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One thing to remember is that YAML is about 20 years old. It was created when XML was at peak popularity. JSON didn't exist (YAML is a parallel, contemporary effort). Even articulating the problems with XML's approach was an uphill battle. What you would replace it with is also hard. What use cases matter? What is the core model? A simple hierarchy? Typed nodes? A graph? What sort of syntax is needed for it to be usable? These were all questions. Seen in context, we got quite a bit correct. And yes... it has a few embarrassing warts and a few deep problems. Ah well.

A second thing to consider... YAML was created before it was common that tech companies actively contributed to open source development. There are lots of things we could have done differently if we had more than a few hours per week... even a tiny bit of financial support would have helped.

Finally, YAML isn't just a spec, it has multiple implementations. Getting consensus among the excellent contributors is a team effort, and particularly challenging when no one is getting paid for the work. Once you have a few implementations and dependent applications, you're kinda stuck in time.

It was an special pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing collaborators.

We did it gratis. We are so glad that so many have found it useful.


Author here. I'm seeing the same comment in 4 different places on here, worded with various amounts of hostility. I now wish I had addressed this in the FAQ on the post.

There's the suggestion that an exploding feature is worthless, given your partner can just take a screenshot or video of what you sent.

This suggestion is missing (1) that your relationship with a partner is disproportionately okay at the time you sent something (i.e., you trust them THEN) and (2) there's a whole different class of adversary who compromises your or your partners' devices in the future.

SnapChat, as far as I know, has none of the cryptographic implementation of Keybase. And yet it has likely protected hundreds of thousands of kids from severe bullying. Consider the teen girl who sends the goofy sexy pic to her boyfriend. Before the advent of exploding messages, he might've iMessaged or emailed that to a friend, just one friend, his best friend, out of pride. And that friend sent it to a few more, and so on. Not out of malice, but suddenly the whole school has seen her pic of god knows what and she literally wants to die. But with Snapchat, taking a screenshot is knowingly violating a social agreement. It's also violating the trust of his current girlfriend - everyone knows it's not okay to screenshot that shit. And the number of people who would do that is much tinier. Second, consider the far worse scenario: she dumps him a month later and until then he has been NiceGuy. But then he becomes r/niceguy, the guy who will look through the old pictures and spread them around.

Finally, let's not forget that your device can be compromised by loss, theft, or hackers, at any time. Exploding messages are gone when that happens.

People can be tricked, compelled, coerced, blackmailed, and hacked. Or just turn evil. All in the future. Which is what a timed message protects against. This is why Keybase is doing this. Paired with encryption it's quite powerful.


For the first month or so I take a very humble listening position, even if I immediately see things I want to fix. More often then not, there is a background and a history to things that could lead to a) my “fix” being unnecessary and/or ill-informed and b) friction with the rest of the team because here comes a whippersnapper upending all our stuff.

Process and code fixes are _much_ easier once you have good rapport with the team.


Most of the comments here are about using or not using Firefox, depending on it's features as compared to primarily Chrome. However, for me, it is not about being better or having more features at all - it is because I like Firefox and want to support Mozilla and believe that Google should not control the web. It is somewhat similar to the free software vs. open source debate - one should use free software not because it is better, but because it is the right thing to do (I understand that not many people agree with this philosophy, which is fine).

Having said that, all sites which I regularly use work perfectly for me in Firefox with acceptable performance. So I never found a reason to switch at all. Rarely, I come across a website which is "best viewed with Chrome"; my default action is to close that site immediately.


We had 20 minutes notice, and then everyone was kicked out of the Slack support channel and API responses simply died. What the actual fuck. They have mobile client SDKs out in the wild that are now just eating up battery life as they retry an impossible query forever.

Cupertino, last year, voted in a referendum to maintain a two-story construction limit. It also voted down multi-family homes. At the end of the day, Silicon Valley's residents--not Facebook--are telling their lower-income neighbors "we prefer higher housing prices".

> Indiegogo, GoFundMe, npm, Musical.ly, TaskRabbit, Meetup, OLX, ThredUp, YouNow, 99 Designs, Carousell, and Zendesk

Half an hour of warning, to screw over all of these?

They broke npm's user sign-ups, and publishing of packages, with half an hour of warning.

I can't imagine the havoc over at Zendesk either.

That is not 'winding down'. That's ghosting.


This is literally an episode of Better Off Ted.[1] In it, the titular Ted is inadvertenly deleted from the company system when trying to correct a misspelling of his last name. Eventually, he is forced to interview for his own job as the system had already put out an ad for his replacement. I think the most striking part of it, and of the true story from the post, is the human factor - the idea that the humans involved looked to the system as an authority and followed its orders blindly.

I wonder what other examples there are of people blindly following technology - people driving into lakes because their GPS told them to, etc. Plus, as our society gets more and more dependent on these systems, we may lose out on the flexibility that human mediators and problem solvers once gave us. The human tendency to defer to authority may never be as terrifying as when that authority is held by an uncaring machine with a couple bugs.

What was once satire has become too real.

[1]: http://betteroffted.wikia.com/wiki/Goodbye,_Mr._Chips


Does anyone inside Twitter know who the executive was who pulled the trigger on this decision? There's no way this person knew the gravity of accepting the risk for blowing this many high-profile customers out of the water all at once.

I'm pretty accustomed to executives making dreadful decisions without the approval/acceptance of other stakeholders within said person's firm. I'd rather know who made this error and not interact with that specific person's department rather than stop doing business (e.g. large ad-buys) with Twitter as a whole.

I don't want this to be a witch-hunt so much as I want the person to just come forward and own the decision, because unless they have an exceptionally good reason for it, it comes off as absurdly high-risk to both Twitter-the-business as well as to all the clients who've likely written serious penalties into their contracts for events like this, which again brings that business risk back full-circle to... Twitter.


It's also easier to give forgiveness than permission, especially in an institutional context. Forgiveness after the fact doesn't imply approval of the act the way permission beforehand does.

I work at twitter and wasn’t able to find out immediately, but have been collecting responses like these + the article and communicating with someone who knows what to do. I only found out about this over twitter and I am personally deeply frustrated and working to understand whatever led to this.

The issue of Sony disallowing cross-play is not the reason for controversy in this case.

It's actually because logging in to a Fortnite account on PS4 irreversibly locks that account to Sony's walled garden.

I created my Fortnite account on PC and played there. Then I logged in on PS4, and played there. Now when I try to log in on Switch, I'm not able to. Here's the actual error message given:

"This Fortnite account is associated with a platform which does not allow it to operate on Switch. Neither the Fortnite website nor Epic Customer Service are able to change this. To play Fortnite on Switch, please create a new account."

The problem is that even disassociating the account from Sony won't then allow me to use my Fortnite account outside of Sony's walled garden. The account is permanently tainted by PlayStation.

Most importantly, the irreversibility of Sony's taint upon your account isn't disclosed until after the fact. It's a classic anti-user misdeed.

Anyway, Hacker News seems like the right place to ponder SaaSS user account foibles.


I can echo his experience reporting browser bugs and provide my own reviews:

Firefox - By far the best. Quick response, usually from engineers. If it's important the fix will be quick.

Edge - No reply for months / years. When I've gotten replies back it's been to ask me to try with the current version. When I do and the bug still exists it goes back at the bottom of the queue it seems.

Chrome - Somewhat of a mixed bag. Some times responses are quick, some times they are from engineers. But most often I get replies that convey the person I'm speaking too is a very green QA type. I've gotten replies that the test case I provided them doesn't reproduce the bug, because they had attempted loading it with the file:// protocol (of course hardly anything works with the file protocol). I'm not sure, do they expect me to include a web server for them?

Safari - Only tried a couple of times, never gotten a whisper back.

I would rate my experiences as:

Firefox - A+

Chrome - C

Edge - D

Safari - F


Meanwhile in Britain, the former leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, spoke out and claimed that the war on cannabis had been "irreversibly lost".

He was quickly shut down by Theresa May, who categorically ruled out legalisation or even decriminalisation [1].

I don't understand how politicians can stand up and claim that legalisation would have substantial negatives, when every experiment with legalisation has been a success. It's the same blinkered thinking as the anti-gay marriage politicians claiming that it will cause the breakdown of families, or politicians claiming that universal healthcare in the USA clearly wouldn't work.

Drug prohibition has been a categorical failure in every outcome it was intended to achieve. It has cost governments trillions of dollars and incarcerated millions, funded terrorism and civil wars, and caused the deaths of millions of people from both violence and drug related harm. Plus the harm caused by the demonisation of drugs that have potentially powerful positive effects as part of psychiatric treatment such as LSD and MDMA. All due to some concept that taking "recreational drugs" is a moral failing and hence should be illegal.

At least society in genera has finally come around to realise that drug addiction and drug use are not moral failings (although my parents aren't quite convinced).

Obviously we want to restrict access as much as possible to particular drugs, such as heroin or methamphetamine, which are so harmful and addictive that nobody should be using them, or GHB, where the potential for fatal overdose is so high. But penalising the end user is not the solution. People who want to take drugs will take drugs. I have never met somebody who has decided to not take a drug because it's illegal. Whether it was alcohol when underaged, smoking a joint, injecting heroin, or snorting cocaine. I know plenty of people who don't take drugs as a personal choice or because they get drug tested at work, but never was the law a reason why the abstained. It doesn't restrict supply either. Drugs are easy to find and readily available practically everywhere in the world, all that prohibition does is push up the price, fund criminals, and increase harm due to poor quality control and cut drugs.

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44526156


Long live IRC

There will always be new platforms like slack, discord, gitter, and whatever. IRC was and still is great.

IRC is simple, its text, its stable. Its simple to program on and a lot can be done above it.

IRC is open.

The basis of old internet protocols are simple, open and powerful

Email, IRC, HTML, FTP

And as the article points out, irc has no face. IRC was a time people had to ask for a picture. Different from the newer trendier platforms. Back then people used to engage a lot more before they became curios to put a face on a nickname.

The internet has been inundated with the "average" people who unfortunately are not interested in "aplications" like mIRC/irssi/bitchX. Looks like average people need apps that are simpler to use than IRC, apps that allow them to promote their profile to the next level, have followers and likes statistic. Which is alright, in the end they are just the average people that wont put effort to learn nonclickable platforms like IRC.

The web really exploded when the smartphone came and apps like facebook came also and made the average people go online and understand what internet was for. There was a time when only the nerds understood what internet really was. Nowadays the internet guy is not a "nerd" anymore. Nerd is not perjorative as it once was.

IRC is still open, IRC is still kicking.

If you are on IRC, dont let the shiny and newer take you out from IRC.

Long live IRC


This is what happens when those in control don't understand, know or care about the things they regulate.

So I guess this is bad.

--goes and reads article--

> Article 11, requiring online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content, was also approved.

What the fucking FUCK?

Pay to send companies actual traffic? Pay to be allowed to use the basic building-block of the world wide web on the world wide web?

Just how is it possible to be so out of touch with how things work, and still be allowed to pass regulation?

I'm honestly not able to come up with an analogy which sufficiently illustrates just how backwards this whole thing is.


It was approved on in a committee of the European parliament (for legal matters), which means that now they will enter negotiations with the European Council and then after some time and processes laid out in Art. 293ff TFEU, it will be debated in the European Parliament at some point.

So yes, there is still plenty of room and time to discuss this rather unfortunate policy.

EDIT:

For more info: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20180618IPR...

Votes: Yes - 14 MEPs No - 9 MEPs Abstentions - 2 MEPs


They didn't go so far as to overrule Smith, the ""pen register" decision, where the court held that dial digits are a "business record" of the telephone company. That 1979 decision mentions the pen register's "limited capabilities" - the device was just not suitable for bulk surveillance. This decision mentions Smith, but the court didn't overrule it.

I own a "pen register". Recently bought it on eBay and restored it. It's a brass clockwork device on a cast-iron base in a wooden box. It prints dashes on a paper tape when connected to a dial phone line. It's extremely simple - one electromagnet and a wind-up mechanism, wound with a huge brass key, to advance the tape. A dial pulse starts the clockwork, a lever pushes the paper tape into an ink roller for each dial pulse, and when the input hasn't changed for four seconds, the clockwork stops. The timing mechanism is similar to Edison's stock ticker from the 1880s. Weighs about 15 pounds. It's a nice looking piece of machinery.

That's what cops had to use for most of the 20th century. Telcos themselves did not log call data except for long distance calls. Electromechanical switches had no large data storage devices. A pen register had to be physically connected to a single phone line, usually in a telephone central office. Someone had to check on it frequently and wind it. No way could those things be used for bulk surveillance. Hence the court's holding as to its "limited capabilities".

The legal system has trouble with scale. Today, every transaction a phone has with the switch is logged to a hard drive for nearly zero cost. Data logged per call has increased by many orders of magnitude since the days of the pen register and the Smith decision. But the court has not seen fit to overrule Smith. Yet.


It's illuminating how predictable Apple is in these matters. The subhead of a month-old article on one of the class-action lawsuits filed over this issue:

"Apple faulty product flowchart: Deny --> Get sued --> Admit --> Initiate repair program" [0]

The next step is for the class-action suits to wither on the vine because Apple can say it's providing relief.

[0]: https://www.techspot.com/news/74772-apple-facing-second-clas...


One reason old buildings seem generally better than new buildings is survivorship bias. We only see the exceptional old buildings that were worth preserving. The franken-buildings in the article won't survive many generations to be laughed at.

In general, the prediction "future generations will laugh at X" rarely comes to pass. Better laugh while you can.


That's how we ended up with 1000s of garbage quality tutorials for android development. I was once looking how to save app specific data and all top 10 tutorials in google and DDG were saving data to userspace by creating new directory called something like 'myapp'. Years later Google had to create a series of tutorials with Udemy (as I recall) to actually tell people how to do things in a not stupid way.

Please don't write tutorials about things you do NOT know. Newcomers will visit your blog and think you're an expert and do it this way.


I'd just like to raise a point that isn't discussed enough:

Requiring a warrant is an extremely low bar to pass. Yet somehow law enforcement has been moving away from even that cursory glance since 9/11. We keep seeing these arguments about how burdensome warrants are, but judges routinely rubber stamp every warrant request that comes across their desk.

The reality is that this has nothing to do with "warrant Vs. no-warrant" that's just the headline, when crimes are suspected warrants are trivial to get. The fight really being had here is "warrant Vs. routine monitoring."

That's what law enforcement want from this: If you know someone that knows someone that might have committed a crime, they want to invade your privacy "just in case." As I said, if you were directly tied to it a warrant is easy, they want to expand the scope of monitoring.


I have a hunch that this will, in the end, be a massive win for large retailers vs. small ones. The task of figuring out how to calculate tax for all states is more or less the same amount of work regardless of size, which means for someone like Amazon it's more or less trivial, but for a mom-and-pop store it's a major hassle.

The law was basically made at the publisher’s behest to get Google to pay them. So far, it has spectularly backfired.

In Germany, Google started to delist news sites from their index. After traffic dropped, the publishers gave Google a license to link freely. Law defeated.

In Spain, they went a bit further and wrote into the law that Google had to list news sites in their index. So Google News shut down in Spain. Law defeated.

I guess, third time’s the charm?


They dismiss Cortez and his men as exaggerating the number of skulls when they claimed 130,000, but if you start calculating how many are in the image of the reconstruction in the article, it's easily close to 100,000.

This reminds me of how the academic consensus was that child sacrifice in Carthage was merely Roman propaganda, until they dug up the massive infant necropolis near the temple to Moloch (yes, that Moloch -- the Carthaginians were Canaanites).

Even the Romans made human sacrifices (not just gladiators, or feeding Christians to the lions). When things got particularly grim in the Punic wars, they sacrificed two Gauls and a Greek in the forum.

Human sacrifice was alarmingly common.


I paid out $100,000 to pay off my wife & my own student loan debt early. Student loan debt can not be discharged by bankruptcy; it's always waiting for you.

This implies several things immediately:

- You have to take a job which can make payments on the debt.

- You have to choose stable jobs which will not suddenly fold under you.

There's also a somewhat hard to define aspect to the problem where you have to ensure that your local system is fiscally stable.

Anyway, non-1% Americans graduated from college not taking risks in their first 10 years out? Totally predictable, just from the debt perspective.

Then, at 32, 34, a lot of people are married and/or have a kid on the way. Welp, there's your high levels of downside again.

Add in to all this the fact that housing prices are effectively tethered to the availability of cash provided to the "highly paid" market (inequality increases)....

... so if your startup fails, you'll lose your place to live, and remote jobs are very rare, so you're in trouble in the big city with now-unaffordable costs of living.

the solution, in part, has a simple policy component: declare jubilee on all federally-originated student debt; free college for all students who maintain adequate gpas, no more federal loans. impose cost controls on universities that take federal money.

that effectively derisks an entire generation and opens up new options.

housing costs are less directly tractable and more politically problematic: the effective solution is to federally strip single family zoning from all land, and mandating density minimums and other supply-increasing zoning. (I assure you, the housing market is an interstate commerce system. :) ). But that only staunches the wound, it doesn't bring down housing prices into line with the median American's income.

Wait, this is about startups? Ha! No. That's a third order consequence caused by increasing early-career & mid-career risk, which in turn is increased by the planning & zoning codes and governmental defunding of education.


There's probably more than one person on HN

I haven't seen anyone mention this, but Firefox is my "daily driver" for almost all browsing, and is also locked down with uMatrix, uBlock Origin, DecentralEyes and Ghostery (though I could probably drop Ghostery without missing it). Chrome has uBlock Origin and a few other things but interferes with pages less. I keep a set of pages for some specific web apps (e.g. GMail, Google Calendar, task management, etc.) open in Chrome, but otherwise only use it when something just won't work in my locked-down Firefox.

I also can't recommend highly enough Firefox on Android, particularly with uBlock Origin and the "Dark Background and Light Text" addon (currently at version 0.6.8 for ease of finding). For HN you'll want to use the "Simple CSS" dark setting instead of the default - that keeps the arrows, but you do lose the greying-out of downvoted comments.

Edit: I also think it's interesting how much Chrome now minimizes and almost hides the Chrome App Store to add new extensions. It's almost as if it's not making Google any money and people keep installing adblockers through it.


There's a couple of things that are slowly changing in the thinking of biologists related to this:

1. Genes are not loci. The "one gene = one protein" dogma of molecular biology (expanded: "one trait selectable in breeding experiments = one compact locus of the chromosome") was a priori wrong, but it's taken us decades to undo the damage. We were led astray because there are traits that do map to a single locus, or single mutations that were found to be able to control a trait, which is not the same thing as the trait.

2. Distributed representation. If I point to a sentence and ask "where is the sarcasm?" (assuming the sentence is sarcastic), there is no answer. It's certainly a trait of the sentence, just as, say, being red headed is a trait of the organism. But a linear model showing each word's contribution to sarcasm isn't helpful.

3. Perhaps a corollary of (2), humans have the concept of abstraction. There are many situations where you can get something like an abstraction from evolution. If a human engineered it, we'd call it a leaky abstraction, but please don't get caught up on that. Evolution doesn't abstract. But there are structures that emerge that can have similar properties, especially from repeated exaptation. Consider the MAP kinase pathways. Lots and lots of cell responses involve them, in all kinds of subtly different ways. We don't try to claim that a MAP kinase is the gene for anything in particular, any more than we would claim that the interrupt for triggering a system call on 32 bit Linux is the cause of certain behavior that a program is supposed to have in a particular domain.


> I missed 3 weeks of pay because no one could stop the machine.

Why has this company not made their loyal worker whole? He stayed there when they needed him even when their system was trying to lock him out.

They need to fix this. If they don't, they are not a company anyone should work for. Perhaps the worker did not want to risk making a big stink, but a manager should have taken the initiative. Humans were involved by the end and well aware of what was going on.

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