Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | best comments login

A more interesting story is why are the older services using mainly odd port numbers (ie. 21 = FTP, 23 = telnet, why was port 22 free at that time?). It turns out because the protocol which preceded the invention of TCP, called NCP, used even-odd pairs of port numbers, with even for "outgoing" data and odd for "incoming". So the well-known port numbers for incoming services were all odd.




"I started a manufacturing company in Little Elm, about 35 miles north of Dallas, to produce the first-ever automatically retracting syringe to eliminate the risk of nurses contracting HIV through accidental needle sticks. The syringe received rave reviews from nurses, hospital executives and public health officials, a major grant from the National Institutes of Health and robust private investment. But when my partners and I tried to sell it to hospitals, we were told time and time again that even though it was a better product — a lifesaving product — they weren’t able to purchase it. The primary supplier of syringes, which controlled 80 percent of the market, structured an arrangement with a vast network of hospitals that essentially closed our industry to new firms for good."

A market in which buyers are not free to choose better products is not a free market.

A market in which new entrants cannot compete fairly against established players is not a free market.

A market in which innovators have to get permission and pay established players for "access" (think ISPs) is not a free market.

And yes, a market in which economic and political power is concentrated in large corporations geographically clustered in a handful of giant metropolitan areas... is also not a free market.

Those corporations have both strong incentives and the means to change the rules of competition to their advantage.

This is not unique to Uber.

I have worked in toxic environments that depleted and debilitated me to the point that, in two cases, I was psychologically completely incapable of even thinking about finding work for three months after being laid off from one, and quitting the other.

It doesn't even take abusive bosses who don't like you, although that just makes it far worse.

It simply takes being treated like a robotic code monkey who is expected to do everything that is ordered, without question, and micromanaged to the point of insanity, while people in management positions make decisions - and then reverse them - that are so obviously wrong to any competent engineer that it makes Dilbert's PHB look like Einstein in comparison. This is not much of an exaggeration.

This is bad enough for any regular human to endure, but take a skilled engineer who probably suffers from impostor syndrome and the upper end of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it is a recipe for a breakdown and, quite possibly, suicide.

Those who would glibly criticize such people for not going and getting another job, or just quitting, are out of touch with how badly one's confidence is damaged by that point; it would not be unreasonable to compare the psychology to that of abused spouses who don't leave their abusers.

Also, I could not leave one of the jobs without losing my work visa and being deported (it was back in 2003 before visa portability). Maybe others are in situations that make it harder than expected to move on.

My deepest empathy goes to this engineer, and to all others who suffer in this way, and to their families. We need to pay far more attention to the destruction that is done by quasi-sociopathic managers.

"To confirm it wasn't just the chewing mechanism of the caterpillars degrading the plastic, the team mashed up some of the worms and smeared them on polyethylene bags, with similar results."

A disturbing but effective way to test the hypothesis.

Buried lede here:

"They spent much of their energy one-upping rivals like Lyft. Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)"

This is a fine analysis if you imagine that every road only ever has cars on it. But this is not the reality, and speed of cars has a huge impact on the fatality rates of vulnerable road users when they are hit.

Results show that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck at 35 mph. https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2011Pedest...

Please think of everyone on the roads, not just drivers, when making arguments like these.

What's up with the phrase, "Still programming?" Would anyone think it odd for a 60-year-old physician to still be doctoring, or a 60-year-old lawyer to still practice law. Or for that matter for a 60-year-old artist or craftsperson to "still" pursue their craft.

Corporate culture embraces the notion of management as a profession. I think programming would benefit greatly from more of a tradecraft model, where leadership is provided by the master practitioner rather than the professional manager. In the alternate universe that's how we do it. The bottom line productivity boost is awesome. I don't know if it scales, but I don't care to scale.

-- 63-year-old full-stack web and machine learning programmer...living the dream

Wow I think this unroll.me thing is the real scandal here.

I am an unroll.me user, but had no idea they sell user data to companies this way.

Their whole value proposition is to help people control their own privacy and now I kind of feel betrayed..

Right. Take care of yourself, deal with your mental issues, start every morning with cheap motivational yadda-yadda, improve your social skills -- and you can live long and stay healthy, while generating more profit for your employers and being less of a nuisance to your insurance company.

What a time to be alive!

If you read this article (https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/12/hell-o-uber/) you'll find it goes much futher then just accessing Lyft's public API. They created fake customer accounts, spoofed their locations and even linked the data about drivers they got from this to their own drivers. So what's wrong with this? To quote the article, possibly: "breach of contract, unfair business practices, stealing trade secrets and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act".

I spent a long summer in 1998 researching the life of Mr Pirsig. Here is some little known trivia - some of the years when he disappeared, were spent in Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi, India) with Prof Mukherjee (head of the philosophy department) learning about Indian (Hindu) philosophy. I met Prof MUkherjee, who was retired by the time I went looking for him. I tracked him down and asked him if he remembered Mr Robert Pirsig (I took a picture that I had printed from the internet). He told me about a curious "American fellow" who used to "audit" the classes in the philosophy department, hang around the library and the canteen - and would seek him out to have discussions with him. He said that he was very quiet and nice guy.

Interestingly, Prof Mukherjee had no idea that Mr Pirsig has written this cult book or that he was a famous author/philosopher. To him, he was just an odd student (because of his age).

I wrote about this in our campus newspaper - but no one cared. I thought that I was the only fan of Mr Pirsig in this small town in India. Once I found the internet I discovered that I wasn't alone. It was a great feeling.

Anyway, i was very proud that he went to the same university that i went to. It was exciting to learn that in 1998! Also, while i didn't fully get the philosophy-the father and son journey in Zen really meant a lot to me while growing up.

Edit: by the way, Prof Mukherjee is mentioned in his book "Lila", and that is how I found him.

Edit2: "Lila", the name of Mr Pirsig's second book, seems to have been inspired by his stay in Varanasi (India). In Sanskrit, the word Lila is "a way of describing all reality, including the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play by the divine". Someone on Wikipedia also seems to have made this connection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lila:_An_Inquiry_into_Morals

Edit3: I spent the last hour digging into a 15-year-old hard drive (oh, what painful fun). I found a folder with my notes on Robert Pirsig! Most interestingly, my meeting notes with Dr. Mukherjee. I gave him the book and he flipped through the chapter for 20 minutes reading the sections I had underlined (where his name was mentioned). This frail man of seventy, said with a smile on his face: "He must not have been an attentive student. I never taught him this way". Most of the notes are about him reminiscing about the "golden years" of the philosophy department when according to him many great philosophers came to visit and study at the philosophy department at Banaras Hindu University.

Combined with Face2Face[1] live video impersonation, it is truly time to be very careful verifying videos or even live streams.


I am a mechanical engineer (a machine design engineer in fact) and this press looks like would happen if you hired 30 of 23-year-old me fresh out of college, gave them an effectively unlimited budget and said "make me the swankiest press you can imaging". Lots of clever ideas and fancy machined parts with no thought for cost savings or whether there's an easier way to do something.

15A 330V DC motor? To squish a bag of pulp?

The best things I've gotten career and skill wise from more senior engineers has been the feedback where they looked at a design and said "looks fancy, but what were you thinking?".

This machine looks like it needed some more grizzled manufacturing veterans to inject some sense into the design process.

Which is exactly what we crazy cookoo conspiracy theorists have been warning about. It's the same slipperly slope we already went through in the 90's crypto wars, but SV gets amnesia when it gets lots of stupid company valuations and forgets all those lessons apparently.

Bottom line is this. If you put backdoors in, or exploit 0days for your own, they will get out in the wild eventually, and suddenly you have massively weakened infrastructure, corporate, and government security... basically all the things important to national security in general. So while I don't disagree that triple letters need some cool tools to get shit done, I think this function needs some technocratic oversight specifically for this issue.

It's time for a new Church committee.

That's the thing though, that is exactly what a late stage "free market" looks like. What you need is a heavily regulated market that prevents exactly this behaviour.

People need to stop wishing for the "free" market. The term is abused by orators and manipulators who prey on peoples desire for a market which is free in the spirit of the word, and deliver to them a market which is technically "free" and horrible.

Back in the "bad old days" of the simplex NCP protocol [1], before the full duplex TCP/IP protocol legalized same-sex network connections, connect and listen sockets had gender defined by their parity, and all connections were required to use sockets with different parity gender (one even and the other odd -- I can't remember which was which, or if it even mattered -- they just had to be different).

The act of trying to connect an even socket to another even socket, or an odd socket to another odd socket, was considered a "peculiar error" called "homosocketuality", which was strictly forbidden by internet protocols, and mandatory "heterosocketuality" was called the "Anita Bryant feature" [2].


When the error code is zero, the next 8 bit byte is the Stanford peculiar error code, followed by 72 bits of the ailing command returned. Here are the Stanford error codes. [...]

IGN 3 Illegal Gender (Anita Bryant feature--sockets must be heterosocketual, ie. odd to even and even to odd) [...]

Illegal gender in RFC, host hhh/iii, link 0

The host is trying to engage us in homosocketuality. Since this is against the laws of God and ARPA, we naturally refuse to consent to it.


    ; Try to initiate connection

            init log,17
            sixbit /IMP/
            jrst noinit
            setzm conecb
            setom conecb+lsloc
            move ac3,hostno
            movem ac3,conecb+hloc
            setom conecb+wfloc
            movei ac3,40
            movem ac3,conecb+bsloc
            move ac3,consck
            trnn ac3,1
                jrst gayskt            ; only heterosocketuals can win!
             movem ac3,conecb+fsloc
             mtape log,[
                    byte (6) 2,24,0,7,7
                         ]          ; Time out CLS, RFNM, RFC, and INPut


    gayskt:    outstr [asciz/Homosocketuality is prohibited (the Anita Bryant feature)


        ife rsexec,<jrst rstart;>exit       1,
(The PDP-10 code above adds the connect and listen socket numbers together, which results in bit 0 being 0 if they are the same gender, then TRNN is "test bits right, no change, skip if non zero", which skips the next instruction (jrst gayskt) if they different sex.)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Control_Program

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-A2Ql81WTY

“But ‘how are you going to make money long-term?’ has been a question mark” Bhatt says. Gold has answered that question.” A Gold subscription lets users borrow up to double the money in their account to trade on margin with leverage

Wow, so that's effectively opening up new easy to get credit vehicles for unsophisticated investors. How could that go wrong?

Even if you are a professional trader you'll take a bath on margin over the long run. They are incentivizing what is effectively borrowing for gambling and that is their long term revenue strategy? Might be a great money maker but it certainly is playing with some really big barrels of fire.

"Three things ruin people: drugs, liquor, and leverage - Charlie Munger"

edit: The point here is not that Margin is a new service, yes every brokerage has it, it's that it is irresponsible to use Margin if you are not a sophisticated investor. Its even more irresponsible to push leverage onto unsophisticated investors.

Not everyone is going to understand the risks of leverage and if Robinhood makes it as easy as candy crush to trade on leverage, enough gamified users are "playing" stock market with real money and a margin call happens during a huge downturn, it will be exceptionally nasty.

Please know that if you are feeling hopeless, like you are a failure, and that there is no recovering, there are people who will help you. You are not your job or your accomplishments, you are worth it and there are people who love you and will help you.

In the Bay Area, call (415) 781-0500 to talk with someone who can help. http://www.sfsuicide.org/

I'm not normally one to be creeped out by these kind of things. But this is a device that's designed to take photos and videos of you while you get dressed, and will be both connected to the internet and constantly communicating those images over the network.

This feels like a device literature professors would use to teach dystopian fiction writing.

edit: case in point - matthewmcg's comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14203772

I worked for a company that nearly acquired unroll.me. At the time, which was over three years ago, they had kept a copy of every single email of yours that you sent or received while a part of their service. Those emails were kept in a series of poorly secured S3 buckets. A large part of Slice buying unroll.me was for access to those email archives. Specifically, they wanted to look for keyword trends and for receipts from online purchases.

The founders of unroll.me were pretty dishonest, which is a large part of why the company I worked for declined to purchase the company. As an example, one of the problems was how the founders had valued and then diluted equity shares that employees held. To make a long story short, there weren't any circumstances in which employees who held options or an equity stake would see any money.

I hope you weren't emailed any legal documents or passwords written in the clear.

Isn’t part of the reason for using Mailgun, Sendgrid etc that you get to send via IP addresses with good reputation?

This whole thing has a huge assumption behind it: That you're someone worth being connected to.

His distinction between the Hunted and the Hunters is great, but 99% of people don't fall into the "Hunted" category unless they are doing something exceptional - and even those doing something exceptional aren't typically hunted.

So while I think this is a good list, and it's pretty bog standard Carnegie/How to read people/HUMINT etc..., the most important thing you can do to become well connected is to be doing something that is worth connecting to.

Last week on BBC Radio 4 I heard of a woman who was losing her voice through disease (MND maybe?), a similar system was being anticipated and she was saving voice samples to seed it with.

She had been a singer and strongly identified her self with her voice, she wanted to be able to use a speech synthesis system that had her own voice pattern.

Apologies if this was already mentioned, but it seems to be a use others here hadn't considered.

I agree, let's fucking reduce pedestrian deaths! But you're ignoring the analysis given in the article-- drivers already don't acknowledge speed limits. From the article:

> Luckily, there is some logic to the speed people choose other than the need for speed. The speed drivers choose is not based on laws or street signs, but the weather, number of intersections, presence of pedestrians and curves, and all the other information that factors into the principle, as Lt. Megge puts it, that “no one I know who gets into their car wants to crash.”

Rather than speed limits, we need to look at other avenues to reduce pedestrian traffic deaths. Just shooting from the hip, I think that we could do more to communicate to drivers the presence of pedestrians, and to make sure that rural highways and boulevards have shoulders or sidewalks for pedestrians.

A more complete analysis of pedestrian deaths: http://www.popcenter.org/problems/pedestrian_injuries/

Here are some useful factoids:

- Finally, the more one drinks, the higher the risk of being involved in a pedestrian-vehicle crash resulting in a fatality. One study found that out of 176 pedestrian fatalities, 86 of those involved pedestrians who had been drinking, nearly all of whom had BACs of 0.10 percent or more. - In addition, the same study noted that 71 percent of all fatal pedestrian-vehicle crashes in the United States in 2000 occurred in urban areas. - Finally, the majority of pedestrian injuries and fatalities happen to males between the ages of 25 and 44.

This gives us a pretty targeted demographic! Start a "dangers of the road" campaign targeted at pedestrians who are men, aged 25-44, drink at night and who live in rural areas.

Ah, Hacker News comments, you are so predictable.

Naturally, this article inspires multiple comments declaring that the way the kernel allocates or arranges memory is so obviously stupid and wrong, and that they know the right way of doing it.

I love the certainty of Hacker News posters! So confident in their own abilities and opinions. Never a moment of concern, introspection or doubt. What a world to live in!

Also, has someone thought of writing a 'it should be re-implemented in Rust' comment auto-generator? Or is that already running here?

Not only that, the article specifically addresses parent comment's concerns:

> “I don’t want to lie to people,” Lt. Megge tells us. It may make parents feel better if the speed limit on their street is 25 mph instead of 35 mph, but that sign won’t make people drive any slower. Megge prefers speed limits that both allow people to drive at a safe speed legally, and that realistically reflect traffic speeds. People shouldn’t have a false sense of safety around roads, he says.

> If people and politicians do want to reduce road speeds to improve safety, or make cities more pedestrian friendly, Megge says “there are a lot of other things you can do from an engineering standpoint.” Cities can reduce the number of lanes, change the parking situation, create wider bike paths, and so on. It’s more expensive, but unlike changing the number on a sign, it’s effective.

Read the article before commenting, people.

So this is a for-profit operation where volunteers do the work? The site is vague about such details. "People like you helping people like us help ourselves?" Not good. You can be a for-profit or a non-profit, but pretending to be a non-profit when you're not is deceptive.

Their terms of use are awful.[1] Note that they want to operate under British law, where libel law favors the subject. They have an indemnification clause, so their volunteers could be compelled to reimburse WikiTribune if WikiTribune loses a libel suit. That's happened in the UK; see the famous McLibel case, where McDonalds sued two Greenpeace volunteers. That decision was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. But, post-Brexit, that level of appeal will no longer be available.

They also appear to have plagiarized the terms of use from other sites. One section reads "We may, in our sole discretion, limit or cancel quantities purchased per person, per household or per order. ... We reserve the right to limit or prohibit orders that, in our sole judgment, appear to be placed by dealers, resellers or distributors." That exact text appears on other sites, usually ones that sell tangible goods. It's completely inappropriate here. Sloppy.

This stuff matters when the business involves pissing people off. Don't volunteer to write for this organization unless and until they work out the liability issue.

[1] https://www.wikitribune.com/terms-of-use/ [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLibel_case

My opinion: This is not about the drivers. They were engaging in activity intended to be actively hostile to a competitor. That is why this is wrong.

It is one thing to build a competitive business. It is another to try to actively undermine the competition, and not because your service is simply better.

I get rather tired of a world in which "Well, technically, it didn't break any existing rules, so it should be okay, right?" gets used to justify all kinds of ugly stuff. We live in a world that our existing laws were not designed to account for because it hadn't been invented yet, nor even imagined. It is almost like saying "Well, if we invented magic and used magic to murder people, hey, we should be allowed to get away with murder because our current laws don't have clauses that address the use of magic, amirite??!!"

Uh, no. You are not right. And I hope we will develop laws and rules that spell out that you are not right.

Hi HN!

Super excited to open source this — I'm trying my best to bring design & engineering closer together at Airbnb (and in the world), this has been a super useful project.

I'll be hanging out in this thread all day if you have any questions / want to flame me :)

Instead of crazy conspiracy theories, how about this: USA Today isn't actually that popular, but some botnet programmer with an imperfect understanding of American culture thought it was a brand ordinary Americans all love and read regularly. So they were all instructed to follow their page in an attempt to make the bots look legit.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact