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Bay Area tech executives indicted for H-1B visa fraud mercurynews.com
199 points by prostoalex  5 hours ago   57 comments top 17
FesterCluck 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I've personally witnessed the hiring of a contractor from India at a small development company simply to save on funds. There were plenty of skilled workers in our pool to fill the position, the owner simply didn't want to pay the price.

Weeks into his employment the developer came to me and asked if there was anyone he could report work complaints to. I gave him contact information for the state's employment agency. It took another week before I realized that he needed to be informed that the state agency protects him whether he's a citizen or not, and that he wasn't trying to report a former employer.

I know many talented people who have come to the US on H-1B clean and have been successful. I, too, do not blame the workers. The employers are abusing the system, and if it continues there must be much stricter oversight.

ComodoHacker 1 hour ago 4 replies      
I wonder why people here praise free competition on a global market as a primary value when they talk about their products and services, but support competition limiting when it comes to the labor market in their own country.
pm90 4 hours ago 2 replies      
From the article:

> The indictment charges that from 2010 to 2016, Dynasoft petitioned to place workers at Stanford University, Cisco and Brocade, but the employers had no intention of receiving the foreign workers named on the applications.

Should be noted that this is only the most brazen, harebrained scheme that has been uncovered and is being convicted. Not that its not important; but it may be more useful overall to go after the Big Co's that are doing everything technically legally but are still using H1B in ways it was not meant to be used.

Edit: Also just realized, when you say "Bay Area Tech Executives" it almost sounds like you're talking about Larry Page; but these "executives" were only officers of a shell company (seemingly) meant exclusively for committing visa fraud.

deepnotderp 4 hours ago 4 replies      
It's annoying that SV tech companies get a bad rap with the H-1B even though that the real people abusing these visas are clearly outsourcing firms like Tata and Infosys.
rattray 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The title is a bit sensationalist and misleading; "Bay Area staffing executive indicted for H-1B visa fraud" would be more accurate.

One of the two people indicted is the CEO of a staffing company ("Dynasoft Synergy" in Fremont); the other has worked at a couple companies including Cisco, not explicitly in an executive capacity.

writer77 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Beyond this, there's an entire system that has undermined American software engineers. Schools are incentivized by the ridiculous out of state/country fees they get when they accept international students for their Masters programs, regardless of a students actual abilities or whether the three year Indian/China/U.K. Bachelors sufficiently prepares them. These people always graduate, because money. Corporations, who love hiring people who can't leave them for another employer then gobble them up legally by requiring a masters degree in job description. And once they gain a big enough foothold in a company, the Good Ole Boy Club effect happens and they mostly hire their own.
hrshtr 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In bay area there are quite a handful of such firms which fake person resume and help them find out the job. What surprises me is that employer does catch the difference in experience while interviewing and bunch of positions are filled. These firms file h1b shown more experience than what a person does actually have and make good money out of such schemes :(
org3432 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Other than anecdotal stories, are there stats from a reputable source on how widespread this is and what the real impact is?
tsunamifury 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Auto plays an ad at full volume. -- closed.
mavelikara 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Delighted to see more of these parasites getting indicted. Here they are plotting to keep more of their employees enslaved in long GC backlogs https://youtu.be/lj1bHpPvSuE
notliketherest 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Dynasoft Synergys" did anyone else LOL
known 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's even worse https://qz.com/889524
LeicaLatte 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
clickbait title alert!
elastic_church 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The charge alone will deter alottttt

If you think rumors spread fast in the states, wait till you see asymmetric information spread through India

Animats 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is progress. Give a copy of this to your employer if they start talking about replacing you with an H1-B.
diogenescynic 2 hours ago 1 reply      
They also need to start going after the lawyers at the immigration firms who knowingly assist in fraud and even coach the applicants how to respond to USCIS questions. There is rampant fraud going on. I've seen it firsthand and know dozens of others in the industry who have as well.
Thanks for Submitting Your Rsum to This Black Hole nytimes.com
255 points by johnny313  11 hours ago   142 comments top 22
ryandrake 4 hours ago 6 replies      
Whenever this subject comes up, predictably the answer here is always Blah blah blah network network network. For a demographic always looking for the scalable solution to a problem, HN seems pretty attached to the least scalable option. The numbers just don't make sense to me.

Let's generously assume that you meet and have excellent working relationships with 100 people at each of the 4 jobs you've had. Of those 400 people, say, conservatively, 50% think so highly of you that they'd be willing to stick their neck out help you with your next job search. Out of those 200 people, 50% are no longer working for that company. Out of those 100 people, let's optimistically assume you actively kept in touch with all of them over the years. Now, maybe 50% are working for a company where you'd actually like to apply. Out of those 50 companies, 20% actually have a job opening that fits your background. Out of those 10, maybe 2 actually know and can put you in touch with the hiring manager for that opening. And your success chance through the interview pipeline has got to be worse than 50%.

Tweak my numbers up or down a little, but I think it's a pipe dream for most workers: You have to have an enormous address book full of high-power contacts in order to end up at the end of the funnel with one or two who are both willing and able to successfully help you get a job. And once you've exhausted that network (all it takes is to blow a few interviews), then what?

apsec112 9 hours ago 14 replies      
In my job search, I've been surprised by how often you submit a resume online, and then you don't even get a rejection email. It's a true "black hole" in that you never hear back, not even with a "no thanks". I think it's disrespectful of candidates to ask them to spend time filling out an application, and then leave them hanging because you're (presumably) too lazy to read it.
gnarbarian 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The worst is when you have to fill out countless repetitive and exhaustive applications for ONE job because they don't have enough a proper interface to indeed/LinkedIn/etc

I probably spent 7 hours on application paperwork for my current job. Complete with detailed personal history that had to be 100% accurate going back 10 years.

I had 3 other offers expire before I got my offer from my current employer. Then once I accepted it was another month before I knew if I passed the background checks. That wanted me to start a few days after I finally knew without giving proper notice to my current employer too!

Thankfully this only had one 3 hour casual interview and it was more a waiting game than endless hours poured into interviews for a job I might not get. I knew this would be a better choice than the other offers and I'm glad I did what I did.

dkarapetyan 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm more and more convinced that being a cog in some corporate machine is coming to an end. We've collectively refined corporate processes to the point that it no longer requires human ingenuity or creativity. This has all happened under the guise of making things more efficient so that a stock ticker will be less volatile and will consistently move up and to the right. The candidate tracking software that this article parodies is one example of such an automated and "efficient" system. One gets the sense that the recruiters are almost secondary. Soon a "dog" will really be able to screen candidates for a job.

I don't think I'm saying anything new here. The mechanization of such work has been happening for a while now and the smart move is to start planning for that inevitability. Anything that requires basic pattern matching and procedures is pretty much gone. My retirement account I think is currently managed by a "robo advisor". Hiring humans to do such mechanical tasks will start getting more and more expensive relative to tweaking some parameters in some neural network coupled maybe with some domain specific policy/optimization framework.

Personally I don't think this is such a bad state of affairs. Why should societal optimization tasks be handled with heroic human effort when we can just do it with math?

chiefofgxbxl 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Minus the dog learning to type at the end, sounds like my experience applying for jobs: submit application online to several places, get a "resume received" email, some automated email a few days later to get one's hopes up, and then get that denial email.

I don't want to hear some euphemistic email detailing how I was a very strong candidate but among a large qualified pool of applicants or how the team was impressed with my resume but unable to move forward at this time... just tell me I didn't get the job already and cut out all the flowery soup.

crispyambulance 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The best way to avoid the "black hole" is to not throw your resume into it in the first place.

Instead, use your professional networks and friends. Reach out to actual human beings. Find any way you can to bypass the bullshit online job application systems and HR departments.

When people (or programs) go through a stack of resumes, it's all about finding reasons to eliminate as many as possible as quickly as possible using the flimsiest of criteria. Of course it's going to create hard feelings but what should one expect when putting oneself into a giant horde of applicants?

jellin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I have almost 10 years of experience and I've been looking for a job for the last year. I've sent applications to some companies, carefully selected and for which I'm 100% enthusiast about. I've sent custom cover letters, I've been studied the product and provided feedback and improvements. And still I don't deserve even an email saying that I've been rejected.

With some companies I was exchanging email, providing all the info, and then suddenly I never received any further reply.

I think that it's good for the company to filter out candidates, but something must change, as candidates we expect at least a rejection email, especially when your life depends on it.

rampage101 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't get why referral is counted for so much especially when there are referral bonuses which would encourage employees to refer basically anybody they know.

With all these companies having massive HR departments, I also don't understand how a resume goes unread or un-responded to when it takes maybe 10 minutes max to go through a resume thoroughly.

cardiffspaceman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For how ever many weeks you might wish to collect unemployment checks, you have to show that you're looking actively, in my jurisdiction. One might have a network of contacts but it's going to take some time for that network to lead to the kind of events that count as evidence that you're looking for work. On the other hand the black holes can lead to lots of events of that nature. So worst case, the black holes actually generate something (is Hawking radiation the right term?) that you can use to keep those checks coming.
amgin3 6 hours ago 0 replies      
In my experience in searching for a job, companies invite for 3 interviews and a coding test, then decide the position isn't clearly defined, so they restart the entire process and ask you to re-apply. Then you go through 3 more interviews and another coding test, and then one more interview, then you never hear from the company again. Since the whole process took 4-months, you are now broke and homeless.
jkaljundi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Have been toying around with an idea of recruitment and job application service which would try to turn the tables and show candidates who's interested in them. So instead of applying, the first step would be a question from candidate to company saying "tell me more about this job". The company would then need to actively get back to the candidate. The advantage to the company would be a much larger pool of candidate contacts, although they would also need to work those contacts more.

It might not be a solution for jobs and company types described in this thread, but in many industries, company types and countries the lack of candidates is a much bigger problem than too many candidates.

Tagore 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've literally never gotten a job by sending out resumes. Every single job I've had I got through some connection or another.

I actually refused to send my current job a resume. The conversation went like this:

Can you send them a resume?

No- here's my LinkedIn.

But can you send them a resume?

No- here's my LinkedIn.

OK, can you come in for an interview?


A month passes.

Can you come in for another interview?



Tagore 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The issue here is that it's very, very difficult to figure out if someone can code, at all, from a resume. You might have a masters in CS and still be hopeless when it comes to actually writing even very simple things. You'd be surprised at how often that is the case...

So, when I hire, I do so through through connections. I ask friends "Do you know anyone who can actually code who is looking for a job?"

And if it's just me, that's the end of it, but... let's say I'm hiring for a venture-backed firm, or for a department in a bank or something. In that case, I have a fiduciary duty to put a job ad out there, and I have to be able to show that I received a lot of resumes and "looked them over." By which I mean unceremoniously threw away. Who has the time to look over 1,000 resumes, most of which are complete bullshit?

I was going to hire my friend's friend anyway, but I had to solicit your resume along with many others to provide some cover. I threw your resume away without glancing past the education section (if you had gone to an Ivy I might have looked twice.) Capisce?

Overtonwindow 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the finest account of the resume/employer process I have ever laid eyes on.
lukaszjb 1 hour ago 1 reply      
WTF I just read?
batguano 3 hours ago 0 replies      
No way all this happens in a mere two months. It'd get dragged out for four, at least.
akhilcacharya 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That's why it's best to just directly contact a recruiter.
M_Grey 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been so thoroughly broken by naming schemes like "Gravity" or "Flaming Biscuit" or whatever, that I've basically trained myself (at least here) to read things like "Black Hole" as a project name. Imagine my brief consternation when I thought, "Who in their right mind would name a resume hosting service 'Black Hole'?!"... then saw the source and felt incredibly stupid.

Beyond that, let me just add my voice to the multitude shouting, "Holy shit, yes, and it's terrible!"

tiatia 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You would not believe me how many applications I wrote. I know the black hole.

There are a few rules.

Never apply to a job that uses Taleo, SAP or any other "application" interface. A real job requires to send or upload a resume and an _OPTIONAL_ cover letter. Ignore everything else.

Never apply for a job that requires anything unusual (only non-smokers, hand written resume, time of birth for astrological evaluation, hard copy of application etc.). I am even skeptical about "motivational" letters. All these are signs that your future boss is nuts.

Be very open to create "sample" work, like a 10 page marketing plan or an "investment analysis of 5 companies". Just be very clear that this will be billed at your consulting rate too.

Remember the second most stupid people work in HR (with the most stupid people working in real estate). This does not mean the every HR person is an idiot - in fact I am sure there are brilliant people -, it is just a reflection of the entry requirements for these jobs.

I never really found a decent job after my PhD and I was desperate for years. The funny thing is: Now I get sometimes offered two jobs a day by just meeting people. I don't even engage in the conversation. They wouldn't be able to offer any salary that would make me even considering taking a job. And if I look at my former peer, never getting a job in the past may be the best thing that ever happened to me.

dezb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
what a waste of my life reading that stupid page..
good_vibes 9 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for entrepreneurship
kareemsabri 9 hours ago 1 reply      
As a counter example, I got a great job from one of those black holes.
Haskell Concepts in One Sentence torchhound.github.io
135 points by crystalPalace  8 hours ago   84 comments top 13
Cybiote 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a good start and might be useful to other beginners. From the vantage point of someone who already knows what the words mean, I can fill in the gaps in your definitions but unfortunately, a beginner might not be so able.

Here are some suggestions on how you might close some of those gaps a bit (I think allowing yourself to go over a sentence here and there should be ok).

You use fmap more than once without having defined it.

Currying: You need to define partial application.

Map and filter, I'd use collection instead of list. There is more nuance but that is good enough at this level.

Morphisms generalize the concept of function. They can be thought of as capturing structure (such as a set equipped with + and 0) preserving maps (which is something analogies try to do).

lazy evaluation could do with mentioning thunk, then you'd have to define what a thunk is, of course.

Fold: Folds are a lot more interesting and it's not clear what you mean by your given definition. I suggest defining it in terms of structural recursion.

Category: It's worth defining what objects mean to a category. As well, explicitly mentioning the laws of identity, composition and associativity rather than just the nebulous wording of configuration would be beneficial.

Functor: A more useful foundation is in thinking of functors as morphisms between categories.

Types: There is much more to types than this. Wrong in the correct direction is to think of types in terms of sets. Better yet, as propositions.

Type Classes: Since you mention parametric polymorphism, you should also mention ad-hoc polymorphism and how type classes and interfaces are examples.

algebraic data types: There's a lot more to algebraic data types than this. After defining sum types and product types elsewhere, you can talk about why such types are called algebraic.

parametric polymorphism: what is a type variable?

monoid: Moniods also need an identity element, and giving examples is always useful: natural numbers: +,0 or strings: +,"". One reason monoids are of special interest to computing is because they possess associativity, which is useful when parallelizing.

scottmsul 4 hours ago 3 replies      
A monad is any data structure which implements bind. Bind is a higher-order function with two parameters - one is the data structure to be transformed, the other is a function which maps over elements in the data structure. However, unlike a normal map, each result of "bind" sits in its own version of the original data structure, which then have to be combined back into a single data structure. The way in which the data structures are combined is what makes each monad different.

For example, List is a monad. Suppose we had a List of Ints, such as [5,3,4]. If we were to run bind over this list, we would need a function that takes an Int and returns a List of something. We could use "show", the function which converts Ints to Strings (a String is technically a List of Char. Since this is a List, we're good). If we call bind using [5,3,4] and show, we get ["5","3","4"] which are then combined to "534".

We can check with the interpreter (>>= is bind):

Prelude> [5,3,4] >>= show


jnordwick 5 hours ago 6 replies      
My general problem with Haskell articles and such: they are written as if you already understand Haskell. They make total sense if you know the language, but if you are trying to learn are mostly useless if not more confusing. Or even worse, they devolve into dense academic prose even when writing introductory articles.

Sometimes they even use Haskell as if you already know it to try to explain it.

I'm still looking for a basic article that describes monads well. My first few languages were all functional too, so that isn't the problem. I even still use APL derivatives.

a_imho 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
The problem when starting out with Haskell is that you can't google type errors.
edem 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is all useless for someone without haskell experience.
iamwil 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It'd help beginners if there was a sentence explaining what fmap is.
burticlies 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One simplistic but useful analogy I've found is that monads are a way to control program flow with functions. A monad is to functional programming what if/else is to imperative.

It may not cover all the nitty gritty about what is and isn't a monad. But it gets you a long way to understanding why you might use them.

bonoetmalo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
We should probably add a sentence about not using fixed margins that will make the text body 1/5th the width of my screen.
init0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Jargon from the functional programming world in simple terms! http://git.io/fp-jargons
hota_mazi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> A monad is composed of three functions

Actually just two (bind and return). And three laws which are typically not captured in the type system and which must therefore be tested separately.

dmead 5 hours ago 3 replies      
whats the third function for a monad? bind return and...?
jpt4 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Article appears to be in flux; definition of lazy evaluation changed.
nickpsecurity 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Hmm. They certainly have a naming and explanation problem in Haskell land. Some impressions from a few of these better explanations.

"A monad is composed of three functions and encodes control flow which allows pure functions to be strung together."

Gibberish compared to claim that monads just execute functions in a specified order. Aka an imperative function or procedure by one definition I've seen a lot. Of course, that monad definition might be wrong, too.

"A recursive function is a function that calls itself inside its own definition."

That's a recursive definition lol. Must have been a joke.

"A monad transformer allows you to stack more than one monad for use in a function."

We've had composition of procedures for a long time. Perhaps Haskell could've called it a MonadComposer?

"Lift is an operation on a functor that uses fmap to operate on the data contained in the functor."

fmap-apply() or something like that?

"Optics(lens and prisms) allow you to get and set data in a data type."

Getters and setters. My early OOP/C++ books are finally more intuitive than something.

"Map applies a function to every element of a list."

foreach(function(), list)

"A predicate is a function that returns true or false."

A boolean function.

"Filter applies a predicate to a list and returns only elements which return true."

Syntactic sugar for a foreach(function, list()) where the function on each member is an If (Conditional) is TRUE Then AddElementToNewListThatsReturned(). Yeah, even the description of imperative version is getting long. This might be a productivity boost.

"A morphism is a transformation from any object to any other object."

A cast from one object to another? Or one with an actual conversion function and/or check? The functional name seems more accurate, though.

"Algebraic data types are a method to describe the structure of types."

Ahh, they're just structs. Wait, what is a type exactly? And therefore what is an abstract... oh darn...

"Free monads allow the transformation of functors to monads."

A functor is an object that can be fmaped over. We covered map. Maybe the same. A monad is either an ordering of functions or something composed of three functions and encodes control flow composed of pure functions. Free monads are apparently an unknown thing that can transform objects that can be fmaped over into something composed of three functions with encoded control flow of composed, pure functions. I heard a lot of good Masters and Ph.D. proposals before this one. This is good, though. Especially quantifying the unknown aspects with a lot of NSF-funded R&D.

"A lambda is an unnamed function."

"Types are an inherent characteristic of every Haskell expression."

"Currying uses partial application to return a function until all arguments are filled."

"A category is a collection of objects, morphisms, and the configuration of the morphisms."

Ok, I just have fun with that one. Author did good on a lot of them. I'm just going to leave these here as quotes to add to Free Monads in... The Advanced Course: Haskell in Two or More Sentences. They provide anywhere from no information at all to the uninitiated to extra confusion inspiring taking or avoiding Haskell courses. :)

Show HN: A Vim distribution inspired by Spacemacs liuchengxu.org
102 points by liuchengxu  9 hours ago   28 comments top 10
z1mm32m4n 6 hours ago 8 replies      
In general, I think people really sell themselves short by using an editor "distribution." It's a "teach a man to fish" situation. The whole point of being able to configure Emacs or Vim is so that each person can make it into the tool he or she wants it to be.

That's sort of why I recommend Vim as an IDE[1] to people. It teaches people how to configure Vim for themselves, so they can better understand how the pieces come together.

[1]: https://github.com/jez/vim-as-an-ide

israrkhan 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried spacemacs and some other distributions/vimrc config files. The problem is if you do not know the reason for each line in vimrc and each key mapping/plugin in your vim environment, you wont be able to appreciate the beauty of vim no matter which distro you use. A distro is sort of similar to MS office, where a typical user will need less than 10% of the features, and remaining 90% stuff just adds to the bloat.
winestock 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There's another distribution of Vim which also claims to be inspired by Spacemacs and is called SpaceVim (not space-vim as in this case).

Homepage: http://spacevim.org/

Hacker News discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13315845

vsviridov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a firm believer of knowing what each line in .vimrc does. But I'm not above rummaging though other people's .vimrc files and plundering without shame :D
sdnguyen90 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Can anyone share their experience using this coming from Spacemacs? I've tried the other Spacevim package but the key bindings were weird for me. I switched from Vim to Spacemacs about 2 years ago and I've forgotten everything besides the text editing stuff.
pzone 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting. If there is a workable org-mode replacement that gets org-agenda I would consider switching away from Emacs to Vim or Neovim. I'm sick of using such slow and crash prone software. (Emacs is much better on Linux. I would love to use Linux as my daily driver but it's just not an option.) Since I've switched to Spacemacs it wouldn't be hard to port my small tweaks to recreate my personal preferences. But I really can't give up org-mode!
mablap 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a moderately good emacs&vim user, what can I do with this that I cannot already do in a base spacemacs install?
SloppyStone 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks friggin' awesome! Thanks!
clircle 7 hours ago 0 replies      
daddy likes
bgdkbtv 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks sweet! Downloading!
iOS 10 Security White Paper [pdf] apple.com
205 points by IBM  14 hours ago   70 comments top 11
floatboth 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really cool:

> Securely erasing saved keys is just as important as generating them. Its especially challenging to do so on flash storage, where wear-leveling might mean multiple copies of data need to be erased. To address this issue, iOS devices include a feature dedicated to secure data erasure called Effaceable Storage. This feature accesses the underlying storage technology (for example, NAND) to directly address and erase a small number of blocks at a very low level.

I guess that means separate storage, as the main storage in recent iPhones is an NVMe SSD and not raw NAND attached to the processor.

BTW, is there a good / easy way to connect raw NAND to a normal desktop PC?

CalChris 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Its previous edition was required reading for CS 161 at Berkeley. Would that it were required reading in Mountain View.


(Yeah, it says optional on the syllabus but Weaver said required in lecture.)

Animats 5 hours ago 3 replies      
What's lacking is a requirement that Apple Store apps must cooperate with user privacy settings. If the user denies an app access to location services, contacts, or calendars, Apple should require that the app still run. For example, if the user denies the Uber app location information when the app is not being used, Uber car ordering should still work. Apps should not be allowed to demand access they do not need to serve the user.
tmsldd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is there any similar document about macOS ?
camdenlock 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This is one of the reasons why Apple is still great. Their designs are thoughtful and deeply-considered. They may disappear up their own asses with a fair amount of regularity, but that doesn't stop them from excelling in certain areas (such as, indeed, privacy and security).
zaytoun 11 hours ago 4 replies      
I really do respect Apple's attention to security and privacy, however I was a little disappointed when I came across an Apple ID leak from their login form [0] last week. They patched a fix a couple days after I reported it, but still haven't responded to my initial report. It's quite concerning given how easy this simple flaw could have been used for malicious purposes to potentially collect millions of Apple ID's.

[0] https://github.com/zaytoun/Apple-ID-Data-Leak

qrbLPHiKpiux 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Their LEO guide is just as good, but not updated in a while.
dcdevito 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Show HN: REST API for any Postgres database github.com
73 points by developeron29  5 hours ago   25 comments top 8
kornish 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Note for the submitter that "Show HN" is generally for things you yourself have made see [0]. On the other hand, thanks for submitting; this is a great project and it deserves attention.

Postgrest is a great example of a real-world Haskell codebase. It's concise for the amount of functionality it offers, which is characteristic of functional languages (<3000SLOC of source, not counting tests). I'd encourage anyone interested in working with non-toy functional codebases to take a look around with it, or better yet, submit a PR (there are a few "beginner" issues!).

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

manojlds 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wanted a throwaway API recently and then finally realized that this cannot be deployed to Heroku with the PG add-on. Disappointing.
theprotocol 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Some feedback: I need to see some kind of "big picture" usage highlights. I find it hard to picture what endpoints are generated based on the tables: does each table/row become a resource with its own url? How are relational queries and joins handled?

I looked at the docs and they seem to discuss various concepts and other minutiae but there is no real overview that cuts through the fat.

It's not immediately obvious to me how it fulfills its stated claim:

> PostgREST is a standalone web server that turns your PostgreSQL database directly into a RESTful API. The structural constraints and permissions in the database determine the API endpoints and operations.

> Using PostgREST is an alternative to manual CRUD programming. Custom API servers suffer problems. Writing business logic often duplicates, ignores or hobbles database structure. Object-relational mapping is a leaky abstraction leading to slow imperative code. The PostgREST philosophy establishes a single declarative source of truth: the data itself.

The second paragraph in particular is a pretty bold claim, so I find it strange that there is very little elaboration on how this project can eliminate the need for custom APIs.

twelve40 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I guess this is like a lower-level version of Parse (on a different, transactional stack too). Pretty cool. I wonder though, often times I have cases that are mostly CRUD but with a little extra: e.g., "create this object and kick off a Stripe payment", or "create this object and send an MQ message". With Parse, you just write Node triggers to do that. Would I have to dig through Haskell code (or hire Haskell developers) to do the same here, or does postgrest support an easier way to do that?
andyhoang 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What cases I should use this?I mean, look like it used for simple/beginning project, when ORM can do quite handy
vikingcaffiene 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is neat and I am going to definitely dig in an play around with it. I guess my biggest worry with projects like these is what happens when something breaks? If I decide to integrate a piece of tech into my stack, I need to be able to intimately understand what's going on under the hood. If something breaks or works in a way I don't expect, I need to know it well so I can diagnose and fix the problem. Something that abstracts away this much of the dirty work makes it less attractive to me for anything serious. Its also written in Haskell which is an awesome language I hear. However the syntax is foreign compared to "traditional" languages and its less well understood due to a smaller community. That means I can't just fork the code and fix a bug if I end up in a bind. Just seems kinda risky. Hope to be proven wrong because it is a really cool idea. Best of luck to the authors.
fiatjaf 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Not valid for Show HN.
Walkman 3 hours ago 3 replies      
What's the end goal of Wealthfront and Betterment? larrysukernik.com
114 points by kloncks  12 hours ago   54 comments top 14
Veratyr 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Since this is a community of programmers, you might be interested in doings things like this yourself instead. There are a couple of options:

- Quantopian (http://quantopian.com/): Python based, kinda a little bit open source (backtesting only), live trades on Interactive Brokers or Robinhood. Has a big community for stocks.

- QuantConnect (http://quantconnect.com/): .NET based, more open source (includes live trading), live trades on Interactive Brokers, has a similarly sized community but the community's attention is spread to other asset types like Forex as well.

Both have numerous example algorithms you can clone and run without much trouble. An example vaguely suited to investing: https://www.quantopian.com/posts/modern-portfolio-theory-min...

lquist 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Gurley's post [1] (from 2014) gives one possible end goal: "Learning about Yue Bao gave us an epiphany that Jack Ma likely had years ago. If you want to truly disrupt the financial services industry, perhaps you need to stop attacking the transactional experience and launch a competitive product on the asset gathering side. Once you have the assets, all the disruptive things that Silicon Valley types want to do will be easy. The hardest part has been getting access to the funds."

[1]: http://abovethecrowd.com/2014/06/18/disrupting-finance-from-...

mfrykman 8 hours ago 3 replies      
In the article, it states that Chase is offering 0% funds, yet Betterment claims that their "All-in Actual Cost" for a 100k fund is better than Chase's due to cash drag and a lower expense ratio. (Found here: https://www.betterment.com/comparison/schwab-intelligent-por...)

This is confusing and hard to fact check. Who do I believe?

teej 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Wealthfront has raised ~$100M and Betterment has raised ~$200M. If they are only burning $4M/year to grow as fast as they are, they are doing fantastically well. I suspect though that the author's burn rates are off by an order of magnitude.
Johnie 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The failure of articles like this is that they take a snapshot of a company at a point in time and assume that the company's business model and reach doesn't change. This is the same mistake that many analyst make on early stage companies.

Companies evolve over time and grow in terms of scale. Take a look at Facebook and Google as an example.

lewisl9029 6 hours ago 1 reply      
While we're on the topic of robo-advisors, I'd love to see a robo-advisor that lets clients customize a portfolio allocation and just advises them on when and what to trade to keep their portfolio balanced on a regular schedule, for a fixed fee. That is, instead of these so-called robo-advisors that are actually robo-managers, in the sense that they manage your portfolio and trade on your behalf, and are compensated as such, for a percentage of the entire value of your portfolio.

I'm sure there is enough space in the market for both types of products, the robo-advisor and the robo-manager. Personally, I'd prefer the former.

zazpowered 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you guys want to see a comparison of historical performance and fees of the top robo-advisors check this out https://senzu.io/investing/robo-advisors
jjn2009 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Charles Scwab does take fees in a way, their robo advisor requires a certain percentage of your account be cash. This cash in turn is invested for their own profits.
Analemma_ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't use them, but I can tell their strategy is working. My broker (through work) is Fidelity and lately they've been throwing up pop-ups on login, and sending me emails, urging me to try their low-cost funds that they insist are cheaper and better than Vanguard. They're definitely feeling the heat; I don't think companies like this push their low-fee funds on you unless they're up against the wall.
scurvy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want a good robo advisor with no fees, check out Wise Banyan. I'm a client, but a happy one and that's my only relationship with them.
nateberkopec 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I haven't switched to a roboadvisor product for a few reasons, but one of them is that saving for retirement is a decision you make on a 30+ year timeline. Most startups hardly last 3 years, much less 30. Why would I trust my money to an industry where the typical case is a flameout in only a few years?
cheriot 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The article's scenarios top out at 16B AUM , but vanguard is at 4T with a T. Their problem is not lack of TAM.
narrator 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Why can't I buy VTI and dividend reinvest? I compared that to Betterment since 2004 and it wins handily. What am I missing? Tax loss harvesting sounds fancy but what's the actual bottom line benefit after fees?
aphextron 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried out these services, and it just freaks me out too much having $50,000 sitting in an iPhone app. I get that they are insured and legit, but it's just too much money for me to hand over to a startup.
How Subtle Class Cues Can Backfire on a Resume (2016) hbr.org
257 points by apsec112  10 hours ago   192 comments top 21
hn_throwaway_99 8 hours ago 9 replies      
Great study. I think this perfectly underscores the concept of what "privilege" is, in a scientifically robust way.

I have a worry about one of the implied conclusions, though. The high-status women were clearly discriminated against based solely on gender. However (and trying to tread carefully here), it is at least possible that a high status woman would be more likely to leave for family reasons than a high status man. That doesn't make the discrimination any better, but it also means the employers aren't necessarily acting economically irrationally (of course, there is also the chicken-and-egg problem, in that these high-status women might be more likely to take up a domestic role because they're being discriminated against in the first place). I say this not to give the employers a pass, but to suggest that any real, durable solution to the discrimination shouldn't automatically assume those social factors are imaginary.

jzwinck 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sailing is a very stereotypical rich man's sport, and track & field is perfect for the poor (low equipment and facilities costs). So it's no surprise the research used these. But they are saddled with a confounding factor: participant age.

The person reviewing your resume will likely be over 30 years old, maybe over 40. And they probably have more money than you. This makes it more likely that they participate in sailing or golf and less likely that they do track & field.

You may benefit from sharing an interest with your hiring manager or recruiter, and maybe it just happens they like things enjoyed by adults with money. Rather than judging you because you like cheap stuff.

A rich man's sport that doesn't favor older folks so much is crew (rowing). That would have been a better choice than sailing IMO.

jimmyswimmy 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The clues may be less subtle and still affect employers decisions. I've read thousands of resumes and I always get frustrated when I can read more into the resume than may have been intended. Membership in the "hundred black men" or the "Aidan American student organization" provides me with information I would prefer not to know. Ideally when I review a resume I only want to know whether or not I think you might be qualified and worth wasting time on a phone call. Providing that information makes it harder for me to pretend that I am hiring blindly.

The idea that there are even more subtle clues is fascinating. When hiring engineers, such clues have remained entirely subliminal to me. There must be some but honestly it wouldn't have occurred to me that there is a class difference between those interested in sailing and those who like track and field. I would probably guess that a track athlete would get along better in my company. Perhaps we are just low class.

SilverSlash 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't understand one thing though - Why doesn't she talk about the fact that according to their own survey, lower class women were also 5 times more likely to get a callback than lower class men.

So while upper class men have it the best, lower class men have it the worst. But the author seems to be ignoring this entirely.

imjustsaying 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This makes total sense. If you're high class, you're going to yield more business for the firm if for no other reasons than deep social connections to people who can afford to buy the firm's product.

If you're a woman, statistically you're more likely to work for the firm for a brief time before you retiring to being a wife in your late 20s or early 30s - a huge sunk cost for an elite firm that invests heavily in its employees.

If the firms were outright discriminating against someone unjustly due to some kind of shadowy and insidious patriarchy or class hierarchy preservation desire, they would get crushed in the free market for making systematically wrong decisions. But given that they're the top 5% law firms, it looks like their heuristics are correct - high class males are more often than not going to make them a ton more money than other groups.

emodendroket 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd posit that young tech companies have similar problems, even if the particulars are different than law firms.
brohoolio 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the differences between gender are fascinating.

Upper class women are not selected for interviews because there is a perception that they won't be as committed, implying they might get married and stay home with the kids.

tjalfi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
999natas 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't see any subtle cues here. An important skill for a lawyer is to know how to present facts in the most favorable light. Take the study's James Clark. He won a "University award for outstanding athletes on financial aid", but it would be just as accurate for him to say simply that he won a "University award for outstanding athletes". Why not mention financial aid? Because it's not something that makes him a better lawyer. It doesn't serve the purpose of the resume. I can just see someone reading the resume and imagining all the dumb things James would write in a court filing and what the result to the client would be.
rafinha 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe the interviewers bias resume selection to their own profiles. Because most people come from elite families, mostly people from elite families get interviewed.
MichaelMoser123 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The good thing about tech is that professional interview is more important than the HR interview. No matter how bad a tech interview can be - non technical professions have it worse

why do CV's even have an 'extracurricular activities'/'Personal interests' section? (asking because i never had one in my CV) Is this exclusive to first job applicants? another question: is having no awards better than having 'low class awards' ?

(Ah, got it: they are looking for signs of a first impression bias - these biases are likely to play a role during the interview process (given that these biases exist) )

HarryHirsch 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I worked for Miss Lilly Pulitzer once. She was intolerable. The imperious demeanor, the unwillingness to listen to reason, the papered-over cluelessness, it did not work out well. Never again!

Here's a fun thought: elsethread age discrimination is discussed. If an employer shouldn't be allowed to discriminate by age, should they be allowed to discriminate by class?

Clubber 8 hours ago 1 reply      
So, if I pretend to be interested in Polo or golf, the chances of getting a better salary increase. Check.
chrismealy 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Who puts hobbies on a resume anyway? Who the fuck cares?
na85 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone still believe the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" narrative any more?

My understanding was that it had been thoroughly debunked.

wruvjg 7 hours ago 1 reply      
No comment on how lower class women got 5 times the callback rate of lower class men? Almost exactly the rate at which upper class men outperformed upper class women? Is this reporting on the study biased in any way?
andrewclunn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to be judged based on your ability rather than people's biases or your appearance, avoid "soft sill" professions. Just a word of advice.
mahyarm 8 hours ago 1 reply      
That top header takes way too much space and there is no obvious was to minimize it :/ Bad form.
hasenj 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Why do tens of thousands of people have to compete for a small number of positions? Something it's clearly wrong.

It seems like the study treats working in a job as a favor received by the peasants from the slave masters.

Or, the study purposely set up a scenario that matches this idea of what work is.

ajross 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The headline is just wrong. Yes, there was some correlation between "class cues" and resume response rate. But the overwhelming finding (like, 4x the effect!) was gender. Upper class men were wildly more popular than any other group. And in fact upper class women actually underperformed their lower class sisters.
mindcrime 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait a minute... hang on.

Every fall, tens of thousands of law students compete for a small number of coveted summer associateships at the countrys top law firms. ... For these reasons, employment in top law firms has been called the legal professions 1%

Our findings confirm that, despite our national myth that anyone can make it if they work hard enough, the social class people grow up in greatly shapes the types of jobs (and salaries) they can attain, regardless of the achievements listed on their resumes.

Just when exactly did the bar for saying that somebody "made it" become working for "the legal profession's 1%". That's a ridiculously high bar... to the point of absurdity. And while it doesn't contradict the results themselves, it certainly colors the interpretation.

I mean, if you think the only thing that matters in life is to be in the 1% of your profession, then fine. But most people would be happy with a bar quite a bit lower than that... a steady job which puts them solidly in the middle class, or anything higher (in terms of socio-economic class).

Curiously, I feel like I see this "moving the goalpost" stuff quite often in articles which try to argue against the idea of meritocracy or the importance of work ethic and individual effort. Probably not a conspiracy, but perhaps a form of bias..

Writing a Linux Debugger Part 2: Breakpoints tartanllama.xyz
120 points by adamnemecek  16 hours ago   10 comments top 2
pjmlp 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Why are function trailing return types being used for simple data member access?

 auto is_enabled() const -> bool { return m_enabled; }
Please write this instead

 bool is_enabled() const { return m_enabled; }
There is nothing to gain by writing function trailing return types in this case.

Leave them to complex lambdas declarations or template meta-programming.

pebblexe 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Does anyone know of an easy way to interact with performance monitor counters in Linux? I've been reading stuff by Brendan Gregg about DTrace and the importance of PMCs, and it made it sound like Linux doesn't have the equivalent.
Amazon's Tepid Response to Counterfeiters Frustrates Sellers inc.com
564 points by exolymph  18 hours ago   277 comments top 53
Lasher 18 hours ago 10 replies      
I purchased Quickbooks Pro 2017 (PC) on Amazon last week, said it was "sold by Intuit" so wasn't even supposed to be an FBA (fulfilled by Amazon). Figured if it costs no more I might as well get the physical disk.

What showed up was a DVD case with a very clearly photocopied cover for a Mac version with a Verbatim CDR inside and a hacked version of the software.

Amazon processed the refund just fine but didn't seem particularly interested or concerned that they had just sold me pirated software. Not a big deal for Quickbooks, I can just buy the download version. I also want to buy a new Ipod Touch and, for the first time ever, don't feel like I can buy it on Amazon.

Long term Amazon customer since 1999, Prime since the first year, this counterfeit issue is a real problem that's going to cost them seriously if they don't get a handle on it.

crazygringo 15 hours ago 8 replies      
Is there anyone here who can shed some light as to why?

It's impossible for me to believe that it's part of Amazon's strategy to encourage, or even allow, counterfeits -- it might be fine for a smaller company, but it appears to be doing real brand damage at this point.

Yet Amazon shows no signs of stopping it -- this has been going on for years. Is it just a really hard problem for some reason that isn't obvious? (Like you catch one seller, and they'll immediately re-register under a different name? Or false counterfeit claims outweigh real ones?)

I mean, I still can't wrap my head around why Amazon would comingle FBA merchandise with merchandise Amazon bought directly from the manufacturer, and thus unknowingly sell counterfeits directly. People say this happens, that buying "Ships from and sold by Amazon" can still be counterfeit -- does that happen really? People certainly say it does... is it really something common? It's hard to believe Amazon could be so dumb to do that... why on earth would they?

I feel like this just doesn't make sense. Amazon isn't Uber. Shady practices don't seem like their thing at all. So why is this still happening?

emu 18 hours ago 4 replies      
It's trivially easy to run into counterfeit products on Amazon. Here's an example I pulled up in 2 minutes of searching:


I see two sellers offering an iPhone charger, ostensibly genuine and new, as low as USD 3.19.

Compare with the Apple listing for the same item for USD 19:http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD810LL/A/apple-5w-usb-pow...

There is no way you can be selling the genuine product at that price and be making a profit. I don't know what Apple's wholesale price for chargers is, but it is presumably more than USD 3.19.

Amazon has lost at least two orders from me recently because I had no confidence that I would receive a genuine product.

almog 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Somewhat related - I use amazon price alerting services (camelcamelcamel.com and keepa.com) for some items that are on my wish list.

In the past few months I received much more price drops alerts than ever before. Most of these are by new stores that have no reviews.

Knowing that I'll be covered by Amazon, and tempted to give what I guessed would be a scum a chance, I ordered two items from different stores and as I expected I never got the items. Eventually got a refund from Amazon.

I'm not sure why Amazon isn't putting more effort to prevent these stores from popping up. Most of them I've noticed publish dozens if not hundreds of items for ridiculous prices. Even a simple capping mechanism for new stores would have made this much more difficult than it is to set up this scum.

While Ebay does not excel in that regard either, it does cap new sellers sales volume as well as allows buyers to report suspicious activity. Ebay's algorithm isn't especially smart - I often notice stores that were inactive for years yet retain good feedback record, pop up back to life with new low priced supplies and eventually turn out to be a scum (most likely hacked accounts).

ymerej 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Four or five times in a row, I bought what were supposed to be genuine Samsung batteries for my SGS4, and every single one was a counterfeit. Each time I had a chat conversation with Amazon, explaining the situation and each time I was told "an investigation" would be done. Ex: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1OV6G6YE4TXFZ/ref=cm_cr_rdp_p...
justinclift 13 hours ago 1 reply      
There used to be plenty of counterfeit Intel network cards on Amazon.co.uk (and .com). Unsure about other Amazon subdomains.

After receiving a chinese knock off card instead of the real thing, I complained to Amazon. Even after rounds of communication with them, trying to alert them to the problem all they did was tell me to contact "Trading Standards" (the uk body). I've barely bought from Amazon since then, and I used to buy a lot from through them.

Instead I reached out to Intel Legal, who looked over things, then opened an investigation.

Now (some months later) it seems like there are almost no counterfeit Intel cards on Amazon. So at least some places do seem to have enough clout.

johansch 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I feel like there's so much idiocy going on with Amazon sites. How can such a successful company make something so idiotic such as the current Amazon.com? It's beyond belief.

People visiting Amazon.com intending to buy various items:

a) want the shipment and customer care to be handled by Amazon. (Since they have showed that they area really good at that kind of thing)

b) want to have the goods vetted for basic safety etc etc.

Basically, Amazon needs to rewind/rebrand/remove its second-supplier Bazaar style listings from its main index.

Maybe the could display a two column search result page? Most people have wide screens now. Amazon-handled to the left, rest of the world to the right.

tyingq 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The article makes a good point that aside from enforcement issues, Amazon leaves the seller of the genuine item in a bad spot. Like one-star reviews of the product (due to fakes) staying for months. The whole product listing being taken down instead of just the seller with fakes being shut down. The lack of real communication with the seller of the genuine product, and so on.

Edit: Perhaps some additional manual effort to protect good sellers would stem the bad PR tide. The news stories all seem to start with a frustrated seller.

throwawaylalala 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I private label. Amazon's respose process for this is completely broken. Right now we are having several entities jump on; as part of our process for getting counterfieters off of our listibgs we make test buys; probably 10 buyers have sent exactly the same email, including a weird space between a word and a comma.

Want to know how truly bad it is?

Look at this listing:https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00DVKJXFE/ref=dp_ol...

rleigh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been uneasy at the whole "FBA" concept for a while, and I've certainly used Amazon much less as a result.

I'm not sure what they are thinking here, to be honest. I don't want to use another eBay; I stopped using it entirely due to scammers and paypal. I previously had some trust that Amazon was buying and reselling genuine products, and I no longer do.

If FBA was restricted to original manufacturers who provide their own inventory, I'd have little to complain about. But thousands of unknown vendors acting as yet another middle man and pushing cheap counterfeit crap add no value at all, in my opinion. They do nothing but tarnish Amazon's reputation.

danjayh 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Amazon is a cluster all-around. They can't keep counterfeits off (I just recently got a 'samsung' battery that would only charge to 80%), and they can't police legit products correctly either. I've seen tons of horror stories from owners of FBA private labels who'v had their products pulled by Amazon for being 'counterfeit' because one of their competitors reported them in an attempt to reduce competition. Takes weeks or months to get your listing restored. And don't even get me started on their review system. I used to review certain subsets of items prolifically, without accepting freebies, but I gave it up. Amazon would regularly pull down my reviews for things they didn't like. For instance, I've had several battery reviews pulled for including a measured capacity (mAh) divided by cost 'value' graph because it implicitly includes pricing information. Give me a break. Know what replaced my well-thought out & researched review? A review from a 5-star shill that shot from 0 helpful to over +1000 overnight (to those of you that have never reviewed on Amazon ... that does NOT happen unless you're cheating).

Amazon's reviews are crap. Amazon's inventory control is crap. Amazon's seller support is crap. The only things they have going for them are good customer service and a near monopoly on online sales.

Walmart, however, also has great customer service, has brick-and-mortar stores that will help you deal with problems, and now has free 2-day shipping. I've been making a conscious effort to do more online shopping there lately, because Amazon needs to feel like they have a little competition.

home_boi 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you found any alternative to online shopping?

I generally just roll the dice with Amazon on anything that is not food or electronics. The convenience trumps the money wasted on buying a bad product.

For electronics, I've looked at Walmart and Jet.com which have shady 3rd party sellers that are worse than Amazon sellers.

I believe BestBuy gets all its inventory from authorized sellers so I trust them, although they have limited selection.

I haven't found a solution for food (mainly specific branded supplements like magnesium/vitamin C/etc. that can't be found in regular grocery stores)

The ideal situation would be if Amazon didn't conmingle its "Sold by Amazon.com" inventory with 3rd party sellers and charged a premium for it (to make it economically feasible for them). Right now the current incentives aren't pointing in that direction.

Most customers don't know about the conmingling. If we could spread awareness of conmingling, the economic incentives could lean in that direction.

Chathamization 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is unsettling. Not only are many counterfeit goods being sold through Amazon, but Amazon's policies (co-mingling inventory, lack of ability to signal counterfeit goods in complaint, lack of ability to review a counterfeit seller of a good instead of the good itself) are directly encouraging this situation. And Amazon's response seems to be a collective shrug.

The news media's response is probably just as much to blame - they're more interested in writing fluff pieces about Amazon's hypothetical drone delivery than in informing the public about the current major threat to consumers posed by Amazon's policies. I'm willing to bet a lot of customers have received faulty counterfeit goods and don't even realize it.

This also underscores one of the problems with quasi-monopolies - once they feel they have a captive audience, they're only more than happy to screw over their customers in order to make a bit more money. If everyone gravitates towards one company, we end up in a very precarious situation when the company invariably decides that we have no where else to go and then can do whatever they want to us.

new299 17 hours ago 5 replies      
Counterfeit products seem to becoming a near universal problem. It's not just amazon, but other marketplaces (eBay, taobao etc). Even seems like major electronic component suppliers fall foul of this sometimes (digikey).

I can really only see three solutions:

1. We just buy everything direct from the supplier. Companies like amazon manage distribution.2. We provide tools to allow the consumer to track the supply chain process. Products shipped with unique QR code, printed at the of manufacture? Users able to verify that this product was actually manufactured by the stated supplier. Could be an interesting startup idea?3. Consumers get better at evaluating products on their own merits. Verifying battery capacity, performance etc.

3 is basically what you have to do if you purchase anything in Shenzhen markets. You can't just trust a particular supplier, or even that one batch has the same performance characteristics as the last.

trapperkeeper79 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I bought some Pokemon bracelets (yeah .. I know) for some family members. I have a big suspicion that they are counterfeit. The boxes had asian writing on them, and it did not seem Nintendo-like. The device itself has horrible connectivity with the game and phones - almost unusable. I'm pretty ticked off. As a consumer, I had no good way to verify that the device is not counterfeit. For similar situations, I actually started to go to my local best buy to ensure I am not getting fake stuff.
JohnTHaller 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I was looking at a Dohm sound generator on Amazon and most of the top reviews are 1 star reviews stating that the item shipped and sold by Amazon (not fulfilled by, sold by) was showing up as a cheap counterfeit. Made in China (instead of the US), fan rattling within a few days, fake UL approved sticker, etc. Amazon refunded their money but didn't appear to care about the issue, likely due to the inventory mixing between fake sellers and Amazon that seems rampant these days. I decided to buy it from the manufacturer's own site directly and cancelled the order I had just placed for vitamins to buy elsewhere.
bbrazil 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I've had new several hard drives turn out to be in fact refurbished (and in one case quickly failed).

I got refunds but nothing beyond that, even with in one case offering evidence that this looked like deliberate fraud due to half-cleared SMART stats.

dforrestwilson 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Amazon itself copies its sellers and customers with imitation products constantly. The irony should not be lost here.
hprotagonist 17 hours ago 1 reply      
not just sellers.

i purchased clearly counterfeit bicycle brakes whose bolts were mystery metal. that's a legitimate safety issue; having a bolt shear off under braking load is very possible, and the results are pretty catastrophic.

amazon didn't especially care.

bnycum 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I received my first counterfeit item from Amazon two years ago this summer. It really has put a damper on ordering from Amazon as it's happened multiple times since. There doesn't seem to be a way to stop it as the seller will just open a new shop and continue the process.
mnm1 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Then Amazon closes your account for trying to return this garbage they illegally sold. Short of million dollar fines for every incident, this will never change. I doubt Amazon is even trying to fix this. It's so much easier to shut down the people that complain.
jacquesm 16 hours ago 0 replies      
So here is my short version of this: I got burned like this (twice!) and have stopped ordering on Amazon completely even though I got refunded both times.

Amazon excels in short term thinking on this subject, I wonder how long it will take them before the coin drops.

dang 17 hours ago 0 replies      
We invited exolymph to repost this since it's follow-up reporting based on a recent HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13924546.
grandalf 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazon makes massive profit from counterfeits. I've been the unwitting purchaser of several counterfeit products and it's rarely worth the hassle of returning them.

I just realized the other day that some wifi cameras I purchased in 2010 are knock offs!

dkarapetyan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't the obvious solution to have some kind of registration process? Or am I missing something?

If I'm publishing a book then anyone else that wants to sell that book in large quantities must register with me and get my sign-off. Large quantities being somewhat vaguely defined.

mtreis86 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Counterfeiting is an old problem. Straight razors were being counterfeited in the 1800's. They had a number of interesting patterns to counter it. Stamping of the company logo could be changed regularly. Certain groups were the only ones allowed to sell under specific companies. Some razors (GW Pipes for instance) were so well made that counterfeits were fairly obvious. But, some counterfeits were just about as well made as the real product. This is still an issue with those razors, as so many thousands of counterfeits were produced, that determining the authenticity is quite a process.

To link this back in to the original comment, I bought what was clearly a counterfeited Spyderco directly from amazon. They didn't seem to care, but did refund me. (The knife sharpened extremely easily - VG10 is a tough stringy steel that takes more than normal effort to hone)

I won't buy new knives from anyone but the manufacturer anymore.

Edit for clarity: Most fakes were unstamped or generic Solingen/Sheffield stamps. Most branded razors pre1900 are authentic. Only a percent or two of those produced were fake. Still makes authentication difficult. And to make it even weirder, some fakes were actually better made than the brand they were being sold as!

empath75 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This kind of thing is why I won't buy amazon stock even though I think aws is going to take over the world. I want to own stock in a cloud platform not a scam machine.
cauterized 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Solution: take your money elsewhere. It's not even that difficult or inconvenient.
Pxtl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazon is now just AliExpress but with faster shipping and higher prices.
losteverything 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Although not the point of the article, I find it upsetting that someone could link my HN comments to an article, as was done here to another HNer.
lexalizer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is starting to be a big problem for me. The time I lose figuring out if a seller is listing counterfeit products or not(not always possible), is costing me too much. I don't think Amazon Prime is worth it anymore. The risk of paying for a fake, then having to spend time returning, for every single product that I buy is just too much.
intrasight 5 hours ago 0 replies      
At their growth rate, they can afford to have a small fraction of counterfeit items. The costs to Amazon are minuscule. However, they could and should do more to prevent it.
greenwalls 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The scary part of this problem is buying medications or things you ingest. I no longer buy any kind of food or health products on Amazon because I worry they may be fake.

Buying fake food and health products is dangerous.

I don't buy pet food from Amazon either for the same reason.

hackuser 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The author of the article in a prior HN discussion on this issue:


0xcde4c3db 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this a big opportunity for a class-action lawsuit by sellers whose reputations were damaged by Amazon fulfilling their orders with counterfeit goods, or is there some kind of genuinely binding "shit happens" clause in the FBA contract?
Sephr 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I was recently trying to buy AKG K712 headphones on Amazon last week and many of the units sold as "New" and fulfilled by Amazon were actually used or refurbished. I literally went through 4 different units from different FBA merchants before I gave up and bought it on the official Harmon audio store instead.

One-day delivery is nice, but I'd rather wait a couple weeks and pay extra if it means getting an authentic unit.

throaway2137582 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Throwaway for various reasons.

Amazon seller / vendor here with over $5MM in annual sales.

We sell to both Amazon directly and fulfill via FBA when PO's are delayed due to their archaic purchasing system.

Let me tell you guys what the real problem is, you ready for it? CHINA

When Bezos opened up the platform to Chinese sellers in 2015, they FLOODED the market with not only counterfeit items but straight illegal business practices (the notion of piggybacking on listings and selling an item for 50-90% less than normal and never actually shipping a product until they get banned. Rinse and repeat).

The other side of the problem is the American consumer: I want it fast and for as cheap as possible. Some of the worst customers are in the US; they "rent" products and return them used and incomplete before the 30-day return window. Even worse, during Q4 when Amazon gives them 90-days to rent something for free. The American consumer is a big part of the problem and Bezos and friends simply know how to take advantage of this and bump up their bottom line for shareholders.

Amazon DOES NOT CARE because they take fees on each purchase sold by the Chinese trolls.

And like someone previously stated, before a major tier-1 brand gets burned hard, nothing will change.

Apple doesn't sell to Amazon, they don't need to. They have their own channels which are incredibly successful.

The small brands suffer and they suffer simply and purely because of the Chinese.

Most (>95%) Chinese sellers are cancer to the platform. But the consumer is seldom damaged because of Amazon's (still great) customer service.

Get rid of the Chinese and most of this will be resolved. Joe Blow isn't counterfeiting products and selling them on Amazon. At least 9/10 times.

The solution is two-fold:

1) Severely limit anyone without a legitimate US-based company (registered entity, taxed, EIN, etc) to sell on Amazon. Further, require bonds, throttle traffic, limit the number of ASINs "new sellers" can list on, initiate tariffs for non-US sellers (government can only do this).

2. Consumers simply need education that buying on Amazon today is a different game. Their risk is high and the reward low. PR and articles like this help but more consumers need to educate themselves on what is happening. But this is not easy - when you want the cheapest possible price, you're going to the new Amazon Bazaar.

So the mindset of the American consumer is flawed and Amazon plays into this beautifully. They're not stupid and they know exactly what's going on.

There are many technical comments here and they are all righteous. But the problem is a very top-level problem. It is simply the Chinese. Period.

Limit the Chinese and Amazon will be the Amazon of old.

Chinese (or any non-US) sellers should absolutely NOT be allowed to sell anything on Amazon.com. They don't pay income tax and this is simply another loophole Amazon has found in their domination of cheap e-commerce.

This doesn't happen anywhere else in the world. If you sell a product in Europe, you're on the hook for VAT, import taxes, etc.

Not the case in the US of A.

Big systemwide changes are needed.

As an aside: Shit will definitely hit the fan soon and Amazon will start to feel it. But it will take time. Their brand is already suffering due to this counterfeiting mess and it's not getting any better. As someone who used to buy everything on Amazon, I don't buy much anymore. I'd rather go to the brand's site and purchase directly or a brick and mortar.

woodandsteel 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I am guessing one reason for the FBA program is it allows them to scale up their logistics operation larger than it would otherwise be, and that helps them lower the cost per item and out-compete other companies.

Remember, Amazon's long-term goal is to take over the world, and it needs to do all sorts of things to get there.

sitkack 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I bough a counterfeit copy of Horowitz and Hill's, "The Art Of Electronics". I didn't realize a) I bought from a 3rd party b) that it was counterfeit until outside of the 30 day window? I called Amazon about it, asking for a refund and they were pretty flat about the "No, we won't take it back, you have to talk to the seller."
syphilis2 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Not necessarily counterfeit, but I purchased paints off of Amazon within the last year and the paints that arrived were expired. Amazon had no problem giving me a refund, but I suspect many people just buy the product and don't care, which is fine for them but makes it difficult for me to buy quality items from Amazon.
animex 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a surprising response from a company who itself participates in knocking off it's own customer's bestsellers.
97s 13 hours ago 1 reply      
We canceled prime for this very problem.
xmichael99 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If I get one more bullshit Apple magsafe charger I am cancelling my amazon account.
Steeeve 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting as this article is trending, so is the fact that they will be collecting sales tax nationwide starting 4/1. I wonder if this is going to start a bit of a resurgence of specialty sites.
jakasto 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to regularly buy from Amazon but stopped a while back. The final straw was some razor blades that were noticeably duller and inferior to previous units of the same product.
faragon 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess Amazon has a software problem: when sorting by price instead of "relevance", both off-topic items and scammer/counterfeit stuff appear. Hint: filter novel sellers selling below market price.
rebootthesystem 18 hours ago 1 reply      
It's worst than that. As someone already pointed out, buying software on Amazon is down-right dangerous. And Amazon does not care.

Yet, beyond that, counterfeits and scams are rampant on the platform. Scammers take advantage of genuine seller's good rank, insert themselves at lower prices, destroy the genuine seller's revenue stream and deliver cheap knock-offs or even dangerous products to unsuspecting buyers.

And past that, Amazon does something really crazy. They allow anyone to leave reviews on any product, whether they purchased the product or not. All you need is an Amazon account. You don't even need to have ever purchased anything at all. You don't even need to have a verified credit card on file. And so, what happens is that there are scammers using fake bad reviews as weapons of war to knock good sellers down in ranking and capture what would have been their sales. And, again, Amazon does not care.

On Amazon's advertising platform there's a similar issue. They will charge sellers for any click on ads. This means you don't even need to be a verified active Amazon user to click on ads and burn seller's advertising budget with zero ROI. Amazon does not qualify any click on their ads. Logic would say a seller is only interested in genuine Amazon users. A simple definition of this might be someone who has had an Amazon account for N months, has purchased an average of N items per year/month, has a credit card on file and has had product successfully delivered to their address. Seller's are not interested on clicks from someone in China hired to burn through their ad budget. Again, Amazon does not care.

Not sure where this mess is headed but these issues need to be addressed or it will get really ugly.

ikeboy 15 hours ago 0 replies      
One quibble: anyone can sign up for vendor express and sell to Amazon directly, even if they aren't the manufacturer.
qj4714 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Why can't Amazon withhold payment from these sellers? They should have all the leverage
cmrdporcupine 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Quality control in their catalog has gone down generally. It used to be if you searched for something Amazon was almost always the best deal. Now it's a wild west of people just throwing prices against the wall and seeing what sticks.

The worst is it's actually getting harder to filter things to make it return only things that are actually sold by Amazon itself to avoid scammers. At least in Canada it seems they've removed options to filter it down to Amazon as the seller. Basically have to guess-work it by filtering it to "prime" or "free shipping."

godzulu 17 hours ago 0 replies      
When Bezos gets the same treatment or worse than Kim dotcom, I'll be interested...until then, beware.
jaleel28 15 hours ago 0 replies      
As an aside, there is a Chrome extension that can filter out scammy sellers plaguing the site lately - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/amazon-shop-safe/g...
aisofteng 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You know those electronics stores littered around Manhattan that sell flip cell phones for like $10, calling cards, and $15 digital cameras that nobody shops at because it's so obvious what you're getting?

Why does it seem like people lose their sense online? If you're not buying from the manufacturer or a seller you're familiar with, do some research.

And don't buy from anywhere outside the Western world. The rest of the world is rife with liars and counterfeiters. There are still some here, but they are much fewer and are almost always trivial to distinguish.

Clojure from the ground up aphyr.com
158 points by kercker  16 hours ago   6 comments top 3
susi22 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been doing Clojure full time for a few years. Here a recommendation on editor setup if you're new to the parentheses:

1. Setup Cursive ( https://cursive-ide.com/ )2. Start a REPL on the command line with `lein repl :start :port 38123` and connect to that repl with cursive, a remote REPL.3. Bind and learn the following structural editing commands:

a) Grow selection (this will be by FAR the most used in the beginning)

b) Slurp.

c) Send top form to REPL.

d) Join lines

Don't ever select by line, only use "grow selection". Don't ever break any parens ("[({") imbalance. Shouldn't happend if you use "grow selection".

Editing like this will get you pretty darn productive. I used it for probably 6-7 months before I introduced more structural editing commands (Next in line is IMO "Move Forward").

BWStearns 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The modeling chapter is really fun (for those with some clojure chops already looking for a fun random place to assess the work).
ranit 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Chapters do not appear ordered. Is this intentional?
Show HN: E-Book Site for Classics bookeyes.co
36 points by kermittd  8 hours ago   10 comments top 5
mc42 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Though the site is visually appealing, I fail to understand why nearly 550kB of JS is needed (548kB to be specific). A site like this could get away rather well with just using on-hover and some elegant links.

Overall a decent idea, but it's not one that needs to be this complicated. I feel as if designing a better "classics" landing for the Project Gutenberg might be a better idea. [0]

[0] - https://www.gutenberg.org/

anothercomment 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I like it. I have often thought that there should be a more obvious way to find the good books on Gutenberg. Simply providing a small but choice selection, as you do, is one valid approach.

As a bonus, you could provide different formats.

aeroith 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
I also made a similar project to store personal books at https://bookstrap.ga/ The books are in my native language but any language works.
acabal 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like these are just epubs rehosted direct from Project Gutenberg. Why not just go to gutenberg.org instead?
paulcole 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Why no mobi? Kindles must be most popular dedicated ereaders.
Metacademy: How to learn on your own metacademy.org
105 points by adamnemecek  15 hours ago   7 comments top 5
vezycash 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Learning on our own doesn't have to be complex.

Learning via school works primarily because of the fixed, predictable and regular schedule dedicated to learning.

Learning French on my own for just 5-10 minutes daily has taught me a few things.

The amount of time spent on a subject is less important than having a predictable schedule.

Here's why this is important. We all read, hear about people who have read tons of books, who spend 5 hours learning daily and want to do the same.

And this is really bad. A recipe for predictable failure. You won't expect to eat five plates of rice because some dude you respect does it would you?

In the past, I would procrastinate when I hit a mental block, or a difficult lesson.

Now, I simply repeat past exercises because sticking with the schedule is more important than learning something new.

To keep things brief, the most important factor to learning on my own is having a reminder because as an adult, my days vanish in a myriad of unpredictable activities.

Without this reminder, i'll hit my head in six months when I remember that I was trying to learn something.

garysieling 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a really neat concept. One of the challenges for me for learning is filling in partial knowledge. E.g., when I understand some statistics / AI concepts, but want to fill in some new area of knowledge, it's hard to justify taking an entire class if all the material I need is buried in one or two talks.

I'm building a search engine for lectures (https://www.findlectures) and avoided this problem by focusing on standalone lectures (e.g. conference talks). Their way seems much better, for cases where you need to understand all the pieces of a big problem. Also, kudos for curating data by hand :)

neurocroc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, this is a really wonderful site.

I do still think that it lacks visualisation of knowledge and all the different disciplines and fields you can learn.

I try to visualise it as best that I can (https://github.com/nikitavoloboev/knowledge-map).

jmstfv 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty neat. I have been lurking around this site and stumbled upon "prerequisite tree"s[0]. Is it possible to generate this kind of "prerequisite tree" programmatically?


IanCal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The code is open source, has anyone tried using this locally to build up understanding of concepts themselves?
Strengthening the Microsoft Edge Sandbox windows.com
97 points by vezycash  17 hours ago   41 comments top 11
israrkhan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Edge was the most hacked browser [1] (5 times) in pwn2own 2017 contest. In contrast chrome faced only one unsuccessful hacking attempt.

This blog post looks more like a damage control measure.

[1] http://www.tomshardware.com/news/pwn2own-2017-microsoft-edge...

mwcampbell 15 hours ago 4 replies      
The earlier post on Code Integrity Guard and Arbitrary Code Guard is also interesting:


Microsoft should apply these same restrictions to all UWP apps. Yes, that means banning JIT compilation, as Apple does on iOS. And desktop applications shouldn't be able to inject DLLs into UWP applications and system components.

cwyers 15 hours ago 3 replies      
It's nice that they're investing in this. I just wish Edge didn't suck. I have tried using it as my primary browser and it's just not there. It crashes, trying to move tabs around is a pain, sometimes it just isn't performant.
ryuuchin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't see this mentioned in the blog posts but I believe Edge also has win32k filtering[1] to reduce the kernel attack surface as well (added in the AU). This is different from the win32k lockdown that Chrome uses which completely blocks all win32k syscalls but instead allows a whitelist(?) for acceptable syscalls to help reduce the attack surface (I'm not actually sure how it works).

It seems the signature is checked before allowing this mitigation so only Microsoft signed applications can currently use this mitigation[1].

[1] https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2016/11/breaking-chai... (see Wrap Up section near the end)

Someone1234 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the AC Access Scope whitelisting described in the article available to all UWP apps in the Creators Update?

I understand it was added specifically for Edge sandboxing, but it sounds like useful functionality (albeit niche) for other apps that deal with untrusted data routinely.

PS - In terms of technology and standards Edge is a pretty solid browser. I love the Dark theme.

youdontknowtho 15 hours ago 0 replies      
On the subject of the actual content of the article, it was a really interesting read. I would like to hear more about how they profiled or "tuned" the app containers for API access. That might be really useful for other devs.
mtgx 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I assume this wasn't available in the browser when Pwn2Own happened, because Edge was hit hard by the security teams there.


tapirl 15 hours ago 2 replies      
just checked my website visitor log. Only 1% people use Edge.It is not a surprise at all.

The best way to secure a browser is just like what chrome and firefox do: open source it.

partycoder 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Edge's only practical purpose is to download Chrome or Firefox, and I hope it stays that way.

MS made it very painful for website developers to support Internet Explorer, and having to support IE crippled the web for years.

Today there is not a single developer that likes Internet Explorer or its successor Edge. You will not see a single human being on planet Earth with an Edge t-shirt, and if you see one, it's probably that person's laundry day.

The e logo only brings memories of your computer freezing or getting millions of stupid popups or a browser window with hundreds of toolbars (when you used someone else's computer), and conversations asking people to try another browser, or having to switch my user-agent string or create a VM with the sole purpose of running an IE only website, or having to stay late at work because some user with IE experienced problems.

Plus, Microsoft is dishonest and used their browser to mine Google Search activity and send it to their servers to improve Bing. And god knows what else.

Microsoft is selfish, plays dirty and does not deserve a seat at the table of people deciding web standards. They can make Chakra 100x faster, make you a sandwich and jump through hoops but nobody trusts them anymore so it doesn't matter.

We all lived a decade under the tyranny of Internet Explorer and we had enough. If there is a product that deserves to go away, it's Microsoft's web browser. The day it does I am going to throw away a party, and I am sure many others will as well. Please give up, use your time on something else.

najajomo 7 hours ago 1 reply      
CIG, ACG, RCE .. I thought DEP and ASLR was supposed to have already cured RCE. Lets face it, when are they going to admit that the Windows memory model running on Intel hardware is defective. Lets see how long this comment stays up before modded into oblivion.
thr0waway1239 16 hours ago 2 replies      
From the comments section:

"I want to support MS, Im a development partner. But I feel like you guys spend way too much time thinking about how to push intrusive ads into the OS and trying to get easy ad-based revenue from your browser: Talking very good security talk but not walking a very good security walk."

The commenter also makes a comment about how Chrome the older browser was found to be much more secure than Edge the newer one. And then a bunch of technical stuff from someone responding to it (the respondent is not the person writing the article).

Am I the only one who feels MSFT would simply be better off not writing these articles at all if they don't particularly care for engaging with their audience?

Oh, and you can't leave a comment without signing in with a Microsoft account. :-)

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences (1960) dartmouth.edu
84 points by mutor  17 hours ago   22 comments top 8
ethn 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Despite the author's argument, for me at least, there are an order of a priori "hints" which argue why Mathematics ought to be seen in the natural sciences.

In the beginning of mathematics, it was likely, if not definitively created to enumerate similar objects in a particular given set. In order to enumerate an object two things must happen. The object must be turned into an object: this means it must be reduced into some abstract concept which holds certain properties to belong in a set. Second, it must be mapped with a further abstract ID, the number. The most significant consequence of this is that the enumerated ID's and objects now hold the property of logic, because in our world all objects seem to exhibit properties of logic (most of the time). This would have begun as simple arithmetic, an early model of a useful description of our world. From this it becomes evident that you can now map any integer to objects, and perform operations on those integers which map onto the real world as if you were performing the operation on those very real objects.

Later, mathematicians would then become less concerned with the objects mathematics served to represent but more on the relationships in between them. In the logical manipulations of these objects, mathematicians began really exploring the very logical relationships between objects (the creation of variables would coincide here over strict numbers). They once represented an object, yet still can be used again to represent an object. It follows, that these objects should now follow these logical relationships.

From these concerns, I reduce mathematics further as a nice description of logical relationships; a derivative of our own model of the universe.

shas3 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A counterpoint to this is Derek Abbott's "The Reasomable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics." Personally, I think domains with low-N (dimensions and sample sizes) and high complexity remain beyond the optimistic expectations of Eugene Wigner. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/462d/7b6b1ee8243b6aa8897be3...
dekhn 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's worth re-reading this a few times to understand what Wigner was actually getting at:

He's specifically saying we have no a priori reason to expect that mathematics should have predictive ability in the real world, but it seems to do so (I'm not sure I buy this), and we should be thankful.

EpiMath 5 hours ago 0 replies      
For a different take on this, see Dan Shanks' "The case for pythagoreanism" starting on pg. 130 in his classic text Solved and Unsolved Problems in Number Theory:


imh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
>It is true, of course, that physics chooses certain mathematical concepts for the formulation of the laws of nature, and surely only a fraction of all mathematical concepts is used in physics. It is true also that the concepts which were chosen were not selected arbitrarily from a listing of mathematical terms but were developed, in many if not most cases, independently by the physicist and recognized then as having been conceived before by the mathematician. It is not true, however, as is so often stated, that this had to happen because mathematics uses the simplest possible concepts and these were bound to occur in any formalism.

That last point is unconvincing. Maybe they aren't the simplest possible concepts, but it surely must be the case that had we evolved in any universe, we would have sought to understand it and would have formalized that understanding. That's not all that math is, but it has led to several popular branches of it. Surprising? Unreasonable? Not at all.

marcosdumay 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I dunno. We have spent a couple of millennia trying things and taking whatever is effective. It may be unreasonable that something is effective, but I can't convince myself it is so.
thunk1xxx 12 hours ago 2 replies      
No mention of Frege here, and only a cursory quote from Russell. While I can't comment on the author's perspective based on this article alone, it is consistently shocking to me how little scientists and mathematicians are interested in in reading and engaging with philosophy related to their fields.
nonbel 12 hours ago 4 replies      
"Math" is just a language designed for deductive logic. Lots of science is now being done in other (programming) languages that can fill the same role. Is "math" still special?
Listen to rare recordings of J.R.R. Tolkien reading The Lord of the Rings aleteia.org
40 points by itbeho  11 hours ago   1 comment top
Freeciv WebGL 3D Development Status Update freeciv.org
93 points by roschdal  11 hours ago   8 comments top 3
roschdal 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Hi! What do you think of the new version of Freeciv WebGL 3D? I'm always interested in feedback to improve the game. Thanks!
Camillo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it even useful for gameplay to have a low-angle perspective as shown in the screenshot? It seems more useful to have the usual Civ perspective, mostly from the top, and isometric.
Programming Languages Influence Network exploringdata.github.io
61 points by coder007  15 hours ago   7 comments top 5
cadillackness 10 hours ago 0 replies      
These sorts of charts always fall short because they never explain how they were influenced. If you're not in the know already, this provides little information to you. Prolog influenced Clojure, but how? If I didn't already know about core.logic, I'd be scratching my head about why. And even then, it took me a good minute to rack my brain to think of some possible way they were connected because it's not obvious.
theamk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
FYI: "The data on programming languages, their influence relations and the programming paradigms they are classified into comes from the Freebase Programming Language collection, which is largely based on information from Wikipedia. Freebase data is not necessarily correct or complete."
drdeca 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If there are no bidirectional influences, it seems like ordering this in a way that treats it as a DAG might be easier to read?

If there are bidirectional influences, uh, maybe use the influences of ones released earlier on ones released later for the sake of the ordering?


kr0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I was expecting this to be a connection between what languages i work / research in and how healthy my professional network is
georgemarshall 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't see Rust mentioned anywhere
Photos Reveal More Than 200 Arctic Lakes Have Started Bubbling with Methane Gas sciencealert.com
82 points by Keyframe  8 hours ago   25 comments top 8
Pxtl 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Worth noting: a massive volcanic eruption of sulfur in Siberia ended almost all life on Earth once. It rained sulfuric acid with the pH of lemon juice worldwide and everything died, it took 10 million years for diversity to start building again.


Red_Tarsius 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Summary points:

> The lakes are a type of thermokarst lake, which form when thawing permafrost causes the surface to collapse and fill in with meltwater. These ones are bright blue and bubbling, because of methane that's leaking into them before escaping into the atmosphere.

> Researchers announced that they're also monitoring around 7,000 gas bubbles or 'pingos', which have formed in Siberia and are at risk of exploding to form huge craters.https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13941923

> Methane is roughly 30 times more potent than CO2 as a heat-trapping gas.

> By 2100, up to 205 billion T of carbon emissions will be released by permafrost if climate change continues to intensify.

> Previous research had suggested that a global temperature rise of 1.5C (2.7F) would be enough to start the melting of Siberia's permafrost, and scientists are concerned that these lakes and pingos are a sign it's already happening.

> What's interesting is that the satellite data suggests the leaks are happening year-round in these regions, even at temperatures close to 0C (32F).

macawfish 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I can just see it now... natural gas companies decide to frack the arctic, accidentally triggering hundreds of irreversible methane releases.

Edit: okay I looked this up and of course it's already a thing.


DougN7 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not a survivalist, but it seems that at some point you just have to start preparing for the inevitable. So buy land and water rights inland??
EGreg 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a question

Methane (CH4) is said to be 30-105x more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

But burning it produces energy and CO2 as a byproduct.

So wouldn't it make sense to use it and burn it at these lakes instead of letting it escape? Even if you do not harness the energy.

pastaking 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Can we harvest this methane gas and use it as an energy source?
M_Grey 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If this somehow magically inspired people around the world to literally abandon modern life, you'd still be seeing the current trends coast for at least a couple of decades. Needless to say, far from anything like radical change, we're continuing full steam ahead.
AlexCoventry 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> high sulphur levels caused by the leaking methane.

What does this mean?

Futhark: APL on the GPU futhark-lang.org
41 points by pebblexe  15 hours ago   4 comments top 2
avmich 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks very interesting :) but I can't quite find out what is going on on the GPU. What GPU operations are executed for a sample program which contains various (scalar, vector, applying to different sizes and shapes etc.) operators?
rebootthesystem 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is not APL. Please don't call it APL.

Also, please change the title on this thread to have it reflect the same.

How to explain a layperson why a developer should not be interrupted stackexchange.com
44 points by nwrk  4 hours ago   25 comments top 11
d--b 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
I agree with the second answer on that thread... "I just need to focus for a while" is a perfectly understandable explanation. The problem is that other people just don't care that you need to concentrate...

The OP himself dismisses "the funny guy from accounting", as if accountants didn't need to concentrate!

aries1980 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can recommend Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. It has case-studies with loads of non-tech people, including Carl G. Jung and Charles Dickens. http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Business/Deep-Work-Audiobook/B01...
wimagguc 2 hours ago 5 replies      
Related question: how to explain a non-developer manager that you will switch Slack off for periods of time even when working from home? With all seriousness, Slack somehow became the measure of at-work-ness, but it's the worst when I'm programming. It's like an all-day meeting without an agenda.
nc 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Watch 'The Social Network'
winteriscoming 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have found that, let alone explaining it to laymen, it's hard enough to explain it to your own team members and expect them not to keep interrupting you. I have realized that, the bigger the team, the less productive I keep getting, due to the constant interruptions.
alexkon 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
skyisblue 3 hours ago 2 replies      
If you have a good manager they will protect you from all these interruptions. Your manager's job is to ensure you are productive. These constant interruptions aren't making you productive, so your manager should do their best to minimise these interruptions.

One way a manager can help minimise interruptions is to create a policy. Have an issue? Create a ticket and the team will get back to you when we are available.

dba7dba 52 minutes ago 1 reply      
I would use cooking analogy. Once you start cooking a dish (well, most of the dishes), you can't stop the involved steps until the intended food is ready.

If you interrupt the cook cooking the food often and/or long enough, the food will come out burnt, too soggy, or etc.

1. The key lesson is coding involves juggling many things, just in our head. 2. Cooking involves juggling many things in pot, on frying pan, etc.

Anything that interrupts the juggling in cooking can cause one ingredient to come out bad, and you have bad tasting food or worse you have to start from scratch again.

Same with coding.

So, please do not bother coders. Even if they seem to be just browsing websites and not typing away furiously. They are most likely looking for answer to a coding question they need help with by reading on sites like stackoverflow.com. And this requires same amount of focus.

Thank you.

known 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
Tell him a Surgeon should not be disturbed when he is doing surgery;
phreack 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Instead of even bothering explaining, I used to just code at home during the night... You can guess what that did to my body in the long run, so even if it's a hassle, letting people who could distract you during same working hours know to leave you be for a time is worth it.
San Jose and Oakland area job markets tumble mercurynews.com
256 points by jdavis703  19 hours ago   104 comments top 22
dmix 18 hours ago 5 replies      
> Right now its tough to find a job in I.T., said Steve Satariano, a San Jose resident who has been working in contracted, temporary information technology jobs in recent years. Id prefer to find a full-time, permanent job, but in I.T., beggars cant be choosers. Its a little frustrating because tech companies always want to try before they buy.

The numbers don't really back the first part of the statement up...

There are +3000 more I.T. jobs from 2016->2017 and I.T. only lost -500 jobs since last month, but that is a single month while the numbers are still higher than last year (down 0.7% monthly but up 4.1% overall yearly).

And "Computer Systems Design & Related Services" also grew 3.7% year over year with 0% loss in the last month.

The news is always looking for the negative 'sky is falling' angles and they will always be able to find someone to provide a sound bites to back up the story. But as usual the numbers say otherwise or are simply neutral/boring.

Some people are obsessed with being the first one to call the new demise of tech, or the latest bubble. But if anything the industry has become more resilient. Which is what happens when industries mature and grow larger. With more diversity and a larger base of employers/employees then fluctuations are naturally going to be smaller and better contained. That plus greater domain expertise develops over time - companies/investors learn how to manage risk better and understand the nature of the marketplace so overall losses are smaller.

11thEarlOfMar 18 hours ago 3 replies      
You need to read the whole article to get to the statement:

Unemployment rates throughout the Bay Area are among the lowest in the state. Almost anywhere else in the country, the Bay Areas job trends would be the envy of that region.

Every downturn has to start somewhere, and maybe this is the beginning of a bad stretch, but the largest employers are doing fine based on stock prices. Apple, Alphabet, Cisco, Facebook all made new all-time highs within the last month (or week).

Here is the March 2017 unemployment report. 3.5% for Santa Clara County. And states that jobs are + 2,000 from January to February.


nwenzel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
We're in Mountain View and we're hiring [0]. I've certainly noticed commercial real estate going from completely nuts to merely really expensive. Anecdotal sure. But eventually all the anecdotal points add up to a trend.

[0]We're 18 people, enterprise SaaS, started by 2 founders who have worked together for 15 years. https://www.simplelegal.com/careers

Also looking for Head of Engineering and devs (senior front end dev, lead API dev, Django dev).

djrogers 17 hours ago 0 replies      
We're talking about 4,400 jobs here - how much of that can be attributed to one or two of he major layoffs announced in the past few quarters? If Intel or Cisco dropped a couple thousand of their layoff employees in San Jose, thats a pretty big chunk of the dip right there.
KeepTalking 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Couple of random ramblings about the article

- IT jobs as in do they mean IT admins/Biz Analysts or programmers and software engineers. There is a smaller market in the area for IT admins than for programmers and software engineers. additionally, It seems to mix data between tech jobs and hotels etc.

- Why the random cheap shot at H1-Bs. Is this focused on employment or immigration ? typically in a healthy market employment trends follow immigration (employment based) trends. Seems like an effort to stir up some traffic to a poorly sourced article.

- The social media bubble? This is the first time I have heard of that term. Appreciate if they did some basic homework to see 2016 investment trends https://www.wilmerhale.com/uploadedFiles/Shared_Content/Edit...

wooyi 19 hours ago 2 replies      
These are likely seasonal job losses like retail or related. You have to do Year over Year comparisons for jobs. Month over month comparisons are misleading because of seasonality
platz 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> Some experts suggested the Bay Areas slump in venture capital funding has contributed to the sluggish job trends in the regions tech sector.

Can safely ignore bubbles created by VC funding cash-flow injection and focus on business that bootstrap in a healthy way.

empath75 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how much of this is non-programming jobs going away. I think sysadmin jobs are going away, and those aren't coming back.
aphextron 18 hours ago 3 replies      
So it isn't just me. Has anyone else in the east bay had a tough time finding work recently as a mid level front end developer?
Old_Thrashbarg 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what impact the Bay Area's cost of living and out of control housing prices had on this. I believe the tech scenes in other cities like LA, Seattle, NYC, Austin, etc have higher growth rates than the Bay Area.
bogomipz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
>"Global Equities Researchs Chowdhry believes the squeeze on the regions tech sector is only beginning.

Silicon Valley is bracing itself for literally a repeat of 2001, Chowdhry said, referring to the dot-com meltdown that erupted with mammoth job losses that year. This time its a social media bubble that will blow up."

The sky is falling! People are literally bracing themselves with both hands as we speak!

Nothing like using hyperbole to get you and your company's name in print. Global Equities Research? Seriously who the hell is that?

How many of these 4,400 jobs that the local economy has shed in SV are HP and Cisco which are two old guard tech companies not startups. These are also two companies who have been struggling with their old business models.

epynonymous 18 hours ago 0 replies      
could santa clara's large number be attributed to intel? also, cisco (san jose) seemed to do some layoffs along with the sun portion of oracle.
giardini 15 hours ago 3 replies      
"The AI Winter Is Coming" (February 23, 2017)


so I don't expect deep learning to save us.

azernik 15 hours ago 0 replies      
They specifically cite job losses in "IT" as a worrying indicator of the health of the tech industry. However, looking at the people quoted on LinkedIn, the problems seem to be for things like support/corporate IT - the people interviewed have worked at hospital helpdesks or as MS Access admins.

More indicative of general poor economic health and possibly higher ease of use or automation in these fields than of tech-industry-specific problems. Note that general poor economic health could itself be a leading indicator of trouble for our particular set.

tarr11 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This press release seems less link-baity, and has a lot more data and context.


marvel_boy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My feeling is that Bay Areas overall economy remains in good shape, but who knows?
vorg 14 hours ago 2 replies      
The article's headline says "stumble", whereas the HN link headline says "tumble". The two words have almost opposite meanings.
futun 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> "Investors are seeing the problems with a lot of these tech companies. And at some point, tech companies have to cut jobs."


krystiangw 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't worry too much. I can see 500 tech job openings in San Jose only:


hartator 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I suppose it won't follow on rent pricing unfortunately.
jrmg 15 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the margin of error of these numbers?
greesil 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Since when did Oakland have a job market?
LA Times and ads nelsonslog.wordpress.com
397 points by catacombs  10 hours ago   149 comments top 33
SwellJoe 9 hours ago 5 replies      
I resisted using an ad blocker for many years; I kinda felt like if I wanted to use a site, I should be willing to trade for seeing their ads. I've changed my tune a couple of years ago, and this is a (small) part of the reason (but a bigger part of it now that I know how crazy usage for ads has gotten).

I'm on mobile data nearly 100% of the time most months. 14GB costs me $50-$70 (depending on which network I'm on, I have two) to download ("unlimited" plans actually aren't, when used as a hotspot, though T-Mobile now seems to actually have a mostly unlimited hotspot option, I haven't tried it yet). So, not only are ads intrusive, disrespectful of privacy, and generally of negative utility for me as a user...they're also ridiculously costly.

So, yeah, I use an ad blocker. Oddly, I tried disabling it earlier today for an LA Times article (because of their blocker blocker), but it didn't correctly detect that I'd disabled it, so I closed it and went elsewhere. Now I know I should never disable ad block for LA Times, no matter how interesting the story seems.

lobster_johnson 9 hours ago 5 replies      
I develop software used by newspapers. This is a problem with the whole industry. It's amazing how much crap they load.

These sites all use a third party "tag manager" (Google Tag Manager, Tealium, Piwik etc.) to manage the scripts they load: ads, analytics, trackers etc. The people who use the tag manager typically aren't techies, so they don't understand that adding another tag will cause the page to slow down. Typically I've seen a single newspaper use 3-4 different vendors for the exact same thing, such as analytics. They don't actually use all of them; who knows why they have multiple overlapping ones.

Scripts are often badly written, and it's common to see lots of nonsensical errors spewed to the console. It's very annoying to debug your own stuff when you have that crap loaded, which typically comes from a header/footer combo provided by the customer.

smaili 9 hours ago 2 replies      
> Thats a timeline of 30 seconds of page activity about 5 minutes after the article was opened. To be clear, this timeline should be empty. Nothing should be loading. Maybe one short ping, maybe loading one extra ad. Instead the page requested 2000 resources totalling 5 megabytes in 30 seconds. It will keep making those requests as long as I leave the page open. 14 gigabytes a day.

It's not quite clear if 14GB/day is an extrapolation based off the author's sample of 5 MB/30 seconds or if the author actually left the page open for all 24 hours. Regardless, that's quite a bit of data.

tedunangst 9 hours ago 2 replies      
So in case you were looking for another reason to avoid the LA Times (or probably tronc papers in general), they're very spammy. I get tons of junk "newsletter" mail from them that I definitely didn't subscribe to, although they inevitably claim I did, and you can unsubscribe, but then they just invent new lists. And sell your address to others.

Sample from only a few days ago.

 From: "San Diego Union-Tribune" <promotions@e.sandiegouniontribune.com> Subject: We are proud to offer you Moonlighting - Hire or be hired! Received: from mta953.e.latimes.com (mta953.e.latimes.com [] [Blah blah bullshit about their proud partner promoting a soulless gig economy.] This email was delivered because you registered for Email Membership at utsandiego.com
This is 100% false. I did create an account for latimes.com (who sent this shit) but not the San Diego paper. Not even close.

jurassic 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Garbage like this is one of the many reasons I've gone back to print to a large extent. Printed magazines are amazing things, a superior experience and product in almost every way to reading online outlets. This whole ethical conflict over how to deal with invasive advertising while supporting the work goes away when you bought and paid already before you even start to read.

Daily news doesn't fit into this philosophy that well (printed papers is too much bulk for me), but I get pretty much all the "breaking news" I need from Twitter. Stepping away from the 24 news cycle to sit with a piece of analysis from a weekly or monthly (or even quarterly!) magazine is a much better way for me to stay informed and support journalism. And as a bonus I don't have creepy ads follow me around the internet if I want to read a Socialist magazine, or a gun rights magazine, a bridal magazine, or whatever.

drawkbox 9 hours ago 4 replies      
This is why data caps are bad. Left open all month that could be 400+ GB of data used on your plan.

Ad networks are being subsidized by data caps and personal/business broadband costs. Maybe if ad serving went through the main host and their own bandwidth then maybe ad networks would have a reason to control this abuse of transfer.

rinze 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"An attentive eyeball! Fire at will to trigger consumption!"
Mtinie 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Watching the requests, there's a huge number of mixed content warnings in the console. Attempting to hit https://www.latimes.com to remove the reason for all of those failed requests triggers Firefox to throw a certificate error. Could all of this be a side effect of a certificate that has gone bad?

> www.latimes.com uses an invalid security certificate.


> The certificate is only valid for the following names:

> .akamaihd.net, .akamaihd-staging.net, .akamaized-staging.net, .akamaized.net, a248.e.akamai.net

danbruc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
But how many users would actually be willing to pay for the content they consume in order to get rid of ads and tracking and excessive data volume consumption? And how much would they be willing to pay? It seems like they would have to be willing to pay at least an amount comparable to the average ad revenue per user and page view, whatever that actually is.

Just blocking ads is certainly justifiable in the current situation, but it also certainly not sustainable if the ad blocker installation base keeps growing. And buying subscriptions for all sites is not really an option either. It becomes quite expensive pretty quickly, especially if you want the see only a few articles per month on each site but do so on many sites.

BuffaloBagel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So glad to see others complaining about this. I am totally dismayed at the sluggishness of LAtimes.com. It was usable with an adblocker turned on but since being forced to turn it off recently the only computer I can use it on is a dual xeon with 32G memory and a modern gaming card and even then it's a struggle. I'm shocked that the this kind of botched hackery can exist at a major newspaper. It's ugly bad.
anigbrowl 7 hours ago 1 reply      
They are also the most aggressive ad shoveling website I have ever seen. Their ad blocker blocker and paywall works, preventing me from reading articles.

It keeps working even when I have my ad blocker turned off. Obviously I must have some anti-tracking extension still enabled that it dislikes, but I'm not willing to spend that much time troubleshooting my browser. It's baffling to me, because the LAT is one newspaper I'd consider a digital subscription to, but as this article says the advertising/marketing people have clearly won out over the editorial, so fuck'em until that changes.

mp3geek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Sites will use the disguise of "Native Ads" to make these links look like standard web page links, and they'll do every attempt to avoid being blocked or hidden.

Using base64 images, websocket/blob: injections, third-party scripts, natively hosting the images on the site and using also webRTC to also inject.

Its a long fight of countering/re-countering, and until website developers listen to its users these type of ads aren't acceptable.

/Fanboy from Easylist here

mirimir 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, I can read the article in Firefox with Adblock Plus if I enable Reader View before the modal box opens :)

Learned that trick here. Thanks, guys.

Edit: Automatic Reader View add-on eliminates the race.

intrasight 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I visited the article he mentioned had had no issues. Ads and videos and everything from third-party sites were blocked and all I had was the text of the article. I think the author has got to tune his ad blocking tech.

Edit: uBlock Origin blocked 20 third-party domains. Totally typical of web sites these days.

wjossey 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been reflecting on this problem a lot over the past six months since I left the ad tech industry after four and a half years. These posts always sadden me, because I recognize the importance and value that advertising brings to web startups and the level of innovation and growth that it has enabled.

I have a hypothesis on how we can reduce the number of these types of ads, while also not harming advertisers or publishers in terms of reach and revenue.

I believe that we are in an advertising death-spiral. Sites are adding additional impression opportunities and ad placements. This is triggering higher numbers of impressions available to programmatic buyers. The additional number of available impressions is devaluing the impressions (we're flooding the market), which has led to a perpetual decrease in CPMs every year. This leads to publishers pushing higher "engagement" ads, which users just find terribly annoying, as well as more ad units. The cycle repeats, repeats, and repeats, just so both sides can "stay effective" with regards to whatever metrics they are measuring against.

My belief is that the LA times does not need N ad placements per article. They probably only need one. We don't need to junk up quality news organizations with taboola and the other "content" recommendation platforms. We quite literally need a dtente.

LA Times goes down to one ad placement per article.LA Times advertiser is guaranteed viewability (high placement in the article, for example), and 100% share of voice. The "impact" of that ad increases, with the overall decrease in other "noise". The cost also goes up, but commiserate with the increased value. Both sides likely end up making / paying the same amount of money, with likely the same level of impact for the advertiser, but they reduce the pain on the user, which they should both care about deeply.

I'd like to believe this is an opportunity from a business perspective. I believe that someone could demonstrate this value, in some way, to both sides of the market. The advertiser would need fewer impressions to achieve the same level of value / impact of their ads, which also has the side benefit of reducing additional costs around TPAT tracking, analytics costs, general tracking costs, etc., which are often priced on a CPM basis (so, fewer CPMs lowers their bill). The publisher would potentially see better engagement from their users, fewer ad blocks, and a higher quality experience.

I think for the sake of newspapers and advertisers alike, some way to make this reality makes this an idea worth solving.

manigandham 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I work in adtech. The reason this happens is because of poor dev knowledge/resources by most publishers (although shouldn't be a problem with LA Times) and because the ad industry has perverse incentives combined with absolutely no oversight or enforcement.

99% of these companies are in business by running as many impressions/clicks/whatever "engagements" as possible regardless of user experience so we end up with this tragedy of the commons.

donohoe 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I see this all the time. No regard for mobile users that are paying for data plans. To me the big reason to have ad-blocker is data, not just UX.

I'm focused on getting a mobile article page down from 20+ seconds on 4G with 300+ requests and page-weight of 2MB+ (mostly ads).

Right now, on CI environment it is averaging 2.1s, 350K in size, <45 requests, and no ads in the initial view.

Sadly, Hearst doesn't own the LAT so it won't help them.

alrs 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Browse with w3m or elinks, problem solved.
leoh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've noticed that if you are running an ad-blocker and disable JavaScript (i.e. from the Chrome debugger), you can view the page just fine.
alistproducer2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Another reason I keep JS turned off on my phone and most news sites on desktop. Seriously, try it.
jankotek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hit Esc (or Cancel) button to stop JavaScript execution. Works well since Netscape 3.x
kccqzy 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a frequent visitor of L.A. Times and I've already learnt to press Cmd+. as soon as all the content I want has been loaded.
jbclements 3 hours ago 1 reply      
so, as someone who keeps meaning to try it out but hasn't yet: how does Brave do with this site?
dba7dba 1 hour ago 0 replies      
First, did others see this HN post?https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13956807

RJ Reynolds recruiting guideline SPECIFICALLY wanted sales (or marketing) people with 2.8-3.1 GPA. NO wonder so many ad server tags by the sales/marketing types are FULL or errors.

Anyhow, the very first time I experience a Mac computer crash HARD was when I opened NYT.com. Yes NYT.com.

It was a typical Mon morning, around year 2011. I got into office, got coffee, tapped keyboard the Mac Keyboard to wake up my iMac and proceeded to open the website I opened every morning, nyt.com.

I noticed some flash based ad doing some fancy thing in the top banner. But whatever.

I continue doing my thing.

Wait what? My iMac is frozen. iMac! This can't be true. I frantically pound on keyboard but nothing works. Out of desperation, I finger it.

When it comes back up, I slowly bring things up one at a time. And I realize it was the NYT.com's flashy flash ad that caused the crash.

When I upgraded my slightly outdated Flash plugin in my Firebox, I could view the nyt.com homepage without my iMac freezing. I could HEAR the mechanical HD in my iMac grinding and CPU widget showing CPU spiking when I open nyt.com homepage.

Because of an ad on NYT.com, I'm pretty sure millions of people experienced their computer crash on that Mon morning.

bogomipz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if you have a paid subscription does the LA Times still insist on sending you 14 gigs of ad data?
aftbit 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually installed uMatrix just so I could disable all cookies and Javascript on LA Times. No more ads or anti-ad-blocker.
eXpl0it3r 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Do they offer an RSS feed? Does adding the article to Pocket or a similar service work?
inka 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Their ad blocker blocker and paywall works, preventing me from reading articles."

Well, Adblocker in Chrome seems to be blocking the ads on the page quite well. Some single requests are being logged after the page loads, but nothing as to what the article mentions.

stvnbn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
https://pi-hole.net/ Turn your raspberry into an ad-blocker.

I just want to spread the word out and make the world a better place.

an_account 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Does buying a subscription remove all these ads?
shams93 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Why I use the Android app TextBrowser
good_vibes 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The data points for my hypothesis just keep connecting.

edit: so I know, why does something this innocent get downvoted? I don't understand what I did wrong.

debt 9 hours ago 2 replies      
"They are also the most aggressive ad shoveling website I have ever seen. Their ad blocker blocker and paywall works, preventing me from reading articles."

So their ad blocker blocker and their paywall kept you from reading the articles for free? Why don't you just pay them?

It's just a shitty thing to do at this point. If they have high quality articles then what would require you to pay them? Do they need to be on Patreon or Kickstarter or something?

Too Much Experience to Be Hired? Some Older Americans Face Age Bias npr.org
192 points by happy-go-lucky  15 hours ago   194 comments top 31
Steeeve 9 hours ago 1 reply      
For those providing the excuse of culture - culture is something strongly valued in the Bay Area, and it's one of the biggest weaknesses.

Diversity brings so much more to the table than people who can drink a beer together. Diversity in age and experience brings different problem solving techniques and instincts to the table.

Put together a group of young single males of the same ethnic background and you will probably get a group of people who don't mind working all night long together six nights a week. Put together a group of people in different age brackets, different educational backgrounds, and different cultural backgrounds and you have a group of people who won't have to work all night long together in order to solve problems and get things done.

Don't stagnate. Evolve.

We can all do a better job of opening up.

klancaster 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I first felt this when I was asked by a sales rep if I would be interested in coming to work for his company since I had exactly the credentials and experience they were looking for. He said he would talk with the head of development and get back to me. Time passed, and when he did get back to me, he said that the dev manager was looking for someone under 35 and that my resume - which did not have my age - told him that I must be older (I was around 45 at the time). In retrospect, I should have sued, but instead just let it drop.
cbanek 14 hours ago 14 replies      
I don't doubt that there's age discrimination going on in the industry. What I'm wondering is why?

Pros of being older:

- More work experience (hopefully useful to whatever position applied for)

- More mature mental / emotional outlook

Cons:- Possibly higher salary requirements because of the pros above.

- Higher relocation cost?

- Perceived feeling of being able to work less hours?

Overall I'm just not sure I understand the economic reasons for wanting to only hire young people. Especially when most jobs are only for a few year period (nobody is looking for life long employees anymore). Is this possibly some kind of part of the backlash against elitism, where we hate experienced people that might know what they're talking about?

kitsunesoba 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Regarding this issue, at least for software engineering positions in the Bay Area there's a possibility that I haven't seen mentioned that I don't condone but understand.

Here, most companies' SE departments are dominated by younger engineers largely because that's what's readily available and affordable. These engineers are likely to want to be working with/surrounded by engineers within their general age range not out of any particular distaste for those older than themselves, but rather because highly experienced engineers are intimidating and on some level difficult to relate to. 20 and early 30-somethings want to be treated like they're intelligent, capable workers who are well-peered with their fellow engineers and introducing titanic knowledge+wisdom gaps can toss that out the window. It can make a young guy with 3+ years of solid experience in the industry feel like he's a half-useless greenhorn who can never catch up, which is demoralizing. These people are quite aware of the gap (see the rampant impostor syndrome in the same age bracket) but would prefer to not have it pointed out constantly. Just as one can't magically subtract years from their age, one also can't just snap their fingers and stop being young and less experienced.

While engineers don't directly control the recruiting process, they are often the ones doing the phone screenings and technical interviews and often have a lot of swing as to who gets hired. I wouldn't be surprised if this is partially why SV company hires continue to skew young.

brudgers 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Older workers are more likely to utilize health insurance for major procedures. More claims will drive up group health insurance rates. For a business that subsidizes employee health insurance, this is a bottom line cost. For a business that does not, higher health insurance costs are still a competitive disadvantage.

Because health insurance is so expensive, the costs can be non-trivial and not hiring older workers can be economically rational. The cost of adding people who utilize health care services to the pool establishing group policy rates is why employer provided health insurance policies typically excluded pre-existing conditions until it became illegal.

As fear of going without is a brake upon entrepreneurship, the rate increase from older workers is a brake upon productivity that derives from national health care policy.

tabeth 14 hours ago 5 replies      
So who's not being discriminated against? Let's review who's currently getting the short end of the stick.

1. Women [1]

2. Older Americans [2]

3. Minorities [3]

4. Foreigners [4]

What can be done about this? The answer is clear: anonymous screening, interviewing and hiring of candidates. All other solutions are subpar.

People will argue that there's value to be had in asking about things such as hobbies, and other irrelevant, superfluous information, but those who advocate this are probably not in one of the groups mentioned.


[1] http://www.vogue.com/article/female-discrimination-tech-indu...

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2014/01/31/the-ugly-tru...

[3] http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/25/news/economy/racial-discrimi...

[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alev-dudek/foreign-born-citize...

LVB 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've always been intrigued by the age requirement to become an air traffic controller--a federal job no less--which is under age 31 [1]. I recently came across the study [2] that preceded this rule. An interesting read.

[1] https://www.faa.gov/jobs/career_fields/aviation_careers/[2] http://libraryonline.erau.edu/online-full-text/faa-aviation-...

a3n 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I put obvious clues in my resume that I'm old, beyond number of jobs and dates. If you care about my age, I don't want you to waste my time; I really don't care about your time, but that does save your time too.
paulsutter 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Alternative viewpoint:

Roles that require less experience generally outnumber the roles that require a lot of experience. As you go up the experience pyramid, more and more experience is required, but fewer and fewer roles exist. I'm not talking about management per se, just trying to count roles by experience needed within a generic organization.

Challenge being that any group of individuals advance in age at a fixed rate (one year per year).

Does that make sense? Not sure about it myself.

ryanmarsh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Ageism is just poor leadership. By that I mean discrimination purely on the stereotypes of older workers is a response to one's own failings as a leader.

Think we don't like to go drink with our friends? Don't like to learn new things? LOL. If I would rather go home than drink with you once a month then maybe you should take that to mean you're a bore. Maybe be pleasant and interesting?

If I don't like to deploy on new stacks for the sake of deploying on new stacks maybe that's a strength? If you think I can't be motivated to use something new that is legitimately better then maybe you can't articulate your ideas well? Maybe you aren't very inspiring?

If you think I can't work hard because I don't do long hours that's on you. Maybe you should stop wasting my time at work and get out of my way so I can get the job you pay me for done during normal business hours.

I could go on...

wellpast 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm 40 with 20 years of real and varied industry experience (big and small companies; crossing systems, desktop, and much web/distributed dev), rabidly curious, and deeply study (and use on real, often side projects) bleeding edge this and that. What I think is my core value is the long-developed ability to build sound/robust architectures fast, with very good estimation and delivery prediction, and using latest tools, platforms, and technologies.

I know this may sound self-promoting, egotistical perhaps but I believe it's true. Less experience brings a lot of risk in the form of opportunity cost -- without hard-won experience, you simply don't yet have the ability to predict delivery or make the kind of "don't-look-back" decisions and optimal prioritizations that comes with mastery.

I can go to market and find a few companies that can pay my current salary. But the jobs I've been interested in (often medium-sized companies) seem to be trying to fill out a slate of 5 junior/mid-level roles, implicitly devaluing the kind of experience that I have.

I don't blame them. How do you demonstrate that you can truly "make better prioritized decisions" or "build sound architectures quickly" -- I can do these things, but the proofs are all counterfactuals. I know people in the industry for more than 20 years who did not cultivate their skill set. So how does a company first differentiate between me* and the other 20-year veteran? On the job you'll experience the difference in talent between him and me, but how do you a priori tell?

We need a way to show the houses we've built in our careers. How I can I show you that the 100,000 LOC code base(s) that I built or refactored at my last job(s) is stucturally sound with little leaks and supports agile development? As opposed to the other guy who left his spavinedconstruction to a company in misery trying to maintain it?

Then the second thing is how do get these companies to value the skill set? "Working" is the mantra of the day, but "working" code that's not "sound" doesn't just start bleeding you in a year or two but in weeks from now. In other words, 20 years is worth paying for.

* Swap "me" for "some guy who _has_ mastered his craft to the level I'm describing". Yes, needs definition, but assume there is a definition.

DoofusOfDeath 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I think there's an elephant in the room, at least for many of us who are over 40:

We are in some ways less intelligent than we were 10 years earlier. We sometimes process complex problems a little more slowly, the maximum complexity of our mental models is a little lower, and we can sometimes learn more slowly.

We pray that our greater experience and wisdom compensate for that. For some of us it does, for others not so much.

Perhaps many hiring companies do reject us 40+ workers for the wrong reasons. But in some cases, perhaps their reasons are illegal but correct.

startupdiscuss 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Did anyone notice that they specifically ask for a lower GPA?

Go for 2.8-3.1 GPA w/ lots of activities.

Avoid 4.0 with no other activities.

Now If they had just said go for activities, I would understand, but they actually asked for a lower GPA too.

losteverything 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Totally anecdotal but before the over 60yr old office manager was hired only young were hired (college and under 30). Now, recent hires include two over 55 women. Interviwees are only older.

We concluded it is a simple as who does the hiring.

blitmap 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe age-based discrimination can happen to anyone of any age. The government does not:


I am a younger adult performing IT functions.

Because of my age, some authority figures don't expect me to know how to perform complex tasks with greater responsibility. Often those tasks are given to older folks who (in my view) don't have the experience.

It goes both ways - I'm not saying any of it is right/fair/karma.

wbl 9 hours ago 2 replies      
How much of this is explained by increasing health insurance rates if your company has an older age pool?
ianamartin 9 hours ago 2 replies      
My mother and Father deal with with this internally as German Professors in a university. My mom is in her mid 70s and my dad is is in his late 90s.

For reference, I'm in my mid/late 30s.

No one wants to hire my mom because she's too expensive, and no one wants to hire my dad because he's too old.

The university they are currently employed at won't give them any reasonable updates to their salaries. They have newer, younger managers telling them that they suck at their jobs. And when you get enough of that, it starts to wear on you, on your friends, and your students.

My Mom could go anywhere to any university in the country, but she built a house and wants to stay in that house.

There's not a university that wouldn't hire her, and probably dad as well. They have every credential you could ask for.

How do I find an attorney that could take this case and put this university in place? My parent's have basically no money. But I have a cash cow. I'll pay bucketloads to get this right.

PM me if you think you can help. And a I also have 5 other cases from women and men with similar claims. If someone is willing to take it, we're talking about 5 cases minimum, and I will front the cash. Get in touch.

startupdiscuss 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If discrimination exists doesn't that imply someone can arb the situation by, in this case, hiring all the smart older workers for more than what others are paying and still get a good deal?
Overtonwindow 13 hours ago 1 reply      
As an aside, I always make sure my resume makes me appear to be someone in early thirties. I combine the experience under a few recent jobs, and never put when I graduated college.
RestlessMind 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A possible factor (but not the only one) - older workers are more expensive to hire due to higher salary expectations and higher health costs. That would make them unappealing to a whole swath of companies - the ones with limited hiring budgets, the ones with simple enough job requirements that a new-ish grad can do them for cheap etc etc.

It would be interesting to see the data pertaining to salary+health costs based on age.

equalarrow 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've said it before as an 'older dude', network, network, network.

I'm not trying to downplay any one person's hardships, but if tou have a good netoekr of people that can vouch for you, it's 10x more powerful than coming into a place hat in hand..

Good luck and network!!

arnonejoe 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I left the bay area last summer for this very reason. I had a recruiter at an agency in SF tell me how my resume should look for a "candidate my age" and sent me a resume of an older candidate so that I could follow the format. The bay area is the worst for age discrimination. It's the subtle bias I find disturbing. I know a lot of awesome software engineers who are over 40.
SpikeDad 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Gee I just got divorced and was looking at spousal support - the court said that at my age I was only a minimum wage person. Good for me but shows that the bias is legally recognized.

(That's after 30 years in the IT industry)...

Pica_soO 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You got to visit actor camp, where you learn to pretend to be hyped by the same rediscovered technologies and do "fruitfull" failures once more.

Oh brave old world, that holds such people.

koolba 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If older employees are so awesome compared to young workers, why does this bias/discrimination continue to exist?

Wouldn't a shop that rids itself of the stupidity of age based discrimination rise above its competitors as it's able to seize on a talent pool that would otherwise be ignored?

neves 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet that if were for software dev jobs the reject rate would be a lot higher.
kazinator 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> These were actual guidelines that tobacco company R.J. Reynolds gave to job recruiters.

Right, but it also told its marketers to get children hooked on cigarettes. Who gives a rat's about hiring at tobacco companies? Way to scrape the bottom of the barrel for examples.

seesomesense 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have found that some older employees have decades of valuable experience.Others have one year of experience repeated thirty times....
mark024 14 hours ago 2 replies      
you're a young white male? of course you won't understand, "keep improving yourself" what an elitist thing to say from the IT bubble.. most profession plateau, it doesn't matter if you have 10 or 20 years of experience, even in IT it doesn't.
E6300 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Maintaining your health and the health of those under your care is your own responsibility. You don't get to blame other people when you get yourself infected.
Ghostium 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Again? I'm annoyed of this topic. If you kept improving yourself along the way, I'm confident you will find a good company that value your knowledge.
These Parrots Can Make Other Parrots 'Laugh'a First nationalgeographic.com
34 points by azuajef  15 hours ago   5 comments top 2
mark_l_watson 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Well, just one data point but I showed the video to my parrot and he seemed unimpressed. He does like the old videos of the parrot Alex at MIT using tools to get treats.

Anyway parrots are amazing animals, but unless you have lots of time to play with them, don't get one for a pet. I spend over an hour a day interacting and playing with our parrot.

Steko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Beak and Brains: Genius Birds From Down Under on Netflix is a great feature on Keas if you haven't seen it.
Crossbar.io: Real-Time Distributed RPC in Python (Interview) podcastinit.com
47 points by sametmax  15 hours ago   12 comments top
sametmax 11 hours ago 4 replies      
I've been following crossbar for 2 years now, wrote some doc and tutorials for the team, but only this week have I finally used it in production. Made a real time dashboard for a big transport facility, coupled with vuejs and django.

In short, it's a fantastic piece of software: RPC and Pub/Sub can't be easier and cleaner. The fact it also packs a process manager, a static file server and a WSGI servers makes it amazing.

But we really need a framework around it because right now it's a lot of manual work.

It would probably take a year or so to make something worth it and not "yet-another-microframework", but I've been studying the beast for some time and using it would allow to create a Python framework loaded out of the box with:

- full async web (and non web) microservices

- live settings, including routing

- task queues, with PUB/SUB talking directly to the browser

- task runner, including for building static assets

- advanced cache busting strategies

- hot reloading to help you in dev, or to deploy in prod

- load balancing and fault tolerance strategies

On top of the regular features.

Additional stuff we could add, not related to crossbar:

- configuration framework (there is literally no good general solution for configuration management out there. The less terrible being pyramid's and zope's)

- life cycle and error handling helpers (this is somewhere async framework fails big time) with clean logging, event model and debug tooling.

- wrappers offer a micro-framework like API that you can unfold into a full-scale framework when your needs grow. Aend not just one or the other.

- clear story for DB. Qraphql is something to explore but it's a hard topic, with bad asyncio support for ORM and nosqlite db.

- 2 pass template rendering. Meta template generating templates, then generated templated used on the fly as views. This allow many tricks like pregenerating translated page, URL routing, static assets name based on hash, etc.

- administration web console, not for the database, but for the project itself.

We really need something to compete with new gen frameworks in Python. Right now there is nothing trying to be on par with meteorjs and the likes.

The trap is that Django is good enough right now, so investing the time and resource into dev something THIS new is hard to justify. And I read the code base, it's not easy to groke (async never is anyway, but here you have to manually deal with the event loop) so finding a team would be hard, and doing it alone even harder.

Tunnel TCP Through WebSockets (CLI Tool) github.com
81 points by derhuerst  14 hours ago   63 comments top 12
bitexploder 13 hours ago 2 replies      
First, as always hats off to the authors for publishing code and hacking on stuff for us all to use.

That said...You could just use corkscrew.


Corkscrew + SSH has been helping individuals escape restrictive corporate networks for years.

Pretty sure SSH for remote server on port 443 plus corkscrew offers more than this solution. (Socks proxy, etc. Very flexible. No need for DNS muckery you would need with this solutions example etc.)

BrandiATMuhkuh 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I use since a year https://ondevice.io which does ssh and others via websockets. I run it in all my devices an I'm very happy.

I was told by the developer that he uses it also to maintain hundreds of machines which don't have a public IP.

chrisallick 13 hours ago 5 replies      
Before I ask my question, let me ask a "am i right or wrong."

WebSockets is a small layer on top of HTTP. And HTTP is a protocol on top of TCP. Right or wrong?

So then why would do this? To get TCP running over port 80 to get through a firewall? Why not just do TCP over port 80?

Like this project https://github.com/jpillora/chisel

Edit: above project is also using websockets. okay, i think i understand why you would do this.

Buge 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Instead of stuff inside websockets inside TLS, wouldn't it be more efficient to just do stuff inside TLS?

It's encrypted so firewalls shouldn't be able to tell the difference.

jwilk 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Setting a wss:// URL as homepage was a clever idea, but GitHub truncated it without making it clickable. :-\
wfunction 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Not related to the post, just a general question about WebSockets: can someone explain why long-polling was insufficient?
simonjgreen 11 hours ago 2 replies      
How is this any better than the plethora of HTTPS VPNs which have been around for nearly two decades?
pjmlp 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I see some potential to work around corporate firewalls.
partycoder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
api 6 hours ago 0 replies      
TCP over web sockets over TCP.

Sigh. Of course I develop network virtualization software so I'm just as guilty of it.

toomim 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Woohoo! Someone built TCP

built on WebSockets

built on HTTP

built on TCP

This is like where newborn babies and the elderly have a lot in common.

Lerc 13 hours ago 0 replies      
My first thought when I saw this was "Hey! I made one of these". Turns out it goes the other way. From websocket to TCP. The thing I made was something where you connect to a socket(typically a unix domain socket in /tmp) and it connects to a web page via websockets.
Ask HN: Do other fields of engineering have an equivalent to whiteboarding?
39 points by aphextron  9 hours ago   29 comments top 14
crdb 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Not quite engineering, but related:

Professional orchestras have auditions, where you will perform a piece from the solo repertoire in front of the head of the section you are auditioning for, and a few other key staff (e.g. [1]). Some auditions will include orchestral parts, and you can buy books of famous solos for most instruments.

This repertoire has little in common with the kind of playing you will be paid for, other than as a pure display of technical ability (just like whiteboarding). For example, it is relatively poor as a gauge of the ability to play with others (accompanists follow you, not the other way around), or of your fitting in with the rest of your section.

Even on a technical level, performing a showy piece well in the few minutes of the audition does not mean you have the stamina to sustain this playing through four hours of Wagner.

[1] "The jury consists of 25 members of the orchestra: two of four concertmasters, the principals, the VPO chairman and managing director, five musicians of the relevant orchestra section, two staff council members from the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, and a representative of the Vienna State Operas management." - http://web.archive.org/web/20141203022823/http://slippedisc....

yessql 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I haven't experienced it, but I've only had a couple interviews/jobs as an electrical engineer before switching to software, where they happen almost every time.

I think it's a sign that universities are failing to be trusted as credentialing institutions. You should be able to verify a degree and conclude from that the person learned the material.

I guess this is why the professional engineering exams exist.

mgberlin 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Chemistry has whiteboarding, but instead of writing algorithms or code, you're expected to be able to draw structures, reactions, and synthesis. It's also similar in that this is not necessarily a core part of most chemists everyday job, but something you study for to be able to interview or give presentations regarding your research.
zerr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Another relevant question - does "Sports/competitive <field>" (similar to Competitive Programming, i.e. Olympiad and code/hacker/lity/rank sites) thing exist at all? Such that the tasks are completely different to what one might expect to do on the job.

So e.g. if there is a "Competitive Bridge-Engineering" and the problems are completely different compared to bridge-engineers day job.

To continue this theme - in case you have an opening for bridge engineer - isn't it enough to discuss the previous 5 bridges the candidate has built and maybe also discuss the relevant details the current bridge project entails? Do such bridge-engineers also get irrelevant questions?

otterley 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not "whiteboarding" as such, but during my wife's last job search as a UX/UI designer, she was required to participate in a series of design exercises as a part of the evaluation process. Usually these were in the middle of a series of interviews; and typically those involved a few hours' work mocking up a series of high-level designs -- wireframes, interaction flows, etc. Unlike a whiteboarding exercise, they weren't made in a room with the interviewer.
macromackie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've found the interview process for management consulting roles to be surprisingly similar to tech interviews.

Most interviews are presented as cases[1] where students/applicants have to analyze and propose a strategy to handle example client situations in ~60m.

I've found that the people who have the most success with the interviewing process are the ones who do the most mock and focus on optimizing their skill-set for the interviews, rather than for the actual positions (which is unfortunately similar to tech recruiting and algo/whiteboarding problems).

There is also a ton of online case prep[2] and training materials specifically for the interview process, akin to CareerCup/CTCI/HackerRank/etc.


NikolaeVarius 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I had whiteboarding with aeronatuical engineering. Had to draw out pressure velocity graphs along a turbofan engine and describe exactly what happened every step of the way and why it happened,
pitaj 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. In my recent Electrical Engineering interview, I didn't literally whiteboard but we did go over some simple problems that a person at my point in college should know.
deepnotderp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
EE occasionally has simple circuit stuff on a whiteboard.
olliej 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I kind of wonder whether forestry engineering has it? as mgberlin says chemistry makes sense, process engineering also seems like it would make sense.

But i /feel/ that larger scale (civil, etc) would not? I mean i kind of imagine civil, forestry, etc would be more portfolio driven?

ronilan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I work as a snowboard instructor. Training. Certifications. Interviews. The job itself. It's White and Board all the way down.
mhluongo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Whiteboarding in the design sense, or interview sense?
peterwwillis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Teaching has blackboarding. You pass only if you can write completely unintelligible complicated formulas in the tiny margins of something unrelated.
uieefx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As an EE, never beyond systems layouts, but it was to guide a discussion...not a test
Graph Data Structure Interview Questions techiedelight.com
126 points by coder007  15 hours ago   28 comments top 8
coder007 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
On related topic (not necessarily graph):

DFS Interview Questions -http://www.techiedelight.com/dfs-interview-questions/

BFS Interview Questions -http://www.techiedelight.com/bfs-interview-questions/

throwaway2016a 14 hours ago 4 replies      
While this is really interesting and I'll probably read through all of them just to brush up on my graph knowledge... but "Interview Questions"?

Does anyone really ask you to write this kind of code in interviews? They feel more like Computer Science homework questions.

75dvtwin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
just in July of 2016, an unnamed hedge-fund was hiring architect/programmers.After a brief review of my resume (I have been in sr management and sr architecture roles for 17 of 25 years, but also code at home) -- was asked to take an online coding test.

The coding test was 2 hours through a interview/code website (forgot the name). They monitored your keystrokes and report to the interviewer when open tabs on web-browser outside of their window.(I can dig and recall what that website was if others are interested).

The coding problem was basically masqueraded Union Find graph problem. I knew that after about 2 minutes of 'browsing' (as I can translate a functional ask into an existing pattern that's already solved).


Still went ahead trying to implement this by hand.. and failed. So did not get a job.

gavinh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A candidate's performance on these questions is probably not indicative of his or her performance at your iPhone fart app company.
Entalpi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with these "interview questions" is that knowing a algorithms inside out is not how you solve problems it is how yiu solve A SPECIFIC problem. The problemsolving skill comes from the reductions one can make and thus apply different algorithms in order to solve a new problem.
drfuchs 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Um, the graph doesn't match the given list of vertices and edges. At all. In the very first paragraph.

Added later: they fixed it. Quietly.

mooneater 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Much more applicable than knowing how to implement these techniques, would be knowledge of "how to solve given realworld problems with these concepts". It is likely a developer would have access to optimized libraries implementing these, and would need to know when they apply.
asitdhal 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The only questions an interviewer can ask is how to build a graph and do graph operation(to test data structure skill). Graph Theory is too specific and many programmers never use any graph algorithms in their life.

You can always ask these questions to reject a candidate because you don't like his body odor.

APFS does not normalize Unicode filenames mjtsai.com
300 points by okket  1 day ago   134 comments top 20
userbinator 1 day ago 13 replies      
I agree that this is a good change. Unicode, normalisation, character encodings, etc. should really be handled at the presentation layer, and everything below that just treats filenames as sequences of bytes, perhaps with one or two exceptions like '/' and \0.

It is interesting to consider a theoretical system in which paths are represented in 0-terminated count-length format (e.g. "foo/bar/baz/myfile.txt" would be "\003foo\003bar\003baz\012myfile.txt\000"), truly allowing any byte in a filesystem node's name, although that might be going a little bit too far.

Things are much easier for the file system if it can just treat names as bags of bytes.

If you're really talking about bags (unordered sets), that would certainly make for an interesting filesystem since filename.txt, filemane.txt, and maletent.fix would all be the same...

QuercusMax 1 day ago 3 replies      
This seems especially bad because US-based developers who don't test with unicode filenames might not come across this issue, leaving all their non-English-speaking customers broken. (Not that this excuses such developers in any way.)

It also means that, yet again, every app will need to be updated for a new version of iOS. Makes me wonder how many apps will be left behind if not updated? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

djrogers 1 day ago 3 replies      
iOS 10.3 with APFS has been in public and developer beta for several months - it's up to beta 7 right now in fact. If this were as vast a problem as Micheal Tsai presents in this post, wouldn't we (the devs and beta testers) be running in to this a lot?

Given how loudly the tech press proclaims any perceived mis-step by Apple, I'd have to believe we'd have been reading tons of 'Apple is Doooooooomed' articles about this by now. Given that this hasn't happened, and I haven't seen similar problem reports on dev forums and other hangouts, I'd lean towards there being some miscommunication or misunderstanding here.

cesarb 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This used to be a pain point with git, when some developers were using MacOS and the repository had file names with accents; to git, it looked like the files had been renamed. Some time later, git added the "core.precomposeunicode" option to work around this problem.
nailer 1 day ago 1 reply      
jacobolus 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a big change. I guess they now decided that compatibility with external systems is a more important goal than end-user-friendliness.

Its a reasonable decision to come to (especially for iOS where end-users dont ever really interact with the filesystem directly), but it will cause quite a bit of churn in the short term.

vbezhenar 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure if normalization is good idea (generally because Unicode is complex beast and moving that complexity inside a kernel should be carefully weighted), but I'm sure that it doesn't solve any real problem. Characters "A" and "" looks identical, unless you're missing Cyrillic font, but they won't be normalized, because they are completely different characters. There are many more other visually identical strings. So while normalization might solve some simple problems, it's not a complete solution, so filesystem might just treat names as byte arrays and let user solve his problems.
Sami_Lehtinen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unicode isn't required to mess up things. Here's what baffled me for a while with NTFS. I'm pretty sure these issues are well known.


kalleboo 1 day ago 2 replies      
Linus Thorvalds will be happy to hear that http://www.cio.com/article/2868393/linus-torvalds-apples-hfs...
lathiat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems to me that Apple would be smart to hook all of the file functions and survey and/or alert on this situation somehow.

I only just learnt about this unicode normalisation recently looking at ZFS which has options for it I had never seen until reading the Ubuntu Root FS on ZFS guides which talk about setting it.

makecheck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Technically the presentation-layer problem existed already with things like legacy path separators, making the Finder tell lies in the presence of colons or slashes. I suspect that normalization differences will be a little like telling two files apart when one has a trailing space, or hidden file extensions; there will have to be some distinction but maybe no easy answer.
al2o3cr 22 hours ago 1 reply      

 More generally, once APFS is deployed users can legitimately end up with multiple files in the same folder whose names only differ in normalization.
The initial message that starts this off seems to imply the opposite - instead, application developers should be normalizing the name before handing it to the filesystem. In that case, an application which allowed non-normalized naming would arguably have a bug.

kalleboo 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't Mac apps already have to deal with network and FAT32 drives? Or does macOS already normalize those?
killercup 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure if APFS has such a thing, but I think I heard about it a while back:

Could they introduce a directory-level option to automatically normalize all files below that node? (Same with case-sensitivity, which I think Adobe software still has problems with.)

dom0 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It doesn't really matter what they do, since filesystem naming is FUBAR and has been FUBAR pretty much since UNIXv1, and possibly even earlier than that outside the UNIX family.
therealmarv 1 day ago 4 replies      
Is APFS still using Apple's style UTF-8 for e.g. Umlauts? I had a lot of trouble with rsync and also Samba later (filenames and folders hidden) when I discovered that Umlauts on HFS are different than Umlauts on e.g. Ext4.
m-j-fox 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I want to make the gzipped contents of my file it's name and leave the actual contents blank or whatever metadata. Thanks apfs!
rick_cheese 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The way iOS abstracts the filesystem away from user-view makes this less of an issue than it otherwise would be but still a good find by the author, as an aside surely I'm not the only one who thought of [1] when I read "APFS now treats all files as a bag of bytes on iOS" ;)

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT7xc_XqYO8

Prego 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've been very excited about ReFS -- a real "modern" Filesystem that leaves legacy issues behind. We've been using it for large storage systems, and am hoping it will become a viable solution for everything soon. It solves most of these issues.
alphabettsy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't this be seen as an issue in betas? I haven't seen anything indicating this is widespread so far? Why would that be, just not wide enough deployment yet?
       cached 26 March 2017 10:02:02 GMT