Snowden is charged with "willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person," which -- I think sensibly -- is illegal even if the unauthorized person is a reporter and even if you had good intentions.
I'm not a lawyer, but if he wants to argue that he's innocent or that the law is unconstitutional, it seems like the courtroom is the right place to make that argument.
A plea bargain would require him admitting wrongdoing.
He raised internal concerns over the illegal activities he saw and was told to be quiet. Snowden himself has said he feared what happened to John Kiriakou (the whistleblower who exposed CIA's illegal torture program) happening to him had he made an even bigger issue out of it.
The people who should be supporting rigorous checks on government authority and overstep simply aren't; the system is out of control and punishes those who speak up about illegal activity. He did what any reasonable person would have done in his situation when confronted with a massive criminal conspiracy.
A plea deal would allow the government to taint his actions, which were nothing short of heroic.
The former is arguably whistleblowing, but the latter is not. Even Greenwald and Binney admit this.
See the reddit comment for details and links to sources. Particularly interesting are Snowden's admitted reasons for working at the NSA in the first place, before he knew of the domestic spying.
I don't think I could trust the US intelligence apparatus to not get me into some kind of "accident" or come up with some fake charges to put me into prison. Not to mention the risk of some "patriot" taking justice into his/her own hands.
Which is very sad, but unless the political landscape in the USA - and internationally - undergoes some major changes, coming back to the USA would be a stupid move for Mr. Snowden, unless he is ready to go to Jail for a long time. And given the example of Bradley/Chelsea Manning, that does not sound very inviting.
I think the primary impact has been the complete erosion of whatever goodwill the United States had among the citizenry (n.b. not the governments) of her allies.
That obviously doesn't matter in the short term; but so many things don't matter in the short term.
Put yourself in Snowden's shoes. What could anyone in the government say to you that would convince you it was safe to return to the USA?
Ticker tape parades, a federal holiday, buy 1 get 1 free at Carl's Jr. - celebrate what this man did.
Well, I'm sure if they had respected our right to privacy, Snowden would have respected theirs.
1. Exposed the tools and techniques of domestic surveillance.2. Exposed the tools and techniques of foreign surveillance.
The idea of not prosecuting Snowden seems to focus on the commendable exposure of the full extent of the domestic program.
I just don't see how one can ignore his exposure of the perfectly legal foreign intelligence gathering.
Is this like Obama's USA? What is the purpose of calling it Putin's Russia?
"...the agency had breached its own privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times a year since 2008."
"Mr. Snowden committed very serious crimes... that he should face."
One thing that struck me is that after reading this, it seemed like a mathematical tally that was entirely reasonable that he be given a life sentence given the point system.
Given that the first instances in the guidelines where life sentences are handed out are treason and espionage (drug trafficking is second), isn't there a significant concern that if Snowden came back, already admitting what he did, he'd just rot in prison with a pre-tallied up score?
Never, never, never going to happen. Not in this generation, anyway. Maybe in 20, 30 years.
We don't view the reporters who uncovered Watergate this way--why him?
0 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espionage_Act_of_1917
Was he hired to secure them, but then stole them?
Isn't this treason?
Let him come back. If there is enough evidence against him, then he can stand trial.
If he is innocent; then the government won't be able to prove a case against him.
It's where I want to go. Also you have YET to show ANY evidence that we are more safe or more free from terrorism by surrounding our rights to privacy.
>He also disputed the "back door" term used by experts to describe such built-in access points. "We're not looking at going through a back door or being nefarious," he argued, saying that the agency wants to be able to access content after going through a judicial process.
You mean "Rubber Stamp Judicial Process"? Even if you didn't the mere fact that these backdoors (you can rename it all your want it's a BACKDOOR) exist make the whole system LESS secure. What a clown and this is the AD of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division??? Fuck....
Regardless, This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, and should not be speaking, at all. Above all else.
I'm not against the FBI; I understand why they want this and what it means to not have this kind of access. But they can't have it, and there are hundreds of reasons why its a truly horrible idea.
This is just ANOTHER excuse to strip away our rights for the sake of "fighting the terrorists" and "keeping us safe." Enough is enough. Just do your fucking job and stop trying to power play everything.
I don't care what legal blessings or rights of passage you get; if something of mine is encrypted, and i didn't give you access, it's not for you. That I could encrypt crazy stuff or plots or whatever is true; tough shit. There are other ways to sniff out nefarious people, and bring them to justice; the FBI just wants everything served to them on a plate.
Also, please stop putting stupid fucks like this in government. Infuriatingly dumb. Sacrificing our rights is not the way to fight terrorism; it's a path to self destruction from within.
Encryption IS a national security concern.
When government agencies discourage encryption, or fail to report known software vulnerabilities, they're acting against national security interests.
This joker should lose his job. He does not represent the values of this country,
So they would argue that this doesn't apply once we eliminate paper as a medium.
Also, but, but, but... They're only collecting metadata, right?
"But Steinbach's testimony also suggests he meant that companies shouldn't put their customers' access to encryption ahead of national security concerns -- rather than saying the government's top priority should be preventing the use of the technology that secures basically everything people do online."
Here is the actual hearing: http://www.c-span.org/video/?326360-1/hearing-cartoon-contes...
The hearing was concerning ISIS use of social media as a recruitment platform and how it related to the recent shootings in Garland, Texas and in Boston on Tuesday.
The subject of encryption is not the primary focus of the hearing, but when it does come up I think he makes his point clear at about 39:30 when says this: "I think we need an honest conversation and get past the rhetoric of what we are talking about. We're not talking about large scale surveillance techniques. We are talking about going before the court, whether the criminal court or the national security court, with evidence, a burden of proof/probable cause, suggesting a crime has been committed or in our case there is a terrorist and showing that burden of proof, having the court sign off on it, and then going to those providers and requesting access to the stored information or communications that's ongoing. So we're not looking at going through a backdoor or being nefarious - we're talking about going to the company and asking for their assistance. We suggest and we are imploring Congress to help us seek legal remedies to that and asking companies to provide technological solutions to help that. We understand privacy. Privacy above all other things including safety and freedom from terrorism is not where we want to go. "
He later goes on to suggest expanding he scope of CALEA to include more than just telecommunications companies.
If people are going to debate this topic, I think they should start from his actual position and not a half sentence soundbite.
The logo will be a semi-open padlock with a FBI agent holding a FISA court order.
for RSA: https://github.com/travist/jsencrypt for AES: https://code.google.com/p/crypto-js/
Add to this: a distributed message passing system: something like torrents with channels shared by multiple users so that you can't easily see who is sending to who with enough traffic.
Also for identity verification: use the bitcoin block chain as a CA.
Anyway, think of a single-page web-app, where the page is stored along with your private identity file on a USB-key (this avoids the security hole of having to download it every time).
Let's also make it crystal clear to the more sophisticated criminals that they do, in fact, need to do it themselves.
Giving the FBI an easy way to put small time drug dealers in their pocket should obviously be a top priority of software companies.
I will vote for any politician who will tell these people to go fuck themselves.
There is one way and one way only to do that. Remove all general purpose computing devices from the hands of the public, and make it illegal to manufacture or distribute them, or knowledge of how to do so. I can't see it happening, myself.
Cory Doctorow, on the coming war on general purpose computation (although he thought it would be the copyright lobby)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUEvRyemKSg
If the FBI isn't mining normal citizens data for loose connections to stuff that is none of their business, then their is no need for them to have access to the systems they want.
The only argument that could be made is that criminals are stupid and may not use proper encryption on their own, therefore we should watch what everyone is doing so that we can catch these particularly dumb criminals.
The goal of the FBI in all their statements is to try and convince the public that "only criminals need encryption; everyone else should let us watch everything they do." 1984 anyone?
" You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack"
So terrorism clearly isn't the issue they are trying to address. That's what makes the people that run the various fiefdoms within our government - people that are not elected, do not answer to the public, and who rarely leave their jobs - so scary. We know they are lying, but to what end? What will their successors do with the power they garner using fear of terrorism? We are rapidly approaching Orwell's worst nightmare.
And I'm not interested in the FBI trying to create one.
Really, what the FBI is saying (clumsily) is that companies should work with the FBI to ensure that sound encryption doesn't trump every other concern.
So the FBI has a tough row to hoe here, if the people who would otherwise support it are alienated as I am
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." - Lincoln
Which "companies" and which "nation"?
Is he proposing Baidu need to work with the FBI to further US national security? Or Xaiomi? Is he proposing Apple and Google should provide whatever-he-wants-to-rename-backdoor-keys* to the Chinese and Iraqi governments for their "national security"?
[*] I propose "Freedom Keys" to replace "backdoors"
Also, though I'm not surprised by the fact they're against encryption - They've been against it all through the court case against Phil Zimmerman for example - I am surprised how tone-deaf their arguments are beginning to sound. It's like they don't understand there's a real public debate happening around them.
"Back door" does not imply nefariousness, it just implies a way around normal protections, which is exactly what they want. Tim Cook used the term "a key under the doormat". I like that description.
Anyone can see that if you leave a key under the door mat for a friend, an enemy may find it. It's inherently unsafe.
Now add to that analogy: 1) unlike in meatspace, the homeowner can't pick an unlikely hiding spot; instead, the authorities would mandate the exact same hiding spot for every house, 2) unlike in meatspace, the enemy has an automated swarm of invisible robots looking for house keys and committing theft and arson, 3) unlike the situation where you hide a key for a friend, the key would be there permanently, not just for a day or two.
All of these issues make it clear that this is a bad idea, even ASSUMING that the government is perfectly trustworthy.
Back door: any circumvention of normal access. Normal access in this case would be access after decryption. It's irrelevant whether it's supported by judicial process, it's still a back door, just one that they aren't hiding the use of.
He says he's not looking for a back door (which is a lie, but members of Congress don't understand that, nor the public), and he associates it with the word "nefarious."
The FBI, masterfully twisting the language since 1908.
I am more worried about them handling the backdoors.
Doesn't the government already have the ability to get around it, without compromising security? They can subpoena your password or private key.
If this is not good enough for him, that means he wants the ability to decrypt messages without judicial process. Like messages in other countries where the FBI is prohibited from operating. Or mass data collection, reading the messages of millions of innocent people in an attempt to catch one criminal. I don't want the FBI to do either of these things.
There is nothing about the advent of new communications technologies that gives governments the authority to mandate circumventions for them. It's a attempt to preserve a status quo that never existed.
Engineers that get rid of security or do it half way are seen as bad.
Yet people enforcing the law, stripping away laws and rights they are here to protect, do this to make it easier for 'national security'.
Respect for the law has taken a huge dive down with the War on Terrorism and the War on Drugs with many similar parallels. It appears to be diving even further. Good quality detective work is being worked out in favor of constant surveillance.
Two things strike me about these issues. Firstly there is a disconnect between a lot of citizens and those who are supposed to be there to protect those citizens; and second, we need to decide how much risk we are prepared to accept for freedom.
The FBI, MI5, and their ilk are there to protect the people. Yet an awful lot of the people talk about the likes of the FBI as thought they are just doing what they do because it pleases them, and them alone. But Im pretty sure the FBI believe that they are there to protect the people. To that end, I believe the people who work in the FBI are sincere. Somehow this must be reconciled.
As must freedom v's risk. I think there needs to be a rational debate about how much risk we are prepared to accept for an agreed amount of freedom. We simply cant have freedom with out risk. The only way to eliminate risk, is to eliminate freedom.
People need to address these two issues fairly soon, other wise, I think we are all in a while lot of trouble.
It probably won't ever happen, but as a "live and let live" kind of guy who nevertheless recognizes there are truly evil people out there, and the purpose of government almost above all else is to protect society from them, I think the policy which would make the most sense for this sort of thing would be for a government to simply come up with a sort of digital social contract with its citizens:
We couldn't care less if you're buying weed on the internet, or cocaine, or if you're selling them, or emailing your mistress, or pirating HD tentacle hentai. You can do these things in public or private, as you so choose. In the digital realm, we respect your privacy and subscribe to the principle of de minimis.
In return, we're going to require that encrypted internet traffic in our country be routed through our servers, with software that flags a limited amount of suspicious, IP-anonymized traffic for human review. If the algorithm turns out out to be wrong in your case and the email was only about the nuclear bomb-grade heroin you snorted off the Pakistani general's long-range missile during your secret gay tryst in Islamabad, we don't care. We'll destroy those records immediately, and there's no way for our human reviewers to see your IP address. We know exactly who reviewed your records and we'll throw the book at any one of them who leaks any private data.
And because we have lent our citizens this exceptional freedom to use the internet for any peaceful purpose, that means encrypted traffic that isn't routed through our servers must be treated as suspicious. It may or may not be legitimate, but much of it may well be related to terrorism or violent crime, or child pornography, or financial crime, or foreign agents. So, we will continue our policy as stated above; we won't punish you just for using encryption illegally, but doing so does give us reason for questioning you and requesting access to your private keys.
The problem is that the more the government watches everybody, the more people will encrypt. The logical path would to forbid anybody to tap lines. Then, of course, encryption would not be necessary, since data would flow securely.
Also, as long as its the authorities, as long as data does not fall into the hand of private interests (which is a risk), I don't see what the government would do about this ability to spy on its people since government represent the interest of voters. Ideally of course, in reality there would be many abuses.
By the way I don't understand why the authorities benefit for using Tor.
Of encrypted device users, just how many have not opted to have the key backed up by Apple or Microsoft? Backing up seems to be default, which is self-elected key escrow. 99% of the the rest of everyday users probably have a 4 digit PIN that can be cracked very quickly under forensic examination. Anyone with a real security need is going to be following their own opsec protocols anyway, which they would do with or without a law preventing good default security for everyday users.
They really do seem to be overblowing just how dark the network is to them under their investigatory powers.
If it's easy for the FBI to track people they have a legitimate interest in it'll be easy for some guy on the other side of the world to lift your SSN.
"It's for your own good."
Beyond this, given that every level of access the U.S. government has been given in any kind of automated fashion has been abused... "Fuck 'em" ... They do not have a right to violate the 4th ammendment at any given level just because "papers" and posessions are digital in nature.
This is not what I want for my country, not what I want for my kids.
Some one has an axe to grind and is deliberately misusing the FBI's quote.
I use the Tor Browser Bundle to read my gmail. I figure it's helpful to those working for legitimate regime change, that I put encrypted traffic on the net.
Having all information in plain text frankly scares me more...
I think public schools without bullying would be better and more beneficial objective than protection from terrorists who do not exist.
> On a more practical level, what matters most in our day-to-day lives is that we're good to ourselves and to each other. It's actually not possible to only do one or the other -- we must do both or neither, but that's a topic for another time. Sometimes, when I write about startups or other interests of mine, I worry that perhaps I'm communicating the wrong priorities. Investing money, creating new products, and all the other things we do are wonderful games and can be a lot of fun, but it's important to remember that it's all just a game. What's most important is that we are good too each other, and ourselves. If we "win", but have failed to do that, then we have lost. Winning is nothing.
May Sheryl and her family be free of suffering.
"I have to tell you. I used to resent people. They'd come up to me and say, 'Joe, I know how you feel. I know, right? I knew they meant well. I knew they were genuine. But you knew they didn't have any damn idea."
"For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. I realized someone could go out and I probably shouldn't say this with the press here, but you're more important I realized how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts. Because theyd been to the top of the mountain, and they just knew in their heart theyd never get there again, that it was never going to get never going to be that way ever again."
The realization that it will never be okay, but that I can become more okay with it never being okay. The bizarre feeling of grief so unbearable and yet it being one of the few connections left to someone so important to me, and so being unwilling to let go of it. Even to this day, I revel in that grief. I've learned to look at it as consequence of so many wonderful experiences instead of hurt of so many missed experiences. The feeling of that void inside me is the same, but my reaction to that feeling is now to smile rather than to cry.
My heart goes out to her in this time when everything is so fresh and so confusing. I know the feeling of having had someone taken from me long before I even thought about the possibility and yet I'm sure her experience is distinct from mine in so many ways. But in writing about her pain, she's allowed me to tap back into mine in a way that I'm thankful for.
I guess this is one of those dumb culturally ingrained traits, because rationally I cannot really come up with any reason why it should make me feel so uneasy, but I feel like I'm gawking when I read someone describing their grief so publicly.
I wish her and her family the best. May they find the strength to go on.
"Let me not die, while I am still alive..."
That's powerful stuff. The idea of asking for more time like a kid in a swimming pool - just 5 more minutes!
I hope I do die while I'm still alive though. Dying after I'm done living sounds worse.
My thoughts go out to her and her family.
My deepest condolences to Sheryl, as well as anyone else who reads this who has lost a loved one. Life is both amazing and delicate, and I think we could all focus a little more on the little things that make all the difference. I know I could.
> "Celebrate your birthday, goddammit. You are lucky to have each one."
It's strange to me to prescribe how long people should mourn. Some people are appalled when someone seems to get over someone quickly after they've died. But if they are truly not sad about it any more, I say good for them. What does it help the deceased for the living to be sad over them?
It's just as silly - and intellectually easy - to blindly condemn culture and religion as it is to blindly follow them.
There's a wonderfully epic two-part South Park episode that makes this point:
> Will pull requests on GitHub now be allowed as a means of contributing patches?
> No, patches still need to come by email to me [Nicholas Marriott] or the ML.
I wonder, what's the main reason behind it? What's wrong with Github PRs?
There was Google Code, Landscape, or even self-hosted Git amongst others.
Small plug, but I suppose the only people reading these comments are interested in tmux: https://github.com/tmux-plugins
I usually download new tera term releases from there.(and of course ffftp)
We are not the customers, we are the product.
I remember that the fist problem occurred to me that wasn't not solved by Google was solved by asking in the mailing list of tmux, and now it it moved to Github, I can finally ask question at the issue page.
"Doubt kills more dreams than failure...but Random Chance is like, Grim Reaper for dreams."
Success in startups (and life in general) is not the linear function that most of us want it to be. It isn't related in direct proportion to the amount of effort, intelligence, work, time, love, energy, etc that's invested. It's more of a logarithmic function. There is a minimum amount of effort and those other things that must be put in to have any chance of success. But after that the returns diminish rapidly. It's comforting to think that if we just try harder or smarter we can triumph in the end. But the fickle winds of fate have the ultimate say, and any sense of control is probably an illusion.
Saying that a company failed due to lack of product-market fit is like saying that a sports team lost due to not scoring enough points. It's always a true statement, but it doesn't illuminate the cause of the failure in a way that would be instructive to others. Most startups that were successful enough to be included on this list probably did 80% of things "right". Some times "it just didn't work out" is all that you'll be able to say.
Despite all that, I think there is a lot of value in these autopsies. Being able to learn something, anything, from the experience of others is very valuable. Knowing more about what causes failure won't guarantee success, but it sure as hell beats knowing nothing.
99Dresses - Nikki Durkin:
Many startup folk say that failure should be celebrated. Fail fast, fail early, fail often! they all chant, trying to put a positive spin on the most excruciating pain any founder could experience..Let me tell youfailure fucking sucks..I travelled to my parents place in the countryside of Australia, locked myself away in my room and cried for what seemed like an entire week.
Critica - Jason Huertas:
Youll hear the phrase Fail fast or Its good to fail. Which is true. You cant learn without failing. But what they dont tell you is just how utterly devastating failure actually is for an entrepreneur. To sacrifice your personal relationships, finances, and health to the dream, and to still come up short. How could this happen to me? It was a very frustrating and dark place to be in.
The case of 99Dresses was an eye opener. I would beg to differ with the general sentiment in the comment section here about how co-founders lacked sense of product market fit etc.
Nikki Durkin had oodles of determination, immense grit, was a YCombinator alumni, had great product-market fit, managed decent seed funding, had good traction which many startup can only aspire to in the initial days, a team who were behind her most of the time, still..
All things being equal (actually the case showed even if they are not) fate, right-time-right-place is a factor which nobody can control, and which has decisive play in the scheme of things.
I can only wish good luck to Nikki Durkin, and Im 100% sure that she would come out with something amazing in future.
Anyone notice anything else standing out?
From the looks of it, he'll not make it, but how can I possibly tell him that ?How can I possibly take his dreams and hopes and break them into pieces and hope to still be a friend after that.
Sometimes failure is unavoidable, no matter how much people will warn you about it.Failure is something so personal and private that the only way to understand it is to live through it.
For example, the first was a "same day ingredient delivery service" that "simply didn't have legs", but both Blue Apron and Instacart could be considered same-day ingredient delivery and both are growing fast.
I wonder if we can "unpack" product-market fit into a checklist of smaller goals?
Sometimes the fine line between failure:success hinges on nothing more than timing itself. The optimal time to enter a market is a variable that should be weighted almost as heavily as cash to burn.
@NiralSJP hereone half of the team that put this together.
Glad you're finding it useful and we appreciate the comments and suggestions
Reminds me of one of the best books I ever read on SCUBA theory: a case by case description of some 30 odd fatal incidents.
Knowing what goes wrong is helpful
It is fascinating to read it now and see how much of it they got right (and see how much was wrong, with the benefit of hindsight).
 Why E-commerce Didnt DieWith the Fall of Webvan http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/2496.html
 What Webvan Could Have Learned from Tesco http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/what-webvan-could...
Businesses on the other hand are considerably more rational. B2B decisions are made based on value. Even when a deal doesn't go through, you get tangible data to see why. But make yet another photo-sharing app and no one uses it? That's a lot more harder.
It'd be great if the table had start/close dates, or "months alive", or something.
While on the subject of timing, I'd add a column for years in business, but that might be getting too cluttered.
Examples that stand out to me just from knowing really successful competitors of the same idea:
Overall, I value their feedback (and I am glad to see it compiled as opposed to every failed company posting on here as if they have some diamond in the ruff wisdom on why they failed) but I would prefer some more data based trends.
Overall interesting idea to start pulling more calibrated analytics from. I was also thinking someone should do the same thing for lessons learned from how VCs and Angel Investors screw over companies.
It's actually going to take some time for me to find something on this list that doesn't reek of knocking off popularized trending app ideas.
I happened to see 99 Dresses on this list, whom I saw on Shark Tank somehow (the one time I watched the show). I'm a girl and for me personally I don't really give about the idea of weddings and think its nonsense, and think it's a waste of money, but I thought it was a pretty cool idea that basically you could rent a wedding dress, and that sounded unique to me and a good niche of rent the runway, though I doubt I'll ever invest in a wedding dress myself in any capacity. Point is weddings are a billion dollar a yr industry and wedding dresses are sometimes the most expensive part aside from venue and catering. As culture becomes less traditional, it's less likely women will view their dresses as a long term investment their posterity will wear.
Additionally, I think I know of plenty of girls who would rather rent a designer wedding dress they could never afford outright (especially if their posterity is not going to wear it as culture is these days) than settle for something they like alot less because that is all they could afford to buy, that will sit in a closet. Additionally, now that we have facebook and social media, girls do not need to buy the dress (despite posterity) so it can collect dust in their closet for the sake of nostalgia. Now we have social media to document not only the dress but how the woman looked in the dress. Therefore, providing the capability to rent one of the most expensive clothing items the average woman will ever invest in, seemed like a pretty solid idea, and at least there was something a little unique about it. However, I have no idea how well she implemented the idea nor did I follow the company after the pitch.
Other than that one company, I didn't see anything I have not heard of realistically, atleast 5 times before.
Because they are many - a lot more than in that list. And there will be a lot more of them in the future.
For every startup success story, there are about 9 silent tales of shattered hopes, financial ruin, depression and even suicides.
Success stories are so shiny an bright, that all the smart 20-somethings are blinded by them - and why not - who doesn't want to be a billionaire ?
The theme is always the same.
A really cool idea - which will totally transform, disrupt, reinvent and reimagine the world and will forever change it for the better.
Your heart beats faster, you're full of enthusiasm, you're obsessed, you talk to everybody and you infect others with your enthusiasm. They come on board, you find money, then the coding starts.
It's so fun and cool - you're on that path - you're an actual startup - the coolest thing you can do with your life - sacrifice a bit of yourself for a huge payout sometime in the nearest future.
And so you put in days and nights, you replace food with caffeine, sleep with debugging sessions. You ignore the wisdom of others, because they're not you - you can do it better, you will prove it in the end.
And then, suddenly, after so much work, your main coder drops the bomb that he's accepted a job at XYZ.
You now have little money, no users and a repository full of spaghetti which only your coder understands. You need to launch fast. You use duct tape and saliva to keep everything from falling apart.
And...... You launch! Version 0.1 beta. Then 0.2 beta. Then 0.3 beta.You have 231 users after two weeks. 0.4 beta. 0.5 beta. Two months in and you've still less than 500 users. According to your business plan, you're short about 49500 users by now.
More Red Bulls, it's 3 o'clock in the morning again, when did I sleep last time ? The fucking thing still crashes. Where's everyone ?
Your mother calls. "I'm fine, mom. Everyting's fine.". She knows you aren't, it breaks her heart, she tears up.
You can still do it. Look at XYZ - they've been through worse and they made it. Never give up. Never give up. Rent is due next week. Jack doesn't show up to work and doesn't answer his phone.He's burned out and he's had it, he's leaving.
I can still do it alone, I just need to re-write the whole thing and it will be much better. How long could it take ?
You're in denial, but reality knocks on your door. It's time to move out.
You've failed. You're not good enough. You disappointed everyone and yourself. You're not built for this. You will never make it. You lock yourself in your room for weeks. You put on weight. Days are nights are days are nights are...
Your girlfriend wants to really talk about something. She can't take it anymore. Fine, we split up. Maybe it was because of her anyway...
Depression kicks in. The dark place. The 'there's no escape' place. The 'i'm worthless' place. The 'I'm a failure place'. The shame, the guilt. The disappointment.
The place were all failed people go. By now, you should have been having an IPO, rubbing shoulders with the big guys. Instead, you're in that place - the silent place, the place nobody wants to talk about.
You will be there for a couple of months, maybe years, before you recover. Or you'll swallow your guilt and get a job. Any job. Maybe in another city, maybe in another country.
And then things fade, life gets better, you meet another girl, you fall in love, you recover. You're good again. You have energy. You have power. Your mind is energized.
And then ... the coooolest idea in the world pops up in your head. If you don't do it, who will ?This time you know better. You've learned from all the mistakes of the past. This time will be different.
This time you'll make it... You've got a 10% chance.
There is no business idea I cannot kill using a sufficiently cold and objective evaluation. I can show the demand is not there, that it doesn't solve a customer pain-point, that the price is too high, that the model won't work in this market, that the technology won't scale...
At the end of WWII Vannevar Bush, the head of the American military rocketry program, said that human beings would never go to the Moon because you'd have to take a rocket the size of a battleship, stand it up on end, and launch it into space, and this was obviously impossible.
Prediction is hard, especially about the future. Entreprenuership is fundamentally about courage, because you've got to jump off that ledge knowing the odds are you'll fail. If you dig too deeply or look too closely at the problem you may never start, because the risk is always going to be unacceptably high to any sane person.
So it's important for entrepreneurs to balance their optimism against reality, rather than just giving in to realism and sticking with the day job.
Someone did steal my idea, a sales rep I fired. He took my product samples and copied it down to the flaws (small errors I had made in CAD), and on top of that made their product in Taiwan (vs mine USA), and they had much better execution, marketing, and much deeper relationships in the industry. They quite literally got the front cover of every industry catalog, of all the major distributors in all 50 states (1). I have estimated that by the time they got the first 40' container of product in from Asia that they were double our size; we worked out of a 16'x16' garden shed at the time (2).
I have battled them for 10 years and they just sold for 12 million. I would be happy with 1 million. But the truth? The truth is that having a competitor HELPED not hurt. The sales conversations went from "why would I buy that?" to "How does it compare to the other guy?" . in short, their aggressive marketing towed me along in their wake. The geeky informed buyers would buy the USA made original (mine), and the mass market would buy his.
The main outcome is that I could stop spending marketing on advertising, and focus on innovating and product development. Since my industry is distributor based, and my competitor was #1 in all of them, the best way to compete was to out innovate. Also the easiest, and most fun way. Anytime a new truck comes out I usually have a 3-6 month exclusive window before his overseas operation can deliver product. We pick up a lot of new wholesale customers when that happens.
I think that the outcome could have been worse without the 'copy'. For years we couldn't have made the product any faster, we had massive growth in sales. $90K first year, $500K second, $800K, 1.2M, 2M .. it was hard to buy steel some months we grew so fast. In the end. a competitor is not the end of the world, it is a way for the buyer to make a choice - this guy or that guy. It can be easier to sell if they have someone to compare to; when they have nothing it is a little disorienting for a buyer and they tend to not buy anything.
1. product: leveling kit for trucks, so people can put aftermarket wheels and tires on. Another 20 companies copied the product afterward but we don't hear much about them.
2. We have moved twice. From the 16x16 garden shed, to 6800 sq ft, to the current 15,000 sq ft. We now employ 10 people and 5 robots.
Some startups can execute better than you and can be better funded. Remember Hojoki anyone, nope - Slack moved fast got the momentum, scaled and wham! Hojoki used to be better than Slack btw. However if you operate in the public arena most people will know or guess your plan as soon as you spin up your MVP anyway :)
Right now down to the elephant in the room. Apple regularly release products/features that look remarkably like 3rd party apps, but not enough to be sued. So yep, idea stolen, implemented and market cornered by a virtual monopoly.
The truth is a complicated thing and the word Nobody is just factually inaccurate.
I'd go with:
'You're more like to fail executing than have your idea stolen.'
You could barely it happened from the inside perspective, since the effect of competition was dominated by e.g. the business cycle, the whims of the Google gods, and my health/focus/energy level/ability to continue executing on the businesses.
Then, he stopped returning my calls. No more emails, calls rolling to voicemail.
I was distraught and depressed and so was my partner, we didn't know what went wrong and eventually wrote it off as a misunderstanding.
I had forgotten about it and met with someone else in the industry a few months later about how to take what we were doing to the next level. In her research, our colleague another company offering our exact same product, and the company was winning industry awards for the concept. It was lead by my ex-client, who had deep pockets. Things unraveled after that, heart ripped out of chest.
Ultimately, the niche this lived in was short-lived and didn't grow much as a market, but it still was a painful lesson.
Bemmu gave me a lot of advice at the last HN Kansai meetup to find more customers... thank you again Bemmu :)
At first I hesitated to do it the other way around: to import French wine in Japan and sell it as a subscription, but from the outside it seems harder. The rules for importing goods (especially alcohol) are quite a bit harder than the rules for exporting...
- In one case it was some fairly novel code, and the guy who stole it and put his name on it was soon called out because he didn't understand it enough to continue improving it. Elements of that code still keep me employed a decade later, but I've moved vastly beyond it. While he's out of the industry and looking for work.
- In another case, it went to another company who threw millions into marketing a collection of ideas that they had re-implemented (they had stolen ideas, and code, from a few places and used huge venture backing to buy their way into the market) and millions more in hiring groups of smart engineers to maintain it. For a while the company I worked for was able to simply out-innovate them, but their tens of millions in sales teams vs. our handful of many hatted engineers pressed into sales service wasn't sustainable for us and we closed shop.
However, recently I heard that in the places where we've both been, one of our customers had achieved such better results with our more innovative software that they simply bought up all the old assets from my company (and dealt with the debtors) and are now paying a new team to modernize the code and bring it all back to life.
There are people doing small time, applied research in cutting edge areas. These types of innovations can and do get ripped if they are good enough.
If you look at the history of science, there have been a ton of sharks.
TL;DR - just because nobody is going to steal your business idea doesn't mean a truly original innovation won't get ripped off if someone sees it.
-- Howard H. Aiken
So, it's like saying "square triangle" or "later than 3 but earlier than 1". It's an ill-defined concept and a legal fiction, and applying it in practice costs millions of dollars, people's lives, creativity, and violates people's rights to their ACTUAL, not fictional, property.
That sounds suspiciously like what someone who was going to steal your idea would say...
Excellent, feel free to publicly announce all your future projects prior to completion! :p Your competitor's would love to be first to market with some of your ideas.
An example being my company: I run a web hosting company (http://www.fused.com, y'know those antiquated LAMP stack ones that aren't cool around these parts) & it's an idea anyone & everyone can execute with some effort. Yay, launch a host today! Good luck.
The main company aside, I've got a few internal projects brewing that can, and will differentiate us from our competition (or, quickly turn into something we wholesell to them directly) that are far beyond run of the mill ideas.
Those 'secret sauces' are too all about execution, but I'd still like to be first to market with them :)
Heck, read about the gold rush and how the arbitrage investors made the real fortunes.
From the moment the business had this idea I forwarded them your blog and website, don't think they really appreciated the amount of knowledge present there.
As an immigrant in Japan you're an inspiration for launching my own business (one day).
I keep a long list of alternate versions of a game I invented at http://johntantalo.com/wiki/Planarity/
However, if it's a fantastic idea, then keeping it tightly held certainly doesn't constitute undue paranoia. Especially if you're pre-traction.
Living in Japan, I often hearing foreigners coming up with the great business idea of selling Japanese products back home. Candy is pretty common as an idea.
I would have been sore if their app had been successful, but it wasn't, so I'm glad I didn't waste my time on it =)
So yes, people will steal your idea if they think it's a good one, but that doesn't actually mean it was good.
I also find the "Update: Wow, this really exploded, thanks to all 366 people currently reading this page :-) We even got 26 orders since this post went live." cool. That's it's updating live that is.
There's of course the counter-example of Steve Blank where his startup E.piphany's entire slide deck was stolen verbatim.. they failed though. Does that make them nobodies?
Apparently there are a lot of Japanophiles in Taiwan who are willing to pay a premium for a Japanese mister Donuts toy you get with 5 purchases.
In addition, is it also possible to run into export issues or licensing problems with the foreign candy/food makers?
I ask this because I've often thought about doing this for products from "back home", but ultmiately am stopped by stories about redistribution problems.
I would not really care about the money. It's pretty hard to execute an idea and make sure you are credited for it. I would gladly have a platform when people would just post idea for free and see how they're executed.
It's just a matter of making the world a better place, and I would be happy enough to just use a product that did not exist before, even if I don't get the profits.
The patent system is overrated. Are there really so many single inventors who benefited so much from patents ?
"Good to meet you. Sweartagawd your idea is safe, my lips have a zippers." (makes zzzzzzzzip sound)
"Mark, me and my brother trust you. In addition, no one could possibly execute our idea as well as we can, since we have the original idea. Can you start coding right away?"
"Sure, yeah, come again though about that 'execute' stuff? I'm so clueless about business! My rate will be $20 an hour to code up your idea."
"Okay Mark, keep us updated when you finish -- and again, we're not worried you'll steal our idea. We're not even going to ask you to sign a non-disclosure -- you look so dadburned honest and humble, Mark! And reliable too."
"Thanks Cameron and Tyler, come again with that 'steal your idea' stuff? I'm so naive! I have no experience stealing ideas! I'm a virgin when it comes to betraying people!"
"Okay Mark, don't pop that cherry with us!"
___________________________________________________LATER..............Cameron and Tyler discuss the Zuck hire...
CAM: "He's a bit naive but he can code, that comes from a trusted friend who worked on a project together."
TYLER: "To me, he came off as chronically baffled. I wager we're going to be disappointed in his work, Cameron."
I started spinning the idea for an asian snack box thereafter. I found you in 2011 and gave up on it.
By 2012 it became the default business model for online wantrepreneurs.
Then Cratejoy spun up in 2013 and went gangbusters in 2014.
Now in 2015 it's the late comers to the trend with most of the profitable niches already covered.
I imagine by 2016 with all the low hanging fruits taken you're gonna need to be a established player to play the game considering the logistics costs and distributing something of substance.
Then we'll be on to something else to copy.
Biggest lesson I took out of watching the mail order box business is more or less it's a marketing game. It's all pretty much the same but reaching the potential audience is the hardest part.
This isn't competition like McDonalds vs Burger King where you can just drive a block down to get a burger, it's competition to being first to introduce the idea of hamburgers.
(1) The Idea.
So, sure, mail subscription candy to Japanis an idea, a business idea, that is,a short description like might be givento a prospective customer, supplier, banker,investor, prospective employee, etc. Sucha business idea can be really important.
(2) Secret Sauce. In addition to a business idea,sometimes there is secret sauce thatenables the execution of the business ideaand, maybe, is intellectual property,e.g., to be protected as a trade secret,and that maybe can provide a barrier toentry. Such secret sauce might betechnical -- from biology, physics,math, engineering, technology, etc.
Generally once a business has customers,the business idea (1), at least inbroad terms, becomes quite well known.
Then it can be good to have some barriersto entry. Some of those might bethe secret sauce (2). Some more might beVC Fred Wilson's "large network ofengaged users", a "network effect", abrand name, etc.
To many people what is crucial about(2) secret sauce are ideas --since they may be important to a business,business ideas. But commonlyvery much we want to protect thesecret sauce ideas and not letthem be stolen.
So, some business ideas we very much donot want to let others steal them.
Imagine you have a biz that prints money. You literally have dump trucks that roll up to your gate every morning and unload, and amazingly you get to keep about half of it.
It's rare to create a business like that and if word gets out you'll have competitors swarming all over you driving down your margins until you're blowing every last cent trying to out market them and all that profitability will go away.
So you learn to STFU. Because people will steal your idea.
In the Valley among startups almost no-one is profitable and so it's all about sharing the love and lots of hugs because no one has anything to defend.
By the time I turned the west coast back online, the east coast was failing health checks, and the LB failed everything over to the west coast, which then proceeded to be overloaded, and everything flipped back to the east coast... Ping ponged for about 2 hours until they finally settled.
Another fun story: For the longest time the front page had an example pipe that merged search results from various online sites (amazon/ebay/cl). It was made by a former employee and was easily one of the most popular pipes. One day we found out he had his affiliate id in all of those links. We chuckled and moved on.
The backend was an extremely useful tool for munging RSS feeds. With any kind of support, or even benign neglect, the product would have been successful. It took a lot of active mismanagement and folly to keep Pipes from living up to its promise.
Hats off to psadri and the other Pipes creators for a really stellar piece of work.
Pipes was a basic web "agent". It made basic programming available to the everyman much like HyperCard. Perhaps is just needed a runtime UI that matched the excellence of its design time interface.
Yahoo is focussing on mobile yet here they had this custom agent building tool that could easily be re-purposed to mobile to make a killer platform for Yahoo users.
Hopefully they will opensource the first generation perl version.
Some of my favourite flow based programming links follow.
Surprised nobody has mentioned noflow node.js workflows:
https://wiki.python.org/moin/FlowBasedProgramming http://www.kamaelia.org/Home.html (BBC research) http://www.ruffus.org.uk/index.html
Following RSS feeds on a continuing basis takes a lot of RSS polls. Most RSS feeds do not implement RSS in a way that allows getting only new items reliably. The RSS "etag" mechanism is not reliable. Some sites with multiple servers and a load balancer have different etag values on each server. The "guid" field sometimes changes when the content hasn't changed. My experience is that nothing short of full text comparison eliminates duplicates properly. I wrote an RSS reader which does a MD5 of the text of each incoming message to throw out duplicates. Presumably the "pipes" system did something similar.
If RSS feed servers complied with the standard, there'd be less need for feed aggregation services.
 http://feedreader.com/ https://www.rss.com/ http://www..com/blog/2006/08/rss-dup-detection
I'd sure love to pick the brain of anyone formerly involved in the project - it seems like there is a lot we could learn from the trail it blazed. My email in profile, obligatory beers/coffee/etc. offer.
> ChangeTracker watches the White Houses web site so you dont have to. Whenever a page on whitehouse.gov changes, well let you know via e-mail, Twitter, or RSS. But ChangeTracker is not a piece of software. Its the output of a series of powerful and mostly free Web-based tools, lovingly connected over the Internet. Heres how to do it yourself so you can track changes on any Web site on the Internets.
One pipe would grab data from Craigslist, strip out irrelevant items, and send me a text if anything new and interesting appeared. Ditto for Westside Rentals.
This combination worked great. If a lame apartment appeared in CL, I'd edit my Pipes regex to strip the same thing out of WR. In this way I'd get only texts for awesome places.
Vaya con dios, Yahoo Pipes!
Thanks to whoever made it. I guess I'll have to find a way to do it myself now.
It was an eye opener for some: they could get, transform and repurpose data, and it could be fun.
Pipes wasn't without its flaws: V1 was buggy and gave us a lot of trouble when 30 students were trying to use it from the same IP, the interface was plagued by the usual issues of visual interfaces (clutter). Some things were odd, some a little too hard for what they achieved and other were magically easy!
But at a moment when every tech company is saying that "learning to code" is important, it's sad to see a tool that had real educational value disappear.It was a really effective tool for non-developers to learn about data markup standards, to think in term of data flows, to get introduced to the idea of a data or web API.For this particular use in education I'm not sure there is a replacement.
EDIT: added OSS & Commercial alternatives
free or commercial:
 http://createfeed.fivefilters.org/  http://www.feedsapi.com/  https://theenginuity.com/search/  https://zapier.com/  http://www.elastic.io/  https://ifttt.com/
 https://github.com/olviko/RssPercolator  https://github.com/fogbeam/Neddick/  https://github.com/cantino/huginn  https://github.com/fullscale/pypes  https://github.com/jparkrr/ISyTT  https://github.com/atask/shifttt  https://github.com/KLVN/F7_T7_RSSFeed
Any word on whether YQL will live or die?
Netflix does not believe in RSS, even though their Influencer content is not behind a subwall. I use Pipes to parse Netflix's json content and then turn it into a feed. I even created a Pipe that took any influencer ID and automatically created an RSS feed.
The idea was started because Daniel Tunkelang of Netflix was very anti RSS. I showed him, but alas, no more.
I never figured out how to use IFTTT. How can you grab any content from the web, like Netflix's json content? There is no HTTP input as far as I can tell.
cloning twit user: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/385441178/
multiple feeds into one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/385433038/
extracting flickr data: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/385101700/ and flickr backend https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/2789198106/
extracting twitter data: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/385194782/
clogged pipes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/384133421/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/384128224/
Read the comments on this link to get an idea of how I used Pipes and the logic behind it: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/385101700
We're trying to build on this legacy with Weld(.io). See a sneak peek of our programming UI at 0:40 here: http://youtu.be/faG3uuOnqxY
If anyone in the Pipes team would like to be involved somehow, ping me on email@example.com
I have a emotional connect with Pipes as a tool. Right out of college, and before the whole API thing was pervasive, I had leveraged pipes for so many small projects and hacks. Infact I used it in a Yahoo Hackday hack and it landed me a gig at Y!
More relevant to the present, It has been something I have mentioned to so many people who have come to me discussing UIs for automation/control systems/or to manage workflows, processes. In a way it was what noflow's UI looks like, but years in advance. In a different parallel universe, it may be the way people use APIs, or right big Haddop/Spark/Storm jobs/topologies, and the front end was open-sourced back in the day, with full integration with hadoop for job management.
I had created this years ago to display Twitter data using Pipes, YQL and Google Charts. I haven't had to touch it in years but it's always just quietly worked, and some people seem to like it:
I liked that Pipes allowed services to be chained together driven from the browser.
On a related note, a couple of us have been hacking on a Pipes like user experience around Data Integration and Analytics with Web feeds and APIs -- we had been planning a separate announcement but thought this might be a useful place to post if there are others who are looking for alternatives. Please message me directly - my contact info is in my profile.
didn't decide yet what serverside tech i'll be using but quick deployement is a priority for me. If anyone's interested.
EDIT: a lot of useful information here about existing projects, thanks.
I got about halfway through building a "news blend" app where you tap just the categories you want and it would blend all the latest articles from just your categories into one news feed and email that to you daily. But we never finished it.
Showing operators: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/385194782/
I feel like IFTTT is our best bet, while it doesn't do the "Unix pipe" that pipes offered it at least provides some usability to the process.
I am still using it to repurpose an XKCD feed into a fully formatted feed with images that then is picked up by IFTTT and tweeted out as a tweet with images when new comics go up. I used Pipes just because it was point'n'click and seemed to have all the key components I needed to do the task without worrying about the code-route.
Hats off to all those that worked on the product - great to see it remembered so fondly.
tl;dr: the researchers discovered that MediaWiki instances were good soft targets.
First, I suspect it's lacking a secure integrity check (MAC), so is weak against chosen ciphertext attacks.
def encrypt(self, plaintext): plaintext = self.pad(plaintext) iv = Random.new().read(AES.block_size) cipher = AES.new(self.key, AES.MODE_CBC, iv) return iv + cipher.encrypt(plaintext)
def pad(self, s): return s + b"\0" * (AES.block_size - len(s) % AES.block_size)
Key is derived from a single SHA256 (can be brute-forced very rapidly), cyphertext isn't authenticated (can be tampered with or corrupted without anything noticing), and the padding function is broken (strips trailing NULLs, so no good for binary files).
(Ideally, it would be slightly more elegant than just renaming a zip file.)
I used to run the rust servers sub. I would have people post JSON posts, which i would then spider and generate a JSON DB from, and created a UI (see the gh-pages branch) to grab the JSON and present a searchable/filterable way of finding servers that are relevant to you.
Now if ISP's would start offering their own cached usable versions of reddit we would be getting somewhere :)
Another improvement might be not to send base64 abracadabra, but instead send some readable texts (autogenerated or fragments from wikipedia) and encode message as a slight deviations (typos, etc) using steganography. But it would require a lot of messages to transmit enough data.
The first was a new business where we would go to trade shows, conventions, hell even fast food places, and just collect as many free beverages, condiments, napkins et cetera as possible. Then we'd sell them online.
The other one didn't do much better. We'd go to a Lowes Tool Rental, and just rent a bunch of tools and then re-rent them out of our truck in the parking lot. They had to have them back an hour before Lowes closed for the night.
Our current business model is, we go to bars and hit on people, and if we get their phone numbers, we add it to a subscription service where other people can have access to it.
Honestly, I feel we're no more in the wrong than RedditStorage is.. /s
Neat proof-of-concept though
Some people still don't know what a password is? =D
nice little engineering work though. kudos.
With that said, they seem to be assuming that their clock skew () has a fixed maximum boundary which is incredibly disconcerting to me as it implies that in certain (rare and anomalous) network partitions that they'll get data corruption and fail.
I can see how they, coming from a Spanner background with atomic clocks, might assume this. But this assumption requires that their database cluster is always connected, within some heartbeat interval (which they mention) such that they can trust there exists a maximum bounded skew.
So while it seems like a dumb question, I honestly must ask a very trivial question: how does CockroachDB handle basic network partitions? I assume they have a good answer to this, but it needs to be clarified in order to answer the more important issue of anomalous partitions, like split brain. This might rip the crockroach in half, quite literally, meaning that all other "guarantees" they give get thrown out the window like linearizability and global consistency.
I've been looking for a database which does sharding and replication automatically and without throwing away any focus on consistency and transactions, so I figure I'm likely to use this in the future. I've struggled to try to find any others meeting these criteria.
"Today, were launching CockroachDB for everyone. Use it. Build on it. Contribute to it!"
Can someone (preferably from the team) clarify the current situation?
PS.: CockroachDB is the only distributed DB that I would bet on going forward and being a solid base for a big distributed DB.
Well that's not remotely true, is it? Not even close. Is it really a good idea to lead with something so obviously untrue? If you're trying to convince me of something (i.e. that this product is good), putting such a jarring, obvious falsehood right at the start is a bad idea. I'm wondering if they're deliberately spoofing their own seriousness, but I see nothing else in there to support that.
I guess this is interesting, but distributed hard consistency pure K-V stores have been done before, Zookeeper, etcd, etc. It seems like the vast majority of the hard work is left to do. I don't want to get into naming arguments, but I wouldn't really call this a 'database' yet. It doesn't sound like you can do anything but a key lookup or range query currently, which is incredibly limiting for most real world applications.
I somewhat question the approach. e.g. why not figure out the hard part first? i.e. build the `SQL and data layers` on top of zookeeper or etcd then replace the backend to scale better? I would think this would get a lot more early adopters. As is, it's a very niche usage case that the alpha fills.
"The highest level of abstraction is the SQL layer (currently not implemented)."
I've never had to collaborate on a mockup. I make mockups. I review mockups. I mark mockups up. But I've never wanted to do one live with someone else. That's just me though so an example of when this is used would be great.
Some feedback: I use Balsamiq and have for years. The whole reason I use a mockup tool in the first place is so I don't have to draw everything by hand or make boxes in Photoshop. The ability to use pre-drawn UI items is golden.
While the collaboration features are cool and hi-tech, this seems like the beginnings of a mockup tool, but not a full one yet. So saying "we fixed mockups" seems a bit of a stretch. It's a nice start though and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
1. This is just wire-framing, not mock-ups. Adding mock-up features will take away the realtime-discussion-ness of the product, so that's that.
2. Wire-framing is essentially a brainstorming exercise. I'm not sure if it's actually very worthy to do initial brainstorm together.
3. But, what is valuable is that once you brainstorm, to show that to coworkers and let them make edits in realtime to discuss.
4. However, this product is fully focused on making the brainstorming part collaborative, not the review part. So much so that for the review use case, I can use it for free.
So I don't know. I'd still like to explore and brainstorm alone. Things must pass a threshold before they are shown out. Maybe there is a market, but I have never started on a blank canvas with a coworker.
I am looking for a quick way to sketch some apps and this might be the simplest way to do so even though it misses a couple of things.
Some of the things to improve:
* Snapping. Sometimes when the area is small, the snapping is annoying as I won't be able to vertically center text in the box even though it should be possible physically. Maybe, turning off snapping?
* More text settings (font size at least)
* Predefined elements. Surely, it must be kept simple but things like arrows would help a lot and my crooked hands won't have to draw crooked arrows :)
That alone is pretty impressive and shows that these guys know who they are building for. Well done!
* I know this is a tall order, but even adding some of the more technically difficult but basic functions like colors, shapes, borders, radiuses, gradients, etc would be incredible. Could you make a browser version of Sketch?
* * Slack needs to buy this app, now.
Any chance you can share how you got to such polish? the workflow of modeling the animations and UX? How you concluded SVG would be best? tooling you used?
There are a lot of common things I don't want to redraw (date pickers, dropdowns, file uploads, etc, etc). However, I don't want these provided as a static set, because the web and my needs are always changing/growing.
If I was able to browse the community's drawings and add them to my profile for quick insertion into a mockup that would be great or even create my own for reuse.
Just my two, - Cheers
I'm spoiled by the behaviour in Photoshop where there's a little bit of a delay (~75ms) between releasing shift, and it taking effect. This means that both shift and the mouse button can be released simultaneously, instead of having to consciously be aware of the order that you release the keys.
https://moqups.com is a great web based mockup app I have been using for a few years. It's very slick.
Assigning different colors for users working on the same canvas will be helpful to track who is working on what.
Considering this is an initial release, it is pretty amazing.
But UX is a solid foundation to continue developing this idea.
edit: is it really necessary to downvote for reporting a valid bug !?
Whether its something that meets a need, dunno.
The pencil tool could be a little more smooth maybe? Like, when making circles?
While I certainly do like feedback from the team, I don't want other people marking up my wireframes in a way that makes it impossible to tell who drew what / said what.
Site note, the latest version of Balsamiq is REALLY great. They added a bunch of simple things like Font Awesome Icons, and the ability to keep all the project wireframes in one file.
Exactly how I felt. What the hell were they thinking? I'm generally very supportive of Mozilla, I even supported their initiative to put advertisements on Firefox's start page. But bundling stuff like Pocket and Hello with Firefox is just ridiculous. Why not make it an official extension? That way users can easily disable or remove it.
That's probably the most productive place to directly contribute to the official conversation.
BUT it also seems that the Pocket integration wasn't previously discussed on that mailing list. At least, that's what my cursory search seems to show: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/mozilla.governanc...
It makes me wonder whether mozilla.governance is really where these sorts of decisions get made....
(Note: cpeterso already posted the mozilla.governance link but I felt it deserved a top-level entry.)
I didn't know I ever had to read the fine print with anything from Mozilla, and it turns out I was wrong.
Which, I think is why so many people feel so strongly about it. At least, it's why I feel uncomfortable with this decision. It was not at all clear to me that Pocket was a third party service; I'd never heard of it, and the text describing what I was opting-in to didn't (that I recall) explicitly state who ran the service or that it was not a Mozilla service.
I don't want to go overboard about this; this isn't like SourceForge shipping malware. And, I don't want to make it seem like Mozilla isn't a provider and organization that I trust. But, this chips away at my trust. I feel misled, and I never thought I would feel that way about something Mozilla would do, which maybe makes it worse.
I love Firefox's "Reader View". It's the only way that some pages are readable on my desktop or mobile device, because so many websites try to hijack scrolling, insert modal overlays and ads, or do all sorts of things that make it unbelievably frustrating to just read static text.
On the other hand, Reader View lacks a sync feature. There was one for a few days in Nightly, but it was buggy for the short time it existed, and it was removed.
I was hoping Firefox would improve the sync feature and bring it back eventually, but in all honesty, this is way better. The work that goes into making a seamless, syncing reader view is not trivial, and it makes more sense for Mozilla to focus on building a browser than to reinvent the wheel when Pocket already exists and works incredibly well with the same use case.
As for whether this should be "bundled" into the browser vs. an extension: I agree that it would be nicer philosophically if Pocket were a preinstalled extension. On the other hand, Firefox Hello is literally a preinstalled extension with no special integration or privileges (other than being preinstalled), and still some people made the same complaint about it when it launched. So I take that complaint with a grain of salt.
And as for the performance impact of either, I'd have to see some data demonstrating that this actually leads to an appreciable (let alone measurable) increase in memory or CPU usage to be convinced that simply not using it is not an acceptable alternative.
 it may look that way, but there are a lot of corner cases
 From what I understand, Firefox Hello is simply an extension that leverages WebRTC features already built into the browser to enable video chat (with the assistance of a service provided by Telefonica, which assists in the routing).
Ive recently resumed using Firefox as my main browser partly driven by support of the project but also because Chrome was taking too much RAM and causing performance issues. Of course, when Chrome first came out it was a very slimmed down browser that used a lot less RAM compared to Firefox. Everything moves in cycles
Colleague working at mozilla showed me an internal email where the CEO says they checked metrics and Tiles and Pocket did not affect Firefox, and that their survey indicates people are okay with it.
This seems like total bs... I don't know anybody - including fx devs - that think its a good idea. In fact earlier versions of fxnightly had their own, not-pocket version that used sync as a backend.
Mozilla is in a heated competition with Google and other proprietary players. It isn't a niche product, it isn't made for a small part of the population. If adding Hello or Pocket to the browser gets more people to use Firefox or stick with it and spurs people to create free/open source replacements then it's alright.
The only thing I dislike is the underhanded way these changes have showed up. As if they knew the loud minority of users/devs wouldn't like it.
Someone may have to fork Firefox. It's still open source, more or less.
It is just depressing the state of browsers today. Sure they are more standard compliant but they all suck.
- telefonica service for voice chat.
- google scam site checker, phone-home component for every site you visit
- google services (the things responsible for ads no less) just so you can stream videos on android (can't even build firefox without including that SDK)
- adobe binary blob for DRM on netflix. (who even uses netflix on the browser?)
That sounds like a very arbitrary distinction, and an argument of convenience. Every line of code that gets into a software is a product decision one way or another...
I love Pocket, but I was looking forward to migrating to a setup where my data was kept private.
I made a bugzilla account and added my name to the CC list, but is there anything else I can do to help this get more recognition?
Even though it will cost me a buttload of time to rebuild all my cookies: fuck Mozilla, when did they turn into SourceForge?
At the very least it would allow people to remove it easily and entirely.
It refuses to provide more than very vague information about how the money was spent in Haiti (information like "35% of $488 million on shelters"), with no specific details about what projects they spent the money on, how those projects went etc.
When the author challenged the general counsel of the Red Cross to provide more detailed information ("because clearly you must have it") he just gave her some evasive boilerplate spiel about having provided the summary information he'd provided already.
How can anyone donate to a charity that's so stunningly opaque about how it spends its money?
They'll never get another cent out of me until at least one of their large scale disaster responses works out well. If they can't spend a few million in a direct, useful and efficient way then I don't see how they could spend orders of magnitude more.
Governments are similarly inept at spending their money efficiently (well, maybe not quite this inept but there is plenty of incompetence there too), but we can't avoid paying into the tax coffers and where applicable we do get roads, healthcare, education, national defence, a police force and social security in return.
Because of the total lack of end-to-end accountability with organizations like the red cross and others like it there is nothing to stop them from squandering what they rake in. It would be a lot more efficient to mail an envelope with cash to a random address in a disaster area than it is to expect these organizations to make a go of it. They really ought to be ashamed of themselves rather than belligerently defensive such as illustrated in the article.
Security situation indeed, I think he meant 'job security'.
My take-away from that is that I would never, ever donate a dime to that organization. The people in the local chapters who were the first to respond immediately after the disaster were fantastic. But when the national org eventually came in (and brought layers of on-site bureaucracy with them) it was a train wreck, and they started throwing their weight around cluelessly and got in the way of everyone and everything. If the full-time, paid staff of the Red Cross had just left things entirely in the hands of the local volunteers and had stayed out of the area entirely, things would have gone much more smoothly.
Private companies did so much more than many of the relief orgs. Sprint, for instance, gave us free event phones for the shelter residents to use to try to contact family. No worries about billing, or even if they'd get the phones back. Home Depot's efforts in the aftermath have been well-documented. And I believe it was IBM (my memory may be faulty) who donated thousands in computer equipment to the shelters where I was working, which the shelter residents used to track down friends and family who they'd been separated from by the storm.
I don't know if I'll ever have another experience like talking to some lower-level person at a big company, telling them that I'm there from a Katrina shelter where I just showed up to volunteer and have no formal association with any org, then immediately being escalated all the way up the chain to someone who makes decisions and that person says, "just tell us what you need from us and we'll do it. Don't worry about any cost or billing issues. Tell us what and when and where." That was awesome.
It was also a stark contrast, to be totally empowered by the likes of Sprint and IBM on the one hand, and then ignored and pushed aside by the Red Cross on the other. Pretty crazy.
The Salvation Army was maybe the one aid org that had their act together. Red Cross national staff and FEMA were worthless. Anyway, I regret that I didn't write all this down after it happened. Between my wife and I there's a great book -- or at least a really long magazine article -- in there somewhere.
>TLDR: The article has accidentally or deliberately confused the earthquake relief project with the much smaller neighborhood renewal project, and attacked them both for not doing things they weren't intended to do. The Red Cross did much more in Haiti than build six houses.
> First the Red Cross took a customary administrative cut, then the charities that received the money took their own fees. And then, according to the Red Cross' records, the charity took out an additional amount to pay for what it calls the "program costs incurred in managing" these third-party projects.
> In one of the programs reviewed by NPR and ProPublica, these costs ate up a third of the money that was supposed to help Haitians.
> said that a fifth of the money the charity raised would go to "provide tens of thousands of people with permanent homes ... where we develop brand-new communities ... including water and sanitation."
> The charity built six permanent homes and, according to their own account, no new communities.
> the project manager [...] was entitled to allowances for housing, food and other expenses, home leave trips, R&R four times a year, and relocation expenses. In all, including salary, it added up to $140,000.
These are the only factual bits I can find. I'm not saying the rest is untrue, but they include statements from locals who "cannot see that $24 million has been spent here," whatever that means.
Another example is where it says "first, the plan was to build houses," then going on to describe that people are still living in tents. But how many people live in tents? What percentage? How many houses were actually built? Or did they build 10 villas and leave the rest in tents? There is no real information that I can find.
A bit further on, it does include this:
> The original plan was to build 700 new homes with living rooms and bathrooms. The Red Cross says it ran into problems acquiring land rights.
... so then out of the 700, how many were built? It doesn't say anything about that.
We're Newstorycharity.org - a current YC nonprofit working in Haiti to crowdfund homes- 100% of public donations go to home construction - donors see exactly who they give to before they donate and a video of the EXACT family they funded in their new home after
We're launching a summer campaign "100 Homes in 100 Days" [newstorycharity.org/100] in Haiti, and would love for the support of this community in showing how the future of philanthropy is built on transparency and technology.
They get a stellar rating; to my recollection, 96% of donated funds go to the cause (4% overhead).
They're an overtly Christian organization, which may or may not be your thing. But they're doing good work.
Disclaimer: A company I worked for did some work for them a couple of years ago. I'm no longer affiliated in any way.
According to the article the Red Cross built shelters for 130,000 people. The would be $384 per shelter if that was all the Red Cross did. But they also fed people, provided clean water, medical aid...
It is easy to attack big charities. You get support from people who feel guilty for being mean bastards, for people who don't like foreign organisations, from big business who want to profit out of natural disasters...
Imagine what you could if you were a poor American and received 1/8 of the American per capita GDP after a disaster (~6000 USD). That's a new roof, or a replacement vehicle, etc.
It's not life changing, but it would have been very significant, and massive in scale.
I used to work for a large ($500 million+ annual revenue) NGO fundraising department, both in major gifts and direct response marketing (digital), and I have colleagues who now work for similar organizations (including ARC). We would all tell you that most organizations, even (maybe especially) the largest ones, are absolutely horrible at having any idea whatsoever of the impact of their programs. Even worse, the leadership in these organizations are ambivalent at best at assessing the impact.
Why? Because organizations simply don't have much, if any, incentive to do so. And perhaps more shocking to me, the vast majority of donors don't care. Most people are content to give and reap the warm/fuzzy feeling they get, then not think about it again until year end when taxes are due. Simply put, most people treat giving like buying a product at the store: they hand over money in exchange for the warm and fuzzies. Transaction over.
The people who actually demand some sort of accountability are a minority who are often treated as anti-charity, as in, "Why would we spend money on assessing impact when we can spend that money helping more people?". The result are token 'watch dog' groups like Charity Navigator that latch on to red herrings like 'efficiency' ratings which non-profits have learned to manipulate to the point that they are functionally useless.
ARC is simply the product of a rotten system, and it is far from the only one. If you want to help cure this sickness, only give to organizations that can demonstrate the impact your dollars are having on the cause you care about. Ignore the so-called efficiency splits that say charity Y gives z% of your dollars to programs. These are accounting shenanigans, and nothing more
One of the reason he touches is that emergency relief groups like the Red Cross (and other, e.g. MSF) aren't setup to do the nation-building Haiti actually needed, but for more rapid and short term support as is needed in war zones, refugee camps or rural disaster areas (tents, water, food etc.).
I can only recommend the book. I found it through his article on the NYTimes  which touches most points.
Most embarrassing for a journalist, they were wrong in ways that would have immediately been made clear had we taken the time to ask some basic questions.
Food and water, for example. When I was in Haiti two years later, to research the relief effort for a book, I was shocked to discover that no one could tell me with any precision if there was ever a food or water shortage in the first place. No one among the responders had even contacted the Coordination Nationale de la Scurit Alimentaire the Haitian government agency overseeing food security to find out what might be needed. Indeed, earthquakes tend to inflict the worst damage on cities, not farms especially in countries that already have limited infrastructure and Haitis urban areas didnt have any sewers or piped drinking water to begin with.
People indeed lost their homes and incomes, and markets closed. But the World Food Program had enough supplies in its Port-au-Prince warehouses which survived the quake to feed 300,000 people one full meal for three weeks. There was no acute food or malnutrition crisis after the quake; that much we know. But it seems very likely that the city could have avoided one even without the frenzied aid push.
Went to a friend's wedding in 2007. One of the guests worked at CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). I asked the guest as many questions as I could. There was a preliminary research trip before a Canadian official made her visit to Haiti. The purpose? To geolocate and photograph the facilities. And when I say facilities, think toilets. Making sure the white Canadian could poo-poo comfortably counted as aid.
Sure Haiti is incredibly corrupt, I remember that one of the ex-president's (Not Aristide) was head of the local kidnapping ring in Port Au Prince. But that's just small stuff. America and Canada use Haiti like it's their own toilet and want it to remain that way, in spite of the intentions of a select few and the limited posturing to the contrary.
One of the most disturbing things for me is to look at Hispaniola on Google Maps. The Dominican Replublic is lush and green. Haiti is a greyed out ####-hole.
I could go on and on, but reading up on an actual humanitarian in the region, Dr Paul Farmer, and his publications is a good start:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Farmer
Sometimes I think news organizations are (unintentionally) exacerbating the root cause of these problems. They report on incompetence but don't report on how the public can fix it. I don't think the Red Cross will fix it without public pressure. It leaves the audience with a sense of helplessness that leads to cynicism and apathy. It would be better to end the story with suggestions on how the average citizen can fix these issues.
The 33 families we've funded in 6 months: (2) http://newstorycharity.org/families-page#funded-families
Example of a video every donor gets: (3) http://newstorycharity.org/maria-rose
NPR and ProPublica were "creating ill will in the community, which may give rise to a security incident," the email says. "We will hold you and your news organizations fully responsible."
No security incident happened but residents did ask if they could keep the brochure.
I spent about three months on the ground in Haiti after the earthquake. I wasnt a first responder or anything, I actually arrived 6 months after the earthquake, so most of the emergency relief was over. I left during some unrest and was told not to return by the nuns there for fear of my safety. I regret not going back to this day.
After that I went to Bolivia for 6 months. There I was a teacher and mentor to some of the more rural communities. Again, both were great experiences but we actually helped in the Bolivian community in a long term manner, where as in Haiti, we didnt really help anyone, we just floundered like fish out of water. Which is what I think most people were doing.
The reason I think this was the case for most NGOs in Haiti is because of the bias that is expressed in the article. NGOs come to work on the Haitians not with them. I was there to sell them a bill of goos, and not to ask what they needed.
This was made very clear by one example. I was shown a groundbreaking new technology, where you could assemble a house from simple materials made of compressed wood that would stand up to hurricane force winds. The issue is that it wasnt something the Haitian people wanted to use. When we showed it to them they seemed baffled as to how this was a permanent house. They all aspire to the same things we do, that is a solid 4 walls and roof over our heads, not just temporary shelter.
The shelters ended up being a dead end project that floundered because we couldnt get Haitian support, and I left feeling that I had been more a burden then a support for my friends in Haiti.
In contrast my time in Bolivia was focused and intense. We were working for the nuns in Bolivia, not on them. The goal of this project was to build up a school on the shoulders of American volunteers and then leave the community when it was stable, and when the nuns said they didnt need us anymore.
In the beginning of the program the volunteers taught core math and science courses and they were integral to the operation of the school. 10 years later (during my time there) we taught basic English classes and visited the neighboring communities. It was rewarding work, but we could see that soon they would no longer need volunteers. After about 20 years of volunteers in this community the school was self-sufficient and the nuns let us know that they didnt need any more volunteers.
The main difference between our success in Bolivia and relative failure in Haiti was customer buy in. In Haiti we were working on the people not for them. The trust (as stated in the article) wasnt there and the Haitian people were not leading the effort. This led to some very beautifully created architecture that the people didnt want to live in.
In my opinion the goal of any NGO should be to build self-sufficiency in a community so that it can stand on its own. The Red Cross didnt do that. There are organizations out there that have (even in Haiti) if youd like some references on how to donate to a meaningful charity read Mountains Beyond Mountains and help Paul Farmer out, or just donate to Partners in Health. Note: I have no affiliation with him or his foundation.
I do have more anecdotes, but Ill leave it at that for now.
Edit: Re-Wrote the whole thing. Thank you nate_meurer, I hope this is clearer, if not please let me know where I can clean it up and Ill try to get it right. The original in comments in my response to nate_meurer.
This has been helpful in sleuthing out reputable charities: http://www.charitynavigator.org/
It really seems like a lot of big charities are simply in the business of raising money rather than helping people. One wonders how that money is actually spent.
It seems very much like good local charities are a far better conduit for charitable gifts.
imo, working for charitable organizations is unethical
Pretty sure it's not the full episode, but this is a summary of the episode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNM4kEUEcp8
America's dirty little secret is that the majority of our "aid" is really not aid at all an not really meant for aiding and assisting. This is not really a new thing. It's actually a very old and disastrous thing.
Haiti people was claimed as one of the worsts enemies of Haiti.
A lot of projects were stopped for months by bureaucracy. Some volunteers even claimed to had been menaced with a trial if they dare to move a single rock blocking the street without papers (that often never arrived). Volunteers and doctors did what they can, and it was a lot (thousands or probably hundreds of expensive chirurgical interventions). Finally, tired to sit and wait for months, volunteers spend their last pennies and started returning to their homes and former lives. Other big disasters with hundreds of lifes in danger occur, and Haitians just lost traction and their opportunity to use all those talented people.
Red Cross provides information about how spends the money and pass external audits from independent companies. Each year. In all countries. Local finances are published in red cross bulletins that are available each six months to all people supporting the red cross with their money or time. Maybe this periodist just didn't knew how to use google:
Or maybe some of the promised money from donors was just this, a nice promise, and now they need a scapegoat.
I had tried Samy's exact attack to reduce the brute-forcing time but it did not work at the time because I tried it before I discovered the code had to be sent 4 times consecutively (5 times makes it more reliable due to RF interferences). So I am not surprised to see Genie absent from the list of models Samy found vulnerable.
But I should try to find out the longest period of time during which these 4 repetitions of the code need to be sent. Maybe it does not have to be perfectly consecutive, but it could be 4 codes received within an interval of 200 ms or 1000 ms. If so it might still be possible to build a modified De Bruijn sequence that repeats codes 4 times while being only 4 times longer.
By the way it is very surprising a description of the 12-bit Genie protocol does not appear to exist online. These remotes are so easy to reverse engineer, so common (Genie is in the top 3 or top 4 most common openers), and so old (the protocol has existed since 1985), you would think there would be information about it online, but nope.
PS: I wonder if there could be commercial interest in cryptographically secure garage door openers? A $0.50 ARM Cortex-M0 MCU is all you need to implement a HOTP based on HMAC-SHA1. Then a simple learning/pairing system writing the key in EEPROM can even sustain the battery being removed from the remote. But there is probably no interest... which is why most remotes are insecure even the "rolling code" ones.
(Edited to clarify some tech details.)
If you're worried about this, make sure your garage door can't be opened with a coat hanger as well:
Also most of your door locks can probably be opened in a few seconds with the right tools+experience:
Of course someone could always just throw a brick through a window.
Start with 000...0, keep appending the largest digit possible that doesn't produce a code that's already been used and you'll go through all the codes.
Context - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samy_(computer_worm)
I expect an automated garage door opener is much easier to use than a lock pick though, and probably easier to produce and distribute than lock picks. So I shouldn't consider garages as secure.
I've recently purchased a HackRF to start to learn about RF technologies in consumer grade "security" products like garage door openers, Z-Wave, wireless home security systems, etc. I've realized that after watching the first (very well done) video by Michael Ossman on HackRF that it's not going to be something easy to learn overnight.
While I'm sure this would be "easy" to do with HackRF given what I've read on Samy's site, does anyone have any input on how/why using this recycled hardware would be better in some regard?
Even the sun. One of the most powerful entities my mind can possibly comprehend. The entire reason for everything we know. The source of nearly every tiny bit of energy we consume. It's temporary. It'll be gone one day and when it is, it'll be like it was never there.
Accepting these things is one of the most terrifying, difficult, powerful and freeing things I've done. It's very powerful to be able to step back and assess my situation in the context of "will this matter in 50 years when I'm on my deathbed?" In so many difficult decisions, it's made the answer clear: "in 50 years, will I remember feeling good because I took my parents' advice and didn't move and didn't upset them? Or will I look back with regret on the opportunity I didn't take across the country."
I really like this article. It's very important to remember that everything we think is so strong and foundational can go away in the blink of an eye.
James J. Lachard
Beautifully written ...
Also, as an unexpected bonus, the book showed that philosophy shouldn't neccesarily be only theoretical high-brow word games, it can be a pleasant and highly practical experience as well.
I find myself coming back to it very often, or sharing it with others.
I found a lot of peace with this quote:
> I keep looking for meaning, but all I've found so far is that in order to be at peace with the present, we must be at peace with the past, because the present is a product of the past. Accept. Accept. Accept. Learn to love the present moment. What happened, happened.
> I keep looking for meaning, but all I've found so far is that in order to be at peace with the present, we must be at peace with the past, because the present is a product of the past. Accept. Accept. Accept. Learn to love the present moment.
Sometimes it helps me to remember that the present is literally the only thing that exists. Looking too much into the past produces guilt; too much into the future, anxiety. I hope in this new world we're building with all the great technology, we put a stronger emphasis on learning contentment which can only come from accepting the present in all its myriad forms.
How does one not become complacent after reading this? I am confused. On one hand people pull all nighters doing mundane things as doing customer support because you are the founder, and you have to do it (and endanger their health and maybe life). And on the other hand this.
Paul's closing remarks remind me of a bit that the late Bill Hicks used to sign off with:
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Sadly, I don't have a source, but I remember him saying in an interview that when he handed over the documents to Greenwald and Poitras, he thought nothing would come of it. That it would be forgotten and never get on the radar.
That isn't the case.
Sure, we have a long way to go, and the situation is much more nuanced than he makes it to be, but from his view, this is progress.
The obvious rebuttal is "But China"...but beyond that, among the Western powers: France and Britain, among others. And Snowden acknowledges this (which is why I don't assume he wrote the headline, necessarily):
> Spymasters in Australia, Canada and France have exploited recent tragedies to seek intrusive new powers despite evidence such programs would not have prevented attacks. Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain recently mused, Do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read? He soon found his answer, proclaiming that for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: As long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.
Again, it's not that Snowden is wrong in his opinion about surveillance. But it's wrong to think that the world, or any kind of non-U.S.-status quo, is anti-surveillance. The battle is much more uphill than that and those who want to fight it have to keep that in mind.
He would and will have to very sharp (and lucky) to stand any chance against the forces aligned against him. I think a United States congressman publicly called for his murder at one point. I can't imagine. I think, if he does truly care as much as he claims, he will inevitably have come back to the US to face trial. The time is coming when that will be the most important thing he can do to advance his cause.
Don't tell FOX News, as I'm sure they'll find a way to give this a negative spin.
I am curious what the effects are on those who don't receive the transfers. (Those who don't meet the requirements, or live in neighboring towns, for instance.) While I'm certainly not saying it outweighs the positive effects, there must be some negative unintended consequences. Someone uses the funds to start a business, which is enough to make an existing business in the field unprofitable for instance. I wonder how much research has gone into those types of side effects.
My understanding is also that direct cash infusions can have undesirable macro effects - basically Dutch Disease caused by aid money instead of natural resources. Again I'm curious to what extent those effects are understood.
If anyone has knowledge or links to resources along those lines, please share! I did find this somewhat more critical review but it still just focuses on the recipients, rather than knock-on effects.
jbniche points out: "Just think the impact that would have had if it had been divided up and given directly to each Haitian adult. The adult population of Haiti is roughly 6 million, so we're talking about almost $100 per adult Haitian. Roughly, it's about 1/8 of the per capita GDP of Haiti.Imagine what you could if you were a poor American and received 1/8 of the American per capita GDP after a disaster (~6000 USD). That's a new roof, or a replacement vehicle, etc.It's not life changing, but it would have been very significant, and massive in scale."
and the article supports his point, saying that "A 2013 study in Uganda found that people who received cash enjoyed a 49 percent earnings boost after two years, and a 41 percent increase after four years, compared to people who hadn't gotten a transfer. Another study in Sri Lanka found rates of return averaging 80 percent after five years. In Uganda, not only were the cash recipients better off, but their number of hours worked and labor productivity actually increased."
But for smaller amounts (like the U$ 100 proposed), "One program gave $200 to at-risk Liberian men who were either homeless or who made their income from dealing drugs or stealing. The lead researcher, Chris Blattman, summarized the findings in an op-ed in The New York Times:
"Almost no men wasted [the money]. In the months after they got the cash, most dressed, ate and lived better. Unlike the Ugandans, however, whose new businesses kept growing, the Liberian men were back where they started a year later. Two hundred dollars was not enough to turn them into businessmen. But it brought them a better life for a while, which is the fundamental goal of any welfare program. We also tested a counseling program to reduce crime and violence. It worked a little on its own, but had the largest impact when combined with cash.""
> If you could turn back the clock would you just write a check to all the parents of the kids who go to that school?
> Definitely, Meyers said.
For scale: that's the population of Switzerland.
Bono's brave enough to admit this.
Kenyan economist James Shikwati: "for God's sake, stop the aid:". http://m.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/a-363663.html#spRe...
It seems to mean that basically they get 9% of donations to cover various costs. Both non-negligible but also not too bad.
Still would like to know what the "overhead costs" are.
I predict a "fashion" trend in the poor architecture of the region to eschew better roofs even if you can afford one.
I also think that an editor of a newspaper in Kenya and Uganda should do a cartoon where a villager uses his GiveDirectly money to buy a better roof, and then the company takes the money back and accuses the villager of fraud.
This seems to be part of a larger turn towards more data and study driven aid than was the standard. Hopefully the larger nation state players can get around to using aid programs to reap longer term improvements vs the current short term and occasionally overall harmful effects some programs have been reported to create.
Regarding your borrow checker example, note that your code is now prone to blowing up if `step` is modified too much. You have created the necessity of an invariant (step should not pop out of the vector) which may be broken by later cleverness.
See http://manishearth.github.io/blog/2015/05/17/the-problem-wit... for more details.
Note that in this specific case you could just use `&str` over `&String` everywhere and push "some new thing" directly; `&String` is a double-pointer, whereas &str is a fat pointer.
> Nor am I totally sure what the tradeoffs are between having a self argument and not.
It's not a tradeoff thing; it's a "do I want a static method, or a member method" thing.
> Some kinds of constraints cannot be used in where clauses, so I believe the former is strictly more powerful.
Actually where clauses are much more powerful. With the type constraints stuff like `A: Foo` works but not `Vec<A>: Foo`, but the latter is allowed in where clauses.
Overall, loved reading this post! It identified some areas of diagnostics that we can try to improve (I'm very interested in fixing diagnostics), and is a pretty accurate picture of the language :)
When I toyed with Rust last year (so, I'll admit my knowledge is outdated, I need to refresh it), I had a pleasant experience on the productivity side. The big reward for me, coming from C/C++, is that my programs simply worked as expected once I was past fixing all the errors the compiler reported. That usually doesn't happen this way in C/C++, where you spend additional time fixing whatever null deref and whatnot that break your program in subtle ways at runtime.
I have played with rust, but not written any large amounts of code. This makes me a bit sad though, I have 7000 lines of go which takes less than a second. I think there is a bunch of bloat in software compilation which the plan9/Go people were wise to stamp out.
Compare gcc/clang/rustc build times from source with building go 1.5 from source which bootstraps itself. It comes down to something like 20 minutes vs 20 seconds.
This is a really valuable observation.
"Smart" compilers seem great for letting you write code without thinking too hard when performance requirements are loose, but they make it difficult to achieve peak performance in two ways:
1. The fact that details of the machine are abstracted away from you means that you may never learn them well.
2. It ends up being insufficient just to know the details of the machine, because you also need to know how to coax the compiler into producing the low level result that you want, and then you need to be vigilant that later changes to the compiler don't break your assumptions.
Also, nice to read a review of Rust that didn't reduce to C is the worst evar! or Haskell makes no sense!. Reasoned and clearcut. I certainly disagree with various parts of the review, but I don't do any dev for webservices so it is unsurprising that the author and I have a differing of opinion.
However, it sounds like Eve is a simple, dynamically typed programming language/environment. So it's super weird to me to see him rave about the safety and type system of Rust...
Interesting that Clojurescript was not the language of choice here, both given the roots of that project and the reputation of lisps for being languages to write other languages.
I wonder if the team would be willing to comment on why they are moving away from Clojurescript?
I will never try Rust.
The general feeling afterwards was that my perception of reality had been totally limited to the issues in front of me, and that life was bigger than just that.
For me, it's a process of learning to distrust my negative emotions. Afterwards they always seem unfounded.
I don't know anything but your situation but, based on my own experience and that of others, my advice is to take it easy, slow down and dial back your expectations about whatever is that you have/had high expectations. That will clear your mind and you'll be able to see better soon.
There is a practical exercise I do while driving. As almost everybody else, I don't like to stay behind slow/unsure drivers and that gets me really stressed. While I'm stressed, I try to think "I do not want to be in front of this driver, the few seconds this will get me will not be worth the amount of trouble I'm having (or will have)." I'm essentially trying to remove that desire from the situation, then everything is okay and life moves on.
Relax, take it easy, it'll pass and you'll learn. My best regards.
I don't know your situation and I don't know what you're going through and I can only imagine the pain you feel right now. The funny thing about life is you never realize how much you were loved until you're laying in your casket. I only say this because I am one of three and both of my siblings have passed at their own hands. My eldest brother battled demons unknown to us and took his own life and my youngest brother was bipolar and self-medicated to deal with it and accidentally overdosed. I know this may not seem important at the time but so many people loved them and they probably never realized and I'm sure their are a lot of people that love you.
It is your choice and like I said I don't know what you're going through, suicide isn't right or wrong, it just is, but it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Please don't do this. I'm listing my email below, If you see this and would be up for talking I would love to. I can give you my phone number as well if you'd prefer the phone or if you're close to me we can go get some coffee. Hang in there.
dave.jdough [at] gmail [.com]
You're making the first step in the right direction. Seeking help. To be cliche, it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Life sucks a lot sometimes. And sometimes we need help to get through the worst of it. But keep fighting. You're worth it.
Get in contact with someone: http://www.befrienders.org/need-to-talk
And if you feel like it tell us what's up.
There is always a way out without killing yourself. Whatever the other path is, however emotionally difficult it may seem, is better than killing yourself. Talk about what you're feeling, call a hotline now. It gets better I promise. If you have anyone in your life, think about how it will make them feel to lose you, don't put them through it.
If you're in the US (or even if not if the 800 system works everywhere I think) don't hesitate to call right now and talk to someone who is ready to hear you.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number1-800-273-8255
Here are several other countries hotlines if you're somewhere else or feel more comfortable sharing how you feel in another language.
To get help via SMS, text "START" to 741-741
From one person with suicidal thoughts to another: please don't do this.
I don't know much about your situation, and maybe Thailand isn't exactly the answer, but if you're to the point where you're looking for escape by death, why not instead try finding escape by physically escaping to somewhere new?
Future will be very interesting, you'll want to see it, you'll just need to be there to see it. For now just focus on surviving and waiting and find any reason to go forward.
Even simple/silly ones, like watching the next episode of Sherlock that comes out in 2016, or finishing a good book.
Watch some comedy. Watch Louis CK, watch Bill Burr, watch Community. To me it really helps, even when things are really bad.
Elon Musk will put people on freaking Mars. Self driving cars and robots will be everywhere. Medicine will make amazing progress to fix our health problems. You'll just need to be there to see it, to be a part of it.
Computers will kick ass, scientists will make crazy discoveries. You will find things worth caring about. You will have cool people in your life too, just hold on.
There are people like you, there is a place where you belong, there are things worth living for.
Also when things are bad your brain just gets into a bad place, and a lot of these thoughts are caused by chemicals. Things may seem hopeless but after some time your brain chemistry changes and you look at the same situation very differently, even if it doesn't seem real to you now.
You will find your way, it will get better. Right now - don't be hard on yourself. Just wait and hold on.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'll need to talk.
if you have courage to end your life, what else you are afraid of? why not you continue to live on to see where's tomorrow got for you?-  anthong wong
 [chinese][video] http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/UVCLmDVwT_A/
First, and most importantly, if you're _very_ depressed you may need help to break through the veil of darkness that's surrounding you. Peace and happiness are still in this world and their seeds are still in your heart, but depression is system of barriers that you may need very real and tangible help to break through. Sometimes our minds malfunction a little bit, it's in their nature.
If you love HN maybe check out the vlogbros 3 minute talk on perspective and depression. It's the nerdiest account of depression I've ever heard. They also have a crash course on psychology which might make psychology less unknown and therefore less scary if that's maybe a reason you're turning to us instead of a psychologist who is probably better equipped to help you (I'm only guessing based on reasons I don't go to the doctor when I need to.)
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ooCeoh6608 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo4pMVb0R6M&list=PL8dPuuaLjX...
When I was still in college I travelled to and from my home by train. I know now, with the help of a psychologist, that I was suffering from a depressive period during that time.
I had arrived on the station, and I saw that my train had just left. That was almost the last straw for me. My memory of this day is very fuzzy, but nearby a jamaican-looking guy was blasting reggae music from his phone speakers, and people all around me seemed so busy with their lives. I felt invisible, like I wouldn't be missed. I tried to make eye contact with the people passing by, but nobody seemed to take notice. I then turned to the schedule to see when my next train would arrive. Instead I noticed that an intercity train would be passing through this station. While the trains do slow down when they go through a station there's still plenty of mass and speed left to kill you, I knew. I left my bag on the bench I had been sitting on and was mentally preparing myself to take the jump when the train came.
I guess I wasn't ready to do it yet, because the train came and went and I hadn't taken the jump.
Now, some time later, while not cured of my depression, I'm feeling better. I never told anyone close to me about that moment, though I did seek help after this. I also quit my study, since that seemed to be the root cause of the extra stress on top of my depression. I've found full-time work in the tech industry, and I've settled in quite nicely.
I'm glad I did. Because while I'm still not the happiest-camper in the world I've also not reached the point again where I contemplated leaving it. These days I look upon it as an anomaly in my mood. I don't feel all that good every day, but it's bearable.
So my advice to you would be to wait it out. Don't trust the feelings you have right now, because it really is only temporary.
If HN is a cornerstone for you, please let us help you.
I live in upstate NY on a lake with trees and quiet. Want to come hang out and rest your mind?
EDIT: Full disclosure, the DSL isn't great, but we have LTE. I have a lot of books. 30 somethings who enjoy BBQ's and movies.
TLDR: speak to someone, get help -- there's a silly social taboo on expressing depressive feelings, but there are many many options available. People who are willing and more importantly able to help you.
I don't know you, but like the others here have said, i guarantee that there are people who love and appreciate you, even if we're only talking about potential future new friends you will meet if you stick around here :)
It saved my life.
Find a way out, use your creativity. The pain you feel now can be a powerful motivator to radically change your situation.
Call a suicide hotline right now: http://mefiwiki.com/wiki/ThereIsHelp
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Don't do it. You reached out, that's good.
What really got me out of the habit of thinking this way - basically a huge distraction from the things you need to do to make yourself happy - was to try and imagine if there was possibly a way to disappear completely without making the lives of the other people I know worse.
I will say, in my early years in San Francisco as a student, whenever I felt like there was absolutely no hope, I would take a $2 train to the beach, take my shoes off, and walk the entire length experiencing how small I am and comparing my relatively insignificant problems to the vastness of the ocean.
Unfortunately, we can't all have that, but everyone can go outside, stop listening to the same music or whatever over and over and just watch a squirrel climb a tree, two ducks fight over a piece of bread, talk to a homeless person.
And whoever's actions you feel are linked to the way you feel right now, surgically remove them from your life.
Every time I haven't ended my life, I've had the opportunity to experience amazing things that I couldn't even imagine.
The crossroad is an illusion. If you attempt and fail - the most common outcome - you could find yourself further burdened.
I didn't believe in medicine, psychiatrists and all "you can live with that" crap. Yet, i went to doctor. I went to therapist. And for about five weeks it was hell. I was affraid more than before, I was so narrowed my vision was almost all blackfield with small, foggy point of view. This was hardest thing I did in my grownup life - endure it.
Guess what - it got better. No, my life hasn't changed a bit - my credits wasn't payd off, my fears didn't vanished, I still had to go to work every morning and I knew I am going to die one day. BUT - and this is most important thing - MY PERSPECTIVE CHANGED. I know I can face all this.
I don't know anything about You. I don't know what had happened to You. Yet I know one thing - you always have a choice. Yes, on the one hand - you can kill yourself, BUT! - on the other hand - you can live. I won't tell you - think about others before you harm yourself. This is bullshit, when you are facing live-or-die choice. In death we all are alone so we can think only by ourselves. So I'm asking you, begging you for real - think about everything you are. You are far better than you think! You are the only one in the world!
You managed to make someone laugh, you did good in your life, you faced tens and thousands problems and won over them, you can do something no one else can do in a way no one else can replicate (even if it's eating a cookie with knife and fork), you have dreams that are waiting to be fulfilled, you have so many tortillas to eat, you can become millionare in a blink of an eye, you can meet love of your life, you have all your life waiting for you.
Please - choose yourself living. God be with You.
Find someone to talk to:
We're here too, if you'd like.
That's what I did when I wanted to die.
Sometimes I've felt like I've had crossroad moments for a major part of my life, stuck with deep paralyzing fears because of stupid things I've done.
Find someone to talk to, preferably a professional that will let you talk it out without it spilling into your personal life (guilt about burdening my family and friends was a major impediment in getting help).
Even though it allowed me to cope and have a professional life, one of the worst things I ever did was to learn to hide how hurt I was. Talk to someone about what you think are the consequences, the worst aspects. Let yourself cry and feel stupid, it's alright. That crap builds up inside you and no matter what, you don't deserve it.
And if necessary, consider getting some medical help as well. I have been on anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications ever since I found my father dying from a brain hemorrhage and I couldn't get him to help quickly enough to save him. That event broke me, but I had been building the tension inside for decades. The drugs don't really fix things for me, but they have helped with some of the debilitating physiological aspects, take help from any corner that you can.
Few legal constructs cannot be run from. Few legal arrangements cannot be undone. For those that cannot... run!
... just considering this possibility is often enough to give you the strength to keep fighting through whatever current situation or struggle you find yourself in.
I will always remember a phrase from a movie, where a little girl (suffering from a serious disease) was asked "Do you know what happens after life?" and she responded "There are many different ice-cream flavors that I still haven't tried, I want to try as many as possible when I still have the chance. Then one day I will understand what happens after life - that day will come anyway."
Go get an icecream and see what you can try tomorrow!Be healthy, stay alive!
I don't know what is going to happen in the future, maybe I'll take my own life one day. But for now, I just want to help myself. I wanted to help someone like myself. I'm not good at anything other than making an app so currently, I'm writing an app that I think would help me get by.
I hope the app that I made will help people like me. People like you. If it even save one life, my life would be complete.
When interviewing people who tried to kill themselves and didn't succeed, 99.99% say that they regret it and that they would not have done it again.
I'm still alive, and I'm glad that I am. My life is still pretty wretched, but my perspective is different. My misery isn't any less, but I'm out from under it. It's no longer crushing me and I can observe my misery with some detachment now.
I hope that you manage to get out from under your misery. Don't let it crush you.
I should be around most of the day.
Live on, buddy. You can make it. You're worth it.
I've got a list taped on my wall with some things that I need to do daily to improve my life - apparently I need the reminder. Of this list, I hope that some of the following things help you to "find some kind of way out of here":
* get out in nature
* spend time with family and friends
* get enough sleep
* talk to a human being
* meditate (or pray)
BTW, "Goodbye" comes from the term "Godbwye", a contraction of the phrase God be with ye. That's my prayer for you.
I genuinely hope you make whatever the right choice for yourself is. If you need someone to talk to, don't hesitate to let me know.
In my experience, everyone who said "Don't do it" is in a better position than I was in. A person with a problem will eventually solve it, or not. A fundamentally flawed person will have only have more problems, generally of the same type, again and again, forever. It's easy to confuse one situation for the other. Most people are not deeply flawed, they're normal people who are temporarily overwhelmed by normal problems. Anything they say to you probably won't resonate. Advice from those who have plenty always has to be filtered through a lens of "easy for you to say".
The only honest thing that can be said in this situation is to evaluate your life with clear and unbiased perspective. Are you a normal person who is going through rough times, or are you the kind of person that, for whatever reason, genuinely has no hope? The latter group is very small and if you're in it, you'll have known it for a long time. Odds are that you're better off than the truly forlorn, and you don't need me to tell you that because you already know it. Count your blessings and try to picture a better life.
I'm sorry if my candor offends some people, but life is too short and we're too smart for platitudes. I hope that you get through this.
Once you get out of there, you might think you would even want to live your life locked inside an empty room for the rest of your life, because even that might be infinitely better and more worthwhile than not living at all.
You can take this as an argument to do it now and avoid the likely future suffering. But I interpret it differently: It means that if you are going to be one of the minority that gets better it's up to you to take action. Continuing down your current path is a recipe for suicide later if not now. To escape that you need to deviate from the standard. Do whatever it takes to break out of your rut. Even if it's scary as hell. Because any risks in making big changes are likely not to be worse than death.
That realization can be incredibly liberating.
BUT: I know from my own life that it is easy to forget about the value of keeping your options open. Death really is permanent, and always available, so there is rarely a need to rush it. All kinds of unexpected good things really can happen... and if not... you can still kill yourself later.
SO: I'd suggest you make sure you adjust your thinking for the likely bias that you are undervaluing the option-value in all the unexpected good things you can't specifically imagine right now. If you have even a little uncertainty on this point... better to wait a bit and see, no?
This is a better path to try first.How can we help?
What's the biggest problem, what types of solution can you see that remove that problem? Assuming you are allowed to do anything, e.g. move to another country freely, become a farmer or charity worker, live with distant relatives etc.
The only advice I can give you is to give yourself some time. Really think about if you want to do this for another 24 hours, or a week, or a month, depends you how long you can bear it. Play a videogame or do whatever you like, get your mind off your problems for a bit (preferably not with alcohol or similar things) and let your subconscious mind work. When the timeframe you set yourself has elapsed, reconsider. Is it worth doing it just now? Is there stuff you might still want to do in your life?
Keep in mind, you can always kill yourself when the pain gets too heavy, it's not a decision you need to rush.
I don't know if that works for you, but I'd say this has saved my life in the past, just knowing that you can always end it.
Also, not to criticize, but if HN has been a cornerstone, you might want to look into a wider variety of building materials. HN isn't bad, but compared to the wide gamut of life? hardly a comparison.
Anyway, I know it's not so simple, whatever your reasonings. I've been there and I've talked with friends who were where you are.
If you lack a social support network (like I do) I really recommend getting a psychologist you can trust; huge in understanding thoughts and feelings.
But I hope you find that with some better coping mechanisms, life is easier to manage, and you'd be more up for living it than ending it.
Reach a suicide hotline. Let us help. The world will be less if you leave.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Is There a Solution to Your Problem ?
Jesus Is the Answer to Your Needs
Keep going, op. We're here for you.
The world is better with you in it.
Change career if need be. Change country. Change friends. Change. Did you ever visit another continent? Take time off. Better than taking life off.
If you believe you will find some way out, you will find some way out. So, believe in yourself.
Instead of suicide, try completely changing your situation. Move to a new country.
I hope this little sliver of advice can help. Good luck, from all of us who've felt pain. You're not alone.
Edit: why am I being down-voted?
Imagine in a few months how looking back you'd feel you were too extreme.
Also second the mushroom suggestion. Not that I personally would be interested in that, but the point is: if you have nothing left to lose, all sorts of opportunities open up that you wouldn't have otherwise.
Impossible to know what could keep you attached to live. Personally I'm curious to see all the new technological developments.
I know I don't come to HN to have to think about mortality, and for folks who might actually be hurting, seeing a post like this might trigger some nasty memories or feelings.
My step brother, for example, killed himself, and now I'm having to think about that in the middle of my work day, when I was really just looking for a brief distraction...
Even something like a raspberry pi would be more than enough for someone like a kid who wants to learn and just needs a means to do so.
I never could afford a computer as a kid growing up. All my computers were donations or throwaways that I tinkered with and learned on and fixed up. My first computer was an SE/30 that was getting thrown away. I ABSOLUTELY would not be where I am today if it was not for the kindness of others who gave me the opportunities to tinker and learn.
1. https://laizalibrary.org2. http://time.com/3598969/kachin-independence-army-kia-burma-m...
They have programs for volunteer work in refurbishing (where you learn about computers) get your own system in return.
Now compare this to the original:
"They don't speak much English yet, but maybe the public library will be a useful resource for them," she said.
"Do bring them by here regularly. If they are interested in self-advancing their learning, the public library is the perfect place for them to do that. Do your kids have their own computer at home?" I said.
"No, they currently borrow my laptop, which is not such an ideal situation."
"Tell them they're getting their own donated desktop computer on Monday next week. I'll prepare it for them over the weekend."
The onscreen keyboard works great for typing both in portrait or landscape. You just have to get used to it. Keyboards are mostly a hastle to drag around/setup and they break.
If I was on my laptop I would ssh in on a slightly larger screen.
You can definitely do word processing, spreadsheets, the web, programming, everything on a $100 (or even $50 in some cases) Android tablet. I haven't used my laptop at all in like 4 months.
So I would get slightly used Android tablets and give them out to kids.
I actually don't want to buy another laptop or desktop because I know it will waste electricity and it seems primitive.
The next major shift for me will be to full-time VR for work, which will use Google Cardboard or their new 6dof thing (I might wait until the Android for VR OS comes out next year). But that is still going to be on a phone..
Heh, strong murica-factor.
Now, we need some beneware that infects every machine on a network, backs up file system, and reinstalls the os with linux, wouldn't it be nice! LINUX!
More constructively, I wonder if recent Linux distros and desktop environments actually run better on 10-year-old hardware than Windows 7. My guess is that GNOME 3 and Unity require roughly as much CPU power and RAM as Windows 7. If that's the case, then maybe kids like the one in this story would be better served by a donated Windows 7 system builder license to go with that old hardware. Then they wouldn't be frustrated at a thousand points by someone's well-intentioned but misguided choice of OS.
No showing of tweets with content from other social networks, no altering in the presentation of tweets, very severe rate limits, ....
I think if Twitter wad a little less paranoid about protecting their content they could actually become a viable and useful communication tool for a large part of the Internet (even more than today).
Disclaimer: I'm a very light Twitter user. I'm almost surely missing out on features I never bothered to discover.
The main advantage G+ has in my eyes is its signal to noise ratio. It seems far better than Twitter's. Again, specifically in my professional world, quite a lot of relevant people post on G+. I guess they either don't post personal stuff or efficiently use Circles. Many, but definitely not all, are of course close to Google.
Some other advantages for me: the fact that you can read the whole story (not just sentence-per-sentence) and the -theoretical- ability to drag in non-professional relationships (yes, I like Circles).
I realize no one takes G+ serious anymore and that it's a graveyard for most. But it seems to work well for some (professionally). In a way it can make Twitter lose (one of) its edge(s): follow tech-people.
This isn't meant as a G+ promotion. I just wanted to make clear why Twitter might not be a good fit for some.
So Twitter tries to do the work for you, but guessing exactly who/what youd be interested in without tons of info is virtually impossible.
The closest they can get is the current logged-out homepage: Here are a bunch of random categories. You like the NBA? Maybe celebrity chefs? Cute animals? Country artists? (Those are literal examples.) Total shot in the dark.
I've tried being a user for years but they really need a better way to manage and view lists. The frequency of celebrity tweets vs. friend tweets vs. company tweets is all different. How I ingest that content is differs depending on my mood or what I want. Thus far, there's no easy way to sort through the content to quickly find what I'm looking for or interested in. It all requires endless scrolling and weeding out the noise.
That is a large hurdle to overcome. Where are you going to grow your userbase if that many people already made their decision against you? I can assure you, that is not a tech question, it is a marketing issue.
Well, yes. The problem with all social networks is that ads interfere with the "social". Ads are a big annoying guy getting in your face when you're trying to talk to someone. Or worse, they're your (soon to be former) "friends" who've been tricked into "sharing" (i.e. spamming) ads.
Remember, Twitter's big period of growth was before they had ads. They only put in ads when they had users hooked.
The first one is always free.
Lists could exhibit business value comparable to Pinterest curation, if Twitter paid any attention to the feature. They are micro-social networks that amplify the value of Twitter's main accomplishment: a directory of pseudonymns for writers, marketers, subject-matter experts and other publishers of time-sensitive content.
I value the service, and am wondering what other people value it at.
I will post the results here after set number of people vote.
UPDATEInitially I was going to wait a little longer, but after looking at the results from this sample, the trend is pretty be predictable.
RESULTS LINK: (VIEW AFTER VOTING PLEASE)http://directpoll.com/r?XDVhEtRR2EAlaVw2sOrQkWlBcohFw9na8aNc...
I think the results deserve a discussion on their own...
As for Saccas suggestions, I have mixed feelings on the specific features he suggests for encouraging people to Tweet more (Tweeting Shouldnt Be So Scary) and increasing engagement (Using Twitter Doesnt Need To Feel As Lonely) but I like his suggestions about improving the timeline:
Live Is The Biggest Opportunity Yet.
This is the section he describes most lucidly and is the simplest to implement on top of the existing product. Its currently done in a ham-fisted waywhere I am in India it prods me with modal dialogs about cricket matches!but there will need to be less prodding if its built as a standard set of pages where you can follow the best tweets for a sporting event, TV show or news topic while the situation is ongoing even if youre logged out. Its a bit like following a hashtag, with some curation and highlighting of popular tweets on the topic thrown in.
Channels Will Make Twitter Easy, Easy, Easy.
I sort of lost the thread in the middle of reading this in terms of figuring out exactly how this is different from Live or other category based curated tweets but I kinda get it. These are his examples: Want to know what are the most popular articles linked to on Twitter? That should be a channel. What are the most popular sites linked among the people we follow or people that our friends follow? Great channel. Which books are people Tweeting about? Channel. Which videos are garnering the most attention? Channel. Any particular .gifs blowing up? Channel.
Twitters Save Button Would Let You Keep All The Good Stuff.
This is a relatively complex concept and would be difficult to implement in a clear way but I like the idea. We could keep every product we saw mentioned, every book that looked interesting, every destination we wanted to visit someday, every concert we wanted to go see, and every ad that piqued our curiosity. All of this could be saved to a Vault within Twitter with just one button in line with the RT and Fav buttons in each Tweet.
I don't know how to use twitter and I don't care. Why? Cognitive overhead. I use facebook messenger, whatsapp, HN, stackoverflow, github, Linkedin.
Sacca is incorrect when it comes to Twitter's stock price. They're being given an epic benefit of the doubt on their valuation. Few companies get that sort of charity; ask Groupon, Angie's List, Etsy, etc. about that.
They're substantially overvalued by any normal market standards. A $24b market cap for a company that has never - in nearly a decade of existence - earned a profit; worse, they've bled a billion in red ink over that time. It's also trading at a rich sales multiple of about 16.
I'm a Mac user and don't really want to buy or build a gaming rig just for VR. This is an interesting option that seems to meet the Oculus recommended specs.
It might take a while to pick up, but I don't see why it would not work.
The problem of drivers will easily solve itself. If valve can negociate will AMD or nVidia, I don't see why drivers would not improve. It might take time, and at first it might not be a frank success, but I'm pretty confident that PC enthusiasts are already a good target, and I'm sure many PC gamers will buy it so there's no reason it's dead in the water. There are many good markers. If I was into the stock market I might try to invest in this.
Steam already holds a pretty big market share, so to me they got enough steam (pun intended) to negociate and tuck their way in.
The only issue is that they're not mainstream, they might lack advertising and they might not have a chance to be success with kids and teens. But the hardcore gamer community is pretty big already, so why not ? I'm sure developers will love it, and it might even allow so many more indies to make a buck.
Steam Link seems the way to go for most HN readers, I guess, and that is the device I would buy if I had to choose. BTW, a question on this: I've read somewhere that although NVIDIA Shield works only with NVIDIA GPUs, the Steam Link will work also with AMD GPUs. Valve doesn't confirm this but says that it supports OS X, Linux and Windows PCs. Any ideas? Doesn't it run on NVIDIA's GameStream, like NV Shield does?
:It requires "Big Picture Mode", which in turn requires Steam to be installed. Sigh...
gotta love cool new business models
that is lame. extremely lame.
Almost as lame as the fact that the xbox controllers when attached to windows box also do not recognize the keyboard attachment.
Valve copying microsoft mistakes.
I was able to implement the service per the provided spec in 179 lines of Go in about ~2 hours. Stress tests passed. The job is done. We march on.
Could I have written this service in C++? Absolutely, but it would have taken me 20 hours to get to the same level of confidence. Maybe some could do it on 2 hours; I'm admittedly not a great C++ developer or frequent user.
Could I have written it in Python? Sure, but I would have had to scale and put it behind a load balancer, adding complexity to get equivalent performance.
From what I've seen of Rust, I like it and plan to give it more time now that it is stable. I haven't spent time with D. I played with Erlang. I don't care for Haskell for anything remotely related to "work", but I don't dispute that it has a place in computer science.
In my 2 years with Go, this is not my first positive experience. I have found that Go works well for cranking out high fidelity, snappy services like this. I think this is the result of the language's constraints enforcing simple patterns. Unlike C++ and Python, there are not a huge number of ways to accomplish tasks (at least not ways that feel natural).
Take it or leave it, but I like Go (for certain things).
Can the author explain this bit some more? If adding mutexes slows down your code to the point where you would rather just deal with data corruption/races it seems to me that there are issues with your code, not the language.
It's not well designed -- lots of special cases reserved just for the compiler, some bizarro decisions, etc.
It's not modern (with the possitive associates of modern, not fadish, and modern being "the last 30 years of experience" which is still like a millenium in IT years).
It's implementation is not great either. Not a very good compiler, not a very good GC, not good tooling.
My theory is it caught on for 4 reasons:
1) It came from Google, and with some famous names to top. This got it initial publicity in programming sites and media, and Google then coughed for conferences, a spot on I/O etc -- so it caught lots of eyeballs, something independent languages don't have a chance to do.
2) It produces static binaries and this was a real need for lots of use cases.
3) It's easy to get started with, and made converts from scripting languages feel empowered, as if they were "real programmers" writing C, what with "pointers" and static types.
4) It makes writing parallel code for some uses cases easy, which is a good fit for some infrastructure/services apps.
(I don't think most teams outside of Google and some C++ or Scala shops have had any beef with "long compile times" for that to have been a major factor. Though it played to the hype of it being "just like a scripting language").
Golang is not an especially impressive programming language --- as a language. But it seems to me like it is an undeniably impressive programming tool.
C, C++, Java, Python, and an appreciation of formal specs over frameworks form Go.
Most languages to perform professionally in you have to know what not to do (not use C++ templates too much, not give into verbosity in hierarchies in Java, not use the GIL, etc.). In Go, because it is a relatively clean refactor, you don't have to worry about this.
But you do have to invent your own smaller libraries for what you want to do sometimes. Because it's a younger language. This is good though if you like programming and stacking lego pieces on you way to stacking paper.
I contributed to Go in the early phases and I really enjoyed using it and learning it, but I found myself going to either Java if I wanted to write something for production or Node if I wanted to write something as a prototype. Unfortunately, I haven't used it almost at all for the past couple of years :(
And if you wanted a concurrent language that wasn't a functional language what would you use?
Well, sorry, but if that's your level of understanding after one year of Go, I'm furious I wasted time to read your article up to that point.
There is nothing special about Go. It's simple and just works.
Every time I used Go for a project it just worked. No fuss. With very little effort. And that's the point.
Apparently, the author doesn't understand how pointers work in Golang. He should read this article: http://openmymind.net/Things-I-Wish-Someone-Had-Told-Me-Abou... . In short, golang pointer is neither c pointer nor java reference.
Go certainly taught me quite a bit about closures and programming to an interface.
But what they didn't know and couldn't prevent, was that their world would soon become (neigh, has already become) the battle ground of 3 ultra-advanced warring alien species: Go, Rust, and Elixir. Backed by unimaginably powerful forces (except Elixir, which is just open-source by Poland's own Jose Valim), the upstart alien languages threaten to herald in a terrifying future for the current 3 powerhouses.
OP's article, and the fact that lots of people are agreeing, is a sign that one of the invading aliens is weakening.
Agreed. C and Rust are systems langauges, Go is not particlarly great in that category. That is okay.
I will say, I hope you have fun getting an average CS graduate to properly write and maintain a Haskell or Erlang program with concurrency. Go is stupid easy to pick up for anyone who has worked with C/C++/C#/Java/Python/Ruby, which, by no exaggeration, probably encompasses every programmer alive.
Meanwhile, Haskell and Erlang look like gibberish to most programmers. And I'll admit, that's a lacking argument. Functional languages cannot be said to be bad just because most people don't understand the functional paradigm.
But the fact remains, an average programmer can sit down today with no knowledge of Go, and by the end of the day create a concurrent program using Go. And given the lack of flair in go, it's the langauge that lends itself to being maintainable. You won't see anything like in python or perl where you're almost expected to abuse the langauge internals (see this awesome example in python ). That's completely by design.  (scroll up to see the quote by Rob Pike)
If you have a team of a dozen guys working on a project with thousands of lines, your priority is not just performance (Go is quick enough ). It's probably not elegance either.
It's software that documents itself.
I used to work as a systems administrator for my schools engineering department. We would deal with fixing perl scripts dating back to the 90's. As students came and went, the result was hack jobs on top of hack jobs by students who are now in their 30's. I hated it. I would commonly have to rewrite scripts because over the years the basic flow of the program became completely asinine.
That's exactly where go does well. Go is a langauge for people who don't want to have to deal with abuses of the language that their coworkers put in place. Go is a language that understands that for programmers, maintaining code means fixing bugs and fixing bugs tends to boil down to hacky solutions. Go ensures that those quick fixes aren't hacks.
> "The only place I can see Go shining is for stuff like portable command line utilities where you want to ship a static binary that Just Works(tm). For interactive tasks I think it would be fine, I just dont think it is particularly well suited to long-running servery things."
I really don't understand why he feels that way. I don't see the distinction.
> "It also probably looks attractive to Ruby/Python/Java developers, which is where I think a lot of Go programmers come from. Speaking of Java, I wouldnt be surprised to see Go end up as the new Java given the easier deploy story and the similar sort of vibe I get from the language. If youre just looking for a better Ruby/Python/Java, Go might be for you, but I would encourage you to look further afield."
This reminds me of The Story of Mel .
If you're someone who enjoys programming and are writing the code for fun, I agree. Find the most unique language and do it in the most elegant way. Programming is almost an art, and if you're trying to be artistic, unique langauges are great for it.
But not all software is artistic.
> "Good languages help evolve your approach to programming; LISP shows you the idea of code as data, C teaches you about working with the machine at a lower level, Ruby teaches you about message passing & lambdas, Erlang teaches you about concurrency and fault tolerance, Haskell teaches you about real type systems and purity, Rust presumably teaches you about sharing memory in a concurrent environment. I just dont think I got much from learning Go."
I don't think that all langauges need to be learning experiences. Sometimes you just need to get shit done.
It made me think about pointers, and gave me insight to just how complicated strings and growable arrays are under the hood instead of just being givens like in Ruby. It simplified concurrency and parallelization enough that I was able to dive in and learn the concepts which I was then able to use to dig deeper with other languages that don't have the nice channels/select built in.
I've come to realize that, in my learning at least, there are thresholds of information that people get stuck at, but once they cross you get a flood of improvement. Go allowed me to stop thinking only within the code context, but also in the machine context. Now a large amount of my side projects are in C or Rust, and even my day job writing higher level languages has benefited greatly from the new ability to understand the moving parts. It's not going to give you a compsci education, but it'll give you that intermediate step you need to wade into that territory.
This is a major change in terms of what I would hear from a Microsoft Blog Post on Software Development Tools and especially Visual Studio.
5 years ago I wouldn't even be surprised if MS websites intentionally didn't work in browsers not IE. Now this.
Somehow though, I can't seem to silence the inner voice in my head that keeps asking: "Can a Leopard really change it's spots"?
It'll take a few more iterations of MS's displays of commitment to "Openness" to get me to believe that they have fully embraced the concept.
I won't be holding my breath ...
And, judging from the comments, its greatest strength is when it emulates git, ignoring their previous 2 source control products?
> We make it easy to integrate your custom tool or third-party service with Visual Studio Online using open standards like REST APIs and OAuth 2.0.
I tried to set up a similar (identical) scheme for use internally, but for some bonkers reason Microsoft's CA on 2008 R2 makes doing this almost "impossible." Or at least if it is possible it is insanely complex. It just really hated and rejected the concept of an offline root CA that didn't have a Microsoft CA running for it.
I'd love to be able to tell everyone doing an internal/corporate key-chain that "this is how it should be done" but holy heck does the tooling make it more complicated than it needs to be. I should just be able to install the public root key, hide the private root key indefinitely and it should "just work" for any key generated via the two intermediate CAs.
Why, oh why, not ECDSA from the start?
Or rather, a single point of vulnerability?
See Wiki 1. to 9.If you enjoy your first try for Crystal Language, it's nice.
Also, are there packages/libs/gems for Crystal? What are they called? What do I google for?
One of the major reasons why I dumped Go is that it's just too verbose and makes me write too much boilerplate code. I want to sort a collection and I have to write the same algorithm every single time for every single type. It's just boring and my time could be better spent elsewhere.
I appreciate the feedback HN!
The Null pointer analysis is great, hope this stuff pollinates some of the more mainstream languages
Specifically, you need lightweight processes and no-shared-memroy architecture.
While the number of cores on a machine is remaining relatively low, the number of machines in a system are going up.
Erlang got this right and build a lot of infrastructure around it (OTP) and while you can't replicate that infrastructure quickly you can get the fundamentals right.
Simply getting this wrong rules out a lot of languages from consideration (because why learn a new language that is going to be obsolete, or only chosen by people who don't understand how to build systems?)
It's a lot easier to get this in when you're new and can make major changes to the language. Once you start to solidify it would break things- this is why Go's fake concurrency is a tragedy and a huge missed opportunity.
"The agreement bans government mandates for use of open source software, stating "No Party may require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition of providing services related to such software in its territory." The open source word processing application LibreOffice has been deployed by many local governments throughout the EU to save money..
.. the agreement would strip existing protections which aim to keep confidential or personally identifiable data within country borders or which prohibit its movement to other countries which do not have similar data protection laws in place.
.. seeking to end publicly provided services like public pension funds, which are referred to as 'monopolies' and to limit public regulation of all financial services ."
It's easy in our little bubble to forget that most of the populace don't know, don't care, don't want to know anything about trade agreements, and will simply take the first opinion handed to them as their own.
The alternative is that people rationally think stuff through, and end up going "Down with humans! Dey took mah jurb!", which I can't believe.
Either way, if the UN keep it up, I'd wager you'll start seeing bits in the British press about how the UN wants to take our freedom and give it to someone else because immigration and terrorists and tigers oh my.
We all frown upon countries like China who restrict what their people can do online and offline, what they can say and do, but the ironic thing is these countries don't try to hide their actions and intents like the US and its corporate lobbyists do. We are told the TPP and all of those other agreements will be great for our countries, but will they?
The TPP specifically is a horrible piece of work. I understand free trade agreements are beneficial to keeping the economy going, but Australia (where I reside) ironically already has trade agreements with 8 of the 11 participating countries in the TPP anyway. Do we really need to sign a new agreement just to trade with 3 extra partners? We have a free healthcare system (free as in paid for using tax) where we get access to subsidised generic medicines and doctor visits that don't cost anything (like Canada) and under the TPP these freedoms thanks to corporate interests could be removed entirely.
The very fact that Australia has had to request exemption from our environment and healthcare system from being affected by the TPP and possible ISDS provisions is worrying in itself. If we even get these exemptions will be another matter entirely. Extending the duration under which pharmaceutical companies can block out generic medicines is a lose-lose situation for the poor.
I'm scared for what the future holds. I want my children to grow up having the same freedoms and benefits that I did, not having to pay exorbitant amounts of money to access medicines that would currently cost $10 or so under the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
And that's the best case scenario. With studies which appear to ignore any downside of the trade agreement.
Another choice morsel:
According to CEO's analysis of the leaked document: "as soon as a new regulation is in the pipeline, businesses should be informed through an annual report, and be involved". Specifically, governments wishing to bring in new regulations have to offer companies that may be affected by legislation or regulation an opportunity to provide input, with the rider that this input shall be taken into account when finalising the proposal."
Consumers, on the other hand, can just get stuffed, no privileged access for NGOs.
Not to mention the ISDS mechanism, which is pure madness. What democratic government would want to be subject to secret tribunals, especially considering the litigation-happy nature of US business culture? A system which, apparently, is already used to strong-arm Canada into watering down legislation which would endanger US corporate profits...
The final few paragraphs state that if one EU member votes against TTIP then they will be blamed for not facilitating growth. Yeah, by lobbying companies, but not by the people. The EP have generally been the 'good' guys in history, and I highly doubt that they're going to U-turn and go against everything they created in the past few decades by allowing multinational companies to lobby them into lowering standards.
It's all very sensational and the media takes a very jazz hands approach to presenting the happenings to the public, when in actuality if one did a little research, you would find that the documents that exist right now present the opposite case of what the public believes.
If TTIP is horrible, I still have faith that our MEPs will reject it. But we're not anywhere near a final document to vote on, so I don't think we should be running around waving our hands in the air just yet.
Sorry which democracy? If these talks and their outcomes are already a secret (without discussing matters of national security), then this is one more reason for me not to consider the EU nor the US a democracy. The people have just a tiny fraction of power compared to the corps.
Let's just be fair and teach the next generations that our countries have been hijacked by corps+lobbyists, and that democracy is just a word used to make people accept their totalitarian power.
Instead we seemingly ended up with a whole bowl of agreements regarding controversial protectionism, financial regulation, etc.
"Through a US Freedom of Information Act request, Intellectual Property Watch has obtained some 400 pages of email traffic between USTR officials and industry advisors ... the emails reveal a close-knit relationship between negotiators and the industry advisors that is likely unmatched by any other stakeholders. "
Worse terms for RCEP in Asia: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/06/just-when-you-thought-...
"RCEP can be compared with the .. TPP, except that rather than being driven by the United States, it is being driven by the ten-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) .. [plus] India and China .. This draft is .. far worse than ACTA, and is even worse than the most recent leaked draft of the TPP."
--> they are now at a 1.9 Mio votes against TTIP. If you're in the EU vote against it here: https://stop-ttip.org/
Given that, I feel little need to read up on it, or learn about how it might be terrible. Until I can read it, I don't want to hear speculation about what might be in it.
Evil only has to win once.
And we had a state where wealth was rather evenly divided and with many people that did well. Also we had rather low crime and view people had to worry that they could be poor when they are old.
Than came globalization and the notion that the "free market" will be always right and will make things (automatically) perfect. (That was promoted by Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Reagan, to name two early adopters). Than the governments in Germany and all over the world started to bend. "It is the free market, we can not do anything against it" was said by them. "We have to bend our laws to comply with the free market".
So it was going all over the world.
What do we have today: All over the world, people get richer ... 1% of the people. The others get gradually poorer and the lowest part of the people are really poor, because in Germany it is already clear, that a big part of the people working today, will not be able to live from the pensions they will get.
So the "free market" took over and the "free nations" are enslaved by one economic theory, that nobody has ever proved.
We are all at the mercy of "unlimited growth". Our economic systems are only stable, when growth is guaranteed. In biology, unlimited growth is called cancer.
If only US and EU weren't a democracy, but allowed full blown economic freedom, we would all have plenty more money in our pockets.
This competition (the "Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge" aka "ImageNet") isn't just some random competition. This is the competition that gave rise to the recent explosion in interest in Neural Networks.
In recent years Google, Microsoft and Baidu have been one-upping each other to the point now where they are getting very close to better-than-human performance (ie, humans disagree with other humans more often than their systems disagree with the average human rating).
Andrew Ng went to Baidu to start their team. I don't believe he is still involved in this challenge.
Baidu has been getting close and close to Google's performance. Every year so far Google has topped it at the right time, but Baidu has later passed the Google benchmark that year.
There were reasons to think that this could be the year they finally beat them.  is a story from January about the system that Baidu had built then.
There was an interesting story recently about how a disproportionate amount of Chinese students are expelled from US universities for cheating.
The problem is so entrenched that some students rioted when they were prevented from cheating, because they felt that this put them at an unfair disadvantage compared to other schools where cheating was tolerated:
There was a story about Indian students' rampant cheating at US colleges, that was presumably flag-killed off HN despite the horror stories that were emerging from academics. I've read about Australian universities basically selling degrees to foreigners who can't speak English and get admitted fraudulently. There is a currrent story about fraudulent admissions to US colleges by Chinese students as a result of massive SAT cheating. I'm not picking on Asians: Switzerland seems to have its fair share of scoundrels, as the FIFA scandal reminds us.
We need to acknowledge that gloablization sometimes brings unwanted side-effects and deal with these head-on.
Why can't the competition have the same test data each week across all participants? So that no matter how many accounts you create, you will train with the same images everyone else gets to train with.
How does it work? You submit your classifier to some server and it is run against what? The data set that determines your final score - hopefully not.
The technique is actually pretty fascinating. This is something that's been well understood by the cryptography community for decades, but is somehow just recently being fully appreciated by the ML community. See here:
Submitting guesses to a system that gives you back scores for your guesses, will quickly leak out enough information that you can reverse engineer a huge number of hidden numbers/labels in surprisingly few iterations, e.g. 700 iterations to covertly extract 10,000+ real numbers with high precision. This surprisingly rapid convergence is a bit reminiscent of the birthday paradox.
Further, this not only lets you win the against the "test" dataset, as apposed to the final "validation" set, but this allows you to significantly increase the data available to you to train your model on, since now you can train your model against both the "test" and "training" datasets.
Layman summary -
ML breaks datasets into 3 partitions "test", "train", and "validation". In cases where they're evenly split, this technique can double the training data you have access to, which is a massive advantage in ML competitions where scores differ by tiny amounts.
Moral judgement -
My opinion, this moral argument is misdirecting the attention from where it needs to be. Yes, it's bad what occurred here. But at this point, in 2015, and with tools readily available to crack this problem effortlessly, it's inexcusable for contests to allow so many scoring reports against their validation sets anymore. It's no longer a question of whether contestants will do it, but how many of them will. We'd might as well just let people self-report their scores on an honor system, if we're going to be this overly trusting.
Try creating a contest system like this in the cryptography field any time in the past 3 decades and you'd be insulted and laughed out. Allowing so many scoring reports against the validation set is fundamentally flawed. The only solution is to globally limit calls to the scoring api.
Another proposed solution -
Allowing everyone to see everyone else's guesses & resulting scores against the "test" set, so that everyone is on equal ground for reverse engineering the "test" set, and then globally limiting the number of scoring attempts so that the test set isn't reverse engineered too significantly.
Overfitting the "validation" set actually is not a problem either way, because none of these contests are dumb enough to let anyone score against the validation set at all until the contest submission deadline is over.
HOWEVER, the goal of these contests should be to promote the most accurate and powerful image recognition algorithms that will transform the world as we know it. Limiting access to training data makes it more difficult to test changes to an algorithm. These rules do not make sense to me, and I would advocate against them.
Having never been employed but having coded for 8, I wish I could get myself educated in this field.
For this test, they should have had an automated way to enforce that rule, if possible.
Look at the actual levels of piracy in the US versus China. In the US, you will get some people who say they are worried it might be wrong or that they will get caught. But most people will say something like 'watching this free stream doesn't hurt anyone'.
In the US, we have no problem with high end shoes that look similar to one another, or low-end similar to high-end. But there is a subtle distinction -- there must be some way to claim that this is not copying the other. But maybe it more often comes down to taking a different attitude towards the same thing. E.g. "cheap Chinese knock-offs" versus "inexpensive sensible alternative to overpriced designer brand".
Its also perfectly fine in general for companies to copy a successful business model. But we insist that there must be some distinction. However the difference between these companies may only be slightly greater or mainly surface-level, and so when you get down to the fine analysis, I thinj the real difference between the cultures is smaller than people want to admit.
I should also note that people might also be interested in the programming language that OpenFL is built on, Haxe, which has been around for ~10 years, is criminally underrated, and has many, many uses besides OpenFL's Flash API implementation (probably the most popular Haxe library).
For instance, here are some other uses :
- Isomorphic client/server web apps (http://ufront.net/) - Cross platform UI (http://haxeui.org/) - Other game frameworks - (snowkit: http://snowkit.org/) - (kha: https://github.com/KTXSoftware/Kha) - (nme: https://github.com/haxenme/nme)
Also, for those who don't like the Flash API, OpenFL has a lower-level foundation called LIME that is just the cross-platform abstraction layer, so you can just use that if you hate all things remotely Flash-like.
We've been very happy with Haxe and OpenFL, but for us the most important thing is definitely not the Flash API but a cross platform way for writing games that use OpenGL ES 2.0 for rendering and OpenAL for audio. See Lime (https://github.com/openfl/lime).
We've made a tactical team-based heisting simulator called The Masterplan with this setup. It's finally coming out of Early Access today! The current release runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and hopefully we can release this on many more platforms in the future.
There's a ton of fascinating apps and games that could be made if only vector graphics performance was better. It's too bad OpenVG never went anywhere.
We rewrote our app eventually to send protos in JSON format to the app, while just letting our backends still pass around native protos, it worked a lot better.
This will allow you to switch between JSON and protobuf binary on the wire easily, while using official protobuf client libraries. So you can choose easily whether you care more about size/speed efficiency or wire readability. Best of both worlds!
I work on the protobuf team at Google and would be happy to answer any questions.
"Don't use protobufs if you don't have to".
Protobufs can be much faster, and provide a strict schema, but it comes at the price of higher maintenance costs. JSON is much simpler, easier to implement, and MUCH easier to debug. If your GPB looks like it's building properly, but fails to parse, it's a huge pain to try and decode/debug the binary. You'll wish you could just print the JSON string.
If you need the speed and schema, then GPBs are great. In our case, we got a huge speed boost just by avoiding string building/parsing inherent in JSON.
I'm looking forward to seeing protobufs in Rust as a macro. It should be possible; there's an entire regular expression compiler for Rust as a compile-time macro, which is a useful optimization.
However, I do feel there is a strange swaying back to binary (Protobuf/HTTP/2/etc). Developers are trying to wedge it in now in places it may cause more problems because it is more efficient in performance but not in use or implementation. Plus, like mentioned in this thread, you can compress JSON to be very small to send over the wire which makes the compactness of it a non-issue in non real-time cases. Going binary just to go binary is more trouble than it is worth in most cases.
- Binary over keyed plain text (JSON) is harder to generically parse objects i.e. dictionaries/lists for just a few fields/keys.
- Binary over JSON also seems to lock down messaging more, people have more work to change binary explicit messages because of offset issues and client/server tools must be in sync rather than just adding a new key that can be pulled as needed.
- Third party implementation and parsing of JSON/XML is more forgiving making version upgrades and changes easier to do. This is especially apparent on projects that are taken over by other developers.
- The language/platform on the backend leaks into the messaging. For instance Protobuf only runs on js/python currently and has various versions. The best messaging is independent of the platform and versioning is easier.
I would bet binary formats end up causing more bugs over keyed/plaintext (JSON/XML and possibly compressed) though I have nothing to back that up by except my own experience largely in game development where networking state is almost always binary, for server/data I wouldn't use it unless it needs to be real-time.
That being said Protobuf is awesome and I hope developers are using it where it is best suited and that developers don't start obfuscating messaging for performance where it doesn't really need to be, better to be simple unless you need to make it more complex at every level.
842 words including code.
Average adult reading speed: 300 words/minute.
Does not compute.
Ah Ok whew, so the title was wrong or designed for click bait.