Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | AngryParsley's comments login

The sad thing about this is that tablets and phones aren't nearly as good at content creation. A physical keyboard is still the fastest brain --> computer interface in town. Also, tablets and phones aren't self-hosting. You can't develop iOS apps on an iOS device. This makes it much harder for inexperienced people to get into programming. Taking the plunge into programming will be like deciding to buy an instrument and learning to play it.

While most people are never going to write software, those who do will be hurt by the drop in PC sales. In the past, PC R&D costs were borne by the general public. Now the public is moving to mobile devices, but developers still need to buy full-fledged computers. Lower PC sales means costs will go up (since R&D can't be spread across as many units) or manufacturers won't develop new features as quickly.

There's some silver lining: the technologies used in tablets overlap quite a bit with those used in laptops. Developers won't be stuck completely in the past, but future PCs might be a little too tablet-y for their tastes. (This is already happening with Windows 8).

-----


I don't think the price for PCs will matter. You can always grab a bluetooth keyboard if you want to type something out, and there are even web based IDEs available, which means that you're not limited to platform. Right now, you can add a keyboard to your droid or iphone and start hacking away.

Additionally, the programming experience is in many ways focused too much on the text based code itself, and less on the act of creation. It may be that changing the PC/developer interface causes a revolution in the way that people program.

-----


But, if you start adding keyboards and other peripherals, aren't you essentially recreating the PC?

-----


Yes, you are. The parent was arguing that PC hardware would become specialized high $ developer only equipment, but as you say all you need to recreate a PC from a mobile device are a couple of peripherals.

-----


Ah, got it. My question/comment was essentially your point.

-----


The sad thing about this is that tablets and phones aren't nearly as good at content creation. A physical keyboard is still the fastest brain --> computer interface in town.

Tablets are a faster brain --> interface than a keyboard for visual arts like drawing, painting, video and photography. Arguably music too, because you can simulate many different types of input from drum machines, to strings, to even wind instruments (ala SMULE's Ocarina).

-----


>tablets are a faster brain --> interface than a keyboard

Whoa, I could not possibly disagree more with this statement.

I currently work in post production and thus spend my days in from of either Premiere or Pro Tools. Being able to turn around good work, and turn it around fast comes down to knowing your shortcuts. I cannot see how a device like a tablet could top having dozens of tools literally under your finger tips. My left hand is constantly changing tools, issuing commands,zooming, deleting, etc, etc, etc.. Right hand takes care of the mouse position. I can't image anyone who has had any experience with an editor being willing to give up their keyboard anytime soon.

Moving a finger 1/4" > moving your entire arm to poke a button on a screen.

-----


>I cannot see how a device like a tablet could top having dozens of tools literally under your finger tips.

Can you see how a physical mixer, with faders and all, beats a virtual mixer on the Pro Tools screen as an interface in some cases? A tablets beats the keyboard and mouse in the same way.

Not to mention that most people don't work as experienced shortcut automatons, so sparing the tedious use of mouse and/or the tedious keyboard dance for immediate, visual, feedback on a touch screen is even better for them.

-----


>tedious use of mouse and/or the tedious keyboard dance for immediate, visual, feedback on a touch screen is even better for them.

I don't think you understand how shortcuts work..

Either way, no point in arguing. This is little more than an agree to disagree scenario.

-----


>I don't think you understand how shortcuts work..

I've been using computers since the late eighties, worked on from Sun OS to OS X 10.8, and have used Vim for decades, so I think I do.

But I don't find them that useful anyway.

As they get more numerous (aside from standard stuff) they only serve to give your mind a slight pause (to trigger shortcut recall, because not all are in muscle memory) and they trick you into thinking you're doing something useful for 0.5s, which for a lot of operations mostly the same time it would have taken for you to do it with a mouse. Just that with a mouse your mind is not working that hard (whereas the effort to remember the shortcut makes your mind think less time has passed).

You might think that doesn't apply to you. You'd most likely be wrong though (unless you stop-watched compared it). That's the kind of tricks the mind plays. I've not speaking out of my ass here. Here's from UI expert Bruce Tognazinni.

"We’ve done a cool $50 million of R & D on the Apple Human Interface. We discovered, among other things, two pertinent facts:

-- Test subjects consistently report that keyboarding is faster than mousing. -- The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is faster than keyboarding."

Citation: http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html

Anyway, I'd rather turn up a fader in a DAW by touching it, than by pressing +/-.

-----


>Anyway, I'd rather turn up a fader in a DAW by touching it, than by pressing +/-.

Not to mention with multitouch I can move 5 of them at the same time for example. Where are your shortcuts now?

-----


I think you forgot to change accounts while agreeing with your post...

At any rate, you've narrowed your original broad statement,

>Tablets are a faster brain --> interface than a keyboard for visual arts like drawing, painting, video and photography. Arguably music too,

down to a specific use case -- and one I actually agree with. However, writing off the value of all shortcuts as "tedious" is fundamentally ridiculous.

I respect that you've "used computers" for a long time. However, the following assertion makes it relatively clear that you've got no idea how people interface with non-linear editors.

>As they get more numerous (aside from standard stuff) they only serve to give your mind a slight pause (to trigger shortcut recall, because not all are in muscle memory) and they trick you into thinking you're doing something useful for 0.5s, which for a lot of operations mostly the same time it would have taken for you to do it with a mouse. Just that with a mouse your mind is not working that hard (whereas the effort to remember the shortcut makes your mind think less time has passed).

Being that this is the frame of mind you have, I'd just going to leave it be. There seems to be an entire way of using a computers that you are unfamiliar with.

I recommend you drop into a post shop one day. You can see how we use keyboard short cuts ;)

(This is the strangest disagreement I've ever had online)

-----


>I think you forgot to change accounts while agreeing with your post...

You think wrong though. This is not 4chan.

I just thought of another argument, and added it below my previous comment, because the "edit" link for the first wasn't available anymore.

-----


While I think we all know that iOS will never be self-hosting, Android is most definitely capable of this. [0] It may be tedious on a 4" phone, but it is actually comfortable on a Nexus 10 (though I prefer a bluetooth keyboard).

[0] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aide.ui

-----


I was part of the Bloglines team from 2007 to 2009.

The current Bloglines is nothing like the original. It looks like MerchantCircle kept only the name after acquiring it from Ask. The archived feed data is gone, and the current UI appears to be a re-skin/fork of Netvibes. It's a poor imitation of its former self.

-----


Although Intel's Westermere-EX was last updated in late 2011, the specs are still pretty good. Those CPUs have up to 10 physical cores (20 virtual thanks to hyperthreading) and 30MB of L3 cache. The clock speed isn't amazing, but that's to be expected when you have to deal with the heat from 2.5 billion transistors.

The Ivy Bridge version is supposed to ship in Q4. It should have even better performance.

-----


I opt-out of backscatter and millimeter-wave screening every time. I think the TSA is a waste of money and I'd love to see the government take a more calculated approach to security instead of the typical CYA behavior. With that said...

His form of protest is to miss a flight he already paid for and hike/bum rides back to Texas? And asking for donations? This guy is a software engineer at Automattic. He's a WordPress developer. His blog is mostly pictures of vegan meals and unboxings: http://ryan.boren.me/. Considering his lifestyle and likely income, asking for donations seems to be rather poor taste.

Again I agree with his opinions, but his protest is not accomplishing anything useful. The net effect will be to transfer some money and resources from sympathetic people.

-----


I don't want to give the impression that I agree with everything he says - I don't entirely share his dystopic views on the state of the world, and my views on the TSA are more in line with yours - but I think you're being rather ungenerous. The closest he comes to asking for donations is to say:

Several people have already offered places to stay and donated money for travel costs. Thank you so much and be assured that any extra money will be passed on to civil liberties organizations trying to claw back our freedom of movement. I intend to at least double my usual contributions this year.

If you mean the donations link at the top of the page, that's clearly for people who want to send a small something in thanks for Wordpress, and I wouldn't call it distasteful. The world would be a sad place if gift giving were relegated to being soley for charitable causes.

-----


When I read it, the "donated money" in your quoted text was a link to his donations page.

-----


You're right, and I didn't notice that (in my defence, the link is not underlined and the link text is really dark on the non-mobile version of the site, so it was easy to look over). That is a bit more of a call to action than I initially thought. I still don't think it was in quite as bad taste as AngryParsley suggested though.

-----


> Again I agree with his opinions, but his protest is not accomplishing anything useful.

I think a refusal to fly due to security policies is a pretty strong message. If it has come to that, it shows how serious the problem has become and maybe his example will make people do something about it rather than quietly subdue.

-----


Is this your realistic assessment or just something you wish were true? It seems fanciful to me to believe that this is having any impact at all.

-----


Anecdotes aren't worth much. What matters is statistics. What fraction of those who have corrective surgery regret it? The answer: less than 1 in 20. Most of that fraction includes those who are unhealthy: mainly people with high blood pressure. Those who are in risk groups shouldn't go for it. Everyone else should. The FDA, an extremely risk-averse organization, advocates laser eye surgery [1]. In almost all circumstances, those who undergo surgery vouch for it.

I had epi-LASEK in both eyes, spaced apart by 10 days. Even though healing times for my surgery are measured in weeks, I could certainly tell the difference between my corrected eye and my uncorrected eye. LASIK is much more pronounced, since one's vision improves within days instead of weeks.

1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/103194.php

-----


I got PRK (epi-LASEK actually) in 2011. It is without a doubt the best money I have spent. Beforehand I was 20/450 in each eye. Now I'm 20/15 in each eye and 20/10 combined. Although the healing process did take a couple of months, it was definitely worth it. If you wear glasses or use contacts, please consider eye surgery. The risk is minimal and the cost is minuscule when amortized over the life of your eyes.

There are many small advantages you'll notice with your improved vision. You can decrease your font size and fit more code on your screen. This is equivalent to using a larger monitor, and it works on portable devices. You can wake up and see. I can't properly convey how that feels, especially if you have east-facing windows to catch the sunrise. When traveling, you don't have to worry about logistics related to contact lenses or glasses. It's amazing.

If you have myopia or astigmatism, please please consider eye surgery. You won't regret it.

-----


Apple seeds contain cyanide, not arsenic: http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/apples.asp

I agree with your point though. Lots of natural things are deadly. In fact, the most toxic compound known is natural: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin

-----


First: I completely agree. Keeping plaintext secrets in source control is a bad idea. Encrypting them is a good idea. If you have plaintext secrets, encrypt them now using this makefile or git-crypt. Then rotate them.

That said, this solution has a couple of issues:

1. It encrypts the entire file instead of individual secrets in the settings file. Encrypted files can't take advantage of many version control features. A small change in plaintext creates a huge diff in ciphertext. Git blame doesn't work anymore. Git diff gets a lot more spammy, since you'll see a diff for the entire settings file if there's the slightest change in it.

2. It uses symmetric key encryption. If a developer knows the password to encrypt a secret setting, they can decrypt all the other secret settings. This is true until someone rotates the passphrase and re-encrypts the file.

To fix both of these problems, I recommend using Keyczar (http://code.google.com/p/keyczar/). If you write the right wrappers, it allows you to encrypt individual settings with a public key. Decrypting them requires a private key that exists only on production servers.

At a past job (Cloudkick), sensitive things in our settings.py looked like this:

  from cloudkick.crypto_wrappers import kz_decrypt
  ...
  BORING_THING = "whatever"
  SECRET_THING = kz_decrypt("kz::xxxx....", "/path/to/private/key")
kz_decrypt did exactly what you'd think: given an encrypted string and a private key, return the decrypted string. The private key was only on production servers, so the risk of leaking a secret was minimal. The public key was in source control, so anyone could encrypt a secret. For debugging or testing, one could also replace the call to kz_decrypt with a plaintext string. I wish the code had been released. It was only 100 lines or so.

This set-up would require a some extra work for settings files that don't allow code execution. Still, once you've set it up, it's pretty close to the most secure and convenient way to store secrets.

-----


This is neat. I did something similar using a set of files with tight permissions deployed only on production servers. Like your solution it depended on configs being written in a scripting language. I think it was ten lines of code.

The whole reason for doing it at all was simply that MySQL doesn't support Kerberos. There's a very old ticket for that in their bug tracker.

"For everything else, there's Kerberos."

-----


Doesn't this mean that for a sufficiently short secret, someone could run an offline attack to guess it?

-----


Good catch. My comment was already rather long, so I didn't mention that the public key actually encrypts an AES key that encrypts the secret. A different AES key is used for each secret. Also if the secret is < 1000 bytes (I forget the exact value), it's padded with random bytes. The encrypted format is something like kz::[AES key]:[encrypted padded secret]. Both the AES key and secret bytes are base64 encoded so they don't screw up parsing or break Python string quoting/escaping.

-----


Presumably it's padded if it's not a multiple of 16 bytes, because that's the AES blocksize, and not just some off-the-wall requirement that the data be 1000 bytes long. I'm also hoping that your encrypted format has one more field, which is an IV that changes each time the data is encrypted.

-----


There's no IV, but the AES key changes each time you encrypt the secret. The key is random.

-----


Can you give us the steps to reproduce? I googled around but couldn't find the bug. I also tried a few different languages and I can't get Terminal.app to crash.

-----


Set keyboard to Norwegian. Type Ctrl+"¨" (they key that is the dead-key for ñ, if you were to type Alt+"¨"+n) Crash.

Edit: Here's the same bug in VLC: https://trac.videolan.org/vlc/ticket/7268

-----


Quick, get ahold of the engineers at Boeing! Tell them to switch to whatever they used on their older planes! Surely they haven't considered that idea yet!

Have you ever been in a situation where a manager proposes a technical solution that everyone else has already dismissed as preposterous? Now you know how it feels to be on the other side of that.

With that mockery out of the way, I'll give my understanding of the situation: The lithium ion batteries on the 787 are much smaller and lighter than their predecessors. They also take up less space and require different input and output voltages and currents. They have different charging profiles. Swapping them out with an older battery technology is infeasible. It would require redesigning other components to make room, building new transformers and voltage regulators, and writing new software to charge the batteries safely. It would also reduce the range, capacity, and/or efficiency of the 787.

I do apologize if I went overboard with the mockery. Please don't take it personally; it's fun to write.

-----


You certainly do live up to your name there, Parsley.

-----

More

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

Search: