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Scala.JS 0.6.17 is out scala-js.org
22 points by scalatohaskell  1 hour ago   14 comments top 5
galfarragem 1 minute ago 0 replies      
raquo 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
Scala.js has been an amazing tool for my personal projects. I literally hit euphoria sometimes writing stuff in it. I am yet to truly grasp the benefits of full stack Scala (shared models, Autowire, etc.) but even for purely front-end development it's great, it beats Typescript and Flow out of the water in features, soundness and stability.

I wish I could use it at work since we (Hootsuite) already use Scala heavily on the backend, but I am reluctant in part because Scala.js does not quite have financial support of Lightbend. Or so it seems, it's a bit hard to tell where Lightbend ends and the non-profit Scala Center begins. The latter did pay to get some features implemented but reading their advisory board minutes, I'm not sure if they would have enough funding to pay for the majority of Scala.js development, which if I understand correctly happens for free as part of a PhD right now (note: my information might be wrong/outdated!)

So, if anyone involved with Scala.js is reading this and has better insights on the situation, it would be nice to know.

But I will keep using it regardless. It's marvellous.

sjrd 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Scala.js author here. Ask me anything ;)
jaimex2 45 minutes ago 3 replies      
Does anyone use this?
partycoder 46 minutes ago 2 replies      
Sad that Scala.js will not use WebAssembly, since WebAssembly doesn't provide GC.
Understanding the GPL is a Contract court case perens.com
19 points by sohkamyung  1 hour ago   1 comment top
daurnimator 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Another interesting point in the case is that the court found Artifexs claim of damages to be admissible because of their use of dual-licensing. An economic structure for remuneration of the developer by users who did not wish to comply with the GPL terms, and thus acquired a commercial license, was clearly present.

Interesting development. This makes me want to dual-license my software so that violations have more teeth to them.

The Microarchitecture of Intel, AMD and VIA CPUs [pdf] agner.org
105 points by CalChris  6 hours ago   7 comments top 4
CalChris 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Less well known, but Torbjorn Granlund Instruction latencies and throughput for AMD and Intel x86 processors has also been updated for Ryzen.


DamonHD 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow! This is a great doc! These days I'm targetting things other than x86 for the day job, but this level of insight, when also armed with -O3 -S assembly output from a compiler, is what really lets one go to town...
glangdale 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am very fond of this document, and am constantly amazed at how the commentariat, here and elsewhere, frequently like to theorize about what instructions "might be expensive" without bothering to look them up.
CalChris 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Agner Fog's microarchitecture document has been updated for AMD Ryzen.
MusicBrainz: an open music encyclopedia musicbrainz.org
307 points by hernantz  12 hours ago   58 comments top 20
nononononono 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Just to push home the awesomeness of crazy music nerds that together create MusicBrainz, please have a look at these two examples:

1. Number of releases per album individually tagged:https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/f5093c06-23e3-404f-aea...

2. The amount of metadata for an album:https://musicbrainz.org/release/b84ee12a-09ef-421b-82de-0441...

When you get used to this kind of high quality metadata, it's just so so sad to see how companies like Spotify treat metadata. As an example, look up Bob Marley & The Wailers on Spotify and try to find original releases, and then compare that to the list found here:


...and the sad part is that the metadata is freely available, with a permissive license.

corford 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. This brings back memories. At uni in the early 2000's I hacked up a geeky "last.fm" inspired music stat service. The idea was to be able to reliably track music being played without needing a plugin for winamp/foobar2000/other media player and without needing the mp3 file to have meta data.

I lightly modified a version of the Filemon driver from Sysinternals and wrote a little C program that used the driver to monitor for mp3s being played and then grab the perceptual audio hash of the file using trm.exe from Musicbrainz. It then sent the resulting fingerprint off to my website (written in glorious PHP3 no less!) and you could login with an account to see stats on the music you'd been listening to (done with meta data pulled from Musicbrainz).

Surprisingly, it worked reasonably well ...though very sure if I looked at the code now I'd run away screaming.

Really cool to see they're still going strong after all these years!

unicornporn 11 hours ago 3 replies      
What (and when something) ends up on the first page never ceases to surprise. I've used this I don't know how long. Could it be 15 years? Their official tagging client (Picard) is OK, but I prefer tagging using Mp3tag and the MusicBrainz database.
StavrosK 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd just like to reiterate how utterly amazing MusicBrainz is. It's so extremely useful that I decided to make it the backbone of a new playlist format I developed[1], one which (roughly) uses MusicBrainz IDs instead of filenames for playlists.

This makes playlists resistant to filename changes, moves, or even losing all the actual audio tracks and having to buy them again, all because MusicBrainz provides so accurate metadata.

[1]: http://universalplaylist.stavros.io/

Leo_Verto 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been contributing data and code to MB and it's sibling projects for over two years now and the community has been great from day one!

Just to name a few of the other projects, there's AcousticBrainz [1] collecting acoustic information which may be pretty useful for machine learning, CritiqueBrainz [2] for collecting user reviews of songs, albums and more, ListenBrainz [3], an open scrobbling service a group of people including former last.fm employees initially hacked together in a weekend, and finally BookBrainz [4], which tries to be what MB is but for books.

During the last year the people running MB have worked on getting companies using the data to support the project resulting in a quite impressive list of supporters [5] including big names like Google, Spotify and the BBC.

MB has also collaborated with our fellow data nerds over at the Internet Archive to create the Cover Art Archive. [6]

In general the project is run by people who equally love both data and hacking. Feel free to stop by on the IRC channels #musicbrainz and #metabrainz on freenode!

[1]: https://acousticbrainz.org/[2]: https://critiquebrainz.org/[3]: https://listenbrainz.org/[4]: https://bookbrainz.org/[5]: https://metabrainz.org/supporters[6]: https://coverartarchive.org/

exogen 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love MusicBrainz and have been using it for a project of mine for the past few years. In the course of developing that project, I ended up making a GraphQL interface to the MusicBrainz API: https://github.com/exogen/graphbrainz

You should try out the demo queries linked from that README if you want to get a sense of the depth of information available in their database.

half-kh-hacker 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been using MusicBrainz' Picard to tag my music files (that I acquired 100% legitimately, I assure you.) for a few months now.

They seem to have everything I throw at them, except for:1) Extremely new releases (on the order of a-few-hours-after-release)2) Some niche songs that haven't been officially released (soundtracks for some Korean television shows)

NelsonMinar 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Full props to Robert Kaye, the founder. He's been raising this child for 15 years now.
bgammon 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I discovered MusicBrainz Picard about a year ago and it handled my collection pretty flawlessly.

I was always wanting to know since then if there are other maintained/curated music databases.

I also didn't realize at first that they offer a public API. The Picard client was decent, but I'd be interested in a command-line solution. Does anyone know if this exists?

buu700 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I used the MusicBrainz API a while back for a side project that got me sued for some reason (http://tcrn.ch/2rEox3h).

As I recall, it was pleasant to work with and did what I needed it to quite nicely, aside from a feature that my code had depended on being removed anonymous/unauthenticated search at which point the project was already basically dead and not worth trying to fix (that was just the last nail in the coffin). In any case, nice to see that it's still active.

lauretas 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
What about http://linkedbrainz.org ? Is it a dead project?
hernantz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The code that runs it is open too: https://github.com/metabrainz/
theprop 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I hope these guys don't flip like Gracenote did...Gracenote was all crowdsourced user contributions (for a long time at least) but then they closed off the data and sold it to Sony for $250+ million.
knownothing 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Offtopic question: Is there a similar tool for managing or tagging metadata for movies and television?
ozzmotik 11 hours ago 3 replies      
always nice to see something of such utility pop up. musicbrainz has most assuredly been around for what seems like forever now, and there's a reason for that. their tag database is second to none as far as im concerned. unfortunately for me, the only music I keep locally is my own music that I've made, and I can almost guarantee that that wouldn't be on there. plus i tag all my music properly to a point that might seem religious and obsessive because I hate music files without metadata (which is why I export in mp3 as well as wav; wav for higher quality, and mp3 for labeling purposes; I could probably just use flac but compressed audio like mp3 also has the benefit of being less space intensive).

either way, nice to see it

soulnothing 6 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my side projects is a music recommendation system. Music brainz has been great for this. Tying together all the music services out there. In addition the biggest perk is you can do a slave of their database, and have it replicate on an interval.
frik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's good that MusicBrainz exists as open data project and continues to stand up against Sony America & Sony DADC defacto monopoly on audio+video metadata and digital supply for the media industry.

MusicBrainz is the third project of it's kind. Two previous older projects got bought by the media industry (Sony and Magix). Such a database gets useless if it doesn't receive updates.

First there was CDDB, short for Compact Disc Database, is a database for software applications to look up audio CD (compact disc) information over the Internet. This is performed by a client which calculates a (nearly) unique disc ID and then queries the database. As a result, the client is able to display the artist name, CD title, track list and some additional information. CDDB was invented by Ti Kan around late 1993 as a local database that was delivered with his popular xmcd music player application. CDDB is a licensed trademark of Gracenote. In March 2001, CDDB, now owned by Gracenote, banned all unlicensed applications from accessing their database. As of June 2, 2008, Sony Corp. of America completed acquisition (full ownership) of Gracenote. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDDB

Then there was freedb. freedb is a database of compact disc track listings, where all the content is under the GNU General Public License. To look up CD information over the Internet, a client program calculates a hash function from the CD table of contents and uses it as a disc ID to query the database. If the disc is in the database, the client is able to retrieve and display the artist, album title, track list and some additional information. It was originally based on the now-proprietary CDDB (Compact Disc DataBase). On October 4, 2006, freedb owner Michael Kaiser announced that Magix had acquired freedb. On June 25, 2007, MusicBrainz a project with similar goals officially released their freedb gateway. The latter allows users to harvest information from the MusicBrainz database rather than freedb. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedb

Animats 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This was done once before. It was called CDDB.[1] That went from open to limited access to totally proprietary. Fortunately, this new one is under GPLv3, which makes it tough to pull that one again.

There's FreeDB (http://www.freedb.org) which does roughly the same thing, starting from the old CDDB database before Gracenote, and then Sony, bought it. Their database dump is supposedly available.

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

original_idea 4 hours ago 0 replies      
mappable.com uses this to allow users to build a hierarchical artist/album/song voronoi exploration tool.
reilly3000 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Datomic, Rich Hickey's majestic datalog-driven, time traveling database uses musicbrainz data for their tutorials. Check it out if you want to play with this data in a really novel way.
TeX Live 2017 released tug.org
109 points by l2dy  9 hours ago   37 comments top 7
svat 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's amazing how many different and dissimilar components go into a TeX distribution like TeX Live:

- At the base, there is Donald Knuth's program `tex`, itself written in a strange language (WEB) that is essentially an ad-hoc macro-expansion system (not used by many others, and not even by Knuth today, who prefers CWEB), and compiles (via `tangle`) to a dialect/version of Pascal (Pascal-H) for which a compiler hasn't existed for years. [It also "compiles" (via `weave`) to the printed book TeX: The Program]

- Then there is LaTeX, an elaborate set of macros written originally by Leslie Lamport (another Turing award winner) and later by a team, to be interpreted by the TeX program, which was never designed by its original creator for such elaborate programming.

- There are entire new programs (aka TeX engines) like pdfTeX and XeTeX, created by editing the original `tex.web` in different directions.

- There are the binaries of all these programs, compiled using `web2c`, a program written solely for converting all these WEB programs written in (basically) Pascal into C code, which is neither an arbitrary Pascal-to-C converter nor even an arbitrary WEB-to-C converter.

- There is LuaTeX, a manual rewrite of TeX in C, embedding a Lua interpreter and adding many hooks and extensions.

- There are thousands of macro packages written by thousands of people of varying levels of skill and foresight, on top of TeX, LaTeX, and other macro packages themselves: essentially everything on CTAN (which was inspiration for Perl's CPAN, and ultimately many languages' package repositories like Python's PyPI etc.)

And all this without even mentioning ConTEXt, Metafont, MetaPost, BibTeX, Kpathsea, various assorted utilities, graphics drivers

lindbergh 8 hours ago 2 replies      
LaTeX is still one of my favourite piece of technology of all time. It is at time so alien, yet beautiful.

I now get closer to 10+ years of programming experience, yet nothing comes close to debugging a faulty LaTeX custom command... it can quickly turn to an unreadable mess, but you have to admit that once everything is swept under a preamble.tex file, the rest of the code is very clean. Especially with auctex in emacs which displays most math symbols as their true unicode counterpart.

Funny story: one of my first gig was working in a music instruments shop where I was basically the IT guy, from sysadmin to web dev. At some point the software that created the barcode labels stopped working. Now I had to find an automatic way to make those labels, so of course I turned to LaTeX. All I needed to do was to write a batch file calling `pdflatex` with a template tex file and a pdf file for the label was promptly sent to the printer! There is probably some python package for doing the same thing, but I was so proud of seeing Computer Modern font tagged to every instruments in the shop!

SwellJoe 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote my first (well, only) book in SGML Docbook, which I processed through a LaTeX toolchain. Sebastian Rahtz answered so many of my questions back then (~15 years ago), despite them often being stupid questions (because I was entirely new to TeX/LaTeX). I just read that he passed away last year. TeX Live was originally his project, among many other document-related projects. I'm happy to see it continues without him.
kstenerud 8 hours ago 8 replies      
I've given up on tex. I'm typesetting a book right now, and getting the epub going was a piece of cake. Then I tried using LibreOffice for the print version and it was a nightmare to control via the API and buggy as hell. So I decided now would be a good time to try tex. After 2 solid days of yak shaving, I threw in the towel. It's too fragmented, the documentation is terrible (complete - all 600 pages worth, but terrible for discovery or learning). It's basically rabbit hole after rabbit hole, with most, if not all, tutorials directed towards typesetting your homework assignments.

All of the CSS/HTML based solutions cost thousands per license, so that's out.

I'm now on to SILE, which fixes a lot of problems with tex. I can only hope that it's advanced enough to properly typeset a novel.

shawnee_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like it has added many of the enhancements from recent updates to luatex. LuaLaTeX has saved my hide more times than I care to mention... Because for reasons I do not understand, there are still some people from the dark ages who insist on shipping PDFs with documentation that does not belong in a PDF.
tehabe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Wasn't there the idea of making TeX Live a rolling release? I guess the idea was there but it turned out it would be impossible w/o breaking thing from time to time.
fithisux 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations guys for the hard work.
ARM Pointer Authentication lwn.net
69 points by subleq  8 hours ago   10 comments top 5
floatboth 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
"attaches a cryptographic signature to pointer values"

I guess everyone who thought that "signed integers" are cryptographically signed weren't THAT wrong after all :D

Rexxar 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Intuitively, I would have preferred they used a bigger pointer type (96 bits or 128 bits) instead of using unused part of the current pointers that will shrink when will need a bigger address space.
repiret 6 hours ago 2 replies      
With address space randomization, if you have a valid pointer to memory A, you can compute a valid pointer to memory B if they are from the same section. You can't do that with this, because the address is part of the signature.
meditationapp 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How does using the "unused" bits of a 64-bit pointer differ, functionally, from address space randomization with 64 bits? The search space is the same. Misses are still trivially detectable.

By my reading, this allows not a whitelist of pages, but a whitelist of arbitrary addresses. Different granularities entirely. Can anyone else bring a light to bear on this?

Taniwha 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the deal is that you can't create a good address using the upper bits of a good one ...

It's not the misses you worry about, it's the hits

Apple Dylan IDE archive.org
107 points by atjamielittle  11 hours ago   37 comments top 7
DaiPlusPlus 6 hours ago 7 replies      
What I like the most is the abstraction-away from plaintext source files. Imagine a C and C++ IDE that hid the (often ugly) source files from you put only exposed individual function definitions - it could automatically keep header files in-sync, for example, and automatically place each free-function or class member in the right file without manual refactoring.

(I still think it's outrageous that C is still a single-pass language - we shouldn't need separate simultaneous declaration and definitions any more)

whyenot 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Macintosh Common Lisp is another one. It was so much fun to use and worked so well with MacOS. Echoing etchalon's comment, sometimes I miss OS 8 (also 9).


hydandata 1 hour ago 0 replies      
https://discuss.atom.io/t/the-deuce-editor-architecture/2218 goes into a bit of detail regarding the editor, deuce. Note, you can download and play with the IDE, and read the source code, it is part of OpenDylan distribution, but sadly only works on windows right now https://opendylan.org/
cm2187 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It's funny because this is basically the VBA editor. You have a tree on the left with classes and modules, then in the main pane you have a drop down at the top to select functions and the text editor (if configured that way) will show a single function.

I wonder when Microsoft will do any work on the VBA editor. It's not like VBA is going away. Office users still write new VBA every day. They need it.

threeseed 7 hours ago 4 replies      
It's always interesting to look back on those days at Apple when they were so innovative and took so many risks when it came to software. Technologies like OpenDoc, Cyberdog, Hypercard, AppleScript, Taligent were really quite unique.
borplk 6 hours ago 1 reply      
In case people don't know, this is often referred to as a "projectional editor" and the paradigm is also known as "Intentional Programming" in the sense that the programming environment helps capture the intent of the authors.

Popularised (if we can call it popular!) by Charles Simonyi of Microsoft's fame who created the company called Intentional Software that was recently purchased by Microsoft.

There was interesting editor called Isomorf that demonstrates the benefits of a non-text-based editor.

(site is down https://isomorf.io/)(youtube demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awDVuZQQWqQ)

I would really like to see something like this take off.

I firmly believe we can only unlock the next generation of software engineering by breaking free from plaintext. Think about it, how many more ASCII symbols can we mangle together to create meaning and context?

A structural editor takes all of that away. Suddenly syntax becomes a choice just like the colour theme of your editor.

Plaintext programming puts us into a fight with the computers because on one hand we need to keep the syntax parsable and on one hand humans need to read and write it.

It's a huge conflict of interest. You want to provide information to the compiler now the syntax becomes hard and complicated (rough example: Java). You want to keep the syntax human-friendly now the program becomes weak from the compiler's point of view (rough example: Python).

Our editors need to be context aware so they can hide/show relevant information and to encourage the people to provide as much information about the context/domain as possible.

If you look around you see we have been doing a lot of this stuff in the past decades but for some reason we just half-ass it by baking stuff on top of plaintext.

For example embedding documentation or even unit tests (python "doctests") in comment blocks in ad-hoc languages.

Or we embed naming conventions and so on to relate concepts with each other.

For example a "User.js" file and "User.spec.js" file for a test.

If we kept information in a structured manner suddenly so many of our problems would go away.

For example we will get structured version control. No need to have something like git tracking lines in files.

We will get unit testing that is always correctly tied to its relevant components.

We will get documentation that is structurally accurate. The editor could switch between programming and "documentation" mode. But the documentation would be a first-class object of the program not just some text that is shoved into it somewhere.

We will get much smarter re-factoring.

We will get much better compatibility across versions. Because there's no syntax to worry about breaking from a textual perspective. Because the program becomes a semantic tree and older programs can be "transformed" to fix them or make them compatible or something similar.

Because we are text-free the environment can encourage the programmer to provide a lot more information because it can get folded/hidden/etc.

The "units" will all have unique identifiers so confusion in naming and so on will be significantly reduced.

Perhaps you could create and publish modules/units in some central repository then use them in your projects. Kind of like NPM for example but a lot more structured.

So you could import a bunch of "units"/functions from someone else's catalogue.

Because everything could have metadata attached to it you could imagine for example "security advisories" could be attached to certain units such as a function and published.

The environment would know exactly in which places you are calling that exact function and it could alert you to the fact.

You could do semantic find and replace ("show me all sql queries", "show me all untested functions", "show me all functions modified by John Smith since last 14 days", "show me all undocumented functions", etc...).

You could do smarter CI/CD by way of defining rules and constraints on the structure of the program.

Made-up Examples:- If the changeset involves objects tagged with "security" require approval before deploy- If the changeset introduces new SQL queries ping the DBA team- If the changeset introduces more than 1 function without corresponding documentation show warning- If more than 50% of the new objects introduced in the changeset lack corresponding test cases fail the build- You get the idea..

The point is, all the cool stuff we'd like to do depends on us having a lot more structured information and context about our programs and a plaintext environment is not suitable and is hostile towards that.

etchalon 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Some days, I still miss OS 8.
Getting Hacked, Lessons Learned avc.com
7 points by ikeboy  3 hours ago   1 comment top
RichardHeart 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. I think number portability is required by law?

2. 2fa makes people think they're safe, when they're often not. (ss7 is weak thus sms, etc)

3. There's not really a "secure" email account. The admin can read your mail. There's not really a "secure" phone number. The admin can use your number.

4. This seems ok, if your phone isn't pwned.

5. If you don't hold the keys, you don't own the coins. DO YOUR OWN COLD STORAGE.

Too many people are buying cars using financial products they do not understand timharford.com
188 points by DanBC  19 hours ago   225 comments top 27
Pica_soO 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My aunt lectures at a nursing and hospital-school. Many of her pupils are stuck in the "Car"-Deal. They all leased or lend a expensive car to show off, got into accidents or expensive repairs, could not pay off the accumulating debt, and now are basically indentured in debt-slavery to the car industry with half of their monthly paycheck.
cperciva 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not familiar with this particular structure, but it sounds like the sequence of cash flows are:

1. Customer receives car.

2. Customer pays monthly amount based on the prevailing interest rate and predicted depreciation of the car.

3. Customer returns car after X years, at which time the depreciated value of the car along with the payments they've made pays for the car they received X years earlier.

Can someone explain to me how this is functionally different from a fixed-term lease?

evilDagmar 17 hours ago 10 replies      
I was under the impression that the whole point of auto-financing was to get even even more money out of the consumer. When I bought my last car, I just bought it outright (because it wasn't particularly expensive) which appeared to baffle the dealership. I was actually a little concerned that the dealership told me it was the largest check they'd ever seen (for ~$14k).

Getting people to sign off on a contract they don't really understand is a great way to get more money out of the consumer than they'd otherwise spend.

PuffinBlue 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Maybe I didn't understand the deal I bought a car with, or maybe it's an unusual deal, but I'm happy with it.

My car costs me a set amount per month that I can afford, an amount that is actually equal to the monthly depreciation it would face anyway (on average) over a three year period (including the initial low value deposit I paid, this is still true).

Even if I bought it outright, which I couldn't afford to do, I'd 'lose' the same amount of money _in total_ thanks to that depreciation. Effectively I'm 'renting' the car for the same 'cost' as owning it, just without the upfront payment.

Further, GAP insurance purchased at a one off price of about 100 (which was far more tricky to make sure I got the correct thing) will cover any difference in the 'hand back' price at the end of my term and the value of the final payment. So basically if the car does depreciate below the value of the final payment then the GAP insurance will make up the difference. Likewise if I have an accident etc.

I reject the idea that PCP deals are like 'buying and selling a series of homes using interest-only mortgages'. Cars lose value, always. Whether you buy it outright or not, it'll depreciate in value (save for some hyper rare beasts you aren't going to be buying on PCP anyway). But the article doesn't address this point at all as far as I can see and it's an important part of the value proposition of using these types of deal.

jacquesm 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This goes for many things outside of cars. Insurances, Mortgates, student debt, lottery tickets, consumer debt, credit cards and so on.

In general people are sitting ducks when it comes to being fleeced by parties with a plan.

I always wonder why schools don't even teach the beginnings of finance to everybody. You'd almost think there is a reason why it explicitly is not being taught.

dazc 17 hours ago 1 reply      
People are buying cars they can't really afford because the monthly payments seem to be affordable. I think they know it's an expensive way to have a nice car but the alternative (because they don't have the capital) may be buying an old banger or having no car at all.
wnevets 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Obligatory john oliver episode on the subject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U2eDJnwz_s
sunstone 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought a prius recently and where they were hoping to make the money was on the extended warranty. I demurred on that so I got a 3 year 0% lease.

In addition when you consider the prius' high gas mileage, low maintenance, high lifetime (over 500k miles) and high resale value it's a great deal if you're planning on driving quite a bit.

forinti 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Which is why contracts should include warnings, as Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed.

Dangerous equipment should have warnings so that you don't lose your fingers and financial tools should have warnings so that you don't lose your shirt.

A decade ago I bought a Fiat (in Brazil) and was offered financing at 0,99% a month. This was worth it, as fixed income investments were paying more than 1% a month. Except that the administrative fees made the effective rate something like 1,99% (which was not worth it). The salesperson argued that I could pay the fees in installments too. It made me angry that they are allowed to do this to people who can't do the maths.

ethbro 16 hours ago 1 reply      
> What auto finance needs what most consumer finance needs is for key information to be made simple and salient. Competition cannot work if consumers struggle to understand what theyre being sold and what it will cost.

And if you agree with that, then let me tell you a story about the healthcare industry...

EternalData 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I liked the term "junk finance". There's a subset of financial products that are essentially the equivalent of going to McDonalds every day, and ordering a Big Mac to go.
ghufran_syed 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I feel like there is a natural tension between adults having the right to make their own decisions, and 'protecting' them from making bad decisions. Maybe what we need is a two-part market for financial services, a tightly regulated one where only regulator-approved, simple products can be sold, and one with much looser regulation, but that only those consumers willing to take a financial literacy exam are eligible for (with the financial firm being responsible for checking, and contracts being void if sold to unqualified buyers). After all, even brokers and traders have to take an exam before they are allowed to trade more complicated financial instruments (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_7_exam). We also don't allow people to drive a car without proving they can do so reasonably safely.

The public could reasonably assume that the government might provide guarantees for products in the first group, in the way they do for bank accounts. Products in the second group would explicitly be excluded from any government guarantee - if you passed the exam, and want to risk your own money, totally up to you, but don't come expecting your fellow citizens to bail you out if things go terribly wrong later.

So for example, interest-only home mortgages are almost always a bad choice for most consumers, so they would probably be in the second group. So you could still get them if you really wanted one, but you would have to prove you knew what you were doing, and were willing to give up any hope of a government bailout.

aiyodev 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe the car bubble isn't a bigger story. I know a waitress who is single, can barely afford an apartment, can't afford internet service, and who just financed a brand new Jeep. This reckless lending is setting the country up for catastrophe. The next economic downturn will cause people to lose their homes and their cars.
jordanb 17 hours ago 3 replies      
So I guess the whole car thing is probably going to be this cycle's mortgage bubble? Considering car sales are falling off a cliff I guess we're in 2007 right now.
hartror 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Tim Harford does a fantastic podcast called 50 things that made the modern economy. It is some of the usual suspects but mostly things you would not have considered before. Highly recommended.


andrewflnr 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The bit about banning complex contracts is funny, especially contrasted with the alternative of having machine readable versions. My guess is that a machine readable format sufficient to express all the complexities of these contracts, especially conditional payments, is going to be Turing-complete, or pretty close to it. Anyway, it's going to be really hard to do that third-party comparison. The obvious solution is to only allow contracts that can be analyzed in some tractable logical framework... but limiting complexity is where we started.
barrkel 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it may be easy to buy a relatively bad PCP deal, because of the difficulty in comparing like for like when there's a lot of variables in the deal. But I'm not sure that PCP is often a bad deal compared with outright purchase (whether on finance or not), because it creates a lot of certainty, particularly with good gap insurance, and doesn't require a lot of capital.
MikeTaylor 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The two-step plan for effortlessly being better off than you otherwise would be (I won't say getting rich):1. Buy the cheapest car you're OK with.2. But the best house you can afford.

This is simple. Cars (especially new cars) depreciate super-fast; and houses have appreciated at crazy rates at least for the last few decades. Don't put your money in a fancy car.

no_wizard 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think that this would be as large scale an issue in the United States at least if public transportation was as good as say, Japan's.

That would put a lot of pressure on the industry indirectly to be more transparent to the average consumer. I would think anyway. I don't have anything except anecdotal evidence and a gut feeling to back this up.

I think car ownership being needed outside the major 12 cities (Lookin' at you NYC!) that have good public transit is a national crime in and of itself.

IkmoIkmo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Some examples would've been nice.
lxmorj 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Headline has too many words. Feel free to remove "cars using"
Shivetya 17 hours ago 1 reply      
While car contracts can be unnecessarily confusing they are not the only opportunity for reform. Service contracts need simplification as well, whether your agreement for internet or cell service, to merely using one of the online streaming services. There is a lot of boiler plate in there that could be minimized with some good changes to the law.

This story is UK based, is there no Truth In Lending type act to help simplify these contracts into terms people can readily understand? A recent car purchase I made in Georgia (US) was very easy to understand, all the numbers on one sheet.

draw_down 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I noticed that the people saying this type of financing is a good deal, were comparing it against just buying a new car outright. But, you don't have to buy a new car.
lacampbell 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The idea of not paying cash for a car is insane to me. A could justify a loan for a house, or even an education. But a car?! I just don't even understand this mindset.
awqrre 8 hours ago 0 replies      
that is not the biggest problem in the way we buy cars...
watertorock 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds a bit like mortgages circa 05
DanBC 18 hours ago 1 reply      
A better title might be "too many people are buying cars using financial products they do not fully understand."
My Improbable Graduation: From a Tiny Village in Ghana to Johns Hopkins npr.org
154 points by happy-go-lucky  16 hours ago   38 comments top 10
1024core 4 hours ago 2 replies      
While the guy's story is very heart-warming, the most important part, which they quickly glossed over, was his getting married to an American lady who helped him migrate. Without that marriage, he would most probably still be in Ghana.

Also: he was performing an important role in Ghana delivering medicines, and by migrating, now that sector has lost an important person. I wish he would go back with his newfound knowledge and help make things better in Ghana, where he is needed much more than in the US.

noobermin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Place this as another bullet point in the "luck plays a huge role" hypothesis with regards to success. Imagine how many other poor children in Ghana or elsewhere are just as capable of earning a degree from an elite institution but don't have the opportunity because of their lot in regards to where they were born.
eBombzor 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Very inspiring and heartwarming. I wish the best to the lad and his new family.

Stories like these really make you put things into perspective. Here I am complaining about how hard my professors are in a crap university while this guy comes from the depths of poverty and works his way up through one of the best public health programs in the world. My daily problems are nothing compared to the obstacles this guy had to overcome.

Kudos to that man.

mgh2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Dreams are possible in America only and only if you have a green card...don't bother about the suffering rest who were born elsewhere
gerdesj 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Good skills mate. Your mum laid the groundwork (as most mums are wont to do - mine did as well but in a different way) and you delivered, through sheer hard work.

"My uncles from my father's side took all his properties, per the custom in my village in Ghana" - that looks like a serious problem and needs some analysis but I think it is a real problem.

I wish you all the best.

LyalinDotCom 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there some good organizations to donate to that helps underprivileged kids get through school?
zeeshanm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Gave me goosebumps throughout the entire time reading it. Much success to the author.
Banthum 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I've always got mixed feelings on stories like this.

On one hand, it's a heartwarming story of a man breaking through barriers to achieve success from desperate beginnings. Kind of an American dream story, really.

But if everyone with those qualities leaves the community, the rest of the people are helpless and will be mired in poverty forever.

It's difficult, morally, to balance the benefit gained by the guy who took the action, compared to the loss his community suffered by his departure.

In any case, I think this sort of thing is a significant reason why countries don't develop. Change always starts from a small group of changemakers - if those people all just emigrate, nothing will ever change.

Migration since the 60's has become a giant IQ-sorting system and that's having huge consequences on all sides. And this never seems to get discussed, oddly.

GuiA 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I've always wondered why the large tech companies/universities who claim they care so much about diversity don't send their recruiters around the world to track bright, persevering teenagers such as the young man of the article, and bring them into their organization (providing proper mentorship/training in the case of companies). It seems like it would be a fairly cheap way to have a very diverse organization with brilliant people from all over the world.
mekicha 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing story.Congratulations!
Google removes SIMD.js support from chromium chromium.org
64 points by chroem-  10 hours ago   27 comments top 4
millstone 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a good decision. SIMD.js never made sense to me. Writing vector code that outperforms scalar code requires not only fine-grained control over issues like alignment, but also requires targeting specific SIMD instruction sets. You must write your vector code with the emitted assembly in mind, because if you fall off the fast path and the compiler switches to scalar code or does a library call or something, you've lost any performance gain and then some.

A generic SIMD API on a high-level language like JavaScript is as bad as it gets. I looked at what it would take to port some of my vector code to SIMD.js and it wasn't remotely plausible.

Also saving 10% of the v8 code size is enormous.

The right path forwards is for JITs to emit SIMD code when possible, and for JS engines to provide OpenCL-like GPGPU-targeted APIs, following the trail that WebGL blazed with JS shaders.

sowbug 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting fact: the owner of that bug wrote Raster Blaster <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raster_Blaster> and Pinball Construction Set <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinball_Construction_Set>.
tlb 9 hours ago 0 replies      
ndesaulniers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Comment #145 back on Feb 13 actually has the commit:https://bugs.chromium.org/p/v8/issues/detail?id=4124#c145

The bug links to the actual discussion ("The V8 binary has a considerable amount of code that could be trimmed"): https://bugs.chromium.org/p/v8/issues/detail?id=5948

There's a nice treemap of the size of pieces of v8 in the first comment on that bug.

Comment #3 on the bug notes that SIMD.js is large: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/v8/issues/detail?id=5948#c3

Finally, comment #6 "There's no reason to keep the simd.js stuff around. I'll take it out ASAP.": https://bugs.chromium.org/p/v8/issues/detail?id=5948#c6

Someone notes that v8 is reduced by 500KB on Android.Looks like it got reverted a few times for breaking Node.js tests, someone notes "can you wait a day until we sort out Node first?" then SIMD.js gets removed again the next day. So I assume they "sorted it out w/ Node" w/e that means?

Also, trying to learn how the macroassembler is laid out; seems pretty neat. Kinda baffled that s390 and ppc are supported. Was kinda for mips but I guess that's an Android supported platform...

A lot of the code that looks like it's being assembled by the macro assembler has double underscore followed by a space, followed by argument lists, which is curious looking at first glance.

Looks like the double underscores are defined as:

#define __ ACCESS_MASM(masm)

Users report parallel compiling is causing segfault on Ryzen Linux phoronix.com
93 points by rnhmjoj  15 hours ago   27 comments top 9
examancer 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Ryzen linux user. I haven't experienced these issues yet, but I have experienced a few growing pains with early BIOS revisions not being 100% stable for me, and RAM speed and timing challenges. Mostly resolved, though RAM speed is still slightly shy of XMP settings.

System is overclocked (1700@3.8) and has been up and 100% solid for weeks now. 3.85 actually worked and tried to stress it by compiling a bunch of stuff. Didn't have any segfaults or other issues. Worked great.

Only after using an artificial stress tool (stress-ng) did I finally decide 3.85 was not 100% stable at stock volts. Backed off to 3.8 to avoid voltage increase for now. Haven't rebooted since.

The issues being reported do seem legitimate, however. Not sure if it's the memory controller having trouble with certain DDR4, the motherboards, or errata within the Ryzen CPU itself. All seem plausible. Hopefully AMD finds a resolution. In the meantime I'm glad I'm not affected.

abbeyj 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the old bug in AMD K6 processors that also tended to only show up when doing long compiles in Linux and only when having more than 32MB of RAM. https://web.archive.org/web/20120515215109/http://membres.mu...
octoploid 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It appears to be an issue with Ryzen's new micro-op cache and "CMP/TEST conditional jump" instruction fusion.

See comment from inuwashidesu in this thread:https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/6f08mb/compili...

jacquesm 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This could be a CPU problem but it could also easily be a memory subsystem or cooling issue. I really hope someone will get to the bottom of this soon and that it won't be a CPU issue, that could get expensive for AMD in a hurry.

Edit: and reading the comments in that thread it would be great if people would remark if they're running stock clocks and if they have upgraded their BIOS.

c2h5oh 11 hours ago 6 replies      
It seems to happen on heavily overclocked CPUs. Phoronix user had managed to replicate the issue he wasn't experiencing by simply pushing it a bit further.
tscs37 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, I've compiled kernels several times on Arch Linux since I got my Ryzen build together and I haven't experienced this issue at all so far.

Might be affecting only a subset of users based on silicon?

wyldfire 12 hours ago 2 replies      
> The issue is happening on multiple versions of GCC but I haven't seen any reports when using LLVM/Clang or alternative compilers.

So, still to be ruled out is a bug in GCC itself?

Qantourisc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure I have had this, I had to turn down -J on some jobs, but not all, so could still be a software problem.
i336_ 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Computer science-y question.

Initially this question was going to be "can we log executed instructions" but I rapidly realized that not even DDR5 could keep up with such a logging system - it would slow things down too much and likely mask the bug (not to mention the TBs of space that would be needed).

Rethinking a bit, my 2nd take is to see if it's possible to somehow repeatedly synthesize workloads from (presumably smaller, more manageable amounts of) seed data.

One of the users in the AMD forum thread (I don't seem to be able to get a permalink) mentions that they're experiencing gcc crashes on Ubuntu inside VMWare on Win10! This means that the bug fits inside two kernels' preemptation/task scheduling and a hypervisor! Interesting.

What stumps me is that some users are experiencing gcc segfaults, while others are getting faults in `sh`.

...yeah this has me stumped. CPUs are so fast, and we have no idea where the problem is.

EDIT: This comment is interesting: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/6f08mb/compili...

Tuning Your DBMS Automatically with Machine Learning amazon.com
95 points by blopeur  14 hours ago   20 comments top 7
falcolas 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are on MySQL RDS, the first thing you need to do is change the INNODB_LOG_FILE_SIZE to something reasonable, like 2 gigs. I have preemptively stopped at least 5 vertical scaling requests with this one change.

The default of 128mb is plain stupid. I get why Amazon chose it, because it directly eats 2x the value of your backing store - something that can be hard to explain to customers with 4gb disks attached and not really running any appreciable load through it.

But when you have 100+ gig disks allocated on a 2xlarge instance, the small value makes no sense whatsoever.

gerdesj 10 hours ago 2 replies      
On GitHub: "No description, website, or topics provided."

In the article: "and collects its Amazon EC2 instance type and current configuration"

... and I switched off.

I recently diagnosed a MySQL latency snag on a well known cloudy platform for a customer. I run rather a lot of comparative bonnie++, MySQL bench and Lord knows what else. I was able to convince the customer that my office PC ran MariaDB better simply because my single SSD on a rather shag Lenovo PC (a cast off from another customer!) had better i/o and latency than whatever they were being given by said cloudy provider.

I suggest you start with the basics: CPU, RAM, disc I/O and latency, network I/O and latency. Optimise those first and then work up the stack (and down, then back up etc.)

If you start with "assume a spherical EC instance" you may not be considering the whole problem -> solution -> realisation thing.

stevehiehn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
So cool! Its not hard to image this same technique used on clouds to tweek infastructure for workloads.
mandeepj 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar concepts can be applied to optimize applications performance e.g. .net web apps or any similar stack. I got something to research during coming week
tkyjonathan 12 hours ago 5 replies      
Technically there is a perl tool to make recommendations for mysql settings - although not with AI.As a DBA, I would probably use this, but 80% of the performance improvements come from indexing, fixing bad data models and archiving - especially with RDS where the options for performance optimization are limited.
ocowchun 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I just see that Postgres have better performance than MySQL with default configuration.
Googles new IoT Core service helps businesses manage their IoT data and devices techcrunch.com
43 points by tdrnd  11 hours ago   14 comments top 4
lai 6 hours ago 2 replies      
This is great and all except I had registered the company I work for to be on the private beta, and have not heard anything for weeks. There's not even a place or number or email to contact, it's just a Google Form. I even signed up for their Brillo/Weave program (now Android Things), and also heard nothing back. You either have to have some internal connection to get any attention or just wait for their service to go into production, which is God knows when.
iot_devs 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It is more than one year that I work with IoT and honestly I don't have understood the google offert.

I had the pleasure to work with IoT and the Lora protocol writing and managing a Lora network server, the piece of software that takes Lora messages send through radio and decode them from radio -> udp -> MQTT (encrypted) -> MQTT (clear)[shameless plug, I packed my experience in an on-premises service: http://loranetworkserver.com/]

The difficult part I believe is this one, after you got the MQTT message in clear what you do with it is quite simple, straightforward and overall a solved problem (unless you are not getting millions of messages per seconds, but very few businesses have such load).

From what I understood from the google page they are solving the simpler problem of getting the data from an MQTT message and save it to disk, and maybe use later for data mining.It is weird because I wouldn't accept to have my data saved in someone else disk, at the bare minimum I would require to have the data duplicated in some standard (pg, MySQL, mongo) db (even a db managed by AWS or Google, but a standard one that I can move at will).

It doesn't seems the most valuable piece of architecture that they could develop.

karmicthreat 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Taking a quick look at this it doesn't seem to offer much more over AWS. Device management and remote access might be nice. But its been my experience in B2B land that anything like this gets locked down by internal IT depts.

It might be a useful service for B2C devices though.

rogersach 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Doesn't Microsoft also market an "IoT Core" of their own?
Linux follows an inverse form of Conway's Law medium.com
132 points by bhjs2  15 hours ago   51 comments top 12
sunir 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't think the author makes a very convincing point here; Linux is frequently cited as a prime example of Conway's Law in practice for a reason.

The reason the driver subsystem is architected as pluggable modules ("drivers") is to support the extremely wide array of organizations that have to build into it.

The reason why Linux is broken down into subsystems is to support the "specialists" who work in only on system at a time.

The reason Linux is a monolithic kernel that has a large degree of complication internally (vs. a microkernel) is because Linus is strong enough to make it happen.

I mean, the logical error is right in the title. The author inverted cause and effect.

tytso 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Conway's Law absolutely applies to Linux. The trick is to remember that the communication patterns that Linux is optimized to reflect is "git tree pulls". Over time, things have been factored to minimize the amount of cross-tree merge conflicts. That way we can decentralize the development effort, and worry much less about conflicts when Linus has to pull from a hundred-odd git trees (many of which have sub-trees that were merged together by the subsystem maintainers before Linus then pulled them into his tree). But that is the primary communication pattern which is critical, and we have absolutely optimized how the code has been laid out to minimize communication difficulties --- when defined in terms of merge conflicts.
smitherfield 12 hours ago 1 reply      
superlopuh 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
The statistics seem to be obviously incorrect, there is no discount for the distribution of the number of files that a contributor might author/have a significant effect on. Since most contributors will have made a small number of contributions, this is a large bias.

The graph that would ultimately support the point of the article would have the difference between a simulation of a uniform distribution of contributions by the authors, and have a full 0-100% axis for scale, as opposed to the 35-65% presented in this article.

scribu 15 hours ago 4 replies      
What the article is suggesting is that the Linux architecture wasn't affected by organisational pressures that closed-source systems face.

That is to say that subsytems were defined solely based on technical considerations, which is how it should be if the goal is sound engineering.

Not sure what to make of the ratio between "specialists" and "generalists". A comparison to ratios from other projects would provide some helpful context.

davidst 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The article makes a good point but I wonder if it is an incomplete explanation. What would happen if Linus Torvalds walked away and there was no single leader to guide (or "dictate", depending on your point of view) its development? Would it begin to fragment and exhibit signs of Conway's Law?

I believe the answer is, yes, it would. While Linus is a stubborn and opinionated leader ("Benevolent Dictator For Life") it is those qualities, coupled with his extremely high standards, that have preserved the coherence of Linux's system architecture all this time.

jacques_chester 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I've elsewhere seen described the "Inverse Conway Manoeuvre": make the org fit the emerging architecture.

We do this at work. It mostly works, modulo "Distributed Systems Are Hard".

ryanmarsh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There is an unsubstantiated ocean between the "Therefore" beginning the last paragraph and the paragraphs before it. If anything, the author's data points lead me to draw the opposite conclusion.
dorfsmay 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> the Degree-of-Authorship (DOA) measure to define the authors of each file in a system

But in source control, author is typically defined as the first contributor to a file, which doesn't always reflect the person who contributed the most content to the file.

notalaser 12 hours ago 0 replies      
In my experience, while the statistics that the article quotes are obviously correct, the reasons have very little to do with the architecture, and they very much mimic the way that the "community" works. Linux' architecture has very little to do with why communication (and contributions) are the way they are. In fact, the architecture is largely designed precisely so that it can withstand the sort of organizational pressure that the Linux kernel faces. See, for example, the recent(-ish) rejection of AMD's drivers: they got rejected because they included a HAL, which -- based on previous exeperience -- is usually a bad idea in an open system, as it tends to depend on highly organization-specific knowledge, and the volume and difficulty of maintenance work makes it difficult to manage by a non-committed community once the main owner drops it for greener pa$ture$.

The very separation that the article draws "core" vs "drivers" is actually highly representative of how the Linux community is structured. Most of the core work (including the driver subsystem's backbone) is done by long-term contributors who actually work on the Linux kernel full time. Most drivers actually come from occasional contributors.

Driver contributions are "specialized" for the same reasons why they're specialized on pretty much any non-hobby operating system, namely:

1. The expertise required to write complex drivers mainly exists within the organization that sells the hardware. Needless to say, these people are largely paid -- by the hardware manufacturers! -- to pay drivers, not contribute to what the article calls core subsystems. There are exceptions ("trivial" devices, such as simple EEPROMs in drivers/misc, are written by people outside the organizations that sold them), but otherwise drivers are mostly one-organization shows. In fact, for some hardware devices, "generalists" don't even have access to the sort of documentation required to write the drivers in the first place. (sauce: wrote Linux drivers for devices that you and me can't get datasheets for. $manufacturer doesn't even bother to talk to you if you aren't Really Big (TM))

2. Furthermore, there really are subsystems in the kernel that are largely a one-company show and are very obvious examples of Conway's law. IIO drivers, for instance, while started by Jonathan Cameron who, IIRC, is really an independent developer, are largely Intel' and Analog Devices' -- to such a degree that, even though they follow the same coding conventions, if you've worked there enough, you can tell who wrote a given snippet. Same goes for most of the graphics drivers. Most of Infiniband used to be IBM, I think. If you dig down in the drivers subsystems, you'll see even funnier examples (my favourite example are ChipIdea USB controllers; a few years ago, support for USB slave mode on some Broadcom SoCs broke down because Freescale pretty much took over de facto ownership of the drivers, and some of their changesets worked fine on their ARM cores, but broke on Broadcom's funky MIPS-based cores)

Also, this is very weird to me:

> Adherence to Conway's Lay (sic!) is often mentioned as one of the benefits of microservices architecture.

Back in My Day (TM), adherence to Conway's Law was usually considered a negative trait, summarized by the mantra that, in the absence of proper technical leadership, an organization of N teams tasked with writing a compiler is going to produce an N-pass compiler.

Of course, this is a most negative example, but are we really, seriously considering that adherence to Conway's law is a positive thing today? That it's actually a good idea for the architecture of a software system to reflect the "architecture" of the team that created it, rather than, you know, the architecture that's actually best for what it's meant to do?

JacksCracked 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Could this be related to the fact that all communication between Linux devs is done by email?
First draft of the new Artificial Intelligence and Games textbook available now gameaibook.org
82 points by togelius  15 hours ago   5 comments top 2
jonbaer 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I would like to find books which pertain to just this problem alone (build order planning) ...

"Another sub-problem of the wider StarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment, 1998) playing problem is build order planning. The problem here is in which order to build certain improvements to the players base and in which order to research certain technology, a complex planning problem at a considerably higher level of abstraction than micro-battles. Here, Weber et al have data-mined logs of existing StarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment, 1998) matches to find successful build orders that can be applied in games played by agents."

CameronBanga 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I know it's a draft, but it's kinda annoying to have a big watermark of DRAFT over every page.

I don't know if a better way to do it, but really makes it tough to jump in and commit to giving a read through.

The Lisp Curse winestockwebdesign.com
14 points by mpweiher  3 hours ago   2 comments top
ealhad 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
My thoughts exactly, although expressed in a much more organized way.

I love Lisp. I had a great time learning it, but its lack of momentum is a big problem.

Ringless voice mails from telemarketers nytimes.com
130 points by HarryHirsch  17 hours ago   196 comments top 30
extrapickles 15 hours ago 13 replies      
The article doesn't describe how the technology works.

Due to the slow speed (100 voicemail/min) its likely what they are doing is initiating a call far enough for the phone system to busy out your phone, then very quickly placing a second call that the phone system sends straight to voicemail as your phone is busy. Once this call starts to hit voicemail, the original call is dropped.

I doubt phone companies let people directly send voicemail to people as they wouldn't be billing for that.

crooked-v 14 hours ago 7 replies      
> The Republican National Committee, which is in favor of ringless voice mail, goes as far as to argue that prohibiting direct-to-voice-mail messages may be a violation of free speech.

Absurd. The right to free speech does not include forcing others to listen to you.

sillysaurus3 14 hours ago 13 replies      
Anyone else in a situation where you're receiving robocalls ten times a day? Hard to believe, but I can show screenshots as proof.

I just counted. It's four times per day, like clockwork. Then there are various other robocalls that come in every couple days. So sometimes it's 4 per day, sometimes it's up to 7.

It's mildly annoying, but is there any other option than to just ignore it or keep blocking the endless new numbers that pop up?

jimhefferon 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> Regulators are considering whether to ban these messages. They have been hearing from ringless voice mail providers and pro-business groups, which argue that these messages should not qualify as calls and, therefore, should be exempt from consumer protection laws that ban similar types of telephone marketing.

What's the point of a death penalty if not for this?

gumby 14 hours ago 1 reply      
A nail in the coffin for voice mail, which I hardly check at all anyway. Automatic transcription has made thee easier to ignore, but if the volume goes up I'll just disable voice mail completely.

I'm not sure anybody actually listens to their messages any more and so I rarely leave them. After all, if it's important, why would you call at all?

bifel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The method (at least here in my country) is really simple (and not really a secret):The voicemail can be reached from a special number. This number is easy to derive from the actual phone number (usually inserting one or two digits, depending on the provider). When the "owner" calls the mailbox, he gets the "admin" functionality. Anyone else calling it can only add messages. The rest is just simple call forwarding.So all that is needed is finding out the number of the mail box.
Overtonwindow 15 hours ago 4 replies      
But HOW does it work? It's not clear by the article precisely how this is done. Possibly a triple call system. Three calls to that same number at once, each a millisecond after the other, and when the third hits the voicemail the other two disconnect immediately.
dragonwriter 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There may be (depending on the mechanism used to acheive this) a good policy argument to be made that these shouldn't be governed by laws governing phone calls, but they are exactly the same arguments that would lead to the conclusion that they should be governed by laws concerning unsolicited commercial email.
jumpkickhit 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I should be able to charge people to leave a voice mail.

Not much, say 25 cents or around there. If it's important that's a negligible cost.

dboreham 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm. I worked on voice mail systems in the 90s (by then they were already old and encrusted with feature bloat). This is actually how they work: like email or any other message delivery system. Messages are sent and delivered into mailboxes. The typical "ring-no-answer -> automated attendant" workflow that everyone sees as the face of VM is in fact an application layered on to of the base messaging service. If you know how (and it hasn't been administratively disabled) you can log in, compose a message and give it a recipient list just like email. Yoh can even schedule delayed delivery, ask for read receipt and on and on.
sgustard 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The weird thing is I get plenty of telemarketing calls now, but they almost never leave voicemail. I had assumed their whole business model was to get a live victim on the phone, not in leaving spam behind.
zzzeek 14 hours ago 1 reply      
My phone already alerts me to "spam" phone numbers for incoming calls, this will become just another spam control issue based on audio analysis / transcription of the message content. Regulations would be awesome but considering how poorly enforced even simple things like "do not call" are, well established spam control techniques probably where this will end up.
bjacobel 9 hours ago 0 replies      
If you'd like to submit a comment on this to the FCC, the link is here:


The proceeding code is 02-278.

praptak 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I never got the appeal of having voice mail in the first place. Send me a text, call again or wait for me to call back.
tjoff 15 hours ago 3 replies      
People still use voice mail? I don't believe I've encountered one in at least a decade...
kop316 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Seeing this and some of the other people who get spam calls (I get them too from time to time), I am wondering if they allow this legally, why not do something to make the effort of it not worth it?


I am reminded of this, where the goal is to waste to telemarketers time as much as possible, and my thought is enough people used it, it would make spam calling not worth it.

I would gladly pay for a program in which I could load that up on my phone and have it distract/annoy them back.


coding123 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Marriots is a company that should probably be bombed into oblivion. I signed up for a free night at a hotel. Ever since, I have probably received 2000 calls over the years from them. I think it's not just them but affiliates and other scammy/scummy businesses. If anyone is out there, please please do not ever pay Marriots a single penny. They need to go under.
mirimir 9 hours ago 0 replies      
OK, so if the spammer wants you to call back, they must leave a number. So say, if someone offered suitable SaaS, you could put that number on a list to be voicemail spammed. At one minute interval, from random numbers.
RandomInteger4 13 hours ago 1 reply      
In a way, this is a huge relief. I never listen to voice mails, so not having to be bothered by my phone ringing for something unimportant saves me a bit of time and anxiety.

Now I just have to worry about people I know, phone interviews, and debt collectors (who seem to be harassing me less often via phone these days).

dewiz 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I disabled voicemail a long time ago, never going back. I educated my contacts to retry or send a text, worked well so far.
matt_wulfeck 15 hours ago 0 replies      
In early 2000s this used to be a feature of my phone and I actually liked it. It allowed me to call someone and leave some information quick and easily. Text messages have largely replaced the need for that now. So much so that I've often pondered disabling my voicemail altogether.
amingilani 14 hours ago 3 replies      
How does this even work? How can you not ring the phone and have a voicemail?
thescribe 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps a shrink-wrap style TOS in my voice mail message? By leaving a message you agree to pay a fee per ringless message?
gech 14 hours ago 1 reply      
>They have been hearing from ringless voice mail providers and pro-business groups, which argue that these messages should not qualify as calls and, therefore, should be exempt from consumer protection laws that ban similar types of telephone marketing.

There's no limit to how low pro-business thinking can go.

s73ver 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pure evil, and I hope those doing it end up living under a bridge.
dmnd 14 hours ago 0 replies      
As if voicemail wasn't already in danger of being routinely disabled.
cmurf 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I get maybe a dozen calls per week that become 2 second hangup voicemails. It's been going on for a few years. Mark the number spam in Google Voice, but I still get a voice mail notification on my phone for those numbers unless they're also blocked. But it's a different number every time, endless.
MichaelBurge 13 hours ago 1 reply      
My first impression is that having the government regulate them is unnecessary, since you can block them on your phone(and phone providers can sell phones that block them by default). All you need is one company to sell a "telemarketer-resistant" phone with an automatically-synced blocklist and some other settings enabled by default.
mee_too 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I was planning to switch to data-only SIM anyway, don't need no phone number or voice mail.
tomjen3 15 hours ago 1 reply      
>responsible marketing.

The only responsible marketing is a nose around your fucking head. If I want your services I will contact you. Got it?

Show HN: Pydantic Data validation using Python 3.6 type hinting helpmanual.io
102 points by scolvin  17 hours ago   18 comments top 6
sametmax 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Marshmallow is still the best lib in town. Indeed, most of the libs fall short when you start to use them in the real world. Where validation is more than a type, when fields are dependants on each others, when data is generated on the fly post validation and where you need all that to cascade down your nested, sometime recursive, data structure validation, which then should produce equally complex error messages.

A data validation framework is not a toy project.

svisser 16 hours ago 1 reply      
For those looking to validate dictionaries / JSON responses in Python, the voluptuous library works quite well: http://github.com/alecthomas/voluptuous. It also works for lists and other data types.
cidnurh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting project! I'm collecting different ORM/ODM/Mappings for python in this repository: https://github.com/grundic/awesome-python-models. Added your library. Thanks!
vog 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Recently I had a similar wrote a library that creates (and dumps) your typed NamedTuples, datetimes and similar objects from simple JSON, using type annotations:

"JSON support for named tuples, datetime and other objects, preventing ambiguity via type annotations"


If you are interested, please have a look at the first unit tests to see how it works:


Note that the tests currently use the "ugly" NamedTuple syntax to be compatible with Python 3.5 and 2.7.

thristian 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've recently been using attrs as an easy way to make simple datatypes, but its only gesture towards validation is an arbitrary callback per field. Hooking into Python 3 type annotations is a great idea!

Does/will Pydantic handle all the standard dunder fields like __eq__, __lt__, __hash__, __cmp__ and faux-immutability like namedtuple and attrs do?

juni0r 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually use PyComb
McDonalds Universal Icons for 109 Countries [pdf] enlaso.com
187 points by tosh  17 hours ago   143 comments top 25
commieneko 13 hours ago 4 replies      
The older I get, the more I'm convinced that icons are not a terribly good way to convey information. Some things and concepts, sure. Others, not so much. Especially in technology and science.

Navigation can make good use of icons. Left, right, up, down, start, stop, these kinds of things can be learned and used widely. Somethings like text manipulation icons, cursors, insertions, selections, can be used effectively, but can be surprisingly hard to explain or even describe. Icons for operations can be really tough. Right now as I look at my computer I can see a library of arcane and archaic imagery. Telephones, disks, pen nibs, VCR controls (navigation, sort of), little boxes with arrows, little boxes overlapping, deadbolt locks, paper airplanes, file folders, fluffy clouds, paperclips, and of course little hamburgers.

These can certainly be useful clues, but they also can be very confusing. I've seen paint brushes used to indicate a paint brush in a paint program, but I've also seen the exact same icon used to indicate a screen refresh. Now I'm at as much a loss as anyone to come up with a good substitute, although I will note that I can't imagine any _good_ circumstances when a user needs to be in charge of refreshing the screen.

These days I'm using a lot of 3D software, and the user interfaces are a crust of complicated and indecipherable icons. And that's just the top layer of the UI. Almost all of them rely on a text/label system and hot keys for doing much of the work. Discoverability is essentially zero and the only way to get good is to learn the words and the alphabet. Pros end up _hiding_ most of the UI.

Sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures.

The only one of the icons in the link that make much sense is the one with kcal on it. Unless I dealt, in detail, with these everyday, I'd never remember what the rest stood for. Something like this may make a lot of sense for the people that produce the labels, but I'm unconvinced it does anything good for those who need to _read_ the labels. Word labels in the intended reader's language is almost certainly the best way to go for actual use.

ArmandGrillet 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Except for calories, I would not be able to understand what means the information on nutrient icons without having the corresponding word next to it.
owenversteeg 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Okay, I've got a crazy idea. Why not create a combination of words that expresses the thing, instead of these very weird and incomprehensible-at-first-glance icons?

For example, for proteins: the word "protein" is understandable in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek and Swedish. The Russian "belok" should be understandable to Polish and Russian speakers, and the Dutch "eiwitten" should be understandable to Dutch and German speakers. Thus, writing "protein/belok/eiwitten" would be understood by almost everyone. "kcal" is even simpler and should be understood by almost everyone everywhere - maybe make it "kcal/calories" for more readability. "salt/sol/" should cover everybody as well. Perhaps throw in the Cyrillic as well if McDonalds expects a large amount of uneducated Russians in their restaurants.

You could even put the native language in front to prevent any insult to cultures. Am I crazy, or might this actually work?

salgernon 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Whenever issues like this come up, I like to refer to the WIPP report on how to identify waste containment plants for 10,000 years.


In the end, it was determined that there was no guarantee that a re-established civilization could grasp what we were trying to say, and that perhaps just an area earning a reputation as cursed, via attribution of visitors, would be the best deterrent.

Therefore, I would submit: "These are not foods of honor. No highly held nutritional facts are described here. Nothing valued is here."

grovegames 16 hours ago 2 replies      
> We have accomplished our mission: keep the information simple, easy to understand, language-free and top line.

I find this amusing since the first icon is "kcal"... The information is perhaps too simple, as none of these really lets me know what they mean. Without a legend, I wouldn't know what they mean, and if your icons need a legend, then they really aren't doing their job effectively.

amelius 12 hours ago 2 replies      
So the icon for "fat" is a tape-measure, indicating that "fat" is the bad type of calories that makes you fat ... Was this made by designers, or by actual experts? Or is there malice involved here?
Ensorceled 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There are some not so subtle emotional connotations to the icons which make the icons easier to understand/remember but problematic in usage.

Protein is the bottom of a stack -- implies important or less important depending on your personal view point on stacksFat is a scale, implying an association with weight -- a negative link.Carbs are a gas gauge implying energy -- a positive link.

noonespecial 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Oh the bike-shedding! The bike-shedding must have been epic. You can just feel it oozing out of every line in that doc.
SwetDrems 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I frequently travel to non-English speaking countries and am conscious of what I ingest - the attempt to standardize nutrition labeling on an international scale is a great effort!

At this point, no, I don't know what the symbols mean without a legend, but I'm sure at some point in time, not everyone knew that a red octagon on a post means stop.

gumby 14 hours ago 0 replies      
> We have accomplished our mission: keep the information simple, easy to understand, language-free and top line.

"language-free" by constructing...a language. They even provide a translation dictionary!

futurix 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The only 'icon' I understood what the one with the text in it.
laretluval 16 hours ago 2 replies      
McDonalds has a clear conflict of interest in the design of these icons for nutrition information.
kwhitefoot 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's quite remarkable how isolated from the world the people named in that document seem to be. It is as if they had never travelled anywhere outside the US before starting the project. Or if they had they had been stunningly unobservant.
stevewillows 15 hours ago 0 replies      
As a graphic designer, its disappointing to see so many ovals that are meant to be circles.
solidsnack9000 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe the solution to iconography needs like this is Chinese characters. Many of the design criteria -- legibility at various sizes, distinctness, adaptability to different layouts and colors -- are readily met.

Two character combinations for some of the McDonald's symbology can be kind of complicated, though:

dnbi = protein

zhfng = fat

tngli = carbohydrates

rling = calories

skookumchuck 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"McDonalds legal team faced considerable challenges to ensure that none of the images were already trademarked in another country."

Alphabets solved that problem millennia ago.

taterbase 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The protein icon looks like sugar to me
sgustard 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Problem: our food has too many poisons we need to disclose. Solution: better icons for all the types of poisons! Did anyone think of a different solution?
bufordsharkley 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't see a good explanation here about why they need to have a universal set of icons.

If they allowed a greater quantity of icons that work better for each region, why wouldn't this simply be better?

karolg 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This icons don't look like anything to me. Main purpose of icons should be to replace text and McDonald's failed this time.
elijahbit 12 hours ago 0 replies      
anyone think it's strange they don't include sugar as one of the base 5 nutrients alongside carbs, proteins, etc? I for one would like to know how much sugar my meal has.
gcb0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
the title "Looks great, but will it work on Styrofoam?" made me take a second look at the year this was published.
faragon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I love McDonald's.
Kenji 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is painful. Fat, why not a bucket of lard? Salt, why not a salt shaker??? These icons are incomprehensible for the educated and the uneducated mind alike.
vultour 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't get me wrong, but I just don't see the point in this. This looks like a pretty in-depth study, why couldn't we use these man hours to create something of actual value? Why does someone care that some people associated an icon with "scary alien"? Just put the icon descriptions somewhere on the page and use circles with a single letter inside for all I care.
Crypto Tokens: A Breakthrough in Open Network Design medium.com
167 points by muneeb  19 hours ago   38 comments top 10
gz5 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Large networks "create" value and cryto tokens are an excellent way to overcome some of the key barriers of network building, and potentially to allocate value to members (users, developers, infrastructure providers) in a better way than traditional centralized networks. Very exciting from all those perspectives; not to mention the innovation that will be unshackled by lowering the cost of entry.

That said, I am trying to understand if there is enough value to go around when the network is smaller than (n) nodes? What if the application is not one that will benefit greatly from network effect, doesn't have need for the security/auth model and doesn't need massive compute/resources? What if it will never grow beyond a certain number of nodes (for whatever reason)? Note: those are NOT my opinions expressed in question form...they are pure questions that I want to brainstorm and hope that the responses are along the lines of "here's how those types of apps can benefit".

Also, at mass adoption levels (while understanding we are nowhere near that, but for the sake of the thought experiment), do we end up with millions of micro-networks, rather than the relatively small number of networks we have today? If so, does the crypto token model still hold up? My gut is it would for the infrastructure providers because they can support (n) networks. I am not sure about the rest of the ecosystem or what constructs need to be built/added if that model is to thrive?

andy_ppp 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I think even if Etherium/Crypto Tokens or likewise are the best idea since the typewriter, humans have a staggering way of choosing the worst solutions to problems.

I have a bet on for 1000 with a futurist friend that he say with 10 years half of humanity will have made a transaction on a blockchain and I say not.

My only regret at this stage is that I didn't make the bet in Bitcoin...

kem 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Blockchain-based contracts seem like a useful thing in the abstract, but I've always had two questions that no one has really been able to satisfactorily answer. These might have been answered, though, because it's been awhile since I looked into it:

1. What about blockchain length? The article kind of alludes to this, but there seems to be this "we'll deal with that problem later" idea, even though it seems critical. The answer I always got that chains would fork or be stored distributively but then that suggested the primary use would be in small networks, or that there would be critical problems to solve sooner rather than later.

2. Isn't a guaranteed decrease in monetary supply a problem? I was kind of under the impression that ideally a currency experiences a small amount of increase monetary supply, to avoid things becoming prohibitively expensive. The process of generating coin seems kind of backward to me in many ways, although I'm not an expert in the area.

fragsworth 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The only thing that makes blockchains better than privately owned databases is that you don't have to trust a private party. They are otherwise hugely inefficient. For the life of me, the only "application" I can think of that they are clearly better at is if you use them to replace the investment and trading of precious metals.

That's a huge thing, but in the long run, I think that will be the only thing.

rrggrr 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Etherium has serious potential as a distributed network, and as a networked means of greatly enhancing transaction and contract efficiency. I think we are seeing just the tip of the tip of its iceberg.

Bitcoin concerns me. If/when BTC is makes its appearance in the every day lives of ordinary people, its anonymity value will have eroded significantly. Traditional currencies have not yet started to compete with BTC, but they can and they will if necessary. Try getting a mortgage, car loan, business loan with BTC as collateral as one example of where my concerns rest. Look at the grossly inverted price of BTC and gold prices (artificially assuming 1BTC = 1Oz).

Before BTC there was growing dissatisfaction with money center currencies that persists today. BTC 'took the edge off' for many in those circles and may have relieved pressure on gold prices.

I don't necessarily believe this, but I've read in economic revisionist circles that BTC would be means for certain central banks to redirect some demand and attention for precious metals away from their vaults and toward an asset class they, better than anyone, are capable of mining with their existing computing infrastructure. So, by invention or acquiescence, BTC serves money center interests, for now, but not indefinitely.

BTC remains a highly speculative and risky asset/network in my mind.

jwildeboer 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Whenever it says "breakthrough" I get very, very cautious. Hype? Or really innovative? I'll stick to hype for the moment.
throwaway5645 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone please explain this to me like I'm 5? I get what tokens are but I still don't understand it.

Traditionally say I have a php/mysql site, that's on a server, say Digital Ocean and files are uploaded to Amazon storage.

How does that translate to Etheruem? What about private messages? If everything is public on the block chain, isn't that an issue? Does Etheruem run code?

Can anyone point me to some reading on this? And how to create a 'decentralized' social network?

This is the future and I'd like to get a handle on it, thanks!

KirinDave 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a lot of talking and linking here that doesn't lead to technical resources.

Does anyone have a more formal explanation of how blockchain is being used here?

isubkhankulov 16 hours ago 4 replies      
lets assume for the sake of argument some of these platforms aren't scams/bullshit hype and actually add value in some way. like the prediction platforms augur or gnosis.

the main problem, i then see is that if these tokens are required to use the platform, wouldnt their cost be prohibitive? and the platform wont be useful?

these tokens are going up in value just like bitcoin which always had actual use (mostly on blackmarket) so their incentives are aligned with the token being used as a currency, but not as an app token that is required for the product.

so in effect, these are just over hyped quasi securities offerings and trading.

soup10 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that token networks in general have potential. While its impressive that cryptotokens have proven to be a store of value, as they exist now don't offer any significant advantages to cash, except for black market transactions.

What i'm interested in is the ability of token networks to be useful for legitimate transactions between entities. I think in particular there's potential for token networks to increase the trust and liquidity of virtual goods. Right now cryptocoins are basically only useful for traditional transactions that cash is already very efficient at. What I want to see more of is using the logging and trust ideas of token network to develop transactions between virtual goods, that normally exist in siloed ecosystems.

A hands-on introduction to video technology: image, video, codec and more github.com
570 points by manorwar8  22 hours ago   70 comments top 15
barrkel 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Video compression is not understood well enough throughout the whole stack yet.

I recently got a 1080p projector for home use, so now movies / TV series in my home are viewed on a 100" screen. Content is mostly from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Netflix does a really good job with encoding. I cannot say the same for Amazon Prime Video; even with their exclusive (in UK) offerings, like American Gods or Mr Robot, the quality of the encode is quite poor when viewed on a big screen. Banding, shimmering blocky artifacts on subtle gradients, insufficient bit budget for dimly lit scenes - once you become aware of the issues, it becomes really distracting.

OTOH a really big screen is a fantastic ad for high quality high bitrate content. Anything less than 2GB/hour is noticeably poor.

thomastjeffery 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Remember when we did this ugly interlacing thing, so that we could get a higher (50/60fps) framerate?

When did we decide that 24/25/30fps was good enough? Now we have a Blu-Ray standard that cannot handle greater than 30fps, and media corporations that are unwilling to release content via any other medium.

Put that together with ever-increasing resolutions, and the amount of pixels something moves across from one frame to the next becomes greater, and video looks more and more choppy.

Franky, this is a much bigger problem than NTSC ever was. Even with content (The Hobbit, Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk) being created at higher framerates, users have no way to get the content outside of a specialized theater because the Blu-Ray standard cannot handle it, and because people seem to honestly believe that higher framerates look bad.

I suppose we can only hope that creators take better advantage of digital mediums that do not have such moronic, and frankly harmful, arbitrary limitations.

profpandit 20 hours ago 4 replies      
It's interesting to notethat the architecture of the first ISO codec MPEG (1)is almost identical to the one we have today H.265That codec was standardised in the late 90sSo this design has carried through for about 20 years.Most of the changes relate to the targeted parameterssuch as frame size, frame rate and bitrate.Only the last step 264 --> 265 seems to have added new features.

This is a very well written introduction

ccommsxx 20 hours ago 1 reply      
looks like this contains a bunch of creative commons (CC-BY-SA) content ripped from wikipedia without proper attribution. please add the missing attribution




ilzmastr 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This was also food for whiteboards in the show silicon valley. Compare: https://github.com/leandromoreira/digital_video_introduction...


city41 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I liked that the green channel in Mario's picture was titled "Luigi". Nice touch :)
heydenberk 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Xiph.org wrote fascinating stuff about video compression when working on their next-generation codec, Daala https://xiph.org/daala/
kozak 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The frequency of 60/1001 Hz and the situation where we are stuck with it basically forever is a shame upon the entire profession of video engineers.
rasz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
first example interlacing image is wrong, shows running dogo with simulated division into scan lines, but does not take into account timing difference - that was one of the mayor sources of deinterlacing artifacts. Alternating fields are 1/60 second apart in time.


metaphor 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Got really excited for a second thinking this was discussion on transport technology as opposed to encoding.
alfg 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I work in the VOD space, specifically in content protection and this is great reference guide. I've been meaning to write a similar guide for DRM.
callesgg 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I believe the next step in video compression will be more on smarts like object tracking och object recognition.

Machine learning becoming more and more popular will probably help :)

0xelectron 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really great. We seriously lacked a good introduction to video technology.
m1el 10 hours ago 0 replies      
How much of that repo is protected by patents and cannot be reused?
alextooter 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing work.
The nihilist and optimist programmers (2015) bourgon.org
85 points by ingve  14 hours ago   30 comments top 11
franciscop 11 hours ago 3 replies      
This is so well written, I just wish it expanded a bit more in the end. I'll tell my experience rocking from one side to the other:

When I started as a self-taught programmer I was basically fighting the code all the time and reading about these better practices and all. I followed a top-to-down learning focusing first on the deliverables. As I started learning more and more and constantly struggling with my own code, the ideal implementation (of course involving OOP) seemed further and further far off, always elusive. You could always add an extra layer, an extra abstraction here and there.

At some point I realized I was lost in an abstraction sea and not getting anything done. I abandoned some of the projects at mid-size and made https://picnicss.com/ as an example of the opposite. Oh boy, what a difference. A single stylesheet made in few days with great adoption and feedback from the community. I just saw a video of Google IO 2017 and they used it there in a demo! It also helped that I switched from PHP to Node.js around that time.

So I kind of got hooked to that. I have made quite a few tiny-sized, one-off projects ( https://github.com/franciscop/ ) and learned a lot about this quick-iteration coding. I wouldn't say it's the same as the OP's description of nihilist since that seems to be based on a large codebase. What I made was nihilist in the sense that some projects superseeded the previous ones. Example: first I made https://umbrellajs.com/ , then decided to re-implement it all and created https://superdom.site/ with an alternative syntax.

Now I think I've found a balance in the middle as I'm finishing https://serverjs.io/ ; the library's public API should be fairly stable, but the implementation details can have their shortcomings and be kind of messy at places. To finish off with a great saying for the situation:

Perfect is the enemy of good.

Slackwise 12 hours ago 1 reply      
And then there is being the nihilist because the company and project managers won't allow you to improve or fix anything anyway.
kmicklas 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Sometimes I wish I was a nihilist programmer. They seem much happier, and in my experience optimist programmers slowly get all the life sucked out of them when on a team of mostly nihilist programmers (which seems to be most in the industry).
Iv 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The thing is that the nihilist and optimist are not different persons but different mindsets and that in some circumstances, one or the other is right.

Sometimes, management dooms a project and as a programmer there is only so much you can do to make it forward. Interestingly, poor technical quality does not prevent a project from being commercially successful.

Other times, especially at the start of a project, or as a project manager, you have the ability of making it right. Do not pass on it! Have some realistic expectations about how far people will go with recommendations and best practices, but recognize opportunities to improve a design, as they are rare and valuable.

tl;dr: be the nihilist 95% of the time, but do not miss the optimist's opportunity that will happen 5% of the time!

lmm 13 hours ago 2 replies      
> If a thing is undefinable, you will naturally resist efforts to define it. If a thing is forever in flux, you will resist efforts to freeze it. If a thing is composed exclusively of compromise, you will resist efforts to make decisive decisions. And if a thing will never be good, you will resist efforts to make it good.

Isn't that a good way to approach software development? You probably shouldn't make decisive decisions, you probably shouldn't freeze your project, and if you define it you risk missing opportunities outside that definition.

Jach 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> The nihilist programmer starts from these axioms and then decides what to do. What to do? The least amount of change possible.

I don't think there's a deductive chain from those axioms to that choice of action. If you're a "nihilist programmer" (not a fan of this usage of nihilist/optimist) in this sense, there's nothing in your ethos that says it can't be better. Sure, it will always be crap, but you can make it better crap. You can do that in small bits or big bits.

The analogy I use for legacy production software is that it's a tire fire, one should endeavor not to make it worse (by unnecessarily adding more tires or fanning the flames), and if possible make it better (spray water on the thing), but it's never going to be an Eden even if you managed to put out the fire since you've still got a stack of tires that could reignite at any moment. If you start out with an Eden in the beginning, maybe you can preserve that, but even if it's ever been done it's not done most of the time.

The best is the enemy of the good, but the good is the enemy of the better. There are few things more irritating to someone with a "nihilistic programmer" mindset as seeing some self-satisfied "optimistic programmer" with their Good crap, that's still crap and could be made better. Not seeing any chance or value of improvement from good is the inverse to seeing no chance or value of improvement from broken, the problem with either view is that doing better isn't tried.

kough 13 hours ago 1 reply      
An example of in the middle: realize things have flaws, but work to improve them. Realize that perfection cannot be achieved, so work with the stakeholders to come up with something acceptable. Programming here is just one other set of tasks that has to be done. Check out http://meaningness.com for deeper insight on the philosophical side.
jasonkostempski 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm either a nihilistic optimist, or an optimistic nihilist depending on what and how much I consumed the day before.
partycoder 13 hours ago 3 replies      
The "nihilist" described here is a person that sees implementation as means towards an end, and in this perspective, functional requirements are at the center. Because of this, for these people software is a black box where the only important things are the touching surfaces.

The "optimist" described here is a person that sees software in a more broader sense: functional AND non-functional requirements. Non-functional requirements include maintainability, scalability, performance, security, configuration, etc. and will strive to implement them.


Now, my opinion:

My name for the "nihilist" programmer are "feature fairies" or "duct tape programmers". The problem with feature fairies are that they create more problems than they solve, and never volunteer to fix them.

Feature fairies like to get credited with completed features, but never with the defects associated with their contributions. Therefore they will usually play dumb when a bug happens, or an incident is declared, and make someone else clean up after them while they implement the next feature.

So after a couple of years, you have someone credited with a lot of features, and a team of people that have been cleaning up after such person. The duct tape fairy is now a 10xer, a rockstar whose time is very valuable therefore needs to be paid more, even promoted, even though this person is responsible for wasting 90% of the engineering payroll in fixing trivially avoidable defects.

The way to prevent that is to leave a trail of evidence that can link commits to bugs. When an incident happens, make sure to identify the commit id causing the problem and put it directly in the ticket. Make it very clear where the defects are coming from and who they're coming from.

Never volunteer to clean up after a feature fairy. By the time you do this, the feature fairy marked their task as complete and from the eyes of management you would be wasting your time working on a completed task. Rather than doing that:

- When the feature fairy wants to take on the next task, ask if they have fixed one of the defects caused by them as per evidenced in the commit id.

- Rather than opening a new ticket, reopen the original ticket. This better reflects the situation: you are completing the work the duct taper failed to complete, you are not adding new work. This also denies the duct taper of their prized fake task completion.

When a feature fairy volunteers to be in a hiring committee, prevent it at all costs. They last thing you need is having to clean up after more people.

Be careful while doing this to not be perceived as negative.

z5h 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We need both.
faragon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: nihilist programmers should be fired as soon as possible.
Airbnb Is Popular, but Renting Out Your Car Is Another Story nytimes.com
91 points by JumpCrisscross  18 hours ago   81 comments top 15
jakelarkin 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Had two car-owning friends that did RelayRides (now Turo) during the peak sharing economy a few years ago. Both cars were involved minor collisions within months. Turns out renting in the city to people that don't drive much, might be prone to accidents. Making sure cars weren't parked on street-cleaning side and dealing with tickets also seemed like a huge hassle. Cars have a really high administrative burden compared to homes, especially when things go wrong, which they do at a higher rate.

I've rented cars myself via Turo a couple times in the past few years. Two of the guys were operating their own small rental businesses (5+ cars, parked around on local streets). At a couple hundred bucks profit per vehicle per month, depending on utilization, having a few cars like that seems the only way to make it worth the while. As a part time job of sorts.

In the East-Bay, AAA is making a massive investment in car-sharing with GiG. I wonder if it will work out financially given state of the world with cheap ride-sharing by Uber/Lyft.

payne92 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Different analysis: it's much more likely that a car can be damaged & completely unusable, leaving the owner in an expensive and inconvenient bind. We read about the occasional Airbnb horror story, but I think that scenario is relatively rare for property.

Second, idle cars have a lot of value to owners. The car in my garage right now is giving me optionality and convenience, and that is worth a lot. In fact, I may exercise that optionality after posting this comment!

jboggan 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I've used Turo for a 3 week rental and I learned a few things.

I wanted to buy a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, but as you may know those are enthusiast vehicles and not without their quirks, so I wanted to live with it awhile and really be sure that was what I wanted. Also I was going elk hunting in Idaho for 2 weeks and I didn't own a car so I thought, how perfect?

The trip and the Jeep were great, but it got me thinking about the economics of the whole thing. I noticed that my "host" I was renting from had about a dozen identical Jeep Wranglers on Turo, not multiply listed but completely different vehicles. I realized that the "Uber landlord" model was already taking hold here. I did the math - Wranglers are some of the lowest depreciating vehicles right now even with heavy mileage, and even with 2-3 days of rental a month the owner would likely break even at the end of the loan. Interesting business.

siliconc0w 13 hours ago 3 replies      
I do really like the idea of a 'shared fleet' to get cars off the road and encourage alternative transport (walking, biking, public transport, ride sharing) and reduce our 'car culture'. Because these alternatives don't cover all use-cases, I need a car sometimes so I'm mostly forced to bear the rather large expensive of having a car all the time. I'd totally consider ditching my car entirely if I could press a button and reliably get a nice-ish car valet'd to my door in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable cost. It's unclear if this is where we're at with these companies (and I already have a car sitting in my driveway so i'm already pot committed for awhile)
Eridrus 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I put my car on Getaround for a few months in Oakland, got tired of it smelling like weed and McDonalds eventually. Damn device also ended up draining my battery.
creeble 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Curious about people's experience w/Turo. Seems like a good way to enhance a new car-buying experience.

Other than that, it seems weird from the car owner's perspective.

chx 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem here is that accidents happen. We are humans and especially during travel we might not be at our sharpest.

If your attention slips in an airbnb and drop a mug and the handle breaks off, well, that's a few dollars and an apology to the owner.

If your attention slips in a car and get in a fender bender and even if no one is injured that's a mess with insurance and at least several hundred dollars of repair.

hannob 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There were a couple of German car-via-internet-sharing startups (tamyca was one of them, seems they're still in business) and I tried them once. My impression was at the end that I payed not much less than when I would've rented from a commercial car rental company, but with much more overhead.

So that was the experience for me as a customer. With airbnb it's completely different. I feel I often get more from the things I want (e.g. kitchen access is very common in airbnb's, no Airbnb ever tried to charge me for wifi) and the prices are often massively cheaper than hotels.

godzillabrennus 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I rent regularly from Turo.

They have been a much easier option than a traditional rental car company.

They meet you at the airport.

You can rent hybrids.

You deal with a consumer who owns the car not a customer service rep who could care less about their job.

My complaints are that the app and website have terrible user experiences. Terrible is an understatement.

They were cavalier with my drivers license data going so far as to email it around to vehicle owners as an image. Though I emailed their CEO and he stopped that years ago.

Still, I'm a big fan of Turo.

GetAround is my second choice. They have much more restrictive mileage limits so I stay away.

mooreds 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Marketplaces are hard since the main thing you can sell is liquidity. If I were these car companies I'd focus in a benefit that helps users without requiring liquidity (single player mode) to bootstrap the marketplace.
spraak 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't see the point (if any?) that the article makes.
seibelj 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I can keep an eye on what's going on in my spare room. Can't keep an eye on the rented car as easily
mythrwy 15 hours ago 1 reply      
One has to put in a lot of effort to render a residence unusable (not talking about having to replace carpet, I mean irreparably ruined).

One only has to not pay attention for 30 seconds at the wrong time to do the same to an auto.

horsecaptin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There are also more specialty car rentals like Vinty and RetroMotion.

Does anyone know how successful these companies are? What kind of volume do businesses like Turo see?

gthtjtkt 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Ask HN: Books you wish you had read earlier?
344 points by jmstfv  15 hours ago   164 comments top 71
Houshalter 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Rationality: from AI to Zombies really changed my way of thinking in many ways. It's very hard to describe it or sell it in a few sentences. Partly because it covers so many different things. And partly because I read it so long ago and have already absorbed many of the good ideas in it. They no longer seem exciting and new, and just feel obvious. But they certainly weren't when I first read it.

I constantly see places where an idea from the book is relevant and I want to make people read a chapter of it. Examples include insights into evolution, artificial intelligence, morality, and philosophy. There's a short section on how people tend to argue about the definitions of words and how unproductive this is, that I always find relevant. There's a lot of discussion on various human biases and how they affect our thinking. My favorite is hindsight bias, where people overestimate how obvious events were after they know the outcome. Or the planning fallacy, which explains why so many big projects fail or go over budget.

The author's writing style is somewhat polarizing. Some people love it and some people hate it, with fewer in between. He definitely has a lot of controversial ideas. Although in the 10 years since he started writing, a lot of his controversial opinions on AI have gone mainstream and become a lot more accepted than they were back then.

nindalf 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It gave me a good understanding of where we, as a species, came from. What did we do, why did we spread across the planet, how did we replace other hominids? What I really appreciated was his ability to explain some of the underpinnings of society like religion, nation states and currency with a relatively simple idea. Afterwards I felt like "damn that's so simple, I should have thought of that!" When you think that, you know you're on to something good.

On Writing by Stephen King. This a biography masquerading as a book on writing advice... Or its the other way around. Whichever it is, I think it's a great book for any aspiring writer to read. King explains the basics on how to get started, how to persevere and through his experiences, how not to handle success. Full of honesty and simple, effective advice.

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari. Most people agree that the War on Drugs is lost and has been lost for decades now. But why did we fight it in the first place? Why do some continue to believe it's the correct approach? How has it distorted outcomes in society and how can we recognise and prevent such grotesque policies in the future? This book offers some of those answers.

Only if you're Indian - India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha. Sadly almost every Indian I've met isn't well informed about anything that happened in India after 1947, the year India became independent. History stops there because that's the final page of high school history textbooks. An uninformed electorate leads to uninformed policy, like "encouraging" the use of a single language throughout the country. If I were dictator, I'd require every Indian to read this book.

gkya 1 hour ago 4 replies      
The bible, cover to cover: if reading western literature or philosophy produced in whatever year A.D., the bible is required reading for comprehending many the references and various rhetorical modes. I'm irreligious from a muslim background myself but I'm reading it now. Same goes for the qoran, my family is not a practicing muslim family and thus I never read it, but it's a part of the canon, must be read. I'm not sure if I would like to have read these earlier tho, as now I have the consciousness to not be fooled by the stuff in these books.

Karen Armstrong's A Short History of Myth is a very nice guide into mythology and what that and religion are. It's like a vaccine for any sort of fundamentalism or bigotry, if read with some accompanying knowledge of mythological traditions.

smaddox 11 hours ago 2 replies      

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, because it changed my understanding of people for the better.

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard Feynman, because it gave me a model for how to enjoy life.

"Models" by Mark Manson, because it helped shape my understanding of heterosexual relationships.

"An Introduction to General Systems Thinking" by Gerald Weinberg, because it illuminates the general laws underlying all systems.


"Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert A Heinlein, because it showed me a philosophy and "spirituality", for lack of a better word, that I could agree with.

"The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, because they showed me how human systems break, and they provided human models for how to see and live in, through, and past those broken systems.

"Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" by Eliezer Yudkowsky, because it set the bar (high) for all future fiction, especially when it comes to the insightful portrayal of the struggle between good and evil.

gmunu 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.

You hear 'ancient wisdom' on how to lead the good life all the time. These ancient aphorisms came from a time before the scientific method and the idea of testing your hypotheses. Tradition has acted a sort of pre-conscious filter on the advice we get, so we can expect it to hold some value. But now, we can do better.

Haidt is a psychologist who read a large collection of the ancient texts of Western and Eastern religion and philosophy, highlighting all the 'psychological' statements. He organized a list of 'happiness hypotheses' from the ancients and then looked at the modern scientific literature to see if they hold water.

What he finds is they were often partially right, but that we know more. By the end of the book, you have some concrete suggestions on how to lead a happier life and you'll know to the studies that will convince you they work.

Haidt writes with that pop science long windedness that these books always have. Within that structure, he's an entertaining writer so I didn't mind.

chegra 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Mini Habits - It gave me a new perspective of how to go about making changes in my life, that aren't so burdensome.

I have developed several habits:

a. Writing a Gratitude Journal

b. Going to Gym in the morning

c. Programming in the morning

d. Reading in the morning

I copied some of my highlights here:


razzaj 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
The upside of irrationality. Ariely

Germs guns and steel. Jared Diamond

Influence, the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini

Justice: what's the right thing to do. Sandel

QED. Fyenman

All of Feynman lectures on physics

The hard thing about hard things. Horowitz

Al muqqadimah. Ibn khaldun

tudorw 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism) by Viktor Frankl who survived the concentration camps to go on to develop logotherapy and existential analysis (considered the third Viennese School of Psychotherapy). "lack of meaning is the paramount existential stress. To him, existential neurosis is synonymous with a crisis of meaninglessness", an interesting read, it does not focus on the horrors of the event, instead recognising the human capacity to overcome and rise above.
kristiandupont 12 hours ago 0 replies      

I love all the answers in here but please, please answer with more than just a title! I want to know why I should care about a book -- sell it to me, don't just throw it out there and ask me to do the work.


real-hacker 21 minutes ago 1 reply      
Books that are mentioned multiple times in this thread:The master switch; Sapiens/Homo Deus; How to Win Friends and Influence People; The animal farm; The lean startup; The Bible.

Ctrl+F these names in this page for rationale.

Is there an "awesome books" repo on Github? I wonder.

cocktailpeanuts 14 hours ago 2 replies      
The Master Switch : This really puts a lot of things into context, especially if you're in tech industry. It's basically a history of the entire Information Technology, and it's fascinating how same things happen over and over again, pendulums swing back and forth over and over again, and people keep making same mistakes over and over again. Also you can see the larger picture of why some large tech companies make the decisions they make, and how to successfully compete if you are into that.

You will become a pessimist for a while after reading this, just because it feels like there's no meaning in all this since everything repeats itself and nothing is forever, but when you recover from it you'll find yourself much more insightful about the industry and can make better decisions.

queeerkopf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
To Have or To Be? by Erich Fromm.

I did read it fairly early and it had an quite an impact on my life and thinking. It put into words a lot of my discomfort with a life focused on materialistic success. And it was inspiring seeing an intelectual combining so many of the thoughts and topics he developed during his lifetime into one coherent and approachable book.

bor0 12 hours ago 1 reply      
"How to Prove It" by D. Velleman. Introduces logical reasoning, set theory, functions, relations, and proofs. It is the base for understanding any mathematical subject.
Joeri 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The left hand of darkness, by Ursula Le Guin.

I found it by working my way through the list of joint nebula and hugo award winners (which is a really fun project, because all of them are amazing books). It is my favorite sci-fi book. It changes the way you look at gender, especially if you haven't questioned the concept much before.

galfarragem 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
The book that I should have read (and re-read) earlier:

No more Mr. Nice Guy -- Robert Glover


miqkt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Rollo Tomassi The Rational Male

If my younger self had read this, I think my course of life would be very much different than it is right now. Just a caution that it might come off as misogynistic ramblings for some readers.

beagle3 12 hours ago 2 replies      

The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind, / Julian Jaynes. Hard to tell if crazy or genius, but well worth a read. Read at 38, wish I had read this at 20 or so. Most of us take our inner voice for granted, but should we really? And what if there was evidence supporting the idea that there's another inner voice, but our modern upbringing suppresses it (but it does reappear with some illnesses, under duress, etc)?


Different Seasons / Stephen King. A collection of four stories, NOT your usuall King horror genre; one of which became the movie "Stand By Me". another became "The Shawshank Redemption", the third became "An Apt Pupil", and the fourth will likely never become a movie. All are excellent. I actually read it at 16, which was the right time, but I'll list it here anyway; if you've seen the movies and liked them, it's worth reading - the stories are (a) much more detailed than the movies, in a good way, and (b) related in small ways that make them into a bigger whole than the individual stories.

Management (software/hardware oriented):

Peopleware / Demarco & Lister - read after I was already managing dozens of people. Wish I had read it long before. This book is basically a list of observations (with some supporting evidence and conclusion) about what works and what doesn't when running a software team. Well written, and insightful.

The mythical man month / Fred Brooks - wish I had read this before first working in a team larger than 2 people. Written ages ago, just as true today; A tour-de-force of the idea that "man month" is a unit of cost, not a unit of productivity.

faragon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Eye-opening/shocking books:

"Science et Mthode" (Henri Poincar, 1908)

"The Conquest of Happiness" (Bertrand Russell, 1930)

"The Revolt of the Masses" (Jos Ortega y Gasset, 1930)

"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley, 1932)

"Reason" (Isaac Asimov, 1941, short story)

"Animal Farm" (George Orwell, 1945)

"Nineteen Eighty-Four" (George Orwell, 1949)

"Starship Troopers" (Robert A. Heinlein, 1959)

"The Gods Themselves" (Isaac Asimov, 1972)

"Time Enough for Love" (Robert A. Heinlein, 1973)

chadcmulligan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KK0PICK/ref=kinw_myk_...

It's about tidying up, but also about making your living space harmonious without clutter. It's not one of those get a box and put your pencils in it and then label it.

vizvamitra 11 hours ago 1 reply      
"The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald Norman.

Technically this book is about how humans interact with things, but actually it covers a lot more topics that one can think: how humans act, err, how they make descisions, how memory works, what are the responsibilities of conscious/subconscious. Also you'll start to dislike doors, kitchen stoves and their disigners)

kabdib 1 hour ago 0 replies      
_The Art of Electronics_. As a software guy who sometimes is involved in embedded systems, having a good understanding of what's going on at the resistor/capacitor/transistor level would have helped a lot. I did a bunch of hobby electronics as a teenager, but never had circuit theory. I knew a lot about digital design, but not the analog stuff that the whole world ultimately rests on.

So now, when I hear a switching power supply whine in protest, I will think of it as the squeals of pain of the engineers whose life I turned into a living hell because of my lack of appreciation for P = IV. Im truly sorry. I wasnt thinking. (And this is just the first chapter of that book).

Lordarminius 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
mindcrime 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The Four Steps To The Epiphany by Steve Blank. I've learned more about "what goes into building a startup" from reading this book than any other book I've read.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. One of the most inspirational stories I've ever read. A strong reminder to remain true to yourself in the face of all sorts of challenges and adversity.

Mastering The Complex Sale by Jeff Thull. I don't claim to be a great, or even good, salesman. But if I ever become any good at selling, I expect I'll credit this book for a lot of that. I really like Thull's approach with is "always be leaving" mantra and focus on diagnosis as opposed to "get the sale at any cost".

The Challenger Sale by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon. Like Thull, these guys deviate from a lot of the standard sales wisdom of the past few decades and promote a different approach. And like Thull, a core element is realizing that your customer aren't necessarily fully equipped to diagnose their own problems and / or aren't necessarily aware of the range of possible solutions. These guys challenge you to, well, challenge, your customers pre-existing mindsets in the name of helping them create more value.

The Discipline of Market Leaders by Fred Wiersema and Michael Treacy. A good explanation of how there are other vectors for competition besides just price, or product attributes. Understanding the ideas in this book will (probably) lead you to understand why there may be room for your company even in what appears to be an already crowded market - you just have to choose a different market segment and compete on a different vector.

How to Measure Anything by Douglas Hubbard. It's pretty much what the title says. This is powerful stuff. Explains how to measure "things" that - at first blush - seem impossible (or really hard) to measure. Take something seemingly abstract like "morale". Hubbard shows how to use nth order effects, calibrated probability estimates, and monte carlo simulations, to construct rigorous models around the impact of tweaking such "immeasurable" metrics. The money quote "If it matters, it affects something. If it affects something, the something can be measured" (slightly paraphrased from memory).

I wish I'd read each of these much earlier. Each has influenced me, but I'd love to have been working of some of these ideas even longer.

nihonde 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Eric Hoffer, The True Believer. You will see applications for the principles in this book in all aspects of society and politics. Easy to read and unassailable insight into what makes people join a common cause.
huac 5 hours ago 2 replies      
A non-tech, non-business recommendation: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera. A beautiful story, told with equal parts philosophy, psychology, and humor, and honestly heartbreakingly beautiful.
nscalf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The Art of Learning by Joshua Waitzkin. I was definitely in the right place to take in the topic, but it was, more or less, a book on how you can be "good" without much effort, but to be great or the best, it takes a lot of hard work and time. This book helped me learn that lesson.

On top of that, some of Tim Ferriss' stuff on accelerated learning. Learn how to learn first, then learn everything else.

WillPostForFood 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting Real - got me out of the corporate grindSICP - got me out of the OO grind

Each one had a significant positive impact on my life. And both a free online!



lowpro 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, especially good if you're feeling down or disallusioned.
zem 12 hours ago 2 replies      
i discovered 'the phantom tollbooth' in grad school (for some reason, it was pretty much unknown in india when i was growing up). i'm pretty sure kid me would have loved it even more than adult me did.
henrik_w 12 hours ago 0 replies      
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie - a timeless classic for people skills, useful in almost all circumstances.
tjalfi 12 hours ago 2 replies      

 Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard Feynman What Do You Care What Other People Think? - Richard Feynman Crime and Guilt: Stories - Ferdinand von Schirach

 The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

 Bulldog: A Compiler for VLIW Architectures - John Ellis

williamstein 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers" by Geoffrey A. Moore and also his recent "Zone to win". His books explain some of the "deeper structure" to tech business, and is one of the few business-related books I've read that has any depth. By "depth", I mean in the sense that I'm used to from research mathematics (I'm a number theorist by training), where you learn something about a problem that lets you think about problems in a more detailed way.
adekok 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The Gift of Fear (Gavin Debecker) - how to deal with bad people

The War against Women (Marilyn French) - the underlying premise is wrong, but reading it is a good way to learn how to deal with semi-rational, but insane theses. And yes, I can defend this position with quotes / paraphrases from the book, with rational explanations as to why it's insane

How the Police generate false confessions (James Trainum) - former cop explains why harsh interrogation techniques are counter-productive, and how to defend yourself

Get the Truth (Philip Houston et all) - how to tell when people are lying, via simple techniques you can remember

SirLJ 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish as a kid I had access to the following:

"More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite" https://www.amazon.com/More-Money-Than-God-Relations/dp/0143...

Market Wizards, Updated: Interviews With Top Traders https://www.amazon.com/Market-Wizards-Updated-Interviews-Tra...

The New Market Wizards: Conversations with America's Top Traders https://www.amazon.com/New-Market-Wizards-Conversations-Amer...

Hedge Fund Market Wizards: How Winning Traders Win https://www.amazon.com/Hedge-Fund-Market-Wizards-Winning/dp/...

paraschopra 4 hours ago 0 replies      
_The Beginning of Infinity_ changed my worldview from thinking progress is slowing down or problems in the world are overpowering to a more hopeful one where problems always be there for humans to solve, and that through human activity we can keep making progress. It also gave hope that one day in future, we might be able to clearly see that good, bad, evil, love, beauty might be fundamental aspects of universe, just like gravity, atoms, and radioactivity is. It also walks through philosophy of science (v/s pseduo-science). All in all, I wish I had read it earlier.

_Feeling Good_ because of the tools it contains to battle self-defeating feelings that lead bouts of sadness or depression. I wish everyone would read that book so that they can build mental immunity against circular, depressing thoughts.

widowlark 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter. This book has taught me more about thinking differently than any other.
davidgh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson. Walks you through a half dozen foundational inventions and the process through which they came to be. Fascinating to see what the inventors were trying to solve vs. how the world ended up applying their technology.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. If you haven't read the book don't judge it by the (awful) movie.

The Liberators: My Life in the Soviet Army. Really opens your eyes to the problems and realities of communism. I love the author's dry sense of humor as he witnesses the absurdity of many of the things he encountered.

Sniper on the Eastern Front, Albrecht Wacker. A view of WWII through the eyes of a German sniper.

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, Miklos Nyiszli. A view of the holocaust through the eyes of a Jewish doctor in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

ssohi 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Fooled By Randomness & The Black Swan by Taleb
tmaly 12 hours ago 1 reply      
4 Hour Work Week, it gave me some perspective on the 9-5 job I wish I had given more thought to earlier in my life when I had more time.

80/20 principle, while mentioned in the 4 hour work week, it really has a lot more to offer in the book. How you should go about leveraging your time. There was a real gem in there about how books are really the best way to acquire knowledge and a great way to approach reading in the university.

There was a speed readying and studying book I came across from a friend that owns a book store that really helped me. I wish I had that book before I entered high school. I can never recall the name, but I will try to find it.

tedmiston 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A popular recommendation here, but Getting Things Done by David Allen.
vecter 12 hours ago 0 replies      
How To Be A 3% Man by Corey Wayne [0]

I'm 30 now. I wish I had read this when I was 20. It would've made dating in my 20s so much easier. I came across it last year and it's probably the single most important book I'll ever read in my entire life, for the sole reason that understanding women will allow me to have a successful marriage one day. I cannot recommend this enough.

[0] Free online: https://www.scribd.com/doc/33421576/How-To-Be-A-3-Man

edpichler 13 hours ago 0 replies      
On the shortness of life, by Seneca.
shivrajrath 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late

This book is a detailed research on what's wrong with the world and what can be still done. The chapter II brings inputs from various culture on approaches that could improve from ground up. Must read book for us and future generations.

Can someone suggest something similar to this book?

rwieruch 13 hours ago 1 reply      
perfmode 14 hours ago 1 reply      
A People's History of the United States
CodyReichert 10 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Superintelligence. This is a really great read about the implications of AI, or general intelligence. It's really intriguing and brings up so many scenarios I've never thought about. Anyone interested in AI should definitely read this.

Similarly, On Intelligence is an absolutely brilliant book on what 'intelligence' is, how it works, and how to define it.

2) Hooked. Although it's very formulaic, Hooked provides a lot of good ideas and approaches on building a product.

3) REWORK. If you're a fan of 37 Signals and/or DHH, this is a succinct and enjoyable read about their principles on building and running a business.

Currently I'm reading SmartCuts and The Everything Store - both of which are great so far.

booleandilemma 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand.
ozovehe 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Animal farm by George Orwell: a revelation of the beginning and end of revolution and 'change'.Jewish wisdom for business success.Call of the wild by Jack London: it shows how possible it is to adapt in order to benefit maximally from change -- using a dog's (Buck) life.
zedshaw 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
How to See Color and Paint It -- It taught me how to see color and paint it. Also how to use a palette knife which makes my paintings very different and fun.

Remembrance of Things Past -- I'm still reading this, as it's a massive stream of consciousness book, but I wish I'd started it when I was younger so that I'd be done with it by now. It's just so weird to read it and experience the writing that I enjoy it for simply being different. As you read it just remember that every ; is really a . and every . is really \n\n.

Van Gogh: The Life -- I absolutely hate the authors. They're great at research, but I feel they had a vendetta against Van Gogh of some kind. Throughout the book, at times when Van Gogh should be praised for an invention, they make him seem like a clueless dork. Ironically, their attempt to portray him as a dork who deserves his treatment ends up demonstrating more concretely how terrible his life was because he was different. I think if this book were around when I was younger I might have become an artist instead of a programmer.

A Confederacy of Dunces -- Absolutely brilliant book, and probably one of the greatest examples of comedic writing there is. It's also nearly impossible to explain to people except to say it's the greatest example of "and then hilarity ensues".

Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar -- After a terrible guitar teacher damaged my left thumb I thought I'd never play guitar again. I found this book and was able to use it to learn to retrain how my left hand works and finally get back to playing. Mickey Baker's album also brought me to the Bass VI, which got me thinking I could build one, and then I did and now I've built 6 guitars. I play really weird because of this book and I love it. This book also inspired how I wrote my own books teaching programming and without it I'd still be a cube drone writing Python code for assholes. If I'd found this book when I was younger it most likely would have changed my life then too.

Reflections on A Pond -- It's just a book of this guy painting the same scene 365 times, one for each "day of the year" even though it took him many years to do it. All tiny little 6x8 impressions of the same scene. I learned so much about how little paint you need to do so much, and it's also impressive he was able to do it. I can't really think about anything I've done repetitively for every day of a year. I've attempted the same idea with self-portraits but the best I could do was about 3 month's worth before I went insane and started hating my own face.

Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting -- Instructionally this book isn't as good as How To See Color, but as a reference guide it is about the most thorough book on painting there is. It's so huge it's almost impossible to absorb all of it in one reading, so I've read it maybe 5 times over the years.

wdr1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Helped me understand investing.
jxub 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Think and Grow Rich. Amazing, though maybe simplistic, insights.
Entangled 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Anatomy of the State" by Murray Rothbard.

We live in a world of thieves masqueraded as leaders.

Amogha_IO 9 hours ago 3 replies      
There are some books I keep coming back to when I am "feeling lost and/or hopeless", when my "back is up against the wall and/or feel cornered", when I feel like I have "hit rock bottom" or I just need to "escape reality"... This list contains books I have read/listened to more than a couple times:

!For inspiration:! 1. Loosing my virginity (Richard Branson)- Richard Branson's Autobiography. From student magazine to Virgin to crazy ballooning adventures and space! I keep coming back to this when I feel like I need a morale boost. There isn't an audible version for this book, but there is a summary-type version on Audible "Screw it, Let's do it"- does a good job curating the exciting parts.

 2. The Everything Store (Brad Stone) 
-AMAZON and the man leading the massive team behind it. Jeff Bezos is quite easily one of the most important and influential people in the world. His relentless pursuit to build Amazon (& it's various products) amid constant setbacks, losses and naysayers... I personally use Amazon and their products every day. It's a really interesting view of how things are run backstage.

 3. Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson) 
- One of the most popular books in the Valley. Almost all startup founders I have met has read this. They usually have a very polarized view of Jobs after reading this. Take the good stuff and leave out the bad/crazy. Jobs was a very polarizing person and so is his biography...This is a very long book. "The second Coming of Steve Jobs" by Alan Deutschman is another really good book and a much shorter read and not super-polarizing (leaves out some of the crazy stuff from early life). Other notable Steve Jobs books I have read & highly recommend: Becoming Steve Jobs & The Steve Jobs Way.

 4. Elon Musk (Ashlee Vance) 
-Another polarizing book. I am a Spacex & Tesla Fan-boy. I picked this up in 2015 the day it was launched! I have read this at least half a dozen times by now. Hard-work, perseverance and creativity to the max. A must read for every entrepreneur.

 5. iWoz (Steve Wozniak) 
-If you are a technical-founder, this is a must read! Gives a very interesting view of- behind the scenes at Apple during its inception and early years. I was really moved by how humble Woz was/is and I am inspired by his problem solving approach.

 6. How Google Works (Eric Schmidt, Alan Eagle & Jonathan Rosenberg) 
- A very good book to read after/before this: "In the Plex" by Steven Levy. Hands down the two most important / influential books while you are starting something new. I read these while I was contemplating conceiving my startup and giving up the "safety" (illusion of safety) of a "normal-job". A must read for anyone planing to start a company and want to take it to the stratosphere (or higher)!

 7. Dreams from My Father (Barack Obama) 
- Another polarizing personality. A short but powerful memoir by Obama. This gives a unique insight into Obama's thought processes. Most people can relate to this and every "Leader" must read this. It really helps clear some of the fog on- what makes an effective leader.

!Business & Management:!

 1. The Upstarts (Brad Stone) 
-An amazing story about AirBnB and Uber. Culture is key and culture is defined by the Founders and the first few hires. The two companies are extremely similar in many ways (timing, shared economy, disruptive) but radically different in the way they are run. This came out earlier this year and is probably one of the best "startup-books" of 2017!

 2. Zero to One (Peter Thiel)
-A very short book, a must read for every entrepreneur. Dives into "first principal" thinking & execution. A very good read after/before "Elon Musk" the biography by Ashlee Vance.

 3. The power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)
-I have always wondered how successful people get so much done. They have the same amount of time as everyone else, but they are able to get so much more done...how? This book answered that question. Ever since, I have been using "Habits" as my ultimate personal tool. Day & night difference when you figure out how habits are formed how they are broken and how you can influence the process. A good companion book (from the same author) "Smarter Faster Better".

 4. How to win friends & Influence people (Dale Carnegi)
- I bought this book freshman year in college. I tried reading it then and gave up / got bored after the first few pages. I really wish I had actually made an effort to read the whole thing. It sat on my shelf collecting dust. Luckily I picked up the book again and gave it another shot. I read this during a particularly "rough-patch" at our startup- really helped me cope with the "situation". What was once a boring book is now scribbled with notes, bookmarks and highlights. A very useful life-guide.

 5. How to win at the Sport of Business (Mark Cuban)
- A very entertaining yet eye-opening book. It is very short, finished it in a couple hours. A must read for every entrepreneur. I keep coming back to this when I feel like things are going dreadfully slow and I need a boost. If you follow Mark Cuban's blog, skip this. It is mostly a summary of his blog posts.

 6. Finding the next Steve Jobs (Nolan Bushnell)
- Finding good talent and retaining it is probably the single most important thing you will do as startup founders (especially if you are the CEO). Many things in this book seem obvious (if you are familiar with the Silicon-valley culture). A good read before you set out to hire your dream team of "rockstars". A good companion book: "Outliers" By Malcom Gladwell.

 7. The hard thing about hard things (Ben Horowitz)
-Are you in a startup? If the answer is YES, then read this NOW. Ties well with "Finding the next Steve Jobs". I wish I had read this before I started my company. I have lost track of how many times I have listened to this audio-book.

 8. Start with the Why (Simon Sinek) 
- Mid-late 2013 I came across Simon Sinek's ted talks on the golden-circle and my mind was blown. I bought the book the very next day and I keep coming back to my notes whenever we are starting a new project. Get the "Why?" right and the product will define itself. This is true for building companies as it is for building great products. A must read for every entrepreneur.

 9. Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki)
-Getting ready to pitch? read this! Also watch Guy's many presentations/talks on YouTube. A good companion book- "Pitch Anything" By Oren Klaff

!Escaping Reality! 1. Hatching Twitter (Nick Bilton)-Sooooo much drama! Definitely learnt what not to do! Very interesting read.

 2. The accidental Billionaires (Ben Mezrcih) 
-I have heard that not everything in this book is "completely-true" (more distorted than others...) but still a great read!

 3. The Martian (Andy Weir)
- Hands down the best science fiction book I have read. I have lost count how many times I have listened to the audio-book (probably >15). I want to go to MARS!

 4. Harry Potter Series. 
-My go-to "background noise". I read the books as a kid. I use the audio-books to tune out the world when working on stuff that does not require my full attention (Listening Goblet of Fire as I type this)...

 5. Jurassic Park || The Lost world (Michael Crichton)
- Read the books as a kid. I usually listen to it while I am traveling. Still gets me as excited as it did when I first read the book. (The movies are nothing compared to the book...)

 6. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) 
- I am looking forward to reading the entire series. Read it once, listened to it many times (lost count). I love Space!

 7. Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
-I picked this book up while I was working on a VR project back in 2014. An excellent book for re-reads and a nice place to get some inspiration.

!Other honorable mentions:! Actionable Gamification (Yu-Kai Chou) I invented the Modern Age (Richard Snow) Inside the tornado (Geoffrey Moore) Jony Ive (Leander Kahney) Sprint (Jake Knapp) The lean startup (Eric Ries) The selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins) Titan (Ron Chernow) The inevitable (Kevin Kelly) The Innovators (Walter Isaacson) Scrum (Jeff Sutherland)

!Most if not all have an audio-book version!

If you are in a startup or plan to start one soon, reading/listening to books should become a routine. I try to get through at least one book a week, sometimes two.

Good luck!

du_bing 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The Art of Computer Programming series, by Donald Knuth.They are so well written and full of humor, I can not think of any technical book(or any kind?) written as good as these.
xparadigm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A Short History of Nearly Everything -- Bill Bryson
pmoriarty 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish I'd read some good books on fitness and nutrition when I was younger. It could have saved me a whole host of health issues.
CamperBob2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Borges: Collected Fictions (https://www.amazon.com/Collected-Fictions-Jorge-Luis-Borges/...)

IMO you won't really understand the nature and limitations of fiction until you've read JLB. His work won't change your life, as such, but it will divide it into two parts: the part that took place before you read him, and the part that comes after. You'll always be conscious of that division.

bonhasgone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The compound effect - Darren Hardy.
egonschiele 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Evicted. Showed me how racism is still alive today, how bad it actually is to live in poverty even in a wealthy country in the USA. Tore down a lot of assumptions I had made.
gtirloni 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Denial of Death (Ernest Becker)
akulbe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Personal MBA.

Deep Work.

How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Think and Grow Rich.

The E-Myth Revisited.

The Science of Selling.

(stuff about stoicism)

ctdavies 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Das Kapital. You know why.
ankitank 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A wild sheep chase by Haruki Murakami
cmmn_nighthawk 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Metaprogramming Ruby by Paolo Perrotta
jinxedID 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The Effective Executive.My company did not prepare me very well for being a team lead.
febin 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The Holy Bible

Start With Why

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Think Like a Freak


BevanR 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The lean startup. How to win friends and influence people.
makeset 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Code Complete by Steve McConnell https://www.amazon.com/dp/0735619670
rom16384 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The bible
Profragile 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The Richest Man in Babylon.
Two new peanut allergy treatments are on the verge of approval ft.com
96 points by JumpCrisscross  19 hours ago   56 comments top 16
RijilV 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Last year I learned that 20% of adults who were diagnosed with a peanut allergy outgrow it after childhood. It is worth getting tested again if you grew up with a peanut allergy.

I had signed up for a trial of one of these drugs. Having grown up in the 80s with a severe peanut allergy that required the use of the epipen more than a few times I was keen for anything that could help, even just something that would lessen the reaction so maybe I could choke down some benadryl rather than stabbing myself with that ~2 gauge (hyperbole) epipen that now costs a fortune.

First thing they did during the trial was give me two peanut tests, skin prick and blood test. Both came back negative despite positive results decades earlier as a child.

I would have never thought to get tested again on my own. Not being allergic has made such a huge difference in my life - I was always flippant about my allergy and had developed good safeguards to protect myself. But the amount of stress is caused me was amazing to have lifted. Hope that these drugs can bring that to others (or just get tested again and maybe you're one of the lucky ones!)

Clanan 17 hours ago 2 replies      
As the parent of a child with a severe, life-threatening peanut allergy, these treatments could be a Godsend. It's hard to describe the life change that occurs when a normal food like peanuts suddenly becomes a disguised killer that could take my child away at any moment. The speed with which it strikes is stunning; according to our allergist, we have only minutes to administer EpiPens to avoid the runaway anaphylactic reaction. And we've done so. The tragic story that begins the article seems a testament to this - if a reaction isn't countered in time, it can't be.

I miss Snickers.

raverbashing 16 hours ago 1 reply      
And the best prevention is giving small kids peanut based foods

But since some genius thought the best course of action was not exposing kids to it, we have the present situation (especially in the US)

blhack 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Another problem related to the increase in peanut allergies is the increase in bogus science surrounding the treatment of allergies in general:


skbohra123 15 hours ago 6 replies      
Never heard about peanut allergy here in India, looks like a first world problem.
majewsky 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Money quotes:

> Big Pharma was unmoved, believing it would be impossible to patent a medicine that was essentially a ground-up peanut.

> [One of the companies working on the issue] has ties to the food industry, which has a vested interest in finding treatments for allergies.

Make of this what you will.

mrfusion 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny it takes hundreds of millions of dollars to test putting peanut flour on people.

Going by first principles it's probably under $100.

bpm140 12 hours ago 0 replies      
That opening story just broke my heart. As a parent of a child with a severe peanut and tree nut allergy, it has been completely drilled into me: If my child is exhibiting an allergic reaction, administer the EpiPen and call 911 for an ambulance immediately.
miek 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have a baby, introduce them to watered down peanut butter or powder between 4-6 months [1]. Many healthcare groups are still advocating for parents to wait until 12 months before introducing peanut, but that is totally wrong. My friend followed this advice from Kaiser Permanente last year and his child is allergic.

[1] http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/05/508348588/...

alfon 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Another interesting read: "about 80 percent of the children who received the peanut protein plus probiotic treatment were able to consume about 0.1 ounces (4 grams) of peanut protein without a reaction. What's more, when the parents of these children were interviewed about three months after the study ended, most said that their child was still able to include some peanuts in his or her diet (varying from five peanuts to 3 tablespoons of peanut butter a week)."


theprop 8 hours ago 1 reply      
1. $400+ million to turn peanut fragments into a treatment. What?!?!?!

2. I think this treatment could potentially be a lot more deadly than the problem. It's a case of unintended side effects...in this case over-confidence vs. a strict no peanuts ever policy.

Imagine a kid has had the treatment and can eat 3 or 4 peanuts without a problem...a year or two later, maybe older & wanting to show off or over-confident, the child eats 12 peanuts...has an anaphylactic attack and dies. This case vs. a child who religiously avoids all peanuts, never considers them. A possible unintended effect related to psychology that I think should be considered.

3. Antibiotic use in infants and toddlers have been linked to a higher risk of allergies (maybe peanut allergies though I don't know if that's been studied & maybe that's why peanut allergies are a big problem in the US but not in India where most people don't take a lot of medicines)...try to avoid them if possible in small children though please listen to your doctor's advice. Antibiotics have some side effects which aren't great but on the whole have saved an incalculable number of lives.

bjt 15 hours ago 0 replies      
My niece underwent a similar treatment the past few years, but just using trace amounts of actual peanuts and then building up to larger quantities. As far as I know, there was no commercially-produced patch or capsule involved. My sister in law blogged about it here: http://girlvspeanut.blogspot.com/
SQL2219 17 hours ago 0 replies      
from the article:

About 2 per cent of American children are now allergic to peanuts, a figure that has more than quadrupled since 1997.

wendyjreichert 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually had 2 incredibly allergic cousins: younger could pretty much eat nothing but potato. They found in allergist in Concord, Mass who did this maybe 8 or 10 yrs ago: older is now totally allergy free, younger almost totally. Their allergies included wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts, animals, seafood, and even beta keritin.
MBO35711 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Never drive an emergency to the hospital. Always call an ambulance.
SQL2219 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I never knew that peanut oil was used as a vaccine adjuvant.


ICOs and VCs avc.com
116 points by untangle  21 hours ago   77 comments top 17
kemonocode 20 hours ago 4 replies      
>The investors who bought your token, like public market investors, may be gone tomorrow, next month, or next year, having moved on to the next big thing, leaving you with little to show for it other than the money you raised.

Oh boy...

>VCs, at leas the best ones, are there for your company in good times and bad. There is a difference, trust me.

This part made me laugh so bad, my entire body hurts. Now, I know pretty well who he is, thus why he may not realize how much bad VCs hurt the industry, especially when a vast number does exactly what he said: leaving as soon as there are any signs of trouble. And I know that from experience.

Now, do I always agree with ICOs? Not really, selling promises that particular way is bound to lead up to some disappointment from one side or the other. But they are perfectly valid to fund yourself if your service, your core business model can be compartmentalized that way. As he said: "The token that you sell in your ICO is the atomic unit of your business model."

zby 18 hours ago 2 replies      
This whole ICO affair will not end well. Here is a guy complaining about not being able to buy the BATs at the crowdsale: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/6efsc8/bat_ico_w... - this is a serious gold rush attitude. Those people don't seem to understand that most (9 for 10 some say) startups fail.

And the tokens they are buying is just a promise - they don't bind the company to do any thing. The company promises to use the BAT token in their future monetization model - but in fact they can pivot at any point, like many (if not most) startup do, and do something else, or maybe even do yet another ICO with another token.And that is on top of all the problems with crowdfunding - where even if there is a legal binding, and maybe a fractionary ownership - without all the regulations that were invented to protect the investors - the founders/executives still can do anything with the money they received from the funding event: https://medium.com/@zby/the-problem-with-crowdfunding-81b53f...

Update: Even if now most ICO creators are honest - then soon they'll be crowded out by scammers, because honest funders will find other ways to fund their starups - but for scammers it will never be easier than with ICOs.

empath75 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Ico's seem to primarily be a way to get around securities regulation, and I suspect that someone is going to get prosecuted for it eventually.
thesausageking 8 hours ago 1 reply      
> VCs, at leas the best ones, are there for your company in good times and bad. There is a difference, trust me.

This is backwards. Raising via an ICO mean no VC can ever push you out as CEO or take control of your company. Their priority is making the company get to a big exit, with or without you. When Ev was running Twitter, Fred wasn't a fan of his and had not problem plotting behind his back with Jack and eventually pushing him out.

equalarrow 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Fred's not a dumb guy, even though I never agreed with his Android over iOS statements (Android first, etc). I think he's smart and to him, my opinion doesn't matter, I'm sure.

However, vc is a hundreds, if not thousands of years old. Fine tuned and tweaked in the 80's on to the dot com and thru facebook & google and beyond.

ICO is just a few years old - it's typical for the disrupted to not feel threatened until it's too late. This, in my mind, is the real model going forward. Fuck pandering to Sand Hill road or SV at all - launch an ICO from anywhere in the world on your whitepaper and testnet (shaky???) dev...

ICO's may seem ridic, but this is just the beginning. We are now running at internet speed and there's gonna be a point (soon? who knows when) where this stuff is going to all be automated and 24 seconds will seem quaint.

Welcome to high frequency funding.

romanr 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I read it and still have no clue what is it about, what"ICO" stands for. Never explained
untangle 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Thread-starter here.

I have raised VC, PE, and debt. Early-stage and late stage. Here's my take on "ICO vs VC."


For the investor, they are akin to commodity futures trading. The underlying value of the token is nil, as is the degree of control over the underlying property. But returns from price speculation can be very rich.

For the issuer, they have the money virtually without strings attached. There is no other form of assistance and no loyalty implied in either direction.

For example, I'd be shocked if there were positive "operational" returns from a token like the Brave coin. For that to happen, Google, Facebook, and the rest of the ad industry would have to grant sanction to the vendor of a Chromium-based browser startup yo turn the entire industry on its side. I doubt it. Seriously.


For the investor, they get some modicum of ownership and control of the underlying property sometimes not much but usually a lot. There is an implied responsibility to help with follow-on funding, but nothing solid. The investment is risky but not speculative.

For the issuer (of preferred shares AKA the company), they get the money with all kinds of strings attached. If the VC is top-tier (e.g., Fred, Kleiner, NEA, etc.), significant branding, easy intros, and many other benefits can accrue. If the VC is less prestigious, the operational impact is more neutral. (No VC can make your company grow or be successful that's on you.)

My opinion:

1. If I could pull off an "ICO" (bad name) at my next company, I'd do it immediately. Great upside and little downside.

2. I say "immediately" because I don't think that this vehicle will last long in its current unregulated state. There will be failures. There are enemies. There will be evil deeds (fraud), and those deeds will involve unaccredited investors.

3. The ICO will be a short-term speed bump to VCs.

4. That all said, who wants to join me and start an "ICO production" company to create the coins and infrastructure for them to do their own ICOs? Speed is life, and I know some VCs... :)

bluesign 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I really dont understand the value behind ICOs.

- there is no guarantee of limited supply of tokens ( no promise that BAT will be limited )

- there is no guarantee that company will not come up with secondary token (ex: advanced attention token)

- Also there is no indication of what 1 BAT will get you. All calculations etc subject to change

kicanozcan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
VCs are actually very interested to play a part in this new form of financing. I live in the Bay Area and have been talking to friends in VCs - from my understanding, it's legally risky for them to directly invest in ICOs and they are putting money in other funds that can invest in ICOs like Polychain - this is truly an exciting time!

Also, how else you think BAT sells so fast if it wasn't for institutional money

dna_polymerase 19 hours ago 3 replies      
The BAT ICO is not a success story. It shows how f*cked up the current coin markets are. 4 people saved >50% of coins. They are not interested in the company (how can they communicate huh?) they want to sell quickly when the coin hits Poloniex. VCs are not over. The VC advantage derives from the real world experience and connections they can provide. Also no VC ever would have invested in BAT itself. Everyone knows, if there is an adtech revolution, it will come from Google and Facebook not an adblock browser producer.
runeks 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I just don't understand this.

A national currency is an irredeemable medium of exchange, made valuable because it's -- by law -- exempt from capital gains tax (it measures capital gain), and because it's been given legal tender status.

Why would anyone trade an irredeemable currency issued by a private corporation? "Currency" is surely a misnomer, because no one would want to buy or sell goods and services in exchange for it, which makes it more like irredeemable equity, which makes no sense either.

joosters 16 hours ago 1 reply      
To give an example of the current insanity of ICOs, take a look at the terms & conditions for a recent token sale - from https://patientory.com/ :


Ownership of PTOY carries no rights, express or implied, other than the right to use PTOY as a means to obtain Services, and to enable usage of and interaction with the Platform, if successfully completed and deployed. In particular, you understand and accept that PTOY do not represent or confer any ownership right, stake, share, security, or equivalent rights, or any right to receive future revenue shares, intellectual property rights, or any other form of participation in or relating to the Platform, and/or Foundation and its corporate affiliates, other than rights relating to the receipt of Services and use of the Platform, subject to limitations and conditions in these Terms and applicable Platform Terms and Policies (as defined below). PTOY are not intended to be a digital currency, security, commodity, or any other kind of financial instrument.

So.. by buying the tokens, you are getting, nothing, basically.

You have a sufficient understanding of the functionality, usage, storage, transmission mechanisms, and other material characteristics of cryptographic tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, token storage mechanisms (such as token wallets), blockchain technology, and blockchain-based software systems to understand these Terms and to appreciate the risks and implications of purchasing PTOY;

You've also got to fully understand blockchains.

You have carefully reviewed the code of the Smart Contract System located on the Ethereum blockchain at the addresses set forth in Exhibit B and fully understand and accept the functions implemented therein;

You've also got to be an expert programmer fluent in all ethereum's security weaknesses, plus you better have a disassembler handy to reverse engineer their compiled code (they don't provide any source code - plus, 'Exhibit B' doesn't event give the contract address anyway)

You are not purchasing PTOY for any other purposes, including, but not limited to, any investment, speculative, or other financial purposes;

Sure, sure. That's why people are buying these things, right?

It goes on... you also agree to indemnify the company against everything, all warranties are disclaimed, no liabilities can be held against them, you waive your rights to legal actions against the company, or any class actions (you must agree to arbitration). Oh, and they naturally reserve the right to modify these terms at any time without notice.

No-one in their right mind would agree to these kind of terms, and yet they are common across many ICOs. It is madness. And I haven't even mentioned their proposed application (healthcare on the blockchain) which is dumb in so many other ways.

regulation_d 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I've heard some people complain about GNO's dutch auction style offering, but only generically. Dutch auction seems like a good option for highly-anticipated coins like BAT. Does anybody have insight into why the dutch auction style isn't more widely used?
dreamdu5t 18 hours ago 0 replies      
VCs don't like ICOs because they expose how irrational raising money is. They hamper the whole narrative of VCs being "experts" when the truth is it's all a casino financed by the Fed. VCs are used to controlling the narrative of WHY a company deserves money.
RichardHeart 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey, we could sell equity in our company for money....or we could give out gift certificates (tokens) and keep all the equity. Sure, as soon as we've got all the dummies money, the incentives will massively shift for us so that we're better off doing a new ICO than building anything, but they won't notice. Who cares if distributed systems are an overhead and not an efficiency, we can all get rich!
yresnob 19 hours ago 0 replies      
How does prevent fraud..maybe just some types? I dunno about this..
rasmafazi 18 hours ago 0 replies      
VCs drag you into mainstream orthodoxies in order to be able to do an IPO on Wall Street. With ICOs around, who would put up with VCs again?
Rewrite Linux Kernel in Rust? dominuscarnufex.github.io
157 points by z3phyr  8 hours ago   75 comments top 12
martamoreno 55 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's a fun idea and many people have had it first thing when they heard of Rust... So why did no one do it?

Quite simply: No one is going to rewrite the Linux Kernel in Rust. It is far too big and also you are not solving any real issues either. Rust only protects you from a small fraction of errors and while for an application like a browser, this can be a big gain, I would argue that it is negligible for a kernel in general. Reasons being that all the device IO, component interaction, privilege escalations, logical errors, hardware errors, firmware errors/bugs all can NOT be addressed by rust. Even for a browser, Rust is only a band-aid. The amount of logical errors and security holes in something as complex as a modern web-browser is more than enough of an attack surface. No need for a rouge pointer to weird memory.

What is MUCH more viable though is a project to compartmentalize the Linux Kernel into HVMs. I forgot the name but there are efforts to put nearly everything into its own HVM. Which means if the printer driver goes nuts, it can't really do anything to your system except not print anymore. If your graphics driver goes nuts, well then you won't see anything... And so on.

This means, almost no code rewrites and still MUCH higher protection than RUST. Rust does not compartmentalize. If any of your system components is fucked, your whole system is still fucked. That is why it's pointless to rewrite a kernel because of a language. You need to compartmentalize it...

Look at QubesOS for an early user-space effort. Would be nice to have a Qubes-Kernel too.

kbenson 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Without making any assertions as to the benefits or problems of integrating Rust into the Linux kernel to replace components, I just want to point out it's really cool that you can and that someone has gone through the trouble of documenting how. That's just awesome.

Discussion about whether this is a good idea or not, and the problems of doing so, can now commence in earnest, and without the pesky problem of it being mostly theoretical.

jlrubin 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This was a fun write up.

On the off chance the author is reading the comments here, there are a couple security features they need to add for it to be more complete (I'm probably missing some things).

1) They should add a call to access_ok(VERIFY_WRITE, pointer, mem::size_of<Syscall>()) in rust_syscall_handle to ensures that the user space pointer points to valid userspace memory of the right shape for the syscall type.

2) They should sanitize (hopefully, using some zero-cost method) the Syscall type to guarantee that it is well-formed before calling handle. If the userspace constructs some normally impossible to construct Syscall, it's unclear how a rust match pattern handles it (i.e., if an enum has only 3 types and you pass in a falsely constructed variant with tag 100 is match guaranteed not to just be using a jump table and accidentally jump 100 instructions?)

Animats 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd rather see a rewrite of QNX in Rust, as open source. The QNX kernel isn't very large, but it offers most of POSIX, so you can run programs on it. (L4 is nice, but it does so little that people just use it as a hypervisor to run Linux. This doesn't simplify the problem.)

If you rewrite the Linux kernel in Rust, one module at a time, you'll just end up with C written in Rust syntax, with raw pointers all over the place.

im_down_w_otp 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty cool. I decided to take a similar path in trying to improve/ensafen parts of the BEAM VM by finding small chunks I could rewrite in Rust from C.

Most of the headache was build toolchain integration stuff. I did manage to get a few simple things slotted in that appear to work transparently, which made me hopeful for future more complicated things to play with like new process mailbox implementations, etc.

Anyway, great write up and a cool project!

wyldfire 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It would cease to be Linux, but by all means -- make it so!

BTW Redox OS (written in rust) originally supported Linux syscalls which I thought was a super cool feature.

Jorge Aparicio started steed, a libc implemented in rust for rust. It seems like a pretty interesting approach.

based2 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
polygot 7 hours ago 4 replies      
This is an interesting idea, but probably won't work out because Linus (and other developers) may not want to transition away from the C language (see Linus's comments about not using C++.) I think it would be excellent to see Rust being used, but the implementation of replacing C with Rust could be very complicated, and Rust's benefits may not be directly visible when having to port/rewrite a lot of the components.
amluto 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> (*pointer).handle();

Eek! That is, indeed, unsafe.

But this shouldn't be messing with the entry asm at all. Just add your new syscall to the syscall table, just like any other syscall.

jclulow 7 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder what makes AT&T assembly syntax "objectively crap".
lacampbell 7 hours ago 2 replies      
What is the rust communities obsession with suggesting (threatening?) rewrites of battle tested C programs that have been around for decades?

Now a kernel for a new OS, that'd be something.

throwaway-1209 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Let's see what Linus thinks about this.
SpaceX sticks 11th rocket landing after launching first used Dragon capsule theverge.com
225 points by smb06  12 hours ago   50 comments top 8
Pharylon 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Sometimes I think I'm smart because I can (mostly) get Webpack to work the way I want.

Then I watch a SpaceX livestream and realize, eh, not so much. ;)

friedman23 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It's already become routine, soon people will expect rockets to be reusable. If they keep up the launches every two weeks and begin even accelerating the pace of launches I do not see how any rocket company will be able to compete for business.
YZF 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow. Does anyone know what sort of control they have during the final burn? Do they modulate it in closed loop to track the landing profile or is the control via some other actuators? It just blows your mind that you can get this sort of accuracy with these speeds/distance/time. I also wonder how they get real-time accurate positioning. GPS?
eps 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain why the "Stage 1 speed" at the top right on the technical broadcast stream jumps from 6,000 km/h to 24,000 km/h right after the separation?

https://youtube.com/watch?v=PFoOqqSIYpw around 22:28 mark

In fact, the speed settles at 18,000 km/h after the landing.

marze 10 hours ago 2 replies      
If they can find customers for the recovered stages at 80% of normal price, it will be like printing money. Wow.
WestCoastJustin 10 hours ago 2 replies      
You can watch the recorded live stream landing at https://youtu.be/PFoOqqSIYpw?t=37m19s
Kenji 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The speed at which they develop, implement and successfully use this technology is mind-boggling. Congratulations to everyone involved with this.
tobych 7 hours ago 1 reply      
That headline makes no sense to me. What does "sticks" mean here?
       cached 4 June 2017 10:02:01 GMT