hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    20 Sep 2016 News
home   ask   best   10 months ago   
Closing in on high-temperature superconductivity sciencedaily.com
47 points by jonbaer  2 hours ago   22 comments top 6
pbsurf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Three groups published essentially the same results in the same issue of Science:

Greiner group: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1605.02704.pdf

Zwierlein group: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1606.04089v1.pdf

Bloch group: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1605.05661v1.pdf

SapphireSun 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This is really important. If you can improve conduction efficiency by a percent or two (let alone lossless) you can put solar panels on the other side of the planet and solve global warming in a pinch by piping power to the dark side. Right now it's about 3% at 100kV iirc which translates to ~40% losses best case which, while almost financially feasible, would also cook the planet in a toaster oven. :P
hinkley 2 hours ago 3 replies      
What is closer, high temperature superconductors, or fusion power plants?
Animats 1 hour ago 0 replies      
By "high-temperature" superconductivity, physicists mean liquid nitrogen temperature, not room temperature. It's progress, but cheap maglev is still a ways off.
xt00 2 hours ago 1 reply      
TLDR: The main finding is:They built a simulation and super cold 2D experimental setup that verified that the "Hubbard" superconducting model is validated to a high degree (for a certain temperature range), and that electrons start forming pairs that "bunch" with empty spaces in the lattice.
hyperion2010 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Link to the article (paywall) [0].

0. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6305/1257

Ways to implement computer languages on 6502s dwheeler.com
84 points by 6502nerdface  5 hours ago   12 comments top 7
colanderman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, how much say do we have over the architecture? Paging/banking hardware is pretty common on 6502-based systems. Such hardware decouples the virtual address space (what the CPU sees) from the physical address space. Typically they are used to extend memory space (e.g. the Apple //e's 80-column card) but they can also be used as a mass indirection mechanism (e.g. the NES's various "mappers", which granted are used more by its graphics coprocessor). The act of paging is "instantaneous" since you are just setting a hardware register.

So if you are designing the hardware, give it an extra 4 KiB or so (16 pages), mapped through a paging circuit to the zero page. On entry to a function, increment the current page; on exit, decrement. Now you have a way to push all "local variables" that is faster than even pushing all the registers. You could even get fancy and XOR bits 7-4 of the page register with bits 4-7 of the paged address lines, so the compiler can choose anywhere from 16 256-byte frames up to 256 16-byte frames.

keithnz 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember... WAY back in the day... On the Ataris there was a language called Action! It was pretty good!


pmontra 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a 2009 revision of a 1994 article.
PieterH 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
I implemented a forth based language on C64 in 1983, it was tiny and fast. The 6502 was well suited to this. The REPL nature of forth languages is also perfect for machines with limited offline storage.
russellsprouts 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Coincidentally, I was just reading this the other day. I've been programming for the Nintendo NES. The most common high level language that people use for NES Homebrew development is C with cc65[1]. The output of the compiler is passable, but C is just not well suited to the 6502 processor. Eventually I'd like to write a compiler for a high level language that used these ideas.

[1] http://cc65.github.io/cc65

wobbleblob 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I once had a pascal compiler for a 6502 machine:


orionblastar 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I think 6502 machines can do better with a version of BASIC that can compile into machine language binary files. One that has advanced commands for moving sprites and checking for collisions, etc. A BASIC compiler if you will?
Open Source Micro-Purchasing Forked in Singapore gds-gov.tech
44 points by fieryeagle  3 hours ago   1 comment top
ivank 1 hour ago 0 replies      
FYI: "Bidders must have a bank account in Singapore to receive payment for work done."
Api.ai is joining Google api.ai
240 points by agrothberg  10 hours ago   128 comments top 20
kchoudhu 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I'm assuming Google doesn't need any of the company's business, and that it is being acquired for its talent.

So, my real question: how much, on average, does a founder get as part of one of these acquihires? And does s/he actually, y'know, have to do any work after getting paid?

keithwhor 9 hours ago 5 replies      
Congratulations to the api.ai team. Unrelated to the acquisition directly, but fantastic logo placement. I can't be the only person that looks for their color-changing sign every time I drive down the 101. Awesome advertising / growth hack. :)
inthewoods 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to them. I do find this sentence a bit awkward: "It has been a long and fun journey. Since API.AIs launch in 2014..." I think the CEO referring to the total time into the company (including the Speaktoit phase), but it comes across badly - leaves me thinking "You think 2 years is a long time???" I don't think that's what the CEO meant to say.
octaveguin 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Does this signal a continued push for bots and conversational UX?

Where does the belief in the tech come from? Are there any examples of real success with this tech?

Bots can't solve discovery in a novel way without big advances in NLP. There doesn't seem to be a bridge from here to there where it makes sense as a user.

Is this just irrational exuberance?

I'd love to understand why microsoft/google/facebook are all continuing to bet big here.

amix 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried API.ai a few months ago and was very unimpressed with the results (things were slow, expensive and not very powerful. Rebuilding the models was also broken at times). I am unsure why Google are acquiring them, especially given that they have DeepMind and TensorFlow teams.
HugoDaniel 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This kind of text reads like something that is going to end up in https://ourincrediblejourney.tumblr.com/
the_common_man 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how engineers at Google feel about all this. I guess they feel they should be joining these startups instead of slogging at Google. They can just easily retire/do their own thing if they are part of these acquihires.
zellyn 9 hours ago 1 reply      
With Firebase expanding to form an entire ecosystem of services, and being kept alive for a long time now, I have renewed hope that being acquihired by Google won't just be the death knell - at least for this type of service.
braaap 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Facebook acquired wit.ai in January 2015, and I wonder if this acquisition is Google's quite belated response to that?
xorgar831 9 hours ago 1 reply      
That's interesting they just bought apigee which does about the same thing?
colinbartlett 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Another one of those services I wish I'd heard about before its acquisition. But at least this one does not appear to have been shut down on day one?
georgeportillo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm actually excited for this. API.ai us a great set of tools to use.
lettergram 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I honestly don't think this is a aquire-hire. It seems much more of an attempt to get access to additional data not made public from companies using api.ai, at the same time boosting Alphabets capabilities.
dshah 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the api.ai team.

I love when great companies do well.

I'm a happy customer (and wish I were also an investor, but I'm not).

zump 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Literally never heard of this company. Serious question: How can I find a company that is likely to get acquired by Google?
guessmyname 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course they are, what else would they do; ~2 years old and already sold [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaktoit#Api.ai

ausjke 8 hours ago 0 replies      
not sure what google gains by doing this, hope google can leverage this and give its customer more AI-APIs, the more the merrier, especially better speech-APIs(similar to Alexa but more open)
stackUnderFlow 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Google acquired APIgee and now API.AI. Why Google is so interested in API's now?
dschiptsov 6 hours ago 0 replies      
What they did? Yet another interface wrapper to Stanford Core NLP for over hyped chat bots?
hackthisbird 9 hours ago 2 replies      
> It has been a long and fun journey.

Using the word "journey" is this context is rather... risky.


Linux on an 8-bit micro? (2012) dmitry.gr
3 points by bootload  9 minutes ago   3 comments top 2
bootload 1 minute ago 0 replies      
"It is common to see newbies asking in microcontroller forums if they can run Linux on their puny little 8-bit micro. The results are usually laughter..."

The reason why...

"uARM is certainly no speed demon. It takes about 2 hours to boot to bash prompt ("init=/bin/bash" kernel command line). Then 4 more hours to boot up the entire Ubuntu ("exec init" and then login)."

It is so slow. Btw if you ever ask about system compiles of Elm on RaspberryPi which requires Haskell, you'll get similar responses.

paulannesley 1 minute ago 1 reply      
Very cool (TL;DR: it's an ARM emulator for 8-bit AVR which can slowly boot Linux).Could do with a [2012] tag in the title.
The Free-Time Paradox in America theatlantic.com
204 points by jnordwick  11 hours ago   141 comments top 27
forrestbrazeal 10 hours ago 10 replies      
This article (in the tradition of Keynes) makes the implicit assumption that more leisure is good/brings happiness. (Hence the seeming paradox that rich people - those who should be able to afford more leisure - appear to work more.) I don't think that's true. There's a reason that retiring early is literally bad for your brain [0] - healthy adults are supposed to be engaged in productive activity. Whether productive activity means punching a clock, volunteering at a $nonprofit or striking out on your own, the point is that our minds and bodies need to be actively living, not just passively consuming.

If you view underemployed young people with lots of "free time" as trapped by leisure and cheap entertainment, the paradox goes away - they're not in an enviable position at all.

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/this-is-y...

chollida1 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I can think of a few other things the article doesn't touch on that influence me.

1) Once you become rich you also have a fair bit of say in what it is that you do. If you are an hourly worker stocking shelves at Walmart your autonomy is limited and the chance that boredom sets in is much higher than it might be for most white collar employees. Where white collar employee's is a proxy for rich.

2) An hourly worker can only grow their income linearly with the number of hours that they work. The rich often have huge leverage with the time they put in vs the amount of money they get out. Sales is one example of this, a hedge fund employee might be another case. This tends to favour the "you eat what you kill" type of compensation.

3) The people I know who become rich often do so not by diversification but typically from concentrating on one endeavor, typically a company. In this case the company tends to become a very large part of their life. They aren't always at their desk but they are always thinking about their company. Maybe this is just an offshoot of point 2).

jondubois 8 hours ago 5 replies      
When you get rich, your life becomes much more interesting - You get more opportunities and you get 'lucky' more often. Also, your work actually makes your feel good about yourself. In effect, life feels like a game; you actually get to win from time to time.

The richer you get, the more you win.

When you're poor, life is boring, nothing good ever happens to you and your work makes you feel like shit. The only time poor people feel good is when they're playing a computer game which simulates the feeling of 'winning' which they never get in real life.

Games are fun because they put you on a level playing field with other players - Your skills actually have an effect on outcomes.

grn 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The rich were meant to have the most leisure time. The working poor were meant to have the least.

Only in fairy tales. The conclusion in economic textbooks is always the same: if you're rich the opportunity cost of having a day off are _much_ higher so the more you can create in an hour the _less_ likely it is you'll have a day off. That's why CEOs of larger companies have assistants or, in case of mega corps, helicopters or planes.

Practical conclusion: if you're an independent professional schedule a fixed number in a year of weeks for vacations. If you plan for it you'd be less likely to hesitate than when making the decision on a week-by-week basis. (Said a person who had longer vacations about 5 years ago)

grellas 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I read this piece and was very saddened. Take it from someone who has been around a few more years than many others who contribute to this site. There is nothing good - long-term - about sitting around idle for extended periods. It kills your initiative. It kills your character. It kills your options in life. It kills your soul. I saw this happen to several people who were very close to me growing up and I still grieve at what they suffered in later years as the price paid for the extreme short cuts and high life of their youth. And this survey fact as reported in this piece - that is, of one in five non-college-educated young men in their twenties being so very much out of work for sustained periods - is not cause for celebration or for launching into philosophical discussions about the value of leisure in a developed society. It is instead a real tragedy, and I dont care how many survey participants check a box attesting that, for the moment, they can say they have had lots of fun doing pretty much nothing beyond partying and playing games over the past 12 months or more. I know that today it can often happen that there are very limited options in the workplace and this so-called leisure is really an enforced leisure not of peoples own choosing. But that does not mean we should rationalize this to say that, after all, they do seem to be satisfied in their leisure. That is nothing more than a superficial covering-up of a bad situation. It is decidedly unhealthy for the individuals involved and for society as a whole to have large numbers of young men involuntarily idled for sustained periods in this way (wasnt that what we used to call the Great Depression). Work is not an evil. It is a big part of how we grow and develop as people. It is a big part of how we negotiate life. Let us hope there comes a day ahead when enforced leisure is no longer a norm and the leisure people enjoy is of their own choosing.
ascendantlogic 10 hours ago 3 replies      
"narcotic undertow of cheap entertainment"

What a perfect way to describe the constant struggle I have with whittling away evenings drinking beer and playing Overwatch vs investing time in learning new skills or working on side hustles to generate additional income.

legitster 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I think what's missing is how much more engrossing higher paying jobs are. Working on processing lines or customer service, you completely check out mentally. I wouldn't have been able to bear the thought of working more than I have to.

But now I'm in the business world and much higher up the ladder. Work is incredibly engrossing. I love it. And the higher up I go, the more I get to pick and choose the kind of stuff I want to work on. Making more is just a special bonus on top of extreme interest in your field.

So I think the premise is pretty much right. People who love their careers do more of it. People who don't love their careers don't have to do as much of it.

tlb 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The author avoids an obvious arrow of causality: some people like work, which causes those people to work hard, which is more likely to make them rich.

There are lots of interacting causes and feedback loops around behavior and wealth. But trying to understand a subject while omitting an important arrow of causality can make anything seem like a paradox.

It's weirdly taboo in liberal American journalism to suggest that one's industriousness might be a major cause of one's economic status. Or maybe not so weird: journalists work hard and are terribly underpaid relative to their contribution to society, because the structure of the industry makes it hard to monetize.

WalterBright 10 hours ago 4 replies      
I remember coming home for Christmas/summer vacation while in college. I was good for about 10 days, enjoying my leisure. But then I wanted to get back to work. Leisure is boring.

The same thing happens when I go on vacation now. About 10 days, and I'm itching to get back to work. I have no interest whatsoever in retiring and puttering around doing meaningless tasks. I enjoy working, doing hard things, being in the fray, and most especially doing something productive that matters.

sien 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The article points out a possible interesting reason why crime dropped around 1990 all over the developed world.

"So, what are are these young, non-working men doing with their time? Three quarters of their additional leisure time is spent with video games, Hursts research has shown."

Perhaps 1990 was about the point when computer games got cheap enough and good enough to keep young men out of trouble.

tapp 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd add another factor the author did not mention: the market in which those "Elite U.S. men" compete is vastly more competitive than it was a generation ago.

I run a small technology business and have thought about ways to try and reduce the number of hours I work. One of the principal challenges is that every day I am fending off competition from offshore firms with lower cost structures and VC funded startups with resources to burn. That competition dictates a certain tempo whether I like it or not.

plandis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Honestly I feel like a lot of this is social. I'm motivated to go and work because my peers all do that to and it's been that way since I was a kid. People I knew in high school went to college. Now my college peers are getting jobs, etc...

Outside of work I play video games a lot because, honestly, nothing else seems worth doing. I'm already decent at video games so let's just keep doing that. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of these people avoid board games due to lack of friends and lack friends because being social is super hard when all of your time is spent on video games. It's a negative cycle that's hard to motivate yourself out of.

On the bright side it's a pretty frugally lifestyle (don't really go out, only vacations I take are staycations, no car, etc...) so I'd imagine that it's a decently sustainable lifestyle for those who don't work or rarely work.

narrator 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think gamer culture is a vast invisible swath of humanity. If you look at the communities on Twitch or YouTube around certain popular games, it's pretty clear that billions of human hours are poured into gaming.
octaveguin 10 hours ago 1 reply      
"entertainment has become an inferior good"

That's quite an interesting thing to say that is super true. Consumption of too much media is now a sign of low class status.

hprotagonist 10 hours ago 2 replies      
>A Salary of Smoke

Dont be too upset when you see the poor kicked around, and justice and right violated all over the place. Exploitation filters down from one petty official to another. Theres no end to it, and nothing can be done about it. But the good earth doesnt cheat anyoneeven a bad king is honestly served by a field.

The one who loves money is never satisfied with money,Nor the one who loves wealth with big profits. More smoke.

The more loot you get, the more looters show up.And what fun is thatto be robbed in broad daylight?

Hard and honest work earns a good nights sleep,Whether supper is beans or steak.But a rich mans belly gives him insomnia.

Heres a piece of bad luck Ive seen happen:A man hoards far more wealth than is good for himAnd then loses it all in a bad business deal.He fathered a child but hasnt a cent left to give him.He arrived naked from the womb of his mother;Hell leave in the same conditionwith nothing.This is bad luck, for surenaked he came, naked he went.So what was the point of working for a salary of smoke?All for a miserable life spent in the dark?

-- https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+5&...

scentoni 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Certainly part of the explanation of the paradox is that a great deal of what elites work on is (intentionally or not) finding ways to automate lower-skilled folks out of a job.
jnordwick 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I think there might also be a very strong correlation between being rich and doing what you love, especially has job opportunities and mobility have drastically increased in the last couple generations.

I don't know too many top 1 percenters that would say that would love what they do. Very few.

And I do know of many that would say they never really made it -- because independently wealthy -- until they found what they really loved to do: from going into a new field to opening up their own store that grew.

I think loving what you do has a lot to do with wanting to put in the effort to really getting paid back what you put in.

tuna-piano 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Economists have studied this kind of thing for a long time.

From Wikipedia: "In economics, a backward-bending supply curve of labour, or backward-bending labour supply curve, is a graphical device showing a situation in which as real, or inflation-corrected, wages increase beyond a certain level, people will substitute leisure (non-paid time) for paid worktime and so higher wages lead to an increase in the labour supply and so less labour-time being offered for sale.[1]

The "labour-leisure" tradeoff is the tradeoff faced by wage-earning human beings between the amount of time spent engaged in wage-paying work (assumed to be unpleasant) and satisfaction-generating unpaid time, which allows participation in "leisure" activities and the use of time to do necessary self-maintenance, such as sleep. The key to the tradeoff is a comparison between the wage received from each hour of working and the amount of satisfaction generated by the use of unpaid time.

Such a comparison generally means that a higher wage entices people to spend more time working for pay; the substitution effect implies a positively sloped labour supply curve. However, the backward-bending labour supply curve occurs when an even higher wage actually entices people to work less and consume more leisure or unpaid time"

Check out this Wikipedia page for further reading:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backward_bending_supply_curve_...

mark_l_watson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the bit about 4am being the most productive hour. I have always been a morning person and for most employers and customers I have worked early in the morning until mid-afternoon. Quiet time is golden.

As far as the main theme of the article: having more people idle is something society needs to adapt to. In the extreme of insufficient work, I would like to see a very low minimum income and a policy to promote breaking up jobs so people at least got 15 or so hours a week. Looking forward a decade, I bet there will be much less for people to work on.

smallnamespace 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This points out another issue with providing basic income -- while basic income is preferable to just letting people starve and probably better than expensive-to-administer welfare programs, it does not provide a substitute source for people's self worth.

For many people, getting paid is literally society's signal to them that what they do every day is worthwhile and necessary.

tuxrux 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I had the pleasure of studying under a prof that wrote about how this can be a not so good thing:http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674278714
ZenoArrow 10 hours ago 0 replies      
To me this is the key point...

> building wealth to them is a creative process, and the closest thing they have to fun.

When you put a lot of your effort into something, you become invested in it. It doesn't matter what it is. I'd suggest that past a certain point, the drive for greater material wealth is no longer about survival or comfort, but is instead about wealth as its own end goal. It's like grinding in an RPG, if you grind past a certain point the game itself becomes too easy, so the enjoyment changes to maxing out your stats just because you can.

hamiltonians 7 hours ago 0 replies      
til: people who are not working have a lot of free time

I guess the author has never heard of homelessness. instead of being homeless, or being forced to find work, young people are living with parents longer

squozzer 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some factors that might have a role --

1) Those who found companies, or who otherwise become rich through their work (e.g. pro athletes), as opposed to more passive ways to make money, in a way have a viewpoint similar to a feudal lord: The fiefdom called self has to be cultivated, protected and expanded.

2) Modern economics expands the sphere of success more easily than ever, through things such as branding or genre-crossing. E.g. Trump, Kanye, Michael Strahan.

3) The old-school rich indulged in a lot of leisure but also personally patronized a lot of culture. This doesn't seem to happen as much today, or if it does, more of it happens through foundations that probably free up time to generate more income.

tn13 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It is not "free time" that people want. It is "time to do what I want" is what we all want. For someone like Elon Musk running Tesla might be actually use of that free time.

For many of us writing code is the use of that free time.

On the other hand I can understand why unproductive people are unable to do much in USA. Most things are automated and minimum wages lock out people from mundane work.

drdrey 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't tell if "men" is used as a neutral pronoun in this story.

 > young men > lower-skilled men > non-working men > rudderless middle-aged men > elite men > poorer men > rich men > young non-college men

cocktailpeanuts 10 hours ago 4 replies      
I would like to tell the writer: "Cool story bro, nice job on all the research and kudos on your effort, but you're confusing the cause/effect."

It's not that "rich people work so much", it's that "people who work much tend to be rich".

Interoceptive Ability Predicts Survival on a London Trading Floor nature.com
34 points by marban  5 hours ago   15 comments top 7
Dwolb 4 hours ago 3 replies      
>We monitored these traders during a particularly volatile period (the tail end of the European sovereign debt crisis) so the performance of each trader reflected his ability to make money during periods of extreme uncertainty.

Shouldn't the market state be a pretty big experimental control?

If we're coming out of a downturn and the market is going up, on average anybody taking a financial risk would be rewarded for doing so.

It would be interesting to see the same group in a financial situation in which the market is at a peak and headed down. Are these traders who have greater interoceptive ability able to take the right risks since, on average, those who take on risk before a downturn lose money?

hiddencost 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh awesome. That is a word I've been looking for.

It lead me to http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v7/n2/full/nn0204-102.ht...

Which formalizes the directions I've started to think about, namely the connection and feedback loop between physical sensation and emotion.

Spooky23 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think that I've been able to observe a similar situation in my experience. I've had the fortune of being at the point of various crises in my career (massive system failures, natural disasters, man-made disasters, etc) in both contributor and leadership roles.

When in those type of situations, I definitely have perceived a heightened awareness, where the feeling is like being in the "zone". Decisions are easier, communications more fluid. I tend to be a more instinctual person in general, but these types of situations are far more pronounced.

tlb 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"Our results suggest that signals from the body ... contribute to success in the markets"

Does it suggest that physiological emotions help traders make good decisions? Or does it suggest that conscious awareness of physiological emotions helps traders compensate for gut biases and make more rational decisions?

malloryerik 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Cyborg trading experiments, anyone?

What happens if you combine physiological signals with machine learning to create an application that trades based on a human's "gut" along with other input, and perhaps historical data?

You can imagine a man vs man-machine competition where a trader's regular profit/loss is compared in real-time with the "enhanced" p/l.

What could be done if you network several traders' physiological signals and mix with machine learning and automated trading?

Is anyone doing this kind of frankentrading? Could even imagine going for scale with an Apple Watch physio-trading app :0

taspeotis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Related reading [1] starting at "Looking into traders' hearts."

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-19/tough-tar...

cbsmith 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to me like one could just as easily conclude that people who are generally more perceptive/aware would do better on the trading floor.
Markov Chain Monte Carlo Without the Bullshit (2015) jeremykun.com
48 points by sebg  2 hours ago   6 comments top 3
gaur 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I think it's a bit rich of the author to advertise a bullshit- or jargon-free explanation of MCMC and then launch into a litany of definitions and theorems about directed graphs.

In fact, when I am looking for "bullshit-free" explanations of statistics concepts, I am emphatically not looking for a resource that reads like lecture notes from a graph theory class.

j2kun 1 hour ago 1 reply      
jschlesser 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thank You, I agree that explanations for people that already know are close to worthless.
MoMA Will Make Thousands of Exhibition Images Available Online nytimes.com
40 points by prismatic  6 hours ago   7 comments top 5
kldaace 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's great that they're making these available, but I hope people don't use this as a substitute for actually going to the museum. Art is something best experienced in person. While a Jackson Pollock seems ridiculous on a computer screen, its scale and grandeur are something else in person.
lacker 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Finally, pg's original startup vision of putting art museums online is achieved!
minimaxir 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The dataset of all MoMA exhibition metadata is already public (https://github.com/MuseumofModernArt/collection) so this is a logical progression.
themartorana 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the dream of the internet making culture available to the masses. I've loved Google Art Project for a while, and news of more art coming online is fantastic. My wife is an art teacher and this kind of news makes her giddy.
douche 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They should.
Ghost Robotics' Minitaur Quadruped Conquers Stairs, Doors, Fences ieee.org
46 points by sohkamyung  6 hours ago   12 comments top 5
ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 3 replies      
That is super awesome and even more awesome when I read that those are direct drive motors. All the compliance is done in software. This is something I must spend some time playing with. That advent of these small brushless motors with insane amounts of torque makes all sort of things possible that weren't before.
tlb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Impressive to make it work with direct-drive actuators. The previous lowest gear ratio I know about was the MIT Cheetah, at 5.8:1. Detailed comparative analysis at http://biomimetics.mit.edu/research/optimal-actuator-design
jotux 3 hours ago 1 reply      
eggy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The door opening and fence climbing sequence were impressive. Did onboard video, CV and CPU result in being able to do the acrobatics trajectory to hit the door handle, or was it human operator driven?
_Adam 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is super cool. What motor does it use? I didn't know such a small, torquey direct drive actuator existed!
Employee #1: Dropbox themacro.com
302 points by craigcannon  14 hours ago   83 comments top 12
keithwhor 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I was lucky enough to hear this story almost verbatim from Aston and it's so exhilarating to listen to how much fun everybody seemed to be having. He tells it with a lot of enthusiasm that you can feel just from the depth of his responses.

I think the one thing that stuck with me, personally, is the issues Dropbox had in the early days (TC 50 tech issues) and that it took six months to get Aston on board. From what I understand, pre-YC was not easy for Drew either.

As a stubbornly impatient person, this has to be hands-down the hardest part of building a startup. You're running an endless marathon as if your life depended on it, and you have to stop at the sidelines and calmly ask people if they'll run with you. And then be okay if they don't - because the course will change, and as it does it will become more attractive to different sets of people. You might see the finish line, but you have to understand that not everybody will see it the same way you do.

The thing that I'd add here is that Aston kind of downplays how important having a business model is as an employee / founder (at least per Drew joking around about pricing). I don't think he did this intentionally, but generally we're over saturated with these ideas that you just need a product people love. These stories inspire technical founders, but having a defensible business is something you should think about sooner rather than later. Not everybody can be a Dropbox, so learn as much as possible about every aspect of what your company can and will be, learn how to communicate that, and stack the deck in your favor. It's an ongoing process and I certainly am not one to claim mastery (far from it), but as somebody who's in the weeds it's the perspective I have.

typetypetype 13 hours ago 6 replies      
> We were all using the product so when there was funny stuff we tended to catch it.

I love this. There have been so many times I've run into a bug that makes me wonder if anyone on the engineering team actually used the product.

doktrin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Aston is a class act. He volunteered to act as a mentor to students in a coding bootcamp I attended several years ago, and it was my privilege to meet him. He's the sort of person who is unequivocally a net positive in this world, and I wish him all manner of continued success.
huac 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"MIT is cheating. Going to MIT you end up getting to meet lots of people who are smart and fun to hang out with and youll get along with naturally. Its much harder after school."
dude_abides 13 hours ago 6 replies      
> But I ended up picking Mercurial for the distributed version control system, which we were definitely wrong on that oneshould have picked Git.

I'm curious to know: is this sentiment widely shared? Is git really that much better than hg?

pw 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone noticing from these interviews that a lot of first employees are kinda just randos that aren't very impressive in their own right and don't stay at the company very long?
webo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Ironically, Drew's YC application is stored in Google Docs: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27532820/app.html
_RPM 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Does Drew come from a privileged family?
vazamb 11 hours ago 1 reply      
A minor detail, but I am surprised about the whole "it was hard to figure out when someone moved a file" thing. I always assumed the actual file on disk was abstracted away into a database record, that specified the folder etc. Were they actually using S3 Bucket/Folders for file structure on Dropbox itself?
psawaya 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What a great interview. There's so much under-appreciated advice here, particularly around founder/idea fit.

I've been lucky enough to know Aston over the past two years, and have always been super impressed by his insight.

olantonan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome story
pensive_returns 11 hours ago 3 replies      
An interesting titbit Aston leaves out about his early days is that he was actually cofounder of AutoAdmit.com[0], a law school admissions forum, semi-notorious for its defamation lawsuits and being an incubator for troll, Michael O. Church[1] (banned on Quora, Wikipedia, and Hacker News for being a thorn in Paul Graham and Dan G, sides) that formed after the great Princeton Review Discussion Board exodus and has persisted with an active user base for almost 13 years now. I wonder if he's ashamed of that history since he fails to mention it (despite it being on his early resume!).

[0] http://www.autoadmit.com/[1] https://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/

Android Studio 2.2 android-developers.blogspot.com
65 points by dvdyzag  3 hours ago   49 comments top 6
kyriakos 2 hours ago 14 replies      
I tried many times to get into android development but everytime I get put off by the complexity of the api. The amount of digging in documentation you need to do in order to implement the simplest functionality scares me. Is anyone else feeling the same way? And does anyone know if it gets better with time or is it a constant struggle?
faitswulff 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I tried Android Studio around 2 years ago. Is the emulator any better? It used to bring my computer to its knees.
eggy 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I've dabbled in Android dev, but have always lagged due to not really liking Java. Android Studio was a pleasant experience for me when I tried it this year, and now that C/C++ NDK support is better in this release I am going to give it another go.

I almost feel like I should just go completely Android given the numbers of devices out there is overwhelming compared with Windows/iOS/OS X combined. I will keep up with my other PLs and things simply through osmosis. It's time to join the Borg!

namelezz 2 hours ago 2 replies      
C++ Code Editing & CMake Support. Been waiting for this. Love that android studio is getting better.
_RPM 2 hours ago 4 replies      
You need a pretty powerful machine to run Android Studio. It lags when I run it on my laptop with an i5 and 6 GB ram. I wonder if upgrading to a SSD will increase performance.
shadowmint 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yay, no more 'modern makefile' nonsense, the native stuff is now officially supporting cmake in their build workflow!


Like cmake or not, this is a really really great change for the whole workflow of using native plugins.

Learn to code writing a game codingame.com
76 points by chipz  7 hours ago   27 comments top 8
tsumnia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As one of the employers posted on a Reddit forum (https://www.reddit.com/r/InternetIsBeautiful/comments/53h2sl...), CodinGame is not really a "learn coding" style site. If anything it's a "reinforce what I know" site. You aren't 'learning' the concepts, nor are you learning 'game programming', you are practicing what you already know via a game format.

I once had a student that was taking my Java 2 (OOP concepts) course and was using CodinGame for "fun".

If anything, I believe CodinGame's business model is more on the recruitment side, as their tournaments often offer interviews with the sponsors.

rezashirazian 7 hours ago 7 replies      
I've always advised against being introduced to programming through game development.

As much as game development is appealing and fun, the process is complicated and requires advanced knowledge of some fairly complicated algorithms even for fairly trivial games.

Also you can find yourself spending hours shuffling sprites and designing levels which is time spent not learning programming.

Also engines like Unity provide a false sense of security when infact you have no idea what's going on behind the scene and when something goes wrong you don't know where to begin and end up discouraged.

Start slow, build your foundation, learn your bits and bytes, data structures and sorting algorithms first then venture out.

ivan_ah 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is by far the best-done "trick you into learning how to code" onboarding experience I've been exposed to. (I've tried many because I want to get some friends interested in coding)
robotcookies 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Personally, I think the best way to learn to code for someone who has talent for it is project Euler (projecteuler.net). No dependencies, no IDEs, no graphics and no gimmicks. Very short, clear, discrete problems that can be solved using any language.

If you really need shooting, explosions and fancy graphics to keep you motivated then I don't think programming as a career is for you. Most programming jobs aren't going to give you much of that. And frankly, I think all the wizz-bang graphics just interferes with your learning and getting good at visualizing in your own head what the code is doing.

PostOnce 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is possibly the best implementation of this type of thing I've ever seen ... and jeez look at the number of languages it supports.

And it doesn't take half a month to load/download. Neat. It seems fun even as a non-novice, just to learn other languages in a fun way.

keyle 5 hours ago 2 replies      
"getting noticed" ? As an indie game dev, I really don't make sense of that one.
emilioolivares 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is excellent! Thanks for building this. The onboarding is awesome, I was compelled to sign up after the walkthrough.
douche 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is actually quite fun to work through.
Companies and Billionaires docs.google.com
108 points by hackerews  9 hours ago   62 comments top 10
kens 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think most people don't realize just how much money the richest people have. People generally think of normal(ish) distributions like height, where if you're 10% taller or shorter than average, you're a tall or short person, and 40% taller makes you the tallest person in the world. In comparison, wealth has a very, very long tail, making it hard to visualize.

Here's what I've come up with to visualize wealth. Suppose you start counting, going up by 1 million dollars every second, and people sit down when you reach their net worth. Most people in the US will sit down immediately. After about 9 seconds, people in the "1%" will start sitting down. Mitt Romney would sit down after 4 minutes. Near the 17 minute mark, billionaires would start sitting down. Eric Schmidt would sit down around 2.8 hours. Finally, after nearly a day, Bill Gates would sit down.

The point of this is there's a huge range of billionaires (analogous to comparing 17 minutes to a day), and the 1% hardly even registers on this scale (like a few seconds).

kilroy123 7 hours ago 7 replies      
Nave question. The richest people in the world, who are billionaires from pretty much just stock. How do they convert that to real money to buy things?

Do they just simply wait until the stock is at a high point, and sell a lot? Maybe move that money to other investments?

davidf18 6 hours ago 1 reply      
#2, who owns Zara among other clothing brands, never completed high school, but Zara has brilliant ideas. No connections, I think he started as a messenger for the firm that he was to head. He's sounds like someone Malcolm Gladwell would write about.
idlewords 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand why the source of the Koch brothers' wealth is listed as "Diversified". They owe their fortune to petroleum.
rdlecler1 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Forbes missed Kimbal Musk. Looks like they need to add a wikisearch to their methods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimbal_Musk
imron 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In 20-30 years, Zuckerberg is going to be in a league of his own.
known 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Pyramid scheme
foundersgrid 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice work!

Quick q: How did you set Google Docs to display like that where no one can edit the widths of the columns?

kelukelugames 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How accurate is this? Asking because Trump not releasing tax returns made some news.
thecosas 7 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for the OP's username
The Math Inside the US Highway System betterexplained.com
84 points by skolos  9 hours ago   47 comments top 13
mikestew 7 hours ago 3 replies      
"However, the numbers follow a grid, with rules nobody told me."

I learned it from reading a state map about forty years ago. The legend succinctly explained the system. Without digging through a pile of paper maps, that might still be the case. Regardless, these rules are probably clearly documented from a simple web search, despite that no one has felt the need to "tell" the author what the rules are.

EDIT: "interstate numbering system" on DDG brings up the Wikipedia page as the first link, and that link explains it. There's no mystery here, though my query string does assume that one assumes a "system" to be explained.

And while I'm editing, state routes and U. S. Routes kind of follow the same pattern, especially the N/S and E/W designations. Would have to go search to verify other commonalities.

eggy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I was aware of most of this, but it segues nicely with my latest interest in Adam Adamatzky's research using the slime mold, Physarum polycephalum, in a form of bio-computing [1].

The demos where oatmeal flakes are placed on a highway map of major cities in various countries, and the Physarum optimize the paths in ways that closely resemble some of the existing major roads is compelling. I am holding out on how correlated it actually is given highways have developed not only from old horse paths and such, but from civic planning.

My daughter is a Chemistry/Bio major, and I have told her about this, and asked her advice on how I might go about doing this at home. It seems easy enough under controlled circumstances, and it it just seems fun checking in hours later for a 'result'!So much so, I ordered his book "Physarum Machines: Computers from Slime Mould".

[1] http://uncomp.uwe.ac.uk/adamatzky/research.html

Sanddancer 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There's another rule this one doesn't touch. Route numbers that are divisible by 5 are considered major routes, and with a few exceptions go from one geographical extreme to the other -- Interstate 5 goes from Canada to Mexico, Interstate 80 goes from San Francisco to New York.
GCA10 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll agree with @Mikestew that this is pretty familiar territory. But it did get me looking to see how well the original Interstate planners did, in terms of leaving unallocated numbers available for future expansion.

Surprise, surprise: regional economies expand at different rates, which forecasters don't always get right. It's not as messy as Social Security numbers or area codes, but there are definite pockets of congestion.

For example, the East-West corridors between I-80 and I-90 have been graced with more highways than expected. We've had to come up with two versions apiece of I-84, I-86 and I-88 in different parts of the country, along with one I-82. By contrast, there's been no East-West build-out whatsoever between I-30 and I-40.

More details are here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Interstate_Highways

chucksmash 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's always interesting to see what gets posted and upvoted. Growing up before people generally had access to the internet, (when you had to use a physical map to find places), I'd heard these particular tidbits repeated ad nauseum every time our family took a road trip.

I wonder:

a) is this new to anybody?

b) if so, what other tidbits of "everybody knows that" are fading into obscurity because of technology? (Surely you all remember how to reshoe a horse in a pinch at least?)

bbanyc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Some states (e.g., Indiana) have grids similar to the Interstate and US routes. Others have different systems: in Florida the first digit tells you roughly where in the state it is, from 1xx routes in the Panhandle to 9xx routes around Miami. And still others just assigned numbers in order of construction, so on a map it makes no sense at all.
maus42 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't call it very math-y, I'd call it a systematic numbering scheme.
ibmthrowaway218 8 hours ago 0 replies      
pklausler 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I-82 in Washington State is a glaring exception to the numbering convention, being located north of I-84. Are there other exceptions?
dsfyu404ed 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The US interstate numbering system is fairly common knowledge. Does it by itself really deserve a post here?
mindslight 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Metro Boston is a fantastic region with which to illustrate the flawless order of the highway system's numbering!
whybroke 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Except where the numbering is magical such as the renaming of hwy666 when some groups suddenly decided the number was satanic[1]


We have an epidemic of deeply flawed meta-analyses, says John Ioannidis retractionwatch.com
30 points by danso  6 hours ago   15 comments top 4
chongli 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Ahhh yes, the Ouroboros of Scientific Evidence [0] strikes again. Personal opinion trumps meta-analysis. Science! You were the chosen one! Seriously, read this essay on the topic by Scott Alexander. It might change your life.

[0] http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/04/28/the-control-group-is-ou...

carsongross 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The further Science, Inc. gets from the scientific method and independent verification, the more of a joke it becomes.

Vox Day (no endorsement) makes the distinction between scientistry and scientody, which I think is an increasingly useful one.

gopher2 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Soooo a meta-analysis of meta-analyses?
Ericson2314 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Until the incentives change in academia...
Guanxi wikipedia.org
94 points by 5partan  7 hours ago   71 comments top 13
hyh1048576 6 hours ago 3 replies      
As someone who was born and raised in China I just like to remind people that the real meaning of "guanxi" is a function of location and time. i.e. the real meaning of "guanxi" is different from 20 yrs ago to present, and the word has different meaning from small cities to big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, also it doesn't mean exactly the same thing from, say, southern China to north east China.

In general in big cities "guanxi" plays a smaller role, while in small cities especially the underdeveloped ones it plays a bigger role, to the extent that even doing some fairly trivial business (or even things like getting a passport or going to hospital) needs you to have some "guanxi". By "needs one to have some 'guanxi'" I mean it's not impossible for one to do without "guanxi" but it's just way smoother and faster if you know someone who can help. That's also one of the reasons people prefer to live in big cities. It's just more fair for young people without acquaintances in every possible field. On the other hand, parents are more familiar with "guanxi".

The existence of "guanxi" also makes people doubt if they have failed to lubricate some "guanxi" if they got rejected or failed for something (e.g. U.S. visa, or a reasonable exam) even if there are other reasons more likely to cause it.

"guanxi" sometimes even helps one to pass the test for driver's license, oh a big facepalm to road security...

(What I said above is not to confuse you guys, the wikipedia page is still worth reading though.)

tantalor 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Don Corleone: We have known each other many years, but this is the first time you've come to me for counsel or for help. I can't remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let's be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you feared to be in my debt.
lunaru 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For anyone confused and reading into it too much, it's really just a Chinese word for what is a universal behavior across all human societies.

When Elon buys SolarCity and the CEO is his cousin, that's guanxi.

When your boss gives a promotion to guy who plays golf with him, that's guanxi.

When you give your buddy a referral to a job because he helped you out with yours, that's guanxi.

It's a necessary social lubricant that also spawns nepotism, favoritism, cronyism, corruption, etc and can be found in every business large enough, especially the government.

And unlike what some posters seem to think, it's not a Chinese-only thing. It's a universal thing that has a Chinese word that nicely refers to it, and thus more recognized in Chinese society.

hueving 1 hour ago 0 replies      
>In 2013, a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) official criticised the government officials for using public funds of over 10,000 yuan for banquets. This totals to approximately 48 billion dollars worth of banquets per year.

Is it just me, or has the yuan significantly appreciated in value...?

girzel 4 hours ago 0 replies      
To what others have said here I'd add that, in my observation, the prevalence of guanxi is connected to a lack of fair, functioning, transparent social systems. You often need connections to get things done, because the existing systems (legal, administrative, etc) simply don't function. This could be anything from getting your kid into school, to being seen by a (competent) doctor, to protecting your company from frivolous, malicious legal action.

I know plenty of Chinese people who are highly annoyed or disgusted by the necessity of cultivating guanxi, but know that they're not going to get what they're after otherwise.

kev6168 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Extreme lack of trust between all entities (individuals and institutions) is the fundamental reason for the extreme guanxi phenomena in China. Practicing guanxi is for __survival__ in China, not merely for getting a better deal, as is often the case in developed countries. This is the difference those who have lived long enough both in China and other developed western countries can appreciate deeply.

Chinese often try to sugarcoat guanxi. But to put it bluntly, it is for law/rule breaking or law/rule bending favors to acquaintances. Only because the Chinese have practiced it for millenniums as a daily surviving activities, just as eating and sleeping, the Chinese have forgotten that it's an ugly way of life. Guanxi in China is not a shameful matter _at all_, but a proud and face-boosting accomplishment which is often boasted in meetings and banquets, on social networks, and announced publicly and proudly to anybody as a show of strength.

So, the absolute necessity of guanxi, the enormous amount of utilities, the glories associated with it, most people not grown up in China/Taiwan would find it impossible to play at China's extreme level.

What's the secret source to crack guanxi in China? IMHO, it is this: always remind yourself __the lack of trust is at the core of the Chinese society__, and deduce from there. Law and law enforcement are not trustful, so you need to have friends in the government. Business contracts are not to be trusted at all, so constant monitoring and vigilance are absolute necessary during the entire business interaction with your Chinese partner, even though the contract signing ceremony was attended by high level governmental officials and announced on national newspapers! Doctors and nurses will probably give sloppy or delayed treatment because they are expecting money and gifts from you or your relatives before they treat you, if they are not in your guanxi network, so always work on your network to include someone in hospitals. Don't trust the law to punish the bad doctors for such cruelty, there is no such thing. You get the picture. Now anybody still say it's similar in developed western countries? :)

So how to go about build guanxi in China? If you have overcome the unbearable loath on the whole matter and said to yourself, I am gonna play it all the way to fucking make it in China. My advice is, do what the Chinese do. The No.1 approach used by Chinese to build guanxi is to __inject fixed|irremovable elements into your relationship with someone__ if you want to guanxi that person. Such fixed|irremovable elements include things such as born in the same province, graduated from same school, served in the same division in the army, have worked in the same company(maybe at different time), related to each other by blood no matter how distant that is, basically anything that will not change for the rest of your life, and preferably the elements happened in the past, not recently, as history and time add a little seriousness and trustworthiness to it. In contrast, fickle things in relationships (in the eyes of the Chinese) are things such as your abilities and accomplishments, your credentials, social status, the promises made, member of the same club at this moment (this helps a bit but needed further enhancement), etc. Fire up your imagination and creativity to find out the fixed elements in guanxi, promote it, enhance it, and build from there.

anhtran 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This word in Vietnamese is `Quan h`. It's very close to China social. `Quan h` is important but you do not need to make a friend or a real relationship. For me it's just a little affected or cursory inside my mind.
gbraad 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Guanxi is a concept that most foreigners will never completely grok. It is not only about relationship. Most foreigners call it even the G-word when spoken about. It is different how we see relationships being maintained. There is a lot more play and rituals involved.

It differs how much it influences daily interactions, citywide or regionally. In Beijing it is noticeable in a lesser degree, but often is perceived by outsiders/foreigners as 'bribing' when a small present is involved.

Edit: I do not mean anything bad. I have lived in Beijing, China for many years (married to a Chinese). Just some foreigners have more difficulty to understand this (as the reasoning why they call it the G-word). I hate to call this a 'cultural difference', as I believe it is mostly related to misunderstanding. This is all due to a different upbring, in a different environment (and receiving a different sense of what is common). This can often lead to misunderstandings as people perceive the actions in the wrong way. It might help to have a look at Cultural Dimensions [https://docs.com/gerard-braad/1061/cultural-dimensions-asia]. This explains some of the things involved. Just a translating it to 'relationship' does not mean it has the same meaning. Many words and concepts are different between cultures. TL;DR It is definitely not the negative words mentioned below. Just 'smoothing' a relationship which seems beneficial should not be seen as brown-nosing. Above; hyh1048576 explained it very well. People blame themselves if they got rejected for something... others might judge them as saying they haven't put enough 'effort' into it. When the relation seems beneficial, they will try to do something to 'smoothing' the relationship. But as mentioned, in Beijing this happens in a much lesser degree but not invisible.

zem 6 hours ago 2 replies      
i grew up in dubai, which had the very similar concept of "wasta". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasta
RCortex 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Simple questions:

1) How do you build guanxi?

2) How do you maintain guanxi?

3) How is guanxi lost after it's been gained?

4) Give me an example with two people where one has far more guanxi than another. How are they treated differently by the third party they have guanxi with? (No direct familial relation)

userbinator 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's an example of how it works in practice to create a very different environment for tech:


ekianjo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Guanxiis written as , and in Japanese () this means connection/relationship in a broad sense. I don't see anything special to this word or very specific to China at all.
douche 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting, I wasn't aware of this meaning - just the geographical region and the post-Imperial Guangxi Clique warlord organizations[1]

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

Instant Payouts for Marketplaces stripe.com
148 points by krithix  13 hours ago   51 comments top 12
relaunched 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Everyone is learning that factoring is a very lucrative business. It's beautiful because 1.5% is an egregious rake that doesn't sound like much...until you do the math.

If you normally wait 30 days for your money, but you opt for next day pay for a 1.5% charge on your $100 dollars in receivables, what's the real cost? The provider earns $1.50 for 29 days worth of floating money on your behalf (you'd get in in 30, but you opt for it tomorrow for $1.50).

Now, let's say the company flips the same $98.50 12 times per year. That's earnings of $18 on $98.50, or 18.25% on the company's money...not bad. But wait. What if the company has a strong cash position and can finance the $98.50 at prime, at 90% of receivables (cause that or better is what strong companies can get). Well, then the company needs to borrow $88.65 for the year, at 3.5% per year (prime rate). The company pays $2.66 per year in interest, out of the $18, to earn $15.34 on their initial 10% of the $98.50. So, 1.5% quick pay actually yields the company 15.34 / 9.85 or 156% on their money.

156% isn't a bad ROI.

pyronite 12 hours ago 3 replies      
> Instant Payouts cost 1.5% of the payout amount, with a minimum fee of 50.

This is the killer for us and, I'm guessing, many other marketplaces without a Lyft-sized (20%) rake.

Our current solution for marketplace payouts charges one quarter per payout. The funds are direct deposited in the user's account the next business day. Maybe we have a sweet deal, but to go from this to 1.5%, in addition to Stripe's other (higher than average) fees, is hard to justify. (Which is unfortunate, we'd love to use their great libraries!)

caseyf 12 hours ago 3 replies      
This looked exciting at first, but I hadn't heard about "managed accounts" and they (understandably) shift the work to the platform/API user:

 Handling information requests: instead of requesting it directly from the account holder, Stripe will request information, such as a social security number or passport scan, from you. You must collect this information from the user and provide it to Stripe, otherwise Stripe may disable transfers to the account.

anaskar 10 hours ago 0 replies      
While this is exciting, this is not always a good thing.

Two years ago, we tried this at Homejoy as an incentives for the cleaners to get 5 stars.ie. If you get 5's on your appointment, we'll pay you out the same day. We did this manually via Stripe, of course.

Efficacy of the incentive aside (it didn't actually have an impact on 5s), we cut this program for two reasons:

1) Transaction cost, as many users pointed out

2) Unpredictability - most of the workers on our marketplace preferred the predictability of weekly or biweekly payouts, even if the size of those payouts varied. It's hard enough for people to manage personal finances on a regular schedule without the added headache of getting money instantly, or daily.

pw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the industry term for depositing via debit cards like this? And how, exactly, does it work?
derwiki 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Really excited to see this feature come to managed accounts on Stripe! Instant transfers are why I use Square Cash over Venmo.

A question for the Stripe engineers: does this mean we would instantly know if a transfer has failed? One of our biggest pain points right now is when a user enters incorrect account details, we transfer money to them, and the payment is reversed a week later.

And one other question: if we're using balanced transactions to take charges and use them to fund transfers, we still need to wait for the charge to settle right? So in that scenario, "instant" means 5-7 days instead of twice that?

vizzah 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know startups working on bringing Visa Direct / Mastercard MoneySend to us, developers, without all the financial / regulatory overhead? These are world-wide payments with huge potential, but I am struggling to find any offering on the market today. "Coming soon" mostly.. :(
devbug 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess Stripe is now offering short-term lines of credit and handling intra-bank settlement themselves? That or they're issuing a "refund" to do this instantly?
bamazizi 11 hours ago 1 reply      
1.5% additional cost to already high transaction fees is ridiculous!
intrasight 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I've no idea what they mean by "marketplace"
abalone 7 hours ago 1 reply      
1.5% with a $0.50 minimum is incredible gross margin on a debit transaction. All major debit card interchange is capped by regulation to just 0.05% + $0.22. Not sure what their fraud exposure is though.
omarchowdhury 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Braintree has a similar product, albeit not instant: https://www.braintreepayments.com/products-and-features/mark...
Cornell wants to drill 2-4mi underground for enhanced geothermal heating arstechnica.com
148 points by shawndumas  15 hours ago   120 comments top 16
TeMPOraL 13 hours ago 16 replies      
Almost everything we do that initially seems like a good idea stops being such when we start doing it at scale. Burning fuels wasn't a problem at the eve of the industrial revolution. I wonder what ecological issues will hit us globally as we scale up geothermal energy use. E.g. I've read somewhere that people putting too many ground-exchange heat pumps in a small area can cause problematic cooling of the ground. Right now it's probably only a problem for the energy efficiency of the pumps themselves, but as we scale up, I worry about unintended environmental consequences.

Wikipedia seems to have only basic numbers up:


The first sentence of that section says that "geothermal power is considered to be renewable because any projected heat extraction is small compared to the Earth's heat content." I'd like to see some estimates on how much of that heat content is available on the depths we're drilling down to (as opposed to the contents of the whole planet); and again, trees were a renewable resource too, before the industrial revolution.

baldfat 14 hours ago 6 replies      
We already have geothermal cooling in the northeast. The very rich in New England drill holes into the ground and send the house warm air into the ground at one hole and then return air for another hole. Works unbelievably well. I can't tell you why but it feels like cool mountain air and not just A/C.

I really hope this works. It could be a huge answer to LARGE areas that require heat.

jgamman 11 hours ago 1 reply      
NZ does a lot of geothermal so i know a little more about it than most but i'm no geologist. couple points - first, don't confuse depleting the ground water with depleting the heat. a lot of geothermal taps the heated groundwater and yes, you can screw that up by extracting more than is re-plenished. luck/geology is your guide for what the ratio is though. binary systems fare better as you pull the water out, suck off the heat and then inject the liquid back in. secondly, the big problem with geothermal is that the wells cost 10s of millions of dollars. the financial decisions far outway the technical ie, you have to spend $30-40M to get a well that's active upfront but it may take decades to get it paid back. hot dry wells are like throwing money into a pit and then paying someone else to burn it. if you're relatively small then you can eliminate this risk by running your own fluid up and down but remember these wells are only 20-30 cm in diameter. oh - and don't forget that if you mess it up, presurised ground water or mud will use your well to get through an impermeable rock layer and into an aquifer. there's some well head in Indonesia that's been pumping out cubic km's of hot mud for the last 20 years...
cossatot 14 hours ago 1 reply      
EGS is a very promising technology. Currently, geothermal energy is better considered hydrothermal energy as hot water in abundance is required to turn the turbines in generators, or by heating fluids w/ lower boiling points to turn the turbines. However, there are a lot more regions with sufficient heat but insufficient groundwater circulation (because they tend to be in relatively impermeable igneous rock, and often in arid regions) that EGS will unlock if it becomes competitively priced (which it should with more technological refinement).

One of the most advanced test sites is happening now by a joint DOE/University/private collaboration at Newberry Volcano west of Bend, OR http://www.newberrygeothermal.com/

I think there is a lot of room for investment here. Geothermal is, in general, a relatively safe, secure and environmentally friendly method of power generation (the biggest concerns are in dewatering hot springs, which are beloved if not held sacred by locals). EGS may potentially have some similar wastewater issues as fracking, although not to the same scale both due to smaller volume and the lack of a need for nasty surfactants to get organics to desorb from rock. But it's generally not viewed as a viable large-scale technology in the press or more superficial energy analyses.

gtvwill 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Man I wonder what drill rig they are using for the holes!? 2 to 4 mile is roughly what? 3 to 6.4 km or so. That's a mighty deep hole! I have worked as an offsider on a prototype deep hole surface core rig and our deepest were 1600 metres and they took ages to drill!(I heard stories of the rig drilling 2.5+ holes earlier in its life) The complications you start getting down hole at those depths are pretty weird,the ground can chew bits in 10 metres. Which then take 24 hours to change.

Also wonder what gauge the holes will be, I assume they will leave them cased with the rod string but christ they can't be planning to drill HQ that deep could they? Maybe even 8 inch for the first leg? Anyone seen anymore hardware details?

Edit :fix phones autocorrect.

fencepost 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds great, my biggest concern would be that it's basically the same mechanism as "fracking," but likely minus some of the more esoteric chemicals and the sand.

What are the chances of this having similar seismic impacts with the injection of water at those depths - is there already a significant amount of water down there so the net effect would be replacement of the increased volume of the system's interior? Is the nature of the area involved such that adding water is going to lubricate existing fault lines?

Part of the concern with this is whether we're going to start seeing a significant volume of earthquakes in areas where building codes don't and haven't traditionally required the kind of safety features found in more seismically active areas.

sfifs 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Asimov in his novels had Trantor, the planet girding capital city largely extracted it's energy from geo thermal sources. In his novels, they would bury heat exchange rods to tap this power.

Interesting to see this potentially close to fruition. Now if only all roofs, roads and windows could extract solar power...

WalterBright 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The ground below about 6 feet remains at a constant 55 degrees year round. If you make use of that as a heat source/sink, you can cut about 30% off of your HVAC bills. I wonder why more people don't do that, especially with new construction, when it can be installed cheaply.
test_pilot 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are living ecosystems underground too. Worms have been found at 1.4 km depth and microbes down to 3 km underground. We are probably destroying ecosystems we don't yet understand.
dirtyaura 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting! I just read about a Finnish geothermal project in which they are drilling two 7km (4.35 miles) deep holes to test feasibility of geothermal energy in areas which do not have naturally occurring geothermal sources close to ground level. It is a serious attempt to produce geothermal energy, and made possible by recent advantages in drilling techniques. They have now reached a depth of roughly 3.5 km.

There's not that much about the project in English, though. Here is a short video interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n853GBQocC4 and a short article http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/finnish-40-mw-district-heating...

realkitkat 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There are similar (research) projects going on in Europe as well. One in Finland is also drilling to get about 4 miles deep[1]. I believe some recent news (that I couldn't find) have said that the project has been progressing ok.

URL: http://www.st1.eu/news/st1s-geothermal-heating-project-appro...

mrfusion 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I predict once we have lasers powerful enough to do laser drilling then This will really take off. You'd just be paying the cost of electricity to drill and if the laser is in orbit you could quickly drill power plants all over the earth.

I'd be curious how much power is required to vaporize soil and rock.

tn13 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This might be an incredible way to generate cheap energy. I lived in a remote location called Manikaran in Himalayas in India. It is a small town with limited resources but has an incredibly hot water spring. The locals have built pipelines that connect all major establishment with this boiling hot water which is then used to cook, soak and simply bath or heat up rooms.

The motel like place I stayed in had created an exposed pipe network in the room which emitted heat from this water. Don't want heat ? Just close the tap. Less heat turn the tap a little bit :D

ufmace 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For a little background on geothermal, keep in mind that while the amount of energy stored in heat within the Earth is indeed vast, it's also extremely hard to make use of generally.

One of the things that I find interesting about physical science is how many similarities there are between things that flow of very different types. In this way, making power from heat is very much like making power from water. We cannot make power from water just sitting around somewhere, no matter how high or low; we can only make power by allowing it to flow from somewhere high to somewhere low and tapping that flow. And for practical purposes, we need flow that has a certain minimum pressure and volume to be able to convert it electrical power in a cost-effective way.

Heat works the same way. There may be a tremendous amount of energy in something very hot, but the only way to use it, convert it into power, is to allow it to flow to somewhere cooler, and tap that flow in a way similar in concept to a water turbine. And just like the water turbine, the heat flow must have a certain temperature difference and rate of flow to be converted into electrical power in a cost-effective way.

Unfortunately, geothermal is terrible at this over most of the Earth's surface. The heat gradient between the hot lower levels of the crust and the surface is so long and gradual that it's effectively impossible to make electrical power from it. It's kind of like trying to extract energy from a flowing stream that's thousands of miles wide, but only a centimeter deep and flowing at barely a trickle. The total amount of energy associated with that flow is enormous, but it's so diffuse that it's difficult to tap.

Note that these guys are planning to use it for heating buildings. That's much easier, as water coming out at 120-150 degrees F is perfectly fine for that. It could potentially save a bunch of energy versus electrical or gas heating, assuming they can pipe it around without losing too much heat. But making electricity effectively requires getting the water hot enough at moderately high pressure to make steam to turn a turbine with. You can play games with exotic working fluids and such to try and get something from lower temperature differences, but it's probably impossible to run a plant at market electricity rates like that.

If we ever want to make really big amounts of energy from geothermal, I haven't really run the numbers on it, but I suspect we'd need to tap into heat below the actual crust, just to get the heat replenishment rate from the mantle high enough. We'd definitely need to be able to drill and maintain holes that deep, and then run some sort of working fluid down to the bottom, let it pick up heat at a multi-gigawatt rate, then pipe it back up to the surface without losing too much of the heat. If we ever figure out how to do that, then we'll have essentially all the power we could ever use in about the safest and least-interfering way I can imagine.

dimino 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you have to get permission when you do things to the planet as a whole? Who would grant that permission?

For example, what if I wanted to modify the atmosphere for an experiment I'm running, who do I talk to about that?

csense 13 hours ago 4 replies      
What happens if they delve too greedily and too deep?
House panel looking into Reddit post about Clinton's email server thehill.com
366 points by monochromatic  6 hours ago   338 comments top 26
xenadu02 6 hours ago 9 replies      
> "As a PST file or exported MSG files, this could be done though, yes?> The issue is that these emails involve the private email address of someone you'd recognize, and we're trying to replace it with a placeholder address as to not expose it."

From the way it reads it looks like he is asking how to bulk remove an email address from the archived messages so when they are turned over they don't contain the redacted email address.

I assume it would be embarrassing and/or problematic to share the email addresses of various ambassadors and other government officials in public records. You could also read something nefarious into it if you want.

This whole fishing expedition is hilarious and transparently political. The Bush administration ran private email servers to avoid FOIA requests, then nuked millions of saved emails when his term was up to avoid handing them over. I didn't see any huge circus or massive outcry about that.

The idea that we should be able to immediately read all the correspondence written by any public official also seems silly... it just encourages public officials not to use email. People are allowed to have private conversations. A reasonable compromise might be a time limit... say emails are held sealed for X years after leaving office, then made public?

jimmywanger 6 hours ago 8 replies      
The actual facts aside, this makes her appear far less electable, as her campaign camp looks like it's being run by a bunch of clowns.

Just from a PR perspective, this could not have come at a worse time.

The collapse at the 9/11 memorial, the "basket of deplorables", and the mention of the Pepe meme on her official website. Right after a couple of muslim terror attacks, some evidence surfaces purporting that she tried to cover up email indiscretions?

Most people do believe that where there's smoke, there's fire. And this cluster of events can't be good.

danso 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The r/conspiracy thread where things unfolded: https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/53fw9x/bleachbi...

One of several archived copies of the r/exchangeserver thread, "Remove or replace to/from address on archived emails?" (the user stonetear deleted his account during the r/conspiracy thread): http://archive.is/FXcao

syphilis2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The US News and World Report article is also a nice primer on this issue. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-19/paul-combetta...

I have not seen this reported on by any major US news media. (FOX, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS) Other than The Hill, US News, various right-wing sources, and VICE I don't see anyone writing about this. It reminds me of the first hour or two after Hillary's episode at the 9/11 event where the only major news source reporting was Fox News.

Is this something people are interested in? Is there an obligation to report on this nationally?

protomyth 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Regardless of your politics or beliefs of what happened, I think a simple bit of advice is truth:

If you are going to run an e-mail server in difficult circumstances then hire a System Administrator who does not need to post obviously problematic questions to Reddit.

Mendenhall 6 hours ago 3 replies      
What amazes me besides him using familiar handle is that even after the investigation he left all those reddit posts up. Then he decides to try and delete them now after they are found.
iamdave 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This is interesting. I was up drinking beer with a friend until 5am this morning talking about the very phenomenon of breaking news coming from social media and sites such as Reddit. He pointed to the Boston bombing and Dallas shooter situations as reasons why the press should "just ignore" social media; his entire argument boiled down to 'bad data exists along side good data, therefore throw it all out"

I didn't necessarily disagree that there are moments where we got it wrong, for sure. I tried arguing that using those events as a point of reference for insulating journalism a bit better was probably a good idea; you know "first step to overcoming a problem is admitting you have one" and he was having none of it. Maybe this story will do the trick.

Really curious to see where this goes taking some points from that debate.

stonetear 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is what I get for not logging out of reddit at work.
ksubedi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I got this from reddit but someone made a wordpress page with 4 years of his account history : https://paulcombetta.wordpress.com
CptJamesCook 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Reddit message was sent on July 23, 2014, according to an archive of the page saved by other users. The day before, the Benghazi Committee had reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of related records"
jlj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Combetta appeared under subpoena in a committee hearing last week on the alleged destruction of evidence, but both he and colleague Bill Thornton exercised their Fifth Amendment right not to testify."

Actually it's the Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination.

carsongross 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Reddit and the chans: the journalists we need, but not the ones we deserve.
mark_l_watson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I am getting even unhappier with the democratic national committee ranking members who did what they could to sabotage Sander's run for the nomination. Just my opinion, but as a democrat I think Sanders would have such an easier time winning the general election. I would like to see a major magazine do a "public shaming" article on the leading DNC actors who acted unfairly and non-ethically. I would like history to trash these people because they deserve it.
gjolund 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty huge. It establishes intent.
DigitalSea 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Even with proof, nothing will come of this. Sadly it seems the rules are different for anyone in power to get away with questionable choices and decisions. It has to be more than coincidental that Hillary Clinton has this much controversy surrounding her, some might say it's just conspiracy theory fodder, but let's be honest: she has obviously done some shady things, to the point where they can't even be adequately covered up anymore.

I don't want Clinton or Trump to be the next POTUS. I think they're both inadequate for the position.

Normal_gaussian 6 hours ago 0 replies      

Does anyone know if there is any form of signing the outlook data exports / live datastore that would prevent easy external programmatic replacement?

bpchaps 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend that many others use FOIA to gather communication records of their elected officials.

About a month ago I received this pdf [1] (1700+ pages of email records) of Chicago's office of the mayor after about three months of resistance. Prior to that, it took a year and a half and a law suit to receive one week's worth of Chicago's mayor's logs [2] through Chicago's IT department. To my knowledge, prior to this work, records in volume have been impossible to get due to asinine rejections. The amount or resistance (and holy shit was there a lot) led me to run several chains of FOIA requests to gather bulk communication records.

Of note in the call records are many private investigator calls. I haven't had much chance to go through the email records and could use some help if anybody's interested.

[1] https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/oFwvr/fi-29853345-5f15-4...[2] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hgG79eIr8MbkjYrCvcTR... (four, mostly unstructured sheets)

alecco 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The original HN post got flagged and removed from HN homepage.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12533757 250 points (more than this post at the moment)

peteretep 6 hours ago 5 replies      

 > Citation needed if you're > going to "correct the record."
This is not Reddit, and it is not a place for accusing people of being paid shills. Please desist.

takeda 6 hours ago 3 replies      
And she still will be elected, because this year we had to have joke candidates on both sides. I guess it's probably the best time to vote 3rd party.
Dagwoodie 5 hours ago 5 replies      
I have yet to see a single example of Trump's racism. It's an oft repeated cliche that has yet to be demonstrated by anyone. As much of a "clown" as trump might be, half of his labels are completely pulled out of thin air.
wNk6A23YB 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course they are. The House Kangaroo Court caucus is so out of ideas they're indulging the Alex Jones set. At some point the US government needs to look into recouping the costs of all this frivolous investigation from the Republican party or the congressmen themselves.
PKop 5 hours ago 1 reply      
You're literally repeating clinton talking points. Do you think you're contributing to the discussion amongst people that in no way believe any of the garbage you just wrote?
throwaway2016b 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Meanwhile there is a picture of Hillary embracing a KKK member that the corrupt media refuses to mention. The kingmakers don't give a good goddamn about racism, except as a convenient narrative for purges. The 21st century equivalent of accusations of communism.



It is almost impossible to imagine the United States Senate without Robert Byrd. He was not just its longest serving member, he was its heart and soul. From my first day in the Senate, I sought out his guidance, and he was always generous with his time and his wisdom. -- Hillary Clinton

CamperBob2 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Long-shot speculation: I wonder if the Democrats have decided that Hillary is going to lose against Trump. Maybe they, and not the GOP, are throwing her under a very fast bus.

Does anyone know what happens in the unlikely event that Clinton is placed under indictment before the election? Does Kaine move up the ticket? Does the DNC pick someone else entirely? What options do the electors have?

colemickens 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Computer Vision: On the Way to Seeing More nytimes.com
27 points by dnetesn  5 hours ago   1 comment top
mpolichette 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I'm pretty impressed Some of those I don't even know how I would describe...

"A woman's foot on a pink spiky floor"

Why Successful Games in China Rarely Obtain the Equivalent Success in the West gamasutra.com
31 points by douche  8 hours ago   34 comments top 8
idra 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Easy answer: because they suck.

Players in China are used to outright horrible software (QQ, Qihoo 360, and in fact the majority of Chinese-produced software installed on a Windows computer of a typical user), bland repetitive art, bugs, grinding and paying to win.

A strong nationalistic sentiment makes Chinese players favour games based on their culture and history, which is mostly unknown outside of China because of how closed the country has been for centuries and the "foreign barbarians can't possibly understand our culture" attitude. In addition, the content is usually limited to the Four Great Classical Novels because that's the only thing a Chinese layman is familiar with. But also, due to censorship, it is impossible to use more interesting settings without getting unwanted attention from the government. A recent development in censorship is [1], which bans the use of Traditional Chinese characters (as opposed to the simplified ones in use after the Communist Party takeover and which are in use in all Chinese-speaking countries outside the PRC) and English words.

Combined with a large potential player base and lack of foreign competition, even the most atrocious abomination of a game can make some money in the internal market.

[1] https://www.techinasia.com/mobile-game-devs-pissed-chinas-ce...

xiaoma 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This ignores the elephant in the room: international competition. Top western games such as World of Warcraft have done extremely well in China without having to rewrite the stories or change their artwork.

A huge issue is that the Chinese gaming companies are accustomed to very little international competition for Chinese themed games and in the last five years or so, limited competition at all. It's similar to how Youku thrived in China (especially after YouTube got blocked) but can't compete internationally. Winning in China and successfully entering a market where US and Japanese game companies are unrestrained are two very different challenges.

pjlegato 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
So why have Japanese games been so extremely successful in the west? They suffer from all of the same supposed drawbacks, which were even more marked during their period of peak success in the 1980s and 1990s -- think Super Mario Brothers, Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter II.

These games, all huge successes in Japan and in the west, have all the issues described -- radically different art styles, very different pacing, and complex and unfamiliar user interfaces compared to what westerners were used to. Even worse, during that period, Japanese games got little if any localization for the US and European markets, beyond hastily done and poorly proofread translations of the text.

So what's different about Japanese games?

bottled_poe 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This article makes some very broad statements without any examples to back them up. Much like this comment.
yakult 5 hours ago 1 reply      
>For example, some female characters in game from China show too much skin to be appealing, which would be offensive to both female and male players in the West.

Oh the many ironies. Things have truly come full circle.

runeblaze 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The first paragraph of the "Art Style" section seems like overstatement to me. Chinese seem to accept western styles just fine (WoW for example), so I just do not think art is really worth putting as the first section along with more important design decisions like world background.

The image caption "Popular Art Style among Game Players in China" could be much better phrased as "The Art Style of popular Chinese games" imo. The original caption gives the impression that the art style led to popularity, which is not true: it is probably because the settings of these game, of ancient China, fill a niche that few foreign competitors are interested in.

Animats 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The note that games in China have a more complex UI is interesting. Is this for PCs, consoles, or mobiles? Since computing in China tends to be mobile-first, I would have expected simplified touchscreen-type interfaces.

Here's a recent Chinese kung-fu movie, (mainland, not Hong Kong) fully approved by the government and Party.[1] This has a game-like look to it. It's a sense of the style expected. Even though this is set present-day, it looks like a historical drama.

[1] http://www.gooddrama.to/chinese-movie/the-bodyguard-movie

johngalt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Koei has had no problem making games set in the three kingdoms period. Romance of the three kingdoms is a great series. So is Dynasty warriors.
A Theory of Creepiness aeon.co
41 points by pepys  5 hours ago   23 comments top 6
Jerry2 3 hours ago 7 replies      
I found this essay interesting:

>Its not creepy if hes hot. I freely admit it. When a very attractive stranger approaches me and tells me Im beautiful, it brightens my day. When a guy who is short, fat or balding does it, it makes my skin crawl no matter how tactful he is about it. I just want him to go away. Im not alone in feeling this way. Most women feel the same, but hide the true extent of it when the guys are around.


wincy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it's really naive to brush aside the fact that almost all women elicited thoughts of men as being creepy. Women are scared of being raped or worse happening to them, and they're constantly on the lookout for it. This has nothing to do with "categorization", and everything to do with "potentially dangerous".

Being afraid of a creepy guy who won't leave you alone is very different than being creeped out by a clown or an abandoned building.

jshevek 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> a peculiar smile; having greasy or unkempt hair, bulging eyes, abnormally long fingers, very pale skin or bags under the eyes.

Did Steve Buscemi help define creepiness for the polled group, or did he hit a genetic jackpot of pre-existing ideas of creepiness? (Or both?)

Edit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Buscemi

sargun 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I was hoping that the article would explain the increase in the popularity of 'creepy':


wallflower 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've developed my own thoughts about creepiness, since coming across as creepy is one of my biggest fears.

1) The theory of mirror neurons. This theory states that if you are nervous, the other person will pick up on it subconsciously. As the article states, false confidence, even if you try your best to hide it, will come across as a barely disguised nervousness.


One of the things that I've observed while watching some pick-up artists practice is that those who eventually become "successful" are basically asking nothing of those who approach. They don't fear rejection. In fact, they can be quite entertaining and good listeners. However, for most of these individuals, they probably had to go through a lot of rejections to get to the point where they didn't honestly care what the reaction was.

2) The hover zone/kill zone

Commonly used in pick-up artist terminology. This is easily described as wanting to talk to a specific individual, even approaching within several feet, yet not doing it. I know we've all done this, at some point, at a bar or even at a friend's party. You know the person knows that you are interested in them.

3) Reciprocity

In one of Pedro Almodovar's movies, in the director's commentary on the DVD, there is a man in a woman's apartment who is looking through his host's stuff. The director makes a statement along the lines that "liking without reciprocity" makes it stalking (or worse).

In the very rare times, where a woman who has explicitly hit on me, asking lots of questions, showing interest that is out of norm with the pace of conversation (e.g. we just met), I can attest that it feels creepy as in (What have I done to make you so interested?). In more common circumstances, I recall people who are seemingly interested in you but quickly steer the conversation to something like network marketing.

Given these factors, what can be done to not come across as creepy?

First, don't hover. Talk to someone right away, even if it just a quick introduction.

Second, being quiet can actively work against you in most social situations. Especially when you are meeting new people. To this day, I can be enjoying a party by meeting new people in a group and listening to their stories and (usually) extroverts will ask if "are you having a good time?". Even if I am, it doesn't outwardly show, at least in the manner they'd expect.

Third, the answer may lie in being mindful of reciprocity. For example, talking to a cute individual, what is it about him/her/they that you find interesting (that is not related to something she cannot easily change, like her looks).

When I've talked to my good looking friend girls, they basically say they have to ignore all the attention/cat calls when they walk down the street.

Fourth, to escape the friend zone, you have to make it explicitly clear that you are interested in someone romantically and tell them why. Asking someone out to coffee to talk about their job v. asking someone out to a picnic because you like them.

One last side note - if you walk into a party with a couple good looking friends (male or female), people will automatically ascribe a higher status to you, whether you care to agree with the theory and practice of social proof or not.

RodericDay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thinking about movie stereotypes about ie: people who collect hair, I think a distinction should be made between those described as merely "scary" and those described as "creepy".

Take a horror movie. If said collector is a recluse who's history nobody knows about, they're described as scary. If they're out and about, visiting neighbors, trying to relate and engage with people, they are much more likely to be described as creepy.

As such, bringing it back to everyday behavior, I think the critical aspect that determines whether something is creepy or not is whether there is a mismatch between what the person is explicitly informing they want to do (be a friendly neighbor), and whether the person on the receiving end suspects there are ulterior motives (they want to collect hair).

Venture capital is a hell of a drug techcrunch.com
99 points by tedmiston  14 hours ago   43 comments top 4
lsc 7 hours ago 5 replies      
My own experience is that the big risk that I did not account for, as a founder without venture backing, is that you become ramen profitable and just sit there for a decade.

This is hugely destructive for the founder in question. If you don't have vc baking and you don't sell to a big name? Looking for a job after running a business with a gross of a few hundred thousand a year is just not the same as looking for a job after working for one of the big valley companies. I mean I exaggerate and say that employers treat me like I was unemployed, and it is not that bad, but compared to working for large companies with reputations for hiring good people, running an unfunded, ramen profitable company looks pretty bad on your resume.

I would argue that vc mitigates a lot of these risks. First, you have a name, a reputation to put on your reputation. Second, the bit about get big or get dead? In many cases, that is as good for the founder as for the vc. You are way less likely to end up starting your career over when the thing fails, both because of the reputation factor and because either you got big (which is good for the career even if the company gets dead before you can cash out) or you got dead fairly quickly, and have less time to explain away.

AndrewKemendo 10 hours ago 5 replies      
This all makes sense, if your only goal as a founder is to get rich.

I can only speak for myself, but to me, getting individually rich is not the goal. Having a quick exit isn't the goal.

The goal is to make a huge company that shifts the way people behave in a way that I think will make them better off and "build a world I want to live in."

The reality is, for big moonshot things (AI, Nano, Genetics, AR), you can't bootstrap them with revenues - you need a shitload of high risk money to build, grow & scale. That's what Venture money is for.

If you get venture money, make some waves and flame out or acquihire before the unicorn exit and see it as a loss, then I don't really know what you were working for. Think about it like a PhD on steroids - if you do it right, no matter the long term outcome you are making a dent in the market.

tedmiston 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The author talks about why founders should be more critical about taking venture capital, and how it polarizes the possible outcomes of the company.

I think Eric put together a strong piece that missed commentary from being published on Friday.

DavidSJ 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Viewed probabilistically, the most likely positive exit for a startup is an acquisition for less than $50 million. This outcome has little benefit to VCs, and they will happily trade it for an improbable shot at a higher outcome.

Am I misunderstanding something, or is the author asserting that VCs regularly make the sunk cost fallacy?

Learn Python Programming askpython.com
79 points by mgalarny  8 hours ago   27 comments top 6
sidlls 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This is definitely a very soft introduction for beginners to both Python and programming in my opinion. I didn't go past the first two exercise groups.

I would omit the remarks at the beginning about 2 vs. 3 compatibility. Not only is it wrong as an absolute, it doesn't add value to the tutorials. The audience this is appropriate for is unlikely to care or even understand. Simply link directly to the Python 3 version to download.

0xmohit 4 hours ago 3 replies      
One is left with very little doubt about the quality of such resources, when you see examples like [0]:

 def sum(list): sum = 0 for l in list: sum = sum + l return sum mylist = [1,2,3,4,5] print(sum(mylist))
Hint: Observe the name of (1) the function, (2) the parameter therein.

[0] http://askpython.com/functions/

jdeisenberg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems very short on explanation. I believe that "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist" (http://interactivepython.org/runestone/static/thinkcspy/toc....) gives better explanation plus allows testing code in the browser.
teach 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd argue that this isn't especially "for beginners". I know I'm a special case, but you cover more concepts in 18 exercises than I cover in my entire first book (Learn Java the Hard Way; 58 exercises and 250 pages).

Maybe people who already know how to code in other languages but are just trying to Learn Python?

denfromufa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I started learning python mostly by going through Google lectures by Nick Parlante:


Google Code Jam is very helpful if you like algorithmic programming.

One of the nicest things about python is rich libraries for daily mundane GUI automation: pyautogui, pyhooks, pywinauto, sikuli, etc.

JacquesUndocked 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Affiliate links pretending to be a useful site. No "About Us" on the site and Whois information blocked by 3rd party service. So much web noise making a fast buck instead of producing a real product or service.
The '80s Public Access Films Produced by a California UFO Cult atlasobscura.com
57 points by prismatic  12 hours ago   17 comments top 6
Animats 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The USAF set up a sizable UFO detection network in the 1980s, called GEODSS, the Ground-based_Electro-Optical_Deep_Space_Surveillance System. It's a set of pairs of large (40-inch) computerized telescopes which watch the sky automatically. The system has a star catalog and knows what should normally be visible. This includes noticing dark objects which occlude stars. It was intended to look for USSR satellites and space debris, but it can detect just about anything in near-Earth space. There are three active installations of this system. Most near-earth asteroid detections come from a former GEODSS station now operated by MIT's Lincoln Labs.

Unlike most astronomical telescopes, the GEODSS stations have a pair of telescopes some distance apart, under common control. They can range near-earth objects by parallax. One of the less-publicized features of the system is that one of the telescopes has a laser, so dark targets can be illuminated.

(In my aerospace days, the specs for this system crossed my desk. Our company had bid on the system, but lost.)

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

dcmininni 11 hours ago 4 replies      
The person interviewed in the article downplays the dangers of cults in general, without really talking about any of there activities aside from the films (which are the focal point of the article). Just saying kids, many cults are dangerous and many do a real good job seeming innocuous . Look up the BITE model, learn it and recognize it. https://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/BITE/bitemodel.php
gscott 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Unarius is located in El Cajon, CA I drive by there business building pretty often. In the yearly local mother goose parade this is the car they drive


justbees 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I watched a documentary about this group a couple of years ago. I don't remember the film itself very well, but the story is interesting and the videos that the group makes are something else! I'm pretty fascinated by cults in general, probably because I tend to not want to join things.


blhack 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anybody see a place to watch these films? I would absolutely love to see these.
Animats 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Mandatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1235/
Announcing 10x donation matching on Watsi watsi.org
102 points by chaseadam17  13 hours ago   26 comments top 8
nilstycho 8 hours ago 2 replies      
See also: Why you shouldnt let donation matching affect your giving at GiveWell. (http://blog.givewell.org/2011/12/15/why-you-shouldnt-let-don...)
brianbreslin 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the idea of Watsi. I do wish they would, tastefully of course, take a page from CharityWater's playbook and highlight better the impact your money creates. Also is it like charity water in which my donation goes to the cause 100%? or are the funds going to support watsi ops? (I'm ok with either, but would prefer transparency this day in age).The donate a birthday Idea could be pushed further. I've given up my birthday a bunch on charity water, raised thousands that way. I'd like to see "I'm giving up my birthday so we can get Maria in honduras a new kidney" or something along those lines.

anyway sorry for the rant.

koolba 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there a cap to this? For example, the first $100K will be matched 10x?

Also, is the match monthly or all at once?

tedmiston 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's awesome when platforms can increase the effectiveness of our donations like this.

By the way, if anyone is looking to support teachers through small donations, DonorsChoose (https://www.donorschoose.org) does matching opportunities like this regularly. They fund classroom projects, not health issues, but I think the satisfaction and rationale for supporting are similar. The most recent match was backed by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

opendomain 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I LOVE Watsi - 100% of my donation goes directly to help people.

Is this only for new donors? I am already a universal fund donor, but may consider making a new account for my 'friend' to get the match donation.

WhitneyLand 7 hours ago 1 reply      
No emotion on the home page. Would be nice to immediately see a real person that could be helped. Not sally struthers style melodrama but some connection. Some example of the good that will happen.
liber8 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Can the monthly donation amount be lowered in the future?
orvado 11 hours ago 4 replies      
What if they have a 90% administration fee... all that matching could go right back into the charity. This would effectively make it 0% matching.

Also, the matching could be prorated over the next 100 years. This company has only been around for 3 years and doesn't have a profile on Charity Navigator yet. I will give it some more time.

Why Im Investing $500M in Migrants wsj.com
47 points by magsafe  1 hour ago   49 comments top 14
rdtsc 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Heh, I just made a joke in another thread about how I like to imagine sometimes people like Soros are actually hidden ultra-conservatives. They promote pro-immigration policies because it is the most robust way to turn West Europeans towards conservatism and nationalism.

If one indeed wanted to achieve that goal, I couldn't think of a faster way.

At this rate, we'll probably see walls built in Europe before we see Trump's wall over here.

redsummer 59 minutes ago 4 replies      
Soros is directly responsible for massive increases in rape in Germany and Sweden, as well as encouraging terrorism in the west with his compulsive promotion of immigration of unsuitable people.

It's noticeable that he does not promote Syrian immigration to Israel, which is next door and has taken in zero refugees, and instead uses all of his resources to force Western countries to accept thousands of young unaccompanied men with violent backgrounds.

Inconel 1 hour ago 3 replies      
At the risk of sounding overly cynical, while it's great that Mr. Soros is donating this money to a worthy cause, I wonder if, as long as he's feeling charitable, he might also be willing to stop domiciling his investment vehicles in jurisdictions known for supporting tax evasion/avoidance. Perhaps with the increased tax revenue, governments could afford to better shoulder the costs of adequately integrating migrants and refugees without the assistance of billionaires.
dovdov 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"I will invest in startups, established companies, social-impact initiatives and businesses founded by migrants and refugees themselves."

Delusion pro!

Sure there will be talented people, but they'll find a way, it's still nice they'll get help getting funded,

but what about the masses who come for social benefits, and don't really wish to work during their lifetime.

Not to mention the lack of single f*ck they give about European culture.

Come back and live in Europe Soros papa, THEN have it as your playground.

zorked 32 minutes ago 2 replies      
This discussion if quickly being flooded with right-wing extremists. If you make a claim, please, provide a reputable source. If you see a claim being made without a source, do something for the intellectual health of this community and downvote.
matthewmorgan 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Oh look, turns out the role of the ultra-rich in flooding my homeland with foreigners wasn't entirely disinterested. Who could possibly have guessed.
readittwice 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
IMHO he will be one of the people responsible for radically limitting the human right of asylum and the rise of right-wings all over Europe. Asylum once was a nice idea, but right now it is misused for mass-immigration in Europe.
jlebrech 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I would invest in a fortified city in the middle east with added security and let people flee war there instead of having to go all the way to western countries. there they'll be able to claim asylum to their country of choice and when they are given a visa they'll get a free flight there.
kyrre 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Soros seems to have a hand in everything...
lifeisstillgood 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would prefer to see policies that will cost soros his money:

- weapons cannot be sold to countries we do not have reciprocal defence agreements with

- weapon and oil sanctions are enforced globally

- a decade long investment of around 5% of world GDP increasing energy efficiency, at the same time as building electricity pipelines to take solar from tropical zones to rest of world and an end to oil pipelines

- end to oil subsidies globally

- global agreements on water rights between countries, on investment and policy for efficient (drip) water use in agriculture

Grief, that's just off top of my head and is probably only half the problem. Basically if we can do all that, Soros will lose his wedge. I doubt he would mind too much.

desdiv 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The "web" link isn't working me (on my setup at this particular moment). It just returns HN pages and old stories. If you experience the same problem, google:

Why Im Investing $500 Million in Migrants I will invest in startups, established companies...

Which is the story title + subtitle.

0xmohit 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I guess that wsj links are invariably paywalled. Can't HN stop such links from being submitted?
edderly 1 hour ago 1 reply      
wsj.comWhy Im Investing $500 Million in MigrantsGeorge SorosSept. 20, 2016 12:00 a.m. ET

The world has been unsettled by a surge in forced migration. Tens of millions of people are on the move, fleeing their home countries in search of a better life abroad. Some are escaping civil war or an oppressive regime; others are forced out by extreme poverty, lured by the possibility of economic advancement for themselves and their families.

Our collective failure to develop and implement effective policies to handle the increased flow has contributed greatly to human misery and political instabilityboth in countries people are fleeing and in the countries that host them, willingly or not. Migrants are often forced into lives of idle despair, while host countries fail to reap the proven benefit that greater integration could bring.

Governments must play the leading role in addressing this crisis by creating and sustaining adequate physical and social infrastructure for migrants and refugees. But harnessing the power of the private sector is also critical.

Recognizing this, the Obama administration recently launched a Call to Action asking U.S. companies to play a bigger role in meeting the challenges posed by forced migration. Today, private-sector leaders are assembling at the United Nations to make concrete commitments to help solve the problem.

In response, I have decided to earmark $500 million for investments that specifically address the needs of migrants, refugees and host communities. I will invest in startups, established companies, social-impact initiatives and businesses founded by migrants and refugees themselves. Although my main concern is to help migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, I will be looking for good investment ideas that will benefit migrants all over the world.

This commitment of investment equity will complement the philanthropic contributions my foundations have made to address forced migration, a problem we have been working on globally for decades and to which we have dedicated significant financial resources.

We will seek investments in a variety of sectors, among them emerging digital technology, which seems especially promising as a way to provide solutions to the particular problems that dislocated people often face. Advances in this sector can help people gain access more efficiently to government, legal, financial and health services. Private businesses are already investing billions of dollars to develop such services for non-migrant communities.

This is why money now moves instantaneously from one mobile wallet to another, drivers find customers by using only a cellphone, and how a doctor in North America can see a patient in Africa in real time. Customizing and extending these innovations to serve migrants will help improve the quality of life for millions around the world.

All of the investments we make will be owned by my nonprofit organization. They are intended to be successfulbecause I want to show how private capital can play a constructive role helping migrantsand any profits will go to fund programs at the Open Society Foundations, including programs that benefit migrants and refugees.

As longtime champions of civil society, we will be focused on ensuring that our investments lead to products and services that truly benefit migrants and host communities.

We will also work closely with organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee to establish principles to guide our investments. Our goal is to harness, for public good, the innovations that only the private sector can provide.

I hope my commitment will inspire other investors to pursue the same mission.

Mr. Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC and founder of the Open Society Foundations.

FAA Poised to Take on Role as Traffic Cop for Space wsj.com
46 points by jackgavigan  11 hours ago   32 comments top 7
pdabbadabba 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems a little funny that the FCC isn't being discussed more seriously. Although it's not a totally intuitive fit on the surface, it makes a little more sense once you consider that U.S. satellite launches already require FCC licenses, and one of the things you have to include in the application is your plan to mitigate the threat of orbital debris.
M_Grey 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't NASA be the natural choice for this, especially given their history of working with the military?
creade 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone interested in this should check out the International Institute of Space Law's Moot Court http://www.iislweb.org/lachsmoot/index.html
nxzero 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Why exactly is the FAA taking this over?

It's clearly stated that the US military is still going to be the primary source for the data.

Why not have an open RFP that anyone is able to provide a proposal and if the a existing agency doesn't win, make it independently run?

transfire 11 hours ago 4 replies      
The same FAA that has been unable to modernize the air traffic control system since, what, the 70s?
classycoder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
mrfusion 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Isn't it a bit presumptuous to assume the US can regulate the worlds space access? Did anyone ask the 200 other countries?

Edit sorry didn't read the article. It doesn't sound like they'll have the power to block access to space?

       cached 20 September 2016 07:02:01 GMT