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jat850 28 days ago | link | parent | on: Hacker Koan

At risk of exposing my own misinterpretation of it, it does make sense if you read the section where Tom Knight is listed as a primary developer of LISP machines. I believe the implication is that he understands it, whereas the novice does not, and the machine responds to his touch.

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I played around with it for a while. It seems invalid attempts add another required item to the captcha queue. So if you are trying to solve the first one, and fail, it adds another one that the bot must attempt. I am not sure if this helps much, but it was noteworthy.

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letstryagain 33 days ago | link

Botnetters have thousands of IP addresses to attack from. They can also use successful attempts to build a database of images used by this CAPTCHA

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OP's comment may have been harsh, but it's accurate, and you should take it as constructive - you may have a really cool and useful product here, but no one knows about it at first glance. Make your landing page a bit more transparent as to the app's purpose and functionality, and you'll get more positive interest. Don't be sad!

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I'm trying to read through the cynicism and understand two parts of your post:

1. What lobbyists would have written this and most importantly, why? When I think of lobbyists I think of someone having something financial to gain. I'm not aware of a huge flying-musician lobby.

2. What tab? What penalty are we the unfortunate paying because of this?

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michaelhoffman 143 days ago | link

1. The original post mentions that the musicians' union, the American Federation of Musicians, lobbied for this for years.

2. These items take up more than the usually allowed amount of cabin baggage space. With high flight loads these days and a high proportion of people carrying on their bags instead of checking, passengers often have to gate-check baggage. It's inconvenient at best, and at worst it results in people losing their possessions.

This measure also decreases the revenue of airlines which they will either make up by increasing prices for everyone, reducing expenditure elsewhere, or lowering profits. The latter two don't affect me that much but you might feel differently if you were an employee or shareholder of the business.

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nikatwork 143 days ago | link

Perhaps if airlines didn't routinely destroy instruments, this crap wouldn't be necessary.

Many musicians are travelling as part of their job, which is not usually high-paid. I don't mind giving up a bit of locker space so their livelihood is preserved. Lord knows it's hard enough for artists these days as it is.

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ams6110 143 days ago | link

Is it really impossible to pack the instrument in a case that can withstand airline cargo handling? If I'm a musician who has to travel as part of my job, I'd think that such a case would be a "cost of doing business" and certainly tax-deductible.

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gnaffle 143 days ago | link

Yes. Just do a cursory search on the internet, and you'll see many musicians shipping their instruments in very solid and well protected cases still getting their instruments destroyed.

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loup-vaillant 143 days ago | link

I have heard, 2nd handed (friend of my dad, if I recall correctly), of a well protected double bass that was pierced through on purpose. I believe it was a routine contraband check.

Maybe those incident are not very frequents. But when you multiply that by entire orchestra travelling overseas…

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ars_technician 142 days ago | link

Sounds like the moron that packed the double bass didn't put a security approved lock on it.

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napoleond 142 days ago | link

That's a pretty strong assumption. I've travelled with instruments, and complied with the rules of the airlines involved as well as the government agencies involved, and still managed to get shit badly broken. I don't know of the specific case in question, but I would wager that the "moron" who packed the double bass was not, in fact, a moron.

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loup-vaillant 142 days ago | link

I wasn't told. It does sound like the hole in the case (and the bass) is evidence for the absence of a security lock. On the other hand, the guy was probably a professional musician, and therefore should have known… Who knows, maybe he doesn't travel much, and made a mistake?

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ars_technician 142 days ago | link

This is not a valid response to the comment you are replying to. It's just an appeal to emotion. It doesn't negate the fact that this is the result of a special interests group nor does it negate the fact that the cost is not provided by the musicians that now take up more cabin space.

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nikatwork 142 days ago | link

...a special interests group which got involved due to the airlines frequently destroying precious musical instruments through negligence.

If one is looking for the root cause of this cost, the arrow points directly at the incompetence of the airlines.

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avalaunch 143 days ago | link

2. It's negligible I think but if the plane is packed other passengers may have to check their bags at the gate because there isn't enough room left in the overhead after the musician stows his overly large and awkward shaped carry-on. Thus they pay in time lost after the plane lands and inconvenience of not being able to get into their carry-on during flight.

Mainly though I think the OP is just lashing out because it's sounds unfair that one person can stow an up to 165 lb, overly large piece of luggage simply because it's a musical instrument.

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jotm 143 days ago | link

It is unfair, because an engineer can't do the same with his expensive desktop computer that he needs for work on the other side of the continent.

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gnaffle 143 days ago | link

First of all, a desktop computer will take far, far more abuse than an instrument like a violin or a guitar. Second, a properly backed up desktop computer is easy to replace if it gets damaged, while an instrument can be pretty much impossible to replace (like a Stradivarius).

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ars_technician 142 days ago | link

>First of all, a desktop computer will take far, far more abuse than an instrument like a violin or a guitar.

Depends on the components.

>Second, a properly backed up desktop computer is easy to replace if it gets damaged,

Doesn't change the lost time having to restore. There is a reason someone travels with electronic equipment in the first place. Second, it's not if the computer has specialized hardware (again, there is a reason someone would travel with a desktop). Third, a desktop could easily be loaded with $3000 in components. Not exactly simple to replace either.

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bashinator 142 days ago | link

Oh please. I've been using computers (sysadmin/devops/gamer) for decades, and I've also been a musician for decades. While the value of my instruments and computers has always been roughly the same (because I don't play classical music, where $3000 is a beginner's cello), the replace-ability isn't even close. Musicians form a close emotional and physical attachment to their instruments. I've had a laptop stolen, and I've had a bass stolen. I could care less about the laptop, and ten years later, I still dearly miss the bass. It's apples and oranges.

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mseebach 143 days ago | link

1: The musicians lobby. It's in the article.

2: Cabin space is a scarce resource. When some of it is forcefully allocated to a privileged group, there is less for the rest of us.

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jat850 143 days ago | link

Maybe I'm misunderstanding. But it outlines that if it's a comparable item to other carryon baggage, there's no additional penalty on the scarce resource of carryon storage. It's no more forcefully allocated to instruments than it is a standard other item of carryon luggage. It's just equally allocated, now.

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gaius 143 days ago | link

It says a cello must be carried with no additional fee - that means the guy is getting a free seat. Which means the cost of that seat is split between the other passengers.

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michaelhoffman 143 days ago | link

No, it's no additional fee beyond the ordinary cost for the ticket. It makes the revenue for a cello equivalent to a passenger--you can't charge extra because it is a cello.

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pmiller2 143 days ago | link

You get the right to buy a ticket for your cello. The "no additional fee" bit is as michaelhoffman states: they can't charge any more for your cello's ticket than for a passenger's ticket. See http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/11/18/delta-no-more-frequent-f... for an example of what used to happen before this law.

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jat850 143 days ago | link

No, as michaelhoffman says, the passenger may purchase a seat for the instrument, but must not be charged additional fees simply because it is an instrument and not a passenger.

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InclinedPlane 143 days ago | link

It says that a cello requires purchase of another ticket, but cannot include additional fees merely because it's a cello. If anything that subsidizes other passengers because cellos don't also have carry on baggage, they don't breathe air, they weigh less than the average person, and they tend not to consume many snacks and drinks mid-flight.

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pmiller2 143 days ago | link

A typical cello weights about 8 pounds. A hard case (not a 'flight case' that would be suitable for the cargo hold, but a hard carrying case) weighs no more than 15 lbs or so, and good ones weigh under 8 lbs. An electric cello might even fit in the overhead compartment, depending exactly how it's built! (Though you will likely have to check your amplifiers.)

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fastball 143 days ago | link

"privileged group", otherwise known as "someone who actually needs it more than you do".

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mseebach 143 days ago | link

Yeah, I never carry anything valuable or fragile on planes. Thanks for clearing that up.

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bashinator 142 days ago | link

How about valuable, fragile, that you have a close emotional attachment to, that is also required for your profession.

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DougBTX 143 days ago | link

1. According to the article, the American Federation of Musicians

2. Agreed, what tab? If the airlines can charge a fee comparable to equivalent carry on luggage, what difference does this actually make? I guess it must be against an extra surcharge for instruments, which honestly I wouldn't have thought would exist in the first place.

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mseebach 143 days ago | link

2: There is currently no allowed cabin baggage equivalent to a guitar.

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jat850 143 days ago | link

Thank you on #1. Missed that in my first read, I see it now.

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There's no "correct" price. The price is dependent on exchange - it's a supply and demand aspect. All the exchanges do is reflect what the latest transactions respectively.

You could buy bitcoins in a private transaction for any price.

There is obviously some potential for arbitrage here but it's probably risky given the volatile nature right now.

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A comment like this reeks of ignorance and adds nothing to the dialogue.

If you wanted to vouch for the reduction of sports on broadcast television with reasons related to health that are backed up with facts or citations, rather than speculative opining, you could have, and should have, done so.

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criley2 153 days ago | link

The "sports" word was mentioned, so yes, we can expect a deluge of holier than thou prejudiced nerds explaining in very ethnocentric terms why sports is bad.

It'd be comical if it wasn't depressing.

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

I had to look up what "ethnocentric" meant, but I don't think I am "evaluating other peoples and cultures according to the standards of my own culture" here. Perhaps you could elaborate?

(Also, even if I was, don't we all unconsciously view things through the lens of our cultural upbringing? Fail to see how this could be either comical or depressing. Or perhaps you want opinions to be restricted to only people from your own culture?)

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criley2 153 days ago | link

Yes, it means exactly that. As in, nerds who have lived in their own geek culture bubble all of their lives, aggressively and prejudicedly judging sports culture from the perspective of their own comfort bubble, without ever truly experiencing it with an open mind or truly trying to understand why people enjoy those things and behave that way. Jock-bullying. It's very common in nerd circles, if only as a reflexive against the injustices against nerds, both real and imagined.

It's comical/depressing because nerd crowds are generally very self-congratulatory on how open-minded, liberal and intelligent they are.

And then this kind of reflexive antagonist behavior against jocks bubbles up, and we're forced to realize that no, just because geeks paint themselves as these smart and open-minded people does not mean it is true.

Sometimes, they're no better than bullies, insulting ways of life that they've never tried, simply because it is different or because they are expected by their group to dislike those things.

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

This has nothing to do with jocks. If anything, it might be considered bullying people-who-watch-sports-yet-are-in-no-condition-to-play-sports-themselves. You'd think nerds constitute a greater proportion of that than jocks. I don't know much about jock culture, but I'm assuming (perhaps wrongly) that physical fitness plays a part?

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SheepSlapper 153 days ago | link

Why stop at sports? Let's start bullying people-who-love-music-but-can't-play-an-instrument-themselves! Or how about people-who-watch-movies-yet-can't-act-their-way-out-of-a-bucket? Those people definitely deserve our scorn...

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

If severe deficiency at playing an instrument caused heart attacks, sure, that would be a great idea.

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

I'm not entirely sure which side is 'reeking of ignorance' here.

Go to any so-called sports bar. The majority of people are obese or overweight and look as if they'd be hard-pressed to run a hundred yards. Look at the majority of commercials during sports games broadcasts. They are typically Doritos, McDonalds, or something else related to fatty, unhealthy food. To go shopping in most places, you have to get your ass in a car since the bloody mall is like 20 miles away, and when you get there, the aisles are full of frozen pizza and cookies instead of fresh produce and meat.

Don't bother nitpicking my statement (it is obviously an exaggeration) -- just notice all these things about your "game Sunday" next time. But since you seem almost slavishly devoted to "omgsomeoneinanewspaperorscientificjournalsaiditsoitmustbetrue" sources, here are some.

1) Map of obesity rate in the US for all states from 1985-2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Obesity_state_level_estima...

2) In 2012, the NFL generated $9.5 billion in revenue http://www.businessinsider.com/sports-chart-of-the-day-nfl-r.... Yet, it is registered as a non-profit organisation, which essentially means that all of us are indirectly subsidizing it as taxpayers. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/25/1241265/-Wait-the-N...

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jamesaguilar 153 days ago | link

You've done nothing to connect obesity rates to sports viewing in this comment. At best, your anecdote connected obesity to being in sports bars.

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mullingitover 153 days ago | link

I'll bite: Look at the map of searches for 'college football' here - http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/the-geography-of... Now look at obesity rates at the county level here - http://www.maxmasnick.com/2011/11/15/obesity_by_county/

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ewoodrich 153 days ago | link

Here is a map of poverty rates at the county level:

http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/percent-of-...

I have a hard time believing that obesity is causally related to "college football" or televised sports in general. Except perhaps the fact that it's a sedentary activity, but a sizable chunk of HN probably spends far more time working in front of a computer.

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m_myers 153 days ago | link

No, no, football causes poverty. And obesity causes football.

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

> I have a hard time believing that obesity is causally related to "college football" or televised sports in general.

Correlation is not causation, but it is correlation...i.e. things which will affect college football viewing might affect obesity as well. Ergo, if college football becomes too expensive to watch, maybe obesity rates will reduce. This is my hypothesis; only an actual experiment can show if this is true or not.

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

As I said in the parent, don't bother nitpicking. To appease you, substitute the typical American living room on "game day" for the sports bar. I guarantee you the obesity rate is not lower.

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jamesaguilar 153 days ago | link

It's not a nitpick. It's a core and fundamental flaw in the central point of your reasoning.

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adestefan 153 days ago | link

Here I'll fix your statement for you.

Go to any so-called tech conference. The majority of people are obese or overweight and look as if they'd be hard-pressed to run a hundred yards.

Stop being a douche.

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parennoob 153 days ago | link

Actually, I whole-heartedly agree with this statement. Not sure whether that means I should continue being a "douche".

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I don't want to misunderstand your math but I might be doing so.

55 men, 45 women 80% of the men are in stable relationships 80% x 55 men = 44 men 44 men with 44 out of 45 women leaves 1 woman remaining, 11 men remaining, for an even worse ratio of 11 free men to 1 woman.

Or did I follow you wrong?

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netcan 177 days ago | link

Think about it this way:

55 women & 45 men graduate. 15 of those women lasso 15 of those men within 5 years. That leaves 40 women to 30 men. 5 years later another 10 pair off. Now you have 30/20. The more pairs you make, the worse the ratio.

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harryh 177 days ago | link

It's 55 women and 45 men. Women now get more college degrees than men.

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jat850 177 days ago | link

Got it, thank you. Missed that critical caveat.

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harryh 177 days ago | link

:) Easy to get these things backwards when you're just glancing over things.

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Coursera, no doubt. I took 2 courses with Tim Roughgarden; they were awesome. And I just finished 2 more with Sedgewick. If you can find the Sedgewick courses, I recommend picking up his book (actually, I recommend it anyway) - Algorithms, Sedgewick & Wayne, 3rd ed.

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meepmorp 351 days ago | link

Also, there's a book site for the Sedgwick & Wayne book:

http://algs4.cs.princeton.edu/home/

There's a lot of good stuff.

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I don't know how serious you are being, but the purpose of the interview question may not have anything to do with the job whatsoever, or it may.

Either way, questions of this nature are intended to filter out people who are not interested in getting to the root of a problem, and solving that problem practically.

The interviewee should be looking to determine constraints, limitations, expectations, requirements, use cases, problem scale.

The interview for any job should be looking for someone looking for those things.

In what way would any job that requires critical thinking be considered boring?

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rocky1138 361 days ago | link

I get what you're saying, but there's a line interviewing crosses when it becomes less about trying to figure out if the person is right for the job and more about trying to outsmart them by painting them into some sort of technical corner.

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rhizome 360 days ago | link

Dominance games.

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mmorett 360 days ago | link

"but the purpose of the interview question may not have anything to do with the job whatsoever"

And yet it's asked.

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I am not sure if you have since pivoted, but here are 2 thoughts from a non-technical perspective:

1) I think "fork the cookbook" is awesome for a tech target audience, maybe not so much for a non-technical target audience. Forking has instant grok-ability with tech people but outside of that vector it's not immediately apparent.

2) Because of #1 (but I do think your core idea is close), what about something wherein the concept isn't "forking" a recipe (i.e. taking an existing one and mutating it) but rather, a "this is my take on that same dish" type approach.

User 1 uploads a recipe for potato casserole. User 2 discovers this recipe and has a slight twist on it, and rather than "forking" User 1's recipe, rather directly posts their own recipe. But a linkage between the two is created (where I guess the PK could be considered "potato casserole"), such that future users looking for potato casseroles would stumble across both. Or, when a user discovers User 1's version, the linkage could be represented as "Or, try THIS variant". Incorporate rating/votings (presumably you already have this).

It's probably extremely close to what you already have, but removes the tech connotation and even though it is extremely philosophically close to your original idea, make it removes the linkage in peoples' minds that anyone is "stealing" their recipe.

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chewxy 361 days ago | link

We're in the middle of a pivot to chase the tech savvy crowd.

Thanks for your advice. It's a good way to frame the value proposition

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saraid216 361 days ago | link

There's a large subset of the tech savvy crowd who like food experimentation, too.

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chewxy 361 days ago | link

And we've also discovered: more willing to pay for a recipe repository that allows export of data

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