Hacker News with comments/articles inlined for offline reading

Authors ranked on leaderboard
Last updated:
Reload to view new stories

October 25, 2021 09:07



Front Page/ShowHN stories over 4 points from last 7 days
If internet connection drops, you can still read the stories
If there were any historical discussions on the story, links to all the previous stories on Hacker News will appear just above the comments.

Historical Discussions: Willingness to look stupid (October 21, 2021: 1834 points)

(1844) Willingness to look stupid

1844 points 4 days ago by ZephyrBlu in 10000th position

danluu.com | Estimated reading time – 27 minutes | comments | anchor

Willingness to look stupid

People frequently think that I'm very stupid. I don't find this surprising, since I don't mind if other people think I'm stupid, which means that I don't adjust my behavior to avoid seeming stupid, which results in people thinking that I'm stupid. Although there are some downsides to people thinking that I'm stupid, e.g., failing interviews where the interviewer very clearly thought I was stupid, I think that, overall, the upsides of being willing to look stupid have greatly outweighed the downsides.

I don't know why this one example sticks in my head but, for me, the most memorable example of other people thinking that I'm stupid was from college. I've had numerous instances where more people thought I was stupid and also where people thought the depths of my stupidity was greater, but this one was really memorable for me.

Back in college, there was one group of folks that, for whatever reason, stood out to me as people who really didn't understand the class material. When they talked, they said things that didn't make any sense, they were struggling in the classes and barely passing, etc. I don't remember any direct interactions but, one day, a friend of mine who also knew them remarked to me, 'did you know [that group] thinks you're really dumb?'. I found that really delightful and asked why. It turned out the reason was that I asked really stupid sounding questions.

In particular, it's often the case that there's a seemingly obvious but actually incorrect reason something is true, a slightly less obvious reason the thing seems untrue, and then a subtle and complex reason that the thing is actually true. I would regularly figure out that the seemingly obvious reason was wrong and then ask a question to try to understand the subtler reason, which sounded stupid to someone who thought the seemingly obvious reason was correct or thought that the refutation to the obvious but incorrect reason meant that the thing was untrue.

The benefit from asking a stupid sounding question is small in most particular instances, but the compounding benefit over time is quite large and I've observed that people who are willing to ask dumb questions and think 'stupid thoughts' end up understanding things much more deeply over time. Conversely, when I look at people who have a very deep understanding of topics, many of them frequently ask naive sounding questions and continue to apply one of the techniques that got them a deep understanding in the first place.

I think I first became sure of something that I think of as a symptom of the underlying phenomenon via playing competitive video games when I was in high school. There were few enough people playing video games online back then that you'd basically recognize everyone who played the same game and could see how much everyone improved over time. Just like I saw when I tried out video games again a couple years ago, most people would blame external factors (lag, luck, a glitch, teammates, unfairness, etc.) when they 'died' in the game. The most striking thing about that was that people who did that almost never became good and never became great. I got pretty good at the game and my 'one weird trick' was to think about what went wrong every time something went wrong and then try to improve. But most people seemed more interested in making an excuse to avoid looking stupid (or maybe feeling stupid) in the moment than actually improving, which, of course, resulted in them having many more moments where they looked stupid in the game.

In general, I've found willingness to look stupid to be very effective. Here are some more examples:

  • Going into an Apple store and asking for (and buying) the computer that comes in the smallest box, which I had a good reason to want at the time
    • The person who helped me, despite being very polite, also clearly thought I was a bozo and kept explaining things like 'the size of the box and the size of the computer aren't the same'. Of course I knew that, but I didn't want to say something like 'I design CPUs. I understand the difference between the size of the box the computer comes and in the size of the computer and I know it's very unusual to care about the size of the box, but I really want the one that comes in the smallest box'. Just saying the last bit without establishing any kind of authority didn't convince the person
    • I eventually asked them to humor me and just bring out the boxes for the various laptop models so I could see the boxes, which they did, despite clearly thinking that my decision making process made no sense
  • Covid: I took this seriously relatively early on and bought a half mask respirator on 2020-01-26 and was using N95s I'd already had on hand for the week before (IMO, the case that covid was airborne and that air filtration would help was very strong based on the existing literature on SARS contact tracing, filtration of viruses from air filters, and viral load)
    • It wasn't until many months later that people didn't generally look at me like I was an idiot, and even as late 2020-08, I would sometimes run into people who would verbally make fun me
    • On the flip side, the person I was living with at the time didn't want to wear the mask I got her since she found it too embarrassing to wear a mask when no one else was and became one of the early bay area covid cases, which gave her a case of long covid that floored her for months
    • A semi-related one is that, when Canada started doing vaccines, I wanted to get Moderna even though the general consensus online and in my social circles was that Pfizer was preferred
      • One reason for this was it wasn't clear if the government was going to allow mixing vaccines and the delivery schedule implied that there would be a very large shortage of Pfizer for 2nd doses as well as a large supply of Moderna
      • Another thought that had crossed my mind was that Moderna is basically 'more stuff' than Pfizer and might convey better immunity in some cases, in the same way that some populations get high-dose flu shots to get better immunity
  • Work: I generally don't worry about proposals or actions looking stupid
    • I can still remember the first time I explicitly ran into this. This was very early on my career, when I was working on chip verification. Shortly before tape-out, the head of verification wanted to use our compute resources to re-run a set of tests that had virtually no chance of finding any bugs (they'd been run thousands of times before) instead of running the usual mix of tests, which would include a lot of new generated tests that had a much better chance of finding a bug (this was both logically and empirically true). I argued that we should run the tests that reduced the odds of shipping with a show stopping bug (which would cost us millions of dollars and delay shipping by three months), but the head of the group said that we would look stupid and incompetent if there was a bug that could've been caught by one of our old 'golden' tests that snuck in since the last time we'd run those tests
      • At the time, I was shocked that somebody would deliberately do the wrong thing in order to reduce the odds of potentially looking stupid (and, really, only looking stupid to people who wouldn't understand the logic of running the best available mix of tests; since there weren't non-technical people anywhere in the management chain, anyone competent should understand the reasoning) but now that I've worked at various companies in multiple industries, I see that most people would choose to do the wrong thing to avoid potentially looking stupid to people who are incompetent. I see the logic, but I think that it's self-sabotaging to behave that way and that the gains to my career for standing up for what I believe are the right thing have been so large that, even if the next ten times I do so, I get unlucky and it doesn't work out, that still won't erase the gains I've made from having done the right thing many times in the past
  • Air filtration: I did a bit of looking into the impact of air quality on health and bought air filters for my apartment in 2012
    • Friends have been chiding about this for years and strangers, dates, and acquaintances, will sometimes tell me, with varying levels of bluntness, that I'm being paranoid and stupid
    • I added more air filtration capacity when I moved to a wildfire risk area after looking into wildfire risk which increased the rate and bluntness of people telling me that I'm weird for having air filters
      • I've been basically totally unimpacted by wildfire despite living through a fairly severe wildfire season twice
      • Other folks I know experienced some degree of discomfort, with a couple people developing persistent issues after the smoke exposure (in one case, persistent asthma, which they didn't have before or at least hadn't noticed before)
  • Learning things that are hard for me: this is a 'feeling stupid' thing and not a 'looking stupid' thing, but when I struggle with something, I feel really dumb, as in, I have a feeling/emotion that I would verbally describe as 'feeling dumb'
    • When I was pretty young, I think before I was a teenager, I noticed that this happened when I learned things that were hard for me and tried to think of this feeling as 'the feeling of learning something' instead of 'feeling dumb', which half worked (I now associate that feeling with the former as well as the latter)
  • Asking questions: covered above, but I frequently ask questions when there's something I don't understand or know, from basic stuff, 'what does [some word] mean?' to more subtle stuff.
    • On the flip side, one of the most common failure modes I see with junior engineers is when someone will be too afraid to look stupid to ask questions and then learn very slowly as a result; in some cases, this is so severe it results in them being put on a PIP and then getting fired
      • I'm sure there are other reasons this can happen, like not wanting to bother people, but in the cases where I've been close enough to the situation to ask, it was always embarrassment and fear of looking stupid
      • I try to be careful to avoid this failure mode when onboarding interns and junior folks and have generally been sucessful, but it's taken me up to six weeks to convince people that it's ok for them to ask questions and, until that happens, I have to constantly ask them how things are going to make sure they're not stuck. That works fine if someone is my intern, but I can observe that many intern and new hire mentors do not do this and that often results in a bad outcome for all parties
        • In almost every case, the person had at least interned at other companies, but they hadn't learned that it was ok to ask questions. P.S. if you're a junior engineer at a place where it's not ok to ask questions, you should look for another job if circumstances permit
  • Not making excuses for failures: covered above for video games, but applies a lot more generally
  • When learning, deliberately playing around in the area between success and failure (this applies to things like video games and sports as well as abstract intellectual pursuits)
    • An example would be, when learning to climb, repeatedly trying the same easy move over and over again in various ways to understand what works better and what works worse. I've had strangers make fun of me and literally point at me and make snide comments to their friends while I'm doing things like this
    • When learning to drive, I wanted to set up some cones and drive so that I barely hit them, to understand where the edge of the car is. My father thought this idea was very stupid and I should just not hit things like curbs or cones
  • Car insurance: the last time I bought car insurance, I had to confirm three times that I only wanted coverage for damage I do to others with no coverage for damage to my own vehicle if I'm at fault. The insurance agent was unable to refrain from looking at me like I'm an idiot and was more incredulous each time they asked if I was really sure
  • The styling and content on this website: I regularly get design folks and typographers telling me how stupid the design is, frequently in ways that become condescending very quickly if I engage with them
    • But, when testing out switching to the current design from the generally highly lauded Octopress design, this one gets much better engagement when a user lands on the site and it appears to get passed around a lot more as well
    • When I've compared my traffic numbers to major coprorate blogs, my blog completely dominates $50B and $100B companies (e.g., it gets an order of magnitude more traffic than my employer's blog and my employer is a $50B company)
    • When I started my blog (and this is still true today), writing advice for programming blogs was to keep it short, maybe 500 to 1000 words. Most of my blog posts are 5000 to 10000 words
  • Taking my current job, which almost everyone thought was a stupid idea
    • Closely related: quitting my job at Centaur to attend RC and then eventually changing fields into software (I don't think this would be considered as stupid now, but it was thought to be a very stupid thing to do in 2013)
  • Learning a sport or video game: I try things out to understand what happens when you do them, which often results in other people thinking that I'm a complete idiot when the thing looks stupid, but being willing to look stupid helps me improve relatively quickly
  • Medical care: I've found that a lot of doctors are very confident in their opinion and get condescending pretty fast if you disagree
    • And yet, in the most extreme case, I would have died if I listened to my doctor; in the next most extreme case, I would have gone blind
    • When getting blood draws, I explain to people that I'm deceptively difficult to draw from and tell them what's worked in the past
      • About half the time, the nurse or phlebotomist takes my comments seriously, generally resulting in a straightforward and painless or nearly painless blood draw
      • About half the time, the nurse or phlebotomist looks at me like I'm an idiot and makes angry and/or condescending comments towards me; so far, everyone who's done this has failed to draw blood and/or given me a hematoma
      • I've had people tell me that I'm probably stating my preferences an offensive way and that I should be more polite; I've then invited them along with me to observe and no one has ever had a suggestion on how I could state things different to elicit a larger fraction of positive responses; in general, people are shocked and upset when they see how nurses and phlebotomists respond
      • In retrospect, I should probably just get up and leave when someone has the 'bad' response, which will probably increase the person's feeling that I'm stupid
      • One issue I have (and not the main one that makes it hard to 'get a stick') is that, during a blood draw, the blood will slow down and then usually stop. Some nurses like to wiggle the needle around to see if that starts things up again, which sometimes works (maybe 50/50) and will generally leave me with a giant bruise or a hematoma or both. After this happened a few times, I asked if getting my blood flowing (e.g., by moving around a lot before a blood draw) could make a difference and every nurse or phlebotomist I talked to said that was silly and that it wouldn't make any difference. I tried it anyway and that solved this problem, although I still have the problem of being hard to stick properly
  • Interviews: I'm generally not (perhaps not ever?) adversarial in interviews, but I try to say things that I think are true and try to avoid saying things that I think are false and this frequently causes interviews to think that I'm stupid
  • Generally trying to improve at things as well as being earnest
    • Even before 'tryhard' was an insult, a lot of people in my extended social circles thought that being a tryhard was idiotic and that one shouldn't try and should instead play it cool (this was before I worked as an engineer; as an engineer, I think that effort is more highly respected than among my classmates from school as well as internet folks I knew back when I was in school)
  • Generally admitting when I'm bad or untalented at stuff, e.g., mentioning that I struggled to learn to program in this post; an interviewer at Jane Street really dug into what I'd written in that post and tore me a new one for that post (it was the most hostile interview I've ever experienced by a very large margin), which is the kind of thing that sometimes happens when you're earnest and put yourself out there, but I still view the upsides as being greater than the downsides
  • Recruiting: I have an unorthodox recruiting pitch which candidly leads with the downsides, often causing people to say that I'm a terrible recruiter (or sarcastically say that I'm a great recruiter); I haven't publicly written up the pitch (yet?) because it's negative enough that I'm concerned that I'd be fired for putting it on the internet
    • I have never failed to close a full-time candidate (I once failed to close an intern candidate) and have brought in a lot of people who never would've considered working for us otherwise. My recruiting pitch sounds comically stupid, but it's much more effective than the standard recruiting speil most people give
  • Posting things on the internet: self explanatory

One thing to note, with repsect to productivity, is that because most people are highly constrained by not looking stupid, I don't actually have to be nearly as smart or work nearly as hard as most people to get good results. If I try to solve some a problem by doing what everyone else is doing and go looking for problems where everyone else is looking, if I want to do something valuable, I'll have to do better than a lot of people, maybe even better than everybody else if the problem is really hard. If the problem is considered trendy, a lot of very smart and hardworking people will be treading the same ground and doing better than that is very difficult. But I have a dumb thought, one that's too stupid sounding for anyone else to try, I don't necessarily have to be particularly smart or talented or hardworking to come up with valuable solutions. Often, the dumb solution is something any idiot could've come up with and the reason the problem hasn't been solved is because no one was willing to think the dumb thought until an idiot like me looked at the problem.

Overall, I view the upsides of being willing to look stupid as much larger than the downsides. When it comes to things that aren't socially judged, like winning a game, understanding something, or being able to build things due to having a good understanding, it's all upside. There can be downside for things that are 'about' social judgement, like interviews and dates but, even there, I think a lot of things that might seem like downsides are actually upsides.

For example, if a date thinks I'm stupid because I ask them what a word means, so much so that they show it in their facial expression and/or tone of voice, I think it's pretty unlikely that we're compatible, so I view finding that out sooner rather than later as upside and not downside.

Interviews are the case where I think there's the most downside since, at large companies, the interviewer likely has no connection to the job or your co-workers, so them having a pattern of interaction that I would view as a downside has no direct bearing on the work environment I'd have if I were offered the job and took it. There's probably some correlation but I can probably get much more signal on that elsewhere. But I think that being willing to say things that I know have a good chance of causing people to think I'm stupid is a deeply ingrained enough habit that it's not worth changing just for interviews and I can't think of another context where the cost is nearly as high as it is in interviews. In principle, I could probably change how I filter what I say only in interviews, but I think that would be a very large amount of work and not really worth the cost. An easier thing to do would be to change how I think so that I reflexively avoid thinking and saying 'stupid' thoughts, which a lot of folks seem to do, but that seems even more costly.

Appendix: do you try to avoid looking stupid?

On reading a draft of this, Ben Kuhn remarked,

[this post] caused me to realize that I'm actually very bad at this, at least compared to you but perhaps also just bad in general.

I asked myself 'why can't Dan just avoid saying things that make him look stupid specifically in interviews,' then I started thinking about what the mental processes involved must look like in order for that to be impossible, and realized they must be extremely different from mine. Then tried to think about the last time I did something that made someone think I was stupid and realized I didn't have a readily available example)

One problem I expect this post to have is that most people will read this and decide that they're very willing to look stupid. This reminds me of how most people, when asked, think that they're creative, innovative, and take big risks. I think that feels true since people often operate at the edge of their comfort zone, but there's a difference between feeling like you're taking big risks and taking big risks, e.g., when asked, someone I know who is among the most conservative people I know thinks that they take a lot of big risks and names things like sometimes jaywalking as risk that they take.

This might sound ridiculous, as ridiculous as saying that I run into hundreds to thousands of software bugs per week, but I think I run into someone who thinks that I'm an idiot in a way that's obvious to me around once a week. The car insurance example is from a few days ago, and if I wanted to think of other recent examples, there's a long string of them.

If you don't regularly have people thinking that you're stupid, I think it's likely that at least one of the following is true

  • You have extremely filtered interactions with people and basically only interact with people of your choosing and you have filtered out any people who have the reactions describe in this post
    • If you count internet comments, then you do not post things to the internet or do not read internet comments
  • You are avoiding looking stupid
  • You are not noticing when people think you're stupid

I think the last one of those is unlikely because, while I sometimes have interactions like the school one described, where the people were too nice to tell me that they think I'm stupid and I only found out via a third party, just as often, the person very clearly wants me to know that they think I'm stupid. The way it happens reminds me of being a pedestrian in NYC, where, when a car tries to cut you off when you have right of way and fails (e.g., when you're crossing a crosswalk and have the walk signal and the driver guns it to try to get in front of you to turn right), the driver will often scream at you and gesture angrily until you acknowledge them and, if you ignore them, will try very hard to get your attention. In the same way that it seems very important to some people who are angry that you know they're angry, many people seem to think it's very important that you know that they think that you're stupid and will keep increasing the intensity of their responses until you acknowledge that they think you're stupid.

One thing that might be worth noting is that I don't go out of my way to sound stupid or otherwise be non-conformist. If anything, it's the opposite. I generally try to conform in areas that aren't important to me when it's easy to conform, e.g., I dressed more casually in the office on the west coast than on the east coast since it's not important to me to convey some particular image based on how I dress and I'd rather spend my 'weirdness points' on pushing radical ideas than on dressing unusually. After I changed how I dressed, one of the few people in the office who dressed really sharply in a way that would've been normal in the east coast office jokingly said to me, 'so, the west coast got to you, huh?' and a few other people remarked that I looked a lot less stuffy/formal.

Another thing to note is that 'avoiding looking stupid' seems to usually go beyond just filtering out comments or actions that might come off as stupid. Most people I talk to (and Ben is an exception here) have a real aversion evaluating stupid thoughts and (I'm guessing) also to having stupid thoughts. When I have an idea that sounds stupid, it's generally (and again, Ben is an exception here) extremely difficult to get someone to really consider the idea. Instead, most people reflexively reject the idea without really engaging with it at all and (I'm guessing) the same thing happens inside their heads when a potentially stupid sounding thought might occur to them. I think the danger here is not having a concious process that lets you decide to broadcast or not broadcast stupid sounding thoughts (that seems great if it's low overhead), and instead it's having some non-concious process automatically reject thinking about stupid sounding things.

Of course, stupid-sounding thoughts are frequently wrong, so, if you're not going to rely on social proof to filter out bad ideas, you'll have to hone your intuition or find trusted friends/colleagues who are able to catch your stupid-sounding ideas that are actually stupid. That's beyond the scope of this post. but I'll note that because almost no one attempts to hone their intuition for this kind of thing, it's very easy to get relatively good at it by just trying to do it at all.

Appendix: stories from other people

A disproportionate fraction of people whose work I really respect operate in a similar way to me with respect to looking stupid and also have a lot of stories about looking stupid.

One example from Laurence Tratt is from when he was job searching:

I remember being rejected from a job at my current employer because a senior person who knew me told other people that I was 'too stupid'. For a long time, I found this bemusing (I thought I must be missing out on some deep insights), but eventually I found it highly amusing, to the point I enjoy playing with it.

Another example: the other day, when I was talking to Gary Bernhardt, he told me a story about a time when he was chatting with someone who specialized in microservices on Kubernetes for startups and Gary said that he thought that most small (by transaction volume) startups could get away with being on a managed platform like Heroku or Google App Engine. The more Gary explained about his opinion, the more sure the person was that Gary was stupid.

Appendix: context

There are a lot of contexts that I'm not exposed to where it may be much more effective to train yourself to avoid looking stupid or incompetent, e.g., see this story by Ali Partovi about how his honesty led to Paul Graham's company being acquired by Yahoo instead of his own, which eventually led to Paul Graham founding YC and becoming one of the most well-known and influential people in the valley. If you're in a context where it's more important to look competent than to be competent then this post doesn't apply to you. Personally, I've tried to avoid such contexts, although they're probably more lucrative than the contexts I operate in.

Thanks to Ben Kuhn, Laurence Tratt, Jeshua Smith, Niels Olson, Justin Blank, Tao L., Colby Russell, Anja Boskovic, and Ahmad Jarara for comments/corrections/discussion.




All Comments: [-] | anchor

7402(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I think that sometimes 'willingness to look stupid' can simply be a function of your power situation.

When I was a respected Principal Engineer, secure in my position, I was willing to look stupid.

When I was in a contract-to-hire position, where I had spent months looking for a job and where I was constantly judged and I thought I might be let go at any moment, I was not willing to look stupid.

When I was a long-time group leader and project architect, I was willing to look stupid.

When I worked at a place where I was in the political and religious minority, I was not willing to look stupid.

One shouldn't be afraid to look stupid in situations where that fear is groundless. But I think it's worth having some empathy for people who are in a situation where looking stupid could actually be a threat.

Woberto(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The author mentions this as the biggest drawback, understandably so - if getting a job depends on knowledge and confidence, which it usually does, you really need to be careful with how you come off

speedgeek(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I have this theory that there is an direct relationship between intellect and doing really stupid things. A genius will sometimes do the most idiotic things. Take comfort the next time you do something really dumb because it indicates you are generally very smart.

bittercynic(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If I'm spending very much energy thinking how brilliant or stupid I look or feel, then I'm not focused on doing something fun or useful. We probably all have to put some amount of energy into image management to be part of society, but the less energy put into that the better. At least for me.

the_cat_kittles(10000) 4 days ago [-]

ah yes, we all know the saying 'stupid is as stupid doesn't'

azangru(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There's a beautiful illustration from Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon on this topic:

===

They gave him an intelligence test. The first question on the math part had to do with boats on a river: Port Smith is 100 miles upstream of Port Jones. The river flows at 5 miles per hour. The boat goes through water at 10 miles per hour. How long does it take to go from Port Smith to Port Jones? How long to come back?

Lawrence immediately saw that it was a trick question. You would have to be some kind of idiot to make the facile assumption that the current would add or subtract 5 miles per hour to or from the speed of the boat. Clearly, 5 miles per hour was nothing more than the average speed. The current would be faster in the middle of the river and slower at the banks. More complicated variations could be expected at bends in the river. Basically it was a question of hydrodynamics, which could be tackled using certain well-known systems of differential equations. Lawrence dove into the problem, rapidly (or so he thought) covering both sides of ten sheets of paper with calculations. Along the way, he realized that one of his assumptions, in combination with the simplified Navier Stokes equations, had led him into an exploration of a particularly interesting family of partial differential equations. Before he knew it, he had proved a new theorem. If that didn't prove his intelligence, what would?

Then the time bell rang and the papers were collected. Lawrence managed to hang onto his scratch paper. He took it back to his dorm, typed it up, and mailed it to one of the more approachable math professors at Princeton, who promptly arranged for it to be published in a Parisian mathematics journal.

Lawrence received two free, freshly printed copies of the journal a few months later, in San Diego, California, during mail call on board a large ship called the U.S.S. Nevada. The ship had a band, and the Navy had given Lawrence the job of playing the glockenspiel in it, because their testing procedures had proven that he was not intelligent enough to do anything else.

jmchuster(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The moral of the story is that Lawrence was an idiot for not properly understanding what answer the test administrators wanted him to give?

bjarneh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This post seems like some sort of humble-brag about not really being stupid, but being 'willing to look stupid' to people who are actually stupid.

To be honest, this entire post make him look stupid, but we all know now that he doesn't care what we think. I'm probably stupid for falling for another one of his clever schemes where he's just pretending to be stupid.

misja111(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Exactly. E.g. this: 'Although there are some downsides to people thinking that I'm stupid, e.g., failing interviews where the interviewer very clearly thought I was stupid'

This isn't just looking stupid, this is being stupid. Why in Heaven's name wouldn't you at least adjust your behavior when you're in an interview?

Acting stupid can be a convenient way to hold up your belief that you're smarter than the rest. Nobody will ever challenge your belief because hey, if they think you are stupid, it's because you made them believe that, which means that they are actually the stupid ones!

blfr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

As a man, every condescending comment you get in person only tells you one thing: your deadlift PR is still too low.

Get jacked and all these problems disappear. No matter how silly your questions and objections, no matter how dumb they may think you are, all your concerns will be treated very seriously, criticism couched in most polite terms, and weird stuff written off as eccentric.

(It helps to be taller, well-dressed, and sound sophisticated but solid deadlift is by far the most effective.)

ZephyrBlu(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's amusing to see people get worked up over this. I'm not even jacked, but it's obvious that having a lot of muscle mass makes you look more intimidating and dominant.

dtjb(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I can't think of a single politician, CEO, professor, author or esteemed leader where this holds true.

If anything, I think the meathead/jock/gymrat stereotype is more pervasive.

RedBeetDeadpool(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Sounds like great advice! Why should I listen to guys like Dan Abramov when I can listen to you?

In all seriousness though, this comment almost sounds like its from another language when read here on HN. Its crazy how completely wierd some parts of the internet has become.

joeberon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Are these seriously the quality of comments we are happy with on Hackernews these days?

dynm(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm really surprised by a lot of the negativity here. The author never claimed to actually be stupid, nor did they claim to be humble, nor did they claim that this particular essay was an exercise in looking stupid or an exercise in humility. All they did was claim there were some situations where it was beneficial to be willing to look stupid, and listed those situations.

WesolyKubeczek(10000) 3 days ago [-]

And this could be precisely the reason of all the negativity.

dusted(10000) 4 days ago [-]

When I was younger, I often met people who seemed kind of dim to me, at first, and later found the majority of them to be orders of magnitude brighter than me. It was not hard to connect the dots, the reason they were so much brighter was (in part) exactly because of what made them initially seem dim.. They asked questions, honestly. Not the showoff kind of question you ask to show how much you know, but real, honest questions that not only showed how little they knew, but importantly, allowed them to actually learn and understand, rather than just nod and not get it.

My intuition has changed from this, I find it that most times, when someone shows genuine interest and asks honest, revealing questions about some new topic, they often excel at many other things (and will likely on the new topic as well).

I'm adapting this myself, being honest, asking honestly, and sometimes looking really stupid (because, in that context, I am!), and I appreciate greatly both the wealth of information that allows me to access, and that almost anybody worth their salt recognizes this trait as well.

Failing an interview due to looking stupid is probably a blessing in disguise, you don't want to be hired by people who can't see this, and you don't want to work next to people who's just pretending to understand, not learning because they can't afford to look stupid when they are (and thus stay stupid, and be much more inclined to try to pass blame to someone else, like you, who look stupid).

zitterbewegung(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If you don't know the answers to stupid questions you originally don't understand the topic fully .

josh2600(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Confucius says there are 3 ways to gain wisdom:

Imitation, which is easiest.

Meditation, which is noblest.

Experience, which is bitterest.

Anytime I learn anything new, I imitate until I can't anymore, then I meditate to understand why I think I can't imitate anymore, then I experience my meditation, then I go back to mediating based on that experience.

Repeat until you can't OODA loop effectively anymore.

akudha(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I think people who are afraid to ask questions are conditioned to be that way. It is just easy to keep quiet in a team meeting than risk asking/saying something that might expose one's lack of knowledge on the topic being discussed. People also secretly hope that someone else might ask the same question that they are thinking about, so the other person can take that risk.

The environment largely shapes people's behavior. Of course, we can argue that we should work towards changing the environment for the better, but practically, how much influence does a person (who is not in a position of authority) have? In the end, people simply take the easy way out, which is keep quiet and only speak when they're absolutely sure that whatever they're about to say/ask is fully accurate.

SquishyPanda23(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> the reason they were so much brighter was (in part) exactly because of what made them initially seem dim

The causality also goes the other way. Very smart people see their limitations more clearly and so tend to be humbler about what they know.

They realize they can learn from others and so ask a lot of questions that others might feel foolish asking.

mysticllama(10000) 4 days ago [-]

this^. it took a lot of intentional practice for me to shake the fear of looking dumb when in front of peers. however, i've since realized that pretty consistently the people who share this willingness to come off as uninformed are the best people to work with -- they openly admit gaps in their knowledge and are eager to close them.

conversely, when interviewing or evaluating people, if i observe someone pretend s/he knows something, that's often a really bad sign...

bena(10000) 4 days ago [-]

You've mistaken 'wanting to be right' with wanting to 'be correct'.

I've never inferred stupidity or lack of intelligence with asking questions. The only thing I've inferred was lack of knowledge. And the best way to get knowledge is to ask. People who ask want to know. They want the information to get to correct.

People who don't ask questions eventually make assumptions that are wrong. Because they're so wrapped up in 'looking smart' and they think being 'smart' means having all the knowledge. They 'want to be right' so they don't look information because looking would expose they don't already have it.

Smart people seek information so they can apply it. Genuinely intelligent people just have faster processors.

HeckFeck(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This reminds me of the simple brilliance of Socrates. He began from the premise that he knew nothing, and would ask all manner of simple questions building on top of the previous answers. It wasn't long before he uncovered how little everyone else actually knew, but what separated Socrates was his honesty: he knew nothing and admitted it.

Naturally, the established powers and polite society didn't find this to their liking. We all know how his story ended.

pddpro(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Whenever I ask questions, I tend to go to the very bottom of it. And I am not satisfied as long as I get a very intuitive and fundamental understanding of the topic. I have seen, however, that this can be tiring. Unless you are having the conversation with someone who has the time, willingness, and the knowledge to satisfy my curiosity, it is pointless to keep probing. People would often be exasperated or would be unable to provide me the intuition. Therefore, these days, I pretty much probe very little and if it seems that my questions won't really be answered, I leave it at that, mentally noting to do some independent research on the internet.

VortexDream(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This article speaks to my soul. All my life I've been told how intelligent I am. It's been such a massive driver for my own insecurities and fear around anything I do, since my identity is tied up so much in being right and not being wrong, in continuing to present this image of infallible intelligence. It's likely also fed into my issues with depression I've had all my life. I can consistently get people to see how intelligent I might be, but it's always such a struggle. It's like walking a tightrope. I hate it.

manmal(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> you don't want to be hired by people who can't see this

The issue with this is that you might not even work with this one person declining you.

ciconia(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If there's one thing I learned in my time on this earth it's that there are very few stupid people. If my first impression is that the person is 'stupid', I usually find that it's just a matter of really listening to the them and to what they have to say with an open mind and an open heart.

bambax(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yes and no. Yes there are very few stupid 'people', but there are stupid reactions and actions. The reason isn't that the people are stupid, it's often that they are busy with other things.

It's amazing to me how conservative people are with their mental energy. Many people hate to think. Not because they can't! Just because they would rather not. I'm not sure why.

barrenko(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is a whole thing, like talking about money, people have all kinds of emotions about this.

Reminds me of Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his practice of being obviously arrogant to assholes.

Grustaf(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is simply arrogant.

guhsnamih(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> most small (by transaction volume) startups could get away with being on a managed platform like Heroku or Google App Engine.

BTW what's wrong with this? Honest question!

trog(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> BTW what's wrong with this? Honest question!

In the context of the article, I imagine it's that some Kubernetes expert couldn't design and sell them an overcomplicated microservices-based solution which would basically only really be useful at Netflix-scale.

Kaibeezy(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Seth Godin has a whole schtick on the high value of what he calls "intentional serial incompetence". Basically, if you're unwilling to be seen as incompetent, you can't deal with change. Good summary here - https://www.fastcompany.com/38442/change-agent-issue-31

My own experience has been that if you're pretty sure you're one of the smartest people in the room, you have an obligation to ask the "stupid" questions, because the rest of the room will be too afraid to look stupid.

crispyambulance(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> ...you have an obligation to ask the "stupid" questions...

I really agree with that but it's all about being willing to take a risk.

Many settings, especially in corporate environments, are intrinsically hostile to inquiry. These are places where meetings are run with semi-parliamentary rules-- just pro-forma affairs to mark project transitions.

In such situations, it may be that the others know better than you do and thus STFU or else be silently, immediately, and permanently dismissed for future consideration by those who call the shots.

ashildr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The author considers himself to be extremely smart. I don't think I'd enjoy their company.

emodendroket(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Don't most of us?

pydry(10000) 4 days ago [-]

One way to prove that he truly doesn't mind looking stupid would be to list times when he risked looking stupid... and it turns out he actually was.

It's happened to all of us though we dont like to admit it.

I'm sure it's happened to him too and I looked but I didn't see any of those examples listed.

Giving only examples of when people thought he was dumb and it turned out he wasn't... that's kind of just a roundabout way of humblebragging that you're an unrecognized genius.

Sadly I think this undermines the point of the article which otherwise makes a good point.

bambax(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yes. It seems the point of the article is to take revenge at those who might have thought he was stupid (although they didn't say anything at the time) and tell them: 'See? I was right all along!'

He sounds more like my mother in law than like a keen philosopher.

alexandrerond(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Totally.

There's distance between:

'people think I'm stupid because I'm not scared to show that I don't know about something'

and some of the examples which are more along the lines of

'people think I'm stupid because I act as a self-entitled genius who provides little context or reasoning behind choices and expect everyone to line up behind with no question'

What is the Apple store employee supposed to do to not make someone feel stupid when they ask for the smallest box? What are the chances they're not a clueless customer in need of help and have solid reasons behind?

The boss raises an eyebrow when someome proposes to skip half of the test suite? Means a lack of trust.

The insurance dealer does his job and tries to get a higher premium? Not surprised.

There's quite a bit of narcissism here: 'They though I'm stupid but I'm not', ' I was right in the end'. It's actually arguing how everyone else is dumber in the end.

A more sincere approach would have been to explain how he realized how stupid he actually was and how not being defensive about it helped. But perhaps the author knows better after all.

chrisjarvis(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yes, every example is 'I sounded stupid but I was actually correct'. From the title I thought the article was going to be about not being afraid to learn new things.

rdiddly(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yeah or for that matter, what about the times when people wrongly thought he was smart?

drzaiusapelord(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>humblebragging that you're an unrecognized genius

and this is why this article is popular. Everyone has to deal with looking foolish or telling a doctor they know their body better than them. I think playing it up this way and in this format really sells this idea of being this underappreciated genius in a sea of stupid people, which unfortunately a lot of people relate to, instead of attacking the social and systemic issues this person is actually experiencing. For example, poorly trained and non-empathic nurses or mask disinformation early during covid. Obviously these things are strongly liked to ruthless for-profit healthcare and how the right has politicized covid.

Most of the examples are bizarre. The air filter thing makes no sense. Its extremely rare to develop asthma in your own home because of being near wildfires. So there's no evidence his filters did anything. Also most of these are just being over-sensitive at not looking 100% competent all the time. Being bad or silly at videogames at first? That's a universal experience! Being right at work while others are wrong or lazy sometimes! That too. Doing the right thing when no one else is? That's universal too!

And like you said, they don't list the times they made a big seemingly merit-based action but ended up just being wrong.

This person just sounds socially maladjusted and probably suffers from a certain level of social anxiety. If they think acting normally is constantly making them look stupid, there there's something going on with them mentally that isn't healthy. Worse, it may reveal how they see others who aren't competent in the moment, which is really unfair to them. Does this person see us as stupid when we do everyday things? I suspect they do.

So the real take away here isn't 'btw aren't we all geniuses if we're like this,' I think he was aiming for intentionally or not, but a lesson on being tolerant of others who may not seem competent in the moment.

Lastly, this obsession with who is and isn't stupid is really unhealthy. I see it in a lot of tech people, and its just an ugly form of toxic masculinity. These people will mock sports people for being traditionally over-competitive, but don't see it in themselves when they do it in regards to smarts.

theli0nheart(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Absolutely. There's a kernel of wisdom here, but the argument buckles without examples where the OP actually was 'stupid' and wasn't proven to be 'the smart one' in the end.

Learning isn't a straight path. It's unusual to not veer off and misunderstand something for a while, during which time others might be right to assume you are 'stupid'.

The willingness to look stupid will sometimes reflect that you are, in fact, actually stupid. A lack of any examples in this category makes this post read more like a humble brag.

btrask(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This article does not undermine its own point. In fact, very, very few articles ever undermine their own point. In order to undermine your own point it means you've failed to construct a logical chain of thought. But that is what people do all the time in their daily lives. Maybe children would undermine their own points, or someone posting their first ill-thought comment on Facebook. But I think most people will learn how to construct an argument by their second time publishing one.

In this case, the article is not about 'the joys of being too dumb to breathe'. It's about how 1. looking stupid is not the same as being stupid, and 2. looking stupid can be beneficial in the long run. The author does not need to actually be stupid once in order to support this idea.

And I have to worry if you think he's 'bragging' about merely looking stupid, as if that weren't bad enough. Maybe if you identify as stupid I could understand the offense.

To the author, Dan Luu: I like your article and I think you're on the right track!

twobitshifter(10000) 4 days ago [-]

In would say it goes even further than humblebragging, and ventures into narcissism and an inability to handle criticism, explain oneself, or accept help.

If the car insurance salesperson disagrees with you, maybe you should try to understand why? Did you really consider the possible that a tree branch could fall in front of your car or that you could get caught in a hail storm?

If the Apple store employee doesn't understand why you're obsessed with box sizes, explain that the MacBook in the smaller box is the one with the features you want and that's the easiest way to identify it.

If someone gives you a look like "you're stupid" it's most likely that they don't understand your decision not that they think you have an inability to reason. Sometimes you simply need to explain yourself, but it seems the OP has such confidence in their own decisions that they won't accept any help or input from even the experts. After all as you noted, it appears that the OP has always been right in the end.

HellDunkel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The examples he lists are not even interesting. The fact that other people make obvious mistakes does not make you a genius.

papandada(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I can think of examples of stupid things I've done, but I have a hard time thinking of when a willingness to admit I don't know something, was itself a stupid thing to do? Can you give an example? For me, actually being stupid involves something I'm stubbornly wrong about, and willing to look stupid is openness and vulnerability to admit I don't understand something I 'should' know.

afarrell(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Or it is an unwillingness to be vulnerable to the entire internet. Why? Probably fear of being misinterpreted and pilloried by strangers.

It is a justifiable fear. For example, it is easy for people to interpret an imperfect amount of courage as 'humble-bragging'.

johnchristopher(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> The person who helped me, despite being very polite, also clearly thought I was a bozo and kept explaining things like 'the size of the box and the size of the computer aren't the same'. Of course I knew that, but I didn't want to say something like 'I design CPUs. I understand the difference between the size of the box the computer comes and in the size of the computer and I know it's very unusual to care about the size of the box, but I really want the one that comes in the smallest box'. Just saying the last bit without establishing any kind of authority didn't convince the person

This is not 'willingness to look stupid', it's obviously the will/need/want to look mysterious to stroke one's ego.

He could have chosen to behave like a good human and say why he wanted a smaller box so no one looks stupid (he to the the employee and the employee to him) and even give some new insights to the employee to help another customer with the same needs.

paxys(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The entire post is peak /r/iamverysmart material and I'm not surprised it is popular here because a lot of the HN crowd fits into that category as well.

dr-detroit(10000) 4 days ago [-]

the author came off as a below average intelligence blowhard to me

programmer_dude(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Wow, this describes me to a T. The only difference being, you (Dan Luu) are much smarter than me.

The other day I got confused by a decimal separator on Hacker News and posted a comment saying so. I am pretty sure some people assumed I was stupid. Perhaps they did not want to put in the effort required to understand why some one might get confused in the given situation.

I will admit sometimes I fall into this trap too and assume the other person is stupid. Nobody is perfect.

I have nothing profound to say, just wanted to share this.

yetihehe(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> The other day I got confused by a decimal separator on Hacker News and posted a comment saying so. I am pretty sure some people assumed I was stupid. Perhaps they did not want to put in the effort required to understand why some one might get confused in the given situation.

When you try to post low-level questions on a high-level forum (no matter what trade it is), you will get negative responses, because you dilute the topic. It's like having speed bump in fast lane.

supermatt(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Asking 'stupid questions' frees you from the trap of assumption. This is why people who are good at solving (or helping others solve) problems ask 'stupid questions'.

I suppose 'rubber duck debugging' is a form of this.

grasshopperpurp(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Some years ago, I learned that I'm better at finding things when high. For context, my GF misplace things a few times a week, and I like finding them before she can. I realized pretty quickly that I did better under the influence, because I didn't rule out places the things might be. When sober, I wouldn't check certain places, because, That'd be a ridiculous place to leave that.

Sounds kinda dumb, but it was an ah-ha realization that extended beyond finding misplaced items.

nathias(10000) 4 days ago [-]

the problem is that it frees you from your assumptions, but you'll encounter many more assumptions from others

Errancer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I find such willingness very helpful in many meetings with difficult vocabulary. Instead of nodding to sentences which make no sense to me I like to take the risk and admit that I have no clue what is going on. More often than not I'm not the only person who got lost so it ends up beneficial to the meeting as a whole.

josephg(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yeah. Its weird but I find doing this makes people respect you more.

If you ask dumb questions, the person speaking (if they're any good) will start looking to you to figure out if they're pitching their language correctly. The other people in the room who didn't understand will be relieved and quietly thankful of you because they didn't have to be the ones to ask. And people who understood already are usually way more chill about this sort of thing than you would expect. Especially if you give them the opportunity to explain something in front of everyone. And then thank them for doing so.

I don't think I fully understand why, but asking dumb questions is often a subtle act of leadership.

Kiro(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If I want to ask something online I intentionally make the question sound stupid and uninformed since that provokes better and more clear replies.

instakill(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Good old Curningham's law

karol(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is terrible advice, I would call it a lack of willingness to communicate openly. Also even if you are in the highest echelons of intelligence making yourself look stupid will close access to some opportunities that might propel you forward. Also, over time this behaviour might form a habit that will also influence your personal life.

yetihehe(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Also even if you are in the highest echelons of intelligence making yourself look stupid will close access to some opportunities that might propel you forward.

But maybe we should educate our society so that this isn't the case anymore? I know this sounds unattainable, but we should still try to make such outcomes invalid.

sampo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Covid: I took this seriously relatively early on and bought a half mask respirator on 2020-01-26 and was using N95s I'd already had on hand for the week before (IMO, the case that covid was airborne and that air filtration would help was very strong based on the existing literature on SARS contact tracing, filtration of viruses from air filters, and viral load)

I think this is remarkable, how common people with some level of scientific literacy were able to get this correct much better than the whole medical establishment.

maverwa(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Another note to the same quote: for me it looks like classic half mask respirator is not that 'good' against COVID, as it only filters on the intake, not the way, out. At least my cheap one does. Therefor, while it prevents you from getting it, it does not stop you from spreading it. Right?

Sure, that might very well be what you aim for, but from my understanding, FFP2 should prevent both, at least theoretically, since wearing them correctly is another point of failure.

Ensorceled(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The medical establishment knew N95s were critical from SARS and, at least in, North America had plenty of circumstantial evidence that COVID was, at least, somewhat reduced by masks; as did the author

Further, my former co-workers from my stint in HIV testing were ALL saying wear masks and don't count on a vaccine being available until 2021 at the very earliest. They all started self isolating very early.

The whole 'medical establishment' DID know this.

This was a failure of leadership of the medical establishment to either listen to the rest of the medical establishment or to effectively push back on the political leadership.

j7ake(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I wouldn't say "whole medical establishment". All Asian countries and their medical teams were using masks by that time.

orangeoxidation(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> I think this is remarkable, how common people with some level of scientific literacy were able to get this correct much better than the whole medical establishment.

I don't think it's remarkable at all. Common people with some level of scientific literacy took basically all kind of stances about masks. Some of them had to be right in the end.

'The medical establishment' otoh had to come to one single common recommendation and as it's only one there's a chance of failure (there were, ofc. individual medical professional and scientists who got it right as well).

at_a_remove(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I preface mine with 'In the words of the great philosopher Yankovic, I am going to dare to be stupid ...'

Partially, because in IT -- seemingly more than in other industries -- variations of the phrase 'Why haven't you just ...' arise, 'just' being that magical simplifier which compacts all complexity into a single and obvious step, and often come with some measure of 'why haven't the boffin pressed the button, I told the boffin that the button needs to be pressed' attitude, and I do not want to do that to someone else.

The other portion of it is being the rubber duck, quack quack.

davidw(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I was hoping someone would reference that song.

iamben(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It was a long time ago that I read it, but I'm pretty sure Richard Feynman says something similar in 'Surely You're Joking...'

I can't remember his exact words, but my takeaway was not to be afraid of asking super basic questions.

(Also, it probably doesn't need to be said on HN again, but that really is a good book.)

simonswords82(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Richard Feynman's lectures are available for free online:

https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/

mdrzn(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>>'I had to confirm three times that I only wanted coverage for damage I do to others with no coverage for damage to my own vehicle if I'm at fault.'

But.. why tho?

CrazyStat(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The premise of insurance is that you pay more on average over time but remove very expensive tail events. Basically you pay the insurance company to reduce your risk.

If you are wealthy enough (and mentally prepared) to absorb tail events without much negative effect on your life, it can be perfectly rational to not insure damage to your car.

rlonn(10000) 4 days ago [-]

When I recognize fear of looking stupid prevents me from doing something I see it as a challenge to do it. This makes it easier to push through. Most of the time it was the right decision, but not always.

When picking up my kid at kindergarten once, I got an urge to jump over the fence into the yard, rather than using the gate. Of course, a 49-year old doing that might look stupid to all the kids and staff present (lots), so I did it. Then a 20-year old staff member comes up to me and says "Yeah...so we try to teach the kids here not to climb the fence. It'd be great if you didn't do what you just did.."

Sometimes looking stupid means being stupid too. But that's ok.

robocat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Kindy fences look so dystopian, like caged animals.

The sight of a young child holding the bars wistfully looking out at the inaccessible world beyond them is just painful.

Not that a moat or geofenced electroshock collars would be better.

circlefavshape(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Meh. Non-fence-climbing isn't some important skill children need to learn

I applaud your fence-jumping! I think children learning that it's ok to have fun as an adult is a much more important (and rare) lesson than learning that sometimes you have to abide by arbitrary rules

ctvo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Can I ask a stupid question? Who is Dan Luu and why does he keep appearing here? The content hasn't been amazing. It's not amazing here either.

The blog doesn't have an about me page as far as I can tell. Google says Dan is a systems engineer at Nvidia.

Edit: Found the About page https://danluu.com/about It's at the bottom of articles, but not accessible on the home page.

If this were an actual technical topic, I'd be more inclined to continue reading, but here, it's musings framed as a life lesson that could have come from anyone in my circle of friends. Life lessons from people whose only achievement is working at big tech. At least for my friends, they don't walk around assuming they're smarter than people.

The reoccurring theme in this post from Dan is he's not the one that's stupid, it's the people around him who are too stupid to see his underlying genius. Dan comes off insufferable.

andrewzah(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm not a fan of this article because it seems like Dan doesn't understand that people are much more willing to work with people who aren't purposefully being obtuse.

But Dan is on here because he generally writes well researched articles like [0] [1] and his minimal website aesthetics appeal to the HN crowd.

[0]: https://danluu.com/input-lag/

[1]: https://danluu.com/keyboard-latency/

samuel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I was too afraid to ask, honestly.

I have another one. Why don't he spend 5 minutes making the content readable? Add some margins, it's all what it takes.

bena(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Found his LinkedIn and GitHub. I don't know how that helps, but it's more information than before. It looks like he works for NVidia.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-luu-37721316/

https://github.com/danluu

jldugger(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Dan's posts are usually a pretty good mix of engineering, analysis, and engineering org dynamics. I think his diagnosis is correct that a lot of junior engineers prioritize avoiding looking dumb than coming out of a meeting knowing more than you started.

In this case, the post leans more heavily on personal anecdotes than survey data, so I can see why people are finding it a bit grating. And that mcguffin about laptop boxes isn't helping =)

I'm not sure why he's been posting more frequently lately. Usually I'd expect 1 a month.

nosefrog(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I know Dan from a friend of a friend, he's a genuinely smart guy and I've learned a lot from him.

lbriner(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm not sure if this is the same thing but insecure people like me find the lack of affirmation of others troubling sometimes. How many of us get upset/offended if what we think is a high-quality comment on HN gets voted down by a load of people?

We should be confident enough that we stand by comments even if we expect some of them to be misunderstood/unpopular. There are always people who will agree and always some who will agree. Once we can judge ourselves fairly, we won't care what other people think - we can be judged by our outcomes.

tankenmate(10000) 4 days ago [-]

In my experience this is what humility is; not making yourself out to be more than you are, as well as not putting yourself down (deprecating humour aside - which is more about connection).

'You don't need more control over everything, you need more courage'. In a lot of ways that dovetails with Dan's comments.

WA(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Going into an Apple store and asking for (and buying) the computer that comes in the smallest box, which I had a good reason to want at the time

This is such an odd example. Because OP makes an uncommon request, the sales person can't parse what this request is about, and neither can I for that matter, and OP doesn't give a reason.

So the sales person thinks: What an odd request, which in turn is parsed by the OP as sales person thinks I'm stupid for asking something that the sales person doesn't understand. In the end, OP might want to feel superior by asking stupid-looking questions on purpose and feeling above the sales person for not being able to get to why this question is asked.

Maybe just explain WHY you ask this or that and nobody thinks you're stupid anymore.

JJMcJ(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I know nothing about the products involved, but I assume it was along the lines of 'I want a Mac Foo 342, which happens to come in the smallest box, so you can't miss it'.

strken(10000) 4 days ago [-]

You don't even need to explain why. Just say 'I need the computer that comes in the smallest box. I know this is weird, right? I need it for reasons that would take a long time to explain, but I promise they make sense.' A bit of empathy for the baffled Apple store employee on the other side of the conversation and nobody has to waste time or feel stupid.

Maybe there's additional context we're missing.

frumiousirc(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Perhaps this example is intentionally ambiguous in order to illicit an informal survey of how internet conversations deal with ambiguous tales of social interactions.

Taking OP's thesis about the origin of 'stupid questions' at face value, this small meta lift seems fitting.

q-base(10000) 4 days ago [-]

No question that most of us needs to have the ego take a backseat more often.

But I cannot help but compare this to negotiation. It is a lot easier when you negotiate from a place of abundance. Negotiating salary is easier when you do not need the job. Negotiating a house is easier when you do not need to buy that house.

I feel like the same applies here. Willingness to look stupid is a lot easier in situations where you have confidence and nothing to lose.

Grustaf(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> No question that most of us needs to have the ego take a backseat more often.

Nothing says ego in the backseat like an iamsosmart blog post. Bonus points if the website looks like it's from 2005 and if you write it in a tone as if you just invented penicillin.

thom(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There's a bit of a disconnect between the the purported theme of this article, being okay looking stupid, and the actual contents, which is just a catalogue of times other people were stupid, posted on the internet so everyone knows the author is clever.

Being willing to look stupid involves actually being able to deal with mistakes and failure, with actually _feeling_ stupid sometimes. Just listing a bunch of great decisions you made that other people thought were stupid seems less life-changing to me.

cycomanic(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Thanks you said this much better than I did a bit further up. The whole post smacks a bit of arrogance to me, even though the advice is good.

runeks(10000) 3 days ago [-]

But the article is specifically about looking stupid. The point being, as I understand it, that you should avoid being stupid but not looking stupid.

amadeuspagel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

That feels unfair. Part of the point of the article is that though looking stupid has a cost, it's sometimes worth it, for example, to ask an important question or to share an interesting idea, but maybe not just to prove that you're okay with looking stupid.

formerly_proven(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Friends have been chiding about this for years and strangers, dates, and acquaintances, will sometimes tell me, with varying levels of bluntness, that I'm being paranoid and stupid

There is way to much of this bullshit all over the place (e.g. PPE use) and I'm quick to judge people who do it, because I find it a truly moronic attitude.

germandiago(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I have also heard this. Even the other day I asked my own sister about data about her own profession. She genuinely thinks I am asking too much/bothering her so she just replies 'just let it go' or 'you think too much'.

Well, if I think too much, probably I think more than you about your own profession, so, I do not want to say this, but you are not the best possible professional, because sometimes I had the feeling that she just follows the trend instead of getting genuine opinions about some of the topics in the discipline.

LTaoist(10000) 4 days ago [-]

A honest man would not 'Willingness to Look Stupid' if he is not stupid.

threatofrain(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Honesty and transparency aren't the same thing. Dan Luu has a non-transparent process, but that doesn't mean he wishes to deceive you. Most people aren't transparent.

terabytest(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I guess the 'stupid question' I'd ask of this article is: why don't you reveal your goals or thought process when challenged after asking a question that might be perceived as stupid? Take the Apple Store example: why not explain the reason why you were asking for a product by the size of its box when they responded by saying that size of the box does not map to size of the product? Being open about your goal would've probably made it easier and less antagonistic as a process, right?

politelemon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It was antagonistic and condescending. But it's being framed in an /r/iamverysmart 'ironic' way.

Extrapolating from this article, this individual is likely a nightmare to work with due to their closed nature and unwillingness to share thoughts or decision making points.

rd11235(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Agree. To put it in the context of the article, if the author looked at getting desired outcomes as a video game, then this article is just a rant, and time would have been better spent analyzing the situations for how to improve. The recurring failure mode is ineffective communication.

afarrell(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Because the answer might take 10 minutes to explain.

max_(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>why don't you reveal your goals or thought process when challenged after asking a question that might be perceived as stupid?

People are shallow and often don't spend a lot of time trying to understand other people.

You won't always have the luxury to explain yourself.

threatofrain(10000) 4 days ago [-]

But Dan Luu isn't obviously motivated by a desire to antagonize the Apple employee, and neither is he socially or morally obligated in the slightest to explain his consumer intentions during a purchase at the Apple store.

And was the encounter really antagonistic? Dan Luu is the one who left looking stupid.

gizmo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

But why can't you just ask for what you want without people automatically assuming you're stupid? If you care that strangers think you're dumb you have to adjust your behavior a lot and some people would rather just be genuine. Besides, the easiest way to not look stupid is to make up a reason that sounds reasonable (i.e. lying) to get what you want. This is what many (most?) people do. If they want the Apple computer that comes in the smallest package they'll make up a BS reason (i.e. flight luggage restrictions) in order to seem reasonable to the stranger who works at Apple.

The question is really what kind of person do you want to be? Do you want a person who habitually lies about unimportant stuff in order to accomplish goals? Do you want to be a person who is genuine but gets unfairly judged by strangers? Or do you want to be a person who justifies themselves to strangers in order to avoid getting judged?

If you think lying is wrong and seeking the approval of strangers is a bad habit only one option remains.

AshamedCaptain(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yeah, the 'smallest box' story comes to me very wrong. It basically shows him as really stupid -- as he is simply failing the 'describe the goal, not the step' rule in most 'how to ask questions' guides -- e.g., http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#goal .

Not only that, but he is also implying that people 'who design processors' must also know our way around shopping for computers. This couldn't be farther from the truth.

So this story does not come off as an example of 'I don't mind being seen as stupid', it comes off as a very strong example of 'I'm holier than you'-attitude which is the entire opposite than the article author's is trying to make.

legohead(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This resonates pretty well with me, re: asking questions

I noticed in classes that people were afraid to ask questions, and when they did, everyone else was happy they did so since we all had the same question in mind, usually. So at some point I decided I'm just going to ask any question that pops into my head and stop caring what others think.

It worked out great, but now that I'm married, it annoys my wife to no end, especially with an engineer mindset. Like the old joke 'go to the store and get milk, if there are eggs, get a dozen', and the husband brings home a dozen milks. I ask these seemingly subtle, stupid, clarifying questions all the time (ie: 'a dozen eggs, right?'), and it makes my wife angry -- still after 10 years of marriage.

bityard(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Hah! I can relate. My wife and I have conversations like this all the time. I've been trained to take an engineering mindset towards things because, frankly, it's how I earn a living and rarely lets me down.

Earlier in our marriage, she would make a vague request or statement as a prompt for me to do something. Instead of asking for clarification, I would do what I _guessed_ she wanted. And I would often get it wrong and be met with the response of, 'You knew what I meant!' No, clearly I didn't, or I wouldn't have done the wrong thing.

These days she is getting better at being clearer about her needs and I am (maybe?) getting more diligent about asking for clarification.

rStar(10000) 4 days ago [-]

the dating example is stupid. when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.

FartyMcFarter(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Which example?

josephg(10000) 4 days ago [-]

After a terrible breakup years ago I took a trapeze class. Before we got up on the trapeze bar, I spent most of the class telling everyone how bad I was going to be at it. When I got home I lay in bed confused. Why did I do that? This article is spot on. I was afraid of being seen to be bad at something.

Have you noticed? We spend almost our entire adult lives doing things we're good at. Anything we do that we're bad at, we either stop doing or we get good at it. So all roads lead us away from the experience of being a beginner. For me, it had been too long. And I'd accidentally forgotten how to do it.

So I took up dancing (which I'm bad at). That was really terrifying. And trampolining. And more recently improv. At the moment I'm learning to draw - which I spent most of my life wanting to do. But I never stuck with it because I hate drawing badly. But that's just what it feels like to be a beginner. The trick is letting that go, because it doesn't matter. You don't get to be good at anything without first being bad at it. And being comfortably, visibly bad at something gives everyone else permission to play.

stavros(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I don't know, I generally like being bad at things. Not because of the state of being bad itself, but because if I'm not doing something new, it's boring, and to be doing something new is to be doing something you're bad at. So I'm basically trying stuff and asking everyone for help all the time. I don't care what others think of me, I like learning.

I don't even think they think I'm stupid, I'm sure they appreciate the fact that I've made every mistake before when they come to me for help later. I enjoy doing stuff more than I enjoy looking like an expert.

jacobolus(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> For me, it had been too long.

I have a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old, and hang out with lots of small children. Fear of looking stupid as a beginner is something that most people have right from the start: I have watched kids be afraid of incompetence (to the point of not wanting to try) at riding a bike, running, swinging across monkey bars, drawing, singing, reading, learning a new language, ...

matwood(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Exactly! We should practice being a beginner for our entire lives. It's a constant reminder to have that beginner mindset even where you think you are an expert.

I took up Jiu-Jitsu at age 40. Talk about humbling. I also catch myself occasionally doing what you did and mention how terrible I am/will be as a defensive mechanism.

But, the more comfortable I got at being a beginner led to even faster learning. This attitude has spread through other parts of my life, even areas where I'm not a beginner, and has led to improvement across the board.

Rayhem(10000) 4 days ago [-]

As the great Shug Emery[1] says, 'You only get to be new at something once, so enjoy it!'

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery

sam_goody(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There is a pretty well known speaker who wrote about his first public speech. He was to record himself, and it would listened to by some 5,000 people. He spent hours and hours re-recording himself, until a older friend stopped by and laughed at him, as follows:

'You are being nervous because you think that you might not be perfect, and doubt creates a feeling of nervousness and unsurety.

Well, I can dispel the doubt. You won't be perfect. In fact, you will be pretty lousy, because it is your first time, and it it is in front of a relatively large crowd.

So two pieces of good news. You needn't be nervous. And its not so bad that it will go lousy. Because everyone knows it is your first time, anyway, and they are expecting you to mess up. And this way, in the future, you will actually be great!'

A lot of wisdom there, IMHO

criddell(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Can you tell me more about how you are learning to draw?

gameswithgo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

dan if you are around why did you want the smallest box?!

degrews(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I've searched the whole thread for an answer to this. I'm so curious now...

123pie123(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I learnt a long time ago by a director (CEO) of a large UK company on how to assess people, their technical abilities and personality

and that is to act stupid/ daft - not just one question, but for periods of time. and see how they respond to you

a very effective technique when dealing or interacting with so called Subject Matter Experts. If they're an expert they should be able to explain complex stuff at a High/ medium/ low levels or just say they do not know.

If they're not really an expert then they cover up their lack of knowledge

spzb(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If they're not really an expert then they cover up their lack of knowledge and then get promoted into a management position telling the actual subject matter experts how to do their jobs.

sillysaurusx(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Going into an Apple store and asking for (and buying) the computer that comes in the smallest box, which I had a good reason to want at the time

> The person who helped me, despite being very polite, also clearly thought I was a bozo and kept explaining things like 'the size of the box and the size of the computer aren't the same'. Of course I knew that, but I didn't want to say something like 'I design CPUs. I understand the difference between the size of the box the computer comes and in the size of the computer and I really want the one that comes in the smallest box', but just saying the last bit without establishing any kind of authority didn't convince the person

> I eventually asked them to humor me and just bring out the boxes for the various laptop models so I could see the boxes, which they did, despite clearly thinking that my decision making process made no sense

Oh c'mon, that's not fair. You have to tell us what the goal was. :) I'm super curious what a CPU designer wanted with the 'laptop that came in the smallest box.'

Perhaps smallest box = smallest laptop = they wanted to study the form factor. But does the smallest laptop really come in the smallest box? And did the results of this experiment influence your future CPU design decisions? I feel like this arc deserves its own page.

heavenlyblue(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The funny thing is that 'I design CPUs' has nothing to do with being able to pick the best possible laptop for one's needs.

It's like saying 'I know exactly which car I would like to drive every day because I designed the engine of a Ferrari'.

bambax(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What would be funny would be if in some alternate universe the small box contained the biggest, bulkiest, most powerful computer.

supermatt(10000) 4 days ago [-]

ive done exactly this and it was a gift that i needed to fit in cabin bag on a flight. you cant check-in items with lithium batteries.

jbjohns(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's amusing how many people are literally offended that they didn't explain why. But the answer we have is: because they wanted the smaller box. They are paying for it, no further explanation is required to the employee or anyone else. The employee should get the smallest box as requested and then they can try something like 'may I know why you want the smallest box? I might be able to provide better help'.

bayindirh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Studying thermals?

skybrian(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Or at least, if you don't want to say why, it could be smoothed over with "I know this is going to sound like a bizarre request, but I want the one that comes in the smallest box. I have my reasons."

Acknowledging that you know your request is unusual makes it sound a lot less stupid.

anotheryou(10000) 4 days ago [-]

You can also take out all the awkwardness with a disclaimer: 'This may sound stupid, but I really care just about the packaging here: Would it be possible to show me... '

simonswords82(10000) 4 days ago [-]

My guess was that he needed a small box in order to fit it in his bag to take home?

amluto(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Here's a hypothesis: Dan needed to transport the laptop before opening it. It could have been a gift and the goal was for it to fit, wrapped, in a small suitcase. Or for some reason he needed a shrink-wrapped unopened laptop somewhere (as evidence that it hadn't been tampered with) and the quality of the laptop made no difference whatsoever.

Even if this is wrong, I bet telling the salesperson that it was a gift and he wanted the smallest package would have avoided funny looks.

tremon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm going to guess it's about luggage size restrictions for (air) travel.

sethammons(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm thinking the reason why people think the author is 'stupid' is because each is working with a different set of base assumptions. The worker can't imagine a case where the box dimensions would be material as that box is likely to be in the trash can in n minutes. The author wouldn't hit so many cases of being looked at crossly if they worked to bridge understanding with the other person. All of the cases presented suggest to me person may have some emotional intelligence to develop.

zabzonk(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Also needs to state what he means by 'smallest'. Volume? Width? Height?

lolc(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I wondered about that story and concluded that the author knew which computer they wanted. They also knew that this computer came in the smallest box. So they only had to give that second bit of information to get what they wanted.

It is a bit condescending in my view to withhold that information from the clerk. But then again, I'm only making assumptions. Also, I've done similar things where I refused to let on my internal reasoning for various reasons. Sometimes just to mess with people. And clearly, many people thought me a fool for it. If I'd actually told them my reasoning? In many instances that would not have improved their opinion of me. So no loss.

There are also many instances where I could have benefited immensely from sharing my reasoning, because people could have corrected my mistaken assumptions. Can't say I've got it figured out when to keep shut and when to share.

baobabKoodaa(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'll venture a guess why they asked for the computer that comes in the smallest box. They were buying a computer as a present, and they needed to pack it for travel before unboxing.

Ensorceled(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I have to say, this example did make me switch my view of the author from some one who wasn't afraid to ask the 'stupid' questions to being either a deliberately 'just asking questions' asshole who likes to fuck with people or, to be more charitable, someone with a bit of a spectrum disorder.

rmetzler(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I think that this is unfair to the poor Apple Store employee. There is no reason to not state the motivation, why you ask for the smallest box.

Other than that, I also try to employ the naive question and to some people these might sound stupid. But they are really useful because they can clear up lots of implicit implications and misunderstandings.

InsomniacL(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Only half plausible reason I can think of is for a 'Pass The Parcel' prize. Anything else, surly the smallest laptop would be preferable and you could repackage it.

cycomanic(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I have to say this part (and quite a few other parts of the post) come across as quite arrogant. I mean if he really wants the computer with the smallest box, why can't he explain why.

I agree with the general gist of the post: don't be afraid to ask stupid questions. However, the post has an underlying 'feeling' of 'my questions are not really stupid, I'm just so smart that others don't realise'. I know that I ask plenty of stupid questions when I ask questions, I often realise how stupid they were just after the answer.

kace91(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I get the appeal of minimalism in the format, but at the very least some margins or a max line length would be welcome. Having to read this with lines extending all across the screen is ridiculous.

joeberon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Unfortunately common among many technical users, they have no sense of page design whatsoever, and instead go for the 'raw data' approach. It is bizarre

hoseja(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What's the screen for, then?

dottedmag(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Try making the browser window narrower.

andrewla(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This has happened to me frequently at my current company. I get pulled into a meeting about something that I have no context on because it touches my area of expertise, and the discussions have apparently been stalling out.

I brace myself to be the idiot. I'm going to waste everyone's time asking questions that everyone knows the answer to, and I just got looped in, so everyone's going to feel like they need to walk through all the super-obvious stuff to satisfy the one guy who didn't do his homework.

So I start asking questions, and slowly begin to realize that nobody in the room has any idea what they are talking about. That there are fundamental misunderstandings and misconceptions about existing systems. And, naturally, it turns out that the questions I have are questions that other people have.

This has happened to me so often now that you would think the sinking feeling I get before I brace myself to look stupid would go away, but it never does.

simonw(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A lesson I've learned over time is that it's incredibly common for people within a company to have very different mental models of what different terms mean - especially if they work in different teams or departments, but sometimes even people the same team.

My favourite examples are things like 'what is a user?' - the marketing department may be counting leads generated, engineers are thinking about records in a database table, some other team may think of users as company or group accounts.

This holds true for all kinds of other things too. You might have a project called 'the login optimization project' and find that some people think it's about page load performance while others think it's about increased conversions.

For this reason, I'm always ready to ask the stupid questions.

lcrmorin(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I work for the government so really know this feeling. I have a funny exemple in mind. Months ago I got pulled into a meeting because 'I know data'. The phrasing alone was a red flag. Lots of high level people in the meeting. Like 10 people, each one payed at least twice as much as me. The goal is to transfer data that is too big for our 'standard pipelines'. They are discussing building a whole new pipeline, contractors would be involved and all. I asked 'stupid questions': '- How big is the data we are discussing ? - '200 Go' - is it recurring ? - No - is it sensitive ? - No - Why don't we buy a 50$ 1to hard drive and transfer the data manually ?'

Last question was followed by the longest silence I ever heard in a meeting... I wasn't invited the next meetings. I heard it took them more than 5 other meetings to reconsider my solution. An intern has finally been sent to buy the hard drive last week.

bedobi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is me all the time haha sometimes I really am just 'stupid' and the only one in the room without a clue, but many many times my stupidity has revealed no one really has any idea what they or the others are talking about.

I'm grateful to my parents or whatever it was that enabled me to not take myself too seriously and not care too much about people thinking I'm stupid, even at work, and even though it may cost me dearly in terms of career progression. (because I do think not all but many people who get ahead do so by very successfully avoiding being perceived as stupid, even if they are)

mywittyname(10000) 4 days ago [-]

One of the best people I've ever worked with used this approach. 'I'm going to ask stupid questions now.' and 'Just so I'm understanding the problem, <here's my interpretation of what you just said>.' were two phrases she used all the time.

I am surprised at how difficult it has been to emulate her technique. Feeling comfortable asking the obvious questions is one half of the battle, but the other, more difficult half, is knowing what obvious questions to ask. Most of the time when I ask obvious questions, the replies are yes/no. She knew how to ask them in such a way that gets the person talking in greater detail.

It's kind of like being a great interviewer, there's a technique to asking questions in a manner which gets someone talking.

kfarr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yes and it feels like the older I get the more I have to be the one that plays this role to ask these basic questions as younger professionals are fearful to look dumb in front of others

mmarq(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This is feasible as long as your expertise is recognised in the organisation or you are in a position of power or your organisation is open to this kind of behaviour (quite often it isn't the case). A junior asking this kind of questions in the wrong organisation may help fixing the problem at hand, assuming they are taken seriously, but they are likely to hinder their career progress if they repeat this behaviour too often. In many many many organisations looking smart is way more important than being smart.

(I'm not saying it's a good thing)

mike_ivanov(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Happens to me all the time.

coralreef(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> That there are fundamental misunderstandings and misconceptions about existing systems.

This is debugging 101. You have assumptions about how a system works, but the output isn't matching those assumptions. You walk backwards over your assumptions and test them to see if they are true. Eventually you get to the precise place where your assumption is wildly different than the output, and there is your bug.

The more systems (or people) involved, the longer it takes, the more complexity.

tomxor(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> So I start asking questions, and slowly begin to realize that nobody in the room has any idea what they are talking about. That there are fundamental misunderstandings and misconceptions about existing systems. And, naturally, it turns out that the questions I have are questions that other people have.

I've had similar situations, it feels analogous to group based 'rubber ducking'... having someone ask the questions perceived to be known or obvious by the existing groups can be extremely beneficial for all kinds of reasons, in the same way that a rubber duck (real or imagined) will get you to re-evaluate all of your assumptions and usually get you to find the assumption that's incorrect or problematic.

d0gsg0w00f(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I do this all the time too and have observed the same results! I ask a lot of dumb questions like 'what does XYZ stand for?' and 'what was the original problem you were trying to solve by taking this course of action?'. Even though I always have that same sinking feeling, usually by the 4th or 5th question I have a very clear idea of what's going on.

dragonsky(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is my life at the moment. Even when I think I may know what is being discussed, experience has shown that a lot of people will try and fake it and being the idiot who doesn't have a clue and needs it explained is useful for everyone.

I don't know what it is about the IT trade, but so many people seem to find it difficult to admit that knowing everything is impossible.

dennis_jeeves(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>That there are fundamental misunderstandings and misconceptions about existing systems.

Wait till you see the fundamental misunderstandings and misconceptions of established 'science'. It will pale in comparison with anything you have seen before.

bostonsre(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Being able to say I don't know and I don't understand is incredibly powerful.

lugged(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This happened to me recently,

A team I work with sometimes was blocked on a couple of PRs for about a week. I needed one of the team members for something and their lead wasn't doing much to help remove his roadblocks to helping me so I stepped in asking my really basic questions about what they were trying to achieve.

Within about 30 minutes we released one PR and deleted the other. The one we deleted was blocking the other but there wasn't actally a need for it due to some spec change that happened earlier, just nobody could figure out why it was needed or what needed to be finished before it could ship.

anm89(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is such an eye opening experience, especially when you are new to the corporate world.

It's amazing how frequently fancily dressed, well speaking, high paid people sit in rooms and essentially role play being adults while just having absolutely no clue what is going on.

somethoughts(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Just to provide additional context...

This works and should be encouraged if you are indeed very smart and very quick, typically introverted and are actually going to be rolling up your sleeves to pitch in.

This approach is painful for everyone else and should be discouraged if you are a very extroverted and very non-technical person with no plan on actually helping out whatsoever with the actual execution on solving the problem at hand and really are only contributing to look smart in front of any leadership who happens to be in the room.

Definitely be aware of the Dunning–Kruger effect - which is a cognitive bias stating that people with low ability at a task overestimate their own ability, and that people with high ability at a task underestimate their own ability.

sharadov(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Early in my career, I was conscious of asking these questions, so as to not appear like a fool, I thought I was expected to know the answers. I took a remote job a while back and realized that the only way to be successful in my role was to keep asking questions, learning about systems and the product. I did not care if my questions seemed stupid. I just asked away. And, it helped..immensely!

Narann(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Such behavior can be a good thing, but you could fall in your own bias thinking you know the problem better than them, to finally realize the problem outpace your scope and you are just impacted as anyone in the room.

It happen for me once, and this was an humility lesson.

Now I keep in mind I can feel I understand the problem then realize later I was all wrong too.

singlow(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I identify with this situation but my feelings about it are a bit different, although not intentionally. This mirrors my general disconnect with the article.

In this situation I feel some anxiety or hesitation about asking these questions, but I don't feel it as a fear of appearing stupid. Instead the anxiety seems to come from worrying that I am annoying or offending everyone with questions about things that are obvious.

I have no way of knowing which question is going to reveal the problem, so I will need to shotgun questions. I know that some people that I work with get this completely and will cooperate. Others will get defensive or tune out, so I need to find a balance or tone to try to avoid that.

It is similar to when I did tech support as a teenager and someone would call with a problem, wanting a tech sent to their house. I would start asking questions about the problem and they would not want to spend 5 minutes going through a few steps to try to solve it over the phone. I never felt that they thought I was stupid, I just felt they were impatient. Maybe they did think I was stupid, but I was so sure that I could find the answer that I never considered that.

khalilravanna(10000) 4 days ago [-]

IMO this is the hallmark of a good engineer. One of my absolute favorite engineers/mentors did this. Having just one of these people in the room can be a huge differentiator in problem solving in a group setting.

ravenstine(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is a useful skill to employ, though at the same time the frequent need of it is a sign of a dysfunctional system. Not always, but a lot of the time, I think. For one, many of these issues would be avoided if, for example, engineers were included in meetings with decision makers and designers during early phases of development, rather than introduce engineers to effectively tell them what to do now that all the decisions have been made absent any shared knowledge of how things can work under the hood. Not only could this result in reduced time spent, but it could result in less time performing re-iterations once engineering concludes that a request/feature is impractical. Impracticalities or better alternatives should be discovered as early in the process as possible, not later, because inevitably wasted time will be made up for via shortcuts and duct tape. Unless a company really cares about good craftsmanship and not releasing something until it's in an adequate state, quality will almost certainly be sacrificed.

Playing dumb, if you will, has served me well, yet it is also odd to me just how often it needs to be employed in the field of software.

dominotw(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I have no context on because it touches my area of expertise, and the discussions have apparently been stalling out.

> I brace myself to be the idiot.

I don't think not knowing something makes one an idiot. Having hard time understanding something does. I don't think your example applies here.

atulatul(10000) 4 days ago [-]

->nobody in the room has any idea what they are talking about

I have seen a few people unwilling to admit that they don't know...when they're supposed to know. The easiest way out they come up with is 'we will discuss this offline'.

alexashka(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Imagine your comment being made in a meeting I got pulled into.

I brace myself. I'm going to waste your time. This is super obvious.

Here it goes: so uh, why do you continue to work with incompetent idiots instead of finding a workplace where people know what they are talking about instead?

hyperpallium2(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Probably because of status loss. Do they acknowledge your perceptiveness, intelligence and intellectual honesty after you demonstrate it each time? It would undermine their own status.

Thorentis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is essentially the Socratic method. Arriving at a shared understanding through the asking of questions. I employ this technique regularly and it rarely fails me.

hnarn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> you would think the sinking feeling I get before I brace myself to look stupid would go away

I can highly recommend reading, or listening to 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!'. Asking 'stupid' questions does not automatically make you intelligent, but it is a trait of highly intelligent people, exactly because of the reasons you describe.

We all know the story about how Newton asked why an apple fell to the ground, surely a lot of people would have thought you're a total idiot for asking that, and yet at the same time no-one would have been able to explain why.

The reason stupid questions are uncomfortable is that you're very likely to insinuate other people don't know the answer to a simple question, and we don't like making other people uncomfortable. Which is why you have to be humble when asking them.

locallost(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I felt too insecure to ask (stupid) questions previously because, well, people around you are always confident. But with time I saw there's often not a lot behind this confidence, that someone who has a high opinion of himself is capable of really failing in a very basic way, and that most people are more or less the same. So I talk more freely now, and yes, some people are quick to judge. But whatever.

sillysaurusx(10000) 4 days ago [-]

(OT, but nice username. 'I hate when I get locallost on the way to localhost's LAN party...')

The judgmental people tend not to matter in the long run, by the way.

Sort of. There are two types of judgmental people. One, the people building a team, or making a bet. Two, the people looking to talk about others.

The latter don't matter. The former are quick to judge because they have to be. If they're wrong about their bets, it'll soon become obvious. Which means the optimal strategy is to make many bets, or to interview as many devs as possible, and then cull most of the candidates.

It's not personal. http://www.paulgraham.com/judgement.html helped me care way less about rejection, which seems to decrease the odds of getting rejected.

roenxi(10000) 4 days ago [-]

In my experience, there is a slight nuance in the frame here. It isn't just that Mr. Luu is 'willing to look stupid', it is that he has confidence that his decision making process will on average turn out better decisions than the go-to default strategy that most people employ ('copy the crowd').

Most people, if they rely on their own research and decision making, will do poorly. And even moderately clever people generally do better by copying the rare stray geniuses that float around in polite society. This manifests as an 'unwillingness' to 'look stupid'. It is important to ask 'what does stupid mean' and 'how do I measure 'looking something'' when this sort of topic is bought up.

I am - and I don't think this is that unusual - willing to go about a decade ignoring the opinions of others if I'm really confident that I have an objectively good idea. It is a high-risk high-reward strategy and not for everyone.

marginalia_nu(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> It is important to ask [...] 'how do I measure 'looking something'' when this sort of topic is bought up.

Why is that?

dusted(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I think this is a good observation about the impact that confidence can have on some (mine included) peoples ability to learn. In this way, low confidence can have both the direct effect of denying you access to information that would allow you to improve, but also more sinister, it can deny you the mental ability to actually learn something, even if the information was available to you, since the learning itself will mean that there's things you don't know. Being aware that you don't know or can't do something can feel very bad if you lack the confidence in your ability to get to know or do it, and we tend to avoid feeling bad, and so may abandon the endeavor.

caned(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Most people, if they rely on their own research and decision making, will do poorly.

That's an interesting assertion. I would have guessed the opposite is true.

amadeuspagel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is true when it comes to actual decision making, but what about asking questions? Isn't being willing to look stupid clearly important here regardless of how smart you are? Even if you actually are stupid, you'll end up knowing more if you ask stupid questions, then you would have if you tried to hide your stupidity.

dec0dedab0de(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I feel like I could have written this post, even the trouble getting blood drawn, and the response from nurses when you tell them.

Except for this part:

The person who helped me, despite being very polite, also clearly thought I was a bozo and kept explaining things like 'the size of the box and the size of the computer aren't the same'. Of course I knew that, but I didn't want to say something like 'I design CPUs. I understand the difference between the size of the box the computer comes and in the size of the computer and I know it's very unusual to care about the size of the box, but I really want the one that comes in the smallest box'. Just saying the last bit without establishing any kind of authority didn't convince the person

In that case I most certainly would have established that I knew what I was talking about, and also explained exactly why I cared about the box. Maybe the author never worked in retail or public facing tech support, but when you're in those jobs you learn to not believe anything the user/customer says. At least until they let you know they know what they're talking about.

The asking questions part also reminded me of a story from when I was a junior network engineer in my mid 20s, working with two guys in their 50s who had each been doing the job for over 15 years. A little bit after I started they gave me a task that required me to use a system they knew I didn't have access to. After about an hour I figured out that I would need it. I asked them how to use the xyz server, and they both started laughing. It was a test to see if I would ask for help. Apparently the last guy who had to do that task waited 3 days before asking for help, and didn't even figure out he needed to use the system in question. They decided to see how I would handle it, instead of just telling me outright.

h2odragon(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Never did find a band widener, but did get to talk to everyone in the radio department...





Historical Discussions: MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch (October 18, 2021: 1652 points)

(1653) MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch

1653 points 7 days ago by 0xedb in 10000th position

www.apple.com | Estimated reading time – 17 minutes | comments | anchor

Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Capture One, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic, and more.

Affinity Designer, Sketch, Vectorworks, Adobe Illustrator, Pixelmator Pro, and more.

Octane X, Maxon Cinema 4D, Redshift, Blender, and more.

Logic Pro, Ableton Live 11, Adobe Audition, FL Studio, and more.

Adobe Premiere Pro, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder, Blackmagic Fusion Studio, Adobe After Effects, and more.

Xcode, Unity Editor, Create ML, TensorFlow, Visual Studio Code, NAG Fortran Compiler, and more.

NASA TetrUSS, Wolfram Mathematica, OsiriX MD, Shapr3D, CrystalMaker®, and more.




All Comments: [-] | anchor

beaner(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Unpopular opinion: I am surprised by how much people like MagSafe. Charging over usb-c seems so ideal: one cable for all of my devices. And in a decade, the number of times I've tripped or banged on the cable in a way that having MagSafe would have made a difference is zero. Just trying to understand others I guess... What makes it so appealing, given you have to carry around more stuff to use it?

judge2020(10000) 7 days ago [-]

USB-C locks into place - not ideal for when someone trips on your cable and brings your laptop crashing into the hard floor.

cocoggu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I know it will be an unpopular opinion here, but bringing back the HDMI and SD card port is making the macbook much thicker and will eat up some space than can be used by battery instead, all that for ports I will never use. I wish there was another option without these ports.

humanistbot(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Then get an Air.

macintux(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Given the power efficiency of the M1, I'm not sure it matters all that much.

asdff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The 16' is already built to maximum battery capacity by law

meepmorp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I agree. I don't want in-laptop HDMI or an SD reader - I can use an adapter for the half dozen times I'll ever need them.

But, I also want the high end processor and memory, so alas, here we are.

fishywang(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Does anyone know why would it need 140w power adapter? I thought the M1 chips are supposed to be more power efficient than the Intel ones, and they never needed >100w power adapter in the Intel days.

The new USB-C spec to support >100w power delivery was just out, I really hope they are following that spec in their new 140w USB-C power adapter.

Joeri(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's for the fast charging feature, where it charges 50% in 30 minutes.

nouveaux(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Fast charging possibly?

eric_b(10000) 7 days ago [-]

HDMI and magsafe are back!

Etheryte(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Honestly, both of those combined with physical function keys matters more to me than any processor update they could've delivered. All around this is just a very solid machine that's completely worthy of the pro title.

guilhermetk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I really hope the magsafe cable is not fixed to the power brick, it is the only bad memory I have from magsafe 2

elzbardico(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Looks like news of MacBook Pro death have been greatly exaggerated

eloisant(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Well, Apple decided to stop digging their grave and finally recognized that the 2016 MBP was just a big mistake. No port other than USB-C, no magsafe, touchbar, crappy keyboard...

tmellon2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Does anyone have a handle on how the new M1X is expected to perform on Deep Learning training runs vs a NVIDIA 1080Ti / 2080Ti. I think the 400 Gbps bandwidth and 64 GB unified memory will help - but can anyone extrapolate based on the M1 ?

Eugeleo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If you find out, let me know! I'd love to know this, too.

syngrog66(10000) 7 days ago [-]

ESC key still present!

hiram112(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And function keys!

purple_ferret(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Disappointed they're not releasing a Max Pro. Guess I'm waiting for the next cycle.

Doctor_Fegg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Mac Pro M1 Max ProTM

KarlKemp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I believe they were uncharacteristically open about the schedule from the beginning of the CPU transition, with the Mac Pro coming in 2022.

tmaly(10000) 7 days ago [-]

IPhone 13 chips are on back order. I would love a Max Pro, but it I think it is going to take some time to reach market.

humanistbot(10000) 7 days ago [-]

edit: this was wrong

16GB max RAM on the 14 inch model. No thanks.

minimaxir(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You can configure to 32GB for an extra $400.

amrox(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It can be configured up to 64gb with the M1 Max.

EdwardMSmith(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is not correct.

32GB on the M1 Pro and 64GB on the M1 Max in the 14'.

tantony(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I have a Framework laptop on order. But I must say that I am very tempted. If my attempt at daily driving linux doesn't work out, I will probably get the M1 Max 14'' MBP.

rrradical(10000) 7 days ago [-]

At least there's good choices all around these days. Very recently it was 'everything sucks'.

buildbot(10000) 7 days ago [-]

64GB of 512bit unified memory is REALLY fast/huge This will be better than many training GPUs for ML...

Better than dual socket servers...

I wonder if the mac pro will be dual proc...

humanistbot(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah, but can it run CUDA pipelines?

baybal2(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So, now we know that LPDDR5 will be coming with at least 16GB per die stack. A doubling from LPDDR4. One package = 128 bit, a double of regular DIMM I/O width.

I see, it's not too much behind even HBM2, of which we may never see a mobile variant.

I was long pointing to people making laptops that LPDDR4 is much cheaper than DIMMs in overall, despite nominal per-GB cost being higher.

The elimination of manual assembly, termination, extra through hole parts, along with LPDDR actually taking less PCB area, less layers, and being less demanding of the PCB material easily compensates for higher chip cost.

ChrisMarshallNY(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This was a 'Shut up and take my money' day for me.

I've been running on a 3-year-old machine, straining at the leash, and it's time to change.

I made my order about a minute after the store went live, and I won't get it until next month. I suspect part of that, is because I'm getting the M1 Max processor.

They'll make a lot of money, this week.

reaperducer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I've been running on a 3-year-old machine, straining at the leash, and it's time to change.

My daily driver MacBook Air is very close to ten years old. I wonder if I'll get ten years out of this one, too.

Jaygles(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Same, I'm replacing my 2016 13' MBP. Thought about getting the 13' M1 but decided to wait for this refresh and I'm glad I did.

ChuckMcM(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Priced out the one I would buy and it is $4300. Seems the value isn't quite there. Hard to say though without playing with it for a while. So clearly I need to go back to work for some tech company that will buy one for me :-).

It is more interesting to me to reflect on the comments from about 5 years ago that 'ARM will never be in laptops, its a 'phone' processor.'

That statement was both true and ignored the reality that if you wanted to put an ARM processor in a laptop you could add features and design it to work that way. Chip design is expensive of course, and so being a company like Apple really makes it possible to do this sort of thing as a 'risk' venture, but what surprises me is that Apple spent maybe $10B over the years developing an in house ARM design capability (after buying PA Semi) and here it is paying them some huge dividends.

If you compare that to Microsoft's efforts trying to use off the shelf ARM chips in the original Surface and now the Surface RT and you can really see the advantage of having the chip designers and the software designers depending on each other. That was true in the 'WinTel' era when Intel and Microsoft were joined at the hip, but it was never the case for ARM CPU vendors who were more concerned about being in the next flagship phone than what ever it was that Microsoft was doing.

What an interesting alternate history if Microsoft decided to develop an in house production chip capability at the same time they decided to get into the hardware business for 'real.' [1]

[1] Yes, I'm aware they have done custom chips, the pixel/pen processor in the Surface is one such but they haven't really jumped in with both feet like Apple did, and certainly haven't had it front and center as long as Apple has.

alienalp(10000) 6 days ago [-]

First gen of m1 mac was first Apple product that i bought. I can't say i like Apple ecosystem or macos. I am opposite of Apple fanboy. I don't like Apple and this price they made me pay another reason for it but simply anybody who want and who can afford will buy it. There aren't any alternatives.

makeitdouble(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Priced out the one I would buy and it is $4300. Seems the value isn't quite there.

I was also surprised at how high the maxed out laptops can go in price. From memory, around the 2015 model line the top end would be at around $3000 without the crazy disk options.

There was a rule of the thumb that Apple priced their product at a rough ratio of $2 / day. That would give 4 year for my 2014 laptop, and it mostly did. That would be 5.5 years for the top end 16' laptop, I guess that's reasonable ?

solarmist(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Apple has always been a hardware company though. Software has just been for the purpose of selling their hardware.

MSFT is the opposite. So it makes sense it be much slower/harder to get going in this area.

jamesfmilne(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You'll get a solid 4-5 years use out of such a device. I did out of my 2016 MacBook Pro.

Even if you depreciate at $1000k/year, that's not too bad for a professional tool. It's not worth $0 after 4 years either.

bredren(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> Seems the value isn't quite there.

The MBPs are astonishingly good machines, but I agree the price is always forces tough questions about value and fit.

I suspect the lack of a Mini update was in part to buffet purchases of these more expensive laptops. So many people are traveling and commuting less now, cheaper Mini's would have undermined sales of the MBP.

I'm running an XDR Pro Display off a 2018 Intel mini with an eGPU, and going to wait out for presumably a 2022 M2 Mini.

reacharavindh(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I wish the non-Apple ecosystem gave a clear alternative that allows us to choose specs like this :-(

I look at Lenovo Thinkpad with Ryzen 5000 CPUs, they are stuck with crappy displays.

Dell has better displays but not the Ryzens CPUs I wanted.

Framework is modular but no Ryzen.

Nothing makes me want to open my wallet.

I'd love almost exactly a MacBook Pro spec with M1Max replaced by Ryzen 5000 series CPU and 64 GiB of memory, and an excellent display. May be that unicorn of achieve will cost as much as your configured MacBook Pro :-(

smoldesu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I expect to be surrounded by pitchforks and torches for saying this, but I genuinely believe that Linux is the true winner of today's presentation.

The last few months have been watershed times for both Apple and Microsoft. Starting with Apple, their developer relations are starting to crumble in a major way. Not only have developers stood up against their highway robbery, but other companies like Microsoft have one-upped them just for the hell of it. Today's presentation was almost completely devoid of any software discussion, which is really what puts the nail in the coffin for me. A 5nm laptop chip will always be more powerful than the 14nm one I've got, but at least my chip runs the software I want. Without a commitment to replacing 32-bit libraries, updating their coreutils or making a package manager developers actually want to use, I think Apple's message is clear: We're pivoting away from the 'Pro' market and heading straight into 'Prosumer'. To their credit, it seems like they've made a fine prosumer laptop.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has usurped their enthusiast community with Windows 11. The strict CPU requirement in particular was a bad move on their behalf, and it's going to leave a lot of their install base out in the cold. While I don't expect a whole lot of consumers to pivot to Linux, I can imagine a lot of developers making the switch. Many devs already use WSL, so they're pretty familiar with Unix systems as-is. The Windows-to-Linux onboarding experience is getting better and better as Wine is continuing to close the gap in compatibility. Especially for the gamer/enthusiast market Microsoft traditionally caters to, the value proposition of using Windows is diminishing by the day. Windows 11 does nothing to change that, and actively impedes your workflow if you're on a Ryzen CPU.

I think for a lot of people's workflow, Linux will be the only thing left that 'just works' in a few years time.

thathndude(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is the one I bought!

swat535(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Seems the value isn't quite there

I'm curious, what exactly is this machine missing in your opinion and given the choice, what would you go with other than the recently introduced MacbookPro ?

manmal(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Seems the value isn't quite there

Looks like you are not in the target audience for those machines. The value is absolutely there if you need the CPU to do as much work as possible. As someone who spends a big chunk of my day compiling, a speedup by x2 means I need to wait half as long. And it won't even toast my lap. The 1K nits screen means I can finally work outside in summer. This is _exactly_ the machine the disgruntled ecosystem has been calling for, for at least 5 years now.

While the 5nm process will certainly yield good AMD CPUs, the iOS/macOS optimizations built into Apple Silicon are hard to match for general-purpose CPUs. And the GPU story looks bad for Nvidia - the Max 32 core GPU uses half the power envelope for almost the same output as the mobile RTX 3080. And afaik the 3080 is already produced on 7nm, so there will be some engineering to do to get there.

tashmahalic(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Did anyone catch how many external monitors these can drive, and at what resolutions and refresh rates?

syspec(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Up to two external displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz at over a billion colors (M1 Pro) or Up to three external displays with up to 6K resolution and one external display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz at over a billion colors (M1 Max)

bingohbangoh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

what's the general need for microSD?

My XPS-13 has one but I've never understood why its such a big deal. I almost never use it.

mixmastamyk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Wish SD cards were better supported by stereo equipment. Recently realized that USB flash drives are kinda clumsy for that.

chromatin(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Besides photo/video which was already mentioned, SD is commonly used in 3D printing (to transfer STL to printer)

kristjansson(10000) 7 days ago [-]

AV/Photo import?

nazgulnarsil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

photo/video people use those ports constantly, like all day every day.

beermonster(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Import your days photoshoot to review your work, reformat the card and most importantly to back it up to TimeMachine.

Wonder how many people just now shoot on their iPhone 12/13 at least for snaps.

martpie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

microSD none, but SDCard readers (the one here) are extremely useful to photographers.

NovaS1X(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Photo/video import mostly. I don't feel like transferring 1TB of data over crappy built-in wifi chip on my camera or having to plug the camera in and have it act as a fancy card reader.

nuerow(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> what's the general need for microSD?

I use a USB pendrive formatted with a case-sensitive partition to cache data for an app I use, because it's far better to spend 20$ on a pendrive than 200$ for a SSD upgrade.

Given the choice, I'd prefer to use a SD card for that than a USB pendrive, as the USB pendrive requires either a USB hub or a USB pen always sticking out of the chassis.

gnicholas(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Given how much Apple charges for storage, and the fact that it is not expandable, SD card slots offer a reasonable way to get more storage. With a starting price at $2000, this may not make sense for people who don't need a pro level machine but were looking forward to features like this

scheme271(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Probably for the photography workflows where you grab the card out of your camera and then process and edit your RAWs.

entropie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Photos. Photo journalists need often to send pictures they just took to their agencies to be in the first places in the race who brings the content first on their web page.

I actually use my microSD slot on my xps quite often for camera related stuff.

audunw(10000) 7 days ago [-]

There are a lot of different use-cases for SDcard/microSD. It's not useful to everyone, but I think it's definitely useful enough to have built in. Same with HDMI.. I'd probably use SDcard more than HDMI (like for setting up Raspberry PI, accessing videos from dash cam or using my old camera, which is still better than iPhone for some types of pictures). I think those ports are aimed at the professionals in certain sector, but lots of regular people use them too.

Recently I've also used microSD with USB-microSD adapter instead of USB sticks (like for music in the car).. last time I wanted to buy USB memory stick it was the cheaper option, and the adapter isn't much bigger than a typical USB memory stick anyway.

aaroninsf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I am happy to get it, I still shoot with a large-sensor digital PAS camera and bought a hyperdrive just so I could rip the cards and have an HDMI port.

Excited to leave that thing behind.

DocG(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Importing pictures videos from camera, car DVR, just storage, gopros, drones, raspberry pi etc.

Much faster to pop the SD card than to connect via USB to transfer files. Much more convenient not at desk.

darkwater(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> HDMI, SD Card, and MagSafe. Things people on the internet inclusive but not limited to HN said they will never come back because the future is USB-C.

Gonna be downvoted for the snark but... I'd like to hear now how the 'a usb-c dongle fixes everything and it's perfect' Apple crowd will backpedal on this.

ericmay(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm that crowd and while I think MagSafe is a good addition back to the lineup (single-purpose and the other end is still USB-C) I just don't see the point of adding back HDMI and SD cards. Now we get to go back to the era of jeez I sure hope there's a dongle somewhere instead of moving to a future of just one cable.

Maybe we should keep Lightning too instead of USB-C for the iPhone.

1-more(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think everyone thought that was just over the horizon for a long time, and it never quite got there. My monitor is my dongle for everything, but I'm lucky in that I didn't have a monitor before the USB-C everything era.

mizzack(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Wow looks like Apple has abandoned every bad decision on the MBP for the past 5 years in one swoop. No touchbar, increased key travel, added back hdmi/sd/headphone/power jacks.

Plus bumped up RAM limit, M1, new displays, 120Hz... Wow.

seviu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I just scrolled through the posts and I felt they were laggy. I think I am already biased to 120hz even without having experienced it myself.

Sephr(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Bringing back a dedicated HDMI port is a downgrade. This port can only do 4K 60Hz HDR (implying HDMI 2.0), which is inferior to previously-supported standards in addition to taking up space as a single-purpose port.

The Intel MacBook Pro 16 supports DisplayPort 1.4 over USB-C, which can do 4K 98Hz HDR, and doesn't take up dedicated single-purpose ports.

xanaxagoras(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Wow looks like Apple has abandoned every bad decision on the MBP for the past 5 years in one swoop.

Not unless they disabled all of the spying in MacOS. Doesn't matter if you bought it, it still isn't yours. Hard pass.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25078034&p=2

trebor(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Actually, they kept one of the oldest mistakes: overcharging. $400 to upgrade from 16GB RAM to 32GB. $200 to upgrade to 1TB SSD. These guys control the whole supply chain without middlemen like WD, Samsung, Crucial, etc — and they charge basically double what anyone else charges.

I'm not paying $2k for a laptop below what I need as a developer, when <$2k from literally anyone else will get what I need.

Apple is ridiculous. Inflation is murder right now, and they JACK the prices without delivering more value.

can16358p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Did they ever remove the headphone jack?

krzyk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> headphone

Did they remove it? I checked my wifes Macbook Air (the one with 2 USB-C ports) and it has headphone jack, did they remove it only in MacBooks Pro?

> increased key travel

Is that good? I prefer smaller key travel, makes typing faster.

ksec(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>increased key travel

I hope that is true. But they only state and quote

>For the first time, Magic Keyboard brings a full‐height function key row to MacBook Pro — with the tactile feel of mechanical keys that pros love.

Nothing really concrete about Key travel.

robertoandred(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And they made a new bad decision: a notch.

dirkg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

touchbar was actually nice

a-dub(10000) 7 days ago [-]

it seems the 'one last thing' this time, is, well, a notch, at the top of the screen, on a proprietary system that makes heavy use of the top of the screen as part of the ui.

the whole value proposition of the apple ecosystem is that it is all beautifully designed, integrated and pleasing such that it inspires you to go forth and design beautiful things.

but now they've gone and stuck a webcam in the middle of the menu bar. jobs is probably rolling over in his grave.

Alex3917(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Plus bumped up RAM limit, M1, new displays, 120Hz... Wow.

They couldn't use LPDDR5 RAM with Intel chips. They wanted to bump up the RAM years ago, but couldn't do it until now.

mFixman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Damn, I liked the touchbar :-(

I think that Apple's biggest mistake is not making it more obvious that the bar is editable in all programs. It becomes pretty useful when you can keep only the functions that you use the most.

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Headphone jack never went away. Increase key travel was also fixed a few years ago. What do you mean by power jack? USB-C ports function as power jacks. Magsafe is incredible and I'm so glad it's back.

shortstuffsushi(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As someone who bought a mid-2018 with the escape key on the touchbar, then watched the next model have it's own key, then watched all these ports get added back... I'm extremely frustrated to say the least. Trade in is valued at $840. If I had known either of these two updates would have gone 'backwards' like this, I would have waited to purchase

Bud(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Some of this had been previously fixed but not noticed by some: keyboard was fixed on the last Intel MBP models. Headphone jack was never gone to begin with. RAM had already been boosted.

black3r(10000) 7 days ago [-]

bumped up RAM limit but the RAM price is now more than triple the consumer price Top-Tier 32GB RAM costs 150€ and the Apple 32GB RAM costs 460€.

TMWNN(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>Wow looks like Apple has abandoned every bad decision on the MBP for the past 5 years in one swoop. No touchbar, increased key travel, added back hdmi/sd/headphone/power jacks.

It's taken two years to fully undo Jonathan Ive's obsessions.

whydoyoucare(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This ^^^^. Absolutely!

smoovb(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Kills the touch bar, the light touch keyboard, adds back weight, card reader, ports and the mag safe.

Feels like an apology for prior design decisions. My 2011 MBP is new again!

pivo(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I know I'm in the minority regarding the keyboard, but on my 2019 model it's been flawless and I really have come to like it quite a bit, more than the one on my 2014 even (except for the vertical arrow keys that is. Seems like nobody at Apple actually tested their usability)

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Not really, the performance will make your 2011 mbp feel an extra 10x older now.

paxys(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was laughing when every single one of these changes was presented as 'revolutionary' in the keynote. No, you just had to revert everything because your previous revolution was universally hated by users.

dcdc123(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And then they added a notch hahaha

Onewildgamer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I have owned macbooks only since 2017 and found the older (2011 era) aesthetic design to be bulky and not too appealing. I own a 2020 model, which looks sharp and professional. I don't like them going back to this rounded edges on the bottom. I love everything else, except this simple gripe over aesthetics.

interestica(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I recently got a new M1/MBP and really love the utility of a customized TouchBar (using BetterTouchTool). I'm sad it'll be gone! It's actually great - but certain functions are missed (like a dedicated volume buttons).

resters(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The pricing suggests that the M1 mini was priced aggressively as a marketing strategy, and that now that the dust is settling the cost of the M1 powered macs is going to be less of a value win than I'd initially hoped.

Looking forward to actual use benchmarks for the things I'd use it for.

zlsa(10000) 6 days ago [-]

On paper, the M1 Pro 10-core CPUs are faster multicore than any Mac ever except for the Mac Pro and iMac Pro. They're faster than the i9-11900k.

It remains to be seen if they are as fast in practice as they are in theory, but if they are, I don't think they're overpriced.

ssijak(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is literally a dream laptop. Improved in every area and lacking in none I can think of right now. And the price is crazy cheap for this performance if you ask me.

sdan(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah I ordered two maxxed out macs for my dad and I. Price not an issue when you factor in opportunity cost.

Everything and more I need. Otherwise would need to fork up $20k for a mac pro

moron4hire(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I can think of a huge area in which it's lacking: GPU performance.

tmp_anon_22(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Its not crazy cheap, a lot of people overvalue mobility when 90% of white collar work is done at home or in an office.

vmception(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah I just scooped one up, already just a few hours after this announcement and shipping is no longer oct 26 but instead dec 10

From what I can tell this is very high demand. Obviously we didnt know enough about Apple's launch planning and inventory but it seems like this only happens when there is very high demand.

fotta(10000) 7 days ago [-]

they brought back the t-shaped arrows too!

onion2k(10000) 7 days ago [-]

There is one area where the M1 is lacking - software support. There are still areas (eg Docker) that don't work well. It's definitely coming but it isn't here yet.

If you work outside of those areas though, an Apple Arm CPU is amazing.

caleb-allen(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was surprised at the price point as well

dirkg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

strange definition of crazy cheap. esp since we dont know how well it compares yet

Yaina(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I guess I'm pretty much alone here, but I don't really like these new MacBooks.

The things I'm happy about:

  - Function keys are back!
  - They kept touchID
  - Chips are probably pretty good
  - Headphone jack, yay!
But what I really dislike:

  - The case-design looks kind of outdated. I'm getting MacBook Pro 2006 vibes here.
  - The base price starts at 2.000$ (2250€) !
  - The notch... On the iPhone the notch was justified with a whole sensor array for FaceID, now we have something similar sized here for one 1080p camera. With a hole-punch I wouldn't have said anything; but here I'd rather have 2-3cm of bezels than a big notch.
  - I really bought into the USB-C future! I know that's not the case for everyone, and the addition of the SD-Card reader is welcome. But the HDMI port seems a bit...strange to me. It doesn't really cry 'future of connectivity'. I charge my MacBook with USB-C I connect my screens with USB-C (to display port) and for my occasional USB-A and HDMI needs I get out my one dongle. This actually seems like a step backwards for me.
I know lots of these are highly opinionated, but...yeah: Bummer for me.
efuquen(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You loose one usb-c port to get all the others. I've never needed 4 usb-c ports at a time, but definitely have needed all the others. And one usb-c port is replaced by power, which many times I have had to use one for anyway. So whether you bought into full usb-c future or not I don't see the extra ports hurting you. Maybe a 'whatever', but don't see it as a reason to dislike it.

aqme28(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm curious about all the distaste people have of the notch. It's more screen space. Would people prefer a larger bezel? My guess is you'll have the option for a virtual bezel on apps that don't properly account for the notch.

salamandersauce(10000) 7 days ago [-]

When competitors like the XPS 13 have like 1mm extra bezel across yes.

beltsazar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I prefer a larger bezel because the notch takes the menu bar space, which is already scarce even without the notch. Some people may have many app icons and 'widgets' (e.g. iStat Menus) on the menu bar.

rsync(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Will we ever get another 11' MBA ?

Best laptop form factor of all time. Of all time.

awiesenhofer(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That's the 13' M1 MBA now, it has basically the same dimensions (+-5mm)...

usui(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I really enjoy the way that they admitted their design mistakes of the past by having the speaker mention that users love tactile function keys and made it come back. They tried their best to say it was a mistake without explicitly stating it. It's almost like they did real design and usability studies, and then acted on it!

I find it so surprising that in this day, a big tech company is actually listening to its pro user segment (at least more than before).

Fingers crossed for lightning port switching to USB-C, Touch ID making a return to mobile devices (does not have to replace Face ID although I wouldn't care if it did), and the screen notch going away over time.

Oddskar(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's laughable incompetence and hubris, honestly. If you read any material from the original UXers of Apple they would have said the same. 'Fingers on glass' can never beat the tactility of having actual keys. The versatility it affords mobile devices in terms of gestures and such is inappropriate for professional devices where we need speed and accuracy.

sumedh(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> (at least more than before).

I think this happened because Jonny Ive left Apple.

whywhywhywhy(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Feels a return to form, finally approaching this machine from the needs of the users rather than what's compelling for the industrial design team.

Every bad decision of the atrocious 2017+ era laptops reverted.

concinds(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I don't know if I'm allowed to swear on here, but thank fuck for this. It literally doesn't impose on Apple to do this stuff; they can keep their 28% margin, keep things soldered if they want, but making functional laptops that aren't made to be stared at or look good in pictures is a bare minimum.

ellyagg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How many external monitors does it support? I got an M1 mini only to find out it could only drive 2 4K monitor. And the M1 notebooks can only use 1 external 4K monitor. I'm not getting one of these until I can run 3 external 4K monitors like I'm doing on my 2019 Macbook 16-inch right now.

terramex(10000) 7 days ago [-]

2 or 4 external 4K monitors, depending on whether you choose Pro or Max.

M1 Pro - 2x 6K monitors plus built-in display

M1 Max - 3x 6K display plus additional 4K display plus built-in display

External displays are 60Hz only.

cletus(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And so ends the last of the Dark Days of Johnny Ive. Don't get me wrong: he innovated a lot. My theory is when Jobs died, he lost his counterbalance and his designs suddenly became without compromise (no that isn't a good thing).

It's when we saw the 12' Macbook as the crusade for thinness at all costs (terrible performance, only one port, a terrible version of the macbook Air), the end of the Macbook Air (before getting resurrected a few years later), the butterfly keyboard (allegedly to save 0.5mm in thickness), the Touch Bar (primarily there to boost Average Selling Price) and the loss of MagSafe.

I was surprised last year how good the M1 was. The second generation looks even better. This thing has function keys back, no Touch Bar, MagSafe!!!, some non-TB ports and up to 64GB of RAM.

Shut up and take my money!

rsynnott(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> It's when we saw the 12' Macbook as the crusade for thinness at all costs (terrible performance, only one port, a terrible version of the macbook Air)

Honestly, I'm kind of surprised they haven't brought this back with an M1 in it. It was mostly terrible due to compromises forced by the terrible chip it used; an M1 would be within its power envelope.

apozem(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And the thing is, I don't mind they put a weird, shallow keyboard and one USB C port on that 12" MacBook. They were trying to make the lightest laptop they could. Those compromises made sense.

The same compromises made no sense on high-end pro machines.

berberous(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The 12" MacBook was beloved by my elderly parents, who liked the low weight design and didn't need to do anything other than check email and the web. Horses for courses. It was a great machine for the right audience.

icoder(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I've been extending the life of my MacBook Pro 2012 (13') all throughout those Dark Days (with 8GB RAM from the start an SSD added later). As a software dev using it day in day out. It's really at its end now, runs only on AC and the only reason I can still run (yet not debug) the apps I build is with a bit of a hack.

I skipped the crappy keyboard, and loud, hot running versions. The M1 was a bit new and low on mem for me (wrt the future), but I just ordered the M1 Pro 32GB.

Only hesitation I had concerns ARM support. It sure is getting better and better, but if they would have added one more superb Intel model right before introducing the M1's I'd have gone for that. But that might have hampered M1 adoption so I can see why they didn't.

_ph_(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think the 12' MacBook was a great design. The ultimate compact laptop - I even would have bought one if that day the Apple Store had one in stock. But it didn't work out technically. Maybe it had, if the Intel 10nm process had been right on schedule. With the 14 nm parts, it was just too much of a compromise. With the M2, Apple might consider bringing back that form factor, that should work nicely. And move the Air to 14', tiny bezels. That would be the outer form factor of todays 13'.

yarcob(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Who do you think is responsible for the new iMacs?

They took a very versatile all-in-one, removed almost all of the ports and added an external power brick -- just to make it a bit thinner. Which is even more ridiculous considering it's a desktop.

silverlake(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I liked the 12'. It was an iPad that runs macOS. Rob Pike (golang) once said: 'my two-year-old 11' MacBook Air is the only piece of computing hardware to make me happy since I can't remember when.' (https://usesthis.com/interviews/rob.pike/)

TazeTSchnitzel(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I love my 12' MacBook and will be sad when I have to replace it. Its single port is not a big problem for me, and I really appreciate how light it is. If I replaced it with an M1 MacBook Air I'd be bothered by how much heavier it is.

If they had made an M1 version of the Retina MacBook, there would've been no complaints about the performance.

buu700(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I can live without HDMI, but it never made sense to me to put SD on the chopping block. In what sense was USB-C ever supposed to be an alternative to SD card slots?

Edit: For clarity, read my reply to anamexis before responding to this.

closeparen(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I stopped using SD cards around the time that my iPhone replaced my DSLR. And when I worked in more advanced settings (photojournalism, film school) it was CompactFlash anyway.

chrisseaton(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> In what sense was USB-C ever supposed to be an alternative to SD card slots?

You use a USB-C dongle.

99% of people never use SD cards so don't care. The people who do care can use a dongle.

anamexis(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Opposite for me - I almost never used the SD slot, so a dongle was no problem for me, but I used HDMI all the time.

nuerow(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> I can live without HDMI, but it never made sense to me to put SD on the chopping block.

HDMI means external monitor. For some (most?) an external monitor is a must-have.

emsy(10000) 7 days ago [-]

HDMI makes more sense imo. You can hook up an SD card with adapter, connect the camera via USB-C or wireless. With Displays you aren't as flexible.

yodsanklai(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> magsafe

can we still use an usb-c port for charging?

macintux(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes.

nbzso(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Nice. Ports are back. Very nice. Prices are up. Not nice. The deal breaker is the notch. Sorry Apple I am a designer. I cannot watch this 24/7. Even if the top bar is black the notch will be visible enough to distract my visual line. The more I look at this, the more I like the Framework laptop.

P.S. Happy down-voting, have a nice day and stay safe.

josephg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can you help me understand that? I have an iPhone with a notch and I find it's totally fine. Day to day I don't notice it. It just kind of blends in to the design of the phone. And I assume the situation here will be the same. Most software doesn't use the whole menu bar anyway. It wont be on top of anything except if you use that space to watch full screen video.

I'm not excited about the price, but I'd totally take tiny bezels and an upgraded webcam in exchange for the notch. This looks like an excellent upgrade.

throwawaysea(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Isn't the notch strictly an improvement? The alternative is to lose that top area to a bezel. This feels like extra screen for free.

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't like the notch either but you can compare this to the Framework laptop? This is literally a monster in performance compare to some of the most high end laptops on the market.

dont__panic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Agreed. Icing on the cake: an incredibly specced Framework laptop is less than the starting price of the 14' MBP. And it has a 4:3 display ratio. And I can choose my ports!

I'm confused why so many people seem hellbent on convincing me that a notch is a good thing, suddenly. Can't y'all understand that I have a personal preference towards rectangular screens without any holes in them? I admit that it doesn't make the laptop unusable, but IMO it's an unacceptable compromise in a $2k+ machine (that if I specced out, I'd end up paying close to $4k for)

00deadbeef(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah the prices are up but you're getting so much more computer for your money. Just the new screen alone is worth the extra.

have_faith(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can't believe they did so many positive changes with the MBP only to add the notch from the phone in too. Almost the perfect update. Does this mean every app in full screen has to be updated to account for it?

wmf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wonder if the OS just presents a virtual lower screen resolution in full screen mode?

TheGRS(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'd hope MacOS can account for it

dkonofalski(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No. It looks like the notch only cuts into the menu bar area and letterboxes fullscreen apps.

paxys(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't think it will be that bad on Macbooks, because the notch will be embedded in the top menu bar.

tiffanyh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No FaceID. Interesting.

troupe(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes that is interesting. Maybe it would have made the notch bigger? :)

Tade0(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The iris is superior to other biometric modalities in so many ways that they appear to be almost toys in comparison.

bengale(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm so disappointed to trade a multifunction thunderbolt port for a single use hdmi port when the same thing can be done with a £5 cable. I wish I could get that M1 pro max chip in my current MacBook Pro.

macintux(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I have to admit, that was frustrating. I've been in one meeting, once, where I needed HDMI but didn't have any dongles.

satoshiiii(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And here I am with my Lenovo S10-3 still doing fine in 2021. My use case is if I can produce something fast with this machine then half of the battle has already been won because by default I need to optimize for the lowest possible spec of my target market.

Obviously, I know this won't apply to everyone but anyway I hope this will continue for me a couple more years.

atommclain(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The idea pad? Is it your main computer? I have an S10-2 I bought for installing a transflective display, and I can't imagine using it for much more than noodling around with. I just wish it was just slightly larger to accommodate a decent keyboard and a slim battery.

qolop(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm using a 6 year old ThinkPad X250 with 4GB of RAM.

The benefit of using it is that I have zero tolerance for bloated software because it just won't run on my machine. This includes the software I make.

And you're right, developers SHOULD be using the lowest possible spec of the target market. Whenever I visit some bloated SPA that crashes my browser I always imagine the developer being some smug chap with a fully specced MacBook Pro patting themselves on the back for what a smooth website they've built.

Toutouxc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I won't be getting one, because the M1 Air is currently more than enough for comfortable webdev, but I'm genuinely happy for people who will be getting one, because those things are incredible!

H12(10000) 7 days ago [-]

My first hope is that the Pro line leads to more ubiquitous ARM support for professional software tools.

I'm lucky that most of my WebDev workflow works fine on M1, but there are those rare instances I bump into something that doesn't work quite right. And unfortunately, these instances tend to be pretty frustrating.

My second hope is that more ubiquitous ARM support lights a fire under other CPU designers to build better high-performance ARM chips for other desktop operating systems. I've been interested in switching to Linux for some time, but the hardware/performance of my M1 Air simply has no real competition at the moment.

An ARM-powered Framework laptop running Arch is my dream.

mproud(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes. Agreed.

Most people do not need the new notebooks. They would be content with the Air and the 13-inch Pro.

francislata(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is me too! I'm content with the M1 chip for mobile and ML development. I know this machine of mine will last a few years before it needs an upgrade!

jmkni(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Same, I have the 13' M1 Pro and I don't regret it.

I don't.

I don't regret it...

comeonseriously(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So true. Maybe the refreshed Air in a few months will have more ports and be an even better value (relatively speaking).

Griffinsauce(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Pretty bummed about magsafe.

No more taking one charger for 5 devices and another single purpose cable that isn't so easy to get a workable backup/replacement for.

gchokov(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You can still charge via thunderbolt / usb-c!! :)

Vadoff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How come when you upgrade to the 24 core M1 max, it adds +$600 when the upgrade lists it as +$200. After you try to remove the upgrade the price only drops by only -$200.

Is this a bug?

huy-nguyen(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think the reason is that the upgraded CPU ($200 extra) automatically triggers an upgrade of the memory config from 16GB to 32GB ($400 extra). That explains the $600 increase.

mihaaly(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That notch thing will put me off! Ugliest impractical thing causing additional efforts and potential troubles unnecessarily. Avoiding iPhones with that, will do the same with laptops.

And that magsafe -> no magsafe -> magsafe again disarray! Come on, make up your f mind. I held off buying new computer looong, did not want to leave MagSafe, it recently died so was forced into USB-C charging, which I did not want at all, ok, reshaped my practice and now this?! A never existed incompatible magsafe again?! I don't want to switch yet again, the magsafe 1 to 2 was a pain alone, then USB-C is a torture, I fn not do that again! Ok it presumably charges through thunderbolt 4 ports too with USB-C (theoretically, one never knows as I heard) but you spread your new magsafe after killing it proudly and loudly!? Jesus!

How come Apple can ruin and confuse things so effortlessly, do they have a mandatory training in that or what?! It is big kudos to remove touchbar, have (have?) proper keyboard after the pathetic stumble series of trying to reinvent the wheel and f up the life of millions (the Air M1 is flawed still, repeats keys frequently), hallelujah for having HDMI again, finally paying attention of practicaliities in a consumer product not just the appearances and show-off but come on! Now this idiotic notch thing and the zillionth way of charging again? Very off putting, again, continuouusly now. Actually not interested to buy. (luckily I do not need a power plannt only a decent performing one so I can live with my advanced Air M1 for long long long time - assuming the keybard holds off -, when my wife's old Air dies we will stick to that or turning back to some serious manufacturer making laptops for use not for show)

gnrlst(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You know it still supports USB-C charging right?

Rather than confusion, I would see it as Apple finally turning things around and getting back on a road that is less 'design above all else'

oreilles(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You can blame Apple for having made dumb decisions in the past, but you can't blame them for fixing them now. Also, what additional efforts and problems with the notch are you talking about ?

darkcha0s(10000) 6 days ago [-]

No matter what changes apples implements (even if its reverting to things people wanted back), people like you will always find a way to complain. Having used an iphone for a while, the notch really isn't noticeable, and I'd trade it for having a thick black border at the top any day.

killion(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I haven't been able to see if the DAC that powers the headphone port supports 24-bit/192 kHz yet. Being able to listen to Lossless audio without a USB DAC would be nice.

It seems possible that Apple would add that since it's a feature of Apple Music Lossless.

MetricExpansion(10000) 6 days ago [-]

During the video, they quickly mentioned that the jack supports high-impedance headphones and later specifically mention that you can connect "high-fidelity" headphones. Skip to about 33:30 in the video. So while nothing shows up on the spec page on their website, I wonder if they're taking audio output more seriously.

rackjack(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Do they have an escape key? (This is not a joke question.)

zamadatix(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yes, there are plenty of pictures of it on the page https://www.apple.com/v/macbook-pro-14-and-16/a/images/overv...

tiffanyh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No FaceID. Interesting.

msie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The touch-id is so fast, I don't mind.

can16358p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

When I saw the notch I immediately thought of Face ID. But comparing how frequent we unlock our Macs vs phones, it makes sense not to put it.

dewiz(10000) 7 days ago [-]

could be 'face ID ready' without telling us, and share it will be a coming with macOS 12 on M1 Pro+

oefrha(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Don't fish for karma by making the exact same comment on four threads.

valine(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They probably want developers to optimize around the notch shape. Would be dumb to change the shape next year when they add faceID.

mgkimsal(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Not trying to be snarky here, but... it'll probably come across that way.

Will we ever see the end of beach balls? I've got an m1 Mac mini, and ... I see far fewer, but I still see them. I don't understand what with so many core, so must 'fast' and 'powerful' stuff, that my computer will still freeze and lag doing seemingly normal stuff.

DantesKite(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That's less of an Apple problem and more of a developer problem.

setpatchaddress(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The beachball isn't directly related to CPU speed. It indicates the main thread of the foreground app is busy for more than a few seconds. It may be, for example, blocked waiting for something from the network -- which is one reason it's important for macOS developers to move filesystem and network access to background threads as much as possible.

afandian(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's been a while since I developed on Mac OS, but ISTR that beach balls happen when the main thread blocks and doesn't respond to events. If an application does that it's due to the developer putting too much on the main thread, as much as whatever the CPU's doing.

wrs(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Based on long experience I suspect most beachballs nowadays are because of locks, not lack of CPU cycles. The UI thread is waiting for something to happen in the background that should have been fast, so the developer did it synchronously, but for some reason it isn't. Maybe a helper process failed, or there's a network glitch, or maybe the developer just didn't get multithread locking right and the wait will never end. In any case, a faster processor does nothing to help.

Andys(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Good reason to support Linux port project.

nitins_jakta(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Unfortunately it looks like Apple still has no option to disable temporal dithering or other sources of flicker (PWM, pixel inversion, etc).

A minority of people have binocular vision dysfunctions (like convergence insufficiency) that give them severe eyestrain, headaches and migraines when this flicker occurs. Apple should treat this like an accessibility issue (like VoiceOver) but does not. The current treatment from behavioral optometrists is not always effective.

I recently found a whole community on this: https://ledstrain.org.

If you have expertise in displays, please join us on LED Strain! We were hoping Apple would address these accessibility issues and let people with vision problems use their products.

buzzert(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Do you have to use laptops with cathode backlights instead?

tcoff91(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Have you considered trying Neurolens? http://www.neurolenses.com/

If you've already tried prism lenses to help address the convergence insufficiency then these won't help. These are basically prism lenses but they're a progressive prism so the prism is strongest at the bottom and nonexistent at the top so you can wear one pair of glasses all day and have them help with devices but still have good distance vision through the top part of the lens.

fflluuxx(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I really hate the feet. Just the bottom half of the form factor looks like they're going back to 2006 design.

asdff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Very ugly but luckily you don't look at that part much on a laptop. Especially on macs, the rubber feet just fall off and the case ends up scratched and marred up overtime.

benjaminwootton(10000) 7 days ago [-]

$2500 USD (£1800 GBP) to buy in the US vs £2500 GBP. Apple are a total rip off.

thehappypm(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Tariffs must be part of this.

wodenokoto(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Interested if the macsafe cable ends in a power adapter or ends in a usb-c plug.

E.g can I attach a usb-c to usb-c cable to the accompanying power brick when traveling?

chromatin(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It ends in USB-C =)

ksec(10000) 7 days ago [-]

HDMI, SD Card, and MagSafe. Things people on the internet inclusive but not limited to HN said they will never come back because the future is USB-C.

Now I just want to know if the new keyboard has more key travel distance back to the like of MacBook Pro 2015.

In case anyone wants to know the thickness difference.

MacBook Pro 13' 2015 - 1.8 cm

MacBook Pro 13' 2016 - 1.49 / 1.55 cm

MacBook Pro 14' / 16' 2021 - 1.55 / 1.66cm

So basically even the new 16' is still thinner than the MacBook 2015 era. Which I think vast majority of people were happy with.

Edit: Both 14' and 16' have 254 PPI, up from ~220. Apple tends to stick with same PPI for a very long time. So this is interesting. 3456-by-2234 or 3024-by-1964 is 14:9 Ratio. So somewhere in between the old 16:10 and 3:2 which is current trend of Lenovo and Surface Laptop.

irae(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Some basic math makes believe the Monterey menu bar might be 74px height.

(3456 * 10/16)-2234 = -74 (3024 * 10/16)-1964 = -74

Which means both models have a 16:10 ratio + 74 extra pixels in heigh. Clearly they are adding stuff for the notch instead of clipping from useful area...

yarcob(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> Both 14' and 16' have 254 PPI, up from ~220.

That is a very welcome improvement! I like scaling my display a bit so I have more real estate, but then the fonts get a bit blurry. 10% more resolution sounds great!

krzyk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Bummer, I hooe usbc can still be used for charging. Abd that will be the default charger. I love the fact that I can charge my phone laptoo (lenovo) and my wifes macbook air all with the same charger.

Bummer 2, because now producers of tvs/monitors will have less drive to reolace old hdmi with usbc.

sd cards? Are they that popular nowadays?

abraxas(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>Now I just want to know if the new keyboard has more key travel distance back to the like of MacBook Pro 2015.

If it's the same as the 2020 then no. It's better than the butterfly but not as good as the 2015

lanna(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> 3456-by-2234 or 3024-by-1964 is 14:9 Ratio

If we subtract 74 pixels from their heights, we get 3456 by 2160 and 3024 by 1890, both of which are 1.6. So I'm guessing the notch is 74 pixels high?

rz2k(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I thought the 2016 MacBook Pro was an enormous improvement over the 2015 models, because 3 lbs is the sweet spot for me where I no longer had a hard time deciding between an Air or Pro model. The 14' model is 3.5 lbs like the 2015 13'.

Users' testimonials will probably make me happy that I waited for the second iteration of Apple silicon, but I do wish there was an option that had a combination of trade-offs like smaller battery, terrible speakers, or no magsafe to get it half a pound lighter.

gnicholas(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Glad there're back, but these are not Pro features and should not be limited to the Pro line (starting at $2,000). These are basic features that should be on consumer machines. I shouldn't have to pay 80% more just to get HDMI, SD, and other features that were on Apple laptops 6 years ago.

nanook(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think these still stick to 16:10.

If you take 74px off the height for the notch/menubar area, you get 3024 x 1890 and 3456 x 2160 which are both 16:10.

necovek(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> HDMI, SD Card, and MagSafe. Things people on the internet inclusive but not limited to HN said they will never come back because the future is USB-C.

They don't say it anywhere, but I hope HDMI inclusion is for the 2.1 version's increased bandwidth (even over TB4), potentially allowing for single-cable 8k at 60Hz.

busymom0(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is the increased thickness the reason for the much longer battery life?

00deadbeef(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> So basically even the new 16' is still thinner than the MacBook 2015 era

Oh wow. Apple's photos make it look so fat. I'm still using a 2013 15' MBP and am very happy with how thin it is.

piokoch(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I am very curios about this laptop thickness topic. I understand that going from 3 cm laptop to 2 cm is a noticeable difference and might have some practical effects. I can believe that 3cm laptop does not fit the bag well, but 2cm does.

But here we go from 1.8cm to 1.55 cm, does this make any practical, visible difference?

diebeforei485(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Agree- I have been largely disappointed by USB-C. It's been okay as a smaller USB-A replacement for flash drives and mice, but in general the lesson of USB-C is: just because it fits, doesn't mean it works.

My personal favorite annoyance is how chargers and cables are advertised with the wattage they support, but it's really the voltage and current that matters.

If you have a device that wants 20W as 9V/2.22A , your 30W charger may not support that specific combination and will charge much slower than a 20W charger that does.

Edit: Yes, I went to middle school and know that power is voltage times current. My point is: having an equal or higher wattage USB-C charger is not sufficient.

abledon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was skeptical going from 2011 macbookpro keyboard to 2021 MacbookAir M1... but the new keyboard is a _JOY_!

ArlenBales(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Great specs, but since I already have an 2020 M1 MacBook Pro, I'll hold off for a few more years. I'm hoping by then Apple finally has an OLED (or equivalent) screen for their MacBooks.

jrochkind1(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I am glad to see the return of magsafe (and having two USB ports in addition to the power cord)... but if that's the only reason I really prefer the new 14' macbook pro to the much cheaper 13' (that extra 'inch' is $800!)

The lower cost machines used to get power and HDMI as separate ports to two USBs.... I wonder if future lower-priced machines will again, if this is a trend...

The extra ports are literally the only thing I want here that's not in the much cheaper 13' pro...

deergomoo(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> Both 14' and 16' have 254 PPI, up from ~220

Which also means they finally support more screen real estate at native 2x! Since 2016 the 13' MacBooks retained their 2560x1600 panels but shipped by default in a 'looks like 1440x900' mode, which renders a 2880x1800 frame and does a non-integer scale down to the panel's native resolution, trading sharpness for extra space.

I hate the slight fuzzy look so I run mine at native 2x (e.g. 'looks like 1280x800'), but it makes things pretty cramped.

These new screens can run native 2x at the 'looks like 1440x900' res (other rather, 'looks like 1512x982'). Very welcome improvement.

bmitc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The thickness argument (i.e., excuse) came from Apple, not users. They did the same with the 3.5mm audio jack on phones, claiming they needed the space to make things thinner. Meanwhile, phones like the LG V35 were thinner with the same IP rating but still had an audio jack.

EricE(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'Now I just want to know if the new keyboard has more key travel distance back to the like of MacBook Pro 2015.' Assuming the keyboards in these new Macbook Pro's are similar to the keyboards in the M1 MacBook Air then they will feel very similar to the 2015 keyboards. Indeed I think I found the M1 MacBook Air keyboard easier and faster to type on vs. my 2015 MacBook Air. The 2015 MBA keyboard definitely is stiffer/heavier. And the keys wobble more - maybe wobble isn't the right word but it's not as precise. Could be it's age at this point and the M1 MBA was brand new; would take more than the 2 weeks I used the M1 MBA to suss out the real differences. I returned the M1 MBA because I needed more RAM; I have a 16' M1 Max on the way. Come November 3rd I'll be able to compare them directly :)

timmit(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah, as a mac user, I could not believe it,

I sold my pro (2015) Bought a pro (2019) with 4 usb-c, even I missed the megasafe.

Now they changed back to 2015, feel cheated by Apple :(

phendrenad2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

IIRC most people on HN lamented the passing of magsafe. A lot of people did defend thunderbolt though. Guess they weren't heavy users of that god-awful plug form factor (it always stopped providing a good connection after about 100 pluggings).

zuminator(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I have never owned a Mac anything but the addition of an SD card slot is making this seem very attractive to me. Conversely the latest Surface Pro eliminated its little hidden microSD card reader, seems inexcusable for a device marketed as 'Pro' and has really put a damper on my desire to upgrade.

torstenvl(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Keyboard travel was fixed in 2020. I have the last Intel MBP, spec'd to last, with a physical escape key and Touch ID, and I love it.

timdaub(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As someone that has felt many years stuck with his MBP mid 2014 all I can say is: Shut up and take my money.

icoder(10000) 7 days ago [-]

MBP late 2012 right there with you

reaperducer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

2012 MacBook Air here. Yep, I ordered a new 16' machine minutes ago.

It's funny how people on the internet were crying, '16GB is completely unusable!' Ummm... I have 4GB, and it works fine for everything. I'm even running Catalina.

Maybe it's not good for games? I don't play computer games. Maybe that's where all the teeth-gnashing and kiddie posturing comes from.

have_faith(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can't believe they did so many positive changes with the MBP only to add the notch from the phone in too. Almost the perfect update. Does this mean every app in full screen has to be updated to account for it?

> posted in wrong thread so copying here

wodenokoto(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I can't believe they didn't color the menu-bar black to hide the notch.

I suppose the notch is only in the way if you are watching 4:3 video in full screen. For every other use case, the notch is hidden in either the menu bar or black, horizontal bars.

I'm also wondering if the led backlighting is arranged so that backlight is completely turned off in the black horizontal bars shown when viewing 16:9 video in full screen.

phyalow(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Not a huge deal for me, I dont notice it on my phone, I dont expect I will on my new Mac either.

randyrand(10000) 7 days ago [-]

By default full screen apps do not use that space. It remains be black.

bmitc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I can't believe they've done that either. I'd honestly consider getting one, but I can't stand notches on any device.

And I'm sure we'll see everyone else start to copy this "feature".

playpause(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Maybe I've drunk the Apple Kool-Aid, but there's another way to look at this: it's a perfectly rectangular 16:10 display, plus they've added an extra (albeit imperfect) strip along the top, 74 pixels high, allowing them to push the macOS menu bar into the bezel, leaving you with a clean and unencumbered 16:10 desktop area for your content.

nickysielicki(10000) 7 days ago [-]

That portion of my screen on my Mac has been a solid grey square with no meaningful information for 99.9% of the time that the laptop has been powered on. The aspect ratio is 16:10 so it's not going to get in the way of any 16:9 content. I feel like this is a pretty bad take. Would you prefer a solid black bezel?

concinds(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The Apple Event showed that full-screen apps and videos have a black bar extending the whole notch height; which still leaves you with an Apple standard 16:10 screen area. Since it's mini-LED, it'll be just as black as the previous bezels, and since the non-notch area is still 16:10, you're not missing anything at all; and the menu bar in a sense 'doesn't take any usable space' anymore.

zeitg3ist(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wonder how it will work with a mouse. What happens when you're hovering the menu bar and go inside the dead area? Does the cursor disappear and return on the other side? Making the dead area unvisitable (so the cursor keeps following the border) seems the most logical solution probably, but it makes it very awkward to go from one menu item to the next if the notch is between them.

foldr(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I suspect there'll be a setting to have the notch area ignored for full screen apps by default, or something like that.

_kush(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> Does this mean every app in full screen has to be updated to account for it?

A simple black bar in full screen apps would be sufficient I guess.

gjsman-1000(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No, remember that the notch extends the display upward, and does not expand downward into the display. Apple's reasoning is now you get a 16:10 display without having the top menu bar enroaching within it.

Which I'm perfectly fine with. Useless black area made useful.

Slow_Hand(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't see much issue with having a notch on a laptop since it now lives in the middle of the menu bar now. That's typically negative space in most apps anyways.

atlgator(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It seems like Apple purposely comes so close to offering the perfect laptop only to falter hard on one or two features. In this case, it's the battery life. Continuous web use time is down from 17 hours on the 2020 13' M1 to 11 hours on the new 14'. That's 'up to' time, mind you, and with real use as a developer I expect getting 75% of that at most. So 11 hours just isn't enough time. I buy a laptop for mobility. I shouldn't have to plug it in at all during my work day. Yes, it's better than competitors but still lacking.

I would have been happier if they took the 13' M1 and added the ports.

soylentnewsorg(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Ok, I believe you're being sarcastic, because this little paragraph is ridiculous, so I'll address it as if you are - because then you have a very good point.

This is Apple's Pro line. There is no more performant laptop that they make. It's a portable workstation - a home tower that you can take with you. If people want battery life of 10+ hours or a light weight, they get the model optimized for that. Apple seems to not offer a real pro laptop (portable workstation) - period. People who use these pro laptops are either compiling code or doing heavy graphics.

Work gives us Dell Precision laptops with 9 hours battery life during casual use, a pretty dang powerful discreet GPU, and oh - Xeon CPUs. No offense apple, but this 'pro' laptop is a toy in comparison.

So I don't get it - apple's plan. I couldn't seriously use their products for work unless I want to lose productivity. Why don't they make something that's actually 'pro' instead of calling what everyone else calls mid-tier a 'pro' and then completely excluding the actual pro target market all together. Do they just not want more money?

As a developer, waiting less time for your device to finish an operation, while sitting there reading HN, makes you not need as much battery life. And the Dell seems designed for a full workday plus an hour. Now, I'm not a dev - did that for a year of my 20+ year career, too much sitting looking at code. I do however script a lot - with gigs of text output from data collection of logs and performance data, usually doing basic calculations or transformations. I look a lot at large datasets and graph them. I need a big GPU, I need fast CPUs. I mount up a 20G RAM drive because the disk is too slow.

Now yeah - when compared to another Apple laptop w/ a Xeon, the M1 is faster for single threaded specialized workloads. Because Apple uses CPUs a generation behind everyone else, has worse cooling, and still loses on multicore. In real life, when I run a shell script on my laptop, and a coworker runs it on the same dataset on an M1, his is an all day run - he does it overnight. I do it over a long lunch - it's not even a real comparison.

Now yes - My laptop gets hot, fans are blasting, and if my charge is at 80%, it literally won't charge while the script is running. But... that's what I want from a 'pro.' Now, his isn't a pro, and it stays barely warm. But we're talking the difference between 7 hours and 2 hours here. I don't think the 'pro' is going to be all that much better.

So I get the apples to old apples comparison. However apples to flagships from others - I highly doubt apple a serious contender for the portable workstation. Which is what 'pro' should be.

wetpaws(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>In this case, it's the battery life

Pretty sure you are expected to go with Air if you want the battery life.

kzrdude(10000) 6 days ago [-]

yes this is not an upgrade to the M1 at all - it is a parallel product! Seems like M1 can still be a very good deal.

msoad(10000) 7 days ago [-]

When I interviewed at Apple years ago there was a poster on the wall that had a picture of a MacBook with a MagSafe charger connected. A kid was crossing by the desk the laptop was sitting on it and it was about to cross the charging cable. Without MagSafe laptop could've fallen on this kid's head.

The writing on the poster said: Come work with people who invented MagSafe to save children's lives. (or something similar)

I really liked that poster. Never worked at Apple but I still remember that moment.

MagSafe is great! What a shame they took it away for a few years!

amelius(10000) 7 days ago [-]

In another commercial, a child walks near the edge of a cliff, loses balance and grabs the one thing in his reach: a laptop charger cable. Unfortunately, it's MagSafe, and the child falls into the abyss ...

javajosh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's great Apple is changing course back to where they were in 2013. What sucks is that all those laptops built between 2013 and 2022 will be dogs on the used market.

For my money, I'm getting the Framework latop and I'm going to bite the bullet and run (in order of preference) FreeBSD, NixOS, or some Linux (Ubuntu, probably). I'm tired of Apple's shit.

Joeri(10000) 7 days ago [-]

What sucks is that all those laptops built between 2013 and 2022 will be dogs on the used market.

Prices will fall, and they have been falling, but they're not going to crater. The high end models will sell to people that have workloads that are intel only. The cheaper models will sell to people who want to pay less than the price of a new mac, or who don't understand what they're buying and think they're getting a good deal on a 3 year old pro mac priced above the m1 air.

asdff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Some people will still be needing an intel machine or a bootcamp machine for software compatibility reasons

criddell(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> all those laptops built between 2013 and 2022 will be dogs on the used market

In what sense? I'd bet they still sell for more than similar Windows laptops from those years.

dmicah(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The touchbar Macbook Pros were released 2016 rather than 2013.

trias(10000) 7 days ago [-]

what happened in 2013?

wwweston(10000) 7 days ago [-]

2013-2022 will probably still be in demand for anybody that's camping out on Mojave to keep 32 bit support or has Intel-related needs, though that demand profile will of course change over time.

Framework + Linux sure seems compelling, though. I'm definitely tempted to try it.

movedx(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> FreeBSD, NixOS, or some Linux (Ubuntu, probably). I'm tired of Apple's shit.

You're tired of Apple's 'shit', so you want to build a laptop on top of hardware that cannot be taken to a store and replaced the same day (Apple) and install an OS like FreeBSD which is going to be rock solid but supported by virtually no one?

I'm all up for FreeBSD and Linux - love them and have ran them both on laptops and desktops for years - but given I want to get work done and collaborate with other people they're not good options.

Personally I think you'll build a great machine that will blow the socks off of a MBP, but you'll be battling with interoperability with other people and businesses; and you'll be battling the OS itself to keep it working as a slight driver change breaks everything.

And that doesn't even mention the hardware issue: what happens when something pops?

Just some thoughts to consider.

SpelingBeeChamp(10000) 6 days ago [-]

No one seems to be commenting on the 140 watt power adapter.

With the caveat that I already dropped $7k (after tax) on a top-spec model, I am very interested in seeing how hot these get. Particularly in light of how cool the M1 runs.

Prior to my current M1 MBP, my daily driver was a maxed-out 16' MBP. It's a very solid computer, but it functions just as well as a space heater.

And its power brick is only 100 watts...

clarkmo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The 140w power adapter is for fast charging I believe.

alexashka(10000) 7 days ago [-]

2k USD for a laptop in 2021?

Apple's goddamn genius. Oh, it has a newer processor that'll make awful software such as XCode and every internet browser a little faster? Well I'm in!

Oddskar(10000) 7 days ago [-]

To be fair, a decked out i9 laptop can easily end up in the same price range. So I don't think it's that outlandish really.

Whitespace(10000) 6 days ago [-]

My iPhone 13 has an amazing front facing 1080p camera, FaceID scanner thing, speaker, and other stuff crammed into a small notch, but the notch on this is even larger and only has a camera? What gives? Why is the notch so wide?

(I'm still getting one to replace my 2012 MacBook Pro)

downWidOutaFite(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Your iphone is a lot thicker than a macbook's lid.

BiteCode_dev(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And just like that, the outrage about the photo scanning malware Apple installed on their iPhone is forgotten.

'The screeching voices of the minority' indeed.

john_minsk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I heard they reconsidered.

thehappypm(10000) 7 days ago [-]

First of all, they never 'installed' anything, it was a future feature. Second, they delayed it (possibly indefinitely) after the huge pushback.

rowanG077(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is everything I wanted. But the notch... I can't really accept that.

msie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They increased display area with that notch and it only covers the menu bar.

pzo(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think on iphone notch is more of a deal because you use if different orientation and between notch you couldnt squeeze much content like baterry percentage.

On macos I think it's not a big deal for me considering I almost never maximize screen but extra 0.2'' of screen estate because of smaller frame is nice to have

belltaco(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If they'd only add touchscreens. Sigh.

Edit: Ouch, so many downvotes just for asking for a feature. Weird.

NovaS1X(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm very, very happy they haven't done this yet.

yarcob(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Touchscreens are the big missing feature on macOS.

It's not useful as a primary input method, but after using a Windows Surface computer for some time I'm surprised how often the touch display is useful.

Lots of websites are optimized for touch / mobile first. Wether you are filling a form or watching Netflix or Disney plus, touching the screen is just much more convenient. Keyboard navigation is increasingly an afterthought on many websites.

Macs now support running iOS apps. Using them without a touch screen is going to be a very poor experience.

And finally, some things like annotating PDFs are things that are really cumbersome without a touch display -- when I need to do that on a Mac, I just print out the page because using the track pad or mouse for annotations is just not an option for me.

cjohnson318(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Ooohf, I can't stand having fingerprints on my screen. Also, touchscreens are risky when you have toddlers around.

sanderjd(10000) 7 days ago [-]

What for? I'm sure some people use them to draw and stuff but it seems pretty niche to me.

theshrike79(10000) 7 days ago [-]

That's bad UX unless the whole of MacOS is redesigned to be used with fingers. Not happening soon.

Not saying never though.

ralmidani(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm seriously considering buying a middle-spec M1 MBP, and I also have a preorder for a DIY Edition Framework laptop[0]. I realize devices which give users more freedom to tinker, repair, customize, improve, etc. may never compete for market share with locked-down devices which are harder to repair, upgrade, and recycle, but my hope is that the former will at least remain a viable option. It's tempting to splurge on a top-of-the-line MBP, but I prefer to split my money so at least some of it goes toward sustainable and freedom-respecting computing.

[0]https://frame.work/laptop-diy-edition

kaladin_1(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Well, you get to vote with your wallet.

I'm also considering between the M1 Pro and Framework Laptop but not sure the Framework will be at par with what Apple delivers functions-wise.

Regarding Framework using intel chip, I haven't really seen a strong argument comparing its specs with that of M1 other than the repairability. I'm not quite sure that's everyone's priority. Sure, if you've ever spent 2k repairing your Mac cos you don't have Apple Care, repairability becomes an important issue.

d3nj4l(10000) 7 days ago [-]

These look positively insane. 120Hz HDR displays. Can be specced with up to 64 GB of RAM and a GPU that (apparently) matches a 3070. All the ports you could ever want and magsafe. I can't wait to get my hands on one.

The notch doesn't bother me because it's literally more room on the screen. Laptops with the camera below the screen tend to have an uncomfortable angle that look sup your nose, and the design suggests that they may be adding Face ID in a future iteration.

shbooms(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Laptops with the camera below the screen tend to have an uncomfortable angle that look sup your nose, and the design suggests that they may be adding Face ID in a future iteration.

I agree it's probably designed with a future FaceID implementation in mind but if this isn't the case, Dell have managed to move their camera back up above the screen on the latest XPS's. In my opinion, this is the best looking option currently:

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81FV+91am5L._AC_SL1500_....

shrimpx(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I have a bunch of questions about the notch:

- When you go 'fullscreen', does the fullscreen window stop at the bottom of the notch, or like can you see the notch in maximized Netflix videos? In the keynote I thought I saw a maximized video whose height stopped just under the notch.

- So is the extra notch space used only for the menubar? What happens when you auto-hide the menubar (which I do)? Is that functionality disabled on this hardware?

vbezhenar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> All the ports you could ever want

Add 4xUSB-A and Ethernet please.

schleck8(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>that (apparently) matches a 3070

I don't want to know the thermals on the laptop then.

There is a reason for the 3070 being available with a minimum of 2 large fans and liquid cooling existing at all. How do you want to cool the same performance in a thin laptop? With passive airflow?

For reference, this is what a laptop with the mobile (!) version of a 3070 looks like:

https://gzhls.at/i/89/84/2618984-n1.jpg

It's also 1199 euros, just saying.

xyst(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Personally, the investments in the camera and display are wasted for me. I run my mbps in "clam shell mode" and use external displays and cameras.

The 64G of ram is huge though. It only took them half a decade to figure it out.

kfprt(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I believe the 3070 uses a different die from the mobile 3070. The mobile and discrete parts have completely diverged so comparisons are meaningless. Laptop GPU performance is entirely a question of power and cooling.

ehsankia(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Note that it starts at $2500, and that's probably with the lowest cpu and 16gb of ram. Probably gonna be $5K+ when specced to what you mention above.

cactus2093(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> All the ports you could ever want

I agree with everything else you said and I think overall these machines will be awesome.

I would disagree with you on the ports though, I think this is kind of a miss for Apple. They caved into some of the loudest complaints from several years ago which were already coming from a loud minority and that minority is now smaller than ever.

And if they were set on changing the ports these certainly aren't all that you could ever want. A few USB-A ports as well as keeping at least the 4 USB-C ports from last year (instead of reducing to 3) would have been more useful for more people than the HDMI and especially the SD ports are.

(HDMI used to be useful for plugging into a projector for presentations, that use-case is now nearly non-existent now that all meetings tend to happen over zoom, webex, teams, hangouts, etc. even when in-person. HDMI used to be useful for monitors but increasingly displayport over usb-c is supported by everything except the lowest end monitors. SD used to be important for stills and video footage, but increasingly cameras use CFExpress, CFast, output over hdmi to an atmos-style recorder, or even micro-SD for small GoPro style cameras, all of which will still need dongles. Devices like Raspberry Pis require micro SD not standard SD).

They also could have added the nifty ethernet-over-magsafe via the powerbrick that the iMac has and they didn't do that.

Edit: One additional thought - I'm seeing from the comments some reasonable situations where HDMI still comes in handy - cheap monitors, plugging into a tv to watch something, and I guess there are still lots of people physically plugging in at work for presentations. Fair enough, but in that case it's weird that this is a 'Pro' feature. These are all very non-pro usecases and you'll still need dongles around for anybody with a non-pro machine (like a macbook air).

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Well yeah putting the camera below the screen seems borderline insane, but the notch definitely takes away beauty from Apple laptops known for their incredible sense of design.

ant6n(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes, it looks _really_ nice. Specced with the crazy graphics, and 64G ram and 2TB storage, it costs 4000$. Ouch! Is the Max CPU still fanless?

(I really wish there was a matte screen option at the price point, my old macbook pro was a very expensive mirror and it puts a lot of strain on the eyes to try to concentrate on whats on screen, rather than behind it)

jonny_eh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can the notch be 'hidden' with a black toolbar?

lowbloodsugar(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The Pro is faster than a laptop 3050Ti [1]. The Max is slightly slower than a laptop 3080 (looks like 8%). [2] Relative performance is somewhat meaningless, and of course also depends on what features where being used. However, my M1 Air compared extremely favorably against similarly priced PC offerings, and I expect my 16' M1 Max will compare favorably with a 3070.

[1] https://live.arstechnica.com/apple-october-18-unleashed-even...

[2] https://live.arstechnica.com/apple-october-18-unleashed-even...

t-writescode(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Where did you see the 'matches the 3070' thing? When I was (admittedly) skimming the two articles, the performance metrics were all about 'performance per watt' which ... doesn't mean anything for actual performance in a 'how long will this scene take to render?' sort of meaning.

rStar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

notch bothers me a lot. i was ready to buy, and i hope all you guys enjoy, but i'll be sitting the notch out. it was one thing on a phone. this is just dumb.

mcculley(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Still no LTE modem. The Apple Watch can be configured with an LTE modem, but the highest-end MacBook Pro cannot. Is this because of Qualcomm royalties? Is there any technical reason why the market has failed?

RandallBrown(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I imagine it's because tethering with your phone is good enough for the vast majority of people.

salamandersauce(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If the M1 Max maxes out at 64GB does that pretty much imply no new Mac Pro until M2?

nojito(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yup. They will have 20/40 core arrangements as per Gurman

https://9to5mac.com/2021/08/01/apple-silicon-roadmap-gurman-...

simonh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It looks like it, previously Apple have indicated Apple Silicon Mac Pros will come in 2022. That will be interesting to see. I'm wondering how the economics of a super high-end processor exclusively for the Mac Pro could work out. It seems unlikely a single chip aimed just at the mac Pro market could be economically viable. I wouldn't rule out a multi-CPU architecture with dual high end M2 processors.

wmf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The rumored 20-core M1 Extreme and 40-core M1 Plaid haven't been announced yet.

kllrnohj(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The max memory isn't an indication of that, the M1's max of 64gb is limited by LPDDR5 module capacities.

What would block a new Mac Pro would instead be DDR4 or DDR5 support instead of LPDDR5, and also PCI-E lanes. Both of which would likely require yet another change in silicon design.

Waterluvian(10000) 6 days ago [-]

So close. But that camera notch would drive me nuts.

Curious: does it cut into a normal resolution/ratio or is it giving you extra pixels at the sides of the camera?

truculent(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Extra pixels on top of 16:10 iirc

hmate9(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The greatest improvement: no Touch Bar.

neillyons(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The perfect laptop now

jonny_eh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Second greatest: Restoring popular ports that were previously removed. Such innovation :D

can16358p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

TBH I'd love to have Touch Bar but improved with haptic feedback, making it much more useful.

It helped me a lot while debugging and loved the customization it offered for the 'static' keys on the right, but having no haptic feedback always caused me to miss the button unless I stared at it, killing the purpose greatly.

nickpp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think they left in on the 13' MBP? But why?!

mclightning(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I love my touchbar.

poo-yie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Really impressed by the new MacBook Pro. Part of me would really like to order a 14' model with M1 Pro and 32GB RAM. However, I really don't like Apple's direction with macOS. I'm still running a 13' MacBook Pro from 2013.

What's a little strange is that I first came to Mac with the introduction of OSX 10.0 although I wasn't overly keen of the hardware at the time. Now, I feel that the situation is reversed. I really like the hardware and am beginning to despise the software -- possibly to the point of abandoning the platform completely.

Several years ago, I moved my music collection out of Apple's software and I use an Android phone. I use an old iPad for web browsing and Youtube. I purposefully transitioned to a point where I can leave the Mac platform without a huge effort. It makes me wonder.

y7(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm exactly the same. I was looking forward to leaving Apple's ecosystem and getting a Framework laptop or something similar (I'd prefer AMD and I'd like to run Qubes, which is rather picky with its hardware). But with this release Apple is making it hard to do.

theodric(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Cool, the screen has a chunk taken out of it, great stuff. I'm sure everyone will consider this a feature, and next year you'll hardly be able to get a PC laptop without a third of the top of the screen devoted to a notch and hard radii ground off the top corners, as well.

Glad I bought my M1 when I did. At least it's a normal laptop.

lopis(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It has two extra chunks of screen where before it was just black bezel? I'm not a user of these machines, nor do I use iPhones, but I still don't understand why people hate notches so much.

matthew-wegner(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It has a chunk added to it. It's a 16:10 area with an extra 74 pixels on top for the menu bar. It renders full black in fullscreen apps.

Tpt(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm very curious to see how the 64GB of RAM GPU performs with deep learning models fine-tuning. It might be impressive.

zsmi(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Wouldn't you use the Apple Neural Engine for that?

https://www.infoq.com/news/2020/11/apple-tensorflow-accelera...

'Recently Apple released the new M1 'system on a chip,' which not only contains a built-in GPU, but also includes a 16-core 'Neural Engine' which supports 11 trillion operations per second. Apple claims the Neural Engine will support up to 15x improvement in ML computation.'

asdff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Do people really train locally? I'd have thought the field moved to aws or some other hpc by now. Seems like a waste buying such a nice laptop to just melt and abuse it when you can abuse amazon's hardware instead. The battery won't be happy being discharged every day since it seems like in my experience macbooks don't bypass the battery when on ac power unless you start the computer up with the batty unplugged (not so easy on newer computers)

jjcon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Do any deep learning frameworks even have metal support? I could see inference working well on these laptops but they lack so much of the specialized hardware I'd be surprised if training was even possible for most useable models.

aldanor(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Was so hoping for a Mini. Sigh.

eof(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Same

meepmorp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If I could get my current M1 mini with the 64GB chip, it would be absolutely perfect.

eli(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Gotta be just a matter of time.

chrisBob(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I have been waiting on this announcement to buy a new Mac, but now that they are out, I don't think I will buy one.

The prices are 2x a Macbook Air, but the utility for me doesn't match. If the 14' was closer to the previous 13' MBP price of $1500 I would be ordering one now, but I will be getting a Macbook Air instead.

Note to Veterans: Apple gives a 10% Veterans discount on everything, including the refurbished store.

xenonite(10000) 7 days ago [-]

In addition, the MBA's minimum power draw is much lower than with the new MBPs. The M1 chip has four high efficiency cores where the M1X have only two.

However, mind that the screen brightness is much lower at 400 nits vs. 1000 nits on the new MBPs. Hence, using the laptop in the sun might be less convenient in comparison.

sim_card_map(10000) 7 days ago [-]

you get +8 GB of RAM, +256 GB SSD, a much faster CPU, and a 120 hz display for the extra $1000

dukeofdoom(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Hark to justify 2k for 512 GB of storage. I think I will go the macbook air route too. Just upgrade the storage. For the price difference I can get a mavic air 2s drone.

hbOY5ENiZloUfnZ(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It was kind of confusing the way Apple did it but with the Intel 13' Macbook Pro. There was the '2 Thunderbolt 3 ports' which started at $1299 and the '4 Thunderbolt 3 ports' model which started at $1799. Other than the ports the 4 port model had an entirely different generation CPU and the Touchbar. When you compare it to the '4 Thunderbolt' model it is replacing it is a slightly more palatable $200 increase. They are keeping the 13' M1 Macbook available as an entry level Macbook pro.

newfonewhodis(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Exactly this. I use cloud VMs for heavy lifting. But if I used a laptop for even an hour every day, I would snap this $2k machine.

I just wish they had a $1000 M1 laptop with ports.

Liron(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Well, the Macbook Air at $1.0k is still better than any Macbook Pro ever made before now

reaperducer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Different priorities for different people.

13' and 14' are unusable for me. They're just too small.

I used to love that form factor when I was running through airports in a different country each month, which is why I'm typing this on an 11' Air. But in today's world, a bigger screen is more important.

This one has 16.2 inches, which is almost as big as the old 17-inch Mac laptops, so I've ordered one.

If I ever get back to traveling a lot, it'll be the 16' at the hotel, and then just take an iPad to the client. No need to drag a whole computer with me anymore.

sf_rob(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I agree but coming from the perspective that the M1 Air is absolutely crazy value if you aren't constantly doing intensive tasks and if you don't mind paying less to have dongles.

laurent92(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'd love to have it, but OSHA requires that we don't work too much on the laptop. So, I would need a keyboard, a large screen and a mouse...

I must not be the right audience. But would a videographist really mount videos on his laptop?

Joeri(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It was obvious for me when apple released the m1 13 inch pro next to the air that the 14 inch would land at the higher price point. That's why I immediately bought the air. If I were buying a new macbook today, I would be tempted by the 14 inch pro but I would probably still buy the m1 air.

The air is still a very nice laptop. It is really fast, faster than the 9600K in my imac. And it has a beautiful screen with rich colors that I never use at max brightness indoors.

itsokimbatman(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Honestly, same. I was afraid I'd regret purchasing my M1 Air last year, but my needs for a personal laptop have gotten simpler as time goes on. I want a small, thin, and light laptop that's easy to travel with. I've got a big gaming PC if I need power.

My work will probably upgrade to these when it's time to refresh our work machines, but for my own personal use the M1 Air just hits all the sweet spots.

asdff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Isn't the actual macbook pro always like $1800 or more? It's been confusing since they were selling two different computers both called the macbook pro for so long, but the workhouse with dual fans was always this much and that wouldn't even get you the RAM bumped up to 16' specs iirc.

spenvo(10000) 7 days ago [-]

the notch is a major design compromise and apple is not trying hard enough. i can not imagine paying six thousand dollars for a new laptop and literally staring into an unforced error every day. (See, Dell XPS bezel-less displays like this: https://twitter.com/SpencerDailey/status/1450170126360358914)

I hide my menu bar for maximum space, and you can't do that here without eating into your main apps' vertical space. the notch also reminds people of iphone features, which makes a touch screen an even more obvious omission, as well as Face ID. (FaceID is trending on twitter b/c people assume this laptop ships with it: https://twitter.com/MKBHD/status/1450162489795170307 )

spenvo(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Dell XPS laptops not only pull of a bezel-less design, but also fit a webcam with infrared component for Windows Hello face unlock in there too. Apple has a notch with no Face ID.

purple_ferret(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So we're back to 4 macbook laptops again with 3 of them being called 'Pro'

Hmm

eberkund(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How do you count 4? The 13 and 16 will be phased out as old models and the 14/16 will remain. Then there's the MBA.

So 3 models, with 2 of them being 'Pro'.

farmerstan(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Uhhhh can the MacBooks charge via USB-C? Because I've been investing heavily in usb-c chargers (they are $80 and I bought 5 of them for traveling, different room etc). If they can't be used for charging anymore I'm going to lose my shit for real

zlsa(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yes.

launchiterate(10000) 7 days ago [-]

These are some top notch MacBooks!

unraveller(10000) 6 days ago [-]

They are a touch screeny if you ask me.

miohtama(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Real keys and not touchbar, advertised as a feature in the presentation. What a leap of innovation. Though Apple makes the best hardware, they are arrogant as ever.

screye(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So many of the 'features' are merely the return of a few features kept hostage for too long.

Ports, a half decent webcam, scissor switches & mag-safe are exactly the 'features' that took zero effort from Apple's side to implement.

I like that this seems like the first real 'pro' device Apple has produced since the 2015 Mac, but the reason it took as long has entirely to do with Hubris rather than technical constraints.

The M1 series of processors are IMO the only new standout innovation in these current-gen devices. That being said, it is seriously impressive innovation and the other laptop manufacturers appear to be even more complacent. (Looking at Dell and Lenovo making the same device for 10 years with only the smallest of changes each time)

I like what Microsoft is trying to do with their devices, but they don't seem to be too keen on competing against their 3rd party customers directly. So you get laptops with weird form factors or ones that try to go for value-for-money instead of top class performance.

yarcob(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The new 'feature' is that the function keys are full height. Apple laptops had half height function keys for as long as I can remember.

1ibsq(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Sure, but did anyone had a serious use for them? Surely there are people, but I have the _feeling_ that the Touch Bar was a failure from the beginning. Also they brought back a magnetic snap cable for charging (the same my Air mid 2012 has that I'm typing on rn) and they added a HDMI and a SD card slot. It's all coming back ^^

eli(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's more amusing than anything. I'll take the correct product decisions over pitch-perfect PR any day.

msie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Wow! Apple just can't win with you, can they? I'm glad they aren't arrogant enough to revisit some of their design decisions.

Toutouxc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How exactly would you expect them to convey that information without sounding arrogant? We all know about the TouchBar. They know it was a mistake, we know it, so why mention it in what's essentially a sales pitch?

ashtonkem(10000) 7 days ago [-]

M1 aside, it's pretty clear that Jony Ive was holding back Apple's designs here. While he worked at Apple it was thinness at all costs, right after he leaves the MBP suddenly gets a tiny bit thicker in order to return a huge chunk of the features that were previously removed. Probably the only thing on this new laptop that can't be pinned on his departure is the M1 series of chips.

mproud(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The 14-inch actually gets barely noticeably thinner.

rafaelturk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was falling in love for this new macBook until I saw the notch. They had to add a notch to the screen. Why?!

macintux(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Or they shrunk the existing "notch" from the full width of the display to the least-used real estate on the machine.

handrous(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Looking at the empty space in the center of whatever they call the top menu bar in MacOS, on my machine, I can kinda see why they'd think it was OK to claim some territory there.

Will probably be annoying to people who use programs in fullscreen mode, I guess, unless that mode just blacks out the whole section and treats it as bezel, which I assume is what all video players will do in fullscreen mode, regardless.

dukeofdoom(10000) 7 days ago [-]

$1999 starting price. Even higher than predicted.

lowbloodsugar(10000) 7 days ago [-]

On the other hand, the 16' max ram 64GB, is less than $4000, which is less than I paid for my 2018 32GB RAM i9 pro.

kondro(10000) 7 days ago [-]

These prices all feel like standard MacBook Pro pricing to me. I just ordered one (M1 Max, 64GB, 2TB) and it cost as much as that tier always seems to cost me.

valine(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Epic update. Crazy fast chips, 120hz, mini LED, more ports, 64 gigs of ram. It's literally everything you could want in a new MacBook Pro.

rstupek(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And they got rid of the touch bar which everyone dumped heavily on

fomine3(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wish they offer non mini-LED display option since developer don't need such quality. Apple need to break down 'Pro'.

forsakenharmony(10000) 7 days ago [-]

mini LED, not micro LED

kllrnohj(10000) 7 days ago [-]

But that notch is kind of a really ugly blight on the face of an otherwise good looking update. Especially since it's lacking faceid or something equivalent to windows hello

actusual(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Took away the ports just to bring 'em back and play the hero. Apple playing 5d chess.

simonebrunozzi(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes, but let's see the price tag for an M1 Max with 64 GB is, and then we can rejoice. Or not.

nico_h(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm so impressed by the screen but it's too un-ergonomic for me that I'm sad instead. Would have been so nice if they had released 27" desktop screens to connect with these finally wonderful laptops.

It's not like a huge majority of office workers have been staying at home or working from the office for the last year and half or something. The coffee shop surfing, working in the plane / train must have taken a dive.

_the_inflator(10000) 7 days ago [-]

What a beast! I already feel sorry for my MacBook Pro 13 with M1. Left in the dust essentially.

Alex3917(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> It's literally everything you could want in a new MacBook Pro.

If it doesn't run VirtualBox then I can't use it to write code, so why does it even matter if it's faster?

NexRebular(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yet there still is no support for writing HFS (not plus) formatted floppies. Yeah, not really everything I could want...

can16358p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yup. This was more than many of us demanded TBH.

gjsman-1000(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Did anyone miss the headphone jack now supports low-impedance headphones?

No reason they had to do that - just pure icing on the cake.

worrycue(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> micro LED

Mini-LED backlighting. It's still an IPS panel. MicroLED is something else entirely. Had me excited for a second.

riffic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

as beautiful as the hardware is, I just cannot stomach buying another machine I can not comfortably replace the battery in. Either Apple returns to its earliest roots of making machines that are easy to repair, or find me and many others buying machines from the likes of Frame.work instead.

reustle(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is it difficult to replace the battery in these new models? I changed the battery in my 2016-ish macbook air in about 5 minutes, and it looks like my 2018 macbook pro is the same design.

petercooper(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't plan to go back to MagSafe. I have multiport USB-C chargers all round my house and don't really want to buy lots of cables or proprietary chargers to add to the mix. I'm sticking with USB-C even if it's slower. SD cards I don't use. And HDMI I rarely use so dongles are fine, but it's nice to have I guess!

spuz(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If I chose to buy the 14' model which comes with a 96W USB-C power adapter, does anyone who has experience of Apple products know if I could still use my existing 65W usb charger to power or charge the MacBook?

My Dell XPS 15 does allow me to charge it with a 65W USB-C charger which is nice when I don't want to lug around the beefy 130W power adapter but I do have to be careful not to stress the CPU too much or it will start draining the battery. I wonder whether MacBooks have a similar 'graceful fallback'.

skohan(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Agree on the chargers. SD card is great if you do anything wit Raspberry Pi's and photos.

thallium205(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They said you can still charge it via USB-C as well as the magsafe. Your choice.

manmal(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The other end of the new MagSafe cable is a USB-C plug, so that should be fine.

phkahler(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't have any USB-C but I've got some MagSafe. Unfortunately this is MagSafe3 so I assume that means buying new chargers. I like the SD and HDMI, but IMHO they are still missing 'standard' USB ports which are used by most flash storage devices. It's not even about the cost of buying new devices for me, it's about someone handing me an SD or a thumb drive with some data on it and being able to just use it. Apple is very very poor when it comes to that.

yellowapple(10000) 7 days ago [-]

In a similar boat re: chargers. It's fantastic being able to grab any ol' USB-C charger (of sufficient power) and charge just about any modern laptop short of maybe the beefier gaming laptops / portable workstations (I haven't tried charging my Dell G5 via USB-C, for example, so maybe it'd work, but I ain't betting on it).

beltsazar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah I don't even use any USB-C charger to power my MBP. My USB-C monitor delivers 90W to the MBP.

DeathArrow(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I am not interested in Apple's ecosystem. While I stay with X86 I wonder if and when AMD and Intel will catch up. Or if another ARM chip maker will release a chip as good but without tying it to a proprietary system.

yurishimo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

At this point, I think AMD and Intel are _at least_ 5 years away from being competitive if they shifted all R&D to ARM and started funneling insane amounts of money into it. Without that shift in focus though, it could be a decade? More?

Apple has funneled all of their success from mobile straight to the desktop, and they are actively watching any competition for a sign of increased development. This is basically still the first generation of Apple Silicon arguably and it's absolutely bonkers. Let's say Intel tries to shift to ARM for some new product. Apple's first response is going to include releasing some crazy spec boost that makes Intel's attempt look like a joke, with the likely intention to discourage them from trying again.

I think it's more likely at this point, that we see Apple assume a sort of leader role similar to what Intel has been losing since the release of Ryzen. Apple will hold the lead so long that they get complacent until someone can slowly sneak in a new product that leap frogs their technology.

Intel held that top spot for how long though? Over a decade? Almost 2? I can easily see Apple taking a similar foothold if they can bring the price down over time similar to older iPhone models. Imagine buying a 'new' $400 laptop in a few years with a M1 Pro/Max chip inside because they're just old tech at that point. Apple already does this sort of chip recycling with products like the Homepod and AppleTV. Both use the SoC from older iPhones that cost 5x as much when they launched.

The fight between Intel and AMD was already interesting enough, but adding in Apple is going to make the next decade a roller coaster! Best of all, it's a win/win for consumers as these companies try and out compete each other.

I'm excited for it!

sergioisidoro(10000) 7 days ago [-]

A fair warning to developers: You're getting into an adventure with M1.

From docker images not built for M1 with segmentation faults on qemu (eg. Liquibase for spring developers), to _significant_ troubles trying to make React native apps build with the M1 and XCode.

Don't get me wrong, I have a Macbook air M1 and I love it, but it hasn't been a love without pain.

Also, the magsafe feels like it comes too late. Almost like a political feature in response to the EU measure of enforcing a single charging cable.

harshitaneja(10000) 6 days ago [-]

React native issue is resolved in the 0.66[1] finally. It was walking on egg shells dealing with a weird combination of rosetta and arm configs. I have not faced docker issues except in the first few months but maybe that's just our workflow where we already had aws graviton instances.

[1] https://reactnative.dev/blog/2021/10/01/version-066#better-s...

adam_arthur(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is there any reason Apple couldn't implement a magsafe type connector but using USB-C form factor? By that I mean, you could use any USB-C compatible cable in the same port (just without the magnetics)

It seems like they could have gotten the best of both worlds that way.

Am I taking crazy pills?

b15h0p(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Do you have more information about that Liquibase issue?

buzzert(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What's the problem with building React Native apps?

urthor(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's very difficult to justify the purchase because ultimately I've switched to thin client for serious development long ago.

I guess I'll use the unrivaled performance per watt to drive Jetbrains.

zmmmmm(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm curious about the docker image situation.

I had thought that the M1 could natively emulate x86 instructions. So why then can you not run the native x86 docker images? Is it a virtualisation issue?

syspec(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You can still charge using USB-C

wanderinghogan(10000) 7 days ago [-]

These laptops are very impressive, but until there is clarification on their CSAM scanning plans/their future intentions with that, it's going to make me wait. The thought of my OS being integrated with ANY government database with only the assurances of 'trust us, we will say no' still repels me.

wyager(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It sucks that such brilliant hardware is effectively locked to such mediocre software and corporate policy.

tumblewit(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So basically apple just went back to the things they tried to fix that weren't broken and then messed up the aesthetics by making it a design from 2010 and added a notch. Why do they do this. Does the design team not understand how to design macbook pros ?

planb(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If it disturbs you, there will sure be a software that moves the menu bar below and makes the top black. This is a Mac and not an iOS device after all. I'll take the extra pixels.

LeoPanthera(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So, they were wrong when they removed those things, and they were wrong again when they put them back?

darklion(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> So basically apple just went back to the things they tried to fix that weren't broken and then messed up the aesthetics by making it a design from 2010 and added a notch.

'Apple corrected nearly everything about their laptop design that people complain about, used a design this is considered by some to be the best MBP design ever [1], and put a small intrusion on the screen in the least-used-possible spot in order to provide more overall screen real estate. Why does Apple hate us?'

[1] https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever

theshrike79(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Wait, what notch? Do the processors have notches now?

dreamer7(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't really like the chassis design. It looks dated. But the rest of the Macbook Pro sounds really exciting!

For those who missed the keynote, here are some laugh-inducing moments - 'Our Pro users love to use physical function keys. So we have added them'

'Our Pro users like to connect a lot of devices without using a lot of dongles'

TheOtherHobbes(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'd guess that's about thermals. Thin looks good but runs hot.

Apple have de-Ived and gone for practicality over fashion-accessory style. I'm not convinced that's a bad move.

concinds(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It looks like a PowerBook to me, and yeah, it looks a little dated, and the curves look strange. But Apple being willing to release a laptop that 'looks strange' is to me a signal that they want to value function over form on Pro laptops, and that they care more about cooling and power than they do about thinness and 'elegance'. It's a great step in the right direction. They can make the MacBook Air as pretty and 'elegant' as they want but anyone with a boiling-hot 16' MBP will sure tell you how elegant it is to have a laptop burn their lap and throttle all the time.

It was time Apple valued pro users more than they valued their laptops looking good in hero pictures.

Ancalagon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I had the same thought. It looks like the 2011-2012 era chasis. Kind of funny but I imagine it's necessary for the added ports. Probably couldn't work with the slimmer form factor because of those, and scaling it would make it too big. Guess we can't have our cake and eat it too.

dmart(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think the move back to an older design language is purposeful, to remind people of the 'good old days' before the 2016 design.

systemvoltage(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I suggest thinking about design as not belonging to a 'date' or an era, but whether it solves a given problem.

We've grown up in the era of designers that make us think that design is aesthetic and like fashion, it evolves. I think of it like an engineer - its job is to solve a problem.

hardwaregeek(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah it's surprisingly ugly. Maybe it'll grow on me but I can't help but think this is the first post-Ive laptop

sireat(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Really hard to tell if the $800 upgrade from 16GB RAM to 32GB RAM is worth it since you also get a mysterious 16GPU to 32GPU upgrade..

10-Core CPU 16-Core GPU 16GB Unified Memory 1TB SSD Storage1 16-core Neural Engine 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port Magic Keyboard with Touch ID Force Touch trackpad 140W USB-C Power Adapter $2,699.00

10-Core CPU 32-Core GPU 32GB Unified Memory 1TB SSD Storage1 16-core Neural Engine 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port Magic Keyboard with Touch ID Force Touch trackpad 140W USB-C Power Adapter $3,499.00

NathanielK(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The M1 Max also has twice the memory channels to feed that GPU. Instead of a 256b wide 'quad channel' memory controller, it has a 512b wide 'octa channel' memory controller. That's an immense amount of bandwidth with LPDDR5.

There's an in between 24-Core GPU for less money, but it's still quite the jump.

hmate9(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The greatest improvement: no touchbar.

dang(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Please don't post duplicate comments to HN. It makes merging threads a pain.

swozey(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The 16' has a 140w charger, the 14' has a 97w charger. Did the TSA stop limiting chargers to 97-100w? I priced both w/32core 32gb 512ssd and the 16' is only $299 more than the 14' .. I want the 14' though, I'd like that 140w charger..

edit: I confused this with the battery maximums, nevermind! Thanks for letting me know!

Ayesh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Flight limit is on the battery, limiting it to 100 Wh. I have a laptop with a 230W power brick and never had any problems.

RL_Quine(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The limit is on battery capacity at 100Wh, not charger wattage.

tiffanyh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

TSA regulates the SIZE of the battery, not the charging mechanism.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/...

gradys(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I would be extremely surprised if the TSA started checking the wattage on power supplies. I've never even done the separate liquids thing.

gnicholas(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was excited to replace my 2017 MBP with a new model that has a decent keyboard and old-school features like multiple kinds of ports and an SD card slot.

With a starting price of $2000, I don't know that I'm going to pull the trigger right now. My guess is this is a sign of a supply chain crunch, and they are maximizing profit instead of revenue, which makes sense.

Still disappointing that getting these basic-seeming features (I don't care about the performance) costs $600 more than my last MBP. The base Pro shouldn't jump in price by 50%.

memco(10000) 7 days ago [-]

For me the price of RAM and SSD were the downers. I was hoping that after over 7 years I'd be able to buy a new computer with more RAM and drive space without paying that much more, but to upgrade I'd need to spend $600. The RAM is less important for me, but the fact that drive space hasn't grown much is a bummer since data accumulates every day and the kinds of data only seem to be growing in size.

turtlebits(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They've made 16GB and a 512GB SSD the base spec.

Maybe they're tired of the 'only 8 GB ram' comments that always get posted. /s

vimy(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The 13" is the base Pro.

tw04(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's refreshing to see them actually listening to customer feedback, I don't think this ever would've happened in a Jobs/Ive world. Would they have released 'pro' focused M1 chips/laptops? Absolutely. Would they have gone back on the (IMO) trainwreck that was touchbar and removing everything but 2x USB-C ports? No way.

ALSO, I'm actually kind of shocked they're supporting charging by both USB-C and magsafe. That is 100% the right thing to do and 100% the opposite of what Apple would normally do (namely lock you in to having to buy magsafe-3 and magsafe-3 only to charge the laptop).

krrrh(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Obligatory reminder that Apple killed the miniDIN-8 and ADB ports on the original iMac before almost anyone had ever seen a USB cable in real life.

They sold the notion of charging off your monitor cable pretty hard, there's no way they could go back on that.

More-nitors(10000) 7 days ago [-]

when will they open up the laptop specs/pricing?

peterkelly(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Details available already on their online store, though it's unresponsive at the moment as everyone is trying to check it at once.

pbalau(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They already did. On the UK store:

14'

1.8-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage - £1,899.00

2. 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage - £2,399.00

sicromoft(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The maxed out 16-inch model comes in at a cool $6099.

Zenbit_UX(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yup, but no one needs 8TB of internal SSD space. ~$4000 maxed out with 1TB.

nharada(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Happy to see they added Magsafe but ALSO still support charging via the USB3 ports.

troupe(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This was my biggest concern. Having the option to use MagSafe is much better than always being required to carry around yet another charger.

purple_ferret(10000) 7 days ago [-]

EDIT: Never mind

fiznool(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This was my biggest concern too, that my £300 dock would be rendered instantly obsolete. It's nice that I could still plug these new pros into a dock with a single usb-c cable and have charging, multiple displays and usb connectivity all with one cable.

dntrkv(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Controversial opinion, but I think adding Magsafe back (along with the other ports) was a step backward for the industry.

Apple pushed the whole industry to standardize on one connector for everything. If anyone really needed those other ports, a small $30 portable hub would add them all back.

Magsafe 3 is just another connector that will add more e-waste and proprietary cables to the mix. It's nice that they kept the USB-C charging, but now non-2021+ Macbook users can't reuse the charging cables.

_the_inflator(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Finally this dongle hell is over. It was so cringe worthy to see all Apple users carrying around a bag of dongles. Reminded me of the old LAN party cable fun...

arvinsim(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Both 14' and 16' can use the highest spec Pro processor. But the 14' only needs 96W while the 16' can go up to 140W.

Does that mean that the 14' will be throttled on heavy workloads?

therein(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Good question. Also has smaller battery. I initially ordered the 14' with M1 Max and 64GB of RAM but then switched to the 16' because of the 17hr vs 21hr battery life.

Factorium(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wish we could get a Macbook Air in these screen sizes. I don't need the extra power, just the bigger screen.

neogodless(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You can order a Macbook Pro 14' with the M1 (not M1 Pro) for $2000.

EDIT: My mistake, it's an 8-core M1 Pro with 14-core GPU (so neither the 8-core M1 with 8-core GPU, nor the 10-core M1 Pro with 16-core GPU) at that price.

kfprt(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Still no removable storage? How are you supposed to get your data off if it dies?

Toutouxc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You're kinda supposed to be doing that periodically BEFORE it dies.

NovaS1X(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Have backups like you're supposed to? Removable storage or not you should have backups of the device.

dirkg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

why are the new models fatter, wider and heavier than the old ones?

https://support.apple.com/kb/SP809?locale=en_US https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro-14-and-16/specs/

shouldn't it be the other way around with the integrated chips, thinner screen etc etc?

mandmandam(10000) 7 days ago [-]

People, including me, were pleading with them to stop trying to make things so thin over giving better batter life, thermals, cost effectiveness etc for the past 7 years or so.

I am delighted with this change. If you want light and thin get an Air; I want thermals, power, and bang for my buck.

noahtallen(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm guessing:

1. Ports need more space

3. Thermal solution probably needs more space. MBPs have had terrible thermal solutions in the past several years. Obviously M1X will be more power hungry than M1, and that requires better cooling

bla3(10000) 7 days ago [-]

For me personally, they hit it out of the park -- except for the notch, which seems like a complete showstopper to me at first sight. Maybe it's not so bad in practice if games and full-screen videos keep that whole strip solid black? But almost all the screenshots are of fullscreen apps, so it seems Apple thinks it looks a bit ungainly too.

nohr(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I imagine most games and videos can be run in 16 by 9 aspect ratio and that'll draw black bars above and below thus hiding the notch anyway.

buu700(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I can live with the notch, but honestly I would pay more for an option to remove it along with the camera.

For me, it really depends on how this camera compares with a standard Logitech C920. If it's as good or better then I'm fine with it, but if it's just a minor upgrade over the terrible pre-existing camera then I'm not sure why they would mar an otherwise fantastic product.

thatswrong0(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The notch gives us smaller bezels / more screen real-estate. It _kind of_ makes sense.

leokennis(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Honest question, did you ever use an iPhone with a notch?

In my experience, it kinda disappears within minutes. I barely notice it's there.

threatofrain(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wonder how this will work with Apple Calendar or Safari in full screen (with the new iOS 15 compact tabs). I wonder if they are moving to a concept of full screen where the top bar is always visible.

mproud(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It doesn't seem to bother phone users that much.

MrRiddle(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Complete show stopper? A notch?

yoyohello13(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I've got to say these M1 chips are very tempting. I've been a Linux guy for a long time now and these make me contemplate the switch. I really wish apple had a real competitor in the laptop space, but honestly no one seems to come close to apple's hardware quality. I'm really hoping to see some M1 style chips for non-apple hardware in the near future.

schaefer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

intel 12th gen, alder lake, does mix high efficiency and performance cores, like the M1 series... but it's certainly not a total in-die solution like we see with the M1.

And also, the wait time for alder lake to ship in actual laptops is unknown.

berberous(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Amazing update. I still wish the m1 air supported 2 external displays though, as I would still prefer the smaller form factor, lighter weight, fanless design, and cheaper price, as I don't need the pro power. Hopefully the refreshed air will get support for 2 external displays sooner rather than later as it is otherwise perfect.

alwillis(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If you use DisplayPort, you can add as many as six external displays on an M1 Air [1].

[1]: https://www.macrumors.com/2020/11/24/m1-macs-able-to-run-six...

lefrenchy(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm so frustrated. I bought the 13inch M1 in July, and was bummed it only supports one external display and has only two USB-C ports. This makes it pretty frustrating to use at my workstation (can't use all my monitors, hard to connect my keyboard/mouse/peripherals). Not even 3 months later they release this? It feels like such a fucking gut punch, I would have returned my M1 had I known that this was coming...

andyfleming(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If I recall correctly, I think they were up front about more processors/updates coming later. The M1 is still a good computer, but that 13in was never going to be the same as the fully new gen of MacBook Pros.

thatswrong0(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The October refresh timeframe was posted pretty much everywhere on the internet that mentioned an updated M1 Macbook Pro. The M1 was released last November. This didn't come out of nowhere.

shantara(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Everything they've said about the new MacBook Pros is extremely promising, but they had to add a notch to the screen. Just why? All for the sake of reducing the top screen border by a couple of millimeters.

jazzyjackson(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If I were to hazard a guess, it's more of a brand recognition thing - now you don't even have to see the apple on the back to know someone's using a macbook.

KarlKemp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Top-Center is among the most useless screen real estate. It takes just about the same amount of space as the keyboard language selector a bit to the right, or any one of the menu items to the left. And those two interface never fill up to the point where they need that center spot (or I'd be cleaning out those mostly annoying gadgets top-left).

asdff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's a macbook though. You can just write a program that moves your screen down a millimeter or however much and live your life notch free with peace of mind.

MengerSponge(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Try this: Instead of thinking 'Boo, they took away part of the screen with a notch' think 'Yay! They extended the screen a few mm on either side of the camera'

If you want to join us in the cult of Mac, learning little contortions like that will make you a lot happier.

Ancapistani(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Why not?

I hated the idea when it came around for the iPhone - but actually using one showed me that it just isn't an issue. There's a status bar at the top anyhow, and the center of it is unused.

On a laptop, I see it as just extra pixels dedicated to the OS's status bar.

eknkc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I bet there will be software adding a black line, hiding the notch tomorrow so no big deal. Those are additional pixels anyway.

shantara(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Update:

>macOS Hides the Notch on New MacBook Pro in Full-Screen Mode

https://www.macrumors.com/2021/10/18/macos-hides-notch-on-ne...

I take back what I said about the notch. It is not as bad, as it initially seemed to be

zepto(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The notch occupies otherwise wasted space in the menu bar - how is that not purely positive?

throw03172019(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It sits where the menu bar is anyway. Similar to the status bar on iOS.

yepthatsreality(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I agree. I finally upgraded from a Iphone SE to a 12 Mini. The notch is horrible and I'm not sure why people wave it away with "I got used to it". I've had it for months. No idea what lunatic at Apple thought it would be nice for a laptop.

Can't they come up with something a little more original than removing screen real estate to stand out?

I will be switching back to an SE just based on how overall unwieldy the new phone is. The notch is just one of the nails in the coffin.

The notch to me says, "now I know which products not to buy".

Ayesh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As a PC user, I'm sold and looking to get one soon.

swozey(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I know what you mean, my current PC laptop is a horrible experience, I used all mbps before this. Dell xps 13z 2n1. It's so, so cool and pretty but it throttles so much that it's absolutely useless for dev work. I got the full blown $2500ish 32gb/16core or whatever, too. Such a waste, sending it to my mom and getting a 14' whenever I can.




(1177) Despite having just 5.8% sales, over 38% of bug reports come from Linux

1177 points about 19 hours ago by otreblan in 10000th position

old.reddit.com | Estimated reading time – 3 minutes | comments | anchor

38% of my bug reports come from the Linux community

My game - ΔV: Rings of Saturn (shameless plug) - is out in Early Access for two years now, and as you can expect, there are bugs. But I did find that a disproportionally big amount of these bugs was reported by players using Linux to play. I started to investigate, and my findings did surprise me.

Let's talk numbers.

Percentages are easy to talk about, but when I read just them, I always wonder - what is the sample size? Is it small enough for the percentage to be just noise? As of today, I sold a little over 12,000 units of ΔV in total. 700 of these units were bought by Linux players. That's 5.8%. I got 1040 bug reports in total, out of which roughly 400 are made by Linux players. That's one report per 11.5 users on average, and one report per 1.75 Linux players. That's right, an average Linux player will get you 650% more bug reports.

A lot of extra work for just 5.8% of extra units, right?

Wrong. Bugs exist whenever you know about them, or not.

Do you know how many of these 400 bug reports were actually platform-specific? 3. Literally only 3 things were problems that came out just on Linux. The rest of them were affecting everyone - the thing is, the Linux community is exceptionally well trained in reporting bugs. That is just the open-source way. This 5.8% of players found 38% of all the bugs that affected everyone. Just like having your own 700-person strong QA team. That was not 38% extra work for me, that was just free QA!

But that's not all. The report quality is stellar.

I mean we have all seen bug reports like: "it crashes for me after a few hours". Do you know what a developer can do with such a report? Feel sorry at best. You can't really fix any bug unless you can replicate it, see it with your own eyes, peek inside and finally see that it's fixed.

And with bug reports from Linux players is just something else. You get all the software/os versions, all the logs, you get core dumps and you get replication steps. Sometimes I got with the player over discord and we quickly iterated a few versions with progressive fixes to isolate the problem. You just don't get that kind of engagement from anyone else.

Worth it?

Oh, yes - at least for me. Not for the extra sales - although it's nice. It's worth it to get the massive feedback boost and free, hundred-people strong QA team on your side. An invaluable asset for an independent game studio.




All Comments: [-] | anchor

tyingq(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Great article, though he's benefitting from a specific slice of Linux users that are great to work with.

On the other end of the spectrum, try releasing a php plugin for Wordpress, OpenCart, Magento, etc. I released a mildly popular, open-source, free add on in this space. The Linux users there are decidedly less technical, but still doing it themselves.

What I got for 'bug reports' was mostly terrible, few details/logs/etc. And a weird entitlement thing where people had really high support expectations over something that was open source and free. Even a few expletive-laden emails. I did receive a few really helpful reports, pull-requests, and thank you emails...but they were very much the exception.

oefrha(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

In addition, in my experience maintaining a developer tool, an outsized source of bug reports is Linux users reporting already fixed issues in their outdated distro packages, or even problems introduced by their packager (e.g. flatpak/snap permission problems). And they typically won't identify the version despite clear instructions in the issue template asking for the debug output containing everything I need, including the version.

chias(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

I think the difference is:

With a game that supports Linux, you get people who have chosen to run Linux instead of Windows because they prefer it. They have also worked enough with their system to get their Linux system capable of running games well, which may not be trivial for the given distro.

With a Wordpress plugin or whatever, you get people who are running Linux because they 'have' to. Trying not to sound 'true Scottsman'y here, but most of the time these are not actually Linux users, these are Windows users who are further confounded by having to use an unfamiliar platform.

5e92cb50239222b(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Most of the Wordpress developers I know are Windows users. (I don't know too many of them, but still.)

dbg31415(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

This article does and doesn't mirror my experience.

When the pandemic hit, I helped my now 15 year-old godson build a video game add-on as a way to stay close since we couldn't travel. For the last two years we've had a blast working on this together. The add-on has grown in popularity, and has a few dozen thousand users.

Where I agree with the article, many of the complaints do come from Linux users.

Almost without exception though, the bugs they reported were Linux-specific, or related to old-versions of the add-on that we no longer supported.

A lot of times the Linux users were a release version or more behind because the emulation software they were running hadn't been updated to run the latest version of the game. They'd update the add-on, before updating the game, and then be upset when it didn't work on the slightly less than new version. Building a work around for this was a valuable lesson for my godson, in that we had to plan for the imperfect-path and make sure the add-on had a lot of edge cases baked in.

Some other things I've noticed...

Linux users do tend to report more bugs, but mostly because Linux users tend to be quick to anger. Customer support for Linux users... it was never pleasant. Someone would say something like, 'Don't you test your shit?!' and like keep in mind this is a free add-on for a video game... and they'd be irate that we hadn't tested it on every system imaginable before releasing it.

Linux users don't accept reality. Often they're aren't running the 'real' instance of the game, they are running some hacked together thing running on some emulator... it's not going to be perfect. Or they were running the game on unsupported hardware that they rigged a work around for. A lot of times they'd swear the bug only came about due to our add-on, but countless hours wasted trying to appease folks like this and 99% of the time it was a bug on their end. We'd probably have had 20% more 'real' dev time if we didn't ever engage with those people in the first place.

Linux users tend to be more European, and there was certainly a language barrier at times. Made supporting the add-on for them worse because bug reports would come in bad-English, or German run through Google Translate to English... or just in German. There seemed to be a large number of mid-30s Germans playing a game that I'd say was aimed more for teenagers... Without sugar coating it, bug reports form those people always felt like, 'Doesn't this loser have anything better to do?'

Linux users do tend to be more technical, and often they have suggestions for improvement in mind. But rarely do any of them take the time to crate a PR. It was infuriating. We'd have one guy complain every week on an open ticket... we'd say, 'Hey mate, we're backed up... we'll get to this when there's time. Feel free to submit a PR!' and instead he'd just paste 80% the code he wanted updated in the GitHub ticket, and then nag us every week to fix the bug. It would have been an easy enough fix, except it required us to install Linux to verify the fix. Oof.

Broad ways I wish every community was better?

Don't be a dick. So many of the complaints came from these man-children and every other word was a profanity. Especially on open-source projects, just understand how nice you are directly correlates to how fast your issue gets worked on.

If you can fix something, don't bitch about it... just push a PR.

If you push a PR, test it first. Don't assume it's on someone else to do more testing than you'd care to do. 'Oh man, that would require me to do X, Y, Z... that would take hours!' Yeah, it would require anyone testing to do X, Y, Z... if you want it fixed, the fix includes testing on X, Y, Z... not just writing the code. Way more testers are needed for all open source projects, but most end users -- even the ones who can't code -- don't really want to help the project by volunteering testing time. If there's a project you like, and you can't code, you should still reach out to the creator and say, 'Hey, how can I help test?'

terafo(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

That sounds a lot like badly managed support TBH. Complaint about having to install Linux to check fix indicates that you weren't even trying to run build on Linux before releasing it, I'm not sure why were you supporting Linux at all with that kind of attitude. And I presume that vanilla game doesn't have common way to install mods and Linux version is non-existent.

AdmiralAsshat(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

Glad to see that it was a positive view of the Linux bug reporters, rather than 'Bah, I spend all my time fixing packaging issues from entitled Linux users who scream at me that the game doesn't work with their obscure, home-spun distro.'

ajsnigrutin(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

TBH, as a non-ubuntu (gentoo) user, i'm pretty sure, that all the packaging isues (for non-gentoo packages) are something that I, personally have to deal with, and not bother the original developer with.

atomicnumber3(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

In a similar vein, I think the biggest value-add that Arch has over other distros is that it turns out having the filter of 'can follow well written instructions through mildly tricky commands well enough to result in a bootable system' results in a community with a base level of competence, care, and patience that puts it at least two standard deviations above the other distros and at least four (I know how small the percentile is now) above just the general wash of garbage that you get when you Google for Windows issues.

It creates similar effects to the different credit card companies. Why would anyone accept Amex and its higher fees? Because they bring you higher value customers, sometimes dramatically higher value.

terafo(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

It's worth noting that this game uses Godot engine, which is open source and built with Linux in mind, and most platform compatibility complexity was shifted to engine. Experience is quite different for big game developers that have their own engines and can't offload complexity to another layer of abstraction, supporting a lot of hardware/software combinations on Linux for them is quite hard. I presume that's why there are games that didn't get PC Linux releases while technically having Linux port(Cyberpunk 2077 would be prime example).

qayxc(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

For most AAA titles the reason is simply 3rd-party DRM and/or Anti-Cheat not working on Linux.

da39a3ee(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

A good trick for removing unintelligent content from google search results on any general computing issue is to prefix the search terms with 'linux'. And I'm a Mac user :)

gizmo686(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

As an Ubuntu and RHEL user, I tend to prefix my searches with 'arch', for the same reason (although if you have a subscription, and your issue is with a RHEL system, RHEL is worth searching first, as they often have a bug report with resolution for your exact issue).

lmeyerov(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Yep we find a variant of this with our python open source data science users who normal businesses would hate:

- Across all Python envs (Jupyter, streamlit/plotly, flask/Django, ...), they report way more bugs, and often from our free tiers, which sounds low ROI.. but our community caught all but ~2 significant bugs we fixed this year that our internal automated testing missed and would have otherwise gone to our Enterprise and gov users . They are happy to exchange a tiny bit of GPU or viz burps for new features faster, as long as we are responsive to their reports! That also pushed us to a better dev cadence which wouldn't have worked for our Enterprise users. More subtle, we have more confidence for deploying wider features/APIs which would otherwise be too underused + risky for the same reason.

- they are often doing innovative new things with our stack, which originally meant feature requests for non-repeatable sales.. but ended up stretching our flexibility into wider applicability, and they can clearly tell us areas to advance the visual, analytic, etc sides of our R&D and package it up for the rest of their internal analysts. Almost like a multiplier for conversations with our more operationally focused no-code/low-code users, and helps us see around the corner for them in the AI+API+customization sides!

- most of our technical partnership discussions now go through our OSS client repos. Rather than PowerPoints with BD people that don't have staff to do things, a product dev or sales engineer/architect or devrel blogger will think, 'oh our customers would benefit from better interactive visuals on our data, let me whip something up quick with that package' and we help them take it from there

- open source data users like PyData developers and data scientists, compared to say the # of SMBs out there or general enterprise employees, is small and almost by definition doesn't pay for most software... but they end up being attached to projects that do, and influence much of their organization that definitely does!

Apofis(10000) about 5 hours ago [-]

We're just used contributing bug reports and pull requests, sort of our thing. It's not as prevalent with Windows or MacOS users, just not part of that culture.

wheels(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

For an audio app that I work on, it's similar, but different: around 1% of the users are on Linux, and around a third of the bugs / complaints come from Linux, but they're virtually all Linux specific.

We're having to seriously consider dropping Linux support because the support / maintenance load is so high. (This comes significantly from the libraries we're using having worse Linux support, and a lot from the Linux audio ecosystem in general not being very mature; and then a whole bunch of it is people wanting packages for dozens of different systems.)

rpmisms(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

Linux audio support is generally a pain. Have you considered officially supporting one audio library and just saying YMMV if you use something else? For example, only support ALSA.

yjftsjthsd-h(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

I would think you can deal with platform-specific issues by saying 'we support Ubuntu [or whatever you're willing to do]; anything else you're on your own' up front. But yeah, audio is a general weak spot.

emersion(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

Packages aren't supposed to be submitted and maintained by the developers themselves. The distribution maintainers and community is supposed to do it.

smoldesu(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

With Pipewire and containerized distribution (eg. AppImage or god forbid, Flatpak), distributing Linux software can really be as complicated as you want it to be. Granted, audio software is still a bit confusing compared to Windows or MacOS, but with the advent of PipeWire I think most people are ready to put those days behind them.

Another alternative is to drop Linux support and let your users make a Wine installer if they really care about your software. Most VST plugins and audio software works boringly well through Wine, even scaling up to be a viable route for supporting games.

ChrisMarshallNY(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

Negative feedback is insanely valuable. I write about that here:[0].

Here's what I wrote:

> It can be mighty unpleasant to read negative reviews and comments about our work, but it's worth it to do so, as long as we're doing it to improve said work. I often say that positive affirmations feel good, but negative feedback is required to improve a product. Negative feedback, even if it's uncouth diatribes from unpleasant people, is far more valuable than the most glowing praise (unless said "glowing praise" comes from Consumer Reports).

Simply put, negative feedback is a goldmine. DON'T WASTE IT. Steel yourself. Take a belt of absinthe, if you need, and open the "Comments" section. Read everything. It sucks, doesn't it? Is that even physically possible? Don't you wish you were in good enough shape to do it? Do you remember your mother ever saying anything that could indicate this were true? Wait. What was that they said about the communication error report alert?

[0] https://littlegreenviper.com/miscellany/the-road-most-travel...

godelski(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

There's another piece of advice I've heard along these lines.

> Listen to the users complaining. Users are very good at identifying problems that you missed or can't see because you're too close to the project. But be careful listening to users about solutions to the problems. They can't see the whole picture.

I think this is good advice. You should want to make the best product you can. Some users have good ideas and can see things you can't. But it is hard to get the signal out of the noise and this can be very frustrating.

wly_cdgr(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

I don't know about you - you might be insane for all I know - but I'm MUCH more likely to report a bug if I think there's any chance of it being fixed

dotancohen(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Which is why I've stopped reporting LibreOffice bugs. I have had literally hundreds of bugs filed, with test files and reproducibility instructions. Then they changed bug trackers - twice - and all that is lost.

With KDE and Mozilla, I'm still seeing bugs fixed a decade after I stopped reporting them. So I might be inclined to file egregious bugs to those two projects, if I feel inclined at the moment to wait a decade for a resolution.

voakbasda(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Knowing a bug will be investigated would be enough, never mind fixed. Sadly I would assert that the vast majority of open source projects do not bother to respond to reports or even patches. The result of being ignored enough times is that I have become much less motivated to report bugs on projects that might actually care, unless there is clear and present evidence (openly available) that their issue tracker is sufficiently active. If I have to wait more than a week for a reply, you have lost me for good. If I can't see evidence of the process working, I will not waste my time.

croes(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

I think Windows users are used to live with bugs and work around them. Linux users prefer to adapt a system to their needs, Windows users adapt to the system.

qayxc(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

Or maybe it's much simpler than that: Linux attracts people who are more tech savvy and like to get involved. Windows users are often incapable of understanding even basic OS concepts.

There's often no need to go any deeper than that. Same with Mac users: there's a considerable demographic to whom an OS is simply just an app launcher (which IMHO is fine), maybe even just the browser.

There's a reason ChromeOS has been so successful.

thrwyoilarticle(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

On the other hand, a Windows user is trained not to report bugs, especially in games. There's rarely a channel for reporting things & simple bugs go unfixed unless the community can work out some hack to do it for themselves. Games are abandonware monoliths on day one.

Secondly, if a program crashes in Windows and you try to force kill it, you get blocked waiting for the 'report' to be sent do Microsoft. Users are trained to click off this, so the OS will finally do what you asked it to.

mr_toad(10000) about 8 hours ago [-]

And when you can find a bug reporting channel the issue gets answered by an 'MVP', usually with some sort of inapplicable canned response, and then closed as 'fixed', without actually addressing the problem.

AnIdiotOnTheNet(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

> On the other hand, a Windows user is trained not to report bugs

Decades of dealing with open source projects hasn't been much better in my experience. I don't usually bother to submit bug reports because my experience is that they'll be ignored for a few years and then closed unceremoniously.

wildrhythms(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Do you think this has something to do with how many Windows programs (not just games) handle errors and crashes? Even Windows still uses the 'Error code: <bunch of meaningless numbers>' scheme. I can't even think of the last time I even attempted to get crash logs for a Windows program; however, on Linux I can usually find where logs got dumped and debug without as much of a headache.

cs702(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Notably, of those bug reports, fewer than 1% (only 3 bugs) were specific to the Linux version of the game. That is, over 99% of the bugs reported by Linux gamers also affected players in other platforms. Moreover (quoting from the OP):

> The report quality [from Linux users] is stellar. I mean we have all seen bug reports like: "it crashes for me after a few hours". Do you know what a developer can do with such a report? Feel sorry at best. You can't really fix any bug unless you can replicate it, see it with your own eyes, peek inside and finally see that it's fixed. And with bug reports from Linux players is just something else. You get all the software/os versions, all the logs, you get core dumps and you get replication steps. Sometimes I got with the player over discord and we quickly iterated a few versions with progressive fixes to isolate the problem. You just don't get that kind of engagement from anyone else.

necovek(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

Just from the title, I went in expecting that percentage to be much higher, but still expected I'd get a chance to complain how report quality was not taken into account (I expected Linux users to submit better reports)!

Pleasantly surprised on all accounts :D

matheusmoreira(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

The worst part? I've seen developers and companies actually complain about this. Just 6% of sales yet look at the huge amount of work they cause us!

programmarchy(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Yep, it's a great point to raise in support of releasing software for Linux. Adept users who can produce high quality bug reports and help solve bugs across all platforms provide a lot of value, perhaps enough to justify "only" a ~5% market share.

marcodiego(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

Conclusion: want good testing and bug reports of your game? Support linux.

b0rsuk(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

This was my hunch, and I just wanted it to be true. I'm very pleased it turned out to be that way.

JeremyNT(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Indeed, although my kneejerk reaction to the subject line was to expect another sad article about how it's not worth it to support Linux, this author seems very happy with the decision to do so.

> Worth it? Oh, yes - at least for me. Not for the extra sales - although it's nice. It's worth it to get the massive feedback boost and free, hundred-people strong QA team on your side. An invaluable asset for an independent game studio.

leeoniya(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

more likely s/linux/developers, which i suspect represents the majority of linux users

Kye(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

Sometimes I forget my detailed bug reports with steps I took, even if I can't reproduce it--since it might provide a hint to someone with insight into the programs internals--, are a weird outlier.

FpUser(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

>'we have all seen bug reports like: "it crashes for me after a few hours'

Here is a gem from my collection of user 'bug reports'. The email with this exact words and nothing else - 'something is wrong, what do I do?'. I was biting my fingers trying not to reply with the first thing that came into my head.

justicezyx(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

God damnit... Clickbating is ruining any shred of useful information...

shultays(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

I am not sure why would one expect more linux bugs in a game made using a game engine (I couldn't find any info and I am assuming this game is one, correct me if I am wrong). If it is not working in linux, then it must be an engine bug, not a game one. If I am wrong then props to devs for having such a consistent game engine

Perhaps other option is using cpp, and having UB that behaves differently in different compilers. But I doubt that as well

dv_dt(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

I've often thought that game developers, esp indy studios, would benefit from doing first beta releases on Linux exclusively - wringing out a bunch of bugs, then doing a wider release.

elliekelly(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Are there any good articles on writing helpful bug reports? Whenever I submit a bug I try to give as much detail and be as specific as possible but I always imagine some dev somewhere reading it rolling their eyes at the unnecessary paragraphs I've submitted.

bryanrasmussen(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

I've reported bugs to FF and Chrome several times because they were in things I cared about. Developers tend to care more, know that there will be a place to report bugs, know how to do it and so forth. Obviously Linux gets more bug reports.

(I use mac, the m1 is just great, but I would never go through the effort of reporting a bug to mac [unless serious security hole] because I don't care about them, and because I have the impression from having tried at one time some years ago that mac bug reporting sucks.)

WalterGR(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

FTA:

'Do you know how many of these 400 bug reports were actually platform-specific? 3. Literally only 3 things were problems that came out just on Linux. The rest of them were affecting everyone - the thing is, the Linux community is exceptionally well trained in reporting bugs.'

Procedural(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

There is no such OS as Linux, Linux is the kernel. Support Linux-based OSs you want to support and no other OSs you don't support.

FastEatSlow(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

The point is that people who choose an OS other than Windows or Mac tend to choose something based on Linux, and are usually technically skilled and submit much higher quality bug reports, more often. Linux users just care more about the experience of using a computer, otherwise most wouldn't have jumped ship.

gpm(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

There is for all practical purposes a singluar linux.

Why? Because you can bundle your own 'userspace' to support your game, and that's what steam does for you with it's runtime: https://github.com/ValveSoftware/steam-runtime

It has to pick up a few things from the surrounding environment, but steam entirely standardizes the vast majority of it, and the rest of it is really really similar between every linux-running OS.

mrRandomGuy(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

talk about missing the forest for the trees! _goddamn_

baybal2(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Most Windows users don't even know what a bug report is.

guscost(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Yep, sampling bias.

zoomablemind(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

> Most Windows users don't even know what a bug report is.

... or a telemetry.

To be fair, given a well-known application (paid especially), users may be more inclined to try to complain about some annoying/unexpected behavior. Just too often it goes onto a forum, so noone knows if this results in a bugreport somewhere.

peey(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

the titled should be updated to say 'the Linux community' at the end, as on the original page

otreblan(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

The original title was too long

ok123456(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

Wine's crash handler provides a lot more details and diagnostic information if you know what you're looking at. 'Oh RAX was 0 and de-referenced. That looks like a trivial memory error in SomeComponent.dll+0x302223.'

Other platforms are infantilized: 'Oopsey doodle that crashed :(. Look for problem online? Oh no solution found. Sorry about that. Got it?'

qayxc(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

That's not platform specific at all. If your program spits out proper crash logs (which most games do), it's a matter of locating and examining the log file.

The 'if you know what you're looking at'-part is pretty much nonsense as you're basically saying 'if you are an experienced programmer with intimate knowledge of both the system and the hardware architecture'.

This is not something a regular user should be expected to know. A good program should simply provide a proper feedback-channel and collect and send the appropriate information if the user choses to do so.





Historical Discussions: Apple's new M1 Pro and M1 Max processors (October 18, 2021: 1049 points)
M1 Pro and M1 Max (October 18, 2021: 341 points)

(1049) Apple's new M1 Pro and M1 Max processors

1049 points 7 days ago by emdashcomma in 10000th position

www.apple.com | Estimated reading time – 9 minutes | comments | anchor

October 18, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

Introducing M1 Pro and M1 Max: the most powerful chips Apple has ever built

Powering the all-new MacBook Pro, new chips feature up to a 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 64GB of unified memory, ProRes acceleration, and industry-leading power efficiency

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced M1 Pro and M1 Max, the next breakthrough chips for the Mac. Scaling up M1's transformational architecture, M1 Pro offers amazing performance with industry-leading power efficiency, while M1 Max takes these capabilities to new heights. The CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, so tasks like compiling projects in Xcode are faster than ever. The GPU in M1 Pro is up to 2x faster than M1, while M1 Max is up to an astonishing 4x faster than M1, allowing pro users to fly through the most demanding graphics workflows.

M1 Pro and M1 Max introduce a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture to pro systems for the first time. The chips feature fast unified memory, industry-leading performance per watt, and incredible power efficiency, along with increased memory bandwidth and capacity. M1 Pro offers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of unified memory. M1 Max delivers up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and support for up to 64GB of unified memory. And while the latest PC laptops top out at 16GB of graphics memory, having this huge amount of memory enables graphics-intensive workflows previously unimaginable on a notebook. The efficient architecture of M1 Pro and M1 Max means they deliver the same level of performance whether MacBook Pro is plugged in or using the battery. M1 Pro and M1 Max also feature enhanced media engines with dedicated ProRes accelerators specifically for pro video processing. M1 Pro and M1 Max are by far the most powerful chips Apple has ever built.

"M1 has transformed our most popular systems with incredible performance, custom technologies, and industry-leading power efficiency. No one has ever applied a system-on-a-chip design to a pro system until today with M1 Pro and M1 Max," said Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. "With massive gains in CPU and GPU performance, up to six times the memory bandwidth, a new media engine with ProRes accelerators, and other advanced technologies, M1 Pro and M1 Max take Apple silicon even further, and are unlike anything else in a pro notebook."

M1 Pro: A Whole New Level of Performance and Capability

Utilizing the industry-leading 5-nanometer process technology, M1 Pro packs in 33.7 billion transistors, more than 2x the amount in M1. A new 10-core CPU, including eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores, is up to 70 percent faster than M1, resulting in unbelievable pro CPU performance. Compared with the latest 8-core PC laptop chip, M1 Pro delivers up to 1.7x more CPU performance at the same power level and achieves the PC chip's peak performance using up to 70 percent less power.1 Even the most demanding tasks, like high-resolution photo editing, are handled with ease by M1 Pro.

M1 Pro has an up-to-16-core GPU that is up to 2x faster than M1 and up to 7x faster than the integrated graphics on the latest 8-core PC laptop chip.1 Compared to a powerful discrete GPU for PC notebooks, M1 Pro delivers more performance while using up to 70 percent less power.2 And M1 Pro can be configured with up to 32GB of fast unified memory, with up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth, enabling creatives like 3D artists and game developers to do more on the go than ever before.

M1 Max: The World's Most Powerful Chip for a Pro Notebook

M1 Max features the same powerful 10-core CPU as M1 Pro and adds a massive 32-core GPU for up to 4x faster graphics performance than M1. With 57 billion transistors — 70 percent more than M1 Pro and 3.5x more than M1 — M1 Max is the largest chip Apple has ever built. In addition, the GPU delivers performance comparable to a high-end GPU in a compact pro PC laptop while consuming up to 40 percent less power, and performance similar to that of the highest-end GPU in the largest PC laptops while using up to 100 watts less power.2 This means less heat is generated, fans run quietly and less often, and battery life is amazing in the new MacBook Pro. M1 Max transforms graphics-intensive workflows, including up to 13x faster complex timeline rendering in Final Cut Pro compared to the previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro.

M1 Max also offers a higher-bandwidth on-chip fabric, and doubles the memory interface compared with M1 Pro for up to 400GB/s, or nearly 6x the memory bandwidth of M1. This allows M1 Max to be configured with up to 64GB of fast unified memory. With its unparalleled performance, M1 Max is the most powerful chip ever built for a pro notebook.

Fast, Efficient Media Engine, Now with ProRes

M1 Pro and M1 Max include an Apple-designed media engine that accelerates video processing while maximizing battery life. M1 Pro also includes dedicated acceleration for the ProRes professional video codec, allowing playback of multiple streams of high-quality 4K and 8K ProRes video while using very little power. M1 Max goes even further, delivering up to 2x faster video encoding than M1 Pro, and features two ProRes accelerators. With M1 Max, the new MacBook Pro can transcode ProRes video in Compressor up to a remarkable 10x faster compared with the previous-generation 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Advanced Technologies for a Complete Pro System

Both M1 Pro and M1 Max are loaded with advanced custom technologies that help push pro workflows to the next level:

  • A 16-core Neural Engine for on-device machine learning acceleration and improved camera performance.
  • A new display engine drives multiple external displays.
  • Additional integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers provide even more I/O bandwidth.
  • Apple's custom image signal processor, along with the Neural Engine, uses computational video to enhance image quality for sharper video and more natural-looking skin tones on the built-in camera.
  • Best-in-class security, including Apple's latest Secure Enclave, hardware-verified secure boot, and runtime anti-exploitation technologies.

A Huge Step in the Transition to Apple Silicon

The Mac is now one year into its two-year transition to Apple silicon, and M1 Pro and M1 Max represent another huge step forward. These are the most powerful and capable chips Apple has ever created, and together with M1, they form a family of chips that lead the industry in performance, custom technologies, and power efficiency.

macOS and Apps Unleash the Capabilities of M1 Pro and M1 Max

macOS Monterey is engineered to unleash the power of M1 Pro and M1 Max, delivering breakthrough performance, phenomenal pro capabilities, and incredible battery life. By designing Monterey for Apple silicon, the Mac wakes instantly from sleep, and the entire system is fast and incredibly responsive. Developer technologies like Metal let apps take full advantage of the new chips, and optimizations in Core ML utilize the powerful Neural Engine so machine learning models can run even faster. Pro app workload data is used to help optimize how macOS assigns multi-threaded tasks to the CPU cores for maximum performance, and advanced power management features intelligently allocate tasks between the performance and efficiency cores for both incredible speed and battery life.

The combination of macOS with M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max also delivers industry-leading security protections, including hardware-verified secure boot, runtime anti-exploitation technologies, and fast, in-line encryption for files. All of Apple's Mac apps are optimized for — and run natively on — Apple silicon, and there are over 10,000 Universal apps and plug-ins available. Existing Mac apps that have not yet been updated to Universal will run seamlessly with Apple's Rosetta 2 technology, and users can also run iPhone and iPad apps directly on the Mac, opening a huge new universe of possibilities.

Apple's Commitment to the Environment

Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to have net-zero climate impact across the entire business, which includes manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This also means that every chip Apple creates, from design to manufacturing, will be 100 percent carbon neutral.

About Apple

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple's five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

  1. Testing conducted by Apple in August and September 2021 using preproduction 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 Max, 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, and 64GB of RAM, and preproduction 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 Pro, 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 32GB of RAM. Performance measured using select industry‐standard benchmarks. 8-core PC laptop chip performance data from testing MSI GP66 Leopard (11UG-018). Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Pro.
  2. Testing conducted by Apple in August and September 2021 using preproduction 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 Max, 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, and 64GB of RAM, and preproduction 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 Pro, 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 32GB of RAM. Performance measured using select industry‐standard benchmarks. Discrete PC laptop graphics performance data from testing Lenovo Legion 5 (82JW0012US). High-end discrete PC laptop graphics performance data from testing MSI GE76 Raider (11UH-053). PC compact pro laptop performance data from testing Razer Blade 15 Advanced (RZ09-0409CE53-R3U1). Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Pro.

Press Contacts

Jennie Orphanopoulos

Apple

[email protected]

(408) 221-6621

Apple Media Helpline

[email protected]

(408) 974-2042




All Comments: [-] | anchor

klelatti(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think the M1 Max has more transistors than any commercially available CPU or GPU? In a $3499 laptop!

nazgulnarsil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

57 billion transistors? a 5950x has under 20 a 3060ti has under 20

are they counting the RAM?

hbn(10000) 7 days ago [-]

These things came at a great time for me. My late-2014 MBP just received its last major OS upgrade (Big Sur), so I'm officially in unsupported waters now. I was getting concerned in that era from 2015-2019 with all the bad decisions (butterfly keyboard, no I/O, touchbar, graphics issues, etc.) but this new generation of MacBooks seems to have resolved all my points of concern.

On the other hand, my late-2014 model is still performing... fine? It gets a bit bogged down running something moderately intensive like a JetBrains IDE (which is my editor of choice), or when I recently used it to play a Jack Box Party Pack with friends, but for most things it's pretty serviceable. I got it before starting university, it carried me all the way to getting my bachelor's degree last year, and it's still trucking along just fine. Definitely one of my better purchases I've made.

hbn(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Not that it matters but I should correct that it's a late-2013 model I have. I get confused because I bought it in 2014

Also I ended up pulling the trigger and preordering the base-model 14-inch. Let's hope it's as good as they say!

breiti(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You could easily upgrade macOS using https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Legacy-Patcher/MODELS.ht....

On the hardware side, you could open it up, clean the fan, re-apply thermal paste (after so many years, this will make a big difference) and maybe even upgrade the SSD if you feel like it.

That way, this laptop can easily survive another 1-3 years depending on your use-cases.

Aperocky(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> JetBrains IDE

Runaway feature creep IDE? I use it too.

danielovichdk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I feel happy for the Apple community with these processors.

But I can't stop to think my Intel machine. It feels like I am left in the dust and nothing seems to be coming that remotely looks like the M1.

enraged_camel(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Intel is years behind Apple, with no real strategy for catching up. Apple most likely already has the M2 ready, and the M3 under heavy development.

Asmod4n(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Prediction for Mac Pros and iMac Pros: several SoCs on the mainboard, interconnected with a new bus, 16 CPU cores for each SoC, 4 SoCs max. The on SoC RAM will act as a L4 Cache and they will share normal, User replaceable DDR5 RAM for „unified" access.

fomine3(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Looks like Naples. It seems to not easy to treat NUMA especially as a personal computer. So I wondered whether Apple uses Chiplet approach for M1X, but seems not.

d3nj4l(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Did they really just claim 30-series tier performance on the max GPU? If that's true that would be insane!

KarlKemp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Equivalent to 'the notebook with the fastest GPU we could find at half the power' is how I remember it...

I'm just not entirely certain what GPU performance does for me...? I don't work with video, there aren't any games, and I'm not playing them, anyway. Does iTerm2 scrolling get better?

I used to be quite happy with the GeForce 7xx(?) and tensorflow, and this seems like it would have quite a bit of power for ML. Unfortunately, the software just isn't there (yet?).

adtac(10000) 7 days ago [-]

the comparison was only on laptops, but still impressive if they did that with 70% (?) less power

Symmetry(10000) 7 days ago [-]

GPU workloads are very parallel. By throwing more transistors at the problem while lowering clock rates you can get pretty good performance even in a constrained power budget.

baybal2(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> claim 30-series tier performance on the max GPU? If that's true that would be insane!

TDP, TDP, TDP!

With big enough heatsink, the performance can be proportionally high (perf = sqrt(TDP))

spaceisballer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Lots of junk comments, but I guess that happens with Apple announcements. Laptops seem impressive to me, I want to see the real world use metrics. Pushing hard on the performance per watt type metric and no doubt they have a lot of power and use less power. Seems like they listened to the outcry of people regarding the Touch Bar and more ports. Seems like this should sell well.

Woden501(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Seems they may have finally noticed the hit from a decent number of the pro's using their products migrating to different platforms, and realized they needed to take a few steps back on the more radical innovations to put out a solid working machine. Hell I haven't wanted an Apple machine since the early days of the unibody when other manufacturers started releasing the same form-factor. This has me considering one for my next development machine depending on the price premium over the competition.

arvinsim(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yup, waiting for the performance review embargo to lift.

notquitehuman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm waiting on Apple's final decision on the CSAM scanner before I buy any more hardware from them. These processors look cool, but I don't think they're worth the Apple premium if they're also spying for law enforcement.

ostenning(10000) 7 days ago [-]

valid point

Brakenshire(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can the M1 MacBooks be used with Linux?

pantalaimon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's a work in progress. See https://asahilinux.org/blog/ for the latest updates.

haberman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I always thought it was strange that 'integrated graphics' was, for years, was synonymous with 'cheap, underperforming' compared to the power of a discrete GPU.

I never could see any fundamental reason why 'integrated' should mean 'underpowered.' Apple is turning things around, and is touting the benefits of high-performance integrated graphics.

SkeuomorphicBee(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> I never could see any fundamental reason why 'integrated' should mean 'underpowered.'

There was always one reason: limited memory bandwidth. You simply couldn't cram enough pins and traces for all the processor io plus a memory bus wide enough to feed a powerful GPU. (at least not in a reasonable price)

fulafel(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The software side hasn't been there on x86 GP platforms, even though AMD tried. It's worked out better on consoles.

cududa(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Perhaps with Vista? 'Integrated' graphics meant something like Intel 915 which couldn't run 'Aero'. Even if you had the Intel 945, if you had low bandwidth RAM graphics performance still stuttered. Good article: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2008/03/the-vista-capable-de...

throwawaywindev(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Video game consoles have been using integrated graphics for at least 15 years now, since Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

daxfohl(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Still confused how 32 core M1 Max competes with Nvidia's thousands-of-cores GPUs. Certainly there are some things that are nearly linear with core count, or otherwise they wouldn't keep adding cores, right?

Edit: Found answer here. GPU core is not the same thing as a CUDA core. https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/73i3ne/why_do_app...

satya71(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Very simple: thermal budget. Chip performance is limited by thermal budget. You just can't spend more than roughly 100W in a single package, without going into very expensive and esoteric cooling mechanisms.

bla3(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is about the processors, not the laptops, so commenting on the chips instead. They look great, but they look like they're the M1 design, just more of it. Which is plenty for a laptop! But it'll be interesting to see what they'll do for their desktops.

Most of the additional chip area went into more GPUs and special-purpose video codec hardware. It's 'just' two more cores than the vanilla M1, and some of the efficiency cores on the M1 became performance cores. So CPU-bound things like compiling code will be 'only' 20-50% faster than on the M1 MacBook. The big wins are for GPU-heavy and codec-heavy workloads.

That makes sense since that's where most users will need their performance. I'm still a bit sad that the era of 'general purpose computing' where CPU can do all workloads is coming to an end.

Nevertheless, impressive chips, I'm very curious where they'll take it for the Mac Pro, and (hopefully) the iMac Pro.

ece(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If we're going to keep freedom in computing, let's hope 'general purpose computing' is the distinction that remains for exactly that purpose.

Accelerators/Memory are just being brought on die/package here, which has been happening for a while. Integrated memory controllers come to mind.

ashtonkem(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I'm still a bit sad that the era of 'general purpose computing' where CPU can do all workloads is coming to an end.

You'd have to be extremely old to remember that era. Lots of stuff important to making computers work got split off into separate chips away from the CPU pretty early into mass computing, such as sound, graphics, and networking. We've also been sending a lot of compute from the CPU into the GPU as late for both graphics and ML purposes.

Lately it seems like the trend has been taking these specialized peripheral chips and moving them back into SoC packages. Apple's approach here seems to be an evolutionary step on top of say, an Intel chip with integrated graphics, rather than a revolutionary step away from the era of general purpose computing.

klelatti(10000) 7 days ago [-]

In this context the absence of the 27 inch iMac was interesting. If these SoC were not deemed to be 'right' for the bigger iMac then possibly a more CPU focused / developer focused SoC may be in the works for the iMac?

spicybright(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm going to sound dumb for this, but how difficult do any of you think it would be to make a computer with 2 M1 chips? Or even 4?

theshadowknows(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I know nothing about hardware, basically. Do Apple's new GPU cores come close to the capabilities of discrete GPUs like what are used for gaming/scientific applications? Or are those cards a whole different thing?

baybal2(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Actually no 'extra' chip area in comparison to x86 based solution.

They just throw away so much of cruft from the die like PCIE PHYs, and x86 legacy I/O with large area analog circuitry.

Redundant complex DMA, and memory controller IPs are also thrown away.

Clock, and power rails on the SoC are also probably taking less space because of more shared circuitry.

Same with self-test, debug, fusing blocks, and other small tidbits.

sys_64738(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The way I interpreted it is that it's like lego so they can add more fast cores or more efficiency cores depending on the platform needs. The successor generations will be new lego building blocks.

cududa(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Edit: I was wrong! Thanks for pointing it out

Not exactly. M1 CPU, GPU, and RAM were all capped in the same package. New ones appear to be more a single board soldered onto mainboard, with a discrete CPU, GPU, and RAM package each capped individually if their 'internals' promo video is to be believed (and it usually is an exact representation of the shipping product) https://twitter.com/cullend/status/1450203779148783616?s=20

Suspect this is a great way for them to manage demand and various yields by having 2 CPU's (or one, if the difference between pro/ max is yield on memory bandwidth) and discrete RAM/ GPU components

lowbloodsugar(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Really curious if the memory bandwidth is entirely available to the CPU if the GPU is idle. An nvidia RTX3090 has nearly 1TB/s bandwidth, so the GPU is clearly going to use as much of the 400GB/s as possible. Other unified architectures have multiple channels or synchronization to memory, such that no one part of the system can access the full bandwidth. But if the CPU can access all 400GB/s, that is an absolute game changer for anything memory bound. Like 10x faster than an i9 I think?

fotta(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think the higher memory is also a huge win, with support for up to 64gb.

KMnO4(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I'm still a bit sad that the era of 'general purpose computing' where CPU can do all workloads is coming to an end.

They'll still do all workloads, but are optimized for certain workloads. How is that any different than say, a Xeon or EPYC cpu designed for highly threaded (server/scientific computing) applications?

firemelt(10000) 5 days ago [-]

anyone know what is the most optimum performance/dollars setup for this m1pro?

ed_elliott_asc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Surely the shared ram between cpu and gpu is the killer feature - zero copy and up to 64gb ram available for the gpu!

the_arun(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Could we use M1 chips on non-apple boards? If yes, I wish Apple releases these for non mac os consumption. Eg. Running linux servers in the cloud.

neogodless(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> 'just' two more cores than the vanilla M1

Total cores, but going from 4 'high performance' and 4 'efficiency' to 8 'high performance' and 2 'efficiency. So should be more dramatic increase in performance than '20% more cores' would provide.

pier25(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Anyone can comment on what Intel and AMD are going to do now?

Will they be able to catch up or will Qualcomm become the alternative for ARM laptop chips? (and maybe desktop chips too)

terafo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Intel is releasing heterogeneous chips in less than a month. Both Intel and AMD bet heavily on 3d stacking and it should hold Apple off desktop. A lot of Apple advantage is due to node advantage and I expect that AMD will start getting latest nodes much sooner than now, 5nm ryzen should be able to compete with m2, Intel's own nodes should get better in few years relatively to latest TSMC nodes(they are not that much behind). But x86 will surely loose market share in the coming decade.

ksec(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>Anyone can comment on what Intel and AMD are going to do now?

In the short term, nothing. But it isn't like Apple will magically make all PC user switch to Mac.

Right now Intel will need to catch up with Foundry first. AMD needs to work their way into partnering with many people with GPU IP which is their unique advantage. Both are currently well under way and are sensible path forward. Both CEOs knows what they are doing. I rarely praise any CEOs, but Pat and Dr Lisa are good.

neogodless(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This exact question was asked a year ago when the M1 was announced.

In the year since, their laptop market share increased about 2% from 14 to 16%[0].

The reasons for this are:

1. When deciding on a computer, you often have to decide based on use case, software/games used, and what operating system will work best for those use cases. For Windows users, it doesn't matter if you can get similar performance from a Macbook Pro, because you're already shopping Windows PCs.

2. Performance for most use cases has been enough for practically a decade (depending on the use case.) For some things, no amount of performance is 'enough' but your workload may still be very OS-dependent. So you probably start with OS X or Windows in mind before you begin.

3. The efficiency that M1/Pro/Max are especially good at are not the only consideration for purchase decisions for hardware. And they are only available in a Macbook / Macbook Pro / Mini. If you want anything else - desktop, dedicated gaming laptop, or any other configuration that isn't covered here, you're still looking at a PC instead of a Mac. If you want to run Linux, you're probably still better off with a PC. If you want OS X, then there is only M1, and Intel/AMD are wholly irrelevant.

4. Many buyers simply do not want to be a part of Apple's closed system.

So for Intel/AMD to suddenly be 'behind' still means that years will have to go by while consumers (and especially corporate buyers) shift their purchase decisions and Apple market share grows beyond the 16% they're at now. But performance is not the only thing to consider, and Intel/AMD are not sitting still either. They release improved silicon over time. If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd say 'do not buy anything Intel' but their 2021 releases are perfectly fine, even if not class-leading. AMD's product line has improved drastically over the past 4 years, and are easy to recommend for many use cases. Their Zen 4 announcement may also be on the 5nm TSMC node, and could be within the ballpark of M1 Pro/Max for performance/efficiency, but available to the larger PC marketplace.

[0] https://www.statista.com/statistics/576473/united-states-qua...

elromulous(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As is typical for apple, the phrasing is somewhat intentionally misleading (like my favorite apple announcement - 'introducing the best iphone yet' - as if other companies are going backwards?). The wording is of course carefully chosen to be technically true, but to the average consumer, this might imply that these are more powerful than any CPU apple has ever offered (which of course is not true).

eqtn(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This time, they showed which laptop was used to compare the performance on the bottom left corner during presentation

ukd1(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Which are more powerful?

BitAstronaut(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>this might imply that these are more powerful than any CPU apple has ever offered (which of course is not true).

Excuse my ignorance, what is?

sydthrowaway(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How is the memory bandwidth so much better than intel ?

jagger27(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Seems to be a much wider memory bus combined with a new generation of RAM, LPDDR5.

sva_(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I suppose the future of personal computing may be ARM then? For now

kfprt(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If Nvidia buys ARM they'll flee like rats on a sinking ship. I'd bet on RISC-V.

m15i(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Will the 64GB RAM max chip be practical for training deep learning models? Any benchmarks vs GTX 3090?

terafo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It will be definitely handy for finetuning large models due to huge ram, but in training from scratch 3090 is certainly better. They are seemingly cooking 128 core GPU, if they release this kraken it will beat 3090 in pretty much everything.

andrewl-hn(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Their comparison charts showed the performance of mobile GPUs, not the desktop ones. So, I wouldn't call this "practical". Most likely depends on what kind of models you are building and what software you use and how optimized it is for M1.

WORMS_EAT_WORMS(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm so ridiculously happy with my first generation M1 I have zero desire to upgrade.

Kind of wild to consider given how long it has taken to get here with the graveyard of Apple laptops in my closet.

eugeniub(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Same. I am impressed with M1 Pro and M1 Max performance numbers. I ordered the new MBP to replace my 2020 M1 MBP, but I bought it with the base M1 Pro and I'm personally way more excited about 32gb, 1000 nits brightness, function row keys, etc.

lowbloodsugar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

See, this is why you have kids. Now my kid gets my M1 Air, and I get a M1 Max!

Unbeliever69(10000) 7 days ago [-]

For sure. Mine has been the perfect dev machine. My Docker build times are the envy of the office.

maxekman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was thinking the exact same thing! The fanless M1 Air is a dev monster in a mouse package. Couldn't be happier with that combo.

rcheu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

400 GB/s is insane memory bandwidth. I think a m5.24xlarge for instance has something around 250 GB/s (hard to find exact number). Curious if anyone knows more details about how this compares.

Andys(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Its still a bit unclear how much of the bandwidth the CPUs can use (as opposed to the GPUs)

ryanjodonnell(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is it possible to dual boot windows with the new m1 chips?

aldanor(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You can most definitely use the latest Parallels IIRC, why dual boot?

pantalaimon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No.

turbinerneiter(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It makes me sad that no one will never be able to build anything with those chips.

I imagine there could me many, many innovative products built with these chips if Apple sold them and supported Linux (or even Windows).

zionic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Imagine if apple was forced (via anti trust laws) to spin off their CPU division...

viktorcode(10000) 6 days ago [-]

They wouldn't have existed in this form then. Open chip market has very different needs, and SoCs are designed accordingly.

userbinator(10000) 7 days ago [-]

...or just released the full documentation for them. Apple being Apple and wanting full control over its users, I don't see that happening. I really don't care how fast or efficient these are, if they're not publicly documented all I think is 'oh no, more proprietary crap'. Apple might even make more $$$ if it wanted to open up, but it doesn't.

tmellon2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Does anyone have a handle on how the new M1X is expected to perform on Deep Learning training runs vs a NVIDIA 1080Ti / 2080Ti. I think the 400 Gbps bandwidth and 64 GB unified memory will help - but can anyone extrapolate based on the M1 ?

uuddlrlr(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Nit: the M1 Max has 400GB/s (3.2Tbps) bandwidth.

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's a bit concerning that the new chips have special purpose video codec hardware. I hope this trend doesn't continue, requiring laptops from different manufacturers to play different video formats or at least with a non-degraded quality.

Synaesthesia(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Video encode and decode have been GPU and integrated GFX features for quite a long time now.

MisterTea(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Apple headline: New chip is faster than old chip.

HN: 54 points

Slow news day.

octos4murai(10000) 7 days ago [-]

MacBook announcements are the opposite of slow news days. Consumer tech outlets are literally scrambling to cover every aspect of these things because there is so much interest.

fartcannon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Not suggesting this is whats happening, but you can pay for this kind attention.

On HN you probably don't have to though. Lots of fans of Apple things here.

sk0g(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Now, if only Unreal Engine builds were available M1 native, I could get rid of my huge and heavy desktop entirely!

Interestingly, some improvements to Rosetta were mentioned, extremely briefly.

tehnub(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Same wish here. Last I tried a few months ago, I was unable to compile UE4 as well. These machines would be great for UE4 dev if only the compatibility was there. I wonder if the politics between Epic and Apple has made efforts in this area a lower priority.

out_of_protocol(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Apple very much against games, they've even broken OpenGL just because. Don't expect any type of gaming ecosystem around Apple anytime soon.

smoldesu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Great update, I think Apple did the right thing by ignoring developers this time. 70% of their customers are either creatives who rely on proprietary apps, or people who just want a bigger iPhone. Those people will be really happy with this upgrade, but I have to wonder what the other 30% is thinking. It'll be interesting to see how Apple continues to slowly shut out portions of their prosumer market in the interest of making A Better Laptop.

nharada(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I agree this is very targeted towards the creative market (i.e. SD card port, etc), but I'm curious as a developer what you would have liked to see included that isn't in this release.

I guess personally having better ML training support would be nice, since I suspect these M1 Max chips could be absolute monsters for some model training/fine-tuning workloads. But I can't think of anything design-wise really.

jagger27(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I certainly don't feel ignored as a developer by this update. The memory capacity and speed bump, and the brighter, higher resolution screen are very significant for me. My M1 Air is already a killer portable development machine because of how cool and quietly (silent) it runs. The 14' looks like a perfect upgrade for me.

What is missing for you as a developer?

alberth(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Server Chips: if you removed the GPU, and added ECC - these would be dang nice server chips.

ttul(10000) 7 days ago [-]

There is technically no reason Apple could not introduce a cloud computing service based on their silicon at some point. But would it generate the kind of profit margins they need? An interesting space to watch.

Weryj(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I was having a vision last night of a server rack filled with iPad Pros /w Ethernet through the USB-C. I still wonder what the performance per mm^3 would be in comparison to a traditional server.

awiesenhofer(10000) 6 days ago [-]

AFAIK LPDDR5 already uses ECC internally so you are halfway there.

adamleo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm switching now, after waiting for the M1 16' one for more than a year now.

However, my current laptop is a 2015 MacBook, I've never had any issues with it when it comes to coding. If anyone here's switching and you don't do anything like 3D/video editing, I'm curious what's your reason?

sumnuyungi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

To finally use my laptop as it's intended: without being tethered to an outlet. The battery life on these is phenomenal.

throwawaysea(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I know Apple has a translating feature called Rosetta. But what about virtual machines? Is it possible to run Windows 10 (not the ARM edition but the regular, full Windows 10) as a virtual machine on top of an Apple M1 chip? It looks like UTM (https://mac.getutm.app/) enables this, although at a performance hit, but I don't know how well it works in practice. What about Parallels - their website suggests you can run Windows 10 Arm edition but doesn't make it clear whether you can run x86 versions of operating systems on top of an M1 Mac (see old blog post at https://www.parallels.com/blogs/parallels-desktop-m1/). I would expect that they can run any architecture on top of an ARM processor but with some performance penalty.

I'm trying to figure out if these new MacBook Pros would be an appropriate gift for a CS student entering the workforce. I am worried that common developer tools might not work well or that differences in processors relative to other coworkers may cause issues.

thoughtsimple(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Neither Apple, Microsoft, nor Parallels is planning to support x86-64 Windows on Apple silicon. You can run emulation software like QEMU and it works but it is very slow. UTM uses QEMU.

raihansaputra(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If they're entering the workforce, gift them for their personal use. The office should provide them with the laptop instead of a personal one.

amansidhant(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So if I want a new Macbook purely for software development and building mobile apps, what should I pick between the $2499 14' and the $3499 16'? Doesn't look like there's any difference in Xcode build times from their website

rpmisms(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Probably depends on your eyesight. I like small laptops with very high resolution, but I have good eyes.

methyl(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's only a matter of your preference, whether you like more real estate on the screen or better portability.

seviu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

14' + M1 Max (24 GPU cores) with 32 Gb Ram is the sweet spot imho. It costs a bit more but you get twice the memory bandwidth and double the ram, which will always prove handy.

I develop iOS apps and I think this is the sweet spot. I am not sure what impact the extra bandwidth of the M1 Max will have though. We will have to wait to see. For video editing is clear. For Xcode not so sure.

14 or 16 inches is up to personal preference. I just value more the smaller package and the reduced weight. Performance is about the same.

symlinkk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'd get the 16", 14" is pretty small for something you'd be using every day

DeathArrow(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I am not interested in Apple's ecosystem. While I stay with X86 I wonder if and when AMD and Intel will catch up. Or if another ARM chip maker will release a chip as good but without tying it to a proprietary system.

theshrike79(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is a chicken and egg problem.

No one will bother to make an ARM chip for 'PCs' if there is no OS to run on it. MS won't fully port Windows to ARM with a Rosetta-like layer unless there is an ARM computer to run it.

Yes, Linux can run on anything, but it won't sell enough chips to make creating a whole new ARM computer line profitable.

aqme28(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I hate the naming.

By name alone and without looking at specs, can you tell me which is the faster chip-- the M1 Max or the M1 Pro?

billyhoffman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

In isolation, maybe. But it follows the naming convention of their iPhones models:

base model < pro model < pro max model

rbilgil(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Well I'm not necessarily a fan of the naming but assuming Max stands for maximum, it's pretty clearly the best one. The one you get if you want to max it out. But they should've called it Pro Max for consistency with the iPhones...

vitaflo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Not to mention in casual conversation when talking about the M1 Max and people think you're talking about the more general "M1 Macs".

twic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The M1 Pro is faster. The M1 MAX is an M1, but with new control software which makes it keep crashing.

tyingq(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It would be odd for me if 'Max' were not the 'maximum'.

agluszak(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Ah yes, the naming. Instead of M2 we got M1 Pro & M1 Max. I'm waiting for M1 Ultra+ Turbo 5G Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade for Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems for Home, Office or Mobile [sic]

terafo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's scaled up M1. No new cores, no new modules. Just more of everything. I would've been disappointed if it was called m2.

euroderf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Any guesses how long it will take for Apple to update the pre-existing M1 Macs ? (Price drop, performance boost)

slayerjain(10000) 7 days ago [-]

maybe around next fall

citilife(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Those power comparisons aren't really fair IMO. They're testing power consumption...

They're using a 'msi prestige 14 evo (intel CPU)' vs an optimized laptop using an M1.

Further, where's AMD? They have a better power vs performance ratio.

I'm not sure it's as good or not, but that's a lot of cherry picking.

marricks(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can you be more specific in how the M1 is optimized while MSI's isn't? Also why was MSI a bad comparison?

It seems reasonable to me but I don't follow PC much these days.

hydroreadsstuff(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How do they get 200/400GB per second RAM bandwidth? Isn't that like 4/8 channel DDR5. 4/8 times as fast as current Intel/AMD CPUs/APUs? (E.g. https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/201837/... with 45.8GB/s)

Laptop/desktop have 2 channels. High-end desktop can have 4 channels. Servers have 8 channels.

How does Apple do that? I was always assuming that having that many channels is prohibitive in terms of either power consumption and/or chip size. But I guess I was wrong.

It can't be GDDR because chips with the required density don't exist, right?

labby5(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You aren't wrong, Apple is able to do this because implementing LPDDR is much more efficient from both a transistor and power consumption point of view, and is actually faster too. The tradeoff is you can't put 8 or 16 dram packages on the same channel like you can with regular DDR, which means that the M1 Max genuinely has a 64 GB limit, while a DDR system with the same bandwidth would be 1 TB. Fortunately for Apple there isn't really a market for a laptop with a TB of RAM.

G4E(10000) 7 days ago [-]

That sound like HBM2, maybe HBM3 but that would be the first consumer product to include it afaik.

Basically the bus is really large, and the memory dies must be really close to the main processing die. Those memory were notably on the RX Vega from AMD, and before that on the R9 Fury.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Bandwidth_Memory

Tuna-Fish(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's LPDDR5, which maxes out at 6.4Gbit/s/pin, on a 256bit/512bit interface.

It's much easier to make a wider bus with LPDDR5 and chips soldered on the board than with DIMMs.

ksec(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They are using LPDDR5.

Not the usual DDR5 used in Desktop / Laptop.

yboris(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is there any VR for the Mac? Seems like the machine is more-than-ready for VR!

smoldesu(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Apple had SteamVR support for a while, and even Valve Proton support for a while (meaning that Windows-only games were quite playable on Mac hardware). Unfortunately, Apple pulled 32-bit library support without offering a suitable alternative, so Valve was forced to scrap their plans for Mac gaming entirely.

yodsanklai(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> This also means that every chip Apple creates, from design to manufacturing, will be 100 percent carbon neutral.

How is that even possible?

bee_rider(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I guess it must be net, right? So maybe carbon offsets or providing more green energy than they consume, to the grid?

strobe(10000) 7 days ago [-]

likely they not but is possible to say that because they buying a Carbon offsets or similar products to make it 100 neutral https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset

(obviously apple can afford that)

trenchgun(10000) 7 days ago [-]

With offsets.

supertrope(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Collecting juicy tax credits for installing solar power. Carbon credits.

sharkjacobs(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is roughly in line with what I expected, given the characteristics of the M1. It's still very power efficient and cool, has more CPU cores, a lot more GPU cores, wider memory controller, and presumably it has unchanged single core performance.

Apple clearly doesn't mean these to be a high performance desktop offering though because they didn't even offer an Mac Mini SKU with the new M1s.

But what I'm really curious about is how Apple is going to push this architecture for their pro desktop machines. Is there a version of the M1 which can take advantage of a permanent power supply and decent air flow?

julienb_sea(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't think they are going to make desktop versions, they'll probably put the pro and max versions in a new iMac body during Q2 2022 and might add config options to mac mini. Might be for supply chain reasons, focusing 100% on macbook pro production to meet the absolutely massive incoming demand.

grecy(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think it likely that Apple will just ramp up what they've been doing so far - make an 'M1 Ultra' that has 32 or 64 or even 128 cores of CPU, at least that many GPU and scale the memory and I/O in the same way. Put the one with fewer cores in the iMac Pro and the one with the most cores in the Mac Pro.

Every couple of years when they upgrade again every product they make will go up to M2, then M3, etc. etc.

gradys(10000) 7 days ago [-]

M1 Pro Max is only $200 more. I'm tempted, but do we think it will be more power hungry under the same workload than the Pro?

alex504(10000) 6 days ago [-]

On Apple's website, see the notes below the battery consumption claims.

https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro-14-and-16/#footnote-23

They are using the m1 pro to get their battery claim numbers.

I ordered an M1 Pro based on the slightly lower price and my assumption that it will be less power hungry. If it is only 200 dollars cheaper why else would they even offer the M1 Pro? The extra performance of he max seems like overkill for my needs so if it has worse power consumption I don't want it. I could probably get away with an M1 but I need the 16' screen.

We will find out in a few weeks when there are benchmarks posted by 3rd party reviewers, but by that time who knows how long it will take to order one.

awill(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The full-blown Max they talked about is an $800 upgrade. https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro/16-inch It's combined with double RAM (32GB), double GPU (32-core).

The $200 upgrade is called 'Max', but is still 16GB RAM, and 'only' 24 core GPU.

sharken(10000) 7 days ago [-]

So with 57B transistors for the M1 Max you can fit the AMD 5800H (10 B) and the RTX 3080 Ti (28 B) and have 19B transistors left.

So the performance should be top notch but cooling and power requirements will be quite high.

So battery life of 21 hours is quite the achievement.

Still, i prefer the open architecture of the PC any day.

Matthias247(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think memory is part of that, whereas it would be excluded for the other chips you mentioned.

But OTOH 57B transistors for 64GB of memory means there would be less than one transistors per byte of memory - so I'm not sure how this works, but I'm not too knowledgeable in chip design.

up6w6(10000) 6 days ago [-]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transistor_count

It seems to be way beyond any CPU for end users and even some servers like AWS Graviton 2

Synaesthesia(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wish we had real open hardware with everything documented. Sadly that us very rare.

throwaway879080(10000) 7 days ago [-]

how does this new GPU and 'neural engine' perform comparing to Nvidia GPUs, and do they support Tensorflow and something similar to CUDA SDK

vimy(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The M1 gpu was comparable to a 1080. https://blog.tensorflow.org/2020/11/accelerating-tensorflow-... I believe they are working on PyTorch support.

gjsman-1000(10000) 7 days ago [-]

For me, think about that memory bandwidth. No other CPU comes even close. A Ryzen 5950X can only transfer about 43GB/s. This thing promises 400GB/s on the highest-end model.

Jimpulse(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The AMD chips in the PS5 and new XBox reach 448GB/s and 326GB/s bandwith respectively with their unified memory.

Woden501(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No consumer CPU comes close. Just saw an article about the next-gen Xeon's with HBM though that blows even this away (1.8TB/s theoretically), but what else would one expect from enterprise systems. Getting pretty damn excited about all the CPU manufacturers finally getting their asses into gear innovation-wise after what feels like a ridiculously long period of piss-warm 'innovation'.

Thaxll(10000) 6 days ago [-]

And only 10 cores so a 5950x completely wreck an M1.

defaultname(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As always, though, the integrated graphics thing is a mixed blessing. 0-copy and shared memory and all of that, but now the GPU cores are fighting for the same memory. If you are really using the many displays that they featured, just servicing and reading the framebuffers must be...notable.

A high end graphics card from nvidia these days has 1000GB/s all to itself, not in competition with the CPUs. If these GPUs are really as high of performance as claimed, there may be situations where one subsystem or the other is starved.

humantorso(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'll wait for the Linus benchmarks/comparisons.

jagger27(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That's funny, I stopped watching LTT videos immediately after his awful 'dumpster fire' M1 first impressions video last year.

Synaesthesia(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You mean Anandtech

WithinReason(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Isn't almost every new Apple chip the most powerful chip Apple has ever built?

epistasis(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They could have been optimizing for lower power consumption rather than more compute power. For example, the next iPhone chip will likely not be the most powerful when it comes to compute, even if it beats the other iPhone chips.

pastelsky(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Does this leap sound big enough to eat into the traditional windows pro laptop market?

ITs going to have a tough time justifying purchases.

p_l(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Doubtful, because those purchases are often driven by software reasons, and there Apple loses heavily (whether it's corporate manageability of the laptops, or access to special software which rarely has Mac versions)

octos4murai(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Do these new processors mean anything for those of us who need to run x86 VMs or is Apple Silicon still a no-go?

sharikous(10000) 7 days ago [-]

you can always run an emulator such as QEMU if you really need x86 once in a while

working with it would be a pain, however, if you absolutely need x86 better get an Intel mac (possibly used) or a PC

mohanmcgeek(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Disingenuous for Apple to compare these against 2017 Intel chips and call them 2x and 3.7x faster.

I would love to see how they fare against 2021 Intel and amd chips.

lowbloodsugar(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The slide where they say its faster than an 8-core PC laptop CPU is comparing it against the 11th gen i7 11800H [1]. So it's not as fast as the fastest laptop chip, and it's certainly not as fast as the monster laptops that people put desktop CPUs in. But it uses 40% of the power of a not-awful 11th gen 8-core i7 laptop. The M1 is nowhere near as fast as a full-blown 16 core desktop CPU.

I am sure we will see reviews against high end intel and amd laptops very soon, and I wont be surprised if real world performance blows people away, as the M1 Air did.

[1] https://live.arstechnica.com/apple-october-18-unleashed-even...

fay59(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I suspect that's because they:

1- want to convince people still on Intel Macs to update 2- lengthen the news cycle when the first units are shipped to the tech press and _they_ run these benchmarks

Rapzid(10000) 6 days ago [-]

When M1 first released they pulled some marketing voodoo and you always saw the actively cooled performance numbers listed with the passively cooled TDP :D Nearly every tech article/review was reporting those two numbers together.

klelatti(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How is it disingenuous - defined in my dictionary as not candid - when we know precisely which chips they are comparing against?

They are giving Mac laptop users information to try to persuade them to upgrade from their 2017 MacBook Pros and this is probably the most relevant comparison.

james33(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They did that to compare against the last comparable Intel chips in a Mac, which seems rather useful for people looking to upgrade from that line of Mac.

00deadbeef(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I thought they compared it with an i9-9980HK which is the top-end 2019 chip in the outgoing 16' MBP?

ac29(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Intel's 2021 laptop chips (Alder Lake) are rumoured to be released later this month (usually actual availability is a few months after 'release'). I expect them to be pretty compelling compared to the previous generation Intel parts, and maybe even vs AMD's latest. But the new 'Intel 7' node (formerly 10++ or something) is almost certainly going to be behind TSMC N5 in power and performance, so Apple will most likely still have the upper hand.

JumpCrisscross(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can these drive more than one external monitor?

masklinn(10000) 7 days ago [-]

2x6K on the Pro, 3x6K + 1x4K on the Max. The 4K seems to be because that's the limit of the HDMI port.

No mention of MST though.

johnwheeler(10000) 7 days ago [-]

up to 4

bredren(10000) 7 days ago [-]

XDR Pro Display was the only external monitor mentioned, and was shown connected a few times. Screenshots and below details here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/pro-display-xdr-owners-...

Also specific statements:

- M1 Pro SoC supports two XDR Pro Display

- M1 Max SoC was highlighted (Connectivity: Display Support -> 33:50):

    - Supports three XDR Pro Displays and a 4k television simultaneously  
    - '75 Million pixels of real estate.'
    - Highlighted still having free ports with this setup.
rstupek(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It was shown driving 4 external monitors

can16358p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes. Up to three on Max.

salamandersauce(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes. The Pro and Max can drive 2 XDR displays.

billyhoffman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Indeed. The M1 Max can drive 3 6K monitors and a 4K TV all at once. Why? Professional film editors and color graders. You can be working on the three 6K monitors and then Output your render to the 4K TV simultaneously

cpascal(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yes, the live-stream showed a MacBook Pro connected to many monitors

LeSaucy(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The real question is can you plug in a display and not get kernel panics.

More-nitors(10000) 7 days ago [-]

yay more-nitors!

DiabloD3(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Since these won't ship in non-Apple products, I don't see really the point. They're only slightly ahead of AMD products when it comes to performance/watt, slightly behind performance/dollar (in an Apples to apples comparison on similarly configured laptops), and that's only because Apple is head of AMD at TSMC for new nodes, not because Apple has any inherent advantage.

I have huge respect for the PA Semi team, but they're basically wasting that talent if Apple only intends to silo their products into an increasingly smaller market. The government really needs to look into splitting Apple up to benefit shareholders and the general public.

kergonath(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> I have huge respect for the PA Semi team, but they're basically wasting that talent if Apple only intends to silo their products into an increasingly smaller market.

They design the SoCs in all iPhones and soon all Macs. They have the backing of a huge company with an unhealthy amount of money, and are free from a lot of constraints that come with having to sell a general-purpose CPUs to OEMs. They can work directly with the OS developers so that whatever fancy thing they put in their chips is used and has a real impact on release or shortly thereafter, and will be used by millions of users. Sounds much more exciting than working on the n-th Core generation at Intel. Look at how long it is taking for mainstream software to take advantage of vector extensions. I can't see how that is wasting talent.

> The government really needs to look into splitting Apple up to benefit shareholders and the general public.

So that their chip guys become just another boring SoC designer? Talk about killing the golden goose. Also, fuck the shareholders. The people who should matter are the users, and they seem quite happy with the products. Apple certainly has some unfair practices, but it's difficult to argue that their CPUs are problematic.

pjmlp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Our local office only uses macOS and Windows for desktop computers, GNU/Linux nowadays only for servers in some Amazon and Azure cloud instances.

Apple will have plenty of customers.

Jtsummers(10000) 7 days ago [-]

'They're only slightly ahead...' and 'The government really needs to look into splitting Apple up to benefit shareholders and the general public.' doesn't really seem to jive for me.

If they're only slightly ahead, what's the point of splitting them up when everyone else, in your analysis, is nearly on par or will soon be on par with them?

rpmisms(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is a poorly considered take, no offense to you. I think you're failing to consider that Apple traditionally drives innovation in the computing market, and this will push a lot of other manufacturers to compete with them. AMD is already on the warpath, and Intel just got a massive kick in the pants.

There's other arguments against Apple being as big as it, but this isn't a good one. Tesla being huge and powerful has driven amazing EV innovation, for example, and Apple is in the same position in the computing market.

kzrdude(10000) 7 days ago [-]

ARM going mainstream in powerful personal computers was exciting enough as it was, with the release of the Apple Silicon M1. With time hopefully these will be good to use with Linux.

runeks(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Does the M1 Pro/Max support running/building x86 Docker images using x86 hardware emulation?

As as developer, this is the feature I've missed the most after having used my M1 MacBook Air for about a year.

mirekrusin(10000) 6 days ago [-]

docker buildx should be able to handle it, no?

sam0x17(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Any indication on the gaming performance of these vs. a typical nvidia or AMD card? My husband is thinking of purchasing a mac but I've cautioned him that he won't be able to use his e-gpu like usual until someone hacks support to work for it again, and even then he'd be stuck with pretty old gen AMD cards at best.

deltron3030(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I wouldn't get one of those for games, better get a Windows PC and a M1 MacBook Air, cost should be about the same for both. Game support just won't be there if you care about gaming.

neogodless(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The video moved a bit too fast for me to catch the exact laptops they were comparing. They did state that the M1 Pro is 2.5x the Radeon Pro 5600M, and the M1 Max is 4x the same GPU.

The performance to power charts were comparing against roughly RTX 3070 level laptop cards.

rudedogg(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Wow, I had no idea M1 doesn't support eGPUs. I was planning on buying an external enclosure for Apple Silicon when I upgraded; thanks for pointing that out.

ksec(10000) 7 days ago [-]

In terms of Hardware M1 Max is great. On paper you wont find anything match its performance under load. As even Gaming / Content Creation Laptop throttle after a short while.

The problem is gaming isn't exactly a Mac thing. From Game selection to general support on the platform. So really performance should be the least of your concern if you are buying a Mac for games.

BitAstronaut(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The fine print:

>Testing conducted by Apple in September 2021 using preproduction 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 Max, 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 64GB of RAM, and 8TB SSD, as well as production Intel Core i9-based PC systems with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics with 24GB GDDR6, production Intel Core i9-based PC systems with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics with 16GB GDDR6, and the latest version of Windows 10 available at the time of testing.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211018005775/en/Gam...

yellowapple(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If Apple ever gets around to putting an M1 Max in a Mac Mini, that'd probably push me over the edge toward buying one.

Zenbit_UX(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Always wondered who the Mac minis were marketed towards. Sure they're cool but wouldn't you want something portable should you want to go to a coworking location or extend a vacation with a remote work portion of the trip?

Surely in the world of covid remote work is common among developers... Would that mean you'd need a second device like an Air to bring on trips?

Zenst(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Many will as that kinda processing power and more so memory interface speed - it will seriously blur a lot of lines.

More so, it has really got the processing leaps and jumps back into life again and not really seen much of that for well over a decade now.

Andys(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah, especially if it could run Linux. This would be a powerful little server.

I decked out my workstation with a 16 core Ryzen & 96GB RAM and it didn't cost anywhere near the price of this new 64GB M1 Max combo. (But it may very well be less powerful, which is astonishing. It would be great to at least have the choice.)

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can't you buy a MBP 16' and connect it to whatever display you were going to connect your Mac Mini to?

nodesocket(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> 140W USB-C Power Adapter

Wait huh? My current 16' Intel Core i9 is only 95watts. Does this mean all my existing USB-C power infrastructure won't work?

google234123(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No, it would be just be slower to charge

barelysapient(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Maybe its a typo and they mean the Magsafe3 connector? I though the USB-C standard was limited to 100 watts.

can16358p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It will work but it will charge slower and probably won't charge when maxing out the juice off the SoC.

miohtama(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It likely charges slower, though they is a minimum needed power - you cannot charge with a mobile charger.

salamandersauce(10000) 7 days ago [-]

My guess is it will work like using a 65W adapter on a Mac that prefers 95W. It will charge if you're not doing much but it will drain the battery if you're going full tilt.

gpt5(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's interesting that the M1 Max is similar in GPU performance to RTX 3080. A sub $1000 Mac Mini would end up being the best gaming PC you could buy, at less than half the price of an equivalent windows machine.

cloogshicer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If only the Software compatibility was there. I'd love to be able to skip buying expensive desktop machines exclusively for gaming.

burmanm(10000) 7 days ago [-]

But without games to play on it. Instead, you could just get an Xbox Series X for half that price.

smileybarry(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Similar to an RTX 3080 Mobile, which is IIRC equivalent to somewhere around a RTX 3060 Desktop.

neogodless(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The M1 Max starts at $2700 for the 16' 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU.

The comparison to higher end graphics uses the M1 Max 32-core GPU which starts at $3500.

I'm not seeing a way for a Mac Mini to have the M1 Max, and still be priced below $1000.

SalimoS(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Why no one is talking about the base 14' 8-Core CPU and 14-Core GPU but not a single mention in the presentation ?

How the new M1 Pro 8 core compared the the M1 8 core ?

masklinn(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The M1 has 4 small cores and 4 big while the Pro is 2/6. Didn't really see if they claimed difference in the performances of the cores themselves.

bnastic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I don't think the 'old' M1 13' Pro is long for this world - for £100 more (16GB+1TB spec) you get a much better machine in the 14' model. But independent comparisons will follow.

I'd love to see a Pro/Max Mac Mini, but that's not likely to happen.

slayerjain(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Based on the numbers it looks like the M1 Max is in the RTX 3070-3080 performance territory. Sounds like mobile AAA gaming has potential to reach new heights :D

smileybarry(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If Proton is made to work on Mac with Metal, there's some real future here for proper gaming on Mac. Either that or Parallels successfully running x64 games via Windows on ARM virtualization.

mhh__(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Who actually supports MacOS though? Didn't valve just give up?

notSupplied(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Elephant in the room is that an A15/M1 beefed up GPU is exactly the right chip for a Nintendo Switch/Steam Deck form factor device.

slayerjain(10000) 7 days ago [-]

And in the case for the M1 Pro, apple is showing it to be faster than the Lenovo 82JW0012US - which has a RTX 3050ti. so the performance could be between RTX 3050ti - RTX 3060. All of this with insanely low power draw.

TheRealDunkirk(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It's not a function of capability. I spent $4,000 on a 2019 MBP, including $750 for a Vega 20. It plays Elder Scrolls Online WORSE than a friend's 2020 with INTEGRATED graphics. (I guess Bethesda gave some love to the integrated chipset, and didn't optimize for the Vega. It hitches badly every couple of seconds like it's texture thrashing.)

Whatever AAA games that might have gotten some love on the Mac (and there are some), it's going to be even harder to get game companies to commit to proper support to the M1 models. Bethesda has said they won't even compile ESO for M1. So I will continue to run it on a 12-year-old computer running an ATHLON 64 and a nVidia 9xx-series video card. (This works surprising well, making the fact that my Mac effectively can't play it all the more galling.)

I'm never going to try tricking out a Mac for gaming again. I should have learned my lesson with eGPU's, but no. I thought, if I want a proper GPU, it's going to be built in. Well, that doesn't work either. I've wasted a lot of money in this arena.

PragmaticPulp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> Based on the numbers it looks like the M1 Max is in the RTX 3070-3080 performance territory.

The slides are comparing to a laptop with a 3080 Mobile, which is not the same as a normal RTX 3080. A desktop 3080 is a power hungry beast and will not work in a laptop form factor.

The 3080 Mobile is still very fast as a benchmark, but the full-size 3080 Desktop is in another league of performance: https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-mobile-GeForce-RTX-3080-is...

Still very impressive GPU from Apple!

jjcon(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Mobile 3070-80 so around 1080 desktop for those that are interested. I'm curious what their benchmark criteria was though.

hajile(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The 3080M has something around 20TFLOPS of theoretical f32 performance. That's double that of Apple's biggest offerings.

In theoretical compute, it's closer to the 3060M which is nothing to sneeze at.

Ronson(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Not to disagree, but what gave you that impression?

culopatin(10000) 7 days ago [-]

But do you need to play those games through rosetta? Does that make a difference?

mattfrommars(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I am in the market for a new laptop and bit skeptic for M1 Chips. Could anyone please tell me how is this not a 'premium high performance Chromebook' ?

Why should I buy this and not Dell XPS machine if I will be using it for web development/Android Development/C#/DevOps. Might soon mess with machine learning

raydev(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Better battery life while performing faster than any Intel/AMD chip at equivalent power usage. Portability is the reason for the existence of laptops.

azeirah(10000) 7 days ago [-]

For web dev it works very well, android development no clue, c# is primarily a windows-oriented development environment so probably not so great. For devops, well.. Mac is a linux-esque environment, it'll be fine?

I have the m1 air and the big advantages are the absurd battery life and the extremely consistent very high performance.

It's always cold, it's always charged, it's always fast.

I believe you can get both faster cpu and gpu performance on a laptop, but it costs a lot in battery life and heat which has a bigger impact on usability than I believed before getting this one.

Might want to add, this is my first ever apple laptop. I've always used Lenovo laptops, ran mostly windows/linux dual boots on my laptops and desktops over the years.

Weryj(10000) 7 days ago [-]

That's a debate between OSX and alternatives, the M1 has little to do with that. Except maybe the Rosetta for unsupported x86, but I doubt that'll cause you any issues.

Edit: C# support is there on OSX, Rider has Apple Silicon builds and .net core is cross platform now.

ML is probably a let down and you'll be stuck to CPU sized workloads, that being said the M1 does pretty well compared to other x86 CPU

sjroot(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I am a very satisfied Apple customer, but will gladly tell you that a Windows machine would make more sense for the use cases you've described.

yumraj(10000) 7 days ago [-]

$400 to upgrade RAM from 16GB to 32GB -- Ouch!!

tyingq(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Also $400 to go from 32GB to 64GB if you start with the 16 inch MPB with the M1Max. So $400 in that case buys 32G extra instead of just 16GB extra.

Interesting.

asdff(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Apple has always been so stupid about RAM pricing. I miss the days where you could triple your base RAM by spending maybe $75 on sticks from crucial and thirty seconds of effort.

Decabytes(10000) 7 days ago [-]

What is it about the M1 architecture that makes it so speedy compared to x86 chips? Is it the Risc instruction set? The newer node process? Something else?

lowbloodsugar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

RISC is a big part of it, and enabled the biggest part, which is Apple got to design their own SoC. And they have their own OS, so they can cause a complete paradigm shift without having to wait for the OS company/collective to come around.

taurath(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Kind of surprising to me they're not making more effort towards game support - maybe someone can explain what the barriers are towards mac support - is it lack of shared libraries, x64 only, sheer number of compute cores?

When I see the spec sheet and "16x graphics improvement" I go okay what could it handle in terms of game rendering? Is it really only for video production and GPU compute tasks?

modulusshift(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The gaming capability is there, but Apple only officially supports their own Metal on macOS as far as graphics languages, meaning the only devs with experience with Metal are the World of Warcraft team at Blizzard and mobile gaming studios. MoltenVK exists to help port Vulkan based games, but generally it's rough going at the moment. I'm personally hoping that the volume of M1 Macs Apple has been selling will cause devs to support Macs.

smoldesu(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've answered this a few times, so I'll just give a bog-standard answer here.

Apple had really good game support 3 years ago. Mojave was really among the best when it had Valve Proton natively supported, and it was starting to seem like there might be some level of gaming parity across MacOS, Linux and Windows. Apple broke compatibility with 32-bit libraries in Catalina though, which completely nixed a good 95% of the games that 'just worked' on Mojave. Adding insult to injury, they burned their bridges with OpenGL and Vulkan very early on, which made it impossible to implement the most important parts of Proton, like DXVK and CL-piping.

So, is it possible to get these games running on MacOS? Maybe. The amount of work that needs to be done behind-the-scenes is monumental though, and it would take one hell of a software solution to make it happen. Apple's only option at this point is HLE of x86, which is... pretty goddamn terrible, even on a brand-spanking new M1 Max. The performance cores just don't have the overhead in clock speed to dynamically recompile a complete modern operating system and game alongside it.

thcleaner999(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Price you can't win the gaming market with 2000+$ product

terafo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

They never before had good graphics in mainstream products. And there's no official support for any of the industry standard API(to be fair there is MoltenVK, but not much traction yet), yes, there is support for Metal in UE4/5 and Unity, but AAA games use custom engines and cost/benefit analysis didn't make much sense, maybe now it will change.

WoodenChair(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is there any reason to believe these will have improved single-core performance? Or are these just more M1 cores in the same package?

eugeniub(10000) 6 days ago [-]

FWIW initial Geekbench scores that surfaced today do not show a significant improvement in the single-core performance for M1 Max compared to M1. https://www.macrumors.com/2021/10/18/first-m1-max-geekbench-...

41209(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Has anyone tried extremely graphically intense gaming on these yet, I actually would love to consolidate all of my computer usage to a single machine, but it would need to handle everything I need it to do. $2000 for a laptop that can replace my desktop, is not a bad deal. Although that said I'm in no rush here.

smoldesu(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Gaming is a non-starter on MacOS since 2018. You can get certain, specific titles working if you pour your heart and soul into it, but it's nothing like the current experience on Linux/Windows unfortunately.

thecleaner(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Naive question - is this chip purely home-made at Apple or does it use Arm licensed IP ?

modulusshift(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Apple has an architecture license from ARM, so they're allowed to create their own ARM-compatible cores. They do not license any core designs from ARM (like the Cortex A57), they design those in house instead.

thoughtsimple(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Apple uses the Arm Aarch64 instruction set with Apple silicon which is Arm IP. I don't believe that any Apple silicon uses any other Arm IP but who really knows since it is likely Apple would have written any contracts to prevent disclosure.

lisper(10000) 7 days ago [-]

'Apple's Commitment to the Environment'

> Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to have net-zero climate impact across the entire business, which includes manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This also means that every chip Apple creates, from design to manufacturing, will be 100 percent carbon neutral.

But what they won't do is put the chip in an expandable and repairable system so that you don't have to discard and replace it every few years. This renders the carbon-neutrality of the chips meaningless. It's not the chip, it's the packaging that is massively unfriendly to the environment, stupid.

itsangaris(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As others have said, the option to easily configure the computer post-purchase would make a massive difference in terms of its footprint

threeseed(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I just used Apple's trade-in service for my 2014 MacBook Pro and received $430.

So there is another, quite lucrative, option besides discarding it.

clajiness(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> It's not the chip, it's the packaging that is massively unfriendly to the environment, stupid.

Who are you calling stupid? If you're going to call someone or something stupid, don't do it in a stupid way.

remir(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Isn't most of the components in MacBooks recyclable? If I remember correctly, Apple has a recycling program for old Macs so it's not like these machines goes to landfill when their past their time or broken.

simonh(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>so that you don't have to discard and replace it every few years

Except you and I surely must know that's not true, that their machines have industry leading service lifetimes, and correspondingly high resale values as a result. Yes some pro users replace their machines regularly but those machines generally go on to have long productive lifetimes. Many of these models are also designed to be highly recyclable when the end comes. It's just not as simple as you're making out.

oblio(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah, but one of them doesn't cost a ton to implement (what they're doing) and the other one would cost them a ton through lost sales (what you're asking for).

Always follow the money :-)

ink404(10000) 6 days ago [-]

agree with your point, but one could also look at the performance/power savings and use that in an argument for environmentally friendliness

coryfklein(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> it's the packaging that is massively unfriendly to the environment, stupid.

Of all the garbage my family produces over the course of time, my Apple products probably take less than 0.1% of my family's share of the landfill. Do you find this to be different for you? Or am I speaking past the point you're trying to make here?

sudhirj(10000) 7 days ago [-]

All of my Apple laptops (maybe even all their products) see about 5 to 8 years of service. Sometimes with me, sometimes as hand-me-downs. So they've been pretty excellent at not winding up in the trash.

Even software updates often stretch as far back as 5 year old models, so they're pretty good with this.

moralestapia(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>This renders the carbon-neutrality of the chips meaningless.

You have a point but if they were actually truly neutral it wouldn't matter if you make 100,000 of them and throw them away.

ravi-delia(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It absolutely doesn't render the carbon-neutrality of the chip useless. Concern about waste and concern about climate change are bound by a political movement and not a whole lot else. It's not wrong to care about waste more, but honestly its emissions that I care about more.

savanaly(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is there an estimate of what the externality cost is for the packaging per unit? Would be useful to compare to other things that harm the environment like eating meat, taking car rides, to know how much I should think about this. E.g. if my iphone packaging is equivalent to one car ride I probably won't concern myself that much, but if it's equivalent to 1000 then yeah maybe I should. Right now I really couldn't tell you which of those two the true number is closer to. I don't expect we would be able to know a precise value but just knowing which order of magnitude it is estimated to be would help.

nojito(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>But what they won't do is put the chip in an expandable and repairable system so that you don't have to discard and replace it every few years. This renders the carbon-neutrality of the chips meaningless. It's not the chip, it's the packaging that is massively unfriendly to the environment, stupid.

Mac computers last way longer than their PC counterparts.

randomopining(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah but some Android stuff and windows stuff is so low-end that it only lasts for like 2 years and then it's functionally obsolete because of software. All the mac stuff from 10 years ago seems to still be able to work and has security updates.

aagha(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You can always put your money where your mouth is and support someone that is doing all of the above:

https://frame.work/

schleck8(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Apple, the company that requires the entire panel to be replaced by design when a 6 dollar display cable malfunctions, is proud to announce its latest marketing slogan for a better environment.

soheil(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They would make less money if they made the chip repairable. This doesn't have to make them evil. Apple being more profitable also means they can lower the cost and push the technological advancement envelop forward faster. Every year we will get that much faster chips. This is good for everyone.

This doesn't mean Apple's carbon footprint has to suffer. If Apple does a better job recycling old Macbooks than your average repair guy who takes an old CPU and puts in a new one in a repairable laptop then Apple's carbon footprint could be reduced. I remember the days when I would replace every component in my desktop once a year, I barely thought about recycling the old chips or even selling them to someone else. They were simply too low value to an average person to bother with recycling them properly or reselling them.

mlindner(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This isn't relevant to the chips. Take this to the other thread.

merpnderp(10000) 6 days ago [-]

My family has 3 MBP's. 2 of them are 10 years old, 1 of them is 8. When your laptops last that long, they're good for the environment.

jjcm(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> what they wont do is put the chip in an expandable and repairable system

Because that degrades the performance overall. SoC has proven itself to simply be more performant than a fully hotswappable architecture. Look at the GPU improvements they're mentioning - PCIe 5.0 (yet unreleased) maxes out at 128GB/s, whereas the SoC Apple has announced today is transferring between the CPU/GPU at 400GB/s.

In the end, performance will always trump interchangability for mobile devices.

sktrdie(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Won't that make the chip bigger and/or slower? I think the compactness where the main components are so close together and finely tuned that makes the difference. Making it composable probably means also making it bigger (hence won't fit in as small spaces) and probably slower than what it is. Just my two cents though am not a chip designer.

davedx(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What the hell does this have to do with the chips?

Grustaf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This only makes sense if you presume people throw away their laptops when they replace them after 'a few years'. Given the incredibly high second hand value of macbooks, I think most people sell them or hand them down.

tiffanyh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Are these M1 Pro/Max based on the A14 or A15?

Does "M1" == "A14" or does it mean "M1" == "5nm TSMC node"?

supermatt(10000) 7 days ago [-]

m1 is already very different to A14/15. Why do you think they are 'based' on the mobile SoCs?

Joeri(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They share the core design, icestorm for efficiency cores and firestorm for performance cores, but these are recombined into entirely different systems on chip. To say the m1 max is the same as a14 is like saying a xeon is the same as an i3 because they both have skylake-derived cores.

wmf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The differences between the A14 and A15 are so small it doesn't matter. I suspect the CPU/GPU cores come from the A14 but the ProRes accelerator comes from the A15.

sunaurus(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I would like to upgrade to Apple silicon, but I have no need for a laptop. I hope they put the M1 Max in a Mac Mini soon.

billyhoffman(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Seems reasonable. They still sell the Intel Mac mini, despite having an M1 powered Mac mini already. The Intel one uses the old "black aluminum means pro" design language of the iMac Pro. Feels like they are keeping it as a placeholder in their line up and will end up with two Apple silicon powered Mac mini's, One consumer and one pro

willis936(10000) 7 days ago [-]

There were rumors that it was supposed to be today. Given that it wasn't, I now expect it to be quite a while before they do. I was really looking forward to it.

ngngngng(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The benchmark to power consumption comparisons were very interesting. It seemed very un-Apple to be making such direct comparisons to competitors, especially when the Razer Blade Advanced had slightly better performance with far higher power consumption. I feel like typically Apple just says 'Fastest we've ever made, it's so thin, so many nits, you'll love it' and leaves it at that.

I'll be very curious to see those comparisons picked apart when people get their hands on these, and I think it's time for me to give Macbooks another chance after switching exclusively to linux for the past couple years.

zepto(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They are selling these to people who know what the competition is, and care.

kergonath(10000) 7 days ago [-]

FWIW, they are in general quite accurate with their ballpark performance figures. I expect the actual power/performance curves to be similar to that they showed. Which is interesting, because IIRC on the plots from Nuvia before they were bought their cores had a similar profile. It would be exciting if Qualcomm could have something good for a change.

snowwrestler(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Apple used to do these performance comparisons a lot when they were on the PowerPC architecture. Essentially they tried to show that PowerPC-based Macs were faster (or as fast as) Intel-based PCs for the stuff that users wanted to do, like web browsing, Photoshop, movie editing, etc.

This kind of fell by the wayside after switching to Intel, for obvious reasons: the chips weren't differentiators anymore.

_the_inflator(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think that Apple took a subtle, not so subtle stand: power consumption has to do with environmental impact.

ssijak(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah this is the first time they actually compared to something with the possibly bigger performance.

mdasen(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I think that for the first time, Apple has a real performance differentiator in its laptops. They want to highlight that.

If Apple is buying Intel CPUs, there's no reason making direct performance comparisons to competitors. They're all building out of the same parts bin. They would want to talk about the form factor and the display - areas where they could often out-do competitors. Now there's actually something to talk about with the CPU/GPU/hardware-performance.

I think Apple is also making the comparison to push something else: performance + lifestyle. For me, the implication is that I can buy an Intel laptop that's nicely portable, but a lot slower; I could also buy an Intel laptop that's just as fast, but requires two power adapters to satisfy its massive power drain and really doesn't work as a laptop at all. Or I can buy a MacBook Pro which has the power of the heavy, non-portable Intel laptops while sipping less power than the nicely portable ones. I don't have to make a trade-off between performance and portability.

I think people picked apart the comparisons on the M1 and were pretty satisfied. 6-8 M1 performance cores will offer a nice performance boost over 4 M1 performance cores and we basically know how those cores benchmark already.

I'd also note that there are efforts to get Linux on Apple Silicon.

dougmwne(10000) 6 days ago [-]

For the first time ever, they have something to brag about in their laptop specs. They are no longer just pulling parts off the shelf.

xur17(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> I'll be very curious to see those comparisons picked apart when people get their hands on these, and I think it's time for me to give Macbooks another chance after switching exclusively to linux for the past couple years.

I really enjoy linux as a development environment, but this is going to be VERY difficult to compete with..

vmception(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm not going to wait for the comparisons this time. Maxing this baby out right now.

dannyw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

They're just marketing to the audience (actual Pros; not the whole 'uni student with macbook pro for taking notees'.




(894) NYT journalist hacked with Pegasus after reporting on previous hacking attempts

894 points about 15 hours ago by giuliomagnifico in 10000th position

citizenlab.ca | Estimated reading time – 13 minutes | comments | anchor

Key Findings

  • New York Times journalist Ben Hubbard was repeatedly targeted with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware over a three-year period from June 2018 to June 2021. The targeting took place while he was reporting on Saudi Arabia, and writing a book about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • The targeting resulted in Pegasus infections in July 2020 and June 2021. Notably, these infections occurred after Hubbard complained to NSO Group that he was targeted by the Saudi-linked KINGDOM Pegasus operator in June 2018.
  • While we attribute the 2020 and 2021 infections to NSO Group's Pegasus spyware with high confidence, we are not conclusively attributing this activity to a specific NSO Group customer at this time. However, we believe that the operator responsible for the 2021 hack is also responsible for the hacking of a Saudi activist in 2021.
  • Some forensic artifacts that we connect to NSO Group are present on Hubbard's device as early as April 2018, although we are unable to confirm whether this represents a genuine infection attempt or a feasibility test.
  • A phone number belonging to Hubbard also reportedly appeared on the Pegasus Project list in July 2019. Unfortunately, forensic evidence is not available for this timeframe.

1. Background: NSO Group's Zero-Click iPhone Hacking Capabilities

Multiple reports indicate that NSO Group has used and demonstrated zero-click iPhone exploits since at least 2017. A Haaretz story cited a June 2017 zero-click iPhone demo to the Saudi Government, and a 2018 Motherboard article described a different zero-click iPhone demonstration. Meanwhile, in 2019, WhatsApp announced that NSO Group had been exploiting WhatsApp video calling functionality to conduct zero-click infections of Android devices.

Winter 2019: iMessage Zero-Click Activity

We first observed a Pegasus zero-click attack directed against an iPhone in December 2019 when we began running VPNs on the phones of potentially targeted users. We were not able to recover any logs from the targeted phone at that time, so we are unsure of the precise exploit used.

Summer 2020: The KISMET Exploit (iOS 13.5.1 and iOS 13.7)

This was followed by the KISMET zero-click exploit which NSO customers widely deployed starting in July 2020 against iOS 13.5.1 and later against iOS 13.7. The iOS14 update apparently blocked exploitation of KISMET.

2021: The FORCEDENTRY Exploit (iOS 14.x until 14.7.1)

NSO Group customers began using the FORCEDENTRY exploit as early as February 2021. NSO Group customers were continuing to deploy FORCEDENTRY against iPhones running iOS versions through 14.7.1 as of September 2021. We captured the FORCEDENTRY exploit and disclosed it to Apple in September 2021. Apple patched FORCEDENTRY in iOS 14.8, six days after our disclosure. Amnesty Tech also saw traces associated with this exploit during forensic analyses they performed as part of the Pegasus Project.

2. The 2021 Pegasus Hack of Ben Hubbard

We conclude with high confidence that an iPhone belonging to Hubbard was successfully hacked with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware on June 13, 2021, with the infection process starting around 15:45:20 GMT.

Details from Hack of Saudi Activist

We recovered the FORCEDENTRY exploit from a backup of a Saudi activist's iPhone. The FORCEDENTRY exploit was delivered to the Saudi activist's phone in 31 iMessage attachments sent from the iMessage account [EMAIL ADDRESS 1], based on an analysis of the activist's phone logs, including their com.apple.identityservices.idstatuscache.plist file. The FORCEDENTRY exploit was used to deploy NSO Group's Pegasus spyware onto the phone of the Saudi activist, and this process involved a file dropped into the Library/Caches folder.

Figure 1: The FORCEDENTRY exploit on the phone of the Saudi activist.

We believe that iMessage accounts used to deliver Pegasus, like [EMAIL ADDRESS 1], are used exclusively for this purpose, as other elements of NSO Group's Pegasus infrastructure, such as infection servers and command-and-control servers, are used exclusively in relation to Pegasus and not for any other uses.

Similarities between Hubbard's Phone and Phone of Saudi Activist

Hubbard's com.apple.identityservices.idstatuscache.plist file shows that the same iMessage account [EMAIL ADDRESS 1] communicated with his phone at June 13, 2021 15:45:20 GMT, about five minutes before a file was dropped in or deleted from the Library/Caches folder, and at least 41 iMessage attachments were deleted. Additionally, three items were deleted from Hubbard's DataUsage.sqlite file, leaving a gap in the sequence of Z_PK values in the ZPROCESS table. The deleted items all had timestamps greater than June 9, 2021 11:56:46 GMT and less than June 16, 2021 8:46:17 GMT. Based on this pattern of facts, we conclude with high confidence that Hubbard's iPhone was hacked with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware on June 13, 2021 15:45:20 GMT.

3. The 2020 Pegasus Hack of Ben Hubbard

We conclude with high confidence that an iPhone belonging to Hubbard was successfully hacked with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware on July 12, 2020, with the infection process starting around 16:46:01 GMT.

DataUsage.sqlite Artifact

We found that Ben Hubbard's DataUsage.sqlite file showed that process name bh was active on July 13, 2020 16:46:01. This process name is consistent with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, which uses the bh process name apparently as an abbreviation for "bridgehead," which appears to be a term of art referring to an initial stage of a malicious payload. A subsequent backup of Hubbard's phone taken in July 2021 (after the 2021 Pegasus hack of his phone) shows that this bh entry was deleted from DataUsage.sqlite, leaving a gap in the sequence of Z_PK values in the ZPROCESS table.

We found that attachments for at least 13 iMessages were deleted at July 12, 2020 16:45:55, several seconds before the DataUsage.sqlite artifact, indicating iMessage as the likely vector for Pegasus in this case. NSO Group customers were widely deploying the KISMET zero-click iMessage exploit at this time to hack target phones.

HIPPOCRENE FACTOR Present on Hubbard's Phone

Hubbard's phone logs show a sign of Pegasus infection that we call the HIPPOCRENE FACTOR. A careful analysis of Hubbard's logs indicates that the HIPPOCRENE FACTOR was introduced onto Hubbard's phone sometime after January 29, 2020 and before December 14, 2020. We have attributed the HIPPOCRENE FACTOR to NSO Group's Pegasus spyware with high confidence, though we are not describing additional technical details of the HIPPOCRENE FACTOR here, in order to maintain visibility into NSO Group's spyware.

4. The 2018 Pegasus Artifacts on Hubbard's Phone

We conclude with high confidence that a Pegasus operator, KINGDOM, sent Hubbard SMS and WhatsApp messages in June 2018 containing links that, if clicked, would have infected his phone with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware. We also noted that an Apple account that we believe is linked to Pegasus contacted Hubbard's phone in April 2018, but we could not determine if this represented an infection attempt.

An Odd Email Address is Looked Up

The com.apple.identityservices.idstatuscache.plist files on Hubbard's phones records that an NSO Group system likely reached out to Hubbard's phone on April 4, 2018 using Apple's Thumper cloud calling feature. The outreach was via an Apple account with the email address [EMAIL ADDRESS 2]. It is presently unclear if this outreach was a bona fide hacking attempt, or simply a targeted feasibility test to see whether Hubbard's phone could have been hacked with Pegasus.
 Amnesty Tech observed that the presence of an unfamiliar email address looked up by the Thumper cloud calling feature was sometimes correlated with Pegasus hacking.

KINGDOM Pegasus Messages from 2018

We previously documented that Hubbard received a Pegasus SMS on June 21, 2018 from KINGDOM, a Pegasus operator that we link to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with high confidence. Though NSO Group issued an off-the-record denial that the link sent to Hubbard was related to them, we still connect the link to NSO Group with high confidence. Hubbard's phone also shows a KINGDOM Pegasus WhatsApp message sent on June 2, 2018 8:54:42 PM GMT (Table 1). The message is largely identical to a Pegasus message targeted at an Amnesty International staffer in 2018.

Mr Ben Hubbard is it possible for you to cover [a demonstration] for your brothers detained in Saudi Arabia in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington [DC]?

My brother is detained during Ramadan, and I am on a scholarship there, so please do not associate me with the topic

https://akhbar-arabia[.]com/caMVTXn

Cover the demonstration now, it will start in less than an hour

We need your support please

‎استاذ بن هبرد هل بالامكان عمل تغطية لاخوانك المعتقلين في سجون السعودية امام السفارة السعودية في واشنطن

‎انا اخوي معتقل في رمضان وانا مبتعثه هناك فارجو ان لا يتم ارتباطي بالموضوع

https://akhbar-arabia[.]com/caMVTXn

‎تغطية للمظاهرات الان وستبدا بعد اقل من ساعه

محتاجين دعمك لو سمحت

Table 1: The KINGDOM Pegasus WhatsApp message sent to Hubbard on June 2, 2018.

5. Conclusion

Hubbard was repeatedly subjected to targeted hacking with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware. The hacking took place after the very public reporting in 2020 by Hubbard and the Citizen Lab that he had been a target. The case starkly illustrates the dissonance between NSO Group's stated concerns for human rights and oversight, and the reality: it appears that no effective steps were taken by the company to prevent the repeated targeting of a prominent American journalist's phone.

The hacking of a New York Times' reporter adds to a long list of documented cases of journalists being targeted or hacked using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware:

  • In December 2020, the Citizen Lab published a report outlining how the personal phones belonging to 36 journalists, producers, anchors, and executives at Al Jazeera, and a personal phone of a journalist at London-based Al Araby TV, were hacked with Pegasus spyware.
  • Amnesty International's Security Lab verified that Sevinc Vaqifqizi, a freelance journalist for independent media outlet Meydan TV, had his phone infected with Pegasus in early 2021.
  • Amnesty also confirmed that the devices of Siddharth Varadarajan and MK Venu, co-founders of India's the Wire, were infected with Pegasus as recently as June 2021.
  • On August 2, 2021, French intelligence investigators confirmed that forensic traces associated with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware had been detected on three French journalists' phones.
  • In September 2021, the Citizen Lab confirmed that the phone of Dániel Németh, a photojournalist working out of Budapest, was also hacked with Pegasus spyware, with the forensic analysis independently verified by Amnesty's Security Lab.
  • Prior Citizen Lab research has documented targeted espionage against journalists and civic media using Pegasus spyware in cases involving Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

The extensive and routine abuse of Pegasus spyware to hack journalists is a direct threat to press freedom worldwide, and is contributing to a growing chilling climate for investigative journalism. As a recent report by the Center for International Media Assistance notes, "[t]he use of spyware poses safety risks to journalists and their sources, encourages self-censorship, and creates new financial and operational strains for news outlets." Until steps are taken to rein in the mercenary commercial spyware marketplace, repressive governments will continue to exploit products like NSO Group's Pegasus spyware to undermine independent journalism that seeks to hold them to account.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Adam Senft and Miles Kenyon for editorial assistance and support. Thanks to the anonymous peer reviewers.




All Comments: [-] | anchor

alienalp(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

It should be explained to public how such exploit take place, with open sourcing necessary parts. Otherwise there is no way for us to know it wasn't intentional at first place. I am not meaning there is a possibility like Apple as a company decides to put exploits. However governments can easily do it with single engineer at right place.

javajosh(10000) about 6 hours ago [-]

According to wikipedia[1] Pegasus is usually installed via a zero-click iMessage exploit. Open-sourcing Pegasus doesn't seem likely as NSO Group sells it for big bucks. It seems unlikely that Apple has colluded with NSO, as Pegasus is actually a bit of a black eye for the company. I'm not sure what governments can do with an engineer in the right place - in general I'd say 'not much, and certainly not as much as with the courts and guys with guns, the other things a government can do.

1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_(spyware)

otoh(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

On the other hand, perhaps the hardware/OS designs of iOS and Android devices are fundamentally flawed, when viewed from a security-first perspective.

aboringusername(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

It depends what you mean by 'security first'. If you're a person of interest and you're carrying around a personal spy with actual data on it and a hardware connected microphone, camera, GPS, sensors etc, which sends God knows what over the internet then yes, it's not going to go well for you.

But if you use devices with hardware kill switches and the most secure OS possible (storing nothing on device, perhaps it's a gateway to another security hardened machine).

Secure computing is possible, but it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication.

If you're just using off the shelf hardware and software you're going to have a bad time.

One thing that seems to link these Pegasus stories is that none of these targeted individuals are practising seemingly decent security ops, being hacked over WhatsApp or iMessage seems fairly trivial and hopefully now they would reconsider their threat model.

can16358p(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

It's whwt that has really evolved into. We used to live in a much simpler (and secure in that manner) world where there were no smartphones, even GPRS didn't exist, all important communication were done on physical medium.

That became much more inconvenient as technology just progressed to a point where 99.9% of the society couldn't resist using the smartphone, rightly for many purposes, including many of us here too.

But as OSs (and even SoCs) became more complex as more features are added (well, I can't think of Apple or Samsung execs on stage saying 'hey we didn't add any features this year' so it has to go this way naturally) flaws are inevitable.

Azsy(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

This is definitely part of the problem. But the fundamental flaw is the departure from simplicity.

The solution is to have a processor that is so simple that it cant do more then what you expect, and building the tools to make the unexpected stand out.

However, there is a bigger market for a processor with 3 extra layers of root access to ensure your boss can spy on you and Disney&Co really want this to be the norm.

xtat(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

...and yet they milk our very livelihood with their app stores

strictfp(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

I wouldn't say so. The problem is the cyber warfare market created by nation states. If it wasn't for those large spenders, we wouldn't be where we are right now.

IMO nation states had a very negative influence on the internet, bringing secrecy, warfare, balkanized markets, mandatory identification and other closed concepts to a place that worked on open principles.

If states would invest more in security advancement and open research than in warfare, we might have been in a better position.

UweSchmidt(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

By now every piece of software and hardware that is in use, every abstraction layer in that computing tower of bable has been thoroughly hacked. Anywhere from plaintext passwords on a server to insane exploits like Rowhammer, those security websites and podcasts have long weekly litanies of tragedy. Additionally there is all-knowing Google, chinese phones phoning home, undocumented functions in intel processors, ISPs sabotaging user encryption, small-time browser plugin writers that get offered high sums for their plugin to get a front row seat to users' browsers, programmers pulling who-knows-what from npm and are probably pwned by time they write 'hello world', phishing, billions of smart devices constantly listening and often filming and we probably only know 10% of what's going on until a Snowden 2.0 comes along.

Yes, all of it is 'fundamentally flawed', and it would take a herculean effort to start over with a clean slate, yes, to figuratively burn it all down and make simple provably correct and safe hardware and a small and minimal OS that has browsing and communications built in.

Anyone?

h0l0cube(10000) about 7 hours ago [-]

Darknet Diaries recently had an episode with John Scott-Railton from Citizen Lab on how he was allegedly being spied on by the makers of Pegasus, and then lured them into a trap

https://darknetdiaries.com/episode/100/

Xavdidtheshadow(10000) about 6 hours ago [-]

Great rec! This is one of my favorite technical podcasts. The host does a great job getting into the technical details of the subjects while still appealing to non-techincal listeners. It's really impressive.

mijoharas(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

So, what is the legality of this? I've not followed much about this at all, but NSO group appears to be an Israeli company.

Do they just sell, or operate the hacking software for their clients? If they operate it, is it illegal for an Israeli company to hack an American citizen (I assume it is illegal in America, but how about Israel?)

Is the sale of hacking software regulated in any way?

PeterisP(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Since this is an international issue and there's no global 'legality', the effect is that locations matter a lot.

Presumably, the hacking was done by Saudi authorities from SA, using NSO-developed tools. Citizenship of the target is not very relevant, but it does matter where 'the event' happened.

If the reporter was in Saudi Arabia when the hack happened, then Saudi laws apply and essentially Saudi government gets to set conditions on whether it was legal or not, and if it was forbidden by their laws, then what consequences (if any!) that should have.

If the reporter was in USA at the time, then it would be reasonable to apply US jurisdiction and try and investigate it as a crime in USA. However, Saudi Arabia can refuse to cooperate and even if USA prosecutors identify the culprits and convict them, Saudi Arabia can refuse to extradite them and choose to protect them. In essence, if it's not a random foreign criminal but someone from the actual foreign government that has harmed USA citizens in USA, it's not really a criminal matter as much as a diplomatic one, where all the other aspects of USA-Saudi relationships matter much more than any facts about the actual case; USA can choose to make a big deal out of it or ignore it, but historical precedent shows that it likely will be ignored as the Department of State considers all the other factors of Middle Eastern politics as much more important, SA could likely get away with literal murder (e.g. Khashoggi), not just some hacks.

In a similar manner, perhaps you could argue that NSO is an accomplice in that crime (I'm not saying that this would succeed - in general, arms exporters are not considered liable for whoever the purchasing country harms), but that essentially comes down to (a) whether USA prosecutors are willing to pursue this, and (b) whether Israel is willing to cooperate, as in the absence of specific treaties it would be legitimate for Israel to say 'NSO did not violate our laws, we won't enforce any foreign judgements about this event'; if so, then any action would be limited to seizing whatever assets NSO has in USA (if any!) and/or trying to capture the involved people (if specific people can be identified) when they are traveling outside of Israel somewhere within the reach of USA. USA could apply diplomatic pressure to get Israel to restrict NSO, however, it doesn't seem likely that USA wants it so much to actually try and change that.

For another of your questions, sale of hacking software can be regulated by countries in whatever way each country wishes. In this case, as far as I understand, Israel treats is as essentially an equivalent of 'arms export' where NSO has to obtain approval from Israel government for their foreign customers, but in this case it is not contested that NSO did have all the required approvals to sell their tools to Saudi Arabia.

thr0wawayf00(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

Since the US government has historically been one of the largest customers in the zero-day market, my guess would be no.

gerash(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

US politics is bizarre. When Ben and Jerry's ice creams decided they wanted to close shop in some disputed territories in Israel many states (mostly Republican run) punished the parent company immediately to make an example of them and sold their holdings of its stock from the pension funds they were controlling.

Yet a company like NSO weaponizes and abuses all sorts of vulnerabilities they get their hands on and sell it to thugs around the world who then use it against Americans and the same politicians couldn't care less

mensetmanusman(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

It is marketed to law enforcement like most spy-craft. If it gets in to the wrong hands what do you do?

eyeball(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

https://darknetdiaries.com/episode/100/

Interesting podcast on NSO group from darknet diaries.

fidesomnes(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

yes. mostly just ITAR as far as I know back in 2016.

cronix(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

My understanding is they sell it, after the Israeli gov't (Israeli Defense Ministry) vets the sale. It is operated by the client. NSO has claimed they do not have any info on targets by the purchaser, and has no way to find out post-sale.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/interview-with-ceo-of-nso-group...

perihelions(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

I read that it's export-controlled now in the US,

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/22/22740155/commerce-depart... ('New US rules on spyware exports try to limit surveillance tech like Pegasus')

edit: and HN thread

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28933981 ('U.S. tightens export controls on items used in surveillance of private citizens')

cronix(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

> (I assume it is illegal in America, but how about Israel?)

This part doesn't matter much in practicality. Like it is illegal for the US gov't to spy on their citizens. It is illegal for the UK to spy on their citizens. So the NSA made a deal with the UK. They spy on us, we spy on them, and exchange the info. There, the US didn't break the law and neither did the UK. They worked around it.

We live in a shadowy world.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/20/us-uk-secret-d...

bink(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Hacking is a crime in both Israel and the US. If either government wanted to they could pursue charges. Selling exploits is not illegal in either country AFAIK, and is in fact a booming business.

catlikesshrimp(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

Why aren't political exposed persons leaving iphones? It has been known for a while that it is not secure for them.

An android tablet connecting to wifi hotspots only, or even lan only, with minimal software, and a dumb phone are more secure than iphone.

seniorivn(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

no they are not, targeted attack of someone who is capable of using Pegasus is going to be successful regardless a consumer device u choose to use.

estaseuropano(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

they need an actual functional phone. You can't be a journalist and not have a fully functional phone that access the internet whenever needed. I'm sure they use burners for sensitive stuff, but what are they supposed to use for their regular work, calls with the school, car navigation, ...

amerine(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

What!? You're statement is really wrong. Android tablets on hotspots only??? What?

atdt(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Forget Y Combinator -- come build the next great surveillance start-up at the IDF's Unit 8200, the world's greatest hacker school and incubator for mass surveillance start-ups. With generous subsidies from US taxpayers, Unit 8200 lets you level up your surveillance game by practicing on 4.5 million Palestinian beta-testers. (Go nuts, it's not like they can sue you!) Plus, say goodbye to those moral qualms -- at 8200, you'll acquire the unshakeable conviction that you're a Good Guy fighting the Bad Guys. When you graduate, the IDF will keep the data you collected, but the skills you acquire and the friends you make are yours to keep forever.

greatjack613(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

@dang This comment is negative, and doesn't contribute anything productive to the conversation. Please remove

a1369209993(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

> the IDF's Unit 8200

Motto: 'At least we're less evil than Unit 731, right?'

midasuni(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

8200 has many alumni including many security products, including those protesting about the treatment of Palestinians

This is despite being members of the IDF

https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/09/12/israels-nsa-st...

vnchr(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Where do I sign up?

fortran77(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

Unit 8200 gets no money from U.S. Taxpayers.

ralston3(10000) about 10 hours ago [-]

Do these types of iMessage attachment exploits require the victim to do anything on their end? Downloading the attachment? Opening the message ? That part is unclear to me

zionic(10000) about 10 hours ago [-]

No, most are zero-click silent exploits. They own your phone persistently then delete the incoming message that pwned you.

Tepix(10000) about 1 hour ago [-]

I think they require you to have iMessage enabled. If you don't use iMessage you should turn it off.

dpratt(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

I am but one atom in a molecule in a drop in an ocean, but I have pledged to never be involved in the hiring of any person who has had any willing association with any organization responsible for efforts similar to Pegasus, with no exceptions. I will also immediately resign any job that violates the above as well. Trends like this are not to be taken lightly - for the first time in human history, the concept of an all encompassing tyrannical dystopia is a realistic possibility, and you deceive yourself if you think that there aren't very very powerful people that get an almost erotic thrill at this possibility. Contributing to the advancement and deployment of this technological capability is the very definition of a violation of whatever meager ethics our profession possesses, and should be taken as essentially a credible threat against literally every other living person.

systemvoltage(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

I can't get behind bifurcation of job market based on what political side you belong to. This seems destructive at best, dangerous at worse. It's like the classic Palantir vs Google argument.

I won't hire anyone if they show any sort of activism at work.

FridayoLeary(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

So how do we protect our privacy from the advance of technology? It doesn't seem possible. Just going after NSO is useless.

mola(10000) about 2 hours ago [-]

Going after NSO is far from useless. These guys make 100s of millions, this gives them power to subvert and influence politicians so criminalizing this sort of surveillance will be impossible. Once NSO employees and founders be held responsible for the damage they do and the life they ruin you'll see much less talent go and work there or establish new companies of the same sort.

OminousWeapons(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

It depends on what your threat model is. If its individuals, local law enforcement, or even national law enforcement (context dependent) you are trying to hide from, you can obtain phones with cash and make it very difficult to link them to you (use a sim card bought with cash and never give out that number, use a VOIP service for your primary number, use an OS that doesn't send back much telemetry, turn off location, never use the phone near your home, etc).

If your threat model includes targeted attack by a major intelligence agency, just accept that you are likely screwed.

hyperstar(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Rejecting the smartphone might be a start.

travoc(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

Lobby your government to make selling or using cyber vulnerabilities by nations an act of war?

Very unlikely give that the US does this as much as anyone. We are all potential victims in this new form of warfare.

wolverine876(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

> So how do we protect our privacy from the advance of technology? It doesn't seem possible. Just going after NSO is useless.

Like we do with anything else:

These are crimes, but we are stuck in the mindset of the nascent Internet, when it was a growing experiment, a subculture in our society, harmless, and we wanted to nurture it and give it maximum freedom.

Those days are long gone. The Internet is completely integral to our society, like a major city (an extraordinarily large one) - in fact, anything not integrated into the Internet is on the fringe, like a business without a website. The idea of a harmless Internet has been antiquated for a long time; it is a serious place of serious money, serious criminals, and serious political actors.

Yet we still don't have serious law or law enforcement, not as an oppressive force but in the tradition of free, open societies. It would be like New York or Tokyo without law or law enforcement. We should create in the federal government (not state governments, given the Internet's borderless nature) a major domestic law enforcement agency, on the scale of the FBI, to protect people and enforce laws; I suspect we need a major addition to or revision of our legal code to go with it. That is how we deal with crime in other parts of society; the Internet is no different. We need divisions dealing with theft, fraud, destruction or property, invasions (hacking), etc. It's long past time to stop applying the antiquated notions to the current reality. Why do you accept this Wild West chaos; it no long fuels creativity and growth, it greatly hampers it.

Tepix(10000) about 1 hour ago [-]

Saying you can't be secure at all isn't a solution.

https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2021/07/20/a-case-a...

throwawayboise(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

Same way the mafia used to do it when they realized all their phones and cars were bugged. No technology. Talk in person, outside.

Seriously, if you are a journalist investigating anything that might upset the powers that be in a nation-state, don't use any online technology and for gods sake not a mobile phone.

SavantIdiot(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Hope that White Hats publish? The zero-click exploits have to be patched by Apple after they've been exposed. It all depends who finds it and when.

Really not much you can do with zero-clicks.

Don't be rich or famous I guess? Or don't use smartphones.

monopoledance(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

Legislation holding companies liable for breaches and leaks, which were in their capabilities to prevent. Simple and fair, scales well. No downsides.

Sure, not everything is always their fault, but usually it is and comes with yoloing from the first line of code, shipping alph... proof of concept software, or outsourcing their network's security to MS Word. If a breach could ruin a company beyond reputation, people may stop storing cleartext credentials or testing merely their app's UI at best; if a hacker could stop your show, companies may take bug bounty programs serious, and be grateful for disclosures instead of filing reports, when someone edit-and-resend'ed on a web API and accidentally got a copy of their database.

Today, a breach has zero consequences. Why would you spend a shitton of money on security, when marketing's budget isn't downright ridiculous yet?

And of course it would be super helpful, if governments would stop encouraging insecurity by buying e.g. NSO's products for what they do. Always awkward persecuting someone you depend on... The NSO's business should be straight illegal, including export/import. Since hacking someone without their consent usually comes with the ability to tamper with evidence, it's really questionable for law enforcement and straight unethical for anyone else. Just kill the whole sector IMO.

smoldesu(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

You can't. It's all marketing fluff at this point, because significant enough state actors will see the ~$10,000,000 R&D cost for a few iOS/Android zero-days as a drop in the bucket. We live in a post-security world, where it's economically feasible to develop malware at a pace that outruns Blue Teams. We live in a post-privacy world because Apple and Google happily pass your data back to world governments in the name of stopping terrorism, or whatever the social cause du-jour is.

There's no escape really, your only option is to embrace the paranoia and learn to love the cat-and-mouse game, or (what most people choose) give up. Remember, this is the future you voted for when you signed up for Google Drive and bought your iPhone. This is the future you willingly supported with each ad that YouTube showed you on movie night, and the one you opted-into when you noticed you were low on popcorn and got 2-day delivery on kernels from Amazon.

tyrfing(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

By valuing it. Apple's annual revenue is more than the entire government budget of Saudi Arabia. That's a pretty meaningless comparison, but certainly gives an idea of the scale. There's asymmetry in security, but only one side is trying right now.

boardwaalk(10000) about 5 hours ago [-]

I feel like phones should just have a 'scrub anything that isn't ASCII text' option for paranoid folks. No unicode, no emoji, no media. I mean, I guess they could still f*ck that up, and maybe it'd be admitting defeat, but still.

marcan_42(10000) about 5 hours ago [-]

AIUI part of the problem is that iMessage is a poor legacy design and relies on generic macOS serialization primitives. It's not like HTML where you can just scrub all the tags out. This can't be changed without breaking compatibility due to end to end encryption (the server can't adapt between versions). So there is a big attack surface inherent to the design, and Apple are stuck with it.

saagarjha(10000) about 5 hours ago [-]

This necessarily excludes people whose primary language for communication does not fit in a Latin alphabet.

1cvmask(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

It would seem to be the rational thing for NSO to hack a journalist who is writing on them, so that they better prepare for what's coming. As for all the countries that buy and use NSO, to target and kill journalists, they are all close all allies of the US and Israel.

And the US and England were also spying on the journalist Julian Assange, and have kept him in prison and tortured him for over a decade. Ben Hubbard luckily just got hacked.

chinathrow(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

Rational? Maybe.

Ethical? No.

Legitimate? Hell no.

gerdesj(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

'And the US and England'

When you are doing the information from the inside thing, you do need to get your players in line.

England?

I'm English ... and Welsh, Cornish, Scottish and tangentially Irish, not to mention German (check my username).

The country is called Britain, the Great thing is only to distinguish from the other Britain - Brittany (part of France). You might as well call everyone from the USA as Texans.

Julian Assange spent rather a long time here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4992504,-0.1614713,3a,75y,...

He was not tortured in the embassy - he was a guest who gradually outstayed his welcome. He was always treated well. As you can see Harrods is just to the right. This is not the roughest place to be a prisoner in Christendom.

Whilst he was in there, there were always several Police stationed nearby. They stood in doorways and kept watch. Probably a boring job but nice and simple. The whole thing basically costed the UK tax payer a fair old wodge and obviously Ecuador too.

I know that area and what goes on because I run internets for some flats nearby.

simlevesque(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

So, any end justifies every means ?

midasuni(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

He was arrested in 2019 so your "over a decade" claim is demonstrably wrong. Could you point to amnesty international claiming belmarsh is torture?

wolverine876(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

> the US and England were also spying on the journalist Julian Assange, and have kept him in prison and tortured him for over a decade. Ben Hubbard luckily just got hacked.

As you probably know, these assertions are a big stretch for many people. Not everyone considers Assange a journalist. He was living in an embassy for most of those years, so while he was confined, it's not a prison and not torture. Hubbard isn't lucky; neither the US or UK have ever imprisoned and tortured a journalist from a major publication (unless I'm overlooking someone). There may be legitimate debate about Assange, but it's not credible to pretend that these are facts.

tgsovlerkhgsel(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

I really hope the blur on the picture (https://citizenlab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Hubbard-Ima...) isn't hiding anything actually important because that can almost certainly be de-blurred with the right tooling.

boppo1(10000) about 11 hours ago [-]

Really? Seems blurred enough to me that even some sort of ML would spit out wrong characters.

booleandilemma(10000) about 10 hours ago [-]

Those strings in the center look like UUIDs.

peanut_worm(10000) about 10 hours ago [-]

man why do people even take the gamble of using a blur just use a opaque box

csomar(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

What's even worse is that he blurred 'ts/' from 'attachments', kinda to give you a hint on how to de-blurr.

tablespoon(10000) about 8 hours ago [-]

> I really hope the blur on the picture (https://citizenlab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Hubbard-Ima...) isn't hiding anything actually important because that can almost certainly be de-blurred with the right tooling.

Yeah, the right way to use blurring is to mockup a lookalike for content you want to hide, then blur the mockup.





Historical Discussions: Overly analytical guide to escorting (October 19, 2021: 819 points)

(820) Overly analytical guide to escorting

820 points 5 days ago by exolymph in 10000th position

knowingless.com | Estimated reading time – 73 minutes | comments | anchor

Wanna be an independent full-service escort in the US? Not sure if it's for you? Included is tips on getting started, marketing, how to increase your income, male sexual psychology and getting them to hire you again, networking, branding, dealing with the emotional burden, safety, and more!

My credentials: I escorted from 2018-2020 (I of course no longer escort, however if you happen to see a woman in the ads who looks very similar to me you should hit her up). I charged $1200/hr (with discounts for multi-hour sessions), and earned 50k on my highest-earning month.

Escorting is more difficult to develop widely applicable strategies for because the business is invisible. With online sex work, successful techniques spread fast and get adopted as new defaults because everything is clearly visible. With in-person sex work, all you know is what you do. I also worked primarily as high end (initially charging $800/hr for the first month or two before raising it over time to $1200), which means I am not experienced with lower-rate, higher-volume work; two elements that strongly impact the kind of experience you'll have. I also am speaking to the US market, which has many differences from other markets around the world, primarily legally. I am assuming you are female; while male escorts can in fact do well, this article is targeted towards women.

I conducted two surveys, of 165 escorts and 411 clients, and I'll be referring to findings from these surveys throughout this article. The survey is not meant to represent all sex workers and clients; I gathered responses from my social media, in sex worker forums, and on fetlife, so it's more a reflection of "people from the western world who follow me or sex-friendly social forums". But hopefully this is the kind of person you are, so it might be good data for you!

I'm also experimenting with likelihood ratios ("LR"), instead of p-values. The program I'm using to calculate them is new and there might be some errors, and though I'm doing my best to double check, keep this in mind! Also be aware I checked a lot of correlations, and didn't do anything to control for the... likelihood ratio equivalent of p-hacking (be kind with me I'm still learning).

(Likelihood ratios basically are how much more likely the given correlation is compared to no correlation at all. For example, "r=0.3, LR=100" means that the maximum-likelihood correlation was 0.3, which the data says is 100x as likely as a correlation of 0.)

Deciding if you should try this

A summary of things: many of these points I go into more detail later in this article.

I probably don't have to go over the cons, because you already know them. In-person sex work is very highly stigmatized; if you live in a conservative community, if you ever want to work with kids ever, if you have a job that might get mad and fire you, if your options for romance are with men who don't like sex work, then this is an extremely high-risk thing to do.

The safety risks are very different from online sex work; it's common for escorts to completely conceal their identities and faces online, which actually makes it much less likely to get outed to your employers or family. There are, of course, risks to your legal and physical safety, though they can actually be quite minimal given precautions I'll address later.

This work is also emotionally hard for some people, as the job carries huge social weight and touches on a ton of vulnerable chords of our sense of self worth. You might carry away feelings of disgust, shame, or hatred. Not everyone feels like this, but if you do, I would not recommend escorting (or if you do, putting your prices extremely high so you at least get paid a lot more for fewer total experiences of disgust and shame).

As for the positive side, this job is fully self directed; you decide who you see, when you see them, for how long. You decide your rates, your vibe, where and how you want to work. It's highly flexible, which means you can do it while raising kids or working another job.

Also: money; even low-end escorts make hundreds of dollars per hour of work.

Typically the bigger the city, the higher the rates; in NY and LA you can probably tack on an extra few hundred to your hourly, while in a smaller city like Spokane, WA the going rates might be 20-30% less.

This means if you're looking to work as a high end escort, it's worth either moving to a larger city or establishing a regular travel schedule to the large cities.

Physical appearance also matters a lot, but compared to online work, your body matters more than your face (as the face is typically hidden in advertisements). I've made an extremely rough, super general calculator here to help estimate how much you might be able to charge hourly. This is by no means definitive, it's only meant to help you get a sense of your possibility range and if it might be worth it for you.

Estimator

Keep in mind this is not set in stone; a lot of other things matter too, and I've seen smoking babes charging $300 and women not considered traditionally attractive charging $800+.

Basic Demographics

The # of responses (y axis) who reported each hourly rate (x axis)

The average hourly rate reported was $477, and the median $325. The median monthly income was estimated at $5,000.

The average length of time escorts had been working was 4.5 years (median 3). The average age was 29, the average number of times per year they were tested for STDs was 6.5, and 45% were in a serious relationship, engaged, or married. 30% expressed they either planned to quit escorting or that it was only a side job; 21% intended to retire early. 62% used a condom for genital penetration (but not oral), 29% used a condom for genital and oral penetration, and 9% reported not using a condom at all.

The #1 Question: Safety

How dangerous is the job, really?

I asked people in my survey about some Bad Things they encountered on the job.

8% reported legal trouble 8% reported being arrested 16% reported physical assault 17% reported contracting a STD 29% reported being stolen from 41% reported sexual assault

These numbers are not great, and it's not ideal to go into a job where you're close to a coin toss away from sexual assault. But for what it's worth, escorts still reported an average job satisfaction of 5.3/7. Also, I've been sexually assaulted on the job (which was sort of my mistake; this was the one guy who I thought I'd screened but actually hadn't, and if I'd screened him I would have not met him) and I consider escorting totally worth it and would happily continue if my Onlyfans ever takes a plunge.

The average # of the "Bad Things" list above escorts reported experiencing (y axis), and how much they charge hourly (x axis). This effect also persisted even after controlling for "amount of appointments" they had.

People reported more Bad Things if other negative experiences were associated with the job as well – like feeling shame or getting into escorting out of desperation (r=0.28). In general, my impression both in person and from the data is that class and attitude matter a lot. If you're careful, deliberate, if you have the luxury of not taking clients you don't want to take (which honestly is not a very high bar), if you have confidence you can be successful, if you don't have a lot of shame around this, if you can charge higher rates with fewer appointments, you'll likely end up with the kind of targeting and clientele that tend to be safer.

In general, I'm going to be advising you from the perspective of pursuing high-end escorting. This guide will likely help even if you're not, but my goal here is to get you the most income for the least amount of work. After all, higher hourly rates are correlated with a higher total income, without more hours worked.

How To Get Clients

You're gonna have to get photos, a website, an email, and put up ads.

The very first step typically is the photos. You're going to need a set, ideally 15-20 (but you could get away with 7-8), of high quality photos to show off your goods. Unlike online sex work, escort photography typically is much more high-end; think closer to lingerie catalogue than casual selfies. I'm not sure if this is effective, but it's the norm, probably because you're trying really hard to convince men to drop several hundred dollars on you because you're luxury.

An example of one of my photos

It's common to hire a photographer to pump out these sets of photos. Most websites don't allow nudity in the photos you use in your ads, so make sure to get plenty, if not all, non-nude content (typically lingerie).

Lots of escorts choose to use only non-nude content on their websites as presumably a branding choice; such as, "if you want to see me naked, you'll have to see me in person." I can't tell if this is a good move; I suspect it's less important here than in online sex work, because even if you show nudity, there's still much farther to go (actually seeing you in person). But still, not showing nudity can signal high class, dominant, powerful, and might be more likely to attract higher power men who are looking to "unlock" something they feel few other people have seen – your nudity.

But who knows? I showed nudity, and I did pretty well.

You should also decide if you want to show your face in your photos. Most escorts don't. I'd recommend censoring your face when you first start out and get a feel for the landscape; you can always decide later if you want to upload the uncensored photos instead! I've anecdotally heard that face-showing doesn't have a huge impact on earnings.

But deciding this early helps with taking the photos, so you can arrange things to block your face or pose where you're looking away.

After you have photos, make a website. I'm slightly outdated on this; lots of escorts use Squarespace and Wix, but keep in mind lots of companies don't want anything to do with sex work and will remove you if they notice you're doing escort stuff. I use BlueGravity for hosting, which is a bit complicated and I'd recommend trying one of the easy-build sites first.

And of course, you have to choose a name! As usual, make sure to check namespace – search escort directories for your considered name to see how often it's used. High-end branding is important here, so you might plan on going for something more traditional or classic – I nearly went with the name Esther King (narrowly avoided by a roommate asking if I was trying to actively repulse clients); an example of a good name is Mara Blake. Femininity is also really important! Names like "Eve" and "Emma" are common. You want to stay away from names that signal lower-class in your area. Last names are less important, but make sure they're unique and easy to remember. The holy grail is getting your full name as a flat domain – e.g. "Estherking.com", so keep an eye on what domains are available!

You can include whatever you want on your website, but most escort websites have a standard set of things – an introduction (a few paragraphs about you and your personality), a rates page (listing how much you charge for different amounts of hours), an etiquette page (where you outline behavioral expectations and stuff like if you want them to shower and how to give the donation, more on this later), a page instructing you how to book (some girls include a typeform application, others just ask you to email them), and a gallery of photographs of you.

You can also include stuff like tour information (if you travel, when and where) and a list of stuff you like so they can buy you a gift if they feel like it.

The copy on most escort websites sound the same, I don't know what's going on or if everybody is hiring the same writer to do their websites? There's a strong desire to appear high end, so the text is usually stuff like "You see me walking down the marble staircase, silk fluttering from my pale legs as our eyes meet under the Parisian sun". I only slightly exaggerate. Everybody seems to be pursuing some exotic advanced educational degree, to have traveled extensively, and to be unnervingly elegant. Her website implies that booking her will make you superior to every other man, that you will become enlightened by plowing her platonic ideal of a pussy.

I only slightly exaggerate

Most men don't care too much about the finer details of your textual vibes, but some do; I'd recommend reading through several other websites to get a feel, and figure out what you want to signal. You'll get the clientele you attract! Some do signal IQ pretty well (also here's what probably is the single other libertarian escort)

Get an email, ideally protonmail (secured if sending to another protonmail account) with your name, and list the email somewhere visible on the website (for screening purposes, more on this later).

Some escorts advertise themselves as low volume, typically associated with higher ends. I asked escorts what they thought "low volume" meant, and the median response was 3 appointments a week, whereas clients thought it meant 5 appointments a week.

Ads

Ads are the next step – how people find you. There's several websites to choose from, but the general gist is you upload a few photos, write some text about yourself, and link to your website and social media. Here's many (but not all) of the popular options. They're listed in order of correlation to hourly rates, from most to least; so the first had the highest correlation with escorts reporting using it, and their reported hourly rates.

Eros – the most expensive, charging hundreds of dollars for a prime listing for a single week in a big city. It also is birthed straight from the asshole of Satan, having a reputation for the worst website to touch the face of the earth. It takes a long time for them to approve your ads, and half the time they'll reject anything you submit without telling you why (as the ad slot you paid $400 for inches closer to its scheduled release, ask me how I know). It does, however, get clients; escorts reporting using Eros also reported the highest income (though this might be just because they have enough money to afford it). It tends to have the classiest escorts. Before Tryst (below), I got most of my clientele from here.

Slixa – A friendlier option, medium-expensive, they tell you what's wrong with the ad so you can resubmit. Not huge traffic, a lower total number of listings, probably worth throwing a bit of money at in the beginning to see if it's worth your time.

Tryst is the newest up and comer, and my personal favorite. It's free to list, and you pay monthly for different priority in the stack. It's got by far the most customizable search, and as far as I can tell has the most total users. For me, most of my traffic ended up coming from Tryst.

P411 – I haven't used this website, but it's popular, has high use among high earning escorts, and (as far as I can tell) features a verification and review system. Some escorts refuse to participate in websites that have reviews, more on this later.

GFEDating/Prestigeproviders

PrivateDelights – another popular website with reviews, but correlated with reports of arrest

SeekingArrangement This website, unlike the above, professes to definitely not allow escorts, and makes it difficult to be explicit about it. Most men connecting through the website anticipate paying around 50-70% less, as women tend to be willing to accept less money if you give them a veneer of not being a real sex worker. You can still attempt to do clear sex work here though – "PPM", or pay-per-meet, indicates that you want to be paid per meeting, and this is the way to start out the discussion. Seeking Arrangement also had the lowest correlation with arrests,

Dating Apps – Advertising on dating apps has gotten harder since the advent of Onlyfans, as there's been crackdowns on anything resembling sexy advertising. You can try putting a wink-and-a-nudge in your profile; some have success with this but be prepared to buy burner phones if you want this to be sustainable.

EscortDirectory

Bedpage is the spinoff from Backpage, a bit lower end, and also dirt cheap.

Eroticmonkey – also cheap

SkipTheGames – an ad site most correlated with reports of arrest

Adultsearch – also correlated with reports of arrest.

Freestyling?

Freestyling is the art of picking up clients in person, typically done by looking cute and hanging out alone in a place where horny men of means congregate – for example, casinos, or a nice bar. I haven't freestyled, but from my understanding the trick is to flirt heavily with a man, and then either imply or outright state that you'll be available in exchange for some generosity. If he seems hesitant or strings you along, don't be afraid to leave him and move on. This is apparently a numbers game, and eventually you'll find a guy who's excited enough at the prospect of being with you that he'll be down to part with whatever your rates are. This is likely more feasible if you charge the kind of rates that men are likely to have on them in cash. Basic safety applies here – rotate your freestyling locations, as staff of the places are often trained to keep an eye out for people like you.

Other Media

Most escorts have Twitters, which are great places to verify that you've been active for a while and seem mostly human. A lot also use Switter, the inevitable backup when Twitter gets around to banning all of the escorts. Lots of clients can find you through Twitter, and use escorts networking and crosstweeting each other as discovery.

Screening

So you've got your website running, your ads up, and now you're getting interest from men. What now? The answer is screening!

Screening is the process of checking information about clients before you see them. You can choose whatever level of safety you're comfortable with, but one of the most common setups you'll find is requesting:

1. Two references from other providers they've seen in the last 6 months 2. Photographic proof of employment (e.g., a photograph of your work badge or a link to a corporate website with your face listed)

The goal here is twofold – to demonstrate the man is a respectable client (by checking his reputation with others), and to verify he's not a cop (with evidence that he seems to have a normal job).

When asking references a client, you will ask "Could you give me the email and website of two providers you've seen in the last six months?" When he sends you this information, you need to verify a few things –

  1. The escort he referenced seems established and legitimate; sometimes men will create fake escort listings and websites that they control, to give themselves a free reference. Check the linked social media, see if any of the accounts are new, make sure her photos are consistent and possibly reverse image search to make sure they're not stolen.
  2. Check that the contact email listed on the escort's website is the same email he gave you. Sometimes men will link to a real escort, but provide a real-sounding but fake email they created. This happened to me – someone else used me as a reference for another escort, but gave her a fake email that was slightly different from my actual email. Luckily the escort checked my actual email and let me know!

When emailing the escort, I usually said something like "Hey, [name] contacted me from [his email] and mentioned he'd seen you. Did you see him, and if so would you mind letting me know if everything went smoothly?" Make sure you include his contact information – the escort will probably have to look him up in her records, as she likely won't remember him by name.

Typically the escort will respond in a day or two with "Yes, I had no issues." Sometimes they might give more information, like warning you if he's a high effort client who likes to go multiple rounds or if he's pushy and you'll have to stay on high alert.

Once you start seeing clients, expect to get used as a reference and to start getting emails from other providers asking about clients you've seen. It's considered extremely good form to respond; this is a collective safety system we all use to help each other, you rely on their information and they rely on yours.

You can choose how you handle references; how many you want to ask for or how far back you'll accept.

If the client is a first-timer with no references, you can choose if you feel comfortable seeing them. I did, but on the condition of more information – I required a phone number and photo of his ID, which helps with better blacklist checking. Make sure to carefully check the photo of the ID for any hint of photoshop.

In addition to checking references and employment, it's also good to run his information against a blacklist. There's a few out there (like VerifyHim), but the biggest I've found starts with "S" and is one that's known but not super widely publicized, and I'd prefer not to signal boost it to a wide audience. If you're an escort and would like a recommendation to this blacklist, please send me a request at [email protected] from your escort email with a link to your escort website.

With blacklists, make sure to run their information carefully. If you have his phone number, run that. Try variations on their email – search just the part before the "@", in case they use different email providers. If they have a name like "Barbedrodney295", try searching just "Barbedrodney". Some men will frequently switch their email to avoid blacklist problems.

If you add a client to the blacklist, do not tell the client. This will only let him know he needs to switch up his info, and will be more likely to get access to another woman in the future. This can suck, but it keeps others safer.

If you run a client and find bad entries on the blacklist, do not tell the client. In these cases I typically either stopped responding, made up an excuse, or said I was fully booked.

To make sure they're not police, you want to make sure they're employed elsewhere. As I mentioned you can do this by asking for a link to something like LinkedIn where their face is shown, and then making sure the face that shows up on your doorstep is the same (and sending him away if it's not). Some escorts will ask for the client's real name and employment, and then call their company and ask if the client is employed there – then either make up an excuse or simply hang up.

Occasionally, a client has been unable to provide references or proof of employment; I once saw a newly successful higher-up drug dealer who understandably had no linkedin to give me. In cases like these I required a 1-hour coffee meeting, public-only, where I charged 30-50% my typical rates. This allowed me to get a sense of who they were as a person, and I imagined it'd be an annoying amount of effort to go through for police who might prefer easier targets.

You're an Escort, Not A Prostitute

Remember: it's not a crime to escort. They're paying for your time, and you just happen to be quite a slutty woman; what happens between you two is at your discretion and your business and is independent of the money.

A law enforcement officer on a police forum detailing how he targeted a single escort

And so, many escorts refuse to discuss sex acts over email, and treat this closer to how you might a date where you're probably going to hook up. The norm is to put nothing in writing that indicates any illegal activity. Assume there's a police officer on the other side of every email.

Some use abbreviations to refer to sex acts; it's up to you if you feel comfortable doing this. I personally did not. If a client asked about sex acts, I would respond with strong clarification that in my personal life, I might or might not enjoy such a thing, but as a reminder our exchange was about time only. I have one escort friend who considered even this too risky, and would simply not respond if asked about sex acts.

Many refer to money as donations or gifts, indicating that this isn't even in exchange for time at all, it's freely given and nontransactional.

For payment etiquette, a common strategy (and one I followed) was to ask the client to not mention the donation, to leave the donation on the counter or the dresser, and then excuse themselves to the bathroom. When they're in the bathroom, you can then take the money. This way there's no discussion of payment and no direct changing of hands.

If you're meeting in public, the request is to include the donation discreetly in a small gift, such as a book or a magazine, so that the donation is 'hidden' inside, and you can 'discover' it later.

Remember: in every possible way in your interactions with the client and the exchange of money, you want to avoid giving off the appearance that you are doing prostitution. Don't say or do anything that could be viewed as prostitution-esque; maintain clearly that you are selling your time only.

You can in fact get issued an escort license in some cities (e.g., San Francisco or Grand Chute, or Jefferson County, WA). I don't know if this is a good idea, neither I nor anybody I know has applied for this, though I seriously considered. It's possible it might grant you some legal protection, but also possible it might give you some legal issues, as it puts a lot of information about you in a government file that clearly states you are in fact an escort.

It's probable that police are more likely to use specific escort directories for stings; the ad websites most correlated with reports of being arrested were AdultSearch (r=.28, LR=930), PrivateDelights (r=.26, LR=328), and SkipTheGames (r=.24, LR=146). It's unclear if this is causative, but I'd avoid them anyway.

Location And Hotel Safety

So your client passed screening, you've managed to avoid any talk of sex, and now you're going to meet up!

Incalls are where they come to you, and outcalls are where you go to them. I also did a survey of clients, and 2/3rds of them prefer incalls; this matches with my experience. You can charge extra for either incall or outcall, whichever you want to get compensated more for.

You have a few options for incalls – your place, a secondary place you rent yourself or timeshare, a short or long term hotel.

Your place has the bonus of being convenient and no extra cost, but comes at the risk of clients now knowing where you live or neighbors getting suspicious of high male traffic. If you see very few clients and have a rigorous screening process, this might be a good option for you.

You can also rent a second place; this still has the problem of neighbors getting suspicious, but at least you're safe from clients knowing where you live. Often multiple escorts will split the cost of a place that's used primarily as an incall.

Most common is hotels. If you only have one or two clients, particularly around that hotel-elusive 11am-3pm time zone, a whole day of rental can be excessive; I used the app Dayuse, which allows hourly rentals during the day and has saved me thousands of dollars. I booked 4-star hotels almost exclusively; 3-star hotels didn't feel classy enough to match my brand, and 5-star hotels ate into my profits too much.

I picked 4-5 hotels I liked and mostly rotated through them to avoid staff getting too suspicious. I also developed a fake story if need be for if they ever asked why I kept showing up for a few hours in the middle of the day (tho I never was asked).

When choosing a new hotel, I looked for a few things – larger hotels are better, because there's higher volume and less chance they'll notice you or any oddities. I would usually call in advance to ask if their elevators used a keycard or had a freely accessible staircase; it's very annoying if you have to go down and walk with a man upstairs from the lobby while still trying to be discreet, ideally they just knock on your hotel door and you're good to go. Even worse, some hotels will ask your client who they're there to see. The client will say the room number, and then the hotel desk will give them your legal name, typically by calling you and asking "Miss X, there's a Y here to see you" where the client can hear. Make sure the client can painlessly slip past the front desk and into the elevator with no issues to avoid this trouble.

In the private blacklist I mentioned above, there's a section for hotel reviews, where girls will report if they had bad experiences with hotel staff, and I would often check the reports there for locations to avoid.

Seeing lots of clients in a short period of time at the same hotel is probably the biggest red flag to staff, particularly at smaller hotels. If you're going to see a lot of clients, try really hard to get a larger hotel, or try rotating hotels pretty regularly. Most hotel workers don't care (I lurked hotel worker discussion groups for a while), but it's good to avoid raising suspicion anyway. Make sure to stay well dressed, clean, and polite, to indicate to them you are a responsible adult who is not a threat. And if you're staying multiple days, tip well! You want the housekeeping on your side.

A habit I picked up from a friend who got me into this: I also would wrap the discarded condoms in toilet paper, stow it in my purse, and throw away outside the hotel after I left, as I didn't want to risk housekeeping finding any evidence.

If you are going to the client's hotel, it's a lot easier. If he wants you to come to his house, this can be a bit riskier, as houses are much more isolated and it's less likely someone will hear you if you scream. Some escorts I knew would refuse to see a client at their house until the second appointment, and would only have a first time appointment at a hotel.

Meta-escorts?

Do you need your own security escort? Some do; they have a boyfriend or something drive them to the location and wait in the car outside. It's generally good form, particularly with higher-end escorts, to not have your security escort visible at all. I did not use a security escort; instead I installed a location-tracking device on my phone and gave access to two friends I trusted. I also would designate checkin times, where I would text shortly after my appointments ended to verify I was okay.

You're in the hotel room with a stranger, now what?

How To Escalate

The first time is scary! But it's less scary than you might think; after my first time I remember being shocked at how easy it was.

I'm going to describe my system here; it's very likely that something different might work for you. This is meant as a template to get started if you feel utterly at a loss, and if anything here doesn't jive with your vibe, then don't do it!

Before the client arrived, I would place condoms and lube within concealed but easy reach of the bed, usually in the nightstand drawer at hotels. I would do a quick teeth brush and make sure my genitals smelled okay, and I'd connect my phone to a tiny speaker (to fit in purse) for music. I'd place the "do not disturb" sign on the outside of the door, and lower the lights to something that would allow us to see but also slightly obscure any buttcrack hairs I might have missed (more on buttcrack hairs later).

My strategy depended on the length of time I was booked for. Generally speaking, sexual activity lasted around 30 minutes, and I tried to position this closer to the end of the appointment. If you go at it too early, he's probably going to get horny again afterwards and attempt to sneak in a second round right under the wire. This is generally speaking; lots of guys are longer and shorter, and some will do strong initiation on their own and you don't really get a say in the speed.

But roughly speaking, for each length of appointment I'd aim to start the sexual activity:

1 hour: 15-20 minutes in 1.5 hours: 30-40 minutes in 2 hours: 45-60 minutes in (2.5+ hours almost always started out with dinner)

Keep in mind, if you require his showering at the appointment, that you have to squeeze time for that in there too, and many will want to shower again after sex. Both of these are typically done on the clock!

In another tip picked up from my friend, I had music playlists I made for different lengths of time, and I started the playlist exactly when the client entered. I knew which song was in the middle, and which were near the end, so I could tell how much time we had left without looking at a clock (an impolite move if you're supposed to be enjoying it). Wearing a small watch is also useful for this!

My default strategy was this: I would invite the man in, we'd sit down and talk for a while. I'd establish physical contact in the conversation by touching his hand when laughing at a joke, or crossing my leg so it bumped into his. I would become increasingly charmed, utterly fascinated by his life, and I asked him to explain to me concepts I already knew (remember, they like you smart in order to validate their identity as a man who likes smart women, and they still love teaching you things).

(I'm being a little sharp here but this is basically a common internalized strategy women use when genuinely attracted to a man; I did legitimately like around 80% of my clients, and a small % were really wonderful and I still think about them.)

Eventually, after the right amount of time elapsed and when the moment felt right, I'd lean in for a kiss. We'd make out, and would act increasingly hot and bothered before I'd eventually descend to perform oral sex. After this, things get much more varied, as men have very different preferences for position, length of time, if they want to perform oral on you or not, etc. – but typically, I would then climb up to a cowgirl position if they didn't direct me otherwise, and ride until I wanted to die.

Condom Use

Remember to grab the condom! Most escorts use a condom for genital penetration, but not for oral. I did the same (in my survey there was no correlation to indicate this resulted in higher STIs). Keep an eye out for improper condom use! It's very common for a guy to place a condom on his penis the wrong way around the first time; he pulls the condom out of the wrapper, places it on the tip of his penis and attempts to roll it. He then finds that it's not rolling, because the roll is going the wrong way. He flips the condom over and then rolls it the correct way down. As his penis made contact with the now-outside of the condom, it's no longer clean. I would usually try to place the condom on myself to avoid it, checking the roll with my fingers before touching it to the penis. But sometimes they want to do it; I'd just watch them, and if they did it wrong I'd just grab them another condom.

I used Skyn Elite condoms – great feel, very thin, and latex free (in case a client had a latex allergy).

I would keep a few condoms of multiple sizes in my purse, and keep the smaller prepared in the nightsand. After encountering the peen, if it happened to be too big I got to be like "wow, you're too big for my condoms! Luckily I have a backup mega bazooka condom for this fat stack of salami."

For lube I used Uberlube – nobody had a bad reaction to it, and it came in a nice, classy little tube that fit in even the smallest of purses.

Getting Down To Business

My data is definitely unique to me because I had a regular strategy, but still reflects some degree of male preference; I tracked 70 of my appointments and here's the stats:

I perform oral: 91% Client orgasms: 80% Cowgirl position: 66% Missionary position: 64% Doggystyle position: 37% Client performs oral: 59% I orgasmed (real): 16% Spoon position: 9% Prone position: 7%

One of the downsides of sex work is that you're heavily incentivized to do what they want, to make them feel good. If you don't make them feel good, they won't hire you again. If you happen to easily orgasm, congrats – you have the privilege of being able to be honest and make them feel good. If you don't, then you're faced with a choice – fake your orgasm, or don't and risk them not hiring you again.

Most men, I found, were interested in attempting to make me orgasm (though often not good at it), and cared quite a bit about my pleasure. A few didn't (high correlation with dudes who wanted you to wear specific stuff, imo). I found nearly all of them to be very respectful and kind.

I found the vast majority of men did not request any unusual fetishes from me. I got a handful of foot fetishes, a handful of roleplayers, and one guy who did not need to wear a cock sheath but was very into wearing a cock sheath – but most at least behaved very vanilla.

It's not uncommon for them not to orgasm! Some are older and simply can't; others are really nervous, others have porn-dick and your vag is too soft for the required hand-slamming that's by this point their only hope. It's almost certainly not your fault, and be careful not to blame them either. I acted like it wasn't a big deal at all, like I saw it often (which were both true). I was careful not to be overly reassuring, as I didn't want to convey that this was something important enough to do a lot of reassuring about.

Some want to go for multiple orgasms; this is up to you. Some, typically lower-priced, higher-volume escorts, will have an explicit one-orgasm-only policy. Higher-priced, lower-volume escorts tend to be more girlfriend-experiencey, replicating the experience of a one night stand with someone you're super into, and so won't explicitly limit the amount of times anybody can orgasm (that would be weird to do with a one-night-stand).

(The absolute worst are the guys who don't particularly want to cum again but force themselves just to get the biggest value for their money. I hate you)

Cowgirl can be hard and exhausting. If you're not very good at cowgirl, it's worth it to practice twerking in the cowgirl position on your own. Youtube videos are great at this – remember the movement comes from your legs, not your back!

(Fun fact; there was possibly a negative correlation between my likelihood of real orgasm and his physical attractiveness (r=-.12, LR 7.5), but a positive correlation between my real orgasm and how much I liked his personality (r=0.18, LR 60))

Boundaries

Some clients will try to push your boundaries. Maybe you don't want butt stuff, and he keeps trying to slip a finger in; maybe he wants to talk to you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, or wants more dick sucking than your poor jaw can handle. Prepare yourself beforehand in reacting to this; it can be hard to say no to a client who's paying you, especially if he seems nice or threatening, or if he's pushing very slowly. I often would allow a boundary to be pushed, and then decide never to see him again, because I am nonconfrontational.

My worst experience with a client (the one I accidentally failed to screen! if I had I would have seen other women reporting similar experiences!) was someone who did had a few warning flags beforehand:

A) He pressured me to drink more alcohol. I typically have a max of one drink, but he heavily encouraged me to drink more (which I did).

B) The appointment was 1.5 hours, and he spent over 1 hour of it at the hotel bar with me, consistently ignoring my increasingly strong suggestions that we migrate upstairs.

C) He put the donation directly into my purse when I went to the bathroom. Opening up my purse without my presence or permission is bad.

D) This one is 'after', but he pushed our session well past the ending limit, giving me no opportunity to take a graceful break.

This client ended up being very rough with me, hitting, biting, and choking me quite hard, as well as telling me aggressive, degrading stuff about me being a "whore" who deserves this. At no point did he ask permission to do any of it. I remember evaluating my chances at escape, trying to figure out if hotel staff would hear me if I screamed. But I at no point gave him an indication that I did not like what he was doing. I was afraid that if I showed any resistance, that this would count as an escalation and that he would hurt me. As I was trying to figure out the chances he was gonna get murdery on me, I emitted fake moans of pleasure. As I headed out the door I was cheerful, kissed him, said I would be happy to see him again, and then I GTFO'd.

(Unfortunately, reporting this client to the police wasn't an option, as I was afraid I would be arrested myself.)

My point is that I viewed myself as a person with good boundaries before this; the boundary violations came in slow and steady, and I didn't find any individual one worrying enough to pay attention to before it was too late – and when it was too late, I was afraid to institute the boundaries. If anything makes you feel strange, trust yourself, don't dismiss it as probably being oversensitive. If your gut intuition evolved for anything, it probably was for detecting danger around men and sex.

Ending the session

So what happens if your time is coming to a close and he's still pounding away? I try to increasingly signal 'let's end this' with all the subtle power I have within me (like asking him to cum). If he's not getting the message, I'll whisper into his ear that I'm having so much fun but we don't have much time. If he still doesn't get the message, I'll stop him saying I have to pee; I go to the bathroom, and when I come out I make sure the tone has changed; like "Damn sucks we have to end on such a cliffhanger, I hope I get to see you again to finish."

Having to boot people wasn't common for me; in my survey 35% of escorts checked the "I wish more of my clients would leave on time" box.

You can go over time if you'd like, but be careful of blurring boundaries of personal and professional. If you're going to go significantly over time, you can discuss payment – lots of escorts have a pre-set in-session extension rate. If it's just a little over, it's up to you. I tended to be very firm, because I'm a super heavily compartmentalizer and this was necessary to protect my ability to enjoy my clients. One of my friends would regularly let her clients stay an additional 10-15 minutes if they were slow, as she considered the extended goodwill to be worth the extra time.

Tipping

In my experience, it was not standard for clients to tip; I got a gift or tip on 15% of my appointments. I put a line on my website explaining that tipping was not expected and I wouldn't be upset if they didn't, but that it was nice if they had an utterly fantastic time. Most escorts don't mention tipping on their websites. Most of my tips consisted of around $100-200.

Who Are These Clients And Why Do They See You?

I asked clients what the age range was of the escorts they saw; this is that average age range reported (y axis), plotted against their own age.

The men who saw me had generally white-collar professions; according to my personal spreadsheet, we had:

Finance(x4), lawyer(x3), engineer(x3), artist(x2), CEO(x2), doctor(x2), hedge fund manager(x2), software engineer(x2), AI, biotech, data analyst, movie director, electrician, investment advisor, manager, marketing, perfumer, producer, real estate investor, screenwriter, special effects designer, student, teacher, think tank, vice president, writer, and youtube creator. The median income for my client survey was 100k.

The average age of the man I saw was 46, and the avg reported on the survey was 41.

I found clients tended to fall into a few groups; here's some of my stereotypes:

The relationship status of clients who saw escorts
  1. The young and inexperienced. He wants to "know what it's like" and is torn between his inability to attract women in real life and the roaring sex drive of his 20's. They tend to be more shy, and to have been taught to treat women carefully and really really want you to have a good time. The occasional virgin is in this category. (from my personal records, the younger a client was, the less time he spent talking; r=0.24, LR=621)
  2. The busy businessman, who could probably attract women if they tried but they simply don't have the time. They flew into town yesterday and are leaving tomorrow, they'd love to go on a date and relax with a pretty woman tonight, but can't be bothered to spend hours on dating apps or making a gamble at the bar. They want a sure thing. These tended to tip better, be wealthier, and have the most interesting conversations.
  3. The married man – he married a long time ago and built a life with the woman he loved – but now she doesn't want to have sex with him. Maybe he's tried to talk with her about it, maybe not, but one thing is clear – she would absolutely not tolerate him finding sexual fulfillment outside the marriage. So he is seeing you, because you're a neat and tidy sexual experience that isn't a coworker or a neighbor and isn't going to mess up his personal life.
Number of client responses to "how many escorts have you seen?" The average was 26, median 10.

There's also "Hobbyists" – a slightly derrogatory term that sex workers use to refer to a type of guy who treats escorts a bit like pokemon; gotta catch them all. Hobbyists tend to want quantity over quality, tend to be less interested in connection with the woman he sees, and to write and read reviews (often detailed and graphic) for escorts, sort of like a conquering trophy symbol. Hobbyists tend to prefer seeing lower-priced escorts.

I estimate about 80% of the men cared a lot about my experience, and about 20% viewed me more as an object. Again, my experience is higher end; the lower end you go, the more likely you are to get booked by men who are less respectful of your boundaries. Escorts who charge lower prices are more likely to have requirements for the clients they see, typically for them to be over a certain age or to be of a specific race.

Number of client responses to "You tend to book appointment lengths around how many hours?" Both avg and median were 1.5

There does seem to be, unfortunately, a racial association with how well they treat you; I've encountered numerous reports on forums of people avoiding specific racial groups. I suspect this effect shows up at the lower end of price range; at my rate of $1200/hr, I personally saw no difference in how I was treated by different races.

Wealthier clients tended to book longer appointments (r=.29, LR=1.5e+8), spend more total on escorts (r=.56, LR=1.5e+34), see escorts more often (r=.2, LR=18000), and be in a romantic relationship themselves (r=.15, LR=100). They also were slightly less likely to indicate that reading reviews for an escort before meeting her was important (r=-.19, LR=1600); my guess here is that wealthier clients tend to be more personality-oriented in choosing escorts, and that review sites tend to emphasize sexual aspects (while reminding clients of the uncomfortable fact that she has in fact seen many other men).

Number of client responses to 'On average, you see providers how many times per month?" Avg is 1.3, median 1.

Clients who feel shame about seeing escorts report enjoying interacting with escorts less (r=-0.37, LR=1.9e+13), tend to be a bit younger (r=0.19, LR=1500), were slightly more likely to report seeing escorts who used photos that were misleading about their appearance (r=-0.17, LR=305), and slightly more likely to report being unable to get laid elsewhere (r=0.17, LR=443).

Clients who prefer younger escorts tend to see escorts a bit more often (r=0.15, LR=97); clients who prefer older escorts tend to enjoy interacting with them a bit more (r=0.17, LR=487) and place more importance on personality (r=0.14, LR=62).

Who They Want You To Be

But, as is basically common knowledge by this point, the majority of the men you see will be significantly interested in getting to know you as a person, and being known by you. They talk, a lot, it's good to encourage it with lots of questions. You operate a little bit like a therapist and confidante, most men do not want to fuck just a body, they want to fuck a soul, and it's important to present yourself whole and aware as you shudder with delicate feminine ecstasy under their fat stack of salami.

You are here to be the ideal woman; you want nothing from them they don't want to give, you are fascinated by their words, you find their jokes hilarious, you are touched by their struggles to get where they are, your nipples get hard when they glance at your lips, you are playful and show them a childlike wonder at the world, you find the stories about their wives charming, you are split open at the heart and begging them to touch you, you are beautiful and heaving and witty and insightful, you are very smart, you find them smarter, you will think of them later, you won't ask them to call you later, you will never get upset at them, you don't need them to take care of you. You are the woman that only exists when a few thousand dollars are resting on the nightstand.

I wax a little poetic here, but it's largely true, and probably you know it and have been shaped by it in your life already.

They still want to work for it at least a little (and sometimes a lot), to prove to themselves that they earned this in some way besides the money. I would sometimes "get frustrated" that I couldn't orgasm, before asking them to shift position and then having a fake orgasm, in order to demonstrate that some effort on their part was in fact required. Remember to treat them as an equal, not a superior, to slowly dole out the perfect woman to them as they 'earn' it by charming you; don't lay it all out too fast. You're here to create the illusion that none of this is about money, and if it's not about money then it has to be about something else.

You love sex. You are a sexy horndog who wants nothing but getting railed to china and back every day of the week. You took this job because you love sex, not because you need to pay your student loans. The money is just an 'excuse' to be a slut, a 'why not make money off of something i love', a side effect. Remember: men do not want to make you feel bad; this is not sexy to them. If they get the impression that you don't like your experience with them, that you're only pretending, they are very unlikely to return. Their fantasy is getting an opportunity to spend some time with a woman who is on the cusp of banging them anyway, and just needed a little financial reason to do it.

(To be clear; as an escort I did genuinely like most of my experiences with clients, although apart from a handful of memorable experiences with talented men, most of the sex was mediocre. But most of my sex I had on casual dates from dating apps were mediocre too, so whatever)

Women

Sometimes, women will hire you. In my experience this was very rare, and in every case I was hired by the woman as a gift to her man in a threesome. These have pros and cons; being a hired third wheel is super high variance, and is easier insofar as the woman takes up more of her man's energy, and worse insofar as you have two people to pay attention to now.

Sometimes, men will hire you and another escort together, a practice referred to as "hiring a duo." Some escorts advertise regular duo escort partners they're familiar with and like working with, but some guys will want to hire you and another escort they like but that you don't know at all. I don't have a ton of experience working in duos. I typically meet the woman beforehand briefly to discuss preferences and limits. In the session, I've found the oral sex is generally faked on each other (it's very weird eating out a coworker) by covering the labia with the mouth and then not actually moving the tongue. I don't know if this is standard; it's probably way more fun to do a duo with another woman who you actually enjoy having sex with.

Getting More Business

How To Look

This depends a lot on the kind of clientele you're going for, but I found most men prefer an understated, girl-next-door kind of look; jeans, t-shirt, flats type deal. Even with keeping it real, it's important to still keep it classy – be clean, put together well, pay attention to the details. You want to signal that you're successful, responsible, and wealthy (remember, you're doing this because you want to, not because you need the money). I wore a lot of minimalistic, versatile high-end dresses and chunky heels.

You can still express yourself a lot in appearance, as they like seeing your personality. Just make sure it's not too extreme, too threatening or intimidating, too messy, or too sexy – they want to feel like they're on a date with a normal girl, not with a whore.

Don't wear lipstick, it'll smear on them and they probably have a wife to come home to.

If you do wear perfume, keep it subtle, you'll be very close and they probably have a wife to come home to.

If you wear a necklace, keep it short, like a choker, so it doesn't swing into their eye when you're on top of them.

If you wear rings, take them off before banging, so you don't destroy their dick as you stroke it.

Wear clothing that's not a pain in the ass to take off; soft, touchable things with quick ties and buttons are great.

Nice lingerie is a bonus (occasionally you'll get a big lingerie fan), but I often found the men immediately discarded it and didn't even notice what the lingerie looked like.

A change of underwear is good for before or afterwards, so you don't have to arrive and depart in the same kinda sweaty string lace thing.

False eyelashes are dangerous, as you'll likely be squeezing your eyes shut hard or rubbing up against him

It's up to you if you're down to take clothing requests – in general I recommend against this, as this is a visible indication that you're willing to change your self expression for them, and lots of guys register this as not genuine. But some guys do want you to wear a specific thing and don't care too much about if you're genuine, so if you want to hit that market then taking clothing requests are a good idea. You can mention you take clothing requests on your website (or they might bring it up themselves in email).

Pricing

Monthly income (estimated based on other given info) and self-reported attractiveness. r=.31, LR=40,000

How much should you charge? I'd look around at other escort ads and websites in your city to get a sense for what range of appearance charges what. Your attractiveness is important to understand when pricing yourself; in comparison to online sex work especially, your body matters more than your face. Keep in mind that other escorts tend to not be as hot as they seem to be in their photos; you're seeing the carefully selected, most-flattering versions of themselves. The escorts I met in person were much more... normal seeming than the gorgeous vibes presented on their websites (I'm sure I'm included in this). Even still, monthly income in my survey was moderately correlated with self-reported attractiveness.

Monthly income (estimated based on other given info) and BMI (calculated from height and weight); r=-0.3, LR 2e+5

As a very general rule, I'd recommend erring slightly on the higher end of rates; at the very worst you just won't get a lot of business, but the business you do get will be better quality.

Some escorts are nervous to change their prices, but I don't think this is quite so big a deal. If you drop them, do it silently; simply update your website and ads, and bring it up to recurring clients if they ask. If you want to raise them, you should announce this so people know you're doing well. You can grandfather current clients into previous rates; I often did a thing where I announced I was going to raise rates, but that I'd grandfather anybody in for a year who booked in the next month or whatever. Keep in mind this can be annoying to track and you'll have to keep good records.

According to my survey, escorts who charged more per hour also got booked for longer appointments (r=0.44, LR=4e+7) and made more total money (r=0.59, LR=3e+15), even with fewer appointments. The sweet spot will be different for everyone though; one of my friends found she lost income after raising her rates $200.

Lots of escorts will charge an additional fee, typically around $100-200, for either incall or outcall; whichever you want to get compensated more for doing. I charged $200 for incalls, because I had to book a hotel and wanted to cover it; some escorts who use their own home for incalls will charge more for outcalls, because they have to travel.

Most escorts offer discounts for longer hours booked. You can adjust the discount according to how much you want to incentivize longer appointments, and this is very much up to your personal preference. You can see the spreadsheet I used to figure out my own early pricing here (tho I didn't build it with public consumption in mind).

You can also charge more for traveling; if the client wants you to go somewhere three hours outside the city, be prepared to have an additional rate. Some clients might take you up on the elusive and prized FMTY ("Fly Me To You"), where they pay for your flight, and typically a bit extra for your travel time, and bring you to them for (usually) a longer appointment. It's common for escorts to have separate FMTY rates listed on their profile.

You can also establish a cancellation fee within a certain amount of hours before your appointment; I requested something like 20% if cancelled 24 hours before, and 50% if cancelled 6 hours before. There's a good chance they simply won't pay you, and there's no way to enforce them paying you, but if they do want to ever see you again you can require that cancellation fee first.

Some escorts require deposits before the appointment, where they keep the deposit if the guy cancels, or if they fear the guy might try to steal money. This is less common; I required deposits of 20% for long appointments (6+ hours), because I had a lot of time booked up that would be a painful loss if they cancelled. Deposits are hard to do because everybody wants anonymity and payment processers are cruel; I typically accepted amazon gift cards or crypto.

I recommend against negotiating rates! There's exceptions (often providers will do negotiations with clients they really like who might want a unique arrangement), but by-and-large negotiating price indicates to the client that your boundaries in general are negotiable, and blurs the boundaries of your role as a provider.

Double Identity?

One strategy I've heard a few girls try is having two identities you run ads for; as your face might be obscured, this isn't super hard. You list two different sets of ads under two different names, and you advertise two different price points. The goal here is to capture both low and high markets; for example you might get 15 appointments a month from your lower-priced identity, but could also grab 2 appts a month for your high-priced one, whereas otherwise you'd miss out on one set. Doing this is more work, and you have to be careful not to cross clients, but might be a good option especially if you're very unsure what price point is best for you.

Tours

You can travel! Lots of escorts tour, which is basically to schedule a trip to another city, publicly advertise you'll be there, put up ads in that city (lots of ad sites have a special designation for tours), and then book clients for that city. This is especially great if you live in a smaller city or if you've "exhausted" your local client base. Tours can be expensive, though; escorts sometimes charge higher prices on tours to offset this, or require deposits from clients who book on tours.

Shortest Appointment To Offer?

Some escorts will refuse to offer shorter appointment times, as a way to indicate that they are a "get to know you" kind of girl and not the fast-slam-bam type. Higher end norms are to offer 1.5hrs as a minimum appointment length; 1hr is midrange, and a 30minute minimum is typically lower end.

I started out with a 1.5 minimum, but eventually switched to 1hr minimum, but made the rate for 1 hour very expensive; only slightly less than a 1.5. I found this worked well for me; I rarely got bookings for 1 hour, but when I did I was quite happy about it.

Overnights

Overnights are when you spend the night with your client, and you can choose whether or not to offer this. I did, and stipulated that I required a minimum of 7 hours of sleep (to guard against boners poking you in the night), with a 14 hour total minimum. On overnights I would bring a sleeping pill to discreetly take before bed. Keep in mind very long appointments can be absolutely exhausting for some.

Reviews

Should you allow reviews? My recommendation is no, but some escorts do really like them. In my client survey, clients who reported reading reviews before seeing an escort tended (slightly) to be younger, poorer, book lower priced escorts, and feel shame about seeing escorts.

Reviews sort of break the spell you're attempting to weave that you and the client have a uniquely special bond; reviews often are done by hobbyists, and tend in general to be more sexual than you might prefer. They also reinforce the view of you as a whore, and most of your work is in presenting a brand that is the opposite of nearly everything people think of when they think of whores.

Booking Assistants

Some people hire other people to manage their bookings for them; you might also run into one of these from another escort when asking them for client references. I used a booking assistant (someone I trusted in my local community and taught what to do) and it was awesome; just make sure they are very careful with screening!

Exclusive Arrangements

Sometimes, forms of exclusive arrangements can be on the table. Some escorts will advertise the ability to pay them an obscene amount of money in exchange for them only seeing that one client. I get the impression that often this is done quietly, under the table, where an escort sees many clients, one expresses an interest in taking her exclusive, and the they privately negotiate a price and the escort then takes her ads and website off the market.

(One of my most awkward appointments was with a pair of these; I was hired by a male-female couple, and when he excused himself to the restroom she told me that she was also an escort, had entered into a long-term exclusive relationship with him, and was trying to end it; she was hoping getting him to have sex with someone new would help. The session involved her trying to encourage me and him to have sex while he very clearly only wanted to touch her. As I rode him, he only looked at her. I felt bad for him, but he was consenting, but also holy shit it was so awkward.)

Some escorts have long-term, sustainable arrangements with only one or two clients, and they don't run ads or accept any new clients. This can be the holy grail!

Personal Stuff

Periods

Hormonal birth control can let you skip periods. If you don't want to do this, the strategy I used was to buy sea sponges, cut them down until they fit in my vagina, soak them in warm water, squeeze the water out, and then slip it in right around my cervix. These are basically undetectable, and feel just like your vaginal wall, and depending on your vaginal shape it's even undetectable to aggressive fingering. The downside here is getting them out; you have to squat, bear down, and fish around with your fingers, and try to get enough of a grip to pull, for what can often be a frustratingly long and exhausting period of time. You could try tying a string around it (but would be more detectable); I had slightly better luck using a bigger sponge and cutting a hole in it for my finger to latch around. I've once needed someone else to get the sponge out for me (and I once was the volunteer to help another escort pull her own sponge out).

Some other people report success with soft cups, but those can spill and I am not so brave.

Pubes

What to do with pubes and the aforementioned buttcrack hairs? You can leave them long, though keep in mind this is more niche, and you might benefit from having photos that hint or show pubes on your website so men know what they're getting into.

But if you're not advertising pubes, know that cleanshaven is the expected default. Waxing is ideal, so you don't sandpaper your client, but shaving also works if you do it right beforehand. Laser hair removal is probably a worthwhile investment at this point!

STD Testing

If you tell your healthcare provider you're an escort, they will likely very happily try to get you STI tested as much as humanly possible. The average escort reported getting STI tested a little more than once every two months; I got tested about once every three months. The amount you should get tested probably depends on how many clients you're seeing, and the type of client.

Keep in mind there's some things standard STI panels don't regularly check for – stuff like trichomoniasis or myco/ureaplasma.

Handling It Emotionally

This job can be really emotionally hard in various ways; maybe you don't get booked enough for the rates you want, and this can be a hard reflection on how attractive you are. Clients can be rude, or pushy, or uncaring, and keeping your boundaries firm can be very hard.

There's also a lot of social shame that comes with the territory (often increased if your rates aren't very high). I have a friend who felt disgusted and disgusting after clients, with a compulsive need to shower to get rid of their smell. Some are very attraction-oriented, and feel degraded by having sex with clients they find disgusting. This can be really hard to deal with; I don't experience this personally, so my best advice is simply to raise your prices so you see fewer clients, and get rewarded more when you do.

Take escorting slow; this isn't a race. If you do take an emotional toll doing this work, be mindful to constantly evaluate if it's worth it for you, if this is what you really want to do. Consider finding other escorts in your area to be friends with (you can look up their ads and email ones you like!); having a likeminded community can drastically reduce the amount of shame you feel for this job. If you're in a conservative culture you need to hide your job from, take active steps to find a more sexually liberated community to bond with. Much of the emotional burden is actively caused by the judgment of your social surroundings – so change the surroundings!

Most of my personal sex life has been unaffected by escorting, except in one key element – my standards have raised. Personal sex still feels just like it did before escort sex; I have no trouble bonding or wanting my partner, but I now am much less likely to endure free sex that I don't particularly enjoy, or push myself to do unpaid sex acts that don't really thrill me. It's unclear if this is a blessing or a curse; going for exactly what I want feels good, but also it narrows the pool of people I can have sustainable sexual relationships with, as I'm less willing to compromise.

Taxes

The government still expects you to pay taxes despite it using those tax dollars to try to put you in jail for your job. If you choose to fund the government for this is up to you.

The government will likely expect you to report income that is consistent with your lifestyle, and if you don't this can make audits go worse.

As far as I know, at the time of writing this, banks are required to report cash deposits over 10k to the IRS. How you choose to deposit is up to you.

I personally did report and pay taxes, as did the other escorts I knew. Most didn't want the stress of trying to hide income.

Escorts often report a job that's not 'escort' on their tax returns; any sort of vague, gig-based independent thing can work well for this; coaching, modeling, consulting, etc.

Legalization and regulation?

It's possible legalization would make things worse than we have now, by driving down the prices and also reducing quality of life for sex worker (I have an escort friend who once told me "the day they legalize sex work in the US is the day that I quit). Legalization tends to come with burdens that give power to others; in that one county in Nevada where sex work is legal, you have to work in a licensed brothel, and you have to pay that brothel in order to work.

Other places might ban brothels or "living off the proceeds of a sex worker" for fear of pimps, but in the process this means a sex worker isn't allowed to move in with another sex worker (now it's a brothel) for safety, and isn't allowed to support anyone else off the money she earns.

Some well meaning but utterly incompetent places think it's a good idea to make it illegal for johns to hire a sex worker, but don't prosecute the sex worker. This increases competition of sex workers for johns, artificially drives prices down, gives johns greater bargaining power over sex workers, and doesn't fix the problem of johns trying hard to remain anonymous and requiring situations where you're less able to go to the police if you wanted. Sex workers hate this.

The vast majority of escorts I've talked to want decriminalization, not legalization. We simply want it to be not illegal to do what we're already doing. This would allow us to go to the police if we need to, would allow better screening services to operate without fear of being taken down (I couldn't even name the best screening service here in this article!), without imposing additional burdens.

The Heart Of It

Most of this guide might seem a bit cold and calculated, but cold and calculated doesn't mean there isn't heart; I've "coldly" analyzed many things that I love or deeply move me. You can break down the romantic mating dance between men and women into brutal evo-psych theories about status and competition and shit-tests and pheromones, but the felt experience of romance is no less true or powerful – it's just harder to write a guide about.

I've had many clients that I remember fondly and who mean a lot to me. One client I would regularly hold in close skin-to-skin contact as he cried, and I cried with him; another was young and vibrant and too big for the small world around him. Another was a quadriplegic, and yet another was a talented writer who valued rarely seen things in me and encouraged me to do great things without ever once implying escorting was beneath me. Another whose wife had recently died and found me as his first foray into being with another woman, because he couldn't bear to fully date another person yet. I've had clients figure out who I am and show up asking me to tripsit them on psychedelics, wildly successful CEOs who treated me as an intellectual equal, or people who were dying of cancer and didn't want to go out without another bang (I recently looked up one of my favorite clients and instead found his obituary).

A part of me really fell in love with these people, and I consider my experiences with them immensely valuable and I am honored to be able to have been there for them in that way. And the part of me that loves them gets furious when people mock all sex work as degrading or meaningless. You don't know how deeply I've touched and been touched. There's a thread of sacredness in here, of vital work that is profoundly healing and I will defend these men until I die.

And this is part of the strange world of escorting; you get the good and the bad, the men who push your boundaries and the men who respect you immensely. You get high pay in exchange for social shame, legal risk for many more hours of free time. It's a wild world and I don't regret a second of it.

And am I worried that posting this will destroy my ability to escort in the future – would it make men not want to hire me? My hope is that it will discourage the men who should be discouraged, and encourage the ones who know they're more likely to make me actually happy.

Follow me on Twitter for more like this!




All Comments: [-] | anchor

SavantIdiot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is a fantastic article. I hope this goes viral. Sex work should be legalized, regulated, and protected. Escorts should be able to call the police without fear of being arrested if they are abused.

I have several female friends who are escorts, or rather 'providers', and the term most frequently used for the men (as OP said) is 'hobbyists'. However, they don't really see 'hobbyist' as derogatory as OP claims. Which is interesting.

I'm saddened that she describes such a solo experience. There is (was before COVID) a weekly meetup at a local restaurant where the providers got to know each other and swap stories. There was a back channel network where they could blacklist individuals. It was a cohesive group that looked out for each other. They even had presentations on how to launder money through Etsy. As OP said, the IRS will notice!

In addition, some women jumped in for a short period, but some stick around. One friend have been at it for over 15 years: there long-term relationships are pretty amazing to hear about. We dated and I would sometimes get de-identified summaries of fetishes.

There are 'old timers' in this profession just like programming. This OP is like a ReactJS dev talking to CGI-BIN devs. I use this analogy becuase one of my friends worked mostly with programmers and went by 'RubyGetsRailed' online.

EDIT: I hope I'm not mansplaining, but it is a diverse community that exists everywhere and I wanted to share the variations I've encountered.

Un-stigmatize sex work.

bananamerica(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Males can explain things about women without mansplanning :P

This felt informative, thanks

secondaryacct(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I dont know if prospective escorts should expect the same 1200$/hr as this person, this sounds very high.

exolymph(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's addressed in the piece.

pcbro141(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Prices are inflated in the US, I guess because it's illegal. In the UK you can bang a really hot clean looking escort for like $200.

micromacrofoot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It would be nice if we could just regulate this industry to protect the people in it and start the work of reducing the stigma. Similar to abortion, people are going to do it whether or not it's legal. It will never have an 'end'. It's one of the oldest professions in human history. I do not understand why people fight this battle.

The number of hoops these people jump through only to be eventually assaulted and robbed anyway are ridiculous. It's a very dangerous job and it doesn't really have to be!

The ongoing stigma around sex is ridiculous... censoring female nippes (not necessarily even related to sex!), bans on 'suggestiveness,' etc... I've heard of people who run OnlyFans accounts (not escorts) essentially get run out of town if they live in conservative areas... and they really only get found out because the men in the area are patrons!

The tech industry supports these stigmas in huge ways by automating it (often unsuccessfully I might add! at one point I was suspended from Facebook for sharing a sculpture). Push back against this nonsense if you can.

iammisc(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Legalizing for protection of those involved is one thing, but it is completely orthogonal to 'reducing the stigma'. Frankly this is where these movements lose people, including the abortion movement.

ParoxysmalVigor(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Assassination. Burglary. Similar to abortion, people are going to do it whether or not it's legal. It will never have an 'end'. It's one of the oldest professions in human history.

14(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It is also dangerous for a man as well. Some report being robbed or have their picture take upon arrival and blackmailed. It would be beneficial to both sides if people didn't have to hide what they do.

loxias(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> It would be nice if we could just regulate this industry to protect the people in it.

Amen to that. As an ignorant outsider looking in, the first thing that comes to mind is the possible huge safety benefits gained by collective bargaining. Even if it's not certified and recognized by the NLRB, there's gotta be something.

analog31(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There's a recent HN thread on truck driving, which is legal and regulated, and has relatively less stigma. Yet the industry has apparently also figured out every possible way to skirt the regulations and abuse drivers physically and financially if possible. Granted, that's not a statistical assessment, but it at least suggests to me that legalization and regulation are not enough by themselves to make an occupation safe and wholesome.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28916771

throwaway75999(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This was a fantastic read; thank you for sharing.

I saw escorts for a couple of years. It was often weird, when I just didn't click with the woman, but I met a few really awesome people.

There are other down sides to escorting. One of the women I had seen a couple of times, was later murdered. They ended up catching the killer- another escort, I don't know why. It was hard to grieve; we were not real close; her family probably didn't want clients showing up at the funeral or any other reminder like flowers.

I ended up falling in love with one of the women I met and we dated for a while. It was a serious emotional roller coaster being in love with someone who was having sex with other men until she was ready to "go exclusive". But in the end we got married after she retired.

Now it's ten years later. We have a son and are still happy as can be.

If you're thinking about seeing escorts, remember that since intimacy with other people is involved, there are often strong emotions as well.

boppo1(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Out of curiosity, about how much do you make/ did you when you started seeing escorts?

mikevm(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> If you're thinking about seeing escorts

If you're thinking about seeing escorts, you better talk to your close male friends so they can talk you out of it. Work on yourself, and start asking normal women out. Yes, I know that's 'scary' but that's how your parents met... (unless your mother is a whore!)

There's a saying which was borne out of experience - 'once a whore, always a whore'. I actually know of one such case personally. Basically, once a woman tries out whoring and sees the amount of money she can make, any other job where you actually have to put in the effort pales in comparison. So when times get rough, she will go back to whoring. I don't blame them, $200+/hr beats most skilled jobs out there and all you have to do is fake being nice and spread your legs.

I don't get the so called 'progressive' people here that are cheering for this kind of self-degradation and dress it up as pity for the poor 'oppressed' woman. Leftists will never 'blame the victim', it's always some externality that is to blame for a person's woes. Where is personal responsibility? Where is dignity? Making an effort to earn an honest living?

As one commenter here said: 'If a woman is poor, struggling to survive or trying to give a child a decent life in a society and economic system that is very sink or swim ...'. Why are we are supposed to respect her choice? Why is she even a single-mom in the first place? What about all the other poor women who work 2 jobs? Are they just suckers? Is the poor woman working 2 jobs making a morally equivalent choice as the poor woman who becomes a whore? I don't think so.

I've also seen weird analogies claiming that whoring (renting out your body for money) is just like physical labor, which is fscking insane. How is being sexually penetrated by a stranger, ejaculated on, etc... anything like a man doing manual labor? This kind of abstraction does away with the actual differences on purpose - it's nothing more than a rhetorical trick.

Asparagirl(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is a fantastic article: informative, well-written, thoughtful, human, and funny. And it's especially interesting to see it posted here at HN, because while reading it I kept thinking there are some solid lessons here about entrepreneurship, sales, and product pricing that could certainly be applied to your average start-up SaaS.

I mean, anchoring your price high, to better capture the businessman/enterprise market? And that this market also happens to be less likely to be time-suck jerks about little issues, or constantly asking for product changes/features? Literally better b̶a̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶buck for your bang.

And it's right out of the classic @patio11 essays, too. Charge more, indeed.

reidjs(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Incredibly touching too:

'I've had many clients that I remember fondly and who mean a lot to me. One client I would regularly hold in close skin-to-skin contact as he cried, and I cried with him; another was young and vibrant and too big for the small world around him. Another was a quadriplegic, and yet another was a talented writer who valued rarely seen things in me and encouraged me to do great things without ever once implying escorting was beneath me. Another whose wife had recently died and found me as his first foray into being with another woman, because he couldn't bear to fully date another person yet. I've had clients figure out who I am and show up asking me to tripsit them on psychedelics, wildly successful CEOs who treated me as an intellectual equal, or people who were dying of cancer and didn't want to go out without another bang (I recently looked up one of my favorite clients and instead found his obituary).'

KaiserPro(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is a brilliant article, it answers a lot of questions that I had no opportunity to ask.

ClumsyPilot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'Her website implies that booking her will make you superior to every other man, that you will become enlightened by plowing her platonic ideal of a pussy. I only slightly exaggerate.

Why does this give me 'think different' vibes?

CSSer(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not sure in exactly what sense you mean, but I'd say it's because it's the same target demographic/business segment. No, really! I mean, all advertising is bullshit[0], after all. We want novelty but also familiarity. It validates our intuition and gives us the sense that we've noticed something someone else hasn't even if that's not true. If you pay close enough attention you start to see common denominators in branding, design, and yes, even copy like you've noted here. Our basic job as advertisers is to be aware of the landscape of these things, preserve and deliver the important elements, and successfully convey the client's message. The standouts among us, whether by luck or virtue, deliver something just radical enough along the way. But I don't think that bit is as important as some might think, if not in kind then, at least in degree.

Sorry if your question was mostly rhetorical or generally just tongue in cheek. I promise I don't intend to patronize. I guess you inspired me.

[0]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Bullshit

akudha(10000) 5 days ago [-]

1,200 an hour!

Jeez, that is insane! good for them.

Once in a while, I come across something like this and wonder, what is it like to be that rich to casually drop 1,200 an hour, for anything, let alone on escorts.

LurkingPenguin(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And also:

> 8% reported legal trouble

> 8% reported being arrested

> 16% reported physical assault

> 17% reported contracting a STD

> 29% reported being stolen from

> 41% reported sexual assault

So no doubt the rates are in part a reflection of the risks providers take in the course of offering their services.

tennisflyi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I saw a very popular pornstar for $1,600. No regrets.

iudqnolq(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Once in a while, I come across something like this and wonder, what is it like to be that rich to casually drop 1,200 an hour, for anything, let alone on escorts.

Median income is $100,000/yr. My impression (from HN) is this isn't abnormal for non-entry-level tech workers in the US.

Edit: It's just about the median software engineer salary in the US. https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/software-develope...

Edit2: This previous read '100,000/hr'. A transcription mistake.

tomc1985(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It strikes me somewhat oddly that one might pay so much for something that literally half the people on this planet is equipped to provide

You're paying for looks, ease, simplicity, no strings, and so on... I get it. But idunno, that is a lot of money for one nut.

Also suprised the San Diego price is so high, when there is a red light district literally on the border in Tijuana, and those girls charge $60-$100/hr US to gringos (and less to spanish-speakers, locals, and people who pay in pesos)

loxias(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> 1,200 an hour!

I've always been mildly curious, my first thoughts were 'Less than I thought!'.

Hear me out (criticism of my thinking on this is very welcome):

In LA's Ktown, a Domi (a job I had no idea existed just a few years ago... google if curious) charges a base rate of $100/hr, plus tips. For the client, there is no guarantee of nudity or any physical contact, though it's of course up to each individual what they're willing to do (and for how much).

From the perspective of the client, $100/hr buys you in-person company in a public setting with someone young, conventionally attractive, dressed skimpily. The person will (pretend to) politely listen to you as you talk, (pretend to) smile, (pretend to) laugh at your jokes, pour drinks for you, (pretend to) agree with your opinions, and, if they choose to, drink with you.

The market supports that price ($100/hr!) for work that does not require ANY sex as requisite. I imagined 'entry level' sex work would be priced ~10x (min 7x) over work done (skimpily) clothed and in public, and that, like many other goods and services, 'luxury' would have a multiplier over 'entry level brand' between 5x and the stratosphere. (I guess with cars it's ~3x.)

These assumptions yield a price of $5k/hr for 'luxury brand sex work', ~4x the empirical data. If we assume that 'luxury' has a multiplier of just 3x (but I bet it's more!), then the ratio of the market price of sex work over somewhat similar (companionship, paid to be pretty and objectified) work done clothed and in a public venue, in the same city,... can be at most 4x.

Only 4x?

This is what shocks me! :)

kwertyoowiyop(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That could be much cheaper than getting married and divorced.

dustintrex(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The same stats also note that the median income for an escort is $5000 per month, or $60k/year.

And for what it's worth, flying to many places with a family of four can cost $1200/hour even in economy class.

akomtu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is indeed cheap. The alternative is marriage that's gonna last 5 years and cost 1 million. That's 4k or 4 hours (discount for large order) per week - more than enough for most men who are able to marry such women. Sorry for my cynical view.

spoonjim(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Well many people spend $12,000 a year on a hobby like travel, skiing, whatever. One escort a month is similar. Very few consume it hourly at the same volume as say Netflix.

JaggerFoo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

She forgot to follow up on the buttcrack hair comment as promised. '(more on buttcrack hairs later).'

I imagined a graph of number of missed buttcrack hairs to the amount of light allowed in a session.

qPM9l3XJrF(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Lol I was wondering if flaunting buttcrack hairs was gonna be a way to get rid of troublesome clients

Aella(10000) 5 days ago [-]

ty for the reminder I added it in!

shapefrog(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Given that light falls off at an inverse square rate do you plot the lumnes at source of light, centre of the bed or the observed light at the buttcrack?

If the later, how do you account for different distances from the light source durring a given session?

ArtWomb(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Almost none of the digital issues seem to be around transacting of cash. That part seems solved (via Cashapp or BTC). All pain points stem around one party wanting to hide their identity. While simultaneously verifying their clients' identify in great detail, down to a psych profile! An interesting non-zero sum game ;)

bluecalm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yeah, I am amazed johns are ok with it. Not only paying multiple hundreds of dollars but also disclosing your identity and personal information to someone who won't? I can imagine myself taking many strange deals but this one just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

exolymph(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Pretty sure johns pay with literal cash, not any digital variant.

Yoric(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Very interesting article.

Do I understand correctly that sex work is still illegal in the US? If so, what's the rationale? Why can't consenting adults do what they want with their body?

siva7(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Moral and religious reasons. Countries and Governments that do not inflict moral from top-down usually have relaxed rules.

eevilspock(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If a woman is poor, struggling to survive or trying to give a child a decent life in a society and economic system that is very sink or swim, do you consider it 'consent' if she agrees to have sex with you so she can pay the rent, or have a decent meal, or buy the drugs she got hooked on dealing with depression and alienation, sold to her by a predatory drug dealer?

zozbot234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Unfortunately, legal sex work is often exploited as a safe haven for human trafficking. High end escorting is actually likely to be at the lower end of risk, but is ultimately too tiny of a niche for policymakers to care about preserving.

blunte(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Old white men wanting to control everything, including women. Especially women.

Religion is used as an excuse, but that's also just old white men wanting to control people.

lelandfe(10000) 5 days ago [-]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_the_United_S...

It's illegal everywhere but certain parts of Nevada. When you walk around the streets of Las Vegas you'll therefore see hundreds and hundreds of fliers for girls.

As for the history... it's a sordid one. Read e.g https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamberlain–Kahn_Act. The US imprisoned women with venereal diseases found near military bases. Things sort of went from there, and also involves the "morality" of the American Christian and fears of the Progressives. Some more good reading: https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/10512...

Today it is a partisan issue and one worked on at a state level. Manhattan's DA vowed to "no longer prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage" as of this April.[0] ...meanwhile the Texas governor in August made buying sex a felony in August, the first state to ever do so.[1]

I don't expect any significant national progress on this in my lifetime. But there has been a sea change in blue states over the past generation.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/nyregion/manhattan-to-sto... [1] https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/equality/567760...

trabant00(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> You might carry away feelings of disgust, shame, or hatred. Not everyone feels like this, but if you do, I would not recommend escorting

Just like mental fatigue (term meant as a catch all) is an integral and non separable part of IT work, the feelings described in the quote are not optional for sex workers! You WILL get burned by all the downsides of escorting, it WILL change how you perceive yourself, it WILL affect your dating life, relationships, etc.

Some are more resilient than others, you can deal with it better or worse and preparation surely helps. But don't think you can have your cake and eat it too.

I've started very open minded about the profession as a young man. Looking back on it I now think it was justification so I can allow myself to date sex workers as they are on average quite attractive, go figure. And while individuals differ and you can find the same issues outside of sex workers, the job guarantees some problems of which I personally I grew tired of. I am currently avoiding the profession for romantic interests and would not recommend anybody I care about to go into it. Discrimination sometime has objective serious motivation, the motives are just lost to some.

jychang(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes and no.

Sex work usually is tied to more Cluster B personality disorders, from my experience. But then, plenty of people I've dated (who hadn't ever done sex work) have the same issues.

I'm aware that the demographics that I have experience dating tend to skew high towards mental issues (I'm interested in more drug positive people, among other confounding factors which tend to attract people with preexisting mental issues). A lot of the factors aren't exclusive towards sex work, though- simply having an instagram account with 10K+ followers tend to signal a big difference in behavior, for example.

1970-01-01(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Excellent opsec

telotortium(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The article's by https://twitter.com/Aella_Girl (i.e., high on the leaderboard of OnlyFans) - not exactly obscure.

tenaciousDaniel(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I recommend following Aella on Twitter. She does some really interesting (and some very controversial) twitter polls: https://twitter.com/aella_girl

tim333(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There's also some youtube stuff. Here an interview on similar questions to the article: https://youtu.be/bkiPNMbeOH0

jwally(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've always wondered why nobody's ever set up a porn-for-hire business (maybe they have) to hide a prostitution business behind whatever laws make pornography legal.

It'd essentially be an escort service where the "John" finances the "shoot" renting your room, equipment, and the girl's time. They could then take their film and destroy it or distribute it.

qwerty456127(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I knew of a brothel where you could have sex for free if you allowed them to videotape that.

csomar(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is already a site for that (seeking arrangement).

killtimeatwork(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As a customer, I'd be extremely worried about the video recording not being destroyed after all.

mensetmanusman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I wonder if crypto will enable future crimes like blackmail as a service.

E.g. > Escort moves to country B from country A.

> Acquires list of clients and determines their local contacts

> Leaves country B

> Informs previous clients that they need to submit monthly BTC payments or else contacts will receive secretly recorded videos

Continue to jump between countries and create larger baseline of blackmail dividends.

bradleyjg(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What does Bitcoin add here?

slyall(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I posted a similar article by the same author a couple of years ago called 'An Overly Analytical Guide to Camgirling' but it got flagged to death

https://knowingless.com/2018/11/19/maximizing-your-slut-impa...

shapefrog(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That was before onlyfans became the next hot tech unicorn.

ipsum2(10000) 5 days ago [-]

HN is a fickle beast. My guess is that this post was marked by moderators manually to ignore flags.

durnygbur(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's quite impressing with its sophistication. I'm from post-Communist country and talking with my former (female, heterosexual) dates from the same country, guys from Anglosphere countries get sex with them relatively easy and free of charge - because of curiosity and cultural inferiority well preserved by your show business. These are regular attractive girls and women which later on have families, children, and unaware partners. Meantime I probably wouldn't even go through the screening process of an escort in an Anglosphere country... not to mention the ridiculous prices... sad. Rare matches with American ladies on OLD which aren't some form of scam just don't stick at all. Even the dating over here was taken over by an American media group, you guys just want an absolute monopoly on sex. All that remains for us is your porn.

Chris2048(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> you guys just want an absolute monopoly on sex

because your fellow (female) nationals choose to have sex with Americans? Is America responsible for these choices?

Are 'unaware partners' getting just porn? Should women not get to choose who they have sex with before marriage?

throwawayswc213(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Throwaway because I'm drawing on firsthand experience from illegal activity.

I think it's important to highlight the diversity of sex work. This one passage caught my attention:

> SeekingArrangement – This website, unlike the above, professes to definitely not allow escorts, and makes it difficult to be explicit about it. Most men connecting through the website anticipate paying around 50-70% less, as women tend to be willing to accept less money if you give them a veneer of not being a real sex worker. You can still attempt to do clear sex work here though – "PPM", or pay-per-meet, indicates that you want to be paid per meeting, and this is the way to start out the discussion. Seeking Arrangement also had the lowest correlation with arrests,

Nearly all of my experience with sex work (as a client) is off Seeking Arrangment. For those unfamiliar it's a site for people to engage in 'sugar dating', where a 'sugar daddy' compensates a 'sugar baby' to spend time with him, ostensibly unconnected to any expectations of sex. I find these terms cringeworthy, I'll call it compensated dating. In practice there's almost always expectations of sex. There's definitely a sizeable overlap between SA and traditional escorting sites, browse both and you'll come across the same profiles with moderate frequency. But in general, 'sugar dating' involves a sizeable chunk of activities beyond having sex. It's expected to take dates out to dinner, movies, and other activities one would normally do on dates.

I think Aella is being a bit snide when she calls this 'the veneer of not being a real sex worker'. Almost all of the people I met considered it sex work and weren't under any illusion about the fact that money was changing hands in exchange for sex. When I asked why they preferred compensated dating rather than escorting the reasons were primarily twofold:

* Safety. It's not uncommon for people to meet in person once or twice before agreeing to meet for sex. These initial meetings are almost always in public or semi-public places (restaurants, bars, parks, malls). Most people give each other real names after meeting in person. I suppose this could also reduce safety, but there's a M.A.D. element of this that seems to work.

* Sense of connection, quality of experience. Many of the women on SA that I met spoke negatively of instances where men only saw them for an hour to have sex and didn't want to spend time together outside of the bedroom. Do they really just care about 'the veneer of not being a sex worker'? Maybe, but I get the sense that many genuinely have a more enjoyable experience - or at least more tolerable experience - meeting someone few times platonically before having sex.

Speaking from the male perspective here, I'm really not sure why someone would prefer escorting over compensated dating. Aella is right that it's 50-70% less expensive. Maybe a bit less if one factors in cost of meals and activities. But $/hr of time spent together is easily 4-5x less than escorting. Personally I'm the type that sees the expectation of spending time together outside of the bedroom as a positive rather than a negative, so it's a win on both counts. Between $1200 for 90 minutes with someone and $400-700 in exchange for having dinner with someone, sex, taking a bath together and talking, and spending the night together the latter is way preferable.

The only potential negative is possibly the overlap of sugar dating and real relationships. I know both men and women who have moved in with, and in one instance gotten married to, people they met off SA. The one negative experience I had was with someone who wanted to have a real relationship and I did not, leading to a falling out and stuff being said about me - fortunately nothing that actual led to significant repercussions.

Aella(10000) 5 days ago [-]

My impression that sugar babies don't think of it as sex work is based off reading sugar baby forums, but it's possible that there's different subclusters of sugar babies with different attitudes!

yedava(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> 41% reported sexual assault

This is from a group of sex workers who appear to be screening their clientele. I wonder how high the number would be among sex workers who don't have the same amount of financial safety net that someone who can pick and chose their clients has.

I also wonder how those assaults could be brought down, if that is even possible in the first place. I always hear how sex work just needs to be regulated and everything would be fine, but how does one prosecute something that happens in a private setting, behind closed doors?

gizmo686(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Its not clear that those a different sets of people. Just because they screen their clients now, doesn't mean that they always have. Unfortunately, getting personally assaulted might be the reason they now screen their clients so well.

> I also wonder how those assaults could be brought down, if that is even possible in the first place.

I doubt we would ever get it down to the background rate, but having a high base rate means there is a lot of room for improvement.

Just legalizing it would probably help. Having an above ground would likely improve the quality the background check network, and would increase the accessibility of information on how to be a sex worker with relative safety.

Beyond that, the potential to have a good relationship with police would probably be a big help. I doubt it would see much actual use (who wants to risk a reputation of getting their clients arrested), however at least some people would be more careful if they thought there was a chance that the sex worker could report them.

There is also the option of proper brothels, with panic buttons and bouncers listening in for screams.

keithnz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm wondering what the safety stats are here in New Zealand where it is legal (and basically when we legalized it, the sky didn't fall).

bananamerica(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> how does one prosecute something that happens in a private setting, behind closed doors?

We prosecute tons of things that happen between closed doors, already... Including sexual assault.

eyelidlessness(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Before determining how you should police sex work or customers thereof, you might want to contextualize it with an understanding of both reports and estimates of unreported sexual assaults of women in the general population.

Aella(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It should be decriminalized, not regulated. I would have liked to have been able to go to the police about the client who assaulted me, but unfortunately this didn't cross my mind as an option.

tablespoon(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Once you start seeing clients, expect to get used as a reference and to start getting emails from other providers asking about clients you've seen. It's considered extremely good form to respond; this is a collective safety system we all use to help each other, you rely on their information and they rely on yours.

I wonder if the police could exploit this practice to make arrests. Arrest an escort, get access to their email as evidence, then start going after the people who made reference requests. I suppose the email address could even be used to fake a reference for a sting, but I doubt that would be legal in the US. Probably the only reason this system works is the police don't care enough to exploit it.

dmurray(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Arrest an escort, get access to their email as evidence, then start going after the people who made reference requests.

But you already know who the people to 'go after' are: they're advertising on the websites.

humpday69(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'You operate a little bit like a therapist and confidante, most men do not want to f*k just a body, they want to f*k a soul.'

1cvmask(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's like the old adage in Hollywood that you had to sell your soul to the devil. Clearly the predators in Hollywood were the devils.

qPM9l3XJrF(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That part was weird given that women on dating subreddits complain about how guys only want them for sex.

IG_Semmelweiss(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I was squarely on the decriminalize camp but as with everything, life tends to give you more perspectives.

The ethical calculus appears to be more complicated than the straightforward 2 consenting adults engaged in a victimless crime.

Consider the current rates of single mothers, the increasing trends of broken homes and higher divorce rates, one is forced to really examine what is under the belly of this beast.

Is there causality, or not?

Do kids pay the price from easier access to family breakups? Do these side deals even lead to breakups at all, or were they just serve to speed up the inevitable ?

I would like to understand if there is a way to estimate the impact of any broad change in policy.

Thing do bode well in one respect: AFAIK, decriminalizing marijuana in portugal led to less drug abuse.

pjc50(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Considering that prostitution has been around forever, and divorce has been long-term falling since the initial transition when it became legal and socially acceptable, I think you should examine some of your assumptions.

https://ifstudies.org/blog/the-us-divorce-rate-has-hit-a-50-...

emerged(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I actually read the entire thing. It was worth it imo. Some stand outs were her kind words about her clients (almost strange to see men as a class described with such positive words). She is clearly a very rational and intelligent person and this is a business to her like any other. Yeah I really don't get why this stuff is illegal, even though I have no interest myself.

3grdlurker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I don't think the author intended to talk about men as a class and all the politics that comes with it, and as a man I would hate for discussions about my gender's politics to be based specifically on sexual transactions. I mean, she had to talk a lot about her own safety and boundaries here. Not a very good sign for me.

manquer(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Her experience is not a good indicator or whether it should be legal or not . She is an exception even as an escort, and also high end escort work she describes here is very very different from the run on the mill prostitution.

Her strategy of avoiding trouble by keeping price higher even if lower frequency engagements may not be feasible for many, they may be unable to get clients at higher price points and like any biz pressure to generate revenue is immense.

MillenialMan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Treating men who hire prostitutes with respect is kind, but not necessarily honest. More or less a requirement is that they not care if the person they're having sex with hates it. They're a distinct class of people and not reflective of all men.

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. I don't like the weird denial about that aspect of the transaction. It makes it difficult to trust the rest of her writing.

spoonjim(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As a fan of Aella's Twitter persona I wish I had known about the escorting before it stopped!

Aella(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I likely will never be able to advertise escorting as Aella due to legal risks and due to Onlyfans removing anyone who reveals they're an active escort.

fastball(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This strikes me as a weird things to say tbh, but in the spirit of the article I decided to try to look at it a bit more rationally and not sure this is wrong to say, but I still don't like it and I'm not exactly sure why.

slibhb(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The article reads like an advertisement. She claims to have had many intimate, beautiful experiences with johns but she's charging $1200/hr. How beautiful can a purchased experience be? Plus, the whole thing reenforces regressive stereotypes wherein men are valued for their money and women for their bodies.

Regardless of whether prostitution should be legalized on liberal grounds, it is not prosocial behavior and it is unfortunate that the taboo against it seems to be decaying.

elzbardico(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Why should we keep being controlled by the regressive moral taboos of puritan America? Is it a law of physics? What is the problem with bodies? Are smart people superior to beautiful people?

cronodas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> 'How beautiful can a purchased experience be?'

Live theater, concerts, and therapy are all purchased experiences, too, and they can all be pretty powerful experiences on either side of the transaction. I don't see why escorting that includes conversation would be any different.

Liriel(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I've been sexually assaulted on the job (which was sort of my mistake; this was the one guy who I thought I'd screened but actually hadn't, and if I'd screened him I would have not met him)

No it wasn't your mistake. It hurts me to see that people who have been through trauma blame themselves for it.

bluecalm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is a difference between exposing yourself to too much risk and being responsible for what happens to you. She made a mistake and blames herself for that. It was her mistake. She doesn't blame herself for the assault itself just for putting herself in a dangerous situation. I mean, if you don't realize it's your fault to mess up the screening process you will never correct it. It's healthy to realize your mistake.

enimodas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Kinda baffling, when she gets assaulted she never even let the guy know he was doing something wrong, and later in the article she admits to raping a guy who had clearly stated he didn't want to have sex with her, while conspiring with her friend about it. And she barely even registers she did something wrong. It was 'awkward'.

Aella(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I appreciate the care here! I do think he very clearly should not have assaulted me, and I also think I made a mistake by not screening him. Both are true! I have no sense of guilt or self-blame around this, I mostly have 'Oh, I failed to do a thing that would have protected me, I'll make sure to do that next time, good to know.'

bluecalm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's very interesting to me that escorts are able to charge that much (possible to make a median wage in the area in a few hours of work) and still have as much space for demands (detailed screenings, choosing clients etc.). It seems to me that if men had that option, that is having sex with even not very attractive women (most male escorts do gay sex work) the prices would be 1/10 of what they are for women and only the most attractive guys would get any action nevertheless. Meanwhile even not exceptionally attractive women (by their own admission) can easily make a few hundred per hour and choose to meet with only reasonably attractive men!

I guess I am mainly surprised there aren't more takers. Sex work may be degrading and hard to swallow for many but then again working long hours in a minimum wage job often isn't much more appealing either.

Maybe it's about lack of information, maybe about fear or maybe I don't understand human nature as well as I think I do. It just seems to me there should be many more takers than there seemingly are.

harambae(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>but then again working long hours in a minimum wage job often isn't much more appealing either

I can't speak for other nations, but realistically the US unemployment/welfare system is game-able to the extent that many people can choose to just get by this way instead.

I'm leaving out my own moral judgements here, because it's not relevant, but I know enough individuals firsthand who survive on government support to say that it's possible.

collegeburner(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> $1200/hour

Holy shit, why do ppl pay this? Honestly wondering. Cant most people just go hook up at a bar or smth if they're that desperate?

Hnrobert42(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As the author mentions, some clients are busy and just want a sure thing. Others are cheating on their partner and don't want to involve a civilian who might blow up their spot.

I'd say that most important is that she was SUPER thoughtful about the experience she provided to her clients. Things like identifying non-latex condoms to avoid allergies, wearing a short necklace so it won't slap him in the face.

Whenever I pay more for something and am glad I did, it's almost always because I am impressed by the attention to detail. Then again, maybe that's because I, too, pay attention to detail.

baobabKoodaa(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Cant most people just go hook up at a bar or smth if they're that desperate?

Most people can 'just go hook up' at a bar or whatever, but then again, most people don't pay for escorts. Some people can't 'just go hook up', though, and I would assume those people form a significant part of escorts' client base (the author described these as inexperienced young people). The author also described other motivations, like busy rich people, and people wanting to cheat on their partners.

SixDouble5321(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think the problem is your idea of the patrons and their reasons for hiring escorts. Maybe it's just me, but 'go find someone in a bar' isn't even in the same ballparks.

nexus2045(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This price is on the high end. But many people like myself don't have the courage, confidence, looks, or complex social skills required to succeed by going to a bar and trying to pick up a girl. Then when you look at how much time and disappointment you'd have to go through to do the same through something like Tinder, then suddenly paying a few hundred starts to make sense. And quote from somewhere, 'you're not paying for the sex, you're paying her to leave after'.

c21h30o2(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Sex/conversation/whatever with a person you really like and feel that you click with, who focuses all her skill attention on giving you the time of your life, is completely different than with some random person you would rather not wake up next to in the morning. There are lots of men with that kind of money to spend but only one Aella.

hzay(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I felt very sorry when she said it's difficult to take deposits because payment processors are cruel, that she can't report a horrible client to police, that the govt refuses to acknowledge the work but takes the taxes, and all the precautions escorts have to take against cops. This work should be legal.

pizza234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The legality is addressed in the article:

> You can in fact get issued an escort license in some cities (e.g., San Francisco or Grand Chute, or Jefferson County, WA). I don't know if this is a good idea, neither I nor anybody I know has applied for this, though I seriously considered. It's possible it might grant you some legal protection, but also possible it might give you some legal issues, as it puts a lot of information about you in a government file that clearly states you are in fact an escort.

Based on that, from an escort viewpoint, the legal protections are not a worthy tradeoff for privacy.

Ultimately, in the context of the country/culture, legal protection is a progressive position, but it's not sufficient, unless complemented by a degree of anonymity. Not sure how that could work, though!

bjourne(10000) 5 days ago [-]

She describes in the article how she was essentially raped. Can you explain how legalized prostitution would have helped her in that situation? Because it seems to me that there is no way the guy would have been convicted of rape. Furthermore, future johns would avoid her if they knew that she had filed charges against a previous customer. Having sex with men for money is inherently dangerous and I don't think legalization really makes it much safer.

correct_horse(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The funniest part of this article (in the context of being posted on HN) is that the author separately mentions engineer and software engineer in her list of client professions. That settles it - normal people think they're different.

gizmo686(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I say this as a software engineer, does anyone honestly believe that software engineers are engineers?

bananamerica(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Of course they are. Does anyone think otherwise?

chasil(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As funny as it may be, this is a weakness in human character, a desire for a thing of no value. Transactional exchanges bleach emotion and depth.

There are productive relationships in life. They do not lie within this realm.

For myself, this was waste of time. I do not deny those who seek it, but the end result is always to be disillusioned.

And now I sound like an octogenarian.

eyelidlessness(10000) 5 days ago [-]

One of the friendships I most value in my life, I formed meeting for the more transactional version of this: at a brothel. I made a lifelong friend because I connected with someone, even though I was paying for sex.

I'm not expecting to change your mind about whether this kind of interaction can become a meaningful connection. But I know from experience it doesn't have to be empty.

amcsi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Although as a male I highly support that sex work be legal, and acknowledge it as legitimate work, I do not tend to honestly respect this type of work (besides the courage to do it and such). I find it quite unfair be able to make so much money for relatively low effort (at least it feels that way despite the downsides/dangers).

But I must say that this escort is super smart and has a really good sense of business. This article also gave me some newfound respect for escorts for the fact that although on the surface they seem to mostly just use their bodies, they do put in a lot of effort on the business and strategy side which people don't talk about.

hn_throwaway_99(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I find it quite unfair be able to make so much money for relatively low effort

I hope you hate capitalism then. It's all about supply and demand. As a gay man with some friends who escort, their rates are much lower, both for obvious reasons (it is ridiculously easy for most gay men to find other men to have sex with) and less obvious ones (IMO there is much less of a stigma among gay men for escorting, and at least friends I knew who did it expressed little shame at doing it).

bananamerica(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Did you read the article? There's absolutely nothing low effort about it...





Historical Discussions: John Carmack pushes out unlocked OS for defunct Oculus Go headset (October 22, 2021: 795 points)

(805) John Carmack pushes out unlocked OS for defunct Oculus Go headset

805 points 3 days ago by JaimeThompson in 10000th position

arstechnica.com | Estimated reading time – 6 minutes | comments | anchor

Enlarge / Ars' own Sam Machkovech, shown here modeling the Oculus Go's bright future.

Oculus may have officially discontinued its low-end Oculus Go headset last year, but the company has one more 'official' update to help future-proof the hardware. On Thursday, Oculus released an unlocked build of the Oculus Go operating system, allowing for 'full root access' on more than 2 million existing units.

Oculus 'Consulting CTO' (and former id Software co-founder) John Carmack announced his plans for this update last month, saying it was something he had 'been pushing on for years.' In part, the unlocking is an attempt to guarantee that Go hardware will continue to be fully functional well into the future, allowing for 'a randomly discovered shrink wrapped headset twenty years from now [to] be able to update to the final software version, long after over-the-air update servers have been shut down,' Carmack wrote.

Before that, though, the update will allow tinkerers to 'repurpose the hardware for more things today,' as Carmack puts it. Go hardware running the unlocked OS will no longer check for a Facebook signature at the kernel level, meaning developers can create new versions of low-level system software for the entire Android-based OS. That could allow for custom versions of low-level features like the app launcher and the removal of otherwise locked system apps. The update also allows for easy sideloading of apps outside of Go's store interface, though this was already possible on older OS versions.

Welcome to the afterlife

Initially released in 2018, the Go was Oculus' first fully standalone headset, and it was an important evolution of phone-based VR solutions like Samsung's Gear VR (which Oculus also worked on). While the Go was well-built and relatively full-featured given its $199 starting price, the hardware was limited by its lack of full positional tracking for the headset and controller. It started to look dated when the more expensive Oculus Quest was released in 2019.

Advertisement

Still, the Go served as a relatively cheap entry point for basic VR use cases and can still serve that purpose today. Used units can be found for as low as $100 on eBay, and now users can be assured they'll have full access to those legacy units, with the possibility of new homebrew features and support in the future.

  • Go, frontal view.

    Sam Machkovech

  • Go with its power indicator on. The volume buttons are easy to access and press in the middle of any action.

  • The back of Go's box.

  • Lift the top off to expose this nicely arranged set of parts.

  • The thin, black box opens up to expose these accessories, including a 'glasses spacer.'

  • What is Oculus Go? Let the instruction manual tell you.

  • Instructions for how to replace controller batteries, how to add the glasses spacer, and other general setup suggestions. Worth noting: I never needed to install the glasses spacer while wearing my own bulky glasses.

  • Zoom on the controller's face, which includes a serviceable, clickable trackpad.

    Sam Machkovech

  • A single trigger.

  • The controller explodes to expose a single AA-battery slot.

  • How it fits in the author's hand.

  • The strap looks and feels a little flimsy, but it does the job.

  • The retail version of Go comes with warning stickers attached to the lens. Pretty good way to make sure users notice them.

  • The foam lining is a little firmer than I'd like, but it's serviceable for a discount device.

  • Micro-USB for charging.

More than that, we hope this kind of official unlocking for legacy hardware is a position more companies can get behind from a corporate philosophy perspective. As we wrote when Nintendo shut down online servers for the Wii and Nintendo DS back in 2014:

There's no reason that continued online support for these consoles should be at the whim of a company that obviously has no financial interest in them anymore. Nintendo and other console and game makers should take steps to release versions of their server code that allow players to run their own online infrastructure after the corporate servers are no longer available.

As a practical matter, though, this can apparently be easier said than done. 'I hope this is a precedent for when headsets go unsupported in the future,' Carmack tweeted last month. 'But damn, getting all the necessary permissions for this involved SO much more effort than you would expect.'




All Comments: [-] | anchor

causi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm really glad for what Carmack did. It's rather sad though, that support was dropped for this headset after only two years. As a reminder, the Oculus Go was released more than a year after the Nintendo Switch.

mappu(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It was obsolete at launch, though. 3DOF is 'poison the well' territory and not good marketing for VR at all.

baby(10000) 3 days ago [-]

VR is advancing at an incredible pace really, I don't think it's sad.

dyingkneepad(10000) 3 days ago [-]

John Carmack working for Facebook is such a huge loss for mankind :(. It makes me sad every time I think about it.

monkeytaco(10000) 3 days ago [-]

He only does light consulting for them currently. He stepped back a couple years ago to focus on his own AI research.

mertd(10000) 3 days ago [-]

He does not need the paycheck. He must think this endeavor is the most worth his while, which is fine.

amackera(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I admire and respect John Carmack for his role in the history of computing (and his ongoing contributions), but I don't see how making 3D video games was really helping humanity more than this. ̄\_(ツ)_/ ̄

ComodoHacker(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Maybe he could push it to the better, who knows.

baby(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Really? I see this as a huge win for VR, but different opinions I guess.

sillysaurusx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

People keep talking like he's focused solely on Facebook.

He does AGI research. He's sent me screenshots of his experiments.

freediver(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Imagining that future is about people wearing VR devices on their head (even as minimal as a pair of glasses) is hard to grasp.

'In their head' would be a different matter but that is not what the current technology is focusing on (apart from Neuralink).

Edit: not propagating for any such vision the future! just noticing that wearing stuff on head would be clunky and impractical for true immersion.

rob74(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A VR world controlled by Facebook sounds dystopian enough already - now imagine the same with neural implants...

Arrath(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm just waiting for a lightweight pair of AR glasses that I can wear while wrenching on a hobby car that give overlays, labels, disassembly instructions akin to car mechanic simulator.

If they can automagically tell me what size wrench/socket i need to grab, even better.

t-3(10000) 3 days ago [-]

As a person who wears glasses, I'm very excited for AR devices. A great input device* and incremental improvements in the battery tech and energy efficiency would make them ideal for on-the-go computing, reading, and note taking.

* https://wefunder.com/tapwithus looks promising, and facebook bought up companies doing similar things. A ring with a touch slider, gyroscope, and a button would be interesting.

InitialLastName(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Leave it to the advertising-surveillance industrial complex to explore every possible route to inject outrage into subjects' brains (whether they want want it or not).

spicybright(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm actually pretty nervous of how few Carmack's we have.

Not at all saying they don't exist, but the job market favors engineers hopping around instead of staying at one place a while to become experts in things.

elric(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> the job market favors engineers hopping around instead of staying at one place

Does it? That's a fair description of the consulting space, but I don't think it's an accurate representation of the job market as a whole. When product companies hire software engineers, they tend to aim for the long haul.

charcircuit(10000) 2 days ago [-]

>I'm actually pretty nervous of how few Carmack's we have.

Just because they aren't celebrities it doesn't mean they don't exist.

roody15(10000) 3 days ago [-]

John Carmack is a living legend. Seriously impressive career!

InitialLastName(10000) 3 days ago [-]

He's truly had an incredible run, but it's a shame he's let the finale be 'enabled Facebook to mix eyeball tracking with advertising'.

asim(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This will be a massive unlock for a Metaverse funded by Zuck with no affiliation with Facebook. Thanks for the hardware Zuck. Now we'll build the new world without you.

croes(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Not with a 3DOF headset

ralmidani(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Massive props to John Carmack! We also need laws to protect consumers when they don't have an enlightened champion on their side.

Part of the reason I buy Apple devices is because Apple is unlikely to get acquired or go out of business for the foreseeable future. I wish there were viable alternatives. Android devices are not an option for me, as they are more likely to be abandoned and/or contain Google/manufacturer/carrier malware, and I need to use banking and work apps.

In that same vein, I have a preorder for a Framework Laptop because, at least for actual computers, I have the option of not splurging on a non-upgradeable, non-customizable Apple device.

We really shouldn't have to wait for Librarian of Congress-granted exemptions, which can be rescinded at any time and are meaningless with locked-down devices anyway.

soylentcola(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Oddly enough, this is why I stopped buying iOS devices. With my old Android phones/the one Android tablet I got I was able to install something useful and pared-down once they became older and unsupported. They work fine as readers/browsers on my home network or as 'fancy' remotes and local-network media players.

The only old iOS device I haven't sold/tossed is an iPad 2 which is unbearably slow for most things, and I can neither downgrade the OS or install some lighter alternative. Plus it needs a new 30-pin power cable but I haven't gotten around to buying one because all the other old devices just use one of a pile of USB cables I have stashed around.

As far as I'm concerned, at least in terms of repurposing older devices, iOS is like the old consoles where it's essentially stuck once there are no more 'official' updates. If it boots Android, there's a decent chance I can install something custom on it years later.

makeitdouble(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Are current Apple products still worth that trust ?

I had to repair an old Macbook, and while Apple is still in business they won't take repairs for out of support products. Official repair shops seem to have some access to old pieces, but I don't know how long it will last, my laptop got its part from another junk laptop.

Then the current crop of Apple product have unreplaceable parts for third party shops, especially anything touching the secure enclaves.

I kinda doubt Apple being in business will help on the supoort side for 5 or 10 years older products.

kingcharles(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Apple is one of the only companies I dare buy content from because they are too big to be acquired. I (begrudgingly) wrote DRM code to encrypt all the music for one of Apple's competitors and then they got acquired and all the music and video was just dead bytes on the users' hard drives and there were no refunds.

Still, Apple is known to lock people's accounts for a variety of bogus reasons and then all your purchased content is lost.

nickmolnar2(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Wasn't he supposed to be developing AGI?

savanaly(10000) 3 days ago [-]

He remains part-time CTO for Oculus. I am talking out my ass but I believe the arrangement is something like 80/20 time split between his AGI project and Oculus.

snek_case(10000) 3 days ago [-]

He seems to be working on AI / deep learning related projects if you follow him on twitter.

kreddor(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm looking forward to the day he does it for Oculus Quest 1. I haven't used mine in a year because Facebook.

baby(10000) 3 days ago [-]

time to get the Oculus Quest 2 my friend!

maximedupre(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I love the spirit, but is there any *successful* precedence?

Sure, everything is now open-sourced, but setting up the kind of infrastructure that is necessitated to keep the thing up and running seems non-trivial.

flatiron(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't believe it was open sourced. This is just a firmware that gives your root access and doesn't require any Facebook integration.

nicolaslem(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> allowing for a randomly discovered shrink wrapped headset twenty years from now to be able to update to the final software version, long after over-the-air update servers have been shut down.

This resonates so much with me. Each time I setup a new device that requires an Internet connection, I think about how we can enjoy booting 30 years old retro computers and how the next generation will not be able to do the same because of locked down hardware.

KronisLV(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Honestly, it feels like there should be a law about drivers and source code being made available after the end of life/support for any product, much like there should be right of repair laws.

Anything else is essentially like renting hardware and letting the manufacturer forcefully make it into e-waste whenever they like.

metagame(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's pretty likely they will; they'll just have to crack them first. Pretty much everyone does it with retro consoles today, since CDs are inconvenient and expensive for the core audience of that wants to play video games and DRM is always breakable. It'll probably be easier though, because it almost assuredly won't require you to take out a soldering iron, like you have to with most legacy consoles.

erickhill(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is precisely one of the key reasons I stick with Nintendo consoles for gaming. Sure, they sell plenty of connected games and online experiences, too, but I purchase all new games as physical 'cartridges.' This way in 20 years my son will be able to relive Breath of the Wild and a very large library of other Switch classics should he so desire.

flyinghamster(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It is refreshing indeed to see a move like this. Too many times, companies have just obsoleted products, turned off the servers and/or yanked the app (or had it yanked for them by $GATEKEEPER) needed for them to function, and left the buyers in the lurch. Speaking for myself, it's a huge factor in my disillusionment with tech. It was also the reason I've never bought a VR headset in the first place, even before Facebook wormed its way into Oculus.

Is it too much to ask for vendors to do the right thing?

5faulker(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Carmark is a legend in so many ways.

doublepg23(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> I think about how we can enjoy booting 30 years old retro computers and how the next generation will not be able to do the same because of locked down hardware.

I worry about this too. It's been a great experience collecting and _using_ devices that were made a while before I was born. It's sad future generations might not be able to use the tech I'm enjoying now.

AdmiralAsshat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is why I still try so hard to buy physical copies of games, and if there is a GOTY Edition, to have the DLC be on-disk, as opposed to being a bunch of download vouchers.

I wanna be able to play the freaking game in ten years without worrying about whether the game/console's online service is still available to do some mandatory authentication or version check.

fossuser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is part of the reason I'm excited about Urbit - it's the only project I've seen that has a hope of resolving this.

registeredcorn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm not sure if there's already a term for this, but the 'lack of permanency' is going to be an absolutely massive problem for future genealogists.

Here's an example of how genealogy research looks in the modern day:

* Newspapers (Headlines, Obits, Engagement/Marriage announcements)

* Handwritten letters

* Census records

* Physical photographs

* [Depending on century, location, and religious denomination] Baptism records

* Family Bibles

* Military enlistment paperwork [assuming that it wasn't destroyed in a fire.]

* White & Yellow pages

Much of this physical information has been digitized, but for information that was birthed digitally is precariously susceptible to complete loss once a website goes offline, or a hard drive fails, or any other number of issues that happens to things over the centuries. War, the elements, material shortages, etc.

There's other sources, of course. A big one is first-hand accounts of the past, but even such verbal interviews should be conducted with objects or photos to help jog the interviewees memories of the event.

The majority of how personal memories are being stored are on phones, in hard drives, and other various media that are susceptible to bit rot, proprietary encryption methods, technology or social media platforms that have already gone defunct. This is a trend which is quickly increasing too. If some serious solutions aren't proposed and adopted very soon, it seems highly likely that there's basically just going to be a giant void from the late 90's to at least the 2030's.

Heck, just think about how 10 to 20 years ago, the most common way to get a PC game was on CD. Now it would be an inconvenience because very few people even have a headphone jack, let alone a CD/DVD drive.

samstave(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Remember setting IRQ with dip switches on your 300 baud modem....

Computers are becoming (already are) 'black-boxes' -- non serviceable by the mainstream.... Thank Tim Apple

maximedupre(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Do you mean locked-down software?

Do you have examples of hardware that the next generation might not be able to boot 30 years later?

I'm curious and ignorant :D

emiliosic(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I made the mistake of buying a Chumby clock (With Firmware signed by Sony, which likely maintained a VM somewhere to boot their clocks until they decided it wasn't worth the effort) without realizing that it needed an internet connection tho even boot and show the time of the day.

charcircuit(10000) 2 days ago [-]

>I think about how we can enjoy booting 30 years old retro computers and how the next generation will not be able to do the same because of locked down hardware.

This seems pointless. My old phone is obsolete. There is literally no reason I would want to use it over my current phone. I could care less if it was bricked.

rchaud(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The same is true of some of the best work being done on the web, such as the NYTimes interactive infographics.

Because they are so JS-heavy, and reliant on CI/CD pipelines for deployment, on custom CMSes, there is no way to archive them in the way that static pages containing just text and images can be archived on the Wayback Machine. Heck, even Flash projects from 15 years ago still run fine when compiled on Ruffle or some other Flash player.

robert_tweed(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm going to give this a try later. One small fly in the ointment is that if like me you do not have and do not want to ever have a Facebook account, it will not be possible to load this onto the device after 2022.

This is because loading the ADB requires putting the device in developer mode, which in turn requires an internet connection and an active login to your Oculus developer account. Oculus developer accounts have been deprecated and will stop working in 2023, after which time a Facebook account is required.

flatiron(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You sure?

"In part, the unlocking is an attempt to guarantee that Go hardware will continue to be fully functional well into the future, allowing for 'a randomly discovered shrink wrapped headset twenty years from now [to] be able to update to the final software version, long after over-the-air update servers have been shut down,' Carmack wrote."

buildbot(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is tangential, but I really wish that their would be legislation, valid retroactively, to enable old unsupported devices to still be utilized. I think this goes somewhat beyond right to repair?

Take for example digital backs for medium format cameras - these things are built in low numbers, with high end FPGAs and camera sensors, with JTAG interfaces ready to go and everything - but then forgotten about a few years later. Why not enforce the creation of some document on how one would build their own OS for it? Or how the bus from the sensor ADCs works? This all existed at one point internally, but now is lost, and most of this backs will slowly die and go to waste, even though they could easily be repurposed or repaired.

CarelessExpert(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> This is tangential, but I really wish that their would be legislation, valid retroactively, to enable old unsupported devices to still be utilized.

Not at all. This is precisely on point, and directly intersects with the Right to Repair as well. It's about damn time we, as a society, put a stop to black box devices over which we have no ability to inspect, repair, or repurpose after the vendor decides to end support.

gibbonsrcool(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What if we required lifetime warranties for everything? By lifetime I mean human lifetime, not lifetime if the device. It sounds crazy when thinking how it'd work out in practice, especially with electronics, but we need drastic action like this to respond to climate change.

entangledqubit(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I think this goes somewhat beyond right to repair?

Definitely goes beyond it. This should be able to get traction as an anti-electronics waste policy.

Designs and relevant documentation should be packaged up and handed over to the Library of Congress (or alternate entity) as soon as any design goes into mass production. LoC may release them when the product is no longer supported by the manufacturer or the company has gone out of business -- which could be fairly automated on the LoC side.

One side-effect of this may be that companies will be incentivized to support hardware longer, if they believe that these designs have notable design elements that they do not wish to disclose.

I'd settle for something non-retroactive. Since I don't think that'd be tenable technically at this point anyway.

One of the cruxes in this are things like GPUs and wireless chips which are pretty unfriendly in terms of getting documentation but even providing a subset of functionality would be great.

userbinator(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Right to modify --- i.e. what the automotive industry has had for around a century now.

It's why you can still get parts (aftermarket, usually) for vehicles many decades old. I wish companies like Tesla weren't trying to change that, however.

foxfluff(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I think this goes somewhat beyond right to repair?

Something like right to use would be nice. If you need specs or docs or source code for the software/hardware to be usable, then it should be provided. And IMO that should include not gating essential functionality behind online services unless it is inherent to the function.

formerly_proven(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Does this mean you get a blob image where you can have root, or more like Carmack of old, GPLing / open sourcing the prev-gen tech? I'm asking basically: Is this free as in beer or as in freedom?

Macha(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Accessing or using the unlockable software ("Software") is subject to the Oculus Terms of Service or, if you use your Facebook account to access Oculus Products, the Supplemental Oculus Terms of Service and Facebook Terms of Service (the "Applicable TOS"). For clarity, Oculus Products (as described in the Applicable TOS) include the Software. We provide the Software to you for your personal and noncommercial use only on your personal Oculus Products. Installing the Software voids all warranties, express or implied, applicable to Oculus Products. In no event shall Facebook, its affiliates or any of their respective directors, officers, employees or agents have responsibility or liability arising out of or relating to making the Software available to you.

https://developer.oculus.com/licenses/go-unlock-tos

Free as in beer

kactus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I hope they do the Oculus Rift CV1 next. I'm trying to sell mine because it's useless without my deleted Facebook account.

arthurcolle(10000) 3 days ago [-]

that would be dope - no chance though

eatonphil(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Oculus CTO (and former id Software co-founder) John Carmack

I thought Carmack stepped down from being CTO a few years ago? [0]

[0] https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/oculus-cto-john-carmack-to-...

gjs278(10000) 3 days ago [-]

none of these job titles matter at all

jjulius(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The sub-heading of your link says:

> Carmack says he's transitioning to the role of 'consulting CTO' at Oculus.

So he can still be called CTO.

schaefer(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The thought of Facebook having telemetry on real time eye tracking data for a future popular Oculus VR headset in a few years is horrifying.

I'll never get over the sale of Oculus to Facebook.

charcircuit(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Why? Can you rationally explain what you are afraid of them doing?

aaroninsf(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Me neither.

Haven't touched their hardware since and won't; would pass on jobs if that becomes an aspect.





Historical Discussions: Vscode.dev (October 20, 2021: 797 points)
Vscode.dev – Visual Studio coding in the browser (October 20, 2021: 2 points)

(797) Vscode.dev

797 points 5 days ago by connor4312 in 10000th position

code.visualstudio.com | Estimated reading time – 11 minutes | comments | anchor

vscode.dev(!)

October 20, 2021 by Chris Dias, @chrisdias

Back in 2019, when the .dev top-level domain opened, we picked up vscode.dev and quickly parked it, pointing at our website code.visualstudio.com (or, if you are from the Boston area like me, we 'pahked it'). Like a lot of people who buy a .dev domain, we had no idea what we were going to do with it. And we certainly didn't anticipate that it would end up being the fulfillment of a mission over a decade in the making.

Bringing VS Code to the browser#

Fast forward to today. Now when you go to https://vscode.dev, you'll be presented with a lightweight version of VS Code running fully in the browser. Open a folder on your local machine and start coding.

No install required.

With the availability of vscode.dev, we begin to finally realize our original vision of building a development tool that can run fully serverless in the browser. For a full history lesson, check out Erich Gamma's VS Code Day talk 'VS Code An Overnight Success...10 Years in the Making'.

So, what can you do on VS Code for the Web? Quite a bit actually...

Modern browsers that support the File System Access API (Edge and Chrome today) allow web pages to access the local file system (with your permission). This simple gateway to the local machine quickly opens some interesting scenarios for using VS Code for the Web as a zero-installation local development tool, such as:

  • Local file viewing and editing. Quickly take notes (and preview!) in Markdown. Even if you are on a restricted machine where you cannot install the full VS Code, you may still be able to use vscode.dev to view and edit local files.
  • Build client-side HTML, JavaScript, and CSS applications in conjunction with the browser tools for debugging.
  • Edit your code on lower powered machines like Chromebooks, where you can't (easily) install VS Code.
  • Develop on your iPad. You can upload/download files (and even store them in the cloud using the Files app), as well as open repositories remotely with the built-in GitHub Repositories extension.

And, if your browser doesn't support local file system APIs, you'll still be able to open individual files by uploading and downloading them via the browser.

A Light(er)weight Experience

Since VS Code for the Web is running completely within the browser, some experiences will naturally be more constrained, when compared to what you can do in the desktop app. For example, the terminal and debugger are not available, which makes sense since you can't compile, run, and debug a Rust or Go application within the browser sandbox (although emerging technologies like Pyodide and web containers may someday change this).

A bit more nuanced are the code editing, navigation, and browsing experiences, which, on the desktop, are generally powered by language services and compilers that expect a file system, runtime, and compute environment. In the browser, these experiences are powered by language services running fully in the browser (no file system, no runtimes) that provide source code tokenization and syntax colorization, completions, and many single-file operations.

As a result, when in the browser, experiences generally fall into the following categories:

Good: For most programming languages, vscode.dev gives you code syntax colorization, text-based completions, and bracket pair colorization. Using a Tree-sitter syntax tree, we're able to provide additional experiences such as Outline/Go to Symbol and Symbol Search for popular languages such as C/C++, C#, Java, PHP, Rust, and Go.

Better: The TypeScript, JavaScript, and Python experiences are all powered by language services that run natively in the browser. With these programming languages, you'll get the 'Good' experience plus rich single file completions, semantic highlighting, syntax errors, and more.

Best: For many 'webby' languages, such as JSON, HTML, CSS, and LESS, the coding experience in vscode.dev is nearly identical to the desktop (including Markdown preview!).

Extensions#

Most UI customization extensions such as themes, key maps, and snippets all work in vscode.dev and you can even enable roaming between the browser, the desktop, and GitHub Codespaces through Settings Sync.

Extensions that run Node.js code that use OS-specific modules, or shell out to local executables, still show in search results, but are clearly marked as unavailable.

That said, there are a growing number of extensions that have been updated to work in the browser, with more coming every day.

Note: If you are an extension author and want to have your extension available in the browser (we do!), check out our Web Extensions authoring guide.

For example, the Luna Paint - Image Editor extension lets you edit raster images directly in VS Code. The extension brings rich design tools (for example, layer and blend tools) to VS Code, and of course you can save images to your local disk.

The GitHub Issue Notebooks extension brings the Notebook experience to GitHub Issues. With that you can interleave queries, results, and even Markdown describing the purpose of the queries, together into a single editor.

GitHub#

Many extensions for VS Code work with source code that is stored in GitHub. For example, the CodeTour extension lets you create guided walkthroughs of a code base and the WikiLens extension turns VS Code and your repository into a powerful note taking tool (with bi-directional linking). To make it easy to access your code in GitHub, VS Code for the Web comes with the GitHub Repositories, Codespaces, and Pull Request extensions built in. You can make quick edits, review PRs, and Continue on to a local clone or even better, to a GitHub Codespace, if you want more powerful language experiences or need to build, run, and test the changes prior to merging the commits.

Whoa, sounds a lot like github.dev doesn't it? Are they different? The same? Why two??!!

Good question(s)! github.dev is a customized instance of VS Code for the Web that is deeply integrated into GitHub. Login is automatic, the URL format follows github.com's /organization/repo model so that you can simply change .com to .dev to edit a repo, and it is customized for GitHub with the light and dark themes.

In addition to repositories on GitHub, VS Code for the Web supports Azure Repos (part of Azure DevOps). To work with both, VS Code for the Web supports two routes, vscode.dev/github and vscode.dev/azurerepos. You don't have to remember that though, simply prefix whatever URL you have with 'vscode.dev'.

For example, change https://github.com/microsoft/vscode to 'https://vscode.dev/github.com/Microsoft/vscode'.

For Azure Repos, do the same. Change https://dev.azure.com/... to 'https://vscode.dev/dev.azure.com /...'.

Today, support for Azure Repos is in preview mode for reading repositories, but we're working hard to bring full read/write capabilities as soon as we can.

If you are not on GitHub or Azure DevOps, support for additional repository hosting services can be provided through extensions, just like on the desktop. Those extensions, as noted above, will need to support running fully in the browser.

Speaking of URLs...#

Like in the desktop, you can customize VS Code for the Web through a rich ecosystem of extensions that support just about every back end, language, and service. Unlike in the desktop, it's easy for us to deliver customized experiences with pre-installed extensions through unique vscode.dev URLs (like vscode.dev/github and vscode.dev/azurerepos as mentioned above).

For example, try browsing to https://vscode.dev/theme/sdras.night-owl.

Here you can experience the popular Night Owl color theme by @sarah_edo 'live', without having to go through the download and install process, just to see if you like it. No install necessary! If you are a theme author, you can even create a badge in your README.md to let users test drive your theme directly from the Marketplace (learn more in the VS Code for the Web user guide).

Feel free to use this URL to share your favorite themes with friends. Personally, I'm a big fan of @wesbos' Cobalt2 theme, check out https://vscode.dev/theme/wesbos.theme-cobalt2. Note, the theme URL only works with themes that are fully declarative (no code).

As you can see, vscode.dev URLs are a powerful way for us to deliver new, lightweight experiences. Another example is that Live Share guest sessions will also be available in the browser through the https://vscode.dev/liveshare URL. The sessionId will be passed to the extension to make joining a seamless experience.

The possibilities with vscode.dev URLs are endless, and we've got a lot of ideas that we're excited to share with you in the coming months.

Where to next?#

Bringing VS Code to the browser is the realization of the original vision for the product. It is also the start of a completely new one. An ephemeral editor that is available to anyone with a browser and an internet connection is the foundation for a future where we can truly edit anything from anywhere.

Stay tuned for more... 😉

Happy Coding,

Chris




All Comments: [-] | anchor

shelbyKiraM(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm already trying to edit PNGs but in Firefox no file system access API yet, so I tried uploading an image to edit in Luna Paint but it only loads an empty image?

Tyriar(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Thanks I can reproduce, I created https://github.com/lunapaint/vscode-luna-paint/issues/103 to track it

tracnar(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It seems to be like Theia https://theia-ide.org/ which is based on vscode and runs in the browser. It's used by this project to give a full lab/workspace and ide in the cloud:https://www.eclipse.org/che/ (it's actually closer to vscode even though eclipse is in the name).

ghuntley(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yo. Last night Gitpod's IDE architect (one of the key folks behind Theia) did a great blog post on the history of cloud IDE's over at https://gitpod.io/blog/cloud-ide-history

qbasic_forever(10000) 5 days ago [-]

No theia has a nodejs server backing its web experience. This vscode.dev is an entirely client side JS application that runs in your browser--there's no backend server beyond something to serve a pile of static JS and html.

peakaboo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I don't think this will be a success.

If I get to choose between this and my own local installation, of course i will run the local version.

Why would I want to sit in the browser? To continue on the same cursor position I was if I switch computer? Not worth it at all.

hunterb123(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's not competing against local, it's in addition to.

lom(10000) 5 days ago [-]

LPT: press . on any github repository when logged in and it will open that repository in vscode.dev with everything set up

Similar to github codespaces without a real computer to back it up

chadlavi(10000) 4 days ago [-]

it's neat but I wish it would also allow you to run code in a vm when you do this, so you could do things like linting, running test suites, etc before actually committing code. Without those things, this is really limited in its usefulness for any serious project, and more or less most useful as an overpowered CMS for GitHub pages blog sites or something.

napo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

'LPT' = Life Pro Tip (just learned that)

janjones(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Good tip, although it's not vscode.dev, but github.dev. Slightly different thing as explained in this section: https://code.visualstudio.com/blogs/2021/10/20/vscode-dev#_g...

mseepgood(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What's the feature that allows a website to open local files and folders?

Edit: I think I found it: File System Access API, supported by Chrome and Edge, not supported by Safari and Firefox

hbn(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> supported by Chrome and Edge

read: supported by Chrome

wiradikusuma(10000) 5 days ago [-]

FYI: You can't run/compile your code (yet), and by extension it means it won't show any error/warning (I tried deleting some lines). I'm guessing the next step is cloud build.

xnyan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>https://github.com/cdr/code-server

This may be what you're looking for? An agent runs on the development computer, and you get everything that it has (debugging, compilation, etc).

DeathArrow(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Ok, you can use VS Code like an editor in a browser. But how are you going to compile / run the code if you can't install binaries on that machine?

jstummbillig(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What is the context of 'that machine' here?

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The code is still on your local disk. Compile and run it however you want.

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's crazy how much the dev tooling space has evolved in just the last few years. VS Code is of course a big part of it, but there are a hundred offshoots providing CI/CD, dev VPS, source control integrations, language tools, static hosting, staging, functions. The next step, IMO, is more clarity. How do all these puzzle pieces fit together, and what is the 'ideal' solution for me as an individual developer or a small team to use day-to-day?

davedx(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There's been loads of progress and some stuff has categorically improved the dev experience, but a lot of it is pretty chaotic churn (hello grunt, gulp, webpack, babel), and we are still missing out of the box UI tooling that shipped with Visual Studio like 20 years ago (MFC/VB forms). And let's not even get started on the kind of stuff that was possible with Smalltalk.

The problem is much dev tooling is indeed so fragmented and mostly missing strategy or direction. It's like a collective stream of consciousness that has a bunch of directions in mind.

I wonder if MSFT has the vision to reinvent some of the visionary dev tooling from the last century for the modern web. That would be really something.

MR4D(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I find a couple things pretty neat here:

1 - All of the screenshots are from a Mac. This never would have happened with the old MSFT.

2 - The performance of this is pretty good. Admittedly, I just played with this for a couple minutes, but even opening a folder with a bunch of files was snappy.

dustinmoris(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is because Microsoft doesn't seem to want Windows developers to use VS Code. They want to keep them locked into Visual Studio and Windows Azure, which is why the C# plugin is one of the worst from all language plugins in Code.

WorldMaker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Microsoft has long been one of the biggest application vendors on the Mac, there were previous eras where most of the screenshots of Office would have been taken on a Mac too. Though yes, never would have happened in the 'Windows is our sports team, hoo rah' parts of the Ballmer era.

dudus(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> quickly parked it (...) (or, if you are from the Boston area like me, we 'pahked it'

What a strange joke to include on Developer docs.

aydwi(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yeah what a shame...I too prefer to pretend like a robot on this forum.

judge2020(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is on /blogs and has an author under the title of the post.

aptxkid(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Proud to be a Bostonian!

tiffanyh(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>'Fast forward to today. Now when you go to https://vscode.dev, you'll be presented with a lightweight version of VS Code running fully in the browser.'

Does that imply there is functionality missing from the online version of VS Code?

meibo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If you were to continue reading, you would be informed that many of the non-web languages don't have the same support in this version, since it can't run native language servers/any extensions that use OS-level APIs.

easton(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Mostly anything that relies on having a real system attached to it instead of the browser JS engine. Running code, or a terminal, or things that rely on the git binary. Lots of extensions are working to remove their dependencies on the local system though.

lucasmullens(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Some extensions aren't available, such as GitLens.

thurn(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've love to see this for open source, especially integrated into GitHub. A simple 'click here to contribute' button could really lower the barrier to entry for first-timers.

qbasic_forever(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This has been around for a year now: https://github.com/features/codespaces

fetzu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not sure if I am understanding your post correctly, but AFAIK you can just hit "." from your browser on GitHub and it opens an editor (based on VSCode) for that repo.

Not sure if Git is fully integrated in there (although, it being based on VSCode, it should).

ravenstine(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is exactly what I've been looking for. There was another site (forget the name, something-something-cloud) that supposedly did this but it seems abandoned and didn't work on any browser that I used.

An online VS Code would not only make doing quick things with GitHub repos much easier but can be great for people just getting into learning programming because it doesn't require installing anything, but you are essentially starting out with a professional tool.

That and every once in a while I'm not on my own computer thus it would be pretty nice to kill time coding with a VS Code instance that doesn't need installation.

pjot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Was it cloud9?[0] I remember this from a few years ago, but it seems like it was killed after they were acquired by AWS.

[0]: https://aws.amazon.com/cloud9/

tiffanyh(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You might be thinking of https://coder.com

>'Code-server is the primary open source project we maintain. It allows developers to use a browser to access remote dev environments running VS Code'

up6w6(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Not open-source yet, the best alternatives for self-hosting right now are:

https://github.com/gitpod-io/openvscode-server

https://github.com/cdr/code-server

Update: also check the discussion about their differences https://github.com/cdr/code-server/discussions/4267 (IMO both are much slower and worse than vscode.dev)

colordrops(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Not open-source yet

Will it eventually be open sourced?

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is no direct comparison, so unfair to call them slower or worse. Both these services are for running your own private server and for browser IDEs to be thin clients. You can configure the server with your language tooling, build scripts and whatever else. You can also pause and resume your session from a different device (since a majority of business logic is handled by the server).

vscode.dev runs fully in your web browser, and files are read from local disk. There is nothing in the cloud. So yes it is faster, but serves a different use case.

combatdisinfo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>IMO both are much slower and worse than vscode.dev

This just... doesn't make sense other than browser differences and the resources of the server actually running Code.

Is the free trial of GitPod slow because it's running in a resource-constrained environment. Sure. (edit: let me be clear, GitPod is an amazing end-to-end experience and they have a very generous free tier for OSS projects/users, but it IS free unless you pay).

Is self-hosted GitPod or code-server slower than VSCode? Not enough that I can notice when they're side-by-side looking identical, I can't tell which is which. In fact, I would challenge a single person to show me a side-by-side version-to-version comparison that shows VSCode.dev or VSCode native being significantly faster than code-serevr given that they're virtually the exact same thing running in Chromium instead of ... Chromium/Electron.

(On an unrelated note, when even CloudFlare can switch to HCaptcha, and HN can't... well, I guess it's in line with the amount of technical care this place gets all-around.)

factorialboy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

+1 for GitPod .. Stellar integration with GitLab as well for CI / automation

They claim Github integration as well (although I have not tried that yet).

riquito(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What api is it using to let you create a file in a local directory? I know about https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/FileSystem but that's for virtualized filesystems

tkzed49(10000) 5 days ago [-]

confusingly called the File System Access API

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/File_System...

yunohn(10000) 5 days ago [-]

They've literally linked it at first mention - https://developer.mozilla.org/docs/Web/API/File_System_Acces... .

qbasic_forever(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Web file system access API, it's only in edge and chrome right now unfortunately: https://web.dev/file-system-access/

Macha(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The File System Access API: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/File_System...

e.g. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Window/show...

will give you access to a handle representing a directory on the user's real file system

rpdillon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm intrigued by the use of webapps in this way, but I really think we need a better solution for rebinding keys in the browser. I tend to use Emacs bindings (which practically every editor supports), but they are a bit of a mess in browsers because even extensions can't clobber bindings like C-n, and I recall having issues with C-w and C-p as well. Otherwise, very exciting to have high-quality, zero-install tooling like this!

wildrhythms(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm not an emacs user, but I am a vim user and I've been successfully using VS Code Remote + VSCodeVim the past few months from a Chrome browser without any keybind issues. I'm curious what exact keypresses the browser is struggling to intercept?

stared(10000) 5 days ago [-]

A modern browser environment is an OS on its own. Change my view.

keyb0ardninja(10000) 5 days ago [-]

More like a virtual machine. The javascript virtual machine.

echelon(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You should talk to Suhail Doshi.

https://www.mightyapp.com/

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That was already the case a long time ago. We have now reached the stage where individual applications running in the browser can be an OS on their own – VS Code itself is a very good example.

BiteCode_dev(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's not only an awesome technical achievement, but it has also so much potential to be useful.

And yet, something at the back on my head is screaming:

WARNING!

I have the intuition that, on the long run, using more and more tools that are not on your own machine will create a dependency on systems big companies control. And something tells me we are going to pay for it in the end.

So I'll stay away.

Maybe I'm getting paranoid, but I don't regret not having ever created a Facebook account, or not getting on the 2010 hype train of magical SAAS services like Firebase that lock you in eventually.

We'll see in 10 years I guess.

nbzso(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is my personal opinion. I don't imply in any way or form that my point of view is right. You can down-vote, call me names, or ignore what I am sharing. I don't care.

Since Apple CSAM attempt, something at the back of my head screamed: Regroup. React. Change. Now.

Two months after Apple's 'postponing for better implementation': My company runs on Arch/Manjaro (over old MacBooks Pro without T chip, custom PC's, etc). There is no iPhone in sight - my colleagues/employees found personal alternatives. I use DeGoogled Android device for banking app and flip phone.

Designers are with powerful Linux boxes: Windows VM - mainly Figma (I don't like it, but this is production standard now) and Affinity Designer/Photo. We use mainly Vim/Emacs/VSCodium/Sublime.

Vendor lock-in is inevitable, SaaS business logic is based on this premise. I don't care how cool it is, or how 'trendy', there is no way my company production code to be served as a 'free petrol' for some monopolistic/'good intention' scheme which will feed AI advancements geared towards removing of skilled professionals.

I don't like SaaS apps direction at all. We have powerful hardware now, there are proven ways of collaboration with FOSS, moving everything in the browser is utterly insane.

I cannot hide how I feel about the lack of critical thinking in designers and developers today. They are always ready to jump on the bandwagon just to feel 'cool and important'.

Call me crazy, or paranoid. In 5 years time all will be transparent and obvious even for the most 'optimistic' ones.

idle_zealot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is running on your machine though. The browser downloads vscode as a SPA-style thing, and runs the editor in the browser sandbox, and can edit local files/directories.

ramses0(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's already that way. It's immensely hard to 'develop on an airplane / desert island'. eg: even documentation is at best something like 'dash' => https://kapeli.com/dash ... forget about anything more complicated than SQLite, and if you're lucky docker-compose for occasionally connected use.

My experience? Chromebook / Crouton, usually offline with occasional network access. I ended up leaning hard towards SPA's + javascript, with most of the documentation being 'legit' available. (JS, HTML, CSS, DOM, etc.) ...occasionally researching + pulling in libraries on occasion.

blumomo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

On your site. Never going to use these tools.

humantorso(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If you want to run you own version of this - try this https://hub.docker.com/r/linuxserver/code-server, its very easy to configure. linuxserver has created code-server - which is vscode running in container. I have been running it in my personal network for nearly a year now. It great because it lets you code from any device. Sometimes I use this to quickly script out things on my ipad and then execute whatever script I have created using Terminus.

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

These are two very different things. vscode.dev runs fully locally. It accesses files from your local disk, and doesn't need a network connection (after initial setup/asset caching).

code-server requires the backing server to be available at all times, and all editor features are pulled from the server via a websocket connection. You can pause and resume whatever you were doing from a different device.

ARandumGuy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This seems really cool, and seems like it took a lot of man hours to put together.

However, I'm not sure who this is for. Downloading and installing an application is not a particularly big ask for the type of people who use VSCode. The browser version will always be a compromised experience, given the inherent limitations of browser applications. Even if it works 99% of the time, that 1% would add enough friction to make it more of a hassle then it's worth.

The post gave some use cases involving hardware that can't easily run Desktop VSCode (e.g. iPads and Chromebooks). I just don't see that being much of a use case though, except in desperate circumstances where a more capable dev machine isn't available.

If there are some use cases I'm missing, I'd love to hear about them! This is a pretty new concept, and I certainly don't know how everyone likes to code. But from my perspective, I struggle to see any situation where someone would choose to use this, and few situations where someone would have to.

maybeOneDay(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Some non western countries have student/junior freelance developer populations comprised almost entirely of people using mobile devices for development. I imagine this will be a god send for them

windowsrookie(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Tablets for sure. There are no good coding apps on Tablets. Say you're going on a trip somewhere and don't feel comfortable bringing your $3,000 laptop. Pickup a $150 android tablet + keyboard. Or low income individuals, you could start coding right from your phone without having to buy anything new.

aquova(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not sure what the use of the standalone site is, however Microsoft has already integrated VSCode-in-a-browser into Github. If you go to a Github file and press . then that repository will open up in a VSCode instance in browser. It's quite useful to have it's search features rather than needing to clone down a project first.

tppiotrowski(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Downloading and installing is a big ask if you don't have the required system permissions (computer labs, work issued laptops, Chromebooks).

Another data point: I used to compile VSCode for ARM to run it on a RaspberryPi and had to do it anytime there was an update.

rattlesnakedave(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>However, I'm not sure who this is for. Downloading and installing an application is not a particularly big ask for the type of people who use VSCode.

True, but IMO doing anything we possibly can to get from individuals who want to code -> actually coding faster and easier with minimal setup is a huge win. I remember starting out using codeblocks for C++. My biggest hurdle was figuring out how to get a compiler integrated with the IDE. https://repl.it is doing first class work in this space. I highly recommend you check them out as well.

coldtea(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>However, I'm not sure who this is for. Downloading and installing an application is not a particularly big ask for the type of people who use VSCode

It's like how nerdy types could easily slap together their own Dropbox, with rsync and duct tape (as per the famous comment), but most didn't - plus the world is not just full of types who'd do it. And then MS can start adding all kinds of collaboration tools built in, from pair coding to bug tracking, time tracking and so on.

I can imagine an enterprise giving devs just this + something like local/Cloud VPS/CI/CD environment to work in. Immediately reproducible, no hassle, secure, and so on.

>The browser version will always be a compromised experience, given the inherent limitation

Well, offline VSCode is a glorified browser as well.

canada_dry(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> I'm not sure who this is for.

Especially since many extensions are incompatible.

newsbinator(10000) 5 days ago [-]

In Safari:

> Your current browser doesn't support local file system access.

> You can either upload single files or open a remote repository.

outside1234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The use case is Codespaces.

Codespaces is magic because it allows you to go from zero to fully configured dev environment, even for the most complicated environments, in five minutes via a preconfigured dev container

VSCode in the browser allows you to do this, but is only part of the story, and without the dev container, you miss the really valuable part of that story.

makeitdouble(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> iPads and Chromebooks). I just don't see that being much of a use case though, except in desperate circumstances where a more capable dev machine isn't available.

A number of schools dispatch iPads and Chromebooks to their students. They can hook a keyboard and a mouse, and with vscode.dev they now have a decent dev machine.

Sure parents could buy a windows/linux/macos laptop, but outside of the cost, maintenance is not trivial (parents wishing to restrict access to whatever resource will have a harder time)

To push a bit farther, there are pretty powerful and usable Chromebooks, and iPads are now on par with most laptop when it comes to processing power, especially JS. Extending their role to be able to code a bunch is nothing to sneeze at.

patrickserrano(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Honestly, this looks amazing for times when I'm in a meeting and want to look a piece of more complex code but don't have a local copy of the repo. The Azure DevOps repo UI leaves a lot to be desired, especially if you know where a piece of code is called from but don't know where it's defined off the top of your head.

CJefferson(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I teach coding to new programmers, in particular kids, and every step is a pain. In particular, since we had to go fully remote it's really hard to even get people started.

Anything where I can just say 'go to this website, start typing python/javascript, see cool stuff happen' is cool.

Godel_unicode(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> ...the type of people who use VSCode

This type of gatekeeping helps no one. We should be optimizing for lowering barriers to entry, not justifying making an already hard problem (learning to code) harder.

> ...except in desperate circumstances...

Some 15% of American adults are smartphone only. That percentage rises very quickly once you look outside of the G20. Those are also some of the people most likely to have their lives drastically improved by having access to the ability to code.

The fact that you don't have a usecase for a tool absolutely does not mean that such a usecase does not exist, nor does it make that usecase less valuable.

Androider(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Surely shoving VSCode into a tab is just step 1. Think about what this could do, that your local app couldn't.

Off the top of my head: Complete remote state. Open vscode.dev on your desktop, work for a while. Then open vscode.dev on your Macbook Air later, and be in _exactly_ the same state. I don't mean, the same project, I mean the text cursor is at the same position in the same file with the same set of tabs open.

Need a GPU for some CUDA work? The only question is how many GPU cores would you like.

Could your next engineering hire's onboarding guide be: open vscode.dev/company/workspace, click the 'run all tests' button. OK, you're done, please pick the topmost 'ready to start' ticket from the queue.

brundolf(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I suspect those 'inherent limitations' will continue disappearing over time. It wasn't that long ago that file-system access was one of the biggest ones. WASM and/or Workers could bridge the gap on language servers, building/running code, etc. Not much would be left at that point

And I think there are definitely cases where installing is a barrier to entry; think about people in locked-down enterprise environments, or students coding for the first time (on their own computers or otherwise). We're talking about an IDE becoming as readily available as Notepad (or even more so, since it's available on all platforms)

WorldMaker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've used the github.dev '.' shortcut (on any repo in Github press dot to jump to github.dev) a few times to browse the code 'more comfortably' with many of my VS Code extensions (via Settings Sync) without needing the time to clone locally. (There is a way to get one of the Github extensions locally to give you a Remote Repository experience in a local VS Code window, but that dot shortcut is much more convenient.) I've even forked and made small (mostly Markdown) PRs that way now.

I'm excited that VSCode.dev now supports the same thing with my company's current Azure Repos. Maybe they can give us a dot shortcut there now too. (If anyone is still active enough work on it to make such a change.)

Though I think the big new use case (that a lot of people are overlooking) is the new Theme Preview Playground use case in the article towards the bottom is a pretty great one. For instance, here's the VSCode theme I currently use because it shiny and rad and totally tubular:

https://vscode.dev/theme/jaredkent.laserwave

You don't have to download the theme to try it. It opens a fake workspace with several examples of code highlighting to get a feel for the theme. If you've got Settings Sync turned on you'll see how it interacts with your other settings (like which side you keep the 'explorer bar' on) and if you decide to Keep the theme by clicking the button in the notification it pops up, your other devices will install the extension automatically and start to use it as soon as they next sync.

It's pretty neat and the article implies it's the first 'playground' of this sort and probably not the last as they get other ideas of extension types people might prefer to test before they download.

pfisherman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I dunno. It would be pretty sweet to not have to bring a laptop with me when I travel / go places. Just whip out the iPad, open a browser, connect to remote host, and get to work.

The caveat of course is that this supports connecting to a remote host.

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Being able to run VS Code with only browser APIs and no Electron/Node.js is still a big win for PWA proponents even if it doesn't offer anything new.

wffurr(10000) 5 days ago [-]

FTA:

'This simple gateway to the local machine quickly opens some interesting scenarios for using VS Code for the Web as a zero-installation local development tool, such as:

* Local file viewing and editing. Quickly take notes (and preview!) in Markdown. Even if you are on a restricted machine where you cannot install the full VS Code, you may still be able to use vscode.dev to view and edit local files.

* Build client-side HTML, JavaScript, and CSS applications in conjunction with the browser tools for debugging.

* Edit your code on lower powered machines like Chromebooks, where you can't (easily) install VS Code.

* Develop on your iPad. You can upload/download files (and even store them in the cloud using the Files app), as well as open repositories remotely with the built-in GitHub Repositories extension.'

Also various interesting URLs are now possible:

'For example, change https://github.com/microsoft/vscode to 'https://vscode.dev/github.com/Microsoft/vscode'.

For Azure Repos, do the same. Change https://dev.azure.com/... to 'https://vscode.dev/dev.azure.com /...'.'

'As you can see, vscode.dev URLs are a powerful way for us to deliver new, lightweight experiences. Another example is that Live Share guest sessions will also be available in the browser through the https://vscode.dev/liveshare URL. The sessionId will be passed to the extension to make joining a seamless experience.'

jackson1442(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> The post gave some use cases involving hardware that can't easily run Desktop VSCode (e.g. iPads and Chromebooks). I just don't see that being much of a use case though, except in desperate circumstances where a more capable dev machine isn't available.

This is _huge_ for education. Many school districts are distributing managed chromebooks to each student because of their low cost of ownership and really all you could code on with those was replit.com. VS Code in the browser allows you to expose students to a programming environment just like what they'd use professionally.

This isn't meant for the developer with the latest 16' MacBook Pro, it's meant for people who can't necessarily install vscode on their machine. Maybe it's on a shared machine at a library and they can't install software, or maybe it's a Chromebook.

n8cpdx(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Students and kids with chrome books - a huge amount of middle and high school students in the US. Students who Microsoft would like to grow up thinking software development = Visual Studio.

matthewhammond(10000) 5 days ago [-]

For me the point is more around generally pushing things towards the cloud and away from snowflake local environments. One click app generation from templates, one click deploys of your app to ephemeral environments for testing and sharing... all without requiring any setup, and integrated into GitHub for collaboration. Want to onboard someone to working on your app, just send them a hyperlink to the repo.

jasonkester(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm not sure who this is for.

I guess it's for me, 15 years ago, backpacking across Southeast Asia without a laptop and stopping at Internet cafes to work on a side project. Back then, I had built a little ghetto web ide out of a textarea and chosen php for the project in question because it didn't need a compile step. Today, this would let me do my thing in c# as nature intended.

But then also, today has crazy fast two pound laptops that would fit in that tiny bag I had back then. And no Internet cafes anymore.

So maybe not for me today, I guess.

pjmlp(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Taking Electron to the death row.

qbasic_forever(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Interesting they're using tree-sitter for syntax highlighting. Obviously they can't run LSPs in the browser so this must have been an alternative. I'd be curious to see this get into mainline desktop VS Code though (and I'm not alone: https://github.com/microsoft/vscode/issues/50140).

tehlike(10000) 4 days ago [-]

why can't they run LSP?

WorldMaker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The article points out that the Typescript/Javascript and Python LSPs run in the browser providing 'better' experience than the tree-sitter experiences for languages without browser capable LSPs today.

IshKebab(10000) 4 days ago [-]

They don't use tree-sitter for syntax highlighting unless the extension you're using uses it. By default (and almost everything uses the default) VSCode uses the Textmate syntax highlighting system.

And there's no reason they can't use the LSP in the browser as long as the actual language servers can run in the browser - pretty easy with most languages these days.

webwanderings(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Two features missing right away: Terminal and Remote SSH.

tegiddrone(10000) 5 days ago [-]

+1 I'm curious how it would be implemented. Would we have to send ssh credentials into some proxy service to get MITM'd? Browsers can't communicate ssh directly? WebRTC hack? As some others have mentioned: linuxserver/code-server on docker would scratch this itch a little bit.

alexissantos(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes! Remote SSH on this would be a game changer for me. Especially if I can run it on an iPad...

rubychill(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Remote SSH would make me swap from my current code-server setup in a heartbeat.

behzadhaghgoo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

From my understanding, since their vscode uses browser file access api with zero installation, adding terminal seems non-trivial. I have been working on something that solves that: https://tym.so (shameless plug here). I'm trying to build a vscode on the browser that can be connected to any computer with a one line install and has easy multiplayer features. Love to know what you all think about it

oaiey(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Is not that the differentiator between vscode.dev/github.dev and GitHub Codespaces or Eclipse Che.

n8cpdx(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Very cool stuff.

I remember being at Build 2018 and asking the PM on the Live Share team if they had any plans to bring VS Code to the browser. Maybe do managed environments for labs and companies (what GitHub code spaces now is), would be great for education. Lots of students (especially non-CS nerds, like the physics kids with a CS requirement) find environment setup to be one of the hardest parts. He seemed to think I was a piece of shit for not 'getting' what Live Share was all about and how those other offerings (code spaces, running in the browser without install) were bad ideas not worth considering.

I think the moral of the story is, if you're a PM, don't treat your most enthusiastic customers like shit. Or maybe do, because it won't actually have business impact.

outside1234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And always assume when a customer tells you something like that that YOU are the one that doesn't get it.

Otherwise, you might be the one that gets fired, probably like this guy.

shuntress(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> 'Lots of students (especially non-CS nerds, like the physics kids with a CS requirement) find environment setup to be one of the hardest parts.'

Advice I received early that has stuck with me (and that I have found to be true): 'Environment setup is the hardest part'.

This was true for me in school and has remained true through multiple professional teams.

airocker(10000) 4 days ago [-]

We built lab.computer for this. Root access, state save, sharing, auto/manual grading. We would love to get some feedback. Everyone using it seems to love it.

qbasic_forever(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The PM on the live share feature only gets a promotion if they can prove the value and engagement of their feature. Sadly this leads to very close-minded and hostile attitudes at different levels in the product. You want to talk to the group PM for the VS code product to pitch an idea about new features (but you aren't going to see this person spending time at a trade show booth).

ghuntley(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Heya, Geoff from Gitpod here.

> Maybe do managed environments for labs and companies (what GitHub code spaces now is), would be great for education.

I agree. There is an entire class of problems that attendees and educators continue to put up with when they shouldn't need to because these concerns can be removed through automation. I dumped my thoughts about this over at https://www.gitpod.io/blog/workshops-as-code

lostintangent(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm really sorry to hear you had this experience :( I'm not sure who you spoke with, but this perspective definitely isn't representative of the team and/or how I'd ever want to see us talk with developers.

I'm actually a PM for both Live Share, Codespaces, and some of our education-related experiences (e.g. the GitHub Classroom extension for VS Code). A web client for collaboration, with zero-install/onboarding, has always been our north star, and so your intuition/feedback was 100% right back in 2018.

Now that we have Codespaces, vscode.dev/github.dev, and Live Share support for the web, we're actually looking to further optimize our support for education, since we believe we have a lot to offer. In fact, I'd love to connect and hear your thoughts, to make sure we're going in the right direction. If you'd be interested in letting me make up for that terrible conversation in 2018, you can reach me at [email protected] Thanks for sharing this feedback, and letting us know where we can do better.

atonse(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It seems like this person had the wrong personality to man a conference booth.

Being a PM with a closed mind doesn't qualify you. Seeing conferences as opportunities to learn new ideas or even hearing from existing customers can bring a lot of value.

TremendousJudge(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As a CS student we used Cloud9 IDE for developing and code sharing in assignments -- we didn't know what Git was and using it didn't become a requirement until later semesters. 'Don't touch anything, let me compile first' was a common utterance.

Haven't looked into it for a while, apparently it was bought by Amazon and you need an AWS account? Back then it was just open the site and you're coding

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

On every HN thread I count the minutes until it turns into a personal rant against some big company, and it never disappoints.

godot(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Just a side note... as a CS nerd and a software engineer with 15+ years of professional experience, environment setup is still one of the hardest parts for me, especially if I'm picking up a new tech stack.

joshuarubin(10000) 5 days ago [-]

While I know it's not the fault of the vscode team, it sucks that Firefox feels like a second class citizen since it doesn't support the File System Access API.

yesimahuman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's these kinds of big mainstream products using these APIs that are the only hope to get Firefox to prioritize them. Barring that I see FF further left behind. Very frustrating as a FF user myself.

fartcannon(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yeah, Microsoft supporting Google via Chrome feels a lot like big Oil supporting frakking technology.

benatkin(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Part of the Visual Studio Code brand is that it's open source. With this snarky announcement, they've changed that. I've been using https://vscodium.com/ and who knows when there will be a web version. :(

tills13(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How is this announcement snarky? Also this seems like something they could easily open-source down the road.

OliverGilan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I wonder if this uses pretty much the exact same code as the desktop version. It seems to me that one of the big benefits of using Electron would be to have one codebase deployable as a desktop app and a website with very little change for each deployment.

qbasic_forever(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's going to use most of the frontend UI code but all of the NodeJS-specific stuff in the desktop version is a no-go and has to be shimmed or polyfilled to run in the browser. The biggest thing you lose here is system-level access like the ability to run processes--tests, terminals, debugging, etc. And as the blog post mentions unfortunately these things aren't supported yet in vscode.dev.

minimaxir(10000) 5 days ago [-]

See https://github.com/gitpod-io/openvscode-server which has that design philosophy.

minimaxir(10000) 5 days ago [-]

For those who think web-based IDEs are inefficient, I recommend giving VS Code in the browser a try: nowadays it's just as performant as it is on the desktop.

Even on the iPad it's just as performant (with 120Hz scrolling!), although as noted in the announcement, the file system limitations make it a bit of a pain to work with for ad hoc coding.

johnday(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> For those who think web-based IDEs are inefficient, I recommend giving VS Code in the browser a try: nowadays it's just as performant as it is on the desktop.

This doesn't read to me as the acclaim that you think it is. What I'm hearing is that the desktop application is as slow as a web IDE.

No doubt the people at VSCode have put every effort into making the application run well on desktop, but that's not to say that it comes close to 'native'.

For another point of reference, I'd say that Discord is 'as fast in the web browser as it is on desktop', but that's no compliment; the desktop client is extremely laggy, even on an up-to-date Windows PC. [That said, relatively speaking VSCode is leagues ahead of Discord on this front].

ghuntley(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Geoff here from Gitpod. My primary development machine is an iPad after I bricked my M1 laptop. I'm currently out in the middle of no-where of Australia with my van so I'm all in. Even when I get my M1 fixed I'm likely to keep my thin client device for hipsters as my primary development machine.

See https://ghuntley.com/anywhere for tips and tricks.

lostmsu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As mentioned in the release notes, this only works for web languages sadly. And no debugging. In a way, that's not really a complete IDE (though they are probably working on it).

depressedpanda(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Even on the iPad it's just as performant (with 120Hz scrolling!), although as noted in the announcement, the file system limitations make it a bit of a pain to work with for ad hoc coding.

That's on Apple, because they only allow Safari (or reskinned variants of Safari) on iOS.

azinman2(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It actually loads way faster for me in Safari than the actual VSCode app. To be fair, Safari is already running when I try this versus a cold boot for VSCode.

brundolf(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There would be no performance difference (at least at the UI layer) between a web app running in the browser and the same web app running in Electron, so this doesn't really demonstrate anything new WRT performance

artisanspam(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I was hoping this would be the thing that makes coding on an iPad not awful. But any keyboard shortcuts are consumed by Safari, so it's a pain to use. However, I hope that this enables the VS Code team to make a native iOS/Android VS Code app that would essentially just be a web browser that uses this functionality.

keyb0ardninja(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You can do this right now on android. If you're using chrome/chromium based browser, just visit vscode.dev and then select add to home screen from the browser menu. A similar option exists in firefox on android too, I believe.

Once you open the shortcut created from the previous step, it will open the webapp without the browser's UI.

paxys(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I absolutely do not want VS Code to be an iOS or Android app, since that means giving up all the massive progress they have made towards fully open web-based development and bowing down to the gated App Store model. If that means a less than perfect experience on iOS devices then so be it. VS Code as it exists today wouldn't even be allowed in the App Store under existing rules.





Historical Discussions: AWS is playing chess, Cloudflare is playing Go (October 18, 2021: 794 points)
AWS is playing chess, Cloudflare is playing Go (October 04, 2021: 10 points)
Eating the Cloud from Outside In (October 09, 2021: 10 points)
Eating the Cloud from Outside In (October 12, 2021: 3 points)

(794) AWS is playing chess, Cloudflare is playing Go

794 points 7 days ago by pimterry in 10000th position

www.swyx.io | Estimated reading time – 11 minutes | comments | anchor

See discussions on Hacker News and InfoQ.

Cloudflare launched on September 27, 2010, and every year since, it has made it a point to celebrate 'Birthday Week' with a raft of launches. By far, the show-stopper this year was the announcement of R2 Storage, an S3-compatible Object Storage service that directly takes aim at AWS' 'Hotel California' business model. This has been extremely well received, going by the response on HN and Twitter. In its past 5 birthdays, Cloudflare has gone from world-class CDN to offering:

...and declaring that they will be 'the fourth major public cloud'. When your market cap is $36 billion and your next biggest competitor is worth $1.6 trillion (~45x larger, albeit not pure-play), this is a bold statement. Many startups are trying by offering specialized Cloud Distros, but all building with AWS as the presumptive winner of the 'first layer cloud' rather than trying to compete.

What's Cloudflare's strategy here?

My realization: The big 3 clouds are playing Chess, but Cloudflare is playing Go.

The canonical thoughtleader of Disruption theory is the legendary HBS Professor Clayton Christensen, and a lot has been made of Cloudflare's Disruption of AWS; in fact, Cloudflare cofounders Matthew Prince and Michelle Zatlyn were students of him at HBS. James Allworth, their Head of Innovation, studied and co-authored a book with him. Prince namechecked the Innovator's Dilemma at Cloudflare's launch in 2010, and in 2021 is still proudly showing off a handwritten note from him; in short, you can be sure his lessons are never far from Cloudflare's minds.

As Ben Thompson noted in his now-famous takedown of Christensen on the iPhone, people often miss that he had two theories of disruption:

  • New Market Disruption: When incumbents ignore new technologies until it is too late.
  • Low-End Disruption: When vertically integrated premium incumbents get disrupted by 'cheap and good enough' modular providers.

A third model of disruption comes from Kevin Kwok's Atomic Concepts, but that is a closer fit for the Cloud Distros thesis than Cloudflare.

On the first theory: Cloudflare has some excellent technologists — John Graham-Cumming, Kenton Varda and Rita Kozlov come to mind — and it is doing some cool things with V8 isolates and dynamic routing, but it doesn't (in my mind) have a clear claim on the overall new technology angle, since AWS created the modern serverless paradigm, open-sourced Firecracker, and is using Lambda for half of all new applications (though Cloudflare is also aggressively dogfooding Workers).

Most of the disruption discussion focuses on the second model of disruption, and it rings true. Cloudflare took a part of the cloud nobody valued, gave away an insanely good free offering, and quietly accumulated an 80% market share. Meanwhile, when people think of 'Tier 1' AWS services, its Cloudflare equivalent, Amazon CloudFront, rarely gets any love, and the official AWS Twitter account hasn't tweeted about it in almost a year. Cloudflare leveraged their foothold into selling premium security services, and now is expanding into other value added pieces by leaning into a fundamentally different (high fixed cost, near zero marginal cost) business model the larger incumbents structurally cannot follow.

This, at least, is how Ben Thompson framed it in his writeup on Cloudflare's Disruption:

But this diagram is a little too neat. It imagines the two clouds as worlds apart. Yet R2 is explicitly designed as S3-compatible; in Prince's words, you can set it to 'slurp' mode and you magically have a S3 interface with egress that is six orders of magnitude cheaper. Similarly, the original Cloudflare service could always be used together with EC2, and Cloudflare Workers have different enough usecases and limitations from AWS Lambda and [email protected] that you could conceivably have a stack using all of them.

This isn't Apple vs Android; premium and vertically integrated vs cheap and modular; incompatible ecosystems, and never the twain shall meet.

This is something else.

In the classic game of Go, you capture pieces by surrounding your opponents, instead of directly replacing their spot.

You could view Cloudflare's Bandwidth Alliance and R2 as an 'encircling' move around AWS' previously secure market position with S3. By promising to be API compatible (including offering S3's eleven-nines durability guarantee and free infrequent access), Cloudflare has cut off nearly all of AWS' remaining 'liberties', putting it in 'atari'. If Cloudflare's offering matures enough to be seen as a strict superset, it places the final stone, capturing the 'cloud storage' territory.

In Chess, pieces have different values and capabilities. Bishops are worth 3 points and move diagonally, Rooks are worth 5 and move in straight lines, and so on. Pieces are best deployed in a sequence chain where higher value pieces support lower value ones.

In Go, each piece is indistinguishable from the other; it is the network position that counts, not any individual piece. Support doesn't matter so much as adjacent territory claimed; in the picture below, the four white pieces on the left do far less than the four black pieces on the right.

Compare this to public statements about how Cloudflare works. From Prince:

Since every server in our network runs every service, once we're in for one thing means everything we do in the region gets better and less expensive to operate. This means, counter intuitively, as we add more locations to our network our costs generally go down, not up.

So while AWS has 17 ways to run containers and 7 ways to do async message processing, all overlapping and reinforcing and supporting each other, Cloudflare will tend toward introducing singular primitives, stuff them in a box, and try to ship those boxes to as many places as will possibly take them. If they could install Cloudflare on your mobile phone, they would (this gets them dangerously close to being a real life Pied Piper).

Update: I have been informed that you can in fact install Cloudflare on your mobile phone...

In Chess, you only win when you checkmate the King, which in effect has infinite point value, winner-take-all.

In Go, you win by amount of territory claimed, and it is near impossible for one side to end up with zero territory. Perhaps this is more true to real life.

While AWS boasts an impressive 230+ points of presence, Cloudflare has interconnects with 10,000 networks including 'every major ISP, cloud provider, and enterprise'. These aren't the same thing, but it reflects the substantially different game that Cloudflare is playing. From the point of view of users, Cloudflare can be much easier to use and is much more of a painkiller than other big cloud services in their stack, despite perhaps having a single digit % of mindshare and wallet share. This puts Cloudflare within a stone's throw of Ben Thompson's other big claim to fame in Tech Strategy, Aggregation Theory (the Intro to Tech Strategy chapter in my book is free if you want my take on it).

Strategically, 'Territory over Positioning' happens to be exactly the right call. In a zero-sum market that isn't growing, you want to jockey for position and take out enemies. In a positive-sum, infinitely expanding market like Cloud, you want to encircle them.

To quote Wikipedia, a move that overwhelmingly compels a player into a particular follow-up move is said to have 'sente' (先手), or 'initiative'. In most games, the player who maintains 'sente' most of the time will win.

There is a lot of speculation that AWS will have to respond somehow to Cloudflare's provocations:

But beyond a standard PR response, I doubt AWS will respond to mere noise - S3 data egress revenues have to take a significant downturn before AWS will be compelled to act. But when it does, every future move of Cloudflare's will be taken increasingly seriously. Cloudflare acts and talks like it has 'sente' now, but it isn't real until AWS (or the other big clouds for that matter) feel forced to specifically respond.

While the tech industry is used to come-from-below disruption, and the software industry is increasingly grasping class-for-the-masses atomic concepts, I believe Cloudflare is writing a new playbook that is the little-guy counterpart of the embrace, extend, extinguish model used by Microsoft.

Because it involves API compatibility, this playbook is particularly relevant to developer tools, and is protected by the Supreme Court ruling in Google v Oracle. If I were to summarize it in three words, looking over Cloudflare's history and annual report, I might call it:

  • Establish: Establish a foothold in something incumbents don't care enough about
  • Envelop: Reverse-proxy something that incumbents don't serve customers well on
  • Expand: cross-sell other premium products and services until they are more customers of you than they are customers of the incumbent.

Given Cloudflare's fundamentally less-centralized approach to growing its cloud, it is no surprise that it announced its first Ethereum product this Birthday Week; although it remains to be seen if a Web2-native company can really drop enough of its assumptions to handle Web3 threats or opportunities. If we are truly in the 'early Internet' days of Web3, only the paranoid might survive here. Fortunately, Prince seems to be a vocal fan of Andy Grove as well.




All Comments: [-] | anchor

ryanisnan(10000) 7 days ago [-]

On the whole analogy of R2 circling S3 as a go metaphor - what happens if AWS were to simply nix egress costs?

I wish Cloudflare all the success, but I don't know if they have a substantive moat here.

pas(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Then everyone who had to run in AWS now has the option to think about running outside. Which establishes a new market sector and puts enormous (?) downward pressure on the price of some internal services.

Cloudflare is not worried about this, they want that, because it would open market access to a lot of juicy potential clients, who are already cloud ready but AWS locked in.

Plus they have this shot, they try to make this count, to get traction. If AWS moves now it'll be attributed to them. At that point they win by default. (At least that's the theory :))

michaelbuckbee(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Just wanted to point out that you can in fact install Cloudflare on your mobile phone: https://blog.cloudflare.com/1111-warp-better-vpn/

lucasverra(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Mmm too much wording for a big-tech overlord free product.

I've used nextdns.io as a 'free & limited' and now paying customer.

Get rid of trackers and ads by dns, I get to give them 20usd/year, so I know that their business model should not be to resell my data. There is an affiliate link to give if you are interested.

iOS app and great UI in the web.

swyx(10000) 7 days ago [-]

dear god. of course they have an app. will update! thanks michael :)

badrabbit(10000) 7 days ago [-]

How does their s3 replacement fare against backblaze b2?

u2c4m6(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The problem with B2 is the API request costs can easily bring it over 1.5 cents per GB per month. If R2 can keep to free egress and free (or at least the cheapest) API requests, it will blow all other competitors out of the water. The only provider who provides free S3 compatible with free egress and free API calls is Linode at 2 cents per GB per month. The downside with Linode is your S3 is limited to one region. For now though they are an amazing choice because I can have cheap S3 with unlimited egress in the same region as my managed k8s, also with unlimited egress. The main thing that stresses me out with Linode is having to manage my own SQL database...

prirun(10000) 7 days ago [-]

(Author of Hashbackup)

  B2 pricing is 0.5 cents/GB/mo, R2 is 1.5 cents/GB/mo.
  B2 egress is 1 cents/GB/mo with 1GB/day free, R2 is free.
If your cloud storage is for backups, B2 is likely to be less expensive because backups are rarely downloaded and their 1GB/day of free egress is enough to do backup maintenance to optimize storage.

Cloudflare's CDN can proxy a B2 bucket to get free egress and maybe faster downloads (haven't needed it myself):

https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/articles/217666928-Using...

I'm a big fan of B2 because:

  - they have low pricing
  - they have simple pricing
  - they don't use gimmicks: minimum storage time, minimum file size, minimum payment per month, etc.
HashBackup was one of the first B2 integrations and I've never had problems with it.
djbusby(10000) 7 days ago [-]

What blows my mind is that folk put Cloudflare in front of their AWS stack. Does one really need both?

judge2020(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is often a business decision. Cloudflare's bandwidth is free, and with smart tiered caching my operation serves 6TB a month while only paying out 125gb of AWS egress (with extremely hot files).

AtNightWeCode(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Well, the currently most used paradigm for building web is that you see the edge servers as your classic web servers and then see the cloud as a service layer. Good for security and scaling. Maybe you can achieve the same thing within AWS.

jgrahamc(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Amusingly, I really never enjoyed playing chess, but have always enjoyed Go.

azemetre(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You should look up a game called Hive. I like to think of it as a 'modern' chess. Games typically last 10-30 minutes and has just as much complexity and strategy (in my opinion) as chess.

bsedlm(10000) 7 days ago [-]

When thinking about how China came to dominate all manufacturing, it makes me wonder if China was playing Go and rest of the west was playing chess

Sohcahtoa82(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I always imagined it was because China could pay their employees scraps and didn't care about workplace safety.

No idea if that's accurate or not, though.

opinion-is-bad(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The book "On China" by Henry Kissinger makes almost that exact argument. Whatever your opinion on Kissinger, he opened relations with China and definitely has an interest viewpoint.

gafferongames(10000) 7 days ago [-]

... and Google created an AI that beats them both.

heybrendan(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Not sure why you got down-voted. I for one appreciate your humor.

gwbas1c(10000) 7 days ago [-]

[Meta]

I love the custom scrollbar. Works seamlessly, and the chunky look is cool.

yobert(10000) 7 days ago [-]

It is cute. Wish it worked in firefox though!

Kalanos(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Amazon prides itself on the 'race to zero cost' as a way to beat competitors. AWS will release a service with feature-parity at the same price and customers will default to that. so cloudflare is learning to play checkers poorly.

Kalanos(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Additionally, that AWS service will work with cloudtrail, cloudwatch, IAM, networking, and will get integrated into default APIs. Checkmate.

FunnyLookinHat(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> So while AWS has 17 ways to run containers and 7 ways to do async message processing, all overlapping and reinforcing and supporting each other, Cloudflare will tend toward introducing singular primitives, stuff them in a box, and try to ship those boxes to as many places as will possibly take them. If they could install Cloudflare on your mobile phone, they would (this gets them dangerously close to being a real life Pied Piper).

I think this statement resonates with me the most - it feels a lot like how I prefer to design systems (ahem, thanks Unix!): simple pieces or types, chained together into systems that are easy to understand, maintain, and scale.

We're still only using Cloudflare's workers and it's integration with caching, but it's getting close to the point where I'd have enough primitives to ship some of the functionality of our system architecture to Cloudflare and gain a net-win for latency and simplicity.

justicezyx(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> AWS has 17 ways to run containers and 7 ways to do async message processing, all overlapping and reinforcing and supporting each other, Cloudflare will tend toward introducing singular primitives, stuff them in a box, and try to ship those boxes to as many places as will possibly take them.

Actually AWS also 'tend toward introducing singular primitives, stuff them in a box, and try to ship those boxes to as many places as will possibly take them.'

It's just that AWS covers such a larger terrotery, that they appear fragmented.

This is why I now almost don't read this type of macro-analysis articles. They themselves lack the overall birds-eye view, because they are usually produced by people with little concrete technical background.

They often is very good at producing analogy, which is very intuitive, but very easily breakdown after moderate amount of details.

chrisweekly(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Cool. When you chose CloudFlare, did you also look at Fly.io?

mark_l_watson(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Great writup and I love the Go vs. Chess metaphor (I am an avid Chess and Go player, including taking lessons from a South Korean Go Master).

I feel a little guilty using so many free Cloudflare products, while paying them only a small amount of money for occasional upgrades.

If I were building a serverless based startup, I would seriously consider them over GCP or AWS.

antifa(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> The big 3 clouds are playing Chess, but Cloudflare is playing Go.

I think most lay people don't know the nuances between chess and go and would presume that chess is the more advanced game based on superficial first impressions. Probably not a good metaphor because I don't know the author's opinion on the games and most people will probably see the title and interpret it in opposite ways. Using '3D chess' instead would have been a more clear metaphor.

jpgvm(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Sandstorm lives on. :)

s/grains/durable-objects/ etc but hey, it's still all here.

Would love to get a blog post or talk on the journey if you are lurking kenton.

tiagod(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Sandstorm's founders Jade Wang and Kenton Varda work at Cloudflare

ryukafalz(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Yeah, though durable objects are a great idea I do wish they weren't proprietary. I hope they get enough traction to spur the development of a self-hostable FOSS competitor though. (Ideally one that's interoperable with it!)

nextaccountic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

But, does Cloudflare gives back control to the user? (like Sandstorm does)

I think the spiritual successor of Sandstorm is Tim Berners-Lee's Solid https://solidproject.org/ that was recently cited in this thread https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28903601

But, while Sandstorm is all about compartmentalizing access to data in a single server, having the document (grain) as its unit, Solid does this with multiple servers (called pods)

liveoneggs(10000) 7 days ago [-]

akamai has had Netstorage ~forever so I wish I understood why this cloudflare product is such big news. AWS is just so much more

notyourday(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Akamai netstorage was/is expensive, requires a contract and interacting with inept, overpaid and rather useless sales people and sales engineering that insist on coming to your office to yap about their awesomeness a-la IBM, and is a part of CDN which is also expensive and also requires a contract with more sales people and sales engineers that insist on coming to your offices to yap about their awesomeness.

I cannot wait until someone finally puts Akamai out of its misery -- they stopped being an innovative company in 2000s.

cryptonym(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Not the first feature to fall in that category. I do not think it's that big for the industry overall. Cloudflare is better at PR / more visible than Akamai.

It might be interesting for markets where Akamai is not really competing (low budget?). S3 compatible API also is a plus.

pqdbr(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I could answer your question a thousand different ways but, to be concise, go to akamai.com and find me the pricing of any service they sell.

herostratus101(10000) 7 days ago [-]

'In Chess, you win when you take the King, which in effect has infinite point value, and it is relatively uncommon to come to a draw.'

Great article, but this guy clearly does not follow competitive chess. The vast majority of games end in a draw.

minkzilla(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You also don't 'take' the king. The game ends one turn before you would be able to take it.

agomez314(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Can someone share a link that describes Clay Christensen's thought or analysis on his management style? Watching Prince explain the Innovator's Dilemma piqued my interest

mattferderer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

He has written for Harvard Business Review for decades - https://hbr.org/search?N=516164&Ns=publication_date%7C1&Ntt=...

I believe some reviewers of his book say that the book is his HBR writings organized into a book. In case you're not aware there is the actual book Clay wrote as well - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innovator%27s_Dilemma

fmajid(10000) 7 days ago [-]

No, AWS is playing Monopoly.

rossdavidh(10000) 7 days ago [-]

If that's what they're playing, they're doing a mediocre job of it. They should be forcing Microsoft and Google to rent their cloud services, then using high rents there to force them to sell their own cloud services to Amazon. Not likely to work out for them there.

But, to your point, I'm sure they would if they knew how.

discodave(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This is actually a great way to think about it for a number of reasons.

1. Look up what James Hamilton (AWS Distinguished Engineer) has been saying for years about commodity economics disrupting things. It's about the money, stupid.

2. The way AWS has been building out their ecosystem is following a lot of the previous monopolists (Microsoft) playbook. Get other companies to be 'partners' in your ecosystem so they depend on your platform? Check. Training and certification so technologists are tied to your platform? Check, and so on.

3. Amazon and AWS are usually never playing the game people think they are. For example, all the years that people questioned Amazons profits, they were doing their best to hide profits with massive R&D & other investments.

In the case of CloudFlare attacking AWS network/bandwidth pricing, it's worth pointing out that >60% of AWS revenue comes from EC2!!!! S3, and CloudFront is (relatively) small fries.

lmilcin(10000) 7 days ago [-]

There isn't any particular reason why Amazon might not decide one day to copy Cloudflare as one of their services.

And then all clients of Cloudflare that are also AWS clients will switch to AWS for the same service, same cost, but one less headache.

On the other hand, Cloudflare is unable to copy AWS business model.

So, revised title: 'AWS is playing chess, Cloudflare is playing Go on a board and time borrowed from Amazon'

paxys(10000) 6 days ago [-]

AWS doesn't need to copy Cloudflare. It already has literally everything Cloudflare does in their catalog already. In spite of this Cloudflare is still attracting customers at premium prices.

maxk42(10000) 7 days ago [-]

There is one: Cloudflare isn't profitable.

Cloudflare is still in growth mode: They're losing money hand-over-fist. AWS, on the other hand, is a money-printing machine.

Personally, I don't trust Cloudflare until they achieve profitability. They're going to have to raise their rates one day, and alienate the majority of their customers.

asim(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm a huge cloudflare fan. Massive advocate for them but when I do see this talk of them as a new kind of cloud platform I cringe a little. Are we going to under go the same lock-in like experience we've had over the years by using very bespoke closed sourced systems like workers and durable objects. It's one thing to buy into something that does have wide portability like a postgres but much harder to buy into the platforms that aren't open source.

lugged(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Fan of what exactly?

I thought they were great and had them in front of all my sites.. til I tested the SEO impact and removed it from every single site.

The perf enhancement was minimal at best, the added costs and complexity overhead simply wasn't worth it.

Tried their DNS too, 8.8.8.8 was faster for my network.

pwinnski(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Do you cringe more or less than right now, when Amazon dominates all the markets CloudFlare is trying to enter except one?

systemvoltage(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I am confused. What would you like about CF that needs to be open sourced? Is it the front end? The datacenter operations software? Their algorithms? How would that solve the problem of portability? If there is anything to cringe, it is emotional appeal to OSS without thinking it through. Cloudflare is a massive service provider, not a database engine. OSS has a huge significance in basic building blocks of software - things like openssl lib.

winternett(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Cloudflare needs to innovate more in order to properly be in a position to do long-term battle with Google and AWS.

Their overhead cost is a concern. As a free service provider to many sites that use them for encryption, they're possibly primarily benefiting (CDN-Wise) from Google's encryption assertions made in Chrome.

A few well-publicized system outages for CloudFlare right now would devastate their entire business model... It's happened.

In order to be independently competitive truly, Cloud Flare would need to probably quickly develop a new mobile phone OS, web browser, and scale their cloud hosting to market prominence very quickly in order to be able to preserve their current market share over the long term, which is a very very steep mountain to climb right now.

It's a very steep mountain to climb, because Google already has the aforementioned things in place, and AWS is firmly embedded with customers that don't want to face huge costs in refactoring apps.

CloudFlare needs to battle Google on many fronts to gain a proper foothold. If I was in leadership, I'd recommend a partnership with a struggling mobile phone company like RIM or Nokia, and possibly with Mozilla on the browser front. Reassuring users about and being committed to upholding personal privacy would be another solid move, and then getting rid of the 'utility metered' approach to charging for cloud hosting and introducing simple monthly and annual rates with easier services would likely be ideal moves to ensuring proper growth and market share into the future.

This is the chess game that wins from my perspective... As companies like AWS and Azure develop more and more micro-service and licensing-locked cloud platform apps, it becomes harder and much more costly for those same customers to migrate anywhere else like CloudFlare. This is also why competing with giants is a dangerous game. CloudFlare would need to put a lot on the line to compete.

The smartest hosting customers often stay liquid in terms of which platform they can leverage and migrate to through chess in development, but the process of getting locked into one host platform is now a very real threat. Overall success has always been a chess game to me. Informed and carefully planned strategy, and conservation of resources, always works best.

streetcat1(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Last time I recall, AWS nor Gcp nor Azure are open source.

dfdz(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> when I do see this talk of them as a new kind of cloud platform I cringe a little. Are we going to under go the same lock-in like experience we've had over the years

I don't understand your argument. A relatively small but innovative company is working to provide competition against the big 3 cloud providers ... and you cringe?

Even if their service turns out to be more or less a S3 replicate with better pricing (for some applications involving a fixed amount of data that needs to be widely distributed) it's a win for consumers and innovation

FunnyLookinHat(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> It's one thing to buy into something that does have wide portability like a postgres but much harder to buy into the platforms that aren't open source.

I tend to feel the same as you - preferring portable solutions that I can host anywhere. However, the reality that we're all building CI/CD pipelines as much as we are actual software nowadays, and moving those from one cloud provider to another is no small feat. Even if you're using some infrastructure-as-code tool to manage all of your resources (e.g. terraform), you can't really `SET TARGET=GCP` and re-run the script (so to speak).

I guess the lesson is: spend as much time picking your infrastructure provider as you do your core technical stack. They're not easy to replace! :-)

gjsman-1000(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Should've sounded the alarm 15 years ago when S3 was invented.

blacktriangle(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Honestly you touch one one of the reasons I love Heroku so much. I've never seen a service that manages to do so much of the heavy lifting for me, but at the same time be 0 lock-in. I've helped move 2 apps off Heroku once they hit a point where they needed a bit more operational flexibility and there was zero work to disentangle them from Heroku operationally. Try that with AWS, GCE, or anything else.

tyingq(10000) 7 days ago [-]

>by using very bespoke closed source

I don't see that as an issue right now. They are closed source. But the workers and key/value apis are (so far) either close to native, or very simple in nature. Porting away would be fairly straightforward. It may be a space to watch as more features roll out.

dgb23(10000) 7 days ago [-]

They're smart about this. It's infrastructure lock-in but not at the API/application level, as they are trying to stay as close to 'just JavaScript with browser API semantics' as possible. Deno is a project that does this too. If you know service workers and web workers you know Cloudflare Workers. If you know JS OO you know Durable Objects (to a degree).

Think about it, the huge influx of web developers that have been growing up on just using JS. Look at their docs too. It's all very accessible, modern, low friction stuff all while they are selling us their infrastructure. And they communicate in a technical, programmer friendly way as opposed to the business/marketing jargon that we are used to by some of the others.

lewisjoe(10000) 7 days ago [-]

As much as I like to have something else leading this market other than AWS (I hate them for several reasons, but insensitive billing plans, cockpit like interface and lock-in services are the top ones), I'd also hate to see Cloudflare become another AWS.

Are there any tech disruption that will make computing resources affordable for solopreneurs/startups as they once used to be. For the past decade I've seen a very slow gradual decrease in the affordability of cloud computing cost. I trust WASM and WASI will have a huge effect in democratizing the market but I'm not sure yet.

mooreds(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> I've seen a very slow gradual decrease in the affordability of cloud computing cost.

What do you mean by 'cloud computing cost'? Digital Ocean will sell you a VPS for $5/month with 1TB bandwidth included. There are tons of hosting providers that offer something similar.

These prices don't seem higher than they were 10 years ago.

What am I missing?

Rapzid(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm really, really confused about all the discussion of R2 as if it were completely fungible with S3.

Certainly for certain use cases it could be an alternative. Even as an adjunct to existing S3 use.

However without IAM integration, bucket events, and etc. there is a huge set of use cases where it wouldn't even be a blip on peoples radar.

Chess vs Go? Couldn't AWS just lower their prices for egress with low to medium(medium for AWS) effort? What am I missing here?

pierofoti(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The missing IAM functionality is also what is preventing myself moving some services to R2. CloudFlare Workers are not 1:1 with AWS Lambda either, yet they have seen significant improvements, which likely continue to accommodate for more use cases. I suspect R2 will see similar improvements.

AWS having high egress fees is the moat around their business. If AWS respond by lowering egress costs then they are opening the fort.

tromp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Minor quibbles about game remarks:

Contrary to what the article claims, draws in chess are very common (on the other hand, they're exceedingly rare in Go, and often impossible due to fractional komi).

Sente in Go does correspond to having the initiative, but a move that compels a player into a particular follow-up move should be called a 'kikashi' (forcing move).

squidlogic(10000) 7 days ago [-]

This sounds similar to the concept of tempo in chess. A move that comes 'with a tempo on a piece' is a move that gains a tempo by attacking that piece.

MauranKilom(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Also, the king is never taken in chess. Well, outside of variants at least. But that's admittedly irrelevant to the article.

elzbardico(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'd even say that when playing black against someone of roughly the same or higher level than you, a draw is your goal.

raziel2p(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Draws are extremely common in high level play, and statistics don't seem to exist for all levels of play, but I'm willing to guess that it's fairly uncommon across all games of rating 1600 or higher.

29athrowaway(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Historically, draw was possible due to both players getting the same amount of points ('jigo'), but when playing under most popular modern rulesets, fractional komi serves as a tiebreaker.

Games can be voided due to a complex ko or superko.

There are modern rulesets with non-fractional komi such as the Ing rules (komi = 8.0) where jigo is possible. But under those rules, in the case of jigo, black wins... making komi effectively the same as 7.5.

For multiple games (e.g.: jubango), a draw can be declared if both players win the same number of games.

rocqua(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Generally in Go 'draw' does not exist.

The exceptions are non-fractional komi, and the exceedingly rare triple ko, which does not technically cause a draw, just an infinite game. Which is generally resolved as a 'draw' by mutual agreement. There are interesting rule variants to exclude the option of infinite games, but they have weird side-effects.

I'd feel confident saying that normal go (19x19 japanese rules with 6.5 komi) does not have draws.

platz(10000) 7 days ago [-]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_strategy_and_tactics#Sente_...

> A player whose moves compel the opponent to respond in a local position is said to have sente (先手), meaning they player has the initiative; the opponent is said to have gote (後手). Sente means 'preceding move' (lit: 'before hand'), whereas gote means 'succeeding move' (lit: after hand').

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Go_terms#Kikashi

> Unlike sente, though, a move is kikashi when it yields a high efficiency in play by forcing the opponent to abandon a course of action.

Kikashi seems rather techincal and quite narrow in where it can be applied.

noasaservice(10000) 7 days ago [-]

A different problem is that, at least with federal agencies, Cloudflare has a BAD name. Like unbelievably bad. They do have a FedRAMP offering as of this year..

But I've been on calls with agencies. Dept heads, executive yuck-de-yucks. And we've gotten, 'Are you using Cloudflare?' We don't, and say so. Resoundingly, we get 'GOOD'

We have no clue what the story and history is there. It's bad for sure. And nobody will answer why.

On the commercial end, this makes sense. But damn, egress from the majors suck. But that's roach motel computing...

snowwrestler(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Cloudflare's priority is growth. They intentionally take on customer risk and technical risk to try to maximize growth.

As a result they incline toward hosting whoever wants to use them, and moving fast and breaking things. Neither of these align with typical federal govt approach to IT infrastructure, which emphasizes reliability and avoiding known risk.

It's just a big personality mismatch, and there's no reason for either to resolve it. Cloudflare doesn't need the feds, and the feds don't need Cloudflare, at least not commercially.

RNCTX(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'd wager that dept heads and executive yuck-de-yucks by and large only know what they heard from other dept heads and executive yuck-de-yucks, which is that Cloudflare didn't buy into the censorship-by-boardroom-committee plans of the two American political parties over the past few years.

wp381640(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is see this as a positive for Cloudflare

ren_engineer(10000) 6 days ago [-]

probably the fact Cloudflare doesn't just shut down sites at the governments request. I'd also imagine a good chunk of them have been wined and dined by Oracle, Google, Microsoft, and AWS lobbyists to think that Cloudflare is bad. I doubt non-technical federal agency heads are double checking what they are being told

rocqua(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I know there was a lot of pressure on Cloudflare to drop hosting for 8chan. And it took a long time for Cloudflare to budge.

In general, I could imagine there being pressure on those grounds against using Cloudflare.

polote(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Cloudflare is a CDN. Nobody is going to use them to store their data even if they are cheaper. If customers cared about price they are already using B2 and B2 is still cheaper than R2.

Cloudflare is not eating anyone. They are just trying to expand their TAM. Cloudflare has always been very good at engineering marketing, and R2 is another masterclass but it will never eat S3

d23(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Cloudflare is a CDN. Everyone would readily consider using them to store their data since they're cheaper. Customers that care about price may have cheaper options, but Cloudflare has excellent engineering marketing.

> Cloudflare will be eating everyone. They are trying to expand their TAM, and R2 is a masterclass.

Figured I'd throw another overconfident unsubstantiated claim into the mix. I was even able to use the same exact points to argue the opposite position.

maxgashkov(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Nobody will store their data _now_.

If in 2-3-5 yrs it's proven to be both durable & highly available (I'm looking at your maintenance windows, B2) I don't see a lot of reasons not to move away from S3 as this should be plug & play at this point.

There will be edge cases for highly regulated businesses of course, but for an average startup why not?

Joe8Bit(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Good article, thanks for submiting!

The challenge for AWS is one lots of incumbents have experienced: they created a market and it's economics and now they're being attacked by the next generation of market entrants who've structured their businesses to _specifically_ attack those economics.

What's interesting is that challenge can be a really big problem for incumbents, as those economics can form a core (very rigid) part of their operating model; it can make it VERY hard to address without fundamental (read: risky) change to a business. There aren't many examples of incumbent businesses doing it successfully, as it needs a kind of 'self-inflicted disruption' that's very hard to do in large organisations where politics and empire building can make it difficult.

If someone could do Managed NAT Gateway next I'd appreciate it!

whoisjuan(10000) 7 days ago [-]

> The challenge for AWS is one lots of incumbents have experienced: they created a market and it's economics and now they're being attacked by the next generation of market entrants who've structured their businesses to _specifically_ attack those economics.

Absolutely. This exactly what Tesla has been doing with car industry incumbents. For example, the higher specs versions of the Model 3 beat +$100k cars in acceleration, raw power, torque, handling, etc.

Incumbents have been selling performance as a high-ticket price feature for decades. Traditional brands cannot compete on high-performance features against Tesla without cannibalizing their ICE offering.

anitil(