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1
Three Years in Identity Theft Hell bloomberg.com
104 points by ColinWright  2 hours ago   52 comments top 3
1
sillysaurus3 2 hours ago 6 replies      
Counterintuitively, this is evidence that the Equifax breach isn't necessarily going to cause massive harm. If someone wanted to impersonate you, they could already.

I remain hopeful that the full list of 140M SSNs will be posted in full. It's a rare opportunity: if that happens, the US will have no choice but to finally switch to a new system. One that doesn't rely on SSNs being private. That's the absurdity. It is easy to steal your identity because we have allowed it to be easy.

It's going to be difficult to switch to a new system, but the pain will be worth it. Imagine if the author could finally have peace of mind because nobody could impersonate him.

That is a fairytale, admittedly. It's always going to be possible to steal someone's identity if you're determined. But just look how trivial it is right now. Your driver's license plus the thief's photo is all they need. And it's possible to forge: they don't even need to swipe your physical one.

Those are the keys to the kingdom, said Bo Holland, CEO of AllClear ID, an identity-monitoring service. Once you have somebody's name, social, birth date, and address, you can go and open new accounts.

The SSN shouldn't be the critical key in that list.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Erp8IAUouus

2
sus_007 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I submitted this like 2 days ago :Dhttps://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15247810
3
myrandomcomment 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Okay, blocked of time to freeze my credit on Monday.
2
We've failed: open access is winning and we must change our approach wiley.com
363 points by mathgenius  7 hours ago   210 comments top 33
1
infogulch 7 hours ago 9 replies      
The content distribution problem is capital-s Solved. The reason why publishers are floundering is because their product doesn't add value anymore.

As a group they have slowly been cutting out all the value-adds and buckling down on only one thing: distribution. Distribution is not valuable anymore because distribution has no marginal cost. This is classic rent-seeking. Cut your costs so far that your business does nothing, nothing except extract rent out of a pre-existing monopoly. This lasts exactly as long as it takes the market to make a competitor.

How do you win against free? Be better than free.

2
moyix 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The repeated use of the word "pirate" here is absurd. From a moral standpoint, the argument against piracy is that it deprives creators of their livelihood. In scientific publishing, creators (and even reviewers!) are not compensated by publishers, and "piracy" actually helps their careers (this is why scientists are, in general, so strongly in favor of Sci-hub). But by abusing emotionally laden language and false comparisons with the music industry, the author hopes to win sympathy for an industry that, honestly, needs to radically change or die.
3
jly 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Sci-hub has been a total game changer. Plug in a DOI, get a paper. No accounts/tracking, no payment, no looking up the journal and their access model. Just research. The simplicity of use and ease of access is unparalleled.

I'm not a working scientist - I have no paid-for University access to a variety of journals or other such connections, nor do I know the intricate details of how research is published. What I do know is that I'm a citizen helping to fund much of this work, and access to primary literature is critically important to make informed decisions about our future. The academics are paid a salary to produce findings, not to sell individual copies (unlike the music industry comparisons). While I'm willing to pay something, I can't be expected to pay the huge costs to access individual papers that are demanded today. Open access journals like PLOS are fantastic, but it's an unfortunate reality that much of the quality research is published on platforms that charge $30 for a paper. Until this changes, sci-hub is my answer.

4
neilk 7 hours ago 3 replies      
If anyone is confused like I was:

"Gold open access": publish paper in a publicly accessible academic journal.

"Green open access": self-publish. For instance, throw it on a website, and allow it to be indexed.

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

5
solatic 7 hours ago 4 replies      
It's not that complicated. The author seems to think that academic journals were somehow high-quality products that were co-opted by privacy. The music industry also, once upon a time, thought that offering disks in record stores was a high-quality offering.

Music pirates forced the music industry to realize that they were charging too much for user-hostile formats. Publishing pirates ought to force the publishing industry to realize that they are charging too much for user-hostile formats, too.

The music industry started to win back market-share from pirates when they understood that they had to compete with pirate offerings and offer a better, higher-quality product. The results were iTunes, then Spotify and similar competitors (Google Music etc.). The publishing industry ought to be no exception.

6
wyc 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Information economics seem to be playing out exactly as expected. The price of a good is reverting to its cost of production--near $0 for copying bytes. You can't stop the rock.

In Information Rules, Shapiro & Varian argue that if you're selling an information product, all that you can charge for is the value that you add on top of the information, such as convenience, freshness, etc. It's best to assume the information itself is free.

7
dannypgh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
In my opinion, at the root of a lot of these problems is the fact that copyright has moved from being something designed to have a very limited duration and then expire, to something that lasts far more than a lifetime.

If copyright still expired in 14 or 28 years, we'd have a rich public domain from which to draw from. Think about all of the "fan fiction" that could be commercialized, or the textbooks which could be freely modified and redistributed by students and the academic community.

Because the public domain has been cheated out of such wealth (in no small part due to lobbying by Disney and other IP-based corporations) it really doesn't surprise me that piracy is so popular.

8
philjohn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
They get the content for free, they get the editing for free, now that they are digital rather than print, distribution costs almost nothing ... and then they sell back the research to the institutions who created it in the first place.

They're a parasite, and have been for years.

The other awful part is their "bundling" - only want access to journals X, Y and Z? Tough. You have to buy them in a package that includes bottom of the barrel journals A-W as well, for a huge fee.

9
dragonwriter 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article and it's original title are about black open access (piracy) winning over green (author-distributed in parallel to journal publication) and gold (journals being paid, per article, to directly provide open access) open access models, not about open access winning over non-open access. Taking black out of the title radically changes the meaning.
10
red_admiral 4 hours ago 0 replies      
In cryptography, we've had eprint.iacr.org for a while now and if you want your paper to get noticed, an eprint version will do more for you than a talk at a second-tier conference. Even at first-tier conferences like Crypto, people will sometimes have "eprint 20xx/yyy" on their last slide to encourage people to go and read the paper.

Peer review still has direct value, and peer reviewed publications on your CV have indirect value so the IACR conferences (and possibly Springer/LNCS) aren't going away any time soon. But everyone I know of in the field looks on eprint first when they actually want to read papers.

11
allenz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Title, together with the domain, is very misleading. The impression is that Wiley is admitting defeat against open access. Instead, the author (not affiliated with Wiley) regrets that piracy is winning over open access.
12
jmcgough 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Open access journals have failed in part because they lack the prestige of top tier journals like cell or nature
13
Chiba-City 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting any technical books even for money before Borders and now Amazon arrived was almost impossible. I used to go to DC's Library of Congress to get papers on garbage collection. Publishers freaked out over Xerox machines during the 80's. Financial windfall incentives were never good reasons to study or design. Broke lesser universities mostly funnel noise into our pools of research. Silly entertainment fictions and games are more valuable in dollars. Information asymmetries on taxpayer subsidized research was both unjust and leveraged for cascading abuses. Non-monetizable riches are the HIGH CLASS problems our civilization needs. We can solve that "problem" forever.
14
amigoingtodie 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Are the pursuits of knowledge and profit in conflict?
15
gobengo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Journals and publishers should start focusing on creating value out of their community: the authors and readers they've attracted.

http://hypothes.is/ is a nonprofit that makes annotation tech that some are using to publish peer-reviews, not just the article. I think that's pretty cool. Give the content away for free (you have to/should), but focus on having the best community around it.

16
beisner 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I am very much in favor of open access, but there is one service that these publishers could definitely provide that would definitely be a value-add: replication. I can imagine a prestigious journal or publisher using the money they've collected to sponsor studies that replicate results. I need to think more on how this model could work such that piracy doesn't circumvent it, but I think there is definitely a need for more replication studies and prestigious publishers have an incentive to ensure that their studies are replicable.
17
heisenbit 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of faulty, manipulated or statistically underpowered studies out there. Some are doing real damage and the only way to stop it is to look at the details and discredit them.

Worse there are people out there who specialize in selective quoting and manipulating our understanding of science. Case in point "The plant paradox" book telling everyone that egg yokes reduce cholesterol and citing a paper which said the exact opposite: https://youtu.be/7NT4q_5dfLs?t=216

People wielding science have a lot of power - without transparency there is no accountability.

18
Froyoh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Cody Doctorow's Information Doesn't Want to Be Free is a good read about this.

https://archive.org/details/InformationDoesntWantToBeFree

19
eecc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Love how these parasites appropriate words like "fairness" and define the scope of all possible ethical options within the bounds of whatever business model is profitable for them...

... bah

20
analognoise 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Pay to read an article? No, but I'd pay to talk to somebody who understood it, or who could answer questions about it. Is that a viable extra service that the publishers could move into?
21
snthd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Can we not just have the law changed and buy them all out? Like ending slavery.
22
dougmccune 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The topic of academic journals comes up repeatedly on HN (which is great) and is inevitably filled with an echo chamber of people saying that publishers add zero value, produce a literally worthless product, and they should all be put out of business. Ive grown tired of the hyperbole, but sometimes (like now) I try to add a bit of perspective from within the industry. FWIW I serve on the board of SAGE, which is an independent but relatively large academic publisher.

Publishing articles has real costs. This is not about hosting PDFs, its about everything that goes into editorial curation, managing peer review, marketing a journal to build a brand, copy editing/formatting, and then yes, finally at the end of the day hosting a PDF. Those tasks do indeed have costs. They range from anywhere from something on the order of $500 - $5,000 per published article. Nobody is publishing at scale for cheaper than that. The argument that it should only cost something like $30 to publish an article is a complete fantasy. So if you want to argue about the value add and that all publishers do is sit around collecting rent for doing nothing, you have to check your hyperbole and come to the debate with reasoned arguments about the realistic costs of performing the very real tasks that are performed.

There has never been a better time to try to be an academic publisher for cheaper than the incumbents. The tech infrastructure is there, clearly the PR and anti-publisher sentiment is on your side. So why arent there millions of publishers springing up to publish articles for $30 a pop (or even better - free!)? Its because its not possible to do the job thats required for free or for that low a price. But there are literally no technical barriers to someone trying. Come up with a complete alternative to the journal system for publishing research, or figure out how to magically do it for free. Theres nothing technical in your way, but there are still major hurdles. Youll find that doing the job a publisher does in fact involve work. You can deride that work all you want, but you cannot deny that publisher do indeed spend the money to do that work. So if you think that work is truly worthless you should launch a competitor that doesnt do any work at all.

But the biggest barrier to radical changes in business model is all cultural. Academics are slow to change, and you cannot underestimate the importance of reputation. So any competing product has to address the cultural role that journals play (working as proxy for quality measurement and assessing academic job applicants). So yes, you can put PDFs online for basically free. Thats not the job of journals. To replace journals you have to solve the content curation and bestowing of prestige issues in some other way. There are loads of people trying (or startups that have died trying), and so far nothing has done much to dislodge the journal (and particularly Impact Factor) as the sole arbiter of academic quality. Its a heroic task to try to tackle, because largely I think the world would be a better place if there was some real disruption in how academics judge other academics.

Now onto Gold OA. From my perspective Gold OA, which means the author funds the publication of the article, typically through baking it into the research funding grant, is making HUGE progress. Gold OA publishing is one of the fastest growing segments (both by revenue and number of articles published) for all major publishers at least in STM fields. In fields where there isnt readily accessible grant money (the humanities and social sciences) there isnt nearly as much progress on Gold OA (and the path forward isnt clear either). But Gold OA is so mainstream now that I can imagine it gobbling up the entirety of STM publishing in 10-20 years (god I hope before that, but this industry moves slow).

Im happy to talk more about academic publishing from the counter perspective to most people here, although a lot of these discussions can be more productive outside of the HN forum. Feel free to email me (details in profile).

23
modeless 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's simple. Stop selling journals and host conferences instead. People are still willing to pay for conferences even if the papers are published open access. The gatekeeping role played by journals can be replaced by conferences.
24
CryoLogic 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I spent over $1,000 one quarter on books because I couldn't buy ANY of my books used as they all had half of the content in one-time online codes. Even worse, the online codes expire every quarter.
25
scottlegrand2 6 hours ago 2 replies      
1. Go to the library of a public university

2. Download all the articles you want to a USB stick and print them at work.

3. Profit!!!

Downvoted? I thought that this was relevant to the whole publisher issue myself. They provide zero incremental value and serve as little more than incremental friction towards accessing their content freely. Notice that step 2 was not upload to scihub.

Peer review, the last thing that they did provide, seems to be undergoing disruption by crowdsourced attempts at replicating results.

26
yk 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> After all, the pirates have long since been chased out of the music business (Gapper, 2017).

Did somebody tell the pirates?

27
KKKKkkkk1 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The job of the journals is in providing middle-man services for scientists. Everyone loves to hate middle men, but sometimes you can't do without them. The best way to trade equities is on a stock exchange. Similarly, the best way to prove that you're a scientist of the caliber that publishes in Nature or Science is to publish in Nature or Science.
28
CamperBob2 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"After all, the pirates have long since been chased out of the music business (Gapper, 2017)."

The pirates were doing the chasing. Without the pirates, we wouldn't have multiple competing services that grant unlimited access to practically every note of commercial recorded music for a very modest amount of money.

If scientific publishing had a Spotify or Apple Music, then there would be no need for a sci-hub. Your move, Wiley.

29
tombert 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I definitely have issue with the fact that so many papers are behind Paywalls, and I don't really have a problem with SciHub, since I think research should be open, but don't most of the major professional organizations/communities give you a Spotify-like access to papers?

I know my ACM membership, which is ~$200 a year has given me access to a ton of compsci papers. Maybe ACM is the exception on this?

30
Aloha 7 hours ago 2 replies      
One of my frustrations is that scientific papers decades old are still locked behind a paywall - so while I might voluntarily donate something if I find the content useful - I'm not for example willing to pay 40 dollars to find out if an article that is 60 years old is interesting or useful - but I might pay 1-2 dollars after the fact. I totally get paywalling say.. anything newer than 5 years - I don't get the point of paywalling something 40-50-60 years old.
31
unixhero 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Fuck yeah. This is fantastic.
32
dmitriid 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> brought forth a roar of policies and mandates that aim to oblige authors to change their publishing habits

Right. Blame the authors. Not, say Elsevier, who demands authors remove their own research from their own sites and charges exorbitant prices for access to journals.

> Now, some European countries are trying a new approach: to demand of the major publishers nationwide open access contracts, such as Projekt DEAL in Germany

Indeed. Because it's not the authors who are to blame.

- In July 2015, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced a plan to start boycotting Elsevier, which refused to negotiate on any Open Access policy for Dutch universities

- In December 2016, Nature Publishing Group reported that academics in Germany, Peru and Taiwan are to lose access to Elsevier journals as negotiations had broken down with the publisher

etc etc. etc.

"What I find startling ... [that] 15 years on from the Budapest Open Access Declaration, a pirate site is needed at all." asks the author of the article. Why, indeed.

> Sci-Hub, which is self-reporting more than 60 million articles freely available (Sci-Hub, 2017) and could have harvested nearly all scholarly literature (Himmelstein, Romeo, McLaughlin, Greshake, & Greene, 2017) if true, Sci-Hub has single-handedly won the race to make all journal articles open access.

So... WHY IS THIS A BAD THING?

> Set against this are the combined efforts of stakeholders in scholarly communications who, after two decades, have managed only to get around half the world's research articles open, with the rest still behind a paywall 34 years post-publication

WHY ARE THEY SET AGAINST THIS?

> For books, despite initiatives like Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN), Knowledge Unlatched, and Open Book Publishers, progress has been glacial. At the time of writing, there are just over 8,000 titles listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (http://www.doabooks.org/), which considering that Springer alone offers nearly 280,000 titles from its online bookshop suggests that the proportion of books published open access has yet to reach 2%.

"What I find startling ... [that] 15 years on from the Budapest Open Access Declaration, a pirate site is needed at all." asks the author of the article.

.... and then he goes on blame authors, and only authors.

> On the author side, peer review management, copyediting, and language services could be offered along with services to promote the publications and make them more accessible to non-technical audiences.

Peer review is already done mostly for free. Why does he keep blaming the authors?

Surprisingly, after spending the entire article vilifying the authors, the author of the article reaches this conclusion: " Critically, only one actor is needed to start this process of unbundling: the publisher. In making a basic, legal version free for anyone to read, gratis open access is achieved at a stroke, and it would start to make the pirates redundant."

orly?

33
fiatjaf 7 hours ago 3 replies      
The subject is not new at all, and this is just opinion. Why does it deserve more attention than an HN comment?
3
HP Updates Z8 Workstations: Up to 56 Cores, 3 TB RAM, 9 PCIe Slots, 1700W anandtech.com
26 points by jseliger  1 hour ago   13 comments top 5
1
the_real_sparky 8 minutes ago 1 reply      
I've got an HP Z640 workstation with dual E4-2690's and it is basically silent under full load. It has no problem running all 28 cores at 3.2GHz which is the max all-core speed for that processor.
2
rl3 19 minutes ago 1 reply      
>AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 Graphics (16 GB HBM2)

Surprised the Radeon Pro SSG isn't an option. It's basically the WX 9100 with 2TB of flash memory slapped on that you can use as VRAM:

https://pro.radeon.com/en/product/pro-series/radeon-pro-ssg/

3
elorant 10 minutes ago 1 reply      
Just for the RAM you'll need $20k. So I guess the whole rig would cost at least $30k. That is of course if you max out all the equipment.
4
userbinator 37 minutes ago 2 replies      
It will be quieter than a rackmount server since there's more room for bigger, slower-turning fans that move the same rate of air, but at full load is still likely to be quite loud.
5
0xbear 17 minutes ago 2 replies      
These days if you need proper compute, you need to focus on the GPU. NVIDIA 10 series GPUs are 10x the throughput of high end intel CPUs, and less than 1/10th the cost. Its not even funny anymore. Its a shame you cant even have 4 GPUs in such an expensive and bulky workstation. Back to the drawing board, HP.
4
Eclipse OpenJ9 Open-source JVM github.com
178 points by jsiepkes  7 hours ago   52 comments top 14
1
walkingolof 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the IBM J9 donated to the Eclipse foundation:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_J9
2
notimetorelax 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The "Welcome to the Eclipse OpenJ9 repository" is just brilliant. So many product blogs and source code repositories fail to introduce the product first.
3
ledgerdev 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's get straight to the really important question, can J9 or AOT help maybe just a little with clojure startup time woes?
4
vbezhenar 3 hours ago 1 reply      
That's awesome. It was always some weird situation with abstract JVM specification but only one de-facto standard implementation which everyone used. I hope J9 will be a viable alternative, so everyone wins.
5
hyperrail 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems like such a long time ago since Sun/Oracle and Apache Software Foundation fought over the licensing of the Java Technology Compatibility Kit (Java implementation test suite) for Apache Harmony, their JVM and Java class library implementation which was used as part of Android for a long time.[1,2]

Hopefully OpenJ9 will meet with better success. On paper, it seems to meet the restrictions that Oracle currently imposes for TCK access, namely that it is available under a GPL license and that its class library is derived from OpenJDK.[3,4] And it comes from IBM, which has been able to put aside its differences with Oracle on OpenJDK in the past, when it became clear that Oracle would never support Harmony (which IBM previously backed).[5]

But when it comes to Oracle and intellectual property, who knows?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Harmony#Difficulties_to...

[2] http://www.apache.org/jcp/sunopenletter.html

[3] http://openjdk.java.net/groups/conformance/JckAccess/

[4] http://openjdk.java.net/legal/octla-java-se-8.pdf

[5] http://blog.joda.org/2010/10/no-java-7-end-game_4619.html

6
darren0 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. It's been about 6 years since I last used j9, but at the time I used it it was extremely good. But I was running on Power, which is it's sweet spot.
7
riku_iki 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Curious what performance it has comparing to default VM from OpenJDK.
8
crudbug 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting news in Java world.

Does this support AOT ?

9
leoh 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Wonder if it will be possible to compile under OS X. Curiously OS X binaries have never been available for J9.
10
yctim 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats! This is really cool!
11
wiz21c 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it a move from IBM to sidestep Oracle ? (I have no idea, just asking)
12
bobsgame 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Will a Java expert (JVM developer) please answer this question? Thank you.

How impossible would it be to add a delete keyword to the JVM, and why?

13
coolspot 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Better late than never.
14
kodablah 6 hours ago 2 replies      
So is this OpenJDK-derived? If so, too bad, I've been hoping for a truly independent implementation. If not, does it pass the TCK?
5
Wind energy used to mine cryptocurrency to fund climate research julianoliver.com
40 points by kawera  2 hours ago   14 comments top 6
1
alexasmyths 38 minutes ago 2 replies      
'crypto-currency' is an accounting treatment, it's not 'value creation'.

There's no net-value created by doing the 'mining part' - in fact, it's a value-destroying activity.

Why waste electricity doing nothing?

Generate electricity that others can use, sell that, and pay for research.

2
jessriedel 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
The interesting abstract idea here is to use excess power capacity during the night or windy periods in given region for computing applications (like mining or high-latency cloud computing) where geography is irrelevant. This is a cool strategy for arbitraging away one of the biggest problems with renewable energy sources (intermittency). And it should only get more effective as the ratio of power society devotes to computation vs. physical use (heating, cooling, etc.) increases. Not sure why I'd never heard of it before.

(The application of the earned money to funding climate research is basically unrelated.)

EDIT: Maybe not. I'm getting article with conflicting estimates for future growth, but this study

https://eta.lbl.gov/publications/united-states-data-center-e...

suggests that data center energy use has recently slowed dramatically, to just 4% per year. Very surprising to me.

3
x2398dh1 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
What is the cost per watt hour of this setup when all of the electrical hardware is factored in?
4
fencepost 1 hour ago 3 replies      
This has always seemed to me like an obvious setup for anyone with enough solar capacity to routinely run a surplus - particularly in states where the local utilities have purchased legislative support for near-punituve connection charges or effectively zero rates for anyone interested in selling surplus power back into the grid.

Edit: Not an outdoor setup but a setup to use all electricity surplus to regular needs for mining instead.

5
icebraining 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of "Google Will Eat Itself" (http://www.gwei.org/).
6
alphydan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The siting of the tubine is indeed art. It will produce close to nothing at that height as air slows down near the ground due to friction. That's why turbines try to be located as high as possible (usually in a trade-off between cost of the tower and revenue from more wind).
6
As Electric Motors Impove, More Things Are Being Electrified economist.com
107 points by jkuria  5 hours ago   29 comments top 6
1
Animats 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Yes, there's action in rotating electrical machinery again. For decades, this was a dull and boring field.

Tesla and Steinmetz figured out the theory of AC machines in the early 20th century. This was the first industrial technology where you needed advanced math to get anything to work right. Complex numbers. Calculus. Laplace transforms. That bothered some people, such as Edison. By the 1930s it was figured out, and generations of EEs struggled through rotating machine theory in college.

Then all the cool kids went off to radio and transistors and computers. Rotating electrical machinery was a mature field. Maybe a few people at GE in Schenectady worked on it.

Then came power semiconductors, and chopper-type motor control, where power was being turned on and off at moderately high frequencies. At first this was just applied to existing motor designs. But AC motors were designed for sine wave power. Choppers didn't produce clean sine waves. Much effort was put into making variable-speed controls that produced the nice sine waves motors needed. Classical AC theory was built around sine waves, and engineers knew how to do that kind of analysis. This worked, but it made AC motors buzz at the chopper frequency, and as chopper frequencies went up, whine. When you ride on BART, that's what you're hearing from the motors. The waveform mismatch also led to unwanted heating in the windings and inefficiency.

Variable-frequency 3-phase AC motors went from exotic to normal. Today, everything from a Tesla to a drone to a Diesel-electric locomotive uses such motors. The big power semiconductors required aren't that big. Here's one for a locomotive.[1]

In recent years, motors have started to be designed for the non sinusoidal waveforms that come out of chopper power supplies. This required new theory and much simulation of magnetic fields. There's plenty of compute power available and commercial packages for that kind of analysis. Now we're seeing more advanced motor designs that match well with their control electronics.

After most of a century, rotating electrical machinery design is cool again.

[1] http://www.ametrade.com/eng/electronics/products/IGBT_IGCT.s...

2
hwillis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty bad article. Its conclusions are broadly correct, but the way it gets there is not. There hasn't been any major change in motors- the major change has come in Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs). Older motors are hooked directly into the grid and deal poorly with changing speed and torque, and can drop drastically in efficiency. A motor can be 60% efficient at low load, and 98% efficient at its rated load.

VFDs are very complex pieces of circuitry- far more than you'd expect. Efficient drivers require a great deal of computation, and 16 or 32 bit processors are not uncommon. That also requires high-power, cheap silicon transistors which are only gradually taking over from simpler control schemes. They make a huge difference in a lot of cases.

The author is also very wrong on Synchronous Reluctance-assisted Permanent Magnet motors, but its hard to fault them on that; it's complicated even for many engineers. The purpose is not to increase the power density, it's to increase efficiency. The magnets act like a "cruise" motor. At low torque, they provide all of the rotor magnetization at a very high efficiency. At higher torque, the stator induces a stronger field into the rotor, causing it to act like a reluctance motor. That allows you to turn on extra power as demanded at the price of lower efficiency (the same as a reluctance motor).

If, instead, you just used a larger PM motor, it would be more expensive and it would also have an efficiency drop at low torque (where the motor spends most of its time operating). The magnets are highly efficient but they "set" the operating torque of the motor somewhat, so there is a loss at low power/high speed to hysteresis. A reluctance motor meanwhile never reaches the peak efficiency of a PM motor.

Anyway the article doesn't really say much convincing and feels mostly like fluff.

3
mrfusion 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is anyone researching motors that use elerctric charge instead of magnetism? Couldnt those be cheaper to build and possibly more efficient and powerful?
4
falsedan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Typo in article submission title

> As Electric Motors Impove,

5
cmrdporcupine 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Expense of motors (not to mention batteries to support them) is still a problem with electrifying smaller equipment. I was looking at repowering one of my old 12hp Gravely walk-behind tractors -- to find an equivalent torque / HP EV motor to replace the Kohler 301 in it would have been upwards of $2-3k. And that's not including sourcing batteries, supporting electronics, etc. A little diesel engine would be about $600.

I hope to see the day when projects like this could be cost effective.

6
bronz 5 hours ago 4 replies      
you ought to get into the habit of looking at a spectral analysis of the sound in your home. modern power supplies and motors rely on the ever more powerful and cheap power transistors that we have these days -- they are able to switch power on and off at very high frequencies and thus reduce the size of the rest of the circuitry needed to raise or lower voltage. but this often results in extremely high pitched sound coming from parts that, for whatever reason, physically move or expand in response to current or voltage changes. in cheap electronics, this effect is not accounted for and controlled with vibration dampening materials applied to the vibrating parts, and the result is a maddening high pitched squeal. even if humans arent able to hear it, there could be devices in your house that make some kinds of pets uncomfortable. ive been meaning to buy something that will let me detect ultrasonic sound so that i can smash those devices with a hammer.

ive always wondered what it would be like if you used a dual motor system in a car, where one motor is wound and sized for very high torque and the other motor is wound and sized for very high speed. i think it would be great because, as long as they were induction based motors, you could run one and leave the other off with no interference from the one that is turned off. it would be like having a transmission without any of the energy loss or maintenance problems. you could also distribute power however you want among the two motors, and in a way have something like an infinitely variable transmission. that would be really cool.

7
Unicore: A new Unikernel project xen.org
37 points by ingve  4 hours ago   5 comments top
1
sanxiyn 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why gratuitous name collision? Unicore is an instruction set architecture. Linux kernel port is upstream. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicore
8
Western Digital Ships 12 TB WD Gold HDD: 8 Platters and Helium anandtech.com
103 points by el_duderino  7 hours ago   82 comments top 8
1
esaym 6 hours ago 9 replies      
8 platters? Seems like it might be extra loud...

Speaking of which.. what is a good hard drive that is above 1tb that is extra loud? I want my kids to grow up with a loud hard drive just like I did....

2
sireat 3 hours ago 2 replies      
What provisions are there on restoring these Helium HDDs to working order 10+ years from now on?

Helium will leak so that is an extra problem to deal with in preserving data.

Regular HDDs, replace a controller or even open up old HDDs and run them open in a clean room no problem.

3
narrator 5 hours ago 0 replies      
At 255mb/s will take about 13.7 hours to write the whole drive.
4
aidenn0 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Have 2.5" rotating drives stopped growing? Last time I checked, flash drives were too expensive, but rotating media topped out at 2TB

[EDIT] WD has a 4TB hybrid drive, but couldn't find any others larger than 2TB

5
agumonkey 6 hours ago 9 replies      
Looking at the page I remembered the first HDD I even bought: a 13GB from IBM (before the deathstar chapter). Coming from a 1GB drive, I thought this thing would never be filled. Didn't took long before I revise my billgatey judgement.
6
jl6 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad to see these making their way into retail channels. I've been a little frustrated reading articles in the consumer press about HDDs which are only ever shipped B2B.
7
CSDude 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder what is the physical limit for 3.5" because my NAS has one slot left, and I was about to buy an 10TB one.
8
kyriakos 3 hours ago 0 replies      
how hot will this run?
9
How We're Building a Business to Last cockroachlabs.com
6 points by tosh  47 minutes ago   2 comments top
1
pryelluw 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
I just wish it had a better name like ResilientDB.
10
Why is value flowing to ICOs? It's diversification of Bitcoin jonathannen.com
9 points by jwilliams  1 hour ago   8 comments top 3
1
free_everybody 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
... or maybe ICO's are clever ways of extorting even more money from naive cryptocurrency day traders?
2
ringaroundthetx 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
The M1 money supply in any currency is always a tiny fraction of the money supply in comparison to the M2, M3, and MB, which are illiquid and used for speculation.

It isn't mysterious that this is also the result in cryptocurrency as well.

An oft parroted rebuttal is that bitcoin is being used for speculation and very little is being used for purchases of goods and services, even though that fits the same behavior of national currencies it is used to discredit bitcoin's use as a currency.

It looks like it is growing the way one would expect.

3
RichardHeart 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
That's roughly 100 percent price correlated. tether, iota, emercoin and few others aren't as correlated. Not a good diversification when they all go up and down together. (If you're diversifying to reduce risk.)
11
Watching Larry Ellison Become Larry Ellison (2014) steveblank.com
60 points by tosh  5 hours ago   10 comments top 6
1
sblank 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Kathryn Gould, the real author of the post was one of my mentors. She was one of the first woman VC's in the valley and hated being reminded of it. She said she wanted to be known as one of the best VC's - period - and she was. Her commencement speech at the University of Chicago is worth a read. https://steveblank.com/2014/08/05/pioneering-women-in-ventur... She passed on way too early in 2015.
2
radicaldreamer 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Every time there's a post like this, young entrepreneurs in the valley tend to ignore the uncomfortable advice like "come to appreciate the sales culture" and idolize "be ruthless" and often interpret it as "be an asshole, all the time".

Also, just because some personality traits worked for a certain place, time, and cultural period, doesn't mean it's applicable to the industry today.

3
cwyers 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Well this anthropomorphizes the heck out of the lawnmower.
5
patman81 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you like this story, you can continue the story with "Softwar" a book about Oracle and Larry Ellison in quite the same tone.
6
coolspot 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's like watching fish rot.
12
The Unlikely Return of Cat Stevens newyorker.com
53 points by ScottBurson  4 hours ago   13 comments top 8
1
mcguire 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. An article about Cat Stevens with no mention of Salman Rushdie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Oienjf0GK8

2
moomin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Contemporaries* of Cat Stevens, Richard and Linda Thompson also converted to Islam. In their case, however they continued to make music. Notably the first album produced after conversion is pretty much all about God and its cover art is a picture of Richard wearing a turban.

I find it interesting to contrast the joy of a track like "Night Comes In" with how humourless Cat Stevens became.

*although they never met to my knowledge

3
drdeadringer 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Last night I watched "Guardians Of The Galaxy 2", which featured a Cat Stevens song I knew well.

I was surprised that such a song would be offered. I was, in fact, distracted by the song lyrics against the movie dialogue due to this and I'm not complaining about that. It was just so surprising, because Cat Stevens.

And I'm glad for it. The last I heard of him was getting stopped by TSA Theatre because of his life-change in name and perhaps religion change over a decade ago. Hearing his music in "pop culture" in "current year" is refreshing.

4
gkfasdfasdf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
As a Muslim, I (and my kids) really enjoy the songs he created as Yusuf Islam. I didn't even learn about Cat Stevens was until much later.
5
ScottBurson 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My theory has always been that the Yusuf Islam thing was a reaction to a bad acid trip. (Based on no evidence whatsoever, to be clear :-)
6
ourmandave 3 hours ago 0 replies      
First album came out in 1967, so I was surprised to learn he's only 69. That's young-ish in Rolling Stones years.

I guess it was either tour again or run for US President.

7
jacquesm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why all the association between Islam and death? Some paths are harder than others and whatever path the man chose to walk it seems like he was conscious all throughout it and quite possibly richer because of that.

You don't need an artists permission to enjoy their older work, even if they themselves disavow it, especially not music. Ever since I was six I loved his voice and it never bothered me that he tried another life. Better that and to embrace it by choice than to live by default.

8
anotherbrownguy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
13
Don't Make Everyone Do Customer Service (2015) lauraroeder.com
31 points by mooreds  3 hours ago   29 comments top 14
1
CoreXtreme 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Customer service is a very unrewarding job. First, you've to deal with angry customers then you've to explain yourself and get your answers from the developers who again shout at you or call you out on your mistakes.

Developers always consider customer service below them. Working as a customer service rep for even an hour a month will at least make them respect customer service team a bit.

2
djchung23 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who has worked at a tech company in support, this is article is misguided. It assumes that all companies are being thoughtless and asking any employee to answer customer support tickets without any training or guidance. We had engineers and product manager answer a few tickets with customer support agents providing guidance. These folks had training and they volunteered to answer tickets for 1 hour/week for a few weeks (with supervision). The engineers and product managers who participated enjoyed the experience because they could see first had the user problems and the language they used. It helped them understand our product not just from the business/product perspective, but from the user perspective. In addition, it allowed them to gain insight into what customer service agents have to deal with on a day to day basis. This led to products being built and launched with customer service in mind. This was a cultural shift and still exists today. Customer service is looped in as product is being built to get help articles and CS agents familiar with how to support new features.
3
snake_plissken 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ehhh I don't know about this. As a (semi)senior programmer who still takes support calls, either because people call specifically for me or because I have to handle the call, I can't express the value of speaking with end users and clients over the phone. It's just there.

The value is just sitting there, like you're fishing. You just have to catch it and reel it in. If you're willing to work with the person on the other end and talk through the issue, you'll discover countless bits of information that will make your software or product better. Whether it's a workflow you didn't realize existed or a confusion caused by how you worded something or a random bug, the exchange can prove invaluable. You've got someone, most likely in the middle of their day, trying to use your thing, that you've created/sold, and their attention is focused solely on your thing. You have to take these opportunities and squeeze the most out of them!

Look, I get that some protocols like training are lacking and not everyone has the knack for calming people down, but communicating over the phone or via email with customers yields valuable insights and gives you an amazing perspective. If I ever have my own company, every new employee will almost most certainly do a rotation in customer support.

4
cyberferret 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
While I agree that it takes good social and interpersonal skills to do support well (as well as empathy, communication etc.), I do think that programmers shouldn't be totally isolated from the people actually using their software.

Many times now, in my own experience, a screen that I thought was designed brilliantly tends to not work as well out in the wild. It is amazing how many visual cues people miss or misread. Sometimes you have to make things more than obvious, and unless you are hearing about it directly from the customer (or better still, watching them do it), then you cannot really understand the challenges they face.

I guess it is the same as making architects live in the houses they design...

5
yeukhon 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Customer support is a great experience. Yes, there are users who aren't very technical and can be frustrating. But like many have said, doing support can gian insights into how users use the product, and often enough a bug or two would surface.

I enjoy working with production system (DevOps/SRE). I don't just take tickets from technical users like developers because I build tools and I relay feedback and production issues back to developers, but I also get to talk to end users and also with the business representatives like product owner.

The best out of doing support is actually learning how the product works, if you aren't doing the product development. The aha moment comes when you relay between dev and users.

Companies, especially the technology companies should offer employees trainings and workshops on non-technical subjects like interpersonal skills and health talks, not just hackathons and technical talks. We work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, we should free our minds from programming or staring at the computer once in a while.

6
mabbo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
How short sighted.

The biggest failure I see in software these days is software developers who are so far away from their customers that they build the wrong thing. They build what they think is a good idea, and not what the customer actually needs.

We aren't all Steve Jobs, predicting and making the future. Most of us need to instead understand the customer. Working customer support? That's a fantastic way to get to know what your customers want.

7
cowmix 2 hours ago 2 replies      
At MindSpring (an ISP from long ago) everyone was required to listen to 8 hours of live tech support calls every month. I was the lead of the tools team and during one of my call sessions I came up with a feature to our log search tool that reduced our talk times by 20% across the board within a month's time.

I would have never came up with the feature without being on those calls.

8
dang 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've long dreamt of having a company where there is only one job title and it is "Customer Service Representative".
9
paulryanrogers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Having done both help desk and development I think a taste of support is good for everyone. Of course it must be only a taste. And ideally it would include supervision from support professionals.

Another approach is to have people sit in on support for a brief period to get a snapshot of what it's like and the problems they encounter. Then these observers don't have to fulfill a role they aren't prepared to handle.

10
jimjimjim 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1) always good to have devs close to customers.

2) people are different.

3) some people are better at tech, some better with people

4) if you care about your customer, they should be considered read-only.

5) read-write privileges should be EARNED, probably by experience.

6) generally a csr or acct manager should chaperon or help interactions.

11
sitepodmatt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The worse SaaS are the ones where it's almost impossible to get through to a developer even with a very technical issue. Nearly all SaaS customer service suck! I've dealt with so many this year, I nearly almost have to circumvent the CS reps by finding someone on twitter or emailing security/ceo@. Sure have dedicated CS resps, but I imagine it's whining entitled developers like this that encourage a fear of escalation environment.

Stop thinking your beyond speaking to customers

12
bitL 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Alright, why not make everyone play role of CEO 1h/week then? Any arguments against it?
13
vacri 1 hour ago 1 reply      
As someone who's worked a lot in support and has been out of it for a while now, this article utterly misses the point and reeks of whining and excuse-making.

Anyone who's spent time in the support trenches knows that the rest of the company has contempt for them and doesn't know what actually happens on support calls. Getting everyone to do support, at least for a little while, shows what kind of problems support people encounter, both technical and social. Developers in particular see support staff as below them, not equals, and without any CS experience they're often clueless about what goes on in CS - they get a bit more empathic when they've actually seen what happens.

It was actually laughable when the article talked of CS being considered a finely-honed skill that takes years; I can guarantee you, that's not how anyone treats support staff. No-one ever talks of a concept like a "10x support staffer".

In any case, CS is like hospitality: it's an unpleasant job that can be done without much training, isn't well-paid, and few people like it or want to stay in it long-term. It's that unpleasantness which is the real reason why the author doesn't want to do it, not some supposed passion for high-quality CS.

14
ApolloRising 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Article completely misses the point
14
Europilot: A toolkit for Euro Truck Simulator to develop self-driving algorithms github.com
222 points by daftshady  13 hours ago   32 comments top 9
1
mastazi 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm glad I saw this link, I was looking into building a solution based on parts of the ChosunTruck codebase[1], but Europilot seems more flexible since it's built as a "bridge" rather than a fully fledged self-driving solution.

[1] https://github.com/bethesirius/ChosunTruck

2
sosa2k 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's a YouTube playlist where a guy made a self-driving vehicle in GTA V using Python.

https://youtu.be/ks4MPfMq8aQ

3
anindha 7 hours ago 2 replies      
There is quite a lot of interest in a self driving car simulator. I wonder if we could use Kickstarter to raise some money to get the game maker to add simulated radar, lidar, and cameras. You should be able to customize the position of these sensors.
4
amelius 9 hours ago 3 replies      
An obvious disadvantage is that you don't have LIDAR inputs. I guess it would be rather difficult to hack ETS such that it generates them.
5
tomdre 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you guys know if it's possible to programmatically alter ETS environment? (such as weather, brightness, traffic, etc). Thinking of using the simulator to generate augmented data.
6
crudbug 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this publish CAN bus events ?

I was looking into similar solutions to capture CAN bus events for telematics usecase.

7
pj_mukh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is brilliant! I built a similar system on top of Flight Simulator for an internship. So useful!
8
m3kw9 11 hours ago 1 reply      
How does training the NN using a limited frame per second affect the training accuracy? Why not go higher or lower than the one you are using?
9
amelius 9 hours ago 2 replies      
> With europilot, you can capture the game screen input, and programmatically control the truck inside the simulator.

Can't this be easily generalized to any game?

15
To treat back pain, look to the brain not the spine aeon.co
124 points by kawera  10 hours ago   89 comments top 17
1
katastic 7 hours ago 6 replies      
I've been living this horror for six years. If I could just magically stop using medicine and not being treated like a drug addict for merely taking prescribed medicine by all walks of society (from cops, to nurses, to neighbors), don't you think I'd have already fucking taken that choice?

The majority of people don't want to be on pills. They want to get better. If I'm in too much pain to physically get out of bed, how am I supposed to exercise? It sounds like this is just an advertisement for CBT, and 90% of it is summed up as "get an anti-depressant" and "go to therapy." Well everyone is already doing that.

I mean, are we really going to suggest everyone in the medical industry related to pain management is just a scam? That doctors don't try a mirade of tools to help their patients and instead just throw addictive pills at them? Surely some do. But who says "I want to go to medical school to sell pills" instead of "helping people"?

I don't know. I find it hard to analytically process this article since I'm so close to the source. But I literally spend >60% of my days in complete writhing agony. I had to FIGHT to get the medicine I needed and I had to FIGHT to get the back surgeries that took me from almost dying to "surviving." So if the world is really handing out pills and surgeries, it sure as hell wasn't doing it in my area.

2
eric_b 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This article doesn't have one mention of TMS or the work that John Sarno did? That is borderline irresponsible.

Read "Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection" by Jon Sarno.[1]

I lived with chronic knee pain for over 8 years, and would routinely have "carpal tunnel like symptoms" with my wrists.

Literally within a week of reading that book my knee pain was gone, and my wrists have not had any issues since. My personality type is exactly that described in the book, so it might not work for everyone. But boy howdy it worked for me.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connectio...

Edit: As it relates to the article - Dr. Sarno attributes most of the pain to your brain and unconscious emotional rage. It sounds kind of quackish, but he lays out excellent explanations of how your brain works against you to cause this chronic pain. I was a skeptical as well (I won't give away spoilers but the treatment plan is HILARIOUSLY simple) but it has really worked for me.

3
bambax 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Not one mention of The Mindbody Prescription (if only to dismiss it)? If you're suffering from back pain, or carpal tunnel syndrome, or such ailments, read this book, it might change your life! (and if it doesn't it can't harm)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0446675156/

4
gforge 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Lovely article, as an orthopaedic surgeon I can tell you that most of us know this. Treating chronic pain with surgery is generally a bad idea, I spend a large share of my time explaining this. Some patients are grateful for this, but I think that many go and try to find "a real doctor".

An interesting development is that there is generally an increased acceptance for psychiatric diagnoses. More are accepting that just as the pancreas may stop delivering insulin, the brain may fail to uphold the proper seretonin levels. Unfortunately it is not as simple as that, fixing seretonin or any other substance is like pouring oil over an engine and hope that it reaches the target. Still, I'm sure that we will see a huge change as true targeted treatments are no longer just sci-fi. Getting people to the right specialist is until then a good start.

5
ZeroGravitas 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had some minor back issues in my life. One of the most thorough, scientific approaches I found was Dr Stuart McGill' s books.

A proper academic with a deep understanding of what's going on but also able to translate that into pragmatic advice for people in pain.

Highly recommended. You can find various YouTube videos with him in then, which gave me the confidence that he was a knowledgeable geek and not some huckster. Often the videos are related to his work with high performance athletes, but his books apply to ordinary Joes or old people just as much.

If I can sum it up poorly, it's about understanding which muscles and bones work together in various movements and avoiding putting them under inappropriate strain, by slightly altering habits and building up muscles to provide support.

He is also skeptical of the benefit of surgery in most cases. He does also touch on some brain related stuff but it wasn't related to my particular pain so I don't know much about that part of his approach.

6
twobyfour 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of different types of back pain. I'm always stunned at how they get lumped together. Lower back muscle ache caused by stress and poor posture is a very different beast from a pinched nerve or a herniated disc or even muscle spasms caused by a glute injury.

It makes sense for a psychological component to treatment to be effective for stress-related back pain. And yes, stress can aggravate pain from a physical injury. But there are also plenty of physical injuries that aren't psychosomatic.

7
scandox 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is my story without advice or conclusions:

10 years of lower back pain. Average of 5 serious strikes a year would take me out for 3 or 4 days completely. A feeling of weakness or mild pain occurring regularly in between those. Nothing on MRI. Lots of different Physio etc at different times. Special chairs, special cushions, Difene (diclofenac) ... too much.

Late 2016 got sciatic pain for the first time. Took me out for 5 days. Got over it. Started Pilates. Early 2017 got hit with sciatic pain again - decided to just go through it. After 6 weeks I gave in and took some very heavy anti-inflammatories. Woke up with massive stomach pains and assumed I was reacting to the drugs. Went to the hospital and was diagnosed with Appendicitis. They took it out. Spent a couple of days taking lovely drugs. Got out. Back still rough but different somehow. Took a valium just once, slept 16 hours.

Have not had any back pain for 9 months. No drugs. No special exercise. No idea what happened. My back just feels different.

8
regecks 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A very interesting read. I developed chronic pain after a fairly minor injury (at least, now I can see it was minor) and then proceeded to waste 4 years on diagnosis and physical therapy and exercise that wasn't helping at all. My latest doctor did mention 'central sensitisation', but it wasn't suffuciently contextualised for me to do anything with that information.

I gave notice at my job of 4.5 years for unrelated reasons and had a complete reversal of pain within a couple of weeks.

While it is great to be out of that hell, it is completely terrifying that I wasn't able to recognize what was keeping me in pain.

9
zacurry 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Sharing my experience with back pain in the hope that it might benefit some one.

I am a programmer and I used to work 11 hour days frequently. After some years I started experiencing excruciating lower back pain. The pain would flare up if sit for more than 30 minutes. I went for physiotherapy and the pain lessened. The therapist told me I had no core strength and I started taking yoga lessons.

Yoga felt good and I continued for 3 months, when things got worse. I consulted a specialist and he advised against yoga and all sorts of exercise.

I haven't done any exercise in the past 6 months . And I have no pain in my back if I sit for 8 hours. Sit longer, and mild pain appears.

The point I want to stress is when doing exercise and yoga, I felt good and pain lessened, but the mild pain was there at all times when I was sitting.Now with no exercise , I can sit pain free for 8 hours easily.Consequently ,I am much more productive at work , but the lack of exercise makes me sometimes feel dull and unhealthy :( .

10
taxicabjesus 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've watched some older family members degenerate over the years... Sometimes doctors do good work, sometimes the medical-industrial complex makes work for itself.

I knocked myself out at the lake when I was 17 years old. I mostly recovered over the following six months, but rapidly developed an inflammatory condition when I went off to college a year later. Retrospectively, my apathy towards my degree program was an important factor. After the fourth doctor I said to myself, "screw you guys, I'm going to figure myself out."

I wrote about this previously: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13123659

When I was suffering through college I decided it would be helpful to be able to "relax" (mind awake, body asleep), and to visualize. What a long, strange road it's been...

11
kuwze 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For anyone interested, the back pain industry is considered worth more than $100 billion[0].

[0] https://qz.com/1010259/the-100-billion-per-year-back-pain-in...

12
ApolloRising 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Had back pain for 15 years, took up weight lifting with a pro bodybuilder as a trainer. Fixed all my back pain in less than 3 months, I don't even think about it anymore.
13
azag0 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be more conclusive to look at what neuronal signals travel from the lower back to the brain, and how (if) they differ between chronic-pain patients and healthy people? Or do we miss technology to do that?
15
seekstrength 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I had severe back pain in the last two years of high school. I eventually figured out how to sleep differently and move differently to avoid triggering the pain. Standing for longer than 20 minutes usually made my back ache like crazy. I found some stretches and positions that got my back muscles out of spasm. Unfortunately I had already gotten other weird muscle compensations by that point that resulted in more problems.

I had a lot of other aches and pains (wrist, knees, hips, feet, etc.) by my mid-20s that were hitting me hard pretty much all day every day.

It took A LOT of learning, stretching, strengthening, massaging, etc. but I'm in my mid-30s now and can do more than I have ever been able to do before. I've made it a career helping people in chronic pain as a trainer with a different perspective.

A couple resources that may help someone in severe back pain: Back in Control by David Hanscom, MD. The author is a spine surgeon who, after years of performing spine surgeries and seeing the real effects and real research results, realized that surgery was NOT a good answer for back pain. This is an excellent read with some very practical advice.

Also an excellent read is this article that appeared in Vox recently: vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/4/15929484/chronic-back-pain-treatment-mainstream-vs-alternative

I would also echo the sentiments of others here. It is VERY possible to beat back pain without surgery and pills, but the level of complexity varies from individual to individual. From the last 10 years of professional experience, I've seen some people solve back pain in two weeks, and I've seen some people take more than a year.

I have a client that I still train who had unremitting back pain for nearly 13 years. She had radiating leg pain and eventually had microdiscectomy that helped a little. Even after that and after more PT and all kinds of alternative medicine, she still had debilitating back pain daily.

For her, working on her hips has been the big key that now keeps her feeling really good. She's now able to go dance classes, do long road trips, sit on a plane for vacation, etc. The process was difficult and required patience, but together we figured out what helps her. Exercises that restore muscle balance is HUGE. And shockingly this is not an approach you'll see in medical or physical therapy textbooks.

For a little more perspective, Framework is another good book by an orthopedic surgeon who generally advises against surgery. He notes that the vast majority of doctors receive a maximum of 2 weeks of musculoskeletal education. Most receive far less. Doctors who know muscular anatomy in-depth are a very small minority. It's just not something covered in standard medical education.

However bad things may seem, DO NOT GIVE UP. Focus on taking control.

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madengr 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't know why the author states physical therapy is expensive. It is cheap compared to anything else. Having sciatica on and off for several years, 8 sessions of physical therapy definitely helped, specifically the excercises they teach you.
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amriksohata 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Try yograj guggulu with yoga, the Indian Hindu sages knew their stuff
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