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Cheap Beijing Flights With a Dangerous Catch seat31b.com
248 points by msh  4 hours ago   96 comments top 23
greenyoda 3 hours ago 8 replies      
Companies like this have been around for years, and whenever I read about them I'm surprised that people would risk going to prison (or worse) just to get a discounted air fare. I wouldn't even carry a package for a friend unless I could see exactly what was inside, let alone carry a suitcase full of unknown stuff for a total stranger.

Also, an inevitable question when going through security checkpoints in some countries is "did you pack your own luggage". I assume that if you answer "no", you'd be subjected to a very thorough search for bombs or contraband.

Calling a company "Airmule" seems to be a particularly bad choice, since the term "mule" is commonly used to denote a person who carries smuggled drugs (sometimes concealed inside their body).

wjnc 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I cringe when I read such Trumpian tweets from a founder. The journalist reached out a few times and the response was unclear. So he writes his piece with a pretty clear warning to future customers. Get your PR and compliance straight if you want to avoid such pieces, don't complain afterwards while calling names.

Caveat emptor. Just those responses are a red flag, if the subject is legal risk surrounding smuggling to PRC. They don't want you to know.

jimjimjim 2 hours ago 3 replies      
If you can't answer a yes no question without wishy-washy flim-flam pr doublespeak then you don't get to complain that an article doesn't have facts.

and while i'm ranting. what is with founders presenting them selves as "bro's at the bar"?If the founders had bios that looked like they were from upper management at ibm i might be more likely to use their service.

jstoja 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Founder of a startup, having a major article killing your company and "don't have time on a Saturday with my family to engage".

I understand that family is important, but isn't a situation like this so important that you - at least - replace some time next week by 2hours now to answer to this article?!

Edit: made me think about this xkcd https://xkcd.com/386/

zbjornson 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I don't know anything about airmule's operation or China's customs/security, but the on-board courier industry is a legitimate one that has regulations and procedures that it's not clear the author of this article is aware of.

> "We have found contraband in [courier] shipments," says U.S. Customs official Bob Fischler, "but percentage-wise it is infinitisemal. And in any seizure we made, it was obvious that the on-board courier had nothing to do with it." In fact, at New York' JFK and at London's Heathrow airport, because of the sheer volume of courier shipments, all courier pouches go to a central location for clearance. The courier is typically dismissed before customs physically inspects the shipments.

- From Air Courier Bargains by Kelly Monaghan.

kaishiro 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I find responses like those given from the co-founder here infuriating for some reason - far more so than I realistically should. I've always valued transparency when it comes to business, so when I see people dancing around straight answers and then lashing out when people take issue with said responses it just seems so remarkably childish.
csomar 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
The founder is lame and as /u/wjnc mentioned he has a trump-like behavior. The question is very simple: If there is drugs in the shipment, does the traveller get a FREE pass?

The article is lengthy and kind of make this question vague. In my understanding it is a single question: Who bares the responsibility?

Well, it is you the poor traveller. There is no way in hell you can accept such a deal even if you are flying for Free. In fact, if you are, ask yourself the question: Do free meals really exist?

jfoutz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This makes me super curious about the pre flight baggage controls. How do they handle someone who picks up the extra bag, but winds up not taking the flight?

With baby formula, i'd just return the bag and apologize, eating the $99. Heroin on the other hand, i could probably move at a steep discount. $1k or so, not worth the risk. $10 or $20k? hmm. The bag needs to be worth at least $1000 in the target country, just to break even.

it seems like pretending to be a stoner, and setting up enough to buy a plane ticket could get you a lot of money for $99. Fake id and a prepaid credit card aren't that hard to come by. It's not like the ID needs to pass TSA inspection, as you're not taking the flight.

Seems like a very risky business. If your customers are willing to be pasties, it'll be ok. but just a couple of sharks completely change the risk profile. Doing stuff that precludes government enforcement of contracts is just crazy crazy risky.

marcosscriven 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I can just see it at the airport. "Did you pack your bags yourself?". I guess at 40 I'm not the target audience for this, but I'd be worried a younger person trying to save money might end up paying a high price.The name 'airmule' doesn't do it any favours either.
Animats 2 hours ago 3 replies      
It's significant that the business is about shipments from the US to China. That seems to be hard. Getting stuff shipped from China to the US seems to be ridiculously easy and fast. You can order stuff off Alibaba and get fast delivery via China Packet, which is a postal service with really good rates for China to the US. Delivery in the US is via the USPS.The other direction is much more expensive and slower.

The US needs to renegotiate postal rates with China. China is still getting the "developing country" discount from the USPS.

skrause 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Before clicking on the article I thought that the dangerous catch was that you have to sit in seat 31B and wondered why. The article's title and site name should really be differentiated better in HN's title.
nebabyte 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> Plus, you really have to love the founders of this company. I mean, as a startup founder myself, Im rooting for them. One is a hardcore gamer, the other is a former backup dancer for Gucci Mane, and the third loves beer more than you do. Im not making this upthis is what they say about themselves on their Web page

This guy clearly doesn't get it. Your startup page is where you post a phip relatable quirky attribute, whereas your actual qualifications go in single-phrase sentences on your twitter bio and after your name on quora answers

/s, hopefully obviously

smsm42 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks quite shady, especially given we're talking about China. Anything being wrong with the package - not even drugs - that'd be insanely bad - but I'm sure there are many other things which require special papers to get into China, or are prohibited, and if something is wrong, it's the courier's ass on the line. I don't see how it could be worth the risk of being imprisoned in China. I mean it's one thing to be in a "gray area" as an American in the US, with all legal protections and ACLU and so on, and another thing doing the same in China...

And I wonder what TSA thinks about people transporting things that they have little idea about in their luggage?

BayesStreet 1 hour ago 1 reply      
On their website they state "Airmule then manually inspects and verifies each item prior to packaging for a traveler."but I doubt this company that started last year has more experience finding contraband than law enforcement doing it their whole lives who have seen everything. Pretty asymmetric risk profile, save a couple hundred bucks for potentially your life.
grecy 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I frequently fly international with zero checked bags and about 5lbs of carry on.

I would love to be able to do so for $99 if someone wants to on-sell my checked allowance.

After reading the article I see the pitfalls I had never thought of, and would obviously want some extremely, extremely clear legalities to make it very clear the bags are not mine, and I'm not bringing them into any country.

No, I did not pack them and, no, I am not bringing them into your country.

zupa-hu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So, they claim they can have the cake and eat it too - as in, ship the bag as non-personal carrier stuff to avoid prison, and ship it as personal non-carrier stuff to pass customs. Bold.
bberrry 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Is 31B a reference I'm missing? It didn't come up in the article body.
asdfologist 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Risk of a death penalty for accidentally smuggling heroin? They couldn't pay me to take this flight.
icbm504 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea but in the world we live in (post 9/11), it is a major security violation.
illuminati1911 2 hours ago 2 replies      
While I agree with most of the article, I don't understand the part where the author is complaining about the bios of the founders/managers.

It's a startup, not old slow mega-corporation where making a joke will get you fired.

smegel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"We'll pay you to take this bag on the airplane for us.".


blisterpeanuts 2 hours ago 1 reply      
When I was studying in Taiwan in the early 80s, the island's high tariffs motivated travelers to carry suitcases full of stuff--Walkmans, cameras, Italian shoes, etc. Contact a guy in Hong Kong, he gives you a bag, a guy in Taipei picks it up and gives you NT5000, enough to pay for your ticket.

I never got up the courage to try it myself, but friends did. My girlfriend did it once.

Looking back, I realize how exceedingly stupid this was. Had there been heroin inside that camera, you were going to prison for the rest of your life. They didn't (and still don't) screw around.

I heard all sorts of stories. An Australian backpacker was caught at Korean customs with 50 Rolex watches stuffed in his shirt. He was sent up for ten years. Numerous young Americans and Europeans busted for drug smuggling were rotting in prison in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. At the time, with these countries technically allied with us against Red China, execution was not a politically feasible alternative.

This Mule thing is just another respin of an old practice. Best to avoid.

erikrothoff 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Besides the quite unnecessary personal attack on the founders ("One is a hardcore gamer, the other is a former backup dancer for Gucci Mane, and the third loves beer more than you do. Im not making this upthis is what they say about themselves on their Web page") I feel the writer did nothing to back up his claim. The "clear as mud" answer from the founder "same as all OBCs" was a really weird thing to leave up to interpretation of the reader. Nowhere did the writer enlighten me about the actual rights of an On Board Courier. I found this article really lacking in substance, sorry.
HTML5 Version of the Tron:Legacy Boardroom Scene robscanlon.com
338 points by PleaseHelpMe  8 hours ago   32 comments top 17
arscan 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Glad to see some people are getting a kick out of this. I built it a few years back while learning webgl, css3, node.js, redis, and modern (at the time) js tooling. Source over at https://github.com/arscan/encom-boardroom

I didn't build this with any real practical application in mind at the time. But some people have reused components in their own projects over the years, particularly the globe (https://github.com/arscan/encom-globe).

baalimago 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've not even seen tron since im too young... but all i can say is that i'm mighty impressed
thatcherc 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Are there any efforts to make movie-type window styles for real use? The Tron:Legacy style would be a fun one to have, as well as the one used in the computers in Westworld (similar light-blue-on-black)[1] and Interstellar [2]. I'm sure it's a more difficult process than I'm imagining, but it would be really cool to be able to use the window and interface themes of the computers in your favorite show or movie, especially since some have such great designs.

[1] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikup60uEg0c[2] - https://youtu.be/bmz9lMP6aQU?t=2m4s, visible for a brief second just after 2m4s

DannyDaemonic 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is beautiful. There needs to be a plugin api for this so we can make our own using charts using the built in command line and associated widgets.
thinkpad20 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The term "mad skills" comes to mind. I would love to see a breakdown of some of the techniques he used to construct this.
Splines 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Subreddit of movie-fake-UI: https://www.reddit.com/r/FUI/
emilioolivares 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What, the .js file for the globe itself is 43 thousand lines of code. Was this a weekend project? How do you find the time? Very well done my friend. (https://github.com/arscan/encom-globe/blob/master/build/enco...)
raykanani99 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Holy cow. Did you use a charting framework for the stream feed? How did you get such a pretty globe?
metmac 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So cool to see this revived. I remember stumbling upon it awhile back.
pmattos 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool stuff... even `ls` works in the shell ;)
mattnewton 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is super cool, I love the from aesthetics (if not the movie).

How do you make you or tapping not zoom again? Is there a HTML meta tag or something? It would improve the usability of the keyboard on mobile.

fizixer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You could add a video stream from a live online news channel on the top right? (on my side the top right was pretty much empty)
jarym 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Really damn impressive!
cjsuk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You got in :)
th0ma5 6 hours ago 0 replies      
They used Processing some I think in the movie which now has a WebGL version.
samgranieri 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy shit! This is amazing. Great job
edpichler 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, beautiful!
There Have Always Existed People Whove Simply Wanted to Be Alone hazlitt.net
288 points by fern12  12 hours ago   113 comments top 21
nabla9 9 hours ago 8 replies      
Being alone and hiking and camping in the wilderness without human contact for longer period can be amazing experience. There can be initial anxiety and intense desire to go back after romance goes away and your internal shit comes to light. When there is constant need for do chores to survive but also free time and no human contact, no books, radio or music, mind gradually settles into itself.

It's like coming from bright light into a dark room. Gradually your eyes adjust and you start to see more. Coming back into the civilization is similar to someone pointing flashlight into your eyes. So much external triggers for behaviour. Realizing that I'm not actually me with other people and I'm disappearing into network of others. Me with others is mainly just bunch of triggers that fire based on conditioning.

If I can feel intense otherworldliness from just week or month alone, I imagine that if someone spends decades alone, civilization might seem like miserable alien ant colony. Everybody is responding to commands from others and carrying stuff they don't care about.

ps. It also can trigger psycosis, panic or some kind of madness (prairie fever, cabin fever) in some people. Romanticizing it as escape from all your problems might give people the wrong idea.

white-flame 10 hours ago 3 replies      
It baffles me that people think it's so shockingly outlandish that there are people who don't reactionarily buy into the tribalistic pressures around us to simply act like everyone else. Humanity is not homogeneous, yet some notions like these are always projected out to be considered an immutable, inescapable constant. I can only guess that's that same fear of being different shining through.

I presume that on sites like this, there's a higher percentage of people who attempt to be more intentionally decisive about themselves and their lives. We don't necessarily have to toss out everything like Knight did, but looking at life and all the weird social rituals and expectations built up, the dichotomy between those and what seems actually beneficial becomes apparent. That conflict causes a choice, we would seek to do the "better" thing, and that draws many people outside the superficial social norms.

I especially bristle at this quote: "Why dont we want to be alone? Because the stuff thats down there is stuff you dont want to see." Anybody who tries to intentionally better themselves knows what's down there. You have to assess what you are if you're going to change. Sure, you can deny and hide from all that and simply find comfort in floating along with everybody else in social inertia, but that seems to me to be a shameful waste of those conceptual abilities which (apparently) make us uniquely human.

evervevdww221 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I have the impulse to become a hermit myself, fundamentally because I'm tired of living up to other people's ideologies: going through schools and finding a job in a cubical. getting married at the right age and then raising the right amount kids, saving for their college fund and then for retirement.

but why?

I can't help but compare with my surroundings, even I have quit Facebook for many years. I can't be myself when I'm around others, but become a money maker for things I don't need. I can't concentrate on what makes me happy.

I recall what made me happy. it was when I finally understood some papers, some equations, some code. I just want to find a quiet place to do these. I hope to become an awesome painter and a guitar player too.

I just want to have enough to survive and focus my energy on these things. I don't care if I have successful kids or fancy cars.

Mikeb85 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The title IMO is far more interesting and thought provoking than the actual story. So this guy lived in the woods somewhat near people, and stole to get by...

I've personally always been fascinated by the topic as I have met several hermit monks, have a friend who lived as one for half a year, and contemplated it for myself. The history of religious asceticism and hermits is quite interesting, and many of history's most famous philosophers/religious leaders/prophets were either hermits, or had periods of reclusion. And nearly every single religion has these hermit figures.

Anyhow, the downside is that being alone is tough. Physically and mentally. Humans are social creatures. However I have personally benefited from periods of isolation and reflection, even if I'd much rather be around others.

factsaresacred 10 hours ago 5 replies      
> Years ago, I went to India for a ten-day, silent retreat. I wanted to make myself go where I was afraid to godeep down, inside my own head. I found it terrifying. Why dont we want to be alone? Because the stuff thats down there is stuff you dont want to see.

We live in a world in which who we are is defined by what we do. We are a role - parent, engineer, carer. Strip that away and all that remains is a who. That's the reward of solitude: a situation wherein you have nobody to bounce your 'self' off, nobody to define yourself in relation to, allowing you to surface.

Turns out that who you are is simply a sequence of reactions to experience - the external kind as well as that which bubbles up internally. Rather than terrifying, this should be seen as profoundly liberating.

grabcocque 10 hours ago 5 replies      
The idea of introverts and extraverts being distinct groups of people with completely different neurological responses to social situations is a largely false one, created by self-help woo merchants to unhelpfully pathologise the feeling that EVERYONE has from time to time that they want to be left the fuck alone.

You know what? It's a normal, neurotypical part of life as a homo sapiens to want to be by yourself sometimes. And equally, it's a normal, neurotypical part of life as a homo sapiens to want to socialise sometimes.

We're a weird species like that, the way sometimes we want something and other times we want the opposite.

tray5 10 hours ago 3 replies      
My personal theory for explaining hermits throughout history is simple, these people had/have aspergers. I have aspergers myself, and I can very easily see someone who has aspergers who for whatever reason no longer wants to socialize anymore getting up and doing their own thing out in isolation. I don't truly believe that any neurotypical person, and for that matter many aspies could do it, but if you're brain is wired in a way that socialization doesn't provide that reward that it does for most other people, either because you don't understand social interaction and have no desire to learn the rules so you can play the game, or simply because you have discovered the rules and simply have no interest exhausting the effort, going out into isolation and spending the rest of your days pursuing other things that give you fulfillment.
dahart 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Snap Judgement did a nice podcast version of this story. http://snapjudgment.org/north-pond-hermit

The letters Knight & Finkel exchanged add an interesting angle.

Can't say I'm a fan of the author's choice for title of this post. It's Chris Knight's story, and nothing in this post presents any evidence for anyone else at any other time, aside from this single sentence "Think of Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha: they all spent very long periods of time alone before introducing their religions." I totally believe there have always been people who want to be alone sometimes. Pretty much everyone wants to be alone sometimes. But ugh, this sentence & title seem to strain credulity and are so completely unnecessary and tangential to this story.

Chiba-City 2 hours ago 0 replies      
FWIW, hundreds of thousands of Christian and Buddhist monks alive today all over our world live near to one another in cells or caves. A farming monastery in Arizona started 20 years ago is just beautiful and thriving. WV now has a Buddhist monastery. Buddhist monks are considered "ordained" but not most Christian monks. Lives of quiet or social Renunciation are everywhere and growing in number. Some even have fast WiFi. Go look on YouTube. I have been considering and schematically budgeting an urban ecumenical working monastery in Washington DC that would support itself with OSS testing, documentation and language localization.
booleandilemma 11 hours ago 4 replies      
He portrays a man who, without a shred of formal outdoor training, survived through ingenuity and remarkable self-discipline

The man burglarized people's houses for supplies.

dr_bloodmoney 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I read about this man when the story first broke and found it extremely fascinating. I can relate to wanting to be alone and living an isolated existence. I love being in nature, away from the world and have often thought about pursuing such an existence permanently. But I just cannot comprehend his methods. Move to Alaska. Learn to hunt. Carve out a place for yourself somewhere. What he did tells me he was just insane - live near people and steal. To put it bluntly, this is fucking nuts.
FrozenVoid 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't want to live in a wilderness, but i would want to greatly reduce mandatory social interactions i have to do daily. Its emotionally draining and stressful.Almost everything we do can be automated, but people still insist on face-to-face interaction(or at minimum voice/video chat) and there is this herding behavior that forces people to adjust their beliefs and thoughts to conform to current in-group paradigms(the comparison with ant colonies ITT is on point).All the 24/7 media exposure and rat race of consumerism eventually take their toll on mental health(the polar opposite of "hermit slowly losing their minds") with people becoming psychotic and dependent on pills to function.
DannyDaemonic 10 hours ago 2 replies      
There's an evolutionary advantage to having people who are isolated from the rest of the community. And not just in terms of sickness transmission. Things such as war, famine, and natural disasters can wipe out whole population groups.
stcredzero 10 hours ago 0 replies      
True story: in the early 90's, I walked up to and witnessed this: There was a young woman running a "Museum of Elvis" in a storefront in Portland. She wasn't making it financially, so unable to pay off her student loans, she took to sitting in the storefront in a chair, with a sign and a donation box saying, "I just want to be left a loan."
Zuider 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god"

From Aristotle, The Politics.

asherkosaraju 2 hours ago 0 replies      
And there is nothing wrong with it. Most people think being alone is equivalent to being antisocial. A common misconception that needs to be addressed. The person doesn't need therapy, they just want to be left alone.
mark_l_watson 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Great story. I wonder how spiritual/ religious Chris is. I understand being alone in nature and the desire for solitude but Chris's life style probably has a strong spiritual component. I am going to have to read the book.
mkhalil 11 hours ago 2 replies      
"Why dont we want to be alone? Because the stuff thats down there is stuff you dont want to see."

This really resonates with me. The "Fear of missing out" is something I try to avoid like the plague, but sometimes I wonder why do I even care?

edit: replaced the acronym FOMA

aaron695 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There have always existed people who have suffered from severe depression. There have always existed people who are sucidial.

I find the title a bit dangerous, but an interesting topic.

mythrwy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe "introvert" or "extrovert" depends largely on the potential company.

All people (and cultural groups for that matter) are not equally pleasant to be around.

JumpCrisscross 7 hours ago 0 replies      
How does one find, or plan, such retreats?
Show HN: Twitch Plays Doom
57 points by dddanmar  5 hours ago   7 comments top 2
_Marak_ 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Type `iddqd` to toggle god mode

Edit: I'm getting downvotes for this? It's in the posted source code: https://github.com/dddanmar/twitch-plays-doom/blob/master/tw...

exikyut 59 minutes ago 2 replies      
Okay, I've been watching this for a few minutes, and... the 8 second delay is FAR too long.

Doom is simply too interactive. You need to be able to control it in realtime.

I recommend three things:

- Slow the delay right down, and possibly make it adjustable via chat commands. A 500ms-1s delay is honestly going to be the best possible thing here. Yes, some players will lag too much and won't be able to play at those latencies - which is why you make it adjustable.

- Show, inside the video stream, the command that is currently executing, and the username executing from. This will create a unique tuple that will allow players to figure out the sync for themselves.

- A consensus system that tallies up the next key to press, TpP-style, might be a good idea. Right now everyone's fighting to cooperate because it's concatenating everyone's actions together.

832 TB ZFS on Linux jonkensy.com
245 points by beagle3  16 hours ago   125 comments top 15
rsync 14 hours ago 4 replies      
"I ended up between the Supermicro SSG-6048R-E1CR60L or the SSG-6048R-E1CR90L the E1CR60L is a 60-bay 4U chassis while the E1CR90L is a 90-bay 4U chassis. This nice part is that no matter which platform you choose Supermicro sells this only as a pre-configured machine this means that their engineers are going to make sure that the hardware you choose to put in this is all from a known compatibility list. Basically, you cannot buy this chassis empty and jam your own parts in"

This is a major departure from the Supermicro business model and practices and basically broke all of our next generation expansion roadmaps.

This was not a technical decision - it is the same old economic decision that every large VAR/integrator/supplier has succumbed to for the last 30 years. They aren't the first ones to try this trick and they won't be the last.

We (rsync.net) are not playing ball, however. After 16 years of deploying solely on supermicro hardware (server chassis and JBODs) we bought our first non-supermicro JBOD last month.

kev009 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There are a couple needful tweaks to this BOM for anyone wanting to follow this..

Only populate one CPU socket. Zone allocation between two NUMA nodes is kind of hard, especially since Ubuntu 16.04 zfs is pre- OpenZFS ABD where memory fragmentation is reality.

I would recommend better NICs like a Chelsio T5 or T6. Aside from better drivers and a responsive vendor, you can experiment with some of the iscsi offloads or zero copy TCP.

Supermicro seriously under-provisioned I/O on that chassis. I'd add LSI/Avago/now Broadcom cards so you can get native ports to every drive. Even if it's just a cold storage box, it will help with rebuild and scrub times and peace of mind. The cost of this is not bad compared to the frustration of SAS expander firmwares. 2x24 or 3x16 and 4 drives on the onboard if you can skip the backplane expander. Supermicro will usually do things like this if you insist, or an integrator like ixSystems can handle it.

More subjectively, I would also recommend FreeBSD. It seems their main justification for Ubuntu was paid support, which can be had from ixSystems who sell and support an entire stack (Supermicro servers, FreeBSD or FreeNAS or TrueNAS, and grok ZFS and storage drivers to the tune that they have done quite a bit of development.

twiss 15 hours ago 0 replies      
> I purchased these units through a vendor we like to use and they hooked us up, so I wont be able to share my specific pricing. (...) If you build the systems out on there youll find that they come in around $35,000 (USD) each.

That devided by 52 x 8 = 416TB is 0.084$/GB. For comparison, the Backblaze Storage Pod 6.0 [1] claims 0.06$/GB for the version with the same hard drives. Although this version has a bunch of extra features like 2 x 800GB SSD's for ZFS SLOG, 8x more RAM for a total of 256GB, etc.

[1]: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/open-source-data-storage-serv...

jjirsa 10 hours ago 9 replies      
Zfs on linux and huge single servers, what could go wrong?

It's like a blog written by a 22 year old straight out of college that's never dealt with a real production deployment/failure

Zfs on Linux has data loss bugs. There's at least one unpatched and there are bound to be more.

Single huge servers eventually fail. Maybe it'll be a drive controller. Maybe it'll be CPU or ram with bit flips as a side effect. Downtime would be the least painful part of the eventual failure.

sandGorgon 13 hours ago 2 replies      
The most important line for me was "Today, you can run ZFS on Ubuntu LTS with standard repositories and Canonicals Ubuntu Advantage Advanced Support. That makes the decision easy."

Its highly interesting that Canonical does this with ZFS. I'm not sure why they dont market this more.

guroot 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Can I just ask.Why not use FreeBSD?
mikekij 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Almost big enough to archive SoundCloud!
jaytaylor 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What about cooling? Will the lifespan of the high-capacity platter-dense hard drives be drastically reduced by clumping them together like that with what looks like little airflow?
4ad 15 hours ago 6 replies      

 you can run ZFS on Ubuntu [...] You could also build this on Solaris with necessary licensing if you wanted to that route but itd be more expensive.
I find it bewildering the author didn't even consider illumos or FreeBSD, where ZFS is a first class citizen.

z3t4 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone else addicted to acquiring servers and high bandwidth connections ? Any ideas on what to do with the over capacity ?
rurban 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a HW guy but those drives seems to be far too close together. A few more millimeters space will keep the temperature down much better I assume.
SoMisanthrope 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Very impressive! It's amazing what people are doing with OTS technology.
notyourday 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Very good experience with 45drives.com storinator XLs.
cmurf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Do either of these project spec hardware that would work for this use case?

opencompute.orgBackblaze storage pod, they're up to v 6.0 now

(Netflix open connect specs supermicro hardware)


andreiw 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish Supermicro had a similar chassis around the Cavium ThunderX. That would make a lot of sense for network-attached storage, regardless of whether one goes with SATA or drops in a SAS adapter or two. Does anyone know if any of the Cavium accelerators (crypto or compression) can improve ZFS perf?
There is no such thing as EQ quora.com
63 points by mpweiher  2 hours ago   25 comments top 6
nmca 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
He quotes an interesting sounding stat - "In fact, if you could choose to be born at the 95th percentile for wealth, or the 95th percentile for IQ, you would be more successful at age 40 as a consequence of the latter choice."

Does anyone know the source?

Geee 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think EQ was invented to make those with low IQ to feel better.
ThomPete 1 hour ago 2 replies      
There is no such thing as IQ either its also a conceptual model. But agree there is no such thing as EQ.
edco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
based jordan peterson
placebo 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Wow, so many wrong things with this answer...

Of course, it would not surprise me to learn that measuring IQ as a predictor for success (or at least what a measurer defines as success) is much more accurate than "measuring" EQ for the same purpose. It makes sense - IQ is demonstrably measurable while EQ is some vague concept "popularized by a journalist". However, to go from this to a broad statement that there is no such thing as EQ is just silly. You could just as well say that there's no such thing as beauty because there is no accurate test to quantify it.

For a simple demonstration that EQ is an important quality for prediction of "success", just think of all the successful people you know and ask yourselves whether you think they would be as successful if they had the emotional makeup of an 8 year old.

This Quora answer has too much of a "trust me, I'm an authority" vibe to it

edited: ok, removed stuff that upon reflection does not contribute to the discussion - my apologies for that. The main point however stands. The repeated claims of no such thing as EQ should be qualified with "in the field of psychology" - in that case, I have no objection to the answer.

kevinr 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
If I was marking this as a student paper, it would go back with demerits for plagiarism, faulty logic, poorly-structured rhetoric, and, to top it all off, bad grammar.

...Dude's a professor?

How New York's Roosevelt Island Sucks Away Summer Trash Stink npr.org
29 points by transcranial  5 hours ago   4 comments top 2
asah 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you've never lived in NYC, you have no idea... just say the words "summer garbage strike" to any NYer and they'll have stories of 10-high bags of garbage piling up on streets in 95 degree heat and 95% humidity, while the unions wait until city hall caves...
phasecode 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish there were more pictures of the turbines/overall system! Does anyone know how much this costs to run in comparison to normal trash pickups?
The NOVA filesystem lwn.net
69 points by JoshTriplett  7 hours ago   17 comments top
ecma 6 hours ago 4 replies      
This is super interesting but

 due to the per-CPU inode table structure, it is impossible to move a NOVA filesystem from one system to another if the two machines do not have the same number of CPUs.
seems like a dealbreaker. What use is a FS if it isn't portable? At least it sounds like they're very aware of this issue.

I'd be very interested to see what they end up doing to make this behave better prior to upstream consideration. I wonder if a linked list journal of inode table changes (with space drawn from per-CPU freelists) would be safe/fast enough. That could be periodically coalesced and remapped to the NOVA device's non-CPU aware inode table.

Millennials returning to Puerto Rico, launching startups nytimes.com
74 points by albertogui  8 hours ago   18 comments top 4
jameslk 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> They are motivated both by an urge to help lift Puerto Rico out of its quagmire, but also by a profound attachment to the island its beaches and countryside, its friendliness, its intimacy and the tug of family.

They're probably more motivated by the complete lack of federal income tax[0]. Funny that this wasn't mentioned once in the entire article.

0. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2014/07/04/hate-taxe...

TheAceOfHearts 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, but left to work in tech. As with any place, there's some good points and there's some bad points. Below are some points that someone moving to Puerto Rico might want to know.

In my opinion, their greatest achievement has been in its educational system. Despite its huge list of problems, UPR enables people of any background to receive an affordable high quality college education. In the US, you're basically forced to take out huge loans that might take decades to pay off. This should mean you'll get access to lots of highly educated individuals, although I don't know if that's the case in practice.

One of my biggest complaints is its poor representation in the US government. If you're living in Puerto Rico you can't vote in any of the US's elections, even though the actions of the president and congress could potentially affect you. e.g. You could get drafted and sent off to war.

Puerto Rico has its own constitution [0], which arguably grants stronger rights to its citizens than the US constitution. For example, wire-tapping is explicitly illegal. It also includes entries allowing employees to organize into associations and collectively negotiate with their employers, as well as go on strike.

An interesting point is that everyone is required to get a voter ID in order to participate in an election. This isn't seen as a problem, and getting one is incredibly easy. I found it incredibly surprising this wasn't the case in the US.

Food is amazing, but there's very little variety. Since there's so few people from different cultural backgrounds, you mostly get the same templates repeated everywhere. In the last decade it has been slowly improving. If you're a vegan or vegetarian, or if you require a gluten-free diet (i.e. coeliac disease), you'll have a hard time eating out.

Due to cabotage laws, you can't import directly to Puerto Rico. Everything has to go through a US port, which translates to increased costs.

Shipping stuff to Puerto Rico is usually more expensive than shipping stuff to the contiguous United States. I'd guess it's comparable to Hawaii.

Even though both English and Spanish are considered official languages, you'll have a very hard time living there if you don't know Spanish.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Puerto_Rico

bitshaker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
For anyone looking to be in Puerto Rico, the massive tax incentives help as well.


pryelluw 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Local here. Feel free to contact me (check profile) for anything. :)

We have a incubator called parallel18, and a couple of working spaces. It's not a super huge tech scene but the people are awesome.

Optimizing Hash-Array Mapped Tries for Fast Immutable JVM Collections (2015) [pdf] steindorfer.name
71 points by tosh  12 hours ago   19 comments top 5
zokier 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
So would this be a good structure to store the recently discussed password hash dump, basically a fixed set of 300 million SHA1-sums where the only interesting operation is checking if the sum is or is not contained in the set?
jcdavis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The author presented a talk about this at the JVM Language Summit last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUXeNAeyY34&list=PLX8CzqL3Ar...

Github repo for those interested: https://github.com/usethesource/capsule/

VHRanger 8 hours ago 5 replies      
What is the real world use case for a HAMT data structure? Tree based associative arrays (like c++'s std::map) tend to have poor real world performance
didibus 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this add something that the Clojure implementation doesn't?
maxpert 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I wish the paper carried a GitHub link to the repo of reference implementation.
Can a Living Creature Be as Big as a Galaxy? nautil.us
211 points by dnetesn  17 hours ago   160 comments top 27
stareatgoats 12 hours ago 4 replies      
The question is not correctly formed: what we really want to know is if there are life-like beings that could operate on a totally different scale than ours (both time and size wise, including viruses and whales here). Self centered thinking, i.e. restricting our inquiry to only include protein-based lifeforms or other qualities required on our scale obviously prevents us from having the required open minded mindset.
tsunamifury 15 hours ago 5 replies      
It's answer of "No" is predicated on two assumptions: that the lifeform is not colonial in nature and that time is not a localized phenomenon. While on the surface that later assumption might sound absurd, our universe could very well be a Local Bubble of time. Time could even be a biological function of a higher dimensional being that is the size of the universe. There is also no way to disprove that without observing beyond the universe, which may get a bit dicey.
bitL 17 hours ago 3 replies      
We still don't know if the Universe itself isn't a living organism with us playing the role of tiny viruses that require intelligence/consciousness to fulfill certain tasks, like what gut bacteria does for us.
mirimir 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a thoughtful article, and I love the reference to Burroughs' Soft Machine. But it doesn't distinguish clearly enough between self-conscious organisms and the rest. It's true that consciousness and evolution thereof likely crap out when latency goes over a few hundred milliseconds.

However, I see no limit to the size of zero-gravity organisms like the honey fungus. Fungi are filamentous, so there's no unsurmountable problem with heat dissipation.

And even for self-conscious organisms, I can imagine hierarchical organization, such as Rajaniemi's "metaself" or Watts' Bicameral Order.

Koshkin 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Since proteins cannot exist in space, then, using the currently accepted definition of "life" at the basic level as the complex of processes that allow protein molecules to exist, then the answer must be 'no'.

On the other hand, it is an interesting mental exercise to also consider other reasons why such creature might be impossible. One reason could be because the time needed for such creature to grow from something much, much smaller (as it usually happens in biology) would be longer than the age of the universe.

Another one is that nerve impulses travel slower than the speed of light, and so, again, it would take forever for a signal to reach the central nervous system. One could argue that the creature can be "decentralized", i.e. look more like a large colony of smaller organisms, but then the question arises as to what makes it a single creature in the first place.

Yet another issue concerns what drives the evolution of this particular species, and, again, the time it takes.

So far, all these considerations unavoidably lead to the answer 'no'.

axplusb 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised to find no mention of Solaris by Stanislaw Lem among the fiction references. In this novel, a whole planet is somehow a living organism, truly alien to human conception of life.
kindadumb 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This theory was once proven in a famous documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJOVUF-HaDw&t=0m37s
visarga 3 hours ago 0 replies      
When thinking about such things, you've got to ask yourself: under what circumstances would such a creature appear and under what circumstances could it die? What does it need? What constitutes a good or bad thing for it. How does it learn? How does it perceive? How does it act out its intentions? Does it have a self preserving instinct?

It doesn't make much sense for a creature the size of the galaxy. If it did, it would be extremely slow and alien to us.

A more plausible way would be if a human-scale civilization would create self replicating probes that would spread in the galaxy and bootstrap some sort of large biological or AI civilization.

andy_ppp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sort of tangentially related is the physicist Geoffrey West, who decided to try to apply the thinking of a theoretical physicist to biological systems. His book Scale is excellent, and this is one of the most interesting podcasts I've ever heard:


alexpetralia 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Does a group of people have an emergent consciousness in its own right that no one person can individually experience?

Perhaps certain parts of the brain too "think" they are conscious but can't individually experience the same consciousness we as people experience.

cardigan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, but what if the living creature had a density of neural circuitry similar to ours, and mainly interacted with things inside itself, and had slow propagation of knowledge? Not sure I understand this except under the hidden assumption of having a similar number of neural circuit elements
rcthompson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone is interested in a sci-fi novel series that explores these kinds of themes for intelligent life, I highly recommend Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. (I've left the statement above intentionally vague to avoid excessive spoilers.)
nils-m-holm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Why only as big as a galaxy? Why not the entire universe?


(Geoffrey Landis, the Melancholy of Infinite Space)

sriku 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Exhalation" by Ted Chiang is, I think, a great literary exploration of this topic and brings the essence of what is required for life, though it doesn't get into what life is as opposed to other phenomena. For those who've not read it, I may be giving off too much if I said anything more.

It is certainly more insightful (again imho) than this article.


jeffdavis 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Related: On Being the Right Size


dwaltrip 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A bit of tangent -- the article talks about powers of ten, and hints at how powerful a tool it is for analyzing everything around us. This resonates very strongly with me. The entire known universe, from the smallest particle to the width of the cosmos itself, fits within several dozen points on this scale. It's incredible.

Personally, the last few years, I have felt that working to understand how all phenomena can be sketched out on the log scale has helped me gain a deeper understanding of the world. Of course, this goes hand in hand with related ideas, such as having a generally skeptical mindset, seeking first principles, etc.

These ideas has been very powerful for me, and I thought it might be worth sharing.

P.S. the book "The Black Cloud", mentioned in the article, is a really fun and quick read. I recommend it for any sci-fi fans.

FrozenVoid 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The comparison about surface areas is wrong.A creature could drastically increase its surface area by having many tendril-like appendages (i.e. hairy surface) and limiting the core body to consist of thin shapes.A fractal web of tendrils would dissipate energy far more effectively.
Poc 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It make me think of Von neuman probe. If we can consider that a robot or something with connections similar to our neurons can be a living creature. Then maybe if something like Von Neuman probes existed it could have colonized the whole galaxy (actually it could be done in a few hundred millions years) then those probes, while each one have is own brain, could communicate with the other probes and even if two probes at two opposite sides of the galaxy couldn't communicate, they would still be connected. Then maybe this network could be consider as a living creature.
SCHiM 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I love topics like this :)

If yes, the next question might be:

> Imagine a creature that is as big as the galaxy, imagine its organ that is analogous to our brain is as efficient and big as is possible, what is the most complex concept that that brain can fully comprehend?

11thEarlOfMar 14 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a different topic, but related. I was marveling at the diversity of life on Earth, which led me wonder: to what extent does sustained life on Earth depend on that diversity? I.e., what would be required or different for a planet to host and sustain a single species of life?

Given the nature of evolution, and that one subscribes to it, life on Earth started with a single organism that replicated. From that point until a replication modified the organism into a different species, there would have been one species. But was it necessary to have multiple species in order to sustain life?

asah 11 hours ago 0 replies      
re heat dissipation - the author assumes a mostly-convex form, but if the life form as concave spaces (e.g. tentrils) then the surface-area-to-volume ratio can be arbitrary.
jfoutz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So this requires a few things,

First off, single organisms can have pretty advanced local processing of control. An octopus has a nerve cluster for each tentacle that can operate independently of the main brain [1]. So in at least one case, biological brains delegate work out to another region of the body. An argonaut octopus actually detaches part of it body, which as far as i can tell, keeps living for a while. it's kind of creepy. The only thing i can't find an example of, is remote control. A detachable body part, with a nerve cluster, that responds to light or sound seems like what would be needed for the base creature. Evolution hasn't stumbled on that trifecta here on earth. But it sure seems like something that could have come about.

The latency argument isn't compelling. If i can send one message, i can send another hundred billion messages along with it. So, sure only a few thousand round trips, but a fabulous amount of information transferred. There's no actual biological equivalent to a semi autonomous drone, so i'm not sure what that would look like before the creature took to the stars.

There's also no real obvious way for this lone detatched tentacle to consume the resources of a planet. But whatever. I think one entity with those three features might have a chance.

Also, is the creature smart? Does it get to genetically engineer itself? do cyborgs count? That greatly simplifies things as well. The detachable parts could have detachable parts, and recurse down to whatever arbitrary degree is useful.

Alternatively if you admit superorganisms, then everything is much easier.

So anyway, you don't really need to send many messages when the message is "here are the latest designs for industrial architecture to dismantle a solar system and send the resources back" It's up to the billions of lone tenticles and their machines to execute the will of the super brain.

On the other hand, yeah, there's not going to be a galaxy sized amoeba or panther or anything like that. maybe an incredibly fine mist of fungus or mold, but i think it'd be too hard to keep a system like that from collapsing in on itself from too much mass. a galaxy sized ring of spider silk orbiting a black hole sounds like great science fiction. but i can't imagine that working.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus#Nervous_system_and_sen...[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argonaut_(animal)#Sexual_dimor...[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superorganism

baron816 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Challenge accepted
danaan1003 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, your mom
mbrookes 9 hours ago 0 replies      
mcappleton 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Look, the vast majority of a galaxy is empty space. A living creature is obviously not empty space, so all that space would have to be filled with the creature's matter. Well, if you put that much matter so close together, it will all collapse on itself and create a black hole.

So no, you could not have a living creature as big as a galaxy.

devoply 16 hours ago 5 replies      
This article does not take into account quantum phenomenon. It's possible that instead of being limited by the speed of light transmissions, such a system uses quantum phenomenon for communication. Which then would make the whole argument that this article makes invalid. It's based on the premise that life would be based on the same sort of physics as life on Earth... which does not make sense as such life if it exists would evolve using a different set of rules which would include things such as limits on speed of light transmission in such large systems... so it would've learned to exploit quantum phenomenon for transmission.


Superluminal, or faster than light, communication is said not to work because it allows information to be sent into the past. There is however non-locality which is not the same thing. Sorry not an expert on this, but this seems to apply to the exact discussion.


Fangle: create interactive documents from plain text jotux.github.io
139 points by happy-go-lucky  17 hours ago   16 comments top 9
jotux 16 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a bit weird to see this on the front page again. I did this ~4 years ago just as a proof-of-concept. I thought it would be a neat idea to have a plain-text way of writing forum posts that had calculations embedded.

I'm an embedded systems engineer and work almost exclusively in embedded C/C++, so forgive my absolutely awful javascript/coffeescript coding.

Previous discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5107106

laythea 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
What is the point? Why reinvent the wheel? HTML is text. Or do I miss something?
pmarreck 16 hours ago 0 replies      
HTML5: create interactive documents from plain text!
mathisonian 14 hours ago 2 replies      
This is cool and has some overlap with a project I'm working on. https://idyll-lang.github.io/

Idyll provides this type of reactivity, but focuses more on making it easy for users to embed custom interactive components

gambler 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The core idea is nice (using simple markup instead of code), but it seems developers these days are completely oblivious to the fact that HTML is extensible and was literally designed to do this kind of stuff. Markdown is better for simple text editing, JSON is better for simple data structures, but HTML is far superior for complex documents where you need to attach structure and behaviors to text.

Things it buys you out of the box:

 - No need to write a parser - You can make complex references via CSS selectors - Your structure (tags) has structure (attributes) - All the existing tooling will help you to debug if something goes wrong.
On this note, I regret that HTML5 had thrown away the good ideas from XML (syntax consistency and namespaces) along with the bad (weird sub-formats, entity definitions, directives and other complex crap no one used well anyway).

m-ou-se 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This made me laugh: "His power level is [3000.1]. That's 0.09999999999990905 more than 3000."
hellbanner 16 hours ago 0 replies      
elliotec 16 hours ago 2 replies      
What is this? They used web technologies to try and recreate what the web already does?
rubyfan 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting concept. The variables seem a little unintuitive to me.
Evidence that ancient farms had different origins than previously thought arstechnica.com
76 points by xaedes  13 hours ago   30 comments top 6
zackabaker 11 hours ago 5 replies      
> "Anthropologists are simply realizing that early cities took extremely diverse forms. "Clearly, urbanism is different in different parts of the world, and we need to be more flexible in how we define this," he explained. The tropics demonstrate that where we draw the lines of agriculture and urbanism can be very difficult to determine."

It seems that the more humans learn about any topic: our own agricultural history, biology, psychology, mathematics, etc we begin to reach conclusions similar to the above. Wow, this is much more complex than we thought it was. I find this in my own life as I explore socio-political topics also - it seems the deeper one dives into any topic the more difficult it is to, as the article says, "draw the lines". Has anybody experienced an intellectual exploration to the contrary?

adrianratnapala 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here enough TLDR so that my comment makes sense: In the tropics, the distinction between agriculture and hunter-gathering less sharp than in temperate climates. Thus early signs of tropical agriculture (from 20-30 kyears ago) pre-date the traditionally understood rise of agriculture about 9 kyears ago).

This confirms my Sri Lankan bemusement at the term "temperate climate". The tropics can be a PITA in many ways, but they have no shortage of biomass. Subsistence gardens abound and are productive. Even more than in other gardens, the issue is less to make things grow, but to stop the wrong things from growing. It's hardly surprising if ancient jungle dwellers long ago to tilted nature's bounty in their direction.

But I do take exception to the somewhat hippy-dippy claim that ..."colonial, industrial societies" came from outside the tropics and tried "to practice monoculture, pastoralism, and urbanism within them." Those "evils" took place in the tropics for thousands of years before western colonialists turned up.

firefoxd 9 hours ago 3 replies      
When I was growing up, things seemed pretty much settled. We knew where the first humans came from, we knew when and where agriculture started, we even had 9 planets in our solar system.

This was the truths scientists had discovered and it was unquestionable. It was printed in books to last forever.

But you grow up, and you realize that these things are malleable. It's more like as of 1998, Lucy is the oldest human remains we discovered, using x method.

I'm not saying it's a conspiracy or anything, but I think we should leave a little wiggle room in the way we make these statements from now on.

Though I haven't read a history or science book from a school curriculum in years so I can't say if that's already what is being done.

forkLding 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that the editor highlighted that this didn't mean that they had farms at the time, the editor identifies this finding more as "proto-agriculture" or before what could be considered farming.

Just to help those who might be confused

zebraflask 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Anthropologists have known this for at least 50 years.

Props for raising awareness of the field, though.

mrb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For the actual research paper, look for http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2017.93 into sci hub.
This Mysterious Military Spy Plane Has Been Flying Circles Over Seattle for Days thedrive.com
67 points by pera  11 hours ago   23 comments top 10
coin 5 hours ago 2 replies      
> Nobody at the DoD seems to know who the aircraft belongs to or what exactly it is doing flying so many missions over the Seattle area.

No. They know they just aren't disclosing it.

Animats 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"You guys are going to go up there and circle until you can replicate that failure."

(Much of what test pilots really do is stuff like that.)

joshuaheard 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The annual SeaFair air show is over Seattle this weekend with many different military aircraft circling overhead all weekend.


Also, McChord Air Force base, North America's largest air force base, is about an hour south of Seattle.

cyberferret 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is it a US military asset?? It's a CASA (European made aircraft). What is the possibility that it is a foreign military aircrat on joint exercise, or testing out integration of US made ECW equipment installed at Boeing field?
QAPereo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It doesn't sound like that much of the mystery at the end of the day, as the article concludes that it's probably a USAF/JSOC/CIA training mission.
ajarmst 5 hours ago 2 replies      
There's lots of possible reasons that aren't nefarious. Could be training of pilot or crew (I once watched a passenger aircraft orbitting the base I was stationed at for most of a day. Turned out it was commercial pilot training and check rides). Could be test flights of equipment and systems for airworthiness certfication. Could be DoT testing navigation aids, etc. If the government wanted to surveil Seattle residents for some reason, I expect the NSA could come up with something a little more subtle.
mjevans 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Another possible reason is the unusual smoke in the area from the BC Fires. It's been horrid viability quality for almost the last week.
forkLding 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this the same plane flying around Vancouver, BC, Canada as well? Mention of an army plane(s?) kept appearing on r/Vancouver today.

Although I could be very well mistaken and its a coincidence.

honestoHeminway 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Teaching criminal startups to track such planes with lasers from drones, to prevent surveilance?

Also, i guess for gangs the somali option of burning tires is viable.

known 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's NSA
A library of React components to make SVG maps using d3-geo and topojson react-simple-maps.io
78 points by cristinapoiata  14 hours ago   8 comments top 5
mynewtb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Please use a better projection as default. Robinson or Eckert IV?
iRobbery 3 hours ago 1 reply      

note, if i double click some country (with react-motion one e.g.) it also starts to select text from the paragraph below.

* on osx Safari

JBReefer 9 hours ago 0 replies      
These really don't work so well on Firefox Mobile, unfortunately. The work is beautiful and the project looks like something I'd love to use!
rajangdavis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is amazing! I wish I could use this in a project, the API looks pretty straight forward and the SVG's are crisp on mobile. Very well done!
brandonb 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks quite cool. Let me know if you'd like any feedback on the API.
The Evolution of Lisp (1993) [pdf] dreamsongs.com
77 points by tosh  14 hours ago   14 comments top
fizixer 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Off-topic, just had this (micro)-epiphany that I wanted to share:

It is well-known that a majority of programmers dread mathematics beyond something basic like high-school math, sometimes even less.

What these programmers don't know is that a significant fraction of mathematicians (probably majority of them) who haven't been involved with programming, computers, computer algebra systems etc, have a similar dread about programming, in addition to the envy of programmers getting paid at much better rates.

It's also said by many, though without universal consensus, that programming is more rigorous than mathematics (here 'rigor' means mathematical rigor, nothing to do with everyday usage of the term).

When you start as a math major after high school, you take computational classes like calculus and linear algebra. Then you move on to theoretical stuff and "high mathematics" like real analysis and abstract algebra. Then, at an even more advanced level, you get into logic and foundations of mathematics, and at some point you get familiarized with the concept of constructive mathematics.

What I just realized is that programmers are essentially doing constructive mathematics (as well as logic, to a fair degree) all along, without realizing it, the moment they start coding!!! and yet the same programmers dread mathematics. That is funny (although not to say it makes it any easier for those programmers to learn all the rest of mathematics; IMO mathematics is still harder than programming as a discipline).

I think this is one example of many, I've found over the years but can't recall of the top of my head, where an expert of a given discipline is so encumbered by the "underlying machinery" of their field, that they fail to see that once they reach a higher level of abstraction, it sometimes becomes easier, rather than harder, if you forget about the details while working at that level, or you hadn't gone through the harder path to get there.

Another example being electrical engineers toiling through the difficult issues of power electronics, analog and digital design, computer architectures, instructions sets, only to find out that computer science people, who don't know all these things, have a much easier time working at the assembly language level, and those who don't even know assembly-language either, have no problem just sticking to a higher level language like ruby, javascript, and not worrying about or even aware of how the whole machinery works.

Name-letter Effect wikipedia.org
136 points by privong  17 hours ago   47 comments top 14
Illniyar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The study method seems to be "rate the letters by how much you like them".

While it looks like the study has been repeated enough to not be total quackery, there is still the question of what's the point. Does your preference for a particular letter has an effect on your choices?

I doubt the research about people preferring brands with the names in their letters has properly ruled out other variables, or would prove to be significant.

How many people actually give thought about what letters they like the most? I'm guessing the study was the first time the subjects were ever exposed to the thought of liking a letter. As such, ot seems reasonable to go for some point of reference that is simple and available, auch as your own name.

scarmig 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Do people also use letters that they like more than other letters?

If so, an interesting proof of concept might be to reconstruct a person's full birth name from a corpus of their writing.

breakingcups 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I've discovered that many, many people will choose a (Android) lockscreen pattern that will closely resemble the first letter of their name.
soared 15 hours ago 1 reply      
How much you like the letters in your name is used as an indirect method for measuring self esteem. If I really don't like the letters e,o,a,s,r, and d... then I probably don't like myself either.

Whats really in a Name-Letter Effect? Name-letter preferences as indirect measures of self-esteem: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10463283.2014.980...

chasing 14 hours ago 2 replies      
My name just uses all of the best letters.


bad_hairpiece 9 hours ago 0 replies      
In a similar vein, research has found a positive correlation between the number of right letter QWERTY keys in a word and the positivity felt towards those words. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3348452/
ecesena 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you imagine personalized ads choosing words with a prevalence of letters from your name?
zkms 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how this works with people who have gotten legal name changes, or people who regularly go by a non-legal name or a pseudonym.
saagarjha 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> Most people like themselves

[Citation Needed]

known 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What about A E I O U
dogruck 4 hours ago 0 replies      
miguelrochefort 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there a test I can take online for that?
thaumasiotes 8 hours ago 1 reply      
> subjects are not aware that they are choosing letters from their name

This seems unlikely to be true as stated.

incompatible 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I asked somebody to give me three letters, they picked ABC. So much for that theory, I thought. Then I read a bit more and it said that it doesn't work on people who don't like themselves. It sounds like pop psychology, actually.
Publii Open Source CMS for Static Websites getpublii.com
137 points by indigodaddy  15 hours ago   46 comments top 11
kostarelo 8 minutes ago 2 replies      
> It's a desktop app, so you can manage your pages anywhere. Take a laptop to the beach, write in comfort, then sync with one click once you're back online.

Really? Wouldn't a web app be better for this?

gtirloni 12 hours ago 6 replies      
The license is GPL but I can't find the code repository anywhere.

We'd love do ditch WordPress but our users demand a web-ish interface to work with static sites. This could be it.

Also, what's the strategy for plugins?

jacobwilliamroy 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Here is a link to an interaction between a user and developer from June 23rd 2017 RE: publii source code:


From Bob:

"We still preparing the dev documentation and I think it will be ready this holiday. Right now you can browse the themes packages and see how they are built. Below you can download the .pdf with handlebars tags used in Publii themes.


Referring to repository question, we will need to reflect further on this matter, but probably the GitHub is the best solution for that."

linopolus 5 hours ago 1 reply      
All I read is SEO.

All I see is a Mac app not feeling and behaving like a Mac app.

If I wanted these modern-Windows-style UIs, I'd use Windows. But I don't like them, so why does everyone try to explain to me how cross-platform, which is really pushing a windowsy UI and UX down the throats of all others, is so much better?

ryanashcraft 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I definitely think there's demand for solutions like this. I probably would like this even better if it worked on top of an existing static-site generator platform like Jekyll or Gatsby.

I just wrote about immutable deployments with Ghost 1.0, which is also open source (MIT licensed), and how that can be a nice compromise between static sites and hosted CMSes: https://ryanashcraft.me/ghost-and-now/

I might've tried Publii out if I had heard about it beforehand, but right now I'm really happy with the entire Ghost editing and consumption experience I've set up (thanks to the Ghost and Zeit teams).

petepete 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Can't seem to find a link to the repo on their site.
fiatjaf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It is not the CMS, it is also the site generator which comes with its own themes.
aphextron 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Where is the repo? I can't seem to find any info on the site or Google.
johnchristopher 11 hours ago 0 replies      
They actually support many languages out of the box (Ghost doesn't). I'll be exploring it this evening, looks nice and tidy.
nik736 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The concept is not bad, but how do I change the actual looks of my site? Can't I edit the frontend somehow?
Exuma 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The themes are absolutely incredible... for once I'm actually impressed!
Why nature prefers hexagons nautil.us
59 points by bsg75  11 hours ago   40 comments top 9
Pulcinella 6 hours ago 2 replies      
You get hexagons because of close-packing.[1] Circles (or a 2D array of spheres) of the same size fit closest together when they are arranged in a hexagonal pattern. Push a bunch of marbles together and that's what you get.

The bees don't know anything about hexagons. They just make circles close together and then as the cells are filled, stepped on, and come into contact with other wax cells, they "ballon out" into a hexagon shape.


ineedasername 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I really dislike when articles use words such as "prefer" in this way. It conveys a level of intentionality that is not truly present. It would be better to say "Why hexagons appear often in nature." Or "Why nature produces hexagons"

Otherwise, the descriptor is not just imprecise, it is also misleading.

mcnamaratw 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Strange article. You can see that some of the statements about honeycombs in the first paragraph are wrong, just by looking at the first picture.
robbrown451 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Always wished pixels were hexagonal. Yeah the math would be a bit harder and vertical lines would be fuzzier at low resolution, but still.... https://www.quora.com/Why-are-computer-pixels-square
simcop2387 10 hours ago 0 replies      
PBS Infinite video on the same subject and how it expands into 4D space. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8jOxEGVyPo
ecesena 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Or simply the product of the first two (prime) numbers is 6.

Similarly we have 10 fingers and we like base 10, but for time we prefer something which is "better dividible" (pardon my english), i.e. 3x4x5 = 60.

gaius 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is this why France is hexagonal I wonder? Why aren't there more hexagonal countries?
tyrw 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I was really hoping the article would touch on Saturn's north pole hexagon, as it completely blows my mind every time I think about it.


Emotional Intelligence Needs a Rewrite nautil.us
84 points by dnetesn  14 hours ago   33 comments top 14
altonzheng 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I felt like the attack on "traditional" emotional intelligence in the beginning was contrived and not really thought through.

Yes, it's true that we assume we can approximate the emotional experience of others, but I think a critical piece the author left is the verbal part of emotional intelligence - the words someone says that convey nuances that facial expressions/non verbal cues don't. And I'm not saying what a person says is what they really mean. You need to be cognizant of both to hear the "real message". That's at the heart of emotional intelligence. I feel like the beginning was just a contrived critique made to draw the reader into the meat of the article. Can't we just examine the existing literature and add our own thoughts without suggesting some grand "rewrite"?

Also internal and external emotional intelligence are very different, I feel like somewhere the author conflated the two without making a clear distinction although maybe I just didn't read it deeply enough.

That said, the discussion on emotional granularity is very interesting and I will definitely be reading more into it.

vanderZwan 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
> How do you enable your brain to create a wider variety of emotions and improve your emotional intelligence? One approach is to learn new emotion words. Each new word seeds your brain with the capacity to make new emotion predictions, which your brain can employ as a tool to construct your future experiences and perceptions, and to direct your actions. Instead of perceiving someone as generically glad, learn to distinguish more specifics. Are they overjoyed or contented or grateful? Are they angry or indignant or resentful or bitter? More fine-grained emotions allow your brain to prepare for an array of different actions, whereas more generic emotions (angry, glad) confer less information and restrict your flexibility.

Time to dig into the dictionary of obscure sorrows.


0xcde4c3db 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> The idea that you can increase your emotional intelligence by broadening your emotion vocabulary is solid neuroscience. Your brain is not static; it rewires itself with experience. When you force yourself to learn new wordsemotion-related or otherwiseyou sculpt your brains microwiring, giving it the means to construct those emotional experiences, as well as your perceptions of others emotions, more effortlessly in the future.

This part makes me very leery of the strength of any claims in the article. The general phenomenon of neuroplasticity is not evidence that any particular intervention will do what somebody claims or expects. Quietly jumping that gap is a favorite method of peddlers of neurobullshit. Dr. Barrett has certainly earned a bit more benefit of the doubt than, say, Lumosity, but that doesn't make this particular line of argument any less grating.

dasil003 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a huge straw man to suggest that people believe emotional intelligence amounts to a mechanistic reading of facial expressions and body language. Emotional intelligence is just as much about understanding how people will react to things even when they're not in the room at all. Reading signals is just the tip of the iceberg, does anyone really think it's that simple?
hyperion2010 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's not forget those who are abundantly aware of the emotional state of those around them but simply choose not to act on that information because they find it irrelevant in their decision process. To an external observer it can look an awful lot like autism, among other things.
sattoshi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
>Now, I might know my husband well enough to tell when his scowl means hes puzzling something out versus when I should head for the hills, but thats because Ive had years of experience learning what his facial movements mean in different situations. Peoples movements in general, however, are tremendously variable.

Variable and yet really similar. There are general patterns and, as with all patterns, there are exceptions.

Years of experience with one person are not useless with another. Not as useful but helpful nonetheless.

Animats 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's going to be embarrassing when machine learning starts outperforming humans at this. Since that would be valuable to advertisers, a few billion dollars will be spent solving that problem. Remember, when you're watching your phone, it's watching you.
jventura 13 hours ago 2 replies      
> "How do you enable your brain to create a wider variety of emotions and improve your emotional intelligence? One approach is to learn new emotion words. Each new word seeds your brain with the capacity to make new emotion predictions (...)"

This is a very interesting article. However, I wonder if/how the concept (or skill) of emotional granularity can be obtained only from learning new words for emotions. It kind of reminds me of NLP (Neuro-Linguisting programming).

Anyone here has any knowledge on these subjects, or is aware of an accessible research paper where this is explained in a simple way? Also, how is this approach of emotional granularity seen by other researchers?

threatofrain 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised the article makes no mention of theory of mind, and I'm also surprised that one might discuss the capability of attributing emotional states to others and not mention the broader ability to attribute different mental states to others.

I'm also surprised to hear that there's scientific consensus that thought does not have an inhibiting effect on emotions. I wonder how that comments on Daniel Kahneman's observations of interacting system of cognition (System 1 & 2), where one may block the other? Is the author also saying that beliefs can't be changed to ultimately have a causal relationship with emotions?

xxxdarrenxxx 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I personally believe a lot of this can be learned like any other skill. You just need to approach it differently and actively, not passively.

That said, I think it's slightly overrated, because most people don't even understand their own emotions, and some don't even allow themselves to talk about emotions/cry in presence of friends/other's.

So if one doesn't even understand, allow or acknowledge his/her own feelings, how could one possibly begin to understand, observe or manipulate that in other's with accuracy.

And actually that's not even fully true.. (this is why I think it can also be learned) Someone with anti-social disorder (sociopath), contrary to popular believe has the same emotions as everyone else. It's their empathy which is less/nonexistent. Yet they tend to be very good in picking up nuances in social settings and perform on them.

A lot of it also depends on personality/upbringing. Parents who lie a lot to their children, potentially makes these children more apt in lying/bluffing and giving false trust themselves when they grow up, which is still a form off emotional intelligence, morality is a different aspect.

Another example; One with social anxiety could very well have a high emotional intelligence. They naturally spend way more time focusing on nuances of themselves as well as other's, as the innate fear will push their thoughts constantly (with all due respect to people who experience this)

So almost ironically they might be socially less present, but probably spot true feelings far faster and more precise than people who are more "in the moment".

* a small anecdote*

I spend a few years giving music lessons, and I told a student I could teach him to just hear the music then be able to play it by ear. They almost all said "I am not born with good ears".

I began to pick a guitar and play a few notes off a famous song. They recognized it as anyone would.

Then I played a song but played wrong notes randomly. He didn't spot the first one, but then he noticed.

I asked him, how did u know the song and recognize the wrong notes if your ears are shit? he laughed.

Thing is, our senses are all very good, everyone can hear when singers are out off tune, anyone can recognize a person by a voice or most songs by melody.

You just need to learn which sound fits which spot on the guitar, like pictures to words.

The hearing, just like empathy, or sight and smell for that matter is there, or will naturally develop if actively used, and more efficient with added knowledge and guidance.

ducttapecrown 12 hours ago 0 replies      
alexanderdmitri 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A common question I get while I'm thinking is "What's wrong?"
sova 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Whatever the context, keep writing. Emergent vocabularies must start somewhere
cowpig 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I am completely shocked the author of this article has published 200 peer-reviewed articles, testified before congress, etc...

> Lets begin with the assumption that you can detect emotion in another person accurately. [...] People who are happy sometimes smile and sometimes dont. Sometimes they even cry when theyre happy (say, at a wedding) and smile when theyre sad (when missing a beloved aunt who passed away).

Apparently the need for contextual cues and nuanced understanding renders the task of reading anothers' emotions futile for the author and her coleagues. I have found myself capable of overcoming it.

> A reasonable, science-backed way to define and practice emotional intelligence comes from a [process that] is completely unconscious.

Ah, yes. That very scientific and well-understood "consciousness" thing.

You shouldn't argue that people are approaching emotional intelligence wrong by appealing to neuroscience any more than you should tell people they've built their house wrong by appealing to particle physics.

Perfectionism versus Obsessive Compulsive Disorder psychologytoday.com
57 points by DanBC  13 hours ago   15 comments top 5
pkaye 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I got to admit an OCD/perfectionism trait (out of many I will not all list) I used to have when I was younger... I would install say an Linux distribution on my computer and somewhere a few hours or days afterwards I would make a slight mistake in configuring it and I felt a level of discomfort that I must reinstall the whole thing from scratch. One summer I spend a good part of time doing this kind of stuff and getting no productive stuff done. Used to think it was normal behavior until I learned about OCD in a book by chance. I called my hospital and spoke to a psychologist and the CBT therapy worked great for me. Thankfully I've not had OCD compulsions since then. I just look back at my youth and how much time I wasted acting that way...
joe_the_user 8 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the things about all these mainstream psychology arguments is that the phenomena are presented either a pathological condition with associated brain chemistry or a simple psychological difference of little consequence. There is no room anywhere in these discussions for person's condition to shade between cognitive difference that can be quite useful in some situations and related behavior that might be seen as a serious dysfunctional in other circumstances (and people).
0xFFFE 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is striving for an elegant solution making optimal use of resources same as striving for perfection? Question is half rhetorical, asking because I would like to hear other opinions.
Koshkin 11 hours ago 1 reply      
TL;DR: Perfectionism is OCPD (where 'P' stands for 'personality').

I think that most people who call themselves perfectionists are not really, they just like the way it sounds. But if they really are (whether because of OCPD or because they are trying), they tend to wreak havoc on things they want to make perfect - including their own lives...

danieltillett 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Has anyone met an actual perfectionist (i.e. someone who produces near perfect work)? All the "perfectionists" I have met are either delusional (i.e. their output is far from perfect), or who are just slow and who use it as an excuse for their lack of productivity.
Easy Code Visual Assembler IDE easycode.cat
76 points by networked  15 hours ago   8 comments top 7
userbinator 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Windows 95/98/ME/NT40/2000/XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/8.1/10

That is an impressive compatibility list which probably few software today could claim. Whenever I come across "real" Asm resources on the Internet (as opposed to the deluge of content from who can barely read, much less write Asm), IMHO as an Asm user myself, it's always worth reading and bookmarking, since such content is quite rare.

This also reminds me of RosAsm, another interesting Asm-IDE with its own assembler and slightly-unconventional (but still far more pleasant to use than e.g. AT&T) syntax, along with other surprising features like a disassembler:


The author, Ren Tournois, was known for fierce flamewars in opposition to Randall Hyde and his not-a-real-assembler HLA and a failed attempt to involve ReactOS, and developed a bit of a cult-like following as a result. Unfortunately the original pages are no longer around, but mirrors exist and archive.org doesn't forget either:



A review of RosAsm:


IMHO things like this are what make up the more interesting parts of the Internet.

kryptiskt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess everybody is too astounded to comment. Me too, I have nothing worthwhile to say about this weird artifact, which seems almost to have dropped in from an alternate reality. But I have to say that I love that it is out there, for the presumably small band of people that want and/or need it. Just don't try to use it to build the next Rails.
feelin_googley 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very focused on Windows. What about other OS?

Of the assemblers supported I know FASM works with UNIX.

Also it needs no linker and can use libc.

Isn't arguing over syntax of mneumonics -- arbitrary abbreviations -- like arguing over tabs versus spaces? (Arguing about personal preferences.)

Isn't it the syntax of the instructions (hex/binary) that really matters?

The recent presentation on finding illegal Intel instructions (sandsifter) showed how a little known operand size override prefix could cause problems for most popular dissassemblers. That was a great read.

cable2600 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I used Turbo Assembler in college. Not the Borland version a different one sued by Borland over the name.

My professor joked that ASM operates by voodoo that is really hard to learn and master. I haven't programmed it in a long time. I got VB experience so I am glad to see this, thank you.

sova 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Absolutely fantastic. Visual coding four the win.
chris_wot 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is so weird that it's amazing. I'm speechless.
MycroftJones 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sort of in awe. Wow.
London police data shows average of 1.3 acid attacks per day (282 attacks YTD) cnbc.com
32 points by mbgaxyz  3 hours ago   12 comments top 6
MichaelGG 57 minutes ago 3 replies      
Odd/interesting that they don't mention motives. They give one example of using acid to commit a mugging. Yet[1] seems to state that acid attacks are mostly male-on-female violence for relationships/shame issues.


So it is a real threat to tourists? It's like when you hear about high crime in some area, but it's mostly gang members killing each other -- it's a somewhat irrelevant statistic for tourists. London should release demographics on who is doing this to whom.

otp124 1 hour ago 1 reply      
We recently moved to central-ish London (Zone 1), in a generally safe business area. A few weeks ago my wife & sister were walking home and a man started spraying them with a bottle, screaming "It's raining". Luckily it appeared to be just water.

They we're annoyed that they were wet, but now I look at this statistic, and it scares me to think that my family could have been painfully maimed.

acdjuiamadfn 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are there any patterns in the data? I'd like to find out:

1) If these are people who have commited a crime before2) Were raised in certain cultures/locations3) Are gangs

zkms 51 minutes ago 1 reply      
Does this represent a sui generis rise of violence or is this the result of substitution of weapons to commit crimes (like mugging, say) that were already happening?
junkculture 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is this peculiar to London or do other places in the UK have the same problem?
dan1234 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a link to the data (which is only mentioned once in the article).
Show HN: Serverless Code Editor framework for any programming language github.com
41 points by jockdarock  13 hours ago   7 comments top 3
shortstuffsushi 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm confused, how is it server less if it literally had a server.py file that acts as an HTTP server? I'm not sure, but it appears it may also expect to run in Docker, for another layer of complexity. Finally, why this vs any other editor? What advantage does it offer, especially if the first two assumptions in this post are accurate?

It seems to also be a sort of repl or something that evaluates the code you write as you write it maybe? I'd have to look at this from my computer to understand, but it's not what I expected from the title.

Zyst 8 hours ago 2 replies      
>Serverless Code Editor Framework

Library Reactive Functional Composable

thangngoc89 6 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: A repl that uses Docker and executing code in Function-as-a-service way
Detecting Chrome headless antoinevastel.github.io
288 points by avastel  18 hours ago   130 comments top 23
westoque 18 hours ago 10 replies      
Your solutions in detecting Chrome headless is good.

But someone who really wants to do web scraping or anything similar will use a real browser like Firefox or Chrome run it through xvfb and control it using webdriver and maybe expose it through an API. I find these to be almost undetectable.. The only way you can mitigate this is to do more interesting mitigation techniques. Liie IP detection, Captchas, etc.

edit: when I say real browser, I mean running the full browser process including extensions etc.

shakna 18 hours ago 3 replies      
> ... to automate malicious tasks. The most common cases are web scraping...

I really don't think scraping should fall onto that list.

There isn't even a consensus in the IT world whether or not scraping should be able to be legally restricted.

stevefeinstein 18 hours ago 2 replies      
So again someone wants to punish all the legitimate people using a web site to get some marginal benefit from detecting the remaining <1%. The inevitable false positives don't affect the "malicious" users. Only the legitimate ones.And how much will this bloat the page load by? Adding more code to an already overly large page isn't helping anyone.

Just let the web be the web, and stop trying to control it.

JoshTriplett 15 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks like a list of bugs that need fixing; ideally, headless Chrome should be completely indistinguishable from ordinary Chrome, so that it gets an identical view of the web.
sorenbs 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Leaving aside for a moment that many "malicious" use cases are actually fairly common and totally legitimate.

Headless Chrome is awesome and such a step up from previous automation tools.

The Chromeless project provides a nice abstraction and received 8k start in its first two weeks on Github: https://github.com/graphcool/chromeless

tscs37 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I do hope that these methods get patched, I tend to archive my bookmark collection with chrome headless to prevent loosing content when such a site goes offline. I hate it when a website requires me to play special snowflake to scrape them for this purpose.
josteink 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> Beyond the two harmless use cases given previously, a headless browser can also be used to automate malicious tasks. The most common cases are web scraping

I guess I disagree with the premise of this article.

How is web scraping fundamental malicious?

What rights/expectations can you have that a publicly accessible website you create must be used by humans only?

fforflo 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Since when is web scraping a "malicious task"?
XCSme 15 hours ago 1 reply      
If someone wants to scrape your site he will do it, just find workarounds against your "protection". It is impossible to tell the difference between a real user and an automated scrape request, you can only make their job a bit harder.
tyingq 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how many of these were deliberate, and how many were missed. Google has a vested interest in bot detection.

And by releasing headless chrome, they killed off some of the competition. (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/phantomjs/9aI5d-LDuN...)

PascLeRasc 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't want to start an argument here, but can someone explain why web scraping is considered malicious?
tomatsu 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> var body = document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0];

You can just use document.body.

I also suggest to use a data URL instead. E.g. "data:," is an empty plain text file, which, as you can imagine, won't be interpreted as a valid image.

 let image = new Image(); image.onerror = () => { console.log(image.width); // 0 -> headless }; document.body.appendChild(image); image.src = 'data:,';
> In case of a vanilla Chrome, the image has a width and height that depends on the zoom of the browser

The zoom doesn't affect this. It's always in CSS "pixels".

hossbeast 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Beyond the two harmless use cases given previously, a headless browser can also be used to automate malicious tasks. The most common cases are web scraping, increase advertisement impressions or look for vulnerabilities on a website."

Cheating an advertiser I'll grant you, but the other two are 100% legitimate.

netsharc 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Shouldn't the first block of code have "HeadlessChrome" instead of just "Chrome" as the search term?
askvictor 11 hours ago 0 replies      
All of these could quite easily be overcome by compiling your own headless chrome. It wouldn't surprise me if there is a fork to this effect soon.
skinnymuch 18 hours ago 1 reply      
How many of these can be faked with some additional code with Chrome headless?

Regardless as others are saying, using complete Chrome or Firefox with webdriver solves all these, right? Is there a way to detect the webdriver extension? That's the only difference I think from a normal browser.

DannyDaemonic 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be willing to bet that missing image size variance is more of a bug or oversight, and is something that will be fixed.
assafmo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"... a headless browser can also be used to automate malicious tasks. The most common cases are web scraping... "

Since when web scraping considered malicious? Companies like Google are doing billions because they use web scraping.

userbinator 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Those who want a more "authentic" experience would do better to use a real normal browser, and control it from outside.
fiatjaf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't it possible to detect a bot by tracking some events like random mouse moving, scrolling, clicking etc.? Why weren't these kinds of detection tried in place of captchas, for example?
codedokode 15 hours ago 1 reply      
What about mining cryptocurrency on a page load as a solution against scrapers?
revelation 17 hours ago 1 reply      
The irony of using JavaScript to detect scraping or bots when the majority of them not used to trick ads don't ever execute any of it because they are a better curl.
asveikau 15 hours ago 1 reply      
A polyglot's guide to multiple dispatch (2016) thegreenplace.net
41 points by tosh  14 hours ago   7 comments top 3
leephillips 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Multiple dispatch is one of the main characteristic features of Julia:


avodonosov 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's C++ only, no Polyglot
andreasgonewild 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Multiple dispatch is trivial in C++ using overloaded functions, the compiler will select the most specialized version for the supplied parameters without any visitor tricks. The "problem" is that it doesn't play well with polymorphism since it can't trigger specialized overloads for base class pointers/references, I think the real problem is polymorphism.
Kids Pass Just Reminded Us How Hard Responsible Disclosure Is troyhunt.com
200 points by ohjeez  18 hours ago   62 comments top 12
ScottBurson 14 hours ago 11 replies      
I have trouble understanding this mindset. It's like, if you were walking away from your car in a parking lot, and someone said "Hey! You've left your car unlocked!", and you yelled at them angrily "Stop looking at my car!!!". It makes no sense at all, and yet it's practically the universal response from people who don't know what they're doing.

People occasionally suggest that software engineers should be professionally licensed. I have a different proposal: I think that people who want to manage a business involving software development should have to get trained and licensed.

ETA: while my proposal is somewhat facetious when considered about all software development, perhaps it's not completely inconceivable that we could require businesses collecting any personal information from users to be licensed and audited. We already have PCI-DSS compliance rules for businesses using credit cards; this would be analogous, though it would have to be enforced by the government, as credit cards wouldn't necessarily be involved.

sam_goody 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Heh! Nothing new in the behavior.

Mr. Feynman famously found you could lift the combo off a safe [with the a-bomb's secrets] when it was empty. When he alerted the Colonel not to leave his safe open, the response was to:

send a note around to everyone in the plant which said, During his last visit, was Mr. Feyman at any time in your office, near your office, or a walking through your office? Some people answered yes; others said no. The ones who said yes got another note: Please change the combination of your safe. That was his solution. _I_ was the danger!

swang 14 hours ago 2 replies      
BBC posted a followup...

1. Kidspass spokeswoman said that it was their off-hours crew that blocked Alex and Troy. They were unblocked 10 hours later.

2. They will institute a vulnerability policy as a result of this.


z3t4 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Writing "They have a serious vuln" on twitter is not responsible. Try to hack those who have bounties, please leave the others alone, or at least contact them privately when you find a vuln. Give them a chance to fix it, and if you want to be helpful also tell them what the issue is.
avaer 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Putting text on a page isn't hard stuff. The hard stuff is teaching computer security to an organization that mistakes responsible disclosure for a hack attempt, and thinks a Twitter block will protect them.

It's probably also hard to know what a good security audit looks like, unless you grasp basic security in the first place.

I have no idea what the solution is.

confounded 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Very few companies that use technology are technology companies.

Is there no open-source standard for authentication and user-data management? Do companies really need to roll their own each time?

coldcode 12 hours ago 0 replies      
After so many decades in this industry nothing surprises me at all. Security is usually an afterthought that barely warrants spending more that a token amount. I once did a contract at a public university and found the app that every department used to verify with the state that money was appropriately spent used incrementing id's in the url and used GET to handle the delete button. I wound up fixing it for them on the way out (after weeks of telling me it wasn't a concern). A simple command line script would have deleted the entire database leaving the university with no budget for the upcoming year. Another place I worked kept production passwords in the code repository; when I complained they told me they passed their audits every year so it didn't matter. HIPAA company in the US no less.
S_A_P 15 hours ago 1 reply      
All I can imagine that is happening there is panic. Defensive behavior such as this indicates either they don't really know how to fix this quickly, or they just don't care.
reitanqild 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Related - but only to the blocking:

A friend of mine who works with one of the really expensive consulting companies witnessed someone lashing out on twitter about how bad such and such people where.

So he answered along the lines of: I grew up in such and such home, my experience is totally different and I'll be happy to buy you lunch.

Answer: blocked.

Blocking is a power thing for some people. IIRC it used to be a thing in the old Usenet and of course it existed before that in other forms.

tarr11 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What is a good way to implement responsible disclosure for single developer / side projects?

Eg, when you don't have the resources to pay for bug bounties etc.

notyourday 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The solution to this is simple. Disclose everything. Have these companies destroyed. Have everyone who works for them fired and become unhirable. Have their houses foreclosed on because they cannot afford to pay the mortgages or rent.

That's the only way to ensure that the security is taken seriously.

DanBC 14 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the benefits of the oppressive regime in the UK is the proliferation of regulators.

The Information Commissioner is the regulator for this kind of thing.


They do take action on this kind of thing.

Omega Ophthalmics is an eye implant platform with the power of continuous AR techcrunch.com
28 points by prostoalex  12 hours ago   10 comments top 5
bmcusick 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I recall a character from a Neal Stephenson novel who killed themselves after their retina implant got hacked and they were shown non-stop advertisements even when sleeping.
Xoros 7 hours ago 0 replies      
...and then you can record anything you see, and then here is a way to rewatch it, and then it's a black mirror episode.

Paranoia apart, I'll tend to agree with other comments here.

A device like Google glasses, well why not after all, since you can choose to put them in a drawer (not debating on the fact that you potentially record other people, which is really bad). But having a device you might loose control over and can't switch off ?

It's like those webcam on laptop that can be switch on by a hacker or your OS without you knowing it. First thing I do is to put a paper on it.

Security matters. And I'm finally perhaps a bit paranoid after all.

eximius 10 hours ago 1 reply      
So, they have created an empty box to later put tech in? That seems like the easy part - not that surgery like this is easy, but making AR tech that small is a much bigger order.
mattbierner 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It wasn't clear to me: is the idea that you install the hardware housing with a more invasive surgery upfront and then could swap out the hardware more easily down the road? Would a second surgery be required for that?
PhasmaFelis 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm into this as a concept--customizable vision enhancements--but VR/AR? I don't want anything with a standard network connection in my head unless security gets way better. Hacking my phone is one thing; hacking my eyes is something else entirely.
Manifold Garden (Escheresque Puzzle Game) Teaser manifold.garden
17 points by SonOfLilit  9 hours ago   3 comments top 2
marcosscriven 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I love the shading style - is this simply called 'flat shading'? There's still a subtle gradation.Talking of puzzle 3D games, I really want Portal 3.
Willamin 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminds me a lot of the game Antichamber: http://www.antichamber-game.com
On the Effect of Semantically Enriched Context Models on Software Modularization programming-journal.org
26 points by mpweiher  16 hours ago   3 comments top 3
rntz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't really understand what this abstract is saying. Can someone explain it for me?

Are they trying to apply NLP techniques to software source code? To what end?

Animats 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this for real, or is it a hoax?
kelvin0 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Literate programming?
       cached 6 August 2017 10:02:01 GMT