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I am deeply disgusted by false equivalency used in many posts this thread. Whatever you think the West is doing is not even close to this. The Chinese government owns and runs more than 50% of the economy and 100% of the industries they deem essential. They can not only cut your off completely from planes and trains, but also your electricity, driver license, internet, telephone, banks, ability to get any travel document, ability to stay at any hotel, etc. Let that sink for a bit, before you claim that Google or even NSA can do something similar.

I am a Chinese expat, but I don't have a National ID. I have a Chinese passport, but I cannot even buy train tickets online (yet i can ride the train) with it and I cannot open a bank account in my own country. Things will get worse with 'social credit' as another barrier because I won't have a credit history with them.

[edit] removed claim that Chinese expat won't be able to fly in China without National ID because some say the viral news is a rumor. Honestly i cannot tell any more.

There's breaking reporting that Facebook just had personnel in the Cambridge Analytica offices before the UK authorities could get there with warrants.


> BREAKING: Facebook WAS inside Cambridge Analytica's office but have now "stood down" following dramatic intervention by UK Information Commissioner's Office..


> To be clear, @facebook was trying to "secure evidence" ahead of the UK authorities. Nice try, @facebook. The UK Information Commissioner's Office cracking whip...British legal investigation MUST take precedence over US multibillion $ company.....

Something VERY wrong is going on at Facebook.

edit, with another account:


> Facebook have confirmed that auditors and legal counsel acting on behalf of the company were in the offices of Cambridge Analytica this evening until they were told to stand down by the Information Commissioner. These investigations need to be undertaken by the proper authorities

To me the principle of “once untrustworthy, always restricted” sounds like the beginning of a new caste system.

Everyone's children are going to make mistakes. The wealthy are going to be able to cover up their children's mistakes, the poor are going to be put on 'the list' and become 'restricted.'

The restrictions will grow, and eventually you'll have a new group of 'untouchables'

Because the "breaches" and "abuses" aren't breaches or abuses, it's Facebook's business model working as intended.

I have a personal story from inside facebook to share. and when I shared this story on my facebook my personal facebook was suspended too.

5 years ago Facebook recruiter reached out to me and invited me to the W hotel in Chicago. I was very excited -not for the job- but for the opportunity to meet with senior Facebook managers and tell them about an evil thing Facebook does. Here is the background story:

I am Kurdish from Iran. And Iran has many provinces. one of them is called Kurdistan. In Facebook profile section for Hometown you could pick all of the Iranian provinces except Kurdistan.

And at first I thought it was a bug. For years and years we submitted bug reports and collected petitions for Facebook they never responded why the Kurdistan province cannot be picked while other provinces could be picked.

Till one day, An internal document -guidance- leaked out of Facebook. That explained it all ! One of the pages was talking about Kurdistan. In which they had explained any reference to Kurdistan is considered terrorism. That was on the request of Turkish government.

In "Turkey", the word Kurdistan is forbidden. and many people in Turkey been prisoned for speaking Kurdish. however in "Iran" we officially have a province called "Kurdistan Province). and Iranian government recognizes the name Kurdistan for my homeland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_Iran

But Facebook decided to enforce the Turkish government racist rule on other countries that have Kurdistan (Iran, Iraq, Syria...)

Also in that leaked guidance memo. Kurdistan flag was considered illegal. And hundreds of Kurdish pages and accounts got banned for having Kurdistan flag.

While Kurdish flag is illegal in Turkey. Kurdish flag is officially recognized in the Constitution of Iraq for Kurdistan regional government.

So when they invited me to W Hotel to recruit me. I was like yes finally I can meet the people in person. Because as a Kurd I have no importance and they will never respond to me but a software engineer I am pretty attractive on the market.

So I asked the question from one of the managers. And told them my story this for years and years I send them emails and nobody got back to me and we made petitions about this so-called bug.

He said these things are decided by higher management.

I told him how often do you show this disagreement to higher managers or Mark Zuckerburg's policies if you have a different opinion. He responded if I disagree with them I wouldn't work there.

I left the W Hotel in Chicago 5 years ago refusing to proceed with a job on FB. I knew Facebook is on the wrong path. And today I see that prediction coming true.

Even today when Turkey committed a massacre in Kurdish city of Afrin, Facebook blocked many voices inside the city who were showing massacres by Turkish government.

10 years ago FB came after kurds and you said not my problem. Today they are coming after all of u

While they are at it please remove LinkedIn. You can't actually view anything on any page without logging in. Why is it listed at all? Seems pretty deceptive to me.

I'm really shocked at the trend in comments here.

Yes, we get it. Fatalities will happen sometimes, they are unavoidable sometimes, and what matters in the long run is if we can achieve a significant overall reduction in fatalities.

But my god, a person was just killed by a computer. Can't we have some compassion and humility?

Let's, as a community, set the standard for how we will react to these events. Let's make sure Uber releases detailed data on what happened, whether they were at fault or not. Let's hold the media accountable for their reporting. Let's mourn the loss of life and think about how we can solve these problems.

But for christ's sake, please stop posting the same thing everybody already knows, which gets posted on HN whenever a self-driving article comes out.

Can't we do better?


EDIT: I clarified what I meant here [1]

Wasn't trying to say this thread should be all about mourning. This is HN so we should talk about technology, even when a person died. I'm pointing out one specific argument that gets repeated over and over in place of a substantive discussion, and I think we can do better.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16621589

Can we not let this become framed as a "breach"? No systems were compromised. Nothing of Facebook's was accessed that wasn't supposed to be accessed. This was data intentionally exposed by Facebook, just exfiltrated and given to an entity whom Facebook hadn't authorized.

This is simply the extent to which we've permitted these Internet giants to collect information about us. It's business as usual.

Edit: To clarify, this is indeed worse than if the data were taken from Facebook without consent. What it means is that not only does Facebook have access to vast troves of personal information, but so does everyone tangentially connected to someone with a Facebook developer account.

> Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do

Thanks for striking down the bad guys, Facebook, our ever vigilant guardian of personal information.

I remember reading a book on Facebook in 2010 or so. I remember distinctly quote from Mark Zuckerberg that "privacy is the concept from the past". Then, a couple years later I read he bought houses surrounding his house to ensure his own privacy.

Lost any respect I had for the guy in that moment. I really hope FTC will force FB to stop most of their unfair practices.

Sorry, this story isn't very interesting, but it really stuck with me nonetheless, and I wanted to share.

Adrian had a passing romance with a friend of mine, and thus ended up traveling through the city I grew up in. This was long before Chelsea Manning, etc.

I was a super shy, rather awkward teenage girl. I suppose the teenage part has changed.. but I digress. I loved the idea of mischief, but at the same time, I was a habitual rule-follower. I get nervous walking through the retail store detectors placed at entrances.. even though I've never stolen anything in my life. I remember listening to social engineering phone pranks -- the sort where people would talk their way into being put on the store-wide intercom at Walmart. At the time, I think I really wanted to be so confident that I could do such a thing, versus the reality, which was mild anxiety over something so simple as placing a legit pizza order over the phone.

I knew who Adrian was in a peripheral sense. I was a community leader and eventual employee on AOL in years prior, and I had an interest in how to break things as an inverse of being curious how they're built.

I had a car, while my friend did not, and Adrian had traveled via transit, so I spent the day with them hopping around town. At one point, we were downtown grabbing food in one of the larger complexes -- Adrian breaks off for a second and asks a retail store employee a bunch of questions about working there, saying he was just hired at the cafe. We then ended up going into what was clearly an employee-only area -- GUYS WE AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE HERE WHAT IF WE GET IN TROUBLE OH GOD -- we duck into a fire escape, hike up to the upper level where he picks the lock to the door with roof access, and there we are, highest point in the city. After a few minutes of me suggesting that MAYBE we go back down since this was cool BUT REALLY WE SHOULD GO, Adrian told me I'd miss the sunset if I kept worrying.

It was dumb. I'm sure I could've been arrested. But watching the sunset with the two of them from the top of that building remains one of my favorite memories. It was the first time I'd taken a step out of my shell, I suppose. Adrian was a troubled guy, and I don't forgive what he did to Manning, but I appreciated him for that moment in time.

"Testilying" is a fun, cute name for the crime of perjury.

Where's the problem? To me it shows what an excellent job the creation of the GDPR was. It makes companies think in depth about the data they hold on me and how they process it. It also provides clear ways to question and challenge it.

I've seen a number of articles trying to frame the GDPR as some kind of shambles. The shambles is the way too many companies have abused and mis-processed the data for too many years and somehow the EU lawmakers are bureaucratic imbeciles. Yet, everyone I know is fully in favour of this as consumers.

And, for context, I am the person who will have to deal with these at our company. Our customers are absolutely entitled to expect us to process their personal information is a responsible manner and I hope a number of these letters are sent to every company, it's about time there was a power shift in this area.

I don't see why Pinterest does this to themselves. My main exposure to them is through Google image search and links to their site.

So my first several experiences were like this. It left me with a terrible first impression. It makes me wonder if the whole site plays games and tries to waste my time.

I usually don't sign up for an account the first few times I encounter a site, so in my mind it's a pretty critical time to make a good impression. Instead they annoyed me so much I've practically decided never to create an account.

Former Lyft eng here. From my vantage point, as an industry, we're nowhere near where we should be on the safety side. The tech companies are developing driving tech privately instead of openly. Why can a private for profit company "test" their systems on the public roads? The public is at serious risk of getting run over by hacked and buggy guidance / decision system. Even when a human operator has his hands hovering 1 inch off the steering wheel and his foot on the brake, if the car decides to gas it and swerve into a person, it is probably too late for the human crash test driver to overtake. This is going to keep happening. The counterargument FOR this is that it is overall a good idea for the transportation system if the number of crashes & deaths is statistically less than human operated cars. I see this as the collision of what's possible with what's feasible and that we are years away from any of this being close to a good idea. :( Very sad for the family and friends.

This is what's going to happen. If you've ever seen a machine learning algorithm in action, this isn't surprising at all. Basically, they'll behave as expected some well known percentage of the time. But when they don't, the result will not be just a slight deviation from the normal algorithm, but a very unexpected one.

So we will have overall a much smaller number of deaths caused by self driving cars, but ones that do happen will be completely unexpected and scary and shitty. You can't really get away from this without putting these cars on rails.

Moreover, the human brain won't like processing these freak accidents. People die in car crashes every damn day. But we have become really accustomed to rationalizing that: "they were struck by a drunk driver", "they were texting", "they didn't see the red light", etc. These are "normal" reasons for bad accidents and we can not only rationalize them, but also rationalize how it wouldn't happen to us: "I don't drive near colleges where young kids are likely to drive drunk", "I don't text (much) while I drive", "I pay attention".

But these algorithms will not fail like that. Each accident will be unique and weird and scary. I won't be surprised if someone at some point wears a stripy outfit, and the car thinks they are a part of the road, and tries to explicitly chase them down until they are under the wheels. Or if the car suddenly decides that the road continues at a 90 degree angle off a bridge. Or that the splashes from a puddle in front is actually an oncoming car and it must swerve into the school kids crossing the perpendicular road. It'll always be tragic, unpredictable and one-off.

One aspect that comes from this is that now car crashes can be treated more like aircraft crashes. Each self-driving car now has a black box in it with a ton of telemetary.

So it's not just "don't drink and drive", knowing that they'll probably reoffend soon anyway. Every crash and especially fatality can be thoroughly investigated and should be prevented from ever happening again.

Hopefully there's enough data in the investigation so that Tesla / Waymo and all other car companies can include the circumstances of the failure in their tests.

I've said this before on this forum, but I'll reiterate it here since it's relevant. As a Kenyan I can advise if there are any endangered species indigenous to Kenya that you would like to see, your best bet is to just go see them before they die out. The most prominent poacher in our country is the president's mother, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, and she's been poaching relentlessly ever since the current president's father was our President[1]. No media company will talk about this if they want to retain their license to report in Kenya, but Google is your friend on this topic. Given this fact, I'd also advice well wishers to save their money donating to our conservation efforts, it's a pretty lost cause given the circumstances, unless you're the most glass half full type of guy. [1] https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/elephant-appeal...

As a repair café volunteer, I've found two drawbacks to being a volunteer/having repair cafés:

- A small subset of people buy shitty products (1$ bicycle lamps, lights, cheap-as-shit appliances like clocks, hoovers, …). I have no problem fixing stuff, and showing them how to fix stuff, but I always refuse to try to repair really cheap stuff. It's not even repairing at this point, but more sticking it back together. When this case happens, I explain in good term that they should buy a slightly better quality next time; it'll last them longer

- these cafés attract in general "alternative" people. I've got no problem with that, but I'm a bit fed up with conspirationists, anti-nuclear, really left-wing people.

But in general, it's a really rewarding experience !

I grew up on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood; it was still in production when I was a child.

I still occasionally hear criticism of the show as being unrealistic, that it papered over things or was shallow or ungrounded. As if children's perception, compared to adults, is particularly realistic, deep or stable! What adult worries about going down the drain after a bath? Who understands the deep, existential angst a child feels looking over the precipice as the two most important people in their lives "suddenly" aren't together anymore? Rogers' genius was to take what was meaningful to a child and speak frankly about that. He never belittled those anxieties; he merely explained them and what they could do. And if there wasn't anything they could actually do, he could at least convince them the world would not end.

The show represented an idealism that you just don't see anymore. I was too young to have seen the episodes first-run where black community members were simply introduced, without fanfare, but that's exactly how he would have done it. Of course black people live in our city. Lots of people live in our city. They're just like you and me. They have the same jobs and live in the same houses because why shouldn't they? It wasn't polarized or political, it wasn't beating people over the head for not believing what he believed. It was simply matter-of-fact.

When he did the Emmys in 1997, you saw that idealism in practice. Of course there are special people in your lives who brought you to where you are today. Why wouldn't you honour them? And people obeyed, for he was right. (If you don't know this story, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Rogers#Emmys_for_programm... .)

I have a DVD of some of the episodes with a little toy cardigan wrapped around them. I was quite upset when he passed away, even with a graduate degree by then.

As a moral authority, there couldn't have been one much better in the United States.

The arrogance of Facebook's response to this breach, quibbling over what to call it and now this, is mind-blowing. Their "it wasn't a robbery because we left the front door open" excuse may finally bring about trans-Atlantic regulation of social media.

This presents an interesting opportunity for the FTC.

The amount of data being amassed by Facebook, Google and others has become exorbitant, and apparently has already been abused (some might even say weaponized) in a major election.

If Facebook indeed violated the 2011 consent decree, then the FTC can fine them up to "thousands of dollars a day per violation [per user]". This presents the FTC with the opportunity to send a message to these data hoarders: protect the data you collect, or else.

Fine them to the point where they have to start asking themselves whether it's even worth it to collect and store certain data, and with whom to share it.

It shouldn't be the government's job to ensure that the data gets protected, this should be in Facebook's own self interest.

What's utterly horrifying about this whole thing is how the media is acting as if this is some sort of surprise. Like what did you think was happening at a company collecting data about billions of people? Especially at a company that has a CEO who is famous for calling its own users dumb fu * * s? A company that experimented on at risk teens. Like come on.


Or lordy, didn't expect this comment to blow up this much. Do forgive me if it sounded a bit smug, that was not my intention. But the fact of the matter is this was something we were all warned about, we were shown countless examples of exactly this, not just us nerds, everyone, people like Edward Snowden risked their lives telling us about how all this data was being used against all of us. and yet everyone kept giving more and more, you were looked at like a tin foil wearing nutter when you told people not to give away so much information about themselves so easily.

At the end of the day, this is not really 100% facebook's fault, this is our fault, the fault of everyone who so readily made their information available without giving much thought to who sees it and what happens to it. And no just because you are not a techie you are not off the hook for not caring enough about your own privacy. I mean what level of technical knowledge is needed to know that once you post something online others can see it?

Funny thing is, this would all blow over after a few months, and everyone will go back to the usual habbits.

Consider the restrictions that US law places on convicted felons. Millions of Americans have been stripped of constitutional rights, often for infractions as minor as stealing a coat or possessing half an ounce of marijuana. Felons often face considerable difficulties in finding employment and housing. "Once untrustworthy, always restricted" is a practical reality in the US.

> Why can a private for profit company "test" their systems on the public roads? The public is at serious risk of getting run over by hacked and buggy guidance / decision system.

Interesting way of putting it. Kinda echos the "privatize the profits, socialize the losses" sentiment from the financial crisis.

As someone who runs a bunch of private repos on Github, and hires freelancers and vendors to work on them, I like the way Github manages forks of private repos. When I end a relationship, and remove that person from my private repo, I want their fork of my code to go away too.

Why? Because it's cleaner. It means there are no abandoned copies of my codebase sitting around forever forgotten in random Github accounts. I set up a private repo because I want to control access to my code. That's why a private repo is private.

It also makes it harder for people to misrepresent their relationship to me later on. Sure, anyone with read access to one of my repos can pull it down and save a local copy. But that is different from logging into Github and having a fork of my repo. A Github fork looks and works differently from a local copy.

This whole situation seems weird because the idea of a "private" repo is not inherent to how git was intended to work; it's something Github invented to make money. So I'm not surprised that it violates people's expectations sometimes.

I have a friend who almost went to prison (24 months) for something a stranger had done because a police officer gave false testimony against him. Because my friend's public defender was overloaded with cases, bus surveillance footage corroborating my friend's defense almost didn't make it to his trial. At the very last minute, while the judge was making his final statement, my friend's public defender busted through the door with the footage. A police officer blatantly lied to get him convicted for a crime he had nothing to do with.

My friend got off and the police officer blushed. Nothing else happened. The cop was never prosecuted for anything, not for perjury, not for testilying.

In case you were wondering, the answer is "yes": my friend is a black male.

edit: Just wanted to say that yes, these kinds of things also happen to people of all races, especially working class people.

Enough with the #. If you want to swear, swear. If you don't want to swear, don't.

For fuck's sake.

I was in the beta of SO. I almost never interact with it anymore.

Asking a question on SO is a last resort to me, and I get a horrid sinking feeling in my gut when I feel forced to do so. The people[1] who are still active on it seem to be people who thrive on pedantry and whose goal is to find any potential flaw in your question and feel smart for pointing it out.

You begin to realise no one is actually reading your question in good faith, so you start getting defensive: filling your questions with disclaimers about how your example code is just an example[2], how you know there are other ways you could do it but you're constrained toward this direction for various reasons[3], and so on and so forth, until you feel like you spend more time defensively shoring up your question from attacks than actually constructing the question in the first place[4]

I still read SO, but as someone who was around before it existed I don't really feel like the quality of answers is any higher than the random forum posts of yore, it's just that they're all under the same URL now, and the same user interface.

Which I suppose is something.

[1] Not all people™, but definitely the general feeling tends this direction

[2] classic situation: you simplify your code to Foo and Bar levels to show the problem cleanly, so people chastise you for having a complex data structure / worrying about performance / whatever for such simple code

[3] e.g., "How do I achieve X" gets turned into people saying "Why would you want to achieve X, that's stupid"

[4] This is not the same as researching the issue and trying as many things as you can think of, which is definitely helpful in any context of question asking

At a user's suggestion, we changed the URL from https://www.facebook.com/groups/majordomo/permalink/10156204... to avoid the painful contrast between an internet forum controversy and a father's grief over the death of his son.

I've turned off flags on this story because if we don't, the story will be reposted until we do. In return, here's a request: if you comment here, try to bring your heart with you a bit more than you usually would.

If we don't do that, a sort of tragedy of the commons kicks in where we each add a piece that's defensible in itself, but the picture of us that the pieces add up to is ugly.


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