hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    16 Dec 2016 News
home   ask   best   3 years ago   
Show HN: Hire an Oldster tryoldster.com
193 points by adamqureshi  4 hours ago   117 comments top 23
aresant 2 hours ago 12 replies      
If you take a survey of hiring managers they will point to three primary reasons that candidates 40 - 60 have a harder time finding jobs:

1) They are typically more expensive than "market" for the same role a younger person can fulfill at acceptable tradeoff of competency - higher salaries, higher related costs like healthcare for a family, expectations around retirement programs, etc.

2) They are less flexible - they are less willing to relocate, they have kids to pick up instead of "beer hour bonding", unwilling to run the same 60 hour gauntlet that a 25 year old can etc.

3) They have less primary & secondary education relevant to today's enterprise issues. In the specific case of "marketers" - like TryOldster is pitching - the best people will learn anything, but anybody over 50 years old spent their professional training + formative 20s thinking about television, radio, and print - not paid search, mobile advertising, and social.

That we're at the top of HN again with another "hire older people" post (recently we saw OldGeekJobs) demonstrates there's a huge unmet need within this cohort.

I don't think a job-board is the right solution to this problem because the pitch on TryOldster does nothing to alleviate the three principal concerns.

My unasked, probably asinine business advice would be to turn this flow of traffic into a training / education platform where you can VALIDATE and address the very real, foundational concerns of hiring managers around this cohort, and suddenly you've got a machine that can get motivated people trained and placed.

tjr 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I was recently working with an older developer. I don't know, maybe of 65 or 70 years. He was working on aerospace network intrusion detection systems, and I was helping him set up a simulation system. He was slinging around low-level computer architecture terminology, while I was quickly trying to access what I remembered from a college class 15 years prior, just to keep up with the conversation.

Older programmers are worthless, simply due to their age? Ridiculous. I hope to someday be as skillful as this guy.

JorgeGT 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Apart from the particular technical knowledge an older guy may have, the accumulated human experience (this is, how to interact, trust, judge, understand, influence and work with other human beings) is always a very valuable factor that they may possess, for while technology changes very fast, basic human nature remains the same.

In my country we have a saying: the Devil knows more from being old than from being the Devil.

suprgeek 1 hour ago 2 replies      
As an oldster - two things that I really wish my younger self would have intimately realized.

1) As a software person your are employed to Solve Business Problems - NOT to write code, NOT to write tests, NOT to hack on platforms, NOT to be Agile. Solve the problem (or add the feature) - never lose sight of this. The value you bring is directly related to this.

2) People outside software development don't give a flying f* about most issues software related - but everyone has a computer, so most are poorly informed about technology and terrible at making right software choices - build products accordingly.

edoceo 3 hours ago 9 replies      
I'm 40, in tech years that's like 1000. I also see value in hiring experience but explicitly factoring by age discriminates against a protected class in the USA. I think a lawsuit is in my future if I use this for placement at my company.

Of course, if you simply rebranded to talk about "experience" rather than "age" then solvelem probbed.

Also, age != experience != skill.

Unbeliever69 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
From a reverse perspective, I am new to professional development but have been a long-time programmer. At the age of 45 I decided to pursue my life-long dream of being a programmer and went back to school. There was another "oldster" in my Intro to Java class. He really struggled at first because he had spent the last few decades using technology but not really understanding it. Me, on the other hand, I utterly destroyed everyone in the class. My final project was a "Dwarf Fortress" style game that utilized more advanced programming techniques, algorithms, data structures, AI etc. that was far outside the scope of the class. Not only was the class blown away but the teacher appeared threatened. I had never had programmed in Java before though I have programmed as a hobby throughout my life. But the major difference between me and the other oldster as well as me and my much younger classmates is that I have devoted my life to learn. I've never settled. I've never grown complacent. If I forget something I relearn it. If I don't know something I know where to find an answer. I believe that this is the problem with many oldsters...they get comfortable, set in their ways, entitled.

I quit school that semester as it was clear that I would be far more effective learning on my own. What was true in my Java class turned out to be true in my Linux class, my networking class and my generals. I was WAY ahead of the curve. I now work in the industry as a full-stack Javascript developer and continue to learn each day.

OliverJones 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Some interesting points made here in these comments, worth rebutting.

1. older folks are less flexible, can't relocate, etc. When we have kids in high school, that's valid. But high school doesn't go on forever.

2. older folks cost more. You'd be surprised. Salary doesn't have to be an always-upward ratchet. There are plenty of us who are able and willing -- even delighted -- to work for less than the executive-level pay of the biggest jobs on our resumes.

Unlike many of our juniors, we aren't scrambling to pay off our edu loans any more, nor are we scrambling to cover those costs for our kids, or pay big mortgages.

You know that dream about being motivated by the work, not the money? It's a real thing. Many of us are living that dream.

3. older folks are a protected class (in USA, anyhow). That's true. We are nominally harder to lay off when things get rough. But we've been through a few cycles of things being good, then bad, then good, and we've survived. We are as willing as anybody to stop drawing our pay when things aren't going well. Some of us are willing to agree to that in advance. Ask whether we'll accept contractor status, rather than employee status.

See item 2 about being motivated by the work.

4. older folks drive up health insurance pool costs. true. sucks. But I, for one, am on my spouse's insurance so the startup I'm with doesn't have that problem. Many of us have similar setups. You can't ask in an interview, but we can tell you voluntarily. Plus, when we hit 65 (in USA) we go on this decent national single-payer health plan and out of your pool altogether.

5. older folks can't manage 80-hour work weeks. Of course we can manage crunch time. We've done a lot of it, and we're skilled at getting it done.

Can we manage sustained 80-hour weeks for years at a time? No. Neither can you and keep your quality up.

6. older folks' skills are obsolete. Not true. Maybe that was true once, but many of us put a lot of work into keeping up to date. Safari Books Online, and online tutorials, and community / dev versions of various tools, have made that possible.

7. older folks would rather play golf than work. For many of us, that's just nonsense.

So, don't just screen out that resume showing a MS degree from 1980. Take a look.

JoblessWonder 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Deja Vu.... Didn't we just have OldGeekJobs posted on here a while ago?
mathattack 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've benefited quite a bit from Oldster mentors in my career who had Been There, Done That but still wanted to be in the game. Combining hungry smart 20somethings with Wise Oldsters is a potent combo.
77yy77yy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
You are only as old as you believe you are. I'm 42 and won't trade spot with any 20-something for a job. The knowledge and experience I have today, most 20-something would love to have but.. they have to live some 20 years to now gain.

WTG putting this message together, good luck!

6stringmerc 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
Um, I know it's not industry specific, but in the United States, since the 2008 Recession, workers age 55 and older have been the ones gaining employment. Zero Hedge routinely posts the BLS numbers that show just how much better the Oldsters are doing than the Under 30 crowd. Projecting a false notion that older workers are being slighted, when the opposite is true, is not good for the long-term health of a Consumer-Based economy like the United States.


jplahn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is tangentially related (and wholly anecdotal), but one thing I've noticed is that when dealing with other engineers or managers, it's often very easy to tell who has kids and who doesn't. I find myself drawn towards those who have them because they have a knack for understanding people better and can approach mentorship on another level. Easily the best engineer I've ever worked with had a couple of kids, only worked 30 hours a week, but did more to grow team members than any other engineer has done in 20 hours more per week.

It's not a perfect 1 -> 1 to between kids and age obviously, but working with older engineers (and managers/TPMs) has been invaluable for the growth early in my career and I wish we had more of them.

x1798DE 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I feel like I would love to use this, but I would be worried about HR freaking out. I had a training before being allowed to interview people and it mostly consisted of teaching how to avoid questions that might inadvertently provide you with information that could be used to discriminate against people that was also irrelevant to the actual job (e.g. don't ask "what do you like to do on the weekends", but you can ask "this job requires you to be on-call on weekends, is that something you are able to do?"). Going on a website specifically advertising that it has people in a specific class seems like the exact opposite of that.
walrus1066 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
So much time is wasted in our field, reinventing the wheel, adopting ill suited architectures and abstractions, not seeing problems in advance, misunderstanding the requirements.

An experienced engineer, who can prevent the above is worth their weight in gold.

Because ultimately, the fundamentals of software engineering haven't changed for decades, like abstraction, modularization etc

mamurphy 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting idea. Let me talk about something very tangential, if I may: a minor branding query.

Why go with "A Qureshi Media startup. Contact us at contact@qureshimedia.com" in the site footer?

It made me wonder "hmm, why haven't I heard of Qureshi Media, let me check them out, they are probably some huge media conglomerate." To my surprise, http://qureshimedia.com/ appears to be the website of a consultancy that includes the less than inspiring text "Our new site will be up soon."

If you are managing multiple established brands, having that in the site footer makes sense to me. For what appears to be a company's only brand, I wonder if it might be better relegated an "About" page. Thoughts?

Mz 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
It is possibly the wrong framing. It might be better to do something like this with the framing on "a veteran of the industry" or "someone with experience." Being old per se does not necessarily make you one with more relevant work experience.

Just my 2 cents.

Best of luck.

wyldfire 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Between "tryoldster.com" and "oldgeekjobs.com" it strikes me as a stunning display of blatant ageism. I'm in the second half of my career and I like the idea of writing articles and making the case for hiring experienced men and women.

Venues which seem to explicitly encourage candidates/jobseekers to focus on age violate the spirit of the law if not the letter (29 U.S.C. 626).

jrochkind1 3 hours ago 5 replies      
An oldster in HN world is someone over 32, right?
terrib1e 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Brilliant! I'm only 30 but I know plenty of older folks that have a hard time finding jobs. This is basically an issue across all industries. I'd love to get involved in this and help it grow.
gpm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this legal? Seems like age discrimination to recruit via this platform.
josefresco 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sooo no age requirement to submit a resume? How old is an "oldster"?
cookiecaper 3 hours ago 1 reply      
While I think there are issues with the presentation, as edoceo noted, I love anything that stands to dispel the startup bubble myth that experience is a contraindication. I've been privileged to work in companies with programmers in their 50s and 60s and they've been great mentors. Their work continues to be top-notch and the insight and maturity they bring is absolutely invaluable.

In order to keep their labor costs depressed, VCs are incentivized to promote the lie that a very young workforce is an inherent asset, but there is simply no replacement for experience. As the industry continues to mature, that will be self-evident, as it is in all other mature industries.

anjc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This service should be superfluous due to enforcement of discrimination laws. If companies are specifically not hiring older people then there's surely some way to find out.

And the idea that an "oldster" is a thing should not be legitimised by people in the tech industry. Talk about turkeys voting for Christmas.

I thought I was designing for SpaceX, I was actually designing for the Silk Road motel.is
219 points by JunkDNA  3 hours ago   62 comments top 14
stiva 1 hour ago 3 replies      
This really is an interesting story, but I wish he'd taken it to a journalist instead of writing it himself. The narrative is choppy and has a lot of holes in it. I would have loved to see this done as a feature from someone with a lot of experience writing about technology. That might also have given some extra credibility and context to things.
gthtjtkt 43 minutes ago 2 replies      
Edit: Turns out the headline is completely made up. This was in the comment section:

> So was Sciview actually some sort of analytics app for Silk Road, with the sensors representing some other Silk Road metrics? Or was BB truly freelancing for SpaceX while administering Silk Road?

> AUTHOR: Excellent question, I dont know.

So he has no idea if he was just a subcontractor or if he was doing work for Silk Road. If I had to bet on this, I'd guess the friend subcontracted a project to him for easy cash (or because he was in over his head) and the Silk Road stuff was completely unrelated.

What would Silk Road do with such an application anyway?

pfarnsworth 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This story is completely unintelligible. I have no idea what this story is about, where does it say he was designing for Silk Road? Did he say he was talking with DPR or something?
ufmace 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not doubting the story, but it doesn't seem to fit together much the way that it's told here. Exactly who was he really working for, and what was his "friend"s relationship to them?

All I can really say is maybe you should be extra skeptical when somebody talks about working for a "big name" company, like SpaceX, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. If you're never reading or writing emails from a company.com email address, going to company's actual public website, going for interviews or meetings at an actual company office, then maybe you should look really closely at who you're really working for.

joshstrange 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I honestly have no clue how this is voted so high on HN right now, I assume it's just the title people are voting on. It makes no sense, jumps around and no flow. I had to re-read parts multiple times and I still have no clue what is going on.
cocktailpeanuts 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think this is a great story to tell buddies when grabbing a drink, but not really good for posting online which will last forever.

Maybe if the project was actually functional and high quality, but it's just a half baked project that doesn't even work.

Furthermore, there's no proof that what he worked on was actually silk road. Even looking at the screenshots it says nothing about silkroad, looks actually like a spacex project.

Like others said, I think his main motivation is to post it for the record, so if one day he disappears, people know where to track him down.

sbierwagen 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Why did the silk road want a data visualization app?

The "live demo" in the linked github doesn't seem to be very "live", in that it seems to be totally static. The post talks about "drawing correlations" but all it does it make a graph. http://sciview.herokuapp.com/#/data-sets/0

hrayr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a nice ShowHN with a cover story. I'm not questioning the validity, just finding this amusing.
welder 1 hour ago 1 reply      
He hints at the end that 30 FBI agents kicked down his door, then says nothing more. Way to leave us hanging!
jnpatel 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
The author's title seems misleading, since in the post's comments Thomas acknowledges how he's not sure if his design was being actually used for Silk Road or if his leaseholder really was freelancing for SpaceX.
pzh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On the plus side, the OP had plausible deniability. I wonder whether he could've been considered an accomplice or liable in any way, or not knowing who he was working for completely exonerated him.
sandworm101 2 hours ago 5 replies      
The lawyer was correct. If you have reason to suspect the FBI is watching you, they already have what they need. The men-in-black routine is meant to alter your behavior, to cause you to do something rare like empty an account or contact a distant friend. This was federal investigation 101.

Walk past the car and photograph the driver. They really love that.

shitgoose 25 minutes ago 1 reply      
so, who do you have on your resume, SpaceX or Silk Road?
themodelplumber 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The Silk Road reference--is he saying he was working for Chinese interests? Where was the sensor data coming from?

I understand it's probably a painful story to tell, but a lot of little details are missing here, and they'd probably help both the author's friends and new readers like me understand what happened.

Facebook Design: VR Resources facebook.design
28 points by Impossible  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
gallerdude 1 minute ago 0 replies      
The thing that gets me most excited about VR is how ready everyone will be for AR.
larrik 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
"Subject to your compliance with these terms, you may use the Facebook Design Resources solely for creating mock-ups, including displaying such mock-ups in digital or print format. The Facebook Design Resources may not be embedded in any software programs or other products without express written permission."

Cool stuff, but not super practical?

The Idea of Lisp dev.to
298 points by rbanffy  7 hours ago   187 comments top 17
rntz 4 hours ago 5 replies      
This article has many misstatements in its first half.

> John McCarthy wrote 6 easy things in machine code, then combined them to make a programming language.

John McCarthy didn't implement Lisp in machine code. Steve Russell did. Implementing Lisp properly in machine code is not easy; you have to write a garbage collector. To do that in the early 60s, you had to first invent garbage collection. Lisp was and is brilliant, but not as easily bootstrappable as this makes it out to be.

> It's not obvious that these six things are computationally complete (AKA Turing Complete).

`lambda` and function application alone are Turing-complete, as McCarthy would have known. The credit here belongs with Turing and Church, not McCarthy. `atom`, `cons`, `car` and all the rest are just icing on the cake of the lambda calculus when it comes to computability.

> All other meaning can be defined in terms of them.

Yes, and you can build everything on top of the SK combinator calculus if you like, but that doesn't make it a good idea. Lisp is surprisingly practical given how few core constructs it has, but real Lisp implementations have always added more primitives (eg. numbers and addition) for reasons of practicality.

> The language was defined in terms of itself as an interpreter. This is a proof by construction that the language is computationally complete.

No, it isn't. To prove Turing-completeness you need to show that you are as powerful as Turing machines. To do this it suffices to show that you can interpret a language already known to be Turing-complete. Showing you can interpret yourself does not suffice. It's easy to define a language which can do nothing useful except interpret itself, for example. (See also wyager's comment.)

> Well, Lisp is defined as an interpreter in terms of itself from the get-go, just like a Universal Turing Machine.

No. Defining a language only in itself is nonsense, for exactly the reason given above: it means nothing yet! It's like writing in a dictionary:

 qyzzyghlm, v. intr. To qyzzyghlm.
It explains nothing unless you already understand it!

> Lisp is a universal language because it can interpret its own code. While you can certainly write a JavaScript interpreter in JavaScript, none of the work is done for you.

Almost none of the work is done for you in Lisp either. The core of Lisp is just a relatively easy language to implement, while Javascript is a difficult one. Lisp is easy to implement because it has simple syntax (s-expressions) and few core constructs. The only thing that is special about implementing Lisp in Lisp is that Lisp uses s-expressions as its core data structure, so you don't have to invent an AST representation. The article, to its credit, explores this idea later.

agentgt 6 hours ago 5 replies      
The conditional expression or more specifically everything being an expression is my favorite thing about Lisp. I did not know that McCarthy pushed to add it to Algol which apparently today is the ternary operator for most languages.

It is annoying that so many languages (C, Java, C#, etc) have both a conditional statement (if-else) and conditional expression (ternary ?:). Really the if-else should be an expression (I think the ternary operator is hideous).

vram22 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For anyone interested, John McCarthy's original paper on Lisp is here:



From the page:

"This paper appeared in Communications of the ACM in April 1960. It is the original paper on Lisp."

I had mentioned it in this blog post in which I gave a few examples of doing simple computations recursively in Python (for beginners).

Recursive computation of simple functions:


QuadrupleA 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It's interesting, I'm reading Black Swan at the moment by Nassim Taleb, and one of his big rants is about how we get blinded by idealized, platonic forms and ideas when the real world is messy and inherently unpredictable. E.g. trying to explain the forms of nature with platonic archetypal shapes like circles, rectangles and triangles. Lisp and the community around it kinda has that flavor - getting lost in a world of "pure forms" and grand ideas, but downplaying the important but messy practical reality of hardware, useful libraries, and getting cool stuff done with a minimum of fuss. I'm periodically fascinated by Lisp (I wrote an interpreter or two in C) but I wonder if its "Platonicity" is part of its downfall.
mroll 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice article. Check out Paul graham's The Roots of Lisp for a similar exploration in which he shows how to build the metacircular interpreter.

> John McCarthy wrote 6 easy things in machine code

It was actually Steve Russel, McCarthy's grad student, who had the idea of writing McCarthy's eval function in machine code.

georgeecollins 1 hour ago 1 reply      
When I was a kid they made us learn C and Lisp as part of Cognitive Science degree. I don't really use either language, unless you count C++. But I do feel that between those two languages you can understand two ideals really well. One is the idea of a clean symbolic expression, the other is the idea of a portable language that lets you get to the core of what the machine is really doing. Both are useful ways to think about programming.
lisper 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a Lisp-based introductory programming book:


Still very much a work in progress. Feedback appreciated.

cr0sh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't comment too much on this article, as I have a very, very limited view on LISP - basically just a couple of minor tutorials and one of the open-source interpreters. For me, it's always been one of those "I need to learn this" kind of languages, but I've never had a use case for it, and so it remains a curiosity to me more than anything.

I do know, though, that LISP allows the creation (or at least I have heard) for DSLs - so I am curious what people here think about this.

I'm also curious if anyone has an opinion on JetBrains MSL:


...and whether that would be a better thing to learn before or after learning LISP, as well as how it compares to LISP?

It's yet another "thing" that has caught my eye over the years, but again - no use case, and so it remains on the back burner for now...

stcredzero 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The thing about the way ideas about programming are "sold" to other programmers, is that it has as much to do with the actual profession of programming as a typical tween's conception of being a "rockstar" has to do with the actual profession of being a touring musician. A lot of the really vital hard work is glossed over, and huge amounts of attention are paid to certain abstracted "sexy" ideas.

When people watch someone soldering, their attention is drawn to the iron, and to the shiny melted flowing metal. However, it's really cleaning the tip of the iron and having an iron that can provide enough power at the right temperature that matters.

erik14th 5 hours ago 8 replies      
I wonder why lisp isn't as popular as say python for AI, ML, and stuff. I see these fields as having a strong academic tone, and it feels like racket or clojure could be bigger when it comes to that.
amelius 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Question: what would a LISP dialect with static typing look like?

EDIT: Found an answer: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3323549/is-a-statically-t...

bpicolo 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Does anybody have a few examples of DSLs people make in a lisp (ideally clojure because I have worked with it a tad)? I've seen plenty of cases where people make a pseudo-dsl via optional arguments, but not seen this so-oft mentioned "yeah we just wrote a dsl for it because lisp" sort of deal.
WhitneyLand 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I know their is an active community around Lisp and it's still used for development, but I apparently have not dug deep enough to appreciate when it's the best choice for a new project.

Can someone mantion a few features or scenarios that make it the best choice for starting a new project?

wyager 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> This is a proof by construction that the language is computationally complete.

The definition of Turing completeness in the article is not correct. A language being able to execute programs written in itself is not a sufficient condition of Turing completenes. Trivial example: define a language with one pre-defined term, x, which is a routine that takes as input a string, checks if it's "x", and executes it if it is. The empty language is a counter-example as well, but that's cheating.

I'm also not sure if the use of the phrase "fixed point" is a misunderstanding of the definition of a fixed point or just an unfortunate use of a term that already has great significance in LISP.

kluck 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Lisp was developed because McCarthy needed a tool for experimenting with AI. Found a video of McCarthy talking about AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozipf13jRr4

And if anyone cares, here is nice Shirt with McCarthy on it ;)https://www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/666689-john-mccarthy-lisp-...

I think it should be mandatory for CS students to implement their own little Lisp using the building blocks McCarthy described! Instead they are learning Java and ist crappy OO...

qwertyuiop924 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Since this takes so much from things Alan has said, I'd be interested in seeing what he thinks.

Alan, if you're there, would you care to comment?

clarkd99 4 hours ago 6 replies      
This great idea of Lisp (the simple syntax of function calls in round brackets) isn't much different than a good macro assembler even back in the 1960's. The only major difference was that more than 1 function could be defined in 1 source code line. (I think that machine code is nothing but a sequence of function calls where the function is the logic encoded in the CPU itself for each opcode.) Is it fair to compare the complexity of expression evaluation etc (Fortran) with a macro assembler? Obviously any program can be coded in a macro assembler and therefore that would also be true from a syntax like Lisp.

When I was in my 20's, I programmed at least 100,000 lines of Z80 assembler for the first micro computers. One project was at least 40,000 lines and so I know how difficult it is to program larger assembler programs. The biggest problem is that it is hard to see the structure of the loops and conditionals that we normally indent in higher level languages. (You can indent a Lisp program in any way but the language doesn't require any at all.) It is also difficult to recognize expressions. Both of these problems are also there in Lisp (unlike most other high level languages).

One last point about the linked list structure at the heart of Lisp. Linked lists are poorly executed in modern computers that rely heavily on locality of data, to optimize the L1 cache. Lisp was very easy on the compiler/interpreter writer but wasn't very good at optimizing the readability of the code for the programmer. (I don't want a religious war but I will point out that most programmers have never programmed in Lisp even though it was one of the first computer languages created.) Before I get a lot of dissing comments, I think with practice, some programmers developed an eye for the lack of structural clues and made some reasonable size code. You could say the same about some programmers making quite good large scale programs in assembler but that doesn't mean that writing in assembler or Lisp should be encouraged.

Brain, Mind, Body and the Disease of Addiction npr.org
17 points by happy-go-lucky  1 hour ago   1 comment top
mjevans 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
I believe the reporter is still trying to place blame. This is both counter-productive from a treatment standpoint, and also probably in direct conflict with what the /lead/ for experts in the US has stated is the case.

That once addiction has set in, it is every bit as much a disease that requires external intervention and treatment to correct the imbalance as the other conditions.

MacOS FileVault2 Password Retrieval frizk.net
178 points by mkesper  6 hours ago   53 comments top 11
dashesyan 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've had this in my .profile for years:

 alias sleepsafe='sudo pmset -a destroyfvkeyonstandby 1 hibernatemode 25' alias sleepfast='sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0' alias sleepdefault='sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3'
Whenever I travel or need to leave my laptop, I always run `sleepsafe`, which will delete the key from memory and hibernate the computer when I close the lid. It has the added benefit of saving battery life.

Day-to-day, I use `sleepfast`, which is faster than the default hybrid sleep, because it doesn't spend time copying the contents of memory to disk.

I very rarely switch to `sleepdefault` which is the insecure and slower hybrid sleep.

This has been a known issue for yearshttp://osxdaily.com/2013/07/06/maximize-filevault-security-d...https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/02/02/filevault-encryp...

tptacek 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Things like this are a reason I unhesitatingly recommend that people stick with their OS's built in FDE:

1. FDE is extremely limited. This particular attack is a clever abuse of sleep/reboot cycles, but of course people intimately familiar with FDE know that if a laptop is sleeping but not shut down it's already perilously close to the boundary at which FDE breaks down. And, of course, once it's woken up and unlocked --- which every attacker who actually challenges FDE can arrange for, all bets are off.

2. When flaws like this are found, the OS vendors have much more recourse than third parties do, which is why this post concludes by saying that Macs are now the most secure laptop platform with respect to DMA attacks against FDE.

Use FDE! Enable it on all your machines! But try not to rely on it, and don't waste too much time optimizing it.

KirinDave 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Good hack, good on Apple for getting fixes out.

But what worries me somewhat is that the tools for mitigation for these families of attacks include a lot of technologies that are traditionally opposed by the community here on the grounds that it "takes away control from the user.

I'm not sure how we balance out those tensions, but attacks like this sure as heck concern me about my homebuilt machine. I do my best not to keep any important keys there.

ysleepy 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm interested in how this was fixed.

Is the update an EFI update which disables DMA or does it with IOMMU? Or is the memory just overwritten on boot?

I'm also quite surprised they leave the password in memory in multiple locations. - Assuming the password is only used to derive the KEK for the actual key.

mkj 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Did a firmware password prevent it? The same problem with FireWire was prevented by that (a decade ago)
eeeeeeeeeeeee 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Although this is an exploit and should be fixed, FDE rarely works if your computer is on / sleeping.

Same thing with the iPhone. Even though it has solid FDE, there have been exploits if the phone is on (even with a passcode, etc).

Turning off your device is the best protection, even if you have FDE.

nicolas_t 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Has Apple released patches for El Capitan?

I'm still using it instead of Sierra because of Karabiner but this could force me to upgrade.

That vulnerability seems to be a pretty obvious oversight. I remember hearing about DMA (in the context of Firewire) as an attack vector since people first started talking of Truecrypt and Filevault and scrubbing the memory seems obvious... It's worrying that this could have been overlooked by Apple's engineers.

kevinburke 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Is a 10.11 machine encrypted with FileVault vulnerable to this attack?
kalleboo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
While I'm not excusing this bug (didn't they already go through this round of DMA bugs with FireWire?), this reinforces my belief that once you have physical access to a personal computer - all bets are off. If you lost your laptop, rotate all keys. Change all passwords. Assume everything is compromised.
therealmarv 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this the main reason why the Kernel Version number increased with macOS 10.12.2 ?
Prenda Law copyright trolls Steele and Hansmeier arrested arstechnica.com
57 points by pktgen  1 hour ago   12 comments top 7
user837387 1 minute ago 0 replies      
>>John Steele gleefully threatened opponents and Paul Hansmeier famously sneered at the defamation defendants "welcome to the big leagues." It was those actions that drew much more attention to their cases. Character is destiny. Not only are Steele and Hansmeier wanton crooks, they're spiteful, entitled, arrogant douches. That led to their downfall.<<

But the part that I really find interesting is this:

>>Character is destiny. ....they're spiteful, entitled, arrogant douches. That led to their downfall

I say bullshit. Just look at Trump. The guy has fucked over so many people and sexually assaulted many woman by his own words and we still elected him.

It let to their downfall because they were not powerful enough.

simcop2387 52 minutes ago 1 reply      
Related popehat article about the arrests. He's been following the whole case for years. https://popehat.com/2016/12/16/the-prenda-saga-goes-criminal...
wyldfire 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Gems from the judicial order to pay damages [1]:

>The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

> Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).


> they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settlefor a sum ... just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn. So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow, starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry.

[1] https://popehat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/PendaSanction...

ChuckMcM 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
Popehat comment: "Based on my observations throughout this case, it couldn't happen to more deserving criminals."

Which I totally agree with. When this situation started unrolling it really offended my sense of justice. Here were criminals using the judicial system as the tool for their crimes. It really showed how the US judicial systems costs and processes have created a mechanism for abuse. I wish sometimes there were some criminal law around abuse of a public institution which would capture this sort of thing more quickly and effectively.

faster 53 minutes ago 1 reply      
Popehat has had the best commentary on the Prenda debacle. They don't have this part yet, but stay tuned, they will and it will be hilarious. Well, as hilarious as a law blog can be.


joering2 9 minutes ago 2 replies      
Great case to play devil's advocate no?

If they were creating "art" in form of porn they had copyright to said work. No law broken here.

No law broken if you upload your own work to the cloud. You have right to do it.

Finally, no law broken if you try to pursue those who illegally download your copyrighted work.

I guess if you combine all of those together then you doing something wrong. But isn't it ironic that the GOV is allowed to run illegal sting operations even if they lose big time like in Fast and Furious and that's fine, but if few lawyers figure out the way to make extra money, then we need to indict them.

If anything -- were they actually a fish who happen to clean the ocean? I mean it comes to be as simple as this: do not download illegal porn. Period. I can bet after being charged by those lawyers many settled and never downloaded porn again.

There - finished playing devils advocate.

cmdrfred 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
My friend got hit by these guys a few years back. Paid out a few grand I think.
Watt time is left tedunangst.com
134 points by ingve  5 hours ago   121 comments top 11
dexwiz 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Apple should have added a Amp or Watt usage number, not removed the estimate. Similarly, most new cars have fuel estimates on their dashboards. But its not just miles to empty, its also miles per gallon. So drivers can get feedback on usage rates versus total capacity.

I imagine the argument about this, is that most people don't have any handle on what a Watt or mAh is. But people don't have a good handle on how far 25 miles is, or how much a gallon is in comparison to their tank. Think about it, you rarely see the fuel you put into your car beyond a few drips at the pump. And while you may know that its 25 miles between your house in work, if I took a random point on a map and said find something 25 miles away, with no scale, most people couldn't do it. Gallons and MPG are just arbitrary numbers that consumers have learned how to compare. If you exposed those numbers, they would get a better handling on what their device consumes, and how their activities affect it.

imwally 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I started working on a little CLI battery status indicator even before I knew Apple was going to pull the time remaining feature. On macOS I like to hide the dock and menu bar but usually keep terminal open with tmux running so I decided to write something I could place in my tmux status line where I could keep an eye on my battery life.


jsnell 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If the core problem is supposed to be that power usage is now more erratic, how about this small refinement:

- Compute discharge rates for one minute segments, like Ted did in this post

- Store the last 10 discharge rates

- Report a time estimate based on the minimum/median/maximum of those 10 rates.

That gives fairly quick feedback after you start doing something expensive, but isolates the effect of short-lived and infrequent bursts.

Osiris 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote a battery meter (BatteryBar) 8 years ago that uses a more complex algorithm to calculate an "average time remaining" rather than instantaneous. Basically, my software keeps track of how long the battery has lasted in the past and uses that to inform the current time remaining (with adjustments based on current discharge rates, etc).

I'm not sure why Microsoft/Apple haven't done something similar. I've even sold licenses to Surface Pro sales reps that they use to show off the battery life of the Surface to potential enterprise clients.

tedmiston 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't upgraded to 10.12 yet, but this seems like a good time to remind people about coconutBattery [1].

You can't see a prediction in minutes yet (maybe they'll add one with Apple removing it), but the battery metrics have always been more useful than for me than what's built-in. You can see the discharge rate, current charge, full capacity, and original capacity though.

[1]: http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

staticelf 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a background for this? I don't understand the article.
johansch 5 hours ago 3 replies      
So is there any good (hopefully free/open) third-party solution to bring it back to the menu bar on the mac?
onion2k 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think it's fair to suggest Apple removed the battery life indicator because they don't know how to make one.
tedmiston 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone on the latest update of macOS confirm whether the time prediction is also gone from Activity Monitor > Energy at the bottom?
trymas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> sysctl -A | ag watt

Gives nothing. Why it's not shown? rMBP late 2013, macOS 10.12.2.

abritinthebay 5 hours ago 8 replies      
The point is that those estimates aren't actually accurate. That they mislead the end user so they don't belong in primary UI.

This article is nice to show that you can get the data from the command line (you can still get it elsewhere in macOS too) but the snark at Apple for saying they can't do it when it's in fact a deliberate design choice just makes the author look uninformed & petty.

Rocket AI: 2016s Most Notorious AI Launch and the Problem with AI Hype medium.com
90 points by jjwiseman  4 hours ago   29 comments top 8
murbard2 3 hours ago 7 replies      
Highly respected AI researchers who were in on the joke publicly praised it. VCs are not idiots for showing interest given the circumstances. If they aren't going to judge AI startups by the opinion of world-class experts, how exactly are they expected to judge them?
willis77 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> A machine learning researcher, a crypto-currency expert, and an Erlang programmer walk into a bar. Facebook buys the bar for $27 billion.


epalmer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm about as far away from AI and a developer can be. I found this article to be a fun read. When there is hype, there is really hype.

This should be a lesson to journalist, fan boys/girls and VC. Pay attention to reality.

AndrewKemendo 2 hours ago 3 replies      
While I appreciate the trolling, it just feels like people in general are abusing the most important idea in the history of humanity.

Exploring the possible early components (DRN, GAN) that could lead cumulatively to AGI is not a joke. It's going to be more powerful than nuclear or bio weapons. Are those funny?

paulmd 1 hour ago 1 reply      
And here I would have thought that Tay was 2016's most notorious AI launch...

(RIP 3/23/2016 nevar forget, #taken3soon)

paulgb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am sure AI is over hyped, but I think this is more of a demonstration of how if you provide people with booze and a venue you can get them to attend anything. A lot of the social media response reads as tongue-in-cheek.
thomyorkie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For VCs who focus on AI, I think it would actually be irresponsible if they didn't show interest in a start up that was garnering so much praise from AI experts. Its not as if term sheets were sent.
randcraw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you like Borat, RocketAI and this author are for you.

But for me, it's just Jumping The Snark.

Show HN: 30 Days of React fullstackreact.com
29 points by jashmenn  5 hours ago   3 comments top 2
Zombieball 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'd love it if a series like this was made where a React website and React Native app were made in tandem. Suggestions for project layout and architecture would show you how to reuse core business logic between both apps.

Perhaps even the view layers could have some overlap?

I currently work on a team that supports multiple native Android apps and an Angular 1.X web app. The ability to reuse code in this fashion is the biggest lure to React for me. I've seen a few blog articles that cover this topic at a shallow level. If anyone has resources they could share it would be much appreciated.

antoniuschan99 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks great. As for React Native, I think React Native Express is cool
Microsoft, Rebooted, Emerges as a Tech Leader wsj.com
174 points by prostoalex  4 hours ago   158 comments top 25
yummyfajitas 49 minutes ago 5 replies      
I recently bought a Lenovo sporting Windows 10 and decided to give it a fair try. I've been using Windows exclusively on my personal laptop for about 2 months and so far it's a good experience. This is after 16 years of running linux (or briefly a mac) on the desktop.

The window manager is tolerable (not as good as Xmonad, but equivalent to Unity). Windows subsystem for linux is letting me get my work done with no problems. Anaconda lets me do scientific python work natively from within windows. Emacs seems to work just fine. Cortana is actually pretty cool.

Overall, I haven't felt the need to race back to Linux. I'm surprised to say this, but Windows might be an acceptable linux.

(A while back I wrote about my failed attempt to use OS X: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1787411 )

marricks 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I was going to rag on this article for touting the the same non-specific garbage we've seen the past couple days like, "more mac users switching to surface than ever!" without any hard numbers, did is go from 20 to 25? But this article is actually pretty interesting.

It focuses on how Satya Nadella has respected the leaders of Companies he's bought out and invited them to key meetings. Using their insight not only for product and company direction, but importantly creating culture as well. Very key to Microsoft and any tech company's success.

I recall hearing many stories about how Microsoft had like 3 managers per programmer, probably exaggeration, but the point remains, who would want to work there if you skilled/lucky enough to choose? Looks like they may be changing in some good ways.

riazrizvi 2 hours ago 2 replies      
To me, there is no doubt that Windows laptops are seeing a resurgence around Silicon Valley compared to MacbookPro's. Personally I think it is due to their overall superior compatibility with new technologies/hardware (graphics cards for VR and CUDA developers, FPGAs, Arduino, Intel RealSense3D) and better workflows for virtualization/cloud-computing vs MacOS which has become harder to virtualize because of closer binding to the AppStore and withdrawal of access to old OS versions.

As an outsider, I also think Apple seems to have spread their best technical minds thin, by adding the platforms watchOS and tvOS. While I understand the rationale behind watchOS, without the ability for developers to create the watch faces, it's not that exciting a platform, it's too controlled. Anyhow, the result of this talent dispersion, is that they have failed to maintain the MacbookPro's status as the most exciting development platform, which it had been IMO throughout the 21st century.

anon987 3 hours ago 6 replies      
Microsoft continues to try to convince us that they are great with press releases and non-organic stories such as this.

I, my peers, and my co-workers just don't see it. With billions in reserve it's no surprise they are trying to buy popularity.

rubyfan 2 hours ago 5 replies      
This article loses credibility with the opening line...

FTA: After years of missteps, the software giant is among the few titans of the 1990s to figure out the new world of mobile technology and cloud computing.

Saying MSFT have figured out mobile is a little too much of a stretch. They have tried many things in the space, they have figured out more of what doesn't work than what does. Unfortunately the market doesn't reward learnings alone.

suprgeek 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The young'uns here probably have not lived thru the Microsoft era in the 90s when "Embrace Extend Extinguish" was the operating motto and any Market where MS entered would send competitors quaking in fear.

They were late to the internet party and then under the disastrous leadership of Ballamer (mindshare wise, not revenue) they completely lost the plot.

Now they are indeed enjoying a resurgence, less evil, more relevant and surprisingly accepting of Open source software. How the world turns....

bargl 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Microsoft has done some very good things and some very bad things. I'll let everyone else point out the bad things because there seems to be plenty of that.

I personally like the:

 Surface products, Typescript, C#/F#, .NET Core, Visual Studio Code, and the Hololens.
These are all recently new developments for Microsoft that are really awesome. The fact that a lot of this has become open source is even better. You have to give Microsoft credit for one thing, they've shifted the company so much and that is impressive for a large company.

I enjoy Azure but I understand some people's frustration with it so I exclude it from the list above, I get that it's contentious so I'm leaving it off.

scotty79 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Microsoft feels now, from software developer perspective, as if they finally leashed their lawyers and peddlers, that were running the show for previous decade or more, and let the engineers have a saying in what should be produced.

Express/Community versions, VS Code, typescript, open source, github, browser standards, Windows 10. So many good signs. I can't name the other company that have shown so many good signs in recent past.

cannonpr 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Not to say that Microsoft hasn't done some good work in say Linux lately because of Azure, but I just don't see Microsoft as an innovator, it's very hard to see a company that makes 2 billion a year off android patent's as innovative...I wonder how much of Microsoft in the future will be a tech leader, versus a patents company.
mmmeff 3 hours ago 2 replies      
How do these paywall articles keep finding their way to the top? I call BS.
henshao 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is it just me, or is the usual "copy title, paste into google search" not working this time? I can't manage to find the google search result for this article, even after trying many combinations of google filters/date filters.

They've caught on?

blowski 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> Under Mr. Nadella, Microsoft is shaping up to be the only pre-internet tech giant to escape the decline of its legacy productthe Windows PC operating systemand emerge as a leader in the new era of cloud computing.

Other than Apple, Oracle and IBM?

setq 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't buy it. As a formerly epic consumer of Microsoft products, I can't say I've actually seen ANY change other than a new fluffy marketing facade and a figurehead who appears to be able to walk on water unquestioned simply because he's not Gates or Ballmer. My rationale is as follows:

There is a massive decline in privacy with Windows 10 and retrofitted code to Windows 8.1. There is no option to disable these unless you eviscerate it with a 3rd party tool and/or get a licensing agreement that allows you to use Enterprise Edition and push out GPOs. There is no discussion from Microsoft on this other than some weasel words which say nothing of value. You have to resort to whack-a-mole techniques to secure yourself or business and use their products. The only responses are similar to "we have privacy policy. privacy good!" (read in Lars Ulrich Napster Bad voice).

The migration to a subscription model for everything is bad. Everyone ends up paying more over time and for it we're getting online software delivery that at some points doesn't even work properly or leaves you in the dust. What you end up buying is golden handcuffs.

There is so much fragmentation, it's unreal. As someone who deals with .Net a lot, there is no conclusive plan that lasts more than a few weeks. Tools are volatile, frameworks are fragmented, tooling is pushing more features instead of quality. The rate of churn is also so high, no one knows what the hell is going on. Add to that, reckless abandonment of the last few years is still a major policy. Even looking at Microsoft Office extensions, the bread and butter of many industries, no one has any idea what they hell they are playing at with VSTO and Office 365 at the moment. They plugged a half baked script API in it and consigned everyone to the side bar. No one talks about fight club, or VSTO either apparently.

There are still really bad quality issues. Not a single day goes by where anything isn't poking you in the eye to the point you want to throw your computer or handset out of the window. There is no way to report this or get it fixed conclusively. Even enterprise reps have no idea how to get products fixed at the moment. It has become worse than the days of Microsoft Connect which was a "write this down so we can close it and say fuck you". A lot of things simply just don't even work properly as well. Shit is shiny but it's still shit.

Customers are getting a pricing shafting across the board. Average Joe Consumer doesn't see this but enterprise pricing is paying for all of this. It's horrific some of the prices I've seen floating around recently.

On top of this there is also a new policy of telling the customer what they're getting and being permanently correct. Occasionally to appease the masses, one or two things a year in one of their uservoice type systems close to the business vision (which appears to be totalitarian cross platform domination) get chucked out half baked with a grand announcement. This is celebrated as a major success while a thousand new and old paper cuts, well actually proportionately speaking, eviscerations with a knife, go unnoticed.

I'm not saying they are worse than any of the other larger "tech leaders" but they are not worthy of the mindless praise that is slathered all over them by some members of the tech community and the media recently.

brilliantcode 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I look forward to seeing what's in store for Build 2017. It's going to be tough to outdo Reinvent.

Basically early in 2016 I gravitated towards MS mainly due to the tight integration with VS + Streamlined Azure Portal UI....but the overwhelming amount of new C# ASP.NET stuff I was now encouraged to use...was a tough sell.

tl;dr: Build 2016 convinced me to switch to Azure but now I'm back on AWS post Reinvent 2016

Diederich 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Tens of billions of dollars of cash laying around, used well, enables a lot of pivoting.
stcredzero 2 hours ago 1 reply      
So the pendulum has swung yet again!


rb808 3 hours ago 5 replies      
I dont understand the new Microsoft business model. I've stopped using office, Windows is now free(?), but most stuff is in the browser anyway. We used to pay a lot of money for SQL server but now there are lots of free open source alternatives.

Sure Azure might make some money but its a commodity business, I can't see how it will replace the old cash cows.

roymurdock 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Look Whos Back! Microsoft...

That could be the title of a horror movie...

Great comment from Mark stamp in the comments section.

ebbv 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I just can't agree with this conclusion.

Microsoft has taken some great steps since Nadella took over. Doing more projects aimed at regular developers and taking baby steps towards open source, but that is not enough to be a leader.

In fact, I think in 2016, we are in a much worse place when it comes to tech leadership than we were in the late 90s and early 00s. The tech world has been poisoned by money and everything is focused on maximizing profit. Almost nothing is being created because it's innovative or really life changing. The new products that are coming out like Google Home or Microsoft Office 365 which claim to be innovative, really aren't. They are repackaging an existing product in a new context. That's called marketing. That's not tech leadership.

In the 90s we had the launch of Linux, the web and home internet access.

In the 2000s all we've really had is smart phones. Everything else has just been building on what was done in the 90s because the people in charge are all marketers and profit seekers.

Do something truly innovative with all your billions Microsoft, and then I will buy that you are a tech leader. No amount of press releases or fluff articles will convince me.

DoodleBuggy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Windows 10 is steadily improving too.
dbg31415 2 hours ago 1 reply      
At what point can we safely assume that Balmer was simply incompetent?
floopidydoopidy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How much does it cost to buy an article in WSJ?
TruthSHIFT 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Here's a Google link in case you wanted to read the article: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&c...
NLips 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This title has had the exclamation mark after 'back' removed, making it hard to parse.

Are exclamation marks automatically removed? If so, can someone replace with a full stop?

baybal2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft is so uncool
A new type of molecular medicine may be needed to halt cancers economist.com
36 points by prostoalex  6 hours ago   15 comments top 2
ilaksh 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
I believe next-gen cancer research is related to next-gen aging research. See http://sens.org
davidf18 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The best way to halt cancer is to ensure that they never start. Tobacco use contributes to 12 different cancers and makes up about one-third of all cancers[1]. Obesity and lack of exercise can contribute another third.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6544a3.htm

French journal Mediapart supports Tails, others should too boum.org
167 points by BuuQu9hu  14 hours ago   16 comments top 2
StyloBill 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Worth mentioning is that they also publish in english. Even if it's clearly a french politics oriented newspaper, they also have some pretty good articles on everything international.


(I'm not affiliated with Mediapart, I'm just a subscriber)

rihegher 11 hours ago 1 reply      
As a Mediapart subscriber I can confirm they are really independent with no ads anywhere seen on their websites.
Fedora 25: With Wayland, Linux has never been easier (or more handsome) arstechnica.com
39 points by AdmiralAsshat  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
blinkingled 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Fedora has really made great progress. The font situation is improved and used purely as a development/hacker workstation it works great on common hardware. Media playback, battery life remain big issues but I don't expect those to get any better soon. You can always fix the former with Rpmfusion packages and the latter by not using it unplugged :)
0xFFC 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
As software developer I spend all of my time doing reading/writing code and text. So the most important aspect of a linux distro is font rendering and font aliasing for me.

And fedora, last time I tried it, didn't have smooth font by default ! (it was version 23 if I remember correctly)

React-MD React components built with Sass mlaursen.com
130 points by lionep  10 hours ago   49 comments top 15
Egidius 9 hours ago 5 replies      
Even though I'm not completely satisfied with its state, I've recently picked Material UI over React Toolbox. Too bad React-MD wasn't around at the time because it seems like a fierce competitor at first glance.

Things I like about React MD over Material UI:* Fully tested* Separation of styles* Grid included

On a sidenote: the page's styling messes up during loading. It takes one second before it morphs into the actual state.

elcct 8 hours ago 11 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks Material Design and its derivatives is just plain ugly? If I see a website created with this style, I press Ctrl+W close to speed of light.
farax91 6 hours ago 0 replies      
What I like about this library over Material UI is the complete separation of styling, I really don't like how styles are written and passed as an object in Material UI and the requirement of getting muiTheme() from context for most components is just maddening, especially painful during testing. But what I'd really like to see from a material ui library is one that uses ITCSS for styling, check out the grommet UI library which is just an amazing library to work with, and the ITCSS makes editing and customising components a breeze.
Klathmon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing the author has pointed out on reddit was that many of the components have a property to wait to fire until the ink animation is done.

That looks like the cause of the delay and "sluggish" feeling some people are reporting. If you don't set that prop, it's very quick even on a nexus 4 which tends to be my baseline device for "web apps" right now.

Why you'd want to set that I'm not sure, but it's there.

vasco 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Nothing to do with this project per se, but I still do not understand the deal with material design on the web. I can understand the case for it's use in small screens and maybe falling back to it based on media queries makes sense but I'm yet to see a good looking website on a laptop using material design.
rco8786 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps the name could be re-thought? I expected something Markdown related.
patates 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Did the author try to use the components from a low end phone? Generally it looks good but all the jumping, flashing and crashing do not signal version 1.0.0.
andr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome! Any plans for TypeScript support?
Numberwang 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow very pretty. I love material design.
tgroutars 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be curious to know how this compares to Material UI.Has anyone tried both?
adnanh 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Somewhat relevant: It seems like Google is using [1] for some of their projects...

[1] https://getmdl.io/showcase/index.html

CombatCode 7 hours ago 0 replies      
sweet, I have just yesterday implemented MaterialUI to my react app... I will change it asap :)
arekkas 9 hours ago 1 reply      
kibrad 9 hours ago 0 replies      
what a slow, clumsy, and flickering website of a modern ui framework
6mirrors 8 hours ago 1 reply      
MD is not a clean UI....
First steps forward with Fitbit pebble.com
73 points by antouank  9 hours ago   35 comments top 6
bryanlarsen 6 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm a backer of the Pebble Time 2. I got my refund, so I went to Best Buy (Canada) to pick up a Pebble 2. But they refused to sell me one even though they had some in stock. Super pissed. My original pebble is basically dead with the glitching issue, so now I'm SOL.
Jommi 8 hours ago 3 replies      
After quickly reading this, it looks like fitbit is really keen into having the pebble not cut ties with their large and active community.

And apparently there is a whole team that " is responsible for a smooth and positive Pebble transition. "

Let'shope for the best, maybe the increase in fitbits brand value is worth the effort out into supporting a dead piece of hardware (no offense).

MBCook 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
I found it very interesting they're committing to keep Apple Health integration when FitBit themselves don't provide it.
avtar 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know of a fitness tracker that doesn't push data to a backend service operated by a for-profit organization? I'm searching for a device that:

* Has decent battery life (at least better than the Fitbit Charge 2)

* Performs heart monitoring, activity reminders, sleep and steps tracking

* Has iOS and Android apps that let you push collected metrics to a backend service that you can host yourself

taneq 6 hours ago 0 replies      
At what point does the Fitbit privacy policy with regards to user data take over from the Pebble privacy policy? After a quick read through, the Fitbit policy seems pretty reasonable, and doesn't contain terms that (for instance) let them track personally identifiable data for later sale. Once the Fitbit policy is in effect I'd even half consider using the official Pebble app.
eps 8 hours ago 2 replies      

 [photo] Me at Angelhack Mumbai 2016
That was fun. 40 people, only one Caucasian. It's like an edgy version of [2].

[1] https://developer.pebble.com/assets/images/blog/2016-12-14-m...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_Three_Children_puzzle

Why I Studied Full-Time for 8 Months for a Google Interview freecodecamp.com
126 points by avinassh  3 hours ago   101 comments top 23
msoad 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I worked at Google. This makes me sad. Sad to see people are treating a for profit company like a religion. Google is a good workplace compared to other companies but it's not a religion and it's not perfect. As other commenters said it's not the thing it was before either.

I left Google to work on something more interesting and I can't be happier. If we're going to hire people, I'm not putting any weight on their work background.

fdsfsaa 2 hours ago 13 replies      
This guy is sad. All those people on Quora who ask unending questions about Google are sad. They're suckers. They've eaten up Google's marketing.

You want to know the reality? Whatever's special about Google is long gone. Management let the smoke out a long time ago. Nowadays, Google is just another big software company, with all the opaque politics, purposelessness, and random nonsense that comes with being a big company. It's sad to see people strive to be a faceless drone.

gravypod 2 hours ago 2 replies      
> Ive spent thousands of hours reading books, writing code, and watching computer science lectures, all to prepare for the Google software engineer interview.

Shouldn't you just be doing this anyway if you want to be a good computer scientist? That's how you learn. You constantly take in new information and attempt to apply it and Computer Science is one of the most enabling fields of this form of learning since 1) we all love to churn out an "Experiment" every once and a while and have it fall into being a small side project that makes us a few k and 2) almost EVERYTHING is free! All the info is made by basement-dwelling nerds who sit at home and build cool ass shit and as such they put it all on the internet! Being one of these basement dwelling nerds, it's frigin amazing to have a wealth of all of the fields best research at my fingertips just a google away and I love learning this stuff not for an inevitable goal of "Being a Googler (tm)" but instead of furthering what I know about the world.

If the author is reading this, good on you for learning but don't worry about being a googler if you can do this then you're better then the average googler because you're in the top 1 maybe 2% of all computer scientists if you continually want to learn more. Google even thinks that way, look at their higher level employees like Rob Pike, people who think programmers must be limited because they aren't able to think as well as him about abstractions. Don't waste your time at google. Start a company, build something amazing for yourself or do contract work for others, write these blog posts to get more clients, and make the world a better place. If you're this smart you don't need to run a hamsterwheel for a huge Google-sized corporation.

projektir 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This makes me wonder...

The idea of studying for the sake of making it a certain company, for some reason, turns me off. Never had the personality to do things only because a parent/teacher/company wanted me to do it.

But, if there was something more fundamental to study for, like a certificate, or a project, or a competition (something more advanced than a hackaton), that'd actually be really interesting. The relative success or failure with it could, then, provide feedback. I guess Project Euler is kind of close, but it's a bit too much of a one-person affair, and only the right answer matters. In other areas, there are often communities where more experienced people help out the less experienced while collectively getting better, and there are tangible goals at every step. Video games come to mind.

Unfortunately, all I've seen is always around data structures, small scripts and hacks, time-gated, overly simple, and promote what I would call bad code or shallow understanding. It makes you good at the events in question, and you can get some certificate, but whether or not it's actually making you a better developer is suspect and the correlation is often backwards, if anything.

So the only solid goal a lot of people see is getting hired by X company, and, by extension, getting better at interviews. Because that's something you can measure and get good feedback from and it's a lot simpler than trying to figure out what being a good software developer means.

bshimmin 3 hours ago 6 replies      
I feel like this is some sort of promotional piece, but I can't quite get the angle - is he a fictitious individual made up by Google? Is this an attempt by Apple to make Google employees look weird? Is he a real person who's looking to publish a book?

Perhaps it's entirely legit, but it just seems so, so strange to me.

swingbridge 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The very fact that "preparing for 8 months for a Google interview" is a thing highlights all the things that have gone wrong at Google and their widely panned bad recruitment practices.

The process has become about recruiting people that are good at the silly process and not about recruiting the best people. Probably OK if Google is in 'megacorp looking to feed more skillled cogs into the machine' mode (which it mostly is), but unlikely the process finds the person that builds the next Google.

untog 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It fascinates me the extent to which he regrets not getting a Computer Science degree, and says it impacts how hireable he is. Obviously, data point of one here, but I don't have one and it hasn't come up once in my career.

You may not see web development and software engineering as different positions. Both involve programming and craftsmanship, but software engineering adds to it knowledge of data structures and algorithms, compiled languages, memory considerations, and understanding the impact of coding and architecture decisions on the machines where they reside.

I think that's a simplistic view of what "web developer" is these days. I work in the web for most of the time and I absolutely have to do deal with memory considerations as well as code and architecture choices. And if you're a full-stack developer you're likely dealing with some kind of compiled language on the backend.

In brief, Google is a company that hires smart, creative people, and treats them well. Google rewards merit, encourages big ideas, and gives employees the freedom to make good decisions for the user.

I very much question that, in 2016.

charlieegan3 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This has been posted quite a few times in the last few days: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=why%20i%20studied%208%20months...

Most of the relevant comments are at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12649740

preordained 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Something wrong with this guy...all this future Googler talk with disclaimer asides about "what if I don't get hired"...and yet he's talking about how you can do it and your success plan.

Anyhow, in general it's getting really weird hearing more stuff like "Google is the best" and "I just have to work there". I question your judgement if you are making these sort of statements as an outsider. At least join the party before you drink the koolaid.

marsrover 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> Wherever I end up, Im going in as an entry-level software engineer. Im not going in with 15 years of software engineering experience because I simply dont have it. When it comes to this stuff, Im the equivalent of a fresh CS grad.

Talk about selling yourself short. You've been a web developer for 15 years. I would think you've progressed a little further than entry-level.

jondubois 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The thing about constantly learning new things is that after about 10 years you start to forget the old things. The new stuff kind of overwrites the old stuff after a while.

What I find annoying about technical interviews is that they force me to review useless, basic stuff that I learned 10 years ago instead of asking me about all the cutting edge (and much more interesting/difficult) stuff that I have learned more recently.

sixtypoundhound 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry, the concept here is mildly depressing.

Go study for 8 months to be awesome, focusing your time on subjects directly related to improving your awesomeness.

If your awesomeness happens to match a need at Google, great. Otherwise, you're still awesome and will wind up somewhere worthwhile....

simmons 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I started reading this thinking it was nuts to put so much effort into targeting one specific company. But by the end, I couldn't help but admire his willingness to set a goal and put in some serious work to accomplish it!
londons_explore 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Most Google engineers, if asked nicely, will give a mock interview and give feedback on if you're (in their personal opinion) above the hiring standard.

There are thousands scattered all over the internet - just scout one out and ask.

yawz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
When I saw that title, I was torn between "because you're an idiot" and "because you know what you really want". I'm old enough to know that everybody has an opinion, but I can't help but thinking that studying full-time for 8 months for a job interview is wrong. 8 months is a very long time, and I can easily think a dozen professional contexts where such a time could be put to much better use. It is sad.
divbit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hmmm... I can't quite fault the guy if that's what he really wants in life - I put about 3 months (an entire summer) into unpaid studying for grad school prelims (i.e. I didn't request a teaching assignment for the summer) and ended up being the only person to pass all three exams at once that fall (Note: I think there were a couple people that passed the exams by spreading them out over the space of a year or two).

On the other hand, this seems like something you can only easily do if you are young / no kids / or have tons of savings (rich)... (I strongly doubt my wife would put up with me doing this now) so hopefully for the crop of people that want to work there it is not the norm / maybe their age diversity would benefit from making applicants work record count for a bit more or something, idk.

mathattack 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't it really, "Why I studied full-time 8 months for a Google job." This is actually shorter than the 4 years of a BS in Computer Science for the Google job.
whatever_dude 1 hour ago 0 replies      

I'm sure he has learned a lot, but when you study with an interview in mind, you're not necessarily studying to be a good developer; you're studying to look like one. There's some correlation, but it's not the same thing.

tayo42 2 hours ago 1 reply      
How are these people that study for what ever company so certain they'll even get an interview? I'm still waiting for Google to acknowledge my application from last year lol.
geebee 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Great write-up, thank you to the OP for putting this on the web! I have a few thoughts on it.

First, I'm not all that surprised someone would study for 8 months for an interview at Google. I interviewed there (no hire) and gave myself 3 weeks. It wasn't close to enough time, and I've taken a lot of formal math and basic CS plus data structures. Just too rusty, especially at a whiteboard. I could easily have spent 3 months.

Various people here have cautioned against working at Google, and I know people who worked at Google (as SSE's) who cautioned me about it when they heard I was interviewing. No, not in a "run away" sense, more of a "don't get too starry eyed here, it's not that great" sense. But salary-wise, a SSE role at Google would have paid a hell of a lot more than I make right now. I'm just saying, I can see why people put in the time. And plenty of people do love it there.

My advice to people who have more of the fundamentals is to get a copy of "Cracking the Coding Interview" and just making damn sure you can do the hard problems in 45 minutes at a whiteboard. Memorizing won't help you, you need to understand what you're doing on a deep enough level that you can solve similar problems you haven't seen before.

I also recommend knowing basic data structures like the back of your hand. Really, you can't be trying to remember how to program a queue or stack, or traverse a tree, not if you need to use these concepts to solve a more complicated problem in 45 minutes at a whiteboard [1].

Now, on to the other side here...

I love a few things about software. I love it that an econ major who self studies intensely can get "high level" jobs. I love it that no cartel controls entrance, and can force everyone to do a 3 year grad degree with tuitions at 50K+ a year. I love it that really smart people can move at a faster pace because they learn quickly.

However, I don't love it that corporations are essentially our gatekeepers. The "google interview" shouldn't e called an interview, it should be called the "google exam". Calling it an interview creates an ambiguity that confuses people outside our industry. I know people who work in other fields, and while knowledge is probed during interviews, what they go through is vastly different from what we go through in software. My "interview" at Google was a series of whiteboard exams.

Here's what I don't like about this - someone like the OP here studies, intensely, and takes his exams. Suppose he didn't get the job. Well, how did he do? If you take the actuarial exams, or the nursing boards, or the bar, you get a sense of how you did. There is more transparency around the test. There has to be.

As far as I know (based on what I've read about this interview process at Google from people who know, including the author of Cracking the Coding Interview), my name, along with very formal numerical scores, along with photos of the whiteboard after each interview/exam, are in a database at Google. However (yes, for legal reasons), I am not allowed to know more that the vaguest details about this.

A formal exam, in almost every field, has a published study path. It is graded in a way that is audited to ensure fairness and consistency. It must not be capricious. A student has an opportunity, often, to try again. Your hard study, should you pass, leads to a lasting credential respected by industry.

We get none of this in software. I honestly do believe that the tech exam is a big part of why a lot of people quit software development or never enter it in the first place - this in a field where CEOs regularly lobby congress and the president to lament a shortage of tech talent.

We do need to fix the technical interview. I think the first step is to realize that it is a formal exam, and that as such, it needs to come with the usual benefits and considerations afforded to people who take formal professional exams in other fields.

ctvo 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Did he actually get hired?
jefferson123 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This should not be promoted as a case study, or a success story for people to aspire to emulate.

I hope this guy the best, but he obviously has some mental issue and he's trying to find solace in talking about it publicly.

dudul 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It reads like a PR piece. If it had stopped at "Now I want to be called a software engineer and I'll study for that", it would have been a nice story about setting goals, and working to get there or whatever. But the whole "Google is so freakishly awesome dude! I need to work there!! it's the most better company in the world!" is kind of a turn off.

I can't believe that Google Careers site actually recommend that candidates should study "Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition". This is completely nuts to me.

Mistakes Developers Make When Learning Design smashingmagazine.com
22 points by mtgentry  1 hour ago   3 comments top 3
serg_chernata 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
On "Getting Distracted By The Tech / Tools", this is why I still design in Photoshop, since Photoshop 7 many many years ago. I've seen so many tools come and go. New workflows, new interfaces and integrations to speed up web development. "Photoshop killers". But I, personally, feel right at home in Photoshop. I know every corner. It doesn't make me amazing but it lets me focus on creating. I don't know if I'll ever switch.
Kenji 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The blank Photoshop document glows in front of you. Youve been trying to design a website for an hour but its going nowhere.

For me, it's exactly the other way around. I have a beautifully illustrated Photoshop picture and then I turn it into HTML and CSS and I realize that some relative alignments are literally completely impossible to do without design changes or doing some flexbox hack that's not supported on older browsers. The ugliness of HTML quickly catches up to your pretty bitmap. Going with HTML from the start is the way to go (unless you can avoid HTML altogether, in which case you should AVOID IT ALTOGETHER).

0xdeadbeefbabe 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The blank Photoshop document glows in front of you. Youve been trying to design a website for an hour but its going nowhere.

This scenario seems implausible to me.

World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That's Cheaper Than Wind bloomberg.com
637 points by Osiris30  20 hours ago   262 comments top 22
jfoutz 18 hours ago 10 replies      
I have high hopes for ARES [1]. just a heavy train on a hill with a regenerative break. Add lots of tracks, multiple trains per track, solar above the rails. Avoids needing all the water for pumped hydro storage. none of toxic stuff to deal with when batteries have reached their end of life. Zero carbon emission (aside from whatever is required for manufacturing) is just hugely appealing.

If solar prices continue as they have for another 3-5 years, the question is going to be pretty clear, how do we store all of this insanely cheap power. I'm a little mystified we're not taxing carbon emissions and subsidizing storage. But hey, there are clearly powerful forces at play, that don't agree with me.

[1] http://www.aresnorthamerica.com/

josephg 18 hours ago 4 replies      
This is a really great mini-documentary about solar from May this year. They talk about the tumbling price and interview investors and manufacturers in China. The eye opening moment for me was the fact that they already have 2M people in China manufacturing panels, and production is still ramping up.

It looks like solar is starting to become an inevitability.


xt00 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The good thing about solar is that it leverages off the semiconductor industry, whereas other renewables do not. For example, in the case of smartphones, before they existed accelerometers and GPS IC's were crazy expensive, but now they are cheap. Solar probably has years and years to go before it is as cheap as possible. I would not be surprised if solar hits $0.10/watt in 10 years. Basically because as the demand picks up and money is being made, more companies will be saying, "if we can just increase our efficiency by 20% or so, we can lower the price and win huge contracts.." so they will be trying things like multilayers, changing the structure to improve efficiency as the panel heats up, coatings, lenses, etc that can all be done in low cost ways. Definitely would be interesting to compare how much it costs to run/maintain a solar farm vs. a natural gas power plant. Basically you have to deliver the fuel to the plant, maintain all the stuff, pay for the workers to make sure stuff doesn't blow up, etc. Seems like with a solar farm you basically need a guy with a truck and a leaf blower.
XorNot 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The really interesting thing here is what this means for all the coal-warriors making their resurgence (or thinking they will): they're not going to find investors for new plants.

If solar is cheaper, and scales well (i.e. you can just keep deploying it, pretty much anywhere, and have it get cheaper the more you do) then all the smart money is going to go to building as much PV as quickly as possible. There'll be no one willing to invest in coal-plants because they'll be looking at the on-going costs, looking at the up-front costs, placement issues, build-times, risk of actual action on carbon pricing and saying "you know what, let's build out solar instead".

gns24 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Solar and wind are so different that comparing them doesn't really make any sense. Generally a combination is optimal. The news in this article though is that solar prices have tumbled in the last few years - whereas wind prices have declined at a more expected rate.

Comparing the photo-voltaic capacity installed in 2016 with wind capacity is a bit misleading, as wind typically has a much higher capacity factor than solar - so the 59GW of wind will almost certainly produce more electricity than the 70GW of solar.

davidf18 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, everything organic is already powered by solar energy so by far, solar is probably the greatest energy source on the planet.

The Photosynthesis enzyme in plant leaves captures photons that are converted to electrons with energy stored chemically in carbohydrates. Animals eat the chemical energy created by plants as well as other animals. Animals use oxygen to oxidize the carbohydrates to create energy.

giis 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Just couple of days I saw this documentary by national geographic about world's largest solar power plant in India completed in ~8 months.


LeanderK 8 hours ago 1 reply      
i am really happy that the "green" energy production is in such a price war. It's Solar vs. Wind not Solar vs. Coal. I don't care what's cheaper as long as it's not Coal!
dmccunney 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Back in the early 70's, I worked for a government (HUD/ERDA) sponsored project to promote alternative energy use. It was the first flowering of OPEC, gas prices at the pump were rising over (gasp!) $1/gallon, and there was a sudden massive interest in reducing dependence on foreign oil.

What my shop was pushing was using solar collectors to heat hot water. That was about 20% of the average residential energy bill, had a relatively low up front cost, and a relatively short payback period. We were aware of and tracked a variety of alternative energy sources including photovoltaics, but expected them to get niche pickup at best because they were simply too expensive. To a large extent, that's still the case.

Another point to note is that energy usage isn't just electricity. Back then, a national energy budget divided roughly into quarters, with industrial heating and cooling, residential/light commercial heating and cooling, transportation, and electricity making up the demand. The total amount of energy consumed is rather larger, but that breakdown is still pretty much the same. I don't see solar electric power addressing things like heavy duty heating and cooling, nor most transportation.

One thing I got convinced of back then is that the form of energy used will be the cheapest that will do the job. Energy from fossil fuel still predominates because it is still cheapest.

Solar is still essentially a niche market, though growing, and lower costs are the driver. I was grimly amused a while back over the woes of Solyndra, an effort to create large scale photovoltiac production in the US, that got about half a billion in government funding. The underlying notion was creation of US jobs.

Photovoltaics is semi-conductor electronics, the Chinese jumped in with both feet, and started turning out solar cells at prices domestic producers couldn't match. In fact, some Chinese producers came to grief. They dove in based on demand estimates that were unfounded, produced a glut on the market, far lower pricers for buyers, and failures among firms that were late to the manufacturing party.

People went on about US jobs, and I thought "Drive on the NJ Turnpike, and every other pole has a solar cell array generating power to help run the Turnpike. Somebody has the contract to design, produce, install and maintain those arrays, and those jobs by nature will be local. Decreasing costs for the raw materials used to produce the arrays made it possible to sell the end products cheaper, and increased the demand. The Chinese can do it cheapest and can have solar cell production. The money is in moving up the value chain and making things people will buy that use those solar cells."

I'm delighted to see solar electricity costs dropping to the reported levels, but anyone who sees it as a solution for overall energy woes isn't looking at a big enough picture.______Dennis

dmccunney 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Back in the early 70's, I worked for a government (HUD/ERDA) sponsored project to promote alternative energy use. It was the first flowering of OPEC, gas prices at the pump were rising over (gasp!) $1/gallon, and there was a sudden massive interest in reducing dependence on foreign oil.

What my shop was pushing was using solar collectors to heat hot water. That was about 20% of the average residential energy bill, had a relatively low up front cost, and a relatively short payback period. We were aware of and tracked a variety of alternative energy sources including photovoltaics, but expected them to get niche pickup at best because they were simply too expensive. To a large extent, that's still the case.

Another point to note is that energy usage isn't just electricity. Back then, a national energy budget divided roughly into quarters, with industrial heating and cooling, residential/light commercial heating and cooling, transportation, and electricity making up the demand. The total amount of energy consumed is rather larger, but that breakdown is still pretty much the same. I don't see solar electric power addressing things like heavy duty heating and cooling, nor most transportation.

One thing I got convinced of back then is that the form of energy used will be the cheapest that will do the job. Energy from fossil fuel still predominates because it is still cheapest.

Solar is still essentially a niche market, though growing, and lower costs are the driver. I was grimly amused a while back over the woes of Solyndra, an effort to create large scale photovoltiac production in the US, that got about half a billion in government funding. The underlying notion was creation of US jobs.

Photovoltaics is semi-conductor electronics, the Chinese jumped in with both feet, and started turning out solar cells at prices domestic producers couldn't match. In fact, some Chinese producers came to grief. They dove in based on demand estimates that were unfounded, produced a glut on the market, far lower prices for buyers, and failures among firms that were late to the manufacturing party. Solyndra couldn't compete.

People went on about US jobs, and I thought "Drive on the NJ Turnpike, and every other pole has a solar cell array generating power to help run the Turnpike. Somebody has the contract to design, produce, install and maintain those arrays, and those jobs by nature will be local. Decreasing costs for the raw materials used to produce the arrays made it possible to sell the end products cheaper, and increased the demand. The Chinese can do it cheapest and can have solar cell production. The money is in moving up the value chain and making things people will buy that use those solar cells."

I'm delighted to see solar electricity costs dropping to the reported levels, but anyone who sees it as a solution for overall energy woes isn't looking at a big enough picture.______Dennis

barney54 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Saying that solar is less expensive than nat gas is misleading. It's and apples to oranges comparison. To make a valid comparison you need to compare solar + batteries to natural gas. There is value to electricity production that has an on/off switch because it helps keep the grid stable.
koheripbal 19 hours ago 2 replies      
This does not include storage costs to offset the cyclic nature of solar.
sunrisetofu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think flow battery technology will be a viable grid storage option, it makes sense in terms of scale, simplicity and durability
transfire 18 hours ago 0 replies      
If perovskite pans out -- and it is starting to look like it will -- then solar is about to get a lot cheaper still.

See https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161020142037.h...

sdornan 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is such good news. Can't wait until we abandon fossil fuels altogether.
nannePOPI 17 hours ago 6 replies      
Do solar panels produce more energy that the amount required to create and operate them? (including mining the materials)
orf 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank god, this can't come soon enough.
spiderfarmer 19 hours ago 2 replies      
>In early May, speaking before a cheering West Virginia crowd filled with miners wearing hard hats or holding Trump Digs Coal signs, the then-Republican nominee pledged: Get ready because youre going to be working your asses off.

Guess not.

wernercd 17 hours ago 1 reply      
mentos 17 hours ago 8 replies      
"The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a single adult with two children is $4,820. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $57,851."

What would the cost of living fall to if energy costs were $0?

chris_va 19 hours ago 8 replies      
Renewable energy accounting is shady (no pun intended). This is more accurate (original source EIA):


... and also why natural gas will always win, and why coal is getting shut down.

downandout 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Comparing the costs of two renewables is like comparing the cost of a new Mercedes to a new BMW: both are great to have, but neither one is affordable for most of the world. "World energy" has not "hit a turning point," though this kind of misleading headline seems to be the norm at Bloomberg. One expensive thing became a little less expensive than the other expensive thing. It doesn't change the fact that in most of the world, neither solar nor wind is even remotely competitive with conventional sources. Hopefully they are one day, but today is not that day.
Thomas Edisons Ambitious To-Do List from 1888 openculture.com
65 points by MarlonPro  7 hours ago   30 comments top 13
ideonexus 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
I find myself more than a little disappointed in this "todo" list. It looks more to me like an "ambitions" list. These are future long-term projects. It doesn't look much different to me than someone with a todo list that includes multiple long term software development projects.

A much more insightful todo list for me would be to see one of the day-to-day todo lists I find myself writing for every weekend. These include things like "Finish writing chapter 15" or "Refactor [component] into [design pattern]." I want to see the granular tasks Edison and other "great men" worked on in the day-slivers of their lives.

Seeing a big list like this reinforces my impression of Edison as a less of the hands-on inventor our society tries to make him out to be and more of a high-level manager who put mostly signed the patents for everything his workshop of inventors produced.

woofyman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Todo:1) Electrocute a dog2) Electrocute an elephant3) Electrocute a man

All to prove the dangers of AC power.


simonsarris 4 hours ago 2 replies      
For those that missed it I assume this is on the heels of yesterday's post:

Leonardo Da Vincis To Do List (circa 1490) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13187316

pontifier 1 hour ago 1 reply      
These items sparked my interest, because they are quite similar to things I'm working on or thinking about doing...

-New Expansion Pyromagnetic Dynamo

-Deposit in vacuo on lace, gold + silver also on cotton molten chemical compound of lustrous surfaces to imitate silk also reg plating system

-Malleablizing Cast now in Vacuo

-Snow Compressor

I'm working on a fusion reactor, have wanted to evaporate and experiment with metals in a vacuum chamber, and I want to build a snow brick maker for fun in the winter...

WalterBright 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Edison invented the modern industrial research and development laboratory. He created multiple entire industries. Who else has done anything remotely like that?
brachi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This reminded me that most TO-DO lists will be lost when we die, unless we meticulously set up a backup scheme and an 'inactivity management'[1] like google has.Probably not that interesting to anyone but close relatives, though. However, I find that they reflect our personalities a lot and are pretty valuable.[1] https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3036546?hl=en
monkmartinez 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> Large Phonograph for Novels, etc.

Audio books as thing in 1888!

I wonder what Elon Musk's "To-Do" list looks like... or Bezos or anyone with the resources like these two gagillion-aires.

dexwiz 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Proving once again the Ideas are Cheap but Execution is Everything.
mstade 4 hours ago 2 replies      
"Uninflammable" is my new favorite word.
6stringmerc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's all fun and games until trying to make a point by electrocuting a pachyderm.
terrib1e 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I love looking at these old To-Do lists. I personally think Edison was a thief and jerkoff BUT I gotta give credit where credit is due for his marketing/business genius. I really really want to see a to-do list from Nikola Tesla. Really almost ANYTHING from him would be awesome.
phasnox 4 hours ago 0 replies      
- Cotton Picker

- New Standard Phonograph

- Invent the lightbulb

- Trick Telsa to do work for free

pre4646744 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have only one item in my todo list to end all todo lists: Invent general artificial intelligence
How to make Linux more trustworthy arstechnica.co.uk
29 points by walterbell  3 hours ago   5 comments top 4
hannob 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good summary, but disappointing reactions from other distros.

Just to add some info:In the past few days a couple of people gathered in Berlin to discuss reproducible builds. There were some people from the distributions quoted that they don't show much interest, so maybe there will be more movement than this article suggests.

My personal take is that I think there are a few more pieces that are needed for really trustworthy software distribution.

I tried to get a grip on that with the idea that we have a chain "upstream repo" - "usptream tarball" - "potentially insecure transport" - "distribution compile" - "package" - "user download".

Reproducible builds basically fix the tarball to package way, but there's a lot more. E.g. how does a repo become a tarball? Who's checking that? And how does user a know he has the same software as user b? (This is mentioned at the end of the article with the comments of Joanna Rutkowska. Others have discussed basically the same ideas under the term "binary transparency".)

tombrossman 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Canonical could use this to their advantage, now that they are 'taking a stand against unofficial Ubuntu images'.[0] (looking at you, OVH...)

It could also go a long way towards addressing concerns that they, as a UK corporation, may now be subject to the Investigatory Powers Act requiring encryption 'back doors' be inserted in communications software.[1] Even if you argue that Ubuntu isn't communication software, they do ship plenty of packages that are.



walterbell 1 hour ago 1 reply      
OpenEmbedded BitBake supports file integrity verification for remote code sources, http://www.yoctoproject.org/docs/2.3/bitbake-user-manual/bit...

File integrity is of key importance for reproducing builds. For non-local archive downloads, the fetcher code can verify SHA-256 and MD5 checksums to ensure the archives have been downloaded correctly. You can specify these checksums by using the SRC_URI variable with the appropriate varflags as follows:

 SRC_URI[md5sum] = "value" SRC_URI[sha256sum] = "value"

CiPHPerCoder 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Reproducible builds are one of three components necessary to have a secure code delivery system: https://defuse.ca/triangle-of-secure-code-delivery.htm

That Red Hat and Ubuntu aren't interested in delivering trustworthy software means you shouldn't trust them.

Rust required to build Gecko groups.google.com
220 points by steveklabnik  15 hours ago   119 comments top 6
sandyarmstrong 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> Rust language in Gecko is an important part of Project Quantum.

For anybody who missed this, Project Quantum is a Mozilla project to dramatically improve Gecko. Part of this project is to bring in Servo components like CSS and WebRender, hence the Rust dependency.

More awesome info:




userbinator 10 hours ago 9 replies      
Gecko is already dependent on a lot of things so adding Rust might not be that big of a change, but IMHO a long and large list of dependencies and complex build processes are what can really put off those wanting to contribute to browsers (among other software) by fixing bugs or whatever else. I have personally experienced a few times where it was easier and faster to just patch the binary than figure out how to compile everything from source and go through the whole configure/install/etc process again.

Especially with browsers, which not everyone agrees on how they should be and desires to customise, only to find that the option to do so has been removed or a source change must be performed, is subsequently delighted to know that it's open-source so they should be able to do it easily, but then get overwhelmed and give up after they realise the effort needed just to build an unmodified version of the software themselves. They then fall back to merely complaining on the Internet, and reluctantly accepting their "fate"... somehow, I feel like some of the visions of open-source didn't quite turn out as well as hoped.

echelon 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats Mozilla! It's fantastic to see Rust becoming a cornerstone of Firefox. Rust has such a bright future ahead, and it's going to lead to great productivity and safety gains.
shmerl 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Does Mozilla plan a new Firefox based on Servo, or simply to replace parts of Gecko with Servo parts? And if the later, why not to make a new browser from Servo as a parallel project that will eventually match Firefox in functionality?
Animats 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Looking forward to the day when builds no longer require a C/C++ compiler.
sayrer 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Great! Now use a build system that downloads the compiler too. For example, Bazel will download a copy of the Go compiler if you are using it to build Go programs.
The second operating system hiding in every mobile phone (2013) osnews.com
116 points by type0  8 hours ago   12 comments top 7
Matt3o12_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is there any working being done to modernize those protocols? I'm sure Apple can demand that by a given timeframe, a new standard has to be supported or else new iphone won't work on the carrier's network (and which carrier would not want iphones to work on their network?). It's not like Apple is afraid of such things. I'm sure if apple implemented them, google/samsung would follow within 1 or 2 years.

In the meantime, is there a refactor/rewrite of that '90 code bash that is full of bugs and unused functions? And if so, do any phone manufactures use that improve "firmware"?

soft_dev_person 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that plenty of the security holes are actually required by major carriers to be present. Just sayin'.

Also, for trust to be thrown out the window, a lot of changes would probably need to happen both in baseband software and in the networks themselves. Not seeing that happening anytime soon.

tptacek 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It's very important to understand this risk, but also to keep it in perspective.

Both the two major phone vendors --- Google and Apple --- have teams of people who are acutely aware of the baseband thread, many of whom are equally as talented as RPW.

Further, though the article seems carefully written enough to avoid the misconception, the basebands on modern phones don't get direct access to AP memory, but are instead connected over a high-speed serial connection with a limited command set.

helb 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The author posted it to HN after publication (in 2013), it got 262 comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6722292
madengr 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Funny the author calls the code little understood with no peer review, yet when has the baseband processor on your phone crashed? Not nearly as often as the OS. Just because he does not grasp it does not mean it is poorly implemented. It goes through very extensive reliability and interoperability testing.

They aren't understood since standards such as LTE are very complex, tying in RF hardware, DSP in ASICs, and software.

id122015 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't that how Samsung hides Absolute Computrace rootkit/spyware in the hidden partition ?

I read that it can not be removed not even by reinstalling the OS. But it looks like PC manufacturers like Lenovo found a way to hide the same rootkit in their BIOS.


unusximmortalis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
this article left all those that read it... speechless?
RediSQL A Redis module that provides a functional SQL database github.com
61 points by geospeck  10 hours ago   45 comments top 11
antirez 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I think that what the module does is actually not clear here in the comments I'm reading. It's mostly a nice "Hello World" module that shows how Redis can act as a proxy, but it's just a small glue-module that calls the SQLite library with the string passed as query. So you are running queries on a local sqlite server, proxied by Redis.

While this can be a good programming example for newcomers, I suggest to look at modules that are really implementing new DB paradigms on top of Redis. For instance this module builds a graph DB on top of Redis data types, with a query language and so forth:


dvirsky 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working on a secondary indexing module for redis with a subset of SQL WHERE for selection predicates, if anyone's interested. It's not stable yet, but it's coming along nicely.

The idea was actually NOT to create an SQL like database, but just proxy ordinary redis commands via secondary index. So you select ids, and perform HGET or HGETALL on them, etc. And the same goes for indexing - you perform something like HMSET and "through" the index, and it performs the operation while indexing the hash automatically.

Also, indexes can be used as direct data types with no automation, you just insert ids and tuples of data into them, and you can query them and get ids back.https://github.com/RedisLabsModules/secondary

EugeneOZ 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried to do the same (before great Lua support, using PHP), but overall performance was similar to MySQL (much more reliable than my experiment) so I abandoned it.

So would be very interesting to see benchmarks and comparisons with MySQL - I think right now we have more ways to implement it better.

siscia 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Author here, if you have any question please feel free to ask.

Also I have introduced the module in a blog post here: http://redbeardlab.tech/2016/12/13/redisql

xena 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It'd be really interesting to use redis modules like this in the future to have redis itself be both the main interface to the database for programs and a caching layer.
gtrubetskoy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I did something similar a while ago (2012) (it even made it to the top of HN).


Thredis also added multi-threading to Redis. The code is here: https://github.com/grisha/thredis

stevekemp 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a cute project, I remember you posted it before. I remember somebody else had a go at this a few years back


azureel 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Hello siscia, do you have any benchmark against a sqlite Db on Ramdisk?
hoschicz 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Where does it save the data? Just in a blob in Redis? Does it support replication? How about persistence - - can I use standard Redis persistence? I'm kinda new to modules in Redis.

Definitely could use this for migration off SQLite to a solid DB.

m82labs 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Fully in-memory SQL can also be accomplished using IMOLTP via MS SQL Express on Linux now as well. And you get a fairly feature complete engine along with multithreaded execution, no blocking, and some great client options. The only limits right now are 4 cores and ~350MB of in-memory data per database.
FloatingGhost 9 hours ago 0 replies      
science has gone too far
Harassment at Apple: A personal perspective medium.com
317 points by smsowmya  9 hours ago   412 comments top 49
Humdeee 4 hours ago 5 replies      
If I was back at the start of my career, I would of dismissed this article and told the author to "toughen up". After all, what's a bit of ribbing among co-workers? Surely she's just being overly-sensitive.

Until I had the (mis)pleasure of working with a truly toxic co-worker did my mindset completely change on the issue of bullying, intimidation, and hostility in the workplace. He was a senior guy, decent at his job. But how he was able to change the dynamic of multiple teams was very offsetting. Communication declined, as people didn't want to go near the team that had the guy that was insulting them everytime on a whim. Workplace politics were on the rise. The common denominator was this guy was involved with every issue. Management stayed quiet and attempted to push it under the rug for a bit, but eventually they had to take notice. It was so relieving to walk in one day to him cleaning out his desk. I remember locking eyes with him one last time and giving him a final unspoken send off with a stern glare. He turned the corner and I never saw him again. My co-workers and myself went out for lunch as a celebration. The amount of relief was incredible. It was like starting fresh again.

Back to the article, I still can't say I fully understand what this woman went through. But just having a taste of how off-putting 1 toxic employee can be really opened my eyes. I can't fathom having multiple employees or even a manager with that type of behavior. I won't comment on gender or racial issues.

Being stressed from work is okay. Some jobs have more stress than others, and at higher frequencies. But being stressed from the people at work is needless stress that compounds on top of the regular work stress that we all accept to some degree when entering a job or role.

tps5 5 hours ago 9 replies      
I think commenters who are reacting negatively to this story are reacting to the vocabulary rather than the story.

Obviously I'm not a witness, but I tend to believe that these events took place more or less as the author describes them.

At the same time, words like "sexism" and phrases like "as a minority..." are a big turn-off to some readers, myself included. This isn't because I don't believe in racism/sexism/xenophobia, it's because we're never going to be able to agree on definitions for those terms and so they end up being almost useless as descriptors.

I would put this in almost literary terms: I don't want events to be described, I want them to be recounted. This is also how I feel about movies and literature: I want novels/screenplays that "show rather than tell." I don't want to be told how to think about an event, I just want it to be presented to me.

I also believe that categorizing your personal experiences in terms of broader social phenomena is a mistake. In my opinion, this kind of thinking leads to generalization and tends to obscure the actual events that took place and the actors involved.

All that aside, absolute sympathy to the author here. It's incomprehensible to me that people can behave like this, but sadly they do.

donatj 4 hours ago 2 replies      
There is a mental trap I have personally fallen into I will dub the "Friendliness Trap" where you start to incorrectly think of someone you work closely with as your close friend due to the forced proximity and "friendly" interaction. This can foster inappropriate workplace behavior your brain justifies as OK.

For instance friendly teasing, sometimes even started by the person themselves (e.g. "Oh, you know us [blanks], good at [blank]") can be taken way too far. People wrongly get the sense that something is OK because the person doesn't complain or laughs along and it can escalate to the point of full on harassment and your brain still thinks "[person] is my buddy, it's OK". I think it's partially human nature and wanting to fit in. The person being teased doesn't want to come off adversarial, the person teasing thinks it's "their joke".

I realized long ago simply don't tease people at work. They are not around you by choice. Don't assume people at work are friends in the way your drinking buddies are friends. You honestly have no idea how they really feel about it until it's too late, save it for your friends who are around you by choice.

warcher 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I tell a lot of younger developers this, because it's an important truth that will never, ever be spoken aloud.

The sole role of Human Resources is to protect the company from liability, either through lawsuits or labor law compliance. Occasionally managers will abdicate their duty and delegate parts of hiring authority to a section of the company with no understanding of what they do and no accountability for getting it wrong, but that's not as common as you think. Most hiring just gets rubber stamped by HR, not driven by them.

That's all. They're a cost center with no authority beyond saying "this kid is gonna cost us a lot of money if we don't get rid of them"-- either by being a harasser or by being the litigious type (to HR, they're actually the same thing).

If you're expecting them to intercede on your behalf with your manager without something being obviously out of control, ie lawsuit-worthy, you're gonna have a hard time.

analyst74 5 hours ago 2 replies      
For anyone new to office politics, or have not experienced hostile politics before, keep those in mind:

- Make sure to have some real friends at work. No, someone you work with everyday is not necessarily a real friend, you have to make real connections with them, so they are willing to defend and support you when things get tough.

- Be observant and empathetic, so you can notice problems when they first arise, and resolve them before they escalate. This is hard for engineers, as we focus on computers most of the time and don't get to practice the skills of empathy a lot.

- Be strong. Sometimes escalations do happen, and now you have one or more people dislike you and try to make your life hard. You need to be emotionally strong to withstand their attacks, and keep a clear mind to figure out a way to defeat them or at least reach a ceasefire.

Sadly, politics happen all the time when inter-personal interactions happen, not necessarily the result of one shady colleague with agendas. This could happen to anyone, although sadly more often to minorities, because it's harder to hide the fact that we are outsiders.

agentgt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a serious problem.

My concern is people seem to think it only happens in previously (and still) male dominated fields. It happens everywhere.

I think the woman that voice their concerns and challenges are more abundant in the tech industry probably because the industry is more progressive and generally more educated.

Where I have seen ultra sexism has been in sales and finance. Extremely disturbing in your face sexism. Anecdotally the sexism in tech is sort of passive aggressive but the sexism in other industries is disturbingly direct (one could argue the subtle one being worse). My point is it is everywhere.

I hope the tech industry fixes it and becomes the leader.

chmike 5 hours ago 4 replies      
My brother, as a manager of a big team in Belgium, had once to face a complain to the HR about he harassing a secretary. The reaction of the company was immediate, and in my opinion the right one.

They contracted a specialize company to investigate, collect the facts and present their conclusions. The conclusions would be sent at the same time to the alleged victim, the HR and the manager.

In this case the conclusion was that there was no harassment according to legal definition. These argumented conclusions would have been presented to a trial as reference if any party would want to contest them.

The company performing the audit is specialized in it. So they can recognize a real harassment from an abusive claim. They also have no interest in the company. It is in the interest of the company to call them to get a leverage to apply whatever measure they would find appropriate. If the victim is an employee, and he/she would consider the reaction inappropriate and abusive, he/she could complain to a tribunal.

Today, a company that is not reacting like that (diligent an investigation by an independent party) to a harassment complain would be considered a priori suspect or would be consider to have failed complying to its duty because it is their responsibility to do so.

heisenbit 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There are many articles describing bullying and harassment. This is one worth reading as it

- does not put blame for handling it on any single person or function.

- illustrates systemic dysfunction. Normal incentives work against handling the abuse claim - HR tries to protect company, managers caught in conflict of interest

- points out the result of management not acting clearly. The person bullied feels taking on more responsibility of navigating the mess. As the person has no effective control this add more distress.

- shows the manager dilemma when supporting minority (in whatever sense) in a naive way. The person standing out stands out even more. Dammed if you do and probably dammed if you don't.

- even in an environment where the bullied person is receiving widespread support from others at times (scene at the table where other were speaking up) long running and extreme stress does damage.

- few understand that the problems often only show up months later as it is typical for PTSD

It is very difficult to say what can be done to prevent this. It is obvious that management is making the wrong decisions but why? I believe the author is on something with the conflict of interest. I would add avoidance of conflict - they are empowered to handle it but shy away. Then there is inability to handle bullies by a lot of them - trying to be even handed since this is the normal mode when one side is obviously overstepping (similar to press-Trump relationship).

What could be done by companies? Specialized people/services dealing with that sort of behavior may be one. Making sure management is well grounded in values and knows how to decide in these conflict of interest cases may help a little too.

What can one do to be prepared? Not being weak is probably the best preparation. Ability to fight and win or to pack and run is key to be able to force a resolution.

What to do when caught in it? These days I think getting external help early. Covering two sides: The psychological one (therapist with first hand experience of psychopathic people and stress management, possibly PTSD) and legal advice.

Full disclosure: Could tell a similar sad tale.

tyingq 6 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a curious lack of detail in this story. No direct quotes, or even reasonable level of detail to the accusations.

For example:

"One day, one of my supervisors jumped to my defense at a team event, in an awkward display of sexism."

I'm sure there's a way that a supervisor jumping to your defense could be sexist, but this isn't showing that, at all.

"At a lunch with several other coworkers, one of these men ordered me to summon the waiter and pay the bill, in the tone of a command to someone inferior and subservient."

Certainly odd behavior, but I'm not sure I would call it sexist. Arrogant for sure, but surely there's more context?

To be clear, I'm not saying she's wrong, just that this story isn't helping me understand what she went through, or that it was particularly sexist, versus just hostile.

sqldba 6 hours ago 4 replies      
> I was getting preferential treatment because of my cuteness factor

> Indian women being subservient

I agree that these comments don't belong in the workplace. I have seen similar ones lead to people fired on the day and escorted to the door. Thankfully it's relatively rare but some places do take it very seriously.

Apple was wrong. In Australia the law is clear and they've breached it. Take them to court and get your payout. It's annoying that the victim has to do that but it's possible.

For other parts of the article I put myself in her shoes and didn't find management's treatment of her particularly different from how I (a male) would be treated after complaining about the actions of anyone else (male or female) in the workplace - which is why I don't. HR is ineffectual and the company is against you regardless of whomever is at fault. It just wants one or the other party gone so things can go back to normal, so if it's you versus five other people it's easier to fire and rehire one than five.

> employers also have an obligation to handle the situation with empathy and integrity

And this line stood out at me as being divorced from reality especially at a big company.

I get it that we mostly want companies to be like this but I think it's also obvious that they're not. They are primarily profit motivated and we're lucky if they don't pollute the environment or commit atrocities in the process.

You can look for smaller companies that do it, you can put it in your own company, but if you really felt Apple would be like that then it's being a little naive.

I worked at one mid-size company that was acquired by a competitor who wanted to drive in the boot heel by firing the previous management in as embarrassing a way as possible. My boss was on the chopping block and had false charges levelled at him over email and summarily fired. He took it through the Australian workplace relations system to try to get some closure, until the government advised there's no law to prevent a company making anything up and firing you for it. He could have pursued defamation but that's also extremely difficult, long, and expensive, and he didn't have the money.

It was at that point I grew up in my career and decided you really can't trust any company to look out for you. That's not how it works.

PerilousD 5 hours ago 3 replies      
HR works for the company. When you consider your moves keep in mind HR works for the company. You are not paying HR salaries. Get outside legal help and advice.
kriro 6 hours ago 2 replies      
While not the perfect solution it seems like a lot of the mentioned issues (standardized communication channels, no conflict of interest) could be solved by installing work councils (I take it they are not wide spread in the US? They are standard in Germany): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_council
gumby 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I am sorry to hear that the author went through this. Though I really like Apple and have friends both male and female who've worked there for many years, I also have heard it is a harder place towards women even than a place like Google. And some of its structural elements make that harder to fix (if there even is an effort to fix it, which I have no idea about either way).

It's also quite hard to be public about this (I know someone who recently left Apple for similar reasons but won't discuss it publicly).

jaipilot747 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow! To imagine that the culture at one of the best engineering teams in the world is this poisonous is shocking.

I wonder if things would have played out differently if she had immediately addressed her supervisor's unnecessary defense. While this seems like the starting point for the harassment, my guess is that it was ingrained in the team all along and would have come out at one point or another. Not that that makes it any better.

Truly horrible experience for anyone to go through and I hope she finds a better place to work in and can perhaps put this bitter experience to help others.

jeffbush 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems negligent on the part of HR (as well as genuinely awful).

In California, all managers are required by law to take three hours of sexual harassment training every other year. One thing that stood out to me is that there is no need to make a formal harassment claim: when anyone mentions they have experienced harassment to a manager, even in a private conversation, the manager is required to report it and investigate. If the employee says they want to keep the conversation in confidence, the manager is supposed to say they can't do that. If a manager doesn't follow up, they can be personally liable.

Several companies I've been at also have a mandatory "managers and the law" training class. I didn't talk to anyone for several days after taking it. :)

IANAL, but my understanding is that one job of HR is to protect the company. One reason they investigate is to produce evidence that could be used in the event of a lawsuit to prove they took the allegation seriously. Trying to argue with the employee that it didn't happen would put them in a really bad position if they were sued, because it could be used to demonstrate a hostile work environment.

I've seen complaints happen a few times in my career (not involving me directly), and, in those cases, HR took it gravely seriously. They talked to everyone involved and documented the crap out of it. Most of the people I've met in HR seem to genuinely care. I disagree with advice that HR should not be trusted, but my advice for someone who is in a situation where they are uncomfortable is to document everything. Keep emails of all interactions with your manager and HR and send follow up email to summarize conversations you had in person.

kalleboo 7 hours ago 5 replies      
> No one at the company took responsibility for anything other than protecting the companys liability in case of a lawsuit

The tech industry absolutely doesn't need unions /s

shoefly 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I read the entire article and this is my take: this writer worked with an extreme bulley. The bulley was a ringleader. And potentially psycho.

This isn't about sexism, racism, etc. This is about a ringleader selecting a victim to prey upon for the sole purpose of causing pain.

euphoria83 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
The response of the company to create a case where they want to discredit the complainant is fairly standard. They want to protect themselves.

Unless there is someone at the top that takes these matter seriously on a personal level and has communicated it to his subordinates, senior management in general only pays lip service to taking such matters seriously. These are complex matters and every one wants to get on with their work, rather than deal with the problem.

Tim Cook, I would expect, would have sent the message about taking such matters seriously. It seems like someone between him and the victim decided to add his "personal expertise" to this case and mishandled it completely.

e40 4 hours ago 2 replies      
However, a group of other male coworkers who resented the attention I received started directing inappropriate and misogynistic remarks towards me.

That statement totally reminds me of accounts I've read of conservatives and how they feel about minorities get special treatment.

I just find it really interesting that groups in power react this way while they are still in power. It's a very, very foreign thing to me and I don't understand the source of it, but there is very clearly a common thread of this running through our world right now.

vezycash 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I wonder why she didn't record everything - especially since both managers and HR were trying to gaslight her - making her doubt her sanity.

If she'd gone to HR with recordings and they brushed aside her concerns then she'd have a much stronger case.

Well as she said, a distressed mind doesn't think properly.

pmlnr 7 hours ago 8 replies      
Preamble: I'm not questioning or talking against the article at all, just making some notes. The problem seems to be real all around the world, which is yet another indicator that most societies are not ready for global market.

The only thing I miss from the article: did she try to talk to her harassers directly before going to a manager? Maybe I misread something but it seems like this did not happen, yet this should always be the first step.

My additional notes:

 > Instead of helping me, HR embarked on a defensive and confrontational script.
HR is not your friend; it's one of the stakeholders' defense lines. They will only look at what's best for the company and for it's business. There are no labor unions any more; those are the ones that would actually care about your wellbeing.

 > It is not reasonable to expect the victim to have the presence of mind to know how to tackle this problem.
In certain situations it's very hard to make decisions, that is true, but this is not a seconds/minutes scenario, when you need to make immediate calls. When you have weeks, months, in some cases, I think it is all right to expect decisions from anyone.

 > Until the investigation was completed, even my honesty was at stake.
This is embarrassing - but there are people out there who lie. Especially these days, with the problems of fake news, it's easy to get suspicious.

 > harassment is one of the most brutal experiences women encounter in the workplace [...] Companies need to do far more than what they are doing right now to prevent women from eventually quitting. [...] The company needs to support and empower women to take a stand in these situations. [...] This includes considering women in these situations as people, rather than as pawns in the greater agenda of protecting the companys legal liabilities.

Harassment get target _anyone_, it comes in all flavours. Please don't make harassment part of the gender wars. You can get harassed for having a foreign accent in the UK. ( In a country where English pronunciation differs from village to village. )

rm_dash_rf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for sharing your story. Sounds like a very toxic environment.
vander_elst 3 hours ago 0 replies      
HR has the function of protecting the company from the employees, workers council or similar structures have the function of protecting the employees from the company. All the companies should have one.
FilterSweep 5 hours ago 2 replies      
> I had never before encountered this kind of visceral hatred

This comment rang some bells for me. Have a friend from the Netherlands who was in undergrad with me, and one day in confidence he told me one of the things he didn't understand most in America is how someone can harbor, and actively maintain, such a passionate hatred for someone they aren't intimately involved with.

While this hatred is most definitely present in other first world nations, I can't avoid the fact that he is correct and far more pervasive in America. It doesn't make much sense to me.

smsowmya 8 hours ago 2 replies      
These things happen at most companies .. people get jealous and have different ways of dealing with it .. it's up to management to handle it well, but since no one talks about it, there is no management for it ..
highCs 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Whenever I'm dealing with something that is serious to me, I always clearly first state to myself 1) what I want and 2) what do I do if I don't get what I want. For example in this case, it could be: 1) Jack told me this and that and I consider this is inappropriate. I never want to be told that again in this company 2) I leave.

What I do next is that I make sure I communicate clearly those two points to whoever I think should get me what I want. For example, in that case, I would go see my manager and say: "Jack told me this and that and I consider this is inappropriate. I never want to be told that again in this company. If it happens again, I quit. Have you understood? (wait for his answer) What will you do to make sure it doesn't happen anymore?" (it is important to ask if he has understood, it forces him to go right in the middle of the circle you just draw on the floor, that put him in your territory, right under your guns).

Sometimes, you will have to apply 2). For example in this case, your manager would have to tell you something substantial about what he gonna do to stop that. If what he tells you is not substantial, tell him you are not satisfied and ask him again the same question: "what can you do to make sure it will stop?". Don't quit on that. Keep asking. Only apply 2) if he don't answer anymore. It's typically a situation where "you don't leave the shop until...". If your manager tells you to go see the HR department, tell him clearly again 2): "if I don't get what I want I will leave. Do you still want me to go see the HR department? Are you sure?". Apply pressure, at every step.

Do not have a discussion. Don't discuss the problem with your manager. Don't talk. Ask your question and wait for an answer. If he want to discuss, make him understand you won't.

It's crucial to apply 2) right away when you don't get what you want. I've found it's rarely the occasion to make a deal and make a compromise not so much because the deal is bad but because by doing so, they will start kidding you again.

I'm super happy so far with the result of this method. I get fantastic results from my family, employers, friends, from everybody. At first, you will feel like a freak. Then you will notice the others won't think so much that you are a freak but will think you are a strong person they should not kid with. You end up being respected.

pfarnsworth 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure that working in most companies in the Valley and in a heavily-male-skewed environment such as tech, there's STILL a lot of harassment and sexism, both explicit and implicit, and this has to be eradicated. It sickens me that women can't come to the workplace and just be treated like an equal. I've work with many intelligent women who are more intelligent and successful that I ever will be, and they deserve to be in positions of leadership just as much as any male.

However, this is definitely a story that I would like to hear from the other side before taking as absolute gospel. The tone of the blog post leads to a lot of skepticism in me about the veracity of the events.

She accuses her supervisor of sexism for standing up for her, and then basically accuses Apple of sexism for doing nothing. The contradiction is glaring, and she throws around these words pretty thoughtlessly without thinking how it reflects on the believability of her story. Another pet peeve of mine is that she conflates misogyny with sexism. People can be sexist without being misogynists. Many men and women are sexist. It's largely cultural. Very few are misogynists but they are sickening and scary, and need to be eradicated by any means necessary.

> I approached my management when the situation escalated, who directed me to HR.

This here is the part of the article where my skepticism starts to increase. Where is her story about what happened when she contacted her supervisor, or her management chain. Did she not seek help or advice from the supervisor who was ready to help her? There's a lot that was handwaved over that requires explanation. Without understanding what her supervisor did, who defended her previously, I can't understand what happened. The supervisor and direct manager are the ones who are best suited to deal with this problem directly, especially if it's between coworkers.

On a side note, I don't blame the blog post author for thinking that HR would help. I've been in a situation where I had to talk with HR about my direct manager, and they weren't too enthusiastic to help, and I had to fight my own battles essentially. However, I'm a lot better equipped to fight those battles than the blogger because I'm argumentative and stubborn, and most other people, male and female, aren't as motivated.

> My HR representative was simply unfriendly after I gave feedback about her being unduly confrontational with me.

I think this is an interesting comment from the author. It seems like she doesn't have a high EQ, and doesn't know how to interact with people to get the things that she wants or needs. Her HR rep is the most immediate person who would help her navigate this situation, and she apparently pissed her HR rep off. That wasn't smart and speaks a lot to her EQ, and might explain a lot more about the back story here. She could get better help from her HR rep without pissing him or her off, but she didn't do it or didn't know how to do it.

> While I never heard back in person, I do believe that it likely triggered some of the following actions by the company.

This was laughable, and also reflected poorly on the author. The idea that a single complaint about workplace harassment would trigger this is ridiculous, and the fact she is taking credit for any changes at Apple also reflects on her EQ.

yarou 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The H1B visa system needs to be overhauled or done away with entirely. It's truly sickening to see how we as a society tolerate indentured servitude in the 21st century.

Companies use the system to purposefully depress wages. It needs to end.

dominotw 5 hours ago 2 replies      
>woman and minority in tech

its a bit of stretch to call Indians a minority in tech, if anything we are vastly over-represented by any standard.

zepto 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What a terrible experience.

I like that she points out the conflicts of interest, wherein the legal structures in which companies are embedded so clearly work against a good solution to the problem.

However I think when she says:

"corrective actions for any violations have to be significant enough to be a deterrent to such behaviors in the future. There also needs to be some accountability for these actions"

She is taking on the same position as these legal structures - I.e. that retribution or punishment is an important part of the equation, and I think this is counter to the rest of her argument.

Men raised in a sexist society can't be individually held responsible for acting in the way they have seen people acting around them as though these are intentional crimes against women.

Massive career damage needs to be taken off the table as the first consequence for all sides of this.

That doesn't mean there shouldn't be a great deal of accountability - but it needs to be something closer to restorative justice - where those involved can understand each other rather than remain embattled.

error3 7 hours ago 2 replies      
enragedliberal 3 hours ago 5 replies      
nabaffyuc 8 hours ago 3 replies      
therein 7 hours ago 1 reply      
fatdog 5 hours ago 4 replies      
thr55993 6 hours ago 2 replies      
hrxn 7 hours ago 2 replies      
c0nfused 6 hours ago 2 replies      
scoreponok 3 hours ago 2 replies      
edblarney 4 hours ago 10 replies      
madengr 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorry, Indians are not minorities in tech. Sheesh, my DSP class in grad school was 25 asians and 3 whites.
necessity 7 hours ago 2 replies      
When the word "harassment" appears, there's an 80% chance it's bs. Thanks, sjws.
fred_is_fred 3 hours ago 0 replies      
KKKKkkkk1 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What was she doing at Apple that she felt in the minority as an Indian?
tnones 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I can't help but notice the contradiction. A man jumped to her defense, which was sexism, and then her co-workers got resentful, which she wanted to be defended from but wasn't, and that was sexism too. Somehow, we all need to display more empathy for her situation.

I imagine there's a different side to this. Her coworkers noticed her getting treated differently and started teasing her about it, in a typical form of male ribbing on each other, in an attempt to equalize the status among the team. Rather than take this in stride and rolling with it, she clammed up and got offended, being used to a very different social style. The mistake was to see herself as the primary victim from day 1, rather than a beneficiary of unearned perks. The empathy she demands for herself she doesn't grant to others, and the reasonable and self-sufficient behavior she expects of everyone around her, she was unable to muster herself.

So here's the long medium post where she is unable to dissociate her experience from her identity. A "personal perspective" that nevertheless puts up a list of changes necessary for supporting women and minorities. She also somehow concludes that despite management not seeming to care and not bothering to reply to her final letter, her experience was nevertheless instrumental in causing sweeping and highly visible changes in policy.

Sorry but, being empowered by being uniquely protected is a contradiction. She opens "as a woman and minority" as if that's a liability, rather than the trump card she's actually playing it as. People who don't use that line still have problems, but they don't get to instruct others on how to solve them. If one of her white male co-workers had gotten bullied, I imagine we wouldn't be reading about it today, and she probably wouldn't have noticed either in her me-bubble.

lostboys67 8 hours ago 4 replies      
The "No Meaningful Process" is shocking in a company of Apples size - in the UK they would get the book thrown at them at a tribunal for that.

Sounds like Her boss and Hr failed I wonder if things Like brexit and Trump have made closet racists fell they can be more open

CIPHERSTONE 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How typical, HR that doesn't give a shit about the employees. And if you are in HR and reading this, and crying tears right now over this comment, tough shit. I don't care.
mathattack 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I approached my management when the situation escalated, who directed me to HR. Instead of helping me, HR embarked on a defensive and confrontational script.

For better or worse, HR is there to protect the company, not the employee. This is why many times they report in through legal. It's not fair, but it's the way companies work.

module0000 5 hours ago 7 replies      
> I also eventually received an apology from the company and got time off to deal with my stress.

I'm not sure how I feel(as an AAPL shareholder) about this. I invest in the company, and they are spending(albeit a tiny portion in the grand scheme of things) my money to pay you...so you can deal with your stress? Really? I understand bereavement leave, sick leave, and FMLA....but stress? What happened to businesses existing to do business, not give out warm and fuzzy vibes?

Maybe I'm jaded, but my last jobs were the military, more military, contracting for the military, and ending with military(all in IT). Stress happens, but I didn't let my team down by bowing out from stress, and "disgust" sums up how I feel reading about others doing it.

Tom Wheeler Resigns from the FCC wired.com
264 points by espeed  18 hours ago   175 comments top 11
quasse 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I was recently at a conference in DC called "Transforming Communities: Broadband Goals for 2017 and Beyond" which was largely focused on public policy related to the lack of real broadband in America. Gigi Sohn, who is the counselor to the chairman of the FCC, spoke.

She was very candid about the position of the FCC and the fact that she was finally able to speak her mind because this was going to be one of her last public appearances as a government official. One thing that stuck me was what she said about Tom[1]: "He actually believes that the consumer, the american people, are his clients. He's said that from the first day and he'll say that the day he leaves. Trust me, he doesn't like any of the companies [laughter]". The loss of the current administration of the FCC (including but not limited to Tom) will be a great loss for the American people in my opinion.

The conference was interesting and somewhat sad, because it was planned before the election and probably with the assumption that the new administration would not be totally hostile. Instead of the original direction of "here's what we've done and how we plan to carry these goals forward" it ended up being more of a retrospective on progress that had been made at the federal level that was about to be erased.

From the people I saw, there did not seem to be anyone there representing the new administration.

[1] https://youtu.be/O5drVTSpH5g?list=LLDlLvM2YAVFtSXvebIrlE0A&t...

schmatz 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I had a chance to meet Tom Wheeler to discuss net neutrality in the summer of 2014. It was coming off of a bad press cycle for him (John Oliver calling him a dingo), so I didn't know what to expect.

He was extremely reasonable and very receptive to the needs of the tech community and small businesses. I came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised and have been happy with his actions during his tenure. Sad to see him go.

bluetwo 16 hours ago 23 replies      
One of the problems with Net Neutrality is that techies (us) and the media have both had a hard time explaining it clearly.

Meanwhile those opposed have been able to come up with analogies that while false and misleading, are easily understood.

What is the best way to explain the concept that can be quickly understood by those that are non-technical?

ComputerGuru 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't really news, more of a mere formality. The federal government department heads are all expected to resign or be fired when there's a regime shift in the Oval Office (party change).
shawnfratis2 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What I'm curious to know, is how will any of this truly affect users who aren't necessarily streaming/torrenting/big bandwidth users, like those who focus on education, research, computer sciences, among others. Not meaning to sound too vague, but speaking for myself, most of the Internet-related things I depend on don't necessarily involve constant high-bandwidth usage (like online gaming, for example). If the internet gets completely throttled I want to know what I have to look forward to.
qwertyuiop924 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Dammit. We were so close. So close.

Hang in there, guys..

ryandrake 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Got an error when clicking on that link:

"Wired.com is not included in your Comcast Internet Basic package. Click here to upgrade to Comcast Internet Extreme for $9.99 more a month, for access to Wired.com and twenty other premium web sites!"

droopybuns 16 hours ago 1 reply      
tedunangst 17 hours ago 6 replies      
Wait, he's the cable industry shill, right? So this is the best news ever?
peterkelly 16 hours ago 0 replies      
... and announces return to Outback Australia
EGreg 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Donald Trump effect - before he is even president, the TPP is dropped as well.
Super Mario Run supermariorun.com
232 points by yellow_postit  17 hours ago   217 comments top 48
dcw303 14 hours ago 9 replies      
I played through the first couple of levels and was instantly hit by how much better the level design, gameplay and characters were than the usual mobile game. I happily plonked down my ten bucks.

I cleared the game in a single lunch hour, but I'm not disappointed. The game design easily surpasses anything I've ever played on my phone, and there's a bucket of replayability. Pink/purple/black coins to get, speed runs on rally to try, etc.

Giving the first 3 levels for free was a good move - the install is essentially a demo that is enough to let a customer decide if they want to front for the whole game.

I didn't have a problem paying, but I've read a lot of whining on twitter and other places. Younger gamers have an expectation that everything on mobile should be free, but kudos to Nintendo on having the balls to stay away from cheap pay2win tricks and stick to an old school pricing model.

I don't know if it's going to turn a profit, but I really hope so. This race to the bottom amongst mobile game devs is madness and has to stop.

kbenson 4 hours ago 2 replies      
While watching the promo video, which gives zero information on what it is, I was actually under the impression it was a tie-in with a fitbit like device that you might use with headphones, and the audio would trigger you to jump at specific moments, and it would use that movement for jumps in some simulated run in a game it could show you later, and it would score you based on speed and jump accuracy.

Now I really want that.

dperfect 13 hours ago 5 replies      
The graphics are nice (similar to New Super Mario Bros.), gameplay is smooth, and I really wanted to like this, but I just can't get into it. I think it comes down to this:

My favorite games are the ones that embody some sense of freedom, and I just don't get that here (at least not from the first 3 levels). I completely understand Nintendo's decision to go with the single-finger jump-only game mechanic for a touchscreen device (I've never been a fan of virtual D-pads). But unfortunately, that decision has transformed Mario from a game about discovery and freedom into a game where you're - quite literally - not allowed to stop and take a second look at something.

As a natural consequence of this change in game mechanics, we seem to be forced into a constant state of hyper-focused speeding through what might otherwise be an attractive setting with subtleties to be explored. If I pass something that looks interesting in Super Mario Run, I'll likely never see it again (no, I'm not really motivated to repeat levels for coins - but I would be inclined to explore new paths through the game if I weren't always forced to be on the run).

Making matters worse, the few times I did attempt to explore a little (by jumping back off the walls), the clock ran out in what felt like an unreasonably short time compared to other Mario games.

In the back of my mind, it feels as though this change reflects something more profound about how society has evolved in the past decade. Maybe our competitive and demanding nature has overshadowed the desire for individual discovery and creativity. We don't need a landscape-oriented view of the horizon anymore; we only care about what's immediately at hand in our myopic view of the world because, let's face it, this is 2016 and we're too lazy to flip our phones around to landscape mode, let alone to confront the harrowing idea of plotting our own course through life. Just put us on the conveyor belt and tell us when to jump - and how high.

OK, that may be taking it a bit too far, but I'm still not buying the full game - and it has nothing to do with the price.

saurik 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I am surprised at how many comments are here but with only a single one mentioning "build". If you are playing the game, exit Tour, spend some Rally Tickets you earned collecting Colored Coins to compete against other players in Style competitions to get Toads to cheer for you and come to your side, which will level up your Kingdom and (based on the numbers of each of five colors of Toad you have) unlock the ability to Spend the normal Coins you find to Build not only Decorations, but also Buildings such as a Bonus Game Area where you can win Prizes. Then exit all of that and go to the Missions section of the My Nintendo menu to claim your Points to redeem for Rewards... and don't forget to come back every eight hours to the bonus game and every day to the rally and other random time intervals to complete various missions. Oh yeah: you also have a global count of how many of each kind of enemy you have killed, and when you meet objectives you increase your Enemy Level so you get more coins when killing that kind of enemy while competing in the rally. You can also unlock different characters to play as; I believe that Toad is a Reward you can unlock for 0 points just for having bought the game, so go do that now. OMFG this is complex and reminds me more of what I hear from people talking about scary games like FarmVille and Candy Crush than Mario :/.
pentae 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I only tend to play games when i'm bored on a plane flying somewhere - the necessity for it to be connected to the internet for copyright protection after I pay $10 is devastating. I'm sure they will still make a lot of money and I make up a very small fraction of their market, but it's still quite frustrating being punished as a paying user.
bobbles 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I like the game but unfortunately Nintendo really does suck when it comes to online accounts.

I had signed in on my iPhone then also set it up on my ipad. After finishing a few levels on the iPad i went back to my phone.

The phone let me finish a level, THEN came up and said 'cant progress as you're signed in on another device' and the app crashed.

what the fuck is the point of signing up for an account if it doesnt even sync across devices

minimaxir 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Many of the other comments in this thread are low-effort "mobile games aren't real games, lol."

After playing just one level, you can tell that Super Mario Run the real deal and not a cash-in (and it gets hard, especially if you want to get Black Coins). If you have an aversion to mobile gaming, give this a try.

You can play 3 levels without having to pay anything and it doesn't nag you until then, which means that Nintendo only gets your money if they can convince you if it's worth it. And they do.

mysterydip 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder how successful this game would have been if it was the exact same but with non-mario graphics and without the nintendo hype. I would imagine most people would see "$10 for yet another runner game" and dismiss it out of hand.

I have yet to find a good solution for finding the gems and avoiding the cruft of the various stores.

throwaway420 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe that this game's always online DRM is incredibly disrespectful and will not buy it. I don't want to pirate anything. I actually want to pay real money once for a polished mobile game rather than getting mostly junk for free. Nintendo got that part of the equation right, I'll give them that. But because of the always online DRM, it's unusable on the subway or on an airplane. If I can't use it when I want it the most, what's the point of spending real money?

PS: This website is ridiculous. It takes forever to load up, and the marketing video is just a stupid video of a bunch of people doing parkour in slow motion or some junk like that. They probably spent 6 figures on that dumb video that nobody really gives a crap about. Then there's another loading screen after the video, and once that's done there's a really crappy UI for a slideshow that's not even responsive. IMO, idiotic executives fingerprints are all over this shitshow with bad decisions left and right. Nintendo is a fantastic company who is capable of amazing things, but they don't really get the web or mobile technology. Sad!

MarketingJason 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Based on the videos on the landing page, I was getting the impression this was a VR/fitness game. Everybody running around had me thinking you needed to run in order to your avatar to do the same. I was actually disappointed how little you actually have to do to play the game when I navigated a couple screens in to get the full-picture.
politician 16 hours ago 2 replies      
The announcement video had me thinking this was some sort of Pokemon GO / Fitbit cross-over. Thankfully, it's just a game.
calebbrown 15 hours ago 1 reply      
That website was frustrating.

- splash page that has to load the background video before you can do anything.

- you have to start watching the video on the splash page to skip it.

- horizontal navigation in the about page.

- clicking the obscure "here we go!" back link in the about page has to reload the video before you can do anything.

It looks really nice, but the interaction is incredibly slow and cumbersome.

jackvalentine 15 hours ago 1 reply      
That took way too long to get to the actual playing... choosing my country(?!), linking to a nintendo account etc.
CrazedGeek 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Played a bit. Seems like a solid runner -- feels a bit more like the Rayman Run games than Canabalt or Jetpack Joyride to me. Curiously, it's more technical than any of those. Not sure I'm going to play more soon, but that's mostly because I'm playing on a 12.9" iPad Pro and the game feels like it's designed for screens half that size.
wattt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That first video is so inappropriate I can't get my head around it. I thought it was going to be an augmented reality game like Pokemon Go. Turns out it is just a regular game. I can't get back to the website to try it though, the promotional page sucks!
bdcravens 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one who feels in places the UI was rushed? Like the generic sans font in the splash screen, and buttons that look like Aqua from 10 years ago?
crazygringo 14 hours ago 4 replies      
From the video, I really thought this was going to be some kind of miraculous game that would marry fitness (via real-life running) with gamification -- the kind of magic that only a truly visionary company could pull off. Like Fitbit only with real entertainment and joy attached.

Not going to lie, no matter how great the game is, I'm pretty disappointed.

Rapzid 14 hours ago 0 replies      
They really nailed this from an advertising and marketing perspective. From what I can see the gameplay is spot on too. Looks like Nintendo took a crowded genre, the runner, and completely pwnd it. Looking forward to the android release though as I own 0 iDevices.
ronnier 16 hours ago 7 replies      
I tried it and didn't enjoy it. It largely comes down to tapping the screen when you want to jump... nothing else. Not having a real controller cripples this type of game.
wturner 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I was hoping this would be like pokemon Go and push the trend of getting people out of the house. That's what the ad had me infer. Pokemon Go ---> Super Mario Run
unicornporn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
How's that for a misleading commercial. I was 100% sure this was a Pokemon Go styled running game until I checked some Youtube videos.
qwtel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The about page is more informative (https://supermariorun.com/en/about.html):

A new kind of Mario game you can play with one hand. Mario constantly runs forward, while you time your taps to pull off stylish jumps and moves to gather coins and reach the goal!

r0m4n0 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A little ironic that the video shows people actually being extremely physically active and then concludes with those same people heads down on a phone game at the end
kellet 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
A Yip, Yap, Ya-HOOO!
wattt 6 hours ago 1 reply      
What year do they think this is that there is no Android version?
ya 16 hours ago 0 replies      
the website redirect to /ch/index.html , and show nothing but `File not found."`

found this in javascript:

 case 'zh':location.href = _WARP_ + 'ch/index.html';break;
Chinese index page missing?

Coincoin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone needs to do an edit of that video where the mass of people at the end bang their face on a door with a note saying: "Sorry, we only had 5... come back after Christmas".
module0000 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to cash in on the success of this game, Nintendo's US-traded stock equivalent is NTDOY - it represents 1/8th share of the Japanese company stock, but traded in USD.

That said, it's not looking very good at the moment, and has fallen consistently from days before release, and still falling this morning.

josefresco 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Another 'Run" game - just what mobile gaming needed!

This will fit right along my daughters' other 96 run games.


djrtwo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought this was going to be an augmented reality running app/game especially because of the recent Pokemon Go. Kind of disappointed when I watched the gameplay video.
Larrikin 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The video had me worried and excited it was some kind of AR based game
eps 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Nostalgia aside, SMR looks pretty underwhelming compared to other high-end runners like Rayman Adventures. Yes, it's remarkable that Nintendo caved to Apple's advances and they are likely to make a lot of money on this, but the game itself is just... meh, basically.

[1] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rayman-adventures/id10435896...

pacomerh 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate the level of detail the game has compared to the average single finger jump game. But!, I think Nintendo is late to the game on this one. Had this game been launched a few years back a different story would've been. I'm not saying this is the wrong move, it's just a little late. The ad didn't help either, I honestly thought it was something similar to the pokemon game, where you had to run to get points or something, idk.
mgv11 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Really would want to play this.I don't mind the concept especially the game is on par with those Rayman runner games. At least couple of the early ones were really great.The price is perhaps steep for what it is, not that it would stop me from buying this. Well the hype and interested might have mellowed down once the Android version comes out..
ikeboy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
On iOS 10.2 it just craches as soon as it's opened. Not too impressed.
zitterbewegung 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I have an iPhone 6 and immediately I started the game with no sound and apparently it is an issue with others. Uninstalled. http://wojdylosocialmedia.com/no-sound-audio-super-mario-run...
mads 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a fun game. I cant even remember the last time I actually wanted to fire up a game because it was actually fun. Rarely play and when I do, it is just to kill time.

And also.. It brings back childhood memories to play Mario.

nulagrithom 16 hours ago 7 replies      
I watched the intro video and still have no idea what this app is or does.
kawsper 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Does it still have the always-online requirement?
simooooo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm inclined to ignore this as another game hitch hiking on the Mario name.

Have we reached 200 yet?

sabujp 13 hours ago 0 replies      
boo, no AR
BusySkillFool 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Horrible game, extremely low quality, thoroughly disappointed from the first screen to the end of the first level where I was disconnected due to no internet connection (which I did have). Uninstalled.
xxbc 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Really a pity this wasn't released internationally!
_eht 16 hours ago 1 reply      
My Pixel is ready... :/
k0mplex 16 hours ago 0 replies      
2/5 stars.
farzadb82 16 hours ago 0 replies      
A Mario-themed Flappy bird clone?
Caerus 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I got really turned off when it was listed as "Free (with in-app purchases)". Turns out it's basically a 10 minute demo, after which you have to pay $9.99.

Maybe it's good, but deceptive enough I uninstalled it.

ungzd 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How it stands out of thousands of similar "runner" games in app store? Only by having the sprite of Mario in it. Nintendo is nothing more but trademark-selling company nowadays.

And lots of people buys it not because of nostalgia but because you must respect classics to claim you have good taste.

The world of mobile games is infinite bullshit.

Scientists engineer mice genomes to lengthen their lifespans by 30 percent nytimes.com
297 points by mrfusion  20 hours ago   182 comments top 22
daemonk 19 hours ago 5 replies      
tldr for biologists out there. They made a transgenic mouse line of doxycycline inducible Yamanaka factors in progeria (LAKI) background. Too high induction lead to mortality and teratomas, which is known. They cyclicly induced the Yamanaka factors and found it reversed signs of aging (prolong lifespan by ~30%)
jgord 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Its very noisy to read these 'blip' articles, rather like following the stock ticker blow by blow ...

Its wonderful that we see these interesting reports every week, but as a non-specialist you never how it will impact human longevity, and when.

What I'd like to read is a well considered "state-of-longevity-science" report - by someone not Aubrey DeGray (give the man a medal) but equally cognizant, perhaps more conservative - that actually explains and weighs the torrent of advancements as they happen and gives them some context.

What is the likely impact of crispr, of rosveratrol, of telomere-foo, of gene-therapy, of blood cleansing, of stem-cells on logevity in 10 / 20 years ? Where and why should we rationally allocate research money ? What is likely to benefit Alzheimers patients in the 5 year term ?

Its the kind of state of play you need updated on a monthly basis, due to the pace of progress.

Does such a report already exist ?

dandare 11 hours ago 7 replies      
The consequences of longer lifespan to social order are unimaginable. Even increase by dozen of years may result in wars and chaos, especially if the treatment will not be available to everyone. From where I stand it seems that relatively little resources are spent on the research of consequences of longer lifespan compared with the discussions we have about friendly/enemy AI, machines replacing jobs, universal income and other social order changing themes. While I am not saying scientists will stumble upon immortality tomorrow, a serious increase in lifespan may happen relatively soon.
HaveCourage 18 hours ago 8 replies      
Summary of pro death arguments re: longevity progress

 Fairness Only rich people will get it. (no tech has ever done this.) Better to give money to the poor than science. (family,city,state,nation, has proven local investment beats foreign.) Bad for society Dead people make more room for new, other people. (consider going first.) Run out of resources (live people discover/extract/renew better than dead or nonexistant) Overpopulation (colonize the seas, solar system, or have a war.) Stop having kids Worse wars (nukes are more dangerous than having your first 220 year old person in 2136) Dictators never die (they die all the time and rarely of age) Bad for individual You'll get bored. (your memory isn't that good, or your boredom isn't age related) You'll have to watch your loved ones die. (so you prefer they watch you?) You'll live forever in a terrible state. (longevity requires robustness.) Against gods will (not if he disallows suicide, then it is required.)
More people make more progress faster. I'm glad my parents didn't decide the world would be prettier or work better without me in it. Einstein, Bell, Tesla, Da Vinci etc, still alive and productive would be nice. You're literally asking for others to die out of your fear. The burden should be higher. Have courage. If living longer sucks, we'll know 100 years from now, and decide then. First 220 year old in 2136 unless you know how to make one faster than 1 year per year? And that's if you added 120 years to a 100 year old person starting TODAY.

Man up, save your family, save yourself.

Disclaimer: I'm half way done with a book on this topic. Mail me if you're interested. Scivive on the most popular email service.

P.S. Curing aging isn't immortality. You die at 600 on average by accident, and if the parade of imaginary horribles comes true, even earlier.

nopinsight 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A Scientific American article on the same research with a useful comment here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13187302

Interesting bits:

"In living mice they activated the four genes (known as Yamanaka factors, for researcher Shinya Yamanaka, the Nobelist who discovered their combined potential in 2006). This approach rejuvenated damaged muscles and the pancreas in a middle-aged mouse, ... "

"... These (other) approaches can reverse some aspects of aging, such as muscle degenerationbut aging returns when the treatment stops, he adds. With an approach like the one Belmonte lays out in the new study, theoretically you could have one treatment and go back 10 or 20 years, he says. If aging starts to catch up to you again, you simply get another treatment."

zizzles 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Every life extension discussion derails into debates about foreverness; and therein lies the problem: humans of all backgrounds (even today) are dropping dead of health problems at 60 years of age. Thus, foreverness is science-fiction with our current understanding. Baby-steps first perhaps? Regardless, many agree foreverness is not possible - and if it was - I would not want it.
smcguinness 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There shouldn't even be a debate between people who approve of reversing aging and those who do not. Whoever doesn't approve... when the treatment will finally be available... just don't use it! I'll use my freedom of decision and my money to extend my life, thank you! If you want to die, go ahead.
pat2man 19 hours ago 2 replies      
> The technique, which requires genetic engineering, cannot be applied directly to people, but the achievement points toward better understanding of human aging and the possibility of rejuvenating human tissues by other means.

Still a ways off for human use but definitely interesting research.

feelix 17 hours ago 1 reply      
What I don't understand, is that with ageing billionaires everywhere, why isn't anti-aging the most funded thing in the world? Or is it?
sdfjkl 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Related reading: Misspent Youth and the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton. A series of sci-fi books where "rejuvenation" technology plays a significant role, its impact on society and human risk taking.
feelix 17 hours ago 0 replies      
SilverPaladin 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Next thing you know, we will be getting email spam to buy Yamanaka Factor.. look 30 years younger just take this pill!
photoJ 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Lets hope so!
reasonattlm 18 hours ago 0 replies      



1) Doing anything to the aging of cells in culture has next to nothing to do with what goes on inside aging tissues, or where it does that is heavily dependent on the details. The article doesn't tell you enough to decide, so you should look at the paper.

2) Doing anything that attenuates the effects of an accelerated aging phenotype, actually usually a DNA repair disorder, almost always has nothing to do with aging as it happens in normal individuals. You can hit mice with hammers, and then evaluate the effects of a hammer-blocking cage, but that doesn't tell you anything about aging - and for exactly the same reasons. This is generally true except when it is isn't, and that depends on the fine details. Again, go look at the paper.

3) The interesting experiment is the one in which pluripotency-inducing factors are upregulated in a normal mouse, but temporarily. This is the thing that people have looked at in the past and said, well, turning on widespread transformation of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells sounds like a really bad idea. Cancer seems the likely outcome, and that has in fact been demonstrated in a couple of studies in mice, but there is also the point that your central nervous system rather relies upon maintaining the fine structure it has established in many cases, such as data stored in the brain. Running in and randomly reprogramming any CNS cells that take up the vector or the pluripotency signals seems like a bad idea on the face of it.

So on the whole it is fascinating that a good outcome was produced in the normal mice, analogous to the sort of thing that has been produced via stem cell transplants and telomerase gene therapies. But I'd still want to see what happens to the mice over the long term after that, and would expect cancer.

kickpush1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Clicks on interesting hackernews post > prepares self for opposing negative comment > aaand first comment.
jmount 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It is what the rich want to hear, so there is money in saying it.
amalrik_maia 9 hours ago 0 replies      
what amazing time to be alive :)
dominotw 19 hours ago 1 reply      
been hearing this since dawn of humanity. next.
grabcocque 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Mightier and bloody wars will not be caused than when we finally figure out how to cure ageing.
biuffwbiubi 14 hours ago 0 replies      
What we need right now is more babies and young people and less old people.

Babies make everyone around them happy.

Old people are racist and suffocatingly repetitive. They never have any new ideas and spend all their time in the past. They're the brakes on progress.

Life is all about novelty. Let's have new people in this world.

EdSharkey 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Between the theory that cybernetically augmented humans will become the "hard AI" of science fiction and signs that a cure for aging is nearly here, I would feel a lot more comfortable if we all started having a public debate about the limits we will set on metahumans.

A cybernetically augmented human might gain an intelligence completely alien (and hostile) to us non-augments. And an immortal-except-for-catestrophic-accidents could amass an unseemly amount of wealth and control over non-immortals over their long lives - moreso than the elites of today could dream of.

My concern about those that metahumans will hold such disproportionate power and they'll quickly get bored. Idle hands are the devil's playthings after all, and they could really make life difficult for the rest of us.

I want to see what a many-hundreds of years healthy life will be like and live many lives, but I do not want to have implants or devices that warp my mind/memory. I want to stay human, just minus the frailties. I'm hoping that these evolving new technologies sort neatly into two buckets: those that enhance but still retain the essential (limited) human experience, and those that seek to obliterate and replace the human experience (so that I know which ones to avoid.)

Moody's: U.S. Telecoms are underinvesting in broadband fiercetelecom.com
219 points by PaulHoule  23 hours ago   76 comments top 15
dforrestwilson1 21 hours ago 4 replies      
We're talking about 3 different technologies here:

1. Fiber optics - this is growing, and companies which have a lot of it are continuing to lay it out (albeit slowly). Also see, Altice's recent announcement. My hope is that post-election Google Fiber will ramp back up, simply for the legal defense of saying that they too are a cable company and the same laws should apply. In any case, consumers want it. High-end consumers will pay a premium, and the cost for urban footprint fill-out is not exorbitant.

2. Cable coaxial wire - this is a big thick wire that continues to upgrade nicely. DOCSIS 3.0 is basically the same old 1980s/1990s cable with better comms protocols. It's getting to the point to where they can compete on a reasonable basis with single strand fiber, at a lower speed and price point. So cable companies build out the back-end with fiber, but don't have to replant single homes.

3. Crappy copper telephone wire - this stuff is thin, it's painful to maintain and upgrade and always lags copper. Companies with a lot of this (Windstream, Verizon, AT&T, Frontier) are trying to run it for cash flow rather than spend a lot on upgrades. The telcos push fiber to the node, but it's a slow grind and involves very careful cost benefit analysis.

3 different technologies. 3 very different strategies. The election has further complicated things. Should VZ save up it's ammo and make a play for Sprint, Charter, Dish, or T-Mobile or invest in more broadband plants? I'd save the ammo given that Tom Wheeler is out on January 20th..

neom 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, if you'd like to know why IRL, go to TIA 2016 [1] and sit in some of the small room "break out" sessions. It's absolutely unbelievable to see very small groups of very senior people in the US teclo industry deciding how the US teclo industry will run. I've done this for a few years and I'm not kidding when I say it's mind blowing how blatant the conversation is. [1]: http://www.tia2016.org/
woliveirajr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In Brazil: some 15-20 years ago one power company (Copel [1]) began to spread fiber optics with the power cables. They began in the backbone, then inside cities, and so on, as they were expanding or maintaining their business.

Time passes and few months ago there was a spin-off using that infrastructure for telecom (Copel Telecom [2]).

[1] http://www.copel.com/hpcopel/root/index.jsp

[2] http://www.copeltelecom.com/site/

Great speed and reliability with a average price.

pep_guardiola 21 hours ago 1 reply      
We need some more Telecom competition here in the US to improve their services. I live in San Francisco and I've been waiting for a good while now for webpass to become an option in my building. Comcast service is really subpar. Meanwhile all my friends in northern europe have crazy gigabit connections.
jmspring 19 hours ago 1 reply      
It is interesting how in some rural areas, the update to infrastructure is happening via co-ops or small local firms. Volcano, CA and surrounding has it's own small telecom. Plumas County has a coop that is both installing fiber as well as buying up old cable resources to deliver broadband that way. Rock Island Internet in the San Juan Islands (WA state) is installing Fiber on Lopez Island. Cruzio in Santa Cruz, CA is doing both point to point wifi and working with the city on installing Fiber. This is just a few examples that I happen to personally know about.
StillBored 22 hours ago 5 replies      
Lets see at my house: AT&T, $60 a month for 45Mbit down, 3Mbit up with a 1TB cap. TW/Spectrum $39 a month, 100Mbit down, 10Mbit up, no cap. (and they have faster speeds I actually pay something like $60 for 200/20).

So 1/3 less, for twice as fast internet, or ~5x faster internet for the same price.

So, I don't really see why anyone with a choice would choose AT&T in my neighborhood.

Analemma_ 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Why invest when you have a monopoly and can rent-extract?
niels_olson 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Well that's a surp ... no, no it's not. I think the precedent got set when the government offered $3B to subsidize roll-out and they realized they could just pocket it without any real oversight.
thenewwazoo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course they are. They're incentivized to do so.

Bandwidth is a scarce resource, and they're often the only seller for a given market. The more demand, the more the market will bear for that resource. The more contentious and oversubscribed their infrastructure, the more likely they are to make seemingly-convincing arguments for rent-seeking (Internet "fast-lanes"), deregulation (because competition lowers prices), and consolidation (more efficiency drives down prices), all of which they can leverage to increase profit while holding prices steady -- or raising them -- due to further-increasing demand.

Building and maintaining increased capacity increases their expenses and lowers the value of their product.

Why in the world would they invest? It would be the stupidest possible thing for a telco to do.

edit: it's worth my noting that my basis for asserting ever-increasing demand is that of induced demand for network services

intrasight 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Once you have great FTTH internet you don't want to give it up. It's like a drug. But it creates a kind of scarcity in that I could never live somewhere without it and there are yet too few places with it.

I really like the approach that places like Longmont, CO are taking [http://www.longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-e-m/...] or Greenlight in Rochester, NY. Love their pricing page:https://greenlightnetworks.com/pricing

I'm in Pittsburgh and have FIOS and that's set the price-performance bar at which I am not willing to drop below.

sz4kerto 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Small CEE country: I have 1 Gb download and 300 Mbps upload (900/270 effectively). 15 USD per month.
tptacek 22 hours ago 2 replies      
At the risk of being dismissive: didn't Moody's also strongly suggest that banks and pension funds were underinvesting in junk-grade mortgage backed securities? Has anyone read the actual research note? Are there reasons to believe that Moody's is more credible here than they were in 2007?
pascalxus 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Instead, they're spending what seems like a lot of money on advertisement and marketing. For over a week, I couldn't seem to get rid of those At&t Uverse ads on my mobile browser, no matter how much I dislike their service. Without competition, I fear, this sort of mindless incompetence will only continue.
beders 19 hours ago 1 reply      
No shit, sherlock.Germany: 200MBit for 24 euros/month
tn13 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The real problem is the high entry barrier for competition. Tell me why Google fiber is not yet available in the meccah of technology bay area ?
       cached 16 December 2016 20:02:01 GMT