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Joel Spolsky Launches Trello - Organize Anything Together trello.com
587 points by moses1400  6 days ago   268 comments top 98
1
MartinCron 6 days ago 2 replies      
Joel, serious question, if you're listening.

In the blog post, you mention that these teams are adopting the Lean Startup philosophy of ship early and ship often. Does that mean that you've softened on the "never ever write any code without a spec" dogma from "the Joel Test"?

I've personally found that when you're doing tight iterations and continuous deployment, writing old-school spec documents feels, well, old-school.

If I can go straight from human conversation w/ whiteboard sketches to working, tested code running on production servers without creating intermediate written documents, I think I'm winning.

2
jashkenas 6 days ago 3 replies      
Sniffing around the source, looks like a Backbone.js app -- cheers. I'd love to add it to the homepage as an example, if you want to email me a brief paragraph of description.

Edit For those poking around, check out the top-level "Models" namespace.

3
icefox 6 days ago 5 replies      
So I honestly don't get it. Is this a poor mans bug tracker? A possible re-invention of a bug tracker? (something wacky and different version of a bug tracker to see if it sticks?)

I have seen people mention project management a bunch, but the view really isn't about viewing what people are doing. In fact items that don't have people assigned to them still show up. The 10 foot view isn't even that good as they all squares and text. At a glance you can not tell what changed recently, what is late etc.

I had to really grimace when it showed the internal team that was using it and one of the stacks was "bugs" and it had the most number of items and was scrollable. ugg Does that scale to thousands of open bugs (or how about just 50)?

So either this is for all of those people who have never discovered the overview page of their bug tracker or maybe it is trying an experiment to see if the process of creating a bug tracker for a project is too difficult and here you just click "new project" and blam done and later on you export it to a real bug tracker... Maybe this is all just tricking users into using a bug tracker without them knowing?

Anyone get the same feeling?

4
mattmanser 6 days ago 1 reply      
Interestingly doesn't work in IE8...

Only found out because I wanted to view the source and it failed in Chrome so tried IE (turned out view source failed because of the load on the server atm).

Joel, btw, the favicon's missing, it's explicitly referenced in the source but returns a 404.

EDIT: Forgot to say like the look of it, good job.

5
AndyKelley 5 days ago 1 reply      
I showed this to my manager, and he responded:

"Holy shit. This is EXACTLY what I was envisioning. This is freaking AWESOME. Since the data is stored outside of [our company], security might have a conniption fit if they found out that we were using this for managing internal project data.

I'm certain a tool like this could be highly useful to many other teams..."

Can Trello address this concern?

6
joeyespo 6 days ago 3 replies      
This looks really cool. I'm excited to try it out, individually and with others.

Even better that you can immediately sign up and give it a try. As opposed to Asana, which has similar intentions, but is doing a private beta with larger companies only. Yes, Trello is much easier to get excited about.

EDIT

Some feedback: so far I really like it. It's intuitive. And it has some nice features out of the box that are lacking in other products such as assignment and voting. Assignment allows central authorities to exist, as well as hand-offs between people. Voting is awesome. I immediately see two uses for this: democratizing, and to allow collaborators to vote on what they want to do. The latter being something I've always personally wanted in a collaboration tool. Combining that with a central authority can be very powerful by allowing people to voice their interests, yet keep the project moving and avoid conflict.

As for the initial reaction: some of the views are pretty intimidating. Even thought there's only three lists at the start, it is still a little much to begin with. A lot to take in. If you ever implement a "minimize list" feature, that could easily reduce the noise for a beginner while still allowing you to explore all the features when you're ready to.

The edit screen has a lot happening in it too, but I think that's less of a problem since it's only visible when actually editing cards and you'll soon be using everything in there.

Also, I'm sure it's already in the works, but keyboard navigation will be huge for upcoming power users. Right now Vimium provides that for me, but it'd be great to have it built in.

It looks very useful! I'm already having fun with it and I'll try it out on an upcoming collaboration. Is there going to be a UserVoice (or similar) site anywhere for additional feedback? I'll happily leave this and other feedback there.

7
100k 6 days ago 0 replies      
The idea of "flipping" the card over so you can see lots of details fixes my main beef with Pivotal Tracker: everything is so tiny (seriously, attach a screen shot and try to look at it) and you only get a certain amount of space for comments.

This looks like you could have a real discussion on the back of the card.

8
Adaptive 6 days ago 1 reply      
"vote" is a little weird... Everything about this is pretty intuitive except for that. It's only mentioned once on the summary/info page and in the welcome board after signup there should be a card that explains what voting is supposed to be, exactly. (besides just the ubiquitous like equivalent)

I get the impression this started out with "voting" more prominent than it is now.

But otherwise, this is really pretty neat. One of the first hosted solutions I've been interested in since I got tired of basecamp.

9
mkopinsky 6 days ago 3 replies      
Originally posted this on the announcement blogpost, but my comment is still awaiting moderation, and joel is posting here. :-)

Several major +1s:
1) Use of Google login, with ability to set a password to log in without that. I LOVE this, and it fits with what Joel (and Jeff Atwood) have been proselytizing for a while about the use of OpenID.

2) Awesome, responsive UI.

Also a few -1s:
1) No indication about pricing plans. Is this going to cost money one day? EDIT: I see now that you mention in the blog post that it's free. And the site says "Creating an account is free and easy", but you know how often sites say that but mean "creating an account is easy, but to use our software in any meaningful way you'll have to pay."

2) I had a problem when I created a new board. The UI took a while to respond, during which time I got confused, created another new board with the same name, and ended up with two new boards with the same name.

Suggestion: The menu that opens when you click the arrow in the corner of a card should open with right-click as well. This is how assembla's card board works, and I like it that way.

Suggestion: Labels should take one click, rather than two. On the menu row for labels just have six colored squares to click on. Maybe that won't work so well for smartphone users, but for a desktop, I'd rather save the click.

10
milep 6 days ago 7 replies      
Oh you US people, I get internal server error when I try to activate account which contains 盲 character in the full name field...

And when trying to change my name from the account page:
Display Name can only contain letters, numbers, spaces, or the following characters: -_'.@+

Does this affect the Google account login also, it doesn't work for me either.

11
tptacek 6 days ago 2 replies      
So this is Basecamp + Backpack, modernized and combined?
12
yarone 6 days ago 0 replies      
Joel's never-fails-to-be-amusing blog post about it, here: http://blog.trello.com/launch/
13
mvkel 6 days ago 4 replies      
It definitely has all the trappings of a Fog Creek app:
- The overall UI: built by programmers who dabble in design
- A seven(!) minute video about how _simple_ it is to use. It's easy! Instead of just raising your hand, you mark a light on the corresponding tote board, which informs your manager that you need more information.

I hate to be contrarian, but there are many other apps out there that solve this problem much more succinctly. I'm not sure who thought a solution like this is needed.

Also: "lemmur"

14
smosher 6 days ago 1 reply      
Looks promising, but two things jump out at me.

My first question is where's the API? This is something I plan to use but I will want some way to export the information to non-users, dead trees, etc. (I'd need it anyway for private boards, The boss wants it in excel etc.)

I'd also like to question the wisdom of closing the 'public' content off from non-users. Choosing 'Public' will make the board visible to all Trello users. Very closed-web, I don't use Orkut anymore and I wouldn't be on github if it wasn't so visible and ubiquitous. Not a complaint, just food for thought.

15
Joakal 6 days ago 2 replies      
I don't like this, it's telling me to go upgrade my browser as punishment for having the wrong user agent. When I'm trying to have privacy.

My agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.7) Gecko/20091221 Firefox/3.5.7

I'm using 6.0.2 browser, however.

It's a pretty common user agent: https://panopticlick.eff.org/index.php Eff does not provide the most common user agents list so I have no idea what's latest user agent to use. Many web statistic collectors also don't mention user agents.

16
draebek 6 days ago 0 replies      
This looks really great. I've been wanting to write something like this for use in our small-ish team, but there is probably really no point if we have this.

I would love to see more e-mail integration: someone mentioned mailing in to it to create a card, which could be pretty cool, but probably just as importantly I'd like for it to have options to send us e-mail when cards change. Some people like getting notifications pushed to them via e-mail versus having to check the site.

Thanks for writing this!

17
tseabrooks 6 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, this is seriously great. The one thing that stood out to me (from the blog post) was the wall of 42" Plasmas in the office just for displaying Trello. While obviously not everyone can afford a wall of TVs it really would be nice to have a way that everyone could always see who should be working on / is responsible for what.

I imagine a board for "existing modules / features" That has the current "responsible" person for that item.. and a "new feature" board that has an easy way for people to see who is currently implementing said new feature. Though that would overlap somewhat with fogbugz (search for the task and see who it is assigned to) the board would have the advantage of being more high level and still being easily visible after a task is complete.

Joel (or FogCreek persons), I'm using fogbugz / kiln at home and for my side projects is there some plan to provide integration with those existing projects? Magically linking based on case numbers? Updatet he responsible person on a card based on who is currently assigned some case number?

18
twakefield 6 days ago 0 replies      
Very slick UI, the use cases are virtually endless.

How about email integration where you can forward emails to different lists? Is there an API that we can integrate with Mailgun?

Use case I had in mind is for a sales funnel (or any funnel) where I can bcc the list corresponding with the stage in the funnel as I am corresponding with a lead and have the email move through the lists accordingly.

19
jamiemill 6 days ago 4 replies      
Damn this is pretty similar to the direction my app Wallboardr is taking, except status columns aren't customisable yet.

Any thoughts on comparison folks? http://wallboardr.com

20
ellyagg 6 days ago 1 reply      
You can actually view the live Trello Development board itself here:

https://trello.com/board/trello-development/4d5ea62fd76aa113...

I'm impressed they're so transparent with their development process.

21
skeptical 6 days ago 0 replies      
Since everybody seems so enthusiastic about it, I thought I would also leave my not so enthusiastic opinion for the sake of broad feedback.

If i should be honest I didn't like it so much. It felt too cluttered, the interface has way too many visual elements for my brain to process in efficient time. It's also missing more obvious visual indicators such as color or shapes. The list look all the same, they don't even have different icons identifying them, only the the name. That will do it but it's not the ultimate visual indicator.

As a person that barely uses the mouse, I don't find this so practical, it's click after click after click, but I guess that problem affects almost every web application out there.

I might be too focused simple/minimal things, this tries to lay information in a rather complex data structure, which in practice it means a lot of mental exercise before you get the info. I believe many like it, not me, give me a search box and a list of results every day.

22
andrewflnr 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is really cool. I like it a lot. But I think "organize everything" is a bit of a hyperbolic catchphrase. It seems to be very task-oriented. It doesn't feel like something you can just throw random ideas, say for a screenplay, into to organize them.

Still, as long as it stays free or even inexpensive it might be my goto tool for task management. I'll need to try it. I like that it works on my iPad without much fuss.

23
beagledude 6 days ago 0 replies      
would be nice if you could purchase an installable paid version for internal company use. It looks like a step up from pivotal tracker

playing with an account now, the drop and drop has a nice little effect on it. Promising!

24
chrisaycock 6 days ago 0 replies      
Joel's presentation at TechCrunch Distrupt:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/13/joel-spolskys-trello-is-a-s...

25
foxylad 6 days ago 0 replies      
Joel has finally escaped the Microsoft stack! Welcome to the exciting, crazy and raw world of real software - I think you're going to love it.
26
wenbert 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm using this already. I'm managing 3 clients right now and I already can see the benefits. I can see everything - so will my brother (co-hacker) when he accepts the invite! I'm using this as a to-do list.

I'm still going to use this with caution. I do not want to rely heavily on something that I could not afford in the future.

Hopefully, the pricing/freemium will not make me back-out.

27
rhygar 6 days ago 1 reply      
This is pretty good. And even better its free. How are you going to pay for this? Premium accounts or something?
28
sgentle 6 days ago 2 replies      
Seems to be down. I'm curious... nodejs problems? SSL?
29
michaelchisari 6 days ago 0 replies      
Most exciting thing about it is that it's written in CoffeeScript & Node.js.

I really do have a feeling the combination of the two is going to be the Ruby On Rails of this generation of the web. And the shift from server-side development to client-side is going to be a huge one.

30
IanDrake 6 days ago 0 replies      
Joel, you must have been to one of my clients that have a giant whiteboard of post-it notes doing something similar.

I think this might be your best product yet.

31
marcamillion 6 days ago 2 replies      
It's funny how the tiniest moments can really give you a glimpse of the type of person someone is.

For instance, in that demo video, at the end when Angella Kim makes the reference to Jello (in the heat of the moment) was one of those moments that makes me want to just give her a hug and put her in my pocket.

Also, this product looks good. I am wondering though, what will this cost and how will I be charged.

I hate that it just says free right now...with no indication about how this will be maintained.

I would hate to start using this, just to see it disappear in a few months - because it was free only. I know that if they are wildly successful and it starts racking up big bills they can charge for it, but I want to know how will that affect me. I trust Joel to do what's right by early users, but this is a concern I have with new stuff that I don't see a sustainable path.

I will probably still create an account, but not knowing whether this can be around, or I will be charged in 6 months after I am addicted is a bit annoying.

32
avolcano 6 days ago 0 replies      
Seems very similar to AgileZen, but more basic: http://agilezen.com/

Seems interesting anyways. Really love the interface.

33
est 6 days ago 1 reply      
I love checklists, but could you please add task dependency and Gantt chart support?
34
ayanb 6 days ago 0 replies      
From the js source -

This application uses other third-party javascript components distributed under appropriate licenses. For more information, see the following files at http://trello.com/js/lib/

backbone.js,

highcharts.js,

json2.js,

markdown.js,

socket.io.js,

underscore.js,

...apart from jquery/jquery-ui.

35
ryanisinallofus 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was pretty skeptical after my hate-hate affair with FogBugz but Trello's design, marketing and OOBE are far and away the best in the category. I need to use it more but it just doesn't have whatever Pivotal has that scares away non-devs at first glance. Joel, this is definitely my favorite Fog Creek product yet.
36
ares2012 5 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like a simple Kanban (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban) board. I'm not sure why this is new, there are a lot of options for Kanban out there.
37
dfischer 6 days ago 1 reply      
I'll just leave this here: http://www.kanbanpad.com
38
imrehg 6 days ago 0 replies      
Does it look a bit more complicated and crowded version of Co-human? http://www.cohuman.com/

I'm on the fence, I kinda like both and love neither. Especially so far none of these organization tools helped me to be more efficient. I guess I'm holding them wrong.

39
mehi 6 days ago 0 replies      
My first impression is that Trello isn't a (good) product (yet) but it will certainly leverage on Joel's marketing machine.

Observations:
The organization information should not be public by default. I haven't found a way to delete an organization (is it there?).

The interface is unusable on iPad/mobile.

The card pop-up window is hard to use when there's some actual information attached to it. The bird's eye view is confusing and offers little information.

Activity log grows fast with information I would not need: voting events, add/remove members, etc. Make two activity logs, one with useful information and one with tracking (investigation) information.

In Opera and Chrome the red connection establishing notice appears all the time.

The in/out/public permissions are easy to use, but users may actually need more granularity.

40
subbu 6 days ago 0 replies      
I tried to solve this using WhoIsWorkingOnWhat.com (hn submission: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1979671). It didn't get much traction. I was obviously a no match to Joel. I am thinking of open sourcing the app when I get some time to clean it up.
41
mmaunder 6 days ago 0 replies      
DoS'd right now. More info about trello on the blog which is still up:

http://blog.trello.com/launch/

42
rexreed 5 days ago 0 replies      
Joel - if you're still reading this thread (it's getting long) - I've been looking for a tool like this for a long time, but the lynchpin for me is the ability to track work hours so I can bill against it. I constantly run into tools that either let me track time or projects but rarely both in a way that works. This web app works well, but without time management, I'm forced to track the very same projects in another system for the sole purpose of billing. Oh what can we do here? At the very least, is there an API where we can add time tracking and billing to this?

I hope you'll see this comment!

43
gurraman 6 days ago 0 replies      
I couldn't log in with my Google Account (approval with G worked fine though).

Anyway, I created a regular account and my initial impression is very positive. I feel a little disoriented and the "See all boards" could be a lot better (make the boards and their relationships easier to figure out visually). Will use this for a while to see if it will grow on me.

44
rednaught 6 days ago 0 replies      
So I guess with the top navigation bar of Fogcreek.com having lots of available space, we can expect to see a lot of new offerings from Joel and company?
45
dongsheng 6 days ago 0 replies      
Looks similar to Jira's GreenHopper (http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/), each tracker issue is one card, and you can see what's in progress, todos and what has been done.
46
ayanb 6 days ago 0 replies      
Few things I am really digging from a design perspective -

1) The slight tilt of an item in the process of doing a drag and drop of tasks

2) The modal boxes for adding invites, viewing task details etc.

3) The scrollbar on the right(Activity) pane. (Was digging around in the css, is this done in Javascript?)

Well done!

47
TomGullen 6 days ago 1 reply      
How is this going to be monetised? I want to use it but just want to make sure we don't get too excited/committed if it's going to cost a lot of money!
48
Jach 6 days ago 0 replies      
Mostly a nitpick, but it'd be nice if the home page had a little <noscript> text for those of us who browse safely and are wondering what it is at a glance or why we should care enough (besides the Spolsky reference) to enable scripting.

Anyway, it's pretty slick with the UI. I'm going to check it out for tasking myself, and if I like it see how it works for a school project with others.

49
apaprocki 6 days ago 2 replies      
Played around for a few minutes.. I didn't see a quick way to filter the view to only the non-archived cards that you (or any other single person) are a member of. If you start to build up tons of boards/cards, is there a way to quickly filter the view like this?
50
prawn 6 days ago 0 replies      
Can someone confirm a bug or let me know if it's just my browser? (Firefox/XP)

View back of a card in the first list. Choose Move.... Try to move it to a specific position (2nd, for example) on another list (in my case, the third/final list). For me, it just goes to the top of the list.

Edit: Tried to use this move method (rather than dragging) to shift something from List 3 to Position 3 on List 1. It shifted to Position 2 instead.

51
danso 6 days ago 0 replies      
What kind of offline support do you foresee? I haven't tried using the iOS app yet...but I'm thinking of the use case where I've cached the current state of the board and want to check off/add things to the board while I'm on the subway, and have it sync automatically when I get back on. Possible, or are there too many moving parts for that to be implemented easily?
52
nyrulez 6 days ago 2 replies      
Looks pretty awesome in my 5 min trial. Back of the card is very well done.

This will could go way beyond the software crowd to a general organization app..I just hope this thing scales well and they clarify their upload limits and such.

Edit 1: I tried their iPhone app and it's very far from their web interface - took me 6-7 clicks just to get to a checklist for one of the items. It's commendable that they have a app on launch though so I am sure they will work out the app interface with time - currently it's an order of magnitude less usable than their webapp.

53
twidlit 6 days ago 0 replies      
its Pivotal tracker on a zoomed out view (project level). Really nice!
54
bane 6 days ago 0 replies      
Love it! It's basically a todo checklist app with a completely rethought interface...and general enough you could use it for everything from software development to portfolio management to sales pipeline review.

Great stuff.

55
swanson 6 days ago 1 reply      
Any plans for adding multiple lists per column (two at 50% height, etc)? That would be the only thing I can do on our current Kanban board that I couldn't do on Trello.

I really like the app though, it's like a distilled, get out of the way version of Jira.

56
phzbOx 6 days ago 1 reply      
Great app and highly intuitive.

The home page clearly explain what the software does, the signup process is really simple and straightforward, and it's free.

Once you get inside, you have a fake board which is there to help you get started.. It took me 2 minutes to try and understand how everything worked. No magic, no complicated features.. really simple and intuitive.

I love the "reverse of a card" concept, the small animations when you drag a card, how you can easily "add people" to cards, how an avatar is automatically generated for you (With your first letter and a small icon), and more importantly, how there're just a few well-done features instead of a thousand of useless and over complicated stuff.

Furthurmore, it seems that the app introduce the concept of plugins where anyone could potentially incorporate only the features they want.

Overall, 10/10, great app!

57
shawndrost 6 days ago 1 reply      
Feature request: reorder boards. I'd like to use this to manage our software project, and I can imagine a ltr task progression, but then boards have to be features.
58
mindblink 6 days ago 1 reply      
Great! This is exactly what I was looking for a long time for our content generation and feature implementation workflow. Idea board => Doing board => Done board. Thanks, Joel!
59
Mike_mike 1 day ago 0 replies      
It looks so similar to KanbanTool [http://kanbantool.com] (intuitive UI, board, easy drag&drop, comments etc.) - but it is much less customisable and powerful.

I'm just wondering if Trello is a finished product or do you guys planning to implement real-time updates, notifications, history, more customisation, priorities and any features like KanbanTool has at the moment?

And is there enough place on Kanban market for another tool?

60
thedjpetersen 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is really great, I like that the board is basically set to a kanban when you start. A api would be really cool so I could sync my github issues.
61
troels 6 days ago 1 reply      
Does it have an API, so I can integrate with other systems? If not, is that planned for?
62
betageek 6 days ago 0 replies      
Nearly freaked out when I saw this as it's very similar to something I'm working on but, on closer inspection it's just a surface design similarity.

Glad to see positive reaction anyway, sometimes seeing a product that's like to the one your working come out isn't a bad thing, it just tells you your on the right track

63
jongraehl 6 days ago 0 replies      
"hide until this date" (preferably parsing description for a date, not a separate entry step) would be nice.
64
latch 6 days ago 3 replies      
A 7 minute video? That seems long...curious how many people who'd land on this page would watch it all. (I got through 56 seconds of it).
65
minikomi 6 days ago 1 reply      
Thought it might be fun to have an open board for this thread.. https://trello.com/board/hacker-news-board/4e70123412dcf45f5... I hope this works for sharing.
66
pragmatic 6 days ago 4 replies      
Does this integrate with fogbugz and/or kiln?
67
thom 6 days ago 1 reply      
Anything that reduces the likelihood that I'll have to work on a project with Mingle is good news to me.
68
jim_h 5 days ago 0 replies      
The page doesn't display completely if javascript or cookies are blocked.

It would be nice if it was mentioned somewhere.

69
SonicSoul 6 days ago 0 replies      
is it just me or does the background music make this demo seem like a movie preview?
seems like Joel is about to meet his long lost brother, who at first, completely ruins his life, but in the end makes him learn a lot more about himself!
70
dlikhten 6 days ago 0 replies      
Its really nice. I am liking it better than PivotalTracker. Except Pivotal had that whole velocity thing.
71
kvirani 4 days ago 0 replies      
Getting an internal server error when trying to signup (after filling out the signup form and clicking the "Create New Account" button on the signup) ... http://cl.ly/020I2N0Q3d143L2f040a
72
asadullah 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is a very good organizing tool. Reasons:

- I do the exact same thing, but using post-its. Here is a photo of one of my early methods: http://i.imgur.com/hEVtT.jpg. Later I started using post-its for the tasks, so that they could be resorted.

- I was thinking of making the exact same app, by converting by manual process mentioned above to an automated one. Design docs: http://i.imgur.com/VGtJI.jpg. Here is the Adobe Air version of the application done by an intern in a few days: http://wikisend.com/download/962662/FinalVersion.air

- The most important productivity reasons that I noticed AFTER using this method were:
1) Limits to a few projects on my screen at at time
2) Can assign priorities by drag-drop (or unstick and paste)
3) Can see projects and tasks in one look

- The point is, that if I had time to develop an app to automate my manual workflow, Trello would have been the exact type of app I would have made, verifying that software development project managers are also going this route.

73
jvandenbroeck 6 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing! I'm starting to use it today, most todo/list/project apps suck, this looks really good -- so far =:)

The only thing I don't like is that there is instantly a member added to the first board "Trello" - which makes me wonder if somebody is looking at everything I post on the board -- and makes it seem less private/thrust worthy.

74
bugsbunnyak 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just signed up - great so far. One request: make the back of the card resizeable to variable width, or have a preference to make it fit-to larger area within window. Wrapped c++ stubs look even uglier than regular c++!
75
ZipCordManiac 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can use this. Great product. How will they monetize it ?
76
8ig8 6 days ago 0 replies      
I found this glossary helpful:
https://trello.com/glossary
77
erichmond 6 days ago 1 reply      
How big was the team who built this? Stunning achievement, you guys should be proud.
78
wunluv 5 days ago 0 replies      
Since reading the news about the release, I thought I'd try it out on a wee project I'm working on. So today, I tried to remember the name, and guess what? I did. Good job with that. I went to Trello.com, and found out I could just click the login with Google button. Yes! No forms or anything. I'm happy. I'm now logged in and it's taken me a total of 3 minutes to get fairly comfortable and start work.

Thank you so much for this service. I hope free accounts are grandfathered in :)

p.s - Please make it so that I can invite more than one person per click.

79
nodesocket 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great use of node.js for a realtime app. :P We currently use interstateapp, but will give trello a whirl.
80
newman314 6 days ago 3 replies      
No delete card functionality
81
rpwilcox 6 days ago 0 replies      
Hey, cool, a nice looking Kanban board! (The ones I've seen to date have either been pretty ugly, or too many features for what I want. This one looks just right)
82
epo 6 days ago 0 replies      
Another vote to be able to import and export data.
83
yhager 6 days ago 0 replies      
When signing up, the verification email does not content a link if viewed in text mode. My email client is configured to show the text portion of the email when it's available.
84
smussman 6 days ago 0 replies      
I've been trying to find software that fits how I use index cards as a to-do system. This is perfect!

The only thing that would make it perfect-er is an Android app. :-)

85
padobson 6 days ago 0 replies      
I have a number of small business clients who have been looking for something exactly like this. I'm going to be telling each of them about it the next time I see them.
86
ibisum 5 days ago 0 replies      
The only thing I don't like about this is that my company won't own the data if we use it. By own the data, I mean, be responsible for it entirely, without any outside entity having anything to do with it, whatsoever.

Other than that, looks awesome. I hope there is a standalone installable version of this somehow, some day ..

87
DodgyEggplant 6 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful product. Who is the designer?
88
Zolomon 6 days ago 0 replies      
Allow a user to create an account and tie it to his Google Account like on StackExchange!
89
libraryatnight 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is VERY cool. Makes me wish I were working on something with other people lol
90
JayInt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Joel,

Is there a place we can make feature requests?

91
vtbose 6 days ago 0 replies      
"...It's just a list of lists, really."

Almost like Workflowy on steroids.

92
anon_d 6 days ago 0 replies      
Too complicated; just use etherpad.
93
jdangu 6 days ago 0 replies      
I don't like how this public profile URL can't be turned off.
94
zv 6 days ago 0 replies      
Did anyone notice "Artist Exploitation Inc" in video?
95
deleo 6 days ago 0 replies      
Going for Basecamp's jugular :)
96
pknerd 6 days ago 0 replies      
Would give a tough competition to 37Signals guys.
97
tathagatadg 6 days ago 1 reply      
Ultimate GTD tool ...
98
thedangler 6 days ago 1 reply      
How did you make those scroll bars within the divs?

Thanks

2
Google Flight Search google.com
500 points by revorad  6 days ago   278 comments top 64
1
cletus 6 days ago  replies      
Internally, this has been around for a little while (disclaimer: I work for Google but not on anything related to this).

What continues to impress me about Google is:

1. Just how quickly this was built (really, it was quick); and

2. Google wants you to use our services because they're compelling not because we don't give you any other choice (ie "Don't be evil").

Sure there are limits to what it currently does but I think you'll see it rapidly iterate.

2
kiwidrew 6 days ago 5 replies      
It's rather powerful: as long as the origin airport is one of those shown on the map, and the destination airport is reachable via a domestic flight on one of the major airlines (AA, AS, B6, CO, DL, F9, UA, US), the search results come back instantaneously. Multiple origins and destinations (up to five of each) are supported as well:

http://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=LAX,SFO,SEA,LAS,DEN;...

And the results still come back immediately! Including the three-month chart of prices. This leads me to believe that Google/ITA has precomputed all of these results, and is simply serving these results out of a cache of some sort. That would explain why they are only offering a limited set of origin airports at this time: it probably takes an incredible amount of computing power and storage space to pre-calculate all of the possible results.

Colour me impressed.

3
NuecadFoi 6 days ago 1 reply      
Game over.

Disclaimer: This is a throwaway account. I'm a person who has had a travel startup. I've decided to halt, once Google has finally acquired ITA Software.

Travel is one of the world's largest industries (~5th), and online sales are its significant part (~10-30%, depending on the market), growing strongly. Online travel agencies (OTA) are among the few companies on web that get real money (~$150 per sale) from customers (it is relatively easy to make serious revenue).

Online travel sales consist mostly of flight bookings, and hotel reservations.

On these markets, there are roughly three categories of players. Airlines and hotels _provide_ the inventory, that is flights and hotel rooms. Computer reservations systems (GDS) _manage_ the inventory. Online travel agencies _sell_ the inventory.

Specifically, there are thousands of airlines and hotels (e.g. Hyatt, Lufthansa). However, there are only three major GDS operators in the US and Europe (i.e. Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport), as well as only few big OTAs (i.e. Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotels.com, and Opodo).

Few decades ago, before Internet, airlines and hotels were unable to sell inventory on their own. It definitely takes more time to set up an office than a connection between two airports. Thus, it made sense to use travel agencies for this purpose.

Over time, airlines and hotels became also unable to manage their inventory. Synchronization of reservations between thousands of third parties is a non-trivial task, not a core competency of involved companies. Thus, it made sense to use a middle man.

That's what GDS systems do. They manage inventory, what includes reservations (PNR), its availability, prices, and exchanging data with others. As far as I know, right now, airlines and hotels pay them for the service, and for each reservation made (~few bucks).

Internet has complicated things a bit. Travel agencies are no longer so vital, as both airlines and hotels are able (at least, they think so) to sell the inventory on their own. Unfortunately, they were too slow again, and OTAs has emerged meanwhile (Expedia), giving the second youth to GDS companies.

The ecosystem is like an old marriage couple, although a threesome. Each party hat hates each other, but there's no other way around. To oversimplify a bit, OTAs have _customers_ (traffic), GDS systems _manage_ the inventory (with airlines, hotels, and OTAs) and both airlines and hotels _provide_ the inventory, after all.

From time to time there's an affair. Low-cost airlines try to distrupt the market by selling tickets so cheaply partially because they sell them directly. Major OTAs, like Expedia, partially grow to a GDS category. Some airlines or hotel chains withdraw from GDS systems, and return eventually with negiotiated better fees. However, it's mostly business as usual.

Today, if you want to start an online travel agency you have to speak with a GDS company. Depending on your market, it might be Amadeus, Sabre or Travelport. After a long selling process, you get access to the system, and you can start selling the reservations.

What's important, though, nearly all systems used today were created a decade, or two, ago. As core competency of GDS companies is in selling, then, as far as I know, they outsource the software evelopment to third parties, and it's not that easy to innovate on a critical part of the world's infrastructure.

What you end up with, then, is an access to an undocumented API that lets you to search, and manage your reservations. Insiders are used to the quirks, like waiting few seconds until you get the response, random issues, or hinting the system so you get a better response than others. Importantly, you're actively discoured to cache the data, as the prices change rather frequently.

The critical part here is search. It's a mathematically non-trivial problem to very quickly find rates within thousands of connections, definitely beyond technical know-how of GDS operators, airlines and hotels. ITA Software has managed to get access to the inventory and while, as far as I know, they do not sell resevations, they've created a much better (faster) search.

Meanwhile, few years ago, metasearches (e.g. Kayak, Hipmunk) emerged. Smart folks have realized that the competition is on price, customers look for a single place to compare prices, and operate under assumption that what really counts is traffic. From both customers and metasearch perspective, it does not make that big difference where do they buy the reservation from, an OTA or directly from an airline.

So, here we are today.

As a beggining travel agency, you likely have to pay annually for access, and for each request made, especially if you exceed the quota negotiated with the GDS company. Few years ago you were able to make profit by incurring a transaction fee to each ticket sold, but now transaction fees are nearly non-existent, and it's more frequent to rely on provisions from GDS companies, and, sometimes, airlines.

What's your competetive advantage? Basically, you cannot provide much better product than your competitors, as everyone relies on the similar legacy GDS system that returns the flight details rather slowly. Most of the time, only choices are either to show the results a bit differently, or bet on more trustful brand.

The focus is on efficiency. Profit per ticket is so slim, so cost of customers acquisitions is what really matters. OTAs, metasearches and, increasingly, airlines, together with hotels, master SEM, SEO, and other forms of advertisement (newsletters, banners). They live and die by the numbers. If you've figured out how to scalably make $1 more profit on each reservation made, you're covered for some time. The novel methods are, obviously, eventually realized by others, too.

In this race to the bottom there's one clear winner. Google's AdWords is a major source of traffic for all parties, and I bet that they already make the biggest profit off each reservation made. Once Google has acquired ITA Software, they now have both traffic and the inventory.

4
hugh3 6 days ago 2 replies      
That really is good. Hipmunk is still better if you know what days you want to fly, but this is great if you haven't yet decided precisely when, or precisely where, you want to go.

A pity it only works within the US so far, but I'm sure they'll add international destinations eventually.

Also a shame that Southwest still won't cooperate with any of these guys. I guess it's a rational decision on their part: be cheapest most of the time and hope that people won't bother to compare your fares to others.

5
DevX101 6 days ago 3 replies      
If your startup is involved with search aimed at the consumer market, watch out...Google is coming.

In a few weeks/months Google will be featuring this search result when you type "nyc to sfo" and take a big bite out of orbitz, kayak, and whoever's lunch that's in this space.

EDIT: The counterargument to this, is that orbitz, kayak, and friends are some of the heaviest purchasers of PPC ads. So Google be at risk of cannibalizing if they push this too hard.

6
JoshTriplett 6 days ago 1 reply      
Not bad, but hipmunk's visualization seems far far better than Google's tables. The graphical representation of the flight path seems nice, as does the highlighting of cities involved, but that doesn't actually give me information I need to make a decision; Hipmunk's time-oriented chart of departures, arrivals, and layovers tells me exactly what I need to know to book a flight.
7
PedroCandeias 6 days ago 0 replies      
Well, it was a matter of time, wasn't it? For now it's a bit too fiddly when compared to the likes of Hipmunk, save for the booking process which is quite streamlined. And the search itself, which is blazing fast. On second thought, this is really not a bad effort. I can see it gaining huge traction in no time.
8
samstokes 6 days ago 0 replies      
The (well-hidden) "Limits" widget is a very cool bit of visual / visceral UI design. Click the "scatter graph" button next to the Duration field and you get a scatter plot of duration against price for all the flights - which is useful data in itself - then you can drag a boundary around to set the maximum duration or price.
9
amirmc 6 days ago 0 replies      
Just for some context, here's the previous HN discussion when Google announced their acquisition of ITA in July 2010.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1479107

10
geuis 6 days ago 5 replies      
General question here. Almost all flight search sites default the search dates to about 3 weeks out. Now, I find this annoying but I'm wondering if its done because there is statistical evidence that most customers search in that range of time, or rather if it's just what someone thought would be a good idea by "following their intuition".
11
awj 6 days ago 1 reply      
To me, that map seems like a very confusing bit of UI. The cities themselves are really tiny interaction points, I'm a relatively experienced FPS gamer and hitting those points accurately involves more fumbling than it should. You cannot drag departure/arrival pins. Streetview kind of taught me that this should be a mechanism for manipulating this sort of location reference.

The big one, though, is that layovers are not reflected on the map. Granted, it may push me slightly towards more expensive flights, but I would appreciate the ability to see the grid of ugliness and waiting I'm buying into to get that super cheap ticket.

I don't think that map as it is now is worth the screen real estate.

12
martingordon 6 days ago 0 replies      
Looks nice and it has great potential, especially since it isn't cluttered with links to Expedia/Priceline like the others are.

That said, I can't really use it until it supports multiple destinations/open jaw in a single search.

13
smackfu 6 days ago 3 replies      
"Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently not supported." Are you kidding me?
14
samstave 6 days ago 1 reply      
You know what would my make flights better (I travel a lot for work - but work out of my house and book a lot of my own travel)

I want to be able to setup standard trips/itineraries and be able to single clik re-book them with simply a leave and return date.

Further, I want the system to auto arrange for a cab/shuttle/uber to pick me up and take me to my destination.

For example, I fly to LAX several times a month - Nome Alaska once a month, Soon it will be Dallas once a month - and various places in the bay area.

If I can setup my "Visit LAX trip" with all my details and know that a car was waiting for me when I got to LAX to take me to my office/hotel and I didnt have to do anything other than click "Re-book LAX" that would save me so much time and hassle.

I would setup my preferred airlines, times and seats (Virgin America etc...)

15
adaml_623 6 days ago 1 reply      
My First Impression:

No international flights yet: Fail but not surprising

That's okay I want to fly from NY to Vegas next year. No flights for April 2012: Fail that was not expected.

I don't really understand why Google launches stuff like this when it has a lovely user interface but is a bit halfbaked in terms of the data that they've put in.

I guess I'll go back in a years time when they remind me about it.

16
stevenp 6 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly, the lack of a good API by any provider is one of the biggest barriers to entry in this space. I wonder if the Hipmunk guys might release one? I'd be thrilled to send affiliate traffic to the first company that makes good on this.
17
stevoski 6 days ago 1 reply      
I try to get a flight from Frankfurt - the 9th busiest airport in the world. - and I get "Unavailable".

Post this again when I can actually use it.

18
angus77 6 days ago 0 replies      
We have detected that you are using an unsupported web browser. We support Firefox 3.5 or later, Chrome, Safari 4 or later, or Internet Explorer 8 or later.

?!? I'm using the Android browser!

19
pmorici 6 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why anyone would use a federated flight search when looking for a domestic flight in the US. None of the major airlines come close to Southwest in terms of price or hassle free travel and none of the flight search engines include price information for Southwest.
20
tonfa 6 days ago 0 replies      
I love the scatter plot graph (with duration/price), it is so geeky :)
21
toot 6 days ago 2 replies      
It's quite scary that a company like Google can come along and shit in a startup's cereal practically overnight.

I know we were all rooting for The 'Munk, but it seems that Google's use of Price x Duration matrix effectively steals the thunder from Hipmunk's agony filter.

I mean, it's not as if Google needs the affiliate revenue, and I bet the Hipmunk guys would have preferred it had Google decided to "organise the world's information" through an acquisition. I think I'd need a good cry if this happened to me :(

22
andrewtbham 6 days ago 3 replies      
Bad news for hipmunk? Especially since google acquired ITA.
23
splish 6 days ago 1 reply      
Unless I'm missing something fairly obvious, they might have missed something pretty big - is there any way to book a one way flight?
24
tamersalama 6 days ago 1 reply      
This is just beautiful. Data matrix is innovative, UI is out of the way, slick and to the point interface, and it even takes you to the correct 3rd party booking pages.

I can't wait till this is implemented in Canada.

Kayak beware!

25
esutton 6 days ago 1 reply      
what will be a game changing tool, and something befitting the resources of google, would be to pair flights together that are cheaper than what is offered by the airline.
for instance:
flying from NY to LA. Airlines sell this route non stop,
or through one of their hubs.
But imagine if a flight search can figure out that a oneway flight from ny to new orleans on Delta and than a flight from new orleans on AA, had a low layover and was significantly cheaper than the published routes.

The problem is that as this expands to more cities and takes more stops, you end up hitting an NP problem.

26
0x12 6 days ago 0 replies      
It's only a problem for hipmunk as long as google doesn't 'retire' the project.

Give it 6 months or so.

27
kellysutton 6 days ago 1 reply      
"5 unknown price"

Looks like it needs another QA pass.

28
rickdale 6 days ago 1 reply      
When are people going to stop solving this problem and start building super sonic airplanes like the concord? The airline industry moves backwards in technology and trying to build a flight search engine to wrap around it is really a band-aid to the real situation. If I could get to Vegas in half the time, or even a quarter of the time (currently takes 4 hours, could take 1 in supersonic jet) I would pay at least double price for a ticket, and I wouldnt even need a seat.

My point is if you fly coach especially with Delta they treat you like a slave and stuff you with almost zero space to move (I am american, but not obese (5'9, 200lb). Forget flight search engines I can find a flight, make a me a faster more tolerable flight, you are friggin GOOGLE!

29
markmccraw 6 days ago 0 replies      
If I were expedia, orbitz, priceline, travelocity, kayak, hipmunk. etc. I'd be very very afraid. Sure, google won't actually do the sales, but they are linking direct to airline websites for now. Also this doesn't exist for hotels. Yet. The odds that in 1 year that any of those sites have a better UI or superior search capabilities than Google is low. So, what will they bring to the table?

Also, what's up with all these people saying that it's so limited because it doesn't do international and such. It seems very obvious that this thing will get better and better and like others have said, eventually end up on top of the search page. This is assuming it gains traction quickly and doesn't get nuked.

30
jnw2 6 days ago 0 replies      
I was under the impression that Amtrak from Newark Airport to 30th St Station in Philadelphia was available as an airline code share (and that train segment is fast enough that there's no good reason to get on a plane for Newark<->Philadelphia, even if you are connecting to another flight out of Newark), but I haven't figured out how to find such a code share with Google's flight search tools.

(The governor of IL and the Chicago mayor also asked Amtrak to study how to extend some of the Amtrak routes to O'Hare, presumably to replace some ``commuter'' flights, and they wanted the study done by the end of this summer, but I haven't seen any evidence of the study being done yet.)

31
antimora 6 days ago 2 replies      
Is it me, or that app is super fast?
32
revorad 6 days ago 1 reply      
In true Google style, they are focusing on speed, with a minimal UI.
33
pumainmotion 6 days ago 0 replies      
As is evident from some of the comments here, the map and the search bar on top are totally extraneous to the basic task that the user wishes to perform.

The absolute barebones should be shown: Starting location, Destination, Dates. And then maybe a less noisy version of the price-points plot from which one can just drag and drop certain options into a bucket for comparison.

The fact that so much scrolling needs to be done to even get a basic understanding of the results means this needs to be reworked.

34
rufo 6 days ago 0 replies      
Completely useless for me. Doesn't find a single flight out of ROC.
35
badclient 6 days ago 0 replies      
When I want to do a flight search, I don't usually think of a map.
36
kingkilr 6 days ago 2 replies      
Very nice, my only complaint is they don't have Southwest pricing. No one else does either, so Southwest continues to bring me to their site :)
37
dhruvbird 6 days ago 0 replies      
This had to happen sooner than later after the ITA aquisition. I wonder why it took them so long.
38
faulkner 6 days ago 1 reply      
Decent initial release, but I wish the search was more flexible.

My common use case is "I will spend $X to go anywhere for under Y days any time in the future" and I haven't found a service that makes this easy.

Kayak's "explore" page is the closest I've found, but they rarely have the cheapest flights listed and have no way to set duration. Has anyone found a better solution?

39
kin 6 days ago 0 replies      
My eyes dilated when using the auto price feature. Also the speed and ease of adjusting the dates by a day is impressive.
40
tedkalaw 6 days ago 1 reply      
Is there anyway to do one-way flights? I really like it so far but cannot for the life of me figure out if one-way is possible.
41
supahfly_remix 6 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see any Southwest or JetBlue airlines flights listed. Both usually have very competitive pricing on some routes.
42
drallison 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wow ... but then I am not really sure it meets my needs. For one thing, it does not recognize may local airport and keeps wanting me to fly out of another airport a good 4 hour drive away! And while it is good at displaying cost differentials for different destinations it does not seem to do as well for the same destination at different times with different carriers. Still, it is interesting.
43
skylar 6 days ago 0 replies      
We built this at Yahoo! in summer 2007 after the FareChase acquisition. Took about a week or so to prototype, and a couple months to offer various filter/search criteria and prepare for launch. With access the good flight data APIs it's a pretty simple app. Of course for us it was never allowed to launch.

Glad to see Google was finally able to push something like this. Main feature missing that Y! Faremaps had is the ability to specify a span of time in which you wanted to travel and the cheapest trips in that timeframe were shown. Also, you could search "weekends only" in that timeframe.

44
mcdowall 6 days ago 0 replies      
I had always imagined they would try to dabble in flight search but always assumed the sheer volume of their travel ppc clients would restrict it. Big revenue gamble.
45
emehrkay 6 days ago 0 replies      
Interface was confusing at first: you click the "x from $xxx" then you choose a return flight by clicking the sub="x from $xxx" with the time you'd like to return. Then you can book.

This is cool though

46
RossM 6 days ago 0 replies      
Just the other day I was wondering "why isn't there a flight option in Maps?", well here you go then, there soon will be.
47
27182818284 6 days ago 0 replies      
Faster than Hipmunk, but can't do international flights yet.
48
eslaught 6 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if they allowed ITA to keep writing in Common Lisp...
49
xedarius 6 days ago 0 replies      
Please build this in Europe, searching for flights is so painful. I hope you're looking at this web site Expedia!
50
frankiewarren 6 days ago 0 replies      
This makes a ton of sense to me. Users already trust Google with search and connecting people with airlines has baked-in revenue. This also has tremendous advertising potential. Imagine if local restaurants could target ads at people who will be traveling to the area in the next three months.
51
fmavituna 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great implementation. Recently I've been playing with skyscanner and HipMunk. This will definitely replace them for me when international support arrives.
52
jeffem 6 days ago 0 replies      
They must be accessing prior flight search history in some way or they made a really lucky guess with their default selections.

I've recently searched for flights on Expedia and Southwest (I don't think I've visited anywhere else). Google already had those same dates and cities selected by default.

53
iradik 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think they will integrate this with google maps and give around the world directions. Pretty cool.
54
iskander 6 days ago 0 replies      
Any idea when they expand beyond the US?
55
joeyj01 6 days ago 0 replies      
It is amazing! I hope outside U.S service will come soon and calculate flights globally.
56
littlegiantcap 6 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting, I like the simple layout, but it would be nice to have a price comparison of a few days in each direction like some sites have (I'm thinking Virgin Atlantic) so you can save some money by leaving a day early or a day late. Overall though bravo.
57
eren-tantekin 6 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently not supported :/
58
JohannTh 5 days ago 0 replies      
I work for Dohop (www.dohop.com), a direct competitor of Google's new flight thing. We have been worried about Google's entrance into the field for a while, but after today we are breathing easier.

No international? No one-way? I know Google will change this, but why put out such a wildly underwhelming product?

And finally, since they are basing the whole thing on ITA anyway, we don't expect them to do anything Kayak isn't already doing.

59
retrofit_brain 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wow what a relief to see they are dogfooding. This is built on GWT and the performance is kick ass.
60
mahmud 6 days ago 0 replies      
U.S. only.
61
marcamillion 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is one of those late nights at Hipmunk.

Good luck guys!

62
reagan83 6 days ago 0 replies      
Jesus, this amazing.
63
ofca 6 days ago 0 replies      
hipmunk, hold on to your 'nackers :)
64
mindstab 6 days ago 0 replies      
ha a flight search engine that only does flights inside the US? cute, but of limited use. I won't hold my breath just yet.
3
Twitter's Storm (complex event processing system) is now open source github.com
417 points by harrigan  23 hours ago   54 comments top 16
1
nathanmarz 21 hours ago 6 replies      
Hey all, I'm the author of Storm. Just wanted to point you to a few resources:

I've written a lot of documentation on the wiki, which you can find here: https://github.com/nathanmarz/storm/wiki

There's a few companion projects to Storm. These are:

One-click deploy for Storm on EC2: https://github.com/nathanmarz/storm-deploy

Adapter to use Kestrel as a Spout within Storm: https://github.com/nathanmarz/storm-kestrel

Starter project with example topologies that you can run in local mode: https://github.com/nathanmarz/storm-starter

Feel free to ask me questions here or on Storm's mailing list ( http://groups.google.com/group/storm-user ), and I'll answer as best I can!

2
phren0logy 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Woah. Launch a Storm cluster on AWS with one line:

https://github.com/nathanmarz/storm-deploy/wiki

All of these storm projects with their project.clj files betray the Clojure roots (using Leiningen as the build tool, which is amazingly great). Here's to hoping for more Clojure examples/docs.

3
michaelbuckbee 22 hours ago 2 replies      
It is a little buried in the github wiki, but this 'Rationale' page is a good overview of the project - https://github.com/nathanmarz/storm/wiki/Rationale
4
buss 21 hours ago 3 replies      
If you don't want to read through the wiki, here's what I've gathered (though I may have misunderstood what they're doing).

This looks like a workflow management system, where you define a dependency graph and their system automatically puts messages in queues, pops them, and executes a step. It seems like it solves the boilerplate part of distributed computing - managing message queues and fault tolerance. Please correct me if I got this wrong or missed something.

5
beagledude 20 hours ago 2 replies      
nathanmarz does the work at BackType, Twitter gets the credit
6
DevX101 22 hours ago 1 reply      
What are some potential applications of this?
7
jevinskie 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll be taking a look at this today. I'm most excited about it's fault tolerance features. If this sufficiently abstracts out the details of providing robust fault tolerance, it could be a great tool to use with cloud computing.
8
mstanley 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Nathan! this is awesome. I'm really excited to dive deeper.

some questions:

- I'm trying to understand the relationship between ZeroMQ and Kestrel in your architecture. is ZeroMQ used for message passing? and Kestrel used as a stream source/sink - aka a sprout? in other words, my assumptions are: zookeeper helps manage node discovery and coordination while message passing between nimble managed bolt processes' are through zeromq. kestrel queues are used for external integration (data stream sources). Is this correct or am I missing something?

- do you have any tutorials on using cascalog with Storm? are they compatible or have you developed a different clojure programming model/DSL for working with Storm?

thanks and again - nice work!

10
ldng 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Really glad that you guys now release and than announce !
the best way to avoid the let down of ending not opening something announced earlier (whatever the reason).
Keep the trend going !
11
mdaniel 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it common practice for a corporation to release code via one user's Github account? I would expect that if Twitter were open-sourcing something, it would show up as something like https://github.com/twitter/storm that link is 404, to save you the trouble).
12
grantjgordon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic! My mind is spinning with the industries that you could benefit from this, but didn't have the time/resources/focus to roll this sort of (very difficult to scale) system on their own.
13
gfodor 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome, really excited to see this get released!
14
sherkund 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Just out of curiosity, to what degree was Clojure chosen because of the ability to use Java libraries vs the language design + community?
15
scotto 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeeeeessssss! Thank you Twitter!!!
16
schiptsov 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Someone want to implement something like that without 100 jars of dependencies and 8Gb of memory required to just run, in old-fashioned C/Lisp way (or more modern nginx-way)? Update: on top of Plan9?! ^_^

Or, at least, in more suitable Erlang? ^_^

Isn't it an obvious startup-idea?

4
New Boston Globe website design bostonglobe.com
419 points by ra88it  7 days ago   109 comments top 39
1
Adaptive 7 days ago 6 replies      
The real success here is not the fluid design (which is awesome). It's getting it through inside a traditional media company.

I'd love to read a frank overview of that process as well as the design itself.

2
ra88it 7 days ago 3 replies      
Resize the window to see how gracefully the site accomodates a wide range of window sizes (from a phone to a desktop monitor).

[edit: After further reflection, I'm stunned by how well they pulled this off. Huge leap forward.]

3
keeperofdakeys 7 days ago 1 reply      
Here is one of the lines of the source code:

  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, minimum-scale=1, maximum-scale=1">

For those who don't know, this disables user scrolling on every standards-compliant mobile device. The reason is a bug on iOS, that causes test to flow off screen when changing orientation on non-default zoom levels. http://adactio.com/journal/4470/

I really wish more sites would enable it by default, then use javascript to disable it for iOS devices. I have come across many sites with small text that I want to zoom, but can't (this is especially bad for people with poor eyesight). Disabling it for everyone reminds me of the days of IE5 and 6, when other browsers were hampered by IE's bugs; we are only starting to see what having no bug-ridden, dominant browser on the Desktop can bring.

Before anyone says that browsers shouldn't implement this feature, they should. For better or worse, it is a part of the standard. Using browsers that don't implement parts of the standard would bring about situations even worse then this.

4
guywithabike 7 days ago 1 reply      
Keep in mind that the point isn't to be flashy when you resize your window, it's that the site will work just as well on tiny mobile screens, medium tablet screens, and large computer screens without separate domains, crappy shim layers (I'm looking at you, wp-touch), etc.
5
3dFlatLander 7 days ago 1 reply      
I have terrible vision, and utilize the browsers zoom function a lot. On their new site, I can zoom without having to do a lot of horizontal scrolling (just in Firefox though, doesn't seem to work as well in Chrome). So, aside from the aesthetic for the masses, there's an element of accessibility here that shouldn't be overlooked.
6
chrismealy 7 days ago 2 replies      
It's weird, when a layout is too clean it feels like the site is fake somehow.
7
blahedo 7 days ago 0 replies      
I am IN LOVE! It has been years since I've seen a mainstream site that didn't force itself wider than my default window (usually 600-800px, a bit less than half my screen). A lot of the sites that "try" to "address" the issue of multiple resolutions still focus on two targets: mobiles, and full-screen 1024+ monitors. Some of us are in between!

Thanks, Boston Globe.

8
alexkearns 7 days ago 3 replies      
I used a similar technique on my web-based timeline-software. The aim was for the timeline to work at almost any size. Not quite perfected it but getting close.

If you want to play with the resizing, you can use this link - http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/43/Beautiful-web-bas...

9
beatpanda 7 days ago 1 reply      
We did the same thing on my college newspaper this semester (we're still working out bugs ) 鈥" http://spartandaily.com
10
T_S_ 7 days ago 0 replies      
Great job making the font size respond to Cmd+. Many sites seem to drop the ball on this important feature (ahem LinkedIn, NYTimes mobile).
11
roopeshv 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://mediaqueri.es/, now stop picking examples from certain place, give some background what you want to talk about.
12
ChuckMcM 7 days ago 0 replies      
That is very nicely done. I am glad they didn't go for the temptation to put the display add in the laft column so that as the page shrinks it re-flows to putting only ads above the fold.
13
ForrestN 7 days ago 0 replies      
I assume they are testing the waters for something similar for the NYT. I think it's very successful visually, and certainly a nice use of this new technology. My only nitpick is that I wish there was more letter spacing on the headlines. I don't know why the type has to be so squished.
14
frankiewarren 7 days ago 0 replies      
I loaded this and thought, "What's the big deal?" I'm sure many people, on many different browsers/platforms/resolutions, thought the same exact thing, which is what makes it so brilliant.
15
niels_olson 7 days ago 0 replies      
I would have liked to see the resize use additional space by bringup an additional column of headlines instead of just expanding the already useless picture.

Here's a nice thread on newspaper designs, shamelessly jumping to my head-to-head of above-the-fold comparisons of the top 10

http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0...

16
Angostura 7 days ago 1 reply      
There's a bit of UX failure here though. The first ting I did was click the left hand top navigation element which displayed the submenu.

I then moved my mouse to select a sub-menu item, crossing another top-level menu item which made the menu disapear.

Granny's not giong to like that, and I personally dislike having to be careful to move my mouse vertically down before crossing to a submenu item.

17
joshmlewis 7 days ago 4 replies      
It is worth checking out. Really neat how well it does go from big to small. Was this done with Javascript/jQuery?
18
bstar 7 days ago 1 reply      
Screw the layout, whoever came up with the dependency manager is a friggin' genius.

<script src="/js/lib/rwd-images.js,lib/respond.min.js,lib/modernizr.custom.min.js,globe-define.js,globe-controller.js"></script>

19
RegEx 7 days ago 0 replies      
You don't have to be a huge web design shop to successfully build fluid websites. A good place to start building sites like this is the 1140 grid[0]. We've knocked out a couple of client sites with it [1]. Getting the basic layout to resize is super easy...it's the positioning details for the media queries that can take hours.

[0]: http://cssgrid.net/

[1]: http://etbeancounter.com/

20
sogrady 7 days ago 2 replies      
The real success here - if it is successful - will be convincing readers that have previously had free (for registered users) access to Boston Globe content at Boston.com to pay $208/yr simply for the new interface. It will be the same content, with a few exceptions, simply rehosted at a new site with a new URL.

If they're able to convert even a subset of their current audience over, journalists everywhere will rejoice.

21
elliottkember 7 days ago 4 replies      
I think responsive design that changes when resized like this is a bit annoying and unexpected. When I'm using the page and I resize it, I lose my place on the page and all the content reflows. There's nothing in traditional media that works that way.
22
voidfiles 7 days ago 1 reply      
I smell filament group(http://www.filamentgroup.com/). Anyone know who led the design?
23
pauljonas 7 days ago 0 replies      
Looks good, but line-height gets messed up when using the menu dropdown to select a bigger (i.e., "bigger", "biggest") text size.

See screenshot:
https://img.skitch.com/20110913-qpbjnmcr2cjqcgwtfahen878sp.p...

24
Titanous 7 days ago 0 replies      
Great design, but they have a registration wall in front of every single article.
25
rglover 7 days ago 0 replies      
Aside from having a great design, what's excellent about this is that they're working with new design concepts and implementing them well. Responsive web design is huge for newspapers and other sites with lots of text and images. The Boston Globe is hopefully the first of many great redesigns using this method.
26
kanetrain 7 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great responsive design. This works, in part, because it is a news site with predictable image sizes, headline sizes, and very limited GUI.
If you want to build something that is more graphically intensive, with more focus on visual appeal in traditional browser sizes, it gets more and more complicated. I'm working on a project now actually, and it's pain. I'm not saying it can't be done (it can with a lot of work). It's just more difficult and time-intensive the more graphics you use.
27
xelfer 7 days ago 0 replies      
This looks similar to the http://www.news.com.au redesign which was rolled out 2 weeks ago. Lots of white space and thin grey lines.
28
linhir 7 days ago 0 replies      
The Boston Globe is owned by the NYTimes company, I wonder if this design might be a preface to a more fluid design of that site.
29
maigret 7 days ago 0 replies      
Still needs some bug fixes though - the site is not showing at all on Chrome for me. May be due to one of my many privacy extensions.
30
abredow 7 days ago 0 replies      
This looks great. It's awesome that we can make sites like this that theoretically allow us to serve the same pages to desktop and mobile browsers. I'm curious though, is there any significant overhead to having mobile clients parse 1600+ lines of HTML, or is that a non-issue these days? Anyone have any data points on this?
31
roshanr 7 days ago 0 replies      
Seems to compare favorably to the Andy Rutledge redesign (http://andyrutledge.com/news-redux.php) save for the ads. The ads on the story pages don't work as well resulting in horizontal scrolling.
32
andymboyle 7 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for posting this link. I'm kind of wondering why my post from hours earlier didn't pop up. Did I just write a crappy headline?

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2987246

33
sailfast 7 days ago 0 replies      
Nice design and a layout that I'm sure will be mimicked by a number of other traditional paper outlets - if they're smart. Now to figure out how to do it myself! hehe
34
AbyCodes 7 days ago 0 replies      
Check the site with http://quirktools.com/screenfly/

Admiration guaranteed.

35
MadMikeyB 7 days ago 0 replies      
Very well executed, and everything I've read about it is positive. Good job PR team? Or good job social web :)

Oh, the site is pretty good too ;)

36
gjg 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is great stuff for adapting to different screen sizes, but it's hard to see it as the perfect solution to the varying needs of different devices. It works reasonably well on mobile, but still results in a fair amount of wasted bandwidth. And some pages (looking at you, registration interstitial) serve up 150kb+ images that aren't displayed at all on mobile devices.

It may be responsive to my screen size, but it certainly isn't responsive to my data plan.

37
adeaver 7 days ago 0 replies      
Make sure you check out the online crossword. It's 'responsive' as well. And quite cool. (Have to register to access it
38
naed 7 days ago 0 replies      
wow thats a really slick and usable design. the call to action page if you click to a story is really fresh to.
39
blake213 7 days ago 0 replies      
This is called an adaptive layout.
5
Programmers' Day wikipedia.org
402 points by kexek  7 days ago   84 comments top 23
1
AngryParsley 7 days ago 3 replies      
Degrees in computer science and computer engineering are in the top 10 for average earnings. We get to build all kinds of cool stuff used by people around the world. For many of us, programming is fun. And we get paid to do it!

Every day is programmer's day.

2
thebootstrapper 7 days ago 1 reply      
Great day to quote from Dijkstra's good old article. At that time(1957) programming was not considered as a profession!

Extract from Humble Programmer[1]

"..in 1957, I married and Dutch marriage rites require you to state your profession and I stated that I was a programmer. But the municipal authorities of the town of Amsterdam did not accept it on the grounds that there was no such profession. And, believe it or not, but under the heading "profession" my marriage act shows the ridiculous entry "theoretical physicist"!.."

[1] http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~EWD/transcriptions/EWD03xx/EWD340....

3
rkalla 7 days ago 0 replies      
Well happy PD to everybody.

Today just happened to be an unexpectedly productive programming day... I guess I was "celebrating" without realizing it :)

4
cgarvey 7 days ago 3 replies      
"...the color white was chosen because it represents a hex number with the largest value in a 24-bit red green blue (RGB) color space: 0xFFFFFF, so programmers worldwide wear white in celebration."

Only Programmers would have a holiday in which we wear white after labor day to celebrate.

5
Killah911 7 days ago 3 replies      
Wishing all programmers Man每 Happ每 Returns of the Da每 and Ma每 each one of those Returns compile successfull每

每 : 256th ascii character (should henceforth be the Programmers' day symbol)

correction: Extended ASCII character per http://www.ascii-code.com/

6
pestaa 7 days ago 1 reply      
Today is the day I must hunt down that irritating segfault, then!
7
atomicdog 7 days ago 1 reply      
Can you imagine "programmer's day" being officially recognized in a western society such as the US or the UK? Over here, intellectual pursuits such as programming are effectively spat upon.
8
hollerith 7 days ago 4 replies      
Any Russians want to tell us whether this holiday has any meaning to the ordinary Russians?
9
kuroir 7 days ago 0 replies      
Happy Programmers' Day! On this day I'll do what I love the most: code!
10
spiralganglion 7 days ago 1 reply      
I can't wait to see the Google Doodle for this.
11
phatbyte 6 days ago 1 reply      
Happy Programmer's Day. Wish you a full day of coding with no bugs :P
12
Tyrannosaurs 7 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone tell me what I'm meant to do on Programmers Day or why it even exists?
13
ramki 7 days ago 1 reply      
Today is dedicated to all brave souls who dared to be a programmer...!!
14
brain5ide 7 days ago 0 replies      
I'm ashamed. Came to work after lunch and just then got told it's today. Why didn't I read HN in the morning? Now have to figure out a way to make a hack in the office to awww everybody.
15
mathattack 7 days ago 0 replies      
Let's just be practical and all take today off!
16
SkippyZA 7 days ago 2 replies      
Happy Programmers' Day. I mentioned it to our Directors yesterday. Hoping we get cake at least.
17
wlievens 7 days ago 0 replies      
Happy Programmer's Day guys and gals!
18
adambyrtek 6 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like my birthday is on Programmers' Day, nice.
19
Derbasti 7 days ago 0 replies      
OK then, let's solve that compile issue today then.
20
ycatvfan 6 days ago 0 replies      
I did not know this, otherwise I could have taken the day off.
21
forther 6 days ago 1 reply      
256 can NOT be represented with 8 bits
22
TomVolpe 7 days ago 0 replies      
Happy Programmers' Day! Keep on hacking!
23
alexanderb 7 days ago 1 reply      
Happy PD, dear colleagues!
6
Be Careful when Speaking to Federal Agents - 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 findlaw.com
382 points by conover  3 days ago   175 comments top 22
1
Nate75Sanders 3 days ago  replies      
The most important paragraph if you're not interested in reading the whole thing:

Is there an intelligent alternative to lying or telling the truth that we have not yet examined? Yes. In our hypothetical interview, you can politely decline to be interviewed by the FBI agent. Tell the agent that you have an attorney and that "my attorney will be in contact with you." If the agent persists, say that you will not discuss anything without first consulting counsel. Ask for the agent's card, to give to your attorney. If you have not yet hired a lawyer, tell the agent that "I want to consult a lawyer first" or that "an attorney will be in touch with you." The absolutely essential thing to keep in mind is to say nothing of substance about the matter under investigation. It is preferable to do this by politely declining to be interviewed in the absence of counsel. If the agent asks "why do you need an attorney?" or "what do you have to hide?" do not take his bait and directly respond to such questions. (Do not even say that you have nothing to hide.) Simply state that you will not discuss the matter at all without first consulting counsel and that counsel will be in touch with him. If the agent asks for a commitment from you to speak with him after you have consulted or retained counsel, do not oblige him. Just respond that you will consult with your attorney (or "an" attorney) and that the attorney will be in touch. And by all means do not get bullied or panicked into making up a phony reason for refusing to talk. You are not obliged to explain your decision to anyone.

2
hvs 3 days ago 2 replies      
This advice also applies to any situation involving law enforcement officers, not just federal agents.

Remember, "Don't Talk to Cops": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

3
noonespecial 3 days ago 3 replies      
Since you have nothing to hide, is it safe to talk? There can still be real danger in speaking to a government agent in these circumstances. To begin with, you are not qualified to know whether you are innocent of wrongdoing under federal criminal law.

Critical system failure. There should be red lights blinking and klaxons wailing.

4
ellyagg 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is an interesting and useful perspective, and it's not the first time it's come up on HN, but it's unfortunate that it doesn't draw any thoughtful criticism.

This advice is best when one is implicated or thinks there's any chance they'd be implicated...but then anyone with the slightest awareness of the legal system learns about this at a pretty young age. This particular advice gets its sensationalism and counterintuitiveness by claiming that it's a universal rule. As a universal rule, it has its downsides.

One downside is that, if everyone does this, we make it far harder for law enforcement to do worthwhile investigations. Programmers hate when roadblocks prevent us from iterating quickly during development. Understand, other occupations also suffer from the same crunch on their time that we do and, as a community that's all in this together, we benefit from their work.

Another downside is promoting an adversarial role between law enforcement and its citizenry. This is an intangible, but I think its costs are real.

Also, you'd better be very confident that the cop(s) will simply respect your rights under the law. I know of situations where that has not been the case. I've seen videos where it wasn't the case. We've all read stories where it wasn't the case.

It's easy to fantasize stories about you being wrongfully singled out or, heaven forbid, convicted. We've also all read stories about that. Just like everything in life, then, it's a cost/benefits analysis. But don't pretend that one choice is all benefits and no costs.

I think the speed of modern news dissemination is warping our risk assessment software. Things that you'd only hear of rarely are reported several times a day now, because there's 6 billion people having bad things happen to them, the news only cares about those bad things, and our attention for those bad things is the same size as ever. The bad things per attention minute is rising all the time. Partly because of this, and partly because we are the way we are, there's a penchant by some in my geeky, libertarian community to withdraw as citizens, and overestimate downside risk. Yes, you expose yourself to risk by rescuing that drowning man; yes, you expose yourself to risk by finding that lost girl's mom; yes, you expose yourself to risk by cooperating with authorities. And, you know what, I think it should be worth it to you.

As a side note, attorneys are very familiar with the system and feel confident about fighting it head on, and many attorneys are willing to lead a high stress, confrontational life style. One should bear that in mind when taking advice about how to lead one's life.

5
praptak 3 days ago 4 replies      
The most rational strategy for a US citizen is to treat an officer like the worst enemy, a sleazebag who will go out of their way to fuck said citizen over? There is something deeply wrong with this country.
6
dfranke 3 days ago 2 replies      
For example, if you lie to your employer on your time and attendance records and, unbeknownst to you, he submits your records, along with those of other employees, to the federal government pursuant to some regulatory duty, you could be criminally liable.

Is there anything in the law that makes the "pursuant to some regulatory duty" relevant here? For example, if you wrote something on Wikipedia that you knew was inaccurate, and years later a federal official read it and found it somehow relevant to his job, would you theoretically be breaking this law?

7
js2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tangentially related - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/26nocera.html?pag...

In March 2009, still unsatisfied, Mr. Nordlander persuaded his superiors to send an attractive female undercover agent, Ellen Burrows, to meet Mr. Engle and see if she could get him to say something incriminating. In the course of several flirtatious encounters, she asked him about his investments.

After acknowledging that he had been speculating in real estate during the bubble to help support his running, he said, according to Mr. Nordlander's grand jury testimony, 鈥淚 had a couple of good liar loans out there, you know, which my mortgage broker didn't mind writing down, you know, that I was making four hundred thousand grand a year when he knew I wasn't.鈥

Mr. Engle added, 鈥淓verybody was doing it because it was simply the way it was done. That doesn't make me proud of the fact that I am at least a small part of the problem.鈥

Unbeknownst to Mr. Engle, Ms. Burrows was wearing a wire.

8
maxxxxx 3 days ago 1 reply      
It saddens me that the best advice for so many situations is "Get a lawyer". Besides the fact that they are expensive I find it frustrating that society has become that adversarial.
9
itsadok 3 days ago 5 replies      
what bothers me the most about these kind of articles is the underlying assumption that I can find a good criminal lawyer when the need arises.

I'm having enough trouble finding good engineers, and that is something that I am qualified to do, as well as able to spend several months on, under very little pressure.

I have very little experience with lawyers, but at least for corporate lawyers, my impression is that the average lawyer doesn't know everything about their field, just like the average programmer doesn't know everything about their field. I wonder how many of these pitfalls are something that an average lawyer wouldn't know to avoid.

10
Loic 3 days ago 0 replies      
The terrible point in the complete article is that basically, you need first to assume that the authorities will screw you and not help you.

For me, the "todos in this case" are just a cure for a dead man, because if you cannot trust the authorities anymore the basic assumptions of a working judiciary system are broken.

11
raldi 3 days ago 4 replies      
Wait, so let's say I'm at the post office buying stamps, and I hand the cashier a $20, and she says, "Don't you have anything smaller?" and I say no, even though I do, because I want the change.

Could I be convicted under this law?

12
jxcole 3 days ago 0 replies      
Related: overcriminalization. Looks like this story relates to the same statute:

http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

13
arturadib 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the awesome lecture "Don't talk to the police" by Prof. James Duane (J.D., Harvard Law):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865

14
giardini 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's a new book out about the complexity of American law. It's titled "Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent" by Harvey Silverglate

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/...

15
baddox 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is an unjust law, period.
16
brianstorms 3 days ago 3 replies      
When members of congress lie when speaking to other members of congress, why aren't they held to this law?
17
scotto 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am so glad this article is out and I read it. It may be extreme but as someone who has witnesses this type of thing go down, I live with the knowledge that we are all one false accusation away from complete ruin. EVERYTHING can be made to look malicious and calculated, and we should all, in this context, live in fear of the government. Stay out of their crosshairs and keep your attorney phone number close by.
18
lucraft 3 days ago 0 replies      
What's the situation in the UK on this whole Dont Talk to Cops thing? Does anyone know of any equivalent legal advice?
19
buff-a 3 days ago 1 reply      
Does this apply to Congresspersons?
20
silverbax88 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just reading this makes me nervous.
21
lambada 3 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know of a similar quality article for dealing with UK law enforcement?
22
jsdalton 3 days ago 3 replies      
As interesting as this article may be, it does not belong on HN.
7
Remembering a relationship, one chat at a time good.is
383 points by danso  4 days ago   68 comments top 21
1
DanielBMarkham 4 days ago 8 replies      
When I go to write a letter, I use some software that allows me to put together words on a semblance of a page and then print it. The tool is called a "word processor"

When we live our lives, we leave all these digital footprints and clues all over the web. It seems to me that somebody should invent a "life processor" that would collect these traces of our former selves and allow us, after death, to somehow more actively participate than we've ever done before.

If nothing else, it would be a central repository of things that we left behind -- words, images, songs, memories, etc. Yes, I know GMail and Facebook do some of that, but a lot is in chat, on blogs, in comments (like this one), and spread all over the place. After all, they're my thoughts. Shouldn't my descendants be able to easily browse and use them? I would think that with a bit of computational magic, there could be all sorts of new things coming out of our thoughts after we pass on -- if only there was a central repository of data to start with.

I liked this article a lot. It reminded me how important the traces of our digital lives are. Or rather, how important those traces can be.

2
stevenp 4 days ago 4 replies      
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who keeps all that stuff. A few months ago I went back through some old chat logs to find the first time that I chatted with my best friend, and it was a lot of fun to relive that part of my life.

I think people don't realize that the volume of digital artifacts we're creating is going to be staggering when we look back at them a century from now. That's one of the reasons I like to check in places. I imagine what it would have been like if my grandfather had traveled the world with Foursquare in the 1930s -- maybe I'd be able to visit the pubs where he drank in Copenhagen, or the port he arrived at when he met my grandmother in Glasgow.

My life might not be that exciting, but I'm definitely leaving a trail behind. My grandchildren will wonder why I checked in so much at the Palo Alto Creamery. :)

3
ethank 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't delete any data, and in fact on my Drobo and RAID on our home server I have files going back to Jr. High.

I often look at how my parents remember things, like my dad remembering his now deceased parents and realize that memory for me is going to be fundamentally different.

For one: they have a memory dictated by the physical effects of chronology. Their photographs and videos age. Mine age only when subject to progress of technology and arbitrary concepts that are based on representation (i.e., datestamps).

My memories live outside of time now. Ten years ago is morphologically no different than yesterday. The only fundamental fissure with chronology is file formats, but even that isn't insurmountable.

My wife and I first emailing, our first date, my child's birth, our wedding: all there in a Spotlight index and on redundant drives.

The memories of my great grandpa, my wife's grandmother: all there.

The thing is: does this stop? I've taken 2900 photos of my son so far (in two years). When do we live so fully outside of time that we lose our concept of it passing? We can live without letting go with so little consequence, just the addition of drives, that its silly not to try.

In ten years, I'll have accumulated exponentially more data than in the ten years, or twenty years prior. I don't yet know if that's a good thing.

4
bcrescimanno 4 days ago 0 replies      
A very sad story; and I'm sure she's not a unique case in her behaviors around her husband's death. I cannot imagine how I would cope with losing my wife (and frankly, I don't want to)--but I suspect I might spend time looking at old chats and emails as well.

While I know it's not the focus of the article, I hope the article also serves as a reminder to HN readers like myself who "carry the ginger gene" to pay attention to your skin, and get screened by a dermatologist regularly. Melanoma, like most forms of cancer, is easiest to beat when caught early.

5
3am 4 days ago 3 replies      
I feel badly for the author, not just for her loss. It seems a little cruel to be denied the therapeutic fading of memories over time (just as a natural part of the grieving process and recovery). I hope that we develop some cultural norms as dying and leaving behind a digital presence becomes more common.
6
raldi 4 days ago 1 reply      
That's really touching.

In a happier version of this, I was at a wedding rehearsal dinner where the bridesmaids got up and read a similar narrative, stitched together from their own chat histories with the bride.

It went from "I met someone last night! :)" to "I'm excited about our date" to "I think things are getting serious" to "Oooh I'm so pissed at him right now" to "We got engaged!"

7
rayiner 4 days ago 0 replies      
My girlfriend and I weren't living in the same city when met, so we started our relationship over gchat and text message. We're both pretty glued to our iPhones, so large parts of our relationship are chronicled in digital form. We sometimes find ourselves resolving the "honey I definitely said that" tiffs of daily life with a quick search of our chat logs.

The internet is often accused of putting barriers between couples, but this article gives a sweet example of how it can contribute to relationships as well.

8
ctide 4 days ago 1 reply      
We are building a service specifically to track this sort of thing. It's an open source project here: https://github.com/lockerproject/locker

If you're interested in ways to track and parse through all the types of data that you're producing, take a look! We're probably about a month away from a hosted offering, but you can pull down the source and run it yourself today.

9
swhitt 4 days ago 2 replies      
Holy crap. Normally stories like this don't affect me very much. I'm on my lunch break, on the verge of sobbing. Is somebody cutting onions?

Part of me wants to delete all of my chat logs so that I can never relive this stuff if something were to happen to my SO. But then I'd lose all of that, and the thought of losing those memories is terrifying.

10
mparr4 4 days ago 0 replies      
That was incredibly beautiful and arresting. Thank you for sharing.
11
throwaway122321 4 days ago 1 reply      
I met my Girlfriend at the library of our school. We didn't exchange names or anything really when we first me, but the printer kiosks in the library require you to authenticate with your school IDs. Our school email addresses are our <ID>@<schoolname>.edu

When I was talking to her the first time, I noticed her ID (or something close, I had to try a few variations actually) and I emailed her later that night. She didn't think I was being creepy, although I probably was.

We've been dating a long time now, but sometimes we'll go back and look at our first real conversation which happened to be online via email. It's kind of special to me and her to have a record of this meeting.

I love having this ability to re-read old conversations.

12
badclient 4 days ago 0 replies      
gchat's chat is one of the most useful feature ever. It is absolutely unforgiveable why such hyped up and high-usage clients like skype do not let you record chat conversations and make them searchable online.
13
suking 4 days ago 1 reply      
Jesus that was sad.
14
jtchang 4 days ago 2 replies      
So sad. When are we curing cancer again? :(
15
mike-cardwell 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see the point in hoarding this sort of data. I mean, I can see the sentimental value, but I think the disadvantages of having to manage that data and the risk of it being leaked outweigh it.

I delete my email after I've dealt with it, and I regularly delete my IM chat logs.

16
kragen 4 days ago 0 replies      
I hope she's keeping backups somewhere outside the cloud.
17
Hisoka 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sentimental story, but at some point keeping memories of the past can be too painful. Better to try and forget and move on with life. Keeping in touch with the past helps for a short period, and can be therapeutic, but after awhile, it can be distracting and keep you from moving on.
18
tuhin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Some of you might enjoy this TED talk abut last status update: http://www.ted.com/talks/adam_ostrow_after_your_final_status...
19
tonio09 4 days ago 0 replies      
Cancer is terrible. this is a beautifully emotional heart breaking story. something i would expect on the front page of reddit. But what the heck does it do on my Hacker News with 350 upvotes?? Get off my lawn!
20
nobuff 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wondering is there any service that takes care of your personal domain name after you have gone?
21
rhygar 4 days ago 1 reply      
We owe it to the dead to keep on living. For people like this, I say: "move on and stop living in the past". Life goes on and must go on.
8
Break Google mahdiyusuf.com
377 points by volksman  4 days ago   87 comments top 26
1
cfinke 4 days ago 2 replies      
When you search for "${", the page is missing 26 lines of minified JavaScript (lines 9-35 of a non-broken page, at least for me), almost certainly because of a templating bug. These lines, among other things, are responsible for adding the top toolbar to the page. (The missing JS is here: http://pastebin.com/B9cy3T2c)
2
aristus 4 days ago 1 reply      
Tip to the poster, and to anyone: Google (and Facebook, and others) have bug bounty programs. You can get paid tens to thousands of dollars if you report vulns to the vendor first.
3
exogen 4 days ago 1 reply      
Seems likely that it's due to a lack of escaping in a custom templating layer. I wonder if it could be used to perform a XSS attack?
4
gburt 4 days ago 0 replies      
If this is a templating engine type thing, you should be able to do something like

${KEYWORD}${

If you can figure out what "KEYWORD" is for a given template tag as well. I tried links and a few others, but none that I can identify: it does still reproduce the bug though.

5
pavpanchekha 4 days ago 2 replies      
Oh, cute. Yet another injection flaw in Google.

Guys, (and I don't mean Google, I mean all of us), don't fix injection by plugging injection bugs; put together some framework that actually avoids all of these problems (or at least doesn't let you add bugs).

6
snowboardbum1 4 days ago 1 reply      
For me just typing ${ breaks the layout. I agree it probably has something to do with a template engine. I know Java EL uses the syntax ${variable_name} and so does Velocity Templates.

The bug doesn't exist on https://encrypted.google.com/

7
skeptical 4 days ago 0 replies      
Everyone seems to avoid to mention the obvious. This breaks the page layout only, not really a critical issue concerning google's integrity/security.

Still, this obviously doesn't look good. Above anything else google has excelled on being simple and reliable. All this javascript goodness added recently might be a step in the wrong direction. If stuff like this starts to happen every now and then, google's reputation might be at stake.

8
esrauch 4 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone have an explanation for this? Looks like its messing up the CSS for the top link nav.
9
michaelpaul 4 days ago 0 replies      
And i thought that this was one of the most sanitized input field in the internet.
Let's seen how long it takes to google deploy a fix on their search.
10
epaga 4 days ago 1 reply      
Interestingly enough, the https version of Google doesn't have this bug.

https://encrypted.google.com/#q=${

looks fine, but

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8...{

doesn't.

11
tathagatadg 3 days ago 1 reply      
They fixed it .. http://google.com/#q=${
12
alorres 4 days ago 0 replies      
Also works if you use the html code: "&#36;&#123;"
It returns the symbol instead of the search query.
13
baddox 4 days ago 1 reply      
> Shortest way to produce issue is here 鈥" http://google.com/#q=${

Making it an actual hyperlink would've been a bit shorter.

14
nhebb 4 days ago 0 replies      
On a related note, searches for many symbols do not product results. Searching for '&' will bring up results for ampersand, but most others that map well to words do not, e.g. $ => dollar, % => percent, etc.
15
bengl 4 days ago 0 replies      
Note: this also works: http://www.google.com/#q=$%7B
16
IanMikutel 4 days ago 0 replies      
I bet Google knows about this and its when they do bug triage its so low priority that it just hasn't been fixed yet.
17
simplycomplex 3 days ago 0 replies      
This looks like a javascript issue but I have seen a server error from google - http://www.rajeeshcv.com/2010/07/have-you-seen-google-search...
18
zeynalov 4 days ago 1 reply      
try to search this and see real break 9999999..99999999999999999999999
19
karlzt 4 days ago 1 reply      
the bug exists only by searching on the google homepage, searching it on the searchbar of the browser doesn't happen.
20
deleo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like the syntax of Google's CTemplate someone posted today: http://code.google.com/p/google-ctemplate/
21
sullof 4 days ago 0 replies      
22
mikecane 4 days ago 0 replies      
I tried it in my Search box at WordPress.com blog and it has no effect.
23
jdandrea 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Google Search Appliance, with roots in Google proper, generates XML results, which are then (normally) transformed via XSLT. (I'm looking at you, XPath.)

http://mikewest.org/2007/06/escaping-curly-braces-in-xslt-at...

I s'pose attributes don't enter into it, but still, I wonder if the XSLT pass (if any) has anything to do with this?

24
dadoner 4 days ago 0 replies      
it doesn't break on google.co.ma
25
henriquepss 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's 'cause the money ($) is the key (}). Oh, you're welcome.
26
speleding 4 days ago 2 replies      
If your templating language is going to use a magic character it would seem useful to pick something less common than $. There are several odd characters on my keyboard (搂`~卤|陇) and if you are willing to use the ALT key there are really obscure characters that you can safely filter from the input instead of going through the trouble of escaping them. Filtering is so much more efficient/easier/safer than escaping.

Imagine how much easier life would be if in HTML we only had to filter for 搂 instead of escape every <, > and ".

9
Opening *.txt file is dangerous on Windows microsoft.com
364 points by gaika  3 days ago   46 comments top 15
1
peterwwillis 3 days ago 1 reply      
The report says this vulnerability is specific to remote network shares and WebDAV. All you have to do is send someone a link to a .txt file on a WebDAV site with a .dll in the same directory, I guess, and they'll be owned... That is pretty awesome.

(As was commented on below, this is identical to an LD_LIBRARY_PATH type exploit on Linux; here is Microsoft's fix as well as an explanation of how it works http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2264107)

Edit: I realize now literally any URL could be a WebDAV site with a text/plain mime type and an exploit DLL in the same dir. So really, every single URL you hit with IE is potentially vulnerable. Have a nice day.

2
jnorthrop 3 days ago 7 replies      
Anyone know how this works? How would a plain .txt file load a dll? In any case this looks like it would be difficult to execute since the text file has to be in the same directory as the dll.
3
jmvoodoo 3 days ago 2 replies      
So basically send someone a zip file with a DLL + readme.txt. Most people would avoid the DLL but not think twice about opening the readme. Sounds nasty.
4
wslh 3 days ago 0 replies      
It remember me of an old stack overflow that I posted just running the command cat: http://seclists.org/bugtraq/1999/Sep/432
5
Groxx 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this was in use (for legitimate uses) by anyone prior to its omg-security-breach discovery, and if their use still works. Quite a few Windows applications look in their folder first for DLLs - checking the loaded-file path could conceivably make the same kind of sense. Or just not accounting for current-directory changes when launching with a file (not entirely sure what the behavior is there).
6
j_baker 3 days ago 0 replies      
Has this been fixed since this was posted? Either way, the title is inaccurate now. This is only dangerous if you haven't installed the update.
7
donpark 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think this vulnerability is related to WebDAV and SMB, not the DLL/path issue mentioned.
8
recoiledsnake 3 days ago 0 replies      
It is not dangerous if you install the update. Why is the headline hyping it as if it's an unpatched zero day?
9
Florin_Andrei 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this is still an issue when using a 3rd party editor, such as EditPad, etc.
10
brs 3 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of hacking ANSI.SYS escape sequences back in the day. You could create a text file which would be "executed" when someone entered "type readme.txt" at the DOS prompt, by using keyboard remappings and so on.

I remember creating a fairly unsuccessful "text file virus" that would try to copy itself around our school network and reboot people's machines. Good times...

12
OWaz 3 days ago 0 replies      
The description of the vulnerability reminds me a lot about how Stuxnet exploited weaknesses with shortcuts unknowingly loading a malicious dll.
13
lolabloladd32 3 days ago 0 replies      
MISLEADING TITLE!
14
bsnyder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't everything about Windows considered dangerous anymore? Has there ever been such problem-stricken piece of software?
15
diegogomes 3 days ago 0 replies      
Clicking "start" is even more dangerous. Once you start, can you stop?
10
The Long Grind Before You Become an Overnight Success viniciusvacanti.com
358 points by inmygarage  8 days ago   80 comments top 22
1
alexkearns 7 days ago 7 replies      
I would have enjoyed this post a lot more if at the end they had not simply created yet another bloody coupon site.

I can understand going through two and half years of no money, pain and self-doubt if you were working on something world-changing. But just another bloody coupon site...

I don't want to be down on these guys. They sound like really nice guys; intelligent, persistent and bright. But, please, no, not another bloody coupon site

2
jjmaxwell4 7 days ago 0 replies      
I think the most important advancements in history were done with a Long Grind before a huge success. Einstein worked away in mediocrity, living what to most people must have looked like a sub-par life on the surface. He toiled away on his own for years, then came his stratospherical rise to the upper echelons of human thought.
Kant is another example; he spent 10 years alone in thought, publishing nothing in that time, before coming out with what turned out the be (arguably) the most influential philosophical work ever.

It seems that the hardest part is not losing faith as you're grinding away. However corny/lame it sounds, people who believe in you are the most important thing during the grind. How many people did you guys (yipit) have that had your back as you were working away for 2+ years?

I'm not in the Valley, but I've heard that this might be the best part about the it; you don't get judged for working on some random project full time(like this article says happened in New York).

3
Hisoka 8 days ago 2 replies      
Just a question about Yipit... don't they need millions of visitors to be successful?

100K visitors/month sounds nice, but they're in the deal aggregating business, so the margins are even less than if they were a deal site. They don't make money off every single user, and when they do... they make a tiny percentage as affiliate commission. Am I missing something here? I know regular old-fashioned coupon sites(like CouponCabin) that make good profit, but they have visitors in the millions, and their margin is much more.

4
johnrob 7 days ago 5 replies      
This is a pretty good case against the notion that "ideas don't matter". They absolutely matter; how else can 3 days so drastically change the prospects of a company?
5
mdoerneman 7 days ago 8 replies      
As a 31 year old with a full-time job to pay the bills and a family to raise, I feel like there is not enough time to act on my ideas so they just continue to collect dust. Stories like this give me motivation but I still haven't found the answer to the question: "how can I focus on my ideas full-time and still pay the bills and support my growing family?". In other words, I don't have the savings for two and half years of hustling on no salary and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I will continue searching for the answer. Thanks for the story!
6
bootload 7 days ago 0 replies      
"... In all honesty, I probably would have given up earlier. The only reason why I didn't was out of loyalty to my co-founder, Jim, who had also quit his finance job. He had passed up many amazing job opportunities to work alongside me and I wasn't going to quit on him. ..."

Interesting observation. The advantage of having multiple founders is shown here where "accountability to comrades", "bonding", and "mutual surveillance" [0] means the founders stuck at the task long after a solo founder might quit in despair.

[0] David Grossman, P21, "Defeating the Enemy's Will: The Psychological Foundations of Maneuver Warfare" ~ http://killology.com/defeating_the_enemys_will.pdf

7
danmaz74 7 days ago 0 replies      
Very good post, I especially liked that they built the winning minimum available product so fast: It would have been most likely impossible without all the learning and failed attempts. Unfortunately, some things you can only learn by doing.
8
collinalexander 7 days ago 1 reply      
This post reminds me of a philosophy held by Seymour Schulich, Canadian businessman and philanthropist. His philosophy:

"Your twenties are not a time to make money, they are a time to build your foundation; your thirties are when you make money."

The exact ages are peripheral, but the idea is sound: incur personal strength and experience and external success will (be more likely to) follow.

Mark Suster's post about a time to learn and a time to earn hints at this same idea: http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/11/04/is-it-time-for...

9
cousin_it 7 days ago 1 reply      
Okay, how do I tell the kind of long grind that leads to overnight success from the kind of long grind that leads to nothing?
10
larrys 7 days ago 0 replies      
WSJ has taken to calling them a research firm "According to estimates from research firm Yipit Data" in an article about groupon

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311190426550457656...

11
iamclovin 7 days ago 1 reply      
The hardest question which I battle with is knowing when is the right time to fold and start afresh. PG's 'Relentlessly Resourceful' post ties in very well this - http://paulgraham.com/relres.html

Great story, very inspiring!

12
dr_ 7 days ago 0 replies      
This is really inspirational for people who are working at it, hard, but don't get traction immediately, and all the while are reading about others whose businesses just skyrocketed right away.

It's not always a launch to the moon, sometimes you have to orbit for a while.

13
Omnipresent 7 days ago 1 reply      
How do you guys make money from being in the deal aggregating business.
14
ArbitraryLimits 7 days ago 0 replies      
Mostly the lesson I'm getting from this post is not to quit your day job until you have some evidence of traction.
15
rglover 7 days ago 0 replies      
Really inspiring article. It's great to attach positives to what you're doing not only to keep your morale up, but also to remind yourself that if what you're working on now doesn't pan out, it's not the end. Crazy to learn, though, that they managed to turn around their business in a matter of three days. Impressive that they kept with it and had the focus to transition to another idea (and make it successful).
16
astrofinch 7 days ago 0 replies      
As cheesy as it may sound I find this song helps me keep in mind that I should expect things to take a lot of time and effort.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1iR2Wi3u5o

17
DallaRosa 7 days ago 0 replies      
Nice post! I've just had a failing experience but that also served to teach me some of the problems and difficulties involved in creating a startup. I'm happy you guys made it and I'm gonna keep trying till I find my place there too.
18
lallouz 7 days ago 0 replies      
Great post Vin! A great story and inspiration for everyone who is grinding hard in the startup life. We all need a little reminder that its a slogfest before you make it.
19
toblender 7 days ago 0 replies      
One can not plant a seed and expect fruit the next day.
20
suurvarik 7 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome post. I really liked the instructions about getting inital press.

I'am sure it will help me along the way. Thanks.

21
tled 7 days ago 0 replies      
What is the differences, advantages that you guys (Yipit) have over other competitors (e.g 8coupons.com)?
22
jsvd 7 days ago 0 replies      
I remember a very nice 2d chart of success vs time with an exponential curve, with a vertical line near the high rise, showing what people see vs what really happens.

Can anyone find it?

11
I have Crohn's, an incurable digestive disease, and built Crohnology crohnology.com
319 points by seanahrens  6 days ago   75 comments top 34
1
kefs 6 days ago 3 replies      
This is great! As a sufferer of bowel problems for many years, I developed PoopLog for Android to track my bowel habits using the Bristol Stool Scale [1]. Software like ours really do help everyday people, and the daily emails I receive from my users make everything worth it. Good luck!

For the curious, my next update is a rather large one including many more logging options, charts, and trends.

[1] https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bristol_Stool...

edit.. link to my app: http://market.android.com/details?id=com.kefsco.pooplog2

2
malbs 6 days ago 1 reply      
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 4 years ago, and over that time I have basically stumbled across other people who have either colitis or crohns (they're similar diseases), so it's nice to see that Chronology is for sufferer's of either disease.

What I was going to say was - it's difficult to find other sufferers because people tend to shy away from talking about it - it's only when you mention the disease first that others seem to be willing to admit that they also have it. Comments I've received in the past have been "I can't believe you're so open about it" etc

I'll talk to anyone about it, because you never know when someone elses point of view will give you some new piece of information you didn't have (ala Alan Kay's "point of view is worth 80 iq points" quote)

3
malux85 6 days ago 1 reply      
Sort of related: I was incorrectly diagnosed with Chrones disease about a year ago, but I was reading online and something just didn't seem right (not a 1:1 match of symptoms etc) but there was always a 'gut feel' (forgive me) is wasn't Chrones.

I bleeted and bleeted and bleeted until they also ran a SeHCAT test, and found out my body was not re-absorbing bile salts like it should be ... the bile was making it into my large intestine and causing it to cramp, which was the pain I was experiencing ... I now take 6 pills in the evening (Cholestagel) and I am almost cured. I think everyone that is suspected of having IBD/IBS/Chrones should get the SeHCAT test done just in case ... turns out my sisters diagnoses of IBS was also bile salt malabsorption .. mis-diagnosed (the same as me) on the other side of the planet.

4
waterside81 6 days ago 1 reply      
I never heard of this disease until Mike McCready, guitarist for Pearl Jam, came public with his long battle with the disease. He talked about how he had to leave the stage, sometimes in mid song, because of complications arising due to Crohn's. Really raised the profile of the disease (at least amongst PJ fans!)

Here's the link to his interview:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/crohns-disease/pearl-jams-mike...

Apologies for the site it's hosted on, tons of ads and the interview is broken up into 10 pages.

5
briggsbio 6 days ago 1 reply      
From someone working at a tiny venture-backed biopharma startup focused on developing treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD = UC + Crohn's), amazing to see something like this. Exciting. Even cooler to see it hit HN!

I've always looked at IBD and thought something that looked almost like PatientsLikeMe but had a specific focus geared towards IBD (and features that the other lacked) would be amazing. But I knew despite being "close to the problem," I could never build a product that IBD patients would want. I may be close to the research, the treatments, the literature, our lab, and clinicians (and have family with the disease), and even some patients, it wouldn't be enough.
It took YOU, Sean. Successful entrepreneurs (and pundits) always talk about "scratching your own itch," and "feeling your customers pain." But just speaking to potential customers won't cut it. You can never understand war from reading books or talking to vets - you have to have seen battle to truly understand. That's easy if you're developing some apps, many meet a need someone has had. But an app like this?

For a product like this to be realized, quite possibly even an experienced clinician would have a perspective and solution that would theoretically be feasible and valuable, but not click with users. No one, for better and worse, in this case, is closer to the problem than you are, more motivated to fill that need, or better positioned to see through the multifaceted but singular perspective as a Crohn's patient.

Best of luck in building and growing Crohnology.

6
imperialWicket 6 days ago 0 replies      
It is so nice to see someone using technology to create something genuinely productive. You have a somewhat small target audience, but they have (as you rightly point out) very few alternatives when it comes to finding information about the disease and options for trying to aid in controlling it.

Congratulations on the launch, I'll be passing the link to a few people I know who battle Crohn's. Great work.

7
ethank 6 days ago 2 replies      
My wife, sister, dad and aunt have Crohn's. This will be great for them. My wife when she was first diagnosed at 19 was desperate to find information online about the disease. In fact, we were setup on a blind date and these posts are what I first found during my requisite Google :)

My aunt is dying of complications related to the disease while my dad, wife and sister have it under control.

I'll be sending it to all of them.

8
tomfakes 6 days ago 0 replies      
In 1985 I was diagnosed with 'crohn's disease' and spent most of that summer in and out of hospital - I watched Live Aid on a hospital TV!

After a bunch of stuff failed, they eventually opened me up and whipped out 2 feet of intestine that turned out to be malformed - so probably no crohn's disease at all.

This does cause a number of interesting day-to-day issues even now!

It seems that there are a bunch of other problems that can occur with intestine problems. I currently have been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondilitis that I am able to control with my diet (which may indicate that it's something else)

The connection between intestinal disorders and auto-immune issues seems to be growing stronger. Maybe something to watch out for.

9
throwaway_314 6 days ago 0 replies      
As a Crohn's sufferer, It's rare that I come to HN and see something so closely targeted to me! One thing that makes me a bit nervous, though, is the social nature of the site. I tend to be pretty private about my illness, and only my closest friends know I have it. Have you considered the privacy implications of the site? I'd be worried that information about me and my condition might leak onto the internet, and the homepage doesn't really mention it.

I applaud the effort, though. Crohn's is a terrible disease and it's great to see people taking proactive steps towards treating it.

10
lunchbox 6 days ago 0 replies      
Similar concept to PatientsLikeMe: http://www.patientslikeme.com/
11
zzzeek 6 days ago 0 replies      
Curious, the platform the site is constructed upon could be repurposed to work for other disease communities as well? There's hundreds of other conditions (a few of which I have) which seem like they'd fit just fine within this layout.

Perhaps there are widgets here that are specific to crohns, though a plugin-oriented architecture could allow other disease specific sites to have their own widgets. Certainly "meet people near you with XYZ" and "Current treatents/diet" widgets are of general use.

12
herbivore 6 days ago 2 replies      
I would really like to know how many of the commenters who have or know someone who has Crohn's have cut dairy out of their diet.

My brother and a friend of mine both have Crohn's and have been doing much better ever since I suggested they stop consuming any dairy products. In fact, one of them has gone Vegan and hasn't had a flare up since.

When I meet other people with Crohn's I am always amazed to hear how their doctors instruct them to not bother making significant dietary changes. Based on my research and experience with those who have various bowel-related diseases, and despite what many doctors say, I have little doubt dairy and to some extent animal protein in general is the cause of Crohn's and other bowel complications.

13
Mz 6 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations. I hope this is wildly successful. I have a different condition which significantly impacts the gut (cystic fibrosis). On the one hand, I got a lot of good info from people I met online and from one online community in particular which helped me figure out how to get myself well. On the other hand, the online CF community has been rather unwelcoming of me. I wish you continued good reviews and warm welcomes wherever you go.
14
dmix 6 days ago 0 replies      
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis earlier this year and was building something similar to this a few months ago. It was focused on the sharing the optimal medication treatments.

But I ended up joining another startup and no longer have time.

I'm happy to see someone doing something similar.

15
initself 6 days ago 0 replies      
Hiromi Shinya, the inventor of colonoscopy, has had success with Crohn's patients throughout his career:

http://www.amazon.com/Enzyme-Factor-Hiromi-Shinya-MD/dp/0982...

His advice consists mainly of radical dietary changes and drinking Kangen water. FWIW.

16
whakojacko 6 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like a great site. I'm very fortunate that my Crohn's is doing well enough that I'm not particularly looking for more information, but I'm very happy to help others.
17
UncleOxidant 6 days ago 1 reply      
Did the parasitic worms work?
18
cowkingdeluxe 6 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome site. My wife has Crohn's and I've been thinking how nice it would be to have a site like this. We'll try it out. Also the link in the title is busted, but just going to the domain works.
19
robchez 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is great. My uncle had horrible chrons disease and is managaing it well with his diet (no grains/legumes and plenty of probiotics from Kefir)

Really great.

20
jsarch 6 days ago 0 replies      
I admire and applaud your endeavor and hope that we see more disease-specific communities sprout in the near future.

I attended the Consumer Genetics Conference last year (http://www.consumergeneticsshow.com/CGC2010.html) and heard Rolf Benirschke speak. His short speech was inspiring and further encouraged me to pursue my startup.

Ping me offline archuleta(at)seqcentral and I'd be happy to further discuss how I can help and who I might be able to get you in touch with.

(FWIW: I recently became an advisor for a cystic fibrosis non-profit with a similar e-community to the one you are pursuing.)

21
elliottcarlson 6 days ago 1 reply      
While I don't know anyone with Crohn's, it's great to see resources becoming available to patients made by people who understand what they are going through.

To slightly "thread-jack" - a former co-worker of mine recently launched ihadcancer.com and made it with her personal experience with cancer as her motivator. I hope sites like yours and hers can help plenty of people out there deal with their situation and find support and advice from others.

22
Klonoar 6 days ago 1 reply      
I have a younger brother with Crohn's, and just wanted to say major props on you for building something so useful. It's easy to get caught up in the typical glam/tabloid-esque nature of the industry that's largely here on HN, so going against the grain like this really deserves respect points IMO.
23
kevin_morrill 6 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations on the launch Sean! I hope more folks from the HN and Startup communities will think about getting involved in healthcare. It's 20% of the economy right now, and there's so much opportunity for innovation.
24
mynameishere 6 days ago 2 replies      
How is it I've heard of all kinds of largely non-existent (today) diseases like Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scrofula, Gout, etc, but as soon as I got on the internet, everyone seems to have Crohn's, which I had never heard of pre-internet?
25
rmb177 6 days ago 0 replies      
I just signed up and am really looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for creating the site!

I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998 when I was a junior in college. I had surgery about 8 years ago and my life has been great ever since. I went from pretty serious flare-ups every 3-4 months, to one relatively minor flare-up since the surgery. I find that stress is a pretty large trigger so I try to be aware of when I need to take a step back and relax. Since the surgery, I've been able to eat pretty much whatever I want, but have been recently experimenting with a Paleo diet for both Crohn's and general health benefits.

26
ricefield 6 days ago 0 replies      
I was in this guy's UI design class when he was working on this project. Really glad to see him step onto the big stage =]
27
ensignavenger 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. My wife has Ulcerative Colitis.

I was thinking about building a similar site, and now I might not have to, so thanks! I'll tell my wife about it!

28
mathattack 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wow - what a great use of talent! Turning lemOns onto lemonade is very cliche, but it applies here.
29
postscapes1 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for building this, and good luck with the launch! My wife just got diagnosed with UC and the other web resources on line (mainly forums) have been good but obviously lack any kind of consistency and ability to quickly scan treatments, etc like your site can.
30
alexknight 6 days ago 0 replies      
This sounds like an amazing project. My grandfather had Crohn's. I wish he was still alive today to see this.
31
Ihaveibd 6 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.crohnsforum.com has been around since like 2006 and is pretty dominant in this vertical.
32
jastuk 6 days ago 0 replies      
Oh, wow. Didn't really expect to see something like this here. I have crohn's, so I'm very much interested in such projects. I'll definitely be giving it a try.
33
skcin7 6 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats, sir. That is awesome. I also have Crohn's, and am still developing feverishly as well. More power to ya.
34
ridave 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for building this.
12
Metro daringfireball.net
311 points by aaronbrethorst  5 days ago   158 comments top 28
1
brianwillis 5 days ago 4 replies      
Thinking about it, isn't window an odd word choice for what we call movable, stackable, resizeable content regions in a user interface? Other than being rectangular they're not like real-world windows at all.

I can remember my high school computer studies teacher explaining they're called windows because they're split into panes. Microsoft Windows versions 1 and 2 didn't actually have stackable overlapping windows (you'd split the screen up into as many panes as you needed) so I suspect the name made sense then and has since stuck.

2
eykanal 5 days ago  replies      
If I'm reading this right, Gruber's effectively saying, "Metro, and Metro alone (i.e., no desktop), is a good competitor to the iPad." That's wonderful; a real iPad competitor.

But what about all the rest of the computers? You know, those big things on your desktop? We all know just how smart most users are when it comes to figuring out how to use stuff on a computer. Its taken years to get to the point where your typical "user" can use a computer without too much difficulty. Part of this is due to the consistency of the Windows UI; folder windows, mouse motions, menubars, etc. Suddenly, we're going to throw something completely new at them, something which:

1) Has been shown to be difficult to do well for everyday use (touchscreen desktops)

2) Has a moderately non-intuitive interface (hidden UI elements until I swipe from a particular side, or maybe tap over here and here and here)

3) Has questionable benefits in a desktop computing environment where a keyboard is a perfectly appropriate device

And, once they learn all that, our user realizes that he still has to use the original UI for many programs! That's right, photoshop isn't going to be going Metro anytime soon, and neither is Matlab, or Autocad, or Excel, or video editing software, or any "Pro" program (for lack of a better word). Metro may be wonderful for tablets and other mobile devices, but it sure looks like it's going to be a drag in being forcibly married to the traditional Windows UI.

3
bane 5 days ago 1 reply      
Finally a Gruber post I haven't felt forced to flag. A pretty good analysis, excellent (as usual writing), interesting testable predictions plus just enough Apple flag-waving so you don't forget which religion he follows.

edit reading through the comments shows a commensurate level of better discussion than the usual Gruber response as well.

4
ethank 5 days ago 3 replies      
Metro to me, and I hate to say it, reminds me of MS Bob, and frankly of the original Windows 3.1 except where in that case it was a layer on DOS, this seems like a gloss on Windows 7. I hope for the sake of innovation I'm wrong, but it is frankly more bizarre than Launchpad (and that's saying something).

Let me show:
https://skitch.com/ethank/f3drj/windows-8-x64-preview

then
https://skitch.com/ethank/f3drc/windows-8-x64-preview

and...
https://skitch.com/ethank/f3dr1/windows-8-x64-preview

after you go back to metro:
https://skitch.com/ethank/f3dri/windows-8-x64-preview

dumped back into Metro with no context how you got out.

Thus: feels like a skin or window manager, not the OS.

5
cooldeal 5 days ago 2 replies      
Gruber's wrong on this. The ARM version will include the regular Windows desktop, Office etc. Microsoft has shown this multiple times. They have demoed even ARM desktops with a mouse and a keyboard!

Video back from January: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvzJmRBS84w watch from 2 mins in).

6
sambeau 5 days ago 1 reply      
Metro is really nice. It's great to see Gruber praising it like this: it is very praiseworthy. Also, it's easy to forget that Gruber is first-and-foremost a design geek.
7
zmmmmm 5 days ago 1 reply      
> Tradeoffs. Mutually exclusive tradeoffs. Separate devices are required. ... And you can't give iOS apps even the option to run continuously in the background without sacrificing battery life and foreground app performance

This is a typical Gruberism of false logic. He starts with the notion that all Apple's decisions are holy and right. He then derives conclusions by extrapolating from that.

There is no reason that tablets cannot achieve fantastic battery life while running background processes. They certainly need to be designed to achieve it. Existing Android tablets support background processes and multitasking and get comparable battery life to the iPad - typically we're talking a sacrifice of < 10% battery life to achieve an incredible expansion of utility. And this is not taking into account the fact that Android is a less efficient OS overall (utilizing less hardware acceleration, running most tasks inside a Dalvik VM instead of native, etc.) Even the iPad itself evidently does background processing as you can have it play music, give you calendar reminders and all kinds of other things happen in the background even when it is in sleep state.

8
technoslut 5 days ago 1 reply      
>I think Metro will only run alongside the traditional Windows desktop on Intel PCs. On ARM devices, there will only be Metro.

It seems there will be a desktop mode for ARM tablets if you look 1:40 into the video here:

http://thisismynext.com/2011/09/14/nvidia-kal-el-windows-8-t...

The desktop mode doesn't seem to immediately respond to touch like Metro. It will be interesting to see the final product and how well Windows 8 performs on an ARM processor in desktop mode.

9
toddmorey 5 days ago 5 replies      
I think metro is very minimal and very clean. But it's also... cold. A bit too austere. The goal for an interface isn't to impress--it's to connect. Somehow, I've never felt a sense of connection with the Metro interfaces. It feels like design borrowed from the annual report of a faceless international corporation. All design; no personality. I like simple and clean. And I like minimalism. But I also think you have to be careful with it or you'll end up with something soulless. That, I think, is what has always subtly bothered me about Metro.
10
beloch 5 days ago 3 replies      
From the article:

"you can't give iOS apps even the option to run continuously in the background without sacrificing battery life and foreground app performance. But that's how Microsoft has positioned Metro for tablets 鈥" a modern touch interface that carries the full CPU and RAM consumption of Windows as we know it. That have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too attitude is what I didn't get with Microsoft's positioning Metro as its answer to the iPad."

This is wrong. From Anandtech: (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4771/microsoft-build-windows-8...)

"discarded applications will continue to stay open as a background application, having all of their memory pages intact but unable to schedule CPU time so long as they're a background application. They'll remain in this state until the OS decides to evict them, at which point they need to be able to gracefully shut down and resume when the user re-launches the application. Internally Microsoft calls this freezing and rehydrating an application."

Metro's approach sounds very similar to that of iOS and Android. Presumably this behavior will be adjustable so that background processes can be allowed on desktops without mobile power constraints. This is actually a really smart way to do things. Make how the OS handles background apps a setting rather than hard-coded architecture. e.g. If you're out and about using your tablet background apps get quashed so that you get decent battery life. When you go home and plug it into a dock you can leave a torrent downloading in the background while you browse the web or play games. Best of both worlds.

11
Steko 5 days ago 1 reply      
Contra-Gruber I'm betting ARM Windows 8 devices will have some mode that looks and feels just like Windows desktop. It may not be the default and it may be a dumbed down version of it but I can't imagine them shipping without it.
12
modeless 5 days ago 0 replies      
There will be ARM laptops, not just tablets, and they will run Microsoft Office in classic mode or nobody will buy them. Office on ARM has already been demoed on stage.
13
nextparadigms 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is why Metro will make or break Windows. This is where the line is drawn in the sand. Since ARM is the future together with touch based devices, Microsoft will have to move over to ARM. The problem is they are very vulnerable on ARM, because they have no apps there, and wanting millions of apps on a tablet was kind of the whole reason you'd want Windows on a tablet.

But it won't work, because those apps won't be available on ARM, and even if they were, they wouldn't be designed for touch. So Microsoft is starting from scratch, and this time they have strong competition from both iOS and Android.

In this market, their Windows dominance doesn't matter as much, so they are on equal footing with the others. And I find that very exciting. If you notice, Microsoft is innovating only when it's the underdog in some way, not really when it dominates.

So I hope 5 years from now we'll get to see iOS, Android and Windows with about equal market share each for "personal computing devices", whatever that means 5 years from now.

14
seanalltogether 5 days ago 0 replies      
I had been reading statements like this as meaning that they wouldn't be doing Rosetta-style emulation of x86 software on ARM...but that developers would be able to recompile traditional Windows apps for ARM. Now I'm thinking what they mean is more profound: that on ARM, Metro will be the only Windows interface.

I think that's a very black and white way of looking at it. Sure maybe MS will rule out C++ x86 apps targeting winforms apis, but there's no reason to assume that they will also exclude C# apps targeting WPF.

15
indrax 5 days ago 2 replies      
>You can ask Mac apps to behave like iOS apps, which is what Lion's Automatic Termination feature does, but it has to be opt-in.

Virtualization could enable you to run a legacy app, stop its processing instantly, bring up a new app, and save the 'background app' state to storage when it's convenient.

This seems to be where they are heading. I don't know how it would translate to ARM tablets, but intel wants in on tablets anyway.

http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2011/08/03/windows-8-to-have...

16
jonpaul 5 days ago 4 replies      
I feel like one of the few who sees the emperor with no clothes.

Let me first start by stating that I do believe that touchscreen devices will continue to revolutionize industries, as they already have. But, why in God's name are Microsoft and Apple trying to shoehorn the touch-screen onto the desktop?

Mac OS X Lion is probably the last OS X version that we'll see. With each version it's gotten closer and closer to behaving like iOS. It seems that Microsoft is doing the same with Windows 8. Think about this, the human-device interface with touchscreen devices and desktop is different. The whole paradigm is different. With touch, you have your finger. The other, you have mouse/keyboard. The user interfaces that cater to one don't cater to other very well. Why force it?

I believe mobile is the future. But, I'm not sure this is the best evolution for desktop interfaces.

TL;DR: Metro UI looks nice, but merging touchscreen UI with desktop UI is a mistake... a la same Windows 8 for all devices.

EDIT: Please share your thoughts.

17
aik 5 days ago 1 reply      
>I'm hung up on the question of how any OS that lets you do everything Windows does could compete with the iPad, because the iPad's appeal and success is largely forged by the advantages that come from not allowing you to do so many of the things Mac OS X can do.

So you're saying the iPad is successful because it can't do stuff OS X can do? Sorry I don't understand -- that sounds a bit silly to me. I thought it was the portability and size and ease of access to apps (the ecosystem around the device) that makes the iPad successful. If we could have the hardware power of a desktop system on an iPad, while keeping the simplicity of use, I'm fairly sure we would all like that.

With every step Apple is moving OS X closer to iOS, and iOS closer to OS X. Will they ever combine the two? I see no reason why they couldn't eventually with the amazingly quick progression of the relevant technologies that we're seeing.

Now whether MS is doing the right thing by combining them now -- I'm OK with saying I have no idea until I actually play with the device. Maybe they can pull it off, maybe not.

18
buddydvd 5 days ago 1 reply      
It will only be a matter of time before mobile phones start replacing laptops for desktop-like use cases. People will likely use their phones as if they were laptops with wirelessly-connected keyboard, mouse, and screen. I can totally see businesses start buying Windows-ready phones for their employees than the alternatives.
19
latch 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing Microsoft doesn't know yet how it's going to address this quandary.
20
tomlin 5 days ago 0 replies      
Bias is one thing, but this relatively picky, especially for Gruber who can't stand when people pick apart Apple pre-dev.

I love Apple, but I really respect what Microsoft is trying to do here. The whole "You did great, kid, but maybe next time..." routine is a little much. It smells like a smear campaign more than an inquiring mind. This article stinks of fear.

21
redthrowaway 5 days ago 0 replies      
>You can't ... remotely log into an iPad.

Tell that to Aaron Barr. I know the iPad wiping story isn't confirmed, but it would be pretty easy to refute were such a thing impossible.

22
bgarbiak 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know why everyone (well, ok, I know why Gruber does that) focuses on Apple and iPad after seeing Windows 8. IOS is an established system, with a healthy ecosystem of developers and apps. IPhone and iPad dominate the mobile market with ease. That won't change anytime soon. Besides, Apple had showed in the past that they can survive living as a Microsoft competitor.
They will do just fine.
Who should be worried about Windows 8 is Google.
Android tablets didn't set the world on fire, Chrome OS from the very beginning looks like a low-profile project.
And here comes Windows 8 which offers the same thing as Chrome OS (cloud, HTML5/JS apps, etc.) and does that in a better fashion than Honeycomb. Plus, it will run Windows software. Apple users learned to live without Windows software, Google users - didn't. Considering the fact that Microsoft will offer an integration with Bing, Skype, Hotmail and your latest Nokia phone by default even the great Google services could be in trouble.
23
cptskippy 4 days ago 0 replies      
This isn't really a ground breaking revelation but something that MS has been hinting at for months if not years. Win32 was never suppose to be so tightly integrated in the Kernel, it was suppose to be a user mode subsystem just POSIX.

MinWin was a kernel cleanup effort that was suppose to be part of Longhorn and then Win7. If MinWin is finished in Win8 then Win32 would just be a subsystem along side Metro and neither would be dependent on the other or necessary for the other to operate.

I can't find the reference but I remember reading somewhere a few months back that Win32 may not even be installed by default in Win8 and that it would only be installed when you attempted to load an application that needed Win32.

24
bradwestness 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think the more likely interpretation is that they're "betting on the future"; i.e. that tablet and other "portable" devices will continually get more powerful and that letting services and applications run in the background will continually become less and less of a problem. Seems like a pretty safe bet to me.
25
Tichy 5 days ago 2 replies      
I remember Apple claiming that the iPhone runs OS X.
26
xradionut 5 days ago 0 replies      
As a long time third-party Windows developer, I don't call the rectangular regions "Windows" I call them frames or containers.

Also a few questions could be answered by downloading the Developer Preview. The Windows 7 desktop still exists, (thankfully for these of us that need to get our jobs done), but how a user will use Metro on a desktop or laptop will probably be dependent on their tasks and desires. As database application developer and admin, I'll be sticking to the desktop and the CLI a majority of the time.

27
12390ut90 5 days ago 0 replies      
Would his opinion have been any different if metro was the only mode available while undocked and classic PC mode was only available while docked?

Metro looks like it competes with iPad and the rest seems to be a version of Win7 under the hood. It feels to me like cmd is to windows as windows is to metro; something under the hood for power users.

I can imagine taking my computer on the bus and reading hacker news in metro and then when I get to work I plug into a dock and open visual studio. That seems to be the vision and I think I like it.

I'd have to control what was going on in the background of my computer when I was undocked, but if I'm enough of a user to set up background server like processes then I should be clever enough to understand that heavy background processing will eat my battery if I don't act responsibly when I unplug it.

The new more powerful ways to do diagnostics are exactly the type of tools I'd want to be able to control power; so it really feels like MS has a similar vision.

28
schiptsov 5 days ago 0 replies      
Who needs Windows that cannot run their old lovely trojan.exe and virus.exe^W^W^W old-proprietary-crap.exe and in-house-crap.exe that was developed 10 years ago and all contacts of the developers, leave alone sources, got lost or never been made?

The ability to run an old win32 desktop crap.exe is what Windows is all about. Only a complete idiot will choice it as a platform for a new, build from the ground up project, or, god forbid, a server.

And there is enough ways to run a web-browser, especially plug-in-less one. It is called Android. ^_^

13
Watch other people code castingcode.tv
311 points by jgeralnik  6 days ago   84 comments top 35
1
tomjen3 6 days ago 5 replies      
Am I the only who loathe the current trend of posting things before they are finished?

I am all for the lean approach, but this isn't a minimum viable product (that would be a player and a tagging system to find the language I was interested in) it is a website.

2
maeon3 6 days ago 4 replies      
I've grown the most as a programmer literally kneeling or standing behind the shoulder of programmers with 5 to 8 years more experience than I had. Those hours I spent in that position was more beneficial than hours sitting in expensive classes, hours spent debugging, hours spent reading, hours spent building new programs... combined.

The speed of great content delivery by watching someone much better than you code can be overwhelming. If the gap in experience is too large, it is like trying to show calculus to a monkey. He's not going to get it, and it will get bored. There needs to be a common ground to transmit common ideas, analogies, and new knowledge. The viewer has to put in a huge effort to keep up.

There needs to be feedback from the viewer to say: "Hey stop, what is this devil magic you are doing right there". And the presenter can stop and explain how this is muscle memory to him.

3
genieyclo 6 days ago 3 replies      
Well, there's already http://showMeDo.com which is really great. Covers lots of programming and related functions like using IDEs like Eclipse and editors like Vim. There's also tutorial episodes on design like suggested by a commenter before. No Photoshop or the rest of the Adobe CS suite however, all F/LOSS like GIMP and Inkscape. I'm actually practicing by learning from Eric Florenzo's playlist on Django here[1]. The only problem with ShowMeDo is that lots of the material is dated (and that's not necessarily a problem always!) and there isn't much new content. The site was busy 07-09 but unfortunately seems to have been forgotten.

I hope castingcode.tv doesn't fall to this problem, as this is a really great and useful way to learn lots of computer skills.

There's the commercial solution by PeepCode[2] with excellent quality pieces by the crew there. The material there is much more up to date and consistent in quality standards. It's not as huge an offering, but it's certainly a lot. I'd also definitely recommend them to anyone who enjoys this style of learning.

The last and probably most accessible solution out there right now are the Youtube playlists and video series in this format. The quality there is a little hit and run, with some series excellent and others so-so. The target audience is almost always for the beginner, but that shouldn't dissuade those more advanced from perusing a vim tut to brush up on new tricks.

[1] http://showmedo.com/videotutorials/video?name=3360000&fr...

[2] http://peepcode.com/

4
spodek 6 days ago 4 replies      
I bet I have a better idea for you.

Set up the same thing for watching people design. I don't design much, but I love and learn incredible amounts from watching people design. Could be any format -- web, print, architectural, etc.

Design is inherently more visual, so watching others communicates more and is probably more fun and engaging.

Also I suspect more people design than code so you probably get a bigger audience getting more from it.

5
albertzeyer 6 days ago 0 replies      
Haha, funny coincidence; because of this and also because I just wanted to try out, I recorded my working sessions of the last days and uploaded them to Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w8z9ryoulE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-4jpbcHHD0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12D6S25aY8o

I guess most of it is pretty boring but I cannot really tell Maybe also because the first two are without sound; the last one is with system audio mostly playing music (and thus blocked in Germany :)); another one will be uploaded soon will be with audio from my mic but I am not really saying that much.

I, for myself, really like watching other people coding.

Btw., I was working on https://github.com/albertz/ChromeWebApps. :)

6
wccrawford 6 days ago 0 replies      
I signed up for the email, but I hope most people will just code and give a few comments, rather than trying to explain every single thing they are doing. It just makes it boring. Code as fast as you can, and keep the comments to a minimum.

Watching Notch was amazing. He did it perfectly. There were times during the first few hours that I fast forwarded, but only when he was experimenting. And it was never for long.

7
localhost3000 6 days ago 3 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks this might be incredibly boring? Seriously, over the course of say, a 10 hour coding day, how many inspired, exciting, or even interesting moments are there? That is alot of 'dead air'... This feels like an Onion satire on the popularization of 'geek'
8
richcollins 6 days ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome if you could also somehow download a VM that you could run that would match the environment and then replay the coding session, pausing it to poke around when needed.
9
zupa 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think it is a good idea, but..

(1) do you really want to do it live? Why not do it the youtube way? Store the videos, rate them, comment with videos, etc.

(2) you could instead of making true videos split it into 2 parts. Making a video, and attach a text area to it so users can copy/paste your code. One could see the changes live.

(3) I guess this works hard if you want to present an SDK. Maybe you could turn the editable fields into text areas? At least the main one. Kind of a layer over the video.

10
beaumartinez 6 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting detail: I saw this link in an email I got very recently about VimConf. At the bottom it says "Copyright 30 Cubits LLC"鈥"the contact email at 30 Cubits' page[1] is for Joey, I'd assume it's the same Joey as the guy behind VimConf. Man's on a roll!

[1] http://30cubits.com/

11
Ogre 6 days ago 1 reply      
I watched a little bit of Notch's thing, it was fun. And for a more in depth topic, it could certainly be a great way to learn.

On the other hand I've come across 1-2 minute YouTube videos several times when googling how to use some specific API call, and I find it aggravating when all I really need is one little code snippet. I know how to type or copy 'n paste. I don't need to watch someone else do it. All I want most of the time is a well commented, nicely highlighted, code view on someone's blog (StackOverflow and github are just fine too!)

Maybe I'm just old or old fashioned.

12
click170 5 days ago 0 replies      
My only gripe is that its not available now hehe.

I read the headline and was like "score, I want me some of that pie" and clicked on the link only to discover they aren't ready to launch yet.

Really excited though, hope it takes off for them. I think it would be a great way of not only learning to program better/differently but also to expose yourself to different programming styles.

13
vdm 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great idea.

Here's a 8h-1m time lapse of somebody implementing Snake3D in Clojure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHARNkMi5Lg

Time lapse could be a way of getting an overview of the session, and then 'zooming' into the bit you're interested in, like when you say 'wait! how did you do that!'. Perhaps this could be implemented as a scalable timeline scrollbar.

The timeline could include comments like Soundcloud so people can ask and answer how to do something when and where they see it.

The stream should include keystrokes and mouse gestures as well as video. There should also be links to things like dotfiles on github.

If the recording/uploading process can snapshot the process tree of the window it is recording, this could be used to automatically tag the video (e.g. vim editing Clojure code on Windows, Illustrator on Mac), which would be nice for subscribing to feeds of tags.

14
rodh257 6 days ago 0 replies      
An interesting point of reflection this poses to developers is 'am I doing something that other people would care to watch?'.

I like the motivational factors a site like this poses, challenges you to become an expert at something, and when you are coding live, forces you to stay focused on the task at hand. Looking forward to the launch.

15
Amokrane 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great idea! When I watched that livestreaming from Notch, I thought about this and I almost bought the domain name http://watchmecode.net. I am curious to see how well this is going to be executed!
16
quinndupont 5 days ago 0 replies      
As a researcher who studies how software gets produced this is a potential goldmine. This has the ability to offer significant insight in to how programmers work in their native environment.
17
wgx 6 days ago 0 replies      
Nice idea - I'll be watching to see how this one pans out.

Just signed up for the notification.

18
rjd 6 days ago 1 reply      
I think mine would need an R18 rating when I go into swearing fits at the .net framework and permission issues :P
19
amccloud 6 days ago 1 reply      
I was just wishing for this. Sign me up! I hope this becomes a reality. I'd love to stream while I work. I just need to figure out a way to keep things like our api and secret keys private.
20
JTxt 5 days ago 0 replies      
Now you have to record/stream while you build this. Looking forward to it!
21
CesareBorgia 6 days ago 1 reply      
You may want to build it like soundcloud so that viewers can add their own comments at certain points in the video.
22
gospelwut 5 days ago 0 replies      
That's right. Use that lambda expression. Right there.
23
robjohnson 6 days ago 1 reply      
It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how beneficial it would be. There is a segment of the population who does learn better this way, but not everyone. I suspect that this would be more beneficial for extreme beginners than people who have experience.
24
drstrangevibes 5 days ago 0 replies      
er cant you just share your screen in skype?
25
ParadisoShlee_ 6 days ago 0 replies      
Notch had thousands of people at one time, watching him code and justin.tv cost him 14k? I hope you can find a way...

I wonder who would pay to watch linus pull in git requests :)

This would be amazing for teaching people how to code.. step by step lessons with a verbal explanation on top of the visual aids and real code on a real ui..

26
jasonkostempski 5 days ago 0 replies      
The most common problem with code casts is the visual quality of the code window. How do you plan on improving that?
27
mrushton14 5 days ago 0 replies      
Funny I just live blogged submitting our iPhone app last night and it was a lot fun. Thumbs up on this!

http://blogcastr.com/mrushton/2011/9/13/app-submission

28
brittonrt 6 days ago 0 replies      
I really do like this idea, not because it does anything new (as other's have mentioned it's easy to do this on plenty of existing venues like youtube), it's more to do with the community you could build around this. If you could find a simple way to match users with coding sessions that are relevant to them, you'll have no problem building a community. You absolutely must allow videos to be stored (not just watched live), indexed, commented on, rated, tagged, etc if you want to make this useful, imho.

If I could go to site, search for "best way to write a y combinator in c++" or something similar and get videos showing people doing just that but sorted by user rating, I would be a happy boy! I love when other users do the hard work of telling me what's good and what isn't. :)

29
wiradikusuma 6 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think I dare to use it. I usually code and Command-Tab to HN quite often, that would be annoying for people who watch me. On a positive side, that could force me to focus.
30
motters 5 days ago 0 replies      
Software as performance art?
31
swah 6 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, but as I've picked those bash and vim tips, I'd like to see someone hacking on a largish, real world project.

Perhaps the coder would be given a random bug and you would see the process from he reading the bug until the patch lands. That I would pay.

32
lbarrow 5 days ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty cool, but why can't we just get a channel for it on justintv or twitchtv?
33
politai 6 days ago 1 reply      
just curious, why do they have a tracking gif in their confirmation email?
34
razzaj 6 days ago 0 replies      
I Love the idea.
35
pointyhat 6 days ago 0 replies      
Do they do a naked version?
15
IOS Boilerplate: A base template for iOS apps iosboilerplate.com
296 points by jamesjyu  5 days ago   82 comments top 21
1
zbowling 5 days ago 8 replies      
This isn't really necessary and most of these packages will be obsolete in iOS 5 and using a few them (like ASIHTTPRequest) will get you in trouble with ARC.

* JSONKit - It's an ok choice but there are literally 5 choices I can think of off the top of my head (not including the now built in JSON support in Lion and iOS 5). I prefer SBJSON because it was once benchmarked with the fastest read speed and it has a dirt simple interface for me as a dev.

* ASIHTTPRequest - I used to swear by it, but now NSURLConnection in Lion (and iOS 5) has async methods with blocks. ASIHTTPRequest doesn't play nicely with ARC because it doesn't have a conventional pattern to object ownership (design to make it less to work to deal by deallocing itself for async usage).

* ImageManager - cute, but it's one of many solutions and this one takes some of the cache control out of my hands. I don't believe it resuses ASIHTTPRequest so now I have two HTTP libraries in my project and I'm juggling between both.

* The numerous category packages to extend and add convenience methods - these are all cute but I like to take things on a case by case basis and not add code bloat and unused functionality in one shot.

The problem that I have is that unlike HTML5 boilerplate which is a common subset of the absolute minimum you are going to need 99% of the time that is put together in the best possible manor, this is just a collection of various packages that you probably will not end up using more than 50% of in most applications. It's not really a "boilerplate" for that reason.

Edit: my coworker sent me this when he saw I wrote this reply - http://xkcd.com/386/

2
steipete 5 days ago 2 replies      
There are much better choices now, this project is a bit outdated.

I'd base a new app on AFNetworking, not asi.
ImageManager is not needed, as AFNetworking is better suited.

Pull-down-to-refresh is overused already, and most times the wrong context. (Originally, you were loading new tweets ON TOP, not general loading)

The whole tableview examples shouldn't be necessary.

I wouldn't put maps in a example, most apps aren't gonna use it.

JSONKit is great, but also soon iOS4-Legacy.

Adding SVProgressHUD only leads to apps that over-use the modal-loading principle, like the GitHub Issues app. The better way is to make a non-obstrusive, non-modal loading inside the controller, which can be cancelled anytime.

As for the random categories... meh. Get BlocksKit or something actually useful.

3
gimenete 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hi,

I'm the person behind IOS Boilerplate. I didn't expect to appear at Hacker News. Sorry for the typos, I wrote the web site in less than 1 hour and I didn't check the spelling.

This project is work in progress. I'm learning from your comments and I will improve it. I just hope it to be helpful for some of you.

I will try to reply to some of your comments directly.

Thanks!

4
sunkencity 5 days ago 1 reply      
Nice!

For this to be really useful though I'd like to see all included projects being MIT licensed or something. Now it's a mixture of no license at all (EGOTableViewPullRefresh), BSH (ASIHttprequest), JSONKit is well licensed with dual BSD License/Apache License, SVProgressHUD has a license but it seems home made. And what is the license of the actual boilerplate?

5
epo 5 days ago 2 replies      
Typo 2nd bullet, "freamwork", 3rd bullet "intented".

Actually, I'll stop there. Lots of typos, you should get them fixed, it makes you look sloppy.

6
awolf 5 days ago 0 replies      
>There is an example of how to calculate the directions between two points using the Google Maps API and showing it on a MKMapView using map overlays. See DirectionsExample.m.

FYI I believe using the Google Maps API in this manner runs afoul of Google's terms. Google only wants you to use their directions information on top of maps loaded for web sites via their JavaScript interface. MKMapView doesn't qualify.

7
mprovo1 5 days ago 2 replies      
Good job, I love this. I find that FastCells are less useful these days as iphone 3G are less common. I prefer to design my complex cells in interface builder for ease of maintenance. But it's just personal taste. Otherwise, everything in there should be very useful for almost any app. I suggest you add support for external services, like Facebook for instance (which a lot of projects use).

BTW, I love DictionaryHelper, it definitely saves you a lot of headaches if you work with a JSON api!

8
fady 5 days ago 0 replies      
Ever since HTML5 Boilerplate was launched, a whole plethora of projects have been popping up which were inspired by it. Thanks to all the main devs of H5 Boilerplate and projects a like. Makes learning easier and fun!
9
henry501 5 days ago 1 reply      
Despite the typos, it does look interesting.

Is there anything similar for Android?

10
smharris65 5 days ago 5 replies      
How does this project compare to the three320 project originally started by Joe Hewitt from Facebook? 320 seems to have more features:

https://github.com/facebook/three20/

11
matttthompson 5 days ago 4 replies      
A much easier way to add async HTTP and image requests would be to just use AFNetworking (https://github.com/gowalla/AFNetworking)

The rest of this I could really take or leave. Really wish there was something better than EGOPullToRefresh in wide use...

12
sedev 5 days ago 0 replies      
As someone just getting into iOS, this looks very useful, because it's a bunch of coherent ObjC code to read, presented in a beginner-friendly way. I'm also glad I read the HN critiques, though - knowing that some of this will be batteries-included in iOS 5 is valuable.
13
shadowmatter 5 days ago 1 reply      
Looks good. Just FYI: There's already a MapKit class called MKPointAnnotation that provides a simple implementation of MKAnnotation, so your Place class is redundant:

    MKPointAnnotation *point = [[MKPointAnnotation alloc] init];
point.coordinate = CLLocationCoordinate2DMake(35.01234, -115.56789);
point.title = @"The title!";
point.subtitle = @"The subtitle!";
[point release];

14
danssig 5 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting stuff. Does anyone have a "goto" list of IOS libraries documented anywhere? I've heard there's a nice DRM library for IOS apps but I haven't had any luck finding it so far.
15
Greenisus 5 days ago 3 replies      
When I saw this, I thought "wow, this is pretty much exactly the same stuff I include every time I start a new iOS project."

I feel like it would make more sense as a project template though. It seems like if I use this to start a new project, I need to clone the repo and then change a lot of classes to get started. Or am I missing something?

16
stealingyocode 5 days ago 0 replies      
I stole a few categories from you into my Category Repo.Hope you dont mind.
https://samyzee@github.com/samyzee/Additions

You can add my category repo as a git submodule the boilerplate if you want.I have some cool stuff in there!

EDIT:link

17
ThomPete 5 days ago 1 reply      
This would be much more interesting for the Android IMHO.

Anyone want to work on that and I would be up for it.

18
Joshim5 5 days ago 1 reply      
Typo - "It is not intended to be a freamwork"
19
alexbell 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is great so far, you have an excellent taste in frameworks. It's also nice and light weight. I would suggest adding a singleton macro. Will try and put some of the boilerplate stuff I use in as a pull request when I get the time.
20
irvingruan 5 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool, thanks!
21
benguild 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome!
16
What's wrong with this code, really? cvmountain.com
295 points by KiwiCoder  4 days ago   195 comments top 36
1
raganwald 4 days ago 5 replies      
The article's point about writing code that does what it says it does is fine. But as an interview question, I have trouble imagining that candidates won't figure out that this is a game of "guess the answer I'm looking for" and say that they would rewrite this code.

A better question would be, there's tremendous deadline pressure, the company is in imminent danger of losing a giant deal if we don't have working code for some demo, and you have three features to implement by Monday afternoon. Do you write a new feature immediately, open a ticket for refactoring this loop and then write a new feature, or rehearse your explanation to the big boss that over the lifetime of the software, rewriting the code before adding a new feature was more important?

http://raganwald.posterous.com/javas-comb-over

Just kidding, but trying to make the point that "what do you think of this code" is a little obvious as an interview question.

2
praptak 4 days ago  replies      
Deleting from a container while you are iterating over it should always raise red flags.
3
MortenK 4 days ago 7 replies      
About the McConnell quote: "Inefficient programmers tend to experiment randomly until they find a combination that seems to work." The essence of this quote is being passed around quite often these days.

When you first start programming, you generally have no idea what the hell you are doing. You learn all these strange, abstract concepts best, by experimenting.

It's easy to dismiss people "jiggling things around until they work", as lesser, more inefficient or just plain bad programmers. Just remember that you were once like that too.

I think there should be more patience among the experienced, for the programmers who are still learning the basics.

4
wccrawford 4 days ago 3 replies      
Like the blog author, I thought it was obvious what the problem was: Every time I read that, I'm going to have to figure out what it means. Any time there's a problem or change to code in that area, I have to stop and understand what it's doing.

To clean it up, I'd do 1 of 2 things: Either write a .clear() function, or rewrite it to start at the end and clear the items in reverse.

With the .clear() function, I can at least ignore it because it was tested and worked. (You do write tests, right?)

With it in reverse, it's something I've done numerous times because of how lists work in certain languages. I'd instantly recognize that it's going backwards because the list always starts at 0.

If I wrote it in reverse, I'd also write a comment about why it's in reverse, though, so that anyone else can instantly know why, as well.

5
yardie 4 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone else read it and on the first pass think, "yeah that works". Then on second pass think, "it's not a good idea, but it works." Then finally think, "under pressure I've done worse; at least this works as intended. S/he should probably comment it."

Or is it only me?

Addendum:

I would also add that even as a junior program, Clear() was easily learned within the first few minutes and usually when you have to use a hack like this it's because something has gone wrong. I wouldn't necessarily chalk this up to inexperience or deadline it could honestly be there was a bug and this was the only way to get it to work.

6
dcosson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great post - I can get pretty OCD about the way code is written, but I have a hard time complaining about things like this without feeling like a dick since as you pointed out it's not particularly inefficient (even if there was an O(1) Clear() method, how many TabPages are we really working with that it would matter?) But you've reassured me that it's a reasonable thing to do, especially if I know beforehand that it's a piece of code that will probably be used for a long time.

That said, I've learned that with an early stage startup where you're trying to iterate as quickly as possible in a desperate attempt to get somebody to care about your product, you often have to pick your battles. Just yesterday I came across this:

    category_count = []
for i in range(10):
category_count.append( db.execute("SELECT count(*) FROM table WHERE category = %d" % i) )

For one thing, this iterate separately and then append to list approach in Python annoys me slightly (list comprehensions are so much cooler!). But far worse, it hits the DB 10 times instead of once, and no matter how small your site is you obviously can't be having that. How'd it get there? Who knows. It was written in the Django ORM, where the only way to do this is with a pretty obscure command like Object.values('category').annotate(count=Count('category')). At first we were picking up Django as we went, so at the time whoever wrote it probably had no idea that the values() or annotate() methods even existed, and the way it was written got something up on the page and working so we could decide whether or not we'd be throwing it out the next week. But, whatever, you come across something like this, go throw up, fix it and move on. And finding these kinds of issues puts into perspective smaller ones like using a for loop where you meant to use a while loop.

tl;dr - Having the luxury of sexy-ing up your your code as described in the post is strongly dependent on the stage that the project/company is in.

7
onemoreact 4 days ago 1 reply      
That chart of development costs ignores the fact that only successful projects get maintained. Many projects simply get abandoned before they ever gain traction and at that point code quality becomes meaningless.
8
jinushaun 4 days ago 1 reply      
The code in question:

  for ( int i=0 ; i < this.MyControl.TabPages.Count ; i++ )
{
this.MyControl.TabPages.Remove ( this.MyControl.TabPages[i] );
i--;
}

Nice analysis into the thinking that went into creating such bad code. Took me a while to even see the i-- at the bottom.

9
keltex 4 days ago 0 replies      
I find this a lot with HTML guys I work with. They add a few px of padding to the top of something to get it vertically centered on Chrome and then it's broken on IE. Then I tell them to fix IE and then it's broken on Chrome.

Then it's two more hours of screwing around until they get it right. Then I show it to them on a notebook with a different DPI setting...

10
arethuza 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Let's pretend for a moment that we are a harassed contract programmer working late, under intense pressure to deliver working code before we can go home."

I would hope that in those kinds of situations I would remember to add a FIXME comment so that I would come back in saner times and make it nice.

11
codeslush 3 days ago 1 reply      
When pressed for a deadline, a demo, a functioning "something" - I do stuff that might not be the right way to do things because I need to get it to work. If the code ever has a chance of being witnessed by someone else, I always try to:

/* Can't find a clear/remove method, don't have time to screw around with it now, might revisit later, might not. Sorry. */

12
hackinthebochs 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think this is more of an indictment of how we code rather than the programmer. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with code-by-experimentation. With libraries and frameworks growing in complexity over the last decade or so, it's all but impossible to hold all the details in your head of whatever piece of abstraction you're computing with. With dynamic languages and REPLs, it becomes even more standard to experiment until we get the correct result.

The problem is that imperative programming is horrible for code-by-experimentation. You end up with code that works, but is hideously unreadable. Declarative styles can help greatly with this. Functional programming can be a big boon here. But I think we're going to need a fundamental shift soon in either tool quality (say, to automatically refactor that shit code into the most straightforward and readable way), or a new paradigm that will allow code-by-experimentation to always result in readable code.

13
qntm 4 days ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with the code, then, is that it was written under a little too much pressure for the developer to think clearly.

    for ( int i=0 ; i < this.MyControl.TabPages.Count ; )
{
this.MyControl.TabPages.Remove ( this.MyControl.TabPages[i] );
}

14
tlrobinson 4 days ago 1 reply      
So what's the "correct" way to do this?

Clearing the entire array can usually be accomplished easily, but what if you want to remove only items matching some condition?

Looping backwards, perhaps?

    for ( int i=this.MyControl.TabPages.Count-1 ; i >= 0 ; i-- )
{
this.MyControl.TabPages.Remove ( this.MyControl.TabPages[i] );
}

15
gersh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Consider this:

for ( int i=0 ; i < this.MyControl.TabPages.Count ; i++ )
{
try {
this.MyControl.TabPages.Remove (this.MyControl.TabPages[i] );
i--;
} catch(Exception e) {
}
}

Can this be simplified? If this syntax were used elsewhere in the program, but we didn't want to catch the exception in this particular case, should we copy-paste this, and remove the try block? Might there be a situation where preserving the syntax makes the program clearer?

16
mrspeaker 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've seen this construct used back-in-the-day in C, but usually with conditional expressions before the remove. Perhaps it was just a crap bit of code from day one, but it's possible that devolved to that state over time.
17
buff-a 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I was asked to justify flagging this code

Good grief. You are in a sorry environment. What are you doing there? I will fire anyone that writes code like that and checks it in, and then fire anyone who objects to me flagging it in a code review.

18
rohit89 3 days ago 1 reply      
Whenever a loop index is modified inside a for loop, it should raise immediate red flags. Also, with intellisense in Visual Studio, it shouldn't take more than a few seconds to check if there is .Clear() or .RemoveAll() method.

That said, I've been guilty of doing stupid things like this many times when I'm tired and just want the damn thing to work. Its amazing the kind of errors you make in situations like that.

19
saraid216 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm more worried that there are a host of comments, both on the blog and here, by people with enough time to think this through who clearly aren't doing so.

At the very least, I would have hoped everyone had read through the article.

20
tcarnell 3 days ago 0 replies      
If the code compiles and does what it is supposed to do, then the answer is that nothing is 'wrong' with it.

Writing code that does what it is supposed to do is often not the challenge of software engineering - but writing code that can be easily tested, refactored, altered and ultimately understood by other developers is the harder part.

The conditional statement used in the 'for' loop whose value can not easily be determined is not helpful and the i--; is 'unusual'.

In any case, it is more useful to code review the unit tests than the code itself.

21
hendrik-xdest 4 days ago 0 replies      
Dependent on the state of mind, one might even have done something like this (as I can't tell the language used in the example):

this.MyControl.TabPages = new Array();

Try to find something like this when the problem you are confronted with is that a server has to be rebooted every few hours because it eats up memory.

22
hasslblad 4 days ago 4 replies      
As soon as I saw that snippet I could see what's wrong.

In C# / .Net you can't remove an element from an enumerator while you're enumerating through it. You can remove the last element however, as it's the final loop the enumerator isn't used again so it won't throw an error. The original developer probably tried to remove it forward only first, encountered an error and wrote the code to loop through it backwards, using the random tweaking technique.

What's rather depressing is that a lot of developers I've encountered use the random tweaking methodology, instead of figuring out what's really happening.

23
polshaw 3 days ago 2 replies      
OK, fairly newbie coder here..

What would be wrong with just setting a variable to the value of 'this.MyControl.TabPages.Count' outside of the for loop and refering to this?? ie;

    var x = this.MyControl.TabPages.Count;
for ( int i=0 ; i < x ; i++ )
{
this.MyControl.TabPages.Remove ( this.MyControl.TabPages[i] );
}

as a quick fix, or if someone did not know while loops or clear function??

24
ChrisArchitect 4 days ago 0 replies      
nice writeup, could really feel your pain/obsession (not a bad thing) -- the sketchiness of the codeblock from the get go was cringeworthy for me too - harks to marking CS assignments and the like back in the day. what a way to start my day too. blech
25
g0su 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's bad because you have to write a long blog post about it explaining all the pitfalls, compare good to bad programers, talk about maintenance cost, etc etc.

This code:

for i in 1.100:
print i

There's nothing to talk about, it's crystal clear.

26
altrego99 4 days ago 0 replies      
He got underpaid and bad boss right, but more likely this could be due to frustation. I have seen a coder who uses many different ways to code simple things, for example in a code he used (a and b), (a+b>=2), (1-a*b), and several other ways to do the same thing.
27
throwawayday 4 days ago 0 replies      
wow - my first thought was something unprintable. Took a few minutes of staring at it before I could figure out what the code was doing.

brlewis has the winning answer

28
pointyhat 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is perfectly valid code. You cannot modify a collection which is being iterated safely so it's the best way to handle the situation.
29
suivix 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, I would never make a for loop like that. It is weird and breaks convention, and has a high chance of causing a bug.
30
whackberry 2 days ago 0 replies      
that example code is terrible, it deserved no analysis of any kind.
31
chids 4 days ago 0 replies      
Related to the part about software maintenance in the last part of the post I recently wrote about "visualizing cost and improvement areas for software maintenance" here:
http://marten.gustafson.pp.se/content/visualizing-cost-and-i...
32
juaninfinitelop 4 days ago 0 replies      
My initial thought was...

If it has a .Count() and a .Remove(), it should have a .Clear()

33
schiptsov 3 days ago 1 reply      
You need not to be a genius to immediately notice that doing i-- inside a for loop is.. OK just not very smart. ^_^
34
ibisum 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sequence points, kids. Learn to recognize them.
35
napierzaza 4 days ago 0 replies      
Allocating an int?
36
HarrietJones 4 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting that you say what's wrong with the code, but don't actually say how it should be done right.
17
Tim O'Reilly on OccupyWallStreet google.com
284 points by BrentRitterbeck  15 hours ago   78 comments top 15
1
AndrewMoffat 14 hours ago 6 replies      
> The smirk on the face of the Fox News reporter who was interviewing various participants said it all. "These people are easy to dismiss."

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-X-DagzpHhDU/TnevQadAJeI/A...
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Che5TfKQre8/TnevQT7sqZI/A...

2
neilk 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know if these protests are going anywhere, but it's good to remember that movements can start very small.

In Egypt, half a year before Tahrir Square January-February 2011, they had the "silent stand"[1] -- which consisted of just showing up in public places en masse and saying nothing, in memory of a young man who'd been tortured to death by security services. I'm pretty sure I heard Wael Ghonim say that even he thought it was a slightly daft idea until it actually happened, and then it seemed that they'd found a catalyst for average people to join in a protest.

I too hope for some sort of movement that can bridge the artificial divide between Tea Partiers and scruffy leftist kids. Fundamentally, nobody is asking for particularly radical reforms here; so it should be possible to have widespread support.

[1] http://www.demotix.com/news/394309/khaled-said-silent-stand-...

3
chrismealy 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Financial capital has always been at war with productive capital. Because it's more concentrated in power (and even geographically) it's easier for financial capital to be aware of its interests and work together towards them. Productive capital is dispersed and varied. Tim O'Reilly is the rare CEO who's smart enough to know what's going on and what side he's on. Good for him.
4
chernevik 13 hours ago 2 replies      
"Occupy Wall Street", and their buddies "We are the 99" and "Days of Rage", dislike Wall Street because they dislike wealth. The Tea Party dislikes Wall Street because the wealth comes from implied government guarantees and regulatory barriers to competition. They could agree on cutting the Washington / New York interconnections.

But that's not actually in the interests the smart money actually funding the "Occupy Wall Street" types. The last Congress gave us "finance reform" that left us Too Big Too Fail and a bunch more regulatory levers. The pols got more scope for favors and campaign donations, the bankers got more regulatory barriers to competitive entry.

The chief author of that "reform"? Progressive Barney Frank.

The Tea Party is the GOP's reckoning for failing their principles. The Democrats has yet to come.

5
OstiaAntica 14 hours ago  replies      
O'Reilly is wrong about the Tea Party-- the entire movement got started during the crisis in 2008. The Tea Party and conservative Republicans initially defeated the TARP bailout in the U.S. House. And the Tea Party and Ron Paul are the main reason that the Federal Reserve -- the kingpin of America's corrupt banking regime -- is under political fire.

The Tea Party doesn't have much presence in NYC and its leaders weren't involved in this particular protest, and "Occupying" is a sixties lefty word that's not going to turn out the Tea Party rank and file.

6
tmsh 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know if anyone here watches Suits. But basically the reason the Harvey character wins is the reason Wall Street has not been held accountable. A lot of people pay a lot of money and there is enough ingenious strategizing to protect assets for large Wall Street firms (and enough tangential interests among any large American investor), that it makes complete sense that Wall Street has not and will probably not be held accountable.

However, if you truly want to fix a problem like that, you have to out-strategize back. Which doesn't necessarily mean legal measures. E.g., no need to occupy Wall Street, as long as the lessons are learned and it's replaced by something better.

7
twoodfin 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
> There are a set of people who constructed a set of financial products with intent to defraud. They took our country to the brink of ruin, then got off scott free, even with multi-million dollar bonuses.

I have a feeling this movement would be much more effective if it could actually name names and link to evidence. "Read Taibbi" isn't enough. I've read all of Taibbi's pieces, and it's hard to see a real criminal case succeeding out of what he presents. Some of it might seem outrageous, but investors were aware of the risks in CDOs well before the bubble burst and wanted them anyway. Claiming a little marketing spin from Goldman Sachs is a criminal attempt to defraud doesn't pass the laugh test for me.

8
pkaler 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Silicon Valley should look itself in the mirror if it wants to throw stones at Wall Street.

Tim O'Reilly is posting to the site of a corporation that funnels money to Bermuda so that it only has to pay a 2.4% tax rate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Irish_Arrangement
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-4-rate-sho...

And O'Reilly probably has Eric Schmidt and Larry Page's phone numbers.

9
wisty 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Since 1967, real median household income in the USA has risen from ~$40k to ~$49k, a growth of about 0.5% a year. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bd/US_...)

Since 1967, real GDP of the USA rose from 4T to 13T, a 320% increase (2005 dollars), or a growth of about 2.8% a year. (http://www.data360.org/dataset.aspx?Data_Set_Id=354)

This would be my sign:

US household income growth: 0.5% a year since the 60s.

US GDP growth: 2.8% a year since the 60s.

Who is stealing our growth?

10
ddw 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Ironic isn't it that the people that are most effected by financial polices - the working class and poor - usually don't come out to these kind of things.

But I wouldn't give up on it yet, a core seems to be prepared for long-term occupation and it could grow.

11
nhangen 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Why does every political argument resort to "tea party this" or "liberal that." Drives me nuts we can't have conversations without sweeping generalizations and broad attacks.
12
azulum 12 hours ago 0 replies      
loved one of the posters about the student loan crisis being the next housing crisis. i have a bachelors with three majors. i graduated in 2008. my education has been worth (45000) plus (5 years) plus an ability to recognize bullshit. yep, 45k. i thought i'd get a decent job. now i realize that i have to manufacture my own job.

edit: shame sallie mae loans can't be bankrupted anymore.

13
S_A_P 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The Tim O'Reilly Factor?

In my only semi informed opinion, it seems that this sort of crime is so distributed and hard to prove that it likely is just too difficult to create a convincing case to a jury of folks who may or may not really grasp what really happened on wall street. I am not even sure that many of the fraudsters even knew the full consequence of their actions. I am by no means defending anyone here, I just think that the "crime" is too difficult to package up neatly.

15
maxogden 14 hours ago 0 replies      
... in which the Radar rises to face the Factor
18
Sony to ban gamers from PSN unless they waive right sue over security breaches. bbc.co.uk
283 points by sambeau  4 days ago   102 comments top 25
1
ansy 3 days ago 1 reply      
These are my comments from an earlier thread on this story:

IANAL, but arbitration clauses are standard in contracts[1] at least in the United States. Arbitration is generally seen as preferred because suing people in court is actually very expensive for the plaintiff, the defendant, and the court system.

In Sony's favor, Sony excluded small claims. So for pretty much everyone this arbitration clause is meaningless. The limit for small claims is in the thousands of dollars depending on state [2]. The circumstances where Sony would be liable for more than a few thousand to a single consumer would have to be pretty extraordinary. And yes, this includes losses due to identity theft. Although the expenses due to fraud can be high, the out of pocket damages to the individual are generally very low. As of 2006 the average out of pocket expenses were about $422 and on a downward trend [3]. Keep in mind that the federal government limits liability for credit card fraud to only $50 in the United States [4]. And most credit card companies actually limit the liability to $0. The actual costs of fraud end up getting absorbed by businesses as the financial institutions try to unwind the transactions as best it can.

Also in Sony's favor, Sony did not choose to use the arbitration clause to set an onerous jurisdiction. Sony could have said all arbitration needed to take place in a specific city in the middle of nowhere. Sony didn't even pick the location of its headquarters; you can pick any jurisdiction. Most arbitration clauses I've seen set a jurisdiction that favors the contract writer, so I'd say this puts Sony in a decent light for not doing the same.

Likewise, Sony does not cap damages awarded through arbitration. It could have easily set the maximum damages to some amount that would make arbitration a non-starter compared to small claims.

If you really wanted to find fault with Sony's particular arbitration clause, it would be that neither side can appeal the decision of the arbitration panel to a higher court. But keep in mind this cuts both ways, and it really isn't unusual. It is even endorsed in the United States.

I should also note that arbitration clauses can be voided if the panel can be proven to be biased. So this isn't necessarily a license for Sony to circumvent the law, at least against a well funded opponent. And anyone with the balls to sue Sony for any serious amount of money would be a well funded opponent.

NB. I understand arbitration clauses such as this may not be legal in some countries such as Germany. Whether that is good or bad I can't say. I'm sure the Germans thought it was good, though.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbitration_clause

[2] http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/small-claims-suits-ho...

[3] http://www.bbbonline.org/idtheft/safetyquiz.asp

[4] http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre04.shtm

2
falcolas 3 days ago 2 replies      
You can opt out of the arbitration clause by sending a snail-mail notification of your choice to Sony.

From the associated Ars Technica article[1]:

IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE BOUND BY THE BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN THIS SECTION 15, YOU MUST NOTIFY SNEI IN WRITING WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THAT YOU ACCEPT THIS AGREEMENT. YOUR WRITTEN NOTIFICATION MUST BE MAILED TO 6080 CENTER DRIVE, 10TH FLOOR, LOS ANGELES, CA 90045, ATTN: LEGAL DEPARTMENT/ARBITRATION AND MUST INCLUDE: (1) YOUR NAME, (2) YOUR ADDRESS, (3) YOUR PSN ACCOUNT NUMBER, IF YOU HAVE ONE, AND (4) A CLEAR STATEMENT THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH ANY SONY ENTITY THROUGH ARBITRATION.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/09/mandatory-ps3-upd...

3
cryptoz 3 days ago 3 replies      
The solution to this is simple and has been clear for years: stop doing business with Sony.
4
danssig 3 days ago 4 replies      
This shouldn't even be legal.

Since it probably is; I think these days most people are probably buying a PS3 for PSN so if users can no longer access it they should bring the device back and demand their money bag. If Sony gets away with this expect more companies to follow suit.

5
onosendai 3 days ago 3 replies      
They're essentially confirming that their systems continue to be insecure and guaranteeing that your personal information will be leaked to third parties again in the future.

Thanks for the clarification Sony.

6
mathgladiator 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is so bullshit!

Basically, leaves non-security-aware people out in the cold. Instead of trying to champion good security practices and locking down their shit, they are saying "this is a glory hole, buyer beware" in a document that no one reads.

Sigh

7
jonnathanson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another instance of the triumph of short-term CYAism over long-term customer strategy.
8
gentle 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm sure this makes perfect sense to their legal department, but it's yet another reason why I'll never buy another Sony product.
9
artursapek 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is the first news I've read of Sony reacting in any way to those hacks. Great press for them.

Hopefully they're not storing these waivers in plaintext.

10
zalthor 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. So let me get this straight. I can start a service, that people pay money to use. I also tell them that their credit card / personal information may not be secure and if they want to use the service that they already paid for, they have to accept that I am not liable for its security and if (when) this information does get stolen, I can give them a coupon and get way with it? Please tell me I'm wrong. This can't be legal.
11
hammock 3 days ago 1 reply      
Devil's advocate here. Given that one (among others) of the motivations to hack Sony is to harm them in the press and financially, is it possible that forbidding gamers from class-action suing - and therefore eliminating the possibility Sony would be fucked over by a large settlement - could REDUCE the incentive for hackers to break Sony?
12
psychopaf 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sony took this from the Guide "How to write abusive and unfair contracts". Seriously, it will be interesting to see how the class action lawyers will deal with this: I'm not sure the judge will like that kind of shadow manoeuvering, where the consumers see nothing coming.
13
tekacs 3 days ago 1 reply      
Temporary solution: don't buy anything (i.e. give them credit card details) or store anything important (i.e. re-use a password) on PSN...

Yes, I know, we all miss DLC...

14
Pynkrabbit 3 days ago 0 replies      
The work around to this would be to not put any valuable Personally Identifiable Information on Sony's network. You can use a proxy credit card number. Set up an email address that is not connected to any of your other accounts and use a unique password. That way if your data gets compromised you wont really lose anything...

But basically they are saying that they are not willing to put their reputation and money behind their own business which makes you wonder....

15
Yhippa 3 days ago 0 replies      
The average customer will subconsciously weigh the cost of enjoyment from using the PSN against the opportunity cost of a security breach to them. After making that calculation most will choose to waive their rights.
16
daimyoyo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you, Sony for yet again reminding me why I refuse to spend any money on your products.
17
wavephorm 3 days ago 0 replies      
I thought this was always the case, basically everywhere. This is what EULA's are for.
18
ltamake 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wait, can't a EULA be invalidated if it's deemed too extraneous? I remember something about that happening in a Microsoft case...
19
tlrobinson 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope there's some way PS3 owners can sue Sony for forcing them to waive their right to sue them.
20
francescolaffi 3 days ago 0 replies      
ansy comment here http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3000383 is clearer then both articles in my opinion.
21
robert_nsu 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not an expert in these matters, but I am interested to see how this will be interpreted under Louisiana's redhibition laws.
22
username3 3 days ago 1 reply      
That means we can sue over prior security breaches?
23
voidnothings 3 days ago 0 replies      
They don't give a damn.
24
Gring 3 days ago 1 reply      
As an answer, Sony headquarters should be enclosed in a huge airtight balloon and only let breathing air in if they agree to stop fucking people.
25
funkah 3 days ago 0 replies      
Since the start, the only piece of info I've had in there is a mailinator address and a password I don't use anywhere else. They can get breached all day for all I care.
19
PG's Rarely Asked Questions paulgraham.com
287 points by wallawe  2 days ago   209 comments top 25
1
jackfoxy 1 day ago  replies      
What should I read to learn more about history?

I used to consider my knowledge of history better than at least 95% of the population, but while reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire I realized how sketchy my view of history really was. So at the ripe old age of 35 I set off on a course of study centered on two series of books, The Story of Civilization, by Will and Ariel Durant, and Timeframe, a Time-Life series focusing on a timeframe in human history and what was going on in all parts of the world inhabited by man: lots of pictures and of course superficial, but it painted in a lot of gaps I othewise would have never covered. The Timeframe series starts much earlier than the Durant's, but once both series were in sync I would read the books in both series for an epoch, as well as at least two other books, either written in the era or about the era, drawing mostly from science, culture, and biography. For instance I read all the books of Euclid, Newton's Optiks and Principia (I slogged through the Motte transaltion before the first modern English translation became available), The Wealth of Nations, Shelby Foote's 3-volume history of the Civil War, and The Origen of Species. (It's real easy for me to spot folks who spoot-off about Wealth or Origen who have not actually read the books.) My program culminated with Tragedy and Hope, which being such an inflammatory work, I did not trust to read without the full background of history. The process was like watching Western Civilization unfolding.

Now for the unintended consequences: I became a bore at cocktail parties. I wanted to talk about the ideas in the fascinating book I was reading. I used to love arguing politics. Even with my prior knowledge it was hard enough finding opponents who would engage in rational discourse, now it is impossible. It's been so long my debating skills have totally gone down the tubes. The sad thing is I believe my problem is really society's. Political correctness (among other problems) in academia, has produced a generation of intellectually crippled intellectuals; and the entertainment industry, including the 24-hour news cycle as entertainment, has just stupefied people. I fear for democracy and republican government.

2
onan_barbarian 1 day ago  replies      
The tendentious answer on philosophy is an invitation for what would be another "Dabblers and Blowhards" drive-by shooting.

It's not enormously surprising that this question is 'rarely asked'. One would learn a lot more about philosophy ("what questions are these guys asking?" "what are some of the answers they've come to?") from even a mediocre introductory text or a chat with a TA/tutor, than by assuming that this rather sophomoric answer represents a reasonable response to the entire field. Calling it 'sophomoric' doesn't properly engage with the claims, but the claims are so smug, random and content-free:

"Books on philosophy per se are either highly technical stuff that doesn't matter much, or vague concatenations of abstractions their own authors didn't fully understand (e.g. Hegel)... It can be interesting to study ancient philosophy, but more as a kind of accident report than to teach you anything useful."

... that I can't find anything remotely meaningful to engage with.

Someone recommended Russell's History of Western Philosophy as an option; this isn't bad (although its treatment of Continental philosophy is hopelessly biased, it would still be enough to get you oriented).

The fact that whenever PG makes statements on some area I understand more about (philosophy, politics, economics) seem to be incredibly shallow, juvenile crowd-pleasers, makes me wonder at his expertise in areas that I don't know much about (history, painting).

3
dgreensp 1 day ago 6 replies      
>I never had to manage anyone in our startup, even though I was the president. The other hackers were my peers, and would have given me the raspberry if I'd tried to "manage" them. We operated by consensus. And the rest of the company reported to our experienced COO, who was also more of a peer.

Operating by consensus and not valuing the role of "manager" only goes so far. It may work when you're a few people living together, but I think it ultimately leads to cultures like Google's, where every decision requires a room full of engineers to agree.

4
sthlm 1 day ago 4 replies      
The pointy-haired boss is a manager who doesn't program. So the surest way to avoid becoming him is to stay a programmer. What tempts programmers to become managers are companies with old-fashioned corporate structure, where the only way to advance in salary and prestige is to go into management.

I have to disagree with that. I've met many people, especially in larger enterprises, who started in development but then became more abstract over time. They weren't bad people, in fact, they were excellent at their job.

Programming to me has never been something that has to be continually pursued in order to stay fluent or able, but merely something that reflects your more basic skills and talents.

It's like playing a musical instrument. Almost anyone can learn playing the guitar, but it takes a special talent to excel at it. For the guitar this requires hearing, sense of rhythm, and others; for programming, this is analytical thinking, systematic thinking, and more. Some people will try to program but never be really good at it. I studied with people like that. It's not their fault, their skills are just in another area. Some others are great at it. Once they learned, it doesn't matter if they don't develop anything for 3 years; after their break, they look at a piece of code / framework / technology, understand what it does, and continue programming.

And the traits that make you a good programmer help you in other fields, even management. Yes, large corporations have structures, but we need structure to manage them. And we need managers. And a manager who was a distinguished developer will be much better suited for leading a team of developers -- even if he doesn't program any longer. This is a valid career path, and an interesting one at that.

My general opinion is that if you want to stay a programmer, find yourself a role where you can do that. If not, don't bother pursuing programming at all costs. It won't lead you in the right direction.

5
richcollins 1 day ago 3 replies      
6
rwmj 1 day ago 3 replies      
He's really wrong about LISP macros. Would suggest pg takes a look at camlp4.

Edit: maybe instead of downvotes, you could reply explaining what's wrong with this position. Or just look at camlp4 and see how it provides macros that are better (with a better underlying language) than LISP. And yes, I've written a LISP compiler.

7
siglesias 1 day ago 4 replies      
Re: philosophy, I think understanding the difference between representing the world in language and representing it in logic is critically important to programmers. It has implications for natural language processing as well as artificial intelligence. I personally recommend to anyone endeavoring to understand Wittgenstein's transition from Tractatus Logico Philosophicus to Philosophical Investigations. In fact, Google used the family resemblance concept from PI to inform its search algorithm early on to attribute diffent meanings to the same search term.

What you take away is a very precise way to pose questions that make sense and to avoid questions that don't make sense.

8
muhfuhkuh 1 day ago  replies      
"I want to start a startup, but I don't know how to program. How long will it take to learn?

I would guess a smart person can learn to hack sufficiently well in 6 months to a year."

Hmm... interesting take considering the source, especially when contrasted with the general mentality that programming and software development is the finest of all trades and takes a near preternatural mastery only found elsewhere in classical musicianship 300 years ago. I quite enjoy the feeling that I could be good in a year.

9
urza 1 day ago 0 replies      
I clicked through to the Return of the Mac [1] article and it would be of interest to me to know how this community and PG sees the Macs today? Recently some people on HN said that they dont like where the Lion is heading [2] or that OS X is goining to be more closed than open [3]. So.. what are you hacking on today?

[1] http://www.paulgraham.com/mac.html

[2] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2933895

[3] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2368932

10
breck 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The pointy-haired boss is a manager who doesn't program. So > the surest way to avoid becoming him is to stay a programmer.

I agree. One of the absolute worst pieces of advice I got over and over again was "don't go into programming. It's all being outsourced overseas anyway. Just learn how to manage programmers." Luckily for some reason I finally decided to ignore that advice and strive to become a great programmer myself. One of the, if not the, best decisions in my entire life.

Even now, although I certainly could become more of a "manager", I choose to stay in the pit coding. Although I now do tasks that can be called "managing" such as helping out other coders with their bugs and problems, mentoring, communicating with people outside of engineering, recruiting and interviewing, the biggest chunk of my time is spent programming and working on my skills.

It's worked for PG. It's worked for Paul Farmer(replace "programming" with "doctoring"). I'd bet it's worked for nearly every master of their field. I think it's an essential rule to follow.

11
shin_lao 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure the advice about "not becoming a pointy haired boss" is any good.

Not all structures can stay small enough to avoid management. The startup phase is just an initial phase that will dysfunction as the number of employees grow.

Additionally, I don't think that having a manager who programs is a way to increase management quality.

So how do you get good management? There's no simple answer to that, it's a central problem to all companies as they grow.

12
denisonwright 1 day ago 4 replies      
Interesting, now that I think of it, I have never met someone (except pg) who is a painter and programmer. I've met several programmers who are writers, musicians, carpenters, etc, but never painters.

I draw cartoons/caricatures (examples here: http://www.smileecards.com) and have painted a few times, but I don't quite call myself a painter.

About teachers, I totally agree that good teachers earn the respect of the students by having high standard, calling students out on bad quality work. I once suspected a teacher only read the beginning and the end of essays, so I submitted a 4 page essay that contained a recipe for banana cake in the second and third pages; I received a B+!

13
Estragon 1 day ago 2 replies      

  > Couldn't you add something equivalent to Lisp macros to languages like
> Perl or Python?
>
> Not without turning them into dialects of Lisp. Real macros need to
> operate on the parse tree of the program.

Actually, I've thought about porting some of On Lisp to python using
lib2to3 (http://docs.python.org/library/2to3.html) It's probably an obscenely bad idea, but I keep getting drawn back to it...

14
corin_ 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does anyone have any insight into why painters are less common among hackers than other artistic persuits, such as music?

I've never met anyone who bridged visual art with anything tech-related, but composers, singers, pianists, orchestra members... hell yes.

Is it just that painters are less common that musicians and that ratio stays true in the tech world?

15
ecocentrik 1 day ago 1 reply      
PG lost me at the first question. A better answer would be; they are both highly technical skills with almost no overlap that take boatloads of time to master. We all know the bene gesserit mantra...
16
shoham 23 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'm about to become a teacher. How can I be a good one?"

Also, be ready to put up with bullshit from parents, admins and other teachers who insist on the path of least resistance.

17
shithead 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish some people would bless us with dates on their timeless essays.

(You too, Peter Norvig.)

18
ekm2 23 hours ago 0 replies      
All of you have covered Western History extremely well.Which are the best books to study Asian and African History?
19
extramoose 1 day ago 0 replies      
I must say that one of the things I value most is the fact that as a Hacker, I have also worked extensively in Landscaping, Kitchens, Coffe houses & Hotels. A wide range of interactions & processes in one's past can always be used as perspective when approaching the next fork in the road.
20
moomin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy is a great place to start. Of course, it's as much an introduction to his thinking as anyone else's, but it's accessible and thoughtful. Memorable for the phrase "existence is not a predicate".
21
larrys 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Two startups want to hire me. Which should I choose?

The one with the most determined and smartest founders (in that order) is the more likely to succeed. "

All else being equal this is true and it's good advice.

But unfortunately when you are choosing from two startups to work for all else is not equal.

22
seanmccann 1 day ago 1 reply      
How important is knowledge of history when it comes to building a startup? What are the most important periods of time to learn about?
23
NY_Entrepreneur 1 day ago 2 replies      
Nice. He covers several topics that would be good to have covered on some "What I wish my father had explained to me when I was 12, however, I've come to expect that mostly he didn't understand very well.". But among topics it would have been good to have had Dad cover, PG omits the biggie, especially for hackers, maybe for painters -- how to make an A in Women 101-102!
24
zackattack 1 day ago 3 replies      
If somebody compiles the history books into an Amazon shopping list, I would gladly use your affiliate link. I haven't read any of them, which is shameful.
25
NY_Entrepreneur 1 day ago  replies      
"I want to start a startup, but I don't know how to program. How long will it take to learn?"

A year? Depends! To be very useful on Windows, really need to be okay on the content of several books, each about 1000 pages long, have worked through about 2500 Web pages of documentation at Microsoft's MSDN, along with more pages from other sources. Then need to write some code, at least as exercises, using what learned. For writing code, need to learn either an integrated development environment (IDE), e.g., Visual Studio, or get good with a powerful text editor (I use KEdit) and its macro language (I have about 150 such macros) and a scripting language. And need to get good with Windows, e.g., have traversed much of the obscure tree of things to click on. And need to be good at software installation, e.g., .NET Framework, service packs, IIS (for a Web server), Internet Explorer and some other Web browsers, likely some version of Office, maybe Knuth's TeX, SQL Server or some alternative, etc. Should learn some Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Should learn some T-SQL, HTML, CSS, ASP.NET, and ADO.NET. Also need to be good at backup and recovery, ESPECIALLY of the operating system and boot drive. A year? Want to give up sleep for a year?

20
Cracking OSX Lion passwords defenceindepth.net
275 points by eis  1 day ago   79 comments top 7
1
jballanc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Two points:

1. When it comes to security, from the point of view of an OS vendor, if you have gained unauthorized access to an interactive shell on a target machine it's already "game over, man". You cannot protect against physical access, and you can pretty much assume that there are a plethora of unknown privilege escalation bugs so that any account is effectively a root account. Every company has limited security resources, and at some point there are trade-offs between usability and security. This is why efforts are typically focused on keeping the baddies out.

Once the bad guy gets in, you can only mitigate potential harm. This is the goal of things like File Vault (which will still protect your stollen laptop, assuming you put on a screensaver password). This is also why merely being able to change a password is not nearly as bad as...

2. Being able to recover the plain text of a user's password. I'm not going to discuss how or why, but this was possible on earlier versions of OS X and fixed only in Lion. In this regard, "cracking" passwords is much harder on Lion than it was on Snow Leopard and earlier.

Of course, that sort of level-headed approach to this kind of topic seems to be rarer and rarer on HN these days...unfortunately...

2
kulpreet 1 day ago 3 replies      
You can also just boot your Mac in single-user mode (Command-S), then mount the main filesystem and type "passwd bob". Much easier and produces the same effect.
3
maximilian 1 day ago 5 replies      
In the article, it mentions that the password are hashed using SHA-512. As has been mentioned before, using such a fast hashing scheme for passwords is a terrible idea. Any idea as to why they do it this way? (instead of using bcrypt
4
KonradKlause 1 day ago 2 replies      
TL;DR:

There is no need to crack the password.
You (as non-root user) can just reset the currently logged in user's password by calling:

dscl localhost -passwd /Search/Users/bob

5
dotBen 1 day ago 3 replies      
This feels a little bit like a naughtily published zero-day exploit.

I'm disappointed the post doesn't mention any appropriate disclosure to Apple prior to publication. Sure, it's not an out-right crack of the shaddow password algo but this vector could still be used in damaging ways.

6
drivebyacct2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I suppose it's different if an unauthenticated user can perform a password change with the system powered on, but similar things can be done with Windows and a Linux live cd with some tools, and Linux passwords can be changed in "single user" mode.
7
emehrkay 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know this isn't the same, but I feel like mission control set to a hot corner bypasses the password screen from time to time. I never really notice it though
22
Microsoft has Abandoned Silverlight and All Other Plugins infoq.com
262 points by bleakgadfly  5 days ago   193 comments top 28
1
rodh257 5 days ago 4 replies      
The headline is sensationalist and wrong. Think of it this way, Metro is their tablet/iPad mode. The iPad has no flash/silverlight in the browser, and neither does Metro IE. This in order to get the best tablet experience, battery life etc. The difference is, you can hit a button and open up full Windows desktop mode and get the full browsing experience, while accepting a tradeoff in battery life.

They aren't abandoning it, they're just optimizing for the use case. In fact, Silverlight developers should be happy - with some simple namespace changes, they demonstrated converting a silverlight program to a Metro UI on stage in the keynote. Sure your program may not run in the browser unless they swap to full desktop mode, but it will be easy for you to make it a proper installed application if you desire.

It's a good decision in my book, and will result in a better tablet experience. Frankly all the misinformation and hyperbole around this is getting exhausting. They've really not pulled the rug from under anyone at all.

2
neilk 5 days ago  replies      
A question for those of you who work with Microsoft frameworks. Why do you believe in any technology that MS gives you? How is it these people have any credibility left?

Their technologies are invariably doomed to obsolesence within about 2-3 years of their introduction. Those that the web doesn't make obsolete are eventually thrown under the bus by Microsoft themselves in about the same time frame.

3
0x12 5 days ago 2 replies      
The title is nonsense, here is the microsoft blog post:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/14/metro-style-br...

4
robinhouston 5 days ago 2 replies      
Putting the focus on Silverlight is an oddly parochial angle, when Silverlight has so little significance in comparison with Flash.

This move is far more interesting, surely, as confirmation that Flash has lost the browser wars and that web standards will determine the future of web applications.

If you make a living as a Flash developer, it's long past time to start learning about the web.

5
gavanwoolery 5 days ago 4 replies      
I am glad that they are ditching all of the pluggins, but sad that they are settling on javascript as their primary language.

I know that the Hacker News community is very pro-javascript for the most part, so I expect to be down-voted.

But at the very least, I think javascript could benefit from more competition.

I remember when Microsoft was the company that made standards, now they seem be playing catch-up with the rest of the industry.

What I really would have loved to see them do is completely reinvent the browser from the ground up. Support javascript and html 5 as "legacy" but create a new, effective, and fast language for applications and rendering.

Web browsers are still stuck in document mode. We don't see anything wrong with this, but links and back buttons are not the best way to control application state. We have moved beyond documents and primarily create applications these days (even if they are document-hosting applications like blogs). Imagine if Photoshop was controlled using links and back buttons. I know that javascript is capable of more advanced, realtime techniques, but most websites are stilled laid out in the page by page format these days. On top of it all, even V8 javascript still runs 10-20x slower than C.

6
cageface 5 days ago 1 reply      
But today, right now, HTML5 is not appropriate for the immersive applications that Flash and Silverlight are capable of creating.

You could argue that Flash and Silverlight were never particularly appropriate either. Cue native apps...

7
teyc 5 days ago 2 replies      
Microsoft has been losing its Windows franchise since two key events:

1. Netscape introducing navigator

2. Microsoft stopping development post IE6

This has actually given the web browsers a modicum of stability and people were able to develop against a stable medium, and allowed Firefox to catch up in terms of compatibility.

In order to regain its Windows franchise, it needs to reimpose the Windows tax.

Firstly, by making Metro IE10 plugin-less, it kills Adobe Flash as a navigator-pretender.

Secondly, by introducing a lot of IE10 specific extensions, it hopes that developers will start to make use of these, eventually leading to the balkanization of the web, with MS having the highest share of desktops, it hopes it can buy another 20 years of windows tax.

Thirdly, Apple's experience has shown that without plugins, developers will either have to choose between HTML or Apps. Now Apps are a great way to create lock in. The existence of plugins threatens that.

8
agravier 5 days ago 1 reply      
A side note: the typos, misspelling, tortured wording and grammatical errors make this article particularly painful to read. I first thought that it's an automatic translation. If you are a tech writer, take a minimum care of these things, and you will attract readers instead of repelling them.
9
radimd 5 days ago 9 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks Microsoft is nuts with the whole Metro UI on a PC thing?

I mean it may be a good UI for tablets, but I did not buy two 24" widescreen monitors to run IE in fullscreen. When I use my PC I don't care about active tiles or what's the desktop at all. I have apps to run and work to do.

And I am not about to replace my mouse & keyboard with touchscreen on the desktop anytime soon (if ever).

Simply put tablets and PCs are not the same thing and are not used in for the same purpose. They need different GUIs.

10
buff-a 5 days ago 1 reply      
No Google Chrome-in-IE either then.

I should probably be paying attention to this, but is Metro HTML5/js only? Does that mean Chrome and Firefox are basically dead on Windows 8 (unless you leave Metro)? And what about anti-trust lawsuits against IE??

11
smilliken 5 days ago 3 replies      
Title should be: IE10 preview doesn't support plugins. Silverlight still exists in desktop mode IE10, and every other OS/browser configuration that's currently supported, plus windows phone, xbox, and desktop silverlight apps. (Though it would be nice if IE10 continues to not support plugins-- that would seriously accelerate the push to native web development).
12
neworbit 5 days ago 2 replies      
That's a bit baffling. It seems like there are at least tens and probably hundreds of millions of people who play flash games every day (Zynga being rather happy about that). They may not be power users but they are everyday consumers. A lot of that isn't going to be casually rewritten into HTML/JS.
13
buff-a 5 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft abandons silverlight, Sony announces Playstation Suite SDK written in C#. This is topsy-turvy day.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2999086

14
jmilloy 5 days ago 0 replies      
The author's claim seems to be simply false; his post explicitly says (quoting Sinofsky):

"In Windows 8, IE 10 is available as a Metro style app and as a desktop app. The desktop app continues to fully support all plug-ins and extensions." (emphasis mine)

15
StrawberryFrog 5 days ago 0 replies      
If Microsoft is all-in on JavaScript on the web and desktop, I guess that Google will have a very hard time convincing them to switch to Dart instead.
16
imurray 5 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if Microsoft provided a non-silverlight interface to the Feynman lectures that they have the rights to: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/escience/archive/2009/07/15/project-...
17
Tichy 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hm, plugins have other uses than just displaying legacy data formats. I want to be able to enhance the web sites I regularly visit. OK, and filter ads while I am at it.
18
Hominem 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have invested a lot of time into sivlerlight app. I think the best possible outcome is that Windows 8 Metro will support silverlight natively and silverlight apps will be sold in the app store. I always thought of silverlight as a stalking horse to get people hooked on XAML and C# anyway.
19
runjake 4 days ago 0 replies      
It should be noted before the usual MS flames roll in that Silverlight is an umbrella product name for the underlying technologies. The same underlying technologies that encompass WPF and Metro.

You'll still be using the same XAML/C#/etc

20
tcarnell 5 days ago 0 replies      
It wasn't necesarily a bad idea to compete with Flash, but SilverLight was about 10 years too late and offered no reason for the entire world to switch from Flash.

Thus, the end of SilverLight was just a question of 'when', not 'if'.

21
michaelpinto 5 days ago 3 replies      
Is this true? From the article: "The Metro-style browser in Windows 8 does not support plugins: This means no Flash, no QuickTime, no PDF readers, and no Silverlight. The companies that use Flash or Silverlight to augment their websites are going to have the most trouble. Since they cannot simply port their code to Metro they will need to need go rewrite the components from scratch using HTML and JavaScript."
22
iam 4 days ago 0 replies      
Even if Metro does not allow Silverlight plugins, it is still using WinRT, which is using XAML UIs and more importantly developers can use C# to write apps against it. So the knowledge isn't entirely lost, it's just transferred.
23
melling 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is Metro UI only for tablets? I was under the impression that was going to be the default desktop UI too. In what mode will desktop IE run by default?
24
nextparadigms 5 days ago 0 replies      
But if they are giving up Flash....does that mean they will start using WebM in IE10?
25
jslatts 5 days ago 2 replies      
All this consternation and speculation (and general negativeness) about a completely alpha stage product is why Apple does not show their products (much) before release.

Think about it. Now if you are Microsoft, you have to decide whether your vision is good or if you should "listen" to what the market is telling you and shift your strategy. Glad I don't have to make that decision.

26
kaylarose 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is Netflix in-browser streaming still dependent on Silverlight?
27
Apocryphon 4 days ago 0 replies      
How much money did Microsoft sink into Silverlight?
28
melling 5 days ago 0 replies      
Steve Jobs once said that Apple and Microsoft are 100% of the PC market and if they agree on something it becomes a standard. These days we need to consider Google too. Anyway, it looks like HTML5 just became the "official" standard.
23
Facebook and Heroku heroku.com
257 points by briandoll  4 days ago   61 comments top 16
1
davcro 4 days ago 4 replies      
Amazing. Way back in 2007 I taught myself how to code by making small Facebook apps. I started out by editing live PHP files on a shared server from A Small Orange ($3.33 a month!). After a few months I a few apps with traffic around 30k DAU. A Small Orange would automatically shutdown the apps every couple hours. I'd email them and complain about their shoddy hosting service. They'd always respond instantly apologizing and putting the apps back online. After a couple weeks I realized that I had a scaling problem and began learning how to setup a dedicated server. Over the next two years I spent about 80% of my time wrestling with hardware, setting up load balancers, configuring cache and db servers, and other operational nightmares. I had little time or energy to work on improving my apps or building new products.

Then I discovered Heroku. I would have done anything to have this when I started out. The platform teaches (forces) you how to build a scalable architecture. You can try out new ideas for apps for essentially nothing (1 dyno is zero dollars). Since moving to Heroku I spend about 5% of my time working ops. The craziest thing is I've actually saved money since switching from dedicated hardware to Heroku. I was really bad at configuring servers and the stuff I built was inefficient and expensive. Heroku's cloud stacks are optimized better than my old hardware environment.

Heroku's architecture is great for wild traffic swings common with Facebook apps. Well except for their database services. They don't seem reliable or scalable. I prefer RDS.

In sum, Facebook and Heroku is a great starting place for learning to build web apps. I would have done anything to have this tech four yeas ago.

2
alexandros 4 days ago 7 replies      
Ok, I'll be the mean one. While I am happy for heroky and everything, I am not sure why this move matters. Was hosting what was holding back the facebook app ecosystem? I was under the impression that the only successes there were Zynga and.. i'm sure there's others? Modernising hosting and support is great, but I thought it was the inconsistent policies and favouritism, and maybe the nature of the medium that killed that scene, not lack of hosting support.
3
briandoll 4 days ago 4 replies      
This is pure win. The screencast on this post shows that with one click you get a deployed app (in the language you choose) that ships with an app template that uses the Facebook APIs to get you started.

We're witnessing a Facebook app that creates real living Facebook apps. Heroku continues to impress with insanely easy onboarding of folks new to deploying web apps, and building features the way things should work.

It must be amazing to start programming in the age of Heroku.

4
jorde 4 days ago 2 replies      
As a Python developer I was delighted to see Python in the list of supported languages. After cloning the repo you can notice it's just a standard Flask site with Jijna2 templates and helpers for accessing Facebook's API. I can see this as a really easy way to start developing for Facebook and also Python.
5
A-K 4 days ago 0 replies      
Heroku is killing it. It's great to see them adding features and functionality at such a brisk pace.
6
silverlight 4 days ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one who wasn't aware that Heroku announced support for PHP?
7
nomatteus 4 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone see a list of what framework is being used for each language? I created a Ruby app, and it's using Sinatra.

Edit: here's links to all the app templates, for anyone interested:

Python: https://github.com/heroku/facebook-template-python

Ruby: https://github.com/heroku/facebook-template-ruby

Node.js: https://github.com/heroku/facebook-template-nodejs

PHP: https://github.com/heroku/facebook-template-php

8
dave_sullivan 4 days ago 1 reply      
At Dreamforce a couple weeks ago I was wondering how sfdc was going to position Heroku since sfdc has already put a lot of time/effort into selling force.com. Seemed like they were trying to make the argument: "You use heroku for facebook apps and force.com for everything else!" This makes even more sense in that context.
9
2arrs2ells 4 days ago 1 reply      
Remind anyone of the Facebook/Joyent partnership 3-4 years ago?
10
pstinnett 4 days ago 0 replies      
This seems great. I know Facebook is switching (or has switched) to requiring 3rd party apps to use an SSL certificate. Since many of the Facebook apps I've been developing don't really require much (many times they're just informational pages, no user input) it seems like a waste to buy a full domain and SSL cert. Being able to just use Heroku's domain and piggyback SSL could be a big win there.
11
sbauch 4 days ago 2 replies      
Why sinatra and not rails? I've been trying to teach myself ruby (on rails) for an app idea that I have, and this was great news as I'd been having trouble getting off the ground with rails and the koala gem. But for someone new to programming like myself, it seems like there is a ton more learning materials out there for the rails framework than sinatra.

So in a way this seems to me like a very easy way to get a simple app up and running, but I lose all the help that's out there that's specific to the rails framework. Am I being naive in thinking that the little that I've learned about the rails framework won't apply to sinatra?

12
flexterra 4 days ago 0 replies      
I noticed that they offer python hosting now. So I did a little tutorial on how to set up a Django app on Heroku.

http://elweb.co/programacion/how-to-host-django-apps-on-hero...

13
choffstein 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am constantly impressed with Heroku's ability to identify market needs, create partnerships, and deliver product. I would love to see an article or book about their company and its evolution.
14
wiradikusuma 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Apps are created from one of four templates, based on the language choice you make at app creation time: Ruby, Node.js, Python, or PHP." Why no Java?
15
flexterra 4 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome integration and I also noticed Python support. Win!
16
padobson 4 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like a last ditch effort to appease social app developers before they all jump ship to Google+. 4 years too late for me.
25
How prostitution and alcohol make Uber better uber.com
243 points by andrewljohnson  6 days ago   34 comments top 12
1
nhashem 6 days ago 4 replies      
Am I missing something here?

The article basically uses crime as a proxy for "social population density." I'm pretty sure you could also use "restaurant reservations" as a similar proxy, but then I guess you wouldn't get to use words like 'prostitution' in the title of your blog post.

Then, Uber cab riders go to these areas that are densely social. I'm guessing they probably take other modes of transportation too.

Then, something about certain crimes being more prevalent on certain days of the week, with some pretty huge leaps of faiths made in the reasoning and no actual testable data to back it up.

I don't like to post too often on HN if I'm just going to stand there and drink some haterade, but this just seemed like such a sad attempt to put together something for pageviews that I couldn't help myself.

2
pge 6 days ago 3 replies      
Fun data, but one question - there is an implicit assumption that prostitution arrests are proportional to the committing of the crimes. I wonder if weekdays show more prostitution because the cops are busy with other crimes on weekend nights?
3
0x12 6 days ago 1 reply      
These guys have looked very hard at the okcupid postings. Interesting stuff, but it doesn't really show how prostitution and alcohol ended up making uber better in some tangible way. Only that there were some interesting correlations.
4
civilian 6 days ago 1 reply      
Here's a theory: They're only tracking the prostitution that is caught. (That's how crime data works, right?) Wednesday is close enough to the weekend for prostitutes to work, but there's not too many people around. On thursday/friday/saturday there are hoards of partiers & other night life so they can blend in and find johns easily. But on Wednesday they're more likely to be caught.
5
ataranto 6 days ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: people take uber to and from bars. that's it. not sure why that took so many paragraphs and images.
6
MBlume 6 days ago 0 replies      
"So before you go running off screaming about how the welfare state is subsidizing sexy times for retirees, chill out and keep that in mind."

As subsidies go, this one seems pretty obviously positive...

7
nhangen 6 days ago 0 replies      
I was turned off by the style of the author's writing, and couldn't get past the "shut up" line. This post didn't match my feelings of the product at all. All in all, very strange.
8
andrewcooke 6 days ago 0 replies      
interesting, but wasn't there an article posted here in the last 24 hours on being too familiar? maybe they should read that. it was a pretty tiring read.
9
goo 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is such a great look into data-- I've long felt that consumer companies like Uber (and Google and Apple and so on...) have the strongest ability to explore the fabric of today's culture through their data, and it's sweet to see that Uber has opened up some of that understanding to the public.
10
fomojola 6 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting. I wish they'd factor in gender: are they guys ordering or are the girls ordering?
11
jbigelow76 6 days ago 0 replies      
Link title is too narrow in scope; prostitution and alcohol make everything better.
12
networkjester 6 days ago 0 replies      
Fun read; thanks for posting!
26
Bada Bing, Bada Boom: Culture inside Bing worldofsu.com
241 points by xpaulbettsx  2 days ago   96 comments top 17
1
sriramk 2 days ago 2 replies      
For those who may not know Philip.

I worked with Philip shortly back at MSFT. He was one of my favorite people and had all the right core values one would ever want. Someone who got stuff done and cared about it. I thought losing him to FB was a terrible loss for MSFT (he went on to do the FB/Skype integration almost single-handedly). He is not just another disgruntled employee, he is someone MSFT needs to listen to.

No comment on the stuff on Bing. Or Yahoo :).

2
jonnathanson 2 days ago 2 replies      
"People look out for themselves when there's nothing to look forward to."

This is what it all comes down to, whether at Bing, or at any other large organization. The other bullet points on Philip's list are fine, but this one is perhaps wholly sufficient. Politics exists in every organization. And every organization has some folks who are more Machiavellian than others. But all of this crap comes to the forefront, amplified and accelerated, when an organization is in turmoil. (And that atmosphere of turmoil usually trickles down from the top; a divisional leader who's always politicking and maneuvering inspires his lieutenants to do the same, and on and on it goes).

I've had the distinct displeasure of working for at least three large divisions of megagiant companies in varying degrees of peril or stagnation, and all three of them -- despite wildly different corporate cultures and people -- became similar hotbeds of political intrigue. Declining quarterlies led to re-orgs, and re-orgs led to chaos, and chaos bred more chaos. And in this crucible people forged schemes, machinations, alliances, and double-crosses that would make A Game of Thrones look like a Dr. Seuss book.

This phenomenon is notable because the same people, operating in the same groups, did not behave so politically in better times. Like I said, I'm sure that a few of them were always plotting and conniving. But only when the division went into steady decline did the sheep cast off their clothing and reveal the wolves beneath.

3
hello_moto 2 days ago 1 reply      
Programmers think that they hate politics but when it comes down to the actual technical stuff, they do politics as well.

Some programmers want to be "relevant" in the HN sense so they push new technology that they just picked up last week religiously (node.js for a CRUD app, which most websites are anyway, comes to mind) like it is the next big thing.

Or they just read 37Signals books and drank the 37Signals + RoR kool-aid and push 100% 37Signals mindset to the workplace that doesn't fit with that (different target, client base, market, etc). Come back in 3 years time and you'll see the same guy pushing for MVC in client-side/browser as opposed to stick with simplicity yet still pushing 37Signals mindset whenever he refused to do work that doesn't inline with him for whatever reasons (laziness, or else).

Or perhaps they came back from Agile meeting and think that Scrum is the only way to run a project that everybody else must follow it. (Hint: Scrum is hard to understand and to apply to a large group of people who don't know Scrum 100%). On the flip side, cowboy coders hate a single addition of "process" even if that process is called Continuous Integration. They'll do whatever it takes to make sure they can continue to code like cowboys.

Even the unit-test debate can be considered as politics. Some people want the company to rely on themselves so they prefer no unit-tests. Programmers are notorious with locking in the knowledge in their brain only hence no unit-tests, no documentations. Just Read The F... Code they say. C'mon, don't give me excuses that these are useless except for your weekend projects. We all know that most startups develop from prototypes. They almost rarely re-write their main (with odd codebase) products.

... more reasons to be an indie developer I suppose...

4
eric_boyd 2 days ago 2 replies      
What an odd blog post!

I've been on the Bing Ads side for the past two years. I overlapped with Philip very briefly at MSFT. When I started, he was working in a group that had nothing to do with Bing. I had a couple pretty positive email exchanges and generally thought highly of the guy, but certainly didn't know him well.

Today, out of the blue, about a year after he left MSFT, he writes a scathing critique of a culture that he hasn't been a part of for 3+ years (I don't honestly know when he was at Bing), and writes about it in the present tense without any clarification that the events are in the past. On his Facebook post, Philip comments that the test director incident happened 5 years ago. His blog reads like it happened last week.

Qi Lu joined MSFT less than 3 years ago to take over Bing and all of online services. When Qi took it on, it was called Live Search. It had been losing market share every month for years. Since Bing launched, it's market share has risen every month. It's quite possible that the culture Philip worked in was every bit as broken as he describes. But the team I work in, I can speak to it being a fantastic place to work now. Qi has been upgrading the talent top down and now I find it filled with very smart people making real progress, both in the quality of the search engine, and in the market share gains over the past two years.

Are there still some political people? Of course, every large organization has them. But the company Philip writes about doesn't sound like the one I work in.

Obvious disclaimer about the fact that I'm a current employee and thus biased.

5
jmillikin 2 days ago 7 replies      
Independent of the post, does anybody else find the OCCASIONAL BOLD PHRASES very distracting? I can't make up my mind whether to READ THEM WITH EMHPASIS, as one might hear in verbal speech, or try to find a CLEVER HIDDEN MESSAGE from the author.
6
mynameishere 2 days ago  replies      
unless Google, like most of Microsoft's previous competitors, summarily shoots itself via a series of disastrous decisions

It's possible. Corporations change. The difference in quality is slight, but google has been making some ludicrous mistakes lately (IMHO, obviously):

1. Google instant. This is such shit I can hardly believe it. Yeah, I can turn it off, but the average person is going to be charmed by the gimmick of it without realizing how awful it is. On unfamiliar computers, I go to bing automatically.

2. The disinclusion of search terms. This happened all the time pre-google, and now it's happening at google with every query. You have to affix a plus sign on every term if you want it actually searched. Again, normal people are unaware.

3. The debasement of the brand. I'm talking about the non-stop cutesy-pie logos. What if Coke did this?

4. Very public flops outside their area of expertise. Google+, etc.

...these four things aren't going to hurt google too much, but they tell me that the lunatics are now in charge.

7
Cherian_Abraham 2 days ago 2 replies      
From the post: Yet the same people who led the 30-person MSN Search team retained key leadership positions in the 3,000-person Bing team. How, exactly, does this happen?

I would say, more often than not when you work in large corporations where either teams have grown uncontrollably, or where certain people who happened to be present in key positions early, has enough clout organizationally to warrant the same position even when the team grows or its responsibilities grow.

I have seen where consulting firms at Client organizations, where the Team Lead on the first client project who is managing three developers end up being the Program manager years later overseeing 40-50 consultants, with no real leadership experience.

8
bconway 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I once witnessed a debate between two leaders in Bing about whether Microsoft network proxies should be modified to redirect all employee traffic targeted at Google towards Bing instead. Never mind that employees were using Google; someone actually thought the way to win was to force them to use Bing. 鈥淚 know, we'll make them use it!鈥

I love this mentality. With everyone else, it's dogfooding and is a highly recommended practice, especially here on HN. With Microsoft, it's forcing your employees to use something against their will.

9
rachelbythebay 2 days ago 2 replies      
I decided to do a test and switched my in-browser search bar to Bing. So far, I haven't had any reason to object. I still get results which do what I want.

Also, I could swear that Bing Maps is actually faster than Google in terms of loading tiles, scrolling around, and all of that. Google Maps just sticks at times, for some reason. It's amazing to see it fall so far, considering that smooth-scrolling maps at Google is what brought me over from Mapquest years ago.

I'd love to see someone continue the result comparisons with the brands filed off. It might surprise people.

10
dreamux 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone have a link to the study referenced in here which says people prefer bing results to google's when logos are reversed? This seems like something MSFT's marketing department would be trumpeting at every opportunity...

EDIT: The closest I've found is this - http://blindsearch.fejus.com/ which lets users vote up anonymous result sets. However, the last reported numbers (from 2009) show Google in the lead. Oh well.

11
nostrademons 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are there seriously 3000 people working on Bing?
12
rafaelferreira 2 days ago 0 replies      
The post starts out sending a disgruntled-employee vibe, but it improves later on. The OP conjectures about how an organization becomes more heavily political than the rest of a company are pretty interesting.
13
parallel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apologies in advance for making a fairly trivial observation but I really like this guys use of bold in the text. It's a little like a tabloid newspaper but I found that it genuinely added to the writing making it more readable and more amusing.
14
ck2 2 days ago 0 replies      
did you know that employees yodel at the end of their company meetings

Sure hope that is voluntary or they have the Walmart management of the web. (google "walmart cheer")

15
foxit 2 days ago 0 replies      
The question I have after reading this post is: What about his NDA? At a higher level, do they not demand signing of those? I certainly had one.
16
pcj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any insights on how this (sustaining a healthy and positive culture with growth) is handled in Google/Apple/even Facebook?
17
jroseattle 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found Philip's article to be remarkably uninteresting. He observed political machinations in a large company -- what a shock! I don't care if he has been out of the space for 3 years, or if he's in the middle of it today -- he didn't identify anything about organizational behavior that isn't already known. Move along, nothing to see here....
27
TinyProj connects developers, designers, etc. with paid, short-term projects. kylewritescode.com
238 points by jmonegro  5 days ago   74 comments top 29
1
Mizza 5 days ago 2 replies      
I've noticed this need as well, and launched something similar: http://gun.io

It's free for Open Source, and a 10% fee for non-Free projects. Winner-take-all!

Hopefully we'll both work to create a culture which helps independent developers help each other. Good luck! Email me if you're interested in collaboration.

2
jasonkester 5 days ago 1 reply      
How is this different than the ten thousand established freelance sites it's competing with? Everything from guru to odesk to rentacoder to scriptlance already does what this does, as well as handling payment and rating developers.

The Freelance game has plenty of problems, but frankly a shortage of places to post jobs is not one of them.

3
nhangen 5 days ago 1 reply      
Kyle, huge fan, and we've talked via Skype in the past, so I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I'm curious...why not create this as part of Forrst instead of as a separate venture? It seems like you could get some reach, while also adding value to the people paying a monthly supporter fee.

I think this service looks great, but I'm bummed that it was integrated as a supporter benefit.

Edit: I see now that it is a benefit to Forrst members, but in the opposite way I had predicted. Any plans to allow the trading of acorns for job posts? Sometimes it's nice to have backup on projects :)

4
DanielStraight 5 days ago 0 replies      
I signed up. Loved the simplicity of it all. I also love how I can just sit back and watch what comes through passively without having to go search through stuff. No idea if I'll actually take any projects, but I'm definitely a fan of the interface.
5
ericHosick 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hi. I added a project.

Few points:

  * Are Incremental Days Necessary(1-21)? 1,2,3,7,14,31 maybe? Also, up to 1 month?

* The 1000 character limit thing was a pain.

Good luck on your project. Lets see if you are able to find someone for our project.

6
kylebragger 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty excited about this. If you submit a project, mention HN and I'll give you 50% off the first one.
7
dendory 5 days ago 1 reply      
They send an email every Saturday? That seems somewhat.. not very useful. A site with a list of projects and the number of interested bids and such would work much better.
8
mixmastamyk 5 days ago 2 replies      
An odd comment I know but this is the second time Ive seen "made in NYC" today in the footer of a webpage. Don't know what to make of it. Perhaps I'll add made in Tijuana to mine?
9
mise 5 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats on this, very smart (you've kept it simple).

Is this a good way to get designers, I wonder? The alternative that seems that it might work better, browsing portfolios and contacting your favourite designers, as written by Andrew: http://andrewseddon.com/post/3402344430/how-to-find-a-design...

10
ThomPete 5 days ago 2 replies      
Congrats Kyle and welcome to the world of very small projects.

Maybe we can help each other out :)

11
paul9290 5 days ago 1 reply      
Im in the mist of starting up a digital agency with friends. We are all creative and or technical people. Our weak point is a lack of strong sales skills to secure sizable business contracts.

I was thinking of creating a site like sales guy/gal meet development/designer team. Maybe this exists already?

12
pud 5 days ago 1 reply      
How confidential is it? If I submit a project:
A) who will get to read about the project?
B) will everyone who can see the listing also see my name?

I'm in semi-stealth. I want few people to know what my project is, and nobody to know that it's mine (except the designer).

13
B-Scan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Got my first mail. It's great! Nice job.
Only one thing: it will be good that links in the mail open some preview page where you click on "Connect" button. Didn't expect CCing on link click.
14
pacomerh 5 days ago 0 replies      
I personally like the idea of getting the listings on email. Having the list of jobs online seems more vulnerable for spam. Let's see how it evolves. Thanks
15
gsharma 5 days ago 1 reply      
I like the idea, but I would feel a lot more comfortable about "1,000 rad folks" if the site gives an idea of what kind of these people are. For instance, these are top 250 users in the category on Forrst. Sample profiles would help as well.
16
parallel 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm interesting in submitting a project but I don't know how much to offer for it. In a "marketplace" you get to see what other people are offering and what's being accepted. I'd like to see this sort of information.
17
athst 5 days ago 1 reply      
I like this idea a lot. I wish you could just view the listings on the site instead of having to wait for a weekly email. That's what I was expecting, and having to wait is just annoying.
18
mrschwabe 5 days ago 0 replies      
Cool project. I have a similar idea but one that is based on hours, not cash.
19
grotm001 5 days ago 1 reply      
I was about to use it for several projects when I realized I have no idea who I'm going to working with on the projects. Is it 1-on-1 all the time?
20
OneWhoFrogs 5 days ago 3 replies      
What does TinyProj offer that WeekendHacker doesn't? The latter is free and has six times as many subscribers.
21
bwooce 5 days ago 1 reply      
It may also help to specify the currency(s) involved...yes we'll all assume it's USD for now.
22
corroded 5 days ago 3 replies      
i am confused as to why you just didn't take a screenshot...you actually "shot" your screen...

In any case, signed up :P great idea btw

23
etdebruin 5 days ago 0 replies      
I registered itppl.com YEARS ago for something similar to this but never got it started. Good job :)
24
DallaRosa 5 days ago 0 replies      
Cool just registered as a developer and should registering a project soon :)
25
geoffc 5 days ago 1 reply      
Nice idea. Good luck!
26
RMacy 5 days ago 0 replies      
This has a lot of potential -- signed up -- good job!
27
perfunctory 5 days ago 1 reply      
How do you deal with spam?
28
thom_r 5 days ago 0 replies      
any geographical limitations ? (say I'm in EU, project is in the US, etc ..)
I suppose it will have to be dealt separately for each project or ?
29
iklavya 5 days ago 0 replies      
How is this different from elance.com and scriptlance.com?
29
Pirate Party Germany gets into the parliament for the state of Berlin piratenpartei.de
251 points by FrojoS  1 day ago   64 comments top 16
1
Luyt 1 day ago 6 replies      
Arrrr, me hearties, I still can't get used to the term 'pirate' that is slapped upon people who copy digital music.

A pirate is a criminal at sea, who inititiates violence against sea travelers. Pirates steal property (like vessels) and valuables, and it's not uncommon that pirates murder their victims, or take them hostage for a ransom.

How the term 'pirate' ever could be used to denote kids swapping MP3's, is unfathomable to me. The analogy is ludicrous. But maybe it could be because pirate (the seafaring kind) communities in the 18th century had a liberal approach to freedom, which was unusual in that time, and maybe that extrapolates somehow to the liberal file swapping in our digital age. Which doesn't, by the way, harm anyone, nor takes away things from people.

2
FrojoS 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a funny fact, that shows that even the Berlin Pirates them self did not dream of a greater success: According to the current exit-poll estimations, they would get 15 seats in the parliament. That's exactly the number of candidates they assigned. Would they get more seats, those seats would have to stay empty.

Though, as others have pointed out, its more likely, that their share will go down once all votes are counted out.

3
loevborg 1 day ago 1 reply      
The German political spectrum is interesting to watch at the moment. There are substantial changes, with real consequences on all levels. So far I think this is democracy doing its job well. Thus established parties, like the "liberals" (FDP) and the Greens, have neglected topics like data privacy, net neutrality. The creation of a new party, like the Greens in the eighties and the Pirates in the aughts, is a drastic sign that the agenda needs updating. Let's hope that the German political system is stable enough to sustain substantive changes to the political landscape without instability.
4
nextparadigms 1 day ago 1 reply      
Glad to see that the party that actually fights for Internet liberties, rather than for the companies lobbying them, is starting to get more and more political power in all these different countries where it exists.
5
aw3c2 1 day ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, the linked page currently does show pre-vote estimates, not the current numbers. The results will be official later.
6
Create 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't help not to wonder, who's counter-revolution this is exactly...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/09/the_curse_of_t...

7
cabalamat 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is an exit poll rather than the actual result. Nevertheless, WELL DONE PIRATES!
8
mdariani 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good Job. Let's see how they will perform over time. At least there will be some very young and motivated people in the berlin parliament.
10
aualin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great stuff, let's hope this happens in Sweden as well
11
etaty 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is it because of Apple suing Samsung?
(PP is against patents)
12
jaryd 1 day ago 2 replies      
*Parliament?
13
melvinng 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice this is just like the Swedish party that took seats in the European Parliament in 2009.
14
zeynalov 1 day ago 1 reply      
No, they doesn't get into the parliament, it's only an exit-poll, not official.
15
NanoWar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yarrrrr! Still voting green, but good job!
16
oemera 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm little confused that this is a popular news at HN. They fight for Internet stuff but they also deny that there was an Holocaust in Germany.

For me this is pretty bad news to hear that they will get into the parliament.

Source for denying the holocaust: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js...

30
HTML5 Map of the the World Migrations using SVG, Raphael.js and offline storage migrationsmap.net
235 points by madewulf  2 days ago   63 comments top 23
1
nl 2 days ago 0 replies      
People who like exploring statistics like this (as opposed to just being impressed by the nice technical implementation - which I love, btw) should take a look at GapMinder.

Eg:

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly...

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#http://www.gapminder.org/wor...

The Hans Rosling TED talk is fantastic too: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_y...

2
CoreDumpling 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's understandable that several places don't have data (NaN), but I found it curious that Burma/Myanmar is missing from the map [1], much like the "Poland Sea" in a Microsoft Date/Time screen from yesteryear [2].

Did you create this map data or get it from somewhere else? Is this some kind of joke?

[1] http://i.imgur.com/m8Wce.png

[2] https://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2006/10/27/8804...

3
fbnt 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nice and interesting, well done! I also like the offline caching feature.

The only tiny imperfection I see it's in the lines connecting two countries, I'd like to see an arrow so I know if I'm looking at arrivals or departures.

Is there a way to filter the GMO database to see only the current migration flow (say, last 5 years)?

4
narain 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is really informative, and very well done to boot. Great work!

The colour scheme struck me as a little odd, though. It goes from darker (more migration) to lighter (less migration) but then abruptly to dark grey (no migration), making it harder to interpret at first glance. It would be nice if it were somewhat monotonic: bright colour = more migration, darker/duller colour = less migration, dark grey = no migration.

5
SudarshanP 1 day ago 0 replies      
The blue arrow next to the arrivals and departures selection, acts like a radio buttion, but looks like an arrow. This is misleading... I was wondering why it said "Arrivals => Deprture" which looked weird... only after i clicked around, it was obvious that it was acting like a radio button.
6
ofca 2 days ago 1 reply      
Fascinating how boring data may be presented interesting and fresh by simple vizualisation. This remings me of the TED talk given by Hans Rosling about global statistics of population, mortality, internet access etc. Whoever made this map should contact mr. Hans, I smell collaboration there.
7
brianbreslin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some data seems strange to me.
Why would 123k mexicans go to pakistan?
Or 30k mexicans go to Congo?
http://migrationsmap.net/#/MEX/departures

and I understand this is lifetime, but still those two destinations seem unlikely to me.

fascinating map nonetheless.

8
davidwparker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great job and I really enjoyed the visualizations. If you have the data, I would love to see migrations over time.
9
bencevans 2 days ago 3 replies      
Really Responsive too and it all works in Opera or seemed to anyway, so many developers forget about Opera because it doesn't have the same amount of marketing as the others. But anyway Sweet Build!
10
corporalagumbo 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is this data? Is it last year's migrations? Averages? More context is needed.
11
fauigerzigerk 2 days ago 3 replies      
Very nice. I was wondering how difficult it would be to capture a particular state of the map (say UK departures) as a PNG for embedding or generating a PDF. Could you do that on the server side?
12
dropshopsa 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is awesome really enjoyed it, spent about 20 mins checking out how people and moving around the world.

I would include a zoom function, some small countries are hard to find.

13
wyclif 1 day ago 1 reply      
The English on the About page needs some work. Pay attention to singular and plural, for example.
14
mhidalgo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kind of crazy to see how almost every Country on the list has the United States as a destination.
15
zalew 2 days ago 1 reply      
I see various migrations lacking - f.ex. Polish to Brazil, and Vietnamese to Poland. why is that?
16
rue 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see this in the Peters projection, but otherwise quite fun!
17
majika 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's an ordering issue for Faroe Islands departures. I think it might be doubling single-digit quantities - everything below Panama (10 departures) is a duplicated number. I'm on Firefox 6.0.2, Linux AMD64.
18
paulkoer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very impressive, nicely done! Spent a couple of minutes exploring migrant streams.

Minor nitpick: When I click on 'Macedonia' the origin point appears in Sweden. When I click on 'Serbia' it appears in Canada.

19
bwblabs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks great! The population of Saint Helena is NaN and also there is something wrong with the arrows..

BTW changing #hashcode based on the country looking at would be great too.

20
qikquestion 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting...there is a huge migration from Brazil to China..can someone point out whats the reason?
21
edswangren 2 days ago 1 reply      
The GDP of Somalia is apparently so low it is NaN.
22
ronmac 1 day ago 0 replies      
For more data visualization check out www.bricbracs.com/splash
23
sudobear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fantastic
       cached 20 September 2011 15:11:01 GMT