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

a 1.0 release that we can assume stable for a few months

Am i the only one getting a bit cynical that we're now hoping that a 1.0 is stable enough 'for a few months'?


I've done basically the same thing as you for a project i did for a newspaper where i collected 9000 selfies (see http://vk.nl/selfies).

It's a lot of manual work, but using OpenCV saves you a lot of time. I can't share the code unfortunately, but what i did was this:

* Get all Instagram photos with the '#selfie' tag

* Run it all through the haarcascade_frontalface_alt2 OpenCV cascade, i used the 1.3 and 5 values for the detectMultiScale() method.

* Check that there's only one face in the image, and make sure it's larger than 20% of the width of the image.

Even after that i still needed to go manually through the images. I guess around 10% was still false positives.

> 'looks like something from the 21st century' is not something I get > immediately. > 1: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.siacs.conve....

I'll bite. If i would be a non-techie the things i would notice are:

* What's Jabber / XMPP? I don't know what that is. Why should it be in the title?

* All the screenshots (there are many!) basically look the same. I don't understand the conversations in the screenshots.

* It's not free.

* The first line "Conversations is an open source Jabber/XMPP client for Android 4.0+ smart phones.". What's open source? What's Jabber/XMPP? What's a 'client'? The only words i understand in this sentence are 'Android' and 'smart phone'.

* "Design principles" is not something i care about. Simply tell me what this product does.

* Clicking on 'Read more' gives me a text that is so technical i don't understand a single word of it ("XEP-0065: SOCKS5 Bytestreams - or rather mod_proxy65"?)

Hmm.. I was talking about the UI (I think that's a rather pretty client, comparable to the current WhatsApp/Telegram/whatever thing).

Again, comparing to Telegram [1] (see disclaimer in my previous post: I use that as well):

* Jabber/XMPP is a weird point. You wouldn't need Conversations if you wouldn't have a server to use. You pick up Conversations because a) some friend tells you to install it and connect it to their server or b) you have a server of your own. If you don't know what XMPP is, then yes - this client is not for you.

* Really? Can you look at the Telegram screenshots? Let me bite this time:

Hey Lucy, got a second?

As in the duration of 551557906200 periods of the radiation corresponding between the two superfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atoms? Yes, I might.

We need some data extracted from a secret chat…

* It's free. [2, GPL] I know, Joe User isn't going to build it, but again: You need a server for this to work. If you care about that, I'd say you have ways to save the 2.38 EUR if necessary.

The rest of your points are certainly valid (marketing for XMPP sucks), but again entirely different problems. I highly doubt that most people read the description of the Telegram or WhatsApp apps. Friends recommend it, people install it, use it, done. XMPP is a different case, because it requires a friendly server (and the post installation configuration step where you select one), but that's not quite relevant for the 'looks like something from the 21st century' discussion, is it?

I was trying to make the point that there are ~new~ and current clients for XMPP as well, even if Pidgin looks like shit.

1: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.telegram.m...

2: https://github.com/siacs/Conversations

You're right, of course. Unfortunately, the trend right now doesn't seem to be open protocols. Until the pendulum swings back again, i'd like to think that i'm beter off with a platform that isn't being run by Facebook.

That is true.

What surprises me is how lazy and clueless mobile network operators seem to be despite the power they still hold. They have all the power they need to develop or implement modern messaging protocols. Granted they can't charge for it. Still seems a better option than pushing SMS, MMS and letting new players enter their yard.

I am all up for letting mobile network operators just provide internet services. Surely the trend seems to be to flush everything down the Internet tubes and if that's the future, we need something better than a couple of companies that do not respect free choice.

> They have all the power they need to develop or implement modern messaging protocols. Granted they can't charge for it

And they do, at least here in europe: https://gigaom.com/2014/02/20/oranges-libon-messaging-app-le...

Very cool. I wonder if there's some example code on Github to generate images like this?


Where do you see NSA in the question of the OP?


A wonderful resource for quotes and their origin is Quote Investigator:


They have countless posts with in-depth research and sources. Lovely to browse for a couple of hours.


A couple of hours?! Ain't nobody got time fo that! Wait, I'm in the office... I think I have them. "Compiling!!"


The chance that this will break because of a CMS update, a new paywall, site-wide Javascript updates is far higher than because of a web browser upgrade.


For those who are wondering why this might be a good investment: AOL still has 2 million (!) dialup subscribers that fork over $20 a month.



I doubt it was for the subscribers. Look at AOL's recent acquisitions in the last 10 years.

Video: StudioNow, 5Min Media, GoViral, Vidible

News: Weblogs, TechCrunch, The Huffington Post

Marketing: Lightningcast, Third Screen Media, AdTech, Tacoda, Quigo, buy.at, Pictela, gdgt, Adap.tv, Convertro, Gravity

One by AOL sunset Gravity, Pictela, ADTECH, Adap.tv, AdLearn, and Convertro (along with subproducts like Adap.tv Marketplace, and AOL's native data platform) into one product. One by AOL is a HUGE product. http://corp.aol.com/2015/04/14/aol-launches-one-by-aol/


StudioNow had been broken off from AOL and repurchased back by the initial investors two years ago, although AOL still holds a minor stake in StudioNow (at the time). [1]

Disclosure: I used to work for AOL StudioNow.

1: http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/morning_call/2013/01/st...


I feel like this is a perfect reason why this is a bad investment. Anyone who is still subscribed to AOL dialup is honestly probably a senior citizen or technology-illiterate. AOL is not even marketing their dialup service anymore. These people over time will slowly decline until those 2 million eventually hit zero. In fact, you can clearly see the nearly exponential downward trend right on the article you linked. This makes it a nice amount of basically free money for AOL currently, but an absolutely terrible investment for the future.


A significant number of AOL dialup customers are living in rural areas where broadband is just not available [1].

[1] http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/neighbors-still-u...


Even if there's good reason to use it, there's no potential for growth. The only way this can go is down. It's pretty much going to be a race to recoup the investment before all these rural areas are covered by cellular (even 2G would be faster than dialup!) or satellite internet becomes cheap enough.


With 4G broadband this is going to become irrelevant very quickly.


4G is generally available in rural areas?


Yes; Verizon has an offering designed explicitly for rural areas[1], but it's expensive. The linked article is from 2012, and prices have since declined, but the general gist of the service is the same: a big antenna you bolt to your house or a tree and will pull from an existing account-level share plan (if you have one).

[1] http://www.cnet.com/news/verizons-homefusion-now-brings-4g-l...


You still have to be in a 4G coverage zone. I guess we're getting into the definition of "rural." Where I live I have no coverage from any carrier.


People will have better luck with rural telephone companies trying to stay alive then big wireless carriers. Sprint and T-Mobile absolutely suck in coverage area for rural folks.

One example, Steele ND and the surrounding area is served by a small rural telephone company that is laying a lot of fibre (I'm hoping they head North). A 200M plan (no cap) for $45 a month. This is being repeated quite a lot in rural areas with rural cooperatives.


I usually think of where I live as rural due to the distance to a major city (20 miles to Athens, GA), but I do get occasional 4G inside the grocery store. It's more exurban than rural.


Living in the midwest, when you're 10 minutes outside of a major city, you're lucky to get spoty 3G. After 20 minutes you're lucky to get any signal.


The last time I lived in a deep rural area (Norton, KS) there wasn't a good cell option. The cell tower that covered the town was flaky at best in terms of reception. So, I guess your mileage may vary applies in that situation?


If Verizon is trying to expand their wireless offerings into areas where dial-up is currently the only option, then having much more direct marketing access to those dial-up users sounds pretty useful for them.


I don't even have cellphone coverage at my house in West Virginia. No voice, no text, no bars. Not with AT$T, Verizon, or Sprint.

Now coverage maps, AT$T says they have 3g but I get no service at my house, Sprint Map is spot on, and Verizon map I haven't compared.


Yes, an anecdotal example is my parents. They live 45 minutes outside of Columbus, OH and have a Verizon 4G adapter for their desktop. In fact some of the smaller carriers have poor cell/data coverage where they are.


Not right now, but is there a reason why it won't be?


Economics of covering the area. If it costs more to cover than they expect to make in any reasonable time frame, especially if it never breaks even when you account in maintenance, then they won't do it.


don't forget though, AOL owns TechCrunch, Engadget, Huffington Post, and a bunch of other crap, and they have a pretty massive ad platform. Id wager that the ad platform is what Verizon is really after here.......and maybe a nice bonus would be controlling huffington post and getting them to stop writing articles about how shitty comcast/verizon/twc are and how net neutrality is a good thing.....but that is just me being a bit speculative


Or (some of them) may simply live in areas where broadband internet is not available. I've only had it at home for about 5 years, prior to that dial-up was my only option.


Selling Depends is a big market, there is a lot more cash from adult diapers to be made.


I feel like this is a perfect reason why this "may be" a good investment. These people may be switched to Verizon's wireless internet services.


At a cost of $2000 a sub, that's pretty expensive though.


They're going to rake in that much in people forgetting to cancel their AOL dial-up account.


They do have that, but I suspect this has more to do with ads than those customers. If it was about those customers, Verizon would be paying quite a lot for them.


But they definitely aren't being acquired for that reason.


Their respective headquarters are also right down the road from each other.



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