Honestly I am feeling a bit of joy watching LinkedIn take a hit. Not because I think their product is terrible but because of the endless spam emails I keep receiving from them, despite how many times I click unsubscribe.
This is a joke right ? We run Adsense display ads on our site and have to spend significant time every day reviewing and blocking new ads which try to use these deceptive practices.
Since Google clearly has the tech to detect this they should be implementing it at source on the advertisers (malvertisers). Instead they are pushing this down to the publishers and hitting them with penalties.
It's a clever ploy in some ways - Google gets the revenue from the ads and also the kudos from Joe Public for "being on the side of the consumer".
This has to be a management problem. Apple has total control over the hardware, total control over third party developers, and $203 billion in cash. What are they doing wrong?
Apple has the resources to approach software like aerospace. Formal interface specs, heavy Q/A, tough regression tests, formal methods. It's expensive, but Apple ships so many copies that the cost per unit is insignificant.
Microsoft did that, starting with Windows 7. Two things made Windows 7 stable. The first was the Static Driver Verifier, which examines driver source code to check if there's any way it can crash the rest of the OS. This includes buffer overflows. The driver may not work, but it won't take the rest of the kernel down with it. All signed drivers have passed the Static Driver Verifier, which anyone can run. Driver-caused crashes stopped being a big problem.
With the driver problem out of the way, any remaining kernel crashes were clearly Microsoft's fault. (This has the nice problem that kernel bugs could no longer be blamed on third party drivers.) Microsoft had a classifier system developed which tries to group similar crash reports together and send the group to the same developer. It's hard to ignore a bug when a thousand reports of crashes from the same bug have been grouped together.
That's part of how Microsoft finally got a handle on their software products. Is Apple doing anything like this?
A lot of people hating on LNKD here, but this isn't really company-specific. This is a macro shift. LNKD being down by 40% by only guiding down 8% below estimates is a big warning of how the market is about to treat all bloated growth stocks. In 2013, if they reported the same results, the stock would have been flat or slightly down. It's a major shift in investor sentiment.
Bubble bursts always start in the public markets. Next, VC-backed "unicorns" with ludicrous multiples will soon find themselves unable to raise cash at even half their previous valuations. Then those companies will have to tighten their spending which means layoffs and smaller revenue growth which is a vicious cycle towards even lower valuations, bankruptcies and ultimately a much worse job market for tech workers.
I'm expecting a 30-40% decline in S&P 500, 30% decline in bay area real estate values, 30% of bay area "well-funded" startups going bust, and 25% reduction in market rate pay for software engineers over the next 2 years. Hopefully that will turn out to be a gloomy forecast, but it's best to prepare for the worst.
Startup CEOs are getting pretty young these days, has your niece been hitting you up for a seed round?
I'm thinking an App that is Uber for Lemonade Stands, people in the neighborhood just press the "I'm thirsty" button and one of her "mixologists" nearby makes a lemonade and brings it by. She doesn't make the lemonade or sell it, she is all about connecting thirsty people to industrious people who are putting their otherwise unused lemons to work.
As someone whose starry-eyed Mac obsession predated Windows 95 - Apple's software has always been buggy. It was buggy under Sculley, it was buggy under Amelio, and it was buggy under Jobs. I remember getting plenty of sad Macs under System 6 and 7, and early versions of OS X weren't any better.
We just didn't care because Steve Jobs was really good at distracting us with promises about how great things were going to be, really soon now.
The comparison with Microsoft is instructive. Microsoft software was even buggier than Apple's during their period of greatest dominance. Win95/Win98/WinME would crash all the time, and was an open barn door for security. Early versions of IE were pieces of shit. Even later versions of IE (6-9) were pieces of shit. Microsoft finally got a handle on security & software quality just as the world ceased to care about them.
Apple's been driving change in the computer industry since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. New products are always buggy - the amount of work involved in building up a product category from scratch is massive, and you don't know how they'll be received by the market, so there're frantic changes and dirty hacks needed to adapt on the fly, and they often invalidate whole architectural assumptions. It's just that most of the time, this work goes on when nobody's paying attention, and so by the time people notice you, you've had a chance to iron out a lot of the kinks. Apple is in the unenviable position of trying to introduce new product categories while the whole world is looking.
The Apple Watch is buggy as hell, but I still find it useful, and pretty cool.
There is a lot going on in this article and I won't comment on all of it. I'll just address people who are perhaps curious about psychedelics. May I highly suggest that those wishing to experiment with psychedelics do it only in a place where you feel absolutely safe. That is, no risk of police, parents (if that is an issue), or neighbours to bother you. Additionally and I do think this is very important: in nature. Not in Times Square.
When done right and with the right people it can be a truly profound experience which I firmly firmly believe all humans should participate in. I've heard just as many people though turned off to them permanently though through bad experiences which I (who am likely biased) chalk up to bad settings. I'd also say properly grown mushrooms may be a better option for most people. Finally, maybe mixing drugs isn't the best thing to do either.
The current dominant themes in certain feminism & diversity cliques in our community are openly hostile towards me. I'm a male. I'm white. I'm middle class. I'm heterosexual.
I'm also a leader. I'm a parent of two daughters. My mother had to fight sexism issues in her career. I am supportive of inclusion & diversity. I am trying to raise my girls to be empowered, confident & curious. But the dominant themes in current diversity & feminist circles are so racist & sexist towards me that my first impulse is outrage.
For those of you who share this impulse- I want to provide the piece of perspective that helps me manage my frustration: Our culture operates under a pendulum. Right now, it's bad, but it will swing back.
There are “equality” people who are openly hostile to certain categories of humans based on gender, sexuality & race. This has happened before and it will happen again.
The pendulum will swing back and we'll look back at these people in the same way as certain stale feminists & race marketeers of the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s etc. The leaders of these ideas in the tech community who focus on gender & race over building products that people want will not last. They get louder & shriller, but wielding bigotry to fight bigotry always fertilizes suspicion.
You can't fight exclusion with exclusion. So don’t worry about these themes. If people aren’t bitching about their bigotry, their relevance wanes.
Just keep trying to do big things. If someone calls you privileged, it doesn't mean it wasn't hard & that you didn't earn it. You don’t have to argue with every person who writes something stupid on the Internet. To hell with those bigots. Their misery does not earn them the right to rob you of your own self worth and success. Diversity means that all perspectives deserve to be heard. It is ok that someone uses the word diversity to ward off white folks from leading. The community eventually rejects this kind of bigotry.
You can find these people worthy of your contempt and still be supportive of diversity & equality. Now ignore these fools and go build your shit.
Or how about the phony "people you may know". They suggested I may know my 4 year old Niece because somebody uploaded the email address created for her into their system. She definitely doesn't have a LinkedIn account, but they portray a profile-photoless "shadow profile" as-if she does.
Perhaps now that Google has taken steps to block websites that display these ads, Google should take steps to stop accepting these ads onto their network in the first place.
Most of the time when I see those DOWNLOAD/PLAY buttons, they're hosted on doubleclick.
The decline seems real to me. A shortlist of things I've noticed:
* Spotlight no longer finds things as easily. I used to use it for everything. Since updating to El Capitan, it has missed some exact match folders. Planning to switch to Alfred.
* iWork was gutted in '13. People used to use Pages professionally. I'm now using Pages '09, and planning to transition to Word or Latex. I tested Pages '13 intensively, and it fails for even basic publishing.
* Siri can only work with default Apple apps. And those default apps are getting worse. So Siri takes a hit with every app that declines. I used to use Mail, now I don't.
* Constant Wifi issues. I frequently have to turn off wifi, then turn on. On my home network. This never happened pre Mavericks.
* In general, all my Apple default software on my iphone is sitting in a folder titled "apple", which I never use. I don't think I use any Apple default App.
* I avoid icloud. It sends scary "do you want to delete all these files" messages if you ever unsync a device, and it's not clear which actions produce which effects. iTunes has a history of destroying files on syncs, so I can't trust iCloud. Even now, itunes will add apps to my device if they're in my library but I deleted them from my phone. It does this without asking! Any other cloud app has figured out how to handle deletions from one device.
Pages 09 hit the hardest. It was wonderful software. I used it for print publishing, and it just worked. Easy to use, incredibly powerful. Have a look at their manual for the level of care they put into their software, as recently as 2009.
Pages 13 can't do half of that. Very basic stuff like "facing pages" for books has been left out.
I don't know if you even need to see the whole presentation. A few of the full sentences on that one slide are more than enough to project a strong us vs them attitude of hatred and victim versus oppressor, especially the following bullets:
- "This is not work for white folks to lead"
- "Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women"
- "we need solidarity with our Asian friends and colleagues"
It didn't make sense to me until I had a.) started a company and b.) saw the historical tech stacks of a number of companies (eg. Google, Facebook, EBay) that had hit it big.
I started my career with the belief that your company has one tech stack, the chief architect chooses it when the company is founded, and that you never ever rewrite it because you're in for a world of pain if you do.
I learned that basically no company that experiences hyper-growth ever does this. Instead, the founder chooses a tech stack based on whatever he knows best and will let him write a v1 quickest - whether it be Java (Google), Perl (EBay), PHP (Facebook), or Common Lisp (Reddit). The first few employees collectively say that the founder is an idiot, choose a different tech stack (usually whatever's hot right now - probably Go or Node.js at this time, Python or Rails in 2005), and rewrite the whole product. They hire an experienced VP who says that the first few employees are idiots, chooses a different tech stack (often the tried and true enterprise favorites of C++ or Java), and dictates that everyone rewrite the product. Eventually, managers with more recent experience in that language get hired, who collectively say that that VP was an idiot, and the real way to do C++/Java is with Guice, Boost, C++11, etc, and rewrite the product that way. Development grinds to a halt, and the company buys a bunch of hot startups who wrote in whatever language they were familiar with, who are technical idiots but managed to build a product that everyone likes.
In this context, Parse and other BaaS providers makes a lot of sense. You can get your v1 product out there really quick, get customer feedback, improve it, take VC, and hire lots of programmers to call you an idiot and rewrite your product into something saner. Then you get bought, everybody at the new company thinks you're an idiot, but you have at least cashed out. Or you don't get bought and hire a VP who'll force you to rewrite your product, but at this stage you have so much of a market lead that it doesn't matter, and the BaaS got you to the point where you have the resources to free yourself of it.
(I wonder if I'll end up tripping some HN flamewar auto-detector with the number of times I've said "idiot" in this post...)
I posted this earlier today, but the current article (from bbc.co.uk) does a poor job covering the issue. In summary, Apple iOS uses a validation system to ensure Touch ID sensor is not maliciously replaced or modified. The Touch ID sensor has access to the iPhone Security Enclave, where fingerprint data is kept. A malicious sensor could, hypothetically, steal fingerprints from an iPhone user unknowingly. This could be used to unlock the phone and make purchases through Apple Pay without the owner's permission. To prevent this, Apple uses a validation system whenever the Touch ID sensor is repaired. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the validation paring is updated. Third-party repairs to the sensor will not update the pairing, and will fail validation when using Touch ID. This validation error is shown to users as the mysterious "Error 53".
If the validation fails, the device will function mostly fine, although with Touch ID disabled. However, the device will be prevented from restoring or updating to a new version. Restoring from backup still works. I'm not too sure why restoring or updating is blocked, but my guess is that they want to prevent malicious software from being uploaded in this process.
From the Daily Dot article, if a user encounters this error, Apple's current resolution is a full device replacement. It may be overkill I don't think Apple expected many people to encounter this issue, so it seems reasonable why they chose this option.
This is a great security feature for users, and I'm really glad Apple engineers considered this situation. Unfortunately the media is blowing this and leaving crucial details about what's happening and the reasoning behind it.
Here is Apple's statement on the matter:
We take customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device's other components. If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.
Back in the days a lot of thought and ingenuity was put into making these viruses. For instance, the Friday 13th  virus:
* was only 419 bytes long
* infected both .COM and .EXE, increasing the size of the former by only 1813 bytes
* on infection, became memory resident (using only 2kb of memory)
* hooked itself into interrupt processing and other low level DOS services to, for instance, suppress the printing of console messages in failure cases (like trying to to infect a file on a read-only floppy disk)
* activated itself every friday 13th and deleted programs used that day
It still managed to spread itself worldwide (mostly via floppy disk sharing as the world wide web didn't exist yet) and went mainstream enough for the broadcast news to advise people not to turn on their computers on that date or to push the date one day ahead.
All that in 419 bytes, about a third of the size of this post.
I worked in Amit's organization for over four years and it was great. He was brilliant technically both in terms of writing the main search algorithm that replaced Sergey's janky code, and explaining tricky principles of designing search engines to other people as the search team massively grew. One conversation we had about when it made sense to take the square root of things, which I still recall which whiteboard it was on, in my noob-cubicle in building 43, was really the time when I realized, aha I get how to design search algorithms now. It was also always just a very fun, idealistic, and interesting team. And he was good at corporate politics and defended his minions well ;-)
Oh also Amit clued me into the fact that Ardbeg is the best scotch.
This is certainly a loss for Google, but the guy was there for 16 years, so it's probably just time for a change. I will cross my fingers hoping something cool comes next....
>There's just no way in hell Steve Jobs would be putting up with this and I wish he was alive to tear some people a new one. I didn't like Jobs but respect his ability to achieve things.
You probably wasn't paying attention when Job was running things.
OS X 10.1 was a mess -- it took until several updates to become somewhat usable. The Finder was half-arsed for a decade. Mail.app had several issues. The Windows versions of iTunes was crappy. OS X releases that are now praised as "the best ever" etc, got tons of complaints for introducing bugs and instability. XCode has been historically crap (and it's much better now). And don't even get me started on the state of their Cloud offerings under Jobs.
Hardware wise the same. Every new release, from the original iPod to the iPad was met with complaints and bickering ("No wifi? Less space than a Nomad? Lame") -- even if it actually took wifi and batteries 5 more years to even start making practical sense to have on such a device for syncing. Aside from specs people complained about, there were also all kind of other HW issues, from the overheating G4 Cube, to the logic boards dying on G3 iBooks, to cooling goo spilling from G5 towers, the crappy "round" mouse, and lots of other stuff besides.
That said, I don't buy the "Apple software went downhill as of late" thing. First, because as said there were always issues. Second, because in normal use I don't see any particular decline. If anything things have got better, to the point where we complaint about trivial stuff. The thing is Apple of today puts out a heck of a lot more software and hardware products than the rosy Apple you remember.
I'd take iTunes in the back and kill it though -- as the latest redesigns are absolutely crap from a UX perspective. Then again, I wouldn't call that a programming quality issue -- more of a "idiotic focus and shoving on our faces of BS online music platform issue".
>Or, there's a chicken and egg question: XCode and the surrounding tools are atrociously buggy and hostile to the developer and it seems to increase with each release.
The opposite. XCode was "atrociously buggy" in the 3/4/5 era and before, and has gotten quite better in the 6/7 series (despite having to support a whole new language).
In fact a large list of early XCode 6 crashing bugs have been squashed months ago -- which was (as reported) around 90% of them.
It's kind of hard for me to tell whether the house is nicer than mine when there's so little detail in the article on the actual house.
Look, i'm more than supportive of innovative design and doing things cheaply, but for an article that was heavy on "the house is so cheap", and "its built kinda more like a airplane", and "it uses all this innovative stuff", there's a startling dearth of information.
Sqm, plans, insulation, facilities, utilities, safety? Is it a house I'd want to live in or build, or is it a $20,000 shed with furniture? I'm not being snarky, I really want to know!
This seems like a non-issue to me. If you're using an IaaS provider you should be treating the network as volatile from the get-go. This is the reason AWS has things like auto-scaling groups. You should be designing for failure in "the cloud"
Firstly, this will work on ad networks other than Google, so it''s more broad reaching than anything they could do just within AdSense. This is good.
Secondly, and arguably more importantly, the way to stop these adverts is for them to cost the advertiser (in either money or time) without giving them the reward of revenue. If the ads stop working then people won't have a reason to make them. By stopping the ads in AdSense rogue advertisers would just change to a different ad network. The problem wouldn't stop.