Doing an HD Remake the Right Way
Final Fantasy V just came out on Steam. This is a beloved classic game, but the way they've done the HD upgrade just makes me cringe. This particular version is a port from the mobile version, and the even more...
Two HN Announcements
The HN community feels like it owns HN, and we like it that way. HN has become an important institution in the tech community, and though it was initially developed for YC founders it's clearly...
Built to get the best out of the world’s most popular OS, Nexus is the ultimate Android experience. You’re always among the first to receive software and security updates4. And you’ll have the freshest, fastest version — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — working for you right out of the box.
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The Case of Richard Glossip
September 2015 I used to think the debate about capital punishment was a matter of abstract questions like when it is permissible to kill someone. In practice it isn't. In practice the problem...
"I used to think the debate about capital punishment was a matter of abstract questions like when it is permissible to kill someone. In practice it isn't. In practice the problem with the death penalty is the incompetence of the people we entrust with it."Posted on 2015-09-29T02:29:14+0000
How to explain the KGB’s amazing success identifying CIA agents in the field?
Paranoid CIA heads blamed Soviet moles, but the real reason for the repeated disasters was much simpler
Jeff Atwood: Learning to code is overrated
Mayor de Blasio is winning widespread praise for his recent promise that, within 10 years, all of New York City’s public
"I’ve known so many programmers who would have been much more successful in their careers if they had only been better writers, better critical thinkers, better back-of-the-envelope estimators, better communicators. And aside from success in careers, we have to ask the broader question: What kinds of people do we want children to grow up to be?"Posted on 2015-09-28T17:48:11+0000
The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind | MIT Technology Review
Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.
A user’s manual
IN 2003 Peter Morley-Souter, a British teenager whose hobby was drawing comic strips with his sister Rose, was sent a parody of “Calvin and Hobbes”, a strip...
The drug industry wants us to think Martin Shkreli is a rogue CEO. He isn’t.
We don't know how much drugs 'should' cost
Why are working class kids less likely to get elite jobs? They study too hard at college.
Students from wealthy backgrounds are more likely to get really good jobs because they've learned how to play the right games.
"One of your most counter-intuitive arguments is that students from working class and lower-middle class backgrounds are less likely to get elite jobs, because they concentrate on studying rather than their social life at college. That’s the opposite of what the conventional wisdom would suggest."Posted on 2015-09-28T02:07:53+0000
Procedural City Generation in Python - Documentation — procedural_city_generation 0.1 documentation
Welcome to procedural_city_generation’s documentation! In this page we will give an overview of all the things you need to know to get started with this project.
How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake You Can Make as a New Software Engineer
As a new software engineer, you’re bound to make a number of tactical mistakes due to a lack of experience. Maybe you build some functionality on your own only to learn later that there’s a common …
The Netflix Tech Blog: John Carmack on Developing the Netflix App for Oculus
Hi, this is Anthony Park, VP of Engineering at Netflix. We've been working with Oculus to develop a Netflix app for Samsung Gear VR. The app includes a Netflix Living Room, allowing members to get the Netflix experience from the comfort of a virtual couch, wherever they bring their Gear VR headset.…
Why the Rich Are So Much Richer by James Surowiecki
In the years since the financial crisis, Joseph Stiglitz has been among the loudest and most influential public intellectuals decrying the costs of inequality, and making the case for how we can use government policy to deal with it.
What Happens Next Will Amaze You
This is the text version of a talk I gave on September 14, 2015, at the FREMTIDENS INTERNET conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This is mind blowing and an amazing read on technology, ads, and privacy that everyone should read.
"Advertisers end up right back where they started,still not knowing which half of their advertising budget is being wasted. Except in the process they've destroyed our privacy."Posted on 2015-09-23T15:54:00+0000
A Decade at Google
I recently celebrated my 10th anniversary at Google and decided to take the opportunity to share some of my reflections on the past decade. Prior to joining Google, I was on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, where I founded the databas…
All the 'Happy Birthday' song copyright claims are invalid, federal judge rules
None of the companies that have collected royalties on the "Happy Birthday" song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday.
Across the USA by Train for Just $213
Turns out, you don’t need a car to see America. Traveling coast-to-coast across the United States by train is one of the world’s greatest travel experiences. Amazingly, it’s also one of the world’s greatest travel bargains...
This is another set of plagiarized photos (same guy who did the Singapore Airline stuff) but the article is interesting nonetheless. I didn't know it was just $213 to go coast to coast like this.Posted on 2015-09-22T16:30:31+0000
Introducing Brotli: a new compression algorithm for the internet
Facebook Doesn’t Make as Much Money as It Could—On Purpose
Facebook and its chief economist have devised a system for buying ads that prevents advertisers from cheating–at least in theory.
Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as 'miracle' crop, which...
It's taking the US vegetarian world by storm.
The Bourne Aesthetic – blarg?
“The difference between something that can go wrong and something that can’t possibly go wrong is that when something that can’t possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”
"Who is our generation's James Bond? Jason Bourne. He can’t trust his employer, who demanded ultimate loyalty and gave nothing in return. In fact, his employer is outsourcing his work to a bunch of foreign contractors who presumably work for less and ask fewer questions. He’s given up his defined benefit pension (Bourne had a military one) for an individual retirement account (safe deposit box with gold/leeching off the gf in a country with a depressed currency). In fact his employer is going to use him up until he’s useless. He can’t trust anyone, other than a few friends he’s made on the way while backpacking around. Medical care? Well that’s DIY with stolen stuff, or he gets his friends to hook him up. What kinds of cars does he have? Well no more company car for sure, he’s on his own on that, probably some kind of import job. What about work tools? Bourne is on is own there too. Sure, work initially issued him a weapon, but after that he’s got to scrounge up whatever discount stuff he can find, even when it’s an antique. He has to do more with less. And finally, Bourne survives as a result of his high priced, specialized education. He can do things few people can do – fight multiple opponents, hotwire a car, tell which guy in a restaurant can handle himself, hotwire cars, speak multiple languages and duck a surveillance tail. Oh, and like the modern, (sub)urban professional, Bourne had to mortgage his entire future to get that education. They took everything he had, and promised that if he gave himself up to the System, in return the System would take care of him.
It turned out to be a lie.
We’re all Jason Bourne now."Posted on 2015-09-21T16:23:59+0000
The WWII-Era Plane Giving the F-35 a Run for Its Money
The war in Afghanistan proved that we can't just rely on new technology, but the Pentagon wouldn't listen—and troops paid the price.
"Like other American combat troops in Afghanistan, the SEALs sometimes found that high-tech gear couldn’t reliably get the job done, or that cheaper, lower-tech solutions worked better. This is how the US military almost adopted the A-29 Super Tucano, a $4 million turboprop airplane reminiscent of WWII-era designs that troops wanted, commanders said was “urgently needed,” but Congress refused to buy."Posted on 2015-09-21T16:19:02+0000
Death of the Party
Twenty-somethings are scaling back on the partying so heartily embraced by previous generations.
"“Everyone’s been pushed out of the downtown center,” she said. ”We’re so isolated. I live over one bridge that takes a half-hour to walk to, which I chose based on cost, and everyone else thinks I’m in the middle of nowhere. Young people used to live in houses near the university, but now only families can afford them. Little shacks that college kids used to live in are now $2 million homes.”"Posted on 2015-09-20T18:12:31+0000
Volkswagen Is Told to Recall Nearly 500,000 Vehicles Over Emissions Software
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation, accusing VW of installing software known as a “defeat device” in 4-cylinder vehicles.
"The Environmental Protection Agency accused the German automaker of using software to detect when the car is undergoing its periodic state emissions testing. Only during such tests are the cars’ full emissions control systems turned on. During normal driving situations, the controls are turned off, allowing the cars to spew as much as 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act, the E.P.A. said."
NICE.Posted on 2015-09-19T06:15:18+0000
"We Own You" - Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer
When it comes to discussions surrounding free to play, people often focus on monetization tactics based on their experiences as a player. Folks commonly get upset based on the disruption of the historical precedent that games should have a price tag, that you pay, then get the game. It's unders
"And if you are a whale, we take Facebook stalking to a whole new level. You spend enough money, we will friend you. Not officially, but with a fake account. Maybe it’s a hot girl who shows too much cleavage? That’s us. We learned as much before friending you, but once you let us in, we have the keys to the kingdom. We will use everything to figure out how to sell to you. I remember we had a whale in one game that loved American Football despite living in Saudi Arabia. We built several custom virtual items in both his favorite team colors and their opponents, just to sell to this one guy. You better believe he bought them. And these are just vanity items. We will flat out adjust a game to make it behave just like it did last time the person bought IAP. Was a level too hard? Well now they are all that same difficulty."
This is depressingPosted on 2015-09-18T16:48:39+0000
Keep Out! - A WebGL game by the makers of Mozilla BrowserQuest
Keep Out! An action-packed adventure playable for free in your browser. Explore the dungeon, fight monsters and unlock epic weapons!
It’s Shockingly Easy to Get Scammed on Venmo
Kyle didn’t think twice about the buyer’s request. It was mid-June, and he had posted four tickets to Game Four of the NBA Finals on Craigslist. When the buyer, Michael, said he preferred to pay the $4,800 through Venmo, Kyle wasn’t bothered. He had only recently signed up for the...
"Finally on Jan. 22, from Eran Kimchi, Venmo’s head of fraud, whom Movassaghi emailed directly in a final attempt to recover his money and alert the company to what he saw as a dangerous and pervasive scam: “Venmo has a complete understanding of the scam plot you fell victim to … there is nothing Venmo can do to comfort you. … You made an innocent mistake, and you paid for it.”"
WTF?!Posted on 2015-09-17T19:44:39+0000
Introducing Signal for Facebook and Instagram | Facebook Media
By Andy Mitchell, Director of Media Partnerships We’ve heard from journalists that they want an easy way to make Facebook a more vital part of their newsgathering with the ability to surface relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts on Facebook...
14-Year-Old Boy Arrested For Bringing Homemade Clock To School
A 14-year-old boy in Irving, Texas named Ahmed Mohamed was taken into police custody after he brought a homemade clock to school. The boy, who, according to a..
"The newspaper quoted a police spokesman, James McLellan, as saying that Ahmed never claimed his device was anything but a clock, and the police have no reason to think it was dangerous.
But officers still did not believe Ahmed was giving them the whole story.
“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” Mr. McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.
“It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”"
It's sad that our views on education have gotten to the point where everything has to be done for a purpose. Can't people understand that someone would want to make something just for the thrill of making it and learning from that experience?Posted on 2015-09-16T15:49:52+0000
Can we build a more efficient airplane? Not really, says physics.
Update (13 October): I emailed David MacKay to get his opinion on some of the critical comments responding to this blog post. David is a physicist at Camb
"The only way to make a plane consume fuel more efficiently is to put it on the ground and stop it. Planes have been fantastically optimized, and there is no prospect of significant improvements in plane efficiency."Posted on 2015-09-16T06:39:03+0000
Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist | Do the Math
Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist Posted on 2012-04-10 by tmurphy 67 views this month; 0 overall Some while back, I found myself sitting next to an accomplished economics professor at a dinner event. Shortly after pleasantries, I said to him, “economic growth cannot continue indefinitely,…
This is 3 years old. But well worth reading for everyone, especially economists (not to drag on the profession); given how everything is about growth
"Physicist: Wow. Do you really believe that? A physically limited resource (read scarcity) that is fundamental to every economic activity becomes arbitrarily cheap? [turns attention to food on the plate, somewhat stunned]
Economist: [after pause to consider] Yes, I do believe that."Posted on 2015-09-14T06:49:50+0000
Gaffer on Games | Is it just me or is networking really hard?
Posted on September 12, 2015 by Glenn Fiedler Is it just me or is networking really hard? Last week I found this discussion on Reddit: I’ve been trying to understand and implement networking in a game for the last few months, and every attempt I make at it has some kind of flaw; whether that’s unrel…
An Uber support experience
This post was prompted by the automated support feedback email. I recently opened the Uber app to find it had forgot my authentication and was prompting me for a password. Unfortunately there were …
U.S. Drops Charges That Professor Shared Technology With China
All charges against the Temple University professor were dropped after it became apparent the Justice Department had misinterpreted a key piece of evidence.
"It was an embarrassing acknowledgment that prosecutors and F.B.I. agents did not understand — and did not do enough to learn — the science at the heart of the case before bringing charges that jeopardized Dr. Xi’s career and left the impression that he was spying for China."
Will anyone be getting fired over this?Posted on 2015-09-13T18:30:04+0000
16GB is a Bad User Experience - David Smith
16GB is a Bad User Experience September 10th, 2015 Yesterday Apple announced the fall lineup of new hardware, including the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. Overall the announcements were pretty solid, with one bright, glaring exception…the base model iPhone starting at 16GB. This detail makes me both sad and a b…
Computer Science Courses that Don't Exist, But Should
I'm James Hague, a recovering programmer who has been designing video games since the 1980s. Programming Without Being Obsessed With Programming and Organizational Skills Beat Algorithmic Wizardry are good starting points. For the older stuff, try the 2012 Retrospective.
‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups
Molly Graham helped forge a work culture at Facebook that's withstood huge amounts of growth. Today, she's something of a rapid scaling expert. Here's the key to doing it right, she says.
New human-like species discovered in S Africa - BBC News
Scientists in South Africa have discovered a new human-like species, which could change ideas about our early relatives.
The Hardest Program I've Ever Written – journal.stuffwithstuff.com
The Hardest Program I've Ever Written ↩ September 08, 2015 code dart The hardest program I’ve ever written, once you strip out the whitespace, is 3,835 lines long. That handful of code took me almost a year to write. Granted, that doesn’t take into account the code that didn’t make it. The commit hi…
Inside Popcorn Time – the world's fastest growing piracy site
Popcorn Time, the piracy service that has put Hollywood in emergency mode, started in Buenos Aires, in Federico Abad's (29) bedroom.
"– I am convinced that the Popcorn Time-killer is going to be a Netflix without borders. They should remove national restrictions for films, making them available in cinemas and in streaming services simultaneously everywhere, regardless of platform for phone, tablet and TV, wherever you want, with subtitles. Had they done so, it would kill Popcorn Time once and for all, Abad says."Posted on 2015-09-09T17:06:44+0000
Google in Kansas City: A tale of two-speed America - FT.com
Earlier this year, Marcelo Vergara, an app developer in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, lost two members of staff, fired the company that maintains his servers and started hunting for smaller premises. It might sound as if his company, Propaganda3,
"It is a story shared by countless nearby towns. Ferguson, famous for the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager last year, is a three-hour drive away. Even now, the schools in Kansas City, Missouri, are effectively segregated, with almost all white children at private schools. Just nine per cent of pupils in the state system are white. Almost 90 per cent are on free lunches."Posted on 2015-09-09T15:33:59+0000
The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues
Here is a new post from pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom, author of a number of popular posts on this blog, including “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today,” as well as “The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class” and “How schools ruined [……
TSA Master Keys - Schneier on Security
TSA Master Keys Someone recently noticed a Washington Post story on the TSA that originally contained a detailed photograph of all the TSA master keys. It's now blurred out of the Washington Post story, but the image is still floating around the Internet. The whole thing neatly illustrates one of th…
Suicide on Campus and the Pressure of Perfection
Kathryn DeWitt had put on her Penn Face. But living up to expectations — her own and others’ — was just too much. Dying seemed the only way out. It wasn’t.
"Correction: August 2, 2015
An article on Page 14 this weekend about student mental health on campus misstated the suicide rate among 15- to 24-year-olds. It was 11.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2013 and 9.6 in 2007, not 11.1 percent and 9.6 percent."
That's a big typo to makePosted on 2015-09-08T05:10:09+0000
Fixing Twitter • Dustin Curtis
Tech analyst Startup L. Jackson believes that Twitter’s Product is Fucking Fine and that the company’s next CEO needs to simply give the current team some room to get stuff done. No. I think Twitter badly needs to do at least five things to... | Dustin Curtis | Villain.
Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces
Welcome to Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces (now version 0.90 -- see book news for details), a free online operating systems book! The book is centered around three conceptual pieces that are fundamental to operating systems: virtualization, concurrency, and persistence. In understanding the con…
Dear Dad, Send Money - Letters from Students in the Middle Ages
I ask of you greetings and money.
The best (and worst) ways to spot a liar
Forget body language or eye movements. There are much better ways to identify the deceitful, says David Robson.
Should the first in a queue be served last? - BBC News
Danish researchers have recently made a shocking suggestion - that queuing on the basis of last-come-first-served may sometimes be more efficient. Really?
I’m a public defender. It’s impossible for me to do a good job representing my clients.
Budget cuts increasingly mean indigent defendants don’t get their constitutional rights in court.
"I’ve been asked by my family members, my friends and my hairdresser why I represent criminals. The answer is that I, and other public defenders, don’t represent criminals. We represent poor people who are facing criminal charges — charges on which they are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court."Posted on 2015-09-06T17:46:37+0000
The Website that got Me Expelled
I was in grade eleven, and it was already late in the school year when I returned to the principal’s office after my five day suspension. My dad was sitting next to me while the principal–a tall, stoc
Is Silicon Valley in Another Bubble . . . and What Could Burst It?
With the tech industry awash in cash and 100 “unicorn” start-ups now valued at $1 billion or more, Silicon Valley can’t escape the question. Nick Bilton reports.
"SF tech culture is focused on solving one problem: What is my mother no longer doing for me?”.
"We need to be worth a billion dollars to be able to recruit new engineers. So we decided that was our valuation."Posted on 2015-09-03T05:48:40+0000
The Case That Has Microsoft, Apple and Amazon Agreeing for Once
Microsoft Corp. responded swiftly to a pre-dawn fax from the FBI in January. The two terrorists who killed a dozen people at the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris had Microsoft e-mail accounts stored on servers in the U.S., and 45 minutes later their contents were en route to the agency, to be shared…
Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers
The cars have been involved in a smattering of minor accidents because they observe traffic laws to the letter — and people don’t.
How a bug in Visual Studio 2015 exposed my source code on GitHub and cost me $6,500 in a few hours
How a bug in Visual Studio 2015 exposed my source code on GitHub and cost me $6,500 in a few hours
The most obsolete infrastructure money could buy - my worst job ever
The year was 2005. My interest in writing a content management system in Java for the company that bought our startup had been steadily draining away, while my real passion was working on compilers and other programming language infrastructure (mostly SBCL). One day I spotted a job advert looking fo…
Google will start punishing mobile sites with annoying app install ads
There's nothing wrong with app install ads, but too often now, you click on a mobile search result, and when the site loads, a giant app install interstitial..
Sandstorm News: Sandstorm Oasis hosting is now in open beta
As you know, Sandstorm’s mission is to bring open source and indie web apps to a wider audience. To run open source web apps, you need your own server – the developers aren’t a big corporation with resources to run servers for you. And for everyone to run open source web apps, everyone needs control…