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They asked nicely. And they don't seem to be able to tell if they've fixed it, so they really have no choice but to beg.

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One taboo on HN is pointing out that even though software is a huge lever, there's no sign of the end of raw human labor. In every industry you can point to jobs being lost to automation, yet you still need many, many people in health care, or construction, or manufacturing, or police, or teaching, or mining, or working for utilities, etc. It's complete speculation to suggest that jobs are disappearing faster than they could be replaced. It's not surprising that people who used to work for big auto manufacturers can't continue to work for those same manufacturers, and that says nothing about whether those same people could find low-skill jobs in other industries, nor whether investment in sectors other than GM or Ford could create more unskilled jobs.

If there was a larger market for unskilled labor, the competition for workers would tend to drive up wages and lower inequality.

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When jobs move from a developed / high wage country to one with cheaper labor, they effectively disappear. That pattern then repeats until the job finally ends up in the least regulated sweatshop in the darkest corner of the planet. Eventually automation will 'outsource' that job too, thereby completing the defragging process.

Does another job necessarily arise to replace each lost job? That's a question that only a religious person would answer.

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This is exactly the taboo I'm talking about. Police, health care, mining, teaching, and surprisingly many others aren't going overseas right now. A lot of jobs are disappearing, and a lot aren't. Why assume that e.g. the American economy won't have enough jobs in the near future? There's no data on HN in all these discussions, and no real trends to extrapolate from except in very specific sectors.

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Mining is becoming heavily automated. The work of a dozen men even twenty years ago can now often be done by two with a good computer model.

We are pushing very hard for computer vision, which is the real barrier to practical robotics that could replace your electrician, plumber, nurse, miner, driver, etc. There is no sacred cow of labor besides what is mandated by the molasses slow state (because I would absolutely argue that learning systems like Khan's Academy, the availability of resources online, and the technological organizational potential of software solve all the criteria to substitute teachers with a security guard watching the kids while they listen to robo-instructor, solve the problems themselves, and ask the neural-net for help when they run into problems - and the kids are of course not all in the same room in an expensive upkeep building called a school). That kind of change though must also be culturally accepted since a lot of effort goes into separating public education from market forces.

Point is, the jobs that we could not send overseas have tremendous pressure on them as a result to be absolved entirely by AI, robotics, and software. It is why the pencil pusher desk job of 1980 - rows of typists at typewriters transcribing documents - went the way of the Dodo and did generate a ton of unemployment that we still have not seamlessly solved.

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Pressure, yes, but I want numbers - what percentage of jobs have disappeared over, say, the past 20 years, and could increased demand realistically replace those jobs in other sectors? You can't simply say "manual labor is over, because... singularity." There's no singularity yet. Until then, you need data before you can really extrapolate from current trends. The easiest things to automate are already automated, and harder things are coming along slowly. It might be true that jobs disappear faster than prices fall from the automation, or prices might fall fast enough that most people can have jobs that don't pay much, and still get by.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/middle-class-jobs-m...

http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-bots-are-taking-aw...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/smart-machines-job-...

Most relevantly to this direct topic:

http://fortune.com/2015/02/25/5-jobs-that-robots-already-are...

Like I said, there are demonstrable mechanisms, and in-lab and even in-market examples of how these technologies are going to replace almost all these jobs. This is not science fiction. This is market adoption at this point. And we are not at the start of the process, we are in the middle of it.

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None of this really answers the question. Of course technology eliminates jobs. This has been happening since before Ford was founded and before all those automotive jobs were originally created. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite for instance. The question isn't whether specific jobs are being destroyed, but rather whether all unskilled jobs are being destroyed, and none of those links even begin to give any data on the subject.

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By definition of unskilled labor you imply only work done by physical action.

If you really don't think you cannot replace the human arm with a machine, you haven't been paying attention for two centuries. How is that even a question? We could replace all unskilled work today, if all you are doing is removing mechanical components of labor.

Remember, unskilled labor is "work to be done without training or certification". Driving a truck requires a Class C license, which is a certification. Working at Mcdonalds takes no certification. You need to have state certifications to work as a carpenter, plumber, or electrician. Your janitor doesn't need anything. So when you ask "is there any evidence unskilled labor can be completely replaced" then I would ask what unskilled job is not being replaced right now, from self checkout to vending machines to roombas to combine harvesters.

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Certification is a red herring; assembly line workers have skills that I lack. I'm really only interested in jobs of that could be filled by the people who used to work in the Rust Belt, whatever you actually want to call that type of employment.

Thought experiment: let's say a trend starts for everyone earning 6 figures in Silicon Valley to hire a butler and a cook. How many jobs would be created? How many have recently been destroyed? How long before robots are as good a substitute for human butlers as the robot in The Jetsons?

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The fact you do not have significant pressure to have a butler or cook today is in large part due to automation making them effectively obsolete. Anyone hiring one is making the informed decision that they are cost ineffective at jobs your phone, roomba, and local tv dinner manufactuary or new-age restaurant where the foot is prepared by machine are more efficient at.

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>One taboo on HN is pointing out that even though software is a huge lever, there's no sign of the end of raw human labor.

I think people in technologist circles tend overstate the effects of automation and understate the effects of global labor arbitrage (aided by telecommunications).

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Given Bloom's two sigma problem[0], the potential market for teachers is nowhere near saturation.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_2_Sigma_Problem

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> replaced

This word implies creation of new jobs, but all examples that you discussed in the rest of your comment seem to be about the jobs that already exist, not new ones.

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How about Option 4: calling him?

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I don't know whether they tried, or if they didn't, why they didn't. Like I wrote below[1], I'm wondering what the rest of the story is. This isn't the first person to have submitted an RCE to Facebook, but it's the first person to get Facebook to go nuclear over a submission. Why?

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10754627

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There's a difference - software also has unplanned obsolescence. For instance, I've been working on a non-profit website that has a fair amount of QuickTime video from way back when that was a good choice. If you don't do something about it, it won't play anymore on modern browsers. It's hard to align the interests of software developers with the interests of customers using a one-time purchase, but with work that continues indefinitely. Appliances are different since I don't need their features to change long after the sale. In this case, if they can charge me more at the time of the sale for an appliance that lasts longer, we can align interests.

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Is there still any reasonable way to upgrade from XP? I intended to upgrade to Windows 8 a few years ago on an ancient machine, only to find that Microsoft had eliminated the upgrade, and now you seem to need to buy a new copy of Windows for an old computer AND reinstall everything.

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I doubt it. I think the upgrade path is supposed to be XP -> Vista -> 7 -> 10.

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You can upgrade, it'll just have to be a clean install.

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They're arguing that the Xen developers shouldn't code in a way that makes it so hard to spot, not that they should have spotted it as is.

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Yes, the problem is that this terrible code directly copies the untrusted "nl2e" variable from the VM into the extremely critical hardware page table, only doing a broken unclearly written check.

Instead, "nl2e" should have a data type preventing such a direct copy, and only allowing to test single bits.

The code should then be written to copy bits one by one (for bits where it is appropriate), with a comment for each bit stating why it is safe to copy them.

The fact that this is not the case means that none of the other code in Xen can really be trusted to be bug-free, and there is probably no way to fix that without starting over or doing an equivalent amount of rewriting work.

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Can you name one substantial software project with more than 10 developers that you expect to be bug free?

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Space Shuttle embedded controllers firmware

... I'll say a bit more ... I think it's sad that it's not practical anymore to write really high quality code. And most computer security researchers aren't interested in that anymore either, because it's not possible to force all other developers to write high quality code (and if you do you're called "mean" "alienating" etc.) So all they/we try to do is find new layers to contain all the bad code that has been and will be written.

Can we really be surprised when those layers, particularly if they are popular because they came out first and have lots of features, are also low-quality code? Is there anywhere a foot can be put down?

Also, openbsd is another good example of a project with code with a very very low bug density.

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> Space Shuttle embedded controllers firmware

Not the space shuttle, but if you think things that go to space (and land on the goddamned Moon) are free of bugs then you are very sorely mistaken.

https://www.netjeff.com/humor/item.cgi?file=ApolloComputer

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At $job-2 doing agricultural telemetry, our firmware engineer found that one ISP's satellite was randomly dropping the last character in routed traffic. Took a little while for them to believe us, and that satellite had been up there for 30 years...

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The orbiter computer was also not bug free. Remarkably correct software, even so.

http://klabs.org/DEI/Processor/shuttle/

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The engineering behind the space shuttle software is a fun read [1].

[1] http://www.fastcompany.com/28121/they-write-right-stuff/

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Not sure, such is the sad state of the world.

But it would be especially important to have SOMETHING that can run multiple applications while being 100% sure that it is enforcing security between them.

So far everything has been a total disaster, with browsers getting completely owned every year at Pwn2Own, conventional kernels being effectively expected to be locally exploitable at all times (which means all mobile sandboxes are broken as well), and hypervisors where Xen seems to be the most secure of the ones that are mature, and is still terrible.

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> Can you name one substantial software project with more than 10 developers that you expect to be bug free?

No, not even if you're counting in binary.

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This story from last month comes to mind: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10430862

I suspect hiring this company would make even a large budget wilt a bit. Just a bit :P

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seL4 microkernel.

Of course, the velocity of development is very low, but that's because they want developers who can wrap their head around formal proofs.

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Perfect is the enemy of good. There are plenty of projects I expect to have 90% lower defect rates.

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Are there static analysis tools which could have flagged this vulnerable coding style?

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No. This is a subtle vulnerability that involves the flags in the x86 page table not matching the hypervisor's view of them - not a mere buffer overflow. Ordinary static analysis couldn't have fixed this. Safe languages couldn't have fixed this. Even a complete formal proof would have missed this without a good model.

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Disagree. If those flags were properly typed then whoever added superpages would have had to make a decision about whether that was something guests should be allowed to set. Sure, they could still have made the wrong choice, but having the mask for which bits are allowed defined separately makes it much easier for a programmer to simply forget.

Heck, even without a type system, the problem is that the check is backwards. There shouldn't be a mask of flags that the guest isn't allowed to set, the flags should have been &ed with a mask that says which flags they are allowed to set, that way any new flag would have been disallowed by default.

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The mask of flags that the guest isn't allowed to set is created by taking a whitelist of flags that it is allowed to set and inverting it, so that every flag that's not explicitly allowed is denied. They're flags that the guest was intentionally granted the ability to change. The problem is that Xen subtly mishandled the consequences of a guest changing them in a way that wouldn't affect normal guests. I haven't seen a solution to this that doesn't, in the end, basically boil down to not making that mistake in the first place.

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I wonder which pen-testing techniques were used by Alibaba to find this vulnerability.

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https failure for me. http works, but Chrome reports: Error code: ERR_SSL_VERSION_OR_CIPHER_MISMATCH

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Ah interesting. I'm running on Cloudflare's free SSL tier (have been very curious to see how well it performs). What browser are you on?

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The East Germany comparison made sense and your comment about capitalism also made sense. Mozilla itself might very well have simply made a reasonable business decision. Many comments in this thread, though, say that it's fine to have an unpopular opinion as long as you don't mind the consequences. It's fine for the people who disagree with you to punish you for having your opinion. That certainly invites the comparison with East Germany.

The Hitler thing is uncalled for.

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"I don't want to do business with a company which has Eich as a CEO" is rather not the same as the Stasi. It's closer to US sentiment during the Red Scare of "I won't do business with any company which employes a member of the Communist Party." (The US still has a number of anti-Communist laws still on the books that I consider reprehensible.)

Or even closer to people in Northern Ireland still who will choose or avoid a Catholic/Protestant-owned store because of strong Unionist/Nationalist beliefs, even when the store itself has no basis.

Or a boycott on a chain of stores in the US where the owner contributes to anti-immigration policies, even when the chain itself has taken no political stance.

These later ones fall squarely under a right of free association. The East Germany comparison does not. That's why this comparison is malarkey.

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I'm curious why you think the East German and US situations during the Cold War were all so different from the perspective of what the comparison was talking about.

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The Stasi was run by the government.

With the Red Scare (which started decades before the Cold War), the government was involved early on, and at a high level. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Red_Scare for some of the details of what happened in the 1920s. Senator McCarthy of course used the bully pulpit to push anti-communist policies. The House Un-American Activities Committee played a key role in starting the Hollywood blacklist.

Of course there were certainly non-government pressures as well. People were anti-bolshevik and worried that the US would be overthrown just like Russia was. Others saw anti-Communism as a way to frighten people, and use that freight as a way to gain power. But without the government we wouldn't have had laws like the Taft–Hartley Act, which for 18 years prohibited union leaders from being members of the Communist Party. The Communist Control Act of 1954 is still on the books.

With Eich there's absolutely no government involvement, and the opposition is based on the right of association. Some Mozilla employees, some volunteers, some citizens, and some organizations don't want to associate themselves with Mozilla.

With East Germany, the police wanted to be involved in the actions of dissenters, and had the power to do so. With the Red Scares, the US government also used their power to force others to not associate with Communists. But with Eich .. what power do the dissenters have other than their right of free association?

That's why these cases are very different.

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It's a public perception and media job. Being popular is literally the job description. We're not talking about some poor persecuted office worker who just happens to hold unpopular views and now can't hold a job anymore.

Mel Gibson ruined his career with unpopular statements, Tom Cruise nearly did, and nobody started talking about the Stasi then. The Stasi comment was completely uncalled for itself, a Godwin rejoinder was begging to be made.

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> "Many comments in this thread, though, say that it's fine to have an unpopular opinion as long as you don't mind the consequences. It's fine for the people who disagree with you to punish you for having your opinion. That certainly invites the comparison with East Germany."

Eich went beyond merely having and expressing an unpopular opinion. He took action to support the effort to have his opinion forced upon others by the government. He couldn't restrain himself to respectful disagreement, and that's why he's suffering more severe consequences.

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For a long time, "equal rights" for gay people was an unpopular opinion. Through action, gay rights have been forced upon others by the government. Why didn't gay people just restrain themselves to respectful disagreement?

You are advocating a double standard. Why is it ok for people to support "gay rights" being forced upon others by the government, but not ok for people to support traditional marriage values being forced upon others by the government? In either case, there are people who do not want the government to force those opinions upon them. So, if the majority is going one way, you're saying the minority should do nothing other than "respectfully disagree"?

The East Germany comparison is actually quite appropriate here.

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Or press the Windows Key together with I.

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Consider the possibility that he wasn't using shallow strawmen, and also consider that your comment might be an example of exactly what he's complaining about! (You don't actually have to agree, but you wouldn't have written your GP comment that way if you had really thought about it.)

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> Consider the possibility that he wasn't using shallow strawmen

Let's have a look at the article again, then:

If you are like everyone else on the Internet, your immediate response is "Whoever is saying that is obviously a racisty racist who loves racism! I can't believe he literally used the 'I'm not racist, but...' line in those exact words! The old INRB! I've got to get home as fast as I can to write about this on my blog and tell everyone I really met one of those people!"

If a man thinks parts of the reason why some men are jerks toward women is because women actually are more likely to date jerks than people who are respectful, she can gleefully declare "You're a Nice Guy (TM) and therefore Worse Than Hitler (TM)!" and point and laugh.

If those are indeed both truly representative and real anecdotes, feel free to correct me, but otherwise I don't see how they are more than just shallow strawmen.

> also consider that your comment might be an example of exactly what he's complaining about!

I did consider that, but I personally think that that it isn't, so maybe you could give me a hint as to how my comment embodies any of the tendencies described in the article.

Consider that asking me to consider these things could be a way for you to suggest that they are true without having to resort to actual reasoning.

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> otherwise I don't see how they are more than just shallow strawmen.

Both examples seem really common to me, although slightly exaggerated for comic effect.

It's extremely easy to find people who dismiss everything said after "INR,B" as racist — for instance, on Urban Dictionary whatever is said after it is DEFINED as racist: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=i%27m%20not%2....

(I'll happily agree that very many things said after "INR,B" ARE racist, but it also seems obvious to me that if you have an actual non-racist point to make, lots of people are going to dismiss it if you start with "INR,B".)

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