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Fidel Castro has died bbc.com
799 points by nerdy  1 day ago   755 comments top 66
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jknoepfler 1 day ago 21 replies      
I would encourage the commenters in this thread who see Fidel's legacy as a black-and-white matter of an "evil dictator who did bad things and was wrong about economics" to step back, bear witness to the objective facts about Fidel Castro's life (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro), think sincerely about what could lead a highly intelligent and charismatic person to become or follow Fidel Castro (as many have), and take a moment to reflect on the complexities of global politics in the 20th century.

I am not a fan of Fidel Castro - quite the opposite - but humans are cut from a common cloth. When we see revolutions turn into dictatorships, and idealism deteriorate into a cynical fight to survive, it is foolish and dangerous to dismiss the dictators and revolutionaries as "evil" or "idiots" or some similarly otherizing term. It is dangerous because it means we are refusing to learn from history, and to apply the lessons of other lives to our own. Fidel Castro's mistakes are our mistakes to repeat, or to learn from.

If you hold yourself holier than Fidel Castro, and think that celebrating the death of someone you perceive as "evil" is prudent, take a deep long moment and try to learn something non-trivial from his life. "Fidel Castro" in the particular was not some kind of unique demon who plagued humanity. He was a charismatic revolutionary who occupied a very complex time. His life's trajectory was in many respects one of tragic failure. He may have, in reality, occupied a very dark corner of history, but that is for us to learn and judge, not to assume.

If you think you're better, then do better. Be better. Don't refuse to acknowledge the humanity of another person because you believe you can totalize their entire life under a cheap tagline.

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ereyes01 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know that in geopolitics, there are no good guys, that each nation acts in their own self-interest. I know that the crimes of one nation may be horrible, but pale in comparison to those of a bigger enemy. I know that politics has winners and losers, that the winners get to claim the moral high ground, while the losers mourn their injustice.

But tonight, I'll remember my family members that were killed in Las Cabaas by Che. I'll embrace my uncle who endured torture in Cuban prisons for buying black market bread. I'll remember my late aunt, who had to flee Cuba for her life under an assumed identity as a housekeeper. I'll remember my grandparents, who were always optimistic that they would soon return to their homes that were taken from them.

Tonight is for us. Tonight, I celebrate...

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matt4077 1 day ago 7 replies      
He has certainly led one of the most exciting lives of our times...

And despite his flaws (and/or crimes against humanity) I can't help but wonder how Cuba would have faired under different leadership. Looking at the next-island neighbors in Haiti, or any number of comparable African countries, it seems the Cubans got the better deal. Just one example: life expectancy is 15 years higher than Haiti, and actually even a bit higher than in the US.

Organizing the necessities for life on this island, with a superpower fixated on killing you (and ruining you economy) next door, and keeping it peaceful for 50 years must be some sort of high score.

I know there'll be many Americans dancing on his grave (once the Trump International Hotel Havanna has opened). They may not even be wrong in an absolute sense. But there have been dozens of leaders in South America, Africa and Asia in the last 50 years much worse than Castro who don't seem to trigger the reflexes of righteousness. Actual mass-murdering sadists like Manuel Noriega, throwing living people into the ocean, from airplanes paid for by the CIA.

Let's hope for a bright future for Cuba I met many people there who felt paralyzed by the stagnation, the constant scarcity. The beginning of the end of the embargo may turn out to be one of the most significant legacies of President Obama.

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chirau 1 day ago 12 replies      
As an African, I'd say the world has lost one of the most influential leaders of the past century.

To pretend here, for me, as if he was cruel to our continent would be both ungrateful and untrue. The man offered free training and medical school for most of our African doctors, he harbored, trained and armed many a guerilla group in our pursuit of independence from colonization. Up until today, Cuba still sends significant numbers of doctors to remote African areas and provide expensive medical procedures for free.

The truth is, if as a continent we are to point at individual world leaders who did the most for African nations, Fidel Castro is very high up that list, if not at the top.

He had his fights and ills, but not with us.

With that, rest in peace Fidel Castro. Your legend lives on.

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peterkelly 1 day ago 4 replies      
Excerpt from the article on CNN (probably edited by the time you read this): http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/26/americas/fidel-castro-obit...

"One Castro or another has ruled Cuba over a period that spans seven decades and 11 U.S. presidents. Fidel Castro outlived six of those presidents,[[[NOTE: change to seven if George H.W. Bush dies before Castro]]] including Cold War warriors John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan."

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Lordarminius 1 day ago 9 replies      
After reading some of the comments here, my fath in the human race is not enhanced.

Castro was a genuine hero and a great man; indeed among the top 10 greatest individuals of the 20th century. He believed in freedom and dignity. He saw the US government as the enemy of progress everywhere in the world; he wanted people to be free and he devoted his life to that ideal.

How many people can you say that of?

> He was also an evil dictator...

Lol @ evil dictator. Fidel Castro never killed as many people as Nixon, Reagan, Bush or Blair. He did not go half way around the world as Thatcher did to claim an Island 4,000 km away from home (Falklands).

>...who silenced any and all opposition

What opposition? Imperialists and mafia members who wished to turn Cuba into an enclave for gambling? CIA operatives who tried to return Cuba to its occupied past?

> just look at Cuba today

Just look at Iraq, Libya,Syria today. And while you are at it; look also at Iran, China, Russia (which evaded western occupation). Indeed, look at Mexico which is friendly terms and has not been invaded yet by the US and tell me how much they have gained from that relationship.

I detest the hypocrisy I see in many (not all) western commentators. The spin and one sided arguments, the glossing over historical truths. Cuba is behind in development because of the American embargo.Simple. Not because the regime had no plan for economic development. In healthcare, this small nation with a health care budget 0.001% of the US beats the USA hands down in universal coverage and access to health. Who knows what would have happened if previous administrations had left them alone.

Finally, Castro sent troops to Africa to fight against colonial occupiers. He sent armies to harass the apartheid regime at the Angolan/ Namibian border. This counts as a plus in my book.

Rest on Fidel. You have fought the fight and lived like a man. I will pray for you. May heaven receive your soul.

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tomohawk 1 day ago 0 replies      
The most chilling testament to this dictators intolerable cruelty is all of the various hand crafted boats that Cubans used over the years to flee his control.

The first time I saw one on the beach in the Florida Keys, I was astonished at the ingenuity of the craft and marveled that someone had so longed for freedom that they had spend years building it in secret.

Then, I was chilled.

http://www.floatingcubans.com/

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1...

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slau 1 day ago 0 replies      
My aunt knew him pretty well. She runs a few hotels or resorts in Cuba (I'm quite estranged from that part of the family, so don't have many details), and had to cook for/host him on a regular basis.

I remember stories about how he, or Raul for that matter, would request to have sushi, even though she didn't have access to salmon, tuna nor eel. Even sushi rice was impossible to get by. The classic seaweed another hard to find item. These kind of crazy requests would usually come in a handful of hours, or less, before said meal was due to happen. Her job for many years was to pass off whatever she had access to as the real deal. Call it "tantrum trompe l'il", if you will.

I remember being surprised when she said it was probably the most fulfilling position to be in as a chef, because of how challenging it was.

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MarkMc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Castro's poor judgement led directly to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Afterwards John F Kennedy estimated there was between a one-third and one-half chance that it would have escalated to nuclear war [1]. That seems like an underestimate considering that we now know some of the missiles were fully operational [2]

Yet today it's difficult for most people to appreciate the extreme threat and terror of nuclear weapons in the 1960's. Half of US voters think life was better then than now [3]. Really? To me, there's no level of job security that could possibly compensate for such a high chance of nuclear catastrophe.

[1] Reported in https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RKO6MS8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?...

[2] As described by Robert McNamara in 'The Fog of War'

[3] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/20/6-charts-tha...

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mrleinad 1 day ago 1 reply      
His enemies claim he was a king without a crown, mistaking unity for unanimity.

And in that his enemies were right.

His enemies say if Napoleon had had a newspaper similar to the Granma, no french would have ever heard about Waterloo.

And in that his enemies were right.

His enemies say he used power by talking and not listening, because he was more comfortable with echoes than with voices.

And in that his enemies were right.

But his enemies won't say that he didn't just stood by while history moved forward that he faced the bullets when the USA invasion arrived, that he faced hurricanes with equal fury as the wind, that he survived 637 attemps on his life, that his energy was decisive to turn a colony into homeland and that it wasn't by any spell or miracle that that homeland was able to survive 10 US presidents.

And his enemies won't say Cuba is one of those countries that won't compete in the International World Cup as to whom is the most servient.

And they won't say this revolution, grown in punishment, is what could be and not what it wanted to be. Nor they say that the division between the wish and the reality grew taller and wider thanks to the imperial blockade, that drowned the development of a cuban democracy, forced militarization of society and granted bureaucracy, which for every solution has a problem, the alibies it needed to justify and perpetuate itself.

And they won't say that despite all of the problems, despite the agressions from outside and arbitrariness from inside, this small island, suffered but stubbornly happy, has created the least unjust latin american society.

And they won't say that this achievement was because of the sacrifice of their people, but also because of the stubborn will and outdated sense of honor of this gentleman who always fought for the losers, much like that renowned colleague from the fields of Castilla.

Eduardo Galeano.

(apologies in advance for any mistakes I may have made while translating this from spanish)

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dharma1 1 day ago 1 reply      
I once spent 2 months in Cuba, about 12 years ago as a musician. We lived and rehearsed in Havana for a month with mostly a local band, and spent another month touring the country, big and small cities.

The level of poverty I saw as someone from the Nordics was new to me, and while things like hospital visits were free (even for me as a tourist), people really had so little money, to the point it drastically affected the kind of food they could buy. And indeed many types of food wasn't even available in the peso shops, or was rationed.

At the same time, there was very little crime, and it was generally quite safe, probably due to a large police force, and lack gangs or organised crime. The people were fantastic, so warm and hospitable even they had so little.

There was inequality too, some very nice houses in the rich parts of Havana reserved for members of the political/military elite while a lot of people live in extremely run down conditions, and bizarre things like taxi drivers who get paid in dollars and receive dollar tips easily making 20-40x more per month than doctors.

I understand that part of the reason the country has been struggling is the long US embargo, but I can't help feeling part of it is due to bad governance too. When I arrived I had a rose-tinted picture of Cuban communism like many tourists, but it shocked me when I asked some of the band memebers what would be needed to make things better, they said "The best thing would be if Fidel died".

Now that has happened, I wonder what the way forward will look like - if they will be able to retain the best parts of the socialist ideals and start growing the economy responsibly, or if it will turn into a land grab with the majority being left in poverty.

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betolink 1 day ago 2 replies      
Fidel should have made it to the Guinness World Records, he survived more assassination attempts than we can count. I don't think there had been another man that had stood up to an empire for so long and had live to tell the story.
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int_19h 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a lot of complaining about Castro here (and elsewhere) specifically because he was a communist. But if you think about it, the capitalist West has really dropped the ball on this. Most of these communist movements - in Vietnam, Cuba etc - were originally national liberation movements. And the reason why they appeared was because the respective countries were colonies, and their people were painfully (in many cases, literally so) aware of that fact.

Now, suppose you're a leader of such a movement. What's going to be your ideology, beyond just national self-determination?

Well, on one hand, you look at the guys that are currently busy denying you that, and you notice that they generally tend to be capitalist countries. If you listen to what their ideologues have to say, they notice they aren't actually saying much about your plight at all - it's all about some abstract stuff like free markets.

On the other hand, you have those communists, who constantly talk about imperialism and colonialism, and how it sucks for those on the receiving end. And you know it's true, from your own experience. And those guys haven't ever made you their colony, and aren't demanding that you become one. Basically, their talk on that subject is entirely in your favor. Well, why wouldn't you believe that they're right on all those other things, as well?

There are actually several examples of leaders that weren't initially particularly left-wing becoming more so solely because they were fighting against some Western country occupying them, other Western countries were just pretending nothing's happening (at best; at worst, they were actively helping the occupier, as in e.g. Indochina), while the Soviets were ready and willing to supply food, arms, and everything else you need to fight. Of course, it came with ideological strings attached, but beggars can't be choosers.

Castro, for example, was not a communist when he first started to participate in violent resistance. He was anti-American, and specifically anti-American involvement in the countries in the region, which then consisted of backing dictators like Batista and Trujillo. It was sometime after he started down that road that he became to radicalize along Marxist lines, especially after several bitter setbacks (that also made it clear that fighting against US requires a powerful ally to succeed).

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iansowinski 1 day ago 0 replies      
For all interested in good photography - Castro had great photo session shoot by street photographer Elliott Erwitt - really worth seeing! (https://pro.magnumphotos.com/Catalogue/Elliott-Erwitt/1964/C...)

Also: there is nice set of photos here: http://lahabanaphoto.com/?page_id=132

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miiiiiike 1 day ago 1 reply      
Growing up in a northern US state Cuba and the US policies affecting it always seemed remote. Besides studying the facts in school I never gave the Cuban Revolution, Cuba, or Castor much thought until I played "Cuba Libre: Castro's Insurgency (1957-1958)" this summer.

Reading the historical/design notes in the player's guide and watching events unfold while playing as M26 brought history to life in a very visceral way. I spent the week after playing obsessively reading about modern Cuban history.

http://www.gmtgames.com/p-497-cuba-libre-reprint-edition.asp...

Cuba Libre is part of a game series on COunter-INsurgencies (COIN). "Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection" covers the American Revolution using the same system.

http://www.gmtgames.com/p-582-liberty-or-death-the-american-...

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redthrowaway 1 day ago 1 reply      
He had the dubious honour of being the least awful communist dictator. I hope Cuba can move forward now that it's free from his shadow.
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Stratoscope 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was fascinated by Fidel's choice of attire when he appeared before the Communist Party congress in April.

I think I've only seen him in the green military uniform. But at the congress he wore an Adidas jacket!

It would be interesting to know the story behind that.

Edit: Naturally, a half hour after posting this, I realized there was probably a way to find out...

https://www.google.com/search?q=fidel+castro+adidas

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kilroy123 1 day ago 3 replies      
I went to Cuba earlier this year. It felt like a new era was upon the island. This just solidifies that.

Looking back, it will be crazy to think, I went to Cuba while Fidel Castro was still alive.

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Fr0012 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is so sad to read comments from uneducated educated americans about Fidel Castro. Cuba under Fidel had the best education and health system in the world. Maybe you should apologized for the 600+ tries of assassinations launched by Americans towards a country that was communist. I would rather live in Cuba than in the States/Europe where everything is measured by you stinking paper you call money and autocratic ways of governing people. I mean, what the fk. Does England has a constitution? No it does not? I am disgusted that these comments come from the VCs and other people who think capitalism was the best thing that came around. Look at you inner cities and homeless people you create. Look at the murderous ways your country has been involved in toppling governments in Latin America financing dictators. By eh, Castro was a dictator and your Saudi Arabians friends are doves of freedome and democracy. I just want puke.

Long Live Comantade

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increment_i 1 day ago 0 replies      
A central figure of the 20th century - it would've been remarkable to be a fly on the wall for some of this man's life experiences.
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vic-traill 1 day ago 1 reply      
I found Castro's Cuba a very interesting place, primarily because of its independence from American direct influence (and yes, I realise that Cuba has longed been defined by America's influence on it, even in opposing it).

American culture has had a huge effect on the world. To attend an island off the coast of Florida and find it more or less free of that cultural influence was fascinating. Fascinating in that they were even just able to do it.

I didn't see an island prison there. Which is not to whitewash anything. However, I was free to go anywhere I wanted and did. People I met were kind, welcoming and seemed, to my eyes and ears, content.

The view of Fidel as a tyrant is not the view one finds as they travel the world. Neither is he viewed as a saint. He is viewed as someone who achieved something incredible, with all that entails, good and bad.

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hal9000xp 1 day ago 3 replies      
As a Russian, who was born in USSR, I regret that CIA has failed to assassinate him 50 years ago. May be Cuba would be liberated from communist/socialist disease.

Look at countries who declared a war against free markets - Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea. They are absolutely pathetic.

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encoderer 1 day ago 0 replies      
My Father in Law had dinner with Fidel 10-15 years ago on a trade delegation. One of his colleagues had a little too much to drink and over cigars he turned to Castro and said 'I have to ask. A lot of people in my country think Cuba might have been involved in the assassination of JFK. What do you think about that?'

The room goes totally silent. All eyes on Castro and his bodyguards lining the walls. He says 'when the missiles were removed, the US vowed not to invade Cuba. I would've been a fool to do anything that would give the US the desire and moral high ground to break that promise. Nothing could come from killing Kennedy that would justify such a risk for Cuba'.

The remarkable part, I'm told, is that he laughed it off and the revelry continued.

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zymhan 1 day ago 0 replies      
This feels like one more end of an era. Though I wonder if the opening of relations between the US and Cuba might have been the end of that era.

In any case, Fidel lived long enough to see the American overreaction through most of it's shelf life.

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thiagoharry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hasta siempre, Comandante Fidel Castro. It was a huge victory succeed in a revolution, survive hundreds of kill attempts coming from USA and then, die of natural causes at 90.
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tmptmp 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not a big fan of greedy-unchecked-capitalism but communism is not the answer for problems of the world.

A thought exercise: Here is an attempt to take on an argument made by the communist apologists about Cuba in favor of Castro: that "there are no children sleeping on the streets."

May be that's true even if we don't have any independent scrutiny made by human rights organizations to support it. But "no children sleeping on the streets" is not a sufficient condition to judge the social progress of the nation.

For instance, these children may be sent to gulags (if they happen to be of the lesser equal people) or they may be forced to sleep on floors in a dungeon and still the claim "no cuban children sleeping on the streets" will be technically true. Or even the tyrant Castro might have ordered to kill all the children who were seen to be sleeping on streets (who's to prevent him from doing so there?)

The apologists just shun away from such critique as they are dishonest or are passionate followers blinded by their faith in communism.

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dade_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
This utter failure of foreign policy is such an embarrassment for the US. Even against a small island country that they partially occupy, the US couldn't cause a regime change. Everyone can spend all day debating if Fidel's army is better than Capone's gangsters, or living off state payments in squalor is better than being a peasant harvesting fruit for the wealthy Dole family with no healthcare, but the fact is that Fidel was only their #2 enemy, after America. I have no idea how the wounds between the people will ever heal, but the only way forward is if America's leaders choose to learn from their past mistakes and take a new, probably completely different approach. Obama started down a path, but the next 4-8 years are a complete mystery for now.
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plandis 1 day ago 2 replies      
I might not agree with his methods but he did seem like a leader that legitimately cared about Cubas citizens.
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moo 1 day ago 0 replies      
A wonderfully productive life and human example in service for humanity.
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sergiotapia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I live in Miami and streets were full of pots and pans being banged around. Some fireworks too.

A lot of cubans and venezolanos are my neighbors, and there is whistling going on.

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elcapitan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I guess death by old age is definitely an "unnatural" death for a dictator.

When he was very old but still in power, I always wondered if he would just suddenly die one day and his country would descend into chaos. At least that has not happened, what, if you like or dislike him, you should probably still credit him. I hope Cuba will develop into a freer society over time.

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sidcool 1 day ago 0 replies      
We can debate all we want about Communism and democracy, but if history is any guide, democracy has definitely had more positive effect on the world.

Communism looks awesome on paper, but hardly works in practice.

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NotSammyHagar 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is there anyway way that castro could have done his revolution that wasn't opposed to the us? suppose you lived in a country that was ruled by a dictator that was supported by foreign powers, and you wanted to end that dictatorship so the people got freedom? that part seems okay. castro was a communist, that was unforgivable. but think about how the us treated chile and pinochet and other south american leaders. Like most revolutions, there were good and bad things. I don't know enough about castro and cuba to draw conclusions. after he took power, did he become a new dictator himself? what did he do more than be a communist leader?
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xufi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Raul (since he seems a bit more relaxed) will hold general elections or stay in power till he too passes (which doesn't seem that far since he's only 4 years younger than his brother )
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Pxtl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I see the Cuban revolution like Israel/Palestine. Anybody who has a black-and-white opinion on the subject is aggressively wrong.
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kingkawn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Judging judging judging based on metrics that are amazingly forgiving of ourselves and our leaders. What a convenient lazy worldview.

Castro tried, all the way.

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sfblah 1 day ago 0 replies      
He outlived Kennedy by ~53 years. Kind of amazing.
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geff82 1 day ago 0 replies      
So I open a bottle of champagne as another surpressor is gone. He did not care about the lives of his opponents, so I have nothing against his own departure. Would have been great if he had used his power to build up something.
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pastProlog 1 day ago 1 reply      
One of the great men of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. That he will be vilified by the soon-to-be-led-by-Trump empire to his north, and Cuba's old idle class, which now lives in Florida, is a given. The empire's last outpost in Guantanamo Bay is where the empire takes other anti-imperialists it has kidnapped and holds them indefinitely without any sort of trial or Geneva convention procedure, and tortures and waterboards them. How different it is in the Cuba outside there, where Castro maintained his country's independence, and saw to the needs of all his country's people. While maintaining a large force of international health aid workers around the world, as well as aiding in such conflicts as the fight against the apartheid South African invasion of Angola.

It is amazing that a small island could defy the empire to his north for half a century. Such courage is probably what caused Khrushchev to send him nuclear missiles when talk of invasion of the rebelling perceived colony became widespread in the US. Courage, fortitude, the love of the people and international solidarity helped maintain the Cuban people's defiance of and independence from the empire which is soon to be Trump's.

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edgartaor 1 day ago 0 replies      
With the Fidel Castro death, will there be changes in the Cuba's government? What about the relationships with others countries?
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seesomesense 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fidel Castro was an inspiration for much of the world.

He demonstrated that it is possible to survive without compromising with the hegemon.

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faragon 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's time for ending the Cuban orwellian nightmare.
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IslaDeEncanta 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Cuban Revolution lives on. Rest in power, comrade Fidel.
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dschulz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good. One less dictator.
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ramonvillasante 1 day ago 0 replies      
dictators and dictatorships are failures to avoid, period.
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known 1 day ago 0 replies      
RIP Sir
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throw2016 1 day ago 0 replies      
The US has far more sins on its hand than Castro. Its not even a contest. There are over 59 self serving armed interventions in other countries since 1950 the last being Iraq, Syria, Libya and that's not counting stirring up 'revolution' that usually leads to US friendly despots in place.

This is destruction and devastation of tens of millions of lives. Libya was one of the most advanced countries in Africa, now its a basketcase. That's millions of lives in disarray setback for generations. Who takes responsibility for this? If these are not crimes against humanity what is?

We have got used to a fraudulent narrative supported by 'our' media where we can judge and think the worst of others and not examine our own devious actions. But if we want to judge and get self righteous about Castro we must first hold our own government to account to have an iota of credibility.

Since there is zero interest in prosecuting or even reining in the warmongers this persistent kneejerk rush to the moral highground is a sinister posturing by people who know exactly what this country has been doing and are out to defraud the world.

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partycoder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most Cubans do not support the Castro dictators. Only party members do, and they have a lot of privileges compared to the general population.

People live in very basic conditions under constant surveillance. Phone lines, Internet connections, etc. are monitored.

Most cars and electronics are still from the 50s, from the Batista era, and are repaired with homemade parts.

People can study for free, but there are no job opportunities, so you can see architects sweeping the streets and physicians driving cabs.

Disturbing a tourist is a grave offense and lead to years in jail. There are 2 currencies, one for tourists, another one for nationals, and nationals are not allowed to have tourist currency. Nationals are not allowed to enter hotels or tourist facilities.

People grow animals at home and give all scraps to them. Once they grow big enough they kill them for consumption. People rely on the black market for their basic needs. Some set up clandestine restaurants at home to make a living.

Cubans are not allowed to leave the country. They need to pay for the privilege of traveling, and all trips must include a return ticket. If multiple family members are traveling, at least one has to stay to ensure the family doesn't escape the regime. People bypass that by creating fake families through marriage.

As you can see, their life experience is BAD. The Castros are personally responsible for a lot of it. They should have stepped down for humanitarian reasons. People that supported the revolution initially would not have done so if they knew what was going to happen to them.

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elcct 1 day ago 0 replies      
2016 has been very sad for left wing. Brexit, Trump now Castro...
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maverick_iceman 1 day ago 1 reply      
The last of the communist monsters is dead.
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euccastro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hasta siempre comandante!

<3 <3 <3

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edblarney 1 day ago 4 replies      
Today, most Cuban ex-pats around the world are celebrating his death.

Liberal Arts students across the Western World are saddened.

To me that's funny.

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chirau 1 day ago 2 replies      
'Zimbabwe' not Simbabwe
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GunboatDiplomat 1 day ago 2 replies      
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forgetsusername 1 day ago 3 replies      
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friendlygrammar 1 day ago 4 replies      
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marcoperaza 1 day ago 3 replies      
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1 day ago 1 day ago 2 replies      
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sebastianconcpt 1 day ago 2 replies      
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illuminati1911 1 day ago 1 reply      
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douche 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a terrible mistake it was not to annex Cuba in 1898.
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Jnnz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally.
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Grue3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good riddance.
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brianbreslin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you guys think Trump will reinstate the embargo?
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duncan_bayne 1 day ago 1 reply      
... and nothing of value was lost.

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/left/cuba/dictatorship.html

The man was an evil murderous dictator, and the world - and his subjects - are better off without him.

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RcouF1uZ4gsC 1 day ago 4 replies      
Has there been a single anti-American dictator who has actually improved the lives of their people? It seems the amount of anti-American rhetoric is directly correlated with how much they screw their country over.
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Show HN: A visual guide to the most popular CSS properties cssreference.io
1067 points by bbx  3 days ago   121 comments top 35
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edblarney 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is a great little site.

A) How has the web been around for this long and nobody has done this before, i.e. there isn't at least some kind of authoritative reference like this?

B) Having worked with many UI/layout paradigms, and full aware of the fact that none of them are very good - css is indeed perhaps the worst. It takes quite a lot of abstraction on top of it to make sense of it.

But it's what we have - so good work.

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kojoru 3 days ago 0 replies      
Please include the link to github ( https://github.com/jgthms/css-reference ) for everyone to edit and write issues.

Would be particularly nice to have a direct link to edit every particular property on its section, e. g. https://github.com/jgthms/css-reference/edit/master/property...

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clement75009 3 days ago 4 replies      
Really nice. I think it would be more helpful if the properties were ordered in a logical order (by "type" of properties) instead of alphabetical order.
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archildress 3 days ago 5 replies      
Quick question: this refers heavily to Flexbox, which as someone who has only a tangental interest in CSS, I don't know much about. Is it the standard way of doing positioning now? Care to explain it like I'm 5?
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tholman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great clean guide. Here's a couple more that often offer extra tidbits of certain properties.

- https://css-tricks.com/almanac/- http://tympanus.net/codrops/css_reference/

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d--b 2 days ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one whose computer has trouble running the site? Using a xps 13 from 2015 and it is really sluggish. Breaking it down into sub-pages would help.
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rohannair 3 days ago 3 replies      
I would expect a site about CSS properties to also know about the performance impacts of paints... Takes a good 5s for everything to load.
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philmander 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very useful.

You should consider serving a separate page for each property in addition to one big list. This would be more useful for quick Google lookups.

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ww520 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nicely put together. I like the examples showing the effect of different properties.
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NatW 3 days ago 3 replies      
Very nice - wish list items: adding css version numbers and browser compatibility.
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huherto 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very nice CSS Visual Guide.

My other wish to really really learn CSS.... A list of CSS problems to solve ala project Euler. You get a visual example and you have to make it look identical. Then you get to see other solutions for the same problem.

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GrinningFool 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent resource ,, thanks for taking the time to make it.

I would request/suggest an option to have one-per-page display of attributes - currently there's a lot of scrolling if you want to move between things.

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paradite 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think this is a good guide for brushing up css knowledge before interviews.

But for actual coding people would still Google for css-tricks or stackoverflow because Googling is faster than opening this website and searching.

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ollie 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've put together a PR for lazy-displaying the property examples. This should help with the rendering speed. https://github.com/jgthms/css-reference/pull/10

Ace work on the site!

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brute 2 days ago 1 reply      
Small bug: http://cssreference.io/#animation-fill-mode does not play the animation the second time you click the button.

Great site though.

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paublyrne 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've nothing more to say, other than that this is a lovely app. I'll certainly use it. Thanks.
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xufi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting app. Something I'll definitely use in the future for referencing
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austinjp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Handy, must have taken a while to put this together.

Minor bug (?): your lorem ipsum is showing when viewing via http://hn.premii.com/

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dolzenko 3 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who does frontend only occasionally I expect this site to be of great help to refresh my knowledge now and then.

PS. Note to everyone - whitelist this in your ad blocker as author asks you to do!

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LargeCompanies 2 days ago 1 reply      
Flexbox is it supported by all major browsers?

How does it compare to table HTML vs. div HTML?

What are the benefits vs. div HTML & Bootstrap .. is it just the new thing to learn?

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huan9huan 1 day ago 0 replies      
The example is very helpful for me, brilliant works!
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datamoshr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very handy tool. Might I suggest indexing some values too. Searching for gradient returns nothing, but a suggestion for background-image might make sense.
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partycoder 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic.

For me CSS has been largely very unintuitive, and part of that has been because of the adversarial evolutionary race of browsers.

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aphextron 2 days ago 0 replies      
A link to the relevant caniuse.com page in each section would be fantastic
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parr0t 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is going to be super helpful - thanks!!
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closetheworld 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow that's so useful. Thanks for this.
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gshakir 2 days ago 0 replies      
A codepen that goes along with every example would be cherry on top.
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demoonkevin 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's a really nice app, I'm learning front-end so this will definitely help me.
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ahm786 2 days ago 0 replies      
The search feature doesn't work sometimes.
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willemwijnans 3 days ago 0 replies      
So useful, great stuff again after Bulma & marksheet.
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mschuster91 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whoa. That is awesome. Thanks for the hard work!
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tambourine_man 3 days ago 0 replies      
Play animation doesn't work in Safari
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imafish 3 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely a nice site. However, I'd argue that if CSS was in any way intuitively designed, this site wouldn't be necessary.
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ehosca 2 days ago 0 replies      
very useful... thanks!
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namelezz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice. Can you make a visual guide for CSS selectors too?
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Matrix Multiplication matrixmultiplication.xyz
856 points by kasbah  2 days ago   130 comments top 48
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daniel-levin 2 days ago 8 replies      
This is a cool example of what Bret Victor calls an "Explorable Explanation" [0]. That said, I feel that it's more important to understand how and why matrix multiplication corresponds to a composition of linear transformations than learning the actual mechanics of doing the computation. You can get good at matrix multiplication without knowing what is going on. I view that as a less valuable activity than learning about linear transformations (vector-space structure preserving mappings) between finite dimensional vector spaces.

[0] http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/

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tskaiser 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is cool, but I have a few criticisms:

- Flipping something over like that looks cool, but confuses the brain. At least it confused mine.

- Inconsistently calculating 1 or 2 elements at a time is confusing. Having 2 results calculated at a time simply put requires the recipient to untangle what is going on. This only gets worse when the recipient tries to do it themselves for examples with more columns in the right matrix.

Disclaimer: I am biased as I already know how to do matrix operations, and I visualize it differently. When multiplying by hand I translate the right matrix up, like in the animation, but do not flip it over. Then I calculate each element one at a time by taking the sum of products of the row and column that intersects over that element. Like so: http://i.imgur.com/D572zOI.png

As you can see I'm not much of a graphics artist.

Edit: actually, I think this would be really good if you "filter down" one column at a time, instead of moving the whole matrix down, so that it only calculates one element at a time, one column at a time. Means the animation will contain more steps, but I think that is actually to its benefit. Does this make sense?

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j1vms 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure if anyone here has mentioned this yet, but it's useful to think of matrix multiplication as the most natural extension of one-dimensional algebra into multiple dimensions. First, remember that people first wrestled with and found solutions to "1-D" equations like "ax^2 + bx + c = 0". When others came along asking about how to extend these results into multiple dimensions so that previous results might still be useful, the most natural answer was found to be how we now define matrix multiplication. To see further evidence of this, take your favorite linear algebraic equation using matrices and then look at the edge case where you have only 1x1 matrices in your equation. Usually you'll end up with something that looks analogous to a result in basic algebra in real number (or complex) variables, not matrices.

If all this still seems counter-intuitive, then realize this is essentially why math is so important to our logic. It helps us to reason about things that are not obvious, yet logically must fall through from the basic tautologies we "chose" (like 0 != 1, addition on integer numbers, etc.). Or, more aptly in this case, it helps retain an analogous symbolic representation (the overall logic of the equation at the high level) despite a change in the underlying nuts and bolts of computing solutions to it (matrix multiplication vs. our regular "1D" multiplication).

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ryanmonroe 2 days ago 0 replies      
For me personally, a simple animated version of this image[0] looping through rows of A and columns of B seems easier to understand.

[0] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Matrix_m...

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zubspace 2 days ago 4 replies      
I like the idea, but my brain is wired differently.

Usually, when I do matrix multiplications, the rows on the left side transition to the columns on the right side. In the example, the 1 goes to 2, 2 to 6, 1 to 1.

The animation completely confused me, because it looks like being reversed, but the result is the same.

Maybe, make this a visualization option?

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user1713952 2 days ago 3 replies      
The idea is good but I am afraid it misses the point entirely. Multiplying both columns of the right hand side matrix to the left hand side matrix is really not helping the target audience understand what is going on. 2 operations are going on as the same time. I believe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkY2DOUCWMU is a much better way to illustrate the matrix multiplication (and provide a clear explanation of the why) .
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inglor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Question for staltz - are you happy with the cycle code at https://github.com/staltz/matrixmultiplication.xyz/ ? It feels like a lot of work for this sort of task which I feel could have been achieved by using an existing (mutable) matrix lib and drawing ad-hoc. It feels like an awful lot of code written - especially with all the `.something === "SOME_STRING_CONSTANT"` (couldn't those be typed directly in TS btw?).

Still, you're a smart guy - I'm trying to see why it's worth it. Do you really feel model-view-intent shines here?

(Nice visualization by the way)

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cousin_it 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think a cool way to visualize matrix multiplication would be to put three matrices MxN, NxK, MxK on the sides of a three-dimensional box MxNxK. Each cell of the matrix MxK would cast a "shadow" onto some row in the MxN matrix and some column in the NxK matrix, whose dot product would give the value of that cell.
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jayajay 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's easier to think of matrix multiplication by computing the matrix elements, which means reducing the problem to NM vector dot products.

To get the element of the result matrix at position (n,m), compute the inner product < r_n | c_m >, where r_n is the nth row vector of the left matrix and c_m is the mth column vector of the right matrix. Once you try it, you'll see that it's also much easier to visualize than this strange, unintuitive approach.

With great power comes great responsibility. That domain name belongs to that person. I hope they do society a favor and put more content regarding MM that that, because they chose one of the least intuitive ways of thinking about it. Put more ways up, or ditch the domain.

If the goal is to get people to understand what matrices are, the best way is to teach them about operators, transformations, vector spaces and linear algebra in general, because this is really the only way to fully understand what's going on without relying on some heuristic.

If the goal is to get people to remember how to do matrix multiplication, at least put up more ways of doing it.

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shultays 2 days ago 1 reply      
Change to color of rows to red & blue (while multiplying) so it is easier to which result is which product.
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hdivider 2 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome.

Some concepts in math are so much easier to grasp with an interactive visual. I once made an entire game around matrix multiplication -- such that players didn't even know they learned how to do this.

And sometimes, visualizations can help cause discoveries. A lot of progress in theoretical physics came about because physicists 'guessed' what nature's equations should look like...and then got shocked when they discovered they were right.

Take James Clerk Maxwell, for instance:

"He had achieved his greatest success by relying on just one empirical fact known to every school boy. Yet now he tried to do without any empirical facts, by pure thinking. He believed in the power of reason to guess the laws according to which God has built the world."

http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath103/kmath103.htm

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wodenokoto 2 days ago 0 replies      
As others have mentioned, many introductions to linear algebra / matrix multiplication only gives the student a formula, but not why the formula looks like it does.

Why is matrix multiplication not pointwise, was something I had a hard time understanding.

Better explained has a good article on this, that really made it click for me

https://betterexplained.com/articles/linear-algebra-guide/

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mfirmin 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of Nicky Case's Explorable Explanation of a 2D transformation matrix: http://ncase.me/matrix/
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hacker_9 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a gamedev who uses matrices all the time, I don't find this animation useful at all for practical work. Instead I think of matrix multiplication as creating a list of ordered operations (scale x translate x rotate etc) which is just encoded efficiently in a table, to then be sent to other parts of the program for use. You can even remove items from the list by multiplying by their inverse.
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FeepingCreature 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is sounding increasingly like the Monad situation, where everybody has their own incompatible approach for explaining it, and none of them make any sense.

I feel like I understand Matrices _less_ now than when I started reading around here.

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ivan_ah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice illustration of the "row picture" of matrix multiplication. The "column picture" is equally important. This intro lecture by Prof. Strang is a really good lesson on that: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-06-linear-algebra...

Also, this short tutorial on linear algebra covers the row + column pictures on the first page: https://minireference.com/static/tutorials/linear_algebra_in... (disclaimer: I'm the author)

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IshKebab 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is nearly how I think of it, but for me I do one column of the second matrix at a time. I think it is clearer that way. This way makes it look like there is some kind of staircase thing going on which there isn't really.
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tvural 2 days ago 2 replies      
Matrices are linear maps, and matrix multiplication composes the linear maps. Now statements like the determinant of the product is the product of the determinants, the trace is preserved under similarity transforms (since similarity transforms just rewrite the linear map in a different basis), etc. are intuitive.

I've always felt that these explicit calculations don't really get to the point. You can memorize them and still not really understand what's going on.

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JabavuAdams 2 days ago 1 reply      
Neat visualization. I feel it's important and eye-opening to note that there's not just one way to multiply matrices, there're five (according to Strang):

5 ways to multiply A B = C

1) Each element of C is a dot-product of corresponding rows of A with columns of B

2) Each column of C is a combination of the columns A. Each column of B has the coefficients.

3) Each row of C is a combination of the rows of B. Each row of A has the coefficients.

4) Accumulate outer-product. Accumulate sums of of outer-products of each col of A with each row of B.

5) Block multiplication

They all produce the same answer, but different ones provide different insight for particular situations.

See Video Lecture #3 of Strang's Linear Algebra course for more info: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-06-linear-algebra...

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Jaruzel 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have never understood Matrix Multiplication - which has always prevented me from doing cool 3D stuff.

Now I do! THANK YOU! :)

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amelius 2 days ago 1 reply      
How I would explain it:

- First, show how to multiply a row vector by a column vector.

- Then, show how to "simultaneously" multiply several row vectors by a single column vector by placing the row vectors in a matrix.

- Now, similarly, do the same with the column vector. And voila, matrix by matrix multiplication.

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vladsotirov 1 day ago 0 replies      
The UI confuses me to the point of frustration.

1. A "Previous" button would help since otherwise you have to go loop through the whole thing to see what actually happened (e.g. how exactly the first step lifts and rotates the matrix, what's getting added to what).

2. The final animation step is a transition from the patently false equation "[matrix1]=[result_matrix]" to the finally correct equation "[matrix1] x [matrix2] = [result_matrix]". This could be avoided if instead of transforming "[matrix1] x [matrix2]" into "[matrix1 plus overlay]=[result_matrix to be filled]" and then doing the 'waterfall', the equation "[matrix1] x [matrix2] = [result_matrix to be filled]" was maintained throughout, perhaps with the moving overlay slightly grayer after lifting [matrix2].

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greggman 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is very cool. For me I needed to know why it works not what it does.

I worked it out here for 2d transformations http://webglfundamentals.org/webgl/lessons/webgl-2d-matrices... and then expanded it to 3d, perspective, and cameras.

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ww2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think this is overdone and does not help the intuition. two things: (1). the first step of transposing the second matrix 90 degree is unnecessary and confusing. A row vector and a column vector are different. This step confuses the two. (2). All the final elements are independent and should be calculated in parallel, the stepped anime is not necessary and does not reveal this basic fact.
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rsp1984 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice, but the mental model I prefer is to think of a Matrix-Vector multiplication as the weighted sum of Matrix columns, and a Matrix-Matrix multiplication as just several Matrix-Vector multiplications (results being the columns of a new matrix).
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gregn610 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. I needed something like that when I was getting started with ML courses.
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jakehoon 2 days ago 0 replies      
This would have been so awesome to have in college. I stumbled upon RegExr the other day (http://regexr.com) which I absolutely love. It kind of shares this spirit of showing people how to do things that appear complex at first glance, but have a sort of addicting nuance to them. Thanks for sharing.
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jordigh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find this image a lot easier to work with. The animation above just seems a tad confusing:

https://staff.fnwi.uva.nl/r.vandenboomgaard/IPCV/_images/Mat...

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kafkaesq 2 days ago 0 replies      
I my head I see the matrices remaining in place, while the vectors from the left slowly float to the right, produce dot products, which in turn float into their destination cells in the new output matrix just to the right of the equals sign.

But that's just me.

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adamnemecek 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have found the Stanford EE263 class to be possibly the best class on linear algebra. This might be due to the fact that it's technically a class about linear dynamic systems not linear algebra per se

http://ee263.stanford.edu/

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scalablenotions 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you! This is marvelous and really made me understand this process at a much simpler level. Please consider making more for other mathematical concepts :)
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thanatropism 2 days ago 0 replies      
See the very first video in Strang's MIT Linear Algebra course on YouTube.

There's two ways of seeing matrix multiplication (from a matrix POV, rather than as linear transformations).

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daw___ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome. What about making it more clear that the "End" button will animate remaining steps? Before clicking it I thought it would have jumped to the last step.
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cocktailpeanuts 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have no idea what's going on there.

But it's a cool piece of art, I'm guessing that was the intention.

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lima 2 days ago 0 replies      
Appropriate use of the .xyz TLD :-)
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NumberCruncher 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish we had visualizations like this back in the 90's when I studied statistics.
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matteuan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice, now let's do it with the Strassen's algorithm
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kasbah 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this visualization could be turned into a fun game.
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jasonx1e 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now make one that can find inverses ( )
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hodder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool visualization.
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esalman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another one for matrix inversion would be nice.
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mrcactu5 2 days ago 0 replies      
this is more than just visualization. i can touch the computation. each step is tangible
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rockdoe 2 days ago 2 replies      
Misrenders on Firefox for Android.
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joshaidan 2 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting, I wonder why Facebook has this website blocked, preventing me from posting it on my wall.
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Vinkekatten 2 days ago 0 replies      
Meh, the site is blocked at my workplace. Websense is really crummy.
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coin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Uggg, why is zoom disable on mobile devices?
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known 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool
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HeavyStorm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I read the title and thought, oh God, not another one, the second was bad enough and I like to pretend that the third never happened...
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What if jobs are not the solution but the problem? aeon.co
659 points by jonbaer  2 days ago   528 comments top 52
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cesarbs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Another good read on the topic: http://newramblerreview.com/book-reviews/political-science/t...

I like this bit:

"the knowledge worker is under severe external constraints. Much of their work is assisted or mediated through information technology, which contributes to a de-skilling of their cognitive labor. And on top of this they are expected to fully invest themselves in their jobs in a way that manufacturing laborers never did: they must demonstrate commitment above and beyond their contracted work hours, and express constant satisfaction and happiness about their work. The whole thing is exhausting."

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chadcmulligan 2 days ago 7 replies      
Maybe a better approach is how can we spend the surplus labour? There are lots of things I see need doing looking around my neighbourhood - public parks need cleaning up, old houses could be torn down and make some nice new ones, old roads could be fixed. Probably stacks of other things. Maybe some creative accounting will enable us to do these things? I know national parks near me have great paths that were built in the depression as a job creation scheme. Maybe this is the new status quo, there are still jobs that need skills and some are in shortage, though people with labour skills are in abundance - maybe use them instead of having people sit around while there's stuff to do but society can't put the two together.
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reflexive 1 day ago 2 replies      
Article has many holes in reasoning.

The measurable trends of the past half-century, and the plausible projections for the next half-century, are just too empirically grounded to dismiss as dismal science or ideological hokum

As NN Taleb points out exhaustively: social science puts too much faith in their models. "Measurable" trends? How do we even know what to measure, or that it's a trend? "Plausible" projections? What is the scientific measure of plausibility?

theres not enough work to go around

There's a limitless amount of work - it just doesn't pay minimum wage. Every time you lower the minimum wage, it makes a new class of activities profitable.

youve just met an attractive stranger at a party, or youre online looking for someone, anyone, but you dont ask: So, what do you do?

This ubiquitous question may be asked and answered in the sense of "what are you passionate about" rather than "what is your largest source of income". It would be great if those co-incide, but that's often not the case.

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Animats 2 days ago 4 replies      
We're there already. There are vast numbers of people who cannot make an economic contribution large enough to cover their costs.

Education won't help. Teach a human how to do something, and you have one human who can do it. Teach a computer how to do something, and you can have as many computers as needed doing it. The US has already hit "peak school" in terms of economic benefit. About half of college graduates take jobs that don't really require a college education. Trade schools do even worse.

The classic solutions are lots of poor people in slums and dying towns, and ethnic cleansing.

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Practicality 2 days ago 5 replies      
At this point I've already come to accept that fulltime labor for everyone is simply not going to happen. We just don't need it.

The big question is will the majority be able to maintain enough power to obtain income for those who aren't working, or will we see some kind of serious class warfare/starving populations?

This is a huge question in human history and it remains to be seen how we as a species are going to answer it.

[My hope regarding the labor is that it meaningless work can be replaced with research and development]

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jokoon 2 days ago 5 replies      
There is a difference between a job you like, and a job you do because you believe "work sets you free" or because you believe work is a some sort of value or a necessary pain everybody has to take part in.

I'm unemployed and I really don't think I have any duties to work in fast food or to deliver pizza because I must contribute. If I decide I can live poor and be happy with welfare, I will. I think it's a great thing to be able to live a frugal life and still be healthy enough.

I hear so many people yelling about moochers and parasites, it's becoming weird. Everybody wants everybody to behave like superman, yet nobody realizes you can't educate everyone to have enough qualified workers.

My great fear is that as time passes, more and more people decide to live like I do, and economies might change because people stop consuming.

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nhaehnle 2 days ago 3 replies      
The essay opens on a horrible false dichotomy.

No, full employment alone won't solve the problems of inequality that the essay very capably outlines.

But full employment may be necessary anyway, because having the sense of being needed and being useful may be an important factor to many people's well-being. Full employment is really just another way of saying that everyone can get this sense of being needed/useful via employment.

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crdoconnor 2 days ago 2 replies      
"These days, everybody from Left to Right from the economist Dean Baker to the social scientist Arthur C Brooks, from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump addresses this breakdown of the labour market by advocating full employment, as if having a job is self-evidently a good thing, no matter how dangerous, demanding or demeaning it is. "

And, when you experiment with a job guarantee program and turn it into a basic income scheme you can see why:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/randy-wray-the-job-gu...

The increasing feminization of the program (caused in part by economic recovery that pulled most men out of the program and into the private sector) proved to be a political problem. Government officials adopted the attitude that the program was providing jobs to economically inactive women who should be at home instead of working. I wont go into the details (in part because I am not sufficiently familiar with them) but officials created an alternative scheme by which the remaining men would be moved into an unemployment program and the women would be moved into welfare. These moves were voluntary, but higher pay in either unemployment or welfare was the attraction that helped to gut the Jefes program. One of my PhD students continued to study participants as the program was reducedand found that women would rationally take the higher pay in welfare but continue to work in their jobs (without pay) because they found substantial benefits in the social networks they had created through work. They also wanted to contribute to their communities.

Somehow I doubt this story has permeated James Livingston's Brooklyn bubble though.

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scandox 2 days ago 3 replies      
> theres not enough work to go around, and what there is of it wont pay the bills unless of course youve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker, becoming a gangster either way.

This kind of lazy discourse from someone who has authored a whole book on the topic under discussion is remarkable.

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visarga 2 days ago 1 reply      
Today most people work for companies they don't own. In the future, the unemployed will become self employed and work directly to support themselves. Some have land, and can cultivate food. Others can make furniture, or give medical consultations, or teach children. Even owning a small solar farm could be a source of income.

All of them were formerly professionals, now jobless and moneyless. So they have to work directly for themselves and barter products and services. It will evolve into a bazaar of companies and professionals, offering products and services to each other, maybe even with its own currency.

We might not have money but we have work power and are not stupid, and are motivated to find a solution. If nobody will hire you or give you free stuff, what are you going to do? You got to work for yourself, like it's always been since there are people on this planet. But this time, after you earn some money, you can buy your own robot, or get your friends with a small fab to make one for you.

So, coming automation, people will migrate from employment into self employment. By relying on each other, maybe with some help from the government as well, people can make it.

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joantune 1 day ago 1 reply      
The answer: communal work. Academic research, science, your own projects! UBIs for nothing would only work for certain people. We should ask them to commit to, and then supervise them in projects. That'll be the future, not fuck work, but love the work that you're doing, because you chose it after all!

The author referred to some interesting concepts of lack of work that we can draw conclusions from: the Aristocrat era (on which there was a decay of this class, for excess of leisure IMO)

We still need to have a purpose in life, we should help people find more about their purpose and help them achieve it. UBIs can and should be complemented with bonuses for achievements. This way we can take back the work hard and get good results kind of balance. Difference will be: you can choose whatever you do, it doesn't need to give money directly (just imagine what that could do for scientific research)

12
freshhawk 2 days ago 0 replies      
No better addition to the subject than David Graeber's piece: On Bullshit Jobs (http://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/ - click the "here" link on that idiotic splash page)

And an interesting evaluation from The Economist (http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/08/labour-m...)

The Economist does miss the point a bit by concentrating on a comparison between industrial jobs from a century ago and clerical jobs today. The author discards any notion that workers are intelligent enough to be affected by the true meaning and value to society their job creates, instead comparing physical pain from a industrial age factory job to the tedium of killing time on facebook at a cushy office job.

That's a cheap hack reframing in order to make a point in my opinion, either a sign of dishonesty or just being completely out of touch. Graeber is very clear that the meaninglessness of these tasks is important.

13
hermitdev 2 days ago 1 reply      
The author lost my interest after stating 6% unemployment is good without even mentioning the Labor Participation Rate. It would be if the Labor Participation Rate [1] hadn't fallen as much as it has. The US economy has lost 3.2M jobs since Jan 2006 thru Oct 2016.

tl;dr The unemployment rate is falling because people are losing their benefits and falling out of the labor force, and no longer being counted as unemployed.

[1] http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

(editted for grammar)

14
pdonis 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article lost me in the second paragraph, with "there is not enough work to go around". Seriously? There are so many things that need to be done. We need better energy sources. We need better health care. We need better infrastructure. I could go on and on.

There is a huge amount of work to be done. More than enough for everybody.

15
cmurf 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well, if we're going to simplistically blame just one thing and blame the premise of jobs, why not blame the premise that everyone has a right to propagate, or do so as many times as they want? Obviously it's less provocative to say fuck work than fuck children; or jobs are the problem than too many humans are the problem. But if there aren't enough jobs to go around, part of that is because there are so many people.
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shin_lao 1 day ago 2 replies      
When the steam machine was invented, it seriously disrupted Europe where most of people were working in the fields.

Some people rebelled and destroyed these machines who "stole their jobs". Some thinkers thought it would be the end of work.

There was a long and difficult transition period, but in the end, they were wrong. People moved to cities and did different jobs. New jobs.

It will be the same over and over again.

17
IanDrake 2 days ago 3 replies      
Forget the word "job" and instead use the word "value" to understand just how silly this idea is.

What he's saying is that no one needs to do anything of value anymore. You know, like the guy who built the house you live in, chopped down the trees it was built with, managed the project to build it, inspected the building to make sure it was put together correctly, etc...

Hundreds of people had jobs to make the shelter you value. They want something in exchange for that value. These pseudo intellectuals can't seem to understand this basic underpinning of civilization.

The exchange of value is as old as time and nothing is going to change that for a long time.

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Fuffidish 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it's not true that there is no more work to be done. We are just stuck with the idea that jobs come with growth, and that only jobs that yield growth should be paying salaries.I believe if we sat down and talked we could find hundreds of jobs around us, it's just the money that is lacking, if we could access even a little percentage of the huge money spent in wars, entertainment, gambling,...Many cities, forests, beaches need cleaning, people and animals that need care, understaffed hospitals, etc... These jobs just don't pay. I'd be happy to hear your opinions on this.
19
etherealmachine 1 day ago 0 replies      
The World Economic Forum estimates tech advances will destroy 5 to 7 million jobs in the next four years alone. In the coming years, Universal Basic Income will sound less and less fanciful after hordes of workers become completely unemployable through no fault of their own. And we aren't just talking about low skilled jobs anymore but white collar, professional and even creative jobs are all on the chopping block.
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z3t4 2 days ago 0 replies      
There will always be work maybe not paid work, but there's always work to do. A lot of "work" will be automated by robots, and even if we get AI and don't have to "work" ourself, we will still invent work, but we will not work because we need to, we will work because we want to.
21
jwatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
As the tweet says:"Just how much have we fucked up when robots doing all the work is somehow a bad thing?"
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brokenmasonjars 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know people how love work. Actually majority of people who I'm surrounded by in my daily life - love work. It's been weird growing up...as every job I've ever held has turned me into a depressed turn. I hate work. I hate all of work. I hate spending time outside of my own parameters. I prefer waking up whenever I want. I prefer not having obligations. Work not only ruins this but adds an additional set of things to the mix; the commute, co-workers, and the sheer fact of hey - here comes the weekend and the time of freedom ticks away towards another week of hell and torture. I left the workforce to get a PhD. I used money I saved to learn to trade with my brokerage account, lots of losses before I got decent enough at it. I don't see my PhD as something for job holding, it was just something I wanted to accomplish. Trading is my income. Often I have to deal with the nonsense of people asking me what I do and I prefer just to lie and say I telework as an assistant or something because..I don't want to hear uneducated thoughts about how I make my money. That said..I'm not rich but eh..suppose it was the need to adapt and avoid things I hate that got me to this point. Either or..having grown up in a very bias setting that favors work I really look forward to the continue destruction of the labor force. This mentality that you must work for even the purpose of character must die. Not everyone is going to trade, a basic minimum income is needed etc..but yea..jobs must die and the sooner the better.
23
carsongross 2 days ago 11 replies      
The essay suffers from Ted-talk disease: lots of grand gestures and bromides, not as much rigorous thinking. The underlying problem is an important one, however.

A little-discussed solution to this problem is one I would like to see tried, distributism:

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

A book I am currently reading (and enjoying) on it is:

https://www.amazon.com/Toward-Truly-Free-Market-Distributist...

24
metasean 2 days ago 0 replies      
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atemerev 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Jobs" are a relatively recent phenomenon, and are not forever. Inequality, however, was and is forever.

Basic income is economically unsustainable.

26
adentranter 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel there is another point we are not looking at which worries me.

The author connects work to our self-worth which I think is an important connection to be made. If our worth is defined by work completed/productivity and there is a lack of work, slowly it means there is going to be a rise of people with a lack of self-worth (And being unemployed means your at home alone alot more)Depression will come.

I worry that this trend of lack of work will begin to lead a rise in suicide dueto a compounded effect of lack of self-worth/identity.

Unsure if this is a sound conclusion to draw, but it worries me.

27
rdtsc 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Most jobs arent created by private, corporate investment, so raising taxes on corporate income wont affect employment.

But won't raising taxes on corporate income drive corporation to other jurisdiction? So employment in that company then won't just slowly trail off, but will look like a cliff, dropping to 0.

So isn't that idea ignoring the fact that companies don't have to stick into one place and so we arbitrarily tax them and then provide basic income to everyone in that community?

It goes the other way as well. In some places like West Virginia they've bent backward to accommodate coal mines, easing EPA regulation, destroying the environment and so on. Just to keep companies around. It is like a bad abusive relationship.

Other states for example know the game so they would court and offer incentive for companies to move to their state. I've seen that happen and it was painful for the original community to lose all those jobs.

I agree that we need something like basic income and the accounting is not the only problem, the social and moral aspect is a just as big.

The pessimist in me says we couldn't even meaningfully have a decent health insurance system like other civilized countries. We are a long way from any kind of distributism.

It is good there is talk and discussion about this. The ideological re-framing of this might have to be done very carefully.

One quick example I can think off the top of my head is how in Alaska there was redistribution of income from natural resources. People there probably don't think in terms of "socialism" or "handouts". Well at least the people I know there didn't a few years ago...

Wonder if basic income can be advocated in those terms - "You deserve this because we've created the automation / robots to work for all of us..." or "We want to free people's time so they can volunteer and help their own communities...". Some will play video games and consume drugs perhaps all day, some will decide maybe they want to visit some lonely elderly person in a nursing home or help in the hospital or soup kitchen some more.

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grigjd3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some variance of the end of labor seems to work its way around every five or so years. The focus of these articles are always the abstract concepts of labor that make it into politidal campaigns and economics. They never seem to notice that people often enjoy work: camaraderie, taking pleasure in a job well done and seeing how one's personal efforts can make a positive impact. What we should be struggling against is dehumanizing or demeaning work. People should be able to seek personal meaning in what they do.
29
lstroud 1 day ago 0 replies      
Article takes political positions as axioms for the goals of an economy. This makes it hard to say much other than they agree with themselves. Lots of straw men running around.
30
DenisM 1 day ago 0 replies      
The ethics of work in the age of abundance has been covered rather well by Bertrand Russel in 1932 [1]. Not much has changed since then.

[1] http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html

31
andrewclunn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Free money for everybody! Cool now to go buy some groceries... hey where's the food? Oh I guess the farmer realized they didn't have to work any more either... it's almost like money isn't some magical thing that automatically has value, but merely serves as a medium of exchanging value, something this author completely misses.
32
generousMuffin 1 day ago 1 reply      
When there are no more jobs that need to be done, we will invent something new and create new jobs. No one would have imagined 50 years ago that so many people would be software developers, designers, game developers, etc... Innovation builds on innovation
33
hvindin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Something thats probably worth pointing out, deciding that you are going to go into a specialty in criminal enterprise doesnt make you wealthy. The same amount of hard work is required to become a drug dealer and make a living as is required to do other jobs and make as adequate living, actually it requires a lot more work.

Obviously this is not relevant to the entire article, but I would suggest doing something like reading freakonomics before making what are imperically wrong statements.

Not that I dissagree entirely with the overall argument made by the article. I just feel like some of the examples could have been researched a little more.

34
rileyphone 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not so much that we will be entering a post-work society, but rather one where the value of labour as a commodity continues to fall. Let's hope this means more meaningfull, non-alienating work.
35
biafra 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't confuse passion with doing overtime. When I do things outside work that have to do with computers - for example helping kids to learn programming - I do this because I like programming. Not to please my employer. As a friend put but nicely: we would do our job without being paid because we like programming so much. But then we would need to do a different job to get the money to get by.
36
choonway 1 day ago 0 replies      
Where we are now is similar to the era where nuclear weapons were theoretically possible, but the practical implementation was still elusive until ww2 provided the impetus.

Similarly, at this juncture self-production needs more effort at the technology and engineering side, not more op-eds by economists.

/r/reprap was started as a movement to enable self-production, but sadly, these days people buy 3D printers enabled by the movement but don't subscribe to their philosophy.

37
Tempest1981 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm hoping someone can explain this:

You dont need profits to reinvest, to finance the expansion of your companys workforce or output, as the recent history of Apple and most other corporations has amply demonstrated.

How do you reinvest without profits, and what is the Apple example? Apple makes a profit, and reinvests... confusing. Is he suggesting a loan, perhaps?

38
dnprock 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's an effect of globalization. Once you're linked to other economies, you'll have to run at full speed to compete with the other guys.
39
wallace_f 2 days ago 0 replies      
I studied Economics and Public Policy in uni. I just came to the realization, what essentially boils down to 'utopian theorycrafting' seems fine and all, but when we are currently using only a very small fraction of the capability of our current system it makes me feel that an earnest attempt should be something more pragmatic than dreaming up our utopian society.
40
danschumann 1 day ago 0 replies      
Uh, jobs are not obsolete. If everyone who didn't have a job practiced massage, we'd all be able to get a rubdown for $10/hour. There's always a way to add value to the market place.
41
redthrow 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Economists believe in full employment

This doesn't sound right. It's laypeople who tend to measure the economy by employment.

Economists tend to measure the economy by production.

42
partycoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, a call to rethink the concept of a job itself, is a very provocative and interesting idea. I would like to see more discussions around that.
43
mdpm 2 days ago 0 replies      
When men are rightly occupied, their amusement grows out of their work, as the colour-petals out of a fruitful flower;when they are faithfully helpful and compassionate, all their emotions become steady, deep, perpetual, and vivifying to the soul as the natural pulse to the body. But now, having no true business, we pour our whole masculine energy into the false business of money-making; and having no true emotion, we must have false emotions dressed up for us to play with, not innocently, as children with dolls, but guiltily and darkly.

- John Ruskin

44
EugeneOZ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, I missed the point: what is the proposed solution? I mean, what is alternative?
45
aminok 1 day ago 1 reply      
>I know what youre thinking we cant afford this! But yeah, we can, very easily. We raise the arbitrary lid on the Social Security contribution, which now stands at $127,200, and we raise taxes on corporate income, reversing the Reagan Revolution.

In other words, we massively increase the scope of human-rights-violating income taxation, while chasing capital out of the country.

The problem here is that the author is not making the link between this:

>Those jobs that disappeared in the Great Recession just arent coming back, regardless of what the unemployment rate tells you the net gain in jobs since 2000 still stands at zero

And this:

>The fastest growing component of household income since 1959 has been transfer payments from government. By the turn of the 21st century, 20 per cent of all household income came from this source from what is otherwise known as welfare or entitlements.

The increase in social spending is the most likely cause of the decline in the labor participation rate and the less-than-stellar wage/productivity growth.

>But, wait, isnt our present dilemma just a passing phase of the business cycle? What about the job market of the future? Havent the doomsayers, those damn Malthusians, always been proved wrong by rising productivity, new fields of enterprise, new economic opportunities? Well, yeah until now, these times. The measurable trends of the past half-century, and the plausible projections for the next half-century, are just too empirically grounded to dismiss as dismal science or ideological hokum. They look like the data on climate change you can deny them if you like, but youll sound like a moron when you do.

The author is lying. The empirical data does not confirm his technological unemployment hypothesis. The demand for labor globally has grown over the last half century, and it has accelerated over the last couple of decades. Wages have grown faster over the last 20 years than in any period of history:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2016/0207/Progress-in-the-glo...

Another leftist demagogue looking for government money.

If you want to understand how automation affects the demand for labor, I strongly recommend this article over the submitted post:

http://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/10/24/13327014/productivit...

46
debt 2 days ago 0 replies      
automated Jobs could spell the end of design.

automated jobs could spell out the end of capitalism.

but idk

47
unabst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Work is not about building character. It's about getting shit done. The delusion isn't in work itself. It's in thinking it somehow makes or breaks us. In reality, it has nothing to do with us. Once you get your ego out of the way, it only gets easier. For only then can we truly focus ON THE TASK and not ON OURSELVES. And it's when we see the fruits of our labor in all of its extraordinaire that ordinary people become heroes.

There is plenty of work. The only problem is with quality, because the fact of the matter is, most work just sucks. And it just gets worse.

That's because most work is delegated. Meaning, it's packaged and marginalized into it's simplest form to minimize mistakes and maximize simplicity, and it just keeps raining from above. Such work sucks to most people. It's Foxconn, it's berry picking, it's beneath us.

But it isn't. That's the delusion.

And this kind of work we have infinite amounts of. What every aspiring entrepreneur needs are good workers that just get shit done regardless of the task, and that first hire must be themselves. Be picky and you're screwed. Obsess about character and self worth and you might as well just burn all your time and money. Those things are important, but the point is, they have nothing to do with any task at hand. Those are the HUGE tasks that are NOT AT HAND. Even if you're working for yourself the IRS will rain work on you, your clients will, a bad sales day will, a broken web site will.

There was an interview with Elon Musk once where he was asked how he had spent his day so far. He explained how he was buying up all the USB cables at the local electronic stores because one of his suppliers missed their deadline and he needed to finish building some cars. How fun is that? Imagine all the glorious work he could be doing. Imagine how much his time is worth. He could be making millions. Except, that is precisely how he makes millions. By chasing down USB cables to meet deadlines. And volunteering to be interviewed.

There was also an interview with Sean P. Diddy Combs where he was asked how great life was and he basically said he had no complaints, but that he'd rather be having sex all day. And he is absolutely right. There is no work that is going to beat sex. Work = Not sex. That's it. He is worth 700 million. Madonna was also asked about sex, and she basically admitted being too busy for it. No shit! She is worth 500 million. Anyone can fuck all day. But that isn't work, and that isn't how anyone becomes a pop mogul.

The point is, stroking your own ego and thinking certain work is beneath you is like confusing work for something better. It isn't. It's like refusing to work because it's not fun or sexy or sex. And whether it's taking out the trash or making a presentation to a VC or just coding, work is all just work. It's shit that just needs to get done.

Then what's the difference between me or you buying a USB cable versus Elon Musk? The only difference is what happened years ago when Elon sat down and made a decision to build Electric Cars. The only difference is when he decided he wanted to colonize Mars. After such decisions were made, the rest is all just work, and it's mostly work that just rains down from above. He went to Russia to buy rocket engines because he had to. He poured in his own money because he had to. He watched a rocket explode because he was lied to about the specs of some bolts, because he had to. Is this the work we all seek? There is no seeking. There is no above or beneath. There is no character building. There is no you. There is just work work work!

There is plenty of work. Fuck not working. We need to get back to work not because it defines us, but because we can define our dreams. Let's Make America Great Again (TM). And when we see our new America in all of its extraordinaire that is when we become heroes again -- not the assholes we are known for.

The American Dream requires American Dreamers. It's all work, and no sex. The "fuck" in "fuck work" is as close as it gets.

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known 1 day ago 0 replies      
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bertiewhykovich 2 days ago 1 reply      
Please just read Marx already.
50
jsonmez 2 days ago 0 replies      
Drivel
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jondubois 2 days ago 3 replies      
I agree with the characterization of investment bankers and hedge fund managers as 'gangsters'.

I'm tired of hearing these people rationalize their work as being 'to allocate capital efficiently' - Their real job description is 'to dilute real value and centralize capital'. These people don't create jobs; they transfer jobs from small businesses to big corporations.

Those big corporations gain market share not by offering a superior product for a lower price; they do so by manipulating the markets and using the media to project a false image of quality...

If you go to MacDonald's and get a burger, if you forget that you're eating a Big Mac for a second and try to think about it objectively; it's very poor quality; the meat actually tastes like wet cardboard and the bun is like 70% air!

5
Show HN: Dply Free temporary Linux servers dply.co
630 points by OwainX  3 days ago   195 comments top 46
1
OwainX 3 days ago 16 replies      
This is a project I've been working on for a while. Dply allows you to quickly create a temporary cloud server (1CPU/512MB RAM/20GB SSD) for free. You can have one free server running at any time. Log in with your Github account and it will allow you to create your server using your Github ssh-key. Servers are free for 2 hours and expire after that time (unless you choose to add more time via credit card or bitcoin). It's a quick and easy way to demo some code on a live server or just play around with a few popular Linux distros.

We also provide the ability to create a button for your project allowing you to let people create a server with your service/project running on it for free to try it out. Create a yaml or bash user-data script and others can launch servers with it.

For the last 11 years on and off I've run a small Linux distribution. I work for a well known cloud host by day but in talking with users learned that it's a hassle sometimes to create an account, billing profile and all that when you just need to quickly test or share something so I built this in my free time.

Do you expect to make money on this?

Honestly, no idea. I have a decent credit grant that will cover free 2 hour servers for a while so it was worth trying out.

How do I log into my server?

All servers are created with ssh-key authentication only. You are provided the option to select from the ssh keys on your Github account when you create a server. Your key will be applied to the "root" account.

I am happy to answer any questions about dply.co and would love any feedback.

2
kaizoku111 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
For those who want Arch Linux, you can just run this script: https://github.com/gh2o/digitalocean-debian-to-arch
3
emilburzo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very nice project, a lot of times I wished there was something to start a server for a quick ssh/ping/traceroute/debug from outside my network.

Well done!

A few security aspects that I've noticed so far:

- calling the action(s) with an id that doesn't exist will show a pretty useful stacktrace, it should probably be disabled for production

- calling the action(s) with ids close to my server, I can do things to other people's servers (presumably, I didn't confirm the action for any of those, but I can at a minimum see what others have named their servers)

Not trying to be abusive, I just want to make sure we find the security bugs before the bad guys do, because I really like what you've built here.

4
andrewthetechie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I work with OwainX and he is having some issues with his HN account right now (he's blocked from commenting?).

He wants to make sure that everyone knows he's heard your suggestions and comments and is working on them.

An Expire Now option for free servers should be coming later today!

5
fenollp 3 days ago 2 replies      
CircleCI gives you 30 minutes of playtime on a 32 cores, 60GB RAM VM.All you have to do is log in with GitHub, start a build of any of your public repo & click "Rebuild with SSH".

(No affiliations, I just find this mind blowing)

6
darkstar999 3 days ago 1 reply      
It could use a 'destroy' button (on the page where it shows "add time", "reboot", "rebuild"). This could save you some money.
7
jcrawfordor 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've seen a number of services just like this that come and go because of the persistent abuse problems this kind of thing attracts. Perhaps using github for authentication will help but I'm skeptical of how far it will get you. Do you have any other novel strategies to reduce the abuse problem?
8
martin-adams 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds pretty cool. I was confused where to get the pricing with the text "Keep it longer for as little as $2 via Credit Card or Bitcoin". I had to go to the FAQ to know how much time $2 gave me.

This is definitely for work you could live without, i.e. don't use it for production services. The automatically deleted approach as the first message does lower the trust of stuff not disappearing under your feet.

I think the homepage could do with explaining who it's intended for.

9
Filligree 3 days ago 1 reply      
Would it be possible to add NixOS as an option?

I'd find that very useful for demonstrating it to people, which... okay, might not be why you're running this. Nowadays I'm handing out shell accounts to my own server, which is mostly fine, but misses out on some of the functionality.

10
AndrewVos 3 days ago 2 replies      
I kept on getting the "Server name must be etc.". Took me a while to realise that there's a server name field at the top of the page. Maybe make it look like the other fields?
11
Ivoah 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is it possible to destroy a server before it's time is up? What if I made a server, but now want to try out a different one without waiting 2 hours.
12
staticelf 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cool idea and service, however, I would think this is going to be used a lot for abuse and since you are targeting people who only need a server for a very short span of time I doubt many will continue and actually paying for the service.

But I hope you will succeed because there will probably come a time when I need something like this.

13
Procrastes 3 days ago 1 reply      
First impressions:

* I love this idea. This is basically what I use Digital Ocean for, and this reduces the steps.

* I would like to see bitbucket sign-in and keys support.

* I missed the server name field on my first pass. My eyes were drawn to the drop-downs. So when I hit the submit I got an error and, even then, it took me a moment to see where the servername should go.

* I probably wouldn't have noticed the "create a button" if I hadn't read about it here.

* I agree with others that a "destroy" option would be nice.

* The button is cool.

This whole approach makes me want to start embedding cloud-init scripts in all my repositories. But then I loose using cloud-init for pulling down my personal dotfiles and preferred packages. I'll have to think about how to solve that.

Great idea! I hope this takes off.

14
PetahNZ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ever wanted to find out what happens when you rm -rf / --no-preserve-root

Well now you can find out.

15
accnt 3 days ago 1 reply      
First, on the FAQ's section "How do I connect to the ssh service on my server?" is a typo:> An ssh-key is required to connnect to your server.

Second, any plan other login/signup methods?

Cool idea, I'll play with it.

16
antouank 3 days ago 1 reply      
Great. Free VPN on demand :)
17
kordless 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did something very similar a few years ago with http://stackmonkey.com. Note the site's cert is currently invalid and there are no pool controllers running, so you can't start a server until someone starts a pool controller. The idea was to tie starts of instances to something decentralized (Bitcoin) and then securely fetch the configuration data from somewhere you control. Thinking IPFS for that in the next iteration.
18
achr2 3 days ago 1 reply      
The pricing seems very fair, you should make it more prevalent.
19
p4bl0 3 days ago 1 reply      
If like me you are wondering about the prices, I finally found the FAQ (link in small font at the bottom of the page) and there is the relevant information:

 2 Days: $2 1 Week: $3 1 Month: $10 6 Months: $50
So, if you need a long term server (which is not what this service is intended for) it's a lot more expensive than other cheap VPSs (it's easy to find OpenVZ VPSs for as little as $15/yr).

20
djent 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great service! I needed a free host to demo a class project. Works great, but the user script didn't setup right... maybe I just didn't know how to use it but I tried to follow your example. Would be great to be able to test that before running up a server.

Edit: http://198.199.73.132:8080 if you want to check it out in the next hour and a half

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petters 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just tried this and I really like it. I hope this is here to stay. The Dply button could be huge!
22
kingosticks 3 days ago 7 replies      
Is the paid version supposed to work yet? I just tried to create a 2 day instance and clicking the "pay with card" button doesn't do anything.

On a related note, does anyone know a good way to pay USD for things like this with a foreign (e.g. UK) bank account. If I use my UK VISA I get stung by my bank's criminal conversion change/rate. This is rarely something I need to do but it has arisen a few times now.

23
paradite 3 days ago 2 replies      
I am not sure what's the use case for this.

For deployment of small web apps, you have heroku, GAE and now, all of which offer "permanent" hosting.

24
hellofunk 3 days ago 3 replies      
This comes at a time when, as a Linux newbie, I am curious about exploring the range of various Linux distros and GUIs out there. Would this be a nice tool to see the differences in the windowing interface of various Linux distros and learning more about navigating Linux through X windows, KDE, Gnome, etc, vs just using a command line?
25
tluyben2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ah! Brilliant, I was looking for this recently but could not find a reason why someone would make this though. Thanks!
26
robputt796 3 days ago 1 reply      
Really wanted to give this a go but unfortunately when I try and create a server it doesn't do anything, just refreshes to the main dashboard. No error or any other detail is shown. But overall nice idea, would probably use it to provide demos of a script / project for a fixed 2 hour window.
27
kentwistle 3 days ago 0 replies      
I selected the wrong SSH key to add to my server and now have to wait 2 hours to rectify my mistake.

Cool service though!

28
ovao 3 days ago 2 replies      
Nice service! I could see this being really useful for web scraping or for offloading compilation. (Or any relatively short computation, really.)

I caught a bit of an awkward sentence on the FAQ though: "Unless specifically specified otherwise.."

Just "specified" will do :)

29
gravypod 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Your new server's first two hours are FREE. Keep it longer for as little as $2 via Credit Card or Bitcoin. Your server is deleted automatically when its time runs out, never incur unexpected bills.

How much longer? This can't be $1/HR

30
znpy 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you need temporary linux servers, check out linuxacademy.com.

I have a paid account and besides accessing the content, i can spin up to six virtual machine to test stuff, at no extra cost besides the montly fee.

31
wheelerwj 3 days ago 1 reply      
You should disable bitcoin somehow, or this will end very, very badly for you.
32
d--b 3 days ago 1 reply      
Aren't you guys worried that this is going to be used for hacking?
33
creullin 3 days ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool! Spun up a new server in like 30 seconds. I can see this being helpful for small POC's and the like.

I'd say a good next step would be to add some more user-data example scripts for common setups.

Awesome job!

34
djhworld 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm wondering what the digital ocean terms and conditions are around this, Dply looks like it is subcontracting their infrastructure, is that allowed?
35
nik736 3 days ago 2 replies      
I am not really sure how this works exactly but since they are receiving my email and ssh keys from GitHub, can't they simply use it for malicious purpose?
36
hoschicz 3 days ago 1 reply      
Have you evaluated using containers for this type of workloads? You could save a fuckton of money this way.
37
VertexRed 3 days ago 1 reply      
The biggest issue that I can see with this is abuse.

Do you have a way of preventing email spam and outgoing DoS attacks?

38
wyldfire 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a really neat service. Thanks, I probably will get some leverage out of this.
39
libeclipse 3 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't work for me. I seem to be getting a 403 forbidden code when I authorise it.
40
echeese 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is this from Diply? It uses the same logo font and everything.
41
homerguy69 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there no way to manually delete an instance?
42
maerF0x0 3 days ago 1 reply      
if i can pay with bitcoin, whats to stop me from doing bad things with these servers?
43
traviswingo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well done!
44
throwaway123dse 3 days ago 2 replies      
Do you support freeBSD?
45
debt 3 days ago 0 replies      
this is awesome! great work.
46
emcrazyone 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Dply blocks common SMTP ports by default in order to prevent abuse of the platform and be able to provide servers for free."

Why do this over simpler bandwidth throttling say after a certain threshold has been met?

6
Cards Against Humanity is digging a hole in the earth holidayhole.com
560 points by kwikiel  1 day ago   344 comments top 59
1
Hurtak 1 day ago 4 replies      
Their FAQ is also pretty good.

Q: Why arent you giving all this money to charity?A: Why arent YOU giving all this money to charity? Its your money.

2
Friedduck 1 day ago 9 replies      
We were stopped by a TSA agent, who took great care to inspect our Cards Against Humanity deck, and ask lots of questions. Where'd you buy them? What is this? She revealed in the course of the conversation that she'd been banned from shopping on Amazon.

I posit that someone who's banned from shopping at AMZN is more dangerous than someone who plays card games with a dark sense of humor. How does that even happen?

3
frisco 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Much better than the laser cutting of a Picasso. CAH is the OK Go of postmodern satire and have outdone themselves. Really incredible art.

I imagine many people not getting this is the same feeling I had growing up and being dragged to museums.

4
binaryorganic 1 day ago 0 replies      
The folks at CaH have a history of pranks around Black Friday. They've invited people to send them money in exchange for absolutely nothing. They've sold boxes of actual bullshit. My personal favorite was when they raised their prices $5 and called it a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity and they still had record sales.
5
dorianm 1 day ago 10 replies      
This is crazy awesome! I just wanted to do a cost breakdown:

0.6s/$ is $6,000/hour (thanks @danielvf).

The excavator is around $2000/day[1].

The truck is around $2200/day[2].

Plus at least two operators with $200/day each[3].

And then the cost of Stripe's fees, buying the land, getting a permit (?), etc.

[1]: http://www.rentalyard.com/listings/construction-equipment/fo...

[2]: http://www.rentalyard.com/listings/construction-equipment/fo...

[3]: http://gcsenergy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-Hourly-R...

6
rroblak 1 day ago 7 replies      
CAH would never admit it, but I feel like at least part of this can be seen as political commentary.

From the top of their page: "The holidays are here, and everything in America is going really well" (emphasis mine).

It's hard for me not to read the last part of that as sarcasm, given many people's reaction to the recent US election.

Perhaps CAH is saying that the US is digging itself a hole by electing Trump and a Republican Senate.

7
supergreg 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you see the glass half full, they are not just digging a hole, they are creating a hill next to it.
8
phillco 1 day ago 1 reply      
Strongly reminds me of this classic Onion video: http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-should-the-governm...
9
Chos89 1 day ago 8 replies      
I think the interesting thing about this is to think how weird our economy functions, because at the end of this, all we will have is a net gain for the economy and an empty hole.
10
Raed667 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have spent last night laughing at this.

I have spent this morning depressing about it.

11
cyberferret 1 day ago 1 reply      
I, for one, am incredibly saddened by this. Not against CaH directly, per se, but at the psychology of people's propensity to spend money.

Over the past 3 years, I have created about 4 or 5 web apps, and sunk my own money into them to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. In most cases, it was a struggle to get people to pay even $3/month for one of them, and I ended up shuttering some of them.

The feeling I get from this is that hundreds and hundred of hours of blood, sweat and tears from me, (which includes 50 years of knowledge, and personal sacrifices that I and my family have had to make) is, at the end of the day, worth less than a hole in the earth.

Excuse me while I go sit in a darkened room and ruminate about this over a glass of wine.

12
ethbro 1 day ago 1 reply      
"...some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

If ever there was an appropriate event for the quote.

13
pilom 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you're thinking of donating, http://www.givewell.org/donate
14
TeMPOraL 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm imagining the next year.

Black Friday 2017 - plot twist! For each $10 donated, CAH will put $7 in cash in the hole (using the remaining $3 to secure it against elements). At the end of the fundraiser, they'll fill the hole back in, creating a literal case of hidden underground treasure.

15
dictum 1 day ago 1 reply      
I keep waiting for the day cynical businesses will cut out the middlemen and make a point using only their own resources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Foundation_Burn_a_Million_Qu...
16
dpeck 1 day ago 1 reply      
"From the widest gulley to the deepest trench, holes define who we are and where we are going." - Rainier Wolfcastle
17
wbhart 1 day ago 0 replies      
An interesting question is what volume of earth could they move in the allotted time with this equipment. In the live feed it looks like they are making the hole wide, rather than deep though. It would be fun if they accidentally dug up a massive fossil find or something like that.
18
nathancahill 1 day ago 2 replies      
Funny, I'm watching two different fundraisers progress. One for election integrity and one for digging a hole.
19
ohwaitnvm 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you find this interesting and would like to read about another money pit, HN led me to read about the Oak Island Money Pit many months ago.

http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/topics/oakisland/story....

20
ivl 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think what amuses me most is that the biggest donors seem to be people looking to advertise.

At the moment it's a vehicle code scanner, LEO/Tachical gear, flavored nicotine (I guess?), and a BBQ thermometer.

21
reppic 1 day ago 2 replies      
A wonderful critique of capitalist ideology... and so on and so on. sniff --Slavoj Zizek
22
haberman 1 day ago 0 replies      
The people they hired to do this have got to be thinking this is the weirdest job they have ever, or will ever, get paid to do.
23
gkafkg8y8 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish I could give more than ~$1.797693 x (10^308).

That means that they can't dig longer than ~3.417998 x (10^300) years.

If you'd like to find the exact amount, you can copy this into the custom amount field and keep altering digits until you come up with the right number:

 179769313000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
I have a feeling whatever the actual number is would be extremely important to our survival as a species, like something I'd need to enter into an Apple II+ every 108 minutes to discharge electromagnetic energy safely or the "Underworld" hieroglyphs would be displayed.

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Hieroglyphs

24
pulsefire 1 day ago 0 replies      
HTTP ERROR 503. Can't access the website anymore. Seems like they weren't prepared for such high traffic!
25
typon 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a more powerful critique of rampant consumerism than I've seen in my University courses.
26
YeGoblynQueenne 1 day ago 0 replies      
This does not appear to violate the First Rule of Holes, and should, therefore, be acceptable.

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

27
kelvin0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well I'm glad someone is taking on that Herculean task. We can check that off our 'Humanity' bucket list ... It's funny and profoundly depressing at the same time.
28
kamyarg 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminded me of "The Hole" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAIbvlobWDM
29
JoeDaDude 1 day ago 0 replies      
I seem to recall a TV show about this subject. Yes, here it is:http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/going-deep-with-david-...
30
Applejinx 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this becomes a viral thing that never dies, can we who are trying to do little business things which can't reach sustainability due to this sort of nonsense sucking all the air out of the room be BURIED in this hole?

we're gonna need a bigger hole. Keep going.

31
raywu 1 day ago 0 replies      
The site has been down for the past 5 minutes http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/holidayhole.com
32
nickpsecurity 1 day ago 0 replies      
Next time they should take donations for a deep learning system. They will promise to train the machine with data from CaH, Reddit, and 4chan. It will then output the next set of Cards Against Humanity. Their bullshit will be at the level of some tech companies posted here often. Whereas, fans might actually get something back for their money later. :)
33
msurekci 1 day ago 0 replies      
Getting wider rather than deeper.
34
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is so remarkably non-nonsensical and fun. Not that I'd throw money at it. I'd be curious what they did if they accidentally struck water or an underground fiber optic cable.
35
pulsefire 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't access the website anymore. HTTP ERROR 503. Did they take it down because some legal action was taken against them or they weren't prepared for high traffic?
36
lai 1 day ago 0 replies      
According to the FAQ, the hole is supposed to get deeper, but the guys are just widening the hole. Can you guys please correct that? Thanks.
37
gkafkg8y8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are we sure this isn't some ruse to fund a fallout shelter?
38
praptak 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is the excavators' contract? Did they agree to just dig three shifts 24/7 for an unspecified amount of time?
39
torgoguys 1 day ago 0 replies      
I get the joke. I also find it stupid. But YMMV.
40
throwaway1974 1 day ago 6 replies      
Uhm can someone explain to nonUS audience what exactly is this Cards Against Humanity?
41
ytjohn 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hope that next year they will fill it back in. Or maybe even this holiday season if they can get enough funds.
42
msimpson 1 day ago 0 replies      
So who's starting the fundraiser to decide what to put in the tremendous hole?
43
analog31 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd be shocked if it wasn't a video of a hole already being dug for some other purpose.
44
afandian 1 day ago 0 replies      
This feels like Clickhole or The Onion but with real commitment. Excellent.
45
femto113 1 day ago 0 replies      
For that money they could have hired a hundred men for a week.
46
juhq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why did I just spend 15 minutes watching this?
47
arielweisberg 1 day ago 1 reply      
My guess is that this isn't just a hole it's a building whose purpose we will find out about at a later date.

I threw in 15 dollars for entertainment purposes.

48
lucd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Evil people .. They must have an hidden plan .. Like burying a big time capsule with the worst items of our era... Not nice !
49
ronnybrendel2 1 day ago 3 replies      
But why?
50
castledcornet24 1 day ago 0 replies      
That is bull crap
51
karmakaze 1 day ago 0 replies      
Irony here is the SSL cert being from Amazon.
52
castledcornet24 1 day ago 0 replies      
That is so dumb
53
omginternets 1 day ago 2 replies      
>Can't we just set aside the technicalities and cash and enjoy a hole for once.

I tried presenting that argument to the judge, but I still got sentenced :(

54
jbmorgado 1 day ago 5 replies      
So, now we are helping destroy the environment for sarcasm? Seriously, what's wrong with these people?
55
cmrdporcupine 1 day ago 1 reply      
Waste of good topsoil.
56
k_sze 1 day ago 3 replies      
How is this even legal? Do they own the piece of land?
57
peternilson 1 day ago 2 replies      
One estimate I heard on the required size of a donation able to save one life was around $4k. So yeah right now the collective have given enough money to save 20 lives into digging a massive hole in the ground.
58
sabertoothed 1 day ago 3 replies      
I cannot find the information which charities will receive the money. Should this not be mentioned?

EDIT: It's OK. I was naive. I had thought it was a joke AND had a good cause.

59
johnofthejohn 1 day ago 4 replies      
I am disappointed that human beings can be so bored as to find money and time to do that useless nature massacre.
7
Reddits CEO edited comments that criticized him theverge.com
416 points by rmason  3 days ago   430 comments top 36
1
vvdcect 3 days ago 8 replies      
A little bit of backstory from r/outoftheloop on this issue :

To explain what's happened to anyone not wanting to dig through the threads, Spez, the CEO of Reddit, has admitted to editing some comments on The_Donald. Specifically, he changed mentions of his name in insults to the usernames of The_Donald moderators. According to his comment, he did this for about an hour before stopping. His comment states that he was very stressed over dealing with the removal of r/pizzagate and being called a pedophile for it, resulting in him going out of line and making edits to comments. He also says that he won't do it again, and that the community management team is angry with him.

The Reddit admins have had a strained relationship with the moderators and users of The_Donald, for multiple reasons. For a lot of users there, this validates some beliefs about the admin's treatment towards them, specifically that they make an active effort to censor their content. Other users on the site feel like this sets a dangerous precedent, as it demonstrates the admins can and have edited comments without disclosure. Further users feel like, while Spez made a mistake, he was unfairly treated and harassed by TheDonald and his response was an understandable outburst.

Now, people around the site are wondering what the repercussions of this will be. Some question if Spez will be removed from his position over this. Some wonder if the admins will come forward and admit they've edited comments in the past. Others wonder if a significant population from The_Donald will migrate to Voat, a Reddit alternative.

2
Lazare 3 days ago 3 replies      
What an amazing multi-level clusterfuck.

You either need to ban /r/TheDonald, or just accept it for what it is, hold your nose, and walk away. I believe that I'd choose the former, but if I had the power to do so I might feel differently.

But this is the worst possible thing. It makes Spez look horrible, it undermines trust in the site and the admins, it confirms all the nutty things the alt-right believes about Reddit, etc. It makes actually dealing with any of the underlying issues much harder; anything that the admins do which is or might look anti-The_Donald can now be spun as "another example of their bias". And since we've already got such a glaring example of that bias, the claim is now plausible in a way it wasn't before.

Should have just quietly banned the sub and moved on. Or not banned it and ignored it. Anything but this.

3
edblarney 3 days ago 2 replies      
If he did this without indicating that he did so, then I'd argue that this is a very deep breach of trust, irrespective of the nature of the comments. He could have deleted them, or flagged some 'bad words' and indicated so.

This is an issue of integrity, so it's one of those 'fireable offences' type things.

I have no idea who this guy is, and certainly, many 'big corp' CEO's get away with much worse ... but it's definitely a problem.

Anyhow. Not good.

4
mhomde 3 days ago 1 reply      
Aww, that sucks :( Huffman always seemed like a measured and fair individual. I appreciated the way he communicated with the community when he took back the reins.

The act itself seems petty, the larger issue is the breach of perceived trust ... The_Donald finally made the frog boil over. Don't wrestle with pigs, they like it and you get dirty.

I do however have a hard time seeing a better replacement for spez so I hope him and reddit learned a lesson and put some measures in place to ensure this doesn't happen again. Everyone is allowed one major fuck up in my book as long as it isn't systemic, they admit it, and don't repeat it.

This seems to be another sign of reddit isn't quite mature enough both when it comes to leadership and technology to handle the scale of popularity they've grown to. They have all my respect but the league they're operating in provides a new set of unique challenges.

From a technical standpoint, it would be interesting if posts and comments could be signed so tampering wasn't possible and prevent even the temptation of doing so. Hard nut to crack in a user-friendly way though when everything is server-side.

5
allemagne 3 days ago 2 replies      
Reddit has long enjoyed a level of perceived subversiveness that helped it seem cool. It almost paradoxically seems that reddit has become too edgy for the mainstream by housing /r/The_Donald, and now way more Big Brother than subversive after this. If it has to embrace one philosophy going forward, it's going to get a lot more sanitized and will lose a lot of its original allure.

From the fact that those slack logs were leaked, and from reading their contents, there's some significant internal turmoil among Reddit admins that this has only enflamed further. They REALLY want to ban /r/The_Donald. They are extremely frustrated with spez.

Then if /u/spez resigns, the biggest advocate (ironically enough) for not banning /r/The_Donald will not be in the way anymore. Recognizing this, it's possible that spez stays on for the wild ride of banning T_D and then leaves it to the next CEO to run the new reddit husk.

I'm not sure how reddit ever worked, however. Maybe it'll survive this just fine.

6
SwellJoe 3 days ago 2 replies      
That's hilarious. I've always found spez to be a genuinely good guy, on every front. I don't find this "disturbing" or whatever other thing people want this to be. People were being dicks to someone who's never done anything but try to make reddit a nice place for as many people as possible; he lost his cool for a minute and made a funny hack (a very specific hack, that required someone to have said "fuck /u/spez" to be changed, and the only effect was to change the target of the pointless insult). He rolled it back and fessed up an hour later. Big deal.

The reddit I want to see is the reddit Steve wants to build. It's doubly hilarious that the people getting so riled up are the same people who rant about "PC culture" and people being too sensitive. If ya get your knickers in a bunch about this, I think you have revoked your right to call anyone "too sensitive" ever again.

7
Jerry2 3 days ago 1 reply      
One of the reddit employees/admins leaked Slack conversations... it's all over Twitter now.

https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/801680245631766528

8
TorKlingberg 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think it has become impossible to run a social site without any central moderation today. You will attract a certain group of people, and they will act more and more horribly and brazenly (generally harassing third parties) until you just have to delete something. Then they will accuse you of censorship, and the rest of the community will side with them, not you. The harassment will turn on you. Eventually you will snap, and then you are in a world of trouble. It doesn't matter how much free speech cred you have built up over the years. It happened to the founders of Reddit, Twitter and even 4chan.

Of course I am painting site admins as too innocent here. Ultimately they brought it on themselves by letting the community norms fall off a cliff. Back in 2000-2010 being the rough underbelly of the internet was fun, but that period is definitely over.

9
andybak 3 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that this was part of a particularly crazy episode on /r/The_Donald/ should surely at least be taking into account before sentencing is determined.

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

10
greenyoda 3 days ago 1 reply      
Here's the original discussion (currently 477 points, 444 comments):

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13027031

11
650REDHAIR 3 days ago 4 replies      
The_Donald sub has ruined Reddit for me. I can't go into any remotely-political post without a bunch of weird alt-Right commentary that's been upvoted through the roof with poster's comment history filled with r/The_Donald shit.

Who cares if these people go to Voat or back to 4chan...

12
zyb09 3 days ago 1 reply      
So this was about the banning of PizzaGate subreddit, and its understandable that a Reddit-Mob can be a scary thing, and needs to be dealt with somehow. But it feels Reddits moderation practices have become increasingly shady over the last couple years, and spez editing comments directly just shows how seemingly lax they are with their powers. You don't really have to be a conspiracy nut to see that places like /r/politics during the election had some very questionable moderation.
13
olh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Washington Post linked to a reddit thread with comments bashing the CEO. The CEO did not like the world seeing him bashed by his own community and decided to impersonate the users to make them seem attacking the moderators of /r/The_Donald.

Reddit's TOS:

 > You are solely responsible for the information associated with Your Account and anything that happens related to Your Account.
The CEO crossed the line because he thought he could get away from any liability for doing it.

14
EJTH 3 days ago 1 reply      
Eh. Not exactly the personality fit for running a comminity site such as reddit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSVqoW1rz6w&feature=youtu.be...

Pretty obnoxious person to be honest.

15
tezza 3 days ago 0 replies      
The head guy with God Mode needed a much thicker skin.

Running around like a headless chicken is the opposite of what was required.

Future people with God Mode should avoid repeating the same mistakes.

But that depends on what the God mode wielders perceive the mistakes were, either:

1) Losing composure and making secret edits

2) Getting caught doing it

Can trust be restored ? Open question.

16
chaostheory 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not on any side. I'm just a bystander. See this and other incidents reminds of the time users got fed up with Digg and left for reddit. We'll see what happens with Voat in the coming months.
17
ben_jones 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is the CEO of Reddit technical or non-technical? I'd be most shocked if this meant Reddit had user-content-editing tools for its employees, rather then one rogue employee going into the database(s) and changing data there.

I strongly get the feeling that tools were created at Reddit to allow them to do this, suggesting that sometime ago employees at Reddit thought "wouldn't it be great if we could change what users actually said"...

Don't get me wrong I feel no protectionism for a lot of the scumbags on boards like Reddit, but I would find an extreme amount of hypocrisy in "the front page of the internet" actively manipulating its content in such a way.

18
dbg31415 3 days ago 0 replies      
https://mobile.twitter.com/Cernovich/status/8016802456317665... - deplorable how all these people at Reddit are calling for censorship.

If you ignore The Donald people, they implode. Don't respond to them and that's the ball gane. All Spez it is doing is pouring gasoline on the fire. Immature tone at the top doesn't help things right now. Spez needs to go.

19
andybak 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that reality is actually a simulation but unfortunately one that has been hacked by /b/
20
Shivetya 3 days ago 0 replies      
So basically Reddit has now been proven to have comments that may or may not be what the user intended. That alone should hopefully lead Reddit code changes that prevent anyone but the author of a post from modifying a post without very obvious indicators if permitted at all.

As it stands now, reddit is pretty much imparts no trust and nothing read there would have any trust associated with it.

depending on context I wonder what the legal exposure could be. could they trace a modified post that suggested something illegal?

21
marcoperaza 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of people are complaining about r/The_Donald in this thread, wishing that it would be banned. The casual attitude with which people are advocating censorship of Trump supporters is troubling.

They claim that it's polluting the rest of the site. It's not a default subscription, so it's not on the front page. It's at most a handful of the posts on any page of r/all, which by the way, almost no one browses according to Reddit admins themselves. Yes, the moderators of The_Donald ban opposing viewpoints, just like moderators in other partisan subreddits do. It is advertised as a 24/7 Trump rally, and that's what it is.

They claim that the subreddit is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. If you took a moment to even read it, you'd find post after post expressing the OPPOSITE sentiment, advocating for equality for all regardless of race, sex, and orientation. The problem is that the definition that the left is using of "racism" has been broadened to include basically anything they don't agree with.

22
Yhippa 3 days ago 0 replies      
I see a lot of handwringing about this but what are people really going to do about this? Go to Voat or 4chan? Even if people claim they feel they can no longer trust reddit they aren't going to leave. If anything this just gave reddit a huge amount of free publicity.
23
nstart 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sigh. Why did spez do this? His entire credibility lost to a bunch of people who made my head hurt when I read their material. I popped over to voat and caught up. I was genuinely thinking there'd be some kind of vague link of emails and a few jumps in assumptions, but it's full on "here's a picture. Here's another picture. Look. They have the same shape in them. They are connected. Also, here's the person in this picture. That means they are connected to the earlier connection" type conspiracy stuff. And then there's full on accusations firing away about who's an FBI agent attempting to silence them.

The fact that u/spez did not just laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and instead chose to take it on this way, I'm trying to imagine what kind of abuse he's had to deal with today. :( .

24
imode 3 days ago 0 replies      
there are many sides to this.

for one, the CEO should be thinking "oh shit what did I do", because he's now responsible for every event on reddit. good job, I can't wait to see what happens, if anything.

for two, it really shows how violent people are towards those with differing political opinions.

note, I'm not referring to /r/The_Donald, I'm referring to everybody who thinks that /r/The_Donald should be shown the door with no other reason than "I don't agree with their views".

you're shouting at someone to shut up because you don't like what they're saying instead of arguing.

note, I don't like the folks there either very much, but they are people, with opinions, and they founded a place to share them, and it just so happens that they're pretty loud and easily spotted.

have some decency. stop calling for a total ban or witch hunts on the people you don't like, because you look exactly like them to the outsider. and outsiders are all over.

develop some common decency. your fellow man isn't as terrible as you think he is. polarization will only cause more problems.

spez, the CEO of reddit, can't make this conclusion, which is kind of funny. if you can't do this, then can your users? can the users who're friends of the users? do you understand how this represents your community? clearly not.

I'll be sitting back and watching the outcome. at the most, it's social commentary. at the least, it's cheap entertainment.

25
debt 3 days ago 3 replies      
Reddit has been on my shitlist since the Ellen pao situation.

How anyone uses that site after how the Reddit community treated her is beyond me.

26
typon 3 days ago 2 replies      
Reddit should have banned that sub a long time ago. Its nothing but a bunch of toxic neo Nazis being given a huge platform for free
27
Theizestooke 3 days ago 0 replies      
If this means the alt-right leaves, great.
28
CmdrSprinkles 3 days ago 11 replies      
Somewhat off topic and not condoning the editing of comments (I probably will condone the closing of boards once I know more) but:

What the hell is a pizzagate? I saw it mentioned a few times while reading the mess that is the reddit detectiving for Assange but never saw a clear description. And now it is apparently a pro-Trump thing too?

What was the logic behind calling him a pedophile for that?

29
gamechangr 3 days ago 3 replies      
Flag - duplicate - you may want to delete this.

There are about 10 threads on this in the last two hours. Some have 300 comments.

Take a look - one #28 is still on the front page now with almost 500 comments.

30
raverbashing 3 days ago 4 replies      
Look up "analogy" in the dictionary

Oh I see you're just trolling

31
asderty123 3 days ago 1 reply      
32
ianamartin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Huh. Color me surprised. A social media website with a shit-for-brains business model has a CEO who, well, isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Look reddit was never a source of real truth. It likes to think it is because every teenager and lonely 50-something wants to feel important.

Fine. Whatever. There isn't a big story here. The Lord of the Flies wanked off on Piggy's dead body.

Anyone who expected otherwise is probably daft enough to reheat pizza in the oven instead of in a skillet with no oil because that's what makes the bottom so crispy and the top so melty.

In other words, you're all mostly heathens and idiots about this.

If you want control of your content, host it yourself. Not on someone else's dime. Especially not an idiotic dime like reddit's that calls dimes gold.

Do I think this is a huge and massive breach of trust for reddit users? Yes. Yes I do.

Do I think it matters and that the people who are surprised by this basically have shit for brains?

Yes. Yes I do.

Does this actually matter?

No. It's just one more social media thing that will go away because the leadership fucked it up. That's all.

Our work is done here. We don't need to do this anymore.

33
beedogs 3 days ago 0 replies      
They should've nuked The_Donald six months ago. They should still nuke it now.
34
maverick_iceman 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how many of the hateful comments posted in that subreddit were actually written by the admins.
35
sergiotapia 3 days ago 4 replies      
High-level moderators openly discussing being paid by CTR (Correct The Record - a Hillary Clinton organization): https://i.sli.mg/eZXD0R.png

This is really funny, the undoing of Reddit - and for what?

36
dragontamer 3 days ago 2 replies      
As a moderator to one forum, I commonly edit the poster's posts if they are especially rowdy or otherwise rude to everybody else.

But its not a "prank", like what the Reddit CEO did. I make sure everybody knows that I made the edit (signing my name on the edit, using the poster's privileges), just as a warning that yes... as moderator I do have complete control over the conversation.

Its a threat that I make to keep rowdy members in check. But it only works because everyone trusts me (ie: I never "impersonate" the poster, no one ever "impersonates" my edits either). I know that if I "cross the line", then people will no longer trust me as the moderator of discussion. The position of moderator is to serve the forum, not to dictate the direction of every conversation.

The issue here is that Reddit's CEO is in charge of a community, and that community is losing faith in the leader because of his abuse of his power.

------------

From one perspective, I understand that moderators have surprisingly few options. Mods can delete posts, and maybe edit them (if they're careful and only edit in extreme circumstances). But... that's about it. Otherwise, there's not really much power mods have.

Banning doesn't really work. Everybody knows how to proxy up and reregister accounts to rejoin a forum. Warnings don't really count, a lot of posters don't care about them.

The threat of an edit war however? Well... that's basically the moderator's best tool. But it needs to be more carefully used than what the Reddit CEO did here.

8
Mars Ice Deposit Holds as Much Water as Lake Superior nasa.gov
361 points by azazqadir  2 days ago   77 comments top 11
1
557833 2 days ago 5 replies      
Lake Superior has enough water to flood all of North and South America to almost one foot.
2
verytrivial 2 days ago 0 replies      
Water behaves very strangely on Mars. http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/2753.htm -- Note the videos.
3
Practicality 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting that this is in the "Utopia Planitia." That is starting to look like a probable location to set up a colony.
4
baron816 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mars is still less habitable than the Earth would be post nuclear war.
5
codecamper 2 days ago 2 replies      
If we could just pack up some of this extra CO2 & get it over there, maybe we'd have a new planet! I wonder how many PPM you'd need?
6
Ftuuky 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good spot to land the Spacex's ITV.
7
Nomentatus 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are places on Mars where water ice is available year-round, and carbon dioxide ice seasonally, at high latitudes. Therefore, I'd say this discovery, at low latitudes, has few implications for colonization unless there's a fair bit of carbon dioxide ice mixed in. So I'm waiting for word on that before getting too excited.
8
mozumder 2 days ago 1 reply      
The entire core of Mars is made out of ice. The reactor melts it, and it makes air.
9
fatdog 2 days ago 0 replies      
King of Mars. Called it.
10
techterrier 2 days ago 4 replies      
Or mud, as this stuff otherwise known.
11
ginko 2 days ago 3 replies      
Which is about a millionth of the total water on Earth.
9
Let's Colonize Titan scientificamerican.com
406 points by aburan28  16 hours ago   369 comments top 53
1
stcredzero 5 hours ago 6 replies      
Although the atmosphere lacks oxygen, water ice just below the surface could be used to provide oxygen for breathing and to combust hydrocarbons as fuel.

Red flag! It's a nonstarter to extract oxygen from water, use it to burn a hydrocarbon, then try to come out with more useful energy than you started with. This might have some use as an energy storage scheme, as storing hydrocarbons can be cheaper and more energy dense than storing hydrogen.

The weak gravitysimilar to the Moonscombined with the thick atmosphere would allow individuals to aviate with wings on their backs. If the wings fall off, no worry, landing will be easy. Terminal velocity on Titan is a tenth that found on the Earth.

A 12 mph collision with solid rock or packed dirt is survivable, given the proper technique or circumstances. It's also still potentially fatal.

2
banach 11 hours ago 33 replies      
I think that, before colonizing other planets, we should start by realizing that Earth can easily sustain human kind for the foreseeable future, given some pretty modest tweaks to our way of life (compared to "going multi-planetary" that is). If we start valuing quality over novelty, stop eating animal-based foods and re-organize to live closer to where we work, we can stop the consumption and that is taxing our ecosystem and cut energy use to manageable levels. If we re-distribute our wealth, population growth will subside. If we put pressure on our rulers, they will work to eliminate the nuclear stockpiles. There are simple solutions to most of our issues. Once we have solved them, maybe we can start thinking about spreading our species to other places.
3
sgentle 14 hours ago 6 replies      
So, the argument is let's not go to Mars because we'd have to deal with cosmic rays. Instead, let's go to Titan, which has an atmosphere, but is ridiculously cold and rains methane. Also, we can't go there because it's nearly thirty times the distance. Plus we'd still have to deal with cosmic rays along the way.

I'm not convinced.

4
tehchromic 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I find the "colonize other planets" dream of the secular/scientific community to be most like the "you'll go to heaven when you die" idea in religious paradoxy. You would think we might have experimented with teraforming uninhabitable place here on earth - the bottom of the Mariana, or Death Valley. If that was a snap, then we might contemplate Moon or Mars or Titan.

But in fact we are systematically rendering our own planet uninhabitable. Our planet is the product of billions of years of biological teraformation that has created the narrow and extremely specialized spectrum of environmental factors in which we live comfortably. It is far easier to eat that up than it is to replicate it.

The answer is to drop our extreme hubris and misguided religious style escapism and instead develop some respect for planet e, and proceed with extreme caution moving forward, or we will find our own planet unfit for living on.

Not saying interplanetary travel isn't possible, however I strongly disagree with the statement in the article that 'humanity will remain the same' and adapt our environment to suit us. If we make it to other planets we will be so altered we will not recognize ourselves. IMO that's a long loooong way off and requires that we don't extinct ourselves in the meantime.

5
bitL 14 hours ago 7 replies      
Alright, so currently we can't even predict how bad osteoporosis becomes after a flight to Mars (will astronauts break their hips on the first step out of landing module?), what would radiation exposure outside Earth's magnetosphere do to our bodies, yet we should hurry up to Titan. Currently even human space flight to Mars is a pipe dream, our practical knowledge constructing vehicles capable of reaching Moon and sustaining human life deteriorated (still using Soviet engines from the 60s?), not mentioning reaching Mars which is way way farther than Moon (50M-400M km vs 380k km, 130-1050x farther). Overcoming this would require massive undertaking of all humanity, like with LHC, and not just PR from SpaceX to secure their funding.
6
brownbat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would like to read a serious scientific case for the pros/cons of colonizing the sea floor so I can have it on standby, as a comparative baseline for these sorts of pieces.
7
nickparker 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This is exceedingly silly. Saturn's magnetosphere concentrates radiation primarily on Enceladus, Dione, and surprise surprise: Titan.

The atmosphere doesn't mean much when you're under the cosmic equivalent of a magnifying glass.

8
hereonbusiness 15 hours ago 7 replies      
We expect human nature to stay the same. Human beings of the future will have the same drives and needs we have now. Practically speaking, their home must have abundant energy, livable temperatures and protection from the rigors of space, including cosmic radiation, which new research suggests is unavoidably dangerous for biological beings like us

I would expect the complete opposite if we really want to colonize the solar system at some point. It seems far easier to modify/replace the human body than to try to suit all it's biological needs.

9
bigtunacan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
We struggle to get people to move to Iowa because of the cold winters. The record low of all time is -47F, but the average low for January (our coldest month) is around 11F.

I don't see people signing up like crazy to move to Titan where they are trapped in doors all year round. I don't mean this as a joke either; considering mental issues like SADD and just general anxiety that many people suffer when trapped indoors, even in large spaces, for too long I think that solving the technical issues with moving to Titan will not be the hardest challenge to overcome.

10
sytelus 14 hours ago 1 reply      
If we ever get to fusion or other unlimited energy source, it may be possible someday to thoroughly transform Titan, relocate 100,000 people on it and flung it in to space to another star. Titan can be our "generational spaceship" that goes forever to infinity and beyond. To colonize galaxy, using moons as spaceship would be necessary assuming there is no way to travel faster than speed of light. So all inter-galactic spaceships needs to be generational, completely self-sufficient in every possible way and have enough population that can evolve without too much of inbreeding for thousands of years.
11
seszett 15 hours ago 3 replies      
> It might be possible to live suspended by balloons high in Venuss atmosphere, but we cant see how such a habitation would ever be self-sustaining.

I think they're a bit too dismissive here. I'm a great fan of the colonisation of Venus, and don't really see a problem with self-sustaining stations in a place with pressures and temperatures naturally fit for humans, with lots of sunlight for energy and lots of CO2.

After all, as long as there is plenty of energy, carbon, and oxygen, we should be able to synthesise mostly whatever we want.

12
kqr2 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Here are some good arguments for colonizing Mercury:

http://einstein-schrodinger.com/mercury_colony.html

13
mirekrusin 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Does the colony really need to be on the planet? Why not start on the orbit? We already do it to some extent, can't we try to grow it? Is the spinning disk ok for artificial gravity or the diameter would have to be extremely large?

Another alternative could be floating, suspended or at the bottom of the ocean colony.

It's like doing test driven development.

14
camillomiller 12 hours ago 2 replies      
If you really want to read some interesting and literary valuable sci-fi about Titan, then read Vonnegut's "The Sirens of Titan". :)

https://www.amazon.com/Sirens-Titan-Novel-Kurt-Vonnegut/dp/0...

15
StreamBright 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There are lots of technical problems to be solved associated with space travel and colonising a new planet. SpaceX is trying to solve some of these but there are a lot of other problems not well know. Once we solved these we can move on to the more popular subjects like near light speed space travel.

The problems to be solved:

- how to reduce exposure to radiation (cosmic rays, GCRs) while traveling with a space ship

- how to reduce exposure to radiation coming from space while living on a planet like Mars not having a magnetosphere

"The health threat from cosmic rays is the danger posed by galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles to astronauts on interplanetary missions or any missions that venture through the Van-Allen Belts or outside the Earth's magnetosphere.[1][2] Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) consist of high energy protons (85%), helium (14%) and other high energy nuclei (HZE ions).[1] Solar energetic particles consist primarily of protons accelerated by the Sun to high energies via proximity to solar flares and coronal mass ejections. They are one of the most important barriers standing in the way of plans for interplanetary travel by crewed spacecraft."

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

16
Koshkin 11 hours ago 1 reply      
In all likelihood, we will (continue to) be "colonizing" the virtual Universe, not the physical one. Look at all the advancements being made in VR, robotics, AI, and computer hardware. And considering that even putting a man on the Moon was - and still is - enormously difficult, I have a hard time imagining any progress being made here on any significant scale in the foreseeable future. I think it may be time to realize that an extrapolation into the future of the exponential progress that has been taking place in physics and other sciences may be not justified.
17
jyriand 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Half joking, but how come we always gravitate toward exploring exterior space, but not our interior universe in the brain? "God" knows what we could find, once the brave psychonauts have returned from their mind trips. We might as well abandon traveling on mechanical starships and become star rovers ourselves, uploading our consciousness into fabric of space-time and exploring mythical worlds and archetypes that are inhabiting our minds still undiscovered.
18
Beltiras 15 hours ago 0 replies      
They succeeded better in convincing me that there are no habitable choices in the solar system than Titan being the obvious choice. Mars will probably be our next destination as the best-fit of several ill-fitting choices. We need a propulsion revolution to reach Titan.
19
throwaway98237 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The point of going to Mars is to give humanity a plan b, not as a vacation with lots of hiking and other outdoor leisure stuff. Considering how much time an Earthling spends indoors, it's not a huge leap to spend all of one's time indoors. Building underground and staying inside. There, problem solved. Makes a whole lot more sense than making our first attempt at colonizing a whole new would at the distances we'd be looking at with Titan.
20
rm445 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There's something that never seems to be mentioned in articles on making decisions for planet colonisation based on cosmic radiation: humanity is already trying like crazy to defeat cancer, for the obvious reason that it kills people here on Earth as well.

It might sound utopian to suggest that one day we'll just take our anti-cancer pills and not worry about it, but when we're talking colonisation potentially a couple of hundred years ahead, it shouldn't be discounted.

(The point in this article about damage to brain tissue is interesting, but again, that's not something that medical research here on Earth will be neglecting).

21
Animats 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Face it, the off-earth real estate in this solar system really sucks.
22
cstross 15 hours ago 8 replies      
They almost had me until ...

On the surface, vast quantities of hydrocarbons in solid and liquid form lie ready to be used for energy. Although the atmosphere lacks oxygen, water ice just below the surface could be used to provide oxygen for breathing and to combust hydrocarbons as fuel.

Riiiight. And you're going to get the power to electrolytically split that water into hydrogen and oxygen where, exactly?

(Whoever wrote that piece forgot that water is one of the end products of combusting hydrocarbons with oxygen, not a starting point. Basic physical chemistry and thermodynamics.)

Let's go through the energy budget of a Titan colony point by point:

* Titan is so far out from the sun that the available solar power is roughly half what it is in Jupiter orbit, which in turn is a tenth of what we're used to (per my skimming of this source: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/nov_2007_meeting/presentations/... ), and that's before we factor in the murkily opaque atmosphere; I infer that photovoltaics are a non-starter on Titan.

* Some analog of wind or tidal power might be workable, but remember we're talking about an ambient surface temperature down around 90 degrees Kelvin; the free energy in the atmosphere will be drastically lower than the equivalent on Earth (temperature on the order of 300 Kelvin).

* Forget hydrocarbon combustion (coal -- snort!) because there's a slight lack of anything to combust it with.

* This leaves nuclear as the sole reasonable option for powering a Titan colony, which opens up a raft of other questions: if Fission, then what is the abundance of 235U or 232Th on Titan, and how accessible are the necessary isotopes? And if Fusion, well, first we need to demonstrate a working base-load producing fusion reactor here on Earth.

* Let's also bear in mind that a thick atmospheric blanket of mostly nitrogen at 90 Kelvins is, shall we say, a little bit chilly, and the ground any human-occupied base is built on will be a mere hundred Kelvins lower than the lowest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica, and we're going to need a lot of energy just to keep from freezing. (Also note that any significant human presence there is going to end up pumping out so much heat pollution that there may be eventual weather disturbances as a result.)

It's a bit like imagining how hypothetical Venusians might build a colony on Earth, with their requirement for pressurized habitat domes kept at a thousand degrees Fahrenheit (in American units).

Disclaimer: I am not a planetary scientist, I'm just a science fiction writer who thinks about how this sort of thing looks from 30,000 feet rather than trying to quantify it with enough precision to justify a research grant. But I still think balloons in the atmosphere of Venus or tunnels drilled into the walls of Valles Marineris make more sense.

23
oska 14 hours ago 5 replies      
> On Earth, we are shielded from GCRs by water in the atmosphere. But it takes two meters of water to block half of the GCRs present in unprotected space.

Build a double-skinned geodesic dome with a 4 metre gap between the two shells. Fill the space between with water. Your 'sky' now has a water-shielding layer.

24
jack9 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Who cares about a magenetosphere? Dig underground with water tanks lining the top and problem solved 100%. If you can't do that on Mars, you aren't going to survive Titan anyway. SMH scientific american.
25
donatj 15 hours ago 4 replies      
I strongly believe we'll never permanently settle anything beyond earth, for reasons pointed out by this article among others.

That said, please prove me wrong, I would be so very happy to be wrong.

26
zyngaro 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Or let's spend all this money and energy keep earth a safe and livable place to be.
27
johngalt 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the net energy on combusting hydrocarbon fuel when all your oxygen comes from breaking the oxygen bonded with H20? I'm betting it's not great.
28
agentgt 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I am probably completely wrong but it seem easier and perhaps more fruitful to build the proper shielding in a station/ship and build a network up in one of the asteroid belts.
29
andrewfromx 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"Housing could be made of plastic produced from the unlimited resources harvested on the surface" drill baby drill? Plastic? Like petroleum based plastic? So we humans should move from planet to planet like locusts?
30
natch 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Humans" is a huge and ultimately quaint assumption in some of these discussions. Any such expansion to other planets will be happening in the same time frame that we get robots or embodied artificial intelligence, whatever you want to call it, with capabilities on par with and then beyond humans.

In the context of interplanetary expansion, there are not a lot of reasons that these future organisms need to be restricted to living only in human-friendly environments. I'm all for efforts to expand human life to other viable places, but also it's time to enlarge the discussion.

31
throwbsidbdk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is rediculous. I would take a vacuum any day over an atmosphere that's -300!!! And it's thicker than earth so the thermal problem will be even worse. It's probably harder to insulate these crazy temps than protect from a vacuum.
32
rocky1138 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the idea of colonizing other worlds, but it hardly seems realistic to make such grandiose plans for a place we've never landed rovers or other equipment successfully.
33
cesis 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Weird article. Why excavation on Mars would be a problem?
34
baron816 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I would still rather live on Earth after the worst case scenario for climate change or a nuclear war.
35
IndianAstronaut 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What is really needed first is rovers on Titan that can explore the lakes, ice deposits and possible geothermal energy there.

We already know Enceladus, another of Saturn's moons, has abundant water and heating from Saturn's tidal pull.

36
dimitar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate that the article points out at the end: "There is no quick way to move off the Earth. We will have to solve our problems here."

Solving the climate change and other ecological issues we face here is surely easier than colonizing other planetary bodies.

37
romanr 15 hours ago 2 replies      

 > On Earth, we are shielded from GCRs by water in the atmosphere. But it takes two meters of water to block half of the GCRs present in unprotected space. Practically, a Moon or Mars settlement would have to be built underground to be safe from this > Underground shelter is hard to build and not flexible or easy to expand. Settlers would need enormous excavations for room to supply all their needs for food, manufacturing and daily life. We ask why they would go to that trouble. We can live underground on Earth. Whats the advantage to doing so on Mars?
It's never seriously discussed, are they expect to live full time underground on Mars? Why then? We can live same way on Earth.. Does Elon Musk knows something we don't?

38
owly 3 hours ago 1 reply      
How about colonizing Earth with like minded people who are dedicated to saving it?
39
Entangled 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Terraform the moon. I want to look up to the skies and see a green moon every night. It is unfortunate we haven't spent a dime settling a moon base and studying the possibilities of creating a livable atmosphere on the moon being just a couple days away.
40
woogiewonka 8 hours ago 1 reply      
"Its cold on Titan, at -180C (-291F), but thanks to its thick atmosphere, residents wouldnt need pressure suitsjust warm clothing and respirators."

Sure, JUST warm clothing. I'd like to see the author step outside in -291F! How can this possibility be sustainable?

41
tarr11 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Evolution is the obvious answer for how we move into hostile environments. Hardening the environment seems inefficient.

Seveneves is a fun book that explores this concept.

E.g., probably better to evolve a few new species who can live in orbit around the earth for a few thousand years. They'd have a better time with all these issues (radiation, resources, etc)

42
solarengineer 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of Wanderers by Erik Wernquist [0].

[0] https://vimeo.com/108650530[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6GY_PfjCQI

Edit: at 2:34, see how Erik imagines people might fly in Methane environments.

43
wowoc 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The article says that the water ice could be used as a source of oxygen, needed to power the combustion of hydrocarbons as fuel. But the oxygen is trapped in water molecules, wouldn't it need to be freed from the hydrogen atoms first (which requires energy)?
44
lolive 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It is much easier to send on Titan a bunch of seaweeds, various seeds, etc. And let an ecosystem eventually arise by itself. Of course, we should send some bibles too. So the Titan creatures can learn who/what their mighty creator is.Amen.
45
edem 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What about the effects of prolonged exposure to low gravity? Not to talk about the psychological effects of isolation and low light.
46
Nomentatus 8 hours ago 0 replies      
But you can't export materials from it, thanks to that atmosphere:https://medium.com/@russellirvinjohnston/why-the-start-inhab...
47
cmurf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The takeaway: "There is no quick way to move off the Earth. We will have to solve our problems here."
48
philip142au 15 hours ago 3 replies      
This article has no good reasons for Titan, it doesn't discuss water, it doesn't discuss energy or how to grow food. It says that because you can fly there and there are dunes and a liquid surface in some places its like Earth, but that doesn't help us to survive at all.

To survive we need water, food and energy. How are we going to get that from Titan as opposed to Mars?

49
transfire 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is silly. First we should build orbiting colonies, some that can fairy between the moon, mars and eventually other planets (I believe these are often called Cyclers). Solving the living condition issues in these colonies is actually easy -- they would be large rotating cylinders to provide artificial gravity (probably 1/2 g) and the outer perimeters would be water containment which is very good at blocking cosmic rays. A strong magnetic core could also provide some shielding.
50
samstave 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Serious question(s): (TL;DR a robot version of Matt Damon in The Martian?)

Are there any efforts for fully automated robotic enviroment creation (I dont know the term, not terraforming) -- but sending a robot that will build a structure, then another which will fill it with soil, then atmosphere, then harvest, test, distill whatever ice we can to create water and then grow plants?

Obviously this is a lot of effort and would take a global team to put such a sequence together and likely take 100 years, but is anyone (aside from figuring out the pre-req's to actually get to mars) trying to do this?

What is different between Mars and the Moon with respect to testing such robots on the moon first?

Why are we focused on Mars and Titan when we have an extra-terrestrial body that is so much closer to us?

Why has Elon Musk focused on Mars as opposed to the Moon first? Talk about A/B testing, we have much more rapid development of capabilities on the Moon, do we not?

51
Zigurd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
With the possible exception of underground colonies on Mars, it seems likelier, sooner, that humans will re-engineer themselves for long-duration space travel and life on other planets than we will engineer those planets to be livable for Earth-dwelling humans.
52
graycat 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Good idea! There are some people I would encourage to go on the first trip!
53
aaron695 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Lets not fork the future of space travel please.
10
Rents are plunging in the most expensive U.S. markets businessinsider.com
362 points by apsec112  1 day ago   315 comments top 34
1
xor1 1 day ago 11 replies      
Los Angeles though... :(

One of my friends just moved here and is sharing a 5-bedroom home with 25 other people. I thought he was bullshitting me, and I still couldn't believe it when I went over. He's paying $600 a month to share a bedroom with four other guys. He told me it was the best thing he could find on 1-day notice. He pays for rent online, and he has no idea who the actual owner is, nor who is actually receiving the money.

I thought that kind of living arrangement only happened with undocumented workers (barring SF and NYC, which I've always considered to be ridiculous), who can't easily exercise tenant rights.

Now I really wonder how many of the apartments and homes around me are just completely packed with people who are splitting rooms.

2
refurb 1 day ago 5 replies      
A friend used to rent out a spare room in SF on a regular basis. Two years ago, he could get $1850 for a single room with it's own bath room, furnished. We're talking 6-10 replies from a Craiglist post within 24 hours. Stopped renting it out about a year ago.

He just posted it again. Zero takers at $1850. Finally got someone for $1600 (-13% decrease in rent) after a month. A dramatic change.

The rental market in SF is definitely turning towards the buyer.

3
zazen 1 day ago 10 replies      
I know nothing about the San Francisco housing market apart from what I've heard in discussions here on HN. The received wisdom here seemed to be that powerful NIMBY lobbies in SF were preventing needed development and causing the sky-high rent. But this article is talking about an "historic construction boom". Did something change regarding development in SF? Or was the NIMBY effect always a bit over-stated? Anyone care to speculate?
4
partiallypro 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Studio "luxury" apartments here in Nashville have long term leases at $1200/mo for a studio. I was not impressed when I did a tour across the city; I asked the occupancy rate at a few places, and was floored when they told me it was only ~25%; these were 1yr+ old developments, which is apparently common place. I've been telling people the city is in a bubble, but no one believes me. Everyone says now is the time to buy, I think they're insane.

A lot of people from out of state that had higher real estate values could sell their $400K-$500K home in California and come to Nashville and live like a king. Now they are just poaching people knowing they'll pay up. Our hotel rates are higher than New York City's on average. It's insane, and everything thinks this will last. We'll see. Nashville wasn't mentioned in the article, but I have a very hard time believing the city will sustain its current rent levels, with such low occupancy rates.

It's actually cheaper to just buy a condo outright (which I think is still too expensive $300K for a studio,) than to rent.

5
tankenmate 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can this please be re-titled as a US study? First blush of the article title made me go "What? Seriously?"; the two markets I look at first are London and Sydney.
6
Analemma_ 1 day ago 3 replies      
Clicked on that list hoping to see good news in Seattle... turns out we're up more than any other city in the top 10. Sigh. There actually is a decent amount of housing construction in progress but it seems like it's not nearly enough.
7
csharpminor 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be curious to know what the breaking point is for luxury condo developers, i.e. how far do prices need to sink before they're in trouble? As an extension of that, who are the investors that will take the hit?

Presumably, the capital put down for the construction of these condos gives landlords and developers a hard floor on the prices they can accept. Is their solvency dependent upon charging luxury rents, or could they get by leasing at more moderate rates?

8
conanbatt 1 day ago 2 replies      
The past 2 years for me have been about the enormous exposure of how rent has been going up and house affordability has become a real problem world-wide.

As legislation started to get promoted in different countries (Vancouver's foreign tax, Berlin's Airbnb ban, Argentina rent-caps) I always thought that the origin of this entire problem is the low rates for lending, and that these laws would only be a hinderance to recovery.

This is still early to take for granted, but my suspicion is getting more likely. I feel sympathy for the people that told me that houses are the safest investment, and that renting is always worse than buying.

9
cwp 1 day ago 3 replies      
Meh. "Plunging" is a strong word for an 8% drop. Even if you buy the "effective rent" argument, 22% isn't much of a plunge. This is a start, limited to a very few neighbourhoods, and merely makes the housing market slightly less insane.
10
ppierald 1 day ago 0 replies      
My anecdotal evidence shows a dramatic shift of my 20-something and 30-something year old co-workers to Oakland from SF due to affordability. Oakland is close, cheaper (though rising), diverse, and close by BART. This is probably putting a good deal of supply back into the SF market, but putting pressures in the East Bay markets (Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda).
11
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 1 reply      
The rent concessions are the real leading indicator. As every month of "free rent" in a 1 year lease lowers gross rent by 8% (4% for a 2 year lease, and 2.7% for a 3 year lease) As a strategy it assumes that the rent will come back up after the lease period. When it doesn't the rents actually get lowered to avoid being the highest rent in the list.

Also there is an impact on increasing AirBnB regulation both from cities and from landlords. Now there are often very explict callouts in a rental lease that specifically mentions getting money for the use of your apartment from non-family members. That means you're not going to be able to monetize that second bedroom to pare back your housing expense.

12
freyir 21 hours ago 1 reply      
A 2 bedroom in my building dropped from $3950 to $3250 over the past few weeks. The landlord can't unload it. And today I got a notice that they're raising my rent. Shortsighted -- they'll have another vacant apartment on their hands soon.
13
pfarnsworth 1 day ago 2 replies      
The best cure for high prices is high prices.

Very few trust that supply vs demand doesn't work, but it absolutely does. Sure there will be temporary spikes in price, but as rents go to ridiculous heights (I think $5000 for a 2 br condo is utterly ridiculous, and that prices is about 5 years old in SOMA), it will abate at some point. As long as there isn't a monopoly, or people aren't manipulating the markets, fair and properly functioning markets will self-correct.

Always.

14
rietta 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The rents are astounding to me as an Atlanta area resident. My fully loaded mortgage+escrow payment on an entire 3 BR house with a full basement (in which I have an office and wired for Cat6 ethernet) is less than $1100/month. There are tons of tech companies within commuting distance and even more remote work opportunities as a developer. Chances are good that we'll finally have gigabit fiber to the home within a year and current Comcast service is serviceable at 75 MBps.
15
sytelus 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is quite a news. I just looked at renting page of my formal apartment in Wayback Machine. They had listed 3 bedroom + garage at $2200 in Puget Sound area from January to May. Now its $2100. Not a big decrease but I don't recall I had ever seen a decrease during past 5 year or so. It's actually quite shocking.

This probably means that the real estate price cycle theory is right. First house prices goes up so construction boom starts and then supply overfloods the market and suddenly there are no takers which brings rent as well as house prices down. It's closed loop with delays so you get overshoots and undershoots. This can be mark of price fall for next 3-5 years in real estate as well rents.

16
emodendroket 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surprisingly, everyone sees in this data exactly what they thought before looking at it.
17
incompatible 1 day ago 1 reply      
Apartments have been the last frontier of expensive mass-produced products. Hopefully this is the end, and not just a temporary blip.
18
dalbasal 1 day ago 3 replies      
Do we know what policies are genuinely effective at improving housing affordability? This is the one biggest thing the (proverbial?) middle class have been struggling to make gains on over the last generation in a lot of otherwise successful places.
19
itissid 21 hours ago 0 replies      
And I thought Jersey City and Hoboken were bad. I pay 1825 in rent for a 2 bedroom that's 30 min from my work. But thats because the landlord has not jacked up the rent since I moved in 2 years ago. A new place as big as mine today will probably rent at 2500, which is still not as bad as many other places like SF.
20
davidf18 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Even with the rents decreasing, they are still way to high for most people and adjusted for inflation, far higher than they were 30 years ago.

The reason for the high rents are structural -- the use of politics to create artificial shortages in housing by use of zoning density restrictions. This is the deliberate creation of market failures due to "rent seeking" -- use of politics to create artificial scarcity to benefit a special interest group. The artificial scarcity inflates the value of property to landlords such as Donald Trump harming renters.

An example, regarding taxi cabs: NYC had a law creating a limit on taxi cabs to 13,000 medallions --needed in order to drive a yellow, hail-able cab. The market value of the taxi medallion was $1.2 million which meant that for drivers who typically lease cabs, a substantial part of their income went towards leasing the cab with medallion. Thus, taxi riders (renters of use of cabs for trips) were paying far more than they should and taxi medallion owners (landlords) were receiving a huge windfall.

Then Uber/Lyft came to NYC and the political artificial scarcity of (electronic) hail-able cabs was relieved. The result is that the medallion price went from $1.2 million to < $700,000 and far more drivers were no longer paying high leases to medallion owners and driving for Uber/Lyft instead. Our prices for taking hail-able cabs have decreased and continue to decrease. Everyone gains except the medallion "landlords."

This rent-seeking market inefficiency tremendously damages the economy. Fewer housing units are built than they should be in an efficient market. Tenants are paying a far greater proportion of their income for rent instead of goods and services. Simply fixing this law that benefits wealthy landlords can be a substantial stimulus to the economy.

Another cause of high rents is the number of illegal immigrants that are allowed to stay in certain cities. This NYTimes article claims there are about 600,000 "undocumented" immigrants in NYC (of a population of 8.5 million)[1]. Almost all undocumented immigrants are in the country illegally and hence the more correct word is illegal. These 600,000 illegal immigrants adds substantial market pressure that otherwise would not be there if the law were enforced and hence the rents are far higher for low-income New Yorker American citizens than they otherwise would be.

[1]. "Some 574,000 city residents are undocumented,..."http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/nyregion/economic-tsunami-...

21
morgante 1 day ago 5 replies      
Amazing, supply and demand actually works!

Someone should tell all the protestors who opposed construction of new luxury condos because they thought it would somehow increase rents.

22
czep 1 day ago 4 replies      
Strange concluding sentence about the prospect of an influx of Chinese investors to rekindle rising rents. Is there evidence that such a trend is likely in the near future? I have seen reports that a lot of money is expatriated from China into real estate because it's easy to launder that way. In general is it expected to increase so much that it would have a noticeable impact on rents in the major markets?
23
rch 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks like a short term dip while the market adsorbs new units. Am I missing something?
24
rasengan0 23 hours ago 0 replies      
25
pascalxus 21 hours ago 0 replies      
SF still has a loooonnng way to "plunge" before the rates resemble anything half way reasonable.
26
mrcactu5 1 day ago 1 reply      
everyone I know in New York City is complain about rent INCREASES and GENTRIFICATION

Article: "East Harlem rents are among Manhattan's fastest-rising this fall"http://ny.curbed.com/2016/11/21/13703220/fall-market-report-...

so I have no idea where business insider is getting it's data from. Also here is a lovely map of the subway stations and the median rents near by.

Notice that Bronx hardly exceeds $2000 (compared to the reported NYC median of $3100).

http://ny.curbed.com/2016/4/29/11535674/map-nyc-subway-rent-...

27
jpetitto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not LA though!
28
felizuno 1 day ago 1 reply      
Market corrections in overpriced cities. Seattle still growing, turns out sustainable growth is sustainable.
29
coldcode 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not in Orlando.
30
mmcclellan 1 day ago 3 replies      
Where in Boston could someone possibly find a two bedroom for $2600? Shenanigans
31
alexktz 1 day ago 1 reply      
adblocked. bye!
32
pmoriarty 1 day ago 6 replies      
Have there been any experiments in legislating ceilings for housing prices? If so, what has been the effect?
33
Spooky23 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, duh. The dumb money has been funding way too many apartment projects.

Where I live (Albany, NY), they just built thousands of rental units within a 15 mile radius. In one example, they are trying to rent a "luxury" two bedroom for $2500/mo, when you have a much nicer home a few blocks away for $200k+$50k for a fancy kitchen, etc.

34
DanBlake 1 day ago 4 replies      
Zumper is pretty inaccurate when it comes to SF I have found. The influx of new residents still vastly outpaces new construction + people leaving SF. As such, rents are not going down. The easiest way to verify this is just to ask anyone trying to rent in SF.
11
The new MacBook Pro is kind of great for hackers medium.com
385 points by ageitgey  1 day ago   324 comments top 47
1
Yabood 20 hours ago 9 replies      
I returned my MacBook Pro 15' earlier today. Here's why:

* Graphics card glitches - I paid close to 4K so I don't have to deal with quality control issues.

* Touchpad is just too large. I found myself resting my palm on it all the time, and sometimes (clicking) without realizing it. Also, if you like lying down and working (which I do sometimes because of a lower back problem) the size of the touchpad will make you work extra hard to avoid accidental clicks.

* Had the machine for ~ 10 days, used the touch bar less than that. Definitely not worth the money. Hopefully in the future, they'll have the 15' option without it.

* The bootcamp experience just sucks (this was my primary reason for returning it). Currently, there's no way to gracefully switch between discreet and integrated gpu, so the battery life is terrible, like two-and-a-half-hour maximum battery life terrible. gpu-switch doesn't work either. In fact, if you use gpu-switch you'll have to rebuild both macOS and Windows as the machine will just hang when you try to boot into either.

* Recovery mode has many issues with network connectivity. A few times, I had to tether/connect to my iPhone hotspot for it to go through.

* Sharp edges everywhere.

The specs are very underwhelming too, but I was willing to tolerate lower specs for higher build quality. I actually just picked up an XPS 15 9550 from Microcenter. Got the 2.6Ghz, 16GB (expandable to 32GB), 512GB SSD, 4K touchscreen for $1350 (an open box, new for $1499).

2
ce4 1 day ago 5 replies      
USB-C charging looks great on paper but disappoints when devices don't charge.

Your device may support a subset of the different USB charging protocols:

 * USB 1.1 lo power: 5V/100mA * USB 2.0 hi power: 5V/500mA * USB 3.0: 5V/900mA * USB BC (battery charging): 5V/1.5A * USB quickcharge 1.0/2.0/3.0, proprietary Qualcomm standard * USB PD (power delivery) 5 profiles offering up to 100W (5/12/20V @ 1.5/2/3/5A)
MacBooks also use a nonstandard 15V USB-PD profile.

Unrelated to the MacBook, but problems i see with USB-C are:

Chargers may offer cryptographic signatures in the future for authentication against a whitelist at the device.

Second and most problematic:The MacBook is a good citizen here, but many laptops (HP business series, Dell XPS series) only support USB-C PD with profile 4&5 (20V/3A+).This rules out the car dongle as well as cheap USB power banks.

The connector is always the same, the customer cannot deduce charger/device compatibility. The experience will suck.

Edit: typos/formatting

3
sklivvz1971 23 hours ago 6 replies      
No, sorry, the new MacBook pro sucks for hackers. It's great for prosumers who like gadgets and benefit from USB-C. Hackers do not benefit from a closed box with non-expandable performance.

I get it that prosumers like to think of themselves as "hackers", but ...that's just not how it works. Come on.

4
carsongross 1 day ago 3 replies      
After a week with a 13 inch, what I've mainly noticed is how physically unwelcoming it is:

The edges are very sharp, and the air vents on the bottom are right where you grab the laptop to pick it up, which gives it a knife-like feel. Also, by expanding the track pad far beyond it's useful size, there is now no gap between it and the space key. I have discovered that I have a habit of resting my thumb just below the space bar and now I tend to bump the pointer on accident now. The arrow keys are now a continuous run of keys with no way to orient quickly like previously (where the side arrows were slightly smaller and made it obvious where the up key was without looking.) . Finally, the keyboard action is very short, as you would expect with such a thin laptop.

I do most of my work with an external keyboard and monitor, so it isn't that big a deal to me, but I can see it being hard on people who use their laptop exclusively.

5
spacehacker 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I am disappointed by the Touch Bar. It is such a small and dim screen and a lot of attention is required for interacting with it. There is no tactile feedback, so touch typing is impossible. QuickType and Emojis are useless for me. It might be a good accessibility feature, but QuickType is much too slow and the upward movement of the entire hand/arm interrupts the flow of typing. I think the Touch Bar is great for designers who can benefit from a 'general purpose touch/slider input device' (e.g. for color mixing, navigating timelines, parameter fine-tuning). It might also reduce cognitive load a bit since it reduces the need for memorizing keyboard shortcuts. On the other hand, users who are blessed with a good memory will probably not benefit very much in that regard because pressing a key combination is much quicker than scanning and touching the Touch Bar.

The only attractive feature of the Touch Bar model really is Touch ID. If Apple would sell the Function Keys model with a Touch ID power button and one more USB port, I would happily buy it. But right now, I am a little bit confused and baffled by Apple's new MacBook Pro product line. I think I am going to wait another generation to see whether Apple gets back on track and whether the Touch Bar can stand the test of time.

6
rufius 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I'll just go ahead and contradict the running opinion and say: I like my 2016 MacBook Pro 15".

I've owned a few Macs and this one is my favorite. Despite my initial impressions, I really like the keyboard. I'm also quite happy with the trackpad which I've found to be excellent as usual and not picking up stray contact.

The only place I'm not "ecstatic" or "pleased" is with the TouchBar - and to be clear, I'm not displeased. I just don't really notice it. It's there doing its thing and I'm using the laptop, doing my thing. Occasionally I need the escape key and tap where I'd expect the escape key to be and while I don't get the tactile feedback it works.

All in all - the TouchBar is a net zero to me. I didn't lose anything by losing my Fn keys but I don't feel I gained anything with the TouchBar except TouchId which is nice.

TL;DR: Overpriced? Definitely. Pleased with product? Yes. TouchBar? No strong feelings. Returning it? No.

7
jrheard 1 day ago 10 replies      
I bought a new 13" MBP with touchbar and I'm returning it on Monday. I don't like the keyboard and I _really_ don't like the touch bar, and I seem to only get about 3 hours of battery life. I'm going to stick with my early 2014 MacBook Air until Apple figures their stuff out.
8
guelo 1 day ago 3 replies      
Be careful with the idea that the charger is just a regular USB-C charger. These laptops will draw 3-4 amps at 20 volts. Most phone chargers are designed for 1-3amps at 5 volts, so they would only provide a trickle of charge to these laptops. Older chargers (and computers ports!) can be damaged by these higher power draws. Also, the USB-C cable the Macs come with is rated up to a hefty 5 amps. Some of the cheap phone cables out there could actually pose a fire danger if they were to handle 5 amps.
9
lucideer 1 day ago 2 replies      
This entire article is raving about a single, relatively small but important detail that Apple has been notoriously hostile towards and worst at up until now: cross-manufacturer port compatibility. So hostile that they went out of their way to find ridiculous loopholes in their compliance with the EU's Common EPS Memorandum of Understanding on USB-B.

Yes, it's a great feature, but giving Apple so much credit for introducing it is the ultimate irony.

10
steeve 1 day ago 5 replies      
I have an 13" since almost a week. I think it's great. 95% of my time is spent in iTerm/VSCode/XCode/Android Studio.

Some remarks:

- Keyboard, especially arrow keys, took me 2 days to get used to, but now it feels weird typing on a old macbook. I actually love it and prefer it now.

- The thumb + touchpad thing mentioned elsewhere here was definitely a big problem in the first day or two. It isn't anymore (guess I got used to it? not sure because I didn't try to avoid it)

- USB-C is freaking awesome. I bought an adapter with ethernet, HDMI, usb 3 and SD that actually replaces the 3 adapters I had to carry around. And because of UPD, I only have one cable to plug to the mac and everything is there including power.

- I don't miss magsafe as much as I thought I would. Although I would happily buy an adapter if it is thin enough (some are coming).

- Touchbar is actually pretty great, although it being a touch screen, the lack of touch feedback can be annoying at first. Pretty ESC is annoying at first, but I got used to it and don't mind it now.

- Touchbar would be an _awesome_ medium to get notifications (such as long running terminal jobs etc...)

- I didn't get any of the battery life issues people are talking about. Actually, I get 8-10 hours out of it easily (ie plug it at the end of the day because I forgot it was unplugged).

- Thinner bezels around the screen makes it somehow look bigger (even though the visible area is the same size and the screen/lid itself is smaller).

- HiDPi is freaking great. Finally I can use a 4k monitor smaller than 32" and still get retina display (1440p HiDPi and other intermediate resolutions up to native 3820x2160 are fully supported)

- It is really thin (no thinner that a Macbook Air, but still). It's feels really great.

- Actually, I just noticed that because it is thinner, my wrists don't get hurt by the edges like they used to (the exact opposite of what someone mentioned here).

11
satysin 1 day ago 6 replies      
USB-C is awesome. It is the future and in some ways it is good Apple are being the way they are.

But... I wish Apple would put USB-C in the iDevices (honestly why does the iPhone and iPad use Lightning when USB-C exists??). It is annoying that I can ditch all my cables except that one fucking extra Apple cable.

12
KirinDave 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't get it. It's bad for hackers because of the tepid software updates, increasingly developer unfriendly application environment, lack of full touch in an age where every other manufacturer does that ad a standard, and awkward meshing with its own ecosystem.

USB-C is pretty great, actually. Still pretty raw for the mainstream tech crowd, but it's not like that for tech-literate consumers.

13
chmars 1 day ago 4 replies      
> The new charging block that comes with the MBP looks exactly the same as any traditional MBP charger

Actually not, the convenient little 'arms' for the cord are missing. And the cord itself is rather stiff and not very flexible and there's no green / red charging status light either. It's OK as a USB-C charger but it looks and feels different from a traditional MBP charger.

14
jsjohnst 1 day ago 1 reply      
Finally somebody writing a realistic post about the USB-C port situation! So much short sighted whining when this really is a great step forward.
15
albertgao 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sorry, the charger comes with Microsoft surface series has an additional USB port, so I can charge my phone and laptop at the same time. And I won't buy some so called stupid USB c monitor just for meet the needs of the new macbook. This article perfectly described how awful the dongles world looks like.
16
hobarrera 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The article goes on and on about fun new stuff that you can do (and I don't deny them).

But we can't do the same old things we NEED to do, like keep using all our existing cables and devices (including mice!). Really, if they wanted to merely transition to USB-C, they could have included 2 new ports, and 2 old ports. No need to eliminate the old USB ports in just one generation.

Regarding the "it's the same plug as your phone":

It's not! iPhones have lightning cable (ironically, their own phone!).

17
gnicholas 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Now I only need to bring one power cable to the caf instead of two and I can charge my computer or my phone interchangeably. This is so nice!

I've never even thought of bringing a phone wall charger with me when I have my laptop and laptop charger. Just plug the phone into the laptop if it needs charging.

18
dman 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have no idea how we got to the USB C connector mess. I thought one of the hard fought battles of the tech ecosystem was "if it fits, it will work". What is the rationale for using the same connector for incompatible use cases?
19
aq3cn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This MacBook Pro has given me good reasons to learn to build a custom PC. I am okay dual booting or visualizing OS X in Linux or Windows.

On the other hand, I am impressed how Asus, Dell and Razor has allowed use of external desktop top notch NVIDIA graphics card in their laptops along with USB C and RAID support while keeping system upgradable.

http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade-stealth

Thanks Apple.

20
santaclaus 1 day ago 3 replies      
> You can even charge your MBP and phone together from one of those generic portable USB-C backup batteries

That is kind of cool -- but how many batteries is it going to take, in practice, to juice up a MBP from empty?

21
znpy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
On one hand, I must admit that I didn't consider all this.

But quite franky, this post only makes me excited about USB-C and usb-c enabled monitors.

I wonder how much power can a laptop draw from a monitor though.. I currently have a ThinkPad W530 with a 170W power adapter which literally is a brick (in both shape and weight). I wonder if a monitor could power a such-power-hungry beast).

22
mpweiher 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Just got my 13" two days ago and very happy with it so far. I had a 13" before, got a 15" at work and my girlfriend has the 12". I was almost ready for a 12" myself, and am glad I waited. Although it is noticeably heavier than the 12", and not really objectively that much lighter than the previous versions, the new 13" has the same "just pick it up with one hand" feel that the 12" has. It is wonderful.

My 2 year old daughter has watched me unlock it with my thumb and tries to do the same without succeeding :-) And she can't mess up the password input field either, because there is none. (She can get my iPad into a "reset" state in seconds that I have to then recover from backup. I still have no idea how she does it).

I did have to remove the Siri button from the toucher because (a) it is too close to the delete key and (b) I just don't need Siri that often. The UI for that is pretty neat, by the way: the mouse is able to move into the touchbar, so you can just drag'n'drop into and out of it.

Since I remap my modifiers anyway (caps-lock -> control, where god and Digital Equipment Corporation intended the control key to go), I had no problem mapping the now largely useless control key to escape, although I haven't had a problem with the soft escape key yet. Nice benefit: bringing up the force-quit panel is now very easy.

I really like the USB-C so far, will be far fewer cables and power adapters on upcoming trips. While MagSafe was nice, I won't miss the always fraying cables, especially since they were permanently attached to the power brick, so frayed cable new brick.

I was surprised how quickly the TouchBar became unremarkable, though the fact that there is a single button to open a man-page for the currently typed command in Terminal is definitely kinda cool! Volume/brightness adjustments take a little more looking (for now), though the fact that you can scrub from the "key" without lifting despite that the control is elsewhere makes it pretty easy. And scrubbing media via the TouchBar is definitely way, way less fiddly than via on-screen controls.

The keyboard looks much classier than my previous MBP's, and I prefer the feel. But then again, I seem to be weird when it comes to keyboards, for example I loved the Amiga 1000 keyboard and hated the big-travel, clicky/noisy keyboards on the original IBM PCs that everyone else still raves about.

EDIT: 95% battery, watching youtube video, 7h+ remaining.

23
jasode 13 hours ago 0 replies      
>You can buy tiny little USB-C adapters like this by the handful on Amazon for cents:

Buying a proper USB-C adapter is not trivial.[1] I read somewhere that Amazon subsequently removed a lot of bad listings/sellers but that doesn't mean a new batch of bad adapters are selling now 2016.

>In a year or two when we all have junk drawers packed full of extra generic USB-C cables that cost nearly nothing, were going to look back on this and wonder why everyone was so worked up.

Because Apple didn't synchronize the USB-C-is-the-future simultaneously across all new products. The brand new iPhone 7 is Lightning instead of USB-C. The brand new yet-to-be-released AirPods' recharging dock is Lightning instead of USB-C. That's what leads to the mob mocking Apple's product strategy requiring the clutter of dongles.[2]

[1]http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/google-engineer-leave...

[2]https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/5a6lbd/it_just_works...

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geoka9 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> You can buy tiny little USB-C adapters like this by the handful on Amazon for cents

But beware of the really cheap ones, they can burn your "legacy" USB ports:

http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/how-to-find-safe-usb-type-...

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bdcravens 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Now I only need to bring one power cable to the caf instead of two and I can charge my computer or my phone interchangeably. This is so nice!

Unless you have the two most common phones (Apple or Samsung), or any of the many others that don't yet support USB-C.

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outworlder 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Nearly half of the article was about USB-C.

Guess what? MacBooks are not the only ones with that port. $900 laptops have them, and most have at least one USB-A port as well.

Not sure what any of this has to do with hacking.

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izacus 1 day ago 1 reply      
While we're at it... I just got my 15" MBP and I can't get pass the fact that the keyboard backlight is noticably uneven - e.g. the clover logo in Command buttons isn't fully lit, "alt" text on option etc.

Is anyone else seeing this or is it a faulty unit?

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kbumsik 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Hackers? Looks like hackers mean people who like gadgets in his post. They are NOT hackers at least.

If hackers mean software/hardware engineer or someone who like programming, a laptop with only USB-C ports is a total disaster because hackers usually have to deal with legacy hardware/system.

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zokier 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not saying anything about the new MBP, but I would be really wary of connecting a $2000+ device to a random no-name $9 car charger. Heck, I'm not sure if I'd even want to connect my smart phone to that.
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phaedryx 1 day ago 1 reply      
hackers -> people who use Apple laptops and android phones?
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Demcox 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"...were going to look back on this and wonder why everyone was so worked up."

My reaction:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JncgoPKklVE

32
hellofunk 1 day ago 4 replies      
It is discussed here that you could charge one laptop off another. Okay, cool. But what if they are both plugged in, then you attach them over USB? Do they both send a charge out, possibly cause one or both to fry? And what if you have multiple sources of charging plugged into the machine?
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rasz_pl 1 day ago 2 replies      
Author forgot to mention new MBPs dont use USB-C, they use _special Apple variant_ of USB-C. Variant that doesnt work with ordinary dongles, from hdmi dongles producing flickering mess to USB 2.0 dongles _silently corrupting files_ from pendrives.
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Odenwaelder 1 day ago 2 replies      
What happens if you plug the monitor into your Nexus 6P? Do you get a regular Desktop?
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toyg 1 day ago 1 reply      
TL; DR: "USB-C all the things" is great... if you use android phones.

Author conveniently avoids mentioning that the charger is another usability step back (no more plastic hooks to keep cable tidy), or that those external USB-C batteries are not really powerful enough to give you anything but a handful of extra minutes, or that, er, Apple's own phone doesn't get any of these wonderful improvements. and of course...

> You can buy tiny little USB-C adapters

It's well-known that the current quality of USB-C cables and adapters is very random, to say the least, up to and including serious electrical damage.

Interoperability is good, but it looks like Apple just introduced a new series of trade-offs that are sub-optimal. Regardless, to say that a laptop is great "for hackers" because it has USB (A,B,C, whatever) ports is just silly. I mean, you can't even change your hard drive here.

36
KKKKkkkk1 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a technical reason why Apple does not provide a MagSafe-style USB-C cable with the new MBP? Is it pure carelessness?
37
aib 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Apparently the author has just discovered standards.
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josephhainline 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds useful for the very few macOS or iOS developers who happen to have Android phones.
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geophile 1 day ago 0 replies      
So USB-C sounds great. Too bad the laptop offering it has a crippled keyboard.
40
vacri 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most of the article seems to be "port compatibility between Apple laptops and Google phones", and doesn't work for those with Apple phones.
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jwatte 1 day ago 0 replies      
I need a GPU and as much RAM as possible to run VMs.The new MBP, with wimpy graphics and 16 GB of RAM, does worse than a Razer Blade (also USB C, has been out since early 2016)
42
joelbondurant 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Computing appliances are not computers. Great for children tho.
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yandrypozo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
i didn't see the part that it's "great for hackers"
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fit2rule 18 hours ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: USB-C is awesome, because Android phones that use it are awesome. Oh, and Apple made a USB-C device, finally, too.
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waspleg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this as "fan boy with too much money replaces every peripheral he owns with USB-C; looks for ways to justify being an early adopter while showboating".

Fuck given? 0.

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melling 1 day ago 2 replies      
Personally, I've been waiting a coupleof years for Apple to drop the USB-C bomb.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9360128

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9490224

The new USB-C iMacs ship in the spring. I'm not sure why PC's haven't started the transition. USB-C is a no-brainer.

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akhilcacharya 1 day ago 2 replies      
My biggest problem is that there are only 4, whereas I use 5 on a daily basis with my MBPr.
12
I made an iPhone game with PhoneGap and won't do it again bokstuff.com
348 points by bok  1 day ago   223 comments top 51
1
bschwindHN 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Cross platform mobile games when you have C++ skills: Use C++ with OpenGL and share most of the code.

Cross platform mobile games when you need to ship faster and don't want to deal with C++: Unity

Cross platform traditional apps when you don't have a ton of developer resources: React Native (or better yet, Re-natal with ClojureScript)

Cross platform traditional apps when you have ample developer resources: A native app for each platform

Need to ship something quickly that will perform poorly, have weird UI quirks, janky scrolling, misbehaving touch events, and hard-to-debug canvas bugs that only occur on specific devices? Use one of those JS mobile frameworks.

2
memracom 1 day ago 7 replies      
This sounds like the same old rule that has existed for the last 30 years or more. If you want to build an app that uses graphically intensive animations, build as close to the metal as possible and do not rely on layers provided by the OS.

I learned nothing from this because if I was going to build a game like he described, I would suck it in and get down to the platform's assembly language layer which for IOS is ObjectiveC and for Android is Java.

It would be far more interesting to read a review that explores the boundary of what works well in PhoneGap and what doesn't. Clearly lots of successful apps are built in PhonegGap/Cordova. We could have the same conversations about desktop apps or server apps. Too many layers make things easier to build but impose a performance penalty. It is wise to think before you build and do some architecture and engineering before coding. Writing code is NOT engineering.

3
lambdacomplete 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This post should be titled "I made a game with ImpactJS and packaged it for iOS with phone gap" because any of the tools you used might be at fault. You said it yourself the same phone is capable of running high-end 3d games smoothly so, maybe, there is something wrong with GPU acceleration in either Impact or canvas with WKWebView. That might be the reason why Unity uses WebGL. Saying "I won't do it again" after not knowing precisely the cause of the performance issues, and just blame hybrid apps in general, is not very scientific.
4
dheera 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've tried PhoneGap and Cordova wih Polymer and my biggest gripe is that even the most basic of mobile UI gestures have no good analogue. For example to emulate swiping between tabs on a ViewPager, you have to implement hundreds of dirty lines of code in JavaScript to catch touch events and decide how they should behave, and hope you emulate the native experience. None of the tabbed interfaces of any of these frameworks have it built-in.

Then you inevitably have to deal with Safari's stupid rubber-band scrolling, which causes the titlebar of your app to scroll if dragged. Then when you disable that scrolling you're forced to implement your own scrollbar from scratch and emulate the Safari rubber band on the parts you actually want to scroll.

Pull-to-refresh? Good luck implementing it in a way that feels like a native app.

Building all that in JavaScript is possible, and with the help of CSS3 and WebGL it's often possible to get FPS on par with native apps, but emulating a native-feel UI in JavaScript is more work than just developing twice for Android and iOS. And you usually end up with so much JavaScript bloat and DOM hell that it takes forever to load on 3G or slower connections.

Seriously, can someone just give us <GridViewPager>..</GridViewPager>, <ViewPager>..</ViewPager>, <ListView>..</ListView> or something like that, with everything included, including touch gestures, and make it "feel" exactly like iOS or Android depending on the OS it is loaded on, matching the respective fonts, elasticity coefficients, gesture thresholds, and everything else, no questions asked?

5
WA 1 day ago 6 replies      
> the iOS 10 beta introduced some new behavior where WebKit ignores the user-scalable viewport meta property. This "feature" is supposed to be for accessibility reasons; anyone should be able to pinch to zoom any web page. That's fine and all, but this would completely and totally break most webview-based apps.

This. I don't read a lot of outcry over this for unknown reasons. It baffles me. Apple essentially broke all web based apps and not many people seem to care.

6
djsumdog 1 day ago 4 replies      
He developed it in PhoneGap and didn't release the Android version? :(

I've heard a full engine like Unity is a lot better for designing games across mobile platforms. I've heard cross platform mobile development is a pain, but if you're going to do it, use the right too for the job. Don't develop a shopping app in a game engine and don't try to implement a game engine in something meant for a shopping app.

7
rogueSkib 23 hours ago 1 reply      
OP - I've been working with the Game Closure team on the HTML5 devkit for quite a while now, and we have yet to find an engine that gets better performance out of 2D JS games on native. The view hierarchy, rendering, and animation are written in both JS (web builds) and C (native builds), connected by a Java Android stack and an Objective-C iOS stack. The docs are a bit out-of-date but the tech is really powerful. It supports WebGL and canvas rendering in web builds, but there's no 3D support yet.

Github: https://github.com/gameclosure/devkitDocs: http://docs.gameclosure.com/

8
Waterluvian 1 day ago 1 reply      
I felt the same kind of hesitation getting into Swift and C#. But last summer I finally set a 6 hr/wk schedule to learn the meat and potatoes of 2D game development using both, just to better understand what's out there.

I learned a lot. But the most interesting lesson was that learning new tools was easier than I expected it to be. XCode and Unity, along with a lot of great tutorials and example code made it fairly painless. The hardest part was pushing past the expectation that learning a new language would be time consuming and difficult.

The most useful lesson I learned was to embrace new tools sooner. I think there's a natural gravitation towards using a language/tool because that's what you know. Of course we don't all have the luxury of the same amount of free time to learn new things, but I think you'd really surprise yourself, like I have, at just how much you can learn.

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SunboX 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"However, the real take-away here is: if I had built the game natively, I don't think I would have had to worry about this kind of stuff at all."

There are a lot of limitations using JavaScript, that's true. But "using native" you will have to "worry", too. I don't like these kind of Blog posts, that only investigated one side. The gras on the other side isn't always greener.

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swsieber 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd you're doing games, you might try experimenting with Haxe - it compiles down to native, and doesn't does use web views. As a plus, you can generate versions for other targets (Windows, html, Linux, etc.)
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pcwalton 22 hours ago 1 reply      
One elephant in the room that is never mentioned with these types of posts is that the 2D canvas API, like all immediate mode 2D vector graphics APIs, is a terrible fit for games (and for most things besides games too, but I digress). It makes it very hard to get the kinds of batching optimizations you need to make good use of GPUs, especially mobile GPUs, and all the vector graphics stuff is overkill for sprite blitting. From a performance point of view, WebGL would be much more appropriate. (Of course, WebGL is also much harder to use, which is unfortunate.)
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fjrieiekd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Agree with the author. I tried out the game and while it's a fun little game and a neat concept, there were a bunch of small glitches and issues that cause it from feeling -great-, and it doesn't feel native or perhaps the author just didn't bother to add specific support for the iPad.

To me the issue is clear cut -- if you're selling direct to the market and you care about your users at all, UI should always use native components. The choice of language is secondary, but personally I don't see how it would ever be better to deal with differing and inconsistent web view standards -on top of- the differences between OSes and devices. On Android, these alone provide more than plenty of enough grief.

The advantages of coding direct to the platform are many:

- higher efficiency and lower battery consumption,- smaller downloads,- better performance, particularly on older devices,- fewer glitches,- and finally, an app that just "feels right".

Code reuse can still be achieved by using C++, Rust or another layer to share code. If most logic lies in the UI, writing it twice may be OK along with tailoring the UI more closely to the platform paradigm.

There are different tradeoff so involved here, but to me, the increased user satisfaction is worth the additional effort, and seeing how glitchy these web apps can be, I'm not at all even convinced that it -is- additional effort.

13
bayesian_horse 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you care about 60fps performance on a single platform, then yes, Cordova isn't for you.

If your app doesn't need extreme performance, and you don't have the time to learn and develop for multiple platforms, and things like unity/kivy etc don't give you enough UI, then Cordova is suddenly much more attractive.

14
wishinghand 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Background activity such as push notifications can slow everything down for a few seconds

This is sometimes the case with native games too. I can sometimes get a few hundred millisecond warning when a text is incoming because of a sudden uptick in lag, even on an iPhone 7.

15
bdcravens 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I'm never going to develop a webview app again

That'a a bit of a broad brush stroke, suggesting that you only build games or you think issues you ran into would apply to all app types.

> Not having to learn a new language was great, but it wasn't worth the performance hit and quirks I encountered along the way.

Couldn't you gain many of the same advantages using NativeScript or React Native? (though I think those would still be bad choices for a game)

16
Bahamut 1 day ago 1 reply      
I came across these quirks too at a prior job while using Cordova as well - I'm largely convinced that these sort of hybrid tools are just not good enough. I haven't used alternatives like React Native, NativeScript, etc. - those sound a lot more fundamentally sound than Cordova/PhoneGap/etc. since they aren't leveraging a WebView to do everything, although I have heard complaints about those as well.

It would be nice if these platforms use just one language, but unfortunately I doubt Apple would ever play nice there. It costs companies a lot more money to maintain separate codebases or resort to subpar solutions...or just go iOS first/only, which is an insidious consequence.

17
vermooten 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once made an app with Phonegap. The performance was terrible despite months of optimisation and even a review from Big Nerd Ranch. The new Swift and Java implementations are much MUCH nicer for users - the Swift version is really responsive.
18
placebo 1 day ago 2 replies      
Use the right tool for the right task. Using the wrong tool for the task does not mean that there is something wrong with the tool.

You want to develop graphic intensive games using a single code base without learning native iOS or Android app development? You could probably do that with open source platforms like Gideros (there are good commercial alternatives too). Since iOS can't run LuaJIT, in particularly resource hungry games you might have no option but to code in native.

A few years ago I developed a game for both Android and iOS using Cordova and was very happy with the results. It was a Scrabble clone against the CPU with nice animations and no one could tell it was not native. I knew it was way below what the web view could handle so I wasn't surprised it succeeded. I'd have never tried it in the first place with a 3D game or a game with many entities and hope to get 50fps.

I also use Cordova to get native looking apps (not games) by using Framework7 (http://framework7.io) - I'd like to see how many users would really notice the difference (I'd guess about the same amount of people who would complain about mp3's not giving a good enough quality for the music they listen to)

I do agree that Cordova apps will probably continue be treated like second class citizens (and perhaps worse) mainly because I assume it runs mostly against the interests of Apple and also Google who would prefer you invested your time getting locked in to their specific platform...

19
epx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have tried to grasp PhoneGap/Cordova many times and the thing just doesn't make sense to me. Seeking a pet project to try React Native whose concept seems saner.
20
sandstrom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Native apps has many upsides, but also downsides. The same goes for Phonegap/Cordova. In general I'd say that games and performance-sensitive apps aren't the strength of Cordova.

But having used Cordova for several years I'd say that overall it's an excellent framework that can power large, complex apps.

I'd also wish Apple would give the web-views some more love, but overall they work really well for many things.

21
tapirl 19 hours ago 0 replies      
IMHO, Adobe AIR SDK is still the best tool to develop mobile games.

All my 3 games (and one app) were made in one and half months each.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Tapir

https://itunes.apple.com/us/developer/xu-liu/id578025970

In each the one and half months, most part of time was spent on design my games/apps, only a small part of time was spent on device related debugging.

The biggest benefit by using AIR SDK is you even don't need to buy a mac/iphone to develop ios apps.

22
jtchang 1 day ago 1 reply      
Quick question but are most graphics intensive games written in a single C++ code base for both iOS and Android? For example I use to play sim city on both ios and android and noticed it was virtually the same. Is it just a shim onto OpenGL and everything else is done inside C++ with a custom rendering engine? Or are they using some type of Unity style environment?
23
seanwilson 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you wanted to use JavaScript, use something like Cocos2D JS:https://github.com/cocos2d/cocos2d-x

The game engine is native and you communicate with it via JavaScript.

PhoneGap was just an unsuitable choice to make because it's not built with games in mind at all. Over a normal webview, it gives you a way to communicate with native mobile features but that's about it. You should have looked for a dedicated game engine. There's plenty built around HTML5 as well but you're likely still going to deal with browser quirks.

24
maffydub 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting read!

I wrote a (simple) 3d game using WebGL and released it on the Android app store using Cordova, and found the performance was pretty solid.

This might be due to Android vs iOS, WebGL vs plain HTML or something else entirely - any thoughts?

In case anyone is interested, the Android version is at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.github.wil... and an earlier web version is at http://matt-williams.github.io/ld29/

25
tigershark 1 day ago 2 replies      
Seriously there are really people that don't want to learn any language other than JavaScript???The world seems upside down to me.. :(
26
agmcleod 1 day ago 1 reply      
I build my current game with Cordova, and really the only major breakage i ran into with updates was iOS 9 audio changes. Patched howler, and it worked fine after that.

I realize this is anecdotal, it would be interesting to see his/her game, what was so demanding to cause performance problems. Many platforms have their quirks and SDKs that you need to learn.

I've had a lot more breaking changes with my React Native app. Opened the other day, and text boxes were overflowing their container. Didn't happen before. React Native is younger, so I find it's to be expected.

27
edblarney 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a good pots ...

But - the issues mostly boiled down to performance. As he noted, the issues were with older devices.

The landscape is changing quickly - and within 2 years, that equation will look quite differently.

It's not just that native will 'always have an advantage' - which is true - it's that JS will reach the 'decent threshold' for small game performance.

You only need 8Kb/s reliably for voice. After that it's just improvement. So once radios could cross 8K/s reliably - we had mobile phones. From there it just gets better.

I see this in those terms.

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murukesh_s 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think it's a problem with JavaScript. Why isn't webgl in the same range of performance as opengl? It need not be 100% closer to native but 60-90% is good enough for use cases like simple 2D games. Of course why would the browser makers do that when both of them are also OS makers who benefit from tighter control of the appstore?
29
cloakandswagger 1 day ago 1 reply      
This seems less like an indictment of PhoneGap, it's more of a warning not to build games in JavaScript.

Had the author used an appropriate tool for making games--a game framework like Unity--they wouldn't have run into all of these performance problems and it would've still been cross platform. Hell, Unity even has a JavaScript-esque scripting language if you're so set on learning only one language (although it's vastly inferior to C#)

30
lazerwalker 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be curious to hear when the author's experience was. They mention off-handedly that using Ejecta didn't improve performance meaningfully compared to switching to WKWebView.

Ejecta formerly used its own compiled version of JavaScriptCore, and thus couldn't execute JS in the same sandboxed context as WKWebView (gaining performance through JIT execution, etc). The most recent versions of Ejecta does in fact use the system JSCore, which means it should see the same JS performance characteristics of WKWebView.

Given that Ejecta also replaces the HTML5 canvas implementation with its own native implementation, I'd assume that modern Ejecta is much faster than WKWebView, particularly for games where the performance bottleneck is graphics rendering.

31
freefal 1 day ago 1 reply      
As others have pointed out, your mistake was trying to develop a graphics-heavy game with the wrong toolset. I'm one of the devs that works on the Android and iOS apps for lichess.org and we've had a lot of success with Cordova/PhoneGap. It's allowed us to do all our development once with occassional workarounds needed for platform specific issues.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.lichess.mo...https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lichess-free-online-chess/id...

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supermatt 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"if I had built the game natively, I don't think I would have had to worry about this kind of stuff at all"

Actually you still would have had to worry about this stuff. A mature game library would likely have helped but the choice of language isnt the issue here.

33
h_r 1 day ago 1 reply      
Has anyone tried Xamarin for building mobile apps? Not Xamarin Forms but the lower level tool kit? It sounds pretty good on paper. At work the only negative I heard from one team who tried it is it added too much bloat. But that might just be their coding...
34
tuanway 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Recently tried this route with a game as well. As the OP pointed out this works decent for newer and more powerful devices.

Both platforms have annoying quirks and for Android I used the Crosswalk webview which helped to keep things somewhat consistent. For IOS the WKWebView was more than fast enough for this simple game.

My main reasons for going with phonegap/cordova was the ease to port to multiple platforms and not having to learn another language. Hopefully support for phonegap continues!

links to my game below:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tuanway.ti...

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tien-len-pro-tsd/id116761625...

https://tuanway.com/prj/tienlen

35
bluetwo 1 day ago 2 replies      
As he points out in the article, Safari works better.

It occurs to me that games like this could be collected into a portal that could run in Safari, could be added as an icon on the home screen, and could even be cross-platform.

But, people are so used to using the app store for discovery, so it seems important to package up games so they can be dropped in there and downloaded.

Is anyone creating a useful portal for html-only games?

36
DonHopkins 22 hours ago 0 replies      
>... "alleged" ... "terrifying" ... "unnerving" ... "supposed" ... "should" ... "unable to reproduce" ... "maybe" ... "unsettled" ...

Some people are saying:https://webkit.org/blog/6784/new-video-policies-for-ios/

"Speaking of audio, there's some alleged iOS behavior where audio won't play in a webview until the user interacts with it by tapping something. Sounds bad, right? There are ways to work around it but the terrifying part is: I couldn't trigger this limitation at all. Everything just worked like you would expect it to, contrary to what the Apple docs or anyone on StackOverflow said. So, I just kind of rolled with it, but this was very unnerving."

RTFM:https://developer.apple.com/reference/webkit/wkwebviewconfig...

mediaTypesRequiringUserActionForPlaybackDetermines which media types require a user gesture to begin playing.

Use WKAudiovisualMediaTypeNone to indicate that no user gestures are required to begin playing media.

"Case in point: the iOS 10 beta introduced some new behavior where WebKit ignores the user-scalable viewport meta property. This "feature" is supposed to be for accessibility reasons; anyone should be able to pinch to zoom any web page. That's fine and all, but this would completely and totally break most webview-based apps. However, I again was unable to reproduce this behavior at all in Super Flipside. Maybe it's the way I'm handling touch events or something, but I just couldn't get it to break in the way it was supposed to. And again, I rolled with it, but felt very unsettled."

RTFM: https://developer.apple.com/reference/webkit/wkwebview/14149...

allowsMagnificationA Boolean value indicating whether magnify gestures will change the web views magnification.

DiscussionThe default value is false. You can set the magnification property even if allowsMagnification is set to false.

37
drvdevd 1 day ago 1 reply      
For me, with the only PhoneGap app I've worked on, there were required extensive bridge code to Native APIs, anyway. So adding in the webview components just meant having a mess of different languages/frameworks in the codebase where I don't think it would've required very much native code anyway.

Is there a good meta-compiler solution targeting native APIs across mobile platforms that people are using lately?

38
nipponese 1 day ago 0 replies      
After watching the gameplay video, it seems like Unity would have been a performance-friendly way to achieve the goal.
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brendanr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The perf issues sound suspicious. At least in the past, canvas sprites on iOS can get very slow if you don't render to integer coordinates.

Hopefully the author attached macOS Safari to his iOS device to do some basic debugging and profiling.

40
derFunk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I used PhoneGap professionally 4 years ago for hybrid apps. Since I stopped using it my sentiment is "Cordova has to die".
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ourcat 22 hours ago 0 replies      
If learning native isn't/wasn't your thing, I would have suggested Appcelerator Titanium.

I was in the same boat as you. But thanks to Titanium's failings, I eventually learned how to make iOS and Android 'modules' which could do anything the native Java or Objective-C couldn't do for the apps I was building.

I wasn't dealing with fps WebView performance at the time, but I was scratching an itch. But I have been up against that before and have dealt with it with WKWebView too. It is faster, for sure.

I feel Swift and Java are closer these days. So I hope to soon ditch these hybrid frameworks and do everything native.

(Though I will say that after 12 months working with AngularJS for the web, I've recently discovered Ionic, and will be using that for a big job coming up).

42
paulddraper 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've had the same experience as the author.

Though in fairness, I didn't see where an Android or Windows version was released.

If you're not going to release on multiple platforms, what the heck are you using PhoneGap for?

43
jordache 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get it.. PhoneGap is not new technology. Its pros and cons were well understood. The author making this pronouncement as if it was a notable insight
44
thewhitetulip 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this mean that we shouldn't use JS for making games for mobiles or does it mean not using JS at all?
45
partycoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cocos2d-x is in my experience very solid, well documented and productive.
46
awqrre 1 day ago 0 replies      
or "I won't use python for apps that should be done in C", etc...
47
spdionis 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds like "I made a desktop game in javascript and won't do it again".
48
mschuster91 1 day ago 1 reply      
If it helps anyone: if using Cordova/Phonegap on Android devices, include the Crosswalk Webview, especially if you plan on supporting anything below Android 4.4. Either as a dependency or static - the former keeps your app slim (but unfortunately yet another dependency you cannot fully control), the latter adds 44MB to your apk-size but offers you full control over the experience.
49
forrestthewoods 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Hacking layers on top of layers just doesn't work well for games. The requirements of high throughput, low latency, and no hitching is too much for such hackery.

Keep it simple (C++ and OpenGL or Unity) and you'll be much happier imo. Leave the constricting frameworks and dependencies at home.

50
joeblau 1 day ago 0 replies      
The one think I'm thankful for is that the OP did a thorough investigation into PhoneGap. I've tried 5 cross platform build systems for iOS/Android (PhoneGap, Appcelerator, Adobe Air, Corona, and just rolling my own Web based app using Sencha Touch). I gave up trying to build anything other than native in ObjC/Swift and it seems like even 6 years later, the same problems are still prevalent.
51
gkafkg8y8 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can anyone say what the easiest development platform is to use to write a 2D game that uses code instead of a GUI, has tutorials that don't expect that you know the language/API/environment that well, and is free to use?

I've looked at several, but either I can't develop for iOS/Android for free (beyond the charges to get setup as a developer by required by Apple, Google, etc.) or the barrier to entry always kills my time, then I go onto something else. LVE https://love2d.org/ was the only one I actually got anything playable with, but Lua/LVE was a little finicky and got frustrating. I want to be up and running and deploying to an emulator with something interesting in no more than 30 minutes, and I don't care how blocky it looks.

Years ago I wrote homebrew games, so I'm not new to concepts required, but I don't want anything too complex.

13
Let Postgres Do the Work (2013) sorentwo.com
391 points by Jarred  1 day ago   194 comments top 23
1
phereford 1 day ago 10 replies      
At work, we have an internally generated report that was done purely in ruby. It worked, barely, munging numbers for about 1000 records. When we hit 4000 records, the report took about 6 hours to run in ruby.

We looked for some obvious optimizations like eager loading and some map reduce magic and implemented them. That brought us to a range of 45 minutes to 2 hours.

We decided that it was still not good enough. We moved ALL of the report into SQL functions (Postgres) and we have the whole function running in 27 seconds.

I agree with some of the top comments that maintaining this is a little trickier than ruby code, but some ideas we came up with in maintenance:1) Write the SQL in a ruby file that has a class method of sorts that returns the generated function. This allows for version control to track the changes of the sql function.2) Focus on tests at the interface level. We had great test coverage on the end result prior to moving to SQL. We were able to re utilize those tests to verify accuracy with calculations that are now in SQL.

This really isn't for everyone, but for those that want to try something new, it is worth it.

2
memracom 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is an example of what I call "embracing PostgreSQL". Roughly speaking it means ditching the ORM layers and using a simple API to run any SQL query that you can think up. Then your application can leverage the many features that exist in PostgreSQL and not just treat it as a dumb SQL server.

Using functions as an intermediary to raw queries, also decouples the SQL details from the application. What I mean is that if the application calls an SQL function to read, update, insert data then you can revise the SQL functions independently of application code. In other words, if you refactor an SQL function, you can deploy the change to the database without rebuilding and deploying the application.

This is especially helpful in companies that have an onerous verification and validation process for application changes, because often "performance improvements" are classified as administrative changes which can be done with less bureaucracy.

So, embrace PostgreSQL as a permanent part of your application and reap the benefits of its many powerful features.

3
kofejnik 1 day ago 2 replies      
I had to work on/with a rather large backend which used this approach. Most of the logic was in stored procedures, with python/sqlalchemy used as a glue and to process requests.

It was absolutely horrible to develop and a nightmare to test.

For one, there's nothing approaching ActiveRecord migrations in stability and ease of use, so schema changes on dev/test/deploy were a huge pain. Then, you can't really work in normal "auto-run tests on save" mode as you would with saner frameworks, syncing source from git to postgres is needed (the principal dev altogether preferred to edit directly in pgadmin and then sync). Then, SQL tends to be a lot harder to read than python/ruby, especially so if not well documented and with many join tables. And finally, you can't scale out the heavy stuff, you are limited by your master instance basically. 2/5, would not recommend.

4
gfodor 1 day ago 8 replies      
Cool demonstration of IMMUTABLE functions (TIL), but there's a reason people have moved away from stored procedures/functions in RDBMSs in favor of moving this stuff into much slower application code -- you now have business logic living inside of the database. From there, you have to now think about how this affects:

- Testing

- Deployment/Migrations

- Day-to-day tooling to work on it

- Switching costs (mental overhead, using multiple languages)

- Documentation

- Probably more stuff

The ruby code is just like all of your other ruby code and can be grokked and worked on by anyone who is up to speed on your ruby stack. The DB function meanwhile requires jumping through lots of hoops and will always feel like a second class citizen relative to the vast majority of your application code, unless you do a lot of work and maintenance (unlikely to happen without feeling distracting if this code is a relatively small slice of your code base.)

In some cases, this can be worth it for massive optimization wins. But the article doesn't really touch on why this might be a bad idea.

I do think it highlights the potential of systems like MADLIB [1] where you can push the data crunching into the database, while having that be abstracted away in your primary programming language (in this case, R.) One could imagine a world where you wrote the ruby code and it was somehow mapped in to be run on the database. But that's not the world we live in today unfortunately. It's really a shame, because people using a database as capable of PostgreSQL but with a fairly dumb ORM on top are under-utilizing its potential, for sure, but there's not really a great path afaik to leverage it. (I remember years ago MS introduced running C# inside of SQL Server, I am not sure if that ever ended up panning out into being something smarter than the dumb "upload code to database manually" model we are used it.)

[1] http://madlib.incubator.apache.org/

5
smac8 1 day ago 3 replies      
At my last job we finally got our front-end devs to move all client side db work to calls to stored procedures or views. After doing so, nearly all of them fell completely in favor of this method. This is escpecially true with large, complex DBs or data warehouses, where the model is subject to change and reliance on back-end devs better knowledge of the database is more important.

That said, despite some of the tradeoffs - for example with testing, or migrating to a new db (which is extremely rare anyway) - it is ultimately far better for client code not to have to know back-end implementation. I think things like graphql are finally making this abundantly clear.

What I have been dying for is a real time DB BAAS that is ACID compliant, preferably relational, has a simple rest api, and allows me to write stored procedures that I can call from my client code. Horizon is probably the closest thing out there. Right now using firebase, and sick of the absurd amount of client side code I have to commmit to to pull data from various parts of the database. Requires huge amounts of overfetching, unecessary coupling of client-server code, horrible consistency support, overly loose type structuring, etc.

If somebody writes a postgres version of horizon I will pay big money to use it :)

6
goflyapig 1 day ago 1 reply      
The article makes a good point that if you want ordering by a computed 'ranking' to be performant, your database will need to store and index that value.

But then it takes another leap and says that this means your database should actually compute that value. I don't see why that's necessary, and it would bring with it all sorts of issues that other people have mentioned (maintainability, scaling, testing, coupling).

It seems you could equally solve the problem by adding an additional indexed 'ranking' column, and computing and storing the value at the same time you insert the row [1]. It seems that's essentially what Postgres would do anyway.

Also, I'd note that the algorithm here is very simplistic, and even so, the author had to make a functional change in order to get it to be performant in Postgres. You can't just substitute an ID for a timestamp, just because both are monotonically increasing. The initial Ruby version of this algorithm treats a given 'popularity' as a fixed jump in some amount of time (e.g. 3 hours). The Postgres version treats it as a fixed jump in ranking (e.g. 3 ranks). Those are not equivalent.

[1] This does assume that you can control all the database manipulation from a centralized place.

7
blowski 1 day ago 1 reply      
I tried doing this, but I found it hard to maintain as it needed more slaves to cope with the load of the complex functions. Also, it was harder to tweak the algorithm for things like "increment the score by x in case y, otherwise increment by z". I guess it's possible, but I just found it too hard to work with.

For me, it was easier to use Redis to keep a sorted set of article IDs. I updated the scores in my application code using Redis native functions, and then got a slice of IDs for a `SELECT ... WHERE IN (ids, from, redis)`.

It's probably because I'm a rubbish database engineer, so stick with my strengths.

8
sbuttgereit 1 day ago 0 replies      
PostgreSQL Stored Procedures can absolutely be a pain to manage and change management can be tricky. Having said that these are not problems without solutions and there are some good wins if you can be organized enough to pull it off.

First off, plan and organize things. Yes, it would be nice if there were another level of abstraction, like Oracle's packages, but you can use schemas a bit more freely for namespacing. But a little time thinking instead of just coding can avoid much of the spaghetti. Many good devs will think through the rationality of their APIs, this is no different.

Second. Use a tool that lets you manage the code-bits like code. Migration tools like FlywayDB, etc. are not good for this because they sacrifice too much to the stateful nature of the database: you end up organizing things on a timeline rather than based on your structure. A better approach is like the one in Sqitch (http://sqitch.org) where you organize files according the organization of the database rather than the history of the database... very powerful approach. There are also verify steps which can incorporate testing: and testing the store procedures is easy... it's maging the data in tables across tests that can be hard and that is true regardless where your business logic lives (insofar as those tests can change data).

Third there are good testing tools available: The guy that made Sqitch also makes pgTAP (http://pgtap.org/). Well worth a look. I haven't done much myself with this one, but will likely do so soon.

9
liquidise 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've written about this before [1] but i think the higher level message here is about Ruby on Rails developers expanding their database understanding and/or reliance. Given how cleanly ActiveRecord abstracts database porcelain, many devs who started with Rails don't lean on the database enough.

This, along with validators, table indexing and foreign keys are some of the more common shortcomings i see in devs who learned on Rails.

1: https://blog.benroux.me/be-the-better-rails-developer/

10
justusw 1 day ago 2 replies      
What is the performance impact on INSERT when using tables with complex indices like the one mentioned in the article?
11
eddieroger 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In one of my gigs, it was normal operating procedure to put logic in sprocs and call out to that from elsewhere. It makes so much sense - RDBMS engines are good at doing math, so we should let them do as much math as possible. ORM layers hide that away, and thinking about these problems in Ruby or Python work, but those languages just aren't as good at plain math as a database can be. I've done this type of thing in Rails and Express apps, and it makes complete sense there. You can even keep the sproc in source control by creating and changing them as migrations. It's tops.
12
combatentropy 1 day ago 0 replies      
For version control, I put .sql files right alongside my other source code, and check them in. I might try snippets out interactively, but after a statement grows so long that it wraps a couple of times, I usually move it to a text file and edit from there. I run it in psql with the \i command:

 psql> \i test.sql
Usually I have one terminal window for the text file opened in vim, and another window for psql where all I do is keep running "\i test.sql".

When the code is polished and ready to go live, I turn it into a view or function and move it into a permanent file (views.sql, functions.sql, ddl.sql, make.sql, or whatever you want to call it). This file can be run as many times as I want, idempotently. This is because it starts off dropping all the views or functions that it later defines. You can try instead saying "CREATE OR REPLACE . . ." but PostgreSQL only lets you replace a view or function if its outer appearance stays the same (for views, the output columns can't change; for functions, the input and output can't change). So I find it simpler to just drop all of them ("DROP TABLE foo IF EXISTS...") and then create them (You usually have to drop them in the opposite order you create them, if any depend on one another). I wrap the whole file with BEGIN and COMMIT, so if there is any error the whole thing aborts. Actually I wrap it in BEGIN and ROLLBACK, and run it to see if there are any errors. Only when it's solid, polished, and error-free do I temporarily change ROLLBACK to COMMIT, run it, and immediately change it back to ROLLBACK. The file that gets checked into version control ends in ROLLBACK, for safety.

Later if I want to change something, I always do it first by editing the .sql file and then running it from psql. Then I check the changed file into version control.

---

For views and functions this is easy, because they don't keep their own data. You can drop and recreate them at any time. For tables, it's a little more complicated. You can't just drop and recreate them, or you'll lose all your data. So for tables I keep their definitions in a separate file. I run this file at an app's inception but seldom afterward. If I need to make a change to a table, I do it interactively, in the command-line tool ("ALTER TABLE foo ADD COLUMN blah ..."). Then I will probably edit the tables.sql file to reflect the change, just so it's in version control. But it's up to you. You can always pull the table definition from Postgres with the pg_dump command.

13
z3t4 1 day ago 0 replies      
its often much easier to scale via app "farms" then to scale the db backend. Sometimes db procedures can lower the total db load, but be careful letting the db do too much work.
14
JBiserkov 17 hours ago 0 replies      
>The integer value of a timestamp is just an increasing counter, ticking off each microsecond. The database itself has another form of increasing counter, the primary key.

This observation is either profound or trivial, depending on the mindset. The hundred-fold improvements it brings (along with the immutability) are not trivial, by any measure.

15
jklein11 1 day ago 2 replies      
I thought the point of using an ORM like Active Record was to decouple the business logic and the database?
16
mooneater 1 day ago 4 replies      
"We can replace the timestamp with the primary key for the recentness calculation".Very different properties, not a great replacement.
17
ankurdhama 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The idea is: Compute where your data is and yes data do have a location when computing has to be done with physics(computer).
18
godmodus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
he mentions 'logarithmic clamping' towards the end, can someone provide a link to what that is? google-fu failing.
19
tsxxst 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it really needed to declare separate functions with all that boilerplate just to multiply and add a few numbers in an SQL statement?
20
yandrypozo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think ~0.442ms is very slow for a social media web or app, considering that it's only 1 query, maybe that example isn't the best for that kind of queries
21
alexnewman 1 day ago 0 replies      
The future is this but backed with super cool FDW for s3 and bigtable
22
Walkman 1 day ago 8 replies      
It's unbelievable that an article can get to HN front page in which the author doesn't know the difference between Rails and Ruby. So annoying!

This is NOT Ruby for God's sake:

 SYSTEM_EPOCH = 1.day.ago.to_i

23
alexnewman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Speaking of this i'm looking at hiring someone to do some OSS rust/postgresql work. Namely writing FDW for s3 and bigtable.
14
We Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator in the Suburbs npr.org
351 points by dkarapetyan  3 days ago   211 comments top 36
1
epicureanideal 3 days ago 14 replies      
This was the most interesting part for me...

--------

He says he got into fake news around 2013 to highlight the extremism of the white nationalist alt-right.

"The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction," Coler says.

--------

So in this case, the fake news was created by the left to discredit the alt-right, rather than by the alt-right to promote their views. Oh man. I don't think this tactic can lead to anything good. I hope we don't get to the point where it's really just all out information warfare... and it seems like we're already halfway there.

2
dluan 3 days ago 5 replies      
What boggles my mind is that Facebook and Twitter are so very complicit by creating platforms for very granular targeting.

You liked the Green Bay Packers, a gun owners group, an old 2008 Tea Party video, live 60 miles outside of a city and between 40-65? Not only is that profile there, Facebook ads will tell you almost exactly how large your reach is.

This is nothing more than information arbitrage, and that the unit economics from advertisers hasn't quite caught up yet. It's what allowed Buzzfeed to exist in the first place, and ultra targeted startups like Teespring to grow, by training a small part of the crowd to become content creators. Moreover, traditional content creators like NYTimes don't even understand how much they are being undercut cents-to-words.

You work out the funnel conversion, hope for some organic spread, and just pump things out. In a few years, this whole thing could be automated and AI generated to sway elections and public opinions. All you need is a training dataset for the targeted population's underlying views and beliefs.

Imagine a startup trying to do this at scale, growing 10% week over week or something insane. At this point it's basically going to match the velocity of information across online networks of people.

If this becomes a positive feedback loop where readers start to accelerate the spread after becoming radicalized - this becomes a social virus.

3
A_COMPUTER 3 days ago 2 replies      
He is doing the same thing to NPR, and by extension NPR's listeners, what he was doing to low-info right-wingers: telling them what they wanted to hear, whether or not it's true. He's good at it.

He wants you to believe that he tried, but he just couldn't get the left wing to fall for it. But anybody who has used Facebook as seen how popular AddictingInfo-org is, and it is an overtly left wing fake news site. It's not remotely the only one.

The fake news reporting is itself filled with fake news. And it's easy to find marks because after the election, many people need to find a scapegoat so they are turning off their critical faculties. The current complaining about fake news is a mirror image of the right's disrespect of the "mainstream" media. For instance all the reporting on the Trump-Russia covert email server communication matches the formula for fake news, it took a nugget of truth, twisted it, and tried to ride the lie long enough that by the time it was exposed as nothing, the election would be over and the "damage" done. But it wasn't fake news I guess because the outlet has to be small and the target and victim were reversed. Anybody looking at that should reasonably be upset about "fake news" but it's categorically ignored by the left. You are not inhumanly wise and immune to the effects of incentivized bias.

4
greggman 3 days ago 5 replies      
Fascinating. I'm not sure I buy the left isn't just as gullible as the right. Or at least not without more proof?

I suspect you'd need a right leaning person with a similar background writing left bait fake news to have the same impact though. Write fake news about charter schools doing something bad (charter school puts LGBT students in detention) or fake churches doing bad (church in Idaho found funneling funds to Trump campaign) or fake doctors doing something the left would find atrocious but believable (medical clinic in Utah refuses to help unwed pregnant teens unless they agree to marry)

I say that because I know lots of traditionally left leaning people who believe all kinds of unscientific stuff with the same fervor as the "religious right". Auras, Rieki, Astrology, Homeopathy, Chakra, etc...

5
freshhawk 3 days ago 0 replies      
I guess a lot of people don't know the type, judging by the accusations that his "this was to troll the alt-right" was a lie.

Seems obvious to me, he started with that intent, thought that obviously the stories would be discredited and the people who bought it would be shamed.

It sometimes happens to organizations that promote an Onion article as real. It does a lot of damage to their reputations.

Then that didn't happen and he made a lot of money. He was disgusted by how stupid everyone is, liked the money and justified it to himself that he's conning money from gullible rubes who are bad people.

I don't know this guy, but I know more than one person just like him.

6
caf 3 days ago 5 replies      
The first "fake news" I remember seeing was about a year ago, and it was completely apolitical - it was a made-up story about a multiple-fatality car crash in my city. When I investigated the source, it had several exact copies of the same article, just set in different cities around the world.

At the time I was completely bewildered as to the motive behind this, but I can only assume that it's the ad money, as paltry as that would seem. Coler's protestations notwithstanding.

7
JonnieCache 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is utterly offensive and this man is utterly corrupt. He claims to be doing this to discredit his foes, but there's no evidence that he's done any of the "public denouncing" which he gives as his justification for polluting the public sphere with his lies. He does however admit to coining it to the tune of six figures.

If we've learned anything from the twentieth century its that corrupting the public discourse like this can lead to the slaughter of millions and the downfall of whole societies. This man and those like him deserve harsh punishment.

There's a similar interview here, with another left-winger who claims to be making "satire" and is more outwardly racked with guilt than this man, but who is also still cashing the adsense checks:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/11...

8
krige 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think he straight up lied, or "rused" as I think they call it, the journalist. I mean, the line >>>Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals but they just never take the bait.<<< is as blatant winking and nudging as it can get without spelling it out. In other words "Liberals never take the bait", he told to a liberal as he was taking the bait.
9
CalChris 3 days ago 1 reply      
HN has a hide button. Click it and something's gone, no questions asked. That should be the standard.

FB has some hide buttons. Click it and up pops a menu. Click Hide Ad. Up pops a dialog asking Why don't you want to see this? Choose It's not relevant to me. This is followed by a Thanks dialog. And after it's hidden, it's not hidden. There's a grey box saying and asking You won't see ads like it. Undo?

FB also doesn't have some hide buttons. For suggested pages, I was getting a completely offensive German page. There was not way to hide it. And it showed up regularly. To be clear, I don't speak German and I really wasn't interested in what the page was purveying.

Their iPhone app is even worse.

If there's anyone from Facebook reading this, y'all are idiots.

Google News is pretty much the same. Frankly, everyone is pretty much the same.

I should be able to click hide or left swipe and it's gone. And no, I don't want to answer a quick five minute customer support questionnaire. Y'all don't like Ad Blockers? Well, I don't like not being in control of what's in my face.

10
visarga 3 days ago 1 reply      
> At any given time, Coler says, he has between 20 and 25 writers

Ha! He's hired some shady SEO company to write those. You can buy "spun" articles by the hundreds from black hat forums. I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually written by some poor Indian. No way can he pay 25 writers with $20-30K/month. It's just a get rich quick scheme, a spammer, but one that destroys a lot of public value in order to profit a little.

11
vinhboy 3 days ago 2 replies      
This story is fascinating to me. I also run a couple of these "wordpress" informational type sites, but never in my dream did I thought about publishing fake news to make money.

Too bad I was not smart enough to get into this business.

I wish he would be more honest about it. I am pretty sure he's just doing it for the money. I don't blame him. That's good money.

The moral and ethical dilemma of it is kinda murky. Is it really his fault people are so stupid?

12
kordless 3 days ago 1 reply      
> But, he says, dozens, maybe hundreds of entrepreneurs will be ready to take his place.

This is one of many examples of the dialog where this individual is speaking for others while ironically indicating he's running a "business". The fabrication and willful spread of disinformation is a powerfully disruptive behavior.

13
paulajohnson 3 days ago 3 replies      
I notice that his attempts to seed fake news on the liberal side always got promptly debunked. I think this election is going to be the high water mark for fake news, its just that liberals are ahead of the curve in being skeptical about information on the Net.

What this needs is a click-baitey headline to make it go viral on the Right. Something like "You won't believe how this liberal guy made $$$ scamming conservatives!".

14
castratikron 3 days ago 0 replies      
>He wrote one fake story for NationalReport.net about how customers in Colorado marijuana shops were using food stamps to buy pot. "What that turned into was a state representative in the House in Colorado proposing actual legislation to prevent people from using their food stamps to buy marijuana based on something that had just never happened," Coler says.

Amazing.

15
ndr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Quote 0:

 What that turned into was a state representative in the House in Colorado proposing actual legislation to prevent people from using their food stamps to buy marijuana based on something that had just never happened," Coler says.
Quote 1:

 Coler, a registered Democrat, says he has no regrets about his fake news empire. He doesn't think fake news swayed the election.
Quote 2:

 However, Coler insists this is not about money. It's about showing how easily fake news spreads. And fake news spread wide and far before the election. When I pointed out to Coler that the money gave him a lot of incentive to keep doing it regardless of the impact, he admitted that was "correct."
Did he created his own bubble to justify this?

16
WhitneyLand 3 days ago 3 replies      
Jestin Coler is a cancer and his actions should be made illegal. It seems possible such a law could be narrowly applied such that it would prove constitutional. Judicial review could weigh the value to society of false speech, or lying, against the erosion of integrity in the free press.

One example of a false speech review was the stolen valor act. Lot of doors left open here; http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/the_first_amendment_a...

17
wobbleblob 3 days ago 1 reply      
If people see a headline that doesn't reinforce what they already believe, they dismiss it as obviously alt-right fake news, or obviously part of the liberal media conspiracy.

Maybe it's a good idea not to unfriend your [Wrong side] voting facebook friends and relatives, but to keep your network diverse. At the very least you won't be as utterly shocked when [Wrong side] wins, even though absolutely no one you know would ever vote for [Wrong side].

18
jlubawy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Makes me really question if this article is fake to prove some sort of point, it's really hard to know (for sure) anymore
19
jondubois 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think that all the news which we consume is misleading in one way or another; whether they deceive us through outright misinformation, unevenly balanced arguments, or priming (through repeated exposure to particular concepts).

While these small fake news creators deceive us through outright misinformation, big news corporations deceive us through priming.

If you repeatedly draw peoples' attentions to the same concepts and ideas over and over again; they will incorporate these ideas as part of their core belief system and it will cause them to block out real information which opposes those ideas.

Small independent 'news' creators just don't have the necessary scale to leverage priming effects, so they are forced to resort to outright 'sensational' misinformation to push forward their agendas.

I think that fake news is important for society, just like religion; sometimes the intention behind the text is more important than the actual information content within.

20
tigerBL00D 3 days ago 1 reply      
If a post is being pitched as news, then some amount of fact checking needs to take place. Traditional media has been doing that forever and identifying sources of information, since they have to uphold their reputation. I think in this day and age the responsibility falls on Facebook, or whatever is publishing the "news". Facebook could use a standardized and easily recognizable visual language to indicate how "newsworthy" a given post is. Heck we now have an animated language for reactions, why can't we have this?

I would be cautious about outright filtering content without giving user some way to set thresholds. It feels like handing way too much power to the algorithm. I want to make the final (informed) decision on what to read and what to believe.

21
failrate 3 days ago 0 replies      
The problem I have is that I have never seen a denouncement. If there have been any denouncements, then they have not had the same amount of impact as the initiating fake news lie.
22
axelfreeman 3 days ago 0 replies      
He doesn't need to display ads to make his point. But he does. There is also no "public denouncing" of anything here. (Maybe change the text after 1 hour or something)

He just said that because he don't want to be the bad guy in front of the reporter and his family.

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meira 3 days ago 0 replies      
So npr created a fake news based on a fake news created by a Hillary supporter. Let's track down another fake news creator. Who wrote this?
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matt_wulfeck 3 days ago 1 reply      
> "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide." The story is completely false

Yes this story false. What's not false is that a DNC staffer was found murdered in DC and nothing was taken from his pockets right after the DNC email leaks. Assange suggested he was the source and offered up a $25k reward[0].

1. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/08/10/assange-implies-m...

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kriro 3 days ago 2 replies      
My cynic takeaway: it seems like the concerns over falling ad revenues due to ad-blockers are exaggerated.
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dpeterson 3 days ago 0 replies      
The MSM is butt hurt they don't control the narrative anymore. The last election proved that. They are scared. Their current strategy is to label their call for censorship as limiting the reach of fake news. Of course everything not in line with whatever narrative they control is fake news. They find some real fake news and attempt to blur the lines in people's heads by associating real fake news with anything not MSM.
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dqv 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I got to the midpoint of the article, I started to wonder if the author was going to tell me at the end that the whole article was fake news.
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bitJericho 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow this is really interesting. I did the satire writing thing and was disgusted when people believed it without question. I didn't want my real name associated with it, and so I would be unable to promote it. Promoting it under a fake name to people who believed it was distasteful to me, and so I just kinda quit after only writing a few articles.
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EEGuy 2 days ago 0 replies      
What to do about fake news?

Some suggestions[1] from John Bothwick Jeff Jarvis.

I particularly like #4. "Make the brands of those sources more visible to users".

-------

[] http://buzzmachine.com/2016/11/18/call-cooperation-fake-news...

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dmfdmf 3 days ago 1 reply      
Since the government had taken over education aren't they responsible for churning out morons who can't think for themselves and distinguish fake news from real news? Perhaps that was their goal all along.
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hartator 3 days ago 0 replies      
trolltrace.com becoming reality.
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icomefromreddit 3 days ago 1 reply      
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meritt 3 days ago 2 replies      
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sethx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who had a deja vu reading this article?
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LargeCompanies 3 days ago 1 reply      
And fake news the majority of it on Facebook is shared by Trump supporters.

A demographic who are neophytes....

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natural219 3 days ago 0 replies      
Flagging this issue, again. It's a one-sided, polarized political issue.
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Married to someone with anxiety psiloveyou.xyz
411 points by throwaway309  2 days ago   194 comments top 34
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physcab 2 days ago 5 replies      
Thank you for writing this. When people talk about these issues it becomes easier and more acceptable to society and it helps lessen anxiety stigmas.

As someone who suffers from anxiety and who regularly seeks therapy, I can say that the rituals that have helped me are:

- Realizing that anxiety isn't who you are, but more like a disturbance that will pass

- Eating, sleeping, exercising, and practicing mindfulness go a long way

- Knowing and dealing with the physiological reactions helps. Realizing that anxiety is a fight or flight response and is often based on fears of the future, which causes heart to race and breath to shorten. Therefore, simply forcing yourself to take large breaths and being mindful about the state of your body helps bring you back to the present and not let your mind get into "rabbit holes"

One piece of advice I have for you is to not take on the role of mental health professional in your relationship. This isn't your problem and you can quickly tire yourself out. All you have to do to support is help your wife accept her current state, and help remind her of living in the present. If her condition is severe enough, encourage her to see a psychiatrist in addition to a therapist too. It may help greatly.

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valuablevalve 2 days ago 6 replies      
After a 10 year fight induced from stress, I can positively say that I'm free from it, just reading a page like this would have floored me 5 years ago.

Some stuff I learned:

- Stop* with coffee, for some reason tea does not the same thing to my body, coffee is like gasoline on the anxiety fire, I cant stress this point enough.

- Stop* with nicotine, (almost) same as coffee

- Stop* drinking, you need to stay strong 7 days a week to get out of it

- Start walking, at least 8km during weekdays day, in brisk pace, you should have to take a shower after. After each walk, do a workout, pushups, chins etc. Make this a priority, and dont walk when its dark outside, you need the sunlight.

- In the beginning, avoid everything stressful, its not hiding, its waiting until strong enough

- Stoicism contains allot of valuable lessons for us, its where CBT came from after all.

- If you come out on this like me on the right side (I hope), and your loved one is still by your side, remember that !

All the best !

*) To stop with something like "drinking" and coffee, it seems hard and rash, but it really helps, and dont make the mistake to once in a while break the rule, its much easier to stick to the rule if there are zero exceptions, less inner conversation, less guilt, more pride.

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soared 2 days ago 5 replies      
> a 4 hour commute (both ways)

What the fuck is this person doing and why do they think its okay? According to that paragraph she's home at 8pm. She leaves for work at 4am. That leaves 8 hours total to eat, sleep, and live your life.

He just brushes over that until later when she casually leaves her job (for no reason given). C'mon guy.. that was the root of the problem!

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b1tr0t 2 days ago 5 replies      
OK - I'll bite. I haven't seen anyone mention medications here but personally I use propranolol.

Life. Changing.

For the first while I took it every day as prescribed for my ET. 20mg. And as I experienced the first pill (effects kick in about 40 minutes after), I had this realization "wait a minute, this is what it must feel like to be a normal person"! That light bulb in itself was incredible. Before that, I hadn't realized life could feel that good. I'd always wondered how people could do the things they could do ... and suddenly I didn't just realize but got to experience what it was like to be someone who DIDN'T have constant anxiety.

I cut back my dosage looking for minimum effective dose. Most days for me it's 0 (that's right, I don't take anymore on most days). My anxiety level has decreased because now I know -what it feels like not to be anxious-, plus, if I do feel anxious I have a solution at hand which lowers anxiety.

For a particularly stressful day I might take 5mg. (For me now a particularly stressful day means standing in front of a room of hundreds of people and presenting after 2 hours sleep.) At these infrequent low dosages, I don't experience any negative side-effects.

Worth sharing general personal details. I'm a 37 year old male in reasonably good health, I exercise vigorously twice a week and get a healthy amount of walking and biking in almost every day. I discovered propranolol by accident - it was prescribed for an essential tremor (ET), it was only after that I discovered the "off-label" anti-anxiety side-effects of beta blockers.

It's worth mentioning that I did experience negative side-effects when I was taking 20mg daily. If you can avoid taking it daily, that's going to be better for you in the long run.

* Reduced sex drive * Life just seems more "flat" I don't laugh as much, get as giddy. My partner described me as seeming "disconnected". * Cold limbs & numb tongue

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JohnBooty 2 days ago 1 reply      
When your partner has anxiety, every problem you have now becomes two problems.

Because when you have a problem (work, health, whatever) you now either have to

(1) figure out how to tell your partner without causing a meltdown (which will probably fail no matter what you do) or...

(2) just keep it to yourself (obviously unhealthy)

So that sucks. You have to partially mitigate it by reducing your partner's overall stress levels. And also learning how to communicate while tiptoeing through the fucking minefield of their emotions without getting your legs blown off. (Except the mines are moving so, good luck with that)

It's not their fault, they didn't choose this. You did.

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Gruselbauer 2 days ago 0 replies      
As somebody who overcame a different but similarly awful mental illness (addiction to strong opiates, mainly heroin and opium), I can't even begin to pretend I understand what people with anxiety issues are going through. But I know I've been at a point where I thought I would just pack it in, just go into a forest in winter and freeze to death. Didn't obviously and am unbelievably glad I didn't.

You know the generic tips. Get help, believe in change, keep trying. I'm not sure I want to reiterate that because none of these things were what helped me. It was a close friend, somebody I can genuinely say saved my life. And there's what imagine to be the worst problem with generalized anxiety: not easily being able to ask others for help.

Believe me, it wasn't easy for me either. But if social interaction scares you, if going out of the door is an impossibility? Man, I have no idea whatsoever how that could be improved.

Still, and this is vital, giving up for good is never the answer. I was jamming two grams of morphine per day into my veins five years ago, barely still literate and pretty much waiting for death. Back to working, back to a social and romantic life, back to... feeling good. Sober. And I'm neither stronger nor cleverer nor better than anyone else, not by a long shot.

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benmarks 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anxiety disorder just sucks, because there's no way to rationalize it or the depression that often engenders.

It's fortunate that this couple were able to figure out what was happening and can now talk about this openly. Normalizing the open discussion of mental illness is key to helping so many people who currently suffer in silence.

There is a nonprofit initiative in the tech world which encourages open discussion for this purpose: Open Sourcing Mental Illness [1]. I've been privileged to share my story of Generalized Anxiety Disorder with tech audiences in the run-up to this being launched, and I've heard so many humbling stories from others. It is having a positive impact, and I hope others will see the initiative or the presentations and feel that they can discuss what's happening with them or make it clear that others should feel okay to talk about their experiences.

Above all: if you are in pain, in worry, in doubt, etc., please reach out for help. The difference between silent suffering and a life enjoyed can start there.

[1]: https://osmihelp.org/

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shams93 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's actually unfortunately normal and healthy to have extreme anxiety when you have no workers rights and its hard to replace a job. As working people we are forced to live with unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Life can be extremely punishing, I've seen both the mediocre and the extremely talented crushed beneath the wheels of the system sometimes seemingly at random. Abuse if the h1b creates artificial shortages of work to leverage wages down and hours up. It's not unusual to get used more and more as short term temporary labor the more experienced and capable you get. Other professions like teaching college pay poverty wages that cannot support a family. So much of the dignity of work has been annihilated to make things better for billionaires.
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manmal 2 days ago 1 reply      
There might be something that you can do - probiotics. There has been research that the microbiome is at least somehow linked to anxiety [1].

Not just any probiotic - there's a lot of unresearched crap being sold, some even dangerous (e.g. some soil based organisms can become opportunistic). I can recommend L. Plantarum 299v (this strain reportedly does not produce d-lactic acid, which is really desirable, as probiotic use could lead to acidosis [2], [3]), E. Coli Nissle 1917, and maybe a well researched soil-based mix (Prescript Assist maybe, they claim that it's the best researched probiotic in its class). Testing your biome at ubiome could provide you with info on what is missing, or what group of organisms is underrepresented. I haven't tried that yet though.

Sorry for not providing links to studies for all my claims, as I'm not at home, but all that should be easy to back up by searching at pubmed.

[1]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23384445/

[2]: https://med.virginia.edu/ginutrition/wp-content/uploads/site...

[3]: http://hkjpaed.org/pdf/2006%3B11%3B246-254.pdf

Update: Added another link.Why the downvote?

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benibela 2 days ago 4 replies      
I have holes in a few of my clothes.

Today I went to a shop selling needles/yarn/wool/.., so I could fix them. I arrived at the shop, was too anxious to enter and left again.

Guess the holes will have to stay.

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dominotw 2 days ago 4 replies      
>We also made big and brave decisions like my wife quitting her exhausting job up in London and her retraining to work with young people in a college environmentstressful, but local.

Looks like now that guy is mainly responsible for all the stress and anxiety of mortgage and family finances. Brave decision indeed, at least form his side, hope he doesn't catch that horrible illness too.

There is some evidence that women are quitting due to high stress environment of modern workplaces[1]. Given this instantly solved the issue in this particular case, safe to assume it was the root cause of anxiety , and that's what "solved" it, not talking, therapy and all the other stuff.

>We also got a cat.

I strongly recommend this also. Cats will show you how to chill, how to find that sunspot and enjoy life. They will instantly de-stress you with their chill vibe.

Edit: de-stress != distress.

1. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-...

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mrcarlosrendon 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for sharing. I think its important to discuss mental health issues openly. They have a huge impact on our lives and are quite common (NAMI says 1 in 5), yet we tend as a society to shy away from talking about it and tend to have strange beliefs (they are just a negative person, they should just get over it, their thoughts will be contagious). I think many people never get the help they need because they aren't aware that help even exists.
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Ended 2 days ago 2 replies      
> More evenings with no sleep, coupled with a 4 hour commute (both ways) means she is exhausted.

This stood out to me - I cannot imagine the detrimental effect that 8 hours commuting per day has on one's mental health. I'm glad she was able to change jobs.

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jschwartzi 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's worth noting that if you have anxiety around starting therapy, as I did, that many therapists can be contacted via email. In the US, there are trade publications like Psychology Today and trade groups like the American Psychological Association that maintain lists of practicing therapists.

Often the hardest step is the first one. If your anxiety is anything like mine is you may not even realize you have a problem. My anxiety has robbed me of so many opportunities, that I often wish I had started therapy in my twenties. It took me months of goading myself before I contacted anyone about it.

I'm glad I did.

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kafkaesq 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind that chronic anxiety is often the flip side of other, highly positive traits -- like empathy; the capacity to be deeply committed to others and one's goals; and self-knowledge, generally -- which many seemingly "relaxed, self-assured" people sorely lack.
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yarou 2 days ago 0 replies      
The latest treatment protocols for anxiety seem to have shifted from GABA receptor agonists to SSRIs and supplements like folic acid[1].

The jury is still out on how effective these treatments are compared to CBT. I'd be curious about how physicians subjectively feel about prescribing benzos to their patients.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200167/

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11thEarlOfMar 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lifetime of anxiety usually results in the sufferer developing a set of coping mechanisms that are typically not healthy, and can include drug use, raging, cutting, seclusion, social restriction or other self-harm.

One possible line of therapy is Dielectical Behavior Therapy[1], which works to teach the sufferer to re-cast their emotional responses to daily events, see them more objectively and find healthy coping methods.

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

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everyone 2 days ago 1 reply      
Social anxiety seems to be really common for anxious people. I'm quite anxious, but I have no social anxiety. I have medical anxiety, like hypochondria. I was able to fix this by being really logical about it. Ie. if I was anxious I was having a stroke or something I would list the symptoms (fainting, paralysis, blurred vision, extreme nausea etc.) and tick off the ones I had (I invariably didnt have any of them, so I determined I was fine)
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rublev 2 days ago 9 replies      
Really glad this article was posted.

I have anxiety. No idea what to do about it. I just sit here locked in my apartment all day, haven't seen anyone in weeks. Moved a friend in next door, he's extremely loud, now I haven't seen him in weeks either. I just can't. I'm just an asshole sitting here with headphones on 14 hours a day and then sleeping completely locked in a prison of my own making. To walk into the kitchen and potentially hear them fucking or watching TV really loudly in their bedroom - it feels like what you're feeling is unreasonable, so then you start feeling guilty, except I can't help any of it. In my head it's like 'good for him! get laid buddy!' but what I feel is pure adrenaline and anger.

Sometimes when I wake up just right after a perfect sleep, hit my routine properly, get everything done, then I feel great, and can go out, and do things. But I have to feel extremely great, and it takes so much work to get there. And it only ever works rarely.

My heart rate is almost constantly 1.5x what it should be, like a consistent and constant adrenaline rush that no amount of pushups will get rid of. Any excessive or intrusive sounds sends my adrenaline to the roof and now I have to focus my energy on calming down to be able to work instead of actually working.

Very rarely there are small patches of time where there is no anxiety. I liken those moments to the moments Dostoevsky describes when he's not suffering from seizures.

The one thing I'm trying to avoid is telling people about it, I don't ever want to put someone in the position of "listen, my life is harder than yours because of X condition, so you need to adjust to me". I think that's gross. Like my loud friend. It's totally his right to be loud, and it's unfair to him that someone like me lives next door. But now he has to feel neglected from my lack of contact, which just brings me more guilt. Then at some point we're going to have to talk about it, at which point I can either lie to make him feel better or tell him what's actually up and potentially lower his quality of life and instill in him a similar amount of anxiety. Then we both lose. Pity is one of the worst feelings ever and I really don't wish to invite it into my life.

>All of these things helped but we were not livingwe were surviving in a world where anxiety had taken over.

Exactly, it's just surviving. Dead time, unenjoyed. I am very lucky to have recently met a girl that takes the time to ask questions and explore and talk without judgement and assumptions and it's been the most wonderful experience of my life so far. I've never had that, so initially it was very difficult to trust. The first few months it was a mental loop of "Why would this person ever talk to me much less try to help me?". I lucked out huge though.

edit: Wow is what I'm typing really that foreign to some of you? I should probably look into this more. Thank you everyone who replied and OP for the article.

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tixocloud 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing. I think it's so important that this gets surfaced.

Having dialogue is probably the best way to help someone going through anxiety. A lot of times, they just need someone to listen and to support them and tell them that it's ok.

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gargalatas 1 day ago 0 replies      
anxiety == trauma

1. After 6 months - 1 year it becomes part of you. You can't get any better without a professional help.

2. Go find the best psychiatrist (not therapist) your money can buy and trust him 100%.

3. Therapy and medicine can make miracles! You can become another person better than ever! Free from your worst fears forever.

4. Be patient. Therapy need 2-3 year or even more. But with the appropriate medicine you can keep your life going.

5. Medicine made to help people. All the other excuses are bullshit. But WARNING! Medicine doesn't make you better. It just hides the symptoms. Therapy will make you better. Therapy will give you the explanation and the self-cure.

6. No-one EVER EVER died from anxiety. Someday your will just have fun with all these symptoms. Just trust your doctor.

7. Read Echart Tolle. Maybe meditation is not the answer but he can teach you the meaning of life. Mindfulness is a great tool. Learn what you are thinking!

8. Psychiatry is the only science. The others are just philosophies.

9. Are you still here? Stop crying for your money and give them to your doctor! It's really a huge investment. Be absolutely sure that life will give them back multiplied. Remember that money is the medium.

10. DONT QUIT YOUR JOB. DONT QUIT ANYTHING. Anxiety == trauma!

Me? After spending 5 years with all the pseudo-cures and pseudo-doctors even with homeopathy and other crap like this I decided to start with the best doctor I could find. 2.5 years of a great journey. Feeling great and I am in the process of quitting therapy.

Keep up, and be strong!

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woodchuck64 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sometimes anxiety is a symptom of high-functioning autism spectrum. (Note that anxiety doesn't need to be solely related to social situations in this case either)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3809000/
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rmetzler 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if your wife ever tried medical marijuana? Many people use it to battle anxiety and in fact anxiety reduction is one of the effects, websites like Leafly rate cannabis strains in. Cannabis aids sleep, so this might also be some desired effect for your wife.

Search for anxiety in reddit.com/r/trees and you'll see the amount of people who think it helps them.

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douche 2 days ago 0 replies      
Being in a relationship with somebody who has anxiety issues is exhausting. It just never ends. Well, until it ends...
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FailMore 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hi All,

I thought I'd share my experience as someone who has been through anxiety and come through the other side. I was very lucky to have (and still have) a fantastic therapist to help and teach me.

Why we get anxiety:

I sure know how confusing anxiety can be! It doesn't feel like it comes from anywhere clear or that it has an obvious purpose... but in fact is is strangely systematic.

Anxiety does two things (we will explore both in detail); 1) protects you from something. 2) makes you feel shit and forces you to act on making yourself feel less shit.

>> 1) Protecting you

Anxiety is one of the minds best defense mechanisms. Whatever you experience anxiety about it nearly always leads to a reduction in action, connection and conflict with others. It could be that you dont speak out, get on stage, tell someone you're pissed off with them, leave your room (as someone in this thread is having a hard time doing) or go to your friends house for dinner (re op). Anxiety = not doing things.

Not doing things is a fantastic option if you just want to survive! Im fairly sure if I spent the day in my bedroom and had a pizza posted through my letterbox I would make it through the next 24 hours fairly unscathed, and a part of me thinks that is a very smart idea. Its very good to stay alive.

The confusing thing about being an adult with anxiety is that we are protecting ourselves from things that we dont need protecting from any more.

Being young:

When you are small (under 10 or so) there are a few big differences from being an adult.

1) You really really need to keep big people (parents) around. You are genuinely very vulnerable when you are little. A five year old is not very good at making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, its extremely important to have someone (a parent) there to help. A nine year old is not very good at defending itself vs a 32 year old bodybuilder, a big person (parent) is an extremely important tool for protection. If they are not there, you really could die.

2) You feel like you control / are responsible for more than you are. It is hard to understand that you are growing up into an imperfect world where, despite you being good, bad things are happening. It can be common, and often easier, for a child to feel that the world is good, but it has been bad so bad things have happened. The child has more control that way.

These two things combined mean that unlucky children teach themselves very strong and very misguided lessons at at young age. I lost my father at eight and I certainly did.

There is often a traumatic event - a divorce, violence, a huge argument, a death - that results in one parent / carer leaving, or almost leaving, the family hub. As discussed above, the love of the big people is genuinely indispensable to a child. If you dont have big people love, you probably will die and death is very scary.

The child finds a way to blame this on itself. It must have done something wrong for this loss, or almost-loss, to have happened and it must not do it again! Toe the line. Keep everyone happy. YOU MUST KEEP THEM HAPPY OTHERWISE YOU COULD DIE. This is a very sensible narrative for a young child that has been through a trauma.

Being older:

Now that you are older two things have happened.

The first is that, if youre lucky, you dont need the help of any big people to make it through the day. You can make a p&j sandwich on your own! You can survive loss. It will make you sad but it will not kill you.

The second is that you can be more objective. If youre parents get divorced when you are 25 years old, you are more likely to see it is because your dads train watching hobby is just out of hand, rather than it being a reflection on who you are as a person.

But your anxiety was not taught to you when you were a grown up, it was taught to you when you were a child - so it makes no sense in the world of an adult. You dont need to be (that) scared of pissing someone off as an adult! You dont need to be (that) scared of someone you love leaving you as an adult. You will make it through. But your emotions connect you to the perspective you had when you were a child - if you piss people off, if someone leave you - you could die. No wonder you are feeling anxious! I would be (and was) too.

Pissing people off, or having them leave you, or saying something offensive, or not making EVERYONE happy - can happen quite easily in the adult world. It can happen at the shop, at work, at a party, in a relationship. These are normal activities that you probably will survive - but they appear very very scary to a person with anxiety because these activities are more than what they are. They are opportunities for the world to fall apart and for you to maybe die.

>> 2) Anxiety makes you feel shit and makes you do something to try and feel less shit

As I hope you have learnt so far, the strong feelings of anxiety that one can have do not come from a very logical (grownup) place. They are beliefs that were useful when you were young and felt like you were holding the world together, but dont make sense any more.

(Note: if your anxiety seems to have popped up from nowhere after years of being fine, it could be that you have touched an emotional depth that you have not since you were young. For example, my anxiety flares up when Im in a relationship and experiencing strong feelings of connection / love - as a child might with a parent.)

The whole brain is really a very clever thing. Much cleverer than the bit of the brain you spend your mind talking to. As odd as it sounds, a part of it knows that you have a belief that is a little out of place and causing you problems in your day to day life - and it wants you to fix it.

Im willing to bet if you have strong feelings of anxiety you are having frequent, intense, and mostly unpleasant dreams. Id bet youve even had some recurring dreams. Dreams are another weirdly systematic process which can seem complex, but not to be discussed today (my email is below if you want a walk through). These dreams are no meaningless coincidence, they are there to nudge you towards fixing whatever no-longer-useful belief you have.

Like I said, the whole brain is really very clever and it knows a great way to make you take notice of something is to cause you immense pain! (Just like it is useful for a rash to itch, so you see you have it and take care of your skin.) And just like the synergistic of a bee and a flower (the bee gets the food, the flower gets its pollen spread), anxiety protects you and, through its pain, forces you to take a look at yourself.

So that is whats going on. (Apologies if you feel this is an oversimplification, but this structure covers the common narrative. Im sure there are many cases Im not dealing with.)

How to face anxiety:

To face it, you need to say - Hello child brain, I see what youre doing - you really are very smart! But today Im not going to listen to you because I probably dont need protecting from whatever youre trying to prevent. Ill probably be ok

Then youre child (emotional) brain will say - WHAT THE FUCK!! WERE TOTALLY GOING TO DIE!!!

And then you are going to have to use all the courage you can muster to tell it to shut up and do the thing you are so scared of doing. And see what happens (your child brain will be watching too) - youll probably be fine. When youve done this a few times the child brain will calm down and youll move through this anxiety onto the next one!

Also, if you can, get a good therapist.

If this was helpful / you want to reach out - please do so at eichler.summers[at]gmail.com. Id be interested to hear feedback.

If you are from YC, or a particularly kind rich person / VC and you think there should be a scalable solution to anxiety, please get in touch. I would love to start a company in this space. I am a credible (TechCrunch Disrupt nominated, ex VC) individual who just needs a nudge.

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cowardlydragon 2 days ago 1 reply      
"A four hour commute each way"?
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homakov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been in that position, shaking in my bed not able to sleep for days. Then I was prescribed many different medications. I ended up doing seroquel and now I'm trying to tamper off it. However in my situation I still have no idea what caused my anxiety. I'm unemployed and don't need to work, and everything seems alright on the surface to me.
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draw_down 2 days ago 2 replies      
God bless you both but I could never do this. Life is hard enough without your partner making things that should be easy difficult.

I was with someone like this for years in my 20s and it eventually became unbearable. At some level, "I have anxiety" starts to feel like an excuse, not that the person can control it exactly, but we all have the ability to tell which of the thoughts occur to us are good ones worth listening to and which aren't. I became resentful of how, for example, a nice vacation would be ruined over worrying about a lingering bill for $50 or whatever. It's really hard to be around someone like that long term and still feel like they make you happy and that your life is better with them in it, when it so clearly is materially not better. It's like all the color drains away from life and why bother doing fun stuff since it'll just get ruined anyway?

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bendbro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like how this follows a more pratical approach than other writing about mental health. Overly emotional mental health literature is a big turn off for me.
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mbizzle88 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for this.
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milesf 2 days ago 0 replies      
I overcame Bipolar Spectrum disorder. This article, and many others like it, get many things right. Each person is different, and it took me many, many years to get the right help and many, many different approaches.

I'd like to add another aspect to this discussion that might be misunderstood, but I'll say it anyway because there are likely others that were in the same situation I was. I attended a church back in my 20's that turned out to be a horrible environment for me. Churches are not all the same. They are multifaceted, not monolithic. I was at this church for 10 years, and the environment was very emotional. They even had services on Wednesday nights because of the hype and emotion.

When I became sick, I had pastors pray for me and ask God for healing. When the months went by and I was not getting better, the not-so-subtle message was "there must be sin in your life" or that I needed deliverance from some sort of demonic influence. People stopped visiting. I felt like a social leper. It was one of the darkest points in my life.

After 7 months of suffering crushing depression, daily anxiety and frequent panic attacks, I was reduced to working a part-time job and eating only sandwiches from the gas station next door because I didn't want to be out in public. I could share the remainder of the story, but the point I want to make is I got through it.

There are many, many communities of faith out there. Some are fantastic and very understanding of mental health issues. Others are toxic and horrible. If you're in a similar situation, I just want to let you know three things: 1) There is hope 2) Don't give up 3) If you need to make a change (church, family, friends, etc) do it.

There are many wonderful, loving people in the world who really do care and REALLY DO understand what you are going through. You really are not alone. I know how it feels to think you're the only one going through what you are going through, but the truth is you are not. I still remember being in my first mental health group of about 10 people and hearing people share their stories. What a relief it was to know I was not alone! Some of the biggest laughs I've had in my life have been with other "crazy" people, because we all know how hard mental illness can be, and how wonderful life can be when things are simply normal without all the drama.

I'm now married over 16 years, with two children and two very spoiled pugs. I've also been attending a great church for the last 6 years that is more balanced, without all the ups and downs emotionally. I've shared my story many times about overcoming a serious mental illness and will continue to do so. Mental illness is more cruel than most people will ever realize, so if you suspect you have something or know you get help, and surround yourself with positive, encouraging people.

32
thro32 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had to deal with something similar, and I think I would add a few practical advices (outside of my other advice):

- if psychotherapy does now work in first 3 months, than problem is somewhere else

- check sugar levels, diabetes.. it is often misdiagnosed with psychiatric problems

- if she has paralyzing fear, you should talk to good psychiatrist and get medication. Be careful what motivations he/she has, he might try to sell you expensive doses for long term.

- we had good experience with psychiatrist outside US. Most consulting was over skype

- MRI, blood test... usual general tests. Anxiety can be result of infection, head concussion...

- Phenibut is quick & cheap solution to anxiety and sleep problems. No side effects, but you develop resistance fast, so it can be used only once a week. It takes edge-off before proper solution is found.

33
thro32 2 days ago 6 replies      
I was married to such person for 8 years. I physically aged 40 years, and I got gray hair.

My best advice is to get out NOW if you can. Maybe things are working out now, but you are barely floating. Add normal family life into picture: children, job loss, some injury, any sort of accident... and you will sink to bottom faster than a stone.

34
jsprogrammer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stop thinking in "types" and responses and most certainly--stop thinking that things happen for "absolutely no reason".

Everything happens for a reason. Anxiety is a mental state. Until that state is resolved, the anxiety will persist. Strong self-reflection is the way out.

Cannabis can help to rocket you through your anxiety and helped me figure it out pretty quickly.

16
Finland set to become first country to ban coal use for energy newscientist.com
304 points by csdfg7856  2 days ago   96 comments top 11
1
notgood 2 days ago 6 replies      
Meanwhile, the new US president plans to create jobs with "clean coal"[0] (in a contest of oxymorons that one would win) and also "relax" environmental restrictions choosing Myron Ebell, a climate change denier as the head of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) [1]

But it's the democratically elected president, so we must only watch as he destroys the world for at least 4 years for the sake of new jobs; we all know there is nothing more important for our future than creating jobs.

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/energy-environme...

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/20...

2
dancek 2 days ago 2 replies      
In 2015, Finnish electricity production was as follows [1]:

 - 33.7% nuclear - 16.6% fossil fuels - 44.9% renewables - 4.4% peat
Wikipedia says that all the fossil fuels are imported (except peat) but does not cite a source. With a fifth nuclear reactor under construction (Olkiluoto 3), the import of fossil fuels would probably diminish at some point anyway.

The renewable electricity production mostly comprises hydropower (25.1%) and wood-based energy (about 15%). Solar power is not an option--during winter, every Friday is black Friday here. Wind power would hardly be profitable without the feed-in tariff [2].

Given the ecological issues with hydropower, the limited nature of wood-based power and how inapplicable solar and wind power are here, I personally consider nuclear power to be the most environmentally friendly option if we're to produce more electricity.

[1] http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/en/StatFin/StatFin__ene__s...

[2] https://www.energiavirasto.fi/web/energy-authority/feed-in-t...

3
Maakuth 2 days ago 1 reply      
This article paints it as if we're replacing it all with wind power. Actually we have quite big nuclear power plant projects underway. Still, sunsetting coal power is a great target and can't come fast enough.
4
skocznymroczny 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does Finland have a lot of coal anyway? It's easy to ban something you don't really have. Also easy for a rich country to ban coal use, but you can't expect poorer countries to do the same, especially if by coal is how rich countries built their industries. And now they are being told to get rid of coal and replace them with wind or solar power, usually conveniently offered by foreign companies.
5
Reason077 2 days ago 2 replies      
A coal ban by 2030 would not make Finland the first country to do so. France is closing all coal-fired plants by 2023, and the UK by 2025.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/09/britains...

6
jabl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Meanwhile, that same new energy strategy announced by the government also effectively halts wind power construction until an "inpartial", "objective", "thorough", etc. study investigating why wind power causes people to become sick is done. Also, bats. Yes. One of the parties in the current government is a "conservative populist" party where party representatives have been claiming that wind power causes bats to explode. Yes, really.

EDIT: Slightly less inflammatory..

7
chinathrow 2 days ago 2 replies      
The question is what happens to _all_ the central power plants once the cost of transmission is more expensive than the cost of generation of solar power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxryv2XrnqM&feature=youtu.be...

8
opopie 2 days ago 0 replies      
9
_pdp_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
I only hear good things about the nordic countries and that news just tops it.

Lately I've been researching Tesla's solar roofs but it seems to me that it will be a difficult thing to pull off in UK due to building control and all kinds of other arcane systems that prevent use of modern building practices.

10
faragon 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's ok, as they can afford building new nuclear reactors ([1]).

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

11
boneheadmed 2 days ago 0 replies      
Which nation will be the first to mandate citizens walking around with one hand tied behind their backs? Literally, rather than just as a metaphor.
17
MacOS 10.12 Open Source Components apple.com
349 points by Lwrless  3 days ago   159 comments top 18
1
gaxun 3 days ago 3 replies      
I have been drafting an 'Ideas' post about the following idea, but it's not done yet and this looks like as good a place as any to look for some early feedback. This might not have as much clarity as I'd like.

The general idea is to have a site that can track various projects that release their own copy of GPL (especially, but other licenses as well) software. So Apple ships their version of {bash, etc.}, and so does your router, and someone else's refrigerator. And this site ("GPL Hub?") just links to all the places that are hosting their own version of {bash, etc.}. Maybe it could even show how they've diverged, although that might not be so easy.

Recently it has become very trendy to host all code in one centralized location like GitHub. But GitHub isn't really that great at showing you the "forks graph" anyway. Many companies that ship GPL code have archives like this available on their own websites. This could help increase visibility and give users an easier time finding the source code. I'd love to know how many copies of different GPL projects are out in the wild. Maybe for the companies that don't publicly host their GPL code, someone who makes a successful GPL request could share the code on this same site.

Those are some of the ideas, I'd still love to finish the post sometime but it's a bit too vague for me to say anything concrete yet. Any direction to related works or explanations of why this is a bad (or good) idea would be much appreciated!

2
filereaper 3 days ago 4 replies      
Heh, I went spelunking through the bsd/mach layers of the code, was quite a bit of fun.

Looks like they've only released the x86_64 and x86 versions of the code? I don't see any ARM in there.

Anyways, found gems like this [1]:

 /* *File:sched_prim.c *Author:Avadis Tevanian, Jr. *Date:1986 * *Scheduling primitives * */
I hope to leave a legacy like this someday, hopefully someone will appreciate the author's comments 30 years later!

[1] https://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-3789.1.32/osfmk/...

3
Elv13 3 days ago 1 reply      
Long time ago, they used to also publish a bootable ISO of Darwin + all of those OSS packages.

They did publish an updated Darwin core / kernel a few releases back, but it seems to be closed again.

Too bad, I think someone with some determination could have gotten am hypervisor based container tech running on this. Of course the test would not run, but APIs shims could have made whole software compile (but not link). This in itself would have been very useful for a lot of people. Being able to compile in a container then link in the "real" macOS could also have been implemented, making this much more useful.

4
Benjamin_Dobell 3 days ago 2 replies      
Oh, how I miss having a working USB stack...

https://opensource.apple.com/source/IOUSBFamily/IOUSBFamily-...

They re-wrote IOUSBFamily (or at least they said they did) and it's buggy as all heck whenever you try use a USB 3 hub (since the 10.9 rewrite).

I'd fix it myself, but it's no longer open source. Plus, to really rub salt in the wound, there's no longer a USB debugging kext. Yay, Apple...

5
muterad_murilax 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder why they still write "OS X". Intentional or just due to somebody's lack of attention to detail?
6
tannhaeuser 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a functional, recent way to build this on VirtualBox and use it for cross-compiling command line and server apps for Mac OS (macOS/X whatever)?
7
koko775 3 days ago 1 reply      
Except for launchd, which remains re-closed-source.
8
sashav 3 days ago 2 replies      
no USBAudio? Again? So much for open source
9
rdtsc 3 days ago 3 replies      
Heh emacs-22.1.

Wonder where that's used. Scripting in elisp?

10
sandstrom 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think Apple is missing out on both a lot of goodwill but also overall progress of their Unix core by being so closed.

Instead they should actively contribute source-code to the BSD-ecosystem. Apple has a lot to gain long-term from the BSD-ecosystem being healthy.

Also, the whole Hackintosh thing is completely overblown. So what if some intrepid coder gets it running on a non-apple machine. It won't affect their sales the tiniest bit.

11
raimue 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interestingly this is not yet linked from the top-level page of the open source site: https://opensource.apple.com/
12
JDevlieghere 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great news, this should also mean that Valgrind will soon be working again on Sierra!
13
synthecypher 3 days ago 0 replies      
Was macOS always open source I thought it was just Darwin.
14
satyajeet23 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can hook exceptions in MACF now.
15
lukecowell 3 days ago 2 replies      
That title is clickbaity.
16
jaxn 3 days ago 2 replies      
17
hanniabu 3 days ago 5 replies      
Any thoughts on why they wouldn't have released this under a Github repo?
18
shmerl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Someone should implement Vulkan for it.
18
Amazon makes good on its promise to delete incentivized reviews techcrunch.com
264 points by TheAntiEgo  2 days ago   141 comments top 19
1
tyingq 2 days ago 17 replies      
Amazon is now at 50% of sales being third party listings.

Aside from the review mess, the quality level of the 3rd party listing themselves, customer service, shipping speed, and products...is really hurting them. And, of course, separately, the issue of counterfeit products.

My non-techie friends are taking notice.

Amazon really needs to deep dive into this before they hurt their brand in a way that's hard to recover.

2
dman 2 days ago 3 replies      
The days when I thought of ordering from amazon as a hassle free experience are long over. I now largely think of Amazon as a more expensive AliExpress.

a. Their search is broken.

b. Same item is listed by different sellers as different SKUs.

c. You cannot rely on reviews anymore.

d. You cannot filter by merchant and rely on receiving an item that is genuine since Amazon will comingle inventory from multiple merchants for the same SKU. Ie buying a product from Amazon has no guarantee that it is actually an item stocked by Amazon.

e. Their price competetiveness appears to have eroded. Best Buy etc no longer feel like a complete rip off in comparision.

f. Other retailers (Macys etc) have much more hassle free return policies.

Prime is the single thing that Amazon gets right in the whole selling experience - which is why I now think of Amazon as more of a logistics company than I do as a retailer.

3
ClayFerguson 2 days ago 1 reply      
Amazon needs to also stop disallowing bad reviews. I put up a bad review once, with no profanity or anything obviously worthy of rejecting other than a bad review of a product, and they refused to post it citing something "against their policy". All I can think of is the fact that i accused the product of being a fake/counterfeit which was most certainly true.

Of course the real moral of that story is never buy anything made of any kind of fabric from a China seller. You'll get something 2 sizes too small and only roughly similar to what you saw in the picture, and in my experiences anything you think you're getting from China which is a "name brand" will indeed be a knock off (fake) one.

4
tmptmp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are there sufficient number of good engineers left with Amazon yet? I wonder.

Look at their search quality. Terrible even at its best. I searched for laptop and wanted to see the cheapest so selected "sort by Price low to high", lo and behold, I was flooded with a never ending list of wired and wireless mice, keyboards, usb cables, and what not. I had to click on multiple pages before I could get to the first laptop entry.

This is ridiculous or do they prevent their engineers for experiencing this pain?

They are better off outsourcing their search problem to Google, just as Apple learnt to outsource the maps problem to Google. No offense intended.

5
Steeeve 2 days ago 0 replies      
This thread has given me a big lack of confidence in Amazon as a retail outlet.

I see a lot of "you're problem is solved by doing X", and maybe that's fine for me if I care to remember the advice but I'm not the big spender in my family, and I certainly don't care to put in the effort to keep up-to-date on how not to get screwed by shopping at a particular website.

From what I can tell, there's are issues with fake reviews, fake vendors, and counterfeit products being commingled with genuine products. Why would I put myself in a situation where I know any of these are potential problems?

Add to that when I have had problems with Amazon, the support channels have historically been unclear and they have an extraordinarily poor reputation for how they treat their employees.

What is the logical path that would make me want to spend my money with this particular vendor?

6
WaltPurvis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Two thoughts:

(1) It's always been standard practice in the publishing industry to provide free Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to reviewers, and I've noticed that many independent ebook authors on Amazon have adopted this practice. Am I to understand that Amazon will now disallow providing ARCs to book reviewers? Because that would fly in the face of standard industry practice -- a practice that I think very few people have ever complained about over the years.

(2) Isn't this exactly what the Amazon Vine program does? I.e., provide free products to people so they can review them? Are they stopping Vine? (Maybe they already did.) Are they admitting that the Vine program led to inflated reviews?

7
_Codemonkeyism 2 days ago 2 replies      
Amazon has lost a lot o appeal lately. Since they moved to Amazon Logistics from DHL here in Berlin, I had several lost or non delivered items, items were delivered at 8pm to a business address or on Saturday - this all being a Prime customer. Working with customer support was a pain.

Several people I know - including me - wish for a real Amazon alternative, and I've been a customer right from the beginning spending 90% of my online money at Amazon.

8
gshakir 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good move, but the damage has been done. My recent product search have 'incentivized' reviews and it has been very hard to make any decisions, so I have been double checking the reviews from other sources. Due to this, I also found that Amazon prices are no longer competitive and my recent purchases have been via Target with either free shipping or local store pickup with cheaper prices.
9
brilliantcode 2 days ago 0 replies      
I bought a bunch of crap on Amazon based on these reviews. I feel lied to and it will definitely make me rethink next I recklessly binge purchase items based on the star ratings.
10
grkvlt 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of my hobbies when bored is to look at (unusually) expensive items on Amazon (say, a GBP 40K Hasselblad camera) and all their reviews. 99% of the reviews are jokes, all of the same predictable form: 'I spent my life savings on this, now I live in the box it came in'; 'Such good value I bought ten'; or attributing ridiculous properties to the product. [1] I then flag each review as inappropriate, and mark them as unhelpful.

I know this is not going to fix the problem, unfortunately. I just find these puerile attempts at humour rather sad and don't understand why they are tolerated; both by Amazon and even other site users, who mark the reviews as helpful, and comment approvingly. Amazingly, some of the approving comments are even voted as helpful. I guess that everyone who can afford to spend GBP 20K on a TV are probab;y not influenced by reviews.

[1] https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2DQ4KXJL8RIJR/ref=cm_cr_rdp...

11
user5994461 2 days ago 1 reply      
IMO. Amazon.com has became a poor ebay.

On Ebay, it's clear that you're only buying from a 3rd party seller and you can see who it is and what's his reputation.

12
kpozin 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the past couple of weeks, I've searched for several categories of items on Amazon: umbrellas, paint brushes, and acrylic paint. Almost every product's page was dominated by five-star incentivized reviews.
13
i-think 2 days ago 0 replies      
In order to make this claim, Amazon, TechCrunch, and the researcher they cite must be able to accurately identify the population of incentivized reviews. How is that possible?

Incentivized reviews, if I'm using the term correctly, are designed to be indistinguishable from 'real' reviews. The reviewers aren't going to reveal which ones are incentivized.

If you think you can identify them, what you mean is that you can identify the ones that you identify; it's literally that much of a tautology. You have no idea of your accuracy, how many true and false positives and how many true/false negatives.

What Amazon is done is the same; they remove reviews that meet certain criteria. Amazon claims the criteria are an accurate proxy for incentivized reviews but I doubt they can confirm that.

At best they are raising the bar so that only better written incentivized reviews remain, and incentivized reviewers will adjust to the new standard. Users, no longer seeing incentivized reviews that they can identify, will assume the situation has improved. Really, they are still being conned but now don't know it.

14
Kunix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Naive question - Does anybody know how the Amazon reviews datasets available online have been generated? Is it web scraping? (on millions of reviews?!) Or partnership with academics? Or something else?

Looking at https://snap.stanford.edu/data/web-Amazon.html and http://jmcauley.ucsd.edu/data/amazon/, I can't find any mention on what process they used to generated these datasets.

15
rampage101 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's funny how whenever the topic of machine learning comes up Amazon is mentioned as a world class leader. However, their search is quite poor as many have mentioned. It still seems like "search" is a technically hard problem to get right.
16
freyr 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I'm purchasing a physical item where quality matters and I don't want to end up with a shoddy product or cheap knockoff, I don't buy from Amazon. Exceptions are books and the occasional AmazonBasics cable.

It's a shame, because they had a great service, and their delivery infrastructure remains great. But I don't need same day delivery if you're delivering junk.

17
eruditely 2 days ago 1 reply      
For stuff like this, Millesime imperial for men, I cannot be sure I am buying the real thing or a counterfeit. This is totally the opposite of what I expected amazon to represent, i'm not quite sure when this decline started to happen.

https://www.amazon.com/Creed-Millesime-Imperial-Spray-4-0/dp...

18
SwellJoe 2 days ago 1 reply      
While I like the sentiment, and have seen my trust of Amazon and reviews at Amazon plummet in recent years, I suspect this will just push the practice underground. Unscrupulous vendors will continue to utilize their network of "reviewers", but will no longer instruct them to include a disclaimer about the reviewers being given free products in exchange for (almost always positive) reviews.
19
KKKKkkkk1 2 days ago 0 replies      
After many years of turning no profit, Amazon has finally found its business model. Would not be surprised if they moved out of retail altogether.
19
Edward Snowden Demonstrates How Easy It Is to Hack a Voting Machine ijr.com
266 points by ColinCochrane  3 days ago   197 comments top 11
1
grzm 3 days ago 2 replies      
Looks like we're about to have the same voting/election discussion we've had at least 5 times over the past month or so. If anyone's interested in reading what's already been discussed, here are links to the previous threads:

"American Elections Will Be Hacked" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12921967

"Maryland will audit all votes cast in general election" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12885396

"Cylance Discloses Voting Machine Vulnerability" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12883356

"In Pennsylvania, Claims of a Rigged Election May Be Impossible to Disprove" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12790247

"Votes could be counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12841178

2
hacker_9 3 days ago 9 replies      
Why do Americans use voting machines exactly? I mean, it just prints out their choice at the end right? What benefit do they actually gain from having pressed buttons instead of using a pen? It just seems to fuel the hacking conspiracy every time a president is elected.

In the UK we turn up, go into the booth with the paper slip, and tick our choice with a pen. Then we fold it and post it into a container which later gets shipped off to the counting room. I just can't understand why you guys have to physically turn up if you are just going to select your answer on a computer anyway.

3
ThomPete 3 days ago 3 replies      
This is missing the point though.

The american voting system is actually very secure.

It's highly decentralized, machines are not connected to the internet, implemented in many different ways, which means that they would have to do many attacks many different places without being discovered to even have an effect.

75% of them have paper trails which would require an even bigger achievement to change enough off as it's again highly distributed and decentralized, and it would require mostly physical presence to do it. And thats just a few of the things that makes this more or less impossible.

A bigger concern is access to the actual voter databases but what they can there there is mostly creating chaos which would obviously be horrible but have no effect on voting.

The biggest problem is actually when examples like these spread without the above consideration as that can trigger the population to loose faith in a system that is probably as safe as it has ever been.

P.S. I am highly supportive of whistleblowers like Snowden but this is missing the point.

4
jjuhl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Relevant video:

Was YOUR vote counted? (feat. homomorphic encryption) - Numberphile : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BYRTvoZ3Rho

5
javajosh 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's interesting to view recent events in the US as a crisis of measurement. The news media measured the voting public with polling samples, we then measured the voting public with a vast government apparatus. Clearly, the measurements did not agree. Logically there are three possibilities: the media was right, the polls were right, or neither were right.

It's actually quite a good thing that we start to speak openly about threat-models against all voter sentiment measuring tools, especially the official ones.

6
quinndupont 3 days ago 0 replies      
This headline massively misconstrues Snowden's role and technical capacity in any such voting machine hack. Snowden merely said that it could be done, and pointed to a video published by Cylance.
7
JackuB 3 days ago 3 replies      
Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist, suggested Thursday that an "alliance" between a faction of the FBI and Russian President Vladimir Putin swung last week's election in favor of Donald Trump.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-fbi-putin-comey-2...

8
ajf3 3 days ago 5 replies      
Why hasn't some state used a hash to allow trustworthy online voting? They could add a unique id on the back of your driver's license and then allow you to use your unique id to generate anonymous/one time use id's. They could then have a publicly accessible server that at all time displays a column with anonymous id, vote and every person can verify that their personal vote is correctly displayed.
9
xrd 3 days ago 0 replies      
More and more I think our election system is ripe for foreign manipulation. I'd love to be proved wrong in an audit.
10
_pdp_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
E-Voting can be easily solved with ID cards combined with something similar to the blockchain so that you can verify your vote if you need to.

The technology is there but I don't think there is any incentive to make it happen.

The only problem that I can see is that we cannot be certain that any e-voting technology will survive future information security research and as a result the design needs to factor continuous upgrades.

11
miguelrochefort 3 days ago 2 replies      
Wouldn't a voting system that let people confirm that their vote is taken into account be trivial to implement?

I can't believe we still rely on trust for this kind of thing.

20
Germany planning to massively limit privacy rights dw.com
282 points by walterbell  2 days ago   78 comments top 13
1
schoen 1 day ago 2 replies      
The right of Germans to access data about themselves (which this proposal would apparently weaken) is what Malte Spitz used to get his cell phone location data from Deutsche Telekom in 2011, leading to this pretty striking visualization:

http://www.zeit.de/digital/datenschutz/2011-03/data-protecti...

In that way, it's been useful for making concerns about what others know (and can deduce) about us more concrete and specific.

2
camillomiller 1 day ago 2 replies      
Good luck with that.I'm still hopeful. If there's a country where people would be genuinely putting up barricades over privacy issues, that's Germany.My vision might be a bit biased by the fact that I live in Berlin, where people are much more politically active then elsewhere in Germany, but I still think that it's a theme that strikes the average German's interest
3
themattbook 1 day ago 5 replies      
I have the political and business acumen of a wooden plank, so forgive the elementary question, but what would the German government or businesses have to benefit from the massive limitations? The way I read it, it seems Germany wants to restrict one's right to privacy... and that's it. Why?
4
Propen 1 day ago 1 reply      
What the hell is going on around the world? I can't believe this sh*t. Why are we putting up with this?!

The state of surveillance we are headed towards is getting more and more ridiculous each day.

5
UhUhUhUh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Which will result in people digging deeper underground and in more tools being developed to allow that.I think this will also results in safe-heavens developing here and there around the world, just as the Dutch republic was for printing/publishing in the XVII/XVIIIth century. And immensely profited, on all levels, from it.
6
edblarney 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really odd because Germans are really skittish about this - more so than any other Western nation.

The Stasi is in living memory for millions of them.

7
droopyEyelids 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know how the legal mechanics would work?

Can they pass the draft law that overturns the earlier laws?

I assume that the state legislature will have a say. Is there any indication they're amenable to it?

How does the American style thing where they reintroduce unpopular bills with subtle modifications continually until the public loses focus work in Deustchland?

8
edem 1 day ago 1 reply      
First UK now Germany? What is happening? Why do people let this slide?
9
soufron 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't really see how they could achieve such a bad result given that German Law is subject to the Privacy Protection Directive and to the newly adopted Privacy Protection Regulation. And both are strongly in favor of the users, including their right to access, modify or suppress any information about them.
10
sandworm101 1 day ago 0 replies      
>>> ...to checking that the technical prerequisites are in place to ensure that doctors' and lawyers' files are secure...

Forget the privacy issues. That a government is inspecting the safeguards of lawyers is something to applaud. I;m on a bunch of ABA committees that constantly discuss the ridiculous state of security at most law firms. Most US states require that lawyers,in short, "try". So long as some modicum of effort is put into securing client secrets the average law firm won't hear anything from their bar associations.

(Yes, I said most! Most firms are actually very small, without the budget even for a full-time IT person.)

11
rahrahrah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have any insight into what the motivation is for politicians to push this? Why are they so passionate about limiting people's privacy?

Surely you don't believe that this is about "fighting terrorism", right?

12
Create 1 day ago 1 reply      
From the adoption of printing by Europeans in the 15th century we began to be concerned primarily with access to printed material.

The right to read, and the right to publish were the central subject of our struggle for freedom of thought for most of the last half millennium.

The basic concern was for the right to read in private and to think and speak and act on the basis of a free and uncensored will.

The primary antagonist for freedom of thought in the beginning of our struggle was the Universal Catholic Church.

An institution directed at the control of thought in the European world, based around weekly surveillance of the conduct and thoughts of every human being. Based around the censorship of all reading material and in the end based upon the ability to predict and to punish unorthodox thought.

The tools available for thought control in early modern Europe were poor. Even by 20ths century standards but they worked. And for hundreds of years, the struggle primarily centered around that increasingly important first mass manufactured article in Western culture: "the book" Whether you could print them, posses them, trafficking them read them, teach from them without the permission or control of an entity empowered to punish thought.

By the end of the 17th century censorship of written material in Europe had begun to break down first in the Netherlands then in the UK then afterwards in waves throughout the European world.

And the book became an article of subversive commerce and began eating away at the control of thought.

By the end of the 19th century, that struggle for the freedom of reading had begun to attack the substance of Christianity itself and European world trembled on the brink of the first great revolution of the mind it spoke of "libert galit fraternit" but actually it meant freedom to think differently.

The "Ancien Rgime" begun to struggle against thinking and we moved into the next phase of the struggle for freedom of thought which presumed the possibility of unorthodox thinking and revolutionary acting.

And for 200 years we struggled with the consequences of those changes.

That was then and this is now. [...]

Everything we want everything we hope everything wed like everything we wish we new about is in the search box and they own it.

We are reported everywhere all the time

In the 20th century you had to build Lubianca you had to torture people you had to threaten people you had to press people to inform on their friends I dont need to talk about that in Berlin

https://benjamin.sonntag.fr/Moglen-at-Re-Publica-Freedom-of-...

13
ne01 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very interesting! I'm wondering if it's possible to use these effects to modify images on the client side before uploading it to the server?
21
Personal data for more than 130K U.S. Navy sailors hacked reuters.com
236 points by petethomas  3 days ago   65 comments top 9
1
sgc 3 days ago 5 replies      
It seems like with the wholesale compromise of US Government personnel from virtually every branch of government at this point, it is relative child's play for the new owner(s) of this information to massively influence US policy and action, almost to the point of control. It might take a few years to filter through the data and find the weak links, but the damage is basically inevitable.

Am I missing something here? A statistically relevant subset of people have important secrets, and a statistically relevant subset of those (perhaps most) are relatively easy to control when you know them. If the US has similar information on other governments' personnel, we might even fall into the caricature of the US guiding their actions while they guide those of the US, since those controlling and those being controlled will (largely) not be the same members of their respective governments.

The entire situation seems quite messy.

2
niels_olson 3 days ago 3 replies      
As a sailor in the US Navy, let me quote from the Chairman's letter leading the OPM breach report (1), here he is addressing all federal CIOs:

The effectiveness of our country's response depends on your answer to this question: Can you as the CIO be trusted with highly personal, highly sensitive data on millions of Americans?

I guarantee most Federal CIOs never even saw the report, and wouldn't believe the question actually applies to them. The folks at DDS did though (including Matt Cutts), and I'm willing to bet they have it pinned up on the wall.

(1) https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-O...

3
bigiain 3 days ago 3 replies      
'"At this stage of the investigation, there is no evidence to suggest misuse of the information that was compromised," the Navy said.'

I somehow don't think that whoever targeted a 'a laptop used by a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services employee working on a U.S. Navy contract' was doing so to grab personal data for smash-n-grab identity theft or other things that'd rapidly leave 'evidence to suggest misuse of the information'...

4
s_q_b 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is the reason why clearance forms ask you to disclose all of your past transgressions: It doesn't matter as much that you have them, but it matters if you're embarrassed by them.

They want to know that if someone attempts to blackmail you, you would rather the information become public than betray your country.

5
aswanson 3 days ago 5 replies      
The government and it's contractors...with it's long RFC procurement process and associated bullshit will always be behind the security curve and will always be susceptible to these types of attacks as long as they favor a culture of old veteran people over competence.
6
dendory 3 days ago 6 replies      
Obvious question I know.. but why were the SSNs of sailors on some HP contractor's laptop?
7
matchagaucho 3 days ago 0 replies      
I recall working with a HP Enterprise Services contractor and was amazed at just how much data was stored on his laptop. Categorized Outlook folders for each client, every email and contact stored locally. Orders, BOMs, price lists, RMAs... all on his laptop.

It would not surprise me the Navy contractor had the same setup.

HP's culture is incentivized to propagate 1990's client-server architecture as a result of their product line. Gov procurement officials and CIOs must demand that HP move to cloud-based infrastructure with 2-factor authentication.

8
sickbeard 3 days ago 0 replies      
As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what the NSA said. We should be better than anybody else, and perhaps were not. I dont think anybody knows that it was Russia that broke into the Navy. They are saying Russia, Russia, RussiaI don't, maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?
9
nichochar 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm very interested to see how the public reacts to this unorthodox victim group.
22
Deleting the golang subreddit groups.google.com
356 points by sacado2  2 days ago   357 comments top 64
1
BoorishBears 2 days ago 15 replies      
This is asinine and it going through would seriously harm how mature I assumed the community around Golang was (actually reading through those posts already did, but either way I guess I'm just one person right?).

The CEO edited a comment and admitted he edited it, and it was stupid, and he shouldn't have done it.

I'm 100% sure there is a way for someone at any given platform they'd choose to replace it with to access a DB of posts and edit it without triggering any sort of edit marker.

I'm also sure if that process exists a CEO is someone who could probably make it happen, and in fact in some (most?) places someone lower in the chain of command can probably make it happen.

Spez's actions harm himself more than users of the site. By confirming what any technically minded person probably already knew (you can edit raw data backing something like a post), he gave the masses a new source of drama any time something they don't like appears on the site.

The sensible amongst us should be above childish drama like this.

What is there on /r/Golang that they expect to see edited?

If their qualm is political instead of practical then the users themselves should leave Reddit, and not burn down the entire village on their way out.

2
bradfitz 2 days ago 17 replies      
I was the one who proposed deleting /r/golang. It is not some official Go or Google position.

As much as I used to love Reddit and was addicted to it, my personal position is that Reddit is no longer a trustworthy platform (if it ever was).

Editing user content is beyond offensive. I never even considered such a thing in my years of running LiveJournal. That is a major violation of user trust and trust in the platform.

If Github or Gerrit or Google Groups or Google's SMTP servers were modifying our code or mailing list content, we would ditch them in a heartbeat.

We shouldn't demand less from Reddit.

But because I learned that /r/golang existed 7 years ago (before I or other Googlers were even involved with it), I no longer propose deleting it. But I think the Go project should disassociate from it and give it back to the community as an unofficial space, as it used to be.

It's just too unreliable of a platform to be official in any regard.

Now I'm brainstorming how one might build a federated Reddit with public, signed mutation log, ala CT or other chains. And then multiple UIs could render the same public & federated data set.

3
heroprotagonist 2 days ago 3 replies      
So.. here's the thing. I think that spez did everyone a favor by editing those user comments.

We know that politicians and corporations game the system already with fake accounts, presumably as a tool for manipulating public opinion. We know from the code that user comments aren't encrypted at all, or their voting tallies. It would require a very small tweak to manipulate things from the server side.

Given that, users should _not_ have been placing any trust in the sanctity of the results they see to tell them how the hive actually thinks or even if the linked source is accurate. People need to learn to question the motives of what's presented to them. I'm not saying to automatically distrust everything, just to look past whatever spin is put on an article and look at the primary sources.

The fact that someone has the capability and willingness to edit comments was so shocking to some people is a sign that these surprised people needed this kind of a wake-up call.

We can speculate, due to the missing warrant canary, that the government has, or has had, at least one user under surveillance from the system. This is very public proof that even the content of comments can be manipulated, which might help some poor schmuck out one day when his 'anonymous' internet comment gets misconstrued and comes back to bite him.

4
mrweasel 2 days ago 6 replies      
I get their point, but I also think that a large part of the reason that people are using the Golang subreddit is Google Groups.

If the Go team could just abandon Google Groups as the main forum for discussing Go, then just maybe there wouldn't be a need for the subreddit. I know that some people like Google Groups, but there's at least an equally large group that absolutely hate it. Personally I find it to be such an awful platform that I would prefer pretty much anything else, that includes tolerate shitty behaviour from the Reddit CEO.

5
Steeeve 2 days ago 2 replies      
> That is so beyond unethical and immature, I no longer want anything to do with that site. I will be deleting my account on Reddit after backing up my content, and I will no longer be a moderator of /r/golang.

Responding to immaturity with immaturity is a bad idea altogether.

I have never understood Google's choice of "use google groups" for projects, then farming out community relations to third parties like StackOverflow, Reddit, etc. They have enough resources to manage their own support, news dissemination, and discussion mechanisms.

There are a number of reasons to not have an official presence on Reddit, but "I'm taking my ball and going home" isn't one of them.

6
yxhuvud 2 days ago 2 replies      
While the behaviour of the Reddit CEO was more than a little bit immature and short-sighted, closing down a functioning community in response seems almost as stupid. If they try to shut it down, then the community at Reddit will create a version of it that is not closed down.
7
zapu 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is a thread on golang subreddit about this. Users are not happy.

https://www.reddit.com/r/golang/comments/5eqs64/proposal_to_...

From what I understand, the golang team does not want any association with the subredit or reddit as a whole. But I don't understand how /u/spez actions have triggered this. It looks like the proposal of /r/golang deletion is either a political statement, or go team wanted to get rid of it before and were just looking for an excuse.

Everything at expense of /r/golang (and therefore the go language itself) users.

8
detaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, the amount of people just going "yeah, delete it and make sure it doesn't come back" is staggering. Really bad image how some people seem to think the community and it's resources should be "officially owned".

Want to make a personal statement? Leave the platform, demand the subreddit being marked as unofficial (AFAIK it did start out as a random sub by a random person and only later added people from the Go team as moderators). Don't decide for your users that yes, you don't want to meet there anymore, so we torched it for you.

9
wofo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Note that the discussion on the golang subreddit [1] has a very different tone. One comment that particularly drew my attention is:

> So people that rarely use this subreddit want to get rid of it? Okay.

It seems like the Google Groups people are not the same as the r/golang people.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/golang/comments/5eqs64/proposal_to_...

10
AlexeyBrin 2 days ago 2 replies      
Closing a thriving community just because an admin feels some moral imperative to do it is just short sided.

If you don't like Reddit, write a blog post, blow some steam, delete your Reddit account, be as critical as you wish, but don't kill a community just because you can.

11
thewhitetulip 2 days ago 0 replies      
As I have stated elsewhere, the Go community is split into two factions, elites (Googlers) and others. Reddit is the only place where others and elites are treated the same, post for feedback on the google group, which has sucky UI and is terrible to use, and you get small comments because they are busy and the feedback isn't at all helpful. Contrast that with Reddit, as someone had pointed to me on HN, I posted a question about AJAX and Go, I got two answers, one in vanilla JS and one in JQuery. Had I asked that in the google groups, I'd likely have not been able to post because it would have been "too simple" or I'd have been shooed away to some obscure stack overflow link.The community wants the subreddit, you can leave if you want. Just because one person screwed up doesn't mean that someone who rarely uses reddit wants to delete the subreddit WITHOUT asking the community. This is against the point of open source. Isn't Go open source?
12
dingdingdang 2 days ago 0 replies      
This response seems knee jerk to me - the actions of Reddit's CEO were made public and the backlash was considerable. As long as we're not running on fully distributed communication services the idea of fully impartial site owners remain hypothetical. I mean: the complaint itself had to be posted/linked on a Google service, another company that I guess should be shunned for being embroiled in various unrighteous actions. Not feasible or reasonable in my opinion.
13
buro9 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is about trust.

If a space where a community gathers isn't trusted, core members of that community are going to want to leave.

Trust is delicate. Trust is giving someone the power to do harm you or to misuse what you have given them, in the belief that they will not do those things.

The trust has been shattered, and probably only the core members currently realise this. Those are the users for whom "this is our voice, this is what we've said" is important.

It is really sad that the trust has been broken, but there you have it. If key people in any community believe that their words (which are their reputation) can (will) be edited, misrepresented... then there really is a problem.

The worst-case logical conclusions are legal liability, the best case is stress and friction caused by confusions and mis-truths.

I run forums, I know this is about trust, I've seen it played out.

When I designed the forum software for the sites I run I made the database an append-on-write system to store historical revisions of every comment. I can't display those (if a user edited something to remove something that had legal/personal implications then they should not be public) but I do store them and provide no moderator any access to edit them.

Trust is really important. This isn't, as others suggest, petty.

14
mankash666 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes. Let's delete our accounts from Google for Google's unfair treatment of protonmail and yelp in yesteryears. Let's get off Facebook for fake stories swinging elections. Don't even get me started on Microsoft, just get off it.

Get off everything. Everything sucks

15
atroyn 2 days ago 1 reply      
This reaction seems a little overwrought, but then again the frequency of this kind of drama generated by reddit really seems to be pathological.

What is it about a critical mass of people in one place on the web that causes these kinds of behaviors?

16
pavel_lishin 2 days ago 2 replies      
> It's a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The Go subreddit was the only thing similar to human and it is downright painful most of the time.

How lucky that their group happens to be the good one!

17
Tharkun 2 days ago 2 replies      
Their motivation for leaving Reddit is incredibly silly. Especially given that Google Groups -- of all things -- is their preferred alternative.
18
onetwotree 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like an extremely silly move.

Reddit can broadly be partitioned into a small number of very popular "front page" subs, such as /r/TIL, /r/AskReddit, and /r/news, where drama and toxicity abound, and a vast number of topical subs (such as /r/golang), where discussion is focused on a specific topic, and generally friendly, civil, and useful.

I'm not a fan of the front page myself, although usually for reasons unrelated to the recent drama. But with a nicely curated set of subreddit subscriptions, I find the site to be a nice collection of news and discussion that interests me.

Hopefully the golang community shows some maturity and doesn't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

19
fortytw2 2 days ago 0 replies      
As I've said before, there are more than enough willing community members to moderate the subreddit in the absence of the Go team. No reason for it to have been brought up like this, instead of a simple "I don't like reddit anymore, so I'm deleting my account and here's why"
20
kazinator 2 days ago 1 reply      
The CEO edited comments critical of him.

Did that happen in the golang subreddit?

If so, those comments should in fact be deleted entirely. Criticizing the CEO of Reddit is not topical in a golang subreddit; it is off-topic trolling.

21
hota_mazi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought it was a joke but I realize they are seriously considering doing this.

Overreaction much?

People want to talk about Go, regardless of how the Go team feels about reddit's ethics. I'm not sure what doing this will serve except lead to the creation of another Go subreddit that's no longer moderated by the Go team.

Really su2rprised and disappointed by bradfitz and team's childish (over)reaction to this.

22
antirez 2 days ago 0 replies      
Always Overreact!!11one. Seriously I expect a bit more by people that for work apply logic everyday.
23
tcrews 2 days ago 0 replies      
Weren't they (Golang core team) only recently considering removing golang from StackOverflow like they own the thing?

It seems like a pattern of trying to enforce the unenforceable.

24
sqeaky 2 days ago 1 reply      
Simple question.

What happens if spez modifies comments you put on Reddit in the ancient past to make you seem like a Racist, ISIS supporter, Homophobe, or simply puts threats to various heads of state in your name?

Can you really trust him not do to so? What if one day he decides that golang is bad because they are badmouthing something that spez really likes?

25
bryanlarsen 2 days ago 0 replies      
26
centizen 2 days ago 1 reply      
As mentioned by others in the thread, deleting it would just make it possible for someone to take it over the open it again. Setting the community to private not only solves the issue, but it allows them to bring it back in its current state at any time if they wish to in the future.
27
stcredzero 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I would argue that a moderator shutting down a community of 25,000 individuals because of their own personal opinions is just as much if not the greater abuse of power. (blitzd)

This is emblematic of what's wrong with so many subreddits and so much of the social web that comes in the form of "forums" -- it seems like we have entire generations of users who have associated the totalitarian nature of forums with things being "advanced" on the internet.

Social media isn't mostly about free thought, free speech, and free inquiry anymore. Nowadays, it's mostly about the rapid dissemination of conformity. Woe betide you if you actually have a nuanced opinion that doesn't fit neatly with either side of an issue. Your fellow posters/commenters will reject their pattern-match and call you a liar and 5th columnist for the other side.

Technology came and killed the impulse towards freedom. It taught people through repeated iteration that conformity to the mob was the highest good. It taught smart people that wrangling their way into positions of centralized power to exercise authoritarian rule was the insider move. It taught everyone that suppression of anything that you didn't like was the winning move. It was called the internet.

28
nols 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even if they effectively delete /r/golang or close it while retaining control so others can't use it, the users will just create another one. I doubt it will have a large impact on the future of golang on Reddit, it will just get rid of years of discussion and make it slightly more difficult to use. You don't want to use Reddit? Cool, don't. There are still millions who do want to use it and some might use that to find information on golang.
29
shanemhansen 2 days ago 0 replies      
This guy should be applauded. Here's why: He made a mistake by making a childish response to a childish attack and then he admitted fault.

That's so rare. I wish more CEOs had his backbone.

I'm sorry to be inflammatory, but it seems like people take reddit a little too seriously and this is the real world not /r/relationships. It's probably not time to: "lawyer up, hit the gym, delete /r/golang".

30
mseepgood 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why pollute HN with reddit drama? Aren't we all glad to have left reddit behind?
31
1_2__3 2 days ago 0 replies      
How about we let the drama stay in the drama subreddits, and in the non-drama subreddits we act like adults.

For fuck's sake, not everything in life has to be a cause.

32
j1vms 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know people are talking again about a distributed (blockchain-based?) forum preventing problems like this, and once that happens it will make "message forgery" like this a lot harder. But a "low-tech" solution in the mean time would be for users to post a public-key under their username/account. Then when they publish a message, they include a private-key encrypted SHA256 hash of the contents of their post and append that to their message (in effect, signing it). Other users' client-side tools (say browser plugins) could pick up the hash, verify the message and indicate the message is authentic. Forging the public key or an already posted message would raise an alert for automated tools, other users and/or the poster. Would reduce the need to log all message contents, just the keys. Of course, does not prevent message deletions but that is under moderation scope anyway. Just a sketch.
33
phn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now would be an awesome time for reddit to add support for signed posts and comments.
34
gaur 2 days ago 0 replies      
The reddit admins allow subreddits that loudly promote white supremacism. Comment editing is not the most pressing ethical failing of that site.
35
elcct 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it is time to sign comments, that way these will be tamper proof.

Regarding the subreddit, I would just leave it. It was hard work of the community to create content that exist there and it will not be nice to remove it just because of some immature CEO.

But once suitable alternative comes to the light, would be nice to disallow further posts and add a redirect to the new community.

36
jarcane 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, reddit actively continues to be a playground for fascists, racists, and sexists, has a history of hosting borderline child pornography, but what drives the golanger in question to finally leave is spez had a bit of a temper tantrum (with some of said fascists I might add) and edited some posts harassing him?

Some people's values are utterly alien to me.

37
adrenalinelol 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why is the initial reaction to delete the sub instead of find a new owner?
38
andybak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's the thing. I read the whole pizzagate vs reddit thing and decided it was interesting in the "let me please think about it in a few years time" kind of way. There's rights and wrong and subtleties but fuck it. I've got more important things to worry about.

If I was a Go dev now I'd be furious because this bizarre incestuous little drama suddenly is affecting my actual working day (assuming the golang subreddit is a viable community).

I recently became active on the Django subreddit because it seemed more approachable than the main IRC or Google Group. If that suddenly got vanished because of subreddit drama I'd be fairly annoyed.

Can we just have a separate room for the children to play in?

39
hashhar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, being a lurker in /r/golang for about 8 months now has shown me that the official team was always looking for a way to clear out the reddit community. They have a strict moral police and do some weird shit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/golang/comments/59nk46/stalking_peo...

40
dirtbox 2 days ago 1 reply      
Spez edits comments directed at him in a toxic community that has been pretty much the root of the alt-right echo chamber for the last year.

I'm just sad he didn't delete the entire sub.

/r/golang can do what they like, but this is no reason.

41
rurban 2 days ago 2 replies      
Aside from the valid point and the little drama involved, the more important point is that reddit just lost its safe harbor protection over that issue, which means it will be either closed down soon (too expensive and risky) or heavily censored with only a few subreddits, which means golang sooner or later might need to find another place. So better look now.

https://twitter.com/infinitechan/status/801627024431271936

42
saurik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wiping away a massive trove of contextualized historical discussion and even technical content, particularly one about a widely used open source project, is sickening and in my eyes is so much worse than what anyone at reddit did I am shocked that someone would even propose it much less that other people on this mailing list were not only willing to consider it but seem to actively support the idea.
43
ben_jones 2 days ago 0 replies      
PLEASE don't force me to use google groups more then I have to!
44
u801e 1 day ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if a usenet newsgroup like comp.lang.golang existed and all posts made to the golang subreddit could be reposted there.

Then, IMO, deleting the golang subreddit would be a non-issue. The newsgroup doesn't have to be moderated and, if one wants moderation, they can do it via the newsreader program.

45
plandis 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's fine. I'm not on any mailing lists but I am subscribed to the golang subreddit. I guess this means I will just not stay up to date with whats going on.

Edit: https://www.quora.com/What-are-examples-of-Google-acting-une...

Perhaps we should close down the google groups too?

46
LordFrith 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the oddest consequence of the pizzagate thing I could have dreamed of.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/technology/fact-check-this...

47
sb8244 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't understand the argument that this is outrageous and there should be auditing and all of that. How do you know there isn't? How do you know new policies will come into place that prevent this?

Jumping ship less than a week after it seems crazy to me.

48
bromuro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Classic reddit drama: reacting to a childish action with even more childish actions.
49
erikb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I totally understand the reason, but deleting a subreddit just hurts the community more than it hurts reddit.

Working on an alternative to reddit and then dropping reddit once that one works may be a solution.

50
noja 2 days ago 0 replies      
Surely it should be for Google to suggest and the community to decide?
51
draw_down 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quite frankly, reddit has way bigger problems than that. I mean, do what you want with your subreddit, no skin off my back. But it is borderline insane to me that this is what is turning people against it. Ignominious.
52
dekhn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since the golang community was originally independent, and then the golang owners took it over, instead of deleting it, they should return it to the community with a disclaimer it's not an official venue.
53
jondubois 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think that the CEO of Reddit should step down. I believe that the odds of him getting caught for this were very small - So that begs the question; how many times did he pull this off in the past without anyone noticing?

The almost unnoticeable subtlety of the act is what I find most disturbing.It's not that the act was abominable (it could be worse). It's just that this position demands higher ethics than that - It needs someone with the right motivations.

I think people are too easy on CEOs; if a regular employee messes up, they get fired. Why doesn't this apply to executives?

We should be much tougher on executives... It's not like they'd lose their house or their family if they got fired.

54
johnnydoebk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I never liked the /r/golang subreddit and its atmosphere. But at the moment it's the most active golang community that I'm aware of.
55
hhsnopek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lets just remove left-pad from npm while we're at it again
56
exception_e 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ellen Pao Spez should step down!
57
zouhair 2 days ago 0 replies      
That is quite an immature thing to do.
58
faragon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a problem. They can write their own Reddit in Go, with blackjack, etc.
59
jsprogrammer 2 days ago 2 replies      
HN moderators absolutely edit user content without notice or attribution.

My comments are partly authored by dang, but you will not be able to tell which words are mine and which are not.

60
jsprogrammer 2 days ago 3 replies      
The CEO of Google was busted by his emails for conspiring to suppress wages.

WikiLeaks recently released a 2014 email[1] from Eric where he appears to conspire with the Clinton campaign/dnc to have "low paid permanent employees".

[1] https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/37262

E: bots are out?

61
wtbob 2 days ago 8 replies      
62
jonlorusso 1 day ago 0 replies      
meh
63
transfire 2 days ago 0 replies      
I fear the collective idiocy of the United States populace is reaching dangerous levels.
64
jack9 2 days ago 0 replies      
Comments on any given internet forum are of no specific importance or authority, which is part of the lesson. This "question" is a non-event. Sheesh.
23
Top Books on Amazon Based on Number of HN Users Linking Them in Comments ramiro.org
283 points by q-_-p  1 day ago   39 comments top 15
1
olalonde 1 day ago 3 replies      
Surprised SICP isn't in there. Also surprised to see the Code book is ranked so high, I personally didn't get much out of it though it's probably a great introductory book to people who are new to the field.

On a related note, my favorite book this year was "Designing Data-Intensive Applications" by Martin Kleppmann. It's a great overview of modern database systems with a good balance between theory and practice.

2
viach 1 day ago 3 replies      
3
icebraining 1 day ago 1 reply      
The second book ("The Four Steps to the Epiphany") has a score of 31 links, yet the HN search can only find 21 comments. Why the discrepancy?
4
dorianm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty surprised to not see Hackers and Painters: https://www.amazon.com/Hackers-Painters-Big-Ideas-Computer/d...
5
josteink 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've read a few of these books and can definitely recommend the following:

- Working effectively with legacy code

- The design of everyday things

- Don't make me think

In the mean time, it seems it's time to put in a new amazon order :)

6
bondia 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's quite out of date as well: from Oct 2006 to Oct 2015
7
majc2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Surprised Code Complete isn't there, nor mentioned here in the comments as being missing!
8
acangiano 1 day ago 1 reply      
This made me a little sad. Before our house burned down due to arson, I used to have the majority of them.
9
coldcode 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Three Felonies a Day" is an interesting choice.
10
mvid 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is one of those sites that won't let me command-click to open a new tab. Why do people do that?
11
imranq 1 day ago 1 reply      
Strange that Feynman lectures on physics aren't on here - thought I saw them referenced a bit. At least surely you're joking is up!
12
rcdmd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win as useful for B2B as this ranking suggests?
13
sputknick 1 day ago 1 reply      
Surprised "mythical man month" didn't make the list. I feel like that book gets quoted around here frequently.
14
barking 1 day ago 1 reply      
My score is 6 (4).I have 6 and read most of 4 of those.
15
eruditely 1 day ago 1 reply      
Obviously this is biased towards older books, because simply books that have been around for a long time can be mentioned.

Let me get across a book with unusual conclusions that deserves to be known more.

"The Ghosts Of Evolution: Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, and Other Ecological Anachronisms"

https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Evolution-Nonsensical-Ecologic...

"A new vision is sweeping through ecological science: The dense web of dependencies that makes up an ecosystem has gained an added dimension-the dimension of time. Every field, forest, and park is full of living organisms adapted for relationships with creatures that are now extinct. In a vivid narrative, Connie Barlow shows how the idea of "missing partners" in nature evolved from isolated, curious examples into an idea that is transforming how ecologists understand the entire flora and fauna of the Americas. This fascinating book will enrich the experience of any amateur naturalist, as well as teach us that the ripples of biodiversity loss around us are just the leading edge of what may well become perilous cascades of extinction."

24
Cassandra is not row level consistent datanerds.io
270 points by leastangle  3 days ago   120 comments top 21
1
jbellis 2 days ago 8 replies      
Cassandra developer here.

Lots of comments here about how Cassandra is AP so of course you get inconsistent (non-serializable) results.

This is true, to a point. I'm firmly convinced that AP is a better way to build distributed systems for fault tolerance, performance, and simplicity. But it's incredibly useful to be able to "opt in" to CP for pieces of the application as needed. That's what Cassandra's lightweight transactions (LWT) are for, and that's what the authors of this piece used.

However! Fundamentally, mixing serializable (LWT) and non-serializable (plain UPDATE) ops will produce unpredictable results and that's what bit them here.

Basically the same as if you marked half the accesses to a concurrently-updated Java variable with "synchronized" and left it off of the other half as an "optimization."

Don't take shortcuts and you won't get burned.

2
helper 3 days ago 5 replies      
As a long time Cassandra user its easy to forget that some of Cassandra's semantics will be surprising to new users. That being said, if you are considering adopting an AP database it really is important for you to know the details about how write conflicts get resolved. This is perhaps the biggest difference between Cassandra other databases like Riak and ought to be part of your decision making process instead of a surprise you run into later.

That being said, using Cassandra for distributed locks is a terrible idea. I can't think of any way in which Cassandra would be better than using {Zookeeper,etcd,consul}. Trying to force a database to do something it really isn't designed for will almost always lead to disappointment (and often resentment) of said database.

3
Animats 2 days ago 3 replies      
This:

 INSERT INTO locks (id, lock, revision) VALUES ('Tom', true, 1) IF NOT EXISTS USING TTL 20;
looks like a race condition. The same problem comes up in SQL databases - you can't lock a row that doesn't exist yet. If you write, in SQL:

 BEGIN TRANSACTION SELECT FROM locks WHERE id = "Tom" AND lock = true AND revision = 1; -- if no records returned INSERT INTO LOCKS locks (id, lock, revision) VALUES ('Tom', true, 1) COMMIT
you have a race condition. If two threads make that identical request near-simultaneously, both get a no-find from the select, and both do the INSERT.SELECT doesn't lock rows that don't exist.

The usual solution in SQL is to use UNIQUE indices which will cause an INSERT to fail if the record about to be inserted already exists.

I ran into this reassembling SMS message fragments, where I wanted to detect that all the parts had come in. The right answer was to do an INSERT for each new fragment, then COMMIT, then do a SELECT to see if all the fragments of a message were in. Doing the SELECT first produced a race condition.

4
leastangle 1 day ago 0 replies      
Author here.

Great discussion around the CAP theorem but it misses the point. AP vs CP / Cassandra being AP is not relevant to this particular problem:

1) This is not a distributed systems corner case. You will run into this if you are running Cassandra on a single node. A node should be able to guarantee consistency internally during normal operation. If it is not able to do that, there is something wrong with the system.

2) This is a case where queries are being send from the same process/thread and go to exactly the same nodes. Attach a simple, monotonically increasing query counter to each call and you can easily serialize it on the other side.

5
aartur 2 days ago 0 replies      
And there's another surprise waiting to be discovered. The execution of a LWT is not guaranteed to return applied/not-applied response [1]. It can raise a WriteTimeout exception that means "I don't know if applied". It looks like in that case it can be worked around by inserting a UUID and in case of a WriteTimeout reading the UUID using SERIAL consistency and checking if it's the inserted UUID. But generally this limitation of LWTs makes implementing some algorithms impossible, e.g. you can't implement a 100% reliable counter.

[1] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CASSANDRA-9328

6
seanparsons 2 days ago 0 replies      
I railed against CQL right from the start and it's precisely because of this kind of thing. Imitating SQL has the side effect of setting certain expectations and drags a certain mental model along with it.
7
im_down_w_otp 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're not writing purely immutable data or can't 100% guarantee a serialized reader/writer, then you're just looking for trouble with Cassandra.
8
beefsack 3 days ago 0 replies      
The post was quite interesting, but I find image macros and GIFs really distracting in technical writings.
9
zzzcpan 3 days ago 2 replies      
Shouldn't Cassandra be using Lamport timestamps or even vector clocks there? Relying on timer and its resolution sounds strange for a database, especially a distributed one.
10
sigy 3 days ago 0 replies      
I see this as a basic misunderstanding of how LWT works. If you want to ensure serializable operations, then you need to use LWT with preconditions that ensure serializable operations.

Even better, stop trying to emulate the old and tired distributed lock methods that have been proven over and over again to be insufficient.

11
refresh-creds 3 days ago 0 replies      
If it's not obtained synchronously what does the lock achieve?
12
supergirl 3 days ago 1 reply      
Couldn't explain the problem in a less cringy way?Sounds like a bug to me. So file a bug report?
13
agentgt 2 days ago 3 replies      
I guess I'm old or just not hip (most likely both) but I had to google WAT (I know WTF but WAT ... never seen it).

Even now I'm still not sure but I presume WAT = what!

14
second_picard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hazelcast has a distributed lock (see http://docs.hazelcast.org/docs/3.7/manual/html-single/index....) and I've used for more than a year to synchronize jobs across a cluster.
15
steeve 3 days ago 0 replies      
Using Cassandra as a lock is a terrible, terrible idea.
16
known 2 days ago 0 replies      
With the Oracle/PostgreSQL, readers never wait for writers and writers never wait for readers http://philip.greenspun.com/sql/your-own-rdbms.htmlusing underlying locking mechanismhttp://www.beej.us/guide/bgipc/output/html/singlepage/bgipc....
18
cbsmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
It feels like it is 2013 all over again: https://aphyr.com/posts/294-jepsen-cassandra
19
mydpy 2 days ago 0 replies      
As others have noted, this blog uses an approach to data modeling that is considered an anti pattern for an AP data store like Cassandra.
20
neeleshs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone has experience around this on HBase, a CP database?
21
lerax 3 days ago 5 replies      
25
Learning to Read X86 Assembly Language patshaughnessy.net
267 points by adamnemecek  7 hours ago   124 comments top 18
1
adamnemecek 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Also Matt Godbolt's gcc explorer is the the bee's knees for understanding assembly

https://godbolt.org/

I think that playing around with it for 2 hours will teach you more than most classes on the topic. It really drives home why interactivity is such a bit deal in education.

You should also try writing a script for counting instructions in binaries. It's pretty illuminating. Here are some sample statistics https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:j0gebK...

2
userbinator 3 hours ago 3 replies      
What a train wreck! Its hard to imagine a more confusing state of affairs.

I'd say that's more attributed to someone many many years ago deciding they would not follow the official Intel syntax (for what reason I do not know), and somehow convincing the rest of the community to follow them. That's actually one of the things that could make for a very interesting article: how one processor family got two different and incompatible Asm syntaxes. The fact that the mnemonics and syntax don't correspond to those found in the manufacturer's datasheets and manuals just increases the barrier to understanding. As far as I know, the same didn't happen to ARM, MIPS, SPARC, and the others. Especially when the sense of the comparisons/conditional jumps is reversed, and some of the more advanced addressing modes look less-than-obvious, it's hard to imagine why anyone would adopt such a syntax:

http://x86asm.net/articles/what-i-dislike-about-gas/

Note that the GNU tools have option to use Intel syntax too, so you can avoid some of the confusion (in the DOS/Windows and embedded world at least until recently, Intel syntax is overwhelmingly the norm.)

3
ivanhoe 4 hours ago 3 replies      
To understand assembly it really helps to know at least something about how computers work on a low level. When I first tried learning it (long time ago, in a high school) I had no idea how computers really work on such a low level, how CPU's addressing registers and that kind of stuff, and while I managed to learn the syntax, even write some asm code, it was all really confusing to me. And only few years later on University, after I've learned in details about the cpu architecture, registers, buses, DMA, etc, it suddenly all started to make perfect sense and became 100x more clear and easier. So if you're interested in this, it will save you a lot of effort to invest some time first to learn the computer architecture basics, and then from there go to learn the assembly lang. Just my $0.02
4
satysin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A video I like to send friends asking about how to understanding x86 assembly is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOyaJXpAYZQ

I think the video maker does a good job of mapping a simple C program to its disassembly.

5
ndesaulniers 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nice illustrations. It was a good idea to get the prologue/epilogue out of the way. Note that for optimized code, it's usually unnecessary. For more info: https://nickdesaulniers.github.io/blog/2014/04/18/lets-write...
6
qwertyuiop924 5 hours ago 11 replies      
x86 is the worst ISA. If you want to play with assembler without feeling a desire to stab yourself and end it all, I recommend ARM.

Or go learn Z80, x86's weird, 8-bit cousin (it had a 16-bit version, but it sold poorly), which had a greater emphasis on backwards compatability (you can run code from the original 8080 on a Z80, unchanged), and is nicer to work with (because it wasn't extended in unticipated directions far beyond its original capabilities, while keeping fetishistic backwards compatability by stacking hack on top of hack on top hack. It also didn't have memory segmentation, otherwise known as The Worst Thing.)

There are only two common reasons to learn Z80 assembler, though: to program the Gameboy (which runs on a modified Z80 with all the cool instructions removed), and to program a TI calculator, thus making all highschoolers in your area immensely happy.

TI calculators are a comically overpriced scam, that have only survived because of the College Board, but that's another story.

7
gnuvince 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice article! It take a subject that is scary for many and does a great explaining a little bit very clearly using good visual aids. I look forward to the next articles!
8
Grom_PE 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As AT&T syntax is still being used, at this point I'm willing to believe it's to purposely make x86 assembly hard and unpleasant to read and write.Perhaps so people will want to stay away from it, and in a way, to reduce the amount of code that is tied to the x86 platform.It spreads the thinking x86 assembly is terrible and ugly.

Intel syntax is much cleaner, in particular, Intel Ideal (as opposed to MASM), and specifically, FASM (flat assembler).FASM makes it as clean as possible and turns writing assembly into a joy.

Compare:

 movl %fs:-10(%ebp), %eax ; AT&T mov eax, dword ptr fs:[ebp-10] ; MASM mov eax, [fs:ebp-10] ; FASM

9
tptacek 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So, this is fantastic, but I want to make an appeal for the most important thing to understand about any assembly language, even before you work out the individual instructions:

Break your programs into basic blocks! Reverse engineers never read assembly in a straight line. Instead, they read the control flow graphs of subroutines, which is the graph where nodes are runs of instructions ending in jumps and branches, and the edges are the jump targets. I hope this doesn't sound complicated, because it isn't: it's literally just what I wrote in this paragraph. It takes about 15 minutes for most platforms to learn enough to recover CFGs from subroutines by hand.

To get a decent understanding of what a chunk of assembly code is doing, all you really need is:

* The code broken into subroutines (this is usually your starting point) and then CFGs (good disassemblers do this for you, but it's easy to do by hand as a first pass)

* The CALLs (CALLs don't end basic blocks!)

* The platform's calling convention (how are arguments passed and return values returned from subroutines)

There are two tricks to reading large amounts of assembly:

1. Most of the code does not matter, and you won't be much better off for painstakingly grokking it.

2. Virtually all the assembly you'll see is produced by compilers, and compilers spit out assembly in patterns. Like the dude in The Matrix, after an hour or so of reading the CFGs of programs from a particular compiler, you'll stop having to read all the instructions and start seeing the "ifs" and "whiles" and variable assignments.

10
Gruselbauer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> It turns out x86 assembly is much simpler than Hungarian

Well, what isn't? I have a knack for languages but that beautiful beast seems like an almost impenetrable fortress of strangeness.

On the other hand, that encourages me to learn to read basic assembly.

11
RandomInteger4 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the first time I actually read all the way through an article on assembly. It was nice and concise. Granted, I'll probably forget this until the next article (due to focusing on other studies), but thank you none the less.
12
kitsuac 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you want to learn how to read X86, don't choose this AT&T style syntax as it's a monstrosity.
13
matchagaucho 2 hours ago 0 replies      
When I worked at Intel in the Server BIOS group, the development process involved several iterations of developing macro abstractions until the x86 ASM code became more readable and maintainable.

No one particularly enjoyed working in raw ASM 100% of the time.

14
pselbert 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Excellent article that has context around the how and why, which I appreciated. Pat has a great "explorer" writing style.

I was going to post this last night but figured it must have been posted already. I was wrong! Nice to see it ok the front page.

15
Jugurtha 6 hours ago 0 replies      
16
bogomipz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I thought this was sentence was curious:

"To write code that runs directly on your microprocessor you need to know how memory segmentation works"

Although you can't completely ignore segments, in practice at least on Linux the only segments in use are user code/data and kernel code/data segments.

Does anyone know why the author might suggest that understanding segmentation is necessary to write Assembly code?

17
JoeAltmaier 5 hours ago 3 replies      
The examples seem odd to me: the argument order is reversed from every Intel disassembly (or assembler) I've ever used. Addi edi, 43 is the normal way to say "Add 43 to edi". The destination register is normally first; the source register 2nd in the disassembly, right?
18
iamahacker2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Excellent article.
26
Shopify is processing over $260k per minute right now shopify.com
326 points by MichaelApproved  2 days ago   108 comments top 18
1
rvdm 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone who has dedicated the last few years of his life building a dev / design shop around Shopify, seeing these kind of numbers makes me very happy.

Looks like we placed our bet on the right horse.

imho xal / Tobi should get far more recognition for what he built. Shopify is really quite remarkable and in a league of its own.

Curious if they'll ever beat Amazon / Alibaba volume.

2
MichaelApproved 2 days ago 2 replies      
They're up to $274k/minute. That's $16.5 million/hour. I wonder how Cyber Monday will do compared to Black Friday.
3
westiseast 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not to piss on anyone's parade, but for comparison, Alibaba (Tmall and Taobao, via their own Alipay platform) did about 50bn RMB of sales in the first 2.5hrs of this years 11.11 sales festival.

That's roughly US$50m a minute. In the first hour of the promotion they did about 2/3rds of that volume, which is insane.

4
patmcguire 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I saw the live stream, the first question I asked myself was: I wonder if they're filtering pornographic products and sex toys from that feed?

The answer is no.

5
ben_jones 2 days ago 1 reply      
Somebody in ops is shitting bricks right now. Heart goes out to you brother/sister.
6
gaving 2 days ago 1 reply      
Neat D3 based globe component, don't suppose the source is anywhere?
7
Buetol 2 days ago 2 replies      
I find this page very misleading, only the top-right counters are correct. The products are just randomly choosen from random shops as seen by the function name in the code: `fetchAndDisplayRandomProducts`.

EDIT: I was wrong, see response in the comments

8
matco11 2 days ago 2 replies      
Woa! I wonder what this chart would look like for Amazon
9
knes 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this actual realtime data or estimations updated once in a while and incremented on the client?

Either way, looks neat (and some crazy numbers)

10
claudiug 2 days ago 1 reply      
shopify is still written in rails? :)
11
herbst 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Rails doesnt scale" mimimi
12
siculars 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing. They need some outreach in Africa and South America.
13
dangerboysteve 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does this include POS sales?
14
amree 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are they using actioncable for this?
15
hendzen 2 days ago 2 replies      
Did you guys talk to your legal department before going live with this? As Shopify is a public company, showing sales/revenue stats like this in real time might be in violation of SEC regulation FD if you did not alert all your investors.

EDIT: Actually, since they are a Canadian company they are exempt [0] from regulation FD. Interesting!

[0] - https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1594805/000119312515...

16
riffraff 2 days ago 3 replies      
see, you can still scale and make money with Rails in 2016, even if it's not cool anymore :)
17
skaplun 1 day ago 0 replies      
UX orgasm, very powerful with very few elements
18
justin_vanw 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hate to rain on this (TBH I don't):

Shopify has raised (per Crunchbase) about $122M in funding.

At the current rate, they will see $374M in GMV on their best day of the year.

Shopify has between 1K and 5K employees (again Crunchbase). Let's make the most conservative analysis and assume 1K. If they are paid $20 per hour (low estimate I think), that is $41M in employment costs per year. With taxes, office rent, healthcare, etc, lets just lowball again and call it $50M/yr for all the people costs. Again I think this is a huge underestimate if the crunchbase number is accurate.

Lets assume no marketing, hosting or other costs of any kind.

The internet claims 100k stores use shopify. Lets assume they all pay for the standard tier plan, and pay month to month. That is $79 * 100k = 7.9M per month in revenue. Again, huge over estimate, since I would guess 95% of the customers use the cheapest tier, and the largest companies most likely negotiate better than advertised fees.

Finally lets assume their BEST day is only about twice as good as their average day. This is probably overestimating their revenue by about 10x, at least.

That would mean they are bringing in well under $47.4M in gross revenue, on over $50M in fixed costs.

So in other words, even if black friday were half the days in the year, they still would lose substantial money. This is after 12 years of business.

It's unlikely they will ever turn a profit. If they were going to experience some kind of exponential growth to defeat this analysis, 12 years of the fastest growth in the internet have already gone by, so it seems unlikely going forward.

27
Lessons Learned from Shenzhen I/O probablydance.com
308 points by akkartik  1 day ago   56 comments top 17
1
ketralnis 1 day ago 3 replies      
> Only once you know for a fact that a better solution is possible can you actually think of that solution

This section reminded me of something a friend posited about space travel.

There are some inventions that just being exposed to the idea of them is enough to invent them. For instance, it seems that cultures that encounter others that have written language fairly quickly invent their own, even without knowledge of how the others work. The Cherokee syllabary was invented by an illiterate silversmith in the 1820s after he saw other people communicating via paper and knew that they represented a way to transmit information (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoyah#Sequoyah_and_Cherokee...). The writing system that he invented was a syllabary, not an alphabet like the people he'd been observing or a logographic system like some other Native American languages. Having a writing system is a contagious idea all its own and knowing that they exist is sufficient to invent one.

It may be that efficient space travel is one of these inventions: just seeing someone else do it may be enough to invent it ourselves. I don't mean in the sense that we may observe details that give us hints as to how it works (though that's probably also true), I mean in the way that the article says "If nobody had gotten to the score of 180 before me, I couldnt have thought of any faster way of solving this puzzle. Without that piece of information, the brain just comes up with reasons why the score is already optimal". Simply observing working space travel may be enough for us to invent it ourselves. We may even invent a system entirely unlike the one we observed.

2
tofflos 1 day ago 3 replies      
To the author of the article:

I'm jealous you found such a great friend to play the game with. ;-) I found the game interesting but without social interaction it wasn't able to keep me engaged... So I uninstalled it after a day or so.

Secondly... I reinstalled the game and opened up the second puzzle to see what my score was. Surely _my_ solution must have been better than the standard 240? Nope! Now I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how you did it. You bastard! ;-)

3
saboot 1 day ago 0 replies      
A few of the lessons he talked about I've seen repeated on Casey Muratori's "Handmade Hero" series. Specifically point #3, he talked early on about writing simple code that fulfills one metric: it works. Afterwards you can see the implicit parts that should be made into functions, remove code duplication, and clean things up. However having that "full view" of a chunk of code makes the process easier.

Also point #4, he writes an interactive write-compile-test system using an executable hooking into a shared library which contains all of your code. That way you can compile and see the results quickly on a still running executable of your game. Very fast feedback without having to "respawn" to a part of your game to test.

4
mmastrac 1 day ago 2 replies      
The tests are an important part of the lesson for certain. Even better is the lesson that throwing a test spec over the wall to your development team may result in them writing code that passes the test but isn't necessarily ideal for production.

I've played many hours of this game and have committed many grievous programming sins to improve my scores.

5
rockdoe 1 day ago 1 reply      
The predecessor TIS100 is in the current Humble Bundle. Most of the stuff from the post applies, save maybe the story aspect.
6
doublerebel 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is why I love learning and writing in multiple programming languages. The abstractions and advantages in each language push me to search out the best in whatever language I'm working in at the time, rather than being limited by the common paradigms in that language.
7
jpatte 1 day ago 1 reply      
For those wondering (spoilers), the puzzle he's talking about in section 2 ("the second puzzle in the game") is a simple puzzle where you just have to double the values provided as input to produce an output. The naive solution at 240 points he mentions is extremely straightforward:

 mov p0 acc # place input value into internal register mul 2 # multiply register by 2 mov acc p1 # place register value into output slp 1 # sleep 1 cycle, wait for next input
The only way (I can think of) to optimize this is by cheating, i.e. by writing an algorithm specifically fitted for the kind of input we have to deal with. Looking at the input, we see that for example there are only 3 input values (0, 25 and 50) and there seems to be more zeros than other values. Based on this info we can try to predict what value is likely to show up as input and follow a dedicated path to handle it, in order to be as efficient as possible.

I must admit I was happy with the 240 solution and never thought there was a better way until I read this article. Now I feel obliged to at least go down to 156 :D

8
pmontra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember when a friend and I started optimizing a DES library in C at university in 1990. We had the same dynamics of the post, each other skimming off some cycles even when we thought that one of us got to an unbeatable implementation. We obviously had tests to prove correctness and measure speed. Bizarrely there weren't many tests around in the industry back then. I can't remember when I wrote my first unit test after then.
9
db48x 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shenzhen I/O is indeed amazing. Most Zachtronics games are at least great.
10
prashnts 1 day ago 0 replies      
It really is an interesting game. I'd first started with this sort of genre playing Human Resource Machine, which simulates a single accumulator architecture, and very interesting set of puzzles. The puzzles really are just standard sorting, string reversal, prime factorization. The best part I find about it is the way Pointers and Memory allocation/access and stack access is done. I'd recommend this game very much as the puzzles aren't very hard and the progress is really satisfying.

Shenzhen I/O is a great game too! But I got stuck at one point and as another comment points out, I also gave up on it. Maybe it's time to log into Steam. :)

[*] https://tomorrowcorporation.com/humanresourcemachine

11
RossBencina 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't really see the point of these TIS-100 style games that use made-up instruction sets. Wouldn't it be more interesting if the game used a real instruction set (e.g. AVR, x86)? Then we could be learning something useful while playing, and make use of the results.
12
xt00 1 day ago 2 replies      
In all seriousness, I was expecting the article to be like "on nov 5th, I went to Shenzhen to attend the annual Shenzhen I/O hardware hacker conference.. and boy was I blown away.. lots of cool stuff people are working on..".. then I'm like, um, a game? what?
13
contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can't optimize for all three judged outputs (production cost, power usage, lines of code) at once. For this reason, you can replay every level three times with a different optimization goal.

Some of the optimization techniques I found before life took my interest away from the game (we[0] are building a real embedded system of significant complexity, and actually visited Shenzhen a few months ago) were judicious use of leading @SLP (usually as a final optimization), use of memory (acquired later in the game) instead of processing inputs, careful investigation of the limited use of conditionals to split codepaths, and basic addition using shared buses.

[0] http://8-food.com/

14
cdevs 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of the related videos for their intro video on their site are great and make me want to try it. There was one of a guy who created a old school 3D maze with random generated levels and one wich played the whole "rick roll" song . It amazes me we can simulated computers and hardware in a computer with this depth ...inception level 1
15
Mithaldu 1 day ago 1 reply      
He makes one observation in which makes a small but important mistake: When he mentions tests he calls them first unit tests, then automated tests.

And yes, unit tests usually are automated. They are however just one type of automated test, and at the smallest scale too. Integration and system tests are just as important and can give much more bang for much less buck.

16
vasili111 1 day ago 3 replies      
What you think about Shenzhen I/O vs TIS-100 ?
17
trishume 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great article, I too loved this game. In fact the article prompted me to fire it up again and figure out the tricks to match his 148 on the 2nd problem and it was really fun.

Now for that second campaign...

28
Abusing Protocols to Load Local Files, Bypass the HTML5 Sandbox, Open Popups brokenbrowser.com
307 points by jontro  1 day ago   42 comments top 11
1
dvt 1 day ago 2 replies      
Exotic protocols being somewhat succeptible to exploits is nothing new (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have had these in the past as well) and they generally get fixed pretty quickly.

However, the fact that the "read:" protocol is a thing -- and the fact that it works the way it works -- is absolutely insane. Who in their right mind would think that's a good idea? Forget sandboxing, who's bright idea was it to let a web browser access local files willy-nilly? Mind-boggling.

The first thing I'd say if someone came to me with that idea is (a) no way and (b) if you really want to do it, you need a security mechanism like 300x stronger than CORS and probably a popup that lets the user know what's going on.

2
Animats 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It's so Microsoft. Microsoft has a long history of executing anything that looks executable, going back to "autorun" on CD-ROMs. This continued through a long history of Excel and Word executable behaviors, most of which led to exploits. For a few years, Microsoft cleaned up their act. But in the new cloud-centric world of Windows 10 and the Edge browser, it seems that Microsoft has returned to their old strategy of invoking Microsoft products on external data whenever possible.

The "ms-windows-store:" protocol is documented.[1] Some other fun things you can launch:

- ms-people: - Opens the contacts list program.

- ms-settings: - Opens the settings program. Microsoft encourages using this so that if your app wants, say, to access the microphone, and privacy settings won't permit it, it can force the privacy settings app open to apply pressure to the user to let the app use the microphone.

- ms-windows-store: - aim user at the Windows store for a specific item

- bingmaps:, ms-drive-to:, and ms-walk-to: - bring up the native map application

- ms-tonepicker: - mess with ringtone settings

There's no mention of "read:", though.

However, any installed app can install new protocol IDs, and web pages can then trigger that app. What could possibly go wrong?

[1] https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/launch-resume/l...

3
userbinator 1 day ago 3 replies      
Next match in the registry is the calculator: protocol

...

There is a lot of interesting stuff here to play with, and if we keep searching for protocols we will find tons of apps that open (including Candy Crush which I didnt know it was on my PC).

The only thing in my mind when I read this was "Why!? I don't even..." What sort of thought process (or perhaps lack thereof) lead to this ridiculously absurd situation of protocol proliferation? Who needs a Calculator or Candy Crush protocol? What's worse is there doesn't seem to be an easy way of viewing or modifying the list of registered protocol handlers. Contrast this with earlier (Presto) versions of Opera, where the protocols are configurable from the UI:

http://www.freeemailtutorials.com/i/operaMailGenPrefs2.png

4
Piskvorrr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, there you go. New IE, same as the old IE. Glad I don't have any of that anymore - reading the article, I felt the dread of "but this browser has a special relationship with the OS" wash over me again. I prefer my applications isolated, thank you very much.

(Yes, I know it's not-IE-anymore-nooosir. What's in a name?)

5
Klathmon 1 day ago 3 replies      
Was this properly disclosed? Has it been fixed?

I didn't see anything in the article about this but I may have just missed it.

But aside from that, this is a pretty big deal. MS Edge has been looking pretty good lately. It felt like they have been taking security more seriously, and the new AppGuard stuff looked interesting, but even that doesn't look like it would fix this as it looks like this is "working as intended" letting any link communicate outside the "web sandbox".

I was hoping Edge wouldn't go down the same path that IE did with "special" tie ins to the OS, but it seems they are still trying.

6
leephillips 1 day ago 1 reply      
I discovered a similar vulnerability in OSX in 2004. Some things change slowly:

https://lee-phillips.org/sshv.html

At the same time, others were discovering similar vulnerabilities using other protocols. (I know the page looks like crap, so don't bother mentioning it.)

7
oftenwrong 1 day ago 1 reply      
I submitted the same url earlier, but it seems the duplicate dectection didn't prevent this story from being created. Maybe because the headline was different? Not complaining; just contrary to my expectations. What is the logic behind HN's dupe-detection?
8
ndesaulniers 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Lets run the code and feel the break. Well, I feel it baby =) breakpoints connect me to my childhood.

lol

9
eximius 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this windows only? I found the article somewhat hard to follow for some reason.
10
ryanlol 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's a (rather nsfw, and potentially time consuming) website demonstrating some older tricks like these, http://hn.on.nimp.org/
11
g00gler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Site is offline :o
29
Of course Zuckerberg wants to bow to Chinese censorship signalvnoise.com
263 points by mVach0n  2 days ago   121 comments top 28
1
s_kilk 2 days ago 5 replies      
"We can't stop fake news, it's a really hard problem."

"Look at this thing we built to stop real news."

2
irq-1 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Its difficult to get an entrepreneur to understand something, when their valuation depends on them not understanding it.

Interesting (and unsurprising) that the comments here all focus on Facebook rather than the general problem. Cisco did the same thing by building the great firewall. Dubai has no shortage of western companies selling solutions to censor the Internet. When Wikileaks was raising money on Amazon it only took an angry statement from a Senator to get them banned.

Companies are happy to dump principles and take the money. The solution won't be complaining about Facebook. Trying to legislate companies bad actions is how we got here, so that might work with some issues in the past, but it isn't the solution we need now. Protesting and boycotting can get Apple to stop using child labor and suicide nets, but as a solution it's slow and reactionary.

3
brilliantcode 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wrote this yesterday:

> Zuckerberg came to a compromise to be chums with the Communist party in China. I wonder if that will ever pay off especially when you are so invested now and the relationship is dictated completely on the conditions of the foreign government. If this is the beginning then I shudder to think what the next compromise will be that affects their end user. It sets an uneasy precedent for future prospects eager to capture the enormous market in China.

I'm really proud of Google that they just got up and left China once they realized it was a one way relationship with a lot of giving and giving.

I think this is a huge blunder from Zuckerberg and it definitely hurts Facebook's brand.

It also shows a more underlying urgency from Zuck, the stock price is tied to user base growth and without it, the perceived future value evaporates with it. That in turn shows how elusive this "zero-interest rate capital funded growth at all cost" is and it's starting to show cracks.

Recall the Porsche story during the 70s when access to capital was really great. The problem was they assumed capital would always be there but what happened was when they most needed it the market conditions have changed and Volkswagen swallowed it up.

Facebook's revenue models are coming under scrutiny as advertisers can't justify the ambiguous metrics and ROI.

I wonder who will buy Facebook, perhaps News Corp?

4
christophilus 2 days ago 2 replies      
The best quote was in one of the comments: "If Zuckerberg was an action figure, his spine would be sold separately."
5
erokar 2 days ago 5 replies      
Zuckerberg created Facebook in bad faith (as a hateful hot-or-not site) and it has been run in the same vein ever since. We can criticize him till we're blue in the face, but the only thing that will make a difference is if each and every one of us log off and delete our accounts.
6
otaviokz 2 days ago 1 reply      
- I can understand Facebook's action here, it's either give in or be out of the biggest market of tomorrow.

- I can understand western media trying to stir polemic about it, it's how they make their money.

- I can't understand people buying media crap and getting "shocked". Didn't Facebook do similar things for US Gov in the past? Did they think Zuck was a people's champion?

7
Teapot 2 days ago 1 reply      
Facebook makes more money. NSA gets another tap in China. China gets to tap and censor Facebook data. They all win, at the people's expense.
8
Lordarminius 2 days ago 0 replies      
> " The easiest way to be disappointed is to expect others to act contrary to their self-interest."

This opening summarizes the entire sentiment.FB and Zukerberg are not on your side and do not uphold any banner of morality.

I am going to have this quote framed and put up on a wall somewhere. For some reason, I suspect life and business will be easier if I remember it.

9
netcan 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think our expectation of idealism from companies is to broad. I mean, it's great if companies take idealistic stances. But ultimately, I'm not even sure that it's FB's place to promote democratic ideals.

Freedom of expression, association, conscience & press are political freedoms at the centre of liberal-democratic ideologies and governing systems. China is not a liberal democracy, in theory or practice. There are treaties which define these freedoms as "human rights" but I think China is a nonsignator to them.

I do believe these freedoms should be protected for everyone. But in calling for them in non-democracies, one is pretty much calling for revolution. It's reasonable for us as individual democrats (or adherents to other ideologies which believe in these freedoms) to call for these rights to be honoured in china. It's kind of wierd expecting Facebook to.

The actual lib-dem regimes (US, EU, Japan etc.) are not refusing to do business in China until they honour these freedoms.

TLDR: Expecting FB to champion the cause of liberal democratic reform in China is too much to expect.

10
samuelbrin 2 days ago 0 replies      
"At the very least it seems that several Facebook employees decided that their conscience was worth more and quit over having to work on this. Kudos to them." Source on this?
11
bitL 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think the bet is that over time China will become more-less a Western society, as the old guards slowly die off, and it's better for FB to have their foot in the door. I believe that is based on the progress theory, that all societies progress in time towards similar structure, and assumption the Western one is more progressive than the Chinese one. We will see if this works out; we can see there was a recent divergence in quite a few countries like Russia, Turkey etc. as well as internal strain in Western societies themselves. We can easily end up in an unstable chaos theory mode too.
12
chiefalchemist 2 days ago 1 reply      
Suck isn't bowing to censorship. He's bowing to profits. That is, ultimately, if he didn't need profits, he wouldn't have to deal with censorship.

Put another way, stop blaming censorship for what is really a fault of Capitalism.

13
MichaelBurge 2 days ago 5 replies      
The Chinese market isn't going to be as lucrative in a few months when they get labeled as a currency manipulator. I've heard the free market value of Yuan to USD is about 24.8:1, while the current official exchange rate is 6.91:1. And of course the Chinese are willing to invest that money at a loss(in Bitcoin, property, etc.) as long as it gets outside of the country before the currency implodes; not even the Chinese want to invest in China.

Obviously capturing another billion people is a big deal either way, but I think they're going to be disappointed in their Chinese revenue in a year if they expected it to continue like it is now. I'm sure Zuckerberg has some financial advisors, but I can't see why anyone would want to invest there knowing the currency inflation that's coming over the next 2 years. I guess software isn't that much of a capital investment, comparatively speaking. Depending on how Zuckerberg structures this and how much USD he's putting in and at what rates, it might be worth buying some options against Facebook.

Though, if Facebook can get in now, I'm predicting riots in a year or two, and 'accidentally' having some problems with the anti-censorship systems could end up helping the protesters at a particularly important time. Who knows.

14
juhanima 2 days ago 0 replies      
As easy as it is to hate Zuckerberg here, it's not all black and white. I think his "it's better to have a restricted conversation than no conversation at all" may have a deeper meaning.

I have worked with a Chinese company for a couple of years and been to China too. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I think he might be on to something here.

It seems to me that China is on the verge of a major unrest upon freedom. So far most of the people are quite happy with the fact that their material well-being has literally multiplied in a very short time. That more than covers the limited freedom they currently have. After all, they haven't had a chance to get used to a great degree of freedom at any point in their history sofar.

However, increased wealth only carries so far. At some point the newly appointed members of the upper middle class are bound to start wondering, why ther offspring regularly gets bypassed by the offspring of the party officials in entering the top universities. That's going to be a big deal.

At that point attempts to suppress free speech will have an inflammatory effect. I believe this will happen in the next ten or twenty years and it cannot be avoided. What happened in Thailand a few years ago will happen in China, scaled up to two levels of magnitude.

I don't care much about Facebook or whether Zuck's motives here are entirely self-served or not. I do assume free speech in China will be a hot issue sooner or later and that Facebook may play a big part in connecting their Chinese users to the rest of the world.

I wish all the best to China, the Chinese people and my Chinese friends. Such spontaneous friendliness I have not met anywhere else. May your road in joining the domain of freedom be as smooth as possible.

15
fma 2 days ago 0 replies      
How much censorship is there on WeChat? My parents came flew in for Thanksgiving...the amount of fake news on WeChat shocked me - all they showed me were pro Trump and none of which passed the sniff test...parents believed every one of them. It made for a pleasant Thanksgiving dinner conversation...

Maybe China can start there. (I know, they won't...sarcasm).

16
omouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is why it's important for alternative companies to be started, ones that have ethics built in that won't bow to censorship.
17
asitdhal 2 days ago 1 reply      
The purpose of a private corporation to make the share holders wealthy, even if you have to appease a foreign government.

Many companies cooperate with NSA, rouge governments all over the world. Everybody does that. It's not new.

At the end of the day, people have to be paid and investment needs to be multiplied.

18
zdw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Weird, I posted this yesterday: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13030881

I assume medium's #random at the end of the URL makes every HN post unique?

19
mankash666 2 days ago 0 replies      
How is Facebook employees quitting over theChina decision something worthy of applause? Millions are in queue for their high paying jobs. Staying inside and influencing policy is the more heroic thing to do
20
moolcool 2 days ago 0 replies      
The people who want Facebook to take action against "Fake News" are advocating the same type action they're taking in China now. Be very careful what you wish for
21
aerique 2 days ago 0 replies      
Aww, he even put on a suit and tie.
22
crimsonalucard 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not like these corporations ever had any leverage for the Chinese heads of state to listen to them anyway.. If you want people to act against their own self interest you need leverage..

This is just wild speculation but perhaps Facebook market penetration into china reperesents the first step in achieving this leverage.

23
misiti3780 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didnt read where FB employees quit over having to work on the project? Anyone have a source ?
24
aq3cn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Indian govt said no to "Free Basics" plan, his satellite launch project failed, fake news scam and now he is forced to give control of Facebook to Chinese govt against his company's motto. It has been a bad year for Facebook.
25
spaceman77 2 days ago 0 replies      
An American (Freedom! Democracy!) helps a totalitarian government with censorship.

Now with Trump at the top I expect more freedoms in America to be lost.

Do we all need to lose our freedoms to remember how important they are?

26
kristoff_it 2 days ago 0 replies      
Given his latest statements, he's also about to bow to occidental censorship :)
27
Raed667 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm curious to see the "Facebook vs WeChat" battle..
28
brilliantcode 2 days ago 2 replies      
30
FreeBSD on a MacBook Pro github.com
244 points by gunnarde  4 days ago   94 comments top 14
1
wwweston 3 days ago 2 replies      
> Six years later, it less and less "Just Works", started turning into spyware and nagware, and doesn't need much less maintenance than Linux desktop at least for my work, which is system administration and software development, probably it is better for the mythical End User person. Work needed to get software I need running is not less obscure than work I'd need to do on Linux or othe Unix-like system.... GUI that used to be nice and unintrusive, got annoying. Either I came full circle in the last 15 years of my computer usage, or the OSX experience degraded in last 5 years.

So... it's not just me. Somewhere between Snow Leopard and Mavericks I started finding building various things from source that never were a problem became an exercise in figuring out what library had been removed or moved or what Apple had done with lib/header paths or something else.

If people aren't going over to another unix, what are they doing? Homebrew? Container-ing or virtualizing another unix? Or just suffering?

2
boterock 4 days ago 5 replies      
Some months ago I got FreeBSD running in a Macbook Air, and surprisingly the UEFI boot worked out of the box. I say surprisingly because when I tried, the Linux efiboot didn't work, the only way to boot linux was through GRUB.

I had almost everything working (Audio, suspend on close, i3 or gnome) but never got the wifi to work, I even tethered from my android phone to the Macbook and it worked very good. But in the end it was to annoying to do often.If only FreeBSD supported that wireless chip, I'd be writing this on FreeBSD. When the wayland and updated intel drivers come to FreeBSD maybe i'll try it again, but wifi is a deal breaker.

I always wondered why there isn't wifi drivers for this macbook in FreeBSD if Fedora had them (and AFAIK Fedora only ships open drivers)

3
mpasternacki 3 days ago 2 replies      
Im author of that gist (just noticed I have some comments there I need to reply to), still running the setup, now with FreeBSD 12-CURRENT. Tl;dr it generally works, still no wi-fi support. X works fine (running with drm-next-4.7 patches to get external thunderbolt display to work; vanilla kernel works fine with built-in and DVI display, gets confused by Thunderbolt display only). Gave up on pkg because I want to control my build flags, Im using portmaster now and thinking about setting up poudriere on a bigger server. Feel free to ask if you have any particular questions.
4
mkup 3 days ago 1 reply      
This tutorial is about FreeBSD 11-CURRENT snapshot 20150111 (pre-release version), so it deals in act II with hybrid UFS/ZFS setup, but FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE supports root-on-ZFS-in-UEFI-mode via standard installer. Release version of boot1.efi loader fully supports ZFS, so small UFS boot partition is no longer needed, and things are much simpler now.
5
JeremyMorgan 3 days ago 1 reply      
I really want to try this out. I was a heavy FreeBSD user for many years in the 2000s, and I drifted back into Linux. One thing I will say for FreeBSD, it's harder to get dialed in but once it is, it's very solid. I think with enough tinkering FreeBSD would run really well on a MBP, I just wonder if it would provide a lot of advantages over OSX to make it worth the time.
6
lorenzfx 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm using FreeBSD on Lenovo X220, and while it's obviously no MacBook, everything important to me (wifi, suspend-to-ram, graphic support, long battery usage, HDMI out) just worked out of the box (apart from the initial install, which wasn't FreeBSD's but Lenovo's fault and is since being worked around in recent FreeBSD installers). I can really recommend it if you want to give FreeBSD a try on a Laptop.
7
95014_refugee 3 days ago 3 replies      
"using a custom [FreeBSD] kernel seems tricky in a VMWare/VirtualBox VM"

This flipped a set-once bit, making the rest of the article essentially unreadable due to zero confidence in the writer's technical skill. Also, the lack of "late 2011" in the title makes it pretty misleading.

8
enzolovesbacon 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm periodically installing FreeBSD on my ThinkPad T400 to see how it's performing with Chromium. It's the only application I use extensively, and the only one that performs really bad with FreeBSD (and OpenBSD also), which prevents me from switching from Fedora.

Is there any magic I'm missing, aside from the shared memory support?

9
eth0up 3 days ago 1 reply      
My experience with FreeBSD is limited to a fugacious week with apparent quixotism and my noble Raspberry-Pi2, which ended inimically. All seemed rigorously dandy until presumably, Chuck Norris imposed thereafter some wicked temporal augmentation between all moments between any character typed or program otherwise compiled, offering only a typographic respite or scintillating scroll of never-ending techno-glossolalia in his wake whilst I sat there hour after hour (or character after character) awaiting something that made sense. Having no visible recourse, I capitulated and returned to Rasbpian.

With my compulsive - but hitherto compromised - aversion to running Linux within the virtual-machine of Systemd, I have ever-since intended to try again, maybe with a Pi3 and/or laptop, or even Mac. I've wangled Debian on a Macbook, but would, considering circumstances, prefer FreeBSD. I hope there is promise here. I praise all efforts.

10
ekianjo 4 days ago 2 replies      
> back then I grew tired of Linux desktop (which is going to be MASSIVE NEXT YEAR, at least since 2001)

The snark was really unnecessary.

11
bootload 3 days ago 0 replies      
plz keep posting and upvoting these kinds of stories (foss on hardware), great read.
12
dataharry 3 days ago 0 replies      
That was anticlimactic
13
unexistance 4 days ago 0 replies      
so far so good, pretty detailed too

some might care images / screenshot, not me tho :D

14
wavefunction 4 days ago 1 reply      
stunts for stunts' sake
       cached 28 November 2016 03:11:01 GMT