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I still believe that COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) is, overall, beneficial legislation that puts in place the minimum rules for protecting children's PII. As the Internet becomes more accessible to a younger audience, we should be considering the societal benefits of such legislation and how it should evolve with the technology. It's shortsighted to fault Google for complying with the law.

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COPPA doesn't ban Google from providing services to kids. It just means they have to put additional precautions in place if they do - which obviously costs money, so their default position has been to opt out of servicing kids at all. This youtube announcement obviously represents a realization that that cost may be worth bearing... presumably because raising a generation of youtube-savvy kids is going to build their market for the next generation.

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I don't know enough about COPPA to know who to blame. There are two possibilities:

1. COPPA goes too far

2. Google has done a cost/benefit analysis and decided that it's cheaper to ban children than to lead the charge in teasing out the edge cases

If #2 is the case it's absolutely reasonable to blame google. Of course, deciding who to blame isn't productive, what we really want to do is lobby for change. Now that google is playing the lobbying game they're a reasonable party to appeal to regardless of whether #1 or #2 is closer to the truth.

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For me, that's where it gets interesting: as I understand, it is perfectly legal for Google to provide services to children, but they must obtain parental consent, first [1]. The problem is that isn't something they're interested in doing.

[1] http://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/comp... Parental

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When this happened to my son, rather than deleting everything and losing all his contacts and emails with his auntie etc etc, google just demanded I pay a bribe of 50 cents on a credit card, on the hilarious assumption that the only people in a family with access to CC are parents. At least this is how they did it back in the good old days.

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>on the hilarious assumption that the only people in a family with access to CC are parents //

Hilarious? How do under-13s get banks to issue them credit cards? Presumably they only allow the payment from a CC connected to an account rather than a payment card (I assume payment gateways do that sort of differentiation).

Even if some under-13s can access and use a credit-card it seems likely to me that the vast majority would be blocked by such a system. I can see kids stealing cash from their parents, perhaps, but stealing when you know it's going to appear on their bank-statement?? Just to use YouTube? Then you need to be able to actually perform the payment; no-one else [that I know of] knows my CC password and it's certainly not written down anywhere.

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I got a debit card when I got my first bank account at 10 years old in ~2001. I didn't pay for anything online with it until my mid teens (when I had a job), but I do remember having to use it to verify my account for the SecondLife teen grid.

Virtually all bank accounts come with debit cards nowadays, if your parents are forward thinking enough to set you up with a bank account then you could have a card very young.

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I got a debit card somewhere around becoming a teenager. But it was probably a decade later that I got my first _credit_ card. They're quite different things.

In the UK under 18 you can't usually be held to a contract and so you don't have to pay back a credit card debt - this makes companies more than a little reluctant to lend to under 18s. You can't get a credit card until you're 18.

Citizens Advice (an established UK charity) say:

>"If you are under 18, it is a criminal offence for anyone to send you material inviting you to borrow money or obtain goods or services on credit or hire purchase. However, if you are over 14 but under 18, you can enter into a credit or hire purchase agreement if an adult acts as your guarantor."

Of course it might vary enormously in other countries but I'd be surprised if it was wildly different in USA?

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For general interest, note that a transaction on a credit card is one of the explicit ways COPPA allows for verifying that someone is not a child. See §312.5(b)(2) in https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/16/312.5

Any hilarity should be taken up with congress.

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This quote was not about the reporter or the news outlet. Michael McSwain was the FBI agent in charge of the case, and the reporting seems to suggest that having 'subversion' in Sergey's Web history was a component of building probable cause.

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Remind me to write a a source code control system called "Patriot". I really don't want to know what they think of "git".

On a serious note, I guess the modern lesson is names are used by idiots to attack us so pick your project names carefully.

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"Patriot is binary-compatible with Git ..."

  sudo cp /usr/bin/git /usr/bin/patriot
... of course that is likely not enough, as all the porcelain still says "git". ;)

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There is no prerequisite to have a "stable tech infrastructure" -- shoot, there's no prerequisite to even have an actual product! -- for admission to YC. pg has made it pretty clear that YC selects founders, not necessarily ideas.

And for those that have a proof-of-concept running on some other provider(s) (AWS/Rackspace/Google), it would be a huge boon to be able to migrate and scale using Azure and the $500k credit.

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I agree. Additionally, the words "distinct" or "cardinality" don't appear anywhere in this article, which is a major omission when discussing HyperLogLog. The primary use of the algorithm is to provide a cardinality estimate.

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"Let's say we have a whiteboard and we have to count how many individuals visit our home. If our neighbor visits 5 times, they count as one unique visitor. If a friend comes over once, that's another unique visitor. So far, we have 2 unique visitors."

They may not specifically use the word "distinct" (opting for phrases like "unique visitor" instead), but they certainly make the concept clear.

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Agreed, cardinality is the key word: it goes with how his example is inappropriate -- if you were just counting the number of people coming in a simple addition (and maybe take a log() ) would cost just as much. I believe the usefulness of HLL is evaluating the cardinality of sets you need to access -- you "sample" the set and get a quick estimate of the cardinality of certain objects.

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I disagree. I think that the article does an EXCELLENT job of describing it. They avoided the term "cardinality" on purpose, since the target audience was people who might well be scared off by fancy words they weren't familiar with.

And the problem posed was not to count the number of visitors, but to count the number of different people who visited... the fancy word for that is the "cardinality of unique visitors" but "number of different people" is just as accurate.

Counting the number of people could NOT be done with the same amount of space. This example required two simple counters on the blackboard... call it 30 bits of memory, assuming you didn't expect either counter to get more than 8. That's just about exactly enough space to store ONE social security number... and nowhere near enough to count the unique people.

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Cool! Quick back-of-the-napkin indicates that the RTT for LEO satellites (at the upper bound) would be only ~4.7% of the RTT for GEO satellites. I'm sure there's much more to the story that I'm missing, but an LEO satellite should have a latency of around 11.75ms. In 2012, average US latency to Google was ~50-60ms [1]. Would bandwidth be the limiting factor?

[1] https://www.igvita.com/2012/07/19/latency-the-new-web-perfor...

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Does this have any implications for the forthcoming update to Office for Mac?

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There's a fascinating RadioLab episode which focuses on various parasites, including Toxo (Season 6, Episode 3: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91689-parasites/).

One of the key mechanisms of Toxo's behavior is that it can penetrate the brain of rodents and make them sexually attracted to feline urine -- the point is to facilitate the reproduction of the parasite which can occur only on feline intestines.

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Some additional examples: http://www.businessinsider.com/scariest-parasites-in-the-wor...

The Sacculina genus of parasitic barnacles--which has dozens of species--is spectacularly creepy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacculina

They infect both female and male crabs and completely subvert their biochemistry, to the extent of feminizing the males. They then lay their own eggs in the crab's carapace, the way the crab normally would, and the crab--male or female--behaves as if it was carrying its own eggs.

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wow I've never heard podcasts like these. I already like the story-telling.

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A "lac" (or "lakh") is a unit of 100,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakh

(See also, "crore" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crore)

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The Verge (among others) is reporting that the antenna is located along the top edge of the phone [1]. Photos of the Apple Pay gesture in action on the slides seems to corroborate this.

And my gut tells me that this is a secondary reason for why they moved the power button over to the right side of the phone (primary reason being to accommodate smaller hands with the larger screen sizes).

[1] http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/9/6107091/apple-watch-iphone-...

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Thanks! That sounds indeed as if they tried to optimize the experience. Watching people try finding the NFC sweetspot by swiping the bottom of their device around on a reader deviceis painful.

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In general, I agree with you. The nature of internet commenting is such. There should be no expectation that the parent comment will continue to live -- the comment itself should be considered "owned" by the original poster, who has the prerogative to delete it.

But that shouldn't be an excuse for any of us to refrain from providing feedback, insight, and advice online. In fact, we should continue to do so with the understanding that our time in producing that comment/content is volunteered.

And of course, on the other side, we should strive to retain the record of the communication chain if we are the original posters. Deleting a comment is your choice, but it's probably good practice and behavior not to.

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Agreed. But if you are giving advice you should not do it because you expect a thank you.

While you might think your advice is 'good', other people might not. Nobody will thank you for bad advice.

There are way too many factors when it comes to communication on the internet.

Not everything falls under 'he did not thank me BECAUSE he is a jerk'.

Etc.

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So if you ask a direct and explicit question, and someone takes the time to provide a factually correct answer, you think it's then OK not to acknowledge in any way, manner, means, or form, that they spent time providing you with the knowledge that you had requested?

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