hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    21 Apr 2017 News
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2
Introducing Token tokenbrowser.com
304 points by samscully  7 hours ago   88 comments top 20
1
pimlottc 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm not sure "Browser" is a good term for this; I get that they are trying to convey that it's just a client for the existing independent Etherium network, but to 99% of people, "browser" == "web browser". It's just going to cause confusion, especially in non-technical users (which seems to be a user base they are trying to go for here).

Even as a developer, when I saw "tokenbrowser.com", I was expecting to see a web browser. Visually, it looks more like a chat client (makes sense since they are taking inspiration from WeChat).

2
AroundTheBlock_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Because it's not immediately clear, this is a project developed by Coinbase, but under its own brand. The demo, which is available on the Apple Store and Google Play store uses TestNet Ether for now.
3
STRML 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like the idea, but this is very confusing to end-consumers:

- Is this just a messaging app? A payments app? A web browser?

- It's all of those things, except not a web browser, it's an "app browser" (why not app store, especially considering the whole point of these is that they are paid?)

- The starting experience is anything but compelling: http://i.imgur.com/U69Gskl.png

- Is this developed by Coinbase? If so, why is there no mention, and the app is developed by "Bluxome Labs"?

4
cordite 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Aside from the app, and what it can facilitate, I find chat UIs to be a zone for invention. Here Token partially formalized the UI [1] for menus and the like. As it is with Telegram for example, you provide a "keyboard" of a grid of buttons to press, similar to SOFA each button has a value. However Telegram does not have menus, so general purpose bots need a lot of back and forth to refine what the user's intention is.With SOFA, it seems to be one payload with nested options that do not need to be committed in order to explore what options there are, reducing concerns for connectivity requirements just to find out what they can do.

[1]: https://www.sofaprotocol.org

5
Perignon 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'll bite. Why do I need this?
6
camjohnson26 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What can you actually do with this, other than chat and send payments? There's only 2 apps in the recommended section and they're both basic.
7
zimzim 3 hours ago 3 replies      
living in Zimbabwe now, there a severe shortage of cash, Im hoping a project like this one will catch one day.good luck
8
joeblau 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I just heard an interesting talk about this on the Bitcoin Podcast[1] a few days ago. They have some inserting ideas around being able to democratize startup stage investing.

[1] - http://thebitcoinpodcast.com/episode-120/

9
argentinaIT 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this supposed to be a UI for end users of smart contracts? Are smart contracts widely deployed in production yet? Or just b2bexperiments experiments ?
10
fabiosussetto 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Are they using some implementation of the Ethereum light client protocol? Last time I checked it wasn't available yet: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Light-client-protocol

If they are using the standard protocol then how do they connect to the Ethereum network? Do they use their servers as proxy to the network? Because if it's so, that would defeat the whole point to me.

11
alkonaut 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This would be a huge thing in places where there isn't a good free bank account-to-bank account money transfer app. which I assume is why facebook is also eyeing such things.
12
wslh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the token economy will growth and growth. We can expect good and really bad news because anyone can participate.

My company is receiving many inquiries oriented to managing funds and trading. Also, In the context of YC Startup School we are building an API for multiple cryptocurrencies, tokens, and smart contracts. We are even disassembling smart contracts to gather more metrics about the blockchain usage. If you are interested on using it instead of building your own infrastructure please contact me via my company page.

13
627467 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Token's client is a lot faster (and much less buggy) than status.im.
14
jerf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is reputation a single number associated with an identity, or is there a network element to it?
15
_pdp_ 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Maybe I am not getting it but ethereum is way to complex to make it successful - and because it is decentralised it looks deeply fragmented. As I said, I am probably not getting it.
16
bflesch 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I applaud the effort the coinbase team has put into this project. Yet I'm sceptical if this will be the breakthrough for cryptocurrencies.
17
ksahin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is huge ! So many new Ethereum project out there : Token, Status.im, Augur, Golem, Aragon ... It's amazing to see such an ecosystem growing so fast.
18
valarauca1 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Yo can I get a copy of the Apps source code?

Open Whisper Systems source is GPLv3.

19
aaron-lebo 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I would find your pitch much more interesting if you didn't go from "look at this very cool technology" to "look how we're changing the world for the better for these poor people in Africa".

Be realistic. How many Sub-Saharan Africans are using Token or working on it right now? You're first-world devs working on first-world tech and wrapping it up in humanitarian terms because it makes you more attractive.

It's kind of exploitative. It's all about money at the end of the day, isn't it?

I apologize for the rant. Just had a semester of classes on faith and development and law and development and this stuff is often very complex and a type of unintentional colonialism often runs through it.

"Hey, check out these people! Check out how much they need our help! Wouldn't things be so much better if we did X for them?"

In many cases, yes, but in a lot of ways it is impossible for people who aren't on the ground to properly understand culture, context, and needs. Does the team have anyone on the ground? Is this informed by research on the topic? From a less critical perspective, a portion of the site dedicated to such research (and thus informing the goals) would be really cool and useful.

20
bhouston 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Who sends tips like that? Hopefully there are better use cases.
3
Intel Shuts Down Lustre File System Business nextplatform.com
20 points by arcanus  1 hour ago   2 comments top
1
pinewurst 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's been amusing to see all the apologia and simple ass-covering following this.

Lustre is a monstrosity - badly designed, poorly implemented, very hard to configure and keep running or even get adequate performance under other than a single limited use case.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

4
Metaprogramming is less fun in D epi.github.io
32 points by ingve  2 hours ago   14 comments top 5
1
echelon 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Does D have much of a use case left?

Java and C# are statically typed, garbage collected languages with a huge adoption and massive amounts of tooling.

D's attempt to become an alternative to C and C++ was eclipsed by Rust, which doesn't have the GC overhead and has a ton of other really compelling features.

There are a bunch of other new and exciting languages too: Go, Nim, ...

Why would anyone choose D today? (Serious question.)

2
loeg 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's a good article. The title is slightly bait-ey in that 'less fun' is a good thing in this context. C++ metaprogramming, at least for this example, requires a bunch of boilerplate. The D equivalent is built with standard language features and produces understandable error messages when mistakes are made.

It's a nice little anecdote about why you might want to use D in place of C++.

3
amelius 11 minutes ago 1 reply      
Since the article uses an event system as an example, I'm wondering: how well do closures work in D? (Closures are very convenient when dealing with events).
4
skdotdan 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Many threads on D on HN lately. Is it a trend?
5
systems 41 minutes ago 2 replies      
i dont think going after c++ will help d's adoption it didn't work in the past

i dont know what have changed to make it work in the future

i dont remember Go or Rust ever focusing on comparing themselves to another language as much as d compare itself to c++

d should create its own path same way any other more popular language did

5
Automatic compilation of partially available C source code dcc.ufmg.br
78 points by vivagn  4 hours ago   9 comments top 5
1
the8472 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Aiui Eclipse JDT (and probably other IDEs too) do something similar. It takes code that currently is not valid and tries to massage the AST until it becomes valid so that it can perform type-inference and use the type information to offer valid autocomplete suggestions even at the currently invalid location.
2
kensai 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
Can somebody in simple but technical terms explain how this works?(I tried to no avail)
3
bflesch 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This should've been around in my early days learning C and trying to get my project to compile :)
4
tobyhinloopen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Neat.
5
Kenji 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The header code generated contains

typedef int bool;

I am not sure if I want that in my header.

6
Robots.txt meant for search engines dont work well for web archives archive.org
237 points by r721  10 hours ago   106 comments top 16
1
EvanAnderson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The policy the Internet Archive applies re: "robots.txt" comes from an archive policy created at U.C. Berkeley in the early 2000's (The Oakland Archive Policy - http://www2.sims.berkeley.edu/research/conferences/aps/remov...).

Jason Scott (an employee of the Internet Archive) mentioned that the Archive doesn't ever delete anything. He stated that items may be removed from public access because of changes to "robots.txt" but they're not actually deleted. (That's a little comforting, at least.)

2
metafunctor 8 hours ago 5 replies      
It appears that IA applies (or did apply) a new version of robots.txt to pages already in their index, even if they were archived years ago. That's silly, and stopping doing that would probably solve much of this problem.
3
libeclipse 9 hours ago 6 replies      
On the linked page, I see comments about ignoring the webmasters' wishes et al.

All I can say is f*ck that. It's a free and open internet. If you put content up on a public site, anyone has the right to go and look at it. Stop complaining when someone saves it.

And sure some people complain that scrapers slow down their site and that's why they use robots.txt, but really? Really? It's 2017 and your site is affected by that. I think you have bigger things to worry about.

4
TeMPOraL 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Archive.org needs to be able to apply to itself. We could then use archive.org to view how archive.org in the past viewed some interesting site, thus avoiding the whole retroactive robots.txt fail.

;).

5
mushiake 9 hours ago 2 replies      
fastastic news.

Archive Team's take on this[0]

[0]http://www.archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Robots.txt

6
laumars 9 hours ago 4 replies      
To be honest I see robots.txt as a failed experiment since it relies on trust rather than security or thoughtful design.
7
yeukhon 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember writing a dumb parser for robots.txt. I have to agree, robots.txt is simplistic but so non-standard. I wonder why search engines can't just say NO to this. Does search engines today still honor robots.txt?

Here's my shameless plug: https://github.com/yeukhon/robots-txt-scanner

I still remember writing most of this on Caltrain one morning heading to SF visiting someone I dearly loved.....

8
afandian 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not so sure that even Google respects it. I did some digging about the semantics about robots.txt whilst writing a bot myself, and it seems that Google doesn't follow links that are excluded, but it will visit those pages. Maybe that counts as "paying attention", but I don't think they "respect" it.
9
dbg31415 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think the biggest argument for honoring robots.txt is that sites, especially old sites, can have a lot of really highly resource intensive pages. I don't want someone crawling a page that has 800+ DB calls... for example. Yes, I should optimize the page, or whatever... but really it may be useful for that admin, or 1 out of 10,000 users, who uses the page. It's not ideal to have someone crawl all those pages at once.

I think they should honor robots.txt, and the meta tag version on specific pages -- given the site publisher went out of their way to give instructions to crawlers it seems reasonable to honor those requests.

10
sengork 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Found this[1] via the Wikipedia's Talk page for the robots.txt article. It showcases that early on robots.txt was designated to help maintain bandwidth performance of web servers. Back then it would have been due to bandwidth contention, today it may be bandwidth cost to some operators which robots.txt help mitigate.

[1] https://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=377285&cid=21554125

11
6d6b73 4 hours ago 1 reply      
There should be a way to direct archiving bots to a file that has the newest, compressed version of the website for them to download. Wouldn't that be easier for everyone?
12
Aissen 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Finally. A bit late, since a lot of the archive has been removed because of new owner's aggressive (or malicious) new robots.txt
13
amelius 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think we should write down a legal license in our robots.txt file, as a retribution for all those lengthy EULAs these big companies make us read :)
14
madshiva 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah just ignore robots.txt because there's others solution.

If the site don't want to be scanned they can adopt a lot of counter measure and robots.txt will not save it from abuse.

He remind me the old days when my website wasn't working from US because I just fake that the site was down because there's no reason that somebody goes to my site from US (I know it's kind stupid, but when all your content is in french and you are a kid... :) )

15
rubatuga 7 hours ago 3 replies      
One thing that should be considered is the right for an individual to be forgotten.
16
droithomme 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I have some sites where I specifically block archiving from some sections for good reason. (Even if I didn't have a good reason though it would still be my choice.)

I have a very big problem with them disregarding robots directives. Sure some crawlers ignore them: Hostile net actors up to no good. This decision means they are a hostile net actor. I'll have to take extreme measures such as determining all the ip address ranges they use and totally blocking access. This inconveniences me, which means they are now my enemy.

edit- For those interested: Deny from 207.241.224.0/22

7
The Evolution of Container Usage at Netflix netflix.com
129 points by kiyanwang  9 hours ago   74 comments top 10
1
RcouF1uZ4gsC 1 hour ago 8 replies      
Netflix seems so over engineered to me. They basically have a catalog of a few thousand movies that are negotiated months in advance of actual use. Basically, they just need to encode them and put them on a box and ship them to edge caches. Caching immutable data scales incredibly well.I would also bet that 99.99% of the movies people actually watch on Netflix, would fit on a single box.

In regard to the analytics, they have 100 million subscribers. Let's say each subscriber watches an average of 100 episodes/movies a day. For each watch you record subscriber ID, movie ID, start time, stop time and get 32 bytes * 100 * 100,000,000 = 320 gigabytes of data per day total. I am pretty sure that you could get a commercial database and and business intelligence package that could support the type of analytics you need (mainly clustering analysis) at that scale. A national grocery chain, probably has a similar amount of data ingestion and a similar analytics need. In addition, I have subscribed to multiple Netflix type services and I have never weighed the quality of suggestions very high, giving much more weight to the functionality of the client, lack of ads, and large catalog of good movies.

As evidence that this is a solved engineering problem, just look at the number of similar movie services: Amazon, Google play, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Pureflix, Crackle, etc.

Google, Facebook, Baidu, Amazon, the self driving car companies are doing cutting edge stuff in terms of scalability and analysis, but not Netflix. The complexity of their operations, seems mainly to be one of their own doing and not intrinsic to the service they provide.

So I look at stuff like the article here and see a bunch of very smart engineers who are bored with the (solved) core problem and spend their time making cool stuff which is actually a pretty good thing.

2
hueving 6 hours ago 2 replies      
>The theme that underlies all these improvements is developer innovation velocity

I can't wait until this becomes buzzword de jour and startups start using it in their product descriptions. Then someone needs to start talking about products to "enable developer innovation acceleration" to outpace these crufty companies stuck at 25 kph.

3
nailer 5 hours ago 5 replies      
They're killing performance (one of the main reasons to use containers) and adding a massive extra layer of management if they're running containers on EC2.

I suspect Netflix are too wedded to AWS (which is weird as Amazon is their biggest threat) but Triton or Red Shift (both of which actually isolate containers using SmartOS and SELinux respectively) make way more sense for other people who want to use the blazing fast IO speed of containers on bare metal.

4
gbrown_ 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is anyone else having issues accessing this?

 $ curl http://techblog.netflix.com/2017/04/the-evolution-of-container-usage-at.html <!DOCTYPE html> <html><head> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> <title>Access Denied</title> <style type="text/css">body {margin:0;font-family:verdana,sans-serif;} h1 {margin:0;padding:12px 25px;background-color:#343434;color:#ddd} p {margin:12px 25px;} strong {color:#E0042D;}</style> </head> <body> <h1>Access Denied</h1> <p> <strong>You are attempting to access a forbidden site.</strong><br/><br/> Consult your system administrator for details. </p> </body>

5
dominotw 2 hours ago 2 replies      
> We implemented multi-tenant isolation (CPU, memory, disk, networking and security) using a combination of Linux, Docker and our own isolation technology.

Curious what their 'own isolation technology' does that docker doesn't.

Also, what does Fenzo do that marathon doesn't . Looks like Fenzo sits on top of marathon and sends it some sort of recommendations for scheduling. I need to find a good example of what this is actually doing.

6
yeukhon 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Netflix Engineering team amazes me a lot. They literally took all the available apis, and build their own platform despite some of the features are already in the AWS offerings. I suppose they did it mainly because the native service isn't flexible and robust enough for their use cases.

BTW, their opening positions are always prefixed with "senior" title but I guess that makes sense; Netflix builds pretty much everything from scratch under time constraint.

7
sandGorgon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> Today, we are in the process of rebuilding how we deploy device-specific server-side logic to our API tier leveraging single core optimized NodeJS servers

Is this the core Netflix API ? have they moved from java - previously, their entire open source contributions were around java (https://netflix.github.io/). Hystrix repo was updated barely a day ago.

For me, this is more interesting than the VM part.

8
brianwawok 3 hours ago 1 reply      
How does this compare to k8s? Seems like it has everything plus a layer of scheduling and batch jobs on top?
9
wahnfrieden 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how this compares with the recently launched AWS Batch.
10
bertlequant 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I would've imagined Netflix had their own hardware, both compute and storage.
8
'Fight Inequality' Is a Poor Rallying Cry bloomberg.com
33 points by aaronchall  52 minutes ago   29 comments top 8
1
eric_b 23 minutes ago 5 replies      
Midway down the author mentions a study that showed most Americans object to "unfairness" rather than "inequality". I've found this to be the case for me personally. If someone tries hard, works diligently, and makes smart decisions, but are still living in poverty, I want to help them. No hardworking, disciplined, motivated person should live in poverty, or have trouble making ends meet, in my opinion.

Unfortunately the lower income people I know do not fall in to this camp. I have a fair number of friends and relatives who make very little money and struggle to keep their heads above water. They make routinely bad decisions or fail to do the barest minimum to be proactive about things. They have watched every show on netflix, or played every video game possible (at $60/pop). They spend money on frivolous things and fail to plan in any way for the future. Their impulse control leaves much to be desired.

But the weird thing is - they mostly realize this. They don't get too fired up about inequality. Whether it's consciously or subconsciously, they seem to realize they are not really giving it their all, and that other people work harder and are more disciplined. They appear to prefer their current situation to the stresses of "succeeding" at life.

Granted, this is all anecdotal, so take with healthy dose of salt.

2
ikeyany 25 minutes ago 1 reply      
Obama used a few phrases that not only sounded pleasing, but accurately addressed what's happening to Americans:

"Everyone, including the rich, need to pay their share."

"Americans from all backgrounds should have a fair shot at a quality education, not just those who happen to grow up in nice neighborhoods."

He tapped into equality of opportunity, while acknowledging that some will be more successful than others. That should be the rallying cry, not the idea of ending inequality outright.

3
jeffdavis 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Inequality" is a bad rallying cry because no two people are equal, and few would like to be equal to someone else. So what people mean by "inequality" is always something else, and varies in meaning from person to person. Even if you choose something concrete, like "equality of income", few really mean that an 18 year old should have the same income as a 45 year old.

Ordinarily a meaningless word is great for a rallying cry, but things like "equal" and "fair" are just too meaningless.

4
Avshalom 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is why 'Eat The Rich' is my rallying cry.
5
crystalmeph 26 minutes ago 3 replies      
If you want people to fight inequality with you, you have to first prove to them it's actually a problem.

It's a bit of a leap to convince somebody that just because Bill Gates is much richer than the typical person, somebody more deserving must have gone without for him to get so rich.

6
cmdrfred 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd take the calls to "fight inequality" more seriously if they didn't have such a nationalist tone. 71% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day, if inequality was ended on a global scale the majority of the people out there protesting would see a dramatic drop in income. I have a feeling that isn't what they are talking about.
7
chrismealy 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
The author has been on the payroll of the Koch brothers for most of his career.
8
mrcactu5 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
a lot of these protests such as "Occupy Wall Street" or "Black Lives Matter" have the right idea, but they are not sharp enough to be meaningful. Know your audience.
9
Caddy 0.10 Released caddyserver.com
107 points by anc84  4 hours ago   63 comments top 13
1
sergiotapia 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Caddy is a web server written entirely in Go.

Features:

- Easy configuration with Caddyfile

- Automatic HTTPS via Let's Encrypt; Caddy obtains and manages all cryptographic assets for you

- HTTP/2 enabled by default (powered by Go standard library)

- Virtual hosting for hundreds of sites per server instance, including TLS SNI

- Experimental QUIC support for those that like speedTLS session ticket key rotation for more secure connections

- Brilliant extensibility so Caddy can be customized for your needs

- Runs anywhere with no external dependencies (not even libc)

2
overcast 2 hours ago 2 replies      
So far I'm loving Caddy. Super simple to configure, and the auto management of SSL certificates is magical. However, for all of the simplicity, they are still pretty resistant to properly packaging it up in the repositories. By far the longest part of getting it running, is the stupid manual configuration of launch daemons, working directories, and permissions. For software that prides itself on dead simple management, the basics of getting it into a package manager should not even be a discussion.

With that said, I 100% moved all of my sites from Nginx to Caddy after the config file setup is around three lines per site.

3
lol768 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The MitM detection is interesting. How long until these appliances start altering the HTTP request's User-Agent header to avoid detection (or adding logic such that the handshaking process mimics that of the browser), though?

To me, HPKP with preloading seems like a more reliable approach (and browsers shouldn't allow this to be overridden [1]).

[1] If this breaks corporate MitM attacks, great. This practice always struck me as incredibly invasive and I'd personally be concerned if an employer was doing this. I think some traffic data should be able to be logged and timestamped in case of abuse (e.g. SNI info, TCP connections, DNS lookups) but I don't see a need to intercept application data - and honestly, it seems like the vast majority of these appliances hinder security.

4
mike-cardwell 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Surprised there isn't more talk about the MITM detection here. Anyone got a TLDR of how this is supposed to work? I'm going to read the full doc when I get home, but I'd be interested in hearing peoples opinions on how accurate it is likely to be.
5
bpierre 1 hour ago 3 replies      
How does it compare with https://traefik.io/ (reverse proxy, written in Go, automatic HTTPS / letsencrypt) ?
6
snowpalmer 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Any benefit in using this inside a docker container instead of nginx? No need for SSL or many of the other features I'm seeing listed here since it's all behind an Amazon ELB.
7
cdnsteve 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Does Caddy have a pluggable extension set where you can write your own middleware, in Go?
8
nzjrs 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Anyone with experience using this as a dynamic reverse proxy - I need to proxy certain requests to private container (ports) where the port isn't known until the container is booted, and containers come up and down as users require them.
9
jbergstroem 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I would just like to bring up how much I admire the way they want to profit off Caddy[1][2]. Sponsorships and focused development; followed by "remember, caddy is open source". My only feedback would be that they introduce a "$50/mo; my bank is not big enough" for people that wants to endorse their model/software.

Look at nginx, where new functionality is hidden behind a paywall. I don't want to deny them [nginx devs and sales people] their well-deserved money, but it pushes me away.

[1]: https://caddyserver.com/blog/options-for-businesses

[2]: https://caddyserver.com/pricing

10
haarts 2 hours ago 2 replies      
They mention that 'Default Timeouts' have been disabled. Urging users to 'Act according to your threat model!'.

I'm not sure I understand. How is not having these timeouts a security thread? Someone could potentially open up enough HTTP connections to starve others from having the opportunity to do so?

11
papey 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome product, I'm using it at work and it's incredibly fast. Configuration is easy, documentation is clear. The systemd unit provided in the repo is insane, all the latest security and isolation stuff are in it, a great inpiration for writing good systemd units.
12
blowski 3 hours ago 6 replies      
When would I use Caddy, rather than using nginx and configuring Let's Encrypt for myself? Honest question.
13
jhack 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the first I've heard of Caddy and I'm really impressed by the feature set. Looks like a breath of fresh air, can't wait to try it.
10
Mice treated with a protein from umbilical cord plasma showed improved memory nature.com
122 points by car  10 hours ago   46 comments top 18
1
ericjang 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm reminded of this famous historical figure who inspired numerous vampire stories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_B%C3%A1thory
2
aleem 4 hours ago 3 replies      
It's apparently a thing now.

Peter Thiel has purportedly invested millions in anti-aging. A company called Ambriosa in particular matches older people with younger people for blood routine blood transfusions.

While this study may or may not work with humans, the Ambriosa project does seem to have legs.

3
leecarraher 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I generally trust Nature, but unfortunately i can only access what appears to be more of an abstract, but i hope it addresses the concerns of http://news.berkeley.edu/2016/11/22/young-blood-does-not-rev... and similar research suggesting these claims could be anomalies.
4
ronilan 8 hours ago 3 replies      
So, it's like a real life "Flowers for Algernon". Let's hope for a better ending.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowers_for_Algernon

5
amykhar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why does this totally make of me think of the book (and movie) The Glow?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286653/

6
nopinsight 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Can young animal blood also make old humans smarter (sheep, goats, pigs, ...)?

If so, and without adverse effects [1], an opportunity is discovered. Human cells might be better but a protein from animals might be cheaper and less ethically challenged, thus more accessible to the masses.

[1] An expert please have a say whether that is plausible or not.

7
LinuxBender 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Where can I get some disease-free youngling blood?
9
leojg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
And so the mice vampires rise and conquer the world!
10
nvus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Instead of ape apocalypse, rat apocalypse :))
11
nithinm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So vampires have more IQ than humans? I should reconsider becoming a vampire hunter.
12
wiradikusuma 9 hours ago 3 replies      
should we start worrying people getting pregnant just to be harvested (voluntarily or not, for themselves or for sale)?
13
tzakrajs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Great news for Peter Thiel!
14
filomeno 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, this is really not news. I knew about this for the first time in a documentary called "Monkey Shines", from 1988 ;-)
15
car 8 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: found that human umbilical cord plasma (= blood minus cells) improves old mice brain function (plasticity, memory), then teased out which protein in the cord plasma seems to have this effect (TIMP2) and showed that it is actively transported across blood-brain barrier (by marking it radioactively).

Since this worked across species barriers, it can be speculated that a similar effect would be seen when administering TIMP2 in humans. It'll be exciting to see what comes of clinical studies, which are under way.

[EDIT]:tone down expectations

16
agumonkey 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The vampire myth is getting some fresh blood too.
17
s_kilk 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't let Thiel hear about this.
18
smokinhotdaisy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sound to me they finally found the fountain of youth. hehhe
11
Scalable, Lie-Detecting Timeserving with Roughtime int08h.com
15 points by int08h  4 hours ago   6 comments top
1
jcvhaarst 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Aren't all the goals already met by e.g. http://phk.freebsd.dk/time/20151212.html ?
12
Tradable and scarce digital assets on the blockchain medium.com
14 points by windsok  40 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
1
dfabulich 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
> They cannot be faked

The directory of the owners (the Rarepepe "scientists") can autocratically approve whatever they want, including clones of anything valuable. This system can function only as long as it remains an unimportant joke.

2
RubyPinch 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
> (At Project ORB, we are working to build a platform for blockchain games which incorporate Counterparty tokens. In addition to rarepepe, [..]"

So I guess they are trying to get more people to focus on this silly thing in hopes that they'll get more users for their app? Adverts are weird

14
Louisianas Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Disappearing Coastline npr.org
117 points by happy-go-lucky  4 hours ago   100 comments top 14
1
adolph 3 hours ago 6 replies      
The first two comments seem to associate anthropogenic climate change with the changes in Louisiana's coastline. A more likely culprit is hydrologic mismanagement. The coastline was formed by waterways that periodically changed channels and dumped sediment in different areas. In relatively recent times cities on the existing waterways became politically influential enough for the federal government to build a series of controls to prevent waterway changes that would otherwise distribute silt more evenly along the coastline.

Given the long-running chronic nature of the coastline change, I'm surprised this is being raised as an "emergency." Given that the principal cities of government and commerce in Louisiana would likely be extremely negatively affected by an honest root cause analysis (without the Mississippian waters, they won't work so well as ports), I'd bet the powers that be will play up climate change and ask for lots of money to be pointlessly dumped in the gulf.

2
zentiggr 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have looked at this situation for more than 12 seconds and although I see that it is a horrendously complicated mess, given all the competing interests and opinions and careers involved, it really does come down to "trying to harness the river was a fool's game, and you're going to have to back off and rethink this completely. Nature is taking the pieces away."
3
tda 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
You can nicely see where land turned to see and vice versa with the aqua-monitor: http://aqua-monitor.appspot.com/

A lot of the Louisiana marshes have disappeared

4
ryanmarsh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
At issue is deteriorating coastline due to projects by the army corps of engineers. Don't confuse this with global climate change (although I'm sure it doesn't help).
5
AnOscelot 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's an extensive article on the subject of the Louisiana coast, and how the usually seen map silhouette of the state needs to be fixed.

https://medium.com/matter/louisiana-loses-its-boot-b55b3bd52...

6
edibleEnergy 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Related ProPublica data visualization: http://projects.propublica.org/louisiana/
7
vinchuco 2 hours ago 0 replies      
8
intrasight 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article doesn't specify who, if anyone, is adversely affected by the disappearing coastline.
9
delinka 3 hours ago 3 replies      
"The state has a plan to implement more than 100 restoration and protection projects like rebuilding marshes and barrier islands..."

Sounds like a terrible plan to me. Treating symptoms instead of the disease won't solve the problem. Just because we humans are "determined" doesn't mean fighting nature like this will be successful. I'm sure the locals will feel better about their politicians for a few years and probably just long enough to 'forget' until the next time this exact problem needs to be solved.

The true options in this case are: 1) prevent rising sea levels, 2) move away from the coast. Wasting money "rebuilding" barrier islands is just folly.

10
mythrwy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So Louisiana's governor requests a bunch of money from Washington.

I often cynically wonder if the true aim of some of these "emergencies" is boosting the local economy and adding jobs which presumably allows the governor to claim economic growth.

11
arbuge 3 hours ago 2 replies      
12
tajen 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Not to diminish the terrible situation of the victims, but looking at maps and pictures [1], it seems to me like a very unstable land: It dried over time, diving under the average sea level, and it's been kept free of water only by humans' constant work. Didn't we do a mistake here by considering it habitable in the first place? Imagining humans as a single entity, should we have settled there, climate change or not?

[1] http://www.nola.com/katrina/index.ssf/2015/09/hurricane_katr...

13
erentz 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I have real issues with states like this where it's leaders deny climate change and prevent action on it, yet cry when issues like this occur. Similar when the BP oil spill occurred and they cried about the affect on their coast and fishing industries. They seemingly are fine with destroying their environment so long as it occurs over 50 years rather than 5 months.
14
spodek 4 hours ago 7 replies      
I've been asking people to name the most effective leaders in the area of global warming.

When I say my answer, they look surprised, but then agree: the Koch Brothers and Donald Trump. They are leading people not to change their behavior and this is the result. No one is leading in the direction of reducing consumption with nearly the effectiveness as them. Instead of leading ourselves, the overwhelming majority of Americans are waiting for others to change first.

In the meantime, most Americans, which I suspect includes most people reading these words, contribute more to global warming than nearly every human who has ever lived -- needlessly so, and not making them any happier.

15
Calculus Made Easy (1914) [pdf] djm.cc
763 points by Pamar  16 hours ago   140 comments top 42
1
theCricketer 12 hours ago 6 replies      
MIT recorded a set of Calculus video courses back in 1970s that they have since made publicly available. It is taught by a lecturer named Herbert Gross. His style of lecturing is clear, he states why things are defined the way they are and derives everything from first principles. There is an unusual mix of rigor and focus on building understanding - where everything comes from. It also taught me that math is about reasoning logically and rigorously and we shouldn't always rely on intuition (at least while doing math). Deriving almost all the basic calculus results that were drilled into me from the basic concept of a limit, deltas and epsilons was really refreshing.

Compared to more recent OCW calculus videos, I found this to be better in terms of respecting the learner's intellect, presenting the whole proof rigorously and teaching the student to think a certain way.

Calculus Revisited: Single Variable Calculus | MIT OpenCourseWare - https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-006-calculus-revisited-...

Complex Variables, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra - https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-008-calculus-revisited-...

Calculus Revisited: Multivariable Calculus | MIT OpenCourseWare - https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-007-calculus-revisited-...

2
tzs 15 hours ago 6 replies      
That PDF is just a bunch of scanned images of the book. It's large and cumbersome in many readers.

There is a much better PDF at Project Gutenberg [1].

The Gutenberg PDF is only 1.9 MB, compared to 12 MB for the scanned image PDF.

The Gutenberg page for this book [2] also has a link to the LaTeX source for the PDF.

[1] http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33283/33283-pdf.pdf

[2] http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33283

3
djhworld 3 hours ago 8 replies      
I'm embarassed somewhat to say this, but over the past few weeks I've been taking the courses on Khan Academy on mathematics. I'm nearly 30.

and I'm not talking about brushing up on my linear algebra, that comes later, I'm talking high school level mathematics, stuff that I've largely forgotten or didn't "get" first time round.

I've seen these "machine learning for hackers!" articles who try to dish out a bit of maths saying that's all you need, but I don't think you can escape the fact that sometimes you just need to start from the beginning and work your way up

4
kjhughes 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Summer of 1980, going into my senior year in high school, I mentioned I'd be taking Calculus next year to a co-worker a couple years older than I. He said he had the best book in the world on Calculus, and he loaned me his copy of Silvanus P Thompson's Calculus made easy. I thoroughly enjoyed that book, benefited from its intuitive explanations, and forever appreciated his recommendation.

If I may similarly influence anyone here, for themselves or someone they know, to read Calculus made easy to supplement their calculus coursework, I will be happy to have paid the favor forward in some small way.

By the way, Kalid Azad may be our modern day Silvanus P Thompson. And he has better tools[1], which he wields masterfully, than just pen and paper. Recommended too.

[1] https://betterexplained.com/

5
noam87 14 hours ago 1 reply      
In a similar vein: "Probability Through Problems": https://archive.org/details/springer_10.1007-978-0-387-21659...

I love this book. What's the best way to learn a mathematical field? To discover it yourself, piece by piece!

I wish this were a series.

6
allsunny 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have an embarrassing amount of Calculus books. My dad taught the subject in a high school and community college; I suppose I have a soft spot for it. "Calculus Made Easy" is a good book though I do think there are better ones these days. Some of the lexicon has changed and there are topics covered in a modern Calculus textbook that aren't covered in the original book (that I personally think are worthwhile spending time on). The updated version with Martin Gardner does have blurbs where necessary to point it out. The Kline book is a MUCH larger read, but is what I would recommend if you want a reasonably priced Calculus book that's easy to grok. Otherwise, I think it's hard to go wrong w/ the Stewart books. Work through the problems as they do in the book, you will come away w/ what you need. Finally, if you want a whirlwind tour, Calculus for Dummies by Mark Ryan is great.

Time spent learning Calculus is worthwhile; and if nothing else, understand the fundamental theorem. Overwhelmingly impressive.

7
apo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
After scanning for a few minutes, I was amazed at how readable the book is given its age and my experience with books of similar age.

The book also does appear to go out of its way to keep language simple. For example:

We call the ratio dx/dy "the differential coefficient of y with respect to x." It is a solemn scientific name for this very simple thing. But we are not going to be frightened by solemn names, when the things themselves are so easy. Instead of being frieghtened we will simply pronounce a brief curse on the stupidity of giving long crack-jaw names; and, having relieved our minds, will go on to the simple thing itself, namely the ration dx/dy.

8
baldfat 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The prologue is 100% dead on and what I have always thought in terms of the easy part of calculus needs to be taught early. I would have never been able to vocalize what he said in the short half page of text.

We teach math backwards. We have a population that can barely do 4th grade arithmetic and it is socially okay.

Children and people believe that decimal points are accurate and that fractions are abstract when the exact opposite is true. 1/3 of a pizza is real and 0.333333 is a fake number.

We also teach movement and change as a word problem i.e. a train leaves Chicago at 25 MPH and another train leaves Flint, MI at 35 MPH when will the trains meet? That answer is an estimation of an unattainable constancy but people believe it is logical conclusion.

Pre-Calculus (needs to be repackaged with the idea of the one consistent in our world is change) should be taught before Algebra and Geometry. Make math into something where people can truly understand abstract and concrete. People actually think calculus is a hyper abstract algebra when in fact it is putting math into real world solutions.

The number one problem is calculus is 100% dependent on the teacher. A great teacher will make this work and a lower skilled teacher can absolutely kill almost all learning.

9
mixedmath 15 hours ago 0 replies      
For what it's worth, this is available as a much leaner pdf [1] on Project Gutenberg now, including the TeX source that some kind person used to update it.

[1]: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33283

10
thechao 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned calculus from this book, as did my dad, and my grandfather. My daughters will learn from this book.
11
OJFord 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Heavens - I'd have never guessed titles like '~ Made Easy' were as old as that.

I don't know why exactly, it just sounds modern.

12
jstewartmobile 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It's crazy the kids have to pay hundreds of dollars for the horrible books the colleges require when brilliant things like this can be had for free...
13
impendia 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I assigned this in an Honors Calc II class I taught at a state university.

The main text was Stewart (decided at the department level), but I was teaching the Honors section which provided a good opportunity for me to ask for something extra. I had my students read this book alongside Stewart, and write weekly short essays comparing the two approaches. Many of the students turned in some quite good writing.

This is an outstanding book.

14
ashark 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Good lord. I somehow took (and passed!) a year of high school calculus plus a semester in college, and I never had a good sense for the word "Integral" in a math context as anything but arbitrary jargon. And I've spent a not-tiny amount of time with BetterExplained's calculus. 30 seconds with this book and it's obvious. Now I'm making connections with the French (of which I have barely any, but any port in a storm) and it's solid in my mind.

Well. Now I have to read the whole thing I guess.

15
emarthinsen 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is, actually, a really good book. Don't let the cheesy title throw you off. I learned more in the first few chapters than I did after a semester of calc classes. Highly recommended.
16
mdturnerphys 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Just about missed the attribution in the epigraph:

What one fool can do, another can. -Ancient Simian Proverb

Monkey see, monkey do?

17
SilentM68 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been looking for something similar to this but for Algebra, Trig, etc. before relearning Calculus and came across this: Mathematics For The Pracicle Man by Howe (1918?) http://www.aproged.pt/biblioteca/mathematicsforthehowe.pdf It's targeted to Engineering students and it's not lengthy, won't take me two years to learn. Hopefully it'll be of same quality as Thompson's book?
18
sideproject 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Why didn't any one tell me about this book when I was younger! This is so good. :)
19
transitorykris 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an incredible book. I'm a visual thinker, and while this book lacks all the glossy pages of illustration found in a modern Calculus textbook, the writing style helps develop that visual intuition. In the same vein of concise Calculus books, Serge Lang's Short Calculus is also great (if you need a refresher, or if you're just starting out).

https://www.amazon.com/Short-Calculus-Original-Undergraduate...

20
mcguire 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Since no one else has mentioned it, there is an updated edition available in print, with updates by Martin Gardener.
21
martijn_himself 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks like a brilliant resource.

My problem with advanced math is not so much the understanding of principles but the application of these to solve new problems creatively.

I was able to master partial differential equations and pass exams but was never able to apply what was learned to solve new problems which I found very frustrating and was what ultimately led me to not pursue a career in the field.

22
officialchicken 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a 1998 update to the book with "modernized" english (I think it is clearer while preserving a dated style) and some additional chapters. ISBN-10: 0312185480
23
mumrah 13 hours ago 0 replies      
24
payne92 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh wow. Imagine typesetting that in hot metal, many many decades before TeX and LaTeX!!
25
throwaway2016a 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The prologue had me hooked... I have never read anything like this in a text book. The self-deprecating humor immediately disarms you if you're the type that would go into something like this intimidated. I am definitely reading this.
26
agumonkey 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This popped on my twitter yesterday, that single page was more effective than 10 years of sweating. Speechless.
27
c517402 12 hours ago 2 replies      
IIRC this the book Richard Feynman said he checked out of the library and learned calculus from. Also, Feynman made comments similar to those in the Prologue.
28
gejjaxxita 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this book when I was 14, it belonged to my grandfather. I'd completely forgotten about it but seeing it has really brought back memories.
29
donquichotte 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny that a book from 1914 is formatted in a way that it is much easier to read on my mobile phone than pretty much anything I can download from google books.
30
Safety1stClyde 15 hours ago 1 reply      
It's like "Calculus for dummies" except with pounds, shillings and pence, and Mrs. Ayrton's electrical arcs.
31
boyhowdy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who dropped out of Cal II, the first few paragraphs of this book gave me more understanding than I ever had in college... Either I was very lazy, or my teachers couldn't express these simple ideas clearly, or both.
32
nvarsj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this - I had not heard of this book, and it looks remarkable!
33
georgewsinger 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I believe this was Feynman's favorite book on calculus.
34
ensiferum 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Great book! I have a hard copy, really recommended!
35
fad92 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a recommendation in the similar vein for probability and statistics?
36
emmelaich 13 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a great prologue. A foreshadowing of the for Dummies/Idiots books.
37
danm07 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Wish my prof in college gave this as a course reading.
38
austenallred 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I have nothing to say other than that I adore this book
39
ankurdhama 12 hours ago 3 replies      
In my experience, everything is easy if you DON'T try to learn it using analogies and metaphors.
40
vixen99 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading it as a kid I wasn't sure I trusted the author - Silvanus P. Thompson FRS ('FRS' - which I knew to be something rather prestigious) when he wrote in the prologue "Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I've had to unteach myself the difficulties . . . What one fool can do, another can."
41
EGreg 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a good book. But on page 5 you have an error: it should say trillionth instead of billionth. I find myself liking your approach, though. You should change the font and insert some more diagrams.

Oh, what's that... you can't just republish instantly because electronic computers haven't been invented yet? Well, just iterate and do things that don't scale :)

42
iamiam 10 hours ago 0 replies      
So many of these old textbooks are much clearer than ones of today. And they're no-nonsense, "What one fool can learn, another can learn."
16
Raw Linux Threads via System Calls (2015) nullprogram.com
167 points by eatonphil  14 hours ago   12 comments top 5
1
JoachimSchipper 8 hours ago 1 reply      
"Linux has an elegant and beautiful design when it comes to threads" - unifying threads and processes does simplify some things, but it makes it extremely hard to change a process-level property such as the effective user/group id of a process: https://ewontfix.com/17/.
2
antirez 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Writing a toy libc is a very fascinating exercise, if you happen to like this kind of stuff.
3
em3rgent0rdr 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Only 15 instructions to spawn a thread isn't something to write home about considering cost of context switching is much higher.
4
faragon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As curiosity it is great. BTW, if POSIX thread implementation is not good enough in the default C library, it should be revised instead of everyone rewriting stuff for each specific Unix-like flavour. Rationale: Platform-specific goodies are great for specific cases, but terrible for standard and multi-platform development.
5
signa11 11 hours ago 1 reply      
17
Billionaire Mike Novogratz says 10% of his money is in Bitcoin and Ether cnn.com
103 points by AroundTheBlock_  4 hours ago   90 comments top 11
1
T-A 1 hour ago 3 replies      
The actual quote is "Ten percent of my net worth is in this space", said at the "Blockchain Disruption" forum [1]. A reasonable interpretation would be that 10% of his money is in blockchain companies.

[1] http://www.hbscny.org/s/1738/cc/index2.aspx?sid=1738&gid=4&p...

2
jeremyt 37 minutes ago 2 replies      
The people in this thread hating on crypto are missing the point.

Complaining that you can't go into CVS and buy something with Bitcoin right now is like complaining that all you can do with the Internet is send "electronic mail", which nobody reads, in 1990, or like complaining that Facebook is nothing but a glorified campus directory in 2006.

The truth is, you can't buy things with Bitcoin at CVS because the technology isn't there yet. Right now, Bitcoin is suitable to be digital gold, but with a much higher possibility of return because it's a new asset.

In a couple of years, the addition of the lightning network on top of the Bitcoin network will enable you to buy things at CVS.

Right now, buying Bitcoin is like making an angel investment.

3
xapata 2 hours ago 6 replies      
> [Novogratz] recalls that Buterin, ... showed up late, which struck him as shocking -- and a bit ballsy. He figured it was worth paying attention to Buterin.

The lesson is to be impolite? I think I saw this in an episode of Silicon Valley.

4
kolbe 2 hours ago 8 replies      
Has anyone noticed the disparity between how many articles get written about btc's price, and how little gets written about its real-life uses and benefits?
5
magma17 4 hours ago 2 replies      
"Novogratz ranked #407 in the March 2007 Forbes list of world billionaires with a net worth of $2.3 billion [...] By 2012, after the decline of Fortress' stock price, his net worth had shrunk to $500 million."

following the tendency, he may be a hobo right now.

10% of 100 bucks, probably

6
dmix 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was reading his Wikipedia and apparently it was his sister who started Acumen, the non-profit VC firm: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Acumen_(organization)

His brother has a TV show too: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Robert_and_Cortney_Novogratz

Talent runs in the family.

7
atemerev 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Not a billionaire, but also trying to keep some percentage of my net worth in cryptocurrencies. Worked great so far. 10% seems to be about right.

(I have much more trust in blockchain than in government retirement schemes).

8
Chaebixi 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
Too bad for him the future is in Dogecoin.
9
catenthusiast 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Something tells me he wont be a billionaire for long.
10
no1name 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What are the first 2 innings in the digital asset revolution? He says Bitcoin is the 3rd.
11
mnw21cam 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"Your video will play in ..."

Really? My video?

19
The First-Ever Banner Ad on the Web theatlantic.com
24 points by jgrahamc  1 hour ago   9 comments top 6
1
Jun8 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is the first time I've seen the You Will ads, they're awesome! Modulo some laughable glitches like paying the toll with a cc in the car and phone booth video calling. But the fact that the majority of the predictions were spot on makes these oversights even more interesting.

Most of what the ads predicted became reality in 10-15 years, i.e. 2003-2008. Where are the ads that predict technology for 2020?

2
josephg 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Ironically it looks like you can't view that page with an add blocker installed.
3
jkchu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Link to the AT&T tv commercial from in the article:https://youtu.be/TZb0avfQme8?t=30
4
vwcx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On a related note, what is the first banner ad you remember seeing?

For me it was the X10 camera ads around 2000: https://www.geek.com/news/x10-ads-are-useless-545130/

5
empath75 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The AT&T ads were remarkably prescient.

When they came out, computer assistants, smart watches, video calls and automatically paying tolls were far off science fiction. It makes sense that they were so early to jump on the iPhone.

6
krystiangw 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
and the rest is history...
20
Mozilla and Microsoft are rebuilding their browsers foundations arstechnica.com
84 points by djug  5 hours ago   40 comments top 4
1
anilgulecha 4 hours ago 2 replies      
That's the cool thing about open standards.

As long as individual pieces are to spec, it's completely ok to rewrite modules and components from the ground: People rely on the standard, and not the app.

2
red023 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain to me in a few words what exactly from servo is already in Firefox and how quantum is related to servo exactly? Some CSS processing is already in Firefox I think. But the main thing of servo is the rendering right? That seems to be pretty far away from ready.
3
protomyth 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty sure having plugins no longer working going forward is quite noticeable.
4
kibwen 2 hours ago 3 replies      
What's this about a new Firefox UI? I'm on nightly (55) and it's still Australis for me.
21
Drunken crayfish show that loneliness raises alcohol tolerance newscientist.com
7 points by pirocks  1 hour ago   1 comment top
1
lutusp 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
As usual in articles of this kind, the article's content contradicts its title. The study doesn't show that "loneliness raises alcohol tolerance," it shows a correlation between two measured traits.

In studies like this, two effects are measured and found to be correlated. For lack of evidence, an assertion about cause can only be conjecture.

22
Ask HN: Can I get in trouble for crawling using the Googlebot user agent?
10 points by goferito  26 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
1
riceo100 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Maybe "Googlebot" is a trademark, or maybe you are violating the usage terms the crawled sites have put in place by masquerading yourself, but I've come across people doing this to sites i've been an admin of relatively often, and unless you're crawling with enough intensity to cause a DoS or doing something nefarious with the content, most site owners would maybe roll their eyes and move on.
2
cube00 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sure, go join the realms of shady SEOs and malware, if I want to really stop you I'll know you're not coming from a Google IP range. https://www.incapsula.com/blog/was-that-really-a-google-bot-...

However, consider what your ultimate end game is, if it's a website you expect visitors to find through Google or the Play store, good luck once web masters start reporting your misbehaving "Googlebot" crawler.

24
Cap'n'Proto remote vuln: pointer overflow check optimized away by compiler github.com
123 points by fulafel  11 hours ago   109 comments top 10
1
cperciva 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Amusingly, the "technically-correct solution" is also incorrect, albeit probably well-behaved on most widely used systems. Rather than comparing pointers, they cast to uintptr_t and compared those, but as I commented on the commit in github:

 This is not guaranteed to work. C guarantees that casting a pointer to a uintptr_t and back results in a pointer which compares equal to the original; but it does not guarantee that (uintptr_t)p + 1 == (uintptr_t)((char *)p + 1), that p1 < p2 is equivalent to (uintptr_t)(p1) < (uintptr_t)(p2), or even that (uintptr_t)(p) == (uintptr_t)(p); an evil but standard-compliant compiler could implement casting from pointer to uintptr_t as "stash the pointer in a table and return the table index" and casting back as "look up the index in the table".

2
kutkloon7 7 hours ago 7 replies      
For people claiming that this is a compiler bug, it really is not.

I am no expert, but what I understood is that the C standard defines some situations (such as an overflow error) which result in "undefined behaviour". In this situation, the compiler is free to do whatever he wants. This is in fact what happens here.

This is clearly annoying to programmers. In this case, it is even hard to avoid undefined behaviour even if the source of undefined behaviour (a pointer overflow) is known.

Why is this done? This way the compiler can do some aggresive optimizations which are only valid if there is no undefined behaviour (e.g. no overflow, null pointer acces...).

There are various good articles about this.

To make the situation more complex for programmers, it is possible to write programs which exhibit undefined behaviour but work fine in practice. Until the compiler tries to do a specific optimization.

This is basically why you shouldn't use C. Long-time C programmers know a list of operations which are undefined behaviour, and are usually able to point out a few of these in a program written by newbie (ironically, these programs may run and pass tests just fine).

3
nickm12 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't the first security vulnerability caused by optimizing compilers assuming programs don't exhibit undefined behavior and it won't be the last. Some relevant literature:

https://people.csail.mit.edu/nickolai/papers/wang-undef-2012...

http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/kps2015/proceedings/KPS_201...

4
azinman2 8 hours ago 4 replies      
It'd be nice if there was a way that when compilers "re-write" or eliminate parts, those could be highlighted or otherwise nicely conveyed in our IDEs.

I don't know why we expect phones and apps to have modern great UX, solving all kinds of problems, but our text editors should remain essentially the same as in the 70s.

5
jononor 6 hours ago 1 reply      
We need a -Wundefined-behavior, which can be used in combination with -Werror. It is a practically impossible job to be so aware of the standard while working to get this right without assistance.
6
lmm 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I thought sandstorm was supposed to be a security-focused project? But they're writing new C code and connecting it to the Internet. And surprise surprise, this happens.

Fuzzers will catch a certain proportion of this type of problem, sure. But for a ground-up project like this there's really no excuse not to use a better language.

7
m_eiman 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Is there a way to make the compiler list the applied optimizations for a specific function, in e.g. the .lst output? Would be very helpful when the compiler is doing something creative and you can't figure out how to make it do what you intended.
8
willvarfar 3 hours ago 1 reply      
C/C++ coding standards I've seen always warned against using unsigned to mean "cannot be negative", because of precisely this kind of bug.

The standards I'm recalling were in-house standards, but a quick Google shows that Google have published their standard and they warn against unsigned too: https://google.github.io/styleguide/cppguide.html#Integer_Ty...

Bottom line: avoid unsigned for numbers. Use unsigned only for bags of bits.

9
raverbashing 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm going to be honest here, whenever I read things like this more I'm convinced C belongs in the trash can

I would accept that pointer overflow is implementation dependent. Allowing it to be "undefined behaviour" is sincerely BS.

Every processor has a "pointer register". Increment it until it overflows. What happens then? Most of the time it will roll over. I suspect this happens in even early RISC architectures that faint if you look at it too hard. There's your answer

It's right, it's not a compiler bug. C tries to solve all problems and cops out on the real issues. The language is broken.

10
jbb67 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a broken compiler.It might well meet the "standard", but it's still broken because it doesn't do what any reasonable person would expect it to do.
25
Most people prosecuted for terrorism since 9/11 never committed a violent act theintercept.com
48 points by Argentum01  1 hour ago   5 comments top 4
1
djsumdog 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
It'd be interesting to see breakdowns by race/religion (Muslims in mosques vs NRA gun collectors who are in local militias).

There have been cases where mosques have contacted the FBI to inform them of people they found disturbing (trying to recruit people) only to discover later those people were FBI agents sent to root out extremists.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/fbi-plant-b...

If one of these people, released from prison in exchange for this work, feels pressured to convert/indoctrinate a person who would normally not give a damn about any type of revolution, how is that not entrapment?

Other disturbing trends: some people are arrested for giving money to a mosque in some far of region they grew up in. If you gave money to a church or a lobby origination that ends up doing highly illegal stuff, are you now liable?

The greater speech issue: if Americans start to gather and think America should be split or states should succeed (won't happen today; there's less then 3% support even in places like Texas/Cascades--but in the future?), even if they work on peaceful means, could this be marked at terrorism? What if peaceful organizations for revolution have a few violent members? Will the leaders of peaceful originations be arrested for giving monetary support to members of a militia who do something violent?

2
dforrestwilson1 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxx1KdGXti0

^ I was listening to this earlier and I can't help but point out the creeping government overreach in all aspects of our lives. We drop bombs at the drop of a hat, and send people to prison for thought crimes.

I really hope everyone can see that we must roll back the powers of the federal government, or it is going to roll over us.

3
pbreit 7 minutes ago 1 reply      
I didn't read the article yet but I would think "conspiring" to commit terrorism would be much more common than carrying it out.
4
dsfyu404ed 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a specific case of a general problem with how violations of law are investigated and prosecuted in this country that happens to be made worse by the fact that in this case it involves federal officers and many people who are not native to the US (and aren't as familiar with their rights).

How "terrorism" cases are prosecuted is not the problem here. How cases in general are prosecuted is the problem.

26
Naked mole rats can survive 18 minutes without oxygen theatlantic.com
61 points by sohkamyung  11 hours ago   55 comments top 9
1
BugsJustFindMe 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I guess this is kinda cool, but you have to look past the headline.

18 minutes without oxygen isn't far-fetched for humans.The Guinness world record for "longest time breath held voluntarily (male)" is a bit over 24 minutes.

So, yeah, that line in the article that says "no warm-blooded mammal can...come close to the naked mole-rats 18-minute record" seems to be painfully and stupidly wrong.

The interesting part is not that they survive for 18 minutes. The interesting part is that they do fine at 5% oxygen and that seemingly they (almost?) hold their breaths involuntarily after they pass out at lower levels.

2
stevenwoo 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain how the mole rats that stop breathing and are revived after simply reintroducing oxygen into the container? How does the O2 get into the animals lungs/blood stream if the animal stopped breathing?
3
agumonkey 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Uh weird, they survive through glucose metabolysm instead of the aerobic pathway.. which is exactly what cancer cells do to operate with their bad blood supply. NM rats are cancer free yet live like one.
4
maturz 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought the egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, electrorecepting, venomous platypus was the strangest mammal.
5
dhc02 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Can't some whales go hours? I mean these guys are still strange, but this headline is terrible.
6
siddharthgoel88 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Why do people do such things or even talk about such stuff? This is so depressing that such experiments are conducted to just know the fact how long a rat can survive :(
7
nouveau0 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Do they have to be naked for this?
8
drcongo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How long can they survive when dressed?
9
tkyjonathan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Humans are gonna need this soon with how climate change is going..
27
Ask HN: Which companies have the best blogs written by their engineering team?
271 points by carlmungz  7 hours ago   107 comments top 67
1
shdon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually really like many of the blogs at Microsoft. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but there's some gems in there.

Raymond Chen's blog[1] in particular was good enough to get me to buy his book (which definitely did not disappoint).

Other ones I subscribe to are the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog[2] , Mark Russinovich[3] and Games for Windows and the DirectX SDK[4]

And there's a few that have unfortunately not been updated for a long time, such as Larry Osterman[5], or have come to an end, such as Rico Mariani[6]

[1] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/

[2] https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/

[3] https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/markrussinovich/

[4] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/chuckw/

[5] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/larryosterman/

[6] https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ricom/

2
huevosabio 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
I really like Stitch Fix blog :http://multithreaded.stitchfix.com
3
Guyag 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Depends what you want to get out of them. I find some are mostly focused around some of the more unique/cool challenges they come across (Google[1][2], Slack[3]), and others are more about how they solve the engineering challenges they face through software and/or about their dev process (Uber[4], Twitter[5]). Some are mix of the two (Dropbox[6], Netflix[7]).

[1] https://developers.googleblog.com/

[2] http://research.googleblog.com/

[3] https://slack.engineering

[4] https://eng.uber.com/

[5] https://blog.twitter.com/engineering

[6] https://tech.dropbox.com

[7] http://techblog.netflix.com/

4
tristor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not an "engineering blog" in the traditional sense. Percona has been posting deep-dive high-quality pieces about database performance and the inner workings of InnoDB since around 2006, so more than 10 years now. If you've ever had to troubleshoot a weird performance issue in MySQL as an Ops guy or DBA, you've probably ended up finding this in your Google results:

https://www.percona.com/blog/

Disclaimer: I am currently employed by Percona, although that is not my motivation for sharing this.

5
foob 3 hours ago 6 replies      
What are peoples' thoughts on the marketing effectiveness of quality relative to quantity in blogging? We have recently started publishing what we consider to be very high quality material (the majority of them have front-paged on HN if that's any indication). Most of these have been published on [1] so far but we're in the process of transitioning to a more official company blog [2].

A close friend who really knows his way around marketing has been advising us to write more fluff pieces. We're really torn over this because we strongly dislike vapid content as consumers. I would be really curious to hear any anecdotes on the relative merits of the different strategies.

[1] - http://sangaline.com

[2] - https://intoli.com/blog/

7
andrestc 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
I really like the packagecloud one: https://blog.packagecloud.io/

With posts like these one: https://blog.packagecloud.io/eng/2016/06/22/monitoring-tunin...

8
allenleein 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
9
spollo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the segment engineering blog. https://segment.com/blog/categories/engineering/

They run a pretty modern cloud stack using fun technology like terraform, which gives me serious envy as well as inspiration. They also have some ridiculously high quality posts with open source code included such as:https://segment.com/blog/the-segment-aws-stack/ (highly recommended reading).

10
flohofwoe 3 hours ago 1 reply      
RiotGames: https://engineering.riotgames.com/

Autodesk Stingray (formerly Bitsquid): http://bitsquid.blogspot.de/

11
schemathings 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
https://blog.jooq.org/ is excellent if you do any SQL
12
kaishiro 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Thoughtbot, in addition to having a really good blog, is at least in the running for one of the best names (Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots).

https://robots.thoughtbot.com/

I love it because the articles are often small, one off tips re: vim, the command line, ruby, etc. Really neat stuff.

13
dmytton 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to suggest my company blog: https://blog.serverdensity.com

As an example, our frontend engineering team just wrote up a series of posts about implementing graphing in React, migrating from Redux:

- https://blog.serverdensity.com/time-series-charts-react-redu...

- https://blog.serverdensity.com/building-a-color-engine-for-g...

- https://blog.serverdensity.com/lessons-learned-implementing-...

And I wrote about recent backend changes to our time series storage: https://blog.serverdensity.com/time-series-data-opentsdb-big...

14
ramblenode 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Digital Ocean has some quality posts I've found from Google, though I don't actively follow the blog.

https://www.digitalocean.com/company/blog/

15
arbesfeld 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in front-end development, there are a few companies which focus on that:

- Apollo/Meteor: https://dev-blog.apollodata.com/

- Auth0: https://auth0.com/blog/tech/

- Chroma: https://blog.hichroma.com/

- LogRocket (my company): https://blog.logrocket.com/

16
irfansharif 1 hour ago 0 replies      
in my biased opinion, the Cockroach Labs, Inc. blog[1] (the team behind cockroachdb/cockroach[2]) fares pretty well.

[1]: https://www.cockroachlabs.com/blog/

[2]: https://github.com/cockroachdb/cockroach

17
thesehands 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Backblaze have a good one, with their annual drive failure survey being a highlight: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/
18
menegattig 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you are looking for a database-related blog, SlicingDice's is a good one:

https://blog.slicingdice.com/

This series of posts below describes in details how they built their database engine from scratch and the data warehouse service.

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-1-in...

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-2-s1...

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-3-s1...

- https://blog.slicingdice.com/slicingdice-uncovered-part-4-in...

19
bretthopper 2 hours ago 0 replies      
GitHub: https://githubengineering.com/

Really surprised it wasn't mentioned yet. They do really in depth posts and show metrics too.

Example: https://githubengineering.com/how-we-made-diff-pages-3x-fast...

20
syllogism 6 hours ago 0 replies      
StitchFix do lots of interesting ML stuff, such as Chris Moody's lda2vec. Their algorithms page is really cool: http://algorithms-tour.stitchfix.com/#recommendation-systems
21
DarkContinent 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really like Civis Analytics, which is here: https://www.civisanalytics.com/blog/
22
apeace 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Cloudflare blog is top-notch. If you skim past all their product and data center announcements, there is a ton of good technical content.

https://blog.cloudflare.com

23
rconradharris 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
The pre-acquisition Ksplice blog was fantastic. Now available at: https://blogs.oracle.com/ksplice
24
japhyr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Caktus team has a great technical blog with many posts about Python and Django. I've also really enjoyed visiting with their people at PyCon over the years.

https://www.caktusgroup.com/blog/

25
PascLeRasc 1 hour ago 1 reply      
26
secfirstmd 6 hours ago 1 reply      
27
yebyen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Deis blog:

https://deis.com/blog/

Especially @rimusz, who is not technically part of Deis engineering team (?) :

https://deis.com/blog/2016/first-kubernetes-cluster-gke/

Partially self-serving post because I'm also published here:

https://deis.com/blog/2016/cheapest-fault-tolerant-cluster-d...

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an index of the posts on one page! There are links to relevant posts on the sidebar and both of those have good relevant links.

These guys I worked with for a long time, to get my post out! It kind of stung a bit when the v1 PAAS was officially deprecated before I got to put it online. But in terms of support, the newer solutions are only better. The lessons learned putting this post out are still valid, even if the specific product of the tutorial is no longer relevant. (I used this process to create my own CoreOS bare metal cluster, and I don't actually use DigitalOcean in my day-to-day work.)

But the other content on the blog really was a good, focused introduction to Kubernetes and friends for me. Deis is the team that created Helm and it was subsumed into Kubernetes (and Helm Classic, which was another iteration before it was part of Kubernetes proper.)

28
Svenstaro 4 hours ago 1 reply      
OkCupid has great statistical into their data: https://theblog.okcupid.com/
29
willsewell 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Pusher: https://making.pusher.com/

Disclosure: I work there and have written articles for the blog.

At the moment we mainly blog about our experiences with Golang (our language of choice right now). But really it's open to any topic someone in our engineering team is interested in writing about.

We aim to keep things visual, interactive and example-based. For example Jim Fisher created an interactive animation of Golang's GC algorithm here: https://making.pusher.com/golangs-real-time-gc-in-theory-and.... We also managed to embed Golang's trace visualiser within one of the posts: https://making.pusher.com/go-tool-trace/#tour-of-the-go-tool... (using some pretty dirty tricks).

30
endymi0n 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My personal upvote for the Google Cloud Platform blog: https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/

...a pretty mixed bag with some product & PR posts inside, but the gems inside (especially SRE / CRE life lessons) are pretty awesome.

Also, we're getting started ourselves with some quality tech material - not too much there yet, but our Debugging Postgres post got a lot of love from the community: https://www.justwatch.com/blog/

31
gk1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For a data science flavor, see https://blog.dominodatalab.com

For web dev, Netlify posts frequently and even has podcasts: https://www.netlify.com/blog/

32
lukaszkups 3 hours ago 0 replies      
33
altern8tif 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Great design + engineering teams = Awesome products

Instagram (https://engineering.instagram.com/)

Stripe (https://stripe.com/blog/engineering)

Airbnb (http://nerds.airbnb.com/)

34
bio_end_io_t 2 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.fittedcloud.com/blog/

FittedCloud is a small start-up that does automatic cloud resource optimization. They post regularly and go into topics ranging from technical details of machine learning to cost optimization for AWS resources (EBS, EC2, DynamoDB, etc).

As far as I can tell, they are the only company around that can automatically scale up and down EBS resources in a way that the customer only pays for what he or she uses, rather than paying for over-provisioned, unused storage...all without downtime or performance hic-cup. These guys know a lot about the cloud and storage.

35
r3mko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Khan Academy's engineering blog is great if you're into Google App Engine, React, ...

http://engineering.khanacademy.org

36
robbiemitchell 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Knewton (where I once led marketing) flew mostly under the radar as a tech company because (a) NYC and (b) education, but the data science shop it built up a few years ago was killer, and the people who left went on to top tier companies. As a result of that talent, the tech blog there -- modeled after Netflix -- was solid.

https://tech.knewton.com/

37
leemalmac 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Awesome answers here.Some self marketing - I developed a parser for some engineering blogs. I did it for myself, and created a simple web app to serve content - http://kubiq.co. I'm going to add more companies soon. Enjoy!
38
benmanns 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We recently started an engineering blog at Doximity [1] that I think is good (though it has less heavy technical content than others). I'd be really interested in what you all think is effective for both blogs-as-recruiting-tools and for giving back to the community. For our particular product, basically (users)(blog readers)= so content is created solely for the software community.

[1] - https://engineering.doximity.com/

39
duvander 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Awhile back I found this curated engineering blog list https://github.com/sumodirjo/engineering-blogs
40
executesorder66 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Although I don't like them, Cloudflare have a really good blog.

https://blog.cloudflare.com/

41
RBerenguel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The developer blog at StitchFix is excellent: http://multithreaded.stitchfix.com/blog/

Most Scala consultancies/companies have their own internal blogs and most are excellent, for instance, underscore: http://underscore.io/blog/

42
natzar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
43
skl_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
44
dguido 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Trail of Bits! Topics include software security, control flow integrity, reverse engineering, program analysis, fuzzing, compilers, etc.

https://blog.trailofbits.com

45
eloycoto 2 hours ago 0 replies      
OpenCredo is a good blog to read:

https://opencredo.com/blog/

On the other hand, Cloudflare, Stripe and Netflix have some awesome articles too.

46
brianbolger 5 hours ago 0 replies      
47
Kmaschta 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not impartial but I read every marmelab blog post:

https://marmelab.com/blog/

48
ditn 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Square have an excellent blog: https://medium.com/square-corner-blog

Square put out a lot of fantastic libraries, and much of their output is basically essential for Android.

49
PascLeRasc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Are there any good engineering blogs that are more hardware/manufacturing oriented?
50
amitsingh45 2 hours ago 0 replies      
OpsDash's blog has some interesting technical posts, esp. on Postgres and Go:

https://www.opsdash.com/blog/index.html

51
itsallrelative 2 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.astronomer.io/blog all of their technical pieces are pretty on point
52
SergeAx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Badoo tech blog: https://techblog.badoo.com
53
happy-go-lucky 3 hours ago 0 replies      
http://planetpython.org/

It's not a corporate blog, but if you're interested in Python, go check it out for recent postings from Python-related blogs.

54
dkdkang 2 hours ago 0 replies      
More geared towards front-end stuff - good stuff:

http://blog.rangle.io/

56
medgetable 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug for my company's blog: levvel.io/blog

Lots of DevOps focus currently but also contains some stuff we're working on with machine learning, blockchain, and we are working on a much broader range of content.

Plus we'd love more feedback on the posts :)

57
sklopi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
59
DrNuke 6 hours ago 1 reply      
General Electric are at the forefront of industrial engineering and quite good at blowing their own trumpet.
60
henridf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Sysdig has had a bunch of nice posts over the last 2-3 years:

https://sysdig.com/blog/tag/technical/

61
ryan42 3 hours ago 0 replies      
https://product.reverb.com/

This is a good one

62
snowAbstraction 4 hours ago 0 replies      
From time to time, I'v enjoyed Spotify's blog:https://labs.spotify.com/
63
carlmungz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
https://zapier.com/blog/ is a good place to visit from time to time.
64
Viz4ps 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sophos (security software)https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/Not pushing their products. Sensible advice and news coverage.
65
quiqueqs 3 hours ago 1 reply      
We just started a blog a few months ago at our company on a variety of topics such as mobile & BE development, as well as design [1]. Hopefully it's of use to the community :)

I also enjoy the Hacker Noon articles [2]

[1] https://blog.picnic.nl/

[2] https://hackernoon.com/

66
abhirag 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My vote would go to Discord's blog -- https://blog.discordapp.com/
67
ionwake 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Have Blogs been superseded by Vlogs ?
28
Me and SVG codepen.io
453 points by bootload  20 hours ago   205 comments top 37
1
bdrool 15 hours ago 5 replies      
It really makes me sad to read the part about counting pennies and having to stretch such tiny advances while writing the books, especially when she describes her frustration at how much a framed copy that was sent by the publisher must have cost, compared to her frugal situation. It is a shame that writing down useful knowledge in a clear way is not better rewarded.
2
JepZ 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I think we (the web) chronically underestimate the importance of SVG. I mean we all use pixel graphics (JPG, PNG, GIF) every day, build services to scale images and have multiple formats for them have to admit, that they are not 100% perfect most of the time.

SVG, on the other hand, doesn't need 5 different versions of the same image just to look okay on the receiving display. Even more, it always has 100% quality on the receiving device. As far as I am concerned, there are only two main problems with SVG:

1. The creation is painful

2. The renderer compatibility is too weak.

While creation problem has many layers, I think one thing that could be improved is Inkscape usability. I spend the last months every now and then to learn to handle Inkscape and the first steps were so painful (and I knew what SVG is and was quite able to handle Gimp). I am sure if some usability experts would be involved in its development, many things would be implemented differently. And I really hope, someone will change that as Inkscape is such a powerful tool which should be quite accessible to the majority of users.

Regarding the render compatibility, I think it is very important to fix that in the near future. I have high hopes that SVG2 will help here, but I think it is also our job as the web community to show the browser vendors, that we want that fixed version of SVG.

3
bisRepetita 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I want to be a journalist=>I can't travel =>graphics can be my niche =>SVG is interesting =>this competition is for me =>I fail stupidly =>I blog and show my stuff =>This book needs serious help, I am not counting my time =>Oh oh, i am a published author, this is weird =>I worked so hard, 5 books! =>Expert on W3C commitee =>Seriously, I am THE freaking expert in this field!!=>More hard work, a lot =>Oh shit, people are not interested in this stuff anymore =>What am I doing with my life????

This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing so well.

4
dahart 18 hours ago 5 replies      
It bums me out to hear SVG is in such limbo, I've been looking forward to SVG 1.2 support. It seems to be taking a long time, I guess this is why.

It's strange because I know many many companies are using SVG at least a bit for their sites. Maybe it's simmering just under the threshold where it seems necessary to have to do business, but so many sites would be hosed if SVG suddenly went away.

Is part of the problem authoring tools? Every time I need to make some SVG by hand, I look around and keep coming back to Inkscape and Illustrator. I can't afford Illustrator, and Inkscape has just never stuck for me, it feels very clunky. I've used lots of the other tools out there but nothing seems great.

5
danso 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The description of amount of work the author produced, including for the SVG 2 spec, reads like the CV of someone who has been with W3C since 1999 (which is when W3C first started working on SVG according to Wikipedia). It's stunning that the author only started self-learning web dev basics just 3.5 years ago. Whatever she decides to do with SVG, I hope she can easily land a job in the field despite her requirements to do remote work. She clearly has the technical chops, communication skills, and perseverance that tech companies value.
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mxfh 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The core of the problem to me, seems to be the absence of a widely supported declarative low level 2D vector format to compile to, likely with closed arced paths* as only vector primitives. (Point and Lines are 0 and 1 dimensional and need to constructed anyway for display)

Full SVG just seems too high level to be implemented universally, especially when sent in some form to a GPU for parallel evaluation.

Now have a moment of silence for OpenVGhttps://www.khronos.org/openvg/

Yet there is hope:

http://w3.impa.br/~diego/projects/GanEtAl14/

https://graphics.cs.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/svgpu.p...

https://developer.nvidia.com/nv-path-rendering

* hopefully compatible with Path2D API https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Path2D/Path...

7
Arathorn 18 hours ago 1 reply      
SVG always reminds me of JS - a seemingly overcomplicated and slightly ungainly technology that actually just turned out to be ahead of its time.

Back in the bad old days when you had to install the Adobe plugin to view it at all, it was almost useless. But nowadays, almost all browsers have more than adequate native support and it turns out that it's actually very useful as a good way of doing declarative vector graphics (as opposed to the immediate mode world of Canvas). I switched to using SVG for all artwork in my apps about 2 years ago and haven't looked back once - there are no performance issues; I can retheme them via CSS (if loaded as objects rathe than imgs), they look perfect on arbitrary resolution displays, plus animation is trivial when desired. Meanwhile libraries like D3 show just how powerful and performant SVG can be.

So: given a choice between a custom library which implements some kind of vector DOM on top of canvas, and having it baked into the native DOM of the browser with decent performance, I know which I'd rather have.

The biggest problem I've seen in practice is when handling user generated SVGs - the risk of vulnerabilities in the implementations; XSS attacks - and design flaws like billion lol attacks. But such are the risks of using an expressive language like HTML, SVG, or heaven forbid postscript or PDF :)

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jancsika 18 hours ago 8 replies      
So here's a question:

JSON is to XML what ___ is to SVG. What is in the blank?

There's just so much complexity in even the 1.1 spec.

Patterns, for example, are given the default of specifying the width and height of the area to be repeated in objectBoundingBox units. But the arbitrarily complex content has its units defined in terms of the userspace units derived from the context in which the pattern itself is used.

Now, if you play around with patterns for a bit you can certainly figure out the logic of those defaults. Most likely the author doesn't want the aspect ratio of the pattern content to change based on the width/height specified for the pattern viewbox. Hence patternContentUnits defaults to "userSpaceOnUse". On the other hand, the author likely wants to control the total number of columns/rows that will be displayed. Hence patternUnits defaults to "objectBoundingBox", where you can do the math for 1/width for rows and 1/height for columns.

But then when you try to do actual work using those defaults-- say, filling a rectangle with a pattern that displays four small circles as "nails" in the corners of the rectangle-- it doesn't work. The patternUnits attribute isn't expressive enough to let you specify a way to attach each pattern iteration to a corner of the shape. You can achieve that for a particular bounding box, but it isn't easy. So the logical though complex default isn't particularly expressive in practice, and the more sane, less expressive way to do patterns requires non-default attributes.

I run into similar such problems with many of the SVG 1.1 features. There's an incredible amount of complexity, but not a matching amount of expressivity gained for it. Even something like grabbing or setting a value for height/width/x/y is made more complex because the DOM is storing both a base value and an additional value should the user happen to have specified declarative animation on the element. But then declarative animation isn't implemented in all browsers after all this time-- nor is it as easy to work with as the burgeoning web animations API.

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stefek99 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Holy crap.

I've read the first 30% of the article - you are clearly the expert.

Then fast forward to the end: "if only I could figure out a way to make them pay"

Chronic fatigue (medical condition) is an issue and there should be a way to work around that...

Independent, remote work, creating infographics and visualisations for media outlets - that's a pretty large niche!

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__s 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I empathize. I feel like my work in implementing insurance programs & payday loan portals is of low value to society, yet it pays the bills. Meanwhile I'd much rather focus fully on my project to implement a WASM jit for Lua. That has future potential alone due to WASM unicorns wanting to open up to being useful as a JIT target

Sort of flies in the face of people thinking basic income will result in a bunch of stay at home drunks

SVG is cool. Was really wanting SVG2 as in order to get wordwrap I'm embedding HTML into the SVG which I'm embedding in HTML. openEtG uses SVG as an alternate backend to cards/deck rendering (as opposed to <canvas>)

Deck SVG: http://etg.dek.im/deck/047130c6qq016u1036u30177o0177g027aq02...

Card SVG: http://etg.dek.im/card/56f.svg

There's some issues in rendering interacting with the page's CSS. The card back is rendered off a spritesheet, in the SVG I just offset it so that the rest of the image is clipped away

Code: https://github.com/serprex/openEtG/blob/master/svg.js

If this seems off topic.. well I'm bad at being personal, & in response to a personal blogpost, this is how I make a personal response

I was hoping to try get remote work with https://bocoup.com but unfortunately I'm also Canadian & they're not open to being that remote. But I'm just some guy who made an open source HTML5 CCG. Maybe they'd take closer consideration of you. Granted I open with a salary of 25k CAD, don't know what you consider making due

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Safety1stClyde 18 hours ago 2 replies      
SVG is a good example of an overflexible, overcomplex standard with too much variety, too many options, too many different ways to do the same thing. The huge flexibility makes it almost impossible to correctly and fully implement.

I'm not sure how it got this way, but it seems to be connected to the W3 consortium, which has many other instances of creating exceedingly complex, difficult-to-implement standards.

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chrisgannon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who is pushing what SVG can do in terms of interactivity and animation I am saddened to see such a hard working and talented person person like Amelia struggling like this. She has helped me on numerous occasion with various issues over the years and her knowledge of SVG and its quirks and foibles is extensive.

If anyone is questioning the relevance or flexibility of SVG or its ease of use check my CodePen stuff - with a library like Greensock you can do almost anything with SVG http://codepen.io/chrisgannon/

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adultSwim 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Many of the reactions in this thread are discouraging. I wonder if HN is a community worth investing in.
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wei_jok 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't give up. SVG is a beautiful format for the web. People can see the difference in quality.
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guelo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm about 20 years into my career and what I would tell her is that I've become an expert in and forgotten more technologies then I can remember. But it's not a waste of time, somehow things from 20 years ago that seem like completely useless knowledge still popup once in a while and inform my decisions and make me a better engineer overall.
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shriphani 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have advice for you but I just want to say this is a stunning body of work - congratulations.
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a-guest 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I suspect it is possible you would be able to monetize your SVG experience in a more profitable way than an O'Reilly book by authoring an online course(s) for vendors like Pluralsight, Frontend Masters, or similar companies?
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tannhaeuser 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've benefitted numerous times from AmeliaBB's answers on StackOverflow/StackExchange and Sitepoint, and am really happy for the opportunity to thank her very much for her work. Her authoritative answers really stand out, and show a level of depth and comittment to the subject like few others. Her book is now high an my reading list.

There's definitely something wrong with funding of web standardization work (or lack thereof) though, that needs to be brought to public attention. The WHATWG/W3C situation is unsustainable IMO.

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intrasight 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been both super excited and super disappointed with SVG for about fifteen years now. I too came into it as a dataviz practitioner. Ten years ago I did a project where I generated system status diagrams directly out of SQL Server using XSLT and SVG embedded into the engine. More recently my interest has been resurrected since Power BI uses SVG and D3 for custom visualizations. But the luke-warm browser support has always been discouraging. Same with XSLT. And I guess all things with angle brackets these days.
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sitkack 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and the W3C should be paying this woman.
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ensiferum 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's sad to hear that the author has had such a financially hard time while working on those things. But the thing is that those books are not best sellers. There are like 10 ppl in the world interested in SVG.

I'm sorry to say but also committing to a large chunks of work without any contract for payment?? I can understand that you'd do it if you really a) wanted to do it b) wanted the "fame" or the admiration of your peers but to continue to work on while the teams around you are falling apart and not giving a shit is just pointless. Maybe she wasn't able to read the state of the project very well.

Anyway author if you read this, I'd say just scrap the SVG for now and pursue other paths. You can always go back to it if interest towards SVG takes off again.

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devwastaken 11 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing that could be done by somebody who knows the standard /really/ well, is a proper SVG sanitizer/conformity enforcer. SVG is powerful, even in its basic abilities, but all of the projects I've seen so far have no guarantees of security or safe parsing. Its probably too niche currently, probably only really useful for things like Mediawiki. But, I think having the ability for users to upload .svg's like normal images onto sites would catch on pretty quick.
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scandox 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Why don't most programmers buy programming books? Why doesn't the technology industry have more respect for the foundational, vocational work being done that supports it?

It's the Market I hear you cry. I'm damn tired of hearing that cop out. Maybe you really believe it. Well that doesn't mean you don't have to take responsibility.

These people support our money earning work every day. We need to find ways to force our employers to put a value on that.

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smrtinsert 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's tough. I think the appetite for SVG might have dissipated a bit since devices properly scale and use alternatives such as canvas offer better performance.
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Kinnard 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet a hackathon would do a ton of good for the SVG Ecosystem.

The social/community/ecosystem aspect of programming technologies should not be neglected/ignored.

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staz 15 hours ago 1 reply      
If companies have to pay the W3C and the W3C don't pays spec editors such as her; where does that money go?
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Sophistifunk 14 hours ago 0 replies      
FXG was much nicer.

Boy howdy do I wish Adobe hadn't mismanaged Flash and Flex so badly they killed them. If they'd gone more open, fixed performance issues on non-Windows platforms, and actually followed through on the Tamarin gesture we'd all be in a happier place.

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franze 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I was (aiming to become) an SVG ninja around 2006 (the first coming of SVG in the browser), coded stuff like http://web.archive.org/web/20070630201408/http://www.fragmen... ( a kinda LOGO implementation in SVG) - you needed the adobe SVG viewer plugin for IE at that time to use it. (don't look at the code, it was 2006!!!!)).

at one point I decided to stop my quest, mostly because

a) horrible buggy browser support at that time

b) the limitation and clunkiness of the format (it's XMLish after all)

so basically nowadays: same, same but different!

nowadays still use exported SVG for icons and logos of course, cause filesize.

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Animats 10 hours ago 1 reply      
There are at least three ways to draw in browsers now - a canvas object, WebGL, and SVG. Apparently SVG is losing out for that application.

As a common representation for draw programs, SVG is quite useful. But apparently it accumulated way too many features, and SVG 2, this author says, was an solution to a non-problem.

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hutzlibu 17 hours ago 1 reply      
"But I hate working with broken tools.

Do I keep trying to fix it, or do I throw it away?"

At some point, I think we need a redesign for vectorgraphics on the web from scratch, as I don't think SVG can really be "fixed" - it is just too complex and weird in the base.

But I guess no one is willing to spend much money on that right now, after the core of svg finally works (mostly).And since it is there right now and working, it won't go away so fast, as there is no alternative - yet.

So I would keep working with it, but maybe start to collect and share ideas on how to do things nicely from scratch ...

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bdahz 13 hours ago 0 replies      
VPaint[1] is a research vector graphics editor (from SIGGRAPH 2015) that has higher-level semantics of vector graphics editting. And it claimed more efficiency to create vector graphics. May it be the hope to fix problems of SVG you guys mentioned?

[1] http://www.vpaint.org/

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taivare 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have asked my local library to order her SVG Essentials book & they did. I have checked an people are taking it out and since then they have ordered other SVG books.
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bootload 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"I am torn: I have invested this much of my life into SVG. Do I build on that? Or do I write it off and start afresh with lessons learned and no regrets?"

What product needs to built that harnesses SVG?

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auggierose 18 hours ago 1 reply      
If you write a spec, you should also implement a proof of concept.
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staz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If compagnies have to
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nickstefan12 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> But I never cared about SVG itself. It's just a tool. I cared about what I could build with it.

I'm calling BS on that last statement of hers. I don't intend for this to sound mean. I intend for it to help her (or readers), to be honest with themselves. It WOULD be sad if she wasted all this time on SVG if she really would have rather just been building stuff with SVG. However, that to me doesnt reflect reality; so it shouldn't make her sad. She got to spend time doing what she clearly actually likes doing: technical writing! Theres nothing wrong with that!

No one who actually likes to build stuff would spend so much time on committees, book deals, and technical writing. Thats okay! She should be honest with herself about her preferences.

The positives are that "committees, book deals and technical writing" are very transferable skills to whatever other web technology needs more of this sort of thing.

EDIT: I in no way mean for this to be callous regarding counting pennies. I am sympathetic to the fact that much of her work was unpaid :(

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iamleppert 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm sorry but does anyone find the following bit of code readable?

<svg class="defs-only"> <filter id="duotone" color-interpolation-filters="sRGB" x="0" y="0" height="100%" width="100%"> <feColorMatrix type="matrix" values="0.90 0 0 0 0.40 0.95 0 0 0 -0.10 -0.20 0 0 0 0.65 0 0 0 1 0" /> </filter></svg>

SVG is a horrible way to do graphics, and not a good vector format due to its complexity. It's also difficult to get good performance, you'll eventually end up implementing stuff at a lower layer when SVG itself becomes a bottle-neck, and it has tons of cross-platform bugs that require endless debugging.

The crux of the matter is vectors are drawings, and may or may not have a hierarchical representation. It would be a lot better abstracted by a real language, using a primitive drawing API that allows you set debugger statements and the like to inspect state, variables, etc.

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McDonald's Real Estate: How They Really Make Their Money (2015) wallstreetsurvivor.com
411 points by neop  22 hours ago   229 comments top 32
1
fraserharris 17 hours ago 3 replies      
An important point about owning the franchise real estate: a rental agreement is far stronger for the landowner than a franchise agreement is for a franchiser. The McDonald's franchise agreement specifies the address the franchise must be located. In effect, McDonald's can cancel a franchise agreement by ending the rental agreement. This gives them enormous power to enforce company-wide standards on cleanliness and mandate suppliers. Other chains (eg: Burger King) do not own the majority of their franchise properties and have had more significant problems with enforcing franchise standards.

Source: McDonald's: Behind The Arches, John F. Love (July 1, 1995)

Edit: changed ie to eg, thanks for the correction all

2
elevensies 21 hours ago 4 replies      
What impresses me most about McDonald's is the highly effective and efficient incentive structure. You have the franchise owner who is very committed financially and can make a high income, plus lots of low cost labor following a very precise process. And they seem to be able to replicate it at almost any scale.

What impresses me least about McDonald's is their ruthless child-targeted advertising.

EDIT: in sort of a quaint way the incentive structure is reminiscent of the manorial system.

3
kjhughes 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Watch The Founder,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276820/

for an entertaining and educational dramatization of the McDonald's story, including the franchising and real estate leasing aspects.

4
geophile 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The Founder is a movie that tells the story of the birth and growth of McDonald's (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_founder/), and it covers much of the ground covered in this article.

In addition to being a very well-done movie, it does a superb job of describing the relationship between the visionary founders of a startup, and the sales guys and bean counters who turn it into a successful business. It doesn't matter that the McDonald brothers were revolutionizing burgers, the telling of this part of the story captures perfectly the same sort of activity that goes on at any startup with a new idea, (emphasis on new). It also captures very well how the suits recognize a good thing when they see it, buy into the vision (but for very different reasons from the founders), and finally take over and render the founders obsolete.

Really great movie for anyone involved with startups.

5
WalterBright 21 hours ago 3 replies      
It was an eye-opener for me when I was a teen and bought a gallon of soft drink syrup from a McDonald's for use at a party. It worked out to about 5 cents a cup for the drink in a soft drink, which sold for 75 cents (if I remember correctly). McDonald's doesn't make money selling burgers, they make money selling the soft drinks and the fries.

The same goes for any restaurant, it's why they ply you for drinks.

6
vuln 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Kind of OT but the company I work for has more locations than McDonalds, and Walmart. Not combined but separate. Which baffles me. When I first started here I never knew what went into a retail store, from architecture, construction, store layout, buying, merchandising, it's insane... We call our headquarters the 'Store Support Center' because our mission is to support all 16,000 if our stores nationwide and a few in Canada.
7
cperciva 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Misleading. Sure, technically McDonald's doesn't make much money from selling burgers because most of the burgers are sold by franchisees. But by the same argument, Amazon doesn't make any money from selling EC2 instances -- those are sold by Amazon Web Services Inc.

When people talk about McDonald's "selling burgers", what they mean is McDonald's and its franchisees.

8
kaypro 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I just watched "The Founder" last night. I had always assumed Ray Kroc was the genius who pivoted to focusing on real estate for their expanding franchise model when really it was Harry J. Sonneborn who convinced Ray that was the way to go. Worth a watch.
9
TheGRS 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Well now I'm pretty curious, how does McDonald's operate all of their distribution channels with the whole franchise/renting model? Most of the Micky D's I've seen have tons of freezer food that they put through various machines to make all of the food items quickly. I can't imagine they let owners get their primary products from anything other than a distribution center. Do the owners need to buy those products separately? Can they buy from alternate distributors? Do they franchise their distribution somehow? Maybe I'm overthinking all of this. But I am genuinely curious how that factors into the franchise model since that means McDonalds is still very liable for food production.
10
Dagwoodie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I heard a professor tell a story about the founder of McDonalds going to a business class as a guest. He asked the students "What business am I in? Can anyone tell me?" and they all laughed, "why hamburgers of course". Then he corrected them. They're not just in real estate but they are very, very good at selecting franchise locations. The professor also claimed that Burger King's primary consideration on where to put their stores is the relative distance to McDonalds.
11
mathattack 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This doesn't preclude McDonalds from holding risk. For a long time people said "Buy Kmart and Sears because the value of their real estate is more than their stock values." Then the real estate market tanks.... Real estate is an illiquid investment.

Also - when people choose to eat less burgers, or there is less innovation in the menu, the stock price dips.

12
Reason077 19 hours ago 1 reply      
McDonald's business model of renting premises to their franchisees sounds similar to the way many pubs are operated in the UK.

Breweries (and "PubCo's") typically own the premises, which is leased to a tenant (publican) who is required to purchase the brewery's products.

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

13
HenryBemis 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember watching a documentary a few years back where Ronald was talking to some uni grads telling them that in reality he's one of the largest real estate owners globally since the trend is to OWN the space they occupy and not just rent.

Well, if one thinks of how many of these burger joints..

And yes the burgers also make some good money ;)

14
FrankenPC 17 hours ago 1 reply      
20 years ago when I did some consulting for the Gap, I saw inside their data systems and realized they were a large real estate organization. It was the first time I witnessed the dynamic nature of corporate America.
15
anothercomment 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought about this recently when a new cafe opened up in a prime location (replacing another cafe). The rent must be enormous, and it occurred to me that no matter how good or efficient the cafe operates, the rent will probably simply rise until the cafe is merely earning at average market rates.

I found that rather depressing. All those people struggling to improve their business are merely struggling to increase the income of the property owner. (I guess if I had the money and inspiration to become a property owner it would be less depressing).

16
dboreham 21 hours ago 3 replies      
"Retail-as-Real-Estate" plays don't always work. e.g. Sears, KMart.
17
stcredzero 19 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're ever at a meetup, and the presenter dances around the question: "How does your company make money?" then ask yourself, is it possible that this company is in marketing/advertising? More generally, ask yourself: Does this company's operations give it high quality information about a particular market?

The takeaway: Don't dismiss a useful service that you can't directly monetize. It's possible that you can gain high-quality information which can be monetized indirectly. It's all about getting better information about a particular market than everyone else.

18
robbrown451 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Sure, but the burgers are a critical component of the whole picture.

It's almost like saying that grocery stores are not really in the grocery business, they are in the business of accepting cash and credit card payments. True, that's where they "make their money", but that business would dry up pretty quick if they didn't stock groceries.

19
NicoJuicy 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The site is getting slow, so here you go : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://...
20
tim333 12 hours ago 0 replies      
>During the 2008 recession, McDonalds leaned heavily on this facet of their business as they capitalized on an anemic property market buying up more of the land and buildings where it operates.

I think a lot of why real estate works for them is that the business is not affected by recessions - they may even sell more burgers if people can't afford fancy places. So they can buy real estate cheap when others can't.

21
temp246810 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Off topic: I've trained myself to look for a McDonald's first when in a pinch and need coffee. This vs looking for a Pete's or a Starbucks.

If all you need is a basic drink, they get it more or less right for several hundreds of a percent lower.

22
emiliobumachar 11 hours ago 2 replies      
"They used to hold the promise of good fast-food but now the food is neither fast, nor good. In fact, in 2014, the average drive-thru wait time was over three minutes (the longest it has ever been in about 15 years)."

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

I know it's a serious worry, but seems like one of those good problems to have.

23
sjg007 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Many times I get cold and cardboard crispy chickens. It sucks. And 99% of the time it's from the drive thru..

I've been to multiple understaffed McDonald's and man does the quality suck. When they have staff things are decent but now I can predict when a McDonald's will be bad.

24
csours 18 hours ago 0 replies      
25
towndrunk 20 hours ago 0 replies      
26
djulius 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Already seen in "rich dad poor dad" 20 years ago !
27
gist 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This has been well know for a long time. However the fact is the only reason that McDonalds is able to collect rent (in the dollar amount that they do) is if their product and service, the franchise, is able to sell hamburgers to customers. As such the value of the real estate (if the franchise fails to operate) is nowhere near what it is with a profitable operating restaurant. While the locations are valuable if you have ever seen a vacant McDonalds, and who typically rents those, you will know that the rent received and royalties is nowhere near what it is with a McDonalds restaurant.

So I think it's a bit misleading and hyperbole to say 'how they really make money'. The only reason the can make that money is because of the product and the customer base that patronizes the McDonalds. So in the end it is because of the product. "How they really make their money" is because of that product.

28
pjc50 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Same was true for Tesco for a while - they did very well on land speculation.
29
ThomaszKrueger 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Another one is Wawa. They seem to be everywhere now.
30
hiroshid 19 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a danger here.McDonald's system = Windows

Franchisees = OEMs

Franchisees not doing their best = laptop filled with crapware

31
marricks 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder why this is sitting at the stop when the MS critique with less votes in less time in at the bottom of the page?

Hacker News story placement can be confusing at times. I would understand if they have some tech centric metric somehow, but this isn't even tech?

32
lbsnake7 20 hours ago 2 replies      
This is somewhat false. McDonalds amassed all of this real estate during the normal course of doing its main business. It would be like saying Walmart is in the shelf business because they have a lot of shelves. If amassing large amounts of real estate is the end goal, selling burgers for 50 years is probably not the best way to do it. I think McDonalds fears that if it spins off its real estate holdings, those properties will have no loyalty to McDonalds and could become a Starbucks or whatever. The value that McDonalds provides is that it is everywhere and at low prices. If it isn't everywhere, then it can't provide low prices and the whole thing crumbles.
30
Developer publishes patch to enable Windows 7 and 8.1 updates on new hardware computerworld.com
74 points by happy-go-lucky  7 hours ago   40 comments top 3
1
mauvehaus 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Actual technical content on github, which is linked from the article, but perhaps should be the main link?

https://github.com/zeffy/kb4012218-19

The article does at least do some digging vis-a-vis the history of Zeffy's work and how it came to reach the state that it's in currently, so some credit is due to computerworld.

2
Paul_S 4 hours ago 7 replies      
I don't think anyone believed it was anything but a business decision so this is not really shocking.

Operating systems are hard, drop Windows and sell your software on Linux. We all know it's inevitable in the long run.

3
youdontknowtho 3 hours ago 2 replies      
When Mark Russinovich did something like this, he got a job offer from Microsoft. Maybe Zeffy has a future on the Windows team?
       cached 21 April 2017 16:02:02 GMT