hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    13 Mar 2017 News
home   ask   best   6 months ago   
1
How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing (2013) propublica.org
628 points by apsec112  9 hours ago   319 comments top 32
1
xupybd 7 hours ago 7 replies      
I live in New Zealand. I don't have to file taxes if my income is a standard wage my tax payments are automatic. My employer deducts them from my wage and they are sent to the IRD (Our government tax dept). My student loan and super payments are also automatic. If there is anything wrong then at the end of the tax year I can file to correct things.

I also get donations rebates, this is a one page form that lists all my charitable donations. Very easy very quick.

All my details are available to me online. All transactions are there and it's very transparent.

Why would anyone oppose a simple system like this?

2
harryh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Intuit certainly does this, but blaming them for our overly complex taxes is wrong. They might move the needle a little bit but they aren't the primary driver. The primary driver is all the constituencies of all the little things in our taxes that add up to make them complicated.

Like ObamaCare? That came with two additional forms.Live in a high tax state and like deducting your state taxes? That makes things more complicated.Big fan of deductions to for education or child care? That comes with complexities.I could go on and on....

Now maybe your answer to all of these questions was "no", but there are a lot of people that say "yes" to a lot of these questions. It's really hard to upset that apple cart. Lobbying doesn't have much to do with it.

3
tuna-piano 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I haven't read a legitimate argument against the IRS calculating taxes automatically, but here it is.

The more invisible taxes are to the individual person, the less they think about that money (and the higher taxes can go without them complaining too much).

Rent feels expensive because every month you write a check for rent. However, for many people, taxes are a much bigger expense than rent. But taxes don't feel as painful, because people don't write a check every month for taxes. Taxes are just invisibly withdrawn from your paycheck.

The easier and more invisible it is to pay taxes, the more you forget about how much money that really is. If you believe in constrained government, there's a good case to be made that we should make tax payments more visible, not less.

4
schainks 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So, just for a different perspective, Taiwan has a relatively simple tax filing experience, and the government invests significant resources to make as simple as possible (which does result in many people paying their taxes properly, on time).

While their digital tools for filing taxes make the telegraph feel modern, the "in person" experience is full of helpful people and takes about 90 minutes including travel time.

My main criticisms of the filing process:

1. Tax bureau has a one month timeframe where you can go, in person, to file "on time", but only during business hours. Any 9-5 worker must take time off to go file in person. It's a pretty nice customer experience - The volunteers in the bureau help you file your taxes with highest deductions possible, it gets crosschecked by a government tax clerk, and you're done.

2. Make the software work better on a modern OS and give it modern usability. It's _really_ crap UI, and I only run it in a VM just in case because the download site is also shady looking.

3. Locals gaming the system can make your life harder as a working-from-home small business owner. Many landlords don't pay income taxes on their properties, which means tenants cannot register business addresses at their homes, and must "rent" an address for about $100 / month.

4. Withholdings on foreigners, by default, are artificially high as a "precaution".

5. Refunds process in August after filing in May. Because they still process every return much by hand.

6. Double taxation on people like US citizens. The tax clerk has asked friends of mine, while filing, to show their US tax return to make sure there are not more taxes owed. They can ask, but it's not enforceable. So why do it? Because the tax rate on that income earned elsewhere can be as high as 30-40%! The tax clerk gets to decide how bad of an offender you are. GLHF.

7. If your income goes down compared to the year before as a foreigner, you will probably pay a penalty for "making less money" because they suspect tax evasion. Pay the fine (less than $USD 100) and walk away, or they dig your records hard and you could wind up in a situation like #6 above.

5
tschwimmer 8 hours ago 11 replies      
Serious question: Is it possible for society to criminalize rent seeking behaviors like this? It seems clear that there's no benefit to keeping the status quo tax filing system except for the benefit of tax preparers. What's stopping the US from creating a law that says if a company attempts to lobby for something in bad faith (like the tax example), they will face sanction?
6
hackuser 7 hours ago 5 replies      
A tangential issue: It seems almost impossible to me that the systems of tax preparation services, whether cloud-based, local software, or offline, are secure.

The standard of security is, make the target more expensive to breach than it's worth to the attacker. How much would it be worth to have access to the tax returns of large swaths of the population?

I don't know the answer, but I'm guessing it's easily worth billions of dollars. Foreign intelligence services would very much like that information, as well as sophisticated criminals.

I am very doubtful that Intuit or H&R Block, for example, invest in security sufficient to protect themselves against that level of attack.

7
azernik 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a fascinating article linked from this one: https://www.propublica.org/article/turbotax-maker-linked-to-...

See the final paragraphs, which I've copied below - it's essentially a version of the Citogenesis effect.

-----------------------------

"Dennis Huang, executive director of the L.A.-based Asian Business Association, also told ProPublica he was solicited by a lobbyist to write about return-free filing. When the lobbyist sent him a suggested op-ed last summer and told him the proposal would hurt small businesses, Huang wrote an op-ed in the Asian Journal that claimed Asian-owned businesses would not only spend more time paying taxes, but they'd also get less of a refund each year.

Huang declined to disclose the lobbyist's name, but acknowledged he didn't really do his own research. "There's some homework needed," he said.

Oregon's Martin did some research on return-free filing and now supports it. She also co-published a post about the issue and the PR efforts related to it because, she says, she was alarmed that other nonprofits could easily agree to endorse a position they did not fully understand.

"You get one or two prominent nonprofits to use their name, and busy advocates will extend trust and say sure, us too," Martin said."

8
twblalock 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
The fact that taxes are complex is the government's fault.

The fact that companies can manipulate the government into keeping the taxes complex is also the government's fault.

9
elberto34 8 hours ago 1 reply      
the deep cynicism here is how people think Turbo tax is doing a pubic service by making taxes easier and cheaper, that's how effective their marketing is. Convince the public there is a problem that only said company can solve.
10
Upvoter33 8 hours ago 2 replies      
well, of course. imagine you are a business and the govmt could change a law and put you out of business. wouldn't you put as much money as you could into preventing that change?this is why money in politics causes problems...
11
sshumaker 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the reasons Credit Karma launched a totally free online tax product this year (https://creditkarma.com/tax). (We view this similarly to credit scores a decade ago, when everyone advertising "free" was a bait and switch).
12
jaypaulynice 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You can do your taxes for free using this: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd, but it's a huge pain unless you know what you're doing. I did it last year, but it took 10+ times to submit it correctly and the errors were straight from programming errors (i.e: tax_status is not valid, etc.)

Massachusetts had free tax filing, but got rid of it this year. It was really great and fastest refund I ever received.

13
nojvek 6 hours ago 1 reply      
If trump administration actually manages to simplify tax code and kill the stupidity corporations induce via lobbying such that I can file my own taxes. I would have a lot of respect for him.
14
rushabh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
While the focus of this discussion here is on the taxes, I think the bigger story is the unethical behaviour of companies like Intuit. And its not only Intuit, but also companies like SAP [1] that engage in such behaviour at the cost of tax payers.

The finanical might takes away so much from the commons and also pushes back adoption of good Open Source software. We constantly under-estimate the damage done by these mega-corps.

[1] http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2015/08/12/former-sap...[2] http://www.iafrikan.com/2017/02/21/sap-south-africas-managin...

15
thewhitetulip 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am in India and tax filing here is as simple as 1 2 3. We have the Form16, which has the data to be entered in an excel sheet that you can download from the govt website, punch in the numbers and voil, they tell you tax you owe! Pay via net banking and you are done.
16
startupdiscuss 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of the comments here are conflating two different things:

1. The complexity of the tax code

2. The complexity of filing

They are not the same thing.

You have to go through some process to file now. Let the government go through that laborious process.

For those who are not conflating the two, this point does not apply.

17
pag 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm really happy with how the Canadian Revenue Agency handles things. You file online, there's plenty of free services to do your taxes. They support auto-fill where the CRA can send them the tax info it already knows about you (e.g. from banks and employers), etc. I filed my a few weeks ago and they assessed my returns by the next afternoon. Last week I received a cheque in the mail, but that's only because I forgot to fill out the direct deposit info on the CRA website. The husband of a former colleague used to fill out junk on their tax returns because they knew that the CRA would just fix it all up, and then tell them what they owed (or what they would be refundend) in their notice of assessment.
18
mlinksva 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Many tech companies are members of CCIA and should demand it stop advocating for Intuit's civilization-destroying agenda.

It's been one of their issues for a long time eg http://www.ccianet.org/2011/09/irs-tax-prep-not-a-budget-sol... and http://www.ccianet.org/2002/01/treasury-irs-announce-efforts... ... and it's a major activity of theirs http://sunlightfoundation.com/2013/04/15/tax-preparers-lobby...

> The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), of which Intuit is a member, represents its members on a wide range of technology issues, but spends a significant amount of its $6.7 million in lobbying on tax simplification. As ProPublica's piece points out, the group operates the website "Stop IRS Takeover" which bashes the idea of pre-filed returns. Disclosures indicate the CCIA has focused on "issues pertaining to tax preparation services" and legislation involving simple filing. It lobbied in support of Rep. Lofgren's bill that would have barred government-filed returns, and rallied against Sen. Akaka's bill that would have let taxpayers file directly through the IRS "without the use of an intermediary."The CCIA is an active political giver as well, doling out over $650,000 over the past 20 years with 91% going to Democrats. Silicon Valley-based Rep. Lofgren, an opponent of IRS-prepared returns, has been the biggest beneficiary of CCIA donation, collecting over $12,000. The group also opposed John Chiang in the 2006 California controller election, chipping in $50,000 to the Alliance for California's Tomorrow the same group that received $1 million from Intuit.

CCIA also gets lots of mentions in https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/Tax_Maze_Repor...

19
frogpelt 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As strange it may seem, a portion of people/corporations are always pro-privatization and anti-nationalization.

This helps explain why there is an anti-net-neutrality faction. It's not just because people don't understand. And it's not just because people are bought and paid for. There are actually legitimate arguments for privatizing things and then regulating them rather than nationalizing and trusting the government to manage effectively.

20
rayiner 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not really a credible idea that an industry accounting for 0.05% of U.S. GDP somehow manages to out-lobby the industries representing the other 99.95% of GDP, so as to keep tax filing complicated when otherwise there would be a critical mass in favor of simplification.
21
randyrand 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The maker of tax return software doesn't want to lose business? news at 11.
22
shakencrew 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion on Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5443203
23
kumarski 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I once contemplated buying NovoNordisk and investing millions to open subsidized donut shops for the wealthy.....
24
the_cat_kittles 8 hours ago 3 replies      
slightly off topic, but... you can file for free using any number of tax prep software if you make less than ~64k a year: https://www.irs.gov/uac/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-...
25
alkonaut 7 hours ago 1 reply      
TIL how I file my taxes (log in and submit a pre-filled web form, or send a text message approving it) was the exception, not the norm.

I would have expected at least most of western Europe to have reached that point.

26
shmerl 7 hours ago 1 reply      
That's really disgusting, and the reason I'm not using TurboTax.
27
joering2 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I always love reading absurd statements made by otherwise reasonable people who - of course - a salary depends on being unreasonable.

Here:

> Intuit argues that allowing the IRS to act as a tax preparer could result in taxpayers paying more money.

Majority of work will be done automatically by some free jQuery and PHP scripts (hello Obamacare website) and taxpayers have only shell-out initial cost. Even if TurboTax is $19 per year, I have a hard time believing that 200MM tax payers X $19 will be less than running an enterprise servers for online consumers.

> [...] "STOP IRS TAKEOVER" campaign and a website calling return-free filing a "massive expansion of the U.S. government through a big government program."

I honestly laugh at this one. Just exactly which part of information that IRS process is not already in the IRS possession? With that statement -- they really reach out for the dumbest people hearing them out.

> Explaining the company's stance, Intuit spokeswoman Miller told the Los Angeles Times in 2006 that it was "a fundamental conflict of interest for the state's tax collector and enforcer to also become people's tax preparer."

I have to place a call to intuit maybe they will sponsor my idea that I should fill out and asses my own respondibility when it comes to a parking ticket. I mean you cannot trust the government that they will be fair to you - so I should get note "you violated parking zone - fill out this form and return to us with own assessment of your penalty". Gosh imagine wild wild west we would be living in if you stretch it to criminal law.

28
unclebucknasty 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me that raw capitalism isn't the answer to every problem.

Kind of like the current healthcare debate in the U.S., where the problem seems to be "how do we allow insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. to make maximum profits while providing healthcare for the maximim number of people at minimum cost?"

29
camperman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Institutions prolong problems to which they themselves are the solution- Systemantics.
30
transfire 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I have a better idea. Simplify the tax code so anyone can do theirs on an index card. There is absolutely no reason for the gargantuan tax code in a free society.
31
yawz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
When I read this, unfortunately I'm thinking "don't hate the player, hate the game". Lobbying is a double-edged sword, and it is a game played very well by the powerful and the rich.
32
tacostakohashi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's pretty much the same as the situation with taxi medallion owners now that Uber has come along.

If you ask me, the correct answer is for the government to either give some one-off compensation to Intuit (or buy the company from its existing shareholders), and then shut it down, and reform the system.

Why should the government pay money to a private corporation or shareholders? Because they created this mess ("opportunity") in the first place with a ridiculous tax code. It's just the actual, realized, dollar-value cost of the mess that was created, instead of externalizing the cost onto taxpayers. Once that cost has been paid, the system can be fixed.

2
A comment left on Slashdot chaosinmotion.com
97 points by panic  2 hours ago   51 comments top 21
1
hackuser 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The marketplace always seems to fail in situations like this one. There are always groups that are discriminated against, based on race, gender, age, etc. Therefore a business seeking talent should view those excluded groups as a goldmine of available talent.

For example, imagine if most baseball teams started excluding non-white athletes again. If I owned a team, I'd immediately start hiring those athletes; I'd have by far the best team in baseball in short order (EDIT: To be clear, I'd have the best team because I'd have the market cornered on a large portion of the talent; it wouldn't be because of some imagined (and false) racial differences in performance.)

But in business (and in sports) it never works out that way. Certainly some executives have discriminatory attitudes, but that doesn't account for all. Certainly some will give into and/or are more exposed to social pressures, but not all. With the very high demand for talent, why aren't there businesses snapping up the older developers?

(There also is another problem: Excluded groups tend to avoid that marketplace. They are discouraged by their parents, teachers and peers, and they may not want to have to deal with discrimination every day for their whole careers. But that shouldn't apply as much to middle-aged developers; that labor supply is already in the pipeline.)

2
noonespecial 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The problem is that the management can't tell who's any good. They see "the guru" struggle for several months on a "very difficult project" and then finally come through (with an added bonus that only the guru can understand the system afterwards so it MUST be very complicated) and just assume that he's been walking on water. He's young and went to a very good school... But then you find out it's a simple inventory control merging with the UPS API to ship widgets.

They took that old saw about only the grandkids being able to make the VCR stop blinking 12 and applied it to the entire frikkin world and they are unable to tell that it isn't even remotely true.

3
gumby 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
(side point: in my new company we did a SWOT analysis and one strength was "old farts" -- we've already made tons of mistakes and have learned a lot.)

I didn't see the original slashdot discussion so didn't have context, but IMHO the phenomenon described is more that programming in the USA and Europe has become a blue collar job, as it has been in Japan for decades. I think this is great -- the tools have become strong enough that someone with limited (but nonzero) training can produce solid apprentice and journeyman work. (masters, well, I know I will never be even close to some of the master machinists I've been lucky to work with; they can't craft code like I do).

The fact is you don't need a programmer to throw together a viable web site. Isn't that great!?

Innovation is still coming out of computer science and trickling down into the real world. And highly experienced programmers are also contributing cool stuff. But as programming has opened up as a discipline to a significantly larger pool of people, is it any wonder the density of new ideas per capita would go down?

(oh, and CS has always scorned reading the literature, to its detriment).

4
ot 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
In case anyone else is wondering, this is the original Slashdot discussion: https://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=10352645&cid=540224...

I don't think it was linked in the post.

5
afpx 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I certainly can relate to everything that the author expresses. However, I'm also quite certain that this is not exclusive to the software engineering disciplines. Somewhere around 2004 or so, I began seeing many US companies (including many large ones) abandoning analysis and planning and lots of other proven PMBOK type activities in favor of more reactionary methods.

When I talk to many people under 35, across fields, they often complain about workplace disorder, mismanagement, and lack of planning. They also complain of an overload of work and of working too many hours. I don't think this is a coincidence.

6
jurassic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I believe the trends the author has pointed out are not just the failings of the tech industry but are part of a larger cultural backlash against expertise.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-0...

8
pnathan 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
A solid solution is to have a professional union/association with a meaningful exam for entrance, meaningful certifications for specialties, and the mandate to avoid committing professional malpractice (strike/walkout enforced). The ACM could do that, but has chosen not to: the IEEE's attempt is sort of a joke.

Having spent the last 3 months totally involved in the US medical field regarding a family member's life-critical condition, I can say with confidence: the professional credential/certification process works really well when built well, and software engineers with an interest in seeing our field should strongly consider the medical community as a working example - remember - "rough consensus and running code".

9
jessaustin 2 hours ago 2 replies      
In other industries, the the wisdom of experienced workers is the only thing that keeps capital from completely fucking over labor. Why don't experienced workers play the same role here? When I read stuff like this by experienced workers, I sometimes hope to see that question answered...
10
thriftwy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Being a Software Developer, a "socially invulnerable" person, I won't be bothered by people saying something as misguided as "all your experience is obsolete". I'll have a good laugh.

I think some of us take themselves a bit too much seriously. As a programmer, you have not just First World, but actually Zeroth World problems. In the world of struggle we are having a guilt-free easy ride.

11
austinz 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
For someone who laments the failure of modern programmers to learn from the work of the past, the author seems to completely ignore the contributions of ML, ML-style type systems, and related languages to the profession of software engineering. Perhaps this explains the snide (and, frankly, uninformed) dismissal of Swift as a hype-ridden "subset of Lisp".

Aside from that, I agree with the author's points.

12
hergin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I believe much of the problem mentioned in the article is about us not being software engineers but only programmers/coders. If we, as an industry, would have adopted engineering discipline instead of producing systems in light speed by just coding, what we are talking now would be different things.
13
11thEarlOfMar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One factor that I think plays into this dialog is that we learn quite a bit over time without realizing it. As I grow older, I sometimes find myself thinking, "I know this, but I know I didn't intentionally learn it."

What I realize is that I know it because of life experience and there is no way I could have learned it (or maybe it's a realization, not a learning) without having lived through all those winters.

The impact of this is that as we gain experience, we can be more deliberate and selective about where we focus our talents and energy, entering into fewer endeavors, but have a higher success rate per endeavor.

14
fujipadam 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This perception causes discrimination which is illegal (if you can prove it)

This is why there are a host of lawsuits for ageism and a bunch of job portal like https://www.giantsforhire.com/ or https://oldgeekjobs.com/ poping up

15
unsayable 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Throwaway account here... but I think the real reason for this is because I've noticed two distinct types of developers:

1) Hackers that grew up with technology that are typically very proficient and employable before entering university or having much work experience.

2) People who went to CS school in order to get a job as a developer because the pay is pretty decent and they were always kind of good with computers.

I'd much prefer to work with people that grew up as hackers than people who learned later in life. It's a cultural thing more than an age thing, but I feel like it's very hard to see the big picture if you weren't indoctrinated into it on IRC or forums when you were a teen. I'd imagine it's sort of like growing up on a farm vs going to agriculture school.

Because of this, it's very hard to tell as people get older which camp they came from. If someone is young and knows a ton, it's clear that they grew up in hacker culture and likely have a breadth of knowledge. If someone studied hard for years and never was part of the culture, IMO they will be harder to work with and not have as much general knowledge.

As a bonus, if you grew up in the culture and you're applying for an entry level job, you probably already have a decade of hacking under your belt, and that's work experience that's totally unaccounted for on a resume.

The result of this is that if you see someone young and surprisingly knowledgeable in many computer related areas, they probably grew up steeped in hacker culture and have tons more useful general knowledge than someone without that extra decade of experience.

BTW, I'm not advocating for age discrimination, but it may actually be more of undocumented experience discrimination than age discrimination.

16
busterarm 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I seriously considered getting an IEEE membership for a long time, but decided after several long conversations with people in the field who had one that it was not worth it.
17
monkmonk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Except most of the design patterns you're caught on are wrong too. Programming just keeps getting more nuanced, making it harder for new people to learn about what is considered "the right way!"
18
sikhnerd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
19
vacri 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The problem is that our industry, unlike every other single industry except acting and modeling (and note neither are known for intelligence) worship at the altar of youth

Popular music, athletics, professional team sports, combat sports, hospitality, beauticians, the military (a big one, that one), until recently airline hostesses... there's tons of them.

20
lkrubner 1 hour ago 1 reply      
About this:

"Im not bitter; I just believe weve fallen into a bunch of bad habits in our industry which need a good recession and some creative destruction to weed out what is limping along."

A recession might actually make things even worse. At least part of the problem in the industry is the growing power of monopoly. Firms are increasingly protected from competition, and therefore bad habits can thrive because the bad habits are not enough to bring down the firm. That is, there isn't enough competition for the firm to be hurt by its own bad habits. And this lack of competition goes back to the declining rate of new company formation:

http://www.governing.com/topics/mgmt/gov-businesses-economic...

Also, see this chart:

http://www.smashcompany.com/business/the-decline-of-usa-inve...

21
peterwwillis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We don't really have a great required body of knowledge or mandatory licensing for people to work in the field. The whole industry is still in the Middle Ages in terms of how we choose people to build things.
3
Reminder: NIST password guidelines are open for public comment nist.gov
74 points by tuxxy  3 hours ago   10 comments top 3
1
retox 2 hours ago 3 replies      
My banks online password requirements match the suggestions in these documents, but the passwords are entirely case insensitive. So its the same if I type "password" or "PaSSwOrD". There is a second passphrase that youre asked to select randomly chosen characters from combo boxes for, but that is case insensitive also. I got into an argument with their customer rep on Twitter about this not being the best case and they replied that it was based on industry best practice. I've never heard that before...
2
sbuttgereit 2 hours ago 1 reply      
From Appendix A of 800-63B:

"Research has shown, however, that users respond in very predictable ways to the requirements imposed by composition rules."

I'm not disputing this statement, but there is no reference to the supporting research either. I get that this isn't an academic paper, but I'd be curious to see the research they're referring to nonetheless. Does anyone here happen to know what they may have relied on for that claim?

3
jarboot 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As correctly captured by Peter Steiner in The New Yorker, On the internet, nobody knows youre a dog.

Interesting to see a cartoon cited in a government publication.

4
Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures in Python interactivepython.org
195 points by sonabinu  7 hours ago   17 comments top 6
1
gspetr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you enjoyed this, I highly recommend also giving this a try: https://github.com/donnemartin/interactive-coding-challenges

It's in the same spirit, has some things covered in even more detail and it even has tests you can run on your solutions to verify correctness and instantly receive feedback.

2
sothym 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm currently studying python so this is going to come in handy, awesome.
3
riknos314 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm one of the students of Brad Miller, creator of this platform, and worked on developing it for a summer. Feel free to ask questions!
4
git-pull 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's more than a book.

If you click into a section, you can run the python code and get the output.

5
riknos314 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Also, Interactive python is open source! If you like it, help make it better!

https://github.com/RunestoneInteractive

6
knob_07 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We used this for an introductory programming course in university. Very informative.
6
Troubled covert agency responsible for trucking nuclear bombs across America latimes.com
155 points by greenyoda  11 hours ago   122 comments top 8
1
hackuser 10 hours ago 8 replies      
This is the fourth among the U.S. nuclear weapons institutions that I've read is in trouble, going back several years:

1) Air Force ICBM launch operations: The General in charge had a serious drinking problem (consider that for a moment), to the extent that he went on a bender in Moscow. Among launch officers, there was widespread cheating on qualification tests, disregard for regulations (such as sealing doors to secure rooms), and very low morale.

2) Air Force nuclear bomber operations: At one point, they lost track of a nuclear bomb (or maybe cruise missile), and it was flown to a base in another part of the country before anyone figured it out and could track it down. The Secretary of Defense fired the General in charge.

3) Security at facilities containing highly enriched uranium/plutonium (the essential material to making weapons; the one component that keeps terrorists from making one): At one facility, some peace protestors (not James Bond-level attackers) breached the security and setup a protest next to a building containing the materials. They were there for something like 30 minutes before they were discovered and apprehended.

4) And now this.

This isn't a system that can succeed 99.999% of the time. If one nuclear weapon gets into the hands of someone willing to lose it, millions of people will die and then you can imagine the response - the course of history and civilization will change.

2
chrissnell 7 hours ago 4 replies      
The anti-adblock paywall makes this site unusable for me. Would someone please post the text of the article here?
3
lr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine used to be in the Navy nuclear power program, and worked at LLNL for a bit, too, and he talked about how they would throw nuclear material in the back of a van and drive it around. And this was in "Nuclear Free Zones" in the Bay Area. It is so sad to see people protesting and blocking trains carying low level nuclear waste (like the suits workers would wear at nuclear power facilities) through their towns, when this kind of far more dangerous shit is going on and know one knows about it.
4
TheSpiceIsLife 10 hours ago 6 replies      
hauling the most lethal cargo there is

I can think of about 50 more dangerous things I'd rather not pass on the highway.

The truck carrying a nuclear warhead is about a squillion times more dangerous than the warhead itself.

Trucks have killed more people than nuclear weapons ever will.

5
ryanmarsh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple of my army buddies did this when they got out after Iraq. The money sounded good and it was work we were used too. I don't talk to them much but I do know they didn't do it for very long. They said it sucked and that was the end of it.
6
LouisSayers 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"That worst case would be a terrorist group hijacking a truck and obtaining a multi-kiloton hydrogen bomb."

Umm... is it just me, or does this really not seem like the worst thing that could happen?

You have a truck with nuclear bombs in it, travelling across America... isn't the bomb already in the place that a terrorist would want it to be?

I would think that the worst thing that could happen, is for one of these trucks to blow up - or am I missing an understanding of how nuclear bombs go off?

7
laretluval 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Blast Corps?
8
owly 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Seriously, why the hell is the US reviving the nuclear weapons program? It's against all humanity. What the world really needs are giant robots. As far as the vulnerability of trucks is concerned, I give you the Fast & Furious film franchise.
7
Silent Data Corruption Is Real complete.org
253 points by Ianvdl  14 hours ago   102 comments top 17
1
elfchief 12 hours ago 10 replies      
It really bugs me (and has for a while) that there is still no mainstream linux filesystem that supports data block checksumming. Silent corruption is not exactly new, and the odds of running into it have grown significantly as drives have gotten bigger. It's a bit maddening that nobody seems to care (or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places)

(...sure, you could call zfs or btrfs "mainstream", I suppose, but when I say "mainstream" I mean something along the lines of "officially supported by RedHat". zfs isn't, and RH considers btrfs to still be "experimental".)

2
nisa 10 hours ago 1 reply      
ZFS is also crazy good on surviving disks with bad sectors (as long as they still respond fast). Check out this paper: https://research.cs.wisc.edu/wind/Publications/zfs-corruptio...

They even spread the metadata across the disk by default. I'm running on some old WD-Greens with 1500+ of bad sectors and it's cruising along with RAIDZ just fine.

There is also failmode=continue where ZFS doesn't hang when it can't read something. If you have a distributed layer above ZFS that also checksums (like HDFS) you can go pretty far even without RAID and quite broken disks. There is also copies=n. When ZFS broke, the disk usally stopped talking or died a few days later. btrs, ext4 just choke and remount ro quite fast (probably the best and correct course of action) but you can tell ZFS to just carry on! Great piece of engineering!

3
kabdib 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, yes. Silent bit errors are tons of fun to track down.

I spent a day chasing what turned out to be a bad bit in the cache of a disk drive; bits would get set to zero in random sectors, but always at a specific sector offset. The drive firmware didn't bother doing any kind of memory test; even a simple stuck-at test would have found this and preserved the customer's data.

In another case, we had Merkle-tree integrity checking in a file system, to prevent attackers from tampering with data. The unasked-for feature was that it was a memory test, too, and we found a bunch of systems with bad RAM. ECC would have made this a non-issue, but this was consumer-level hardware with very small cost margins.

It's fun (well maybe "fun" isn't the right word) to watch the different ways that large populations of systems fail. Crash reports from 50M machines will shake your trust in anything more powerful than a pocket calculator.

4
Malic 11 hours ago 2 replies      
It's articles like this that re-enforce my disappointment that Apple is choosing to NOT implement checksums in their new file system, APFS.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11934457

5
swinglock 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If I were to run ZFS on my laptop with a single disk and copies=1, and a file becomes corrupted, can I recover it (partially)?

My assumption is the read will fail and the error logged but there is no redundancy so it will stay unreadable.

Will ZFS attempt to read the file again, in case the error is transient? If not, can I make ZFS retry reading? Can I "unlock" the file and read it even though it is corrupted, or get a copy of the file? If I restore the file from backup, can ZFS make sure the backup is good using the checksum it expects the file to have?

Single disk users seem to be unusual so it's not obvious how to do this, all documentation assumes a highly available installation rather than laptop, but I think there's value in ZFS even with a single disk - if only I understood exactly how it fails and how to scavenge for pieces when it does.

6
danjoc 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Closed source firmware on drives contain bugs that corrupt data. Are there any drives, available anywhere, that have open source firmware?
7
mrb 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The exact same silent data corruption issues just happened to my 6 x 5TB ZFS FreeBSD fileserver. But unlike what the poster concluded, mine were caused by bad (ECC!) RAM. I kept meticulous notes, so here is my story...

I scrub on a weekly basis. One day ZFS started reporting silent errors on disk ada3, just 4kB:

 pool: tank state: ONLINE status: One or more devices has experienced an unrecoverable error. An attempt was made to correct the error. Applications are unaffected. action: Determine if the device needs to be replaced, and clear the errors using 'zpool clear' or replace the device with 'zpool replace'. see: http://illumos.org/msg/ZFS-8000-9P scan: scrub repaired 4K in 21h05m with 0 errors on Mon Aug 29 20:52:45 2016 config: NAME STATE READ WRITE CKSUM tank ONLINE 0 0 0 raidz2-0 ONLINE 0 0 0 ada3 ONLINE 0 0 2 <--- ada4 ONLINE 0 0 0 ada6 ONLINE 0 0 0 ada1 ONLINE 0 0 0 ada2 ONLINE 0 0 0 ada5 ONLINE 0 0 0
I monitored the situation. But every week, subsequent scrubs would continue to find errors on ada3, and on more data (100-5000kB):

 2016-09-05: 1.7MB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-09-12: 5.2MB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-09-19: 300kB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-09-26: 1.8MB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-10-03: 3.1MB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-10-10: 84kB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-10-17: 204kB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-10-24: 388kB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178) 2016-11-07: 3.9MB silently corrupted on ada3 (ST5000DM000-1FK178)
The next week. The server became unreachable during a scrub. I attempted to access the console over IPMI but it just showed a blank screen and was unresponsive. I rebooted it.

The next week the server again became unreachable during a scrub. I could access the console over IPMI but the network seemed non-working even though the link was up. I checked the IPMI event logs and saw multiple correctable memory ECC errors:

 Correctable Memory ECC @ DIMM1A(CPU1) - Asserted
The kernel logs reported muliple Machine Check Architecture errors:

 MCA: Bank 4, Status 0xdc00400080080813 MCA: Global Cap 0x0000000000000106, Status 0x0000000000000000 MCA: Vendor "AuthenticAMD", ID 0x100f80, APIC ID 0 MCA: CPU 0 COR OVER BUSLG Source RD Memory MCA: Address 0x5462930 MCA: Misc 0xe00c0f2b01000000
At this point I could not even reboot remotely the server via IPMI. Also, I theorized that in addition to correctable memory ECC errors, maybe the DIMM experienced uncorrectable/undetected ones that were really messing up the OS but also IPMI. So I physically removed the module in "DIMM1A", and the server has been working perfectly well since then.

The reason these memory errors always happened on ada3 is not because of a bad drive or bad cables, but likely due to the way FreeBSD allocates buffer memory to cache drive data: the data for ada3 was probably located right on defective physical memory page(s), and the kernel never moves that data around. So it's always ada3 data that seems corrupted.

PS: the really nice combinatorial property of raidz2 with 6 drives is that when silent corruption occurs, the kernel has 15 different ways to attempt to rebuild the data ("6 choose 4 = 15").

8
RX14 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I know for sure that btrfs scrub found 8 correctable errors on my home server filesystem last July. This is obviously great news for me. Contrary to a lot of people here I've personally found btrfs to be really stable (as long as you don't use raid5/6 though).
9
platosrepublic 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not a database expert, but this seems like something I should worry about, at least a bit. Is this a problem if you store all your persistent data in a database like MySQL?
10
kev009 6 hours ago 0 replies      
People grossly under-intuit the channel error rate of the SATA. At datacenter scale it's alarmingly high http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/imagesvr_ce/8069/sas-s...
11
lasermike026 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Shouldn't RAID 1,5,6 protect against data corruption because of disk errors?
12
meesterdude 12 hours ago 2 replies      
interesting find! I wonder what would be a good safeguard to this. I feel like just backing up your data would offer something - but a file could silently change and become corrupted in the backup too.
13
dredmorbius 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"Data tends to corrupt. Absolute data tends to corrupt absolutely."

In both sense of the word.

Many moons ago, in one of my first professional assignments, I was tasked with what was, for the organisation, myself, and the provisioned equipment, a stupidly large data processing task. One of the problems encountered was a failure of a critical hard drive -- this on a system with no concept of a filesystem integrity check (think a particularly culpable damned operating system, and yes, I said that everything about this was stupid). The process of both tracking down, and then demonstrating convincingly to management (I said ...) the nature of the problem was infuriating.

And that was with hardware which was reliably and replicably bad. Transient data corruption ... because cosmic rays ... gets to be one of those particularly annoying failure modes.

Yes, checksums and redundancy, please.

14
hawski 10 hours ago 0 replies      
That gives me more reasons to experiment with DragonFly BSD by building a NAS using HAMMER file system.
15
greenshackle 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Uh. My ZFS-backed BSD NAS also has the hostname 'alexandria'.
16
_RPM 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Just like data black markets.
17
h2hn 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I started a really simple and effective project the last month to be able to fix from bitrot in linux(MacOs/Unix?). It's "almost done" just need more real testing and make the systemd service. I've been pretty busy the last weeks so I've only been able to improve the bitrot performance.

https://github.com/liloman/heal-bitrots

Unfortunatly, btrfs is not stable and zfs needs a "super computer" or at least as much GBs of ECC RAM as you can buy. This solution is designed to any machine and any FS.

8
Set up a cheap cloud hosted adblocker in an hour for $2.50 a month gomez.wtf
158 points by Racsoo  12 hours ago   74 comments top 22
1
Orangeair 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Just a heads-up, you can get 1 CPU and 0.6 gigs of RAM for free with the new entry tier of GCP: https://cloud.google.com/free/

(Disclaimer: Google employee, unrelated product area)

2
boyter 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I did the same thing but using an old netbook I had lying around. It lives under the house running Pi-Hole and a few other things. I wrote about it here http://www.boyter.org/2015/12/pi-hole-ubuntu-14-04/

No idea what power draw it has (probably $5 a month?) but I have a large solar array so I doubt it costs me anything to actually run. I also get to recycle some old hardware.

EDIT - Seems that post was linked to by the pi-hole project itself at some point. Was wondering why it got so much traffic each month.

3
diego_moita 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Another solution: install DD-WRT or Tomato in your WiFi router and disable all ad servers on the DNS: http://dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Ad_blocking

Pay attention: this might interfere with some google functionality because it will block google ad-services. You'd have 2 workarounds: switch your searches to Duck-Duck-Go or keep google ad-services out of the disable DNS addresses.

4
bberrry 9 hours ago 3 replies      
My number one reason for rooting my phone is blocking ads on a hosts-file level. It also stopped me from being able to play pokemon go, which I assume is for the best.
5
userbinator 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Note that this is just a DNS-level adblocker, which is already quite useful (I use a HOSTS file myself) but isn't quite as powerful as an actual MITM/filtering proxy like Proxomitron which can more precisely remove the content you don't want without having to block entire domains. If you use DNS-only blocking, you will often see error messages in place of banners and other oddities, because of sites which partly host some of the ad scripts themselves.

You do have to do more initial setup with certificates and such, but IMHO the more fine-grained filtering is worth it. The entire category of sites which actually detect blocking can be worked around this way, as you can filter out that code too.

6
dvno42 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really neat and I had thought about doing this when I acquired a new Android device that I don't have root on. Alternatively, a program was made to host a DNS process on the phone in userland that downloads blacklists as well as uses external well known nameservers. Then use build in VPN client to redirect all DNS queries through to the daemon. DNS66 has been doing a fine job since I started using it last week. https://github.com/julian-klode/dns66
7
cptskippy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My biggest gripe with network level filtering is making exceptions. I am currently running Pi.hole and making exceptions requires logging into the server via the web UI. SSL URLs also do not work and would require some sort of root cert.

With block you receive a UI notification of the block and the option to make an exception.

8
MaikuMori 7 hours ago 3 replies      
How sad is that we need to jump trough hoops to just disable ads on our devices.

And before ads advocate responds - ask for my money instead of polluting my mental space.

9
oszione 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Changing the DNS server on Android is really not ideal and in some networks outgoing DNS requests are blocked or redirected to the local resolver.

I know it's a lot more work but setting up Shadowsocks and Unbound with similar DNS blacklists is a much better solution. This also comes with all the benefits of using a VPN (technically, an obfuscated socks5 proxy using the android VPN interface). If you manage the network, pfSense and pfBlockerNG are also great and easy to set up.

10
felixfurtak 8 hours ago 0 replies      
... or simply subscribe to Ad Free Time for $1.99 /pm

https://adfreetime.com/

11
SnaKeZ 9 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: Vultr + Pi-hole
12
lend000 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Pi-hole is great, but there's no reason to dedicate an entire instance to it (assuming you have other uses for one) -- the resources used on my RPi 3 are negligible.
13
OxO4 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be even better if there was a way to pay $2.50 that get distributed among the creators of the consumed content.
14
Ir3eu1yo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Adgaurd DNS is a free alternative although the web page says its in beta [1]. They also say they don't keep logs and support DNSCrypt. Convinently the DNSCrypt project also seems to have four resolvers configured for them [2].

[1] https://adguard.com/en/adguard-dns/overview.html[2] https://github.com/jedisct1/dnscrypt-proxy/blob/master/dnscr...

15
sgloutnikov 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a small fyi about the Vultr match credits: unused credits expire after 12 months. Vultr are great by the way, love them.
16
Oxitendwe 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What kind of insane world do we live in where we can't block ads on our own devices?
17
lern_too_spel 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Or you can set it up on a free instance of GCE. The author doesn't get affiliate fees though.
18
homer168 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I messed with this for years. This app recently solved it all for me without root :

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.netpatch.fi...

You can use the custom rules to add any of the adblocker lists such as HP hosts, etc.

Also whitelists play nice with voip apps too.

19
colept 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Pi-hole with raspberrypi is free.
20
aembleton 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want something even cheaper, check out https://www.time4vps.eu/pricing/#!

If you purchase a 512MB RAM machine for two years it is 0.99/month!

21
draw_down 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, that sounds like it could be useful for other things, but for ad blocking, running a blocker on the device seems to work fine...
22
chrisabrams 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Title should be amended to clarify "if you use android"
9
We will no longer use the phrase zero knowledge to describe our software spideroak.com
170 points by remx  12 hours ago   105 comments top 14
1
Veratyr 10 hours ago 10 replies      
I still won't trust SpiderOak with my data. Their service is unreliable and slow, their client is horrible to work with and their support is disgraceful.

I'll post my usual story:

In February 2016, SpiderOak dropped its pricing to $12/month for 1TB of data. Having several hundred gigabytes of photos to backup I took advantage and bought a year long subscription ($129). I had access to a symmetric gigabit fibre connection so I connected, set up the SpiderOak client and started uploading.

However I noticed something odd. According to my Mac's activity monitor, SpiderOak was only uploading in short bursts [0] of ~2MB/s. I did some test uploads to other services (Google Drive, Amazon) to verify that things were fine with my connection (they were) and then contacted support (Feb 10).

What followed was nearly 6 months of "support", first claiming that it might be a server side issue and moving me "to a new host" (Feb 17) then when that didn't resolve my issue, they ignored me for a couple of months then handed me over to an engineer (Apr 28) who told me: "we may have your uploads running at the maximum speed we can offer you at the moment. Additional changes to storage network configuration will not improve the situation much. There is an overhead limitation when the client encrypts, deduplicates, and compresses the files you are uploading"

At this point I ran a basic test (cat /dev/urandom | gzip -c | openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -pass pass:spideroak | pv | shasum -a 256 > /dev/zero) that showed my laptop was easily capable of hashing and encrypting the data much faster than SpiderOak was handling it (Apr 30) after which I was simply ignored for a full month until I opened another ticket asking for a refund (Jul 9).

I really love the idea of secure, private storage but SpiderOak's client is barely functional and their customer support is rather bad.

If you want a service like theirs, I'd suggest rolling your own. Rclone [1] and Syncany [2] are both open source and support end to end encryption and a variety of storage backends.

[0]: http://i.imgur.com/XEvhIop.png

[1]: http://rclone.org/

[2]: https://www.syncany.org/

2
aboodman 11 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm always a little tweaked when somebody pitching a client product says "we can't access your data".

Am I running your software in a process that has network access? Then you can access my data.

I understand the point you're trying to make, and I totally get that architecting a system so that unencrypted data doesn't leave my device is superior to an architecture where it does.

But I still must, ultimately, trust you, your competence, and your motivations. If I trust that you don't want to access my data, and have tried to architect your systems so that is hard to do, and are competent to do so, then I can trust my data is probably safe.

But that's not the same as it being physically impossible for you to access my data.

3
ianmiers 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I think this is missing the larger problem with the claim. Yes, using the term clashed with academic cryptography to some extent. But the larger issue was even as they intended to use it, it's not a completely accurate description of their product. They learn quite a bit of information compared to you storing the data locally.

Why the collision with academic cryptography doesn't matter: Anyone who had even a basic understanding of their product + some academic crypto background would get what they were going for: they have no knowledge of whats going on. Also, strictly speaking,the academic term is zero-knowledge proof or zero-knowledge proof of knowledge. Ie, zero-knowledge is an adjective used to describe a proof (and indeed, if you look at the history of how these evolved, that is exactly what happened). You could reasonably use zero-knowledge as a modifier for something else and it could be acceptable. Indeed, it's a fairly good shorthand for a particular class of definitions of privacy/confidentiality that require any transcript of the protocol can be produced by a simulator who has no knowledge of what transpired.

The problem is Spider Oak's cloud backup cannot be zero-knowledge or no knowledge. It almost certainly leaks when you update files and when you delete them. Perhaps they don't log this or delete the logs, but they could. And this meta data could matter to businesses.

4
CiPHPerCoder 11 hours ago 1 reply      
In case anyone is curious about why this was problematic:

https://paragonie.com/blog/2016/08/crypto-misnomers-zero-kno...

Zero Knowledge is something you're most likely going to find in an authentication protocol, not an encryption protocol.

While I have mixed feelings about "No Knowledge", it's at least not a collision with a different concept.

Good on SpiderOak for the effort here. It shows they do listen, at the very least.

5
raphinou 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I was surprised to read their mobile solution delegates the decryption to a software running on their server: https://spideroak.com/manual/spideroak-on-mobile

This is clearly not "no Knowledge"....

Looking forward to standing corrected if I am wrong.

6
TheSpiceIsLife 11 hours ago 3 replies      
"Your data is completely safe from ... any threat."

How is that possible?

7
ape4 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"As we launch a new website today, we changed every mention of Zero Knowledge to No Knowledge."
8
trendia 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Previously [0], HN and experts criticized SpiderOak for using the term improperly in their marketing. (E2E is not the same as zero-knowledge storage). And now they admit that they knew at the time that it was used improperly.

So, why did they use it?

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13301936

9
s-macke 9 hours ago 1 reply      
For me the problem with Zero Knowledge or No Knowledge is, that the website usually don't say, whether they encrypt the content, directory structure, filename or file size. Often it is just the content. It would be great if the services would explain this in more detail. What does SpiderOak encrypt actually?

I guess a real "No knowledge" storage would be just a container and you read and write blocks, i. e. the filesystem format is implemented on the client side. Of course this make features such as versioning difficult to implement and probable everything would be a little bit slower.

Edit: The post from rarrrrrr explains the technique of Spider Oak and he links to a Blog entry. This is pretty impressive.

10
cmrx64 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Dear god FINALLY. This has annoyed me constantly about spideroak.
11
barking 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been using sync.com for about a year now and am very happy with it. It says it's zero knowledge (I'm not qualified to judge the veracity of that) and costs under 60 pa for 500GB. I have also found them exceptionally friendly to deal with. It's ridiculous but I was chuffed to receive a postcard signed by about a dozen people after signing up.I used to use crashplan but after doing a successful restore from a supposedly good archive I found that thousands of files were missing.The other thing I use as was mentioned elsewhere in this thread is duplicati 2. Has worked perfectly for me so far.
12
sauronlord 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Odd, but they used "zero knowledge" in their title to describe themselves.

Anyone else pick up on this hilarious irony?

Hacker News is becoming a comedy site similar to The Onion.

13
placebo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think in terms of catchy marketing phrases, its a good switch, considering they wanted one that sounds as good as the previous one yet does not clash with existing professional terminology. I remember thinking for a few seconds about what I would change it to back when reading criticism about them using the term "Zero Knowledge" and couldn't off the top of my head think of something different but still catchy. Seems obvious once it's thought of...
14
unknownsavage 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Great news.

I tried spideroak and liked the product, but the inability for me to pay using anonymous payment methods has lead me to use sync.com instead.

I had trouble with a prepaid debit card, and they unfortunately don't take bitcoin either.

10
Unix System Call Timeouts eklitzke.org
50 points by panic  5 hours ago   38 comments top 10
1
Animats 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is done right in QNX. In QNX, everything that can block can be given a timeout, using TimerTimeout().[1] This is useful in real-time code with moderate time constraints. If you're logging to disk, and the disk stalls because of a hardware problem, you may need to get control back so you can keep doing your real-time work. It's more important to, say, issue steering commands than log.

After a timeout, you don't know how the request that blocked ended. If you need that, a multi-thread or multi-process solution is indicated.

In general, QNX is much better at timing, hard real time scheduling, and inter-process communication than UNIX/Linux. In the Unix/Linux world, those were afterthoughts; in QNX, they're core features. Because all I/O is via interprocess communication, it takes an extra memory to memory copy; this seems to add maybe 10% CPU overhead. That's the microkernel penalty, a moderate fixed cost.

[1] http://www.qnx.com/developers/docs/7.0.0/#com.qnx.doc.neutri...

2
klodolph 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to point out here that the basic Unix assumption is that we don't care about blocking on local disk. So mkdir() should not have a timeout because it should always be fast enough not to need it. Yes, that's not true, local disk can be very slow, and there's NFS and FUSE, but it's the assumption Unix is built on.

Have you ever had a process waiting for disk that you couldn't kill? Like running "ls" in a big directory, which hangs, and you pound ^C over and over again in vain? That's this same assumption at work here. It's the difference between D and S states on Linux. So if you want timeouts on mkdir(), what you really want is a complete reengineering of the Unix system with the philosophy that local disk IO is interruptible.

3
fh973 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
His use case should be solvable with a timer and a kill. Then asking for a timeout version for the syscall is for convenience. But that's a bad guiding principle for system interface design. You want to keep things simple and orthogonal and that rules out a timeout parameter. Maybe a general way to cancel in-progress syscalls would do it?

Anyway, as my late systems professor used to say: timeouts are always too short or too long.

4
sebcat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
FreeBSD has pdfork, which works with process descriptors instead of signals. No more signal handlers needed, and you can use process descriptors as you'd use file descriptors with calls to poll, select, kevent, &c.
5
sargun 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If you really need this kind of abstraction for syscalls, I might suggest looking at Erlang, or Golang. Both of these languages and run times provide abstractions for these "bugs" in the underlying APIs.

In Erlang, all I/O goes through things called "ports", and does not block, but it's all asynchronous. There is no reason you couldn't do the same in C -- spin up an external process with a SIGALARM, and maintain a socket that you use, instead of dispatching the syscalls in the same process / thread you run the rest of your code.

In Go, syscalls are scheduled on their own thread (typically), and you can run a goroutine, and wait for the output of the call.

Yes, these bugs exist, and they sometimes make writing code a pain, but they're mostly "solved" if you use the right tool.

6
loeg 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Yeah, wait() doesn't have a standard way to wait for a timeout. I would wait (with timeout) for the SIGCHLD with some OS-dependent interface (signalfd+poll/select/epoll on Linux, or kevent on BSD).

But: What possible semantics could you want for mkdir() such that a timeout is sane?

7
cozzyd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
In the case of waiting on a child started with exec, I've used the crappy workaround of using the timeout command. It makes checking the return value a bit trickier though...
8
peterwwillis 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> theres a trick to turning these kinds of I/O operations into something you can put into an event loop: you run the desired operation (mkdir() in this case) in another thread, and then wait for the thread to finish with a timeout

This isn't a trick, this is expected. Calls return when they're supposed to return, or not at all. If you need to return BEFORE the system call is done, you need to do it somewhere else (like in a new thread or process, or node). This is also not limited to I/O, but basically any system call: if you return before it's done, it may break something, so it might not provide a good timeout method.

Something to ask yourself is also why you need to return before the call is done? It's similar to the NFS hard-vs-soft-mounting argument. Soft mounting can cause damage when improperly interrupted; hard mounting prevents this by waiting until the system is behaving properly again, with the side effect of pissing off the users.

9
geofft 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You can effectively get wait() with a timeout by setting a handler for SIGCHLD, spawning the child, and using select(). This works on all UNIX and gets you everything signalfd would. And as long as you set the handler before you start the child, you don't have to worry about the self-pipe trick or pselect, since you avoid the race condition. The sigtimedwait() approach also seems fine.

The big trouble you have is that there is no approach to signals that composes; if someone else is waiting for a SIGCHLD via some other means, you're likely to eat the signal they were waiting for. If you're particularly unlucky and both children terminate while you're not scheduled, you'll only get a single SIGCHLD - even with siginfo_t, all that means is at least this child exited, maybe others did too.

Perhaps the better approach is to just spawn a thread for this, which is also the general-case answer for every other syscall, whether it's wait(), mkdir(), readlink(), or sync_file_range(). On the other hand, threads are a "now you have two problems" sort of solution.... I'd like to see a generic API where you can submit any system call to the kernel, as if it were on another thread, and select on its completion.

10
jstimpfle 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Not saying the syscall APIs are not broken, but what is a use case for wait() with timeout? Just curious...
11
Japan to Unveil Pascal GPU-Based AI Supercomputer nextplatform.com
104 points by jonbaer  12 hours ago   47 comments top 4
1
deepnotderp 11 hours ago 5 replies      
As someone who works at a deep learning chip startup, this is great news! Looks like there's a market for our chips ;)

If anyone wants to learn more about AI chips, I'd be happy to answer questions.

2
gwern 8 hours ago 2 replies      
192 GPUs eh. Interesting to compare that with the numbers being dropped in some of the Google Brain and Deepmind papers like 800 GPUs...
3
deepnotderp 7 hours ago 0 replies      
To address everyone's questions about whether or not 1000W is too much for a car, I should have clarified, the power itself is not too big of a concern. But, having a large machine (I'm aware of the PX2 and it's successor, but that's simply way too weak for what we need) on a car requires a lot of space, energy to move and energy to cool.
4
ksec 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Slightly Off Topic:

How far behind is AMD with GPGPU, or AI.It seems OpenCL is a dead end. CUDA won. AMD announced some CUDA to (x) code conversion which never really caught on.

12
An Encyclopedic Treatment of Type Design, Typefaces and Fonts devroye.org
143 points by BafS  14 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
haddr 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember this website from early '00. I'm really glad it is still online and flourishing! This is literally one of the best (if not the best) website with font resources on the web.
2
Bud 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Fantastic wealth of information here. I'm really impressed. You can even upload images and the site will recognize the font for you.
3
M_Grey 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, the learning resources on that page are too good and I can't believe how much valuable info is efficiently organized into such a readable index!
13
The line is blurring between city and suburb businessinsider.com
66 points by elberto34  10 hours ago   92 comments top 16
1
erikb 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
The idea of suburban areas being less about owning is horrible. Of course if I don't buy my living space and instead rent it, someone ELSE has to buy it first. They become not less about owning, but more about being owned by big companies instead of individual owners.

And the reason people don't own as much as years before is because we realize that we can't afford to. If you give me a mansion for $10 (without any zeros behind it) I'll gladly prefer it over my apartment.

What will be the next article in the series? Children in Jemen prefer to eat less food than their bodies require?

2
kr7 8 hours ago 5 replies      
The title is somewhat misleading. The suburbs are not dying; in fact they are growing [1][2][3][4] and this article makes no claim to the contrary.

The article is saying that suburbs are becoming more like urban areas.

I like the author's evidence that housing prices are falling:

> In that same city in 2012, a typical McMansion would be valued at $477,000, about 274% more than the area's other homes. Today, a McMansion would be valued at $611,000, or 190% above the rest of the market.

Up 28% in price - must be dying!

[1] http://time.com/107808/census-suburbs-grow-city-growth-slows...

[2] http://www.citylab.com/housing/2016/03/2015-us-population-wi...

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-moving-to-suburbs-r...

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/09/26/americas-...

3
hackuser 7 hours ago 1 reply      
> "Ideally, there won't be any new highway capacity built because we can't afford to maintain what we have"

It's not a detail that changes the conclusion, but I want to focus on it:

The U.S. definitely can afford to maintain its roads. The country is the richest in the history of the world, richer than it's ever been. U.S. GDP in 1960, when the Interstate Highway system and many suburbs and malls were being built, was ~$3 trillion in real dollars;[0] now it's ~$18 trillion.

The U.S. chooses not to maintain its infrastructure.

[0] According to one unofficial source on the web, which I'm going to trust for this purpose.

4
rhapsodic 8 hours ago 7 replies      
I prefer a 0.5-1.0 acre lot to a lot slightly bigger than the footprint of the house it contains.

I prefer to have the privacy that's afforded by having my house set 40' back from the street, with plenty of space between my and my neighbors' homes, rather than living in a house that abuts, or is 6 feet away, from my neighbors'.

I prefer a spacious driveway and an attached, heated, two car garage, to parking on the street a block from my house, and having to dig my car out after a snowstorm.

I prefer to own a home that was built during or since the 1950s, when Romex wiring was original equipment, rather than own something that still has knob and tube wiring with decaying fabric insulation.

I prefer a home built with drywall or rock lathe and plaster, over one built with wood lath and plaster.

I've found that most pre-1910 homes I've examined do not have foundations or basements to my liking.

I prefer to live in an area where I can leave my doors unlocked and my windows open at night without giving it a second thought. Or where, if I leave the house and realize I left the front door unlocked, I don't feel compelled to go back and lock it.

I prefer to live in an environment where junkies and bums are virtually nowhere to be seen, rather than an environment where I have to be careful not to step in human feces when I walk between two parked cars.

When I can get all that affordably in the city, I'll consider moving back.

5
dthal 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Jed Kolko, former chief economist at Trulia, thinks stories like this are either exaggerated or wrong. His basic claim is that urban revival is limited to childless professionals in their peak earning years. See [1], or any of his posts at [2] for the data and analysis.

[1] http://jedkolko.com/2016/03/25/neighborhood-data-show-that-u...

[2] http://jedkolko.com/favorite-housing-posts/

6
jtedward 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This somewhat anecdotal, but the biggest issue I had when living in the suburbs was traffic. I'm someone who has driven hundreds of thousands miles and never been in an accident, but the extreme levels of fear and stress I got from going even short distances in the suburbs was just aweful.

I didn't always feel this way, but I think the use of cellphones has created and environment where even slow moving drivers are unpredictable. I now walk to work and frequently see people on their phones while driving, if a line of ten cars are stopped at a light at least three people are on their phones. The result isn't an extreme increase in accidents but a constricting deficit of attention which incrementally lengthens every encounter on the road. More short stopping, more people missing green lights or just driving super conservatively and not merging holding up traffic.

Also I never use my phone while driving, but the fact that I can't even look at it when I know someone is trying to contact me is incredibly frustrating and impacts my enjoyment of driving.

7
nikanj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Millennials want to cook at home and don't like to play golf"

They don't have money for restaurants, let alone the resources to pick up a hobby as expensive and time-consuming as golf.

8
pm90 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I would be very interested to know how much of this is caused by a change in housing preference v/s a change in the nature of employment/wages for millennials. When you had reasonable expectation that your job would last for several years, you are more willing to invest in building up equity in a suburban home/community.

Also, the no.1 reason why people seem to want to move to suburbs is children (IMO, anecdotal etc.)... perhaps the falling fertility is making married/live-in couples more willing to live in a dense, urban communities?

9
trackofalljades 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm really happy that everything they mention in this article is "dying," good riddance.
10
johan_larson 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the living arrangements people are resorting to just reek of desperation:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-millennials-live-in-san-f...

Living in vans. Living in boxes in larger apartments. Thirty people living in a 10-bedroom building.

There is vast demand to live in these cities, and their governments are utterly failing to accommodate it in an orderly and dignified fashion.

11
agentgt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm curious if others are seeing tear down fest in semi-urban neighborhoods?

So I live in Metrowest Boston Area. I own a multi family. My wife, infant son and I live in modest square footage despite having fairly generous annual incomes (e.g. well above AMT tax rate).

My parents used to live nearby in affluent town (Wellesley) before just recently selling their house to a developer... who of course knocked it down to build a gigantic pimped out house. The same developers was buying 4 other houses at the time. In short Metrowest Massachusetts has become tear down central.

The problem is other than foreign investors (a lot of Newston, Weston, Wellesley, and Needham is getting bought out by foreign investors) nobody from my age group.. the age group that is looking to buy houses wants a super mansion... even if its decked out (That is these houses aren't McMansions. They are real mansions).

From my general experience of talking to other educated thirty somethings is people want authentic and charming not McMansion and yet there all these new houses replacing old New England house.

Yet these new houses are priced ridiculously high. And again talking to other peers it seems gone are the days where people buy 4-6 times their salary. People are buying sometimes as low as just twice their salary and completely fine. And if people want convenient they are going for condo and not McMansion style.

Historically New England has been fairly bubble proof. I fear that time is coming to an end.

When it does happen I might buy some of these big boys and convert them to multi-families ... BTW this is exactly what happened to parts of New England in the late 19th and early 20th century [1] where giant houses were converted to multi families aka Somerville and Waltham (where I live).

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple-decker

12
pmoriarty 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a great documentary on this called The End of Suburbia,[1][2] though the causes for such a collapse are very different in the documentary vs this article.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_Suburbia

[2] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3uvzcY2Xug

13
bognition 9 hours ago 6 replies      
I don't know anyone who wants to live in the suburbs. They either want to live in the city or far enough out that they can have land and privacy.
14
leggomylibro 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky...

You know, it's funny. Some cities are trying to quickly build out higher-density apartment buildings in/near the downtown areas, and from what I've seen the same concept applies. I'd love to see some of those fancy mini-arcologies spring up, but really the boxes are just a bit bigger (or smaller, depending on how you look at it.)

I do hope that malls become very cheap real estate before long; I think it's already happening in some places. I would just love to buy what is essentially a cheap, empty, commercially-zoned warehouse and stuff it full of things like laser tag, arcades and e-sports, a couple of lounge areas and coffee shops/bars depending on the time of day...but I doubt you could make something like that work without very cheap square footage and a lot of people within a 30-45 minute drive.

15
charles-salvia 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So, I have to wonder: if this trend actually continues (and I hope it does), could this be a factor that helps curtail climate change to some degree? I realize that we will most likely inevitably suffer major damages at this point no matter what, but I'm wondering if trends like this (along with the rise of better battery technology and electric cars) will at least mitigate the damage to some extent.

I mean, currently NYC has a ridiculously low carbon foot-print for its population size. So if more places become dense population centers with public transportation like NYC, it can only be a positive thing in terms of mitigating climate change.

16
vidanay 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Good riddance.
14
We didnt lose control the Web was stolen ar.al
143 points by imartin2k  6 hours ago   59 comments top 18
1
subjectsigma 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with the sentiment of this article, but only to a degree.

I recommend anyone interested in this to read Open Standards and the Digital Age, by Andrew Russel. The book is a partial refutation of the idea of an 'open web' using historical examples, the most shocking being the failure of open and democratic methods to build an open Internet standard versus the success of Serf and Kahn inventing TCP/IP in a closed and corporate environment, funded by the military. The reality is that some systems critical to the operation of the Internet, such as DNS, are highly centralized, un-open, un-private and un-free, or at least when compared with cyberlibertarian expectations of how the Internet should be. It also addresses other perversions of 'open', such as the irony that some of FLOSS's biggest customers are megacorps like Apple and Microsoft, who up until recently contributed way less back than what they took.

I don't think the web was 'stolen' from 'us', I think people just don't realize how controlling it was before. They're mistaking an epiphany for an actual loss of freedom that may or may not have been there in the first place. We need to fight for a free and open Internet, but let's not kid ourselves with inaccurate and misleading language.

2
jstewartmobile 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The worst part is that if you're employed, it's probably a job requirement to use at least one of these surveillance capitalism platforms.

Most people I know in tech have to be on Slack. Most people I know in advertising and PR have to be on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For some jobs, like journalism, even the "troops on the ground" are required to post and tweet. Even for jobs without the social media taint, a lot of companies use corporate gmail, so now Google is way up in your business.

In 2007, you could probably just chalk it all up to poor personal choices. In 2017, I don't know if that's entirely true. We're in a situation that cries out for regulation, although that will probably not happen in the US until after a calamity, since regulation is seen as one of the heads of the beast in our money religion.

3
Keverw 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't think we really need more regulations in this area. There is already a bunch of privacy related laws on the books.

Plus using data to improve the user experience, recommendations(YouTube, Netflix), targeted ads seems pretty neat(I prefer ads about tech products, my interests compared to makeup or pads). The products get better and improve. Facebook doesn't sell your information, they let advertisers use it to target you. Probably more profitable to let companies use the data instead of selling it.

Companies like LexisNexis and Acxiom are the ones I'd be really worried about. Some states DMV's even sell databases. I'd be more worried about them, Google and Facebook are way better corporate citizens than these mega databroker companies would be. At least Google and Facebook you can opt-out of. LexisNexis, good luck opting-out. Last time I checked only law enforcement who fear they are in danger can opt-out.

Regulations are what kills innovative. Probably since the government has mainly left the internet alone is probably why it's one of the most innovative industries. Imagine having to read a 300 page 2 column paged document and wait on a lengthly process before you are even allowed to put up even a blog.

Then all of this talk lately about "fake news" just seems like censorship. I am worried that some day the internet will be over regulated and censored it will be just like cable television at some point.

4
jacquesm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It all went wrong at the firewall. As soon as peer-to-peer was over and NAT became a security layer as well as a technological construct to put more than one host behind one public IP it was essentially game-over.

If you want to reboot the web then you need to reboot the internet first, solve the insecurity of privately hosted servers first and convince ISPs that symmetric connectivity should be the rule.

After that you have a fighting chance.

5
vinceguidry 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is just unnecessarily divisive. Look, this is the way commerce works. Checks on corporate behavior come in two realms, legal and ethical. Companies will violate ethics if everybody else is doing it. Companies violate the law if they are the proverbial bad eggs.

If unethical practices become normal, the thing to do is to get a law passed. It's the way this has always worked. Laws change the entire landscape of commerce. They shake things up enough to where a new status quo is found. Law isn't perfect but it can shift the ethical regime more in the direction of the people.

The author's recommendation of a world without kings is a fantasy. If you eliminate hierarchy that means everybody must become an institution. Being an institution is not fun. It's fun to fantasize about building your own house but only the really motivated actually do it. Kings do us a favor by creating structure where there once was none. Silicon Valley is ultimately a force for good.

6
epigramx 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
When TV was the main mass communication system you needed a single antenna or a single satellite to project to unlimited people in the projected area. While that was one-way and the internet is two-way, the internet introduced the requirement for the projector to have the infrastructure to support millions of users individually. That means the main technological reason Google and Facebook took over was that you need money to take over the internet, you can't just do it for free, and those like Wikipedia that did it in a less profitable way had to be very proficient in collecting donations.
7
vtange 5 hours ago 2 replies      
There seems to be a lot of antagonism directed at Google and Facebook in this piece, making it sound as if those companies knowingly stole or forced people to fork over data.

I know sometimes it's easy to play the evil mega-corp card, but we need to ask ourselves the question: what is the goal here, to take down Google and Facebook? 'Cause if you're worried about an internet with extra surveillance and restrictions, taking down Google and Facebook doesn't really solve things.

Plus, even in a world with Google and Facebook out of the picture, there will still be political trolls hired by other companies and nation-states. There are also alternate-Googles that can just swoop in and fill the void you create if say you do take down Google. They are not necessarily better than Google today.

8
zitterbewegung 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The web wasn't stolen we gave it to them. You didn't have to sign up for Facebook. You don't have to sign up for googles services. Look how people like RMS use the web .
9
tannhaeuser 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Could it be that US antitrust regulation policies and authorities, or lack thereof, are part of the problem?

Edit: not saying it is, but what about the WA deal?

10
wyldfire 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just like the Newton and the Palm Pilot -- the solutions to this problem came too soon. Diaspora, GNU social, Ello (?) probably others. Perhaps in ten or twenty years a breaking point will come along.

That said, I think there's a real market for closed content like FB's. And even though I find a decentralized system more appealing, I can imagine a new, closed/centralized system taking FB's place in the future.

11
empath75 5 hours ago 7 replies      
I've been thinking of closing my Facebook account, but I'd lose contact with so many friends and family. They don't use email or any kind of instant messenger any more, and nobody makes phone calls any more. If you're not on Facebook you might as well not exist.
12
simplehuman 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Have any visionaries written what an alternative web looks like I.e we still need the services of Google and Facebook but done in a privacy conscious way.
13
d--b 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The argument is an angry version of "if it's free, you're the product," which at this stage is very uncontroversial, and only comments on the "we've lost control of our data" point made in the original post. The link between what author calls "people farming" and "surveillance" is not compelling.

That said, I personally agree with the author in identifying the main problem of the web as people tracking. In my opinion, Tim Bernes-Lee points about misinformation and political advertising are not specific to the medium, but rather to the times we live in. People are pissed, people are scared, they need something to blame, they need some fantasy to believe in, they make up scary news, they vote for the guy that gives them a dream.

What's specific to the web though, (and that is starting to spread out of the web) is the data tracking. Whether for advertising ends or for surveillance purposes, data tracking creates a power imbalance between people and systems that is unbearable.

That power imbalance is the weirdness you felt the first time you saw a gmail ad related to the email you were reading. It's the anger that heats up your cheeks when the sales guy asks for your email address when you just want to buy shoes. It's the 2-hour phone call to the customer service that ends in "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do for you". It's the "late fee" mails you automatically receive for a service that you cancelled. It's realizing that the app your employer installed on your phone can tell them your location at all times. It's the swatting that reminds you not to shop for pressure cookers online. It's the cameras. It's the cars. It's the lightbulbs.

We as people are weak. I don't think Silicon Valley intended it that way. I think they genuinely wanted to improve the world. And in order to keep it cheap, they found money where they could, and in the process, they undermined people's privacy in a way that is making the world a lot worse than it was.

I personally feel hopeful. Countries are made of people. And I think that people are starting to get it. We need rules to prevent this. Laws that force companies to automatically give you the option not to track you. The same laws that forced mailing list senders to have the unsubscribe button (thank god for the unsubscribe button!). For this to happen, we need lobbying, we need awareness. We need a "this website is not tracking you" label. We need privacy checks.

14
H4CK3RM4N 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the comment at the bottom which mentions the structural flaws in attempting to democratise the web while client-server architecture is still king.
15
barnacs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It wasn't stolen, we're giving it away. And not just the web, but our freedom.

If you're using services that support surveillance capitalism or you are working on such products, please stop. Thank you!

16
chj 5 hours ago 0 replies      
17
dorfsmay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't the problem that that you need money/time to make good, easy to use platforms?

How many people here still use usenet vs reddit/HN ?

18
xor1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Richard Stallman and Hideo Kojima were right.
15
The 10,000-hour rule is wrong and perpetuates a cruel myth businessinsider.com
21 points by dannylandau  1 hour ago   8 comments top 6
1
morgante 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Gladwell never claimed that we're all given equal potential though. Most of the book is focused on the gains from deliberate practice amongst those who already are genetically set up to succeed. In fact, a central point is about how practice helps to amplify those initial advantages not diminish them.
2
yborg 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
2014 article, and the pushback on Gladwell's book began almost as soon as it came out. I think there is a certain level of misunderstanding the argument he makes, in that it is assumed that the person engaging in the practice meets the minimum requirements for the activity. If you can't amass enough muscle mass, no amount of practice will make you into an NFL lineman. The problem is that in more complex activities or in areas of aesthetics like the arts, what the required level of talent to attain a high level is hard to quantify or recognize.
3
chillacy 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
Deliberate practice won't make you top 1% material in most things, since at higher levels everyone's working hard and genetically gifted. But it'll get you pretty far assuming you don't have any physical disadvantages (like being quadriplegic and wanting to be a kickboxer).
4
sitkack 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I aim to be "ok" in about 20 hrs of deliberate practice. Hell the FAA says you can fly plane in 40.
5
deepnotderp 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have a chronic quarrel with psychologists who talk about advancements in science, technology and math from an ivory tower of the social sciences and not from the trenches. Far too many discoveries happen as a result of serendipity and/or hard work. As Terence Tao said, you might not be as smart as grothendieck,but you can still make your own advancements in your corner of math.
6
mjevans 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Site requires scripts to read any content on. I don't like running code from random websites, so I don't. Can't comment on the article.

I will guess that the 'cruel myth' is that anyone can spent the requisite time and do anything. (Some people just don't get / can't get X, even if they want to and try really hard.)

16
Ask HN: What do you use to align your daily todos with your long term goals?
10 points by mboperator  57 minutes ago   4 comments top 3
1
steventhedev 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Google calendar and an hour each morning to move actions related to long-term goals into your short term todo list (notebook in your case).

However, bear in mind that plans are rarely followed to execution perfectly. You may meet someone who wants you to stay, or you may get a really good offer. You might experience financial hardship and need to settle down for a while.

When I go on a hike, I spend a good hour or two studying maps (topographical, orthophoto, etc) before picking a trail. It means that I can decide on a whim to follow another trail halfway through if conditions call for it (mud, rain, wild animals, etc). Planning is about mapping out all possible outcomes, and not so much about following one plan to the letter.

2
VohuMana 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this will help but one way I have helped map my todos with my long term goal is: - Get a large white board or sheet of paper, the key here is a lot of space to write/draw.- Draw a circle and write one of your goals.- Now think of everything you need to do to accomplish that goal and create circles with those things written in then and draw a line to the main goal.- Now repeat the same process for each of the smaller circles and keep going till you have a feeling that everything is in bite sized chunks. (These are essentially your todos)- Now create a timeline and add milestones (eg: Monthly milestones) figure out how many circles you need to get done before each milestone.- Now you should have a good idea of what you need to have done and by when to be on track.

it doesn't work very well for goals that are hard to measure but it can be applied in a lot of situations. Good luck tackling all your goals :)

3
hoodwink 16 minutes ago 1 reply      
Stop focusing on long-term goals (outcomes) and focus on daily habits (process). For example, rather than focusing on learning French, do 15 minutes of Duolingo every day.
17
Online Demo of DeepWarp: Photorealistic Image Resynthesis for Gaze Manipulation 163.172.78.19
55 points by orless  9 hours ago   11 comments top 4
1
teleclimber 6 hours ago 3 replies      
While the technology is amazing, I am a bit bothered by all these picture and video modifying algorithms.

The issue is that we can't know what's real any more. It used to be if you saw a video or a photo depicting an event you could be pretty sure that what you're looking at actually happened.

Now, if you see a video of a prominent politician saying something awful in your twitter timeline (or whatever), they may have actually never said anything remotely close. It could be a completely fictional video that looks perfectly realistic[0], made by some teen in Macedonia.[1]

I realize photography and video have always been used to trick people into thinking things that aren't true, but this technology enables nuclear-grade deception.

I am wondering: is there a use-case for such an algorithm that is practical and good for the world?

PS: I know an eye-rolling algo is quite innocuous but I've had this thought on my mind about these in general and needed to air it out.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohmajJTcpNk[1] https://www.wired.com/2017/02/veles-macedonia-fake-news/

2
orless 9 hours ago 1 reply      
We had it a few months ago (see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12164728) but now there seem to be a demo available online.

Sample result: http://imgur.com/a/nyG4Z

Abstract: http://sites.skoltech.ru/compvision/projects/deepwarp/

3
avenoir 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I find that the side-to-side motion is nearly natural. However, the up-down movement seems to introduce clipping between the lower eye lid and the iris in addition to slightly smudged upper lid. Still very cool technology. And here I thought Skolkovo was long dead.
4
Mao_Zedang 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cant wait for this to be used for political purposes.
18
New ways to foot the hefty bill for making old ships less polluting economist.com
353 points by ghosh  15 hours ago   200 comments top 27
1
CalChris 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Slow steaming is an improvement and it saves quite a bit of bunker. But while bunker is cheap, it's really noxious; the Cosco Busan spilled bunker when it hit the Delta tower of the Bay Bridge.

Boats are supposed to switch over to a cleaner fuel when they enter port. For example, Port of Oakland is upwind of residential housing in Oakland. So this is a public health issue. Even the terminal tractors (port trucks) idling are an issue. Hopefully they'll switch over to EVs:

https://orangeev.com/

Boats are designed for a critical hull speed. Emma Maersk cruises at 31 mi/h on the open ocean.

http://www.emma-maersk.com/specification/

That bulbous nose on container ships sets up a counter bow wave to lower drag but only at a certain cruising speed. However, shippers weren't paying a premium for that higher speed and although it's more efficient for that hull it was still costly.

So new boats are tuned to a more efficient lower speed (slow steaming) with less powerful engines and even older boats are getting hauled into dry dock and re-nosed for a lower speed. Overall shipping speeds are down and shipping costs are also down.

http://www.seatrade-maritime.com/news/americas/the-economics...

While the new Panama Canal extension could be a fiasco in its own right (100 years later and not nearly as well built; it leaks) new canals could improve things. The Thai Canal could make the Suez route more competitive than the Panama route for Asia to Europe.

Lastly, like airlines, it's really hard to make money in shipping. Witness the Hanjin bankruptcy:

http://gcaptain.com/south-korea-court-hanjin-to-declare-bank...

The City of Oakland owns the Port of Oakland and we don't make much money off of it either. $16M/yr for both the airport and the port, last time I checked.

2
kogepathic 14 hours ago 8 replies      
> That also imperils banks across the world, which have lent $400bn secured on smoke-spewing ships.

So, why should we care? Presumably the banks have paid analysts to determine that was a sound investment.

If governments are doing their jobs, banks should be able to eat this kind of loss without becoming insolvent. Otherwise why bother having regulations at all, if every minor hiccup means taxpayers have to bail out the banks?

Why do I care if shipping companies go out of business because of over capacity? Isn't that what market forces are all about?

So we should keep dangerously polluting ships running, because the banks that loan the shippers money will lose their shirts for several quarters if the shipping company goes bust?

3
userbinator 14 hours ago 2 replies      
It is interesting to note that the types of engines used in these large ships are among the most efficient:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_specific_fuel_consumptio...

The pollution has more to do with the type of fuel used.

4
Broken_Hippo 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I've hit my limit for the economist this month, so I went and looked up the article. It seems these articles have been coming out since at least 2009, and the gist is that because these (older) ships burn heavy fuel, which isn't refined like gasoline.

And it seems the fix is to urge the companies to update their ships by not allowing them in ports, but considering how long these articles have been coming out, it looks like progress is slow on that front - and if it has changed. Shipping companies have been selling off some of their stock, and it would seem that at least a few of the older ships should have been included.

5
anonu 14 hours ago 1 reply      
A bit of clarification on which oxides, from the article: By burning heavy fuel oil, just 15 of the biggest ships emit more oxides of nitrogen and sulphurgases much worse for global warming than carbon dioxidethan all the worlds cars put together
6
upofadown 12 hours ago 0 replies      
>just 15 of the biggest ships emit more oxides of nitrogen and sulphurgases much worse for global warming than carbon dioxide...

Oxides of sulphur are not greenhouse gasses. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas but it doesn't come from burning fuel.

These links go into the actual reasons these sorts of pollutants are bad:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx#Environmental_effects

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_dioxide#As_an_air_pollu...

Interestingly enough, there is some thought that nitrogen oxide emissions from ships actually cause global cooling.

7
goodcanadian 13 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to me that many comments here are missing the point. To be fair, the article also seems to get it wrong. The problem with sulphur and nitrogen oxides isn't just global warming (though apparently N2O is a real problem, there). To my mind, the real problem is good old fashioned pollution as we talked about in the 80s. Acid rain, anyone?
8
deepGem 14 hours ago 6 replies      
Isn't it feasible for container ships to go electric ? They have such massive surface areas for batteries. I thought of solar but then the container loading/unloading aspects will become quite cumbersome, unless you could somehow put solar panels on individual container roofs and load those on the top. A logistical nightmare nonetheless.

A crude search yields this about Emma Maersk, one of the largest container ships.

She is powered by a Wrtsil-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine, the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tonnes and capable of 81 MW (109,000 hp) when burning 14,000 litres (3,600 US gal)[31] of heavy fuel oil per hour. At economical speed, fuel consumption is 0.260 bs/hphour (1,660 gal/hour).[32] She has features to lower environmental damage, including exhaust heat recovery and cogeneration.[33] Some of the exhaust gases are returned to the engine to improve economy and lower emissions,[34] and some are passed through a steam generator which then powers a Peter Brotherhood steam turbine and electrical generators. This creates an electrical output of 8.5 MW,[35] equivalent to about 12% of the main engine power output. Some of this steam is used directly as shipboard heat.[36] Five diesel generators together produce 20.8 MW,[35] giving a total electric output of 29 MW.[26] Two 9 MW electric motors augment the power on the main propeller shaft

So you need about 285 Tesla Models P100D motors to power a ship of this size. Doable I guess. Again, I'm no expert on shipping.

9
djsumdog 14 hours ago 4 replies      
> Such schemes used to be thwarted by the difficulty of measuring exact fuel consumption on ships. New technologies allow more accurate readings.

Why is it so difficult to measure fuel consumption on ships?

10
Bud 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This comment thread illustrates why HN posters shouldn't presume to write their own headlines for an article unless they really know what they are doing.
11
hendler 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Checkout "Freightened" - https://vimeo.com/202104276
12
rs999gti 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe it's time to re-examine using nuclear reactors on cargo ships?

https://www.flexport.com/blog/nuclear-powered-cargo-ships/

13
richdougherty 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"The problem, he adds, is one of incentives. Ship owners, who would normally borrow for such upgrades, do not benefit from lower fuel bills. It is the firms chartering the vessels that enjoy the savings. But their contracts are not long enough to make it worthwhile to invest in green upgrades. The average retrofit has a payback time of three years, whereas 80% of ship charters are for two years or less."

"Hence the interest in new green-lending structures. ... The idea is to share the fuel savings between the shipowner and the charterer over a longer contract, giving both an incentive to make the upgrades. Such schemes used to be thwarted by the difficulty of measuring exact fuel consumption on ships. New technologies allow more accurate readings."

This is the exact same problem that arises in landlord/tenant relationships when it comes to things like insulating a property. Insulation might be relatively cheap and pay itself back in a few years. But the landlord doesn't have an incentive to insulate because the benefit goes to the tenant. The current tenant also won't insulate because they'll probably leave before they can realise all the benefit of their investment.

In theory, landlords or shipowners should have an incentive to invest, since it should improve their property and therefore allow them to increase their rents or charter fees, but for some reason this doesn't happen. Possibly consumers can't accurately assess the value of improvements so they are reluctant to pay more.

The measurement devices mentioned should allow both parties to have a more accurate way to share in the benefits.

It's a complicated dance of incentives and information...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externalityhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_asymmetry

14
Radle 12 hours ago 1 reply      
"Carrying more than 90% of the worlds trade, ocean-going vessels produce just 3% of its greenhouse-gas emissions."The article says itself, shipping is super efficient.
15
wcoenen 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The article seems to imply in its first paragraph that sulfer dioxide is a greenhouse gas. But doesn't SO2 have a cooling effect on the climate?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratospheric_sulfate_aerosols...

16
seizethecheese 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Warning: I'm totally ignorant on the subject.

It seems like oil gets refined with gasoline going to cars and heavier fuels going to ships. Can we really say that cars are so much cleaner? Their fuel is surely subsidized by a market for the heavier fuels.

17
WalterBright 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I read 30 years ago that some cargo ships were being equipped with computer operated sails, which would substantially reduce fuel use. I wonder what happened to that.
18
ianai 10 hours ago 1 reply      
These ships could be nuclear powered - like subs/other vessels are already. That ought to make a huge impact on carbon footprint.
19
igravious 14 hours ago 0 replies      
15 Biggest Ships Create More Pollution Than All Cars in the World (2013)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10716102

128 points by danboarder 457 days ago | 65 comments

20
pfarnsworth 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What would be the economic repercussions if these ships were immediately shut down?
21
tener 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not just tax them for the excessive pollution?
22
ajarmst 13 hours ago 5 replies      
The lede is false and misleading on its face. Excluding "carbon dioxide" from your list of "oxides" when discussing (and comparing with) automobile greenhouse gas emissions is absurd. The misleading claim is also clearly intentional, so none of the other claims can be accepted at face value. (No, shutting down 15 ships would not do more to address greenhouse oxide emissions than banning automobiles world-wide.) More than disappointing, and never should have been published.
23
marcusarmstrong 14 hours ago 3 replies      
IMO, the title should note that "oxides" does not include "Carbon Dioxide".
24
hellbanner 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Flagged, use the given title from the page.
25
holydude 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Which makes danes one of the biggest hypocrites on planet earth.
26
jerkstate 14 hours ago 7 replies      
you know what's even more interesting, it seems like shipping fuel is heavily subsidized. The international price for bunker fuel is about $330 per ton. Oil is $50 per barrel, a barrel is about 300 lbs, so 7.5 barrels make a ton. That's $375. Why is the refined product cheaper than the raw product?

edit: many have responded calling residual fuel a "waste product" - it is useful and being used so calling a waste product strikes me as semantically incorrect. If it were being sold opportunistically, like a large proportion of it was going to waste but some was being sold, I would agree with that, but it seems like it's all being sold, right?

27
malchow 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Would anyone care to link to evidence that carbon dioxide causes an increase in temperatures? I'd be curious to read some of this literature.
20
PilBox Building Mobile Apps in PicoLisp mail-archive.com
58 points by tankfeeder  11 hours ago   7 comments top 4
1
sxp 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Another good option if you want to write Android apps in Lisp is lein-droid [1] which allows you to use Clojure on Android. This means you can use any standard Android API, library or SDK in your app without additional bridge components.

The initial build & deploy times for Clojure on Android are annoying, but using a REPL to edit your Android app dynamically is amazing.

[1] https://github.com/clojure-android/lein-droid

2
josteink 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> An Adroid SDK project is a monster. Here, on my installation, the "PilBox/"folder contains more than ten thousand files!

It's sad when a clean slate project for a platform created when we should have known better decades ago still ends up with this kind of overhead.

It perfectly matches my recollection of doing Android development too: a big uncontrollable mess of different kinds of files whose inter-dependencies and relations are completely opaque.

3
tluyben2 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been following the dev of PicoLisp for a long time; Alexander is great. He keeps going strong for decades. He keeps the PicoLisp platform going with additions like this. Impressive.
4
throwaway7645 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Always good to see PicoLisp on HN.
21
In the Future, Well All Wear Spider Silk newyorker.com
103 points by anthotny  13 hours ago   20 comments top 7
1
toufka 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Not only is the material made from water, sugar and heat instead of oil (compared to synthetic fabrics), but it also comes from a known genetically encoded template. That genetic template can be varied by an atom here or an atom here with the the flip of a genetic bit. It can even encode additional biological functionality into the fabric itself.

Recombinant silk is a pretty cool platform upon which an entire industry can rationally and rapidly tune the properties of new fabrics.

Play with the protein, ADF3, orb-weaver dragline silk https://serotiny.bio/notes/proteins/adf3/from Dan's original paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/msb.2009.62/full

2
aetherson 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The last time I commented on an article about Bolt Threads, it was June 4, 2015, and the articles said that Bolt expected its products to be available in 2016. I was skeptical.

Article here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-03/a-bay-are...HN thread here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9659712

I guess that technically they're just a little late, but honestly an ultra-limited run of ties without any impressive spidersilk properties makes me think that not a lot has changed in the last almost-two-years.

We'll see if Bolt can actually make a real serious product. As the article points out, there have been a lot of swings at this particular pitch.

3
protomyth 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I take it the writer of the headline has not met the Cotton Lobby in the US. We should all be wearing hemp, but they are quite good at their job. North Dakota grew hemp during WWII, but getting it legal again is a pain in the rear. I'm sure spider silk will have a bit of problems too.
4
nathankot 6 hours ago 1 reply      
One of my friends works at a Japanese company called spiber, I think they made a jacket out of spider silk:

https://www.wired.com/2015/12/the-north-faces-moon-parka-is-...

5
agentgt 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sort of pessimistic. I don't think we will ever have a perfect single textile material. A mixture of materials is more likely.

Just because something is light and super strong does not make it comfortable. Otherwise we would all be wearing nylon all the time (or some derivation... nylon is super strong and of course there is Kevlar as well).

The problem is nylon is pretty damn uncomfortable.

I remember seeing something on PBS where they showed spider silk and I admit it seemed compelling and I can easily see it probably mixed in with other textile yarns.

Of course why stop at spiders and not modify geese, goats, and sheep for their incredible and generally efficient fabric production.

Synthetics still have a hard time beating goose down for warmth. Is spider silk going to be better for high loft? I doubt it.

6
davidgerard 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Any other Worm readers here?

#skitterasaservice

7
buzzybee 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Can it be made resistant to pest bugs like the clothesmoth or carpet beetle? That would be nice(and in some respects, already possible if you use only synthetic fabrics).
22
Loading Components Dynamically in Angular 2 syntaxsuccess.com
27 points by thelgevold  7 hours ago   12 comments top 2
1
huula 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Looks cool! Sometimes I think incremental initialization will be the ultimate performance optimization strategy, and this is definitely a great way to achieve that!

For the debate on ng2, I have been using ng2 to build Huula for about a year, which has some amount of ng2 code. So here are my two pennies for folks who are considering using it. I don't like to be constrained by a framework, so angular's routing system always stands on my way (including ng1), so I ditched angular routing entirely. I never used angular's inline styles either, for me sass works better. Ng2's change detection can be stupid sometimes, especially for stuff similar to drag drop, but there are solutions to those cases, although a bit clumsy and convoluted, so be careful .

2
lukealization 7 hours ago 5 replies      
What's the general consensus on Angular 2? I've built a few apps with it, and generally like it, although it's quite opinionated.

Most of the time I've seen something Angular-related appear on HN, there's generally a facet of the community lambasting it as too big/too enterprisey.

23
Mossberg: Techs ruling class casts a big shadow theverge.com
26 points by hollaur  3 hours ago   15 comments top 3
1
epberry 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure what the point of this piece is. There is fierce competition between these five and consumers are better for it. I think you can look at the cloud war between Google, Amazon, and Microsoft as a great example of competition among these companies producing better technology and lower prices. If there was collusion, we would see cloud costs and technology stagnate like cars from Detroit in the 70s and 80s. Instead the opposite is happening.
2
Apocryphon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It's quite interesting to speculate who would be the sixth empire. Based on their attempts to dip their fingers into as many pies as possible, I'd say Uber is a would-be contender, and the platform they've been trying to own is the real world. As far as on-demand service economy startups go, they're certainly preeminent.
3
friedman23 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't think you can consider 5 companies to be an oligopoly especially when you don't see monopolistic practices. These companies regularly undercut each other and innovate.
25
Ask HN: What are some examples of good code?
122 points by amingilani  5 hours ago   81 comments top 42
1
rdtsc 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Not Ruby but for C code, I like Redis's code:

https://github.com/antirez/redis/tree/unstable/src

I don't personally use the product, but I find the source well written and always share it as an example of nicely done C code.

Here is some nice Erlang code I like -- network packet parsing:

https://github.com/msantos/pkt/tree/master/src

Notice how concise this is:

 codec( <<4:4, HL:4, ToS:8, Len:16, Id:16, 0:1, DF:1, MF:1, %% RFC791 states it's a MUST Off:13, TTL:8, P:8, Sum:16, SA1:8, SA2:8, SA3:8, SA4:8, DA1:8, DA2:8, DA3:8, DA4:8, Rest/binary>> ) when HL >= 5 -> ...
This is due to the beauty of binary pattern matching. You could kind of do it in C by casting to a struct but notice here it is also calculating header length (HL) as part of the match operation. So it can do a bit more than just casting a binary blob to a struct.

Another thing here is that it is also big endian by default so there is not need for htons(), htonl() and such functions sprinkled throughout the code.

2
tmnvix 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You'll find some great examples in a variety of languages on The Architecture of Open Source Applications site:

http://aosabook.org/en/index.html

3
symisc_devel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
SQLite/Fossil source tree is a piece of art, practically every single function is well commented, written in clean C, easy to read. DRH has done an astonishing work. I'm impressed by his work. In my company where we do embedded C, the programming style is based on him. https://github.com/symisc/
4
runeks 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Writing code is really a modelling problem: you write down code that describes the model that's inside your head. When you're done, you're left with both working code on a hard drive, and a new, better model inside your head, because you understand the problem better.

So, reading someone else's code can be like reading a model of something that has gone through dozens of iterations, where the bottleneck isn't really understanding "the code", but understanding the thing that is modelled, which the people writing the code are intimately familiar with, unlike you[1].

In my opinion, developing this modelling skill, in yourself, is much more important than watching the result of someone else exercising their modelling skill. A lot can be learned from observing someone else's solution, but this will always be secondary to learning how to craft your own.

[1] For example: try reading compiler code. People have been writing compilers for so long that reading and understanding this code isn't about understanding the actual code, but about understanding how a compiler is modelled (scanning, lexing, parsing).

5
emodendroket 3 hours ago 11 replies      
This stuff about "reading code" is basically bullshit and nobody does it. http://www.gigamonkeys.com/code-reading/

> Seibel: Im still curious about this split between what people say and what they actually do. Everyone says, People should read code but few people seem to actually do it. Id be surprised if I interviewed a novelist and asked them what the last novel they had read was, and they said, Oh, I havent really read a novel since I was in grad school. Writers actually read other writers but it doesnt seem that programmers really do, even though we say we should.

> Abelson: Yeah. Youre right. But remember, a lot of times you crud up a program to make it finally work and do all of the things that you need it to do, so theres a lot of extraneous stuff around there that isnt the core idea.

> Seibel: So basically youre saying that in the end, most code isnt worth reading?

> Abelson: Or its built from an initial plan or some kind of pseudocode. A lot of the code in books, they have some very cleaned-up version that doesnt do all the stuff it needs to make it work.

6
gbog 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like most the python code written by Norvig in http://norvig.com/python-lisp.html and other parts of his site. It's very expressive and simple. Real code will have much more corner cases and logging and error handling crust but still should tend to this simplicity
7
bmaeser 5 hours ago 2 replies      
https://github.com/pallets/flask and https://github.com/kennethreitz/requests

both in python, but beautiful code, well structured and you would not need any docs, just read the code

8
dualogy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I took a quick look recently at id software's GitHub repos of their old blockbuster games (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) and gotta say it was the first-ever C codebase I encountered that I found eminently readable.. (whether it's "good C", I can't assess though)
9
msinghai 2 hours ago 1 reply      
A few weeks ago, I spent some time in reading O'Reilly's Beautiful Code (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596510046.do). The book is essentially a collection of essays from various programmers describing what they think of as beautiful code.

I particularly liked Brian Kernighan's description and implementation of a regex matcher, and Travis Oliphant's discourse about multidimensional iterators in NumPy.

Worth a read.

10
elvinyung 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I really like Unicorn[1]. It's a very well-architected webserver with a nicely structured codebase. Reading the code has taught me about some neat tricks, e.g. self-pipe trick, and a lot about `fork`.

Additionally, I've on occasion consulted the Linux kernel and PostgreSQL repos. Would recommend, although I'm definitely either lying or very ignorant if I said I was familiar with them.

1: https://github.com/defunkt/unicorn

11
albeebe1 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't have an example to give, but i can offer this.

During the prototype phase, anything goes, speed is paramount, you just have to make it sort of work. Don't get hung up practicing pretty looking code during this phase.

You should always practice, but don't get hung up.

Prototype given the green light? Ready to dive into the build phase?

I'll say this, google for "coding style guide"

12
dangoldin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favorite simple examples of what clean and elegant code can be is Peter Norvig's spellchecker: http://norvig.com/spell-correct.html

It's in Python and a single file but it comes with a wonderful description and shows how a complicated task can be broken down into a few small and powerful functions.

13
coleifer 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why, my own of course! Peewee[1] is a lightweight ORM, and Huey[2] is a task queue.

[1]: https://github.com/coleifer/peewee

[2]: https://github.com/coleifer/huey

14
mathewpeterson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've read that Redis (https://github.com/antirez/redis) has well written code, in C.
15
zubat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The implementation of Project Oberon. It is so sensible that it can be hard to notice the magic.

http://www.projectoberon.com

16
ibnudaruaji 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally love xyncro's codes. Their writers are so obsessed with comments, clarity, and consistency across their repositories.

For example, you can see https://github.com/xyncro/freya-optics/blob/master/src/Freya... and can immediately see the clarity and the consistency of the writer.

17
the_arun 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I always liked code written by Jersey team - https://github.com/jersey/jersey. It is clean and legible. Though it is Java (not Ruby as your question mentions) IMHO The concept of "Clean code" is language independent.
18
fsloth 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Read whatever you find interesting. The point is to familiarize oneself with various ways to implement things. How to know what is good code? Fuck "idiomatic" - usually the code that is simplest and easiest to understand is the best. Towers of obscure abstraction for it's own sake are usually an indicator of poor engineering and poor taste.
19
mastazi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember reading years ago an article [1] on "Communications of the ACM" that explained why hwpmc's code [2] is an example of beautiful code. The article had a great influence on me; I recommend reading it.

[1] http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2008/7/5379-kode-vicious-beaut...

[2] http://fxr.watson.org/fxr/source/dev/hwpmc/

20
herbst 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are into ruby/rails already start reading internels instead of docs whem using rails. Rails has a very nice ans clean code base and they do a lot to keep it that way
21
jetset15 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend reading this book: https://www.amazon.com/Refactoring-Ruby-Jay-Fields/dp/032198...

Not only does it contain great code snippets but it also covers repeatable techniques that will ease your life as a ROR programmer immensely.

22
cathartes 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Not Ruby--but pretty all of the code I've seen from Charles H. Moore, the "inventor" of Forth. His code tows that fragile line between self-documentation and brevity. It inspires me, giving me firm reminder that computer code can be Art as much as Science.
23
house9-2 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Not exactly reading code but if you are interested in rails and ruby you might want to checkout:

- Ruby Tapas: https://www.rubytapas.com/- Destroy all Software: https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/screencasts/catalog - looks like it is a bit more expensive than it used to be, but there is a lot of good stuff in those first 5 seasons.

24
userbinator 4 hours ago 0 replies      
UNIX v6 source code:

http://v6.cuzuco.com/v6.pdf

A tiny C-subset JIT:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8746054

It might even be controversial to suggest these are examples of "good code" today, because the majority of code I've seen lately seems to be overly verbose and complex. In contrast, these are extremely simple and concise for the amount of functionality they contain. I think this style has unfortunately disappeared over the decades of promoting lowest-common-denominator so-stupid-even-an-illiterate-could-read-it coding styles and enterprise OOP design-pattern bloat-ism, but when I think of "good code", I don't think of Enterprise Java; I think of code which, upon being told what it does, makes you think "wow, I never thought it would be so simple."

25
bigjimslade 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I found DPDK and FreeBSD's pkg package manager to be very clean and educational.

Reference http://www.dpdk.org and https://github.com/freebsd/pkg

26
abecedarius 2 hours ago 0 replies      
At the top of https://github.com/darius/code-canon I collected a list of other places people have answered this quesion. (The rest of the page is mostly a list of books with worthwhile code, because I'd already written it and because it's harder to think of code outside of books that I can recommend as easily.)
27
bebop 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I always enjoy digging into django-rest-framework [0] when I need to. It is IMHO one of the best idiomatic pieces of python code I have read.

[0] - https://github.com/tomchristie/django-rest-framework/

28
carapace 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I really like the (JS) code for the Turing Drawings art app.

https://github.com/maximecb/Turing-Drawings

29
ankurdhama 2 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the most important attribute of good code is that it should be easy to extract "How the problem is broken down into smaller problems and how the solutions of the smaller problems are combined to solve the original problem".
30
dorfsmay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/bottlepy/bottle

A single file running both in python 2.7 and 3.

31
panic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This thread from a few years ago is worth a look: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7602237
32
gigatexal 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Upvoted the op. I'm learning Java so if anyone has some particularly good and idiomatic Java (Java 8 preferably) that'd be awesome.
33
GnarfGnarf 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Donald Knuth, "Literate Programming", tangle/weave (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literate_programming).

The same source can produce compilable code, or formatted comments.

35
personjerry 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook's open source C++11 library: https://github.com/facebook/folly
36
hkmurakami 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been told by several people that they look to Flask as well written, well designed code that everyone can learn from.
37
snissn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Jquery source is great, how i learned a lot of javascript. Not a rubyist but I'm sure the RoR source is good too!
38
smashingweb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Your post inspired me to inspect element to see the front-end code on HN only to find out the layout is all tables...
39
bandushrew 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out the WASTE text API, its written in C and its very nicely done.
40
lkrubner 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
This was also asked a year ago, and I pointed to Zach Tellman, and that comment was upvoted by others. I'll post the same again. Because he always has excellent reasons for the decisions that he makes, I find it interesting to read his code and try to figure out why he made the decisions that he did. This is in Clojure:

https://github.com/ztellman/manifold/blob/master/src/manifol...

Also, it is fascinating to consider how Go routines were implemented as part of Clojure core. Huey Petersen wrote a fantastic analysis of how state machines were used to implement Communicating Sequential Processes:

http://hueypetersen.com/posts/2013/08/02/the-state-machines-...

You can read along while looking at the source code here:

https://github.com/clojure/core.async

This is a great implementation of Communicating Sequential Processes, first described by Tony Hoare in 1977:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicating_sequential_proce...

This is the same technique that Javascript/NodeJS uses to implement its async.

42
pan69 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Sorry, I don't have a link to some beautiful code.

I assume that as a developer you are interested in solving (business?) problems through the act of writing software?

It isn't much different than being a painter I guess. To be able to be a good painter (or to be considered a good painter) you first need to have a good grasp on how to use the brush and how to handle paint (e.g. oil paint), i.e. you need to learn the technique. The more versed you become with the technique the better you will become at painting, or, over time you will become better at painting what you intent to paint, to paint what's in your minds-eye because you don't have to think about the brush and paint anymore.

When it comes to software you first need to have a good grasp on programming. This means you will need to spend time practising the act of programming. Using two languages that are very different from each other might be good. E.g. learn an imperative and functional language. In your case this might e.g. Ruby and Lisp. Your programs will need to interact with other systems so you probably need to learn about operating systems, databases, queues, networking, etc. You probably don't have to be an expert in everything but being a good all-rounder will certainly be beneficial.

Over time you will see that it becomes easier to think in solutions of the bat rather than focusing on how you're going to solve a problem. This is basically what is being referred to as experience.

So, to be a good developer you need to put in the effort and you need to put in the time. There usually aren't any short cuts. I've been doing this professionally for over 20 years and I'm still learning every day.

26
Show HN: Your Twitter mentions and DMs in an email on a schedule that suits you disconnect.today
28 points by benhowdle  10 hours ago   8 comments top 7
1
bangda 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like the idea but i think you can do better with a different revenue model. I think you should go for a yearly subscription model. That way users can pay a very small amount yearly and if you hang in there for very long, you will be in benefit .If you shut down early , users wont be pissed off.
2
eps 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why is it asking for the _write_ access to one's Twitter account?
3
soulchild37 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Great idea! I am curious how you are able to sustain the server fees by just charging one off fees.

My thought is that your server have to continuously check for tweets from user timeline and send any mentions to their email everyday / 2-day/ week. There is a daily cost for each user and it will only increase as more user uses your service.

4
averagewall 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I want to use this but I'm afraid it circumvents Twitter's advertising and they'll surely shut it down. I guess $5 for now until shutdown is still worth it.
5
dantiberian 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Just signed up for an account. This looks like just what I was looking for, as I block Twitter in my hosts file, and on my iPhone with https://freedom.to, but I still want to know if I do get a DM or mention.
6
icco 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh neat! I've been wanting to build something like this that emails me this plus all tweets by people in a list.
7
theDoug 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This page doesn't show anything, but maybe examples of what the email looks like, or how the schedule is controlled, would.
27
What does Nintendo Switch and iOS 9.3 have in common? CVE-2016-4657 walk-through youtube.com
70 points by LiveOverflow  6 hours ago   8 comments top 5
1
jsheard 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The 3DS was hacked multiple times via pre-existing WebKit exploits, you'd think Nintendo would have learned to keep it up to date by now. Apparently not...
2
russellbeattie 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I noticed when I signed into Twitter via the Switch, it used the internal browser, which Twitter identified as Safari. Not sure what the actual User-Agent was, but the big N seems to have just pulled the browser code off the shelf (not surprising).
3
hulahoof 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was at work so unable to watch video, the GitHub[1] page was quite informative though =)

[1] https://github.com/LiveOverflow/lo_nintendoswitch/blob/maste...

4
veli_joza 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thanks for very informative video. Sketches and diagrams on top of code are really well done. I wish more tutorials would use them.
5
anomie31 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I gotta say, I'm really annoyed at whoever let the cat out of the bag so soon. I'm afraid shit like this will frustrate the efforts of many. Have some patience y'all.
28
AT&T allegedly discriminated against poor people in broadband upgrades arstechnica.com
36 points by perseusprime11  5 hours ago   9 comments top 3
1
rayiner 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Lamenting the death of municipal franchising shows a basic failure to understand the economics of telecom. Municipal franchising is the worst of both worlds: all the downsides of creating local monopolies with none of the upsides of having a government-owned network.

If we want to build broadband to poor neighborhoods, we should just tax people and have to government build it. The municipal franchising model is an awful way of accomplishing that goal. In return for building broadband to poor neighborhoods (where most people can't afford it anyway), you basically kill competition. Nobody but the incumbent can make enough money in an environment where they have to build everywhere in order to receive permission to build anywhere. And it basically bans "MVP" models of deployment, where a provider starts in a focused area with demonstrated demand and expands gradually.

2
jimbokun 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Ok fine, we will just deploy municipal broadband in our community and pay for it ourself."

...and watch AT&T lobbyists start crying and screaming about the "unfair" competition from local governments. Rememeber, government is good when it helps the rich, but bad when it helps the poor!

3
Oxitendwe 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this even news? If they thought there was a profit to be made by offering them upgrades, they would do it. They haven't, so you can probably assume that there is no profit in doing so. Last I checked, AT&T was not a charity and does not have an obligation to give people things at cost. This isn't discrimination, it's business. Nobody has a right to a fast internet connection.
29
I had an autoimmune disease, then the disease had me (2013) newyorker.com
173 points by daegloe  15 hours ago   121 comments top 23
1
zzyx1yz 12 hours ago 5 replies      
I have an autoimmune disease; type 1.5 diabetes, formally called LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults). I'm insulin dependent, like type 1, but the disease didn't manifest until my 40s, like type 2.

I suffer from moderately severe diabetic foot pain. My doctor prescribed some medication that provided marginal, at best, relief. About a year ago, I had a persistent fever. I took some aspirin to knock down the fever (I almost never took aspirin before that) and discovered that it provided significant relief from the foot pain. More recently, I had a bad cold, and I took some cold medicine that includes acetaminophen, something that I also almost never took before that. It seems to help even more than aspirin. I am wary of taking acetaminophen regularly, because of the warnings about liver damage, but it is something I am considering for those times when the foot pain is severe.

What I would recommend for people suffering from these kinds of problems is that they embrace the idea of Quantified Self. Start keeping a diary of everything. The things you eat, the things you do, and the symptoms you experience, in excruciating detail. Then start looking for patterns and correlations. Put the data into a spreadsheet, generate charts. Learn statistics, learn about correlations. Learn Bayesian Probability. You may be able to find the specific triggers that cause your symptoms, and maybe the things you can do (or avoid) to reduce your symptoms.

2
orbitur 13 hours ago 18 replies      
It started when I was 25. I found the area above my ears, just at the hairline, was always itchy and flaky. Within a few months my scrotum turned red and itchy and flaky. Since there had never been anything wrong with me other than than a flu or two, I immediately went to the doctor. The diagnosis was "probably psoriasis" and I was prescribed hydrocortisone and Dovonex.

2 years later I grew giant, hard skin patches on my knees. My fingernails started detaching. I could live with it, although as a gym rat I needed to make sure my knees were wrapped since doing anything on my knees ripped the skin open.

My fingernails continued to go through phases of detachment and normalcy, and I've lived with the limited skin problems because they were limited. But just in the last year I've grown giant scaly patches up and down my back, and now there are spots growing, expanding across my forehead and nose. I can see how people look at me now, there's something clearly wrong with my face.

I'm terrified. I've always had general fatigue that seemed to match flareups in my skin. While the angriest, spreading psoriasis + fatigue comes in waves, each wave seems worse than the worst that came before. I'm scheduled to see a dermatologist in a few weeks (in Canada, I've had to wait 3 months just be able to have this appointment) but my deepest fear is that I'll be told this is my life now. Even though I know that's the answer, I know there's no cure for psoriasis.

I don't know why I'm typing this, except perhaps that I realize that both the author and I are on the same hunt, and not finding much of anything that can help us feel like we're more than 80% (or 60% or 40%) of the person we were as teenagers. But perhaps there is hope that I'm seeing more articles like this, autoimmune diseases are getting more attention.

3
pybank 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been through the same. I am 33 now and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto when I was 28. I am still managing the whole situation as best as I can. Today I am physically more fit that I even was in my entire life. Although I have many sessions of unexplained memory loss and brain fog.

The funny thing is that if you have one autoimmune disease, it is highly likely that sooner or later you will also encounter another one. I was diagnosed with three. Including one affecting my eyes pretty badly.

The way I am managing it all is by 1. making sure my adrenal does not deplete(went through a super adrenal crash last year)2. good dental hygiene(it does help massively)3. avoid sugar, refined carbs, alcohol.4. Probiotic natural Yogurt and apple cider vinegar seems to keep my system happy, milk makes things worse.5. B-complex and Vitamin - D on a regular basis.

point 3 and 4 are to ensure that my gut is maintained well.

The important thing is to make sure that you try to take good care of your adrenal gland and pituitary , because they tends to overwork to compensate the malfunctioning organ that is under attack at the time.

The longer I continue my unrefined diet, good sleep cycle and avoid stress, the more my body heals.

I used to be quite a sharp minded computer scientist, now that sharpness comes and goes, other times there is fog, which is not very nice :-) But I have hope that eventually I will be better, I am already much better than last few years :-)

4
thanatosmin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
More so than brain function, cancer, etc, I feel like we'll look back in a decade or two's time and be shocked at how little we understood autoimmune diseases. Sure, we understand that the immune system adapts in an almost evolutionary way, and can wrongly recognize self-components as foreign. But what signals cause this adaptation? What's causes antibodies to develop against your thyroid, or beta cells, or skin? We understand how so many components of the immune system work, but have so far to go assembling the pieces.
5
alabamabill 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a rare auto-immune disease, a subtype of vasculitis. No symptoms, no abnormal blood tests. I got really lucky finding it through a routine xray. Have been managing it and monitoring it ever since.

Been down the kumbaya food path, maybe it's what got me this disease (tried some shady immune boosting drinks on and off before getting diagnosed, just for the sake of it).

I am monitoring research and for my specific disease there doesn't seem to be much in the pipeline. But one drug developed for some other auto-immune disorder can manage mine as well. I am putting hope in AI and machine learning, to guide scientists to faster discoveries. And I hope the socio-political climate doesn't escalate to the point of halting research.

6
gwern 13 hours ago 0 replies      
> The truth is, I had no idea what autoimmune disease really was. For years, Id known that two of my mothers sisters had rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis (and my fathers youngest sister had recently learned she had Hashimotos). But I didnt understand that these diseases might somehow be connected. At Christmas, Id had lunch with three of my mothers sistershumorous, unself-pitying Irish-American women in their fiftiesat my grandmothers condo on the Jersey Shore, and they told me that two of my cousins had been feeling inexplicably debilitated. None of the doctors can figure out what it is, one said, but I think its thyroid-related. Another aunt told us that, along with the rheumatoid arthritis shed had for years, she, too, had recently been given a diagnosis of Hashimotos, and both were autoimmune in nature. The third aunt had ulcerative colitis, and told me that a cousin had just been given that diagnosis, too. Theyre all connected, one of them explained.

They certainly are. It's an interesting area of genetic correlations, the autoimmune cluster: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_correlation#Disease Also notable for relatively large genetic effects from the large and difficult MHC gene.

7
mirimir 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The immune system is scary. It's based on mutability and selection. During embryonic development, there's basically a phase where "self" gets defined. Lineages of immunocompetent cells that can target self get killed off.

But sometimes it screws up. Maybe you encounter something that triggers expansion of lineages with autoimmune potential. Or maybe there's damage that exposes previously hidden antigens to the immune system. There's undoubtedly a genetic component too.

8
spraak 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It may not work for everyone but for my partner's autoimmune disease (Lupus) eating raw cannabis has been very stabilizing. The raw form has the acid form of the cannabinoids, which are responsible for the anti-inflammatory qualities associated with cannabis.

The heated form is also useful, but thr key has been to incluse lots of raw form.

9
cpncrunch 14 hours ago 4 replies      
To best honest it sounds more like CFS than autoimmunity. The article says that it turned out not to be thyroid, and the autoimmune diagnosis was just presumed. Generally when you have those symptoms it is termed CFS, but people don't like CFS because they incorrectly think it means "all in your head" or "you're not really ill".

CFS tends to be triggered by stress (as it was in this case), and sufferers tend to lead stressful lives (being an editor of New Yorker is definitely stressful). The things that worked for her -- alternative therapies, living a healthier and less stressful life -- typically help with CFS.

From having CFS myself and recovering, it seems to be caused by a state of persistent burnout caused by chronic stress. It's usually multiple stressors that build up and cause the brain to shut down the energy supply. It's not caused by a moral failing or laziness. I see it as similar to the central governor that limits athletic performance. You have no control over it, other than to change your lifestyle and hope that your brain recognises that there is no longer any chronic negative stress.

10
rdtek 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In case it's helpful to anyone who suffers from CFS I want to share a treatment which enabled me to recover 100%. It's called the Lightning Process:

http://lightningprocess.com

The theory is that CFS is caused by long term anxiety which sets off biochemicals such as adrenaline into your heart and bloodstream. These chemicals suppress your immune system and reduce your energy systems.

The treatment aims to switch off the source of the negative chemicals i.e. stop the anxiety. The methods are a mixture of self talk/coaching, posture changes, recognizing and confronting sources of anxiety and setting clear life goals to work towards a place of feeling less anxiety.

The LP was recommended to me by someone who also recovered from CFS. I'd say definitely give it a try if you are a sufferer of CFS, chronic anxiety or similar illness.

11
Karlozkiller 14 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was a lot younger than I am now, I was rushed to a hospital ~1000KM away from where I live, with liver-function-markers shooting through the roof.

After 2 weeks of checking everything in every way possible, they figured I had auto-immune hepatitis (body attacks my liver). That explained why I had been very tired, doctors said I'd take about 6 months before I could return to school, because I would be too tired and might get ill because my immune system would be weaker as I ate medicine limiting my immune system.

After 2 weeks of staying mostly home, eating immuno-repressant, I was bored as hell, went back to school and was back in full form, and I rarely get a cold or anything.

Never had any symptoms other than yellow eyes when it was worst, and extreme tiredness when it was the worst, apart from that it only shows itself when people actually analyze my blood...

No one really knows what the cause is, but there are many theories. It's fun to add some mystery to life, there's still a lot to discover ^^

12
__d__ 13 hours ago 9 replies      
Has anyone managed autoimmunity with food? I've seen several people who went on a keto diet and psoriasis disappeared. I've seen people who go on a low fat vegan diet and it cleared up. There's seems to be a handful of diets which give some people success so I'm not advocating one diet over the other. Just that there may be a way to manage it and was wondering if anyone has had success?
13
jostmey 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't understand the pain or struggles with such a disease. I am sorry for those who suffer. But research in the field is becoming very exciting. Right now tons of data from patient's antibody and T-cell receptor repertoires are becoming available. The field is going through a big data moment. Suddenly large number of antibody and T-cell receptors are being sequenced. Hopefully smart people will be able to identify disease causing sequences

Data Fountain: https://clients.adaptivebiotech.com/immuneaccess

14
astrojams 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I have Crohn's Disease. It's a struggle. Some folks have recommended getting a fecal transplant. It is supposed to add bacteria to your gut that Crohn's patients don't have. This stops the autoimmune response. Supposedly. Not sure if this sort of treatment is approved by the FDA.
15
salimmadjd 14 hours ago 5 replies      
My wife is going through a version of this right now. We are scheduled to see a specialist at Stanford in a few weeks.

Just last March we hiked to Patagonia and camped there. We hiked for about 8km to the camp place. She even carried more weight on her back than I did. But this last December when we went snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies, she had to stop every few minutes from fatigue. I helped carried half of her stuff for her. Not having her, the old ways, has been rather sad. She has an amazing attitude about it, so it's very helpful. But I'm constantly praying and hoping for her to get better.

I have read so many things online and have come out rather frustrated how limiting the Medical science is around treating or fixing autoimmune disease.

The only thing I've found so far is this:

I call it the, "nuclear option". They use chemotherapy to kill your immune system and use stem cells to rebuild it from scratch. There is apparently a hospital in Mexico that does that for less than $100k with some success but no true scientific rigor yet [1]

Alternatively, there is some research suggests that fasting for 48-72 hours on regular bases has shown to regenerate a new immune system. However, unclear if the new immune system will just attack the antibodies again or it would be blinded to that history. I wish they would do more research on that front [2]

I also have been thinking about other ways that technology might help sufferers better monitor themselves and ultimately use some data analysis to better understand if there is specific diet changes that can help keep the disease in control.

If you know of other things please comment.

[1] http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-reporter-hails-stem-ce...

[2] https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regene...

16
Mz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Autoimmune disease occurs when, for some reason, the body attacks its own healthy tissue, turning on the very thing it was supposed to protect. This, at least, is the premise: auto, or self, attack.

From the start, though, the study of autoimmunity has been characterized by uncertainty and error.

I hate the term and the very concept of an autoimmune disease. I can't wait for the world to conclude this was lazy BS that allowed doctors to gloss over their lack of understanding of what was really going on. I am heartened to see the above passage acknowledging that "at least, that's the premise" (aka the idea or current theory) and the next sentence acknowledging that this idea really isn't on very solid ground.

17
researcher11 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I have CFS/ME which I manage to about 60% normal. It's not enough and like many I'm doing enough to continue existing but nothing more. My next experiment is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) which sadly had to be bought illegally over the Internet so it's taking a long time to get. Has anyone here tried this? Did it work?
18
gist 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel bad for the people who have told of their issues and suffering in the comments here. But I have to say that every time I see a health article on HN (or in the news) as well as the comments about individual cases it draws me in and gets me down. No benefit. I only get anxiety as a result. I have found this to be more the case in the past several years with what I call (as only one example) the 'cancer industrial complex'. Constant barrage of info discussing cancer, cures, studies, drugs, particular people's problems. A benefit to those suffering or those helping people who suffer for sure. But I would argue to everyone else potentially harmful and very hard to get away from.

Back in the day this wasn't the case. There wasn't this barrage of info. You only knew of a handful of cases in your small circle of friends or family. It didn't seem like danger was lurking around every corner. Anyone else feel the same way?

20
wellboy 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I am going through the same right now.

2 years ago I was running my startup Tennis Buddy, and everything was fine when I got pins and needles pain one morning all over my body and blurred vision.

I have had this a lot of times before in my life (around 20 times), and it always went away with rest within 1 week with no problems. However, this time I was in the middle of finishing a contract and didn't take rest. A couple of days later, I reduced work lod to become better, however it seems like it was too late, since the pins and needles pain just didn't go away anymore.

After a month of still not getting much better, I went to see doctors, however they could not find anything. There was the assumption that it was psychological, however, I just don't have any symptoms of depression.

During that time, I noticed that only very little exercise (running for 1 min) increases the pins and needle pain for several days or even weeks. Then for the next year, I tried to not exert myself at all and stopped all work to get better. This did reduce the symptoms, however, just small exertion triggers the symptoms again. After this happening a couple of times, I also got strong muscle twitches (several thousand per minute sometimes) allover my body.

There was also the assumption that I had CFS, however, it does not fit, since I just have no fatigue at all, I only have constant nerve pain/pins and needles, blurred vision and muscle twitches.

I also moved back to my parents and had to leave my friends, so it's getting really difficult for me to stay positive. Please let me know any advice that you might have.

21
reasonattlm 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Near complete ablation of all immune cells in circulation is proving to be pretty effective as a way to put autoimmunity into long-lasting remission. It can be done with high dose immunosuppressants at the cost of much the same symptoms as cancer chemotherapy - these are harsh drugs - plus a few day period of vulnerability to infection while the immune system rebuilds. But the cures are demonstrated, for type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis over the past five to ten years.

All automimmunities should be amenable to cure this way, as the malfunctioning is based on bad data that is stored in the immune cells, nowhere else. Newly created immune cells do not have this malware; they acquire it from the existing population. (It would be interesting and novel to find an autoimmunity where this is not the case).

Unfortunately, the cost-benefit equation for this current form of ablation doesn't work for things that don't kill patients. No-one undergoes chemotherapy for a condition that merely shortens your life expectancy by a decade and makes you miserable, as chemotherapy has a significant risk of death and shortens your life expectancy by a decade.

So what is needed are better forms of ablation, those with no side-effects. The programmable gene therapy cell killer produced by Oisin Biotechnologies is one possible class of approach, as are other targeted cell killing approaches such as that demonstrated last year to selectively kill blood stem cells.

Then an application of cell therapies is needed, creating immune cells from a patient tissue sample, and infusing them in bulk immediately following ablation, to remove the period of vulnerability.

These are very feasible targets. A company could be founded today, right now, to do this, and have something ready for human trials by 2019. Sadly, here as elsewhere in medicine, there seems to be no hurry to change the world.

22
manmal 14 hours ago 4 replies      
23
glup 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I want to use HN to do a quick informal survey on this topic: please state # of your male friends with similar conditions, # female friends with similar conditions, country or state, and whether you live in an urban vs. rural area (yes I know that this is a crappy methodology and likely a very biased sample)
30
PyCharm Edu: Python IDE to Learn Programming Quickly and Efficiently jetbrains.com
151 points by Tomte  16 hours ago   51 comments top 11
1
mathnode 15 hours ago 0 replies      
From the FAQ:

Q: "How does PyCharm Edu differ from PyCharm Professional Edition or PyCharm Community Edition?"

A: "PyCharm Edu is based on the Community Edition and comprises all of its functionality. Additionally, it installs and detects Python during installation. It has a simpler UI (adjustable in settings) and adds a new "Educational" project type.

PyCharm Professional Edition additionally supports different web development technologies, has remote development capabilities and additional languages, and supports working with databases."

2
binarray2000 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
For those of you working on Windows, may I suggest PyScripter:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/pyscripter/

(not affiliated but I want to support it by bringing it to your awareness)

It's a native IDE, it's fast, doesn't crash, there is a portable version as well. I use it for the last four or five years when developing in Python.

3
NotQuantum 13 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who's written / taught a CS intro class in Python. This is a nice addition to my tool belt. When I taught labs, we used a really crappy Python IDE that consistently froze and would delete student's code.

I'm pretty partial to the VS Code and command line approach, myself. It teaches you basic command line stuff, which is good for anyone learning CS in the long run, and it teaches you how to NOT rely on an IDE for most of your syntax and semantics which is enormously helpful for those starting out (even though the learning curve is a bit steep).

4
xapata 14 hours ago 5 replies      
Unfortunately, PyCharm does not (by default) encourage the wonderfully productive development pattern of ``python -i`` -- running the script and breaking into the interactive prompt afterwards. IDLE does this and it's excellent for teaching. Any other technique and the students are much less likely to develop the habit of testing/debugging code interactively in the REPL.

Even if you do invoke the interactive mode in PyCharm, each execution creates a separate prompt, causing confusion. I'll admit I'm not the most skilled PyCharm-user. Perhaps there's a way to make it work like IDLE?

5
nxc18 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I like this a lot. My uni just switched to Python from IDLE a few years ago. While its nicer than IDLE, the complexity of the IDE can be a bit much for novices. Heaven help you if you accidentally select the wrong python interpreter at project startup, for instance.

The other thing I'd like to see is more intelligent defaults for project location. On Windows, it defaults to the C drive, which is fine except for when students don't know where their documents folder is buried. Putting a git repo in a system folder breaks git because of permissions, but the UI will never tell you that.

6
woof 12 hours ago 1 reply      
PyCharm is awsome!And I say that as a 20 years+ (and counting) emacs user.

If you program python (especially Django), you should give PyCharm a go!

7
hoistbypetard 14 hours ago 1 reply      
> PyCharm Educational Edition is completely Free and Open Source. Novice programmers can download and use it for educational or any other purposes for free. Instructors and course authors can use it to create, modify and share their own courses.

I dug around the site a bit and found the quote above, but didn't find a link to the source. Anyone find one?

8
0x8146 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I love it. And I will religiously see through the entire course. Thanks JetBrains guys
9
theshire 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there something similar for Javascript?
10
rebootthesystem 11 hours ago 1 reply      
JetBrain products user, including PyCharm.

What JetBrains needs to do is create a good series of instructional videos to show how they intend these products to be used. They are excellent and very powerful but you are left to peek and poke around to figure out how they intended you to use and configure them. The various videos available, last time I looked, are seriously outdated. For example, there are a bunch of different ways to work with PyCharm and Django.

The other thing they need to do is improve their customer service. The couple of times I needed an answer not found on sites like SO it took something like 3 to 5 days to get an answer from them.

11
partycoder 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wing IDE, another Python IDE, has had a similar product for a while (Wing IDE 101). It was very simple though.
       cached 13 March 2017 07:02:02 GMT