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Launch HN: 70MillionJobs (YC S17) Job board for people with criminal records
1077 points by RBBronson123  6 hours ago   312 comments top 81
nulagrithom 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I went through an IT technical degree at a community college. Three of my classmates were timing their graduation to the year their felony fell off background checks.

These guys spent 5 years grinding it out at whatever shit job would hire them just to spend 2 more in school + working with the hope of getting a simple rack & stack job, all because of some mistake they made in their late teens/early twenties. It was the exact same story 3 times, and all involving drug offenses.

It really gave me a different perspective on the situation. I don't think these 3 people should've been sidelined for 7 years. They could've been productive members of society well before that. Keeping them out of the skilled/professional workforce is painful.

This could be a huge untapped pool of candidates, as long as companies are willing to take the risk. I hope it takes off.

newsreader 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Former career criminal here. Spent 19 years of my adult life in a combination of jail and prison. Longest stint was for 14 consecutive years. Been working in IT for the last 17 years, mostly as a developer. Had a very hard time getting my foot in the door; was denied employment more than once because of my record. Not sure that my current employer is even aware that I have a record, and to be honest I have no plans to reveal that part of my life. Also, knowing that my criminal activities would have life-long consequences was never a deterrent. One thing I know for sure: Im not what I used to be. Today I live a peaceful and productive life with my wife, enjoy the company of family and friends, and try to stay up-to-date with technology.

I think that what you are doing is a good thing an applaud you for it.

ictoan 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Hi Richard, great idea. I'm a UX designer and want to throw out some suggestions on how to improve the experience of the site.

First, use more cheerful/positive messages/visuals. It was a joykill when I checked out your website and there's a sad guy placing his hand on the forehead. Show what's possible. How successful people can be once they get a job.. rather than their current state (unemployment). Don't focus on the current stat, focus on the future desirable state.

Also, you need to put more focus on the jobs. List featured jobs to draw people in. Just list some jobs below the search. This will engage the user to explore the site.

lbhnact 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Just want to add support. One of my childhood friends has a felony from when he was an overly-rambunctious teenager that he still gets punished for - including being kicked off AirBnB - for something he stole more than 20 years ago. Despite this, he's a very successful leader in mental health services management.

So many people deserve a chance to redeem themselves from being 'branded', yet are denied the exact opportunities that would allow them to do so. This problem goes back a long, long ways.[1]

Anything you can do to help is great. Best of luck!

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

iagooar 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Love what you are doing. This is the kind of startup I love to see being pushed forward.

With lower entry barriers for tech startups, one would expect to see more startups that fight for a better world, instead of startups who fight for selling your data faster, or detecting your face better to overlay a duckface on top of it.

This is why seeing a startup like yours makes me hopeful.

Wish you best of luck!

MentallyRetired 5 hours ago 2 replies      
One of the first things I came across was "Police Officer" in Tallahassee, FL. It's an external link. Part of the description even says:

"Have no convictions for any felony, perjury, false statement, or domestic violence. No DUI convictions past ten years. Other arrest histories are reviewed on a case-by-case basis."

I love the idea, but it needs a bit more work.

justin66 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This presents an interesting dilemma here for an ex-con. Most people can eventually get their records expunged after they're out for a while, at which point we as a society demand that they start responding "no" to the questions about having a criminal record during the interview process. It's dishonest but it's how the legal system works.

If you're an ex-con who will eventually get his record expunged, is there any risk to participating in a job board like this? I'm guessing it is pretty small, and the advantages presented by the site will be worth it. Still, it's ironic that eventually users will probably be in a position (after expungement) where it is not in their interest to use the site anymore. I wonder if, when this site is successful, it will eventually want to team up with a more conventional job site to move some of those users over. Just a thought.

malandrew 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
With the immigration crackdowns by the Trump administration, we've seen more and more stories about labor shortages in agricultural jobs often performed by immigrants. The problem has reached the point where wages have been increasing. Do those with criminal records consider these jobs? Why or why not?

I would imagine that agricultural jobs would be low-risk for those types of employers since those with criminal records are unlikely to be interacting with customers or exposed to high value inventory. Both of which are characteristics of a job that would give employers pause about hiring someone with a criminal record.

triangleman 4 hours ago 3 replies      
In a past job I was responsible for hiring a few warehouse workers, and in one case I was actually relieved to find that the applicant was on probation for a drug charge, and was required to submit to weekly urine tests. Basically the state was paying to guarantee that this worker was staying clean, and so I was pretty confident about hiring him. I wonder if other employers would be interested in that kind of info as well.
hirsin 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I think this is awesome, and I was relieved to see the focus on non-white collar crime. Some questions that I think are systemic to the entire area -

The companies hiring are at somewhat of an advantage (they can hire anyone, the employees have more limited options). How do you ensure they get a fair offer, and not, like migrant labor, receive a below market offer? Would the marketplace effect here help prevent that?(edit - looking at the website, duh, it looks like you've solved this - awesome - and found good companies.)

Your revenue model is based on companies laying to get access to these prospective employees - how do you get past the stigma (without breaching q1 above)?

I like the municipality revenue model - it would be awesome to see them as "reverse recruiters" we're they pay every time someone gets a job.

cletus 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm super-excited to see this. I really hope it works out. Thanks for doing it.

Honestly I find how this country treats those with a felony record absolutely disgusting. The "Are you a convicted felon?" is a scarlet letter that never seems to disappear. While this might've originally been well-intentioned, IMHO it perpetuates criminality as I suspect what other choices do a lot of former felons have?

There was (is?) a campaign in Massachussetts to retroactively pardon a felony conviction for Mark Wahlberg. Apparently this makes it difficult to, say, get liquor licenses and so forth.

Personally I"m 100% against a commutation for the rich and famous. What we should be doing is freeing people from this stigma, particularly when the crime was a long time ago, especially nonviolent and likely not relevant to your job.

FYI Mark Wahlberg's felony conviction was violent and pretty egregious actually as it was IIRC a racially-motivated attack on a Vietnamese man.

inetknght 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> So we created a "save haven" where all parties knew the score

Does that mean that employers know what offenses were committed, and how long ago? Or does it just mean that they know that the candidate has been convicted of something, but figuring out whether that's a liability to the business or not needs to be discussed?

javajosh 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Hey Richard, love this idea. I firmly believe in the notion that once you've paid your debt to society you should be able to participate in society as anyone else would. That this is not the fact is atrocious to me.

Do you need a remote full-stack programmer?

hwoolery 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the idea, and I really want your company to succeed. I don't really consider myself very easily offended or PC, but I thought it seemed a little stereotypical that the first two images in the hero were black people. I think that should be changed as quickly as possible if you don't want to get any backlash. My two cents : )
KGIII 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you sure those jobs all hire felons?

I browsed my State and saw jobs for physicians, pharmacists, and even a school psychiatrist.

ianbicking 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I was curious about local jobs, so I put in "Minnesota" and get to https://www.70millionjobs.com/search/-/Minnesota but then when I put more search terms into keywords I keep getting the same results (including keywords that I can tell have associated jobs). I'm guessing it's falling back to ZipRecruiter entirely, but it's also not searching those entries.
efdee 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I very much like what you're doing for those of us who've made wrong choices in the past. However, I am a little bit concerned what drives a company to go to a site -especially made for those people- looking for future employees.
slice_of_life 5 hours ago 2 replies      
> 1 in 3 adultswith criminal records

I must admit I haven't ever thought about these numbers but it strikes me as insanely high. How can this be explained? Is it a feature of just America or is it reproducible in other countries as well?

aantix 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Just curious, how do you know that the job postings you're listing accept those with criminal backgrounds?

Is this a list of curated companies? Or is there something that you're parsing out that denotes this acceptability?

glitcher 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Testing out the Job Search functionality, there seems to be some room for improvement for returning more relevant results first. Doing a quick test against a keyword search for "developer", I would much rather see all results with developer in the job title first. Instead seeing a lot of top results that are not relevant, some which I can't find a form of the word "develop" anywhere in the full job description, much less the job title.

Great concept and great start!

mathattack 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
I went on to build a large financial services firm, but despite having paid everyone back, I ended up with a 2 year Federal prison sentence.

Ummm.... This sounds like a huge rationalization. "I'm sorry for breaking in and robbing your house. Despite giving the money back, I ended up going to jail."

brightball 5 hours ago 3 replies      
A friend of mine finally had his record cleared of incidents from when he was 19-20. He took courses to learn to program but even now it's still hard for him to get a job because people want to know about the huge gap in his employment history from when nobody would hire him.
jakozaur 5 hours ago 5 replies      
Isn't yet another case that startup is trying to fix systematic screwup of law in the USA?

In USA once you got criminal record, by default it stays for rest of life with you. Implications of that may be even more severe than actual punishment.

On the other hand in most of the European countries criminal records are limited and after X years they disappear and you can't legally discriminate based on that.

Some ppl will do something stupid at some point in their life and get a criminal record. Not giving them another chance is a major problem and actually can cause a lot of damage for everyone.

TallGuyShort 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>> We expect additional revenue to come from municipalities, who spend tens of billions of dollars annually, when someone is rearrested.

I'm curious - while I agree that it also benefits the municipalities to help former criminals reintegrate into productive society, through what channel do you see expect this revenue to come? I know some tax breaks exist for hiring ex-cons, but dishing out funds to a service like this would be entirely new, right?

distortednet 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
First time creating an account on HN. Wanted to to say what you're doing is important. I will be sure word gets around about this in the appropriate circles where it would be useful.
coetry 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The work that you are doing warms my heart and I wish you the best of growth and prosperity.
stillhere 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Why buy a domain name for a number that will fluctuate over time?
wolco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I can see this concept being a huge success because it is solving a real problem. The difficult lift is the employer buyin.
Snarketing 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Silicon Valley CMO with a record here - would love to offer pro bono marketing help if needed.
RBBronson123 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback and am happy to answer any questions about 70millionjobs, the challenges faced by people with criminal records, and ideas you may have to improve our site.
darrenf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In the UK, Timpson[0] are a well known example of a national employer not only willing to hire ex-offenders but one that does so proudly, and indeed offer training to prisoners before they are even released. They have tried to convince other companies to follow their lead but with limited success. That said, we also have Clean Sheet[1] through which employers can expressly publicise their willingness to employ ex-offenders.

I find it extremely admirable. Best of luck with your approach.

[0] See for example this archived blog post: https://web.archive.org/web/20150222003545/http://www.timpso... or a search for "Timpson ex-offenders" https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=timpson+ex-offenders

[1] http://cleansheet.org.uk/

r0m4n0 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I ran a search and a few banking jobs came up, one of which mentioned going through a fingerprint background check. I find it hard to believe the US Bank in SF would take me seriously for a teller opening if I had any sort of hangups in my background.

I guess this is more of a feature request but... It would be great if you could filter out job postings that were likely just scraped or aggregated from other places!

Nice work btw, a great start for a much needed service

jitix 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Awesome idea! And a noble cause. But one word of advice - since this is a niche market you guys should focus on natural growth and profitability instead of getting too much VC money to fuel explosive growth.
forgotmyoldpw 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Um, why are all of the photos on the site of African Americans? Yes, it's true that African Americans make up 40% of the prison population, but whites make up 39% and hispanics 19%. It seems the images you have chosen are an unfair stereotype.
ghostbrainalpha 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a beautiful project.

Have you met the guys behind https://pigeon.ly/?

Are there any other problem areas related to the criminal justice system that you are not addressing, that you think a startup could help with?

ahallock 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It may be simplistic, but I believe if you've done the time, you should not have a criminal record hanging over your head when trying to find employment. For a third or fourth time offender, I may give pause, though.
losteverything 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is anyone elses reaction "What will they think of next?"

Anyone also surprised at the scope of positive and admission-comments?

Anyway, best of luck!!

markhall 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Richard, amazing idea and appreciate the candor from your personal experience. HN is a great community to spread the word of your launch, so thanks. Let me know how I can help
felon123 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How bout a separate site for those falsely accused of heinous crimes without any evidence(like Brian banks)
danschumann 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd definitely consider hiring ex-cons, as long as they had some sort of 'come to Jesus' moment where they changed their life. I used to do a lot of bad stuff, just didn't get caught for it ( mostly doing drugs ). I wouldn't want to hire former me, but now that I've changed...
geff82 4 hours ago 3 replies      
The good thing about people with a criminal record: you know what they did! You will never know this of the people around you who got away not being caught. Do I know if my neighbour did not rob a bank 10 years ago? No. So working with ex-criminals can be an encounter with honesty.
bduerst 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you thought about collaborating with CEO works?


7cupsoftea 4 hours ago 0 replies      
YES!!!! This is exactly the kind of innovation we need. Great work! Let us know if we can help. We are at very beginning stages of supporting people that are re-entering and getting folks lined up with jobs in a safe and supportive way is a big part of that. Again, hats off!
Co_Reentry 3 hours ago 0 replies      

Thanks for your effort in the reentry space! The struggle for returning citizens is real and constant and I love seeing things like this on HN. At one point I worked for a company apploi.com that had a similar business model but targeting a different demographic. I would love to share some things I learned from that experience. I also started a similar venture corestaffing.us that is hyper-focused on the Baltimore/Washington area. Let me know if you are interested in chatting!

flanbiscuit 4 hours ago 1 reply      
quick FYI, Your og:image is broken because I just tried sharing your site on facebook and all I saw were logos from other companies. When I go directly to the image you set in your og:image meta tag I get an error response


here's a direct link to FB's open graph debugger with your site already loaded into it:https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing/?q=https...

dodgycrooks 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you filter candididates by the type of crime they did?

I'd be fine with hiring people previously incarcerated for drugs offenses and other minor crimes.

However, there's no way I'm hiring any rapists or pedophiles, or other such scum.

clairity 4 hours ago 0 replies      
i'm also working on the jobs problem (not in your niche however) and really don't find the idea of another job board very compelling. can i ask why you went that route?

in any case, best of luck! it's important work to be doing.

as a society, we should do everything possible to help people who make mistakes and want to get back on the happy path. (as a side note, i think punishment is way out of whack. we need more carrot and less stick for low-level offenders, and more stick and less carrot for white-collar crimes that affect many more lives, though it seems like you got a fair amount of stick in your case.)

eizo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Richard,

This is a great idea with a nice social cause. Also,from a business perspective this is a good niche and large scale.Aside the mission and the targeted niche, how do you expect/plan to diferentiate in your product offering?

oliv__ 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I did a double take when I read the first 4 words: Richard Branson is in YC? Launching a job platform?

Anyways, this is a great idea, I hope you succeed!

tixocloud 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great initiative and hopefully will lead to a positive change for everyone involved. Will you also be thinking about training/education opportunities for applicants?
gressquel 4 hours ago 1 reply      
There are pictures african-american people on frontpage, about and guiding principles.

People MAY be offended. Just a suggestion.

austenallred 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I would imagine the difficult aspect of this two-sided market would be employers.

Not to be obtuse, but what incentive would an employer have to hire someone with criminal records?

sharemywin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
seems like a lot of what you'll need to do is on the employer education. please excuse my ignorance, I hope their not offensive, I'm just trying to help.

1. is there any extra liability for the employer if they knowingly hire someone formerly incarcerated and they commit a crime while working for them.

2. aren't some kind of tax credits for hiring formerly incarcerated incarcerated people.

3. is it only w2 or do you allow 1099 opportunities.

artur_makly 3 hours ago 0 replies      
for branding, i would consider not using a fixed # in the name - as that will fluctuate. instead consider the spirit of the idea : perhaps "SecondChances.io" or better.. keep up the good work!
Joeboy 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Possibly interesting trivia: There was an '80s British TV series called Inside Out, about people doing what you're doing.
andrew_wc_brown 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I love seeing startups who can actually transform lives. Its sad being a developer with no technical limitations but have no useful ideas.
brndnmtthws 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great. Not much else to say about it.
whataretensors 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it. Doing good and making money at the same time. What a great idea.
deepnotderp 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Just wanted to be another HN-er voicing my support for what you're doing :)

Good luck and i hope you're successful!

angersock 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really cool, and I hope that your platform takes off! The SMS integration for texting is also a nice touch. :)

One thing I wonder about is if folks in our industry would be more willing to have an felon of some variety working with them than somebody who's been tarred with the racist/sexist/conservative label?

nsxwolf 5 hours ago 2 replies      
"Richard Bronson" is an awesome name for this. It has real gravitas.
dalbasal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Important (and inglorious) work. I wish you the best Richard, genuinely.
quadcore 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Business wise: what make a company want to hire someone with a criminal record?
user5994461 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How come 1 in 3 adults in the USA have a criminal record?
freeslugs 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Can you sort by criminal record? e.g. Only white collar crimes.
sghiassy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the idea. Good luck!
dvt 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome, congratulations on your launch!
stoic 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Bless you, sir.
adalyz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
very interesting concept, all the best :-), hope it picks up, we need more love in our society
vogt 4 hours ago 1 reply      
this is cool. you should get in touch with Pigeonly (YC W15).
Invictus0 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Do you employ people with criminal records?

As an employer, I want to hire the best people so my company can be successful. Why would I hire anyone from your site when there are plenty of other candidates elsewhere?

Do you think people will try to use your site to disqualify potential hires (i.e. use it as a do-not-hire list so those registered with the site can specifically be avoided)? How will you prevent this from occurring?

Why would a company that doesn't care about criminal records advertise with you? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to advertise on a generic job board, take the best resumes, and sort out criminal history issues as they arise?

Does your site allow employers to see what a job seeker's crime was, or any other info related to that that other job boards wouldn't provide?

yequalsx 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is an important endeavor. In the U.S. we tend to be too much focused on punishment and retribution. No one benefits by preventing ex convicts from an attempt at a normal life. I hope you succeed and wish you well.

I do think you ought to remove the phrase, "...but despite having paid everyone back..." That phrasing comes off to me as a bit of a justification for what you did and seems to indicate a feeling that you should not have been sentenced. I don't know if this is your intent or if indeed such a belief is justified. It may be off putting to some.

always_learning 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Minor things like small drug offences etc. fine but major crimes? No.
sagivo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
happy to see you made it to YC, good luck!
pertymcpert 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Best of luck!
adventured 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Great business concept and social good all in one.

With the unemployed persons per job opening at such a low present level (~11-12 year low), I bet you see a lot of employer interest.

tomjen3 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Will it be possible to limit job postings to groups of offenders? Eg only non-violent offenders, only people who have been out for at least x years with no new crimes, etc?
MentallyRetired 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it
w8rbt 4 hours ago 3 replies      
State and federal governments do not get as much tax revenue either because these people are not earning at their full potential. So basically, it hurts everyone involved as well as society as a whole.
adnam 5 hours ago 5 replies      
I wish we heard more stories like these. It might dissuade people from getting involved in drugs in the first place.
felon123 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
How bout a separate site for individuals who are falsely accused of heinous crimes(murder, rape) without evidence?
Bitcoin Exchange Had Too Many Bitcoins bloomberg.com
90 points by dsri  1 hour ago   22 comments top 5
jstanley 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great writeup. Almost anything written by Matt Levine is worth reading.

This is a concise and accurate description of the fun that occurred with Bitfinex's handling of the BCH fork.

At least, it's fun if you weren't involved. If you naively held BTC on Bitfinex and were hoping to receive an equal amount of BCH you probably didn't think it was fun. If you carefully read Bitfinex's statements and decided to take advantage of their policy to acquire risk-free BCH, you probably think it's even less fun. But for the rest of us, it's fun.

cwkoss 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Bit tangential, but I read an interesting theory this morning:

Because there is greatly reduced liquidity of BCH (most exchanges don't support, hard/slow to deposit into exchanges that do), supply of BCH is artificially limited at the moment. Proponents of BCH can trade their BTC for BCH at a rate greater than they believe it is worth to easily pump the value and 'market cap' (most market cap stats have no measure of this 'locked supply') to make BCH appear more popular than it is at a fraction of the price that would be necessary if selling was easy. This could sway more miners to choose to mine BCH over BTC, and in doing so, actually increase the real value of BCH.


jandrese 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
I really don't see how this fork is going to go down as anything other than a boondoggle. Right now the value of BCC is being propped up by having almost no way to actually sell it, but once an actual market opens I fully expect its price to crash hard.
colinbartlett 45 minutes ago 1 reply      
I always really enjoy Matt Levine's columns in Bloomberg. Very detailed and technical but always very carefully explained and readable.
tobyhinloopen 31 minutes ago 4 replies      
So I had some bitcoins at time of the fork. Do I have the other new coins as well? How can I spend, sell or buy them? Is there a multibit for bitcoin cash?
Hy readthedocs.io
390 points by tosh  5 hours ago   67 comments top 20
IgorPartola 1 hour ago 10 replies      
As a heavy user of Python, and someone who grew up with the "curly braces" languages, I have a question for y'all. Is this really readable?

 (setv result (- (/ (+ 1 3 88) 2) 8))
Or rather is it more readable than

 result = ((1 + 3 + 88) / 2) - 8
I just... Do you just get used to this, or is it something that you have to keep struggling with? Especially given that the latter is how we do math the rest of the time?

taneem 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The online demo is amusing/creative: https://try-hy.appspot.com/
smaili 2 hours ago 0 replies      

> Hy is a wonderful dialect of Lisp that's embedded in Python.

> Since Hy transforms its Lisp code into the Python Abstract Syntax Tree, you have the whole beautiful world of Python at your fingertips, in Lisp form!

kzisme 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Shout out to @paultag (Author/Creator of Hy) - he's an awesome guy who has written some really cool stuff.
winter_blue 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Since Python doesn't support multi-line lambdas, how do they support the analog in LISP? It's almost necessary for any dialect of LISP to support lambdas (i.e. functions) that contain a LISP 'do' [1] which lets you group statements. Do they chain together expressions/statements with continuations or something?

[1] http://www.lispworks.com/documentation/lw60/CLHS/Body/m_do_d...

gcoda 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Reason I am trying it - best "hello world" example ever.

(print "I was going to code in Python syntax, but then I got Hy.")

alschwalm 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Hy is a great project. One unfortunate thing, though, is that no one has been able to successfully implement `let`, which makes writing idiomatic lisp almost impossible. I'm curious if anyone can actually prove it can't be done or is just very difficult (or too slow to be useful).
dvdt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One fun application: I used Hy to control my liquid handling robot,


nathancahill 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is my go-to for toy projects over the last couple years. Great execution all around. Be aware, if you don't like puns, this isn't the language for you.
udkl 1 hour ago 1 reply      
While both have their own personalities, has anyone done a side by side syntax and feature comparison of clojure and Hy ?
etiam 2 hours ago 2 replies      
There's even a couple of kernels for IPython/Jupyter.The best I've seen so far is https://github.com/Calysto/calysto_hy

I'd like to move to Hy for much more of what I currently do in Python, but so far I've been too lazy to find/create good editor support for it. For actual projects of some size the loss of context help, documentation, various completions, etc seems like too high a price to pay.

cuspycode 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I used Hylang to program an Arduino Yn a few years ago, via cross-compilation. This was a very nice experience, since it allowed me to use the great Python ecosystem without having to be limited by Python the language.
amelius 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is this like clojure, but for python instead of java?
kronos29296 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The entire thing is full of puns really too much of puns related to hy. Cool project. Python joined Erlang and Java with a lisp flavour of its own with Hy. Hope we get a let expression soon.
wodenokoto 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
Will this give me lisp in jupyther notebooks?
evanwolf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Next on the wishlist: an APL inside Python.
asimjalis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been using Hy as an alternative to Python. It is delightful to use. Highly recommended.
partingshots 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Now CS61A can finally go back to teaching purely in Scheme again.
yoodenvranx 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> Hy

This must be the worst submission title in the history of HN.

tills13 2 hours ago 0 replies      
hy more like why
DigiCert to Acquire Symantecs Website Security and Related PKI Solutions symantec.com
30 points by andygambles  1 hour ago   26 comments top 3
tptacek 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
Presumably the idea here is that DigiCert is buying Symantec's customer database, and instead of Symantec painstakingly transferring its users to a new, trustworthy certificate issuance system, everyone will just use DigiCert's.

Which, if that's the case, will mean Google and Mozilla more or less killed the web's largest CA.

michaelbuckbee 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm a reseller for Digicert - they just sent an announcement email about this, here's the most interesting bit:

"Earlier this year, the browsers proposed a plan to limit trust in Symantec certificates after discovering issues with how they were validating and issuing digital certificates. Importantly, we feel confident that this agreement will satisfy the needs of the browser community.

DigiCert is communicating this deal and its intentions to the browser community and will continue to work closely with them during the period leading up to our closing the transaction. DigiCert appreciates and shares the browsers commitment to engendering trust in digital certificates and protecting all users. "

pastyboy 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Eh ? About to be untrusted by google... interesting time to sell it.
Scientists discovered the ancestor of all flowers nature.com
28 points by p4bl0  1 hour ago   6 comments top 3
rwmj 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
Isn't there some kind of egg/chicken (flower/insect) problem here? What's the evolutionary benefit of developing a flower unless insects also develop the eyesight and coordination necessary to find nectar in the flower?
gus_massa 50 minutes ago 2 replies      
IANAB. It's weird that it's so complex. I was expecting something very simple like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvilleahttps://www.google.com/search?q=Bougainvillea+flower&tbm=isc... that has only three petals that look like colored leaves.
iaabtpbtpnn 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
It looks sort of like a magnolia, which makes sense since those are ancient flowers.
One of the lesser reasons Soundcloud deserved its fate soundcloudcommunity.com
62 points by coldtea  1 hour ago   31 comments top 13
kyledrake 59 minutes ago 3 replies      
One of my biggest criticisms of most media sites is the lack of audio normalization. It's a bad user experience to be listening to a playlist and then suddenly get blasted with audio at a much higher volume.

I used to just run one on my computer, but it usually involves installing a pretty hacky/custom audio takeover program and isn't really accessible for most people.

Purists will probably complain about the audio being modified. I suppose you could either (optionally) enable it dynamically, or you could store separate tracks for the unchanged and changed audio. But I suspect that most people would prefer their audio to be normalized. I like to throw in a good multiband compressor when I have one too, but that may be a little too opinionated for the general use case.

dsl 59 minutes ago 2 replies      
The nail in the coffin for me was when they started wiping out the massive collection of mashups that had been uploaded. Once they got in bed with the record labels and started taking down anything that even remotely resembled another song it all went to hell (things that, mind you, existed just fine on YouTube).
rocky1138 2 minutes ago 1 reply      
I don't care at all about the online music player having its own volume control. I can just turn down the volume for Firefox or Chrome. What's the big deal?
danso 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's too bad this is being framed as a Soundcloud-reaps-what-it-sows/karma thing, because a volume control flaw was meaningless among the factors that threatens Soundcloud's existence, because I'd really like to know what the design justification is for not having a volume control. There wasn't any justification given in the 2-year-old thread as far as I can see:


acchow 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why does the Soundcloud iPhone app have ZERO social functionality?

I can't read comments, post comments, see which of my followings liked this track too. I can't even see the date a track was posted, or read its description.

Come on, Soundcloud.

dexterdog 59 minutes ago 2 replies      
I don't get the complaint over a volume control. I really just want a mute button, but given that in this case it's only audio there should just be a pause because why would I let a non-live sound file play without listening to it? I like all of my sound sources to play at full volume and then I just control the global sound with my system's volume control.
whipoodle 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't like how they monkey with the "download" button. If you want volume control (among other things), you can just copy the download URL and paste that into your audio player (Quicktime is fine for this), but that's hard to do if they obscure the download link.
Dirlewanger 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Some time back, I remember reading from either a Soundcloud or Bandcamp employee (same issue) that they didn't include volume control because they didn't want users to hang around on their site habitually and treat it as a player. They wanted people to buy the music instead. A little odd, but it's not too far-fetched.
choward 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Lesser reasons? Holy crap, an audio player not having a volume control? That screams incompetence.
deft 6 minutes ago 1 reply      
Their fate being what exactly?
cyberferret 1 hour ago 1 reply      
In a similar vein, they have had an issue with their 'Spotlight' tool causing crashes in Chrome browsers whenever you try to drag and drop the play order in your profile.

I (and many others) reported this bug almost 2 YEARS AGO, but even as of a month ago, it was never fixed. I have no idea what their front end devs are up to, but when issues like the OP posted, and a simple drag/drop causes your entire browser to permanently lock up, then it doesn't bode well for the reputation of the development team.

EDIT: I believe 'Spotlight' is a paid for feature too (? Not 100% sure, but I have been a paying user of SC for years), so the fact that they may be ignoring bug fix requests for a feature used by revenue generating customers is even more perplexing.

Raphmedia 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is only true for the embedded player widget. The regular player on the Soundcloud website has volume control.

You can simply click on the song name to get to the Soundcloud website where there is a volume slider.

bllguo 57 minutes ago 2 replies      
What is up with this forum? Why is everyone quoting the wrong post?
DigiCert to Acquire Symantec's Website Security Business digicert.com
17 points by mw6621  50 minutes ago   6 comments top 4
huhtenberg 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
From the email announcement:

 ... snip ...
Also, some of you may be wondering about any implications our announced acquisition will have on the ongoing debate between Symantec and the browser community about trust in their certificates.

Earlier this year, the browsers proposed a plan to limit trust in Symantec certificates after discovering issues with how they were validating and issuing digital certificates. Importantly, we feel confident that this agreement will satisfy the needs of the browser community.DigiCert is communicating this deal and its intentions to the browser community and will continue to work closely with them during the period leading up to our closing the transaction. DigiCert appreciates and shares the browsers commitment to engendering trust in digital certificates and protecting all users.

 ... snip ...

rietta 39 minutes ago 2 replies      
How is Symantec's cert business not a toxic asset given their historical practices?
mw6621 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Under the terms of the agreement, Symantec will receive approximately $950 million in upfront cash proceeds and approximately a 30 percent stake in the common stock equity of the DigiCert business at the closing of the transaction."
packetized 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Make no mistake, this is going to be an even greater period of uncertainty for current SYMC CA customers over the next six to twelve months.
Krita Foundation: Update krita.org
215 points by ridgewell  7 hours ago   52 comments top 13
the_common_man 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Very nice, they actually sponsor some really big things like EFF, Gnome. https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/companies-we-spo... . Thank you privateinternetaccess!
ApolloFortyNine 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, go PIA. I've been a member for years now with no problems (being able to select different locations helped a lot back in the day where League of Legends would actually give half the ping if I routed through Toronto). Their dedication to supporting OSS projects just reinforces my support.
publicfig 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great to hear, glad to see good FOSS projects get the help they need. I only have a little bit of experience with Krita, but it's always been in my mind as a go-to if I ever need those tools.

It does seem a bit misleading, however, to not update the top bar to include the new funding (unless it just hasn't been updated yet). I know a lot of people will see the first blog post but not the second, and I hope the intention isn't to trick them into thinking they are still in a financial emergency (not that you shouldn't still donate)

0xFFFE 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Honest question, why so much negativity towards someone who wants to donate 20k to a good cause?
bane 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Huh, I just made an account with the the PIA folks. Glad to know that my very reasonable monthly fee is helping to support great projects.
zitterbewegung 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great! I'm not a user but, with all this hubub I am feeling like I should try it over the weekend or lunch (I do abstract art). Everyone that seems to use the software has given glowing reviews.
deft 6 hours ago 7 replies      
Warning: conspiracy below

What's with PIA buying out IRC networks and 'donating'/funding so many OSS projects? It's weird. On freenode other VPN services have been banned. What's their goal with krita? PIA doesn't have FOSS. Why are they sponsoring so many FOSS projects?

kronos29296 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Glad to see FOSS in trouble got a good Samaritan on time. Need more people like this.
lkurusa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This made me switch to PIA. Thank you!
X86BSD 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This warmed my tiny little black heart. I am glad to see the results were positive!
anigbrowl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very good of PIA to sponsor this worthy project.

This episode, and previous ones with NumPy, Octave and other open-source projects have got me thinking: would it be worth adopting Swedish-style radical transparency and publishing a project's financial status and balance in a standardized format, so that it could become a standard item in a Github repo?

Too often projects die for lack of interest or slow down for lack of funding and it's not obvious because many people don't like asking for money, especially if making money isn't their primary goal. When they do run into a cash crunch, it's embarrassing for them and potential donors have to evaluate the project in the light of a financial failure rather than its best aspects, albeit a tiny failure of cash flow rather than the epic fails of overconfident commercial bets.

And there lies a secondary problem. Because many open source innovators aren't motivated by money, they often don't have a clear vision of how money could help them, and avoid dealing with it because the pursuit of it will take up too much of their head space and distract them from the artistic/ design/ development/ investigative/ scientific/ whatever work they are doing. There's tons of work being done without finance or monetization of any kind that could definitely benefit from both, but where the doers don't wish to be distracted by the questions that surround maximizing ROI.

Could a fully transparent non-profit or non-extractive funding model attract interest and participation from investors, patrons, and commercial sales people who understand and like financial infrastructure well enough to support the specialist producer rather than just maximizing short-term return - in other words, to share some of the structural benefits of working within a firm without the authoritarian and political pressures that normally accompany employment?

Confiks 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Never waste a good crisis, or why you should sometimes be foolish to harvest your accumulated merit.
williamle8300 4 hours ago 2 replies      
You guys should use the business model that the makers of Sketch use (Bohemian Coding).

You pay a one-time fee $99 to download the app with all available features and new features for one year (365 days). After 365 days, when the Bohemian Coding team builds new features you have to pay $99 again to get those features... etcetera.

It's a great business model because you get the best of both worlds (one-time, and subscription model). This gives you capital to get started, and bootstraps your company as the software matures.

Show HN: Bt BitTorrent library in Java 8 github.com
140 points by atomashpolskiy  6 hours ago   43 comments top 8
yodsanklai 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
Nice work. I'm wondering, how would you test/benchmark such an application. Besides manual testing on a variety of torrents, how would you do regression test there? same question for benchmarking. How to compare this work with another client?
atomashpolskiy 6 hours ago 3 replies      
There are many great BitTorrent clients out there, yet I've made my own and willing to share and attract collaborators!
jph 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you, your work is terrific! Good docs, good code, and I especially like the ability to create custom code to write to alternative storage.
gigatexal 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Man this looks slick, going to give it a shot. Love the ability to be able to download a magnet link from the CLI and not worry about what some fancy GUI is doing in the background cuz I am paranoid.
zitterbewegung 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It looks great but the top GIF makes it seem like you are offering a command line BT client. If I were you I would have it slowly scroll through the code of the client in the GIF or put a few frames of code of the client and or some compiling and then show the current top GIF.
wodencafe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow thanks man! This can be useful in a variety of circumstances!
amzans 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's great to see projects like this on HN. Congrats man, well done!
styfle 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm curious, it looks like the screenshot shows the author is using a Mac. But Mac OS hasn't shipped with Java in several years. So why Java? Is it simply familiarity, or are there other reasons?
Deep Bilateral Learning for Real-Time Image Enhancement mit.edu
107 points by vadimbaryshev  6 hours ago   12 comments top 8
dharma1 5 hours ago 2 replies      
http://halide-lang.org/ is pretty good at optimising image filters for realtime use on mobile devices.

What neural networks are really good at, is if feature engineering the transform is difficult or time consuming. Like upscaling resolution (SRGAN) - or increasing dynamic range of LDR images by training with LDR-HDR pairs would be another nice use case. Neural nets for processing 1080p+ images have too many parameters to run well on mobile devices, but looks like this research gets around that (for some use cases).

Will have to play with the repo!

Film emulation (beyond the usual 3D LUTs for colour matching film stock) would be a fun use case. Wonder how much training data is required

bwang29 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this paper is showing that you "can" train an auto exposure/white balancing/edit flow algorithm with a DL pipeline, but the results do not necessarily mean it will outperform simple and cheaper auto exposure/white balancing algorithms that's out there. And the flexibility in this approach also allows masking and background removal.

However, most of the examples in the paper in fact shows improvements of exposure and color. If you import those images and tweak 3 or 4 adjustments of clarity, curves, exposure, saturation in Polarr or Lightroom, you will quickly get very close to the result produced by this paper. However, it is still impressive that it could get to an exposure histogram that looks exact like the ground truth.

Maybe someone can benchmark this against the Google photos auto enhance. A lot of people turn the auto-enhance in Google off because it sometimes create unnatural looks for photos, which are tolerable to everyday consumer but for pros it just looks bad.

Lastly, if you look very closely on the input images, some of them appears to be artificially adjusted to show how the model works. (last page, 4th row, fist image, which looks both underexposured and overexposured after damping brightness through post processing), and these input images are not always the type of images you can get from cameras.

iandanforth 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Buried lead is the awesome demo - https://youtu.be/GAe0qKKQY_I?t=130
michrassena 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
I find the examples of face brightening to detract from my impression of the entire work. Those images look so awkward, and are such poor photography that I'm not sure why someone would want to emulate them.
alcedok 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Link to github repo is 404'ing (https://github.com/google/hdrnet)
e_ameisen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting approach. And it is always great to see teams provide actual pre-trained models. The less work people have to put in to reproduce your claims, the more likely you are to be taken seriously.

The code unfortunately returns a 404 for now. Hopefully, that is fixed soon.

gfody 5 hours ago 0 replies      
this is the most complicated histo-stretch I've ever seen
dgreensp 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"Enhancement" meaning tone-mapping? Are neural networks really required for that? Seems like a lot of heavy machinery for the resulting filter, but maybe tone-mapping standards have gone up.
Building a Music Recommender with Deep Learning mattmurray.net
307 points by myautsai  12 hours ago   64 comments top 23
dnadler 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Very cool! One minor nitpick -- the author mentions that this is 'completely unsupervised'. It's true that the author didn't need to manually classify the data, but someone did.

So, I believe that this is actually supervised learning, as the author is training a classifier on preexisting labels (the genres).

I believe that unsupervised learning would not make use of a target variable at all. If the network architecture terminated at the fully connected layer, and then propagated that layer backwards to reconstruct the input (something like Contrastive Divergence), that would be an unsupervised method.

oscii 9 hours ago 1 reply      
In my opinion, the results are not quite exciting as they might seem like at the first glance. The hip-hop and minimal house classification perform almost randomly (the random classifier would have accuracy of 50%). The claim of music genre subjectivity is not fully appropriate for the categories used in this work: the presented genres are quite distinct, and they have objective differences. Knowing only BMP and rhythm structure of the tracks would be sufficient to classify most of the mentioned genres. Also, the article lacks of critical analysis of the results. The network may not have learned to analyze structural properties of the music; if this is true, than what is it classifying exactly? An averaged spectral envelope or spectral distribution? In this case the network will fail if you feed a filtered music piece into it. There is a nice paper on issues like these called A Simple Method to Determine if a Music Information Retrieval System is a Horse, you may want to check it out: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265645782

I understand this is an educational project, but nevertheless it's published, hence open for critics ;)

Edit: small style corrections.

amelius 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> It did a really good job classifying trance music while at the other end of the scale was hip hop / R&B with 61%, which is still almost 6 times better than randomly assigning a genre to the image. I suspect that theres some crossover between hip hop, breakbeat and dancehall and that might have resulted in a lower classification accuracy.

The first step to analyze this is to make a confusion matrix, [1]. It would be nice if the article included it.

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

madmax108 10 hours ago 4 replies      
This is interesting, but fairly easy to confuse. Esp. would be interesting to see what results come up when you use modified "artistic" spectographs like that of Windowlicker by Aphex Twin [1]. One thing I've learned from years of having worked with audio and images is that image representations of audio are horrible representations of it (other than for temporal changes).

The results are good though! Good work! :D

[1] http://twistedsifter.com/2013/01/hidden-images-embedded-into...

matchagaucho 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The greatest value of a music recommendation engine, IMO, is cross-genre discovery.

The history of recording industry "Genres" has close ties to cultural segregation. Pandora's Music Genome approach is optimized to break the genre barrier.

It'd be interesting to see how many "Down tempo" songs shared characteristics with "R&B", for example. I think the Author's approach could still be applied.

StreamBright 10 hours ago 0 replies      
ollin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Highly recommended further reading:

http://benanne.github.io/2014/08/05/spotify-cnns.html (Recommending music on Spotify with deep learning) uses CNNs trained on spectrograms + similarity data from collaborative-filtering to predict per-song vectors.

mattmurray 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow thanks for sharing + reading my blog post! I did this for my final project on the Data Science bootcamp at Metis [1] this spring.

[1] https://www.thisismetis.com/

stcredzero 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Music recommendation is a relatively easy problem on one level, and a huge problem on another. If you are recommending music to a neophyte of a certain genre, we've clearly been able to do this for awhile in a way that has real value. But if you're trying to recommend music for someone who is an expert/aficionado of a certain genre, this inevitably annoys that sort of person. For the 2nd type of recommendation, it's hard to provide results of actual interest. Instead, you wind up getting recommendations for pale imitations of things you like. The 2nd problem might require something close to hard sentient AI to accomplish.
CuriouslyC 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. You didn't specify, I'm guessing you did 3x3 convolutions on the spectrographs? Also, how did you choose the convolution size, number of conv/pooling layers, etc? Did you consider asymmetric convolution/pooling layers to account for the differences between the frequency and time dimensions?

There are a number of interesting directions you could go with that data set. One interesting possibility is to make a convolutional autoencoder, then use that to apply "deep dreaming" filters to music. Another interesting evolution would be to handle the frequency dimension using a 1D convolution, and run a RNN on top of that to deal with time.

amelius 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> Wouldnt it be cool if you could discover music that was released a few years ago that sounds similar to a new song that you like?

Perhaps. But of course, this is likely to put the user literally into an "echo chamber" :)

halflings 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool post! :)"Simple" method (good ol' spectrograms, and something people can realistically actually reproduce without requiring a GPU farm), and great results!
make3 7 hours ago 1 reply      
That's not how you build a recommendation engine... You build a recommendation engine by creating an embedding from each song from which user prefers them, as you would for words in word to vec.This is how Amazon and Youtube do it.


nl 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This is interesting.

My first thought was to wonder how a LSTM would do. Once might think it would be a better representation for music? There's some models which use convolutional layers along with a LSTM for video representation (eg [1]) and it would be interesting to see if convolutions are useful for capturing similar themes of music.

I wonder if one could build a music embedding (word2vec style) and use similarities in the embedding space as recommendations? The obvious objective function would be skip-gram, but there might be more interesting objectives there too.

[1] https://github.com/loliverhennigh/Convolutional-LSTM-in-Tens...

personjerry 6 hours ago 1 reply      
My understanding of convolutions is that it's a way of extracting patterns from images. To convert audio into an image and then create convolutions from that seems... convoluted, if you will. I imagine a better way would be to think of what the equivalent of a convolution would be in the audio space? I.e. noise detection, treble/bass filters, etc.?
mordredklb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty cool. Maybe I'm missing something, but what's the point in the initial genre training?

He's taking 185000 samples, and finding similar "looking" samples elsewhere in other songs, and then making recommendations based on that. I don't see what that could possibly have to do with genre labels, unless we're under the assumption that finding a match between a Drum & Bass song and one that seems similar with a tag of Trance is somehow a bad match? (which very well could be the case, but seems like a big assumption to make off the bat)

Are these recommendations silo'd to the current genre or are they allowed to span genres?

visarga 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This music CNN classifier could be used to match songs that mix (transition) well together, having similar textures.
Froyoh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm having issues scrolling on your site
johnlbevan2 9 hours ago 6 replies      
Warning: this comment has little to do with the article, beyond being a rant on the approach taken by all recommendation engines I've seen.

This an interesting approach, but the objective is similar to most recommendation engines: "Find me something similar to something I like". Sometimes that's a good requirement (e.g. when trying to queue up the next song in a playlist, it's good to have some similarity to the song you're currently listening to). However, when trying to discover new music it's generally a bad approach; since (depending how the requirement is tackled) you'll get recommendations that tend towards some median; i.e.:

 - Other songs by the same artist - Songs by artists who have collaborated with the current artist - Popular songs (i.e. if almost everyone has a Beetles album in their playlist, getting "people who bought this also bought" recommendations for anything would list Beetles, since technically that's true; it's just uninteresting. - Songs in the same genre - Songs with a similar sound / structure
i.e. it tends to list things which you're likely to be aware of anyway. Also this means you'll get lots of songs with little variety between them; making your playlists monotonous.

What I'd be really interested in seeing was an engine which finds things on the peripheral; i.e. figures out the things that are likely to appeal to you because of the more unique things you're interested in; or the popular things that you dislike. That way you're likely to get a more eclectic mix of suggestions, and broaden your musical awareness. This would likely produce a lot more false positives initially, as it's expanding your taste range rather than narrowing in on some "ideal" average, so may stray into unknowns; but once you've heard and rated something in this new area, that data can quickly feedback into the algorithm and thus you learn of things you'd previously never have discovered.

wellboy 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Why trying to do it via A.I.?

Why not checking which are the top 3 most played songs by other users who are the 1000 users who have the most similarity with the current user, and then recommend the current user the most played songs from the 1000 similar users that the current user has not listened to yet.

As far as I can see this would be superior to any existing A.I. recommendation algorithm.

robzi 11 hours ago 0 replies      
peteretep 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Tangential: has anyone found anything that doesn't completely suck for recommending books? Goodread's recommendations are terrible.
bigtoine123 8 hours ago 2 replies      
There is a simple music recommender webapp shown in the video. From your model you got a python function that maps one song (e.g. by artist,title) to other songs. What is the fastest way to build this interactive webapp (for internal, experimental) use?
Introduction to Reed-Solomon and Berlekamp-Welch (with Go Library) vivint.com
52 points by jtolds  4 hours ago   13 comments top 6
kdkeyser 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fun to read, well written, but I am not a big fan of the "oversampling" based explanation, as you start to think about functions on real values that way, while it is really finite field maths that underpins the working of these codes.

Also, Reed Solomon is not a particularly great forward error correcting code. They are optimal as "erasure codes" (i.e, you can lose some data, but the remaining data cannot have changed), but as error correcting codes, LDPC codes / Turbo codes outperform them a lot: e.g. satellite communication (DVB-S2), hard drive error correction all switched to LDPC's.

brian-armstrong 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice. There are quite a few implementations of R-S floating around out there

I'll plug mine, too, written in C. https://github.com/quiet/libcorrect

Learning enough about finite fields to implement one is really mind bending. Definitely recommend people try it, or at least make the encoder side

mcphage 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Fun mathematical aside: if you have a polynomial with positive integral coefficients, then you can uniquely determine it with only two points, no matter the degree.
tobz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just had to say that this is probably the best explanation of Reed-Solomon I've seen: practical explanations, useful visuals, good pacing, just enough humor. :)
dmitrygr 2 hours ago 0 replies      

 high-performance [...] Reed-Solomon
RS has not been the state of the art since, well, at least since BCH happened

0xdeadbeefbabe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> Your MP3 maybe got knocked down, but it got up again. Youd need to lose more than 4 pieces to keep it down.


Seed funding slows in Silicon Valley reuters.com
73 points by justswim  5 hours ago   34 comments top 9
kylehotchkiss 44 minutes ago 2 replies      
Probably an unpopular opinion, but when the startups receive $120,000,000 to make a juice machine that is only really accessible to the top 1 or 2% of the USA, it's not a bad idea to give funding a reset and give people a reason to step back from trying to raise funds and more time to work on more innovative ideas. America has it's fair of crises now, yet a good chunk of people have a smartphone. How can startups help people in the midwest and the coasts? Or what interesting things could be done given most of the world is online now? I'm sure we'll see some cool ideas and another funding boom again with some cool new ideas soon.
ryandamm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure the pause in unicorn IPOs is directly related to a slowdown in seed funding -- perhaps indirectly by minting fewer angel investors.

A lot of the popular press -- even the popular tech press -- conflates startup funding. But late stage investing, which is mostly where unicorns play, is a totally different game from seed investing.

Also, there are two stories here... one is about the shift in average check size and fewer deals. This is really just investment grade inflation, where larger deals are being called 'seed.' Not sure why but it's how it works. So much of the former seed rounds are probably underreported angel / micro fund rounds now.

[Source: my startup's funding isn't publicly disclosed for that precise reason.]

austenallred 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
From NYT that has actual numbers:

> Seed and angel investors completed about 900 deals in the second quarter, down from roughly 1,100 deals in the second quarter of 2016 and close to 1,500 deals during that time period in 2015, according to a report released last month by Seattle-based PitchBook Inc, which supplies venture capital data.

> The dollar amount provided by seed and angel investors was $1.65 billion in the second quarter. That's just shy of the $1.75 billion for the same time period of 2016.

That's slowing from 2015, but IMO these changes are pretty insignificant.

mtl_usr 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I think it has to do with the traditional app model slowly being phased out.

There is a huge saturation of apps on every major platform and it's getting harder and harder for new devs to get enough userbase that way.

cblock811 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've been hoping funding would slow so all the dead wood (we don't need all these delivery apps) can burn off without adding more to replace them. Hopefully we'll see companies try to grow sustainable businesses rather than a bunch of zombie startups that persist when they really shouldn't.
readhn 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Everything is cyclical. We have not had a major crisis since 2008... Perhaps something is coming our way. Who knows.
bretthellman 3 hours ago 5 replies      
"slow down" = great time to start a company
tejay 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think this is terrible news for entrepreneurs. It forces more operating discipline in the earlier stages. And, I believe we could do with more discipline as an ecosystem. As long as there's growth capital around once the business _is_ prepared to scale, we're all good.
nickspag 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The particular point about incumbent advantage, which admittedly has always been a factor, is particularly poignant in my mind. A lot of the recommendation is that founders shout from the rooftops about what they're working on, but in this climate is the better route to be relatively quiet with a small group of beta testers/a personal network? And go public more feature-rich or stable? If you hit a chord early on an incumbent could shift, even just "enough," and water-down your competitive edge to the point where the slag to viability just isn't realistic.
Grokking Diesel, Rust's ORM medium.com
104 points by fanf2  6 hours ago   41 comments top 7
endymi0n 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
After the unfortunate news from NPM today, I'm hoping Diesel doesn't come with a built-in defeat device... /s
kbenson 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The last major component, and secret weapon or unofficial guide (according to me) is the the test suite in the official repo (https://github.com/diesel-rs/diesel/tree/master/diesel_tests).

The tests are indeed informative, and give a good idea of how it would be used in practice. I just looked at a few and I have a much better idea of how Diesel looks to be used in practice.

What I didn't see, and don't know if it exists since I haven't read a lot of the docs, is whether Diesel has a built in way to deliver joined results as HashMaps with all fields, as that would be the simplest way I would use it in practice.

For example, if I'm doing the equivalent of:

 SELECT user.*, post.*, comment.* FROM user LEFT JOIN post ON user.id = post.user_id LEFT JOIN comment ON post.id = comment.post_id
Does it have a helper method to identify the three tables that are joined, and instead of returning individual rows, return a HashMap of the user_id to user, a HashMap of the user_id to a list of posts, and a HashMap of the post_id to a list of comments? I think that would be:

 vec![ HashMap<i32,User>, HashMap<i32,Vec<Post>>, HashMap<i32,Vec<Comment>> ]
This would approximate the actual "objectiness" or many ORMs, and would make it easier to loop over data in the desired way with a minimum of boilerplate.

Edit: Or perhaps the more performant way would be to allow registering of callbacks for each change of user, post and comment, and call the appropriate one if defined. That way there isn't time and memory spent on condensing the data into hashmaps? I'm new to thinking about how to deal with ORM results in a language like this.

dvdplm 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Is the column limit still a problem for Diesel? The 16 columns max default is not enough and even the optional 26/52 can be too little for some odd legacy schemas. I'm curious: is this a limitation that will be overcome as the library matures or is it intrinsic to the codegen architecture?
kiliankoe 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Completely unrelated to the topic, but does anybody know why I'm getting a private gist link with the post's content when sharing it from MobileSafari (iOS 11 Beta)?
neverminder 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish it was closer to Scala's Slick which is an FRM (Functional Relational Mapping), since Rust's syntax is so similar to Scala. Unlike ORMs, libraries like Slick or JOOQ (Java) have pretty much 1 to 1 DSL to SQL and Slick also provides compile time type safety which in my opinion is the main point of using it.
steveklabnik 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Diesel's authors have been hard at work on docs, but there's only so many hours in the day. Love to see posts like this.
Scarbutt 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I would have though that ORM's were an antipattern in Rust.
Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation in Human Embryos nytimes.com
153 points by tysone  4 hours ago   128 comments top 16
matt_wulfeck 4 hours ago 4 replies      
> They injected a synthetic healthy DNA sequence into the fertilized egg, expecting that the male genome would copy that sequence into the cut portion ... Instead, the male gene copied the healthy sequence from the female gene. The authors dont know why it happened.

This seems like the most remarkable part of this entire article. It sounds like a huge discovery. There's a lot of ethical concerns that can be laid aside if the embryo is simply replacing genes from the other parent. That's still just a healthy baby, not a "designer" baby.

komali2 4 hours ago 16 replies      
>and is sure to renew ethical concerns that some might try to design babies with certain traits, like greater intelligence or athleticism.

If America doesn't do it, China will, and in a generation will be swollen with a population so much more fit as to make the question of the US standing toe-to-toe laughable. If China doesn't, Russia will.

I want genetic engineering because it's logical that as humans learn to exert control over their environment, it's inevitable that we also learn to control our own evolution. Rejecting this seems like tying our hands behind our backs unnecessarily. But I get that huge swathes of the population reject it for religious reasons or what have you. I argue that the "arms race" argument could work well to sway these people, and then before we can send super-soldiers into battle, our much more intelligent children will realize total species improvement is a better investment than squabbling over arbitrary borders, and carry on the race without these disputes.

bognition 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really exciting news.

However, a big challenge that makes this work extremely difficult to bring to fruition is that you have to let an embryo develop fully to figure out to determine if the therapy actually produces a healthy human. At which point the consequences of failed experiments become increasingly difficult to work with for obvious ethical and moral reasons.

roceasta 1 hour ago 1 reply      
There's a huge difference between eliminating known mutations and somehow engineering for enhanced positive traits. The latter requires knowledge that we simply don't have.

Even if we did obtain it, it doesn't follow that Jo Slow would be worse off. We're all of us already better off living in a world with smart people in it. We're obviously better off living in a world with healthier people in it (reduced healthcare costs)

Futhermore it doesn't make sense to be personally jealous of smart people. It seems that being smart can be a significant burden; you're an outsider at best or you veer into mental disorder at worst. Only rarely do smart people flower into creative geniuses, the kind of people who contribute to progress. Most people use their smarts to be more normal than the norm...

jubabuba 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't wait until this technology matures and I can fly in to a clinic somewhere in the world to have this work completed so my future children will never have to suffer from debilitating diseases.
logronoide 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Baby Designer... DNA Architect... Genes Coder... they will sound very good in Linkedin.
quotemstr 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Good! For too long, we've been hampered by the limitations of a human nature evolved millions of years ago for a very different environment. All previous attempts at changing human nature have failed. Activism does not work. Grand social movements do not work. Policing language does not work. We now have a chance to succeed in improving ourselves using tools that actually work.
phkahler 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've often wondered about Cystic Fibrosis and DNA editing. For people with two copies of the variant gene, they get the disease. But there are indications that having one copy of it can bring benefits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterozygote_advantage).

So what if the optimum for humans is to have both variants? It would seem appropriate to move the newer CF gene variant to a different place on the chromosome so that doesn't need to displace the original gene. I imagine nature may eventually figure this out, but embryonic DNA editing could bring it about sooner. Of course this is speculative on my part and people would obviously debate taking such action even if the science really suggests it's a good idea.

fbdhsfagdshafgh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The particular fix done in this study prevents hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic disorder that I have.

I cannot explain how weird it feels to read front page headlines that scientists have "fixed" me, that its a huge breakthrough that scientists will be able to remove part of what makes me ME from future generations.

I'm all for it, of course. HCM, most frequently diagnosed in people by their sudden death, is bad. But at a personal level, this feels unnerving.

The_Notorious 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's unethical for us to not pursue gene editing. Why bring children into this world with greater susceptibilities to disease? Also, if people want to go a step further and alter traits like appearance and athletic ability that should be their choice. It is their genetic material.
ngneer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if we could figure out a way to encode knowledge in the genotype (serialization) to be extracted by the phenotype (deserialization). Injecting Wikipedia into an embryo...
basicplus2 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
One step closer to the 'master race', I guess my decendants will end up as pets, slaves or killed off.
donbronson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> She doubts a flood of couples will have edited children.

And one person's gut check should be ok, right?

CoolNickname 2 hours ago 1 reply      
A lot of people will be talking about ethics. But I'm thinking more along the lines of economics.

Rich people having expensive gene edited kids. They're stronger, smarter, more driven, and healthier than your kids. They are better looking. They'll be more advanced than kids their age. They'll have all sorts of built in advantages.

The social and economic gap will widen. Opportunities come easier to the people who look great, are crazy smart, and are driven to attain them. So the rich kids become richer and more powerful.

It's one thing to get a head start in life because your parents give you money. It's a much bigger advantage when your parents can also afford to give you built in physical and mental advantages far beyond other people.

Imagine being the kid who realizes he's slower than his classmates because his parents are poor, and that it's too late to ever change that.

EvilDictator 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone with a genetic disease that involves my spine disintegrating and my heart basically being a time bomb, I have a really hard time seeing a problem with this.

Limit it to diseases and genetic anomalies so it doesn't become a race thing and voila. Why would getting rid of things like my disease be a bad thing?

craptocurrency 2 hours ago 1 reply      
To stop spread and misuse of this research, never make a Chinese as part of this scientific committee. See how they helped spread the nuclear arsenal.
Explaining Programming to Six-Year-Olds dev.to
129 points by rbanffy  9 hours ago   65 comments top 18
arghIdontwantto 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I did something similar for my kids class (mix between 3 to 5 year olds).

The first thing I did was make a game in Unity (very simple, no death just collect things) that featured their faces and school uniform (had written permission from all parents). The kids were amazed at it and asked a lot of questions. The main point I tried to explain was computers are also for 'working' and 'creating' games, not just playing them and you could make games by 'programming' and explaining a bit what that is.

After this, I tried to explain what an algorithm is. Sounds strange to try to explain this to such young kids, but you can relate to real world situations (in this case, they have a 'routine' for lunch that never deviates, so I related to this and other routines) but to make it interesting, at the end we played a little game where we drew a grid on the floor, and we had to program a 'robot' to go forward or turn to get from one place to another. The robot was usually one of the kids and the others had to give instructions. We started to have one instruction, do movement, one instruction, do movement to having them try at least to do 4-5 instructions to get to the end. The kids loved the game and the teacher even created a small table based one for them to play by themselves.

After I took a Sphero ball, did a small app to control it based on the game we played before, and let the kids try to do the same, but this time controlling an actual 'robot'.

While I didn't show them any code, they understood that they could create 'routines' in the computer to control or display things. Was pretty cool (and the parents loved it as well when they saw the game and the kids explained to them what an 'algorithm' is :))

(this was over the course of a few weeks, so it wasn't a full day of them trying to learn everything)

camel_Snake 1 hour ago 5 replies      
I've been priming my nieces on how computers operate by playing a simple game with them. I pretend to be a robot and they give me instructions. When they say 'turn left' I keep rotating until they tell me to stop or do something else. When they say 'sit down' I just sit wherever I am, even if there's a chair right behind me.

They think I'm just being silly and we all have a laugh but they're getting the hang of it!

vanni 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, we programmers are WRITERS who have to think thoroughly and write very carefully, because our READERS always take our words literally, and we really don't want things to go bad.
Xoros 6 hours ago 2 replies      
"Nowadays every kid watches cartoons on YouTube".

Well, no.

(Here comes my 2cts)

Recently, at the age of seven, my son discovered how the remote control works. He was proud that he figured it all by himself.

And I was proud that my son discovered that at the age of seven and not at the age of two or three.

When my children wakes up in the morning they don't switch the tv on or any other screen.

They play.

They build stuff with Lego or wood game. They draw. They go in the garden to play with the dog or with their bikes.

Of course they sometimes play a game on my tablet or telephone, it's not 20th century anymore.

But they don't own any. And they don't choose when they can watch a screen. (Steve Jobs did the same with his children after all [0])

Despite that, I will start to teach them programming next school year, I've bought a PI for each, and I welcome the article ! It's just I think this is important, but not a priority for youngs.

[0] https://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/11/fashion/steve-jobs-app...

Marcus316 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Reading through this link, I like that the author/presenter is trying to relate things to what the kids experience. That said, it still felt a bit all over the place. That's OK, of course, as I wouldn't expect much more than to pique the interest of the children, inviting them to explore a bit on their own later.

My five year old is starting to understand a bit about programing and computers, and we enjoyed going through the following book:https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/9570/li...

It's a pretty good basic introduction, in my opinion. It doesn't get too complicated, either, presenting different types of computers, the basics of binary numbers, input and output, and also has online resources available as supplement. If you can find a copy at your local library (which is where we picked it up), give it a look-see.

neves 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I preferred my approach. It was for 9 years old.

I've build with them a robot mask from a cardboard box. (fun!)Put on the mask and told them that the robot is stupid, just understands 2 commands: step forward and turn right.

Put them to teach the robot to go around the room. Asked how to make the robot turn left. Created a command to turn left. Abstraction! Simplified some commands with loops.

We all had a good time.

dogprez 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was once got a chance to describe to a class of kids in Marin County what programming is. They were maybe 10 years old. I used the analogy of a robot that does exactly what you tell it to do. A little girl raised her hand as asked, "Like my maid?"
j_s 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things | https://amzn.com/dp/1593275749/ ($10.99 Kindle / $11.40 Paperback)

- "I think it is a little too subtle"

- "it introduces some basic computer science ideas, without being too technical"


src: Ask HN: How should I teach code to kids? | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13675268 (4.5 months ago)

romaniv 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you find this kind of stuff interesting/challenging, you might want to read some stuff from Seymour Papert who dedicated large portion of his life to figuring exactly this: how to teach kids to program. His definition of "programming" was a bit broader, though.


bllguo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I once knew a 2nd grade kid who was learning calculus and competing in AIME. An incredible outlier? Or is it possible for children to develop these skills through practice and early training? I wonder how many of our attitudes and beliefs towards early education are dictated by tradition (what we went through in our childhoods), vs. what is actually possible.

Think of the potential when someone learns to program at 6 years old, and keeps at it! I hate to use the word "disruption" but I really wonder if education could potentially be "disrupted."

mtl_usr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was about 6 or 7 there was a complete section of my math textbook which contained informations and example on the BASIC language. We, of course, never read those chapters in class but I did anyways while bored with the actual stuff the teacher would say.

It would use a very simple and systematic flowchart representation to model control flow. The great thing about it is that once you understood < > = (also taught in the class) the whole program could be readable.

I think I was the only one to read it and pretty much got the feeling it wasn't important as nobody, even the teacher, payed any attention to it.

mathgeek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> They also know the movies are kept on CDs/DVDs

I think this is the first time in my children's lifetimes (roughly five years for the oldest) that I've considered the fact that their understanding of where movies are kept is different from most people due to our goals of going mostly streaming when it comes to media.

bastijn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My wife's school has cubetto [0]. A toy to get the kids familiar with programming. Recently, in last kickstarter I bought my own because I love the idea. In addition, on my kids school they ask for parents with experience software engineering to give courses outside the regular hours. When I gave it once at my own work during an open day I used a fun game similar to cubetto (but digital). Kids love to be busy, so making it physical next time as suggested here is something I will definitely try out next time.

0) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/primotoys/cubetto-hands...

mmirate 5 hours ago 5 replies      
6 years old?

This confuses me.

Formal operations typically develop at around age 11 (cf. Piaget); this mental capability is necessary to (among many other things) comprehend abstraction, isomorphism, algebra, recursion, and most of the other mathematics-originated components of computer science. How can children without these capabilities, possibly comprehend programming, to any extent beyond the trivially concrete?

Koshkin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I once explained a kid how to create a web page in plain HTML and some simple JavaScript, and that seemed to have completely removed the shroud of mystery from what programming is all about.

Of course there is much more to programming than writing HTML, but setting the entry bar low enough can help tremendously getting one interested in learning it.

Dowwie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
When I think of 6 year olds, I think of learning from real-world, hands-on demonstrations rather than learning from abstract ideas.

There's a collection of children's games waiting to be made from kits like this: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11006

wslh 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Too complex... use ScratchJr, Scratch, Alice, a car/robot toys moving around.
partycoder 5 hours ago 3 replies      
The best analogy I've found to explain programming are cooking recipes.

You have input (ingredients), a procedure (recipe), output (what the recipe is for). From there you can start a transitioning towards more abstract ideas.

Knitting is another analogy that can be used.

Using Stellar for ICOs stellar.org
27 points by westoque  4 hours ago   5 comments top
westoque 4 hours ago 1 reply      
First organization to use Stellar for ICO:


Tesla announces Q2 2017 earnings electrek.co
29 points by lpolovets  1 hour ago   6 comments top
scott_karana 21 minutes ago 2 replies      
I assume it's tactical that they released this information after the trading day finished?

TSLA closing price was $325.89, and after hours trading recently peaked at $347.14!

Microsoft didnt sandbox Windows Defender, so I did trailofbits.com
136 points by ingve  10 hours ago   25 comments top 7
xpaulbettsx 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I mean, the reason is almost certainly for performance reasons - would've been interesting to see the hit that sandboxing takes here to something like `npm install` (aka something that does lots and lots of file creates / writes)
excalibur 5 hours ago 3 replies      
> After extensive differential debugging in ProcMon (comparing AppContainer vs non-AppContainer execution), I realized the issue might actually be with the detected Windows version. Taviss code always self-reported the Windows version as Windows XP. My code was reporting the real underlying operating system; Windows 10 in my case. Verification via WinDbg proved that this was indeed the one and only issue causing the initialization failures. I needed to lie to MpEngine about the underlying Windows version.

This doesn't make sense to me. It may have been easier to accomplish within the author's skillset, but it seems to me that the more beneficial approach would be to modify Tavis code to report the correct version of Windows.

na85 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Can antimalware suites remain effective if they are sandboxed ?

Seems to me that the "system police", as it were, needs access to the system it is policing.

nickpsecurity 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone got links to sites that try to aggregate and/or compare the various sandboxing solutions in Windows that are open-source?
j_s 7 hours ago 0 replies      
a Rust-based framework to contain untrustworthy apps in AppContainers [...] wrap the I/O of an application behind a TCP server

as well as thoughts about Rust on Windows.

nanoscopic 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great example of why compiled applications with no sourcecode are harmful and prevent advancement.

If the sourecode for Windows Defender was mostly open source, with only critical portions linked in, then it would be possible to improve the portions that integrate the libraries into the system without moving each process used by it into some sort of wrapper.

There is not even a need for the sourcecode to be "free", merely that it is able to be viewed and alterations contributed back to be available to anyone who has paid for Windows.

stcredzero 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I had a long talk with one of the Punkbuster engineers many years ago, and his take on sandboxing was: It's like you're now standing in a deep pit, and your enemies are up there at ground level, where they get to peek down into your hole and throw rocks at you whenever you want.
How to find a remote job deekit.com
274 points by blakenomad  8 hours ago   102 comments top 28
pgeorgep 7 hours ago 6 replies      
I found a remote job this year on https://angel.co/

This article seems like an excellent resource, but it doesn't get into the drive you need to find a remote job (at least early in your career like me). When I started looking for remote jobs online, it took me over six months to finally land the right job.

What articles like this don't emphasize enough is when you're applying for remote jobs, you're competing against a worldwide talent pool. This is a lot different than the localized competition you may be used to. The increase in competition makes it exponentially harder to land a remote job.

Some tips I'd recommend: - Make a list of the job boards/companies that post relevant jobs and view them daily. If a company is looking to move fast, this could give you an edge. - Do something to stand out. (Make a video, send them something physically, etc.) DO SOMETHING! Don't just assume because you're you that they will want you. - Put together a project company's usually ask for, without them even asking. (Browse the site and make suggestions, look for bugs, etc.)

gedrap 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I know that applying on jobs pages is not popular here on HN but, well, sometimes it works. In my opinion, having some projects on GitHub certainly helps, even if they are just hobby projects with no use in real world. So it doesn't mean that you must spend months working on open source projects on the evenings and weekends, hoping to get noticed. Same for technical blog posts. It definitely provides more signal to the person who is reviewing your application.

Also, very few companies are 100% remote, and making remote team work is not trivial, so it's important to ask the right questions when interviewing. Don't forget that's it is a two way street! Personally, I was looking for these two key things:

- at least ~30% engineers should be remote;

- there should be a strong culture of written async communication.

Once I discovered a company which I found interesting ( https://heapanalytics.com ), checked the jobs page, noticed that they are hiring remotely and just applied a few months later. Had several interviews over video chat / slack, no white board coding or CS trivia. In the end it worked out and I got an offer. Totally recommend applying at Heap - we are doing cool and challenging technical things (querying hundreds of TBs of data in seconds and making it reliable), the interview process is great and our small distributed remote team is made up of engineers from 4 continents, from North America to Australia!

aantix 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Pro Tip : If the first person from the company that you talk to is from HR, you're doing it wrong.

I wrote up my process in an article on Medium "How to Get a Remote Job, Even When Remote Isnt Advertised"


jdswain 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've found the timezone to be quite an issue. For a start a lot of positions advertised as Remote really mean Remote US Only, but then there are also many companies that aren't too concerned about being outside USA. I'm in UTC+12 which doesn't overlap well with USA or UK. USA is a bit better, but I didn't get one role because they had a 9:00am daily meeting which would have been 4:00am my time, and that just didn't seem practical. There is another person in my town that works for a UK company by staying up all night though.
drinchev 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> Upwork, PeoplePerHour and Freelancer are great places to secure remote work. What youll find may be more short-term, but that doesnt mean it cant evolve into something permanent (if thats what youre looking for).

Scratch that! Those platforms are useless even for freelancers.

Best advice that worked for me is to apply for any job and during the interview process you just say that you will work remote and come to the office once per XX amount of days.

radarsat1 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Here's a question I'm trying to understand: if I intend to travel while working, where do I say I'm "from"? How do taxes work? Suppose that I have an apartment in some country, not necessarily my country of citizenship, and I will sublet it while I travel.

I suppose, to freelance, one needs to create a "company", but where is that company based? Does it need to have an address?

If I am a citizen of one country, a resident of another, but I'm working while I travel in _other_ countries, where do I owe taxes?

These are the roadblocks I find most complicated, beyond just "finding the job", I don't know how the legal "infrastructure" should work when you are freelancing and in such an odd living situation.

mcone 7 hours ago 0 replies      
To find my remote job two years ago, I went down the list of companies in the Awesome Remote Job list [0] and checked every single one of their career pages. You can sometimes also find remote jobs on Indeed by putting "remote" in the location field.

[0] https://github.com/lukasz-madon/awesome-remote-job/

elliotec 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The hardest part of remote jobs is finding one that will pay even remotely (hehe) what you could make at a local company.

My experience with remote interviewing culminated in getting 3 separate remote offers for anywhere between 35-60% less than my asking salary or the local offers I received.

Part of this might be that my area (Salt Lake City) has particularly high engineering salaries despite what most people expect, but it seems to be a thing across the board, because like others have said they are tapping into a worldwide talent pool where they can get talent that are happy with the company's salary budget.

jcadam 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Most of the companies I've interviewed with will only consider remote workers who have prior experience working remotely. I just don't know how to demonstrate to employers that I have the self-discipline to actually work if I'm not forced to go into an office full of distractions every day.

In any case, after yet another round of rejections for (mostly remote) gigs, I've given up on getting out of my crappy job for the time being. It's a non-programming "architect/sme" type job, but it pays well. I've been focusing my creative energy on a little side project which I've managed to find the self-discipline to work on in my free time over the last year (maybe it'll be successful and then that can be my 'exit plan' from this place).

jomkr 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's what I do. Find employees using LinkedIn, find their GitHub profile and any projects they're doing that I find interesting. Create a good pull-request.

After it's accepted, I send a follow-up saying I'm looking for work and asking if they'd pass on my CV.

I only do PR for projects that interest me anyway, so it's not time-wasting as I'd do Open Source work anyway.

This approach hasn't actually got me a remote-job yet, but I think that's more down to my lack of interviewing technique.

richardknop 5 hours ago 0 replies      
From my personal experience, I got remote job offers (with competitive western salary) in two ways:

- via my network (so people/clients I have worked with before on site have approached me with extra work and new projects)

- from my open source contributions (some of my projects on github and my contributions led to me being emailed by interesting companies)

So I would forget about "looking" for remote work online. I don't think you'll randomly find anything which pays well.

What I suggest is to:

1) (if you are a consultant) build a network of clients and acquaintances by working on projects onsite. It's likely there will be more work you will get reached out to about. And then you are in position to arrange remote work as they have already worked with you and there is a trust between the two parties.

2) Contribute to open source and work on interesting projects/libraries in your free time. You never know which company will end up using your work and reach out to you with job offers. Often they will be ok with remote work too.

hockley 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 1) Become indispensable in your current job.

Step 2) Move.

ben1040 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm on remote job #4 right now. Here's how I got each.

Job 1: Referred by a friend who worked for the company. She joined the company about 5 years prior, after being cold-emailed by an internal recruiter.

Job 2: Friend referral. I met the friend by way of a local developer meetup and we got to know each other over the course of a couple years. My friend was referred into the company by a friend of his, who had moved out of town to take a job with this company.

Job 3: Internet referral. I'm on a developer slack community and the position was posted there.

Job 4/Current one: A mishmash. People on the team knew me from developer conferences and a couple meetups in NYC (job #3 was based in NYC as well, and I would attend meetups when visiting the office). One or two of the people were also on that slack. My resume was ultimately brought in, however, by a local friend of mine. He got the job in a similar manner as the friend in job #2; a local friend of his moved to NYC to join the company.

dep_b 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I did some freelance jobs on the side while I was still working full-time, all of it being remote even if the client would be in the same city, then I would just drop by for demo's and meetings. My full-time job consisted of working in remote teams for mostly US customers. While I was working for a certain customer through my day job I was the only person in the building working for that particular customer and there was no real necessity to be in the office. I was effectively fully remote from that point.

At a given point I got a new customer that basically wanted to hire me for 20 hours per week, which would mean I could sustain my life with it and I left my day job. Building upon that I landed two customers through LinkedIn, one lead through YouTube (some intelligent comment somewhere...that was pretty weird though!), some more work from local and remote customers I had before and then I rolled into TopTal.

TopTal has a steady stream of really interesting work. I had a pretty sudden drop in work from one customer and I could fill it up in a week or two by taking TopTal work. Now I remain on one TopTal client and for the rest I'm working directly for customers. TopTal pays a bit less but is a lot less headache and most of the work is pretty good. The sites that are recommended in this article didn't do anything useful for me.

I still don't know really how I manage to keep a full roster apart from TopTal but somehow customers know how to find me. Lot of referrals too.

stuaxo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The salaries on upwork seem laughably low. I went travelling with the idea of maybe doing some bits like this, but it made no sense - I would have spent all my time working for very little money and no time to do what I liked.

Remote working can work if you already have a client-base, but I can't see how any of these sites are viable for someone who wants 1st world wages.

vonnik 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
My two bits: Contribute to some open-source projects. Great way to get noticed.
CoreXtreme 4 hours ago 5 replies      
I hired 100+ senior developers at $50-70K per year for a project, mostly from East Europe/Ukraine/Russia.

We were like, "Holy ! these people are so cheap. If I hire people with same level of experience locally, I would have to pay 3-5x more on average."

Later, my friend took over this team of developers for his startup. What he found is that 30% developers in his team were working for two or more employers.

And something like 20% of them outsourced part of the projects to developers in South Asia, security risk.

Today, we try to hire onsite as much as possible.

It require very high level of trust to hire someone remote.

mderazon 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Ptoblem with remote job is that it's mostly limited to a developer role. If you wanna go up the chain of command there are less and less options.

To be a remote team leader means that you are limited to companies that have all of their developers remote.

Basically any kind of management position will limit you to apply to companies that are 100% or mostly remote and there aren't many companies like that yet.

starbuxman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
https://www.SkipTheDrive.com only focuses on remote jobs as well.
bhanu423 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I joined Aftership.com last year as remote employee, they have a vibrant engineering culture and they have very convenient remote friendly environment.

I think significant efforts are required from the team & company to make remote jobs possible and convenient, so its important to find a company that have remote-friendly workflow.

In case, anyone here is looking an interesting node.js remote experience, can email me.

gwbas1c 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The article came across as some fluff mostly to promote Deekit's product.
k__ 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Freelancing is the way...!


I worked for a few companies remote, most I met via angellist.

Sooner or later they wanted me to move to their place.

When I started freelancing, nobody cared anymore.

taneltanel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working remotely for 4-5 years now. Started the remote work thing at my previous workplace.

Tried a 9-5 job last summer, it was the worst.

Now have 2 remote gigs. Found one via Github, other one via a Facebook freelance group.

Lapsa 2 hours ago 0 replies      
it's not that easy to find a good remote job. even with relatively good CV. very rewarding though. I wake up, make a cup of coffee and I'm at work. found it via twitter - made a list that followed all remote job listing twitter accounts I could find and just spammed. getting through interviewing is the hardest part.
rijoja 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is it just me or does this article feel like something written together in one hour, based on information that one easily could find in 15 minutes, just to serve as a platform for selling their templates? I've come to expect a higher standard from hacker news frontpage.
Berunto 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How does an submission from someone who prefere to write clickbait headlines with an blogpost with nothing new or special get so many upvotes?
dsego 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Join toptal.
JustSomeNobody 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I work remote now. There's good points and bad points.

Some Good:

No commute. No noise. Fewer distractions. No open office floor plans!

Some Bad:

More distractions. I miss the physical presence of people. Time zones suck! I miss hallway conversations about the current sprint. Nobody makes an 1800 mile serial cable.

[-] Distractions. I don't have people walking by my desk trying to get me to work on their pet project. However, that stack of dishes that needs cleaning is very distracting.

Canadian cable companies interrogate, search Montral software developer cbc.ca
239 points by na85  6 hours ago   99 comments top 23
JumpCrisscross 5 hours ago 6 replies      
> On June 9, the telecoms got an Anton Piller order, a civil search warrant that gives a plaintiff access to a defendant's home, without notice, to search for and seize relevant evidence before it can be destroyed.

A Federal Court judge would later declare the Anton Piller order in this case "unlawful," but that was weeks after a group of men arrived at Lackman's door...

Mind boggling that Canadian law constructed a civil no-notice (i.e. unappealable) instrument with third-party enforcement. That literally cedes the state's monopoly on violence [1].

Curious if such a law would pass Constitutional muster in the United States.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_on_violence

komali2 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Holy shit, terrifying.

The article mentions that the developer was threatened with contempt of court if he didn't answer questions, didn't give up his passwords, etc. I subscribe to the "you can be the rap but not the heat" mentality - if he had kept his mouth shut, even if the bailiff hauled him off to jail that day, a week later he'd have been let out, email and social media intact and whatever other information he revealed in a 16 hour interrogation safe.

jaclaz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, according to Wikipedia:



an Anton Piller Order has a whole lot of "guarantees" for the "defendant".

In this specific case it seems like the behaviour of the "Independent Supervising Solicitor" was far different from the one the Law assigns him/her.

See also:


It seems to me like any and all forms of "interrogation" of the defendant, let alone not allowing him to counsel are totally arbitrary and out of scope/boundaries of such order.

fwsgonzo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I am baffled. That is some seriously dangerous lawmaking. Essentially a corporation was given the go ahead to gather evidence, in a private citizens house, for its own case. I don't see how this event can be twisted into any other story.
scj 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
It is important to note that the Defendant was not permitted to refuse to answer questions under fear of contempt proceedings, and his counsel was not permitted to clarify the answers to questions. I conclude unhesitatingly that the Defendant was subjected to an examination for discovery without any of the protections normally afforded to litigants in such circumstances, the Judge said.

There's more on this case at:https://torrentfreak.com/tvaddons-returns-ugly-war-canadian-...

Raphmedia 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Some information about what is TVAddons:

"TV ADDONS is an unofficial Kodi add-on development site, it does not host nor link to any type of protected content.

It was contended that out of the 1500+ add-ons indexed on TV ADDONS, less than 1% were what the plaintiffs considered to be allegedly infringing.

Kodi add-ons scrape content sources that are readily available online, sort of like specialized search engines.

Add-on developers do not control the content the add-ons are scraping, they are simply a conduit for accessing content through streaming web sites, the same way your web browser would.

The Canadian telecom cartel never sent us a takedown notice, something that is required by law." [https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/support-tv-...]

samfriedman 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The article states that the court order used in this case is something called an Anton Piller order [0].

Its intended use seems to be for cases where the defendant is known to possess incriminating material they are in imminent danger of destroying, and have caused serious damage to the plaintiff. It also seems that an independent lawyer is required in these cases to explain the order to the defendant and handle the collected material.

The judge apparently ruled the use of the order unlawful after the fact, so I'd hope that the poor guy is entitled to some sort of compensation.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Piller_order#Canada

bww 5 hours ago 3 replies      
This is how the civil courts system works in Canada? Agents of a corporation are permitted by law to search a private citizen's home, seize property, detain him against his will, and deny him access to his lawyer for 16 hours?

Even if they overstepped their authority in this particular case, that there is any case where some version of this is legal is absolutely unconscionable.

mindslight 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This corruption is directly supported by patronizing the content cartels, including their facelifts such as Netflix. These thugs can't be out of business soon enough.

Be a friend, pirate.

andybak 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Canada has a reputation as a "softer, gentler" version of the US. I'm aware this is probably a gross distortion but the one topic about Canada where I hear more disturbing stories than any other is in relation to the amount of regulatory (or judicial/legislative) capture around copyright issues.

Does the Canadian copyright lobby have friends in very high places? Or compromising photos of friends in very high places?

More seriously - what gives? How comes it appears that the Canadian system seems so one-sided on anything IP related? Or is it just an artefact of getting my Canada news from HN?

jostmey 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"...civil search warrant..."

That phrase sends chills up my spine. Does it mean a civilian organization can obtain a search warrant in Canada?

dmitrygr 2 hours ago 0 replies      

 Lackman was "not permitted to refuse to answer questions" and his lawyer wasn't permitted to counsel him in his answers.
Now that is some * * * * ed up stuff right there...

megous 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Lot of power being used for copyright enforcement lately. Yesterday it was NSA, now this. How much time until we see military getting involved?
mtl_usr 4 hours ago 1 reply      
At least I'm pretty sure they (the cable companies) won't be able to use anything they got there in court.

But let's be real for a moment, that man, if he sues, will get absolutely nothing in return.

Still, it's about time Canada starts getting real laws.

This and the people held hostage without AC or water in a plane for 5 hours+ is a proof at how backward this country really is.

wyck 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Quebec having draconian ass backwards laws...no way.
joshuaheard 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A "civil search warrant"? Fortunately, we have no such thing in the U.S. And since it appears he wasn't allowed to leave, it was effectively a "civil arrest warrant" as well.
na85 6 hours ago 2 replies      
That agents of private corporations can be granted the authority to conduct searches and interrogations is chilling.

Welcome to late-stage capitalism, where the state grants law enforcement powers to corporations in order to defend outdated business models and protect profit.

DarkKomunalec 5 hours ago 3 replies      
"Lackman was "not permitted to refuse to answer questions" and his lawyer wasn't permitted to counsel him in his answers.

"Any time I would question the process, they would threaten me with contempt of court proceedings," says Lackman."

I asked in the other thread, but it got buried - can someone versed with Canadian law comment on if this is how it's supposed to work? Were these just empty threats, or can you really be charged with contempt of court if you don't answer, and if you don't have the right to counsel on those questions?

brndnmtthws 6 hours ago 2 replies      
People should try to film/record these interactions whenever possible.
settsu 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's hope this was an anomaly, if a disturbing one.

Unfortunately, given the palpable desperation of the corporations actions, I fear it may not be.

solotronics 3 hours ago 1 reply      
this is exactly why its an Amendment in the US Constitution to bear arms. People should have a last resort of meeting the force of the state with their own.
math0ne 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the fact that his social media accounts were "seized" is even more fucked up.
Asooka 1 hour ago 0 replies      
He broke the law. Not just that, he broke the law and spit in the face of powerful people holding lots of money. Not just that, but he did it publically, SELLING HIS ILLEGAL PRODUCTS.

What happened to him is terrifying and way disproportionate of his crime, which amounted to a few dollars of lost profits by companies that continue to post record profits even in the face of widespread piracy. However, the lesson you should take from this is that if you should 1) not piss off people with lots of money while breaking the law, and 2) if you do, try to make yourself hard to find. People commit much worse crimes like rape and murder, and get away with it without being found, you should be able to figure out how to give people an app anonymously.

Of course, that is unless you want to make a political statement via civil disobediance, but I have the feeling that person wasn't after that.

Bitcoin Cash Soars to $700, Coinbase Customers Threaten to Sue fortune.com
229 points by abhi3  7 hours ago   331 comments top 38
bdcravens 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Big point to remember: the current high price is artificial. There are only a few exchanges selling BCH, and they aren't accepting deposits. The only sellers are those who had BTC there prior to August 1. So it's a sellers market. There's a ton of demand to sell. Once those deposits are enabled, you'll see a flood of dumping, and the price will crash.

So let's say Coinbase allows BCH withdrawals. Unless they enabled trading it (which they didn't with ETC when ETH forked), all those Coinbasers wouldn't be able to sell anyways. They'd be waiting like everyone else, so that $700 price wouldn't matter.

blhack 3 hours ago 6 replies      
Coinbase is in a bad situation here. If they set a precedent that all BTC forks will be available to their users, then they open themselves to some pretty obvious DOS attacks.

10 new "bitcoins" could fork every day. Are we really going to expect coinbase to support them all? That's absurd.

I think it's pretty obvious that they're going to just issue the BCH to people eventually.

Here's another thought experiment: I am a now-extremely-wealthy bitcoin early adopter, and I am so happy at bitcoin's success that I am going to distribute $100 of USD cash per bitcoin to every person who can show me that they own a bitcoin.

To claim your $100, send me a Self-addressed-stamped-envelope proving your bitcoin ownership, and I will mail you back the cash.

Does coinbase have an obligation to send a bunch of SASEs to me? Are the coinbase customer's "owed" that $100?

I personally don't think so. I think that's the tradeoff you're making by having coinbase securely store your coins for you.

lawn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that Bitstamp, another large exchange, took a similar stance as Coinbase and has issued an update stating customers will receive their BHC balance:


For those of our customers who chose to leave their BTC on our platform at the time of the fork, we recorded their BCH balances for the timestamp of the last common block (block 478558), which is 1 August 2017, 13:16:14 UTC.

These BCH balances will be made available to our customers as soon as it is safe to do so. If and when the Bitcoin Cash system has been thoroughly tested and is sufficiently stable, we will then consider listing BCH. However, a series of technical, safety and regulatory requirements need to be met in order for this to occur, and it is still too early in the day to make realistic predictions about the timeframes involved.

blhack 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Just to clarify: bitcoin cash (BCH) is only sortof worth $700. There aren't any mainstream exchanges accepting BCH deposits right now, so the market for BCH is limited mostly to people on kraken trading BCH with one another there only.

The exchanges that are accepting BCH require 20 confirmations on your BCH deposit before they let you withdraw the BTC/XBT you traded them for. 20 confirmations right now would take multiple days. The exchanges offering this also seem to have pretty lax identity requirements, which is not a great sign.

bdonlan 6 hours ago 9 replies      
It's an interesting situation, but assigning liability to coinbase for this seems like it'd be a problem long term. Unlike traditional securities, there's nothing stopping me from going out and making my own fork tomorrow - and then would all exchanges be required to add support for that fork, too? Where do you draw the line?
ChuckMcM 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder sometimes if the origin of coinage was similarly fraught with these sorts of challenges. The history of money exhibit at the British Museum is pretty awesome and they go over some of the 'coin scams' of the day like nicking bits off the coins and remelting them into new coins, melting coins and alloying them with other metals so that they 'felt right' but were diluted. People who no longer had to be 'landed' could steal enough coins and be 'rich'. Etc.

So back in that time when a new coin came out, I'm sure the money changers would spend good long time watching it to see how it was abused before they started accepting it as a 'real' coin.

Seems like much the same is true for blockchain currencies, they all need a bit of 'bake time' before you really understand both the demand and the risks associated with them.

kerkeslager 5 hours ago 7 replies      
The problem both sides are trying to solve is that the system as a whole cannot handle the volume of transactions. Before the split, bitcoin handled 7 transactions per second, while Visa handles 50,000 transactions per second (I'm worrying these numbers from memory, so they might be wildly inaccurate).

Bitcoin Cash solves this with a larger block size. This is admittedly a short-term solution.

Bitcoin main, on the other hand, is moving toward SegWit, which introduces third-party middlemen. Service providers like Coinbase want this, because they get to be the middlemen.

But critically, SegWit breaks the only long-term advantage Bitcoin currently has over Visa. SegWit isn't decentralized. Bitcoin with SegWit still isn't as fast as Visa, so if you don't need decentralization then you should just use Visa. The only people who benefit from bitcoin with SegWit are the middlemen.

Decentralization is bitcoin's core value proposition. If you give that up to solve the scaling problem, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I don't know the long term solution to bitcoin's scaling problem, but I do know that I'm not interested in a centralized cryptocurrency.

gtrubetskoy 6 hours ago 2 replies      
What I think all the press isn't making very clear is that to the best of my understanding for every Bitcoin you own, you get a Bitcoin Cash coin. There is no "conversion", it is free money for all BTC holders. Everyone who owned BTC, now owns BTC+BCC.

Of course if your BTC is not real, but is held by an exchange such as Coinbase, how you get your BCC isn't at all clear.

jstanley 7 hours ago 8 replies      
Meanwhile, it's 12 hours since Bitcoin Cash actually mined a block.

The only reason the price is so high is because people can't make transactions to send their BCH to exchanges.

EDIT: My mistake. Originally said 20 hours. It's only 12.

vetrom 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So you needed to get 'your' BTC into a real wallet (and not an exchange) to be able to have pre-fork BTC that would act as BCH.

While similar to both currency and commodity, this is one of the situations where cryptocurrency acts as more of a fungible contract than either the currency or commodity. IANAL, but it seems to me that there isn't a whole lot of law written on that. I'd argue that Coinbase expended its fiduciary duty by warning their users of the fork.

Coinbase/kraken/et al., however, don't create/issue the cryptocoins, so it's probably a misnomer to call them exchanges. At best, they are brokerages.

Now say that a bunch of users decided to instruct their broker that's holding their security in trust to so assign the security to the user, and the brokerage sat on that transaction rather than perform the request in a timely fashion? I'd say that potentially counts as a whole host of other actionable events, depending on the intent of the brokerage operators. Not sure if I'd call that front running, but that sounds like a good start to investigate.

gtirloni 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Coinbase did the right thing by warning their users beforehand that they wouldn't work with BCH.

They could have simply ignored it altogether and continue business as usual like nothing had ever happened.

Now after the fork, if people want to convert BTC to BCH, they have to go through a intermediary currency, just like many banks won't convert USD to $unknown_currency sometimes.

It doesn't surprise me there are talks about lawsuits, cryptocurrencies will have a hard time shaking off all the speculators and scammers.

Animats 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Coinbase will either cave in on this or be sued and lose. Especially since they're sluggish about large withdrawals.

The real risk for Coinbase comes if they don't have 100% of the Bitcoins on deposit. If they don't have all those Bitcoins, like Mt. Gox, we're going to find out.

mikeash 5 hours ago 4 replies      
For all the people saying this is totally fine and they warned people and they shouldn't have to support every single fork that comes along, I'd like to pose a hypothetical.

All forks are basically equivalent. If I fork Bitcoin today, my fork is just as legitimate as Segwit or Bitcoin Cash. The only differentiation is community buy-in and hashing power and similar fuzzy metrics.

Rather than sticking with Segwit and ignoring BCC, what if Coinbase had ignored Segwit and stuck with BCC? People would have lost 75% of their holdings, as measured in USD. Would you consider that to be OK?

Or worse, imagine if Coinbase created their own fork and starting from some certain date they only supported that fork, and it ended up being worthless because nobody cared about it. Coinbase would have basically wiped out all of their users. Would that be OK?

tobltobs 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Isn't this screaming for lawsuits in this thread driving the idea of an currency independent of any central authority ad absurdum?
runeks 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems fishy to me. Theres a huge divergence in the price between the various exchanges that claim to trade BCH[1], signaling that arbitrageurs are unable to deposit to/withdraw from the exchanges.

Many exchanges arent even allowing BCH deposits, meaning that the price isnt connected to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, since you cant sell these coins into the market. Right now there seems to exist multiple different BCH one for each exchange all of them with a different price because theyre not joined by the coins on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

[1] https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin-cash/#markets

brianberns 6 hours ago 2 replies      
As an outsider, the remarkable thing about this to me is that one can (for now) sell the same bitcoins twice, right? If I own 1 bitcoin pre-fork, I can sell it for $2700 and then sell the exact same bitcoin again as Bitcoin Cash for $700. Crazy.
barkingcat 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Haha why is there "fiduciary" duty when Coinbase is not a bank, not a security agency, and not any type of share that people bought into (ie customers are not shareholder).

Coinbase can do anything they want!

Also, I suggest it's people's own fault for storing their bitcoins at a place that does not give access to their own private keys. This fork has been a long time coming. Everyone and their mother was warned to keep your own bitcoins in your own privately controlled wallet (entirely offline if possible) to weather this fork.

Anyone who cries that Coinbase didn't do whatever is being childish and deserves it.

IgorPartola 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorry but what exactly is Bitcoin Cash? It seems like it's a fork in the BTC blockchain, but what prompted it and what gives it any sort of value, let alone a $12*10^9? Is it somehow technically superior? Is the move going to be to have BTC and BTC Cash exist side by side? Or are they going to fight for the market?
jmilloy 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't really follow these cryptocurrencies very closely.

I assume that Coinbase is sitting on keys/wallets that own Bitcoin belonging to their customers, which would mean that they are now also sitting on keys/wallets that own Bitcoin Cash. So could Coinbase short (some of) that Bitcoin Cash by selling it on other exchanges?

I read this statement from Coinbase: "If this decision were to change in the future and Coinbase was to access Bitcoin Cash, we would distribute Bitcoin Cash to customers associated with Bitcoin balances at the time of the fork." So as long as Coinbase bought back enough Bitcoin Cash to distribute it to customers at time-of-fork-value, they would be true to their word.

Or is there something that prevents Coinbase from even accessing the Bitcoin Cash associated with Bitcoin it is holding?

Edit: I'm not trying to make any judgments here, I don't know enough. Just trying to understand.

GoodInvestor 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure why there's so much hype. Of course the price is going to be up, there's not enough BCH to be traded so naturally the demand will cause the price to go up temporarily.
ty_a 5 hours ago 1 reply      
75% of the hashrate was just advertrolling. Which had the side effect of keeping the difficulty high. They should have forked Bitcoin and used a different PoW... Oh wait that's Litecoin.


m-p-3 5 hours ago 1 reply      
To be fair, as long as you do not have the private key to your wallet, you do not have complete control.

Whoever kept their bitcoin in a Coinbase wallet and wanted to use Bitcoin Cash, it was their responsibility to move them to a wallet they fully control in advance to the fork.

mxscho 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Some already mentioned this list showing some exchanges that currently offer the ability to trade BCH assets for BTC or fiat currency. [1]

Note however that due to low count of blocks currently being mined for BCH there is no chance for the exchanges to get enough confirmations for deposited BCH from any (private, non-exchange) wallet to safely confirm the deposit.

So the only BCH assets that are currently being sold are probably the ones that were granted by the exchanges to the people that did not bother to transfer their BTC credit into their self-controlled wallet previous to the fork.

I think this is also a reason why BTC assets seem to be a bit overvalued right now.

[1] https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin-cash/#markets

bdcravens 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Coinbase will likely allow users to withdraw their BCH, but not exchange it, so they'll have to go elsewhere. They did the exact same thing with Ethereum Classic (after the price dropped like 80% from the initial spike, no less), and they ended support for those withdrawals at the end of 2016. To handle this fork differently could invite another lawsuit.
Taek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Soars to $700 because nobody who owns any is able to sell them. Trading is not open to the public except on one exchange right now, and while that exchange is holding a comfortable $350, it's also an unpopular and low-volume exchange - I'm guessing 90% of their users today made accounts today just to sell their Bitcoin Cash. I know I did.

Once Kraken, Bitfinex, Bittrex, and the other major BCH supporting exchanges are actually accepting deposits, I imagine we'll see the price take a nosedive.

vgprice 6 hours ago 0 replies      
But seriously, people threaten to sue the exchanges everytime they go down from insane amounts of traffic during a dip or spike.
lorenzfx 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If the only difference between bitcoin and bitcoin cash is that bitcoin cash has larger block sizes (true?), why does bitcoin cash not go "back" to the bitcoin blockchain since it is now much longer and should also be a valid bitcoin cash blockchain?
granaldo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Its at $750 now https://www.coingecko.com/en/price_charts/bitcoin-cash/usdCrazy that it was trading at $1200 BTC all-time high 3 years ago
pavel_lishin 6 hours ago 4 replies      
> Coinbase has clearly stated the company is not taking customers' Bitcoin Cash for themselves

So effectively, it's as if they just burned all of the Bitcoin Cash they were holding?

eadmund 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Without JavaScript, the article is a blank page, containing merely 'SEARCH' and '10:18 AM ET'. What's it say?
pera 6 hours ago 2 replies      
From the class-action lawsuit website "FAQ":

> Coinbase allowed users to withdraw BTC prior to the hard fork

> The process of transferring Bitcoin can be complex and potentially very risky even for experienced users. Additionally, creation of a new account or wallet on a different exchange is often a lengthy and difficult process. While Coinbase did suggest to users that they could move their BTC to a different wallet in order to obtain BCH, the procedure can be seen as prohibitive by a significant portion of users. Finally, many users reported slow or non-responsive site when trying to move their BTC from Coinbase prior to the lock-down that preceded the hard fork.

First, transferring founds from one wallet to another is trivial in Bitcoin, and in fact it is easier than any other money transfer method that I know of. Second, if it really was that difficult then why they are, at the same time, accepting donations using Bitcoin and Ethereum on the same website?. Third, "Bitcoin Cash" is an altcoin, and anyone can create a similar fork from the Bitcoin blockchain, should Coinbase support them all?? because that would be ridiculous.

I can not believe these people are serious...

orbitingpluto 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Betting that this headline would be here today would have been a smarter investment than, well, anything really.
galfarragem 6 hours ago 2 replies      
People who bought BTC on Coinbase/Gdax after the fork own the correspondent BCC also?
hardwaresofton 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know any exchanges that are selling BCC/BCH?
IanDrake 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This experiment in crypto currency has made me see the value in fiat money, which is probably the opposite of the desired effect.

At the end of they day, these digital monetary schemes have become less of a currency and more of a commodity.

Can someone explain to me why I should be less jaded about crypto currencies?

2paisay 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought it was supposed to be a decenteralized peer to peer utopia. Now it all depends on Coinbase's whims.
JohnTHaller 6 hours ago 6 replies      
They had the opportunity to move their funds and plenty of notice.
gauravhp 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone please advice me whether its good to invest now or wait for sometime for it to settle?
When all job differences are accounted for, the pay gap almost disappears economist.com
175 points by ptr  1 hour ago   205 comments top 22
oldboyFX 1 hour ago 13 replies      
Still not sure what to believe on this issue.

Some points of discussion are (unrelated to article):

1. If women were 25% cheaper than men while being as competent, wouldn't white/male capitalists trip over themselves to only hire women to increase their profits?

2. Women are less likely to negotiate salary and assert themselves, as women in general are more agreeable than men. Is this behavior based in biology or is it social construct?

3. Women tend to choose lower paying jobs, such as teacher, caregiver etc. In general women tend to care about people, while men care about things (STEM). Again: biology or social construct?

For example in Sweden, which is doing it's best to increase gender equality, sex differences between men and women maximized http://jamda.ub.gu.se/bitstream/1/833/1/scb_eng_2014.pdf

So perhaps occupation differences are healthy and natural. Of course, in Sweden engineers don't earn 300% more than teachers, so it's not a huge problem like in the USA.

The logical solution would be to increase pay in women dominated professions. But this kind of thing spits in the face of capitalism.

It's a tough problem to solve, and I still have no idea how to go about solving it.

EDIT: Additional explanations

Joeri 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Women don't advance in rank as fast as men, and so end up being paid less. Thus article doesn't refute that because it admits that level is factor in the pay gap.

As to why women don't advance as fast ... my opinion is that it's primarily motherhood that does it. It puts a career on hold for 6 months times the number of children, and women are socially expected to be primary caregivers so they feel pressured not to work long hours (and so advance less). Before they get pregnant employers will suspect impending motherhood and offer fewer opportunities so as to rely less. It's not fair, but it is how it is.

Quanttek 56 minutes ago 3 replies      
I hate these kinds of statistics because all they say is "If we discount all the things creating the pay gap, basically no pay gap exists". Industries typically inhabited by women getting paid less? Predominantly male/female industries suddnely decreasing/increasing in average pay when women/men enter it? Women having a lesser likelihood of getting promoted? Women having a lower likelihood of getting hired for higher-paying positions (recruiter biases)? Those are some of the reasons
hacknat 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
Personally I think the biggest caveat avoided "when job differences are accounted for" is the care of children. Women, by-and-large, really get hosed with the negative externalities of having children (time off, career halting, etc). Most Western countries are not generous or equitable by half, and the USA is downright savage.
ProAm 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I always wonder when they say 'Same work' do they mean same output, or same job title? I've seen this argued both ways in the US and have no idea what to believe anymore.
jmull 1 hour ago 2 replies      
It hardly seems like a fair measure of pay gap if you don't take into account disparities in promotions.

At the same level, company and function the pay gap is small. Yet, women are stuck in lower-ranked positions in greater proportion for some reason.

carlmcqueen 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This rigged need to prove the same work is being paid the same always rings pretty hollow for me.

In my first corporate job I was the most technical employee by far, I did the work of far senior roles because my managers were wise to use a lot of my technical skill to get complex work done all the while having HR tell me I didn't have enough years and experience to have the higher paying job title.

Just because someone has the job title they have and the pay to go with it often has nothing to do with the work they do.

In both directions.

anotherbrownguy 19 minutes ago 2 replies      
I think the whole issue of "unequal pay" seems very made-up and political and does not make any sense at all, at least in any way anyone can do anything about it... bear with me while I try to explain it.

Lets say there are differences in how much certain demographics of people get paid over another. Lets take short vs tall people or black vs white or with blood groups positive vs negative. Lets say that there is a difference in average pay for people with positive blood groups vs negative blood groups. So what? It could be completely arbitrary or there could be an underlying cause that makes employers pay one type of blood group over another. Either way, why should an employer pay any more than what they think the position is worth as long as someone is willing to voluntarily work for that amount of money? What's in it for any employer to pay more than the employee negotiated to work for?

fiatjaf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Perhaps companies who hire more women are companies that pay less generally. They are hiring women because they are cheaper.

Perhaps jobs that pay less are less attractive to men who can be better paid at some other job, so these jobs attract more women.

If the above is true, then there is indeed a "pay gap", but it is not the consequence of any systemic sexism.

oDot 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Relevant remark by John Carmack (ignore the poor YouTube title): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzmbW4ueGdg
Huhty 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you reached limit of article views, here is the link to google around the soft pay wall:


(Click on first link from economist.com)

snovv_crash 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm curious if they also included benefits and likelihood of men vs women leaving the company or going on sick or extended maternity/paternity leave.

I know I have my own anecdotes about this, but I'd like to see some hard data.

dgfgfdagasdfgfa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Accounting for all job differences is a hell of a claim.
sirgg0119 1 hour ago 0 replies      
does anyone have any studies on breaking this down further to pay per hour? as men generally are seen as working more hours which could lead to why they get more pay too
danharaj 1 hour ago 2 replies      
> Although the average womans salary in Britain is 29% lower than the average mans, the bulk of that gap results from differences in rank within companies, firms overall compensation rates and the nature of the tasks a job requires.

If Software Engineer II makes less than Software Engineer III, and women of equivalent skill and experience to men have a significantly higher chance of being Software Engineer II than III, then the wage gap exists for "the same work".

This is particularly difficult to measure, but still possible with proper diligence, because rank throughout a career is a compounding advantage.

P.S. disable javascript to get past the paywall

pbadenski 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is anyone aware of the existence of similar data for the US?
abritinthebay 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Generally speaking the problem isn't that individuals get paid less.

It's systemic issues - which are harder to fix.

For example: women as a whole are less likely to be in higher paying jobs in STEM roles. Or CEOs. Or high level Politicians. Why? Multiple reasons but the overall point is there is institutional and social pressure (mostly unconscious or learned) for women to avoid those fields.

So the average gets lowered.

This is also true of socially acceptable behaviors causing issues: women are usually less comfortable pushing for raises for example. Or negotiating for a higher initial salary after an interview.

So the average gets lower.

Then we get to what is the more contentious issue (at least in places like HN) - community behavior. It's inarguable that many STEM fields have a very hostile default behavior that women (even if it's not directed at them) find unpleasant enough to avoid. The level of drop outs of women in tech due to this is very high.

This is the point that usually is the "sexism in tech" conversation.

But arguably that's just a symptom of the previous problems.

johnfn 1 hour ago 20 replies      
The whole point is that society systematically undervaluing women-dominated professions is sexism. It makes sense that the pay gap disappears when the job differences go away, because the job differences are the pay gap.

A good example is teaching. Teaching is an incredibly valuable job. It's also dominated by women. It also happens to be way, way underpaid.

It embarrasses me to see this on HN.

onewhonknocks 1 hour ago 3 replies      
When adjusted for factors such as hiatuses for raising kids, the answer is 'no.'
31reasons 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In other words, "When we are looking to eliminate pay gap from data, job differences seems to be the right place to look".
module0000 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The trick to advancing your cause, is to do more than whine incessantly about it.
rayiner 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The "for the same work" piece of it rings hollow and is fighting a battle that didn't need to be won. It's enough to get across the point that women are socialized into lower paying roles and held back professionally because of child care obligations.

My daughter is four. Her summer camp has all sorts of course choices every week. So I signed her up for "little engineers," "little scientists," etc. (There was also princess and fairy-related options.) Fast forward a couple of weeks and she's the only girl in "tech machines." I had to flip out at my wife, au pair, mother in law, etc. not to let anyone hint to her that there might be anything unusual or undesirable about this.

These are four year olds, they have no preferences. It's purely parents projecting gender roles onto their kids. My kid is super into princesses and fairies, but also comes home every day with a new project and says it was "the best day ever" because she learned about buoyancy or whatever.

Ask HN: How to sell your app/side project while working full-time?
95 points by bradtx  4 hours ago   29 comments top 15
codegeek 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Automate as much as possible. Payments ? Slap a stripe checkout form (unless you happen to be in a country where Stripe is still not supported) or Paypal for others.

Onboarding: Make it as easy and smooth as possible for clients to get started after signinup. Show them exactly where and how to start.

Documentation & FAQ: Create tons of it. If a client has a question, thy should be able to resolve it through your documentation for the most part. Don't let little simple questions to come to you EVERY time.

Setup a Support Ticket system and only answer via emails/support ticket for questions that cannot be resolved via your documentation. If a client is not aware of documentation, point them to it before answering the same question again and again.

Get a decent smartphone and answer the tickets/email through that. You could even do it sitting at your desk or during lunch break

If you absolutely need to schedule phone calls, schedule them during lunch break and find a relatively quiet place where you can talk. If not quiet enough, tell the client that you are travelling and they may hear background noise. As long as it is not a screeching train, clients won't mind specially if you already told them.

Hustle. Do whatever it takes to get the first few clients except illegal activity of course. You may have to cross a few lines at work (lying about lunch plans etc) but I personally think those are reasonable to do.

rsoto 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The naive answer would be to automate it: put up a Stripe or Paypal form and let them pay for your product.

However, if you're in B2B, the client would need to trust you, as in meeting you, the sales process, even training. What I would do is not automating the sales process, but the leads process: so you don't waste time in leads that are just passing by or checking out your product. With those you could arrange a meeting and then perhaps close the sale.

After you get some clients, you could hire someone to do the sales process you can't do. Or, if you have some savings, you can hire right away and ignore the previous paragraph.

Another option would be to have a sales co-founder, but that's another story.

callmeed 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Contrarian view: don't spend time automating things. Spend any extra time you have selling and building the product people need. If someone needs your product, they'll probably be fine with an invoice.

Spend the early mornings before work prospecting and reaching out to potential customers. If you're on the west coast, even better because you can conduct sales calls with east coast people who are already at work.

After work, you can check-in and see if anyone got back to you.

Track it all in a Trello board or spreadsheet.

I highly recommend reading Predictable Revenue and putting as many of its practices in place as you can.

02thoeva 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
We ran our side-project, https://emailoctopus.com, for around 3 years before going full time. As a low-cost platform, our sales are quite low touch, so we'd be able to set up our marketing projects (Facebook ads, email campaigns) in the evenings and just let them run on a schedule.

Support was a little bit more tricky, however. The only solution we found here, other than outsourcing to an Upworker, was to try to minimise support. Make your help docs as useful as possible and spend time on improving error messages.

I would also advise you to switch to working on the project full-time as soon as you can afford to. Our growth went through the roof (we'd spent around 3 years getting to 1k MRR and tripled that in the first full-time month). Some reasons why? We could spend time with our customers and focus on improving our metrics, the stuff that you just can't automate away. We also began treating it more as a business and valued our own time spent on the project more, which resulted in increasing our prices and getting across our value proposition better.

wetwiper 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Myself and a colleague are in this same position... we've just launched a store selling physical products, with a 2nd product store (with a completely different product set) launching in a few weeks. And then we're also working on an app that should be ready in about 3 or so months (at current projections).

Our approach has been approaching people or businesses in similar fields or related industries, and pitching the products to them and getting them them to sign up as affiliates. It reduces our income quite a bit and we make very little off it, but instead of us trying to reach the people they know and are in contact with all on our own, we effectively use them and benefit from them doing our marketing. They are keen to do it, since they have a good incentive to do so. Se make it worth their while. The long term goal is building up a brand, and then profiting off of that. In the meantime, everybody wins if they generate sales, but we dont have expensives if there isnt.

And yes, we met with potential affiliates during our lunch breaks, or after hours, etc. A couple were also generated through friends, family, and social group contacts.

robinjfisher 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm just beginning to push my product (it's been around for 6 years) and have certainly noticed the customer requests increasing.

I agree with a lot of the advice here and in particular I've just started building out the knowledge base in Intercom to mitigate some of the support queries.

Sales is tough but can be worth it. I've spent lunch hours walking round the business park where I work on the phone and those calls have led to multiple other leads where I've been working with a consultant rather than the end client. Putting the time in does help.

One thing I would say: be honest that the app is a side project whilst you grow it. I've found customers very understanding and willing to accommodate calls at specific times or accepting of slight delays in support queries.

Good luck.

leggomylibro 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Don't, until you've gone over it with your current employer and had them sign off on your ownership of the project and its potential intellectual property.

If they won't, you'll need to keep it as a side project while you're working for them, unless you're okay with relinquishing some rights to it.

saluki 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Here are some quick ideas:

Use your lunch hour.

Sell to businesses outside your time zone before and after work.

Hire a part time sales person.

Send postcards.

Improve your online signup flow.

marxama 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Maybe see with your employer if you could start working part-time? Taking two hours off every day, or one day per week or something like that might be enough to help move your project along. Best of luck!
forkLding 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Realistically speaking, you should do research and just talk to people with problems and try to figure out how to convince them. Then start setting realistic goals, how much do you think you can handle per day and then per week.

You have a busy schedule and so does your client, first thing is to not automate if you're starting out because you have to design out the system you're going to use gradually. I've tried straight-out automation but just like code most times you have to tear it down a couple times.

I recommend trying to figure how to get people to reject their current software or their current ways if not using software and use yours and find a common theme you can talk about to other prospective customers because I think that will be the main bulk of your sales and marketing efforts as we live in more software-saturated times.

donmatito 1 hour ago 1 reply      
B2B Sales can mean a lot of things... from very low-touch to involving a lot of in-person time. To help you better, we'd need to know more about your product and your market.
socialmediaisbs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the best thing would be to run a PPC campaign when you're at work, so you can acquire emails, and then email those leads through automation (you can do this with Mailchimp) just to confirm their interest.

Then, you have to use your lunch hour or anytime you can sneak away to get the deal done.

That's if you have a budget.

If you don't, I like the idea of hiring a sales person.

P.S. I wrote a book on branding and marketing. If anyone reading this want a free .pdf copy, feel free to email me at bj@bjmendelson.com

pryelluw 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hire someone to do it for you and automate as much of the process as possible. Mind you, you dont necessarily need an outbound sales person. You may do with an inbound marketer.
gargarplex 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Go work for a company in another time zone
debt 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, quit your job and do it full-time.
Emergence of Original Music Through Algorithms nautil.us
31 points by rbanffy  6 hours ago   13 comments top 5
anotheryou 3 hours ago 0 replies      
No mention of what raymond scott did in the 50s?



> Scott developed some of the first devices capable of producing a series of electronic tones automatically in sequence. He later credited himself as being the inventor of the polyphonic sequencer. (It should be noted that his electromechanical devices, some with motors moving photocells past lights, bore little resemblance to the all-electronic sequencers of the late sixties.) He began working on a machine he said composed using artificial intelligence. The Electronium, as Scott called it, with its vast array of knobs, buttons and patch panels is considered the first self-composing synthesizer.


You will know his popular music from the warnerbrothers cartoons :) https://youtu.be/YfDqR4fqIWE

tunesmith 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I wish the definition of music were a bit more specific. If you look at it as something that is supposed to communicate an composer-intended emotional narrative, this is still a long way away from that kind of music. I wonder how well AI is doing these days in terms of writing compelling plays, or movie scripts, or short stories? There, the distance between author-intended emotional narrative and work product is a bit more immediate, but in my opinion that is still an essential element even in music.
fhood 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"The music was at once futuristic and nostalgic, slightly melancholy, and quite subtle: Even the digital noise samples it usedbasically sonic detritusseemed sensitively integrated."

I had some difficulty taking the rest of the article seriously after reading this. I know music is subjective, but I think the author may have been projecting somewhat.

pgeorgep 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Every single week my Spotify 'Discover Weekly; playlist is spot on. Their algo has been magic to my ears since 2015 (https://qz.com/571007/the-magic-that-makes-spotifys-discover...)
songeater 3 hours ago 0 replies      
dont know if this is kosher... but doing something similar and posted on hn previously... https://songeater.github.io/SONGSHTR/
Clojure-turtle Logo programming language in a Clojure context github.com
91 points by tosh  10 hours ago   59 comments top 12
elnygren 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Using Clojure as the first language is interesting. Being one of the most expressive and efficient (I am not talking about clock cycles here) languages I've used, I think it will set a great mindset for programming.

Clojure is declarative, you tell what you want, not how you want it. It uses immutable data structures and functional programming. It teaches you a sane, safe and beautiful way of working on the problems rather than working against/around/because of your language (e.g building OOP design patterns rather than just solving the problem at hand).

Some people might disagree, but Clojure is a very hands-on and practical language. There's not much syntax or quirks to learn; just a big standard library of very useful functions for processing and transforming data.

brudgers 8 hours ago 0 replies      
thesmallestcat 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is great, very small code. The choice of Clojure would make it a bit difficult for a beginner, but hey, then you know a real language.

> This is not an official Google product (experimental or otherwise), it is just code that happens to be owned by Google.

#1 reason for a hacker to not work for Google, you could program "Hello, World" and they wouldn't sign off on it.

linkmotif 7 hours ago 9 replies      
Was I the only person who did not understand the draw of Logo as a kid? Having to use it in school made me feel like the world viewed me as a lobotomy victim.

And today, whenever one of these teaching-kids-to-program language/environments comes out, I always wonder, "is a real language really beyond the 8-10 year old's grasp?" More importantly, wouldn't using something real be more interesting to kids? The excitement of computers was, for me, about what you could do with them, and if that meant having to learn some scary looking "computer language" thenBy GodI would! And it would be exciting!

The turtle did nothing for me except count the minutes before I could go and do something else. Thankfully we had a public library that had computer books. They weren't the best, but they were about real computer things.

I wish someone had introduced me to Lisp as a child. It's so fundamental. I remember thinking in similar terms, and would have had my mind blown on so many different levels if someone had introduced me to Lisp when I was 8-10, or even younger.

tosh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone knows why the ClojureScript code has the same macros (repeat and all) in seperate files? Why can't everything be in the core.cljc file?



flavio81 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It is exciting that people inside Google is using Clojure. The more Clojure gets popular, the better for the programming community as a whole, even if its usage means indirectly giving more fuel to Oracle.

<smug-mode>On the other hand it also means we will thus be able to one-up Google by using Common Lisp...</smug-mode>

tosh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
related: 20 things to do with a computer (1971) from MIT AI Lab


tosh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
iamalchemist 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Logo was my first programming language. #Nostalgic Thanks Google and thanks for Clojure implementation.
dimitar9 8 hours ago 0 replies      
my first programming language was logo. nice job dude!
systems 8 hours ago 2 replies      
is is significant because it shows google is testing clojure, or is it something else?
lngnmn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Yet another example of how interfaces and ADTs (together with layered DSLs) are the central concerts in classic CS.
Is Amazon's cloud service too big to fail? fnlondon.com
149 points by azureel  13 hours ago   140 comments top 20
forkLding 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Personally as a dev, I find AWS's service in the middle of Paypal (shit, not sure why they're popular) to Stripe (Damn that was fast and easy) seeing as I used them both.

Their support is alright although you often have to pay for it but AWS docs are atrocious and remind me of university textbooks written by professors who like creating pseudo-scientific-sounding jargon which mixed with their huge array of features is quite un-comforting to use for even people with intermediate AWS experience (built some apps with AWS before kind of people).

I can see that there could be more specialized services like Firebase (which is built on Google Cloud) that should be built on AWS for the users. Firebase is a breeze to use and very responsive and I've used it to build real-time chat apps in a couple days.

dalbasal 12 hours ago 3 replies      
This is (I was surprised) a pretty good article. Financial services are regulated and based on recent experience, they're concerned with systemic risk. Most industries do not have anyone responsible for worrying about this kind of thing.

It seems reasonable to start worrying about the fragility potentially introduced by these massive internet infrastructure companies.

AmIFirstToThink 7 hours ago 2 replies      
If your architecture means your system goes down if AWS is down, then the question becomes can you replace AWS with something better that you can build, have means to build, have time to build, can keep running, can get enough momentum in term of sheer size of customer base to fund the upkeep of the platform?

If you can't build/run a better AWS replacement then it's a mute point, isn't it?

Then the question turns into if you can't build better AWS, can you architect your application to handle AWS failures? AWS itself lets you handle many kind of failures at AZ/DC level. Are you using that? For global AWS outages, can you have skeleton, survival critical system running on GCP or Azure?

Have you thought about outages that would be out of your control and out of AWS's control e.g. malware, DDoS, DNS, ISP, Windows/Android/iOS/Chrome/Edge zero day? How are you going to handle outages due to those issues?

If you are prepared to handle outages (communication, self-preservation, degraded mode, offline mode) then can a serious AWS outage be managed just like those outages?

jpalomaki 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This goes to beyond having a plan-B for hosting your own stuff somewhere else. Think about all the 3rd party services you are depending on. Then think about how many dependencies those services have. How many trace back to Amazon on some level?

The connections that could cause problems may not be obvious. For example network provider running into trouble because a ticketing or monitoring system that depends Amazon does not work. Hardware supplier not being able to ship spare parts for your on-premise SAN because logistics company runs into trouble due to issues at Amazon.

martyvis 3 hours ago 2 replies      
It took me three reads of the first couple of paragraphs to realise that "snowball" and "snowmobile" were actually hardware products that you can touch. Tech news publishers need to do a jargon check and use appropriate punctuation, formatting or something to call out terms that 90% of readers would not have come accross
galkk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
When I was working as contractor for one of big banks, which dev was concentrated on Canary Wharf, they weren't able to successfully complete disaster recovery testing on their primary database cluster for 2 years in a row, I just don't remember, was is department-wide or bank-wide.

Basically, each 6 months DR testing was failing and it was accepted as harsh reality. After seeing how they're working inside, I don't think that moving their infrastructure to AWS/Azure/Google is worst that could happen.

disc: Currently working at Amazon, but not at AWS.

barsonme 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Even at a smaller scale it is a little nerve-wracking to know be so reliant on one provider. If AWS tanks there's a fair amount of code that'd need to be changed just to switch over to Azure or GCE. Failover with, e.g., email providers is easy enough, but the entire cloud stack (for lack of better terms) is a completely different ballgame.
acd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cloud services are concentrated by nature built with the same cloned DNA. Of course that is a systematic risk with so much it concentrated to fewer physical locations running on the same code.

Think Cloned bananas vs fingers disease but computers.http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35131751

jriot 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nothing is too big to fail. Society needs to be able to adapt and maintain a level of patience during transition times i.e., be patient when Amazon's cloud fails to a new tool.
jondubois 12 hours ago 1 reply      
That's why I think containerization and orchestration will be useful; open source orchestrators can standardize the infrastructure and make switching seamless. That way the infrastructure remains a commodity.
nogbit 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes and no. By design it's not big, it just seems big. With relative RPO and RTO anyone can failover to other regions. And if you aren't leveraging multiple AZ's within a single region you need to rethink how you are using AWS.

The very nature of AWS requires Amazon to build in capabilities to handle failover. But, as they say at Amazon, "everything fails, always".

cm2187 11 hours ago 2 replies      
What would be great is the equivalent of the ACME protocol for cloud service providers. That will take a while and shouldn't happen until the offering matures and stabilises. But in an ideal world you wouldn't tie your application to a specific cloud provider. You should be able to lift and shift to another provider.

Which I think is a merit of using VMs as opposed to individual services.

zeep 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If Amazon's cloud service would disappear today, it would be a chaos for a week or two but most people should recover (as long as they have backups).
sharemywin 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hasn't anyone heard of disaster recover plans? I used to work at a medium sized insurance company and every year we had a project to update our disaster recovery plans. Including our main inhouse datacenter going down. If it was a critical system you'd better have a plan to get it back up in like 4 hours. and those were business critical we didn't have any life critical systems.
cjsuk 12 hours ago 3 replies      
This does worry me. If there is a shortage of resources suddenly or a DC fire that takes out a region, then what?

We have contingency against this via our own infrastructure but I worry about organisations who don't have any.

fovc 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I think about this problem every now and then for my own business, but not sure what the right answer is. Supporting multiple clouds requires more involved management of some pieces of infrastructure (e.g., DNS + healthchecks, DB replication), which introduces another point of failure.

How do people who need to have more nines of availability manage this issue with cloud providers? (EC2 and RDS promise 3.5 nines per AZ, but I imagine outages are somewhat correlated across zones)

nhumrich 8 hours ago 0 replies      
For articles where the headline is a question, the answer is always "no".
blazespin 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The solution is pretty simple, AWS/Azure need to provide on premise versions of their cloud.. You'd probably get stuck with a particular version, but better than nothing.
smegel 12 hours ago 9 replies      
Is it possible for AWS to have a multi-region outage - as in is there anything connecting them that could bring them all (or several) down at once?

(Apart from the result of a botched patching or update to the core software stack that was done worldwide at the same time and hopefully never happens).

Software developer and free speech activist Bassel Khartabil executed in Syria bbc.com
120 points by carlosrg  5 hours ago   14 comments top 8
forkLding 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There should be a website for those activists and people executed for unjust reasons as a memorial so that people can remember and pay their respects, this should not be forgotten.

As well RIP Bassel.

RangerScience 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's what looks to be his main project, which was digitally recreating parts of the ancient city of Palmyra. Parts of the ruins were being destroyed by ISIL in 2015-2016 (from what I can tell?), but it sounds like that's stopped?


Otherwise, can anyone find more of his digital ghost? I looked for a GH but didn't find one.

oconnor663 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> But he was moved from the prison to an unknown destination in October 2015, and supporters had until now held out hope he might be alive.

Similar to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Without_the_right_of_correspon....

chickenfries 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Very sad. I first read about Khartabil in 2015 (the year he probably died, we now know), because of his work to digitally preserve Syrian historical sites:


hit8run 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes me so sad and angry at the same time. It shows clearly how fucked up humans can be.
pmarreck 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what happens when you base actions against others on beliefs (of harm, of heresy, of treason, etc.) instead of on evidence (of harm, or of secular ethical violations)
patrickg_zill 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Maybe they killed him for some other reason, but what, exactly , did he do that ticked the authorities off? The article doesn't say.

Recreating the ancient city of Palmyra doesn't seem like something that would engender anger...?

youdontknowtho 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Oh my god. That's terrible. This shocked me more than I can really say. Definitely like...that could be me. It's actually really frightening when you look at the kinds of software that some regimes consider subversive. You don't actually have to be an activist in some parts of the world to get in trouble for writing software.
Another Lens A research tool for conscientious creatives airbnb.design
54 points by Dowwie  9 hours ago   14 comments top 4
sheldor 7 hours ago 6 replies      
> Embrace a growth mindset.

Am I the only one who's sick of this nonsensical lingo?

peteretep 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks a lot like Brian Eno's card deck
javajosh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I love that AirBnB is spending money on work like this. Really. If you're going to get all unicorny with an online service, you might as well fund some meaningful art.
anigbrowl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you can get over the hyperbolic title and terrible cartoons, Robert Anton Wilson's quantum Psychology is a more thoughtful and amusing guide to spotting and overcoming cognitive biases - though like all guides it should be subjected to critical assessment in turn.
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