Reader's Corner for January 2016

January 31, 2016

The consequences of reaching "peak content" in the digital age.

A blog on higher education and related issues.

This is pretty disappointing to hear

The Indian Constitution guarantees equality under the law. But for women facing a patriarchal social order, strict caste rules and centuries of traditions, that guarantee means little.

This is such a depressing article.

"His younger brother was in full agreement: Female employment, he said, “has spread like wildfire” and was hurting the reputation of the village. A third elder, their cousin, observed that his own wife worked at a factory, adding 5,000 rupees a month to the 1,800 he earned in a wedding band, but that there was an important difference between these income flows. “My money,” he said, “is the money that is earned with respect.”"

"Roshan could not help preening a little. “See, in our community, a woman is a woman and a man is a man,” he said. “This is what it is here. Women have lower status and men have higher status.” If any more women propose to challenge that principle, he said, “we will quietly, politely tell them this is not a good thing.”

And that night, as the sun slipped down over the sugar cane, Roshan and the others laughed and laughed."

Why use www? This page is intended for webmasters who are looking for information about whether or not to use www in their canonical web site URLs. First, a bit of terminology. The domain name without www is sometimes referred to as a naked domain, and I’ll refer to it as such here. Why should I use…

January 30, 2016

New maps and schedules to help you understand outages, rescheduling & traffic due to Super Bowl City.

Love the style

January 29, 2016

A video tribute from Bill Gates to Richard Feynman: phenomenal explainer, amazing scientist, and all-around colorful guy.

"A friend and I were planning a trip together and wanted to mix a little learning in with our relaxation. We looked at a local university’s film collection, saw that they had one of his lectures on physics, and checked it out. We loved it so much that we ended up watching it twice. Feynman had this amazing knack for making physics clear and fun at the same time. I immediately went looking for more of his talks, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. Years later I bought the rights to those lectures and worked with Microsoft to get them posted online for free"

KONKOL: Intentional destruction, hiding mics and the curious case of Jason Van Dyke's dashcam.

Systemic police corruption, looks like

Foods that make some of us put on weight can have little effect on others, according to research.

This is an awesome study, love the methodology of actually doing detailed individual level tracking.

Also of note is the actual paper itself where the apply machine learning to diet.

"We devised a machine-learning algorithm that integrates blood parameters, dietary habits, anthropometrics, physical activity, and gut microbiota measured in this cohort and showed that it accurately predicts personalized postprandial glycemic response to real-life meals."

These are some of the things I can do because I’m fortunate to work for a company that lets me work from anywhere:

Chris Cox wants to mess with Facebook’s secret sauce.

Comstock/Getty ImagesIf all the matter in the universe suddenly disappeared, would space still exist? Isaac Newton thought so. Space,…

Space is mind-bogglingly big.

"52! is the number of different ways you can arrange a single deck of cards. Let's try to wrap our puny human brains around the magnitude of this number with a fun little theoretical exercise. Start a timer that will count down the number of seconds from 52! to 0. We're going to see how much fun we can have before the timer counts down all the way.

Start by picking your favorite spot on the equator. You're going to walk around the world along the equator, but take a very leisurely pace of one step every billion years. Make sure to pack a deck of playing cards, so you can get in a few trillion hands of solitaire between steps.

After you complete your round the world trip, remove one drop of water from the Pacific Ocean. Now do the same thing again: walk around the world at one billion years per step, removing one drop of water from the Pacific Ocean each time you circle the globe. Continue until the ocean is empty.

When it is, take one sheet of paper and place it flat on the ground. Now, fill the ocean back up and start the entire process all over again, adding a sheet of paper to the stack each time you’ve emptied the ocean. Do this until the stack of paper reaches from the Earth to the Sun.

Take a glance at the timer, you will see that the three left-most digits haven’t even changed. You still have 8.063 × 10⁶⁷ more seconds to go. So, take the stack of papers down and do it all over again. One thousand times more. Unfortunately, that still won’t do it. There are still more than 5.385 × 10⁶⁷ seconds remaining. You’re just about a third of the way done.

Well, the volume of the visible universe is 3.4 × 10⁸⁰ m³ and therefore another factor of 4.2 trillion larger than 52!. And then the entire universe is estimated to be at least another 150 or 250 times larger than the visible universe. In diameter, not volume."

Why I Strive to be a 0.1x Engineer Posted January 25, 2016 by benji & filed under XP. Follow @benjiweber There has been more discussion recently on the concept of a “10x engineer”. 10x engineers are, (from Quora) “the top tier of engineers that are 10x more productive than the average” Productivity…

A really great read on engineering and how it's not just about code

Basic income (BI) is getting a lot of press these days. From Switzerland’s upcoming referendum to give each citizen 2,50…

A good overview of basic income

Since 9/11, the number of doctorates awarded to those in the US Intelligence Community has risen steadily — but many of those degrees are from online institutions and have nothing to do with science, engineering, or the social sciences.

Damn, this is worse than I thought

But a lot of the training they get in school sure is.

Love the title

Scientists have discovered a gene variant involved in synaptic pruning puts individuals at higher risk for developing schizophrenia.

This is really exciting

When good regexes go bad

Regular expressions strike again

January 28, 2016

We’re going to try something new—our first Request For Research. We’d like to fund a study on basic income—i.e., giving people enough money to live on with no strings attached. I’ve been...

This is one of those few rare threads on HN that's almost at 1k comments

January 27, 2016

There’s a a really interesting discussion unfolding right now between Paul Graham and Tim O’Reilly on the Wealth Gap and whether economic equality is really a bad thing per se. I used to believe that...

"And yet eight years later I did basically exactly the same thing myself. I was back in San Francisco. This time though I was there as an advisor to the Entrepreneur First cohort. These were all 20-something, first-time, unfunded entrepreneurs. I’d organised for us all to go out to dinner in the Mission. We weren’t at a particularly expensive place but when the bill came, every single one of the fifteen people there wanted to split it item by item. I found it intensely annoying to end the meal in such a tedious way and dismissed it suggesting that we just divide by the number of people.

But then I remembered that each of them was only making about $3,000/month. They had to use that money to fund both both themselves and their companies. Meanwhile I was making $1,000/day contracting. So whether I was up or down on a $30 meal didn’t really matter to me. I wasn’t empathetic to them."

Perf is probably the most widely used general purpose performance debugging tool on Linux. There are multiple contenders for the #2 spot, and, like …

These tools look really awesome.

"After finding the cause, an engineer found that this was happening on 25% of disk servers at Google, for an average of half an hour a day, with periods of high latency as long as 23 hours. This had been happening for three years. Dick Sites says that fixing this bug paid for his salary for a decade. This is another bug where traditional sampling profilers would have had a hard time. The key insight was that the slowdowns were correlated and machine wide, which isn’t something you can see in a profile."

Students are paying higher tuition than ever. Why can’t more of that revenue go to the people teaching them?

"So while college tuition surged from 2003 to 2013 by 94 percent at public institutions and 74 percent at private, nonprofit schools, and student debt has climbed to over $1.2 trillion, much of that money has been going to ensure higher pay for a burgeoning legion of bureaucrats."

"One adjunct teacher, JJ, posting a comment online, calculated his/her pay as an adjunct as $65 per student per semester, adding up to the princely sum of $2,000, noting that “each student paid $45,000 in tuition and took about 4 classes a semester.… I think their parents would be rather upset to learn that only $65 of the $45,000 went to pay one professor for an entire semester.”"

The Arkansas Department of Health has just confirmed a resident has tested positive for Zika Virus.

Uh oh

January 26, 2016

If Rust is to take on work previously reserved to C++, we need to know how well it does what C++ does best. What’s fast, what’s slow? What’s harder to do, what’s easier? I wouldn’t know how to look up answers for those questions, but I can write programs.

A great read on performant Rust vs C++ with code examples

Stone artifacts from a deep trench .


Its overuse leads to tragic results.

Some sensible rational words at least

U.S. health inspectors have found serious deficiencies at Theranos’s laboratory in Northern California, and failing to fix them could put the lab at risk of suspension from the Medicare program.

The downslide just keeps on continuing

Peach is not impeachable. (pun intended)

When we take turns speaking, we chime in after a culturally universal short gap.

This is pretty interesting

Betting worth billions. Elite players. Violent threats. Covert messages with Sicilian gamblers. And suspicious matches at Wimbledon. Leaked files expose match-fixing evidence that tennis authoritie...

Wow, this is pretty scary.

"Winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments are among the core group of 16 players who have repeatedly been reported for losing games when highly suspicious bets have been placed against them."

"lf you were to invent a sport that was tailor-made for match fixing the sport that you would invent would be called tennis"

Find purpose and meaning on a mysterious island through its cleverly designed puzzles.

This looks like something I need to start quickly

January 25, 2016

9 things every React.js beginner should know24th January 2016I've been using React.js for about 6 months now. In the grand scheme of things that's not very long at all, but in the ever-churning world of JavaScript frameworks, that just about qualifies you as a bearded elder! I've helped out a few pe…

There is something mesmerizing about an evil genius at the height of their craft, and Eric Lander is an evil genius at the height of his craft.

The main thing I'm taking away from the whole CRISPR story is that science is now just copying politics while trying to claim the moral high ground

"But if I had my way, there would be no winner in either of these fights. The way prizes like the Nobel give disproportionate credit to a handful of individuals is an injustice to the way science really works. We should celebrate the long series of discoveries and inventions that brought CRISPR to the forefront of science, and all the people who participated in them, rather than trying to decide which three were the most important. And I do not believe either Berkeley or MIT should have patents on CRISPR, since I believe it is a disservice to science and the public for academic scientists to ever claim intellectual property in their work"

January 24, 2016

We washed, dried, measured and weighed 800 of the most popular men's t-shirts available online. The shirts included a wide variety of price points ($5-$50), sizes (XXS up to 6XL) and fits ("slim", "tall", "relaxed", etc.). After compiling the data, we worked with beta testers in NYC to develop an al…

After one round of treatment, the arachnophobes held the spiders in their bare hands.

The title is a bit sensationalist but this is a good read on phobias and PTSD

As practicing statisticians who work in social science, we have a dark secret to reveal: Some of the most glamorous, popular claims in the field are no ...

"And we are not really criticizing the New York Times or CBS News, either. We all have been conditioned to believe that scientific publications represent truth, and it is taking the journalistic profession awhile to unlearn this lesson."

You Compiled This, Driver. Trust Me…. Posted on January 23, 2016Leave a Comment I was incredibly inspired by Tomasz Stachowiak’s hack of GCN. It made me wish I owned a GCN machine of my own to start trying insane things with. On the other hand, I dooo own an Intel Haswell GPU, and they dooo publish…

This is awesome

Postgres Explain Visualizer (Pev) is a tool I wrote to make EXPLAIN output easier to grok. It creates a graphical representation of the query plan.

This is awesome!

Not to mention his team's 6,000 hours of unpaid time.


Several Latin American countries are urging a pause in having babies.

This is really scary

The millennials are the brainiest, best-educated generation ever. Yet their elders often stop them from reaching their full potential, argues Robert Guest

"This report takes a global view, since 85% of young people live in developing countries, and focuses on practical matters, such as education and jobs. And it will argue that the young are an oppressed minority, held back by their elders. They are unlike other oppressed minorities, of course. Their “oppressors” do not set out to harm them. On the contrary, they often love and nurture them. Many would gladly swap places with them, too."

Internet startups are cloning business models from the West, without much thought on how to Make in India

This is an awesome read on Indian startups; chronicling the challenges and failures. Applies to Pakistan too in my opinion.

"The Indian consumer is value-driven, not convenience-driven. We have all the time in the world to research and find the best price. Most have time to find a competing offer. We hate paying for service. And loyalty—what is that?"

The news that Humberto Moreira, who governed Coahuila, was being charged with corruption came with an asterisk: It was the Spanish police who succeeded in building a case against him.

It takes a lot of work to mold a company’s culture, especially in the beginning. It starts off as a blank sheet. Do you …

This is a great read

Flights & Airline tickets to more than 200 international destinations via the Best Airline in Europe. Flights at discounted fares and special offers at a glance.

SFO to Lahore for $740 round trip, book by Jan 31 to fly by April 30 if anyone is interested. Similar deals from other origins in the US I'd bet

January 23, 2016

L19 = 208168199381979984699478633344862770286522453884530548425639456820927419612738015378525648451698519643907259916015628128546089888314427129715319317557736620397247064840935

What's really surprising is that just a 2x2 board has billions of possible games

Some of the best content on Hacker News are the links to up-and coming projects on GitHub. Get a list of these awesome projects without the distraction of the rest of Hacker News.

This is an awesome list

Why “few successful startup founders grew up desperately poor”

An amazing read; I kept nodding throughout it.

Covers why the odds are inherently stacked against poor people in more ways than most people realize.

We’re being told the students killed by the Taliban laid down their lives for the sake of our future. But weren’t they our future?

"Maybe they should try to ensure that when children go to school and university they don’t become martyrs. The Pakistani political and military elites are fond of reminding everyone at every opportunity that the country’s nuclear assets are safe. Could they one day make the same claim about our schoolchildren?"

January 22, 2016

The Reality of AAA Games Development or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Go Indie Back in 2005, I remember my boss asking me where I'd see myself in 10 years.

The strange life of Q-tips, the most bizarre thing people buy.

Cigarette smoking is increasingly a habit of low-income Americans. Continuing to raise taxes on them may be ineffective and unjust.

It's an economic mystery — but it might tell us something important about how C.E.O.s and investors think about the future.

Docker today announced the acquisition of Unikernel Systems, a Cambridge, UK-based startup that aims to bring unikernels to the masses (or at least the masses..

This is awesome

Sometimes people are angry. Sometimes sad. Sometimes they have police officers with them. But all of them are convinced their phones are in this Atlanta house.

Software bugs for the win

January 21, 2016

Howard University fights to join the tech boom

Silicon Valley is indeed quite a bubble where only a few privileged people are allowed in even though they like to be all high and mighty about meritocracy.

Sorting. It's a classic problem that's been studied for decades, and it's a great first step towards "thinking algorithmically." Over the years, a handful of sorting algorithms have emerged, each cha...

If you've ever purchased a physical good on the internet, you know that shipping is a big deal. And all online shop owners know that providing competitive shipping is a key part of their success. It is indeed one of Amazon's greatest strengths and they are famous for offering free shipping to their…

Two professors at the California Institute of Technology laid out an argument for the existence of a planet perhaps 4,500 times the mass of Pluto.

January 20, 2016

National Measurement Institute one of 61 agencies seeking to be classed as a ‘criminal law-enforcement agency’ in order to gain access to phone and web data

So much for data being safe

The Netflix series seems more like vigilante justice than investigative journalism.

We still need to complete watching the show but this is kind of damning

"The petition points to another weakness of “Making a Murderer”: it is far more concerned with vindicating wronged individuals than with fixing the system that wronged them. The series presents Avery’s case as a one-off—a preposterous crusade by a grudge-bearing county sheriff’s department to discredit and imprison a nemesis. (Hence the ad-hominem attacks the show has inspired.) But you don’t need to have filed a thirty-six-million-dollar suit against law enforcement to be detained, denied basic rights, and have evidence planted on your person or property. Among other things, simply being black can suffice. While Avery’s story is dramatic, every component of it is sadly common. Seventy-two per cent of wrongful convictions involve a mistaken eyewitness. Twenty-seven per cent involve false confessions. Nearly half involve scientific fraud or junk science. More than a third involve suppression of evidence by police."

Scrapy is at the heart of Scrapinghub. We use this framework extensively and have accumulated a wide range of shortcuts to get around common problems. We’re launching a series to share these Scrapy...

ISIS pays its fighters. But war is expensive. ISIS soldiers are getting a serious pay cut.

Looks like the recession is hitting everyone

Eight to 10 terrorists are still inside the school; security forces engaged in operation to clear university.


35 million people didn’t notice a thing… Posted by BBC Research and Development on 19 Jan 2016, last updated 20 Jan 2016 My name is Justin Mitchell. I’m a principal engineer at BBC R&D and I’m going to tell you about the NICAM Codec replacement project. The BBC national radio services are carried fr…

cURL and libcurl, Open Source, Technology “Subject: Urgent Warning” January 19, 2016 Daniel Stenberg Leave a comment Back in December I got a desperate email from this person. A woman who said her Instagram had been hacked and since she found my contact info in the app she mailed me and asked for he…

Oh man, this is hilarious and gold

With manufacturing jobs evaporated and friends hard to find, many middle-aged Americans have little left.

This is a really depressing article.

"The larger context of this isolation and alienation is America’s culture of individualism. It, too, can worsen the despair. Taken to an extreme, self-reliance becomes a cudgel: Those who falter and fail have only themselves to blame. They should have gotten more education. They should have been more prepared. On this score, too, the U.S. deviates from other wealthy nations. America’s frontier spirit of rugged individualism is strong, and it manifests itself differently by race and education level, too. [Alice] Americans, for instance, are more likely to see success as the result of individual effort than African Americans are (though not Hispanics). The less educated, particularly less-educated whites, also share this view to a disproportionate degree."

Drug deaths have surged in nearly every U.S. county, reaching a new peak in 2014.


The guys who wrote the matasano crypto challenges realized that you cannot get a working knowledge of crypto without investing blood, sweat, and tears into playing with and attempting to break crypto. They even say, “But more people ‘know how’ to break it than can actually break it.” Their crypto ch…

Bookmarking for future use

The Hatton Garden raid was meticulous in its planning, dazzling in its complexity – yet still the perpetrators were caught. In this interconnected age, has the Hollywood-style heist become a thing of the past?

This is really engrossing and quite interesting

"“Hands-on heists are a dying art, because those who have a background in it are literally dying off.”"

January 19, 2016

C++11 threads, affinity and hyperthreading January 17, 2016 at 16:38 Tags C & C++ Background and introduction For decades, the C and C++ standards treated multi-threading and concurrency as something existing outside the standard sphere - in that "target-dependent" world of shades which the "abstrac…

This is a pretty good read

"It is crucial for artificial intelligence research to have good testbeds. Games are excellent AI testbeds because they pose a wide variety of challenges, similarly to robotics, and are highly engaging. But they are also simpler, cheaper and faster, permitting a lot of research that is not practically possible with robotics"

January 18, 2016

Available with notes: (Data Day 2016) Standard natural …

This looks interesting

Table of Contents of the upcoming book on various aspects of game development and deployment, from business requirements to bot fighting

Looking forward to the full book. This looks awesome

School meals reflect a society’s true food culture, as well as its regard for its children.

This is making me hungry

Performance metrics in medicine and education are increasingly getting in the way of quality.

"TWO of our most vital industries, health care and education, have become increasingly subjected to metrics and measurements. Of course, we need to hold professionals accountable. But the focus on numbers has gone too far. We’re hitting the targets, but missing the point."

January 17, 2016

2015-07-04: Original article.2015-07-25: Changed library to rust-sdl2 0.6, no change to rust code.2015-10-17: Changed library to rust-sdl2 0.9; increased the...

This is a great tutorial

It’s British lore: on escalators, you stand on the right. So why did TfL ask people to stop walking on the left? And could it help solve a looming congestion crisis? (link via Hasnain)

This is gonna drive me mad - the real answer, is to obviously make everyone walk up the escalators...#pethate

Let’s make software even better.

Iran has shipped most of its nuclear fuel out of the country, destroyed the innards of a plutonium-producing reactor and mothballed more than 12,000 centrifuges.

This is huge

And, in the process, they created a nation of readers.

And they reaped the returns

It’s British lore: on escalators, you stand on the right. So why did TfL ask people to stop walking on the left? And could it help solve a looming congestion crisis?

This is a pretty interesting approach

January 16, 2016

How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

Pakistani burgers! A pretty good read.

Glamorous tech startups can be brutal places for workers

"However, a career as a software developer or engineer comes with no guarantee of job satisfaction. A survey last year of 5,000 such workers at both tech and non-tech firms, by TINYPulse, a specialist in monitoring employee satisfaction, found that many of them feel alienated, trapped, underappreciated and otherwise discombobulated. Only 19% of tech employees said they were happy in their jobs and only 17% said they felt valued in their work. In many areas they were even more discontented than non-tech workers: 36% of techies felt they had a clear career path compared with 50% of workers in areas such as marketing and finance; 28% of techies said they understand their companies’ vision compared with 43% of non-techies; and 47% of techies said they had good relations with their work colleagues compared with 56% of non-techies."


New research suggests it's bad for the economy -- and reveals bad trends already at work.

"If there is middle ground between Graham and this body of research, it's the idea that policymakers shouldn't go after inequality with blunt instruments, like big tax hikes just for the sake of soaking the rich. Perhaps, instead, they should target rent-seeking, which economists agree is bad for everyone who isn't a rent seeker."

Finland to test a basic income for adults FINLAND looks set to challenge the global economic orthodoxy in a way that could usher in the biggest step change in economic thought since the Industrial Revolution – it could signify the end of the link between hourly work and income, signalling the

"An answer to end poverty, to bring respect and dignity, hope, and a feeling of being valued, rather than pitied, by society, to our poorest communities. A solution that prepares us for the coming unemployment crises of the new automation wave, increases tax revenues, addresses inequality, raises wages and addresses growing health crises and their associated costs. Right now critics will say we can’t afford it, and yes, it needs a lot of work, but in ten years we may realise we can’t afford not to. Finland is going to test it, and it might change everything."

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the nonprofit body that maintains the Web's core standards, made a terrible mistake in 2013: they decided to add DRM—the digital locks that train your computer to say "I can't let you do that, Dave"; rather than "Yes, boss"—to the Web's standards. At the time, we…

ν42: Programming and information technology related articles with an emphasis on Perl, data processing, analysis, and Statistics

This is not a typical use case but wow. Hardware beats software by 20x

January 15, 2016

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped more than 500 points today after oil prices fell below $30 a barrel. Oil prices are now trading at 12-year lows. New oil supplies from Iran, which is starting to ramp up production after an easing of international sanctions, will continue to put downward…

Not a good month

A systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread safety.

I like their revamped website. The FAQ is awesome

The drug was being tested on healthy volunteers in a licensed private institution specializing in clinical trials, the health minister said.


Stellaris is a Grand Strategy game beginning at the discovery of faster-than-light travel that focuses on space exploration and empire-building. Stellaris is developed by Paradox Development Studio, the creators of Crusader Kings II, and Europa Universalis IV

Just heard of this and it's going straight on my wishlist, right after XCOM 2

Something has changed in the last few years which has made an increasing number of people want to join startups. It seemed to start around the time the Social Network movie came out - perhaps it’s...

The California Public Utilities Commission has fined Uber $7.6 million for failing to fully and timely meet the agency's reporting requirements. Uber has 30..

And another lawsuit. Ouch

This website contains information regarding a class action settlement that has been approved by the Court, Vamsi Tadepalli v. Uber Technologies Inc., United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. 3:15-cv-04348-MEJ.

Looks like Uber finally got called out for charging customers "airport fees" and not paying the airports.

Wondering how many dollars I'll get back... (as credit, which kinda defeats the point)

Video-streaming service provider Netflix Inc's subscribers will no longer be able to use proxies to watch content not available in their home country.

Uh oh

By Suju Rajan Data is the lifeblood of research in machine learning. However, access to truly large-scale datasets is a privilege that has been traditionally reserved for machine learning researchers and data scientists working at large companies – and out of reach for most academic researchers. Res…

Awesome, but sad that they limit it to .edu's.

Wondering how long it'll take to show up on a torrent and how soon someone will deanonymize it.

The firm is under investigation for its marketing and sale of mortgage-backed securities. If finalized, the agreement will reduce company earnings for the last three months of 2013 by $1.5 billion.

This is nowhere near enough

January 14, 2016

This is pretty addictive. I'm closing the tab this morning so I can actually get some work done.

You're all welcome for the loss of productivity.

Several explosions are heard in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, with reports of casualties.

This is sad

Disclaimer: I'm digging Rust. I lost my hunger for programming from doing too many sad commercial projects. And now it's back. You rock, Rust!

"No segfaults, no uninitialized memory, no coercion bugs, no data races, no null pointers, no header files, no makefiles, no autoconf, no cmake, no gdb. What if all the problems of c/c++ were fixed with one swing of a magic wand? The future is here, people."

“If you’re young, privileged, and interested in creating a life of meaning, of course you’d be attracted to solving prob…

This is an awesome read on social/economic development and the attraction everyone has for "social entrepreneurship" that is often (but not always) misguided or playing on people's "feel-good" thoughts without actually solving a problem.

The article's intro (quoted below) is mind opening and so relatable.

"Let’s pretend, for a moment, that you are a 22-year-old college student in Kampala, Uganda. You’re sitting in class and discreetly scrolling through Facebook on your phone. You see that there has been another mass shooting in America, this time in a place called San Bernardino. You’ve never heard of it. You’ve never been to America. But you’ve certainly heard a lot about gun violence in the U.S. It seems like a new mass shooting happens every week.
You wonder if you could go there and get stricter gun legislation passed. You’d be a hero to the American people, a problem-solver, a lifesaver. How hard could it be? Maybe there’s a fellowship for high-minded people like you to go to America after college and train as social entrepreneurs. You could start the nonprofit organization that ends mass shootings, maybe even win a humanitarian award by the time you are 30."

In a December 2015 talk at JSConf US, we announced that we would be open-sourcing the key components of the Chakra JavaScript engine that powers Microsoft Edge. Today, we are excited to share with …

This is really exciting

January 13, 2016

Cryptography II from Stanford University. Learn about the inner workings of cryptographic primitives and protocols and how to apply this knowledge in real-world applications. Take free online classes from 120+ top universities and educational organizations. We partner with schools like Stanford, Yal…

They finally announced crypto 2! The 4 year wait is over.

Today is January 11th. Some of you know what this day means to me — it marks the 3 year anniversary of when I was in New…

This is a really really touching and sad story

"I started being unable to control when I cried. Tears would stream from my eyes if I stayed up too late, or if I was feeling especially socially anxious or rejected. At DEFCON in 2014 I distinctly remember being ‘bored to tears’ at multiple parties as I watched people scan the crowd for more important conversational partners when I’d try to strike up conversation. Important enough to have around, not interesting enough to talk to or to even attempt to learn who I was. I felt like garbage."

A few recent comments on stories at reddit and Hacker News about user support stories have again shown that some technical types just don't understand other people. There are countless examples and stories of times when someone calls in because they can't get something to work, and the support perso…

"If a bunch of people trip over the same thing, maybe it's not them. Maybe it's your product, or maybe it's just you. You can try to take some kind of high and mighty approach to this stuff and claim to be technically correct and yet totally fail in terms of having your users succeed at performing tasks."

January 12, 2016

A friendly reminder about smugness and social media.

Very well thought out piece that most people should read.

"Sharing links that mock a caricature of the Other Side isn’t signaling that we’re somehow more informed. It signals that we’d rather be smug assholes than consider alternative views. It signals that we’d much rather show our friends that we’re like them, than try to understand those who are not."

That guy has loads of patience

January 11, 2016

Perhaps the movie rating system itself is broken.

Well, you might. But that’s not the real key to finding work-life balance.

"The solution might be found in a form of constraint: more standardization of the time for work and the time for life."

Do you collapse with the kids, or stay up past midnight? This is what happens when bedmates have mismatched sleep habits: They hardly see each other.

An interview with the author of the groundbreaking paper "Why Most Published Research Findings are False."

A great read

2015 was a pretty good year for Intel. Their quarterly earnings reports exceeded expectations every time. They continue to be the only game in town …

CPU bugs! Really interesting to see how FFTs can crash Skylake processors

"In part, that’s because “unpredictable system behavior” have moved from being an annoying class of bugs that forces you to restart your computation to an attack vector that lets anyone with an AWS account attack your cloud-hosted services, but it’s mostly because CPUs are now complex enough that they’ve become too complicated to test effectively. "

January 10, 2016

An Oregon medical center’s plan to increase efficiency by outsourcing doctors drove a group of its hospitalists to fight back by banding together.

I’d like to talk about an important aspect of dealing with unsafe code, that still regularly seems to catch people on the wrong foot: When checking unsafe code, it is not enough to just...

Firstly, thanks for all the feedback from my first post — Starting a tech startup with C++. Also a big shout-out to the …

Wangle is indeed pretty awesome

When I launched Diablo III, I didn't expect the pornography I had been looking at hours previously to be splashed on the screen. But that's exactly what replaced the black loading screen. Like a sc...

"Google marked the bug as won’t fix because google chrome incognito mode is apparently not designed to protect you against other users on the same computer (despite nearly everyone using it for that exact purpose)."

January 9, 2016

Many parents believe their child is a "bad tester." The real problem is that the whole idea of a "bad tester" is bullshit.

"American students have become far too reliant on everyone and everything but themselves. When our children don't excel, we sign them up for classes, hire tutors, and, if all that fails, administer them amphetamines like M&Ms. Plummeting SAT scores stand as a blaring testament to the fact that this approach isn't working."

Access the best of Netflix with Hotspot Shield, no matter which country you are! See the best content available and how to access it.

I did not know Modern Family was available on Netflix. Wow.

January 8, 2016

How to C (as of 2016) How to C in 2016 This is a draft I wrote in early 2015 and never got around to publishing. Here's the mostly unpolished version because it wasn't doing anybody any good sitting in my drafts folder. The simplest change was updating year 2015 to 2016 at publication time. Feel fre…

Photographs by Anna Maria Barry-Jester As the new year begins, millions of people are vowing to shape up their eating habits. This usually involves dividing foods into moralistic categories: good/b…

This is a pretty great read on nutrition and scientific "studies", and p-hacking.

The Zero Bullshit Sports Newsletter

Now this is just bull

How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon.

"While some smart people will profit from all the information now just a click away, many will be misled into a false sense of expertise. My worry is not that we are losing the ability to make up our own minds, but that it’s becoming too easy to do so. We should consult with others much more than we imagine. Other people may be imperfect as well, but often their opinions go a long way toward correcting our own imperfections, as our own imperfect expertise helps to correct their errors,” warns Dunning."

Why “Use bcrypt.” is not the best recommendation (anymore).


When I first heard about Snapchat, it sounded like a toy. That should have been the first warning. Exploding photos, good for sexting. I tried it, mostly for industry research purposes, found the UI confusing, saw I had very few friends active,... | Justin Kan | YC Partner and I started some compani…

Love the top HN comment:

"I don't know what to say. I think OP did a good job of explaining what makes Snapchat so great, but their initial confusion and the confusion from the commenters within this thread boggles me. Recently I was in a room with a well-known VC who wouldn't believe a college student who said that they enjoy using Snapchat, as if they couldn't comprehend how anyone would like it.
Virtually all the comments are about how Snapchat confuses them and that there must be something seriously wrong with it. And yet the app is immensely popular. If you're one of those people, then Snapchat is not really made for you.
You might be able to understand why Snapchat is a beloved app by reading a report about what the millennials are up to these days but I encourage anyone dealing with this confusion to make an effort to talk to people outside of your normal social circles once in a while. This kind of empathy with others will make you much more effective when you're creating for people who are not like you."

Pretty cool presentation; the email definitely stood out

Rob Bilott was a corporate defense attorney for eight years. Then he took on an environmental suit that would upend his entire career — and expose a brazen, decades-long history of chemical pollution.

Long and interesting read but $100M is a drop in the bucket for such a large company, unfortunately

Every time Disney’s beloved mouse is about to enter the public domain, U.S. copyright law magically changes. Does he deserve special protection, or should he be relinquished to society?

Pretty great ROI for disney

January 7, 2016

Really well put article by Matt Welsh on academic research focus and relevance

January 6, 2016

The US publisher’s latest Annual features an editor’s note describing text ‘translated from Pakistanian’, setting social media alight with derision

So they could google and search for a remote village but couldn't spend 2 seconds searching for the name of the language

06 January 2016 See Media Contacts Netflix Is Now Available Around the World World’s Leading Internet TV Service Now Live in More than 190 Countries Las Vegas, January 6, 2016 -- Netflix launched its service globally, simultaneously bringing its Internet TV network to more than 130 new countries aro…

OK, this is pretty huge.

Also, who releases a press release saying it's now available in 190 countries, with a link to a list of countries that's not updated and has clearly less than 190 countries?

January 5, 2016

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.  Last week we published a blog post describing how if your app does anything with encryption, even a single https request, then you need…

TIL about this requirement. I wonder how many apps have filed it properly

Jepsen: RethinkDB 2.1.5 2016/01/04Distributed SystemsJepsenRethinkDB In this Jepsen report, we’ll verify RethinkDB’s support for linearizable operations using majority reads and writes, and explore assorted read and write anomalies when consistency levels are relaxed. This work was funded by Rethink…

Awesome read on analysis of distributed systems.

"As far as I can ascertain, RethinkDB’s safety claims are accurate. You can lose updates if you write with anything less than majority, and see assorted read anomalies with single or outdated reads, but majority/majority appears linearizable."

January 4, 2016

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower, weighed by renewed concerns of negative impact from slowdown in China and increased tensions in the Middle East.


"The Dow Jones industrial average briefly fell more than 450 points in mid-morning trade, down more than 2.5 percent, on pace for its largest percent decline on the first trading day of the year since 1932. The Dow also fell below the psychologically key 17,000 level in intraday trade."

January 3, 2016

Across the country, children are experiencing depression, anxiety and even physical strain because of the pressures of school.

"But even Dr. Slavin seemed unprepared for the results of testing he did in cooperation with Irvington High School in Fremont, Calif., a once-working-class city that is increasingly in Silicon Valley’s orbit. He had anonymously surveyed two-thirds of Irvington’s 2,100 students last spring, using two standard measures, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The results were stunning: 54 percent of students showed moderate to severe symptoms of depression. More alarming, 80 percent suffered moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety."

Does white privilege now extend to terrorism and open armed rebellion against our government?

The bit at the end is depressing. "Peaceful protest" when they storm a building with guns? Really?

Dozens of white, armed American militants have gathered in the state to take a stand against government "tyranny"

How does this not fit the definition of terrorism?

The traditional TV Industry should be in panic mode. Maybe it’s not a big deal that Netflix has an estimated 69 million …

"The real billion dollar question is, how long can the traditional TV industry survive while Netflix and Amazon et. al continue to plunder and pillage every genre of TV and film?

How many shows or films that could have been successful but were squashed by TV and film execs will now see the light of day on Netflix?

How long before the Streaming Industry completely replaces TV?"

One app’s effort to understand its teenage audience illuminates the habits of a generation that is constantly connected and often anxious.

This makes me feel old, it's like the teens are in a wholly different generation

"During the recent focus group at Science, one girl said she showed Instagram ideas to at least three people before posting. Another said she deleted any post that did not garner enough likes. “I post and I just delete, because I don’t want to have, like, never mind,” she said, too ashamed to announce the precise number of likes out loud."

The resume of Jack Stouffer

D looks really exciting

Topics touched: Oracle RDBMS, Itanium, copy-protection dongles, LD_PRELOAD, stack overflow, ELF, win32 PE file format, x86-64, critical sections, syscalls, TLS, position-independent code (PIC), profile-guided optimization, C++ STL, OpenMP, win32 SEH.

This seems to be a great book

Scant few games stand the test of time and retain a large active player base sixteen years after release. But not only has Age of Empires II endured, it has

January 2, 2016

PG seems to be on a roll with great essays.

"Notice how novel it feels to think about that. The public conversation so far has been exclusively about the need to decrease economic inequality. We've barely given a thought to how to live with it.

I'm hopeful we'll be able to. Brandeis was a product of the Gilded Age, and things have changed since then. It's harder to hide wrongdoing now. And to get rich now you don't have to buy politicians the way railroad or oil magnates did. [6] The great concentrations of wealth I see around me in Silicon Valley don't seem to be destroying democracy."

Pretty spot on, and pretty scary read on how inequality and fragmentation will keep growing, in society as well as the economy.

"I worry that if we don't acknowledge this, we're headed for trouble. If we think 20th century cohesion disappeared because of few policy tweaks, we'll be deluded into thinking we can get it back (minus the bad parts, somehow) with a few countertweaks. And then we'll waste our time trying to eliminate fragmentation, when we'd be better off thinking about how to mitigate its consequences."

Happy 2016, you spent $200 on a 15-minute ride.


January 1, 2016

This is the text version of a talk I gave on October 29, 2015, at the Web Directions conference in Sydney. [53 minute video].

This guy gives amazing talk after amazing talk

"For this to happen, it's vital that the web stay participatory. That means not just making sites small enough so the whole world can visit them, but small enough so that people can learn to build their own, by example.

I don't care about bloat because it's inefficient. I care about it because it makes the web inaccessible.

Keeping the Web simple keeps it awesome."