016300 with poverty level 58.5%

mindfulgeek 7 ago 0 replies      
When I was a year out of cancer treatment, I ran into a fellow patient. She and I had a rare cancer and were treated with a handful of others.

Of the three of us who remained, only two of us remained cancer free and she wasn't one of them.

A week earlier, there had been five of us.

I knew this. I didn't know if she did.

I didn't know what I would say if she mentioned them. It was possible she had the same problem in her head.

After we caught up, she asked if I had seen one of them.

Telling her the truth wasn't nearly as hard as answering her next question -- what about the other girl?

ghufran_syed 10 ago 0 replies      
"The depth of the stupidity of the things you will say sometimes is unimaginable." -I'm pretty sure everyone who has ever had to do this has felt the same way.
toopersonal 6 ago 0 replies      
My father died younger than 50 years old when I was a child. My mother was left behind with several small children and financial struggles. On the day of his funeral there was a funeral of an 18 year old boy afterwards. She has told me she consoled his girlfriend and when she saw the young girl standing there crying, she thought that even though her own situation was as bad as it could possibly get, this was even worse. Must have been a strange moment for her. Maybe even a bit uplifting, as perverse as this sounds.
hoodoof 9 ago 1 reply      
I had to tell friends that one of our closest friends had passed away. The only thing I would add to this article is to invite the recipients of the news to sit down first because there's a good chance they'll fall down.
sndean 8 ago 0 replies      
Somewhat related - One of the reasons my significant other decided to not go into emergency medicine was the high rates of PTSD in ER physicians and nurses: "We don't have good numbers, but the incidence of PTSD in emergency physicians is probably around 17%" [1].

So while I can respect the stoicism and clear focus on the emotions of the mothers of victims, I hope the author and other ER doctors also take some time for themselves to deal with the trauma they experience.

[1] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/840980

cmmn_nighthawk 9 ago 0 replies      
this makes all debates about software seem trivial. i agree--it's very well written.
andrewvijay 5 ago 1 reply      
Absolutely terrifying!"If he left his socks on the floor again today, it is all right." - the only sentence I could relate to. I hate my life.
FT_intern 8 ago 3 replies      
Why is this "how to tell a mother her child is dead" instead of "how to tell parents that their child is dead"?
rhyselsmore 4 ago 0 replies      
As an ex-paramedic this really hits home.
jkot 9 ago 3 replies      
gjolund 9 ago 4 replies      
Not saying it wasnt a well written article, but why is this on HN?
mastre_ 9 ago 2 replies      
> I just want to say the style of the article and it's direct, terse language really captures the gravity of the situation and seriousness of the subject.

Quick comment about how your it's instead of its caused an English parsing error in my brain:

I read until the comma and because I saw it's, I assumed I missed a word in the first part of the sentence - I though it may have been something like "I just want to say I evaluated the style of the article and it's direct, it's frank, it's spot on!", but re-reading it didn't reveal anything I missed. I then considered some less common writing styles/expressions. None of that worked out, so I read past the comma and figured out what happened. All this happened in the span of a second or so. Not sure what it was about this particular sentence that caused me to stop at the comma, I don't think it happens often.

Kenji 10 ago 0 replies      
Wow, that was surprisingly moving. For some reason, I expected one of those dry hacker essays.
milesf 6 ago 1 reply      
I know this will sound cold, but why is this story here? Does it really fit the guideline of "anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity"?

I've shoehorned it into my rationalization for being here as advice on how to have an extremely difficult conversation, but it still feel a bit macabre to have this here.

epicureanideal 9 ago 0 replies      
The article is basically saying not to flip out, but "When you get home, do not yell at your husband. If he left his socks on the floor again today, it is all right." We all know that this doesn't just happen after someone dies on the operating room table.

Seriously people, if your spouse is not cheating on you, beating you, or throwing the family money to the casino, lighten up about the little stuff.

End of public service announcement.

Richard Stallman: Online Publishers Should Let Readers Pay Anonymously theguardian.com
53 points by ashitlerferad  1 ago   13 comments top 10
blfr 1 ago 0 replies      
Is this really the reason people block ads?

I don't actually mind tracking as part of a useful service (like Google Maps). I block ads because they're 1) annoying 2) funding mass media.

Depriving Bezos' WaPo or Slim's NYT of revenue is definitely a feature. If billionaires want to push propaganda, the least they can do is foot the bill.

Tracking is a distant third. If an outlet I cared about ran ads, I'd white-list them. It just so happens that valuable sites like HN or developers' blogs either don't feature ads or do so in a way that adblockers don't interfere with (like job posts here).

rolfvandekrol 15 ago 0 replies      
I find it interesting that this article is published on a platform that makes uBlock block 27 requests and most certainly does contain non-free javascript. Richard Stallman talks a lot about how these thing inhibit freedom and that we should not support those companies. But when he publishes an article on ad blocking he does this on a platform that absolutely does not meet his standard on freedom.
lumberjack 14 ago 0 replies      
I mean he's right but as a business model it doesn't work. Also for people who haven't realised this is a plug for GNU Taler.

Anyway. I think the reason it doesn't work as a business model is that really, honestly, reading the paper provides very little in terms of value to the average person. It's a very mild source of entertainment and nothing more. It used to be that the newspapers where the only media to get important information (classifieds, job ads...etc). Not any more.

mjevans 32 ago 1 reply      
That is a nice and lovely idea...

Only every government everywhere hates it.

If it is possible to pay for something anonymously, then there is no following the money of others paying anonymously for other reasons. Including paying for products or services that are illegal or even with money from such sales.

Yes, you might compare this to cash. Cash that everyone used to carry around. It the higher denominations are marked (serial numbered), at least for US currency. Still it takes a LOT of effort to track their flow. For any kind of digital currency this scheme isn't tenable or repeatable. The tracking would either be too easy to prevent abuse, or too easy to abuse (get around).

Maybe we can have this level of freedom, if we admit that being at war with our population is a bad idea. If we allow the legal and controlled use of current vices. It wouldn't be perfect, but at least in that world we could probably get by with just controlling the income phase.

Though if you wanted to tax wealth (not income) you'd also need to report a total of 'outflow'. Which makes obtaining 'gifts' from sources not clearly related to work a vector suspect as tax avoidance via temporal displacement of wealth.

Normal_gaussian 1 ago 1 reply      
I find it surprising that we havent already got a payment gateway that handles the entire user identity, including email forwarding.

I also hadn't realised Stallman wrote for the Guardian, but going through his historic articles shows a healthy number of articles.

jstimpfle 40 ago 0 replies      
> Tracking, as we know, gives companies and governments dangerous power; the intimidating effect of general surveillance has been measured and is massive. The rate of visits to some Wikipedia pages those about al-Qaida, car bomb and Taliban declined by one-fifth after Edward Snowden showed us how much the US government spies on our internet activity.
n0ke 57 ago 0 replies      
It could be a really good use case for a crypto currency. But eg. Bitcoin needs too long for a finished transaction (I don't want to wait ~10 minuntes until I can read an article). And you still can track down a person who purchased (separately) two articles by his keys or analysing the block chain.

I know we've a lot of crypto currencies right now, but I really hope that there is finally a new one coming, which is just simply fast, secure and somehow helps you paying anonymously.

daw___ 31 ago 0 replies      
Is this something Brave is implementing with its "Brave Payments" [0]?

[0] https://blog.brave.com/introducing-brave-payments , HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12411405

mverwijs 1 ago 1 reply      
A lot of them do. Per article. It's called https://blendle.com. Only an email address is required. And money. And it's not libre.
netik 13 ago 0 replies      
"Old man yells at clouds."
A Fighter Pilots Guide to Surviving on the Roads [pdf] slobc.org
92 points by tzs  7 ago   19 comments top 7
kctess5 3 ago 2 replies      
Tldr: if a vehicle is on a collision course with you, it will always be in the same position of your field of view, so there may not be enough apparent motion to draw your attention. To combat this, slow down a bit as you approach intersections to generate relative motion between yourself and anyone on a collision course with you. Also scan left/right twice to double your chances of seeing hazards. The brain is very good at stitching together a coherent scene as your eyes dart around, but this might hide the fact that you have blind spots where your eyes have jumped over potentially important details.

To improve your chances of being seen, turn your lights on and wear bright colors to improve contrast. Be aware that if the sun is right behind you, people ahead of you will have a very difficult time seeing you.

cyberferret 4 ago 0 replies      
A good article. As a former pilot, I can attest that many things he speaks in that article are analysed and optimised when we are in the cockpit. Using direct vision (scanning instruments) vs peripheral vision (while landing) etc.

Another thing that I think he should extend upon with regards to saccadic eye movement is the phenomena of going around a roundabout etc. in the dark or where external references are not in high contrast - that can start your eyes involuntarily darting around as your inner ear detect an imbalance/change due to the sideways G forces, and thinks that you are turning your head.

I really believe that this article should be required reading for every student who learns to drive or ride on the roads.

proactivesvcs 11 ago 0 replies      
I'm always on the lookout for more roadcraft tips and techniques, as a vulnerable cyclist. An excellent read and I will be using the "lookout scan" methodology on future rides.
devenson 3 ago 1 reply      
And avoid dangling ornaments from the rear view mirror! Otherwise you condition yourself to disregard motion in front of you.
rdtsc 4 ago 1 reply      
Pretty neat.

Was just at a water park with my family and the guards there were doing this constant head nodding. Kind of disturbing to watch if you are not expecting it. But I looked it up and the explanation is they are "scanning" - making sure to move around their heads to observe their area better and not rely on just the peripheral vision.

Owls do that as well. Even I do it when getting to an intersection somewhat. I lean into the steering wheel and bob my head up and down a few times. I imagine it might look pretty ridiculous to someone from the side.

Driving is probably one of the most dangerous things we do here in US. Anything to make it safer is a good thing.

One of the tricks I learned from driver's ed in back in Eastern Europe is if you drive at night, and incoming traffic is blinding you, don't stare directly into the beam, but turn your head slightly to the right, such that you'd still see ahead but it would be out of the corner of your eye. Obviously not ideal as you're using your peripheral vision but if the alternative is to blinded and not see anything at all, it is still better. I've used that trick enough times since then and it seems to work pretty well.

Natsu 3 ago 0 replies      
I wasn't sure what to expect, but the part about missing cars near the edge of the windshield is so true. There's a particular corner close to home with very low speed traffic. Somehow, I've missed more than one vehicle coming up the road, such that I had adapted to moving my head habitually before that intersection to compensate. This gives a much more complete explanation of what's going on.
mohsinr 3 ago 1 reply      
Tips about high contrast clothing/jacket and flashing LEDs are great for bikers on the road...

Must read for drivers, explains lot of stuff in simpler understanding way.

Welcome to the Simulcasting Video Player beta 1080.plus
63 points by georgebonnr  6 ago   16 comments top 15
enthdegree 5 ago 0 replies      
I can't believe I'm seeing this website again. I forgot its name a few months ago and thought it would disappear into obscurity. Nice to see that it's getting some recognition on here!

There's an IRC client tucked somewhere in there, and the owner is in one of the channels.

I talked to him on it a while back through it, it's a side project of his. It's meant to be some kind of Youtube browser simulcast multi-tool (think: watch Youtube videos with your friends simultaneously over the internet... in 3D!!!).

lzlarryli 5 ago 0 replies      
This seems like some hosted video player with a confusing interface and a set of strange functions (look closer, world wide chat).... Am I wrong? This is confusing.....
thewisenerd 5 ago 0 replies      
quick google searches: https://www.patreon.com/1080plus
kaizensoze 4 ago 0 replies      
This makes me want to buy a Dawner Prince effects pedal and I don't even play guitar anymore. Pretty effective advertising.

As a side note, the Look Closer button consistently crashes my browser (firefox 48.0.1). Anyone else having the same issue?

sna1l 5 ago 0 replies      
Pretty much the same exact reaction I had: What is this? I like it
mgalka 4 ago 0 replies      
Strange, confusing site. Sort of fun to explore though.
nkantar 5 ago 1 reply      
Doesn't seem to do much on iOS.
Kiro 1 ago 0 replies      
I don't understand anything.
tbrake 5 ago 0 replies      
Controlling the volume wasn't obvious to me at first - or maybe key parts weren't rendering? - so for any others maybe similarly confused, drag the red box to the right of the Volume label left and right.
tsujamin 4 ago 0 replies      
one of the buttons crashed out my firefox, I'm liking the 3d asciisector thing it's showing at the moment though :O
slowmovintarget 4 ago 0 replies      
I tried to get the thing to play Rich Hickey's Simple Made Easy talk... Couldn't get the thing to work.
rogierhofboer 4 ago 0 replies      
It is a guitar effects pedal: http://dawnerprince.com/products/boonar
rajeemcariazo 4 ago 0 replies      
I ended up watching more videos from the site.
retrogradeorbit 5 ago 0 replies      
looks like a bucket brigade analogue delay pedal of some type.
supercoder 4 ago 0 replies      
Bootable NASA 'SPOC' Software on Your PC groups.google.com
32 points by detaro  7 ago   6 comments top 3
denzell 6 ago 2 replies      
Can someone explain what this does, or was used for in the real world?
nwrk 5 ago 1 reply      
video demo from email thread https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quHlMiwTQZs
gfaure 3 ago 0 replies      
quaalud.es (where the image is hosted) is one dodgy sounding domain hack...
500 Byte Images: The Haiku Vector Icon Format leahhanson.us
205 points by luu  14 ago   67 comments top 15
mcphage 11 ago 3 replies      
> [Vector format] means that you only need one file per icon; it doesnt matter how many sizes you want to render icons at.

That's not really true, even with vectors it's good to have different images for different sizes, that add details (for larger sizes) or remove details and increase component sizes (for smaller sizes), so the icons look good at different sizes. You can see in the tape recorder icon the author shows: at larger sizes, it looks much better than the bitmap images, but at smaller sizes the bitmapped icons look better; the vector icons become a mush of unclear elements. The bitmap shows pieces as proportionally larger than they should be, so the visual elements that you consider important still show clearly.

gue5t 11 ago 2 replies      
If you ever look into the memory consumption of modern applications and filetypes, you'll probably both throw up and have a heart attack. Very few people are interested in tuning the constant factors in the efficiency of their software, even when the benefits of doing so can be really impressive as demonstrated here.
userbinator 7 ago 0 replies      
For anyone interested in compact vector graphics, SWF (Macromedia/Adobe Flash) has a shape format which is also similarly efficient and might be even smaller, since it doesn't restrict things like coordinates and colour indices to multiples of bytes --- fields are bit-aligned.

SVG is ridiculously bloated in comparison. Even PostScript and PDF are more efficient.

grenoire 11 ago 1 reply      
There seem to be a few constraints regarding the object count (255 with just one byte). Even though you could say that most icons won't be complex enough to need that, it's an unnecessary limitation that saves two or three bytes at best.

Other than that, pretty incredible work. Vector image compression at encoding level is definitely interesting. I alsolove posts in which binary formats are explained, so...

amptorn 9 ago 0 replies      
Get it down to 280 bytes and you can fit one in a tweet: https://github.com/ferno/base65536
rcthompson 11 ago 3 replies      
It's stated that the goal is to fit file icons into inodes to avoid additional disk accesses. How much of an issue is this on an SSD instead of a hard disk?
d33 11 ago 1 reply      
Haiku! Hadn't heard about this project for long time. What's their status right now? How active is the development?
watersb 3 ago 0 replies      
Macintosh PICT was just a bytestream of Toolbox draw calls. I think Windows EMF was too.
agumonkey 2 ago 0 replies      
The innate proportion-consistency of pixel art still fascinates me.
twelvechairs 9 ago 0 replies      
Isn't one of the reasons why bitmaps are used that icons should actually vary from a standard vector image when shown at very small sizes to remain clear and readable?

This icon library shows some good examples.


imaginenore 11 ago 2 replies      
The article is wrong. The very first image is 375 bytes, not 1024:


And I was able to losslessly reduce it to 298 bytes with PNGOUT.

The smaller image is 257 bytes, and I reduced it to 186.

WhitneyLand 10 ago 1 reply      
Leah, please consider this: http://contrastrebellion.com
anthk 10 ago 0 replies      
The problem is that the shadows on smallest sizes are not so clear and the icons are harder to see.
davidgerard 11 ago 1 reply      
That's amazing!

How's it compare to a minimised SVG, gzipped, in practical terms? I see projects elsewhere just blithely using SVG or SVGZ. (or, in horrifying cases, multiple sizes for hundreds or thousands of icons.) Perhaps this is a thing that would be suitable to wider use if it can get good lib support.

cooper12 4 ago 0 replies      
This seems to be the source she is referring to: https://github.com/tqh/haiku-efi/tree/master/src/libs/icon/f..., specifically the FlatIconFormat class. Some of the most interesting deconstructions and experiments have come out of The Recurse Center, great learning experiences and blog posts by these students. I found the concept of the format interesting in how it meets the goals of being modern (a vector format) while staying slim for disk reads (optimizing the format specifically for icons). Lastly the usability aspect is tackled by creating an icon editor specifically for the format. In the creator's blog post, he notes that creators might not be able to take full advantage of the format because they might not know how the it works, but I think it's fine since the format constrains the palette anyway.
Teens Who Say No to Social Media wsj.com
22 points by prostoalex  5 ago   1 comment top
dilemma 13 ago 0 replies      
Every action has a re-action. Once a development has reached an extreme it reverses in the opposite direction.

Makes sense.

The neurology of self-awareness edge.org
133 points by type0  14 ago   69 comments top 17
pointernil 5 ago 0 replies      
-- 'other awareness' applied to yourself --

I find the work and ideas especially the

"attention schema theory"

of sentience, consciousness, self-awareness proposed by Michael Graziano[1] most compelling in that area; they as well propose an evolutionary path towards the development of "consciousness"

And yeah sure, why should/could the mirror-neurons-"apparatus" _not_ be involved?

[1] https://www.princeton.edu/~graziano/ : including some The Atlantic essays.

haberman 13 ago 5 replies      
A very interesting and thought-provoking essay. This part in particular stuck out:

> Otherwise monkeys would have self awareness and they don't

This suggests the existence of other research that has both defined the concept of self-awareness robustly and made it testable enough that we can state as fact that monkeys don't have it. Does anybody know what this might be alluding to?

mehwoot 1 ago 0 replies      
The neuron fired not only (say) when the monkey reached for a peanut but also when it watched another monkey reach for a peanut!

These were dubbed "mirror neurons" or "monkey-see-monkey-do" neurons. This was an extraordinary observation because it implies that the neuron (or more accurately, the network which it is part of) was not only generating a highly specific command ("reach for the nut") but was capable of adopting another monkey's point of view. It was doing a sort of internal virtual reality simulation of the other monkeys action in order to figure out what he was "up to". It was, in short, a "mind-reading" neuron.

I don't really see how this follows- maybe the neurons are just recognising things that happened, like seeing a peanut being picked up. That doesn't require "adopting another monkey's point of view" or "figuring out what he was up to". It could just be the brain attempting to verify that the action happened, which is going to be seen regardless of who made it happen.

wellpast 12 ago 2 replies      
> But hopefully we have paved the way for future models and empirical studies on the nature of self, a problem that philosophers have made essentially no headway in solving.

This final statement not only seems snide but also dumb to the difference between science and philosophy. (I'm not an expert on that difference but I can see that there is one. I can see that there is a clear difference in spite of the fact that each steps on the others' toes, that each side attempts to take credit for the others' insights at times, or makes snide comments at each other like this statement here.)

tantaman 3 ago 0 replies      
How he defines self awareness: "'other awareness' applied to yourself" is a self awareness we entertain as children but definitely not real self awareness or the self awareness we posses after reaching any level of even moderate development.

"Self-awareness is 'other awareness' applied to yourself where 'other awareness' is constructing meaningful models of other peoples minds in order to predict their behavior" ^ This is totally circular. You(others) have some way of guiding your(their) own behavior before being aware of others and using that to construct a model of behavior and self.

This essay is armchair philosophizing completely removed from any real experience. I'd go so far as to call it psychologically harmful to anyone that entertains the essay as true and attempts to apply the ideas presented in it to understand their self.

zer0gravity 1 ago 0 replies      
The man is simply saying that the underlying neurological mechanism (i.e. mirror neurons ) used to decode others behaviour and possbily make a prediction about "what they're up to" is used also to decode/simulate our own actions, which is really what we call self awarness. This actually makes quite a lot of sense, and I don't see why some pople detect a circular dependecy here..

At sensory level our own "doing" is not really different then sombody else's "doing" , and that can pe processed by the same mechanism, but reconized as "our own doing" based on additional cues..

hyperpallium 10 ago 0 replies      
"Mirror" neurons sound more like "concept" or "verb" neurons, rather than a subset of "command" neurons. Firing when its monkey "reaches for a peanut", and when it sees another monkey "reaching for a peanut" sounds like it means the verb "to reach for a peanut".

It also seems unlikely that a single neuron would carry a complete meaning in themselves... like probing a single bit in a data structure, you might be able to tell if it's odd or even, positive or negative, but probably need a constellation of bits/neurons to make sense of it.

But he may be simplifying in this high-level essay, and I haven't read papers in the field.

orthoganol 10 ago 1 reply      
He insists that 'mirror neurons' give rise to the aspects of self, but who's not to say that they are a reflection/ habituation of processes 'out there', I don't know, something like the (aptly named) 'mirror stage' of childhood? Shouldn't a discussion of correlation vs. causation be important for his argument?
MrQuincle 11 ago 0 replies      
2007 article

A very interesting hypothesis nevertheless. There are pathologies in which theory of mind is impaired. For example Baron-Cohen studies that aspect of autism. There might be hypotheses formulated what that means for self-awareness.

77pt77 5 ago 0 replies      
Just another ape pretending he's special.

Sure, monkeys don't have self awareness.

ThomPete 10 ago 0 replies      
Ramachandrans Reith lectures are also worth a listen


ajcarpy2005 10 ago 0 replies      
I'm going to play the buddhist card on this one and contend that it's the enlistment of "outside" energies like food, air, water, prana...which are coming into an organism and experiencing or "re-experiencing" itself which gives rise to this effect. There are many levels to this effect though and there must be some sweet spots where an experience seems somehow new (as in worthy to be paid attention to) and yet not-altogether old either. Familiar enough to recognize and "alarming" or "surprising" enough to be worthy of giving attention towards.
type0 10 ago 0 replies      
Ramachandrans The Tell-Tale Brain is certainly one of my favorite books, anyone who is interested in neurobiology should read it.
alongub 11 ago 2 replies      
This might be an extremely stupid question, but does it make sense to apply the concept of mirror neurons to ANNs?
rrggrr 12 ago 3 replies      
This could neatly explain Stockholm Syndrome, cult joining and other identity deficits.
marknadal 12 ago 3 replies      
Woah Woah Woah, there is a fatal flaw and assumption in just the first couple paragraphs - the bootstrapping problem. If we evolved self in order to predict what others feel ... that depends on others having those feeling, but if those feelings in others don't evolve unless others have evolved those feelings, we have a circular fallacy! Who was the first feeler to cause others to evolve, and how did that person evolve then?
suyash 10 ago 2 replies      
Self Awareness is something that is uniquely human. It relies on consciousness.
We have been experiencing a catastrophic DDoS attack linode.com
145 points by wowaname  8 ago   87 comments top 19
encoderer 8 ago 4 replies      
I've done some googling before asking here: Can anybody explain why Linode is so often targeted like this? We moved Cronitor off Linode in spring 2015. During the christmas holiday when they suffered a 2 week DDOS I thought of the family time I'd be missing that year as we did a crash migration to AWS had we not migrated when we did. I have to imagine this has been horrible for their business.

I would use Linode if I needed to lease computational power, because it is still a great value vs AWS, but I could not run a high availability service there. It would feel like professional malpractice at this point.

throwsep3 6 ago 5 replies      
I wonder if this is a diversion to keep Linode's security team busy so they won't notice someone compromising the Xen nodes with XSA-185/6/7/8?
morecoffee 7 ago 1 reply      
It's not hard to compare this to brush fires. They happen periodically, and only the big trees tend to survive them. Linode is getting pretty unlucky here, but I would imagine that all the small time (and even the medium sized) hosting provides are going to succumb eventually. Is the end game just going to be Google vs. Amazon?
matt_wulfeck 5 ago 0 replies      
I disagree with people saying these types of attacks can't be prevented if you switched hosts. I'm sure Google+cloudflare[0] would keep your website online. AWS also if you had the cash.

The amount of distributed traffic happening right now against linode would probably only represent a 5% increase in traffic to a popular Google product. At least you know they have the expertise. Nothing against the very smart and talented linode engineers, but the two companies are on very different levels of traffic engineering.

[0] https://www.cloudflare.com/google/

simonmales 4 ago 0 replies      
Play by Play of Linodes 'twelve day attack' over Christmas and New Year 2015


ablagoev 2 ago 3 replies      
I've always wondered, while in similar cases GCE/AWS can handle the traffic, is it not chargeable? So, while you will probably not get affected by the DDoS, aren't the costs going to cut your head off?
VonGuard 8 ago 2 replies      
OK, who hosts at Linode and is very popular/pisses people off? 4chan? 9gag? Reddit? Something Awful?
diegorbaquero 8 ago 0 replies      
3 hours already. Distributed from and to many IP addresses. Seems like an attack on them rather than on specific users. :/
finid 7 ago 0 replies      
This can't be good for (Linode's) business.

Vultr had problems a few weeks ago, but I don't think it was DDOS-related.

Somehow things have been quiet on the DigitalOcean's end.

i_feel_great 7 ago 3 replies      
Well, I had Linode shortlisted for an upcoming project. I hate to take them off the list because it is not their fault, but I don't want this kind of unreliability.
jonahx 6 ago 3 replies      
Can anyone recommend a good article that explains how attacks like these work, and what is required to stop them?

Also, we're on Heroku and they advertise Ddos mitigation as a feature, but "mitigation" sounds non-commital and I'm curious how they'd fare against a similar attack?

pmalynin 6 ago 0 replies      
This explains why Package Control, Ansible Docs, etc. were down. Sucks. I knew this has happened before, just didn't know it was Linode.
chrischen 6 ago 2 replies      
Does the US have a competent cyber-crime division that can handle stuff like this?
constit-protec 2 ago 0 replies      
Godaddy has been getting attacked a lot recently as well. Who is likely behind attacking servers, whether other server companies or governments?
jtl999 5 ago 0 replies      
DigitalOcean has had a few DDoS attacks targeting their SFO1 datacenter over the past few months, but fortunately each one seemed to disappear in under half an hour.
m0atz 3 ago 0 replies      
Any details on the actual size of the attack and the attack vectors used?
ryanlol 8 ago 0 replies      
>Update - We have been experiencing a catastrophic DDoS attack which is being spread across hundreds of different IP addresses in rapid succession, making mitigation extremely difficult. We are currently working with our upstreams to implement more complete mitigation.

That's pretty harsh.

Scarbutt 6 ago 0 replies      
What kind of DDOS attack is the most likely happening here, a simple L3 spoofed ICMP flood?
thezach 6 ago 3 replies      
I used to be on Linode... then one of their techs tripped on a power cord causing a significant outage in a data center... and no I'm not joking.
The U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition claiming 10,000 lives slate.com
15 points by leksak  1 ago   2 comments top 2
bambax 14 ago 0 replies      
> As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was "our national experiment in extermination."

One of their experiments.

greenyoda 42 ago 0 replies      
Denatured alcohol (e.g., ethanol with added methanol to render it undrinkable) is still used today for industrial purposes since it's much cheaper than pure ethanol, which is heavily taxed:


Show HN: Mobi.css A lightweight, flexible css framework that focus on mobile github.com
57 points by xcatliu  10 ago   20 comments top 8
watchdogtimer 6 ago 0 replies      
I like how simple and lightweight this framework is. The idea of setting all top margins to 0 makes it easier to adjust things, too.

But I don't like the idea of having to install both Ruby and node just to work with a simple scss file. :-(

sleazebreeze 4 ago 1 reply      
Now that flexbox is widely supported, I don't really see a huge reason to bother with a framework like this. Bootstrap and other frameworks had a reason to exist several years ago; now I just don't get it. The main draw for me and my team was the consistent row and column layouts.

Also, the `container-side` thing is baffling. Why is that part of the framework? It seems like such a narrow focus. What kind of content is never visible on mobile? Why does it have to be on the side?

brudgers 6 ago 0 replies      
sotojuan 7 ago 4 replies      
I see a lot of these "CSS frameworks" pop up, but which ones do people actually use day to day?

Not criticizing the authorthis looks cool and I'll give it a try, but I see a lot of these pop up and at work I've only ever used Bootstrap/Material/Semantic UI and for my own work I use Tachyons. Anyone use something a bit more obscure?

rhabarba 1 ago 0 replies      
When has development degraded to "just use a framework"?
huphtur 6 ago 1 reply      
QR Code on that web page... "Scan to view on mobile". Because typing getmobicss.com on your mobile is too difficult?
simplify 5 ago 2 replies      
Are there any CSS frameworks nowadays that use flexbox instead of the float-grid model?
Scarbutt 6 ago 2 replies      
What's the norm if you need a desktop and mobile version of a webpage, to have one separate code base for each one(can be on the same repo) or all the code together with the appropriate screen size detections?
Ask HN: Any unfinished side projects to give away?
22 points by s3b  2 ago   5 comments top 5
docsapp_io 33 ago 0 replies      
I built DocsApp[0]: Documentation Hub for Your Developers. It is 90% completed. It is similar to readme.io.

If anyone interested to buy, please contact me. Email is in my profile.

The main reason I plan to sell is because marketing it is too hard (I am developer).

[0]: https://www.docsapp.io/

freework 1 ago 0 replies      
I have a shitload of open source personal projects I no longer work on any more. Take your pick: https://github.com/priestc
avodonosov 52 ago 0 replies      
alexatkeplar 43 ago 0 replies      
Can you share your interests / capabilities upfront? Definitely have some side projects gathering dust but they need to go to a good home...
Donmario 1 ago 0 replies      
I have a gamification platform like https://badgeville.com/ that we've worked on some time ago. It was like 70 percent done.
In defence of Douglas Crockford atom-morgan.github.io
385 points by ramblerman  7 ago   190 comments top 48
BinaryIdiot 2 ago 2 replies      
The Nodevember folk(s) posted a statement regarding this whole kerfuffle [1]. It's pretty hollow IMO.

> While we have a tremendous respect for Mr. Crockford's abilities as a speaker and his contributions to our craft, we became aware that based on private feedback - not simply the dialogue on Twitter - that his presence would make some speakers uncomfortable to the point where they refused to attend or speak.

Okay so you are calling out his behavior making people uncomfortable, publicly, but you won't say why only that it was private feedback? Wasn't he one of the early speakers who accepted anyway? You apologized for lacking nuance on Twitter with your "announcement" and yet continue to do so.

Publicly claiming someone makes others uncomfortable and that someone is an older, white male, you know exactly what you are insinuating. Statements like this, especially against white males today, can be career ending even without proof as long as it simply goes viral.

I think the only responsible thing to do is to release exactly why someone would be uncomfortable. If you can't or won't do that then you shouldn't have made the initial insinuation and, instead, simply state he's no longer coming.

Stating he was "uninvited" due to making others uncomfortable without providing anything further is just irresponsible to the point where it appears you're trying to manufacture drama. Considering your event is $350 to hear some speakers who are yet to be defined this just speaks scam to me like many other talking events.

[1] http://nodevember.org/statement.html

bsder 4 ago 1 reply      
This is becoming increasingly concerning to me. The problem is that there is no way for the person affected to receive "justice", "fairness", or "a day in court".

You want to not invite somebody? Fine. You want to disinvite somebody? Okay, but be prepared to be called a jerk.

But assassinating someone's professional character publicly? You'd better be standing on REALLY solid ground for a REALLY good reason.

Crockford might just ignore this--it's probably the best course of action given his station. He's probably sufficiently more important than these people that he's good.

However, one day these people are going to get someone with financial means all fired up and they're going to be dragged through court for a LONG time--and probably lose because they won't be able to put up the money to mount an effective defense.

Until one of these accusers loses THEIR ability to work in the field, nobody will pay attention to the repercussions.

rdtsc 5 ago 3 replies      
> We will also be removing Douglas Crockford from our keynote speakers list to help make the conference a comfortable environment for all.

If they are going to insinuate things about what he said, they should mention exactly what he said or did.

The fact that they don't somehow tells me there is not much there to go on.

To put it another way, if they have the guts to remove Crockford that should have enough guts to clearly explain why.

I've been saying this before, and maybe it is just me, but it seems Node.js community somehow attracts a disproportionate number of immature people but with big egos. Because, let's call this for what it is -- childish immature behavior. That's at best, at worst it is getting attention and hurting someone's reputation just for a power trip. "Look how important I am, I kicked Crockford out of a conference with a single tweet".

Well the lesson is when you pick some open source technology, the community comes with it. Maybe even if technology has good merits, it makes sense not to pick it because the community behind it is not compatible with what you think a community should be.

Tehnix 5 ago 4 replies      
I generally feel like there's a kneejerk reaction from people (especially in the tech community) to be "PC compliant", at the level where you almost can't have any discourse because it's such a minefield (can't imagine a rational person whoms first intepretation of the tweets is "that's sexist" to be pleasant having a conversation with).

I almost feel in the minority (or just a silent one?), but I honestly don't care what kind of political views, personal preferences, outrageous statements or whatever problems a speaker at a conference might have, as long as he gives a good talk/presentation.

nnq 4 ago 0 replies      
Am I the only person here who would be 100% A-OK to, hypothetically, even inviting Adolf Hitler as a JS conference, as long he would be great at what he does, had enlightening things to say about the topic, and at least 50% of attendants would learn a lot from what he says or at least be entertained?!

Heck, I wouldn't even care even if he wasted 5 mins or so blabbering about his political ideology, if he's advice on, let's say, JS programming, would be as valuable as Douglas Corckford's! Imho, it would be even acceptable if he would crack a few very politically incorrect jokes during the social event smalltalks if the jokes had good enough humor to compensate for their content.

Let's grow some thicker skin for fuck's sake! MDs, physicists, chemists etc. are all pretty comfortable with even cracking bad sex jokes at a party or conference from time to time and they get away with it pretty well.

Or maybe it's the fact that 90% of what most software developers is so meaningless and useless, especially those that have the time to speak at conferences and "evangelize", that they need to find meaning in some other shit and they gravitate to this uber-PC crap... Even a banning everyone which titles himself "developer evangelist" from speaking at a conference could probably raise the average talk quality for that event, event if that would a bit too un-PC even for my taste ...imagine the emotional damage inflicted by such a need for personal rebranding in order to still be able to attend.

whorleater 6 ago 6 replies      
Ignoring the fact this discussion about this, and this culture as a whole, is a minefield to navigate, it's important to note that Douglas Crockford can definitely be abrasive [1]. The issue at hand is that whether this abrasiveness is a bad thing, when compared to the contributions he's made and whether it leads to constructive discussions.

The javascript developer who took offense (Kas?) definitely seems to have taken it too far, automatically associating Douglas's personality with being a jerk.

The other issue at hand is how this influences tech conferences, because I've always attended conferences with the implicit assumption that I was there to learn first and foremost. Discourse and disagreement with speakers is natural and should be encouraged, as it oftentimes leads to enlightening discussions for bystanders and conference attendees, which was the entire point of the conference in the first place. By allowing certain viewpoints to dominate and silence a subset of speakers, we're ultimately limiting our views and building an echo chamber, which is not what conferences are meant to be. If we're going to dismiss speakers, it should be on merit of their talk and previous talks, not their speaking style.

[1]: https://github.com/douglascrockford/JSLint/issues/17

BadassFractal 6 ago 3 replies      
As the other poster mentioned, I'm very sympathetic to the cause of egalitarianism and pre-third-wave feminism. However, hopefully we will see more and more pushback against this kind of senseless crying wolf. If you're in favor of social justice, THIS is the thing you're fighting against?

If this even shows up on your radar and is a priority, then I'd say the mission you're fighting for has been accomplished a long time ago. Time to go home.

I don't know who really benefits from policing every word that public tech figures say. There's no monetary value to this unless this is a PR stunt to make the conference get social justice brownie points in some kind of a twisted form of social posturing. Who's to gain from this? Sociopaths wanting to exert control over others? I'm not quite ready to believe that.

EdSharkey 3 ago 0 replies      
The whole bit about Kas saying "mmm" to Crockford's face when he said an insensitive thing and then publicly shaming him once he was safely back on the internet galls me, if true.

Culturally, our tendency to troll needs to decrease on the web and increase in in-person encounters. I'm convinced we'd all be better off if we showed some spine and got more vocal whenever we disagree.

I also don't like these (I assume) inter-generational squabbles in our industry. It is clear that moral views can differ between generations, so a little understanding and empathy is needed on all sides.

Please respect your elders. If you disagree with them or feel they are being disrespectful or sexist, how about kindly discussing it with them and maybe getting a feel for their perspective first before launching into public reputation annihilation?

aikah 5 ago 1 reply      
TLDR; personal vendetta against Crockford led to accusations of "sexism", and him getting uninvited from Nodevember conference. There is absolutely no proof of sexism anywhere ,only a bunch of people who want to take him out professionally because he might have pissed them off for whatever reason in the past. Only now these people can use dubious political arguments to justify their vendetta. This can happen to anybody in any community.
tootie 6 ago 3 replies      
I'm pretty sympathetic to the cause of feminism especially in technology and I cringe hard at a lot of the casual sexism that gets thrown around, but this is truly baffling. Assuming this is all they actually have on him this is nothing more than very clever word play with zero gender inferences to be made.
robert_tweed 6 ago 3 replies      
I have to wonder if this was a real complaint or if it was done to highlight the obvious problem here, a bit like the guy who patented a "Method of exercising a cat".

I mean, if you're going to ban Douglas Crockford from your conference it should at least be for his stated prejudice against comments in data-interchange formats. Not vague allegations that may damage his personal and professional reputation, to which he not only has no right of reply, but any response could be damaging by generating more attention. This is the classic trolling strategy, but stepped up a level.

If he actually did something wrong, take him to court and let the facts be decided in law. Otherwise, he's innocent and should be treated as such.

I also wonder, given that the allegations haven't been published, just implied, if he would have a libel case against the conference organisers?

brakmic 1 ago 0 replies      
Such things could have a very negative effect on people whose native language isn't English. I mean, if even native speakers get into troubles so easily what should I, as a non-native speaker, expect?

I maintain a tiny blog and because of possible language barriers I decided to write all of my texts in English. It could've been much easier for me to write in German, of course, but this would exclude so many people. And this was simply unacceptable from my point of view.

My command of English isn't very strong but I'd like to paraphrase german philosopher Karl Homann: "The opposite of Moral isn't Immoral but to moralize".

I know nothing about the events there but when I read things like "public shaming" or "slut shaming" or "trigger warnings" or "social justice warriors" then I can only follow the "pragmatic solutions" to solve problems of that kind: avoid conferences, avoid any kind of non-technical discussion in English, avoid the community as a whole. Stay on GitHub.

Sure, it makes you a bit of a loner but at least you sleep more easily and don't get shocked in the morning when you open your twitter feed.

Kind regards,

shruubi 2 ago 1 reply      
I'm of two minds here.

1) I personally don't like Douglas Crockford at all, I find him all together arrogant and overly concerned with presenting himself as an infallible single source of truth. I respect the work the man has done, but I personally think the conference is better off without him.

2) It seems that the conference organisers are all too concerned with coming out and proudly parading there actions without bothering to see if Crockford would be amenable to other courses of action like an apology or retraction of those comments.

To me, these kind of incidents feel more like the conference using the drama to boost their attendance numbers than acting in any kind of best interest of the attendee's. That's not to say that there haven't been serious incidents that need to be dealt with at conferences, but, an outright banning without any kind of negotiation where the speaker is offered to retract/apologise for their comments where the banning is done on a public forum seems designed more towards gaining attention rather than justice.

throwway1111 5 ago 3 replies      
This is happening in all parts of society. So-called "social justice warriors" and parts of the liberal left have sprung up that are very hostile to free speech and seek to destroy and silence anyone whom they oppose. Unfortunately, they have the full support of not only college administrations, but increasingly HR departments as they ascend into the workforce, and PR departments as they air their grievances over social media.

I am posting from a throw away account because voicing an opinion such as this is reason enough to be targeted.

justaaron 54 ago 0 replies      
having wasted 20 minutes of my morning on this, I figure I'll waste 4 more... I read the pastebin of the slack feed, and was nauseated by the SMARM and privilege.

They imagine that folks will feel COMFORTABLE with such side-of-the-mouth backstabbing nasty smarmy behavior emanating from such a conference?

Such sanctimony. Such self-righteousness. This isn't about Crockford anymore, but about highly privileged people (like this Katye Russell deeming to speak for all womyn-kind or "minorities" and such, all the while blissfully unaware of her privileged Murcan boot capriciously placed upon the neck of any peasant her handlers wish her to besmirch the name of)

I'm 100% in favor of social justice, fairness, decency, and the end of abusing the 99%, the end of gender pay gaps, the end of racism, sexism, etc, but THIS agenda we see here is NOT in service to anything decent and good:this is "throw xyz under a bus because some influential people told us to"and the real powerbroker here appears to be this William Golden...

Nodevember is just another groupthinktank and their actions have only brought dishonor and shame upon themselves!

(even assuming one wishes to distance oneself from a horrible speaker, claiming that one is speaking for all and creating a safe-space for all just mocks any concepts of safe spaces. what a load of sanctimonious drivel!)

thomasfoster96 6 ago 4 replies      
Id really like to know how a decision like that is made. In Nodevember's statement on the matter[0] (which the parent link doesnt mention, a rather glaring omission), they quite openly admit that they ...aren't professional organizers or PR people. We are still learning, and will make mistakes. So why not admit a mistake?

I certainly dont want to see sexist speakers at conferences, but this decision seems to have been made with almost no evidence and almost purely based on unsubstantiated rumours.

[0] http://nodevember.org/statement.html

aaron695 5 ago 1 reply      
I find the fact people continue to support these conferences quite disturbing.

Things are not going to change until people, including speakers pull out of conferences that display this sort of behaviour.

borplk 4 ago 0 replies      
I bet someone will also complain that he "mansplained" one of his talks. Give me a break. Go solve a real problem. First-world morons who are so fed up with the comfort of their lives they have to actively go chase drama.
nopit 6 ago 7 replies      
Why is crybullying so rampant in the tech community?
shripadk 6 ago 1 reply      
This is ridiculous. How in the world can those statements amount to sexism/slut-shaming?
aidenn0 5 ago 2 replies      
My thoughts:

Maybe someone can tell me what's offensive about the first comment. It seems to be poking fun at programmer machismo.

The second quote is more problematic. I'm firmly of the opinion that it is not slut-shaming because it presented both promiscuity and commitment in a positive light. On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for a conference to not want sexual metaphors in presentations. The whole "he used the word correctly" in TFA is a non-sequitur when the first definition is clearly sexual, and promiscuity is contrasted with commitment. Still, I would hope that less extreme measures than banning would be used to address this.

Now to one thing not in TFA, but in the linked medium post:

> Ive never dealt with Crockford in a way that I felt pleasant afterward. He is rude, unrepentant, and completely (one could argue willingly) oblivious to the meaning of his statements. Ive never seen a person use the word stupid so liberally in replacement of constructive criticism.

A conference is more than a bunch of people giving talks, it's a social gathering. If there were a lot of people who agree with Kas on this, then it's a much more reasonable reason to keep him out.

On a much smaller scale, I often run pencil-and-paper RPG groups. Being a jerk is much more likely to find yourself out of my group compared to game-mechanics related issues.

cel1ne 1 ago 0 replies      
There is one thing I don't understand about the whole safe-space debate:

People demand the environments they reside in to be friendly and comfortable according to their definition. In a way they are demanding that all "hostiles" stop being "hostile" towards them.

The more sustainable way to not get hurt is to learn how to emotionally defend yourself and stand your ground. You just have to learn it once and are not dependent on others telling every attacker to stop attacking you for the rest of your life.

jstewartmobile 2 ago 0 replies      
What a cowardly, hateful thing to do! They have even gone so far as to make a static page to address the tweet, yet a concrete accusation is nowhere to be found on it: http://nodevember.org/statement.html

A community that accepts a covert hit-job like that Tweet is a garbage community. Don't be a garbage community Nodevember.

danso 6 ago 2 replies      
I've only seen Crockford once in person, years ago [0], and though I never heard of him and his curmudgeonly-approach to JavaScript, I came away with a very favorable impression of him (and JS in general).

So I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, out of sentimentality. At the same time, I know that one speech and/or book is not enough (if anything ever is) to judge whether someone has or hasn't been harmful to people who are not me.

But after reading the original critique on Medium, and the OP's transcription of when Crockford allegedly "slut-shames the audience", I don't feel convinced to have a negative impression of Crockford. I'm not saying that the original complainant isn't justified in their critique or that there isn't more to the story, because I know that things are different in person. But I could also be sympathetic towards the OP's defense of Crockford.

In terms of Nodevember's decision, well, they have different prerogatives when running a conference. And having a speaker who allegedly so openly derides other speakers is definitely something they have to think about in ways that I as an individual do not.

[0] http://original.livestream.com/etsy/video?clipId=pla_1463e54...

edit: One thing I personally find disingenuous about the OP's writeup is their appeal to the dictionary definition of "promiscuous" to defend Crockford. I guess it's just up to people's opinion, but I felt that Crockford was clearly using "promiscuous" in the first sense -- "indiscriminate mingling or association". I've never even heard of the second sense, and very little in Crockford's transcribed statement seems to suggest why "promiscuous" would be the right word to use instead of something like "heterogeneous".

That said, I also don't feel that Crockford's statement was slut-shaming. Saying, "Back in the day, you could browse the web like a whore, not caring what your computer connected to. But with the new web..."

But that's not what he says at all. You could read a sexual connotation to what he says, but the words he use is very much about being indiscriminate about security and identity. He even states that there is a benefit to promiscuity -- "because you could go from one thing to another and discover stuff and start forming relationships" and directly implies there's a tradeoff with the security of commitment.

Garbage 4 ago 0 replies      
Official statement from Nodevember - http://nodevember.org/statement.html
fahrradflucht 42 ago 0 replies      
I don't have a clear opinion on the Crockford discussion but this post would be more convincing if it didn't put the lambda conf issue into the mix. I hope for Douglas Crockford that he doesn't want to get compared with Curtis Yarvin...
vvdcect 3 ago 0 replies      
This is a pastebin of a nodevember slack channel http://pastebin.com/3mQc7DfG .
galfarragem 2 ago 0 replies      
This is a schizofrenic community. Probably the same people that push for a free web, police the words used by others.
jhummel 6 ago 2 replies      
So, I have no idea what's going on, but just because this guy could only find these two examples, doesn't mean those are the actual reasons for him being dismissed. In fact, I'd be very surprised if that was the case.

For the record, I've seen Crockford talk... It wasn't offensive, it just wasn't very good. He seemed more interested in calling out business decisions which companies have made that he felt were stupid, than actually talking about anything related to JavaScript. Maybe that's just how his talks go and I didn't realize, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

ramblenode 1 ago 0 replies      
Wow, an important talk was pulled because of this? There is a continuum of disagreeable statements and a corresponding continuum of appropriate responses. The response from the conference organizers was grossly disproportionate to Crockford's behavior which was clearly not malicious and probably not even deliberate. A reasonable alternative would have been to privately contact him and express concern about his past choice of words. Removing him outright is unfair to both Crockford and attendees who were looking forward to his talk.
DonHopkins 5 ago 0 replies      
Maybe this is long game karma revenge for his notorious role in spreading communicable diseases in Habitat. [1]


One of the more successful "games" we invented for Habitat was the disease. There are three strains currently defined:


Happy Face

Mutant (AKA The Fly)

We only were able to test Cooties with live players, but it was a hit. It works like this: Several initial Avatars are infected with a "Cootie" head. This head replaces the current one, and cannot be removed except by touching another non-infected Avatar. Once infected, you can not be infected again that day. In effect, this game is "tag" and "keep away" at the same time. Often people would allow themselves be infected just so he could infect "that special person that they know would just hate it!" Every time the disease was spread, there was an announcement at least a week before, and for at least a week afterward it was the subject of major discussions. One day that the plague was spread, a female Avatar that was getting married got infected 1 hour before her wedding! Needless to say, she was very excited, and in a panic until a friend offered to take it off her hands.

Some interesting variations to try on this are: Touch 2 people to cure; this would cause quite a preponderance of infected people late in the day. The "Happy Face" plague: This simple head has the side effect of changing any talk message (word balloons) to come out as "HAVE A NICE DAY!"... can you imagine infecting some unsuspecting soul, and him saying back to you HAVE A NICE DAY! ??? ESP and mail still work normally, so the user is not without communications channels. The Mutant Plague: The head looks like the head of a giant housefly and it has the effect of changing talk text to "Bzzz zzzz zzzz". We think these all will be great fun.

[1] http://www.crockford.com/ec/anecdotes.html

forgottenacc56 5 ago 0 replies      
We smash people for this and don't blink an eyelid to the violence and privacy violations of our government.
radus 3 ago 0 replies      
Missed title opportunity: Crockford: The Good Parts
colordrops 4 ago 0 replies      
This whole story seems like a joke or a social experiment.
cel1ne 1 ago 0 replies      
We live in the post-descartes era. The principle now seems to be "I feel, therefore I am."
squall7 2 ago 0 replies      

The pendulum ever swings, don't let it hit you on its way back.

csanch4 6 ago 1 reply      
I thought this wouldn't be an issue in CS; thankfully it only seems to be the Js community -- or at least I hope so. Medium is now becoming less informative on technologies and software into a platform for finger pointing and complaining, which is really depressing imo.
maglavaitss 4 ago 1 reply      
Leave Douglas alone!! (on a more serious note, I guess we're done with Appelbaum's lynching, so the next target is Douglas Crockford?)
meddlepal 5 ago 0 replies      
This is fucking rediculous. Slut shaming? How about opinion shaming?
hackaflocka 46 ago 0 replies      
David Crockford, if you are reading this:

You need to declare yourself a closeted gender-queer trans-sexual immediately. After that, anything you say will be excused due to past oppression. And the conference will re-instate you.

Drop a message below if you want my help with this. I will give you a step by step PR strategy to achieve this.

Paul Graham: if you're reading this, would this be a viable startup idea? Helping people declare themselves closeted gender-queer trans-sexuals to escape oppression from SJWs?

empressplay 6 ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty vigilant about calling out sexism and trans/homophobia in the tech community but I'm having a hard time seeing Crockford's comments as offensive enough to un-invite him to speak. I expected TFA to be typical apologist fare but it's really more puzzlement over a perplexing situation, a puzzlement I share.
DanielBMarkham 2 ago 0 replies      
I don't want to comment on specifics. First off, there's not a lot here. Secondly, the general issue is more important.

As part of being in a secular society, you have an obligation to put up with public speakers that you might find offensive or irritating. You don't have to attend their events, and you're free to climb on the rooftops and call them an asshole -- but you have an obligation to put up with them.

If you run a conference with lots of people attending, and your speakers have any kind of interesting personality at all, you should be prepared for 1-3% of the attendees to be put-off by their history. That's good: it shows that you're doing a good job of bringing in interesting people to speak. Likewise, if you're a participant in a large conference, it shouldn't be surprising to you if the past history of somebody speaking is unpleasant to you in parts. You are, presumably, a grown-up. Get over it.

In my mind, the only thing that should matter, assuming the speaker isn't a terrorist or criminal on the run from authorities, is whether or not the information they present is worth it to you as an attendee. That's what the conference is about. It's not about making every member feel safe and secure. Screw that. Even looking past the fact that it's an impossible goal, nobody wants to go to a conference that's dumbed down to only cool kids who think correctly. Nobody in their right mind would want to live in a world like that. "Don't hang around jerks" is a fine goal for your family, your team, or your personal social circle. It's a clusterfuck to try to implement at any scale beyond that.

This bothers me because I could see at the extremes, there might be a case for excluding speakers, assuming there was something terrible in their past. Adolph Hitler, had he survived WWII, would have made a bad keynote speaker. People could never look beyond his history. But without a detailed argument over what the situation is here, both conference attendees and future speakers are getting screwed over, operating in the blind.

And that's the final result: everybody affected here doesn't really know what's going on, how to prevent this from happening again in the future, or what they might have missed. This is not about Crockford. This is about nibbling away at the value of a group of people gathering together trying to learn by promoting impenetrable and unclear illiberal values. I'll never go to a Node conference. But I'll remember how this thing played out.

ebbv 5 ago 0 replies      
This kind of petty, childish nonsense is why I find the whole talk/conference community awful. Which is a shame because there are good talks that are given all the time. But those can be watched online without having to deal with people who get outraged over the kinds of harmless comments quoted in this post.
desireco42 3 ago 0 replies      
I would prefer to work with someone with a solid stance and clear idea like Crockford, even if that is completely opposite to my own because this is something I will always respect.

I think he is not conventional with his netbook if he still uses that and that pisses people off.

cheez 3 ago 0 replies      
Why is it always developer evangelists and never developers?
georgemcbay 6 ago 0 replies      
I know nothing of this situation other than what I just read in the linked blog, but speaking as someone who is very sympathetic to the cause of the continued problems of sexism in the tech industry, I'm very confused about what the problem is, if it is in fact related to either of those two quoted statements.

Nodevember's tweet seems borderline libelous to me, unless they are willing to explain exactly what the event/statement/whatever is that got him pulled from the lineup is.

GirlsCanCode 6 ago 2 replies      
I'm a woman with an EE degree. I hate non-tech "women" who go to conferences that have no real interest in (like Pycon, Ms. Richards) just to push some wacky agenda.

These "women" aren't making it easier for real girls in real engineering programs.

laser 4 ago 1 reply      
Given information publicly available this seems infuriatingly ridiculous, but Nodevember's official statement in response seems quite reasonable: http://nodevember.org/statement.html

The theories here about sociopaths attempting to exert control are quite exotic and interesting, though :P

New Analysis Confirms Why the I-5 Skagit River Bridge Collapsed gizmodo.com
52 points by curtis  12 ago   33 comments top 7
mannykannot 9 ago 3 replies      
There is no mention of installing a sturdy beam across the road slightly lower than the least clearance, just a suggestion that the least clearance should be reported, and an extended discussion of the multiple (and rather unsurprising, IMHO) ways in which the pilot car system failed.

I am reminded of the half-assed measures that were taken to mitigate the risk of DC10 cargo doors blowing open, prior to the Turkish Airlines crash in Paris. Am I missing something here?

13of40 2 ago 0 replies      
"that doesnt account for the economic losses that the area felt because they and visitors no longer had access to the interstate"

I've got a pretty awesome picture of me and my son standing in front of that empty section of bridge from the detour route. They essentially routed I-5 traffic into the town and across another bridge. If I had to guess, the stores in that area probably made more money during the detour...

fnj 10 ago 1 reply      
"The driver was following the pilot car too closely: more than half the recommended distance for adequate response (400 feet, or a five-second response time, instead of the recommended 865 feet, allowing for a 10-second response time)."

Er, that's less than half the recommended distance. How did the copy editor let that through?

6nf 8 ago 1 reply      
The sheer number of things that had to go wrong for this disaster to happen is impressive.
hga 8 ago 0 replies      
This is the first I've heard that the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis was "fracture critical", and even if it was, the design flaw of too small gusset plates would possibly make that moot when one of them gave way, since others that were too small would then fail more easily.
PhantomGremlin 3 ago 0 replies      
I haven't seen this image posted recently. It's wonderful: https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/4ehaka/on_the_road_t...


sintaxi 9 ago 2 replies      
> The authors recommend changing policy to report the lowest vertical clearance for bridges, rather than the highest

Common fucking sense.

Show HN: Grumbles.js Detects when your users swear out loud knpw.rs
62 points by kpthunder  13 ago   38 comments top 18
zschuessler 10 ago 4 replies      
Fun fact: this won't tell you which bad word. Google's implementation of the speech API returns asterisks for words it deems bad. See:


It's also interesting to see which words Google determines is bad, and which they mysteriously don't. The API does real time processing of sentence structure and will return "<three asterisks> on me" and "cum to the park" correctly, based on intent. (Sorry for the offensive speech!)

For a side project I needed to find every single English word/phrase the API would filter. Stumbled upon that in amazement.

(Side note: speaking a long list of bad words into a microphone very slowly was the most fun QA I've done)

justinlardinois 8 ago 2 replies      
Ignoring the unlikelihood of someone actually authorizing microphone permissions (because it's no fun if we take that into consideration), what are some good use cases for this library.

Reminds me of those rumors that swearing at an automated phone system will usually cause it to direct you to a human operator. I've never given it a try myself to see if it's true.

EdSharkey 3 ago 0 replies      
"Your browser does not support the SpeechRecognition API. :("

HURRAY! And, it never shall.

cyberferret 8 ago 0 replies      
Nifty idea - but I couldn't trigger it. Must be because it detected my sweet choir boy nature, and knew that my attempts at profanity was 'cute' rather than grumpy!
booleandilemma 10 ago 0 replies      
You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.
templaedhel 10 ago 2 replies      
I think the most interesting part of this for me is the fact it relies on the the SpeechRecognition api to return swear words redacted with asterisks.

See for example George Carlin's "Seven dirty words" as returned by the SpeechRecognition demo https://cl.ly/3A1F0r3U1H1D/Screen%20Shot%202016-09-03%20at%2...

jjallen 2 ago 0 replies      
FYI, only single words worked: fu## and sh##. Didn't print out entire phrases, even when I simplified the swear words (stemmed them).
chowes 11 ago 0 replies      
Tinfoil hat aside, I kinda like this.

We work with a decent number of older, non technical people, and our product team would love to be a fly on the wall to hear where they're frustrated in the product. Obviously due to security concerns we could never implement something like this, but in a perfect world this would be a killer feature.

gcr 8 ago 1 reply      
I don't like the idea of streaming every visitor's audio to Google servers as they're viewing the site.
djrogers 4 ago 0 replies      
Ok, I know this is pedantic, but grumbling is not shouting swear words - in fact it's the opposite of shouting.
jamshid 11 ago 0 replies      
It works but Chrome's Web Speech api seems slow. Test at https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/demos/speech.html.The Web Speech api doesn't work on mobile browsers, would be a lot cooler if it did.
sverige 7 ago 1 reply      
What the fuck is this shit doing on HN?

(Just kidding, for those who can't detect sarcasm. That's a killer idea - build an app that detects sarcasm in text, deploy on HN, have a happier community.)

Dwolk 11 ago 0 replies      
because that's not creepy.
mrspeaker 11 ago 2 replies      
Ha ha, funny idea! After examining my own behaviour the other day I realised that if I ever owned a store that faced the street, I would totally put a microphone in the window to get customer feedback from after-hours window-shoppers: you can't solicit that kind of honesty!
vorotato 11 ago 1 reply      
Neat idea but the piece of shit ;) couldn't detect me calling it one.
diegorbaquero 9 ago 0 replies      
Although the demo takes some time this is awesome! Thanks for sharing
andrewclunn 6 ago 0 replies      
Geeze Louis! What the heck? Gosh darn it!

Is there a southern grandma setting?

nerdponx 11 ago 1 reply      
Does this mean that Chrome is always listening on my computer's internal microphone?
Exploring calling conventions with x86 assembly apoorvaj.io
45 points by klixon  13 ago   12 comments top 4
hDeraj 10 ago 3 replies      
When calling a simple function like this within a large loop, would it make a noticeable difference in speed to inline the computation vs. having a function call? If so, what's the best practice for inlining a computation like this? I imagine a macro would be the simplest solution but I'm interested to hear any other techniques that are used
GoToRO 3 ago 2 replies      
so why does it allocate extra space? "A value of 16 is subtracted from esp." What's the purpose of that?
userbinator 5 ago 2 replies      
If you have any experience with writing Asm you'll see how rigid calling conventions are almost entirely an artificial construct of HLLs (and possibly an artifact of early compilers), and it's possible to do so much more and so much better --- which is partly the reason why Asm can be so fun. ;-)

When calling functions written in Asm from Asm, you get to decide exactly how to do it: Pass arguments in registers in any order, on the stack, a combination of both, directly following the call instruction itself[1], etc.; the limit is practically your imagination. You can choose the best way to pass arguments for each function instead of being forced into one suboptimal one for every function. Ditto for return values --- you can easily return multiple values, in different registers, and also make use of HLL-inaccessible "registers" like the flags (carry bit in particular is quite useful).

I think the PC BIOS / DOS API is a pretty nice calling convention, clearly designed for and by Asm programmers; all arguments are passed in registers and CF is used to indicate success/error. These compiler-imposed calling conventions like cdecl/stdcall/fastcall are just awfully inefficient in comparison because of how much memory access they require, especially when "fastcall" can only pass two arguments in registers.

Incidentally, these 3 examples are also great at showing how compilers can be so very stupid at code generation. Observe that in all 3 cases, the return value in eax after calling foo is written to memory --- then immediately read from memory again, into the exact same register. This is not something that should ever appear in human-written Asm, and I've actually made use of this fact in marking a course assignment: asked to manually "compile" a short function, some students cheated and used the compiler (with no optimisations, i.e. the defaults), and it was dead easy to recognise.

It's funny to see the entirely-register-based fastcall somehow still managing to generate 5 totally useless memory accesses. If I really wanted to write a fastcall min() function instead of just inlining it as I probably should, it'd be 4 lines:

 mov eax, ecx cmp edx, ecx cmovl eax, edx ret
Likewise, cdecl and stdcall (only differing in one instruction):

 mov eax, [esp+4] cmp eax, [esp+8] cmovl eax, [esp+12] ret ; ret 8 for stdcall
... and seeing WINAPI in GAS/AT&T syntax just feels very very weird.

[1] Like this:

 call puts db "Hello world!", 0 ; execution continues here
I believe it's not the fastest on modern CPUs, but it does save space and was a very common technique on 8-bit CPUs like 8080/8085/Z80. It's also a good way of confusing automatic disassemblers.

ninjabeans 3 ago 0 replies      
How did he create that diff graphic?
Remembering Vernon Adams, creator of KDE's user-interface font Oxygen lwn.net
176 points by zobzu  13 ago   10 comments top 6
infodroid 12 ago 0 replies      
This encyclopedia entry is a good overview of his work: http://luc.devroye.org/fonts-47641.html

He was the designer of the widely-used Oswald font, hosted at Google Fonts, and was a passionate advocate for the creative possibilities of open source.

This is his essay Free Fonts Freeness as a Technological Component of Typeface Design:https://web.archive.org/web/20130514085121/http://code.newty...

His blog at his design site New Typography has been down for months, but can still be viewed at archive.org:https://web.archive.org/web/20150707211405/http://code.newty...

huac 12 ago 3 replies      
His website: http://sansoxygen.com/ has a collection of posts from his family and friends as well from his last days.


symlinkk 8 ago 0 replies      
Looks like he also created Oswald, one of the most popular fonts on Google Fonts: https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Oswald
pcunite 8 ago 0 replies      
I think KDE was my first Linux GUI ... can't remember. I do know that I really liked it.
jgrahamc 12 ago 0 replies      
Always so hard to read about someone my own age (young!) dying.


unexistance 8 ago 0 replies      
a few of his other fonts, in github


I will use it

Design and Implementation of Probabilistic Programming Languages dippl.org
58 points by adamnemecek  14 ago   7 comments top
adamnemecek 10 ago 1 reply      
Is anyone here knowledgeable enough about all the Probabilistic Programming languages and frameworks to give me a 'real world' run down? Like there's quite a few of them and I'm not sure how they all perform IRL. I'm somewhat familiar with PyMC, Stan, Figaro but I'm still not quite understanding all the differences (are there any major ones even?)?

I know that Stan is like the most production ready one right now but it's also somewhat large. This project seems much more tractable.

There's a whole list here http://probabilistic-programming.org/wiki/Home and I'm not sure which ones are like "real projects" that can be used in production and which ones are like toy/research projects and I'm not sure if they all interpret the idea of probabilistic programming fundamentally differently or if they are all just flavors.

Dam Project Threatens to Submerge Thousands of Years of Turkish History nytimes.com
35 points by kafkaesq  13 ago   17 comments top 7
Frogolocalypse 2 ago 0 replies      
These people can't win. They try to remove the reliance upon oil and coal, and add surer supplies of water for their populace, and still people find reasons to criticize. As opposed to pumping more carbon into the atmosphere, thanks, I'll take the dam. Infrastructure to serve the living is far more useful than infrastructure to observe the dead.
fernly 6 ago 0 replies      
I spent a few hours in Hasankeyf in 1999, on a tour to view a total solar eclipse. The buses parked on the Tigris shore and we all climbed up through some of the cave passages and houses. Here are some pics[1]. Certainly the town is a hugely impressive historic site. However the population is small and poor, so probably has little political clout.

[1] https://cortesi.smugmug.com/Solar-Eclipses/1999-Turkey-Hasan...

ctulek 9 ago 3 replies      
The story is very important and thanks to NY Times for covering it. However, calling it "Turkish" history is a few thousand years short.
mr_pink 6 ago 2 replies      
Hate to be that guy, but saying "thousands of years of Turkish history" is exactly as ignorant as saying "thousands of years of American history"
jedilance 9 ago 0 replies      
I am sorry to see that resistance doesn't stop the dam project. It's a beautiful heritage but will be gone :(
desireco42 3 ago 0 replies      
The thing is that history is not "Turkish" as such. But otherwise important issue.
themartorana 8 ago 4 replies      
Are dam projects ever a good idea? I'm not being flip or sarcastic.

When I think of dams, I think of catastrophic failure which almost always ends in thousands of deaths. I think of how quickly untended dams will fail. I think of what kind of target a dam makes. I think of flooding and burying wilderness and wildlife and even towns like this.

I also think of hydro-electric power and water availability... but aren't there other ways to tackle those problems?

Are dams ever a good idea?

Does Chinese Civilization Come from Ancient Egypt? foreignpolicy.com
63 points by DanielBMarkham  13 ago   43 comments top 7
PieterH 2 ago 1 reply      
Remarkable how rapidly politics comes into the discussion of Chinese history. Putting that aside, the theory is interesting and plausible for a few reasons, yet probably wrong. I like it because of the weird connections, like the ancient ores and the "nine rivers". This is numerology, not science: searching for support rather than nullification.

The theory is IMO wrong for a much simpler reason. It assumes (as many theories of history do) that the vastness of our planet means that we used to live in disconnected communities, islands of humanity spread out and yet not talking to each other.

You can walk around the globe in 10-20 years. It is unimaginable that trade routes such as the Silk Road did not carry knowledge such as how to smelt bronze, like those African ores, and any other precious good. Wherever there were people, they were innovating and trading goods and knowledge with their neighbors. Only exceptionally were pockets of humanity actually isolated.

You don't need an emperor and his navy to carry knowledge halfway across the globe. One or two people, on foot, will do it, and did it, and so, this nullifies the theory that Chinese civilization somehow sprang from Egyptian civilization. The two co-developed together with the entire connected world at the time.

cpleppert 9 ago 4 replies      
This is false. The Chinese writing system and Mythos have no connection at all with Egypt. Descriptions of rivers predominate in ancient myths and there is no reason to construct a hypothesis that has little explanatory power and even less plausibility.
dogma1138 12 ago 2 replies      
Since the article doesn't have too much information this seems as just as based on anecdotal evidence as the "theory" that Japanese culture and specifically Shinto has evolved from biblical Hebrews/Israelites:http://www2.biglobe.ne.jp/~remnant/isracame.htm
kissickas 12 ago 5 replies      
I'm sure most people have thought this through since the time they may have been lied to in elementary school, but rivers flow don't flow south, they flow downhill... and there are plenty that flow north.
arca_vorago 7 ago 0 replies      
This is when my mind links a particlar myth of both cultures and more about a fish man showing up and teaching people the ways of civilization. As I remember it was Mesopotamia, China, and the Indus valley, and maybe a few more?

I think its plausible that civilization itself spread via sea faring peoples, so perhaps it was some hyksos like people that brought not their genetics, but knowledge.

GunboatDiplomat 12 ago 2 replies      
Betteridge's Law.
labster 10 ago 0 replies      
Suns thesis proved controversial when ...

Way to be impartial, headlines.

RCA engineers envisioned automated electronic highways by 1975 ieee.org
38 points by helloworld  13 ago   31 comments top 4
Animats 11 ago 0 replies      
The General Motors Firebird III had this in 1958.[1] It used wire-guided lane-keeping. They expected lots of support from the road system.

In 1956, GM made a promotional film for self-driving cars.[2] It's a musical. There's also GM's "Design for Dreaming".[3]

The modern version of such ads, from Volvo.[4]

[1] https://youtu.be/xKOdux6Gjno?t=720[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2iRDYnzwtk[3] https://archive.org/details/Designfo1956[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJwKuWz_lkE

nxzero 12 ago 4 replies      
Back then, as now, the big issue is that driverless vehicles have to deal with human drivers. Remove humans from the road, and the challenge gets exponentially easier.
ocdtrekkie 12 ago 1 reply      
I remember growing up believing flying cars were just around the corner. As today's children get their driver's licenses a decade from now, they'll think about when they grew up believing self-driving cars were just around the corner.
IshKebab 11 ago 0 replies      
I envision brain-machine interfaces by 2025. So what?
Show HN: Granim.js Create fluid and interactive gradients animations sarcadass.github.io
21 points by Sarcadass  8 ago   5 comments top 4
jablan 19 ago 0 replies      
Why these things always have to be so CPU intensive?
rpwverheij 27 ago 0 replies      
really nice! I was looking for something like this a little while ago and couldnt find it. bookmarking
mohsinr 3 ago 1 reply      
Wow it looks great on my Android phone, Chrome browser. Just wanted to know how compatible it is with other browsers there on desktop and mobile...

Great work, keep it up!

untilHellbanned 2 ago 0 replies      
Looks great, does anyone have ideas on where they could use it? I'm trying to think...
People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their Cars buzzfeed.com
191 points by andrewfromx  15 ago   190 comments top 22
mturmon 14 ago 7 replies      
Reading the comments to the story (on the Buzzfeed site), one sees the dichotomy between younger residents and longtime residents. (I've been here about 20 years.)

The latter tend to give all kinds of arguments about why owning a car is necessary, including safety, convenience, and cost. And they may be right -- for them. They live in the hills of a relatively remote area, like La Crescenta or Burbank or Chatsworth, and have Sunday brunch at some place in the Valley, and drive to Costco to fill up a freezer and a garage with goods, and drive to their dentist, doctor, and gym across town as well. It's a whole series of decisions, and it locks down tighter and tighter.

But newer residents are showing that a different way of life is possible, by making all these decisions differently. It's fantastic. It has changed the streetscape a lot, as various local enclaves spring up to offer services within walking or cycling distance, or near to transit.

But the gap between these two lifestyles really makes for some major disconnects around subjects like housing development along thoroughfares, density of development, parking, and bike lanes.

Zafira 4 ago 0 replies      
It looks like a lot of people here are arguing that this is happening or possible, with the rather limiting constraint that you're in or around West LA. It being an older neighborhood, has more density which doesn't exist in many of the post-World War II neighborhoods with Irvine being a good example of this. The Uber map for better wait times seems unsurprisingly biased to being around tourist areas like Santa Monica, Disneyland or Huntington Beach.

I suppose it depends on what you're definition of Los Angeles is, but if you argue that Thousand Oaks or Chino Hills is considered "Los Angeles", then this argument doesn't really hold water. The urban sprawl was built on the assumption of commuting and 2-3 hour commutes are not unusual around here. I realize LA might be a bit of an anomaly, but you can drive from Santa Monica to San Bernardino before you've really "left" the city and trying to argue that a carless life is really going to happen using this definition is a bit suspect.

danso 14 ago 3 replies      
I did this (avoided buying a car in lieu of Uber/Lyft) my first year in Palo Alto/Menlo Park. I lived in Hew York before coming out West so I was strongly inclined not to own a car, I didn't even bother replacing my drivers license after being pickpocketed 5 years ago. Using Uber frequently was actually pretty enjoyable. My ride was only about 15 min/$12. each way (sometimes I'd bike), and the drivers were usually interesting to talk to. Last year I did end up buying a car. With payments, insurance, parking, and gas thrown in (and the fact that I take Caltrain to get into SF or other cities), the economics really didn't make sense for me to buy a car, but it did improve quality of life in terms of just having more impulse to go out and drive to places, whereas with relying on Uber/Lyft, the thought of the money transaction for every ride discourages me from using it except for pragmatic reasons (yes, even though owning a car is more expensive in the long run).
unabst 2 ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of car haters voicing their hate but if you already hate cars, don't drive. That's not why people in LA are getting rid of their cars (if they are).

There is an introvert/extrovert angle here also. A car is completely private. You can go anywhere in your pajamas in total asocial mode with a car, and I wonder if that's why so many people are in their Pajamas at Ralphs. A car service requires contact with strangers.

I am in LA and I tried getting a bike once, but it was impossible. Road conditions are horrible, and I had nowhere to park my new mango colored bike comfortably. People would yell "nice bike" from their cars, and it was uncomfortable. And everyone I knew who rode a bike had multiple accident stories. If some idiot is going to hit me or suddenly open their door, I want to be in a car.

For me, Tokyo is the perfect train city. Fukuoka is the perfect bicycle city. And LA is still the perfect car city. But if you hate to drive, now you have options. It used to be you had none!

creyes 13 ago 2 replies      
LA resident here. Got rid of my car 2 years ago and haven't looked back. A big difference for me is that I hate driving - especially here. The stress of it really got to me.

Financially, I'm not sure that I actually 'save' money. I live within 100yds of a ton of bars and restaurants, and a 5 minute walk to Trader Joes/Metro. I Uber most places but also take the Metro to DTLA and Santa Monica pretty often.

The whole car payment/insurance/gas/maintenance costs for sure are more than what I pay to Uber/Metro but what I'm not sure how to value the 'cost of walking.' I definitely pay a premium for my location and I often wonder, if I lived in a less convenient area (had to drive to groceries, far from Metro) if I'd be able to not have a car. Because as it stands, car costs < uber/metro/rent premium

greggman 14 ago 3 replies      
LA is a different place because of Uber. LA lost it's amazing public transit system over 40 or so years from like ~1935 to ~1975. Now they are slowly building it back, probably just in time for it to be obsoleted by automated cars given how long it's taking them.

Uber certainly helps deal with the lack of public transportation but the other big issue is LA is HUGE! My sister lives in Glendora (far east side of LA) I was staying in Venice Beach. It's about 45 miles. And that's not even one side of the LA metro area to the other, that's just LA itself. On Uber that would be ~$55 or so. A similar distance on the train system in Tokyo would be $10-$20 depending on how many different companies' trains you have to use.

Of course it might still be cheaper than a owning a car if you're not making the long trips often.

cpprototypes 14 ago 1 reply      

LA Metro opened up the Expo Line, a light rail between downtown LA and Santa Monica, in May as part of its effort to wean people off car ownership. When it began running, Uber ran a promotion for $5 off Pool rides to or from Expo line stations. For ride-hail companies, partnering with public transportation agencies to market themselves as companion services can increase mutual ridership. Kan, Lyfts LA general manager, said three of the top 10 destinations for Lyft rides are metro stations.

If this trend continues and becomes more common, it has potential to really change transportation in LA. LA Metro is working on expanding the rail lines but there's always the "last mile" problem (not literally 1 mile, but usually last few miles to get/from rail station to destination). UberPool/Lyft Line can be the solution for this and the more people use it, the better solution it becomes.

jboggan 14 ago 0 replies      
Santa Monica resident here. Last year my commuting motorcycle was stolen. During the insurance and replacement process I rented a car for 3 months. About 6 months later my new bike was damaged and out for repairs for almost as long, but that time I chose to not rent a car and just Uber everywhere, including to and from work in Playa Vista every day. The two periods came out to about equivalent costs, with greatly increased convenience and less hassle due to never caring about parking or having a few drinks after work. I didn't take any long trips out of town, but for getting around it was great.

I haven't owned a car since I moved to LA 4 years ago, it's pretty great.

jpetitto 14 ago 1 reply      
I moved to Los Angeles about four months ago and was surprised how little I drive. Uber and Lyft are insanely cheap here when using the pool/line options. I've taken 10 mile trips for $4! The metro is great too if you live near a line.

Certain parts of the city are easier without a car than others. A lot of it comes down to how far you live from work too. I walk to work everyday (10 minutes) and there's a plethora of stores in my area to walk to and shop at.

I'm about to sell my car and I'm not sure if I'll be getting another anytime soon.

yodsanklai 13 ago 4 replies      
> People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their CarsInstead, theyre riding Uber and Lyft to work.

Commuting is one thing, but cars are often necessary for other things (for instance, going hiking/skiing on weekends) where public transportation/uber isn't an option.

I wonder what is the recommended solution for this. In my case for instance, rental wouldn't be cheaper than owning a car. There's a car sharing service in my city but again, not significantly cheaper than owning the car.

incogitomode 2 ago 0 replies      
Having recently moved to LA from the east coast, and hoping to stay put for awhile, I've really appreciated the interest in finding new ways of dealing with transportation in the city. It may be a generational issue, as some have said, but that doesn't need to be the case. Perhaps the current enthusiasm can find its way into housing and zoning policy and make a lasting change in a city that seems to have reached the limits of what sort of population and density can actually be sustained in an everybody-owns-a-car scenario.
seizethecheese 9 ago 0 replies      
This article does not back up it's claim. The article includes some anecdotes, and some data of Uber/Lyft becoming more popular, but does not include anything to indicate that car ownership is declining in significant amounts.
tbarbugli 13 ago 1 reply      
Based on half dozen people telling that to buzzfeed...
hackuser 13 ago 3 replies      
I'd like articles on this subject to at least mention two other significant costs:

Impact on jobs:

Unless and until Uber starts treating their workers fairly (treating them like employees and allowing them some negotiating power over their own livelihoods) not only is it bad for those workers and working people in general, but it's also bad for the country, which has to cover health care and other needs for those workers. Does anyone know how Lyft does in that regard?

Climate impact:

* Buying a new car creates the impact of mining raw materials, processing them, manufacturing, shipping, etc. I have no idea what that impact is.

* For purposes of the trip itself, I think using standard taxi/Uber/Lyft services probably increases climate impact over a personal car: The ride-hailing cars drive around empty part of the time, waiting for rides; your personal car is parked when you don't use it. Otherwise, whether you are in someone else's car or your own for the trip, the impact is the same (unless your car is more/less efficient than the ride-hailing car)

* Sharing rides, such as in trains, buses, carpool, UberPool, etc., obviously is much more efficient. I suspect the more people in the vehicle, the more efficient it is: Trains beat buses beat carpools, but I really don't know that.

misingnoglic 6 ago 0 replies      
I was an intern at Google Venice for the summer, and it was definitely cheaper for me to take Uber pool to work every day (especially since I lived with my parents). It would have been ~35 a day to rent a car, or ~20 a day for Uber pool, without the added stress of driving.
tehwebguy 7 ago 0 replies      
My car mostly sits in front of our house in LA. Last month I rented it out to an Uber driver for 2 weeks, which paid for the most recent engine work it required.
vasilipupkin 8 ago 0 replies      
seriously? people giving up their cars in LA? Oh, sure, I believe that buzzfeed was able to find 3 people who gave up their cars. But what do the statistics say about LA car ownership?
nickthemagicman 12 ago 0 replies      
Its one of the major ways people are rent seeked. Gas, insurance, maintenance, loan, loan interest, etc. Exploitation overdrive. And most people dont have a choice.

Cars, housing, education and medicine are massive rent seeking areas sucking people dry and I cant wait until all of these are subverted by new systems.

paulsutter 13 ago 0 replies      
In the article, are those actual wait times or initially estimated wait times?
nradov 10 ago 1 reply      
Overall new car sales are higher than ever. Someone is buying them.
breck 14 ago 1 reply      
Title should be: "People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their Cars"
rocky1138 7 ago 2 replies      
> "Theyve decimated the taxi industry. The number of LA taxi trips dropped 30% from 2012."

Decimate means to reduce by 10%, hence deci.

The Dam in the Desert takepart.com
35 points by nkurz  15 ago   6 comments top 5
wallacoloo 6 ago 1 reply      
As someone who doesn't work in power, labeling an energy storage's capacity in megawatts is a bit confusing. What does it mean when a pumped water storage facility has a capacity of 1400 MW? Does this literally mean that the turbines can physically provide 1400 MW when active? Shouldn't the unit of measurement have some indication of how long it can continually source this level of power? A 1400 MW pumped storage facility is not that useful if it can only source this amount of power for a minute before depleting its stores, for example. Or is the power figure always chosen s.t. it can continually source this much during peak demand without depleting?
whyenot 5 ago 0 replies      
Putting the solar cells in the desert makes a lot of sense, but I don't understand why the pumped storage facility has to also be there. Put it somewhere else in California where there is ample water, the ground isn't as porous, and there will be less evaporation. For example, why not use something like San Luis Reservoir and the O'Neil Forebay?
allendoerfer 5 ago 0 replies      
A mine in the desert sounds like a better location for a landfill than a place to store water.

I personally think storage should be the second thought. First get to and above 100% renewable at peak times. Ensure that there is a well working market for electric energy and people and businesses of all sizes will find a way to benefit from it, thereby solving storage. Death by a thousand cuts.

35bge57dtjku 2 ago 0 replies      
Why can't they cover it to prevent evaporation?
gtirloni 12 ago 0 replies      
Google "Pumped Up: Renewables Growth Revives Old Energy-Storage Method" for a somewhat shorter explanation.

"Moving water uphill lets producers of solar and wind power bank energy for use when it is needed most"

New Edition of Programming in Haskell Now Available nott.ac.uk
57 points by javinpaul  7 ago   11 comments top 5
willtim 1 ago 2 replies      
This is the Haskell tutorial book that I have always recommended. It's a manageable size and is a good blend of theory and practice. There's also none more qualified than Graham Hutton.
hevelvarik 3 ago 1 reply      
Just got the book and am impressed. But new to Haskell, I'm actually making my way through the much shorter, free and very well written "YetAnotherHaskellTutorial" first, because I wan't to have a general working knowledge of the language before settling down to the 1000+ page hard slog.

Lists get discussed about 700 pages in, so while the book is very thorough--I like that it opens with Lambda Calculus--it seems a little wax on wax off if you haven't first gotten your feet wet via other means.

sridca 5 ago 1 reply      
How does this compare to Haskell Programming[1]?

[1] http://haskellbook.com

aikah 5 ago 1 reply      
> All concepts are explained from first principles and no programming experience is required

Nice, it looks like it is a good book for beginners. I hesitated between Haskell and F# as a first "real" FP language, I might give Haskell a try.

runeks 3 ago 1 reply      
Anyone know some particularly good Haskell books for intermediate Haskellers? Ones that skip over all the syntax and basic grammar, and dive more into whole-program structure, how to connect different parts together, rather than looking at individual parts.
Nano to remain in GNU gnu.org
132 points by Ianvdl  14 ago   55 comments top 13
qwertyuiop924 11 ago 5 replies      
This is good news: It's also good to actually see RMS actually compromising.

Also, nano is actually a useful tool, despite its reputation as the editor for those who don't know what they're doing. It's an excellent editor for quick edits that aren't worth pulling up emacs for. Although I would never reccomend it for Real Work, that's not really its intent. And it owns its field, having crushed all competition save vi, which is really in its own class.

Also, nano is frankly a lot more powerful than a lot of people give it credit for: It's just not programmable, which is a necessity in editors these days.

amk_ 11 ago 1 reply      
Good to hear. Nano's up-front display of the core key combinations has been a source of relief for people getting dropped into a terminal editor for ages. Wish more distributions would set nano as the default $EDITOR instead of vim.
rahiel 13 ago 0 replies      
Happy to see the conflict settled! Here's what's in the news entry for the GNU release:

 With this release we return to GNU. For just a little while we dreamt we were tigers. But we are back in the herd, back to a healthy diet of fresh green free grass.

hannob 13 ago 2 replies      
Can anyone give some context info? Was there some conflict between GNU and nano that has now been resolved? What was it about?
AstroJetson 11 ago 0 replies      
It's a great editor, I use it all the time with new Raspberry Pi people. Since it's so simple to use we can focus on what we are doing vs learning on how to drive an editor.

Happy to see RMS was willing to compromise and keep nano in the hurd.

mrmondo 3 ago 3 replies      
To be honest, I didn't realise that nano was being maintained, I sort of assumed that it was slowly fading out of existence. Honest question: does anyone here use nano for anything? If so - what are you reasons for using it / what do you like about it?
Ianvdl 13 ago 0 replies      
The previous HN discussion for some context: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11953044
4ad 10 ago 4 replies      
Anybody else use ed(1)?

My main editor is acme, and when I need to do large edit jobs on remote servers I control I use sam. However, when I have to edit files on servers I don't control, or when I have to do a quick edit job and I don't have a sam terminal started yet, I use ed.

Unlike all other editors, ed doesn't erase the screen. I find this extremely useful. Also, ed is always the same. Vi is not always the same on different systems. Sometimes it has syntax syntax highlighting by default, forcing me to make effort to turn it off, sometimes nocompatible is set on or off, etc.

Ed is always the same and has no settings.

Sometimes inside my acme session I run win(1), and sometimes in my win sessions I ssh to some system and run ed inside acme.

I forced myself to use ed exclusively for a week some years back, and since then I stuck with it.

Bino 14 ago 1 reply      
Fair question: how does it matter?
pcunite 7 ago 0 replies      
I was always a fan of mcedit.
unsignedqword 13 ago 0 replies      
Why was it at risk of leaving?
aphextron 13 ago 3 replies      
edit: not constructive
       cached 4 September 2016 10:02:02 GMT